I struggled quite a bit today with coming up with a resolution to uphold this year. I didn’t bother with one last year because everything I wanted was already coming true…I was graduating, it looked like I had a job that was going somewhere good, and all in all I was really just waiting to meet someone special and my life would be on track. I mean that’s what everyone wants right? Money in the bank, and someone to share your life with…so I went through this last year with no resolution…I felt no need to struggle to come up with some meaningless thing to dedicate myself to. I take oaths and promises very seriously and well according to the dictionary a resolution is: “a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group.” In this case, I preside over my life, and so I am declaring my will.
Resolved: In 2012, I will seek out what is best in life.
Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.
Now, I don’t exactly agree with Conan, but there is something satisfying about his words. In this case, my enemies are not physical which makes them so much harder to face than Conan’s enemies. Fear and self-doubt are much hard to face.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain
Recently certain events have made me realize a few things about myself:
- I put a lot of pressure on myself.
- I don’t strive to be the best version of myself
- Even though I hate to admit it, a lot of the pressure comes from how I think other people perceive me.
- Often I under sell my own abilities and potential.
For instance, I recently quit my job…after a week. And I liked my job. It wasn’t great or challenging, but the people I worked with were awesome. The job was…bearable other than that and I made good money. But after a week, I was physically ill for 2 days at the thought of going back. I was dry heaving every 5 to 10 minutes because I was so stressed. Finally I sat down and really examined myself and what was going on inside my head. I took the job because I felt pressured. I need to have a job without a doubt. But while there I felt trapped. And even though I know my family would understand, the thought of not being around for Christmas and disappointing people was killing me. And there is no blame to anyone in my family for this, it was all internal pressure I was applying without any conscious thought on my part. But it tore my stomach up enough to make me ill.
The second (and fourth really kind of ties in) comes from the other night. I was thinking about why I didn’t get the IT job at Boomtown…why I didn’t think to show my interviewer my Project+ certification card…why I found myself saying “Well I don’t know much about that, but I could learn.” And I’m not saying I should have lied, but if I learned ANYTHING from debate it was that there are better ways to say you don’t know something than just saying it straight out. And I thought about why I did that, and why I haven’t programmed any apps on my phone yet, or even gotten started. I thought about why I want to go back to school, which is really because I think it is too hard for me to learn what I need to learn on my own and school would make it easier. Which may be true, but I’m not sure it is worth the money I would have to pay. The fact is, I am good enough to learn what I need to learn. And when I was working towards being with someone all my doubts, fears, and insecurities just melted away and everything was easy. The world was my oyster, and there was nothing that would stand between me and my goals. But I find it impossible to summon that kind of faith in myself just for me. And I am honestly not sure why.
So my resolution is to fix these things about myself. Find the faith to believe I can do anything, independent of needing anyone else to believe in me. Find a way to accept the things I cannot change, and to not stress out over things I have to do to improve my life. It is still a pretty tall order, but it is better than other things I could promise that would be nearly impossible to guarantee or achieve.
And honestly, I am not really sure where to start with all of this…I am kind of hoping in the next few days the Big Guy Upstairs will help me out…spin me around and point me in the right direction at least.
Happy New Years, and may all this years wishes not become next years apologies
I’m sure most of you recognize the title as a song from Fallout Boy…well we will get to why in a moment.
First I need to talk about dreams. I believe that dreams have power. I believe they tell us things. Things about ourselves that maybe we don’t know yet, things about our world we don’t notice consciously, and things we want but don’t see why. In short, oftentimes they answer questions we haven’t asked yet. Now whether dreams come from some higher power, or our own subconscious is up to speculation, but regardless they tell us things.
As I am sure you can guess, I had a dream. And I have been trying to figure out what it means all day.
It started off with me leading a group of my loved ones through a city, trying to get us out as fast as possible. I never thought of what the danger actually was, I was so focused on getting us to the countryside. The next thing I can recall is meeting my dad with the group in front of a lake and he had all these supplies. Well we gathered them up and went on, making camp after hiking for a while and beating back a lake monster. And after camp was set up I saw my dad standing a little apart, so I went to talk to him. He just looked me in the eye and said “It’s time to live up to those words now.” “What words?” I asked a bit confused. And he replied “This ain’t a scene, its a g__ d___ arms race” and I woke up.
This has been going around and around in my head all day. What does it mean?
In the song, they are talking about how life is all about making money, not providing comfort, or making someone’s life better, or anything besides making money. (“I am an arms dealer, selling you weapons in the form of words, I don’t care which side wins, as long as the room keeps singing, that’s just the business I am in”)
Kind of makes you think about how we feel like bands are speaking to us, and how much music can affect someone but really it’s just about making money, not changing lives.
Unfortunately, that seems what the world is like these days. Oddly enough, I have always felt like I was meant to change the world. I guess that is arrogant, or prideful, but it’s always been a truth to me not a question. After all, that is what gave me faith in my plan to graduate college, and why my world was shattered when I failed out the first time. I remember have a long conversation with my junior high youth group leader about how I wanted to program computer games, and my desire to change the world through my games. We talked about all kinds of Christian friendly games I could make (it was church after all) and he shared my faith in myself and my plan.
Somewhere along the way I have lost that faith in myself.
I remember telling someone that it was easier to endure difficulty when I had someone else in my life to work for…when I was working towards a goal. It seemed like everything cleared up, and became so simple and easy…when I had a clear path instead of slogging through the muck. I guess what I need…what my dream was trying to say is that I need to find that level of motivation by myself, for myself, and not for someone else. I need to stop settling for good enough and start reaching for my greatness before too long because “this ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race.”