12:05 AM

We Might Need A Bigger Steak

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice... "Let me tell you a story."

"I too, at times, have felt great hate for those who have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It's like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times. "

"It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way."

"But...the other wolf... ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing."

"Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather ?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

Have you ever had moments where nothing seems to be going right, and everything you had planned goes astray, as the famous adage states?

Today is one of those days.

Or, rather, this week has been. School planning is not going well: I can't take this class because it's online, I can't take that class because it's one unit shy of the "normal" math class, and that class isn't offered. For all I know, people are sitting behind the desk at the administrative offices and departments, sniggering as they type out "NO NO NO" into the e-mails they send me. Not that they really type "NO NO NO", but they might as well. It would have the same crushing effect.

And of course, let's look at the fact I have no room assignment yet. Granted, my two majors mean I'll be living on the street anyway with the rest of the city, but I never meant to start now! Good thing the naval base is nearby, as it means I can find a husband quickly if I really need to. My other option is to master the art of cold reading, open up a psychic stand on the beach, and scam people all day long. Beach bum: with a purpose! The final option will always be to live at home until I'm 30.

Let's be realistic though.

It's hard not to be discouraged by things that really shouldn't be so worrisome. Why am I able to freak out over a simple housing assignment, but when it comes to picking up the house a half hour before company is supposed to come over, I'm cool as an ice cube? Maybe it has something to do with which I find easier to deal with. But really, shouldn't both be on a similar level?

It all has to do with how I want to approach the situation, I think. And which reaction I choose to feed.

There's always panic in both, but it's easier to be more panicked over school stuff because there is a larger consequence in my mind. But why? I don't really know. The worst that happens is I'm in school longer.

I guess we freak out over what we see more failure in. Having to go to school for longer is a bigger source of failure for me than not having the house clean, no matter the guest. For others, it's switched. But it's funny how a fear as simple as failure can paralyze us, and even take a toll on us by zapping us of mental and physical energy we need elsewhere. If only we learned to be at peace with the future, to take active part in shaping it, but knowing that things will go better if we're happy and living in peace.

Funny how peace is harder to feed than discontent and panic.

The monster movies make so much more sense now.

If there's one gift I could ask God for, it would be for a bigger piece of metaphorical steak in which to feed the metaphorical wolf of peace inside of me. Why is it so hard to let go of the wrong and the negative and the hurtful and focus on the positive?

Perhaps because we don't want to. We thrive off drama - hence reality television and its stunning popularity. Drama queen could probably apply to a majority of humanity, because, let's face it, we're nosy, and like to know what other people are up to! Especially others failure, as it gives us a bit of an ego boost. Sad but true. None of us can look away when the python swallows the mouse, and we can't look away as things go wrong in someone else's life.

Perhaps that's what I really need - is to learn how to thrive less off drama and more off peace. While the adrenaline of anger gives us a brief high, it also drops us into an equally intense low, and that's when we crash and burn.

I hate the crash and burn. So I need to figure out how to stop before I go up that high. Again, easier to talk about then to do, especially when you're stressed enough to cry, scream, and have your stomach do flips all at the same time.

I don't really have an answer yet. I probably won't for a long time. I'll be 80 and finally have the answer figured out, but won't remember the password to this blog to grant me access to posting it here. That's probably for the better, as I'm guessing it's different for everyone.

For now, all I can do is go to bed, pray, and try not to feed discontent.

10:44 PM

Old School

Today, I have transcended to a new level of being as a film student. It required sinking to a new level of technology that many may not be proud of, or even remember. Yet it was an emotional journey of nostalgia, and a reliving of how things have changed. It's a reminder of where I come from, and where my field has progressed and is progressing. I feel that I may have old taste, or perhaps unsophisticated taste, and that I may be unorthodox in my choice of entertainment. But what can I say?

I love VHS tapes.

11:07 PM

Why I'm Fat

I think I've discovered the reason why people eat at midnight. Or at least why I do. I'm not sure who came up with the idea of "Man vs. Food", but right now I'm watching a gooey, delicious cheeseburger fill the television screen. And if it wasn't 12:14am, I would be making a cheeseburger on the stove top.

I'm still tempted. I just don't want to be called fat by the little voice inside my head that keeps me thinking straight.

That, and I already ate some mixed nuts and a Tim-Tam.

But really, I think the Travel Channel has made a nefarious deal with the Food Network to get people to eat more, and become more obsessed with food, causing them those who watch the Travel Channel to watch the Food Network channel.

No wonder America's fat.

All I want to do is travel, and I'm bombarded by shows displaying all the greasy, fatty, yet delicious places to eat along the way. Then, when I'm depressed because I resemble a car tire, I watch the Travel Channel, dreaming about the places I want to go. And when I'm too fat to leave the house, I watch the Food Network to learn how to make pizza out of the few ingredients I can pay off the neighborhood kids to hand me through the kitchen window.

Curse you, cable television, curse you.

I guess my only choice to avoid this sad fate is to turn off the television and go to bed. Which means closing down my project (talking on Facebook) and shutting down the computer to go up to a cold bed. ...Now I see why I watch this show this late at night.

One final statement on food: bacon makes everything better. It goes on almost everything (and when I say almost, I mean it really doesn't go with fruit - sorry, it just doesn't). And it's delicious. This year, consider bacon as an alternative to your Christmas dinner protein.

12:34 AM

Third Time's the Charm

I have undertaken the great 21st century fad once more in attempt to ease not only my own need to write, but also because I have failed twice to make a blog into the vessel I wish it to be. So here we go, one more attempt at the Holy Grail, the fabled Excalibur, and even the leg lamp that is the perfect blog. Exciting? Absolutely! Daunting? Yes! Procrastination? Naturally.

Why the name? Easy: because I feel like my brain likes to go on sabbatical for hours, sometimes days at a time. It kicks back in, occasionally, but let's face it, if you know me, you know I'm really blonde underneath. So if my post suddenly becomes incomprehensible, blame my brain falling asleep. It does that a lot.

Today we're going to talk about roller coasters.

I recently went to Six Flags: Magic Mountain, just outside of Los Angeles, California. It was a great time, a full day affair, and a lesson on why you should never carry a purse into that amusement park (mandatory locker rentals at every ride?, seriously?). Despite losing a good few dollars on unneeded storage, I also reaffirmed that every time I strap myself into a roller coaster, I'm really scared to death that the seat is going to come undone, the latch will pop open, or that I'm going to kill someone when a penny that I had forgotten was in my pocket falls and hits someone on the head below the ride, killing them instantly.

Despite these fears, however, I usually come off the ride exhilarated, adrenaline pumping, and ready to brave the next one. Each time I've gone back to Magic Mountain, I've tried a new roller coaster. Only one alludes my track record: the Riddler's Revenge. Standing up on a coaster, even quasi-standing, disturbs me. The Riddler's Revenge always bums me out in the sense I have never been able to gather the courage to go on it. But each time I walk away from the park, I'm still satisfied.

It's a lot like life.

Yes, an obvious analogy.

I can't guarantee that it gets better from here.

Bail now, or get chocolate.

If you're reading this because you don't want to read Colonial Latin American homework, continue.

Anyway, life is a lot like Magic Mountain. Minor trials, like not finding your size in that new shirt, or buying the wrong kind of cereal, is a lot like the tamer rides for kids. Mildly scary, but common. They are easy to overcome the older you get, until you are able to switch carousel horses with ease.

I'm not sure how old you are, but even my 6 year old self gets bored after riding the tiger a million and a half times. So we all move on to the more intense rides. Which also means, the bigger issues in life become more drastic. Up and down, loop around, corkscrews, half screws, things get hard and fast (that's what she said, anyone?), and suddenly, the rides aren't so fun anymore when you're upside down and waiting. Yet this is where those who like roller coasters are weeded out, and those who can learn to move on are distinguished from those who dwell. It's sometimes a matter of mind over, well, mind. But we learn to deal.

And suddenly, we find ourselves questioning our existence, our purpose, or whether we really are happy or not. And that leads us to Tatsu, to X2, to Goliath. Things are more intense, and we're pushing the limits.

I miss LAFSC.

The program was a lot like my other semester abroad in the sense that it started out with nothing that I couldn't handle. But then, things got deeper, and by the end of the program, I was facing issues that needed more time and thought than I had and still don't have the energy to face. I thought I could handle leaving as easily as just getting off the carousel. It would be easy to just leave the people I was living with - it was only four months!

But I forgot how attached I become.

We human beings are made to be around others. Even Paul wasn't a hermit, and Adam needed a companion. For all his angels, God created humans in order to have a relationship, and since we are made in his image, we are thus expected to crave relationships, sexual and non-sexual.

I met a lot of people at LAFSC, and just like as in New Zealand, I didn't even realize how a huge group of faces suddenly turned from an indistinguishable wave to a flock of birds, each avian distinct and beautiful in its own right. I knew every face by name by the end of the program.

Yet now, I'm here in my home, and I realize the community I had to leave. I'm not the most outgoing of people, but I feel as if I made a few good friends, and a lot of friends that can turn into good friends with effort on my part. I apologize right now to those I never got to know well - I honestly did want to know you. It's not you, it's me. Let's make up over lunch?

As exciting as home is (ok, who am I kidding, it's not the most happening of place), I really miss LAFSC. And I miss being around people who challenge me to become more of the person I want to be. I need to be around people my age, daily, to grow. Yet I think I let the small trials, the small rides, freak me out when I am with others. I get discouraged easily, angry easily, even melancholy easily. And I never question the big issues because I never get to them - I'm too caught up on small things like petty arguments.

Or if I get over the petty things, I face issues that shouldn't be issues: will I be forgotten? Did people even like me? Did anyone notice I wore colored socks? Ok, perhaps not the later, but still, you know what I mean. To think, last week, or even two weeks ago, I was so excited that things were going my way. The small things couldn't be sweated, and I was doing so well in my own personal goals. I was queen of the world. It was the top of the biggest hill.

I guess I wrote all of this to say that I miss LAFSC, and have regrets, and fears, and have gone from an emotional high to the beginning of an emotional low. And I hate it.

Why can't life be like the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland? Calm and flat, with no highs or lows.

I already know the answer: because we wouldn't know the difference between a high and a low, and we wouldn't have the lows to grow from. We'd never know what to celebrate, and what wasn't status quo.

Maybe this is my Riddler's Revenge for this year: learning to let go of what I couldn't get done, and facing the large questions in life. What will I do after LAFSC? Am I ready for real life? What do I still need to change? And am I happy with my career choices?

As much as this emotional ride sucks right now, I know that I'll learn, and something will bring me back up. The cat sleeping next to me is helping as we speak. But I have to go down to realize that there is something unresolved from my year abroad - if not more than one something.

I'm still continuing with this ride we call life, and I don't plan on stopping. I'll still face the small things, and the big things too. I just wish that I didn't change from high to low so fast. And I wish that there weren't so many things that could make this coaster go up and down and sideways. Why can't we always be having a good time, feeling that weightless feeling and pulling Gs that makes us love roller coasters in the first place?

I guess, because, we'd lose the love for thrills in the first place.