Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The gift of 2008

The end of year is almost here and with it comes a tender reflection of the good and bad that was had. To end the year I will summarize some of the things that stood out the most during my recollection.

The gift was an unwinding of some major stress after 2007 ended with shaking up every major area of my life and all at the same time. The beginning of this year brought much needed stability back, which allowed for the unwinding of stress so tight that I literally thought I might snap. Oh the wondrous joy of being able to relax, and I mean really relax.

After being able to finally relax, another gift was to be had, confidence. The kind that probably exceeds all reasonable standards and trespasses into the borders of arrogance. And I pushed myself hard into directions which previously just the thought of had terrified greatly. Yes this includes public speaking. As you know I can be the shiest person on this earth, and the thought of having an audience is not that pleasant. And so living by the mantra, "if it scares me I'm going to overcome it", I was able to face many fears head on. Most turned out well, but others served as reminders to be perhaps just a little more humble, if not a lot more.

Then there was trouble, and with it, the gift of many more lessons. What a thing it is to feel smaller than a grain of sand while contemplating the vast greatness of the universe, and yet know at the same time the worth of each individual person is much richer and greater than that of the sun or the moon. What an exhilarating perspective that is.

At first glance 2008 did not seem such a good year, but after a bit of reflection I realize just how rich and blessed it actually was. Here's to 2009 and hoping it is every bit as good as this year was.

What a gift it is to just be alive, to have family, and friends that care about us. To have people we don't know helping us in times of need. Each day is a gift, an opportunity to do better, to learn from mistakes, to enrich the lives of those around us. Yesterday is past, tomorrow may not come, but today is a gift and an amazing one at that.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The other day I took a stress test for fun. According to the results I passed with flying colors, that is if a very high stress level is passing. It seemed as if I was checking off about half the questions they asked. The good news is I see an end to a portion of the stress in just a couple days. Finals week is almost here, and will soon be over with.

Some things I've learned about myself when being super stressed over the past couple years.
-It can be almost paralyzing and results in barely function at all sometimes.
-It can give a heightened sense of what is going on around me at all times.
-It tends to make me take everything far too seriously for far too long.
-I tend to become extremely introverted and self-aware for stints until the stress level goes down.
-Often when others are freaking out, I am the most calm and able to function with very orderly fashion.
-It seems that I have very high stamina in just getting stuff done that needs to, even after I've been burnt out for quite a while.

During my break between semesters I am planning to work on a music project I've had on the back-burner for a while, this will also help relieve some stress and be rewarding by finally finishing a segment of something that has been in the works for a couple years. The creative cycles of my brain will once again be called upon, and it will feel good to work on something that I actually want to for a change, rather than things I need to work on out of necessity for the sake of completing bigger goals.

Friday, December 5, 2008


The idea of perception is unique, relative, subjective, and perhaps even ever-changing.
How we perceive ourselves and others is influenced slightly by everyone we meet, experiences we have, information we have learned, and perhaps even altered by current moods.

Certainly how one perceives oneself is different from how everyone around that person perceives them. Each person around them will have a different perspective, even if subjected to the same sets of interactions with that person. Because each one of them has a different outlook on life, and admires different qualities in the people around them. Of course mood will also affect the perception with somewhat of an enhancing affect on both ends of the spectrum between positive and negative.

Once the idea of perception is understood to be relative and easily affected, then with some effort it can consciously be changed to be more positive and uplifting, focusing more on the good we see in others and not dwelling on the rest. This is a real challenge sometimes, but with effort, it makes it easier to be happy and spread cheer to others around us more often. This is just one of many things I'm working toward lately.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back to Basics

All of the excitement of the past few weeks have taken a toll.
The delicate balance keeping all things in place has broken.
A great weight is pressing down.
Pressure is building.
Something has to give.
Time to recharge is drawing near.
Missing long summer days.
Full of bright sunshine.
The warm breezy air.
And so we go back to basics.
Until all things are restored to their proper balance.
Yet somehow I do and have remained happily and eerily optimistic all the while.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It is the time of year where the dawn of my favorite holiday will soon begin. A celebration of gratitude overdue will ensue. Thanksgiving brings about a sense of altruism from many, as they put aside daily concerns in favor of projects such as food and clothing drives, in an effort to positively affect those who are less fortunate.

I was happy to participate such a project this year that had set a reasonable goal, and ended up achieving almost four times the original goal. There was some healthy competition in play that seemed to inspire many involved to give just a little bit more, and ultimately those in need are those that really win and will be blessed from the generosity of many good people.

The main reasons Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday are really quite simple.
  • The food is good. How can you not love a feast?
  • Spending time with family.
  • Taking time out to realize how blessed we really are.
  • Expressing gratitude to God for all he has given us.
When I sit down to feast with my family, I will be grateful for all that I do have. With the realization that wealth is relative to perception in all aspects of life, not just monetary things. And I have been blessed in that regard far more than I truly deserve.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lesson of the little things

The past couple weeks have been an interesting challenge. After spending the last couple years becoming completely independent and realizing just how capable I am of taking care of myself alone, I was hit hard with a new lesson. One in which small, easy, and little things had become nearly impossible tasks to accomplish.

That's when realization that I do actually need help from others sometimes, despite how much I don't want to accept that fact (far too often) had set in. Some people surprised me and ran away when I asked for help, others came out of nowhere and surprised me with their kindness and willingness to help me so much.

My faith in humanity has been restored, and I believe again that most people will go out of their way a little to do some good for others given the chance. This experience has been a blessing, even if it was mostly painful, and I now see much clearer who my real friends are. Thank you everyone who helped me during this time, even just a little bit, it meant so much more than words can express accurately.