A Good Match

It is the morning. 7am. I have been up for 24 hours now (bless midnight shifts). Took a shower and had them thoughts.

I saw this picture about a week ago.

matches

For some reason, this post kept popping up in my head randomly, like there was something more to this picture than the given analysis in the comments. Even though I thought the comment was accurate, there was something missing, and I think I figured it out.

In my head, I recalled this picture from memory differently when it would pop into my thoughts. To me, the fire extinguisher represented a “bad boy,” while the comment appears to refer to it as a sort of hero. With this in mind, I had a hard time remembering why I agreed with the big comment. Shouldn’t the candle want to be kept aflame? Shouldn’t the candle want to be with the matches to keep her lit? I can understand the argument if you view her dying by being aflame since she would melt, so then the matches would be bad for her. Looking at it from an angle that being a candle would imply wanting to burn bright as candles are supposed to, the bad guy would be the extinguisher right?

The picture depicts the matches slumped over appearing to be watching his candle falling for the fire extinguisher on a motorcycle (which to me depicts “bad boy”). With this imagery of the matches, I agree with the comment about him being a “sadboy” and “victim.” This seems accurate. The little more explanation I needed for this, I finally realized what it was. The matches should be good for her right? They make a good pair in the sense that he can light her flame, give her inspiration, bring her happiness. She also gives him purpose and brings light to his life. But what if he does not acknowledge her light? What if he believes he is not good enough, even though he is everything she could ever want? The negativity can lead her to believe that a fire extinguisher is good for her. This guy will give her a few spins on his motorcycle, get her believe that this is what it means to have fun and be happy. He will find he has the power to put out her flame, and make empty promises of rekindling it. Now the candle no longer knows what is right and what is wrong. The matches neglected her and the fire extinguisher abused her.

This is how I believe many negative/abusive relationships develop. Whether the matches were a good relationship gone bad, a family member, or a friend, they failed to show the candle that there will always be someone to help her find her light. Many women convince themselves that the fire extinguishers will protect them and provide for their needs. These things are important, but most human beings can find ways to accomplish those things on their own. Finding someone that brings you true happiness and inspires you in everything you do at every time of the day is something to be prioritized and cherished within a relationship.

 

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Something Something Existential Crisis

Yo whaddup it’s been a minute hope you weren’t waiting on me.

Meh let’s get personal shall we?

One Big Year

Man, a lot has happened, and changed, in the last year. It’s weird to think back to last summer and the pit I was drowning in with life. Betrayed and left out to dry once again by someone I cherished. Choosing to believe in something called “love” that every human being seems to long for and spend their whole life working to secure. It is like a dogma set in stone, that we all must desire and strive for the same things in life. That relationship status can tip the scale on how successful one is in life regardless of everything else they may have accomplished. I suppose that relationships kind of gets thrown in with either failures or successes defined within life. Then again, what defines a failing relationship and a successful relationship? If you stay with someone just because you think they will carry through life, but they do not truly know you or accept you, then is that a fail or success? It is a success ‘cus, yea you got someone, but a fail at being happy right? So then, I guess it all just depends on what is really important to you as an individual. That is something I have had to really dig deep, discover, and digest in the last year. That maybe what is important to others and society, is not that important to me, and vice versa. Needless to say, I am sure that it shows to some degree on my social media :^) This new mentality has definitely helped me open my eyes and to be more understanding of the spectrum of different lives people live, and I really appreciate the variety. It is definitely more fun to run into different kinds of human specimen in this small area.

Words had become very questionable to me in the last year. Nothing made sense anymore. Titles, definitions, the meanings behind words and actions. Everything was a blurred line. All the concepts I grew up believing in faded into the blur and it felt like I did not believe in anything at all anymore. “Believe.” What a relevant word. This word has never disappeared or lost meaning in my life. In fact, it gained more meaning than it had before. It was the only word that did make sense. To me, everything you do, everything you live for, is all based on what you believe. You always have a choice. You have more control over the events in your life than you may have perceived all this time. Whether you realize the power of choice you have is entirely dependent on what you believe. You can accept the freedom and responsibility you have in your life, or you can give up and cower. The first time “believe” became relevant was due to a friend in high school battling cancer. Notice “battling,” not “dying.” The two words have entirely different connotations. One sounds heroic, strong, enduring, positive. The other sounds defeated, weakened, suffering, negative. I CHOOSE the word “battling” because that is exactly what he did. He CHOSE to not give up. He CHOSE to smile. He CHOSE to BELIEVE that he would heal and get better. And even in the end, cancer didn’t win, because he and his loved ones chose not to believe so. Even in the end, what he had believed defined his life. His beliefs made it more hopeful even in the face of something horrific. Like I said, you have more control over your life than you may perceive. You may not be able to control everything that happens that affects you, but you can control how you react to it. Cliché  I know…

Beliefs do have a lot of power though. Looking at religion is always an interesting topic. Why are there so many religions? Many accommodate beliefs that others do not hold. Is this a bad thing? “Bad thing.” Is this something that should concern us as a society that (I’m assuming) wants to harmonize and have differing humans exist together in peace? Nah not really. Whether one religion is more correct and accurate than the other does not really matter, does it? Religion brings meaning to lives that otherwise would feel purposeless. That our actions are defined by something more than we could ever begin to understand. That the good things we do in life if they are not rewarded now or even seem to be later, that there is a deeper value to everything we do in life and that our words do not fall on deaf ears. When a person has nothing left in life, they can have their god, and that their life has a purpose whether they understand it or not. To exist for no reason is the same as being dead.

Anyway… words. Oh yea, they didn’t make sense. What I mean by this is, people could tell me something, anything, and I simply just didn’t buy it. Compliments meant nothing to me. Hurtful words bounced off me like rubber. To some degree, I liked the feeling of immunity and even transcendence, as if I had surpassed something so important to humanity. That I was above all the “words” that gave so much meaning to other people, but then, what gave me meaning? Nothing for a long while. I simply floated along like a cloud going wherever the breeze took me. There really weren’t a whole lot of decisions I had to make either. The only real choice I was faced on a daily basis was whether or not I chose to be content with how things were or weren’t going or to be distraught about it. Life felt stagnant for the most part, but I didn’t let it bother me. I didn’t fear not knowing the direction my life was taking. What I did know is that I had a cute cat child that I believed could understand my human English and plenty of friends that kept me company and distracted me from the abyss in my head. And that has been good enough.

I suppose I’ll stop here for now. I’d like to talk a bit about my new job sometime, which is kinda what I intended coming back to this, but I just get carried away sometimes REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Changing Minds

Okay I want to talk about something that happened a few weeks ago (yup, I knew I would get lazy). A “protest” outside of a local Applebee’s that is just across from where I work. Oh neat, another group of people yelling their opinions and other random tasteless phrases at people passing by that I’m sure cared to stop and listen to them. I did care to some degree. Not actually about what they were standing out there for, but why they were standing out there. Work was slower that day, so I asked my supervisor if I could walk over there and see what it was all about.

Upon reaching this group of around 15 people give or take, I skimmed each face to see who I wanted to try to approach individually. They all changed their angry like demeanor to a more friendly one as if to coerce me to join them. I admitted I just wanted to see their signs and colorful artwork. One sign had the character “Where’s Waldo?” on it with Roy Blunt’s face on the red and white striped body with text that read “Where’s Roy?” Props for creativity, since most of the other signs seemed to read of Trump this and Trump that. I approached an older gentleman towards the far side of the group and simply asked, “So what’s up with all of this? Why are y’all out here with signs and stuff?” He briefly explained that he is a veteran with many concerns on healthcare and how our country is going to be run. He said that Roy Blunt was supposed to come to Cape to hear their complaints, but apparently sent some secretary instead, and that wasn’t good enough. I politely listened and moved towards the other side of the line to three ladies with signs that read of climate change, healthcare, and the usual screw Trump lingo. I asked them the same question, “What are you out here for?” It was like reading off of a PowerPoint with them. Each of them talked about whatever their sign read. One lady said a lot about climate change and how the weather being so warm in February was an omen of what’s to come (yeah more protests ‘cus who wants to stand out in 30 degree weather). All while they explained their points, occasionally they would interrupt their speech to me in order to yell at passing cars. Maybe this triggered me to ask my next question of, “What do you hope to accomplish by standing out here with signs and yelling at people driving by?” Thankfully they didn’t interpret my question as condescendingly as I may had delivered it. They explained they simply want people to become aware of the problems that they see, and know that even with (Missouri) being such a red state, that their opinions matter too.

Sure, okay, understandable. Valid point that of course their opinions matter just as much as the next guy. I may be lazy, but I still do not see much of a point to “protesting” on any degree. From small scale and generalized like this one, to the riots of Ferguson on racial issues and riots in Portland on Trump’s election. I don’t mean to just blow it all off as stupid by any means, even though personally, yes I do think protests and riots are absolutely repulsive and unnecessary, I do think I have valid reasons on why all of it is a waste of time and more or less just overdone ploys for attention.

Think of yourself for a minute. Think of every time in your life that you had reached an impasse in your beliefs and behavior, and then concluded “You know what? Maybe that is worth changing.” How did this consideration of change permeate your mind? For myself, I can recall many times speaking to different individuals about different topics and reaching a point that maybe changed my mind a bit on what I had thought previously. Maybe not a complete 180, but a step in the direction of seeing things from a different perspective. What I cannot recall, is a time that I’ve had a bunch of people yelling at me and harassing me about how my thoughts and beliefs are all wrong and that I should just change them because I am out manned and out argued in comparison to them. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is all protests appear to be.

I am friends with people of so many diverse backgrounds. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know what is outside the “walls” of my hometown area. I want to know more about the world. I want to know more about how other individuals experience their own worlds. Not everyone is like me of course. Not everyone is willing to see beyond the boundaries that define them. Sometimes, people need to accept that. For example, if you run into some racist “asshole,” you can only try to persuade them so much to believe otherwise. Maybe that individual has a bad experience with another individual or a group of people from a different background than themselves, so they developed a prejudice towards any people that have similar backgrounds to the person or people that treated them wrongly. It would be difficult to change their mind simply by telling them they should change. Their mind has formed a schema in order to protect themselves from perceived harm, every human being does this, even when an over generalization may be absolutely incorrect. If you want to see that racist asshole change, I would say the better tactic is to exemplify a more pleasant persona that would contradict their preconceived notions about specific kinds of people. Not gathering up a group of people that fits the discriminatory schema that the individual has formed and parading around screaming at people to change their minds.

Learned

Hello people who are lame enough to click on my blog. Here is a shot at my first post :^)

How did I end up here?

I can safely say this is not some attempt to relieve myself of some nagging depression or a need to use writing as a way to vent uncontrollable thoughts or emotions. Honestly, as of late, with enough introspection I have discovered I am actually quite content with the way I articulate the thoughts that pop up in my head these days. For the first time in my life, I am not causing myself stress. For the most part at least.

What’s the plan?

My plan with writing in a blog is undefined. The only thing I truly know is that I go to school and work every day and try to throw in some gaming hobbies every now and then. What I have come to realize is that I find I have more to talk about every day. I used to be very dismissive, not paying attention to details, constantly wanting to just “move on.” I never wanted to allow my mind to focus on one thing or one day. Every time I shut my eyes at night, the next morning when I opened them, everything that had happened longer than 12 hours ago was a distant memory. One to be forgotten if possible. Details were unimportant, just knowing the gist of events was all I needed to know at the bare minimum, that something did occur. Knowing how or why was nothing to waste time pondering over. Moving on, moving forward, was all that really mattered.

So uhh…

Yeah I guess that still did not explain a whole lot as to why I am attempting to write on here. I have made previous efforts to start documenting my life for the sake of curing my faulty memory, but to no avail. Inevitably I get distracted, or bored, or uninterested. Life is full of phases. This could be another attempt at something that could result in being short lived. Who knows, who cares.

Anyway, moving on.

One thing I would like to address in this post is the title of my blog, “Learning Curve.” Admittedly, I used the simple Google definition of a learning curve for the tagline (no shame). The concept of a learning curve surfaced frequently in my studies of psychology. For the most part, it is a graphical representation of the increase of learning with experience. Basically the more you practice or repeat a task, the faster you learn how to accomplish said task. You become more efficient and effective at overcoming a challenge. The curve demonstrates a slow beginning, steep progress, and then a plateau. learning-curve

Ah, beautiful. It seems you got baited into looking at a page from a textbook haHAA. Nonetheless, I figured a visual representation couldn’t hurt for the sake of explanation. You know how life is often described as a roller coaster? That roller coaster must be made up of a bunch of learning curves. We learn from every experience in our lives. When it is a completely new experience, you are starting from the bottom of this curve, working your way up. It may all be hard to understand at first. With any new experience, there is a lot of information that has to be taken in, processed, and defined. Depending on the degree of the situation, trying to make sense of it all could be extremely overwhelming, and you may feel as though you stagnate in that slow beginning part of the curve for a long time. Once you have a general idea on how to define the situation, and with enough trial and error, you then can figure out a method of operation best suited for overcoming this challenge. Reaching the top of this curve is where you can begin to attempt to understand how and why that particular situation came about in the first place, and also formulate a schema of defining factors held within that event. If a similar situation does occur in the future, your curve starts at a higher point in the graph. It will take less time for you to execute the method of operation you chose for the original incident.

I see this learning curve is most pertinent in my experiences with friendships. A few things I value very deeply within every friendship are loyalty and honesty. To feel that someone cares enough about you to do whatever it took to support you and display authenticity is unparalleled. It is also few and far between. The term “friend” has held a lot of weight to me for a very long time. Quite a few years were spent feeling a lack of true connection. To have the opportunity to dub an individual as a friend, and also have that reciprocated, meant the world to me. These are people that I truly care for, and would do my best to be there for them and help them as best as possible, even if it was borderline unreasonable for my own sake. My boundaries were not well defined, I was not attending to my own needs or wants very well. My self-sacrificing mentality was not healthy whatsoever. I had little to no value on my own life. Or at least, the quality of it. Moments in my life where, in hindsight, I appear to derive the most satisfaction out of were when I could get people to laugh. Didn’t really matter if it was with me or at me, just seeing others smile due to my presence was enough for me. Psychoanalyzing this physiological response is of course tied to the patterns found within my childhood. Self-awareness is key, and I am not afraid to admit that maybe I, myself, have a decent read on… myself. At least now I do to a better degree. I digress. I don’t really need to go into details of the conditioned response I have observed of myself. That is for you to reread a few times until you think you might understand.

Back to that stupid graph though. The last few months have taught me a lot in dealing with people I allow to get close to me. I know where my boundaries are now. I know what I can and will do for the people I care about. I no longer let my empathy blind me. I understand the whole, “put the face mask on yourself before the child as you plummet to your death airplane.jpeg.” Cliche but relevant I guess. As much as I believed I could be the hero everyone needed and carry all their burdens for them, I know that I can’t do that. Especially since I can barely do that for myself. I suppose the best I can do is try to lead by example. I have decided from enough learning curves, maybe that is the best method of operation, the best overall solution. This process involves improving myself as a person, and trying to be the best that I can be, so that others may also benefit from my presence. This does not mean that I completely remove myself from assisting others with their problems, it is simply a new and healthier approach. A line that caught my attention within one of my textbooks stated, “When we are able to stand alone and tap into our own strength, our relationships with others are based on our fulfillment, not our deprivation,” (Corey 2016). I have learned that I want to be strong, not so that I can carry others’ burdens, but to better carry my own.