The bureaucracy continues, not within an organization. My life has been an exciting roller coaster that would inspire a novel writer. The problem with that outlook is, if you consider how the antagonist sees the events coalescing around them, and wishing that they had something similar to what others have. I spend a lot of time thinking to myself, how did I get myself here? I am abstract because that is how my mind works and that is where my thoughts wander, where I am the most comfortable. What do you think?
I am stepping into the unknown with my family in tow. We have moved out of our house, sold or given away whatever didn’t fit into our new lifestyle, and we are poised on the edge of the next step of our lives. Yet here we sit. Two weeks, that’s how long we have been poised in the edge of this precipice. Waiting for a signature, waiting for bureaucracy to complete its long slow circle of evolution before it releases its firm grasp on us all.
We bought an R.V. to live in full time. We have been staying nearby in a safe place while our families wait for our imminent departure so that we might spend a holiday with them before we begin our next line of obligations. Work, school, and the basic r.v. 101 newbie learning curve that we will inevitably have to overcome through harsh roads, weather, and probably some people too.
Despite the set backs, and despite the sense of frustration we all feel, I’m truly grateful to those I have chosen to spend my life with, grateful that they too have chosen to spend their lives with me. My amazing oldest son who is getting so much better at speaking with me over the phone, due to the distance we live apart, and my youngest son who has recently just turned a year old this very month. My wife who has reached a major milestone in her own life recently, despite the various challenges she has faced. Everything from seemingly ever shifting schedules, to slow or uncooperative internet connections, we seem to have faced a little of anything that could have happened.
To those few who read my words here, thank you too and happy holidays; whatever they may be.
My thoughts on paradise are as follows; paradise is a conception of the very thing that fulfills you and completes you in your own mind. In contrast there is the nightmare, the one thought that terrifies your very being and feels as though it could threaten your existence. For the most part we all live somewhere in the middle. We happily smile at the daylight while quietly weeping into our pillow as we sleep. There are those of us too, whose paradise is the people either in our lives currently or have touched our lives in profound ways but are no longer able to communicate in the physical plane of existence anymore. Again, in contrast, there are those of us whose paradise is the future we hope to build for ourselves and our families. Whatever your definition of paradise, be mindful of others in your journey and allow yourself to be vulnerable at times, and those who mean the most will have paradise in your moment. You too, I believe will also feel paradise within your heart rather than your mind.
I hope this letter finds you well, my family and I are doing well on our trip. We have recently run into a spot of bad weather, but our spirits are still up and we are still enjoying the gifts we received from you at the end of our previous visit. We have met a lot of beautiful people and gone through many lovely experiences this past year, but I fear I am in need of some of your ever positive and wise council. There have also been people I have come across who do not seem to see the wold as I do and when I attempt to enlighten them with my words, they at first recoil, and then they attack as if I had accosted them in a harsh manner to begin with. I admit that I am not in a position to judge what these people could possibly be offended about as I am only trying to help. I would not be writing to you about this if I had not experience this again and again to my astonishment. What can I do to help them? There are so many here that I feel need my help, but they all rebuke my efforts. What is your advice? I look forward to our next correspondence in the near future and again, I wish you well in all of your own efforts.
Who am I? What do I want? What is my true purpose? These questions are not a question for anyone else in particular, but in fact only questions that, I feel, only I can answer. For the moment I seem to flit from one grandiose idea to another while dragging those people who are closest to me along for the ride. I cannot myself ever imagine following someone else for the sake of their dreams. I can support an idea or decision that another person makes, but I cannot see myself actually doing something for sake of them, give up on something I want.
I feel inherently selfish and generally ungrateful for the few things that I have had in my life. I don’t look around and see all the accomplishments or sacrifices of others. I look around and crave more than what I already have and want to strive for more than I may be capable of. For all these things that I have identified in myself I have not yet actually come very close to answering those nagging questions in the back of my mind. Instead I have just sunk myself into a quiet place in the home that I live in surrounded by the people who love me, and I brood.
I brood on the next question or challenge that I have come up with for myself, and I feel a pull of nostalgia tug on my sleeve and wonder, “what if”? Now I could continue my tirade about every what if scenario, but I have done that before a don’t really feel like opening old wounds all over again. Especially when there is nothing readily gained from doing so. I feel myself becoming somewhat more deliberate with my actions as I get a little older in an attempt to learn from my past mistakes. In doing so, I can’t help but feel that I am making completely new ones and I feel powerless from stopping them from happening because it may very well be for the benefit of my future.
At what cost though? I cannot immediately imagine what I would be willing to give for anything that I am currently ambitious for. I have had ambitions before and I have made sacrifices before, but somehow, I feel as though they did nothing for me. In fact, in some instances I feel as though I inadvertently set myself up for failure. I am plagued by the idea that I am doomed to repeat a cycle that I haven’t even identified and while I struggle with the thought my life is flying past me without any hope of slowing down for me to realize that everything that I pushed for has already left me. So, I find myself asking yet again, “What do I want”? Most often I find myself naming things that I don’t want because that seem simpler by far, and then I realized that may be my inherent problem.
Seeking the simpler option has always been my fall back plan, I come up with complex ideas for my future and then set out to make them reality. I always have back up plans set up for the ever-lingering possibility that I will fail. In fact, nearly every plan involves what I will do, if, I fail. I realize that part of the complexity of my planning is to the extent that I actually plan to fail nearly every time. Therefore, I have decided to come up with a plan, that has no option for failure. Something so great that if I fail, I will mean something so extraordinary that I the outcome is something so intolerable that to do so would condemn me in the eyes of everyone I know and value. So, what is this plan pray tell?
I will teach something to people yearning for some of the same answers that I have. I will learn the formulas to help me find the answers and identify the right kind of questions to ask so that I am not whirling around in a useless circle. I will learn them and then I will teach them, and with some hard work, because I have abandoned simplicity, I will find an answer. If I do not find the answer I will set my successors up for success in such a way that they may find an answer. These questions are not something that I consider lightly. These questions are bigger than my own self-worth or my place in anything. These questions are quantifiable; therefore, the answers too are quantifiable.
The Image is The Spider Nebula as found at https://www.nasa.gov.
I find myself in precarious state of mind, neither here nor really anywhere. I go through motions of day to day life peeling off pieces of myself day by day before looking in a mirror only to see myself somehow whole. What is this cruel sorcery to make me feel so embittered and simultaneously nostalgic for a life that may never have truly existed in the first place. I find myself reaching for a feeling that is never really there, and yet I continue to hope beyond my own belief. What am I saying as I look around at the abundance that my efforts have afforded my family and the things that I have accumulated over a couple short decades.
I am myopic, memories of rage fill me with thoughts of dread and something akin to fear. Fear of myself, fear of a consequence that may never come and yet I live on thinking, is this it?
I think not. I am a product of the life I have lived thus far and feel there is something I am meant to do but my path is as unclear as any I have ever tried to walk. Why this sense of foreboding and dread that lingers like a shadow nipping at my heels, driving me to run faster every day toward what I fear is nothing ahead but my own grave, and a path of compromises and broken promises to myself. I am ever remorseful for the life I could have lived and ever more grateful for the life I have ended up living.
The irony of my own state of mind and my ever-shifting points of view confuse even myself; yet I do not feel as lost as I may sound. I drive forward with a single-minded determination that belies the hesitation I feel in my heart and wonder if the thing I truly fear is being discovered for the fake that I am. I feel, I feel in the depth of my core and with every breath of my shrieking lungs. My heart aches with every beat for the would haves and the should haves of my life. I am surrounded by nothing but examples of how ungrateful I may actually be.
Happiness for others is nothing but an obstacle for me to overcome because their lives are a mystery to me. I find myself wondering what am I doing wasting my time on these thoughts? Only to answer myself, these thoughts do not consume your mind the way your work does or your family. These thoughts are ever present in the back of your mind only willing to rear their nasty head in the dark quiet of your isolation. Yet, I feel as though isolation is one of the things I crave more than nearly anything. The dreadful thought makes me cringe as I consider the nasty implications. Perhaps for now I will simply say that I am merely thoughtful and mindful of my age and feel nothing more than anyone else who has been through the amount of life that I have lived. Surely, I am not so unique to feel and think these things.
Perhaps I will put these questions to an open forum someday, but now I think they are fully open to misinterpretation to both myself and anyone else that would read this without the proper context, of which I myself do not even really possess in this moment in time.
There are those of us that say they are going to do something, only to end up doing the opposite. Is it intentional? Sometimes the answer is not so clear. I know this though, I start out with the best of intentions before I start something; only to have to reverse my original intent due to more readily available information that I lacked before. Does this make me unreliable? In my opinion, it makes me flexible, capable of an open minded approach that perhaps too many people lack. I am not targeting any specific demographic, just good nature’d well meaning people that set out to do something based on half truths, that will only be made whole once we take up the mantle of a new position or job. I am that well meaning person. I am that flexible, open minded, and malleable individual who sets out on a journey without an obvious end in sight. The true goal, stay true to my beliefs and the things I hold dear, and stay true to those whom I have made promises to. My will is yours, your will is mine, our will be done!
Sitting here at my desk with headphones in my ears all I think about is the impact something I write could be. These words that may make such an impact; however, escape me. What connection could I possibly make with complete strangers that have such various and inexplicable variations of opinion that I am just another voice in a crowd of people yearning to be heard. At the end of the day I decide to be a quiet voice rather that add to the maelstrom of chaos that seems to be enveloping this still beautiful world of ours. Regardless of where you live or where you call home I believe this, we are all subject to our environment yet we do not have to be victims of it; rather I choose to rise above it all in the name of peace, social justice and actual equality among all men and women of the world. You too; I believe, think along this train of thought. In this stage of our lives where changes seem unprecedented, remember that our forefathers also felt a cold chill and a combination of thrill in their day and age for what is common now was at one point considered new. Keep hope and keep the faith and our sons and daughters will thrive in ways that will inspire us all.
Sitting here reading my work I smile and think to myself “everything will be OK.” I know I will continue living my life in a way that enriches and maybe enhances those around me in a way that will make me proud on my last day, every day.
Muslims are not the problem, people that consider themselves Muslim and commit atrocities in its name are the problem. Once a person has committed these heinous acts they are no longer considered a “True follower of the Muslim faith.” Don’t you dare accuse me or my brother of ignorance either, every person should be afforded the opportunity to flee oppression of a corrupt Government waging war on its citizens. These are just a couple of the things that I fight for every single day as a Soldier in the United States Army.
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – Emma Lazarus
I am NOT a Hillary supporter, nor am I a supporter of Trump. I support people’s right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. American Civil Liberties guarantee every person’s right to religious freedom without persecution!!! You people are also feeding the problem with your ignorance of other people’s cultures and religious ideologies which is of course very close to your own if you would take as much time researching the Qur’an as you do stupid, ignorant charts depicting biased and inaccurate statistics.
33 When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. 34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. – Leviticus 19:33-34.
Now from The Holy Qur’an:
72 Surely those who believed and fled (their homes) and struggled hard in Allah’s way with their wealth and their lives, and those who gave shelter and helped – these friends one of another. And those who believed and did not flee, you are not responsible for their protection until they flee. And if they seek help from you in the matter of religion, it is your duty to help (them) except against a people between whom and you there is a treaty. And Allah is Seer of what you do. 73 And those who disbelieve are friends one of another. If you do it not, there will be persecution in the land and great mischief. 74 And those who believed and fled and struggled hard in Allah’s way, and those who gave shelter and helped – these are the believers truly. For them is forgiveness and an honorable provision. 75 And those who believed afterwards and fled and struggled hard along with you, they are of you. And the relatives are nearer one to another in the ordinance of Allah. Surely Allah is Know-er of all things. – RELATIONS OF MUSLIM STAT WITH OTHERS 72:75