Category Archives: Decisions

On getting straight As

On getting straight As

It took me until my third degree to get straight As in any one semester or degree program.  Getting straight As has been my plight since I got straight Os in kindergarden.  The next closest I came was all As and B+ in 6th grade.  That damn B+ demotivated me until high school, when I tried again freshman year.  New school, new me.  New form of delusion.  I discovered a whole world of new books to read that were not listed on any syllabus whatsoever.  I learned a lot in high school, but probably only 30% of that knowledge was in the curriculum.  College was just a more adult repetition of high school.  Day dreams of being a revered honors student while I was drinking in my friend back yard the night before a final that I was sure I would ace.  3.02.  That was my undergrad GPA.  I flew outta there after 5 years vowing never to return to those dry business subjects.  My friend showed me the grad school business curriculum and I shrieked in horror at the sight of “economics 510” listed on the MBA required courses list.  It literally did sound like a hell until suddenly two years later I looked once more at the school website.  I was so exhausted by shit jobs that school once again sounded like an paradise.  School paradise is one where everyone sleeps when they are tired, except before midterms.  Work can be turned in incomplete and you are still allowed to continue attending the class.  You can even sleep in class and still be allowed to come back.  After working in an investment bank, that economics class suddenly sounded fascinating because I finally understood that language.  New degree, new me.  New level of understanding my limitations.  Turns out grad school is a lot of work crammed into a short span of time.  I graduated with a 3.35 and although I had gained a vast new view of the world, I still felt like an idiot because of all the information I encountered that I didn’t fully understand.  The next 5 years after grad school I spent in a constant state of epiphany.  I encountered more knowledge than I could remember, yet when I encountered forgotten concepts in the real world I knew what to do with it.  I just couldn’t remember it all back then during test time, but it was all in there somewhere, waiting to an anchor itself to a real world experience.

This after-learning bothered me.  If school should come in the beginning, then why do I learn so much more after all the testing is done?  My grades are in no way indicative of what I learned from getting a masters degree.  They only say how much I learned while in class.

Anyways.. I started dabbling in classes again once I plowed through all the non-fiction books for dummies at the library.  My grad school student loan made me stick to the inexpensive classes at the community college.  My attendance to on campus lectures induced anxiety which required that i stick to online only classes.  I figured out that as long as I turned in all the homework and follow assignment instructions, I got As.  The quality of the work was not being graded at this level (my art homework is evidence of this), just the fact that people made an effort to even do it got them an A.  Or perhaps, having already ascended through the graduated level, my work quality was already A level in community colleges.  AKA the bar is set low there.

How refreshing.  You mean I don’t have to care about oxford commas here?  Or group projects.  Or having to be somewhere on time awake and happy?  I can just learn what I learn without the stress of cramming in all the stuff I’m not so interested in but still get awesome grades?  How fun…

This carefree approach to picking interesting classes along with the higher salary from my graduate degree helped me to just enjoy the classes I took.  I was working full time so I started by taking once class a semester.  That was easy.  So then I took two.  Until I noticed I could squeeze in an eight week class because some 16 week classes really aren’t a lot of work every week.  Suddenly I was only four classes from an AA degree.  Because I already had a bachelor’s degree, I was just focusing on the specific subject I was interested in and wasn’t distracted by other subjects that, are interesting in themselves, but not what I was in the mood for soaking in.

So many things lead me to a situation where I finally got straight As.  So is my plight done? Mission accomplished?  Goal achieved?  no.  Getting straight As in online classes at the community college level after having already graduated at a master’s level is expected.  Is it an improvement and a positive sign that I am headed in the right direction? yes.

Figuring out what works for me has been huge in my understanding of what skills are important to work on, but it has also shown me what more I would need to do in future, more rigorous programs to keep my winning streak going.

 

On shooting yourself in the foot

On shooting yourself in the foot

Yesterday I faced myself as a loser, today I’ve accepted that I’m actually not very smart.  When I go at my own pace and can sort through dilemmas and problems in my own logical order, I make good decisions.  Toss in time constraints and add some pressure and my decision making skills leave me flat on my ass.

The heat suddenly turned up and I started seeing a mirage.  The devil showed me an image of everything I ever wanted and by pointing myself toward his smoke and mirrors, I shot myself in the foot.

The devil is gone and with him went the perfectly good opportunity I tricked myself into not wanting.  So I sit here no further along in my search than when I started just more bored and pissed at my situation.

Yes there are things to do and ways to pass time and keep busy.  But after a few credentials I’ve realized that there is no golden ticket.  All my work has gotten me no where more than to a place where I still make bad decisions under pressure.

 

 

 

On the known world

On the known world

I knowingly bought a ticket to the known world.  The place where all the pieces are planned and mapped out.  Where life doesn’t just happen to you.  Where most attempts to find vibrant life end with a mediocre thought of “at least I tried”.  But I bought the ticket anyway because it is a place where I knew I could sit back, feel normal, and make sense of what I’d been through.  Now that I’ve recuperated internally I’m looking out and I can’t help but struggle with my decision.  I look back and wonder what could have been done differently in all the wildness.  I guess the unrealized sense of a piece of life being over has now become fully realized.  In efforts to create a new plan it makes sense to look back and list out all the dislikes in order to make better decisions for the next round.  This time around, part of me didn’t realize it was over.  Part of me is ready to go, part of me wants to stay, and most of me can’t afford to leave.  All in all, it is good that I stepped on the train, because the known world is good for people who don’t know what to do next yet.

Disconnecting

Disconnecting

I once had a close friend whose method of disconnecting from things, eras in life, and people was much different than my own.  He would put a lot of time and energy into building something awesome, then enjoy the fruits of his labor for years, only to one day kick it to the curb calling it a worthless piece of junk.

Nothing he called “junk” was junk at all.  He simply couldn’t see how to bring the object, habit, or person into his next phase of life with him.  Since he couldn’t form a plan to mix the old with the new, he automatically thought that the old must be gotten rid of.  Labeling it as worthless was the only way he knew how to depart from it.

The gap in his reasoning evolved from his belief that by that point in his life he should know how to handle life.  To save face from not knowing that more options for dealing with the situation existed, his ego assumed that his default method of departure was the only way to handle it.

Respectfully departing would involve feelings of loss, disappointment, evaluations of love, and many other emotions that, in order to save face, he had a strong urge to hide.  These, more positive, goodbye emotions were replaced with disrespect.  In justification for his actions, he pushed aside the good aspects to focus on the few things he felt resentful for.  Since objects and people are never perfect, flaws pointed out can hold a lot of weight, especially when other people feel as if the flaws are the result of some sort of personal failure.

If something is junk, well then obviously someone wouldn’t think twice about getting rid of it.  But a pattern of calling once-cherished things junk just to avoid facing the loss…is, well, sad.  But people do what they do and it picking up the pieces gives them more things to do.

When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

Often, when deep inside of life being a certain way, I, by habit, forget that it can operate in many other ways.   When running certain emotions I forget that the only thing that has changed is how I perceive situations, all else has kept running its course as if would if I weren’t present for it.  It is my presence that makes the difference when it burns the experience into my psyche.  It takes a long time to realize that what has been going on around me hasn’t been the only possible option, it has just been the option I was most willing to accept because, to get to this point, there was a certain level of accept and reject going on that lead me to where I am at the moment.

In review of my choice to accept an aspect of life that comes along to fill a need, want, or void, I find that I haven’t chosen the best.  I chose simply to the point that I wouldn’t have to be bothered by making more decisions on that matter.  This is simply a by product of having a lot to do.  I don’t have time to continue searching when I have good enough sitting on my doorstep.

This ‘good enough’ gets me by for a while but, after more of a while, it fulfills less and less of the intended void, leaving me to further fragment my existence by filling smaller voids which constantly open up because I can’t be bothered to part with the original ‘good enough’.

or maybe good enough was the best I could think of at the time and now, I can think of better….

The Mediocre-Case Senario

The Mediocre-Case Senario

With many things, except money, I often do not dread the worst-case scenario the most.  I dread the mediocre scenario.  This is because if the worst-case happens, I am pretty damn sure that I will not go do it again.  I will rationalize all sorts of reasons for why that particular “worst” is definitely not going to enter into my paradigm ever again, and I will build coping mechanisms (i.e. habits) that ward against these defined “worsts”.

But after having gone through a mediocre scenario, the passion derived from the “worst” escapes me.  I have no real reason to repeat and no real reason not to repeat.

It is like a bad date, I know I will never see and/or date the guy again because of the disastrous events and feelings associated with the date, but at least I have a funny, drama filled story to tell.  But a mediocre date, oh god, I could be doomed to repeat the same vanilla over and over in my efforts to force some value or at least a tickle of a feeling of excitement.  But that is just one example.

The point is not to avoid the mediocre, it is to know what mediocre means and to learn from it sooner, rather than later.  Identifying the mediocre makes the exciting shine.

On Breaking Points and Living in the Future

On Breaking Points and Living in the Future

The difficulty with a breaking point is that you never know where it actually is.  You often avoid certain behaviors because you believe they would get you to that point, when in reality you have probably 1) been totally obviously as to why certain behaviors got you to a breaking point in the past and 2) exhibited behaviors hoping to get you to a breaking point and it turned out that the breaking point is actually no where in sight.

Sometimes all you know is that you are stuck dealing with 49 negatives so you can get 51 positives and even though the positives out weight the negatives, you are definitely not happy.  Problem is that the grass on the other side is not looking much greener because you have convinced yourself that the path you are on is the right path and that you are lucky to be on it so you better count your blessings.

In reality most paths are suiting, you just do not have any kind of emotional or social connection to other paths, so, you tend to think that they do not have value.  Plus you have spent a lot of energy making plans.

I think the most difficult part of sudden changes in life is coming to terms with the fact that all the hopes and dreams you had envisioned yourself to experience are no longer within your capacity to grasp with your new altered set of resources.  You must dream up a new horizon to look forward to.  People tend to shy away in horror at this idea when they are not actually facing the real, immediate task of doing so, why?  Possibly because they either 1) have had to do it before and realize what a daunting task it is or 2) they have had the luxury of never having to create a new future for themselves unexpectedly.

If all goes well, Walter Benjamin’s Destructive Character will come out of you on its own to force you to pick up the pieces and find a better, more productive way of spending your time.

On Trying New Things

On Trying New Things

Expectations can be rather confusing once one asks: where do they come from? Ideas. Sometimes created by you, other times from external sources. To try to never expect something from someone or a certain situation is rather difficult, for example, when some one asks me to participate in something, I am naturally going to inquire about the details of the situation. From there I formulate an expectation of what I am getting myself into for preparation purposes. Sometimes I am happy with the outcome, sometimes I am not…it is difficult to figure out exactly why.

Some people are more accurate in projecting my level of enjoyment in events, other people (I have learned through trial and too much error) to just never join them.  That’s why I am trying new things: to see if I like it or not.

Sometimes I don’t realize that I’ve been trying new things again. New things just pop up and lately happen to randomly happen within a small amount of time. I don’t realize until after the fact that I have tried three new things and the reason I’m confused over my experiences of them is that I happen to try three new things in a row that I didn’t enjoy very much. I didn’t really realize the trend I was on. So, essentially, I need to keep trying new things until I find some new things that do leave me feeling cheery. I have this habit of sticking to the plan, and sometimes when the plan doesn’t happen, I only make it worse by trying to figure out why the plan didn’t happen. When in reality, there was no plan, just an idea that would have been better to take with a teaspoon of salt.

Mindfully Making Mistakes

Mindfully Making Mistakes

Some “mistakes” are continuously and consciously made because people know that they can clean up the mess it makes later. It is a method to maintain control over the outcome of a situation. If others are given more responsibility over the situation, it is more difficult to come in later and set things to one’s own desired outcome. Since society revers mistakes as undesirable and avoidable events, purposely making mistakes can put one at an advantage because the outside world will perceive the action as a traditional “mistake” and thus enact behaviors associated with dealing with someone who made a “mistake.” When in reality, the mistake-maker really was just knowledge that people would react that way and use the situation to get what he wants without being called a jerk.

In the Middle

In the Middle

I don’t know what is so draining about being directly in the middle of something that makes it seem like there is more weight pushing down on me. I guess it is that I know more about what is ahead than I did when I was starting out. Also, I can see the end, so I’m aware of how much freedom I will have once I am finished. I just have to remember to remember that life won’t always be so uncertain, one day when all the variables settle in place, I’ll probably apply this same sense of emotion I have right now to the fact that outrageous possibilities are few.