Saturday, February 28, 2009

El Cantante

Me paran siempre en la calle
mucha gente que comenta
¡Oye Hector ah! tu estas hecho
simpre con hembras y en fiestas.

Y nadie pregunta
si sufro si lloro
si tengo una pena
que hiere muy hondo.

(They always stop me in the street
many people comment
Hey Hector! You're made
always with women and in parties

And nobody asks
if I suffer, if I cry
if I have a sorrow
that wounds very deeply)

- Hector Lavoe

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Few Extra Flakes

I noticed my two year old clown loach didn't come out for the scheduled feeding that I have every other day. Instead it huddled in the hiding place that has suddenly become populated by the Ghost Knife and Indonesian shrimp. From the blank look in its eyes, I thought it was dead, but to my delight, it eventually squiggled its way around. Maybe it was just having a bad day. But when it finally came out, it swam abnormally, took rapid laps throughout the tank, and the entire time on its side, like it was confused; a tell tale sign that it is sick.

My clown loach will probably die in the coming days. I decided to throw in some more food to try and comfort it in its last moments, but it never could control itself enough to eat. It's a strange sight, to foresee the untimely death of a living thing while it's still moving, but you can't just lay down quietly to accept the inevitable. Instead cherish those final moments, try your best to recreate those old times, even if a few extra flakes, isn't going to bring them back.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Pointless Post

I've unsuccessfully tried to understand to the concept of 'expectations'; whether or not to live by plans because plans all too commonly fail. But it isn't so much the idea of a plan that is problematic, but rather putting too much of your hope into them. Kind of like an insurance policy, so that when plans don't pan out as expected, your hopes don't go crashing down with them.

But life is not worth living without hope. Where's the motivation to go on if there isn't at least the illusion of a better place? And most times, hope guides us to places we never expected to be, places that we can look back and say made us better people. So the goal of getting to the initial destination is irrelevant, but rather the steps taken to get, well, wherever.

So where do we place 'hope'? I'd like to think we can place it in the overall assurance that things will work out, regardless if we recognize it or not. Or maybe finding an intricate balance between 'hope' and 'expectations' so that they can exist harmoniously for our own individual peace of mind. But things like hope shouldn't be over analyzed anyways. It's complexity wasn't meant for such petty things like 'logic' in the first place.

I Couldn't Stay Here Any Longer

When the Bonderman panel asked me how I would deal with homesickness, I silently thought, "I won't have to," and looking back on all my journeys, I haven't really had to. I've always had this problem of feeling there was concept of "home".

The first time I went through a difficult 6 month depression where all I wanted to do was sleep. The second time was a little better, but only at the assurance that I was to leave within three months. This time I had that same promise, only I didn't view as an assurance, I thought I was happy being where I was. I came back with hope for myself. I finally was able to find happiness within myself and like Ana told me, thought I could create happiness out of thin air. This time I thought I had it figured out. I thought I had a lot of things figured out. But you put things into a simple equation and you realize with time that nothing is ever that simple.

Something happened since I've been back, like a weight has suddenly crept up on me. It's a strange feeling that is, having peace slowly taken away from you. It's like the genuine life behind your smile get desecrated, but the smile is still there. It's just empty.

I look at my photos from my trip and I don't know, I could just feel the happiness seeping out of my image. I don't know who that person is anymore. I try so hard to grasp onto those moments, to recreate those times that lifted my spirit, but I can't. It's like trying to recreate mouthwatering dish that you foolishly stumbled upon but never really knew the recipe in the first place.

What happened to my peace? Where did my patience go? Since when did traffic jams become annoying? When did watching my fish swim suddenly become too time consuming? When did I start criticizing those around me? When did I start hating myself, again.

Sometimes the mirror is a scary place, when you suddenly see yourself at the other end of the finger pointing out the blame. Sometimes we're too blind in our clarity. I used to feel that everything that came my way made sense, and anything that didn't, well, I would learn with time. But that wasn't the truth. Sure you learn to see things more clearly, but you also find out shit you don't want to find out.

But I'm lucky. I have a place in my mind that has peace. Sometimes I see it in my dreams and I wake up, happy. But the sad thing is I'm scared to make it a reality. I almost want to keep it as a thought, something I can rely on, a safe place. I guess I just don't want reality to hurt anymore.

But if I've learned anything since I've been back it's that you suffer for your happiness, that pain is for love, because "Even the beauty of birth leaves it's own scars". And if all the experts of self-discovery are right, "we will find home right where we are".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Pain for Love"

So as fate would have it, my 9-hour "Importing as a Small Business" class happened to fall on Valentine's Day. Talking about free market shares, independent sales reps and net profit margins wasn't exactly what I expected to be doing, but since I kind of messed up Valentine's Day for myself, I can't say I wasn't asking for it.

But when going over the list of what one needs to start their own business, one student mentioned "passion". Most people associate "passion" with what one loves. Today I found out that at it's root, "passion" means to suffer.

I thought I had my re-entries into this country figured out. I thought I finally learned to be happy this time, but I've been on edge with frustration lately. Something about this place took my peace away from me. I can't really figure it out.

But if the business course is right, you suffer for the things you love. Pain and joy, are not mutually exclusive. Now I just need to find out what exactly I'm suffering for.