“When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.”—Henry David Thoreau | Walden (via blogut)
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”—Lao Tzu (via aplacetofindlife)
I am moving to a new apartment in a week and have been thoroughly cleaning out my apartment. The best part of the process thus far has been reading through all of my old sketchbooks, dating back to the beginning of college. Here is a journal entry that I just re-read (from about 2 years ago) that stopped me in my tracks. I had just moved to San Francisco and was living in a sublet off of Page and Divisadero. Since I wasn’t too familiar with the city yet, I’d go to this little mexican joint around the corner multiple times a week, and as I’d wait for my food, I’d write in my journal. They had these paintings on the wall- a shrimp, a heart, a skull, a rose, and a devil. The journal entry seems silly to me now, as I tried to hard to find a connection and meaning behind these paintings. Here goes nothin’:
We go through life learning from our mistakes, learning that resilience is hereditary by human nature. We grow thick skins after enduring countless trials and tribulations. Certain people will have certain effects on us. We fall in love, we fall out of love, we search, we settle, we worry, we cry, we laugh. We always have it better than we care to realize. We are never alone.
The Shrimp The one who goes through part of life being afraid, but for shallow and silly reasons. They then realize they are only on this planet for a certain amount of time. Shrimps are bottom feeders. Be a top feeder.
The Heart The trickiest of the human elements. We know everyone has one, but we do not know what kind it is, what it has endured. We are also afraid to expose too much of it. The most enlightened person does not think twice about sharing his heart. It is the ultimate tool; for good, for bad, for living. Your heart dies and you die with it.
The Skull Those who typically only think with their heart have yet to realize how essential, if not crucia it is to balance the heart AND the mind. Once you learn how to utilize your mind and heart as team members, balancing each other out, then many of your problems will solve themselves.
The Rose Alluring, beautiful, seemingly perfect. Will eventually prick you if you don’t know how to handle them. They are complex and no single rose is the same. Handle with care.
The Devil We all have a demonic voice inside. Some call it temptation. Don’t ignore it as it will help you build muscle in the heart area. It will urge you to listen, therefore repeatedly make the same mistakes, yet will help you proceed with caution in the future. The Devil is always there to test you when you are unsure. After a while, he will be gone. He is your personal trainer, constantly testing your strength, your resilience, and teaching you how to battle the shrimp and handle the roses.
“Don’t let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (via skeletales)
“I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn’t the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.”—The Hours (via abangnotawhimper)
“Falling in love, we said; I fell for him. We were falling women. We believed in it, this downward motion: so lovely, like flying, and yet at the same time so dire, so extreme, so unlikely. God is love, they once said, but we reversed that, and love, like heaven, was always just around the corner. The more difficult it was to love the particular man beside us, the more we believed in Love, abstract and total. We were waiting, always, for the incarnation. That word, made flesh. And sometimes it happened, for a time. That kind of love comes and goes and is hard to remember afterwards, like pain. You would look at the man one day and you would think, I loved you, and the tense would be past, and you would be filled with a sense of wonder, because it was such an amazing and precarious and dumb thing to have done; and you would know too why your friends had been evasive about it, at the time. There is a good deal of comfort, now, in remembering this.”—Margaret Atwood (via middlenameconfused)
“The real beauty has nothing to do with the face but with the luminosity that comes from your within. It has nothing to do with the form of the eyes but with light that shines through them. It has nothing to do with the body but with the inner presence that vibrates through the body. The real beauty arises at the core, at the very core of your being, and spreads outwards towards the body. The false beauty is just on the surface; it has no roots in you. It is ungrounded!”—Osho (via nirvikalpa)
I don’t know if anyone is reading my ramblings, and frankly I don’t care. I’ve recently discovered how cathartic writing is. Even if it’s unstructured and makes no sense. I need to get my thoughts out so I can hopefully figure out answers to some questions I’ve been having. One of my main struggles lately is finding balance. I know that as social beings, that is something that everyone is looking to perfect. But in my case it’s different. I am an extremist and I typically do what I want and what feels good, regardless of the consequences. I recently took a couple months off of drinking and it was one of the healthiest and enlightening few months I think I’ve ever had. My mind was so clear and I started working out more, getting stronger, feeling energetic and healthy. It felt so good that it was almost like a drug in itself. But a drug without any of the unhealthy consequences. I was high on sobriety and it felt empowering. I make myself sound like I was an alcoholic– addictive personality is more accurate.
I would always want more of what made me feel good. I would abuse the adderall prescription that I had and there was a point where I was taking 100mg in one day. My body had developed a ridiculous resistance for methamphetamines. I felt like I couldn’t be the best version of myself without it– when I was on it, I felt like I could do anything, talk to anyone, be overconfident with my design skills and create pretty much anything. It curbed my appetite and I felt skinner and more confident with my body and my looks. I was limitless. Until it started wearing on me and I would go nights without sleeping, feeling cracked out during the day, unable to perform menial tasks. Taking more only made it worse and there were definitely a few times I thought I needed to be rushed to the hospital. After a crazy weekend in Vegas that I barely remember and a few more rock bottom moments, I made the executive decision to not abuse pills anymore. To cut out drinking, and aspire to find my limitless capacities in their healthiest forms. So far so good. It’s been about 4 months since I’ve had any adderall. I didn’t drink alcohol for two months, but lately I’ve been having a few drinks here and there, and each time feeling like shit afterwards. Is it possible [for me, given my addictive history] to be able to create balance between a few drinks here and there and a healthy lifestyle? Or do I have to do all or nothing? My gut is telling me to stop drinking altogether. My friends will say I am being hard on myself and it’s okay to cut back and let loose once in a while, but I don’t know if I’m there yet. Having control over my decisions and actions is extremely empowering and I don’t want to give that up. I’m learning to love myself in my “healthy” state so I never have to depend on those vices ever again.
I am in a sea of sweat, energy, heavy thumping dance music. It’s a Thursday night. I am surrounded by scantily clad 16-18 year olds who are probably there when their parents think they are playing video games at Billy’s house. In this case, Billy is Avicii, and the video games are MDMA. A couple of young girls high-fived my friend and I for being “the cool old people who still know how to have fun.” They are right about that, but then I thought to myself that there is only so much fist pumping I can handle til I am craving the warmth of my own bed and bedtime of 10:30pm. As I’m nearing the big 3-0, my definition of “fun” is quickly morphing into a healthy, easier paced, manageable kind of fun. A world where hangovers are few and far between, energy levels are through the roof, and happiness and overall well-being are escalated. Today, right now, as I sit here at work chugging coke zero and prying my eyelids open, forcing myself to stay awake while my ears are ringing, I am reminded of a time in the not-so-distant past, where I felt like this multiple times a week. How did I survive? Realizing that “I’m getting too old for this” is the wrong term. It’s more like “I’m getting too healthy for this.”