Sentiments and frustrations from the vault
Last week, I happened to come across the following entry in my journal. It seemed relevant given the recent election, all the ensuing craziness, and me coming to terms with all that can happen in the world. Here it goes:
July 29th, 2016 @ Wingra Park in Madison, Wisconsin
I’ve been out on my own for over a year now. Just did some yoga at Wingra Park. There was some kind of party going on. Playing solid oldies jams! “Its so hard to find my way now that I’m on my own,” – Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison. Ain’t that the truth. Finding my way, that’s one of the biggest uncertainties I have with the “real world”. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had people telling me what path I should take, placing structures around me that I had to operate within. Now, the structures are only the timeless principles of the universe (open to interpretation), much more vast and infinite. It feels weird to have limitless options of what to do, where to live, and who to be. I know my why: manifest love in myself and the world around me while vanquishing fear. The ‘how’ to make that happen is what is overwhelming. What is the best way? In school there was always a future goal set for you, and a clear set of criteria to meet to get there. Now, the typical societal goals like getting a house, marrying someone, having 2.5 kids, and working a stable job seem like such bullshit. Is that stuff really supposed to make me happy? I don’t understand how it makes other people happy. Especially if they’ve settled for something out of fear.
*(Additional disclaimer I’m adding as of this blog post: I have no right to judge the life choices made by other people. I can’t pretend to know what makes other people happy. Every person has different interests, goals, and dreams. Telling others how they should live their lives is usually elitist, pretentious, condescending, and filled with your own ego attempting to cover up it’s own insecurities.)
Another thing, I’m sick of this whole idealistic vs. realistic crap. Whatever you can think up is possible. Goodness it frustrates me when people say something is impossible or write off my dreams because I’m being idealistic. If I can think it, it could happen! Think of how many times in history the world has been given a 180° due to someone’s desire to be unrealistic and jump out from the status quo. MLK. Apollo 11. Copernicus. Newton. Roger Bannister. The list goes on and on. Being “realistic” is a way of saying, “that’s just the way it is, there’s nothing I can do about it”. It’s a way of giving up. Shedding a piece of our paramount obligation to make the world a better place. A world where anything is possible. We live in a dynamic universe. Full of change. It’s the people with strong ideals, in continuous pursit of them, who make the changes happen. Be a gamechanger. Suerte!
How does this relate to the election? Well, the election shook my frame of reality to its core. In a million years I couldn’t have imagined someone like Trump getting elected! This is a serious position. The leader of our nation. It isn’t a position made for reality TV stars with dubious business results who have completely taken advantage of the system and people’s anger. When people told Bernie supporters to fall in line and be realistic it frustrated me in exactly the same way as what I expressed in the journal entry above. Look where being realistic got us. One positive I took from it, however, is that anything is possible. If Trump can become president of the United States of America, then I have absolute confidence that it’s possible for me to throw 90mph+ with exceptional command and win a World Series.
On another note, when reviewing some of the social media responses to Trump’s victory, I came across Dave Chapelle’s recent SNL monologue performance. Here’s the video, it’s very funny:
Now, I know I’m a white guy, so any negative feelings I have about the election hold much less weight than if I was a member of a historically disenfranchised group of people. Chapelle even makes a joke about how furious white people are about the election results. Finally, something may impact their lives (my life) and they’re up in arms about it. I wish there was this level of fury on a day to day basis for all the injustices that happen around the world like, violence, disease, and starvation. Since I’m a white male, it makes it easier for me to feel optimistic about the future of the world in spite of Trump’s victory. If I were a woman, African-American, Latino/a, Native American, LGBT, or disabled, then Trump’s disparaging comments throughout the campaign would be a lot harder to forget about (actually in a spiritual sense it doesn’t matter, hateful language used towards any person is harmful to me. We’re all connected and the verbal hate others have to face impacts my ability to live a life full of love). Anyway, Chapelle ends his wonderful performance by stating how he’s going to give Trump a chance. As much as it pains my ego to do so, the only way we’ll make the future brighter is to accept what happened. Let’s give him a chance, while holding him accountable to the ideals of our nation: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
One thing that stands out to me about the journal entry, even today, is the part about not knowing which path is best. It always amazed me in high school how some kids knew exactly what they wanted to do for a career (doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc.). I knew what I was interested in, but I had no clue what specifically I wanted to do with those interests. I used to say I wanted to become a general manager of a major league baseball team, though now I think I only said that because I had the self-limiting belief that I couldn’t ever possibly be good enough to play baseball in the major leagues. Back to the kids who knew what they wanted to do for a career. Back then I wondered, and still do, if that’s what those people were truly passionate about or if they merely caved to the expectations of their environment (parents, society, and peers). I’ve interacted with bunches of people over the past few years who claim they ‘love’ their job, yet they complain about various aspects of it. (How can they complain about it if they are truly passionate? I recently walked 20 minutes carrying 20 kilos to catch a train to make a 90 minute trip at 11:30pm at night to spend the night close to our club’s field so I can coach our U16 team at 8am. I get to do that. It’s a wonderful opportunity. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything. It isn’t easy. But it’s worth it. Listening to Blue Notes on DC4. BAWSE.) I don’t know if other people give thought to how their passions develop. It probably is a good exercise, though, to determine if it’s coming from within your heart, or from outside pressure.
I also find it interesting to contemplate whether people’s passions have come easily to them or if they had to really break through a bunch of obstacles in order to reach success with their passion. For example, I have always had an advanced proficiency in math related subjects (see ‘numbers guy’ story in A year’s worth of goals). I had an interest in numbers from before I can remember. However, in my teenage years, my passion for numbers related classes in school diminished greatly. I’m not quite sure what caused that. Perhaps it was simply my desire to distance myself from the ‘geeky’ side of my personality and all the other kids in the Magnet program I was a part of. Who knows. Something in me felt the desire to become more. More of what, though? Well rounded? Free? Popular? Fun? Uninhibited? My guess today is that it was about living freely, without inhibition. It was about bursting beyond the person I thought I was and becoming the hero of my own story. It was about stepping into my fears and finding my masculine power. Which takes me back to pitching. Becoming a better pitcher has not come easily for me. There have been, and continue to be, many obstacles on my journey to reaching my potential as a pitcher. Those obstacles have increased my emotional investment in the journey. They have made the victories sweeter. They have made me resilient, resourceful, and radiant. I wonder if I’m in the minority or if most people who follow their passions have had to face similar trials and tribulations. In my book, all the adversity is a fair price to pay in order to live out your own hero’s journey.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Enough rambling. I want to get back to the dream. A lot of work remains in order to become the pitcher I want to be. Disconnected movement patterns must be forgotten and new, efficient ones must be developed in their place. This is where processes come into play. Daily habits and activities that drive long-term change. The power of routine. My next post. Until then, suerte.