Monday, September 5, 2011

Double Feature!

I've been in DC for almost.. sweet merciful crap! 4 months!? How did that happen? It's been a struggle and that's putting it lightly. In fact, that word in its various forms is used pretty often in these two bits of a blog. I'm trying to re-focus myself because my mind was been bogged down pretty severely with worry and stress because I'm in probably one of the most trying circumstances I've ever put myself in. So I've been determined to reverse that, and these two mini blogs are part of it. The first is a piece on what I currently have to be thankful for and the second is merely a letter written from myself to myself. Not the most complicated or thought-provoking stuff, certainly, but helpful nevertheless.

So my thoughts these past couple of months and past couple of weeks especially have been plagued with constant thoughts and feelings of lack. I'm lacking this, I should've done this so I could have had that, and so on and so forth. To try to reverse this trend, I'm going to write a quick couple of things down that I actually HAVE and that I am thankful for.

First off, and I forget this often, but I'm in mother effing Washington, D.C. and this has been a pretty big goal of mine for years. The fact that I'm here hasn't had a chance to really sink in because I'm so constantly stressed out and worried, but this is a huge accomplishment in itself. Not only am I in DC, I moved here with nothing. The Ed of even three years ago would never EVER have just packed up and moved without some concrete plan set up. I suppose I have courage and for that I am grateful.

I don't own much really and even though this is a huge stress sometimes, I could be happy about it. My thoughts often stray to the fact that people my age are buying houses and investing and are able to buy big things like furniture and TVs, though at the moment, I can barely afford food. I suppose this is what it's like to be poor and it sucks. The big thing to keep in mind, though, is that I'm NOT poor. I have a laptop and a nice camera and other things, and I'm certainly not living in abject poverty so things could be considerably worse. I'm thankful that I'm NOT out on the street or starving.

One of the things I'm struggling with the most is having my master's degree. It was a huge goal for a long time and now that I have the fancy paper, it feels like it's done me absolutely no favors. I'm now $60,000 in debt and it's hard to be grateful for something that just makes me bitter when I think about it. I'm so frustrated with it that my mind seems to have forgotten how incredible the experience actually was and how I lived a dream for a year. Granted, I never thought it would be this difficult when I finally had the degree, but what I did was amazing. I need to keep that in mind and be grateful for the experience instead of feeling bitter about having gotten a master's degree that doesn't seem to do much good right now.

I'm definitely thankful for the support of my friends and family. Without them, I don't know where I'd be. It's only because I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by great supportive people that I've been able to live the life of a nomad and see so many places these past couple of years.

I'm thankful for inspiration, wherever it comes from. I'm thankful for my constant hunger for knowledge, which has allowed me to completely transform my way of thinking and to see how to change my attitudes. The past few weeks have been difficult for me, there's no doubt about that. I've been forced to confront my worst fears about money, pride, ego and more and I'm still truckin' along. I'm grateful that I'm able to understand that, for as sucktacular as my current situation may be, it's only temporary. I'm crafty and I'll figure something out, I have faith in that.

The fact that I've accomplished so many goals these past few years is pretty crazy. Many people aren't that lucky. I'm also determined as hell, which is both a good and bad thing. Nothing stands in my way from accomplishing what I want but I think I might be at the point where I'm willing to let go of that. It's gotten me far, but struggling this much isn't a fun process. I really would like to figure out what it is that the Universe needs me to do. Why was I created? Why did I bring myself to this point in time and space? I've been forcing creation to bend to my will for a while and I feel like I finally just can't bend it anymore without a massive fight.

What I'd like to do, and I'm grateful for having come to this realization lately, is surrender to the will of the Universe. I feel like I need to read some Islamic stuff as Islam means "to submit" and maybe reacquaint myself with some things relating to Taoism, which is about finding the path of least resistance and letting nature work through me. Now this all sounds well and good but I have no idea how to discover what it is the Universe would like me to do. I dunno why, but I feel like I need to check out astrology or mediums or something. Some other ideas I wouldn't have considered before are popping up, too. I've tried asking the Universe to point me in a general direction but I haven't been able to hear a damned thing from it lately, most likely because my mind, heart and soul are drowning in worry and stress. If anyone has any recommendations about direction, that would be fantastic!

I've been using my time here in DC to do a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of reading on various aspects of spirituality and I feel like that's going to be a common thread during my stay here. I just need a bit of guidance and reassurance sometimes!


Okay Ed, this is what's really going on...

You're stressed out. That's obvious. You're frustrated and you have reason to be. But you're still you underneath all of the external bullshit that you're trudging through right now and YOU KNOW you're strong. You'll get through this and as usual, everyone you know will be amazed at your strength. You demand a lot out of life because you know you're capable of a lot but because of that, you're bound to run into a few brick walls here and there or encounter a few situations that aren't the easiest. But you will survive. Not only that, you will thrive.

You chose a long time ago to not follow the typical path of most people your age. You feel behind, you feel like you're not successful or like everyone else is so much further ahead than you are. You feel like that your life at 27 is what most people you know experienced at 22. But you know that you've affected lives and changed people for the better. You've traveled the world and you're educated. You feel like that doesn't count for much now, but it will and you know that deep down. Your education and your chosen major helped show you a lot about the world and how every day people can make a difference. You are one of those people.

Love troubles you easily. Give it up. How much time have you wasted searching and searching for him? How much heartache, shame and disappointment have you endured in a search that hasn't brought you much? You spend hours a day looking through the guys, hoping to find one you really click with. Yet it doesn't happen and the guys you really want never end up wanting you back. You struggle with it and it hurts every single day. So why bother? You hate being controlled by your lesser impulses and this is something you've known for a while, so why do you always come back to it? You won't find him online. You know that. Give it up.

The spirituality thing is key. It is what will get you through this and it is what will give you a lot of your strength.

Smiles help. Helping strangers helps. Giving helps. Focus on your breathing. Don't get caught up in your thoughts. When you feel the worry an stress coming, breathe through it and try to laugh because you will laugh about this and feel joy in it in thirty years. Why shouldn't you laugh and feel joy about it now?