On Falling in Love

Today was a big day. There was a lot going on that represented change in the life we had to the life we will soon experience. To be honest today felt like the achievement of all My wife had been working for over the last three years. For me it was a moment of relief and pride. To see someone dream a dream and meet that dream in reality is a wonderful thing to behold.

Interestingly enough, this inspired me to write a three part series of blog posts but starting from the middle. The original idea as it came to me wanted to detail what it was like to be single, and then to be in the process of falling in love to finally observing long term desire within ones relationship. The bit about starting in the middle struck me as I watched “I don’t wanna know”- by NewFoundGlory for the thousandth time since middle school again today. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IDH5-a-cCM) For me, this song was my first taste of what the average milestones in life would probably look like as they played out in my own life. In regards to the video they created for this song, life happens on a park bench. The sway from meeting to married to hardship and recovery after marriage was something I never could have understood as the sixth or seventh grader I was when I saw this video but it would be something I am glad I took notice of as a young child due to the fact that it stuck with me till now. This song is a constant reference for me as it is a soothing reminder that life can never feel great it if doesn’t get fucked up as well and thus is my understanding of love itself. BUT this here is about the events leading one to that whole “I do” moment.

For me, falling in love happened and then I realized it after the fact. The pretext to that realization was about three years of ups and downs as two people attempt to slam there lives together until they fit somewhere between perfect and acceptable. For my wife and I this process certainly had its highs because we could truly relate to almost nothing leading to fresh and new experiences for both of us to trade and enjoy. But the process also had its lows due to our stubborn natures. I personally bottled far to many grievances where she vocalized a few too many. For about a year this flew and at the end of it we had a hectic and awkward break up where I just stopped talking to someone who lived in my apartment while she tried her absolute best to understand why I was pulling one of the worst “please just break up with me so I wont have to do it” tactics this world has ever known. This break up lasted about a month before I personally realized I needed to reexamine the relationship I had let go because I found myself attempting to convince myself that it was the right decision even a month after our break. During that time, I felt confused and even now I cannot remember why we were even fighting to begin with. (a testament to how trivial some arguments can be). SO, this lead to me asking her to have dinner again to talk things through. Surprisingly enough, with very few words said we started a period of our lives that we would never forget. Communication became key, differences were listened to rather than forcibly adapted to by one person or the other. Compromises became the name of the game and fighting occurred… never? really? maybe once after a hectic move but was hardly considered a fight in our books.

Moving along a couple years after college graduation I had a friend that I was consoling through a break up over lunch at a shitty mall located next to our shitty job across the street when he asked me if I ever wished I was single again when I saw an attractive individual for the first time. I for some reason began to critically think about this question. This question stuck there in my mind, puzzling me and exciting me all at the same time. The answer I kept arriving at was no. No, I have not once in the last three years desired to be single again or with another female. And in that moment, eating my admittedly fantastic teriyaki chicken from a stand in the mall food court knew that I had fallen in love somewhere in between that then and three years prior after that fateful dinner a month after our break up. That day, I bought a ring and hid it in my car for six months only to find out on the day of proposal that Gretchen found it six months ago the day I put that monkey in there.

I think the moral of this story is fight about dumb shit because it may just be the thing that allows you to let something you love go. If things work out you know it was meant to be. If you never see each other again be happy and move on. There is no time to linger on the “what ifs” in life. Stay in the present, stay happy, and stay ready for anything that comes along that has the potential to light your heart on fire.

“The fabric and structure of existence itself”

09/01/2016

“The fabric and structure of existence itself” – Alan Watts

Last week, I wandered through the internet and stumbled upon a video featuring Alan Watts (a man I never heard of) talk about “knowing who you are” in a different way than I had ever previously thought about. About half way through this video I heard one of the more powerful statements I have heard to date. “You are the fabric and structure of existence itself.” I do not know exactly why but this quote instantly made me feel more comfortable to be who I am and where I was currently physically as well as mentally at that time.

I have since become enthralled with the channel Tragedy and Hopes dub over videos of Alan Watts’s philosophical lectures over beautiful landscapes and imagery. These videos have inspired me to find signification within my daily life. This quote in particular really frames how I have personally interpreted a good portion of what he has been talking about in these lecture sound bytes. Lately, I have been struggling deeply with attempting to reconcile my child like wonder as it relates to growing up in debt. I appreciate the debt I am in and what that ultimately means I have achieved but I cannot help but wonder what life would be like debt free. However, I feel that being in debt has turned child like wonder into a lion that feels trapped in the cage of my mind and heart. I have a burning desire to “find” whats “out there”. I have been mitigated as a seeker in my own mind by my own mind. I keep telling myself that my journey has been narrowed for so long that I am afraid that I have started to believe that and forget that options are out there.

One option that has always been out there has been the internet. I truly enjoy the term “electronic Buddhism” that I first heard on Jason Silva’s channel “Shots of Awe”. Silva relates this term to raves and beats per minute at an artistic display of musical release from the every day. I like to think of this term as that revaltory moment one can feel after stumping upon an “AH HA” moment while seeking on the internet and its many destinations. I currently may not be able to afford time away from my job to stave off the constant need to pay bills but I can certainly get used to being a seeker on the world wide web if it continues to lead to moments like the one I enjoyed via hearing Alan Watts voice for the first time while on a thirty minute lunch break from the every day of my current job. These moments really give life to the day to day moments I tend to view as forgettable. Further more it allows me to remember that each moment is precious in its own right.

 

 

 

Redefining Success and A thirst for Something More

Alain De Botton is an author that I absolutely adore for his ability to make anyone reading his material in either the School of Life or any number of his books like the Architecture of Happiness, feel very much involved and a part of the society of which they live in. He often rights in reference to the daily on goings of life and how the average person might mentally approach them. The key point I have found myself honing in on after my college career and the beginnings of my employment career has been the idea of success. The typical idea of success in the modern or post modern age is the idea that success exactly correlates with wealth.

For me, wealth has never really been the crux of my happiness. I simply would love to “have enough money to pay the bills and put a little in the bank.” (Grace Mineta) However, I too have felt this need to defining my success in life by how much I am currently making or will make in the coming years. I do not know when or how I began to have this idea in the back of my mind but I noticed that it was there despite me believing that I truly did not pay any mind to how much money I made. I think for today my idea of success will be maintaining honesty with myself and what I believe to be the priorities I truly hold dear and not the ones society expects me to hold dear. I saw an interesting post this morning that kind of got this whole ball rolling while I was on Facebook. The post read something like “be who your younger self needed back then” That is certainly my long term idea of success. Every tiny step will be in hopes of reaching that goal.

Your Lie in April,Music and Current Anxieties about shift change

7/27/2016

In reverse order from the title, I finally have time to catch up on this blog because my schedule drastically shifted at work by four hours! Is this a bad thing? Maybe, right now however its pretty alright. I did bitch and whine about it all afternoon till my hearts content but after all that and after everyone scattered off to bed I found myself with something special. Something I have not had in about two months or so after the craziness of moving and getting married. Time alone… sweet sweet sweet time alone. In order to write in this blog I generally need at least one large gap of time away from anyone or anything in order to just get myself together long enough to form one exhausting cohesive thought. Granted that it has been a long while, this will probably be a mishmash of whatever crosses my mind during the course of writing this.

First and fore most however is a topic of conversation that has come across the pillows before bed between my wife and I and that topic has centered around why I still feel a lack of fulfillment in my career life even though I have been set well on my way to becoming an IT professional. I think the main reason for this lack of fulfillment is due to the fact that my childhood self never imagined me sitting in an office behind a desk for a living bantering about the weather or what this or that is happening in the news with fellow co workers. I always imagined myself moving and shaking in a world that was about something more. Something more than just the trivial problems of the office and the work that surrounds the hours in the day. I wanted a job that did not feel like work but rather an experience that I would treasure for all my days. To be clear, my co workers are tight A.F. and I would not trade them for the world. I merely want a job that is ALSO tight A.F. so my friends in the work place are not the only thing I am able to get excited about when I smash a hammer down on whatever annoyingly loud contradiction of an alarm tone i am waking up to. Alain De Botton said in so many words that the way we as humans define success needs to change. I wholeheartedly agree with this philosophy and believe that I need to find out what it is that allows me to feel that I have achieved success in my life and fast.

I definitely came to DC with a mentality that has since changed. I thought to myself when I woke up “this is it, the start of the good ol days. The start of the days that feel important in the work place.” I felt like I was becoming a great American contributor to our great nation. I was doing IT a field I love to be around even in my off time, I was working for the State Department (one of the best departments to work for in the Government of the United States), and above all else I was far outside the grasp of retail. However, after the wedding and the crazy busy schedule died down I was left confronting a feeling of doubt, a pang of sadness among very joyous days. I began to realize that I absolutely hate being in an office. I hate being in an office so much I began to deny any single activity that included me being in an office outside the boundaries of an eight hour workday. And where has that landed me? With a schedule that anyone would quickly recognize as one of the worst schedules to have. 11-7 FUCK, literally the poster child of shifts gone wrong. The shift that robs you of any morning and nightly activities. UGH. Office…settings… all through the mid day. go to bed, wake up, office setting again. I guess its cool though. I am really going to be able to get used to this 11pm-2am alone time shift do kind of just do whatever the hell I fancy in the house. TONIGHT its about music and the anime that got me back into the desire to play it.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or Your lie in April is not only one of the prettiest Anime I have ever seen but it is most certainly one of the most eloquent stories I have ever been told. From start to finish you find your self on a roller coaster of emotions. The relationships that intertwine the characters together are timeless and leave you pondering them well after the last episode. You will begin to wonder what ifs, whats next, and why god why through out the shows entire 22 episode run. BUT the biggest character and plot device does not rest within the characters themselves but the music they create and the sound track of the show itself. I have been listening to the soundtrack of this shows for almost a year now. This is months and months before I saw the anime itself last saturday with Gretchen. This proved to be a happy mistake because I was carried by familiar tunes through the flow events that took place between the characters in the show. Gretchen however, had no such context and she found herself in tears by the end. I myself was absolutely astonished by how well the soundtrack interacted with the story telling of the anime. Well executed to say the least! The tunes ranged from a marvelous blend of poppy dance beats to solo piano tunes from Mozart and Chopin to a fresh and modern iteration of old classical songs via the main characters respective instruments. If you love music and you love anime or one or the other you have to see this spectacular show. I know this is all very vague in the telling of what makes the show great but GOOD, there wont be any spoilers.

After the conclusion of the show I was certainly left with the desire to play music of that caliber once again. My brother and I were among a few of our friends and classmates as a whole that played in an orchestra all through our formative years from middle school to high school. Those years in that orchestra room never meant so much to me as they did after I realize what I left behind once I watched Your Lie in April. I would love to be able to pick up my old stand up bass or the rented cello sitting in that dingy garage room at our high school and just started playing with the ensemble one more time for old times sake. Of course I would be six years out of practice and more than likely struggle my way through My heart will go on even though we played it half a million times over the seven years I was in orchestra but it would still be the best nostalgic feeling I could imagine.

TLDR: Career life has yet to live up to expectations and I already scream at the top of my mental lungs for something more down to earth and fulfilling than filling in text boxes for software related issues day in and day out. Oh and go watch Your Lie in April… its great. (really great)…Heres a link to the soundtrack https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikh3Pd1goF4

The Cat Dream I had Last Night

So last night I had a cat dream. Wanna here about it? Cool, I will tell you anyways.

The cat dream happened after I groggily stirred awake, or at least thought I did, from a subsequent dream that I can no longer recall at the time of writing this down in my notebook at work around twelve thirty during lunch. But the cat… boy do i remember this cat because it was my neighbors cat that always (and I mean always) comes over and tries to be let inside.

The cat appeared at my basement window like it has done once or twice before. However, instead of patiently waiting outside for me to notice her, the little lady just came right on inside through the window. Of course in the dream I left the window open which allowed the calm spring breeze to the fill the room with an elegant morning aroma. The cat seemed to phase in and out as it moved about the room sniffing here and there. I wondered to myself as the cat moved about, how many weeks has this cat been longing to sniff around inside this place after being kept outside most of its days? Sleepy little me just watched as the cat moved about with that feline elegance that all cats posses. The greenish red fur of the cat glistening as the sunshine tickled its back released an orange glow that I only remembered from the first time I met her as we moved in on a sunny Saturday morning. This little cat was as curious as echoing demeanor she possessed in reality.

The cats persona shown through in the dream just as it was in the world of the real. She was perfectly recreated in my dream space, so real that I forgot it was ever a dream. I lost myself in the scene of the morning. Quite honestly I thought this was the best morning I had ever had. The feeling of tranquility and serenity flowed through the open window and danced along side the cat and I just lay there in a sleepy awe. I was in a finer moment, observing the fantastic right before my eyes in such a small scene of this world.

Before I knew it, the cat was climbing his way up the pile of sheets that sprawled lazily off the edge of the bed. As she made her way up towards where I lay, we lock eyes and I caught a glimpse into the cosmos through her iris. An infinite array of galaxies replicated on one face in perfect symmetry. That foreign feeling of perfect serenity washed over me once again as the cat lay purring on my chest. I wonder if this is what a world void of anxiety feels like, a life without worry, happiness in the moment. A world with no past and future. Before long I felt myself drifting back to sleep with a bundle of pure joy doing the same right there atop my chest. Breathing in perfect rhythm and finding sleep in harmony.

ANDDDD. BLARM BLARM BLARM BLARM its time to wake up and find your place back in the day to day world sucker. Get out of bed and into that office. For gods sake get those tickets done!

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PAX East 2016

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PAX East is without a doubt my favorite part of the year as a gamer, technology enthusiast, and all around lover of digital art of every form.

This year I went with eight of my closest friends and met up with some old ones too. We traversed the floor in hopes of finding that perfect new piece of content that would sweep us off our feet and get us incredibly excited for the coming year in the gaming industry.

For me personally, those titles were as follows in order of excitement level from greatest to least.

Masquerada

My personal favorite, show stealer, excitement inducer game of pax was a game called Masquerada.

The title is being produced out of Singapore by a developer known as Witching Hour Studios. The young man representing the game at pax was enthusiastic about his creation and rightly so!

This game was absolute bliss on the eyes and enthralling in its craftsmanship and sound mechanics. Pastel blues and purples come to mind as i recall exploring the beautiful world within the game isometric setting. The spell work in the game also filled the screen with wonderful hues of fire red and cool icy blues.

My ears were treated to an extensive fully voiced dialogue between Cicero the protagonist and his faithful companion. The developer also mentioned one key name that I got extraordinarily excited for… Jennifer freaking Hale! I was so pumped for she is one of the industries greats known for her work in Mass Effect as fem shep.   

My hands got to experience a wonderfully familiar combat system that is very diabloesque. This fit the game perfectly. The attacks were slower and well paced. The player could feel each strike and the panic to get away from a telegraphed heavy attack from the enemy.

All of these factors combined with the promise of an enthralling and adventurous investigation left me begging for more. I absolutely cannot wait for this game to launch later this summer.

Mirage

Mirage is a title developed by the greatest melee combat studio out there, torn banner studios. These guys represented their name well with a great addition to the multi-player melee combat scene. Mirage blends melee bliss with battlemage glory damn near perfectly.

The visuals in this game were stellar and this build was only an alpha stage rendition of a brilliant world. The images you think of when you imagine torn banner studios are very real and very brutal. However, this time around they have gone with a more colorful and creative visual experience. The games artistic design perfectly matches the fantasy world they are creating. This is a great step outside of the norm for the studio and a refreshing experience for the player. 

The combat… oooo boy the combat. The sheer amount of stuff happening in the fight was enough to make the player feel totally emersed in the world they were waging war in without being so overwhelming that they could not comprehend what was actually happening… something that the battleborn creators could definitely take note of. Every parry and every landed blow felt visceral and  authentic. Every spell cast was finely crafted and believable within the world you were placed in.

Tooth and Tail

This is my third place and last but certainly not least. Tooth and tail breathes life back into the split screen gaming life. My wife and I duked it out for around 10 minutes over land. Windmills and the lives of our rats. This game to me blended the best of booth worlds of starcraft and majesty while bringing a fast paced and heavy hitting living room experience. The art style reminded me of age of empires meets redwall. This was very unexpected but quite refreshing all at once. I felt like i was stepping back into the good old days sitting in front of the living room television enjoying a round of split screen combat on the N64. I definitely cannot wait for this title to hit steam later this year.

Those were my top three PAX EAST 2016 titles this year but there were certainly more to behold. What were your favorites if you watched pax online or attended in person?

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Photo credit to Daniel Wilkinson

First!!

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Hello, my name is Wesley and I have recently moved to the Capitol of the United States of America. In light of this move I have come to realize I have an extraordinary amount of time on my hands. What does anyone do when they are bored nowadays? That’s right! They start a blog! Now here is mine!

“If I take one more step I will be further from home than I have ever been.” Sam wise Gamgee

This quote has certainly been in the back of my mind since I left southern VA. This definitely is not the farthest distance a person could have moved but it is certainly the farthest I have ever been away from my wife and family. With the distance definitely comes a familiar feeling at night. Anxiety. I have struggled with night time anxiety for most of my life and it is only now more apparent due to the absence and distance from my significant other. Lame, I know but true it is. So this first post will be about how I am learning to curb the anxiety in three different ways.

1. Catching up with myself.

During the whole moving process, changing jobs, and much much much different change in lifestyle from rural to very urban I have noticed that my life and i have not quite stayed the same. This requires a lot of journal writing, time alone and the pondering of life to wrap my head around. At least in my case. I certainly try to see the positives in every part of the scenario but every passing day brings new challenges that I’ve never had to face before or at least not in a very long time. So now whenever I get around to it I have a sit down with my journal and talk about the changes I have experienced with myself. Changes like a crowded metro, long… tiring… crowded metro rides in and out of DC, a corporate contract government job and realizing my idea of business casual is far below the standard norm and my casual idea of casual Fridays is even further below the norm, as well as even smaller things like not having my significant other around for six months until her job in the south and training for the new job she acquired up here is over in September. All of these things I find to be anxiety inducing and all of which are 60 to 70% curbed by merely writing out a dialog with myself to help me visualize how I internally feel about these changes. Writing also helps me visualize a way to accept and get a grasp of ways to deal with these anxiety inducers.

2. Watching a metric ton of YouTube vlogs

I generally stick to two main genres that really help me put my thoughts into better places. (Modern philosophy and slice of life) Jason Silva shots of awe videos are prime. This modern philosopher of the digital age puts my soul at ease through the understandings of the human ontological design and teachings of philosophical theories of the past as they relate to the current digital Era of human existence.

The other channel I have found myself consistently coming back to is the texan in Tokyo channel with grace and Ryo. I love these two and their sweet little lives in japan. This channel gets me super hyped about my future with the significant other I have who is now completing her journey in moving up here, as well as our future vacation to japan!!!! Ahhhhh so excited!!!.

3. Cooking!!! Cooking all day er day!

I am a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay’s master chef and his personal YouTube channel. I live and learn on that channel every day! Last night it was pork, lightly seasoned, pan-fried on the stove top with nothing more than salt, pepper and a grilling spice mix of pepper and…something else. Tonight? Who the heck knows. It’s friday and I have much more time to think of something. It’s gonna be great. This hands down has been my favorite cure for anxiety and I think about cooking. I read about cooking. I cook and I dream about cooking. I’m also not very good at cooking but one day Mr ramsay… one day I’ll be super fly on the stove top.

Well I seriously doubt anyone will be reading this but if someone does. What do you do to curb your anxiety? How was your move if you have recently moved? What are some of your ideas on business casual attire?

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This guy. I almost forgot. Not mine. Always there. Super cute.