Run

In high school one of my teachers had us a do a journal exercise where we were supposed to just write for 15 minutes. The goal was to continuously write for the whole time. It didn’t have to go anywhere or mean anything you just had to write. And that’s what I’m doing write now.

There are a few things that have been occupying my mind today. On the forefront and for somewhat obvious reasons is work, primarily my work with Doctors Without Walls. There’s a lot of stuff to keep track of… people, appointments, documents, deadlines etc. and it can be hard to keep it all straight. Whether or not I’m getting into medical school this year has also been weighing on my mind mostly in the sense that I just want to know what the final verdict is so I can stay planning more concretely rather just sitting in limbo. Next up is the anticipation of a special visitor who’s coming in a couple weeks and going to be around a while and I can’t wait.

I known I said I was going to start on that new series, I just haven’t had a opportunity to sit down dedicate that time that I want to it. But I need to do one soon or it will never get done. I’ve been spending too much of my free time doing other things.

I haven’t been keeping track of time but I think I’ll end here ’cause I’m pretty sleepy.

Pebbles

A few days ago I was talking with a good friend of mine about how small events from our childhood have such huge impacts on our perspectives as adults. Sure there can be singular decisive moments, but the small moments are just as important. Seeing how your parents interacted with and treated other people; what you got praised and shamed for; what types of chores you did; how people around you used their money. As kids, we’re like lil sponges just taking in all this information which then informs our own perspectives. As we grow older each new experiences is a smaller percentage our life’s sum. But it still adds up, and so I want to be mindful about the experiences I seek and the people I surround myself with.

A Tune-Up

I took a class back in university that was primarily focused on thinking about why we believe what we believe. One of our assignments was to essentially track how our position on a specific rule or law aligned ultimately with our position on the nature of the universe. This class forced me to reckon with a lot of cognitive dissonance that I tried to resolve one way or the other.

I realized that recently I haven’t really been good about knowing why I believe what I believe and I’m overdue for a check-up on my cognitive dissonance. To address this, every now and then I’m going to be posting as part of a series where I go through various, perhaps controversial topics, dive a bit into the literature, and report back. Ideally, I’d love for you the reader to engage in this exploration with me, especially if your views diverge from mine in some way, so we can have productive conversations and hopefully come closer to an understanding together.

I have a couple ideas for the first one, but still undecided and if you have any recommendation let me know. Stay tuned.

Prime of Life

I ended my Amazon Prime membership at the end of last year because I wasn’t getting the student discount anymore. The first package I ordered in 2019 took foreeeever. But it didn’t really take that long, just long relative to what I became used to. That goes for a lot of things. Just because I want something really badly doesn’t mean I can get it in two days guaranteed. We are in a time where almost anything we want is on-demand, delivered to your door or at your fingertips. But not everything can be expedited using technology, money, or sheer willpower. Somethings take time. Don’t rush, be patient others, and be patient with yourself.

Sun Showers

I love when rain is falling while the sun is shining in a bright blue sky. It’s like a wombo combo of good stuff… the stuff of life. You got water, you got sunshine. The plants must love it too; they’re getting everything they need to grow at once. I wonder what the equivalent would be for me.

Unpact

When I was in Resident Advisor training, one of the things we talked about for social and cultural sensitivity was owning your impact. Meaning regardless of what your intentions are, your words affect others in different ways, and if you unintentionally offend someone you should acknowledge that and take responsibility for it. While I do endorse this philosophy I think the reverse is also important. If someone says something that offends us we should assume their intentions were not malicious and try not to take it personally. We should try to recognize that our own perspective and experiences determine what offends us and not everyone shares those experiences. I’m not blaming the offendee or defending the offender (or vice versa), I just think it’s always best to seek understanding if nothing else.

Fabricated Spontaneity

I am usually most motivated and most focused on a project when it’s onset it somewhat spontaneous. That spontaneity and novelty is part of what makes certain projects exciting. How can I capture that feeling for the long term? Is it possible to create or plan spontaneity? I guess there’s a balance here like with anything. I need to plan and make time for working on different project, but not to the point where it feels like an obligation. But if I don’t make it an obligation will it ever get done? I guess if it’s important enough to me. It’s interesting how averse we can be to being told what to do and when to do it and how that affect our choices.

Anger

I used to think that there is a time and place for anger; that if used properly it can be a powerful rhetorical tool. The more I see it used, the less I believe that to be true. Anger almost never (I say ‘almost’ because only a Sith deals in absolutes) has a place in a strong argument. If you want someone to see things from your perspective, getting angry severely limits their ability to do so unless they also feel the same anger, at which point you have likely entered an echo chamber. I feel like anger is often mistaken for passion. Just because someone says something loudly and has a target for their ire doesn’t mean that what they have to say is meaningful or well thought-out. On the other hand, you can say something extremely intelligent and well thought-out, but if sad loudly and in anger you may not reach the people who need to hear you most.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t feel anger or that feeling anger is bad. Anger is a very real emotion and should be acknowledged. We can’t help when we feel it and sometimes we let it control our actions and our words, but I think it’s important that when we do get angry that we can identify what we’re angry with, why we’re angry with it, and what we plan to do about it. That last bit being the most important and also maybe the hardest to determine.

Thoughts?