Monday, April 21, 2008

Dear Reader,

I just wanted to make a quick remark:

It's come to my attention that some people reading this blog may feel as though I say some hurtful, controversial or downright asinine things. I'm sorry you feel that way. For all those who have sent me supportive emails and messages, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And for all those that are left uncertain by anything I write, please feel free to comment or email me at any time so that I may be more clear.

I would love for this journal to be about nothing other than the pretty sights I see, fluffy bunnies and so on. But the truth is, my trip is more of an intellectual journey than a physical one. So do not be offended if I speak from my heart and mind. You may not agree with me, but please respect my right to speak from the soul.

To all those wondering:

No, I am not "lost". I can be found quite safe and happy in Thessaloniki with all my mental faculties in tact. I still have goals and life ambitions.

No, I'm not a drunk, getting drunk or frequently drunk. Period.

No, I haven't lost focus. Conversely, I've gained perspective.

Am I evolving into somebody a little different??- perhaps, but only in the sense that I am more critical of circumstances I used to take for granted. I know this is all very vague.

Somebody mentioned that I seem to be very selfish. Well yes and no. This is a very selfish time, but it will result in me being able to give more of myself because I have taken inventory of what I have to offer. Does that make sense?

What it comes down to is that this is simply a blog. I know it's public and I should have been more cognizant of the fact. I've been using it as more of a mental dumping ground. But I would love nothing more than to continue these entries, so try not to judge me on every thought that I express or over analyze what I say as indicative of an earth-shattering change in my personality or moral fiber. I'm writing some of my most guarded thoughts publicly, which is stupid on my part. It makes me seem scattered sometimes. But how "together" would you seem if you actually wrote down what was in your head without a filter?

Just remember:

It's only a blog. It's only a blog.

No Such Thing

My life is a dream and I don’t want to wake up. Or maybe at home in the States I was asleep and here I am finally awake. Regardless of the state I’m in now, there is no question that it will have to change when I get back. It’s too good to be true. Life isn’t meant to be like this, is it? I’m already reminiscing and it will be a tough transition.

Friday marked the first day of Easter vacation here in Greece (the Greeks celebrate on a different schedule) and I couldn’t be more excited. Yomi, my friend who I stayed with in London, has come to return the favor. We couldn’t be having a better time. Friday night was the taverna where I probably definitely drank way too much sweet red wine (let’s look at it as a lesson in tolerance) and Saturday was a quiet night at Yannis’, a local coffee shop with amazing cocoa and equally entertaining patrons. Several of my friends parents were in town- so we went out with them to laugh, play cards and exchange stories all night. Sunday was straight out of a storybook. We took the bus down the winding coast of the Aegean to the world-renowned beaches of Halkidiki. The region consists of hundreds of tiny peninsulas jutting out into the foamy blue surf. The weather was delicious. Rather than sweltering under fierce rays, we basked in a heatless sun as the warm air blew over us and wrapped us in a balmy Mediterranean gust. I laid in the cabana eating sweet oranges and tangy kiwis, watching Byron and Anthony skip flat stones five and six times into the horizon. I kept pinching myself. It was real.

Something has been bothering me lately. Is unconditional support from family and friends too much to ask? I don’t think so. While I’ve been here I’ve realized a couple things. For one, I don’t fit into a traditional mold. I can’t see myself walking the beaten path. You know which one I’m talking about. Go to school, go to harder school, get a job, get a life. Die. It’s just not me. Don’t think I underestimate the importance of education- far from that. And I do realize I am fortunate to even have the opportunity, because on a world scale most people do not. However, I feel like school is part of an institution meant to keep the blinders on and keep us in line. Think about it. School keeps you occupied, forces you to pick from a list of life ambitions called “majors” and then sends you on your merry way. At what time do personal choice and conformity intersect? Simultaneously, this institution builds within us a complex of fear. So much so that we are terrified of non-conformity. We fear not being successful, but more importantly, we fear uncertainty. It is much easier to follow the beaten path, get the credits and make the transfers. We read all the books but can’t find the answers. So in the end, where does all this get us? Seems to me like we have a few options: 1.) take the “safe” route like our parents want us to and risk accruing a list of unrealized dreams. 2.) Wallow in the fact that we are institutionalized, yet do nothing to change it or 3.) Take a blind leap, knowing full well that nothing in life is certain, but willing to sacrifice that certainty in exchange for the power of personal direction and individual choice. I think it was John Mayer who reminded us that there was no such thing as the "real world".

“They love to tell us stay inside the lines. But something’s better on the other side.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Todas las Preguntas del mundo, pero ningunas respuestas....

The world has been quiet lately and it’s a mixed blessing. On the one hand- I can hear myself think. On the other hand- I can actually hear myself think. Ask yourself when the last time was that you got to consciously reflect on your thoughts. It happens less often than you may realize. You’d assume that thought, in its purest form, would be done more often. I mean hell, it’s free. Just add water.

Sure, our heads are information superhighways. We process information as quickly as we absorb it so that we can spit out an answer and move on to the next problem. But that backwards way of thinking is what clouds our minds. Do we ever really focus on one thing…or are we doomed to be a generation of multi-taskers (of course we take pride in our ability to do 1,000 tasks at once. But since when has quantity equaled quality?) I can hear myself. That’s fine. I can deal with it. But I can’t bear listening to myself. When I listen, I hear what I already know but can’t say. What a burden. I’d rather be ignorant to my own devices.

Another thing: those of us lucky enough to have supportive parents were told that we could do anything we wanted. We were told that out grasp was measured in terms of our reach. We could be anybody, accomplish any goal. But how many people still believe this- and if you don’t anymore, when did you stop believing you had limitless potential? When did you decide that your potential, in fact, had a limit- and it was staring you in the face everyday at 8:55 on the way to your depressing day job shuffling papers? When do you resign to the inevitable? Which is more disappointing: failure or comfort?

Questions and no answers. Not yet.

Have you ever wondered, “is this all?”

I hope I never do.