Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm still here- this post is boring.

It's been over a year since my last entry. I just re-read the whole blog in a surge of nostalgia I get every now and then. This thing is very scattered, poorly written, and there are many holes in the story. I certainly reconstruct my difficult times in the military differently now than I did when it was more fresh. I would like to think that I have gained some perspective that I did not have back then. I don't much care to address that here, though. It is what it is. That is what I wrote about it. Next time I write about it, it will sound much different- and still be true.

This blog is for me. I just let other people read it.

I'm in college, moving on with my life. I have poked my head in to the G.I. rights scene here and there over the past year, but that's it. I am staying up way too late right now and I have class tomorrow. It's okay. It's the last class for the quarter, I think. I have been studying environmental science, and ecological-type things.

Right now I think I want to teach high school chemistry.

Okay, time for bed. Maybe I'll feel inspired to write again tomorrow. I should post this, even though it's not very informative or well written. I know I have written things like this numerous times and just closed out the window without posting anything. Not this time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

distance and healing

Putting some distance between myself and military-related issues lately has proven to be helpful toward a healing process. I spent a lot of my time while I was in butting heads with norms, policies, and leadership. I had a chip on my shoulder, was always on guard for somebody to just say one thing to me, to throw the wrong order my way... it just wasn't a day at work unless I was pulling pages of regulation out of my pockets or knocking on my commanding officer's door.

I spent a lot of time thinking and talking about how horribly misfit I was for the military, and how awful I thought it was. I could not think about my time in without saying something complicatedly vague, unclear and negative. I just couldn't tap into that part of my life without a bunch of steam coming out. So yeah. Maybe it helps to take the kettle off the heat source for a while first. Breathe. Calm down. Build something that is in itself positive, and not just positive by comparision. Not doing something awful is not the same as actually doing something good.

A few weeks ago somebody I was working with asked me a general question about my time in the military and for the first time, I just said, "I would rather not talk about it." I think that's a good thing. I showed myself I can break out of a pattern. When I'm ready, I will talk about it again- in a healthy way.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What is necessary for change?

... and what change is necessary?

I'm not writing this blog in order to answer my own questions. I'm really asking because I don't know. Sometimes I think I know, and then other times I'm not so sure.


I tend to feel a pull back to spirituality/religion in times like this. The act of working for social change while doing it seems to be the most important thing in the world, but as I look through history, I see very little real change. Human nature is not changed. Only our social contracts are and the illusion of power. There is truth out there and I think deep down we all have access to it, but very few live up to what it means. Sometimes I think this may be the only thing that really matters when talking about change. I know I'm not the only one. This is not a new idea. It is a very old idea.

I think that it is critical to give up the desire to see other people conform to my own ideas of what is true and just in the world, no matter how righteous those ideas may or may not be. I must free myself from taking sides, from struggling against my fellow human beings. I think that when I take a place with so-called "moral high ground" and call for another person to change their ways, that I take myself further from God.

I'm still thinking a lot of this out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What I have been having a difficult time with lately

I'm tired.

I got really excited about doing all this great stuff with a community of fellow veterans who all agree that the military ought to change. I jumped in with both feet and then felt overwhelmed by everything and started to sink a little bit, so I swam over to the side to rest and started thinking about things. Now I want to get out of the pool, but I'm afraid to because I think I'll be letting people down and right now it feels like the only community I have that I can relate to. I'm afraid that if I don't help out, I'll be burning a bridge- a bridge that I might need.

I thought it would be a good thing for me to work to change systems in the military, but now I'm finding out differently. Sometimes it feels like something awesome is happening, usually when I'm around other interested people... and then when I think about it by myself it doesn't feel so awesome anymore. In fact, it stresses me out, brings me to a lot of bad places in my head, and makes me want to curl up in a ball and throw my phone across the room.

When I talk about the things we are trying to do with other people, I feel arrogant and sometimes stupid because it's not until that point that I realize that I really don't have a clue what I'm talking about or what I'm doing. I feel like I'm just repeating some propaganda that I fell for to build another organization that thinks they know how to make the world better. The tactics feel pushy to me sometimes, like dealing with car sales people. There's always this, "what are you going to do? when?" "How much can you give? When?" "what can you commit to this cause?" and that's just it- the push for a commitment. Got a room full of people sitting there, waiting for me to say something I can commit to and even if I went in there with it in mind to just observe, I feel obligated to make some kind of commitment and then it turns out to drive me crazy and I feel like a douche bag because I can't keep my word. And I just always have to say something. Why do I always say something?


Then I examine my reasons for taking part like I am and I think I might be nursing a grudge. If my participation is not coming from a good place, then no wonder it doesn't make me feel good doing it. But it could be a lot of things.

The nature of the work requires me to do things that I find extremely stressful like talking on the phone, politics, asking people for money, entering into conversations with people with some kind of agenda... these are all things I can't stand doing and when you're organizing stuff like this, the work day never stops. It stays on my mind and keeps me awake at night, sending emails, writing shit, talking to people, doing events and nothing slows down even if something gets accomplished it just keeps going and I don't want it to be my life. That is not the life I want at all.

After one thing, somebody always has a bright idea for something else and sometimes that person is me, but I don't really know how serious I am because most of my bright ideas I don't actually do. Then I feel like an idiot for voicing the idea when I didn't really want to do anything about it and it just makes me want to be quiet and go hide somewhere.

But the people are amazing. I know they wouldn't be mad at me no matter what I decided I needed and would be all supportive and really, that makes it even harder because they are such wonderful and understanding people who really are working for a cause I agree with, so then I want to help again just because I like them so much.

But right now I know I need something else. I don't know what it is yet, but I don't think I'll figure it out by doing things I don't enjoy doing.

I really like doing work around my house. I like taking care of the chickens... even when I have to drag myself out of bed to do it, I always feel better after, even proud. That's why I think I ought to live on a small farm or something like that where I could do my work around the house and stay busy. Earn my living just doing chores. Then I could live with my accomplishments. I like having problems I could look at with my eyes and then fix with my own two hands and not have to consult anybody about it, where my success is a direct result of the work I put into it and perhaps a few environmental factors and not dependent on the whims of the masses.

I don't know what's right for the world. Nobody does. I just want to live a happy life and not feel so bogged down by what's going with everybody else. I'm not going to work for change out of feelings of bitterness, nor guilt, nor obligation, nor anything like that. Those things are not what I want in my future.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Musings about God

My thoughts on God are skewed. You see, I don't really believe there is a God. I mean... I do... but I don't. When I think it out, it doesn't make any sense to me, so I get along with the "non-believers"... or at least I used to. But when I consider morality and operate in my daily life, ask myself hard questions, I automatically operate under the assumption that there is a God and contemplate my responsibilities to myself and the world around me because of this God. I don't believe that if there is a God that this God makes decisions, creates life, takes life or really has any direct relationship to life at all, much less does this God have a whole lot to do with humanity. Or perhaps that God has everything to do with everything and for that very reason, it is not God who affects us, but it is us who affect God. In the scope of the universe, our affect is very minute indeed. 

I have no proof of this. I don't really know anything. I can only speculate and feel, for my views are geared toward my own thoughts and purposes in this world.

A characteristic which I value (a value which the existence of a God is inconsequential) is one's ability to be honest with oneself and hold oneself accountable for one's thoughts and actions, even if it isn't always immediate. I think that it is values such as these, those that I hold with or without a belief in God which form the nature of my belief in this God. My value in self responsibility lends also to a belief that the lack of it tends to its own consequences, I see no need for a spiritual judge. Therefore God is not a judge.

I believe that the nature of my expectation of others is also a reflection of my beliefs about God. Some values I hold dear for myself, but do not expect others to follow. Others are not just like me and neither is God. Since we are all self responsible, God is not a judge, so therefore we are not ever punished nor are we rewarded by God. We punish and reward ourselves.

Sometimes people try to punish other people... but if somebody doesn't feel punished by their actions, but instead are proud? Which is it? Was wrong done? Was right done? Was there justice? What does that even mean?

Are our pains in life not enough? Does there HAVE to be a hell? Are our joys in life not enough? Does there HAVE to be a heaven? Why can't we just take things for what they are and move on? Why does our say-so always have to tie into everything? I don't think it really does.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How it feels to be free

Knowledge escapes me tonight. Knowledge of what was, what will be and what is bears no hindrance on possibility. This is a time of letting go. For five years I have sewn seeds and tended them. Instead of harvesting them for myself, I leave the fruits of my labors to the hands of God. May I not horde nor beg. May I not thrive nor suffer. Even this moment shall escape me, whence I am thankful. For every measure of support, for every chastisement, for all pride and insecurity, let it be. This is how it feels to be free.

How absolute I do remember knowing right from wrong, that in this rapture of forgetting feel peace in being aware that I will recall it again. And it's alright. Dualities exist simultaneously, not pieces of a whole, but one whole. It is truth impervious to knowledge and ignorance.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Confession to God

God,

I surrender. I can only think on how imperfect I am, that in a moment of astute honesty I disgrace myself by being dishonest. I do so in pride, for I am jealous of you. As I admit my shortcomings, I secretly reward myself with praise and put myself even further from perfection, which is actually impossible because perfection is a concept of infinite proportions. (No matter how high one goes, one can't ever get closer to infinity.) Only a mind that is infinite and perfect could ever define it. My efforts to become perfect, like you, is not for love of you, but for myself. God, you are not one being, an overseer, nor anything I can define because you are infinity. Oh, look. I just tried to define you again, but I don't even believe in you. I only believe in myself.