Author Archives: Peter Orwa, Junior
Polarity is a funny thing isn’t it; the displacement of just a few electrons or atoms or whatever and you’re potentially looking at a catastrophe. You have a positive nucleus surrounded by negative electrons, giving the illusion of order; but it’s just a front. Nothing’s that clear cut, nothing’s that black and white; and when stuff happens that upsets this balance then these ‘poles’ reverse, and what follows is a cascade that births destruction. Even funnier is that when a perfectly normal molecule interacts another one and the chaos ensues, things settle, and its as if nothing happened. The chemical reaction stabilizes and you’re looking at a new normal; but it’s not the same. And for those paying attention; having North and South reversed can be disorienting, if not devastating.
I put a high price tag on the time I take to think in solitude; I guard it as a mother bear her cubs. And lately I’ve been thinking; trying to think about where it all went wrong. Trying to find answers where I haven’t been looking. Yes, looking back, looking into the past, retracing my steps. People don’t like dwelling on their past, it’s frowned upon. But that’s where all the answers are. Max Payne says ‘There are two kinds of people, the ones trying to build the future, and the ones trying to rebuild their past.” But I say they are one and the same. Because the future is built on the past. The future is just the past in more decent clothing.
This isn’t a ‘learn from the past’ kind of thing. People learn from the past when they’re trying to make better steps forward. You say that sort of thing when you’re trying not to mess things up anymore. But what if it’s inherently messed up? What if you were screwed from the get-go?
It’s 2020. And the world is incredibly different from what it was 20 years, no even 10 years ago. You blinked and somehow love and lust mean the same thing. Everyone’s a vegetarian or on keto. Being gay or retarded is no longer an insult, and you can get in trouble if you use it as such. News outlets no longer report what has happened but report on what they think will happen. We used to pray before eating, now we take pictures. We have laws that protect our privacy, and we’re doing our damnedest to put our lives on display. Pride is celebrated, and has become a mask for low self esteem. I can go on, but that’s not what this is about. The world was always headed in this direction. And like a roller-coaster that’s departed, you just have to strap in and hold on.
Some changes affecting our lives may very well be as a result of where the world is, and where the world is going. But some of them could be from where we begun; at least I think so, in my case.
I’d like to believe I’ve always wanted to do the right thing, right by myself, my God, and the ones in my life. The intention has always been there, and with time, as I got more resources I’ve actively engaged in the ‘betterment’ of others lives, no matter the cost. I’ve always had a dogmatic thing; be ruthlessly good, as it were.
But with time you notice subtle changes and patterns. My dad was a ruthlessly good person, and it feels like history is repeating itself. A certain degree of kindness attracts certain types of people, mostly opportunists
I had an interesting sermon the other day; ever wonder who created the Devil? The theory was that the Devil was just a normal person, until he decided to tempt man who was basically ‘god status’ that he could have more. And suddenly he had all the power, man got kicked out and we’ve hated him ever since. Now the basic implication is that all Eve had to do was say no and we’d all be living in utopia; and while that is true, have you ever wondered if the Devil wouldn’t have even existed if Eve didn’t give him any attention.
I’ve been actively and intentionally helping people for quite some time. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you get flak for it. I used to believe that one of the most insulting things you can tell someone is ‘I never asked for your help in the first place.’ Looking back I realize that these people were just being honest; they never asked for help so why did I help them. What I didn’t realize, was that these people (some, a significant majority) who I successfully assisted may have undergone a slight change; a form of metamorphosis. And with time these changes reversed their polarity. And not for the better. You decide to help someone today, no strings attached, and they’re grateful. Then tomorrow comes, and they feel that they’re entitled to it; like I owe it to them.
Now I could be wrong; maybe these people had inherently twisted personalities from the start. Or maybe by my acts of intervention I created monsters, that prey on the meek and kind. Humans have always gravitated towards the option of gaining something with the least amount of effort; and with me giving something to them without them doing anything for it, I basically opened them up to this forbidden fruit that they now can’t get enough of. It feels like I gave them some form of drug, highly addictive, and now they’re messed up, only because I decided to help?
Imagine what happens when you’ve ‘conditioned’ such people with this drug, and suddenly you’re out of supply. Then they become angry. Violent. And because I’m a good person I look for other sources or alternatives to the drug; I’m now actively catering to their addiction as opposed to catering to what I need, and when I don’t succeed the blame falls on me. Shouldn’t have started what I couldn’t finish.
The Earth and the Moon have a terrific relationship. They give each other just the right amount of pull. Too much or too little and the lives of both are in jeopardy. I guess wanting to be the Sun was overly ambitious on my part, and now I have demons that I do not know how to slay.
Should I apologize? Should I be sorry for wanting to help? In reality I’m the one feeling it; bearing the brunt of this ‘toxic relationship’. I’m the one who couldn’t sleep, thinking about it the whole night, and decided to write about it on a Sunday morning. “Give, give until there’s nothing left” was always poetic. But I guess poetry is what you call naivety when your trying to be optimistic. Well now there is nothing left. I wonder what happens now.
It all started with a good intention, and it all went wrong.
I have the most reckless side when I try
I have the most beautiful darkside
I need to find some meaning
Something true to believe in
‘Cause left to my own devices
The beautiful darkside wins
Beautiful Darkside – The Classic Crime
28 years on my pilgrimage.
I guess you’d call it ‘life’, or the more clichéd ‘journey’. But more and more it does seem it’s a pilgrimage. Because it feels like I’m looking for something; looking for something more than just existence, more than just success… more than destiny? I’m looking for significance, I’m looking for meaning, I’m looking for the dots to join.
I’ve never been a ‘do it for the sake of doing it’ kinda person. Neither have I done anything with ‘reward’ or ‘result’ as the main goal. I’ve always felt that when doing something, it has to mean something first, and it has to be intentional. This ‘hard-wiring’ has got me through some ‘sticky’ situations other people usually succumb to; like I’ve never felt what you call ‘peer pressure’ or ‘desire to conform’ or ‘fit in’. I’m also very picky when it comes to friendships, or relationships in general, though not because I feel like you’d be wasting my time, rather I wouldn’t want to be wasting yours. This recipe does make for some interesting interactions and perceptions; like how people assume I’m shy when I just really don’t care for ‘in-the-moment’ conversations, or how I ‘never seem to talk’ but in reality if I did people wouldn’t know what to do with what my mouth would produce. Things that depress other people I can easily brush aside; but the things that put me in a hole are so ridiculously trivial that one would wonder what kind of mettle I’m made of.
See that’s the thing; you’d think that since we’re all human we share the same thoughts, and these thoughts should resonate among ourselves. Or even if the thoughts were different there would be some form of ‘accommodating mechanism’ that would merge all these different thoughts onto the same plane. But more and more it does feel that that doesn’t apply to me; almost as if I’m not human, almost as if I’m from another planet. It feels like I was on a journey from another inter-galactic community, and just made a stop here, at Earth, to search what I’m supposed to be looking for. And the differences aren’t just in terms of what I think would make for good conversation, or what (and who) should be remembered, or even what should be given priority. It goes beyond that; sometimes it’s in the ‘mundane’ stuff like respecting queues, or ‘doing the right thing’ without having to wonder ‘what’s in it for me’. Sometimes it’s in ‘carrying someone across the river’, because you’re ‘tall enough to wade through the water, while the other person would drown in it’. People are so focused on getting ahead; eyes front all the time, not even bothering to look those they are trampling over in their wake, or holding the hands of those who are looking for guidance, even though they’re heading in the same direction.
From my ‘journeyings’ it seems that when people want to do something it’s based on how they prioritize these three things: reward, convenience and necessity. The ‘ambitious’ prioritize ‘reward’, the laid-back (not lazy) prioritize ‘convenience’ and I (with probably most other INFPs) prioritize necessity. There’s nothing wrong with any of the three, only that people see someone doing something without ‘an agenda’ and they are quick to call it a ‘red flag’, a ‘ploy’; that something isn’t right. But I’ve never known any other way to live. Like I remember I was undercharged for some groceries, and when I reported the mistake I was ‘rewarded’ ? Interesting interesting world. And interestingly, the people who could be of least help to you when you need it are the most ambitious, and I’ve met some of the poorest people with the kindest souls. Maybe it’s because the ambitous credit their own strength for their success, and the poor know the feeling of having no one come to your aid when you need it most.
The sad part is that this is indeed a cruel world, and both good and bad people will always be looking for good people to use. No one uses bad people (why would you), and the good ones are in short supply – do the math. But surely all of it – yes, all of it has to mean something eventually.
Being selfless has its scars; you will move mountains, cross treacherous seas, because you felt it was the right thing to do, and in the end if you even ask for a drop of water to quench your thirst you may not get it. The worst response I’ve ever heard was ‘I never asked you in the first place’; how convenient. After all the only man who ever lived right was nailed to a Cross, by same people who were singing His praises a week before.
The thing with taking pieces of wood out of a fire to light paths for different people is that that fire begins to diminish, and if more wood isn’t added to it for replenishment, it could disappear altogether.
As I get closer to 30 I feel birthdays have become less of a celebration and more of ‘time-markers’ on this ‘great pilgrimage’. I’m beginning to ‘understand the locals’ and their patterns of behaviour. I’ve never been bothered about being different, but if birthday gifts are still a thing, it seems that the greatest gift I’ll ever receive from this world is the ‘gift of being understood’.
Twenty seven is a crossroad; a point where you have to make a choice. Where you have to decide what to hold on to, and what to let go of. What to keep pursuing, and what to settle for. It’s a conclusion; that some things will never change, and plot your next course of action.
Twenty seven is exhaustion; a state where you’re done feeding energy into things that are draining it. It’s the tipping point, and you have no more quarters to give. It’s the height of tolerance, where you’ve taken all you can take, and decide to do something about it.
Twenty seven is invisibility; being a literal ghost with the power to effect change without being seen. It’s a conundrum; when you’re able to do so much without leaving your own mark, and you’re not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
Twenty seven is freedom; choosing who or what you’re obligated to. It’s a temptation; to become the first kite that flew high without a string. Could the thought of devotion to another outweigh the addiction of solitude enjoyed for so long?
Twenty seven is awkward; when you realize all your faults and weaknesses have somehow had a hand in bringing you here; with every dodge, reluctance and wall put up carving a path to the greatness being experienced. It’s weird, when you’re not sure on whether to work on them, or own them, because they have made you who you are.
Twenty seven is boarding up windows for hurricanes. Twenty seven is coming out to play when the sun’s out. Twenty seven is lowering one wall and putting up three.
Twenty seven is me.
I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice
The Classic Crime – Phoenix
I like such bands as The Classic Crime because their lyrics are so beautifully written that you are forced to sort of meditate upon them – owning them, and at one point they begin to make some eerie form of sense. Because you find out it’s what your heart has been screaming all this time but never really had the words to give it form.
For those who work out, or have worked out, you know of the legend of ‘the never moving watch’. Particularly if you haven’t worked out in a while or.. ever. You start all fired up, and when the lungs begin banging your chest as if they want to escape you glance at your stopwatch to see how much time you’ve put in; only to find it’s been barely two minutes. Huh? *pant pant*
I had such a moment recently (well, a little over a month ago; this post’s kinda dated), when I had put in so much work; not just ‘work work-wise’ (I do websites btw), but also socially and other areas of life that are easily forgotten by an INFP, and then looking back, I couldn’t really point to a major accomplishment or something that’s worth a pat on the back. I felt like I was moving mountains and navigating huge storms. But as Matt McDonald puts it, as he stood on that hill looking at his accomplishments they seemed pretty insignificant. What a kick in the nuts.
At that point you have to make a decision: you either decide it’s not worth it and give up, or you double (and I seriously mean double) your efforts and push on. With the first option you get to rest and continue as normal. And that’s okay, if you’re okay with normal. But more and more I’m beginning to be aware of the tremendous amount of effort it requires to get to goals set. That’s the part these ‘motivational speakers’ leave out, or if they don’t they don’t emphasize it enough. They’ll tell you ‘go on you can do it’! Then maybe slide a little ‘you have to work for it’ then continue with an even louder ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ Every breakthrough requires a significant amount of force.
But the thing with ‘breaking through’ is that you don’t really know what’s on the other side. One plus one will always equal two, but that’s not necessarily how life works. From experience you can do everything right and in the end still fall short, whereas someone else will skimp through a number of stages and get better results than you. So I’ll conclude that you just don’t really know whether your efforts will be rewarded, or get thrown back in your face.
So there you are, standing on the cliff thinking of whether to jump, not knowing if your wings will work, or if they work, how far they can carry you, or if they’re actually a strong pair, whether they’ll take you to the place you’ve always wanted. There a lot of things at play, mainly because once you jump off there’s no rewind button, no going back.
But there’s more….
A precipice is pretty high, so frighteningly high that if you arrived at that point then you arrived with good reason. Maybe you’re a thrill seeker. Maybe you want to start being a thrill seeker. Or maybe you’re just done with being the Mayor of Mediocre Town and are looking for literally anything else, better or worse. A hint of desperation but with dignity intact. Because unlike the rest in Mediocre Town, you have the guts to look for something different.
What do you do?
FYI I jumped; probably one more to add to my collection of dumb moves, but looks like I’m learning how to fly. And when you’re falling, you learn to fly pretty fast.
The most annoying part of life is time. Not that in itself it’s a nuisance but the fact that you can’t suspend it for a while makes it feels like you’re always rushing; or being rushed , even for the smallest insignificant things. Like menu choices or what socks to wear. Life is a constant stream of events marked by time, one following the other in glorious reluctance, giving the illusion of some form of progress at the very least. Is it possible to put your life on hold? Seems so; of course that depends on how you define [your] life.
I’m probably not the first man alive to put off plans for the sake of other people. That’s the most general explanation of ‘putting your life on hold’, and is more perceivable. This is known. One of two other form of pausing your life is a subtle form of self sabotage; constantly (or occasionally) getting in your own way, even with good reason. It took a week of me powering through numerous obstacles to see through a plan I was determined to not renege on; to realize how easy it is to get in my own way just because I feel either the time isn’t right, or the people involved aren’t. At times there are a plethora of reasons I could decide not to do something, even if I feel it right in my gut. Sounds like a ‘comfort zone’ thing but I’ve been out of my comfort zone for a while now. Or comfort zone has become such a cliche it doesn’t mean anything anymore.
At times I wish I wasn’t so ridiculously meticulous, especially at making plans, because with that much detail and ‘dedication’ it becomes very easy to write off plans when things go awry. And I have killed a good number of plans just because things began changing more than I wanted to. Surprisingly, if the plan is for someone else then I don’t mind moving mountains. But when it comes to my own it’s a whole different story. At one point I was asking myself is it just my plans that fumble or, if at all, just bundle themselves over the finish line? Is it some form of ill fate to come up with really good plans and fail miserably at the execution? The saying ‘best laid plans’ had actually become like a mantra, because of how many plans were falling on their heads.
Nothing teaches you the unpredictability of life like the life of a freelancer. You draw up a plan, the client doesn’t want it, you do another, the client agrees, payment is delayed, meaning your payments get delayed; things can go wrong very quickly without some contingencies in place. And this lesson isn’t really a great one particularly for someone who has a knack for predicting things and thrives in stability. Or maybe I’m just not as good as predicting or reading situations as I think.
I remember that week everything around me was just screaming ‘RENEGE! RENEGE!’. But I think something just snapped. Screw the ‘I love it when a plan comes together’ Hannibal tagline. I think I was just done with this perfectionist planning syndrome or whatever. Sitting down, I had a stark realization; the time will never always be right, the situations will never always be ideal and there will always be the risk of failure. Basically, it boils down to this:
How badly do you want this?
What are you so afraid of?
Looking at the monster that has its finger on the pause button, I only see three faces. Fear, perfectionism and nonchalance. But once fear is dealt with the rest seem to disappear.
Even with a brick wall there are a number of ways to get round it. The first is to go through it; it hurts, it’s messy, but it gets done. The second is to climb it. Difficult, sweaty, less painful than going through but definitely longer. The third, which I just unlocked recently, is simply to find another route. There’s always another way.
Thinking about it now, it seems like the people who excel at this game of life aren’t the ones with the perfect plans or situations, but it’s the ones who turn really crappy situations to really great ones.
No, I’m not a lone wolf. Wolves aren’t soft and cuddly. Wolves don’t have big and lumbering figures that take three years to make a turn. They’re agile, they’re swift, decisive, always going in for the kill. At least I’d like to think so; if not the better. Oh no, I’m not a wolf. Maybe a bear. Thick. Warm. Makes porridge for the family. Protective. Likes honey. Yeah, something like a bear alright. Would make an excellent coat.
Thing with bears though; they have really thick fur, braving even the longest of winters. That fur isn’t easy to sink teeth into. Or claws. It would take a great deal for a wolf to bring a bear down. A lone wolf surely can’t take the bear. That’s why he brings friends.
But what did the bear ever do. I’m guessing all the guy did was become extra clingly to a pot of honey. Or probably the wolves weren’t even targeting the bear. They were just out looking for something to chew on and this “monster” decides it isn’t having any of it. For some reason, the bear decides that those “creatures” are its responsibility, and are worth protecting?
This isn’t the first time the bear is taking a last stand. He probably is the patron saint of the last stand. He’s used to it by now. He knows it’s gonna sting. He knows it may not end well. But he plants those trees he calls feet into the ground; and with his most excellent Gandalf impression takes all the punishment and holds that line. No wolf gets past here. Not on his watch.
During battle, the single thought in a soldier’s head is the difference between life and death. Between going home with decorated clad or in a body bag. I’d sure like to know what spurs the bear on. What’s keeps his resolve strong. What makes every scratch, swipe and bite worth it.
Is it that the others get to safety and and live happily ever after? No that can’t be it; they probably aren’t even concerned about him, and may never see him again. Is it the honey pot he’s left at home or the zingy feeling of the snow nursing his wounds with a slight yet addictive sting? Maybe. But I think it’s something more. I think the bear knows the strongest and most fragile force on the planet, and is ready to die if it means he has to protect it. And that force is nothing other than hope.
Hope for a new tomorrow, hope for a better tomorrow. Hope that this is not the end. Hope that life suck, just for now. Without hope we’re already dead; we’re circling the drain. But with hope, with even the smallest bit of hope, strength is born. Hope is that light guiding you out of the tunnel, without it you’re better off in a hole.
The thing with lone wolves is that they go into hiding when injured. Too proud to show weakness. It matters how others see them. But not bears. There’s no time for a bear to hide. There’s too much at stake. If they’re breathing they’re dancing with the wolves. They’ll stop when they’re dead.
But does the bear have hope then? Wait, who protects the bear’s hope?
This isn’t about the bear.
Obligatory Birthday Post.
I like how when nVidia releases a graphics card some have the tag ‘Ti’. I don’t even know what it means but a GTX 1080 Ti has a significant performance boost over the GTX 1080 even though they essentially have the same model number. My guess is that the Ti is what the 1080 was supposed to be had they had more time to work on it but PCMR wouldn’t have any of it. So the 1080 is a good, solid card but the Ti is the ‘ascended’ version.
Likewise, because of how the past year has gone I feel it would be better to call this my 25-Ti’th year rather than the 26th. Actually this post would have been labelled ‘Twenty Six’ had I written it on my birthday but after something happened (which I will NOT go into details here, at least for now) I decided to add Ti to previous page.
Not because the previous year of my life totally blew. It was actually one of my best yet. I’m getting a hang of this freelance thing, I put down my foot more often (in spite of my INFP nature wanting to sacrifice more than I should) and I can now converse properly on phone without zoning out, at least for 5 minutes. Of course they are many other things; things have been smooth, manageable and relatively stress free. Even unpaid invoiced don’t frustrate me as much.
But see that’s the problem. You get too comfortable you start coasting. You start coasting you become complacent. You become complacent you remain where you are. The weird thing with this kind of ‘coasting’ is that you don’t even realize it. After all, you’re doing work, you’re pursuing clients; you’re not just letting life pass by. “I’m doing my part, I’m okay.” That’s dangerous. That’s selfish. And more importantly, that’s a far cry from God’s Will.
I’d never really thought about it till last Sunday, when the weirdest thing happened. Have you ever had a full conversation with some that lasted only 1 second? I did. I usually tell people that I can look into someone’s eyes and hear what they are saying regardless of the word coming out of their mouths, or even when they aren’t speaking. But the way the one on Sunday happened I’m still recovering from it.
It’s probably not a good idea to give details of this person (at this stage anyway) but it’s someone I’ve come to respect and have taken an interest in. It was just in passing but one look into this person’s eyes and I was suddenly so aware of how ‘comfortable’ I was. How I was limiting myself. How I wouldn’t push myself if I was okay with what I had.
Is that all? Is this what ‘the great Juniboy’ amounts to?
Probably the greatest turning point in my life was when I finally understood how much God loved me, regardless of my actions. Even if I decided to close up shop and live under a bridge He wouldn’t love me less. But what I had lost sight of was the other people I should be helping, the others I should be blessing, the others that are looking up to me. This isn’t a need to please others. Nor is it peer pressure. In fact I’m actually proud of my ‘peer pressure’-less life. But how unfortunate would it be if you were to die with someone’s miracle in your soul? How awful would it be if I had the solution to World Hunger and I just decided to coast; after all life is great, right? How scary. How terrifying.
So my 25 year was great. I did help out some guys. I did in my small way cause some significant impact. Just like the GTX 1080, which is a great card; a high end graphics churning monster. But it isn’t a Ti, that just churns better, and is the 1080’s true form. One look into this person’s eyes and the message was clear:
Life isn’t just about you anymore.
Weirdly though I think it’s only babies that think everything’s only about them. They don’t care if you just went to sleep after a long day; if he/she wants attention you will respond.
I probably met an angel on Sunday. Oh well.
The lyrics to the song Beautiful Thing by Code of Ethics
What was it like to spend a cold and sleepless night
Praying, take this cup from me
Please don’t let it be
There under star filled skys, the yellow glow of fireflies
Was the shadow of a friend
Betrayal would bring the end
For a second did You want to run
Knowing all the shame that was about to come
To the sinless one
A mother’s son
And how could it be, still so young at thirty three
Without protest without sound
Heavens love came down
The cross, the nails, the Savior’s crown
What a beautiful thing to do
The way you laid Your body down
Was so beautiful
And when that soldier pierced Your side
It was a beautiful thing to do
Such an ugly way to die, but so beautiful
Did you feel the evil, in the heart of everyone
As they cursed and they accused
Ah, the court was so amused
I bet it broke Your heart and made You cry
When one by one You heard Your friends deny
They ever knew You, they ever knew You
The cross, the nails, the savior’s crown
What a beautiful thing to do
The way You laid your body down, was so beautiful
And when that soldier pierced Your side
It was a beautiful thing to do
Part three of the Battle Series:
Resolve is one of those weird qualities that can never really be measured until the time when you have to show it. You can’t use words to express it; people lie all the time. And even if they were telling the truth at the time, circumstances change rapidly in battle and at that particular point nobody cares about what you said. Actions can though, but only actions performed when you’re backed up against a wall.
I’d like to think of resolve as determination’s bigger, meaner and more badass sibling. Determination conotes working towards something with some form of discipline or diligence, while resolve is something already ‘worked towards’. Determination’s the journey, resolve is the end game. Because in battle things are there and there; there’s no more learning, no more trying harder next time, no more keep at it. In battle you either have it or you don’t.
Picture two soldiers in their prime; equally trained, of similar skill level and of equal physical strength. Who will triumph? What determines the winner?
Anyone who’s been in an activity that exerts your body more than normal can attest to the fact that there’s a point you reach where your body just wont move; consequently at this point skill doesn’t really matter. Your vision is blurry, you can’t even stand properly. The point where all the factors are at 0; the baseline. That baseline is resolve. Like a default setting; what you’re really made of. At that point, at that decisive point in battle, the one with the more solid resolve will never fall under the blow of the one with the less.
Note the word ‘solid’ because resolve is not a building that goes higher and higher. It’s a root that grows deeper and deeper.
Can resolve be strengthened? I don’t know. But highly unlikely. You can never really train for the nastiness of battle. But the things you see and have to do, those things ‘harden you’ and that forms your baseline, your resolve. Yes, resolve is just a pretty word for stubbornness.
Determination is “I know what I need to do and I’m diligently working towards it.” Resolve is “I don’t care what I have to do. Imma do it anyway. What choice do I have?”