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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.
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 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 more solid resolve will never fall under the blow of the one with less.
Note the word ‘solid’ because resolve is not a building that goes higher and higher. It’s a base you just keep compacting and compacting.
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?”
Right so the obligatory end of year post.
This year was the year I decided to cast aside all pretending and search for answers to questions I’ve had pretty much all my life, but have never been answered. Why this year? Because this was the year that the ‘independent’ part of life was to begin. So you can’t just get by with ‘oh it will work out’ without knowing exactly how or , ‘just do it, if it works for them then it will work for you’, without knowing why. It was the year I decided to put a stop to pretty words of of reassurance and motivation, without having a proper way forward.
Weird thing though, I’m an INFP. We’re supposed to be the dreamy type with incredible ideals without thinking too much about how it’s going to work. So trying to trim these dreams down to only what seems logical just seems.. ‘un-me’. But fantasies had to stop. I had questions and I was finally demanding answers, no matter how late (relative) it may seem.
First off, religion. I am a born again Christian, and I do believe in Jesus. I have been active in church for as long as I remember. But it reached a point where just doing a set of things and ‘hoping for the best’ wasn’t cutting. This part is hard to explain but I’ll take you through all my reasoning.
“We are God’s creation. We are His children. So why do we have to do all these things just to get His attention? If an earthly father did the same wouldn’t we call him wicked? ” ” I was taught that prayer was talking to God, but it does seem that most of prayer time is yelling at Him about what we don’t want the Devil or our enemies to do.Weird conversation huh.” “God doesn’t listen to sinners; so how do people repent?” “Why exactly did Jesus come if the ‘ideal’ way of having a relationship with God is the same as before He came? Is the name of Jesus just a punctuation in prayer? Was he just to forgive our sins? He came just for that? REALLY?” “So I guess you other struggle without Christ or struggle to leave up to this unreal expectations the Bible has. Wait, only that not every one without Christ appears to be struggling.. so why I’m in this anyway?? ‘If he dies he’ll go to hell but you wont’ how is that even an answer ?” And finally this massive one. “God is my Father, I don’t deny that. Why I’m I so reliant on other people (no matter how close they are to Him) to hear what he’s saying about me? If the only way I had to communicate with my earthy father was through his senior most assistant or best friend, wouldn’t that make make him a very questionable figure?”
As I was spiraling out of control, thinking what’t the point of it all, I stumbled on this Bible teacher; well, not stumbled upon but his name had been at the back of my mind for quite a while but never really gave it much attention. Particularly because most of the pastors are basically the same (with the exception of a few); and it doesn’t help when you know a sizeable chunk of what they do when others aren’t seeing. Anyway, he’s called Andrew Wommack and from the first teaching of his I could tell that this was exactly what I was looking for, answers!
You see others had ‘answers’ but their answers were either of their own knowledge or scriptures taken completely out of context. Like I used to ask, ‘which kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting?’ and the answer I would get was that ‘ some specific demons or really big diseases or situations’ only that you can’t justify that through the Bible. Then to wrap it up they throw in the ‘whatsoever he tells you to do, do it’. Man.. Anyway back to answers (btw he did answer this question, and the answer was right there. the kind was unbelief lol). This Andrew guy explained scripture so well and plainly that I felt I had been cheated my entire life!
“Why are we doing these things to get His attention?” We have his attention! That’s why Jesus came! “Okay that still doesn’t explain all these stuff we have to do in order for God to bless us”. But He’s already blessed us! “These are great things you’re saying, but if I’ve already been blessed then why can’t I see it? ” Well, if I ask you for something that you have already given me, what would your response be like? Wow is that why I think God is silent?
That’s just a tip of the iceberg we’re talking major major answers and revelations; even what’s more boggling is that the answers are from scriptures I’ve read so many times!
Wow, so WordPress tells me those are round 825 words; clearly I had a lot to say about that because the basis of peace starts from the spirit. And with that guy’s teachings, along with a few others I picked along the way, I’ve been completely transformed. Answers I’ve been looking for for 10 years I found in 12 months. Amazing. I can assuredly say I’m ‘A Christian ‘(one who’s in a relationship with God after reconciliation by Jesus) and not ‘Christian’ (just going through the norms and traditions, just because you have to).
That was the unlearning part. Now for the tryharding. Yes, that’s a word.
I started my business in April. Everything was going fairly well; I had a few clients under my belt and money was flowing. Well, until money stopped in September. See this was about the time I had planned to move out, IF the cash flow was constant. So frustration was building, and with frustration comes desperation. I remember chasing an invoice so hard I must have actually wreaked of desperation. And it was from a relative. Something just didn’t fit.
Let me just say at this point that battles are lost when one side becomes desperate. And people forget about God and what He’s doing just when He’s ‘outdone’ himself. I was doing great work and cheques were coming in and I was like, yes, this is it. I’m doing it. I gave God thanks and moved on. So I was really shocked when my cashflow completely stopped and even a relative wouldn’t want to pay a measly $100 for work done.
God wasn’t silent; He’d actually been speaking and I was ignoring. And as I almost had it (again LOL) with this business life, I had a teaching by Andrew (surprise) entitled an excellent spirit. Then another followed (can’t remember the name because they gelled so well) that made me ask myself, who really is my source? God or people? Then I realized that I was being frustrated because I saw people as my source and not God. And it’s veery easy to do because you can clearly see someone writing a check and .. well.. I’ve never like… seen God so.. It can get tricky.
So. I decided you know what, every job I do will be as unto God and I will wait for His reward. And as weird as it may seem, that was the last invoice I chased. Cash flow resumed and it’s now people reminding me that they want to finish payments. I don’t know does that happen? Never seen it before lol!
2016 has been a great experience. I’ve heard to unlearn a ton (basically 90% of what I knew as a Christian) and live as a human ‘being’ not a human ‘doing’, as well as approaching God not based on what I have done but by what Jesus has done for me; my head is just that much clearer and spirit is at peace. I finally have this freelance thing going well, and I’m not forcing stuff and just flowing in God’s grace.
As I close in what seems to be my longest post ever (WOW), I’d like to thank Gilmore Girls for coming back and Beauden Barrett for being.. Beauden Barrett.
My heart still weeps for Aleppo. I hope peace prevails next year.
Shoutouts to Matt McDonald, Lacey Sturm and Gungor for amazing music this year.
I feel I’m forgetting something; but if you’ve read this far grab yourself a cookie. I didn’t even proofread xD
Happy New Year !
I know the sea. I know their names. I know where the water run still and deep. And I know where the ship will run aground. I know my crew; their strength, their weakness, their loyalty. I know what they feel when the colors are hoisted. I know where their faith is.
I know which route to take. I know which way the winds blow. I know how long it will take to see land again. And I know what will be waiting when we get there. I know when to raise the sails, yes, when to raise the top-gallants; and when to bring them in. I know which storms the ship can brave, and the ones it can’t.
I know the exact point to start turning the rudder; to bring the ship about in an offensive, yet defensive position. I know my ship has 100 guns. And I know their reach, their strength, their destructive force when fired at just the right range. I know that a missed shot puts you in danger. And a well placed one can still put you in danger.
I know the speed of my ship. I know when to chase, and when to retreat. I know how to lie in wait, how to hide my ship in plain sight, and the exact moment to make my move.
I know, in all my knowing how capture a ship. I know every maneuver there is, every order of steps, what it takes for sure success. I have proven them. And I know them like I know my own name.
I know, however.
That 100 successes does not guarantee the 101st. That doing something 1000 times does not guarantee you won’t screw up the 1000 and 1st. I know how absurd it is; that you can know all there is to know, but without execution it makes no difference. I know, how even more absurd it is, that you can know everything, and do everything right; and still fall short at the end.
I know of the unknown. But it’s still unknown. I know it can be crippling, as well as thrilling at the same time.
//The Battle Series is a collection of posts on what I feel is the best way to challenge situations in life. Applicable anywhere and everywhere. Part one is here
Part two of the Battle Series:
Chances are if you’re going into any battle you’ve surrounded yourself with some good companions; people who you trust with your back. If you’re alone then good for you. You’ll have less annoying issues because people will always be a pain when the heat gets cranked up. If you’re smart and strong you will manage.. for a while that is. The greatest single-person last man stands have all ended in the person dying. You can do a lot alone; and you can do way more with the right comrades.
One shall chase a thousand…
Two shall chase ten thousand…
The potential value of bringing a comrade on board isn’t calculated by addition or multiplication. It’s by exponentiation . It’s huge. But that’s just it. Potential. The actual value can be less, which happens most of the time. And by less I mean you may actually lend your enemy a helping hand. No, seriously ask Rome. When they had two consuls governing the same army. Hannibal ran rings around them. Figuratively of course, because the actual battles were so overly one sided that saying he ‘ran rings’ just doesn’t cut it.
So what is this ‘teamwork’ that people talk about. Rightly dividing the load equally between your colleagues? Giving each person a chunk as per his or her abilities? I’d say teamwork is whatever works for you when it’s not only you involved. Personally I’d define it as doing as much as you can and then tell your comrades, “there, that’s my bit. Let’s see how far y’all can take it”. And the grind continues.
That being said, ‘dream teams’ are few and are rarely large, because an extra brain is an extra complication you have to handle.
Another year, another chapter, another cheesy birthday post. Even though its almost a week late. Meh. Nothing’s ever late. Things just reach optimum importance then get done.
Yeah anyway, I began my 26th year on this earth [that means I turned 25 years] precisely a week ago; that usually means I’m in super deep reflection mode (deep reflection happens daily), thinking about the 25th chapter of me life. The weird thing is that the gap between 24 years and 25 years is like Grand Canyon wide.. One minute your just starting to make some cash to pay for what you’ve always wanted, and then you turn 25 and suddenly you feel the pressure of taxes, bills, moving out, getting married, having kids, ending world hunger… If you’d asked me 20 years ago where I wanted to be when I was 25, I’d say in my own mansion making mad cash off some weird invention. I’d have many cars and a rare collection of authentic katana. If you’d asked me 10 years ago, the dream changed; a lovely wife, a job at Google, a Mustang and a computer with 1GB of RAM. [smh]. 5 years ago, well, whatever life gave me. Plus the wife lol.
At 25 is when it hits you. Or me at least. That there are no more safety nets. No more ‘ideal grown up life’. I’m calling it ‘Chapter 26: The Year He Debuts’. 25 years of warm up seems sufficient. You’ve seen enough to know where things are going and you can come up with a plan for what you want. My favorite part is probably that a lot of ‘variables’ now become ‘constants’; things have happened so many time in the exact same way that you no longer second guess the outcome. Yep, full circle. That may seem trivial but for an INFP who is constantly over-analyzing stuff things are so much easier when you can label something as a constant, just like in programming (nerd alert). Constants are even programmed in CAPITAL LETTERS TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS. WE WON’T CHANGE.
Before I probably had a billion questions. About life, taxes (gosh taxes), God, business and basically just how to live in the most perfect way possible. And now they’re only a million; a considerable chunk is gone, partly by listening to the right people and partly by Groundhog Day-ing (living the same situation over and over again). Seriously though have you ever listened to someone saying something you’ve heard before but what you hear is totally different?
At 25, you can’t really say you never knew, or you weren’t told. Unless you were under a rock or something. At 25, you know people to run to who will never turn you away (*cough* your mom, if she’s still alive that is), you know who you just can’t depend on and find a way around that. You know those who only appear when they need something and those who don’t really actively keep in touch but you know they’re there. At 25, your allocation of energy is more efficient. You’re not pipe dreaming anymore. #
Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone. But with the life I’ve had , that’s my opinion on being a 25 year old. That being said I’m really happy that I can and still make an active effort to put a smile on people’s faces, and that my dreams and imagination haven’t dimmed in vividness one bit; because while other things I have wanted to be may have changed over the years, those two are (and will forever be) constant.
There was a boy. His name was Allen Walker. A charming English lad with a golden heart. A boy with a fiery spirit. A gentleman. This boy Walker had a blessing. They called it Innocence; a power forged into weapons to vanquish demons and free souls bound by them. They called it a blessing; a gift in the left hand of a young boy, vital in the war of Evil vs Good.
This boy Walker, had traveled far and wide, defeating demons, gaining allies, putting a good shift. His name spread quickly; and he was well aware of it. He was a hero, and he loved it. He loved nothing more than seeing hope rekindle, seeing a candle light up the darkness, seeing tears turn to joy and knowing he was integral in all of this.
But this boy Walker, like any great tale, met the one that will shape his destiny, for better or for worse. A foe greater than all those he had met. A foe with the ability to render Innocence useless. It was short and brief. The next time he came to, his weapon was shattered. His Innocence reduced to dust that just lingered.
This boy Walker was supposed to be dead. But by a miracle he was alive. The Innocence plugged a hole in his heart. A hole made by the enemy. No one had ever heard of Innocence saving its user before. It’s like it had a mind of its own; its own consciousness, knowing what it wanted regardless. But all Walker was interested in, like any valiant soldier, was knowing how soon he could return to battle.
This boy Walker, attempted to revive his Innocence. He attempted for 5 days and failed. It was like the Innocence in its own consciousness was refusing to activate. It was like it had refused to recognize Walker. He begged it. He prayed. He could not understand why. His intentions were just. All he ever wanted was to fight alongside his fellow comrades. But this boy Walker, was naive. He didn’t get it. He didn’t know the reason of Innocence, and was about to.learn the hard way.
A demon of reputable strength attacked the facility Walker was being held. And being the only Exorcist able to deal with it, an Exorcist rejected by his own Innocence, the future was bleak. That didn’t stop him from fighting. He gave all he had, even at a massive disadvantage. And as fate would have it, in the most cliché of turnarounds, he finally got it. He understood Innocence.
This boy Walker remembered. He remembered the first day he vanquished a demon and saw it free the soul it held captive. The demon and the soul weren’t two entites. The demon was, in fact, the soul that needed saving. The soul and the demon were one, with the Innocence cleansing it. He began to think back. He wondered when the line became blurry. The line separating salvation of souls and camaraderie. The line separating a mission to kill, and a mission to rescue. Was he fighting demons? Or was he fighting for the demons? Who was in need of salvation? The humans – the free spirits? Or the demons – the bound souls wailing to be freed?
This boy Walker, found the answer. It was both. His left hand – hand laden with Innocence, for the sake of the demons. His right hand – hand of companionship, for the sake of the humans. They both needed saving. His Innocence asked the question, and this was his reply. And with the most absurd of answers, he regained power, greater than ever. His focus was reset, his resolve stronger.
And this boy Walker, was never the same again.
[This story is adapted from the Manga Series D.Grayman written by Hoshino Katsura]