The fame.

It seems like so long ago, now, that I began to have hopes and dreams. I went through most of my life without purpose, drive, or reason, and for this reason I hated my childhood and most of my high school years. It was the creations of these dreams, of these purposes in my life, that allowed me to escape depression and make myself into a somewhat competent person. Because of these dreams, I could realize my intellectual and physical strengths, and push myself to new heights.

But now when I look back on them, it is quite obvious that they have changed, a result of maturation and development. When I started off, I didn't really have much of a plan. I simply wished to be the greatest man in the world, and I really only wanted to be that man so that I could prove to a young woman that I was a worthy. But then, when I began to truly try to reach this limit of perfection, it became clear to me that I was going about it all wrong. Perfection isn't something you achieve for the sake of something else; it can only be achieved for its own sake and nothing else. And then, it obviously became clear that perfection was more than I could ever hope for, and that to pursue it was sort of foolish in the first place. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be wise, I wanted to be famous. I wanted to do it all, and I wanted to be the first person to ever have done such a thing. The fact that no one had ever done it before, was just evidence that they didn't want it as hard as me. These foolish thoughts were my only comfort.

These thoughts never died out; as all things, they simply evolved and changed form. I've come to realize that it is simply impossible for any man to be perfect, and that this is true regardless of effort. It is also true that fame and fortune are largely accidental traits; they don't actually mean anything. They provide the appearance of wealth and happiness, but only this appearance. For anyone who truly has physical and spiritual wealth and happiness, fame means nothing, as do all appearances. Therefore, I have followed the original trend of my beliefs, and yet constantly cut out the weak and unintelligent aspects, trying to move ever toward whatever end it is that I am destined to accomplish.

I still want to be strong, smart, and renowned. I wish to be loved, and I wish to be able to love everyone. But, faced with the impossibility of loving the whole world, and being loved in return, (for to be human is to be limited, no matter how hard one tries to remove his limitations), I have come to accept only that love and strength and intelligence which I can earn and hold for myself. There is still a shadow of the old dream, which has not died, and never can. The new one may appear different and strange, older and more mature, but at its base it still has the foolish thoughts of a sixteen year old who wants to conquer the entire world.

The name of this blog is far more poignant today than it even was the day that I made it. In the beginning, I didn't have any plan here. I wanted to charm the world, and I wanted to control it all. With these simple thoughts in mind, I made up a name for myself, and worked on without a thought. Now, the title is so perfectly fitting. It captures exactly what it is that I've always worked towards, and yet at the same time all the absurdity and evolution that has already preceded to obscure that very meaning. I suppose I shall look back on this blog on my deathbed, and I will smile, for I will truly have mastered the world by then. Not in the way that my sixteen year old self would ever have thought, but in the ways that matter nonetheless.

This is the challenge of every generation, I believe. To attempt the impossible, to move forward and upward, while at the same time coming to understand our limits and the strange quirks of fate that hold us back from perfection. We are like creatures in an ocean, constantly swimming to a sunlight above that we can never reach. Sometimes, we may grow old and pass on, but our will and strength, our love and wish to prosper, can be passed on to our children, and they can take up the unending battle for perfection after we are gone.

This is that spark of the dream that still remains in me. The wish to improve, to increase, to grow ever upwards. Yet, now there is the spark of limitation in me as well. The wish to understand, to comprehend, to limit so as to create a perfect medium. Over time, this second spark, the downward spark, will overcome the upwards one, and I will prepare for my death. But now, in my youth, it is the upward impulse which prevails, and I understand what it is that I now must do.

It is my time. It is the time for me and all members of our generation. It is our time to either make our mark, or fade from all knowledge. Many wish to leave some bit of themselves behind, some evidence of their passing on the general lifestream of society. At first, we overestimate our importance. We hope that we can be everything, and control the mind of everyone, become all-important and all-knowing. The men and women like me in the world, we struggle and fight to make ourselves known, whatever the cost. Those that are victorious will find that they have only made some tiny mark on the world, some minor scratch on the surface of the human strata. Yet, for the enlightened mind, this becomes enough.

I have studied these creative and destructive impulses in man, the upward and the downward, the unlimiting and the limiting, and I have learned to balance them in myself to create the best possible life. It is upon this balance that I have founded all glory in my life, to which I have credited every victory. This balance is the basis for enlightenment; perfected by perhaps a half a century of study and practice, perhaps I will achieve true enlightenment. Perhaps I will one day achieve Nirvana, or consciousness with Brahman, or find the perfect Tao, or be welcomed into heaven, or be at one with the world.

And all because, as a foolish boy of sixteen, I dared to dream so, and never to let go of this dream.


Cutting back.

Wow. Well, first thing's first. I meant to write this shortly after the last one, but I just sort of kept on forgetting until it ended up right here. My summer has been very good so far, which might be part of the reason why it took so long. I keep feeling like I have nothing to say.

I've been trying to work as much as I can, at both of my jobs. Of course, I'm not getting very many hours in the first, and the second has been unluckily unprofitable for the first few weeks. However, things are starting to get back to running smoothly, so I'm feeling better about the whole situation. I've also been writing quite a bit, putting in an hour or two every day, and working out quite regularly. Of course, I've been behind on the reading I would like to do, but I had to suffer somewhere.

Writing has been moving along perfectly. I've gone back to writing my fantasy prequel / mildly philosophical coming-of-age tale, and at the rate that I'm working on it, I may even have it done before the end of the summer, which is massive for me. There would, of course, be tons of proofreading and all that to do before ever actually submitting it to be published, but this is still a huge step forward.

Writing used to be quite difficult for me. It wasn't fun, it was work, and I had to do it on my own time, which hurt me a lot. As such, of course I couldn't do it for very long, only in brief spurts and jumps. Worse, I would write something and then simply be out of the mood for a week or two, only delaying the process even more. But I put my mind to being a writer, and stuck through those odd bits. My vows of silence were the first and best step that I made to correct this. Focusing on nothing but writing for a month, I could truly make progress, and teach myself to begin to enjoy my writing. Now, this has begun to come to a head, and I can write for an hour or two without even realizing that time is passing. It's nowhere near the amount of time I'll have to be able to put in when I go professional, but of course that won't happen for another two years.

Speaking of another two years, it's something that I've been considering a lot lately.

My parents made some comment as usual, to the extent that I wasn't working enough, that I'm not going to be able to sustain myself on the amount of money that I'm making. I need more hours, and better jobs. Now, they're right. I've been thinking about it, and trying to realize where it is in my life that I can cut back. There's only one main place that I can do so, I realize, as much as it hurts: weightlifting.

Lifting weights requires a lot more energy than simply living your life. Not only do you need to consume the calories to do much more physical work than the usual human, you also need extra nutrients, proteins, and calories in order to properly build muscle and make the most of your exercise. When I go to France in a few months, I'm not going to have access to a gym attached to the school, meaning that I would have to arrange for a membership in a French gym. When you factor in the time spent weightlifting, of two hours or so every day or two, the amount of money needed to purchase a membership in a gym, and the amount of food I would need to consume, it becomes clear that I cannot sustain this sort of life when I go to France. Perhaps, even when I come back I won't continue.

I will continue to run and get in my cardio, as well as remaining stretched out. These are relatively low-demand types of exercise that are highly beneficial to my health, and they don't require any gym equipment. Looking at it now, I don't think I will ever go back to weightlifting.

I've made the claim before, to myself and others, that I don't ever think I will be addicted to anything in my life. It's true, because after my high school years and the terrible addiction that I suffered under back then, I've learned my lesson. Any time I grow too attached to something, I generally realize this, and let it go, generally overnight. This is the same thing I tried to do with my girlfriend, until I realized that I did truly love her, and my affection wasn't a bad thing. Often times, the things we become addicted to hardly are bad things, we've just made them so. Routine is the death of all meaning, and when something becomes so routine that it is unquestioned, so all meaning fades and it becomes nothing but mindless action. This is why a bit of alcohol is a good thing; it shakes up life and makes things interesting, and this is also why too much of it is a bad thing; when alcohol, or anything for that matter, becomes routine, it loses all meaning, and becomes more detrimental than beneficial.

Looking back, I've been addicted to many things, in the sense that I made them a routine part of my life without even meaning to, without even thinking about my decisions. I don't see this over-attachment as anything debilitating, because I've gotten over it. So the same is with myself and working out. I enjoyed it immensely, and I still do. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's simply begun to become too routine. It's beginning to lose meaning, and become an addiction. I can't have that. Now, it is time to say goodbye to it, even though it was half the reason I pulled myself out of depression and ever stayed alive in the first place. There was a time and a place in my life for it, and that time is passing. It's time to use the time that I spent honing my body, and hone other things. Perhaps I will return, but only when the time is right, and not until then. Now is not the time.

As such, I'm slowly moving myself off. I'm cutting down on my workouts, and focusing more on the aspects of exercise that I will be keeping. I'm moving towards the right balance, a sustainable balance, that I can use in the future.

Life is grand.