This week marks my year as a single man. I will only briefly mention the social expectations that a single man is either bitterly lonely, homosexual, or too much of a loser to attract a woman, because during this year, in my admittedly pro-masculine, biased opinion, I have also seen, first-hand, that single women face an equivalent social pressure, which in Japan, is known as ‘himono-onna’, and receive equivalent disapproving stares and hushed whispers from elders and peers more lucky in love than they.

That said, I am equally at peace to spend the remainder of my days in the fine company of myself, or with a woman who enriches my life.  However, I have certain uncompromisable ideals that I will either run across, or I won’t, in a woman. Either outcome is fine by me.

I have learned:

1. Your only competition is yourself, and your own expectations of achievement. The same is true of worst enemies.

2. True friendships are timeless, and other relationships either end or revive, dependent on whatever lessons remain for you to learn in life, to mature as a better human being.

3. Globalization means humanity is never more connected, fulfilled, or lonely than before in our species history.

4. Strong opinions make you more interesting, even if people hate you for them.  At least then, you become more memorable, as having broken from ‘herd mentality’.

5. One year did not magically make me more or less ready for life.  It only further reminded me that every second is a unique journey.

6. Entertain at least one opinion that shocks. If you please everyone, you are either lying to yourself, not living life to the fullest, but most likely, both.

Those are the bullet points. I went through my journal entries of the last year, and I have chosen to include portions below, because as peaceful as I am today, that is not an accurate representation of my entire year. I would not be at peace without the agony that I, perhaps, needed to traverse to emerge stronger on the other side.

November 19, 2013

Haiku #1

Easily lost sight

On a cloudy day, but the

Clouds are in the mind.

November 20, 2013

Haiku #2

Rage against despair,

Always chasing, always late,

Stand still and just be.

November 28, 2013

Haiku #6

You come alone and

Go alone as much as a

Star flickers and goes

November 28, 2013 

Life is capricious

Random acts follow past acts

Baffling with no sense.

December 13, 2013

Haiku #13

Music with no breaks

Is cacophony–Or

Unordered silence

December 19, 2013

Infinity

Well, there is nothing about infinity that makes much sense, but again, we are trying to apply human intuition to concepts that extend beyond normal understanding. Perhaps it’s easier to think of it as the error condition that occurs on your calculator when you try to divide by zero. Does that make intuitive sense? Similarly, fitting a finite mass into a zero-dimensional point gives us infinite density. I don’t pretend to understand it either, beyond that, it’s just another bit of complex mathematics that I take the experts word for.

January 3, 2014

Burning Klesha papers. Everyone does not relate to the world in the same way: path of least resistance.

February 22, 2014

Opinions? No. Most people do not have real opinions. Opinion supposes that person actually thought about something to arrive at the conclusion. When most people encounter a new idea they cannot process or understand, they grasp their first subconscious cliché, and voilà, they think they actually expressed an opinion.

February 24, 2014

Narcissists can never be satisfied with a partner, nor truly satisfied with existence.

March 13, 2014

Do not be attracted

Some dote on the past, trying to re-create or mimic it.  Do not be attracted or feel resentment toward the past, present, or future.

May 14, 2014

Do Not Weep For Me

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

June 28, 2014

You are not defined by how you fall, but how you rise from the ashes. Lots will say no.  Find those who say yes, and see unlimited opportunity instead of obstacles.

July 22, 2014

Beware confirmation bias.

Never explicate what you can demonstrate.

Actions speak louder than words.

November 12, 2014

Rats are afraid of new things placed in their environment: survival instinct.  However, they learn, and have a great memory. Is this base instinct, of a common mammalian ancestor, what makes human beings so afraid and captivated with change?  The horror, the majesty, the power!

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