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My Thoughtspace



A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.



Updated: 2014-03-19T04:30:29.120-04:00

 



Patience

2007-01-25T10:16:22.146-05:00

I usually consider myself a pretty patient person when it comes to waiting on things and dealing with people. I mean, I'll usually get inwardly aggravated and frustrated to one degree or another - often to the extent of expressing it to whomever will listen nearby - but usually when it comes to the person that I'm actually dealing with, I'm pretty cool. I usually try to give them their time to do whatever it is I need them to do, or try to give them some extra forgiveness as I attempt to get them to understand one thing or another.

Today though, that patience is gone. I don't know exactly where it went, but all of a sudden my tolerance level for anything has dropped to nil. Someone tried to ask for a status update on some tasks which I'd only recently been given, and not had nearly sufficient time to even look at, and my first (internal) response to them was "Cease ye thou senseless drivel, lest I layeth my smack-down upon thee!". The external response was slightly more courteous, but still to the same point. Where I would normally try to make some small show of apologetics and attempt to settle them down, I just flat said in short: "You're not giving me enough time, and your expectations aren't even consistent enough for me to understand what time you are giving me, so just back off and I'll get to it when I can!"

Another instance, one guy asks me for an update on a case that he's been asking me about for a good week or so. There's really nothing I can do from my position right now, and I'm waiting on response from another company before I can do anything at all. He knows that already, so I told him to try contacting another group in our company that is more specialized for handling these types of cases. He says they told him there's nothing they can do either, and wants to know if there's any way I can force the other company into action. My response, summarized: "Well, if there was, wouldn't the more specialized team have known this and possibly told you about it?"

Quite frankly, I don't know what my damn problem is today, but I'm starting to get tired of dealing with it! Sure, I doubt the caffeine I've been taking lately (in the form of one daily dose of Starbucks Doubleshot, and occasionally another "energy drink") hasn't helped, but right now that's about the only thing that can keep me going after lunchtime.

In the words of Bilbo Baggins:
"I need a holiday. A very long holiday. And I don't expect I shall return. In fact I mean not to."

Of course, if I were to take the 5 days of vacation time I still have left over from last year, I would probably come back. But by "vacation" I really mean a vacation from everything. Work, home, family, life, the whole shebang. I just want to get away where no one can find me for awhile and chill out. Get some time to shake the world off of me, and get refreshed.

I just want to get in my car, take nothing but the clothes on my back, and leave nothing behind but rubber and road. Then, when I get where I'm going, I don't want to be bothered. I don't want anyone to call me, talk to me, or even see me. I want to just spend some time somewhere that the whole world will just leave me the hell alone!

Maybe that's an extreme end of my frustration, but that's really what I'm feeling. Until then, back to the daily grind...



ZUJU Sounds Like A Cool Word...

2007-01-22T15:01:08.420-05:00

Okay, this is further proof that (caffeine == bad for brain cells)! The last four characters of one person's alphanumeric ID number in our system are "ZUJU" and I couldn't help but think when I saw that, "that looks like a cool word - gotta find some meaning for it"!

So, zuju - pronounced "z00-j00" - is my new favorite word. I've just gotta figure out what it's supposed to mean now. Any ideas? It would be such a shame to see this cool sounding phonetic arrangement go to waste. Maybe I'll give up on meaning and just make it my new screen name. Yeah, maybe...

Somebody help me, please!



Blah... New Memo

2007-01-18T22:38:33.622-05:00

Memo to me:

When editing your blog template, the "Back" button is not your friend!

Just spent a good half hour or so putting some of the stuff from my old template into the new one, and one usage of the "Back" button along the way seems to have jacked the whole thing up. Oh, well. Back to square one.

Now... who remembers that TV show?



Blogger 2.0

2007-01-17T16:22:19.686-05:00

Well, the new Blogger is out, out of Beta, and now finally applied to my own blog! Wow, lookie at all the shiny new buttons! This might just catch enough of my interest to bring me back more often for awhile! Not that I don't mean to come back at all, it just keeps dropping down my list of priorities when I kind of wish it wouldn't.

Anyhoo, I'll be sticking my head in here to make some layout updates (some much needed and overdue) and hopefully a few new posts along the way. Maybe even get around to some of those unfinished thoughts, finally. We'll see.

Still hangin' around,

- Iszi



Brain Dump

2006-12-20T16:07:43.896-05:00

Right now (as has been the case often lately) my mind is a mess of disorganized random thoughts. Pardon while I dump. This probably won't be the last time, either.

I know that I am bound.
Why can't I be free from these chains I have found.
I don't know what they really are, but only that they are there.

...

I'm constantly wandering, wondering.
Aimlessly, pointlessly.
Lamenting that which I don't understand.
Treasuring that which I do.

...

There's an answer within my reach.
It's there, but I can't see.
I'm grasping at thin air.
It taunts me, tormenting me with every unsuccessful strain I make to grasp it.

...

Two roads diverged, but this is no yellow wood.
I've looked down both as far as I could.
The darkness is foreboding and so I stay put.
I feel the ground shaking, collapsing underfoot.



Food for Thought

2006-12-19T09:50:40.360-05:00

Something interesting that has crossed my mind today, and is now the source of one of the lesser (albeit probably most important) quandaries that currently plagues my consciousness:

Christianity professes that there is one God who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. Christianity says that it is our choice to follow Him or not to follow Him. To not follow Him is operating outside of His will, and walking in sin.

All of this, I have been taught and lead to believe and accept through all of my life. Now, here's the killer:

Given the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent being in the universe (be it God or otherwise) how can we be sure that any choice we make is truly our own? How can we be sure that any thought we have comes from our own head?

So, first we are asked to choose to believe that there is a God who has created, and can control the entire universe. But to choose to believe that, we also have to believe it possible that the choice was never really ours to make in the first place.

Yes, the truth is the same whether we believe it or not, but the question remains whether our belief or disbelief is truly an option? Even as I write this, I cannot be sure - believing in an all-knowing, all-powerful God - that these words are actually of my own composure.

In the end of course, it all comes down to faith. But faith rests upon belief, and when one's belief is shaken like this, where does their faith have to stand?



Breaking Point

2006-12-18T00:28:24.200-05:00

Here I am again.
I don't want to be here.
Why have I come here?
What draws me to this place?

The world is spinning around me.
I feel like I'm standing still.
I just want to let go.
And run!

To run, and be free.
To run, and be me.
To find who I am,
And come back a whole man.

What has brought me here?
Why can't I leave?
What is keeping me here?
Why can't I breathe?

To wish for freedom,
A man first finds himself bound.
What if that freedom is wrong?
An answer cannot be found.

I just want...

To run, and be free.
To run, and be me.
To find who I am,
And come back a whole man.

I stand at the edge.
On the other side is broken.
Which way will I break?
Has the answer already been spoken?

Do I have a choice?
Can true freedom be found
In this bondage I wish to break?
Or will I just break down?

I still feel the need...

To run, and be free.
To run, and be me.
To find who I am,
And come back a whole man.

Devil, get away from me!
Jesus' blood is over me!
Holy Spirit comfort me!
God, come down and guide me...

To run, and be free.
To run, and be me.
To find who I am,
And come back a whole man.


- Iszi



Worship Conspiracy - Disciple

2006-12-18T00:29:51.940-05:00

Another great song from Disciple. They get their point across, and don't seem to care who they offend meanwhile. Seriously, how does our worship measure up to those of other religions? Even the least-practicing members of many other major world religions leave the average Christian in the dust when it comes to worshipping their God.Who are we, believers in the one true, most high God - believers in the only god who has laid down the life of His son for all mankind - to be ranked among the most apathetic worshippers of all religions? Even being a guilty party myself, I find the thought obscenely appalling.Worship Conspiracy - DiscipleThey ride all around town,Get me to believe what they found.They knock on my door,Saying Jesus is not the Lord.Pray to Buddha every day,Put us to shame in every way.Muslim fasting forty days,We can't lift our hands in praise?God deserves moreThan what we're giving Him!They bow to a piece of wood,But it won't do them any good.Meditate on false light,While we sit and watch the day go by.Observe all traditions,While we sleep late on Easter morning.They fall on their face,While we just abound in grace.Pray to Buddha every day,Put us to shame in every way.Muslim fasting forty days,We can't lift our hands in praise?God deserves moreThan what we're giving Him.God deserves moreThan what we're giving Him!Worthy!Every knee will bow, tongue confess That Jesus is the Lord.Worthy!Every knee will bow, tongue confess That Jesus is the Lord!Pray to Buddha every day,Put us to shame in every way.Muslim fasting forty days,We can't lift our hands in praise?God deserves moreThan what we're giving Him.God deserves moreThan what we're giving Him!Worthy!Every knee will bow, tongue confess That Jesus is the Lord.Worthy!Every knee will bow, tongue confess That Jesus is the Lord!Worthy!Every knee will bow, tongue confess That Jesus is the son of God.Worthy!Every knee will bow, tongue confess That Jesus is the Lord![...]



Unfinished Thoughts

2006-12-08T14:54:40.360-05:00

Talk about irony. I tried starting this post yesterday, and ended up closing the window later on in the day when I was doing something else, before I published it. *sigh*

So, I've got a few posts sitting in my blog that are invisible to everyone but me because they are not complete. They are my "Drafts". These are posts that I started typing at some point or another, and never really finished. I either ran out of time to finish typing them, or ran out of energy to type with and saved them thinking "I'll come back to this later".

Probably more numerous are the posts that actually were published, but really never completed. They end in something like "More on this later" or something otherwise representing a free flow of thought coming to an abrupt halt. Again, I had a good thing going with a strong train of thought running out into cyberspace here and either ran out of time, or got otherwise distracted, and had to wrap it up much more quickly than I'd intended.

Even worse are the thoughts that never made it on here at all. Something that I think about during the day triggers my mind to say "I should blog about that!" but I'm either too busy or too distracted to do it then, and never get around to doing it later. There's so many subjects that I probably would have loved to delve into that never got explored because they ended up like this.

All of this is starting to really frustrate me. What's worse is that I often find I've lost the particular spark I once had for a subject, when I try to come back to complete it. The idea was good, and the subject very much interesting, but I just can't seem to remember clearly enough where I was going with it or why to be able to finish it off.

Such is a graveyard of dreams. Ideas begun, but never finished. Optimistically, I'd like to say I'll get to them some day - in fact, I've promised a few people I would on some - but realistically I doubt it. I really hope I do though. It's been awhile since I've allowed my mind a chance to do some serious wandering on a subject, and I really do enjoy the times that it wanders.

I will say one of the more interesting - and potentially dangerous - things on my list of "Wanderings To Do" is the plot behind the movie "The Da Vinci Code", which I recently saw on DVD. First, I'll try to wrap up what loose ends I already have though.

- Iszi



I Just Know - Disciple

2006-12-07T10:52:39.280-05:00

I've recently started listening to a Christian metal band called "Disciple". Their songs carry strong messages with an up-in-your-face attitude, which a lot of Christians and non-Christians alike should take heed to listen to. Below is one of my current favorites:

I Just Know - Disciple
I just know Jesus is the way,
I just know Jesus is the truth,
I just know Jesus is the life,
I just know Jesus is my God!

What makes you different from one another?
Why do you argue about who you follow?
There is no man that you belong to.
There's only one God that can claim you.

I don't care if you can speak in tongues.
I don't care if you're into submersion.
What does it matter if wear a liturgical robe,
Or prophesy and say God said so?

I just know Jesus is the way,
I just know Jesus is the truth,
I just know Jesus is the life,
I know that Jesus is my God!

I know that Jesus is the way,
I know that Jesus is the truth,
I know that Jesus is the life,
I know that Jesus is my God!

Do you serve your name, or do you serve mankind?
Would you feel the same if they took down your sign?
Could you sit next to me if I was Baptist or Presbyterian,
Or do I need to be a charismatic or Episcopalian?

I don't care if you drink grape juice or if it's wine,
And I don't care if you get out of church on time.
What does it matter if you praise God with music in your church,
Or you burn your dead or bury them six feet in the dirt?

I just know Jesus is the way,
I just know Jesus is the truth,
I just know Jesus is the life,
I just know Jesus is my God!

I know that Jesus is the way,
I know that Jesus is the truth,
I know that Jesus is the life,
I know that Jesus is my God!

I don't care if you clap your hands.
I don't care if you get out in the aisle and dance.
What's it matter if someone lets out a hallelujah shout?
Have we forgotten what praising Yahweh is all about?

I just know Jesus is the way,
I just know Jesus is the truth,
I just know Jesus is the life,
I know that Jesus is my God!

I know that Jesus is the way,
I know that Jesus is the truth,
I know that Jesus is the life,
I know that Jesus is my God!



A Short Memo

2006-11-22T09:09:52.753-05:00

Memo to me:

1.) Honda Civics are a bit harder to push than they look.
2.) Winter air burns hard-working lungs...
3.) ...and continues to do so for no less than 45 minutes after they're done working hard.

I'll be okay in a bit, I promise. Just a few more pieces of my diaphragam left to cough up and I should be fine.



Blue-Pillin' it Today

2006-10-30T13:50:14.060-05:00

Today is a blue-pill day so far. Sometimes I'm glad it's that way, but other times I wish it weren't. It's like they say about paranoia, "What's worse - being paranoid, or knowing you should be?". I think the movie The United States of Leland says it perfectly:

"I think there are two ways you can see the world. You either see the sadness that's behind everything or you choose to keep it all out." - Leland

No matter which you choose, the "sadness" is still there. "Ignorance is bliss" they say, but that's only until reality smacks you in the face. Then you have a choice: Either accept the reality for what it is, and do what you can to make it better if needed (even if that requires making your personal reality a little worse for a time), or try to continue on as you were.

If the latter is chosen, you will slowly but eventually return to the state of ignorance you were in, and maybe even feel like you are happier for it. But, since you have been made aware of reality, you will never again be completely ignorant - never completely blissful. Once in awhile, something will come up or your mind will wander to just the right place and then - BAM! - you're back in reality again dealing with the same thing you've been trying to stay happy ignoring.

So, what is my choice? I wish it were simple as white or black. For now, I'll have to go with gray though. I choose to keep reality at arms-length. I'll not likely ever completely lose sense of the "sadness" that is there, but at the same time I can't let it bother me until I've figured out what to do about it. So, I'm stuck in a state of limbo - constantly being jerked from one end to the other.

Today is a "blue pill" day. For now, I'd like to keep it that way.

- Iszi



The Enemy is Within

2006-10-25T12:36:40.353-04:00

You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. - Morpheus, from The MatrixThis has been one of the choices plaguing my mind during my current dilemma. I've started to judge my days by which pill they may be associated to. Usually a "blue pill" day would be probably the closest to "normal" or "good" as it will get. Those are the days when everything is going relatively smoothly, and the issues that have been dominating my thoughts are almost forgotten.Then, there's the "red pill" days. These are days where I can't help but see the problems for what they are - often because they've manifested themselves in one particular way or another - and end up battling with myself over what or whether to do anything about them. Today so far has been a "red pill" day.Nothing has really happened today to fire it off this time. Mostly it's just reflection on recent past events that brings my mind to spinning again. Then, I came to a disturbing hypothesis as to the reason that I am in such conflict with myself over what to do here. I am beginning to think my heart has already set itself on one path, while my spirit is desparately trying to move in another. Caught in the middle of this tug-of-war battle is are my mind and - more importantly - my destiny.In this hypothesis (upon which I have yet to come to a solid conclusion which I would claim as truth) it would seem that my heart is set upon a path that is generally considered destructive, but would leave potential for re-building and a new beginning in the end. Of course, there would be lasting consequences as with any significant decision in life, but the end I would be left with more freedom to seek out a better future. My mind sees that potential and very much longs for it, but has yet to conclude whether the rebuild would be worth the damage that would need to be done.My spirit wants to hold onto what is here, and strive to make it better. Ideally, this would be the best choice, since no lasting damage would be inflicted. However, not all of this is under my control and my mind has a hard time conceiving how many of the things that need changing could be changed. The mind worries that if the needed improvements cannot be made, perpetuating the status quo even in the name of restoration could have worse lasting effects than destroying and rebuilding it anew.In the end, the resolution is up to God. The question now is, what is it that He wants to do here? Another question - What can He do here. Blasphemous as it may sound, I do wonder what are the limits that God has in changing a person. He created us each unique, with specific traits and a specific purpose in mind. Who are we to ask that He change any person? Are we to expect Him to say "Oops, my bad. Let me fix that for you." when in fact it is much more likely that we messed up His work?Some may claim that you can't mess up God's will. He's too big and powerful to have His will affected by the actions of one person. While on a large scale that may be true, on a personal scale I beg to differ. We can mess up God's will for our lives. This was first proven in the Garden of Eden. I believe that free will was given to man as a gift, but we have turned it into our own curse with dire consequences.God wanted us to live in a peaceful paradise where we could walk with him and converse with him every day. But, Adam - yes, I said Adam - dropped the ball on that one bigtime when he chose to ignore a threat to his household, and allowed the serpent to tempt his wife (with himself soon to follow) out of God's will. So, Adam and Eve were cast fr[...]



Nike

2006-10-11T01:40:12.853-04:00

Change can be a bitch.

Not so long ago, I was enjoying my new position and actually getting a chance to breathe during my days at work while things seemed to be so much simplified. That didn't last long. A few weeks ago, the person who trained me for this new position left the company. That left me being the only person around who fully knew how to do (and was assigned to do) the job that I have just recently learned.

Normally, I would consider this an intriguing challenge. Okay, maybe intriguing isn't quite exactly the word, but it is 1 AM right now. What makes this different however is that, while this job can be theoretically run by one person, the workload dictates a need for two - or at least one full-time and one part-time person. Unfortunately, that's not happening quite soon enough.

The good news is, backup is coming in a couple weeks (or so I'm told). The bad news is, backup is still a couple weeks away. My managers have told me time and again to let them know when I think I'm in too deep. They say they'll understand, given the nature of the job. While that may be, I am reluctant to call on them because I really don't know what can be done to help things. There's not much that I do that anyone else fully has knowledge, access, or time to help with.

I keep thinking that if I can just have one day where I can focus hard and shove my nose to the grindstone, I can knock out most of the backlog that's been built up. Then the phone rings. Or another e-mail comes. Or someone sends an IM. There's always something demanding my immediate attention away from tasks at hand.

Of course, this recent head case that I've developed hasn't helped anything. Any time I have had without phone calls or attention-demanding e-mails or IMs, has been occupied by the wanderings of my mind as it tries to decipher itself and its current quandary. I will say it's gotten better lately. Particularly this week, I've had an overall better time focusing on work than I have in the past couple weeks. Then again, that may be out of pure necessity, since I've come to fully realize and recognize the magnitude of the task at hand in my workplace.

In any case, I worry that it is all too little too late. Yes, I've regained focus. But now, the period of lacking has set me much further behind than I should ever have fallen. And still, there are the times where I need to just put my head down and crank up the music to drown out the noise in my head.

I can do this. It can be done. I know I can, and I know it can be. Now if I could just get it done!

Just do it!



Just Shut Up

2006-10-11T01:33:04.420-04:00

Have you ever tried to advise or console someone, and only end up finding that your words are probably more counterproductive than anything? That happened to me today. A friend is being attacked right now by Satan, something that particularly pisses me off, and I wanted to express my shared feelings on a thought that she had expressed since it related quite much to what I am going through these days.

Part of the problem with that I guess is that I'm still in the middle of dealing with my own things, and so what came out was a half-formed thought. That one didn't seem particularly good or bad on it's own. In retrospect, maybe it wasn't so great. But I know the latter half (which I also expressed when it hit me) was definitely on the negative side.

The saying goes, "Think before you speak." What they forget to tell you is to finish thinking first.

Of course, then there's times when - thought completed or not - it seems I should just plain shut up. I seem to have had an especially hard time with this lately as I have so much within me to express to some people but I don't feel that the relationship or environment surrounding myself and them are particularly appropriate ones for me to express myself in. So, I usually end up rambling on about one thing or another trying to drive my mind away from what it is I want to say.

Boundaries are an interesting thing, I guess. We all have to live within and obey certain boundaries. If we don't then there would be mass disorder in the world, and it would be a generally unpleasant place to live in. But sometimes boundaries can lead to too much confusion. Like, when someone has a thought or intention that may not be entirely (or at all) inappropriate or unethical, but steps outside the realm of conventional boundaries they are left dumbfounded with themselves in deciding what to do.

I think I'm rambling on again. This is another realm of fuzzy boundary, here. Of course, why should I expect anyone to understand me when I don't even understand myself?

I'll just shut up now. What was I talking about, anyway?



Ignorance is Bliss

2006-10-03T03:25:16.793-04:00

So, I've been struggling with the issues of personal identity, lust, and the present/future effects of past decisions for a good while now. I would say probably a couple weeks. Aside from my own stubborn self-reliance, the worst part of all this is the fact that it almost constantly is occupying my thoughts.

Most of this thought interference usually arises at work. While I have more than enough to keep me busy there, my brain almost always has some idle processing time to ponder over the various aspects of my situation. I find myself being distracted by desires for things I should not want, or thoughts of past decisions I have made wrong. Often, my imagination wanders towards what would be different if I had made decisions differently in the past or - in some ways, worse - what could be different if I made decisions now to change my future in certain ways. Then the "idle process" thoughts tend to bloat themselves into the space in my mind that I need to focus on work, and I become rather unproductive. Not a good thing when you've got the workload of one and a half people on your shoulders every day. (Fortunately, that should be relatively short-lived.)

When I am home, these thoughts usually end up faded into background static. There's often more than enough to keep my mind occupied with things in the present, or just generally entertained. Once in awhile, an idle process will be freed up to wander on its own tangent, but it seems easier to snatch it back here, in most cases.

Part of me wants to run, part of me wants to break, and another part just wants to shut down and forget this ever came up. While the former two are almost completely destructive to self and family, the third option seems to be trying to take dominance over my consciousness now. While ignoring one's own internal battles can in some sense make them go away, I know the calm is only temporary. However, calm is still calm. I just want to forget this thing ever came up in my mind, and try to go on with my life - with business as usual.

However, something inside of me still screams, "Business as usual is no longer acceptable!" While I can and very much would like to just shut it off into the deep recesses of netherthought, I also know that what it says is true and will not change. If I shut it off now, it will just come back later and I will be in the same spot or worse. So, I have to find a way to take care of it now, for once and for all.

The only question now is... how?

I know that I already know the answer, and have said it once or twice. But that is still another battlefield to be written about in another blog.



Lust is a Demon

2006-10-03T03:07:02.766-04:00

I find it amazing how one can long for something that they can't have, long after they've decided they do not want that longing.

...or have they?

Lust is truly an amazing thing. We see it everywhere in TV ads, billboards, magazines, and the like. Yet over half of all marraiges end in divorce, many because of this lust. Why society would perpetuate the feeding of the monster that is destroying it is truly beyond me.

Yet still, a person can find themselves struggling with the same dilemma from within. They may grow an attraction towards something or someone they cannot have and should not want, and yet still are unable to shut down whatever it is inside that draws them to it. Even when a person recognizes the presence and nature of this destructive force, they are still inexorably drawn towards it.

So, what is a person to do when the find themselves wanting something that they do not want to want?



Self-Questioning and Self-Doubt

2006-09-28T16:07:21.946-04:00

Continuing on the previous post...So, now you've got the big long backstory. Let's come up to present day. I've been floating about all my life blissfully ignorant of the fact that I don't quite know who I am as a person up until now. Now that it's hit me, I find myself emotionally and psychologically panicked on a few levels.Normally, I'm not one to be panicked in general, let alone in any emotional sense. Remember, it wasn't too many years ago when I didn't even know I had emotions. So, the experience has become quite disturbing for me. I'll try to break it all down, here.The first stage that I've hit, and probably just about gotten over, is the stage of suprise. My mind kinda woke up and said "Wait, what the hell?". This is immediately followed by one of what's soon to be many self-questionings, "How could I let this happen?". I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, generally insightful, and always aware of what's going on in my mind. The latter of those is what has helped to contain and control my emotions in times of duress, throughout the years.Next comes the questioning of the past. "What have I been doing all this time, making life-changing decisions without knowing who I am? How can I make the decision that's best for me if I don't even know me?" This is probably one of the most bothersome, as it brings into question everything I've done in the past that is affecting my present and will affect my future and the futures of those around me. Particularly under attack have come my marraige and career as well as other less (but still) significant areas of life.Then there's the "What might have been." phase. I have a pretty good imagination, and my mind will ponder the stupidest things down to the most minute detail if I let it wander too far. So, some of its idle time has been spent (whether I want it to or not) thinking about how things might be different if I had known myself back in high school, not too many years ago. Those were the years where the decisions most pertinent to my present and future were made.While still stuck on those last two questions, my proactive thinker is starting to kick in and say "Okay, what do we do now?". This is probably one of the hardest questions, as all I can seem to come up with is to find a magic lamp and wish for a RESET button on my life. Other alternatives have included just running off somewhere to spend some time (a long time) on my own and study myself, or just shut this whole thought process down and claim blissful ignorance.I can already see down those roads far enough to know that those aren't really good ideas, but then again nothing is really going to seem like a good idea from here, is it? Humans fear change by nature, and anything that I would need to do to get out of this rut and fix what has been broken is going to require significant change in one form or another.For now, I guess all I can do is sit here and think. Ponder the situation, and hope that a good self-analysis can help clear things up. Then again, when you don't know yourself at all, who are you to conduct a "good self-analysis"? Some people keep telling me there's always God to run to. Of course, if there's anyone that should know me better than me, it's Him. But I also feel that I've grown deaf to His voice, and to some degree I even fear what He may have to say. There's that "fear of change" thing kicking in again.See, unfortunately there is this big difference between knowing what needs to be done and actually doing it. I know there's help waiting for me out there, I just need to look in the right place. I k[...]



Gone to Find Myself (At least, in My Mind...)

2006-09-28T12:03:20.146-04:00

Greetings, Readers.Well, after yet another extended hiatus I have returned once again. For how long this time, is anyone's guess. While I do sometimes regret not having put as much time and effort into keeping consistent with my originally intended schedule and purpose of posting this blog, it is still comforting to know that it is always here ready to listen when I need to talk.So, not too long after I had posted about my recent progress down the path of self discovery, I posted about a loss of self-identity. As confusing as this may sound, there really is no self-contradiction in that. It seems that in the process of discovering the truly masculine part of my being, I have come to realize how little of myself I really know.When I think about it, I can identify the source of this problem, but cannot think of a feasable solution. Some of the problem is of my own doing, some of it not. All of it is in the past, leaving me with uncertain feelings about my future.In my youth, I was often the target of peer abuse. The class bullies (or anyone else feeling superior enough) would typically gravitate towards me before finding any other targets for their amusement. This lasted through most of my elementary school years, and didn't let up until nearly halfway through high school.I may never fully understand what brought it on, or what finally stopped it, but what I do understand now is the damage that it caused. During those years, and for years afterwards, I was a social recluse. I would usually be the one finding some obscure corner in the cafeteria for lunch, dropping it all down the hatch as quickly as possible, then disappearing to the library or somewhere I could be by myself. (Sadly, now that I look at it again, I still do that at lunch most times.) Anyone I would "hang out" with would usually be connected to some special interest group (Band, NJROTC, Chess Club, FCA/Student Venture) and I would usually only be around them when those groups were meeting.An interesting thing about this period is that not only was I secluding myself from others, I was also pretty well shut down inside. For some time during my teenage years, I often wondered if I even knew what emotion was, let alone how to feel it. Later, any time I would take to learn about myself, I would usually be taking from others. That's not necessarily a bad thing, when you are by nature (and years of "training") careful about selecting the friends and groups that you allow to feed this to you. But still, it's not the real deal. When you don't even know you, how can you expect others to be able to know you well enough to teach you about yourself?Fortunately for me, my trust has always been with God to some degree or another, and also with His people. When they would try to feed something into my life, I would usually listen. The upside is that the food there is usually good, but the downside is it's not your own food. You can only survive off it so long before you start to die for lack of being able to feed yourself.The second problem I've had is lack of isolation at home in my lifetime. I can't be sure since I've yet to really experience it, but it would seem there's some things that just can't be learned when living in a busy household or sharing that life with someone else. When I was 18, I moved out of my mom's house and in with my dad. Dad's house was pretty empty, being a three-bedroom house with just him and me there, but I was still working on reclusivity at that time so that didn't help much. A year later I had to move back in with Mom, over which I w[...]



Searching

2006-09-26T12:50:23.876-04:00

A saying, I don't know how hold, which has been re-phrased and said many times before, on many t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other paraphenalia:

"I've gone to find myself. If I get back before I return, please keep me here."

That pretty much describes where I am right now. More to come on this later.



Wild At Heart

2006-07-03T16:11:04.970-04:00

Greetings, Readers.

I feel I am beginning to rediscover myself recently. Or, to be more accurate, I am truly discovering myself for the first time. I knew something has felt a little different inside me this past month, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it until yesterday. All I knew is it felt good, and I didn't want it to stop.

This past month, my brother has been down from New York where he serves in the Marines. It was the first time I'd seen him in about 2 years. He stayed for a greater part of June, including both our birthdays (it was his 21st). In that time, he reunited with a good number of his high school friends, and let me tag along for the ride. I've probably "gotten out" more in the past month than I have in my entire (socially reclusive) life, and it has been the best time that I've had!

Add to that the freedom gained by my wife and daughter (both of whom I do still miss very much) vacationing with the in-laws in Illinois, and I have found myself disturbed by how truly chained down I had let myself be for the greater part of my life. (Even before marraige.)

I must disclaimer this by saying I in no way intend this to be taken as me trying to blame my fatherhood or husbandhood (is that a word?) for holding me back from who I am. To the contrary, it has been myself who has done most of the holding back.

I did not realize what this feeling really was until I picked up a book this Sunday from church, which is beginning to rock my world, and totally upturn my perception of myself as a man. The book is called Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge (http://www.ransomedheart.com/). I have only made it through the first chapter and half of the second so far, but it has already had a significant impact on who I believe I am and should be.

It describes how society today, and especially Christian society, has chained down and buried the rugged, adventurous, and aggressive masculine heart that resides in every man. It explains how these parts of a man's personality are integral to their masculinity and placed their by God's design. In short, John explains that it is only natural and healthy for every man to desire and pursue "A Battle to fight. An Adventure to live. A Beauty to rescue.".

The book isn't just for men, either. It is also meant to be a guide to offer insight for women to see why it is that "Boys will be boys" or, as it should be said, "Men should be men". Again, I have only barely scratched the surface of this book myself, but I can tell you so far that it definitely appears to be worthy of the "Books every Man must read" list, if there is one.

I should stop rambling on, especially since I am at work (although it's extremely slow here, since most everyone else isn't here, as we're off tomorrow anyway). I just felt I needed to get this out here. I definitely feel an incredible journey is ahead of me, on my road to self-discovery.

- Iszi



Settling Into Things

2006-06-09T16:19:55.536-04:00

Greetings Readers,

Finally, there seems to be a bit of sanity in my life. At least, in 45 hours out of every week. My job roles have changed a bit, and as I'm learning my new role things have slowed down a bit. I'm getting out of work on time more regularly, and the work that I have to do doesn't take up quite so much of the day that I'm here for. So, there's actually time to breathe here.

I still continue to be amazed at what God has done in my life, both recently and through the past few years. In re-connecting myself with my blogs a bit, I went and reviewed the pictures that are on my photoblog (link at left, cuz I'm too lazy to put it right here just now). I looked through some of the pictures of my daughter, realizing how out-dated they are, and then remembering how I felt when I posted them. My little baby girl was just starting to walk then! Nowadays, when I get home, she doesn't walk anymore. She runs. She runs all the way from the doorstep to the curb where I get out of the car, screaming for joy! She's going to be three this year, too!

Listening to my WinAMP play here, one song really cut in deep and reminded me how it felt to be a new father, almost three years ago now. Lyrics are below:




Creed - With Arms Wide Open

Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I closed my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

Well I don't know if I'm ready
To be the man I have to be
I'll take a breath, I'll take her by my side
We stand in awe, we've created life

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything

With arms wide open
Now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

I'll show you everything, oh yeah...
With arms wide open..wide open

[Guitar Break]

If I had just one wish
Only one demand
I hope he's not like me
I hope he understands
That he can take this life
And hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world
With arms wide open...

With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything

With arms wide open
Now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

I'll show you everything, oh yeah...
With arms wide open....wide open




Until next time...

- Iszi



Amazing God

2006-06-01T18:36:30.946-04:00

Greetings, Readers.Well, it has been quite some time since I've posted an update actually worth the effort taken to write it. I guess I've just been keeping pretty busy in general. A lot has changed since I started this blog, and all of it is God-given. Most of it is also the reason I'm just now getting a chance to breathe enough to compose my thoughts into words.Lately, I have had about 11 hours (sometimes more) each day during the business week taken up by work. That's 8 clock hours, one hour lunch, and about two hours going to and from work. Add another hour at the start of the day to get ready for work, and that leaves 4 hours out of a "normal" sleep schedule (16 hours up/8 down) for me to take care of personal business and errands, spend time with the family, and squeeze in a minute or two for myself. Being nocturnal by nature, my sleep schedule usually consists of 6 hours of downtime or less, with the extra uptime spent trying to gather just a little more sanity into my system. This all doesn't include the fact that Monday nights are tied up with 100% "Daddy Duty" time, while my wife is at her small group meeting, and Thursday nights are tied up with the small group meeting that I will be going to shortly. We also still try to make it to The Living Room on Friday nights once in awhile.I am well aware that for some people, this wold hardly be considered a "busy" life, but for me this is the most hectic it has ever been. Yet, at the same time, I feel somewhat more secure in my life now than I have ever been. This sense of security is what I would like to elaborate upon for awhile, since God has really done some amazing things for me and my family in the past few years.I'll start with the short version, outlining how various aspects of my life were then and how they are now. "Then" being some time shortly before I started this blog, and "now" being... well, just now.Living QuartersThen: My wife and I were sharing a 10'x11' room with our then-newborn daughter in my Aunt's house. We also had our own bathroom and full access to the living room and kitchen, both of which had some of our stuff in them but were not ours exclusively. My Aunt is a smoker and has several animals, and the house was overall quite unkempt and not well-maintained. It was also in a very crowded neighborhood in between gang territories. We also shared cable TV, telephone, and broadband internet access with my Aunt. Fortunately, I had a router to split the internet up with.Now: My family has moved into my mother's house to live with her, my step-father, my step-brother, and my sister. My wife and I have our own bedroom, about the same size as the one at my Aunt's house. My daughter shares a room with my sister on the other side of the house. We also have the front living room to ourselves, which houses both my wife's computer and my own (mine was in our bedroom at my Aunt's house) as well as our own TV, albeit we don't have cable on this unit. We share broadband internet with the rest of the house via ethernet and wi-fi routers.TransportationThen: My wife was driving a much-dilapidated '88 Dodge Aries, which had come to develop seepage along the fuel lines, as well as other problems. I did not have a full driver's license, and so would have to use my bicycle to get around if my wife was ever unavailable.Now: The Aries has been replaced with a '92 Ford Crown Victoria. The 'Vic is now in pretty rough shape itself, but still runs w[...]



Song In My Heart

2006-04-27T23:02:41.896-04:00

Greetings, Readers.

There is a lot to update you on here, but little time and energy in which to do it. (As if that's a suprise.) One thing I would like to express however, is a song that's been captured in my soul for awhile now. Hopefully in the near future this will turn to motivation and bear fruit. Thank you very much to Mr. Michael W. Smith for letting God work within him and through him to put this song out, which I am sure speaks to many more hearts than just my own.

"Missing Person" by Michael W. Smith:
Another question in me
One for the powers that be
It's got me thrown
And so I put on my poker face
And try to figure it out
This undeniable doubt
A common occurance
Feeling so out of place
Guarded and cynical now
Can't help but wondering how
My heart evolved into
A rock beating inside of me
So I reel such a stoic ordeal
Where's that feeling that I don't feel

There was a boy who had the faith to move a mountain
And like a child he would believe without a reason
Without a trace he disappeared into the void and
I've been searchin' for that missing person

Under a lavender moon
So many thoughts consume me
Who dimmed that glowing light
That once burned so bright in me
Is this a radical phase
A problematical age
That keeps me running
From all that I used to be
Is there a way to return
Is there a way to unlearn
That carnal knowledge
That's chipping away at my soul
I've been gone too long
Will I ever find my way home

He used to want to try the straight and narrow
He had a fire and he could feel it in the marrow
It's been a long time and I haven't seen him lately
But I've been searchin' for that missing person
Until next time, whenever that may be....

- Iszi



Reformatting For A Living

2005-10-04T16:26:56.636-04:00

Very interesting, isn't it?

No sooner do I make a post regarding my reformat woes at home, do I land a job where I have to reformat computers daily.

So, I've left the convenience store, and am now in a career that actually makes some use of my technical skills. Compared to some of the things I am capable of, this is still "Trained Monkey" work, but I am happy to finally be in a place where I can gain experiences that will point me in the right direction for the future.

As far as the work itself goes, the reformatting process has been greatly simplified. Various automated setup softwares have been put in place to make the required human interaction minimal. Meanwhile, the unattended process takes a good couple hours, so you can feasably handle several of these "migrations" at one time.

Right now, we're only being put to work on one at a time, but I'm sure this is just warm-up. There will likely soon be a point when I may have too many laptops on the desk to have any room for my own workstation keyboard. (From which I am currently publishing my blog.)

The working hours are a bit of a shift to make as well. Having worked from 2200-0600 for the past two years, I have become quite unaccustomed to seeing so much daylight, or spending so much time awake when my wife is (or - slightly more difficult to adjust to - so much time asleep when she is). A real nice schedule benefit is that I finally have a job where weekends and holidays will actually make a difference on the work calendar, and I can actually have more time (and energy) to spend with my wife and daughter.

Also, my posts on here should be a bit more regular as the computer use regulations around here seem to be relatively lax. As long as I'm not doing anything illegal or inappropriate, or letting casual computer usage interfere with my work, it would appear that things like posting to my blog and checking my webmails is ok.

Anyway, I'd better go. I've written enough here. I'll catch you up on some more stuff later.

Glad to be back,

- Iszi