Quarter-life crisis or continued exploration? I couldn’t say.
As part of my Year of Re-creation, I’m embarking on a journey to reclaim stress and change how I respond to it at a physiological level. This sounds like a daunting task–I mean, seriously, changing physiology?–but it’s actually an application of the age-old adage “mind over matter”: By adopting a new stress mindset, my body will learn to react to stress in a new, more empowering manner.
So if this isn’t alchemy, I don’t know what is.
But magic or not, the first step begins now.
Polarity is an interesting animal. We think we know opposites–day and night, sun and moon, light and shadow–but then we’re faced with nuanced categories that defy perfect dualism–male and female, black and white, good and bad. Here there isn’t so much a binary system as much as a continuum, and it’s easy to get lost in the grey matter.
So lately I’ve been longing, lingering, languishing…and I’ve been fighting against it, feeling frothy and shameful, and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. So I’ve been perusing TED Talks, because they’re awesome, and sometimes a little awesome makes you awesome, too.
And in a way, somewhere in this mess of chaos, a new story began.
I once wrote about prayer. I said, in four words, don’t pray for me. Apparently two students missed the memo, because right as I took a bite into my lunch yesterday (sitting on a bench outside, enjoying the weather while I read a news story about McCutcheon vs. the FEC) two young men walked up to me and asked where I’d gotten my jacket.
Except–like last time–I knew at once it was a cover. I swallowed my mouthful, “Why, Beta Brand, of course,” I said, and waited for the inevitable questions about faith and God and all the fabric of the universe in between: “May we pray for you?”
Oh, what’s a man to do?
Women can multitask, park their cars better, and ask for direction–but the sorry male species can’t do a damn thing. It’s a beautiful world where you grow up with low expectations, isn’t it? A standard of male success is dying without going to jail. Poor women. They actually have to do something to be successful.
At least, that’s what I’ve always been told.
When last we spoke of the Rabbis, our lesson dealt with studying while strolling and we were able to apply the lesson in three wildly different applications–to teach us to focus, to teach us to rest, and to teach us that distracted walking is a real danger in the modern world. This teaching also focuses on studying, but its implications can be far greater–and far more severe.
Tonight something amazing happens: Venus will transition across the sun like the moon in a solar eclipse, but smaller. It’s an event of cosmic proportions that will not occur again for over a hundred years. It makes me think of all the times we do things that won’t happen again for some time. It makes me think of all the transitions I’ve been going through lately and all the changes that just haven’t happened yet.
I know looking at the sun is discouraged, especially without the proper equipment, but today, I’m taking a peek. Perhaps I’ll make like Venus and finally transition to better things.
By nature I’m a very trusting person. By nature I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. By nature I strive to be kind and compassionate, and for the most part, I think I succeed.
So when the knife came out, I never imagined it’d be directed at me.
Let me be honest with you: I’ve lost count of all the nicknames I’ve garnered over the years, especially the years since I’ve started college. There’s the insubstantial–sweetie, cutie–to the meaningful-because-of-who-uses-them–pumpkin, love, muffin–to the comical–D-rab (like Arab, a nickname I somehow stumbled into in Israel), Strongman (which is funny because it’s true even though I’ve never seen myself as much of a pinnacle of strength), Breaks (long story)–even to the slightly-offensive-if-taken-in-the-wrong-way–of which Gay Jew Dude is still my favorite. Then there’s Mr. President. That one sits in a category all its own.
And please, don’t salute.
I use: love, dear, sweetie on occasion.
I often wonder: Is this inequality a lack of reciprocation, or is there something more to it than that? Is a name really just a name, or does it bear more weight than that? We all know Shakespeare–“A rose by any other name…”–but do we all know each other, if one name weighs the same as another?
Once upon a time I met a man, a most spectacular specimen, with a mind as quicksilver and sharp as anybody’s, and we got to talking about philosophy, about truth and belief, what is real and what is merely perception. It was a provocative conversation to all extents of the imagination, and I must admit, perhaps foolishly in so public a forum as this, that the truest way to my heart is kindness and depth, and let me tell you, this man had both.
Then again, such sincerity is hard to feign, so perhaps it’s not so foolishly shared.
Regardless, such a deep conversation got me thinking, what is my personal philosophy? Do I even have one? And after some consideration, or years of consideration if you’d rather go back to when I first began to formulate the postulates of my intensities, I decided I do have a personal requiem of philosophies that I stand by. They are tenets and towers, facsimiles of faith and fiction, the philosophy of the wolf himself.