alongside the writing I

do here I also keep a

private journal

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The work I write publicly gets meticulously re-written and my private work is different in that it only gets minimally fine-tuned. That kind of writing allows me to pour everything that is in my head out onto the page. This helps me understand my own thoughts and has the dual benefit of breaking the cycle of rethinking the same thought again and again since some thoughts are difficult to fully process in my head. I get a lot of clarity in mind getting everything typed out. These private entries can sometimes function pretty good as rough drafts too. I may spend several days journaling before even approaching a final write-up. I decided to do something different with this post and just let it intentionally meander in one long non-linear piece. The difference with this one being it won’t be kept to myself. If it comes to my mind I put it in whether or not there is an overarching topic which ties it together. Since my usual writing formula isn’t working for this particular article why should I fight the natural flow?

I was following a boy on Twitter who recorded every minor thought he had in his tweets. It was amazing, sort of like you where reading his mind. I liked to imagine he had one of those contraptions you see in sci-fi movies where all these wires are coming out of a helmet which could scan someone’s mind. Except in this case the difference was that it had the ability to transmit all his thoughts without his even having to type it into his phone. Someone in my DMs brought up a thought provoking point to me; “You must have a good memory” but I’m not sure how accurate that is despite wanting to be true. How would one go about determining if that was true? When I went to the video store a few years ago they were playing the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and to my shock I found that I could recite every line from every character though I hadn’t watched it in decades! If you were to ask me how much I would be stuck in my mind still I’d probably say very little. That serves as encouragement to me that my memories are more in-line than not. It mostly seems to be the case that I remember what people say if it matters to me.

Why am I relaying all this? There is a memory that keeps coming back to me, blaring in my mind and If a thought returns there is some significance to it. Even if I don’t realize the meaning of it and even if the way it comes to me is through long unexplored territory which I glossed over at the time. Will talking about it bring the reasons to the surface? It’s like a puzzle where the shapes don’t all connect upon numerous attempts of trying. I rotate the reoccurring memory around wondering when all the pieces will show the bigger picture. Now it is a deeply fractured mental picture impossible to make out as scattered about thoughts.

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I had a close-knit group of friends like the ones they base movies around. I remember Andres as being a mostly quiet person a little like myself. I don’t mean he didn’t talk, just wasn’t the center of attention. Students who were attention seekers were too different from me to form much of a connection. There were kids like that I would hang around but I just don’t think the relationship worked. One day another boy in our circle said that Andres passed away in a car accident. It was strange that the news was delivered that way. Just one kid relaying it with an astonished look having to repeat it to us. “You remember that kid who sat there in the back? He isn’t here anymore.” It feels like that time we had together lasted the course of several years but as I go through yearbooks I noticed he was only in one of them. That fragment of time was mere months. That’s amazing.

I'd really alter my time if I understood the

present moment. Once I missed a church event due to school work. An attendee that week asked me what was more important; school and getting good grades or church. They had no interest in what my answers would be. The question was being told to me not asked. The inflection said everything that the words written down here don’t convey. Why can't questions like that be treated with the type of esteem that is due to them? What I did in church was to help their business grow, that'a about it. I had no understanding in how their ideology compared to other philosophy. All that time was put into something that I was just told would help people who heard it. Just today I don’t think it contains a fraction of the importance I did at the time. Certainly not to the extent in which it drained my resources. Those moments that I would often miss out on had immense value.

Ptextured abstraction piece surrounding Andres

School was such an important part of life far outweighing mere scholastic accomplishments. That time I had with other students was such a big deal. I can't see much anything being justified getting in the way of that. I got roped into basically performing in a full time musical production on top of being a student. No doubt my involvement came through constant propaganda and not being knowledgable at the time to be fully clear on what I was really doing. The overtime I was putting in already was unreal. It wasn't until years later when I had a chance to reconsider. I can't believe I did that. That should have no justification. Back then should have been a time to put the focus on learning not telling others how to live their lives. You don't know enough about that at the time and many don't know that even later in life.

I should have spent that time doing things like join the Swim Team so I could connect with my friends. I didn’t realize how badly I missed being a part of that until I left high school and the reality set it as to what I missed in my first three years. I wasn’t able to see how colossal that mistake was until starting college. It wasn’t like a PE class where you are just there to receive a credit. There is so much more camaraderie between the others. Both the time in the pool and the fun stuff we did together hanging out at friends homes, going to restaurants and movies. Andres was on the team for that year I missed which made that time not only just look short but was extremely short. At one point in my life knowing what a person’s religious beliefs were would have been nearly the entire focus whenever I heard about a their passing. Now the time that we were not able to spend together, what was then the present moment, becomes my whole focus. Such fleeting times that I just didn’t understand at all in any real way. It seems like an incredible waste to me.

We live in a society where you are conditioned to always be looking around the corner anticipating what is next. Life isn’t about the past or the future. It is all about what is happening now. One day when the class was acting unruly and the teacher asked “why are you even coming to High School?” to which one of the students replied “so we can get into college?”

That is exactly how we are conditioned to think and respond in this society. I am doing A so I can get to B. His comment caused laughter from the class but I bet the students didn’t think about things like that much differently themselves. They only may not have said it out loud in such a blunt fashion. There is this beautiful analogy by Alan Watts; “The present is represented on your watch by a hairline that is as thin as possible as is consistent with visibility. But the present is the only real time.”

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