Sunday, June 24, 2007

Second Place is Just a Fancy Phrase for Losing...

It's always depressing when you realize that everyone is better than you at something. I'm not referring to something in a general sense since I know exactly what that something is. Writing.
I read my friend's blogs (most of which are not hosted by Google) and am almost always envious of their writing abilities.

It is obvious that society is always telling us that we should not be envious others but rather we are to be grateful for our own abilities. This belief has been force fed to us not only by religion and our parents, but is also a prevalent motif in many movies and television shows. Sure it is easy to believe that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, quite the pessimistic view in my opinion, but what if the grass actually is greener? Would you willingly give up any opportunity for "advancement"? NO WAY! If you think about it this way then isn't the "driving fore" for ambition envy? When you stop and look at it from this point of view, you begin to wonder why people are often rewarded for being ambitious, and are ridiculed behind closed doors by their peers for showing envy? Even with all things taken into consideration when given the opportunity our ambition(s) will almost get the better of us. Now I know that some people might disagree that ambition is a byproduct of envy. To you I say, "Why do you strive to achieve your goals?". Sure you might say that you want a better life for your family, to make someone proud, or even something as simple as to make more money. Obviously these are not all possible answers, they just happen to be the ones that are most often given when I ask people this question. For those that want a better life for their family this is clearly a simple case of greener grass. When you were growing up you could always find family that was "better off" than yours and you made them the benchmark for how you want your family to live when you have one. Now this might have been unintentionally but the fact remains that you had your envious moment.
This is why I'm not scared to admit that there are people whom I envy and strive to be better than. When I use better than I don't mean as in a better person, but better at some craft. In the case of this post it happens to be writing.

Even though it was made quite clear to me early on that I will never consider my writing even worthy of being sited in their works, I continue to try and improve. No matter how small the steps are I know that they are steps in the "right direction" and I am satisfied with this to some extent. This desire to be the best at something is what has made my math abilities what they are today. During my freshman year there was a girl competing in a higher division and she would perform quite well on a regular basis. It was near the end of that year that I told myself that I would do as least as well as she did when I got to that division. Sadly I was not able to accomplish this goal. However, my hard work did pay off because the following year I performed much better than she had in that division. By senior year we were teammates which had been something I had looked forward to since freshman year. Well the majority of the year I did better than her but there were times when she beat me. It was these "defeats" that drove me to become better. After reading that you might think that I'm just a jerk who wants to be better than his teammates. Unfortunately, your assumption would not be totally incorrect. I do want to be the best, plain and simple. Basically second place is just a nice way of saying, "of all the people who didn't win, you did the best". Yes quite the perfectionist statement, and no I don't live my life by this mentality. But thanks to the person mentioned earlier I was able to develop a great appreciation for the beauty of mathematics.

When it comes down to it envy can be put towards "good" or "bad" uses. Through our actions we will either be perceived as the jealous self centered conceited jerk or the motivated team player that is loved by all. At the end of the day all that matters is if you will be able to live with the decision you have just made.

To conclude things on a lighter note. I was watching television today and when asked why he cheated in a relationship the man simply responded with, "Competition.If she knows that there are other women then they will try harder to out do the competitors. It's simple economics really. If capitalism can work for the American economy then why shouldn't it also work for my love life?" I only wish I was there to see his girlfriend/fiancée/wife kill him after hearing that excuse.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Don't Give a Damn? Well You Should

Clearly something isn't right. First off I am creating a post at 12:16am, just in case you didn't notice most of my post tend to be between 8pm and 10pm. Secondly my room is actually relatively clean but for some reason I have an irresistible urge to clean.

Everyone has moments in life where everything all comes together or is a pivotal turning point. After speaking with someone who is luckily enough to realize the moment before it is gone. I think this is just what they needed to help them get their life more organized.

During our conversation I began to reminisce of when I used to volunteer just about every weekend. From 8th grade till I graduated high school I would volunteer at the library every Saturday (well the Saturdays that I didn't have MAO or soccer). At the time it didn't seem like I was doing too much; basically I would help clean the kids area, help get books back into circulation, and occasionally help with the computers. The time there usually tended to be the most relaxing part of my weekend. The work environment was very casual, I didn't even know my supervisor's sir name until I needed her to sign some forms for me during my senior year. Also I had some time away from my family so I would have quiet time to think about whatever I chose to during my break. Finding a quiet place in a house with six people is just near impossible. It was not until end of junior year/beginning of senior year that I realized just how much I was appreciated by the library staff. Now that I think about it I am kind of oblivious to how much I mean to people. Recently, well about a month ago, I knew that I was good friends with someone but it wasn't until I read their birthday card that I was made aware of just how much I meant to them and visa-versa.

I know that I have gone way off topic but that doesn't matter. The main point is that after talking to them it made me realize even more just how lucky I am. My parents made it so that I never really had to worry about money while I was growing up (sure I never had an allowance but I did have a bank account...that wasn't accessible). Then you look at kids who have to work and you wish that there was some way you could help them. In my experience kids that work while in high school (during the school year) can be partitioned into two groups. Now I know some of you might disagree but o well. There are those that work because they have to in order to help provide for their family, and then there are those who are doing it just so that they can have money that they can spend with out mom and dad knowing. The ones that work out of a need make me thankful for the lifestyle my parents have allowed me to live. The latter just bother me for some a variety of reason, but I'm not going to get into it here. However, I will say that they need to get their priorities in the right order.

If you don't get it yet then let me spell it out. The car above (Ferrari Enzo) is something I would like to own one day but I know it will not make my life any better or me any happier.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Happy Hour Has Been Extended to Happy Week

This has been one of the best weeks I have had for some time. Possibly one of the best weeks in my entire life.

Finally started working at Buchholz. Their summer practices are much different than the ones they held in the spring. I wish that I had been there in the fall just to see what they did then. Back to the topic; for some reason I was surprised at just how "structured" their summer practices were. Really I should have expected this since I was there in the spring and got a feel of how they operated. After seeing just how serious they were with practice (but they still manage to have fun) it is clear why they are the best Mu Alpha Theta team in Florida. Chiles "practices" were fun but very rarely would any productive work be done. Looking back at it now makes me wonder just exactly how did we manage to become any good. Anyway, back to Buchholz. I work with the precalculus group. I almost never have to explain how to do a problem. Great group of kids, unlike some practices for Chiles, if there is a problem they don't understand they aren't afraid to say so and ask for an explanation, instead of just hoping they will never see any problems like that ever again.

Well my friend came back from her trip to the Bahamas. So I had another person to talk to online while I procrastinated. Well after talking to her about her vacation for a while I put her back to "use". Ok that doesn't sound to nice so let me elaborate. She the person I usually go to when I have to make major nonacademic decisions. Even if the advice isn't always helpful it will at least give me a new way to look at the situation. But I would like to thank he for helping me with the last thing I asked her.

June 7, 2007. You have no idea how hard it was for me to say that. Mainly the last part, but am glad I did.

Friday was crazy. First off I had an insanely easy Linear Algebra exam. I am expecting either somewhere between 78 and 80 point out of the possible 80. Then my assistance was needed at Buchholz so headed out there. Upon my arrival I found a pleasant surprise, BRENT HO! Sadly, we couldn't ever decide upon a song for our "spontaneous" outbreak of song and dance. Later in the day Trina and I played pool before Ryan, Jeremy, and Jarred arrived. The usual "what should we do now?" conversation ensued and lasted about an hour. Eventually we headed back to Jeremy and Jarred's apartment and played some games and watched White Noise. I got back home around 4:10a.m. at which time I stumbled into bed and forced myself to sleep.

Four hours and five minuets later I was awaken by my alarm. Laid awake in my bed for about ten minuets before reaching for my phone. Well I woke up the person on the receiving end, which was alright because they were expecting me to wake them up that way. Spent the next 57 minuets talking to them (don't ask me how since to me it seemed like thirty minuets max). About an hour later I realized that my phone had not been charged for some time and that recent call almost killed my battery...whoops.

Well off to bed, parents are going to be here to pick up some stuff early (6am early) tomorrow morning.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

An Empty World

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had not met some of your closest friends? Well personally I try to avoid thinking about this because I realize if I had not met them then I would have found someone else to "replace" them. However, I do sometimes think about what I would do if one of my close friends were to no longer be part of my life. Well I'm going to experience something like that in the near future. Two of my closest friends are going to on "vacation" for some time. Actually, they won't be gone that long but to me it will seem like forever since I literally talk to then every day. I guess I could call them but I would find it hard to actually do since I for some reason would feel like I was interrupting their fun. Later on I should discuss this with them before they leave.

Recently I have been having dreams, the kind you have when you fall asleep. So far most of them have been quite dull and only worth sharing with one person. Then there are those that would make interesting movies and/or books. Even these I only share with that one person, and I am sure that they know not to openly share them with others. Really none of these dreams are personal in the slightest but I still would rather not talk about them.

I start working Monday, and am quite anxious to start. If you know what the job is then you should be able to understand why I feel this way. For those of you that really have no idea what I am talking about then there is probably a very good reason you do no know, but if you feel as if you should know then just ask me and I will fill you in depending on whether or not I judge you to be knowledge worthy.

From my last post one of my friends pointed out that for some reason I used more stream of consciousness that I usually had in the past. Odd but after comparing it to some older post I realized that they were right. Heck even this post is like that in a similar sense.

Well I have to get back to studying.