Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a season for new ideas

"for me, the fall is always a time of new ideas," she said as i paid for my coffee.

i like that. a season of new ideas. and here we are: immersed in the fall, embracing autumnal insights and revelations. we are ready for new ideas, new music, new experiences.

new everything.

but we also need to look back, to reflect. this is also a season of introspection.

the day before the multi-billion dollar 2012 election, one of my old little league pals from cape cod died of a heart attack at the tragically young age of 32. it doesn't make any sense that nick desimone is no longer alive on this planet with us. when something horrific like that happens it helps you put into perspective all the petty bullshit in your life and serves as a reminder of what really matters--namely the people we love and love us. don't take any of that for granted.

my heart goes out to nick's loved ones and family, especially his dad lenny who was the best fucking t-ball coach ever.

in other thoughts, i am finishing up my second semester of grad school. my winter break begins the first week of december and i don't return to goddard again until mid-february. during this time i will be starting research for my thesis, including a revisit of my "passions and survival" project. i will also be revising an essay for my progress review on developing a radical "right livelihood" beyond capitalism. it will be nice to have this time to catch up on my work and get back on track before my final year of the program begins.

until then, cheers to new ideas.


Monday, June 11, 2012

conquering today

my final packet of the semester is due today. here i am at grindcore house to finally confront this situation. part of the psychology of procrastination is the denial of reality. we convince ourselves that everything is just fine, our hands covering our eyes as we begin to approach the cliff ahead of us. today, i am opening my eyes up and embracing the fierce urgency of NOW. today is about getting shit done and being in the zone. it's also about demystification and conquering self-destruction. taking away the power from fucked up dyanamics and fucked up tendencies that get in the way of our own liberation. those things that become barricades to realizing our dreams. today, we tear them down and keep moving ahead...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

conscious unemployment & the paradox of freedom

it's been over a month now since i quit my job. two days after my last day i found myself on a plane to chicago to write about the protests there between may day and the NATO summit. every day i was there i tried to be grateful of the situation, of not having to go to work at this place that made me miserable for four months. of course i also started missing philly and looking forward to leaving. 3 weeks is a long time to visit one place.

now i'm back in philly. i'm focusing on the end of my first semester in grad school, prioritizing being a student while i can. i have just enough money saved up to sort of scrape by through, at least some of, the summer. so here i am, consciously unemployed. i'm free. but this first week back in philly has been a struggle. when you don't have to be somewhere, to punch the clock everyday it is up to you to stay focused and be productive. in theory this moment is all about reading and writing all the time, eating and breathing my studies. but when you're free, it's hard not to enslave yourself with destructive (or at least unhealthy) tendencies.

in a repressive culture where we are conditioned to follow orders, we become dependent on our own unfreedom. in these rare moments of empowerment and liberation, we tend to self-sabotage ourselves by pursuing the things that are bad for us because, well, we can do whatever the fuck we want.

but this is not inevitable. part of being consciously unemployed is resisting this tendency and demonstrating that we do not have to be dependent on hierarchical instituitions ordering us around and structuring our lives by their clocks and bank accounts. we have the capacity to control our own lives, and yes, to be free.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

two-thousand-twelve: this is what adulthood looks like

i guess i missed the deadline for reflecting on 2011. oh well. i have already moved on. after a year of profound personal change, challenge, and growth, i am embracing the potential of this new year. this fresh start couldn't have arrived any sooner. if 2011 was defined by loss, introspection and the recognition of unhealthy patterns, 2012 is all about moving beyond these lessons learned and actualizing my desires.

one week ago, i began this year waking up in a very adult bedroom. this person's living space exuded a "i-totally-have-my-shit-together" aesthetic. even though i will likely never return to this bedroom, i was inspired by this monument of adulthood and see it as a metaphor for what lies ahead in my year.

i already feel like more of an adult now than i did in december. after working the last 8 and a half months of 2011 washing dishes at a cafe, i now find myself a very different situation. for the first time in my adult life i have a job where i am earning a living wage. when my roommate kyle moved back to his hometown in massachusetts at the end of december i took over his position doing food deliveries for big-shot catering company in philly. the material benefits have already manifested in the form of a workable (hell, even fancy) phone, a bike helmet that will actually protect my brains, pants without holes, and a new stylish winter jacket.

this is what adulthood looks like.

not the voracious accumulation of material possessions. i'm talking about the ability to provide oneself with basic human needs. over the past 8 years the inabilty to do so has, in many ways, preventing me from following my dreams. when you are stressing out about paying bills it is often difficult to go beyond that point, to realizing the impossible. we are trapped in a monthly loop of phone calls from debt collectors, piles of recycled warning letters, shitty food, and a psychological block around escaping this fate.*

on december 30th, appropriately, i worked my final shift at the cafe, closing out a challenging year of starts and stops, confusion and revelation. on january 6th of this new year, i finally submitted my application to goddard college's masters in individualized studies program. after months and months of talking about this plan i finally put it all together and sent it out. i will likely begin my graduate eduation next month with the program's week-long residency. and i will be one step closer to actualizing my dreams.

this is what adulthood looks like.

*[of course, i am just speaking from my own experience here. i have had the privilege of only needing to take care of myself (ie: not supporting a family) and also being part of a really amazing, supportive community of friends and family.]