How The Present Slips Away (Poem)

Another short poem by me. Let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂

 

How The Present Slips Away

By David Pikka

 

Present, past, and future shape the way we live today

For without them we are nothing, identities erased

The past lives in our hearts and it’s always here to stay

Yet when we linger on what was, what is slips away

The present dictates who we are and how we will be known

We can always change the present but the past is set in stone

Our present forms the future, a daunting piece unknown

But if we live this instant, then our lives will always be our own

And if the past and present freeze us and leave us firmly trapped

While the world moves on without us, changing everything too fast

Don’t be worried for the future; don’t surrender to the past

Don’t let your moments vanish; make them unsurpassed

 

We Are But Ants Among The Trees

The following is a short poem I wrote. Follow and Like for more! Enjoy. 🙂


We Are But Ants
By Colin Picard

We are but ants among the trees
Our voices but whispers among the breeze
A life of marching across the earth
We end as we began, at heaven’s birth
For greater things are working here
The trickling of Nature’s tears
We are no more than honey bees
We are but ants among the trees

The Toxic If/Then Mentality

For whatever reason my attempt to remain present is pathetic in the light of my constant ventures into the past and future. Why I do this, I do not know, but it is irritating beyond the confines of what I thought was humanly possible. I’ve progressed pretty far in my life, or at least I’d like to think so, though I know the quest for improvement never ends and I still have a long way to go. Yet, for whatever reason the most important lesson I learned throughout my entire adventure through recovery from depression is the one I shirk the most.

It’s the if-then mentality. If I could only accomplish this or have that then my life would be so much better. The problem is that it’s not true. My life isn’t going to become perfect overnight just because I accomplish something or buy a nice TV or whatever. The problem is that I am so stuck in that mentality that it’s daunting to dig myself out. No, that’s not even true; it’s just frustrating that I can’t shove that mentality out of my brain.

I hate being single, I wish I could find a significant other, then things would be great again. That’s one of them. True, my life would change if I found someone, but would everything really go back to the way it was? No. Would they be better? Maybe, but would it solve all of my problems? No. Not only would I still have many of the same problems, but more problems would arise as anyone who has had a significant other knows. I’m not poking fun at relationships; just at women.

If only I could just be done with school so I can move on with my life. Why I fixate so hard on these things is baffling to me, especially because I know how toxic it is. I know it’s important to have goals, but to fixate like I am and expect things to magically improve is absurd. I suppose that means I encompass that definition of insanity that’s been floating around (to try the same thing over and over and expect a different result) considering I know that I’m doing it and continue anyway expecting things to change. Then again, I’m sure I’m not the only insane human being floating around this little blue planet. Arguably we all are (I’ve written about THAT before [You Are Insane]).

I want a car. A new computer. A pet. New shoes. I guess what it comes down to is the fact that I’m not happy where I am now. I’d like to say I am, and I was for a long time, but things are weighing heavy on me again. It’s a level of depression that I can’t call severe, but it is definitely present in my life again.

So how do I change that? Well first of all sitting through the same routine every day that I have been will change absolutely nothing. In fact, it may even be detrimental to just be passive in this situation. I have to get up; get out. Do something exciting with other people. Be alive again because ultimately that’s what life’s about: living.

Tasting the Defeat of Depression

I am fighting a battle that cannot be won against an enemy that cannot be fought. This is now a full retreat as my foe grasps more and more ground every day in a vicious rampage through my conscious. I run from it with full knowledge that there is no escape. There is nowhere to hide…nowhere to run to. Safety is but a false hope, dangled in front of me like a treat to a dog. I am losing.

I am losing.

Haven’t I done this before?

And then I remember; I have. I have fought this demon before. I have been victorious. So why is this round so difficult? Why does depression have the upper hand every time it returns? I always wish that when I had overcome depression the first time that I could have vanquished it permanently. Sometimes I like to pretend that I have. This is all fine and dandy until reality comes knocking with a sledgehammer. This war against depression does not end with a single victory, nor does it end with a hundred victories. I have chosen the path to overcome this demon, and in doing so I have chosen a life of struggle. Depression is not a foe that can be killed, but rather it is like the flu. You exterminate it temporarily and while you go about your life free of its grasp it molds, develops, and adapts. It comes back stronger and in different ways.

But ultimately it’s the same enemy.

I have done this before.

I’ve felt it for the last week. It has been creeping forward, slowly, deliberately. It began last week with a migraine, followed closely by a very strong cold. This cold has lasted through the week and beyond, leaving my body fatigued and in shambles. My mind is not faring much better.

But I have done this before.

Depression is not a new enemy to me. I know how to fight it. I just have to decide whether I want to take the steps necessary to vanquish it again or if I want to sink back into the comfortable torture that I lived through for so many years. I’m not alone this time no matter how alone I feel. The depression free life is a life infinitely better. And I no matter what I have to remember:

I’ve done this before.

And I can do it again.

Remember When Things Were Simpler?

                All was silent except for the pitter-patter of our feet bouncing on the sidewalk. My mother’s stride was long and purposeful while my footsteps were quick and short; the footsteps of a child. A thick mist had settled on our tiny town, coating everything with a fuzzy texture. The dew could still be seen peeking out of the grass like little twinkling faces in the streetlights. We were walking past the fire station and much to my delight; a fire engine was parked in front. My face lit up as if I were watching Apollo 11 take off.

We were crossing the street. A man was at the wheel of a silver pickup and was driving far too fast for the mist. He saw us and slammed on the brakes. The man gave my mother a dirty look and shouted an obscenity in the air. My mother returned his dirty look and sped our pace up to cross the street.

But I didn’t notice any of this. After all, there was a fire truck right in front of us. My virgin ears were untouched.

We continued walking down the road. There was a tall building that was huge in proportion to my miniature self. I looked up in awe. A couple teenagers, probably fifteen or sixteen years old were sitting on bikes on the sidewalk.  One of them had a McDonald’s cup and was slurping away. After a moment the drone of an empty cup echoed around and the boy proceeded to chuck it across the road. The teens laughed and started biking away.

But I didn’t notice any of this. The building was way too big and I just kept gazing right on up.

And so we continued walking right on down the road.

We were approaching our destination: the donut shop. As soon as we rounded the corner and I saw it I blew into a full on sprint. As I ran, I passed an advertisement of a very scantily clad girl in a suggestive position. The poster portrayed the woman like an object; there was no other way to put it.

But I didn’t notice any of this. I was gonna’ get my donut!

I’ll be honest. I miss the days when things were that simple – the days when I could simply fixate on something and just B-Line it to that thing. Nothing else mattered. That is not to say that being a child is not hard; it most certainly is. Simple things make you sad but emotions are almost distinctly black and white. Happy or sad. Smiles or frowns. Good or bad.

Yet, even though our children may not be noticing these things on the street while they are young, what does it say about to society? These are things that are all too common today and whether our children notice them or not, they still see them. I guess what I’m trying to say with this post is that you never know who’s watching and simple actions can change lives. Now that I am an adult and I see these things on a daily basis it makes me sad. Sad that society just doesn’t seem to care anymore. Sad, on a level, that I am sentient enough to see these things and process them. Sad that so few of us make real efforts to change this world and so many sit back and let that McDonald’s cup just roll down the street.

It’s our world now. Humans have dominated all but nature on this planet. And though we still measure small in the face of Nature’s might; we can dictate what defines our species. Our culture can be altered. It can be changed. Right now it is not a positive culture – but we can make it that. It isn’t even a difficult process. It’s the theory that if every human contributes a tiny amount we have a mass culture that is so beautiful and astonishing that our world is exponentially improved. Simple actions. (See my previous post on this here). Don’t give in to road rage. Don’t throw that cup on the ground. Don’t feed into objectifying advertisements. There are so many little things that we could change and it all starts with you. It starts when you wake up tomorrow and decide whether you want this world to stay the way it is or not. I’m not saying you have to roll a boulder up a cliff. Let’s all just be human for once and care about each other and take care of the world that we live in.

Why are Young People Unhappy?

Powerful words from a very strong writer. I agree, the blame is very much so on the shoulders of those preceding my generation (that generation being generation Y). However, it is a very difficult conundrum trying to solve this problem as all of the loose ends seem tied up until the baby boomers generation has passed on. Yet, by the time this happens it will already be too late as we will be in a continual spiral downward due to continual poor decisions. It strikes home, however, that we will always be beaten in the polls because, to be put simply, it’s true. We are not the majority. It is unfortunate, but at the same time theoretically necessary due to the lack of decision making skills people under the age of 25 have. So how do we solve this problem? It is a topic that NEEDS to be brought forward and discussed with a sense of urgency or else it will fade into the darkness that is our political system – never to be revived.

Benjamin Studebaker

I’ve noticed an interesting article floating around the internet. The piece, entitled “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy” sees rampant narcissism and self-entitlement as the source of young people’s unhappiness. Does it have a case? Let’s take a look.

View original post 1,233 more words

Conditioning Ourselves for Life – Moving Forward Every Day

Photo in France taken by me.Lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been overwhelmingly fatigued. I will lay in bed with my alarm blaring at an ungodly volume and I will simply groan and string a line of highly toxic expletives to whatever deity I feel like cursing at the time. It’s not a matter of being tired. I’ve written about this before, (see Staring Defeat In The Eyes). In that post I say “It’s not any matter of a broken limb or muscle but rather a broken mind.” Now, my mind is not broken in the sense that you are thinking; I am not mentally ill, rather, I am mentally irregular. Then again aren’t we all to some degree? Normal people (well – normal enough), normal jobs, normal friends, normal lives, essentially, and yet we all hold so many variables. We all have demons, or problems, plaguing us.

But it’s how we deal with these problems that, in the end, defines us as who we are as human beings. I’m not going to lie to you, based on the actions of this last weekend I’m a pretty shitty person. A lot of time spent doing nothing because I was “too tired” and so essential work was not finished and now I am behind. Granted, I had a lot on my plate this weekend, but the statement still stands. Now, it is not easy in the moment to do the “right thing to do.” As a self-improvement blogger I can sit here and tell you generic methods of improving yourself all day long and not bat an eye. Views and likes would flow in but that would be it. I wouldn’t actually be helping anyone which is the entire purpose of a self-improvement blog in the first place. “Do the right thing,” “Wake up with a smile on your face,” “Be a good person and things will get better!” “Insert generic motivational comment here!”

But seriously let’s stop the bullshit for a second and think. Becoming a better person isn’t about “waking up with a smile on your face” or whatever. It’s about the actions you take in everyday life. Actions that change your life and the lives of those around you. It’s about that empty Starbucks cup that you could have picked up on the side of the road, or the door you could have held for that man behind you with the vacant expression on his face, or even on a simpler level, the amount of animosity you are spewing through your mind.

It’s like road rage. Look, I’m as guilty as the next guy for waving derogatory gestures around like a one-winged seagull. I’ve had my share of rage. But what’s remarkable about your thoughts and your actions is that you can control them. Now you’re probably thinking “David that’s stupid, if I think someone is dumb as a bag of bricks how can I stop from thinking that?” Well I’ll throw out that fishing rod with the word honesty on the end and tell you that you probably can’t. At least not in the way you are thinking. If you can curb your thoughts that well I give you props, but for the rest of us how do we solve this conundrum? Well it’s pretty simple actually; thoughts are patterns. Nothing more, nothing less. They are patterns that are formed over a lifetime of thinking a certain way. So when you look at someone and go “god they’re stupid” over and over in your head it is because that is the way you have conditioned yourself.

I’m here to tell you that you need to change that.

Now before you click away let me just explain that it’s really not that difficult to change, and if you do change your thought processes a whole new world opens for you. You see in that moment of road rage shouting and getting angry helps nobody. In fact, it is counterproductive to everyone as it makes both parties angry, both parties distracted while driving, and both parties less faithful in the human race. Not to mention most of the time both parties simply blame each other. Sometimes – a lot of the time it is better to simply suck in your gut, stick out your chest, and go “god dammit, it may not have been my fault but there was something I could have done differently to avoid that situation!” Gone a little slower at that stop sign, turned a blinker on sooner, checked your blind spot; a world of possibilities that you could have changed to make that situation non-existent.

Again you’re probably reading this and going, “what the hell? Why would I take the blame for something I didn’t do?”

Because not only will you be the better person for it, but you will leave the situation happier, you will be less distracted, and by god you will set an example for another human being. Now, this road rage situation is simply theoretical and this concept can be applied to a million different things. But I guarantee that when you leave that situation, if you don’t give into your anger you will be happier. You will feel like the bigger person because you will be the bigger person. You will also not be dwelling on a stupid situation, and will continue merrily on your way through your life without spending the next two hours annoyed at some stranger you will never see again.

Am I perfect at this? No. But I am in the process of changing my thought patterns. I’ve spent a lifetime in this mentality and only began to really realize and change it around a year ago. So every time I start to get really angry over something small I give myself a mental slap on the wrists, and slowly, but noticeably, my thought process is changing. I am not getting angry as easily and I am a lot happier in general. Life is simpler now, and easier to enjoy. So yeah, I woke up this morning and said some things I wish I could take back. I have problems. But tomorrow that doesn’t mean when I wake up I’m not going to try and “wake up with a smile on my face!” (God damn I can’t believe those words just left my mouth). Tomorrow I am going to do the small things like pick up that Starbucks cup, or hold a door, and especially I won’t get caught up in those thought patterns that have been holding me back from enjoying life for a lifetime.

Staring Defeat in the Eyes

Depleted. Drained. Collapsing. Like a tarp, slowly bending down as the rainwater collects above. Exhaustion. Utter exhaustion grips me. Torments me. Extinguishes any spark of motivation I have within. There is nothing that can drive me to rise because, well, I am simply crushed below any opportunity of climbing up. It’s not any matter of a broken limb or muscle but rather a broken mind. I am so very tired and only desire to rest. My mind is currently under duress that is stretching the fabric of what I am capable of enduring. We all reach these points in our life; there are always times when we feel as if we could just lie down and sleep for a week.

This all reminds me of a poem I read just a few days ago that really strikes home with me:

 

 

 

Before the World Intruded

Michele Rosenthal

 

Return me to those infant years,

before I woke from sleep,

when ideas were oceans crashing,

my dreams blank shores of sand.

Transport me fast to who I was

when breath was fresh as sight,

my new parts — unfragmented —

shielded faith from unkind light.

Draw for me a figure whole, so different

from who I am. Show me now

this picture: who I was

when I began.

 

 

The desire to give up and simply complain is strong.

But I can’t. Or rather, I won’t.

There are things that need to be done. I can’t just forsake all of that which I am obligated to.  Not only that, but as I have grown I have realized that when things get tough, giving up will not only not help the situation, but is actually detrimental. It will build negative patterns and leave us weaker. Sometimes we must push through the brick wall in front of us if we ever hope to reach our true potential. I realize how cheesy it all sounds but it is simply true, there is no alternative to dealing with these difficulties. So I will continue pushing and fighting and when I lie my head down on my pillow tonight, I will cherish even more than I already do on other nights; of that you can be certain!

Until next time!

-David

Who Are You? Embarking on the Journey for Self Interpretation

How do I define who I am? How does anyone? If I asked you right now to define yourself what would you say? If you know right away feel free to post it in the comments, but for the rest of us let’s think for a second. Who am I?

Words come to mind (fleeting words that flick by like those stupid little flies outside). Words like trustworthy, fun, intelligent, athletic, kind, etc. etc. but who am I?? Can a monotonous stream of words define the person that I am? Perhaps it can categorize me among other people but I am not other people. I am me. Therefore should I not have a category of my own? The common saying comes to mind: “You are unique – just like everybody else.” But it’s true isn’t it? We are all unique and the only consistency is that we are all different. No two people are identical in every way (I feel like if I compare people to snowflakes 90% of my viewers will just close the page right there so I’ll stay away from that one). Let’s get back to this category business, though.

I had a friend once (actually I’ve had, and have many friends believe it or not) that came up to me before we had met. We conversed for a second, both of us introducing ourselves before she proceeded to blatantly ask me, “What is your life story?” I was taken aback by the question. I had no clue how to answer it…I mean I had never really put any real thought into it. So when she asked the question I was kind of at a loss for what to say. I ended up stringing together a few major events in my life but they were all negative things. She said “wait hold on for a second, I want to know your life story. Do these few bad things that have happened to you define you?

Here’s the thing: they did. They did define me at that point in my life. I was those negative events because I hadn’t paid any attention to the other parts of my life. The parts that actually mattered.  In my life there had been many amazing events that I just neglected to acknowledge because they were shoved into the back corner of my consciousness. So in this regard I know who I was, but who am I now?

That’s a very hard question to answer because at this point in my life I have so much room for growth and so the ability to realize that, hey, I know a lot of shit, both wisdom and intelligence, but there’s a hell of a lot more that I need to learn before I can say “I’m done.” I mean, let’s be real here, in theory there is no possible way to ever be “done.” There’s too much to learn and not enough time (though in a previous blog I discuss how much time would be too much time to be alive. Check it out here).

So again we are stuck at this impasse; I cannot define myself because I am not a complete version of myself. I am still growing, still developing, but I’ve also progressed so far. Isn’t that worth anything? Can I not define myself by the strides I’ve made toward self-improvement? Or maybe by some of the skills I have acquired in my life (oh god, do I dare say writing is one of them?). Perhaps it is by the people I surround myself with? Ultimately, the only person who can truly define me is…well…me. No one else knows me the way I know myself.

Now, I know myself well, I have had many days and weeks and months of introspection that have led me to be very acquainted with my own personality. So I should be able to define myself, right?

Wrong. Boy I’m even starting to annoy myself here with this post. Let me finish this up. I know my personality well, I have made a lot of progress in life, and I have a lot of skills and a lot of great people around me. But who am I? I can’t tell you (because then I’d have to kill you). But honestly?

I. Don’t. Know.

I am undefinable. Why? Because life is a crazy adventure and I have not completed it yet. There’s a long way for me to go, no matter how far I’ve come, and I don’t feel comfortable defining myself in a category or whatever if I don’t know who I am and where I want to go. I guess if you are looking for some form of summary, I do not feel that I can be defined. At least, not while I am still living. When I’m dead I’ll make sure to send a text from heaven defining myself. Deal? Deal. Let’s just hope there’s good reception there.

But what about you? Are you definable? If so what as? Let me know in the comments and make sure to leave a like and a follow if you enjoyed this post!

Thanks guys!

-David

 

The Inspiration Enigma

Inspiration is the toughest of all the diamond cookies of the world. That’s right – diamond cookies; not your average chocolate chip, not sugars or ginger snaps, or especially not shortbreads (which are not even real cookies). I say diamond not because inspiration is beautiful (though if you’ve ever suffered a dry spell of a few months or longer it sure as hell looks beautiful when you find it) but because it is so impossibly frustrating to figure out. The fact that I chose this topic to write about is honestly just infuriating. It seems, at least in my experience, that when I need to be inspired I sit down and write something but can almost never come up with anything. I’ll sit there with my thumb aggressively planted in my rear end and my brain completely void of any productive thought. It’s come to the point where when I allot time to writing I just sit down and write. It doesn’t matter if it’s the worst gobbledygook that the human race has ever produced when laying a pen onto a piece of paper. I just write and something will come out of it, and I have found that inspiration is more frequent if I just try and force it in this way.

And then there’s the real kind of inspiration – the kind that creeps up on you. It sits in the back of your mind slowly creeping forward…creeping forward…creeping forward until you sit down to take a dump and BAM! You’ve been inspired! I cannot tell you how many countless times I have been caught by inspiration with my pants down (more times than by my parents thank god). So there you are taking a dump or doing laundry or skydiving or eating at an important business dinner and you hold in your possession the greatest idea that mankind will ever see. Now what? This is the part that pushes my metaphorical buttons so much. The fact that inspiration decides to jump in at these inopportune times makes me want to find a solid steel structure and smash my head repeatedly. It’s not that I’m not grateful to be inspired (especially after dry spells), but come on inspiration, cut me some slack will you?

You know what I think? No you don’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway because I’m in total rant mode. Inspiration is like that ex-girlfriend you had. The one you were tight with while you guys were together but then things got messy. Then a month after you’ve broken up you get that “I regret everything” text luring you back into that elusive trap – I mean relationship. It is here that you must stand tall and shout to the wind “I will not bow to you inspiration, you shall be my slave and I shall command you until the day I die!”

…Okay so the girlfriend metaphor doesn’t apply at that point, let’s be serious. Now that you’ve shouted your demand into the wind I will reveal to you the secret of inspiration. The climax has arrived, that point in the article, or blog, or whatever the hell this is that has you on the edge of your seat waiting to hear the great secret I’m about to reveal. It’s big. It’s bad. (Wow this sounds like a terrible trailer for some generic action movie). But back to the secret of inspiration. The key to unlocking unlimited potential. Drum roll please!

…There is none. No, like seriously, there’s literally nothing you can do. Inspiration is going to keep hitting you in the gut while you’re not looking no matter what. I’m sorry but that’s the murky truth. So when you wake up at 3:30AM tomorrow morning and have that ballistic idea, do the same thing you should always do: jump out of bed and sprint to some device upon which you can record your idea! Then suffer the consequences in work or school that day because you missed out on sleep. So is the life of a writer and so it shall remain!

-David