At a crossroads

If I'm spending this much time struggling with a problem then perhaps it's a sign that I'm looking at it from the wrong perspective, right?

Over the past couple weeks I've been seriously considering the options I'd have regarding going back to Chile for an extended period of time both to job hunt and/or just to chill and explore who is Carlos, where is he in life and what he wants to do about life and about the future.

I got another email from a classmate in Facebook (from here on FB) and it was amazing. Felipe (http://www.felipecooper.com) was one of this kids who was good at everything, science, humanities, sports, arts... he was awesome at it.  He chose sciences as a career but shortly after writing his thesis he decided to switch and pursued a second degree in fine arts. 

I've always known I had that option, that if I want a career change all I have to do is put mind to task and pedal to the metal and get off my fat ass and do it. It wasn't just that.... It was also finding out about a dear friend and that career changes like that are possible in Chile.  That was one of the reasons why I decided to stay in the US; at the time it seemed the sensible choice to make... I was a theater major and in the mid '90s I didn't see much of a future as a technical theater person in Chile.  Then I switched majors to instructional design/technology and the field was pretty much dead in Chile at the time as well. 

The choices were correct at the time they were made but that doesn't mean that they'll always remain so. Life is a fluid series of events that forces (at least it should force) constant evaluation and re-evaluation of your choices and your path in life.

I know I have to go back and finish a variety of tasks I left incomplete. I have to pay a visit to my dad's grave and spend some time with family there. They are getting older and I may not have much more time to do so before they start kicking the bucket (BTW, do you have your bucket list? :D), friends who I want to spend time with, and things to do that I never got around or knew that I wanted to do... things like white water rafting or learning to dive here so I can do it there with friends.

I think that it all boils down to one of my favorite rush quotes/lyrics

When we are young
Wandering the face of the Earth
Wondering what our dreams might be worth
Learning that we're only immortal
For a limited time

Dreamline --Rush

I suddenly realize that I don't have all the time in the world I thought I had. Time waits for no one and I've discovered, once again, that I am not immortal and that neither are those I care about. That it's too easy to miss the little moments of life because you're too caught in the "big picture" to pay attention.

If you're going to live life you're going to do so 100% without compromises, keeping your eyes and ears open for the world around you and letting yourself be surprised by what the world has to offer;

Dance likes no one's watching

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another.
Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are.

After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire.

The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now ... when?

Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D Souza ...

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin.
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time ... and remember that time waits for no one ...

So stop waiting until you finish school ... until you go back to school ... until you lose ten pounds ... until you gain ten pounds ... until you have kids ... until your kids leave the house ... until you start work ... until you retire ... until you get married ... until you get divorced ... until Friday night ... until Sunday morning ... until you get a new car or home ... until your car or home is paid off ... until spring, until summer ... until fall ... until winter ... until you are off welfare ... until the first or fifteenth ... until your song comes on ... until you've had a drink ... until you've sobered up ... until you die ... until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy ...

Happiness is a journey ... not a destination!!

I'm feeling like the little kid who always wishes he could do those things which he knows he can't. I was hit by the video to the right (Same Mistake by James Blunt) twice this morning (2/28), while watching VH1's morning video show and in my top 40 music stream that I leave on while I shower (I know, I know, TMI but what of it, it's my blog after all :P)

The more I think about it the more I feel like something's missing and I think that's what should be the driving force for me. To look for what's missing in life right now.

I started thinking about the trip to Chile in December and January. It is intended as a healing trip and a trip that will allow me to reconnect with those people and places I grew up with and also to reconnect with the real me.

I know it's petty to say but it's true. I think that somewhere down the line I lost track of myself and started being more who I perceived others (family and strangers alike) wanted me to be, not who I really am and not who I really want to be :-). 

Yes, you're right. Perhaps I am being unfair in my evaluation of my evaluation... an overall evaluation of above average is nothing to sneeze at but it's a perception thing more than anything, I am perceived one w
ay and I came to the conclusion that it's other people who drive me to behaviors that are found objectionable.

I think that's the real reason why I want to go back to Chile so bad. Not only because I want to see my friends, although it's important to catch up with people whom I haven't seen in almost 16 years. Not only because I have family obligations to take care of, hell I've put them off for 5+ years so there's no reason for me to want to do it now. It's not even because I'd have an extra month of hot as hell summer

I think it has all to do with my need to really look deep and see who do I want to be, where I want to go from now on  and who, if anyone, I want to go with. I say this every so often but the combination of my needing to find myself, the shit I've been going through at work, the realization that I'm not getting any younger, and the feeling that there's something missing is driving this to a completely different level than it's been in the past.

Perhaps it's also the fact that I am far less willing to compromise and let other people run complete roughshod over me than I've been in the past. If it means I have to get territorial then so be it. If it means that I have to become more confrontational then I welcome the challenge to keep an even keel while at the same time addressing issues that are important to me.

It's kinda ironic, I know, to be looking for a way to avoid conflict that includes conflict but it's one of those dualities that I'm having to deal with.

Here's another duality: True Strength Lies in Kindness.  Where you really demonstrate your strength is not by being the one beating up all comers but by knowing when and how to deal with a situation so that it doesn't become one where violence or a show of strength is necessary. The key knowledge in all battles is knowing when to fight and when not to 🙂

I tell myself,
"Hey! Only fools rush in"
Only time will tell
If we stand the test of time
All I know
You've got to run to win and
I'll damned if i'll get caught up on the line. Hey!

Why can't this be love -- Van Halen

I'll stop here for now. There are a lot of things to ponder, think, consider, evaluate and implement (Instructional design keeps interrupting my normal programming... grrrr.) before I can take a look at this again and figure out if I got answers or only more questions