Thursday, August 4, 2011

More on [Re]Adjusting and what of this blog now?

It's coming up to the end of my second week back in the USA. I've been making some interesting discoveries about myself, both in absolute terms and also in relation to this metropolis I've moved back to. You see, often it's hard to perceive changes within yourself. That's at least the popular view and my view until recently. Self-awareness is key here. Obviously. Either way, I feel it somewhat easier to tell how I've changed over the course of this year, now that I'm in a familiar context; in the context I lived in most of my life. That makes sense doesn't it? I mean when you are abroad and traveling, the environment and culture are such huge variables for you to consider that sometimes it is hard to peel apart real, lasting changes within you, from your shock, adjustments, and immediate reaction to this exotic new place. That's what you feel like at first though, but then you begin to realize this new culture appreciates calm and introspection more than your own, and that this novel environment is ideally suited for understanding yourself better, for making lasting changes leading to improvements in your well-being. Oh wait...I've completely contradicted my initial point. Indeed I feel that on Borneo, I was in an ideal context to isolate out all of my inner most feelings and thoughts, finally making inroads toward greater self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Very soon I'll touch upon some of the key adventures, aside from alone time in my room, that stirred the cauldron within me, and enlightened me about myself.
But before I got sidetracked, I meant to explain that being back home, I can now compare my reaction to life situations and stimuli to how I [might] have reacted to them in the past. This makes those changes meaningful since I'm putting them into action, and words. For example I just did my first trial session of Bikram Yoga over in Park Slope. I had been forewarned of a hellish torture the likes of which few could tolerate. And don't get me wrong, this is not for the mentally weak, since it certainly takes a toll on the body. But I felt mostly happy (says something I think) throughout the 1 hour sessions, and I think I was well-conditioned for this type of workout. The temperature was about 110 degrees F, and though Borneo was never nearly as hot, it was more humid and so I found the temperature manageable, though not for a second "comfortable." Another physical component I felt good about was breathing. Probably the scuba diving I've being doing recently helped me out a ton, since focusing on breathing technique is a big part of scuba diving in general, and my training in particular. Slow breathing out of water is much easier for me than underwater. But this can change with more dynamic exercise. And then there is the mental component of it, which I paid close attention to. I found it easier than before to empty my mind, to focus on the task at hand, and to focus on my body- on specific fine adjustments in muscle tone...that buttocks needs to stay tightened...tuck those abs in...chin into your chest...eyes ahead of you looking at your forehead. I found myself far better at tackling those fleeting negative thoughts, deploring the pain of a certain stretch, or just sheer sadness that might flare up ever so often. And thinking about my experiences working out in the past, I would notice less and therefore have less control over my moods...leading to less consistent exercise, and more importantly, less enjoyment throughout the whole process, not just after. Now I was so much more equipped to manage these many considerations, and from what the instructor said, it was a good beginning session compared to many others. But it goes without say (though I'll say it) that much more work and discipline will go into improving technique. I loved it though, can you tell? Coming out of the room, I was on cloud 9 (after all you can tell from the tone of this post that I'm so cheery and happy-go-luck- that's the epic dose of endorphins my brain is oozing with.)

So let me lay out my plan for this blog.It started as something to help me track some of my experiences whilst abroad in a very peculiar and beautiful place. I thought it would be photos mostly, and now most of my posts lack photos. Though many will be inserted later on, it's become a different beast. I'm happy with it, whatever direction it is trending in. Which is to say that I don't really want to stop, and why should I? Life was strange and amazing over this past year, and it was worth documenting. Well it might only get stranger and dare-I-say more amazing, as time progresses. That is the dream, at least.
Speaking of life, in 18 days I'm starting medical school, a challenge the likes of which I have never seen. It will test me physically and mentally. And in the end, there's a good chance I'll make it out alive...oh wait, that might be a sensitive word to use in this context. But you see, making it through on its own would not be entirely satisfying to me. I don't just want to "succeed." This shouldn't be like bad sex that you can't wait to end. It should be exciting, challenging, memorable. It should have a positive impact on my life, and hopefully minimal negative. I should not be too miserable at any point in the process. At the end, I hope I will have a substantial knowledge and experience base to draw on to make daily living that much more unique and fulfilling, to understand the inner workings of myself far more, and in turn, to understand the inner and outer workings of other Homo sapiens, all of which I hope will help me keep the dream of life going for other people, and to do what in many ways keeps me going in life: create opportunities for people to be creative, whether that be by restoring them to good health, and by educating people, whether they have never needed to think about money or they have never had money to think about. At the same time I hope this life will lend itself to some of my own creativity, if I have any to work with at that point. Also, won't it be cool to learn how to sober up via IV drip? JUST KIDDING!

The basic conclusion is that my blog will progress, and that since medical-graduate school will become a dominant part of life pretty soon, the blog will attempt to chronicle my experiences in that anything else I might find photography and other hobbies.Who knows what adventures await- I know now to suspend all doubt and enjoy the ride, wherever this trip is leading me.

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