Sunday, January 06, 2008

2007, in words

(I've written this as an unedited stream of thoughts so that, should I ever desire to, I can look back and see what in 2007 garnered mention and what did not. May you also enjoy the roll of credits to a year that covered as much as or more distance than mine.)

I believe I've given 2008 ample time to settle in, so it seems only appropriate to take a look and ponder 2007.

I entered the year high strung and at an all-time high for stress; hardly a royal beginning. In the midst of my efforts to join the @US MC, I momentarily shed the tight limbs, heavy shoulders, and rapid heart beat to join another gunslinger in establishing a new Dream. It wasn't exactly the New Deal, but it was Our Deal.

It was more than a presentation. It was an outpouring straight from our hearts to anyone that would listen. I have never been more enveloped in delivering a message.. and perhaps never will again. It was tiring, but the fire grew only hotter as the clock ticked closer to the delivery. We walked away from Ground Zero knowing the Message was sent, and hoping it was received.

Thought that was the end of it, too.

From there, I re-assumed my heavy load and poured what remained of my essence into requesting acceptance to push an idea back into the world and across all borders. For reasons and in ways I shall never know, this request was left ungranted, and for a time I knew not where the path would take me next.

I took rejection of the MC aspiration awful well. Through it, a door slowly creaked open revealing another dimension of organizational existence that I hadn't yet been privy to. It is my belief that perhaps my mental health would not have survived such an environment. I look back with pleasure and with scorn, but mostly pleasure.

And so I put energy elsewhere. Opportunities to work in my own country were nil, yet opportunities to work abroad seemed plentiful (which anything would when compared to zero). With offers to work in 3 countries, I finally selected one, thereby sealing my future to a path... one which did not contain allegiance to the organization I had dedicated the most effective of my energies for the previous 4.5 years.

It seemed weird, but also seemed right. "Rest in Peace" I told my past, as my gaze focused on the future. Your time was good, but the times ahead are better. May my memory of this period stay strong, as memory of any metamorphosis should.

That party was dead anyway.

College concluded with one question on my mind, "Had I graduated after 4 years, would I have really been ready?"

I really don't think so. My level of maturity and mental toughness experienced vast growth over that last, 'extra' year of college. I don't blindly recommend the extra year to everyone, but I now realize the importance of these few formative years right out of college.

Choose your environment wisely, and make sure it entails a continued heavy dose of education. This, or these next 4 years, I think, are when you get your real degree. Like I said, choose wisely and make use of it well.

And suddenly I found myself in Asia, a place I usually dreamed about because it seemed so sexy to do so. And all the sudden I was there.

How the hell did that happen? I'm still not sure.

But it let me check another item off The List, and should facilitate additional check marks as well. I finally started the next steps, college turned into then and though my age hasn't progressed unnaturally, my entrance to Asia also marked the entrance to a new bracket of existence.

And although I don't proclaim this feeling of old age as many others do (for reasons I still don't understand), I understand it. I'm not a zealot of blindly flowing with the river, but some things are not worth the energy.

It's all about seeing the opportunities opening or closing before you.

That's the biggest lesson I've learned this year. Every decision you make opens some and closes others, but the trick is to focus on those that are open.

The closed ones are finished books, empty glasses, and delivered jokes. No use trying to climb a ladder that isn't there.

And time and time again, I've reproved to myself that losing, or experiencing a rejection towards some aspiration, just gives you more time to finally see the other doors that are open.

And so, one of those doors, was a revisit to The Dream, somewhere near Chicago.

The Last Verse.

The name seems appropriate. Rare is it to dictate your last message, and even rarer so to be given such preparation for articulation.

As elated as an opportunity would make one feel, it's tough not to let that elation seep into your expectations and rocket them sky high.

It's hard to live up to your own expectations. And when your own start to get clouded, it makes it even harder to read those of others. Which is crucial when executing a task that requires such sensory.

So the gunslingers gave it one more go. I have never had such a rush of emotion as the hours leading up to and after our final presentation in Chicago.

It was magnified by the fact that we entered relatively unannounced.

And that concluded a series of events I won't forget, and was the first experiment at spreading a message I believed worth spreading. Sadly I shall never know the true results of our efforts, but I rest easy knowing we did all we could.

And I learned a lot about spreading an idea.

I finished 2007 with considerable less fanfare, mentally alone amidst a party of revelers part-way up a mountain.

As the fog rolled in and blurred the lights and visions thereof, I considered the symbolism of it all. My future blurred, I saw what lie ahead as the year to venture forth alone, in a way refinding my worth and proving it.

2007 was about finding the Jungle.
2008 is about entering it.

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Blogger kjentzen said...

you are pretty much one of my favorite people can i cannot wait to E. Tap it with you soon. i miss you and our dumpings.

enjoy, linger, and don't fart in places where people are going to know its you... yours are lethal

2:38 PM  
Blogger syd said...

thanks for that post. i dont know why but it has lit a light bulb in my head. ill let you know where that light bulb leads me :)

4:01 PM  
Blogger Katie80 said...

a beautiful post michael j.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Connie Mia said...

that was beautiful.

i am still quite amazed at how much of ourselves we all seemed to put into that thing. and more amazed at how disappointing it turns out for some.

above all else, i am so very happy that we all were apart of it. to know that it helped me develop friendships and experience things with people like you.

have a fabulous 2008, buddy!

8:34 AM  
Blogger Hero of the Light said...

I wish I remembered it.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Jenna V said...

I got distracted somewhere around the word ample

1:03 PM  
Blogger Mix said...

So did I.

Connie I wouldn't necessarily call it disappointing. Though there are elements of that, I'd prefer to think of it as transformative.

9:59 PM  

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