Archive | Introspection

Thoughts about being an introvert, personal reflections and other expressions of things that go on in my mind.

Here’s my first post of 2015, just to get it out of the way

Honestly, I really didn’t want to kick things off here airing grievances about what happened to me in 2014, which is what I was tempted to do.  It just feels like a bad way to start a brand new year full of hope and possibilities.

I’ll save that for my next post.

Anyhoo, because work has been sapping all my energy and strength lately, I can’t come up with anything insightful other than to say that 2015 also caps my 2 year blog anniversary for A Geek in the Wilderness.

2 years already, can ya believe it?  Out of all the blogs I’ve started in the past, this is probably my favorite and totes a keeper, even if I do barely write on it.  I’ve had more content gone viral here than with anything else I’ve published in the past, and the technology has finally caught up where I can enjoy seamless integration with Instagram and other social media channels too.  Snap a pic on my iPhone and BOOM, shows up on my blog automagically with some sprinkles and sunshine tossed in.

As this new year in blogging takes off, January seems to have morphed into one long, endless Groundhog Day, while I await decisions at my new job that will finally determine how soon I can leave NY, or if I even leave it at all.  One final piece of the puzzle that needs to fall into place, so of course it also happens to be the piece that decides to disappear off into the Bahamas on an extended vacation on which it may never return.

Of course.  Of course.

I’m being hyperbolic, (I hope), but still, it looks like people are right when they say the hardest part of the wait is when you’re in the final hour.  Then suddenly, it’s like time completely freezes and I’m stuck in a permanent holding pattern.  Ugh.

But if not today, then perhaps tomorrow.  And if not then, then the tomorrow after.  Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow….

2014: A Year in Review

If one word could describe 2014, TRANSITION would be it.

2014 was a year of transition and upheaval, laying the groundwork for what I cautiously believe is going to be the most transformative years of my life: 2015.

A year in which everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING will change.  For a guy who has worked in the same job, lived in the same place, and lived the same life for 15 long years, to finally see the road swerve in a new direction is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.

There’s so much that weighs heavily on me.  Will I be able to manage life outside of New York, a stranger in a strange land?  Will I be able to take care of a dog I will soon get, something I’ve never done before?  Will I be able to thrive in the private sector after having worked in government for so many years?  Will a change of scenery give me a chance to meet new people and make new friends, and perhaps finally meet that special someone who has eluded me my whole life?

After 15 years, I finally have a chance now to spread my wings and soar.  At the same time though, I’ve also become weary and older.  That spark of energy and hope I used to have after I graduated college has long since fizzled.  Sometimes I wonder if there really is a life left for me to live, now that so much of it is already behind me.  Like a man freed from prison after so many years inside, in a warped way I’ve come to appreciate the comfort of the “prison” walls that have kept me here, rather than risk entering the life that goes on outside it.

But the wheels have been put in motion, and what God has set in motion no man can stop.  All I can do now is wait and see where the road will soon take me.

Railroad near Berkshires during Winter

HOLD ON!

I’m starting to feel a bit guilty for not blogging anything of length for what seems to be eons now, despite getting more traffic than ever.  (Yay!)  I’d like to change that, but I’m still resisting the urge to rant on some of the incredibly disturbing news and topics chronicling humanity’s decline in the past year, because once I start going down that rabbit hole, it’s really hard to stay positive after that.

I’m amazed at how some bloggers can perpetually churn out posts on the same depressing subjects nearly every day of the week, always existing it seems in a perpetual state of rage.  There’s no lack of things to be angry about, especially with the world being the way it is, but while it makes for great fodder to keep a blog going, I’m not sure it’s worth what it must do to one’s health.

Right now my life is still in a state of limbo, so there hasn’t been much to say until the wheels start turning again, but thankfully I think things will get moving soon, and before I know it, the life I’ve lived for nearly 15 years is going to come to a dramatic end.  Everything will change… hopefully for the better… FAR better.

When that time comes, I don’t wish to blog anymore: I wish to WRITE.  What’s the difference between the two, you ask?  Blogging to me seems too detached, too disruptive and incoherent as I stumble from one topic to another, trying to find my muse or something that will get my creative juices flowing.  But writing?  That’s about telling a story.  Maybe a story others can relate to.  Perhaps a tale that could some day be turned into a book.  The kind of writing I’ve always wanted to do, but never really found my way in.

An idea is starting to form in my head: taking the incidents of everyday living and turning it into compelling stories.  There’s something therapeutic about being able to express in words what previously only existed as turbulent thoughts knocking about my head.  I found if I don’t provide myself an outlet for what I continually think about, I start to get anxious and a bit frustrated about life.  I think writing will help that.

So, HOLD ON.  It may not be long before I start blogg– *ahem* writing again with far more frequency.

The disconnect of using the internet

I’ve been thinking about this article on Robin Williams for a while, but haven’t had a chance to really express my thoughts on it till now:

Our ability to take just about any event and turn it into an online argument is one of our modern society’s mentally unhealthy habits. In fact, if we wanted to build a culture that deliberately cultivated feelings of depression, isolation, anger, and despair, how different would it look from the one we have now?

The first key aspect of this perfect depressive dystopia would be to get as many people as possible interacting with screens, instead of with flesh-and-blood human beings, as often as possible. (Pause for the irony that you’re almost certainly reading this on a screen.) Prevalent aspects of human contact from the dawn of human civilization — eye contact, tone of voice, volume of voice, sarcasm and inflection, posture, body language — would be removed from the increasingly common forms of communication, and everyone would spend as much time as possible interpreting the true meaning of hieroglyphics that are supposed to resemble human faces. Miscommunications, perceived insults, and fights would grow apace.

This depressive world would remove the tactile sensation of human touch, expressed in a romantic and sexual sense but also in the gestures of a handshake, a hand on the shoulder, a hug, a pat on the back. Entire friendships would begin and end online, with the individuals never interacting in person.

This might be one of the reasons I’ve never really threw myself into blogging the way others have.  As much as I enjoy expressing myself in the written form, I’m ever mindful of the fact that I must constantly pull my punches in order not to draw the ire of an anonymous internet, which has no aversion to completely destroying and ruining the lives of people simply because of a difference in opinion.  I’m not an actual human being whose philosophy has been driven in large part by his life experience.  I’m merely words on a screen to be attacked with all the rage and furor of a demon hellbeast because my words don’t fit the prescribed and acceptable Narrative of the Day.

The constantly online life would undoubtedly come at the expense of the offline life. People would interact with their neighbors less. There would be fewer shared social experiences — the social phenomenon of Bowling Alone on steroids. The offline world would seem more full of strangers, more suspicious, more potentially dangerous, full of vivid, widely covered stories of violence and wrongdoing reminding us to not trust each other.

The constant online presence would lead to a world of nonstop instant reaction, where everyone could immediately transmit the first thought that popped into his head in response to news. Everyone’s first reaction would become his defining reaction, particularly if it’s dumb or knee-jerk. If it was racist, sexist, hateful, or obnoxious, even better. Those horrified would then share and retweet it to their friends and followers, spreading the perception that the world was overpopulated with hateful idiots, and that average Americans — or average human beings! — were rather nasty, ignorant creatures unworthy of respect or affection….

The widespread perception that almost everyone else was a moron — why, just look at the things people post and say on the Internet! — would facilitate a certain philosophy of narcissism; we would have people walking around convinced they’re much smarter, and much more sophisticated and enlightened, than everyone else.

I think I may be more sensitive to this than most, because of a combination of introversion and inability to hear normally, the internet isn’t merely a place of escape as it tends to be for others; it’s where I actually live (as horrific an admission as that might be).  Heck I even bought my car online.

I seem to forget that the average internet user is only submerged in this strange online world a couple of blow-off hours a day, while I’m here all day. I work here.

And sometimes I forget my imperative to disconnect and then I wind up playing here after having worked here all day.

As much as the internet tends to provide huge benefits to people like me, along with the freedom of not being tied down to a cubicle in some dark corner of the office, it’s also brought about a mentally unhealthy disconnect that I’m seeking to correct.  I’ve made the assumption for too long that how I use the internet is also how nearly everyone else uses it, and due to that assumption, there’s been no end of frustration trying to connect to people who live most of their lives (sociably and otherwise) off-line.

To some extent I blame the area I live in now, the bubble of Long Island that has made it nearly impossible for me to connect to the communities (or lack thereof) here in a meaningful way.  There are, as couples approaching the end would say, irreconcilable differences between me and this place, leaving me no other recourse but to simply move.  Dealing with the hostility of what I’ve come to regard as a truly evil place has driven me ever inward and deeper into my personal man cave, reducing any outings to quick runs at the supermarket after hours.

This isn’t fanciful thinking either; I’ve read far too many emails from people who left New York telling me stories of how their lives were completely transformed by the move.  They could finally spread their wings like a butterfly and explore the world around them with a sense of joy and peace.

I’ve come to realize the internet simply can’t replicate that; there are certain things I can only truly appreciate the fullness of by living it in real life rather than online.

Why I hate Long Island with all my heart and soul

Those people who talk about cities like Detroit being the worst places to live have clearly never been to Long Island.  Having been a lifelong native here, I can say without any shadow of doubt that this fish-shaped extension of sewage material, located due east of Manhattan, is one of the most intolerable, despicable, grimy, disgusting, vile, evil, filthy, overpopulated mounds of fecal matter to ever bedevil the history of man.

Map of Long Island and NYC boroughs

WELCOME TO HELL

After traveling to over 30 states in the past few years, I’ve come to believe that Long Island uniquely exemplifies everything that’s wrong with this country.  The exorbitant costs of living, the utterly corrupt police departments, the pothole riddled streets, a populace with disturbingly schizophrenic leanings, the high taxation, the list goes on and on.  In a way, you could say Long Island is the kind of place that offers all the downsides of New York City, with none of the upside.

Long Island natives have an unusual proclivity for bipolar behavior, a reality that made my time growing up here a less than pleasant one.  Hot one day, cold the next.  Nice one day, a stone of rudeness the next.  There was no consistency to the way people acted.  I thought it was just me, but my mother told me her experience had been the same when she was a child, having been a former NYC native before moving further out east to Suffolk County, and recalling how utterly bewildered she was as well by Long Islanders’ neurotic behavior.

I should mention, while Brooklyn and Queens is technically a part of Long Island, they are actually boroughs of New York City, retaining a distinctive difference in culture that remains separate from the suburban sprawls of Nassau and Suffolk County.  It is these two specific counties that make Long Island what it is, and to which I reserve my unrepentant, vitriolic hatred for.

It wasn’t just my mother and me who noticed the peculiar behavior of the natives.  Anyone I spoke to that was from out of town made the same observations:  “Man, people are crazy here.  Must be something in the water.”  It didn’t matter where they came from either.  I’ve met foreign exchange students, people from Europe, people from out of state, even people from nearby Manhattan, and their reactions were nearly always the same.  They ALL blamed the water too.

One of the things that clued me in to why Long Island natives were such a mentally unstable, psychotic bunch was a little factoid I learned back when I was taking Psychology 101 in college.  My professor had mentioned in passing that Long Island had the largest percentage of mental institutions per square mile than anywhere else in the country.  Literally.

Well, that certainly answered a few questions.

Over time I had to learn not to take the natives’ rude and unstable attitudes personally, but it was one of the reasons my introverted personality became even more introverted as I grew up.  I had very few friends during my childhood, filtering out the typical crazies, and holding on to the rare few whose minds were still sound for as long as I could.  The only thing crazier than Long Islanders are Long Islanders who are teenagers, and indeed, I met some of the strangest and most bizarre people I have ever met in my life during my high school years.  I remember one in particular during my junior year, a friend of my then best friend, who once got funky with his girlfriend’s mom in the backseat of her car… while her father filmed the whole thing from the front seat.

Chris Hansen Peaks In

Why don’t you take a seat right over there…

When I discovered that (from the news no less) I decided then that I had more than enough exposure to the human race, and it was time to close ranks and isolate myself before The Crazy got me too.  Being a recluse was a small price to pay in order to preserve my sanity in an insane place.

This craziness also spills over into the roads too.  The irrational and inconsistent behavior of the motorists has led me to endlessly deal with traffic split up between drivers who like to go 40MPH (usually in the left lane) and those who like to go 80MPH, with nothing in between.  This is why people who drive in front of me are always going too slow while those behind me are always going too fast.  I get sandwiched these two extremes during my daily commute, such that I can never use cruise control even when the traffic is moving.  I’m not even dealing with the worst of it either due to working odd hours, so I’m able to commute without enduring LI’s infamous rush hour traffic.  Rush hour here is a whole ‘nother fresh set of hell that only drivers in Los Angeles could begin to understand.

Tank bulldozing on highway

I wish I could drive to work this way.

The overwhelming population and volume of traffic on Long island is so bad that most locals (including me) plan our outings based on traffic patterns.  Timing is everything, and if you miss your chance, be prepared to spend three times as much time on the roads as you originally planned to, dealing with every crazy with (and without) a driver’s license under heaven.  Only those who venture out at the crack of dawn or at 3AM will be spared the worst of the agony.

It’s even more unbearable in the summer, when school lets out and unleashes a horde of terrifying teenagers flooring mommy and daddy’s car into the red zone, along with a plague of old fogies arriving here from Florida to spend the summer and clog the roads with their Cadillacs, driving just as uber-slow as the teens drive uber-fast.

Until I started traveling to other states, I was always left with the impression that Long Island traffic wasn’t really unique, that it was just a fact of life for any area of the country with a heavy population density.  But now, having driven on roads in over 30 odd states, I can truthfully say traffic on Long Island is in a class of its own.

Drivers can be jerkwads no matter where you go, but what I learned from driving outside of Long Island was how more predictable and consistent motorists were.  Even more intriguing, if they saw you coming, especially in the left lane, they almost always moved out of the way.  On Long Island, I have to laugh at people who flashed their lights at cars ahead of them because it proved they were obviously from out of town.  The net result from flashing your lights is that the guy in front of you either blithely ignores you or slows down even more out of pure spite.  We have no fast lanes here, even when traffic is light, because there are always slow pokes cluttering up the roads and threatening the safety of everyone by literally driving BELOW the minimum speeds on parkways.  It results in a lot of frustrated drivers cutting in and out of lanes just to get around these virtual roadblocks, and it’s also why a pleasant cruise to nowhere in particular is always an impossibility.

Austin Powers in a Tight Spot

No room for cruise control here…

And even if Long Island wasn’t a traffic nightmare, there’s really no place for me to go.  Long Island is just… ugly.  The myriad number of towns here belie the reality that it’s all one big indiscriminate suburban sprawl of cement and congested roads.  There’s very little to distinguish one town/village from the next,  and because of that there’s very little sense of community too.   Instead, we have micro-cliques that either have their roots in childhood or are borne out of living in the same neighborhood for many years.  It’s very unlike the small towns and even cities that I’ve traveled to, many of which tend to have this “Cheers” like atmosphere, where everyone knows your name (and they’re always glad you came).  Social circles outside of Long Island seem less rigid and more open-ended, at least in my experience.  Rather than constantly being treated as an outsider (or where your existence isn’t even acknowledged), it’s relatively easy to seek out and become a part of new social groups, even as a newcomer.  There’s no drive to maintain a caste system in the way that I’ve seen here, and I think that may be partly due to Long Island’s proclivity for being indifferent and even hostile to strangers, no matter who they are, whereas I find there’s a higher sense of civility and overt friendliness nearly everywhere else, even in New York City.  It’s actually stunning to experience the sea change in behavior once you drive or take the train a mere 50 miles or so from the suburbs to downtown Manhattan, where some sense of normalcy and civility is restored.

Some people may disagree that Long island is ugly, citing its beaches, seaports and numerous parks.  The problem is whatever natural beauty it does offer is ruined by swarms of humanity who pollute the scenery everywhere they go.  There is no place in which you can truly feel like you can get away from it all (the traffic, the noise, the populace), except possibly the Hamptons, the seat of the uber-rich and ultra-privileged.  Even then, it’s telling that it requires a roughly 100 mile drive to the near edge of Long Island just to “get away” for the weekend.

And even if you COULD find a quiet place in the woods or a park to camp out, relax or otherwise take in the scenery, there’s still the matter of the ticks.  And more ticks.  And, my Lord in heaven, even MORE ticks.  Long island has in fact one of the highest incidents of lyme disease and tick infestation than anywhere else in the country.

THE TICK!

How YOU doin’?

Long Island’s economic climate is also a veritable cesspool of fail.  It follows the national trajectory of undermining and destroying the middle class (although in many respects it’s far ahead of the game than the rest of the country), making it true to its bipolar roots (either hot or cold, fast or slow) and economically, either rich or poor, with nothing in between.  Despite heavy taxation, the counties remain in massive debt, while the population density have pushed the astounding real estate market prices well beyond the reach of many first time home buyers.  I recently read a statistic that more than 55% of people ages 20-34 on Long Island STILL live with their parents.  There are not enough apartments to go around, and many are actually illegal dwellings due to not being up to code.  The irony is that most illegal apartments are actually habitable, but coding ordinances are designed more to bilk residents out of more money than for valid safety reasons.  As a result, apartments up to code often have exorbitant leasing costs.  A studio near where I work for example is currently going for $2,400 to $2,800 a month.  For a studio.  What it would typically cost to rent a four bedroom home in nearly any state would barely cover the expenses of living in someone’s basement here.  Outside of possibly San Francisco, Long Island has the most expensive real estate market in the country.

DiCaprio Smashes Glass Over Head

My polite response to my landlord’s decision to raise my rent by $400 a month.

Even more infuriating is witnessing the endless line of “Section 8” tenants who are able to live in luxury apartments for a third of the rent, and yet bringing down the quality of living for everyone by engaging in criminal behavior and refusing to clean up after themselves.  It’s one thing to live on the government dole as a result of falling on hard times, but it’s quite another to pick up a tax funded paycheck while running a drug cartel out of your living room.

And yes, I also blame Long Island for dampening my dating life as well.  Having given up on the local prospects, who range from the snooty, to the bizarre, to the outright insane, I tend to look for romantic prospects outside New York, yet the cultural/economic differences have often been difficult or even impossible to overcome.  Those who live in areas with costs of living at normal rates can’t seem to understand why most Long Islanders don’t already own their first homes by say, age 21.  It’s especially grating when so many rely on their parents’ wealth for their quality of living (something I never had the benefit of enjoying, and whose parents had to rely on me for financial support), and hence have no concept of what it’s like to endure true financial hardship.  I can’t relate to people who’s had it too easy or too good, whose concept of suffering is a barista mistakenly pouring soy milk instead of almond milk into her latte.   It creates a divide that makes it difficult for any girl residing outside the Long Island bubble to understand the life I’ve lived.  I might as well be living in a third world country.  Actually, given what a smelly landfill Long Island is, calling it a third world country probably wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

Demon Temptress

A typical Long Island girl.

I would have escaped this rock a long time ago, but circumstances have prevented me from doing so, year after agonizing year.  But… I think a door is finally starting to open.  I have assets and opportunities now that I didn’t have before, and I’ve been making the routine effort to apply for jobs in all the places and states I’d like to move to.  Whereas before finances were a major issue, now it’s just a question of securing a new job out of state, which unfortunately has gotten more difficult considering the economic climate we live in, but I’m hopeful.  I see major changes in the year ahead, and hope it will soon bring the day when I am finally released from the prison that is this hateful island.

UPDATE:  I HAVE BEEN “PAROLED!”  After years of plague and darkness, I have finally left Long Island once and for all!  YIPEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Please feel free to continue reading my blog for updates as I make the long overdue transition to a NEW life and a NEW home beyond “Wrong” Island!  

Millennium Falcon Hyperdrive

I’m outta here…

Learning to let go of the suck

I had a few blogging ideas that I decided to shelve, partly because they seemed rather vindictive to me, and I’m not sure I want to be THAT GUY, you know?

Of course, sometimes it helps to just blow off steam because certain people managed to annoy me, and as such, I feel it’s only fair that I’d insult their mothers and verbally throw rocks at them (and their mothers) for committing the cardinal sin of, you know, annoying me.

And yet I feel though that I’ve simply become too evolved, yes, indeed, too awesome to debase myself to this form of petty schoolyard bullying anymore.  I’ve come to realize that people in general tend to suck, have always sucked, and will do nothing but suck, mostly because they all suck, for as long as I live my days out here on Earth.  To rehash and restate the obvious in a blog post, even for purportedly therapeutic reasons, would seem counterproductive.  We all know they suck, so what really would be the point of actually blogging it out here that they suck, when said suck is readily transparent to all those who don’t suck (or at least don’t suck as much as the sucks in question)?

The only time this really becomes an issue for me is when said suck is so magnificently breathtaking in its suckitude that I feel an nearly overwhelming urge to publicly address the suck, call it out on its suck, and to do so in the most brutally, devastatingly, suckish manner possible.

Or you know, I could just air out my frustrations in a game of Halo (or in my case, the violently gory Nancy Drew games) and call it a day.

It’s hard to let go though.  Whether the suck is as simple as one blowing you off, or gaping in awe as a new friend transforms from sweet and cuddly to demon hellspawn in the blink of an eye, or wincing at William Shatner’s rendition of Tambourine Man, one can find much suckage in life.  So much in fact, that it can drown out and bury those moments that don’t suck (or suck as much).

It begs the question, since such non-suckish moments tend to be precious, wouldn’t it be better to dwell and blog on those moments, and reflect on them rather than the suckish moments?  And truth be told, wouldn’t a blog that constantly harped on everything wrong with the world kinda… suck?  I would think so.

Hereto then is my blogging resolution, whereby I resolve to be non-suckish by refusing to dwell on the suck.

How living the same day over and over could lead to new things

Groundhog Day was one of my favorite movies of all time, so it was with interest that I read this particular article where the author attempts to calculate how much time Phil (Bill Murray) spent stuck in Groundhog Day, and concludes that it was roughly the equivalent of about 34 years.

Harold Ramis (the director) indicated that it was at least 10 years, so this probably isn’t a stretch.  34 years reliving the same day.  Whew.

And yet, as much as Phil may have seen that as a living hell, I see it really as an act of remarkable grace and fortune.  No matter how much he screwed up, the day was reset and he could start over with a blank slate, yet still remember the lessons he learned from the previous day.  It took years, but over that time he began to gradually morph into a different kind of person, one who looked outward instead of inward, and used the ample time he was given not only to become a better man, but a man who significantly expanded his horizon of knowledge and skills that often takes years to master (such as learning the piano and becoming an ice sculptor).

Those of us in the real world though only have a finite amount of time from which to spend our existence, and some of us do indeed experience our own version of Groundhog Day, living the same lives, doing the same things, day after day after day…

Except in our cases, by the time we wise up and start to realize how precious life is, 30+ years will have gone by that we will never get back again.  Once it’s gone, that’s it.  Unlike Phil, we get no do-over.

When I reflect on my own life, I realize, startlingly, that nothing has really changed for me in over 14 years.  I have the same job, same routine, same habits, same gripes, same complaints, same problems.  I’m a dog zipping around the same well worn tracks in a small backyard.  Is this really healthy?  Are we meant to become creatures of habit and stasis?

I do believe that we have a deep-seated need towards learning, creating, advancing and other things that give us a sense of achievement and accomplishment.  When we’re locked into a holding pattern though, each day the same as the one before, our minds begin to stagnate, becoming fat, lethargic and lazy.

There is something utterly fulfilling about forward motion, and likewise equally as depressing about remaining in stasis.

But what does forward motion mean?  Does it require a drastic life change such as quitting a job and moving to places unknown, or getting married?  Sooner or later the drudgery of life still tends to catch up, and even in new jobs and new families we can still find ourselves in constant stasis.

For Christians, one of the tenets of Scripture that so few can abide by is the persistent admonishment to STAND STILL (and see the salvation of the LORD).  To purposely cease from action and rely on God for dramatic changes of course in one’s life is probably one of the hardest acts of faith to follow through on.  Instead, I find many dismiss these commandments out of hand and move forward on their own, scheming, plotting, manipulating, and presumptuously believing every decision they make is sanctioned by God, without seeking His counsel, without praying, without any willingness to cede to His will.  To remain in one place, one spot, one boring moment in our lives that never seems to end is a thought that terrifies both Christians and non-Christians alike.

But what happens when that moment we live in, or more specifically, that day (as we see in Groundhog Day) is literally frozen in time beyond our control?  Are we forever doomed to stasis and a lack of forward momentum forever?

I believe that’s a question the film answers: ultimately, no, we’re not.  Even reliving the same day and trapped in the same mundane rituals of daily routine, we can still learn new things, forge new bonds, and continuously improve ourselves, our knowledge, and our skills, even if some of them might take years to master.  My mistake had been focusing on the routine, and using that to justify my complacency.  “Oh, my life isn’t going anywhere, so there’s no point in me trying to make the most of the time I have here on earth.”

It’s easy, too easy, for me to sit down and watch Netflix and just let my mind rot away, or endlessly check my emails every 5 minutes to see if the people I’ve emailed finally remember to stop being as rude as sin and get back to me.

I live next to one of the greatest cities in the world, and yet I look for every excuse not to visit.  I don’t take up a new hobby or visit new places.  I wallow in misery and depression because I’ve become so focused on wanting my Groundhog Day to END that I’ve lost interest in everything else.  I’m sick of the same old thing, the same old story, the same old problems, the same old day.  I fight, I rebel, and I look for ways out, often to my own detriment, and in the end I realize I’m fighting something I have no control over.  Only God can end my Groundhog Day, and if He chooses not to, then accepting that He is also a benevolent God, I must learn to understand why.  Is the monotony of life really the catalyst to my demise, or is there a lesson He wants me to learn from this (just as Phil had to learn), that would lead to my salvation instead?  By stressing over the things I have no control over, I am in essence telling God that I do not trust Him, that I do not believe His promises, that I in fact have doubts that He even cares or desires to change the circumstances of life in my favor.  And in all that despair I realized I was missing the forest for the trees.

While I must relive my own Groundhog Day for a season, that is time given to me to improve my life, get healthier, and prepare myself accordingly for when a new day finally arrives.  But above all, it is time needed to learn faith, by learning to let go of the things I cannot change and the doors I cannot open on my own.  If the life of living Groundhog Day should teach me anything, it is that I should learn to live in the moment, rather than worry about what will come tomorrow.  And even if that moment happens to be trapped in a day that endlessly repeats itself, it is still a moment worth living.

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