Category Archives: Uncategorized

Forgive Me a Minute of Self-Promotion

So aside from this blog, I have also decided to revive the sports blog I started with a few college friends a while back: Snap Back Sports

I discussed here my plans going forward for those interested. My main focus will be hockey with a bit of NCAA football as needed.

If you enjoy sports, primarily hockey and football, consider subscribing.

Thanks!

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If My Home I Never Find

I did it. I made it to graduation.

Tomorrow, I’ll be walking across that stage, this time to be hooded for my Masters in Social Work. It has been an interesting past year and half, to say the least. I’ve had some great times and some terrible ones and a whole lot of fluctuation between two less extremes.

Now, on the eve of graduation, I’m faced with another convoluted crossroads of potential. The urge to run is back; the restlessness has been building over the past couple months. So, I am hitting the road after graduation. I am going to drive as far and see as many people as my dwindling funds and aging automobile will take my wandering soul.

Why? I have yet to find an answer for that which I can put into words. This need to run, to go, to wander has bewildered and frustrated many of those I care about, but I don’t have a better answer than simply that: I need to. I am searching for something, but it’s impossible to express it in finite language.

         I am searching for a home; I am searching for a place where I can have both peace and motivation—stillness and purpose.

            I am searching for an explanation; I am searching for answers to questions, and every time I start over I have found some and gained others.

Mostly, I am searching for myself. Somewhere between 18 and now I lost something and I’m trying to find it again, whatever it is.

And so, I’ll leave Boston behind soon. Realistically, I’m likely to return due to constraints of the job search, but even if I do, I wont be long to stay before leaving again.

Why? Because I need to. Because I haven’t found it yet.

 

“If my home I never find,
Let me live again.”

I’ve posted this song numerous times here, there, and everywhere. When words fail, music is the best expression I can offer, and there’s no better emotional explanation I can offer than this song.

Putin’s Pyrrhic Crimea Campaign

I was considering a short write-up on the Ukraine Crisis, but then I found this blog, which does a much better job of that than I would have been able.
-Doug

In Moscow's Shadows

It's not, but if that's where it ends up, that will be a Pyrrhic victory for VVP It’s not, but if that’s where it ends up, that will be a Pyrrhic victory for VVP

OK, I will confess that my belief in Russian realpolitikal reason is beginning to be stretched. Until now, Putin has proven a very effective–in his own terms–high-stakes poker player, with a keen sense of when his opponents are bluffing. He has been able to use that to parlay a much greater geopolitical role than Russia’s actual political, economic, military, even moral resources ‘should’ command. Of course, in foreign policy chutzpah is a crucial, if intangible asset, especially when dealing with a European Union that is often disunited and uncomfortable with active interventionism (I have yet to see where the ‘Action’ in the European External Action Service comes in) and a US presidency that appears unable to take a strong line on anything that doesn’t involve drones. My assumption was that Russian moves in…

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Leave All The Lights On

The last few weeks have been an ongoing existential crisis, which I quickly summarized on my other blog. The past few weeks have been a struggle on multiple levels, leaving me utterly exhausted most days. But, that was the inherent point of this move. Boston, or Bust meant more than just physical change of location.

I could have applied and attended schools in Michigan or near friends. I could have stayed somewhere comfortable and easy, and been happy with that, but I didn’t. Personally, I believe the best growth and most learning occurs when under extreme pressure. I didn’t just move here for a Master’s Degree. I moved here for much more than that. By the end of my undergraduate degree, I realized my life, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically, needed an overhaul, and I wouldn’t achieve this standing in place.

I am too good at being comfortable, so I needed to move myself into a situation that was inherently uncomfortable in order to force growth; the same type of growth I experienced during my undergraduate years. I wrote several blogs in criticism of those years, but I will be forever indebted to that university for fostering growth through hardship. That doesn’t lessen my criticism, but leaves me less bitter.

I have every expectation Boston will provide a similar result, but for different reasons.

I don’t think I’ve shared this song, but if you’re a frequent to my blog, you’ll know this artist. Noah Gundersen’s music, especially his lyrical talent, captures a part of the human experience I’ve  always connected with and this song is no exception.

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The Man Who Walked Through Walls

Over the past few weeks, I’ve slowly come to terms with where I am in my life. I’ve identified the sources of this pitfall. It’s funny, how long it takes to see after all the lights have been turned off. It’s funny, how I found myself stuck in familiar territory from my past, but it wasn’t until I acclimated that I recognized these old halls that I once walked. I’ve been back to this house for irregular days off and on throughout the past few years, but never long enough to remember what it really felt like; the walls constantly shrinking, the ceiling never steady. It’s like a bad trip, but without the choice.

This blog is filled with false and failed commitments to do better, be better. It’s a graveyard of broken dreams and failed prison breaks. If these weren’t mine, it’d almost be comical. Instead, it’s become a nightmare; a lifetime of house arrest in a place I could never call home.

People like to talk about strengths and skills. I’m incredibly good at running in place. My greatest talent, it seems, is convincing myself I’ve made progress when I’ve only changed the scenery on the walls. It’s the same hell, with different decoration. I lay at night, agonizing over my failures, berating myself for not walking out the door, but now, I realize something I’ve missed over the past two years: there are no doors, no windows. It’s not that kind of place. You don’t escape by twisting a knob and stepping out; it’s not that easy. It’s even simpler but yet so much more overwhelming.

I escaped this house before. When I fell back in, that’s something I have yet to figure out, but currently irrelevant. What matters is I’m here now, and I need out. This house represents everything I could become, and be very good at: another average, nameless soul content with the status quo—middle class America, keeping up with the Jones. Progress is measured by the state of my grass and size of my house.

That’s not the life I want, but the one I’m stuck in.

If I hadn’t left before, I’d be more desperate, but I have done it once. Can I do it again? I spent this entire blog saying I will, and I’m still here, so I have no idea if I’ll ever really escape. Even if I do, it’s likely only a matter of time before I return. This will be a battle I fight for the rest of my life.

I often told people I left this house before by walking up one morning and deciding I wanted to be happy and leave this dank, dark place behind. What I know now is that this story was a load of crap. Sure, I do remember that morning that I so fondly recalled, but I had left these halls long before that revelation. I used to make it sound like there was something I did that engendered my change in residence, which I now see is a bitter joke. Maybe this is my penance for my unintentional pride.

No, I escaped the moment I stopped trying. These walls have trenches where fingernails have drawn long red lines against its skin. I have tried and failed so many times. That summer I “decided to be happy” was the summer I stopped trying. The summer I stopped blaming myself for these failures. I stopped assuming that I have such totalitarian control over my life.  I just lived and was, and eventually I saw a dream of whom could be and, without conscious effort, walked through walls to reach at it.

Brute effort wont work. These walls are reinforced with the steel from my self-directed frustrations and anger for the inability to escape something I mistakenly assumed I controlled.

It’s time to let go, the most difficult change I’ve ever had. Let it go, and maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow outside the damaging darkness of these damn walls. Or maybe I’ll spend my remaining years pacing down these scarred walls. I simply don’t know anymore, and I’m done promising change I can’t guarantee.

If this entire post sounds like a contradiction, imagine if it was you living it—making sense of nonsense.

I am where I am, and maybe tomorrow I walk through walls.

 

-Doug

 

P.S. This is the song I listened to for most of this post. It’s fitting.