Friday, August 28, 2009

Bad Second Week

Okay so I did an evalutation of the week because I was feeling both like I've been lazy and like I'm ineffectual and inadequate again. However, a look at the week shows otherwise:

Monday: I started the week great with an awesome lower body lift and a 3-mile run
Tuesday: I gave blood today, but still did a boxing practice and bled through my arm bandage... which made me feel pretty badass
Wednesday: I started to feel shitty today... I was fatigued (slept through one of my classes) and uncomfortable and I blamed the fact that I gave blood. I still did the IOCT once, wrestling practice, and boxing practice (although that was cut short because of some jerk-off of a clerk)
Thursday: I felt a lot of fatigue today... but identified it finally and called the cadet health clinic to make an appointment. I don't think I caught the swine flu, but it's definitely a bug of some sort. They're supposed to give me antibiotics. I slept after class and went to bed early.

Today.. the plan is to do an upper body lift and go to an open gym for wrestling. This plan includes imbibing an energy drink roughly 55 minutes before practice. Although I feel bad that my work-outs weren't amazing this week, looking back I still did them. The only day I really blew off was Thursday and like I've realized that was totally justified.

Academically, I'm actually concerned that I might like CE300, my civil engineering class. While it's true that I don't have a laughably easy schedule like my roommate or systems engineering... I never wanted to completely sacrifice math and science so this suits me well. I also am starting to do better in my law classes. I felt so weird readjusting from only three weeks in Cape Verde, but it made more of an impact than I thought it would. It really was life-changing.

Militarily... I can't tell yet. I have yet to get my initial counseling forms signed by two of my three subordinates, but I had a squad meeting yesterday and told them to get on the ball. Unfortunately this meeting was in front of my roommate who apparently all the plebes "love" -- this is according to her. I hate to sound jealous, but she sounds so smug sometimes. She sounds so professional asking the plebers for foreign affairs articles. She cites their knowledge book like it's nobody's business. She balances being sappily sweet to them with screeching at them when they screw up duties.

Okay so she was also Beast cadre meaning her job was to yell at new cadets and to know their knowledge book and to enforce the standard for 4 solid weeks.

I can't help but feel the same way now that I did as a plebe. I felt like some of the hazing was stupid when I was a plebe. I still feel that way as an upperclass. I understand the pertinence of some of it, and I'm glad they are expected to know basic arms knowledge and foreign affairs are important... but I can't survive without some level of ridiculousness. I'm glad I have lunch at a table with three different people. I almost feel like I see too much of my roomie. I feel like if I open my mouth I am competing with her. I really don't care about half the stuff we expect plebes to know. I mean if they have a funny article I'd be twice as satisfied as opposed to a serious but boring foreign affairs article that means relatively little to me. I am having trouble finding my way... my leadership style.

I find it frustrating when my roomie says things like, "I'm a good leader... I mean look I got a military A this summer!" Why care about the grade? I mean I'm glad she got it, but why flaunt it? I mean... so what I got an A-? Does that mean I'm sub-par? Does it mean I had a harder detail? Does it really mean anything? In my opinion it equals shit insofar as your leadership capability. I've talked to kids on both sides of the spectrum. There have been POS's who weren't worth a damn thing who got A's and there have been competent and good people who get C's from a lazy superior.

And I'm venting because I care about my performance. I may not be a super-hooah... but I don't want to be a total shit-bag. I hope I can find some motivation in having a squad. A squad of six people... it's such a joke. I barely see them. Well that's just another challenge. And I like challenges. This weekend if I work out, do my homework and have a short squad meeting on Sunday to get face time and so that they keep doing the right thing... then I will be able to make it through the next week. And then the process will start again, setting goals, having great days, followed by shitty days, and peppered with so-so days that are just distracting. It's a never-ending process. Hello world.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pushing Through

Today I managed another work-out inspite of feeling not so motivated. It was still mostly a great day. Not perfect. Not charmed. I made it great anyway. I finally got my excel file put together for my wrestling train-up. It's damn good. My lower body work-out today was focused and unique. No one else was doing lower-body. Why focus on the upper body? It's in my work-out plan, but I am trying to get that lower body to work. I did a heavier lift today with lower reps. Then after a twenty-minute rest, I went for a run with my roomie. She pushed me at the beginning when I would have taken the run slower. I pushed her midway and at the end. We will be great work-out partners if we can get over the awkwardness that we're at different levels. It doesn't matter, because we push each other and like each other an awful lot. We're practically best friends. So another 3-mile run this time on top of my lower body work-out. I think if SFC Bright sees that in a weekly report he will be satisfied. I also inquired about the September 27th 5k that our company did last year and looked up all the logistics.

Tomorrow night I have banned all boys from my room and I am doing my problem set #1 from Civil Engineering in the library. In academics I realized that I need to practice presenting ideas to a classroom both for law and for leadership. So I started to make audio recordings of myself. I sort of sound like a talkshow radio host. By the end of my third try I had much more coherent thoughts. It was great to hear myself, because I could pick out some things I was saying that made no sense from a listeners point of view that is to say without the simultaneous thought that accompanied such spoken sentences. Then I started to record myself singing for fun. It was a great way to pass an hour and I actually studied because I was recording myself both reading about Marbury v. Madison and presenting my opinion on the electoral college v. absolute popular vote.

My writing skills have been greatly honed by journaling mostly and my ability to take my thoughts to a screen by blogging and typing memoirs. My speaking skills have suffered because I've been spending the last two years of West Point listening to others. I am talking more now, and I am willing to talk again, but I need to break free of the imaginary duct tape I seem to have affixed to my lips. I think the exercise I've designed will do great things for me. Onward to tomorrow!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fan-Tastic Weekend

This weekend went to NYC and had the best time ever... looking forward to future weekends in the city too. I'm finally getting a better idea of what I want to do in the city and just how much there is to do. Having trouble deciding when during my life I want to live there. I am torn between mid-twenties and late-twenties/early thirties. On one hand I can try to go to grad school after a couple years into the military having them pay for it and go to college at NYU or another progressive city with great nightlife. On the other hand, I can wait till my five years are done and then just move into the city. I don't know yet, but I know it's going to happen. There and elsewhere too. Me and my friend discussed it, we both want to visit the world and travel.

My self esteem was in for a treat this weekend. I am feeling great too, although I'm afraid my wallet might have a hang-over. A random stranger in the street called the boy I was travelling with a "lucky man" and even before that moment I just felt very beautiful this weekend. I felt attractive and fit and desirable and the best part was the clothes I was wearing were all jean bottoms (boot-cut jeans, jean shorts, jean skirt) and cotton t-shirts and I wasn't wearing make-up. A lady also complimented my braids saying they were "so cute".

I enjoyed a lot of tasty food too. Had an amazing creme brulee after dinner on friday and also was surprised by what was called a Hibiscus Jewel, a little coconut custard with hibiscus jello on top. Hibiscus was tasty as expected. The last day I had an amazing brunch at the italian restaurant attached to the hotel.

Shopping was also a very successful venture because I bought a vintage X-Men T-Shirt and a pair of gorgeous gold chandalier earrings with cute green bobbles attached to them. There was also a stop at Barnes and Noble which lasted at least three hours. We also found this awesome 24 hour diner that served all meals all the time. The service was great, the food not terribly expensive. It was a charmed weekend to be sure.

The oddest part was a dream I had. I dreamt of an old family... maybe it was like an 18th century one... they were moving into a new house. The family consisted of a husband and wife with two male servants and one female servant and I'm not sure if they had kids. The wife had a nest of swallows installed in her room. It was a strange dream because I was dreaming that I was reading a novel that was simultaneously being played out in front of me. Then I read that one of the servants had been assigned to be the husband's busom buddy and confidante. The last sentence referred to the female servant: "Oh Mrs. Loft!" It was strange as though I had just finished a chapter in a book.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Very Professional, Eh?

Tomorrow is the first day of classes as a cow. As usual I've waited till half past midnight to prepare. This is just my style when it comes to the academic year. I slept in today until I had a meeting that my friend called me to have with him at Grant. A nice public area with many cadets around. The meeting was called in order to discuss the nature of our friendship. He tried smiling and asking how my day was before we went in and sat down. I didn't have much to say. I knew something bad was coming. I went in and sat down and concentrated on the far side of the table and let him speak. His demeanor changed as we sat down. His voice became gruff and he sounded like he was really laying down the law. Apparently our interactions lately had been reduced to playing games. We were saying we were one thing and acting like another thing. At least, that's what he told me.

I said I had nothing to say about it, that I respected his wishes, and promptly stormed off.

I was sadly disappointed he did not follow me, or inquire if I was okay. I have been stewing about that all day. I can't very well turn around and pretend it's okay. I have no desire to stay mad at him either, since I thought we were being friends. The examples he was siting were just our one on one interactions, in particular being alone together for anything, and interactions between us in the hallways that could be misconstrued as flirting.

I, for one, am slightly baffled by his request. I thought we had already decided we were already friends. Additionally the day we really fell apart in my mind and heart was two days ago, which isn't nearly enough time to evaluate how we're acting around each other. Finally, our interactions which can be construed as flirtatious or more than friendly have been mutually-initiated things. If anything he has stopped by my room more often than I have stopped by his room.

Regarding these facts, I am even more irritated at the accusatory manner with which he addressed the nature of our friendship. As though I was trying to lead him astray! I am unsettled once again. I'm not even sure I'll go to the Sandhurst meeting this Wednesday. I know I won't be on the team this year because of my semester abroad (which cannot come soon enough) and I definitely don't have any original ideas to contribute on the matter. The only thing that may motivate me to go are the friends I made on the team that are still there for me.

I am seeing someone else anyway. I am not anyone's girlfriend nor do I have a boyfriend, but I am seeing a sophomore, a yuk if you will. He does not have any issues with my faith. We haven't even so much as discussed the core of our belief although I know he's Catholic. The most serious topics we've discussed have been what's good music and how I don't know anything about cars or football. We don't care what people construe our interactions as, because frankly we don't give a damn. He and I do our own thing, we're not constantly together. This weekend, I went out with new friends, and he stayed in although people on his team wanted him to go out with them.

Why can't things always be this simple? We're just seeing each other. We're not seeing other people, but we're not getting serious. It's like weightless. There isn't a committment and I can breathe. There's also no pressue to be anything I'm not already.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I spent time soul-searching this summer. I feel like I've really gotten a handle on what I believe. I am joyful for that. However, I am more indignant than ever to be judged because I don't have what someone else's opinion is the proper degree of relationship with Jesus that I'm supposed to have. What that even means escapes me. I don't think it was ever the purpose of God or Jesus in our lives to come between us and healthy relationships with each other. I think that you're narrow-minded to believe you know God's plan, or that you can sense God's intentions. I think you're putting up a wall, and sealing yourself in a casket, to say that someone else needs the same level of spirituality to pursue a relationship of even warm friendship. Heaven forbid you enjoy a conversation that doesn't center on Jesus Christ... so you feel like you've garnered some wisdom on relationships from a lowly believer now that you're done, you'll continue to wait for God to drop some drop-dead gorgeous, absolutely perfect, God-fearing, midwest girl in your path. And she better be just as holy as you are. I hope she has a friggin' halo, anything less subtle and you may doubt her worthiness to so much as flirt with you.

Sorry that was bitter, and venting. It needed to be done. I'm hurting right now. It hurts immensely. It always hurts. Even if it's for the better. For all I know, this is God's plan and in reality I wouldn't be happy with a guy like this. In fact from the looks of it, I won't be happy with a guy like that. I'm obviously unhappy right now.

Back to classes. Is it ironic that my first hour instructor is the head coach for a certain team? I think so. The guy I'm seeing is on that team. I didn't notice until tonight. Then I also start my first law class tomorrow, I'm excited about this. I think I will like my English instructor, they sent out their guidance this night at 2230. A fellow procrastinator? I hope so.

I also start my workout routine tomorrow. The one I am constructing right now of course. It will be a fun exercise. I plan on getting my highest APFT score this year for the spring. It should totally be doable because I know I can get more push-ups than I did last time and I was in shape then too.

I also start to officially curb my diet tomorrow. Smaller portions. More fruit and vegetables. More water at mando-meals.

I will also be doing more homework at the Library. I have afternoons off. I can knock it out then in the hour after lunch before I take a nap. Thus leaving night time free for fun? We'll see how this plays out. This is the plan anyway.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What is Love?

Religion is a touchy subject. The difference between belief and religion is vast. The arguments are fierce about both. Why should different beliefs conflict? Why can't we accept and respect each others' view and if there is such a thing as a supreme being, someone or some power as ultimately incomprehensibly powerful as a God, then why couldn't they save everyone? How dare we, as mortals try to put mortal limitations on God? A power that great could be everything to everyone, and if such a power did exist, would it really be so easy to remove from our lives? And if the ultimate motivation and nature of that power was love, why would anyone be cast into an eternity of pain, torture, or nothingness? Our motivation should be to do good for the sake of good, love for the sake of love, and to hell with judgment. The best place to start is in the relationships we have with each other. Spirituality isn't a bad thing, and exploration of one's religion is both educational and can be a good place to start when it comes to matters that are for me neither mental nor emotional. It's a good place to turn when humanity (including my own) seems overwhelmingly... screwed up I guess. Or when it seems like nothing and no one (including myself) is doing anything right. It's fulfilling to feel like there is something greater than all that, and that the nature of that is love. Do I want to join a group and wave a flag and impose my belief on others? No, absolutely not. I want to nurture my belief and the fact that it doesn't judge or harm others thrills me. I can talk about it to my closest friends and family, but it's personal and to be honest I feel like it's untainted by organizations. I'd like to keep it that way even as I educate myself on my faith by birth.

Why all this talk? Just because I suppose I've been given reason to think about it. I was inspired to discover what I believe spiritually, and I think I've found that. It's a good feeling. It's fulfilling. It makes me sometimes feel... peaceful. And I've found that I so rarely feel that in my life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


My thoughts on this... today read a book about some Desperate Housewife of some variety or another and was perturbed as I finished it. The scandal, the mutual cheating and infidelity and the sigh laugh and move on of it all seemed strangely regular. As though even my life could someday slip into that mess.

I wish we didn't have any internet connection here then my heart wouldn't be churning over what it's not supposed to be churning over. Just goes to show I'm still on the rebound and should be preoccupying myself with other things until I stop being irrational about this whole relationship thing. I'm not even twenty yet! I have a proper date set up for the date of my return from paradise with a boy who will most certainly flatter my ego. And then I have a semester of figuring out my social scene for real because I'll have no boy to be taking up all my free time. And as a junior at my school I will have way more opportunities to go out.. plus more friends with cars that I won't have to bat my eyelashes at or beg around for rides and now that I can drive I can borrow vehicles too!