Sunday, June 26, 2011

complex vs. complicated problems

i went out with a friend about a week ago, and he told me about his theory, his theory of complex vs. complicated problems.  i won't go into much detail about the complicated problems because those don't involve people.  but complex problems, he said, don't have solutions the way complicated ones do.  he explained that as a child, the way you went about solving a problem was vastly different than the way you do now, or at least it should be, but that only helps you with complicated problems. of course this theory isn't fool-proof and can be confusing, but hear me out...

complex problems are complex because with every new interaction you have with someone, it changes your entire relationship, my friend explained.

only here's the catch: i think our resistance to change is limiting our ability to solve complex problems.  for example, you have an ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend and you see them randomly one day while walking down the street, and all of a sudden all these feelings of pain, regret, remorse come flooding back to you.  it's because you haven't let change have its way, you've stuck so long to who that person used to be to you that you aren't willing to give it up, let them be who they are to you now.

i realized that i don't want to run into people from my past and already have all these pent-up emotions about them.  i want to let every new interaction with them shape who they are in my life, to let go of who they were.  because this sick obsession with wanting things our own way keeps us from experiencing better things.  just because there were bitter feelings in a past relationship doesn't mean that person can't someday be something different to you.  maybe someday you won't feel anything but joy for them, if you would only let it be complex rather than stuffing it into the complicated category.  see, what if it's not a solution we need?  what if it's redemption?  what if we need to allow change to transform our messed up relationships?

i know that nostalgia can be a powerful remedy, but i think it's a fake bandage.  nostalgia can be good in small doses, but when it rules our lives, it takes the healing from our hearts.

it's time.  to move forward.  to deal with the past and stop letting emotions control.  the paradox is that when we let emotions control us, we miss out on the best of them.  and i don't just want to live my life, i want to feel it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

a day in the life...from a chemist's perspective

i started a chemistry class today, and i wanted to copy a little anecdote of their description of a typical morning...i hope it's as enjoyable to you as it was to me:

"Molecules align in the liquid crystal display of your clock and electrons flow to create a noise.  A cascade of neuronal activators arouses your brain, and you throw off a thermal insulator of manufactured polymer and jump in the shower to emulsify fatty substances on your skin and hair with purified water and formulated detergents.  Then, you adorn yourself in an array of processed chemicals--pleasant-smelling pigmented materials suspended in cosmetic gels, dyed poly-meric fibers, synthetic footwear, and metal-alloyed jewelry.  Breakfast is a bowl of nutrient-enriched, spoilage-retarded cereal and milk, a piece of fertilizer-grown, pesticide-treated fruit, and a cup of a hot aqueous solution of stimulating alkaloid.  After abrading your teeth with artificially flavored, dental-hardening agents in a colloidal dispersion, you're ready to leave, so you grab your laptop (an electronic device containing ultrathin, microetched semiconductor layers powered by a series of voltaic cells), collect some books (processed cellulose and plastic, electronically printed with light- and oxygen resistant inks), hop in your hydrocarbon-fueled, metal-vinyl-ceramic vehicle, electrically ignite a synchronized series of controlled gaseous explosions, and you're off to class!"


Saturday, June 4, 2011

what we've settled for.

i don't know what kept me from writing in a blog before...maybe it's the fact that anyone in the entire universe can catch a glimpse of my thoughts, that it's so vulnerable to be open this way, but i know that's not why.  because reality is that i've never had a problem being honest with anyone, my problem is actually the opposite- staying closed.  but that's the thing, what good is staying closed?  sure, you have the reassurance that your secrets, your sins are safe, but doesn't sharing part of your life invite the people you love to share parts of theirs?  so it's selfish then...but it's not, really.  it can be, but what if the real motive behind being open and vulnerable isn't to get what you want but to rend your heart from the world that isolates you, keeps you alone.  what if the real reason is to allow others to really see you, and in the process, maybe see themselves too?

and as i sit here, thinking back on my life thus far, to this very second, i'm surprised by the things i've tried to hold on to, even the guy that i fell in love with along the way.  the way we live life, it's so backwards, grabbing onto the things we think we need when what we need is the one who created these things. because through Him comes all good things.
so if the love that i wanted to settle for isn't from Him, then i don't want it.  why is it so hard for us to wait, creatures of habit who demand once and then spend our whole lives thinking that they belong to us.

i don't know, this life is chaotic, and it's messy, and so i'm going to thrash my thoughts out on this blog from time to time, unhindered.  i can't promise any perfect syntax, or even cohesiveness within my thoughts, but i can promise honesty. and honesty, my dear brothers and sisters, can be a beautiful thing, that is, if we're not being deceived ourselves.