Archive for the ‘Daily Prompt’ Category

Your Past Is A Lesson   Leave a comment

Daily Prompt Time!

We all have complicated histories. When was the last time your past experiences informed a major decision you’ve made?

We are all affected by our past experiences. Whether we realize it or not, that is a core part of our human nature.

Some are more inclined to look to the past than others. Some get trapped, forever reliving it. Some turn away, never wanting to remember.

Our past shapes us. It turns us into who we are in the present, changes how we view our lives and causes us to act differently in the future. Two people can look at a life event, and because of their past they will draw completely different interpretations of it.

For example, someone who had a traumatic experience involving heights when they were a child isn’t going to want to ride on a roller coaster as an adult. But someone who remembers fun times at the amusement park with their family, going on rides with their dad, teasing their little brothers, etc. is going to love going on them again and again, and will most likely pass that love on to their kids. The former person will probably avoid amusement parks all together.

However, nothing is set in stone.

We have the ability to think about and analyze our past experiences. At times it may be hard to be that introspective, or to relive past traumas. But analyzing or past in an objective, healthy, and mindful matter allows us to see each experience as what it really is: a lesson.

Lessons aren’t inherently good or bad. They are just a way you learn more about yourself. Thinking about the past in that way allows you to shape your future into what you want it to be. Even the most horrific, awful things in your life will be learning experiences, and that makes them easier to move on from. The good things reinforce the positives you have, and make the learning feel even more worthwhile.

So, to answer the original question, when was the last time my past informed a major decision?

It was when I was deciding to start this blog. I looked back at my past, and saw all of the times I had failed. All of the times I had started a project, only to leave it half-finished. All the times I had a good idea, and left it behind to gather dust. I looked at all these negatives, and decided to build a positive.

Now, I do have positive experiences. My daughter, my friends, my family are all wonderful things in my life. But they all were passive things I didn’t have to try for. I wanted to make an experience that I could look back on with pride. I wanted to give myself a new lesson. Not the usual “failure sucks, but you’ll learn” lesson. I wanted a better lesson. One that says, “Look at what you can accomplish, and how good it feels to succeed.”

Hopefully, that is what this blog will become.

Plus, writing is easier for me than weight loss and rollercoasters. 🙂

-Shaman

My Most Prized Possession?   6 comments

I finally found a daily prompt I wanted to do! That hasn’t really happened in a while…

What’s your most prized possession? GO!

I’m not really too possessive of my possessions.

It’s not that I don’t love my material goods. I definitely like having a fast computer to write on, a phone to text with, and a bed to sleep in.

But I don’t think about the specific brand, style, look, etc. of those things when I consider them.

Well, that’s not the complete truth. I do consider the pros and cons of an item when I am buying them. But I don’t attach to them on an emotional level at all. Even with a different processor, speed, and interface, my old HTC phone did all the same things that my new Samsung does. One phone is interchangeable with another to me., just like most other things.

I find I value memories more than any material thing. That is how I’ve always been. I’m the type of guy who tells my family and friends that they don’t need to buy me gifts around the holidays. I tell them that I am happy  just to have their company. They say I’m full of crap, but I do sincerely feel that way.

I have a hard time even remembering the gifts that I receive, but I remember the times I spend with my loved ones fondly and clearly. I also remember the joy on their face when they open up the gifts I gave them, even though I can’t remember any of the actual gifts.

So, in the end, possessions fade, but the memories last for ever. That being said, I do have a prized possession.

She is an electric hollow-bodied guitar named Blondie. (Due both to her color and the fact that my dad loves the band.) He gave me Blondie for my 18th birthday, and I made a promise never to sell or give her away, except back to him. She is a beautiful sounding, beautiful feeling, beautiful looking guitar, and I love plugging her in and playing. (I can’t do it as often as I’d like due to noise.)

I have plenty of fond memories to go along with her too. Memories of learning Tears in Heaven and Time In a Bottle on her. Memories of writing new songs or just playing around on her. Memories of jamming with my friends and having fun with her. I have all of these wonderful memories tied to that guitar. That is why she’s my favorite possession.

Plus, I also have a thing for blondes. 🙂

-Shaman

Posted 04/29/2014 by Shaman in Daily Prompt

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Umm… I don’t?   8 comments

Daily Prompt Time.

Tell us your tried and true techniques for focusing when that deadline looms and you need to get work done. In other words, how do you avoid wasted days and wasted nights?

I don’t, to be honest. I have a problem with either procrastinating until the last second, or do my projects in a rush and finish them early. It’s not about what I find fun or enjoyable, not completely. Sometimes things I enjoy take me forever, and things I hate get completed instantly. In fact, I started this post at around 9 today, and I have:
-Taken a shower.
-Watched the new episode of Cosmos.
-Took a nap.
-Watched a documentary on Einstein.
-Started to clean my room, but got bored with that and started writing again.

I enjoy writing, but for some reason it was the last thing I wanted to do. But sometimes, when i get a great idea, I’ll end up writing pages and pages of stuff, eschewing food, hygiene, friends, sex, and candy to do so.

So the better question is: how does one be a functioning adult while having the habits of a hyperactive toddler?

I do that by breaking up the stuff I don’t like to do over the day, in between breaks of doing stuff I want to do. I will, for example, write blog posts, surf Wikipedia, teach my self math, and read e books. I will occasionally take breaks from all this to actually do my job. Luckily, my job is easy and transactional, so i am able to do plenty of non-work, while only having to deal with the occasional distractions of working.

However, then we get to the question: what is wasted time? I can understand that if I sit around and do absolutely nothing, that I am wasting time. But if I am learning, expanding my brain, or making money, is it wasted time?

If that is true, then in fact I make a very good use of my time. Its just the rest of the world that is the problem. 🙂

Posted 04/08/2014 by Shaman in Daily Prompt

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A Letter to My Former Self (Weekly Writing Challenge)   2 comments

First off, I tend to WAY over think things. So naturally when a prompt about time travel comes up, my mind goes off with all the things that wouldn’t work: the grandfather paradox, the conservation of history, the what-if-I-squish-the-butterfly-that-somehow-emancipates-the-slaves-and-creates-sweet-n’-low problem, etc. I think because of my tendency to over think, I can’t really do a blog post on a historical event and time. Well I could, but it would probably be way to long for anyone to bother reading, although I’m sure someone would find my ramblings about killing Hitler’s dog and investing in Google would be entertaining.

But as I thought about what I wanted to say, my thoughts turned personal. Instead of trying to do a funny rant about paradoxes, or a deep rant about why it wouldn’t work, I decided to write a letter. I wanted to write a letter to my past self, as if I had the ability to pop back and give it to myself. It ended up being very cathartic. I’ll share it below. I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I did writing it:

Dear Shaman,

I know you don’t know where this letter came from. Just found it in your pocket while you are walking home. Well, I put it there. I know this is going to sound strange, but I am you, from the future.

No you aren’t about to die. No, you don’t need to save the world.

No, you absolutely SHOULD NOT TURN AROUND RIGHT NOW!!!

I got you, didn’t I?

If you had anything important I had to tell you, I wouldn’t be able to. Those are the rules. No I will not tell you the rules. But if you think about the paradoxes I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Just don’t over-think it too much, you’ll figure it out when you are my age. 🙂

I can’t really tell you anything important. Not big advice, or life lessons, or things to look out for. By the time this gets to you, I’ll have had to revise it so it can be sent. Not I won’t tell you that either. I will say the only reason I’m allowed is because I’m assure this will not turn you, and therefore me, into a gibbering psych patient.

So I can’t say much. But I can give you an idea of what your near future is going to hold. If you want to stop and not know anything, this would be the time to stop. I won’t judge you. It’s probably the smart thing to do.

….

Come on, who am I kidding?

I know you’re going to read it. No way you wouldn’t. You (I? We?) are way too curious for your (our) own good sometimes.

A couple more things before I go on. Obviously I’m avoiding names, dates or any discernible information. Pretty much anything worthwhile, actually. Even so, I would like you to read without skipping, all the way to the end. If you haven’t already skipped to the end before reading this, that is.

First off, enjoy the years you will have in high school. Yes, I know that it seems fun to feel angst-y and deep right now. But you never really grow out of it, so you should cut down on it while you still have all of these friends around. You’ll have more fun if you just lighten up, and not worry about girls and all that other crap. Don’t get me wrong, deep brooding will always be one of our hobbies. But there’s a time and place, and the girls you’re agonizing over aren’t worth it.

Instead, try to spend more time will the friends you love. It’s not that you’re going to lose them or anything tragic, but you never will capture the magic you have right now with them. People just drift apart sometimes. You’ll still love them. But you’ll also long for them all the time. I wish that I could just recapture one more conversation, one more day, one more moment you’ve yet to experience. So enjoy them while you have them. They will make wonderful memories. But don’t worry, I’ll keep making sure we have plenty of good memories to come.

You will have bad things happen to you too. That’s just the way life goes. Some will be big, some on the small side, but all of them are important. You will be more depressed then you ever thought possible. They will make you angry, and make you sick. You will feel like giving up, calling life quits and leaving it all behind. Hell, I’ve gotten closer to doing so than I’d ever care to admit. You will be more miserable, and you will suffer. (See, told you that you’ll still be angst-y.)

But don’t let all that worry you. I’m sending you this now, so obviously you make it through all of the problems you face.Weird as it sounds, you’ll look back at those times, all the pain, the frustration, the hopelessness, just as fondly as all of your happy memories. Every tear shed and wall punched will have made you a stronger person. They’ve made me a better person than I ever thought I could be. Granted, I’m still learning, and I’ve probably got some more prime suffering years ahead of me. I’ll send us both (you? my selves?) a letter when I finally get past that and get to the just plain fun parts of life.

Now, I can’t give you too much advice, for obvious reasons.  But if there is one thing I want you to remember; just one thing I want you to take from this surreal experience, is this: love your life. Love every single success, every single screw up, every bad day and every good moment. Love every single breath, every single tear, every single breath, every single moment you’re alive. Love every aspect of your existence. You get one chance, and it is far too short to spend worrying about everything you’ve done. Just enjoy it all while you can. In the end, you’ll life it right if you do that.

Sincerely you,

Shaman Romney

P.S:I promised I’d stop lying to myself. Never thought it’d be literally, but here we are. I lied to you earlier in the letter. I could have told you anything I wanted to. Who your friends will be, who will hurt you, what you end up doing to those around you. But I’m not going to. I like the way my life has gone so far, and I know you will too. You maybe mad now, but you’ll understand when you finally get here.

I’d Kick My Own Butt   14 comments

Another day, another prompt.

If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?

That was the first thing that came to mind. Now there are things I regret, but would be afraid to change since they define me and my relationships with people. Things like breaking up with the mother of my daughter, or the 3 year-long relationship that caused me all sorts of problems. Those things made me grow and mature, and as much as they sucked, I’m not sure I’d enjoy my life if the didn’t happen.

But there is something. I would go back and actually give a damn about school. High school, college, all of it. I don’t know what moment I would have to go back to, but I’d go back there and actually try. Back to senior year, when I constantly skipped my calculus class to go hang with my friends. Now, I love my friends, but I’d have seen them anyways. If I’d just finished that damn class, I’d probably be doing a job I like instead of this one I don’t.

Now that I think about it, I even have the specific day I’d go to. It’d be the day that my professor caught me and my friends cutting class. Thinking we were badasses, we just walked past him head held high like the rebellious little shits we were. Naturally, he gave everyone a super easy quiz and stopped caring about how I did. If I didn’t, why should he?

The irony of everything is that had I applied myself, I’d have passed. I’d have been able to take that credit to college, and go into engineering like I wanted. Instead, I tried to take it in college, got overwhelmed, failed it 3 times and went into accounting instead. Now, ironically, I am teaching myself calculus in my spare time, because now I value learning. It only took 5 years and thousands of dollars.

Stupid teenager. 🙂

Posted 04/01/2014 by Shaman in Daily Prompt

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What Ever Will Be Will Be (If We Will It To Be)   14 comments

Normally I don’t really do the daily prompts offered by WordPress, but this one actually caught my attention, so I here’s what I think.

Do you believe in fate or do you believe you can control your own destiny?

I’d like to believe in fate, I really would. The idea of being predestined to do something great, to find your one true love, to know that some day somehow you will achieve your life’s meaning, is comforting and warm. That is, until you really think about it.

Not everyone is destined to be an Einstein or a Mozart. If you look back at the billions of people who have lived and died on this planet, how many achieved anything more than just taking up space. Working themselves to the bone, to maybe achieve their own personal happiness, and the happiness of those around them. I’d think that would be a good life, but is that what you would want to be destined for? For happy mediocrity?

Plus, who’s to say you’d only be destined for good things? Just as you could be the next Gandhi, you could also be the next Saddam, or Stalin, or Hitler? Plus, if small good things can be predestined, who’s to say that your destiny isn’t to steal, cheat, gamble and rob? Having your life predestined, if you truly believed it, would rid you of all real resposibiltiy. You do anything wrong, its not your fault. It was just your destiny.

Scary thought, right?

I believe we choose our own fate. We are in charge of our own destiny. Our mistakes are ours to own, but so are all our accomplishments. Nobody controls you. Nothing can stop you from trying to acheive what you want. Nothing stands in the way of your happiness except you. Now, the circumstances you are born into, the twists and turns you take through out life can and will limit your choices. You aren’t completely in control, but you are in control of what you do about it.

I like to view life, destiny, fate, all of this, as a river. Everyone has a direction they are flowing towards. That is determined by where you were born, genetics, environment, and all the other things that you don’t really have any control over in the beginning. But even though you flow in a general direction, you get to choose the ebb and flow, where it branches and where it bends.. With enough gradual changes, you can even choose a whole new direction to flow towards. Then, when you reach the end, your “river” becomes a new starting point for others.

So in a sense you may have somewhat of a predestined path. But it was predestined by the ones who came before you, not some mystical power. You can challenge your path, and change it. All it takes is wanting and work.

But, everything could totally be predestined. I could just be predestined to disagree with the notion. Just like you could be predestined to agree/disagree with me. 🙂