Reflections

Update on Gaming and The Portfolio

Hey guys,

Quick update on the portfolio: I have moved some things around, streamlined some things, and added Twitter feeds and social media links into the sidebar.

Twitter is arguably the best way to keep in touch with me anywhere, so be sure to follow me on Twitter!

In addition, I’ve got some new, quick videos highlighting what I am doing on my YouTube channel and when and what I will be recording. Check them out below!



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Reflections

A Brave New World

College. An apartment. A new life. A brave new world.

I have moved to Davis, California where I will be attending the University of California, Davis. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science – Public Service.

It’s a strange feeling: I moved in on September 3rd and I have found a job on campus. I am in what I refer to as a “lame duck” period: the period between when you move into your dwelling for college and when school actually starts.

I have only a glimpse of what life will be like when I am pursuing my education, but the implications are profound and compelling: I am becoming my own man. My parents are paying for my rent and I must come up with the rest of the money that supports me (not limited to electricity and gas, food for both myself and my pet, gas money, car maintenance money among other things).

I feel that college is going to be a transforming experience, but not in the way most people think; I have always wanted to be on my own and prove my knowledge and my resolve to the world. I feel that the position I am in right now in life is the place where that is going to happen: I can only sink or swim.

I ponder how many other kids feel like they are in the same predicament as I, or whether they feel anything like that at all. I must admit my first few days here on my own seemed a bit lonely and solitary, but I realized quickly that solitude and independence are things not easily taken for granted: it costs to possess such things, but the rewards are scarcely imaginable. Being on my own and being responsible for my own rewards as well as my own mistakes is important in the development of any adult; it occurred to me that some adults do not even go through the transformation I feel I am partaking in now. There are plenty of adults who either do not possess independence or who do not appreciate solitude.

I do my best to be a responsible, disciplined young man. I do not find that I will be partying much, as I have always been the scholarly and solitary type of guy. While this does not mean that I am not sociable (I feel I have competence among the plebeians) it does mean that I prefer to partake in endeavours that don’t require other people around. I often come home after work in the blistering afternoon heat and play with my pet, make food to eat, play on my computer or read some books and essays that I have from my voluminous possession of literature. I feel that this, along with my schoolwork, will usher in a new era of scholarly development and progress from the confines of my curiosity and mind.

In addition, I am to not only be partaking in studies here at the University but also the United States Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, a college-centered program that trains cadets for a life in the United States Army as a commissioned officer. I have decided to set the objective of going to law school and being an attorney for the United States Army for myself: while I do not know if the future has such a fate in store for me, I find that this is a good route to take considering my skills not only in the study of history but also in the study of war.

To be truthful, for a long time in my youth I had dreamt of a career in the military. I have always known that history and war were too things I not only enjoyed but I was also good at. Here, I feel a synthesis of my interests and skills is taking place: law and war. While they can both exist independently, it is an interesting combination when the subjects collide, and it is only when they are both in the same realm that humanity and its foundations are elevated to a different height of enlightenment.

I feel that if there is to be someone in the position to uphold law, and also there must be someone to take life and to command it, it would be myself. I feel that is a burden, an obligation, that I must take upon myself to perhaps prevent lives from being lost, a prisoner wrongfully imprisoned, or a conflict wrongfully started. Napoleon was once in the same position and so was Adolf Hitler: I would be in the same realm as them but I would that I don’t carry out the same mistakes they did in the field of battle.

So much has changed in our world since their times: still today are we affected by what they did and the decisions they made. There will always be individuals like themselves, but it is what they believe in that is important. I believe in law, and I believe in life. If someone has to be in a position of power to make war in order to end it, or if one must be in a position to advise those who make war, I would it be me in that position, even if it may cost me my life. I know that I would hold in high esteem the law and life.

There is a brave new world out there.

A.N. Lopez

Reflections

You Are Gone

I see your face everywhere; you are always in my heart and in my mind, but in real life, you are gone.

We don’t talk anymore; we used to all the time, but things changed. I remember what I used to imagine about us. I used to imagine us growing old together; taking you to ball and kissing you under a starlit sky. I used to imagine our kids and what it would be like to have them running around while we were trying to keep our minds sane.

I imagined the night I proposed to you. When you were gone for so long, I would still see your face everywhere. In my dreams and my nightmares. I looked at other people and saw only you, and the pain returned to my heart.

It took me a long time to realize how the dreams of childhood became the suffering of adolescence. It is when we grow older that we see the reality of things, and I realized how much you had changed. It broke my heart more times than I can say.

I realize now that one day we will never see eachother again; I will only see you in my thoughts. You will walk beside me every day when you have not been in the flesh for years; I would think about you and wonder where you are and what places you would visit and the man you would marry; I would wonder if you ever thought about me or if you had ever thought we might have had a chance.

The joy of love lasts but a moment; the pain of love lasts a lifetime.

A.N. Lopez

Reflections

Lose Yourself

Wise men always say that it is good to travel alone to places because you reflect more; I think the saying should be that being alone helps you reflect on your life. In the absence of personal relationships and friends, you become your own critic (and your own worst enemy).

As people, we lose ourselves sometimes; we lose the perspective we have on our lives and begin to believe we are not in control of them or that our plans and feelings can run more amok than we’d like. We forget that our feelings and our lives are always in our control, and that attitude is the most important part of life.

It is natural to lose sight of the far-off goals and dreams you have: we are all human.

Let thy chief fort and place be a mind free from passions; a greater defense than this hath no man.

I have lost myself many times, and often it takes me some manner of time to re-situate myself and my outlook on life. This current time, it appears, is different than the rest: I have declined in my passion for school, for work, for love and information; it is a decline that does not go out with a bang or in with a storm, but a whimper. It is a slow decline, and one that people can easily miss because they are too preoccupied with the fortunes and thoughts of life and destiny.

I don’t sleep much; I don’t care much for things that I used to care for. If anything, I constantly seek ways to be apart from the scene and leave where my commitments demand me to stay. That is the ultimate low of life: to stop caring about things you used to care for.

So we all lose ourselves, but the important thing is to recognize the fall so that we may pick ourselves back up. Anyone who ever succeeded suffered failure; anyone who ever lived had to die sometime. The wisdom and the knowledge of ages is embed in the lives that we live and the attitudes that we hold in our minds and our hearts, and that power of the human breast is not one to be easily forgotten.

Reflect. Calm yourself and step away from the commitments and intricacies of daily life. Whether you are a mom, dad, soldier, lawyer, butcher, baker, or candle-stick maker, we all have thoughts and commitments in our own minds but more importantly: in our hearts. We all lose ourselves sometimes, and to reflect is to glare at what it is we are fighting for and be reminded of the struggle.

It is a perpetual struggle; it is a fight that does not end until we all meet the Creator; it is a conflict that can scare us and bring us to our knees, and its weapons are fortune, heartache, exhaustion, and death: but it is merely a tool to help us reflect on our lives and find purpose and strength in our existence.

The night is darkest just before the dawn.

A.N. Lopez

Reflections

A Week in Spain

I traveled to Spain on January the 2nd of 2015, and I returned just yesterday on January 10th, 2015. It was an experience; not life-changing, but not empty either. It was an important and enlightening look into the socio-political and cultural makeup of the Kingdom of Spain, and it also allowed me to reflect on what it means to live in the United States.

I first traveled to Frankfurt, Germany on the fantastic and well-worth-the-money¬†Lufthansa¬†airline. I learned that our flight plan brought us over Canada, Greenland, Iceland, England, and the North Pole. Germany itself was a cloudy, misty, but wonderful and enticing foreign location, despite the fact that we didn’t leave the airport. I wish I could have stayed longer in the German Realm, but it was enjoyable nonetheless (McDonalds french fries are also quite tasty, even in a German airport).

We arrived in Barcelona after some grueling fourteen hours of traveling and layover. I took residence in a small apartment-hotel complex with my fellow students, and at first glance, Barcelona was a Spanish San Francisco; the weather was cold, apartments and shops litter the streets, trash and grime are all around, and there is an abundance of police, shoppers, signs, and cars.

We stayed in Barcelona for several days, checking out key spots of the city like La Rambla, Park Guell, the beach, la Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, and all sorts of shops and restaurants. The political and social aspect of the city was most intriguing; all around the city were Catalan flags posted on apartments and balconies; my tour guide Jose informed us that the flag meant that the inhabitant of the resident supported independence for the region of Catalonia in Spain. It also came to my knowledge why it seemed as though we faced such hostility from the Catalan populace in Barcelona: the Catalan people don’t like Americans. While Catalonia likes Europe and France especially, they dislike America and their Spaniard brethren and feel like Spain is too close to the West (a West dominated by the US in their opinion).

We traveled to Pamplona, seeing the ceremony of the Epiphany on June 6th. Pamplona and its people were a bit nicer than Barcelona, as it was not part of the Catalan independence movement. After Pamplona we went north to Basque Country, which was by far my favorite part of the trip. All of Basque Country is covered in forest and hills and mountains, and it was an astonishing and breathtaking sight. We went to Bilbao and then to San Sebastian, and I was taken away by the beaches and natural fauna of the land. Basque Country is by far the most beautiful part of Spain.

We returned to Barcelona, and enjoyed the last of our time in Spain shopping, seeing the Dali museum, and exploring throughout the city. Me and my friends on the trip spent the last night in Spain drinking coffee, playing Texas Hold ‘Em, making jokes, laughing, and hanging out. We went to the airport and had to say goodbye to our tour guide, who became a close friend of mine on the trip. He was a kind and good man, and it was hard to say goodbye to him (I started crying personally).

We returned to the United States yesterday exhausted, jet lagged, and in need of food and sleep. I have returned to reality now, and as I write this, I reflect on my experience on another continent and feel that this trip had more of an enlightening effect on me than I think.

I wonder why it is that Spanish people wish to go to the US, or vice versa; I also wonder that if I saw so much of a country in eight days, how much of my own country have I seen?

Overall, it was an adequate trip. One of learning, knowledge, and satisfactory fun.

A.N. Lopez

Reflections

Another Season Passes By

Well, its 2015.

I faintly remember this exact moment in time 365 days ago. I was a different person then. I didn’t have a girlfriend, I wrote often, and I felt a bit remorseful and regretful about a few things (and optimistic about others).

Now, I feel lost; I am in a relationship, have bills to pay, responsibilities to meet, and yet, I feel unsure of myself sometimes. I feel unsure of myself and my future, and I will soon be entering the debt-ridden world of college and life. Daunting and scary, it is.

But, I am still here. I am still Adrian, just a different Adrian. Aren’t we all? Do we all not know the challenges and mishaps that life brings? Things are often out of our control, and our attitudes and our minds are what govern our existence. The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind. For a long while I have been in a negative state of mind. I let things pass me by, and I don’t focus in school. I yearn for enlightenment, but I shun the knowledge of books, people, and the world around me.

My mentality has changed, therefore affecting my behaviors and my world. I think its time for reformation; it is time that I change a few things about myself, and be the man I am supposed to be. I sometimes feel gravely sad about the inhumanity and apathy of people, but I should be reminded of their capacity to love, cherish, and care for others; I have somewhat forgotten how to do those things myself.

Reflections

Change

Wow, quite a period of time since I have last written.

Many things have changed. I am eighteen years old now; an adult. I have applied to college, I am still with my girlfriend, and my world is changing. Changing all around me. I feel less interested in the things I used to love. I am a different man of different values. I am confused and clear-sighted at the same time.

What causes this change in me? What force or power can change a man? His soul? Is it my dreams? My love for myself and for others? Or the absence of love?

In truth, I am unhappy and happy; I am content and discontent. I feel as though I am among the troubled, confused of which movies and TV shows are made. I have clear plans for the world, and yet what do they say about the man that I am? What do I value? What do I sacrifice?

Most of these questions I truly have no answer to. Such answers are beyond my truth. For now. Reflection is needed in order to deal with change.

It has been a gradual change, and not sudden; I don’t write anymore. I don’t socialize. I spend money freely. I handle my responsibilities, but I feel as though I shy away from them. I used to be a workaholic, and now work makes work of me. I am exhausted and tired. From what? What, or whom, has made me this way?

Perhaps many things. High school. A relationship. Thoughts of infidelity. Thoughts of power. Of apathy. Of losing perspective of the big picture and taking a look at the text. Truth shys away from me, and all I see is only that which I open my eyes to see. It is a regrettable admission, but it is an admission. It is the truth as I see it through my eyes.

I am a troubled person. I am not OK. I am not well. I need help. I need change. I need something else in this world. Food loses its taste; love loses its passion. Work loses it vigor, and education loses its worth.

Who am I? What is happening to me? What has happened?

A.N. Lopez