After finishing All Quiet On The Western Front, it was easy to think of so many questions that reflect our current society and lives. We had the opportunity to imagine a daily life filled with the unimaginable, constant fear, death, and shocking conditions. The novel makes you question the purpose of war and the lasting effects it has not only on society but the extensive damage, often physical and psychological, to multiple generations. It brings into question nationalism and pride, fear and bravery, and life and death. But most importantly it makes us question humanity. Evident in this book, how can we, as a species, be so destructive and so cruel? Will we ever change (is it even possible to change?) and are we heading in a downward spiral to our extinction? Are we calling into question our morality and is their anyway to change our behavior or alter our fate?
When I began this blog in early October of last year, I had no idea what to expect and only a slight idea of what I wanted to write about. But since then I have published about thirty posts and while I originally set out to write about popular media forms/topics like television, books, and movies, my blog quickly became a place to make personal connections and store stories from my past. I realized that I was writing more for myself and about myself because it was a great opportunity to share my life with others whether they were ready to listen or not. It was a weekly chance to express myself and really sit down and think about how the positive and negative experiences in my life truly shape who I am.
There are so many posts that I loved writing and the ones that I genuinely loved writing were the ones that people genuinely loved reading. My very first post was on the killing off of characters (read it here) and even months later I still get comments from people who can easily relate to the feeling. I also loved writing my vacation posts, especially about my trips to Utah and visiting the farm in Maui with the backhoe, avocados, and the donkey. As I wrote each one, I got the chance to take in and in a way, celebrate the amazing opportunities and experiences I’ve had and how much they affected my life and my outlook on it. In addition, I’ve always had so much fun writing about the animals that play such a huge role in my life. With the loss of my beloved anole, Kiwi, a few months ago and the recent addition, Hadron the Bearded Dragon, reflecting on those blog posts has secured their memory, their stories, and their little quirks.
If I could do anything differently, I would simply post more often. Especially just those simple, short posts with a picture that means something to me, tells a story, or makes a memory last. And for future bloggers, I would suggest that you make your blog a reflection of yourself. Pour yourself into your posts, make them important to you, and your audience will feel the meaning and magnitude that they leave behind. And of course, DFTBA.
I wouldn’t change anything about this blogging project or experience. It offers just enough guidance and suggestions but still allows us the freedom to write meaningful posts.
“But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
–George Orwell, Animal Farm
Dead. Apparently, according to the traumatizing episode of Grey’s Anatomy that aired this past Thursday. And no, not “apparently dead”, the character was really dead as in “not-coming-back-in-future-episodes-unless-it’s-a-dream-or-flashback” kind of dead. And to be honest, I still haven’t recovered from that episode or stopped thinking about what it means to me. The waves of emotion are relentless and although I’ve seen every single episode of this show and I know it’s a fictitious world, it’s still hard to wrap my mind around everything that happened so quickly yet with so much grace.
When the future beckons, what do you do? Do you rush forward and grab whatever it offers you or slow down and choose what you think you want or need? As the months pass by, “the year of choices” as I like to call it, has arrived and it’s time to make decisions about our future and how we want it to take place. The chance of failure is increasing with each passing day and my anxiety is mounting. When do we push ourselves and when do we take a breath? What if we make mistakes that can’t be fixed? Simply put, I have to choose next year’s classes and I have no idea what to do.
The terrifying scene I woke up to.
Mother Nature likes to play cruel jokes on us. I woke up on a bright Sunday morning and got up to feed Kiwi some crickets and check on Crabbie to see if he had eaten his dinner or needed more turtle pellets. As I’m looking for him in his different houses and hiding places, I see the underbelly of a crab lying face up at the entrance of his house. My heart starts racing because 1) crabs don’t sleep like that and 2) crabs have the ability to flip themselves over and need to come out of the water every 10-20 minutes to get a fresh breath of air. Also, now all I can think about is “oh, crap. Did I kill the crab?” and everything I did for the last three months starts flashing through my mind. Every tank cleaning, feeding, movement, etc.
With the upcoming release of the movie, Insurgent, the second book/movie of the Divergent Trilogy, it’s made me wonder about the plausibility of our whole lives and world being a simulation run by superior beings whether intellectually or simply by chance. What if our “fence” is a barrier that we have not yet found but exists either metaphorically or physically? As a kid, almost every single time I wandered off into a day dream, it was about how tiny and insignificant I am, we are, in the grand scheme of things. The average human is just a small lump of atoms, roughly 7.0 x 10^27 atoms, in comparison to the extraordinary amount of atoms that makes up just the observable universe. I’m just one person, on a small planet part of one of many solar systems, which is part of one of many galaxies, in a universe that cannot be completely observed and that may not even be the only universe. Literally, a “Who” on a speck of dust on a fluffy pink clover carried by a happy-go-lucky elephant.
Anyone who has ever owned a pet and has had to say goodbye to them knows what it feels like to think about never getting to experience their love or make anymore memories with them. Having had so many animals over the years, it’s easy to recall the emotions from the many times my family and I have had to hold a beloved pet in their final moments. Individual emotions are hard to describe and incomparable to any other experience.
You can find many articles that will tell you how to cope with the loss of your pet or making the decision to end their suffering but nothing will really prepare you for the moment it happens. The first family pet that we lost was our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Max. I may have mentioned his story before but he was the first “child” for my parents and they got him a little while after they got married. According to my mom, he was the “clearance dog” since he was the runt of his litter, lacked a tail, and had abnormally long fur. But he was a typical puppy and we have pictures of him holding onto the leg of my dad’s pants as he walked around the house.
If you had the opportunity to travel to a planet 140 million miles away from earth and uninhabited by any other human or known animal life, would you take it? You will travel through space for 7-8 months in a small capsule before arriving on Mars. Once there, you will need to readjust to gravity and complete the setup of the life-sustaining units that you will now call home. The only catch is that this trip is a one-way ticket, once you leave on the Mars Transit Trajectory, there is no going back. You will have to say goodbye to all of your family and friends as the only video call from Mars will have a seven minute delay one way.