Memorial Day, 2013

May 27, 2013 at 11:52 am (Uncategorized)

Well, last night’s post is certainly a bit depressing on the reread this morning. Fortunately I don’t feel like that all the time! I am normally a font of optimism.

For instance, it’s pretty great that I get today off of work (and I took Friday off, so here we are at the final leg of a 4 day weekend). I got some new running shoes yesterday, and I am going to start running (which I hate a lot) because I need to get in shape and get my life together. So it just has to happen. No excuses. I want to sign up for a half marathon in the fall to give me a goal to work towards, but the one I wanted to do I found out was only for women. So now I need to figure out a secondary plan involving targeting another race. That is still up in the air, but the running will begin regardless.

The rain is falling gently, and it makes me glad I went to the beach at the beginning half of the weekend. We lucked out with mostly nice weather. It was a brief trip to the coast, but sometimes it’s nice to get away, even if only for a night or so. Just doing something different and breaking up your routine can make everything change. We are creatures of habit, some good, probably mostly bad, and it is difficult to change them. Altering one’s perception is easy, though. It just takes a day, or a moment.

 

It’s important to take this day to remember those who have served our country and those who have given their lives for our freedoms. It is also important to remember that participation in this democracy is a privilege that people fought and died for, so don’t take it lightly. Your involvement matters.

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Silver Linings Playbook

May 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm (Uncategorized)

What is a blog, but a reaction/thoughts to life around us? I just finished the Silver Linings Playbook, which I loved. I have lots of feelings about the film that are traveling in many directions, but there is one thread in particular I feel like following at the moment, and I want to throw down some words because a) I haven’t written in forever and b)the emotion will be stronger the fresher it is. Oh, as a side note this will also probably be colored heavily by the film Frances Ha which is also excellent and which I watched last night.

I wonder, sometimes, if love is available to all of us. Not the love we have for our fellow person, or the planet, or general compassion, but that love between two people that is strong and binding and forever. The kind of situation where (and I am paraphrasing, perhaps terribly, a monologue from Frances Ha) you can be at a party with your significant other, look across the room into each other’s eyes and know that you two share this whole other world that no one else will ever be able to see. It’s yours.

I know that it’s possible to have those moments, perhaps briefly, but to really fall in love and be in love every day. I think that for some of us it’s out there but for many of us it’s not. It’s sad and beautiful. I mean I’ve had moments of really being truly in love, where you love them and they love you and it just clicks, but more often than not it seems that I’m love with them or that they’re in love with me, but we being in love with each other, that’s special. It’s different. For some people it lasts forever, and for others it doesn’t. I’m not saying that it magically clicks and stays that way, I know relationships of any stripe take work.

I guess the takeaway I always have from movies like this is that I want to be in love. I want to put in the hard work. I want to have someone that I can be with and is with me. So far that person has proven elusive to find (It’s hard to really lament forever-aloneness at 22), and I’m not saying I’ve given up on the dream by any stretch, but I see so many marriages fall apart and I wonder how it got there.

I wonder how they were in the first place, I wonder why they got married, why they built this metaphorical building on a metaphorical foundation that was obviously shaky. The scary part is that YOU can be sure, but if the other person has a problem you might not find out about it until farther along. That can’t be helped, but I do think it says something about not getting married right away. It says something about realizing the kind of commitment love is, that you can fall in and out of it and being unsure is many times the same thing as a no. At the very least it should be a “wait and see” kind of thing.

I guess what’s most difficult for me about watching these kinds of movies is that I have the sense that I could be in one of them, that I have the kind of love that is worthy of art. That you could sing or write or dance or make a film about it. But if the other person doesn’t feel that way, then it’s unrequited love, which I will be honest makes me feel silly. Like I shouldn’t invest so much of me into someone who doesn’t feel the same way. We can’t help what we feel, though–it’s just a part of us. I think it’s built into our fabric. A person can’t help loving, or not loving, as the case may be. Or loving, but not enough. Loving, but in the wrong kind of way.

We’re people, we’re flawed, it just is.

Movies like this just give me this general sense of FEELING. I want to sit down and talk about them with someone, to try to make sense of the world together. Whether that’s a friend or more than that is less important for these kind of conversations. I think that’s a part of being human too, although perhaps I feel these impulses more strongly with my strong sense of extraversion.

 

Anyway the movie is great and I highly recommend it to everyone.

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Bit sized blog

May 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm (Uncategorized)

So a month or so ago I wrote this snippet of a blog post, and thought to myself, “I’m gonna turn this into a full length thing.” I never did, and I have come to realize I never will. So to get it off my screen (I write on digital sticky notes) here you are:

I woke up this morning and didn’t go back to bed–which is unusual for me. …..

So I was rocking out to Jason Mraz and dancing around the kitchen with the frying pan and I thought to myself, “heh tangled.”
And then I stopped for a moment. I had a strong desire to reflect on the life choices that brought me to this exact point–but instead I shrugged, and went back to dancing/fighting off imaginary villians.

 

It was a nice morning, but I didn’t have anything else to say.

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Unrelenting Positivity

May 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm (Uncategorized)

So, lately I haven’t been particularly happy in general. There hasn’t been much of a reason for it, and it hasn’t been ALL the time, but outside of sometimes moments of enjoying myself my general state has been one of dissatisfaction. I’ve let it permeate me, let it become my default. I don’t really enjoy being unhappy, but the unhappiness bred more unhappiness (with being unhappy in the first place) in a feedback loop, and I’ve been more or less mired in it.

I was driving to volleyball this evening and had an epiphany–I don’t need to be unhappy. I can change myself. I am a big fan of the “fake it ’til you make it” school of thought, and in life as in acting, one simply has to be. I am a construct (in some ways) of my own consciousness, and I can build habits. Those habits have been mostly negative regarding my view of myself, but they don’t have to be!

Thus, I have decided on a swift and strict course of action: unrelenting positivity. I will not be unhappy. If I start feeling unhappy, I will change direction. Jordan, from May 13th 2013, 7pm-ish, will be unrelentingly positive. I’m done being unhappy, done not progressing towards the person I want to be.

There will be hiccups, naturally, but I will cease being sad and start being awesome instead, as NPH would say. I am not depressed, I’m unhappy, and there is a world of difference. One is medical and this is simply how I am choosing to perceive the world. So here I am, swearing before the 2-3 people that read my blog, facebook, and potentially whatever deity(s) inhabit the universe–I WILL BE UNRELENTINGLY POSITIVE.

To commemorate my first evening as such, let me tell you something positive.

WHY I LOVE VOLLEYBALL, BY JORDAN HENSLEY:

  • Volleyball is fun.
  • I love competition.
  • It’s my best workout of the week–I have tons of motivation to work as hard as I can.
  • The people I play with are a lot of fun.
  • I don’t suck at it.
  • Sports are awesome.
  • It gets me out of the house.
  • It means spending some time with my dad.
  • I can get out of my head and my own way and just BE.

That is a short list. I would probably play volleyball every day if I could, it’s pretty great.

#GoVandals

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5/12

May 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm (Uncategorized)

Maybe it has something to do with the semi-isolated nature of my life at present, but I’m getting really into the NBA Playoffs. It helps that most of the games have been pretty competitive. I was trying to watch some baseball earlier, but it’s just not my game. Basketball is much more interesting to watch, IMO.

Choir concert last night–it was a lot of fun outside of the fact that it was about 115 degrees inside of the church we performed in. I was losing focus towards the end, but hung on and I am happy with how it turned out. Got a second wind and sang karaoke well into the night also–I always have a lot of fun doing that. On the whole a very enjoyable evening.

Subject change…

With so many friends graduating from college, it’s strange to think that I won’t be able to just visit Moscow in the future and have many of my closest friends all in once place. To have to go to Seattle, Boise, Denver, Shanghai, or wherever it may be in the next few years to see people will be interesting. Things must come to their natural conclusion, though, and I am fortunate that a) I can connect with people instantly b)Many of my friends are staying in the NW–so that travel won’t be too difficult. Reality dictates that I will drift away from most of these people (like I already have begun to–has it been six months out of Moscow already??) much like high school. The foundation is there, though, and I am confident that when our paths cross again I can enjoy potential time spent with my fellow Vandals.

I am excited to see where people go and what they do–it seems like everyone is getting married, or going to grad school, or heading somewhere exciting (or a combination of any of those things). I have great faith that I will get to say I knew many of these people “way back when,” so that will be fun. The economy is growing (albeit slowly), and the future is looking up. I am hopeful things will continue to improve.

Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more with my life, that I should have achieved more than I have so far. Graduating early was a wonderful thing from a financial perspective, but as a 20 year old I wasn’t ready to move on with my life, and I feel that in some respects it has thrown my career track off kilter a bit. I have had some great experiences (managing political campaigns and working for the city of Vancouver have been fantastic) but thus far I have struggled to find stability in what I’m doing. The lack of stability in my career, coupled with a lack of stability in other facets of my life has really made me reexamine what I’m looking for. The honest answer is that I’m still not sure what life holds for me–there are so many potential paths to take, so many avenues to enact change, so many interesting and wonderful ways one can contribute to the world. I guess I need to be ok with exploring those things for now, and knowing that you might not have the world figured out at 22. 

I’ll be 23 in a little over 2 months. I feel so young, and so old. It’s strange. I imagine I’ll say the same thing at 32, and 42. It seems to be a common theme, that we expect to feel different after arbitrary points in our lives. When you have a birthday, a graduation, a new job, whatever, it just is another day. Another moment like every other moment and yet uniquely itself. If I was supposed to know what it is I am searching for right now I would know. I don’t believe in fate, necessarily, but I do believe what we do has an impact, and right now things are happening that I can’t see, things that will shape the course of my life.

Just have to jump and trust that I will find the right place to land with hard work, determination, and a little luck.

 

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5/10

May 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm (Uncategorized)

I have always thought of my mind as a body of water.

Lake Huron, or the Caspian–something. It swells, moves, is affected by the weather and pollution and a myriad of things flowing in and out constantly.

Lately, though, the waters of my mind have seemed somewhat stilled. In another sense I might think it a good thing–my mind calmed of storms raging across it–but the stillness is instead the cessation of the flowing in and out. I don’t feel like I’m being mentally challenged enough at the moment. I’m not arguing, I’m not discussing or debating, I simply sit. I still read a lot and keep up with current events, but there is this air of stillness over the entire thing.

I can’t explain it exactly, it just feels like the natural balance is out of whack, and things are becoming brackish. In trying to pinpoint the source of my issues, I wonder if it comes down to a lack of human interaction. I go to work, I play volleyball, I sing in choir–but I don’t necessarily feel a deep sense of connection with any of the things I’m doing even as I find them enjoyable and fulfilling. I guess you might say I miss the closeness and connection I found with my close friends in college, a closeness that thus far has proven to be elusive coming back to Camas/Vancouver/Portland.

This post isn’t meant to be complaining or negative; I’m not unhappy. Just not whole. The only person who can go out and make a change is myself. Maybe I need to put myself out there, go places by myself, and do some things I haven’t done before. Make some new friends if being a social butterfly is really that big of a deal to me.

Of course, then there is the fear that lack of social interaction isn’t the problem. If it’s something else I surely don’t know what it is.

All part of the searching that is currently going on. Time will tell.

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A nighttime wish

May 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear awesomely mellow playlist, please work your way into my dreams as I play you into sleep.

Thanks. -Jordan

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Saturday Night Thoughts

May 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm (Uncategorized)

A little bit under the weather, but the mind is running around. This will definitely be words vomited onto the page from here on out.

Does it ever seem to you that art (whether it’s tv/books/music/movies/painting) seems to find you at the right point in your life? An album or film shows up in your life and just lifts you up or makes you say–yes, that’s me! The logical side of me says that I’m just exposed to a lot of things regularly so some things are bound to seem more profound at a given time, but there is a part of me that thinks maybe there is some kind of order to this cosmic dance we’re doing. The logical side jumps back in and says “Jordan, that’s just your brain looking for patterns so it can understand. That’s what humans do.” I say “Dammit brain, you’re ruining all my fun, plus you don’t know anything about these FEELINGS, ok?!?! Don’t pretend like you understand me just because you are me!”

I think I would like to be able to believe in some kind of cosmic script, but I just don’t think I can.

Hope is the worst villain of them all. It lets you keep on going even when things are difficult, but it also creates this delusion that things are going to get better despite the fact that they probably won’t. I don’t mean about life generally, that’s just going to have it’s ups and downs. I’m talking more about specific situations.

It reminds me of the Ben Fold’s song “Picture Window.

It’s like Pandora’s box. All the terrible things in the world released, along with hope. I don’t mean to sound so cynical, hope is a good thing on the whole. Just in a mood, is all.

And all was silent in the house, save the gentle lapping of the dog licking himself.

A little while ago I tried to write that I thought “my judgement in music seems pretty good” but what I wrote is “my judgement is music seems pretty good” which coincidentally is also a statement I’m willing to stand by.

 

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Gotta get down on Friday

May 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear University of Idaho amigos–I hope you’re all getting ready to enjoy the Macklemore concert, because once you graduate it’s sitting at home on a Friday evening watching the NBA playoffs. At least I got to enjoy some sunshine this afternoon.

Some thoughts for your Friday:

  • If you don’t use your turn signal you are the worst kind of person.
  • I have a terribly difficult time self motivating to work out. Eating great has gotten me 80% of the way to my goals, but I don’t think I can get any farther without a commitment to working out everyday. Getting closer–working out 3 or 4 times a week, but I need to make some lifestyle changes.
  • Loving this weather. It should totally stay until September.
  • I like to sing.
  • The 20/20 experience single handedly makes my bad days better–much thanks to Young for dropboxing me the deluxe version of the album.

 

Have the house to myself this weekend–that means wandering around in my underwear and singing at the top of my lungs. I can work with this.

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Life would be simpler if I knew exactly

May 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm (Uncategorized)

Life would be simpler if I knew exactly what I wanted. I just have so many different interests that it’s hard to tie myself down to one particular career path. I love what I’m doing for Vancouver right now, but that job is temporary. Still waiting for that one thing to jump out at me. Maybe it never will–I may bounce around for a while, do grad school, get my phD, teach, or maybe I’ll find a job next month that is awesome and work at the same company for the next 40 or 50 years. Or something in between.

Uncertainty can be difficult to deal with, especially when you’re used to being successful. Intelligence and the capability to do things, unfortunately, are not the only skills required to get a job and get ahead.

Just have to keep on working at everything and opportunities will present themselves!

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