My Life, a Collage of Near Death Experiences

written during the Summer of 2017

I keep getting almost hit by cars. I feel like I should lead with that.

In the past, I had a sort of anxiety about crossing the street (which I once wrote a fair amount about, but failed to publish). However, a few weeks ago, I almost got hit by a car and since then that fear has sort of dissolved.

How does fear materialize? Does it ever “de”materialize?

Since then, I’ve been hit twice more. Almost. I suppose I’m at fault, but there are a number of variables in each situation. For better or for worse, I think my perception of life has developed in a way that’s diminished my fear of death. To an extent? I’m still trying to decipher whether or not this has made me less sensitive toward, or rather less cautious of, my mortality.

In the moment, my mind goes blank and I don’t properly process my surroundings . Maybe I have been thinking about too much, and my brains have effectively fried. Or I’ve subconsciously reordered my mind, so that unlearned priorities are less important. Or maybe I’m lacking the fear necessary to keep myself safe. Either way, something is up, and I find it fascinating.

As the end is inevitable, collective not individual (though the latter is also true), does it matter anyway?

update: I have since learned this was happening as a result of my anxiety.

still, my fascination back then continues to intrigues me.

After August arrived to claim its spot in line, I began to read a lot. More than I have in years. I used to read an incredible amount, but life happened. Or I got lazy. And stressed, definitely stressed.

A slew of knowledge.

Thanks to the barrage of information that has flooded my mind in recent weeks, I have been thinking more about topics I tend to contemplate in the classroom. Yes, I pay thousands of dollars to read prose and write essays. I could do it for free, but I’m also studying business, and I’d rather step on a LEGO than teach myself the ins-and-outs of the business world. The best thing I’ve learned in school? It’s much smarter to learn from someone else —someone  who has already made the mistakes and survived the journey.

I digress.

Musings about life, and humanity, and the way our earthly bodies shape our perception of the world, have swarmed my mind. Two books in particular have contributed to these thoughts:

  • Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlos Rovelli
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The first, a short book — very short, but funny. The second, a Young Adult dystopian novel. With an active imagination, anything can resonate on a deeper level, and for me, these hit home. Note: I have also been reading other Dystopias including The Circle and Brave New World* so I’m pretty screwed right now.

*may have also impacted the thoughts I’m sharing here

The second evokes a similar sentiment, as do most well-thought dystopian narratives. It reminds me of the fragility of human understanding. Of our certain uncertainties, and our undeniable ignorance all-throughout. It entertains my shallow absurdist beliefs (I am by no means full-fledged, but certain ideas resonate).

It also prompts me to see myself, beyond myself. In other words, to wonder who I can be, if I don’t allow myself to be limited by an earth-bound life view. Instead, imagining the possibilities if I saw myself as a part of the world: another form of matter, bending space and time. As a blip in the circle of time. As a part of something incomprehensibly vast.

Humans often, sometimes inadvertently, focus the world around themselves. Forgetting that they are but specks on earth, one of billions of humans, and earth is but a speck in our solar system, rotating around the star that is our sun. And our galaxy, but one in the vast expanse of space, is infinitesimally small considering there are billions of systems like and unlike our own. We are but a part of a seemingly endless whole. Atoms interacting. Moments in time.

The final pages of the 5th wave made my heart feel remarkably large and incredibly warm. Like the stress of getting by diminishes as I change my point of view. If I knew the only thing I had to do to understand life is to accept that I don’t, I would have felt free long ago. Because in letting go of the idea of control, one is freed from the obligation that comes along with it. I honestly feel like I can be more than I am, by embracing the fact that I am what I am, no more and no less. Focusing on what I am, before entertaining the imagination: who am I.

There is also a theme, in the novels I’ve been reading, of accepting things as they are — not just oneself, but nature and respective occurrences. For instance, there is always more to a story. Not just another side, but layers with levels that can’t be deduced. It’s safe to say, one should never assume that they’ve grasped the entirety of a tale.

A sort of tension underlies this idea. To accept that there’s no reprieve. To admit that this will always be as it is, there being things you don’t know and things you can never understand. Common knowledge, it should be easier to accept than it is.

I still struggle.

Digress, Digress.

Embracing new frames of mind seems to make me feel lighter. Knowing that nothing matters as much as we want to believe. Viewing myself beyond myself, as part of the process. I am learning not to worry. I am starting to appreciate what is, and letting this be.

Thanking my money for the permissions it has granted. Instead of fretting over the next source. Appreciating what the funds I have can allow me to achieve.

This is the longest brain dump, and I’m not halfway done but I’ll wrap it up either way with a musing about Rovelli and the thoughts he has inspired.

Happenings, not things.

“Life is an interaction.” A line from Rovelli’s book. I love his way with words. How he managed to make a science read interesting to my literary mind? Magic. Some of his phrasings even open the floor for romantic consideration, which is in itself a miracle. He breaks down the Big Bang in a way that helped me understand why people believe it. Hell, with further research, I might believe it.

Gratitude abound

Thank you for allowing me to share myself with the world. I’m not sure who I’m thanking, but it feels like the right thing to say. The right way to say it. I guess I’m thanking each of you, who have stumbled across my writing and chosen to read it. I thank the 30+ people who follow me, interested in hearing more of what I have to say. I thank the creators of Medium for producing such an unparalleled platform. The community of writers on Medium for keeping the site alive. Each publication that has accepted me with open arms. The internet? haha. I’m going mad. I’m just so grateful right now.

I don’t get to write as often as I did this summer. And I’m finally completing this piece that’s sat abandoned, for weeks. I need to write more.

It may be getting to me.

Update: This piece is easily one of my favorite personal writings

and I am now grateful for providing myself a platform

to continue sharing these words.

Adapted from my posting on Medium

Messy Mania: July 13, 2018

messy mania july 13
Attribution: Eric Han

The word of the week is plethora, meaning an excessive amount or number. When I first learned this word, I used it ALL the time. Any chance I could get in an academic paper, I took. That was almost a decade ago, and now I’m here to share the very same word that started my obsession with particularizing locution.

What’s New On The Messy Life? July Updates

Thursday Thoughts: Working full time really wipes you out. It’s a wonder college students can juggle school, internships, jobs, and extracurricular activities. There’s something about doing the same task for hours on end, that is thoroughly exhausting.

21 Things That Made Life Worth Living in June

This month, I’m starting a new series that I am very excited about beginning. Life can be a real pain, and though there are struggles, there are also little moments that remind us life can be worth living. I want to start a collection of sorts - a monthly journal of moments, people, and things that made life worth living for me.

June was a hard month for me, for whatever reason, and I can definitely say that these small pieces of time made a world of difference.

Am I An Artist?

I first started blogging on Medium, back in June 2017. As I write this, a little over a month has come to pass. Today, 20-something reflective essays later, I am finally tired of writing about myself.

It feels like the right time, or more like the right time has passed, to explore new genres. I’ve tried my hand at poetry, and I want to stick with it, for poetry and I have a good thing going.

My Struggle with Mental Health + 4 Ways To Rebalance Your Mind

As you may know, May is Mental Health Awareness month. On this blog, I’ve talked about mental health quite a bit, from dealing with anxiety and symptoms of seasonal depression, to improving wellness overall. However, I have yet to take a moment to openly discuss my own struggle with mental health.

In America, over 18% of adults deal with mental health related issues each year. Keep in mind, this describes only the number of reported individuals, not including children and young adults.

We need to make ourselves aware about the realities of mental health, especially if we are going to continue using social platforms to champion advice on health and wellness. It's important to spread the right message to those who are listening around the world.

Are You Struggling to Be Authentic? Originality in the Digital Age

Authenticity is a hot topic in this day and age. It poses the question that lingers over our heads: Are we being true to ourselves? This proves more difficult to answer than it may seem.

How can one surely be authentic? It’s not like there’s a meter that can scan some intangible essence and return to us, an accurate authenticity score.

In this case, how can we even begin to define authenticity? It's about time we figure this out for ourselves.

Chasing Life: “Doing” is the Key to Growth

I haven’t shared on this blog in over two weeks, a fact which has tormented me every single day. It almost feels as if I have been gone for over a month, since the voice in the back of my mind continually reminds me that I am not getting anything done.

This isn’t true, because in that time I have packed, moved, and finished my finals, but for some reason, knowing this doesn’t help. I honestly couldn’t tell you what's more frustrating than that - having unproductive thoughts inform you that you’re not good enough, over and over again.

As a blogger, our socially driven landscape doesn’t help, because with each day that passes you can literally watch your engagement drop as your followers walk away. After working hard to build your platforms, there’s not much room in the way of positive reinforcement, when you need to take a break.

So what can we do about this?

Chasing Life: My Experience Getting A Conch Piercing

There is something liberating about change. Even if change means something as simple as getting a new conch piercing, it’s empowering to make a decision, follow through, and recreate life as you know it.

Everyone has that something, whether physical, mental, or social, that takes them to the next level. No matter how grand or how small, these are key moments in our lifelong development that will stand out for years to come.

What's your something?

The Best Inexpensive Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

What is self care? Across social media, users have been posting tips and sharing threads about what is the 'right' and 'wrong' way to approach self care. The thing is, the same strategies won’t work for everyone.

At the end of the day, your method is entirely dependent on who you are and what you do. Even though there’s no set secret for self care, there is one thing I’ll argue is a good fit for just about everyone out there. What is it, you ask? SKINCARE! An affordable skincare routine is one productive way to procrastinate your problems, and practice self care.

affordable skincare routine

The Messy Life Received the 2018 Mystery Blogger Award!

Last month, The Messy Life was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Renita of Be Your Own Kind .

It’s funny, because the day before I saw the nomination, one of my favorite professors came to guest lecture in my capstone course. Let’s call him Mr. S for the purposes of this post.

Mr. S is a HR specialist and an entrepreneur, who has started his own consulting business to help companies, small and large, improve intra-company relationships. By the end of his lecture, we ended up talking about the idea of “credit” or “reward”. Someone suggested that some employees avoid innovation or risk taking because their bosses may take credit for their success. In response, he laughed and asked the class, “What is Credit?”

Today I want to talk a bit more about that.

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