Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Turning 30 and Turning to Zen

This is not your usual turning-30 post, it's my endless rant about anything and everything. 
It is struggling to find meaning in life while on the verge of being part of the thirty-something club. 
Goodbye twenty-something...
Here we go..

The past couple of weeks I have been so dazed and confused. I don't know where my life is headed. My career is in turmoil, I get these wonderful ideas about a lot and I mean a LOT of things and somehow I feel like it would take a miracle for it to ever materialize. I feel less and less confident about myself, pushing me to look things up on achieving a healthy lifestyle, only to find that (as of this writing) I have eaten a bit of chocolate, an ice cream stick and gulped 2 glasses of Coke in one sitting. I know I was quite an obedient child and I am kind of a model student in grade school when it comes to discipline but now I am stubborn as a mule. I can't restrain myself from eating junk.
I know there are clearly a lot of things in my life right now that I should be thankful for and God I am ever so grateful for all of those blessings. It's just that I am going through a phase in my life like I am in the middle of a crossroad, stuck into thinking then doing and then abruptly stopping.

Like my sister always tells me, I am like Jimmy Neutron's arch-enemy, the one who never finishes anything. I know I need to finish it but something is keeping me from doing so cause I am caught up with starting something else thinking that I am gonna finish it this time but then a new idea comes up and it goes on this vicious cycle without end. This is definitely a phase right? Is it identity crisis, or am I trying to find my way into this world like figuring out what I am really destined to do?
Am I just being so overly dramatic? No.

I'm just turning 30.

Only 7 days to go and I don't want to think that I am dreading it. I had been feeling foolish and misguided this past year. Honestly I haven't even thought of this turning 30 thing until recently. Years before it had been a struggle to tell people what my real age is, I felt embarrassed in grade school during flag ceremony, cause up until the 6th grade my classmates would tell me to line up amongst the 1st graders as I was short for my age.
During my sophomore year in high school I still get the same treatment, only this time they tell me to get back to the 6th grade. So my appearance is slowly catching on. In college, going to R rated movies were a real pain (I wanted to watch the Devil's Advocate), nobody would believe I am no longer a minor. Not even when I showed my school ID and knew the popcorn lady who went to my school, they just didn't believe I go to college, cause then I looked like a high school student.

So you get the drift, I am a late bloomer. It took me 5 years after college to start letting go of my t-shirt and sneakers look.
I even had my first boyfriend when I was 26 years old - before that I was part of the NBSB (no boyfriend since birth club), a year later I got married. My parents where practically throwing me out of the house. It's so funny cause my husband and I live alone with our dog and being Filipinos we're so used to having our parents with us all the time and both if us were like two careless youths, throwing caution to the wind whenever we make certain decisions at home like not going to work sometimes (my mother would never allow that). I see that as a bit immature, and I admit that we are still in the process of learning from all of these experiences.

Like lately I had been doing some serious thinking and that instead of focusing on my trying to go on a diet of some sort to feel rejuvenated (part of my quest for a healthy lifestyle gimmick that didn't pan out....yet) I should start with an inner self improvement, the wisdom gained from an ancient practice Zen will eventually radiate through me thus achieving a great balance of positive mental and physical health.

Learning is a continuous process, one can never learn everything in his lifetime. So we must always absorb whenever we can. And what better way to learn than to see through our mistakes. I am a firm believer that people who are self righteous and claim to have much wisdom fails to learn anything else, other that the belief that they know almost everything there is to know. In a Zen book I once read...okay it's more like a comic book, with pictures.. (I warned you about the immaturity)

"A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."

So even though I am turning 30, it's no reason to act like some all-knowing-Yoda (although I fear too much that I am going to look like Yoda someday, or more like Master Jeremiah from Ghostfighter--please have some mercy)
What the Zen master meant was you may be full of knowledge but there is still more to learn and that sometimes you need to unlearn before you can did you learn anything? :)
Honestly, I'd like to practice the virtues of zen now that I am turning 30. My life felt so chaotic lately, if not for my husband and our furry dog I would've torn my hair apart from struggling to find meaning in my life. I think this is a decade long struggle for me, and I have yet to find the road to my treasure, my destiny. Another Zen story that may be related to finding one's destiny or path.

One evening after the sun had almost gone down, a young Buddhist came to the river bank. And seeing the deep waters, the weeds and stones in the waters, he couldn’t overcome his fears to cross the river.

He kept waiting for a long time till he spotted a Zen master on the other side.

“Master, can you tell me how to get to the other side,” yelled the young Buddhist.

The Zen teacher looked at the hurdles in the river and the young Buddhist, and after a moment of silence said, “Son, you are on the other side

So could this mean that what I may be searching for are all right here where I am?

Here are some Bitter-Sweet posts from bloggers everywhere
and their views on the Big 3-0.

A bit on the bitter side..

The optimistic dude..I think he knows "The Secret"..wink* wink*
30 reasons why turning 30 rocks

As I am writing the text above, I find it weird that I have been into the series 30 Rock recently and now I am turning 30 and determined to keep it my mantra that 30 Rocks!
I also find myself quite weird to try and find meaning from mundane things like watching a comedy show like that.

By far the article that I can mostly relate to, Mr. Rooney's observations are spot-on.
Turning 30 by Andy Rooney (CBS 60 minutes)

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