Jason McSheene

An Outlet for Thoughts, Ideas, and Discussion

Month – August 2015

Day 15: Music and Platonic Ideals

Music flows. When the musician creates each note, woven into the previous and foreshadowing the next, it is a beauty.

Whether it be classical concertos that have survived hundreds of years or an improvised jam session which will exist only for a few minutes in a bar on a Saturday night, the music remains intentional. There is a Platonic ideal behind each piece in which it is the musician’s duty to draw out into the real world.

The challenge to myself: What are the Platonic ideals that I am in charge of materializing in this life? What are the tools and arts needed to do this?

Day 14: Generations

We have, over the last year or so, developed friendships with those of different generations. We’re in our late 20s, an age in which it is easy to keep sectioned off. However, as time marches on, we have cultivated meaningful relationships with great friends in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 70s (we’re missing a decade).

I very much look forward to participating in a mentoring program in the near future. This spread of life experience has benefited my thinking in many deep ways. I now have an understanding that all seemingly “permanent” features of my life are, in fact, temporary. I know that everything can change today or tomorrow, and I also know that surprises are often what make stories.

My hope is that, when I reach the later third or quarter of my life, I am able to cultivate relationships similar to what I have now.

Day 13: My Sources

We had a housewarming party this past weekend. With it being the first time we have had company, it was really special having so many loved ones in one space — our space. Our family, our friends, our UU congregation, our coworkers… all there to mix (a little bit) and mingle.

Those are the people who keep me honest and driven. They are the ones who give some context to my life and lay a foundation for my work. Now I can take the energy left here and convert it into meaningful gains in my job search and development.

Day 12: Tempo

I am so used to the pace at which I live my life that I often expect those closest to me to practically read my mind. In professional settings, this is not an issue since I want to make sure the details of my work or projects are clear.

It’s time to change up tempos, to experience life in different ways. Slowing down, speeding up, syncopating, all are important to ensure growth. Which great musical artists ever had songs at the same speed, time signature, or key?

Day 11: Sharing Ideas

As a big political year approaches here in the US, it is interesting to see how the world has changed with social media. I am a Millennial who remembered the days before everyone had a cell phone or even access to the internet. Because of this, I can appreciate that many of my elders are adapting to the same types of communication I have had my entire adult life.

Important, I see the frustrations that result in everyone being able to share thoughts and ideas. Of course this is a good thing, since it promotes dialogue and inclusiveness. But it is also a challenge to those who grew up surrounded by people who only (broadly) had the same ideals.

Soon, only a post-Internet, post-Social Media life will be known. Putting aside the pros and cons, I feel particularly grateful to experience life on both sides of that paradigm shift.

Day 9: Fiction

Reading fiction novels was a major activity in my early teenage years. One series in particular, Young Jedi Knights, took up much of my time. As you could guess, it is about the newest Jedi to be trained under Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars universe. Since then, much of my inner world and attitudes have been inspired by characters in fictional titles. Of course they are not real, and often they are not fleshed out into realistic people, but that is some of the charm. In a way, it is nice to have a character fulfill a very specific role in a larger narrative. We know that Han Solo will have the wit and dislike authority… yet we also know he will come back to help save the day.

I try to take time to acknowledge my inner world. What does it look like? What are the rules? What is the environment? In the anime Bleach, the main character has an inner world composed of horizontal skyscrapers. It is in this world that he discovers himself, where he talks to the forces guiding him, and where he best understands his faults.

Day 8: When it’s amazing

“The Zone”. Usually in the context of sports, I often hear this term referring to the state of flow that an athlete gains while at peak performance. She or he focuses, concentrates, and thinks without being overly conscious of the actions. I think being in The Zone is really the strength of human beings. Besides using tools and running absurdly long distances, the ability for humans to detach from the rest of reality for brief periods of time is essential.

Why are we at our best while in The Zone? We allow our self-awareness to take a backseat. All the stressors of life melt away and the task at hand is the only thing important. In the human experience, we know we all live a short life, we think about our families, what we will eat for dinner, how we will pay rent this month, and why people can’t tell why the dress with white and gold. But, in The Zone, all of that is gone. Wordless thoughts instantly direct trained reactions, sentences flow effortlessly from the pen, or your hand moves the rook to e3.

My experiences in The Zone vary in origin. The biology laboratory is a main zoning area for me, along with strategic gaming, and performance of music. Coincidentally, I think these times are when I am at my peak performance… when everything melts away and it is just me with my craft.

Day 7: When it’s annoying

These brief posts are optional in my life. But the point is that I choose to do them even when it’s inconvenient, when it’s silly, when it’s annoying. Knowing this task is purely optional and may not directly translate into success in other areas of my life is fine, however it is the commitment which matters the most. It is the challenge that I gave myself and that many others give themselves.

Writing these small musings each day is the constant battle against a small part of my brain which constantly declares “You are going to give up. Why go on with this silly post? You don’t want to continue deep down.”

Do I want to? Past Jason certainly wants to. Future Jason wants to continue as well. So why would Present Jason be any different? He is not any different besides living at the only moment in which change can happen.

Day 6: Social Energy

Today I gearing up for 3 social parties over the course of the day. Knowing this is a tad stressful as I lean more towards the introverted side of the spectrum. However, this does not mean that I do not love socializing in the moment. I am not a shy person, however, I do know that I will be drained of energy at the end of the day.  On the other hand, it is this same socialization that keeps me going.

These weekends where I see my family and friends have so much meaning in my life. They remind me where I came from, where I am going, and why it is important to get there. So at the end of the day when I am drained, I will also be motivated to do more.

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