Monday, June 30, 2008
I had dinner with a friend last weekend, and she was telling me how she really wants to just get up and move. I asked her why she hadn't. She listed her job, her ex-boyfriend, her dog and her family as reasons not to go. As one who is much better at solving other's problems than his own, I went into detail about how none of those things were actually holding her back. She looked at me, and asked why I haven't left for NY or LA yet. (I've been talking about doing this for a while) I came up with similar answers, with money being my largest issue. Anyway, the more we talked, the more I realize I preach a hell of a game, have done a good amount with my life for being 25, but also that I have taken nearly a year since graduating from Harvard in order to plan out my next step.
I have a few thoughts/emotions regarding this realization:
1. I am embarrassed. I am living at my parent's house, I don't have a job, and I dream up a new plan for life every day, without taking the proper steps to make it happen.
2. I am motivated to get up, and get out. There is nothing more important in my life right now than to become financially independent. Where and when to be figured out later...
3. This time that I have had to myself since graduation/after my "coming out" was greatly needed...I was in an extremely confusing place, but have picked myself back up, and now have a greater sense of self, and a stronger self-esteem to move forward with. If you haven't seen "Meet the Robinsons", go see it, and read carefully the message at the end. KEEP MOVING FORWARD! I have stumbled, and I have fallen. I challenged the very core of my being, and in doing so, found the strength that I have always had.
Now, some people would not see my "coming out" as stumbling, in fact I've heard from many people that it is enlightening, and in a sense I guess it is. I lost friends because of what I did. Perhaps not the best friends, but friends nonetheless. I had to redefine(read:strenthen) my self in order to take accountability for my actions. I am blessed that I have been given the time to do all these things, and I cannot thank my family enough.
So, now I get to make a choice. I am lucky to be able to choose what I want to do with life, as we all are. I want to be in NY, yes, I want to be a part of it in the city that doesn't sleep. I also want to be in LA. So, I need a job that allows me to do both. I want to speak to people. I want to help educate the ignorant, and help lift this nation into the glorious nation that is the epicenter for world culture. A year was a long time, but it was needed. I am armed with my writings, my brains, and good friends who are sincere and who love me for me.
I am excited to make this choice, and will keep you all informed.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
What you must remember when reading philosophy is that all philosophers are a product of the times that they live in. For example, if a man lives during a period of anarchy and chaos, he will most likely describe the human condition as such, as opposed to the man who lives in the 20th century and can clearly see the outline of the societies in which we live.
So read, but remain mindful of where that person comes from, and possible biases that may affect their view on this world. If you want to read some interesting new philosophy which focuses on the expansion of the mind through the depletion of the ego, check out "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. It is an eye opening book to say the least...
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
ps. I have added some of my old blog posts below, feel free to take a look, thanks!
I believe each person needs to first and foremost realize that this world is theirs. It is so easy to get caught up in what other people have, or what they are doing, that we forget to count our own blessings and how much we have. After all, all anyone truly wants is happiness(quite the statement, I understand, but I believe happiness is at the core of all motivation), whether they attain that through wealth, family, charity or the like becomes a secondary motive in the big picture. After we earn above the poverty line, our happiness remains the same anyway, regardless of how much money we make, so what is there to do once we reach this level?
Share your happiness. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who has actually found happiness, or you believe you have some of the great mysteries in the universe figured out, then share them with people. If you are like me, and actually do have what seem to be reasonable answers, then state them proudly, and use them too try and help people.
I am constantly searching for ways to do this, but what I have found most often is that people really have no patience. If the answer to the great "Why?" was sitting on a platter right in front of them, most people wouldn't look twice, or even give it the time of day because American Idol is on right in front of them. All we have ever searched for is a foot in front of our face, we just need to open our eyes...
"Patience is a virtue" This is true, but I had no idea how true.
This is no way to live. Thomas Edison is considered one of the wisest men of the past 1000 years. When asked the one thing he learned from life that he would like to pass on, he replied, "Being patiently attentive." This is a lost art in our society. Taking your time, making an educated decision, and being mindful(thank you Professor Langer) during the decision-making process allows you to ultimately own yourself, as you learn to deal with stress and pressure through acknowledging it exists, but also knowing that you do not need to react to it.
We all own ourselves. We just forget it from time to time. It's easy for others to tell us what to do, it's easy to follow others, and to not think for ourselves, to accept boundaries and rules and all the rest. Try once, just once, being your true self, and not being told what to do.
PS. Seriously, try it. That person you've been meaning to tell something to, do it. The guys at the office whoa re obnoxious, tell them so. Your companion who rules every aspect of your life, tell them so. Take a stand---"Give me a place to take a stand, and I will move the world."
Posted by Zach at 1:21 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
I had forgotten the art of the tongue for quite a while. Apparently I've been spending too much time hammering away at the keyboard...
Not to blame this blog, simply to state that I have emotionally invested in my writings here, and that that investment may be draining from other aspects of my life. Then again, it may enrich the other parts---Yeah, I like that thought process better...
It's incredible how quickly you decide when confronted with the ultimate choice. We all have it, as I like to say, "Get busy living, or get busy dying". I'm up and moving.
Posted by Zach at 9:59 PM
Monday, February 4, 2008
This world of ours has a rhythm. We all belong to it, contribute to it, are affected by it, and ultimately are at it's mercy. Or are we? The rhythm is the flow of energy that exists not only on earth, but all over the universe. As of late, I have been experimenting with energy and television. Now, my "experiments" are purely my perception of the situation, but I believe there is something more to them, or at least can imagine that there is. I watch movies, and instead of believing every actor on stage, I challenge the very validity of their movements as they perform. Basically, I am taking my most critical eye and applying it to what is happening on screen. What I have found is that the actors on screen seem to be responding to me. I understand how arrogant and outrageous this statement comes off as, but I cannot deny the fact that this is what I feel. I thought about it for a while, and came to a few possible conclusions, some more logical, and others perhaps a bit more outside the normal stream of thought...
The first, and most logical explanation is that searching for the weakness in an actor provides me a way to see the actual person behind the character, rather than blindly accepting their role. This way of thinking may lead to my feeling as though they are reacting to me. I focus on their flaws, and well, I believe all actors are extremely self-conscious, and they know when they are not at their best. It's almost as if, by trying to find faults in the performance, I feel ingrained in the performance itself.
side note-During "Lucky Number Sleven", when Bruce Willis performed the Kansas City Shuffle(you know, everyone looks right, you go left) I actually felt my neck twist and crack as he pulled off the move, however, it obviously didn't have the same affect that it did on Josh Hartnett....that was more for my memory, it was a shocking experience.
Anyway, so the first option would be that taking a critical eye to film allows you to feel more connected to the characters, even so much as to think that you may be interacting with them on screen.
The other option that came to mind was something more closely related to 1984, by George Orwell. If you have read the book, you know that in Orwell's future, each room in a person's home is required to have a telescreen. Telescreens are very much like televisions, except that they are interactive, and in this future world, it means that the government can keep an eye on you at all times during the day...
It occurred to me that this sort of technology would be possible, especially by today's standards, and if the government did in fact want to keep an eye on everyone, this would be a feasible option. Yes, it may violate a number of privacy laws, but bills mimicking the Patriot Act would make short use of such violations.
For the record, I am not sitting here claiming that the government is spying on us through our TV sets. However, I am not ruling it out as a possibility, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it was happening, but I do not think it is.
The third possibility that came to me was by far the most radical. What if energy somehow was able to be channeled through the television? Just think, broadcasting over cables is a matter of energy transfer-if it can go one way, what is stopping it from going back the other way? For this sort of theory to be true, it would be hard to make the claim that one could affect previously created works, such as movies, but how about live TV? If someone were able to channel their energy back through the connection from which they were receiving the cable broadcasts, would it be possible for the people in front of the cameras to feel that energy? I believe the answer is yes.
Connections to the energy/spiritual realms have long been held in the same regard as ghosts and aliens. I wonder what sort of things human beings would be able to do if they didn't limit themselves...
Would it be possible to read a person's thoughts? Sure, perhaps through body language. But maybe, just maybe through actual mind reading techniques, such as telepathy.
Could a person move objects with their minds like a Jedi or like John Travolta in Phenomenon? Perhaps if they were able to connect to God(read:energy) in a way that others have failed to do. A new way of connecting to this world would be required before a person could "will" an object to move (or ask it in the phenomenon case), but who's to say it is impossible?
I have never seen these things happen, but I believe that they are possible. Foolish, maybe; optimistic, absolutely. I like to think we are limitless in our abilities. It hurts no one to think such things, and who knows, someday through evolution a man may possess the mental strength to move a pen with his mind, and then what? Maybe through science we can discover the part of the brain that will allow a man to do this, therefore taking over evolution, and actually being God. If we can do these things, I think we should.
Yes it's all hopeful thinking, but in the big picture, I think we should push the envelope, even if it does seem a bit outrageous at first. I'll tell you what, I am going to challenge limits as much as I can , and I hope you do to. Who knows, you may be the one who can move the pen...
Posted by Zach at 10:34 PM
Monday, January 28, 2008
This film/book is a must read for anyone who has the slightest interest in living. The main message that I took away from it was that we all are the God of our own life. This means that we are in control of our lives at every moment, and in every moment we have a choice. They pointed out numerous times that too often we focus on what we don't have or what we don't want, when we should be focusing on what we DO want!
Instead of being ANTI-war, be PRO-peace, instead of being ANTI-republican, be PRO-democrat, and so on and so forth. What happens is that we let our stressors become the things that are in the forefront of our mind. Due to the physical manifestation of stress in pain, a lot of times it is hard to think about anything else. There is a great example of this in dealing with back pain. If you have ever experienced lower back pain, you know it can be totally crippling, and that the pain is so severe that it occupies a majority of your mental thoughts during the day. What "The Secret" teaches is that rather than focusing on what hurts, concentrate on what feels good, such as the middle of your back or legs. This may seem too simple of an answer for such a painful occurance. I thought so too, before I tried changing my mindset to thinking about what felt good. I haven't had back pain in months, and when I do, I focus my energy on another region other than where the worst pain is.
When I read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", I kept a paper and pencil close by at all times, as well as a dictionary to keep up with her vastly superior vocabulary. Of the many lessons that one could take away from this book which many consider to be their bible, mine was in regards to choices and freedom: What CAN be done, and what CANNOT be done, that is all there is. I truly believe this. Either you can do something or you can't. Once a person retreats to the latter, they become stuck in rhythm with that mindset, but they don't have to. We always have a choice, and we are always able to change our minds about our choices. This is freedom. The power to choose. If you don't like your job, you have the power to choose to change it. If you love the person you are with, and want to marry them, you have the power to do this.
There is nothing in this universe that hodls us back from doing anything we want, except ourselves and the limitations that we accept from other people. I let people affect me in this way for much too long, and have only recently taken hold of my own life. I have begun to make my own choices, regardless of public opinion and peer pressure. I do what makes me happy, and I think this is the key. It may not satisfy everyone-this reminds me of a Bill Cosby quote, "I don't know the key to success, but I do know a sure way to failure is to try and please everyone."
I live my live through Mantras and quotes. I choose the ones that speak to me, and I follow their advice. I think I am going to start an actual website with my blog as one of the links. What is a good place to start this from? This way I can start to post my poems, writings, lyrics, mantras, quotes and the like, and still have this blog for intellectual ramblings.
Update-Marc Trestman of the Montreal Allouettes has graciously offered to come take a look at me for the upcoming season that starts in the Spring. He won the Mercury Award in the 70's(The outstanding high school Jewish scholar athlete of the year award in
I've considered using real names in my blog, but thought twice and reconciled that perhaps using fake names would be best, because the person in the situation would still know I am referencing them, and I wouldn't have to worry if they wanted to have their name in a public space like this. I guess I'll use fake names, and if they want to be referred to using their real name, they can come to me and let me know...
We all have a choice, make it a good one.
Posted by Zach at 6:32 PM
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Watched a special on Jewish Americans tonight on PBS, and he happened to be featured. He mentioned tapping into the eternal [God] as his main motivation for rapping and changing his way of life. He said it felt as though he was finally putting on a pair of pants that fit him, that he found this peace through prayer...
I feel this way when I help people. When I receive e-mails detailing people's lives in which I have had a positive effect, I know I am on the right path. We, as a people, have lost our connection to God. Our connection to the divine has taken a back seat to the high paced society that we all live in. I am going to pray tonight for the first time in years. I am going to do this in hopes of finding some connection that I may have overlooked or ignored all together...
May we be blessed by the wings of peace
May we be guided in safety and in love
May grace and compassion find their way to every soul,
May this be our blessing, Amen.
Posted by Zach at 7:58 PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
How does one come to the conclusion that they have a destiny? How can you ever be sure, that whatever happens isn't just a matter of hard work and determination? Is anything predetermined, or is it ultimately up to us to forge our own path? I think this is the case. Yes, some people possess attributes that predispose them to certain paths, such as being tall, or having a great singing voice, but for the person who is able to do anything, how do they choose their path? If we were to think as Aristotle did, we would believe in the telos, or purpose, of things. He believes that in a perfect society, everyone fulfills the role that they are best suited for, and also that society should provide that person with the best possible instruments with which to maximize that person's potential. For example, the best flute player in the world would receive the best flute, regardless of whether or not they could afford it.
Now, I agree with Aristotle in that I believe everyone has a purpose. Some are meant to lead, some to follow, some to clean, some to design, some to speak, some to listen, some to mend, some to fend, some to attend and so on...I can't help thinking about the movie Gattaca, where a person's career is decided by their genetic code, and before they reach the age of 5, their life is already laid out before them. I mention this because we are not too far away from this in my estimation. Now given, I am no geneticist, but from my point of view, I look back on my 25 years, starting in 1983, and I see how far computers have come in this short time. Today computers are basically re-inventing themselves, AI is growing in popularity, stem cell research is hitting full swing, and we are now able to regrow body parts for nearly every part of our bodies. I feel as though the amount of progress that we are going to make in the next 50 years will be light years ahead of what we've even dreamed about at this point. In fact, I welcome the day when we are told what we are best predisposed to do. I think that would take a lot of stress out of growing up.
Now, predetermined destiny as a concrete concept cannot be empirically proven by any means at this point. I struggle to brainstorm ways in which one could prove such a theory, other than to record first hand accounts of what people believed their destiny to be, and whether or not they fulfilled it. Even then, who's to say that those people truly thought it was their destiny before they started working towards it.
I wonder sometimes if God(read: the collective human spirit/energy) doesn't actually have a plan for us all. I used to doubt it, but the more I experience and learn, the more I feel as though there is a purpose to it all. I have spoken before about how I believe in "The Force", if you will, but I do not believe that I have elaborated on the extent to which I think it governs things in our universe. I believe that it controls everything. I believe each human being is connected to every living plant, not just in that we both need nutrients, but that we actually all feed off each other's energy. This is something I would be very interested in studying. There has not been much research done on the conneciton between living organisms in this way. I saw a Mythbusters(TV show on Discovery Channel) the other day where they actually explored this, and found that plant do react to negative emotions. If anyone out there has heard of experiments concerning this topic, I would love to be informed...
So what is destiny? Do we create it? Does the Force guide us to where we should be? Or is it our genes that predetermine what we are going to do in our lives? As is the case in my Psychological/Philosophical answers, I believe that it is a little bit of all of them. Our genes show us what we are capable of, we make the most of it by working hard towards our goals, and ultimately the Force leads you where you were meant to be.
I like to think that I can go and do whatever I please, and perhaps I can. The bottom line is that you are what you make of yourself, and whatever is guiding us is guiding us, so it really doesn't matter what destiny is, because whatever happens will happen, and anyone can call anything destiny once it does happen. I guess then, the key to finding your destiny, is to make it happen.
Good enough for me...
Posted by Zach at 6:42 PM
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
No, not the presidential race, my decision!!!
After deliberating, hesitating, avoiding and doing everything possible not to fulfill what I believe to be my destiny, I have decided to give in. I will be trying out for the Canadian Football League in
The time has come to act. I speak as big of a game as anyone out there, and I have a lot of producing to do. I believe that this is the first step in the next great thing in my life, perhaps the greatest thing that will ever come of my life. I feel calm, I feel at peace, and I finally feel as though I am taking the right steps towards my future.
You can only fight yourself so long before you end up winning.
Posted by Zach at 9:26 PM
Sunday, January 13, 2008
No relationship can exist without this. I have now made this fatal mistake twice, that is, I have trusted a women that I should not have. Even after my trust was broken, I still clung onto the thread of hope that the person could/would change their ways. I was wrong. People do not change. At least not on other's terms. In order for someone to change, they must want to change. They must be willing to keep an open mind(not just claim they have an open mind) and be able to see the error in their ways. I hope to meet someone like this.
I received a comment about my last post, and it was suggesting a mindset to keep for a day. This is something I have been practicing for a few years now. I will take a phrase and meditate on it,m then I will keep it in the front of my mind, and will refer to it throughout the day. This phrase has often times been something as simple as "Be positive" but has run the gambit in it's length, seriousness and substance. The one that I received yesterday is one of the best I have ever had. It suggested that I see myself as a magnet for all things good; infinite abundance, divine intelligence, and unlimited love. I have been able to move past the hurdle that was presented to me last night from the "non-trust bearer" (funny, the same person who had inspired me just a week ago) and I am in a sublime state of mind. By only allowing good things to come to me, I have isolated the good in my life, and have shifted my focus to all of the great things that I do have.
It's a battle, and I seem to be winning...
Posted by Zach at 11:45 AM
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I just woke up because my mind was racing with rhymes describing a dream that was one of the most vivid I have ever had. As soon as I sat down to write, my mind went blank. Not that I stopped thinking, or that the dream went away, but I could no longer express myself as I was 2 minutes ago laying in bed. I am going to buy a recorder tomorrow. These thoughts should not be lost to such a thing as memory.
I'll try and remember the dream tomorrow...I am the alpha beast...
Posted by Zach at 10:51 PM
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I don't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with me. It really is that simple. I talked with a Sports Psychologist the other day, and we discussed how he attempts to mentally prepare athletes before games. He told me that the more complicated he gets into Psychological concepts, the less interest he sees. He believes, and I agree, that simplifying ideas into their most basic terms allows for athletes to relate it to their own life, rather than having to dive into the burdensome details...
Maybe it is because athletes tend to be simple minded people . Now personally, for me, I love the details. I think the devil is in the details, and if I can dive in and find the root of a problem or unearth one possible explanation that I hadn't thought of before, it is worthwhile. Funny thing is, when I play sports, I seldom do any thinking during the plays. I have usually run through the play so many times in my head, that it becomes like second nature to me...got off topic...
Keep things simple. Yeah, it's nice to delve into the psyche every now and then, but appreciating the simple things is really one of life's best spices.
I really just want to care about people, and have them care back.
That is about as simple as it gets.
Posted by Zach at 12:03 PM
Friday, December 28, 2007
Sometimes I get so frustrated with what I am not doing or what could be done that I forget to count my blessings. I was made aware of this last night after I went on somewhat of a tirade asking "what is so damn good?". Inevitably, the answer is everything. I am so damn blessed to have so many close family members and friends that love and support me, and I am going to make my new years resolution a little early this year on this thought. Last year my resolution was to remember, with which i think I did a great job. This year it is being thankful for everything that I have. We are all blessed. To have one person in your life who you can trust and count on is amazing, to have multiple almost seems unfair. We have running water, healthcare, computers, phones, cars, houses, and so much else. Yes, sometimes these material things are not enough, and I can vouch that not knowing all of life's mysteries is extremely frustrating at times, but this holiday season, I am not going to worry about things beyond my control. My focus is going to be on the great things that I DO have in my life, not the things that are yet to be found...
Much love to the special lady who pointed this out..
May you all have a happy, healthy and love filled New Years! L'chiam!
Posted by Zach at 3:33 PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
There are a number of questions that occupy my mind during any given day. There are some that deal with tangible issues, such as paying bills, looking for jobs etc...there are some that deal with relationships, most often being associated with the romantic interest in my life...and there are thoughts of the idealistic sense, which take up a majority of my mental processes.
I drove home from
I consider myself Jewish. I don't believe in religion, but I do consider the morals and ethics that I was taught as a child to be worthwhile. However, I think that more and more people are seeking a religion that covers all people, and doesn't exclude Jews or Christians or Muslims or Blacks or Whites or Women or whatever you happen to be. We decided that a religion should be formed that focuses on being human. It would take hold of what makes us all alike, rather than what makes us different from one another. Sure, each of our unique qualities is what makes us special, but what makes us special as a people is that we are over 99.99% similar in every single way. It is that .01 percent that has been the cause of nearly every war in the last 5000 years.
The good news is that the .01% is often religion. This is good news in that I believe it can change. I believe that human beings are inherently good, and that if given the choice between fighting and loving, they will choose love. With this as my assumption, I will say here and now that a new religion must be formed in the near future in order to bring all of humankind together.
Now, it is easy for me to sit behind this computer screen and preach. It is easy for me to talk of things I want to happen, and to write them down on my blog. These things are easy. What is not going to be easy is putting these things into effect. I sincerely believe in my words and feelings, but how much of this can actually happen? What kind of influence will my words ever have? None. I believe that only through action will I ever make a difference. The argument could be made that writing in my blog is action, and if nothing else it is spreading the idea that is most important!
This I see as true. Ideas have long held us apart, and brought us to war. It is about time that we share our ideas, speak our minds, and take control of our own destiny. This world is fast becoming a factory for androids. We are constantly being told what to do, how to act, what to wear, how to look, how to FEEL for god's sake!!
I will not let this happen. I sense the need for a great social change, for the betterment of all people. Writing about it helps, but living my words is my goal. I feel alive when I help people--I think that is what this is all about.
Posted by Zach at 7:44 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
For a long time I had the mentality that either I was completely in love with someone or not at all. Over the past week or so I have realized this could not be further from the truth. I believe that everyone deserves to be loved in one way or another, and that every person you meet you should welcome with open arms, inviting the possibility that they may be someone that you love. Now, no doubt this takes a good amount of effort, but I really think this is the way to go about things. This doesn't mean that you need to trust everyone right off the bat, but you should go into every situation with an open heart and mind. Taking this mentality has allowed me to broaden my somewhat narrow ideals and has opened yet another pathway into my learning process. I hope to never stop learning. It's funny in that I feel as though the last 6 months of my life (since graduation) have been jam packed of learning every day. I wonder why college wasn't this way, perhaps because it wasn't necessary, perhaps because I thought I knew everything.
The bottom line is that I realize I have so much yet to learn, and I am thankful for every single moment of my life in which I have the opportunity to grow. Being heart broken isn't so bad, as long as you learn from it, and have the courage to open up again and again.
Posted by Zach at 3:02 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It has been a while since I've posted, and I have received a few requests to post on a regular basis, so I will now be blogging once during the workweek, whether I have something to blog or not. There is something to be said for consistency.
So my life the past week or so has been fairly exciting. I made the move back to my home state of
Since I've been home, I have been networking with everyone I know in order to get a start in the private equity sector. I have a good amount of leads, and I feel as though I just need to stay at it, and something is bound to hit.
I also found a training center that focuses specifically on football. I went in to talk to them, and was offered a part time job training with them that would allow them to waive the fee for me, as well as provide me with some extra cash. I have realized that playing in the NFL is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done, and it may never happen. However, I do intend to give it all I've got. In my experience, this is all you can really do.
I was talking with a women last night who had read my blog. She commented on how it seemed as though I wanted to change the world with my life. I replied that I did want to change the world, not because I simply want it to change for the sake of change, but that my thoughts and ideas often weren't congruent with those of the majority, and I would like to see it otherwise. I like to think, even as a 24 year old, that I have a good grasp of what is right and wrong in a societal sense. The "search" has helped me identify many of my actual beliefs, and I hope to use them for the greater good throughout my life.
It's funny how I feel as though I either need to go make a lot of money, OR dedicate myself to charitable/philanthropy work. Why aren't there careers that offer both? After all, isn't giving back to the others one of the most important things in this world? Please don't take this as a sign of me being naive, because I understand why big money is in the places that it is, I just wish more of an emphasis would be put on charities and teachers and laborers-the people who really glue things together for this country of ours.
I don't know if any of you have seen Tom Brokaw's documentary on the 60's, but I highly recommend it. It covers the social, politcal, economic and cultural sides of the main issues. I have always been a big fan of the hippie movement, purely because of the free love idea, the great music, the mind expanding devices, and the general warmth and love that was produced from them. However, I was never exposed to the dark side of hippies, and how they actually negatively affected many people's opinions about the democratic party. I wonder what a modern day hippie would be like. What if we were able to recreate the feeling, while being educated and accomplishing actual change, rather than just getting high and dancing all the time. I'd like to see that movement happen.
One of the hippie protesters said something that struck me. "Leaders don't make movements, movements make leaders." If this is the case, I am interested as to who the leaders will be in the human rights movements that are just getting started.
I'm gonna go work out. Much love.
Posted by Zach at 9:12 AM
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I received an e-mail today that really got me thinking. It was from a guy who has just started writing a blog, who has had a girlfriend for the past 5 years, and is in the process of coming out as himself. It got me going on a number of levels.
The first of which was his comment that he is coming out as himself. I remember struggling with the pure concept of coming out of the closet. I remember the actual phrase "coming out of the closet" scaring the shit out of me. It was almost as if this phrase, once accepted, would define me for my entire life. Who, after all, was I "coming out" to? Myself? I had already accepted the fact that I was not completely straight, so what was the point of escaping the closet? Perhaps it's meant to pertain to opening up yourself to the world and being yourself, which it serves as for many people. I personally never liked it one bit, and felt extra pressure simply from that phrase. Even now when I speak with my friends, the term still doesn't sound correct.
This is why when I heard "coming out as myself", it really struck me. I believe that is such a more appropriate phrase in that it allows the person to define their coming out however they like.
What closet was I in anyway? Bedroom closet, front hall closet? Why isn't it coming out of the woodwork, or coming out as gay, or coming out to play, or coming up for air? Where does a closet come into the situation?
I feel like coming out of the closet infers that you have been hiding away as a person, and perhaps for some people it is, and I can actually identify with that. I felt held back for years and the release that I was allowed with my coming out felt like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. Still, the closet thing doesn't sit well with me...
The second part of the e-mail that struck me was why he thought people like us write blogs in the first place. I can truthfully say that I started writing because it makes me feel good. It is an outlet for me, where I can express myself freely and honestly. It has since turned into more than just a release. It has become a forum for me to discuss all of my ideas and thoughts. I have received numerous e-mails with opinions, both good and bad, detailing personal thoughts about what I have been saying. This has become an intellectual debate for me. I get to see all sides of the issues that perhaps I would have missed otherwise. I feel so privileged to be able to have discussions of these kind. I also feel like this is just a start, perhaps someday I will move into a larger forum...gotta remember talk is cheap...
Most importantly for me though, is that I am able to see where I stand in this world, and I hope that anyone who reads my blog and comments can do the same. I get to pit my brain against others in a sort of tug and tear that defines the moral fabric of this world. I like to think the things in my brain are important, not only for me, but for others as well. It is nice to know that there are other people out there to think like I do, and if not, who think about similar things as I do. This blog allows me to be a part of something. It has allowed me to start thinking positively again. It has allowed me to look on the bright side of life, and to remember that there are other people in this world besides me.
Before coming up for air, I was in a very dark place. I believe Biggie Smalls says it best, "Damn right I like the life I live, cuz I went from negative to positive, and if you don't know, now you know."
I am moving back to Minneapolis on Tuesday, and am looking forward to a fresh start, friends, family and living as well as I possibly can.
Posted by Zach at 2:35 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Not sure what I want to write about here. Just feel like writing...
I recently received a comment from someone who said that I will never be able to love anyone because I love myself too much. The e-mail was pretty harsh, and struck a chord or two, but ultimately I think they speak some truth.
I sit here and preach, honestly not knowing if anyone is even listening, and I have the audacity to think that my word actually counts for something, because I am me. I am hoping, and from the majority of responses that I have received it seems so, that my word does count and does make a difference.
I have a long way to go with a lot of things, but ya know what? Life is pretty damn good right now. I feel good, I feel healthy, I have family, I have friends, and I have an idea and plan of where I want to go.
Am I perfect? No. Can I work on things? Of course. Do I know all the answers? No! I can tell you one thing though. I have loved, and I have lost. I have placed my entire existence into another and have been shot down. It is because of this that I know full well that I am capable of loving another to the best of my capacity, and feel ready to do so.
So basically anonymous, go fuck yourself. You don't know me, and you never will. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and think about your own love. My life is making the change from negative to positive, and you can't stop it. I guess what I am trying to say is thank you. Thank you for allowing me to see a form of bullshit that does nothing but hinder the human spirit. You have enlightened me to a form of darkness that I will now be wary of.
"He can fool some people some times, but He can't fool all the people all the time"
Posted by Zach at 11:24 AM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I have received a number of inquiries as to why I have not done more interviews in regards to my coming out/being an athlete. To be honest, a) I didn't think it was necessary, b) I felt as though publications/magazines all had their own agendas, and didn't really care about me(which is probably true), and c) I am going to share my story on my own terms, not through some media blitz that swallows you whole, and then spits you out when it has had its fill.
I've dealt with the media before, and they are a sensitive species of people. Most reporters just want to get a story to print for the next day, as they should because it's their job.
Add to the reasons above that I do not feel as though I have accomplished much at this point. Yes I took a stand about my sexuality by ultimately taking no stand (seems contradictory, but give it a second, it makes sense) , and I played Big Ten basketball for the Gophers, but I felt as though I was being made into a spokesperson of sorts, and I do not believe that I am in the rightful place to do that.
Harvard/Yale is coming up this weekend, and I will not be attending. Last night I was on the phone with one of my friends, and in our conversations I told her about my experience, and she told me she wasn't surprised. She said something to the effect of, "You've always been a free soul Zach, I remember when you used to run around my room naked, and refused to put on anything!" This is true, I love the freedom of being naked, but even more than being an exhibitionist, her statement awakened me to that part of me that had lain dormant for the better part of two years. I have never cared what others think, and as of late, I have expended way too much energy into just that. (caring, not not caring)
How do these things connect? Not wanting media attention, not wanting to be a spokesman, remembering to live free, and not caring. Perhaps my message does need to be more widely circulated, and only time will tell with that. If push comes to shove, I will always stand up for what I believe in, and yes it means I need to suck it up and stop pussy footing around issues. I need to take a stance, and stick with it. A wise man once said, "Give me somewhere to stand, and I can move the world." I feel this way as well, and am currently solidifying where I am actually standing.
ps. Thank you so much to those of you who responded to my JOBS posting: LZ, Todd and others, you're making this much easier for me, and I can't thank you enough. L'chiam!
Posted by Zach at 12:40 PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I just watched "Gone Baby Gone", which is a new movie out that was directed by Ben Affleck. It was a good flick, but the core message that I took away from it was a question that goes something like this. "Are you willing to give up everything in your life to stand up for what you believe in?" I won't ruin the movie by telling what Casey Affleck decides, but this question got me thinking.
I had a dream a few years ago, one of the more lucid ones of my life, where I came into contact with a character who resembled the Oracle from the Matrix. When I caught eyes with her, a single thought engulfed my mind. "Would you be willing to give up everything in order to cure the world?" was the question. Some obvious parallels within these two questions are putting the past behind you and moving forward. What I have been thinking about is how standing up for what you truly believe in is similar to curing the world.
I have a very hard time being the person in public that I know I am. My thoughts and words are often not consistent with my actions, and this has become something that is extremely trying on a daily basis. I sit here, and write out my thoughts, hoping that I will be able to clearly articulate my beliefs, in hopes that my words might have some positive effect.
In my dream, I remember immediately answering no. Much to my chagrin, I thought I had blown my chance to save the world. People say you only get one chance, and well, I was terrified that I had let mine slip.
I look at my life, and ask, "What do I really have to lose?" I have my family, my health, a few close friends, minimal material possessions, and a head full of ideas. (not in any order)
My entire life I have been misunderstood. Perhaps it's because I don't allow people to see the real me, and in that case I deserve it. It also may be that I am not clearly presenting myself as I should,and by taking this more responsible approach, I would imagine that my sense of alienation would slowly drift away.
I'm starting to ramble, but what I'm trying to get at is the fact that I have never felt as though I needed anyone, and now as I am as lonely as I have ever been in my life, I want someone. Someone to hold, someone to share my neurosis with, someone to comfort, and more than anything someone to love. Can anybody find me somebody tooooo love? Thank you Freddy Mercury.
So, change the world vs. love. I choose love. Selfish, perhaps, well definitely, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. Who knows, maybe if I am lucky enough I will fall in love with someone who brings out the best in me, which in turn will...we'll see.
Just some thoughts...
Posted by Zach at 1:37 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I have come to the realization tonight that I love my haters. That is, the people who hate me, or even dislike me. These people are the only ones I should ever listen to. Now, this might seem like a backwards line of thinking, but give it a moment. If I were only to listen to those people who support me, then I would think that I am doing everything right, which I don't think could ever be the case. Even the greatest minds of all time had to have made some mistakes along the way. Otherwise, how would they learn the difference between right and wrong?
Now, I tend to be a man of extremes. It is either all or nothing in nearly everything I do. This has it benefits in that I find myself passionate about a number of things, but also has it pitfalls, the most notable being that I often feign interest in subjects that I truly have no desire to hear about whatsoever. I like it this way. It allows me to go "all in" to situations, and this has worked out well for me thus far in my life.
Back to the haters. Since I am obviously not perfect, then I wonder what my imperfections are. Again, listening only to supporters would lead me down a false path in which I would not feel the need to improve. I want to improve, I yearn to improve. For years I heard my nay-sayers, but I never actually listened to what they had to say. Tonight I change. Tonight I have listened to them, and have realized that much of what they are saying is true. I do need to grow up, I do need to work and produce more, and I do have a lot of learning left. I'm not sure if others have felt this way, but I used to be afraid of listening to the "critics" if you will, but I now see that the only way to improve yourself as a person(perhaps not the only way, but one effective way) is to learn to deal with criticism. When we do this, we are able to see our weaknesses(like any self help book, acknowledgment is the first step) and then make them into our strengths.
I will no longer hush out the voices of my critics. Instead, I have chosen to invite them in. I challenge them to tell me I'm bad, tell me I'm weak, just as long as they tell me why. If they can see something that I am blind to, I would love to be made aware of my downfalls.
So come critics, and criticize. Do your worst and nothing less. To do otherwise would not only be cheating yourself, but it would be selling me short as well. Let me have it all.
p.s. If you are a critic, I welcome you, but know that I draw a distinction between the person who recognizes a fault and seeks to inform, and those who look for faults as a means to propel themselves upward. The latter is truly a cowardly form of life, and I would suggest changing your ways if this description fits you. Also, those people whose sole purpose is to distract, such as hecklers, you are the worst of all and you should get a hobby. Try writing.
Posted by Zach at 7:58 PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I love being idealistic, and I love when people tell me that I am making a difference in their lives. Those things make my soul feel good, and keep me spiritually satisfied. Right now, however, I need to get a job. I went through two weeks with Northwestern Mutual, and could not take one more day. That type of work is just not for me. Period. I am interviewing with a sports marketing company in Boston, and with Target Corporation, but am still looking all over.
I NEED A JOB!!
I am a Harvard grad, highly motivated, extremely opinionated, idealistic, and willing to work hard. If anyone out there can be of help, please e-mail me at email@example.com. Kind of funny that I am using my blog as a way of asking for help, but it's worth a shot.
I was Dr. Hank McCoy (aka the Beast) on Saturday for Halloween, and had so many people think that I was "blackface" due to my dark blue face paint, that I became motivated and put my hair in cornrows. Tonight I am going as an athlete trapped in a suit, which is, well, me.
Willing to work for love(and monetary compensation)
Posted by Zach at 11:19 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Had to quote the great Robert Zimmerman to start this one off.
Last Sunday I did an interview with Nadine at www.gopherhole.com, and on Tuesday morning it was put into print. The interview covered my time with the gophers, as well as my very public coming out. This was the first public comment that I had made about the event, and was extremely nervous in doing so. I had no clue what to expect...
All I can say is thank you. Thank you to every single person who wrote me. I have been overwhelmed the last 3 days with e-mails, notes and calls of love, respect and support. I must admit that it feels really nice to know that people care. Again, thank you. The response could not have been more positive or inspiring.
To clarify, I choose not to choose sides with my sexuality, because I don't think they exist. I prefer to be with women, and am glad that I had the opportunity to explore where I really stood.
I don't know if I will ever play in the NFL, but I am going to try to
I don't know if my sexuality will have anything to do with it, but i will continue to embrace it
I don't know why I felt that making a public display was the way to go, but I love that I did it
I don't know why I feel the need to share my life, my thoughts, my hopes and my dreams on the internet, but I do and will continue to
I don't know where this is all going, but I am going to find out
My goal is to be as true to myself as humanly possible. I am only brave enough to share these intimate details of my life because I now know that you people are there. Yes, there will be critics, but the way I see it, critics are just weapons of the status quo, and well, I don't find the status quo to be all that satisfying at the moment.
I am going to respond to as many e-mails as possible. You are all crazy. And I love it.
A quote from Abe Maslow, "Every age but ours has had its model, its ideal. All of these have been given up by our culture; the saint, the hero, the gentleman, the knight, the mystic. About all we have left is the well-adjusted man without problems, a very pale and doubtful substitute. Perhaps we shall soon be able to use as our guide and model the fully growing and self-fulfilling human being, the one in whom all his potentialities are coming to full development, the one whose inner nature expresses itself freely, rather than being warped, suppressed, or denied."
(Toward a Psychology of Being, pgs 6-7)
This goes way beyond sexuality, this is about being human. We, as a people, must be able to express ourselves freely. It is a core element of being human. We have become bland as a people. Worse, rare flashes of uniqueness in this world of gray have been told that they do not belong. Not only do they belong, they define this world!
I believe that people want to feel alive. It sounds funny, but routine often dulls our senses and destroys our imagination. I imagine a world in which all people live to their fullest. This is easier to do than you think...
Go out and find a creative solution, tell a friend you love them, dance in the street, stop and smell the flowers for god's sake, shoot 1000 more jump shots, stare up at the sky, lend a helping hand, do what makes you come alive!! What I am talking about isn't some far fetched fairy tale world. It is a world in which human greatness is celebrated, not stunted. A world in which our similarities are the focus, and our differences are embraced. The world I speak of promotes acceptance of all people, and aims to bring ALL human beings together in order to form a more perfect planet.
Got kind of carried away there, and it feels good.
Once more, thank you all so much,
Posted by Zach at 6:14 PM
Monday, October 22, 2007
I have a heavy heart tonight. Sometimes it just hurts, and you have to deal with that. I've been trying to identify the cause of this feeling, and am having considerable trouble doing so. I believe it has to do with love. I hold on to past loves for much longer than I should. Every time I manage to put my past in the past where it belongs, my heart suddenly feels better. I'm 24 and still struggling with this, does it ever end?
Posted by Zach at 8:49 PM
Monday, September 17, 2007
Yesterday marked an historic day for the world. As the majority of the Western world focused on the gridiron and the warriors competing against one another, my focus was in another place. I was attempting to drink a gallon of milk in one hour. In 59 and 1/2 minutes, I drank the gallon, then proceeded to send it right back the way it came in a series of fully explosive bursts of projectiles. (David got it all on tape, and I have to admit, it was semi-amusing) As far as urban legends go, this is one that I truly believed that I could break. However, there is a much larger, and much more important urban legend that I would like to focus on instead of milk.
As most of my good friends know, I came out of the closet nearly 6 months ago. Not only did I come out, but I made a public spectacle by doing it in the middle of a fashion show that I was involved in. Now, needless to say, it has been an eye-opening experience for me. More than anything, it's made me come to realize the consequences of my actions. I hurt a number of people by doing what I did, but more importantly, I freed myself. I freed myself from a question that had lingered in my mind for years, freed myself from the internal scrutiny that was becoming nearly impossible to bear, and lastly freed myself from the fear of living. This may sound funny, but I swear it the truth. Growing up can be a very tumultuous experience, and I by no means think I am unique in the struggle that I went through. However, the public display that I made of my struggle has put me in quite a unique position.
I want to play football in the NFL. I believe that I was put on this earth to play football. This is my next goal, and I don't see anything that can stop me. Narcissism and ego aside, the one problem that may arise is the issue of being gay. I am not gay. I am not straight. I am who I am. I am sexually attracted to men and women, and I enjoy being with women in intimate relationships. I think human beings are beautiful, and I try not to differentiate due to sex, race or any other minute detail. We are all humans, we are more than 99.9% similar in every way, and we all share this life together,
I don't know how this is going to work out. As far as I know, there has never been an openly gay(or recently announced gay) athlete in a major sport. It is important because I know who I am, and I want others to be able to feel comfortable in their own skin as well. I know what it feels like to be ostracized due to sexual preference, and I firmly believe that this is something that needs to be changed in order to help all people be treated equally. It is no different than the civil or women's rights movements. In fact, it may be more important today due to the fact that gays are constantly being ridiculed and mistreated, whereas women and African Americans have made huge strides since their major movements.
If you've read this far, I thank you. More than anything, this blog has been an outlet for me, but I am also glad that I've been able to share my true self with you. I have been sharing my life publicly for years, and now the time has come to act like it.
Posted by Zach at 10:56 AM
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Tomorrow I will become licensed as an insurance salesman. I know. I can feel my heart beating at an extraordinary rate right now, not because I am about to become a financial planner, but rather that after tomorrow, I will have been qualified to be a financial planner. Seeing that I have that ability is the exciting part for me. Which leads me to this blog...
I cannot remember the last time in my life that I was happy. Content, maybe. Satisfied, almost never. Happy, definitely not. I had a good talk with Mato Lagator(for those of you who don't know him, I would suggest you do immediately) about happiness last night for a good couple of hours, and he made me realize that I have never really actively pursued happiness in my life, and furthermore that I don't feel as though I need "happiness" in order to life a meaningful, satisfied life.
Last semester at Harvard, I took a senior seminar course called "The Science of Happiness". Each week, for one 2-hour period, approximately 30 Harvard students, along with visiting scholars from MIT, would discuss what it means to be happy. We covered the physiology of happiness, dissected relationships, jobs, attitudes, life experiences, age, sex, marriage, love and any other aspect of happiness that we felt obliged to discuss in our somewhat open panel discussion. I even had the audacity in my final paper to try and define a universal happiness, and how it can be achieved. I found through extensive research that "by maintaining a focus on one’s work, being vigilant in your work routine, and producing to your greatest ability"(Me, Final Paper, "The Science of Happiness", May, 2007), happiness is ultimately found.
However, the greatest happiness that people experienced was not after all the vigilant hard work. The greatest happiness was experienced during the work. This got me to thinking. Most people think that once a goal is accomplished, they'll be happy, when in fact this is very far from the truth. The old cliche rings true at this point, reminding us that it's the journey that matters, and not the end. Actually quite close to reality.
So if happiness is this thing that people experience when they are working towards creating the greatest product possible, then our lives can in fact be a never ending stream of conscious happiness. That is of course, if you are able to constantly produce at your highest level for your entire life. (Which in my estimation, is the actual goal. Actual perfection may not be attainable, but it's a great place to aim) I don't think many people believe that they are capable of doing this. It's partly why we watch hundreds of hours of TV. Most of the time we sit comatose in our couches, accepting everything that is said as absolute truth, because we want to give our brains a rest, and allow someone else to do the thinking for us.
This is death. I have trouble watching TV nowadays. Unless it's Entourage for the pure glam and glitz, or a Discovery Channel show that is actually trying to teach something, I struggle to find any reason why I should listen to the people we see on TV. Most of them are idiots anyway. Have you ever listened to a politician on a show like Hardball or Fox News Sunday morning? They spit more BS than a drunk college athlete who's trying to get laid. They literally say nothing! Given, that is the job of a politician, or at least what that job title has become. But shouldn't ours leaders, the people in charge be willing to put themselves out on a limb, aren't we the ones that they are supposed to represent? What happened to politicians being for the people? Paul Wellstone, before his death, spent more money annually than any other senator in Congress. He was labeled as fiscally irresponsible and a loose cannon, among other things. However, if you looked at where the money was going, it was being spent on educational programs, environmental protocols, and health insurance benefits for the uninsured. He was truly a man of the people, elected by the people, who worked hard for the people.
Others, such as JFK, who would openly admit when he made a mistake, are a lost breed. In his day, there was circus of liars trying to make things sound better than they are like, "
I don't think it is. Now, I could go on about Bush all day, but honestly, I think everyone knows. And if you don't, and you think Bush was a good president, then go down south, buy yourself a Confederate flag, pretend the Civil War never happened, and leave us the fuck alone!! I am so goddamn sick of having you people insult democracy and the liberal people that fuel the true system. If you had a brain cell in your head, you'd use some reason(you know, that thing that separates us from animals) and would see that people are people. We live in a democracy because we hold every person's life on the same platform. From the president on down to a newborn baby. What shocks me is that you people(read:idiots(if you can read this)) think George Bush has your best interest in mind, because "he talk good like you". Guess what, unless you own an oil company, have a serious financial interest in the middle east, or know big poppa Bush, he doesn't give a fuck about you. Just go away, please. I know this is a bit harsh, but I think I speak for a good amount of liberals when I say, "Open your eyes and get a fucking clue." NEWSFLASH: It is ok for gay people to get married; it's ok for a woman to make choices about her own body; and it is ok to be idealistic about the future of this country and the world. We are leading the way, and I'll be damned if we let you gun-toting jesus-fearing cavemen hold us back.
The upcoming election may well be the most important election in our country's history. At very least, up there with Lincoln and FDR. Assuming the confederacy(by the way, does anyone see a link between modern day politics and Star Wars? Just a thought-the "Republic" that becomes too powerful and ruled by the dark side, and then tries to be rebuilt but crumbles to make way for the "New Order". Anyone?) doesn't mess it up, and I am hoping that enough former Bush fans have gotten a clue, and I truly believe they have, we will either have a woman or a black man as our next president. Talk about coming into a "New Order"!
I personally have not decided who I am going to vote for as of yet, because to be honest, I don't have enough information to make an educated choice. I want to see them debate, I want to hear about where they stand on hard issues, and I also want to see how they execute under pressure. Now given, with Hilary comes Bill. HUGE plus in my book.
I guess I got off subject a while back. The point is that if happiness is something that we are constantly striving for, and can only be achieved by continuing to work at what we are good at, then in order to achieve happiness, we must be constantly improving ourselves, our skills, and ultimately us as a people. This is what this nation now has to do. We have to improve as a people. We need to move forward, and not be scared to take the lead with other nations as our allies. We have basically destroyed all foreign relations in the past 8 years, and to be honest, with the amount of nuclear weapons that are now in existence, this world is too small to fight.
Let's take the lead from people like Bill Gates, who in his speech at last fall's Harvard graduation, encouraged all of the recent grads to take an active role in improving this planet of ours. Personally, I see Bill Gates as a demigod. He is using his power for the good of mankind, and the
The feeling that is produced when a person is working to their highest capability has been defined as happiness. I like to call it fulfilling a sense of duty to yourself by being the greatest human being that you can be. We, as a nation, are much greater than we have shown the last 8 years. The opportunity is on the horizon. It is time to make changes, and it is time to fight for what we know to be right for all of mankind, which is the equality of all living people.
I don't know how long Insurance Sales can satisfy my hunger to be a part of this, but it will be interesting to find out.
Posted by Zach at 7:33 PM
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