Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hualien, Toroko Gorge

Early, on Saturday morning, I left for Hualien. I took the train and got there six hours later. Because Nathaniel and Michelle were still in Green Island, I had the entire day to myself. I met up with Blanchard, the couch-surfing host we were staying with, went on a whale/dolphin watching tour, sat around and watched a free concert in the park, watched a movie, got a shoulder and neck massage by a blind masseuse...all alone. It was interesting because I like being alone, but not when I'm traveling. I want that experience to share with other people.

Sunday, we tried to find the local ward, and found the chapel, but it turns out they changed the meeting times to earlier. We went to watch a free aboriginal show later that night.

On Monday, we rented bikes and biked down Toroko was beautiful. Breath-taking cliffs, waterfalls, deep chasms... I was reminded how much I love the cool wind, running water, and green mountains. The water off the mountains was supposidly so pure that you could drink it, and we saw people pull over from their cars, go to the side of the road where water was dripping, and fill up their water bottles and drive off. So we did too.

From Toroko, we biked down to Hualien. I think it was around 25-30 miles in total. Definitely worth the trip, if only for that. We got daught in the rain while biking. It has been a long while since I've been caught in the rain. Everyone here is so paranoid about acid rain, they all wear ponchos...I forgot how wonderful the rain feels on bare skin. ^_^

We basically just relaxed the last day I was there. It was good. I wish I had more time just to get a feel for the area, but it was good as it was. ^_^ It was a very nice, relaxing weekend trip. I'm glad to be home though, and in my element teaching.

In November, there's a marathon, half-marathon, and 5K in Toroko Gorge. I'm wondering if I should do the half...

Etc:Blah, blah, blah

By age 24, I thought I'd have more of my life together. I would be self-assured, confident.

Instead, I find myself often plagued with the same insecurities that followed me throughout my entire life.

Am I really this shallow? I will never look perfect, I will never feel graceful. I'll never be the brilliant mind, the type I admire so much. People don't expect me to have all that though. I'm not as great as I try to make myself out to be. I'm not fooling anyone. I need to set up a realistic self-image of myself.

But on the other hand, I never know if that image is correct either. I keep fluctuating between self-adoration and delusions of grandeur, and self-loathing with a hyper-awareness of my flaws and mistakes.

With me, there's rarely a happy medium.

As my mid-twenties are hitting me smack in the face, I'm getting worried; Career? Money? Marriage?

Questions and deadlines I have always been aware of, just not concerned with are now hitting me with a renewed sense of panic. Will I be able to fit everything in within the deadline I set for myself? Why on earth did I set a deadline anyway? Just so I can panic now??

And yet, I'm still relatively at peace and happy. I still say and do the wrong things, but I have to keep reminding myself that eternity isn't forever. It's made up day to day. Hour to hour. Minute to minute. So I screw up. I can still reach salvation in the next minute. It's not all lost. I can still save myself.

Happiness, for sure, is an attitude. I can choose to be happy. I can choose to let things defeat me, or I can defeat them.

However. Joy is much harder to choose. Happiness is only on the surface. Joy is something else. Peace. Hope. Trust. Along with Happiness. For me, hope is the one that flits in and out. Sometimes it fills me to the brim. Other times, I feel as if the void will swallow me whole.

When I have that Hope, peace comes naturally. I have the trust that everything will be ok.

Sometimes I get so frustrated because language is so limiting. But language defines our reality. It sets the perimeters, gives absolute structure to the world so we can make sense of it. We must confine it, tame it, control it, and gain absolute control to be able to aptly express ourselves.

The accuracy of your ideas depend on your ability in the language. Even Art, which can speak to our deepest emotions even more than words ever could, is limited by space and time. Paintings, sculptures. Music, which can wash over you in pure emotion, is limited by time. Even the most moving of melodies wouldn't speak to us the same way if it were sped up, or if we played it all simultaneously.

But all these language inspire the creative mind. Isn't that interesting? The creative mind. The mere fact that humans can create. We are all mini-gods in our own micro-universe. We have the power of creation, even in something as "left-brained" as language. Creation. Now that's empowerment.


Brad and Hailey said...

It sounds like you have the greatest days! I'm sorry about the meeting times though! I remember when I was in St Louis and we walked for miles in our church clothes in summer to get to the meeting house and the times had changed. So dumb. This past weekend was the temple dedication though ... I don't know if that had anything to do with it. miss you!

Shan said...

Could have fooled me! But I totally understand how that all is, trust me. I'm going through the same things too, as you already know. I think you are fabulous!!! And I'm here for you!