So school started last week as I've said a few times and within that I got a terribly messed up schedule. Our school has two campuses. A magnet campus that is very new and a regular campus that is over a hundred years old. The two are very different in tone and atmosphere. The "old campus" as we aptly call it is old of course, ghetto, dirty, and with a student population to match. On the other hand my campus, the magnet, is very new, largely clean, small, and a place where I have built relationships with the teachers and have my friends. So to be all of a sudden dropped in an unfamiliar place such as old campus it's quite unsettling. 

Now it probably sounds really pretentious to be saying that I don't want to go to the ghetto old campus, but if you think about it my magnet school is my reality and it's where I'm comfortable. So the old campus is odd to me. Of course some of my friends also had classes over there too and so that eased me into it. But I did want to change my schedule.  

As life goes however in my quest to change my schedule everyone else had a messed up schedule to and so that did not make it easy. Long lines, numbers called, and a counselor who didn't give me the full picture of what's available were my obstacles.  

For awhile there it looked like that might just have to be the schedule I would have to deal with. But thankfully I was able to adjust the schedule to my liking soon enough and while it won't go into affect for a few more days, meaning I must still travel to old campus, I am so much more relieved and grateful.  

Now I'm not making these events seem like the worst thing ever, they're simply a good analogy to dealing with unfortunate or unwanted circumstances with a smile, a positive attitude, and a perseverant mind. 

Which is exactly what I did to calm my stressors and explain to myself that whatever happens it will all be alright. If I had to deal with the bad schedule for the entire year, then so be it I thought. I've dealt with worse before and battled through and so that was the same mindset I would take into whatever would happen. But again, thankfully, I was able to make it work the best I could. Now it's not my dream schedule but whatever. It's the one I've got and it's actually pretty good.  

Life comes and goes and sometimes we're there to enjoy it and sometimes not. But most of the time when something is occurring that is unwanted, when we're stressed, those are the times when we are most acutely aware of the situations in our lives. Which only adds to our stress. A truly present mind is not stressed, but a stressed mind can be negatively in the present moment. That is the paradox we live in and it affects us in more ways than we can imagine. If we're living in a fog of stress and disappointment then the present moment can look distracting and uninviting even though we are seeing it, sometimes it looks so uninvinting we never realize it's there. 

Through my tribulations, again not to be dramatic, at the old campus and with my schedule I took an alternate perspective. Instead I realized and accepted that it was all an experience. One that would teach me. It was something new and if I looked close enough, exciting. So I took it that way. I accepted it and learned from the new situation to better apply myself in future unwanted situations that I know I'll face. It's all an experience, which is the teacher. Experience is the master. And we must listen. So that is what I did. I listened. I listened to the ugliness, to the population, to the unfamiliar teachers, to the confusing layout, to the few friends I knew over there, I listened to it all and learned from it all. Life is full of opportunities to listen in and learn. We simply need to crouch down and put our ears a little bit closer.  

Getting into the dirt and the filth that we consider 'annoying' or 'unwanted' is all based on perspective and if we can adjust that perspective, then we can all adjust our lives to the better. Strive for your better is what I say and this was experiences are all steps to my better, so I took it and am taking it that way. I will better myself through the fire and through that fire I will feel pain, I will feel discomfort, but that's a part of life and experiencing it in the present moment is the key. Become aware of everything and everything will have a voice that you will learn from.  

So these practices and ideals I will take with me into my race this weekend. The Bulldog 50k in Malibu Creek State Park. I am ready for it and excited! Hopefully it will turn out well, because I know I will listen into the pain and accept it as always. So wish me luck and good luck to you in your wanted and unwanted endeavors!  

Thank you as always.  

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