Quiet desperation is a term coined by American philosopher and poet, Henry David Thoreau, in his seminal work "Walden". It refers to the sense of hopelessness and despair that can arise when one feels trapped in a life that is unfulfilling, but sees no way out.
Ghosting is a modern dating phenomenon where one person in a relationship or potential relationship abruptly cuts off all communication with the other person without any explanation or warning. It's a term that has gained popularity in recent years, especially with the rise of online dating and social media. In this essay, we will explore what ghosting is, its effects, and how to deal with it.
Gaslighting and Stonewalling
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where one person manipulates another into questioning their own perceptions, memories, and sanity. The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1944 film "Gaslight," in which a man manipulates his wife into thinking she is losing her mind by dimming the gaslights in their home and denying it when she points it out. In this essay, we will explore the concept of gaslighting, its signs, effects, and how to prevent and recover from it.
Motivation vs Discipline
Motivation and discipline are two important concepts that are often discussed in the context of personal growth and success. While both are important for achieving one's goals, they are distinct concepts with different meanings and implications.
Taking the Cold Plunge
Cold exposure, or the deliberate exposure of the body to cold temperatures, can have several benefits, including: Improved immune function: Cold exposure can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off infections and diseases.
Show Your Angry Side
Anger is a natural and normal emotion, and it's okay to feel angry sometimes. It's a normal response to a perceived threat, injustice, or frustration. Anger can also be a helpful emotion, as it can motivate you to take action and make changes in your life or in the world around you.
Parent and Child Separation Anxiety
Parent-child separation anxiety is a common experience for both parents and children, especially during the early years of childhood. Separation anxiety typically occurs when a child is separated from their parent or caregiver and may feel anxious, fearful, or distressed.
Joys of Fatherhood
Fatherhood can bring immense joy and fulfillment to a man's life. Being a father means taking on a new role, responsibilities, and challenges. It can be a life-changing experience, as you watch your child grow and develop into their own person.
Lessons of Military Life
I arrived at St. Hubert Military base outside of Montreal on the first weekend of February. I was surrounded by a group excited yet nervous young men and women jut like myself. I engaged in a discussion with another young man on the bus and he was saying he has been waited to do this his whole life however he did not want to get his hopes up because he did not what to expect. I felt the exact same way. We arrived at the base in St. Hubert around 19h30. We grabbed our gear and hopped of the bus. Almost immediately there were drill instructors yelling to form ranks so that they can take attendance. In my head I was thinking "Well here we go". We were brought into a briefing room and were given a run through of what we should expect over the next 15 weekends in St. Hubert. We were going to learn drills, rifle training, military professionalism and ethics. We were shown our sleeping quarters and were told that our wake up call tomorrow was going to be 04h30 for physical training. I panicked in my head. I have never in my life woke up at 04h30 to workout. It sounded like insanity to me, but I knew the world that I was walking into. I looked around and few other guys had the same kind of "What the hell did I get myself into" kind of look on their faces. The instructors told us that we had an hour to get settled into our sleeping quarters, get our gear organized for morning PT (physical training) and talk amongst ourselves and then lights out at 11h00. I put my head the pillow at 11h00 with my mind spinning. I had conflicting thoughts of feeling very excited about all the challenging adventures that I was going to face the next but always starting to doubt myself feeling that I bit off way more then I can chew. All this overthinking was causing me not fall asleep and before I knew it was 04h30 the lights in the barracks suddenly went on and a group of very loud booming voices entered the sleeping quarters. Over the next 15 weekends we were put through hell, very strenuous physical training, very little sleep, drill training for parades, rifle training, and military codes, principals and ethics. In the month of May of that year I had my graduation ceremony from my basic training. My parents attended the event and they said that it was one of the proudest days of their life. As great as it was to see how happy my parents were of my I was somewhat unsure if I was capable of doing this on a long term bases. It was exciting and engaging work however at the same time it was incredibly stressful and exhausting and was starting to question my ability to handle this career. Little did I know at the time it was not because of my stress tolerance it had to do with my maturity level. I was only 22 years old stepping into a military career and for a lot of young men and women thats when they start off, however for me at 22 years years I was not quite the person that I needed to be to thrive in this environment long term. I was going to soon realize that its not what I thought it was. An amazing experince and great career and finacial opportunity was slowly going to turn into a nightmare. After basic training finished in May I had about a month off from training. I returned home caught on some sleep, rested recovered , and and at the end of June I was shipping out to Valcartier, Quebec for 6 week extensive training. To become a fully qualified soilder I needed to complete my Soilder Qualifications (SQ) and my Infantry Qualifications (IQ). Those 6 weeks consistant of brutal field training exercises. Unlike BMQ where we were only training in St-Hubert base on weekends in Valcartier we were training for 2 weeks straight and every 2 weekend off for a total of 6 weeks. It was a very challenging and exhausting experience. The biggiest issue that really bothered me during my training had nothing to do with any of the training and skills we were learning. The issues had to do with my interaction with the other recruits. During my BMQ the recruits were all invovled in training together for weekends. During our summer training we were together all week sometimes 14 days at a time. I found myself during these long weeks of training struggling building any kind of social bond with the boys. When we had our occational down time which was not often however that was always our opportunity to bond with each other I found myself quiet withdrawn, and standoffish. I could not quite figure out why but it was starting to bother me why I could not make effort to enjoy myself when we had male bonding time. I was part of the platoon however I did not feel like I was part of the platoon. I found myself having moments when were on our down time to just escape from the platoon and go into the woods by myself and isloate myself. I would isloate myself from the rest of the boy and just dreading that time when I knew that I had to return to the rest of the platoon. I would charish those weekends where I would hop the bus on a Friday and get to be home in my own bed and in own space for 48hrs and then totally dreading the idea of having to get back on the bus on a Sunday evening and return to Valcartier. For the life of me I could not figure out why ? Why did the social environment of the military not excite me. We were all supoosed to bond as fellow warriors and bond like a band of brothers. I would here stories from older veterans in the unit how they met their best friends in basic training and they having remained best friends for into their aging lives. It seemed all the other men and a few women in the platoon had no issue bonding with each other. I felt awkward, alone and isolated. Not because anyone was making me feel like that it was all in my own head. It was own insecurity that I was not able to kick. When I was taking the bus home one Friday evening I was starting to think that maybe it had something to do my lack of a realtionship with my father. I had an ability to analyze everything when it came to self reflection of my own behaviour for better or for worse. During the school year I was taking psychology classes and applying alot of the principals that I learned and applyied it to my won life and my own development. Maybe my lack of bonding with a male role model as young boy gave me a negative framework about myself. I have always had difficult time making friends as a young boy and primairly felt somewhat of a lone wolf which cause me to be teased and bullied as a young boy. In military life I becamce very clear to me that there was no room for a "lone wolf" type personality. You had to be social and be a team player at all times. If not teasing and hazing would come into play. By the end of August it was the graduation parade for the all the recruits that survived basc training. Despite my self viewed poor performance, I survived. My Mom and step Dad were there in the audience smiling cheering taking pictures. After the parade they both pulled me aside and and gave me a hug and said they were so proud and happy for me. I put on a fake smile and thanked them. Internally I was not proud of myself of what I accomlished and I should have been and that tore me up inside. I returned home with my Mom and step Dad. The school year was going to begin and I was going to return to The Black Watch Unit on Tuesday nights. I was to earn the rank of Private in my first Tuesday night meeting at The Black Watch. Proud? not so much. More like unsure of myself. How long would that feeling last and when will I start feeling like the man I should be feeling like? Time will tell. Upward and onward.
Lessons From Military Life
I new I needed to finally get a job. My other kept pushing and encouraging to work. "Honey your 19 years now, it is time that you start earning your own money while your are still in school." she said. I agreed , however I had no idea what I would do for part-time work while I was in school, My mother told me that me that it did not matter what I did as long as I did something for work and earned a part-time income. I understood the point that she was trying to make but I did want to enjoy what I was doing for a part-time job even it was just for a students income. One afternoon I finished class and I was walking home for dinner I walked past a building that I have walked passed so many time before however I did not actually know what this building was. As I looked up and saw the advertisements on the building wall it caught my eye. The advertisement on the wall said "Canadian Armed Forces Part-Time Reservist Now Hiring". The advertisement looked very intriguing. I had no idea that you could join the army on a part-time bases. All the other students jobs that imagined to have seemed kind of of lame and boring to me. The average student job just felt like having a job for the sake of having one and having a small income on the side. The Army Reservist however seemed so beyond ordinary. It was a job that sounded tough, challenging, engaging and full of adventure it not feel like just a job, it could be per-time job that could eventually evolve into a career. In small writing on the bottom of the advertisement it said "Information sessions Tuesday's 7:30pm". I took my agenda out of my backpack and wrote it down. Next Tuesday night I planned to go to the information session to see what the Army Reserves was all about. Over that weekend I could not stop thinking about. I was nervous and really excited at the same time. I had no idea what to expect on Tuesday night. The more and more I thought about how nervous and excited I was I came to the realization that this was just the kind of per-time work I was looking for something that really engaged my emotions. Tuesday morning finally arrived I woke up feeling excited and energized. I made sure I had healthy breakfast, had all my books and papers for class that day and brought a notepad for the Information Session that evening. During my entire day of class I was not listening or processing any information during the teachers lectures, my mind and thought process was to distracted and excited over what I was going to see and learn from the Army Information Session that evening. I could not wait until my day of classes was over so I can head to the Unit. The last hour of class was difficult to sit through, but once it finally ended I got out of their as fast as as my legs can carry me. I raced home, scruffed down some food and headed to the Unit for the Information Session. Once I got to the door of the Unit and I was had my finger on the door bell I suddenly became very aware of how nervous I was. I tiny part of my brain did not want to follow through with what I was about to do, however I was very aware that if I did back out of this I would immediately regret it. Deep down inside me I knew what the right decision was for me despite my nervousness of having to push forward into unknown territory. I took a deep breath and I pressed the bell. A few seconds later a deep strong voice came on the intercom "Yes, how I can help you?" I replied with a nervous voice "Yes hi I am her for the information session at 7:30." There was no response. Moments later the buzzer rang on the door and I pulled the door open and I walked into the Unit. There were a few hallways to walk down when I walked through the door. I looked at the middle hallway and at the end of the hallway I saw an opening into a gymnasium. I walked down the hallway and came to a huge gymnasium. It looked very similar to a high school gymnasiums except there was a lot of military photos, and military decorations. I was looking around in awe. of gymnasium as the military would call it the parade square. It was a very impressive looking place. I then heard very loud and assertive voice from across the parade square. "Hello, can I help you." I tall man in a CF (Canadian Forces uniform approached me. "Uh..yes I am hear for the information session at 7:30." I said quite nervously. "Yes your right on time follow me please." I followed the soldier across the parade squared and into what appeared to be a conference room. The conference room was filled with a few folks with civilian clothes on like myself and few other CF soldiers and a projector and a screen which obviously would be used for their presentation. I was told to take a seat so the presentation can begin. One of the CF soldiers walked toward the front of the conference room and introduced himself. He gave us all an outline of what we were going to learn and discuss in the next hour. Over the next hour we told what were potentially signing up for. They explained the different between Reg Force Infantry and Army Reserves Infantry. We were told we have Regimental meetings every Tuesday evening and we would have and FTX (field training exercises) one weekend a month. We first however have to go through the selection process, which would entail a medical exam, physical exam, interview, and aptitude test. The whole process can take up to 3 months to complete. Once we have have completed the selection process we then go through BMQ (basic military qualifications) SQ (solider qualification) which would take up to 6 months to complete until we finally reach our first rank of private. They also explained the career and academic opportunities that the army can provide as well. They showed a slide show of picture form FTX's and training operations. That hour went by so quickly and was so enamored by this career opportunity. One of the best pieces of advice that we were given during the information session was if we were unsure if we wanted to join the Canadian Forces as Reservists or a join Reg Force we were told to join the Reserve Force first. The reason was because the Reserves gives us a small taste of what the military's experience feels like. If we enjoy it after a year then you can join full time. If we join the Reg Force right away and we don't like it and we feel the military is not for us then were in a tough situation because we signed a contract and we have to for fill the terms of our contract. There was a lot of information in that conference that I needed to digest. I left the Unit around 9:00pm. I walked home thinking about everything that I needed to do to get enrolled in the military. I new that this was the job that I needed to do and I was was to to wake up the next day and take full action ,of pursuing this career. I knew in my heart this what I wanted. I spent the next couple months going through the enrollment process. From September to December I did my Medical, Physical, Aptitude Tests, and the Interview. On December 18, 2008 I was officially sworn in to the CF. I was told to enjoy the Christmas holiday and on the second Tuesday of January I was to report to my Unit, The Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada. During the holiday I was very mentally restless. The holiday season is supposed to be relaxing peaceful but not for me I was anxious and I wanted to to began my BMQ (basic military qualifications. The third week of January finally came along and on Tuesday evening I headed off to the Black Watch. I arrived at the Unit at 7:30pm. I walked into the Unit and I had no idea where to go or what I was supposed to be doing. I saw a soldier in the office and I introduced myself and asked him was what required of me for the evening. He told me in very assertive tone "Go put put your PT (physical training) gear on and go wait on the parade square with the rest of the new recruits and await orders." I did as I was told. Little did I know at the time that as motivated and "gung oh" as I was with this new life and work experience in the military, the enjoyment would not last, however in the beginning it was awesome and I was fired up and fully on board to follow order and and show all my superiors how reliable I am. That night all we did was physical training which consisted of an obstacle course. We were told that we would not get our uniformed until our first weekend of BMQ. We had 2 weeks left until BMQ started. The next 2 Tuesday evenings we did the same thing we did physical training and when were not training we were told keep our mouths shut and our eyes open and listen and learn by observing others and our surroundings. As BMQ was fast approaching I was excited and motivated but I knew that I did not in any way shape or form gotten my feet wet yet. As motivated and excited as I was I had no idea what I was in for.
Connecting with Girls
It was my first day working in a new school. The children were not familiar with me neither were the staff. I knew that I needed to prove myself show what kind of results I can generate from my performance and earn my keep in this new work environment. I introduced myself to one of my colleagues. She showed me around the school and introduced me to some of the teachers. The vice principal approached me and told me the I will have three girls in grade 1 that I will be working with. I was somewhat caught off guard because I have never worked with girls before only boys. I headed off to the classroom that I will be working in and I met the teacher. I introduced myself to the teacher that I would be working with. She was friendly and welcoming but at the same time she was apprehensive about me. I knew she was the kind of teacher that you needed to earn her respect and show that you can add value to her classroom and her students. I waiting in the classroom on my own waiting the arrival of the students. I looked outside the classroom window and saw all the students filtering out of the schools buses. Some of the students seemed excited about their first of school some of them seemed very nervous and apprehensive and were very anxious knowing that they would have to detach themselves from Mom and Dad. I heard the noise of footsteps and chattering as the students came through the hallways. The teacher then walked in the classroom with three little girls by her side. The girls then spotted me in the classroom and just starred at me. The teacher then said "Girls I would like you to introduce you to Mr. Logan." They just starred at me with blank nervous looks on their faces. I then said "Hello girls nice to me you, are you excited about your first day of school?" They again did not say anything and just walked to their seats. I tried not take their reaction to me personally and realized that it was the first day of school and they were probably really nervous. During the first week of school I managed to make a connection with two of the girls. I asked them questions about themselves and used playful humor to get them to laugh and they slowly started to associate me with positive emotions and they began to connect with me. They ask for my help during class time. They would run toward me for attention outside in the playground during recess and lunch, and would get excited to see me at the beginning of a school day. However the 3rd little girl was a different story. She was not as emotionally connected to me as the other two girls. She was a very "hard to warm up to new people" kind of a person. She was on the autism spectrum which made it harder for her to adapt to new social situations. I spoke with her parents and her parents informed me that it takes time, consistency and humor for her to connect. It would just take her longer then most children make a connection. During recess and lunch outside in the playground she had a habit of standing against the school wall which is what other children have to do when they are in trouble. She was not in trouble she was just very shy and withdrawn and did not know or was uncomfortable engaging with other children. I tried many times over and over again encouraging in a calm manner to go and play with her friend she would have the same response every time "No thanks, I don't want to." I did not pressure her to play because that would cause her to withdraw even more and would cause any kind of connection she had with me to fall apart. One day I was observing her from across the playground and suddenly I thought of an idea to draw her into playing with her peers. I waited at my post in the playground for other children to initiate some form of play with me which they eventually did. Once we all started playing a tag game together I very intentionally moved the game closer and closer to the withdrawn girl against the wall. I moved the game to a point where we were playing tag right in front of her so it was impossible for her not to see us playing. I then whispered to one of the other girls as she was "it" "Hey, you see that girl standing against the wall?" she responded "Yes I see her Mr. Logan." "Go and tag her." I said. She complied and ran to the wall and tagged her. The girl against the wall who's name was Alexa was very caught of guard and froze up. She did not know how to respond after being tagged. I stood back and watched as the other girls were cheering her on and encouraging her to play. A very small smile began to form on her face and she started to move forward and began to chase the other girls. The other girls were laughing and cheering her on and the more they did that the more comfortable Alexa and she began to run full speed trying to tag the other girls. Her face was beaming. I watched from afar and made myself fall into the background and let the girls play on their own. I was very proud of the girls for being friendly and welcoming to Alexa. I was especially proud of Alexa for finally being comfortable enough to play with her peers. As the girls ran passed me Alexa ran to me and tagged me laughing and giggling and ran away. She turned around to face me her face beaming and said "Nah, Nah come and tag me Mr. Logan!" I ran to chase her and she laughed and ran. A connection with Alexa was finally cemented. It took time, consistency, and patience but she finally connected with her classmates and with me. From this connection she was was able to progress, socially, and emotionally and academically.