Day 130 Through Day 132 — I Slept on the Side of a Street in 42 Degree Fahrenheit Weather

Today I got a text from my good friend who I’ve referenced before (at the beginning of Monday from this piece). The last time I mentioned him I was describing my gratitude for him:

I really love this guy. In high school we were both buying stocks, something he’d done before and something I was inspired to do because of him. I bought a stock called AMD that went up 60% in about three weeks, his dad bought the stock, he bought the stock, and a friend bought the stock. Today, this stock has more than six-trupled in three or four years after the buy-mood I was in about it. My friend was an athlete and still is, he inspired me in that sense too. I knew a lot about computers, I taught him what I knew. We debated religions and atheism and many other topics. He tried to teach me pre-calc one time, or two times. I don’t think it worked out.

The text made me really happy to read that he sent. I know there’s two other people I’ve inspired in a similar way in my life, particularly in high school. One person that was inspired deeply never expressed explicit gratitude (and as far as I’m concerned, took credit for something I came up with one time) and another that was inspired as deeply, which did express gratitude; yet I don’t interact with this person anymore either. This person that I don’t interact with these days changed their mood and “liked-ness” of me very quickly, after I shared with them that I wanted to embark on an endeavor which to them seemed identical to an endeavor they were already pursuing.

It’s funny thinking back to this memory, every single time. I reconnect with a friend from high school, they tell me I was one of their biggest inspiration in their entrepreneurial path, a week later I let them know I want to embark on the endeavor of what they were doing, on my own, and they are seemingly insulted and leave. The hilarious thing about it all to me is that I openly shared ideas with them, on ways to promote their business, and a few weeks later I saw TWO of those ideas incorporated. I reached out to them to ask how they had fared, and I got no response. This person’s mother, who I had built a website for and was good friends with, also completely cut me out of her life.

Well that’s a funny way for people to behave. Even funnier is that I told my friend I may not end up pursuing the path of embarking on the endeavor, since anything could happen. After that week I decided to move across the country. Half a year later I attempted to embark on that endeavor, after moving back home, which did not come to fruition, and now I have moved once more, and am not pursing that endeavor. So the great thing that came out of sharing with my friend that I wanted to embark on the endeavor was that I lost them, and in losing them, I saw them for who they were and saved myself the hassle of working with someone with the friendship integrity I do not share.

So out of the three people I was good friends with and inspired tremendously, the one that is a better and better friend every single day is the one who wrote the texts above, and the one who coincidentally has inspired me tremendously. It’s funny that the two other people I’ve mentioned above, they inspired me too. They inspired me in the sense that I know even better who I don’t want to be, through their own shortcomings.

Now, this is arguably one of the first times I’ve touched on the explicit shortcomings of others in a manner as I do now. I do not want my observations to be seen as condescending or to evoke negative emotion. I am simply sharing what I know of my life and of my relationships, in the most accurate form that I know. I am happy that I have grown from regretting my relationships with the two friends I am no longer friends with, to feeling equally happy about those two friends as I do about the one from the texts. This is because all that is meant to be is being right here, and right now.

For example, the friend who texted me apologized for delaying in reaching out. It’s great that he delayed. If he’d texted me earlier, he would have texted me when I was still running and had not put it on the back-burner, as I did 5 days ago. Instead, he delayed, and delayed, and I got his message on a day that I felt more lost than I have been in a while. His delay came with a message at the right time, which inspired me to go for a run.

The Run

I ran a mile in 6 minutes 10 seconds, while listening to a 260 BPM metronome. I’ve never listened to a metronome before, but the last few times I ran I realized that the music wasn’t helping. After running the mile, I was surprised how great I felt. The last time I ran I felt like my body was destroyed. My chest hurt from taking shallow breaths. Today, I took breaths in through my nose and breathed out, as much as I could on pace with 260 BPM.

I had also done math prior to running, which helped me determine that a person will take 1,400–1,700 steps in a mile. I figured if I take 1,550 steps and I want to run a 5.5 minute mile, I would need a 281 BPM metronome. However, I wasn’t aiming for a 5.5 minute mile, I was aiming for a 6 minute mile. While running the first half of the mile I also chanted Baba Nam Kevalam, which means “love is all there is.”

Pace graph throughout my run, MapMyRun.com

After giving my body a few minutes to come back to normal, I ran another mile in 7 minutes and 10 seconds. I finished running by some religious center and I decided to meditate then and there, outside, since the moon is full and in a super full moon state and since I didn’t want to wait to get home.

The 42 Minute Meditation

What’s neat today is that it’s the 3rd day, and it takes 27 Earth days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, and 12 seconds to complete one orbit around the earth, meaning that it will be back where it was today in 27 days. 27 is 3³, and also 3*10, which is extremely wholesome.

So I sit with my back on a curb, and decided that I must be on the ground next to the curb so that I can cross my legs properly. I sat on the ground and started a timer for 42 minutes not knowing that it was 42 degrees outside as well, which I appreciate the coincidence-state thereof. My lower back was against the curb, which felt really good. It was like putting an ice pack against my back, which was hurting and still is unfortunately since I ran on asphalt once again. I would have ran on a trail had there been sun out when I began my run.

About 8–10 minutes into my meditation I decided to rest on my side, something I never do, yet something that I was compelled to do. The rest of my meditation transformed into something I had not expected.

I began to experience gratitude for having a room and a home that has a good temperature in it. I began to connect with the people that sleep on streets. One time I remember I saw a man slumped over, at around 4 AM in the morning, while I was walking through cold temperature in a t-shirt and shorts because my phone battery was dead, I was lost, and my ride had left. I spoke out to him, asking him if he was alright. He didn’t respond and I figured he was asleep and I didn’t want to bother him, since it was probably hard enough to fall asleep as it is. Since there wasn’t much I could do to help him, aside from telling him to find a place to get warm in the same way I was trying to do, I kept walking, yet I had this sinking feeling in my heart of “what if this man is dead? What if he goes on to die because I didn’t wake him?”

Today while I was on my side, I realized how insignificant my petty thoughts and other illusions can be. If I am not outside freezing on the side of a curb, I should not be freezing mentally from anxiety or from petty thoughts that are useless and suck up my mental energy, in the same way that the cold sucked out the warm energy out of my body. My hair was wet from sweat, I had the world’s thinest windbreaker on, and underneath, I had a t-shirt. I was wearing compression pants, i.e. yoga pants, socks, and shoes.

In the first 20 minutes I had enough warmth to keep me from shivering. After a while, I began to sense that I was dying and worried if I would even be able to get up when my timer would ring. Throughout my meditation 8 cars passed by me, 7 of which were going to the religious building, 1 of which was passing by. Out of all of them, one car stopped. A driver opened his door and asked “are you alright?” I responded back “yes, I am just meditating, thank you so much for checking.” He responded back “okay, good, no problem,” and continued to drive.

While meditating there I experienced the same fear that a homeless person might experience. As each car drove by me that was on my side (I think all 7 out of 8), I was afraid they would hit me. One came really close to me, which had its wheels about 2 feet away from where I was resting. Also I heard voices at one point and I looked around, scared because I didn’t know where they were coming from. Eventually I saw it was two people walking with groceries in their hands. They walked across the street from where I was, around 20 feet or so, and I was afraid since I didn’t know who they were. At one point one of them put down the groceries and stood still, while the other crossed the street. I kept craning my head to see what they were doing and where they were going, since this was my side of the street, and I realized that they were peeing. I didn’t relax until they left.

In fact, even the driver that stopped to ask me if I was alright worried me at first. I saw the car come to a stop, I envisioned people getting out of it, running to me, and throwing me in it. I was so frozen I was scared I couldn’t defend myself or run away. As I kept craning my head to look at all the scary things, which was virtually anything that moved from my perspective of having my eyes 6 inches off the ground, using my arm as a pillow after my head began to freeze when I was just laying it on the ground, my micro-thin windbreaker’s hoodie kept coming off. Even though it offered no protection against the coldness of the ground or of the air, it protected against the wind, which any slight movement would course through my sweating hair and remove even more heat from my body.

Throughout the meditation I wanted to look at my phone and see how much time was left, and whether I even started the timer. I told myself if I did this then it would be the first time that I looked at the time while meditating (aside from that one time I looked at it on accident while meditating with a meditation group, and it happened to have been exactly 21 minutes after I began meditating, and I guessed that it was 21 minutes and that it was time to finish the meditation, literally 30 seconds before the group leader began to speak). So I digress with an extremely long sentence and ask you for forgiveness in giving too many details in this piece and possibly every single one that has come before it, and I from here on out will strive to cut my writings down 10 fold.

I didn’t want to quit by looking at the time. I figured I would rather meditate there on the side of the curb as long as 50 minutes or an hour, if my timer wasn’t on, and be safe rather than sorry. I told myself if I looked at the timer I would have to meditate at home for 42 minutes, since any time spent meditating until “quitting” by looking at it would not count. I was afraid I was pushing myself too hard and that the timer wasn’t on and that I would somehow die in some very stupid accident.

I knew it was a super fullmoon so I spent some of my time look at it, between fighting off coughs that were also painful hiccups and came and went in bursts of three, three times while meditating, along with teeth clenching or teeth clattering. I forced my body to relax as much as it could, and as a final resort to give it some warmth I began to chant Hare Krishna. I heard my voice and I heard how pained and sad it was. I could tell this is not how I sing Hare Krishna regularly, so I did my best to relax my voice and to sing with love and not fear. Even as I did this, my voice still sounded weak and without timber. I sun Hare Krishan three times I believe, and then the timer went off. I was mid-sentence so I finished up another chant, possibly totaling in four Hare Krishnas for the night, and I got up, feeling for the first time a numb-left-side.

My entire left side was frozen. I wanted to get home, but home seemed very far from where I was. My best attempt at using my feet to travel was a sideways wobble. I nearly walked off of the sidewalk a couple of times because it was hard to walk straight. The left side of my body was difficult to control, like the body of someone who’s had a stroke and has one side of their body paralyzed as a result.

After a while I tried to slowly jog, yet it pained my body which was numb, and it made the coldness chill my spine. I began to clatter my teeth at an intensity even greater than when I was on the floor, slightly protected from the wind and slightly conserving my body’s temperature. As I saw a black truck turning onto the street I was coming from, I was afraid, maybe someone had reported me, maybe I would have to answer what in the hell I was doing to someone, I had the same fear as I had on the floor meditating. I was separated from normal reality. I was no longer on a run, I was running home, I was surviving and afraid.

Eventually I made it to the lawn of where I live, I put my hands to my lips to try to get a gauge of how cold my fingers were. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my lips. All I could tell was that my lips were icy, because I got a colder sensation on my fingers from my lips than I did from the air. Then I went inside, peed, and washed my hands which were frozen and red. I drank some chai and then I shot two videos of lessons I’ve learned in my life:

Focus on One Object at a Time and Combine Skills (Click to open)

Create More Than You Need and See Your Success (Click to open)

I chose not to shower and instead let my body do its job of heating up. In the Inheritance Trilogy a certain race has a tradition of cutting their arms in order to compete against an opponent, who also has to cut their arms. If they use magic after the competition to heal their wounds, they are disqualified and they lose. I addressed my running and meditation today in the same way. I can shower tomorrow, yet I will not let showering take place after the hardening that took place tonight. That would eradicate the difficult of what I went through. I did not lay on the side of the ground thinking “I will take a shower and fix this right away, just wait a bit more.” I lay there, feeling the cold, knowing that I would experience it even after getting home.

My left foot still feels colder than my left, around 4 hours later.

I haven’t gotten around to writing my book today, or yesterday.

Thursday

On Thursday worked out by lifting 10 pound weights, doing pushups, and crunches over a 14 minute period. I also went to a birthday party of my roommate’s.

I met an interesting man there who shared the same age and name as a previous great friend of mine, and had many overlapping similarities. I also had two shots I think, and gifted the birthday gal some chai. When I got back my roommate was acting a bit weird, asking me to fetch things more or less for them, which really frustrated me. I may have responded in a fashion that is out of character, primarily I told them that I would kick them in the groin after they told me that they’ll ask me to fetch things for them because I will. This came after they farted on me, which really pissed me off, amongst pushing me towards whatever fork or object they’d asked for me to fetch for them.

I realized after the fact that the reason this has occurred is because the roommate is correct, I do listen to people when they ask me to do things. When I had a coworker in a job during the age of 18, I would get them pens and whatever they asked for, that they could have gotten themselves, simply because I didn’t care. I figured I was at work, getting paid to work, and if someone that my boss liked less than me (specifically because they were “crybabies” more or less to my boss and rude and annoying and chronic liers, as expressed by my boss one way or another) asked me to get them something, I would, even though I had no obligation and no positive benefit from doing so, aside from keeping things simple in my mind.

On Thursday when my roommate annoyed me, I was overthinking the whole thing. I was ready to stop talking to them and not interact with them in any way, shape, or form. Then I realized that when people are drunk they act weird, and that my roommate must have his own history, feelings, and emotions that cause him to act this way, and that I should respect him and think of him in the same way I would if he were my son acting this way. After freezing outside, on the side of the curb, I realized that my thoughts and feelings were extremely petty, and that virtually any thought I had on the matter of my roommate’s behavior and what to do from here was utterly pointless and energy sapping.

Friday

On Friday I was awaiting a call from my employer regarding the background check, yet I still didn’t get a call. I’m aware it can take a week to two, yet it’s difficult to wait to hear for the answer because I’m not used to waiting for things like this. Previous background checks all took less than a week to complete, so on one end I’m not looking for new jobs, but on the other end there’s been an anxious side of me saying maybe you should look for new jobs because even though the background check will pass, you have no idea if things will change with your current employer in that time. I haven’t been managing my anxiety about this too well, and it’s shown in the amount of sleep I have been getting (too much) and in the times that I go to bed (too late).

I think on Friday I did something weird, which was return supplements. Melatonin hasn’t been working for me, and I figured the other supplement won’t be useful since I already have B12, vegetarian supplements, and calcium. Upon returning my supplements the person on the other side of the counter shared with me that they’ve experienced what I have, where they take a lot of melatonin, don’t fall asleep, and then get a surge of energy. They shared with me something called “anabolic sleep,” which I will get once I started working and get a paycheck. They were from Armania, and I’m from Romania, so we talked about that a bit and I brought up how growing up in a 3rd world country helps one to be grateful, how I forgot about it and wasn’t as grateful for a time, and so forth. I came here when I was 7, and this person visited their country when they were 7.

They told me that it wasn’t surprising to find a building in which you’d get to the top floor and there wouldn’t be a wall on one side, amongst other things like wild dogs running around and so forth. His description sounded like Romania to me, and I remembered as well how you can’t return supplements in Romania, let alone shoes or jackets that you find out don’t fit like you can here in America.

I also drove around to two places trying to cash a friend written in my friend’s name, that they asked me to check, and figured out I couldn’t. Instead of going into my car and heading home to get groceries after not being able to cash the check, I decided to walk around the city square I was in. I found a used book store and stayed in it for a bit over an hour. While in there I asked the cashier if they had a book on serpents, and I found one titled “The Unfeathered Serpent,” which had an interesting quote from the Aztecs that read something like “tell your woman not to use makeup and put red on her lips and powder on her face, for women that do this are shameless creatures. A woman is [beautiful enough] when she cleans her hair and wears clean clothes.” Boy, what a direct opinion.

After that I found two books, one of Native American quotes, and another of Yoga. The yoga book was 8 dollars, and the Native American quote book was 5. I don’t have a budget for anything but food, so I really had a hard time getting myself to buy the books. I had taken notes of half a dozen other books’ names, so I could get them whenever. It’s not like I couldn’t take a note of the Yoga and quote book and get them later online. I felt it was important I get the books now, because I have notes and names of likely a hundred books, and writing the names doesn’t mean they’ll end up in my hands.

The books were in my hands, and I was squatting down from where I got them. I held them between my hands, as if I were praying, and I said “these books will give back to you more than they cost, should you read them and study them and embody them.” I felt the power of these words and knew that they were true.

At the checkout desk, the cashier was having a hard time with my card. It wasn’t swiping because their reader was having issues. I will bring them an extra reader soon, since I have two square readers just like that. I told the cashier I wish I had mine with me then, I would have given them one. He asked me if I had cash, which I ignored, because I had a little cash in my wallet but it was explicitly not for using on anything expect an emergency. After a bit, while making small talk as he tried the card again, I said I have a $10 in my wallet (I had a bit more, two or three $20s more, which would be more than the total of everything and which I did not want to split in any way) and asked if that would be enough (the books were $13). He said yes, that’s why I asked if you have cash, I would give you a discount for the trouble. Then I said alright that works, and gave him $10.

So there you have it, after I felt the power of that fact that the books would give back to me, they already became cheaper going from $13 to $10. It doesn’t sound like much to you probably, yet $3 is significant to me today, and it will always be, as long as I remember buying these books.

Afterwards I went home. I don’t remember what came next, at least in order. I worked out for 14 minutes. I remember completing 30 dumbbell curls of 10 pounds, then 30 hammer curls with no break, and then 30 side raises with no break as well. I followed it with mixed martial arts, simple kicks, punches, and elbows, along with a certain punch I haven’t seen others use yet I’m sure is a great offensive tactic.

Then I completed 30 ab crunches, and when I was done I noticed I had 1 minute and a few seconds left. In the few seconds before the minute I decided I would pump out as many crunches as I could. I think I completed 40 more crunches in 60 seconds. It was impressive for myself since I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever counted my crunches in a minute. After writing the last sentence I Googled the record for sit-ups in a minute and found a man who completed 48 sit-ups on average, every minute, for 60 minutes straight. That’s 2,908 sit-ups in an hour! It can be easy to look at something like that and then get discouraged, but getting discouraged isn’t going to increase the number of sit-ups I can complete in a minute or an hour, and I’m not even shooting for any goal as it stands for either or, so why would I get discouraged?

Speaking of, my writing style is going to change, since I’m going to cut down on the amount of content I spill forth through my fingers. I realized for the first time today where the bottleneck lies with my writing. I’m writing in a journalistic format, of my self which happens to be a bit unfocused not by nature of unconsciousness, but rather, by nature of being conscious and having passions of a tremendous amount of topics. I do not watch television, I do not scour social media (however just recently I have spent an average of 10 minutes a day on Instagram while learning how people use social media and how it can be utilized to share positive content), I do not spend large amounts of time on distractive relationships whether it be digital conversations, or activities, or in-person ones. So how come then, am I not a master of something, a leader of something? Because, I may possibly be a jack of all trades, and a master of none.

That’s a possibility, however, I am convinced that I am a master in meditation, learning, and writing. I have a plethora of skills and knowledge to draw from, and as a result, I can combine multiple “trades” in a way that a master of just one cannot. So I am not at a disadvantage, where I am now. However, I do want to master one thing. For example, I feel I am a master at the flute compared to any other instrument, and really, any other skill that I was already quite good at years ago. How did I get there? By playing roughly 10 minutes a day, without counting or thinking much about it, every single day for months and months and months.

So here I am, and the realization is that I am journaling who I am, when I could be engineering who I want to be. You see, where I am now, as Greg Plitt says, is not who I am, it’s where I am. By working at it, day by day, I can be the person that I am meant to be.

Today is one small step in the transformation of myself, where I began to realize that instead of focusing on what happened today, at the end of my day, I can end my day with focusing what will happen tomorrow.

To be continued…


Originally published at storyofoctavian.com.