Dimensions, Part 2.

Another year has passed, and a set of new perspectives, new people, new experiences, fresh in my mind, has yet again radically altered the course of my life – the reality of the fourth and fifth dimensions coming to fruition. And certainly, yes, just as this year has been marked by untimely passing of celebrities, so have my high school years been laid to rest. From a sheltered environment I have entered a new, unknown world, where the hurdles of exams and the difficulty of making friends present real, concrete challenges.

But perhaps this won’t be the flowery feel good year-in-review post. Perhaps instead I should expound upon one distinct moment when the fifth dimension became real and undeniable. I was reading Pastor Ed’s blog, looking for some intellectual stimulation, when I stumbled upon this post. Exerpt:

Exactly 10 years ago, William Lee died in a drowning accident on July 4th. I still remember getting a page that William drowned. “What do you mean he drowned? This must be a mistake. I just saw him two days ago leaving from the San Leandro parking lot with the rest of his group to Mount Shasta. How could this be?” That day started with a nice breakfast with a group of guys at my house and now my life was falling apart before my eyes.

William was Pastor Ed’s brother, and was only 25.

I could tell of other stories, ones I hear from tightly-knit forums on the web, or of a young UCLA student collapsing in the middle of a concert, or of one famous pop musician, or of that Cincinnati Bengals football player, or of a prominent advocate for Oxy-clean, in his prime, who just… never woke up after going to bed one night. Two things arose from my learning of these events: one, my researching about conditions such as Long QT Syndrome which explain how some people just die, interesting to read about… and second, my realization of something that Pastor Ed talks about all the time (undoubtedly due to his brother’s early passing): death will happen. That frightens me a little. As I said in my prior dimensions post, the future, the branching tree of uncertainty, hangs above us all. With every year, the road of our life takes a slightly different turn. More than anything else, however, I think this year has demonstrated that the road of our lives may any day reach its terminal point.

On a partly tangential note, as my floormate Nina says all the time, “I don’t know what to do with my life!” And honestly, I don’t even know myself that well. I don’t know how to interact with people in the correct way, and heck after my first semester my GPA isn’t even as sharp as it could be. Do things really fall apart? Perhaps I am a pessimist at heart, but I would certainly hope not. The rule of the 5th dimension, in both favorable and unfavorable directions, holds its ground. With that knowledge, I am driven to steer myself in the favorable direction: 2010 will be a year I hope to optimize with productivity, growth, accomplishment, bonding, and most importantly, finding myself. As stated above, life is ticking. No time to waste. With unfavorable turns I have to cope.

And certainly, in 2009, there were many bad turns! From the late nights working on chem labs, to the 6-hr long debugging sessions on CS projects, to that ridiculous pinyin homework assignment, to those failures of midterms due to silly errors or forgetting calculators or swine flus, to that one time where my alarm didn’t wake me up in time for my lab, my college semester was one of tribulations. But I have learned so much from them. This AIM convo snip sums it up well:

(1:15:21 AM) “mingmei”: but i did pass… [the driver license test]
(1:15:25 AM) “mingmei”: so i guess it worked
(1:15:26 AM) “mingmei”: fear works
(1:15:34 AM) jtwxmann: hmm
(1:15:40 AM) jtwxmann: maybe i’ll apply that for my upcoming test
(1:15:45 AM) “mingmei”: HAHAH
(1:15:48 AM) “mingmei”: yea…
(1:15:48 AM) jtwxmann: “if i can handle berkeley finals”
(1:15:51 AM) “mingmei”: HAHHA

….then I can handle anything thrown at me. Maybe, maybe, God never gives us challenges too hard to overcome. At least, if we put the effort into it. Instead of the looming threat of the 5th dimension that hovered over 2009, may 2010 be a year where the hope and promise of that statement prevails.

So what did I learn from 2009? The 5th dimension looms, optimize because the 5th dimension looms, and tribulations strengthen and educate.

Happy New Year’s to all.



  1. Jim, thoughtful post. Just found this blog through Facebook. I hop 2010 is a breakthrough year for you.

    Oh and just wanted to clarify that William was not Pastor Ed’s literal brother. But let’s take P.Ed’s lesson of letting fear guide us toward God.


  2. Yo Jimbo! 8D

    Your blog is very well written, as I would expect of you. It is a nice blend of sophistication and intelligence.

    I do not think you are a pessimist at heart but rather, a teenager trying to find his identity in life. This is Erikson’s 8 Stages in Life theory: The crisis during your teenage years is one of identity and in a way, purpose, as well. You will get through this momentary feeling of directional lost. 🙂

    As Robert Frost once said, if he could sum up life in just three words, “it goes on”. And indeed, it will. Enjoy the ride, kiddo!

    Happy new years! ❤ See you next week in San Diego! 😀 Take us to good food! ;D


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