In programming, we have what’s called an Exception. As you might guess, it’s essentially an action your code takes if something out of the ordinary occurs. It’s usually used for errors or to deal with extreme cases like too much data, or the wrong data input.
Anyway, keep that in mind as I circle back to this story. As I said, I gave up those same 10 things all over again during my 4th year in college. Part of the reason I did this was because things were going okay. If you talked to me then, I would say “because life is too easy right now”. I didn’t feel distant from God, nor was I too distracted in my studies. To put it bluntly, I was probably trying to force for some sort of spiritual ascension or enlightenment. I decided upon this just a few days into the quarter and I just started up cold turkey.
Great. Now what? Once more, I aimed to use my spare time productively. I read more, biked more and even cooked more. Being vegetarian was slightly harder now that I didn’t have the dormitory cafeteria to supply my meals. Still, I carried on with confidence.
And then came the exceptions.
It all started when I watched a movie with some friends. I told them I couldn’t because I was fasting watching movies (again), but as I finished saying that, I asked myself “why”? Initially I did this because I wanted to focus on my studies more. Which I did; because I finished my homework and was on top of things, I was able to set aside time to hangout with my friends and they just so happened to want to watch a movie together. “For friendship and for fellowship” was what I told them and myself, as weird as it felt at first, it sat well with me.
Similarly, I seized an opportunity to play League. With homework finished and all that, there was literally no harm in playing just one game.
And then I had some meat.
It was meant to be one of those joke wagers. You know, one of those “if you guess what I’m thinking right now, I’ll give you $100”. Except Lauren was watching One Piece, and he said “if you guess what episode I’m watching from just this paused screen, I’ll buy you a carne asada burrito from Alberto’s”. And by 1 in ~500 chance, I managed to guess correctly. More surprisingly, Lauren actually stayed true to his word, as much as I declined. I told myself “why not?” and just ate it. Part of me thinks Lauren wanted this to happen all along. He has a tendency to troll people.
There’s probably some other instances that occurred that I can’t quite remember. I don’t know if I became more lenient on myself, became more lazy, or became a better student, such that free time was actually free time. This actually became a 20+ unit quarter for me due to the senior projects (yes, plural) that I was involved in. One of those projects involved spending the weekend before finals week road tripping up to San Luis Obispo with the team to showcase our unmanned vehicles to Northrop Grumman executives. So, I’d like to think my focus was pretty strong, with or without my fasting.
Fasting for no reason? Probably not the best practice. I recall bits and pieces of a lesson that Spencer taught a while back advising against that as well. Thankfully, with little to no consequences, I was able to experience that lesson for myself.