The 54th Deadline: Poison

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“When something has festered within you for so long, is an antidote still possible?”

Despite all I have been personally through, no matter how far I have come, a certain “poison” still lingers in me. Its effects are day-by-day, but sometimes I am harshly reminded how much some of it has built up over the years.

This certain poison…

It’s comprised of various bad emotions and then some.

Anger.

Angst.

Fear.

Insecurity.

Basically, if it’s something a normal person wouldn’t want, especially in large doses, imagine all of that wrapped ever so tightly into a nasty mix of negative feelings. This particular mix gets buried deep within your very soul, and you can feel it in your heart. It festers, grows a little bit here and there and you want to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Maybe, just maybe, it will go away someday. Maybe, just maybe, it won’t ever bother you again. But then at some point, you end up like me. You realize you can’t get rid of it that easily, if at all.

It sucks. I don’t think anyone would want to experience this kind of poison. It plagues my everyday existence. I cannot simply forget because it is ongoing. On one hand, I wish I could magically cure myself. I realize who I am at this very moment in time stems from this poison acting as the initial catalyst.

And with this in mind, it is why I am reminded to fight against it as humanly possible. I don’t want this poison to define me, but its strength is undeniable. Many people, unfortunately, succumb to its effects.

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When everything is said and done, I don’t want to fall victim to it. It’s way too easy to do so. This poison clouds your judgment and makes you think irrationally. It turns your calm demeanor into a visible madness. It distorts your good vibes with something foul and unpleasant.

I feel like I have had to endure this kind of poison for so long. I am too frightened to tell others, even those closest to me and who have stuck by me through my worst moments, about it any further.

It’s all in your head, they would say.

It’s all in my head?

Or is it?

Or is it everywhere?

In my entire being…

Continue reading

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The 54th Deadline: Sustenance

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“You are what you eat as they say, so just try to eat a bit better here and there.”

I love food. As someone who works with food on a weekly basis, it’s only natural to expect me to like actually eating it. And I do like to indulge and try different kinds of foods out there when I can.

As an aspiring chef, a lot of the process of improving just involves experimenting, figuring out what works and what doesn’t and then constantly applying new techniques into the mix until something good results.

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However, as much as I love to eat, I know at some point I have to make a significant decision and think about my health as a whole. Because you see… I can only admit I was not blessed with an amazing metabolism. I cannot just eat whatever I want. Everything I do put into my body can and will adversely affect me.

But as much as I am aware of this, for especially the past year, I have not been eating well per se. Let’s just say there has been a lot of junk food, soda and other things that are fine in moderation. However, to eat and drink it just about every day like some college student away from home for the first time is quite unhealthy.

Granted, working at the restaurant actively somewhat evens it out. I am stronger than I have ever been before, but I would need to do some kind of consistent workout routine to get the cut, toned-body look.

And this is the crossroad I find myself at as a person who wants to be a chef and also loves to eat: where do I draw the line to balance eating with actually taking care of myself?

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I can continue with my bad habits and just ignore my health entirely. I can just eat whatever with not a single concern over what’s going into my mouth and how it all plays out for my well-being.

I could be like that, but I don’t want to for a variety of reasons.

I want to live a good, enjoyable and long-lasting life. I want to be on this planet for as long as I can, and it’s not going to happen if I keep hacking years off of my life with a subpar diet.

I realize I don’t have “cool” vices like smoking to my name, or other things such as excessive alcohol drinking. Still, too much soda does the body wrong regardless. Pick your poison, as they say.

I have been down the really unhealthy path before, where I could tell I was just gaining weight and just becoming really unappealing in a variety of ways.

I felt fat.

I lacked energy.

I craved food all of the time.

I was always out of breath with minimal exercise like walking up the stairs.

I disgusted myself, and feeling so disgusted prompted me to do something about it.

The list of legitimately alarming signs grew and grew as much as the number on the scale, so I made a decision to go on a diet that worked. I lost a lot of weight, felt better about myself and then another turning point in life forced me to undo a lot of what I had accomplished. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Validation

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“Receiving any form of validation should confirm you have done something right.”

I am someone who certainly yearns for the ultimate sense of validation when the time comes. Early on in this personal battle, I had to face a lot of rejection, bouts with doubt and everything else that would be very far from any form of praise. All of that bad stuff definitely hurt my sense of confidence, so these days I strive to seek out to do what is right for me. And if the payoff is for someone to give me the thumbs up of approval, then it is definitely worth the effort.

Obviously, we all would like to get a pat on the head every once in a while, but I do not want meaningless gestures of “good job” for the mere sake of it. I am not that insecure to believe something that delusional would make me content or well-rounded as a person.

At the end of the day, I want to improve myself in many facets. I want to see how awesome I can truly be when I really put my mind to it with 110 percent the willpower. Praise may be praise, but it has to be sincere in my book.

Lately, I think I am starting to see how much I have held back, not only in the past few years, but my whole dang life. I am my own limiter. I am my own handicap. I set the boundaries before me, and my boundaries apparently haven’t been that far from outside the box as a whole. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Time Limits

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“Every second does technically count. It’s just easier not to make each tick matter.”

I want to be more efficient. I want to be more meticulous. I want to more successful in everything I do.

So I think it’s been long overdue that I attempt to tighten up my approach with life itself. First and foremost, I need to start setting aside chunks of time throughout the day that are dedicated to specific tasks.

Writing.

Reading.

Whatever.

The task itself doesn’t matter. It’s just a matter of committing to the intended task at hand and making sure it gets done. And of course, I have to make sure it is done right. If I do something halfheartedly, it’s also counterproductive. It defeats the purpose of trying to structure my life around certain aspects I want to work toward, meaning my overall progress is just delayed even further.

I don’t want this blog to sound repetitive. I want to reach a point where I can start gushing about how I was able to achieve this and that. That’s the main goal in mind for this blog these days.

Don’t get me wrong. Talking about the bad stuff here and there is absolutely necessary. If I didn’t, a lot of negativity builds up and becomes dangerous. At the same time, I want to guide this blog toward more positive themes. I don’t want to talk about the sad/bad stuff for the rest of this blog’s existence. That would be lousy. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Encouragement

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“Keep yourself feeling positive by using words meant to lift your spirits up.”

Words matter. The stuff you hear, read or say can impact you in all kinds of ways.

For me over the years, I have had my share of negativity. Some of it was from others, but a lot of it stemmed from me being my own worst enemy.

I have made myself feel lousy, unappreciated, undervalued, sad, angry and pretty much every negative thing you could think of within reason. When you find yourself bombarded with words meant to hurt, it will. It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

After a while, you start to believe what you are coming across, and it is all downhill from there. Conversely, words of encouragement would thus be the superior alternative.

Trade those insults for self-esteem boosters. Tune out those words hacking away at your confidence and instead lift yourself up with thoughtful tidbits of advice to stay cool as a cucumber.

I don’t want to be the guy who has to tell you that those cheesy and overused platitudes of never giving up and whatnot do in fact mean something. It may be formalities at times, but it’s better you hear that than something toxic to ruin your mood.

Take it from someone who has nearly drowned in that depression pool various times throughout this personal journey. Those random words can sting a bit too much, weighing just enough that you can feel it sinking you as you’re just trying to keep your head above water.

Believe me. And this is me being very real about this. If I didn’t have those particular people along the way to remind me to keep going, to reason with me that I still had it within me to persevere… Well, I don’t know what would have happened. I am thankful, as in truly thankful, I have made it this far because of those particular people who both come and go in my life.

There will in fact be plenty of work ahead to make the ultimate comeback, but I am at least blessed to have the privilege to take another crack at it.

This is why I decided to do something very random for my own sake today. It is nothing revolutionary by all means. It’s actually very simple. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Habits

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“Routine establishes structure, which eventually defines a person as a whole.”

Hi there. I hope things are well.

I am trying to establish more of a consistent routine when it comes to blogging. I don’t necessarily want to do the daily posting that I have done before a long time ago. That was very exhausting and difficult to dedicate the right amount of energy each day without defaulting to throwaway posts.

At the very least, I want to try to blog at least a few times a week if I can help it. Realistically, I think I can manage shooting for two or three posts as a weekly minimum. That should not be too farfetched or too unreasonable. I wouldn’t want to disappoint myself for setting up an achievable goal and not falling through with it, right?

I know firsthand how easy it is to break your own promises.

Even with this blog, there was a point where I once was very focused on writing out certain posts every day. And not all posts were golden in my book, but I tried and tried. However, I gradually started blogging less and less as opposed to frequent posting, but I was diligent enough not to abandon this blog entirely. Thank goodness.

But yeah, all I am saying is expect more posts. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, that’s up to you to decide.

Anyway, with that stuff out of the way, I guess I want to talk about this post’s main point, after all.

Habits.

If you think of habits collectively forming a structure, how does your stack up?

Is the foundation sound? Are you put together well or are you destined to crumble?tamako_market-08-kanna-carpenter-bird_house-destruction-unhappy.jpg

Habits are something we all could adjust accordingly. For me, I know I have a ton of crappy habits.

I am not like super dirty, but I know I could be habitually a better cleaner around my place.

I am on the lazy side when it comes to working out and stuff. My body could use some more gym time. That’s for sure.

And the one that sticks out the most for me as of late… I have awful habits when it comes to my projects.

I start work on said projects, I hack away at them for a bit, I kind of put them aside and then come back to them (hopefully) at a later date. This is all too inefficient. What results is a lot of incomplete or slow-to-finish work. It saddens me.

If there could be one habit I would want to wish for from the universe to bless me with right at this very moment, it would definitely be the habit of concentration.

Yes, concentration. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Jolt

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“I have been constantly searching for that one spark that charges up everything.”

I get it.

Throughout the years, I have undergone various changes. I lost a lot of confidence back then, and a lot of my issues forced me to rebuild from the ground up. I accept that I have regressed in terms of maturity, status and in many other facets.

Still, no matter how much I have technically struggled up to this point, I still continue. It’s the asterisk, that glaring * symbol, I want to put by my name until further notice. Nhan is a work in progress. Emphasis on the ‘in progress’ part.

Right as I type this, I believe I am getting closer and closer to crossing the threshold and finally reaching the next stage.

But consequently, I find myself repeating over again like a broken record. It’s like I am cycling through the same sequence of thinking I have the momentum to get to the next checkpoint, only to discover I am further behind than I realized. And it happens a second time. A third time. And so on and so on…

Will there ever be an end in sight?

I just want to break this curse already. This is a curse I have cast on myself years ago because I was too much of a wreck to stop it. I admit now that a lot of what I deal with today is on me. Holding yourself accountable is a key aspect. Being in denial and shifting blame gets you nowhere.

Certain things have not been easy for me, so subjecting myself to a lot of trial and error throughout these five years and counting has both humbled and forced me to develop a sense of perseverance.

Our personal stories don’t always play out like fairy tales for many people. We all would like to think that if we play our cards right, get good grades, keep our noses clean and then the universe would magically owe us a favor when the dust settles.9oJTN9R.jpg

For me, I clearly didn’t do enough.

I truly thought I would have had my really awesome, jealousy-inducing career (or two) by now.

I truly thought I would have been married by now with kids.

I truly thought I would be living in some random state and not still living here in Washington in the Pacific Northwest, with a nice house and all that jazz.

Of course, I have since had to ask for a rain check for all of those ideals. Once my act is together, then maybe…

I think it’s more than OK to put things on hold when the situation calls for it.
Continue reading