The 54th Deadline: Shortcut

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“There comes a point where trying to follow the linear path is not nearly quick enough.”

I am a mess. I have grown completely weary of trying to do things the old-fashioned way. What can I say? It has been five years and counting. After a while, it all makes me wonder what I am doing with my life. It sucks because we all should hope for happiness, whatever that may respectively be for all of us.

My idea of happiness would be attaining “success” in all of its glory. And yes, to wish for a shortcut now in this stage of the game may come off as a bit of impatience, but again… It’s been five years and counting. I don’t expect the world to throw me a bone my way after waiting this long, nor should I anticipate such a gesture. That would be foolish.

Instead, I need to think of practical ways of expediting this whole process within my power. Quite frankly, I can’t keep living like this. Well, I mean this in the sense that just gradually crawling toward my destination of the future is aggravating. I am annoyed at how long it is all taking, I am truly vexed in my own shortcomings as an individual and above all else…

I just want to make this all work. I want to be a better person. I want to be deemed a great person who has been through so much, who faced the personal brink of destruction and overcame it all to pull off something wonderful.

I should not expect to wake up tomorrow, and then boom… Success! This is not how it works. I do not want to be caught in a fantasy world all of the time. I know we need to visualize what we want at times, but there are just so many things going on in my life right now.

This paycheck-to-paycheck existence gets to me. I make just enough to survive, but never thriving irks me. I know I should not fuss so much about money, but funds in the bank account matter when you want to indulge.

For instance, do you know what I would really like to do now?
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The 54th Deadline: Glimpse of Greatness

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“No matter what the world says, you are only as great as you want to be in life.”

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume most people, hopefully anyway, have had very impactful and meaningful individuals who have entered their lives at one point to trigger a necessary catalyst.

And this catalyst itself is the start of various possibilities.

Perhaps it was in sports.

Perhaps it was in music.

For me, it was writing. Writing was my spiel. Writing was something I once thought I had a real knack for, and thus it became a focus of mine in school. In particular, I was fascinated by English grammar. Still am, by all means.

I had many teachers tell me that I was good at writing. I had my fifth grade teacher pull me from class just to tell me how good my short story was. And down the road, more teachers would pull me aside in the same manner to praise me for my writing style. They acted as mentors, motivating me to hone in on learning more about English grammar and writing.

It wasn’t like they were just trying to be nice, either. Heck, at the end of high school, I even received an award for being outstanding in the English subject. Not too shabby, right?

But I digress.

To be perfectly honest, I once thought I was going to have it real easy in life at some point. After college, it was going to be smooth sailing. I would definitely get my name out there without a hitch!

Of course, reality set in, and the bad stuff occurred in droves. And perhaps it was the universe’s funny way of teaching me a lot of lessons that I would spend the next years figuring out, contemplating what went right or horribly wrong. It was an utter mess.

I once wanted to make every excuse in the book about my would-be employers who passed on me. Oh, they are just corrupted! They only care about people they know! They don’t hire new grads!

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At the end of the day, it all doesn’t matter. Regardless of what the real reasons were, I could have toughened up.

I became bitter and let my inferiority complex sink its fangs into my soul.

I could have improvised. I could have done a million different things that would have guided me out of the darkness, but I chose to dwell on it. I brooded over insignificant things when just thinking about it wasn’t going to change the current circumstances. Not one bit.

To be overly simplistic, I let the negativity engulf the legitimate greatness/potential I had to my name. I let the bad stuff cover up the good so nothing could shine through anymore. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Method

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“The method in which we approach something is vital for the final result.”

A particular quote has been on my mind as of late…

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Sadly, this quote is quite applicable to me in a variety of ways.

I am very stubborn when it comes to change. Old habits die hard for me. I am not someone who can change his ways with ease. I delay the change. I think about it. I mull over every aspect of it.

Gradually, if I am lucky, some sort of shift will be made. And then, and only then, will something stick. But it’s going to take a long while. I don’t shift gears for the task at hand. It’s more like I take my sweet time to take the gears out and then put in a whole set of parts to replace them.

Unfortunately, this accounts for why my healing process over the years has been taking forever. Back then, I knew I had to alter some elements with my lifestyle to get the recovery process off the ground.

I needed to get the ball rolling with better actions instead of waiting for something to happen to me. I basically should have been way more proactive. Being reactive when you are in a pinch is setting yourself up for failure.

What was my main problem back then? I needed a job. Any job.

What did I do instead? I chased blindly after pipe dreams. I narrowed my sights on something far away, with no real way of ensuring I would ever get to that point. I deluded myself when I should have focused on what was unraveling before my eyes.

Well, I was unraveling. I became an empty and soulless husk. I lost a lot of things like people I considered friends and whatnot. The world around me was continuing, but I was getting “trapped” in my own bubble.

What was the result? I tried to cope to ease some of the guilt. I just attempted to fill the void with random shows and video games. I was not remedying the situation at all.

And why? It was because of my method.

My c0ba36255aacc30bf9cc9a75ba0c4e03method was all wrong. My entire approach was just flawed. No way was it going to improve my life, let alone salvage me from all kinds of personal despair.

As opposed to parking my butt in that particular chair near my mattress to stare at my laptop on the old sewing machine spot, there were literally countless alternatives.

I could have picked up working out, you know… I could have gone to the gym to get physically stronger or whatever.

I could have explored different avenues.

I could have learned to play music.

I could have volunteered at an animal shelter. Anywhere.

Lots of people deviate to reach their dream jobs, so why didn’t I think outside of the box as well? Actually, no… That’s not entirely true. I did think outside of the box, but I put too many eggs in one basket…

Still, I should have been smarter about the whole thing. I was unemployed, barely able to take care of myself and I did not even know how to cook at this stage as a young adult. The horror! The shame!

I could have done something more productive in the meantime at the very least. Every day more or less, for more than a year and a half, I kept waking up to look at that computer screen.

I played so many hours of video games. I watched so many episodes of anime. I watched so many movies. What did it get me?

Hours and hours would pass, and I was gazing at that computer screen being a jobless loser. Other than that, I was either sleeping or eating. I rarely left the house. I spent most of the time in the basement, being too ashamed and wary of letting others see me. It got that bad. It was a pathetic cycle. A truly low point in my existence. I want to blur it out of my mind!

A lot of wasted time. That’s for sure.

Sure, I sent out resumes and cover letters. I legitimately applied to so many places. The job market really did suck for most people five years ago. This was not some conspiracy or a convoluted excuse. The economy was in the pits.

I was just one of many victims to the horrible economy. Regardless, I could have done more to fight against the adversity. I could have done more to get myself out of a tough spot.

I tried to escape my real troubles with all of those computer things by numbing my mind to the mess I had around me. I was too prideful as a college graduate to declare I was failing, mainly because I really did believe the universe would give me my fair shake in the job market at some point.

However, running out of money and slowly being drained of one’s spirit as a person… It takes its toll. That toll would mean I essentially lost a bunch of years out of my life that I never will get back.

And this was all because my method was crappy. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Composure

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“People who can keep their cool no matter what can persevere through anything.”

As I have grown older, I have realized I have always lacked a lot of composure as a person.

Composure is something I wish I had more of, in abundance, especially when life forced me into a corner and made me rethink everything. The fact is, if I could have composed myself a lot better as my world was falling apart, everything would have certainly played out differently.

More than five years ago, as the effects of long-term unemployment began to sink in, I simply crumbled.

I was living at home with my parents.

I had no job.

My bank account was depleting.

I just played a lot of video games to pass the time, just hoping things would magically change overnight.

In reality, what I really needed was to compose myself. I needed to bring everything back together, evaluate the problems and then deal with them accordingly.

Yeah, I was going through a rough patch. Back then, I attempted to justify it. But whether it was rational or not, I was in a tough spot. I let the crap pile on, even though I had all of the tools to hack away at the base before it all built up any further.

Instead, I was a weak fool. An incompetent, immature and cowardly clown who had no business trying to get his life together if I couldn’t handle the early signs of an emotional meltdown.

My problems grew more and more out of control. It would be a long time before I actually, and I mean genuinely, began to “heal” from the pain and whatnot.

And this was all because of a huge lack of composure on my part.

Just thinking back throughout my life, I wish I could be just a bit cooler here and there. I wouldn’t have had to stumble around, never completely maturing from the social anxiety-riddled kid who was always so shy and hesitant to be bold once and awhile.

I regret that now, but it can’t be helped. That’s all in the past. And the current me has all of the necessary motivation to rewrite the script. I don’t have to let things play out this way if I can at least influence some variables in my life.

For example, anger was something really getting out of control in my life. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Priorities

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There are many times where I wonder if my priorities are in the right place. At all.

It has dawned on me lately that my personal priorities aren’t as concrete as I would like. Evidently, I am scatterbrained in many regards. And with this in mind, I have to be more of an adult and realize what I want, especially in the next stages of this complicated process.

The other day really hit me where it counted. I was cashing my paycheck, and then I just kept thinking about how I was nowhere where I wanted to be in terms of the bank account numbers.

It was a bit depressing to think about for me.

I have worked my tail off for this past year and then some, both physically at work while also trying to sift through my convoluted and unpredictable emotional state.

And what do I have to show for it?

Well, for what it’s worth, I have picked up a lot of independence as an individual. But independence aside, it just seems like everything is further away than I had envisioned. Perhaps I am too caught up in the fantasy of waking up one day, my money problems completely gone and with the freedom to do whatever the heck I want.

Of course, reality always makes its presence known.

Mind you, I am more than aware that I shouldn’t expect to be like well-off at this stage in the game. I have a ways to go. A long way. But still, is it not normal to experience frustrations linked to one’s progress or lack of said progress in general? I certainly think it is normal.

This paycheck-to-paycheck existence is commonplace. Not everyone is meant to be millionaires. Not everyone is going to have nice things.

That’s life. We aren’t equal, and we never shall be, but I believe we all have the power and capabilities of changing our own circumstances through sheer willpower and keeping our eye on the prize.

But again, it’s tough. If anyone can attain that notion of “success,” we’d all be happily married to our soulmates, we’d all drive around in nice vehicles and we’d all have this and that and even more…

I do not hate money or anything. It’s just clear that money is extremely important in more ways than one.

Gosh, if I had more money, I would make sure I had every random expense paid for, I would pay back the people who have helped me through thick and thin, I would use my money to fund my dreams and, above all else, I would use my money to make myself H-A-P-P-Y.

At the end of the day, no matter what number is showing in your bank account, money ultimately should impact one’s general happiness. I make enough money to get by, but I never have enough to, say, go on a nice vacation to another place.

Actually, I have never even lived outside of the state I live in for my whole life. I have only been to two other states my entire life. I have never even been to Canada…

And why? Because of money.
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The 54th Deadline: Tagline Transition

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There comes a point where life forces you to transition toward the next stage. What matters now is for me to figure out what that next stage entails.

“Complete the process.”

This will be the next tagline I will use for this blog and other things.

Lately, I have been racking my brain over what few words I want to define myself with, and “Remember the name” was not quite fitting for my current situation and then some.

I am not a finished product yet. I am incomplete. But to be unfinished is not a bad thing. As long as I keep moving forward, as long as I keep putting the pieces together, the process will see its completion at some point.

It’s an inevitable conclusion to everything. It just takes time. And waiting for so long can stir up some feelings of impatience. Rightfully so, I realize I seemingly flip-flop between progress and setbacks. It is by far a frustrating crawl toward where I want to be.

I make a few steps forward, and then something either delays or pushes me back to the previous checkpoint. However, this is where resilience comes into play. This is where a sense of tenacity becomes that more important.

This tagline of “Complete the process” isn’t something revolutionary or anything of the sort, but I wanted words to live by as I sift through the positives and negatives in my life at this very moment.

On one hand, I am grateful that I am alive, living independently and able to have some semblance of hope about what I want to undertake next. Conversely, though, I am constantly struggling with myself to muster up the necessary gumption to break through to the next stage.

It is not that I lack willpower or anything like that. You just have to play the cards you’re dealt with, and sometimes you lack an ideal hand to win at a given moment. So what do you do? Win or lose, you keep playing. You just have to keep playing. It’s an odds thing. You play a large quantity of games until something favorable happens. It’s just gambling. And by the way, I suck at gambling.

Perhaps you can attribute to how I am someone who does not take many risks by default, and so I often opt for the safer route, as you will. Regardless, I think being cautious and wary of screwing up keeps me honest. Otherwise, I could have been in real hot water by now.

I am not in a position where I can make a great leap of faith and possibly reach my next destination in life ahead of schedule. No shortcuts here. That’s for sure.

Instead, I just think I am going to keep doing this step-by-step, usually grueling, journey. It will take awhile, folks. But I am willing to see what is waiting for me in the end.

Heck, I am able to do this because life threw me a bone many years ago when I was down in the dumps.

This is why I believe in life’s second (and countless other) chances. It’s why I call this blog series The 54th Deadline. I believe I definitely embody the notion that life will give you more opportunities to get it right. To those of you who think it’s always a one-and-done deal, think again.
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The 54th Deadline: Rest Required


Note: I am debating as to whether I should keep this random line box in future posts. It was just something I did a long time ago to separate the first picture and the body of the blog post’s text, but I don’t know if I should keep making it.


The 54th Deadline: Rest is just a necessary step toward recovering for another day.


Hi. I hope the holidays have been going well for you all.

For me, I haven’t had much rest, but that’s the nature of things for the time being.

Work, work, work. Oh yeah, more work on top of that. And not much for anything else in between.

It is something I do find a tad depressing about my current circumstances. I hardly get that much time to rest up when it is required. I keep soldiering through it, but I know my well-being can only put up with so much. Still, I have learned to persevere. Well, it’s more like I have forced myself to persevere, if I had to be completely honest.

I say this not out of dread, but understanding, that it’s all part of this ongoing process.

And as the story goes, I found cooking years ago and had to reinvent myself by learning how to handle the literal heat and nuances of being a helper/cook in a kitchen. My resolve was brittle and weak. My body literally had a difficult time handling a lot of pressures and physical labor.

It was incredibly difficult for me at the start, but a lot of patience from great mentors and teachers encouraged to keep my chin up. I eventually learned to cope. You just get used to it over time. Gradually, I developed some kind of backbone worthy enough of sticking around in this particular field.

When you work in a kitchen, I can say it has made me into a grittier, stronger person by all means. Without the kitchen, I don’t know where I would be to this day.

So I do tell people with complete truth that cooking saved my life. And it continues to do so. I thought I would have transitioned into the stuff I went to school for years ago, something in the writing field by now, but meh… I do use my writing for other things, so I am somewhat content with this fact for now.

However, everything has an expense that goes far beyond money.
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