The 54th Deadline: A Hundred Cards

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“In a world full of negativity, we must instead choose to listen to positive messages.”

Well, better late than never.

I actually finished my note card project a few days back, but the blog post just got delayed for whatever reason. Yup, all 100 cards got jotted with some kind of random, positive-geared message.

I admit some were not as good as others, but the point is the messages were all about looking for the bright side. Below are 10 random ones I thought were decent and up.


Who knows? Maybe there will be a day where some of these messages can be in a fortune cookie or something. For now, I have all of the cards inside of a bag near my computer desk. I guess I want the reminder that I did something nice and easy, but they all made me feel better about life.
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The 54th Deadline: Guide

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“I definitely need a guide of some sort to lead me on the right path for life’s complex journey.” 

I am not an impulsive person. I do not rely on my instincts much, if at all. So by all means, I am someone who does better with structure. I prefer it when someone maps out x thing for me and that is the objective or destination that I need to get to. It is something quantifiable, identifiable and just something that aids me from wandering around too much.

Without structure, I am just a mess. I become a disorganized, walking disaster of inefficiency and lost thoughts. If there could be something negative to be said about me, it would be that I lack a lot of initial gumption to my name without a big push from another source.

It is not a matter of me not being able to do certain things per se. My capabilities as a person, with all due respect, vary in all kinds of degrees. Quite frankly, I know I do not push myself hard enough to realize my own potential.

After all, cooking was something that started as a random interest and gradually developed into something I found passion in, though having something important save my life proved to be a major motivator.

I was a scrub at cooking, and now I consider myself at least somewhat competent.

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When I really apply every technique or nugget of information I have learned about cooking into action…
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The 54th Deadline: Talent

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“We are all respectively great at something, so have a conversation with others because talent talks.”

I firmly believe we are all destined in this universe to be “good” at something, whatever that may be. It can be singing, dancing, writing or whatever. I do not think everyone is meant to be good at everything, as this logically does not make sense.

We all are supposed to specialize if you use this train of thought. And by specializing, I mean we are supposed to hone in and nurture that which is appropriate for us. Again, whatever that may be.

Sure, we all would like to dabble in more things and expand our horizons. We all would like to try some things to see if we can be at least decent. That’s fine. But to achieve true mastery of a craft, to the point where it can be deemed a “talent,” goes into a different threshold altogether.

Sure, for me as an example, I picked up cooking over the years. Both out of genuine curiosity and as a necessity to save myself from a bad situation or two, cooking became a random wild card out of this deck of cards called life.

By all means, I would say I can cook now. And my ‘can’ these days definitely reflects a lot of personal perseverance and keeping my passion strong toward this culinary stuff. I legitimately, though pleasantly, surprise myself when I really pour my heart and soul into what I am doing.

In this case, it’s on a plate.

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I am decent in a lot of ways, but I have a lot to improve on if I ever want to be deemed a “talented” cook, let alone the real goal of being called a proper chef. As a result, I just have to keep trying to learn as much as I can, no matter how long it takes, when it comes to this cooking art.

After all, you just have to keep an open mind. Otherwise, you plateau yourself because you set these mental limitations. You don’t want to peak too early, right?

I think this is truly the mistake I made years ago in all kinds of facets. Basically, I put the ceiling above myself too low. I thought I was ready and knew everything I needed to know, but it is good to keep yourself always invested and willing to go that extra mile, so to speak.

I recall back in the early years of college when I thought I knew “a lot” about English stuff, like grammar and vocabulary. Turns out, and this truly shocked me on an emotional level, I was quite average compared to some other kids. Sure, I was more than above average when compared to a regular student, but I met some really talented people who could run circles around me when it came to the English language.

This was all so humbling. I really needed this trip to to the bakery to eat a whole portion of humble pie. For me, it was like someone smashed my face right into the humble pie, forcing me to gobble it up and accept that… I was not that good… At least, for that particular year in college.

But I showed some tenacity. I showed some heart. I just kept working at it, and soon enough – I became a beast when it came to English spelling and grammar. Yeah, I know. Dorky by all means. But that was what I was.

Again, you just have to hone in and nurture the stuff that you are appropriately competent at, even if it could be something random like basket weaving or shoe shining. Play to your strengths, if you want another way of looking at it. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Luxury

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“We all should count the blessings in our lives, but certainly having money makes a difference.”

I have never been “rich” before, nor have I really experienced what it is like to be even “well-off” growing up. My parents both worked paycheck-to-paycheck jobs, and this meant money was limited. Especially when I was younger, you could rule out random luxuries like cable television, exciting vacations out of state or anything of that sort. Sure, not getting these kind of things growing up kind of sucked to some degree, but I managed.

They are all luxuries after all, and all of which is tied to money. The $ symbol means a lot, and both of my parents immigrated to this country to have more opportunities. When my mother, bless her heart, would talk about how she was so happy making $5 an hour back then…

You can’t help but feel a bit humbled by such a thing, that someone like my mother was so content with making that little of money to pay the bills with and put food on the table. And yet, here I am in 2016, toiling away just to establish some kind of stability in the bank account department.

But the thing is… It never feels like it is enough. It never seems to get anywhere. It just feels like a never-ending grind, and you aren’t even moving an inch every few steps. It’s like a millimeter or even less than this at every possible checkpoint. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Sure, in principle this sounds all good, but I don’t want to keep doing this for the next five years, let alone for the rest of my life.

I started off as an aspiring journalist when I graduated from college years ago, and obviously I wasn’t going to be rich being a bonafide journalist. I kept telling myself that I was not in it for a money, but my viewpoints on such a notion has since changed after being at the mercy of having a limited amount of income to my name for any given month.

As someone who has been long-termed unemployed for extended periods at a rsz_1rsz_hayate_no_gotoku_2nd_season_-_19_-_large_13_2137.jpgtime, as someone who has had his share of wake-up calls when staring at the monthly bank summaries, I want to change my life around and this all starts with the notion of money.

Yes, I am going to come off as a bit superficial, but hey… I am typing this blog post out using a computer I scrounged penny after penny to put together. It’s not the best piece of computer equipment on the market, but I am proud I made it all possible because I decided to tough it out and work long hours just to save up for this dang thing. It’s mine. I earned it.

And thus, something like the computer I am using to the other random blessings in my life… I can’t take them for granted. I shouldn’t. I made this dire mistake over the years when I would be so complacent with having actual luxuries in my life without really understanding or appreciating what the true value in each of them was.

A roof over my head.

A fridge full of food.

A bed to sleep on at night.

Each of these random luxuries and more were things I could say I had. There are people out there who are homeless. There are people out there who are legitimately suffering due to lack of money, but I always had some kind of safety net to keep me from completely reaching the very bottom whenever I happened to fall.

But the latest chapter in this ongoing story has me in a position where I need to evaluate and transition toward the true next stage of the game. It is as if the universe always finds a way to give me another catalyst to utilize. I just need to be smart about it and start putting it all together. My recipe for success has to come together. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Identity

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“There are times where I wonder what my real identity is as a person here and now.”

First off, I am just experimenting with the blog theme because I can. After a while, I just think I need to tap into my creative side and actually try to make this site a bit more presentable. Regardless, I do like tweaking things around, even if they may be temporary.

Anyway, this site’s identity actually ties a bit with today’s blog post.

I think I am getting caught in a weird rut again. I feel like I should be doing way more, and then for me to conclude that I haven’t done so has made me feel a bit annoyed at myself. As if I am failing at something I can’t quite describe, it feels like I developed a lot of bad habits and I am not seeing things through to the end. It just makes me want to hate myself for being so pathetically inefficient. It really makes me feel this way.

At the same time, life has been tricky for me in plenty of ways. Last week had me experiencing episodes of some of the worst feelings I have dealt with once again, but thankfully it only lasted a few days. In reality, it all woke me up that I am still not strong enough, that I am still not as tenacious as I thought was if if I let a little slip-up get me down so much and thus I need to rethink my plan of attack.

Simply put, I lack a proper identity so to speak. This site is a reflection of my ambiguity.

Who am I? What am I? I think this blog can be a bit confusing as to what I am trying to convey, and therefore it gives off the wrong message.

Am I Nhan the aspiring writer? Am I Nhan the aspiring chef? Am I Nhan the aspiring content creator?

Well, for those particular questions, they all would be applicable to me. And that, therein, lies the real problem in all of this… I am an identity crisis. I am trying to be too many things at once, and thus I am not being a master of anything.

There are people out there who can be defined as a great singer. There are people out there who can be defined as great athletes. You can say this for anything, so where do I fit in this picture? Where is my place in this world?

To be continued. To be answered another time.

It’s always another time with me… I am sick of it.

I just disappoint myself feeling like this, as if I am just all talk and nothing more concrete to show for it. I have lived too many recent years trying to survive, just trying to hang on by a thread like I was going to die if I didn’t.

Where is my opportunity to shine? Where are my chances to impress people with all of my respective capabilities?

I wish the universe would just tell me… I wish the universe would just give me a sign!
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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