The 54th Deadline: Extremes

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“My life has been far from balanced. Instead, I would say it is an alternating series of extremes.”

I can be really on fire one day. I can be really cold the next. I can be on point one day. I can be a complete and utter failure the next. However, the pattern is never predictable. The feelings are ambiguous.

The weather affects me. Something in the news affects me. I just feel so darn vulnerable to my own emotions. I am therefore an emotional person, and to be emotional is a blessing and a curse.

I am emotional because I feel everything I feel to the nth degree, but this acts as a double-edged sword when the feelings are anything negative. I can be as happy as a clam, or I can be the most miserable person you can come across just like that.

Regardless, I hate it. The more I try to come to grips with the notion that I legitimately may have bipolar disorder or whatever, the more I have to start contemplating more serious remedies to counteract the instability.

Yes, that is a good word for this dilemma of mine. Instability. It is a word that implies that something is not quite all the way put together, and it hints that something could go horribly wrong.

Outside of medicinal means, I wonder if just doing something else in life can somewhat bring it all toward the “center,” even if not perfectly in the middle. I just need to stop this back-and-forth game with my own thoughts. I want things to be steady at the very least. If this were the case, I could feel a bit more at ease that I am just drifting along in life.

But nope. It all just feels like an inner distraction. There is chaos upstairs, but a lot more needs to be done outside in the real world while all of this roughhousing takes place.

Ugh. Why can’t I just be one thing?

Why, world? Why!
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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: Choices

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“Each day, we all have a series of choices we have to make that dictate how life plays out.”

So a few weeks back, I had an episode with a blast from the past. It was like I was dragged back to relive some of the worst feelings I had ever experienced as far as depression symptoms go. I left the reason for it vague at the time, but I feel like sharing a bit as to why I was going through it all again.

In a nutshell, the restaurant I have been working at is sort on the fence about “demoting” me. And by that, I mean they have been slashing my hours and really trying to pressure me. Actually, I was almost fired for being a “bad” employee. Heck, they have plucked away some of my cook shifts to throw me into the dish pit station instead.

Not that I have anything against dishes, as it is an important job at any restaurant, but I have put in my share of time, effort and whatnot into this place. I have sweated, I have bled, I have done so much for this restaurant and for the place to make me feel almost underappreciated… It hurt me.

I had a meltdown because I was on the verge of just calling my boss and saying I quit. No two weeks’ notice. No request to phase me out slowly so I could find another job on the fly.

It came that close.

Fortunately, some of my senses came back to remind me that quitting my job so abruptly would have been an awful, truly horrible idea. It is not like I have a lot of bills or debt to my name at the moment, but I still need to work.

And yes, it’s just a restaurant job. Technically speaking, I could go find a job at McDonald’s or something if I really needed it. But this restaurant has grown on me throughout this past year. It would pain me to leave it and move onto the next thing like it hasn’t mattered to my existence.

Culinary-wise, I want to learn more at this restaurant, and there is plenty of stuff to pick up. As an aspiring chef, I go in yearning to expand my knowledge. But there comes a point where I wonder if I am just being a glutton for punishment if the management at this place is starting to test my patience. One can only take so much…

But for now, my decision is to stick around and try even harder. I have had a lot of random people over the years who have brought me down, who have tried to make me feel inferior or incompetent and it would bring me the greatest joy in the world to prove each one of them wrong.

I want to prove that I am a diamond in the rough. I want to prove that I am more than they realize. My true potential has yet to be reached.

Sure, the easy out would be to quit. The simplest solution would be to walk away and just find something else. I don’t want to concede just yet. I don’t want to be labeled or branded as a quitter for something like this.

Big deal.

It happens.

It is just an opportune moment to bounce back, and I intend to do so.
Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Avoidance

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“Perhaps a key lesson I have definitely learned over the years is to step away sometimes.”

OK, so let’s assume there is a bonfire right in front of you. If you were to touch it directly, it would burn and hurt you, right? Obviously, the answer is yes. So what would the obvious thing to do if it is burning you? You stop touching it.

Again, pretty obvious, right? It is, and yet I am someone who definitely has not learned his lesson no matter how many times I let myself feel the burn.

The point of the matter is, regardless if it is a fire or whatever kind of analogy you want to use, it’s the same darn thing. A lot of people like myself never learn to avoid that which is bringing us down or harming us in some literal fashion. And thus, the cycle repeats and repeats until something changes.

Don’t get me wrong. Confronting particular problems directly is important, as mustering up courage to do so can be a big undertaking within itself. However, there are certainly other cases where just avoiding what is ailing you is just as effective, if not more ideal, when it is appropriate for such a course of action.

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Looking back at it all, I learned a lot about avoidance when I was an unemployed guy who was living at home with his parents after graduating college.

At my worse, I had to avoid a lot of things until I got my head back in the game. When I felt defeated and worthless because I could not find any job to bring in any income toward my name. I had to deal with a lot of lectures and straight-up yelling sessions with my dad about it. Maybe back then it was cowardly of me, but I just started to avoid my dad as best as I could.
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The 54th Deadline: Dialogue

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“I really hope to find the right person to speak with about very important matters.”

Despite being naturally shy, I do think I can be very chatty and quite conversational when it comes to the right topics. However, talking about video games or any other things I consider fun all of the time… In a sense, it’s not a good thing when something very pressing always lurks in the back of my mind, reminding me that I should address the elephant in the room by now.

Pretending it’s not there isn’t going to erase it from existence.

Funkfreed_Anime_Infobox.pngLikewise, I shouldn’t be so afraid of it that I try to avoid it. One can only go around an obstacle so much before there reaches a point where you have to face it directly.

And lately, I think I really want to tackle this problem without any second thoughts. It’s about darn time.

First and foremost, the problem lies squarely with me. I am the problem. I am the source of my own issues. And thus I should determine the logical course of actions in which I slowly unravel the most complex mysteries I have about myself.

Why haven’t I put it all together yet? Why haven’t I made it big just yet?

Why?

Why?!

Why!!!

I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. After all, I had a lot of close calls throughout this personal journey. I forced myself to dig deep to find my way out of a variety of perplexing, yet solvable, puzzles. To me at the time, they were major issues, but that was because I was too weak. I had to get stronger. I had to become tougher.

Still, it always feels like I am just one dialogue away from severing my past. I want to learn from my past, but I don’t want to be so caught up in it all of the dang time. I always feel like I am just one particular dialogue that will completely turn my life around and get me back on track. Continue reading

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: Chase

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“Certain days make me think I am in an ongoing chase without an end in sight.”

Having a goal to chase after is important. However, sometimes I feel like I am running on a perpetual treadmill that won’t stop. And this means I am nowhere close to reaching checkpoints that I should have reached by now.

But that’s the thing. In terms of progress, I am definitely making some strides. I obviously don’t think I have accomplished enough at this stage in the game, but I certainly have completed particular goals I had on the agenda throughout the past year.

Getting a job.

Getting a car.

Establishing a sense of independence.

All of this and more. Each of these, respectively, should be considered achievements for someone like me. A lot of these things may not appear that monumental at face value, but believe me – I am much better because I have this stuff to my name. By miles.

I think having goals to chase after is beneficial because it gives you that sense of direction. You aren’t just meandering through life and ending up at specific spots randomly. In a sense, to chase after the right goal at the right time drastically improves the odds things will turn out all right if not wonderful.

And then we start going into comparisons.

And when it comes to comparisons, we all can feel a bit envy or grateful, depending on the perspective and context.

A few years back, I found myself usually feeling jealous of others. I felt like a loser because I was not at point (x) when my (former) friends and peers were already many steps ahead. I grew bitter and insecure, gradually turning into an emotional mess.

To call me unstable would not have been an understatement. Feeling like I hit rock bottom, just the mere thought of it, weighed me down. I anchored myself, preventing any form of progress for so many years as a major consequence.  Continue reading