Hiatus

The days have flown by! I can’t believe it’s been almost 9 months since I’ve moved to San Francisco. A lot has happened, and there have been some peaks and valleys. I feel I’m a lot more self aware now than I was in the past, and it’s an ongoing process to continue to grow. I feel this time in my life right now is a pivotal moment where I can really define who I am and who I want to be. I’m accepting that I am young, and trying to try new things, to find the things I want to devote myself to.

In recent times, I’ve picked up language learning, meditation, and game development. I’m not spending insane hours on these things, but I’m being consistent with the meditation and game dev.

As an indirect result of the meditation, I came across a reddit page about it, talking about how the point of meditation is not to chase that good feeling, but just to be more aware of what is happening around you. I’ve been contemplating that a lot lately, and just trying to be present in my emotions and in the things I do. I catch myself drifting off in thought often, but try to not judge myself for these things. I’ve realized lately how much negative self-talk I have. Not necessarily towards myself or at others, but just general outlook on things. My overanalytical mind is always trying to figure out the worst case scenario in so many situations, and that leads to finding the best temporary short term distraction. This cycle has repeated itself with excessive video games, porn, chasing girls I don’t like, and many more.

But it’s ok. It’s great actually! I can be happy that I am mindful of these shortcomings, and these are things I can fix now. I can catch myself when I have these feelings, and it will be tough, but I can practice changing these bad habits and turning them into good. I can take from the meditation practice to not judge myself if I fail, but just get back up and continue to try to be better.

I’m grateful to be alive, to be healthy, and to have a chance to do better each day. Continuing forward.

2019 in Reflection

2019 was the year I put my head down and grinded hard. I ran over 150 miles, got the job that I worked hard for, and it was the year I moved out of my parent’s home.

I’d preface this by saying I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I think motivation may ignite you to do something, but is fleeting. Discipline is what I am after. I believe in starting your resolution now, today.

Noteworthy achievements:

  • Choosing a job that I felt I would be challenged by instead of working remote at home.
  • 100+ day google sheets logging workouts/money spent/calories in/sleep/etc… this is a long list. I went to the gym or did a workout at a park for 90/100 days. I put on 20 pounds, and made sure I hit my calorie goal each day. 30 consecutive days at the gym, with each repetition logged on a separate google sheet.
  • 30~ days of recording myself solve algorithms and data structures questions via camera and tripod. Posting on to Youtube and showing others how I solve these questions.
  • Giving back. I signed up to volunteer at a Boys and Girls Club. I taught a martial arts class to children, and am signed up to continue volunteering. It was a lot of fun.
  • Being vulnerable with women. I started dating again! There are so many attractive women in SF.
  • Keeping an open-mind. I tried random classes like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, continued taking kickboxing/boxing classes, etc. I will try more!
  • Being me better. For a long time in my life, I struggled to be unapologetically myself. I didn’t want to offend anyone or make people uncomfortable, but I can see myself growing out of that way of thinking, and I’m happier as a result.
running

Insert David Goggins quote here. I don’t like running, but I treated it as mental training and good exercise. 152 tracked miles ran this year.

flex

Me 20lbs heavier than the running picture, lifting weights and eating like a monster. +20lbs in 4 months, it’s a nice mixture of muscle, fat and water.

coolneighborhood

Cool buildings/street a block from where I live.

goldengate

Golden Gate Bridge view from Crissy Park! I was here on a date to see the Blue Angels fly over.

Potential

We as human beings are all walking forms of potential. Whether we realize it or not, we are more capable than we imagine, and especially so when we come together to create something we can’t do by our lonesome.

I recently talked to my friend about opening up and for him to find different social groups so as to expand his social circle. He felt like he was being stagnant and hasn’t had too much growth, but I helped remind him that he had an amazing year, and he has been through a lot, from balancing school, multiple jobs, death of a family member, etc.

It made me think again about how we are much more capable of things than we think we are. For him, when the going got rough, he did everything he coiuld do to provide for his family and help them in anyway he could. He sold possessions he had that he treasured for the betterment of his family. He’s awkward, and not the best in social situations, but he is willing to do what needs to be done. He’s a good guy, and for what he’s done, he will always have my respect.

I realized recently that in many conversations, I feel the need to give my 2 cents. Sometimes this is good, but like all things, balance. I can talk too much and also too little. I need to be quiet when the subject matter is something I know little about. As I read Dale Carnegies book on how to meet friends and influence people, it reminds me of these common sense things, that people seem to forget all too often.

Another things I want to get more in touch with is the youthful curiosity of my past. Maybe youthful isn’t the right word, but I remember a time when I was more open-minded and willing to try new experiences. Yes, I too need to remind myself that I’ve done a lot this year and been through a lot. But as I told my friends yesterday, it’s difficult for me to be happy with where I am. I’m constantly stressed about wanting to improve, which helps me to reach my goals, but I need time to sit and relax and pat myself on the back as well.

Where we are at this moment is both the only place we will be at this time, and all we are guaranteed is the present moment. It’s a valuable skill to be happy in the present and it’s something I can continue to foster through meditation, journaling, exercise, etc.

I’m growing more confident in myself, and am happy to see others doing the same. A close friend of mine seems to be doing very well and I can see the change in his mannerisms in a positive way, and I’m genuinely happy for him. I realized I want to see my friends succeed, and I no longer compare myself to them as much as I used to. I’m competing with myself, and as I begin to allow myself to BE myself, however weird I may be, it gives others permission to do the same. I feel the judgement sometimes, but I realize that the alternative is an existence that is untrue to myself, it’s not a truthful way of living.

 

 

Growth Mindset

How different life might be, if we focus more on growth, to face our fears and to realize the potential growth in things, rather than the bad that might happen. This is very much related to my last post on the dichotomy in things. We should realize the bad that might happen, so that we are not naive to the evils of the world, but in a world where this is reminded to us all too often, we should make a conscious effort to recognize the growth that we might recognize.

How often have we planned on doing something that we initially thought were good ideas, but after thinking about all that could go wrong, we have a change of heart. In my personal experience, I am honestly admit how often this was the case. Instead of taking ACTION, I have crippled myself through a paralysis by analysis.

As I grow older and wiser, I recognize the importance of ACTION over QUESTION. Yes, there is a balance here to be made, but nothing gets without ACTION. I can talk about how things should or will be, but talk is cheap. I’m more conscious of how I should take ACTION over thinking too much about things at this time of my life.

Next week I will be volunteering at a Boys & Girls Club, teaching martial arts. I’ve always been interested in working with kids, as well as martial arts, so I signed up for volunteering orientation, and clicked to sign up for the event.

 

Dichotomy in all things

As I grow into this new chapter of my life, I’ve been thinking more about the importance of BALANCE in all/most things. There are binary things, such as do not murder in cold blood, but there is such a thing as TOO CARING, and TOO SELFISH. It’s different for every individual, but I’m realizing more that only I can find that balance for myself. I SHOULD spend the time to explore external factors that help me shape MY balance in these things, but ultimately it is I who decides what that balance looks like.

In recent times, the idea of the “dichotomy in all things” comes from Jocko Willink, who I will have the pleasure of seeing in January! In my life, I have cared too much about what people think of me, and I still struggle with that today. Many of us do things to please people we don’t even really care about, and we tag ourselves “too busy,” to give ourselves time to think about what is really going on. We fill our lives with negative loop cycles, and the months and years fly by before we wonder what the fuck has happened.

It’s only been 3 months since I moved to a new city, but one of the first things I noticed was how many people around me are just being the best versions of themselves, not caring too much about what others think of them. This is why I think it’s a good place for me to be, because being back home, I already notice myself being myself BETTER. I’m surprising some people, family included, but it’s foolish to live life not being my own highest priority. Take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of others better.

But of course, the dichotomy here is in not caring at all about what others think. When you fall into this mindset, you become an egotistic, self-centered asshole. You push through people to get what you want, and you don’t form meaningful relationships with anyone.

The BALANCE is what is important. You should care what others think, but not to the extent where you don’t do the things you want to do. And without a good sense of self-awareness this is difficult to do.

 

Meditation and alone time -> strong sense of self-awareness -> ability to figure out the right balance in things.

Net Positive, I Think

A lot has changed since I moved up to San Francisco 3~ months ago. I can convincingly say that it’s been a net positive experience, and that mental and physical growth has accelerated in comparison to when I was back home. I feel more grateful, independent, and have been dating again!

In the physical, I started the first month with running, and martial arts classes around the city. It was fun, but I wanted to do something different for at least a few months. I used to practice weightlifting in college, but I was never very organized with my workouts outside of one summer, when I wanted to impress a girl. I wanted to see how much I could gain in the gym if I was serious about my workouts and maintained a good diet. The objective was to gain weight, strength, and to look more attractive. I was a bit self-conscious about my current body in comparison to back in college, so I set out on this 90 day journey to bulk up and get back into good shape. Today is day 62, and I’m nearly 20 pounds heavier than I was when I initially began. I’ve been drinking a 800 calorie protein shake(ON PRO gainer), and 5mg creatine every day. I’ve been to the gym 57 out of the last 62 days. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and saw massive improvements the first few weeks in terms of how much I was able to lift. There were so many days, especially early on where I didn’t want to go, but I found the discipline and willpower within me to press on. I’m going to continue on, for a strong 30 more days, and then reassess my fitness goals from there.

In the mental, I’ve been meditating more often, and lately I’ve been feeling much more clear-headed at work and have had better general face-to-face interactions with others. I feel generally happier, and this was not the case when I first moved here. I was very anxious at times, and had trouble falling asleep thinking about everything that could be wrong, and being away from my family for an indefinite amount of time. I asked myself, “why am I worrying?” what could I do to in the long-term to stop the negative thinking? I gave up coffee since I moved here, as I found it made me more prone to anxiety, and I put a serious emphasis on the amount of sleep I get each night. I’m averaging 7.58 hours of sleep each night, which seems to be optimal for me. I also realize the connection between body and mind that many people speak of. I feel much better after a grueling workout or run, and will continue this lifelong journey of taking care of body and mind.

In the emotional, there is one big area that has drastically shifted in my life. Dating! I was pleasantly surprised to see so many young attractive women in the city.

I paused here now, as I’m writing this and sipping my wine, thinking about all the girls I’ve dated in the past, and wondering where things went well or wrong. I feel like I’ve always had a complicated relationship with dating in general. Or maybe dating is just hard? For the past few years, I wasn’t focused on dating at all, I would go on apps every now and then, just so that I could stay in “practice,” and see what’s out there, but I never really opened up to anyone. It’s hard to be vulnerable after breaking up with someone you really like, and for a long time, I felt like I should just be cold and never allow myself to be in a vulnerable, weakened state again. I was protecting myself from connecting with others, especially women on a deeper level.

I do feel like I’m an attractive option to many women, and the girls I’ve been on dates with in SF, were all more than just a first date. I always leave them wanting more. 😉 I’ve realized lately that my unique sense of humor has a big impact on attracting others.

In the past, and even currently, my level of horniness mixed with alcohol, causes many problems. Surprise! A girl really began to like me, only after a few days of seeing each other, I could tell she was really into me. I wasn’t as invested in the relationship as she was, but I was just going with the flow. She was very attractive, but I just didn’t feel a genuine connection, most likely due to my lack of trying to be vulnerable, or maybe it just wasn’t a good fit. Anyway, she made it clear to me that she wanted something serious, and she wouldn’t sleep with me until that was clear. She came over to my place twice, and on the second night, I convinced her to have sex with me. It was the first time in a long time, and it didn’t last very long, l0l. I was embarassed, but she was more than ok with it. We spent the next day together, and had a nice time touring around my neighborhood. All was good in her eyes, and I felt like I didn’t want to see her anymore. I was also seeing other people, and I never told her before we slept together.

To be frank, I took advantage of how much she liked me, to sleep with her. I came clean about the other relationships, and felt like I had all this drama that I didn’t want in my life. I didn’t want to see any girls for a while. She was reasonable upset, but said she understood. We weren’t official, but she deserved to know before we slept together. I apologized, and we agreed to just be friends. This was a week ago. I haven’t talked to her since.

Last night, I got drunk at a party, and texted her. I was drunk and horny, I wanted to have sex. I convinced her to come over, but she said she would not sleep with me. This was all I wanted. I told her I missed her, and that I wouldn’t try anything, but the truth was I didn’t miss her, I just wanted an attractive body to fuck. I didn’t care who it was. It’s tough to admit this. I told her what I thought she wanted to hear, not what was really on my mind. I eventually came clean and said that I was very drunk and horny, so I would understand if she didn’t come. She didn’t come over, and that was for the best. I apologized this morning, and she was rightfully upset with me.

I write this because I think there are other people in my shoes. I’ve admittedly always fantasized about dating multiple girls, and sleeping with a new girl every day or week. It’s in rap songs, people praise you as a “pimp,” but it doesn’t feel good to take advantage of others when they are vulnerable. It’s ironic because it’s precisely what makes me afraid of getting into relationships. What if I meet someone who did what I did to that girl? I probably deserve it.

I learned a valuable lesson this month, at the expense of a real person’s feelings. I don’t think she will ever see this, and I’ve apologized to her many times, but I’m sorry to all of us who are hurt by those we make ourselves vulnerable to. It’s unfortunate, but I also think a lot of it is inevitable.

I do feel ashamed, and I don’t I want to date more than one girl at a time. I wish to be honest upfront, and not be wishy-washy. To give my all to the one person I want to spend time with, and to continue to be vulnerable, and open up to others about how I feel.

Can’t have it all, but we can have a Lot

My keyboard is fuckede up, so there will be manny typos.

The great Gary Vee talks about how we all have much more time than we thiink. I’m in a neew city now, and I can’t help but think about how I want to mold my new life and what that might look like. I can sink time into BJJ, cookinng, lifting weights, and all the otheer possiibilites, but I can’t do everything. I’m reminded that I must’vee fall in love wiith infinite possbility, but rather choose a select few thinigs iinn the coming years and dive in deep. I’m a firm believer in the idea that we should try as many different things when we have the time, and as a 25 year old man, I’ve been really resonating with this idea. The thing I struggle with is understanding how much time and energy I should be sinking into these things before I realize that it is or is not what I want to continue doing.