The 54th Deadline: Emptiness

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It’s been clear to me that certain voids are preventing me from feeling whole as a person.

Life is wonderful, but it also has a lot of bad stuff to it.

Now mind you, I wonder if it’s the gloomy side in me talking, but lately I haven’t been able to feel “happy” as much as I should. Mood swings aside, I feel like I have fallen into another one of my various ruts. After going through this song and dance a few times before, am I more prepared to deal with it now?

I am a survivor by all means. I am a survivor in the sense that I endured, mustered up some semblance of courage in the face of personal defeat and kept going. No matter how rough it got, I had to hang in there.

Well, I just had to. It’s my only life to live. Still, it’s not like things just got any easier per se. I just got stronger. But even with extra strength to my name, I find myself feeling mighty weak, almost ineffective at times.

It disheartens me. It makes me think, “What’s the point?” on those particular challenging days. This last week has been making me feel crappy about it all, and I don’t want to sound like a Negative Nancy.

At the end of the day, I write on this blog to vent. It’s my necessary outlet. Otherwise, I would just end up bottling feelings I shouldn’t be bottling. I would let certain emotions fester into something toxic, something that ends up poisoning me until I will face literal health problems.

Loss of appetite.

Loss of interest.

Loss of energy.

Loss of feeling motivated to, well, enjoy life.

I have had all of this and more, and it feels like I am experiencing a “fun-sized” version of these symptoms. God forbid I get the full package at this rate.

With this in mind, I can’t help but feel… on my own so so speak. I feel like I need to talk to someone else about this, but it’s hard to get people to lend you their ears when it feels like just a gesture to them more than a therapeutic practice.

I get it.

I lost too many friends over this depression and whatnot. I know I was not Mr. Popular prior to all of this self-imploding, but dang… I valued what friends I had.

Having gone down that path before, I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes again. I should have gone to a professional for that kind of stuff. I needed to talk to someone whose job is to listen to the kind of problems I was dealing with back then.

I became too dependent on those phone calls, e-mails and Skype conversations about everything messing me up. I was too needy. I drove people away from me gradually over time.

And most of those friends are gone by now because of it. They have moved on with their lives. I find myself just struggling to keep myself intact, let alone position myself toward success.

Chances are, I have to admit, they don’t even remember me anymore. And that hurts. I am probably nothing more than a distant memory at this point.

Sigh, this just makes me think I need to re-evaluate everything I have, and see what’s helping or hurting my progress.

I need a change of pace. That’s a given.

I need something to clear up some of the chaos from within, and maybe then I can find some hope to salvage myself before I fall back into that abyss of misery and self-loathing.

0da55c52f8f0833ae256afae59b35c0dThere is only so much I can do as an individual. I am not Superman. I am only human, after all.

I know I have my flaws.

I realize I am difficult to work with for a variety of reasons.

But my goodness, I am a mess. And I know it.

I know I am falling victim to my own frustrations.

I am scared. I am scared that this is just another one of life’s tests that will make or break me.

It’s never easy. It’s never easy, huh?

At least, for me anyway. 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: Contrast

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The 54th Deadline: To head toward the light, one must spend some time in the darkness.


There are many days that occur where I find myself experiencing the “other” side of me.

One who is mean.

One who is not as forgiving.

One who is not as thoughtful.

Before I go any further, basically, I like to think I can fathom and accept that this other me is very prevalent in lots of regards. I don’t choose to pretend or ignore this side of me. It’s very much a part of me as how a coin shares two sides. It can’t be helped. It’s how things are.

If anything, this other side of me just became more obvious when I sunk to my lowest point half a decade ago, where all I had left at rock bottom was just my self-pity and the other me who couldn’t help but feel a lot of negative things.

Anger.

Disgust.

Distrust.

Fear.

Toss in a lot more hostile, ire-inducing words and you get the idea. It’s the other side of me who hasn’t let go off all of the escalating pain and frustration that naturally built up over time.

On one hand, I felt like an empty husk in a sense. However, the other side of me just kept accumulating more and more reasons to hate. More reasons to attempt justifying, often absurd, notions of “payback.”

Payback for what?

Was it at all personal why certain things did not pan out for me? Why would I need to feel the urge to seek revenge? What good would come out of it?

This is the constant, inner tug-of-war I play within my mind numerous times every week. In fact, sometimes I believe it’s getting worse. I don’t know which side I should let win in some regards because I know both sides have their valid points.

In terms of my current spot in life, if you want to make this a means of quantifiable “success,” I have a ways to go. There are so many things I want to accomplish, but priorities need to take place first.

For a long time, all I wanted was independence. Well, I got it. And plenty to spare.

I need to do grownup things now to get by the everyday operations. I know I am not doing things as efficiently or ideal, but I try. And I guess it counts for something.

Conversely, the other side of me has grown impatient. The other side wants results sooner rather than later.

How long are things going to take? Another few months? A few years? When will something come along to expedite the process? Why can’t I just TAKE what I want by force and then be done with it?

I am conflicted by this contrast. Grossly conflicted to a fault.
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The 54th Deadline: Always Looking Back

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The 54th Deadline: If only I could always keep my eyes looking toward the future. Seriously.


There are many days where I wish I could “turn off” the past in my mind. I feel like I am reminded of it every day constantly. It seems there is no way for me to block it off mentally, at least with anything short of me suffering from full-blown amnesia.

There have been plenty of good memories, and certainly there have been many bad and horrible ones as well, but the major issue is how I find myself always anchored because of what is behind me.

I want to move forward. I want to dash toward my next stage in life. I want to get there as fast as I can, and yet here I am just moving along so slowly. This snail-like pace has bothered me, but at the same time I realize it’s life’s way of forcing me to be ever patient.

My time will come. At least, I hope so anyway.

Obviously, there should be some eagerness to achieve the next big thing. I want to advance. I want to evolve. I want to grow as a person.

Ultimately, I want to thrive, be happy and all that jazz. If I have to look at it in another way, I guess I can’t really go from point A to point (?) without experiencing everything in between, right?

Still, I look back like I can’t take my eyes off what has happened to me. I know I am inching along with plenty of forward progress, but it’s become an unwanted habit of being obsessed with what has lain behind me for literally five years and counting.

What the heck is wrong with me? Why can’t I just let it go? Why can’t I just accept what’s done is done and just carry on without a second thought?

I am always looking back. I am always looking at what has happened as opposed to focusing on what’s ahead of me. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Facing Fear

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The 54th Deadline: For every success, for every botch, life will always give you many opportunities.
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I have been a horrible coward for far too long.

The fact is, a large reason why this very blog exists stems from a lot of fear and insecurity. I didn’t know, at least at the time, how to face my fears when they showed themselves before me.

Bit by bit, I let all of the bad stuff happen to me. One meltdown after another. Each inner struggle manifested into something worse, eventually piling up into a mountain of personal problems.

And as a result, I have to be somewhat understanding. Without all of that, this blog wouldn’t have been so elaborate, so detailed and so filled with various thoughts and ideas floating around from my mind.

Fear is powerful, after all. One should never underestimate it.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I was Mr. Courageous prior to this blog. If anything, I was always leaning toward the meek side. I didn’t like conflict or confrontations. I wanted to stay inside of my own bubble and let the world pass me by, or at least this was the “old” me.

Without the security of said bubble, I was a hapless, ridiculously weak individual who was left to fend for himself for the first time in his dang life. Continue reading

The 54th Deadline: Another Chapter Begins


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The 54th Deadline: Life’s always going to give you another chance if you’re constantly persistent.
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Hi again. As I explained in the previous post, I have been contemplating how to switch up my blogging patterns, especially in regards to the format. Because I am not trying to blog each day like before, it was a no-brainer to opt away from the “Everyday NhanSense” stuff and then pull up something I haven’t used for a long while – “The 54th Deadline.”

For one thing, 54 is just my favorite number in the entire universe since as long as I can remember. The “deadline” part is just something that sounds cool.

Combined together, I think “The 54th Deadline” has a distinct ring to it. It plays on my journalism background to boot. Yay!

But anyway, I just wanted to write this blog post out so you all know that I am definitely trying to get back into the blogging swing of things. Gosh, even as I type this out, I feel like I am physically hitting the keys sluggishly while feeling uninspired. Not good!

All of which, of course, can be fixed with some more earnest attempts at blogging at a level I am content with as a writer.
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