The 54th Deadline: Clash

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“I believe your greatest enemy is the one you look at the mirror every single day.”

I am my own worst enemy.

It’s a fact I have to accept. Otherwise, life wouldn’t be able to advance for me.

The less I fight it, the more I can tolerate constantly “clashing” with myself. Over and over again. It seems almost nonstop, but I know it’s been me dictating the pace throughout the years.

I have clashed with myself since the beginning of this difficult journey. I hate how I have let this go on for so long, but at the same time… It seems ultimately necessary at this point in the game.

I could have nipped this problem in the bud when I saw the first few signs of bad stuff to come. Because I didn’t, everything was allowed to manifest into something vile and unstable.

It didn’t help that I was already at my wit’s end. It also didn’t help that I was too incompetent to resist and overcome the negativity early on when I still had some real fight left in me.

Instead, I buckled under the pressure. I crumbled piece-by-piece from within, and the remains just sat idle until I forced myself to rebuild the foundation. It took me a long time before I could say I had scrounged up some real hope for myself, something that I could cling to for dear life as the wake of the depressing storm cleared up.

In many regards, I am happy for myself. I am proud that I stayed diligent throughout my ongoing recovery. Nonetheless, slow progress doesn’t seem like it’s enough anymore. And that’s the part that scares me. I clash with myself endlessly at times. I am torn by conflicted thoughts and emotions.

Perhaps I yearn for an easy solution, a reasonable remedy that cures what ails me. But for that to be possible, I assume I would have found it by now.

And thus, I continue to clash with myself over random topics.

My direction in life.

My feelings toward people.

My sense of purpose.

My overall well-being.

All of this, from within, feels scattered and disorganized. I feel like I am borderline lying with myself at times as to what should be what.

At worst, I become “stuck” with what needs to be said or done. As a consequence, however, this process becomes further delayed. It is an odd situation. By all means, it is an awkward situation that makes things harder for me than they should be.
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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: 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: A Particular Feeling

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The 54th Deadline: Sometimes, an “urge” just prompts you to take action.  It’s powerful.


It returns.

I think it’s about time I came up my own name for it.

An urge.

A feeling.

A spark.

Whatever it is, it’s something I cannot ignore. And I’d be a fool if I ever did. The fact is, without this gut instinct, I would have been sunk a long time ago. When you’re literally flirting with losing it all and hanging on for dear life, you need something to compel you forward to tough it out just a bit further.

And I am glad I did choose the scarier option of seeing what the unknown had to offer versus just throwing in the imminent white towel.

I realize I may come off as talking in almost circles about this recurring scenario/ordeal in my past, but it’s been apparent how vital and essential it has been toward sending me in this particular direction.

On some days, I want to call it destiny. I could say it’s in God’s hands. Whatever it may be, everything has been set in motion. I’ve just been along for the ride this whole time.

With that said, I think I need to react accordingly to this particular feeling. It hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Why would it do it now? Continue reading

Everyday NhanSense – Day 62

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Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 62’s Topic: Change.
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I have become different over the years. Well, I guess I should be more specific. After all, most people undergo some kind of personal transformation as they get older. It’s only natural.

For me, I think some aspects of my character and skill-set are becoming something else entirely. For instance, I used to be VERY GOOD at finding typos.

It sounds silly, but I was more or less a walking F7. I could see errors from all kinds of spots, from subtle things like seeing lack of extra spaces in typing or even inconsistencies in how things were written. There is more to being a competent editor (which I was at my school newspaper in college) than just spotting a spelling mistake or two, an incorrect use of a comma … etc.

You have to utilize a certain mindset to spot and recognize such errors, especially ones that look correct on the surface.

This type of editing was what I was great at, at least at one point in my life. That was five years ago when I was a budding, aspiring journalist. Those skills were fresh on my mind. But fast-forward to present day … Well, I am not going to say I have lost it, but it’s not quite the same anymore.

I still possess above-average editing in my book. It’s not as great as it was a few years ago, but rightfully so – I have shifted gears over the years. I still get annoyed as heck at typos when I spot them, but my own judgment isn’t as keen. It’s like I have become a bit of a dull blade in this regard – still sharp, but not as sharp as it could be.
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Everyday NhanSense – Day 54


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Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 54’s Topic: Toughness.
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Yay, up to post No. 54 of this blog series! This particular number, 54, has always been my favorite for some reason. I don’t really know why. It just is.

Anyway, I just feel a lot tougher as of late. Well, I mean that I am physically, mentally and emotionally tougher than before. Especially if you compare to the me from five years ago.

The me from back then wouldn’t have been able to do what I have been doing. To bounce back from the pits of depression from being temporarily unemployed again for a few months started to show some cracks on the surface. However, once that problem was fixed, the fortitude came in its place.

When I say I was a weakling before, I wasn’t kidding. Like, for example, I had a hard time working my restaurant job for more than three days a week. That’s how physically deficient I was at the time. Those three days literally wiped me out. I lacked the energy, and the gumption, to clench my teeth to go for a whole week’s worth of work like a normal person has to do for a living.

But over time, I grew stronger. Growing up forced me to strengthen both my resolve and ability to endure more hours each week.

Heck, this restaurant job I currently work at entails me to work at least six days a week on most occasions, but I have found myself more than resilient enough to stick with this without losing a beat, more or less.

This is a good thing. After all, if I couldn’t put up with it, I would be aching and crying for some relief. But in the real world, most people have to do this kind of workload by default. It’s only natural.
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Everyday NhanSense – Day 10


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Everyday NhanSense: Each day, I will blog about something that comes to mind. My goal is to practice writing about my hobbies, my interests, my opinions and so forth.

Day 10’s Topic: Identity.
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“Nhan, who the heck are you?”

I guess it’s a good question you could probably ask me these days. And I wish I could give you a good, respectable answer. Truth be told, there are days where I don’t even know how to identify myself.

A lot has happened over the years. Some good things. Some bad things. And there are also some questionable things thrown into the mix as well. All of which has contributed in some shape or form toward creating my “identity” as a person to this day. However, let’s say our identities are like blank canvases, just waiting to be painted on with whatever comes to mind.

If you could take everything in your life and then splash it all over this canvas, what can people identity you as?

For some people, it’s pretty obvious.

Michael Jordan the basketball player.

Peyton Manning the quarterback.

Taylor Swift the singer.

There are millions of examples, but the point is these individuals all have their easily noted identities.

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