Sleepy Writer

I’m sleepy, but I wanna hit the keys. There’s a lot going on these days that I wanna write about. Then I realized what I’m trying to do and how stupid it is.

So you wanna write about current events, huh? How much have you read, or watched, or listened to so far? How was your research?

Damn. You really slapped me in the face there, my other self. I love how you talk to me like you’re really another person whom I try to have conversations with. I must be really crazy. This is what happens when you force yourself to write. You want your fingers to go mad and just keep typing non-stop even though you don’t know what you’re gonna write about. And I’m really sleepy.

Have you ever had this moment? Probably so, huh?

You wanna lie down already. But you gotta write. The keys on your laptop are demanding to get punched, and your fingers are demanding to be kept moving. You wanna be a writer, then do what you gotta do. It doesn’t matter how you feel. It doesn’t matter whether you have anything to write or you don’t. You know you have to. Otherwise, why call yourself a writer?

You’re sleepy? So were you the other day. Was the sleep worth it? Did you wake up and see any progress in yourself the next day? We all get sleepy no matter if we’re tired or not. We all gotta sleep when it’s time to sleep. Before that time of the day arrives, get moving. Would you be able to sleep thinking you’ve done nothing the whole day? If you could, then that’s bad news.

Don’t let your comfort zone win you over. It’s okay to get comfortable as long as you do it after you’ve pushed yourself hard throughout the day, no matter what you’re working on. Pursuing a passion requires hard work. You only see results when you forget about being comfortable. Get the job done before other people take it away from you.

You know there’s always someone who may be just as passionate as you are at what you do, but if they’re even just a bit more hardworking than you are, then they’re always a step further ahead. Don’t lag behind. Forget about sleep. Do your research and study what you wanna write about. Learn as much as you can even if your goal is just 300 or 500 words. Fill your mind with ideas, then try writing again. There should be no more excuses this time.

Yes, I’ll do that the next time I try to write something. For now, it’s time to work.

Reviving The Party

Typing, typing…

I’m letting my fingers run as my mind tries to come up with the words to write. No particular story. Just me, my fingers, my mind, and the keys. They’re like three best buddies on a drinking session. They talk, they have fun, they laugh, cry, and bleed. It’s a random night of drinking with no particular reason.

Not a party, not a celebration of any kind. There’s nothing to celebrate about. They’ve been dead for a long time. And I’m here just trying to revive what I thought were my happiness, my passion. If they were, I’d never let them stop having parties and messing up a white wall.

But I’m here to tell myself that I want them to continue. I recently learned a high-paying skill. I paid to be mentored. Would be a waste of money if I didn’t use it. But that’s not the only reason why I want to continue with writing. I still want to write. I still want to use it as my everyday fun hobby.

Hobby…

Yes, I’ve found a couple of other hobbies. Video games and jumping rope. Totally unrelated to writing. And unrelated with each other.

I find them fun, too. I mean, video games? Who wouldn’t? And I’d say they’re the reason I forgot about how my fingers, my mind, and my laptop’s keys used to party. Maybe writing is now just my third hobby. It’s still my hobby, and I’m going to use this hobby to tell stories about the top two.

This is totally random. I’m warming up before working on my high-paying skill. I just opened a blank page- a white wall for the three buddies to spread dirt on during their wild drinking session. Just like how I’d prepare myself before an intense jump rope session.

I’m gonna post this as quickly as I wrote it. No reading back to see what I can add. I did proofread, though. At least I still try.

It was your decision to read this, not mine. Don’t blame me if you wasted your time. But do know that I’m thankful that you read through this nonsense. That you even actually clicked your mouse or tapped on your screen to read it. You’re weird. I like that.

Changes and Challenges (Journal Update)

Damn. My blog had totally died, hasn’t it? January, I was like a machine posting blogs as often as I could. Then suddenly, in February, I’m just.. gone. It’s like a yo-yo diet. You start to get fit (or at least get close to it) and then you become lazy and ruin it again, and then you just go through the same cycle. In my case, I’d call it a “yo-yo blog”.

But that doesn’t mean my love for writing has faded. In fact, I did something that might just get me closer to it, and closer to my dreams. I’ll get to that later.

After 2020 came, some changes have been happening that kept me ‘a bit’ busy. In between those busy moments, I was just lazy. Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I’d like to make a lot of changes in my life now that I’m 30 years old.

For a long time, I’ve just been broke, lazy, careless. A happy-go-lucky, “whatever will be, will be” kind of person. And guess what? I’ve totally mastered that personality which, obviously, didn’t lead to anywhere but an endless cycle of doing things that I don’t much enjoy. Consequently, I’m living the same life.

Recently, I’ve done a few things that I’ve been interested in doing but haven’t paid attention to. Because some of these are things that will definitely lead me away from my comfort zone, which means that I’ll be doing a big change to myself that will be uncomfortable but for a good reason.

Here’s a few things that I’ve done and have been doing these past few weeks.

A More Focused Workout Routine

You might think I just became another victim of the “January hype”. Well, I’m glad, I wasn’t. Although there have been a few ‘off’ days- you know, those days when your mind is telling you it’s chest day, but your body is like, “Meh. Don’t feel like it.”- I always make sure to make up for it and REALLY push myself the next day. Maybe my body is just asking for a little rest, especially since I’ve been jumping rope almost everyday.

Oh, and speaking of jump rope, I’ve also created a new blog called Jumping to Live. Yeah, another cringe-worthy name, I know. But unfortunately, I also haven’t updated it since the beginning of February. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing it. Hell yeah, I love to jump rope. And I’m definitely gonna do it as often as I can. I just don’t have anything new to share since I don’t have any new tricks. For now, I’m planning what I’d like to put in this blog aside from my jump rope journey.

You know what’s the bigger problem, though? Diet. Damn. When you hear people say that working out is not the difficult part of getting fit? They’re not lying. It really IS the diet. And I think you already know that. At least, thanks to freelancing, I can have more time for exercise and will just need more discipline with my diet.

Now that I’ve pointed that out, I’m gonna make that my next goal. I’m not gonna be totally strict on my diet, though, because I know I’m just gonna be lying to myself. But I just need to pay more attention to my food intake from now on. Yes, I’ve told myself that a million times, but I’ll make sure to get there.

Rented An Apartment

If there’s anything that I never thought of putting in my bucket list, it’s this. To me, this is the absolute destroyer of my comfort zone. Why move in an apartment? I’m living comfortably in my parents’ house. And I’m Asian so I don’t see anything wrong with that despite my age.

But you know what? I think that that’s one of the reasons why I’m not growing. Because I’ve abused my comfort zone. I’m doing fine in this house. My mom cooks great food and she buys all of it from the market. We got the bills covered. All I need to do is work. And if the budget isn’t enough, there are my siblings who can I ask for help. Why the need to separate and live by myself?

As Lao Tzu said, “If you are anxious, you are living in the future…”

Well, no shit. I totally am anxious. Why? Because I’ve gotten this old and yet I don’t see anything bright about my future. But if I had just planned my future clearly, then I wouldn’t have to worry thinking about it. I’d even feel excitement instead of anxiety. But because I’ve taken my “present” for granted by settling in my comfort zone, I don’t even know if I could live by myself. How best to find out? Get out.

Maybe it doesn’t apply to everyone, but for me, the best way to let myself grow is to leave my comfort zone, live by myself (along with my own family) and figure things out on our own. I’m old enough to learn things the hard way and I deserve it.

Learn How to Become Rich

Yeah, dream on, dude. But really, it’s about time I’ve put more attention to money and how to properly take care of it and grow it. Saving money takes time, but if “saving” is all you know, you might take forever to wait until you really become “financially successful”. And that is the most painful thing to hear.

Still, there’s no other way but to suck it up and deal with the fact that having a job is not enough to secure your finances. But there are tons of ways to achieve financial stability. No, I’m not talking about the salary that just comes and goes. I’m talking about REAL savings. Passive income or extra income, whatever would get me out of the rat race. That’s what I’m talking about.

Last January 25th, I’ve attended a seminar about stock marketing. It’s something that I’ve wanted to learn for a very long time. Even though I have a life insurance, I know that’s not enough. I want an investment that will make me rich after a decade or so. I don’t mind waiting, to be honest. I’ve already signed up for an account in a brokerage firm and soon, I’ll start investing.

But I don’t wanna wait for years before I feel the “freedom” after achieving financial success. I mean, I can definitely wait but I don’t wanna suffer while doing so, which leads to the thing I’ve put myself into.

Signed Up For A Copywriting Learning Program

Finally! I’ve always wanted to learn copywriting. Like I mentioned, I enjoy writing and I want it to be the skill that I use to help clients with their business and make decent money. I know there’s a lot of free tutorials and resources online that I can use. Yes, those free stuff are really helpful, but if they really were effective, I should be making lots of money now. Obviously, that still isn’t the case.

Why didn’t I sign up a long time ago if I really wanted it?

Well, pardon my empty wallet, but I couldn’t pay $200 in one sitting. Thanks to my girlfriend who persuaded me to ask my cousin if we could use his credit card, and thanks to my cousin for agreeing, I was able to join the program.

Was it worth it?

Relax, it’s only been a week and we’ve only had one main assignment and a couple of mini tasks. But the amazing thing about it is that during this first week, I feel that I can already reach out to clients and offer my service for a good price. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m already working on my drafts. I feel like this time, I can finally have the confidence to offer my writing skills to clients and help their businesses.

That’s how powerful the program is. So, yeah, I can already say that it’s totally worth it. And there’s seven more weeks left to learn everything about Email Marketing and Copywriting, and I’m very happy to be a part of it now.

The second month of the year is about to end. I gotta admit that I’m proud of myself for accepting these changes, and I’m thankful to the people around for helping me do so. But there’s still a lot of work to do and I’m still finding it difficult to get rid of distractions, laziness and procrastination. At least, with these little changes happening, I can remind myself of the dream that I’m looking to achieve this year, as soon as I can.

Why I Prefer To Read A Book Than ‘Listen’ To It

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How long can you stay focused while listening to an audio book? A Podcast? Do you enjoy doing it? Or do you get distracted easily by things you see around, or even your own thoughts that you lose track of whatever you’re listening to?

Audiobooks are a great tool. They allow people to rest their eyes and not have to actually hold a book and read it. It’s like having a friend who reads you a book and never gets tired and complains about it.

But as good as it sounds, I don’t think I’d ever be able to finish a book by listening instead of reading. Of course, I’ve tried. And that’s why I know that no matter how convenient it is, it just doesn’t work for me.

Or maybe I just haven’t tried to do it more often. Still, the reason why I can’t is simply because I can’t seem to do it. I tried listening to Podcast episodes, too, but I can only last a few minutes. If I’m not distracted by social media, my mind would just start to run random thoughts and I’d totally forget that I was listening to something.

What usually happens is I’d be putting myself in the interviewee’s shoe while they’re sharing their story, and then I’d imagine I have my own similar story. Then, I’m no longer listening to the podcast because I’m already having my own imaginary podcast interview happening inside my head.

I seem to befriend distractions a lot

If you’ve seen my tagline for this blog, that would easily explain why I couldn’t focus when listening to audiobooks and podcasts. See that little story I shared? Stupid, isn’t it? And I don’t think that I’m mentally ill or something. Yeah, I bet. It’s just that my mind is like a running machine that continuously produces nonsense when it’s supposed to stay focused on something. What a waste of machine, right?

There’s something about reading that keeps me more focused than just hearing the words. Although another issue I have of myself is that I can be a selective reader sometimes, or most of the time. It depends what I’m reading, I guess.

If it’s something I chose to read because it caught my attention, then I’ll completely read it. But if it’s something that I’m being forced to read (ex. boring stories; guidelines, instructions from a job that I hate, etc.), that’s when I can be selective. I’d just scan through the information, just looking at the important parts just to get it over with.

It’s much worse when I’m listening. I can pay attention for a good five or ten minutes and then my mind would start taking off and just float in the air. This is probably why I fail so much at life- but that’s another story. The point is, I just don’t think listening to audiobooks- as convenient as it may seem- is effective for me to absorb and understand whatever is in the book that I wanted to read.

I’ve even seen some articles where people say they do this so they can engage in other activities at the same time such as going to the gym. What the hell? I couldn’t even be bothered when someone tries to talk to me while I’m lifting weights and counting my reps. How blessed they are for having such talent.

Maybe the only way listening to audiobooks or podcasts is effective is if you’re in a moving vehicle and you don’t wanna get dizzy while reading a book that is shaking in your hand. But I still wouldn’t find that helpful. The only times I’ve ever listened to podcast interviews were when I was transcribing them for my clients. Don’t get me wrong. The topics were really interesting and very motivational. But I’d still rather read the transcripts than listen to the conversation. (Kudos to transcribers like me out there.)

So, how do I read a book when I’m on the bus or any moving vehicle without risking getting dizzy? Simple- I don’t. If I wanna listen to something, it’s gonna be no other than music. Or I’d just watch videos on Youtube. I’d save reading for any other free time but a moving vehicle. I’d just let my imagination run around like crazy while enjoying some good music.

It’s just not for everyone

That’s right. It’s not for everyone. Maybe it’s only for people who have the skill to stay focused and listen and absorb the message that is being sent from their headset to their ears- Even while they’re out and about.

Not me. I could be listening to a great story or a very interesting podcast interview, but a simple turn of my head to check for vehicles before crossing the road is more than enough to make me forget that I’m even listening to something. I even would remove my headset just to cross the road. Yeah, I’m that cautious- Or paranoid.

Not even when I’m sitting still or lying in bed. Because it will just make me fall asleep.

The Third Wheel

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

On the way home one evening, I came across three joggers- A guy and two ladies. The guy and one of the ladies were running side by side, and the other lady was trailing behind them. A couple and a third wheel, if that wasn’t too obvious. It’s been a while since I’ve seen joggers in our subdivision, jogging at night. These guys must be really motivated. What can I say? It’s the first week of January.

Nah, I’m kidding. C’mon, we all have that joke about January, don’t we? At least they’re trying. How long would they last? Would this become their lifestyle? Or just another January hype? Judgmental? Oh, shut up. You’re laughing. I wonder who’d be the first to show signs of laziness and giving up in the upcoming days, weeks, or months, considering they’d last that long. Is it the guy? His girlfriend? Or the ever so loyal third wheel, who’s with them all the way?

Probably the third wheel, huh? I mean, why would I tire myself out just for a pretending-to-be active couple just because they needed extra company, yet they just keep me behind them while they go all coochy-coochy-coo with each other? If I was her, I’d give this couple a slap in their butts, run past them and go, “Stay fat, you ugly couple! 2020 is my year!” and then just sprint away. See if they could catch up. Nobody does it like me!

Or maybe it’s gonna be either one of the couple who’d give up. “Honey, I already have you and I know you adore me as much as a baby adores ice cream. We don’t need to do this, do we?” Have you ever stumbled upon this article shared on Facebook that says a couple gets fat when they’re happy? Yeah, it’s because of that lame-ass excuse they give each other when they finally realized what a fool they are for even attempting to become better.

But there’s a bigger reason the third wheel won’t ever give up- she’s running after her dream. Not a fit and healthy body, but the man of her dreams, the guy that’s been in front of her all along. The one she’d always been running after ever since they’d met but had to do it in the shadows, the one who couldn’t get beside him and tell him how she really feels because she knows he’s already taken, and he’s happy. So she always lags behind him and his lover on purpose because she knows that that’s the closest she’s ever gonna get. Now she has to literally run after him because he asked her to run with them, and she would never refuse a request from her dream guy.

Call it a selfish and foolish thing to do, but this third wheel chooses to stay behind her dream, the guy, and would continue to trail behind him, run after him. Even when she starts to run out of breath, she won’t ever try to stop and let him go, or run closer to him and reach for him. She’d just stay behind them both. Even if she knows that she’s much stronger and could run much faster than the couple, this third wheel chooses to stay behind them and be their shadow.

His lover suddenly sprints away, not looking back and never comes back, leaving him with a clueless look on his face. The third wheel, being only two steps behind him, easily runs to his side and paced with him, even if he tries to run after his lover who ran away and left him behind. He never knew this would happen. He thought he was all she ever wanted, and now she’s gone just like that. “Was I too slow? Was it something I said?” He stops, almost standing in the middle of the road, and cries to himself, “Fuck! I only did this because it’s January! She left me. I don’t want this anymore!”

But the third wheel isn’t gonna let that happen. She knew they’ve ran too far already just to stop right here. She won’t just let all of their efforts to end like that, clueless and hopeless. With the little skills she learned from her karate class in college, she strikes a strong leg kick as strong as a black coffee would give your chest a scary palpitation in the morning, and hits the guy on his butt. He almost shits his jersey shorts but was able to hold it in after using every bit of strength his ass muscles had left.

Then, despite trying to catch her breath from all the running, the third wheel shouts at the guy, “Get it together, ya pussy! I only agreed to run with you because you promised you’d treat us to McDonald’s afterwards. I better have my double cheeseburger or that shit you held in is gonna go up your throat!” They arrived at McDonald’s and found his girlfriend, who probably dropped at least a couple calories after a five-minute fast-walk and ten seconds sprint, eating her quarter-pounder with large fries and coke like she’s never had a serious meal in ages.

-Fiction-

The Shadow of Negativity

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Don’t you just hate how bad vibes are so contagious? It’s like a viral disease that can infect you, especially if you’re sensitive. Unfortunately, I have a poor immunity system when it comes to bad vibes. I mean, I don’t mind people being pissed off. We’re humans and we all have things that we go through. But throw your anger at me just because someone or something pissed you off? Man, I’d be happy to give you a “Fuck this world, including you” mood as thanks.

But don’t worry ’cause I’m not the type who’d show off my bad vibes like other people do, as if it’s their greatest talent. The fact that I’d hate to pass on the negative atmosphere further to other people is one thing, another is that I’d hate the attention. A huge reason why I don’t talk often, and I try to be as audibly discreet as possible when talking around strangers. What’s the point of showing your anger when you already know people wouldn’t care how you feel?

How do I release the bad vibes I unwillingly acquired, then? Nothing. I just keep it. As if it was given to me as a gift by whoever attacked me with it, even if not directly, as if it’s me and the other infected people around who are to blame for whatever misery these contagious negative fucks are going through.

If I had to, I’d die with the negativity just so no one would have to see me getting pissed off and be ruined by it, too. Once I get overshadowed with bad vibes, there’s no getting away from it. Maybe some people get over it easily, but not me. I’d let it consume my wholeness and I’d just savor all the feeling of hate inside me. Not that I want to.

I can be a good listener if you’d ask me to, but if you’re just gonna use me as a punching bag that you can divert your anger to just because I’m the only one around, I can’t promise to take it lightly. Because the more anger I unwillingly absorb, the more my head gets clogged with dark clouds that, even though I can hear and see things around me, I am no longer paying enough attention since I’m already in the I-don’t-even-give-a-fuck-what-you-want-just-get-done-with-it state of mind.

I feel like there’s a shadow that awakens whenever I feel these bad vibrations fired at me. A shadow that blocks everything around me, and even orders me to keep feeling this way. It grins as it tells me that. Even though the negative vibes of other people have already stopped, mine won’t, because this shadow already felt it all. And when it does, it laughs hysterically in my head while I pretend that it’s not there, that it’s not happening.

I kinda feel strong for being able to keep it because despite the hysteria that this shadow portrays, I’m usually able to keep a straight face. Either I’m brave or I’m too afraid to show it. Who am I to? I have nothing to prove and while I’m under control of that shadow, my only right is to shut my mouth- The same right given to a criminal to give him a chance to save himself, if he can.

There’s no other way to do it but that. I’d just let it blow off slowly until it’s totally gone. I’d blow off steam by finding something to do that won’t involve anybody else but me. I prefer to be by myself for that reason. And I have to always keep it this way because I know that I’m not in the right position to express my own negativity, no matter how hard it is to keep it inside. That’s just how it is. It’s something I always deal with and it destroys me, but I can’t show it.

I can only let this shadow laugh at me, say everything it wants to say and only I would hear it. A laughter made of hysteria, not happiness. If it was happiness, I’d be happy to let it take over. What reason would I have to hide it? But it’s not. Once it’s done expressing its own definition of fun, I’d let it go, still quietly, until it gets back to sleep. Nobody else is supposed to see it because no one would, anyway.

If I let people see this shadow making an escape from my head, there would be chaos. Because it’s not the kind of shadow that comes up behind me when there’s sunlight, but one that comes down like rain from the dark cloud above my head. The dark cloud that is formed by all the negative energy that are being thrown at me for no reason, and tempting me to do the same.

The Misunderstood Lad

Nick has been the talk of the family recently. Whenever my mom would talk to her siblings- my aunts and uncles- over the phone, they’d talk about the latest things about him, most of which are bad news. It all started with his gambling issues. I thought he was working in a casino. He did, but that was long ago. Apparently, he’s now a client of the casino. And he’s one of those clients who play honestly. How do I know? Because he keeps losing.

I’m not saying that all those who win tons of chips in casinos are cheaters, but how much can you trust a person who gambles? I’d hate to break it to Nick, but it would also be hard to trust him, not after their scooter and their AUV had disappeared, not because it was just gone or stolen but because he had pawned them. For more gambling money, or for paying his debts for the money he lost gambling, I don’t know. Probably the latter.

But it’s not like he wanted it to happen. He just lost so much and drowned himself in debt for his desire to win, however he kept losing. Nick’s mother, Aunt Lucy, is very also upset with him after hearing about what he’s been doing. She’s been working overseas almost her whole life and hasn’t been there to look after her sons, Nick and Olin. She doesn’t come home very often, not even every year. She works hard overseas to give the siblings a good life. Not luxurious, but just enough for them to buy themselves good stuff.

Now, Nick and Olin are the ones taking care of our bedridden grandmother, Grandma Stella, who’s recently been rushed to the hospital after coughing up blood due to infection. It’s been like this for a while now. Grandma Stella had gotten old and could no longer move. Nick and Olin would take turns to look after and take care of her. They would change her clothes and diapers, wash her, feed her with liquid food with a process called tube-feeding. The siblings do a good job at taking care of our grandma. Our Aunt Faye is also with them looking after her.

Aunt Faye tells all of this to our Uncle Neal, who also works overseas. She says that Olin does a nice job of taking care of grandma. All the washing, changing of diapers and clothes, and feeding her. But Nick is different. He does all of it better. And he not only does the job very well, he’s also much of a joker. He would tease grandma with little jokes even though grandma would not respond, or may respond simply by opening her one eye.

He told us of that one time, how Grandma suddenly opened her eyes wide after he joked that she’ll be receiving P100,000 (about $2000) as a cash incentive from the government for seniors who’ve reached 100 years of age, although she’s still a few years away from it. Nick is the sweet kind, and he’s got a good humor. Aunt Faye gets a little emotional while telling Uncle Neal- who’s also aware of Nick’s situation- about all this.

Nick never wanted things to turn out this way. All this gambling, he just wanted a sweet life where he could buy all the stuff that he wants, not only for himself but for the whole family. But he’s too much of a nice and honest person to win big in this kind of game where many other players hide some dirty tricks up their sleeves to steal your luck. Uncle Matt, Nick and Olin’s father who’s now in heaven, must feel very sad to see what Nick has been going through. If he’s watching, I’d pray that he’d guide him to a better path and start anew.

-Fiction-