The Treadmill

Everywhere I go I come across people content to loaft through life,

Putting the minimal effort into everything they do,

Content to force their misery onto everyone they come in contact with,

Content to think about their life one day, one hour, one minute at a time,

They live for 15 minute breaks,

Half hour lunch breaks,

The last break comes,

They go home,

Using their free time to reflect on how much they hate their lives,

Or to seek escape through family and friends,

They hope something else comes along,

Yet they don’t work towards it,

Some do,

Knowing that their hunt will pay off,

Eventually,

It could be months or years,

Until then they have to bear their burden,

Some bear their burden with grace,

Adapting to stress and pressure,

Learning how to control or vent it effectively,

Others lack the fortitude and become walking vessels of rage and self-loathing,

Projecting their insecurities, fears and anxiety onto others,

We have too many of these people in the world,

I want them purged,

But we need them,

A twisted dependency that won’t end anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Running on the Spot

Hello everyone,

Wanted to share some brief thoughts with you tonight. Been out of town for the weekend, mostly because I was visiting my mom.

The weekend was great but my mom did share some advice with me, which ultimately made me realize I was getting complacent. Below is a text she sent me.

“I’ve been thinking about you and your next steps. I think you have worked extremely hard to give yourself a huge advantage to date! Congratulations your edge is really awesome and obvious. I’m very proud of you.

Here is my concern: It is very easy to squander an edge! I know that first hand. Don’t want this to happen to you.

Think smart son.

Don’t think about short term pleasure- what immediately appeases the senses. Think about the long term picture. Perhaps what you may need to endure for a short time to live in a state of bliss down the road. You have many years ahead of you. Many!

You have to turn things up now to avoid everyone who did the average catching up to you. How unfortunate that would be for you. Literally to run ahead and then jog on the spot and wait to get to the end zone with everyone else.

Your focus on personal sacrifice has diminished. The person who sacrificed to finish his degree in three years for a chance at a better future has shifted gears to seeking the things that give immediate gratification. Your focus is now on what you enjoy.

That’s the ultimate goal son but few can realistically achieve it at 24. Get back on the treadmill. Find back your fight. You ended the race prematurely. Get back in the game! Go for what you deserve with all you have in you. Don’t cheat yourself now. You have worked too hard. Keep up the fight- you are too close to finding gold to shut down the machinery! Don’t make that classic mistake son. Please.

Open up yourself to new horizons, new opportunities and think about ways to enjoy those- even if that’s over time. Move away from thinking of what you enjoy and hoping to make opportunities out o them. The former is more practical as as you grow the things you enjoy change and you may find you are exactly where you are meant to be. Secure a future for yourself! There is a pleasure in that.

I know you are not religious but you believe in some higher power. So do I. The fact that you are so qualified and not landing your ideal jobs may be a chance to rethink your direction. Whatever that may be… I don’t know what your path will entail and I won’t make suggestions unless asked. However, I recommend  you seek counsel. And I further recommend you only seek counsel from individuals who have accomplished sufficient to advise you or those whom you are truly confident want more for you than they want even for themselves. If you get anything else wrong in this life- don’t get the foregoing wrong.”

I initially took these words the wrong way, thinking I was being called lazy. However, my mom called me to let me know that my work ethic wasn’t the issue. When she says “seeking comfort over pleasure” she means that I was shutting myself in from good opportunities. I had a bad experience as a teaching assistant, and I have actively avoided teaching since. However, teaching could be a rewarding and career rejuvenating experience. As my mom said, one failure or bad experience shouldn’t stop me from pursuing something. I have failed to get published numerous times but I kept trying. I have tried to learn guitar before, I quit, but now I am continuing again. There are many other opportunities or suggestions my mom has given me that I was quick to shut down, not due to laziness, but because I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone. I shut out opportunities and I fear that I am becoming more average day by day. It seems that I rebelled against every opportunity given to me as a child, sports, instruments etc.

Now I am just yet another 24 year old with nothing to show for my academic achievements or my work ethic. I disappear into the crowd and I could end up being another person who had potential, but squandered it. This weekend I realized that things might not just work out soon enough. Don’t put faith in God, the universe or whatever you believe in. Have faith in yourself and apply yourself. I haven’t been lazy but I haven’t been taking advantage of opportunities either. I hope this motivates at least one other person to take a harder look at themselves and get one step closer to being the best they can be.

 

The Funeral

Sorry for the delay with this blog post. I have added apartment hunting to my to-do list so I’ve been busier than normal. This is in addition to work, the gym, guitar and writing my second book.

Before you get worried: the below piece is fiction.

****

Her pictures were hung all over the church,

In her best dresses, with her best makeup,

 

I stood on the podium,

I was supposed to talk about how great my sister was,

How sad I was that she was gone,

How empty my life was without her,

Yet I couldn’t,

 

My sister was nothing more than a person I had the misfortune of sharing blood with,

She was rude, insecure, ungrateful and manipulative,

There is nothing to mourn with her passing,

She wasn’t murdered,

She didn’t commit suicide,

She just passed away in her sleep,

 

Why do we feel the need to not only downplay someone’s faults when they die,

But also try to paint them as a perfect human being,

Not a single speaker talked about her issues,

Saying that she had problems, but that she was still family,

They all tried to make her look like Mother Teresa,

She is far from it,

She was more than flawed,

She wasn’t even decent,

She was my sister,

She is dead,

And I’m celebrating.

 

Half Full

There are many institutions meant to prepare us for the shift from childhood to adulthood,

They herd children in, and in their minds, send adults back out,

Many of these institutions fail, and I think universities are the most glaring example,

I am one of millions of people who worked hard to graduate with good grades and a degree I hoped would ensure employment in my field,

It’s been half a year and I have yet to secure that goal despite actively pursuing it,

 

However, I don’t want to delve into more negativity,

For the past decade,

I feel as if negativity has drowned out rationality and optimism in my life,

My life has not been perfect, but no one’s life is, and I believe I have a lot to be thankful for,

It has been too easy for me to forget this,

My bad experiences overshadow all the privileges and opportunities I have had,

I constantly compare myself to others, never being happy with myself,

Sometimes I spread my misery to others,

Lashing out at people who help me and driving them away,

It is a vicious cycle where my attitude leads to rejection, which then leads to more negativity,
It is easy for me to remember friends I’ve lost,

It is easy to remember those who betrayed me,

The people who made me feel unwanted, used, stupid, ugly,

The people who only paid attention to me to tear me down,

 

It is so easy to forget the people all around me who are always trying to clear the negativity from my mind,

The family that can’t stand to see me doubting myself and want nothing more than to see me happy,

The friends who always make time, not excuses, when they want to see you,

The co-workers, bosses who always go out of their way to praise your contributions,

 

I do not normally feel optimistic, and my writing reflects that,

Writing has always been my catharsis, my way to release my negativity,

Yet I have come to realize that my writing is not enough to combat the negative thoughts that my mind harbours,

My writing is merely another engine of negativity,

I cherish every piece I have written,

I don’t think my mindset makes them any less true but I now understand that my pursuit of happiness must be a proactive one,

I cannot wait for it to come to me,

I must create it.

Life

We still don’t know what it’s true meaning is, but we know that a big part of life are the relationships we form with one another,

The people we surround ourselves with,

Who shape who we are,

And we can only hope that chance and fate bestow us with people who bring happiness into our lives,

Although the world seems to revolve around money and fame, the loss of someone we love always makes us remember our true priorities,

We remember them and all the people who mean the most to us, those who are always there for us and truly give without asking for anything in return,

The world is filled with negativity, sadness and betrayal, but the people we care about always make us forget that,

The only good thing we can take from their passing is that they will find peace, and we can continue to honour them with our memories,

More importantly, we can honour them by letting go of the petty things that cloud our own peace,

Our insecurities, our grudges,

Our loved ones probably lectured us about this at one point,

It’s easier said than done, but we can’t truly be free until we let go of these anchors,

We can be more grateful for what we have and remember that we were blessed to be in the presence of someone who truly brightened our lives.

 

Family

This weekend I celebrated my first 4th of July,
Family, food and drinks were plentiful,
Yet I did not enjoy myself,

Maybe it is important to add that I wasn’t with my family,
So although I was willing to embrace the new people I was surrounded with,
They were not willing to embrace me, unless they needed help lifting something,

My whole life I have hated cliques and the people who comprise them,
Close-minded idiots whose lives revolve around isolation and familiarity,
Yet I never realized that a family is nothing more than a clique bonded by blood,
Therefore, it’s the hardest clique to break into,

How many of us pride ourselves on our supposedly unique family traditions,
The exclusive memories, inside jokes, all the things that make us feel united to the relatives around us,
Even if we only see those people a few times or a year or spend most of our time wishing that we had more time away from them,
Don’t we all know relatives who have treated us worse than any stranger or close friend?
Don’t we all have a relative that we would probably not get along with if it weren’t for a blood bond?
Why do we remain loyal to these people: outdated ideas of familial obligation.

I could have spent my 4th of July with friends that I would have had a better time with,
I turned them down,
Not because I enjoy this family’s company more, or because I know them better,
I turned it down for the simple fact that they were family, as if that is enough to erase all shortcomings,
It’s not, and the belief that the badge of family shields people from criticism or hate only perpetuates familial pride

The Chip On My Shoulder

Some say I’m paranoid, some say I always pull the race card,
They wonder why I have so much anger, resentment, hostility,
They may think it’s due to my own hatred, or my own insecurities,
Maybe they are right, to some extent,
Maybe they can blame bad parenting, or the liberal media for my views on the world,
But isn’t it also possible that the way I view the world is shaped by what the world has shown me?

We all have our insecurities,
We’re told to push them aside,
To not let them have any sway over us,
But our emotions, our thoughts, can’t simply be turned off,
There is no flicking of a switch to turn the light out; we can only hope to dim it

So when I plan to deliver a letter to a colleague, and I am told to use the service entrance,
The same entrance used by construction workers and maids,
My insecurity illuminates the room,
Perhaps this person does not mean to hurt me,
Yet my mind flashes back to the times when I was always asked “Do you live here?”
Never as an icebreaker, only as a question meant to verify that I belong,
My mind also flashes back to the time I wanted to use the first class bathroom,
The time when a flight attendant told me to use the bathroom at the back of the plane instead,
Imagine my confusion as I walked passed my first class seat and ventured to the bathroom at the back of the plane,

Imagine how I felt when it finally occurred to me that you can truly be treated differently due to your skin colour,
Anger, bitterness and grief all coalesce to create an individual who cannot afford to be optimistic,
An individual who has been moulded into someone new by years of accumulated experiences that many others will never understand or try to understand,

Failing To Stand Out From The Pack

So on Tuesday I uploaded two videos. The first was a review of the True Detective and Baller premieres, the second was a video with my initial reaction to the Tom Holland Spider-Man casting. Pretty big news right? Last few videos fell flat and I was hoping that these two would be part of a resurrection. By resurrection, I mean that I was hoping they would get more than ten views: everything is relative.

Anyways, both videos currently have under fourty views. I remember when I set my account up back in 2011. Subscribers climbed steadily for a time, getting from 0-135. Then they pretty much stalled.

Why am I talking about this? To complain about a lack of attention on YouTube? Not really? YouTube is mainly an outlet for me to discuss things that many of my friends and family aren’t interested in. It turns out that girls aren’t usually turned on by your knowledge of comics and movies (which I had picked up on that before high school ended).

After spending years writing and editing a novel, the real attention that I want is one from a literary agent, and then a publisher. Just like YouTube, the field is fickle and ridiculously competitive. If you’ve read my poem. “The City of Broken Dreams”, you know how I feel about creative dreams.

I have always told myself that though many people might fail to become writers, I would not be one of them. My drive, my talent would set me apart from the pack. I used to say the same thing about my videos, yet I see how that has turned out. I am not saying I want to quit, but perhaps my YouTube experience is a simple reality check meant to curb my hubris.

Goals

Goals, dreams, delusions, fantasies,
They are one and the same,

We were all told the same thing,
Be ambitious, work hard and reap the rewards,
Yet one look around shows that the world cannot be this simple,
Is every person who cleans toilets for a living doing it only because they never worked hard enough for something better?
Is everyone who serves us fries, only there because they never aimed for a higher calling?
Haven’t you ever worked the hardest to get something, only to have it taken from you by someone who was undeserving?
While the accomplishment may have meant the world to you, it was only an afterthought to them

The real truth we need to accept is that the world is unfair
Everything doesn’t happen for a reason,
Your soul mate did not break your heart so that you could find someone even better,
They broke your heart because unrequited love is a part of life,
The seven-year old cancer patient you weep for did not get cancer so they could learn a life lesson,
The odds simply show that disease must strike someone, regardless of their age

The truth is we are not all special,
The world needs people to suffer,
There could be no balance if we all got what we wanted in life,
We will always need people to shine our shoes, clean our cars, our homes, our streets,
Most importantly, we will always need people to die before we do,
Welcome to the real world, I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay,
Just don’t interfere with my enjoyment.