Wednesday, June 20, 2012

There Is No Future. There Is Only Now.

There is no future.

There is only now.

My stomach was in perpetual free-fall, my fingers clenched into my palms and I stared across my room as if a tidal wave were headed right for me. It was so strange, really. Not moments before I had been so happy, so instilled with joy that I thought it'd never end. And yet there there was my problem, so perfectly placed before me.

That the happy moment would end, it would be gone forever and be replaced by something uncertain.

I dove into the memories of days gone by, around the many ups and downs, twists and turns that I'd already gone through in the already half gone year. It was too much, too much for me to try and digest in that single moment and I sighed, allowing myself to brood in the feeling of hopelessness. Hopelessness for a future that had not yet arrived.

To put it simply, I was copying everything that had gone wrong from my previous few months and pasting them into the rest of 2012. And I was doing this more often than I'd like to admit. It was pathetic, it did me no good.

So as I sat there on my bed, lamenting the bitter choices I would have to make with family and friends I looked over at the paper I'd recently pinned on my wall:

"There is no 'good' or 'bad'. There is only the moment and what you make of it".

I stared at it, thinking.

Then I spoke.

"There is no future".

I blinked, realizing how refreshing it sounded. And then I frowned. I knew that it also appeared bleak, as if there was nothing after the moment I was in.

But, strange as it may sound, I couldn't get over how much I liked that notion!

It was as though everything was put into the tiniest perspective possible and I was on this huge mountain overlooking how puny it was! All those problems! All those issues! They didn't matter if there was no future!

There was only now, the moment that I was living in. And I loved it because it was not so overwhelming, not so filled with "what ifs". It was just me, being myself and taking every moment for what it could be: my very last.

Now, every morning as I wake up to greet the day, I have another sign on the wall which greets me with:

"There is no Future, there is only Now."

And I thank my lucky stars that I have Now to live in, to create and mold into whatever I so please.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Check Out The Trailer!

My current pursuit: The lovely 2012 Aljo 162. Photo courtesy of RV Guide
This is what I'm applying for a loan for and this will very shortly be my home. I have searched long, long hours over multiple travel trailer websites looking for the one that could fit my lifestyle and luckily I found a few dealerships in the area that sell it. This particular photo above is a little the door is actually more to the front of the trailer, but it still gives you a pretty good grasp of the trailer's exterior.

This is a bunkhouse travel trailer, the bunks being directly to the left of you as you walk in:

These are the two bunks, I'll be taking the top whilst my awesome roommie will be taking the bottom. You can't see it very well from this angle, but there is a window that opens up on the bottom bunk. Whether it's only supposed to be used as an emergency exit or a super easy way to go outside remains to be seen.

Directly across from the bunk area is the kitchen:

 It really isn't much different from the current kitchen situation my friend and I are in now, but I'll go into that detail later. This seems perfect for the two of us to cook in and I'm planning on painting the cupboards. I'm painting anything that is that brown color really.

 I despise it.

 In fact, I had originally passed up this model because of the colors. Once we actually went to see it we changed our minds and decided it only needed a coat of paint. Yet again, you can't see it from here, but in the far back between the bunks and the kitchen is a door which leads to the bathroom. A simple toilet and shower are in that cramped little corner, but it will do nicely if I keep it tidy.

Finally, in front of both the kitchen and the bunks, taking up the entire front area of the trailer, is the dining area:

 This was one of the comfiest dining areas I'd sat in yet while looking at trailers. We had visited quite a few dealerships and while most areas looked more appealing than this they were near hazardous fitting into. It's because most areas are so packed in and the tables are usually bolted into place or stuck into the ground via a pole. With this one it's set up like you would find an ironing board. So, if you wanted to fold it up and have no table, or make the entire thing into one big bed by fitting the table snugly onto some grooves in the center you could.

And that's my future home! There's definitely more to it than that, but I wanted to go over the bigger areas and since I technically still don't own it I want to wait to make a more thorough post later when I do.

The three interior photos from above are courtesy of South Hill RV.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

And So I Simply Sat

Yesterday was another big day for me, filled with a strange impartiality to the objects I once held so dear. I had another yard sale in the morning, unfortunately it was on a weekend that an event was happening one town over. Thus I didn't do nearly as well as I had the first time I sold my things. It could also have been that I didn't put up any signs either, so...yeah! Alot of it went straight to the "free" pile left out on the sidewalk and then to Goodwill.

It was very strange, though. To look at all those things I'd sworn to myself I'd not part with...or at the very least have a hard time doing so... And see them as they are, simple objects holding me down, keeping me back. It's not that I see them as garbage, but that I realize I do not need them. And because I do not need them I no longer desire them.

It was freedom in the most tangible form I've yet to discover. It was beautiful.

After that I hung out with a friend and we traveled around a recreational area nearby the river. It was so peaceful, so calm. I adored it. I realized that if I hadn't been selling my things and they were all still stuffed into my small home I'd probably be spending my Saturday cleaning them up. Instead I got to hang out with my good friend and after...well...

I sat.

I mean, literally, too. I had just left my friend's house, heading out to get my hair cut until my other friend got off of work when he called to let me know he was just getting off. There was a pillar nearby, completely void of anything on top and comfortably flat. Its cool self was shaded by the many trees along the roadside and so I climbed atop it and looked out.

I soon realized that the freeway exit nearby always had cars getting off and the nearby overpass was also always dotted with a car or two. So I made a small pact. I would not move from that spot until my friend came to pick me up or I could see no moving cars in view.

And so I simply sat as I watched person after person drive on by. Some stared straight ahead, some fumbled with stuff in their car and others talked on their phones. The best times, however, were when people saw me on my pillar top staring right at them as they passed. Some could not, in an awkward way, keep eye contact while others did not want to break their own gaze. I'm glad that the street had such a low speed limit because now that I think of it that could have been a little dangerous!

I sat there, on my pillar, for fifty minutes before I could see no cars in sight.

After that I stood up, stretched, and moved on. It made me put my life into perspective just a little more, to realize that with or without me the world goes on. Instead of making me feel sad it comforted me. It let me know that problems come and they go and that life still continues all the same. I have my choices to make and so does everyone else. I felt more in control of choices.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Taking A Tumble on Trampolines

I love trampolines.

I am on my 8th one.

I have jumped in the rain, I've reached for the skies as hail poured from the heavens and I've fried in the middle of summer and froze in the dead of winter. I've jumped in the middle of the day and at midnight. I've cursed at the heat that burned my toes and raced inside to warm them when I'd slipped and slid on the frozen net.

I love trampolines and now I love them more.

Last year I came across a website that took my immediate interest. Sky High, a warehouse filled with trampolines lined right onto the wall.

The wall! Literally! You can bounce off the walls in this place!

Needless to say, I was thrilled.

And so I set my sights on this magical place and must say it changed my life.

Of course it did, I love trampolines!

It was remarkable, pure bliss as it were. Fellow jumpers both young and old practiced as they stole themselves into the air and came back down, some more agile than others. I saw people first starting their jumping journey as they simply bounced up and down. I myself had to work on the wall bounces lest I twist my ankle.

Yet there were others amongst us, those who commanded the warehouse skies and moved with the music that whisked throughout the walls. It was they whom had my attention, they that flipped over themselves again and again, mocking the very notion of gravity. They twisted and weaved through the air, coming down in splendid stops and at a blink of the eye they were up again.

I have come one step closer to their miraculous movements.

I have perfected the art of landing the front flip!

Yes! It is awesome, it is epic and I can do it, too! What makes this most incredible is that, for the longest time, I was afraid of performing stunts such as this on my own home trampoline. To conquer this fear is to get one step closer to my own self-actualization. I feel invigorated, rejuvenated in my own capabilities and I can't wait to go back to Sky High, the trampoline warehouse, to practice in a larger arena!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So I'm Selling My Life

Lifestyle, that is.

I've decided to take a really big leap and try for something I've always admired, but have never had the tenacity to try. Minimalism. I'm pretty sure I've talked about it before, but I've never really fully committed myself to it. After all, going from the crazy prepared person I am to minimalist me is a pretty major leap.

I've realized, though, that having so much stuff in my life doesn't make me happy. It just annoys me. A lot. I go home and I see what I have to put away or clean or dust... Do I want to remember my life cleaning things? I know I'm a wannabe neat freak, but seriously, having an evening ahead filled with organizing stuff I don't often use doesn't sound fun in the slightest.

So here's what I've been doing

I've had a yard sale already and made a pretty penny in the process. I spent a week going through stuff that I just didn't care is to go through the stuff I do hold personal value to.

Now, now, I'm not going to go crazy and just toss everything and regret my actions. I'm doing this in a moderately slow process, only ridding myself of things I haven't used for years. Next are the things I haven't used in a year. And then so on and so forth.

So if I do this right I'll be getting rid of the stuff I really really don't need and keeping the stuff that actually means something to me.

And that's not the only thing I'm up to. Remember last post? Yeah, I know, a while back. Yep.

I really am trying out a whole new lifestyle, bit by bit. And though it's not the uber secret I was hiding last post this one is still moderately neat...

I've set my eyes on the travel trailer I plan to buy and LIVE IN.


That's right! I'm going minimalist for two reasons! One, I'm tired of the extra stuff and two, because I really won't have any room for any of it!

If only my excitement were tangible, it would be bouncing off the walls as much as I am.

So, yes. I'm trying to buy a travel trailer and slowly, but surely my efforts are bringing me closer to my goal. I've done a ton of research and am continuing to do so.

But let me tell you, clearing for a loan is not a simple feat and I've been denied left and right. In a way I feel fortunate for this, because it means I just have to take my time and make sure I'm making the right decision, both trailer wise and living style. At the same time I feel pretty annoyed because I've spent my life buying things with cash and as such have only recently begun using credit.

Still, playing the underdog makes me more invigorated to achieve my objective and makes that objective all the more desirable.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back and In Action! What Have I Been Up To?

Finally, after two whole months, my life has gotten back on track and I do so swear that when I say those two months were "hectic" I'm making quite the understatement. I desperately needed the time I spent away to get everything both in my head and on my plate cleared away before I could come back to blogging, lest I spend most of my time on here crying and complaining about how life is so unfair and so on and so forth.

But, as I said, I'm back and ready to start hitting the keys with all the details of my latest adventures and escapades! And believe me, they're big in my books. For now, I think I'll just list them and go into detail later one post at a time. Let's count in Japanese, shall we? Such fun!~


I've confronted a few of my biggest comfort zone issues!

          - Opening up to others, which includes: Talking about my problems, relying on close friends and relatives for help and support, and trusting them with some of my deeper thoughts.

          - My fear of the dark. Okay, okay, I know how silly that sounds and in my defense I live out in the middle of nowhere. Still, it was a terrific victory upon which I have much to say-- later.

          -  Stepping out into the world and trying new things. Now, I won't go into too much detail here, because this one is really a major tie-in for later. It does involve lots of driving, perhaps moving and meeting new people.


I'm reading and writing more than I have in years. Not just manga or articles online, but actual sit down and hold in your hands books! I've been scouring Goodwill, local bookstores and the library in town to find whatever takes my interest. I read over half of two books just this weekend! It was outstanding! My library is getting bigger by the day. So, what have I been reading?

          - "Steampunk!: An Anthology of Rich and Strange Stories". A grand book filled with short stories which were all placed together and edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. Each piece has its own almost leisurely pace about how the plot line rolls along, but just as the reader is placed into a false sense of security they are whisked up in epic climaxes, for the good or bad of the characters within.

          - "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden. Many know this book from the movie that came out in 2005. It is a remarkable telling of a fictional Geisha's life who was sold to an Okiya (where Geisha live) at a very young age and who, through the toughest of odds, becomes a beautiful young woman and symbol of the Geisha arts in her own right. From what I've researched not all Golden's information is accurate, but for an art so well protected Golden does a terrific job in storytelling.

           - "The Secret Garden" by France Hodgson Burnett. A classic about a young and spoiled orphan aristocrat who must leave behind one life for another far from her desert home. Now living in an old manor along a moor belonging to her uncle she learns of a secret garden locked away and the stories it carries within it. Throughout her time in the manor she changes not only the new people in her life, but herself most of all.


This one is a secret. A well kept, much guarded secret known only to the few in my life privy to the information because, quite frankly, it would be mean if I didn't tell them about it. The reason I don't yet tell the blogging realms? Because that's just how superstitious I am about making this secret, a certain dream of mine I've not yet shared, into a reality I will in fact be living in a few more months if everything goes as planned.

I know, I know, it has been terribly hard to not shout it out from the rooftops, yet my better judgement shouts a little louder every time I get the hankering to do so. I must be patient and keep this secret under wraps, at least until I know whether or not it will work in my favor. If it doesn't...well, this is going to be one lame secret.

Okay, so this has gone on a little longer than I thought it would. And I haven't nearly covered as much as I wanted to. Expect to see a part II perhaps, until then have a great day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sometimes Life Gives You Lemons

The sour kind.
Near bitter, really.
Half rotten, too.

That's what life does, it dishes out exactly what you need. Just enough to make you weak in the knees, but hopefully a little below your breaking point. I am currently traveling this dark hallway, blindly making my way towards the light at the end. A simple flicker of faint hope which pushes me onwards and through my worst days.

I must admit, this is the very reason as to why I'm not blogging much at the moment. Or enjoying the posts my fellow bloggers are making on their own corners of Blogger. Sometimes one must make priorities in their daily life and indeed I've been juggling them rather valiantly.

Long story short, I'm still here. And I'll be making a comeback with my posts just as soon as I can.

On a side note, it was my birthday last month so huzzah for me! That's just about the time all these little issues in my life started creeping up and that's really sad. But I've been learning! If you have to take those sour, bitter and half rotten lemons you may as well learn something from them all the same, right?

 Just a few things I've learned:

-You can't control how other people feel, or how they're going to feel. You can only be there for them when you can.

-Things are going to happen in your life, regardless of how much you prepare,  that you'll have little or no control over. It's just life, it is just how it is.

- You can't put your dreams aside whenever something bad happens, you have to learn to balance them amongst the obstacles of everyday life.

- You have to put yourself first, no one else is going to. Putting your life on the back burner for others will do nothing, but make you miserable.

- Don't overextend yourself or your resources, you'll regret it.

- Try to not second-guess your decisions. They're yours and they belong to you. Unless you did them in the spur of the moment and feel you've really messed up stick up for them. They represent you.

- Place limits on yourself when it comes to the people around you. Let them know just how much you can be there for them and when you draw the line. And make sure they don't step over that line.

- Nothing is forever, this truth is both a blessing and a curse.

Constantly learning, always growing. That's what this life is all about...and so much more.

Here's to continuing forward and finding our balance!

Friday, March 23, 2012

What's My Dream Life?

I've been thinking about how I would want to live my life, if I could live it in any way I so desired.

There are more ideas bouncing around in my head than I can count, but if I could narrow it down...

It would be living in a travel trailer, as a minimalist, thriving off of my own writing.

Yes, I would have one of my best buds there with me, and we would go off and travel every cranny and corner of whatever interested us in California. I would continue striving to achieve my dreams, of which many would come true through this lifestyle. I would have to drop a few others dreams, though. I think I could live with that.

I have to ask myself though, could I really live in a travel trailer?

It's smaller than what I've ever lived in before. I'd have to get rid of quite a bit of my stuff, too... But really, stuff has always been my issue. Stuff has always gotten in my way. Spending time where I feel it is most needed, doing what I want to do in my spare time. I'd like the stuff to go away and begin my life anew. Without all the extra baggage.

Normally I keep stuff because it has sentimental value, or because someone I love gave it to me... And I know I will never forget the treasured feeling the person gave to me, but do I really need to keep a jacket my grandmother gave me that I never wear? Or a little statue my father gave me years ago?

Some of it, yes, is important to keep. There are just things I'm not ready to give up yet, I may never be able to... But the rest...what is the rest?

Is it all just another obstacle to surpass? One more step to take in an effort to continue my journey?

And I've never been one to share my personal space well, it's just something I've had to grow through as I myself grew. I'm still learning how to better share the space around me. Would I truly be able to conquer that problem and live with someone in such confined quarters?

I'd like to think that I can. I'd like to think that the person I've decided to live with accepts me for my little quirks, both good and bad. And that they'll understand when I decide to be off on my own, just enjoying my introverted personality. I've always enjoyed my own company first and foremost and I like it that way.

Besides the problem with giving away my things and having less space, I guess I would also have to deal with a less than secure environment.

I love the feeling of safety I have out in the middle of the orchards where I dwell. The tossling of the leaves in the singing wind and the calls of the coyotes are the only things I need worry about here. Could I give up that comfort for a life of travel? Constantly moving and facing what nature and humanity decides to send my way?

I'd like to think I can, eventually. And with my luck eventually will come faster than I expect.

I want to take my chances and defy the life that I've been leading, chasing down adventures in my imagination and ruing the life I currently allow myself to live. I want to get out there and take a few risks, ones I wouldn't dare think of commiting to three years ago.

So where will I be in three more years? What will have changed about me and my dreams?

What about life in three months from now?

I've been thinking, dreaming...hoping.

I've made some hard decisions.

I'm changing my life.

I'm going for it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vehicle Crime: Please Protect Yourself!

Yesterday evening was, by all definitions, unnerving.
We were in the restaurant no more than an hour when it took place, but after my friend and I walked back out to our respective vehicles we had no idea we’d be there a few more hours. In all actuality he had gotten off lucky, but as my friend walked stiffly over to my truck his face was filled with tranquil fury.
Someone had knocked out the locks on his truck doors, broken the driver side handle and had attempted to hotwire his truck.
 My jaw dropped.
It really was one of those times that I actually thought to myself: “What the heck!? We go here all the time! It can’t happen to us! At least not here!”
But it did, right on the corner of the parking lot and in broad daylight, albeit rainy daylight. And so far we’re not sure what they stole, but if they did steal anything my friend’s insurance won’t be covering it.
Sometimes we end up being the unlikely, but unlucky victims of events such as these and like I said, it could have been worse. We could have walked out to no vehicle, period. I just wanted to take a moment to give out a few tips that I try to follow and that I learned from the officer who came out to file the police report.

Ladies and Lads, please remember…
Keep the minimum amount of personal identification information in your vehicle. Identity theft is a big issue right now and the police officer couldn’t emphasize this enough.
Do not leave anything of value out and on the car seats or floorboards. It’s just one window smash away from being snatched away.
If you’re the type of person who likes to sit in your vehicle while in a parking lot to eat or to take a call remember to lock your doors and keep your windows up half way.
Always lock your vehicle up, no matter where it’s parked. Which obviously means: Never walk away from your vehicle while it’s running! Don’t do it, even if you’ll be gone no more than a minute.
While returning to your vehicle keep your eyes peeled for anyone following you or watching your movements. You’re your own first line of defense against someone foolish enough to try and harm you.
If you keep pepper spray on yourself, keep it within reach! Pepper spray will do you no good if you have to spend precious time searching for it. I advise, wherever you go, if you feel even the slightest inkling of a threat or if it’s getting dark to keep it in your hand, ready to go.
Report anything happening to yourself or your vehicle to the police, insurance company and the store or restaurant you’ve just left asap. If you’re lucky, the store or restaurant might have security cameras and if not you may be the deciding factor in getting some installed.
I hope everyone does their best to protect themselves from preventable crimes. If you have any other words of advice, please comment them.
Stay safe out there!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Living For The Purpose Of The Present

How much time do we spend living in the past? Mulling on old memories and previously lodged emotions? And how much time do we take out of our day dreaming about the future? Projects we've yet to undertake or prospects we've only begun to consider? I found out that I do both quite frequently and have been striving to break this annoyingly fortified habit.

Unfortunately, and as many others have learned, it isn't an easy task to undertake. As a dreamer I'm frequently in my own little world, creating vast expanses of imaginary worlds and building on them with characters, dramas and the like. I enjoy doing this, I'm a writer after all, and what better to spend my days doing than envisioning new ideas and realities to enjoy and share with others?

But what about the rest of the time? I continuously chide myself, noting how often I decide to relive an event I didn't enjoy in an effort to figure out what went wrong. Or perhaps I take the time to go over a conversation I plan to have with someone, which may or may not happen at all. I do these things constantly, becoming the worrier that I promised myself I wouldn't inherit from my mother's side.

Tell me, does this sound at all like you?

And what really interests me? When we try to come back to the present and stay long does it take for our minds to begin to wander?

I've tested myself over the course of a commute home.

I didn't even last a minute.

That's sad.

But that is exactly the reality I face, a very difficult realty I'm striving to change.

So, how exactly can I change it? It starts with practice, as all things do when we want to shake up our lives. And what exactly is the practice? The practice is spelling! Yes, that's right, spelling.

Sounds easy? Not when the next step is spelling the word backwards.

I chose "Mindful" for my first word, ironically. And so on my way home I was spelling the word forwards and then "Lufdnim", which pretty much kept my attention focused on the road and on the word. It was pretty interesting, noting the results.

I did this over and again until I noticed my thoughts wandering again, upon which I would select a new word. It was fun, easy to do and helped me remember a few words I'd forgotten how to spell.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Wire Hanger Bonsai Tree

I was on my way to work this morning when Japanese culture popped into the front row of my thoughts. It was also at this time that I was thinking of Steampunk culture. Suddenly my mind shifted to the idea of bonsai trees and how amusing they are. Then it hit me.

Bonsai Tree + Steampunk = ?

I kept thinking about this as I drove and the more I think on it now the more I've come to realize what an awesome idea it would be to make a steampunk style bonsai tree. I would need some really bendable wire though, and probably the use of something to melt the wires together, but ever so slightly.

So Perhaps...

Uncoated wire hangers could do the trick...?

It would be really neat to work on this idea, I'll probably go to "Michaels" and see what I can find there to make this little vision a reality.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thankful Log: To My Followers

Tonight I want to send out a sincere "Thank You" for all that have followed and commented on my blog so far. It truly makes me happy to see people reading what I've written and I want you all to know how much I appreciate each of you.

I know this blog hasn't been open for business all that long, but it is one of my dreams to have a positive and successful blog that helps people the way some blogs out there have been helping me. Honestly, I've never really gotten to know the depths of blogging until recently. That means I didn't and still don't know how to use Blogger to the fullest of its capabilities. As I continue to learn more I hope I'll be able to find new and exciting ways to enhance my experience here for both myself and all that are following me.

I hope we all continue in sharing our experiences and continue to move forward, balancing our lives as best we can.

P.S. Don't be surprised if this becomes a monthly thing I end up doing~

Monday, February 20, 2012

Convention: Animation On Display

This glorious Monday evening I find myself gushing.

Why, you ask?

Because this weekend was Animation On Display at the Hotel Kabuki in Japan Town in the heart of San Francisco.

I try hard not to squee in sheer bliss.

For normally, you see, I am not a San Francisco person. Although the city is beautiful I find it slightly unnerving to someone who is so used to the wide open expanse of the valley. I haven't had the best moments of interaction with its city dwellers in the past and thought my mind had been made up: I didn't like San Francisco.

That was changed for the better this weekend, you see. When I was able to stay at the Hotel Tomo and go to AOD. It was for a friend's birthday that I first decided to go, because he's an architectural fiend and let's just all admit it to ourselves that San Francisco is filled with architectural eye candy. I had to stop him many times from walking straight into traffic as his eyes wandered amongst rooftops, wall decor and over balconies. Really though, it was great to see him so happy and I'm truly glad that the idea clicked into my head to go.

My personal favorite was Japan Town of course, I'm a bit of a fan of Japanese culture as so many anime and gaming fans are. This was made ten times better as anime convention goers flocked the malls dressed in astounding outfits that appealed to my inner otaku. My decision not to dress up was both good and bad. Good because I wouldn't get whatever I was wearing messed up as we toured the rest of San Francisco, bad because I felt I was lacking in exploring the convention.

The important part is that we both had a great time and remained safe throughout our escapades. I even got to meet someone from a comic I read online.

Jes from Three Panel Soul.

*Breathes in deep*

*Breathes out*

I had a really difficult time composing myself as I went by Three Panel Soul's booth, so I decided to go be giddy elsewhere and return when I wasn't about to explode from joy.

I did. And I got to meet Jes.

I was so happy I wanted to go and see her again the next day, but I got myself worked up into a nervous tizzy and didn't make it back to the booth. Getting to meet her period was a great way for me to improve my comfort zone though. Going to San Francisco was a great way to improve my comfort zone.

Ahhh... I grew alot over this weekend. I'm so glad everything went so well.

I haven't uploaded pictures yet, but expect some tomorrow or soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Running Over My Dislike Of Running

A runner's sunset. My reward tonight for a job well done.

If, on any occasion, I ever deserved a little gold star, today would be the day.

Yes, that's right.

I am absolutely and completely proud of myself, for I accomplished what I thought I could not do. Or rather, what I really really didn't want to do.

I went running. Argh!!

Now, now. I know for some out there running comes second nature. It's as easy as breathing or eating...yet for some of us we are not so lucky. I'm among the "some of us" for certain. I've dealt with asthma throughout my lifetime and have quite willingly used that as a crutch to keep myself from overexertion in the running area of my life. High school's P.E. was nearly hellish for me when it came to the mile run. The irony was that my gym teacher never did know of my asthma, I probably should have pointed that out to her at some point...

Quite honestly though, I've always been a bit sickly and that doesn't really help with my prospective dreams for the future. As such, I had decided earlier on today to try and do some running as soon as I got home. And a half hour after getting home and settling down I grabbed my Labrador Retriever and set off.

 I ran two miles.


Technically I jogged for a while, gasped for air, continued to jog, walked and enjoyed the scenery, jogged some more, did the fish out of water bit and then got my second wind.

But I did it! I didn't quit, I didn't let myself take a single shortcut!

You've got to savor the little victories, you really do.

I'm very pleased with how I've been stretching out my comfort zone lately, especially in this regard. To actually go running for the sake of running is a huge deal for me. Normally I just jump on my trampoline until I'm near dead.

And the yoga thing, too. I haven't quit on it, though I'm not doing it as often as I really should. It's a great indicator that though I'm still me and I still have my moments of slothfulness my dreams are still more important than just doing what I always do.

I want to keep achieving what I'm achieving, I want to continue growing in whatever way I can, even if it's just a little bit every day. And I hope everyone else does, too.

Let's keep going strong, everyone! Let's show the world exactly what we're capable of!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why Wake Up Early?

Why Wake Up Early?

The Blue Russian seems to say.

There really is no need, come back to bed.

Why open your weary eyes and crawl from the comforting confines of your blankets?
Why raise your head up to stare at the blackened depths of your bedroom?
If it's all the same to you, might I suggest laying back down? 

Close yourself up in your cocoon of covers.
Confide your murmured breaths with me.
I'll purr a lullaby we both will sleep to.

I know better and so I touch my lamp. Florescent light pours over the both of us and the Blue shields her eyes. My legs swing off to touch old carpet and my arms raise out to the ceiling above. Again, she beckons me.

Surely you mean this as a joke.
Can't you hear the soft pitter patter of the rain?
It's playing against the windowpane and, it too, insists that you remain.

My fingers make their way around her slender ears as I adjust to the morning chill. I take a stand and turn my little heater on high before lowering myself to the ground. Too lazed to bother with turning on the DVD I try and pull from memory the morning yoga class moves. The Blue Russian watches now, appraising my stretches with a yawn.

Wouldn't it be nicer to stretch amongst the sheets and pillows?
Wouldn't it be better to knead the bed rather than the cold floor?
The downward dog knows no pleasure like the curled cat.

I smile inwardly and finish my poses. Uncomfortable as they are, I know my body will eventually adjust. I retrieve my work clothes, backpack and turn to depart. The Blue has settled herself onto my pillow now and for just a moment lifts her head in farewell.

Oh, well, I did try.
But if your heart is so set on going then go.
I will do you the courtesy of keeping your place warm for you.

On the chance may change your mind.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Beware The Toxic Friend

 It's been a little over a year now since a very toxic person left my life.

 This acquaintance of mine had me at the pliability of putty, I was a sorry sight indeed.

 And going this long without them in my life, I have NEVER been happier.

 Each one of us, at some point in our life, has had a friend or relative, perhaps family member who hasn't been all that great for us. Though the circumstances in which we encounter them or befriend them may be different, in almost every case we later feel we could have done without.

Have you ever wondered if you have one? Please, ask yourself these questions:

When hanging out with the person in question, do you...

...start feeling down about yourself?
...find yourself inadvertently gossiping?

...notice the conversation often shifting from your problems to their own?
...feel they often take over the conversation, leaving you no time to reply or respond?

...feel yourself more obligated to hang out rather than wanting to for the fun of it?
...constantly seem to be giving to them more in the friendship than receiving?

...tell a story or something about yourself, only for them to try and one-up it?
...leave the conversation feeling drained, maybe even stressed?

If you answered yes to a few of these then odds are you may have a toxic friend on your hands. Now, don't get me wrong, not all friends who do this are toxic, they might just be a little too into the current conversation or situation, but if you notice the above occurrences happening a little too often for it to be a coincidence you may want to step back and evaluate what you've gotten yourself into.

It's great to have a friend, even better if the bond between you both is close and on good terms. We'll always be required to go through a rough bout or two in friendships, but one thing to remember is that if a friend is leaving you with a heavy heart you ought to take the time and speak to them about it, before it hurts you. It's okay to give a little more than necessary sometimes, but once a friendship becomes more of a habit than a healthy and fun experience you may need to consider distancing yourself from the individual.

Let's put ourselves first in keeping up our health to have happy and fulfilling friendships.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Will It Still Matter?

Few will disagree when I say that somewhere in our lives we'll do something that later on we'll feel was foolish or undesirable. It may be what we'd said, how we acted or what we did, but after the event has passed we'll look back and shake our heads, wondering how we could have let that slide.

I had just a moment like that yesterday and unfortunately I'm the type that has a hard time letting go of the mistakes I do.

I'll sit there afterwards and brew on what I said or did. Things like "How stupid! Why did I let that happen?!" or "I should have been more mindful, if only I'd just - insert my fixer to situation here - then things wouldn't have turned out the way they did!"

Really, if life only had a reset button.

Unfortunately though, it doesn't and we're stuck with these bitter feelings that aren't doing us any good. 

I don't remember from where exactly, but recently I came across a rather good saying involving situations like these. Obviously, it won't work with each and every situation we come across, but if we ask ourselves this simple little question, odds are, we can realize that the mistake we made isn't nearly as bad as we first believed it to be.

"Will this still matter in ten years?"

So, will it? Take a moment to consider what's been on your mind recently, and ask yourself that very question.

I'd say nine times out of ten, it won't.

How about five years?

Maybe the odds aren't as great, but they're probably still pretty good, aren't they? And in cases where the situation does matter quite a bit, will it matter just as much down the road?

We're always growing in our lives, always trying new things and meeting new people. We can't always make the best impression or cinch the deal we're working on. We won't always have the knowledge needed to make the right decision and sometimes it's downright necessary to get down in the dirt and scuff our knees.

What we need to remember is to forgive ourselves for our shortcomings, realize that's life and move on. Time spent berating ourselves when the situation is done is wasted time.

So let's put aside the self-criticism, accept what we have to live with and keep moving forward towards our dreams.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Live Life.

Life is our most precious commodity, of which we sometimes forget the value.

It is quite amusing in its twisted, quirky and whimsical sort of ways.

It will make you remember your better days.

Make you remember what you care for.

And exactly what you don't.

Heed its warning.

Live life.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pushing The Limits Of Our Comfort Zone

 "To the degree we're not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control over us than we have over ourselves." Peter McWilliams.

I dedicate my knowledge of my comfort zone to Peter McWilliams, for without his powerful words this blog and my attempt at achieving my dreams would not be. I thank you from the depths of my heart.

The comfort zone is a powerful thing.

It can charm you into staying right where you are in life, whispering sweet nothings that will keep you at a standstill. It can also strike venom into your veins, threatening what will seem to be the very fabric of your reality. The comfort zone will continue to pressure you, torment you, darken out the very pinpricks of light that you might be so diligently following.

The comfort zone is also yours to abide by...or turn a cheek to.

When I was a wee one, growing up under my parents' watchful eye I didn't give much consideration to my comfort zone. My parents were near me, which meant I was free to explore. That was that. It was only when I began to get a little too enthusiastic with my explorations that I was informed, as every child is normally warned, of the dangers of the world. Each parent has their own way of explaining these things.

Mine made sure I understood.

That was the beginning of my subconscious acknowledgement of the comfort zone. When I was little it was important to have that imbedded into me, so that I knew when my comfort zone felt threatened I knew to turn back, to stay away from someone or to not eat what I found on the ground.

However, as I got older I didn't shake off the over-exaggerating shackles of childhood and the restricted thinking. I kept my comfort zone as small as possible, I didn't try stretching it out to try new things that became available in my life. My comfort zone was filled with doubt, insecurities, questionable variables that I just didn't want to confront. Inevitably, it meant that if I didn't do something about them I would never get past them.

Fortunately I met new friends and had, albeit a bit frustratedly, my parents' support and I began to grow. I realized that the world really doesn't topple down when you threaten the old boundaries of your life with something new.

And believe me, this can range from such little things as picking something new out for lunch to bungee jumping off the bridge. The comfort zone of an individual is different things for different people.

It can be deciding whether or not to get your bum off the couch and work out. It can take the form of a bad friend pulling you into an equally bad habit, just because that's the norm. It can show up as the mundane chores you put off for the pleasurable extra hours of sleep on a Saturday morning. It can even be the fear of getting to a college course late and having everyone stare at you while you skulk inside, causing you to obey your comfort zone and sulk outside the door in indecisiveness. I know that last one pretty well.

But what is a life worth living when all you're letting stand in your way is yourself? Your comfort zone?

I've been asking myself that very question for years.

I've decided to try something new.

So let's all stretch the limits of our comfort zone day by day. Not in a harmful, life-altering, one-single-event sort of stretch. Let's just take it slow and continue on realizing how much we have control of both ourselves and our lives.

So what have you done to push your limits, readers? Do tell!

If you have a chance, please stop by the website Peter's Page. It is dedicated to the gentleman, Peter McWilliams, whose self-help book "Do It! Let's Get Off Our Buts" inspired me in my times of uncertainty and hardship. Much thanks to "The Curator of the Peter McWilliams Online Museum" for creating such a splendid website.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Importance Of My Own Proactivity

Yesterday was an important day for me.

It marked the very first time I chose my dreams over short term gratification knowingly and willingly.

I was lounging around the house after a day of work, wondering what to do, when I got out the onion dip and ruffled chips. As I was going to eat I decided that it was also a great time to play one of my video games, the big fan of Xbox 360 that I am. So I sat there on my behind for a half hour or so, getting increasingly frustrated at an area of the map I couldn't quite circumvent. 

Then it hit me.

I created a blog about following my dreams, striving to surpass my comfort zone...

And what was I doing? The same thing I did almost every other day!

I realized that without school to force me into using my brain and body I was simply doing what came naturally to me, gaming. And although it would be a pretty nice ambition to become a pro gamer, I knew that wasn't exactly what I had in mind when following all my other dreams.

I narrowed my brow, shot off from the couch and stormed to my front door. Filling my lungs with cool, winter air I let out a triumphant bellow that shook the nearby trees and chucked that bag of ruffly-potato goodness into the sky, followed promptly by that delicious and creamy onion dip. As they fell I watched them drop into a heap on the icy dirt below and banished their likeness to the moon forevermore!!

No. Not really.

I hopped up from the comforting confines of the couch, placed the onion dip and chips back in the respectful shelf spaces and turned off the Xbox. Then I stood there for a minute, wondering what in the world I was to do next.

It came to me after a minute of looking around, something that would both fulfill my temporary need for entertainment and technology, but also assist me in achieving my goals!

 The Spanish learning software I had purchased last year! Bueno! Perfecto! Yo tengo un gato!

So I rushed to the nearest computer, installed this lovely software and began my hour long study session. It was great to see I hadn't lost all the vocabulary I'd learned in high school and with this I'd be primed to take a class the next semester of college.

To top it off, after the session I was tired and a bit grumpy and yet I still convinced myself to work on a Yoga session, got a bit further than I'd gone before if I might add.

In the end, I am reminded of how important it is to get the ball rolling when it comes to your dreams and ambitions. You can put them in the back seat of your life all you want, in fact most people in your life will help you with that, but it is up to you to make them happen.

Strive to commit to what you want.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yoga You Go!

I'll be the first to admit that Yoga appeared intimidating to me.

I've never done it in my life, not once. So when purchasing items for work and spying this freebie I snatched it up just as fast as I could. After all, I'm trying to get my body in top shape in order to better pursue my dreams.

I'm on my third day with this DVD. It is epic.

Although I can now tell how horrifyingly out of shape I am at the same time I'm beginning to feel better about my body. The exercises are simple thus far, but definitely test my endurance. I'll be honest, there are only two classes and an introduction area to the DVD. I'm still on class one because I only have time to work out for about fifteen minutes right now, but I really am enjoying the experience and I hope to continue it both in the morning and before bed.

If anyone else is interested in trying it you can find it here to purchase at Office Depot.

And now here are some fun links about Yoga on the website Care2

- Back Function Can Be Improved By Yoga

- Six Ways Yoga Supports Weight Loss

- Avoiding The Dangers Of Yoga

Monday, January 23, 2012

What's Your Lucky Cat?

I love positivity, I thrive in it as I'm sure the rest of humanity consciously or unconsciously does. So it's no wonder that New Years is my favorite holiday. I enjoy imagining all the people in the world, gathering together with friends and family, making promises and new ambitions for the upcoming year. It's thrilling to think that for at least those few days around that time you're joining many others filled with high hopes and - you guessed it- positivity. It doesn't matter who's bound to lose out on their resolutions or who keeps them, it's all about the moment where you look into the future and see opportunity!

Brrr...Just gives me goosebumps thinking about it! Positive ones, of course.

Getting back on topic though, I love positivity and that's exactly why I adore New Years. So it's no wonder that I went all out in my own, quirky sort of way. That meant going down to the local Japanese goods store a few cities away and having at their stock.

And I got myself a Lucky Cat. Two, to be exact.

One of them is about the size of my actual housecat, which I lovingly deemed "Muta" (Which anime fans may know is from "The Cat Returns") and the other, as seen above, can comfortably sit in the palm of my hand.

I've yet to name the little one, but once I saw it I knew right away it'd be my way of getting through the day at work. And there it sits, right between my computer and work phone, continuously beckoning me to run my finger between its ears and plunk my spare change into the slot behind them.

Having a Lucky Cat really does help me through the day, too. It's something that's personally mine in the office, something that wouldn't be there without my intention of bringing it in. Whenever I'm having a hard time I take a moment and run my finger over it's little medallion collar and between its ears. It's a soothing little ceramic statue and also a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

I advise anyone who has the chance to fill their office space with something that's from home or purchased specifically for the object's aesthetic value. It's more beneficial than we sometimes realize.

So...what's your lucky cat?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What Are My Dreams, Anyway?

So, what exactly are my dreams?

Some are big and some are small. A few only need me to take on a new attitude while others will require a bit of hard work. The rest? They'll take my entire lifetime to achieve.

I know I won't manage to make each and every one come true. And yet that's the very beauty of dreams, how they are mine and mine alone to breathe life into. It is within my power to achieve them or release them, I'm the one responsible for making them wither or raise up within my life, in the most glorious way they can.

So, yet again, what exactly are my dreams?

Short Term Goals  

Goals that, if I maintain constantly, will give me quick results
  • Have A Manicured Yard
  • Have a Consistently Clean House
  • Maintain A Self-Discovery Blog
  • Maintain A Fit And Healthy Body
  • Save Money To Visit Nearby Conventions
  • Seek Out Adventures, Both Big And Small, In My Everyday Life
  • Practice The Beginnings of The Minimalist or Voluntary Simplicity Lifestyle

Long Term Goals

Goals that, if I maintain constantly, will eventually give me results
  • Compete In Ninja Warrior
  • Voice Act Successfully In An Anime
  • Compete In Anime Expo's "Ax Idol"
  • Raise My Self Confidence Extrodinarily
  • Write A Successful Fiction Novel
  • Write A Successful Self-Help Book
  • Acquire A Masters Degree In Psychology
  • Voice Act In A Fable Video Game
  • Figure Out The Career Of My Dreams 
  • Speak French Fluently
  • Speak Spanish Fluently
  • Speak Japanese Fluently
  • Speak Chinese Fluently

Lifetime Goals

Goals that I will never truly finish, as there is no end to them
  • Obtain Inner Peace
  • Attain Self-Actualization
  • Become Proficient In Tai Chi Chuan
  • Become Well Rounded In Self Defense

Merriam-Webster describes a dream as: "a strongly desired goal or purpose". 

The next step? To find the courage to leave my comfort zone and seek out the ways to achieve each and every one.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Have Achieved My Dreams

I have achieved my dreams.

I stand before myself in the mirror and breathe in deep. I close my eyes and let the weight of time hold on my shoulders, all that I have committed to I have completed. I have lived an enduring life, one of which I can freely say I have little regret in.

I let these thoughts sink in and smile, not just from the outside of my body, but within.

I have achieved my dreams.


I have no doubt in my mind that it will be quite some time before I can stand before myself and make such a boast, but this blog is one of the first steps among many I have begun to make to make this into a reality.

This is what The Balancing Owl is all about. My attempts to achieve each and every dream I set out for, whether I make it or not. That, and the journey to making them happen. I'm excited to be here and I plan to chronicle my growth as best possible.

Here goes!