Think.

I’m sure that most of you have heard the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”

Well, most of the time, we do. Actually, it could be safe to say that some of us always do. It’s human nature though. Sometimes, we just can’t help it.

For example, you fall in love with an apartment that you end up buying, but later find out that it has plumbing issues, the floorboards are crooked, and the bathroom has mold. You probably should have looked into this before signing the paperwork, but you were so blinded by your obsession with the great location, the floor plan layout, and the fact that the building has an elevator with a doorman. It’s hard to think about the negatives when all you see are the positives.

Now, I’m not encouraging anyone to be pessimistic, but I’m starting to think that maybe we should be a little more careful with the decisions that we make in our lives as we get older.

It’s much easier when you were a kid. You had the freedom to make silly decisions because silly decisions were all you had. The consequences weren’t as dire because your parents were usually the ruling hand (aside from teachers) The worst thing that could happen to you is your parents take away your toys and you’re left to sulk in silence. How terrible, right?

As we get older, the consequences that we receive come from all types of outside factors that could change the course of our lives forever.

I recently read a Medium article that my sister shared with me called, “I have 46 Thanksgiving dinners left with my family. After that, I’ll be Dead” It really dawned on me about how little time we have left on this earth. It suggested that we really start appreciating the people in our lives and the time we spend with our family, to stop worrying about the bullshit, and to be present in the memories that we are making.

As we get older, the more important decisions could come down to, “Should I switch job industries?” or “Should I fly out to spend Thanksgiving with my family or just stay here with my friends?”

These are the decisions that could change our lives forever. But I warn you, take a few minutes to step back and really think about what you’re doing because some decisions can’t be made undone.

What if the reason you were changing job industries was because there was another realm of business that “seemed” like it was doing better. Or what if you chose to spend your Thanksgiving with your friends because it would have been too much of a hassle to go home during a holiday?

At the moment, it seems like a minuscule decision, but these are the decisions that could breed the largest consequences.

What if you did change job industries and that business tanked? What if you missed Thanksgiving with your family and that was the last time you could have seen one of your relatives because he or she passed a few weeks later?

Sometimes, certain choices seem more appealing at the time, but as you get older, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You can’t make split second decisions the way that you used to because you don’t have the same time as you did when you were 17. You never know what could happen. Some people come into your life and you want to put all of your cards down on the table for them, but in the end, you wind up alone because they never wanted the same things that you did. You have to look at the signs. You have to read through all the pages. You have to make the decisions that will be better for you in the long run.

I’m not discouraging anyone from taking risks or fulfilling their dreams. That’s not what I’m writing about at all. I’m just encouraging you to think.

It’s true that we become more afraid as we grow older. When we were kids, we would run as fast as we could without the fear of falling or getting hurt. Now, we’re so much more cautious with our hearts. But we must protect our hearts as we get older. That’s why we need to make more conscious decisions with the less and less time we have left on this earth.

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Sure Things

It’s strange how distorted memories become when you look back at them. In that exact moment, you may have been so sure of yourself. Everything seemed just right. Then, when you reminisce, those moments seem so hazy and you can’t separate what was good from what was bad.

They say, “there’s no such thing as a sure thing”, so how do you ever really know what’s right or what’s meant to be?

If sayings like these are so accurate, such as “anything is possible” or “anything can happen”, then how can someone ever put all of their faith into something or someone?

It’s hard not to become jaded lately now that we live in a time where people are constantly re-locating, changing jobs, and refusing to settle down.

It’s common now for people to put off the serious stuff. Instead, we just want to stay young and be free. It’s becoming harder and harder to find people who want the same things.

So, how do we keep up with anyone these days?

We meet hundreds of people who come in and out of our lives. All of them somehow contribute to our experiences and growth. We pick and choose which ones we want to hold onto and which ones we should let go.

Often, we try to hold on as long as we can. We don’t want to let go of the feeling, the connection. Then all of a sudden, when it’s gone, we don’t know whether to go back or move forward.

Because nowadays, it is much harder to really connect with someone the way people used to.

It’s rare.

I used to think that I had a pretty clear vision of where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be. It was easier when you were young; to think that things won’t ever change. You envision that you’ll end up with a certain person or live your life a certain way. But it’s never that easy.

It makes me wonder if I ever really knew what I was doing.

Results

I’ve always taken pride in my ability to get things done quickly, but with efficiency. I always anticipate results to manifest as soon as possible. Call me a control freak, but I have to admit that I try to do everything in my power to make sure that the results that I want to happen will happen. Unfortunately, I never take into account the fact that things don’t always go the way you expect them to. You can’t control certain situations.

It’s actually counter-productive to be “too hands on”. I convince myself that constantly holding hands every step of the way actually drives me further away from the results that I want. I guess this is why I’m so consumed in running and training for races. I’m in complete control of how far and long I run. I can plan every week with how much I want to get done and if I fall short, then I have no one to blame myself.

Yet, even in running, you still can never predict what your results will be. Even after all of the hours, days, weeks, and months of training that I put into a race, things can still go wrong along the way. I don’t know why I can’t accept this truth when it comes to life.

After the countless number of races that I’ve ran ever since I first started running, I’ve come to understand that things happen outside of my control. Over the years, I’ve let go of beating myself up if I don’t get the time that I want. I used to be really hard on myself in cross country and track when I was in high school. Thankfully, I’ve matured since then. I just wish I could grasp this level of maturity for the rest of my life already. I can simply apply this understanding to relationships, work, etc…but I don’t. And I don’t know why.

I look back on every relationship I’ve ever been in and I’ve tried to control every single one of them. And where has this brought me? Nowhere.

I continue to drive people away with my continuous anxiety, impatience, and over-eagerness. I don’t know how to remove myself from the situation and just let things fall together (or apart) as they should.

It’s so easy for me to write about this, but applying my understandings to the other areas of my life seems like an impossible task.

It’s ironic that what I really need to do to progress is just slow down, not speed up. Results will always come in time.

When all is said and done…

When I checked my WordPress blog “Stats” this morning, I received a notification in the form of a little, orange trophy on the upper right-hand side of my page. To my surprise, I discovered that yesterday was my one-year anniversary of having registered for a WordPress acount.

If you haven’t already noticed, I feel very strongly that one-year anniversaries of certain events are very sentimental. It’s a milestone. Of course, not everything in life needs a one-year celebration. I’m talking about the bigger stuff. The things that have really affected you and continues to affect you.

On a micro-level scale, I’m still always in awe of how much can happen in a month, a week, even a day. Things in life change so often that you can never predict where you will be at any given moment. And this is why I’m recognizing this one-year anniversary of having my blog as quite an accomplishment. For an entire year, I have this collection of events that I’ve recorded and can reflect on through my own words. For an entire year, I’ve committed to up-keeping something that I created myself. Not to sound lame, but this is very exciting to me. I mean, I’m not throwing a party for it, but I am shedding light on this the same way that I’ve shed light on anything else that I felt was compelling to me; by writing it in this blog.

When I look back on past entries that I’ve written, it brings me back to remembering how I felt at a specific moment; it’s an interesting feeling. I’ve always felt that reflection is extremely important. It’s important to remember our lives. If we don’t, then what do we have to show for?

I was on StumbleUpon earlier today (a website/app that populates your categories of interest and brings you to random websites that are relevant) I landed on a website that had a list of “50 questions that you should always ask yourself” One of them, which really hit home for me, was this:

“When all is said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?”

I’ve mentioned before that I’m the kind of person that holds true to anything I tell to anyone, including myself (especially myself). Because honestly, what do our words mean if we don’t take action on them?

This is why I’m recognizing this milestone of my blog’s one-year anniversary. Today I asked myself, “When all is said and done, will I have said more than I’ve done?”

I’m hoping my answer is yes because life is too short to think about the ‘what ifs”. I want to look back and see that I’ve done the things that I told myself I would do.

I’m glad that I have this blog to remind me of the things that I told myself this past year. It helps me remember…

All or Nothing

I had all of my wisdom teeth removed yesterday. Not exactly a life-changing moment or milestone, but whenever something out of the ordinary happens, I tend to get uber-philosophical and try to find some sort of meaning in that particular experience.

Now, I’m not going to create some kind of ironic metaphor for how having my wisdom teeth removed is a rite of passage or how it marks my official “adulthood” because it’s not and it doesn’t. I am, however, going to write about something else (which honestly could have been attached to any other experience) The timing for this just happened to be right, and in all honestly, I’m just alone and bored at the moment.

Lately, I’ve been especially bored with my life. The month of January has been rather dull and un-eventful. They say that’s how it usually goes though. After the holidays, everyone is just in recovery mode and the New Year starts off pretty slow. It’s funny how life works like that. Two months ago, I had way too much going on. I was completely over-whelmed and in desperate need of a break. Yet, now that I have this quiet time, I’m begging for something interesting to happen.

My roommate texted me a quote a few weeks ago. The quote went something like this; “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once”

It seems that these words are finally sinking in for me.

Some people live off of chaos. I’m that kind of person. I’m not talking about destructive, evil chaos. I just mean that I like the rush of when there is a lot happening all at once. It gives me something to write about.

Whenever I know that I have a busy weekend, week, or month coming up, I can’t help but countdown the days until it happens. I try to hide it, but I’m not very good at concealing my emotions. So, ever since I scheduled my appointment to have my wisdom teeth removed, it was all I could think about because I really had nothing else to look forward to. I had mentioned in my previous blog entry that I was a good planner. Well, it’s because I like seeing how things will pan out. I enjoy witnessing the fruits of my labor.

I always complain about how I’m such a stressed person. I guess I really shouldn’t complain because in some sort of weird, masochistic way, I like the stress in my life. I thrive off of everything happening all at once because honestly, whenever nothing is happening, I get anxious and am begging for some sort of dramatic situation.

I know that it’s only the start of 2014 and I’m sure things are going to pick up soon, but I just can’t wait until the next chaotic period to come. As they say, it’s all or nothing.

The Future

If there’s one thing that I can never stop worrying about, it’s the future. I think it’s safe to assume that I’m not alone in that.

I envy those people who have mastered the art of “rolling with the punches”. I haven’t quite gotten there yet.

I guess it’s fitting that I was promoted to a job in which the main responsibility revolved around planning. And it’s no surprise that I’m pretty damn good at what I do.

My entire life, I’ve chosen every path, made every decision, committed to every action in order to reach a certain goal; yield a particular outcome. The buildings blocks to the foundation of my entire life were created specifically so that I could get to where I wanted to be.

Unfortunately, your 20’s take that foundation, flip it around, and place you on a roller coaster ride that makes you question everything.

People are considered adults once we’ve hit our 20’s (Young adults, that is). Well, it’s a scary thought once you’ve reached that point. We start to question if we’ve made the best of our youth thus far and begin to examine all of the things that we haven’t done yet. Those who are brave enough, tend to act on it.

As I’m continuously going through these new experiences, I’m finding out that life doesn’t adhere to your plans, nor does it care to follow your rules. Things just happen. I’d like to say that some things happen for no reason, but I’d have to disagree with myself and admit that things really do happen for a reason. That reason is to simply gain experience and knowledge and show yourself that things don’t always work out the way you had hoped. And that’s not a bad thing.

I connected with an old friend from back home who happened to be in New York City the other day. She had just gotten out of an interview for a company that she really wanted to work for, but they’re only offering her an Intern position. She expressed her emotions to me and I could feel her frustration of not understanding why her big break wasn’t happening yet. I told her that I’ve been there; that it’s hard and it’s a struggle, but in time her big break will come.

I may be repeating myself frequently when I write about time and patience, but it’s only because this is the core of my confusion and hardship at this period of my life.

I continued to comfort my friend and explain to her that life tests us with these trials when we’re most vulnerable and scared and lonely. Eventually, it will get better. I told her what I constantly tell myself; that finding the right job is just like finding anything else in life. It’s all about the right fit, and timing of course. Whether you may be looking for an apartment, boyfriend/girlfriend, job, pet, city, hairstyle, pair of shoes, or what have you, it’s all about finding the right fit and have the timing be right.

Even if we’ve been thrown into a situation where we feel like we’re not ready, trust me when I say this: You are ready.

From what I’ve learned thus far, at this young age of 23, it’s that things happen when you are ready.

I don’t know why I continue to stress over the future. I don’t know why I haven’t learned yet, even after documenting all various major life moments in this blog. I don’t know why I still have a hard time trusting that things will come together and things will work out and will get better.

We have no way of ever knowing what life has in store for us. We can’t predict the future. We can only deal with the present. We may have an idea of where we are going, but we’ll never know for sure. That’s the beauty of life.

The future…

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

If there’s one aspect of my personality that you can take away from reading everything I’ve written in this blog, it’s this:

I am an impatient person.

I’ve never been the type to sit around and wait for things to happen. My entire life, I’ve firmly rooted myself in the mentality that if you want things to happen, you have to go out and make it happen. Having this mentality has brought me success in several areas of my life; School, work, running.

The one area that constantly contradicts this mentality is relationships. Specifically, romantic relationships.

Before I left for New York City, a very close friend of mine bought me a mug that had the words “Live with passion” on it. It sits on my desk at work and I look at it almost every day and absorb this phrase into my mind.

I believe that anything you do in life should be done with deep passion, whether it be your part-time job or your favorite hobby. Otherwise, what kind of results can you expect if you don’t put deep passion into anything you do? There’s a reason why fast food doesn’t taste as good as fine dining.

Getting back to the point that I was trying to make…Romantic relationships have always been something that I really care about. I’m obsessed with the idea of giving your whole heart to someone and giving them all the love that you can offer.

Someone once said to me, “You seem like the kind of person who follows through with exactly what you say you’re going to do”

This is true.

I will never give my word to myself, or to anyone else for that matter, unless I really mean it. And for this reason, I expect other people to do the same. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works. And that’s most certainly not how everyone else thinks.

Since I’ve been single in New York City, my ongoing goal has been to find “the one”. Well, I haven’t been the least bit successful in finding that person. And the reason for this is because I don’t even care who “the one” actually is. I’m more involved in the idea of giving my heart to anyone who will take it. I’m impatient.

I don’t actually care who this person is. I just want to be able to dedicate my time to someone and smother them with my whole heart.

Yes, that might sound psychotic, but I can’t grasp the concept of sitting around and waiting for “the one” to walk into my life. I’ve carried my go-getter mentality with me in terms of finding a boyfriend, or a relationship, or just someone to spend my time with.

Well, I’ve learned that this approach yields a 0% success rate.

I’m familiar with the saying, “Good things come to those who wait”. Well that’s never worked for me in terms of school, work, or running, so naturally, I assume it’s an unsuccessful tactic. I’m used to putting in the time and effort and seeing results from the hard work that I’ve put in.

Apparently, that doesn’t apply to finding the right person for you.

I don’t know how to do this whole sitting, waiting, wishing thing.

I know it shouldn’t even be like that though. I should be focusing on myself, living my life, and eventually the right person will come my way. It’s just a matter of when.

Similar to finding the right job, the right apartment or house, the right workout regimen, or anything in life, it has to be the right time and the right fit. This holds true for everything.

One factor that I’ve overlooked in regards to the success I’ve had with school, work, and running is that I’ve had success because these things happened to be the right fit. Life kind of just let it happen. Of course, I still put in the time and effort, but everything happened with the right timing.

I guess all I can do is just let the chips fall where they may and trust that “the one” will find me in good timing. And then, and only then, will it be worth it.

When to Call it Quits

As a public confession, I have to admit that I haven’t been a very good friend lately. To my friends who are actually reading this, I’d like to say I’m sorry.

It’s understandable that as we get older, our priorities change. As we acquire more responsibilities, we lack the down time to see or even speak to our friends as frequently as we did when we were in school. We become busy and too involved in our own lives.

Throughout the many changes that I’ve been adjusting to in the past few weeks, months, and even year, I’ve been putting my friends on the back burner. I’ve been rescheduling on set plans or even completely dodging them. And it’s because I’ve been focusing all of my attention on performing well in my job, adjusting to a new living situation, and avoiding a mental breakdown.

The question I ask myself though, is at what point do we give up on making an effort to keep our friends in our lives? Is it when we start our career? Or get into a relationship? Move away? Get married? Have a family?

And how much time will pass until our friends stop responding to our efforts?

I guess it depends on the person.

As I’ve gone through these waves of change, I’ve done a fantastic job of shutting my friends out of my life. I can only blame myself for not reaching out to them when I was having a hard time. I tried to be strong and deal with it on my own. Because it was too frustrating for me to explain what’s been going on when all I really wanted was for them to be by my side to get through it all.

Like any relationship, friendship involves reciprocity. It only works when both sides are making conscious efforts. And like any relationship, friendships can involve break-ups.

It’s natural that people grow apart, but when do you call it quits? As sad as it is, not all relationships or friendships have a happy ending.

I guess all we can do is try our best to hold on until someone gives up.

To my friends who have already given up on me, I do miss you and I’m still thinking of you…

23

Lately, life has been moving too fast for me to be able to sit down, collect my thoughts, and put them out in the world. I’ve been holding everything in, which has been quite noticeable through the lack of writing I’ve been doing on this blog. It seems that time goes by much faster when you’re not watching it. From my last entry up until present day, I’ve gone through enough changes for it to feel like it’s been a whole year. Now that I’m looking back, the vast collection of changes that have happened to me since I’ve moved to New York actually does add up to a whole year. Yesterday, I acknowledged the fact that I moved into this city exactly one year ago on December 1st, 2012.

A whole year of my life has been devoted to this city; experiencing it, learning from it, growing from it. This past month alone, I’ve transitioned from the very first job that I obtained as a college graduate to a new job in which I was recently promoted to in November. Within the same week of adjusting to this new role, I also found out that my roommates decided to not re-sign the lease on our apartment (my very first New York City apartment). This is a lot to digest in just one week.

In the span of one month, I’ve managed to transition into a new job, move out of my first New York City apartment, and move into a new apartment. The phrase that I’ve been using lately is, “When it rains, it pours” and I’ve found this to be completely true.

The entire month of November, it has been pouring and I just wish I was more prepared, but I guess there’s only so much you can do but roll with the punches. Life throws these things at you and that’s the beauty of it. You can never predict what’s coming next.

Most of my close friends have seen me through this time of transformation. On the outside, it may have appeared that I was keeping it together, but on the inside, everything was falling apart. Piece by piece, I’ve been shedding a lot of layers in terms of finding out how much I can handle before I completely break. I’d say that I was pretty close to breaking this month.

But I didn’t.

On a more positive note, I believe these changes were necessary. Change is always necessary. Chuck Palahniuk had a quote in a book that I read a few months ago called, “Invisible Monsters”. The quote went like this:

“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open”

Well, I’ve been trying to find true happiness for quite some time since I’ve moved into New York City and I like to think that I’m getting a little closer with every obstacle that life has thrown at me.

I never imagined to be where I am today, at this young age of 23. I really had no idea what to expect. From observing my friends’ personal experiences at this age, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. A lot of the songs that were written about the age of 23 aren’t the most up-lifting, but I couldn’t understand why. Now that I’m here, I get it.

This is an uncomfortable age. They say that people in their 20’s have a hard time dealing with this period of “quarter-life crises” This is when the big changes happen; it’s the most confusing, lost, and vulnerable time of your life.

It’s exciting in a way, though; the unknown. I suppose this is also why your 20’s are also regarded as the best time of your life. Our lives are still in the making. We haven’t settled yet. There are still more surprises.

In the short amount of time that I’ve been in my 20’s, I can tell that I still have many more changes coming my way.

23. I’m ready for you.