Break Time is Over…

It has been a few months since my last entry. Tonight’s post will be contrived. You see, five or six days ago, I created a list of good habits that I should be doing each day. I am almost 27 and I have never been consistent with any good habits that I should be doing. An app on my phone, of all things, seems to be doing the trick so far. I am relying on my phone – an obsolete Note 5 – to be my personal assistant. It will be a life-changer. Something I feel I am in dire need of.

I currently have 14 items on my list. It is 11 PM and I have checked off 13. The last item? To write for at least 15 minutes. So here I am. La la la la. Forcing myself; trying to get that last item checked off.

As I tweeted last week, I am considering quitting Yelp before ever reaching “elite” status. Now that I think of it, I would rather spend my time doing more important things, such as diving into my meal instead of taking stupid pictures of my food; or checking off the stuff on my habits list, rather than writing lengthy reviews about the texture of food. This decision was made after Yelp deemed one of my reviews – a review I put my soul into (unlike those three-sentence reviews), a review with some votes already – to be “not recommended”. Supposedly, an automatic system sifts through reviews, looking for spam, and it deemed mine as such. It reminded me of my current job: putting in the effort only to be ignored or fall short.

Speaking of my current job: I have peaked, maybe a while back. I have established friendly relationships with everyone, and I have proved myself to them. And I HATE it. I am good at what I do and I am depended on heavily… and it is taxing. Which leads me to make mistakes. I am good at what I do, and one bad day ruins it all. People will remember the one bad thing that happens.

I am a Certified Trainer at a restaurant, and I have not been training. And when I do, it is people who do not want to be trained. I have not been building the right experience, even though I am considering becoming a Health Inspector for the City of New York.

I was supposed to find another job after receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in English and Psychology. I told everyone that I would be leaving in May. It is September now. I felt like I needed a break during the summer before venturing off into the sunset. Now, it is the middle of the night, and I am starting to get lost. This feeling of dread in my stomach was not here last week.

But I know this feeling. It is a familiar feeling that is slowly building. It was there when I did nothing for a year and a half. It motivated me to go back to school. It was there when I did not have a job. It is my great motivator. Eventually, it will reach a point where I do the best I can to run away; to make a change. A point where I will be fed up with whatever “break” I wanted. This break probably stemmed from boredom, or comfort, or laziness, or a reluctance to move on, or a lack of confidence, or fear.

But break time is over. I should be in a different place a year from now.

Check.

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15 July 2017: What’s been going on inside my head nowadays?

It’s 8:34 PM on a Saturday, and I’m sitting on my 70 inch sofa that’s situated at the center of my tiny studio. This piece of furniture is nearly two-weeks-old and it’s already covered in cat hair; of which belong to my baby, Haley, who finally returned home last Tuesday after a week-long “adventure”, having been lost on the 4th of July.

I haven’t been writing much. What else can I say? Do I have nothing else to say? What ever happened to my need to express. It was the only thing going for me.

I haven’t done a lot this summer except work (as a Certified Trainer in a restaurant), go to the gym, gain some more weight, and hang out with two people who have become the first friends I’ve had since… the 7th grade. That was when I met my step…  –

He’s dead to me!

Light brown tiles beneath me. Green walls around me. My studio is just about complete, except for a piece of molding that has to be installed, some second coating of paint in some spots, and missing furniture that are to hold many of the clutter that scatter around the room.

Cleaned my acoustic guitar just now. The metallic buzz that had turned me off from playing nowadays has diminished a bit, enough for me to return to practice melodies that are waiting for the right words to follow.

I need another job. I haven’t been proactive in my search, but my idleness won’t last forever. I’m just relaxing a bit. Maybe, I’m waiting for that recommendation letter to arrive in August. Maybe, I’m trying to build some more confidence. By writing stories to show off. By going to the gym. By finishing my studio, so that I can have something to come home to. Or maybe, I’m waiting for new horizons in my current job. There’s always interning in Ohio. Or Missouri. That, or I’m too attached to these people.

I’ve been reading the news a lot. The latest one had something to do with an 18-year-old man murdering an 11-year-old girl. I’ve been reading so much news that I’m starting to see the difference between a well-written report, with references and quotations, and a waste-of-time article that asks hypothetical questions, littered with “maybes” and “who knows”.

A doorbell rings upstairs. I think love is finally home. I was beginning to worry. It’s 8:53 PM.

10 May 2017: It is 12:05 AM…

It’s 12:05 AM on an early Wednesday morning and I’m lying down on the living room sofa with Seinfeld playing on the 60″ television in front of me. Moments before, I witnessed Manu Ginobili and the Spurs beat James Harden and the Rockets in OT in what was an exciting game to get a 3-2 series lead in the second round. My girlfriend is asleep on an adjacent sofa which could’ve held my entire body comfortably. Damn her! My feet rest over the soft armchair as the whole length of my body is too long for this piece of furniture. I’m not going to have a good night sleep perhaps as I’m unable to straighten out my legs, but it’s temporary as I continue to renovate my living space which is turning out to be… nice. Better than before. Because before, the walls were covered in this hideous popcorn paint that made the room appear smaller, and the laminate flooring had gaps in between as the previous installer (my father who doesn’t have attention to detail) failed to properly install them. And under the laminate floor was an entire sheet of this dirty and dusty foam that was rough and multi-colored, as if it were originally part of some cheap piece of furniture that was just thrown in under in a poor attempt to level out an extremely uneven concrete subfloor. And the mold! For nearly six months, I had been living on top of mold! Am I going to die?

It’s almost over, but man, all the physical work I’ve been doing in the past two and a half months has been too much. I learned a lot, mostly about fixing an uneven concrete subfloor. I learned the hard way though. The people in Home Depot led us to waste hundreds of dollars and days of work when I could’ve used a self-leveling compound! A self-leveling compound!

“Trust the professionals at the Home Depot!” My fat rear.

Instead, we were directed to use at least half a dozen bags of Portland cement, each weighing nearly 100 lbs, and bags of sand and gravel. My buddy and I then spent a week applying it all over a 20′ by 12′ concrete subfloor. Then, I had to borrow a tiny angle grinder from a neighbor to level it all out. What a waste of time and energy! And I was intensely sick with a fever doing all this hard work! Was it the mold?!

If there is going to be a next time, I will know about self-leveling compound. I’ll have the money to afford renting a 150 lb floor grinder if I need it. Or I could just hire a real contractor because my buddy isn’t a real one. And, like my father but not as much, he lacks meticulousness! The help he has provided, however, has been invaluable and much appreciated.

I did this all for my girlfriend, by the way. You’re welcome.

23 February 2017: “I Have an Anal Fissure!”

raw

“I have hemorrhoids!”

Thank you to the hilarious Michael Scott of The Office, played by Steve Carell, for speaking out about his rather embarrassing affliction. (Although, he yelled it out in the middle of the woods where nobody can hear him.)

Upon further research, I’ve concluded that I’ve been experiencing an anal fissure. What am I? A doctor? No. How do I know this? During defecation, there’s sharp pain, and stinging afterwards, sometimes for the rest of the day. And there’s fresh blood in my stool, something that has been a childhood fear of mine, but something I’ve gotten used to with exposure.

This is a little embarrassing to talk about, but I’ve realized, after talking with colleagues and family, that it’s common. “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who need it.” So I hope this will help others out there because I honestly thought I was going to die. There was so much malaise. A colleague said to be careful because it could become something else, like cancer. It’s a pessimistic outlook, but she’s a cancer survivor.

Pain from my anal fissure had been occurring since January 9th, the day I left for the Philippines. It occurred before that day even, but since that particular day, it hadn’t really stopped. It subsided overseas for a little while, when I had traveler’s diarrhea, but it recurred when my stool returned to normal. Even when the stool was soft, there was pain and bleeding. The last few days in the Philippines were torture and I was frightened to go to the toilet in the airport at Taipei during a 13-hour stopover because there was still stinging from the last defecation.

I kept holding off defecation because I wanted time to heal, but this was the wrong idea. When you have to go, you have to do so right away because the stool will harden when it stays too long in the rectum.

After talking with others and doing my own research online, I’ve discovered other remedies that helped. They are no-brainers.

I used to watch constipation commercials on television and snide about how people need to take pills for constipation, when, in my mind, all you have to do is drink water. (My view has since changed after my father went on dialysis and now sometimes requires pills to pass stool.) But water has been a key to (hopefully) curing my anal fissure. I don’t just drink the recommended eight glasses a day. I drink ten just to be sure. But what goes hand in hand, the most important key to my improvement, has been fiber. It has helped things move along smoothly. I bought Benefiber and drink 10 grams of fiber in the evening because my usual time to go to the toilet is in the morning. You get fiber from fruits and vegetables as well.

I researched posture while sitting on the toilet and found a Youtube video that helped. I used to perform the squat position, but squatting on the toilet made it hard to relax since it’s physically demanding. The first time I sat on the toilet with legs spread wide, torso hunched forward, and myself humming deeply, the first time I defecated pain-free for the first time in a month. Thank God. No more planning to go see a doctor.

My manager gave me additional advice so it’s best to open up because there might be some good advice to be heard. She drinks warm water (not hot, not cold) in the morning with her coffee. From my understanding, the warm water in the morning provides a boost for the digestive system and the coffee serves as a laxative. She also convinced me to change. You have to make changes in your life to get better.

What else? I said you have to go right away when you feel like it to prevent stool from hardening in the rectum, to drink water, to get enough fiber, and to find a posture on the toilet to help things open up and pass smoothly. So what else?

Consistency. If I miss one day without enough water, the pain and blood returns. No fiber leads to constipation. The pain and blood returns. Not relaxing while defecation? Pain. Blood. Returns. Ouch.

What else? I was just talking about what has worked for me, but I read exercise helps. There’s also going to a doctor. But I’m 26. I hope I don’t have to go to a doctor for this. At least not for a while. Not until I’m 50, which is the age recommended to have regular colonoscopies. I’m too young for this!

Do I have to go to the toilet now? Oh, c’mon! I’m on campus! I hate doing it in public! I think I’ll let it wait until I get home. It’s that damn fiber I chugged down last night. It wants out. Am I being disgusting? Was reading this disgusting? I’m really sorry. But this is reality. And I’m trying to help and offer advice to the world. Has it been helpful? I don’t know. It has for me! Sometimes… when I’m consistent. I’m not a spokesman for Benefiber who’s trying to sell! Well, I’m a man speaking out about how it has helped me! What am I talking about? Should I end this post now? I think I want to write more! This is my way of showing that I want to write more: when I just type away what’s at the top of my head. Okay! Enough!

Cheers.

A Quote about a Young Mind

“A young mind is out of control.”

Today, I had an engaging conversation with my manager who’s been someone like a mother to me. Despite our rough beginnings and her volatile personality, I’m happy to have her in my life and I enjoy her presence, most especially (don’t say anything), when she’s in a pleasant mood.

We were talking about people who could be mentally unstable. I’m not saying names. People who get angry easily, who have no control of their emotions, who gossip, who listen to stories and peoples’ problems and spew what was heard back around with their own spin. She’s been victimized in the past so I understand her.

She’s sometimes crazy herself.

Maybe not so much.

A few minutes earlier, a customer threw a tantrum and threatened to “knock [my] head off [my] shoulders” (which is impossible because I have a big head). The anger! The sheer rage he expressed! (I can’t go into details right now about what I do for a living, but I don’t sell crystal meth to children.)

I think I had control in a potentially dangerous situation. In the past, I’d experienced this thing where things would go blurry while in the moment. I’d be overwhelmed with emotions – fear, anger, confusion, fight, flight – and then, I wouldn’t be in the situation. Like brain fog. Like being in the fog of war. Then, my body would tense up, I’d grind my teeth and get so angry inside, and my day would be ruined after much rumination.

But this customer – not even a customer! –  tantrumed as if he were a child. A grown man. My manager interceded. “Okay, enough,” she repeated about half a dozen times.

“Don’t talk to me like you’re my mother!” The angry man yelled. Maybe he has mommy issues.

“Enough!” My manager yelled with sheer authority and a sense of finality that silenced the angry man with mommy issues. Hey! She’s my mommy! Get your own!

But I remembered being in the moment. There was no fog of war. My breathing was calm. So this is how clutch people… well… deliver in the clutch! The moment doesn’t get to them. And his scowling face, my customer’s indisposed and not-in-the-mood (what’s the word for it?) face, the entire moment… was crystal clear. No fear. No anger. I was in control.

He obviously wasn’t.

Since it’s unrelated to the incident, I forgot the context of the quote, but I said it to a co-worker who I’m training an hour afterwards and, for some reason, it sounded cool at the time. “That’s going on my blog!” I told her. She’s eight years younger than I am and ever since naming her my “protege”, her job performance has improved. Because you have to pass down wisdom to those younger like what my “mother” does with me. My trainee’s response?

“Tumblr.”

“Nope! WordPress!”

Now, that moment is gone and its true meaning is forgotten. Such a quote could mean anything in different situations.

What does it mean right now in time?

Maturity.

3 February 2017: Meditation Session

Clear the mind.

Breathe in and out.

Focus.

…Without being bothered by Haley’s piercing meows to leave the room. To head to the litter perhaps?

…Without thinking about how loud my mother’s voice is while she speaks to another cat like a baby. Her voice really is loud. A consequence of getting old and deaf?

…Without being seduced by the aroma of cooking. Longaniza. Hopefully garlic rice. I haven’t had a proper breakfast today. Popcorn and coffee with whey isn’t enough.

…Without feeling impatient to immerse myself back in Skyrim. I have a lot to do, such as securing the road between Helgen and Falkreath and clearing out some caves along the way.

…Without feeling anxious to call work back. They have the nerve to call me now that they need me. It’s not the fault of the person who’s calling. It’s the nature of the business.

…Without feeling anxious about an oddity in my Degree Works that states I have 43 credits, when I actually have 46. 45 credits is needed to graduate. And I will graduate.

…Without remembering that reading has to be done for Professor Weir’s class.

…Without discomfort building in my neck. Moving it up gives relief.

…Without losing patience that I might be wasting my time. I’m not. This is for anxiety. Hopefully, for my IQ as well.

Eyes open.

It’s been under two minutes. This session is over.

There’s a need for improvement.

1 February 2017: Back to School

It’s 10:52 AM and I’m on the fifth floor of the Queens College Library, sitting at a desk that’s beside a floor-to-ceiling window looking down into the second floor sitting area. I can see four people from up here and they’re busy: lying on a couch, sitting at a desk, reading, sleeping. It’s the first week of classes so the library is quiet; loads of empty seats to make an introvert like me quite happy. I realize my opening sentence was a bit long, and I’m trying to write long, purposeful sentences. That and descriptive writing.

The hole into the second floor isn’t as interesting as the view outside. It’s a beautiful day back in New York City after a three-week vacation in the Philippines. Not too chilly here. Not bad a transition back home, except for the jet lag that kept me from attending the first day of class. The professor knows me from last semester and (I don’t know if he realizes) I missed about half his classes because of… anxiety. People like me shy away from people like him (talkative), but whenever I go to his class, and be social, it’s a huge success to me, and I reward myself by skipping the next class. It’s stupid and self-defeating, and I intend on changing this flaw about myself. I’m going to have to.

Gray smoke rises out from a chimney on the roof of the building next door. It disappears into the air, looking as if it’s being drawn out by the wind. I think that building is the dorm. From this spot, I can’t judge which building it is. Definitely a campus building though. My sense of direction is horrible.

This morning was the first time in three weeks I drove a car. Manila is known for having the worst traffic in the world, and I witnessed it first hand. First thing is there’s too many cars. Too much congestion. Cars don’t signal. I’d be angry all the time if I drove there because I believe that signaling is important. In fact, I believe that if people don’t know how to signal in this country, they should be fined. I think we should also do away with tinted windows so that drivers can better communicate with each other. How does a tinted car communicate with pedestrians? My point is communication.

If you’re looking for parking, don’t stop all of a sudden. Signal. If you’re going to make a left turn, don’t trap me behind you as the right lane continues moving. Signal. And if you have tinted windows, and I’m a police officer approaching your window, I think I’d proceed with more caution than with a car without tints.

Also, do away with the high beam since it’s being overused and disorientates drivers like myself. I can’t count how many times I’ve been blinded by a car with its high beam activated. It hurts my eyes.

I could write a book about the stupidity of New York City drivers. When I drove outside of New York City, to Portland or Philadelphia, I’m a calmer person. New York City drivers make me so angry. It’s a hostile environment. Maybe I’ll write a journal about it. It’s every minute I see someone with a low driving IQ.

I was talking about traffic in the Philippines. Too much traffic, too much pedestrians, but it feels like people are more considerate. And there’s less anger on the road. Here, I could be driving on an empty highway and some prick comes up from behind, tailgates me, cuts me off, and angers me. Bakit?! (“Why?!” in Tagalog)

It feels good to be back home. Or not. I think I just missed my cat, Haley, who’s the most loving cat I’ve ever owned. And my mudder, and my fadder, and maybe my brudder who annoys me sometimes. I regret not bringing my mudder a proper souvenir, something she could cherish for a long time. All I got her was food. But she did ask for fertilizer – well – stuff related to plants. I’ll take them all away someday, away from the stupid drivers of New York City. The Philippines? No.

I’m looking forward to “touring” Virginia this summer. New Hampshire was nice last year, but the Philippines taught me that I want some place warm.