Marathon Runners

Image result for life is a marathon

Life is a marathon, not a sprint

Full of ups and downs that take your breath away

You won’t reach the finish line in one night

But you can definitely start toward it today

Marathon

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Pineapple Musings

Now wear did that pineapple go? I swear I placed it on a counter somewhere but my memory has failed me. It’s an odd looking fruit, indeed. Did you know that pineapples really exist in the ocean? The taste of pineapple can be described as spicy, sweet, and sour at the same time. A taste is left in your mouth that makes it hard to eat more pineapple later on.

Muse

 

Resentment is Therapy

That humorous quote couldn’t sum up my post any better.

A grudge is like the ghostly remains of an argument or fight. You carry it around with you like the old ball and chain. It is the final bullet in the gun that you keep for later. You hope the other person will bow down to you and give in to your little charade, that what you are doing is a type of revenge.

Well, I got news for you…having one is probably the best thing that can happen to you. It can have a therapeutic effect and make you turn inward and see what your true feelings are towards a person or thing – like my computer that is constantly slowing down and being unresponsive even if this is a “new” one that replaced the broken one. I resent it everyday by thinking of it as a “cheap, low-grade, and inferior” piece of tech everytime a couple of open programs throw it into a berserk state.

That being said, holding a grudge for too long, like say, past 5 years, is just silly. By that time, the person who insulted you will have probably moved on. Life is too short for such trivial matters anyway. So best be right to forgive and forget than carrying that extra weight around.

Go out and enjoy the sunshine. Marvel at the finer points in life. You are special in your own way and no one can take that away.

My grudges might stem from:

  • Insults targeted at me online
  • Cutdowns and discouraging words aimed at me
  • People that have stolen from me (my whole collection of state quarters)
  • Greedy people who think they deserve more
  • Friends who have excelled much more than I and they now don’t seem to remember or even recognize me anymore.

My most silent and dormant grudge that remains in the back of my mind is the one against Vector Marketing, a shady business that egged me on and duped me with false information back in May when I briefly worked for them, though in this case I wasn’t employed but a self contractor, creating my own schedule. They just sent me a check yesterday for a grand total of…drum roll, please…

$6.40!

It took them almost six months to send me a check that would be good enough to purchase a Whopper at BK. Seriously, what is up with this ridiculous business plan? They probably still think I’m working for them, even if I voluntarily quit after one week. The last time I got a letter in the mail telling me there were “multiple job opportunities” available in sales and marketing, I promptly ripped the letter into pieces, now very well aware of the evil monster they are. Sure, a lot of people have become successful with them, even moving up to the top of the organization, but getting there is not practical and not full of any benefits all.

The funny thing is, I still have the knife kit they gave to me for presentations, even if I was supposed to send it back or buy it when I quit. Not going to use it for my own practical kitchen use though, in case they ever send in the black helicopters and demand the kit back or else.

I forgive and forget very easily though because I don’t have the heart to continue hating someone. It takes too much energy and doesn’t make my day better. There are better things to worry about. Once the differences are settled and fences have been mended, there is no reason to carry on like a virtual episode of Star Trek with the Klingons and Federation on either side of the Neutral Zone.

The Daily Prompt is not working again, our self-relied upon system of spoon fed ideas, and my resentment towards this device that continues to betray my trust has now grown to the point where I’m about to just set off on my own again (I did it before), and truly see if I have what it takes to survive in this highly competitive field that keeps throwing me curveballs.

But no, I’ll forget about their mishaps and be back again tomorrow, soaking up the luxury of not being stranded and having no one to turn to.

Now on to this Grudge…


In Response to the Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad At You

Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?

Finding My Voice – One Year Later

shootingup

Has it really been a year since I published I Only Came For the Cheesecake…?

Wow, I have really grown up a lot since then. Maybe too much.

That was the very first post I submitted to the Daily Prompt grid and how I came to meet many bloggers I am following now and have become inspired by to pursue such a wonderful activity. The post is actually really good for my first try, yes, even the title that I still dig, and it helped launch my interest in blogging in bigger ways than before. It was posted when the Daily Prompt grid went with the oldest posts on top and the newest ones near the bottom, but the Happiness Engineers reversed that. I feel like such a nerd for knowing that.

Writing is hard, I’m come to know very well, especially when I’m writing not just for myself but for others to read as well. That’s the interesting thing about blogging. You are writing for others to see your work and connect with you, so it all hinges on creating engaging content and making sure you are saying the right things. A simple thing like a confusing sentence structure or being too wordy can throw things off. Writing about the right things is also important. I have never known myself to be a controversial writer, deciding to go with nicey nice posts that don’t hurt any one’s feelings. Photography and poetry are my strengths and what I usually lean to when all else fails. It’s not stuff that’s going to tip the scales or get social media buzzing but at least it’s something I enjoy and can use to propel this blog forward. I don’t try to force my humor either. It will only sound good if it comes natural and flows with the rest of my writing and if others can understand it. But sometimes not understanding it is a good thing because it gets people thinking.

Very rarely, if ever, do I talk about relevant news topics, since my style of writing is just not up for that. Thinking deep and getting a creative edge is just too much work. Getting the scoop on topics before they air to the world requires a great deal of work and expertise. I’m not Mark Aldrich, who is probably the best to go to when getting the first hand details on relevant topics. He doesn’t just talk about the news, he dissects it and picks up on what others miss. Of course, he’s a professional writer in the New York area and I’m just a lowly blogger who’s trying his best with what he’s got – his heart and mind. I’m never been to writing school or received any prestigious awards in real life, other than an MLK essay contest award in 6th grade that probably no one else but me tried very hard on. But all that matters is I be myself.

I’m not perfect, not that I ever wanted to be. Being a little rough around the edges and having to learn from my mistakes is what makes me special inside. I feel better when I have something to prove, when I get kicked down a few steps on my way up the pyramid of excellence. I may never reach the tippy top but the journey on the way there always will be exciting. I like receiving praise for my work, but too much gets my head too big and I end up doing something stupid. Of course, I don’t want total silence. That really bugs me.

One year ago, on September 16th, I started posting regularly on this blog that has seen so many changes it’s hard to even count. I’ve changed my blog name from the vague one word acronym I created as a naive 21 year old to ‘this is my journey’ and back to ‘macbofisbil’ again and then to ‘The World Through My Eyes’ and I’m still not sure I’m set on it but I think it is a much more descriptive name than my original title, because at least it tells something about this little corner of mine. The theme and header have changed as well, from the really gaudy to the really elegant and imaginative. I’ll probably change it a couple more times in the future, because that is what keeps me inspired and fresh.

I always had a fear of blogging or public writing in general. Before I started this project as I like to call it, I didn’t even have an interest in internet writing as I found it very tedious and not fit for a young, inexperienced lad like me. I wouldn’t even know what to write about or if anyone would bother reading it. That was always my fear, that I would be terribly embarrassed by an unknown crowd or suffer the cold shoulder of being ignored. As a high school student, I feared that what I was going to write would sound cheesy and really childish. But it’s through the process of blogging regularly for a year now that I have started to figure out just what makes me tick and have gained my confidence. I’ll never be a ranting blogger who likes to get people upset or throw darts at topics, because I’m not that kind of blogger. I’m nice and I don’t want to sound too mean or like an idiot who doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I don’t think I would ever receive any hateful comments on here, unlike YouTube’s comment section which is a virtual firepit of hate, and I still haven’t to this day because blogging isn’t like that, at least not in this polite G-rated part of WordPress.

I’m no longer afraid of blogging or reaching out to the community. I’m just afraid this is going to be my life from now on and I can never get out of it. The horror of being tied to doing a Daily Prompt everyday from now on – scary imagery. Maybe I should get out before it’s too late? Maybe I should get a life? Maybe I should get on a reality show and have some fun for a change? Oh well…this is my life and I love it.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Phobia, Shmobia.”

Fears evolve over time. What is one fear you’ve conquered?

Old Fashioned Thank You

I’ve always been told to hand write a thank you letter (note being the more proper term) every time my aunt, uncle, and little cousin from California send me a card and money (capped off at $20 now) on my birthday. I’ve done this ever since I was at least six (when I was aware of my existence for the first time). It’s a nice gesture but I wish my old-fashioned relatives would get with the times and just have me send a Facebook message or text them my thank you. They aren’t even on Facebook and I haven’t seen them since the 2009 family reunion, which felt so cold. To waste a whole sheet of paper for just two or three short sentences of my appreciation is ridiculous. To mail it across the country with a postage stamp even more. And what do my uber rich relatives do with all the notes I send them? Do they save them or crinkle them up after their use is over? Do they have a drawer dedicated to all of my thank you notes dating all the way back to the time I was in grade school? Writing one seems so childish now, especially when my dad implores me to do so. I’m 24 but I feel like 8 when I write it, having to put down the same cheesy sounding sentences, capped off by a “Love, Me” closing.

Of course, handwriting something makes it more personal and thoughtful. I’m not talking through a computer when I hand write, I am trying to actually talk with a person. Writing those notes to my distant relatives is like keeping in check and telling that I still think about them and really wish I could see them again someday. They do know that I appreciate everything they give me, but seeing a physical message has more value and meaning. The power of the pen/pencil touching the paper and my thoughts being transferred down has a meditative effect on me. I actually feel mentally stronger afterward, if that’s even possible.

I feel like I do need to practice my penmanship more often, to get away from typing on the computer. The conveniences of having a keyboard and being able to write really fast have spoiled me to the point where I don’t even want to pick up a writing utensil anymore. I used to write in a physical journal before my days of blogging, writing down my daily activities and any important events such as holidays and birthdays. Now, I haven’t written in it since the Seahawks/Broncos debacle of a Super Bowl, enjoying the pleasures of fast paced blogging and being able to get my thoughts out in quicker fashion (and with more structure and reason – having all of you being able to read it!).

My extended family is stuck in the stone age and I’m okay with that. At least they can send a text message now. I guess they’re afraid of Facebook and social media altogether, which is actually a good thing, since it does nothing to make you feel less lonely. And you basically sell your soul to the Internet by posting things.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Handwritten.”

Chronicles of A Midwestern

family

Pictured above is a low res shot of my closest family taken at a college hockey game in Wisconsin this year, owing to the fact that I used a webcam to take a picture of the original physical photograph, not having a scanner. As you can see, we are ordinary in a good way and sport very pale complexions, being of distant European descent with low pigment levels. Midwestern we all are, bred into a society of simple-minded people that value hard work and labor, manufacturing and agriculture. I’m wearing a very bad combination of blue plaid button down shirt and white plaid golf shorts, though I didn’t know it until seeing this picture for the first time. My oldest sister is beside me, mom is hiding in the back, there’s dad in fourth, and youngest sister on the far right.

I sometimes consider myself a nerd because of my fascination with seeking knowledge and knowing all the technical details of how things work and because I’ve never been very good at sports or other physical activity, though I have known myself to be an exceptional runner.

My lifestyle is pretty ordinary. I wear a t-shirt and jeans or shorts, enjoy snacking rather than eating big meals, speak only one language, and try to enjoy life by doing what hobbies I like the best, such as writing and picture-taking.

The only times I’ve ever dressed up are when I was going to interviews, a fancy restaurant, or to a special occasion such as a funeral or my high school dances. Most days, I just pick out a random shirt from my laundry basket or there is a voice telling me “ah, I believe it is a nice day to wear blue, don’t you think?” I only have one pair of blue jeans and replace them maybe once a year when I get the chance. My wardrobe is a mix of secondhand and store bought items.

I communicate through a time traveling mailbox. No, just kidding.

Communication has always been an anomaly for me. I’m not always comfortable talking in big groups but sometimes the moment presents itself and I am free as a kite, just saying whatever I have to say with no fear or hesitation, though I feel embarrassed afterward. It’s amazing that I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and could barely hold a conversation all the way through school and now I’ve come a long ways in terms of development, my quite similar uncle being the sole reason. We have great conversations all the time and I can relate to him in a way because we’ve both had difficulties getting where we want to go in life, someone or something always blocking our path, like a disability or the prejudice of society itself.

I like talking and sharing interesting stuff on social media such as Facebook and Twitter because it is a good form of self expression and I’m more comfortable talking anonymously than in person. Blogging is where I’m most effective at communicating though. I have a lot more room and freedom to have a voice and (hopefully) be heard. It’s more guaranteed that my pictures will be shared with the right people. I can get more praise and develop relationships better than on any other social media platform because I’m able to follow people with similar interests to me.

My hairstyle seems to go one way: circular and flat on top with a swoop to the left, and bangs that jut out just above my forehead. I’m constantly patting down my big head of hair which grows faster than a New York City skyline and is very hard to keep neat and combed. There have been many attempts at developing a new hairstyle: I tried a flattop, spiking it, slicking it back, going from a buzz cut to getting it a styled cut with scissors, to even dying my hair black, with it always going back to the same result. I usually know when it’s time to get a haircut when my bangs start getting into my eyes and becoming a hazard to myself and others (if I bump into them).

The eating portion of my life has never been that extravagant. Most nights in my household it is hotdogs, hamburgers, or some other quick fix meal. Ever since I was yeah small, my mom’s been throwing those Salisbury box dinners onto the table, along with lumpy mashed potatoes. I’ve become tired of that and have tried to develop a more creative approach to mealtime by cooking and eating things I’ve never tried, such as a soufflé. When I get the chance to cook, I have a passion and desire to make a meal that is not only delicious, filing, and presentable, but also healthy. But with limited space, money, and overall knowledge, I’m usually stuck with eating ordinary inexpensive things, which I don’t mind at all. Wendy’s is my favorite fast food place, followed by Burger King, Arby’s, and then McDonald’s. I’ll do just fine with an order of boxed pizza as well.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Style Icon.”

The Meaning of Success

Photo Credit: leadershipidn.com

What is success?

It still eludes me so. I take two steps forward, two steps back, lose my grip, fall down hard, but always get back up and try again. The grass is always greener. There’s always tomorrow. Failure is what makes me stronger, it is not a bad thing, it is an essential ingredient to any success story. And the more I fail the more I learn. The more I learn how not to fail.

It takes patience, skill to reach the plateau. I’m still fighting my troubles, my worries, and my demons. I want to get up there, up to the place where everything’s swell, where all the others bask in the glory, but a door always blocks my way. I try to get in, but am always rejected, being given a good kick to the shins. “Not yet,” a cold hard voice always shouts at me. And sometimes it’s a few stumbles back down the ladder, having to readjust and fix my mistakes.

I mistook success to be instant gratification, an overnight conversion, when in reality it’s a lifetime battle, a struggle against odds. I must perfect my craft if I am to move on. I must seize the dream I desire and start making it a reality. That must be my problem. I’ve never had any goals in mind. Life has always been a vague mystery to me. There’s always been a dark shadow looming over myself. I’m finally seeing the light though, a sense of direction. I’ll get there someday, just with the scars of many battles fought and setbacks experienced. My blogging experience for one has seen many posts trashed, hours wasted to only get nothing in return. Discouragement I get. I start to believe I’m a good writer and the infamous zeros stare back at me. I’m all of a sudden an amateur again, shades of 2013. This post is not just about that in general but about all the failures in my life that I have had to live with. I’ve gone to many job interviews in my life and so far only came back with one yes, which turned out to a total scam because everyone got “hired” right on the spot. My short stint as a sales rep selling knives I’m speaking of.

They always tell you as a kid you can grow up to be whatever you want to be, that the sky’s the limit to potential. Well, I’m just now figuring out what exactly that is. Is it a chef? A photographer? A designer? An engineer? A writer? A profound blogger? I’m taken some of the steps to reach my goals, learning valuable skills and lessons along the way. I’ve gone to college and graduated. I’ve gained valuable skills at an internship. The signs are finally being pointed in the right direction, the words becoming visible in my minds eye. Blurriness is subsiding. That grey matter of the unknown is finally disappearing. I no longer see the world in just black and white. It’s not just a simple yes or no but there are multiple avenues I can choose.

I have a one track mind. When I get to doing something, I can only focus on it and only it and exclude out everything else around me. When I’m in blog mode, it’s full concentration, my thoughts being channeled into my ideal inspiration. Any distractions throw my off completely. When I accidentally erase my entire post 500 words in and it can’t be recovered, I throw my hands up, the love put into all those words moot points then. When I’m deep into reading a good novel, any disturbances upset me and ruin my flow. When I’m in the middle of a tough battle in a video game, my full attention must be on not letting the enemy get the upper hand, not pinning me in a corner. Of course, video games aren’t real life. You can always die and try again. You can also cheat your way to success. A Up Up Down Up B.  In real life you go to jail for that.

So I’m finally figuring out success. Or success is finally figuring me out. It’s not what you gain in life that makes you great, it’s what brings you happiness each day you set about doing what you love. Money = success, yes, but without the joy and happiness that comes along with that wealth, and the friends and family to share it with, it is a cold lonely life for the individual. I would love to make lots of money doing what I love, but I would never want to outcast my family and never speak to them again.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).