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2020: I’ll Be Vain

I’m less optimistic about this year with each passing day, so fuck it — really. If you can’t save the year, might as well do something for yourself. Next week, I’m going in for a consultation to get all my teeth redone.

You might consider this extreme, but I categorize this under self-improvement. It doesn’t seem like business will resume back to normal and there’s plenty of downtime every afternoon.

2020 — I can’t save you, so I’ll be selfish and vain. Later world.

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Water in the Glass

This year is either the worst ever or the best I’ve had depending on my perspective. It’s one of those glass half empty or half full situations many people like to think of. If I make a list of what didn’t go right, I have the following:

– COVID-19, economy shutdown, Black Lives Matter, riots, my Grandma being ill, and stocks took a hit.

Being a bit more optimistic, leaves me with this:

– life goes on, my business launched, I’m getting a bonus next month, my investments are up, I still have a job, and my Grandma got treated

This year is so polarizing and only a little more than half of it is gone already. It kind of makes me wonder if this is a test for my ability to persevere in times of crisis and uncertainty. Overall, I’ll have to take it for what it is and keep focused on myself. I recently lack the energy to even stay up past 11 PM without suddenly falling asleep. I’ve been telling myself the exhaustion comes from work, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my mind has been at full blast all this time.

Later world.

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3 MILLION DOLLARS

Retirement is in 35 years for me, which is a long time to consider. I found one of those retirement planning calculators online and it said I would need over 3 million dollars to retire comfortably. That’s a lot.

While seemingly impossible, it’s not. Save money like I always do and keep investing. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me about investing and more or less, they seemed mildly impressed. While some out there spend their time watching TV or whatever lame brain show is the new fad, I can’t stand it. To sit and do nothing is counter productive.

I don’t believe too many people consider their future as much as I do, but the end goal is live a long life without having to struggle to make ends meet. While I’m not old, this puts me in a position to set myself up for the future — one that includes owning a home, having assets and most importantly, a family. I’m always amazed at how little time people plan for life and act on impulse. Everyone wants it now and actively seek immediate gratification. It’s sad and a mistake.

Take the $1200 everyone got as a stimulus check. I still have all of it. My friends spent theirs. Nice? It’s rather foolish if you ask me. Free money that you didn’t plan on having at the beginning of this year shouldn’t be blown on some extravagant purchase. It’s one of my pet peeves with people my age — stupid spending and a lack of proper money management.

At the current rate, I’ll be worth six figures in the next couple years. It’s a far cry from how I was after college. I feel quite good about myself but I’m willing to bet a few closest to me are jealous. You can’t expect people in this economy to be envious. So be it. Everyone loves to criticize you when you’re down in the dumps but when you’re above them, suddenly they’re silent. It’s fucking pathetic.

I like working which is the crazy thing. I did 60 hours this week and finally launched my company as well. The satisfaction is high and there is no better feeling than having it all come together. My work ethic is one of my better qualities. Granted it doesn’t leave me much for a regular social life but if the end result is prosperity, I’ll buckle down and keep at it to make the dream a reality.

Life can be so open ended and somehow I condensed what I want into three main goals. There’s a charming simplicity to it. This year was one of the craziest there was and yet I’m all smiles and optimistic. I’m doing alright and my God, I like it.

Later world.

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Los Angeles $$$

Los Angeles is all I know. I distinctly remember walking around downtown as a kid seeing all the tall skyscrapers and being at awe at the marvelous concrete jungle. The bustle of the city allured me then, but now I’m indifferent about life here.

My biggest complaint here is the high cost of living. Last I checked, I’m doing pretty well for myself, but your money goes quickly putting a roof over your head. You can save a bit by cooking more and budgeting, but there’s no escaping the costs associated here. If I could permanently work remotely, I would leave for another state or city in a heartbeat.

I feel I more or less recovered from the market crash and all my investments are in the green. I’m thankful, but seeing as how your livelihood hangs on a thread when there’s an outbreak doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t feel secure even with the nest egg I have and that shouldn’t be the case.

If everything plans out, I’ll have six figures saved up in various places ready to cash out for my house or condo. It’s the American dream. One that’s expensive, riddled with liabilities, and logically the next step in my life. It begs the question, would I do it?

I’ve been constantly thinking about this plan for a few years now and I’ve only err on the side of caution than my usual relentless optimism. Times like this I wish I wasn’t alone with just my thoughts. A second opinion helps and I’d imagine I could be quickly pushed the other way.

The path less traveled is the one walked alone and I feel I’ve only had a string of successes to push on forward. I know I could just live everyday as it comes but life comes as you fast and the better you have an idea of where you want to be, the less likely you’ll be just another ant in this world.

I don’t want to be just another person drifting. The days feel longer now that we’re on lockdown. My thoughts cascade into one another and my mood is slowly falling. I can almost hear my own heartbeat on some days. There’s a rhythm to life and right now, I’m off beat.

Later world.

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Focus

In times like what the world is facing, it’s best to stay focused on yourself and tune out all the noise. The world is in a state of chaos and disarray, but putting too much attention to events outside of your control isn’t productive or positive for your mental health. I had the local news playing in the background and while it is informative to hear how the pandemic is panning out, majority of what’s reported is fear mongering. I don’t believe this is going to end any time soon, but engulfing yourself in fear ridden news is not wanted or necessary.

The year is almost half over. While it wasn’t the best year I’ve had in recent memory, there were a number of highlights and accomplishments. I bought a new car, paid off all my credit card and student loan debt, and have the least number of liabilities since I’ve been out of school. I still have my job and business is still good relative to current affairs. There’s a lot to be thankful for and I need to remember where I stand in the present. I feel like the immovable rock on the coast being battered with waves. I won’t find myself being swept off into sea any time soon.

I have another chapter to fill, a bit this time, heavily edited and redacted. Bigger more grand goals fell through but it’s not the end of the world. I do me and will continue to do so for as long as I can. Later world.

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Keyword: Moderation

I’ve been one on the extremes when it comes to breaking a habit. If it’s something I didn’t like, cut it out completely. Although it sounds good on paper or that magical voice in my head, I’ve come to realize it’s more about self-control. Smoking is bad. Drugs are bad. Excessive drinking is bad. We can all agree the two former is not necessary for a healthy lifestyle, but that’s a huge given. I once thought my ability to stop cold turkey gave me some unnatural godly power to do what’s right for myself, but it’s more of my ego talking than any thing.

No — I don’t smoke or do drugs — unless you count the myriad of prescription drugs my various doctors have me on for anxiety, depression, or whatever uncontrollable mood I suddenly face in the year. I find help when needed and that’s more than what a lot of people can say or am willing to do. I don’t usually let the very vices I wish would vanish control my very existence, but that’s the first step to any problem — admitting to it. We are works of progress everyday and without seeing our flaws, we’re destined to fall into the pits of despair.

Getting old has its merits. You feel slower, ache more, and suddenly lack the energy you once had as a naive teenager. Once the feeling of invincibility goes away, kryptonite is all around you. Don’t ignore all the signs. In fact, stop kidding yourself if you had any sense of self-respect for your one and only body. We want to be superman and yet know we are only mortal and vulnerable. The cracks appear and you’re suddenly flooded with arrows and the rising tide overflowing the moat in your perimeter.

I’m not impenetrable or invincible to the world around me and that’s quite alright. I exist to feel both the good and bad. While there’s time, you can count on me to make the most of it. Later world.

 

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Looking Back at the Decade

I find it hard to believe 2010 was almost ten years ago. Where did all the time go and so suddenly? I feel these past ten years were some of the most turbulent but important years of my life. Wild, but sobering. Drunk and sedated. Lonely but smiling. Laughing but resentful. These states make no sense, but how do you summarize ten years into a few short paragraphs?

It would be the first year I’d live my life without my Grandpa. He was taken from me, from us, from her, and the shock was hard and pain. Suffering felt immediate and my world was overcome with grief. My grandparents were a pair and without the other, my Grandma became angry at the world. She did not hold back and neither did I. How the most beloved person you hold so dear to you could be the first to go is something I had a hard time comprehending. Words cannot express the loss felt of missing someone closest to you.

Anger left me different — resentful to say the least. I gave up knowing I felt on my own and lonely. No words of guidance or assurance was seen or heard from anyone. I wandered and went nowhere. I dropped out of college and spent all my time getting drunk and went to every party that landed on my news feed. It was fun for a while, why wouldn’t it? It kept my mind preoccupied and sedated. Thoughts became none and I loved it — for now.

Going back to school was immensely difficult. I already knew I was behind and classes felt immensely difficult. They were. I had no idea how to resume life and did everything I possibly thought would help stuff sections of information in my brain. I was riddled with anxiety and every failing mark on a paper or exam hurt.

It would be the very first time I felt I wanted to leave this world early and by my own hands. Anyone who has these thoughts should honestly not let them linger and boil over. It’s poison in the mind that slowly makes you want to act on your thoughts. I pray no one does if you’re reading this.

As difficult as school was, once I figured out how to study again, classwork became routine. The resentment inside me never left, but at least my grades improved drastically. My first few serious relationships we’re all during the first half of the decade and my God did I love them all.

Love returned, but not without consequence. We dated, hanged out, met this person and that person, and shared every inconceivable secret with each other. Every woman was unique and different. There were sweet, but subtle quirks with each one of them. Makes me smile even now to think back at it all.

I found out you should not love someone if you do not love yourself. A bit the hard way. The first relationship went and came quickly. Too fast and too soon. I lashed out at her with all the fury one man could for being so deep in pain. I’m sorry. But I never told her that. She was a doll, but I was a monster undeserving of her. Lesson learned? Maybe not.

Dating itself could be its own chapter riddled with notes and annotations left pilled up high. Not everyone is sincere and as fun as it is to do dinner and movie, sometimes it just won’t work out no matter how positive the outlook seems. The very person smiling in front of me could have other motives and while as awful as it is to think back, I needed that. Don’t be so naive or feel the need to have to be with someone. Remain honest even if they aren’t. You quickly we through the mask and bullshit.

I had this all too close relationship with alcohol. Did anyone suspect a problem? Hell no. College years, I was just seen as the socialble one. At home alone, I down 40 after 40 and felt the warm bliss of blacking out and not knowing what day it was in the morning. I have a spreadsheet of all the times I went and bought alcohol or any other illicit substance from the first half of the decade saved on my computer. Let’s just say I squandered away thousands. Ouch.

I would say my night time habits didn’t catch up to me until 2015. But once it did, it hit my body hard. I felt slow, my body ached, and my chest was constantly pounding. I chalked that up to anxiety, but honestly, I was full of shit. I knew what was happening and I came up with excuses to not stop. I’m still working on this, but I’ll freely admit it’s gotten so much better with time.

Working in the real world was interesting to say the least. I’ve only had office jobs and many came and went. I’ve had places and co-workers I wish would burn to the ground of have an anvil fall on them, but that’s beside the point. Find a job or career was challenging, but definitely not as bad as everything else I’ve touched on. If you don’t like where your at, just quit. Have a buffer or safety net in place to keep you going until the next one and keep trying. It’ll be scary, unknown, but worth getting yourself out of an unwanted environment. You work to make money, and if the money doesn’t justify staying there, leave.

I’m thankful life the last couple years have been great and much progress has been made. Goals have been reached and I’m no longer that awful person I once became trapped in. I tell no lies and remain sincere, even of it makes me look bad. I think that’s honestly all I want from all my friends or people I’ve seen — sincerity is paramount. I’ve come to realize that it’s not able making yourself look good and hiding all you flaws, but about being your whole self. I’m an unfinished work in progress and I make no claims to be perfect any time soon.

This year has been one of the best yet. I was with someone seriously for once. We hit it off and I enjoyed our time together. No it didn’t last but I was honest about what I wanted out of it or where I saw us going. Work got in the way, but I gave her a heads up. After some months, we stopped. It was for the best and would have been fair to autopilot this relationship with her. Bad timing? Maybe. Was it a fun time? Most definitely.

I don’t know what the next ten years hold, but anyone reading this, I hope you keep moving forward. The trajectory is unknown, but I hope nothing stops you from the journey of life. It’s hard, it’s painful, it’s loving and addicting. Best thing I ever did was want to wake up for tomorrow. There is only half a month left and I’m hopeful as ever. Later world. You have been one hell of a wild ride. I love it.

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This is My Best Month

I’ve always been very fond of November. It’s my birth month and it includes Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Not to mention being able to see my family all in one place. This year, I’ve out done myself. My new car is all that I could have imagined and more. Sales are way the fuck up and I feel I’ve really gotten a lot done this week. Everyone including myself is impressed. What a wonderful feeling and I sincerely hope it lasts for a while.

If there’s anything I wish is that there’s more to be accomplished and with a stronger focus. It’s easy to fall back on old habits and have yourself be another potato. I can’t stand the thought of just sitting around and doing nothing. Which honestly is both good and bad. Good in that you’re keeping yourself productive, but bad in that you’re never letting yourself rest.

It’s almost the end of the year and I’m only worried I don’t have time to do more for myself. Later world.

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November Rain

Fuck me I’m almost 28. This year went by quicker than I could blink. And fuck me did I try to blink slowly and take it all in. The weather is bipolar and I’ve never been so busy in my entire life. Work is seldom all I know this time of the year, but at least the holidays are almost upon us. Something to look forward to as some would say.

I feel good — just incredibly tired and it feels like most days I end up with some sort of stressed induced headache. I feel like a lot of nice things are just on the horizon. The new sister company I’m running will launch, my paycheck never looked better, and I afforded myself a new smartphone today. The feels man — no seriously.

It’s make or break time. I’m pulled in endless directions and I’ve caught myself telling some of my co-workers to let me finish one thing at a time before I can get to them. It’s uncharacteristic of me, but I’m like a one man army. My office honestly couldn’t run a day without me there which only makes the insane amount of vacation time I’ve accumulated seem impossible to enjoy.

Well fuck me, right? I’ve always wonder what one of those bullshit “keep calm and carry on” posters meant. Now I do. I’ve made a few habits for the better by not eating out so much and drinking what feels like a gallon of water each day. I think my co-workers noticed, but most fall back to the lame and ever so predictable you’re too skinny to be eating like this comments.

Dude, I reached the point I can’t get away with eating anything. Give me a break. I feel it’s always easier now to change your habits when you’re still willing and capable rather than waiting til the health crisis comes knocking at your doctor’s door. Let’s hope my ultra clean eating sticks. Sans alcohol too of course.

Just once, I hope I actually go and meet someone compelling on a date. I read some stat that dating gets few and far once you reach 30 with a career cemented in your sights. Last I checked or Instagram notified, everyone is getting hitched more and more every year. Would I like to be one of them soon? Probably not. Other priorities take over. Maybe it’ll finally hit that I’m pretty okay in life and I can stop worrying about the numbers in each account and how ungodly diversified my portfolio is.

My grandma once told me I might be too focused on the end not knowing I’m missing out on the attractions around me. It’s some trip and all I can see is the destination — imaginary yet never getting closer to arrival. Stop to smell the roses. Just be careful of thorns around the bush.

Later world. Danny out.

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Internal Locusts

Don’t be so mad at the world.

There are far too many factors and situations out of your control. Any number of unfortunate events isn’t the result of karma or bad luck. Life is naturally going to throw shit in your face. Best thing you can do is push forward knowing there’s always tomorrow.

The sun may not always be sunny like it is in the summer, but behind every cloud is a ray of sunshine — hidden. Don’t find ways to blame or reasons to be angry. Take it upon yourself to carry yourself into the next day, over the hurdle, and into the horizon.

Life can be such a bitch, but it’s not going to stop for you unless you want it. Live, love, develop, and take everyday as another step up.

Later world.