When I Was Young

Having time to ponder on your own deep thoughts is essential to a balanced life. I have been extremely busy since starting my career at this April. In the midst of things, I occasionally stop thinking about tasks from my boss, and reminisce the dream I had ( I still believe the dream is still lingering somewhere in my heart). I can literally feel that dream and passion slowly fade away as I mingle with my co-workers. It’s not that I hate this job or want to quit; it is just that the job I landed is not one that I can live

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passionately with—in other words– this job I have is not what I really want in my life. I am probably saying this because I know what I wanted to be and how hard I worked on until my graduating from university. To be honest, I thought I was one of kind, nothing like the other men around me. Not that I was trying to be cocky, but I had this gut feeling telling me so.

At work, there have been so many things I did not know before, and I’ve been forcing myself to learn them all by heart; now my heart is full of things that are useless to me. I had great people who supported me. I had friends I shared the best moments with. I had a woman I loved the most. And I had a dream. In retrospect, it might have been just wishful thinking to have them all, but it is true that I had them at some point before. Once my grandpa, who passed away 3 years ago, told me that life was a full of unexpected events, which now strikes as reality. I lost them all; watching them part from me and my soul without taking any motion to stop them. I wanted to convince them to stay with me, but sometimes it’s just not the way you control the situation for the sake of making others happy.

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Every once in a while, after coming back home from work, I am burdened with negative emotions and suffer with all the thoughts: “would’ve, should’ve, might’ve and what if”, bringing me to tears, kicking myself for wasting my life in a way and not being able to change my. Four walls surrounding me silently get closer and closer, closing any escape route crushing me in to death. The darkness of the night gradually invading into my heart and brain until I finally am broken down on my knees, and heavily load on my shoulder. I once had great moments where I felt I was sitting on the top of the world where everything went my way as I wished. I used to be a kid who had a dream to be a super star just like Michael Jackson. I would always videos of him performing on stage in front of tens of thousands of people screaming and going crazy for him. I would always practice his moves by watching these inspiring videos on YouTube.

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I wanted to be like him. A man who can heal the world, inspire people, touch millions of people’s lives, motivate people who think they aren’t somebody to anyone, and a man who can give unfailing love to his beloved ones. However, I found out that I was just another boy, just an average boy who was just dreaming of being someone great, and unfortunately nothing I had was sticking out above the rest. Notwithstanding, the desire to be like him is still alive in my heart in regardless of who I truly was, and I needed some sort of chance or opportunity to emulate him.
As a time progressed, this desire slowly slipped away from my mind, but when I went to the United States as an exchange student, feeling of being someone great rekindled again beyond the shadow of doubt. Since then, I have engaged in things I things I love doing and things I wanted to achieve in life. I gave it a shot. I created a YouTube channel, Soundcloud, wrote articles, and etc. Trying to see how far I could push myself, I had rough time every once in a while, but I overcame them. But now look at me. I am currently working as someone who I did not even imagine of being, and feel depressed all the time. I am still working on my dream and goal in my life which I usually don’t

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share with people in that they usually aren’t able to wise up what I tell them for the most part. It is not that I am complaining about them, but it simply is that most of people are just spending time working not even trying to reach their full potential. I always have questions in my mind bothering me constantly, “why are people able to live life just like this as if they were having good time conducting something they don’t even know if they like or not “.

What is life? Am I pushing myself hard enough? Am I supposed to be stuck in this dead-end abyss? Did I make a wrong choice? I probably made a wrong choice in the past for sure. Have I learned some lessons off of it ? Ready to implement solutions for it? I guess I need some more time.  What about you? Are you having the time of your life? If you do, tell me how and why. That’s all what I need now.

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

Caleb George Maxim Smith Silvestri Matteo Paul Dufour

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Is social media good or bad?

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Coming from the small town of Key West, Florida, I grew up in a budding, well-connected community where everyone knew each other’s business! A common saying in my town was “When you get to work, first check your email, and then the jail site to see who has been arrested.” Due to my town’s fast communication, I was unfortunately aware of all the tragedies. However, news of these events didn’t come from my mother or my friend telling me.


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Instead, social media has become my informant on all things important and relevant. As technology progresses, I’ve seen how social media is influential in shaping the way society thinks and the way we express ourselves. Don’t get me wrong; I believe it is important for us to voice our opinions and feelings on any platform we feel necessary, but at what point will be begin to take a step back and understand the gravity of our actions and how they affect others?


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I’ve been brought to this question from a post an old classmate put on Facebook. In his post, he explained that while it was warming for people to express their condolences on a recent passing, it is wrong for the individuals close to the family to find out about a loved one on social media; it makes a great deal of sense. Social media is meant to portray the lives of people we know, be it someone very close to you or an old childhood friend. Living on the other side of the world for example has made it difficult for me to keep up with everyone; having Facebook and Instagram to see a new baby or a recent engagement allows me to be involved in their life story. But it takes on another level of expression when we run to social media to post a long status about the passing of a friend’s loved one or changing our profile pictures to the individual who has recently passed.

Facebook and Twitter can’t be the only place to pour our hearts out for the world to see. There is so much more to life than a continual expansion of our private emotions and moments that, while appreciated, can sometimes do more harm than good. Going back to what my classmate stated, why can’t we call our friend and give your condolences to their family? Have we “evolved” too much to stop doing simple gestures like sending flowers or a card to a loved one dealing with an unfortunate event in their lives? Social media has been successful from striping away the true human experience from us, and it’s frightening.

Support and love is a beautiful thing that shouldn’t be taken for granted, but I think it’s time we go back to touching each others hearts in the real world instead of touching the “Post” buttons on technology.

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

William Iven Dawn Emerick Dai KE

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Teaching in Perspective

I remember sitting in my college counselor’s office in high school for help with college applications. She went on to ask me what I wanted to do in life. I, being the typical 18-year-old and trying to find any way to get out of my small town, gave her a shrug. She then proceeded to stare at me for what felt like a minute and responded, “You should be a teacher.”

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As I finished my first year of teaching in Japan, this statement has come to my mind and forced me to believe that my college counselor was a fortuneteller. However, as I am no longer a young adult, I’ve taken her words into a larger perspective that involves more than just standing in front of a classroom. Teaching isn’t always a money paying career that you have to go to school for. In fact, when you think about it, we’re all teachers in our own way. Think about your mother, your best friend, someone you look up to, even a celebrity. These are all individuals that hold some sort of information meant for you and the world to experience. And while it may not sound glamorous telling people you’re a life teacher, knowing your role in life and giving to others is an important value to help you grow and become a genuine person.

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When I first arrived in Japan, I was overwhelmed and quite scared of what I’d signed up for. But it wasn’t the language I was frightened of, or even the idea of living on my own in a foreign country. Being placed in front of a classroom with random (and equally scared) children and asked to teach was a fear I thought would destroy me. And it should have. I had little experience with teaching, my Japanese was decent but not enough to talk with my teachers, and how could I teach a language that has a word with 179 meanings (look up “run”)? The jet lag and job meetings were making me miss the bigger picture of my job description. For anyone interested in teaching English in another country, the most important teaching experience is you. You’ll find it weird at first, but everything about you is an expression of a world people have never seen.

Usually when I teach, I’m using English and Japanese to explain the lesson to my students. With that being said, I don’t think I’ve ever been successful with my use of Japanese. But I’ve used this “flaw” as a way to show my students it is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes should be embraced because it shows our effort and allows us to get closer to improving. My students seeing my approach with their language allows them to interpret a way to approach English without being discouraged. I also give them the opportunity to know who I am.

Going to school every day, I’m asked questions ranging from “what kind of fruit do you like,” to “do Americans use chopsticks to eat?” While some questions may seem quite silly, I’ve started to understand that my reaction and response to the questions are important. A Japanese student asking his friend about a fruit he likes is an easygoing conversation compared to the same student asking me this question in the hallway. It’s impossible to see it on the surface, but conversing with me opens his or her minds to an interaction with someone from another culture, another background, and another experience. A simple answer like “mango” could turn into me talking about my childhood and eating mangos all year round on an island. Saying, “of course we do” to using chopsticks turns into me explaining the difference between having ramen in America in relation to Japan. I give my curious peer the opportunity to know someone from abroad, and open doors to being interested in other cultures.

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Personal experiences, cultures and languages are important ideas to share and teach to others. But the beautiful thing about teaching is that you’re also able to learn in the process. Since I came to Japan, I’ve learned so much about myself from interacting with Japanese and international people alike. I’ve given advice to family and friends, and in many instances realized I should take my own advice. My comfort zone has been the biggest teacher throughout my stay in this wonderful country. I open my mind up to things I’m unfamiliar with. I stop fighting the current and go with the flow. But the best idea I’ve learned is self-expression and self-acceptance. Whether it’s my race, my nationality, or even my hair, I’m a unique person that should be able to give my enthusiastic values and experience to people around the world. Inside and outside of the classroom, I hope to teach others I encounter to do this as well, while in the process of learning more about them.

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

Alexis Brown   Priscilla Du Preez Charles Deluvio Christin Hume

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Man Up And Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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The truth hurts. Relationships are always hard when it comes to the time when you realize that both of you do not share the same feeling to each other. You might like or love them, but they do not return the sentiment. They just think of you as a friend or acquaintance.  I just ended one self centered love I had for a girl. I would like to keep this as a lesson in my heart, and I share you what I have learned. I hope when I get older, I will read this again and tell my kids not to make the same mistakes. Or if they do, I would like them to know how to make different ones than I did.

Over the past year I experienced stupid selfish egoistic love toward a girl. She already told me that she could not do it anymore and she did not want a relationship with me, but I could not stop thinking about her and kept lying to myself and her as well saying that I was just her friend. And after that, I was literally obsessed with the thought of trying to get attention back from her. I tried everything I could do. I endured most of the things that you can come up with if you are in love with someone who is not in love with you: listening to her when she was weak and not good in terms with her boyfriend, and supporting her emotionally when she was upset.

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Do you know how it feels to be close to a girl you like but who likes someone else? It is a nightmare. You listen to her talking about her boyfriend and all you can do is just accept the reality and it is gut-clenching knowing that she would never be yours.  I wanted to tell her that I was still in love with her so many times. However, I chickened out at every turn. At some points, I told her that “I do not want you to text me anymore when you feel lonely and I do not like someone who is blind in love” which was partially true- but at the same time a total lie. I was honest in that I did not want her to talk about her boyfriend. I was trying to forget about her so that it would be easier for me to move on with my life. Yet, I still wanted to communicate with her.

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This happened because I had trouble accepting that she was having an incredibly amazing time with him – more than I had with her.  There was nothing I could do about it then. I then made up my mind not to text her so that I would be able to forget about her eventually. I would look at the text that I was going to send her over and over, feeling uneasy and exhausted… and then I sent it. When I got a text from her saying, “have a good life,” it hurt my feelings. I thought I must be a person she did not care about that much, but in the same breath I felt that I released myself from the pitiful uncertainty and I finally did something for myself.  However, it was true that I was still thinking about her even she stopped texting me. But it was good to break it off since I was almost lost myself.

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Sometimes I checked her on Facebook and I saw pictures everywhere that she was very happy with her boyfriend and there were no photos of me. Then I gradually snapped back into reality that she was now out of my life totally, and told myself that I had to move on. As the days went by, I started to think about her less and more about school and work. Sometimes, whenever I smelled her perfume on a train, I thought of her and made me breathless.

One time, I was hanging out with a different girl (who was from Finland) on my birthday. She was kind enough to spend time with me. We walked around my city until around 10 P.M. She was nice and really smart, however, the other girl was still in my head and that prevented me from taking one step. And I just said to the Finnish girl, “Thank you for coming” and took her to the nearest station. And that was the time I realized that I could not move on until I made sure how she felt about me again.  The more I thought about her, the more upset I became. Friends told me that I looked depressed sometimes. I was tired enough but put my smile on my face. I did not even give attention to people who were judging me. I wrote an article long time ago (article on December 20th love yourself first).

Then, I bought a ticket for the U.S. I was not going back to the U.S just to talk to her, but also to make business plans with my friend.

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In retrospect, If I had gone back there just to see her and make sure, I would have been the stupidest person in the world. On my birthday, I hoped she would text me. She did not.  The next day, I received a text from her saying “happy belated birthday“. And I was so happy in that I got a text from her! I remembered how happy she was with her boyfriend and remembered all the joyful pictures on Facebook, so I played it cool as if I was really not interested in her anymore. This was a lie.  She asked me if I wanted to go to Cuba with her. I told her that I might if I had money. I mean come on, it would be stupid to go to another country with a girl who you know has a boyfriend.

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So I came back to the U.S and I saw her again. It was all great. She was beautiful as usual and more sophisticated than ever – and still with her boyfriend. I was hoping that she would leave him soon so that I would be able to have a conversation and ask her if she was interested in me or not. This was foolish.

My closest friend would constantly tell me that I had been insanely stupid and helpless as hell, and begged me not to see her anymore and told me all the bad things that could happen. I ignored their warnings, because I was thinking about her again. It was true that I was on the top of the world when I was with her, but I did not tell her. I was such a coward. There have been moments that I could have told her about my feelings a lot of times but I kept lying to myself and her.

There was a moment I was mad at her.  I regretted that I was mad quickly, but it was an honest feeling. And of course that got her uncomfortable and made her distant. Since then, I was not able to see her for almost three weeks. This was the hardest part of the trip, and I wanted to confirm that we were done before she was disappeared from my life.

Since I could not see her, I decided to text her. I started texting all the feelings I had for her over the last year. The text was massive – almost a whole book – and she was kind enough to read through all of them. This time I was fully honest with my feelings. Never in my life had I poured out my feelings as I did in this text. I did not have much time in the United States and I thought I would not have time to see her again. After I typed all of feelings and sent them, I felt that I was finally free. The text was cathartic. And at the end of the day, I found out (as was obvious as it was at the beginning) that she was not interested in me at all.

But it was good at least to me that I could hear it again straight from her mouth. And she made me realize that I was so demanding and obsessed as hell. I realized that I was being really egoistical and that I had done all this for myself and not thinking about her life or reactions. And she told me that I did not have to be her friend. Oh well, the truth hurts, you know. And I had to admit the fact that I probably did not love her but was just being needy and childish because someone got her and I did not, and I should care about her happiness as well as my own. People make stupid choices, but it only helps us learn something new and teaches us how we just are going to apply it to the next situation.

So what I learned is:

  1. Don’t be so dramatic (even that is the way you are).
  2. Don’t hang out with someone if you are not willing be a friend to them in the first place.
  3. Do not lie to yourself and whoever you are dealing with.
  4. If you love someone after a rejection, just leave them alone.
  5. Get to know the truth as fast as you can.
  6. Do not postpone your decision until it is too late and waste your time.    
  7. If you are such a dramatic guy as I am, I recommend you to make fast moves otherwise you will waste your time.
  8. Don’t love someone too much when they do not love you

But at the end of the day, communicate well. Be open with your friends and lovers. If it is hard to end a relationship, do it anyway, because it is not healthy for you in the long run.

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

Charlie Foster Pelly Benassi Andrew Neel Daryan Shamkhali Talal Ahmad Jacob Morrison Ryan Franco

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Why People Treat You Badly: It’s simple

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You can’t say, “They are treating me bad.” Because simply you are allowing them to do it to you. You are in charge of this situation: nobody is controlling you in your life. It is you. “They lie to me”. Alright, truth is that you let them do it. You need to have a consistent mindset of “Don’t let others treat you the way you do not want them to treat you”.

People are going to hurt you because you allow them to do it. People are punching you because you allow them to do it. People are lying to you because you allow them to do it. Your partner is cheating on you because you allow her/him to do it. People are using you because you are allowing them to do it.

“I get offended if I am treated the way I do not treat you. I am not misusing you, but why you are doing this to me. I don’t treat you that way.”

If you do not want others to treat you the way you do not want them to treat you, proper thing to tell them  is : “You can not treat me in the way I do not treat youIf  you are giving it to them, they are not it giving to you.  It is cut off.

If you want to be happy, you have to put yourself under your own control in your life. Do not let yourself to be a doormat and let them walk all over your house.   You need to tell them, “You are not walking all over my house with that dirty shoes. You are not doing something that I do not allow you to do. If you can not do thing I tell you to do in my house, you need to be out“.  You need to take control of your life.

I have been allowing people to treat me the way I do not want them to. Been there, done that. If you are with someone who has been doing things that you don’t want them to do. It is your fault. It is just human nature that people do things if they know that they can get away with it until they burn their fingers by whatever happens to them. You are the one in control of your life. You are the one who makes you happy, not someone out there, but it is your job and responsibility.

You have to tell them, “You can not get away with it this time, because I do not want to have those people around me in my life. If you are going to do that again, I do not want you in my life”.

“I am being so honest to you, and if you don’t want to be truly honest to me, you are not around me anymore.”

If they ask you to forgive them, you are forgiving them because you do not want to have hatred in yourself, but you are not going to be with them.

Power of choice is within you, it is not out there in the world!

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

Give it up for those who provide beautiful pictures:

Julian Santa Ana Jason Blackeye Francisco Moreno

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Forgiving and Forgetting: The Science of Letting Go

The moment you reject someone for whatever reason, do you know exactly what is going on on the other person’s mind? It would be so heart-breaking…

Have you ever hurt someone or are you hurting someone?  Have you been hurt or are you hurting because of someone and something? There are always times in your life when people hurt you deliberately or unintentionally.

The moment you reject someone for whatever reason, do you know exactly what is going on on the other person’s mind? It would be so heart-breaking to you if you were them, but the truth is that unless they let you know how hurt they are, you will never know what is going on in their minds. Of course, if the one who you hurt or have been hurting is mature, then chances are that they have already forgiven you or will likely forgive you later, but one thing you have to always remember are those things you did to them will remain in their recollections, in other words, they can not forget what happened to them, what has been told and said by you.

Of course, I happened to be on both sides of this situation for better or worse before, so I can tell how easy for me it is to reject others and think that they are fine with it, and also how hard it is to forgive someone, and most importantly to forget about what they have done to me. The moment you reject someone, you feel some kind of relaxing vibe since you successfully solved the problem in your favor, and finally you are able to run after something you always wanted .

However, if those who were rejected by you were not contended with your points or were needy/clingy, then they would do whatever they could do to trouble you. Let’s say people you have rejected are mature enough to forgive you by all means, but as I mentioned already, it is still hard for them to forgive you. And chances are that they will not forget about you.

If it took place more than 5 years ago, then they might have already forgotten or at least have become indifferent about what happened to them due to you. Notwithstanding, it is not always the case. And another truth about the moment when they forgive you is that they are not over it at all by a long shot. They are in the process to rationalize the situation and try so hard to pretend that nothing has happened to them, and this is usually done so by them in order to make you feel as good about yourself as you can after your rejection so that you can move on in your life thinking that you and they had a good ending. On the other hand, they are still struggling with that situation no matter what. And time is the only thing that can heal the wounds.

I forgive a lot, but I never forget what’s said and done.

Ok, they forgave you, then what? Then they will move on to the next stage to reshape their relationship with you, and that is “Forgetting about the past”. However, this is the most and worst part of getting over the past since it is simply nearly quixotic in every sense of the word. Unless they lose their memory completely, they won’t be able to forget. This becomes more difficult as you get older.  You do not remember exactly what happened to you when you were 11 or 12 years-old, but you surely still remember what you did and what kind of people you are hanging around with when you are 20 years-old. My father (50 something) still does remember those days he had when he was an university student.  In that, you always have to be careful about what you are going to do with those who you once rejected at any level for whatever the reason.

I forgive people, but that doesn’t mean I trust them.

If you are intending to have better relations with those people afterwards, you have to carefully look in the past and try to understand how they felt back in time even if you can’t, and try not to make the same mistakes again with them, and this is the only way to enhance the relations to better quality. And another thing you have to remind yourself of always is that they lost trust and any expectations from you already. They will likely not tell you this, but this is surely the thing you have to know.

If you are not trying to get back at those people, you might as well just move on in your life forgetting about them first. You should not contact them because it only hurts them more.  And if you happen to be the one who was treated like shi# by someone who you loved once and still love, we do not know how but sometimes you just have to forget about the person and move on.

Give it up to those who provide beautiful pictures:

Alina Sofia

3 Reasons Why You Should Travel

If you are a teenager or twenty-someting, you have a lot of time and energy to spend on exploring the world. Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which you thought you did not fit into the society that you were in? If the answer is Yes, please proceed reading.

Photo by Josh Nezon on Unsplash

I was talking about random stuff with one of people I befriended on campus, who is from Argentina. While we are talking,  we started to talk about passions each one of us have. I explained what I had been doing for my dream, and he also talked about his goal and the way he perceived the world. Honestly, what he told me was inspiring and he offered  intriguing ideas I had never thought of up until that moment. He explained how important it is to travel the world in our lives, especially when we are young. There three reasons he excitedly told me are:

1. Abandon time to spend for ourselves unlike people in their 40s.

Photo by Josh Nezon on Unsplash

Of course, when we are 20-something, we still have freedom to some extent even though most of us start working at companies. Yet it is still believed that even if you failed on what  you are doing, you would most likely be able to start to reshape your life from scratch again if you are still 20-something . It sounds old-school cliche, but it stays true. How many elderly people already have told you to do the thing you love the most? Furthermore, I have heard a lot about their unrealized ideas and inventions that elderly people have been keeping in their minds for their entire lives, and they told me that they should have done it when they were young. As you can tell from regrets such as these, we simply might better living up the moment as much as we can. Traveling around the world will definitely be the one of must-dos when it comes to doing something young people can: they have the privilege to do so.

2. Know the people, know the countries, and know the world. 

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

This totally depends on each individual, however if I had to say one thing, I would say that you might not want to miss the boat before it is too late to notice that you should have done it. When you travel all over the world, it is highly likely that you will encounter moments you have never expected. You cannot anticipate the challenges you will face such as visiting country that have differences in culture, values, societal function, and the way people think about their lives. And each experience you  go through actually will help you a lot to broaden your view of the outside of the world. The Argentinean man said to me ” With the experiences you would likely go through during traveling the world, you will gain another aspect of the way of life through interactions with cultures and people  there, and it will help you to figure out where is the right place for you to settle“. It does sound dramatic, however, it is human nature that some people just do not fit right in the place where they currently stay.

3. Figure out the right place to fit in    

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This one is actually the whole point of his talking about the way he sees the world. He does not just travel the world to have good time to take his mind off of the hectic ongoing mind game in society which wears him down, but he does travel to find a place truly for him to be able to blend in. It indeed takes time until we find a place like this, but it is worth trying in order to spend our lives happy. For instance, I live in Japan, and I do occasionally feel that I do not belong to Japanese society the way I should. Rather, I feel much more connected with American society in that I am the type of boy who clearly shows his thoughts and feelings in words to people. He articulated the point by saying, “And this can be only done when you are young“. 

Why don’t you consider these three points,  pack your stuff and get out of your country. When you come back, you might become a totally different person more than you can imagine now.  You are not belonging to a country, you are belonging to the world!


Give it to those who provide beautiful pictures:

Rathish Gandhi Josh Nezon Wil Stewart Omar Lopez Raghu Nayyar

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