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

maxim-smith-103637
Photo by Maxim Smith on Unsplash

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.

silvestri-matteo-176500
Photo by Silvestri Matteo on Unsplash

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.

Michael-Jackson-celebrityabc
Downloaded from Flicker

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

paul-dufour-172607
Photo by Paul Dufour on Unsplash

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.”

priscilla-du-preez-318419
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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.

charles-deluvio-89935
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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.

christin-hume-316554
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Man Up And Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

charlie-foster-136
Photo by Charlie Foster on Unsplash

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.

pelly-benassi-2368
Photo by Pelly Benassi on Unsplash

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.

andrew-neel-137513
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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.

daryan-shamkhali-102731
Photo by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

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.

talal-ahmad-355603
Photo by Talal Ahmad on Unsplash

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.

jacob-morrison-109043
Photo by Jacob Morrison on Unsplash

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.

ryan-franco-235101.jpg
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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.