Day 365: The Man and the Clean Start; ‘Savage’

‘Day of rest’ my shiny keister.

I don’t know what it was, but this morning the sun was shining, it was a crisp and clear Catand beautiful day, and I wanted to bury myself in dust and dirt and undo a full year’s worth of damage to my bedroom. Now I’m not actually a ‘messy’ person, per se. Like, I have very strict bedroom rules. Absolutely no food or drink. No one is allowed on or in my bed unless they change into ‘bed clothes’, which as the name would imply, should only ever be worn in bed. We’re your typical Asian family so we already do the whole ‘no shoes indoors’ thing and that extends to no socks and slippers everywhere. Slippers are worn all around the house but are left at the bedroom door and I’m only ever actually barefoot in my room. I put dirty clothes in the laundry, worn but clean clothes on hooks, and all clean clothes are folded or hung. Like I said, I’m not a savage. Hahah.

But I am a bit of a hoarder. And that’s the big problem. My rooms never gets dirty, it just gets crowded. And every now and then I need to just arm myself with five extra large Activitiesgarbage bags and three empty boxes and remind throw out everything I once thought I might need and probably haven’t touched since 2014. That’s not an exaggeration, by the way. I did actually find and throw out things I’ve held onto since then for no real rhyme or  reason. So I’m currently enjoying the incredible ease and peace of  mind that comes from a near empty room filled with only purposeful and  meaningful things. I can’t believe how much I had that just had to go, and for good benefit. I even managed to clear enough to redecorate and reorganize some parts of my room. Plus, I think I unlocked like a good ten extra square feet of space.

Resolution 1The timing of my clean room purge isn’t lost on me, by the way. I know what today is, and I certainly think that at least some of my desire for this cleaning was definitely in part due to the last day of my year. You know how some people get around New Year’s. They clean up, they get hopelessly and foolishly optimistic, some even run or exercise, or get foolishly optimistic about running and exercising. And in many ways, to me this is more about the start of a new year than the end of the last. Nothing ends after this. The Resolution 2blog continues, Man continues, and Me continues. In fact, all there is to look forward to is more new, more change, more ‘more’ of everything. And the fact that I am cleaning and listening to more 70s and 80s and 90s pop and dance and rock and I am dancing and singing my way to the end of this day, the end of this year, does make me feel foolishly optimistic that everything is gonna be alright, everything is gonna be good.

That I could sing and dance and be hopeful at all is in and of itself a major accomplishment, and a testament to the strength I’ve found this past year. I look at the final count and think to myself, 33 days, a little more than a month, really isn’t all that bad. And I think it would have been a lot longer, and would have been a year with much more negative experiences to have to answer for. When I first started this blog, and when I did some research for my NaNoWriMo project, I remember reading articles about how men and women get over relationships differently.

See emotionally and mentally, women are hit more notably and visibly. You know the deal. Sappy romances, chocolate, ice cream, and flannel pajamas for days. Women will Sad Ice Creamshut themselves in and shut the world out. On a very superficial level, compared to men, it seems like women take longer to get over breakups and feel the effects of them much more deeply. And there are very clear and logical evolutionary reasons for this. Biologically speaking, women have more to lose when a relationship fails. Women naturally have much more to invest in relationships and therefore have to consider them on deeper levels faster than men. What one man sees as a brief night of passion a woman might have to see as nine months of pregnancy and years of lactation and care. With much more to gain and to lose, a failed relationship could bear great weight on a woman. But inevitably, give it a couple weeks, a couple months, maybe a year or two, a few pep talks, some honest late night conversation, and she always, always, recover.

You’re gonna think guys get over relationships faster. You’re going to think back and remember men who’ve broken hearts or whose hearts have been broken, and remember how seemingly easy it was and how quick it was for them to get ‘back in the game’ so to Sad Andyspeak. And I’m not denying the signs. Relationships being formed seemingly right away. Clubs and bars and nights out with friends. Sometimes it seems like their feet hit the bar before your tears hit the floor. And certainly in terms of ‘moving on’, men do move on faster. But a lot of times, unlike most women, while men do ‘move on’, most never ‘heal’. A lot of men, even those who seemingly move on quickly, end up burying and bearing the feeling of that loss for much much longer periods of time than women, feeling either the pain of having to try and find what they lost or fearing that what they lost is irreplaceable. You see this in disastrous cycles of identical failed relationships, or men who end up becoming self-saboteurs.

So we’ve got deep and searing pain for a couple months with the eventual promise of recovery, or a speedy bounce back with years of lingering effects. Huh. And to be fair, I think normally I would have followed my natural path and probably within a month or two, try to date, get some online profiles up on a couple different sites, maybe dig up old acquaintances on Facebook to promisingly disastrous results. From personal experience, I know how these breakups usually go, and often times the harder and harsher the fall, the quicker I resort to same old tricks. So what broke the cycle? Why didn’t I go down the most familiar and comfortable path I had? What’s so different about men and women when they go through heartbreak?

This is just conjecture, just one man thinking and speaking out loud, throwing it to the void and seeing what sticks, but I think it comes down to just that. Thinking and speaking ConstantTalkingout loud. Communicating. Women are natural communicators. They share. When they’re done and hurting, they tell, or they have good friends who come and listen. The point is, there’s no shortage of willing ears, or a willing spirit to share. So everything comes out. In large painful bursts but, eventually, it all gets out there. And they’re afforded that opportunity to heal, to recover, to grow, develop, and maybe just maybe avoid the same mistakes, same hurt. Guys, we don’t usually do that. We like to think we’re just so in tune with each other that we don’t need to say anything. It’s almost like, the closer and the manlier your bond, the less you speak. We’ll drink, we’ll spit out enough cliches to get a guy ‘back on the horse’ ‘back in the game’ ‘back in the hunt’ and maybe we’ll just need to keep the cycle going more often that we’d like or imagined. But it’s gotta work, right?

This time, I had this blog. And for 33 days I shared 33 reflections on 33 things that hurt me, kept me up late at night, made me afraid of the coming day. And that number could have been anything. The point was, I always had this outlet. No thought unsaid, no feeling unexplored. And while in the beginning it was to the void, even just the act of verbalizing, forming, seeing the thoughts on screen, had effects. But eventually I had Dataconversations, and interactions, and extra voices, to build up or tear down, depending on what my train of thought might be and where it was headed. Ultimately, I don’t even think it was about the no dating for a year. Or the particular count and wanting to ‘win’ the year. I think it was about finding a voice. Saying something, anything, was better than keeping it in and doing just whatever it was I wanted to do. There’s value in communication. There’s value in the people you communicate with. When I started this blog, one of my goals was not just to be a place for me, but a place for anyone who needed to talk, or needed a second reassuring voice, to find comfort and solace, and maybe some wisdom through similar experiences. I’ve seen and felt firsthand the power of communication. I’ve learned so much, but not nearly enough. And I’ll keep learning and going. But for anyone who ever needs to talk, or listen, I’ll want to be there for them. Unless I’m cleaning. Because I won’t be able to hear you over the Vengaboys.

Hey, that’s just for cleaning music. Don’t judge.

Day 365 FINAL

Man: 332 (WINNER) Loneliness: 33

 

Day 100: The Man and the Hundred Day Update

On a side note, I can’t believe it’s been 100 days!

Yes, it does mean that 100 days ago my relationship with Beautiful ended, and that was a very tough time for me emotionally. But it means so much more than just a timeline of heartbreak. I’ve been single and pretty happy and secure for 100 days. I’ve been writing for 100 days. At an average word count of about 1,000 words, that means I’ve written around 100,000 words! I don’t think I’ve ever written so much in such a consistent way over such a long period of time. They might not always be the best words but they’ve always been my words; genuine, authentic, purposeful words. For 100 days I have been moving ever forward and I’ve found my little niche in this enormous community where my words can find a home and even an audience. For 100 days I have been reflecting and learning and growing.

So I look at my M/L ratio so far, and I see I’ve had 80 days for Man and 20 days for Loneliness. That’s not too bad, I should think. If we break it down, it does still mean that I have a bummer day every 5 days. That’s still like, one or two a week depending. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it that way, but it’s interesting for me at least to think of the past three months in that way. Obviously it hasn’t been as consistent as just one a week. For the most part, the bad days came often times in a row. A slump to get over. It makes me wonder though at the end of the road, what my days will look like. I’ve never quantified them in this way. Thinking of how many good or bad days I’ve had to experience. I hope in the end I could say I had a bad day in every ten, or maybe even thirty days. I think that would be a very satisfying life.

What I have learned though is that my enemy was not who I thought it was. In the very beginning, Loneliness was the by-product of my breakup. I felt Loneliness in the void Beautiful left in my life. It was the bad reminder of good times long gone, like the charred remains after a house fire. I feared anything that would remind me of her or my relationship, so for a while I lived a shell of a life in isolated sanctuaries I knew she hadn’t yet entered. But I can’t live my life afraid of being burned by a fire that has already passed. So I moved on. Yet Loneliness remained. So I thought it was because I was without a relationship. But I have surrounded myself more now than ever with friends and family. I have been learning to cherish and appreciate these other relationships in my life. I could balance time with others and have time to myself to be alone but not lonely. So I have relationships right now to keep me happy and fulfilled. Yet, Loneliness remains. And now I’m beginning to see that I can sort of see the silhouette of what it is I feel so lonely for. This special, higher, much more intimate relationship. I’m beginning to reflect more on what it is I want in a relationship. I’m not just chasing the shadows of images confusing them for the real thing. I want to investigate the nature of what I want. And now those moments when Loneliness wins, it’s not so bad. It’s a bittersweet reminder of the intense feelings that come from being alive and having loved and having lost. Loneliness is the cloud from which there would otherwise be no silver lining.

I don’t know why but recently I’ve been on a serious binge of really sappy love songs on Spotify. I’d come into work and turn on my computer, log into Spotify, and almost immediately Celine Dion is playing. They don’t write love songs like they used to anymore. Celine Dion, Boz Skaggs, Lionel Richie, those love songs you feel in your heart versus your pelvis. Recently I’ve been having more dreams with these mysterious dream girls. Always different, never the same, never even someone I know. Just these various versions of what I’m looking for. Last night she had long hair and was short and we met in martial arts class. The other night she had short hair and had this pale skin like the full moon and she let me rest my head on her lap. I used to hate these dreams because I’d wake up and focus on not having these things but now I wake up and love how much I want them. I’m not gonna lie I’m almost itching to get back to dating. But I can see so much of the benefits of this time away that I don’t want to stop. There is value and worth in discretion and discipline. I knew it would be difficult and I knew I’d want to get back real soon but I thought it would be out of fear and desperation. Instead I find it’s out of excitement and enthusiasm and wonderful curiosity.

Beside the fact, I wouldn’t even know where to fit dating into my life again at this time. Hahah. What started as attempts to drive loneliness and fear and insecurity from my mind as distractions have become genuine interests and passions. My days are full of activity and growth. On Mondays and Thursdays I’m taking boxing classes. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays I am still going to martial arts. On Fridays if I’m not there I’m hanging out with friends or going out on my own. This Friday I’m seeing Kurios with a friend and her family. On Saturdays I am almost always either with friends or family. Sundays are my days to myself to rest and recuperate or to enjoy my own company doing the things that I love, fully comfortable on my own. I cook more. Next week I am planning a meal for my family and I can’t wait to cook and take pictures and moreover I can’t wait to share with you all a post I already have planned about what cooking has taught me about life. I am blogging now almost every single day and that takes up a good amount of time. Quality content doesn’t come easily or quickly and I’m still trying to find it. I’ve taken up archery. I even built my own target stand. I try to shoot 100 arrows a day to develop my muscle memory, my eyesight, and my instincts (no fancy equipment or sights here). I thought my life was defined by my relationships and that without it I would only be left with silence and thoughts. Instead I find that without a relationship to define me I am filling in the blanks with my own interests and values and spending my time defining myself for myself.

I won’t lie, I miss having someone though. I still fall ever so slightly in love with every beautiful woman who looks my way. But there’s no pressure to do anything about it. I’m not killing myself not having it. Just enjoying that rush and that feeling. I miss having someone’s hand to hold as I walk through the special and wonderful places and times of my life. I miss hearing sweet words directed at me. I miss a beautiful woman’s laughter right next to my ear. The unmistakable sugary flowery sweet smell of a woman’s perfume on my pillow. I miss the gaze of a woman who can see into my soul and see her world. I miss it because I want it. I refrain because I want to earn it. I write these clumsy words because I want to remember how to cherish it.

Day 100

Man: 80 Loneliness: 20

Day 82: The Man and the Apologetic Gratitude

I am always so floored when people tell me they’ve nominated me for these awards. I’ve never gotten such consistent and quality feedback. It’s not just the positivity and the recognition. Every comment influences my consciousness as a writer and blogger. All of the feedback I receive helps me become better over time: polishing my writing, developing my rhetoric, creating a voice that is more universal, finding topics that reach more of an audience.

And yet I also feel bad because most if not all of these most recent recognitions were on Saturday night and I couldn’t get a post done for yesterday at all. Really great French restaurant twenty minutes from here that my friends and I had to try out! Hahah.

As I’ve done for the past nominations, I would like to recognize and thank the bloggers who have nominated me and recommend that you visit them and give them a read if you haven’t yet already. I don’t have anyone to nominate that I haven’t already so I will stick to the thank you and the responses. Hope that’s not too narcissistic.


Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-recognitionIt is my honor to receive another Blogger Recognition Award from meetmeinnevada. I love reading her writing because of the freshness of perspective and the unbridled enthusiasm and positivity she writes with. ‘Fish out of water’ transformation stories are always particularly interesting and following the chronicle of her journey from Kansas to Nevada has been a wonderful read. Aside from this she also includes some great personal and honest posts that are truly thought-provoking and inspiring. She’s given me plenty of great ideas to write on in the future. Thank you so much for your nomination and I cannot wait to keep reading your story. I hope many others soon follow suit.

Most of you know how this blog came to be. It was my salvation, my refuge after a devastating breakup. I had to rediscover myself and what I was looking for. I needed to step away from my cycle of dating and distraction to do some serious reflection on my own, and the only way to know I would give myself the time and the opportunity to do so was to bar myself from relationships for a year. From there I thought I’d be journaling how each day went, talking about the struggles and victories, but instead what I discovered is that this process isn’t about winning day to day. It’s about serious thought and transformation. I had to rethink everything I thought I knew. So days became concepts and daily victories became campaigns. Now I still keep track of that and on certain days I might want to capture the feeling of that, but a lot of my blog has now become about those things that I needed to give myself time to think about and sharing what I’ve come to discover.

My two pieces of advice from the last nomination can be found here. To reiterate: 1. WRITE WRITE WRITE and 2. BECOME INVOLVED.

If I could add to that, I’d say…

3. BE CONSISTENT. And I’ll try to be better at this too. Creating a consistent schedule of posting benefits both you and your readers. It helps your blog grow its audience because people who have come to appreciate and enjoy your writing know they can consistently expect content to keep them satiated. As a writer maintaining a disciplined schedule helps you focus and improve your writing.

4. GIVE/GET FEEDBACK. We are all writers who can always stand to benefit from continued encouragement and feedback. If a post resonates with you in a certain way, let the writer know. If it inspires a thought, share. You never know if your comment could start a whole new path or direction for the writer. In the same vein, keep the communication open with your readers. Enjoy and appreciate the compliments and positive feedback but be able to grow and take in constructive feedback. We all want to see each other be better writers.


Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine 2.png

Thank you to aYoKa for nominating me for another Sunshine Blogger Award. aYoKa’s blog is one of the most positive ones I’ve read and so to receive a Sunshine nomination is quite an honor. I’m actually very glad that the blog was nominated because the answers were so interesting. I did not know about the origin and struggles of the author’s life and it frames the positivity and optimism in a much more dramatic way. Always fun to read the posts and always such a bright light to remind me of the good in myself, in others, and in our shared experiences. You can’t have a bad day if you read. So please, check out this blog.

What languages do you speak?

I was born and raised in New Jersey so English is my native tongue but my parents are from the Philippines and made sure I learned Tagalog as well. I would like to learn French and Norwegian in the future.

When did you last cry in front of another person?

When Beautiful broke up with me. Uncontrollable, inconsolable crying in front of someone who clearly did not care about me anymore, if ever.

Are you less religious than your parents?

Yes. My parents were raised as devout Catholics in Catholic schools in the only Catholic nation in Asia. So that was a big part of my youth. As I’ve grown I have drifted further from the church but I will never be able to fully separate myself from this part of my identity.

What is the the one thing you have tried but will never do again?

Does Tinder count?

Do you believe everyone needs a soulmate?

Oh man…this deserves a whole separate post in the future! To suffice for now…no. I think there’s too much unfair and unrealistic pressure to make someone our ‘soulmate’. We deserve someone in our lives. Someone who loves us and accepts us but also inspires us to be better than we are. But ‘soulmate’? No. I just want someone who loves me and who I can love back.

Would you say no to palm oil products to save the orangutans?

I think I’ve lived pretty well so far without palm oil so…sure? What could possibly be the biggest departure of my life in a world without palm oil?

Have you ever succeeded when you thought you might fail?

This blog certainly has received more attention than I ever thought my simple musings would have ever attracted, but I never really thought it would ‘fail’ or that I would measure any sort of ‘success’ from it. Otherwise…when I left my teaching job I thought I was a failure. I was ashamed that I had to walk away and that I hadn’t lived up to my potential. But a month before the end of the school year my Juniors got back their standardized test scores. Almost all of them (89%) of them passed, and of those a good third of them were in the ‘advanced proficiency’ category! I thought the biggest success was the numbers. But it was actually the pride and gratitude I saw in my students’ eyes when they called me ‘Mr. [Man]’. I will never forget that. I made my mark, I did the best I could when I had the chance.

Who makes your dinner?

If I’m on the road, the restaurant chef. If I’m at home, my mother. If it’s a special occasion or date, me.

Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert ?

An introvert no doubt. I couldn’t live without alone time. It’s the only way I can maintain such a bright and chipper personality. Hahah.

Have you ever witnessed a panic attack?

Yes. The first major car crash I was in, I was driving my friend home from college when a woman ran a red light and t-boned my car on the driver side. I suffered a minor fracture in my lower leg and a bump on the head but my friend, who had never been in an accident before and was never comfortable driving, suffered a straight up panic attack. I had to calm him down and coax him back to the ground. He was relatively unscathed and just really shaken so I sat him down at the side of the road. Gave him a bottle of water and told him to drink long slow big gulps to help regulate his breathing. Told him to focus on me and assured him he was going to be okay.


Versatile Blogger Award
versatile-bloggerShayma nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, which always means a lot to me. Versatility and variety is something I strive to bring to my writing and to this blog. I’d like to keep experimenting not only with different topic but different mediums as well. If you want an example of excellence and versatility, you definitely could not go wrong with Shayma. Her poetry and her prose are equally impressive and a joy to read. There is a high level of awareness and maturity in each piece. It’s a relatively new blog but that means you can be on the ground floor to really see some growth. I truly hope that Shayma continues to write and shares the love and insight.

  1. Not so much as before, but I am a huge anime/manga fan (Japanese animation and graphic novels). I currently have more than 200 manga in my bookshelves. Aside from the books and the DVDs I also got the merchandise to prove I was in the deep end at one point. Swords, wall scrolls, figures, accessories, and even clothing. Yes, I have cosplayed (dressed up as some favorite characters in public, usually at conventions).
  2. I know it’s been irrefutably proven to be disastrously detrimental to your health, but there have been a few occasions in my life, even post college, when I’ve pulled all-nighters out of sheer enjoyment and/or curiosity. Sometimes I wanted to keep playing video games or watching movies. Other times it was just because I felt like it and wanted to see what would happen. I love the silence of the early hours when the world is still wiping the sleep from their tired eyes. I also like the luxury and audaciousness of sleeping when everyone else is up and being productive. Hahah.
  3. I’ve been featured in my local paper three times. Two have been for spelling bees. One year I won the tri-county and another year I was second in state. Unfortunately never got further than that. The third time was in high school. I was a member of my school’s China Care Club. China Care is an organization that helps Chinese orphans. One of our programs is called Dumplings, which is a playgroup we host for families who have adopted Chinese orphans so that they can learn about the culture of their homeland. Every Chinese New Year we would do a huge celebration with the families and I’d do a martial arts demonstration and then teach the kids a little something. One year the paper came by and did a story on us and they took a picture of me teaching the little kiddies.
  4. The worst injuries I’ve sustained cooking are a permanent burn mark on my left arm from trying to grab a cheesecake in the oven with my bare hands and slicing off the surface of my finger tip using a mandoline slicer the very first time. Don’t worry, it grew back. Too bad. Without fingerprints I could have committed all the crime I ever wanted.
  5. I saved my brother’s life once. He loves peanut M&Ms and when he was 5 we were walking around and he had a bag of them. As he was eating he must have accidentally swallowed one whole and started choking. I did the Heimlich Maneuver on him and it popped out, just like in the TV shows. Got some good air too. Flew for a good little while. Hahah.
  6. If I want to impress a girl, the first meal I make for them usually starts with a salad (either tomato and mozzarella where I cut the tomato partially and insert the cheese so it looks like a fan or a frisee salad with bacon and a poached egg), linguini with clam sauce, rack of lamb, and then a dessert (either tiramisu, creme brulee, or a strawberry napoleon).
  7. My first car was a Honda Accord that I named Baby. My second car was an Acura TL I named Appa (after the character in Avatar the Last Airbender). I currently drive a Subaru Forester that I have not yet named. I haven’t discovered its soul yet.

Tags of Eight

This isn’t an award nomination but still seems like a lot of fun. Cosmic Explorer tagged me to respond to an array of questions where I need to make lists of 8.

8 TV Shows I Love Watching

Big Bang Theory

Modern Family

Brooklyn Nine Nine

The Walking Dead

Stranger Things

New Scandinavian Cooking

Law and Order: SVU

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

8 Favorite Games to Play

Chinese Poker (also known as Pusoy Dos and Do Dai Di)

Mahjong (Filipino rules)

Gin Rummy

Cards Against Humanity

Billiards (8 ball or 9 ball)

Fallout series

Mass Effect series

Paragon (recently)

8 Things I Look Forward To

Travel with friends

Travel with family

Travel alone

Travel with someone special

Moving out to my own place

My next career move (whatever it may be)

Another first date

Day 365: The Man and the…

8 Things I’m Passionate About

Food

Drink

Film

Literature

Martial Arts

Love

Travel

Writing

8 Phrases I Use Often

Right on, Donkey Kong.

Please.

Thank you.

It’s on like a chicken bone!

Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.

I love you.

Ehm…

I was kidding. Don’t believe that.

8 Things I’ve Learned from the Past

If a restaurant offers reservations, make one.

Try before you buy.

You should have more dignity than to ever be someone’s rebound.

You need to have a plan when you go to a casino.

The best way to lead and to gain followers is to lead by example.

It is often better to be happy than to be right.

Blood doesn’t make family.

Breakfast tastes best at 2am.

8 Places I Would Love to Visit

Montreal

Norway

Taiwan

Japan

Korea

Italy

England

Aruba


Day 82

Man: 63 Loneliness: 19

 

 

 

Day 76: The Man and the Continued Act of Gratitude

In continued recognition of how incredible the WP community is, I’d like to recognize two awards given to me by two awesomely talented bloggers. It’s been an incredible honor to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger and Versatile Bloggger awards in the past and now I am pleased to acknowledge a second Sunshine Blogger Award nomination from SHAYM and the Blogger Recognition Award from Cosmic Explorer.

Most of the blogs and bloggers I would like to nominate have already been so by either myself or others.

My initial response and nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award can be found here. My nominees were: WanderlustBreath MathKnowMyHeartInsidious Temptation, and kStan(ly) kSays. If you have not yet had an opportunity to explore their blogs, I would highly recommend taking the time to.

As such, I still would like to honor the nominations by answering the questions.


Blogger Recognition.png

The Rules for The Blogger Recognition Award

For all the nominees for this award, here are the rules, if you choose to accept (Please do):

  1. Write a post to show your award.
  2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  3. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  4. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.

How my Blog Started

By now this story is very familiar. But, inspired by a comment from a reader, I’d like to discuss my hopes for where this blog could go. I haven’t forgotten my roots and the reason why this all started. I am still constantly battling, just getting better at fighting and recognizing my enemy. But as I’ve continued to write and evolve, I’ve started discussing movies, shows, food, music, it’s awoken this dormant desire to write and share that I didn’t think I had the skill nor the energy for. And blogging is not easy! I am surprised how much I enjoy it, how much time I freely give to it. You all know how this blog started. But even I don’t know where it will end. Maybe there’s a whole story to be written about my experience with Beautiful. Maybe I’ll want to be recognized for more than heartbreak. All I know is now I am beginning to realize that as I write, I’m also in the back of my mind writing to maybe discover a new path, a new future.

Advice to New Bloggers

  1. WRITE! Write when you don’t want to write. Write what you’re afraid to say. Write what’s too painful, too stupid, too hard to write. This is like any other muscle or any other skill. It needs constant stimulation. Write when there’s nothing left to write about the feeling of not knowing what to write. Your job isn’t to evaluate your writing. It’s not to judge before the fact. Your job is to write. Let it out and then see what happens. Then adjust. Then revise. But you can’t fix what isn’t broken. So break yourself writing.
  2. BECOME INVOLVED. I thought the self-contained microcosm of Man would be enough for me to fight Loneliness. But I craved and needed feedback and acknowledgement and growth, which can only come from an equal audience. This is an incredible community of writers and creators. Take advantage of that. Become involved. Share and spread love. Read other blogs. Consume. Then, share. Comment. Discuss. Converse. Your blog cannot exist on its own. It needs others. Rivers flow both ways.

Gratitude

Thank you again to Cosmic Explorer for this nomination. Your blog has been such a fun and positive reminder of the power of gratitude and curiosity. I also weirdly, geekily, and obsessively love all the blog post pics. I can’t outrun my anime nerd past. Hahah.


sunshine-blogging

Another Sunshine Blogger Award nomination! This time from SHAYMÂ. You know, I’ll be disqualified for this if Loneliness gets too many wins. Hahah.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions from your nominator.

The Questions

1. What’s your favourite quote and why?

First off, love that this used the European spelling for ‘favorite’. I’d use it but…I’m a Joy-sey boy. They’ll spot me lying and faking. Hahah. I have a lot of favorite quotes.

When it comes to cooking: ‘a recipe is just an expression of a moment of time’. Cook to your feelings and passions. Recipes were made to be changed.

My favorite toast, ‘May those who love us, love us. And those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts. And if He doesn’t turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles, so we may know them by their limping.’

On dealing with rainy days, ‘There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.’

2. Do you read books? What kind of books and why?

Books a plenty! I like to read memoirs by people I admire to learn how to live a life to similar ends. I believe literature is a good way of supplementing knowledge we don’t yet have. That’s why when I was younger I wanted to read about noble heroes and love and things I didn’t have but wanted. Now I read Kazuo Ishiguro who teaches about loss and disappointment. I read Christopher Moore for realistic love.

3. Who’s your favourite author.

Kazuo Ishiguro, Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Moore, Nick Hornby.

4. Books or Movies, which is your preference? Why?

Original medium! I don’t like movie versions of books and I definitely don’t like book versions of movies. Yes, that happens. I think the original creators had a very specific vision in mind. Movies capture great plot and action. Things that move quickly and need grand stages. Books let us get into the minds of characters. It’s about human interaction and emotion. Motivation. An inner monologue we get to listen to that an actor can’t express on screen. I find books give me the best and most memorable characters. But I get more easily lost in movies, immersed in environments, plot, and action. I’ve also cried for movies, but never through books.

5. What was the toughest decision you’ve ever had to make.

My career choice. The day I decided to walk away from teaching, I felt like I lost a significant part of my identity. Being a travel agent certainly didn’t fill that void. It was an act of desperation. This new job is a bit better, but it still doesn’t feel authentic. It’s the only part of me that I don’t feel actually follows who I am. I’ve yet to make a decision on career choice that I really believe in.

6. What does your blog mean to you?

It is my salvation. My refuge. I pour everything into this. Every thought, worry, fear, belief, hope. It is routine and discipline when I feel chaotic or uncontrolled. My constant. It’s also my stage and my soapbox. And, ironically considering you all don’t actually know who I am, it’s my identity. Hahah. I like being Man. I thought I was ManVsLoneliness, but I’m beginning to extract the loneliness from me, realizing it is not a characteristic but a symptom. And now that I am beginning to identify my enemy, I can face it better.

7. Who’s your favourite person and why?

Uhm…I don’t…really…know…That’s a strange question. I like…the Doctor though? Does that count. Tenth one. Eleventh one can suck it. Twelve is cool too. Jackie Chan is a martial arts hero for me. Stephen Chow is a genius. Daniel Craig could kill three men with his bare hands but he looks at me with those schoolboy baby blue eyes and I’d run away with him. Is that weird?

8. Is there anything like “best friends”? what is your own idea of one. 

Mos def. Best friends are family you make. You need to form an actual bond. Choose to be close. Choose to trust each other. Every single day, you continually choose to have this friend in your life. And specifically for me, I think of best friends as people who can turn to you for advice and who you can turn to as well. And, this is very important, friends don’t stroke your ego. They need to be the ones who keep you grounded. Friends who find you perfect are dangerous. So you know, punch each other to the ground every once in a while.

9. Do you think that sometimes sacrifices aren’t really sacrifices. Why?

YES! And I cite EVERY Disney movie EVER. Tangled? When Finn gets stabbed but is MIRACULOUSLY saved by Rapunzel’s tears? WHAT IS THAT?! I want a doctor to come in and be like, ‘Actually ma’am the knife missed literally every vital organ. This wasn’t your love. It was bad aim. He was, after all, stabbed by a 100 year old witch. Probably couldn’t see very well.’ Most sacrifices in Hollywood and literature nowadays are too afraid to be actual sacrifices. Sacrifice is final, ultimate, absolute. For a sacrifice to really be considered a sacrifice, there has to be zero chance of salvation. There are way too many examples of sacrifices just being ‘noble’ or ‘honorable’ but they’re also painful and very sad.

10. Describe my blog. 

Fascinatingly diverse. It’s like someone spilled excellent examples of various writing styles and genres all over your blog. Personal, reflective, humorous, inspiring, poetry, prose, it’s all there. Honesty in execution. Just keep writing because you have not yet exhausted all your talents and I am eager to read more.


Day 76

Man: 58 Loneliness: 18

Day 75 Supplemental: The Man and the Careful Diction of Gratitude; ‘Passionate’

Lest I incur the pernicious disparagement of the prolific poster Phil, I will be extra careful in how I use today’s prompt to discuss something very important to me:

Gratitude.jpg

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to this community for helping me hit not one but TWO major milestones in the same day.

100 Follows.pngBefore I started this blog I had a concrete idea of what I wanted to do. Write though the pain, tell some stories, investigate, and reflect. Rinse and repeat. What I didn’t know was if I’d ever have anyone who wanted to listen. I told myself I was content enough to simply write and that I wasn’t doing it for the audience or for the attention. But if I’m honest with you, as I have been, the truth is I think all creative people want an audience. I thought if after a year I had 100 people who were listening I’d be amazed. The fact that I hit that number on just 75 days in is…flabbergasting. I am so honored and so grateful for every single person who has said to me ‘your story is worth reading and I want to read it’. Every notification of a new follower still brings up emotions of excitement and gratitude. Not going to lie, now that it’s started, I want it to keep going. I’m giddy. I want to see us grow even larger! I guess I better start writing things more worth it huh? Hahah.

Shout out to J. Cosby for being Subscriber Number 1 and to Cathy for being Subscriber Number 100!

The follows were always a big 1000 Likes.pngsurprise. So were the likes. I’m glad people enjoy my writing. The likes to me carry significance because each one tells me that I’ve made a connection. Something I’ve said has resonated with another human being who may be on the other side of the world. That connection is one of the reasons why I write. I’ve missed that, not being in a relationship. I’m so used to thinking that tragically naive and romantic idea that ‘oh, woe is me, there is only one who can understand a soul like mine’. Hahah. I’ve come to realize that so many of us are experiencing life in much the same way as others have. There is a kinship of shared experiences and there is an affirmation when you see that others have seen what you see, thought what you’re thinking, been where you are. I am comforted when people tell me they feel similarly and excited when they say I’ve shown them something new.

Shout out to Insidious Temptation for the 1000th like!

I can’t say why people follow my writing. I can’t say why people like it. I am inspired and motivated by the encouragement, but I can say that I’ve never let it control who I am or what I write. I always start with the understanding to write from the heart. It got me this far. I won’t change to chase more; if anything, as encouraging as it has been, I feel brave enough to go even deeper and be even more honest. I may not write with a passion. At times the words struggle to come up. Other times it bubbles to the surface like a well about to burst. But I always write on the things I am passionate about.

I am tremendously appreciative of everything and everyone along this journey. Today was a pretty great day. I’ll keep writing about the things I love and I’ll always be grateful every time it resonates with even just one person. I know the things I wake up for and the things that keep me up at night and I’ll keep sharing. Victory or defeat. But always with heart. Always with enthusiasm. Always with passion.

 

Day 71: The Man and the Sunshine Blogger Award

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Like whaaaaaaaaaaat. Hahah. I can’t believe I was nominated for another award! That’s pretty crazy. Right on, you guys, right on. I am extremely grateful to Gagan Khaira at rheakhaira for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. If you can somehow find some positivity and sunshine in my musings then by all means help yourself to those yummy yummy rays. I know I have my down days, some days I’m going to take a loss, but I’m happy to say I’m winning more than losing and I’m spreading sun more than gloom. Hahah.

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The Rules

  1. Thank the person that nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions from your nominator.
  3. Nominate fellow bloggers you follow.
  4. Give them 10 questions to answer.

The Answers

  1. Do you believe in humanity more than nationality?
    1. I believe in the power of humanity over nationality. There was a time when nationality was a matter not just of pride but of survival. Our communities grew and we had to band together to share resources and ensure the continuity of our families. It started as small groups. Evolved into tribes. Then villages, cities, states, and most recently countries. But we’ve gone as far as we can as separate peoples. The problems one nation faces now affect every other. It’s time to dissolve the idea that our responsibilities end at these imaginary lines. Countries only seeking the benefit of themselves are what hurts our communal chances at survival and prosperity.
  2. Have you ever been in Love?
    1. Yes, with every woman who’s ever looked at me. Hahah. No but seriously, I believe I’ve experienced what I thought Love should be. Now I’m focused on redefining Love before I go out in search of it again. But the Love I thought I wanted, I had, I lost, or rather it left, and it hurt me.
  3. What’s the one advice you would give to your younger self?
    1. Don’t wait to be me. Start sooner than you think you should. You can always be smarter, wiser, healthier, and happier sooner if you stop waiting and get doing.
  4. What’s the one advice you would give me for my writings (be brutally honest on this one)?
    1. For your Sandwich series: very interesting writing but I think you can play a bit with tense more. Everything is so concrete, so finished. ‘He had’ ‘she had’ ‘he was’ ‘she was’. If everything important you want us to feel and experience and capture already happened, why do we still want to know now OR why did we miss it? Run faster than your story. Stay one step ahead. Vary your tenses so our sense of time and progression moves with your story.
  5. Beach or Mountains. Which one do you prefer and why?
    1. Mountains, hands down. I don’t like sun. Hahah. I don’t like heat. I don’t like sand in my food. I love the solitude of the mountains. The romance of a cabin and fire or just a private cozy campsite. The sound of the forest as it breathes. The smell of morning dew being caught on pine needles. And when the mountain air gets chilly, you just have to snuggle up for warmth, don’t you?
  6.  Name your favorite book and why do you love it so much?
    1. Oh man…this is too hard…oh god…I’m literally walking around my hotel room right now mulling this over. I have a lot. Kitchen Confidential helped me think realistically about my passions and my goals in life. Sherlock Holmes taught me to see the world for everything it hid in plain sight. Anything by Kazuo Ishiguro reminds me that there is beauty in everything, even sadness and loss. Christopher Moore never fails to make me laugh. Nick Hornby creates characters I want to meet. Paddle Your Own Canoe taught me to be a modern man.
  7. What’s your secret or hidden talent?
    1. Well it’s a secret because I won’t tell you how I do it, so that counts right? I am an amateur magician. I especially love card tricks.
  8. What’s the one thing you wish you could do?
    1. I wish I could be my own boss. I really want to start my own business one day and be able to set my own schedule and earn on my own terms.
  9. How much does your family mean to you and why?
    1. They are everything to me. But I do want to say that I believe we make our own family. I have friends I consider family because they’ve been with me for as long as I can remember. They know me on a deeply personal level and we look out for each other. Of course I feel the same way and more about my actual family like my mother, father, and brother, but I don’t have that same connection to some relatives. I think there’s nothing wrong with defining your own family as long as you cherish and appreciate and do anything for them as they would for you.
  10. How and when did you start blogging? What’s your story?
    1. Ha, well, this is very easy to answer. I started…*looks up* exactly 71 days ago! Oh man. A little more than two months now. They say the three month hump is the hardest to get over so let’s see what happens.
    2. My story is the whole reason why I started this blog. I was a man of hopeless romance and unrequited love. I was bleeding from the heart from continually poking at it every chance I got. I finally decided to stop, take a breath, re-evaluate, and in-between catching my breath reflect on all the other aspects of life I had neglected or simply not acknowledged. What I realized also though was that it wasn’t the silence of not hearing other people that was driving me crazy, it was the silence of my own voice. I had lost my most important audience, my audience of one. But I felt I still had so much I wanted to share especially during this process. I didn’t want to share with family or friends because I felt their pre-conceived notions of me would cloud their judgement or misconstrue what I was trying to accomplish. So I started this blog to throw my writing into the world and hope that some like-minded souls would get caught and I’d find my voice again.

The Nominations

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that there are very many of you who I would like to nominate that I am aware have already been so in the past. As such I am trying to spread the love and nominate those who I believe in and who I believe have not yet been nominated.

Wanderlust – Variety, skill, talent, and youthful energy that always makes me smile when I read. Our digital conversations and the exchange of writing has been a welcome surprise to my blogging experience.

Breath Math – Education is the nourishment of a young student and the educator is the sun. I am always happy to learn from this blog.

knowmyheart – It is not only her writing that fills me with joy as I appreciate her talent, it is her continued support and acknowledgement of my own writing that makes me truly happy.

insidious temptation – A blog that makes me happy in a….different…way. The writing is playful and an example of what language is truly meant to do. Seduce and excite. Another person whose not only inspires happiness with her prose but who has personally made me happy by her constant, kind words.

kStan(ly) kSays – Poetry that never fails to inspire laughter and joy. A tremendous amount of wit and self-awareness that exudes confidence and happiness with every piece. His poems are always a happy destination in my day.

The Questions

  1. What is the most embarrassing/stupid thing you’ve ever done to impress or get the attention of someone you were romantically interested in?
  2. Did it work?
  3. What would be your final meal?
  4. Could you remember and describe a dream or nightmare that was very significant to you? Maybe a recurring one or perhaps one that seemed so vivid to you even to this day.
  5. What is your favorite room in your house and why?
  6. What is the worst thing about living where you live?
  7. How do you deal with cold weather?
  8. Could you please share with me one of your most favorite pieces from your blog and why you are most proud of this or happiest with how it came out?
  9. What word or phrase commonly used by people today needs to die?
  10. Favorite action movie of all time?

Alright everyone! Get out there, enjoy the sunshine, and get to writing and spreading the love! Thanks again. I am always happy to be a part of this community and humbled by all your support and acknowledgement.

Day 71

Man: 54 Loneliness: 17

 

 

 

Day 68: The Man and the Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger

Whooooooooo! My first ever award nomination! Thank you so much to meetmeinnevada for this special recognition. The Versatile Blogger Award goes to blogs that write that are especially flexible, resourceful, and adaptable. To me, I hope this means that I am being recognized for being able to write to a variety of topics and viewpoints and for creating interest and excitement by being able to change modes and voices. It also means that I should work to continue to honor this by ensuring that I continue to find new perspectives and to continue to write consistently and with quality.

Thank you for this award. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to discover her blog, meetmeinnevada is a wonderful and bright blogger now based in one of my favorite cities in the world, Las Vegas! Her writing is incredibly insightful and does well to capture the feelings of balancing the old world and the new, along with other varied pieces of writing that are equally engaging and beautiful.

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Rules

  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated you
  3. Share (7) different facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate (15) blogs of your choice
  5. Link your nominees

(7) facts about myself

  1. Before this blog, I have never written publicly. Aside from emails the only other things I wrote were private love letters, and the last time I wrote anything of significant length was in college. I never had the confidence or interest to write on a broader more public venue.
  2. I used to be a high school English teacher. I left my position to become a travel agent, and after a year I mixed both worlds and became a corporate trainer, traveling around the country training travel agents to sell better and with new technology and programs.
  3. My ultimate goal is to actually run my own restaurant. I started cooking when I was 15 and when I turned 21 I took  bartending classes and built my own bar in the basement of my home. I envision a modern Filipino restaurant using traditional ingredients in more international preparations and techniques. On Sundays when I get an idea for a dish I will buy the ingredients and force my family to be my unwilling guinea pigs.
  4. I have a very distinct scar on the left side of my face, right beneath my eye. Depending on the time of day and my mood, if you ask me how I got it you will get one of four different stories.
  5. I love to gamble. I’ve been going to Atlantic City every summer and I usually find myself spending at least five days in Vegas as well. My favorite games to play are Blackjack (Spanish 21 is my favorite variant), Roulette, Let it Ride, and Pai Gow. The most I’ve ever lost in one night is $500. The most I’ve ever won in a night is $1100. I taught my friends how to play and drill them before we ever hit a casino. We have gambling nights at my place to play poker or mahjong.
  6. I am a very typical first-born child. I am terribly stubborn and do not like to be wrong. I hate to lose. I can at times, especially when hungry, be what is called in Tagalog ‘pikon‘. Loosely translated, uhm, ‘quick-tempered’ and ‘cranky’. But I also like to take care of people and thrive on responsibility. I like to feel needed and live to help others. I am responsible, loyal, and will always help those in need. I was raised to be independent and self-sufficient.
  7. The best job I ever had was working as assistant manager at my local Blockbuster. It was super chill, I got to know everyone in my town, and I spent every night talking about great movies. I loved making recommendations and having customers come back and tell me how much they loved it or why it didn’t jive with them. When it was slow we would order Chinese food and just watch movies. I was so crushed when it finally closed. One night I took a screwdriver and took down most of the different signage and a few of the shelves and units. I then brought them back home and reassembled it all in the basement so all my movies and video games are on display the same way you’d see it in a Blockbuster.

rob-lowe

And the nominees are…(I apologize if you have already been nominated, I mean this is all voluntary anyways so no need to redo)

  1. weasleyismona
  2. saschadarlington
  3. robertapimentel
  4. Ngobesing Romanus
  5. eddaz
  6. breathmath
  7. lifelessons
  8. barron
  9. knowmyheart
  10. roseelaine
  11. makingitwrite
  12. animar64
  13. asleepattheweel
  14. lifewithjess
  15. jessi

Day 68

Man: 51 Loneliness: 17