Monday, December 17, 2012

Quarter Life Crisis Symptoms: Insecurity About The Near Future

                For most of our lives through this point, we’ve pretty much had our lives mapped out for us by someone else. You go to elementary school, and then you’re going to middle school, and then high school. After or during high school we start to get some freedom to make our own choices about what we want to do with our lives but if you go to college it’s all mapped out for you again, at least rough sketch of a map anyway. The class you’ll have to take, when you’ll take them depending on their availability and so on.
                It’s no wonder we can feel a little insecure about the future in our twenties. Now we have total freedom to steer this Titanic-like ship called life. You ever feel like, no matter what decisions you make right now, they just aren’t going to turn out good in the future? Yep you’re in the middle of a quarter life crisis. Well you’re not alone. I wrote this as I was thinking about all my insecurities about the future. First poem I wrote in a while. I used to have a poetry book when I was younger but then took a poetry class in college and started to disdain the art. But I’ve been feeling way more inspired lately. So here you go:

A Breakthrough
My presence in the present has been presented
With some pressing issues that are mostly just
Unreconciled problems from my prelude

I guess that means my mind is mounted
With mixed emotions that misguiding
My maneuvers through this maze called life

You see I’m stuck and I’m trapped, I’m scared and I’m trembling
I’m suspicious so I don’t trust anyone not even my own decisions
That can both seduce and tempt me to put my faith where it doesn’t belong

But is that wrong?

Is it wrong to wish that I would one day be a winner
Instead of whining about wonders that were
Beyond my weight

Or is this fate?

Fate that I live in fear? No! Fact that I feel unforgiveness? Never!
Face the world with a front because I fear the feelings
That I may cause fellow man may feel? Not on my watch!

See I was made to overcome, made to get it done,
Made to have some fun, made to stand back and hold my ground
In the midst of danger when other say it time to run

No longer will I fear the future in exchange of my failures.
Fortune and fame may not follow this fellow
But forget about fairing in history, it’s time to formulate a new future

Perception has taught me that the past was a present
So I present my presence with a new precept
It’s time to pass being prisoner of my past
And begin being a pioneer of my future 

12/22/12: The Most Awkward Day of History..

                I know I wrote a blog on it about two weeks ago but I don’t really believe in this end of the world stuff on 12/21/12. I have no reason to believe the world is going to end. I mean that religious guy told us that that world was going to end last October and that didn’t happen. So, if you have a tendency to believe all this superstition stuff I wouldn’t do what a lot of people did then and sell all your stuff because then you’ll be homeless.
                I’ve also noticed that no one really cares this time around either. I feel like last December people were more frantic for 2012 than we are in 2012. They even made a movie about. According to the box office, no one really cared about that movie either.
                I just realized while writing this blog, that it’s going to irreverent in about 5 days no matter what happens. Kind of makes me what to write about something have you noticed how commercial Christmas is these days?
                I never get gifts for anyone. What makes December 25th so important anyway? Are we still saying it’s Jesus’ birthday because we all know now that there’s more evidence that he was born in the Spring, so that’s not flying anymore.
                And what’s with this fat white guy coming down my chimney? I don’t have a chimney, never had one. Most inner-city children don’t. So what, Santa just “conveniently” can’t give all the inner-city children toys because they don’t have chimneys? Nice try white people, but I’m not falling for that one.
                I read someone somewhere in some article on some website that probably has as much as credibility as my blog that some kid got suspended from some school for saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. That’s stupid. Now if the kid is even as remotely of a smart-alic like I was then he probably said something like: “What do mean I can’t say Merry Christmas? Whatever happened to my religious freedom that our Founding Fathers put in our Constitution? Or are we denying the rest of my first amendment rights as well? So saying you’re telling me that saying Merry Christmas might offend some of my fellow student? Well then you tell Prakesh that he can’t wear his turban to school because his turban offends all the decent people who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Oh what? Now I’m ignorant and intolerant? Says the guy who won’t allow hard working tax paying citizens say Merry Christmas in class!  I can’t wait until the rapture happens. I hope I’m with you and your Jewish family having dinner so I can see the look on your face when Jesus comes back. I hope we’re at a nice restaurant enjoying our ice teas and complimentary bread. And Jesus comes and rips the roof off the restaurant that’s owned by Prakesh’s family own that they bought with the money from their oil company just as we’re about to order. And I hope it’s the first day of Chanukah when He comes and you and your Jewish family just stares up at his illuminated body with your mouths open speechless. And right before he calls me up to paradise I turn to the waiter and say, ‘I’ll be having the pork chops’ and then look at you and say ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Principal. Merry freakin Christmas!!”  In that case he deserves to be suspended.
                But yeah 12/22/22 is going to be an awkward day in history. ;)

Hard Work, Humility, & Hustle

                So I was having a conversation about poverty with my roommate. (Because that’s what poor people do, is talk about how poor they are) And after I had that conversation, I decided that I’m not going to be poor for the rest of my life. So as of today I’m not poor anymore!
                Yep, it was that simple I just made a decision. I decided I wasn’t going to let money hold me back from doing the things I want to do, like eat. I realized there is no reason for me to be poor. I don’t live very expensively and my bills are relatively manageable. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t have money. I see people come to this country (United States) with nothing and make a living for themselves. How is it that I after being raised in this country, I can’t even get by? I realized that essentially it comes down to three things for me:

Hard Work
Five years ago I was kicked out the house at 17 years old. I had a job but no place to live. So I moved to 3,000 miles across country to Eugene, Oregon. I didn’t know anyone out there and I had only $135. Yet in two and half days I found a new job, a place to live, and a way to pay for school at the University of Oregon. How did I do that? Hard work. My first semester in college, I worked 50 hours a week and went to school. 3 days a week I would close the drive thru at Wendy’s. I would get off at 3:30 or 4 in the morning walk home and then get up and catch the bus to be at class at 8am for the next 5 hours or so before heading to my second job.  Yeah I was dead tired but I knew it was what I had to do. There was no fall back plan. I didn’t have any relatives I could stay with out there and going back home wasn’t an option. I just knew it had to be done. I need to get back to that kind of hard work. I don’t care what you do, when you come home from a long day of hard work you just feel so accomplished.

I’ve realized since I moved to LA back in 2009, I’ve become a little Hollywood. There are jobs that I think are “beneath” me. Talk to me back in 2007, and I would’ve done anything and work any job. Nothing was beneath me because I had hit rock bottom. It’s time to be that humble. A few weeks ago I didn’t have any money and no real hot job leads so I stood outside Home Depot. Yep that’s right. A +3.0GPA high school graduate, who once was on a full academic scholarship at the University of Oregon, studying Psychology and Japanese, while being involved with the Student Government and various leadership programs on campus was standing outside of Home Depot with undocumented illegal citizens who didn’t speak any English, waiting for someone to drive by and offer me a job. I didn’t get anything (maybe because people thought I was undercover or something) but nonetheless it was a very humbling experience. But whenever I’ve humbled myself like that my world gets opened up to opportunities that I didn’t even know existed.

It’s true I need to work way hard, but my brain is probably the strongest muscle I have in my body (my biceps don’t even compare) I need to worker smarter as well. The other day I realized that there’s so many different way to have multiple sources of income and I am more than capable of tackling a few of them all at once. Plus given my expertise at the board game Monopoly there’s something about hustling and making a come up that I just get. The other day I left the house with no money in my wallet. Within an hour I had $31. Just from hustling. Not to mention my roommate was with me and I helped him make a come up of $85. I’m not talking about taking advantage of people, that conning. Hustling is different from conning. Hustling is about being an opportunist and making the most of every opportunity. I realized I could hustle a long time ago, but it became more evident to me about a month ago when I was asked to lead fundraising event for my church. The group I led made about $1300 in three days from about 2 hours of work a day. I just need to have a hustler mentality and make the most of every opportunity.

Yep, so that’s it, I’m not going to be poor anymore. I’m probably won’t be rich, but I don’t want to be. I just want move on to the next part of life and be able to tackle it without having to worry about money. I believe that in this country (United States) poverty can be avoided for most of us through a little hard work, humility, and hustle. This combined with a little bit of discipline in my finances and I poverty will be in rear view mirror.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Fundamentals: Rise Up!

              Being from Georgia, I am naturally an Atlanta Falcons fan. If you don’t who they are, they are Atlanta, Georgia’s professional football team. Currently right now they are tied for the best record (11-2, 11 wins and 2 loses) in the National Football League (NFL).  I always keep a close watch on the Falcons, even during the years they had horrible seasons. I am not bandwagon fan. Whether we go 0-16 or 16-0, I am a diehard Atlanta Falcons fan! This season has been unique and it’s not just because they are winning a lot of games. But this year they’ve this campaign going on called Rise Up! The idea being that every team has obstacles to face but only the great teams rise up the occasion and overcome those obstacles. For the Falcons that obstacle is winning in the playoffs where they’ve lost the first game of the playoffs every year for the past for years. So what does this has to do with having a quarter life crisis?
                In life we all face challenges. I don’t know what yours are and you don’t know what mine are but we all have them. But in order to become who we are meant to become we must rise up to these challenges and face them head on. Some people, and I can be guilty of this myself, run away from problem after problem. And I’m not talking about they back down in the face of adversity and coward to a corner and cry like a little schoolgirl. I’m talking about making excuses as to why something didn’t work out. Or complaining about life circumstances. Talking about how unfair life is.
                Well here’s something that you probably don’t want to hear me say: Life’s rough and it’s unfair. Now don’t get me wrong sometimes people are treated maliciously and cruelly by other people and those injustices need to be brought to the public’s attention and my heart goes out to those people. But even still we all been given our life and we’re only going to get one of it. And each life comes with its on set of challenges.
                I’m not saying things aren’t hard or things aren’t fair. I’m saying the exact opposite: things are hard and things are unfair, but what are you going to do about it? I think in order for anyone going through any kind of challenge in their life, they need to rise up to the occasion and overcome. Maybe they need to rise up emotionally, maybe they need to rise financially, or maybe it’s something in their character that needs to be refined. Nothing in life worth having is going to be free or easy. Someone is going to have to give their blood for it, why not be you?
                Is this challenging? Making you a little uneasy? That’s because it should. I can’t tell you how many I needed someone to shake things up in my life and just tell me the truth about things. If life seems too hard right now, it isn’t. If things seem unbearable, they’re not. If things seem too difficult, they aren’t. If life seems unfair, that’s because it is. But, now what? Someone gave you a life and it’s your decision what you’re going to do with it. We all can think a person who had “the odds stacked up against them” and yet rose up to the challenge. This is a time to rise up. Do everything you can that is within your ability and after you have, don’t quit until you see what you want accomplished, accomplished.  I really do hope the Atlanta Falcons rise up, but the questions for your life is what are your obstacles and will you rise up?

Help I’m Having a Quarter Life Crisis! #Firstworldproblem #Mylifeissohard

                The more I think about it the more I realize that going through a quarter life crisis is such a first world problem. Have you seen the reality TV shows about people going through a quarter life crisis? It’s nothing but 27 year-olds with minimal income jobs, who still live at home with their parents, and spend most of their time having fun and partying talking about how confused they are. They make it seem like going through a quarter life crisis is the hip thing to do. Like everybody should try it because it’s so much fun.
                The more I think about it, the more I realize that going through a quarter life crisis is something  only people living in first world countries can go through.  Not to make too much light of the quarter life crisis, I mean after all, it is the entire topic of my blog and without it I wouldn’t have anything to write about (of course, if I wasn’t going through a quarter life crisis that would mean I would have my life together and therefore wouldn’t have time to blog about how I don’t have my life together…. But I digress..) but I’m pretty sure 20 year olds in 3rd world countries aren’t stressing out about what they want to do with their life.
                I always see first or second generation students from 3rd world countries come to America, crank through college and turn in a very successful and satisfying life. I think that is because people from 3rd world countries view life in a totally different perspective than people from 1st world countries. For them, I imagine, because I haven’t lived a day in their shoes, certain things in life aren’t options but they are necessities. Such as finishing school. For me, finishing college is an option amongst the many I have here in America. We all know plenty of people who didn’t finish school and still had a successful life. So for me, school is just another option I have. If I find a better option or one I like it more I might be more incline to take that route. However, I imagine someone who grew up where most people didn’t have chance to learn how to read, let alone go to college, getting a degree is an absolute necessity not just for themselves but their family as well.
                What makes a first world problem a first world problem is that it’s all the things we more privileged people whine about. Like a phone that doesn’t take pictures or the remote being on the other side of the room. In actually it’s not a problem, we’re just, to put it lightly, a bunch of spoiled brats. When I think about it that way, it makes me more grateful that I have an opportunity to take the chance figure myself out for a little bit because there are many people my age all around the world who do not have time to figure themselves out because too many people are depending on them to make the right choices in life. It also makes me to want to stop whining about all my problems and challenge the rest of you guys to suck it up as well. If you’re going through a quarter life crisis suck it up, your life isn’t that hard! It’s just a first world problem. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quarter-Life Crisis Symptoms: Identity Crisis

           If I were to ask you, “Who are you?” what would you tell me? Would you tell me your name? Would you tell me your ethnicity? Would you tell me where you’re from or what you like to do for fun? What would you say? Would you tell me where you work or what you’re studying in school? Would you tell me about your sexual orientation? Would you tell me about your family and friends? What adjectives would you use to describe yourself? What about your religious affiliation?  Now here’s the real question: Do any of those answers really justify who you are?
               Identity Crisis! That’s a way to sum up a quarter life crisis. Who the heck am I? So here we are in our mid-twenties trying to figure out who we are. You would think that after about 19 years of living with ourselves we would have figured it out by now but for some reason we’re probably more confused now than we’ve ever been. I always would think to myself, how do I even answer a question like who am I? Yet I think “Who am I” is journey of the quarter life crisis.
Much time and thought is put into that question. Our desires and decision-making stem directly from who we are. During a quarter life crisis, people often have confusion over their identity. Maybe they’ve been headed down a certain path only to find out that, not only do they not like where they are headed, but they never did in the first place. Or maybe they were supposed to figure out what they wanted in college and never did.
The truth is our identity is an ongoing process. People are never static in their identity, but rather are always changing based on the experience of life. The best way I can describe a person is like a river. Let’s say we could record one spot of a river for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. How many different things would see if that video? How many different leaves would cross that screen? Get stuck on a hanging branch before continuing downstream. How many different people would you see playing in that spot of the river? Some stay there for hours and come back day after day, others just simply drifting by as the current takes them downstream. What about beneath the surface? Sure there would be rocks on the bottom on that spot of the river but even that would either find its way downstream push by the current or stable but eroded by the water, maybe covered in algae after a while. There would be days and there would be nights. Maybe the river would get frozen in the winter and flood in the spring.
Aren’t you like that spot of the river? Constantly changing and moving? You aren’t the same person you were last year and you won’t be the same person next year. There will be many days and many nights. There will be many leaves (experiences) you have. People will come and go. Some only once in your life other stay a little longer. Even the rocks of your life (your deepest beliefs or convictions) will change over time, and sometimes life will leave it’s lasting mark on it (that’s the algae). So who are you? Who are we? Who I am? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll be a different person tomorrow and a new person next week changed by this week’s experiences. So who am I you ask? The best way I think I can describe myself is I am a Professional Human Being hoping to retire with my name in the Human Being Hall of Fame.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The World Just Put In Its Two Week Notice

This article was originally written December 7th, 2012 but it took a little while to get it up. Give me a break I'm going through a quarter life crisis :P 
               Hey, I don’t know if you noticed, but today is December 7th 2012. You know what that means! Only two weeks left to live. That’s right all you quarter life crisers, the world is ending in exactly two weeks, so if you’re still trying to figure out what to do with your life and you’re horrible at planning, the good news is you only have to plan for two weeks. The bad news: you only have two weeks…. L
               I don’t know about you, but with the world ending in two weeks, it makes going through a quarter life crisis a lot easier. Five year plan? HA! I don’t even need a five-week plan! The world ending in two weeks is a huge plus for us people going through a quarter life crisis. Let me tell you why:
1.      I don’t have to worry about finding a real job because come December 21st there won’t be ANY jobs. Real or fake ones like blogging. That’s right all you people who take pride having a successful career, guess what? Your career is coming to a very sudden end very very soon my friend.
2.      Since the world is ending there’s no need to have a crisis anymore. Before I was all worried about the kind of impact I could have on the world before I die. Psssshh! Forget that! I’m doing like Ke$ha living tonight like I’m going to die young because you know what I am going to die young. (Disclaimer: Only in the event of the world coming to an immediate end do I promote and Ke$ha-like behavior. Otherwise, I in no way, shape, or form condone any Ke$ha-like behavior)
3.      Speaking you of dying. You know that quote, “Only the good die young” Well guess who has two thumbs and is dying at the tender age of 23? This guy!!
4.      No Christmas Shopping!!!!! Sorry all you idiots who got trampled on Black Friday, but no Christmas this year. Sorry all you little children who mailed your Christmas List to Santa, but no Christmas this year. Sorry girlfriend, I know you say I never buy you anything but I’m sure you’ll understand this one timeJ. Sorry Jesus for turning your birthday into a materialistic marketing scheme. To make up for it, we’ll be cancelling Christmas this year.
It also makes going through a quarter life crisis not so much of a crisis anymore. It makes it more of a nice opportunity to make a really cool story before the end of history. Remember all those ice breaker questions like, “If you had two weeks left to live, what would you do?” Well guess whaaaaaaaaaaat? If you didn’t have an answer then, you better get to it now! I feel that for real quarter life crisers, nothing changes. I mean we weren’t really doing anything with our lives before the end of the world, why should anything change now?
In all seriousness though, if you only had two weeks left to live, what would you do? Leave your response in the comment section. J

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Exposing the Lies: The Past Predicts The Future

               “This is how I am. This is how I've always been and this is how I am always going to be.” I would listen to my mom say that phrase over and over again for years. And if she wasn't the subject, then she would replace herself with another person, or her job, or her situation and sometimes even me. As a young boy I always thought my mom was stupid for thinking such thoughts, let alone saying them out loud. For the life of me, I couldn't comprehend why a person would even consider living their life by such a conviction. When I was younger I couldn't empathize with what my mom, or any human being with the same kind of thought process.
               But now I can. I still believe it’s a lie we can tell ourselves, but now I can relate to what my mom and many other people out there are going through. In some ways, it’s a very rational thought process. Like the old quote says, "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got". Makes sense. If I've been a certain way my whole life, chances are I’ll be that way for the rest of my life right? Wrong.
               This lie is a dangerous lie because it prevents us from changing. Change is a necessity of life and it’s a good thing as well. If you had a baby that stayed the same size year after year, you’d be concerned right? You want your baby to change and grow, but when you continue to be the same person year after year, you of course start feeling bad and defeated. Sometimes to make sense of our feelings of defeat we start to believe that change is not possible. But that is only true if you allow it to true.
               The past doesn't predict the future because the past doesn't take into account the present. There are so many things you can in the present, even today, that will change what will take place in the future. Remember, “IF you do what you've always done..” The key word is “if”. You don’t have to continue to do the same things you've been doing. Just because something didn't work out in the past doesn't mean that something else won’t work out in the future. You can decide to be different right now.
               I know what you’re thinking: “How do I be different? Or how do I do things differently?” Recently I was counseling a group of young men between the ages of 18-22. A few of the young men recently decided to move out there parents’ house for the first time and get a place together. However, after the first few months, they all started to struggle with paying the rent. Month after month they were either late or unable to pay their rent. Even the ones who were getting help from their parents still had trouble paying the bills. They soon realized that something was not right and they if they didn't change something they would soon be out of a place to stay, but like most of us, they all asked the same question, “How do I change?” When I got together with these young men, I explained to them that you can’t live like boys and expect to reap the fruits of men. Basically, if you continue to live like you’re at home with your parents, then eventually you will be back at home with your parents. The solution was they had to get out of their comfort zones and do some things they had never done before. Even if it is as simple as going to a temp agency or filling out job applications, they needed to get out of their comfort zone.
               So the same is true for you and me if we don’t want to fall victims to the lies. We must think creatively and step outside our comfort zone and do something that we've never done before, otherwise we’ll get the same results we always do. I know it’s uncomfortable but unless you want to live in the past for the rest of your life, then you can't let the past predict the future.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Exposing the Lies: You’re Not Good Enough

               So there are many things that run through our head as we are experiencing our quarter life crisis. Some of which I believe are lies and that’s why I decided to start a new page on my blog called Exposing the Lies. The first lie we are going to expose is the lie that “You’re not good enough”.
               Now I’m sure at some point in every person’s life this thought has run through their head. Especially amongst women. I can’t tell you how many of my female friends have this irrational fear that they are good enough to do something or worst feel good enough to be loved or love (but that’s another blog for another time). Basically this thought tells us that we do not possess the necessary skills or ability to accomplish something that we really want.
               Now as with everything in life, something is either true of its false. Now sometimes this idea can be true but it’s usually obvious when it is. For instance, most 23 year old guys aren’t “good enough” to play in the NBA. But that’s obvious and of course there are exceptions to the rules because there are some 23 year old guys in the NBA. However with most other things, other than obvious examples, the idea that you’re not good enough is a COMPLETE LIE!
               First, you don’t need to worry about being good enough. The only time we don’t feel good enough is when we compare ourselves to other individuals, but you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time (except Chuck Norris lol) so we all are equal. We all are different but that makes a society work. If everyone all possessed the same qualities then we wouldn’t have all the different traits a society needs to function. It’s called the “Equality of Differences” Our differences doesn’t make one person better than the other, just gives them a different function in society.
               Second, anything you want to do you can do. It is just going to take more hard work than you originally anticipated. We all know a story or seen a movie about a person who overcame the odds and did something extraordinary because, based on our humanistic way of thinking, they were not “good enough”. Now if they had listed to the lies and believed that they weren’t good enough then they never would have overcame the things that they did and reached the goals they wanted.
               Good enough? Good enough for what? As long as you accept who you are and are comfortable with that person, that’s good enough. Now I believe everyone should strive for self-improvement but not out of self-hatred. I want to improve myself every day. But every day spent thinking about how I’m not good enough, is a day taken away from improving myself. You don’t need to be the best; you just need to be the best you can be. LIE EXPOSED!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November.... For What!?!?

               I didn’t vote. That’s right I said it, I didn’t vote! For some, this is a heinous sin against our fine Democracy and some will even think it makes me less intelligent than others all because I didn’t get out and vote. But I’ll have you know that I didn’t vote not because I’m lazy or because I was uninformed or uneducated about the candidates. Oh no sir! I was well informed. I watched the Daily Show with John Stewart and the Colbert Report on Comedy Central almost religiously so I knew my options very well. And although I am Apathetically Conservative, I would have you know, that had I voted, I would have voted for Barry Obama, even though I don’t fault anyone for voting for my boy Mitt. But nonetheless I didn’t vote.
               Why didn’t I vote you ask? Because it’s a Democracy and I can (or can’t). Look, I waited four long years to exercise my right not to vote and you think I’m going to be pressured into voting because someone else thinks it’s important? Oh no no no. See you voters need people like me. See, if it wasn’t for people like me, you voters wouldn’t, no, couldn’t enjoy your right to vote. I make your life seem worthwhile. See there you were, stumbling through your quarter life crisis and then this opportunity came along for you to “make a difference”. But see it’s only a difference if other people aren’t doing it. If everyone voted then it wouldn’t be different, so you need the 100+ million of us who didn’t vote.
               Secondly, I find it humorous that in our country, every four years, we get to pick someone to blame things on when things go wrong. In my short time here on earth, I have lived through 4 American presidents. George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Barrack Obama. And every single one of them ninjas got blamed for some stupid stuff they weren’t even responsible for! It makes me feel bad for choosing a guy to take a bullet that was aimed at the guy before him.
               Plus the way our government is set up, the president doesn’t have as much power as we all think. If the President wants to do something new and the Senate doesn’t like it, all they got to do is slap him in the back of the head and say, “Sit down and stop pushing buttons second player!” We all know the President doesn’t have that much power unless he has the Senate behind him.
               Also, unless you live in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada or Wisconsin, it’s not even fun voting. The news has already told you who you electoral votes are going to anyway. How come all of my 55 electoral votes go to one person!? Divide that stuff up and then maybe I would think my vote actually counted.
Lastly, I’m usually not that interested in the issues that are at hand and neither are you if you’re honest with yourself. Think about it, if you really cared about the economy you would be out there doing something about it instead of voting for someone else to take out trash that you are unwilling to yourself. Oh the education system sucks huh? Put some money in that puppy and maybe it would work. Sponsor an inner city kid for a life changing missions trip and make him a more productive member of society, instead of voting for some Senator who wants to “clean up the streets”.
In conclusion, I am excited for 2016! I get to exercise my democratic right not to vote. And to all you who think I’m ignorant or uneducated, I’m sure there will be a proposition or something you vote for next election to make people like my vote. Which in that case, I’ll just vote against it. ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Breakup Letter To Facebook

Dear Facebook,
I would just like to start by saying that this has been a long time coming. I have to admit, that back in 2006, I only got involved with you because my friends said that I should. Soon I realized that the only way I would see my friends would be if you were in the room. At first I was infatuated with you. Our relationship was so new and at that time, you were still so simple. At first you wouldn't even let minors in on our business. But that would soon change.
I miss the simpler days of our relationship. It was me, you, and a few of my closest friends. And a couple of those weirdoes that I didn't really know but felt bad for denying their friend request. In those days, I knew what was going on before you did. Nowadays, you seem to know way more about my friends now than I do. How do you know my friend’s birthday and I don’t? I feel like you wanted to get to know me just so you can steal my friends…

These days I can’t get rid of you. At first it was cute, having someone who always wanted to know what was on my mind. Now it’s just creepy. You’re worse than a nagging girlfriend. Not only that, but you seem to occupy all my time. I should be working on my resume so I can get my career started but since I can only contact my friends through you, I have to use you to find them. And when I do finally find them, I find that they are just using you to promote their business.

Speaking of which, I’m tired of our time together being constantly interrupted with apps and advertisements  Texas Hold ‘Em was cool, and Drug Wars was addicting for about a week, but these Farmville and Daily Horoscope request are just a too much. And who are these random “Christian Singles” you want me to meet? I don’t know who these girls are but with that much cleavage there is no way they are Christian or single. Besides didn't I tell you I was in a relationship now? It only got 100 likes on my timeline!

Speaking of which, the timeline put me over the top. What was wrong with the way things were? I liked it. But more than anything, you remind of how far I am not in life. I don’t need to know that my friend whom I haven’t spoken to since 2007 got engaged. How do you think that makes me feel? Haven’t you read my blog, I’m going through a quarter life crisis?!? You waste my time, and you’re always everywhere. It’s not even fun anymore.

So with all that being said, I think in order for me to move past my quarter life crisis, I think it’s best if we see other social medias. I hear you are really good friends with Twitter. Personally I think you can do better, but nonetheless I am moving on. If you need to get in contact with me you can follow me on instagram @gradlifesucks. Hope there’s no hard feelings
Sincerely Yours,
Your Quarter Life Crisis Companion

Quarter Life Crisis Symptoms: Regret

          It’s hard to believe that at 20 something years old we can already look back on our short lives and have regrets about decisions we've made. The saying is true, “Hindsight is 20/20”. I know that I have looked back on things I have done in the past and have felt bad about them. If you’re anything like me, then you are you’re biggest critic. You can always think of how you could be better but rarely understand how to motivate yourself to do better. Regret is the is the emotions the will inevitably come up when someone is suffering from the “Should’ve-Would've-Could’ve’s”
               What are some of things you regret? Is it education? Maybe you didn't go to the school you wanted to or got the grades you wanted. Is it a career choice? Maybe you thought your current career would be a lot different or you regret not taking a risk you now feel would've paid off. Is it a financial regret? Splurged all you money or developed unhealthy spending habits? Health regrets? Did those Freshmen Fifteen turn into the Four-Year Forty? Or maybe you are having a hard time breaking the unbalanced eating habits of your youth. It is important to identify what your regrets are so that you know where the source of regret is coming from.
Sometimes I really believe that our mind can play tricks on us. Sometimes we allow our circumstances to dictate our emotions instead of having our emotions dictate our circumstances. Not making the amount of money you want or being in the place you want to be in life can leave you wondering, “What happened?” Remember though, we can’t predict the future so there is no guarantee that path you are currently headed down will lead to utter doom and failure. Maybe this just the part of the story that is anti-climactic but eventually your story will turn out just fine. But I believe you should decide that, not your past.
I find that if I think too much about the past I start to feel regret. And when I start to think too far into the future I start to get discouraged. Haha! Man, what am I to do? I find that the best thing for me is to do what I can do in the here and now, and feeling sorrowful is not going to help me. As in Texas Hold ‘Em, I can only play with the cards I've been dealt. No use crying over all the mistakes I made in past hands.
Since no one is perfect though, regret is unavoidable. We all have made bad decisions. Decision making is always done with incomplete information. If we could exist outside of time and know the exact results of every one of our decisions, then we would never make a mistake and never know what regret feels like. However, I have found that in the midst of a quarter life crisis, regret will only keep you in the crisis, not help you get out.    

Friday, November 2, 2012

Peter Pan Complex

               So I just heard of this thing called the Peter Pan Complex or Peter Pan Syndrome and I knew I had to blog about it. Apparently this is when you don’t want to grow up and refuse to take responsibility for life. Ooooohhh if only it were that simple. Wouldn't that just fire you up beyond all belief if success just happened to you and didn't have to work for it. You could fly around in a fictitious world with mermaids, pirates, fairies, and Native Americans. Yeah, that would awesome!
               You have a personal assistant named Tinkerbell who is secretly in love with you so she does everything you command her to at the drop of a hat. You and your boys never age so you just get to go on adventure after adventure of mishap and fortune. Your arch nemesis would be this snaggletooth old guy with a hook for a hand but since you’re a BOSS you obviously would kick his butt every time. And the best part about all this is that sometimes when it’s late at night you get to sneak in little girls’ room when their parents are asleep and kidnap them and take them to your magical fairy world!.....
               So I’m being a little facetious but you get the idea. I think we should diagnose all college grads or any person 27 years or over who has never moved out of their parent’s house and still parties all time with Peter Pan Complex. These are usually the people you find on reality TV shows like Jersey Shore. Yeah, their immaturity makes for tremendous television ratings, but man do they set our society back few decades. At some point we have to start taking responsibility for our lives.
               People with Peter Pan Syndrome usually are the kind lazy people who put their problems off on other people, blame things like “the government” or “the man” for their shortcomings. Their lives completely lack direction and they are more in tuned with their fantasy world than the real world.
Let the Peter Panners be a warning to the parents and future parents out there who are thinking about coddling their children a little bit too long. You’re asking for a quarter life crisis for them, a giant pain in the butt for you, and a headache for the rest of us if you do that.
Now, although I don’t believe all quarter life cristers have Peter Pan Syndrome, I do believe that some people can develop the Peter Pan Complex during their quarter life crisis if they don’t take their crisis serious enough.
So what do we do about those who suffer from the Peter Pan Syndrome? Well first, I’m not sure it is them that are suffering. We non-Peter Panners are the ones putting up with their immaturity. With that being said, to treat the Peter Panners, I suggest that we excommunicate them all to a small desert island and name it Neverland. I know this sounds drastic and ridiculous, but it seriously could work. I mean, on a desert island you pretty much have two choices: you grow up or you die. Thus getting rid of all the Peter Panners by will or by death. That’ll teach those boys who think they are never going to die. ;)

The Fundamentals: Something to Believe In

               At the core of our being, is our desire to believe in something greater than ourselves. People want to be a part of a greater whole. Don’t believe me? Well, let me ask you this: Would you like to be your own sovereign nation? Would you like to be the monarch of a country with the population of one? Where you make all the decisions and you’re the lone voice of the nation? How great would you feel when you look at all the other nations with more people than yourself? How would your economy function? Face it! At the core of being human, we desire something more than ourselves.
               We are social beings. We desire relationships. Deep meaningful relationships where we give a part of ourselves and in return, through working with another human being, we achieve something together that we couldn't achieve do individually. Whether that accomplishment is something tangible like a goal or intangible like a feeling, we all want to believe we can do something greater. People need something to believe in. People need passion. We admire it and yearn for it.
               This is why I admire children. Ask a little child what they want to do when they grow up and watch their imagine soar. Children believe in something greater than themselves and they take great joy in that. Young children don’t know what depression is because they believe as if unbelief doesn't exist. Show me a depressed person and I’ll show you a person who has lost their childlike faith. Don’t we all need that? A childlike faith. I’m not talking about religion, although it could be that. I’m talking about a faith that drives us and motivates us to be better individuals every day.
               People are motivated by what they believe in. Has your motivation been lacking lately? Maybe it’s because you have nothing to believe in. Belief transcends beyond what you can see, touch, taste, and hear. I’m not talking about a nice car or fancy house. Maybe that stuff comes with your dream but it shouldn't be your dream. If that’s what you believe in, good luck with that. That’s a dream full of vanity.
               Maybe you’re going through a quarter life crisis because you’re looking for something to believe in. A goal or a dream that you’re willing to stay up late at night for. Something that you’re willing to sacrifice your money for.  Something that you will wake up early for and something so big and something you’re so passionate about that you’re willing to convince every soul that they should believe in it too.
               What I've noticed is that these things either usually find you or you create them, but they are,at the end of the day, unique to you. Maybe it’s a great cause or movement. Whatever it is, I believe it’s not just out there for you, but waiting to be unleashed from within you. What I really believe it comes down to is that everyone eventually wants to find something worth dying for, and live for it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Fundamentals: Why Am I Here?

Why am I here? Isn't that the axis on which our entire being rotates. That is the fundamental question. Our life in the midst of a quarter life crisis can be summed up as a quest to answer this question.
               You ever see a person who seems to have this question answered. Don’t they seem to have different outlook on life? Sometimes they seem as if they have it all together. Now intellectually we know no one has it all together, but on an emotional level when someone has that question answered they are just different from the rest of us. Their day seems to be a lot busier than the rest of us. Their actions, even the menial one, seem to have a lot more substance. No, their life is not perfect and never will be, but the good, the bad, and the ugly all seems to have purpose in their life. It all is a part of, what appears to be, a complete being. They have a certain spirit that just draws the rest of us to them. Even their peers look up to them in one way or another.
               Now here’s another question: How many people do you really know that has this question answered? Chances are not that many, if any at all. “Why am I here?” We hear about millionaires committing suicide because they never answered this question. They got all their hearts ever desired and had access to anything their eye could see but in the end, nothing filled the void that was this answerless question. Isn't that life’s greatest tragedy? That one could obtain all it ever desired and still not be pleased and even worst, so unsatisfied that you don't want to live.
               There, I believe, is the fundamental problem when trying to answer this question. We begin on path find a cure for the sickness, yet on the way get distracted by the symptoms. We exchange the treasure for the pleasures. The deceitfulness of pleasure is astounding. Pleasure is just that, pleasure. Its function is not to be eternally satisfying. Its purpose is to cause a finite enjoyment that will keep meaning in your life but not to cause meaning. The treasure is what causes meaning. The treasure is your purpose. The very meaning for your existence.
               Now some believe, we’re born, we live, we die and that’s it. But what a sad existence. Personally I believe we all were born with a reason to believe that life does not begin and end with us. And we have a yearning to believe and achieve something greater than ourselves. Otherwise why live?
               Now if you haven’t figured out the answer to this question, don’t go do something rash and unfortunate. But just know that, that is your quest, to answer the question. I will be posting more blogs about how answer this question in the near future but for now just wanted to give everyone something to think about. Because I believe you do have a purpose and you exist for reason. But don’t exchange the treasure for the pleasures!  

What Is A "Teenager"?

               The worst invention in mankind and, I believe, one of the sources of a quarter life crisis is the “teenager”. I know this may sound weird but I do not believe in the teenager. I know what you’re thinking, but you tell me, what is a teenager? “A young person between the ages of 13-19?” Yeah, so what? What does that mean?
All this social construct does, is provide young adults with an excuse to delay accepting responsibility. I understand people need time to transition through life, and we can’t expect someone to know exactly what they will do with the rest of their life at 14 but giving a person 6 years to “figure themselves out” is ridiculous and obviously doesn't help society. If anything, it provides us with yet another social dilemma. Is a teenager a child or an adult? The teenager construct says that there are both a child and an adult. The social dilemma being that we now give a teenager the freedom from strict supervision but don’t give the full responsibilities of adulthood.
The teenager is a social invention post World War I. Things like the child labor laws of the early 1900s, and the socialization of American high schools, all helped toward this social invention. So the idea of being a teenager is less than 100 years old. Before this time, you were either a child or an adult. There was nothing in between. Yet, in the early part of the twentieth century, parents wanted to wait longer before they saw their children adjust to the new life of adulthood. Some could say, the teenager was bound to come.
But what does all this have to do with a quarter life crisis? Well, I believe that what you sow is what you grow. If people are being influenced to think that they have more time to figure themselves out then that’s exactly what they are going to do: take time to figure themselves out. Which yeah, can be a daunting task but doesn't have to be.
Like I said earlier, teenagers are people with more freedom and less responsibility. That is ultimately the foundation that I think will lead to a quarter life crisis. It’s like one day in the midst of enjoying this freedom you have, you one day realize that you all of sudden have some responsibilities to figure out. But the truth is that the responsibility wasn't all of a sudden. It was always there, you were just groomed to take more time not to accept it. But what’s sad and what we all taken for granted is that we don’t know how much time we really have…
I am not blaming teenagers for those of us having a quarter life crisis. Remember, teenagers are a social construct. But more than anything it’s a mindset rather than an actual stage of life. The purpose of this article is just to illuminate the truth on the subject hopes that we’ll understand how we got to this point. The point being that by giving people time to figure themselves out and less responsibility, you’re sowing plants that will one day grow up to be a quarter life crisis. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where Has All My Motivation Gone???

               So it’s been a while since I wrote an article. Procrastination will happen when you’re going through a quarter life crisis. Which led me to the idea for this article. Where has all my motivation gone these days?
You know, it’s interesting, about 10 years ago I had so much motivation and ambition. Not only did I have many dreams in life, but there was almost nothing you could do to stop from achieving my dreams. I remember when I wanted to play in the NBA. That was probably one of the most motivating times of my life. When I didn't make my 9th grade basketball team I went and worked harder that next year to make the basketball than anything I have ever worked for my entire life. That was until I made the team the next year. I started the next year right down at the end of the bench. Although a part of me was really grateful just to be on the team, a huge part of me still had something to prove. By the end of the season I had started a few games and earned the award for the Hardest Working Player. I was so motivated during that time period of my life.
               Now, not so much. My pillow seems like the coolest place in the world, because it’s there that I dream. Don’t get me wrong, I am not depressed by any means. By 8am at the latest I am out the door working on whatever I need to that day. But from 5:30 to 6:15 I’m rhythmically slapping my snooze button every 9 minutes. Where has all my motivation gone?
               Science will tell you that motivation comes from desire. There is something you want or desire, and motivation leads you to action to achieve it. So my obvious next question would be, where does desire come from? Then I thought about it. And it’s not that I (or you) have no desire. I think the problem in trying to find motivation during discouragement. When I think back to time in life when I most motivated, nothing to very little could discourage me. No matter what people said, no matter the challenges, no matter how hard I had to push myself, nothing could slow me down. Our ability to fight off and overcome discouragement, I think, will determine how motivated we are in life.
               Discouragement can come from anywhere. Circumstances, people, emotions, just about anything can discourage us. So how do we combat discouragement? Well one person once said to that there are only two important questions if life when it comes to achieving your goals. And those questions are, “Why?” and “How?” Sometimes we see our goal and we start thinking, “How am I ever going to accomplish this?” and we start to get discouraged. However, instead of asking “How” is something going to get done, we need to be asking “Why do I need to accomplish this?” Then you will discover a “why” so big and so important that “how” won’t even matter. Your “why” will be so big that you will have no choice to figure out “how”. There I think is the key to finding your motivation when you have lost it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quarter Life Crisis Symptoms:Feeling Left Behind

               So I’m sitting here on Facebook (because that what us quarter life cristers do with most of time) passing the time away and I noticed how massive my friends list is. Since I graduated high school five years ago I live in 2 different states (and visited several others), enrolled in 3 different schools, live in 8 different cities and had about 13 or 14 different addresses. It’s no wonder I have such a huge friends list! I've encounter so many different people. So I decided to see what’s going on in all my old friends’ lives.

               Boy was that a mistake! As I’m browsing profiles and timelines I see former classmates in pictures in their graduation cap and gown holding their degrees, statuses on what grad school they’re in now, wedding pictures, pregnant friends, friend’s with families, friend who are actually doing what they set out to do when we graduated high school or when I last saw them. Don’t get me wrong I’m very happy for my friends, and it builds my faith to an extent but at the same time I get the sense that I’m missing out on something…

               You know, that feeling like the world is passing you by or you feel like you've been left behind like the fat kid in the cross country race that everyone will clap for because he came in last and didn't stop because he was hungry? Now, again, this is not one of those blogs where I want people to feel sorry me. Trust me, I feel sorry enough for the both of us so the last thing I need is more sorrow. What I need, is to figure why do I feel so left behind and figure out if that feeling based on truth. Like, maybe it’s not that I've been left behind but that I’m just a late bloomer. That’s an optimistic way of looking at it huh? J  

               So why do I feel left behind? It probably has to do with some of the choices I've made in the past. Regret will always lead to sorrow. You get those thoughts like, “Maybe I shouldn't have moved here..” or “I would have been better off if I would have done that instead of this” or just feel in the blank with whatever question you ask yourself that can get you to look at and sometimes live in the past. It also may deal with the fact that you haven’t met your personal goals as timely as you would have liked. For instance, coming out of high school I was for sure that I would definitely finish my degree in 4 years, 4 and half tops. But now five years and two transfers later and according to the phone call I just had a conversation with my Academic adviser  it’s going to take another two years to complete my degree. Needless to say I am not happy about that.

               So now that I understand why I feel what I feel, now the complicated question comes, are my feelings based on truth? Well, that depends how you look at it. If you take all 400+ of us who were in my graduating class, maybe half to 60% of us went to college straight out of high school. Now most of these people that I don’t know or keep in touch with but of the ones I do know, most of that 60% has graduated or well on their way to graduating or found something they really enjoying doing and are doing it. So if I compare myself to closest friends from the past then yeah, my feeling are based on truth, I am being left behind. These people are advancing in life faster than I am. However, comparison isn't always the best source of truth. Plus if I wont to broaden my scope and compare myself with all 22 year olds in the world, the fact that I can put together a sentence makes me far more ahead in life than most 22 year olds in the world.

               So, are my feeling based on truth? I guess it’s all about perspective. It’s all depends on how you look at it. As with most things in life, the glass of water can be half full or half empty or you can just take action fill the rest of the cup up and chug that bad boy! Like I said I (you) could be a late bloomer J  

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Dreaded Grey Zone pt. 1: Young Enough to be Be Cool but Too Old To Have Swag

               At my church I do a lot of work in the high school and middle school ministry. I first got in to this when I was 19. It came naturally to me. I could relate to young people because I myself was still considered to be young. We all listened to the same music, and pretty much had the same hobbies. The only difference between me and them was that I was a little bit older so I could offer some life advice that their parents or older adults could not.

               See, to the young people I was sort of like a role model. Someone they wanted to be like and many different ways. I had the look, the style, I could dance, kind of sing, I had swag. Older adults had, and still have, no idea what this means. My pastor tried to use the word swag in a sermon of his a few months ago… yeah about that… Let’s just say it was a little awkward o_O. So for lack of better word they said I was cool.

               You see being cool is different than having swag. Swag is particular to the person. Only you can have your swag. Swag isn't necessarily flashy but makes you stand out from everyone else. However being cool is like being an excellent all around person. You’re up to date but you don’t necessarily stand out because of your appearance. Cool people can make other people cool or at least feel cool. Both are a form of charisma just expressed in different ways.

               Why do I bring this up and what does this have to do with having a quarter life crisis? Well one of the ways I knew I was having a quarter life crisis was that I figured out that I no longer had swag nor was having swag a priority of mine’s any more. When we are young, we want to be hip and up to date, fresh and current. We care about the here and now and we want to make sure we are a part of it. We are concerned with questions like, “Am I cool?” “What do people think about me?” “What am I going to do today?”

When we get older, we no longer care about the present as much as we care about the future and what kind of life we will leave behind. I mean, I’m not completely void of what’s going on in pop culture today and nor am I completely without style, but now different questions are beginning to come to the forefront of mind. Questions like, “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” “Am I ever going to get married?” “What kind of life am I going to leave behind?” Questions that have to do more with the future rather than the here and now.

The grey zone is the time period between being a teenager with the world at your fingertips and being in your twenties and having the pressure of the world weighing you down. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate ambiguity. I like for things to be clearly defined and have a role. So the fact that I can’t make sense of my own life right now is killing me. I hate being in the grey zone!

But here I am, in the grey zone. Still young enough to be cool, but not quite young enough to have swag. Like I said though, having swag is not that important to me right now. But getting out of this stupid grey zone is of utmost importance. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Letter to my Grade School Teacher

A Letter to my Grade School Teacher

Dear Grade School Teacher,

Hi! It’s been a while since we last talked. What, something like 13 years? Well I just wanted to let you know that you’ve had an everlasting impact on my life. It wasn’t what you me taught in your class because I don’t remember an ounce of what you taught me. It wasn’t any of the stupid movies you made us watch or how you let me go back for a second cup of popcorn during the movie. It was a question you asked me that forever changed my life as I know it:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

               You are a sick and evil person. What kind of person asks such a monumental question to a 10 year old? How in the world am I supposed to know at 10 years old what I want to do with the next 50 years of my life? Like a good little boy I gave you the typical answers. “A doctor” or “a lawyer” or “The First Black President” I would tell you. Did you really think I knew what I was talking about back then?

Why would you put that kind of pressure on a 10 year old? The biggest decision I should have to make at 10 is Frosted Flakes or Fruit Loops, not what socioeconomic bracket I want to be for the rest of my life. What did I do to deserve to have that kind of pressure put on me? And why did you ask me in front of all the kids who apparently had a career development seminar that I wasn't invite to? They all knew the answer to the question before if came out your mouth. Thanks for putting me on blast like that.

Well 13 years later and you know what? I still don’t know the answer to your stupid question. And by this time, I've wasted 5 years, 99 college credits, and about $17,000 in loans trying to figure it out and all I got is this blog. But don’t worry I've already got 21 page views so I’m sure I will make a ton of money off of this! -_- (you see that? ß yeah that right there à -_- that’s my Asian sarcastic face. It means I'm really really angry at you after all these years and it’s hard for me to see so I have to quint)

But maybe it wasn't your fault. Maybe they made you ask us that question as part of the curriculum. Just like they made you make us watch those stupid School House Rock videos. Btw I still don’t know what a conjunction is but thanks for leaving that obnoxious chorus in my head. I’ll be sure to share it with my kids. That is, if I ever get married and have any children. No one wants to marry an underemployed blogger going through a quarter life crisis.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that after 13 years, I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. And the fact that it has taken me 13 years to end up where I started, makes me feel like an even bigger failure. So thanks a lot! When I do figure out what I want to do, I’ll be sure to let you know write you another letter/blog entitled: “I Figured It Out: No thanks To You!!”

Love always your former favorite student now disgruntled adult,
Gabe – Blogger and Professional Human Being    

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Underemployment: A Source of Bitterness

               We usually know we are in a quarter life crisis when we feel underemployed. Underemployment is different than unemployment. When you’re unemployed, you don’t have time for a quarter life crisis because you need to figure out where your next source of income is coming from. Underemployment is where you feel your current worth doesn't match your value.

Worth is the cost of production or the greatness of a person. Value is the importance of a person. For instance, I currently work at Jamba Juice making $8.00 per hour. Jamba Juice has fixed worth for every employee who is hired as a Team Member. Whether you are the best Team Member or the worst Team Member your worth is $8.00 per hour. Most hourly jobs you pay base on worth not value. Doctors get paid by value. A trip to the doctor may be $2000. That’s $2000 whether they heal you or not or whether it takes 5 minutes or 2 hours, it’s still $2000. Why? Because that’s how important doctors are to us.

Now money isn't everything and you can still have a quarter life crisis even if you get paid a lot, but the point is that underemployment can be a great source of bitterness can sometimes trigger a quarter life crisis. When I first got a job at 15, I was paid $5.40 per hour and was absolutely fired up about it! I didn't care how little it was. I was just happy to be receiving some sort of income. I didn't get bitter about it until I saw how much other people were getting paid who doing the same job I was. That was when I first started to understand value.

Everyone wants to be paid according to their value and not their worth. There's a point in life when we start thinking we should be getting paid based upon our value and not worth and that's when the seeds of bitterness start get planted in our hearts. If you think about it, all that time we spend in college is being invested into increasing your value. That’s part of the reason we feel underemployed. It can be discouraging to invest so much time into making ourselves valuable and then get out into the real world not being paid for our value.

Underemployment is probably something everyone will experience at some point during their life. Even people who now get paid for their value were probably underemployed at some point during their life. So you don’t have to settle for underemployment. But at least you know what you’re value isn't.  Don’t let underemployment be a source of bitterness during your quarter life crisis but rather a source of motivation to get out of this thing as soon as possible. 

I Never Had The “American” Dream

               (Real quick before I get started: You ever noticed that usually immigrants are the ones who have the American Dream. Interesting….) So I’m sitting here on my couch trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I’m asking myself all these deep questions that will hopefully lead me in the right direction. Questions like: What are my dreams? What legacy do I want to leave? Where do I want to be 15 years from now? Who do I want to be with 15 years from now? What am I going to make for lunch? Is there any way to eat without getting off the couch? I wish my refrigerator had legs……
               Aside from those last few, you get what I mean though right? Dreams motivate us to work hard. They inspire us to persevere when times get tough. I thought about this concept of the American Dream and I realized that the American Dream, although maybe flavored differently depending on the person, basically consist of three things: Security, Happiness, and Freedom. Happiness so that we enjoy life, freedom to do what we want to make us happy, and security so we don’t fall from this place of success in our lifetime. When you strip away all the glam and sparkles, that’s basically what we all want. And that’s probably why I never had the American Dream.
               The package it came in was too flashy for me. The life of the celebrities and superstars never appealed to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like money and pretty women, and fast cars as much as the next guy, but I always felt that there had to be something more to life than just that. Plus I think we see so many people chase the “American Dream” and end up not being satisfied with it that we are reluctant to do the same.
               With that being said, having the wrong dream is better than having no dream. Deep down no matter how selfish a person is, no one wants to believe that world begins and ends with them. Striving to obtain something greater than ourselves is what makes up better individuals. We may act like it sometimes, but no one really wants to be the center of the universe. So dreams, even if they are self-seeking sometimes, are healthy for personal development. Like the saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit nothing every time.”
               The quarter-life crisis is a perfect time to reevaluate or evaluate what you want in life. Maybe it’s not as flashy as the American Dream but I’m pretty sure it will revolve around those three key foundations: Freedom, Happiness, and Security. We all want to be successful. No wakes up and says, “Today I’m going to be mediocre” Or you never hear a child say to his parents, “When I grow up, I want to be average!”. We need dreams maybe it’s time for me to go to sleep, so I can have some dreams of my own. I know it’s at least time for me to get off this couch and eat because no matter how many times I look at it, my refrigerator will not grow legs and come to me. Maybe in my dreams it will though. Yes! In my “American” dream my refrigerator has legs. I’m already inspired to chase my dreams!