Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Valley In Between....

Sometimes I just want to vent all my frustrations and anxieties from life at someone. Anyone. I guess I'm under the impression that if I'm pissed off enough about things, and rant long enough, that will solve problems. It doesn't. Even as I'm writing that method sounds ineffective. And a waste of time.

At times I find myself frustrated with life. Very frustrated. But I've been trying much harder as of late to be stronger than my frustrations. Life is too short to get caught up in things that don't make you happy. I've been Mr. Nice Guy, and I've been a pushover. When you allow yourself to be pushed too far, you speculate just pulling a 180 and not caring about anything anymore. But no matter how much you deny it, each and every one of us always care. Denying it is just a form of cowardice. Hiding doesn't solve anything. I won't hide from my problems, I'll embrace them. I'll go head-to-head with them without any fear.

No matter where you are in life, there will be problems there to challenge you. Let them. If you aren't challenged, you can't succeed.

This sounds like a motivational speech, as I'm sure most of my blogging does. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Because I write primarily to motivate myself. And if someone else can gain something from it to, great. If not, well, nobody is forcing you to read this.

Don't let life slow you down. Roll with the punches.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm trying to be more thankful for everything that I am fortunate enough to have in life. It should never be about what we don't have. That seems obvious, but think about contentment. When have we ever truly been content with just what we have? When have we had no complaints about life, nothing else that we'd add to our list of 'wants'? I've had those points of utter contentment, but I would be lying if I said that was all the time. But I'm determined to focus on what I do have and be thankful for it. Always.

I'm thankful for great friends. Friends that will always be a phone call away. Friends that make a bunch of us dinner selflessly. Friends that will never kick you when you're down. Friends that won't leave you down, but will help you get back on your feet. I'll always have my friends' backs, and I'm glad that they have mine.

Some people pride themselves in being as independent as possible. There is nothing wrong with independence. Every year that goes by I become more independent in terms of living, finances, keeping up with obligations, decision making, you name it. It's part of the natural progression of life, although I will admit that this happens at drastically different rates. But anyways... I've always been able to rely on myself quite a bit, and that's been great.

But then there are the dark times. The lows in life. The valley between the mountains. And during those times, I am nothing without my friends and family. Some people view that as a weakness; I don't. I feel sorry for people who refuse to allow those close to them to shoulder some of their burden when they can't handle it themselves. My journey to where I am now has been filled with ups and downs. I've lost some family and friends along the way. I've had points where I've been on top of the world, looking out at the sunrise from the top of a mountain. I've had struggles that have left me clinging on to a mere thread of hope, love, and faith. I'm scared that some things I will have to face one day will destroy me. But even then, I know that I will be okay if I am surrounded by those I love. Who ever said we had this life figured out to the point where we are capable of going at it alone?

I'm having trouble collecting my thoughts at the moment. I guess that's a good sign to call it quits for now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time doesn't equal money...

With the start of a new semester, I'm seeing the expenses of life add up alarmingly fast. Finances have been tough for a while, and cutting back hours on my job for school is definitely not going to help. It's frustrating at times. I feel pretty poor these days. Which, in reality, is laughable. I am so much more privileged than so many people around the world, and yet I complain once I personally hit a rough patch. It's selfish, I know.

I've also been worrying a bit about my uncertain future. As some of you may know, I'm not even a 'permanent' resident of these here United States even though I've been living here for 13 years. And although those joyous 13 years have been filled with many jokes about green cards and immigration, reality is slowly but surely catching up with me. Imagine what it would be like to have grown up somewhere 13 years of your life knowing full well that you might have to leave home in less than 2 years. For good. Not exactly the best of circumstances. But I guess at times like these I just have to believe that if I'm meant to stay here, I'll find a way (And for you jokers, yes, the way I'm referring to will be LEGAL). I have no sense of permanence, no guarantee that after college I can just find a job to get me by while looking for my career job. None of this is promised to me. Even my major, political science, is relatively USA-specific. I feel kind of sheepish admitting this, but I didn't worry about this problem for the past year and a half because I thought the universe might have found a way of working it out for me. But I was wrong.

As much as uncertainty scares me, there's no point wasting all my time worrying about it. We're not guaranteed 2 years. We're not even guaranteed tomorrow.

Live for today.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Remember on tv?

No disrespect meant here, but a few funny quotes I enjoyed reading.

"God bless the America we are trying to create."

"We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just, I don't understand it."

-......Hillary Clinton

"My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

-.....Mitt Romney

"We don't all agree on everything. I don't agree with myself on everything."

-....Rudy Giuliani

Ohhh politics...

First pointless post. Check.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good Afternoon...

Tuesday afternoon. 2:05 pm. I've been awake for over 4 hours. Yes, seems like I'm ready to get back into the swing of the just-above-mundane routine. I'm hoping I can switch things up this semester. I want the first and second semesters of my 3rd year in college to have a stark contrast; one very different than the other. Maybe I'll be able to break out of the work/school/repeat routine that as of right now I'm very much dreading. Maybe not...Another time's discussion.

I've been trying to get back to the gym. Get back in shape. Not a new years resolution, no. I think that sort of resolution is a waste of time honestly. I mean, you just end up making it every single year. It never changes. Or maybe it just doesn't change for those of us who aren't determined enough to make it change.

And that's all that it comes down to: Determination. But what are we determined to do in life? Not all the same things resonate with all of us the same way; music and writing to me may be statistical models and engineering stuff (that's as specific as I can get in a field I don't understand) to you. I think we get too caught up in seeing our picture, and not the bigger one. It's not all about us. If you like to get in shape, great. I personally enjoy it when I can find the time. It is a great stress reliever, which is great cause I carry a large burden of stress that I shouldn't let myself carry. It keeps you healthy, both physically and mentally. It crosses over into every aspect of your life if you're dedicated enough, such as encouraging a healthier diet, productive relaxation time, etc. So I guess it can be considered ironic that I am trying to get myself back into shape, back into the habit of being healthy...but only by consistently building a little muscle here and there and trying to get by with a measly cardio workout. I still have an unhealthy diet and (at times) lifestyle.

I don't know if I have a point here. I guess what I'm trying to say is this: the amount of effort I dedicate to getting in shape, it works. For me. It's not gonna do as much for me as for someone who goes the full ten yards with the diet/lifestyle/etc. But it does something for me. And that's why it's worthwhile. Maybe one day soon I'll convince myself that eating better may be a bit of an inconvenience now but a big help in the long run. Somehow, I think senior citizen Jonathan might thank me for it if I do. Cheesy, but true. So that's why I gotta look at the whole picture.

But again, it's about being happy. If I'm not completely in shape, but I'm making efforts, and that works for me, don't judge. Don't pounce on that because you would approach it differently. You aren't me are you? If your way works for you, and has much better results, more power to you. Feel free to recommend to me what you are doing differently. But a recommendation is all that is necessary. So basically, we are all responsible for ourselves. You need to surround yourself with people who care about your well being, and health. But you need to surround yourself with people who know their path is not yours, and vice versa. It's how we meet along that path and what we do when we meet that matters to me.

Sorry for the working out analogy, my muscles are really sore and that's all I can think about....maybe the healthier eating should be implemented sooner rather than later.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ahhhh Thursday.

Don't have much to say right now (I think), but I just felt like blogging a bit.

I feel like I've been kind of distant from reality for a while. I've become obsessed with my music, both my band's and my own, and I find myself behind the guitar or piano for hours at a time. I'm glad my passion has been rekindled, because I know it is an area of life that I've been incredibly blessed in. I've worked hard to become an "above average" musician, and I feel ready to tackle the challenge of taking it to the next level. Everybody has potential to do great things in this world. It's true. I promise. Sometimes we just don't fulfill that potential. Well, I feel like music is the area where I've been given a chance to step outside the box and rise to the occasion. And I plan on doing just that.

At younger ages, such as in middle school and high school, any young musician dreams of 'making it big' or becoming famous. And rightfully so in my opinion. I consider myself a dreamer. I feel like if I wasn't, I'd be overcome by the to-the-point culture of the world today. And what I mean by that is, people don't encourage that kind of dreaming anymore. The world tells you there is a formula: high school, college, graduate school for some, and then career. I think this formula is a double-edged sword. From a musician's point of view, I can obviously see the benefits of an education. I don't want to gamble the rest of my life away by not going to school. At the same time though, take a look at how many 'undecided' majors there are out there. I feel like it's because people are rushed. People are pushed down a road and they don't know where they fit in. As important as this system is, it contributes to unhappiness. It forces people towards things they aren't interested in, and careers they don't want. Sure, they might be financially stable one day, but will they be happy?

Which brings me back to my predicament. I know music will always be a HUGE part of my life. It makes me more happy than anything I've ever experienced. I won't let that feeling escape me. I'm a talented guitarist, but does that mean I'm meant for fame or a career in music? Not necessarily. But my desire for music DOES mean it will always be more than just a hobby. So I'm going to take it one step at a time. I'm working on a degree, and I'm going to be grateful that I put forth the effort. But I promise you this now: I will never stop with my passion for music. And that's how I know it will always be a big part of my life. Doesn't matter what capacity it is in.

Don't stop dreaming. The world is a battleground between realists and those who care to dream. Don't lose sight of life, but don't ever get caught up in the routine. We are here for such a short time, there's no reason to spend it doing anything else than what makes you happy.

Sorry, longer than I thought.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Subconscious Fear.

Ever woken up from a dream scared? I'm not talking about a nightmare, I'm just talking about a dream that scares you. Your conscious mind buries things that you don't want to think about...but you can only hide from these thoughts for so long. Sometimes they resurface in the subconscious when you are asleep. I've always found that symbolic. No matter what we use as an escape: drugs, partying, sex, whatever. These things only allow 'freedom' for so long; they will fail you miserably in the long run. We weren't created to run from our problems, but to face them. We all learn that the hard way at some point in life. I thought myself to be an exceptionally strong person, but I was taught a lesson in humility. I went through a rough patch. But you know, now I AM stronger. Our experiences do make us who we are, for better or for worse. Sometimes you've got to fall so that you can get back up and run the race like you were meant to. My word of choice for describing humanity is probably fallible. It's okay to fall short. It's okay to make mistakes. We aren't perfect. But it's not okay to give up. To quit running the race. To be overcome by your struggles. Your will to press on and fight the good fight is what makes you strong, not the fact that you have a perfect track record. Because nobody does. Simple as that.

I want to be somebody who can inspire. I want to be somebody who can truly show people that mistakes are okay. It's that determination to grow, be stronger, and gain maturity that distinguishes us from failure.

And now a quote from the nerdier side of life...

"Do or do not...There is no try."


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Early Morning Thoughts...

So here I am....2 am. Listening to John Mayer live in los angeles in the background....

I had a really hard but really much needed conversation tonight. Closure is a good thing, but also a complex one. I am thankful though. I'm thankful for what I've been given. For what I have. For what I know I will always have. I'm very blessed.

Life is so complicated. That's one of the most cliche phrases of all time, but it's true. I think the minute we think we've gotten a part of it figured out is the minute our world is usually turned upside down. And wow, I never realized how scared I truly am of the 'lows' in life. But I have to accept that you can't have the highs without the lows. I need to be thankful, and know that I can feel so shitty because I care so much. And my highs in life will be that much better because of it. So no regrets.

Purpose. What is it? I feel like there is something big out there planned for me. I'm supposed to do something. Unfortunately, 'something' is as specific as I can get. Is it wrong for me to think I'm meant for something big? Maybe, maybe not. You could tell me your opinion, but I can promise you that you don't know either...

And that's another thing. When we think about how much we as humans truly know, it can be slightly depressing. The human mind has a lot of potential, and capabilities, but we are also limited creatures with limited knowledge. But we seem to think it's limitless. I just think when it comes down to it, getting too specific about certain things can lead to error. After all, we're only HUMAN. That's why I don't buy into all these petty arguments about specifics in politics, religion, morality, everything. These complex topics have SO much room for human error and interpretation. I guess the point of this mini-rant is this: take everything with a grain of salt. There is nothing perfect in this world, but truly accepting that has beautiful potential.

I'm all over the place this morning. I apologize. I doubt very many people are reading anyways and if you like me enough to read this, you'll probably forgive me. My mind is going a million miles a minute, and at times like these my coherence is probably reduced to the 'slightly coherent' level. Whatever. It's freeing to write. To express my thoughts. And I won't ever stop. Sorry world.

Now I'm hearing an insane John Mayer solo. That man speaks to guitars in a way I only dream of doing one day. If you ever get a chance to listen to 'I Don't Need No Doctor' by his band at their live show, do so. It's phenomenal. If I have ever shown you anything John Mayer related, it's probably this song. Anyways...

'Whoa gravity, stay the hell away from me.
Whoa gravity has taken better men than me.
How can that be?
Keep me where the light is'

Alright fellow bloggers/blog-readers, time for some sleep. Stay sweet.


Monday, January 4, 2010

So We Begin....

Alright. So a good friend of mine encouraged me to start my own blog after I consistently read hers for some good food for thought (don't worry, im still gonna read it!). Blogging brings me back to younger Jonathan and company's obsession with Xanga 5 or 6 years back. We would update with funny and albeit entertaining posts, but after reflecting on some of these posts, I guess I realized they lacked any true 'thoughts' on life. For the most part. So I'm going to try to remedy that with this blog, but also throw in some humor when it is necessary. Very few people will probably actually read this, so I'm probably speaking to an empty room. I envision it as a relatively large lecture hall with only 3 or 4 people sitting in on the lecture. But I digress...

Since we are just delving into 2010, I guess I'll start by talking about the significance of a new year. 2010. wow. In my opinion, we put too much significance on new years in relation to our problems. I mean, yes it is a symbolic new start, a fresh slate...but if something bad happens in the early hours/days/months of 2010, does that jeopardize the quality of the year? Well, it shouldn't. I've already had some stupid memories of 2010 and I only had four days to do it, but you know, I'm gonna be optimistic. This year is gonna be great, and I enjoy an outlook that focuses on a day-to-day basis. You can't control yesterday's mistakes, and you shouldn't take too much time worrying about the future. So I won't. I'm gonna do what I can to make every day better than the day before. And for those rough days that can't be salvaged, I'm gonna try my hardest to remember that tomorrow is a NEW day, free from the problems of the past. We can make it what we want. After a emotional roller coaster of an end to 2009, I decided to live my life the way I was meant to live it. Some people may disagree with my methods or style, and that's okay. We all have our own ways of living, and they all should be equally respected (or at least accepted). I'm an optimistic person, and I'm gonna keep using my qualities as a people person to help as many people as I can. If my ways are unorthodox, too bad. I'm one person in a world of billions; every one is different, every one is unique. Sometimes that seems hard to believe, but if you analyzed every little complexity of every human being I think it would become very apparent that it's true.

Ahh the power of rants. They are good for getting stuff out of the system, even if it's random gibberish. Looking forward to this week. Hopefully a decent movie night tomorrow, and then who knows what else is in store for me.

Finished a new song today. I love finishing songs. The more I write, sing, and play, the more I fall in love with life. And that's how I know that even when life is chaotic and falls apart, I must be doing something right. Because I am happy. Not every single moment, but I'm happy with life. And I know I will continue to be.

Here's to you, 2010. Let's rock the house.