Don’t Need A Wish Today 

It’s been many, many years since I decided to include in my daily ritual: a question of reflection. A means of checks and balances that is commonly absent, without the extra effort. With so much going on around us, it can be difficult to… pause… and think about WHY it is you do the things you do.

My question for the day has always been: “What are you grateful for today?”

Some days, it’s easy to come up with an answer. Some days, it’s not. And often times, I have to inquire if, by repeating the same answers, I am dulling the top coat from its shine. Like the twenty thousandth time you’ve told your significant other “I love you” you realize the words, though true, have lost true sentiment behind it — how impressively quickly novel turns to casual.

Upon waking this morning, I stared at the post-it stuck on my bathroom wall and came to the same conclusion that I am frequently led to. But no matter how many times I respond with this same answer, it still find it –to put it eloquently– really freaking shiny.

Today, I am grateful that all things I want, I already have. It is unmistakably empowering to feel satisfied. I am so lucky for this unpredictable life and the ability to comprehend how and why I’m here.

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“I’m going to CVS. Do you guys want anything?”: Why it Takes 30 Minutes To Leave the House

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“1 grande caramel macchiato!” My brother coolly pulls out two cards from his wallet. “Pick one up for yourself, too. You can get a free grande espresso drink.”

“Thanks brother. Do you want whipped cream?” I ask.

“Yeah, yeah. Everything on it.” I pocket the cards along with my debit card and head towards the front door. A shiny red pair of knee-high boots, I don, for the blizzard (despite having started not too long ago) already accumulated enough of a snow height to deem my regular snow boots pathetic. This kind of snow would pile into those babies in an instant.

“I’m going to CVS,” I announce to no one in particular, as I turn and pull on the brass knob of the front door. “Do you guys want anything?”

I think I hear a soft “No,” so I swing my body past the door.

“Wait. JUST WAIT! Don’t go yet,” A deep voice calls out. Madly waving a fistful of cash in one hand and reaching forward with the other, my father hastens in my direction. His heavy, labored footsteps catch my attention just before the door shuts. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him run in my life. Must be important.

Instinctively –like saving an elevator door for a latecomer (Sometimes, I’m a “doors close” tapper; sometimes, I’m a good guy. Today, I feel like being the latter)– I kick a heel back, propping open a slice wide enough to slip a hand through. My father shoves thirty dollars through the gap, along with a rushed voice, requesting “two whole chickens from Boston Market, too.”

I can hear my brother from inside the apartment screaming, “Chips! Chips, too, please!”

Staring at the space above my head, as if mentally visualizing a college-ruled checklist, I slowly list the items from memory, “Okay. Snacks for myself. Ricola cough drops. 2 espresso drinks, including 1 grande caramel macchiato?” I intentionally speak louder as the question progresses, to see if my brother corrects me. He doesn’t.

“And… 2 chickens. Chips. Anything else?”

On cue, my mother’s voice chimes in. “I have 4 dollars to use at CVS and they expire this month. Here, but you have to take this tag.” Handing me a heavy set of keys, with every retail store tag (in the world, I presume) attached by a key ring, she adds to the top a receipt and a Starbucks gift card. “Oh, and get me a coffee. I want a 1 to 2 second pour of their half-and-half, no suga…”

“Me too.” My dad interrupts,”But I want a grande decaf coffee, no milk, no sugar.”

“Okay. Hold up.” Eyes still looking up, I read off the list: “Ricola cough drops, chips, 2 chickens, 1 grande carmac, 1 decaf no milk no sugar, 1 grande cafe latte, 1… Do you want a grande, too, Mom?”

“I don’t care. I want a medium.”

“That’s a grande.”

“I don’t want grande. Get me a small, medium. That thing.”

“A small or a medium? It’s not the same.”

“A large. A grande. No, a small. Medium. You’re confusing me. It doesn’t matter.”

“…Ok. 1 grande coffee, 1 to 2 second pour of half-and-half, no sugar. That’s it, right? Can I go now?”

“Meatloaf! Get meatloaf! I don’t want to eat the chicken.” (Brother)

“Forget the chickens. No one’s going to eat the chicken.” She quickly glances at my dad then back to me. “You know, he’s buying one for each of you.” (Mom)

“What? Why? I never asked for chicken. Why would I eat a whole chicken?” I turn to face him. “Are the chickens for you to eat?”

“No.” (Dad)

“So, Jae’s not eating it. I’m not eating it. Mom’s definitely not eating it. You’re not eating it. So why am I picking up 2 whole chickens. WHAT’S UP WITH THE CHICKENS?” (Me)

No response.

“Boston Market isn’t even open,” Simultaneously laughing and lovingly pushing his sunken frame away from the door, she waves the back of her hand towards me. “Ignore him. Don’t get the chickens.” (Mom)

“So no chickens.” (Me)

“No, two.” (Dad)

“Whatever you want. As long as it’s not for me.” (Me)

Sheepishly, he shrugs. “You two should eat more chicken.”

“Chips! Did you hear me? Chips.” (Brother)

“Forget the chicken!!!!” (Mom)

“Ok, just buy a ton of sides then. Like mashed potatoes.” (Dad)

“Alright, but am I still buying the chickens?” (Me)

“YES!”

“NO!”

“MEATLOAF!”

I kick the door fully open and step back inside. This, I see, is going to take a while.

Scared to Death

 

I’m a fucking pansy.

No, it’s not what you think, though. r-KINETIC-CLOCK-large570

I’m not afraid of spiders (don’t let the surprised squeal fool you; I can beat them all up, I swear), terrorist attacks, being alone, my credit score, the apocalypse, heights, or other top common fears we’re told it’s Human to have.

You know what I’m afraid of?
Time.

I know, right? Of all things.

Take a stopwatch and hold it in my face, and I’ll wet my pants faster than a sexually amped sixteen year old at a Justin Bieber concert.

It terrifies me to know how fast time is. It’s much faster than I’d like it to be.

I know –and you know as well– that we will expire some day, but when the time actually comes, the rest of us find ourselves in shock. I’m more surprised at how surprised we feel, despite attempts of mental preparation. It’s like bracing ourselves for an impact that makes us flinch and tense up, regardless. Expectation itself fails to soften the blow, and time makes the inevitable punch swing faster and harder than you originally anticipated.

Lately, it feels like the Big man has been messing around with my calendar. He’s been twirling the months around his fingers like he owns the damn place (well… uh… even if he does, that’s not very nice), and it’s making me feel irritated. Disturbed. A tiny bit lost.

I’m scared of how brief a single second is. It’s gone before you can finish reading this sentence, and it doesn’t have the courtesy to ever come back. If I weren’t so deathly afraid, I’d hold it by the collar and teach it some manners.

Pun always intended.

06/04/12 Pursuit of HAPPINESS

I’m seeking change.

What I mean is, I’ve been trying to better myself, and the past 6 months have been beyond amazing all because of optimism. Life is how you personally perceive it; if you can see beauty in a train wreck, you are one giant step ahead of the game.

Happiness can range from mere contentment to intense, uncontrollable joy. It’s a realistic goal that we can pursue and attain each and everyday, and it is a goal in which failure only exists if we allow it to. No one is physically capable of depriving you from this destination; they may hinder the journey but the opportunity to cross that finish line is always there.

Not only should we pursue this happiness, we should aim to maintain it. I try to wake up each morning with a smile on my face and hope that it hasn’t faded by the time I fall asleep. I’ve been succeeding quite frequently, because I’ve realized that nothing makes me happier than knowing I can put a smile on a person’s face. My daily dose of happiness isn’t in a pill, does not derive from money, and sure as hell does not depend on a man, and that is how I can easily conquer my days.

It’s an amazing feeling to know that as insignificant as I am, I can have the ability to make another life a little less stressed, a little less of a pain in the ass. I’ve been dishing out respect, civility, and charity to strangers around me, and I get blessed in return.

And then there’s peace. People who think that I’m all about partying and having fun are people who haven’t gotten a chance to really meet ME. Yeah, I enjoy the adrenaline rush of going buckwild and celebrating the moment; this rabid spontaneity keeps me sane. But to be honest, I’d much rather be chilling in a rowboat in a deep silence that holds us close, laying in the grass with our minds lost in space, and maybe sharing coffee and a cup of your finest conversation. Simply put, I thrive for tranquility. The kind that temporarily makes us feel eternally safe.

This daily struggle –this pursuit of happiness and search for peace– is overlooked by most of us. But it’s right there in our faces. We just have to step away from all angst, anger, and pessimism pent up in our hearts, and ask ourselves, “What am I doing wrong? What can I do to make it better?”