July 26, 2014
Wabamm

I woke from a very strange dream. It left me confused and a little shaken. 

I was at my fraternity house in Berkeley. While I was on the front steps, out of nowhere came my brother. We made eye contact but I ignored him. Being with my frat brothers, I looked away. When I looked back, he was already heading away from the house. As he walked away, I saw him picking up a group of girls laughing and practicing his daygame.

This is when I woke. What disturbed me was how I had ignored him because of where I was. I put something else before my own blood. I was embarrassed.

Now I doubt that this would ever happen in real life. When I was younger these sorts of episodes did occur. My father would come to one of my water polo matches and I would wave him off in front of all my friends. I quickly learned not to do that. My father can be a very scary man. 

It’s so bad when a kid is so occupied with his group status and the image that he’s giving to his friends that he mistreats his family. it’s horrible. But I think it’s a stage every kid goes through. One good smack on the side of the head tends to do the trick. Really, not only does it shock the kid but it’s like all the times Dad has driven them twenty minutes to and from afterschool and 5:00 am practices, all the money Dad has dropped a program fees, and all the time he has sacrificed for you suddenly becomes clear and it’s like it all sinks in. Something had been keeping it from entering. It just was chilling on the exterior of the skull. One smack later, it’s permeating nicely.

July 26, 2014

(via jef-ferson)

July 26, 2014
Family/Friends

Strawberry Farms of Irvine California is a quaint little ten table restaurant off of Interstate 405. The roadway is paved with simple black asphalt and lined on both sides by white rose bushes the entire way. The restaurant itself looks similar to a barn house with it’s rich red exterior and white cross beams.

The three of us sat around the table and quickly put our order in. A Hash Reuben Sandwich, a Waldorf salad, a Champion Burger, and a Turkey Club. Simple items executed exceptionally well.

Two bites in, my father asked if we had prayed. This is a question I’m well accustomed to. The fork dropped and he said grace, expressing his gratitude for the food whilst admonishing the pagans at the table (me) who constantly forget to remember something higher.

Regardless of your opinions on religion, I think we can all agree that the religious tradition of taking the time to reflect on the food before them and express gratitude and appreciation is a good one. It’s a practice that helps us be more mindful in our daily lives and conscious of the little good things.

——-

A question that I’ve thought about a lot is why vacations with friends are so much more fun than vacations with family. This was a thought that would guiltily come into my mind on multiple family trips. Only a while ago, did I realize that this kind of sentiment is completely natural and nothing to feel bad about. 

When we’re young, time with our peers is extremely fun because it is so new and different. We’ve spent the majority of our lives constantly with our families and this change up is welcomed. But an an experience confirmed by many older folks, is that as they got older they started enjoying family vacations much more than vacations with friends. Family becomes the preference because it’s only with family that true rest is possible. With friends, whether you realize it or not, there’s always constant gauging going on. There’s always a secondary undercurrent to every interaction. This undertone is an inherent part of human interaction and includes comparison, constant guarding of one’s image, etc. I guess as you get older, you just really get over it.

So basically, with family there’s nothing you have to really prove. That’s something hard to- or should I say inherently impossible- to appreciate when young. The phenomenon of Dad liking family trips a lot more than the teens now understood.

July 26, 2014
7/18/14

Home was always so boring. It was so familiar and still. I itched to be somewhere else. Of course I never really knew where but I just knew home was not it.

But when I began to spend my days out and about, with new people bustling everywhere and things never before seen constantly happening around me, the quiet and familiarity of home became appreciated.

I don’t think we were meant to pass the day in our homes.

Like the animals, I think we are programmed to get out there and run. Only as the sun sinks into the horizon and the last of the colors wane from the sky, should we slowly make our way home.

But so often we stay because we’ve numbed ourselves to this natural urge to run. Sedated and on auto, we oscillate between low buzz and lower buzz. Fearing the silence we trade it for stupor, not knowing that if we had just had the discipline to stay in the silence, we would begin to notice the blood pacing through our veins and the intensity of daily life. The silence would go from horribly distasteful to something appreciated for it’s ability to lead us to things surpassingly fulfilling. Instead of letting it run us into the Stupor, we let it run us out of our homes.

July 26, 2014
6/25/14

I don’t know. The past two weeks have felt like the longest weeks of my life. Working 8 hour shifts everyday is exhausting. I’ve been the farthest thing from intentional in making plans with people. With the risk of sounding melodramatic, I can honestly admit that there’s really no urge within me to meet and talk. I feel like there’s so much going on within me and it’s important to figure that out first. Once that’s settled, i think i’d be much more inclined to do those kind of things like eating with friends, sitting around and chatting, telling stories.

July 26, 2014
7/26/14

"I grew up  in the poor projects of Brooklyn, New York, paid my way through college, and moved to Seattle, Washington, with my wife, Sheri, to take a job as head of marketing for a small coffee company called Starbucks."

I’m reading Howard Schultz’s book Onward, which chronicles all of his experiences at Starbuck and the journey from 1987 to 2010. In the span of twenty three years, profits went from 600,000 to 10 billion. Store locations went from 11 to 16,000. Employees or “partners” as he likes to say, went from 100 to 200,000.

Reading his thoughts and his opinions is fascinating and inspiring. It’s inspiring because readers can relate to his beginnings. Howard was not Ivy League born and bred. He did not go to Harvard Business School. He went to Northern Michigan University. In short, he was very plain.

At the end of his senior year of high school, I’m sure his graduating class had several Ivy League admittances. Several top notch national universities. There was likely a slurry of emotions being experienced during those final months. I can say this from first hand experience. I went through it only 12 months ago. I call it the Senior Experience. It’s this moment where the big buildup has finally been reached. Anyone who says that they don’t care about the college they got into is full of bullshit. Get into a good school, and you feel on top of the world. You feel validated and all that uncertainty about your future can be calmed for a bit. Get into a no name school, and you’re forced to have to face some very scary emotions. Feelings of inferiority, doubt, and struggles with self worth. Just to give some examples of things that lead me to state the above, kids are always online posting this or that about their school. “Oh hey look, new study came out and we’re in the top ten business schools in the nation. Oh look, top three in this or that.” Not to say that their motivation in posting that kind of status is purely out of a need to re-validate themselves because I’m sure there’s more factors. But I don’t think one could completely deny how calming it is to know that your program is top ten in the nation. “That MUST MEAN, that since I’m in the program, I WILL go onto be a successful, top achieving professional.” Let’s be real. Humans tend to struggle with self worth and significance all their lives. That is our humanity. But there are a few who successfully navigate this morass. I think the key that these few individuals hold is their understanding of image versus reality.

But bring it back to Howard, he did not have this validation. His school was not even near highly ranked. But still he went forward to create a global empire. I’m sure that when his senior year came to a close, he was feeling certain doubts and a bit of fear from not being validated. But he had something more. He had a burning desire to achieve his vision. He didn’t need the external petting. 

I guess this post is out of my desire to encourage people to judge on merit, not name. And most importantly, judge yourself by merit and not name. We hang around kids all the time so we think that our reality, is the reality. (Our reality being name is everything) But start hanging around with successful adults and you start to see that there are some serious discrepancies. Start reading real stories of real people and you’ll see some contradictions. When you see a human being, see them without all the superficial qualification. See them as just another person who wants to feel significant. Learning to discern whether a person is deriving his significance from merit or name is incredibly vital.

If through my incessant rambling it is not already apparent enough, I will say it again- I’m very enthralled by this concept of image versus reality. The Environment inundates us with a very specific brand of thought. It’s funny how even though there are so many examples and stories that completely contradict this brand, we seem unable to remain independent from it and unable to fully experience the freedom which it brings.

There are a lot of kids who didn’t get into the best schools this past Spring. They’ve been hurt. For the next four years they are now affected by this neurosis. They have this inferiority complex and whether on a conscious or unconscious level, they are in a constant struggle to redeem their self worth. Just be certain to funnel this neurosis well. Some of the greatest achievement are from the seriously neurotic. When you feel insignificant, depending on how you handle it, it will either set a fire under you or douse you out cold.

Here’s to the neurotics on fire. 

July 26, 2014

(Source: im-lower-than-atlantis, via im-lower-than-atlantis)

July 22, 2014
7/21

I had a really difficult time falling asleep last night. It could be due to the half can of Coke I drank at 10, or maybe it was the light from my handheld. I hear that displays prevent the natural release of your sleepy chemicals.

I lay in bed, mind spinning. I browsed humans of New York for about half an hour, alternatively uplifted and discouraged. Some of the stories really make you think and for a second, your mirror neurons flare up and you get a ever so slight taste of their struggle. 

I was feeling very discouraged and as negativity began to push out the good and whole things in my heart, I spiraled downwards and downwards until all I could feel was distance, loneliness, and ennui. I bemoaned my situation. Oscillating between work and home, work and home, work and home. No time for friends and none of the previous summer’s festivities. In my good moments, I can push these things away by considering how I am building character and learning some invaluable lessons that far outweigh a casual summer frolicking with the boys and gals. But in these shakier moments, all that goes flying out.

This continued through morning as we drove to work. My Dad asked me why I looked so dead. I responded that I had not slept. I did not tell him that I had spent the entirety of the early morning hours up until four am drowning in a mix of emotions precisely the opposite of feeling driven, fulfilled, and excited about life.

Three hours later and one hot black coffee down, I chugged on through work, just crossing things off my list despite the horrible feels.

By 12 am however, the dark heaviness had gone and I was moderately optimistic and okay with where I was.

By evening, I was hooting with joy coming back from the gym and feeling solid.

Just another instance of starting off so awfully depressed and finishing strong.

Emotions are not to be trusted. They’re horribly mendacious renegades.

*I just read this out loud to my brother and verbatim, ” Amen, fuck emotions. They slap you around like a bitch.*

July 20, 2014
Lydia Ko Wins Marathon Classic With Closing Birdie

Wow, 17 years old and making LPGA history.

July 20, 2014
jlin7

He’s in LA now!!!

July 20, 2014

Usher Figgy Remix

July 19, 2014

Anonymous said: How's your summer?

Good!!! :) Thank you for asking.

July 15, 2014
7/11/14

This morning I woke up feeling like death. My friend once told me about how on one occasion he woke up furious and punched a wall. I was astounded by this story because I can’t really remember ever waking up and from the very first minute awake, feeling such negative emotions. Usually I’m just in a neutral zombie like half asleep phase where I don’t really get any vivid emotions.

Today I woke up with this very very dark grey feeling. I felt a little feverish and I felt not a single ounce of optimism. Dark thoughts circulated and in my second minute awake, I was obsessing over how bad I wanted the day to be over and back in bed asleep with no thoughts. I thought about how nice sleep was because you can’t experience any emotions from the day. All the present issues are on momentary hold and that’s that. All the bullshit stops for a bit. 

If you ask me, that’s a pretty wack thought to be thinking about during the second minute of your day.

The entire car drive to work I grimaced and remained in my sour mood. But the window cracked open a few inches and the smooth Kanye West Graduation tunes and the orange tint of my sunglasses, all somehow picked me up from the ground by an inch.

Then, a carls junior bacon egg and cheese burrito and a medium cup of very hot black coffee (they ran out of small cups and therefore just gave me the medium cup at the price of a small one) picked me up another few inches.

By 11am I was up off the floor and in a full sprint. I don’t think I’ve experience such bipolar emotions in such a short time span. My takeaway is always believe that it will get better. There will be times where you feel like absolute shit but think about all the times in the past you’ve felt so hopelessly shitty but somehow someway find yourself surprisingly more optimistic in just a short matter of time.

—————

Dad grounded her for not making curfew. 

 A few hours later, Dad had moved on while she was still very upset.

Dad suggested to her that she try Older Siblings face product because it had solved all his skin problems almost miraculously and so quickly. She responded in a very brash and brusque manner, “No it’s just because I’m not getting enough sleep.”

Dad walked away but later recounted that he was baffled and amused because he had spoken with sincere concern and sincere desire to help. He felt the response was uncalled for.

We discussed how she was not responding to his sentence. She was responding to the ‘grounding’ incident just a few hours earlier. She  was responding to my brother who was in the room. She was responding out of her emotional mood. 

It’s so basic but so laughably easy to forget that human communication is not logical. It’s an emotional thing. Person B’s response to Person A is a complex formulation. One factor is Person B’s words. Second factor is Person A’s mood which could be completely independent of Person B. A third factor could be Person C and person D who are in the room, both of which could possibly be completely unrelated to Person B’s words. A fourth factor could be the location of Person A and B at the time of conversation.

So many different factors. But it’s so easy for Person B to become outraged and cry injustice and hold their fists up in righteous anger because, A’s RESPONSE was not the appropriate response to THEIR WORDS.

I can’t see any downsides to getting it through our thick skulls that people in daily life simply just don’t respond to what you’re saying. They’re often times responding to everything BUT what you’re saying. Kind of a tangent but i think this is an important quality to look for when finding the right person for you. You want someone who understands this idea very well. You want someone who when you snap at them and respond poorly, are patient enough, compassionate enough, and big enough, and more than anything superhuman enough, to stash away their reflexively angry emotions and feelings of having being wronged, and simply walk away. And then an hour later, gentfully and tactfully attempt to get them to talk about what exactly they ARE responding to. Work. A prior incident. A mood. Etc. And of course, it would only be fair for you to develop these skills as well so that when the time comes, you can extend the same kind of gracious love when needed. To add tangent to tangent, this whole idea is a perfect example of why siblings and family is so important. Family members are so damn good at displaying the above misbehaviors. Friends tend to control themselves better. When you grow up constantly running into little conflicts on the daily, you began to see the common roots of them and learn how to manage that. Triple tangent. If you have parents that demonstrate this kind of superhuman control, how truly blessed you are. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve snapped or thrown a completely undeserved fit at my parents yet the said nothing and let it go. They did this for just about two decades! I’m only now really realizing how patient they were letting all those incidents slide. I’m frankly simultaneously appalled at my history of behavior and amazed at how they handled it. They patiently waited knowing that one day I’d see how hurtful it can be to a relationship when you bring everything outside of it in, and how often we do it despite this understanding.

———

An MIT research team a few years back did a study on habits.

They concluded that their existed the habit loop.

All habits consist of three stages.

Cue. Routine. Reward.

Identifying cues is the most overlooked aspect of habitbreaking.

July 9, 2014

When i first started posting, it was all narratives. I think i’ve kind of strayed from that and often I am writing in a very vague, nebulous fashion. This is unfortunate because it’s the human details of daily life that at least for me, make reading and writing worthwhile.

Going to try to get back to that. A story a day, short or long, deep or funny, descriptive or action packed- no matter. As long as it has human details, not just words strung together. I want to write a picture.

July 9, 2014
8th

11:04 p.m.
It’s been a full day’s work including various drives back and forth picking the siblings up. Mother came back from Korea. I noticed today after hugging my mom that reunions amongst family members get different as you grow up. They become more and more honest. We’re more direct and vocal with our emotions saying I missed you when one has missed the other. Fairly elementary I know but families seem to have a way of complicating even the simplest things sometimes. And in my family where physical affection is uncomfortable and just uncommon, we’ve become much more affectionate.

Dad, Josephine, Rachael and I went to the gym today. We drove the brand new red and black Mini Cooper. Josephine was giddy with excitement all afternoon at finally having a car to call her own. My younger sister and I foolishly tried to sabotage her happiness by loudly declaring how much we liked OUR new car. These not subtle subtle pronoun drops were designed to challenge her concept of ownership. But her mirth was immense and unpeturbable.

Laying here on the couch with the soothing air condition whirring overhead and the warm glow of my iphone im front as I type in notes.

This morning was better. More patient. Less irritability. I’m hoping tomorrow will be even better.

Getting better at discerning image verse truth.

Learning how to control my emotions in the workplace and not to expect my standards from others. Learning that business is 100% about humans. That’s hyperbole but the point is, it’s more than just important. It’s what makes the whole thing go.

Checklists are damn good. Feels so good to cross something out. Learning that a good strategy for me is to make a list and them get some nice momentum going from knocking down easier tasks. I then let this carry me into the larger more demanding ones. Instead of tackling it from the get go, i build my mood and energy- which is never good in the morning lately.

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