We all have those things and thoughts that we hold onto for dear life, like pleasant memories. 

Memories of being a kid in the front passenger seat of the car with my father driving, pretending that we're in a fighter jet or spaceship, engaging in combat with imaginary enemies. Me as his co-pilot pressing buttons and turning knobs to fire missiles and engaging boosters. 

Memories of my family driving down Chagrin Boulevard passing a giant tree that looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex about to chomp down on the cars and street below it.

Memories of driving with friends to the only mall with an arcade and playing Marvel vs. Capcom, Tekken Tag Tournament, and the Simpsons arcade game, eating dinner at Friendly's or TGI Fridays, then going to the used CD/record store to buy random CDs from the $1.00 bin to listen to on the way back home and finding gems like Goldo's Assoline (see video below).

Memories of playing basketball drunk with my freshman year roommates.

Memories of creating a 24-themed webcomic that I made using photoshop. Something I was oddly proud of yet incredibly embarrased about. 

Memories of jam sessions and writing/recording songs with my best friend in college.

Memories of playing FIFA with said best friend on Playstation 2 for hours on end, sometimes ending up on not-speaking terms for a few games, until we both begrudgingly realize we're hungry and then we go eat.

Memories of drunken nights at Woorijp followed by karaoke with my fellow MAIP interns/friends in NYC.

Memories of staying out till 5am in Seoul with my Yonsei KLI classmates on consecutive weekday nights.

I have so many good memories that I keep near and dear to my heart. There are so many more, but this little exercise has taught me that I keep these nice memories deep inside and the ones that are closer to the surface are the memories that have left scars, from little nicks to deep cuts.

Every rejection, whether it was from applying to colleges, friends, crushes, to jobs.

Every time I caught someone lying to me, but never said anything because I used to be anti-confrontational.

Every time I've lied to someone close to me and feeling shitty about it.

Every racist interaction I've encoutered, whether purposeful or a result of unconscious bias.

Every bad relationship I've ever had that didn't work because of fundamental differences in our core values. 

Every time I was told I'm not good enough or that I'm too much.

But this isn't abnormal. I know that a lot of people are like this. It's always easier to focus on the negative. 

It's so easy to nitpick and poke holes. You can find a flaw in everything because....nothing is flawless.

It's part of the human condition. 

I'm personally going to try and focus on all of the good in my life. Which sounds like a painfully obvious thing one should do, but I personally find it incredibly challenging. And it's not that I weigh the "good" less than I do the "bad". It's quite the opposite. 

The challenge is to not do the easy thing and dig deeper to find the good stuff. And hopefully, over time, I spend more time reminiscing than I do brooding.

Let Me Sing You A Song

I suck. I can barely keep the lights on for the one project that was not only a creative outlet for me but was a place where I felt I could be truly honest and open about myself, to myself and to you.

I used to think that my greatest motivator was pain and misery. You know, the stereotype for all creatives. Which by the way, I am not saying I am a creative. I aspire(ed) to be one but fail at it consistently. 

But to be serious for a moment, throughout my entire life, outside of my career, I felt like my best outputs were driven by my misery. To be even more specific, it was generally heartbreak. 

When I was in college, I wrote music. I wasn't an aspiring musician, but I just liked to do it for fun. I taught myself guitar and would play tunes and write what present-day me would consider cringe-worthy music. It was a lot of fun in retrospect, but at the time it was the saddest I ever was. Again, this was because I needed to be sad to write my songs. Not all of my songs had a sad feel to it, but I remember how I felt when I listen to these songs. 

For 4 years I was consistently playing and writing. I only performed songs for close friends and it was only at their request, and even then I had to be convinced because I kept this stuff very close to the vest. I shared some songs with friends, usually just lyrics, to get their input but I never posted the audio anywhere on the internet. 

I remember sitting in my room during sophomore year with my shitty blue acoustic guitar with Microsoft Word open and my digital camera recording. For the record, I never recorded my face because, that's a real quick way to feel vulnerable...seeing your true singing face, especially as you write sad songs.

I really hated the sound of my voice but I kept recording anyways. I had received some good feedback, but it was more just encouragement to just do me. I took any compliment I could get to help me overcome insecurities. Just to be clear, I still hate the sound of my voice but at this point, I know that there's nothing I can really do about it so I've just accepted it. 

Once college was over, I still had that drive to play music, but I wasn't able to write songs as easily and consistently as I had. I tried to type stuff out, but they might as well have just been extremely personal blog posts. Eventually, it just turned into full-blown writer's block, to which I still experience to this day when it comes to writing a song.

I keep asking myself, what was it? What really motivated me in college to write all these songs? I've experienced plenty of heartache/break since graduating college. There was no shortage of "motivation". There was plenty of emotional feels that I wanted to expel out of me.

I ended up just bottling things up. Never doing anything about anything while just letting myself suffer. 

Eventually everything caught up to me. I mentally broke down. I didn't have any sort of episode or panic attack (that I can recall), but I just felt emotionally fed up. My heart and soul could no longer take on additional weight. It was at this point I sought out talk therapy. 

Several months after I started talk therapy, I decided to start writing again, but this time for a blog. Now I've had several blogs in the past. The oldest going back to my very own Angelfire website (doesn't exist anymore so don't even bother looking for it on Google), to Xanga, then Blogger, then Tumblr, with a brief stint on Wordpress, to then Medium.

It was on Medium where I really hit my stride. I felt like I had a purpose. What really was the catalyst for me starting my Medium blog was experiencing the worst heartache I had ever felt in my life up until that point. I can confidently say that that moment is still the worst I have ever felt, at least in terms of love, dating, and romance. 

I was on a role with my Medium blog. I felt really good about it and eventually decided to get serious and buy a domain on Squarespace. I was implementing my vision by starting I moved all of my old Medium posts onto my new page and then continued to write more content on a regular basis. 

I even added podcasting. Got into a really great groove with that for about 10-12 weeks. Then I got into a relationship. It was a bit of a rocky relationship. This relationship lasted about 5-6 months but during that time I didn't update my site once. When the relationship officially ended (I initiated the second, and final, breakup), I wasn't sad. I was more angry and disappointed in myself for letting certain things get to where they were. 

Since then I've tried to post a few times, I even underwent a site redesign. Personally, I'd like to redo my logo too, but...I don't even know where to start with that, to be honest. Anywho, since I started dating my last ex-girlfriend I have had virtually zero motivation to write new content. I had to force myself in the last few posts. 

I keep thinking maybe sadness and misery really are my only true motivators. I fully admit I started thinking about writing this post because I was feeling melancholy today.

I wish I could be motivated by things like "future gains" or "happiness" or "the greater good", but I'm not. I'm a shitty person with shitty, selfish, motivations. Might as well throw in cliché to that list too.

I want to write new blog posts and record new podcast episodes, but I don't want to be sad and miserable all the time to do so. I want to be content and talk about things without the sadness filter. 

Full transparency, I haven't gone to therapy in over a month. Not because I don't want to go, but because my therapist is on maternity leave. I think I underestimated how much I value my time with her. There's a lot that I would normally talk to her about that I've just kept to myself the last month or so and I need to find a way to release some of the tension. I say this only because I know there are people out there who just bottle everything up like I have done/am doing right now. And while it may work for some of you, it's not a long-term solution. 

I think I'm going to start forcing myself to post on a regular basis. Even at the expense of quality (because my shit is fire, amirite?...please don't answer that question!). I've noticed the last few years I have been lacking discipline in general. I want to be better. I need to be better. I will be better.

Thanks again for reading. I will reward/punish you by embedding one of my OG song recordings from over a decade ago. This is just as embarrassing for me to post as it will be for you to listen. I just ask that you keep in mind I was but a boy when I wrote and recorded this and knew even less about life than I do now. This is also the first song I wrote where I attempted self-harmonization. You know, just to really make sure I embarrass myself.