Parts Unknown

Recently, I felt a great urging to explore and travel. Whether it be traveling to a foreign country, I always wanted to go to the United kingdom or Japan, or just exploring new places locally. This was fueled even more by a youtuber named Josh who travels all over the world (Japan) and many rarely visited locations on the state side. He takes his viewers on a journey and a lot of those places are so scenic, really out of this world– breathtakingly magical.

 

Likewise, I have been hooked on a show called Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN hosted by World renowned Chef Anthony Bourdain, where he takes the viewers on a journey to parts unknown and let us experience with him the rich culture, landscape, and food. All the while I was at home staring at my computer screen or going places where I have been many times before. I told myself I must visit parts unvisited. I realized that all the beautiful places exist where few (or zero) people have been. I wanted to experience somewhere magical– out of this world.

 

I decided to find a place where I can explore and found it– The Zuck Arboretum in New Jersey, which is a hiking trail through a forest preserve. I had been there before, but due to time and the terrible weather I had to hike quickly. Now that it was the summer, I had more time on my hands and the weather was superb, I could explore. When I hiked on the trail, I took in the beautiful view. Also, when I deemed it safe, I went off the trail, climbing over and under obstacles to explore parts unvisited. The forest is very magical— out of this world. I even took some pictures to show everyone its fairytale like features.

 

This trip convinced me even more so that the beautiful places exist where few (or zero) people have been– parts unvisited. I’ll be exploring more parts unvisited– you can count on it. So, if you have the urge to experience something new, someplace magical– like I did– go to some place new, someplace you have never been before, someplace few know about. You will be blown away. Take my word for it!

 

Photo: a part of the Zuck Arboretum taken by the author.

 

 

Liebster Award

 

I. Intro

Thank you Jacob Tugwood (Click Here for his blog)  for nominating me. I met him through one of my blog posts that he commented on. I then checked out his blog and loved it. He writes with such eloquence and always heartfelt. It seems as if I could relate to him.

II. Favorite Blog

My favorite blog is the person who nominated me. There have been many blogs I have read- from criminal justice all the way to mental health issues. As previously stated, Jacob writes with eloquence and heart about mental illness. In some posts he draws on his personal experience to convey his thoughts (click here for that post); in others, he questions the status quo (click here for that post). In the latter, he makes the reader think why society is the way it is and why we should not just take societal beliefs at face value.  He also tackles current issues (click here) and relates it to the subject he is writing about. Not many writers could synthesize in such a way. His posts are never boring and I can always find some new knowledge about the subject he is commenting on. Lastly, as he writes on such a personal level, I can relate to him as I am suffering from similar and same issues he is.

III. 10 Facts

Fact 1: I am a sociology senior (Class 2017) focusing on criminology and social stratification.

Fact 2: I started a blog series on here called ‘you and me’ in which I help people overcome their personal struggles using my own personal experiences after I saw a Youtuber do a similar thing with his youtube channel MikeMGTV as his videos helped me.

Fact 3: I love reading new things on my own time about other subjects such as political science.

F4: I love writing, whether it be blogs or long papers

f5:  I like to play video games- super smash bros

F6:I love talking with friends and meeting new people

F7: I worked at a police station before– not a lot of students can say that!

F8: I suffered from Depression and Suffer from Social Anxiety

F9: I love cars- WRX

F10: I like to exercise

VI. Nominations

Nomination One: Renegade Press

Nomination Two: Frank Anthony 

V. Rules

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.

Display the award on your blog. At the official rule page, there are a whole lot of images you can use for your 2016 Liebster Award.

Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.

Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (optional)

Nominate 5 – 11  (or less) blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.

List these rules in your post.

Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.

VI. Questions

  1. Other than writing, what is your greatest passion?- Teaching/ Tutoring
  2. Which country has the most interesting history?- United Kingdom
  3. Do you own any pets? If so what?- Yes, a male cat
  4. Favourite film/television show and why?- Wreck It Ralph (an animated Disney Film). Great message for all ages– including adults. It also is a tear jerker
  5. Would you ever take up an extreme sport, such as skydiving?- why not? Never had the chance though.
  6. Fencing or archery? Which one sounds more appealing to you?- I personally fenced before (foil). But I haven’t tried archery, but want to. That seems fun!
  7. How long does it take you to write an average blog entry?- 2-3 hours
  8. What were your favourite subjects in school?- History (in grade school), Sociology and Anthropology (in college/ uni)
  9. What’s the most therapeutic activity you do to help manage your mental illness?- writing and music (both)
  10. If you could change one law in your respective country, what would it be?- Speeding is not a crime
  11. Finally, a bit of a tongue in cheek question – Do you watch and/or like Doctor Who?- No, don’t have much time to watch tv nowadays.

VI. Questions

  1. Why did you start writing?
  2. Who is your greatest inspiration
  3. Do you have any other hobbies beside writing, like video games or playing sports?
  4. What is your major or was you major in college (if applicable)?
  5. What is your favorite book or author?
  6.  What is one advice for a new blogger?
  7. When did you start writing?
  8. Who is your role model/ hero?
  9. Favorite singer/ songwriter?
  10. Favorite food?
  11. What interested you in the subject you are commenting on (your topics)?

Before It’s Too Late

“You’d better know that in the end. It’s better to say too much. Then never say what you need to say again”- John Mayer, “Say”

Fear can be a very powerful force when it comes to decision making. We all have fears when it comes down to deciding to do something. For example, there are many times I wished I had kept in touch with a classmate after getting to know them from class, but didn’t because of fear. I wished that I had asked for their contact, such as their number, but didn’t for fear of rejection or them judging me (weirded out). I just couldn’t say the words ‘what is your number’ or ‘let’s keep in touch’.

I was paralyzed by fear until it was just too late and the class had ended. By the time my mind was straight, I realized a good opportunity had been missed. Then, I try to find them on social media, sometimes with or without success. Mostly the latter. Or there were times when I wish I had talked to a person, even to make small talk, because of fear I didn’t. Fear of rejection or negative judgement.

Fear in decision making isn’t just limited to my example. For others, it may be the fear of failure that makes them not enter a competition or take a class that they really want to. Fear of failure can inhibit someone from applying for a dream job. Fear of heights can restrict someone from doing something that involves heights, such as skydiving or climbing a mountain.

To the outsider who has not experienced your fear, it might seem odd that your fear can have such an effect, but I can assure you that they are real and can greatly influence your decisions. Fears will often leave you asking the ‘what ifs’. And possibly regretful. Then you realize it’s too late and that opportunity had passed. What if I had taken that class or applied for that dream job? What if I had climbed a mountain?

I have started to overcome my fear by living by the phrase ‘you only live once’ (aka: #yolo). You might as well do it because sooner or later the opportunity would pass. Make every second count. So do whatever you want to do cause #yolo!

 

 

pc:
 

Feeling Exposed

If you asked me a year ago to talk about my insecurities and flaws; I couldn’t do it. Namely my disability and how I look. I felt exposed and I felt flawed and no one wants to feel exposed and flawed for fear of abandonment or ridicule. It was even harder for me when I had have social anxiety and had a rough childhood until 5th grade. It didn’t really get any better until high school and college where I got to start anew.

Due to this fear, I never talked about my disability for fear that people would ridicule me and friends would abandon me (I know now that that thought was preposterous), but due to social anxiety and past experiences I did think that. Over the past couple months, I started opening up about who I am and my disability (long story about the reason I opened up about it) and realized that nobody give a shit about that.

Everyone I know respected me for me. For who I am. They only care about my personality. I’ve gotten so many positive comments since I opened up about my disability (Hemiparesis) from my friends all the way to a VP of my university.

Here’s the thing guys and gals, it’s okay to open up. You don’t have to do it now. It took me 21 years!!! People who truly care about you will respect you for you!! Just know someone somewhere cares!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pc:http://www.planetminecraft.com/blog/flaws/

 

 

 

 

Not Enough

 

Have you ever felt that no one understands you? Do you ever feel that nothing feels right. Feeling you are just not enough. Feeling that you are not worth anything and you just go through the day feeling you rather be that other guy with everything you wish you had? The perfect grades? The perfect body? You feel like people’s words of comfort are just empty words? Then they go about their life. Wishing that they lived in your shoes for a day? Yet, you just put on a smile and pretend that everything is ok?

You are not alone, I have had those thoughts before. Somedays I feel empty, feeling that I wish I could be like someone else. Someone I thought had the better grades, the better body– a better person overall. Sometimes I just feel I am not enough and I despair. Yet, I just put on a smile because I felt like I just can’t explain it to others because they just won’t understand. I put on a smile because it’s the only way I could get through the day.

It feels horrible not feeling enough. Feeling that low self worth because I wish I rather be someone else. Thinking he’s everything you want and he’s everything that you dream you could be. Feeling dumb or not as smart as my friends. Feeling that I am inferior and they are smarter and have a better personality. Feeling that they are more well rounded. Playing a game of catch up.

I wish I had the answer to this problem, but I don’t. In the end, just know if you feel this way, you are not alone. We are all in this together.

 

 

pc:

Becoming a Superhero

I wanted to change the world, like Superman, zipping through the sky saving people. Yet, I find myself always feeling I was not enough; that what I was doing is not enough. Yeah, I helped people whenever I can, like the time I swapped seats with a lady who wanted an aisle seat instead of a middle seat on my flight back from California. Or the time where I helped a student who was lost in the middle of campus find his way.

 

I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to make a massive change. I’m a big dreamer– what can I say!  I wanted to change the world– help the masses. All I had was a goal, but I didn’t know how to achieve it.

 

I finally found my inspiration as I was watching Youtube videos– of all places. I stumbled on a channel called MikeMGTV. He made a series of videos detailing his personal struggles with topics such as social anxiety and body insecurities. As I watched each of these videos I saw what a positive impact it had on me personally and I could tell how it positively impacted his many other viewers through the comments below his videos. It positively impacted me because, I too, was dealing with these same issues.  

 

Then it clicked! I could use a social media platform where the stories of my personal struggles could reach and hopefully inspire millions around the world. I thought of Youtube, but my strengths were in writing not filmmaking. I had an idea. I could start using my pre- existing blog page (the blog you are reading this on) and post the stories of my personal struggles on here.

 

So, if are like me, wanting to change the world, don’t lose that dream. Ever. Find a way to use your strengths, for me it was writing, and you could be the next superhero that CAN make the world a better place!

 

PC: 

All Eyes On Me

I have social anxiety, I much rather stay at home than to be in a social situation full of people.  This which confuses many people I know because they see that I engage with people a lot. Of course, I talk to other people, it’s just small talk. It never blossomed to anything more than that. The occasional ‘hi, how are you?’ type of thing. After all, it would be very awkward not talk to people if I was forced into a room of people. Even when I do engage in small talk, I always wonder if they will judge me.

 

The thing is, I don’t even have to talk to someone to feel like I am being judged. It can be at any social situation. Everytime I walk into the gym and see big bulky guys. I pull out. I feel like they are all staring at me and judging me. Thinking if they will make fun of me because I am not bulky like them and can’t lift more than 20 pounds on a good day. This social anxiety at the gym got so bad that I ended up building a mini gym at home because of it.

 

Everytime I get invited to a sporting event where I have to play a sport I am not good at, such as basketball, I pull out. I make up some shitty excuse saying I’m busy. When in reality, I’m thinking that they will judge me negatively for not knowing how to play the sport. I reject invitations to college parties because I will feel judged if I don’t conform to their ways of partying, such as hard drinking. I don’t share many personal things with people I don’t know either because I feel that I will be judged for having certain traits.

 

I still feel my future friend out even when I think they are not judgemental. I slowly reveal some personal traits and see how they react. I would feel comfortable engaging with them if they don’t care and like me for me. If they admire and respect me for my traits and reassure me that it’s ok to be me. I am glad that I have a few very close friends understand and who love me for me. Without their constant support I’d be lost. I would feel that everyone is judging me and it’s not ok to be me. These are the friends that I can fall back on if I feel insecure. I sometimes wouldn’t go to an event if my friends weren’t going because all eyes would be judging me.

To be honest, it is ok to have social anxiety because it allows you to find people who understand you and love you for you. They will allow you to be you without being judgemental. It’s better to know one person who understands and loves you for who you are, than to know millions of people who don’t understand you at all.   

 

 

 

 

pc:

Dying for Another Moment

“I’m 99 for a moment
And dying for just another moment
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are” Five For Fighting, 100 Years

Regret, almost everybody’s got them. Wishing what could have been, would have been, had things been different. Maybe you wished you had spent more time with your ailing parent or grandparent. Maybe you wish you had spent more time with a friend who you may or may not see again. Or simply it’s wishing that you had allocated more time on what mattered most and forgetting what did not. I know– I have had a few regretful moments.

I was so busy working on my school work– so focused on getting that good grade– that I had totally neglected a really good friend of mine who has been there for me ever since I met him. He was my role model and most of my academic accomplishments were due to him. He selflessly offered me anything he could give. Other moments include wishing that I had more family time and didn’t sacrifice my health for a grade. I often wonder was it worth in the end? Was it worth sacrificing my health? Family? Best friend? Wondering what would or could have been? Believing that it would be all better had I not chose the road I went on. Wishing that I could turn back time and do it all over again.

People have told me that regret is a bad thing. Saying that I shouldn’t have regrets. Saying that I should be content with my decisions and move on. Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s ok to have regrets. It’s ok to wonder what could have been. It’s unavoidable. We are going to have regrets sometime in our life. Regrets remind us that we are flawed and make mistakes. They remind us that we need to change in the future and not make the same mistakes. And that time to change is now. Cause we have we don’t have forever on this earth and time flies by– fast. Maybe it would be too late by the time we realize we need to change. We would be dying for another moment.  

 

 

 

pc: 

Confessions of a Perfectionist

Perfectionism: disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable- Merriam Webster Dictionary
I’m a perfectionist. I want everything to end up the way I dream of it to end based on the effort I put into the task. Examples, come from college mostly, as that is where I devote most of my time during the year. I set a goal I want and work hard to reach that goal. In my mind, I have a goal I want and allocate the amount of time I believe I need to obtain that goal. For example, I wanted to get an A- on a test in management class last semester and allocated 2-4 hours studying time per day for half a week leading up to the test. I expected to get an A-. In the end, I didn’t. When that happened, I felt bad because I felt my hard work didn’t pay off. To those who said “at least you tried.’Try’ isn’t in my book. It was either a success or a total failure.

Everything to be perfect and that’s hard and it has affected my life in various aspects. It has had an effect on my health. I exerted a lot of time and energy into the task that I got sick. Memorizing the material by reading the textbook and reviewing the professor’s notes replaced much needed sleep. I ended up getting sick three times last semester. It affected my social life as well. Time at the gym, hanging out with friends, and family time were replaced by studying. I was either confined to my room or in class. Looking back on it now I very much regret not spending time with my friend who graduated. If I could do it all over again I’d spend more time with my graduated friend cause I may or may not see him again. I feel guilty for abandoning him, when he never abandoned me. Most of all, it affected my morale too. I find myself feeling dejected every time I got my test back.

Every time I wonder is it worth trying? Somehow I convince myself it is because of my goal and every time I come out on the losing end. Some might wonder, if it’s so bad, why continue being a perfectionist? Being a perfectionist sucks. Really. It drains the life out of me with no guarantees that I will ever succeed. It affects every aspect of my life. Trust me, I tried to not be a perfectionist! Unfortunately, it’s like a really bad addiction. Once you’re on it, it’s really, really, really hard to stop. Once you’re a perfectionist, it’s really, really, really hard to stop being one.

 

 

PC: Josephrex.me

Depression Kills

Depression, what can I say? You’ve harmed us and killed some of us. Most of us wish you didn’t exist. I am one of these people. Depression isn’t your normal sadness that you get… It’s much worse. Much, much worse. You feel like it’s the end and all hope is gone. You have no purpose to live anymore. You don’t wanna do anything. When I had depression, the majority of last spring through last summer I’ve considered ending my life a few times. My conscience got the better of me. I never did it and never will… Ever. Trust me. However, some do feel no hope and they do commit suicide.

What got me to that state is a long story that I will briefly sum up. I’ve been hiding a secret… A big one from a family member. Why? Because things will blow through the roof if I tell that member. It has something to do with who I like to be with. You fill in the rest. Based on these statements this person made I had to keep it in. And the longer I keep my secret, the worse I felt. It is really hard to keep a secret for so long (that you really want to tell) that it harms you mentally and physically. It boiled inside of me so much so that it caused depression.

My only escape was writing poems, school and schoolwork and my jobs. Diverting my attention elsewhere. Believe it or not, college saved me. Really. And believing for a better tomorrow or a better someday. My caring friends and teachers also helped me because now I live for them and put them over me. How would they feel if I were gone? They get me through each day. Now I am better, I believe in God and serving others. Who I like to be with is not important, but if I can make someone’s day a bit better, If I can make the world a better place everyday, I am happy. Unlike others, I won’t say it will get better, I can’t promise that. This I can promise you. You are valued by someone.
Someone cares.

 

 

photo credit: huffington post via Getty images.