Summer 2019 and The Ride

My days remain numbered for Summer ’19, and it’s only a matter of time until RA training starts with move-in day and the academic school year. However, I must confirm that this was an eventful season with much downtime for myself. I’ll explain further about the plans and how I was able to at least “heal” in a matter of two months combined.

After the class of 2019 graduated in May, I made the decision a few months back to stay up here in the Bay Area and work for my school’s Housing Department. In all honesty, I was more anxious than ready only because I worked the same job back in Summer ’17, and that was a mix up of frustration and tedious work. What I learned from that experience is to not work on & off with different timings. Preferably set me up for a fixed schedule. In doing so, that’s what I did. Besides the work being tedious again this year, I found myself working better and harder (in the right way). I also found myself taking more downtime in terms of R&R for what I deserve.

The downtime I took for myself was finding solace by merely being by myself with the simple little joys of life. I drank more coffee than I usually spend a lot of my time, money, effort, and healing in different coffee shops around the Bay Area. Believe it or not, I have visited seventeen independent local coffee shops! I’ve mentioned previously that coffee shop cultures offer a plethora of options for the individual(s). I was given the space to blog, read, take time for myself, regenerate my body, and even take individuals to engage in unique dialogue. My evenings consisted of walks/hiking (with the occasional heavy weightlifting at the gym), where public spaces gave me open area to roam as I pleased.

What took over for the grand offering of mindfulness was the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read one agreement at one coffee shop and read the other one at a different one, and so on until I finished the agreements listed. I’m not going to go in specifics about the book due to the grocery list of in-depth pertinent information. However, I will say this I was in complete awe and mindblown of how everything is explained and comes in full circle.

In conclusion, this was the time that served me for me, myself, and I where I didn’t dwell on irrational thinking as much as I did in past seasons. It became immensely supportive in terms of trying to navigate the small measure of peace that I am still searching for

I’m hitting the Jordan year soon on the first day of RA training, and I’m excited to see everyone and meet new individuals!

Thank you, Summer ’19, for allowing me to find some healing within. You have granted me so much in so little time that I will never forget.

– Josh

​Seeking Validation and How it Ravaged Me

As we grow up and learn the societal trends of what is considered “normal” or “Acceptable,” we make dull notes on mental levels to ensure that we fit that to the fullest expectation.

From this, we seek validation from factors of our lives to safeguard our reputation(s) that we’ve established so well. The second we turn an eye and make a mistake, we develop and carry feelings of unrest and anxiety.

This is what ruined me and my well-being. I was seeking validation, making sure I was doing the right thing.
In doing right for others to be told that my credibility remains the same as a human.

The “happiness” and impression I did for others only for them to give me the simple compliments with no satisfaction only satisfied me momentarily and had no results in the long run.

The second you start this bad habit of seeking validation, it completely ruins your self-esteem. It becomes a drug that temporarily creates the euphoria but later on spirals downwards from the reality of misery.

I cared about other’s opinions of me and let them dictate my worth as a person. I created false images and viewpoints of everybody hating me and secretly only being my friend out of pity. It got to the point of me asking “hey, am I being a good friend? If not, please tell me so that I can fix myself.” as a constant. There’s nothing wrong with admitting to fixing oneself. People will always be a work in progress; however, it shows that the less capability and issues of insecurities through fear. I lived and immersed in that torture from external validation from others. It became a vice much worse than the cigarettes I used to indulge in. I stayed silent for most things, and my silence encompassed a lot of unsaid yet loud reasoning of self-worth through distaste. I felt trapped in a mind of clutter and nasty thoughts.

What the hard truth from all this became a massive slap in the face for me only for the right reasoning. We can only be pleasers, but where do we draw the line when it becomes too much for us to handle and please others? We stay grounded and find comfort with it, but how long does it take for looking in the mirror of our self-worth and breaking down. Only because we couldn’t please one small thing that wouldn’t matter in the end? As mentioned by multiple people, we cannot please everyone. We can’t live up to be perfectionists no matter how hard we study and try to become that ideal figure. How can you expect to develop and be a truly human and friend if pleasing them and not being yourself is the only pastoral mindset that you live in?

The second you come to this realization of seeking validation from others only to make sure you please them in next passings, it becomes a bad habit that will continue to build.

My advice, it to just be true to yourself, and continue to be the best version that you already are. There is only one YOU, and there is only one ME. That kind of content can’t be faked. Learn to appreciate the things you already do for people and celebrate that with them by making sure they are recognized by you.

Finding Myself in The Things That I Write.

I’ve had this personal site of mine for over a year now, and I have to say it has been one of the best investments of my college endeavor. I never really explained in detail why I chose this sort of outlet as the outlet of 2019… However, I’ll make a reasonable attempt in that fashion.

If I were in the presence of eighteen-year-old Josh, I would tell him that this level of content and reason would be an esteemed staple when he would be in his early twenties. That being in touch with his self-awareness, an untapped spirit that is hidden waiting on itself to emerge out of its shell. That the Love of Quality Time envelops the fear of loneliness and apparition-like feelings, moreover, this platform of vocality cannot fake itself in its existence. I never thought that writing itself would take me to a multitude of independent and indifferent avenues. I found the influence through the inspiration of blogging from my dear friend Jennifer, so here I am taking advantage of the site for the amount of money that I paid, which hurt like hell in the yearly subscription haha. However, with the money that I worked tirelessly through late nights, I had the upper hand in creating a bigger picture for myself. Here I was able to discover the innovation of creativity through honest interactions of individuals and the everyday occurrences of human activity where Coffee Shop Talks through sips of hot or iced drinks had me in complete awe of every outcome after the reciprocity of relevance and feelings. In this, this is where I read inspiration after inspiration of other people’s work to find new topics to flourish in a commodity, along with listening to YouTube subscriptions of Majestic Casual, Escape Tracks, and anything that gives the flow of artistry gave the chemicals in my brain to work diligently in an upbeat matter. Innovation with Photography, accrued traditional tattoos for over the past two years is one thing that all go in collectiveness, but the experimental craft of words of informing, telling a story, convince a whole lot.

However, what has been the takeaway from a year of lessons, heartbreak, reconnecting with life, the cosmic capability of Love, awareness, and many others that made me feel uncomfortable yet warm?
In all the given honesty, I’m not entirely sure. Sounds terrifying to say the very least.

This blog, myself importantly, will always be a work in progress, with beckoning questions and answers that will arise through said everyday experiences. In reality, no one has the answers to life’s purpose and reasoning. There is so much that I will never understand, and what I have been a witness to on the face of the world has led to inquire said life’s purpose. But there is indeed something sacred in the chaos: spiritual, and although it continually is unclear to me, I can’t help but be aware of its power. I firmly believe that certain changes in specific misconstrued ideas of uncertainty, unsightly fears sets a determination of civil unrest and inadvertent separation of mind, body, and soul. Not being able to address the obstacles of the unknown can accumulate stressors where we become so accustomed to the uncomfortable. The challenges that make us uncomfortable with ourselves should not cast astray when we are afraid. These challenges, healthy for what I consider, create something more for ourselves and can unlock a plethora of segments, and living in everyday fear and isolation from that only hinders growth for something more than subsistence. So, with all this announced, these instances of finding myself through writing, interactions with humans, the world itself, myself even, fabricate a pilgrimage for that small measure of peace.

I look forward to discoveries, driven revolutionary coffee shop work, strive for truthful exchanges of conversations, the impetus, and onus of continuing the journey within.

Thank you,

Josh

Coffee Shop Talks

A discussion of coffee

Hello world, just thought I’d share my two cents on a new addition of a blog. If any of you are into coffee, conversations, coffee-related accessories, then you may want to stop what you’re doing and give this a read (hahaha). So, thanks again for bearing with me!

fullsizeoutput_1264(Reveille Coffee: San Francisco, CA)

fullsizeoutput_1279(Devout Coffee: Fremont, CA)

As some may know (others may not know entirely) one of my favorite adult things to do is visit coffee shops while indulging in their drinks. Though some days I prefer the solitude for self-reflection, other days make me crave more than just that. Specifically, enjoying conversations with an individual while engaging in dialogue through sips of hot lattes (or iced if you roll that way) in a downtown setting such as San Francisco.

fullsizeoutput_1290.jpeg(1951 Coffee Company: Berkeley, CA)

IMG_7220.JPG(The Early Bird Coffee: Hayward, CA)

For those that can reciprocate through past experiences at coffee shops, you can all agree to some extent. Here, you’ll find a diverse set of people in these places. Hipsters on veganism or music, business people, rambling about their stock portfolios, techies on bragging rights about company sales, Instagram bloggers that are taking hundreds of pictures to get the perfect shot for their feed, or just regular individuals merely wanting to grab a cup of coffee. Sounds like a business scheme to be honest. Although the reality of all is from observed occurrences, this, however, gives a vast opportunity to share and engage with people that are prone to make everlasting memories.

Spaces like these offer a designated area for the right reasons: bustling environment of city life, meet with friends, inspiration to work productively and get the creative juices flowing, dates, a quick pick-me-up to power through the day, heal on a mental note, even a space to collect and rejuvenate the soul.

In doing so also stems from the Love of Quality Time with people. From this, I resonate with wholeheartedly for the fact that the atmosphere of hot beverages and genuine conversations are ultimately timeless and unmatched. The willingness to spend a few hours with someone through uninterrupted time consisting of laugh attacks, warm but focused eye contact, authentic hand to hand touches of reassurance, even platonic love, solidify the refined shared emotions of human wellness.

I love coffee and have no issue in trading in my hard earned money and investing my time specifically to local coffee shops in support versus the corporates that stray away from the values of these kinds of spots given. The culture of Coffee Shop Talks will forever be a favorite past time of mine and will continue to serve as an esteemed staple in my life. I hope that any of you can have a take away from this and enjoy it as one of life’s greatest gifts rather than looking at it as a business tactic from businesses.

So, the next time you all visit a coffee shop with a friend, think back to this and take it for what it is and one of life’s greatest gifts.

Water Lantern Festival: It Happened!

Hi there! The tumultuous wait finally came to an end!  The title pretty much tells you what this blog will be about. I got to indulge and immerse myself in a moment of lanterened lights; lanterened lights that shared quotes, stories, letters, and artistic value.

This festival served as a continuation as one of my dear friends Destine’s birthday present(s). I made my way down to San Jose to pick her up and then proceeded to down South where the festival was taking place. Parking was a hassle and chore to find but we managed to scoop a good spot. We checked in at the park and recieved our date night special package and found a good spot to work on our lanterns. At first, I was skeptical on how to even go about the creative and artistic process let alone justify it entirely; however, I reevaluated on what I believe that I do best to undergo this: writing letters. Since the lantern is supposed to have four sides, I dedicated each side towards four themes in letter format.

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The first side was a letter to my future self, the second, a letter to my Hopes & Dreams, the third to my Fears, and the fourth to those in my corner.
Destine and I proceeded to the lake to launch our completed lanterns together during the cover of darkness and then took some time for individual reflections.

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Once the lantersn floated away everything at that point felt cosmic and dreamlike. It was more than just immersing in a Disney Tangled moment. From here I witnessed value and power in a matter of a couple of hours spent. In all of this, this is where the acceptance of honor settled over shame — healing enfolded over the hurt.  Negative contexts rendered nonexistent. Where vulnerability, validation, reciprocation, most importantly Love triumphed over the place of hate that prospered in the coexistence.
I’ve shared with a few amounts of people that my end-goal in life is to find a small measure of peace, something which few people ever discover, and that last night was just one of the pertinent steps in achieving that eminence.
Either way, I wouldn’t want to experience this kind of encounter any other way, and I am beyond the terms of humbled for this.

Thank you all,

Josh

​Balancing Survival and Happiness

Life is a series of mishaps and fortune: where everything is of equal measure of joy and fear. I didn’t come to this kind of notion of distinct feelings until this is ultimately what I’ve been attempting to assess in actual reality and continuous effort but often I come to roadblocks that prohibit me from doing so. So, let’s analyze and do so with me.

I am a full-time student enrolled in Cal State East Bay in Hayward, CA. Here I am not only a student but working full time as a Resident Assistant and also carrying the weight of another job consisting of crackhead night shifts. Both positions are night jobs, so the limitations of freedom during the day are not so much in my favor due to classes and other priorities.

When trying to juggle seven classes, work two-night jobs, and commit to other priorities and people at the same time can be one of the most taxing hitters in life. From here, I felt very disconnected and disassociated with not only my peers but myself, mainly. Life and the world itself gave up on me, and I did as well myself. For a short period, so to speak. For some blessing in disguise, I’ve had a change of habits to outnumber the bad days. I’ve been making progress in myself to start utilizing the gym by lifting and lifting heavier. Not to mention, a sudden and massive change in a diet consisting of meat and vegetable protein and other veggies implemented as well. Water has been a consistent part of my lifestyle as well; both in detoxing and in regular. From these sudden changes, I feel better-ish, physically, mentally, and spiritually where I’m not dwelling on past thoughts, the ones that used to plague me every night. I’m sleeping more hours now, which is a good thing and feeling more recharged than in previous days. I consider these small victories that will hopefully turn into huge ones in the nearby future.

When you try to Balance Survival and Happiness, especially on an unstable health set, it becomes another burden that weighs on your shoulders. It’s heavy and comes in multiple waves where disconnect and disassociation become your new friends. Sometimes its little changes that stem from a blessing in disguise that can transition to better habits, but also being in this new mindset still can mask its true identity. Even at the happiest peak can one still face the struggles of vacantness. Balancing becomes exhausting, but I believe that in some way, shape, or form, there can be some small measure of peace that you can discover amid the chaos.

Suffering: Why I detest that word

Suffering has always played a significant role in people’s lives. We often look at it in different forms where the complacency of itself defeats the person or builds them up to become and emerge a better version of themselves. It feels like an unescapable funk of rock bottom.

Personally, my own suffering is most likely the reason why I am the way that I am. Now, I  don’t want to get into some whole notion of self-diagnosing myself of various mental illnesses or make up a reason why my suffering triumphs over yours or the next person. No, that’s not my end goal whatsoever. You can look this as a rant for the most part. The title of this blog pretty much sums up the gist of what I’ll be explaining, so, buckle up.

Frequently I cringe at the term ‘suffering’ in a very uncomfortable and sickening way yet it also makes me feel furious at best. But first off what makes the term makes me feel that sort of feeling? Suffering can take any form really − from a family that struggles financially often questioning where their next meal will come from. Young children from third world countries facing the horrors of war thus having to “fight” for survival thinking about whether they will be killed or not. Homelessness with inadequate care. A person that fights the internal demons every day and having to mentally go through that kind of hell. Now then, I’m not saying that one form of suffering is at a higher magnitude and should be praised over the other (suffering should never be glorified in general); these are just instances that are very common yet not recognized and addressed. That kind of uncomfortable notion should be a feeling that should leave us questioning why it is so vaguely raised yet so familiar with each other when we do not think about its level of impact.

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No one should ever suffer through the everyday buses and ropes that life throws out, period. I do not even wish that kind of torture for the select people that I do not like. It’s a mental, physical, and spiritual plague that feels like it can progress slowly yet so rapidly over time. Though we have the power to change all that and have control over our own lives, take into account that others are not as privileged as us and yet do not have the luxury to do so.

Who do we pinpoint the scapegoat of this hell? Do we blame it on God? Another Diety? The people that brought them to that low point? Social and environmental factors? Life in general?

My hope, for humanity specifically, is that suffering will be eradicated and that we can live through our own measures of peace, big or small. Sounds like it can only be achieved through a simple dream, but sometimes hope is that measure of faith and philosophy that keeps us inspired and driven.

Thank you again,

Josh