The Dark Room

 

Photo by Neave Bozorgi

Thought to be great

Know the trade

Achieve more.

 

No one wants a bad child

A delinquent teenager

An immature adult

 

Thought to be tough

Stand upright

Fight.

 

What about pain?

Grief of loss –

of shadows

 

What about them

That won’t go away

And creeps in the dark?

 

What about anger?

No matter how repressed

Finds a way to stay

 

“Kill them”,

people say.

But they kill you instead.

 

Can’t anyone tell?

 

The Chase for A

Photo via Instagram

Photo via Instagram

For the last couple of months I have been seriously thinking about starting my own clothing line.  No, it’s not supposed to be big.  First, I have no scholarly background in design and arts.  All I know, which some of you might already know, is that I do crochet.  But sewing?  Well, aside from our home economics subject in grade school, there’s really nothing else to brag about.  If that subject is even one to consider.

I have actually made a dress already out of old blankets with my mother’s 90s-something Singer sewing machine.  But the thing is that first attempt had no follow-up for a month already.  What’s going on every single day is a polarity of self-doubt and positive thoughts.  I don’t know when I’ll go buy that fabric and really start sewing, not even to say selling.

This week I started watching lecture videos in a free course I’m enrolled at coursera.org.  Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies.  And the speaker, Dr. James Green, mentioned that one entrepreneurial mindset involves a need for achievement.  That made me wonder.  And I have to agree.  At 22, I feel like I haven’t achieved anything important in my life so far.  I feel like I haven’t made a positive impact on anyone else’s life.  I don’t feel like I’m doing anything that’s of great value.

So here goes my chase after A.  The ride isn’t always a hundred percent proud of its course.  There are days when I’m just so down for something that haven’t materialized yet in anyway.  Days when I’m crippled by my worries and inexperience in the field.  But there’s that tiny spark that saves me in some other days.  That little thing that ignites my spirit one more time and make me say out loud “Push!” because there’s something good in what I’m doing.

But for all I know, this chase isn’t just about the goal to establish a business from scratch.  It’s more about that longing to feel that I have something logical, practical and effective to share with others.  Something that I can introduce alongside me when meeting new people.  Something that I could be proud of because I am good at something, at that thing.  A statement that defines one aspect of me.

MY 20-SOMETHING LIST.

Photo by A Cup of Jo

Photo by A Cup of Jo

I think age is an important factor for success.  But success is a subjective thing in itself.  Nonetheless, age is a great indicator of what we are supposed to be accomplishing in life.  This is a very relevant topic in Psychology.  Different theories of personality present life stages with its corresponding expected developments.  Freud had the psychosexual stages.  Erickson had the psychosocial stages.  Piaget had the cognitive development and so on.  And each one of these includes ages.

But I will not go on with a scholarly talk.  I just want to take part in a growing number of online references that discuss what it’s like to be in your 20s.  I have to say that like any life stages, it has its share of the good and the bad, joy and pain, love and heartache, of questions and answers, and of beginnings and endings.  And don’t forget that there’s also a time for sobriety and complete, you know, blackout.

Here are the things that I know so far.

  1. Hugs are a bad day saver.  Some days aren’t just the perfect day and I could go on to tell reasons why.  But I’ll leave that to you.  Personalize this part.  And on such days, a big hug from a loved one could be the best gift.  It can easily make you feel less alone, less terrified.  Less of all the negatives.
  2. Consistent beer nights is just a phase.  Those Friday and Saturday nights spent at the pub drinking with friends.  I consider this a phase because responsibility is supposed to sink in at some point.  Other than that, more meaningful activities and priorities must arise eventually.
  3. Quality over quantity.  Primarily I am referring to relationships.  One way or another you will find out that less is just the right thing.  You can’t seriously and genuinely be friends with a hundred people and keep in touch with everyone from time to time.  And you’ll actually notice and realize that not everyone from your friends would be there for you especially at a worst time.
  4. Acceptance.  From that previous fact, all you can do is accept it.  Accept that fact about life.  And you’ll feel better. 
  5. Appreciate the few.  When you learn to accept that less is just the right number of people you need in your life, you have all the time now to appreciate them.  Connect with them.  Celebrate living with them. 
  6. Thoughts of moving out.  In the west this is normal.  But among us Filipinos, it isn’t.  Supposed you are done with the delinquent phase and you are genuinely trying to become a full-pledged independent young adult, then thoughts of moving out may be playing in your head by now.
  7. Self-doubt.  For a lot of reason.  For being all alone even when you are with family or friends.  When it’s just you and your problem face to face. 
  8. Lover.  A lover is a good idea.  Part of the freedom of being in your 20s is to explore the world.  Embark on a road trip.  Visit a deserted building.  Try a new restaurant.  The possibilities are endless.  Savor the time while you still have no kids to put on top of your priority list, at all times.
  9. Be kind to your body.  Not everyone’s a nutritionist or a medical doctor.  Not everyone knows about the components of all the foods we eat.  Most of us can go on for a long time oblivious to the effects of everything we put into our body.  So there’s one thing I suggest you do.  Try to know some facts about foods, alcohol, smoking and drugs.  Try to know how these things affect your body. 
  10. The questions.  There’s a lot.  If only we could ask for the counsel of all the old people in the world.  They know best how to live a happy and meaningful life.  Not that every one of them had that.  I assume not.  But the approaching end makes the difference for what they could tell us. 

I don’t know how this list is exactly related to my intro that discusses success and age.  Maybe success could be number 11.  That we, the 20-somethings, aren’t all that sure that whatever we are doing now is the right path to success.  And we have a lot of inspirations, people that we look up to and wonder if we could ever become one.  If it’s even possible in the first place.  If we have the capability to become successful.

So here are some things of what it’s like to be in your 20s.  I am one small voice.  One that asks.  One that looks up in the night sky and wonder how.  

The Three-Item Rule: A Practical Step to Overcome Procrastination

There are days when you don’t feel like moving even when you know there’s a lot of thing to get done either at work or at home.  You may have made a to-do list the night before that is now posted on your refrigerator.  And boy, that list is overflowing.  And how I can relate to that overwhelming feeling of not having enough time to do everything listed and all you wanna do is lie down in bed, hidden in sheets and the chores just might go away.  But whatever toss and turn you make, of course, they’d still be there.

Lucky I was able to read an article about eight months ago suggesting a practical tip on how to get moving and carry out what you are set to. Now let’s call it the three-item rule.  But before you get to decide what this list would contain, there is one important consideration that you have to be clear with.

You have to realize that your overflowing list of chores is not realistic to get accomplished in a day.  So a point of surrender is a very important consideration.  I know how it feels especially for the control freaks because I am one too.  But once that surrender or acceptance is done, it will be easier to go on and decide what must really get into your list.

Now, this three-item rule is a good way to establish a goal-oriented habit, a no-nonsense approach and ease.  Yes, ease.  That’s because when you cut down all your day’s work into three most important tasks, then you will feel more secured that there is enough time to do these things and there’ll probably be more free time later in the day that you can use to accomplish other less important things or just do nothing.  This list can benefit you as a student, worker, parent, and whatever role you are trying to fulfil.

So in doing your three-item list on a daily basis, there’s only one simple step that you have to follow.  Prioritize.  You can try listing down all the things you think you need and want to do.  From this list, try to analyze what is most important to get accomplished now.

One positive effect that I observed in doing this is that I can get an immediate satisfaction by the end of the day when I know that I was able to accomplish all the three things I listed.  And with the passage of weeks and months, when you try to go back and see that there’s a lot of check marks in your to-do list notepad, it’s positively overwhelming.  This list can help you gain a sense of success, accomplishment and self-worth.  And don’t forget that above all it helps you get things done and gain productivity.

Therefore, I suggest that those who are experiencing a lengthened procrastination phase to try this out.  And also, I suggest that you try to reflect and you might just know what’s possibly holding you back and keeping you in bed and in the shades for most of the time.  Procrastination is really not a healthy thing to get used to.  I’ve been there and I still do from time to time and how I know it’s ugly.  So here you go and I hope that the new to-do list helps you in as much positive way as possible.

Here’s what I got for today.  Another thing, when you do this list, you don’t necessarily have to be all formal and lengthy in using words.  Key words are enough.  Go and have fun!

Here’s what I got for today. Another thing, when you do this list, you don’t necessarily have to be all formal and lengthy in using words. Key words are enough. Go and have fun!

What Freud Taught Me

No Psych major leaves college without knowing several things about Sigmund Freud.  In fact, you may even hear about him on your first day at school.  Or else, you may have first encountered him outside school when a friend mentions him in relation to sex or the subconscious.   For me, it first happened at school.

But to make it clear, I am not a Freudian.  I don’t know exactly what it means to be a Neo-Freudian so I will not admit of it nor deny it.  But there’s one very important thing that I learned from Freud.   His take about the unconscious mind.  How our unconscious and subconscious levels hold truths that may come unnoticed in our consciousness.

Researches even claim that the unconscious mind holds a lot of creativity.  People even say you have to tap into your unconscious to know the solutions to your life problems.  And I believe both to be true.  And it’s like what Tolle say’s, the Being inside you knows everything.   

I think another way of seeing this is that we can never figure out life all at once.  There’s a point of surrender to what we can do and control and can’t.  And a sense of trust and honesty to the self.