Sunday, December 25, 2016

12/26/2016

Still alive I guess. It seems like my last entry was made just around the same time as this one.
 Kyoto, Japan

I've spent a good amount of time in Japan now. Well over a year huh. Looking back I was super excited to be here. Don't get me wrong I am still happy to be living in Japan. It's just that the initial excitement has long worn off, and at the moment, work is my primary focus.

Loneliness has settled pretty darn well this Holiday season. I suppose I'm going through one of my "down" phases as I like to term them now. Occasionally I'll go into a manic happy frenzy and then quietly cool down and reflect a little. I think it's good that I chose this time of reflection to record these thoughts.

Of all the random hobbies I've picked up, drawing, playing guitar, piano, gaming, anime- I'm really glad I picked up photography. It's something I still do and enjoy thoroughly with no regrets whatsoever. Gaming and anime has gone away considerably. I don't know if that has to do with something with me being older or just bored. I hopped on the PC to do some gaming with friends in the first time in what seemed like months. Anime is too unrealistic to me now for me to really enjoy, especially the high school oriented ones. If anything it's the manga with more mature and thought provoking themes that get my attention. Still, it has taken a massive back burner.

It's weird being able to claim this photo as my own work.

My photography skills have increased over the year. It took a lot of different facets of the craft to improve myself as a whole. First you need to get out and take the picture, which is quite difficult sometimes. Then you need to take a lot of pictures, which is also difficult unless you're flying solo. After that there's a multitude of basic photography skills to make a decent picture: settings, composition, lighting, judging your work, post processing. In fact I only just picked post processing not to long ago, wish I had done so sooner. 


One of the many shrines in Kyoto

Anyways my main gripe for today, or tonight (or this early early morning? 3 AM) is the intense feeling of melancholy I have after going through another year of holidays without my family. It's not the feeling of loneliness that gets me now... no it's the feeling that I can get used to this (I have a very strange feeling I have said this in the past...). That is what is bothering me right now. While it is normal for others to have a large family occasion for these holidays, I am sitting here feeling rather content with a pot of green tea and some relaxing tunes to listen to. For this to be my norm is what frightens me.

Maybe I have had to much time to myself to think. Typically if I were working normally I would be way too focused on getting my work done than to think about my current situation like this. I would go through the work day with only that in mind and then turning my sailor switch off to relax at home with whatever home remedies I had on hand (beer, games, food, etc.). 

Including today I have another 3 days and 2 nights to enjoy at my leisure. I plan on heading out on a short trip to somewhere in Chiba, to see some rural scenic areas that I heard of. Last time I went was when I went to visit Mt. Nokogiri. In any case, another photo trip can only benefit me mentally and spiritually. I still can't sort myself out even after coming to the land of my dreams (hilarious really). Perhaps all I can do is find whatever method it takes to keep me content will as little regret as possible.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Over a year later

My my, so much can change in a year.

So where am I now? Instead of the marines I made somewhat of an intelligent decision and joined the Navy instead (I wish I had joined the USAF or USCG). There I'm working as an engineer for the main propulsion system. There is a lot of stability working for the government although as an enlisted member, its stressful... really stressful. However, with all the happenings in the past year I've landed myself in Japan. Yes, JAPAN. I live here, and I love it. God do I love it. Over the months here I've counted my blessings over and over. Ever since the day I left A school and made my way to home and then over to Japan I couldn't stop feeling so happy.

It is very difficult to describe the happiness you can feel from accomplishing a life goal such as this. In fact I can reflect on it a bit as I always have with this blog. This blog has been around since my early college days. Before that I was a major Japanophile. Slowly as adulthood came along I lost my way, and lost sight of the nice fluffy dreams I had in my teenage years. I was still interested in Japanese culture but the passion I once had for it was lost. So as you can imagine, coming to this country as a resident was a really eye-opening life event for me. My negative ways were already pretty much diminished at that point in stark contrast to some of my older posts here on blogspot...

Now I really am a 24 year old man. I got through all the trials and tribulations of early adolescence and made it out just fine.

My interests nowadays have changed a little bit. I've kept some of my old hobbies, and picked up new ones. I picked up the guitar again, particularly for deployment. When you're out at sea you can get very bored, like dangerously bored if you're not constantly working. With nothing else to do out there but play my guitar I managed to improve more than ever at it. But I think the biggest thing I've added to my list of hobbies would be PHOTOGRAPHY. Holy crap.

I didn't even realize at the time when I picked it up that I relied heavily on stock pictures for projects, these blog posts, or just general viewing pleasure.

 

I now have HUNDREDS of these photos that I can proudly claim as my own original content. If you want to count my other photos, then its easily well over a thousand photos so far. Photography itself is a very therapeutic activity as it is fun. Its a craft in its own right, it is very difficult to capture an image that will impress people. To impress the photography community itself it'd take years of practice. But I do really think I can make photography into a nice part time job on the side of my duties. After a few years of practice, a nice portfolio, and some better gear, its not impractical to make a few bucks off of it. Way more realistic than becoming a manga artist hahaha (aah yeah I don't think that's gonna fly anymore...). Plus I love it. Its like the creative side of my brain has been revived.


There's so much to talk about. Boot camp, A school, and of course Japan and the numerous other Asian countries I've been able to visit. All along the way I experienced so much maturity in myself. Over the course of one year I watched myself grow into someone I can be proud of. Man its really really something. Well off to get some Gyudon and biiru, yup one of the perks of Japan is that I can eat Japanese food straight from the source anytime I want, WOO!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sushi and a Date with a Girl

Sushi!

Okay this was a picture from a previous sushi night, I don't take pictures of food, usually the girls do but they haven't uploaded the pictures yet. From time to time my friends like to get together to have a massive sushi dinner. Usually I buy some fish and some snacks while the others buy other ingredients like avocados or shrimp. 

We probably had about 7lbs or more worth of sushi... It was A LOT of food. This was probably to compensate for the fact that the last time we had sushi we didn't make enough to fill us all up, except this time around we had half the amount of big eaters. I'm sure I only ate maybe about 2 lbs with beer before I threw in the towel. There was just sooo much left over. We really could've used a few bros to help out, and of course the girls only pecked at the food and enjoyed their thai tea. 

More girls need to realize that lifting won't make them big, but tight and sexy,

Saturday night before my date was my heavy squat day. It's amazing sometimes when I look back and see how far I've come in a year of training, and then becoming humbled by the fact that I still much more strength to gain in the years to come. Every serious lifter remembers his or her first lift. I still think back to the time when I first squatted a plate, 135 lbs and how hard it was. Yesterday I put up two plates, 225 lbs, and it felt just as hard. I did 225 for a triple while having failed 220 on my 5RM the week prior, so really that triple was brutally intense. Despite being used to squatting every other day my body still felt sore the day after that lift.

Unfortunately I got to the gym straight out from work, leaving me with only half an hour. After finishing the main dish I went straight for the dumbbells to get a pump in my delts and biceps. Gotta get that pump for my girl :)

This is the movie that we watched. It wasn't all that great :(

I'm still surprised at the fact that I'm taking this girl out on a date. Sometimes I find myself wondering how she feels about me so far although she gives me so many signals during our date. Perhaps it is the fact that she gives so many signals that it confuses me a bit. I haven't been this intimate with a female in such a long time. Not only that but the very last time I was genuinely interested in another girl I think was in junior year of university, and at the time I had already known of this girl just from working with her in class. With this girl, I pretty much started it off with a blind date after getting her number in the club. It was definitely a new experience, and it boosted my self-confidence even further knowing that I can pull these kinds of things off now. 

However, yet again I feel so silly for being so curious about whether or not she's interested in me. The reason I think it's so silly is because she's been so bubbly around me, plenty of touching and some rubbing during our movie date. I love the theater we had gone to because of how the seats were practically made for couples to cuddle with each other. That made it really easy for us to enjoy each others company. Anyways, I'm just not sure what this girl's deal is quite yet. I can only blame my inexperience for that. But I am having fun with her, I can't wait go to the club with her this weekend. 

Even as an introvert I would have to admit that dating and having a girl to talk to is... fun :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cleaning Up

I thought I'd wait longer before coming back to this blog but I figured with what's been going lately now would be a good time to record my thoughts and feelings.

Lately I've fallen in love with these piano songs...

Looking back at my decision to take a step out of line of what is expected of an Asian-American bachelor (get your degree, job, save money, get married) I still do believe that there was no better alternative for me. Mental health, life experience, overall maturity- these factors I feel should be taken very seriously when deciding on what to do with your life. 

I must say, my decision to just join the Marines was a bit hasty, but the idea of joining the military was well thought out. Rather than the Marines, I decided to join the Navy instead with the prospect of getting good trade/work experience there...Marines on the other hand are a little more about killing people...

One of the Great Lakes in Ohio, where I basic training will be.
Hard to believe that this is a lake.

Besides the military stuff, a whole lot has happened. As always I learned and matured. It's odd how I find myself in an epiphany at one point in the year only to hit a new milestone in just the next year. There's always something about myself I could critique and reflect on. Maybe that's just how life is. 

Now in 2014, 22 years old now. I've achieved a new level of self-awareness,  self-confidence, strength & stamina, and a bit more discipline. Things like cooking and being more social are areas in my well being where I managed to get out of my comfort zone. I've gone as far as to go on a trip to the club, bring a girl out on a date, visit and hang out with my buddies on almost a weekly basis. This did a lot for my mental health. I can vaguely remember how in the past I would simply just keep to myself and not bother with speaking with my friends for weeks on end. Sure I am still an introvert, but it felt great to have people who I felt comfortable texting to and having a little bit of social interaction no matter how small it may be.

Today I cleaned my room. It's about time I did. Even with all the self-reflecting mumbo jumbo I did, my room was still a mess. Before I would at least take the time to clean up on a weekly basis but over time that routine had faded away and I ended just cleaning when things got out of hand... And yes I did clean again this time because my messy room had gotten out of hand. 

Fortunately I feel like I'm much more capable of taking on this issue. One of the things that I've realized now is that if you're unhappy or unsatisfied with something or your situation- you do have the power to change it. It's all the matter of actually taking charge and getting it done. A little easier said than done of course but I guess I've taught myself over time that I can change the way I live if I really just stuck to it for a few weeks (this stems directly from lifting). So although normally on a Thursday night after work I would be laying on my bed (the only clean place in my room) reading or watching something, I finally took the liberty today to do some intense cleaning. 

And there's still plenty left to clean. Especially with clothes. I would have to say that having an excessive amount of clothing sitting all over the place would one of the biggest leads to a messy room. Because hey, if you can't see or feel your messy floor then you'd feel fine right? Well it's still a mess, and if left untouched for long enough... it's just gross. Hopefully by this Sunday I will be able to go out and buy some nice containers from IKEA or somewhere cheap to get everything labeled and organized.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Life

Since the last time I've blogged I've been through a lot. There's just something magical about the world we live in. In the past 4 years I've spent in college, examining myself, reexamining myself, looking at the world, and now finally accepting the world for what it is- I realized that it all up to me to decide my fate and where I go in life. It's not just about being a deep introvert constantly thinking about things, there's a whole other world out there that we don't know about.

I think a few months after my last blog I had begun having some very bad anxiety issues... That spring semester that I had gone through went extremely badly. The reason? The realization that I cannot continue with the lifestyle I had been living in the next oncoming years. Things were going to change, whether I liked it or not.

As I pulled myself out of this phase, I once again understood how little I had experienced with "living". I realized that nearly everyone around my age was going through the same thing, unless of course their circumstances greatly differed from mine. But for the most part, nearly all my friends and acquaintances seem to have been going through a period in their lives where they start to really worry for their future as I had. Nearly all of my friends that I had in high school ended up enjoying the club life, parties, and weekly trips to the bar. I too enjoyed them to some extent, but I never had constant streams of pics of myself at fancy clubs as some of them had. Some are still partying, some have gone off the radar, those that have gone off the radar are most likely going through what I went through.

I uttered the words out my mouth "I'm finally 21!" before and now I'm telling myself "Holy shit I'm 21, I have another 9 years before I'm 30". Countries have different regulations concerning the official age of adulthood, but the transition from teenage adolescent to a fully conscientious adult is unfathomably huge. There are people who do indeed reach that stage early in their lives, but for most others it may take much longer, in unfortunate cases, some don't ever get to that point in their lives even venturing in to their middle-ages. But it's this transition that's so important to become truly happy with yourself in life.

Mmm this blog has been coming off very preachy. The reason for all this revelation is all because of how I pulled myself out of my rut. I spent the past few years constantly re-examining myself, as is evident on the history of this blog. I had my retarded moments, my crappy epiphanies, and dark times when I just looked out the window and only saw black and white.

I realized it was time to move on. And take on the world for what it is instead of just isolating myself. Recently in my life I've be going through some huge up swings. I landed myself an excellent position in an IT department at a rapidly growing company, and I've made a HUGE decision for myself when I graduate from school.

I've decided to enlist myself as a Marine Officer after graduation. This is an option for grad students as most others have join the Marines as "enlisted". Marines coming out of boot camp are FIT. Much more so than any other branch, making it a very respectable branch. They're the branch of our military that is on the front lines before the army and the everything else. That said it isn't easy to join, and it certainly is not easy to excel. I only feel that I will be happy if I can put myself to such a challenge and come out of it successful, anything less and I'll be back to the same joe schmoe I was and many other people are. 

I've already started preparing, adding tons of cardio to my weight lifting routine. Basically along with lifting I'm running 3 miles nearly everyday, and over the course of the next few weeks I'll be upping that mileage to improve my time during the 3 mile run for the real deal. I can say for a fact that I have never been so physically and mentally healthy in my life until now. Getting that office job, 9 - 5, AIR CONDITIONING (note I worked in a sweat shop beforehand), has been a huge morale booster. Took me months to land a job, glad it all paid off.

Pretty much everything that you have witnessed in this blog site was my growth of maturity through college. EVERYONE will go through this, not just as I have but in their own ways. You're not ready for life just coming out of high school, especially if you haven't lived with a lot of true hardship in your life. You will continue to grow through your 4 years of college. You may be like my friends, partying all the time, going to bars, or simply just traveling every goddamn corner of the world. But eventually things around you will settle down, and you'll have to THINK just as I have about where you really want to go with your life. Even for people who believe they have it all figured out, they don't, there will always be so many challenges to come for them. These challenges will break them down, and they will have to learn to come out of it, but when they do, they will be happy.

This will be my last blog post. However maybe a year from now I will come back to say something! This blog is precious to me. It truly is a journal that I can use to look back on, and learn from. A year from now my circumstances will be COMPLETELY changed from what they are now at this very exact moment as my fingers pound my mechanical keyboard. I may be a Marine, I may be a depressed otaku, I might even be dead OR I might even achieve something beyond my wildest dreams. Life is beautiful, not matter how bad things can get there will always be light at the end, and you can reach it as long as you try. If you're not happy with where you are now, you have to ACT to move on.

The purpose of life, at least for me, is to seek true happiness.

God speed, thank you for anyone who reads this.