18, Cars, School, Games, & 80s Music – Reflections [April, 17]


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I’ve done several things in the past where I reflected on past events in my life, but I was unable to maintain any sort of regularity simply because I did not have time. So, I decided to do something where I reflect on the past month. I think I can manage one reflection a month. 😛

What do I have to say about April? Well, firstly, I turned 18. Yay! I know it’s supposed to be a huge milestone and all, but honestly, I don’t think it has changed very much for me. I guess my license isn’t provisional anymore, which means it doesn’t get suspended the instant I get pulled over. But I’m a safe driver anyway, so who says I’m going to get pulled over?

Ironically, (and this is off-topic, but hey. It’s my post) I did get pulled over a few months ago, which absolutely freaked me out, just saying. Fortunately, it wasn’t for speeding or any misdemeanor like that. Apparently my tail lights were out. Turned out I had accidentally switched the modes on one of those ridiculous handles with their nondescript symbols and turned them off. Who would have thought?

Anyway, another big thing that happened in April is I actually got accepted into quite a few of the universities I applied to transfer into: DePaul, UCSD, UCSC, etc. This is good news for me, since I planned to transfer out at the end of this semester anyway.

On the topic of school, I don’t have a particularly heavy course load this semester, which has been great, but Calculus III could be going better. It’s not that I don’t understand the material, but I think I’ve gotten lazy, and I’ve been making careless mistakes. Which obviously aren’t good. It’s one of those situations where my A at the end of the semester is right on the line, and I really don’t want to lose my 4.0. 😛

But, school is quite boring, so let’s talk about some of the fun things I’ve been doing. I recently purchased the game Fallout 4, and I have to say, it’s been quite amazing. I really wish I’d gotten into it sooner, when I had more time. As it is, I have about 20 hours into it, but I would really love to play it some more. For those who don’t play video games, Fallout 4 is a very popular post-apocalyptic open world rpg by Bethesda. Definitely recommended.

Interestingly, because I started playing this game, I’ve actually found a new appreciation for retro music (Is retro even the right term?). There’s a little radio thing in the game that allows you to play a number of pre-apocalyptic songs, and since the game basically reinvented the 80s and 90s, turning them into a time of nuclear abundance, it has some interesting songs. One that I particularly like talks about a guy going prospecting not for gold, but for uranium.

Fun stuff aside, let’s talk a little about my blog. I have not been able to keep as much with my blog as I would like to, but I have been active on it, and for me, that’s what counts. I want to keep this going, even though I have so many other things on my plate. I did start a 200 words challenge for myself, and if you have been keeping track, you’ll see that the counter has been at 0 for the past few days. I blame that on Calculus. Starting this new month, though, I plan to be more consistent with that as well, and hopefully that means more consistent blogging.

I don’t think I should make this too much longer. There’s obviously more I could say, but I’d be surprised if anybody even made it this far in the post, since I’m really just talking about my life, and there’s nothing particularly interesting about it. XP If you did get to the end of this, then congratulations. Leave a note, and maybe I’ll do more of these.

Tours yruly

Wednesday Wonderings


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So, because this Monday Meditations post is so late, I decided to re-title it. Hah. But, I do have excuses which I’m sure will keep me out of trouble for being so late to post it. =P

Last Friday, I flew out of California somewhere around 11:00 AM, I think? I cannot recall anymore. Ah well. It was my first time flying alone, which felt remarkably less exciting than it should have (maybe because I’ve flown so much in my life). I landed in Illinois where my girlfriend picked me up from the airport and took me to her house.

What was I doing in Illinois you ask, over some random weekend? Well, I was attending a wedding. Not mine, of course, but her sister’s wedding. In fact, from Friday to Sunday I experienced a lot of firsts. My first American wedding, my first big event without my parents, my first time helping to set up and take down a wedding, my first Nigerian food (the groom is from Nigeria), my first long train ride alone (that came before all the other “firsts.” I took the train to the airport), the list goes on.

Needless to say, it was a very exciting and exhausting weekend, and when I arrived home on Sunday at around 9:30 California time (11:30 Illinois time, which I had pretty much switched over to), I celebrated my mum’s birthday, because yes, the 12th is her birthday. That was certainly a fun night.

I pretty much spent the entirety of Monday recuperating before I went to school from 4:00 to 9:00, PM mind you. Thus I did not write this post on that day. Monday is probably the weakest point in my excuse, but hey, I’m not a robot. I do need my rest.

Unfortunately, what prevented me from writing yesterday was a lot less cheerful than what happened over the weekend. Yesterday, my girlfriend’s cat started throwing up. The poor thing threw up four or five times before being taken to the vet. There, they found that something was blocking its intestines, they suspected cloth or something else that it had eaten. It was going to need surgery.

Now, I kid you not when I said the situation was dire. Depending on the extent of the damage, because the intestine was starting to become constricted, the surgery cost was going to range from 1,600 to 3,000 dollars. Beyond that, at best the surgery had a 70% chance of success, and at its worst, it had a below 50% chance.

Needless to say, a lot of prayer happened yesterday and last night. Anna (my girlfriend for those of you who don’t already know) and I stayed up late into the night waiting for word about how the surgery was going. By God’s grace the surgery went well, and they did not have to go the complicated route. The cat is now back at home and she has survived, but she will need to recover.

So that was my exciting weekend which prevented me from writing. I suppose it’s not necessarily the best excuse you may have heard, but I certainly think it’s legitimate. And in excusing myself, I also did cover what happened in the previous week, which certainly fills out the journal portion of these posts. As for the meditation wondering part?

Well, let’s say that I wonder what I should be wondering about. Fair? Okay.

Tours yruly 

I Feel Like My Creativity is Dying


I have been going through a serious bout of depression these past few days. In fact as I write this post I’m in the middle of a really bad valley. In these bouts of depression I tend to get very self-reflective, and I have come to a conclusion: my creativity is dying. 

This terrifies me. 

Being creative has been such a big part of my life. It’s why I started with creative writing, and it’s why I always loved pretend, and why I loved acting. Movie trailers would inspire me, the cool characters in video games would make my mind tick, and stories would just stir up my imagination like a hurricane. 

None of that happens anymore. 

I feel dried out. And this might be the depression speaking, but I feel like I just do not have the capacity for creativity anymore. And it’s not that I’m bogged down by school or anything. For me school is a breeze. 

I believe my problem is that it got to a point where I expected my creativity to be better than it was, and in the letdown that followed, I scrapped the idea to come up with another one. But the cycle simply repeated itself, and since then I’ve lost count of the number of ideas I’ve given up on. 

Now I don’t even try to do these ideas anymore. I just sit around and think about them for a while, and think about the crushing reality of how difficult they would be to implement and how likely they would be to fail, and I give up. 

I give up before I’ve started. 

And I think that is the problem. Reality. It used to be in my mind that I could accomplish anything I wanted, and if I wasn’t able to accomplish it then, I would be later when I knew how. But that’s not how I think anymore. These days I’m always calculating time and resources. Percentages of success. Ratios of my current skill set to the one I’d need. And then I conclude that it is too much, and I quit. 

That is my problem. 

Now I need to go do something to take my mind off of this or I’ll be up all night thinking about it. 

Tours Yruly

Projects


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So, after my week-long siesta to acclimate myself to school, let’s talk about projects, and my inability to finish them. Yes, I have a ridiculously hard time finishing things, and honestly, it’s quite the self-destructive cycle, which I will explain in a bit. First, I do need to clarify, that this is not school projects or anything like that, in which I have trouble finishing. In fact, I excel in school projects, and anything else school-related really. No, I am talking about personal projects, things that I (supposedly) enjoy, and my lack of completion.

For those of you who don’t know, I do a lot more than write. I maintain a YouTube channel, I program, I make music (occasionally), I draw/paint, I occasionally play competitive games, and sometimes have a crack at some of the random ideas that occur to me. My career goal as it currently stands is to become a game designer, which is all well and good, until I tell you that I’ve never made a finished game in my life. I’ve started on a number of them, but I can never seem to finish.

Lately I’ve devoted a lot of thought to this problem of mine (especially since I recently abandoned a project that I had put over a thousand lines of code (and at least eight hours) into), and I think I’ve figured out why it happens.

So, I’m sure most of you are aware that I suffer from depression, but something that I don’t think as many people are aware of is that I am 99% certain that I have ADHD as well (99% certain is because I have not and will not get diagnosed. Just a personal choice I made). Now, I’m not going to blame my lack of focus on a mental disorder and just say, “Oh well, that’s that.” No. I think the problem runs deeper than that.

Yes, I get distracted easily, and that may have originally been what pulled me away from projects to begin with, but I don’t think that is so much the case anymore. Instead, I think it’s because of those initial failures, and my consistent lack of completion, that I’ve become hesitant to commit myself fully.

This lack of commitment, I believe, is my biggest obstacle. Ironically, because I’m so afraid of quitting a project, I quit before I’ve started. I know for certain that there’s going to be someone reading this who thinks to themselves, “Well, plan your ideas out for crying out loud. Don’t just rush into it headfirst. That’s a recipe for disaster!”

I hear you loud and clear. In fact, I’m about to embark on another project (starting tomorrow, probably. If I can work up the gumption to actually start) in which I’ve resolved to devote two hours a day for fourteen days just to plan out the project, so that I’ll have a nice roadmap of where I’m headed. Ideally, that will be the key to my problem.

However, I have planned out things in the past, and unfortunately, what happened was that I got so bored during the planning stage that I just gave up on the project before even starting on it. Now I know what you’re all thinking, and that’s okay. I have no self-discipline.

Yeah, sure, I get all my homework done on time, and I’m decent at sticking to upload/posting schedules, but as you all can see from what I just told you, I have absolutely no personal discipline. I can’t make myself stick with something, and I think that’s something that I definitely have to work on. So I’m going to be doing that. In fact, I hope to do that with Eternity. It’s been a while since I’ve finished a novel, or even gotten this far into writing one, and I hope that by the time March rolls around, I’ll have a completed first part to upload to my blog, and ideally that success will boost me into further success. So, wish me luck, and keep me in your prayers.

Thanks.

Tours yruly

School. And Things.


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This is a post meditating on last week, as with all my Monday posts. Last week, was my second last week of break. I know, I’m lucky. This is my final week of break, so I’ve had a long amount of time away from school, which has its pros and cons. And I know you guys who’ve already started school are totally going to be hating on me for this, but I don’t actually mind that school is starting up again.

Yep, I said it. Maybe it’s because I only have four classes this semester (albeit two of them are high-level math classes which I probably should not be taking at the same time, but hey, who’s to say what you can and can’t do, am I right?). Or maybe I don’t mind school because I’ve just had too much free time on my hands. However, I think the reason is actually because for me, it feels like school is the only place where I really ever accomplish anything.

I know that’s a weird mindset to have, seeing as I have achieved so much on this blog, and, to a lesser degree, on my YouTube channel, and I have had a small number of personal achievements in my seventeen years, but it’s only in school that I ever feel like I’m contributing to the rest of my life. And I know there is somebody who’s gonna say that all this stuff I’m doing can go in transcripts and whatnot for jobs and interviews down the road, and yeah, I get that, but because all of this is controlled by me, it feels like I don’t really have any standards to measure up to.

Maybe I’m a strange person, needing standards set by others to feel like I’ve achieved something, but that’s how it goes for me. It’s also possible that this entire post is just a slightly depression-motivated post that I didn’t make the cut for a tutoring position at my community college (I have been accepted for transfer by one of the colleges I applied to, though, so that’s good news =)). But I’ve tried a number of times now to get a job (part-time/summer), and it hasn’t worked out.

People tell me that I’m great, and that I have the stuff, but something always just gets in the way. I’ve even had people eager to get me on the team, but they haven’t been able to make things work out. Now maybe I’m just having a run of bad luck, or maybe God is saving me for something else, but it really has left me with school as my last resort. I feel that if I excel at school, then I’ll have a solid foundation for the rest of my life.

But unfortunately, I’ve also begun to doubt that. I’ve heard many stories now of people who excelled in school, but once they reached the working world, they fell flat on their face, and ended up working at McDonald’s, or something like that (no offense to people working at McDonald’s). I just don’t want that to be me.

I don’t really know why I’m writing all of this in a post to you guys. It doesn’t really have any benefit to you, reading about me, but maybe anybody in the same boat as I am will realize they aren’t alone. And if none of you can relate, that’s okay too. It’s helpful just to get it out there to begin with.

Now, I don’t want anybody thinking that I’m very upset or depressed about this, because I’m not. It’s just a pressure in the back of my head that’s been there for a while, and it doesn’t want to go away. Apart from that, I’m actually feeling quite successful. I think this session of mine has been the best I’ve ever kept to a schedule I set for myself on this blog. Sure, I didn’t post last Friday’s picture (because I wasn’t able to finish it on time), and sure this post is being written at the end of the day it was meant to be posted on, but hey, I’m getting it out.

I guess what I wanted to tell you guys is that I’m going to welcome school when it starts, and once I’m in it, I’m going to work at it, as I always do. And, I know I’m rambling by this point, but something else that’s always bothered me is that I’ve never really been challenged by school. Sure, Geography was hard for me, and I hated it, but that aside, I’ve never had to give my 100 percent to school to do well, and after last semester, I’ve realized that I’m fairly unique in that respect.

Even after overloading myself with subjects last semester, I came out with full A’s, and I’m not trying to boast here. I don’t mean to say that I’m a full A-scholar who gets over a 100 in each of their courses. Most of those A’s were actually borderline, which might sound iffy to some people, but for me, it never was something that I freaked out too much about. Maybe it’s in my personality not to freak out about school, but I wish that school gave me more of a challenge, because I feel like I have more potential, and it really nags me that it’s not being used.

Anyway, I’m going to stop talking now. You guys are probably sick of my rambling, and I promise tomorrow’s post will be better. Goodnight.

Tours yruly

Time to Write


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Hello everybody! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but that is, as you guys can probably guess, because my girlfriend was over for Christmas, and so naturally, all my time was devoted to her, which left me no time for writing. However, all that is over, since she left yesterday, and so I’m back here on the blogs.

Since these posts are normally about reflecting on the past week, I feel it will be apt to reflect on the past year, seeing as while I’m writing this it is still the first of January.

2016 has been quite the year for me. It marks my transition from being a high school senior to a college freshman. It started off quite unfavorably, as all the colleges I had applied to (Ivy League for the record (yes, I know, stupid)) rejected me, and that, quite naturally, was upsetting.

However, graduation came along, and that brought with it its joys. Four years may not seem like a long time, but it certainly felt like it, and being finished with grade school was very satisfying. Then, however, I had to look to the future.

Of course, since I had not been accepted into any colleges, the only remaining route was community college, to finish my general education while I sent out another round of applications. This turned out to be quite the boon, but I’ll talk about that later.

During the entire summer of last year (feels strange saying that), I wanted to get a job. However, I was unsuccessful, and most likely for lack of trying. Instead, I mostly went hunting, and worked towards the fifty hours of driving required for my driving license. Yes, I do realize that getting your license at seventeen is quite late by all standards, and to be honest, the deadlines turned out to be pushed quite close.

School started August, and while my community college is by no means far away, it’s also not a distance I could just walk every day, and so it was imperative that I got my driver’s license. However, my test was only to be in July, and so if I failed, it would have essentially messed up the entire fall semester.

Thanks to God, I was able to pass my test, and throughout Fall 2016, drove myself to school and back six times a week.

I mentioned earlier that it was a boon that I ended up in college last semester, and indeed, I think it is thanks to God’s wisdom that this happened. By attending a community college, I was able to complete the majority of my gen eds for much cheaper than it would have cost me at a four-year university, and I stand to collect a Math associates this coming semester as well as completing all my gen eds, which would make me a junior after only a year in college.

Of course, this year contained much more than just school, and apart from a series of hunting trips, starting with my first (a turkey hunt at the beginning of the year), to my most recent (a pheasant hunt where I shot my first game), there have also been several visits from people close to my heart who live far away.

During the thanksgiving season, my cousins who live in Singapore came over to visit, and we had a glorious time together, after having not been together for some years. We played games, spent lots of time on the trampoline, and even went out for a few rounds of bowling.

And then, on Christmas, as I’ve mentioned before, my girlfriend came over, and we also had a fun time together, and we have the pictures to show for it (which you guys might see later down the line). Just yesterday I sent her home, and today we fell back into our normal routine of video calls and texting.

All in all, the year has had its ups and downs, and now that we are starting in a new year, I do suggest we begin as my mother encouraged us all, by putting on a new self, a better self. For all we can ever ask of ourselves is to be better than we were before. If every day of every week of every month of every year, that commitment is made, then nothing will prevent 2017 from being better than 2016.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

– Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

Tours yruly