365: Day 138 – Lunch in the park

365: Day 138 – Lunch in the park

It had been a long time since I’ve sat on a park bench, but today it was a welcome respite from all the stress of dealing with purchasing a home, remodeling, moving, working two jobs, and of course doing this all in the middle of a pandemic. The park was in Irvine (about an hour south of Los Angeles), which is a newer city that is very well planned out and feel like the ideal suburban area where everything is clean, orderly, and well thought out. On this large open space with gorgeous weather the world felt perfect for a moment. It’s moments like these that I thank God for.

On the topic of God, writing about the topic still makes me uneasy as I feel that it’s not socially acceptable to speak about it in our day. The fanatics drive me away, but I personally feel at peace and empowered when I think of God in my own way. I was raised a Roman Catholic and attended Catholic school all my life, so you may argue that this feeling of peace and empowerment is something that was engrained into me. However, it is not some blind faith because I’ve questions so many things about my religion and God for many years. I felt ashamed for thinking those thought until I came across something that said, “don’t trust those who say they’ve found God, instead trust those who tell you they’re still looking for him”. Ever since then I’ve been comfortable with questioning because the divine–regardless of what you believe that to be–is so large and complex that not even a lifetime is enough to fully comprehend. So faith should be a journey and not a destination. Imagine saying you understand this world when you know you’ll never be able to visit every single place on earth, speak every language, or experience every culture. If the divine is something that links everything in the universe together, none of us can even begin to understand what that scale is: light at over 300,000 kilometers per second takes billions of years to travel from one part of the universe to another; there are more stars in our universe than there are grains of sand on our planet; and on and on. We’re not even sure that our universe is the only one. What if a multiverse does indeed exist? It’s impossible for our humble minds to fully grasp a concept of the divine, but we should all strive to search for something bigger than us.

I did not begin this post with the intention of turning it in to a sermon of sorts, but just the most simple and seemingly insignificant of moments let me contemplate so much.

365: Day 137 – A little license to be fun

365: Day 137 – A little license to be fun

I at times write about how I love and feel comfortable when things fall into order and nothing stands out in any major way, but that I’m also torn because a part of me admires the free-spirits out there. I can be so anal that I will spend a considerable time scrutinizing even the fonts that I use. So earlier today I decided to allow myself to change the fonts for the headings on my website. Nothing extreme, of course, just something that looks like it was handwritten since I also love writing by hand. I was insanely busy today so I only allowed myself fifteen minutes to make that minor change since fifteen minutes would have been far too short to write anything.

So today I feel quite accomplished because I was very responsive to all my emails and managed to get in all my reports in on time and with time to spare. My biggest pride is a report for a client that is super focused on the details and I have completely revamped the format to present the data in a way that is clear and easy to understand. It bugged me to see the client constantly asking explanations and clarification on the numbers. There is nothing wrong with that, but a quality report should be easy to read and comprehend. I was working on this new format until about half past midnight, so I probably won’t hear from the client until Monday morning. Needless to say, I missed my self-imposed midnight deadline for this blog, but I’m still taking the time to write this before bed because these daily posts have become something engrained into my daily routine and something I genuinely look forward to.

365: Day 136 – Sometimes I wonder

365: Day 136 – Sometimes I wonder

This is my cat, Gandalf, and he sometimes makes me wonder about him. I catch him in the weirdest poses and I’m never quite sure if he is grooming himself or if he is doing yoga. If only I could be that flexible. There are few things as disheartening and being in most uncomfortable position thinking you’re doing yoga beautifully only to look at yourself in the mirrored walls to see that your posture is less than graceful.

Sometimes I’m caught wishing to be like my cat and just go about my existence shamelessly and without a care in the world. At other times I seem to renew a vow to not break decorum and do my best to fit into the social norms. I guess I can describe myself as a fairly boring individual with a wild imagination.

It’s nice to have a daily reminder in my cat to let myself be myself from time to time: especially in these increasingly chaotic times that have me seeking refuge in routines, rules, social norms, and decorum.

365: Day 135 – Longest Streak Ever

365: Day 135 – Longest Streak Ever

I am quite proud of myself for having made it this far. A few years ago I went for a daily running streak that lasted for 131 days. In those months I was running just over 100-120 miles per month. The different then was that I never set out to run every day for a given period of time. I just decided I would run every day and see how long I could keep that up. I’m inclined to say that a running streak is more difficult because unlike writing on a blog, you can’t just lay down on your bed at then end of the day, open up your laptop, and start typing away.

However keeping up a daily blog post is not without its challenges. I often struggle with thinking about what to write. At times I battle with fatigue at the end of busy days. On a few occasions I’ve wanted to write about more personal topics, but I censor myself because I don’t want this space to just be a space where to angrily rant like so much of social media these days.

Probably the best way to attract an audience is to stir up some controversy: be it political or claiming to know the [insert random number here] best [insert random subject here] you must experience before you did. In this little corner of mine I seek to sow no discord and claim no knowledge of anything. I am looking forward to the next 230 days.

365: Day 134 – Bird of a different feather

365: Day 134 – Bird of a different feather

It was fall of 2017 and I was in Boston with some friends and business school colleagues for a conference and was sharing a hotel room with one of my most valued friendships. I met him at the previous conference in Texas and we have remained great friends ever since…but that’s a story for another post. The point of the preceding context is that I was surrounded by people I wanted to spend as much time as possible with, but when it came time for dinner plans and the obligatory drinks afterwards I made my escape.

Hillary Hahn was playing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra that night and naturally I hopped in a car after returning to the hotel to dress myself in a suit. I took in as much of the city as possible through the window as I was driven to concert hall. After a short ride, there it was identified by BSO–the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Few would so eagerly give up a social outing in a new city with friends, but my soul, in all its solitude, rejoiced at the sound of the orchestra tuning in preparation for this night’s concert.

365: Day 133 – The 50s and 60s

365: Day 133 – The 50s and 60s

These were a few decades before I was born, but I’ve become increasingly interested in them: the fashion, the engineering, the hopes and dreams. I look at the famous people of the time and I only wish today’s celebrities had the same decorum. So many trashy famous people today glorified my our attention-hungry culture. Another thing that attracts me about that time is that you could lose yourself in your travels: no phone to keep tabs on you, no social media to intrude in your time away. You would mail post cards to loved ones because it was the easiest and cheapest way of staying in touch with them.