My Latest Painting

I wanted to share this because I’m pretty proud of it. I really like to focus on abstract art, and sometimes I like creating art that conveys a message about the current world. This one is based off the current year, and is titled “2020”.

The message is pretty straightforward. Despite how crazy of a rollercoaster 2020 has been, through all the ups and downs, there will always be hope for the future.

Goodbye Social Media

I’ve noticed something about myself during the past few months. I’ve come to realize just how much of an impact social media has had on my life. It wasn’t just an occasional way to pass time, it was pretty much an addiction to me. It was a dopamine rush, a sense of validation, and as depressing as it sounds, it almost felt like I was somewhat deriving some kind of meaning from it.

We all hear about how social media just shows highlight reels of our lives. Well I was a prime example. Out drinking with friends? I had to put it on an Instagram story. New personal record in distance when I was biking? It became a new post on my snapchat story. It felt like I was creating this narrative of how awesome life was at the moment, and the satisfaction from being out with friends or breaking personal records almost felt like it wasn’t being about the activities themselves, but from the validation I could get from these activities when I post them on social media.

It’s stupid, I know. But it almost became a habit. It was just the norm to me at that point. And continuously I found myself surfing through my social media and comparing my life to others. I kept having a feeling of FOMO, aka, the Fear Of Missing Out. If I was just hanging out at home on a Saturday night and opened up Instagram to see people out partying instead; I’d immediately feel like shit and think, “Wow, my life sucks.” I kept seeing all the achievements other people posted on Instagram, and it made me forget about my own personal achievements. I would also keep thinking about how I could one up these people and plan for completing a new personal goal just to post it on social media as well. And when I did things like make new posts that didn’t get as many likes as I wanted to, I felt dissatisfied and would get urges to delete those posts because I would think about how I could’ve done so much better.

After a while I started to realize just how toxic this was to my mental health. Yes, I’m in a better place than I was compared to years ago. But I still kept holding myself back to being in an even better place because of consistently letting my mind drift back to being in the fake reality of social media. Instead of enjoying the actual world in front of my own eyes, my eyes were just glued on my phone. So, after all these insights were made. I decided to delete most of my social media. To be specific, I deleted my Instagram and Snapchat account, then I deactivated Facebook. The only reason why I didn’t fully delete Facebook was that deactivating it still lets me use the Facebook messenger app on my phone, which is a much more effective way of messaging people in my opinion. However, deactivating Facebook still meant that I couldn’t use the rest of the app itself.

In a funny way, I felt “lighter” after doing this. Like I didn’t have this pressure to keep posting on social media for that validation. However, it’s still taking some time to get use to. Sometimes when I’m bored I find myself opening my phone just to remember that I can’t open my social media accounts anymore. It was a strange emptiness, but I realized that I can fill that emptiness with things that are much more productive. Such as getting more involved with reading books again and re-focusing on writing. In the short amount of time that my social media has been deleted, I’m already starting to feel a little better about myself. My goal in the long run is to really start fully being in the moment, and instead of filming that beautiful sunset for an Instagram story, I’m watching it with my own eyes and not through my phone.

Finding peace at 2am

Looking back at my life I realize I really went through some turbulent times. Life was never easy. No, sometimes it was really hard. But I acknowledge that I’m able to get through it. Despite some of the shit that I had to go through. And there were periods in my life when I was stuck in the bottom where I felt like the world just wanted to smack me around and toss me to the wolves any chance it got. Of course I never really talked about my problems to my friends, during those periods I always felt like I was a burden for opening up about shit I’d go through. I’ve since improved from that mindset, but I remember how those darker periods left me with bitter feelings about the world for some time.

It took a lot of work, a lot of discipline, and a lot of help from my support system to help bring me up to be a better place. And to think a few years ago I was going hard on McDonalds any chance I got because the only way to fill the empty hole inside me was with more McChickens. I guess in the end something just told me to kept going. Bipolar type 2 and OCD are like a ball and chain you carry around, they fucking drag you down and some days the weight of the ball just gets unbearably heavy. During those periods all I wanted to do was lay down a give the fuck up.

I think when you’re really in the depth of mental illness all you can think of is the NOW, how right now is terrible, how right now is insufferable, how right now is full of despair. In that state it’s too hard to think about where you might be years from now if you put in the work to make life better. And it’s totally understandable, because when you’re feeling really low from mental illness, taking that first step to getting better is INCREDIBLY difficult. Too all the readers who don’t have to deal with mental illness, you’re pretty damn lucky. To all those who get it, yah I feel your pain, shit sucks.

BUT, if you can find it in you to take the first step to getting better, the second step is a little easier, then the third, sometimes you might fall back a step or two, but you know you started your journey to getting better. So you keep going regardless. For me it was finally seeing a psychiatrist to officially diagnose me, then going through trial and error with a fuckton of meds before I finally found the ones that helped stabilize me. Then finding tactics like cognitive behavioral therapy to teach me how to ignore some of my thoughts from OCD and my unrealistic perceptions caused by my Bipolar 2. Then it was finally being open with friends and people close to me, which was such a big relief. Then it was incorporating healthy activities outside of meds and therapy such as exercise like cardio. The final step for me personally, which is optional for people, is psychedelics. To me it was the added whip cream and cherry on top of the cake that helped my life out. But like I said, they’re not necessary, but can really be beneficial if used for therapeutic purposes.

After all this you realize how much work it can take to get better from mental illness, but you realize it was all so completely worth it. Because I’m much better than where I was before. I’m not going to lie, even after all of this, it can still be very hard. Some days can still be low, but I remember that I can never let myself get bad again. So I put my chin up and put in the work and strive on until things get better again. I realize now that this is the hand I’m dealt, things may never be perfect, but I know I can make the most of the hand that was given to me. And despite some shitty cards I’ve been given, I’ve got to say that I’ve made a pretty fucking dope life for myself. And for that, I am thankful.

Nature and Cardio, the world’s best stress relievers

I’ll be honest, I’ve been feeling mentally drained lately. It’s been several factors that have been leading me to feel low in mental energy. The main reason is seeing the world as it is right now. It’s both depressing and inspiring watching the current events unfold. Honestly, when did 2020 become a fucking movie with thirty different twists every ten minutes?

It’s amazing to see people rally together to bring about social change within our culture, specifically with the Black Lives Matter protests. Being able to be there with the crowds was inspiring too and very new for me. It was also great to see the government actually listening and doing something about plights that people have been dealing with. 2020 will be written up as one of the most influential and powerful years in human history, you can count on that. Despite all this, I can’t help but still feel sad about everything else going on in the world. Covid is still a thing, and it’ll be a long while before society fully re-opens again. My city has made slow progress in returning back to normal, but there’s still ways to go. And I’m not even going to get started on the current presidential election and the two candidates we have to choose from…lord help us all on that one.

In my personal life. Work has been up and down, at the moment I’m use to working on a covid unit now. Every patient is almost the same. Things can drag, but hey; at least we got hazard pay. But it’s been really dawning on me lately just how much healthcare and being a nurse isn’t meant for me. If I could go back in time I’d probably slap freshman year college me in the face and tell myself to follow my dreams ahead of time. As for my clothing brand that I’ve been setting up, things are stressful. I just realized the importance of trademarking a company, and went through a shit ton of work to pay for an application for it to be trademark. I was resisting the urge to slam my head on the table through the whole process of learning how to do it. On the bright side, I’ve got some great pictures with the clothes with my amazing friends who have been supporting me, and I’ll be marketing the brand soon to the public. But I can’t help but get pangs of anxiety with thinking about the actual release of the clothes. What if I mess up with shipping and handling? What if people don’t like my clothes? What if I’m not successful? Honestly, fuck that noise. I realize I need to keep my head up and believe in myself. Anxiety about doing something new and daring can be scary. But I know I won’t give up.

With all these things adding together, you could say I’ve been feeling stressed. And I know I needed a break. And in my opinion, the two best ways to relieve stress are nature and cardio. I got some of my close friends together to go hiking in Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin. We had a fun road trip to the park, only to find that everyone else had the same idea to visit the place that Saturday and there was zero parking inside. So we found the closest available parking…a whole fucking mile and a half from the state park. Oh well, we walking from the car to the start of the trail. It was a long and steep trail that lead to an overview of the entire park and the lake.

Getting to the top was one hell of a struggle. It was steep, it was hot, it was humid, and it went on for what seemed forever. But fuck it, I wanted to get to the top more than anything. We all pushed ourselves and eventually reached the peak of the mountain. I was exhausted and drenched in sweat, but man was it worth it. The peak of the trail involved several rock formations that stretched out towards the lake. You could actually stand on them and see everything from below. Holy shit, it was one hell of an amazing view. You could see the whole landscape for miles. And the forest along with the lake was a sight to behold. Me and my friends stayed at the top for a while, just taking it all in. I thought to myself, “This is what life is all about, enjoying it and appreciating the world around you, and if you could conquer this trail, you can conquer anything”. I took a deep breath of fresh air. And felt revitalized.

The view from the top of Devil’s Lake State Park

The next day, I decided to take my bike to the trails near my hometown. I wanted to push myself, it wasn’t just a casual ride, but a competition to myself to see how good my endurance really is. I biked in the evening and kept biking until it got dark. While I was cycling I also took a little time to enjoy the nature around me and the beauty of the colors of the sky during the sunset. I hit close to 18 miles by the end of my ride, but I made sure that I was staying at a relatively fast pace the entire time. I felt exhausted. But at the same time I felt my stress literally dissipating. I had this renewed sense of peace. The problems going on in the world were still there, but I accepted them and felt optimistic about the future. The problems in my personal life were still there, but I was ready to tackle them head on.

Taking a little break during my bike ride to enjoy the sunset

All in all, if you’re feeling stressed. Get the fuck out there and enjoy the world. And get a workout in there while you’re at it.

A Brighter Future

It’s been a crazy week since the terrible murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota. Since then there’s been a major call for social reform in American and even in several western countries. People are coming out into the streets and demanding equality for African Americans at a level that is unprecedented compared to the past few years. Protests haven’t just been in major cities, but have extended to the suburban areas as well.

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to participate in one of the protests in my city as well after finally having a day off from my night shifts at work. And my goal is to go to more and continue to support this cause. Last night the protest I was at had a certain energy that was in the air, it was an energy that was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions from the crowd. Everything from anger, to sadness, to hope. It was all felt through the thousands of people present at these protests. However, everyone their had the same goal in mind: to push the our current society into doing something about the systematic racism in our justice system and our culture as a whole.

Throughout different news outlets, it seems like different narratives are being created regarding the protests. Most of it seems to focus on the rioting and looting going on. As well the violent clashes between protestors and police officers. One thing I feel that needs to be pointed out is the lack of coverage from the peaceful protests, which vastly outnumber the ones that involve rioting. It’s like all we seem to be focused on are the people breaking into and setting fires to small businesses, or the officers who seem to be to be inciting violence themselves instead of keeping things under control. But this takes away from most of the people who are out protesting with goal of following proper order, and the officers who understand people have the right to protest and are allowing them to do so freely without letting things get out of hand.

In my personal opinion. Major shifts in pushing forward to a better future are very hard to accomplish when the methods of doing it are viewed in a negative light. These protests are doing great in shedding light on the major problem of inequality affecting African Americans, but it feels as if the message is being shadowed by the protests that devolve into riots on the side. And let me be clear, I understand the anger behind the rioting, and I understand that they’re currently happening because America has failed to listen to previous peaceful protests and allowed the killing of African Americans by policemen and racist whites to continue, but it’s very hard to bring about support when the media is getting people to start seeing these protests as opportunities for looters and anarchists to wreck havoc because of the destruction that some of the protests have caused. For everyone reading, I just want you know to know that this isn’t the norm, and that most protestors are doing just that, protesting for a better future. Please do not equate a protestor to a rioter.

As for society itself, I definitely do see major changes happening to our culture after all of this. Now, the importance of educating others about inequality is more prevalent than ever. Current times have also forced people to really examine their own personal biases that they aren’t consciously aware of and now they have the opportunity to try to fix them. This has been the turning point for western countries, and I believe that the world is watching and realizing how important this issue is. I choose to remain hopeful, despite the current events. I know that a brighter future is ahead of us, and it’ll be because of the collective effort of this generation and previous generations standing together to fight for what’s right.

Insights on George Floyd’s murder and what needs to be done about it

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, then you’re probably aware of the murder of George Floyd that occurred in Minneapolis. A man who was confronted by the police for an alleged forgery of a check ended up on the ground with a knee pinning down his neck until he suffocated to death. It’s tragic, it was preventable, and incidents like this just seem to keep happening over and over.

Now if you’ve been reading my blog, a decent amount of posts have been leaning more towards personal insights towards myself. But that’s not all this blog will be about. As I had said before, this blog will also be about my thoughts on culture and the modern world. And one thing that has been all over the news in America has been George’s murder.

Police killing black men and women without proper cause isn’t new. And one of America’s biggest problems is that nothing ever seems to be done about this. And the officers who overstep their boundaries like this tend to get nothing more than a slap on a wrist. At most they’ll get fired, but the police department and local government normally do what they can in their power to protect these officers.

And every time their is a peaceful protest, a social media campaign for a call to action, or a documentary made about the inequality that African Americans deal with on a daily basis: nothing changes. And it makes you wonder, maybe that’s why this time there’s a full fledged riot going on in Minnesota. I woke up this morning to check the news on my phone to find out that a police station in Minneapolis was just set on fire. Videos are circling the internet of people chanting George Floyd’s name in front of a burning police station, this is definitely unprecedented times we live in right now.

Do I agree with these actions? No. Do I understand why people are doing them and their point of view of it all? Yes. People are mad, they’ve been trying to do peaceful protests for years. They’ve been criticizing the police force over and over again. Yet it seems like every month there’s another story of another cop or group of cops killing more black people that didn’t deserve it. So what happens when there’s no improvement in the situation? People get angry.

And they’ll take their anger out as they see fit. Their message by rioting and setting the police department on fire sent a message that was loud and clear to the world. And without a doubt, that message was heard. People are sick of the oppression, and now America has to lay in the bed its made. Currently the national guard is on their way to Minneapolis to control the riots, and I can’t imagine how bad that situation is going to get.

As for my personal thoughts on how to improve the situation of cops killing African Americans unlawfully? Well, peaceful protests haven’t worked, and violent protests only spur more outrage in the opposing side. I feel like the best way to bring about change is within the police force and the government itself. It starts by a massive re-training of the police force to better prepare them on how to deal with situations involving minorities, so they’re no so apt to just kill without thinking.

It also starts with getting rid of the slap on the wrist mentality and having zero tolerance. Cops like the one’s who killed George shouldn’t just be fired, but should be arrested and charged for their crimes. Justice needs to be served. People need to understand that being in the police force doesn’t mean your protected by the law and the local government and that you can get away with committing unlawful murder. And when you have cops who have multiple accounts of overstepping boundaries, you fire them immediately. As for many cops like that it’s only a matter of time before they kill someone without a cause.

There needs to be a stricter hiring and screening process in the police force. There has to be a more in depth focus of psychological stability and aptitude among police officers. When you’ve got assholes who are looking for power trips who are getting into the police force, there needs to be precautions to screen people out. As well as ways to screen out candidates with a history of aggression, especially aggression towards minorities.

Finally, there needs to be a shift in the culture of the police force. There’s a clear component of complacency and refusal to take action towards officers who do wrong. One of the officers seen in the video of George’s murder was simply standing next to the group and was watching George suffocate to death. Did he do anything? No, he watched the other officer continue to pin the man down. In my opinion that’s a metaphor for the police force as a whole. Most cops don’t try to stop their fellow officers from overstepping their boundaries. Even worse, they’ll cover for each other if they have to. Unfortunately, the ones who do say something about it are shunned. This is beyond fucked up, and this attitude needs to be fixed. Officers need to hold each other accountable.

In these times, it’s hard for people to trust the police force. And there’s a clear understanding as to why “Fuck the police” is such a popular phrase. It’s because of incidents like George’s murder happening numerous times. I also guarantee people won’t start calming down until the officers who started this all are in prison. If there is one thing that can come from all this chaos so far, it’s that people of all nationalities are banding together to support this cause. Times like these will be one of the defining moments of 2020, and possibly in American history. Hopefully, it will mark the turn towards a better future for minorities, especially African Americans.

I am me, and I love myself for it

Let me tell you a little bit about how I grew up. When I was young, authority was all I knew. Mostly because of my parents and the way they raised me. I love them, but I’d be lying if I were to say they weren’t your stereotypical strict Asian parents. They had their belts and sandals locked and loaded to whip out if I misbehaved. They shaped me into the little kid they wanted me to be. They yelled at me for being out past 9pm with friends in grade school on a weekend. They looked at me with extreme disapproval at any grade below a B. And the one thing, the ONE THING that they hated the most was if I disagreed with them. After all, to them, they were always right.

I carried these experiences to high school. Where I let my peers influence me and who I was. Growing up I didn’t really feel like I had a real sense of identity. Because who I was, was so heavily influenced by my parents. And not always in a positive way. I blended in to appease everyone else. Just like how I acted exactly how my parents wanted me to be to please them. I felt like I needed that validation, that I had to be accepted. It brought comfort. I found standing up for myself to be hard. Because that brought me back to the feelings of trying to go against the grain of what my parents wanted me to be, and how I got shot down for doing so.

So if someone said something that I didn’t agree with. I kept it to myself. I would blindly follow the leader of the group. It was fucking stupid, but like I said: to me, it was better to have that acceptance and validation. Because who the hell wants to be seen as different than everyone else, right? I had my close friends in high school, don’t get me wrong, it was alright. But I was just a stereotype. And molded and adjusted my own personality, fashion sense, and values to fit the group of the people around me. Even if I wasn’t really into a lot of the stuff they were into, I did it anyway.

Then, off I went into college. I joined a fraternity. Where I had the time of my fucking life. I partied hard, I went to class high and wasted, I hooked up with some fun girls. I was a basic bro. It was a great time. I didn’t feel the need to be so reserved. However, much of my need for validation still remained. Of course, when you go greek; there’s a certain look that you have to play into in order to represent your organization. I started dressing like a frat bro with the boat shoes, I forced myself to play sports I wasn’t interested in, I acted “hard” to the point of absurdity at times. All for the sake of being cool with everyone in the fraternity. And when it came to older more respected brothers; there I was again, blindly following them and never questioning anything. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met my best friends because of greek life, and they’re still my best friends today. But man did I fucking care too much about what others thought throughout my time in college.

This eventually extended to my adult life in nursing. Where I was scared to deal with the older nurses when I started my job. I was going out of my way to appease them and the annoying patients who ask for too fucking much. I didn’t have boundaries. It was ridiculous. However, a few months into my job. I started looking back at my life. And I asked myself a big question:

WHY AM I LIKE THIS?

Then I asked myself some more questions. Why was I scared to be me? Why did I have an issue with authority? Why didn’t I speak up for myself as much as I could have in so many situations? What was that stupid feeling of anxiety and fear that kept coursing through my body when I spoke up to authority. Why do I let myself be dictated so much by others???

And then I had a realization. An amazing realization. It was that I didn’t feel complete unless the acceptance and validation I received was from the outside. I thought that it had to be from others. That it had to be from the cool kids in high school, it had to be from the older and more respected brothers from my fraternity, it had to be from the older nurses at work. And I came to a conclusion:

In order to be yourself and comfortable with it, acceptance and validation have to come from within.

I wasn’t comfortable with setting boundaries because I wasn’t comfortable with believing in myself. I wasn’t comfortable with dressing how I wanted and being into hobbies that are different than everyone else because I wasn’t willing to accept that it was ok to be me. Being seen as different was foreign to me, being disliked by some was a scary thought. But now I realized that self actualization only comes when you can be 100% happy with who you are and what you believe in.

And since this realization. I did my best to follow this mantra. I dressed in what was interesting and aesthetically pleasing to me. I set boundaries at work and in my personal life. I let my real self and interests shine through, and I openly talked about them with others regardless of whether they were into the same things or not. I can now disagree with my parents for things that I know they’re wrong about, and be ok with it. This has also extended to my peers, if I see something wrong, I’ll say some shit about it. Hell, I wanted tattoos and was scared of getting them before because I kept thinking about what the nurses at work might think or how I would react if my friends disliked them. But now I realize, who fucking cares? So I got the ones I wanted anyway, and goddamn did it feel great to do so.

And you know what happened after I started doing all this? People respected me more. Because when you’re just trying to appease people, they can tell. When you’re too scared to say anything about what you believe in, they can tell. When you’re not being real and authentic, they can tell. But when you’re you, unapologetically you, people respect that. Regardless of whether they like the real you or not. They know you’re not afraid about being who you are. And even if they’re not thinking about it, in the back of their head they’ll have that tint of jealousy because you didn’t play into what they wanted you to be. So fuck all the non-sense of being who others want you to be, be yourself. Because that’s where true freedom comes from.

A small collection of my recent artwork

One hobby that I’ve been putting more focus on lately is creating more art. It’s something that I dabbled in here and there in college but never got too serious with until recently. It was a bit of a hidden hobby for me that only a few knew about because I didn’t want my friends thinking I was lame (I was part of a fraternity and a lot of people in it were pretty “bro” and looked down on those kind of things). Now that I’ve grown more after graduating college, I realized that was really stupid to think. Do what you love man. After college I started getting a little more serious with making some more pieces here and there and having fun with it.

Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, I wanted to put some more focus in art work and creating pieces that I actually enjoy. I’m no Pablo Picasso, a lot of my art work is contemporary and abstract. But I enjoy creating these pieces and expressing myself with them. I’ve really become a fan of acrylic art and spray painting on a canvas, and hope to also try out different forms of making art on different platforms in the future.

So far my recent pieces have been inspired by the lifestyle that I’ve lived after moving to Chicago. I really loved the night life of the city and having a great time out with amazing friends. I really like to party, and as someone who is young I’ve been making the most of my life here pre-pandemic. My art has reflected that and it’s a happy medium that allows me to reminisce on good times. It also gives more of something to really look forward to when this pandemic is over, because you best bet I’ll be the first one out in line at the bars and clubs when this is all over.

Here is a collection of my 3 recent pieces. All of them are on a 36 x 48 canvas.

1:00 AM
This was heavily inspired by many drunken weekends full of debauchery. The writings are statements that you hear often when your out drinking, like the infamous “Who’s ordering the Uber?” or the all too familiar “What did you say?” that you hear every 2 minutes in a loud club. Some parts of this art piece are references to areas in Chicago. Kingsbury, Ontario, and Dearborn are all popular streets at night in the city. This piece also showcases the absurdity of some of things you see, such as how many places unapologetically charge overpriced amounts for a cup of mostly juice and a tablespoon of tequila. The top left of the canvas is a shout out to El Gallo De Bravo, one of my personal favorite restaurants to get food after a night of getting hammered. Also, fuck Soundbar.

WHY SO SERIOUS
This canvas talks about the importance of letting loose and having fun, while also being a bit of a commentary on different aspects of society. Such as our love for thrills and money (which hey, I’m not going to deny that I chase both). And while chasing money is great, don’t expect super expensive material objects like Porches to make you feel fulfilled. My personal philosophy is that humans are social creatures and it’s meaningful relationships that bring us real joy. I also try to have the mentality of being open and accepting of everyone, and I try to avoid the elitist “only talk to me if I think you’re cool” mentality. Hence the statement “Everyone’s invited”. Love can be a intoxicating, and I think it’s one of the most powerful drugs out there. But of course, acid is pretty great too.
CROSSED

Honestly, I made this with a friend while we were drunk and high from smoking weed. Turned out pretty well in my opinion.

A little over a year as nurse, my thoughts on healthcare and a reflection on my career path

So I recently surpassed my one year mark as a nurse. The path so far has involved a lot of trials and tribulations. I learned a lot and got humbled like a motherfucker. You learn about the value of life and how easily it can be taken away. You learn about the importance of hospital dynamics between staff, something they don’t really teach in you nursing school. You learn that you don’t know shit.

This job has a tendency to keep you on it’s toes. And some days can be as rewarding as they can be downright exhausting. Especially now with Covid, even more is at risk every time I have to go my unit, which has been transformed into a Covid unit. God do I hate dressing up in personal protective equipment every time I step into a room, I hate wearing masks that make it hard to breath and cause break outs, and I hate feeling like I’m in sauna whenever I’m in the room.

I hope people reading this aren’t hoping that I’m going to dress healthcare as a whole with flowers and candy, because I’m going to be completely honest. Healthcare fucking sucks. There, I said it. It’s the truth and I’ve only met a few nurses who actually truly love their jobs. Do I make sure I do a great job with caring for patients? Of course. I don’t slack at work, my license is on the line and I don’t want to take the chances of getting lazy and unintentionally causing harm to a patient. I care about doing a good job. I will admit that I’m still a greenhorn even with a year of experience, and I still have a tendency to make mistakes (luckily it just involves small things like documenting issues).

But do I love what I do? I don’t think I do anymore. I’ve come to the realization in this year of nursing that I fell into the trap of choosing a career because of security and money, not something I truly loved. Had I chosen to do what I truly loved, I probably would’ve stuck with business in college or gone into something psychology related. But no, I picked nursing. Mostly because the money is nice, hospitals always need them, and if you’re a guy; girls love to hear that you’re a nurse.

However, I am still grateful. I have a career that wasn’t taken away during Covid. And I do feel like I make a difference (at least sometimes, because other times I feel like the most we’re doing for patients is just prolonging the inevitable when they’re already at death’s door). And I like knowing that I know how to save a life. But, damn do I not look forward to going to work sometimes. Even on days I’m stressed, I don’t take it out on co-workers or patients. But I see other nurses do, A LOT. It’s a profession that takes a lot out of you. And sometimes you just get tired.

I get it though. The healthcare system can be fucked. And it’s hard for hospitals to be 100% fair to all staff 100% of the time. So we end up with situations like unsafe working ratios. Or patients getting screwed over by the healthcare system. Or burnout, especially burnout. And when you’re a nurse, you’re the middle man, and you work with everyone in the patient’s plan of care and communicate with the whole team to help figure out how to best move forward. This can be exciting, and it can also be tiring (especially when you deal with the angry Docs).

I know that this isn’t my dream job. But it gives me the opportunity to help fund my dream. I’m currently in the works with starting a clothing brand, and I hope to grow it so I can become self sufficient financially. Because god I can’t imagine being a 50 year old nurse looking back at their youth wishing they didn’t take the chance to get out of healthcare. But, even then, I refuse to let my views on healthcare get in the way of taking care of patients. I’ll always do my best to give them my best. At the end of the day, this job is about the service of others.

Overall, I’m young. And I have my whole life ahead of me to do what I truly want. I might not be the happiest in my field, but I know when I achieve my dream of working for myself in the future, that I’ll be glad I went through nursing. Because it has taught me to be strong in the face of adversity. And only very few jobs can really make you feel that way like this one.

This is the only life we get

I recently made a promise to myself. That promise was that I was going to live my life to the fullest, and really not give a fuck. I felt I was embodying that to somewhat of a point beforehand, but I wasn’t really following through. I’d say “yah man I’m just making the most of life”, yet I’d turn down opportunities to travel with friends to have a shit ton of fun in other countries before the Covid virus. The main reason was that I was being stingy with money, I could easily afford the expenses, but I cared more about seeing my bank account continuously going up than seeing it go down a little bit to have a great time.

Sure I would spend some decent money here and there at the club or bar, but anything major was always a big no no for me. Shit I was living like a minimalist at home, mainly because I was just so cheap at times that I wouldn’t buy things that I really wanted because I’d do what I could to protect my bank account. Not saying that the minimalist lifestyle is bad at all, it can be really beneficial for a lot of people. But I was clearly denying myself things for the sake of denying them and feeling some fake superior feeling for sticking to being a minimalist.

On top of that, I’d turn down opportunities to get to meet new people or try new experiences outside my comfort zone because I already felt safe with what I had right now. But now, I’m realizing that this mentality is literally fucking stupid. We’re here once, that’s it. Once. After that, you’re dead and a few decades after that no one is going to give a flying fuck about you. I mentioned in my previous post when I tripped on shrooms and had an ego death that I realized that life is meaningless and everything is nothing. But I don’t mean that in a depressing way, I mean that in the most freeing way possible.

Yes, life is meaningless. Well guess what, that gives you the freedom to CREATE MEANING. If nothing matters, then you can choose what matters to you and drop the fears that kept you from truly living. I mean we’re all going to end up in the same place right? So why worry about insignificant shit like trying to save as much money as possible, fuck that. Save money, be financially responsible, but don’t be afraid to drop a decent amount of money to have fun. Just don’t go broke and don’t live way outside your means (Unless that’s something you don’t really care about either, for me I still like being financially secure. It makes life a little easier).

Last night. I bought an $1,100 road bike. I know I wanted to buy a bike for a while. But I realized I really wanted to push myself with cycling, I wanted to take it seriously. I wanted to do those 20 plus, 30 plus, 50 plus mile biking trips. And if I were to do that I couldn’t be a cheap fuck and buy some basic $300 bike from Dick’s Sporting Goods. No, I had to spend on a quality bike that would last me years. So that’s what I did. Old me probably would ponder the thought and tell myself “nah, that’s a dumb idea”. New me realized “hell yah, I’m about to have a lot of fun.”

Today, I picked up the bike at the store and did a 22 mile trip. It was beautiful, it was freeing, I pushed myself hard and at the end I was exhausted. Yet I felt truly amazing. I can’t wait for more biking trips in the future. And I can’t wait to keep pushing myself to bike further distances. Now, I’m going to promise myself to truly live, whether its through traveling or to new and fun experiences in general. I’m going to truly make the most of experiencing the world. Looking back I wish I would’ve agreed to do a lot of things with the people I know. But now, rest assured, I’m not saying no.