Rise

Yesterday, I was planning on participating in Inktober. For those who does not have a clue what Inktober is, it is basically a ‘thing’ done by artists where they draw something every day during the month of October. So INK (you draw something) + TOBER (October without the first two letters) = INKTOBER. You are welcome!

Anyway, there is also an official Inktober list where there is a different theme of what you need to draw every day (where I found most artists do not really follow or even care about). So, the theme yesterday was ‘divided’. I was trying to think of something to draw and even googled (I know, many people, myself included tend to google anything that comes to mind) images related to the theme. I was leaning towards drawing land that is torn into two by an earthquake but for some reason I was not quite sold on what I wanted to draw (either that or I just could not draw that well).

While at it, I overheard some stories about an incident that happened in Las Vegas. I don’t really follow or watch news so I was clueless on what actually happened south of the border. Since I was not going anywhere with my Inktober attempt, I googled ‘Las Vegas incident’ (funny how Google the company is being increasingly used as a verb with every passing day). I clicked the first result (as generated by Google’s algorithm to be the most relevant based on my search parameters not that anyone cares) and after just reading the first paragraph, my heart sank (literally and figuratively). I was not sure how I got through the full document. There were a lot of testimonials from the people who were able to survive the horrendous event and unfortunately have to narrate what happened to them to various reporters and media representatives.

This was not anything new. Every day somewhere around the world, these types of events happen in one form or another. What is different is that this is the first time where I actually reference an actual current event. I don’t know if that is just me maturing (It’s about time!) or it is just hard not to feel sorry about what happened to the ones that were in the venue but especially to the family left behind by the ones who were not so lucky.

I know writing about the incident is not enough and will not do anything to change the outcome but know that I genuinely thought about all the victims. I hope that I can help in a more impactful way next time another tragedy occurs. May this event light a burning desire within us to come up with better procedures, measures, practices and laws that will lessen (and prevent) like misfortunes from happening again. May it bring us closer to each other and go out of our way to help one another get through this.

During these times of cRISEs, may we rise to continue to live and become better versions of ourselves.

He Is Risen

Happy Easter to every one, whether you are just in it for the egg hunts, feasts or if you tried to give up something during Lent. I don’t usually do this (proclaiming to the world what I did or am doing) but I am creating this post specifically to give myself a pat on the back for not logging in and checking my Facebook and Instagram accounts for 40 days. It was hard at first but it got better as the days wore on. I was able to prove to myself that it is ok to not know what is going on with the people in your social media circles. Before this, I checked Facebook and Instagram SEVERAL times a day. I put emphasis on the word several because I meant it to be all the time in between everything that I do. While watching TV, working, watching over my daughter, talking to my wife, eating.. you get the whole picture. It is taking over my life and what do I actually get from it? I get comments, messages, likes, emojis, photos, memes, articles, etc.

I would say this though, kudos to the people behind these types of softwares/apps as they got me and a couple billion other users hooked and addicted to their platform. The ones who invented the ‘infinite scroll’ where you will not run out of posts to check have indeed brilliant minds. The unsurprising targeted ads that show you related goods and services that you might have checked out previously or availed are sneakily ingenuous ways of unconsciously urging you buy a new shoe again (guilty as charged!). I can go on and on about these ‘programming your brain’ (got this term from 60 Minutes) tactics to get people to use your product but it all boils down to the person’s will. It is totally up to us if we are going to buy in to the gimmicks presented to us. But more props to people who does not need social media (or accounts for that matter) to validate themselves or what they do in the form of likes/followers; who value face-to-face conversations over IMs/DMs.

I don’t condemn social media. I think it can do a lot more good than bad. I would just like to spend more time doing other things than checking my social media accounts and the people i know or follow. I am also hoping that I can continue to build on this experience to give up something in my life (not only because I wanted to give up something for Lent) in order to make myself a better person. That I would rather enjoy my time with my family fully with no interruptions. That I would rather be addicted to writing blog posts that pique my interest than being addicted to posting nonsense on social media. Lastly, that I may rise too like Jesus Christ, to overcome all the present and future obstacles in my life.

Abstinence

Goodbye February, hello March. Coincidentally, it is also the first day of Lent. Catholics, devoted and non-devoted alike attend mass to get ashes on their forehead (got one a while ago). Time to repent on our sins, reflect and as the priest’s homily (sorry Father, I don’t even know your name) mentioned, “give up” something that will transform us into better human beings (no penalties given to those who don’t participate). I kind of given up on making New Year’s resolutions because of the simple fact that year after year, I make promises only to break or forget about them after a week or so. This time though, I will try (if I am able to keep it, I am not yet sure) to change the outcome. No, actually I am calling it now. I will shun social media during lent!

What I want to give up is really a no-brainer, easy-peasy choice. I am guilty of checking social media multiple times a day from the time my phone wakes me up in the morning to the late evening when my eyes could no longer stay open and sleep finally takes over. I will probably write more about social media in the future but I want this post to be about my determination to stay true to my word against all odds. I am also doing this to somehow get back on the road. I kind of went off the designated ski area and wander aimlessly through the back country. I noticed that I am praying less frequently now.

My hope is that after this season of abstinence that I will, just like in today’s Ash Wednesday sermon, realize that I do not need social media (or at least I should not spend a whole lot of time browsing through them). That I become spiritually rejuvenated (Darwin 2.0) and hopefully deflect all the temptations that will try to derail me from the right path.

Reset

Here goes nothing… I have been planning on getting back to writing (about anything really) for a long time. I could not even remember when was the last time I wrote about something. Previously, our sites have been hacked and all the posts I created got lost. That is all in the past now and what matters more is the present. No merit in feeling sorry for myself and moping about a website that got compromised (I think I only have less than 10 blog posts in there).

This first post will not be complete without me thanking or just recognizing all the people, articles, art works that inspired (pushed is probably the better word here) to get back to writing again. Special thanks to Chase Jarvis (30 Days of Genius was really inspirational and insightful); Steven Pressfield (for the War of Art which I have not finished reading yet but every page really strikes a chord with me); Jake Parker (for encouraging other artists to try to patiently work on their craft); The Players Tribune (for the personal articles contributed by athletes); and many more.

It is a new dawn (shout out to my daughter). I am hoping, crossing my fingers and praying that I can continue this endeavor consistently. I do not know how is this going to play out but I just want to pour out all the thoughts wandering inside my head (although most of the time it is empty).

I thought I would have more to say. I am just glad (feels liberating) that I got over the first hump. I beat Resistance this time (War of Art reference). On to the next!