moment preservation

to solve for X, use less than three

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Confessions from 2013

2013 was a big year for me in some ways, and a big lesson in others. For some ways, I got the house I really wanted, I got the car I really wanted, and I got the trips / toys I wanted. For other ways, I broke up with Jeannette. 

Leading up to her moving in last May, things were getting really serious. Talk about getting married, finally living together, and spending the rest of our lives together was normal. We would joke around about it, and deep down I believe that it’s what we both really wanted. But then she moved in, and the dynamic began to change. She saw how selfish I was with my time and my money (which also lead to a lot of time spent talking about my thoughts and my worries about the money I no longer would have because I would spend it on things over and over again). 

I don’t think that the reason why we broke up was because we lived together though… despite how ‘easy’ that answer way sound. As a matter of fact, this epiphany I am sharing just dawned upon me moments ago (which is why I am here writing this instead of playing Call of Duty: Ghosts). When I look back, she was very adamant about me not buying a new car, not only because of the money it would take for the down payment, but the money it would take for the monthly payment, as well as gas and upkeep. When I calculate that ($4,000 down + $600 a month), I could have very well afforded the engagement ring that Jeannette absolutely loved. In that way, I made a big mistake buying the car. It was just one of many selfish impulse buys, but it was a major one in some ways, and a big lesson in others.

I can’t really regret my decision, nor can I feel any sense of anger at myself or at Jeannette for not bringing it up, whether or not she had thought about it, she definitely felt it’s consequences. For that, I am deeply sorry and ashamed. If I were given two options: to get married to the girl of my dreams, or drive the car of my dreams, I would definitely take marriage. It’s sad that I wasn’t able to consider my options before acting on such a significant purchase. 

On the brighter side of things, breaking up with Jeannette has given me so much personal space from the world that I was struggling to grasp in our relationship. I felt like we would see each other too much, and that led to her being a priority over my work, my friends, and my family. Of course that’s not an excuse, as I am the sole individual that made those choices to avoid everything else. It’s just that I loved her so God damn much that I could never say no to seeing her. Whether her skies were blue or grey, I felt that my presence always made her day shine more than it had been, and that feeling was priceless. I’m not sure if that’s what you would call love, but being able to offer an abundance of comfort beyond anything she’s ever felt, that made me proud to be in a relationship with her. I was helping her grow as a human being, and seeing her blossom was such a beautiful experience. The hardest part in our relationship was fighting my desire to make money and spend money, somewhat uncontrollably.

It sucks because that habit was something I developed when I was single for 3 years before dating Jeannette. When I was single, making more money than I could spend, and playing more video games than my Optometrist recommended, I felt fully relaxed, worry-free, and happy. And when Jeannette and I began dating, I felt like I was no longer making more money than I could spend, because everything I began spending my money on had to do with our relationship. So when I did buy toys, I would drown in their amusement and entertainment, and cut out the world, including Jeannette. Those would be the days that we’d argue the most. The day would always end with me buying something online. Something I didn’t need. 

Part of me wishes I could go back and do things differently, the other part is grateful for my time to myself, and how free I am to spend it with others, whether they be friends or families. Plus I’m no longer covering trips and adventures for two haha. I am nearing the finish of my 6th weekly workout (it’s taken me 12 weeks to get this far). I’m finally seeing some cut definition in my arms, which is such a fantastic feeling. I was so depressed when I was with Jeannette that all I would want to do is lounge around and eat bad food. I would exercise maybe once every 3 weeks. But since we broke up, I’ve been consistently exercising, and seeing some results makes me grateful for what happened, because had we stayed together I do not even want to imagine what I would be looking like / feeling like right now.

I guess ultimately this letter is more of my ‘final thoughts’ for 2013. I just had to get it out of my head. 

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It’s been a good 2 years since I’ve taken some time to sit, think, and reflect on everything I have accomplished, the goals I’ve set before me, and the path on which I’ve chosen to achieve those goals. But before I go into all that, I want to point out the moment’s soundtrack.

There’s something profound about listening to The Postal Service. The last time I can recall writing an entry, I was listening to The Postal Service. The Postal Service simply delivers, pun intended. When I listen to them I think about Soka, and I reminisce the amazing friendships I built with both Ramon and Hiromi. I can confidently say that listening to The Postal Service, Mae, 30 Seconds to Mars and Deathcab for Cutie does more for me spiritually than any other genre of music. 

Beyond my friendships, these bands played the soundtrack of my study abroad. I remember listening to hours upon hours of their music while exploring the many sides of Barcelona. The most prominent moment was my morning hike to the top of Mt. Montjuic, and upon arriving to the top, I played “Top of the World” by the Julian Theory. I immediately thought about Hiromi, our late night study sessions in the 24 / the bridge, and in that moment I remember feeling full of contentment. The sun rose moments after :)

It can be hard in this busy life to realize that others think about you more than you might believe. I know that so many memories pass through in the present like quick snapshots of the history being reviewed in real time. When I listen to a song I used to listen to, memories of everything I’ve done while listening to that song come to mind. It’s odd, that although my memory can blank at times, that music (and what I hear) can bring such vivid memories to life, and remind me of some of the best people I have ever met.

So now I’m here. It’s 4:33AM on Monday, December 16th, 2013. I am almost done editing Alex and Erin’s wedding photos. In the last 2 weeks Jeannette and I have been contacted by 4 of our clients asking for us to retouch their top 50-150 photos from their respective weddings. My workload has become very fast-paced in such little time. On the bright side, I have never produced so much quality work in such a short period of time. It does get me pretty excited for what may come as I continue pursuing my potential in the art of photography.

I really miss my friends. Especially after breaking up with Jeannette, I wish I still had those close connections I spent 3-4 years developing in college. Unfortunately my reputation here in my hometown seems to be one of pretentiousness, mainly because my loneliness and insecurities drive me to seek attention. And since I’ve built a solid financial foundation, my material possessions seem to be the first thing I’ll flaunt. It really sucks, because I feel like if I didn’t show people the things I have, then they could care less about who I am or what kind of friendship I could offer them. I feel like everyone judges me- but that’s probably because I judge everyone first. I have wondering eyes, always looking at people, analyzing them in a few seconds, making conclusions about who they are as my eyes move to the next person. I feel like because I have a college education and so many people out here don’t, that somehow puts me ‘above’ them. But I don’t like thinking that either. There are some really awesome people here at home, but my guard is up because I hate being disappointed. I guess it’s the same song for a lot of people.

So how do I break the bad habit? Well acknowledging it is a good first step, according to my prestigious psychology degree. I heard that those who study psychology do so because they are looking for answers to some psychological problems in their lives. Well here I am at 4 in the morning writing my problems and giving myself solutions. I’d say that classifies as some sort of disorder, right? Probably.

I’ve been thinking lately of going back to school. I’m 27 years old, I read 8-10 articles a day on mostly relevant and important things. Occasionally I’ll get caught up reading about celebrity news, which is entertaining to say the least. But I’m enamored by the amount of information there is out there that I have yet to understand. I personally have been reading articles on business, management, leadership, success, investing, and entrepreneurship. So many of those articles I’ve read have allowed me to advance at what I do, and I’m making a lot more money because of it.

Speaking of, my security company just signed the largest hospital in Santa Barbara. That was fantastic news, considering the size of the account (6 full time guards). The next closest account is 2 full time guards. So that was huge. But it’s just the beginning. In 3 days we will submit a bid proposal for 50 (that’s right, FIFTY!) guard accounts in all of Southern California. If we sign that account, I’d go ape shit. We’re talking 100 full time guards to cover all of those accounts, expansion from Ventura County all the way down to San Diego, and enough of a raise to my income that I could buy another house. Or a Tesla. 

God that would be phenomenal. But I won’t count my chickens just yet. I don’t want my accomplishments to ever be “the finish line” of my success. My standards for success are always being raised higher and higher. If I sign this big account, then I will have raised my standards beyond what I had imagined. That would be so unreal…

I’m on my 6th straight week of lifting hard at the gym. Partly why I’m not planning to fall asleep is because I want to get to the gym at 6AM and lift some heavy weights. The other part is because I decided to wash my bedsheets and blankets at 2AM. I wasn’t planning on sleeping tonight anyway since I got 12 hours last night. I have so much to do, so much to catch up on, so many ideas I want to bring into reality, so many plans to follow through with. It’s ridiculously overwhelming, but at the same time, it’s also a blessing. I read a quote yesterday saying that luck is not given, it is created. And moreover, it is created through opportunities, by opportunists themselves. The more opportunities you create to make things happen, and the more of those opportunities you take to make things happen, the more things will happen. Sitting around, complaining, and moping will not make anything happen. Those who do that tend to bitch about how unlucky they are. If only they could see…

Well I think I’ve logged a good amount of self reflection for the day. Part of me wants to share this with Ramon and Hiromi, but part of me wants to wait until… I don’t know what I would wait for. I do miss them both, and I wish they knew how much I missed them. So maybe sharing this post with them would put a smile on their face… I think my mind’s set! 

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Where there is ambition, there is possibility!
de una conversacion con mi amiga…

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If it doesn’t happen naturally, then it wasn’t meant to happen.
advice to a friend

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When it comes to business, who you know is not as important as the intentions behind what you do.
myself thinking

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Refuse to allow negativity into your life and embrace positivity. Time will fly before you and you will live a life full of happiness.


Encouragement to a friend

May 12, 2011