The Meaning of Success

Photo Credit:

What is success?

It still eludes me so. I take two steps forward, two steps back, lose my grip, fall down hard, but always get back up and try again. The grass is always greener. There’s always tomorrow. Failure is what makes me stronger, it is not a bad thing, it is an essential ingredient to any success story. And the more I fail the more I learn. The more I learn how not to fail.

It takes patience, skill to reach the plateau. I’m still fighting my troubles, my worries, and my demons. I want to get up there, up to the place where everything’s swell, where all the others bask in the glory, but a door always blocks my way. I try to get in, but am always rejected, being given a good kick to the shins. “Not yet,” a cold hard voice always shouts at me. And sometimes it’s a few stumbles back down the ladder, having to readjust and fix my mistakes.

I mistook success to be instant gratification, an overnight conversion, when in reality it’s a lifetime battle, a struggle against odds. I must perfect my craft if I am to move on. I must seize the dream I desire and start making it a reality. That must be my problem. I’ve never had any goals in mind. Life has always been a vague mystery to me. There’s always been a dark shadow looming over myself. I’m finally seeing the light though, a sense of direction. I’ll get there someday, just with the scars of many battles fought and setbacks experienced. My blogging experience for one has seen many posts trashed, hours wasted to only get nothing in return. Discouragement I get. I start to believe I’m a good writer and the infamous zeros stare back at me. I’m all of a sudden an amateur again, shades of 2013. This post is not just about that in general but about all the failures in my life that I have had to live with. I’ve gone to many job interviews in my life and so far only came back with one yes, which turned out to a total scam because everyone got “hired” right on the spot. My short stint as a sales rep selling knives I’m speaking of.

They always tell you as a kid you can grow up to be whatever you want to be, that the sky’s the limit to potential. Well, I’m just now figuring out what exactly that is. Is it a chef? A photographer? A designer? An engineer? A writer? A profound blogger? I’m taken some of the steps to reach my goals, learning valuable skills and lessons along the way. I’ve gone to college and graduated. I’ve gained valuable skills at an internship. The signs are finally being pointed in the right direction, the words becoming visible in my minds eye. Blurriness is subsiding. That grey matter of the unknown is finally disappearing. I no longer see the world in just black and white. It’s not just a simple yes or no but there are multiple avenues I can choose.

I have a one track mind. When I get to doing something, I can only focus on it and only it and exclude out everything else around me. When I’m in blog mode, it’s full concentration, my thoughts being channeled into my ideal inspiration. Any distractions throw my off completely. When I accidentally erase my entire post 500 words in and it can’t be recovered, I throw my hands up, the love put into all those words moot points then. When I’m deep into reading a good novel, any disturbances upset me and ruin my flow. When I’m in the middle of a tough battle in a video game, my full attention must be on not letting the enemy get the upper hand, not pinning me in a corner. Of course, video games aren’t real life. You can always die and try again. You can also cheat your way to success. A Up Up Down Up B.  In real life you go to jail for that.

So I’m finally figuring out success. Or success is finally figuring me out. It’s not what you gain in life that makes you great, it’s what brings you happiness each day you set about doing what you love. Money = success, yes, but without the joy and happiness that comes along with that wealth, and the friends and family to share it with, it is a cold lonely life for the individual. I would love to make lots of money doing what I love, but I would never want to outcast my family and never speak to them again.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).

Pressure Cooker

“Pressure makes diamonds”  – George S. Patton Jr.

I believe some of the most pressured situations I’ve been in were interviews for jobs where you are given that deadly question, “Tell me about yourself”. I know it’s coming but I never seem to be prepared for it. Now, the first time I got this, I stuttered, blubbered, and scrambled to come up with a decent answer. I usually tell them about graduating from college and what I did, and then go into what qualities I possess that would be good for the job. The most difficult thing about interviews is setting yourself apart from everyone else who gets interviewed so you’ll be remembered later on. Putting yourself ahead of the noise. I usually fail at interviews, even if I’ve gotten better with eye contact and providing quicker answers. The pressure is on when you know within the first couple of minutes if they’ll be interested in hiring you or not, just by looking at their expressions.

Other situations of pressure from high school: Working against the clock to finish a tough test, under pressure to learn how to drive like most people at the age of 16, panicking against the deadline to ask a girl out to the dance before someone else does (or just going it alone like I usually did), the pressure to be the popular kid and do all those popular things (and then fall back down to earth once you graduate). All things that in the end did not matter that much, were trivial. I look back on high school now and think “man, if I only knew what I knew now, I could have aced all of those things, would have ruled the school, could have asked any girl out if I wanted to.”

When I’m under pressure, I tend to want to work harder than ever to get things done. There’s a force that pushes me to complete the goal. My adrenaline gets kicked up a notch, my actions sometimes don’t seem to be my own, I sometimes do things that aren’t exactly like me. I forget about failure and focus on the finish line, doing anything I can to get there.

Without pressure, I’m working at my own pace and many times procrastination creeps up in my work, such as times when I had an important essay to write for college but kept delaying it to watch YouTube videos or play games on the Internet. When I need to get that essay done in as little as two days, then all bets are off for playtime. I even have to resist getting up to eat a snack because I’ll soon lead myself into letting the time pass.

True, not being under pressure is where some of my best work comes about, such as when I’m not working against the clock to finish this blog post before the end of the day. Anything to do with writing and creativity takes time and patience – rushing it only produces half baked results. That hot under the collar feeling I get when time is getting short and I’m stuck on the 50th of 100 questions on the chemistry final (it never was my thing), forces me to dig deep and concentrate on everything I’ve learned about that subject, sometimes even putting down my best educated answer.

But the truth is, I hate pressure. It only serves to make me second guess myself and wonder if I could have done better if I only had more time. Worst of all, it makes me sweat, have severe anxiety, and puts me under stress, sometimes with me pulling at my hair or picking at a scar.

Haste makes waste. I need time for my ideas to form and come together. I feel more satisfaction at a piece of work that I took the time and effort to complete, instead of something that I made in a few minutes and might get not much recognition and respect. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Heat is On.”

Nobody Expected Me To…But Here I Am

There is not one person in the world that I would limit this blog to. It is open to anyone who takes precious time out of their day to read it.  I don’t write for one specific type of person because that would get boring after a while. After all, no one asked me to start this blog or gave me the inspiration to; it was of my own personal interest, my own need to fulfill something in my life – to have a place on the Internet to call my own and could succeed with. And it really became mine once I dropped the .wordpress from my URL, leaving this quirky but cool name that would be vague to unknown bystanders.

There’s always the classic “If I could go back in time I would change this…” Well, if I could go back nearly two years ago to the inception of this blog, I might have chosen a different name, something that was a little more familiar and less vague on the surface to viewers. Something that people would understand.

My name has a YouTube feel to it because it was made for YouTube in the first place, a year before I even thought about going truly anonymous and starting on WordPress. True, my blog persona is an acronym that describes the ideal life one might want to live (check out my About page), but over time those words have started to lose their meaning as I have begun to develop a style and learn the ropes of blogging that I had neglected to work on for a long time, simply because there were none to me in the beginning. I wrote because I wanted to, more off of an impulse than anything else which led to an unorthodox development. Things are more predictable nowadays – it’s either the Daily Prompt, a photo challenge, or going completely on my own (which is rare for me these days) to feelings of anxiety and nervousness that no one will ever see the post – which happened not too long ago.

And I’m still quite alone outside the blogosphere than on the inside – I believe my faraway aunt in California is the only family member to have taken a look at my blog and that was after I had sent her my sitelink in a text message. She said she loved my poetry which was great to hear since it is one of the highlights of my recent development but not something I ever intended to become the backbone of my blog. I love writing poetry, time to time, because it offers me free expression, but it can be hard to know when to rhyme or not rhyme something and if anyone is going to “dig it”.

I never intended for my little corner of the internet to survive past a few months and now that it is going strong on nearly two years, I really don’t see an end in sight. But if everyone, my followers,  just decided to jump off my ship today and leave me alone at least I would know there is one person who would be guaranteed to read my blog: me.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singular Sensation.”

If you could have a guarantee that one, specific person was reading your blog, who would you want that person to be? Why? What do you want to say to them?

Y is for Year of the Goat

It’s the year of the goat for me
What does that mean?
I shouldn’t be wearing black, blue, or green
Of course, none of that matters,
Since I’m still here
I guess bad luck will have to find me next year

For more about the Year of the Goat, click the link.

April A to Z Challenge

S is for Stream of Thoughts

I thought I’d name off an assortment of things on my mind today to make this fun.

So long, Steve

First, I have to give my sincere condolences to the late Steve Byrnes and his family. The NASCAR broadcaster and analyst died April 21 at the age of 56 after battling cancer for several months. I’ve been watching NASCAR races for over 10 years now and always remember him doing pit box reports or giving interviews with drivers and he always was a professional at his job, a real joy to watch. He will be deeply missed by his long-time wife, son, and family as well as the entire NASCAR nation.


I absolutely love this show and it seems to never fail every season. The show is in its 30th season; I’ve been watching since season 7 in 2003 which was Pearl Islands. And wow, has it changed a lot! The world has changed a lot as well (no Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube back then). I’ve changed a lot. The season on right now, which is titled ‘Worlds Apart’, has been one twist and blindside after the other, leaving us quite surprised and stunned (s words!) after each shocker of an episode (Rodney!). And there’s a YouTube sensation on there right now named Will Sims, famous for this one video:

Pretty funny, but I can’t seem to find his official YouTube channel with anything else he’s ever done. This can’t simply be it.


This stringy food is one of my favorites, especially eaten with crispy garlic bread or never ending breadsticks. But tonight, the sauce was definitely not the best, lacked the thickness and rich tomato taste I’ve come accustomed to, wasn’t really a sauce but more like a ground up meat slush. I’m not saying my mom’s a bad cook, but well, she’s not exactly Chef Ramsey either…


It’s been quite a struggle to find work here in Jackson since any jobs fit for me are scarce (a dishwasher, I guess?), but I’m far from giving up. I really want to move out of state someday and look for work as a designer or computer technician, since I seem to know a lot about computers and technology in general.

Struck him out!

Baseball season is now in full swing (pardon the pun) and the first month has some interesting developments: Washington, the team high on expectations, is under performing at sub par .500 with newly acquired pitcher Max Schrezer. The season is far from over for them but they’ll have to not only look good on paper but also on the field if they’re going to run for a championship. The Chicago Cubs are above .500 for once and may have gotten the answer in Chris Bryant, a player with the potential to be a major star (watch out Trout!). The Giants are in last place, but of course this is their off year with it being odd numbered. The Red Sox have woken up again this year and are primed to be a potential playoff threat, leading their division. Meanwhile, my beloved Tigers have not missed a beat from last year and look poised to go for the division championship once again – if the Royals aren’t to stand in their way. But how much buzz does baseball get at this time of year with the predictable and obvious NBA playoffs in full riot? Not nearly enough to wake old snoring grandpa from his sleep, that is.

Save the earth

Earth Day 2015

Today is, or was, Earth Day, and it’s too bad I couldn’t really get out to do something special like planting a garden or some flowers with the weather being bad. But Google had a neat Doodle on their homepage that I took for a spin. I also found out I’m a Shrimp Mantis from their “What animal are you?” quiz. Whatever that is supposed to mean, I’m not sure.

And last but not least…


I looked up this the other day and apparently it is not an entirely new thing, having been around since at least the 90s. But it was around 2013 during the Miley Cyrus craze when these things really started taking off. And now they’re being banned at not only sporting events, but also at concerts, in museums, restaurants, and many other places that are tightly packed or have close encounters, since they can be used as a potential weapon, destroy things, and bother people. Could also double as a golf club or a barbecue pit roaster. I still want one though!

April A to Z Challenge

R is for Really Bad/Really Good

There are two sides to life, the bad and the good, and I feel like I get a dose of both everyday and April has been no exception. The bad can be either totally unforgiving or help to give you an insight into what you should change or improve on, while the good can sometimes be a layer of false hope, like the frosting on a cake, and once it ends you are sent crashing down and there doesn’t seem to be a safety net to catch you.

First the really bad for me:


I feel like it’s been a fairly lousy  month of blogging for me since April is the worst month since September last year in terms of overall stats (visitors, views, likes, comments), and I only started blogging on the 16th of that month. I can, however, contribute the major drop in stats due to this A to Z challenge I have been participating in, since many of my followers are not taking part in this and I may have alienated them. I can say for certain that I have struggled with this challenge right from the get-go and I feel like I’ve wasted almost a whole month doing this since I never officially signed up for it in the first place and just started it on a whim. Not having an overall theme to go by also made things difficult and it’s basically been a mess, a runaway train that I have not been able to steer back onto the tracks. Hopefully May will be a whole lot better, since I’ll be back on my regular posting ways again (the Daily Prompt, yeah!). I guess I’ll just use April as yet another learning experience in my burgeoning blogging life – to never start anything without having prepared for it in advance.



My family took a short trip to the Motor City today to pick up tickets for a Tigers vs. Cubs game in June. Now, this little section of Detroit that includes Comerica Park and Ford Field is the lone bright spot of the city while the rest of it is basically a pitiful dump, an apocalyptic war zone. And it did not look so bad the last time we were there for a game in 2008. The city has gone to the dogs and it doesn’t look like they want it anymore either. The roads have all been torn up for construction and it only adds insult to injury when you don’t see a glimpse of greenery anywhere; it is literally a concrete jungle, or a concrete jungle that looks like a bomb has been dropped on it. Seriously, the place is utterly depressing and I can see why Detroit gets such a bad rep these days and why no one wants to live there (who would with the city being notorious for crime?). The mayor of Detroit should be ashamed for having the city get to the desolate state it’s in. This is an embarrassment not only for the people living there but also for the state of Michigan as well. For the first time today, I got to see more of the inner parts of the city as we drove through it to find a highway, and it just added to my assumption that this has to be the worst place to live in the United States. Graffiti, while highly artistic and imaginative, was all over the walls from one block of streets to the next and when we took a turn under a bridge on the left, it continued on alongside the most neglected parts of town. Even the entrance ramp to the expressway that led us out of this hell had big crater sized potholes, our car doing a couple skips and hops, hitting a bunch of bumps and divots before finally finding smooth ground. Detroit needs a major check up, stat!

My computer

First it was a couple of missing screws, then it was more and more frequent BSOD (blue screens of death) error messages popping up suddenly and mysteriously, restarting the computer right in the middle of something I was doing to my annoyance and frustration. Now the keyboard has gone dead in certain places like a paralyzed patient, forcing me to use my external roll up keyboard that is not very practical to say the least. I still have about one year left on my warranty and it is pretty much time to get my sick laptop to the doctor and get it the first class treatment it’s crying for now.

Now for the really good:

Casa Rodriguez Mexican restaurant


Other than Los Tres Amigos, this has got to be the best Mexican restaurant I’ve been to in Michigan. The steak fajita tacos I received which included dollops of guacamole, sourcream, and tomatoes were a meal that even looked good enough for a picture. The homemade chips and salsa served before also made me appreciate this little local eatery in Jackson. Sure, the waitress was a bit snobbish (we didn’t leave her a tip) but I can’t really complain that much when the food was grade A. I wasn’t really that fond of the wet burrito meal my dad got since it looked like a sick soupy mixture of grease and salsa, but oh well. A little humor was on the side as we saw a man at another table who looked like the frontman from ZZ Top, with a long beard and black shades on – I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a motorcycle parked outside.

That’s my April so far, how’s your’s been?

April A to Z Challenge