Let It Go?

Tell us about a habit you’d like to break. Is there any way it can play a positive role in your life?

Does anyone remember reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Sean Covey in high school? This was a great book that taught me much to know about beginning my life as an adult and learning to be self-sufficient and think for myself. The habits described in that book are what you want to have, the habits we are discussing today are little leaches that cling on to you and won’t let go without a little pain involved.

Will I ever stop using the Daily Prompt to fulfill my daily writing duties when nothing else is there to write? No, because it is my essential lifeline in this high pressured environment (well, that might be a little too much) where your voice must be heard out of the millions out there. Without it, I am very vulnerable. It is like my training wheels I can not let go of. Publishing posts off the “grid” is like venturing out into the wild and hoping someone can find you by the smoke from your fire. If you build a good enough one, someone is bound to reach you, but a smoldering, tiny flame – not really. The only positive I can come up with of not hanging on to this device that should be renamed “Blogging Made Simple” is I would be more able to write about things I care about that are more original and creative. Instead of following the sheep all the time, what if I started to be the wolf that went off and did my own thing? That’s how I started my blog, in fact, but I soon found it difficult to keep coming up with good posts and they weren’t doing zilch for me stat wise. That’s why I’m hanging out with you folks. All my buddies are here.

The habit of using the Daily Prompt as leverage aside, there are a number of habits I would like to break. I’m not just going to name one like the WordPress monkeys instruct me to (I really think the whole panel is just chimps who press a button and a random topic comes up, sometimes repeats).

Watching porn, now that is one of the biggest habits that has consumed almost my entire life in the double digits (I started at 11). It’s not exactly a bad thing but takes away from accomplishing more important matters like finding a job, making friends, or actually meeting someone and getting into a relationship. Some say it’s a healthy way of releasing my urges and refraining from unsafe practices, but the guilt I feel afterward makes it seem dirty and vile though I always go back to it. I’ve always wanted to give this up, to stop it completely, go cold turkey, but it’s like a drug I need to take when I’m feeling lonely and depressed and desperate for some companionship. The few times my mom and other relatives in my house found out about it nearly made me stop completely, the embarrassment so bad, but the addiction and cravings still resided anyway, coming back after all the fuss died down. Letting go of this would make me feel less compartmentalized and willing to be more effective in my life.

I’m not a smoker or a drinker so I don’t have to worry about breaking those common habits. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life but have been the victim of secondhand smoke many times though I haven’t noticed any ill side effects yet. My drinking habits are very mild, I mean I can drink just one beer or other alcoholic drink and I’m beat.

Twisting my hair – this was a habit I had during the summer of 2003. Really made my hair a knotty mess. It wasn’t until I got a haircut that I stopped because there wasn’t anything left to twist. I still do it sometimes when I’m feeling stressed and anxiety but it’s a bad habit because my head then looks like a tangle of weeds.

Picking at my face/facial hair – it’s just something I can’t help but do. It’s a comfort thing. When I had lots of acne at around 12 years old, my number one habit would be picking at bulbous zits, which was gross. I don’t have acne anymore but the habit of picking at little annoying bumps that pop up every once in a while still resides. I also love to play with my chin and moustache hair, even plucking out individual strands. A disgusting and bad habit because it leaves an uneven mess.

Humming to myself – I believe this is more of a physiological thing than a habit but nevertheless, it bothers me and others. When I am by myself or just feeling under stress, I have a habit of humming weird noises on and off. I started doing this during the first few months of fourth grade and students and teachers were annoyed by it. I finally stopped it for a while but it occurred again during sixth grade and I now have been doing it the last few days of sitting in the library working on my blog. And maybe that’s it. The reason I’m doing it again is because I’m stressed out over not being able to work in the comfort of my home. There isn’t anything really bad about this that would ruin my life, but when people notice me doing it and look at me strangely, I suddenly feel beside myself.

I would also like to say credit/debit card spending is a big habit in my life, because I must have spent 1000s of dollars in the last four years on fast food, groceries, games, computer software, video equipment, website funds, and iTunes music (getting songs the legal way is better). It isn’t my worst habit, always having to buy something when I have money on my CSL Plasma prepaid debit card, but if I could start saving up some cash for the future, for that time when everything really gets tight financially, I would be all set.

Photo credit: chrisc.com


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

The Talent Show Horror

Think about what you wanted to accomplish last week. Did you? What are the things that hold you back from doing everything you’d like to do?

There was always a talent show held at school. Every year of elementary, middle, and high school. The first one started in kindergarten or first grade I believe. Many kids would be in it and show off what they are supposedly good at (much of the singing and dancing lame but still applauded by the audience of eager parents and friends), while many others were either too afraid or didn’t think they had any talent worth showing. I was always one of the kids who would have been too afraid to go on stage and have hundreds of pairs of eyes staring at me while I tried to do whatever I chose as my ideal talent (singing always was the last thing on my mind). What talent did I really believe I possessed at seven years old? Nothing ever seemed to be apparent. I guess I could have performed as a mime because I was already so good at being quiet.

I never was in this kind of variety show that sort of acts like a test to see if you have any future in the entertainment business. And if you weren’t in it or at least tried, it seemed as if you were toast for any future consideration in plays or musicals because “no one knows what you’re good at” and will never be pushed to participate. Never the one to ever want to be the center of attention, it was usually me watching from a shadowy seat in the 40th or so row while someone would be belting out to a popular song of the day (in the late 90s it was “All Star”), doing absurd backflips, juggling, or some other talent that could only be God given in my opinion. I didn’t envy any talents I saw particularly good but just wished I could get over my fear of stage and actually show what I had within myself, whatever it was. But I was too shy and reserved. That was the hill I had to get over.

Then high school came and thoughts of having any talents worth showing to the public were about evaporated. I never believed I could actually sing (karaoke doesn’t count, please) and my dancing was okay but nothing special, just moving my legs around in an incoherent manner. Backflips, somersaults – if I ever tried those things I would probably break my neck.

One day in about eleventh grade though, I actually had the bold thought that I was going to be in the variety show and show off a talent that might actually make me the most popular person in the school. I had the craziest idea that I would choose a song, an appropriate, well liked one for the matter, and sing it with my greatest efforts, trying to finally prove I had a gift worth talking about. I even started preparing by singing in front of the mirror and while on long walks by myself, trying to project my perfect song voice.

But around the week before the “auditions” were to begin (could anybody just get in?), I panicked and came to my senses that it would be very embarrassing to try to sing or dance in front of everyone for the first time. It would have probably been okay when I was little when no one cared if you made a fool of yourself, but in this present time I felt even more pressure to be cool and not do anything stupid that would give others a bad impression of me.

guitarsSo, with the butterflies in my stomach, I’ll stick to singing in the shower where no one can hear me, and dancing with large crowds in the dark where everyone seems the same. I do have talents, yes, but they are not always apparent or visible to people. I believe I am a much better writer than I was years ago and am getting more seasoned with poetry. My photography skills have also gotten much sharper. But those aren’t things I could actually showcase on any talent show at school or on TV. I tried learning to play the guitar and piano but need so much more practice. Two guitars sit at home that have been played a lot, but I’m still no rock god.

 I guess what I’m trying to say here is we all have a special gift within us that doesn’t always have to be applauded for. Whatever it is you’ve got, make sure you embrace it and love it and don’t let others discourage your path to happiness and success with it. With a lot of hard work and practice, anything is possible.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Obstacle Course.”

The Meaning of Success

Photo Credit: leadershipidn.com

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).

Walk the 180 Degree Line

180 Degrees – The straight and narrow path

I used to follow the world around

Walking their neatly laid out line

But that got quite annoying

So I decided to try my own kind

Now I wake up excited every morning

Ready to make some hay

The presidential elections

As always:

Neither side do I sway


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “180 Degrees.”

Tell us about a time you did a 180 — changed your views on something, reversed a decision, or acted in a way you ordinarily don’t.

Football + Marriage

An elderly couple were waiting at the doctor’s office one day.

The old man asked his wife, “Are we happily married together?”

The old lady thought for a moment before replying,

“Do you think I have to answer that?”

And the elderly man responded,

“No. I found out 30 years ago when you wouldn’t let me watch the Super Bowl.”


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Ha Ha Ha

Tell us a joke! Knock-knock joke, long story with a unexpected punchline, great zinger — all jokes are welcome!

Picking The Forest

A fresh lush forest
That’s where my rest would reside
Hunger, thirst arise

Veins of rushing streams
Channeling my inner wild
Solo ensemble

And after this rest
Its honey glazed warm biscuits
Dancing in my dreams

It was fitting, yes
This prompt inspired poetry
Now I’ll rest soundly


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

Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

The Last Taken

PTDC0001

The frightened woman ran across the street, gasping for air, trying to elude the evil tyrant Ivanova. She came to the beginning of a sparse wood, not hesitating to stop and find a way through the trees. Mr. Ivanova was hot on her trail, Swiss and Wesson magnum trailing behind him, a trail of blood being left behind from the wound to his left abdomen. The women barreled through the woods, snagging her clothes on the low hanging branches, fighting her way to safety. Heart rate going through the roof and perspiration wetting her forehead, she kept on going, not noticing the fabric of her linens getting tears from the various thorns protruding from bushes. But just as she saw an opening, the bright light of the sky through some bare branches, she stumbled over an earth root, landing face first into the fresh bed of snow. Trying to get up, she felt a stabbing pain in her right leg; something had obviously bent unnaturally. She muffled her scream, clenching her teeth, trying to crawl forward, now leaving her own trail of blood on the white. She began to sob, lightly then uncontrollably, knowing that she was done for. Mr. Ivanova was very close – she could here his footsteps getting louder and louder. Frantically reaching around for her backpack, she pulled out a device, a camera, and swung it around to her side. Trying with one last effort to stand up, she managed to find support from a nearby tree, a terrible, burning pain in her leg.

Ivanova had entered the forest, stumbling through the trees, clutching his side, already having lost a lot of blood.

“Give up…”, he gasped, raising his magnum at a spot in the trees, shaking, barely able to stay upright.

The woman steadied her camera, getting the scene into focus, and, with one last look at Ivanova’s profile in the distance, snapped the picture. Everything seemed to stop for a few seconds, the little clearing in the wood becoming a blur in the woman’s eyes. A sharp, piercing sound reached her ears, but she barely heard it over the sound of her heart, pumping harder than ever to keep her alive, the blood from her wounded leg soaking the inside of her right pant.

A bullet came whizzing through the brush, and hit her straight in the back. She fell to the ground in with a soft thud, a red pool covering the ground in seconds. The camera tumbled from her hand and landed about a foot from her, the last picture she ever took contained within it.

Her assailant dropped to the ground as well, his gun tumbling out of his callused hand.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: A Moment in Time

What was the last picture you took? Write a post about it and what it means to you.