Heights

“Over the last half year, I gone places I’ve only dreamed of, and I’ve reached heights that seem larger than life itself”


Over the last half year, I gone places I’ve only dreamed of, and I’ve reached heights that seem larger than life itself.


I should probably begin with the biggest thing first, as it was pretty much the inciting event that started every other change over the last few months. It was a tough decision, and that decision was leaving what I consider home to venture out.


Trouble in Paradise

I used to see Arizona as my paradise and I still do. I wish I could be back everyday. I miss the mountains and the palm trees. I miss the warm sunlight, and the tan that came with it. I miss my family and the friends I made there. There’s nothing here that quite matches the feeling of the desert and city life. It feels like home to me. But I also felt like I wasn’t changing there.

Sure, when I first arrived, I experienced a change, one I really needed. I healed myself greatly from the worst pain I ever felt, and I faced many challenges and tests (I slayed some metaphorical dragons I guess). After a bit, when everything settled down, when I had finally mended my broken heart and shattered soul, I began to feel something, or rather the opposite I should say. The excitement and adventure was fading. I started feeling alone, and my efforts to fill in that loneliness only made me feel more alone. My friends had things to do, and my family was always busy. I began to feel like a burden, and the problem I came to Phoenix with resurrected itself in a new form. I was once again heart broken.

I tried to find things to keep me occupied, like trying a new martial arts school or working at a new theater, but none of it felt the same as it did with my old dojang and old job. I began to realize that the reason I was beginning to be faced with so much pain and hardship again was because this was a sign I needed a change. This was my chance to get out of my comfort zone and improve something, even if I honestly didn’t know it at the time. I definitely didn’t want to start this journey, but what came next was something I’m proud of, and something I quite honestly didn’t expect from myself, so let’s get into it.


Setting the Scene

As I said, I didn’t want to leave Phoenix. I’m more of a city guy, I love the excitement and the people, and all of the different foods and music that come with it. With the city you get so much inspiration for new or current projects. The country is pretty much the opposite, at least for me. I actually hate it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent a lot of time here in this town, I love the people here. This place is actually where I spent most of high school and college. Even with that, I still don’t want to be here. It’s just boring. It’s flat. No tall buildings to look up at and admire, no special events like comic con’s or concerts. The most we have is the Corvette Museum, and I don’t care much for cars. What is here however is the theater I work at.

I’ve spent a total of nearly three years here at the theater all together. I love everyone I work with. To be honest, I don’t see them as co-workers or managers, I see them as family. I love working at the theater because I love film, and I love story. I feel like it’s something that connects us all as humans, just like love. My favorite part about working here is being able to help people.

As simple or as cheesy as it may sound, I love helping people carry their food to their auditorium, or holding the doors open for them, honestly anything to allow them to have a better experience. I like being able to calm angry guests down, and to see how much of an impact I can make by simply connecting with them as a human being. That’s all any of us are. Human. And each and every one of us has the desire to be understood and respected, so if I can do that for someone and improve their day by simply listening to their problems, that’s great. Sure the money I get helps, but apart from getting to be around film all of the time, the biggest reason I work at the theater is people. Something else here in this town, something very important to me, is my martial arts school.

Ever since I’ve been back, I’ve been working as hard as I can in martial arts, developing my skills even further than before. I just recently earned my red belt, and today I’ve started some kind of special training. For one, I am officially starting weapons training. I mean I’ve used nunchucks and bo staffs in class before, but nothing like what I’ll face here soon.


Initiate Training Sequence

My instructor, Master Vo, has begun to teach me how to use swords. I’ve seen the black belts use katanas only once, but I have never used one is class myself. It was cool. He showed me how to hold the sword over my head before swinging, he showed me the correct stance, where to slash at on the opponent’s body, etc. Apparently my tests going forward for new belts contains weapons and hapkido moves, about 25 different combinations. It feels like a lot but I’m sure I’ll get it eventually.

He also showed me this old looking book today. He called it the “Black Book”. I made a joke about it being sacred, and apparently it is. It’s also honestly a little confusing. I was looking at some of the words, and the Korean had been translated to English by what looked like Google Translate. There was pictures to explain what to do, so that helped.

Master Vo is awesome, he’s been a great teacher and mentor over the years, I’ve known him since sophomore year of high school. He’s honestly one of my favorite people. I feel like I could really tell him anything. He has a couple black belts at his school (about four), but only two of them are his. the other two transferred to his school after earning their black belts somewhere else. This means I will be his third blackbelt from his school. Now that I’ve earned a higher rank recently, my red belt, he’s been treating me slightly different. I mean he treats everyone with respect and love, but I feel like he holds me to higher standards. He doesn’t tell me what to do as much, he usually just has me go off and do my own thing, or to read from the Black Book. He’s also having me teach lower belts a lot more I’ve realised. Either way, I know he cares about me just as much as I care about him and all of the friends I’ve made at the dojang.


Acquiring Independence

Here pretty soon I’ll be moving into my own apartment. I’m nineteen and in march I’ll be turning twenty. I don’t like the idea of being twenty and still living with my parents. I’ve done some research and I’ve found a couple places I’m interested in signing a lease to until I move to New York in over a year. Not only will I finally be living on my own, but I’ll gain some experience in paying rent and stuff, which is great before I move to NYC. Finding my own place is not the only thing I’ve done to become more independent however.

I’ve never really cared for driving, as my main goal right now is to move to New York. I’m sure you understand the fact that it’s hard to drive in Manhattan. The thing is, I don’t live there yet, and I can’t continue to rely on my parents to take me places, and that’s why I bought my first car.

The car I bought is a green 2004 Mustang. Sure the green paint isn’t ideal but it’s a mustang, how could I complain? I have some new body modifications I need to apply to it, such as a new front bumper, side skirts, door panels, etc. By time I install all of these new upgrades including a new paint job in Nashville, my car will look epic.

I’ve been driving a lot recently in hopes to earn my drivers license soon. I have a permit which allows me to drive with another adult in the car and stuff, but so far my driving skills are pretty ok. In the end, I may not care so much for driving, but I can’t deny the fact that having a mustang is honestly a clear lady magnet.


The Ordeal of Love

Love is something a lot of us find hard to understand, or at least to explain. I don’t think I could describe it perfectly in words, but I can try to convey the feelings through my memories and experiences, both good and bad. Love is truly something special, but it can also become something intoxicating, and you can overdose if you’re not too careful. I wrote this without thinking too much, this is simply the rollercoaster of emotions I’ve gone through with love.

Death of a Beating Heart

I often catch brief glimpses of memories faded. I can remember the warmth felt to have the care and love of another. A perfect smile. Golden hair shining in the sun, sunflower in hand. Skipping stones across a lake touched by the sunset, laughter filling the air. Whispers of promises and I Love You’s.

Those whispers have become echos. The sun has just set over the horizon, and stones have sank. Flowers have wilted. I have felt alone, and the anxiety of missing an integral part of who you considered yourself to be, of how your life was planned.

You see, that was the problem. No one can promise you your future. It’s yours to create, and it’s your love to give, not theirs to take. The death of a love story is the death of a beating heart. Maybe two, but it’s death nonetheless.

Sometimes it’s not sadness felt at this point, it’s just a heavy feeling, as if those faded memories carry weight with them. That weight is the stone in your hands before you throw it towards lake, and after it skips it sinks.

I was tied to that stone, and I sank. And I sat through those currents at the bottom of the lake, looking at the world above through rippling waves.

And I smile.

And I cry, yet I’m not sad.

Am I?

Why do I constantly think about this one person, from a time long ago? Why is this following me?

A beating heart has become a bleeding heart. It’s not fatal, it’s chronic.

I haven’t let this stop me. I think love is something that connects us as people. But with love comes a responsibility. At least to me. I feel like I should never be anyone’s responsibility, but when I know someone loves me, I don’t want them to feel the pain I’ve felt. I want to love them unconditionally, till the end. Of course, not every relationship will work out. It can often be difficult to tell the difference between lust and genuine love and trust, but you get better at it as time goes on. The thing is, your partner is just a person, just like you. Sometimes you learn just as they do that you’re not quite as compatible as you thought. Sometimes that bond can be broken by a mistake. Sometimes bonds aren’t as strong as other bonds. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still love someone I used to hold so close to my heart, but like I said, sometimes a relationship doesn’t work out, and you learn from it. Plus there are so many girls I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet/ date if I was still in a relationship, so you just gotta see the positive in a tragedy.

Ever since I’ve been back in this town, I’ve dated a lot of people. Sure I started dating new people in Phoenix, but my dating life didn’t fully pick up until coming back here. Now I would say I go on about two dates a week.

I’ve met so many cool people, all of which are vastly different. Each person I was grateful for, as they showed me new parts of myself and gave me that experience I’m sure I needed in the dating field. lot of people I’ve dated over the last couple months I still talk to, and we continue to be good friends even today, but I still have yet to find that special person to share my life with.


Completion of a Quest

If I had to say I had a main objective in mind while being down here in Kentucky, it would be visiting New York. Even before coming back here, I knew I wanted to go to NYC this year to prepare myself for moving there in the future. I’m glad I went through with it.

I want to live within NYC within my twenties, preferably moving there on my twenty first birthday, as I already have a couple thousand dollars saved up to do so. Sure, I could risk doing it right now, but I’m not necessarily worried about failing or doing it as soon as possible, I want to enjoy the journey of getting there, and to understand what it takes to do it right I suppose.

This October I finally visited NYC for the first time. I took us nearly thirteen hours I think to drive there, but when we finally seen the skyline in the distance, it was definitely something to marvel at. I managed to book a pretty sweet hotel for the weekend in advance. Yes, we were only there Friday, Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday, but it was still an awesome experience. As a family we walked all over Times Square, Midtown, Chinatown, Little Italy, Brooklyn, etc.

I would have to say my favorite spot was… actually…

I don’t know. There was honestly so many cool spots. My parents wouldn’t cross the Brooklyn Bridge so I went across it myself and into Brooklyn, exploring a lot of Dumbo myself. If I had to choose one place as my favorite, It might be Dumbo, but all of NYC is amazing. I love Midtown and the Financial district definitely has that rich business feel to it.

I have a lot more to talk about when it comes to NYC, but I may save it for a future post as I’m sure I’ll continue to talk about it until we visit again next year before I move.


Accepting Responsibility (Sort of)

When I first got here in July or August I enrolled into college. Before I left for Phoenix, my world felt like it was caving in. I had even dropped out of my first semester of university. I still don’t like the idea of college, in fact I still continue to wish I was somewhere else, but in two days I will have officially completed my first semester of college.

Throughout this semester, well, it’s actually been relatively easily. Except for the part where I didn’t turn in the rough draft for my history paper, losing 100 points. That day I went from an A to a C in that class. Luckily I’ve maintained my C till now (with the power of acing all of my assignments and projects) but I still learned my lesson on not turning in assignments. I just have to bullshit them and use my awesome writing skills to make it sound good if I don’t want to do it.

I did it for my final paper without reading the book or watching the movie and got an 85%. Same thing for my homework. But hey, at least I’m doing it instead of getting 0’s. Although I don’t really want to be in college, it has opened up a new opportunity for me, one I didn’t really expect but is something I’m glad I found.


A Whole New World

I think I’ve stumbled onto something here. Something completely unexpected but has always been something I was interested in. Throughout high school I was always interested in theatre, but I was too busy. I did newspaper, martial arts, speech and debate, science tournaments, etc. To be honest, I think another reason why I didn’t try theatre in school was because I was afraid.

Maybe somewhere inside my mind I felt like I wouldn’t be as good as people who have done this their entire lives. Looking back, I shouldn’t have compared myself to others. Something Master Vo has recently mentioned is that I was a completely different person back then, which I feel is very true.

Either way, a couple of months back, I received a message. The message was actually from Master Vo. Basically a group of WKU film students had contacted him. They needed a martial artist for their lead role, and they asked him if he could let his students know about the opportunity.

Master Vo sent out a message to all of his students, including me. Knowing that I had always had an interest in acting, I immediately messaged him to let him know I was interested. Long story short, after not hearing anything back for a couple days, I received a message on Instagram (by the way follow me on Instagram- daman_cusick_) from the producer of the film.

If you are interested in trying out for a short film for wku let me know.

 

Good Morning,

My name is (removed for privacy reasons), and I am a WKU film student. We are currently making a short film called “The Art of Joshua”. Would any of your students be interested in auditioning in either of the roles below? Our film date is October 29.

Joe

 

Joe is a teenager being bullied by his fellow classmates. One day while at recess Joe’s bullies come up to make fun of Joe’s journal, and Joe uses his self-created fight style to defend his honor.

David 

 

David is the teenager that is bullying Joe.

The message I received discussing the film

She let me know about the role I would be auditioning for and sent me a copy of the script. Obviously they changed the character a bit to fit my age, meaning I would not be attending recess in the film. I was honestly so excited but knowing that I had never officially acted before, I admittedly got a little nervous. I started getting flashbacks to the time I auditioned to be Huckleberry Finn back in an elementary school play. It was a terrible audition, and I got made fun of by all of my friends.

Surely I had changed by now, and having the training from speech and debate made me feel a little better about it. So later that day, on a zoom call, I began my audition. I’ll be honest, even I was impressed. I didn’t expect it to be so easy, or even that fun.

A couple days later we began shooting the film. It was honestly crazy. For one, I had to change into a specific outfit for my character which was awesome. The set was also amazing. I had went from never being in a film/ having never acted to being the star of a professional student film. I had all of these expensive cameras around me, and all of these lights and screens. It was amazing.

I worked closely with the director and my co-star and the whole thing went great. What I learned from this experience was to open myself up to opportunities like this as they can honestly be life changing.

This wasn’t the only film I’ve worked on until now. Over the last month or two I’ve starred in five additional films, each of them with my previous co-star. We have this great chemistry as actors. We get along amazingly, joke with each other, play off each others improv moments very well, etc. and he’s also been an amazing mentor.

Throughout this entire process he’s offered so much great advice and knowledge that he wishes he knew before starting down this career path. He is a great friend and someone I honestly look up to. He’s just recently scored his first role in an actual feature film which he has to travel to D.C. for here soon. I’m honestly real excited for him.

With each film I’ve improved my acting skills and I’ve gained more connections and friends. I previously didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but now I’m certain I want to work in the film industry and continue acting. It’s so much fun and I’m really good at it. Hopefully when I move to New York or Los Angeles I’ll work on even more projects and make my way up.

Here are some of the friends and connections I’ve made along the way-


Conclusion

When I first left Phoenix I thought my life no longer had a future. What I’ve learned over the last couple months is that things are only truly beginning once again. I still hold my time in Phoenix as the best time of my life, at least that first initial year, but this time I’ve spent here has been very valuable and has unlocked many more doors for my future, doors that I hadn’t even noticed before.

I’m still working on myself and improving in any way I can, but no one’s perfect, and neither is the world. There are many problems the world is facing, and it seems like I’ve just been sucked into a new problem with the rest of my community.

I’ll be posting a new blog post soon regarding the terrible tornados the entire midwest has faced, mainy Kentucky and my town, but until then I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post, and I’ll catch you in the next one.

By the way, be sure to leave a like and comment; let me know what you think. Any form of feedback is greatly appreciated and helps me improve upon my writing and storytelling abilities.


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The Hero’s Journal- One Week Review

Having been on many adventures (with many more to come), I’ve always needed a good outlet to share my stories, whether that’s through blogging, drawing, or social media. Journaling seems to be the perfect fit, and with The Hero’s Journal, not only can you share your stories to look back on, but also plan your new adventures and goals.

Before we dive into my personal thoughts on the journal, I want to share a few interesting facts about it and what makes it so unique compared to other journals.

First off, let’s discuss the physical nature of the book. It has an amazing feel and texture to it. I’m not exactly sure what the material is made of, but it feels like some type of cloth or fabric. It features a hard cover underneath the cloth material, ensuring you won’t crease or damage it easily. On the front cover and side of the journal, you can find a golden sword embroidered onto the journal. The journal also features an elastic band to keep it shut, which also serves as a way to store your pen. Alongside the elastic band, the journal has a yellow bookmark strand to help keep track of which day or page you’re currently on. As for the pages themselves, the journal features bleed-proof pages, meaning you can use colored pencils, markers, ink, etc. to color in the pages or just simply write without having the ink bleed through. There are several different color options to choose from for your journal (Dragonfire Red, Wildwood Green, Mountain Grey and Royal Purple). I decided to go with Dragonfire Red, but you can choose from any of those options.

Moving on, The Hero’s Journal serves as a great organizer/ agenda. Featuring a daily to-do list and timed planner on each page, you can ensure that you’ll stay organized throughout the day. The to do list has three bullet points to “seize the day”. Basically you think of your three most important tasks to complete for that day and write them down. When you complete each task, you check it off of the list. The timed planner is a list from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and you just write what you need to get done throughout the day in their respective time slots. Each page features a section to write what you’re most grateful for, keeping you focused on the positive things throughout your day, and there is a section at the bottom of the page to write out your allies and obstacles, keeping your head straight with what hinders or helps you for your quest. Speaking of quest, let’s move on to the next topic.

The Hero’s Journal structures your life or journey by use of the hero’s journey. You can live your life like any movie or book icon, using a three act story structure. Act one contains the call to adventure, refusal of the call, and supernatural aid. Act to consists of crossing the threshold, road of trials, approach, ordeal, reward, magic flight, and the return. Act three deals with resurrection and resolution with the freedom to live. This is the basic “hero’s journey” structure, but the journal simplifies it just a bit. As you progress through your journey through this journal, the illustrations change to match your part of the adventure. There are also periodic reflection sections to reflect on your journey.

Now that we’ve discussed what truly makes this journal unique compared to other journals, let’s break down my actual thoughts on this product, starting with the pros.

First off, this journal is top quality in terms of design. I love the texture , I love the thickness of the paper inside and the fact that it looks and feels like something an adventurer would actually carry around. My favorite part about the outside of it, apart from it being red (my favorite color) is the gold swords. I love swords, and it feels like this journal really belongs to me by showing that off. Most journals I’ve had have come from places like Walmart. That’s not saying that notebooks or journals from stores like that are bad, but you really get what you pay for. Sure you could pay a couple dollars for a notebook, or you could pay $35 to $50 dollars for one of these and actually recieve something worthy of a review in the first place.

Moving on, I love the illustrations. It keeps you entertained while you write, as if you’re actually living in a storybook. With so many different characters (each with their own names, designs, and characteristics/ symbols) everything is created with a purpose in these drawings. Not only are the illustrations amazing, but you’re actually able to color in the drawings, personalizing your journal even further. I still have yet to color in my drawings, in fact I’ll get to that after writing this, but the fact that you can do that brings up my thoughts on this journal even further.

If I had to note one thing I wish could be improved on with this journal, it would be the amount of room given to write. I love writing, it’s the whole reason why I have this blog in the first place. 1/6th of the page is given to free-write. I do have this website to write whatever I want, but when buying this journal I was really expecting more room to physically write. The actual page design is still amazing, and besides the timed schedule, I like everything being where it is. If it was up to me, I would remove the schedule and add more room for notes and writing.

Overall, this journal is does a great job for what it’s made to do. Even with my one complaint, it was intended to be more of a planner than a notebook, meaning I can’t take off points for it being something of its own. I would give this journal a ten out of ten. I highly recommend it to any hero or adventurer out there

Journey to the Summit

That red lightning chased me into other dreams. In one, I was on a plane with my lost love. The plane for whatever reason was starting to fall. I was now outside the plane, on the wing. I was supposed to save it, I could see her terrified through the window. Red lightning crackled all around me, until we crashed into nothingness. It was my fault.

If you’ve ever felt the pain of love, if you’ve ever felt like your floating through space, suffocating, waiting to finally touch ground and start running, or if you’ve ever wondered if there’s anything more to life than the status quo, you’ll understand what I’m about to tell you.

I started my journey last year. After I left university after two weeks and lost my true love (or who I thought was so) in the later part of 2019, I fell into a deep depression. I fell asleep. I remained asleep for months, walking like a zombie within society, a blind, invisible zombie.

I started having these really weird dreams, almost nightmares. For anyone else, they would scream themselves awake, for me, it was an escape. In these dreams, I was spiderman. I had a whole costume, web shooters, everything. It didn’t matter though, I wasn’t a hero. In those dreams, this dark cloud came down upon the earth, full of red lightning, and I was supposed to stop it. It tore apart the earth, suffocating civilians, striking the innocent. By the end of it, all I could see was destruction. Crumbled cities and skyscrapers. Dust everywhere, scattered remnants of society. It was my fault.

That red lightning chased me into other dreams. In one, I was on a plane with my lost love. The plane for whatever reason was starting to fall. I was now outside the plane, on the wing. I was supposed to save it, I could see her terrified through the window. Red lightning crackled all around me, until we crashed into nothingness. It was my fault.

In another, I was being chased by a tornado full of that same red lightning. It tore apart everything behind me, and the more I ran, the more it destroyed everything. Death was my fault. I was an agent of chaos. It chased me across the bridge as I searched for her, but it destroyed that bridge, taking me and everyone else sheltered there down into the abyss. It was my fault.

For months I dreamed. Everyone said I needed to wake up. I thought I was wide awake, but really, I was standing there in my theater, broom and dustpan in hand, dreaming. Along with these terrifying dreams, I had other aspirations.

I wanted to be a hero, so I could save instead of destroy. I would stand in front of the theater auditorium when it was empty, and envision people sitting there, or standing, applauding and cheering for my performance. I wanted people to be there. I needed people to understand my pain. To value me.

After a couple months, in March of 2020, I turned 18. I had an opportunity to move away from Kentucky where it’s boring and reminders of pain. I had the opportunity to move back to my birthplace, Phoenix, to live with my aunt and cousins. It was an escape, my ticket to freedom, so I took it. I took flight.

When I arrived in Phoenix on March 17th, 2020, 5 days before my 18th birthday, I was greeted with palm trees and sunshine, mountains surrounding me wherever I looked. That was also the day I met someone new.

Me and my cousins were playing monopoly, and I was winning. I was wearing my blue denim jacket, black Jordan t-shirt and joggers, with our white chihuahua right next to me. That’s when she walked in. I didn’t like her like that at first, I actually didn’t fall for her for months after that, but this was my first time meeting her. She was beautiful.

Over the next few months, I had a blast here in Phoenix. We were all going to parties together, to the theme park, restaurants, hiking trips in the desert, etc. I felt like I was on the summit of life. I had found it. This was where I belonged. These were my people. Through this time, me and her became really close. For her birthday, we all went to her house and gave her gifts we picked out. I don’t even remember what I gave her, I just know I was worried she wouldn’t like it. She liked it, that was that.

Fast forward to a week before Halloween. I was still getting over my first love, but I was sure I really liked this girl at this point. She was caring and attentive, but also tough and assertive. She was social, and hardworking, and she loved motorcycles and leather jackets. She was amazing. That night, we all went to Dave & Buster’s. I know, just an arcade and some other things, but it was great. We all had fun, she even won a orange and blue basketball from one of the machines (on her first try by the way). Me and her did a scary arcade simulation thing together, and I hate jumpscares, but I wanted to do it with her. I wanted to do everything with her. Later on, when we got home, we kissed for the first time. We kissed for what seemed like hour. What felt like an hour could have lasted forever.

I don’t know why, but I hid myself from her after that kiss. Maybe it’s because of my first love, maybe I was still dealing with that, or maybe I was still dealing with the death of my father, but I didn’t talk to her for a month or two. Not that I ignored her, I just distanced myself. That one or two months were important however, I did get over my first love, and my dad, well… I don’t know. The point is, I was hurting, and I didn’t want her to hurt with me.

After those two months, the day before Christmas Eve, I finally confessed to her. I told her how I felt. She rejected me. Even after all of that time spent, those emotions invested into someone I genuinely cared for, It met its end. I met my end. I literally fainted in front of her as she said those words. I never got to tell her “I love you”. Not that it mattered. It was only someone I knew since my first day here. Someone I still care for. I think to that cinderella moment we shared on Halloween. She was wearing a steampunk dress, I was wearing a $900 Spiderman outfit. It was a full moon, and we were in the rich neighborhood getting ready to get some full sized candy bars (which we did). Her shoe slipper thing came untied, so I knelt down and tied it for her, tucking the ends of the shoe laces into her shoes so she wouldn’t trip. She laughed as it tickled her. She really did look beautiful. It reminds me of the day after I told her how I felt.

We all went up into the mountains around 10 to 11 at night. It was pitch black everywhere else, but from that dark summit we could see the entirety of Phoenix. The lights were gorgeous. She stood on a ledge overlooking the city, with a full moon framing her beautiful hair and face. It’s always a full moon. It follows me. Even when she’s not there, the moon is when I think of her. Look enough about love. It doesn’t always work out.

I felt empty for months after being rejected. I didn’t know what my purpose for being here was. We still texted, but only occasionally. And while we may be having better conversations now, she made a decision and I have to honor it. Only time will tell how she actually feels, if she does at all. Alright, really, let’s move on from love.

For those months I tried to find things to prove I was on the right track in life. The truth is, I was just floating here for no reason. I may have been flying, but flying is pretty tiring. I’ve finally landed, just for a bit, to take some steps. I’ve re-enrolled into school, this time for entrepreneurship. It’s exciting, I’m actually going somewhere now instead of standing or flying in place. I’m working on getting my license, and I’m saving up for a car. Plus, I’m finally back in martial arts. I may have to start back at white belt after almost having earned my black belt at my old dojang, but that alright. Extra practice.

I think pain is what motivates me. Not that I’m some kind of masochist, but I don’t like pain just like any other person. So I do what I can to endure it and move on. I’m making things better. Who knows, maybe that trip to spain next year will come sooner. Or my trip to Costa Rica and Japan. Especially New York.

That’s my story up until now. Maybe I’ll write a sequel soon, who knows. But I want to hear everyones stories too. I want you to write a blog post about your story, and comment a link to your blog if you can in my comment section. I’ll read all of them, and maybe even subscribe. Love can hurt, but it can also be beautiful. I hope things get better between me and her, but most of all, I hope to inspire people. I hope I inspired you.

Hero with a Thousand Faces

Everyone has a hero. Whether that’s someone in your family, a popular celebrity, or even a movie icon, we all have someone we look up to and aspire to be. I have a hero, and that person is me… well, my future self at least.

Everyone has a hero. Whether that’s someone in your family, a popular celebrity, or even a movie icon, we all have someone we look up to and aspire to be. I have a hero, and that person is me… well, my future self at least.

Now that may seem narcissistic or egotistical, I mean maybe it is. What I mean by being my own hero is that I want to be the best possible version of myself. I can improve in any and every aspect imaginable, so I’m not perfect. No one is. But that best possible version of me, let’s say he lives 5-10 years from now, he lives in New York. He has a wife and a kid, with a successful business that allows him to travel the world freely. Most of all, he inspires people because his energy is unstoppable.

That’s not me, at least not yet. I have so many opportunities right now to better myself, and I just took one step towards that future. I told myself I would never go back to college because I didn’t want to conform. I was wrong, I didn’t have to conform to be in college, I just needed a clearer career option. I’m choosing entrepreneurship. Although unsafe, this degree could help me start my own company, allowing me to take charge of my own destiny, free from any office job or managers yelling at me to get paperwork done. Now I’m still not sure what my business will be based around exactly, but I do have some ideas, maybe I’ll discuss all of that in the next post.

My point is, you should be your own hero. You should want to be no one else but yourself, and your best possible self at that. But it’s going to take work. Your best possible self is waiting for you in the future, you just need to take ahold of your destiny. I hope to have lived my hero’s journey one day.

Chapter One: Superhuman Punching Bag (Second Draft)

My face wasn’t completely numb, but it was getting there. Brent’s goons surrounded me as he socked me in the face again. I fell against the cool chain linked fence and red brick wall. Something else besides my face hurt . Was that my rib sticking out? No, it wasn’t, but it sure felt like that.

My face wasn’t completely numb, but it was getting there. Brent’s goons surrounded me as he socked me in the face again. I fell against the cool chain linked fence and red brick wall. Something else besides my face hurt . Was that my rib sticking out? No, it wasn’t, but it sure felt like that.

“STOP!! Leave him alone!” Sophie exclaimed. She sounded like she was in more pain than I was.

Sophie is Brent’s girlfriend, or at least had been for the last month or so. Everyone says they’d be the perfect Prom Queen and King since Sophie is the leader of the cheerleading squad and Brent is the quarterback for our football team called the Warriors. He sure lived up to the strength of his title.

“Stay the hell out of this, Sophie!! This little shit has had it coming for a while!” Brent shouted back at her, refocusing his burning red eyes on me.

Brent and I have never really got along. I mean, everywhere I turn, he’s right there, ready to pick on me. There was even that time in the school lunchroom, no explanation needed. Or wanted. But if I’m going to be honest, I’m not just a punching bag, I hit back.

Brent kicked me a couple more times, knocking my head into the brick wall. He grabbed my hair, looking me in the eyes. I’ve never felt so defeated in my life, and I’ve been in some pretty nasty fights in the past.

“ What HAPPENS with me and my girl, STAYS between me and my girl, UNDERSTAND STICK?”.

I spat in his face, a little blood coming out. My lip must have definitely been busted, but at least I still had my teeth.

“Fuck off” I said. And that’s when I felt this jolt of energy. I lunged forward, hitting him in the face with my fist. He tried to catch himself but fell on the hard asphalt, hurting his three year old bum. He jumped back up to maintain his pride and ego.

I was now leaning against the fence, trying to stay up. His friends made moves towards me, but Brent halted them as he lightly laughed like a mad man. He looked at me, his chin held high, taking his eyes away from the floor and wiping the blood from the mark I left on his cheek. How did I cut him?

“One week away. Prom was one week away and you did this, huh?” Brent taunted me, half laughing, half serious. Something told me not to joke, but I couldn’t stop myself.

“ Don’t worry, I have some Hello Kitty band-aids in my back pocket just for you. Besides, you were never that good looking to begin with. You don’t deserve her”. I struggled to say that sentence. I was weak. 

The furious quarterback rushed forward, but was stopped by a familiar voice from down the parking lot.

“HEY!! What’s going on!?” 

Brent slipped at the sudden voice. I’d never been so glad to see Mark, but also never so afraid. Mark was smaller than me, he could easily lose a couple teeth with one swing. Then his manager stepped out. 

“ Get your asses off my damn property! ALL of you, before I call the cops! Or my baseball bat, they’re both one call away!” He shouted with his rough, traditional New York accent.

Billy, who had a short, scruffy beard and a “Billy’s Burgers” hat on, clenched his fists, pointing at the football players. They all looked at me, then each other, then took off into the long, narrow alleyway. There’s not a single person in this world who would dare to challenge Billy.

 “Hey kid, you alright?” Billy asked me as I slightly limped towards the burger joint. 

“Yea, I’ll be fine.” I said. “ They’ll be back, you know”.

 “ Yea, and I’ll be here waiting. Don’t even tell me what that was all about” he said. “Mark’s done when he’s finished with this trash. You can help him if you want the food. Or actually… just take a breather, you look rough”.

Billy always cheered me up with his tough yet caring demeanor. Doesn’t mean I want sympathy though. 

“ Yea, well, I started it. Or rather Brent did. It’s complicated, but I can take it”.

Billy chuckled at that last part.

“You’ve definitely got heart kid” he said.

Mark came around the corner with the trash, throwing it into the back dumpster.

“Jesus, dude, I thought you were a fighter. You look like absolute shit”.

” Thanks man, what a compliment”.

 It actually still hurt really bad, but I didn’t want to admit it. I definitely felt better though, I mean I’ve always had this low pain tolerance. That’s great, but most of it is due to me not whining about a scraped knee. 

“What was that even about?” Mark persisted 

“ Sophie. You know… look it doesn’t matter, just hurry up man, let’s take the food” 

I didn’t want to think of Sophie anymore, I just wanted to see Mr. Boyega at this point.

Mark clocked out and Billy gave us our elixir. A brown paper bag full of delicious food from the end of the day. we started making our way down towards my family’s Manhattan apartment. We weren’t too far away, just about one and a half city blocks down, but we always preferred to walk instead of taking the sub. The city is a beautiful thing when you actually stop and take a breath. Plus there are some pretty cool people to talk to along the way, like Mr. Boyega. His building is about half a block from Billy’s. It’s a brick building (like most buildings in Manhattan) with gargoyles on top . Mr. Boyega always sat on the front steps with his shopping cart next to him.

“Mr. Boyega!” Mark shouted for everyone to hear. “We have the goods!”

“Dude, shut up, we’re not drug dealers!” I said, trying to stifle my laughter. It even hurt to laugh right now. “Whatcha up to, man?”

“Nothin’ much here, whatcha boys got for me today?” Mr. Boyega asked with his signature raspy voice and smile. He was wearing his tattered green coat, with his walking cane sitting beside him.

Mr Boyega is awesome. He’s the kind of person you could talk to all day and he would just sit there listening, actually caring, and his stories are so interesting that he could own a whole library based on himself. That’s kind of hard to find in a city like this, at least the listening part. There are some pretty interesting people here, but most of it is the crazy type of interesting. He is genuine and pure. I wish I could be the kind of person Mr. Boyega is.

“We gotta lot. Even got you a happy meal” I said jokingly. “Naw it’s something though. I think we managed to get a hamburger or two so”.

Mark handed him the food and Mr. Boyega opened it quickly, almost as if he hadn’t eaten in days. He unwrapped the burger, spilling melted cheese onto his long grey beard. It would be sort of nasty in any other circumstance, but this was the man, Mr. Boyega.

His mouth was sort of full so he muttered ” Thanks, boys” in between his chewing. He gave us a thumbs up, and his smile gave the rest of his thoughts.

“Alright, thanks man, we’ll see you again soon. Hopefully you got another one of those war stories of yours I always love to hear” I replied. 

We started walking away, but Mr. Boyega gently grabbed my wrist. 

“ Daniel, you’re destined for more than I have. You’re destined for greatness. Make the right choice when given the opportunity” he said. Something felt off, almost as if he was possessed. That’s not the way he usually talks. I didn’t know exactly how to reply to that, so I barely muttered “Al…Alright, yea, thanks. I’ll make sure”. 

“Don’t worry, I got him sir” Mark said to him jokingly. He saluted the man and we took off.

” What was that all about?” Mark asked when we were far enough away.

“I have no idea, but I mean it’s Mr. Boyega. He’s always a bit weird”

We arrived at my front door. My building wasn’t anything special. I didn’t live in a nice town house or luxury condo. We lived in a simple beige brick building. I twisted the door knob, expecting to walk right through with a simple push, but the door remained still. 

“It’s locked” Mark the detective said. 

“Yea no shit” I replied, sounding pretty sarcastic. “My mom’s usually back by now, let’s just give it a bit” I continued. I looked around.

 “Alright, well what do we do?” Mark asked. 

“Let’s head up to the roof, just chill for a bit I guess”.

We climbed up the fire escape on the side of the building, making our way to the top of the building. It was a bit chilly up there but not too bad, I was wearing my favorite red jacket. The view from up there always makes it worth it. It honestly makes anything worth it, even the fight I got into today.

We could see down the long, wide lane of backed up traffic. The city is always louder on the ground. While you can hear the honks of the cars and wails of police sirens down below, there is a mix of peacefulness coming from within the clouds above. It’s a perfect blend of chaos and zen. It’s a place I like to go to clear my head.

I sat on the ledge, letting my feet dangle over the side of the building. Sometimes I envision myself jumping off and flying away like Superman, or swinging down like Spider-Man. Maybe I could stop the sirens I hear every night if I could do that.

“So, are you going to tell me what happened between you and Brent? Like the actual story?” Mark asked. He looked like a hipster with his yellow beanie and glasses.

Mark has been my best friend ever since the seventh grade. We’re currently Juniors in highschool, but that’s soon to change after these next few weeks. Even after all this time, I still tell Mark everything. He’s been there through everything with me, he was even there for me as I struggled with the loss of my missing father. Mark is the kind of person who will always side with you no matter what.

“Yea. I showed up to take the food to Mr. Boyega with you like we always do, but Brent was there. With Sophie. And it didn’t matter what she said, he kept trying to kiss her. So I ran in and got the dog shit kicked out of me”.

Kind of a quick explanation, but I really just didn’t want to talk about it right now.

“It was just a kiss man, there was like five or six of them and one of you. What did you expect? I mean yea, it was kind of badass, but stupid”.

“It wasn’t just a kiss though. She didn’t want it. Mark, tell me, if you seen a group of guys surrounding a helpless woman in an alleyway, and she clearly didn’t want to be in that situation, what would you call that. What would you do?”

Mark tried to answer, but was cut off by a sudden ringing from my phone. I raised the screen up to see who it was. I didn’t recognize it, it wasn’t in my contacts. But something told me to answer it. I put the phone up to my ear.

” Hello?”

” Daniel, you don’t have much time. They’re coming for us. They’re close”.

“What? Who is this? What are you talking about?”

How did this person know my name? Was I being stalked? And how did he have my number? The deep, mysterious voice continued speaking.

” Grab whatever you can carry. Anything essential. We have to…”

He was cut off by a loud, thunderous boom. The building shook. You would have thought it was a massive earthquake, but the rising smoke from a couple streets down told me otherwise.

“Oh shit…” Mark mumbled, trying to stay calm.

I looked down at my phone. The caller was disconnected.

” Mark, we need to get inside. I think…”

I was confused and terrified, because I had a sneaking suspicion.

” I think that was meant for us”.


Note- This is the second draft of the first chapter of my new book “The Destined Hero”. The name may change, but I am having so much fun writing it. Hopefully with each chapter I should be posting an update up until I’m finished, which by then I’ll delete all of it to try to get it published, so enjoy it while it’s here 🙂 The reason I’m writing this book is to have something to base a graphic novel off of, so by the end of this I’ll have one novel and one graphic novel. Let me know what you think and any improvements I can make. This is the second draft, so I feeling a lot better about it now, but a few more improvements could be made.

Ranking the MCU

Before we begin, I want to remind everyone that we all have different opinions. For instance, some of you may love the worst marvel movie within the MCU, Thor: The Dark World.

Before we begin, I want to remind everyone that we all have different opinions. For instance, some of you may love the worst marvel movie within the MCU, Thor: The Dark World.

With that out of the way, here is my personal list of all 23 MCU films in order of least favorite to personal favorite. I’ll add a section for the Disney+ shows at the end.

1. Thor: The Dark World

This may not come as a surprise to some. I’m not saying this movie is unwatchable, I mean it has a plot, a cool scene where Thor gets his hand chopped off, and some pretty cool action scenes to start the movie with, sprinkled with the traditional MCU type humor. But that’s it. The directors or whoever oversaw this project didn’t add to much else to this movie to make it more unique than previous films. Even Ant-Man changed it up by dialing the humor to 11, and that’s not to say that humor is the key to a successful film, but Thor 2 is simply boring. But even the worst film of a series can be watchable, so for those Thor 2 fans out there, chill.

2. Captain Marvel

I’m not saying this film is bad. I genuinely enjoyed this the first time I watched without being bored to death like Thor 2. It definitely is a rewatchable film, and it’s biggest strength would have to be it’s unexpected humor. I laughed so hard when Captain Marvel punched the grandma on the train. I also loved the reference to Blockbuster when she landed on earth and the fact that both Nick Fury and agent Colson were in the film. The biggest thing that tore this movie down to my second least favorite movie was the acting on Brie Larson’s part. She isn’t a terrible actress, and she definitely fits the looks for Captain Marvel, but as other people I know have also mentioned, she looks so stoic throughout the film; She barely changes her facial expression throughout the movie. A small detail you can get past, and this movie is good, but I definitely have to put it at my second least favorite spot.

3. Thor

It was difficult to choose this for number three because I actually liked this movie, but something had to go here. The movies greatest strengths include introducing us to Thor, a core member of the Avengers, and establishing the whole “realms” situation for this universe, expanding the world already built with the previous few marvel films. It’s full of great humor and definitely allows you to sympathize with Thor as he changes into a less, well, spoiled 20-30 year old brat with an inflated ego. This was a good movie, but again I have to put something here.

4. The Incredible Hulk

I love this movie, but the one thing that sucks is that it barely puts itself within the MCU, so much so that some people don’t even realize it’s connected. It also sucks that they redesigned the Hulk after this movie and completely recasted Bruce Banner, but you can’t have everything perfect in life. Still, I wish Universal and Marvel Studios could have collaborated better, and I definitely wish Universal would allow for a sequel, maybe set back in time somewhere before the whole Professor Hulk thing.

5. Avengers: Age of Ultron

The only complaint I have for this movie is that Ultrons design sucked, they gave him eyebrows and lips which looked weird, and they made hime to humorous. I loved the scene where Steve made Mjolnir budge and the action scenes in the opening and the final battle were great, especially the group shots. I’m glad they introduced the Maxamoff twins, but another complaint is that they killed off quick silver in the same movie. It fucking sucks, he could have been used well in future movies. Still a fun and epic movie, being very important for the over-arching MCU story.

6. Doctor Strange

Nothing to wrong with this movie at all. I loved the way they shot this film and it’s honestly amazing in 4K, but it’s one of those movies that I can’t watch more than a couple times, I just fall asleep. This is probably one of the movies with my type of humor, but one thing they could have done better with was, well, nothing . They did great actually, but I still fall asleep sometimes.

At this point, there is really nothing wrong with the movies, it’s just which ones I prefer to watch if given the choice at this point, so I’m just going to list most of them and explain the top 3 or 4 favorites.

7. Captain America: The First Avenger

Could have had the suit fit a bit better but still one of my favorite Cap suits. This movie introduces Cap to us.

8. Guardians of the Galaxy

These are some of the funniest MCU movies. Introduces us to the team and also the whole space side of the MCU.

9. Ant-Man

A hilarious movie that introduces us to Scott as Ant-Man. I used to wish they would have made Hank Pym Ant-Man just younger in present day, but I love Scotts humor. He’s now who I think of when I think of Ant-Man.

10. Iron Man 2

Explores Tony a lot more and how his arc reactor is poisoning him, great action scenes and one of the best Iron Man suit up scenes is in this movie.

11. Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2

Hilarious and introduces us to a celestial owned by Fox at the time. Explores Peters past a bit more in terms of his mom and dad and gives us a cool fight scene at the end. 5 out of 10 though for rewatching.

12. Iron Man

The single most important movie within the MCU, as it kicks off the entire movie universe. It shows what makes Tony Stark Iron Man, and what he can do with just some scraps in a cave.

13. Ant-Man and the Wasp

I was laughing the entire way through the movie, especially the parts with Jimmy Woo and Scott. We get to see Scotts amazing magic tricks in this movie.

14. Marvel’s The Avengers

The movie where all of these core characters meat for the first time. The part where the camera pans around the entire team in a circle at the end just gives me goosebumps, it’s simply awe- inspiring.

15. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Bucky’s design in this movie is on point and simply amazing. Unlike a lot of people, I’m not a big fan of the stealth suit, but great action scenes.

16. Iron Man 3

I love the fact that it starts the movie with Blue playing as the intro music, I love that song, and the end scene with all of Tony’s suits is one of my favorite action sequences in the MCU. This wraps up part of of Tony’s over-arching hero’s journey throughout the MCU.

17. Black Panther

I love this movie so much that I actually took a girl on a date to watch it, she loved it and it was my second time in theaters watching it. Best soundtrack for any of the movies.

18. Avengers: Infinity War

Hard to rewatch because it’s long but I love this movie, it’s what the entire infinity Saga had been leading up to and shows what happens when a team is divided in a bad situation. Left us on a cliff hanger for a whole year.

19. Avengers: Endgame

Perfect conclusion to the entire infinity sage, not just Infinity war. It’s the movie of our generation, kinda like Star Wars: Episodes 5 and 6. I wish Thor wasn’t fat in the end and I wish Hulk had a rematch with Thanks, but whatever.

20. Spider-Man: Homecoming

I love Spider-Man. Who doesn’t? It was hard choosing between this and Captain America: Civil War, but I like Civil War just a bit more, but Spider-Man’s in it so thumbs up.

21. Captain America: Civil War

The movie that took number 20 from Spider-Man: Homecoming. This movie puts some of our best hero’s against each other, with half the hero’s siding with Tony and half with Steve. In terms of which aide I agree with, I’m in the middle. I think the Avengers should be more monitored, but also be able to maintain their independency. If they truly believe they should intervene in a matter, they should be able to. I was still hoping Cap would win the fight, and he did. Actually, in terms of who was right, I give Cap a 7 out of ten and Tony a 3 or 4 out of 10. If that males sense.

22. Thor Ragnarok

This movie is the most rewatchable in my opinion. From the hilarious moments to insane character development, this is nearly my favorite movie. I do with Beta Rey Bill was in the movie as a champion, but we do see his fave on the side of the tower in the city so. The posters for this movie are also some my favorite MCU posters, they’re just so colorful.

23. Spiderman: Far From Home

Honestly, it may be my favorite just because it’s the latest one I watched, but I also just simply love Spider-Man. Who doesn’t? The fact that this movie does something completely different from the previous five Spider-Man movies by going to Europe is already mind blowing enough, but to add a couple new suits on top of that and to have Peter dealing with the Death of Mr. Stark all while juggling his relationships with his friends is just a lot. And they managed it absolutely perfectly. The swinging scenes at the end were just amazing. Get it? Amazing? All right, I’ll stop now.

The movies aren’t just the end of it. We also just got Wandavision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier , with Loki coming out Wednesday, June 9th. Wandavision made it’s way to the top of my MCU list, potentially beating Civil War. Falcon and the Winter Soldier would be placed after Endgame. If I had to choose between a tv show and movie with the same budget, I would choose a tv show, as it splits it up into more digestible chunks and offers more time for character development. That’s probably why these two shows ranked so high on my list.

Again, this entire list is my personal opinion and there are definitely people out there who would disagree with my movie placements. I simply don’t care, respectfully of course.

Let me know what you think of my list, and comment your corrections for your personal list. Make sure to like this post, as it helps a lot.

P.S. chapter two of my book as well as a revised chapter one is coming out soon.

Warrior Within

I have this fire within me, and if I don’t have a way to deal with it, an outlet, it will consume me with it’s flames. When I fight, I feel its energy, it’s heat, coursing through my veins, fueling me instead of burning me.

I have this fire within me, and if I don’t have a way to deal with it, an outlet, it will consume me within it’s flames. When I fight, I feel its energy, it’s heat, coursing through my veins, fueling me instead of burning me. I don’t know if this fire is anger, or pain, I don’t know. But I feel most like myself when I fight, in the heat of the moment where every movement and decision matters.

I’m usually the one kicking ass in tournaments, but even when I’m losing, even when I know I’ll be defeated, I helplessly smile. I go to have fun, but more importantly, to prove my strength and courage, and no matter what, I always know I tried my hardest. I fight till the end, all while making friends in these tournaments.

I can never sit still. I always have to be up and active. Even when I write these blog posts, I feel the urge to get up and move around every couple paragraphs. The energy is persistent, and the fire burns me when I stand still. Others can’t keep up with me, sometimes I’m to much, to active, and it sucks. I wish people felt what I felt, this drive, this energy that makes me want to accomplish everything in one day.

My closet is full of swords and weapons. My favorite one, my first sword, is from my last tournament when I got first place in sparring and second place in forms. It’s a longsword, and it’s sharp as hell. But I can’t use it. There’s no reason to in today’s world, and it sucks. No dragons. No ninjas. But at least I have it incase of a break in or robbery I suppose. Just Imagine the look on that burglars face when I whip out my medieval sword.

Martial arts is my passion. I know taekwondo and I’m practicing karate, kickboxing, and brazilian jiu jitsu. Well at least I was, I’m taking a few weeks off to save up for a car. One of my goals along with moving to New York is to learn Kungfu. I feel like it’s more fluid and circular motions/ movements would fit best with my body frame and fighting style. Another goal I have is to practice parkour. I want to incorporate flips and vaults into my fighting, to look cool in competitions and for real life situations to intimidate my opponents (and to be flashy with it).

The point is, find your passion, find where your fire leads you to, even if it’s to the trophy stands. I don’t know if everyone feels the fire that I do, but we all have a soul, and your soul will find it’s passion. You have a destiny waiting to be created. I’ll find mine eventually.

Journey of self discovery

I believe that we are all heroes of our own stories. I believe that we all have the potential to do good, and by doing good we have the potential to become great. By becoming great, we have the ability to become a hero, a true hero, one of a bigger story than our own.

Over the last year, I’ve changed a lot. I think anyone could say the same, with the state of the world after during and after the pandemic, civil unrest and political divide within the nation, natural disasters that burned countries and continents, etc. The thing is, I took a leap of faith. I left home, back to my birthplace and origin to discover myself. I’ve spent a year and thousands of miles away from my parents and everything I know to find my destiny and purpose.

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves”- Andre Gide

When I turned 18, I bought a one way plane ticket to Phoenix, Az to live with my aunt and cousins. I left to heal from my first love, but also to figure out what I was meant for. I left university less than a year prior because I wasn’t sure what I wanted in life. What I found when I arrived was amazing. Over the year I’ve been here, I’ve made so many friends, reconnected with family, seen so many amazing and inspiring things and places. Most of all, the sun here energizes me, and the clear blue skies coupled with the mountains and palm trees makes me feel like I’m in paradise. I found all of this as well as love. As much as I resisted, I fell in love again. She was amazing. She helped me forget the past pain. And then we kissed. When I told her how I felt the day before christmas, she left. It was the first time I ever fainted. I felt dead again. Ever since then, I’ve been alone, which has given me the time to think about things, to realize that even after betrayal, I can still care for my old lover but still let her go. It wasn’t my fault. It’s allowed me to heal from my father’s death, mostly, and realize that I don’t have to be him. His death was not my fault. The dreams and visions of death and destruction have almost faded. And my love is returning. We talk again, laugh, and even if it doesn’t work out I am giving myself a future to look towards, full of hope, inspiration, and maybe success if it works out the way I envision.

Here’s what I learned. It’s a bunch of bullshit, but in a good way I think. I was never meant for anything, nothing was ever pre-arranged for me, I had no purpose, only possibility. Over this last year or more, I’ve learned that we create who we are, what we are, and we decide how to get there. More importantly, we get to decide every aspect of our lives, who we spend it with, and what purpose WE give ourselves. I have a destiny in mind. Something I hope to become, something I know all of us have the potential to be. I want to be a hero, so I can help and inspire. I want to lead others out of the darkness that I felt and still feel sometimes.

I believe that we are all heroes of our own stories. I believe that we all have the potential to do good, and by doing good we have the potential to become great. By becoming great, we have the ability to become a hero, a true hero, one of a bigger story than our own.

There’s something bigger at play than our own lives. I don’t know if it’s something to do with God, or the universe, I mean I’m not very religious but possibilities, or maybe it’s something else. I don’t know. I have no idea what it is, but I feel something. It’s a feeling I’ve had my entire life, something I can’t shake, and I don’t think last year was it. It almost feels personal, and sometimes it feels like my dad really isn’t gone, but whatever it is, it feels like the world itself. It feels like more is coming.

City that never sleeps

“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless”- The internet.

One of my goals before I turn 21 is to move to a bigger city. Many cities have crossed my mind, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. The one city that always seems to keep me hooked is New York, the city that never sleeps.

“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless”- The internet.

There are many reasons why I want to live in New York. For one, almost everyone says it lives up to the expectations that movies present. So many romance movies or action and adventure movies that take place within the city paint it as a world within itself, with towering skyscrapers full of glass and steel, shining in the golden sunlight. It’s also a very culturally diverse city which I love. There are so many different types of individuals, so many different languages spoken, so many different foods and music. A trip from Dumbo, Brooklyn to Chinatown is like travelling to China from, well, brooklyn. The biggest factor is the fact that it’s full of so much light and inspiration. It makes me want to get lost within the streets, able to explore every corner of the city. As someone who needs inspiration to find the right words for my thoughts, this city has that and much more.

While it will still be awhile before I move somewhere like New York (I plan on at least spending 2 years or more in college here in Phoenix), I’ve already looked into how much it would cost me. For example, one trip on the Subway is $2.75. While that may not seem like a lot to a tourist, If I was to take two trips or more a day for work or anything else, I’d be broke within a month. Luckly, there is a monthly metro pass worth $127 for unlimited rides, allowing me to save money if I travel more than twice a day.

The cheapest housing I could find with a roommate is around $700, but I assume those go by fast if you don’t contact them in time, so unless I can message fast enough, I should expect to pay anywhere between $1800 and $2500 for my own apartment, pretty cheap for this city.

On average, a New Yorker can expect to pay $471.34 on food per month. If I’m cheap and only get dollar foods such as street pizza for each meal, that’s $3 a day, and $3 times 30 is $90. Of course I will probably get sick of pizza all of the time, so I’ll double that and say $180.

I looked into sports and martial arts, but the cheapest fencing classes near brooklyn are $240 a month, with regular martial arts classes being a bit cheaper, but not necessary to live in the city. This will be for when I am comfortably living in the city.

None of this is professionally calculated, and this isn’t everything, but I have to live there eventually, so I just wanted to get some insight into how much I’ll be spending. I assume I won’t be able to get housing as cheap as $700, but it was the cheapest roommate situation I could find in a couple places.

I know I’ll make it there one day, no matter how long it takes or how broke I’ll be. I have to do it.

Solgaard Lifepack- one week review

As an avid traveler and adventurer, it’s safe to say that bringing along a few essential items for the trip is pretty important.

As an avid traveler and adventurer, it’s safe to say that bringing along a few essential items for the trip is pretty important. I’ve had lots of backpacks over the years just like anyone else, but none have come close to the amazing design of Solgaard’s Lifepack.

Before we get into my personal opinion of the backpack after having used it for just over a week, I want to break down what makes this bag so special and unique.

The main feature of this backpack is the Solarbank. It uses solar power and UV rays to charge any and all devices you choose to bring on your adventure. From phones to camera, even laptops, your equipment will never die while your out creating content. Not only does the Solarbank work extremely well during a clear day, but it also charges when it’s cloudy out, just out a slower pace. One hour of sunlight for the Solarbank means 25% charge for your smartphone. When you’re nowhere near an outlet or civilization, that’s pretty useful.

The Lifepack also features two different compartments to separate your work equipment from your personal items. You can keep your electronics in one compartment (utilizing the plush drop-proof laptop sleeve for your laptop) and your clothes in the other. There are plenty of pockets, pouches, and zippers to separate everything, including cables, lenses, sunglasses, etc. It helps maintain a clean environment within the bag.

The Lifepack, as well as all other items featured and produced from Solgard, are made from Shore-Tex, using upcycled ocean plastic. Every purchase from Solgaard removes 5lb’s of plastic from the ocean, helping the environment.

The bag also features a anti-theft locking cable, as well as four secret compartment. This helps ensure that nobody steals your valuables while your bag is unattended. If you want your bag to charge while you enter a building or store, secure the cable to the zippers and lock it to a nearby pole.

Alright, now that we got the main features out of the way, let’s talk about my honest opinions on the bag.

It’s amazing.

The Solarbank charger has already proven itself very useful. I recently just went on a very long road trip, and the charger helped ensure that my devices never died. Not only did my devices remain charged for the entire trip, but the Solarbank never fully lost power, since it was constantly charging from the sun right outside the car window. Even if the bag didn’t have any of the other cool features that it does, this solar powered charger already makes it worth the money.

I mentioned that the bag has two separate compartments, one for work and one for play. That’s true, and it’s not let me down. Instead of having to fumble through my backpack, trying to figure out where my camera is within all of my clothing, I know where each individual item is. My sunglasses have a specific spot, so do my normal glasses. There are different sized pouches which is perfect for different items. I use the smaller pouch for my airpods case, the larger one for my camera and tripod, and the laptop sleeve for none other than my Macbook Air. This bag has it down for organization.

Regarding the fact that my purchase helped remove 5lb’s of plastic from the ocean, I am very happy. I’m finally able to sleep at night knowing that the sea turtles are swimming peacefully. No, for real, I am surprised with how well the bag feels. When I first heard that the bag was made from upcycled plastic, I had no idea what to expect with the texture. My worst fear was that it would be some kind of thin material that would rip easily. It’s completely the opposite. The bag feels amazing. There’s not really a way to put it into words, it’s just very satisfying to feel if that makes sense. The bag on its ow is also pretty lightweight, but also very sturdy. It feels like it would take a lot to tear a thread. There is cushioning on the two back secret compartments right where your lower back/ hip region would be, so no matter what you have in your bag, it will always sit comfortably on your back.

In terms of the anti-theft lock, I’ve messed around with it a bit, but I haven’t had to use it just yet. Not that I’m not happy with it, I think it’s something essential for this type of backpack and I know I’ll be using it as time goes on, but I typically just bring my bag indoors with me. The lock uses a three digit code that you can set to your choice. When I go to Spain next year, I know I’ll be using the anti-theft lock a lot, as I’ll be over seas and everything I have for that trip would be in there.

Something I forgot to mention is that the Lifepack also features a water proff bottom, meaning none of your clothing or electronics will get damaged when you set it down. Whether it’s raining or you literally just spilt a water bottle, it’s got you covered. That became pretty useful for me on my recent road trip, as it rained a lot during it. I placed my bag down o the ground temporarily, forgetting the ground was still wet from the rain, but luckily it was completely safe. The bottom also allows for the bag to stand completely upright without falling over. I’ve already personally noticed this, as I literally left it in the middle of my hotel room floor and it never fell over, not even once.

It’s hard to come up with complaints with something that I absolutely love, but if there was one thing I wish could of been included with this bag, it would be a wider range of colors to choose from. Solgaard offers this bag in charcoal, atlantic blue, baltic black, granada green camo, and granada green. My favorite color is red, so I was a little disappointed to learn that there was no option for that color. That is only a minor thing though, as I am very happy with the color I chose. I decided to go with atlantic blue, and admittedly at first I was iffy with it when I first received it, but that was only because of the lighting in the room. When I was able to fully see it in better lighting, especially outdoors, the blue became so much more apparent, just like the photos.

Overall, I give this bag a 10/10. What else could I give it, it is literally the perfect bag for an adventurer/ content creator, and I highly recommend it for those who love who travel or those who simply want an awesome backpack. To purchase a Lifepack backpack, visit solgaard.com or visit their instagram account to learn more.