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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Trials and Turbulence

The hardest part of beginning the journey is letting go of everything you once knew. It’s currently 3:35 A.M. and it’s been weeks, almost a month, since I last spoke. I’m ready to talk, and trust me, there’s a lot to talk about.

Pretty recently I accepted the challenge of returning to a place I despise. The Midwest. I mean look, it’s not all bad, I have so many friends here, I have my old martial arts dojang, my old job, college; I have everything I need to set myself up for the future, but I’d rather be standing in the golden sun rays of Arizona.

Arizona is home to me; it’s perfect. From the palm trees and mountains to the cactuses and city life of Phoenix, there’s nothing I couldn’t love about home (It could be a little less hot, but still).

The Midwest on the other hand is my hell. I’ve already listed the good out of it (My martial arts mentor and my friends are all amazing), but there’s no getting around the turbulence. Not only are the mosquitos an annoying thing in itself, but the scenery just isn’t for me. It’s just tree after tree, cornfield after cornfield. There’s a cow over there and to it’s left is the over grown grass it eats, topped off with a white picket fence. It also doesn’t help that my first love happens to live in this town. I’d rather be any place but here.

Yes, there’s some trials to face here. Yes, I’d rather be back home, but there’s still much to do while I’m here. I will most likely be returning home in December after I’m done with my first semester of school here, but while I’m here I am also being given the opportunity to grow and develop. I’m hoping to be able to do more things on my own by the end of these few months. I’m hoping that I can manage my bipolar, depression and anxiety better and to clear my mind a bit. So far, things are a bit of a rollercoaster. Things seem to be hopeless at times, and then other times I’m so full of hope and vision. The new medicine I’m taking seems to be working pretty well, as I haven’t felt hopeless in a while, just a bit anxious, I’ve been returning to my usual, true self, slowly but surely.

If I return to Phoenix in December, that would give me enough time to get to my red belt or red stripe while I’m here, meaning I would reach my black belt next. I would be that much closer.

Most importantly, I’m being given the opportunity to visit New York City for fall break while I’m here. My number one goal in life right now is to live in NYC within my twenties, so the first step towards that is to visit it first. I will most likely be visiting solo, and I’ll have around 2-5 thousand dollars to use for the trip, meaning I can visit for a week or less. I can’t back out now, I’m committing fully to this trip, and no one will persuade me otherwise. I’m just to excited for it. And just think, if I hadn’t come back to the Midwest for this semester of school, I never would have visited NYC this soon. Looking at it as it is, things are going great, I just need to keep an open mind.

To sum it up, I don’t want to be here, and there are some obstacles (mostly mental) to overcome, but this is good for me. If you’ve been putting something off because you’re too afraid to do it or maybe you need to do it but just don’t want to, you should do it. As Shia LaBeouf once said, “JUST DO IT”. It will be worth it in the end.

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.

The Dark Desert

My life used to be magical. It felt that way at least. I used to see so much life, so much energy coursing through the world. I used to be a knight, hoping to one day be a hero. I was living in an oasis, and I don’t know if I wandered to far, or if the sun ate the vibrant plants around me, but everything changed after a kiss of true love. I’m stuck in a lonely world of ash and sand.

My life used to be magical. It felt that way at least. I used to see so much life, so much energy coursing through the world. I used to be a knight, hoping to one day be a hero. I was living in an oasis, and I don’t know if I wandered to far, or if the sun ate the vibrant plants around me, but everything changed after a kiss of true love. I’m stuck in a lonely world of ash and sand.

My swords haven’t been used in a while. My fighting skills are diminishing. I can feel myself struggling to stay alive, but this desert is too hot for armor. I’ve had to abandon everything I once was, everything I once cared for, to walk this valley. I don’t know why I’m walking, but no one is here with me. I don’t see anything but the dark horizon. The sun is setting, it’s golden rays of hope are no longer harming me. I’m just alone is this dark desert.

With this time, I think about my weaknesses. I have many flaws, one of them being attachment. I’m to naive, as I’ve trusted people to walk with me, but they’re no longer here. Perhaps they were never there, just hallucinations. I am very stubborn, I could turn around and find my way back, but there is no guarantee of an oasis, so I continue walking. Lastly, I have too much love to give. Maybe that’s why they’ve turned away. It’s too much to handle. I’m too much to handle. It doesn’t matter, I can finally sleep.

The sun is returning with it’s golden rays of hope. They’re hot, but at least I’ll be able to see where I’m going. I have to wake up, I have to find the oasis that awaits me.

Second Calling

There’s this darkness surrounding me, and I try to shine but it holds me. No one can see it. No one can see my shadow, the one that comes and goes, the one that visited me when my father died. No one hears that voice, the half english, half gibberish language it speaks.

At this point I’ve accepted that I’m never going to be truly happy. Is anyone really? We all chase these things, like a dream job, or a nice car, or awesome adventures for those more daring. I’m more of the adventurous type. I would love to travel the world, to see everything it has to offer. Maybe then I’d be happy, content. But what about now? There’s always going to be something more, something I’m missing, I can feel it. Maybe it’s love. Maybe it’s acceptance. Maybe I’ll never find what it is that I’m missing because it’s already gone, something I can never have again.

What if happiness is the biggest lie of them all?

We’re told that we need our smiles, to look through the darkness, or simply ignore it because in a functioning society, we all need to be happy and positive to get along. What about all of that darkness? Why is it there in the first place? Why should we ignore it?

There’s this darkness surrounding me, and I try to shine but it holds me. No one can see it. No one can see my shadow, the one that comes and goes, the one that visited me when my father died. No one hears that voice, the half english, half gibberish language it speaks. No one feels it’s cold, encompassing presence. No one knows why I’m like this. I don’t know why I’m like this, or why this shadow has latched onto me. And I don’t know if it’s good or evil, but it may have been there before my father’s death too. Something’s always been there, protecting me, giving me these dreams and visions. It’s been there to give me strength just as much as it’s given me fear and anxiety. Or maybe there’s two separate entities following me, black and white. I can’t tell the difference.

Whatever the case, whatever it is, I can feel it calling me again.

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.