Category Archives: Lifestyle

Everyone Has An Opinion. No One Has A Solution.

I haven’t written on this blog in a really long time. I apologize for that. With so much going on in this world, I guess I got lost in the whirlwind of it all. To be honest, I don’t know if that a good or a bad thing. What I do know, whatever is going on, has people behaving unscrupulously. It’s a shame really. Instead of hearing and trying to understand where the other side is coming from, we instead get on our soap box and shout even louder than the next man. Continue reading Everyone Has An Opinion. No One Has A Solution.

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Life Is Pretty Funny

Life is funny. I’m not saying this in a comedic fashion or trying to give you a good chuckle. Rather, I am simply stating a fact. Life is funny. I mean think about it; we go about our daily routine thinking nothing of the actions that we are doing. We wake up, brush our teeth, eat breakfast (sometimes not at all), and head race off to work. We do this, every. Single. Day. Occasionally, we will take a pause to catch our “breath”, but not really. Our “breathers” so to speak, are pretty much any distractions other than work. Usually, these are, but not limited to, going to the hospital, lazily lying on the couch, spending some “QT” (quality time) with our significant other and/or pets. Whatever you’re vice, usually you are squeezing this within a small window of time, leaving life, something to be desired. Ironic isn’t it? So yeah, life is funny. Why? Well, because as kids, we dream, losing ourselves in thought letting our imaginations run wild. Then we grow up and become adults. Those imaginations are now muddied with deadlines, obligations, and debt. Few of us are fortunate enough to continue dreaming. They are the rare vestiges of our former youth staring at us, mocking us, flirting, and dare I say, reminding us, that life is something to be lived. Funny isn’t it? Continue reading Life Is Pretty Funny

Are You Really In Love?

You know? I’ve always had this idea about what love was. I thought it was this fabulous feeling that would take over you and would be everything you need to be in a strong and stable relationship (well, according to Disney anyway). Naïve me always thought that love was enough. As I grew older and experienced several heartbreaks, I began to see “love” for what it is, an emotion. Albeit, just a tad stronger than lust. I know I’m going to catch some hell for this, but love isn’t really enough (there I said it). In fact, I look at love as a crippling emotion. Now, before you jump all on my nuts screaming, “how dare you, Vlad!” or “are you serious right now?”  Hear me out. I say love is crippling, because it doesn’t allow you to do what’s necessary in order to maintain a healthy relationship. Sure, love is a great feeling and everyone wants to experience that feeling, but to what extent? Are you willing to stay in an abusive relationship, because you “love” him/her? Are you willing to cheat on your significant other, because you’ve grown bored over the years, but aren’t willing to call it off, because you ‘love’ him/her? It’s nonsense if you think about it. If love was this supposed strong emotion and the cure for all of our relationship woes, then more people would be in healthier relationships. Divorce rates would be low, not high. People wouldn’t cheat on their partners (though I do have a couple of theories on this). I’m just saying love isn’t as strong as you thought it was.

Let’s be honest here, we have this delusion of what love really is. We think love is all sunshine and rainbows. It is not! Love is a bonding agent, glue if you will. And in order for this bonding agent to perform its job satisfactorily, certain conditions must be met within the relationship. It is not the answer to all, but it does play a part. Here’s my reality perspective on the emotion. Love is supposed to help you make the right decisions when it comes to your relationship. Because, let’s face it, we are humans after all and we have certain desires and needs that must be met. If you aren’t willing to satisfy those desires, why are you with that person? Love allows you to be your true self without fear. It helps you make the right decisions of maintaining a healthy relationship. Ya feel me? It drives me nuts hearing people say, “all you need is love”, like bitch, No! You need way more than to keep a relationship strong. Like all emotions, love eventually fades. Then what? What are you supposed to do in your relationship when that feeling fades?

Again, I don’t want you to think that I’m bashing love. I am not. I’m being pragmatic about the whole concept of it. Honestly, I see and hear people throw that word around and not understand the concept behind it. Personally, I think people are in love with the convenience of what love brings. Think about it. How many relationships/marriages have you witnessed, where they are saying to each other, “I love you” “Or ‘til death do us part “only to turn around and break up with that person the following week or divorce in a couple of months? I’ve personally lost count. So I know you are in the same boat. So yes, I think people are more in love with the convenience that love brings, rather than actually being in love. Looking back at all the breakups I’ve been a part of and witnessed, the first thing I can recount is the amount of times, I’ve said the “L” word or heard the “L” word in an attempt to win that individual back. Did I really love that person? I don’t know. Maybe, but I can honestly tell you now, looking back on it, I did not mean a word of it in the past. It was a desperate attempt to try to salvage the relationship.

Why do we do that? Well, let’s attempt to answer that question, shall we? I think we do this because we are afraid of being alone. For guys, we are afraid of losing the promise of pussy and for women; you are afraid of losing a potential mate or life partner (your choice). That being said, we will suffer through an unhealthy relationship and convince ourselves that we love the other person, when in reality, we aren’t. It’s striking how we can trick ourselves into accepting much less than what we deserve. Again, I say this, because love is not this end all be all emotion that is going to save or strengthen your relationship. There are numerous couples out there that are still married to one another and hate each other, but when asked publicly about their feelings towards their spouse, they’ll tell you they are in love. Yet resent each other behind closed doors. Is that love? If that’s how you define love, then you got some serious issues, homie.

Love is an interesting emotion. Do I feel love? Of course I do. I love my mom, I love my family, I love my girlfriend, I love what I do for a living and I love my passions. To me, I’ve learned what love truly is and how it functions. I don’t throw the word around all loosey-goosey.  To me, it has meaning and it has impact. We all need to take a closer look at how we define and use the word. I think we use the word too often and it’s lost its value. It’s not a saving grace; it’s an emotion that is strong enough to let the other person know how you feel. Do not wield it as a weapon in a pathetic attempt to win back your significant other or as a hip new lingo to say you like someone. It’s a powerful word that elicits other emotions. Use it wisely!

 

Here’s a podcast version for your audio pleasure: Is Love All You Really Need In A Relationship?

We Done Got Soft!

Today, I had a conversation with one of my student’s parent. She asked me, “What can my son do to pass his black belt test”? This is a legitimate question and as I was explaining to her what was expected and what her son needs to do, I’ve come to the conclusion that, ultimately, it’s up to her son on how he performs on his belt test. Now I know a lot of you have an idea what taekwondo is and how it’s practiced around the world. The style of taekwondo that I practice is vastly different from what you are thinking. In our style, both children and adults are treated the exact same. That being said, your black belt is earned, not bought. Anyways, that conversation got me thinking about society as a whole and how we’ve become soft. As I explained to her that it’s ultimately up to her son to earn his black belt, she agreed, and told me that she would help push him to doing his best. Upon exiting the facility, I thought more about the conversation. I began to notice how out of shape everyone walking past me, then I saw a homeless man sitting in front of a restaurant and thought, “how ironic is that”?, then I started to think about we’ve become soft as a society.  Anyways, the conversation lingered in my mind and I began to think about how ungrateful we really are. For example, the homeless dude. Here is a man who is homeless and quite possibly hungry. Did I stop to help a brotha out? Nope! I kept right on walking, “minding my own business”, as did the other fifteen or so people behind me.  Continue reading We Done Got Soft!

Don’t Lose Friends Chasing Dreams.

As all we know, life can be difficult. As we traverse through this journey, we assemble and eclectic group of strangers along the way that help us develop into not so trashy human beings. They help us question the life we live, learn new things, go on adventures, challenge our moral view points, make us laugh, teach us how to deal with the opposite sex, etc. These strangers come in as such and grow and develop into something more; friends or even family. As we grow older, we seem to grow apart for whatever reason; college, new jobs, chasing dreams, whatever the case may be, we tend to part ways as time goes by. Why is that? It’s not for nefarious reasons, it’s just we have to do what we have to do in life. Time waits for no one. So with that being said, how do we keep our friends when we are out chasing our dreams? Continue reading Don’t Lose Friends Chasing Dreams.

Why Do We Quit?

A lot of the time I find myself lost in thought. Now, I’m no Aristotle or Friedrich Nietzsche, but I do tend to think about parallel universes, existentialism, relationships, human behavior, the thought process, feelings/emotions, and overall what makes people tick. To me, these are entertaining and novel ideas to ponder. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the idea of change and venturing into new territories and why it is so scary. How often do we go out of our way and try new things, only to end up quitting? Seriously, we give it the good ole’ college try and eventually, we end up not doing that activity anymore. Why is that? After scouring the most reliable of sources (the internet) for an answer, I’ve come to the conclusion that we are at the very least, weak individuals and at the best, we are human beings with an ego that will eventually fuck up. But why though?  Continue reading Why Do We Quit?

Challenge Accepted

Often times, we find ourselves facing difficult challenges in life. We ask, “why me?” Why do I have to go through this bullshit situation, when it seems as if everyone else gets to skate by unfazed? Truth is, no one is unfazed, life fucks us all. We all face obstacles within our lives, but we need to understand two things: 1) what is happening and 2) what is the lesson. More importantly, obstacles open our eyes to the bullshit we’ve conditioned ourselves to accept. The fact of the matter is, how we deal with those difficulties is what determines who we are as individuals. Sure, you can choose to run away from all responsibility and blame others for your misfortunes; but Understand this, that shortsighted mentality will only get you so far. Rather, I suggest you stand up to these challenges and conquer them. Easier said than done.  Continue reading Challenge Accepted

Navigating the Storms of Life

Writer’s note: This was rather emotional for me to write and it took a lot to maintain my composure throughout.

Life can be quite the adventure sometimes. It has more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride. It’s got the unexpected and the expected.

Never in a million years did I envision what happened in my life over the last 365 days and I’m sitting here reminded of the song from “Rent” as I reflect on everything that has transpired over the last year.

“525,600 minutes. How do you measure, measure a year?”

To me I measure it in the ups and downs, but most importantly by how it has shaped me into the man I am right now.

In October of 2016, I had a routine Monday off and the wife and I were set to visit the eye doctor for a regular appointment. During the field vision test portion of the exam after they had trouble getting my left eye to 20/20 they found I had a blind spot so they recommended I see a neurologist just to make sure nothing is wrong. Oddly enough a few hours later I received a call from my then employer that a few colleagues were laid off. More on that to come.

But, back to the eye.

Continue reading Navigating the Storms of Life

Change is Good

As time progresses, so do we as people. With each turn of the calendar year, we reflect on the year past and try to openly and honestly evaluate ourselves. We try to see where we are as individuals and make the necessary changes. I being of sound mind and body am not excluded from this yearly ritual. As we enter the new year, I realized that I have come a long way as an individual. I’ve opened up a lot more about myself. I’ve found a wonderful girlfriend who keeps my ass in check. I’ve stepped out of my bullheaded thinking that I don’t need a ground game in MMA in order to be good. Continue reading Change is Good