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Things I would tell my 20 year old self if I saw him

I’m a big proponent of  always moving forward and learn from your past mistakes. I think making mistakes is crucial in developing as a sensible citizen in our society. Mistakes make us strive for the better and can sometimes boost our drive to achieve our goals. I just recently turned 27 and there are a lot of things I would love to tell an early version of myself if I ever got to saw him.

1. START YOUR PRACTICE OF MEDITATION EARLY! – Meditation was always on my mind ever since I was in college. The thing is, I never made time for it. Meditation has had a big impact on my life because it allows me to train my mind to think in the moment and to be conscientious of everything and everyone around me. It allows me to learn how to be calm under stressful situation and it helps me become more motivated and focused on all of my tasks. Currently, I am still meditating for only a couple minutes a day and I feel like if I had instilled this practice earlier in life, I would be much better at the practice today and more calm than I could even imagine.

2. WAKE UP AT 5 AM NO MATTER WHAT – Yes. This is a harsh one for a college student but again it is another habit I would have loved to train when I was younger. Waking up at 5 AM allows for more productivity to happen. I’m more focused on my work and the goals I needed to get done that day. Although I feel like putting 5 AM call time on a college student is insane, I think that I would have reaped the benefits by up to this point. I still struggle with waking up early and not feeling rested but the days I do feel rested and woke up early, I find myself in such a fast paced and ambitious mindset and get a lot done.

3. BE MORE PROMISCUOUS – Okay, this one might be controversial only because it involves sex and the idea of using your body more. As a gay man, I found myself really isolated from the gay community when I was younger. Even though I came out when I was 18, it was not until I moved to Hollywood in my mid 20s that I found myself learning to interact with others who share the same sexual desires as I did. I also was a stickler in terms of sex and was not willing to give my virginity up to anyone just for the heck of it. Looking back, I think this is still a great rule to follow but I did have flirtatious experiences that could have led to a more intimate setting and I wish I took advantage of it. I think learning about yourself sexually is a very valuable experience for when you get older. Don’t care what people say about you and your life. Live how you want and if you are open about your sexuality then more power to you.

4. READ, READ, READ – GAHHHH I can’t stress this one enough. Even though I feel like I am someone who is on top of his game in terms of organizations and responsibilities and very dependable, I sometimes lack the communication skills necessary to succeed in the work environment. I find myself stumbling over words consistently and not interpreting e-mails in the correct manner. I find this has a lot to do with my reading skills, which I consider poor. I would tell my younger self to read for at least 30 minutes every single day in order to widen their vocabulary database and improve their writing skills. I think reading does an effective job of putting thoughts together and make it coherent. I feel like I would be a much better writer today if I had started reading more frequently in the past.

5. PUT ASIDE $50 EVERY WEEK – Yes..Savings. This is something I fail to do for most of my life. I always feel like I am in a bind but the more I have been saving these past few weeks, the more I realized that I base my budget on not having that $50 and I still am surviving. I think this is crucial because everyone should have a savings of some sort in their life and to be better off in the future. Fortunately for me I have not run into any severe difficulties but one can never predict what may happen. Especially for me working in the entertainment industry, you never know what will happen to you career wise so it’s best to be prepared.

Alas, these 5 tips are things I wish I can tell my younger self if I were to see him. I wonder what I would be like if I was more active in the above habits. Nonetheless, I can’t reiterate how important it is to think in the moment and forget what you could have done. Start instilling these habits now!!! We are still young and there is still so much more life in the future. By the time I hit age 34, I don’t want to see myself saying I wish I started these practices when I was 27!

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Being in a Slump & How I’m Trying to Get Out

I’m in a slump. I feel like we’ve all been in this position at some point in our life. I feel empty, useless, stagnant, and anxious that things are not going fast enough in the direction that I would like. All of the concerns I have is giving me anxiety so I felt like the best way to get my thoughts together is to write them down and share them with my readers. My issues are varied and abundant and I tend to drift my focus on one problem and then suddenly change my focus to another problem. I need to be more patient and find ways to tackle all of these problems before things become even MORE overwhelming.

MONEY/DEBT – I always thought I be so good at managing my finances. However I financed my college education by myself and used credit cards to cover any expenses that my student loans were not able to cover. I moved to Los Angeles which is one of the most expensive cities to live in and made the dumb decision to buy a brand new-used car, adding to my loan burden. I incurred health issues over the last few years that racked up some health debt and I have some personal family loans that need to be repaid as well. In total I have about $5000 in credit card debt and $35,000 in car loan/student loan/health/personal debt. I’m 26 and I have 40k that I need to owe back and the thought of that really stresses me out.

I was taught growing up to make sure I invest in a Roth IRA and I know its one of the smartest things to do. I know that if my company offered a 401k that it is extremely advantageous to participate and contribute. Working in the entertainment industry however, I do not have the luxury that corporate companies do to participate in the 401k and I do not have the salary or the means to contribute to my Roth IRA due to living expenses and paying off my debt.

–>my attempt at a solution: I do my best to budget. I use a program called YNAB (You Need A Budget) and use that to give me an advantage and control over my spendings. But seeing the big numbers constantly pop up and not feeling like a dent is being made makes me really anxious. I want to contribute to my retirement as soon as I can but right now it’s not feasible until a few years from now. I’m more conscious of not giving in to any temptations that may come my way and be more frugal. A risky side venture that I’ve been contemplating is building a poker bankroll to hope to use that a side income (since I consider myself skilled in the game) but gambling is always frowned upon and I know better. Because of my impatience, it’s been a constant path in my mind that I want to venture on but ultimately know it is unwise.

CAREER –  I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for about 3 years now. I’m finally hitting that wall where I feel that this is probably not the right industry for me. Most people would crave my position. I mean, how often does one get to be within inches of Will Smith and other A-list celebrities! However, with me, I hate being bored and that’s what I feel right now. I’m bored at work. I feel like although my job is incredibly important and necessary, I don’t feel like I’m having any real impact on society. I don’t have a long term firm grasp on my career goals and that’s been bothering. I know what I like and what my hobbies are but whether to do it long term is an entirely different matter. A few of the things I’ve been thinking strongly about is to become a teacher; entrepreneur; team building outreach coordinator; nurse; Peace Corps/overseas employee. I know I have the world ahead of me and that I’m so young but I’ve been reading so many books that really asks the individual to narrow their career and focus on moving up in that career.

–> my attempt at a solution: My main career transition is to become a teacher. I’ve been researching various programs overseas to become an ESL teacher to foreign nations. However there is a lot of requirements/testing that is mandatory to become qualified. As of now, I’m enrolling at an online university called WGU (Western Governors University) to get my masters in education. The trouble I’m running into right now is that WGU requires a lot of prerequisites that I have not accomplished yet and thus am forced to spend even more money, in addition to WGU’s tuition, to get into the school initially. That has been a burden on me and contributes to the Money/Debt issue from above. Until I get my masters and my teaching credential, I feel like I can’t take the step to change my career and my boredom and can’t fulfill my desire to travel. And I feel like I can’t leave the entertainment industry because I need this stable job in order to pay for my online education in order to change my career. But, I at least have a road map and I am very happy about that.

LOVE/RELATIONSHIPS – Ahhh what a taboo topic for me. Love/Relationships/Intimacy/Sex is something I rarely discuss openly. I consider myself very late to the game and inexperienced in forming a relationship. I’m not a virgin but I’ve never been in a long-term or even short-term relationship or any sorts yet. Being 26, is that too late? Funny thing is, a lot of my friends gives me a boost of confidence by telling me my positive qualities and they are confused why I am not with someone yet and that in term confuses me as well. Perhaps I give off too much of an intimidating personality where people find me unapproachable if they are interested in me. I do admit that I have a friendly demeanor and it is easy for me to get to know people and make friends and be social so I can see how I can be perceived in that fashion. This is one of those things that I’ve been desiring immensely; the companion aspect, especially since I want to start a family of my own one day.

–my attempt at a solution: Being more pro-active and putting myself out there. I’m going to start asking people out much more frequently, especially those I have taken an interest in. I think dealing with rejection takes experience and it still stings for me. I’m afraid of getting hurt and so I don’t ask people out much but since things aren’t falling into my lap, I am aware I need to be much more active. I’ve been on dating websites such as Match, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, and even apps like Grindr, but so far I haven’t had any luck with them. In fact, they kind of lower your morale and you feel dejected when you reach out to people on these sites/apps and there is no response. Regardless, I prefer a  more forward/face to face interaction anyways.

I’m sorry if I am burdening my readers with these concerns of mine. These are only a few of the things I’ve been thinking about. Other smaller problems include LIVING SITUATION (not roommate issue, more of a I’m bored in LA type of problem); FAMILY PROBLEMS; SOCIAL CONCERNS. Writing all of this down is really getting me to think a lot and being open with myself and is extremely therapeutic. I’m probably going to see a therapist to discuss my concerns with and just to have somebody listen (aside from my friends).

But thank you for reading and would love any input/advice anyone may have in order to accomplish my goals/come up with a solution much more easier.

Love you all.

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