The word foreign can sound foreign or strange in itself. The meaning is the same in all all languages. It essentially translates to that which is different or country or language that is different from one’s own. Depending on where you are from, the word can also have different connotations that go along with it.

國外 外国人 
ngoại quốc

Maybe I’m foreign in my own skin. I am in love with being in new places, but never feel like I am where I need to be. Mostly because I haven’t yet found the place where I feel needed. My value of myself has not diminished with this fact, however, it leads me to think about what constitutes being foreign.

We’re all people and even though I might live miles away from a teacher in Asia, I know they also have to deal with students in a classroom. They also must create a plan to organize themselves. Now, that’s just a fantasy because these are ideals that I hope are similar but I know are not. What is similar is not always apparent because language gets in the way of making people think they are not able to communicate with those that are different.

Everyone (any age) should be trying to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd. Be unique, do something different. Try a new food, talk to people in your community from Asia or South America. Your culture can be modified to include different perspectives and ideas. It requires modifying your mindset somewhat as well.

It might be hard to admit but we all have biases. We all have things that we will not admit make us feel differently than other things do. Maybe the person reading this is already beginning to think of their inert biases at this moment.

Foreign is not being able to recognize that what’s different is there and not knowing whether that thing is bad or good. Foreign is not being able to understand why you want to try something different, go someplace new, or even create new experiences.

It’s a feeling, it’s a moment. It’s ongoing, because we’re all foreign people in a foreign land.

Cover/featured image via Giphy (original source taken down)

On success (pt. 1)

It’s likely that this year you have faced some failures. Some mishaps. Found yourself on a path that you’re not entirely proud of, but you are hoping for the best at this point. You are pretty certain that you are doing ok, but not sure what steps to take next to be great. The struggle comes from the realization that you are and probably always will be a failure in some way.

In the same vein though, you are the exact opposite of that. You are thriving and growing each and every day. Yay you! Alright, so let’s say it’s five years from now, you have achieved what you wanted and satisfaction is oh so sweet. You’re feeling not just happy, but pure contentment in your life and choices. Something is nagging at you though and it is the need to create. As humans we will always want to create something, it doesn’t matter your personality type (introverted or extroverted). However, creativity can lead to different happiness levels. Maybe your feelings on a certain subject or idea will change. Maybe you will hate everything about what your life has become up to that point. Maybe you wonder if you are not actually putting your time to good use. After all, creativity is everywhere and not everyone has to be a part of that. You can buy creativity but would it mean anything to you, would it have any value?

woman holding black flag
Photo by Engin Akyurt on

Let me say this then. You’re a teacher. You’re a writer. You’re a U/X designer. You’re an IT professional. You’re a babysitter. You’re a grocery-store clerk. You’re a bookseller. You’re a librarian. You’re a barista. You are creative, but you a part of a generation that doesn’t value you. You’re part of a society that values things that are more practical because they make more sense for future generations. Things like STEM technology, e-commerce and trade, finance and banking, law, and medicine are jobs the world needs more than a teacher or writer. The things that you want to do may not lead you down an easy road to success. You definitely won’t get to where to want to be that quickly. You need the drive and patience to not give up.

Success will never be easy if you’re a teacher. You won’t be making much. You will be overworked. You might have to work two other jobs, at least. You will have to take care of other personal projects as they come. You have to fight your own battles out there you creative soul.

Success may make or break you. I hope that it will make you stronger, but it could very well be very hard to achieve and that alone could break you until you are a shattered mess. Hold strong and remember that success is not a shot in the dark but a glowing bright light in a room full of shadows.

You got this. I got this. We all got this.

(cover/featured image via Pexels photo gallery through WordPress).

The art of failing

You forgot to pick up the milk again. You forgot to make sure that you will be writing down your goals this week or this month and now you are flailing around trying to “just get through the week.” Stop sucking and start being awesome is what I’m trying to say.

So you failed. Not a big deal, but at the moment in which the failure is happening that is not what you want to hear. You want to hear why you failed. Why are you screwing up so badly? Again? A common refrain you might utter: what did I do wrong? You probably forgot to check something or do that other thing or tell someone something. Either way, it’s on you only because you said so

Here’s a piece of advice that you can either take to heart or ignore completely (no in between, because you might be a cynic at this point): There are too many definitions of failure, but they will all amount to the basic idea that success was not or is not achieved. Or the second result from Google: 2. the omission of expected or required action. One might not know what that action is or refers to, but it is not reaching the goal. Trying and failing is standard in the book of failures. Those that live a life in which everything amounts to lowered expectations are not seeing failure for what it is. It is the idea of giving up, of throwing in the towel, all those euphemisms.

Failure is not an excuse to stop trying, but a reason to try differently. It is not a sign of your weakness that you feel the need to stop, but a sign of your own limits. Know those limits, you don’t have to cross them until you feel you are ready. Or maybe your limits will sink you like comfort sinks you like an anchor. It’s great to try, but even greater is the willingness to try a new idea. A new way to think about analyzing failure will eventually lead you to small successes. You will get that job. You will get a new place. You will find growth in your own small victories. Of course, analyzing too hard will only lead you to rethink everything and view failure as the only option.

It’s by design that way. You are already failing, so what’s another courageous try going to do?

Let’s try to have those new ideas and embrace all the bad flaws. The bad flaws are the good flaws now, now don’t go googling any more articles that leave you questioning.

Here’s to you. You are the most underrated human that is so awesome in your not fails.

Giphy source: Busch Beer

You’re an irregular person

You love your phone, right? You know that feeling of being outside your home and realizing you forgot your phone? It’s a terrible feeling that is also rooted in how we view ourselves. Sure, maybe you’re busy and really need to answer that email or text. Maybe your boss will be calling you. Saying “I forgot my phone” is as believable as a kid on a tv show saying the dog ate my homework. It didn’t happen. Something happened and you don’t have the device on your person, but you will thrive regardless of that situation.

Yes you will, don’t be negative. Work with me, please.

gif source

You’re lying to yourself if you believe you will change. Whatever that means. You need to be in the loop, informed. You need to have your phone because it is your anchor. It holds you down and comforts you, whether you choose to admit this or not. Maybe we like to tell people we will do good and be good but are these ideas fact or fiction?

Ok, enough about you then. You’re tired of the lies in the media. In the consumer society you have to live in. You take the lies, but then you read the other lies. It’s hard to make sense of where the lies stop and the truth begins because in some cases it seems a though the lies are easier to say than the actual truth. You don’t follow the news, as you say but there are things you keep up with. Your friends, family, and personal projects all require your attention. You are motivated to keep relationships and connections strong because they, (unlike the restless society), won’t let you down. Everyone hates to be let down, but it happens anyway. It’s probably in the handbook for life or something. This all doesn’t make a lot of sense, but you already know what I’m getting at because you know the whole truth. Your truth is that you don’t know what you want but you want so much to know.

You have some idea, but let it float on. Let it meander down the pond. Moving on is a good idea as it allows the mind to refresh. To be able to know is a rare thing these days. We are diverted by so many things on a daily basis, that attention spans are extremely short. Watching a 14-minute youtube video is not something anyone wants to do in their free time, because that is not quick. It is ignored that more time will likely be spent anyway scrolling through social media feeds anyway as the restless mind lives on. The next week will beat on and we will stand, waiting in earnest.

Or maybe just you, because your mind is all over the place today.

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Following a Guided Path

So, I’m doing my best to write in this blog everyday this week. Just, whenever I get done writing I post which makes for a lot of thinking. I don’t want to write about nothing, but I probably am. Of course, most blogs don’t always stay to a central goal (that is rather hard), but it is something to try. That’s what I’m trying to do, but it’s not always so easy.

In journalism, reporters must work to maintain that they are following a set of principles to ensure that their work touches on important matters. The news is always changing, stories do not remain constant. Journalists do not have a reliable life path because the journey is uncertain in the future. However, people still value quality journalism and news that makes sense. Take, The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal both striving to maintain the highest quality of professionalism and honesty in the trade. This is what people want. No one wants to be lied to or to be told that what they previously believed is no longer true. Of course why should  you, the reader care? Because, this form of striving to get the highest quality applies to most professions. No one wants a slacker or someone that doesn’t even try. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, analysts and more must make sure that the information they are presenting to others is accurate and in tact.

It’s not always easy to do this, as stated but one should know that they will feel a great sense of accomplishment by simply being able to do so. Follow a source that is true to your self, not others. What do you believe in? Who do you believe in? I’m not necessarily talking about faith, but more about how one should not give up on the idea of holding true to a certain dogma. Do you believe that drugs are bad news and that marriage is important? Or, maybe you don’t care so much for either and simply want to form better relationships with people (family, friends, and others) to connect more meaningfully? Maybe you are reading this thoughtfully or maybe skeptically. Perhaps you are even reading this to be polite, though you do not care at all for the subject matter. That’s quite alright as well. There is something you can do for yourself though; make sure you know what your intentions are.

By this point you maybe wondering what the point was. Well, the point is that I’m convincing myself (as well as whoever is reading this) that nothing stays the same for very long. In the same respect, goals that are too short only lead one to the end of the week. Which is not bad, at all. In fact, it’s a good starting point. A point at which one begins to recount how much it really matters to have real, concrete ideas in place. Ideas that can either make or break a person. Depending on who you are, it just might be worth it to think about what kind of path you follow then decide if it’s the right one.