Come next month, when it hits 22nd August, my birthday, my blog turns six years old.
Holy fuck! That’s a long time.
There has been ups, and then there have been downs, lots of downs.
Many have been the times I wondered:
“Why the hell am I doing this?”
“Why do I try so hard when everything I try don’t seem to work?”
“How do those successful, younger people become so rich while I am so broke?”
“Is this worth it?”
Yeah. I think of all the above. In fact, I am willing to admit right here, right now that I am scared.
I am turning 32 and it feels like that there is no end in sight. I don’t make a lot of money today. I am trying to. I love to write. So I write. And then I try to blend them all into a business.
But… it’s been scary as fuck. Always. I do fear of growing to be 40, still living with my mom, broke, tired, single, alone or becoming that pervy old uncle who chases after young girls.
Some of my friends think that I am fucking crazy. They condescend me. They tell me to get a fucking job. They say I will never make it. They say I’ve not achieved anything in my life. Shit like that.
Yet… I am still here. Writing and being me.
Here’s how I do it. Do note that I am just going to share my stories and thought process. I don’t really have template on how to not give up. Neither am I going to spew forth cliches like, “No excuses!”
1) I always go back to remembering the day my dad died
I’ve written about it before over here, the day my dad left us.
My dad suffered from the dreadful, incurable disease that is ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.) After dealing with it for a couple of years ago, his body succumbed to it one fateful morning as he passed on in his sleep.
On that morning, I saw his lifeless body on his bed. It was literally like, “Holy fuck! It has happened! That’s my dad right there! And he will never talk to me again!”
I cannot describe the shock and pain I felt that morning. It’s just something you have to experience yourself, and I certainly hope that you don’t have to.
A lot of things continued to flow into my mind:
“Why didn’t I talk to him and get to know him better? It’s too late now.”
“I am such a fucking bad son!”
“This… this is extremely real.”
“I’ve been unhappy and angry my entire life. Why? Has it been worth it? Why is it I try so hard to be good and I still have to see my dad die?”
Yes, I was sad and filled with regret then. But that wasn’t really the point.
I am not trying to sound overly existential here, but then I don’t want to simply drop the cliche that is “life is too short.”
Life is short indeed, but it is also extremely unpredictable. Death is extremely real my friend. We will all meet that destination one day, so much so the journey behind you wouldn’t matter at all. We’re just going to die.
Might as well make full use of today right?
2) I really don’t want to do something I am deign to and then die, or see another loved one die
Indeed, seeing my dad’s lifeless body made me feel how insignificant the things we chase in life are.
Money? Career? Love? A car? Holidays? Or even friends?
They won’t matter when you die or when someone close to you dies.
What matters more is that you create meaning for yourself by doing what you love and what you think is correct for you.
If I work some shit job I hate now, and then something tragic happens again, I am going to regret life and hate myself even more. So doing what I love is extremely important to me.
No, I do not think that I am leading a paranoid life. Others may say that I am or that I am impractical, but what would do they know? I saw death with my own eyes.
Others’ truths are not my truths anymore. Whatever I had been taught in school, been told by my elders or my friends,
they all went out the window that morning.
When you see death, trust me, you will start to listen to yourself more.
3) Passion is to creation is to meaning. That is real art.
Yes, I do what I love today. But let’s go a little deeper:
When you guys read what I write, you see only stories, meaningful takeaways or random, funny shit I come up with.
What you don’t see is the creation process. When I am in the zone, I literally feel HIGH as fuck! I get so inspired by watching the words form onscreen in front of me. In fact, that’s what I am doing right now, at 4AM in the morning. The wind is cool and the view from my new place is amazing.
This is the real meaning of passion: To feel that amazing high where everything in the world makes sense.
Passion isn’t a mere matter of quitting your job to do what you love. That’s so misguided nowadays.
I also feel this feeling and lead life with meaning through Bboying. When I dance, I am creating movement and listening to the music. That is something I know no one can ever take away from me.
Money? Family? Friends? Mere Things? Life itself? They all come and go whether you’re prepared for it or not.
I honestly hope that you can find this meaning for yourself too.
4) I know deep down that I need to sort my shit out first and that is a more purposeful life to me
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been seeing a psychologist this year. I’m seeing her to seek professional advice on how to deal with my anger.
I’ve honestly always been a pissed off dude for reasons I can’t even comprehend. I can frankly say that I was pretty miserable for the last ten years or so. I would rage at home and destroy things. I’d act like an asshole to my mom. I’d scream at my girlfriends. I’d ruminate for dozens of hours and indulge in revenge fantasies.
It hit a point where I didn’t want to get out of a bed for a period of time.
Heck man, I once went on a date with this girl I met in Thailand. A year later, she actually told me, “You and I are the same age, but when we went out that day, I could see it in your eyes that you were not a happy person.”
And so, I knew that even if I worked really hard to become rich or famous, I’d still be a miserable person. I knew that if I found the love of my life, I’d make her miserable too.
As such, my writing, social life and other endeavors have taken a backseat this year. And I am okay with that.
I strongly encourage you to deal with your personal issues at the core of it. Don’t waste time like I did. I chased money, read blogs, meditated and tried other woo-woo nonsense hoping that my anger could be cured overnight.
I also urge you to think deep down if the things around you truly make you happy or not.
I did. And this process of healing myself is something I know is the correct thing to do for myself now.
Is what you’re doing now the correct thing for you today? If you have trouble answering that, then I dare say that what you can get out of it, like a nice house, a fat bank account or even a partner will not help.
5) I know I am doing something right
This part is for you.
I always sucked as a marketer. I can’t make much money. But I know I am doing something right.
I get so many emails and messages from readers telling me how thankful they are for the work I do.
A couple of people even told me that I saved their lives.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Messages like that inspire me.
So if you know you’re doing something right, then you’re good. I may not be rich and famous yet, but at least I’ve helped some of you. I can’t really leave an impact if I am just spending money in clubs and shit.
I know I’ve been slacking off over the past few years as I dealt with my shit and struggle with marketing aspects, but I am really trying to find what aligns with me perfectly now.
6) It’s all part of an evolutionary process to create your identity, your soul
I remember telling my friend once when I was part-timing at a bar earlier this year, “Wow I really cannot envision myself being like any of these customers. They come to the bar everyday after work in their office attire, fold up their sleeves, have a beer and proceed to talk about work only.”
Man… that is so not me! The day I don some corporate attire and converse about work-related stuff only is the day I stop creating; stop being a writer and a Bboy.
All my struggles has made me who I am today.
My business struggles, my money woes, toxic relationships, getting cheated on, getting scammed, dealing with my anger and of course, my dad’s death are all major elements to create my being.
That’s how I can truly say that I am proud to be Alden Tan.
As said, my work and social life has taken a backseat this year. I don’t think most people really look deep enough to want to try to deal with their problems and fears. Instead, they work so hard to look good on the outside just to show others that they’re doing fine.
This is not identity to me. You can be rich, famous, attached to a beautiful person or driving a nice car, but still baffled that you’re unhappy, so much so you lose yourself and start to hate yourself or attack others.
And I’ve seen all of those cases: Rich folks who are depressed. Friends who are going through divorce today. And just angry people who are acting like total douchebags in public or on social media.
My last words to you:
For whatever struggles you’re going through today, or however much you feel like giving up:
Just know that all of these struggles will one day pull you out of darkness so you can finally shine as the person you truly are.
Maybe it will take some time. Maybe it will make you extremely fearful. I don’t know. I can’t read your future.
But just give yourself a chance and you will slowly get there.
It took my father’s death to set me down this path and I want to tell you that you do not have to go through what I did to realize that life is short and that you get to evolve and be the happy erson you want to be.
I may be broke, tired, and struggling, but I am Alden.
I am Alden Fucking Tan and I say that with pride.
(a far cry from corporate wear no?)
When was the last time you shouted, “I am fucking [your name]!”?
P.S. If you liked this post, do consider supporting me here on Patreon. No pressure yeah? After all, I joined Patreon so I can stop using pressure and other sale-sy nonsense.