How I never gave up after six years of blogging

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. 

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  1. Sebastian - July 21, 2017 7:26 pm

    I remember about one year ago my then girlfriend and I broke up. I was devastated, I hadn’t the slightest idea on how to handle the feelings and pain. But also around that time came over one of your articles wich you posted on imgur called “just fuck it”. Your honesty and rawness hit me.

    I won’t say everything changed for me then but I needed to hear it at the time, and I have been following your blog ever since. Your stories and writing have an impact on people, so never stop writing and thank you for being honest as fuck.

  2. Chris - August 7, 2017 3:11 am

    Alden, Alden, Alden…

    I remember visiting your site 5 years ago. You reminded me of Mark manson- with your raw honesty, and don’t give a fuck attitude. I devoured your articles, and kinda even looked up to you,then I went fulltime for a few years into my career- sales and eventually marketing online.I had my ups and downs, but now make a comfortable living online.

    I literally never visited your site again till today. 5 years out, I am disappointed and sad with the way things turned out for you. Sad because- shit happens and this is life. Disappointed because you seem to have had many opportunities to change, but you are too fucking stubborn and angry. I’m shocked to read through your articles.
    You are a talented and raw writer, so as a result, your emotion flows through. I read your 6 most recent articles, and I had to stop- so much negativity, pain and hurt behind your words.

    The “I’m an artist” speil is all well and good- you ARE an artist, but you sound like a broken man. It reflects in the quality of your writing. You have failed. Again and again.

    Unfortunately, it is now affecting your writing and making it repellant. Sure, people will resonate with you and you’ll get the occasional “your article changed my life” email, but bitching about “lucky people”( no one can determine what “luck” is, so the article is simply judgemental) and how life whopped your ass will lot help your art.

    As someone who makes a living online and offline, I’ve been through the bullshit of gurus, scammers, life coaches,etc. I’ve had moments when I spent my last dime hoping a course I was purchasing would save my business and maybe I’d be one of those who experienced an awesome rags to riches story.It didnt happen. I went from rags…to middle class.Which is where I honestly sit right now- many would say I am well off, but I have much bigger goals, which I will achieve.

    I hit rock bottom- but I didn’t quit. I overcame my hate towards the “gurus, get rich quick guys, etc and learned to accept that this was online capitalism.

    The truth, Alden, is that no ones road to success will be the same as yours. There are very few people out there who will teach you how to to make it in marketing, therefore most of these marketing gurus suck. I went back to the basics- Working on mastering my skill, and learning marketing and sales from the BASICS. Not from Gurus.

    “I always sucked as a marketer. I can’t make much money. But I know I am doing something right.”

    This is absolute bullshit. Marketing is a skill which you can improve on. At least enough to make a living.

    Have you ever asked yourself if you suck at marketing because you were learning from people who suck?

    I click on one of your books and find out that you are Now you are on Patreon vulnerably begging for money.

    You have a solid blog. You are going through a dip. You can be a transparent and authentic person and still make good money.You can be an artist and also a decent marketer making a good enough living to take care of yourself, your mom and fund your goals of helping other.

    Take this bullshit :
    “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.”

    This is just like those shitty quotes on intagram that you hate. Why? Because it is disingenuous.You are obviously struggling, but you still manage to shit out some WEAK motivational crap.

    That’s the truth. Maybe you wrote that for yourself, but I call it bullshit, because you don’t sound like someone who is giving yourself a chance. You sound like someone who is beat and making excuses .

    Blogging is a BUSINESS.Whether you like it or not. If you don’t accept this FACT, you’ll just be another good artist who wasted his youth and died broke with the refrain ” At least I was authentic and lived my life my way”

    What you have here is a really good diary that you want people to read. You site is just about YOU and you attract people who relate to you. That’s where it ends. Learn human psychology. Read and study sales , marketing and copy writing from the greats- before the fucking internet. Find out the pain points of the people that come to your site- create a product they want and sell it to them honestly- flaws and all. If you can beg on patreon, you can sell on your own goddamn platform, brother. The key is: A PRODUCT THEY WANT. Who told you that people wanted to read a book called Fuck the Universe? The brand you have been riding on is ” I don’t give a fuck.” . Perhaps it time to change it because your last few posts sound very much like a man who has many fucks to give.

    Have you tried Youtube? A podcast? Or are you just stubbornly stuck on being a writer? You were a good writer 5 years ago.5 years later( take it from someone who hasnt been on your blog for that long), you are still good…but your writing hasn’t improved. That’s another reason why I am disappointed. Technically, as a writer, there has been no improvement.

    “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.”

    I’ll give you one last piece of unsolicited advice.

    Stop trying.Stop clinging so hard to “what you love”. That is a bullshit lie sold to the masses to keep them in the herd.Begging for handouts on patreon. The “artists” killing it on patreon are great artist and even better business people and master marketers. Right now, who the fuck do you think will pay for you for your “i’m so angry, I dont give a fuck- fuck the lucky people” 1,000 word verbal diarrhea?

    Do the shit that makes you money and do it honestly. Do it right. If that means become a better writer and writing shit that will generate mad traffic, do it. If it means pausing the writing and getting your ideas out in a different format- do it.

    I know you are taking going through a “healing process”- but if you are scared, you dont have time to “figure it out”. Shit is figured out by being IN it. Yeah- you meditated,learned “internet marketing”, chased money ( this alone tells me 90% of your problem- internet money chaser never make it. People who build a business and deliver VALUE that people will PAY for make money.)

    Let me tell you how I finally figured my shit out in this online world. For over a year, I didn’t read anyone’s blog, didn’t follow anyone on Instagram, didn’t have a coach or a guru or some motivational crap. I just focused on building my skills. Learning marketing, sales, human psychology, become a better speaker and becoming really good at my core skill( which I will keep anonymous).

    I paused while writing this and looked up your analytics, looked through your site.This blog has 6 figure potential($US) and is being half assed. It almost boggles my mind that you are not financially comfortable.

    All this is said with love. Take it or leave it. I’m still a fan.

    You can rise above this, but you will have to wade far out of your comfort zone and perhaps even learn to love something you currently loathe.

    I’d say goodluck, but I don’t believe in luck. I don’t believe in “hustle” or “grind” either. I believe in myself.

    And that’s all you’ve fucking got, Alden Tan. Self fucking belief. I you don’t have that, you ain’t got shit.



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