Category Archives: growing up

KANT’S RULES OF HAPPINESS

KANT'S RULES FORHAPPINESS

 

So, I came across this quote the other day,  and I’ll admit, it’s sad that I just found this because I was literally in a philosophy class last semester and we talked about Kant!  Not to mention the fact that I’ve been blogging about depression and my lonely life for 4 fucking years now.

Anyhoo, so Kant has famously said:

Rules for happiness_ something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.

Have you all heard this before?  Because seriously, this is like life changing for me… and yet I’m worried that this quote may be common knowledge for pretty much everyone but me.

 

Anyways, let’s dive into this shit.

 

1.) SOMETHING TO DO

 

For a very, very long time, I lacked this. I mean, even to this very day I’m still pretty weak in this department (But I’m making progress). But I completely agree that this is so true.  When you’re doing things that you hate and that bore you, how the fuck are you supposed to be happy? 

For example, I’ve spent so many fucking years working in restaurants and in retail. I was bored.  In fact, I was bored to death.  I was so bored that I was horribly depressed, and would break out into panic attacks just thinking about how meaningless my life was.

What made it even worse is that I would try to reach out to people.  I’d try to be like, “I’m so unhappy, I know I can do more with my life…I’m meant for more than this.”

and that was always met with:

“In this economy you should just be thankful you have a job…”

or

“Oh well you know, everyone gets bored with everything they do eventually…”

or

“What other kind of job do you think you could even get???”

 

It’s sad that people don’t try and life you up, they just try and keep you down at their level.  The lesson here is that if you’re doing something and you feel like your stuck and bored and miserable, then switch it up!  Get out of that place!  (Granted this is something that can take time…but don’t let that deter you from doing it!)

 

 

2.) SOMEONE TO LOVE

 

I think it’s pretty obvious that this doesn’t just mean love in a romantic sense.  I think this is more about having people in your life.  Friends, family, and romance.

I’ve talked about this with a lot of people.  I never had anyone there for me growing up, and it totally killed me inside.  Living in social isolation is absolute hell.  And what’s even worse is when bad things happen to you.  In general, most people get through the bad times by being surrounded by those who care about them.  They use the shoulders around them to cry on.

And when you don’t have any shoulders around…when it’s just you vs. the universe, the world is a horribly crushing place.

Having people in your life…people who actually care… is life changing.

In fact, something pretty amazing happened the other night.  I’ve started to make some friends here at Harvard.  We met through a board game club on campus.  And last month it was brought up that when Star Wars came out, we should all go see it.

SW

And sure enough, on Thursday, opening night for The Last Jedi, we all went and saw it.  I was standing in the T, with seven of my friends around me… I looked around and I thought to myself… “Wow, this is the first time in my entire life that I’ve ever gone somewhere with a group of people!” 

I don’t want to sound stupid, but it was a completely profound experience. I, at 27 years old, had finally done something that I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was a kid.  I was hanging out with a group of friends.

We did all the things that people with social lives do.  We were all texting each other about where to meet and stuff, we all sat in a group at the movies, and we even had an issue where the car broke down, so we had to flag someone down to jump the car at 1am… look at that, a night complete with wacky surprises!  This may seem like normal stuff you guys, but for me, this was a totally new experience. It’s crazy how something that seems so meaningless to most people can be so moving to others.

I actually really like how Star Wars has a way of bringing people together.  It’s almost like it’s mankind’s favorite story.  It teaches us to be better people and to never give up.

 

3.) SOMETHING TO HOPE FOR

So, I see this as also meaning something to look forward.  Something that makes you want to keep living.  Something that makes you believe fun and happiness is on the horizon.  That something will better your life. 

And… hmmmm… this is becoming a Star Wars post now.  Because you know, Star Wars is all about HOPE. The entire plot-line of Star Wars is the hope that good will overcome darkness.  That is the rebellion.

And I don’t know if any of you have read some of my earlier posts throughout the years, but there have been times when I literally have had no hope.  There have been times where I was just wishing that I’d die through the night so I wouldn’t have to go on living another day.

But now…things are different.  Since starting at Harvard, it’s like my life has turned around.  I have internships now… I have a sense that I will actually make something of myself… I think I could become a good writer at some point… and I even have friends now (wtf right?  How did all this happen?)

Well…I needed hope.  I needed hope that my life could become better.  I needed hope that things weren’t over yet.  I needed to believe that I could do it.

And now, that small sliver of hope, that small flame in the eternal darkness… It’s lead to more hope.  And now, hopefully this post is bringing about more hope.  Because like Kant says, we all need hope.

 

 

So, what does this mean?  …. good question.  This post was not put together well at all.  My writing professors would be annoyed, but you know what fuck them.  This isn’t being written for a class, this is being written for catharsis.

But here’s what I can say for you.  If you have people who are bringing you down, well then, you gosta’ slap a bitch.

slap

 

Cuz you got this.  You can do it.  Yes, this world can be unfair, and sure, some of may be missing some or all of Kant’s 3 sources to happiness, but this is the only life we have.  And so we gotta rock shit out.

Go for it.

Never give up.

And may the force be with you.

lightspeed

 

 

Light speed bitches!

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

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I Long To Be The Younger Me Again

Feb 2010 Campus Scenes

 

Does anyone else out there look back on their past and wish they were young again?  I mean, I didn’t even like being young.  My life has been a raging shitshow since about age 10

But at the same time, there was the spark back then.  This magic all around me. 

I believed that everything was going to work out.  I thought that one day I’d fly away and be surrounded by people who loved and cared for me.  When I was 20, I was so much more jaded than any other 20 year-old around me, but now, at 27, I’m even more bitter and jaded than I thought humanly possible.

 

This one memory has been popping back into my head for about a month now.

It’s the memory of being twenty years old and being back in undergrad.  Back at a school called Loyola Marymount University.

LMU1

Loyola Marymount is located in sunny Los Angeles and it’s campus is beautiful and pristine.  Being from working class Ohio, I always felt completely out of place surrounded by all the kids from the OC and the Bay who drove their BMWs and Range Rovers around campus.

Back then I hated that school.  I had no friends.  I didn’t connect with the coke-snorting millionaires from Laguna Beach who partied in WeHo rather than did homework like me.   It was so isolating and lonely.  I remember it was so bad that I moved to Westwood to live with UCLA kids.   Then I had about a 2 hour bus commute every day there and back on the Santa Monica 3 bus line.

 

lmu3

 

And yet, these days, I look back and miss those days.  I miss being in undergrad. I miss being that young.  I miss looking out my classroom windows and seeing palm trees and the LA skyline.

But you know, what I really miss is being surrounded by peers.  There is an experience in undergrad that you’ll never get in anything else you ever do in life for as long as you live.  Its you, being young, and being surrounded by a bunch of other young people.  There is just this feeling like a new friend could be around every corner. Maybe a potential boyfriend is sitting next to you in class.   You just always think that something good may be coming.

So that’s what I’m remembering.  I keep thinking of sitting in this history class I had.  There was this really cute straight guy who sat next to me.  I used to sneak looks at him when he wasn’t looking.  And sometimes, he’d catch my looking and I’d smile like as I was just looking around the room and happened to make eye-contact with him.  He’d give me this bro-like “sup” motion with his face.

AudreyMa_LMU_2015_1520

I’ll never have that again.   I’ll never feel like a new friend is around every corner.  I’ll never feel like I’ll fall in love ever again.   I just rot.  I just got older and more isolated and my body crumbles and fades with age.

You’re only young once.   After that it’s all over.  Now, everyone is settling down, getting married, getting fat, plopping into their 9-5 (which in America has quickly turned to the 8-6), and they wash their adulthoods away at bars on the weekends talking about life as “grown ups” as they discuss buying homes and other such bullshits.

I think I actually hate them more now.  At least back when we were 20 and they didn’t have anything in common with me, I could still have some eye candy.  But now, that glow of youth that all the hot guys used to have has been replaced with a growing belly and back hair.   I wonder how they look at themselves in the mirror everyday without wanting to commit suicide.   How far they’ve fallen.

lmu6

But despite how awful life becomes, I will still have my memories.  At nighttime as I sit in my bed unable to fall asleep, I close my eyes, and think about my past.  I replay those days at LMU on loop in my head.  My bedroom provides an escape from my present.  I’d rather be lost a delusional fantasy of what my life used to be, than sit in bed at night and dwell on how it only continues to get worse.

lmu7

Anyways, does anyone else feel that way?  Does anyone else feel like even though life was never good, it was somehow less bad when you were young?

And where do we go from here?

~ The Dark Horse

(This was…perhaps 30% proofread?)

Life Really Can Get Better. You Just Need To Try (God, It Sounds Cliche, But It Works)

dave

 

So, this is super annoying, but my life is quickly getting better.  Like, so quickly it’s actually making me mad.  I’m mad that I sat in a shell for so long.  That I feared life.  That I doubted myself.  That I didn’t take risks and go out a limb simply because I believed others when they said I was worth nothing.

 

So for anyone who is reading this blog for the first time, I just started taking classes at Harvard last month.  Im brand new to Boston.  And yet in this one month I have started classes, Ive started writing a novel, and I just got offered a job to write the social media for a company here…. WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE?  

WHAT

THE 

FUCK?

 

Why Didn’t I decide to start writing a novel sooner?  Ive been blogging for like 3 years.  It isn’t like I haven’t had the desire to write.   In fact I’ve had story ideas just sitting in my mind for years.  What have I been doing?

 

Is it possible that things can go well?  That maybe the world is colorful? 

dave1

 

 

That maybe the bad guys don’t win at the end?  

I’m still just so fucking annoyed that I sat and believed for so long that nothing good could ever happen to me.  I believed with ALL OF MY HEART that I wasn’t worth anything.  That I failed because I deserved to fail.   That I was just better off dead.   That was the only reason I could think of as to why people kept telling me I was worth nothing.

But you know what, maybe there are other reasons?

~ Maybe because I decided to be myself and not follow the norm, the road wasn’t paved with signs telling me where to go… well the road wasn’t even paved.   Thats just part of being different.

~ Maybe people felt jealous or threatened that I wanted more for my life than a boring 9-5 where I had to drink my weekends away just to cope.

~ Maybe all those failures kept showing me what paths not to go down.  Maybe they were learning experiences?  Maybe thats just life process of anyone who follows the beat of their own drum?

So what can I say to you people who are reading this? 

Well for starters. Don’t give up.  NEVER EVER GIVE UP.

Don’t listen to the people who put you down.  This world is full of hateful people.  They have their issues and reasons as to why they’re such assholes, and none of them should matter to you.  let them go rot in their own filth.  Don’t become one of them.

Remember that you’re talented and smart and can do anything.  Any of us who go trough the day with depression, anxiety, or any other mental problems are so strong.   We have to deal with the shit the common man can’t even comprehend. So remember, if you have the strength to get out of bed, you have the strength to change the world.

dave3

This world can be bright and colorful.  Just like the picture above.  We just need to remember to rock shit out, and never take no for an answer.

dave4

 

 

Life is short, don’t waste anymore of it.

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

Dear Mom and Dad (A Letter They Will Never Read)

cab

 

Dear mom and dad, Im writing this because I know you’ll never read this.    I just wanted to let you know that yesterday, after leaving you at the airport, I arrived safely in Cambridge.   I will begin school next Monday and honestly, Im so excited.

 

I know that I never ever tell you this, but I love you both so much.   You guys have done so much for me and have made so many sacrifices.    Granted, we rarely see things eye-to-eye, and I know you guys don’t get me and my dreams.   But I don’t blame you.   We’re just different types of people and thats fine.

As you both know, I move around a lot.  And Its because I’m trying to find myself.   I have this deep need to be better.  To achieve greatness.  To try and take the world by storm.    But at the same time, I’ve been deeply hurt in my life.  From people who don’t get me.  From people who don’t want watch me succeed.    And in part, I suppose I have left their words and actions affect me to much.  Furthermore,  I can tell you both that it does get lonely when you constantly restart in new locations.  And I do miss you.   And I do have times where I just want to hop on a plane and come home.

 

The reason I never mention any of that to you is because I have too much pride.  I don’t want you guys worrying about me.  Fearing for me.   I don’t want you to know that Im not superhuman.   They say that every child has that moment where they realize their parents are only human.  Merely two flawed Earthlings.   When I found that out about you guys it broke my heart, and so I never want to make you two go through that same thing.

 

 

However, there is good news too.  I have really good hopes for this!  I think my intentions of going back to school are pure.  I almost feel a sense of innocence again.  Kind of like how most kids must feel when they start undergrad.  A blind-hope.  Some kind of just pure happiness and a thought things are about to be awesome.   I think I’ll learn a lot at Harvard.  I think I’ll be challenged.  Be bettered.   I have this sense of optimism and hope.  A feeling that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now…. a feeling I haven’t had in a very long time.

 

 

One day I hope that I can make you both very proud to be my parents ( I know you already are )   But still, I don’t feel proud to be me yet… Maybe thats what Im really hoping for.  And thats something Im never able to tell you.  That I feel like a failure.   I feel like a pathetic and complete failure.   I thought I would be so much more at age 27 than what I am.

 

But again, right now I’m feeling good.  Im feeling hopeful.   Im feeling optimistic.  And I just wanted to let you both know how much you mean to me.  How much I miss you every time I leave, and how grateful I am for your love and unending support.

 

~Love your son, The Dark Horse

The After-Christmas Blues

ch

 

Ugh….  The Christmas music is gone.  The family has all parted ways… The presents have been opened… and now here we are.  Stuck with the post-christmas lows.

 

Its always weird for me.   Everyone always acts so busy at the holidays.    Like, “Oh I just couldn’t possibly stay any longer, I just have so much to do I have to go right now!”

Does anyone else feel like thats how everyone is?  Even at the family Christmas there are people who come, eat the food, and then are like, “Ok everyone we have to go, bye!”.   And I’m like… Where exactly is everyone going all the time?

If you’re going to come into town Christmas eve night and leave at 8am the day after Christmas what exactly are you even coming home for?     Like, seriously people… if you’re lives are so full-on that actually breaking away from your job for JUST 1 DAY  is now a chore, don’t come home!

ch1

 

But as I grow older thats how life has become.   Christmas is this whirlwind now consisting of 1 day.  Where I hear nothing but family complaining about how tired the holidays make them, how busy they are, how quickly they have to rush out right after Christmas…. and then before you know it, its December 26.  Everyone is gone.  The mad dash to go somewhere else is in full-swing.

We spend 2 months putting up lights, listening to Christmas carols, buying presents, baking cookies….. all for one day where EVERYONE ON EARTH just complains about how tired these two months have made them.  How they’re just too stressed right now… and how they have to leave immediately.

Well human population:  You’re negativity, lack of enthusiasm, and commitment to your jobs which must be working you 60 or 70 hours a week with how much you complain about them, has left me now tired, depressed, and empathetic.

Your Christmas has ruined mine.  I hope you’re happy.  

And now you’re all gone.  Back to your jobs which you hate so much.   Back to paying off your mortgages, your kids, your cars, and the presents you couldn’t afford.    You’re back to living your lives you complain about so much.     And Why? 

ch2

Now don’t get me wrong.  Im not some unemployed welfare muncher.  I work as well.    And no, I don’t like my job.  But you know what people, I’m doing sometime about it.  Im going back to school.  Ive never invested in things that would keep me tied down to consumerist culture like buying a house, buying the newest car, or  the crappy gadgets that don’t do anything (talkin’ to you fitbit and apple watch people).     Because without having any of that hanging over my head I’m free to switch up my life.  Im free to change things.  Im not tied down.  I don’t have anything looming over my head.   I am not happy with my life, and therefore I am changing it.  You people are not happy with your lives, and yet you just sit in your filth.   You tie yourself down.   You get stuck, trapped, and captured.

Then this one time of year comes around meant for family, fun, and friendship.   It could be so beautiful.  The lights, the trees, the time spent together….but no.   Instead you’re so frazzled that the holidays have become a pathetic spectacle.   Christmas is now just one more day in your life that has clearly become so boring, so routine, and mundane that you just could’t give a fuck anymore.

And thats sad.     And it makes me sad.    And what makes it even worse is that you’re all convinced thats just how life is.   Working a job that doesn’t really make you happy is something you believe everyone just does.    Buying too many presents for people who don’t actually need them is just part of the season.   Getting fatter and fatter every year is just part of getting older…and so on and so on.    If your 15 yr old self saw you right now, what would they think?

Apparently to most of you, adulthood is the end of your life.   All you have is the memories of your youth now.

I don’t want that as my life.    And I’m sorry that so many of you have let that become you.

Sorry for the horribly negative post, just something Ive been noticing.

~ The Dark Horse

A Positive Voice Can Make All The Difference

mentor

 

So the other day i was really down.  My job is making me feel like shit.   My parents are making me feel like shit.  Society is making me feel like shit.   So, I was just all-around feeling like shit.

So, I called Lifeline.  Which people listen to me,  WHEN YOU ARE DOWN CALL LIFELINE!  THEY ARE AMAZING.   Id rather have you call lifeline and talk it out than go through the day feeling too depressed or anxious to live.

So I started listing off everything like a crazy person:

~ grew up gay in Ohio and have never had friends

~had to work full time during college to pay for college, and thusly totally missed out on the college experience and internships because i was busy working full time on top of school

~ Have been traveling around the world since graduation looking for a place to land…and haven’t found it

~my new job with sucks and doesn’t pay well, and my parents yelling at me constantly telling me to grow up

~ And how I’m applying to grad school but am worried about finances and if it will even pay off.

mnetor2

And I swear to God she is like….. “sweetie, you need to slow down”.   So I slow down, take a breath and let her talk for a bit as I cool off.   She starts talking about how the economy is different now than it was for my parents.   Its normal to be 26 and lost in life these days.  She then tells me its also partly me:  She said, and I swear to you I loved this…she was like, “Look I can tell just from talking to you that you’re very smart.  Probably smarter than most people.   And Im sure way smarter than the people you work with since you’re working in retail”… “And you need to understand that small-time jobs and small-time people will never click with you,  because you’re meant for more”.

I literally was filled with warmth.   Someone actually on my side?  Someone who actually believes I can do something with my life?    IS THAT WHAT HAVING SUPPORT IN LIFE FEELS LIKE????   

I just relaxed in my seat  ( I was driving when I called because I just didn’t want to be at home).   I slowed down, went down some side streets and just smiled.   Hearing something nice….oh my god.  it was amazing!

Then she said, So what are you wanting to go to school for?  And I said Creative Writing.  Then she said, “Well you know, maybe you could find a compromise?   Get a day job and just write on the weekends as a hobby?”.   This made me kind of annoyed because is this something I hear from everyone…just another GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CLOUDS comment.   But I tried to let her keep talking….but I just couldn’t. I had to tell her I actually feel because nobody else ever lets me.

So I said, well If I do that, how do I control this dying feeling I have inside?  And she was like… what do you mean?

So I told her that the idea of me not being able to live my dreams gives me a feeling like my intensities are being ground inside me.   Like Im suffocating.   Like theres no point in living.

mentor3

I want to write.  I want to inspire people!  I want to motivate people to want to continue living!  I want to make stories that are full of adventure, friendship, love, and overcoming obstacles that seem impossible…. until the end when you find out that hard work, dedication and a bit of teamwork can accomplish anything.   Growing up movies and books were my only friends.  After being called faggot all day at school, after the teachers would pretend like they didn’t see kids throwing things at me, after coming home and having my parents ask me why I had no friends, I could run up to my room and watch a movie or read a book.  They were my friends.   They were the ones who taught me about life.   I could see people who were like me, in situations that seemed hopeless…but you know what?  Somehow they always managed to conquer evil.  To win in the end.  To accomplish goals that seemed impossible!   And along the way they always made friends, had an adventure, and came out better people in the end.   I want to be able to give that to other people.

The she was silent for a few seconds… and then said:

“Sweetie, then you have no choice but to be a writer.   I’m sorry about what I said before… you’re dedicated, you know what you want, and you’re intentions are genuine.  You don’t have a choice but to chase your dreams”.

The biggest smile ever came across my face.  I just thought, FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS

Then she continued, “You know you may never make six figures though right? You may never accomplish wealth…”  And I was like, “Look, If I was happy and doing what I loved and was helping people, Id be fine living in a little apartment for the rest of my life, because Id have happiness, and self-worth.  Which is way better than money”.

Then she just laughed and said, “Honey, you will be very successful in life.  You are so genuine and want to write for all the right reasons.  You should also do public speaking,  you’re great at it”…

Then I was like, ” UUUGGGHHH I’d lllllllooooooovvvvvveeeee to do TED talks you have no idea!”

mentor4

She was like, “You know what, I really like you!   Here’s what you need to do.  Stop talking about your life to people in your hometown.  You’re better than them and you know what, jealousy will probably always make then hate you….and continue put you and your dreams down.  Normal people don’t chase their dreams because there afraid.  So they settle.  Don’t ever let them influence your life”.

 

I can’t even tell you how much that talk meant to me.    It just goes to show how much a positive voice in your life can change everything.

So, here I am, refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to fight the fight.

Never give up, never surrender!

~ The Dark Horse

UUGHHHH no this want proofread!  Who has the time??