Reflecting Back on the Year 2022

Between what has been going on with the world; the Winter Olympics, an invasion turned to war, then fast forward to Argentina winning the World Cup. Yet every single one of us out there are still dealing with our own world. What we have to do on a day-to-day basis whether it’s living or surviving. And that’s life. It moves forward with or without us. Our actions, choices, can determine the outcome if we are able to move forward with life as well. How you face your problems is on you. This is the story of the problems I had to deal with this past year…

The New Year

As 2022 had just gotten underway, I started a new job. Now working as a barista along with being a host at a restaurant, juggling these 2 jobs was very manageable. I still had some free time for myself, but it wasn’t long before I decided to quit my restaurant job. Having been there about 6 months, I became pretty comfortable with myself around several of my colleagues. But something was different. That last stretch that I was there, I was picking up negative vibes. As a host, I only was responsible for so much, yet I ended up doing a lot more than I should have. Every once in a while wasn’t so bad, but this became constant. I didn’t feel appreciated. My last week on the job, my boss wanted to have a 1-on-1 of where I’m at with the job and I told him how I felt. Then, all of a sudden everyone started including me into these conversations with them, yet I still quit. Not sure the main reason why, but the fact it took me having to tell my boss this before seeing some changes, didn’t sit well with me. So, now I was down to one job where I was new to being a barista. Having to learn how to make all sorts of drinks and their computer system took me a while. Actually, I still don’t know how to make too many drinks. They just loved that I was great with conversating with our customers that I was mostly doing that. Which I’m perfectly fine with but it’s definitely not as easy as you might think. Try to have almost the same conversation with like 200 people every day. And that was pretty much it for the remainder of the year. I went back to driving for Doordash after taking some time off for myself. Unfortunately, the problem with Doordashing is that it comes with a cost…

You can make a living by being a Doordash driver. And I won’t tell you that it’s easy, but also that it’s not. The best way to put it, it’s not for everyone. Just like all the different types of jobs within this world. Just about every individual has a job that fits them nicely. Whether or not you like the job, it’s their so you can live, or survive for that matter. The miles do add up, and quickly. Say you put in about 20 hours a week on dashing. Depending on where you live, the miles do vary. And with that, the maintenance needed comes up much sooner. You don’t realize how often you need to get an oil change, possibly tires and your brakes, and yeah, I can go on. This has been my main issue. Without a properly decent running car, it won’t go well for you. I know I’ve had one too many problems with my car this year already, and it hasn’t been easy. I’m just thankful that my brother has been there to get me out of these tough times. Because I’m not sure how I would have to handle some of these situations if I was completely alone. And for that, I am so grateful for him!

Learning The Hard Way

By now I have already let the paranoia take over from my smoking days. I picked up on some things I may have been right about, and some that was wrong, probably. From an old colleague that I believe was preparing to fight me, to thinking some of my closest friends just had it out for me. Sometime after I stopped smoking, I took a real long look at my life. Reflected back on not just the past year, but as far back as I can remember. And without realizing it, I saw myself as a know-it-all. When it comes to so many subjects and topics, I had some knowledge about them. Of course, with that I was almost constantly correcting others or had to put my “ten cents” into perspective. It threw me off that I didn’t know what to do. So, pretty much the next time I was around people, and we would have a conversation, I went back to my old roots that I knew growing up… staying quiet. Unless someone was talking to me specifically about something. Ever since I was a child, I was never too comfortable around a larger crowd or even a small group of people that I would just listen and stay quiet. Learning how everyone acts in their comfort zone. Which is one of the main reasons why I like to consider myself as a lone wolf. Never truly fitting in. But I’m okay with that and don’t mind being by myself. It can be lonely at times but also, it’s quiet and peaceful.

The problem starts when nobody tells you their issue they have with you. But also, let’s hope it’s just one issue and not too many more. I get it! It is extremely difficult to tell someone a problem you have with them that you just cannot say in person unless you’re immediately confronted by it somehow. For those that are able to, good for you. Worst comes to worst, you can always send a text.

You can’t always get something right the first time. With one of my jobs, I have many opportunities talking to customers. For a brief moment, I get to find out how their day is going or maybe seeing what they have planned, and many other options. With some people, I would take the conversation too far down my comfort zone… alright, since you didn’t ask, I told them for some dumb reason, when I see a full moon out, I would howl… yeah, I told them that. Right before they left, I noticed a slight eye roll. That’s when I knew to dial it back a bit. But it’s a learning curve or whatever that phrase is called. I tend to be really good at reading people and their body language, I will notice even the subtleness of signs. Except for when I’m flirting. My mind cannot process that right away. It’s a curse.

However, I am getting better. Every day that I’m given the opportunity, I am working on myself hoping to make people’s day, at least for that moment. But no matter how brief the moment is, if I am able to leave a positive vibe on their mood or can make their day, I know that’s a memory that they can take with them.

Just remember if you’re determined to have a better year, it’s just a calendar. Don’t wait for the year to change. You are given the opportunity. You have the choice. There’s no better time than now.

Hope you have a happy New Year and stay safe!

Laos New Year | One Year Later

After about a year since my very first blog post, I thought I would share some things about my personal life. Just this past weekend I got to spend some time with my family, eat a little bit, and had a nice talk with one of my nephews. We even watched some of our own YouTube videos with a channel that I know I’m struggling on, mostly because I don’t post enough. There was so much we just talked about, like his schooling, love interest, and I offered him one of my bowling balls considering now that I’m retired from leagues. I figured I did all I needed to do with bowling, almost nothing more I could do. Other than bowl an 800 series.

This year is quite different in comparison to last year. My brother-in-law wasn’t feeling too well after spending some time in the hospital. We just did what we had to in hopes he’ll get better in time. Our annual golf tournament has already been canceled this year. With no winner, it didn’t feel right continuing this tournament without him. Will be rooting for a speedy recovery for him though. Considering Laos New Year is right around the same time as the anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, I went and revisited the movie. Still a classic. Sometime after dropping my mom off, I took home some leftovers. Got a little Papa John’s which was really nice. There’s just something about that garlic sauce that hits differently. That’s how I’m able to smash the crusts as well.

Goal For The Year

It’s simple. I just need to stop being lazy. Once I figure that out then with time dreams will start to come true. For any of you who are still with me, thank you for sticking around while I get my sh*t together. Let’s see if I can bring back some older topics back into play this Pi Mai.

My Story

This just might be long overdue. Why I got into writing and what my reason was to start my very own blog. Some of my goals and dreams in life, and what is in stored for my future (assuming I stay disciplined and motivated). From everything I’ve learned in my life and what was taken in from 2021, I will be dick-punching 2022 right in the face (in a good way)! So, without further ado…

Inspiration To Blog

My very first post came in May of 2021. I wanted to represent my culture, my family. Basically, where we came from, and the timing could not have been any better. It was right around Laos New Year and with traditions come good eating. We had plenty to eat, but there was one thing I left out in that story… when I got high with my sister and her boyfriend. I had taken a couple months off from smoking but thought since I was with family that I would be in good hands. That my paranoia may have subsided, at least for that moment. As Derrick (my sister’s boyfriend) and I were sitting by the fire and the high was kicking in pretty good, I was having a genuine conversation with him… which was short lived. As I was telling him a story, mid-sentence I just stopped completely because I lost track of what I was talking about. Cracking Derrick up unintentionally from that was pretty nice. Little did I know, I would end up doing it again moments later. We both laughed about it. It was a really good night. But darkness was taking me! My body just became cold. I was shivering so much I ended up being right up to the barrel where we had the fire. Thinking back to it, I knew it had something to do with being too skinny. I took it as a sign that I needed to get some meat on my bones. I know this because when I was at home and was high, I was shivering yet again and every time I would walk, it felt like my bones were rubbing up against each other.

Anyway, the reason I started blogging was because I felt unmotivated and wasn’t driven to keeping up with my YouTube channel. Instead, something that I did notice that I was doing consistently and felt good about was writing. There was less work that was needed to be done when it came to writing, in which turned into blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making videos, but there’s a lot of work put into the process; recording, audio & video quality, editing, the possibilities of reshooting and so on. At this point I thought I would just start somewhere. Do something that I enjoy doing that takes less work, but still requires a lot of thought and time put into each of my posts. And with that comes what you see now!

Writing

Getting into writing was not a task at all. To me, it felt like second nature. When I got into it, I just went on for days. And considering I have somewhat of an OCD and am a perfectionist, it was easy for me to categorize subjects and topics. So, breaking down these topics and redefining them into details was a piece of Betty Crocker cake. I couldn’t just say cake because there’s a butthole of work put into that. Anyway, writing! I also mentioned this in my earlier posts, when I built my first PC it didn’t take long for me to get into writing. The topics that I have written down so far were for my future blogs and trying to schedule all of it, along with different types of videos for my YouTube channel that is on hold for the moment. However, I like to say that I’m an idealist. Just give me some time, be patient, and I promise to my followers that I will bring some video content, especially for those who aren’t the biggest readers. And speaking of, I was not the biggest reader myself. I used to be all about videos but after a little soul searching, I never realized that I enjoyed reading a lot more than I thought. Articles on the internet and other bloggers, reading people’s stories and their ingredients from Pinterest was… reading! I know this is more than likely debatable but, reading helps build your personal vocabulary. Your own dictionary. When I was much younger, I only had the use of simple words and was not creative or open minded enough to reach out to a larger vocabulary. I really do hope that in the future that the urban dictionary does not take over the dictionary that I knew growing up. All these slangs and terms that are used nowadays. That’s all I want to say about that. On to the next…

Goals and Dreams

One of the things that I always wanted when it comes to a place to live was to be a studio/loft type of apartment. Where there are exposed beams, an accent brick wall, and typically hardwood flooring. The thing about that is you’re not going to find those styled apartments just anywhere. They’re located downtown and as of recent, that’s where I could see myself spending a good chunk of my life in. So, one of my goals in this 2022 year is to move downtown into the city. To have that feeling where most of what I’m looking for is a walk away. Less fuel usage and miles build up on my car. Another thing I’ve noticed is how difficult times are lately, especially with what Covid has brought upon us. And something that I want to do is help people take the edge off by wanting to create content on my YouTube channel and bring smile and laughter to ease the tension and stress to all. So, in this new year I am going to have to be focused and stay disciplined on creating fun and enjoyable content. But I also have to remember to do this for me as well. Having fun with this passion of mine, otherwise it just becomes work.

Considering my current situation, one of my dreams in life is to have my own studio. A place where I can go to and perform my great work of art. From making videos to having a chill vibe environment for writing my blog. To me it is difficult having my work inside my own home because I might not get a lot done. I figured if I have my own studio, it will require me to leave my own home and I could get more work done. That’s the concept I have going on at least. But not just for writing and making videos, having a podcast and a recreational area as well. That’s the dream! All I need to do is just take that next step towards it. We’re on our way. Let’s get it! And as they say in Blades of Glory, “Let’s capture the dream!”

My Past Year

Another year has come and gone while some, if not most of us, has been yet again unproductive. So, what do we do to change it? Do we want to change it? I guess it depends on the lifestyle we want to live with what we would consider we’ll be happy with, content, or driven for more. Let’s face it, as we get older, life tends to become weirder. For the majority, we work to make a living and to support ourselves and even our family. Whatever the case, I spent most of this year figuring out what it is exactly that I wanted to do with my life. And I’m still searching for it working at several different jobs. All of these that are new for me and not what I’m looking for. But I need that steady paycheck to keep a roof over my head and my stomach happy. From trying to be a sales rep walking around a store trying to convince people to buy what I’m selling, to working in the restaurant business for the first time in my working career.

2021 Recap

After 8 years of a wild roller coaster ride of a job, I finally called it quits. A lot of things, if not all, has to come to an end. If this was a television show, I spent 8 seasons with this company entertaining my fellow colleagues and bosses to the best of my abilities. But being somewhere so long only to stay in the same spot and not move up is pretty dreadful. My hard work was overlooked so many times. I was given a lot of added responsibilities only to not receive any benefits or incentives. That’s probably the reason why I would barely make it to work on time most days. I had no reason, no motivation to get to work early and be ready to work. And with Covid-19 being a factor, spending some time doing a little soul searching, I was ready to do something different. Being that I’m a people person, I wanted to try my hand working in that field. I became a sales representative, but this was nothing like what I expected. Thinking I would have my own office space and possibly talking to people on the phone or scheduling meetings was not even close to what I actually did. I was put in a store where I had to walk around constantly going from customer to customer trying to sell them a product that was more miss than a hit. Once a potential customer would say no, we would then have to move on to the next. This wasn’t something that I liked at all. I would rather take the time to getting to know people and having an honest conversation with them. Instead, I had these lines I had to recite and memorize to pitch to people. It felt a lot like being an actor for a role and I had to say these lines I didn’t like. I’m more of an improvisor and so this job only lasted about a week.

For pretty much the rest of the year, I would end up working part-time at a couple restaurants. Getting the feeling of what customers are like in this establishment. I have to tell you, it’s pretty wild. There’s no knowing what to expect except that you should expect anything. You will have people who are really nice and sweet, to those that can be the rudest of all. This is just my point of view, but I’m sure most people who work in restaurants can say the same, but customers tend to look down on people working in these establishments. What people do in their homes is their business. But when you see how they are in public and how they treat those who handle their food, only makes me wonder how depressing their lives are (yeah, I said it). I’ve seen the movie Waiting… and I know better than to cause issues to those who service me. Unless service is bad, which I’ve dealt with on multiple occasions, then they will know it by how little I tip them. It really is that simple. But my responsibilities are different. At one job I’m taking phone calls and orders, while the other I’m a host. Greeting guests, busting and cleaning tables, and other tasks. And I’m crushing it! Only been at this host job for a couple months and they already have me training new workers for that position. I will admit that there are only so many jobs I suck at, and this is not one of them.

Resolution

We all make them from time to time. But how often do we succeed at going after these goals we make for the year? Every year it’s almost always the same for me; gain weight and workout more. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong. Since Covid, I have been struggling to do both and saying that I want to or need to hasn’t changed anything. All I know is my health is the most important thing to me so I’m going to start with that. The next thing I want to focus on is a job that not only will I like but also one that will pay the bills. Although I’m still in search for what it is I really want to do with my life, I’ll keep on pushing forward because that’s all I can do. Eventually, sooner rather than later though, I will find what it is I’m looking for that will make me happy and successful. That’s what I’m going to fight for this coming year. Finding my stride to life and doing the things that I’m passionate about. Happy New Year and be safe!

First Blog/Lao New Year

Introduction

Where does my story begin? That’s hard to say, considering there were many events in my life that were memorable. Having to pick just one is difficult to start with. But the least I could do is tell you a little bit about myself. I’m 33 years old and just recently celebrated Lao New Year with my family. For Thanksgiving I was in charge of making the turkey of which I burnt… just once. And there was another time I undercooked it… I’m getting better. Practice makes progress.

There was one time I had a shoe thrown at my head, going to a wedding dressed exactly like the waiters. Now I am one as of today. Sort of. Had an amazing trip to Florida with one of my previous employers to be a part of a thing they called Team Rally. I was a stripper for a night, escaped from a party we started and I farted in front of a girl I had just met. These are to name a few of many stories I’ll be sharing in detail, in the near future.

Lao New Year

Let’s start with one of my most recent memory. I went to my mom’s to celebrate the Pi Mai. We had the Sou Khaan(a blessing in having a happy and healthy life) which is where someone is saying good prayers for you while tying a white string around your wrist(s). The Lao Buddhist tradition has it where you typically have both hands together sitting flat, then you bow down to honor the one that prays for you. Or so I believe. I haven’t been paying as much attention to my ancestors religion the older I got. You do however have to sit in almost any other position than crossed legged or Indian style, which can get very uncomfortable after a long period of time. Normally during a Thuk Baht ceremony(people offering food for the monks for blessing them).

We then had ourselves some pho. Afterwards, I helped my brother-in-law move a mattress and dresser to his and my sister’s place. I spent some time with one of my nieces and one of my other sisters was later going to grill some chicken and fajitas, which told me only one thing… that I was staying longer. While waiting for the food, I got to spend some quality time with my sister’s boyfriend before heading home for the night. The conversations we had felt real. I had a great time talking to Derrick. We shared stories, had some laughs. I even told him and my sister about my fart story… Overall, it was exactly how Ice Cube explained it, “Today was a good day.” I got to spend some time with my family, bonded with my sister’s boyfriend and eat some really good food. As simple as it was, it was memorable.

The Takeaway

That night I learned a part of what it’s like to be a parent. Derrick has a kid with my sister. And that made me think of my friends with their kids, and understanding from their perspective what it’s like not having as much free time as they used to. Not seeing it from their point of view. I never understood until this night why it was so difficult hanging out. So the very few times we are able to get together for events and whatnot, I just want to make the most of it. Just cherish the moments with the people you surround yourself with. I hope you enjoyed reading this as I enjoyed writing it. Until the next one.

Kawb Jai