I Do Exist

Oh, hello there. I know you were worried about me, but you can stop doing that since I’m still alive. Writing hasn’t exactly been my “thing” lately, but I’ve been keeping “busy” with other stuff here and there.

On May 18th, I graduated college and earned my BS in Dietetics.


I received a fake diploma inside of a diploma holder and a graduation bear from my parents. Apparently my mother knows how to make me even more adorable.

On May 28th, after 10 days of doing pretty much nothing but computer games, I began my job back on campus again. My position was extended through August 1st, so I can still make a bit of money before I go to my internship.

Not sure if I mentioned my internship, but I was accepted to UW-Green Bay’s dietetic internship. I’ll begin my journey to become an RD at the beginning of September and finish it at the end of May 2014. I’ll make a new blog for it when the time gets closer.

Prior to graduation I logged back on to MapleStory and I now find that I’m rather addicted to the game (once again) and piss away spend a good amount of my free time playing it and interacting with my friends. I’m going to make a blog about that too, since I still enjoy writing and why not write about my hobbies and things that I enjoy?

I’ve also been reading some books and doing some homework for my internship. The books aren’t anything spectacular and the homework has just been medical terminology so far. I also signed up for a CPR class to get recertified and I need to schedule appointments for tons of different titers and immunizations and the like.

Perfection is doing what you enjoy doing, and right now I have reason to believe that my life is much closer to being “perfect” than it has been in the last 4 years of the massive game of charades I called college.

Happy sighs of relief. ^^

Out of this World

Often times I feel like I should have been born many years from now. My beliefs, my values and my eccentric personality seem ahead of my time. I feel like I’m a bother to everyone around me who has to tolerate my presence, even my friends. My parents raised me to be respectful toward others, and I like to believe others were raised the same way; thus, I have a mindset where everyone is simply being nice when forced to put up with me.

Part of being “different” is that I follow an interesting plant-based diet consisting of what most people typically consider “healthy foods.” There are three things I choose to abstain from in my diet and the unfortunate truth is that they exist in most every commercially-prepared product (especially in Wisconsin). This makes eating out with others difficult. I would like to socialize with other people without feeling like an outcast or forced to bring my own food. Sadly, this also further perpetuates the myth that all I eat is raw vegetables and makes people think I’m even more of a freak.

This list goes on about how I’m unique: I enjoy long, deep and thought-provoking conversation; I find video games, crossword puzzles, drawing, playing guitar, and cooking [real] food to all be incredibly entertaining; and I sometimes say the “lol” aloud when something humors me. Maybe it’s not so much my hobbies that isolate me, but the hobbies others have that I detest that does the trick. Being a college student who’s not keen on drinking, pizza [the low-quality stuff common in campus settings] or “going out at night,” apparently makes me a party pooper. Sad face. 

I also have a constant fear that I reek. Combined with my love of garlic and onions in the food I eat, I don’t see this as an unreasonable, persistent anxiety. People assure me I don’t stink, but again I feel that’s the courtesy talking.

Finally, speaking of little white lies, I get this feeling that people have trouble telling me “no.” I’ll preface this by letting you know that I was a bossy and temperamental child; most people said yes or gave me what I wanted to prevent me from becoming irate. These same people, as well as others I’ve met over the years, don’t seem to believe people can change and most of the time still have trouble saying “no” to me.

Is it because they don’t want to cause conflict? Are they afraid I’ll blow up at them? Or is it because of pity – they just agree because they feel sorry for me? I could also suggest that it’s because I have a personable nature and a charismatic leadership quality that lead other people to agree with me, but that’s naïve and arrogant in my opinion.

My friends and family reassure me these things aren’t the case quite often. Friends say that they really do enjoy my company. However; they still show hesitancy in denying my requests, which is highly irritating because it makes me feel like a selfish prick that always gets what they want. If you don’t want to do something, say so! I would rather you didn’t force yourself through a torturous session of Scrabble with me if you absolutely abhor word games. There’s a common ground we can find, but it will always remain hidden if you can’t voice opposition toward me.

It’s kind of odd. I don’t want pity and I’m not really looking for comfort that “no, we don’t hate you, you’re actually kind of a nice guy!” especially because it’ll take a lot more than that to create a perspective shift in my mind. I think it boils down to my desire to please everyone and feeling like I’m a third wheel. At the same time, I don’t want to be a loner or a fake, yet I don’t want to drop my beliefs just to be miserable in the company others. There’s a happy medium somewhere and I just can’t seem to locate it.

Ramble, ramble, ramble. Ponder, ponder, ponder.

The Ebb and Flow of Motivation

Take caution when you attempt to motivate others. Motivation is bidirectional, that is, what may seem impressive may also be discouraging. Take for example the young pianist who aspires to someday write his own etudes and minuets. Introduce him to a fantastic yet modest piece of music, and he will use it to propel himself forward. It’s like an apple dangling from a tree just inches from your reach. Being that close, you reassure yourself that with time, wisdom and experience you’ll be able to grasp it. You grow with your efforts you work hard to reap the fruits of your labor.

Now play that same musician a brilliant piece of music that falls far beyond his current capabilities. You can create one of two results. The first – the one that you were aiming for – is that it inspires him to continue striving for similar greatness. The second, the exact opposite of your intention, is that it diminishes his spirit. The piece is so remarkably complex and out of his league that he feels he will never perfect it. Try as he might, the intricate skills he needs cannot be formed from such a large jump, and his failure leads to dissatisfaction.

A small morsel of encouragement and a slight challenge can be much more rewarding than trying to push someone up the ladder four steps at a time. Patience is difficult; helping others take realistic steps toward their goals is productive. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu


After watching this video I began to question some things about myself.

I know I already posted this upon my Facebook wall, but I feel there’s more to it that I need to think about.

“Do I possess something that makes me unique enough to create engaging and novel work?

Is there something special about my true character that will help me succeed rather than the charade of an individual I’ve played for the past 4 years?

What is it that “Cerebes” is guarding inside of me and is getting past him worth anything to anyone? Can I use it to be successful? To reach my goals? To pioneer a profession in which I can help AND entertain others?

What an intellect, that Mr. Brown. In all seriousness, do I have that sort of capability?
I’m not striving for imitation, I’m striving for innovation.”

I’m wondering if I can make something out of my future that completely revolutionizes the industries of food, nutrition and dietetics. I’m also curious as to what the first steps to finding out would be. It’s more than just “go for your dreams! You can do anything you set your mind/heart to!” There’s a harsh sense of reality to it as well. That lack of knowledge and foresight into my future is rather upsetting; I want to know if this is worth pursuing in the first place, or should I look somewhere safer. It’s like music, or dance, or art – it’s not for everyone; you can’t just jump into secondary education and say “I’m going to be a painter.” You have to have some kind of innate talent.

I want to write. I want to entertain. I want to teach. I want to help others establish a healthy relationship with food and their bodies, two extremely important relationships in everyone’s lives, at least in my opinion. I want to encourage sustainability, I want to promote self-acceptance and I want to make others laugh. But more than any of that, I want to do it while being myself. Is that possible? I’m familiar with “wearing different hats” throughout my work, but is it likely that I can take off the hats and be simultaneously genuine and successful? Or is self-censorship the way to go?

I have faith, but do others? I know I have potential, but in the eyes of those who will get me to where I need to be, is it enough?

The Privileges of Daily Life

I wake up in the morning – that in itself is a gift from God, something that I should never take for granted. Another day of life is a blessing. For some, however, it may not seem like that. Upon waking up, I get out of bed, yet another thing some people lack and have to rest upon a couch, the floor, or their car. I put my shirt on, an action not everyone can do when they can’t afford to put clothes on their back, and walk to the bathroom. I’m privileged to use the restroom in my own living quarters because I actually have a place to live; there is a roof over my head and heating, electricity, running water. Privileges.

I do a bit of stretching, some crunches, and put on my running shorts, my jacket, and my iTouch before I head to the Cardio Center to do my morning workout. There’s so much affluence in those actions. I have nice electronics for pure entertainment. I have additional clothes for the sole purpose of exercising. I have “spare time” to actually workout in the morning instead of going to a job that I need to support my family, feed my children, buy formula for my infant because my wife doesn’t know about breastfeeding. Or she doesn’t know how to breastfeed. Or she fears being chastised by society for breastfeeding. Or she physiologically can’t breastfeed. I have a membership to a gym, the money to pay for that membership, and a gym within walking distance of where I live. Some people have never seen a YMCA.

After my workout I return home, shower under warm running water, and even though it only takes me about 7 minutes to shower, I still let the water run the entire time. I don’t need that extra water to wash my produce for the day, to clean my clothes, to drink. Upon drying and putting on clothes for the day ahead, I proceed to have breakfast.

My breakfast is typically a bowl of oatmeal with a banana, mixed with soy milk, some lentils or other beans I have cooked, and homemade yogurt; homemade granola; some variety of frozen fruit; and a bit of peanut or pumpkinseed butter on top. You see now that I have the money for milk and other foods that aren’t on the WIC-approved items list. Yes, I make most of my own food – nut butters, granola, yogurt, beans from scratch – but that doesn’t show that I’m poor; I make a choice to take the extra time to make those foods. Even yet, I have the time to actually consider and do those things. It’s not even a simple bowl of oatmeal, rice and beans, no, no it’s almost a gourmet meal in itself, and that’s just my breakfast. Yes, it’s true; I get multiple meals a day. I’ll have 5 or 6 meals a day.

After breakfast I either go to work or class depending on the day. Oh look, more decisions I can make.

Let’s start with work. I have a job that, wait, no, let’s stop there. I have a job. That first and foremost is something not to take for granted. But on top of having a job, I have a job where I set my own schedule, I work with people who respect me and enjoy my presence, I get free meals for every 4 hours I work, and what is most surprising to me, I make more than minimum wage. Much more than minimum wage. I make more than some parents out there who struggle to make ends meet to pay the rent, to keep their lights on, to have a phone in case of emergencies. More than the parents who work a 9-to-5 job at $8 per hour to pay for the babysitter who charges $10 per hour. I have the right to even have a job in the first place. I’m not discriminated against in my workplace for being of a different gender, race, or ethnic background either. All of that and I’m still in college.

Ah yes, college, another freedom I’m able to take part in. I’m furthering my education to eventually give back to the world and help others achieve a healthy life. But in the meantime, I’m still gifted in that I can take time to go to classes instead of having to work. I’m gifted because I have the strengths, the talents, the knowledge to succeed in my courses. I have the liberty of choosing a school I want to attend. I have the liberty to choose to attend school in the first place. Is it right? Am I just furthering the inequality that exists between the educated and the uneducated? Should this disparity exist? Should everyone be educated to the point where they can enter an “important” role in society, or does this dividing line need to exist so that the social hierarchy doesn’t crumble and certain people can’t enter certain professions for certain reasons? What defines an important role to begin with?

So many questions and yet I relieve my ever-thinking mind from all of these important questions by indulging in some video games or reading for pleasure at the end of the night. I’m not picking up a graveyard shift so I can eat the next day; rather I’m lolling around the house whittling away time on the internet or doing crossword puzzles. I have an Xbox 360, I have a laptop, I have a $1000 guitar, a $300 amplifier, a 29” television. I have access to free newspapers for students. I have, I have, I have.

Where do I get the bountiful resources for such an abundance of food, resources, and pleasures? My parents are supportive. I have parents who are willing to spend extra money they have (and even money they don’t have) to feed me. I have parents who give me clothes. I have parents who shower me with gifts. I have parents who provide a place to stay if I need one. I have parents who love me. I have parents.

If helping others gives me purpose in life, gives me direction and guides my actions, then what am I willing to give up to do so? Would I give up any of these freedoms so that others can take part in at least one of them? Should I feel ashamed for my blessings, or is it fine that my life carried me to where I am now? And what do I do about changing things? Where do my duties in advocating policy change begin and where do they end? As I continue to excel and succeed in life, who do I take with me? Who do I leave behind? Where do I find the answer to these questions?

Time will tell, though actions speak louder than words.

And so the Semester Ends…

The past 15 weeks I haven’t slept on a Wednesday night, but rather I crawled into bed and slipped into a depressed coma knowing that Thursdays and Fridays I had 2 3-hour shifts to fulfill at the café. As part of our Foodservice Management practicum we had to work 6 hours per week in the café on campus to gain foodservice management experience. I think the only thing I learned how to manage was my temper, which I guess is one plus. But the constant commendation on my work followed by a detailed spiel of my inadequacies and how I’m doing everything wrong starts to wear on me and I can’t express how thankful I am that it’s all over.

Today was different. I woke up knowing that all I had to do was go in for one hour, do some deep cleaning and my career at the café would be at its end. I walked in with a smile, smiled as I cleaned some coolers, sinks, a range and a tilt skillet, and left with me dancing ecstatically inside my head. I’m a pretty good dancer when I’m not physically dancing, by the way.

I will admit that I did take away a unique perspective on working in a team. The first two weeks I began my employment I took every comment made in the café personally. Someone else would leave a rag somewhere and the manager would look at whoever was closest and say “you can’t leave a rag here.” Initially, my peers would reply by stating that “it wasn’t me!” or “I didn’t do it, I was so-and-so.” This didn’t fly and we learned quickly that playing the blame game was a one-way ticket to lighting the short fuse on the café manager’s ass and watching them explode. Rather than find a scapegoat, we accepted the fact that the manager was informing everyone about proper procedures and how to work effectively in the café. Going back to my other job and listening to some of the students there I can tell that they haven’t had the experience I’ve had. It’s like a never-ending game of hot potato where the potato is the tray rack of 50 pounds of fish that was left out all night. Instead, smiling, nodding my head, and saying “yes, got it” placed me on the good side of the manager. So much, in fact, that I was constantly praised for my work (when I wasn’t being chastised for it) and asked to be a student-employee during this upcoming semester.

Sure thing! You’re going to match and/or improve on the wages I receive at my other job and allow me to set my own hours and work whenever I want to like my other job, right? Right?

So, if you’ll excuse my curtness for a second,


Ah, that’s better.

I’m also pleased that I just finished my 7th semester of undergraduate work. I honestly cannot believe how fast my college career has taken its course and it’s scary to think that in one month I’m taking the GRE and in two months I’m submitting my applications to dietetic internships. You see, a dietetic internship (DI) isn’t a typical summer internship. After a dietetics student finishes their undergraduate work they have to go through a DI to gain the experience required to write the exam to become a Registered Dietitian. It’s a long and tedious process and I just made another slight dent in it and found out that it’s going to cost $555 to apply to internships. Five-hundred and fifty-five dollars to just apply to them. That’s not even including the program tuitions if I get accepted.

“Oh, you just finished four years of college? Here, let us help you with that financial hole you’re digging yourself into!”

But that’s not my worry for now. I finished my last final exam this afternoon and knowing that I’m going home on Wednesday makes life much more manageable. Some interesting things are happening back home this Thursday and Friday and I’m looking forward to taking part in them. But above all, I need some down time. Sleep doesn’t come easy and maybe I’ll manage to make it past 6:00 one of these mornings while I’m resting at home. Confusion, excitement, happiness, fear and irritation – a whirlpool of emotions disturbing my serene little river of thought. Hopefully my current state of contentment keeps the storm away and calmer travels await me in the future.