Because There is No Alternative

Things have been going extraordinarily well, as of late. I’m employed at a fantastic company that I love, with awesome coworkers, good pay, and a real chance at learning and growing. I’m grateful for such an opportunity. My home life is also going pretty well. My lovely oldest younger sister is on a mission for our church and is currently in Utah for training before being sent off to Washington State. It’s super cool. I’m very proud of her. My brother is doing really well for himself, working for a pest control company. What was the first thing he bought? A ton of video games and an epic computer for gaming. My youngest sister is in the grip of mid-high school life, so it’s about as good as it could be for her (rough, but manageable). My parents are happy and my dad might even be able to get off insulin in a year. I might have an opportunity to move out sooner rather than later, and I’m starting up a tiny local business-thing to help me make some extra money. (Don’t worry. It’s not drugs. Yet.) Life is simple and good right now.

So then, why am I feeling so craptastic?

The long answer: I’m halfway into a relationship I don’t know will work, my self-image is crumbling, my health is in decline, I’m still nowhere near to releasing my first film, I’m tired most of the time, I get anxious about the dumbest things, yadda yadda.

The short answer: I’m not perfect.

I know, I know. You can’t be perfect. You can’t expect yourself (or be expected by others) to perform flawlessly and shoot to the top of the ladder at your job, relationship, or whatever else is in your life. You just can’t. To do so causes stress, and for a man who is 24 and has to live at home, that’s a pretty normal. I know, intellectually, that I’m imperfect and that I’m not supposed to be perfect. That said, I know I’m not at my best, that my potential is untapped, that I am nowhere near where I would like to be. It’s rough.

I want to be traveling the world. I want to be making movies. I want to be changing lives. I want to be helping people. I want to be independent. I want, I want, I want, but I don’t have. I’m failing to live up to my own expectations. So I came up with a couple solutions. The first is pretty obvious:

Lower your expectations of yourself.

This tends to be the go-to when I asked for advice on the matter. “You can’t be perfect,” and “you shouldn’t try to do too much,” were common responses. “You need to set lower standards,” was also popular. This might work for you, because your standards might be ridiculous. You might think that you have to raise those four kids, balance a check book, and end world hunger all before 8 in the morning. It’s admirable that you want to do all these things, but it might be a little foolish to try to do it all alone. Which brings me to my second solution:

Try harder.

Maybe your expectations and standards are within reach. You’d probably know better than I would. I personally don’t think my standards are that implausible. I want to live in my own apartment/condo/house, travel to a new place every month (even if it’s just to another city), and make enough money to support myself. It shouldn’t be that hard, yet for some reason it is. In fact, in my experience, this is basically impossible. Why? Because I’m not trying hard enough. I haven’t ever been able to completely focus or devote myself to any one thing – goal or otherwise – without assistance. Or rather, I haven’t forced myself to do so. When the going gets tough, the Tay got going. But that needs to change if I want to reach my goals.

To sum up, there are several roads you can take. You can change your standards, change your course in life, change how hard you work; whatever the case may be. You have the power. And I have the power. Believe.

That not good enough for you? The whole “just be positive” speech doesn’t carry as much thunder once you’ve heard it a dozen times. Allow me to present you with another fact:

Do what you need to do to reach your goal. Do it because there is no alternative. There just isn’t. I got home from a walk in the park a few minutes ago and my dad proceeded to lecture me about my eating habits (which are pretty bad). I’m now officially 70 pounds over my personal weight limit. I have plans to live forever and the gunk in my veins is going to clog up my heart before I get the chance to discover the cure for death. I have to be healthy. It’s no longer an option of “Well, I want abs to looks sexy.” Now it’s “I need to be healthy, or I’m going to die at 30.” There is no alternative. I have no other options.

Neither do you.

You want your life to change? You want to reach your goal? You want to be something more than you are today? Do you want to do something but just can’t find the motivation? Then remember the title of this post. Because you have to do it. You have to. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. There’s no backup. There’s no checkpoint. There’s no restart. There’s this. This is it. Do not waste what life and time you have. You have to try. You have to do. Because there is no alternative. Humans have proven their resilience time and time again. It’s proof that you can persevere and do it too. It will be hard. It will seem impossible. But you have to. You have no other choice.

Don’t give up! Don’t give in! And always remember to DREAM BIG!

Awkward

I’m awkward.

If you haven’t figured that out by reading my blog, then I’m pretty pleased with myself. And thank you. But yes. It’s true. I’m awkward. Very awkward. I’m a steamy pile of awkward laced with awkward flakes.

How awkward, you ask? Tina Belcher awkward.

Tina
This is my “everything is okay” face.

For example, my ex just changed his profile picture. Now my romantic feelings for this particular person have been long dead, but when I saw this picture, I immediately sent a Facebook message that read: “Hey ho. That new profile pic. It’s um….. Uh… You’re gorgeous.” I then proceeded to literally run away from my laptop and flipped on Bob’s Burgers to avoid anxiety.

The great awkward doesn’t stop there. Oh no. That’d be too easy.

Tina 2
*AWKWARD INTENSIFIES*

While I was in Seattle, my best friend and I happened upon half a dozen musicians. All of them were fun to listen to, but there was one in particular who was magical; attractive, talented, free-spirited. This mystical musician had CDs for sale and when I went up to buy one, I’m fairly sure I just held my cash far enough away from him that he had to reach for it across his stuff. I think I tried to say “I’d like to buy a CD,” and “You’re very talented.” I’m almost certain what came out was incoherent babble and some variation of “I’d like to buy you.”

Yeah….

Now let’s look at situations that don’t involve me spewing my rainbows everywhere.

I was 15. I was mad at my parents. We were at Denny’s and I ordered a Sprite defiantly (even though soda was acceptable). No wait. It wasn’t Denny’s. It was Village Inn. Definitely Village Inn. Because it’s a booth that was round and booth-y. It was definitely Villain Inn.

So I was 15 at Village Inn and I was mad at my parents. I was determined to be grumpy while I sipped at my sprite. I was keeping my mouth full of fluids so that mean words wouldn’t spew out of it. The server came to our table to take our orders. She was beautiful and it threw me off. I wasn’t angry anymore, but I was still sipping sprite. When my mouth was full, the server turned to me, tucked her hair behind her ear (which I think is adorable), and asked me what I wanted.

“Can I get the waffles?” I asked. With a mouthful of Sprite.

It came out “clnn igrt ffrrrles.” Sprite erupted out of my gaping noise void and cascaded onto my lap. Our server laughed. My parents laughed. I cried inside.

I’m hilarious. But super awkward.

Someone please love me.

Hate

For those of you who want something deeper than the dime-a-dozen spewings of “you guys are awesome because reasons” and really want the truth about why we are the way we are, this post is probably the most accurate I’ve come across. Relatable to a tee, I find Genette’s words build more than just her backstory. They cut through the bologna that we hide behind and reveal some truths about the way our generation was raised and the way our generation will likely raise their children.

We need only to wake up from dreams of “acceptance” and move into a world of respect. Respecting one another is critical to our development. And remember, every word you will ever say matters.

Behind the Barrier

Because of the absurd length this post reached, I have done a 15-minute audio recording in case you have other things you need to be doing.

I was raised to hate myself.

Maybe it was accidental. Maybe it was on purpose. I’m starting to disagree that hindsight is 20/20. More often than not, hindsight is colored by our intrinsic optimism or intrinsic pessimism. One of the few blessings of being bipolar is that I can see the past from both sides, depending on the day.

I digress.

You’ve probably been told a lot of the same things I’ve heard. Let’s recount the basics:

  • “You will never be as good as I was.”
  • “You will never be as pretty as I was.”
  • “You need to try to be as thin as I was at your age.”
  • “You aren’t funny. Stop talking.”
  • “You aren’t smart enough to do that.”
  • “There’s nothing you…

View original post 2,196 more words

It Gets Better

Avid Tay Talks readers, do you recall the beginning of this year? I gave insight to my personal fears and struggles and I was losing myself in my problems. It was a rough few months filled with anxiety and fear. But I stuck it out and promised myself that I would show you guys that if I could do it, so can you. Do what, you ask? Simply put: improve yourselves. Maybe you’re already at the top of your foodchain or you’re a millionaire or successful in your own rights. Great! But I’m not. I’m not even close to my fantasy life I built in my head. (that’s another thing I’d like to talk about if I remember.)

But I’m closer than I was in January. This year is my year, I kept repeating. I quit my retail jobs and now I’m employed elsewhere. I’m not going to say where I am exactly, but I will tell you about my day at work.

I arrived promptly at 2pm, ready to fill out paperwork and meet some people. I go into the building and ride the elevator to the top floor. (It’s only 3 stories, but it’s the tallest building on the block.) Inside, I meet the friendly Sir Receptionist Man (yes, I forgot his name and I’m sorry) and he alerts the manager of my presence. One of the three managers who interviewed me appears. He was clean shaven and had a haircut since I last saw him. He was also way taller than me, dressed in black (manager color-coded shirt), with a white lanyard that was peppered with Disneyland pins. I think “Yes. This is going to be a fun place to work.”

He leads me down a hall that is decorated entirely with basketball and football sports flags from all over the country. Collegiate and NFL, so you know that sports are big here. As we enter the main office, there are no cubicles; just rows of glass desks, large double monitors, and people in white (training) and blue (proctor) polos. Everyone is wearing a lanyard with one of four colors (which I will explain the significance of soon). There are bobble heads on the dividers. I see Chewbacca, Deadpool, Han Solo, and a delicious cast of characters from various pop and cult films and shows. That made me want to giggle like a schoolgirl. Then I turn and see it: A STORM TROOPER! That’s right. A Star Wars Storm Trooper, towering over all of us, a red company lanyard around its neck. It’s just sitting in the corner, busy being awesome and all that.

At the end of the office, where I was going to work on the official employee documents, was a wall that was just one big window. It looked out over the parking lot below and– Oh. What’s that? Is that… the shopping center I used to work at?! Holy crap! Across the street! Right there! Oh my gosh! It’s really….! Yup. That’s right. I was now ABOVE my old place of work. That’s a really horrible thing to say, so allow me to explain why this moment was so important for me.

While working retail, I was unhappy. Okay, I was miserable. I hated it. I loathed it. Nothing made me feel more useless than standing there, taking the crap from ungrateful people who were infuriated by my inability to take their used underwear that they had no proof of purchasing from us. I was truly unhappy. I felt low. Really low.

At this new job, I felt welcomed, excited, passionate, driven, challenged, and encouraged. And one of the best parts? My desk looked out over the previous job. I actually teared up. The eyes lodged in my sockets were quite wet! WET, I SAY! I had done it. I had not only mentally and financially moved up in the world, but I was there, physically, above it. I had risen out of the depths of my despair, risen above the struggles and the crap that I was trudging through, and moved on. I knew that if I listened to my heart, truly listened, that I would be happier. It took a bit longer than I would have liked, but I’m glad it did. Had it gone too fast, I don’t think I’d have the same drive, let alone the same reaction I had today.

So anyway, I filled out the paperwork and then I sign in for something that I think is the coolest thing:

My new company has a personality quiz that all new employees must take. They evaluate your personalities and organize us into groups. To be honest, it felt like I was being sorted into a House at Hogwarts. I was excited. (Disclaimer: we are not put into castes that are above or below each other. This system is installed so that we would know how to approach one another, how to work with each other, how to respond to each other. It was designed to allow us to communicate efficiently. I loved it.) So here are the “Houses” of this company:

Yellow: Fun, Energetic, Happy.

Red: Passion, Demanding, Driven.

Blue: Intimate, Caring, Emotionally Available.

White: Peace, Mediator, Independent.

There were a lot of blues. Two of the Three managers I met were blues. I saw a lot of blues on the floor. It made me nervous. Would I be a blue? I mean, I imagined myself as being the kind of person who would respond the way a blue would to clients and coworkers. So… why wouldn’t I be? My immediate thought was “PLEASE DON’T BE BLUE!”

“Not Slytherine, not Slytherine!”

The idea that I would wind up having to eventually wear a blue shirt and lanyard to work terrified me. These were my uniform colors back at my retail job. I understand and respect all colors, but at work, blue is totally inappropriate. Blue is passive, soft, gentle, and (often associated with) slothulness. I really didn’t want it. I wanted yellow. I wanted to be fun and charismatic and energetic and happy. So as I’m taking this test, I see a Yellow (name unknown) start talking to my manager. He’s totally confident, funny, nerdy, and awesome. I go, “yeah, I could be a yellow. It’d be a lot to live up to, but I could be a yellow.”

The test was a long series of “what were you like as a kid” questions followed by a lot of “how does this make you feel” questions. It was pretty straightforward, but I couldn’t figure out what answers went with corresponding colors, so I couldn’t cheat my way into yellow if I tried. In the end, I figured the way I had answered, I’d be blue. I almost cried in sorrow. Please…. Please not blue…

Then my results came in.

White.

What? White? Really? I watched the video explanation of why they thought white was my color. I represent peace. My goal in the workplace is to keep people happy and to make sure nothing gets in the way of that happiness. I was actually humbled by my result. I answered every question as honestly as possible and they viewed me as a “White”. I was elated. “NOT BLUE!” I said aloud. “I’m WHITE!” I don’t think my coworkers knew I wasn’t talking about my race until my manager laughed.

This job is awesome. The training will be a bit tough, but I’m a fantastic customer service rep. I got this made. And a White? Peace? PEACE?! That’s the coolest thing ever! I love it. I absolutely love it. I am Peace, my soul mate is a Yellow, for sure. And I can’t wait to get things rolling. I want to grow. I want to rise up in the ranks here. Not because I want power, but because I want to be able to work here and support myself and others until my own personal company rises to fruition. This company is “the one”. I am excited. And I can’t wait to share everything with you.

You guys are awesome. You guys can do anything. Switch careers, switch majors, whatever. You don’t have to be trapped where you are now. If you’re unhappy, get out! It’s scary, it’s intimidating, and it’s rough. It is not easy at all. But you can do it. You can do it! If I can do it, if I can find a job that isn’t retail (the only thing I’m trained for) and change my life and career path, so can you! You got this, guys and gals. You got this. I love you all so very much. I’m proud of you and all you’ve done. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

Love,

Tay