War Diary – Day 2 & 3: Like a Phoenix

This post includes my progress report for Day 2, since I wasn’t able to write that day.

– Day 2 –

So, I’ll talk about Day 2 first. I didn’t feel any urge during that day. But that doesn’t mean it was much an improvement, because the reason I wasn’t able to write has something to do with another bad habit of mine: gaming. Excessive gaming. Especially in the middle of the night, forsaking my body’s need for 7-8 hours of sleep.

I like to consider myself a gamer. Playing PC games are one of my favorite hobbies, and one of my favorite games is the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Dota 2, which happens to be what I was playing the midnight of Day 2.

Actually, I wasn’t planning on staying up later than midnight to play. A friend invited me to play, and I was, I guess, too shy to decline. I was too obsessed with thinking, or more apltly, overthinking, of what my friend was gonna say or think of me if I say no. Would he think I’m a killjoy? Would he think I’m not as good a friend as he was to me? Or maybe I’d gradually lose my connection to him, because gaming is one of our common interests.

I’ve read a few stuff on the importance of saying no, and how if one must be more productive, one must learn how to say no. But now that I think of it, I don’t think that not saying no is really my issue on this one.

I wanted to play. I wasn’t able to say no, because I didn’t want to. Deep inside, I’ve been waiting for someone to invite me to play, or for something that my brain could use to rationalize sacrificing sleep just to have a little fun playing Dota 2.

And when I talked about sacrifice in my previous entry, this was not the kind I had in mind.

What I lack was not the courage to say no, but the will to just call it a day and not spend a couple more hours playing. There’s a huge difference. One is simply declining to do something I don’t want, while the other is willing to not do something in order to become I want to become.

I want to be a more responsible and more reliable person, and in order for me to do that, I have to give less importance to games and direct my attention to the things that really matter.

It doesn’t mean I have to give up the child in me that likes fun and games, because I consider that part of who I am. In fact, I think all of us have that childlike self within us, and we should be careful to not lose it. What I’m saying is that it is now time for the adult in me to take charge and to grow.

And fix that goddamn sleep schedule of yours, will you?

– Day 3 –

I’d like to start by saying that today, I was able to sort of improve on yesterday’s experience. I said no after me and my pal played a game. Baby steps, I say, but progress nonetheless.

Today though, I experienced an urge. And it was the kind that screams “KIA” on the first week of the war.

I’m not gonna go through the details as I already did that -in a personal notebook, I wrote about the experience and all the things I thought about it. It wasn’t the prettiest piece I wrote, and the words I used were ugly, but I had to watch myself get it all out.

When I finished, I reached three pages, then I cut those pages and burned them. (Good thing there was no one at the house at the time except me lol)

I felt a sense of victory as I held the pieces of paper one at a time and watched them burn. It was…good…seeing the words in the pages turn to ashes and ink, and it got my blood rushing through my veins and thinking only of how I slayed the enemy, even after being suppressed by heavy fire a while ago.

Out of my more than four years doing NoFap, this is the first time I felt victory. True victory.

And that’s because I wasn’t alone. I checked in at the Heirs War Field Hospital at Telegram because I felt like I can’t take on the enemy single-handedly and that I really needed help. Thankfully, there were “medics” (what we call guys who are ready to offer motivation and any kind of help to those who need it) who pushed me into getting up and dedicating my mind and energy to more important things. Thanks to Tacolishus and Indie, I believe that I wouldn’t be writing this entry if they weren’t there when I needed help.

And thanks for my newfound band of brothers, the Heirs of the Sun, for giving me a crucial mission where failure isn’t an option. It is because I made it clear to myself that I will not be a liability anymore that I was able to harness an extra ounce of energy to push myself. I want to lead my brothers to victory, and I can do that only if I could lead myself.

With that, I conclude my progress report for Days 2 and 3. Thanks for reading.




War Diary – Day 01: Change Is Coming

Just like they say in the social media, “Change Is Coming” for the country, with the proclamation of its newly-elected president Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte. But in order for a country to change, a change in leadership is not enough.

Each citizen must be willing to make a change. Each citizen must be willing to change. Much like if a person wants to change, he has to start from within.

That’s what I’m starting today: changing myself to be a better individual and trying to be more disciplined and responsible. And I’m doing that by joining a war.

That’s right. The 30-day war between subreddits /r/Heirs_of_the_Sun vs. /r/pornfree vs. /r/disciplesofgrace.

I don’t have much time ’til the day ends so I’m just gonna keep this short. This “war diary” is gonna be a place where I will keep track of my thoughts and activities during the course of this war, especially those that are closely relevant or useful for the war.

And unlike the previous war that I participated in last year, I consider myself to be one of the frontliners this time, and that means that I will be taking an active and aggressive stance in my goals as an individual and in our battles as an army.

This is no time to be thinking exclusively for myself, because my downfall is the downfall of my entire army. No, I won’t be that guy anymore. I used to value isolation because I could focus more easily that way, but I realized I only chose isolation over the company of other people because that is where I am comfortable.

But I could never grow if I stay in my comfort zone. I would never be able to feel the burden of having someone rely on me, of a group of people depending on my success for their survival. I’ve never really considered myself a team player.

Until now.

Today is the day I will shackle the bindings that limit what I think I’m capable of. I think I’m so sure what my limits are, when in truth, I’m not even scratching the surface of my potential. I need to experience suffering, pain, and the sharp stings of discomfort in order to stretch my limits, to train my willpower.

In order to be able to change, I need to be willing to sacrifice.

Comfort does not take the top priority now. The willingness to be better does.

And with that, I conclude my report on the first day of war.

barbed wire fence

Random Thoughts on Fences

I’ve not seen that many fences in my life. Most of the separators that are used in my hometown were solid walls, sometimes made of stone, sometimes of metal. Maybe there were fences made of vertical metal railing here and there, but even that is very rare.

The only place during my childhood where I remember a lot of fences was in my mother’s hometown. The highly agricultural town of Tukod, San Rafael was where I experienced my fair share of freshness and a detachment from technology. It was there that I experienced how the people before me have lived life – free from the complexities and consequences of technology.

fence post with barbed wire

An example of fences in my mother’s hometown.

Speaking of fences, most of the fences I saw during my family’s visit there weren’t made of the wood planks that are common among western homes. Fences there were made of barbed wires stretched horizontally in between wood posts, usually about 5-foot tall, firmly planted on the ground. From what I recall that’s how they used to make fences there, and my lola’s (grandmother’s) house there still has the exact kind of fence up to this day.

Why do they make fences? From what I deduce, they use fences mainly to separate and to indicate borders. Simple function for a simple structure. And for rural areas like my mom’s hometown, I guess fences were pretty much useful in establishing borders, where one’s land ends and another begins, which is great because people there couldn’t afford to leave any piece of land stagnant when they could use it for farming and pasturing.

I’m still considering whether I’d make use of fences in my future home and which kind to use if ever, and right now I’m kind of undecided. I mean I’ve lived in a dorm in Manila where houses are cramped so close to each other in such a small area, that there is literally no more space for fences and you and your neighbor are separated by just a few inches of concrete. But then I guess that’s an entirely different style of housing, one that emphasizes practicality over privacy and comfort – and I have to say that this kind of housing is indeed very affordable.

Maybe this isn’t yet the time to be pondering on such things. There is a lot more I want to do – to become – before I finally settle down and establish my dream home. Better focus on those priorities first.

Daily Prompt – Fences

Regaining Self-control

These last two weeks got me learning a lot of things about myself – my limits, my strengths, my weaknesses, and more personal stuff that I failed to see before. Self-control was a concept that was lost to me, as I just kept saying yes to everything until it was all too much. But now I’m working hard again to get it back, and here’s how I’m doing it.

Continue reading

Being Too Open-Minded

I’ve never reflected in my life for a long time. Like, really sat down in a quiet place with a pen and notebook in hand, looking deep inside me to come up with something profound. Last time I did that was in high school, and that’s because it’s a requirement for our Christian Living class. So I had this idea that soulful reflection is somehow a religious activity.

Fast forward four years later, and my whole life has undergone a major change. The man who previously aspired to serve the Lord by bring a priest has been exposed to a culture so different than what he’s used to, and he was like a sponge, absorbing it all in. His beliefs changed, his outlook in life, his dreams maybe… He also got lost along the way, and there are still moments when he’s doubting his existence, pondering on what his purpose in life truly is. That’s all part of the man writing this little blog you’re reading right now.

I’m gonna admit, I wasn’t as religious as I was before. College has taught me to look at things in an entirely different perspective – with logic. I liked it. It allowed me to see the flaws in an argument when a person uses religious concepts to rebut an idea. Maybe that’s why I saw being religious as synonymous to being close-minded because religious people tend to be loyal to a certain way of thinking that they have to limit their mindset so as to stay faithful to their religion.

And college has opened my mind to a whole new world of ideas that I just kept taking and taking and taking…without reviewing if what I was taking could be helpful to my growth.

Just as there are downsides to being restricted to a certain way of thinking, being open-minded could also be detrimental, in a sense where you just take in everything without looking if what you’re getting is still what you wanted in the first place. In my case, I guess I became too open-minded that I sort of lost my own mind in the motley of noise and nonsense blabber that I was exposed to. That’s why I’m having a hard time right now expressing myself as I am, without any extra dash of salt and a serving of doubt. But that’s why I’m keeping this blog, to gradually rediscover myself – not my old self, but the self that was the sum total of all my experiences in life whether good or bad. And this is a nice start, if I do say so myself.

Commence Reality

So, last week I made my first blog post, and then I slipped back to being stagnant. Or maybe not really. I subscribed to the Fundamentals course of Blogging University, and I was only able to follow up to Day Five out of the nine emails that are already in my inbox as of time of writing. I’m not even satisfied with my theme yet – I’m still on the tedious process of trying out a lot of different themes ’till I find one that fits. But before that, I’m gonna focus on writing content that kicks ass.

Speaking of which, I wanna talk about today’s efforts to self-improvement. First off, I tried making a weekly planner. So I got a template from a video I watched from The Art of Manliness, opened up Excel, and made a pretty accurate replica of that table.

But when it came to filling out those blank boxes, that’s where I failed.

weekly planning fail

Here’s my attempt at planning my Monday.

Maybe because I’m trying to plan my week on a Monday instead of a Sunday. But I also know that I really don’t have much of an experience in planning, so I didn’t know which tasks I should do first to achieve maximum efficiency.

Meaning I should continue practicing my planning skills.

And so, with some sort of plan set out for myself, I went on with my day, trying to stick to my schedule, but not too much that I become counter-productive. For instance, I wasn’t able to take the dogs out on a run at 9 am because I needed to take a dump. But seeing as I don’t have anything on the 9:30 box, I spent that time running back and forth the front of our house with Alexis and Potchi (our dogs).

Fast forward to after lunch, that’s when I set to doing the two 650-word articles for a freelance assignment. And that took me the whole afternoon to finish. So yeah, no art-making and reading e-books today. 😦

On the other hand, what I did today was not something I do everyday. I took the time to allocate my time to the things that matter, and although I haven’t finished them all, I feel great for taking a shot and being able to accomplish something today.

I also joined a subreddit called Heirs of the Sun which aims to motivate people in their fight against porn addiction by simulating an Army-style training. But that is a story for another day.

Have any thoughts about planning? Share them in the comments below!

The Who and the Why

“Relax, Josh. This is just an introduction for your blog. No one’s gonna judge you for it. Just introduce yourself, write what goes on in your mind, and you’re good to go.”

That’s me trying to motivate myself to write this first post and embark on a journey that will make me a better person. Or at least put an end to my cosmic laziness and procrastination.

You see, I studied journalism in college, and I actually write pretty well, from news articles to storyboards for documentaries and everything else in between. I also do a little graphics on the side. But when it comes to voicing my own thoughts, telling my own stories…well, that’s a different story. I’m not sure if I lack the confidence to share my stories to other people or if I’m too anxious to start because I think what I make will not be as perfect as what I want it to be.

And that just sucks – having a journalism degree and not having your own voice.

So I’m starting my own blog to help me find my own voice – one that I won’t be afraid to share to the world. I want to build myself into the man I want to be, to change bad habits and replace them with ones that can help me reach my full potential.

Self-discovery and self-improvement.

That means I’ll write regularly about my life – the things that keep me busy, the projects I’ve been working on, and the reasons that make it worth living.

I also want to connect with like-minded folks who make improving themselves a big deal. Taking that first step to self-improvement can be really daunting. I’ve taken a shot at it myself for a few times, and to be honest, I’ve been doing great…at first. But when you have no one to share your milestones with, you start forgetting how good it feels to smash your goals, and soon enough, you just don’t care. That’s why I want to be able to interact and share this journey with others who, despite having a rough time, are still moving forward because they want this so bad – to be truly awesome.

And lastly, I want this blog to serve as practice for my writing (guess that was obvious) and also to improve my social skills. I like to believe that I’m a really awkward creature who likes to interact with other people but sometimes can’t because shyness gets in the way.

But that changes starting today.

Welcome to my blog, and I hope you have a good day. 🙂