Saturday, July 7, 2012

Get out of your comfort zone

"Step by step, one at a time, things take time." No matter how many times I tell this to myself I still get lost in some unreal dream where things just happen. Like in the movies. Two hours, everything just happens, the whole story in two hours. Everything is fast, and seems like a piece of cake, easy. Everything is a lot easier to get done in our dreams. If it is in our warm bed under the blanket, in a nice hot water shower, wherever it may be, in our heads everything just happens.

I sometimes get lost in the shower, dreaming, then I snap out of it, and get this rush of motivation. "Alright, I'll get dressed, and do this (whatever this is) for 30 minutes." Then I get dressed, and I just check my email... Later I'll end up making a to-do list for the steps I need to take to get this thing done. Or maybe I'll just make a to-do list of things I need to get done tomorrow, or the rest of the week. One of the things I do best is make to-do lists. I think I also have a list of different to-do lists that I want to do.

I tend to lose interest in things I do after about a month. What happen is I jump ahead too much, thinking where I want to be. Then I'm thinking about all the work I'll need to put in to get there. And then I lose interest. It could be because I don't believe I'm capable to get where I want to get because I tend to set the bar very high for myself. Other times I imagine myself at the finish line, and what I'll get from getting there, what the success will bring, and I'm not excited enough to keep going. I tell myself "OK, then what?!" Nothing. 
Maybe something else, new, maybe not. The main idea is the journey we take, not our destinations. I know this. I don't always remember this thought, this idea. I need something to remind me of this idea when I lose interest. Usually these thoughts, these enlightenment thoughts, come while I'm not working on a task. Yes there are many obstacles in my way. Annoying limitation, but they're not an excuse. There are people in far worse situations.

I have these two voices in my head talking, arguing, coming to conclusions. It is like having this inner therapist (I think most people, if not everyone, should go see a therapist, but that's for another post). I wish I could somehow record an audio of these conversations so that I can play them back. I wish I had an example to share, to explain right now. I'm amazed with myself every time one voice tackles the other, in a good way. They bring up a few scenarios. They help me see things from different perspectives. From other people's point of view. These voices help me see things clearer. It's like putting yourself in someone else's shoes. Something that I think most people, unfortunately, do not know how to do. People who are stuck in their self-centered world.

Your friends and even family member usually will 
not tell you the hard truth. They don't really want to get involved. They don't want to cause tension. It could be a sensitive issue like a person's will. My step-mother passed away from cancer in 2004. Her daughter made a huge charade with the will, the house, and everything. I don't want to get into this too much, but she dragged the rest of the family to courts for two years. I think if her girlfriends really wanted to help her, they would start by finding out more about what is going on by asking the rest of the family. If they knew what's really going on they could have shown her a mirror. A mirror that would show her how ugly she looks (because of what she was doing to the rest of the family). If those girlfriends were bold, honest, and truly cared about their friend, they would sit her down and have a hard talk. But again, it would have meant getting too involved and making things uncomfortable. It was a lot easier to just hug and be there for their friend. Sometimes as a real true friend, you gotta be hard on your friend, show them things in the mirror they are blind to. Get out of the comfort zone to really help your friend.

I don't have too much experience working in groups, but it seems like when ideas are throwing out during brainstorming people never say "no, that's horrible," or "that doesn't even make sense." People usually try to stay politically correct when they don't like an idea "yeah that's not bad, but what about..." I think this way the person who gave the shitty idea will never learn and improve. The problem is that too many people take rejection of their ideas too personally, so then people don't want to offend, and so real true comments don't come out (and sometimes because no one points out how bad an idea is, millions are lost).

I get lost in my perfectionist mind. I felt I needed a strong meaningful post. Something interesting. Maybe mind blowing. I raised the bar on myself. My mind became blank. What I had didn't feel good enough. Not enough details, not enough examples, and not enough descriptions. Not complete, not even close to perfection. I felt like what I had wasn't long enough. Maybe knowing the blog has reached many people put some pressure on me. Maybe I started thinking how this and that sounded, trying to sound good to all readers at once. Maybe I just needed sometime off. I'm in Starbucks drinking a Chai Latte. Sitting with my ima, she is reading a book, I'm writing this post as I'm listening to an audio book I bought a few years ago.

I feel a bit lonely wondering where are my friends. I don't need a daily check up, or an hour conversation on the phone. But if one friend calls for 5 minutes to ask how I'm doing, another person emails, another text, it all adds up, and helps get through this cancer thing. Don't take it lightly as if it doesn't do much. If you have a friend, a co-worker, even someone you haven't seen in years who is on your Facebook (or some other social network), and you know they have something serious like cancer, send them some supportive message or call to ask how they are doing. It is so easy today to stay in touch with all this Internet and social networks. It doesn't take that much of your precious time (of course it is always nicer to hear a real voice on the phone). Some of those close friends of mine, at least I thought that we were close, cannot seem to spare 5 minutes a week, forget a week, not even a month, to show me some support, to check up and ask how their friend is doing. A friend who for all they know could be dead by the end of the summer (and they cannot know because they don't call to ask).

It's ironic but sad that people I hardly know and people I've never met before are being more supportive than some of my closest friends and family here and back home. It's absurd that people cannot spare 5 minutes for their friend. I don't know how to explain this. Maybe I smell bad? Maybe people are afraid I'll transfer my arm through the telephone and choke them. I really don't know. I don't know why. It feels like I'm unapproachable, that people don't know how to interact with me. Maybe they feel that they will be bothering me with their love and support?! Some people ask someone else how I'm doing instead of asking me. Maybe it is too hard for these friends and family members to step a little bit out of their comfort zone to ask how their friend who has cancer is doing. Is cancer that frightening? Why are these friends, who are not the ones with the cancer, afraid of it so much that they cannot pick up the phone? 

I'm disappointed with myself for not being able to let it go. It's been bothering me the past week, and those friends probably don't even know it. What's fucked up is that if I was to bring it up, to bring up how shitty friends they are, they won't know how to eat it. It's hard to look yourself in the mirror, and I would be showing them a mirror with my words that they don't want to look at. Their ego will take over, and somehow I have a feeling I will be the bad guy. The person with the cancer who is voicing his disappointment with his friends, will be the bad guy.
If anyone has some suggestions how I should bring up my disappointment with some of these friends so that they will see what I'm saying instead of going into defensive mood please don't hesitate to share, and thank you in advance.

Please, if you know someone in your life who has cancer don't hesitate, push yourself out of the comfort zone and say something (of course it doesn't have to be just cancer). I'm sure they'll be happy someone cares, someone remembers. Even if you have not seen the person for years I doubt they won't accept your kind words with gratitude. It will mean more than you can imagine because cancer patients relay heavily on the support of family, friends, and others. If the 
chemotherapy will work they can only wait and see, but with the support of the people around them, people who are close and people who are far away, they have a much greater chance of winning their battle. The mind is very powerful.

I have a few other ideas that I've been running in my head and on paper. I don't know where to start. Should I first write about people's fear of cancer or their friend's cancer and with that their unclear baffling disappearance? (I guess I go into this one a little bit). Maybe how people often treat me with soft-gloves? Maybe how for some reason people such as my very close friends feel that it is forbidden to ask me about my face? Or the inability of people to show some cheap love like pressing the "like" button on Facebook to show that they read my recent blog post? Or maybe why is it hard (and scary? from what might happen...) for many people to voice their thoughts online for everyone to see. I'll keep working on these ideas.

Don't get me wrong, I have support, but I often tend to focus on the "not," on those who are not supporting. I think in my case I'm not overreacting because we are talking about cancer. 
People die from cancer. And because I'm talking about some friends that I thought were my close friends. If you knew your friend might not be alive by the end of the summer, wouldn't you want to be more in touch, not less? Wouldn't you want to see them more often?

Ok, well, this post turned out to be long to satisfy me. 
Another chemo is scheduled for Tuesday (maybe Monday). Round 4, the start of the second half. Another 5 days in the prison of Stanford.


  1. I don't comment, but I do read your blog and FB. You are in my thoughts frequently, though I don't let you know often enough. I will make an effort to be more vocal, even if it's only to debate vehicular techniques. :)

    1. Thank you Courtney, it is nice to know you're reading. You've been more vocal and supportive than most people.

      I was wondering about our previous debate, but I took your silence as a victory (-:

      hope all is well,
      thanks again!

  2. you're incredibly brave. Not only for how you are battling this cancer among everything else, but also for the way you're openly communicating your thoughts and experiences. Its admirable and inspiring. Thanks bro.

    1. thank you brother. I'm glad I can be a source of inspiration. It is after all one of my intentions with this blog.