Congrats to Myself

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My last post elaborating on how the majority of society has been conditioned to work most of or all of their lives was some of the best shit I’ve written in a while. Hell yeah. Aha, I know, I don’t normally curse on here. I refrain from doing so. But, I just felt like it was appropriate this once to write “best shit” for emphasis. I felt like I hit the nail on the head with that piece, although the underlying tone was a bit depressing, especially with realizing that so many people live like machines basically. But after writing that piece, I also felt like I could elaborate on more topics, on more unpopular thoughts and opinions that I have. I felt like I could dabble a bit into controversy, maybe get into a healthy debate or two. I felt like I could lead with authority and be more vocal. I want to continue carving out a path with authenticity, pretty much like I have been over the years.

So today, I’m congratulating myself for all the things I’ve accomplished over the years that would traditionally not actually be celebrated or even thought of. Some accomplishments are unconventional. Some may seem normal. But to me, they hold so much meaning, especially when my life got rocked by two experiences of psychosis with years of treatment in between that held me back from doing so much of what I wanted.

I’ll get into the accomplishments in a moment. But first, let me tell you, good health is a luxury in life. With good health, you are pretty much unstoppable. But for the unlucky rest of us with any health issues at all, it is a definite detriment and handicap of life. It blocks source energy from coming in. And thus, it is vital that you take care of your health as best as you possibly can before chasing anything else, especially anything material. Get enough sleep, eat enough food, drink enough water, check the temperature, socialize with good people, take care of your hygiene, etc… do all those things. You may itch to be productive. You may burn to chase all you desire. But in the end, you only have one physical body to do it all, so you might as well take care of it with your all.

That being said… I’m really proud of myself for the experiences I’ve had along the way despite struggling so much. Despite psychosis, the treatments, the side effects, falling out with “friends”, losing purpose, searching for purpose again, and all the things in between… I made it this far. I’m really proud. They call pride a sin in the Bible, but what I mean is… I’ve done a lot for myself despite the setbacks to my health. And maybe it’s because I’ve had to dig a little deeper, uncover what was there, celebrate those “small” wins to snowball them into something bigger. Most of all, I didn’t give up…

So here are some of my accomplishments, big and small (in no particular order), ever since my first psychotic episode (September 2017 until now, March 2024):

  • Became an independent music artist, publishing 10 songs (3 originals, 7 covers, 3 in Korean) officially and 35 songs on my YouTube channel
  • Monetized my music through streaming/downloads, and surprised myself through my first real stream of passive income, in the middle of being extremely unwell on previous medications
  • Published 250+ blog posts ever since February 2018 (I actually have more blog posts than that, but I didn’t archive them properly… though you can find older versions of my website through the internet archives. But anyway, this is the official number for when I returned to blogging after being hospitalized several times.)
  • Published an eBook for music creatives (in the process of redrafting it!)
  • Collaborated with some music producers on some songs
  • Sang in front of live audiences on three separate occasions
  • Oh, and also attended Recovery Idol back in 2022 (made it to round 2, when unfortunately I had to drop out due to having psychosis for a second time)
  • Finally set up a PC and streamed a few times on YouTube
  • Acquired various equipment and software for a home music production studio (computer, audio interface, mic, piano keyboard, acoustic guitar, ukulele, and of course a good DAW with some nice plugins)
  • Took a break from music for 1.5 years, before finally gaining a bit of inspiration and self-producing a song cover (shoutout to Jackson Wang)
  • Speaking of Jackson Wang, he liked one of my IG posts 👀
  • Speaking of people who liked my posts, Owol, Hanyoung (formerly known as Effnyoung) and Kevin Lyttle also liked some of my posts related to music
  • My song titled “Oppa” (based off Owol’s Nuna) had over 1 million streams/listens across various platforms… it’s hard to give an exact number, but this does not even include the number of videos that used my sound on TikTok.
  • Speaking of TikTok, my song “Oppa” was used in over 1400 videos
  • Also attempted a TikTok Live
  • Got recognized on a Dr. K stream in chat for my song “Oppa” (“Nuna? Omg…” 😂)
  • Sang/rapped in Korean
  • Sang in Hindi (coming out soon!)
  • Met Steve Pavlina (more than once) and some CGCers
  • Joined CGC (Conscious Growth Club) for a year
  • Went to a BlackPink concert
  • Attended three Eric Nam concerts
  • Eric Nam liked a video I posted of him
  • Went to a TWICE concert
  • Almost forgot, I saw Jojo sing live at a concert too
  • Saw The Lion King musical
  • Stayed overnight with friends in other cities, and didn’t freak out or panic
  • Stayed in Vegas for a week
  • Went to Boston and hanged out with a friend
  • Traveled to Canada (Niagara Falls)
  • Traveled to Kerala, India for 3+ weeks
  • Climbed a fucking mountain 😭😂
  • Got to see Kevin O’Leary talk in person (though I don’t know why there was barely any security measures taken… isn’t he really rich?)
  • Upgraded to a Pixel 6
  • Some other fun technological acquisitions
  • Some personal driving milestones (I get quite nervous driving, so milestones like driving downtown or halfway to Jersey are important to me)
  • Learned some HTML and CSS and coded one of my websites (not perfect, but that’s okay!)
  • Voluntarily helped people with their job hunting process
  • Read a bunch of self-help books (I’ll have to list them all and maybe review them at some point)
  • Posted YouTube videos with myself on camera
  • Hired people to do various tasks for me… felt so nice
  • Finally tried gel nails and understood the hype
  • Wrote a bunch of original songs and lyrics, to be released as the year progresses
  • Went on some first dates
  • Attended a singles mixer
  • Saw Hassan Minhaj perform at Radio City Hall and laughed so much
  • Saw Aziz Ansari perform, he was… alright I guess
  • Also saw Nimesh Patel perform, and he was good
  • Oh, almost forgot I saw Charlie Puth and the ticket was not even that expensive, less than $40 with fees
  • Saw Epik High perform and never again… love their music, but their concert almost blew out my eardrums
  • Took singing lessons and improved my vocal technique
  • Learned some basic guitar
  • Aprendí un poco de español… es muy básico y no es perfecto, jajaja.
  • Acquired a wardrobe that I like
  • Got into investing
  • Watched a bunch of K-dramas that honestly, I should have wrote down and ranked, but… anyway, it was enjoyable in the moment and probably improved my Korean language skills
  • Tried Wawa for the first time
  • Got into bullet journaling
  • Went to Longwood Gardens a few times
  • Tried all sorts of cafes, diners and restaurants around the city
  • Made several new friends and reconnected with some old friends
  • Played games such as Stardew Valley, The Sims, Among Us, etc. with or without friends
  • Got featured in a podcast

These are all I can think of for now, but wow! That’s over 50 accomplishments in the past less than a decade. And I know, some of these are experiences or more on the consuming side, but I found these experiences to be memorable in one way or another. By counting them as accomplishments, I am putting the intention out there to have more of those experiences. I’m sure if I did some more digging, I’d be able to come up with 100+ accomplishments, maybe even hundreds. But this is a good list for me to start with and contemplate upon. I also feel a sense of gratitude for all these experiences.

Today is not any special day in particular. I just felt like writing this all out. I realize I haven’t hit those socially-accepted or societal milestones of marriage, kids, a job (followed by promotions), a graduate degree, a house, an anniversary, a fit body, a marathon, etc… But I can be excited for my own wins, big or small, what I consider most important to me.

I could have included wins from the last decade, so from March 2014 to March 2024. But I specifically wanted to give a shoutout to myself for my rough years since psychosis. If it included the years before, there would have been several more accomplishments, including some more traditional things. For example, becoming fluent in Korean, graduating from uni, moving to South Korea, working in South Korea, clubbing for the first time, karaoke for the first time, traveling to Hong Kong, taking a class at 1 Million Dance Studio, first date not in English, etc… SO many things. I would have dominated the list with just those 3 extra years alone.

But… honestly, it’s not even about how much, but just how. Like… I cannot believe how I’ve done so much despite psychosis. And it happened twice. If you’ve never experienced psychosis, I’m sorry, you will never truly know but… having psychosis can shave years of progress away from your life, especially when you’re going through treatment and dealing with all the symptoms/side effects. That’s why I will take any progress I have over nothing… I will applaud myself when no one else cares or is paying attention. Because I know how hard it is, and despite that, I could still have these experiences… I am grateful.

So… I’m in my thirties now, aha. And I’ll be in my thirties for some time. I think I’ll create a vision album (similar to a vision board, but different– maybe I’ll explain in a future post) for how I want this decade of my life to be. I do feel like I’ll be able to accomplish a lot. I’m hoping to tackle some health-related goals along the way. But also, I want to think back to when I was in my early to mid-twenties, before I had psychosis. I want to imagine a life without psychosis, the things I would have done if it weren’t for that… I want to accomplish those things and have those experiences once more… I’m sure it will happen.