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August 28, 2013 / dancingwithclowns

A Bedtime Story For Myself

For the past few days, I’ve had trouble sleeping and that’s something completely new for me. Before, the scenario would play out as thus, I lie down, my head meets my pillow and off to slumber land I go. Now, however, things have taken an unfortunate turn towards restlessness and later on, drowsiness coupled with grumpiness during the day. To remedy this awful situation, I have come to the very creative solution of story-telling. Kids love being told bedtime stories, so I hope that tonight, as I tell myself a bedtime story of my own making, when my head meets my pillow, Sandman’s magic can bring me to the land of dreams.


The story as told by me:



Once upon a time, there was a lonely planet. He was tiny, but had a good heart. In space, there were planets and then there were stars. Planets and stars usually did not get along for stars were farther out in space and planets nearer the sun. Planets would laugh at the tiny little stars twinkling in the distance and they would make jokes about how cold the stars might be, since they were so far away from the sun.

The lonely planet was not like the other planets, so he did not laugh at the stars, he felt sad for them to be so cold and far. Because of this the other planets would make fun of the lonely planet. They would say “Why not go join the stars then?” And they would laugh at their unfunny joke.

The lonely plant would answer, “I can not. You know planets can’t travel that far”.  And the planets would just laugh harder. Planets had a weird sense of humor.

Sometimes the stars’ light would go out, and this was natural because this was how the universe is. The other planets did not care when the stars’ light would die, but the lonely planet was different. Every time a star’s light would go out, he would cry out hundreds of tears. The other planets did not understand the lonely planet, why he cared for stars that were gazillions of miles away.

“Why do you even care?” asked one planet.

The lonely planet answered, “Because they were so beautiful to look at, and now that their light’s gone out, I’ve lost sight of their beauty in the darkness”.

And the other planets would just laugh at the lonely planet. They laughed because they didn’t understand what the lonely planet said and that made them uncomfortable, so they would just laugh even if there was nothing funny. Planets were weird.

One day, the master of the universe paid the planets a visit. “It is time”, he said. “It is time for me to name you and give you your planet’s gift”. And the planets were excited,  they quickly gathered around him and formed a line. They were excited because for the longest time they’ve had no name, and there was nothing special about them. So the planets were finally ready to receive their name and their planet’s gift. All were very excited, except the lonely planet who still mourned the stars who had vanished.

The master of the universe, picked out the first planet and said “You will be the closest to the sun, for your personality is as fiery as the sun’s flames. Your name will be Mercury”. And Mercury screamed in happiness and took his place nearest the sun.

The master picked out the next planet and said to him “You are the biggest of the planets and for that your name will be Jupiter and there will be storms on your surface to match your power and size”. And Jupiter took his place and was happy for the storms that matched his power and size.

As the master had his back turned, a planet cheated and overtook the others in the line and shouted, “I’m next, master! Pick me, I’m next!”.

And the master turned around, saw the planet and said, “So be it”.

But the master was not fooled, he knew the planet was not next, and he told that planet, “Because you cheated and overtook the others, I give you the name, Uranus”. And the other planets laughed for Uranus was a funny name.

The master continued, “And unlike the others who spin from left to right, you will spin from top to bottom instead and feel sick for an eternity”.

“What? Aw man!” said Uranus, but he took his place and was happy anyway. Planets were weird.

And so it continued until all planets were named and given their special gifts, except one. The lonely planet was still looking towards the stars, crying because they were gone. The master spoke to him, “Why do you cry, little planet?”

The lonely planet answered him, “Because the beautiful stars are gone. I don’t understand master, why must good things come to an end?”

The master was surprised at how big the lonely planet’s heart was and he told him, “Little planet, good things must end to make way for better things to arrive”.

“I don’t understand”, said the lonely planet.

The master smiled and said, “Let me show you then”.

He gestured to the lonely planet and said in a booming voice, “Your name will be Earth, little planet, and because of your good heart and the tears you shed, you will have the most precious gift of all… life. You will see that nothing good ever ends, but is only transformed to create something better. Your tears will be water and so it will be that life will live on your surface and life will die, but only to give way to life again”.

And then the lonely planet received his gift and he suddenly understood. The stars did not die. And as he gazed out in space, he noticed dozens of new stars taking the place of the old ones and he started to cry one last time, because of happiness and awe.

“They’re so beautiful”, Earth said.

And the master smiled and knew he had chosen well, for Earth would take care of the life he was given and just like a loving parent, no matter what that life did, Earth would love that life till the end of his days.


And then Earth stopped crying and was finally happy.




August 27, 2013 / dancingwithclowns

Exercise Your Life

I write this in the dead of night, my peace disturbed by unrelenting thoughts.

Random subject change: I work out. I try to exercise as regularly as I can. I even bought my own set of barbels, nothing fancy really. Just a regular set of adjustable weights from 10 pounds to 20. So it’s roughly 1am, too late to call it evening and too early to say good morning, and I find myself stricken with insomnia because, well, I don’t particularly know why, but the idea of working out just popped in there at random so I thought, might as well write about it.

So working out, it’s a funny thing really. We of vain nature, exercise to look good, to be sexy, but really if our bodies could talk, what would they say? Almost everyday we pound and thrash on our every sinewy fiber of muscle, we tear it over and over, we feel pain, and all for what? To get just a little more of that elusive sex appeal, just to get one step closer to the acquisition of that beach bod that we so long to have. But then I got to wondering, if our bodies could talk, or rather if I were my body and I could talk (stay with me here, it’s early in the morning forgive me), what would my opinion be of this regular routine of punishment and suffering?

The answer: I would hate it, but then after a while, I think I’d learn to love it. Not that I’m coming to terms with my masochistic side, it’s more of the no pain, no gain principle at work. Every time I have to go through that set of push ups or another round of dead-lifts or that one last fucking circuit, I realize that at the end of it all, there’s that feeling of “I survived” and the relief and promise of growth; that I get better and stronger every time. (Plus as an added bonus, after some time, I start to look hot and awesome).

If our bodies could talk they would surprisingly hold a lot of wisdom. You could say we go through own personal work-outs in real life. We suffer because of the drama in our everyday lives, which most of the time only happens in our heads, but nonetheless forms our reality. So these struggles of life are our workout routines and every time situations that suck balls happen, it’s all for something. Just like my body goes through the rigor of lifting weights and doing cardio, our lives are put through plot-twists and conflict because we have to get better. And every time we’re able to get through something, we “survive” and we grow to become stronger.

I mean working out is great! It keeps you healthy and makes you look good. A lack of exercise just makes you feel flimsy, prone to disease and let’s face it, exercise has been proven to make you not only physically fit, but it lets more blood circulate throughout your body, promoting good health as well as making you smarter and more creative (brains need oxygen which it gets from our blood, who knew right?)

So there you go, maybe the same way our bodies need the exercise, our lives need some conflict to help it shape up. After going through every ordeal we become wiser and tougher, and better equipped to deal with life. So I guess there is truth in the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and maybe it’s time to embrace the reality that we’re all bound to go through some form of hardship. “Nobody’s perfect” right?

But i think we can find some comfort that when these workouts do happen in our lives, it’s in the name. Whatever shit we have to go through, just remember, it’s a workout, it’s going to work out.

July 8, 2013 / dancingwithclowns

The Fashion for Passion


Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.

A phrase that has been thrown around frequently for as long as I can remember, especially among the newly graduated youth. I can clearly recall the moment that I had been freed from the restraints of institutional education, quotes of the same nature peppered the social networks of my facebook and twitter. My friends and fellow graduates were afraid, scared, but most of all excited to take on the world, to find success, and ultimately establish our greatness and dominate the world. So what do we do? We post stuff like this to motivate us, to give us courage, to console ourselves that life will be meaningful and wonderful.

A number of years has passed since that fateful day that the doors of the “real world” were opened to me and my opinions of quotes of a similar nature have rapidly changed from optimistic to slightly cynical.


And passion is all it takes.

Fair enough. If the flames of passion fuel your soul then supposedly, nothing can stop you. Failure is only the precursor to success and with passion by your side, the obstacles you face are simply nuisances, things you shrug off. Work isn’t work, it becomes fun and engaging right?

These quotes, though heart-warming and inspiring, fail to illustrate something very important: the journey to finding your heart’s desire can be long and perilous. Life can suck! And you know I speak truth. As a young adult still in the throes of your typical quarter-life crisis (quite a trendy thing nowadays), I can attest that our feelings can be summed up in statements like, hey, how do you know what your passion is? How the hell do you even find out? Countless people will mention things like “once you find it, you’ll know” or when “work becomes easy”. What is this feeling of knowing anyway? How can you be so sure? If work becomes easy, then doesn’t it stop being work?

In my opinion, it becomes blind optimism to an extent and the problem with this is that it gives us false courage. A lot of motivational books or seminars are in the business of making you feel good about your life and that’s perfectly fine. Being able to tell yourself that your goals are achievable is a very significant factor to reaching them in the first place. What I find to be troubling is the cultivation of a belief system that seeks to disregard the difficulties that one will face in life. There is a favoritism for the happy thoughts of success, and a disregard for the daunting challenges one must face before getting there. This has the tendency to make us weak. This predestines a lot of us to failure because as soon as the challenges become overwhelming, and believe me they will, we start feeling like shit and we give up. It’s like that wound you always chose to ignore and now you’re screwed because it got infected and now the doctors have to amputate your leg.

So there! I believe I’ve sufficiently complained to my perceived sense of the status quo of feel-good lines or motivational quotes. But to end this at a rant would be childish and pessimistic, both of which I’d like to believe I’m not. So what’s then is the alternative that I’m proposing?

I personally find that equal appreciation for both the positive and negative aspects of life fosters a far more powerful, proactive attitude. Knowing life sucks can be very potent. It is both an acceptance of the harsh realities of life and (if you’re made for success, which we all are) then it makes sense that you’ll do everything in your power to break free from that suck-y existence. Just ignoring the suck and focusing on the shining glory on the other side won’t help the travel. It’s a transatlantic journey to success, filled with dead ends, traps, and scary jungle animals (some who resemble people); and if you’re just being a blind optimist, all you’ll see is that glittering light at the end of the tunnel, which  sadly, you’ll never reach.

So back to passion, how do you find out? I offer this simple solution. Think about it in your head. Imagine what it would feel like to do it for the rest of your life. For most, it would be that nice warm gooey feeling of yes, I love doing this! Okay, but that’s just step one. What follows next, to truly test, if you’ll stick with this, is to imagine that all hell broke loose and its raining shit and frogs on your parade. Welcome to the worst possible scenario of what can happen to you. Still want to do it? Still want to pursue that line of work? Then guess what, maybe, just maybe, you’ve found what you love, because love isn’t just about the great qualities, it’s accepting that nothing is ever perfect and loving it all the same.

Maybe opening our eyes to the awful shit we’re going to have to go through is good. Because even if there’s all that crap, if you’re truly passionate about whatever that is, then it becomes all the more worth it.

October 13, 2011 / dancingwithclowns

May the Force Be With You

I’m sure all of you are familiar with Star Wars. Those who honestly, do not know what this magnificent piece of literary and visual art is, well, you should die now. Okay, watch it first, and then decide if you love it or you love it and then we can talk.

I just wanted to share that I grew up with Star Wars. Not just the movies mind you, I watched the first trilogy and then headed on to purchase books so that as I read more and more, I learned more about the galaxy far, far, away. I got to know who ends up with who, their children’s names, who’s got Jedi powers, the names of the different alien races and all that Star Wars jargon.

Growing up with this kind of fantasy world is a wonderful experience. It teaches you to use your imagination and really to enthrall you in a world that’s completely different from ours. You begin to believe as a kid in the force, in magic, and of course, in noble deeds of heroism. Whether or not you grew up with Star Wars, if you had grown up with the Hardy Boys, or perhaps Sherlock Holmes, or dare I say it, Nancy Drew or what not, these kinds of fantasies, they ingrain within us an inner need to find something as fantastic as they are.

Right now, I crave for my own Star Wars adventure in my own life. Will I be a Jedi Knight or a Sith Lord? Will I succumb to the dark forces or be steadfast and strong? Will I learn how to fly an X-wing or a Tie-fighter. These questions trivial at first, begin to make sense on a deeper level as you examine your life and reflect after a long day. And at this moment, when things take on a more profound perspective do you realize that all these fantasies are reflections of your own life. That you can relate to all these characters because they are human as you are. And then you begin to decide what you’re fate will be and you can readily juxtapose it with the fantasy.

For now, I’ve decided to be Han Solo. I’m going to get myself a Millenium Falcon, make some money in the best way I know how and end up taking on a mission for a good cause. Also, as a side note, it would be awesome to have a Chewbacca in life. Someone to just growl away your problems and kick ass and just be a wingman when needed.

Yep, cue the Star Wars fanfare and let’s begin the first chapter in my trilogy!

August 21, 2011 / dancingwithclowns

A Typical Mid-life Crisis

“When you do things passionately, you get passionate results

Have you ever had that experience wherein you read a one-liner or someone said something that completely turned your whole world around? From being so sure-footed, to being a little bit near the edge, losing your balance bit-by-bit? It’s the line up there that sparked these same feelings, that left me reeling- for it absolutely made 100% perfect sense! (Pardon my redundancy, it’s meant as an instrument for emphasis).

What is passion? Roughly defined, from the pink, viscous, tip of my tongue, from the inner vastness of my cob-webbed brain, I might say that passion is when you put your whole heart into something. It can be anything from something trivial like a passion for toenail maintenance, to something weird like a passion for slugs, to something seemingly profound like a passion for charity or philanthropy.

So, what’s your passion? Some people would respond to this matter-of-factly, others would take some time thinking first before coming to a conclusion; much like a toaster ticking away before it finally “clings!”, to reveal its hot, toasted treat. And other people, like me, would suddenly have a heart-stopping realization that they simply don’t know yet.

And then all the sirens in your head go wee-oooh, wee-ooh! Warnings blare off signaling danger as the machinations of your mind go and tell you that “hey, it’s time to get a passion bitch”. But then again, maybe the danger alerts won’t go off. Because maybe, sometimes it’s good not to know. Because sometimes, little do you know, that the answer to life’s questions are staring your right at the face.

“What’s your passion??” goes that voice. “Living my life” I respond.

And at that singular moment where things suddenly become clear and muffled noises become crisp and clean, good feelings begin to start and from that so-called crisis that once claimed you, you can begin to feel content because you’ve finally found that one true passion that you’ve always had ever since you were born.

You’ve only got one life to live baby. So when are you going to start?