“I found peace on the opposite end of finding myself.” -David Goggins
It starts with me, born in 1993 in a small town called Merced to immigrant parents who were fleeing from the aftermaths of the Secret War conducted by American agents in Laos. My journey as an Asian American and as an Asian American dude is probably a little bit stranger than most. I spent a lot of my formative years growing up with a lot of trauma on my shoulders, that turned me into a very toxic person as a teenager and it took a lot of growing to undo all the bad habits I learned during this time and to eventually grow up. But the toll of the person I used to be haunted me and the continuing hardships that I had to endure and survive slowly etched away at the part of me that was alive.
Depression, loss, sorrow, hate, pain, anguish, regret, remorse, resentment, self-pity, self-criticism, self-hatred, anger, all of these emotions pooled inside of me, and as they festered on my 25th birthday I reached my breaking point in life. A person once said that I just need someone to save me. But the truth is that the only person who can save you, forgive you, absolve you of your guilt, release you from your burdens, and get you right back up each and every single day to keep on fighting, is yourself. With those words reverberating throughout my mind, I was ready for my last adventure, my final adventure, my journey on the road to healing and peace. I would devote the rest of my life towards this one final study and it is for this reason why I have decided to etch down my lessons here.
Studying life meant sitting down and analyzing everything that has happened to me, around me, for me, against me, and because of me. It meant being real and raw with myself and becoming vulnerable when opening up with my past and all the pain and regret that has been locked inside. But it also meant paying attention to the life around me, to the people who stood by me, to the people who left me, to the people I left behind. When I say that Life is Studying it means that there is knowledge out there that can get me through whatever problem I am facing. It is the awe of experiencing something amazing and beautiful in life, it is the lightbulb flickering when I find or create a solution, it is the feeling I get when I sit down on a bench and look around as I meld into my surroundings with a simple smile for being alive as I say “Life is Studying”.
I hope that the stories I share can help on your journey to becoming the best version of yourself. I don’t make empty promises, so I can’t promise you that all of the hard work will pay off, not everybody who works hard succeeds. But everyone who has ever succeeded definitely worked hard!