Tag Archives: Op Ed

Declutter of Meaningless Associations — There is Only Time For What is Important to You

I am not friends with 99.8% of the people I went to high school with and that is a subjective fact.  As a 31 year-old Millennial dad I find myself only having about three or four  real friends in my life at any one point in time, and I think that calculation is great! This understanding is kind of an amazing thing to consider; it’s beautiful, I love it.  I smile more.  Less of a crowd to impress, less to persuade or be a spectacle for, or to simply agree with to avoid conflict.  Gossip did that, so did a minimalist mindset. 

Moreover, I lost most of my “friends” about two years ago, around election time, around the time I realized that I didn’t necessary absolutely agree with being one of the progressive/regressive herd, or what was said on CNN or Facebook or Twitter et al. and on the mainstream news–which is everything and everywhere.  You could say I like diversity of thought.  At that time, I found myself realizing there is only time for what is important:  MY  individual  beliefs and goals.  I had to declutter my personal life of excess, so I made a plan and followed through.  It just involved being my true self and being able to walk away from things I did not need while amassing more of the essential things necessary to making my future better.  

One is aWOKEn quickly when there are mouths to feed that none of your so-called friends, the ones who don’t really do anything in a give-and-take relationship, will be putting lunch on the table or give you positive ideas and motivations or pay your credit card or student loan debt.  (Not only do they not do those things for you but YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET THEIR APPROVAL TO DO YOUR LIFE.)  I don’t expect them to, but they don’t expect you to either.  That lack of vision and support is stagnation, there needs to be positive diversity of thought in all situations.  Further, those friends may tell you big ideas and wallow, that is anitmotivational.  They may tell you they aspire but don’t have motivation or action to try, that is pro-sedentarism and takes you nowhere.  You could have mannequins around you giving thumbs up and they would do more for your self care purposes.

Realizing this is important: you make you.  Realizing it’s just you and what you make of life is key to the success you find in your life.  Friends I have lost have offered commiseration for a period of time and were necessary, approval that it is acceptable to be subpar.  Not anymore.  I declutter my basement and I declutter my friends.  I don’t need excuses or malarkey from people around me, I need action and awareness and planning, which are qualities some people my age may lack–especially the loudest ones with the biggest dreams and even bigger fingers to point at everyone but themselves.  However, I would agree some people do have these winning qualities and that is a HUGE positive, and they are close to me.  (The quiet ones with winning qualities get to work with their hands and their brains and not their mouths.)  I may be callus and I may be calculated, but only God can judge me perhaps. 

Accordingly, after reading and taking in much Brian Tracy and Dave Ramsey and documentaries on minimalism, I want role models around me, I want people who are flawed that come out better than when they started, human ones, empathetic: ones that make mistakes and come out better by experience.  I want quality not quantity.  I don’t need a bunch of virtue-signalists around me waiting for their big break.  I am flawed but I am striving for better for myself and my family and my future.  I am in debt but I have a plan to become a millionaire if I simply follow that plan. 

Everyone is flawed, so what?  I want to make tomorrow better for those I find around me and myself, so do I complain and blame or make change?  A better me means a better you for all of us.  In the past, perhaps that might have been not so, and I wondered who was around me at that point in time, what encouragement creates.  Which support systems and rules did I follow to get here or there?  Realizing that debt was controlling my life, my work, and my freedom at every moment was important to realizing I needed less of some things and more of others.  That was a great lesson but it would have never been learnt had I not been to the bottom or experienced hardships.  We find ourselves cleansing in times when we feel impure, we find ourselves taking a shower to wash clean our bodies and start new days.  I am cleansing of my student loans of credit card debt to be completely free, that is a part of this metamorphosis.  

We can think on the positive aspects of any negative situation and learn from them and and grow from them.  Every hardship or struggle or tragedy we face is a moment to learn, to come back stronger and better and more equipped to manage the world around you in the future.  We can do this with anything: friends, debt, ideology, religion, identity, etc.  Those are the times we live in; you can be a bobcat, a dinosaur, or an astronaut.

When I have a problem that I can’t solve I wait for a new day and think it over again, new thought may come my way.  This is a new day.  You have a new day now too.  Today I find myself marveling at quality not quantity.  I have friends I truly laugh with daily, truly care about constantly.  I have friends who are thoughtful and listen.  I have friends who hear my ideas and do not judge me for my honesty.  I see that with a plan and positive thinkers around me I can make it, or I can make it by myself with positive thought. 

I believe anyone can make it irregardless of everything.  I don’t have to believe that the world is ending because the television tells me so.  Or that we are going to hell because 100 % of half of the scientists in the smart part of town agree generally speaking on Headline News.  I can believe in the church but not believe in God.  I can believe that Texas Toast is made in Ohio.  I don’t have to hate a politician because everyone else does and says that I must too.  This is America!  I don’t have to show intolerance to those who I don’t agree with and then ask for tolerance from everyone around me so I can look good in my social circles, or on social media.  I can be kind all on my own, to all without being prompted.  Maybe my social circle is broken and that is tolerance.  Maybe forget social media.  Nothing is complete, except for death, probably. 

And if you agree with that and more, then that is perfectly fine, that is so.  You may just be my new friend, like at the beginning.  Perfect, right?  Well, I hope not.  Perfect is complete, ended, finished, dead.  This is just the beginning.  Maybe you will open up and cleanse yourself of the clutter you don’t need, tying you down.  You are all right with that and I am too.  Being all right is good, but it’s not the best.  You don’t have to and shouldn’t be perfect.  I am nowhere near perfect either.  Neither is this idea or this written piece, it’s fluid abstract and important and not and open to new ideas.  Though, I find myself closer to making change daily and seeing where that takes me, with or without every other individual around me who agrees or doesn’t and doesn’t change themselves or have to anyway because of it. 

There is an old saying about who needs friends, but ever better would be saying who needs you?  You NEED YOU.  Those you love NEED YOU.  They NEED YOU TO BE OPEN MINDED AND POSITIVE AND READY TO MAKE CHANGE not complaint.  I think YOU NEED YOU, too, the most because I know I need me the most too.  

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If you want the impossible, you’ll have to do the impossible

If you want the impossible, you’ll have to do the impossible to get it.  Not sit around and diddle, or sit around and post on social media.  Limit these distractions.  Limit all news but the weather.  You don’t need prescription pill commercials nor paid for ideas.  Every day is another day to make it right individually, to attain everything that you want or need in YOUR LIFE.  Sitting here at 5 a.m. on a Saturday, every Saturday, I teach English abroad to make my impossible possible.  I am a dad, human, American.  I have obligations.  There is no questions about it.  I want the impossible.  And the only way to get it is to be realistic, and do the impossible.  If you want something hard work is the key, that shouldn’t be impossible.

An opinion of the 2017 housing market from a millennial who has gone through the home buying process (to a point)

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“Realtor Nene Matey-Keke of RNR Realty leaves a home after a showing in St. Paul on June 7, 2017. Tom Baker for MPR News” – Image from MPR

Disclaimer: This may seem as a lot of fluffy prose and metaphorical goo-goo, but I have no other way of free-playing this into reader’s minds as I wish to. This is not objective science but subjective thought from my experience. Please read this for what it is, an opinion about something I have limited understanding of.

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Frogtown, USA–The housing market to me is paper thin, ask any realtor what they think about the market and they will say it’s great, it’s a seller’s market. But look beyond that.

MPR and other media cover obvious: the market is booming, it is also hard for Millennials to buy, and to no end. What they forget to mention is the other side. One-sided arguments: this is hard, nothing is changing.

Though, think of that change. The other side of the coin is the market crashing. Ask an honest person, my neighbor, who is a realtor, and she will tell you to save no wand in 5-7 years the market will crash.

As a novice of day-trading and stock market and any financial market in America, in relation to the housing market, I understand there is a pattern: things change.

The housing market is hot now, you can sell anything for far more than it is worth. Many people are flipping and buying flipped homes. Great for them, but this is a fad as everything else. It will eventually fade.

Instead of getting sucked in by low interest rates and ease of attaining a mortgage and buying because everyone else is, think. Because everyone else is and it is trendy now, should you do it?

I use the jump off of a bridge analogy. No, I wouldn’t. Though I almost bought a house with my wife. We realized it’s hard work. I do not envy the fixer-uppers.

Take a walk down the street, everyone is selling. But why? Because people will buy anything they think they need. Now you think you need a home. Something way more expensive than you thought it would be–and it is.

And for why? Yeah, you own it. It may appreciate. It may gain value. But at that price if it doesn’t work out and you lose your job it maybe get bad. That is why. I say wait it out, and others have said this too.

Watch the market collapse. Listen as everyone tells you it won’t. Or they cringe at the thought. Like the stock market, or any capitalistic market it is fragile, fragile yet resilient. It comes and goes.

It will come and go, don’t miss it. But don’t get caught up in the hype, the media juicing it because of sponsors. Listen to the radio. “We buy any house and sell it”, why? Because that is there job.

Realtors and lenders describe the market is ways that keeps them in business. That is why I say the market is paper thin, because it is as thin as the money you don’t have to buy it. I have heard get on the train before it leaves the station in reference to buying a home.

But what if that train is going somewhere I don’t want to be. What if it is a doomed train. I want to read more articles on how the market actually is not what people think of the market, ironically.

I want both sides of the story. I won’t read half of a book if the book isn’t finished, nor will I watch half of a movie. Pundits and those whose skin is at risk tell how it is, but where is the science. Every mountain has a peak and a base.

Look and you may see the man behind the curtain, look at you may see it for what it is. A show that is a market that makes those is the “know” a lot of money. The benefit is to make is seem as though it is a certain way when it is not.

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Again: This may seem as a lot of fluffy prose and metaphorical goo, but I have no other way of free-playing this into reader’s minds as I wish to. This is not objective science but subjective thought from experience. Please read this for what it is, an opinion I have a limited understanding of.

US Bank Protesters did security detail a favor in preventing future protests, and perhaps something worse

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Photo Credit: Star Tribune

The #NODAPL Pipeline protests aside, the dangers of scaling a building notwithstanding, the planning, the disruptive behavior, all put in the peripherals; what the US Bank Pipeline really did was point out the glaring holes in security at US Bank Stadium, which is a good thing in protecting the venue from a potential future demonstrations with more devious intentions.

Perhaps, for creating this latent effect in infrastructure knowledge, a lesson of procedure, we can thank the protesters for offering an establishment something beneficial, aside from protesting the Pipeline and its alleged devastating affects to the surrounding environment. Perhaps these protesters did the beloved US Bank stadium a favor in a lesson of protection.

Now, to learn something, US Bank security team must perform more drastic, more mindful, and more aggressive searches and seizures of those entering the facility. Those who visit the stadium must be subjected to more rigorous and thorough searches in light of this event. And these are all good thing when looked at it from the point of view of making citizens safe.

Really, not only did the protesters protest. Not only did they enact a daring spectacle for the cameras and media, which of course went viral, these activists also pointed out the Achille’s Heel of a $975 M facility. Moreover, those in charge of the detail should take note, serious note. Because this time, it was a benign protest to protect the environment, and not much else.

In conclusion, I am no mountain climber—I have little understanding of the equipment need to pull off such a stunt, and I am no current protester. But in reflection of this innocuous deed of sneaking gear and signs and ideologies in could have been something far worse, something more nefarious than a message of local protest, and US Bank Stadium should take this minor feat seriously.