Advice for Young Men: How to Handle Rejection

You will face rejection.

Living is the art of facing rejection.

However, in our culture we put a premium on success, and do not talk often on how to deal with rejection.

The main problem, like most social problems, is the matter of perspective.

While most people learn to take rejection as a rejection of their core self most rejection is actually a statement of that particular individual or group’s needs or wants.

Or to put it another way, you are a flavor.

Picture now your favorite flavor of ice cream, or gum. For me it’s cinnamon gum. Which I am sure to some of you will be absolutely disgusting, but to me is the essence of flavor.

If I were to go up to you and offer you a piece of gum, even if it is one of the best brands and in mint condition, and it’s a flavor you just don’t like, you are probably going to say no.

Is there anything wrong with the Gum? No. But it’s just not your flavor.

That in a nutshell is rejection. It has very little to do with you, and everything to do with the other human.

That being said, this only really works if the gum is pretty ok in the first place. No one is going to accept a half chewed piece of gum, or gum that is covered in lint, or gum that has an exceptionally low quality.

That’s why self-care is important, in order to even have a shot at whatever you are attempting you want to give yourself the best quality product to present, and hope it’s someones flavor.

So next time you get rejected, try not to take it personally, if you are caring for yourself enough , it’s probably not you, it’s just that you aren’t their flavor.

Advice For Young Men: It’s okay if you lose motivation sometimes, this is normal.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

So, today, and for the past week or so I’ve been drained. My OCD has been really acting up, and I’ve been having to deal with that.

I have been putting in the work but my heart isn’t it.

But that’s ok. You are allowed to, especially in stressful situations, lose motivation, and not want to do anything.

The key is to show up, and try your best, but don’t be to harsh. Focus on your responsibilities to others and yourself, but don’t worry if you lost all your motivation, it will recharge, it just needs time. You aren’t a machine.

Kyoto Day 5 Part 2: More Gion

I hope your memorial day went well dear US readers, and your normal, not long weekend non-US readers.

After a brief stop for lunch, courtesy of another 24/7 style establishment I decided to visit a pagoda in the hills surrounding Kyoto, but to get to that pagoda I had to venture through one of Japan’s oldest, and biggest graveyards.

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I don’t have much against graveyards. Many people see them as scary or morbid. Some have a deep fascination with them. I grew up with ghost stories, yet I find nothing but serenity in the rituals pertaining the dead. Graveyards evoke rest, not restlessness to me.  Nonetheless, the sheer scope of this particular burial ground was breathtaking, even more so, when you postulate that many of these graves were family graves, with several generations of families being buried all in the same plot.
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What was perhaps the most curious was the direct contact people had with the burial ground. Houses like the one in the picture above lined the sides of the road and protruded into the grounds. I wonder what life would be like growing up so close to the dead. Would the person be immune to the fear of death? Reminded to live each day fully? Simply scared all the time? I had no idea, and my mind wandered.

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Halfway up the hill I took a rest in a small temple. Much of it stood decrepit, with fading painted murals and sculptures. I never did found out what the place was for but the view was nice.

Again more of the yard. I stopped snapping pictures as I got higher and higher up, as the scene simply repeated itself. IMG_1014

By chance, I visited this very touristy place on a school field trip and snapped a few shots of the students, who did something many of their adult counterparts did not, they acknowledged my existence.
IMG_1015 IMG_1016Behind me, as I came in off a back path, was a street lined with souvenirs, and replicas, but I set my eyes forward, I had a duty to perform.

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I took a picture of this place because it was here I had a nearly religious experience in self-reliance. Within the temple above is a small passage that led into complete darkness, the passage can only be navigated by walking through the dark with your hand on a rail. It is stifling, claustrophobic, and  not something I would do again. With that said I knew that if I panicked I would cause a problem, the people behind me couldn’t see me, and so I drove ahead despite every bone in my body telling me to head back. I emerged into the light, relieved and yet proud that I’d kept going.  

How Stephen King Saved my Writing Career

Before I read On Writing  By Stephen King, I’d been in a fragile loop of discontent. It stretched along something like this. I’d try and write, then compare myself, my process, or the work to something else, and then flounder to write. I’d freeze up like something had grabbed my hands, and head, and shoved them all into cold water. It was the kind of cold that pierced deep, and stayed with me for days after. Eventually, Pavlov won and I’d given up any dream on being a writer. Then King taught me to love the process.

Not just King, I’d grown as a person, I’d decided I wanted to control my feelings not people outside me, I wanted to be in charge of as much as I could. I’d had a run in where I’d lost all power to do anything of substance. That is a hell I don’t want to touch on, but nonetheless, I think King was the final shove that set off the land slide.

Before king, I envisioned writing as some sort of dreamy process. In school, hell in life, they teach you to find something you love, and you will never work a day in your life, and that I must say is a monstrous load of bullshit.

Things you love demand more work out of you. They also demand you commit to the act.Good writing is not like eating an icecream cone, where it’s all good, then it’s vaguely tasty, and finally you feel gross when you’ve finished. It’s the reverse of that. It’s jarring hard work, that you have to commit to. Not to the actual moment, I don’t suffer from erotic glee when I type up words, but from the very act of creation without rules or strings.

The main thing I picked up from King was this. Write your way. That’s it. Don’t try and write for the world, don’t do it for money, don’t do it for fame, do it because you want to. Not because it’s the only thing you can do, ect, hell I could sell cars, but because on some deep level you know stories.

Fuck formatting for first drafts, fuck deeper meanings in first drafts, fuck everything in the first draft. No one ever talks about drafts. Artists don’t talk about thumbnail sketches, or studies they do. They just show their finished product, and hell that’s what you should do.

To write it to commit to a higher power the power, and yes I am speaking of a goddess. This is the goddess of getting shit done. She’d a cruel mistress, and she demands you never give up, but please her and you’ll sleep at night knowing you did.

People, all people, are creative, it’s just about dentangling this mess of societal  hang ups we all fall into in our school years, and getting ourselves to a point where we can hold ourselves accountable. Not out of some fear of being disliked but out of the belief that I can write, and I can finish things because I am worth it.

Believe  me, you are worth it. It’s only you that doesn’t belive that.

Thanks Mr. King.

A Man Chooses

Or woman chooses, if you please. This quote is from Bioshock, a game I recommend you play immediately, and where the rest of the game mocks Ayn Rand’s political philosophy, this quote struck me.

The more I look into it the more I find myself attracted to it.

“A man chooses, a slave obeys.”

I think I am attracted to it because for too long I toddled along under the thumb of someone, My parents, my therapist, my peers.

Recently, I followed the orders of others to the edge of my worst fears. I wont say anything except that the experience changed me. I like John Green, am wary of epiphany but the day or two after I left my personal hell, to lean slightly on hyperbole, I felt a marked change grip me.

As I walked to the Local Coffee shop, Honu, I found myself pondering what this change was and I discovered it was marked and simple.

I was the one calling the shots. I no long felt obligated to clear my plans with anyone around me.

It’s a brave new world, and a man must choose.

Hunter S. Thompson Said it best

“A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance. So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. But you say, “I don’t know where to look; I don’t know what to look for.”

Thanks to Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Ryan. Don’t Forget to be awesome.