Moving On, Moving Forward

Moving On, Moving Forward

We must carve our own paths.

I woke up this morning reflecting on the above. I feel that the best thing that ever happened to me was to thrive to be independent. I must confess it took longer than I expected.

I’m not sure if this is a thing but knowing that I’ll be 30 years old this year makes me introspective on my past, act in the present, and now see a more tangible future.

Saying ‘no’ to requests from others to protect my time and integrity has been key lately. I don’t want to be the person who is reached only when it is needed, nor being the facilitator to make things easy for someone when they are capable to do it themselves. The latter has been triggering to a point that I just stopped replying to such persons and even ignore them. Instant peace of mind.

I’m a helper by nature. However, I’m against stopping my overall growth as a person and especially hindering the growth of others. To elaborate, I do my best to not follow suit on favors, requests, etc. to friends, relatives, and colleagues who just want a quick fix on their needs or wants.

It is a bittersweet feeling knowing that people whom I considered close friends are now becoming distant because they don’t need anything from me. Which is a good thing and a reality check for me because I now understand that some people in life will only reach out when they need something from you who is going to benefit them exclusively.

During my quest on finding my voice through music and writing, I realize that I’m not like that. I don’t reach out to my network to ask for anything because I tend to do things own my own. I believe that there’s a dynamic that I tend to favor, which is helping someone when they’re not requesting it.

I believe there’s power in that.

When doing an act of good faith and at the same time not expecting anything in return that’s when to me, the magic happens.

I’ve been looking for opportunities to create an impact, even if minimal, within my circle of friends and relatives. Just doing, saying, or giving things that will help that person grow, and carve their own path with a new tool, new mental model, or new perspective.

There’s a thin line regarding that, and I must be mindful. Not everyone I know will take advantage when there’s opportunity to grow and move forward. Even me.

In short, I’m being more mindful on who I give my time and attention to. I want to know and find people who have a growth mindset and that like me, want to carve their own path.

“Volverte A ver” | Demo | Prod. and Written by Phantasiis

“Volverte A ver” | Demo | Prod. and Written by Phantasiis

Hola, espero estes muy bien. Llevo mucho tiempo sin publicar aqui. Sin embargo, eh estado haciendo musica y letras para esas canciones. En ese video encontraras una de ellas. Y a mi de paso. Que estes bien, un abrazo. -Ernesto, “phantasiis”

“Volverte A ver” | Demo — Phantasiis

From my blog in Spanish.

I know I’ve been absent. I’ve been working on music and exploring lyrics in my first language. I hope you are doing great.

I’ll write a longer post with updates and news soon.

In case you’d like to follow my YouTube channel, you can do it here.

Create. Inspire.

On creativity,

-Ernesto

Some Changes and Updates

Some Changes and Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve made a blog post. I’ve been working in the background. Making songs on a regular basis and learning new software.

Here’s some updates I’d like to share with you since my absence: 

I’ve noticed that I’m more creative when I wake up earlier than later in the day. The days where I wake up early are the days where I grab some coffee and start working on music.

I moved to my own place -finally- and it has been great having my own space to dwell on my creativity and just be alone.

I released a 3 song EP under my side project Phantasiis, which is titled, ‘Take It Easy’. You can find it here .

I’ve been doing freestyle rap in Spanish and recording myself doing it. It’s been really fun and sometimes I do get in to a flow state.

I’ve bought a microphone that is surprisingly small, but it works for practice purposes. 

I’ve got into console gaming, I’ve been playing Apex Legends on Xbox for a few weeks and I’ve been loving it.

Finally bought a TV -never owned one- soon to realize that I don’t really use it to watch anything. It is more to listen to music and occasional YouTube videos. 

I realized that I haven’t learned anything about music as of lately, rather I’ve been applying what I know and find new ways to work with that.

I could not move forward to my Masters Program in Data Science due to time constrains. 

Instead, I got accepted into a Certificate program for Business Intelligence Analysis by UC San Diego. It has been a great experience and excellent community.

I noticed I’ve reached a point in life where I don’t need much to live comfortably and make music. All I really need is a computer, mouse, and good headphones.

I’ve been having bad insomnia but it has been getting better.

I got into audio books and I really enjoy listening to something interesting while doing something rather mundane. It turns that task into an experience.

I stopped meditating. I don’t have a clear reason why as of now. I feel I’ve reach a point where I meditate through music. I noticed when I was in my meditation period for several months, I didn’t create many songs. Something to think about. Will write about it later.

Lastly, I’ve been thinking a lot about this website. I believe this blog and writing in general is a great outlet for me to express my thoughts and clarify my mind. Hopefully some of this content brought value to you at some point. However, I feel that Ernesto Delirium is not a name I want to keep using for the blog. The main reason is that I don’t plan to release more songs under that project anymore. It was a great experience, but I’d like to focus all of my energy to Phantasiis and keeping it consistent.

Therefore, I’ll change the website address to reflect that change. I don’t know how long the process is going to take, but I’ll make the necessary changes. Also, changing the website design would be a plus, too.

More music to come, especially instrumental hip-hop. I’d like to get back into writing articles about psychology and music as well, time will tell.

I hope you are doing well with all of the chaos going in the world.

Take it Easy,

Ernesto

Part of my new logo for Phantasiis

RX to Self: Please Slow Down

RX to Self: Please Slow Down

It’s been 12 years since I started this path. Mental illness wasn’t the problem. The struggle was how to regain my confidence and self-esteem after the first onset of symptoms. 

In retrospect, I felt like an observer. I was aware of my surroundings and the people around me. The constant struggle to try to belong to the scene that was right in front of me. Family reunions, going out with friends, going to a concert. Anything social was uncomfortable to me. 

More importantly, I felt I wasn’t my true self.

When I’ve moved to the US 10 years ago, the idea of being an observer started to fade. I became careless about it. I was happy to start a new chapter in life where I could be more independent. I’ve lost school years during my time in Mexico, and I was determined to never let that happen again. Until my symptoms started to take a slow and tender grip on me.

And there I was, going to school with the best intentions to not breakdown. I had the will to not surrender. I had to prove myself that I could do it, that I could belong to the group. Instead of being an observer, I’ve became a witness of my own thoughts. I’ve started to become anxious about others being witness of my symptoms. 

The daily inner battle lasted for several years. I’ve started to evolve with it. Faking that nothing was happening with me. I became desensitized of my needs, and it took a toll  on me from time to time. By this I mean going to the hospital several times because I couldn’t take it anymore. 

Stigma is real and I believe that mental illness is a topic that not many of us like to discuss. Perhaps is lack of understanding, or simply lack of sensibility. 

What if instead of talking about mental illness, we reframe the context to mental wellness? The emotions and ideas portrayed by the word ‘illness’ and ‘wellness’ are diametrically opposed. However, these two terms are interwoven, they are connected. You cannot have one without the other. 

I’m a human being that’s working towards that balance. I tend to overextend myself when I’m doing something that I love. It may be when I’m working or studying, being with friends, being in a relationship, or making music. These are things that I tend to have trouble to keep in harmony.

I’ve got the opportunity to recover my path after a recent hospitalization. I’ve moved the start of my graduate program for the spring, and I’m working on getting more experience on the field of psychology and mental wellness. What I’ve noticed about this, is the way I’m experiencing it.

I’m becoming more aware and attuned to my body through meditation. I’ve been doing it more often, and now I’ve got the opportunity to join a group of guided meditation. I’m learning to regain my attention and focus on what’s around me. Sometimes is hard to practice it, but I try my best on every chance.

I haven’t played much music, nor composed anything. I just don’t feel ready for now. I’ve been writing on my journal, and talking with family and friends. Trying to pick up my pieces together after my resent episode. I’ve been applying to different jobs and trying to reconnect with myself, once again. 

Taking stock on how I’ve dealt with my relationships with people I love is something I’m working on this morning. In order to that, I need to slow down.

Thank you for reading.

On Wellness,

-Ernesto  

The Summer Demos

The Summer Demos

I’d like to share with you a playlist with some songs I’ve made during the summer. I’ve been practicing and learning how to produce hip-hop. My goal is to produce the LoFi genre.

It has been an interesting and enjoyable process for the most part. There’s much to learn, and not much time on my hands. I won’t be as active on the blog starting next month.

I’ve got the opportunity to join a graduate program. I’m going to start a Master’s program in Data Science this September. Therefore, I’ll be focusing on school for a while.

I hope that you are doing well, and doing better each day. I wish you inspiration, lots of creative juice, and plenty of sleep. I’ll be missing the latter.

Thank you for listening!

To our success,

Ernesto

Mondai nai!

Shared Dreams

Shared Dreams

Where you been?

I was longing for your return

Waiting for my turn

To share with you my dream

A dream about a place

Full of music and light

Where I had to inevitably embrace

The beauty in your eyes

When you look at me

And ask me why

I answer nothing

I have nowhere to hide

Then you ask me

Where I’ve been?

That you were longing for my return

That you were waiting for your turn

To share your dream with me.

And it was so beautiful.

Our Song and Silence

Our Song and Silence

I started to hear our song

The one that we danced

Together, as one, as a whole

With our bodies and souls

I realize that you’re not here

Not with me, not together anymore

And we’re not dancing either

Our bodies and souls are now apart

Silence is what I want

Please turn off the music and lights

I don’t want to hear our song

The one we used to dance

Together, as a whole.

Checking-In

Checking-In

Next week is finals week. I’ll earn a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology. Last Thursday was my last lecture as an undergrad. I felt nostalgia. 

A chapter ends and another begins.

Many years and sacrifices happened to get to this point. Below are some questions that I’m exploring tonight. I would love to read your thoughts on them, too. 

1. Would you do it again?

2. What would you tell now to somebody who’s starting out?

3. What would your healthiest and smartest self would advice you?

4. What did you had to give up for to accomplish this?

5. What did you discover about yourself?

 Allow yourself to learn something outside from school or your trade. That activity could become an outlet to decompress from school or related stressors. Learning about music and reading non-academic books were instrumental for me. This semester was one of the busiest I had.

Somehow, I wasn’t as stressed as I thought. It felt as if I chose to not get stressed this time around. Peers and coworkers told me many times that I looked calm and zen. 

I believe that Morita Therapy helped me with that. I haven’t had anxiety symptoms since October. Reading the book gave me a mental frame to work with my emotions differently. Also, I read and almost finished Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I’ve been a fan of his works for some time now. 

Taking a break from social media a few months ago helped with my work and school output. I must say that I eventually returned, but my usage is minimum. I reached a point that I don’t mind not using it; at best I use it to share my blog posts and music, no more than that.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’ve been working on some beats that I plan to release soon. Music has been an outlet to explore my emotions, creativity, and learning skills. I’ve been getting into producing sample-based music. You’ll notice a different flavor under Phantasiis in comparison with my usual style. 

Summer is around the corner, and with it more time to dedicate to the craft. I haven’t written here in a while, but I’m still around.

What’ve you been up to?

Hasta pronto,

— Ernesto

phantasiis – My New Music Project

Exploring new sounds and emotions through music is important to me. I’m revisiting lyrics and ideas in Spanish, as reflected on my last spoken word record. This turned into my new project: phantasiis.

This project of mine is going to be entirely in Spanish, my first language. There’s something in me that I want to share with you but I cannot express it the way I intended to in English.

The main genre will be hip-hop or something close to its core elements. Some songs will be pure instrumentals, while others will have either spoken work, or my best attempt at rapping.

I feel I’m ready to start releasing songs for this project. Ernesto Delirium will continue, but it will be intended for my guitar driven songs from now on. I believe I have enough of a blend of genres in my repertoire, and I would like to keep it consistent with guitar and spoken word.

phantasiis is going to be for my hip-hop and rap explorations. Also, I started a blog for that project, too. You can find it here. However, its content will be in Spanish.

I’ve already posted my first blog post, which is a letter I wrote to myself about forgiveness.

I feel happy with the way things are turning out for my music endeavors. I believe that phantasiis will explore my emotions in Spanish, whereas Ernesto Delirium will explore my ideas in English.

Muchas gracias,

-Ernesto

Falling Gently

Falling Gently

This post is about self-awareness. I was on a funk for some time. Now, things are different because I think about them differently.

Its perspective.

As I’ve discussed on my last post update, I took a break from digital distractions. I realized in a few days how much time I had to do things that brought me joy. I’m working on song ideas after challenging the assumption that I’m too busy for music.

In reality, I wasn’t focused. 

Distraction took a toll on me.

The funk I experienced was a byproduct of how I was spending my time. I was feeling unproductive, without energy. I felt that I was heading towards a period of depression. I knew I wasn’t my usual self.

My mind and body were giving me the signals that I wasn’t living, but surviving. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was eating poorly. I was reactive instead of proactive.

I was falling gently into the vice grip of depression.

I had this feeling that I was sabotaging myself. I made the choice to be alone for some time to think. Taking stock on what I was doing, the story I was telling others and to myself. 

I parted ways with my now ex-partner. That turned out to be the catalyst for inner growth and self-improvement. It was a moment that gave me clarity. 

I learned that I can’t save others from themselves. I had to lose my self in the process to understand it. I had to take the fall. I just wished it wasn’t that gently, but I had to live the process, too.

It has been several weeks since then. What’s interesting is that my schedules got more demanding. I’m doing two positions at my job, plus my weekend internship, and my classes. I’m doing twice as more before the pre-onset of depression.

And you know what? I actually feel better. There’s power on time constrictions. Its making me get my act together, and start doing instead of focusing too much on my story. 

What I mean by the above is that I’m realizing how much our inner voice and what we say to others matters

If I keep thinking how miserable I am, and keep telling my story in that way, well, my perspective and belief system starts following that idea, too. I started to change my perspective and be mindful of how I tell my story. 

I started to be more aware with whom I was spending my time with. More importantly, to whom and to what I was giving my attention to. I started to break free from those self-imposed burdens.

I feel different since then. I feel that I’m reaching a different level of consciousness and awareness. I’m calmer, less reactive. My friends and colleagues tell me that I look different, happier, and at peace. 

I’m changing my story. I’m changing my environment and relationships. I’m not surviving for now, I’m living a different story. I’m confident that more challenges and set backs will come.

I won’t let them take me down gently when it happens.

Thank you for reading.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

Rx to Self: Part Four

Rx to Self: Part Four

This post is part of a series of experiences on healthcare. From realizations, patient navigation, and the implications of being divided by a border.

Symptom: Trying to do beyond of what I’m capable of, without proper rest

At the beginning, I was having between two to three hours of sleep at best. Specially the night when I took grandpa to the Emergency Department.

I’ve done this before for others in the US, but not in Mexico. While he didn’t need an ambulance, I took him because he was showing signs of a hearth attack.

I asked him to gather all his paperwork. I packed the medicines and lab work. I drove him to the hospital. 

Then I started thinking when he drove me to the doctor 11 years ago.

Things changed a lot for me since then.

Now things were going to change for him.

I felt that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.

We both knew that I was scared of not making it on time. Hell, we were both scared.

And there we where, driving at night. Sharing small talk and lots of silence. We didn’t had a proper meal during the day, nor the night. We weren’t hungry, or tired. We were unusually calmed and worried at the same time.

Call it being fine with chaos.

Rx to Self: Have your meals and rest in order to get things done

Rx to Self: Part Three

Rx to Self: Part Three

This post is part of a series of experiences on healthcare. From realizations, patient navigation, and the implications of being divided by a border.

Symptom: Misinformation and poor communication 

I tend to do things on my own for most of the time. The idea of self-sufficiency is something that I look up to. When my family and I were figuring out the logistics for my grandpa’s treatment, things got complicated. 

Communication was key during these times. Specially for my father and myself because we were taking action at the early stages.

However, due to the nature of the situation, I didn’t realize that my father and I had to do plenty of crowd control within the family. 

We had to be rational, assertive, and sometimes rude to some of our family members and friends. The reason for this was that there were plenty of individuals that had the best intentions to help, but in fact were causing unnecessary drama, distraction, and stress.

It sounds harsh at first, but imagine this situation: suppose that you were waiting for a doctor’s call at a given time, a matter of life and death. Suddenly, your phone gets blasted with phone calls and text messages from numbers that you don’t even know. 

How would you feel and what would you do?

Keeping in mind that you might be sleep derived, hungry, possibly anxious, and on edge. Would you like to answer to all of these messages, unknown callers and tell them the whole story? What if you miss the phone call that you actually need?

Rx to self: Focus and be in the moment, for who needs it, and for your own peace of mind

This is when I had to minimize distractions. Prioritizing and basically ignoring a lot of attention requests. I needed my whole cognitive, rational, and emotional stability in order to perform on what mattered at the moment. 

What I was experiencing with my phone was, in a way, what in the social sciences is known as mass hysteria. At a given point, there was a rumor within my own family that my grandpa was basically dead, and that we had prepare for the funeral.

While it’s understandable that we worry about this life and death situations, it’s important to realize that it’s dangerous to assume the worst and treat it as a fact. It’s as if you already lost the fight without even trying, and actually feeling depressed already.

However, once that digital communication issue was minimized, we had a system going on. The right people was helping us out, and I’m forever thankful for their time and care. We were finally getting things on track and the unknown was less intimidating.

We were living the present and being proactive, instead of reactive. Less worrying and more doing.

In short: even on this type of situations, you still have the right to choose to who you give your time and attention. Most importantly, you don’t owe anybody any explanations. That night I was reassured about that.

All of these unnecessary attention requests and explanatory demands happened when I took my grandpa to the emergency department. 

That moment I felt an aversion to distraction.

But goddamn, I was focused.

No time for emotions or worries. 

It was time to act and listen.