Lost and Found

Lost and Found

The feeling of being stuck and the struggle of change. 

I started to think that something was off with me when I started to feel physically exhausted and mentally clouded daily. Waking up was a pain, let alone staying awake for the first hours during work. During the night I seemed alive, and I didn’t want to sleep early at all. 

That’s how it started.

It was a slow buildup of a routine that I thought I could handle. Taking one hour or two of less sleep every day if I could recover them over the weekend, in theory. Add a miserable diet and the recipe was heading for a disaster.

I started to become aware of the hole I dug myself into. A few feet under in the name of productivity and my art. I felt that if I did my job well, and at the end of my shift I worked on music and played video games until late at night I was proving myself that I “could”. To perform well with little sleep and eating junk. Good luck with that.

I was paying the price of this disservice to myself. I started to notice that I was comfortable. Too comfortable where I was at the time. I started to feel that I needed a change. The question was, how was I supposed to change when I was too tired to begin with? It bothered me. 

Until my girlfriend suggested that I should try working my sleep first. That was hard to do at the beginning, even if I knew she had a point. The thought of not playing video games and making music for less time than usual caused me anxiety. I was going to “miss” the possibilities.

I started to get a clear picture when I started to listen to the book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins. I needed a plan and motivation. That book delivered that and much more.

Hearing his story, mindset, and how he transformed himself was inspiring. It made me ‘cut through my bullshit’ and to ‘own the mornings’ among other lessons. It really made me realize that the human body was full of potential. I was letting that go away.

I started to focus more on my relationship with my girlfriend. Living through that self-induced depression was an act of selfishness on my end. It was hurting us both. Now I am working on being present for her and taking care of myself first.

I cut my hours of video games significantly and focused some of those hours into creating more music. I am working on releasing an EP that hopefully will be released before the fall. 

I started to fall asleep earlier and wake up early 6 days a week. I am starting to exercise again after a long hiatus. Mostly jogging, and bodyweight exercises. 

Thanks to my girlfriend, now I am fond of salads and making smoothies. I never consumed nor ate this amount of healthy stuff in a short period of time. It is intense how the body reacts to real food.

I’m working on developing a sustainable routine that brings me wellness and more time with my loved ones. There are days where I take a breaks, such as today. I’m writing this to reflect on how easy it is to get lost in our routines, and how I found myself through change. One thing at a time. 

I’m a work in progress, with no intention to end until further notice.

Lastly, I’d like to live you with this quote:

“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.” – Marcus Aurelius

Mondai-nai!

Ernesto

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.

Motivation – You got this

Motivation – You got this

Seeking motivation when feeling in need of a little push. Someone who believes in me. Anybody. I wish I had people around who could tell me that I can do it. That they’re proud of me for what I’m doing.

Recognition and acknowledgment. Basic things that I believe everyone needs at different degrees. I want very little. I wished people who live with me, who know me, who are part of my life would say: you got this.

I write today to tell myself that I got this. I am whom I decide to become if I put in the work. Regardless if no one notices. Regardless that nobody really cares. I notice. I care.

Today was a day where I felt I was giving up. That I was throwing everything down. Dropping the ball. A day were I almost surrendered from my dreams and what I want.

And it did not happen. Not today. Not tomorrow. I won’t let it happen.

I’m making progress today by choosing to move forward. I chose myself. I do not need approval other than my own. I am motivating myself through writing. I hope that you don’t give up and get that motivation to move through.

I believe in you and I acknowledge you. I know I don’t know you, but know that like me, you are not really alone in this. You have what you carry inside. What gets you moving, what pushes you.

Remember why you are here. Your purpose and mission depend solely on you. No one owes you anything. I had to remind myself of it today. I was losing my essence.

Please remember why you are here and what you envision.

I got this.

You got this.

Mondai nai!

-Ernesto

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

‘Ya No Te Conozco’ | [Video] Demo by Phantasiis

‘Ya No Te Conozco’ | [Video] Demo by Phantasiis

Hello,

Here’s a video of a song I wrote in July. It’s in Spanish. I hope that you like it.

I was having lots of nostalgia when I was writing the lyrics, and the music felt right. There’s times where I write the music first, and the lyrics follow suit. Other times it’s the opposite.

I have a feeling that sometimes when I’m in a flow state the song writes itself. Has this happened to you?

Let me know.

Inspire and Create,

-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

Back at the Craft | Update

Back at the Craft | Update

Here’s a song that I’ve made recently. It’s an instrumental where I try to emulate the Lo-Fi genre. I hope you like it!

“Where I’ve Been” – Ernesto Delirium

I stopped making music for several weeks due to my mental state and negative mindset. I started exercising during that time and did meditation consistently.

I feel that I started to notice a difference about three months in. I started to have more energy and was gradually becoming more at peace with myself.

That was the hardest. I’m the type of person that’s harsh towards itself. I’m my worst critic, and this feeling intensified after leaving the hospital. 

Friends have been instrumental during those tough times. Without their support and unconditional love, I would probably be dwelling on negativity. Thank you for being there for me. You know who you are.

I’ve been listening to a lot of hip-hop lately. It helps me stay focused and keep a groove when I’m shadow boxing or going for a walk. The picture below is from jog where I had to start writing some verses on my phone. That was the day when I recovered my inspiration for the craft.

Here’s the place where I recovered my love for music.

I got the opportunity to join a non-profit as a full-time employee. Right now I’m adjusting to the schedule and seeing what are going to be my time windows for creativity. I’m somewhat worried that my physical activity will decrease as well as my musical output. 

Going for walks during my lunch break have been good for me and I want to keep them consistent. 

One thing that has been helpful is improvising a standup desk. I used my piano stand and a guitar case and voila. This setup has been great for my back and overall posture. I feel more comfortable during music sessions by alternating siting and standing. I wonder why I didn’t think about this before.

Say hi to my new standup desk 🙂

I’ve been reading about Japanese psychology once again. This book has been helpful many times when I’m not doing well or I feel that I’m not being proactive. I found this podcast which has brought me to the world of spirituality and understand more about meditation. I’ve been listening to many episodes and I find meaning with the teachings. Sometimes the stories bring tears to my eyes.

I’ve been doing a lot of healing during my meditations. Feelings of guilt, sadness, pain, anger and sorrow have been present when I’m meditating. I let them consume me and release them in silence. This has been highly therapeutic for me.  

I’m in a better place now. My mental state has improved to the point of feeling like my usual self. I feel more connected to something greater than myself. I’m becoming more attuned with my body.

I’m giving myself permission to be happy. I’m allowing myself to enjoy life and be okay with who I am. After being in a dark place for several weeks, I feel that I’m recovering my identity and confidence. I’m making progress.

There’s plenty of inner work to do. I’m glad for that because it means plenty of growth opportunities. Its a road that I hope never ends.

I hope that this translates into my music.

Wishing you creativity and wellness.

Ernesto

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  

From My Journal

From My Journal

The following line is from my journal:

I’m scared of how much damage I can do. 

The reason for that is due to the damage I’ve caused to people I love.

The problem is that I tend to realize it once I’ve done it. I feel that my intention is never to cause distress to others. Still, I manage to say things that do just that. 

These situations don’t happen often. When they do, however, I feel puzzled and with inner conflict. I’m glad that most of them end up being resolved after talking things out. 

But the damage was there.

I feel that the reason it happens is because I stop being present. I get into a negative thinking trap. That’s when I see this pattern happening.  

What I’m going to do is to take one-second of awareness. I was reminded of this recently. 

Realizing where I am, with whom, and in what setting. Attune myself with my environment and with the people around me because I tend to be day dreaming a lot. That makes me detached from the present moment a lot, making me unaware with what’s going on.

Meanwhile, I got the opportunity to share a moment of meditation with someone important to me. It was a great experience to share that mindful moment.

This time it felt different. I felt that I lost myself and became one with the environment. I had my eyes open when this was happening. 

I’m hoping to reach that state of awareness and interconnectedness again. 

And to close this post, I would like to end with this:

I’m happy of how much calmness I can share.

Mondai nai,

-Ernesto

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

Thank You (Letter) | New Single

Thank You (Letter) | New Single

This song was written as a reminder to myself. To be thankful for people that I welcome to my life. To be aware of who I let to hear my story.

It turned out to be a lesson for me.

Thank you for listening. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments or the contact form.

Mondai nai,

-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