Recovering After a Breakup: One Year Later

One year ago.

I was sitting at this exact coffee shop right now, Lion & Lamb in Irvine with my twin flame, “C”. 

This was the last time I was in love. 

“C” and I spent 8 months talking. We initially started as friends online, met in real life, and evolved from there. Every time we met up, whether it was San Diego, Arizona, or Vegas, our connection felt magnetic. Initially I resisted it. We both did. But it was inevitable. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t escape. I fell in love. And I don’t use that word lightly. Whenever we spoke, I felt the spark… the dopamine rush. And my friends would always clown on me because I couldn’t stop talking about “C”. It was the few moments in my life where everything felt… right. 

That weekend, we decided to do a weekend getaway in the OC. And as I drove five hours from Vegas to SNA, all I felt was excitement and anticipation. But from the moment that I picked her, everything was off. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time. We went to the SoCal beaches, checked out UC Irvine, shared some amazing meals together, and our conversation was on point like always. But the only difference? She was avoiding intimacy and I felt her pulling away.

So at the end of the night, as difficult as it was, I asked her… Is there a reason why you’re avoiding intimacy with me?

That’s when the truth came out. She wanted to end things. She said she still liked me, but didn’t see our futures aligning. I wanted kids and she didn’t. I’m in the public eye with YouTube and she wanted a private life. She lived in Arizona and I lived in Vegas.

My heart was shattered. I felt like I literally drove five hours just so that she could end things with me.

And that night was awkward as fuck. We slept on different sides of the bed. And when we woke up, we acted like everything was “normal” with our normal routine of grabbing coffee and lunch. That’s how we ended up at Lion & Lamb. And this was the last memory and last time I spoke to “C”.

I can’t even put in words how difficult it’s been for me emotionally this year. Even to this day, I’m scared to date and open myself to vulnerability again. Apart of me doesn’t want to let go. And sometimes I feel that nothing is the same anymore. 

Whenever I drive around this area even after a year, I still think of my weekend with “C”. 

I didn’t “plan” on coming here. I literally dropped off Tom  at the airport and Yelped the closest coffeeshop to the airport. Something inside me told me to come here and reflect on my growth over the last year.

As difficult as it’s been this year, I find myself with these feelings of inadequacies of self worth less often. Spending time single gave me the opportunity to build a better relationship with myself and the platonic relationships around me. I not only treat myself better, but I treat myself with respect. And often times treating myself with respect means being real with myself, including my emotions.

I can’t deny. Even though it was short, I still miss “C” immensely. And real talk, sometimes I feel foolish for feeling the way I do. But that’s also the reason why I’m here. I can’t stay stuck in the past forever. And I can’t stay stuck on someone who doesn’t want to be with me. It wouldn’t be respecting myself. For me, I just try to take one day at a time and trust that everything will work out.

Sometimes that’s life. Things happen for mysterious reasons. But no matter what happens, life moves on. And we need to trust that the universe is working for our highest growth in mysterious ways.

What if life was working for us, not against us?

I first heard this saying many years ago when I was 25 years old. I was a pharmacist coming home from a pharmacy shift and was stuck in traffic for 2+ hours. At the time, I thought it was cool, but didn’t believe it. I thought i was wasting my life in LA traffic.

Fast forward, almost 10 years later. I’m only beginning to believe this concept.

I recently read the Surrender Experiment and how to believe that life is working for us – even though we don’t feel like it. But that’s the hard part.

Learning to trust. It’s not easy letting go of control of our lives. I remember back when I did sales and ran my business I wanted to believe that I had control over everything. But it as that exact mindset that burned me out.

As of a few weeks ago, I started to relax, breathe, and meditate.

It’s not to say that I don’t have goals or work hard. I focus on what I can and on working on growing at that things that bring flow into my life. It’s not easy and is sometimes hard.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to start a family, grow my business, live wealthy, and to be fit. But I just focus on my vehicles and let life take care of the rest.

It’s not easy, but even when I feel like I’m about to fall, I feel that something much larger than me catches me every time.

Some people might call this god or the universe. I don’t know what to call it, but all I can say it’s that I’m building a relationship with something much bigger than myself.

Telling Katie that I pierced my penis

“…I still can’t believe you pierced your penis.”

The other day I closed a deal with a digital marketing client. And one of the new traditions I’m focused on building is celebrating my wins with the people around me.

My friend Katie was visiting Las Vegas and was down to up. So we decided to celebrate at one of the most famous Thai spots that I’ve always wanted to try even before moving to Vegas, Lotus of Siam.

What’s interesting about Katie and I is that we only met once. We hung out with a group of friends back in January in NYC for my friend DK’s event. So this was our first one on one. And I was pretty excited.

We sat down and ordered the famous crispy duck with panang curry and garlic shrimp. Even though the food was good, it wasn’t the best part of the experience. Let me explain.

To me, I could literally eat In N Out and be cool. It’s probably better for my macros because I can track. But the best part is actually getting to know Katie.

It’s interesting to see that Katie is like 8 years younger than me and feels the same way about hookup culture and the dating apps. It’s also cool deep diving into her goals of creating content, sharing her life, and running her own agency. And it’s also funny listening to her balancing her work and ratchet moments of going out with her friends in her mid twenties too.

In a lot of ways, Katie reminded me of myself in my mid twenties… which prompted me bringing up the story of piercing my penis when I was 25. And Katie’s reaction? It was priceless 😂

“I can never look at you the same after listening to that story.”

What I’ve realized over the years is that sharing good stories does two things. It attracts good friends and protects you from the people who you probably don’t vibe with.

Good stories often sparks more stories from them. There’s a natural back and forth with storytelling. And next thing you know, you’re looking at your Apple Watch, three hours blaze by, and you start feeling like you’ve known this person for years.

To me, getting to know someone via one on one is a special experience. Often times, what we share one on one is different from what we share in groups. And 95% of the time I walk away feeling closer to the person I walked in with. And it’s the chance to actually get to know someone.

Time is something that we never get back. And those three hours of my life with Katie was well worth it.

The art of tidying up

Yesterday I worked for 6-7 hours and I didn’t feel like working anymore.

It’s the feeling when you could “work” more, but pushing it would probably result in diminished returns. So I packed up my boba shop, grabbed some In N Out, and headed home to drop off my computer and backpack.

I was actually planning to watch House of Gucci, but I felt compelled to start organizing and cleaning my kitchen, which led to the bathroom, and my office area.

Eventually I got so tired and decided to ditch the movie date night by myself and go to sleep early.

There’s something so cathartic about cleaning. I used to do it all the time back in college when I didn’t want to study. And I’m definitely not a “cleaner”. Far from it actually.

But similar to content creation, when I do it I’m usually proud of the final product and what I’ve done. For some reason, my mind feels so much “clearer” without the clutter.

Maybe because there’s so much in my life where I feel like I don’t have control, it gives me an outlet of control. Or maybe it was because I had a dream about fighting a girl I dated because I wasn’t cleaning.

Even though I hate cleaning, it reminds me of the areas of life like taxes. As much I hate it, it’s necessary. And in the long run, it builds character doing something that doesn’t feel too good in the moment for the long term game.

The day my client counter offered by doubling my price

My heart dropped.

Here I was sitting on this coaching call for my $5-7K offer. And my counterpart countered with a higher offer with profit share on any earnings.

Pretty crazy.

How it made me felt? It felt uncomfortable and there was that voice of… not worth it.

But shortly after I started asking… what if? And why do I feel this way?

I stopped and asked… that’s very generous of you. And I appreciate the gesture, but what’s in it for you? How is this going to benefit you?

And he mentioned the $150K offer that Jay Abraham has where he does profit sharing and the $150K up front. And how it makes both parties committed.

The truth is what I learned today was that sometimes we undervalue ourselves and the value that we bring to the table.

Sometimes I forget my boundaries, not only in business, but also in my relationships and personal life. Having clarity? Really helps.

It’s not about being chosen. We are the chooser and we can decide to step into that role. Space and boundaries? Sexy AF.

Moving on (even if I don’t feel like it)

Yesterday I dreamed about this girl I dated named “C”. Or how actually I dreamed about how she didn’t show up in my dream.

I had a dream with my father and a few of my friends were there, celebrating my pharmacy graduation at a Viet restaurant of all things.

In my dream, I remember seeing C friends like M. But C wasn’t there. And in the dream, I remember how much it bothered me she didn’t show up. She wasn’t in my life anymore.

When I woke up, it reminded me how painful it can be life can be when people leave you. One day people are here. And next thing they’re gone, like my father and C.

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I do feel upset that my dad isn’t here anymore. Sometimes I feel upset that he left when things were starting to get better between us.

With C, it upsets me that I spent so much time investing into her. How I didn’t want to initially like her, but gave it a shot because I knew how emotionally unavailable I was throughout the years with N. I know I needed to change. So I shot my shot.

In both cases, I felt like I did my best, but my best doesn’t feel like enough. In reality I know logically these things are out of my control. But emotionally I feel abandoned.

One day, they’re here. And next moment, they can leave you at any time. It sort of frustrates me. I’m trying my best to be a good person, but it feels like my best isn’t enough.

But I try. I try my hardest every single day to move on and continue with my life even when I don’t feel like moving on.

I’m a 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt teaching higher belts

Every Sunday, I go to this small jiu jitsu gym off the Vegas strip. It’s in this run down strip mall next to a Mexican church and an African hair supply store.

The cool thing that Wayne, a Gracie black belt, always encourages me to come through and treats me like I’m a gift.

Not going to lie it makes me feel special.

Today I was asked to show a group of purple and brown belts how to enter the twister from turtle

Honestly it was pretty cool because I’m still new at jiu jitsu. These people were clearly better than me and could dominate me

but their level of attention to detail and appreciation of what I’m teaching is always there

After today’s jiu jitsu session I felt like the king of the world.

No matter what happens I’m always remembered that people value me and an appreciation for how far I’ve come in my jiu jitsu story.

Are you like Gary?

It was on my sales call today for my friends digital marketing agency where I learned how much of a buzzkill pessimists are.

I was sitting on this sales call with an e-commerce owner “Joanne”. Joanne? She’s amazing. Happy, optimistic, but she’s been burned in the past. She knows she needs to change, but she wants the right person.

Her husband, Gary? Not so much fun or pleasant to be with. Immediately he is the skeptical type and almost borderline rude.

So what can you do to prove to us to earn our business? Or like only 20 clients over the last 3-4 years? That can’t be good.

Collaboration isn’t in his DNA. Gary is one of those those types who is pessimistic about everything and has doubts. It’s his way or the highway.

What Gary doesn’t realize is that…

  • If your way was already working, then we wouldn’t be on this phone call to begin with
  • What if instead of 100,000 $1 clients, we had one $100,000 client? How much impact could we bring?
  • Why would we ever want to work with a Gary when there are bigger and more pleasant business out there?

And then it hit me. We all have these “Gary’s” in our lives. Sometimes we’re the Gary’s.

To be honest the Gary’s in our life aren’t bad people. They’re our brothers, our sisters, our mom, and dad’s. They’re our best friends.

They love us. They care about us. Hell – maybe they’ve helped us in the past. But the truth is the Gary’s of the world hold us back.

The Gary’s have their assumptions. They’re the “know it all” with zero experience. They are the ones who make disastrous assumptions that kill dreams and keep people on the painful path that they are on.

What I realized was that if you meet a Gary in your life or on a sales call, listen to Gary. Understand his problems, needs, and concerns. But do set your boundaries and challenge the assumptions of the Gary’s of the world… respectfully.

For example, Gary said… we’ll most likely work with you.

And I stopped Gary. I told him… Let’s not jump the gun. Take one step at a time. See if this makes sense first, and then we can consider moving forward if it still makes sense.

The truth is I don’t know what will happen to Joanne. Maybe she’ll make a change in her life. Or maybe she won’t. It’s not my decision.

But for me, it’s a constant reminder to challenge the inner “Gary’s” in both my mind and the people around me.

What am I doing with my life?

Have you ever taken a step back to think… what am I doing with my life?

More recently I’ve felt this way about my life, specifically my romantic, work, and personal life.

Picking up and leaving LA has brought up a lot of feelings and emotions. Loneliness.

But I needed it.

Sometimes rather than going through the same things over and over, you need to change it up.

So recently with my YouTube videos, I shot a video about being “Why I feel like I’m lost and failing at 33”.

And in the video, I decided to incorporate things like skits and some overhead shots. It’s pretty fun.

I also hired a neurohacking coach, which honestly has been a game changer. Never in my life have I had someone so supportive and empathetic.

For my work life, I decided to not take on any more inbound closing clients for now. I’ve been through so much over the last few months. The last thing I need is more work – even though I could really use the money.

Finally is my relationship life. I’ve decided that I’m not going to date and continue my program with Mark Groves. He’s a relationship expert. And I really fuck with his content. For so long I’ve had such a bad relationship with myself, but I want to change that.

In addition to everything, I’m starting my morning pages, meditating, and doing sauna. I’m also doing yoga and jiu jitsu.

And I’ve been meeting people through Clubhouse too. It’s pretty cool stuff.

But more importantly what I’m not doing is MORE work, which is hard for me because so often I just go on autopilot.

Taking the time to sit with my emotions and check in with my emotional state is pretty new with me.

For so long, I’ve felt like I was in a state of survival. Where it’s like trap or die. Hell this whole blog is named Refugee Hustle.

But this is the next chapter of my life. Where instead of pushing myself to work, I start finding work that I feel pulled towards.

It’s a different feeling. And taking this break is helping me clearly figure out what the hell I want.

The work I want to do needs to be impactful and recreate that “aha” moment for the people I work with.

It allows me to dedicate levels of creativity and strategy – my two favorite things.

And it needs to incorporate the concept of kaizen. Continuous improvement. Otherwise shit gets boring over time.

Connection with other people is essential as well.