Ask any one of my closest friends and they'll tell you I've been a little all over the place for the last couple years. Not sure what I want to do, where I want to go, what or who I want to be, taking and leaving the advice and guidence my parents gave to me as a child, making sense of teachers and professors advice, etc.... Mid 20's are quite a challenge sorting through most of this crap, some of it is great and some can be left at the door. There is one thing though that remains a constant and reoccuring theme that I've been learning as I keep trecking on; and that is that life is a tapestry.
A tapestry, for those who don't know, is "a piece of thick textile fabric with pictures or designs formed by weaving colored weft threads or by embroidering on canvas, used as a wall hanging or furniture covering." (Wikipedia) Or we can reference a quilt as well for this blog post.
Let me explain. I've been the kind of person to look for and pursue the BIG moments. Working at Juilliard, conducting musical productions, losing 150lbs. While these are big achievements and have taken a great deal of time, education and persistance, these moments are only one piece of fabric within the whole stitched together with time and doing. They aren't the end-all, be-all, nor should they be.
I was at the gym the other day and was flipping through the basic cable channels; Rachel Ray was on. She was being interviewed about her life and career as a celebrity and well-known TV personality. The interviewer asked her, and I'm powerphrasing, what she would change or do differently about her past if she could. She said she wouldn't change anything, even the things that were a struggle or that, at the time, seemed to be the worst moment of her life. She said that life is like a quilt and that if she were to change one stitch, it could change everything about the course of her life so far. Which reminds me, it's kind of like those time-travel episodes in Family Guy where if one little thing is altered in the past, it causes a chain reaction of events that can make life very different in the present and going forward.
It's not 2017 yet and I'm not a resolution type of guy. I'd rather set 3-5 big goals to work on for the year and achieve them. I keep learning that life is meant to be explored, evolve and unravel from moment to moment without us as human beings messing with the process and trying to control the direction of every stitch and aspect of our quilt/tapestry. Focus on each moment and enjoy the highs, lows, unsure areas, the scary parts, the happy parts, the confusing parts... it ALL makes up the quilt and tapestry of life; to resist these things is to resist what is and to delay putting together a fullfilling and rewarding life, whatever that means for you.
Try new adventures, make new friends, step outside of the box and attempt things and situations that are interesting, fearful, rewarding and exhilerating without hesitation.
I leave you with my favorite quote:
"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever" - Steve jobs
It happens to all of us in some form or another. Our reactions, however, may be very different.
You meet someone brand new and they introduce their self using a first (and sometimes) last name. You strike up a nice conversation about something you enjoy, maybe music or movies. A week or even a few days go by and you run into this person again, only you have no clue what their name is or what letter of the alphabet it started with. Panic sets in which leads to coming up with crafty ways to get them to say their name again so you can look like you remember. Or perhaps you ask them for their number at which point you play dumb and ask them how they spell their name. "It's Matt...", he replies. "My name is Matt". Dumbfounded, you put your tail between your legs because you've been caught! Sound familiar at all? Not all people react this way or even give something so simple as someone's name much thought. But why is it that names are so difficult for many to remember?
I tend to be open and honest when reintroducing myself by saying something like "You're going to have to forgive me, what's your name again?", which then I follow it up by saying my name as well so they can remember if they have forgotten mine. I've been known to ask people more than 2 or 3 times what their name is. Some get frustrated, some laugh it off, and some even are offended that I didn't remember them! I love psychology and analyzing things like this, which is why I'm writing a blog about it. I have a few theories as to why this happens, the first being that names are a useless means of information for the brain.
A name is useless data for the brain. Unless your specific brain has come across someone or something associated with a familiar name once before, chances are you won't remember it.
The name James ranks number 1 in the USA with over 5.3 million males with the name. Take a moment right now to think about 1 person whom you know to have the name James. Now, if you were to run into a brand-new face and their name happens to be James, you will most likely connect and associate them to someone or something with whom/which you have already had a connection, whether you're aware of it or not. James is a book in the bible, is used in "James and the Giant Peach", a song by Billy Joel, and is also the name of many actors, performers, and musicians. So it's more likely that a name like James won't escape your brain since there is a wide variety from which your brain can pull from like past experiences, prior knowledge, things/people in culture and society and other associations.
"Boran" on the other hand is one of the least commonly used names in the USA, ranking fewer than 1,700 people and is statistically the 49,057th most popular first name. I will have some trouble remembering a name like that if I were to ever come across someone named Boran, although, now it should be easier for me personally since I am using his/her name in this blog post! "Hi, my name is Boran", they said. "Great! I wrote a blog about you"... now I've made the mental connection to his/her name. There is one Chinese singer named Jing Boran, and the name is also synonyms with Boran cattle. Okay, I admit, I had to do a google search to figure out someone named Boran. It will take me quite a while to learn a name I'm not familiar with if I've never heard of it before.
The fact is that it's not our fault nor should we try to play a game to avoid an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation like this. It's understandable as it's part of our biology and wiring as human beings. Some people can remember names quite easily and some have more difficulty. Where ever you fall on the spectrum, just remember that it's okay to not know. I taught high school for 1 year, and by graduation day, I STILL didn't know all of my students names, and I had 55 of them to remember.
I'll leave you with this short, yet comical video from "The Office" (I apologize for the poor quality)...
Statistics in this blog were found using the USA Census and www.howmanyofme.com
I really love psychology and human behavior. I find it fascinating and love to learn and educate myself on my own about it by reading articles online, listening to audio books and watch people at the mall and other public places.
Humans tend to go to extremes and then bounce the opposite direction (the pendulum swing) or what some call all-or-nothing thinking. We grow up with it as a child, think about the conversations surrounding a child in the Western world: "Good behavior or bad behavior"... "Right or wrong"... "black or white"... "yes or no"... "this or that"... "good witch/bad witch"... "good cop/bad cop"... "smart or dumb"... "happy or sad"... you get the picture. These are all polar opposite examples of what should be a spectrum, and when we aren't careful, can fall into those extremes when talking about anything. Facebook for example.
Many love it, many hate it, some have a love/hate with it and go from "I'm going to delete it" where they write a beautiful farewell status claiming they are jumping ship because they can't take the stuff in the newsfeed, friends getting married and engaged, babies etc. etc. etc... to the "I can't NOT be on Facebook".
How can we find a nice middle ground? Forget the fact that the newsfeed is tailored by Facebook's many algorithms based on who you interact with, what you write, who you like, what you click on etc.... The answer is simple. Observe how you use Facebook and make small, achievable changes.
About 2 months ago, I was noticing how unhappy I was with what I was doing, where I was going and who I've been spending/not spending time with. I also noticed how often I was on Facebook scrolling through the newsfeed and comparing my life with the ones portrayed in the newsfeed. I can't deactivate my account as I use it for gigs and networking with other musicians, but I can't spend hours on it either feeling like I'm lacking something or need to be MORE to keep up with the other people, more or less doing the same crap. So I found a healthy, workable compromise.
Here's what I started to do:
1. I started by deleting the app from my phone. It takes up a little over 600MB which is a lot considering I have 2 weeks worth of songs for my listening pleasure that need the space!
2. I started using the safari app on my phone instead to open Facebook and check notifications with musician and gig groups.
3. I stopped scrolling the newsfeed. How is this possible?! Simple. I have Facebook bookmarked in my safari across all my devices to go to my Facebook page instead of the www.facebook.com page. This way, the first thing I see isn't the newsfeed where it's very easy to get sucked into a photo post, then video, then a status and then 3 hours go by. Setting a bookmark to point to a page that is different than the main page where the newsfeed lives is a reminder to you that you are abstaining from scrolling. I still get my notifications at the top of the page and if ever I need to go to a group of friend page I use the search feature at the top.
Doing this has helped tremendously with not comparing and getting sucked into the void that is the Facebook newsfeed. I still use Facebook for my own networking/work purposes but find that time spent scrolling is time taken away from you.
Thanks for reading and check out my other blog posts on the right!
Are there really facts of life? A bible or text in which to live by? A rulebook? A path to wonder down? A direction to go in? People to follow?
For centuries people have found solace and comfort in following something, whether it's Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Judas, the path to enlightenment, even Justin Bieber and the more recent growing celebrity of YouTube stars and social media moguls.
It seems this behavior in humanity repeats itself in every generation in some form or fashion. But what if you don't believe in or choose to follow these people or ideologies?
The past 2-3 years have been a struggle for me. I find myself at times feeling like I'm tip toeing down a very foggy path where all I can see are the few feet in front of me and the rest is unclear. This is one of the most frightening, paralyzing and frustrating things for me. High school gives you a clear path to graduation day. College has a path to follow as well, and again, graduating and having a feeling of accomplishment and finishing something at the end.
Now what? What's the next thing? Is this it? Do I return to school for a masters as a filler to bide my time because I don't know what I want? Maybe get on a plane to somewhere foreign and explore my way through a totally different environment? Perhaps I'll practice living off the land in the mountains of California!?
All my life I've had a path. Granted, I've had control and have made choices along the way toward something bigger, but I was still on a path. The feeling that I am out in the open, naked, scared and unsure of which direction to take has caused me to turn to things like food, creating problems, taking jobs that aren't fulfilling.
Friends and family assure me that I will "figure it out", like it's some Rubik's Cube puzzle that will one day have a resolve at the end.
The problem isn't that I feel lost, it's that I feel like I SHOULDN'T be. That I should know my 5 year plan and have something lined up to work on. I hate that. The feeling of being stuck in something. I don't want a 5 year plan, I want a now plan. A plan to work through today.
I don't even like calling life a journey, as a journey often has an ending or conclusion. Instead I'm going to choose to call it an evolution or exploration. Evolution doesn't have an end point, it keeps going and going; it evolves and unfolds on its own.
Here are some things that help me ease these feelings of panic and fear. They are in no way a means of eliminate these feelings, they are merely an array of tools to apply throughout the day to cope:
1. Yoga/Meditation - I can not stress the importance of turning off the noise of social media & the world around us. Practice being still and quiet. This is where I find relaxation, clarity of self and have an understanding that the fear and world we create in our minds cause us to act in such a way. My fear of the future puts me in panic mode and I feel like I'm in danger. Instead of grabbing a bunch of M&M's, I take 5 deep breaths and bring awareness to my feet and hands and gently let thoughts pass me without giving them much weight or validity. You can even do this in the car!
2. Working Out/Gym - Along with life's frustrations, there is a punching bag at the gym and a bunch of things I can use to beat out my frustration. I also like to run (when it isn't snowing).
3. Sex - Who doesn't love sex?! An orgasm is a perfect way to relax you as well as having some fun in the process. The good news is you don't need to have a second person with you to partake.
4. Music - I enjoy listening to punk rock and tend to use that as a means of enjoying the moment I'm in and find that most of the punk rockers I like to listen too tend to have similar messages of breaking the mold and doing what you want to do in life. Great examples:
- American Idiot - Green Day
- The Anthem - Good Charlotte
- Festival Song - Good Charlotte
5. Unplug - With every app and device demanding our undivided attention 24/7, it's hard to quiet the expectations of the "world" and opinions of others. Delete the apps from your mobile device. Break the habits that bind you and the cycle that keeps you killing time and from doing projects and things that are truly important to you.
6. Lose the Expectations - Nothing is worse than feeling like you're expected to do something that goes against what you really want to do. Pretty silly, right? Make a list of the expectations that hold true for you while not allowing the opinions of friends and family to get in the way. They will make suggestions but their opinions and suggestions have everything to do with THEM and what they would do. You are a different person than your parents and family.
7. Stigma & Dogma - This goes with number 6 as well. Don't allow stigma and dogma to rule over you and set your path. They will ruin you.
It's okay to not know what you want to do, where you want to go or even who you are and what you want to be doing. Life is meant to be lived, explored and allowed to evolve in what ever time it takes on an individual basis. What works for 1 will not work for all. We are all too different and multilayered to be generalized under one umbrella.
I leave you with a quote by Steve Jobs.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs
The full speech can be found here - https://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die
This blog post is more or less a springboard for an article (see below) that I read over a year ago about the Millennial Generation. Millennials, for those who are unaware, are the generation that was born in the early 1980's to early 2000's.
I found this article by Abby Ellin very spot on and interesting. I won't go into detail about my feelings with the article, rather, I want you to explore and discover what is mentioned with blind eyes.
Click "Download File" for the PDF of "The Beat Up Generation" article. It was publish in Psychology Today and is written by Abby Ellin.
OR you can read it here online - https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201402/the-beat-generation
That went fast. I blink and summer ended! It felt like this entire year zoomed by and I haven't had enough time to figure out what I am doing with my life. This question has been looming over my head ever since I started teaching a year ago. I didn't enjoy teaching and I made the bold decision to quit at the end of my first year; I don't regret my choice. Though, I do have lots of options to try.
It feels like I've walked down a straight & narrow path in the woods only to end in an open field with no more path to follow or direction to lead me to a new destination. This feeling is both liberating and terrifying at the same time! What do I do now? What do I want to do? Which path should I create next? These are questions I've never really thought about before but have taken some steps to help pull me in a direction.
With a new year starting, and resolutions soon to be too, I've created a list of things/habits I've been trying to use to help myself find my way. I hope you find some of these steps useful and applicable to your life and/or situation.
1. First: I have been an avid social media and technology user for a while. So much that I've started to find myself scrolling through social media sites for up to an hour after I wake up in the morning. My day would be filled with tasks, working, practicing and then Facebook, Twitter and Instagram shoved between. I have a pile of books on my dresser waiting to be read and tons of small projects waiting to be done, which you can probably gather not many pages have been read and the small projects are still waiting...
A few weeks ago, I decided to make a change in my usage. I deleted all social media applications from my iPhone and allow myself only 10 minutes per day to check them using my computer. I must say, a change in habit has helped me accomplish a lot more and to appreciate my time I have. Not to mention, I feel happier and less pressure to have to keep up with what is happening with friends and family online. A text or call works just as well and keeps me in contact with them on a more personal level than throwing up a status.
2. Second: Have you ever stopped and looked at the clouds? I mean really looked at them? They gently float by at a snails pace! Nature reminds me that every goal, habit, career etc... takes time and gentleness to grow, develop and move along. My weight didn't come off over night. It took small changes over time to actually see the results that I worked for. It takes time and effort to do the same with career changes and building a life.
I feel technology plays a big part in this since everything is at the touch of our fingers and is readily available anytime, not to mention technology exercises our instant gratification muscle so we find it difficult to wait for things to be accomplished and grow.
3. Third: I'm a thinker. I tend to focus a lot on what I want to do and then think my way through it instead of taking action. It feels like I'm standing and staring at the food in the Chinese Buffet and not taking a plate and trying something. With so many options presented before me, I don't know which one I want to try or where I should start first. Always questioning and trying to logically make a decision on what to eat, meanwhile I'm standing there starving instead of making a decision to eat something.
The one thing I really have been pushing to do is to act. Try. Do something. Go audition for something I really like to do. Make crazy YouTube videos to show my friends. Go out to NYC to see a show and talk to people about what I'm looking to accomplish (this is where number 2 comes in by the way). Acting on something will yield some kind of result, big or small, but if I stand looking and watching, time just keeps on ticking and I won't ever get time back.
This post is kind of sporadic; I have a lot to say! I'm trying things every day and feel there are many other people at every age going through something similar. Whether it's a job you're in that you don't like and want to get out of or a relationship that isn't working or going in a new direction.
I'm learning a lot as I go day-by-day and week-by-week about people, life, myself, my wants, goals, desires and dreams; there are many and too many to try and accomplish at once. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday and spend it IN PERSON with your friends and family. Have a happy new year and try new things and take risks!
It's been a little while since I wrote a blog post, but now is as good a time as any!
I've been struggling the past 2 years or so with food. I mean EXTREME struggles from going all vegan, to no-sugar, to all-sugar, to raw food... the list goes on. Not a day goes by that I didn't find myself with anxiety every time I made a meal and nitpicked every single ingredient I cooked with. I've watched every food documentary Netflix has to offer which led to even more anxiety about food. This became an ongoing problem, so much so that I gained 25lbs.
My whole weight-loss journey from the start seemed smooth and free of this obsessive behavior. I allowed the actions of other people and their lifestyles dictate my actions and what I am doing for me. I'm learning not to do that and to really ask myself, "Does this work for me?"
I have three tips, mostly for myself but feel others may benefit too, that I keep in mind as I work to keep healthy and free myself of the obsessive, anxiety filled behaviors around food. They are:
1. Don't Control - There are some things that we have direct control over, and some things we don't have direct control over. Based on those documentaries I saw on Netflix, I went as far as to not have chewing gum because of the aspartame in the ingredients. I would get anxiety over the thought of having a piece of gum because I feared it could lead to health problems later in my life. Then I would see other people chewing gum without a care in the world and felt deprived because I REALLY do like to chew gum. I've had to give up control and realize that the amount of aspartame in chewing gum will not do anything to me or my body. I don't have direct control over those ingredients.
2. Let Go - This piggybacks off of #1. I have to let go of control and the idea of trying to "save the world of toxins". Food is food. Sugar, for example, in moderation is something enjoyable and delicious. Sugar in mass quantities has some serious effects, but anything taken to an extreme level will have some kind of negative effect. Bottom line, "too much of anything is too much" (to quote one of my favorite bands @All Time Low).
3. Find Value - I don't see my weight loss of 150lbs as a "big deal" and always refer to it as "it's nothing". I've been doing this for a while and I tend to do this in other areas of my life as well, but that's for another blog topic, another day. I realize that I don't value the hard work that I put into losing that much weight. In order for me to keep off what I lost, I need to see and START valuing what I've done, or else maintaining or losing any more will have no purpose and be valueless. I started pulling out old pictures of myself to remind me of what I've accomplished. It's not easy but it helps!
I hope you get something out of this. We are all works in progress that do our best everyday. Until next time!
"Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it."
With the start of summer being tomorrow, I can now say that the past 10 months has been one big roller coaster for me both physically, mentally, emotionally and everything in-between. However, you wouldn't understand the past 10 months unless we venture back in time to age 5.
I've always had something to "go to" since I've been a toddler. Think about it, we all go through this. At the age of 5 we start Kindergarden, or Pre-K (depending on your situation). We attend school till we are seniors in high school. Then off to college we go for 4 more years. Graduate at the age of 22 and head off into the working world without much of a break in-between and work till retirement. Whoa... let's slow down that train!... Too fast.
Now, I understand that this doesn't fit ALL people, but most people I know have followed this path, which reminds me of an industrial assembly line... not the life I want to be living. I decided to go into music education when I was in high school, mainly because my friends were doing that, so I wanted to do it too. The next "go to" step after graduating high school was graduating college.
The plan after I graduated college was to take the year to work towards applying for a masters degree and to continue making money through playing gigs and working miscellaneous music jobs. I had something to "go to". Work was sporadic and unsteady.
This time last year, I was going into rehearsals for a summer production of a musical and had nothing to "go to" once it was over. No gigs. No steady job. No nothing! I felt that I had no other options to "go to" so I might as well teach music. I went to school for it, so I guess that means I have to do it, right?...
Ten months ago, I started a full-time teaching job. I went into it thinking that it was the perfect job with a great starting salary and incredible people, and it was! But from day one I felt something wasn't working. I kept telling myself things like "well, you have nothing else to do so you have to teach", "you're in this job so you can't do anything else." and I felt trapped.
My moment of clarity came when I compared my working relationship with that of a physical, romantic relationship. I knew from the moment I started that I didn't like it and wanted something different. I couldn't place my finger on what it was specifically about the job that I didn't like, all I know is I felt like it's not what I'm supposed to be doing. If you are in a relationship and feel like something isn't working, do you stay with that person and force it to work? Or do you cut them loose to explore and find someone else? Do toddlers try to force the star shape into the square at the doctors office when they are playing with the Fisher Price toy? Or do they eventually learn what shape works better?
We tend to hold on to the things we know we don't work but feel bad about leaving them which keeps us stuck. And the longer we keep forcing it, the harder it is to get out later down the line. So I made the decision to leave teaching after one year. I'm excited, and yet terrified, about what I'm "going to" in the future, but I listened to my heart for the answers which feels so liberating after I made my decision.
I don't regret one single thing about these past 10 months because had it not been for that, I wouldn't have gone through the process of finding out what works for me, as hard as it was at times. We all have the power to change our situations, and it may take time, but are you willing to take a risk and follow your heart? What's stopping you?...
I find it second nature to maintain my daily eating when I'm home and under complete control of the quality of food I consume. I know what the food labels say and I know what foods work for me and what foods don't.
This time of year is riddled with outdoor gatherings, family parties, weddings, vacations and many other exciting events which offer a variety, and often mass quantity, of unpredictable food choices. I find this to be a nice challenge and percieve these unpredictable eating events as an adventure to see what combination of food choices I can make to create a high-quality, healthier option.
I've spent a good portion of my young life overthinking my food options when ever I went out to eat. It felt like I was out of control and unable to eat healthy. This is far from reality. The control comes from me and what I choose to eat. Sure, I have no idea if there will be any whole foods at a wedding I attend or if the continental breakfast at my hotel will serve anything other than processed breakfast meats and a tray filled with muffins and refined carbs. However, I do know that no matter what options are before me, I get to make the choice for the healthy option for me.
I recently attended a trip to Hershey, PA with my high school choir. The continental breakfast consisted of eggs, sausage, pancakes, breakfast cereal, muffins, pastries, and hash browns. Oh yeah! And a small bowl of apples and oranges. I found myself stuck with not many healthy options for breakfast. I realized that this eating event is only one small moment in time that will not ruin my health. I opted to have eggs with two muffins by the way. A small treat that I seldom partake in.
Whether it's eating at a restaurant, hotel, school or social event, always remember to listen to what you're hungry for and choose an option that works for you. Even though you don't have any control over the quality of food options present to you, you DO have control over what you choose to eat.
"Now goes quickly. See, now it's past!" - Stephen Sondheim
One of the most difficult things I try to practice each day is living in the "NOW". I am a thinker and find that I spend way too much of my day-to-day life just thinking and questioning everything. What do I do with my future? What and how much I'm eating? How is the way I live related to how I was raised? Is there going to be an "ah-ha!" moment when I finally get it? Where do babies come from? Why is the sky blue?... Okay, those last two were just for fun... or were they? (SEE!)...
I'm quite sure there are other people who, whether consciously or unconsciously, have this ongoing dialogue in their brain. How do you stop the constant conversations and not feel like you need to find answers to questions that just will never have a concrete solution? I've found a few things that help.
First thing is to change how you think about thinking. Sounds quite cliché, I know. Try this.
Imagine you're sitting on a bench at the platform of a busy train station. You're not waiting for any particular train nor are you in any rush to move from your comfortable seat. Perhaps you take your phone out and take a selfie, check Facebook, or text a friend. A train approaches the station platform filled with passengers. The train stops and the doors slide open. Few people decide to step off the train onto the platform. A couple new passengers choose to climb aboard. The doors close and the train departs; you choose to sit.
Ten minutes later, another train arrives at the station platform. The doors slide open and a few more people step off of the train onto the platform. Some take their time and walk calmly, while others push their way through the crowds to make up for lost time. The doors close and the train departs; you choose to sit.
Five minutes go by. Another train swiftly pulls into the station. The doors open and few people exit the train. There is no one waiting to board. The train idles there for ten more minutes with the doors wide open. You wonder if the doors are stuck and if there may be an issue with this train. You decide to stand up from your warm bench to walk over and take a gander. You approach the train and stand on the edge of the station platform. You hesitantly poke your head inside the doorway. There are no passengers onboard. You decide to avoid this train and just let it pass. Returning to your spot on the bench, the doors of the train close and it departs the station platform.
Each train that passes is like a thought. We as human beings have the option to take the train or to remain on the platform. We get to choose which thoughts to entertain and explore and which ones we will let pass us by. Sure, they will come again and the thought may be there. But you get to decide whether or not you want to travel and explore those ideas and conversations in your mind. Some thoughts will have no destination and some will. Some will derail you and others may keep you stuck at the station.
This analogy of the train station, along with 5 to 10 minutes of meditation, has improved how I react to situations at this moment in my life and has reshaped how I think about thinking. It's given me freedom and understanding that I don't have to think to find answers. I just have to sit and watch the trains go by. If I get on one, great! Let's see where it goes. If I keep sitting, then I keep sitting and nothing happens.