whats actually holding me back? myself.

disclaimer: first blog and it’s LITERALLY ALL OVER THE PLACE. Bare with me. It all kinda/sorta comes together by the end! [kinda]

Preface (skip)

after working lots of long hours, sleepless nights, and lunch-less days it was getting to the point where I was burning myself out. FAST. Work. Work. Work. restaurant work. Sleep. Work. Sleep. There wasn’t much of anything fun that happened in-between the typical routine. Notice, I’m not complaining. I’ve been working this routine for the last 10ish years. Just mix in school somewhere in all of the “work” and “sleep” and that made up that segment. As much as I hated flying and being on planes, it had been a solid year since I’d been anywhere outside of KC, Iowa, or Springfield (all terribly midwestern with a huge lack of diversity) and it was driving me insane.

I don’t mind getting my hands dirty and going all in on something but what really was bothering me was my lack of direction. I knew I was working hard but I was loosing focus and drive. I didn’t know why I was even doing it. Maybe it had something to do with not balancing things out and working way too much. Not taking breaks. I had a rough idea but no clear path. I have 3 years of school under my belt, have one year left but I’m kicking myself everyday to not go another year thru the same routine learning nothing and going to a school just for a piece of paper. I couldn’t stand it. I needed to get out and see where the world was living and regain focus. I tried really hard but the lack of ambition I saw in KC was bothering the hell out of me. Ok, ok. That’s enough bitching and excuses. I really just needed a break.

Sunday night. sick, tired, and annoyed of the routine. It was time to get some fresh air. Started surfing the interwebz. My dates were insanely flexible so I decide to keep it open and take whatever I could that wasn’t going to break the bank. Reluctantly, flights to LAX were $165… That’s a STEAL! I’d been wanting to go to LA ever since my brothers LA stories about how awesome and vibrant it was living down there. He’s been the inspiration for a lot of things and I don’t think he gets credit for a lot of it so here ya go! haha I knew I needed to check it out. It literally took me only about 30 seconds to run downstairs, grab my wallet, and book my flight. I went to sleep that night hyped, and ready for an adventure the following week! But at the same time, I was scared. Scared of what everyone else would think? What would happen if I decided to become selfish and did something only for myself? It’s weird. Hard to explain. Anyways…

july 17

fast forward. (following week) Monday. day of flight. woke up extra early expecting to put out fires all day so i didn’t leave anyone or anything hanging around with work that I didn’t get done. I also knew I would be doing work while on this trip (perks of running a business yo). This was also the same week we were moving offices. so I knew I was really leaving everyone in a shitty spot. but I did what I could. Got rid of about 400 used tires morning that had been needing to get recycled for months. Seriously needed a haircut, managed to knock that out.


some homie decided it was cool to not stop at a stop sign. Managed to keep my calm thru the whole situation- I once used to get pissed about things like this but there was literally nothing that could be done. It was too late. If you cant change what has already happened, there is no point in wasting energy or getting angry about it. SUNK COSTS. got insurance details. Parked paralyzed car in the warehouse. done.

4 PM. needed to haul about 15 tires around town and deliver them. It’s 5:30 PM. I have a flight at 7:40. I still haven’t packed ANYTHING. I’m still in downtown. what the hell am I DOING? Dropped everything and did as much as I could. fast forward. Made it home at 6:10. Blasted thru the shower, threw a bunch of random clothes in a bag, grabbed my camera and realized I didn’t have anyone home to give me a ride. FUCK! Uber ftw. Made it to the airport at 7 PM. and managed to make it past security by 7:20 after 7000 pat downs and checks. thanks TSA….

fast forward. in flight. got to my seat. forced a mom and her son to get out of “my” window seat i had booked knowing the flight timing was going to be perfect for some really vibrant views. felt like a jerk for doing it but it actually worked out in their favor (more on that later).

This sunset view made up for the whole flight cost. I PROBABLY would’ve paid just to be flown to LA and back if it looked like this out the window the whole time haha.

That mom and son won 5000 free sky miles with spirit airlines later on into the flight from a random selection. Thats like a couple flights through the US. So it wasn’t so bad after-all and I felt a lot better about myself for kicking them out of the window seat! haha. I would’ve probably felt worse if I won it and they were the ones who were actually supposed to get the prize haha. We were friends by the end of the flight haha talking about how they moved to Missouri to save money from California living expenses. The planned to move back to Cali. a few years later after saving their pennies. Super cool and inspiring to see people make sacrifices like that for a brighter future. One thing we came to consensus of was that people are gonna be WAY nicer in the midwest than LA. Lots of contributing factors to this but the big thing was the difference in how people work. In LA, your either at the top or your at the bottom. Theres no such thing as middle class; if there is it’s an extremely small segment. Homeless vs Wealthy or well off. And everyone is scared as hell to be homeless so you have no other choice but to hustle till you make it to the top. If you think inequality and wealth distribution is a problem in your city, wait till you see how many Homeless people live in the LA or bay area. It’s sad. It’s overwhelming. Its disappointing. It makes you question why the government isn’t making some substantial changes. Most of them are on some extremely addictive next level drugs, just laying on the streets like zombies. Once you fall into, a lot of these people have no other choice.

this whole time while on flight and getting away, it really hit me that I was finally old enough to make decisions on my own. fly on my own. i wasn’t a kid anymore (despite my mother thinking otherwise). what was holding me back from everything I wanted to do? What was holding me back from chasing my dreams? Was it me thinking that everything depended on me back home? That my dad wouldn’t figure things out at the restaurant if I wasn't around? He’d been doing it for 15 years before I started offering my $0.02. Was it the fact that I thought that I would make someone else upset for having a little leisure time? I think this was my biggest concern. Overthinking what other people would think. I’ve always been the type of person who thinks about himself second and others first. I still dont know if it’s a good trait or a bad one to have; a little bit of both? Thru all my middle school/ high school years etc, I had one focus; making those around me happy. Keeping the people I knew or had a little influence with smiling or lauging. I was very much the class clown. Pushing boundaries. CONSTANTLY. Safe seats had my name written all over them in elementary and middle school. I was most definitely the trouble child.

I just vommited all my school day years but i think its important because it shaped me into why I thought this way. I couldn’t do anything that made me happy till I made everyone else 100% satisfied. But that mindset began to shift when I realized I truly wasn’t as happy as I thought I was. I started questioning the world I was living in. What I was doing. Why I was doing it. You cant give someone happiness if you don’t truly have it yourself. That’s when it hit me that I needed to get out of this circle of romanticizing everything and realizing that everything doesn’t just fall into place. You have to make it happen. You have to work hard. You have to give up a lot of things to make things work. It’s not always fun and games. This is when the talks that we had at home started to all make sense. All the things I had ever been told by family or friends. All the experiences. All the things I took for granted or ignored. This is when it all started to make sense. It was at that point that it hit me; it felt sorta like getting run over by a train. I realized everything I fucked up. Everything I missed out on. I was soo focused on trying to be something I wasn’t that I ignored everything that wasn’t even important. Trying to be smarter than I was. Trying to impress others when I hadn’t really done anything impressive for myself. I needed to do me. I needed to find myself. It was time. I dropped everything. Let it all go. Decided it was time to go all in on me and give zero thought and effort on anyone else. If I could find myself and control my every move, helping others and influencing others in a positive way would be a BREEZE!

Anyways, made it to LA 45 minutes early. DOPE! But shit, I booked my rental car for 10 PM. It’s only 8:30. Damn it… waited at the airport for 1.5 hours. The rental car guy finally showed up in a Black Jeep Patriot. Drove me to a nearby hotel dark parking lot where there was just a random few cars parked in an alley way. I was like oh shit… this is where it all goes down hill doesn’t it. He hops out and points at the rental car just sitting there. I proceed. Jump in, and of-course the first thing you do when you get to California is In-and-Out yo! Where else you gonna go on a Monday night at 11 PM for lunch (It was another one of those non-stop days without lunch so we’ll call it “lunch 4 dinner” haha).

Long story short, I also had no idea where the hell I was staying that night after getting out of LAX. Jumped on my phone. Found a hostel. I remember my brother saying something about these hostels being a good option when balling on a budget. Found one about 20 minutes North of La out in Santa Monica. $60. 4.5 stars. PERFECT!

bunk beads. HELL YES!

July 18:

Hostels are hot, uncomfortable, awkward, but surprisingly also REALLY cool. It’s what makes them unique! haha and I enjoyed every bit of it!

Hostel- Santa Monica

bed: 1 AM. Woke up 5 AM.Went exploring to Santa Monica Pier. 3 hours later. Lost my car keys. OH NO. they were in my bag all along. Good job anoop. you called half the city to see if they found some keys this morning when you had them in your damn bag the whole time… all good.

Got on the road around 9 AM. First morning. LA. 1 hour drive north up-to Malibu!

Driving to Malibu!
scenic indeeeeed
just soak it all in

after malibu I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going. decided to make a quick stop and catch up on some messages and work at a nearby starbucks.

Starbucks/ malibu

met a pretty cool local. needed a phone charger. Had a phone charger. We talked about some good local spots to go hiking and exploring for 30 minutes while his phone charged. Became Instagram friends. Then parted ways. haha- I finally had a plan! It was time to keep moving forward.

Tunnels are pretty cool soo… yeah:

20 minutes later, if you like canyons and stuff, perfect. the golden state has got you covered

HOLLYWOOD HILLS. A house here would sooo dope. New goal. (I don’t really need a house here or really even want one. It would certainly be nice! So we’ll just say I need a house here to keep me motivated. Till I have a house in Hollywood hills, we’re not gonna stop hustlin. so in other words, never gonna stop)

July 19//

Another day/ another In and Out adventure… eating healthy… haha- about that…This will make up for all the missed meals in the past couple weeks.

Griffith Park (I could see myself living here haha ):

Only I would do something this stupid…. Charged. Ready to roll. Got my tripod. 1.) My camera is never charged. 2.) I never have a tripod. And then I do this shit. And the car was a good 20 minute walk down to the hill and 20 minute walk back… Miss the sunset for a memory card? NAH. Made use with what I had. haha

playin around with some long exposures

July 20// Last Day:

NOTE TO SELF: STAY AT HOSTELS. Such a cool experience and check out these bunk beds yo. Who needs a $100+ hotel room when your by yourself? Share a room with 20 other people who are just traveling for fun or what have you and meet some new people! And this was literally a 5 minute walk from Downtown LA. The mattresses were actually more comfortable than most beds I’ve slept in with hotels so that was a plus to haha!

Ok… I’m staying at a $50 hostel. Now I’m really confused why this is here. haha

This quote really got me thinking:

It’s not always better or worse. One person isn’t better than the other. It’s mostly just different. Different people on different paths. Some are further ahead than others. Society needs a little bit of everything to be what it is.

Opening up my mind to new things, new ideas, new thoughts, new goals. It’s pretty a cool feeling. And beginning to understand that when your genuine and authentic, your going to make some happy. Some not so much. And thats ok. The speaker of truth has very few friends. I’ve been ok with. It’s gonna be ight. CHILL.

6 AM- Angel Crest Highway- Dont regret it at all. Blasting down canyon roads with little to no traffic with breathtaking views was extremely refreshing.

Back home

the rental car place was like a 10–15 minute walk from LAX so I figured I’d just walk instead of paying $10 for 2 minute uber ride.

as I was walking to the airport, I met another dude doing the same thing. we talked all the way to the terminals about LA. he was also here just to get away. to figure things out. to find new opportunities.

He needed a picture for his insta. of him walking into the gates. I was overly hyped that someone asked me to take a picture for them haha as I always am. Became ig friends just like 20 other people I met haha ofcourse and we were both on our way!

FLIGHT. NO window seat this time…

“HEY MOM. LOOK AT THE CLOUDS AND STUFF. THIS IS SOO COOL” — LA Kid new to Missouri. HAHA- A whole lot of nothing but its funny how that works. We dont appreciate the things we have. A majority of People in California dont fully appreciate what they have. We’re all one in the same.

California was an adventure. In every way. The mountains. The ocean. The beaches. The city. The amount of things to do. Theres a little bit of everything to do for anyone and everyone and it’s pretty much a vacation all the time. The tolerance levels for people being unique and doing their own thing is refreshing. Everyone does their own thing.

Wrapping this up- I think in the bigger picture, this trip proved to be enlightening to me for a few reasons. First off it opened up a new door on starting my traveling adventures and finding purpose for it. Ive taken the whole traveling thing for granted for years. But its just now that I’m realizing how much there is to learn from each and every experience and learning from the locals and meeting new personalities has proven to be something I enjoy immensely. The ethnography of hyperlocal areas and how people do things I could get into and talk about all day long

Secondly, people in LA are on this Hollywood hype train that I couldn’t seem to grasp my head around the whole time I was there. Everyone was all about having a huge house, fancy cars, etc etc. The locals anyway… But 50%+ of everyone in the city weren’t even LA natives. All the Natives have moved out of the city and into outer lying rural areas. The cities were full of people from all over the world that were trying to live the “Hollywood” life. It just helps you understand things and look at them differently when you hear news about Los Angles or California. You’ve been there. You know what it’s like. You’ve interacted with the people there. You have your own point of view rather than what media and the people are constantly force feeding you to believe.

Lastly, after talking to soo many random people out there i came to the realization that when your on the right path and going in the correct direction, the speed part starts becoming irrelevant. Yeah speed is important but you want to arrive to your destination in piece before you wreck yourself. Go the speed limit. Maybe a few paces faster but don’t be reckless. Anything worth having takes time.

bottom line: Be happy with who you are. Be patient to know you’ll get what you’ve always wanted. and keep working towards those goals constantly.

Understand the world can be a beautiful place when we stop asking for others approval. Do you. Be you. And if your lost, find you. And never ask for anyones permission to go alone and figure things out for yourself. People will judge you when you do something well for yourself and they’ll judge you when you hit your lowest point too.

If your thinking you can’t afford a trip to LA, let me tell you it’s a lot more affordable than you might think.


flight- $160

rental car 3 days- $40/day

3 nights: $60/ night average = $180

misc: $60

total expense besides food for 3 days $500- ish

go find yourself and do you

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