Entry #59

Don't Touch My Feet


It’s not that I haven’t been writing because I have been, it’s more like I haven’t been posting any entries. And that’s for a particular reason.

At first, I wasn’t going to spoil the surprise, but at this point, I can tease the project. The other day I visited my old neighborhood, talked to old friends, and ate at the usual favorites. Then later that day, I read a few of the New York Times’ 36 Hours travel articles because if you didn’t know that I love to travel, then let me remind you that I love to travel. One facet that I’ve noticed in every travel article is how well the New York Times captures a region’s culture through food, music, entertainment, history, art, and the people.

So I thought that I would respectfully copy-cat the New York Times’ 36 Hours by creating a travel article for Dayton, Ohio. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of days instead of daily entries, basically amassing information about Dayton as best as I can with the hope and intent to fully illustrate its culture.

Please accept this apology and the additional fact that I haven’t dedicated all of my time to the site because I’m leaving home soon, so spending time with family is, of course, more important to me.

Entry #57

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Update: I’ve been hiccup free for 5 days and it’s also been raining in Dayton for the same amount of time.

I like the rain. If you don’t like the rain, I totally understand and respect your stance because there have been times where I’ve cursed the rain, especially when it comes out of nowhere like a giant wave in the ocean that appears small.

Is that what writer’s block feels like? A mental and physical drowning in our own self-induced fears about writing?

What are we afraid of?

We all know how to swim (read and write) but as soon as we enter the salty, dark waters (sharing our words with others), do we fear the unknowns within the water, like the waves (life’s highs and lows that influence our words), the sharks (the critics that tear our words apart), or even the mermaids (the muses that “elicits” our creative mojo).

Why do we write?

I used to write to please, to gain the attention of others, to feel important, but that was all bogus because I relied too heavily on other’s approval. A writer’s power is his/her words, so once that’s taken away from him/her, then the writer is, duh, powerless.

I write to live, to relate with others and to myself, to love, all of which is important because I do it for myself now. If you like my words, then I say thank you, but if you don’t, then I also say thank you because both are feedback. At the end of the day, I’m not going to allow feedback to keep me up at night.

I say this all the time, but I’ll never tell y’all what to do. But “fall in love, stay in love.”

A huge thank you to Yaskhan. Check her site out.

Entry #56

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This entry is a personal reminder for me to evaluate the adventure. I mentioned a while back that I would never tell y’all how to live y’all’s life because that’s not my place, so I hope that I’ve abided by my own words. If you feel like this entry infringes on that agreement, then reread the first sentence and underline “personal reminder.”

Look ahead. Where are we going?
Look down. Where are we standing?
Look behind. Where have we been?
Look inside. Where are our heart and our head pointing?

Are we in route to wherever we want to go? And if so or if not, either is fine because we are alive.

That’s real, like we are alive right now, for me to write this and for you to read this, so it comes down evaluating what we need to change in order to go wherever we want to go?

What I need to change is my focus: who’s receiving my focus, what am I focusing on, and is my focus one-hundred percent?

Ever catch yourself talking to someone, focused on the conversation, their eyes, their teeth, their nose, that piece of food wedged in between their teeth or that booger hanging from their nose that you won’t tell them about, and then, next thing you know, you don’t even know what the conversation concerns.

I’m guilty of losing track of a conversation because I start focusing more on my own thoughts instead of the words said toward me. Needless to say, if you have something in between your teeth or something hanging from your nose, I’m going to let you know because I hope you’d do the same for me.

Is there anything that you need to change?

Entry #55

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I reflected on Entry #54 because I realized that even though we all try to do the right thing and what’s best, rarely do the two well-intended actions intersect.

Think about it. Then, notice where you are while you think about this dilemma, either now or later, because I believe that we have the greatest thinking potential when we are the most comfortable. The list below reveals the three most comfortable spaces where the greatest thoughts have popped into my head:

1. In the driver’s seat of a parked car with the radio off and the windows down (this is the comfortable space is where I reflected today).
2. In an empty and unpopular bathtub with the door open and the lights off.
3. In the top-secret hiding spot that no one else knows about.

When was the last time that doing the right thing equated into doing what’s best, and vice versa?

The example that came to mind for me concerns an experience I had in New York with a homeless, pregnant woman asking for donations: food, money, and clothes.

What’s the right thing to do in this situation? And this is where doing the right thing becomes tricky because the “right thing” expands into several different actions, so how do we choose the best “right thing” to do?

What’s the best thing to do in this situation? And, similar to doing the right thing, this is where doing the best thing becomes sticky because the “best thing” diverges into several different actions, so how do we choose the best “best thing” to do?

It’s difficult to do the best “right thing” and the best “best thing,” so what the heck do we do?

I don’t know and I’m not going to pretend like I know the best for both actions. All I know is that doing anything is better than doing nothing.

Entry #54

Sandhill Crane


I try to do the right thing. That’s it.
That’s my goal as soon as I’m vertical to horizontal.

I try to do what’s best. That’s it.
That’s my goal from the moment the Sun chases the Moon across the Earth.

The least we can do is try, so give me, yourself, and others credit for making an effort because that’s the beginning, never the ending to an accomplishment like doing the right thing or what’s best.

Entry #53

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The only reason why I’m awake right now is because I’d like to spend my last weekend at home without any obligations like purchasing college books, donating clothes that I don’t need, and writing a speech about service, since I know as soon as school starts, time will become a precious commodity.

When an individual says, “I don’t have time,” does he/she actually not have access to time, like does this individual need a watch or a sundial? I wish it was the case because “I don’t have time” is the dilemma an individual encounters once he/she decides to use his/her 24-hours differently either accidentally or deliberately. Take, for example, a typical blue-collar working dad who delivers Pepsi products to different vendors in a town. This dad works at least two double shifts per week in order to make ends meet, but coincidentally, on one of his double shift days, his daughter has a dance recital, which, of course, she wants her dad to attend.

What does the dad say to his daughter? I think we know what he says because the dad doesn’t have the liberty, the time, to attend his daughter’s dance recital because in order to support his daughter’s dancing, he chooses to work.

We have the same amount of time in a day; we define each day by spending every second, minute, and hour the way we want, hopefully without saying, “I don’t have time,” as an excuse for spending unwisely.

This weekend, I’m giving my time to my friends, family, and self because other obligations will limit how much time I can share with all of them in the future.

Who will you give your time to?

Entry #52

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What I’m trying to do with this site and the Instagram account is achieve cohesion instead of redundancy because I understand how annoying replicated content can be, so I apologize if you’ve seen the same photos on this site and on the Instagram account.

Did you know that I have two more entries to post in order to get back on track? You learned something new today.

Did you know that hiccups are a common side-effect after receiving anesthesia? You and I both learned something new today.

The first night after my wisdom teeth extraction, I started hiccupping every ten seconds for hours into the early morning. I tried all of the remedies: holding your breath, drinking water, holding your breath and drinking water, breathing into a paper bag, yelling directly at the hiccups to only receive a hiccup as a response. The hiccups haven’t passed yet, but they’re supposed to pass naturally, which means for the next few days I will be working on patience.

Entry #51

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This is a major announcement.

I never thought this day would come because I’ve avoided many different social media platforms, but with heavy encouragement and hours of contemplation, I’ve decided to join Instagram!

If you know me, then you also know that I don’t have a Twitter nor a Facebook because I became too addicted to those social media platforms, so I chose to get rid of them a while ago.

Without further ado, follow me on Instagram @zachary_chanc3 because I’ll share more of my photos there.

Entry #50

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What would your first priority be if you had to recover from oral surgery?

Rest?
Take medicine?
Eat appropriately?
Respond to emails?
Read news articles and the last-minute summer books?

Sure. All of those activities are a necessity, but they’re not as important as supporting team USA in the Summer 2016 Rio Olympics! I never liked sitting around all day feeling like a slouch, so the least I can do is yell:

“GO GO GO GO!”
“U-S-A U-S-A U-S-A”
“GOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLDDD!”
“Where’s your head at?”
“DAMN! Did you see that?”
“I don’t care about this commercial, go back to the Olympics!”

Watching all of these athletic events doesn’t help my bum feeling, so right now, I’m considering a run later this evening because it’s been a few days since my last run.

Am I the only one who’s running role model is Forest Gump?

“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama.”

I think about this quote during every run, then those serene nature montages from the movie appear in my head, and I keep running.