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Stories

Today, I Silenced My Monkey Mind And Forced Myself To Write

I have a very active monkey mind, my thoughts constantly swinging from one direction to another. The term came from the Chinese word, xīnyuán, and the Sino-Japanese compound, hin’en. The Buddhists describe it as having an unsettled, restless, indecisive, or uncontrollable mind. And let me tell you this animal is hard to control. My mind is a battlefield of all the thoughts I have no business of thinking, prodding me to do things I shouldn’t be doing. If you see me getting shiz done it’s because I’ve fought hard for it.

But this is not a new story. A couple of times I’d written about this on this blog. I don’t even know why I keep writing about the same topic like I’m hoping something would magically change if I do.

How Social Media Affected My Creative Process

I could never do just one thing, I always find myself multi-tasking. Like when I eat my meal I must be watching a YouTube video. If I’m watching a movie or a TV series, I’d be simultaneously playing a game on my mobile phone. If I’m playing a game then I’d be listening to a podcast or music at the same time. Even when I’m meditating or praying, my mind wanders off to somewhere else. In fact, as I write this, I kept reaching for my phone to either chat with my friends, check my Instagram, or play a mobile game. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten how it is to become a proper writer. These days, I couldn’t write because I’d always find something that I’d rather be doing than this.

Yet nothing gives me that delicious dose of dopamine other than hitting the Publish button. When I’m able to post something on my blog I feel accomplished, like I’ve done something meaningful with my life. Perhaps the satisfaction is engendered by the fact that despite having cursed with a restless mind, I got it to work like a vaccine warding off a virus. Sucky metaphor, I know, but you get the point.

Despite this, however, I’m still given to distraction it’s insane. My brain is a nesting doll of ideas, musings, and memories, each doll a universe of its own. I view those people who can only do one thing at a time as gifted. Being able to multi-task can be helpful in some areas of life, but when you’re struggling to get things done, it’s a liability.

Do you know what I always imagine myself to be doing? Leaving the city and staying in an isolated cabin in the woods or a beach house without an Internet connection. Without a network, my phone will be useless and I won’t be able to use social media or watch Netflix, then maybe, I can write the whole day with no distractions. Imagine being so frustrated that this is your fantasy.

So yep, I’m writing this for the sake of writing. I’ve forced myself to sit still and publish this tonight. And let me share some random happenings in my life while we’re at it.


I’m planning to spend the holidays in Siargao this December, hoping against hope that I’d use that time to write. The COVID situation, however, remains volatile that planning anything almost always leads to heartbreak. For example, I was supposed to fly to Siargao this May but due to the lockdown, it was canceled. I also planned to hold my birthday celebration at my friend’s vegan cafe in Laguna, but the Delta variant cases suddenly rose in number, another ECQ had to be imposed by the government. I’ve lost track of the times we’ve been put under quarantine. Every time we begin to feel like things are getting back to normal, COVID would be like, Not yet, you beeches. It ain’t over until I say it is.

I’m really jealous of some friends who are able to travel like they’re living in some alternate reality where COVID doesn’t exist. I used to be offended at their audacity to display this on social media, like how dare they make me envious like this?! Then I realized that if I were in their shoes I’d probably be doing the same thing. Sure, I have other interests in life, but traveling is my drug; it’s the only thing that (forgive the cliche) makes me feel alive. This may sound dramatic but I’d even go as far as saying that the pandemic has hurt my soul when it took away my freedom to see the world.

I don’t know who else to blame for why this all happened, but I think we’re way past putting all the blame on China. I’m pretty sure they didn’t want this to occur so let’s not be hard on them. It has become the world’s responsibility the moment the virus left the Chinese borders. And from there, things have gone to shiz. We realized how unprepared we all are, how irresponsible and selfish people can be, and how one act of a single person can affect many.

I’m not sure how long this will go on. We can only hope for the best.


Last year, I spent my 38th birthday in a mall with my friend, Cai. We just had dinner at one of the restaurants there, had coffee, took some photos, and that was it. I was hopeful that it’d be different this year, didn’t know that it would be a lot worse. Now I have no choice but to stay home, my brother is here, but he’s not much of a company, to be honest. The dude is an introvert in the true sense of the word, he doesn’t talk to his own sister unless he has to.

But I’ll vlog about it (my 39th birthday)… ooh speaking of it, I decided to resurrect my inactive YouTube channel. It’s called Coffeehan Vlogs, I have had it since 2016 but I wasn’t very invested in it so the videos were crappy and I didn’t post a lot. It was only when I went to Boracay this February that my interest in vlogging returned. Since then I’ve posted 10 videos already, and I’ve even leveled up my video editing game to make my videos look better.

Boracay Travel Requirements 2021

It exists primarily to serve as my time capsule. I’d like to have moving pictures of my memories when I grow old. Just like this blog, I’m not aiming to be a popular YouTuber because I lack ambition, lol. Kidding aside, I don’t think I have the stomach required to handle being famous. In some way, being a celebrity entails a different kind of brave. When we hear one person says something mean about us, we get hurt, what more if you’re looking at thousands of people collectively trying to cancel you. I lose sleep over one person who managed to piss the hell outta me, I can’t imagine what would happen if there’d be more.

But, of course, I still recommend that you go visit my channel. I’m not going to force you to hit subscribe if you don’t want to, but if you do decide to do it then thank you so much!


For a very long time, I was the least busy member of our team and I hated it. I thought I was just too fast in doing my job, turns out I was under-utilized. For the past few weeks, my work has doubled up that I found myself struggling to do all the tasks on my plate. Those things that I could easily accomplish before, suddenly require more time to finish. I understand that high-priority tasks should take precedence, but neglecting other tasks make me feel a little bit guilty.

Thus, I’m thankful that I have a wonderful team. They are so understanding and always ready to provide their support when needed. They’re among the reasons I’m happy working for our company. Nobody has given me a hard time, nobody has disrespected me, and nobody made me feel alone even when I’m working thousands of miles away from them.


Time check: 12:22 AM; I’m now ready to hit the Publish button. I’ve written something today; the monkey lost this round.

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