My Thoughts On: My Future

Yesterday, my cousin, Jasmin, and I went hiking through the Columbia River Gorge.

We typically go hiking at least once a year around our birthdays, and go on a 13 mile trail (to and from). Yesterday, however, we wanted to make it a short hike as she had boards to study for; So we decided to hike up to Angel’s Rest (approximately 4.6 miles, total). The photo doesn’t do the view much justice, but it was an exceptional day for a hiking, in my opinion. It wasn’t too hot, or too cold. It was cloudy and rainy on Friday, and even today it rained, so I think we decided to go on the perfect day.

Every time my cousin and I go on these hikes, I feel like we talk about anything and everything, but one thing we seemed to focus a lot on this day were our future goals and aspirations. If you ask any of my previous co-workers and/or Marines, you would find out that I am a very goal-oriented and ambitious person. If you check, you can even find my very own Bucket List that I hope to continue to check as I continue to rack up the years. Throughout the years, I’ve taught myself to chase after my dreams and my goals, as those goals are not going to chase after me. It’s somewhat shocking to me, at the moment, that in approximately 4 months I’ll be applying for the JET (Japanese English Teacher) Program. I have no doubt that I’ll be well-qualified for the position, but I’ll be doing anything and everything I can to ensure that I graduate no-later than Spring 2014.

Other than applying for the JET Program in October, my friends’ wedding is taking place in Montana at the end of October and I have the privilege of being in the wedding party. Luckily, I purchased two suits while I lived in Okinawa, (one black and one brown – for our formal dinner events) and somehow my brown suit and dress shirt are perfect according to the bride’s standards. The bride-groom along with two of our friends, intend to fly out to Japan for a month, after the wedding. If I’m able to save enough money, and so long as it doesn’t interfere with school, I may head to Japan to meet them for a week, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

I’ve had a passion and desire to travel ever since I was young.
I believe my Marine Corps experience has only helped fueled my passion for travel, as I find myself wanting to move, work, and live abroad. This isn’t only limited to going to Japan, but all over the world, such as go on a safari in Africa, etc…

I haven’t finished watching it yet, but I had the privilege of watching “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (二郎は鮨の夢を見る) which documents the world’s #1 sushi chef in the world, who has dedicated his entire life to the art of preparing and serving sushi. He was about nine years old when his father passed away and he was on his own ever since then. He grew up poor and even his children, along with his wife, grew up impoverish. Today, however, he is so famous that his shop, which is located in a Tokyo Subway station holds enough room for 10 customers, and those customers have to make reservations one month in advance, in order to be served. Not only this, but his dishes start at $300-a-plate. Many of the tips that Jiro recommends in order to become successful are a lot of the same guidelines that I try to follow for my own life.

  1. Be critical of yourself. That way, you are always aware of aspects of yourself that need improvement.
  2. Take your work seriously, and always perform the best of your ability.
  3. Never settle, and always strive for more. “The Best” doesn’t exist, because once you reach that point there is always more you can do to improve.
  4. Be impatient, but don’t be reckless. Always strive to improve on your efficiency, always maintain integrity, but never compromise these things for quality.
  5. Be passionate. Therefore, find a job you love, enjoy and are enthusiastic about.

I have a lot of things that I wish to accomplish in this life. As  a matter of fact, there are a lot of things that any given individual cannot accomplish in this lifetime – even if he/she had all the riches of the world. Being at the top of Angel’s Rest on Saturday, only managed to show me how small we truly are on this enormous planet. We are small specs on this vast blue planet, and to think that some people are born in one place, live in one place, and die in the same place saddens me. I feel like a big fish that’s stuck in a small pond if I limit myself to live and stay in the Pacific Northwest. I want to experience a lot more than what living in one place can offer me. Although I can consistently discover and experience new things in and around Portland, that I’ve never experienced before – I enjoy the idea that the world is so much larger than this city, and this state. One quote that comes to my mind when I think about my dreams and goals is as follows:

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. This, I did.” – T. E. Lawrence

As a child, I had very vivid dreams. Dreams of flying, dreams of pursuing things that were greater than myself, and every time I woke up, I always felt saddened when I realized that they were only dreams. Fortunately, however, it’s because of this realization I had as a young child that I strive to ensure that I make these dreams a reality. I’ve flown in an airplane and have even gone skydiving and zip-lining through the forests of Okinawa to simulate these feelings of flying. And even today, I am pursuing an innate thrive to be great. All the while, in the back of my mind, I never cease to forget that it’s not all for myself. I do it for my mom and for my brother, so that they might live easier lives. I do it for my grandparents, so that the name “Benologa” has a sense of fortitude and reliability. I also do it for my friends and family, so that I can ensure that I can be there for them in times of need, as they have been there for me. Life, in my personal opinion, is one of endless reciprocity.

I can only hope that I can live up to my very own expectations of this life and I hope that you may live up to yours.