I had an awesome time at my friend’s party. We sang songs. The place had a smaller list of songs than usual. I only found a few of my usual songs. I was limited to Matchbox 20’s Bent and Unwell, Incubus’ Drive and Wish You Were Here and the local bands Parokya ni Edgar’s Harana and RiverMaya’s You’ll Be Safe Here.

The microphone was broken. The first few songs sucked worse that my worst experience. The audio came in late and a delayed projection of my voice distracted me and threw me off from the song. I had six songs lined up. After a few song I tried something. I sang louder. Loud enough to overpower my delayed second voice. It sounded better. A lot better. I had learned to improvise. I had learned that keeping my cool was all I needed to improvise.

I overcame my shyness and sang without the beer. It was a bit embarrassing but we’re getting there. After my round at the machine I started drinking with them.

I have a thing where I go to places for a change of scene. A new set of people to hang out with in a new location and spend the trip going there and going home rethinking my life. I do that a lot lately.

I think about my work, my other work, my future projects, a girl I’m seeing and the girl I want to see again.

I met with them. None of them seem to be single. My friend brought with him friends from the place he grew up in. I sang earlier so I could sit near the girls. The news was disappointing. The hunt continues.

At the end of our session, we moved to my friend’s condo and played monopoly over beer .

It was my first time to play monopoly. I totally forgot the rules and I didn’t have a strategy.

I ended up using my cash to buy the two most expensive properties. My friends got excited to get me killed off in the game because of that. I had the upper hand. I got tricked into trading a valuable property over something not as valuable.

My friend wanted to trade but I insisted not to. He insisted. He wanted to trade properties and give me cash for accpting. I insisted not to. With every turn I said no. I didn’t say no because I found the second offer unfair. I said no because I distrusted him after I got tricked from the first deal.

I lost at second place. That’s not so bad. I was the second richest tycoon in the game. I’m happy with that.

They brought me home shortly after the game. I was thinking about what happened and what to take home from the experience.

  • **We hold on to things**. I held on to the songs I liked. I held on to the wrong properties. I didn't win. My friend admitted that I potentially could. His cards (the ones he was offering to trade) killed off the other two players despite aiming for me. This led me to considering letting something really close to my heart go.
  • **We don't know the future**. I was always aiming for something I wanted. I feel that if I missed doing it exactly as planned it would suck. I met a new friend that I got really close to really fast in an unexpected manner. I just brought her over because a hang out I planned for got cancelled and just like that we were really close. A few months into the friendship, I ran into a bit of trouble with some of her friends and just like that I needed to look for another friend. Life is unpredictable. It has all these magical moments that will make you question reality. The thing is you need to let go of your version of the future and play not just the hand you are dealt with but also the player in front of you.
  • **We need to keep cool**. I keep my cool late into something. When I feel like I have no choice but to win despite the shit happening. I don't keep my cool early on. I believe I can let go of things and find a new opportunity for (whatever). This led me to missing a couple of opportunities. If God doesn't have something planned I would be kicking myself all day. Then again I think God wanted me to learn this lesson already. It does appear a lot in His Book. I hated my dad because he doesn't seem to be able to keep his cool. The urge to lose my cool is constant but I want to do something else in my life so I need to remind myself always. Staying cool allows us to respond gracefully. Remembering to stay cool allowed me do do awesome things not just in fights but in other areas of my life but that's for a different story.
  • **We need to be wise about how we spend our resources**. I bought a few trinkets early in the game. I felt like I should have waited for them to run out of resources before making my move. Then again making risks should be calculated. This doesn't mean we avoid them. This means we learn to make the right ones. I feel that despite learning how to control my resources, I'll learn how to do this the longest. That will be for another story later on.

I’m not giving you advice. I’m giving me advice. I used we because I have a feeling you do it too and I think it would be awesome to do the changes together.

I messed up my life doing the exact opposite of the above advise. I’m reminding myself not to do it again. In the past years, I did the opposite. I held on to the wrong things. I pretended I knew the future. I didn’t keep my cool. I was unwise about how I spent my resources. My self doubt tells me it’s too late. I tell myself sure I did spend years with this wrong but what’s that compared to the rest of my life to correct it.

An update: I moved my personal blog Minimal Changes to my homepage, KevinOlega.com. Don’t worry, all my posts from there have been migrated here already.

Thank you for reading.

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