Future, What Future?

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I am depressed about my future. I feel like I don't have one. I feel like my dreams are falling through the cracks or shattering into a million and one pieces. I just don't know what to do anymore. The interview season is almost over (2 or 3 months depending on the school) and I have yet to hear back from one medical school. It is getting beyond frustrating. I've tried really hard not to think about it, but it's all that I can think about lately. I really want to go to medical school and I feel like it is going to be the best place for me, but I guess the schools are thinking otherwise. Sigh...

I've started looking into taking the GRE and applying to graduate schools in biochemistry because I don't think I'm going to get into medical school. This is something that I don't want to do because I don't want to be in a lab my whole life. I want to be interacting with people and healing them. It looks like this isn't going to happen though. Sigh... Life is so depressing right now.

What did I do wrong? What should I have done differently? Should I call or email the medical schools to see about my application status?

I feel like a failure.

It's Been Awhile...

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It's been awhile since I've written on this blog. Sorry about that. I know some of you find my deeper thoughts more interesting than my random stories, thoughts, and adventures. As I have been writing my medical school applications, I have gone on a journey of self-discovery. I have learned so much about myself as I have poured over essays, thought about my life, and lived life! It has been an exciting time. In due time, I'll share some of my discoveries with you.

Right now, I want to talk about a quote I put up on my blog awhile ago and how it relates to my life (this goes along with the learning from medical school applications theme that will be my next couple of posts). Here is the quote so you don't have to go back and read it: "We think that when we are driven out of the usual path, everything is over for us; but it is just here that the new and the good begins. As long as there is life, there is happiness. There is much, much before us!" -Tolstoy

When I first discovered my attraction for men in high school, I thought myself as a sinner. I didn't believe that I had any worth on this earth and that I wasn't meant to be here. This soon changed when I entered college. Being gay and "abnormal" (that's how I used to see myself) drove me out of my original path. I thought that life was over for me. I hated my life. I hated God. I hated my family. I hated the whole world. However, my journey in college has completely changed that perspective. Coming to terms with myself helped me realize that "the new and the good begins" here and that my path is new, but great. I have experienced life to its fullest in my time at college. I have lived, laughed, and loved (it's cliche, I know). My path may not have been what I expected or wanted it to be, but I'm perfectly fine with that now. I have realized that "as long as there is life, there is happiness." This quote has directly applied to my life and I'm sure that it can apply to everybody.

My life is going to keep living and I'm not going to fall behind my life and sit in a dark corner. That part of my life is past. I'm always going to be there jumping in leaps and bounds because I have worth, I have a purpose, and I have passion. I have so much before me and I never want to be left behind again.

Annoyed

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I am kind of annoyed right now. Actually, more than annoyed. There is this guy in lab that I work with that looks down upon me because I am a undergraduate (he's a grad) and that I didn't serve a mission. It really bothers the crap out of me. He talks down to me and he makes himself seem like he's so much better than me. Guess what... you're not!

The thing that bothers me the most is that he always tells me that I can still go on a mission. I have told him numerous times that the First Presidency told me to move on with my life and not worry about serving a mission, but he still bothers me about it. He tells me how great his mission was and how everybody needs to go. Get off your freaking high horse for heaven's sake! Seriously! I wish he would just leave me alone. I swear the topic comes up once a week or every other week. It's so bad! He also tells me that I could try again. To which I remind him what the First Presidency told me and that I am applying to medical school right now... not a good idea to delay going into medical school. Sometimes I wonder how smart he is.

I just wish he would realize that missions aren't for everyone.

I can also see why he isn't married at 30... hahaha! (That was mean but I really don't care right now).

He Didn't Answer

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"I called Jesus but he didn't check his phone today..."
-"Miss California" by Jack's Mannequin

This seems to happen a lot to me. I feel like I never get answers and that I never receive the help that I need. It makes me feel like God isn't involved intricately in each of our lives like the Church has always taught me. I know that people will tell me that my prayers will be answered in God's own time.

This begs me to ask the question where was He during my middle school and high school years and whenever I need Him? For those of you who know my history better, you'll understand what I am talking about but for those who don't, I'll give you a brief little history. At the age of twelve, I was addicted to pornography. I discovered that I was gay, yet was in utter denial because I thought being gay in the Church doesn't happen. I hated myself. It seemed like my friends hated me too because a lot of my close friends ditched me once I entered middle school and then ditched me again and again in high school. Where was He then? I called, but he didn't answer his phone. He seemed to never answer his phone in the times that I needed him most. He still doesn't answer.

I do believe in God and Jesus, but are they really involved personally in my life? I'm having a hard time believing that and I guess I have always had trouble believing that since around the age of 12.

Again, "I called Jesus but he didn't check his phone today..."

Personal Statement... Please Vote!

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Here are two drafts of my personal statement for my application. Please vote on which one you like better. They are very similar, but they are structured differently. Thanks everyone! :)

Choice #1

I almost died at the age of ten. The first night of spring break I became very sick. My parents thought it was the flu because I had nausea and abdominal pain with a high fever. Later, I started throwing up and all my symptoms became worse so my parents took me to the hospital. After a series of tests, the doctors determined that I had appendicitis. The attending surgeon was already performing several other surgeries and did not have enough time to perform mine. The on-call surgeon refused to come in because he had to be to the airport early in the morning. The doctors could not find anyone to operate. The hospital called other hospitals to see if anyone would operate on me. In the meantime, my condition was worsening. Finally, a surgeon agreed to help, but he was in another hospital thirty minutes away. He was about to end his shift, but he agreed to wait for me. By the time we made it to the hospital, my appendix was close to bursting and the surgery had to be performed immediately. This surgeon was the first one to inspire me to become a doctor because he waited for me and saved my life. More importantly, he taught me to treat others how I wanted to be treated.

Recently, my old gastroenterologist did not treat me how I want to be treated and I suffered. A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I was terribly sick for about a year and was not showing any signs of getting better. My doctor performed test after test on me and thought my Crohn’s was in remission even though I was still in pain. After one of the tests, he told my parents that I was making everything up. After that accusation, we changed doctors. The new doctor performed the same tests and found similar results as the previous doctor, but he still believed me. He promised me that he would continue working with me until I started feeling better. He eventually discovered that my current medications were not having their full effect. He then prescribed new medications and I have progressively gotten better. Now, I am feeling much healthier and I am almost back to my normal self. As I have dealt with this new doctor, I have been further inspired to become a doctor because he treats me how I want to be treated.

When I am sick, I want to be treated with the best treatments, the best care, and therefore the best doctors. This means that I will try to become the best doctor that I can be and go the extra mile so that I can give my patients the best care. To me, the best doctor is one who is nice, willing to listen, and concerned for his patients. He is willing to spend time with his patients and help them in any way possible. This type of doctor would also be willing to do research and work until the problems with the patient are solved. He also will not give up or claim that the patient is wrong if he cannot discover the answer. Most importantly, the best doctor has a love for others and wants them to live better, healthier lives. This is the type of doctor that I want to be treated by and this is the type of doctor that I will strive to become.

All throughout my life, I have tried to treat others the best that I can. This is evident in my dealings with people of all ages. When I am working with my younger swimmers on the Utah Valley Aquatics team, I give those children the attention they need to become the best swimmers that they can possibly be. I work with them and I want them to succeed. This attitude is carried over when I am volunteering for Timpview High School swim team. I want to help the students achieve their goals and dreams. There are times when I get up at 4:30 AM to meet with them and give them one-on-one instruction. Also, I am able to help them in personal aspects of their lives. They know that I am there to help them. I give the same treatment when I am helping customers in Poco Loco Swim Shop. As manager and store clerk, my job is to try to make the customer satisfied so that they will return in the future, and this is done by helping them. Then when they return to the store, the customer knows that I am there to assist them. Finally, volunteering at the retirement home, I spend hours listening to the elderly. I hear their life stories and see the happiness on their faces when I show interest in their lives. Besides talking with them, I also make crafts with them and I have the pleasure of seeing the joy on their faces in performing a simple activity with them. I go the extra mile to treat others in a good way because this is how I want to be treated. As a doctor, I will carry this exact same attitude in my practice.

We need more doctors go the extra mile and treat others with the best care, which is why I want to become a doctor. I have personally felt the effect of two doctors who have gone the extra mile to help me and treat me. From their care and examples, I have been emulating them and treating others how I want to be treated. I have seen profound effects from doing this. I know that I can help many people by becoming the best doctor and treating people with the best care.

Choice #2

When I am sick, I want to be treated with the best treatments, the best care, and therefore the best doctors. This means that I will try to become the best doctor that I can be and go the extra mile so that I can give my patients the best care. To me, the best doctor is one who is nice, willing to listen, and concerned for his patients. He is willing to spend time with his patients and help them in any way possible. This type of doctor would also be willing to do research and work until the problems with the patient are solved. He also will not give up or claim that the patient is wrong if he cannot discover the answer. Most importantly, the best doctor has a love for others and wants them to live better, healthier lives. This is the type of doctor that I want to be treated by and this is the type of doctor that I will strive to become.

Treating others how I wanted to be treated has been a big part of my life since my first interaction with an ER surgeon. I almost died at the age of ten. The first night of spring break I became very sick. My parents thought it was the flu because I had nausea and abdominal pain with a high fever. Later, I started throwing up and all my symptoms became worse so my parents took me to the hospital. After a series of tests, the doctors determined that I had appendicitis. The attending surgeon was already performing several other surgeries and did not have enough time to perform mine. The on-call surgeon refused to come in because he had to be to the airport early in the morning. The doctors could not find anyone to operate. The hospital called other hospitals to see if anyone would operate on me. In the meantime, my condition was worsening. Finally, a surgeon agreed to help, but he was in another hospital thirty minutes away. He was about to end his shift, but he agreed to wait for me. By the time we made it to the hospital, my appendix was close to bursting and the surgery had to be performed immediately. This surgeon was the first one to inspire me to become a doctor because he waited for me and saved my life. More importantly, he taught me to treat others how I wanted to be treated.

Recently, my old gastroenterologist did not treat me how I want to be treated and I suffered. A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I was terribly sick for about a year and was not showing any signs of getting better. My doctor performed test after test on me and thought my Crohn’s was in remission even though I was still in pain. After one of the tests, he told my parents that I was making everything up. After that accusation, we changed doctors. The new doctor performed the same tests and found similar results as the previous doctor, but he still believed me. He promised me that he would continue working with me until I started feeling better. He eventually discovered that my current medications were not having their full effect. He then prescribed new medications and I have progressively gotten better. Now, I am feeling much healthier and I am almost back to my normal self. As I have dealt with this new doctor, I have been further inspired to become a doctor because he treats me how I want to be treated.

All throughout my life, I have tried to treat others the best that I can. This is evident in my dealings with people of all ages. When I am working with my younger swimmers on the Utah Valley Aquatics team, I give those children the attention they need to become the best swimmers that they can possibly be. I work with them and I want them to succeed. This attitude is carried over when I am volunteering for Timpview High School swim team. I want to help the students achieve their goals and dreams. There are times when I get up at 4:30 AM to meet with them and give them one-on-one instruction. I am also able to help them in personal aspects of their life. They know that I am there to aid them. I give the same treatment when I am helping customers in Poco Loco Swim Shop. As manager and store clerk, my job is to try to make the customer satisfied so that they will return in the future, and this is done by helping them. Then when they return to the store, the customer knows that I am there to assist them. Finally, volunteering at the retirement home, I spend hours listening to the elderly. I hear their life stories and see the happiness on their faces when I show interest in their lives. Besides talking with them, I also make crafts with them and I have the pleasure of seeing the joy on their faces in performing a simple activity with them. I go the extra mile to treat others in a good way because this is how I want to be treated. As a doctor, I will carry this exact same attitude in my practice.

We need more doctors go the extra mile and treat others with the best care, which is why I want to become a doctor. I have personally felt the effect of two doctors who have gone the extra mile to help me and treat me. From their care and examples, I have been emulating them and treating others how I want to be treated. I have seen profound effects from doing this. I know that I can help many people by becoming the best doctor and treating people with the best care.

Personal Statement

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This is my rough draft personal statement for my medical school application. Let me know what you think of it.

At the age of ten, I came close to dying. The first night of spring break I became very sick. Parents thought it was the flu because I had nausea and abdominal pain with a high fever. I later started throwing up and all of my symptoms became worse. After a day of being sick and the pain getting worse, my parents decided to take me into the hospital. I had a series of tests performed and the doctors determined that I had appendicitis. The attending surgeon was already performing several other surgeries and he did not have enough time to perform mine. The doctors called the on-call surgeon, but he refused to come in because he had to be to the airport early in the morning. There was not anybody who the doctors could find to perform the surgery. The hospital then started calling other hospitals to see if anyone would perform it on me. In the meantime, I was getting much worse. Finally, someone agreed to perform the surgery on me, but he was in another hospital thirty minutes away. This surgeon was about to end his shift and he agreed to wait and operate on me. By the time we made it to the hospital, my appendix was close to bursting and the surgery had to be performed immediately. This surgeon was the first one to inspire me to become a doctor because of how he treated me.

This surgeon is in contrast to my old gastroenterologist. A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I was terribly sick for about a year and was not showing any signs of getting better. He performed test after test on me and he thought I was completely fine but I was still in pain. After one of the tests, he told my parents that I probably was making up all of my problems. At that moment, we decided to change doctors. When I went to the new doctor, he believed everything that I said. He performed the same tests on me and found the same results as the previous doctor, but he still believed me. This doctor was willing to continue working with me until I started feeling better. He eventually discovered that my current medications were not having their full effect. He then prescribed me new medications and I have progressively gotten better. Now, I am feeling much better and I am almost back to my normal self. As I have dealt with this new doctor, I have been further inspired to become a doctor because of how he treats me.

These two doctors taught me to treat others how I want to be treated. When I am sick, I want to be treated with the best treatments, care, and doctors. This means that I will try to become the best doctor that I can be and go the extra mile so that I can give my patients the best care. To me, the best doctor is one who is nice, willing to listen, and full of concern for his patients. He is willing to spend time with his patients and help them in any way possible. This type of doctor would also be willing to do research and work until the problems with the patient are solved. He also will not give up or claim that the patient is wrong if he cannot discover the answer. Most importantly, the best doctor has a love for others and wants them to live better, healthier lives. This is the type of doctor that I want to be treated by and this is the type of doctor that I will strive to become.

Treating others how I wanted to be treated has been a big part of my life since that first interaction with the surgeon. All throughout elementary school, high school, college, jobs, and everyday life, I have tried to treat others the best that I can. This is evident in my dealings with children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. When I am working with my younger swimmers on the Utah Valley Aquatics team, I give those children the attention they need to become the best swimmers that they can possibly be. I am willing to work with them and I want them to succeed. In my time volunteering with Timpview High School, I want to help the students achieve their goals and dreams. There are times when I get up at 4:30 AM to meet with them and give them one-on-one instruction. I have also been more than willing to help them in many aspects of their life besides swimming. They know that I am there for them and that they only need to ask for my help. The same treatment is given when I am helping adults in Poco Loco Swim Shop. My job as manager and store clerk is to try to get the customer to return and this is done by helping them. Then when they return to the store, the customer knows that I am more than willing to help them. Finally, in volunteering at the retirement home, I have spent hours listening to the elderly. I have heard their life stories and have seen the happiness on their faces when I have shown interest in their lives. Besides talking with them, I also make crafts with them and I have the pleasure of seeing their joy in doing such a simple task with them. I go the extra mile to treat others in a good way because this is how I want to be treated. As a doctor, I will carry this exact same attitude in my practice as well. I believe that we need more doctors like this and this is why I want to become a doctor.

The Score Is In...

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The score is in... I actually got it on the 2nd... I haven't had time to post my score because I have been CELEBRATING! :) I met my goal of a 35 and got a 36! I'm so stoked! I can't really even describe all of the feelings I'm feeling right now. It is just amazing! I DID IT!

For those of you who don't know, the MCAT is graded out of 45 and on a curve. The average of the test is 24 and the average of getting into medical school is about a 30. Getting a 33 on the test puts you in the 90th percentile of those who took the test and get a 36 puts me in about the 95th-96th percentile! I'm way excited with my score! All of my hard work paid off and I can go to a lot of good schools and hopefully receive some scholarship money! All that I have to do is finish all of my applications and get them in. I'm hoping to get all of them in by the end of July. Then it's waiting for interviews and then acceptance letters. It's an exciting time in my life right now and a great adventure! I'm on the road to fulfilling what I believe my purpose here in life is.

Thanks everyone for you support! :)

Quote of the Day

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"We think that when we are driven out of the usual path, everything is over for us; but it is just here that the new and the good begins. As long as there is life there is happiness. There is much, much before us!"
-Tolstoy

This was the quote of the day in my gmail account that sometimes pops up in the little "sponsored link" box. I thought it was good and would share it with everyone.

Now I'd like to know your thoughts on it and then I'll share mine... :)

Turning to God

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I have noticed a trend that I have and I think a lot of people have it too. Whenever I have something big going on or something that is very important and life changing, I decide that it is time to turn to God and pray. One of the reasons I think that I do this is because I don't feel like God plays an integral role in my life and that I don't have anything big to pray for. I believe in him and I know that He has blessed and helped me who I am by making me the way I am. This, however, does not translate into playing an integral role in my life. Another reason is because I am so independent and have been so since a young age. My parents always taught me that one of the most important things I can learn is to learn to be independent (to be able to survive on my own, to not have to rely on people unless it was necessary, and to make your goals become reality by doing the work yourself). I think that this independence also plays a huge part in me not turning to God. The last reason is because God has let me down so many times now. My childhood was far less than perfect and my teenage years were hell. I hated my life. I hated who I was. I felt like I had nobody was there for me and even though I was praying and reading the scriptures, nothing I asked for ever happened. I was addicted to pornography since the age of twelve and I prayed to God to help me get rid of the addiction because I knew it wasn't healthy. I also prayed for him to send me some friends that would help me steer clear of this addiction. None of this, however, happened. I also prayed for some really good friends. This never happened either--most of them ditched me. I never prayed to not be gay but instead to be happy. This never came either. I was an wreck and very unhappy. I felt and still feel like God never answered or helped me when I truly needed it. This last reason is probably the biggest reason why I stopped praying, unless it was/is something big. God doesn't have his hand in my mundane, every day life.

The whole week before the MCAT, however, was probably the most spiritual I have been in a long time. I was praying daily, always asking for help to do well on the MCAT. I felt like doing well on the MCAT was something worthy of to pray to God for because it would help define the rest of my life and help me accomplish my life goals. I also asked friends and family to fast and pray for me because I wanted the support and love from them. I did the same thing during finals week, except not to the same degree. I would pray every now and then hoping that all of my studying would pay off and that God would bless me for my efforts. Those are the things that I feel like I need to pray for, not the mundane, boring things.

I am now back to my everyday life. I have stopped praying, except for yesterday because one of my best friends was taking an important test so I prayed and fasted for her. I don't feel bad about stopping my prays. Again, this is because I feel like I have no reason to pray. There is nothing big going on in my life at the moment. Why would I need to?

I'm not sure why I wrote this post, but I did. So there you have some of my thoughts over the past couple of days.

Endowments

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I think that my bishop wants me to get endowed soon and has started preparing me for that big leap. I know that he originally mentioned to me that when I go off to medical school that it would be a good idea to get endowed before I go. He hasn't brought the idea up for a very long time, but all of the sudden he has been meeting with me at least once a month, if not more, when we haven't done that in almost a year now. Another one of my suspicions is due to the fact that I was recently called be the librarian in the ward. I haven't had a calling in over two years now (I'm not even a home teacher--he told the elder's quorum president not to give me any families and partner) and then all of the sudden he whips a calling out to me. During the calling interview, I told him that I was scared that I was going to be a primary teacher due to the fact that I don't have a lot of time to prepare since I'm always studying. He then mentioned that calling might be on its way. I'm not sure if he was joking or if he is preparing me for teaching callings, then other bigger callings, and then receiving my endowments.

To quite honest, I'm completely scared to have my endowments taken out and I personally don't want to do it. There is still a lot of aspects of my life that I'm still unsure in--the Church being one of them. Am I willing to stay in the Church my whole life, even if that means not getting married, having children, and having a significant other? Am I going to eventually fall away and by making the endowment promises throw myself to the dogs of hell? Am I even sure that the Church is true? Along with a lot of other questions that will probably not go away anytime soon.

I'm only 21 years old! I am not old enough to make decisions of this great enormity and significance. Just like I'm not old enough to make the decision to marry. I'm still unsure about my route in life. Right now, I plan on staying in the Church because I don't want to be kicked out from BYU among other things. What happens after that though? How will my life change? I want to get out and experience life outside of Utah before I make my final decision on what I really want in life. Again, I'm only 21 and I still have a lot of living, growing, and learning to do.

It makes me wonder if the only reason why my bishop wants me to be endowed soon is to help keep me in the Church.

Soul Food

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Souls too, like rivulets and plants, need a different kind of rain: hope, faith, a reason to live. When this did not come to pass, everything in that soul died, even if the body went on living; and people could say: "Here in this body there was once a man."

-The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho
Hope, faith, and a reason to live are food for the soul. Can a man truly live without all of these or with only one or two? I believe that he cannot.

HOPE is change. A man can hope for a better life, a better future, a partner to spend the rest of his life with, a good job, friends, a supportive family, a place on a sports team, and the list can go on and on. What does hope give man? Hope gives man something to look forward to and something to work on. It means something more than just dreams. It is active and constantly changing as life changes. Hope gives meaning to life by providing man with a sense movement and change for the better. Man without hope is barren. He feels there is no future with him. That he is destined to be the same person always and forever--never changing.

FAITH is mysterious. A man can have faith in his brother's words, God, the company he is working for, his family, a bishop or religious leader, and anything man sees fit to have faith in, but man does not fully understand it. What does faith give man? Faith gives man a greater knowledge and understanding of the divine. It shows beauty and greatness in the simplicity of life. It gives man trust in another person or God and allows man to work directly with them. Faith is also constantly changing and developing into something bigger and better. Faith is mysterious because it shows the simplicity in life, yet it also shows the greatness. How can it do both? That is what makes in mysterious. Faith gives meaning to life by providing man with knowledge of God and trust in God and other people. If man does not have faith, he doesn't look to the greater part of world including the spiritual. He does not trust his family, friends, and people in general. He will most likely think that he knows everything, when in reality he knows nothing.

A REASON TO LIVE is purpose. A man can have a reason to live by gaining passions, family, friends, work, love, school, and many other aspects of life. What does a reason to live give man? It gives man a sense of purpose and duty. It also gives man a reason to dedicate his life to something he loves. A reason to live pushes man to great heights and helps man develop into a better person. Man continues to work and improve upon his reason to live and develops a better life. A reason to live gives meaning to live by giving man a purpose in life that can make him truly happy. Without a reason to live, man has no meaning in life. He doesn't have duty or purpose to live. Man would only be on earth to sit and watch the grass grow, but even that gives him a reason to live. He would have no duty or purpose on earth.

Man can only truly live if he has all of three of these. These things feed the soul and give it life. As the soul grows and expands, man moves closer to gaining his divine potential. This achievement of taking the necessary steps to divine potential provides man with happiness in the good, bad, hard, and easy times. This, however, is only done because the soul is well fed and can withstand what is thrown at it. When you feed your soul, it is like a reservoir of water. The more you feed it, the more full it will be. Then when the trials and tribulations come, part of the reservoir is drained. But if man has fed his soul with the proper food, the tough time will pass and man will survive and continue in happiness in his life. If, however, he did not feed his soul the proper food, he will have to start all over again and regain his testimony to fill the reservoir of his soul again. Man needs HOPE, FAITH, and A REASON TO LIVE to feed his soul and actually live life.