Anime and Manga

Cartoons and Magazines.

That is the definition and perception of many people, when I say I watch Anime or Manga. I’m usually met with a ‘tsk!’ or ‘really?!’ when I say I have an interest and enjoy watching Anime or reading Manga.

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The way I define the reason why I love anime and manga was that it is truly a world of fantasy which can teach you many lessons in life through the interpretation of the author.

In the same way that Lord of the Rings had recognition when made popular by Hollywood superstars, Anime has the same level of fantasy that has played an influential role within my upbringing and understanding of life.

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I first stumbled upon anime when I was a young child. Aged 4-5 there was an anime that showed a magic blue cat who had a storage area in his pouch. In hindsight, he was more of a kangaroo than cat.

This captivated me and my elder sisters. Whereas my elder sisters grew up, they lost interest of anime and manga. There was a slight resurgence with my middle sister, when her Tom-Boy like nature enabled her to watch GI Joe with me or Transformers. Followed by another meteoric rise when Pokemon swept the earth in 2000.

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This however, although my passion was and still to this day is cartoons, is not the Anime that I refer to. There were moments in Pokemon that taught kids how to care for their belongings. There were moments where death and life were portrayed in a beautiful media, bought to life through the detailed drawings and winding plot twists.

I remember one particular moment, where Ash caught a Caterpie. Trained the little caterpillar bug Pokemon up to evolve into a Metapod, then eventually a Butterfree. He then later released Butterfree to be with his peers and same species. I cried myself to sleep that evening. Pikachu closed of the episode crying…

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The adult Anime I refer to was introduced to me by a good family friend.

Naruto and Bleach were two Animes / Mangas that spanned the lifetime of many of todays kids. I believe that Naruto ran for 15 years. I followed every single episode.

As Naruto grew up, so did I. There were 2 distinct divisions in the Anime / Manga. When Naruto was a young child, then after a time skip when he was a teenager. This corresponded with my age so I related to his life even more.

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Unlike Pokemon, the story depth and fantasy drama is a several hundred times more touching. The character back stories each showed how individual characters struggled with Power, being the last in their lineage, single parent upbringing, orphan lifestyle or the weight and expectation put upon them because of their name.

Now without sounding dramatic, I can relate to all of the above. I was the First Li ‘son’ of my generation. My Mum and Dad named me after a Chinese Billionaire. I always felt like I was made of something special. I always felt like I was destined for greater heights…

…Today I am content with myself, because of what I learned from watching what some people call Cartoons.

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This is not Bugs Bunny, this is not Tellytubbies. Anime has death, life, love, hate, sex, drugs and violence in it (note not all Anime has the former mentioned before anyone reading this goes on a cull…)

I like to lose myself for a few moments and minutes to live within a fantasy world, where my imagination is synchronised to the intricate desires and depictions of the author or artist.

Anime is a beautiful work of art. Anime primed me for some of lifes many mysteries. everyone will learn differently, but I learned a lot through colourful illustrations.

To this day, I still watch Anime and read Manga. The same as how millions of others read books and watch TV.

Let your inner child out and get lost in a fantasy world. You might not regret it as much as you think.


When you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life

It dawned on me last year that I enjoyed my job.

There wasn’t a lightbulb moment or epiphany. Not that I condone any of the next sentence to anyone… but. It was simply a warming feeling that I was checking my emails late in the evening or the weekend and it simply didn’t bother me.

The line between work and life had been blurred whilst both were moving in a positive direction. In life at home, I had long term goal along with several good projects coming to fruition. Work was a more tangible achievement, where I had hit my targets, exceeded them to be precise. Progressed in my leadership skills and generally gained a lot more recognition and respect from my professional peers.

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I was on cloud nine. Everything just seemed to lock into place, at some points I thought that I had won the life / work lottery. Work seemed to bring out the best in me and had a glowing positive impact in my life. I felt like everything I touched turned to gold.

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Life will always throw ups and downs at you. Reflecting on how you react and respond to these ups and downs will shape your character and build a solid foundation.

The highs were astronomical. However, there were times where there was a permanent rain cloud above my head, I’d ask myself, “This can surely not last forever.” Which as an early 20 year old, I could never come to terms with.

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More recently, there has been a lot of change in all aspects of my life.

As per my last post, I lost my beloved Mum. A strong hold in my life. She was my all and I think about the loss every single day.

Where life pulls at you, I reflect on work and how that can pull me through. The job I do is built on solid foundations and relationships. I am not afraid to say that I excel at my role and that I am a role model within my team. When someone smothers their ego and tells you that you are doing well, that little part of recognition is just a warm and comforting feeling that you are doing well.

This occasional pat on the back is not something that I actively seek, it’s a nod. It’s a sense check. It’s an approval that you are achieving and taking people with you along the way.

Whether it’s suppliers, colleagues or people I have just met, I always get a buzz in what I currently do.

There is an air of uncertainty within my role currently as my Company is restructuring their organogram on a large scale. However, I agree with this aggressive and drastic move, because I believe in my business leaders and that it will move the business in the right direction to become even greater than it is.

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The way I look at it is that it’s simply another stepping stone in my career.

Where I am currently, I realise that I am in a lucky place. A balance between hard work, results and an amazing journey that I am experiencing.

The last two years in this role has flown by. That is purely down to the fact that I feel like somedays I don’t work. Not because I refuse to complete a spreadsheet or run reports or send emails. It’s because everything that I do, doesn’t seem like a chore.

I realise that you can love your job. You can enjoy and make friends at work. You can feel like it’s all good.

Let this be a lesson to all you readers, chase that dream but enjoy the moment.

Yesterday, I said sleep well

Firstly, I’d like to say how I have missed blogging and brain dumping on the world of social media. It’s been a while and a lot has happened, this is not an easy blog to write, so I will just go ahead like I always do and see what comes out…

It’s never easy losing a loved one.

Especially not your own mother.

Whereas this time last year I was getting excited and ready to head into London to meet my family and have dinner, this year I find myself slightly alone and still accepting how I feel.

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It’s a odd sensation, last month I reflect on what happened, how I feel like I wanted to spend more time and it wasn’t fair, this would lead to anger and I find myself suddenly confused again.

It’s similar to puberty. The main difference is the emptiness that replaces the growth. The feeling of sorrow and grief, your body trying to understand the hole that cannot be filled. Trying to come to terms with an emotion that materialises into something that is not normally felt.

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I guess the image above sums it up. Inside me, I have a storm of emotions which are enhanced with everything that is happening right now.

On one side of my mind, I am trying to come to terms and resume a normal life. On the other side, everything is attacking my subconscious mind from multiple different angles.

What I can be certain of… are my family ones.

I wrote a speech which I read out at the funeral of my Mum yesterday. The dormant emotions since she passed away creaked out whilst each of my sisters read their part. The speech came from the heart, I did not need to practice. I simply addressed everyone that was there and shared what Mum did for me whilst I was growing up.

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I frequently reflect on how I wanted to spend more time with Mum. Now that she is gone. Some days I feel guilt. Some days I feel pain. Some days I don’t feel anything. She always looked after me whilst I was growing up and more recently, the roles were changed. I did not feel like the little boy that would need looking after, but more the Man that had a role to look after a loved one.

Saying goodbye to a loved one will never be easy for anyone.

…I just wanted to share with you all that if you ever needed me to share some emotion or share a moment or just simply to share after a loss.

…I can understand now. I will be there for you too.

Sleep well my love

Free weekend – Flying solo

For those lucky readers that are in a relationship / married / ‘it’s complicated’ we have all been in the same boat as I am experiencing right now.

The wife is away for the weekend – initial thoughts – WOOHOO PARTY!!!

Actual reality… completed all the housework due to boredom, pottered around, done my exercise for Friday, 1/2 hoovered the house, emptied the dishwasher…

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So here I am, a little past midday on Saturday. Emotions are stable, Sunday is well planned in terms of a bike ride with a friend yet I feel like I am missing something. A part of me. The other half?…

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I’d like to review about how much a relationship matters to me and how that impacts my everyday life, whether it be professional or personal.

Several of my colleagues have their other halves working in the same company and in some instances, the same team. It works for them and fair play to it, I very much like to have ‘me’ time at home or at work which helps me focus and relax.

My life consists of work, where my wife has no input in my 9-5 life. However when I come home, she shares the burden (loosely used) of the chores that we all have to cope with.

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First and foremost, I consider myself quite lucky to be able to spend time on my own. I entertain myself, I let my mind wander, I let my thoughts drift and I let myself sink away from Monday – Friday.

I’m not a introvert by any means, however, I have traits which allow me to enjoy both social and independent situations.

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This brings me nicely to analysing why I am at ends of what to do with myself, I am so used to company at home. Short of buying a puppy or having a baby, it’s quite nice to spend some time alone and reflect on what to do, the freedom of ‘doing’ anything and not being strapped to a schedule.

All the while, at the back of my mind, knowing that I have a few days to myself is relatively pleasant, the anticipation of my soul mate returning always leaves me with a warming feeling.

Have a great weekend all

The weak-end

This time last week I was walking on a Glacier.

The weekend before that I was packing and preparing for a week that I remember for the rest of my life.

My memory eludes me sometimes when I have so much going on my life. Sometimes a weekend strings together and I find myself reflecting on what I achieved not just on that weekend but on that week.

When I suddenly snap back to reality (no Eminem quote intended) I remember all the important things in my life, getting into the mind set of enjoying life and absorbing all the emotion that life throws at me.

Coming back from one week away usually means life beings to whirr up and move on again. For me, it was a case of…

Land in the uk

Unpack (by unpack I mean sprawl everything on the livingroom floor)

Head out and party!

By party I meant head to Twickenham!

The weekend has already melted away for me. Mainly because of the amount of Guiness that was consumed… I find myself staring down the barrel of Monday and ready to tackle my next adventure!

Learning, earning and yearning

Almost 4 months into my new role I reflect on the past quarter and wonder… What have I done?

As always in life, I am pushing the boundaries of my capabilities. Forseeing and pre-empting what may lay in wait for me.

Noticeably I have finally found synergy with my career, life and family.

It might not seem much but eating my first ice cream cone was a major breakthrough at work. With simple networking, many people suddenly had clocked on that I was not intolherant but allergic to Dairy.

Now that’s where it usually stops. However (no names mentioned mainly because I can’t remember his name) out of the good ness of his heart, located me the next day and gave me free fron ice cream cones.

You… My new found work friend, will forever have a place in my heart. Albeit a nameless place…

Work is always around me. Packaging… As forementioned I work in an industry that constantly puts me ON. Rather than OFF. Due to the sheer presence of Packaging. Unlike other work I’ve done previously, I have deep dived Packaging as a whole whist expanding and developing my commercial skills.

Luckily for me, I’m a bit of an geek and love Packaging to the detriment of my usual weekly food shops with my wife. She finds it quite (un)amusing dancing around each aisle looking at plastic punnets and talking about top film.

Inside, I feel that I have found my happy place in my career. I get paid to go to work, work with suppliers and engaging the relationships taking the stakeholder management piece to the next level. Safe to say. I love my job.

Processed process

Are you a process person or do you simply go with the flow?

I would imagine that the response of 99% of people you would ask is somewhere in between both.

We need process in order to function correctly in life, however when we escape from the process in order to relax (eg holiday) it’s a welcome relief to us all.
Having recently moved roles, I am back to a process driven mentality and ethos… Frankly put…. I absolutely love it. Those that know me would say that I am a relaxed guy and generally chilled out. However, that is because life has thrown many different scenarios at me and I like to be prepared. I like to to look into the future and be ready for what might be round the corner.

Don’t get me wrong. When I relax I cut away from the process of life and relax. However, my now work hard and play hard mentality is perfect for keeping those processes in place and progress with my career.
Have a great bank holiday all.