Friday, June 29, 2012

Communication is Key

As I sit here tonight, I know that there are not a lot of people that are ever going to take interest in my writings. They are usually very specific to my life, my experiences and my outlook on things. Now is saying that, this is just one way I am able to get things off of my chest. This is just me putting ideas down that are mine, they effect me and the ones in my life.  

Now with that being said, I have learned that over the years that the easiest way to let things get out of hand is to not deal with them. It is to do nothing and hope that it fixes itself. Now when it is just an issue that concerns me and only me, I have nothing to be concerned with. However, when it involves someone else that is where I struggled the most. 

I struggle only because in the moment I usually didn't have anything nice to say. I have been told on more than one occasion that my tongue has been more hurtful than anything else that I could have possibly done. It has been that lashing and hurtful crap that comes out of my mouth that has cost me in the past. Well I learned from that mistake. I tried, and still do try, not to lash and say inappropriate trash in the heat of the moment. 

So taking that lesson learned and applying it into my life, I went from one extreme to the other. Which, too, I found to be just as bad, if not worse than the lashing. Unfortunately, with this approach, I was the one that was getting hurt. I was the one that was letting things go unsaid until they were out of control. Then the "Contents Under Pressure" sticker shows up and then diarrhea of the mouth. 

I decided that it was easier to not talk at all then to have the ensuing fight, argument, altercation, indifference or whatever you may call it. I decided that, for all parties involved, my mouth shut was the best thing for everyone. I blew off conversations with the ones that were trying to help me through my hardest times, only because I didn't want to have to deal with it in that moment. I used terms like "I'm fine" and "it's all good" and "very well", just to avoid getting into a conversation that I didn't want to have in the moment. 

Now that I am getting a little more seasoned in my life, I am finding that if I just deal with the situation at hand, in that moment, I don't have to carry it with me until I am ready to deal with it. If I am able to get it off of my chest, in that moment, right then and there, it is over for me. This has become one of the greatest assets in my box of problem solving abilities. I have learned that I don't need to run away from the situation to not say hurtful garbage. I don't have to concede to get what I want. All I have to do is verbalize it. 

Once the thought passes the lips it is there. It is real. So now there is no misunderstanding about what might be going on in my head!!! ASK! I will try to give you a decisive answer this way there is no room for interpretation. Now, there are exceptions to just about everything... There are people in my life that I just have not been able to do this with. There are people that I still hold my tongue for, and I am still the one getting hurt. However, in the long and short of things, I believe that it is still for the greater good. There is a time and place for things and I just have not found that spot just yet! 

What does all of this have to do with anything?!? Without communication I would not be where I am today. If you can't communicate or convey what the problems are, you cannot get through them. Lashing will get you nowhere. Silence will get you nowhere. But tactfully being able to say what needs to be said in the moment will go further than you could ever imagine. If you are having problems in your life, talk through them, and be honest. Deal with all parties involved until it is worked through and you are happy with the end result. Be concise, leave no room for interpretation. If not you could end up with a lot more baggage than necessary. 

Without communication we fail each other. Without communication we fail ourselves. 


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Letting Go

Something was said to me the other day and I don't remember the exact words but It went something like "stop using your feet to kick your own ass, and start putting them in front of you to move forward." I am sure that I screwed it up, but you get the general meaning of it. So in the moment, it was just negated to get me out of the situation. However, as I replayed the conversation, as I do, I had to ask myself what am I really holding on to?!?

As I started digging into that a little, I find that I am only holding on to my own guilt. I am not begrudging of anyone anymore. I don't have a hatred toward anyone that has hurt me or wronged me. I really don't have any animosity towards anyone or anything. I have found my peacefulness with everyone and everything in my life, EXCEPT ME! 

As I have said before, I am harder on myself than anyone else ever could be. My situation with Johnathan, I don't have any hard feelings to anyone but myself. Me not telling the love of my life that I loved her when I had the opportunity, not her fault, mine. My guilt, I own that. Me holding on to relationships long past the time of a healthy divide, I am guilty of the time lost that could have been spent more constructively. All of the things that have made up my life that I feel that I have not done right and carry with me everyday, that is the guilt I live with. 

So, as I am going through this time letting go, I am finding out what I already know. I hold these things in order to preserve the reminder not to do these things again. The wedding band in my key chain, the birth certificate in my bible, the trinkets from relationships along the way and ALL of the other crap that I keep to these wounds open so that I don't repeat the cycle. 

However, I now see that I am the cycle that is causing the most pain. It is reliving those moments that caused me the most pain that I visit most. Seeing that now, I realize that is not healthy! The past is the past... It is unchangeable. I don't have to hold on to the guilt and pain to take the lesson away from the situation. I don't have to hold that gold circle to let go of my divorce. I don't have to continue to harbor feelings for the love of my life to feel the pain of what may or may not ever be, just to remind to not let it happen again. I don't have to continue to stab myself over the situation with my son to realize that I received my life lesson for that. 

I know that I will always be my own worst critic, but I don't have to beat myself to death with every life experience just to take the lesson from it. So as I process the mistakes of the past and let them go it allows me to move forward into whatever the future may or may not hold for me. It also gives me the opportunity to see that I have been the one causing the most pain and DON'T have to do that to me. Shows me that I can take my lesson and move on. 

So as I move on today. Move with me... Let go of the guilt that holds you still. DON'T be still... MOVE forward... If you can't move forward, MOVE laterally. JUST MOVE. Don't be still in your life. Still causes stale. Don't let life go stale.

A step forward

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Personal Growth

I don't have much to put down today. 

So let me leave you with this. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. This moment that you and I are in right now may be the last one that we have. Make it the best moment that you can. Take what you can from the time that you have and make you a better you. A more content you, a less stressed you and most importantly a happier you. 

Make today a day of personal growth. Live for today. Let go of some of the things that you carry everyday. This is not an easy one for me. So today, let's try that one together. Just whatever you do today, make today great. At the end of the day be able to look back at today and know that you did all you could to live to the fullest in the moments that we were granted. 

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 24

This is a day that weighs very heavy on me. This is a day that I don't ever seem to have much patience. Today is a day of regrets for me. On June 24th of every year it is a day of remorse.

Remorse for the decisions that I have made in my life. Regret for not fighting harder for the things that I want most in life. For letting go far before it was time. For letting someone else guide the path of my life. For letting those that meant the least in my life cause the most painful struggle of my life. 

There are a lot of things that I am not proud of in my life. However, today is one of those days that has become a blemish on my heart that I will never be able to clear up. Though at one point in my life it was one of the proudest days, today I feel the sorrow. 

Today is the day that my first son was born. Twelve years ago, today, was one of the few moments in my life that I was truly a proud man. However, at that time, man, would have been a far stretch of the word. I was just out of the service, lost, yet wild and free. Very little care for the events that were to transpire. No problem solving abilities at all. Just meandering though life with no purpose or meaning. 

The mother was pregnant in NJ and I was working in NC. So, I took 2 weeks, went back to NJ to spend some time with the mother and child. I saw my son born on this day, then I spent the next 17 days developing a bond with him. Then it was time for me to get back to work so I had to go. 

She and I made plans to get them moved here and get her set up with work and a place of her own. Everything that one could need to live a comfortable life. Home, vehicle, furnishings... I mean the whole deal. The only thing that she had to do was show up and everything could have been wonderful, wonderful for all parties involved. 

It seems that in the transition period my family had grown fond of my son being there. They proceeded to plant a little seed into the mother's head about her son being taken from her if she were to come here. So, she did what I would expect of any mother to do and didn't show. In a time when I should have been heart-broken. I was enraged. This kept me from seeing what I really needed to see in the moment. 

I needed to see that my focus should have been on keeping her on track. However, my focus moved towards the anger and pain that this situation caused in my life. In order not to feel the anger I gave up on it all. Threw my hands up and walked away from the whole situation. A couple of court hearings later I am just the money man. Not the daddy. 

This is why today is remorseful for me. Not for what my family did. Not for what the mother did. For what I didn't do. I didn't put up the fight necessary to get what I wanted or more than that, NEEDED. I didn't put forth the effort to do what was right as a man. The only thing that I did right was not make a bigger mess out of it through my rage. 

So today my son is twelve and I do not know him. Today he is with another family that is not his blood. His mother is passed two years now and his father doesn't know him. This is my deepest regret! This is my hardest lesson learned in my life!

As I move forward in my life. I don't wish any man the pain that I feel. I don't want anyone to have to feel what I feel daily. I don't think that anyone should deserve to feel the emptiness that I live through on a regular basis. I know that some will say that they know what I am going through. To you I say I am sorry, but I don't think so. No one is ever harder on me than I am myself. So while some of you may think that I want the same for you... YOU ARE TRULY MISTAKEN! I wouldn't wish this on any one... EVER!

Rest in eternal peace Jaime.

To my dearest son. Though your father does not know you. I do not ever forget about you. I love you to this day with all of me. I LOVE YOU Johnathan. 

Written with a blemished heart

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Do the Math

There is no major course of action in my life that I don't do twice. The first time is always done in my head. I play out all of the scenarios in my head that I can muster long before I move forward. This helps me to put a value on the action and from there its worth in my life. Lets me see if the reward is worth the effort.

Doing this helps me to pick the things that I am willing to struggle with a little more accordingly. It allows me to not engage in that losing battle per say. In the long run, it keeps me from wasting valuable time on something that may not add any value to my life. It also provides a little insight into the pain that might come along with the choices that I make. 

To some this may seem cold, crass and calculating. To you I say very good. It is. Most times it allows me to make my decisions without being riddled with raw emotion. Without being blinded by the anger surging through my body in the moment. It keeps me from making hasty, impulsive decisions. 

Keeping that in mind, this was not always the case for me. There was a time in my life that I would leave a path of destruction a mile wide. At that point in my life I would burn everything down and do my "happy dance" in the ashes. I used to describe what I felt inside as a tornado looking for a trailer park. However, taking the time to think things through has calmed the storm raging inside quite a bit.  

Now, that was the lighter side of this. See, though I like the calmer side of things these days, people tend to take my kindness for a weakness. I know, if properly engaged, that storm is still lurking inside waiting on the right conditions to make a mess out of everything that is in its path and I'll probably like it. Therefore I try to avoid situations that put me in such a tight spot.

I know, however, that I am not always going to be able to avoid everything all the time. There is always that unknown, the proverbial X factor. I like to count on the fact that since I make the hard decisions over time, when it comes time to make that one, life altering, quick decision I would have already played out one of those scenarios in my head. Giving me the ability to better deal with any of the fallout that may ensue.

So, take your time, make educated decisions. Decide whether whatever lays on your plate this morning is a battle worth fighting. Play out all of the scenarios to see if the outcome is in your favor. Maybe, just maybe, an extended thought process could save some undue adversity on the back end. 

Ever Calculating

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wasted Days

There are so many things that fill our days. The daily grind is a little more evident in today's world than it has been for me up to this point in my life. Though I try not to leave things undone there are things that I just don't seem to fit into my daily schedule.

With all of the things that I am able to get accomplished in a day, some of the greatest things that I do have nothing to do with exerting any energy. Things like spend time with TY. Build a lego set or just lounge on the couch spending the necessary time to let him know that I will always be there for him. Play a video game or teaching him to shoot. These are all things that don't lead me to getting any of my stuff in order. However, I wouldn't trade this time for anything. 

So what the laundry is now a load behind... So what the dishes are not done yet... I don't care. Tomorrow is not promised to me. Nor is it to anyone else. I do not see the point in living for accomplishments that aren't going to mean anything in the grand scheme of things. I do not want to be the most decorated man in the cemetery.

Though my job is important to me, if it came down to it I will always choose my family over it. I know that I need my job as a means of providing and maintaining a lifestyle, however, that is not where MY priorities lay. My priorities start in my home. They start with my family. The ones that are closest to me. I would rather live in a run down double-wide surrounded by people that love me, than in a mansion with strangers. I am ok with that. 

So, while we work to buy the things that show everyone else our financial status, if that is all that we have to show of our lives, is it worth it? Is the pile of trinkets from here, there and yonder worth the time that was lost? Was picking up that extra shift at the mill really worth it? For some the answers will be yes... For me, absolutely not. 

If I don't get my chores done today, it is because I want my son to know that there are greater things in life than what's in daddy's wallet. When I turn down the extra shift this evening, it is not because I don't need the money. It is simply because I want to spend my time where it will be better suited for my heart. 

Some of my greatest regrets are not the things that I have done in my life. They are the things that I didn't do when I had the chance. When the opportunity presented itself, when it meant the most to those who needed it. When it would have made that person feel as though they were the most important thing in my life. I know now that I can't get that time back. Some of these people and situations are irreparable. And this is something that weighs very heavy on me.

So don't make the same mistakes that I did. Spend the time... over use I love you. Hold your kid. Play ball when your asked. Don't let your most "productive" days accidentally be your most wasted days!

 Heavy Hearted

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stress Relief

To say the least, my life over the last 6 months or so, though simple has been a little stressed and strained. There have been many things that have weighed on my mind, heart, body and soul. My physical health, my emotional strength and mental well being have all been put to the test. Some of which I have brought on myself and some decided it would impose on me whether I wanted it to or not.

Even though it has been trying times, I am one of the lucky ones. I have outlets! I have a wonderful support team around me. I choose my friends very carefully so I have very few fair-weather friends. Either near are far, I know that if I need them they will be there for me. My family, though not perfect, are a great source of help. Whether it be advice, input or just an open ear they are usually there for me. Some more than others, but that is by design. I know that I always have these things to turn to if needed.

Now, keeping that in mind, that is not always the route that is best suited for me given the situation. I have my own personal outlets as well. It is not odd for me to put some music in my ears, get on my bike and just go. Don't have to have a destination... just go. Sometimes I just need to get things out of my head and my writings allow me to do that without having to listening to input that I didn't ask for. (For those that read... You're welcome for the entertainment!) These are my more peaceful outlets.

However, I have others as well. Anyone who knows me, knows about my passion for guns and weaponry in general. I like to talk about guns (to those deserving), work on them, shoot them and even cleaning them is enjoyable to me. To break them down and clean, repair and alter is peaceful to me. Something that I can do alone with just my thoughts and the cold steel.

So, today, as I am going through whatever it is that is weighing on me, if you drive through the neighborhood and you hear gunshots ring out there is no need to be frightened. It is just me blowing off some steam so that I don't erupt. 

As I don my ear plugs and glasses I know that relief is on the way. As the hard stock enters my shoulder, I prepare for the gentle massage that the recoil will bring. Looking through the sights I see the stress, knowing that in just a split second the answer is on its way. The squeeze of the trigger sends a round down range and a surge of energy through my body, all the while I feel the weight being lifted from me. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, as the mag empties and the weapon gets lighter... SO DO I!

So that was a little insight into today's events. I was able to run through about 500 rounds today, giving me a little relief of what is wearing on me today. I am grateful that I live in a place that allows me to step out my back door and do this. That is my version of peacefulness.

So I pray you find your peaceful spot, whether it is riding a bike, writing, talking with family or behind the sights. Whatever it is for you. Find it. Utilize it. Embrace it. Because I don't know about you, but I would much rather have physical pain than internal turmoil any day. Physical pain usually heals, living with heartache could last a lifetime.

Destressed for now...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fair-weather Friend

In talking with a friend the other day I was told that they didn't want to burden me with their problems. It struck me kinda funny that they would say this to me. I mean, isn't that what friends are for?!?! Aren't friends supposed to be there for you through it all?!?! I guess it would be nice to just be there when everything is wonderful wonderful. I just don't know that I am built that way. 

I know that there are many times that I would rather talk with someone rather than keep everything bottled up until there should be a "Contents Under Pressure" label on my head! So then does that make me a burden on my friends? I would hope not. 

I would like to think that if I am willing to share all of my good times with you, that you, as my friend, would be willing to go through some of the bad times with me. I would like to think that just because things got a little rough that you would not abandon ship and leave me in my time of need. I am not saying that my friends should be dumping stations for me to pour my whole life in their lap every time that we speak. However, weathering the storm WITH me when I am having a bad day shouldn't be too much to ask. 

I don't ever mind being the shoulder to lean on. I don't ever care if your bad day interjects into my good days. If you need an outlet to vent to, I can be that for my friends. That is really OK with me. I believe that there is nothing that a true friendship cannot work through.

I have developed quite an assortment of problem solving skills in my time. Some of these have been acquired through my own personal experiences. Others I have picked up along the way watching others journeying through their trials and tribulations. No matter how I added these tools to my box, I am glad that I have them. It has given me the ability to be a better friend to those who need, want and deserve my friendship. 

You will find that if you are willing to stick it out through the roughest times of your friends' lives that your friends are much more willing to spend their good days with you as well. So, I beg of you.... The next time that you are avoiding a friend that is fighting through their turmoil, maybe you should look into the value of your friendship. Ask yourself if you are a true friend or just a fair-weather friend???  

Your Friend

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pursuit of Happiness

The pursuit of happiness has a little more meaning to me these days. I think that the reason behind it is that for the first time in my life, it may very well be in my reach. Not to say that the opportunity hasn't presented itself to me in the past, just that now I can see it. Now I can almost reach it. Now I WANT to achieve the happiness that I thought for so long that I was not deserving of.

In saying all of that, I am only entitled to the pursuit of. I am not guaranteed to reach my goal. However, I am well aware that there are always going to be those things that are out of my control. These are the variables that keep us frozen in time where we do nothing and hope that something good comes of it. Afraid to move forward at the expense of failure or pain. 

Today, I move forward. I cannot stay stationary and wait for something to come from my lack of effort. As the true happiness that I can see in others has eluded me, I am coming to realize that I wasn't really doing my part of pursuing. Moving forward into the unknown is part of the pursuit. Conquering the fear that keeps us frozen is part of the pursuit. Enduring the let downs along the way is part of the pursuit! 

Are all of these things worth it?!?!? Today, I don't know. However, as I can see the happiest part of my life lying ahead of me, I would hope so. I hope that all of the pain and heartache and uncertainty and indifference that has been my life was just the endurance and learning stage of my pursuit. I would hope that my past is not going to be what defines my pursuit. I hope that it is my future that I am working towards is going to be what defines my pursuit. Having said that, I hope that my happiness is what defines my LIFE!

Moving forward

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Well here I am entering another chapter in my life. I don't know what this one is going to bring for me. I am hoping that today's new beginning is going to be an adventure for the ages.

I am no different than the majority of people. I fear the unknown. For me, my comfort zone is my sanctuary. As I enter my new beginning, my comfort zone is going to be put to the test. I am going to reach my boundaries and still have to push through them. Sometimes willingly... other times these boundaries are going to stressed by things well beyond the realm of my control. I don't know that I am ready for that, but I am willing to find out. 

Though I fear what lies ahead, I am willing to push forward. Not because I am courageous, but because I believe that the reward is way more rewarding than the risk. The risk for me is going to be a stepping stone... a time of growing... a means to an end... a well deserved end. The reward is a life that I never thought I was deserving of. One that I NEVER thought was possible for me. 

Strap in... It's going to be a hell of a ride.