The Treadmill

Everywhere I go I come across people content to loaft through life,

Putting the minimal effort into everything they do,

Content to force their misery onto everyone they come in contact with,

Content to think about their life one day, one hour, one minute at a time,

They live for 15 minute breaks,

Half hour lunch breaks,

The last break comes,

They go home,

Using their free time to reflect on how much they hate their lives,

Or to seek escape through family and friends,

They hope something else comes along,

Yet they don’t work towards it,

Some do,

Knowing that their hunt will pay off,

Eventually,

It could be months or years,

Until then they have to bear their burden,

Some bear their burden with grace,

Adapting to stress and pressure,

Learning how to control or vent it effectively,

Others lack the fortitude and become walking vessels of rage and self-loathing,

Projecting their insecurities, fears and anxiety onto others,

We have too many of these people in the world,

I want them purged,

But we need them,

A twisted dependency that won’t end anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Running on the Spot

Hello everyone,

Wanted to share some brief thoughts with you tonight. Been out of town for the weekend, mostly because I was visiting my mom.

The weekend was great but my mom did share some advice with me, which ultimately made me realize I was getting complacent. Below is a text she sent me.

“I’ve been thinking about you and your next steps. I think you have worked extremely hard to give yourself a huge advantage to date! Congratulations your edge is really awesome and obvious. I’m very proud of you.

Here is my concern: It is very easy to squander an edge! I know that first hand. Don’t want this to happen to you.

Think smart son.

Don’t think about short term pleasure- what immediately appeases the senses. Think about the long term picture. Perhaps what you may need to endure for a short time to live in a state of bliss down the road. You have many years ahead of you. Many!

You have to turn things up now to avoid everyone who did the average catching up to you. How unfortunate that would be for you. Literally to run ahead and then jog on the spot and wait to get to the end zone with everyone else.

Your focus on personal sacrifice has diminished. The person who sacrificed to finish his degree in three years for a chance at a better future has shifted gears to seeking the things that give immediate gratification. Your focus is now on what you enjoy.

That’s the ultimate goal son but few can realistically achieve it at 24. Get back on the treadmill. Find back your fight. You ended the race prematurely. Get back in the game! Go for what you deserve with all you have in you. Don’t cheat yourself now. You have worked too hard. Keep up the fight- you are too close to finding gold to shut down the machinery! Don’t make that classic mistake son. Please.

Open up yourself to new horizons, new opportunities and think about ways to enjoy those- even if that’s over time. Move away from thinking of what you enjoy and hoping to make opportunities out o them. The former is more practical as as you grow the things you enjoy change and you may find you are exactly where you are meant to be. Secure a future for yourself! There is a pleasure in that.

I know you are not religious but you believe in some higher power. So do I. The fact that you are so qualified and not landing your ideal jobs may be a chance to rethink your direction. Whatever that may be… I don’t know what your path will entail and I won’t make suggestions unless asked. However, I recommend  you seek counsel. And I further recommend you only seek counsel from individuals who have accomplished sufficient to advise you or those whom you are truly confident want more for you than they want even for themselves. If you get anything else wrong in this life- don’t get the foregoing wrong.”

I initially took these words the wrong way, thinking I was being called lazy. However, my mom called me to let me know that my work ethic wasn’t the issue. When she says “seeking comfort over pleasure” she means that I was shutting myself in from good opportunities. I had a bad experience as a teaching assistant, and I have actively avoided teaching since. However, teaching could be a rewarding and career rejuvenating experience. As my mom said, one failure or bad experience shouldn’t stop me from pursuing something. I have failed to get published numerous times but I kept trying. I have tried to learn guitar before, I quit, but now I am continuing again. There are many other opportunities or suggestions my mom has given me that I was quick to shut down, not due to laziness, but because I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone. I shut out opportunities and I fear that I am becoming more average day by day. It seems that I rebelled against every opportunity given to me as a child, sports, instruments etc.

Now I am just yet another 24 year old with nothing to show for my academic achievements or my work ethic. I disappear into the crowd and I could end up being another person who had potential, but squandered it. This weekend I realized that things might not just work out soon enough. Don’t put faith in God, the universe or whatever you believe in. Have faith in yourself and apply yourself. I haven’t been lazy but I haven’t been taking advantage of opportunities either. I hope this motivates at least one other person to take a harder look at themselves and get one step closer to being the best they can be.

 

Anger

I reacted poorly to a client at work today and the situation got me thinking about why I reacted the way I did. I originally didn’t want to discuss this online because it is public and my employer could see it. However, I recanted that decision and hope I don’t regret it.

While helping a customer today, I asked if I could put them on hold while I checked something on my end. Before I put the caller on hold, I heard her whisper to a co-worker that she couldn’t understand me. As a child, I had a lot of problems projecting my voice. I was even seeing a speech therapist at one point. I have improved, but to this day I do often hear that I talk fast and that my words can come out jumbled. I think it is my long history of struggling to be understood that makes me very sensitive to criticism of my volume or diction when I speak. I hate being told to repeat myself, to speak slower or to speak up. I think this insecurity was what led me to immediately call the client out on not letting me know directly that she couldn’t hear me. I criticized her for whispering to a colleague instead of letting me know and once the call was over I felt terrible for doing so. I could tell that the client was genuinely taken aback and didn’t mean to be rude with her comment.

Thinking of the experience got me thinking of a poem I wrote for my wmoviegrapevine Instagram. I don’t mean to post this as self-promotion or as a lazy repost. I feel like the words truly summed up what happened today, and it makes me think of what I need to do to become a happier, less insecure person.

******

I could feel it coming again,

Crashing through my body and slowly taking over my brain,

It contained all the worst things in me,

Bitterness, envy, insecurity,

It built up slowly and now it would come crashing out,

My body was the dam,

It needed to break me to break free

 

 

The Funeral

Sorry for the delay with this blog post. I have added apartment hunting to my to-do list so I’ve been busier than normal. This is in addition to work, the gym, guitar and writing my second book.

Before you get worried: the below piece is fiction.

****

Her pictures were hung all over the church,

In her best dresses, with her best makeup,

 

I stood on the podium,

I was supposed to talk about how great my sister was,

How sad I was that she was gone,

How empty my life was without her,

Yet I couldn’t,

 

My sister was nothing more than a person I had the misfortune of sharing blood with,

She was rude, insecure, ungrateful and manipulative,

There is nothing to mourn with her passing,

She wasn’t murdered,

She didn’t commit suicide,

She just passed away in her sleep,

 

Why do we feel the need to not only downplay someone’s faults when they die,

But also try to paint them as a perfect human being,

Not a single speaker talked about her issues,

Saying that she had problems, but that she was still family,

They all tried to make her look like Mother Teresa,

She is far from it,

She was more than flawed,

She wasn’t even decent,

She was my sister,

She is dead,

And I’m celebrating.

 

Half Full

There are many institutions meant to prepare us for the shift from childhood to adulthood,

They herd children in, and in their minds, send adults back out,

Many of these institutions fail, and I think universities are the most glaring example,

I am one of millions of people who worked hard to graduate with good grades and a degree I hoped would ensure employment in my field,

It’s been half a year and I have yet to secure that goal despite actively pursuing it,

 

However, I don’t want to delve into more negativity,

For the past decade,

I feel as if negativity has drowned out rationality and optimism in my life,

My life has not been perfect, but no one’s life is, and I believe I have a lot to be thankful for,

It has been too easy for me to forget this,

My bad experiences overshadow all the privileges and opportunities I have had,

I constantly compare myself to others, never being happy with myself,

Sometimes I spread my misery to others,

Lashing out at people who help me and driving them away,

It is a vicious cycle where my attitude leads to rejection, which then leads to more negativity,
It is easy for me to remember friends I’ve lost,

It is easy to remember those who betrayed me,

The people who made me feel unwanted, used, stupid, ugly,

The people who only paid attention to me to tear me down,

 

It is so easy to forget the people all around me who are always trying to clear the negativity from my mind,

The family that can’t stand to see me doubting myself and want nothing more than to see me happy,

The friends who always make time, not excuses, when they want to see you,

The co-workers, bosses who always go out of their way to praise your contributions,

 

I do not normally feel optimistic, and my writing reflects that,

Writing has always been my catharsis, my way to release my negativity,

Yet I have come to realize that my writing is not enough to combat the negative thoughts that my mind harbours,

My writing is merely another engine of negativity,

I cherish every piece I have written,

I don’t think my mindset makes them any less true but I now understand that my pursuit of happiness must be a proactive one,

I cannot wait for it to come to me,

I must create it.