Los Angeles Chronicles: Ever Finding Myself

I think I’ve been at war with myself since I was 14. I’ve finally learned and come to the realization that I don’t have to be. What a concept right?

Leaving my hometown this last time and taking the ultimate risk of pursuing a dream I wanted since I was 10, was a big deal for me. I’ve spent the summer attempting to hold on to it so tight for fear of losing it, I almost forgot why I wanted it in the first place. It was a dream, a fantasy, something as an adult I never thought I’d have and now I do – because I actually took the chance. Not only did I make it here, I get to stay. Not only do I get to stay but I get to work in the industry I was hoping to become a part of as an eager 10 year old. While it may not be my dream job, I’m a lot farther ahead than I ever thought I would actually be. And yet still so far behind – but semantics.

Over the last year and a half or so I’ve become an entirely different person. One I also never thought I’d be (in a lot of both good and bad ways). I’ve let a lot of the hurt and pain from the past go – to the point where it no longer has anything to do with defining me. I’ve learned to be okay in the present, mentally and emotionally; while at the same time accepting that I am a certain way when it comes to things and ya know what  – that’s okay. Hell it’s more than okay.

I let myself be myself. I let myself figure out who – me – is. I get to define and figure out all the details based on anything I want because I can. It may not be as simple as just letting go or just doing it, surely for me it’s been a process and one that still inherently kicks my ass every so often, but I think that’s part of being a human. And if none of that makes sense to you, then honestly – good for you. But my life and my head and my world have been a mess for far longer than I ever realized they could be and in a lot of ways I did it to myself.

We as people are the worst to ourselves. Our own inner monologue ruins half of the things we could do with life because we don’t believe we’re capable. Or on the other side we’re so flattened with fears of letting go of what we have, we don’t seek that which we say we want. Or on even another side we’re so hellbent that we’re the best, we bring out that self deprecating hero flaw – ego. Either way, we’re cheating ourselves. Personally I’ve elected to try to stop.

I have goals and dreams and other things I’d like to take on in my life in the present and the future, but when you recognize that everything is temporary and everything is a flux of in progress living… you realize that things like anxiety and depression aren’t necessarily a way to live and that you won’t have to do it forever. You just have to do something else. And keep trying something else until something works.

I’ve dealt with depression, anxiety, PTSD and chemical imbalances. Yet I’ve had moments of life where I’ve felt so alive and so happy. I know those things exist for me. Whether I get down because I can’t be insanely incandescently happy all the time or I just have a bad day or I feel like the world is crashing around me, I know I have a choice to do something new or different tomorrow or even later today. Sometimes I make the attempt to change but no matter what I do I’m stuck on repeat. Maybe I need more practice or maybe I’m too much of a theatre kid and I’m just being dramatic. The things is my reality is my own as is yours.

I’m not asking those that are in pain to just think happy thoughts. It’s not that simple and believe me I get it. But you get but one life and you only get to live it one direction when it comes to time. Time moves forward whether you’re ready or not. It can hold you back or propel you forward. Being kind to yourself and allowing yourself at even a chance at a dream is worth it. Taking a risk in hopes of flying is worth it. If you hate the decision you made then after two weeks go back home. But I assure you “back” does not exist.

All you can do is keep going. If you’re stuck.. keep pushing back. If you’re flailing keep flapping maybe you’ll fly. Honestly, this is more advice to myself when I’ve had enough but this is not the end. You might as well take the risk and spend your life and your time in the way you absolutely want. And just because you want it today, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. Collect the experiences and hope that most of them are good ones. You’re never going to fully define who you are because you are constantly growing. Instead of trying to box yourself in, learn to build a house. Add more boxes to the pile and see where life takes you.

 

 

 

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Stop wishing and make change

In a world where everyone is waiting for 5pm on Friday… be the one who revels in 9am Monday morning. Learn to live your life and value the worth you have. Learn to think outside the box. Learn to pursue your passions. Please pursue your joys and arts and passion and loves. You can have more than one. You can learn from so many things. You can learn to be yourself.

The world is full of heart wrenching, hurtful bullshit. It can always get worse. It will get worse if you believe it won’t or if you believe it will. When you dwell on the “worse” it comes to you. When you stay open to what could be, despite doubt you will find what it is you’re looking for.

Life and society today thrives on conformity and people going through the motions. It thrives on depression, suppression, oppression, anxiety and fear. Break the mould.

Do and seek what it is that you love. Be the forger of your own life. Be the one who gives up the norm for the things that are worth so much more. Live outside the box and learn that things will and can get better if you actually let and allow yourself to be your true self. Not the self that it has become and been told that it is. Not the self that everyone else sees, but the one that you desire to be. The one you seek. The person you want to be.

It may not be the easiest road because it is unknown and it seems to be the road less taken. But let me ask you, if we lived in a world where we all pursued our greatest loves and greatest passions, what do you think the world might look like? What do you think it would hold for you? What about the rest of us? If the world was driven by love rather than anger or hatred or fear, where would we be?

Better yet, where would you be? Wouldn’t you like to find out?

I’m a never ending mystery to myself

I think I just figured out my problem. I’m so used to living in and holding onto the past that I was lost in and for the first time it no longer holds any clout. There’s no purpose, point or reason to keep thinking about or revisiting that which is behind me. I’ve learned all I can from it and no longer live there. The only way for me to go is forward. I know why I do what I do in a lot of ways. I hold plenty of self awareness when it comes to why I love, what I do, how I react and why I get passionate in good and bad ways about anything.

I am a dreamer. I am a lover. I am a peaceful person. However, fuck with me once and I become the opposite, I’m a dictating tyrant that will force you into your place. I know who I am in situations, but I’ve always played roles. No longer playing in the circles I once did that made up my world, I’ve had to become someone else. I’ve let my freak flag fly. I’ve let me be intense and crazy and unyieldingly bright and intellectual and I’ve been silly and playful and ridiculous. I keep growing and changing and learning and adapting. I solve problems those around me have been trying to figure out for months. I give ideas to businesses left and right. I like puzzles and problems to solve. I like games, but I hate riddles.

I am defined, but I exist in the gray area that I’ve become so accustomed to because that’s where I like to be. I like to be the one no one can peg. I like to be the one commanding the room and at the same time I don’t need to be. Always extremes on the ends of my own plane of crazy. I was recently told don’t own/name the bad things because you’re the only one that knows they’re there. That made a lot of sense and very little at the same time. I’m not a particularly fake person even when it comes to my own misfortunes. I know I am a lot of things as all people are… but I don’t have to admit them all.

I don’t even have to admit them to myself. Sometimes you’re better off not knowing every little piece of the puzzle but you still know what the picture is. Sometimes you’re better off not over thinking and over analysing and making things more difficult. Sometimes you just have to let them be. Admit that shit happens, you are and can be who you choose. You can remain the dreamer you were at 5 years old but you can’t through out the 25 years of knowledge of yourself and your memories because you want to be that dreamer. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel… you just have to keep on rolling.

For anyone out there having a bit of an identity crisis, I feel for you. I myself have been transitioning for a lot longer than I’ve realized. But here’s my moment…. the past is gone and it can’t touch me anymore. And it shouldn’t. The present and the future are mine to hold and mine to seek. Sometimes it’s better not to have yourself figured out because it leaves more room for improvement. Sometimes you have to know what you’re seeking because you owe it to yourself to chase it. Sometimes what you seek shouldn’t be running away. And sometimes you may never know. And that’s okay.

Los Angeles Chronicles: Struggle is my middle name

I’ve never been a typical anything in life. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum and I’ve always seemed to be outside the proverbial box. I love with all I have and I have been broken hearted more than once. I fight because that’s how I know how to react. I keep going when I have no idea what I’m doing because I don’t know how to stand still. I’ve been a dreamer most of my life, I’ve been a cynic and a realist, and I’ve been an idealist. We all grow and change, but we get to decide what we want, who we want to be and where we want to go.

I’m from some hick ass little town in the middle of New York State. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA. I went from barely playing the game of life to playing in the major leagues. I wasn’t ready to play, but they put me in anyway. As soon as I was getting the hang of it, I got pulled out and benched and have been reeling ever since.

I’ve grown a lot in the last few months. I’ve dealt with losses I never thought I’d have to deal with and feelings and emotional spectrums I didn’t know existed. I’ve fought depression most of my life and I’ve learned how to cope and how to hide. Tie in anxiety issues every so often and there’s the middle half of my 20s. We’re all fighting our internal struggle, but what do we do when we’re not longer struggling inside, but both inside and out? What do we do when we no longer live in the past, or let the past define us but the future is so uncertain that we’re paralyzed on the spot?

Los Angeles is another city of dreamers. Everyone is trying to make it as someone here. Whether you’re from here or not, you’re still playing the proverbial game. I love LA. I am happy to live here and I’m happy to be able to play, but lately my ass has been kicked so hard I’m questioning everything I know. Down to the major question, why am I still here? What am I doing here? And at the same time I have no where else I really and truly want to go.

I’ve been reading and searching for answers within and without. I’ve been trying to move forward when the only reason I’ve survived is because my parents decided to really and truly help me for the first time. That in itself was something I never thought I’d have and that in itself was worth the hurt and struggle it took me to get here. Unfortunately, the efforts of others is not entirely enough.

We all get one life. We all have our personal struggles. We all need each other at some point to be there to help us when we’re down. I feel like my posts don’t even have a point anymore, but they allow me to let out the crap in my mind and potentially share it for the two people reading this (cheers to you guys).

We all want a voice in our own lives. We all struggle and wonder why. We all endure hurt and pain, love and happiness, boredom and indifference, the list goes on. As I sit here in my most loneliest state, I wonder what the fuck I’m doing constantly. I think I ask myself that daily in various forms. And honestly I have no idea what I’m doing anymore. I feel like I’m struggling just to struggle and I don’t see the point in that. I’m reminded of a Bob Newhart skit that would tell me just to “stop it,” and honestly wish I could.

We are all meant to thrive in this world. We are all meant to build and grow and change and love. We are meant to learn the differences between love and indifference. Pain and pleasure. Happiness or contentment from boredom. I truly believe we’re all supposed to enjoy this journey that is life. I truly believe life is simply hard because half the time we have to admit to ourselves what it is we actually want. And the struggle comes from having to relearn how to exist in a way you’ve never done so before, until now. Maybe I dream of a life without depression. Maybe I dream of a life filled with love. Maybe I have no idea what it is that will make me happy anymore or make me happy consistently because I’ve been lost in the dark longer than I was ever in the light.

I have no answers for anyone anymore. I seek my truth and my hope and my love. I have no idea what it means, I have no idea what I want anymore and I have no freaking clue how to get it. If you don’t know where you’re going it doesn’t matter which path you take. But unlike Alice, this isn’t a dream I can wake up from, this is a dream I have to create. So what comes next? I still have no freaking clue, but I have to keep going. I have to.

Time comes and goes so quickly here

I’ve been out of work for a few months now. To say that I have unlimited freedom and majorly limited funds is an understatement. It’s a concept I’ve never experienced in life this way until now. As this summer has progressed I’ve learned a lot of things, mostly about myself but about people too. I’ve changed a lot in the last few months alone. I’ve run in circles, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve hid from the world, I’ve screamed for attention – yes almost literally. But I keep coming to the same point – everything is temporary and is only so for the time being. Time.

Life is made up of time and time only goes one way. Memories, feelings, reactions, who we are, who we might want to be, are all things that seem to come from the past (if you ask me). So to know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve been, but you don’t have to be defined by where you’ve been. Time is a fickle friend, once spent cannot be earned back. Once held cannot stand still. That being said, I can assume that the majority of people in the world all want similar things; well similar concepts. Let’s call those things: love, happiness, and success. That is what they hope to achieve with their time. If you’re a dreamer you may want whimsy. If you’re an idealist maybe you’re more in search for peace or equality. But I’d say despite differing personalities people need people to achieve love, happiness, and success (right?).

So why do we live in a world where we’re all fighting against each other, when we are in fact all working towards a similar goal? Well perception of these concepts comes into play, but somehow I doubt one can define happiness as armageddon or the end of the world. Then again I’m not going to assume that at all because I don’t need anyone to prove me wrong in this case. But you get the point.

Why spend your entire life competing with someone who may intimidate you, or may be better than you, or may be different than you, or may be an equal to you, when you most likely have something to learn from that person and that person probably has something to learn from you. That is kind of how society works in a nutshell is it not? We’re given a moral compass and a set of rules so to speak and we construct society within those realms. We grow and learn and adapt as society changes and grows and succeeds or fails.

At risk of sounding like a crazy hippy where’s the love man? I’ve been in love a few times. I have moments I still miss those I had such love for, not because I miss them as a person necessarily but I miss the role they held in my world. Who they were to me at that point in time. Every person you ever meet shapes you. People are inherently negative and we have to work daily to overcome that. We let others dictate our feelings whether they’re a complete stranger or not. Yet we don’t pay enough attention to the feel good, loving, happy go lucky mentality long enough for it to work for us as a whole; as a society. If we did I’d spend a lot less time writing about anxiety and depression. I’d also spend a lot less time feeling that way, but I digress.

We so easily lose track of time in our own heads, in our own world of feelings and thus do the opposite of what we need. Almost to the point of having to force ourselves back into the world of the living.

The reason I started this post was because earlier today I was missing the life I had 5 years ago. I had fun. I lived. I did what I wanted. I loved. I had someone in my life that I loved with all I had. I had friends and those around me that I could have fun with and enjoy their company. I wasn’t happy back there, due to a handful of things that have since changed, but I was happy in ways I never understood until now. Now time has been kind to me in the ways I lacked, but cruel in the ways that I once had.

I’ve competed with hundreds of thousands of people in my life without even knowing it. I’ve been competing with people for jobs through interviews this entire summer. I’ve been gaining and losing love in more ways than I knew existed. I’m actually learning how to really and truly love myself. But everything in a few short months has changed. My world 5 years ago only exists in my memory, as does my world 5 months ago, and my world 5 minutes ago.

Time changes everything. Sometimes it’s for the better. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you need others in your life to help you, have fun, hold your hand, hug you, talk to you, interact with you, smack you awake, change your perspective or teach you something. Sometimes you have to go back and visit those memories to realize the lessons you actually have to teach yourself. Sometimes you have to leave those things behind you and keep moving forward with time holding your hand and leading the way.

Time moves fast. We lose track of it constantly. Time can only be spent. It cannot be earned. So why waste another minute doing something that doesn’t set your soul on fire? Why waste your time doing something you hate? Being with someone you don’t love? Not being with someone you do love? If you’re stuck because it is a means to an end, great, keep on keepin’ on. If it is something you believe you have to do, to get to the next step, then hey we all need to eat and pay rent. But if it is something that doesn’t bring you joy, doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t involve love or the pursuit of success, then why do it? Learn to be kind to yourself. Learn to be kind to those around you. Spend your time wisely, it’s all that you’ve got to lose.

More Questions than Answers

Aside

What if the reason you want to stay is the same reason you have for leaving?

The life you never wanted is the comfort in knowing yourself enough

The place you never wanted to be is the only solace you have

What happens when you no longer know who you are but maybe you never really did?

What happens when you find who you are and it’s no one you ever really expected

You feel stifled but content

Enraged but calm

The dichotomies of good and evil within your own mental existence rage within your head

You know you’re more creative when you’re mentally fucked up

But you know you don’t want to live in that darkness

You see the hope and the pain in the world and want to save everyone you can -yourself included

The cynical realist who can no longer handle the cynicism alone

You feel like you’re screaming in a crowded room and no one’s looking up

Yet you feel like everyone is passing judgement and examining your entire being

How do you deal?

What do you do?

Do you ask for help and put your trust in others that can only do so much?

Do you try to do it yourself as much as you can?

Do you again change the status quo in hopes that a different physical and mental state will let you see things clearly?

Where do you go from here?

Sick of complaining about the world yet in no position to change it

No adult takes you seriously because you’re young

No kid takes you seriously because you’re not one of them

Where do the lines no longer blur?

When does the love no longer hurt or harm you?

How do you rest in peace within your own mind?

Do you channel the energy into something else?

Try to let it go?

Embrace it and see where you end up?

Or run screaming in another direction?

Who’s to know, who’s to say

There are no specifically right answers in terms of yourself – you decide what’s worth it

You decide who you want to be and who you are

But when does the mask of who you’re showing the world come off?

The person you show and the person you are, aren’t the same

Or maybe they are.

Are the masks we wear pieces of the puzzle or do they complete the puzzle?

How do you know?

How do you decide?

Where do you go from here?

Know that you have but one life to live and everyone gets hurt along the way.

Know that not one of us gets out unscathed

That despite the horrors of our own internalizations of reality we can change the status quo

We can make a difference

We can know and learn from ourselves.

We don’t have to do it alone but it will probably feel that way.

In a world of 7 billion people – who do you want to be?

Explore the possibilities

The New Golden Rule

In a world of chaos and crazy I think it’s time we readjusted the golden rule. You know the one that you had drilled into your head since Kindergarten?

Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you/treat others as you’d like to be treated.

I think it’s time we changed it to treat yourself as you would like to be treated.

I’ve known a lot of people in this world so far. I’ve lived in 4 states, traveled through 8 countries, 3 continents and I’m a child of the internet age. I’m the kind of person that others tell their life stories to just because I happen to be sitting there. Sometimes it’s really cool and other times you want to tell the person okay it’s time to leave the bathroom now. And seemingly enough there’s the answer to why women go to the bathroom in pairs. Escape plan among other things haha. Anyway, the point is I can name more people that have suffered from depression and anxiety than I can name that haven’t.

We have but one life on this planet and we need to treat it as such. By all means have as much fun as you see fit. Seek adventure, money, success, fame, love take your pick. But treat yourself with kindness not just those around you.

You know that inner monologue that we’ve groomed since infancy, the one that says you can’t do this why would you even try? The one that says you’re failed or fucked up. The one that says I should have done better than that or gets cocky when they knew they were right. The same one that says fuck yeah this is a good idea when you’re drunk and 9/10 times it’s not, but we do it anyway. Yeah yeah, learning experiences are great, but  let’s keep everyone away from the emergency room. We need to hone the relationship we have with ourselves before we’re ever really going to know what we want and how to achieve it. Because if we don’t believe in our own abilities then what can we believe?

Everyone has to start from the beginning when learning or trying for something. Everyone is a novice before they become an expert. Everyone learns and falls and learns more and succeeds and learns more and succeeds more with a failure or two thrown in for kicks because hey, life is what it is and again, we’re human. But we don’t need to become the pain we’ve felt. We don’t need to harness the anger or resentment or hurt or displacement if we don’t want to. I’m not going to get all “being positive is a choice” because some shit just sucks and it’s that simple. But we go through things and if you’re anything like I am or like most of the people I know are, you’re your own worst enemy and that doesn’t have to be the case.

You want to have successful relationships? Stop having a dysfunctional one with yourself. You want friends you can count on and people that care and are loyal to you? Stop creating a monster and toxic environment within. Misery loves company and most of the time the things you think have a way of coming to fruition. Like if you’re afraid you’re going to run into someone when you walk into a restaurant and yeah you were right you did… self fulfilling there. I’ve done it so many inexplicable times myself. It just happens. But learn how to be kind to yourself. Learn how to experience joy in the hurt. Learn to look at your past and say “so what.” You don’t live there anymore.

We all have a past. We all have a relationship with ourselves. If we all learned to treat ourselves the way we wanted to be treated I think we’d all be a little happier and we’d all treat each other with a little more dignity and respect. Food for thought.