Revisiting Memories: 5 years later

For those following along this is chapter 5 in my book. To read from the beginning go back to “Revisiting Perspective.”

Memories: The driving force behind everything you do, how you look at things, how you react, how or why you avoid anything, why you put yourself through the pain or the emotional wreckage you believe is real. Memories are considerably like personalities. For in fact they can make your personality what it is. Because of your conscious and subconscious mind remembering past experiences becomes almost like a bitter game. After a while I’m beginning to sound like a broken record with all of this talk of personality, experience, dreams, etc. But everything is interconnected and everything holds its own purpose.

We all sit back and reflect on our lives. We all sit back and think of the good and bad times that seemingly make up our lives. We hold on to things in so many ways because despite sometimes needing change or even wanting it, things that are comfortable or familiar feel better in this moment, even if the moment is already in the past.

I’ve been through a lot and nothing all at the same time, but my memories make me who I am. They are a part within me that can either be building me up or be used against me. Sometimes memories of the familiar make us sink into things we should be avoiding because right now it’s easy. Sometimes they push us forward because we need it. Memories can affect us. Make us sink into old habits, make us better and worse emotionally, make us make change, make us thrive, give us purpose.

I have a saying, “to know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve been.” In a lot of ways it works and in a lot of ways it doesn’t. When it comes down to it, living in the past and the past alone does not a future make. It allows you to let life pass you by. It allows you go through the motions rather than dream or really live a life. We must move forward as time only goes in one direction. We can however look back and see how far we’ve come and the progress we’ve made.

Most of the time have to learn from our mistakes by remembering what we’ve previously done that did not yield the results that we wanted. But a memory is a very harsh thing to use against yourself. I read once, that when you remember an event or something that happened in your life you aren’t remembering the actual event. You’re remembering the last time you remembered the event. For example, the first time a significant other says I love you. Something memorable in your life – I’d hope for good reasons. You remember this a day later, a week later, a month later. On that day you remember the event. A week later you remember your first instance of that event. A month later you remember the event from the perspective of a month later. And so on. This may not be 100% true, but it does make a lot of sense. As our feelings change about those around us or even ourselves and the decisions we’ve made become memories of the events that shape us everything changes.

I’ve been blessed and cursed with a memory that allows me to remember my first day of Kindergarten. Some people think wow seriously?! I wish I had your memory. But honestly sometimes remembering everything makes it really hard to move forward. I think it was Dumbledore who said, “it does not due to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” In the same sense it does not do to dwell in the past and forget to live. We must learn from our mistakes and we must allow ourselves to feel and move forward based on knowing where we’ve come from, where we’ve been recently and where we might be now. For the over thinkers and the dreamers out there remember that the fairytale came out of someone’s memory. It may not happen in reality but creating your own version of a fairytale exists in your mind. Everyone goes through some kind of suffering but dwelling on the hurt doesn’t fix the problem. Everyone learns in general but not everyone does so easily. Sometimes we need to remember we’re all human and we don’t need to use our memories against ourselves or anyone else.

So the next time you’re thinking back on an event that you believe is innocent or you believe changed your life, maybe the answers in which you seek lie within the perspective of the occurrence of the memory itself. Or maybe it was just a really good moment.

Revisiting Adventures: 5 years later

Chapter 4

Life is going to happen whether you enjoy it or not. And once every so often you realize that you can take a step back from what you think you want or need. You need to actually take some time and reflect about what you want, if you can get it and how. If you wake up one day and realize you don’t like your job or your house anymore, it’s simple to think about moving but not as easy to actually move; especially when other’s are involved. I’m sure that throughout life everyone has heard some form of, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” But the reality of it all isn’t so easy. Life is definitely what you make of it, but at the same time there are a lot of things in life that you have to do.

Some things that you have to do are enjoyable and some things aren’t. Sometimes you can make the best of any situation because you find something about it that you love and enjoy. Sometimes you just can’t or don’t let yourself get past the bad parts. However, hope is something that is always lurking. Not everyone who dreams to be an astronaut becomes an astronaut, but maybe later on you find out that this isn’t the career you actually wanted anyways. A career or job isn’t something that makes you who you are nor does it define you. I can’t specifically tell you what makes “you,” “you,” because it is different for everyone – but an occupation is not the deciding factor. If you are a chef and you eat, live and breathe food, that is somewhat different. If the reason you fell in love with cooking is because you saw the happiness and togetherness it formed in your family, that can’t entirely be compared to being an accountant. But at the end of the day being a chef still isn’t your definition. Being a chef or an astronaut, or an accountant or anything else, can make you the happiest you’ve ever been, but it isn’t who you are.

Life holds an infinite number of life lessons and adventures. The greatest adventure in itself is to live. To achieve your hopes and dreams. To be able to see anywhere, anyone or anything you’ve ever wanted. It’s about letting yourself attain anything at all. Being able to say maybe things didn’t go as I planned, but they were better than I could have ever imagined. Maybe things didn’t go as planned and you wish you never did something in the first place. But that’s just it. Like experience, adventures are to be learned from, because without them how do you know what you want? How do you know what you don’t want? And how do you get it? You can find millions of ways to do something wrong, but it only takes one way to do something right. Yes, it may seem as though the odds are against you, but who is to say what is the right or wrong way to do anything in regards to your own life. You are the one who decides.

I’ve been known to always have a story about something. A memory of the weekend past or just something I thought was memorable whenever. All these little stories and moments are things that make up my life. I remember them because I am them. I lived them. They can be anything and everything. It could be your 21st birthday even if the odds of remembering that are against you. It could be your wedding. A trip you took. Anything you want can be an adventure. Walking out your front door not knowing where the day will take you is an adventure.

I’ve been to about eight countries so far and I’d love to see more. I’ve loved everything about each of these places. There were definitely good and bad times, but overall I wouldn’t trade those things for the world. Traveling and having the world at my feet are two things that give me the feeling of total bliss. Having the freedom to go wherever I want and see whatever I want just makes sense to me. Adventures don’t always have to be on a grand scale but the bigger they are the more likely it is you’ll learn something you didn’t expect. But with that said, don’t discount the mini-ventures. Going for a hike, walking through the woods, doing something, anything for the first time…. These are all adventures. They don’t have to be dramatically life changing but they have an effect. Things that you do everyday can bring about adventures.

You may not have the most exciting job, but if you like it you will make of it what you can. Maybe you get news of a raise or promotion. Maybe you find out you got transferred to another location. Maybe you just felt content today and enjoyed those around you. The new things, the things that you have the option to do and take advantage of – these are the adventures. Hanging out with your friends can be an adventure. At least hanging out with mine can be…

If you love art and photography, maybe you take a picture and someone notices and you “catch a break.” Seek the things that you love to do. Find the things that excite you and make you push yourself further. The adventures are out there willing to become memories, you just have to take the chance of experiencing them. Anything you do, any decision you make is a risk, therefore it can be an adventure. Love is an adventure, friendship, relocating, walking down the street, anything. Yeah I know walking down the street sounds typical but maybe you don’t take the regular route for the walk, maybe you branch out and see what’s around you – who knows. Possibilities are the point. Not sticking to a strict overbearing routine is the point.

Life is going to pass us by whether we relish in the moments or not. Why not take the chance and the opportunity to do what it is that you love and find the adventures or memories for yourself? Yes, life can get you down, yes, failure happens, yes, it sucks. But shit happens… learn from it, move on, do whatever it is you need to do. Life plans never work out exactly how they’re foreseen. Spontaneous shit happens and you can’t do anything to stop it. Doing what you love can become an everyday thing. Finding a way to make what you love happen isn’t necessarily easy but you have to start somewhere. Everyone starts somewhere and it’s usually at the beginning (duh).

You, your life, your adventures are anything you make of them. If you are not the spontaneous adventurer that’s perfectly fine. If you are, that’s fine as well. But you won’t know until you try different things, push boundaries and limits of your own self beliefs and figure out what it is that you want out of any part of life, any part of an adventure. If you want to be like Peter Pan and stay a kid forever, figure out a way in which all is possible with a balance of having to actually be an adult at some point. Some people never grow up. That isn’t to say they don’t have a job or a family, but at heart, and through adventures, experiences, outlooks, personalities etc, we can all relive our childhood or renew a childhood we never thought possible. These things become possible through the actions and decisions we face in our lives.

Again, life is an adventure make of it what you can. For everyone has their own spin, dreams, goals, wishes, desires and accomplishments they would like to have accomplished through their years. But as everyone eventually learns, you can’t always get what you want. However – you can get pretty close, if you let yourself. What are you afraid of? Are you going to hide behind your broken dreams and faded memories or are you going to go out and live? Are you going to relish in the retelling of that story because you can or are you going to just let the time pass you by? What are you waiting for? Where do you want your next adventure to begin?

 

Revisiting Outlooks: 5 years later.

For those just tuning in this would be “chapter 3” of a book I started writing more than 5 years ago. I’ve decided to blog it out and see where it takes me.

Sometimes in the midst of the madness and bullshit that makes up your life you realize you are no longer the person you thought you once were. You have become someone entirely new without ever realizing or seeing the journey until after you’ve completed it. Sometimes you can find yourself in the vicious circle that makes you embody the version of what I like to call “your 15-year-old self” and you no longer have a sense of control. You know – that version of yourself where you think you are 100% sure that you’ve got things figured out, but in reality you are still clueless? That version of yourself that clings and obsesses over things that you think are a bombshell right now, but down the road you come to find that while certain events shape you into the person you currently are, other events as important as they seemed then, don’t matter anymore. Well that is exactly what I’m talking about. There are many things that we have to face in our lives that have an effect on us that we eventually have to come to terms with. And while you’re in the process of adapting to whatever life has thrown at you, you become another warped or jaded version of yourself. One thing about this alternate self is that you never know how long it will take you to break free from this new reality or if you will at all. Granted this can be good or bad depending on the circumstances, but usually once happiness is found in your life you do anything and everything you can to cling to those moments of sheer bliss – but I’m going to talk about that more later…

Now while you are this caricature of someone you thought you knew and had figured out, you feel lost and hopeless and unawares of how you have actually gotten to this point at all; but life is a journey and a process. And sadly you don’t entirely have a choice between some of the things you have to do and the things you want to do. For, the things you want to do and the dreams that you hold for yourself are ever changing. Once they have been accomplished or once you’ve realized that the dream you’ve been holding on to is no longer something you actually wish to have, things tend to change.

People can change often and completely at different parts of their lives. Their experiences make them the person they will eventually become and their passion and drive, along with other personality traits and the hand they’ve been dealt, make all the difference in the world. Dreams can be made reality and people can and do change for the better. They can however change for the worse. No one can hold that against them because we’re not in 100% complete control over our lives, which I have to admit unwillingly, but also believe to be true. There are so many things you have to do in life, but it’s not only you that can have an effect on how they affect you. You can be overwhelmed with emotion, good or bad. You can ignore it, in hopes that it goes away. You can take it all in and thrive. Or you could break down and have to slowly rebuild what you knew to be your life from the bottom up. But there is always someone there that either makes it 100 times better or 100 times worse.

Everyone faces hardship in their lives. Everyone’s hardships are completely different from one another’s. Some people have it bad, others have it worse, but it’s all about perspective. People who you think have had a terrible and depressing life may not think that of their own existence. People who grow up with everything or nothing also grow up with the greatest possibility of being jaded by the world because of what they have or don’t have. However, peoples’ experiences and perspectives along with what they have been given, shape them into seeing their version of the world.

I myself am a complete realist who is overly guilty of also being a cynic. It is because of different events in my life that I have come to see the jaded version of what the world is to me. However, as of late, I have become much less of a cynic and yet cling to reality and truth at the same time. I see what destruction the people of the world are capable of and what potentially could happen if someone or something comes along and decides to act on impulse. I am not a very optimistic person but I don’t necessarily look or seek faults in life. As a cynic I see life as a journey where you live to die. But as a realist I see the adventures and the never ending possibilities of a life completely your own, filled with what you can make of it. Oh and here’s a curveball, I’ve become more of a dreamer who is trying to seek what I think the world should be rather than the rat race is seems to become.

Peoples’ differing outlooks make the world go round. People can choose to see what they want to see and make life what they want it to be. Everyone should be guaranteed this choice, but it’s not always easy to figure out your own opinions on things that are alien to you. Everyone is ignorant about something. Meaning there is always something out there that you don’t know or understand because you’ve never specifically dealt with it. Ignorance isn’t always a bad thing unless you have the option to learn or be enlightened and you refuse to have anything to do with it.

However, sometimes you need to look deep into things and delve into the abyss of your unconscious mind and figure out where your outlook lies. Other times you need to just take events or experiences at face value and not try to evaluate their worth or pick apart someone else’s ideals because they’re different or opposite of your own. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion whether you agree or disagree with them. Being a realist or being a romantic, or an optimist etc. changes everything about how you view events or situations in the world or in your own life. These outlooks change the way you view the importance of anything and everything. Outlooks make you read the newspaper because you want to be educated about what is going on in the world. Outlooks also make you refuse to read the newspaper because it’s depressing and you’d rather not know. Nothing is wrong with any outlook on life because even within the categories of what a person is or isn’t, everyone is still an individual. Yes you can adapt and change beliefs to mirror that of another, but there are still things in your life that affect you that do not affect others. It’s those things that change everything about that outlook.

Life is a personal preference. Everything we do in life, we decide whether we like it, love it, hate it, cherish it, wish we never knew it or wish we knew it years ago. People are always going to say things that they believe in and try to stand up for those beliefs. No one should be able to tell anyone that their beliefs are stupid or anything along those lines because they are different from your own. People are allowed to believe what they want and they are allowed to have their own take on the matter. Life isn’t cut and dry and it isn’t fantasy or reality. The truth is out there whether you’re willing to accept it or not. But your reaction to it and the person you are individually makes all the difference in the world. As a person, regardless of outcome you have to dare to dream the dreams you thought you could never achieve. You have to dare to live the life you always wanted. And you have to dare to speak up for yourself and what you believe in if and when you’re being taken advantage of. Life may be a personal preference, but the odds of someone thinking and reacting exactly as you do are not in your favor. Being able to reason and logically think or talk through a situation can cause someone to think and react as you do, but things aren’t always as they seem. You have to keep in mind that people are who they are because of the things that happen to them and because of the hand they’ve been dealt. People can change their outlooks, but it isn’t always easy and it has to be up to that person.

It is for that reason, why I believe that you should never take anything too personally. People in your life, friends, family, bosses, acquaintances, etc., are always eventually going to say something to hurt your feelings whether they realize they did it or not. As much as I am a realist, I don’t necessarily believe that people live for the destruction of others by demeaning them and shattering their beliefs. I also don’t think people willingly want to hurt others (yes there are a few exceptions). Sometimes you have to take things at face value because it is what it is. You can learn from an experience and move on or you can ignore it and or miss it and still be who you always were. People are too quick to judge in general. People don’t take into consideration that everyone is struggling in their own way. You may be homeless and be the happiest person alive or you may be a billionaire and have to pay for the best counseling money can buy because you are truly alone. Outlooks on life, reactions to events and influences from the world around you make you who you are along with some DNA (yeah, I had to throw the science in there).

People aren’t out to get you just to be out to get you. If they’re out to get you then the odds are you have something they want. People don’t have all the answers. If we did, we’d be a lot happier and we wouldn’t be fighting over petty material things and weapons of mass destruction. I’m not asking for the world to be rainbows and sunshine, but mass destruction, chaos and open war, aren’t necessarily good ways to live either. Everyone is on their own journey and path to find the passion in their life and if someone stands in their way it’s only right to “fight back” isn’t it? Well to a point and within reason obviously.

The point of that is that whether you think the world is doomed to failure and life is a death sentence or think the human world has the power to find the good and make peace, is entirely up to you. No matter how you see the world, and no matter how you see yourself, you need to find your passion and attempt make a difference in the world around you. I don’t mean go out and be Mother Theresa. I mean your life is it’s own little world, it’s own existence. If you go through life not caring about anything or anyone you’re more likely to be a pessimist or a cynic. If you find something you love to do in life, something you have a passion for that just makes you happy or content – find a way to do it. Unless of course your passion is being a serial killer, in that case please keep it to yourself.

Everyone sees the world as a completely different place. We all have our own lives and experiences and we all react to those things differently. Everyone based on their outlook on life takes a different road and experiences different things. If your experiences make you who you are, and your outlook is how you see the world then they are both responsible in making up your perspective on life. Once in a while everyone does something that may seem a little out of character, but for the most part we are who we are. The things we do in life and the things we seek in life are based upon society and perspectives. Every event in your life has helped shape the person you are and how you take each event changes you for the next. Find your passion, find something in life that makes it worth while. Do something out of character once in a while, try something new. Everyone has their own opinion and their own take on any situation, try looking at it with a different view and see what happens.

Revisiting Experiences: 5 years later.

Life is a never-ending journey. There are many clichés that attempt to describe how people go about their lives. “Why put off till tomorrow what you could do today, the early bird gets the worm, success starts from the bottom up,” and the list goes on for “it’s all in a day’s work, alls well that ends well,” and we will get there “all in good time.” But that’s just it. It has come to my attention that a great adventure, a great life, does not exist merely because of one or two moments in time. But those one or two cumulative moments can make the journey or experience more complete.

There are many things in life that I can remember, even if I wish I didn’t. Each of those things however, created a piece of me in some way shape or form. Each part of your life is a small journey in itself. Childhood, adolescence, the random phase between being an adolescent and an adult, and adulthood each have their own stories to tell. In each phase of my life I can look back and say that I changed as a person for better and worse. But that’s just it; there is no right or wrong way to grow up – necessarily. Each person is given a chance to make a life for themselves and by themselves. You are the author of your own life. You have to take what you’re given and make the most of it.

Life certainly isn’t fair and some people have to endure sufferings and hardships from an early age, but to them that’s reality and they have take what they’re given and run with it. Yes, I know that may sound harsh and I’m not naïve to the fact that some people are far better off than others, while some endure hardships that no one should have to face, but reality is just that. It’s real. You have to face it. You have to deal with it. Shit happens and life gets in the way. It is up to you how you react and deal with the things life hands to you. That again may sound harsh but I’m a firm believer in creating your own journey. Yes, other people can shape your world from a young age and at any age but it is up to you in terms of how you’re affected. But I believe you still have the power to change it if you believe you can. Which leads me to the point of this section: experience.

Experiences can shape everything about you. Experiences can open your mind to new ideas and teachings. They can close your mind just as easily. They can have influence on your future decisions. They can make you a person you never thought you’d become. They can teach you to accept or deal with situations you never deemed possible. Experience is a powerful thing.

At each point in my life I can honestly say I have been a different person because of experiences. I’m not entirely sure how I’ve gotten to the point I am currently at and maybe I never will, but it’s certainly worth a try. I didn’t have a very troubled childhood. I actually caused more harm to myself than I think anyone else did. And in some ways that still hasn’t changed, I believe I am my own worst enemy. Adolescence however wasn’t a piece of cake. People can drive you to many ends. The absence of people can also take its toll. However, I made it through without too many emotional and physical battle wounds and life goes on.

Now for the part between adolescence and adulthood, this is where life became interesting. I thought I had myself figured out for the most part. Turns out I was pretty spot on, but also decently wrong. Because of events in life, I was and am a realist, but also became a pretty cynical person. Cynicism has its ups and downs, but after a while -it- like anything else takes a toll. After so long, depending on the degree of cynicism and the current situation of your life, being a cynic gets rather old. But as a cynic and realist – trying to find the truth or believe in the truth of the matter can pose quite a few problems. You can’t exactly change yourself overnight. It takes a good number of changes, along with new and different experiences to give yourself something to look forward to. Once you find something or someone that makes you happy, even if it is temporary happiness, change is simple. Finding the experiences to help make those changes however aren’t exactly that easy to come by. What I mean by that is people don’t often change willingly. Change is usually brought on by force, nature, or an event that made you make a decision you probably should have addressed way before that point.

I’ve grown a lot in the last few years from the cynical person I used to be. I’ve had experiences along the way and events shape my current life into being still very much realistic but a lot more of a dreamer. I’ve been trying for years now to figure out what it is that I want and the experiences in my life have taught me the opposite. They taught me what I don’t want. I always had a jaded view on the world and I still continue to but at this point the cynic exists at a different angle. There’s a twist. No longer are the days that I sit and dwell on the world’s ability to pretty much blow itself up at any moment or think that we’re going to singlehandedly cause this place to self-destruct. I still think we can but my focus has shifted. Now I look at the people around me and the adults in my life and try to figure out why they live the way they do. My parents for example have worked all their lives and have spent years at jobs they can’t stand because they think that’s what life is. Well I’ve experienced more than that. I’ve lived more than that. I’ve had jobs I hated but by no means was I going to sit back and take it like they’ve seem to do. My experience has shaped me into someone that believes that life is what you make it and living to work is sure as hell not the answer.

My life has evolved and changed over the years just as anyone else’s has. I have changed and evolved due to what life has brought my way. I’ve learned new things about myself and have been reminded of things I’ve forgotten. I’ve failed and learned that I’m bad at it, but won’t take failure for an answer. I’ve taught myself and learned from myself in more ways than I ever deemed possible. And the only thing that I’ve really learned from my experiences is “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know shit.”

This brings me to the observation that – everyone thinks they know it all at 15. Yes I know another cliché relative moment, but it’s true. You think you have everything figured out and for the most part that’s true. Let me explain. When you’re 15 you’re used to the world you reside in, most things are constant and there aren’t many variables to worry about (no bills, love, kids, cars, you get the point). You live a sheltered existence so you feel comfortable and feeling like you “know it all.” Then life kicks you into college and you figure out you had no idea what you were talking about. It takes you a little bit to figure out the college game, but you do and again you feel like you know it all. – Boom – life kicks you again, you’re outta college. Now what? Get a job? Where are you going to live? What do you want to do? Who do you want to be with? There are so many more things that you now have to think about that didn’t seem like that big of a deal when you were 15. Life stepped in – life got in the way. And here you are, just another face in the crowd. And you’re stuck with the same questions – what do you want to do with your life and who do you want to be?

And after all the dramatic nonsense, I’d like to point out that as much as daily monotony gets in the way – Life is a constant adventure. It is anything you wish it to be and to become. Obviously jobs and money, and other things get in the way. But that aside, if I asked you if you saw yourself how you are now 10 years ago, would your answer be yes? If it is, then hopefully it is everything you’d hoped. Otherwise I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say, utopian society and the dreams you had for yourself 10 years ago, aren’t the same. Those dreams don’t really exist as they once did or as you once believed they did. I mean if it were up to me, I’d be living with my potential future husband, we’d be planning our adventures and going through with our jobs not thinking about kids yet, but enjoying each other for company, companionship, and anything else we may need. We would be traveling the world and doing almost anything we want, obviously within monetary constraints. The last thing I would be doing is worrying about all the monotonous stuff. And yeah, that could happen in utopia and in the fantasy of Disney and MGM Studios. However we’re talking about reality here. I don’t honestly believe that you can’t have everything in life you want, but reality isn’t always that simple.

Like I said before – Life gets in the way. Money gets in the way. Your beliefs and actions and the outside world get in the way. Experience teaches you many things and that happens to be something that I’ve learned. It’s like you see this plan for yourself through your own eyes. It changes and adapts as you get further along. And somewhere along the way you end up somewhere you never meant to be. Sometimes that’s a good thing because where you ended up is even better than you could have ever imagined. And other times you ended up somewhere you never wanted to be. But due to forces beyond your control at the end of the day you still have to keep pushing forward. You don’t have any other choice but to endure what life gives you and make the best of it. The last thing that anyone wants is to wake up one day be able to take a step back and say, “shit, is this really my life? How did I get here?” I’m sure no one desires that, but at some point everyone faces it.

Experience along with almost everything in life (that I’ve come to know), seems to be some type of cruel trick of fate. Something you think and hope you have control over only to find you’re just a pawn in a chess game. You’re not in control. However, that’s not really a good thing to think on a daily basis. Hopefully we can find strength and attempt to take control of our lives or at least get to the point where we believe we control some of our own destiny. But that’s the kicker isn’t it? It wouldn’t be called destiny or fate if we had the power to tell it yes or no. Newsflash, life isn’t a multiple-choice question where “a” is the best choice and you only go down from there. There are more than a few choices that can get you where you’d like to go. Problem is, not all of them are things you’d like to do. So by default half the time they aren’t even options. Therefore in that sense, sure life is a multiple-choice question. But at the end of the day there isn’t some “teacher” quizzing you telling you that you’re wrong. At the end of the day you’re the judge of your life. People can judge you and tell you what you are and are not, but they don’t always matter. Sometimes they are people who are trying to help you, other times they could be people that don’t understand what you want or need. I believe that you are the one person that can be the harshest on yourself, but there is a flipside to this, you are also the easiest on yourself when you know or feel you can get away with it. For that, you need others that you trust and can confide in to help you along the way and for you to respect their judgment that they have your best interest is in mind.

However, keep in mind that you don’t always have complete control of how you judge yourself or what happens to you, nor can you always control your actions. But then again that’s not a terrible thing. To be in control all of the time would make life so much less worthy of joy and remembrance. The whole point is that the experiences we have in life shape who we are and who we become. We choose what we allow ourselves to experience and we choose how it affects us to a certain extent. Everyone is dealt a different hand and you have to use what you’ve been given to keep playing or change the game. You are who you are based upon the experiences you have in life and you can choose who you’d like to be at any time. But people don’t generally think that way. I had a friend tell me once that love wasn’t in the cards for him because he ruins it every time he has it. He went on to share with me that only sex was in the cards for him. I had to tell him that it was his choice entirely. He didn’t believe me. But that’s just it, isn’t it? His experiences have lead him to believe that he isn’t “worthy” of love and he’s not going to change those expectations because of those experiences. At least at this point in time.

As I said before, change can only come about when we are willing or forced. But you are still the one who decides how you take each experience. You control whether you learn something from an experience, enjoy it, or change from it. If you even acknowledge it at all.

Revisiting Perspective: 5 years later.

This is something I wrote about 5 years ago. It is where I started my blog and I feel it is an overly fitting “new beginning” of a life I’m still very much in the middle of. So here goes:

The world is a funny place. People everywhere are struggling for an attempt to achieve their hopes and dreams. However, the monotony of everyday life is astoundingly complex and so very simple at the same time. Everyone goes about their everyday duties hoping to someday have more of –“something.” Whether that something is love, friends, money, fun, adventures or anything else, the possibilities are limitless. The one thing I know, is that we are always in a constant struggle with change whether we realize it or not.

We spend our lives trying to achieve things like success and raising families. We struggle with day-to-day activities as well as things to come. Change is upon us whether we believe it or not. With change comes many opportunities, good and bad. Change can be small or large; it can have many affects on our lives or little to do with anything. You can change the mood you’re in by doing something you like. You can change your life by moving to another city. However with change comes regret, mistakes, education, emotion and possibilities. I believe regret is something that no one should dwell on. Things happen in our lives that are now in the recent or distant past that have made us who we currently are. Hindsight may be 20/20 but the future is still unknown. I know I said everything changes, but it is what it is – therefore you can’t regret what you can’t go back and change. You can only move forward and learn from the mistakes or the consequences of your actions or inaction. You should never intentionally forget events in your life because many events good and bad make you who you are. Some events you may damn well want to forget, but moving on and “getting over” an event is different than blocking it out entirely. It has been said that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” but it is also a terrible thing to use against yourself. We’re all guilty of thinking too much and over analyzing things to try and make sense of them. There’s only one problem with that… things don’t always have to make sense.

People are who they are because of how they process events and changes in their lives. People are who they are because of their experiences. Without different experiences we would not be individuals at all. Everyone, everywhere is completely unique in their own way. No one can 100% understand why someone is who they are, especially when we have a hard enough time trying to find ourselves. You can however, relate to someone based on a previous experience that you’ve dealt with yourself – but proceed with caution for experience and perspective are very unique entities.

With that said, I am reminded of my main point in this chapter, you can learn a lot from others. Seeing things from different perspectives can change everything. Experiences and perspectives shape people into their individual selves and everyone has something to teach because of it. People need people. There is nothing more simple than the fact that people need people. The complexity lies in the fact that life is a selfish thing. We are “individuals” after all. We are all striving for personal happiness and fulfillment. Some may have more help than others, some may have less. Equality, like life, is a very tricky thing. Everyone has their own opinions, thoughts and experiences. Thus they also have their own perspective. Perspective like anything else grows and changes as a person grows and changes. What you wanted 5 years ago isn’t necessarily what you want now. And what you want in the next 5 years probably won’t be the same either. Your perspective of yourself as well as the world around you will evolve as you have. Life never goes as planned or as expected and perspective shifts accordingly. There is no strictly right or wrong way to live for life is a personal journey in progress that we have to figure out for ourselves.

Yeah I know, you’re probably thinking – “really? I never knew that” – add in the sarcastic tone and no shit Sherlock witticism. I bet you’re thinking who is this person and who do they think they are?… Well I don’t blame you if you’re skeptical, but I’m not trying to change beliefs about anything. I am trying to merely open your mind to the endless possibilities floating around in life. I’m no scientist, inventor, great academician, or anything else along those lines. I’m just me; an average everyday person seeking what life really has to offer. I myself am on a journey. I seek my own path. For what lies ahead, I know not. I am only attempting to share my journey thus far and trying to figure out how I myself got to this point. I don’t pretend to know anything I don’t actually know. And I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. This is a memoir of different events in my life that have gotten me to this point and a chance to offer my perspective. It’s up to you to believe or even keep reading. None of this is distinct fact; it is simply the rambling of an everyday person trying to find their way.

Wandering Through Time Spent

I’ve been doing a lot of collecting lately. Mostly in forms of information. I recently re-read all of my blog posts as well as all of the journals that I’ve ever written and have been trying to reflect on how I’ve gotten to this point in life. Constantly seeking answers and seemingly coming up short…time moves along.

I’ve been unemployed for about two months now and I’ve read 5 books, gone through multiple webinars, fallen into the void of the internet more times than I can count, watched more than 3 shows in their entirety on Netflix and at least a dozen movies, and as much as I’ve made progress, I still feel just as lost.

In the meantime I feel like I’m no longer even part of the world of the living. Perpetually stuck in limbo grasping at my next step. When I lost my job my world in LA shattered. And of course losing your job never comes at a good time, but it had to be when my parents set foot on the west coast for the first time in 20 years. I hadn’t seen them in at least 6 months. Shocked at the circumstances I knew the job I had wasn’t working. Having already made a job switch in February I was uprooting my “life” again. And now faced with a choice of staying or going back.  My parents were in the middle of it.

At the end of the week, my parents left and for the first time I didn’t actually want them to go. That for me is a feat in itself. Then, I went back to New York because I couldn’t handle being alone or standing where I was. I discovered that I hate everything about “there” when I’m actually there, including myself. It gets romanticized from the outside, but from the inside it tears me to shreds. This now seems like my cycle, like a cat I have 9 nine lives and I’ve already used at least 4 so far. Not ever holding onto the me I was at different facets of my life, I go full circle yet never connect because there really isn’t ever a literal going back. Time moves along.

At war with constant change and what never seems to be the right change, the emotional turmoil turned inward. Going through interview after interview feeling stupid every time someone asks me what I’m good at… I think if you only knew the slightest thing about me. This is stupid. All of the hiring games so impersonal. Here take an IQ test. Here take this assessment. I play the games I get the interviews, I get ignored, I twist and turn mentally. I swear I ask myself daily, “what the fuck am I doing?!” Still making progress, committing to the relationship I have with myself, running out of money, another crappy interview with a company I don’t want to work for, time moves along.

I always search the past to fix the future and it never fully works, but I always progress. I try to exist without it and there’s nothing there. I fake the motions. I change the mental channel. I try to take in that which is actually helpful. Ever learning and searching. Creating and seeking the answers that I so desperately want to find. All I can ask is – what do I want? Well – I have no fucking clue what the answer to that is anymore.

One of the books I read talked about time. It said time is something you can’t hold onto. It’s only something you can spend. What does it mean that I don’t know where I want to spend my time anymore? Is it lost/lack of love? Lack of attachment? Or do I need to really just give myself time? Like a gift to figure it all out?

I’ve done so many things in life and I have so many more to do. Having been told I “have so much more power than I know,” by someone who’s opinion I highly value, I have to admit we all do. I get intense. I get heavy. I reel all day everyday. Happy. Depressed. Crazy. Passionate. Silly. Quiet. Loud. >insert Disney song< All of Life’s a game. The last two months have royally kicked my ass. I’m at a point I never thought I’d be. Attempting to be happy with any choice that presents itself whether in California or New York or anywhere in the world at this point I really don’t know anymore. I’m open to trying something I’ve never done because I want to achieve things I’ve never had before. And the one thing I know is time moves along.

So do I take another risk? Do I hold onto this one? Do I risk going back? What does life #5 hold for me? Where will that time be spent? Stay tuned.

Cornered

When life thrusts at you a decision to take the seemingly easy road to go back or the most definitely more difficult road to move forward, which do you take?

Personally I always seem to choose the more difficult path. Maybe I’m a bit of a masochist – fuck it – I know I’m a bit of a masochist – but what can I say I like change. My biggest issue is always feeling stuck. Stagnant. Trapped. Cornered. Call it whatever adjective you please it’s there.

I’ve always been a dreamer. Yet I get the reality of it all. The more I get older, the more I seem to realize that no one knows how to adult and life really is what you make it.

After being told this morning that I have to remember how to be young again, I couldn’t agree with them more. With everything going on in the world and all the shit being thrown at us through the media, I’m constantly seeking real information, real knowledge, a leg to stand on, stability and a handful of other things.

Being a person that has spent most of their life in a manic or depressed state realizing that it isn’t exactly me, but the way in which we live our lives here… perspective is gained. And the fact that I’ve always been “older” than I am leaves me with a lot to be desired when it comes to accomplishments.

But I digress… It is now my time whether it is the difficult road because that’s what I see for myself or cause for myself or bust. There is no going back. There isn’t ever a way to go back. Time only moves forward and it does so for a reason. It is not my life’s desires to sit here and have my soul sucked out at a job I can’t stand. It is not my desire to sit back and let everyone else bitch and moan about life. It is my desire to take charge of my own career and my own passions and find a way to delve into the depths of them both.

This is it. No more waiting. No more watching. No more hoping. It’s time for action and action starts now.