Los Angeles Chronicles: Figuring Myself Out – More

I found it! That Eureka moment that everything clicked. And ironically it was while reading someone else’s blog. I’ve been on a journey unlike that which I’ve known in the past. I’ve been allowing myself to feel when I feel and “be” when I need to be. I’ve actually been listening to my own intuition of sorts when it comes to where I want to go next or where I want to go at all. I’ve dealt with so many different things and I almost forget how far I’ve come. How many lives I’ve actually lived. Each part of my life I’ve become a different person. Not in a schizophrenic kind of way, but more in a different phase of life, yet still completely different persons at times.

Who I was at 5 wasn’t who I was at 15, at 20, at 25. I’ve believed in myself and not. I’ve taken leaps of faith and typical risks to get where I’ve been. I’ve gained friends and loves and family along the way. I’ve lost friends and loves and family along the way. I’m not the same person I was 10 minutes ago and time keeps moving me forward.

I’ve finally been realizing that even though I lost my job and I didn’t think I could stay in California, that I’m going to no matter what. Because I had to admit to myself that it was something I still wanted. I had to admit my own feelings. I had to get to where I got and I had to be lost along the way. I’ve been lost for the last 6+ years and it isn’t anyone’s fault. I lived life into the unknown and that’s where I’ve stayed because the next step isn’t one that is already decided for me. Nor could it be.

I’ve always hated the saying “everything happens for a reason.” I do however like the saying “there are no such things as coincidences.” Everything happens for a reason makes it sound like life is living me rather than me living my life. No such thing as a coincidence feels more real to me, more forgiving and even a little less harsh, but still more real. We all make mistakes. For some it’s a haircut that signifies the end of the world and for others it’s a divorce or the loss of a close relative or friend. Some of us have crazy amounts of student loan debt and others are already at the top of their careers ready to buy a house for their dog.

But we all go through phases. We all have to learn how to feel what we feel or at least admit to ourselves that we can feel. The aha moment I had has come after two really good weeks for me mentally and physically. It was while I was reading “4 questions Google can never answer for you.” Little to say it talked about us searching for – information – when in reality what we’re trying to figure out are – feelings -.

I spent most of my life denying I had feelings. I spent most of my life pushing them down in misery or in pain. I’ve been doing a lot of searching lately and I’ve been seeking a lot of knowledge in general. I’ve already built a life for myself in a place of my choosing. Not being ideal quite yet I still have a ways to go I did it nonetheless. I’ve made a few friends and had a few crushes, dated someone, switched jobs, made, spent, earned, lost and wished for money.

I’ve found my own world. I’ve made it one I can be proud to be a part of and one that I will continue to choose despite anything else. The time may come where I’ve grown or changed again and my location or my personal needs change as well and that’s okay.

The other thing I’ve realized is that as a kid we all look at adults like we have the answers to life’s problems. The problem is when we get there no one has a clue. Well no one but you has a clue or a key to unlock your life but you. It’s amazing to have people to enjoy the ride along the way, but you’re the one who has to choose your own fate.

If I spent half as much time fighting myself as I did just doing what I thought I wanted or needed or both, I’d be a completely different person. But right now I am who I choose to be and I will change again. So what comes next? Well hopefully a job and a bigger foundation on the life that I want.

Revisiting Happiness: 5 years later

For those following along: Chapter 9.

Happiness is a weird thing. We as people have dreams and wishes we wish to accomplish throughout our lives in attempt to find happiness. However happiness is a fleeting friend and can also be a mortal enemy. Once it is found you are always in a constant struggle to get it back. And once you get it back you don’t know how long it will stay around. Sometimes you don’t even recognize it until something jolts you and you realize what you have and truly appreciate it all.

You walk through life thinking, knowing that you are one person at this point in time. Until one day when the world as you once knew it comes crashing down around you because of a single word, phrase, sentence, event, moment in time, or realization. Then you wake up the next day to find your life altered in a way you never deemed possible and it’s a long road to acceptance but you eventually get there. You accept that this is now your life and whatever alternate reality you once knew no longer exists. You have to move forward with high hopes and uneasiness because you no longer know who you are nor do you know what you want anymore, nor does it matter. You take each day as it comes and eventually you will figure out that dreams do change, people do change, life happens, life gets in the way. Life goes on and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. For maybe one day you’ll know what you want and achieve beyond your hopes and dreams. You’ll find out all those things you thought were so monumental, made you who you are as much as they didn’t affect you at all. Life is made up of many things. Take what you can get and make the most out of your circumstances. Relish in the good moments. Learn from the bad. Make mistakes. Make friends, gain family. Have adventures. Explore the world. Take chances. Don’t fear. Don’t regret. Just live.

Everyone has their own path to choose and everyone makes their own destiny. It may not seem like it but nothing is set in stone and you are the one in control – for the most part. Happiness seems like the one thing everyone wants, and the one thing no one can hold onto. But happiness is what you make it to be. If you wake up in the morning and decide today is going to be a good day, it probably will be. If you go out for a night on the town or something of the like, and you tell yourself you are going to have fun and be happy and enjoy your night, you most likely (if not definitely) will have a good time. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you’re the one holding the beauty of your own life. Find what it is that makes you happy and take it. Find someone who makes you happy and make them a part of your life. Find a place that makes you happy and go there. Make a plan or don’t make a plan. Just don’t sit around thinking that destiny and fate are in control and you are a mere pawn in the chess game of reality. At the end of the day you are in control of your own life. There may seem times where your life seems to spiral out of your control, but those are times you can learn and grow and change to find yourself or a new life. Everyone is on a path through their own life and everyone has their own obstacles. At the same time everyone can choose to succumb to their hard times or you can overcome them. Life isn’t fair but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the best of it. For the world is at your fingertips and all you have to do is reach out and grab it.

Sometimes you just have to turn the page on what you once believed in and move forward with no regrets. You don’t start where you left off but at a new beginning with new people and adventures and with anyone who is willing to go along for the ride. You leave your once jaded self behind you in the ashes and the memories and embark on a new path to be explored. Awaken the sleeping giant. Do what you love and love what you do. What is the point of life if not happiness? Or at least the pursuit thereof. People are going to judge you and try to hold you back regardless of what they truly know about you. There will always be turmoil for it is so much easier to end the day in despair. Seek what it is that makes you happy. Enjoy the time you have and make the life you see for yourself or at least try. No plan ever works as expected but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go.

Rewriting Love: 5 minutes ago

For those of you following allow, this is chapter 8 in my “book.” This was one chapter I had yet to write, so I’m doing it now.

If I had a dollar for every time I wrote about love…Where to start. Love is a necessary evil. A villain and a hero. It is the best of the best but it can strike us down where we stand. Love is a power struggle. An irreverent battle that can never really be won. Or at least sometimes it feels that way. Having to believe that LOVE in its entirety is the sole topic that has been written about the most in human history I still have to take my own approach. Here goes.

I’ve been in love twice in my life and neither one was anything like I expected. Both had their very good and very bad moments. Both had moments of sheer elation and sheer devastation. To me, love encompasses everything we know this world to be. It is an exchange of energy for another soul – human being – that you can’t quite explain, for the emotion of it all takes logic completely out of the picture.

The first time I fell in love, I was so stuck on my feelings of what you gave me and the way you treated me that you were my favorite person in the world. And like everything else in my life, you never stayed. Granted that wasn’t either of our faults – we were kids and we went where our parents took us. Which ironically is probably the only reason we ever ended up where we did later in life. You were the one that got away, yet you were the one who came back. The one that just let me be when no one else even cared to stand with me. You chose me time after time and I never once understood why. We needed each other in the chaos, yet we were so consistently inconsistent neither one of us knew how to stay. We declared our love in the most unconventional way as that was how we knew how to be; now looking back it fits “us” to a tee. We spent most of the last ten years sleeping together and always constantly going back to each other and never taking it any further. Crazy fly by night whirlwind of emotions that neither one of us could ever admit and when we did everything went to hell. Never truly belonging to the other yet still knowing how to be vulnerable and still knowing what it feels to be safe within the madness. We provided for each other something I don’t think either of us really made sense of – ever. You were the one I could be innocent and safe with. The one that let me be all kinds of me with and knew with a look on my face what I was going to do next. Feeling like we never really knew each other in daily lives because one of us was always leaving, we knew at the core of our existence who the other was and that was enough. You were my first love and you were meant to be. It really is that simple.

I think I loved you from the moment I really met you: my second love. You saw me when I thought I was invisible. A connection, a passion and a lust I had yet to ever realize could exist. So toxic, so raw, so fantastical. Another never knowing where I stand grey area sort of romance, I don’t think either of us expected to end up where we did. Never knowing where the other would be yet finding each other anyways. Both of us not knowing what we had really gotten into, we flew by the seat of our pants and let things happen as they may. Soon enough we were hanging out 3 or 4 days a week. Going out, partying, eating, drinking, exploring, having fun, learning about each other, sharing secrets, sharing ourselves, we didn’t really have any limits. Little did either of us know that we wouldn’t spend more than 3 weeks apart in a 5 year period. Little did we know that those we once considered best friends were now second to each other. That despite not having labels or actually being in a relationship “together,” we were attached. We needed and yearned to be close and I don’t think either of us really understood or cared to know why. I knew how I felt about you, but I also knew you. I knew “trapping” you wasn’t going to work and making you do something you didn’t want wasn’t going to work either. The last thing I wanted to do was change you because you were who I loved. I loved the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, I was all in. I was invested. And to a certain point so were you. After about a year of this you told me you loved me. You told me there was no one like me. We went on for years hanging out and living adventures. Keeping a balance for each other so the other didn’t fly too far off the hinges. So much better together than we ever were apart. Constantly making each other crazy, but always in need of that presence. As time passed the more people noticed. Always together, always around, could always find each other in a crowd. But sure enough it didn’t last. I revealed my truth. My feelings. And you couldn’t. Always together but never really knowing where we stood. Always unyielding to the other, always struggling for control. We broke what we had and who we were in every way possible. Even after we broke it we still yearned for the togetherness that would  never exist as it once had. Now strangers to each other those two people existed a lifetime ago. But the memories and the loves of our lives never really leave us. Not really.

Present day: the time I’m currently working on the relationship I have with myself. This is the time of my relationship I have with my love of knowledge and pursuit of passions within. I was once told by a psychic that two men from my past would come back into my life, both would ask me to marry them and I would have to choose. If those two men are loves 1 & 2… then I choose me. I’ve gone through the trials and tribulations of a relationship without actually being allowed to be in one. Or at least in a defined one. And maybe that’s my fault for allowing it but maybe it isn’t because I loved two guys that have yet to love anyone the way we loved each other. That may be me fantasizing again but it’s how I feel. Love is everything in life and a lot of it starts with where you care for yourself.

From loving yourself to loving others you have to find where you fall before completely losing yourself in the abyss that can exist when a love is unrequited or no longer exchanged. Finding what you want from life achieving happiness through love can only be something achieved when you have a good enough relationship with yourself because when you’re being vulnerable with yourself and truthful with yourself you can admit the wants and needs you have and work at them. Whether that may or may not be the best thing to do in certain situations is for you to decide. Extending yourself or your hand to be able to love someone comes with great responsibility. The more of yourself you give, the more you have to lose. That’s why they call it a heart – break. When you break a dish and you glue it back together there are still cracks. You have to fill the cracks and the missing pieces to become whole again and sometimes that takes time and sometimes we never truly fill the cracks; at least not in ways we might expect.

For how does one define love? Is it a state? Is it a feeling? Is it more than that? A friend of mine defined love as “caring about someone so deeply it’s almost more about them than yourself.” That lead me to ask – is love an act? Act of kindness, act of faith? If love were a person what would they look like? Do they have ten fingers/toes.. are they bruised and broken? Are they whole? How would they act? What would they do? Are they the best looking person you’ve ever seen or is it different? Is it a level of perfection that just can’t be explained? What about love as a concept vs to love as a verb? Love to me isn’t love to you… the way you think and define it isn’t the same for me. They may be similar, but what makes you recognize it when its there? It’s a lot to think about, but love seems to be the effort you unknowingly give to someone else… Just as we can all love people, we can all love places, activities, things, the list goes on… sometimes we need to give love to ourselves.

Without love where does the world go? Without love – passionate, unrequited, reciprocated or otherwise, will we ever stop agonizing over it love – what comes next? Should we stop? Or should we open the door to those who need it most and try to figure out why? Where is the love?

Revisiting Passion: 5 years later

For those following along, or those new to the blog this is Chapter 7. To read from the beginning start with “Revisiting Perspective.”

Passion can be applied to almost anything in any form. You can for instance be a passionate lover or friend. You can be passionate about a sport, working out, or a hobby like collecting. You can be passionate about certain causes such as To Write Love on Her Arms or the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. You can be passionate about life itself. You can show passion in almost anything you do because even when you just automatically do something there is still some type of driving force behind why you are doing it in the first place. Not everything is done in the name of passion but not everything is just done because it has to be. For example I’m pretty sure no one is passionate about paying their bills, but they have to pay them if they want to keep living in that way.

Passion, like anything else is not always a good thing; it is a constant obsession with something. When thinking about passion it isn’t as black and white as good and bad. Passion can result in many good things for others or for yourself. Passion can also cause harm. Passion has the potential to make people do crazy things. It has the potential for greatness as well as the potential for mass destruction. Passion has flaws and potential. It can be energetic or dormant. It can be the driving force behind all you believe to be good and have faith in this world; faith of any kind. Faith in other humans, in family, in friends, in yourself, in an action, in a story, in a love you just don’t understand enough yourself to be able to explain. Your reason for really living or not. Your reason for doing anything, everything, or nothing. The reason you are the way you are. With passion or the lack of passion, you can understand the events, choices and decisions you’ve made in your life. Passion isn’t unintelligent nor is it pure intelligence. It can be a gut reaction or thorough planning. It can be completely thought out or left to chance.

I’ve come across a few people in my life that show passion in almost everything they do. They live, breathe and feel for others. They do things with full force and attention 100 percent of the time. They live their lives by and through their relationships with others. If something happens to you, they not only try to relate to your pain but they experience it or seem to, just as you would yourself. This may not be easy to understand, or sound as if anyone in their right mind or anyone at all would in fact act this way, but you’d be surprised. Ghandi or Mother Theresa for example would be real life people who lived this way. People that devote their lives to a cause can be people that live their lives with passion as their driving force. Firm beliefs that any little bit that they do, can and will change the world and any attempt to make the world a better place can be an instance of passion. People with firm beliefs that their way is the best way and attempt to force them on society despite anyone else’s opinions or any facts are also people that live through passion.

Passion is like happiness. It is always there in some form whether you realize it or not. Whether you accept it or not. Like mentioned before you can be passionate about anything. Whether you’re a writer, an artist, a sports fan, a model car enthusiast, the richest man alive, the poorest man on the street, anyone, there is still passion within you. Passion can be applied to the things you do and it can make you who you are. You can form your life around the passion and devotion of others or you can devote passion to yourself. Neither is wrong, for life is what you make of it. But know that, no you did not get out of bed this morning out of passion, but maybe you watched your child’s sports game or school play. Maybe you had an argument with someone where you voiced your opinion. Maybe you went to the gym to try and stay or get into shape. Maybe you painted a picture. There are millions of things you can do that include passion.

Music also can evoke passion. Music can create a passion that you feel deep in your soul. Have you ever heard a song that just strikes you to the point where you just feel something that makes you want to belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs? Whether it’d be for the sake of a single specific person or everyone you’ve ever known (I know I have)? Have you ever heard a song that moves you to tears or laughter or such joy and emotional lightness that you experience it, every time you hear that song? Music like many things is something that is thought provoking. Music isn’t always just a bunch of witless words being sung about all the time. You may not have written the song but it can still evoke emotion. You may not know what the writer of the song meant when they wrote it but it can still make you feel a certain way. Whether it is the actual words that touch you or the melody behind it, music is a powerful force.

In these senses it doesn’t seem that passion is by itself one single entity. It seems that it can be a plethora of things to anyone. Passion can be lost for things and found again. It can be stumbled upon when you least expect it. It can drive you to do things you may have never thought possible. But can you entirely and completely define it? It is more than pure emotion and it can exist and go along with other emotions as well. Personally, dance has been something I’ve done all my life and for the first time I find myself completely without what I’ve known and learned for almost two decades. Dance when I was younger was something I liked doing. But it wasn’t until I “lost” what I had that I realized I had a passion for it. Dance makes me feel in a way that other things just don’t. The adrenaline rush of being on stage, of hearing the music and feeling the movement within yourself is unlike anything else I’ve really experienced. But when I was in the midst of my dancing years I never looked at it that way. It was just something I did, something I liked. Now that I don’t get to dance like I used to and the reasons I dance aren’t entirely the same, I can honestly say I’m passionate about it.

With passion comes many things. It’s the emotion that drives us with intensity because of our deep desire to want and achieve – something.  Anger, lust, happiness, devotion, love, the list continues. Passion is an interesting thing because like happiness, sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you find it, sometimes you lose it, sometimes you didn’t know it was there. Sometimes it drives you and sometimes it propels you in another direction. I’m sure that at some point of your life you’ve felt this way about something. You probably had something in mind the entire time you read this chapter. Something or maybe someone. Where does your passion start and end? Where do you find yours?

Revisiting From Tomatoes to Friendship: 5 years later

Chapter 6. Representing the title I’ve chosen the book to have.

My dad once told me a story about his father and grandfather. He said that they used to have this gardening competition every year. A way to keep in touch and include each other in life. They argued and fought but that wasn’t the point. The point was the togetherness. They grew all sorts of things but it was the tomatoes that counted to them. Who’s looked the best, tasted the best, who had more of them. Silly things that probably didn’t matter to anyone else but it mattered to them. It’s things like that that make up a family and a life. Little traditions that seem silly but you enjoy despite anyone else.

It wasn’t about who won the tomato competition – that was a game just because they could. It didn’t matter that they argued. They were still family and they were a part of each other’s lives and again that was the point. We are all driven nuts by our families at times, sometimes more than others but they’re still part of us and our lives. Everyone’s family is dysfunctional in it’s own way. We all have our faults and arguments and we are who we are. Dynamics change and shift as we age and families fall apart as some leave this plane. But each and every family has it’s lessons, traditions and memories. Everything about them can teach you something.

Relationships with friends, family, lovers, acquaintances etc, are what you put into them. If you put enough time and effort into friendships those people can become family. Some people you just click with and others you just want to run away from. Family like friends are similar in a sense that you’re closer to some than others and you can avoid them if you want to or you can spend as much time with them as you please. But family has a different connotation when it comes to bonds. You share blood. You share experiences. You share knowledge. History, an ancestry. Traditions. Friends can become family after a certain point and though it can be better it still isn’t the same.

Relationships in our lives have a way of shaping us as well as experiences. Those we have by our side teaching us, guiding us, living it with us have a special place in our hearts and in our memories. Those that sat there and listened while we poured our hearts out over something we thought was a major ordeal at the time. Those that spent some of our happiest moments sharing in the experiences. Those that we were there for that we know we can count on no matter what. Relationships matter. Yes we all have a way of fucking things up but eh it is what it is. Friendships, relationships of any kind grow and change. Some people play a guest star and some people play a recurring role in your life. They can teach you about anything and everything. They are the ones you live up to, can live vicariously though, can resent or relish in the moment with. They are the people we choose to surround ourselves with and those we never forget.

These people don’t always have to be there for the betterment of anything. They could make things worse. They could just be there in general. Who knows. Family and family ties tend to be a little stronger but they also function a little differently. They function with an assumption that you’ll be there on holidays. They come with a clause. It’s not always a bad thing but it’s a little different than some friendships. But when you get to a certain point with a friend – the familial clause also exists. You’re now expected to be a part of that person’s life and hopefully you think that’s a good thing.

Friendship is something everyone needs in life. Your friends help shape your life and they can also help change your life for better or worse. We all start out at some point with friends that we “grew up with.” Those are friends that came in and out of our lives since we have been young children. These are people you can, not talk to for years and then out of nowhere say, “hey remember me?” and then end up talking for hours about “old times.” These are people that as a kid you remember random things from birthday parties or just playing tag in the back yard. If you can keep yourself surrounded by these people, the people you know and trust without question, the people you can count on to have your back, life is good.

Then there are those you gain later in life that you build memories with. These people can slowly become what you call close friends. Now, because you have realized that playtime no longer consists of boys vs. girls tag on the playground or that never ending game of hide and seek, friendship builds to new levels. You are always going to have that one person known as your partner in crime, who has gone through everything with you and you know each other so well that you can just look at each other and know what they’re thinking. Over the years your partner in crime may change but that doesn’t mean you lose the original, it means you’ve gained another. Then there’s the friend that blows you off over and over again, but you keep them around for reasons unbeknownst to you and because you wouldn’t have them be anyone else, but themselves. You have that friend that comes in and out of your life, but is always there if you just need someone to rant and rave to about your latest problem or crisis. That friend that if you wanna go grab a drink and put the day’s events out of your mind they will be happy to go along for the ride. We all think about that friend that we cared about more than as just friends but they’re one that got away. We may not always think of them but deep down somewhere inside you, there’s that last “what if you had done something different” thought that says you could have changed things, but in reality most likely wouldn’t have done so. There are a million types of friends in this world, where do you fit in?

Friends make you who you are as much as events in your life make and shape you. If you don’t have any friends, events that pull you down can be so much worse because there’s no one there to catch you and help pick up the pieces. Friends are people who you come to know and respect but those you can still “break ‘em” on until the end of time because of, “that one thing that happened ten years ago that you still won’t let them forget or live down” still is part of your friendship.

On the other hand people have ways of driving each other insane. Friends come and go in your life and they always will, but those who have your back today might not always be there tomorrow. Your friends are your support system just as much, if not more, than your family is or should be. Friends are the people you surround yourself with. People you tell your deepest darkest secrets to and share your best and worst memories with. They are the people who should know you just as much as you know yourself – for the most part. However, friends only know as much about you as you are willing to tell them. They can only understand as much about you, as you are willing to let them or as much as you understand about yourself at the time. People need each other; there is no doubt about that. We depend on each other to get through the day whether it’s by helping us do our job, helping with everyday chores, helping with kids or pets, being there for us in our best and worst moments, or just relaxing at the end of a long week.

Friendship is hard to come by. Especially true friendship. By true friendship I mean, the people that you know have your back at a second’s notice even if it may cost them something. And I don’t mean heavily cost them, but people you know you can count on. Time has a cost of its own. I’m talking about the friends you can call your family, those you can stand to be around every minute of everyday and still miss them when they’re gone for five minutes. Those you can be parted from for months or years and then the first time you reconvene, your friendship has never changed and it’s as if nothing ever happened. It’s as though even though you may have updated them on random points of your life and the drama and happenings that you deemed most important at the time, these chosen few or many if you’re obscenely lucky, will always be there. They won’t ever seem to let you down. These are the people that are there when you yourself, have little faith in you –yourself.

Friends are necessary for life. It’s the reason why TV shows like Friends, Sex and the City, Seinfeld, the list goes on are such successes. They’re shows that are built around friends living with and around each other. It shows their ups, downs, ins, outs, and needs for one another. People relate to these shows because they are things that may seem outrageous and funny to someone but could in fact be someone else’s life. We all have those moments in life that we can connect with some movie or television show somewhere. Whether it’s because of a break up or a friendship. A family member or an in-law. These shows sell because they’re life at it’s finest and lowest. They prove that people need people. They give you a false sense of making best friends and keeping them but they still prove that we need each other to survive whatever the world throws at us because without them we’re goners.

 

 

 

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.