Revisiting Expectations: 5 years later

For those following along this is the 10th and final chapter of what would be a book of sorts.

Expectations are a tricky thing. Whether you think something will go poorly or stunningly you are usually right. If you put time and effort into something and hope it goes well there’s a chance it will but you never know. We all had a vision of what we thought our lives would be when we were in our teens. We all found out that what we thought would happen.. probably didn’t. We all got kicked by the so called real world and realized that things are always harder than they seem. No strings attached is hardly ever something that actually exists in reality.

We all go through life in an attempt to achieve happiness. We all live in our own ways. We are all versions of our own experiences and perspectives. Due to our outlooks we change and adapt to things and those around us. We grow and change because of the relationships and events in our lives. We find happiness and lose it. We hope to find what we’re passionate about and make it more than just a small piece of us. Our memories are the stories that make a life personal. Our family are those that have surrounded us on the way. They are our history our origin. I may have repeated myself quite a bit, but if that is the case it is because I believe the repetition to be of importance.

I am who I choose to be, but I still believe that there is somewhat of a fate at hand. The energies of the world conspire to bring you who and what you need and also seem to shift your perspective. When you seem to lose your way it is because you were meant to. Struggle happens. Joy happens. We do things in life that we’ve never expected. We’ve become people in life we’ve never expected. We’ve endured things in life that we never expected. Expectations are a cruel trick that bring our hopes up or tear us down amidst the journey.

I started writing this piece about four years ago. I haven’t finished and I’ve started a few other projects. When thinking back to beginning this book I should have put more effort into finishing it. I expected to have this done before 2012. Well it’s now 2014 – yeah now it’s 2017- and its still not what I expected but it is what it is. My journey has shifted, my “self” has changed. My path deterred and my life is still not what I wanted it to be at this point. I never expected to be where I am and I’ve never expected to live out what I did. But sitting here and rereading what I’ve written gives me solace that at the point of my life that I was much more critical I was still that dreamer that saw the potential of what life can become.

Things never go as expected but they definitely continue onward. We have one chance at life and we all make mistakes along the way. The chapters of this pick at pieces of things that I have found that not only shape someone as a person but shape a life as I know it. The life I have lead is far from the course I thought I would take. Right now it is not more nor less; it just is. I am still seeking my happiness and I am still finding my passions. Life is a journey in progress and I intend on savoring my moments, stories, adventures and happiness. We all seem to lose our way at some point, but the point is to endure and move forward. Take what you can from what you’ve lived. Love who and what you can at any moment and find a way to be truly happy with the life you’ve made for yourself and the person you’ve become and have the potential to be. For nothing ever happens as expected and nothing ever will.

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.

 

 

 

A little reflection

I’ve never been one to make a resolution, but this year is already a little different than the ones before it. I still haven’t made a resolution, but I have specific goals I’d like to pull off in some capacity.

I’ve been through a lot this year in the sense that I left a life I didn’t want in pursuit of a life I built for myself. Many people look at this as I ran away, but it doesn’t work like that. Rather than running away from a life I didn’t want, a person I didn’t want to be, a job I liked but not one that I could progress with, I ran into the unknown, I ran to the potential of a life I wanted to build for myself.

I took a dream I had by the balls and I ran with it. I drove 3,000 miles across the country without a place to live or a job and started to build something for myself. I had an apartment in a week and a job within the month. While I still have a ton of progress to make in my career and personal life, I am finally happy with who I am.

That being said, perspective is a deciphering factor here. Life is most adamantly a journey and I’m on the verge of getting more than I ever imagined. I can feel it. Whether that plays out as a good or a bad thing is still out for decision. But I digress… you are always a second away from changing your life despite what anyone else thinks. It will always be up to you and you have more control than you think. Be an active writer in your story. Let the crazy seep in and out as it may and know you never end up where you expect but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as good if not better.

Until my next crazy train voyage… and there always is a next time… I’ll leave you with that. Take the risk, whether it feels like it or not you’ll have answers you never could have had before. Live the life of your dreams.

Bursts of Random Inspiration Come in Many Forms

I know I tend to be long winded but I’m going to attempt to keep this one brief. I was watching a movie last night that I hadn’t seen before. It was based in 1930’s France. It was a time that held many hardships in the world, but people still seemed to find a way to live their dreams. Seeing how I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking what it is that I want in my life, I keep exploring dreams, success and failure. I try to take inspiration where I can get it. To say the least this movie brought out a lot of things within.

Time is proven to be against us. All we have is time and how you spend it is what makes your life – your life. Not to continuously bash the world we live in today because it is certainly so much easier in terms of doing most things than it was in the 1930’s…but let’s take it back to a simpler time. A time of no cell phones, personal computers, desktop/laptop/tablets.. an age when technology didn’t reign supreme. This movie had a quote that kind of hit home for me… It was

“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”

This movie was proof of an earlier time that things were so much harder on a day to day basis in terms of what machines were available and what was available to whom. The world is like this and so far from it today. We all have dreams. We all have our chosen purpose and our unknown purpose. We all have unlimited access to information of any kind. Sometimes we lose sight. Sometimes we get caught up in the crap that surrounds us. We look for the things that drag us down whether realizing it or not. We stay in comfort zones whether we’re meant to be there or not. We look for things that make us feel how we think we should. We can get reinforcement from anyone at any given moment. But we lose sight that we don’t have to give in to the technology and the machines of today.

Man is not machine. Man is so much more. If we each have a purpose then there are billions of purposes coexisting at this very moment. That is a powerful thought. We all have our reasons for being and our reasons for doing. Money makes people do a lot of things. Money is the power of the world. Back in this time period money wasn’t solely what ruled. It wasn’t even faith – I don’t mean religion – I mean a belief in accomplishing something. Ideas. Inspiration. Inventions. Dreams and possibilities were the way of the world. Yes, people did things for money, but they made things with quality. They invented things that have never been thought up before. They wrote movies that we still watch. They endured world crises. They started world crises. They lost lives and goals just as we have but they did it in an age that no one tweeted about it as it was happening or five minutes later because they thought everyone should know. They wrote it down. They wrote books and stories. They wrote history.

The time has come to take back some of the simplicity and try to do things because they bring quality to your life. Unplug for a minute. Find your purpose in the moment. And if the only purpose is to enjoy that moment then do it. Live your purpose. Know that you’re here so you’re supposed to be here. When life kicks you in the ass, kick it back. Find the inspiration. Watch a movie, write a poem, draw a picture. Anything. Go outside and walk through the woods. Take the random inspiration from anywhere. If it makes you feel and evokes drive or emotion or anything within you then it has to be part of some purpose. Think simply about things, about dreams. What is it that you want? How can you get it? Yes everything can turn complex, but start simple. Let yourself be open to things around you from the past, from your present and create your future.