Los Angeles Chronicles: Ever Finding Myself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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I’m a never ending mystery to myself

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

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

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

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

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

Los Angeles Chronicles: Struggle is my middle name

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Los Angeles Chronicles: Being Lost is Relative & so is Being Found

Here I am a year and a half into the “life I always dreamt about”… I’m without direction and fairly sick of looking to the past. Needless to say this experience hasn’t been what I’ve expected it to be – then again nothing ever is. In some ways it’s been a million times better than I could imagine and in other ways it’s one of the most life shattering situations to be in.

I am in love with Los Angeles. I love California in more ways than I can describe. The feelings of contentment and fullness. The clarity and the head space have both completely improved within. Yet, I’m so lost. I never expected to start a new life and end up with the job of my dreams, the love of my life, and a big fat bank account in a year. Honestly I’d barely expect that in the next five years (mostly because I’m realistic). But this entire experience has left me with one major thought — what do you do when you’re feeling completely lost, yet you’re finally feeling okay with who you are again?

Okay, wait a minute – hold that thought. Rewind…. I lost my job back at the end of May. I’ve been attempting to find my way since then, but I’ve been coming up short. I’ve gotten multiple interviews and have had call backs on second rounds, yet this time I can’t seem to seal the deal. After three months of agonizing over my next step and whether or not I get to stay here because of monetary responsibilities, I realized I’m just as lost as I was when I left, but now I’m a person I want to be.

I’ve come a long way from the person I had become when I left my hometown for the third time. I took a giant risk because I owed it to myself. I have given a lot and I have done what I have to do. Yet here I am worse off than I was when I got here. Feeling like a failure because I have nothing to show for this last year, but what lies within, I realize again…. being lost is relative. I may have found myself in a lot of ways, but when you’re lacking direction what do you do? I chased a dream to get here. I took a leap of faith and it initially paid off. I’m in a position to have to do whatever I absolutely must to stay, but I also have to admit to myself I absolutely do not want to leave.

All of these things come back to our own ideals and expectations of where we thought we’d be at this age. I have nothing I’ve ever wanted, yet in the last week I’ve been happier than I ever have in this country. Yes – this country. Some of it is letting yourself be. Some of it is realizing set backs happen, things don’t always fit, and it’s okay to feel what you feel. The difference is admitting the shit exists, but realizing that you don’t have to let it consume you.

I’ve dealt with depression for most of my life. I fight my own demons daily just to get out of bed. Sometimes I look in the mirror and realize hey the demon is me. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I scream internally “you fucken got this stop doubting yourself.” And sometimes I fly without a net hoping for the best because uncharted territory and the unknown have taken over my life. But I digress…

It’s been a pretty great week for me so far. The month of August is turning my world around and all of it is happening for the better. The culmination of the last two months doesn’t define me. Nothing is set in stone and this is NOT the end. I need to remember to let myself have what I want and let myself be happy when shit hits the fan. I need to remember that school’s over and the “right path” in terms of life really doesn’t exist. Never having an answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” I’m still searching for a career but maybe the issue is I haven’t invented it yet.

We are the creators of our own worlds. We have to take the good and the bad. When we feel we have nothing to show, we need to find small ways to prove it to ourselves. When we feel lost, we need to do something that makes us found in the space in which we exist. When we doubt our abilities sometimes we just need a friend. And sometimes we just have to play the game and play in general. Thus realizing that life doesn’t need to be so serious and that everything in life is temporary. And sometimes – I need to take my own advice and realize that life is good. Sometimes we all need reminders that we deserve to be happy and just let ourselves accept them.

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 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.