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.

More Questions than Answers

Aside

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

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

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

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

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

You feel stifled but content

Enraged but calm

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

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

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

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

The cynical realist who can no longer handle the cynicism alone

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

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

How do you deal?

What do you do?

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

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

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

Where do you go from here?

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

No adult takes you seriously because you’re young

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

Where do the lines no longer blur?

When does the love no longer hurt or harm you?

How do you rest in peace within your own mind?

Do you channel the energy into something else?

Try to let it go?

Embrace it and see where you end up?

Or run screaming in another direction?

Who’s to know, who’s to say

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

You decide who you want to be and who you are

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

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

Or maybe they are.

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

How do you know?

How do you decide?

Where do you go from here?

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

Know that not one of us gets out unscathed

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

We can make a difference

We can know and learn from ourselves.

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

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

Explore the possibilities

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 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.

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?