It’s been a while since I have written….again, I beat myself up for it. Rather than dwell on that, I think I have had an epiphany of sorts. Regarding not only this blog, and its purpose but even myself to some degree…

Reflection. I have found myself doing this a lot lately. I often find myself mistaking this reflection as reminiscing, not to say that I don’t do my fair share of that as well. I find both natural. It’s easy to reminisce, especially in emotionally trying times, in fact I find often times it’s what we do to comfort ourselves through them. Remembering how we were, or how simple and unencumbered our lives were lessens the stress of our present situation. Whether it be prior to a certain coming of age realization, a major death in the family, or really any life changing event, down to the smallest stressors we deal with in our day to day lives. We think on how much easier our lives were before.

While I think it is a good thing to reminisce and think fondly of ones past, I think it also tends to take us out of the present, and also undervalue it more than we realize. We think and feel that life was better before, because we are thinking of only the good times. The times when life was going right, or when things were less complicated or stressful. We think of the parties, the joy rides with friends in the wee hours of the night, or poolside days of summer we hoped would never end. And unfortunately what this does, especially to me, is reinforces the negative I face in my present. The annoying coworkers, the bills, the car, family drama, politics and societal issues…all of these things that happened behind the curtain in the minds of our younger selves, because we felt it didn’t apply to us. Adulthood I feel has hit this generation harder than ever, as it was never a reality we were actively preparing for. So I focus instead on reflection rather than reminiscing.

For example, the bills and car that regularly stress me out to the point I choose to reminisce about not having them, are all things that have in truth made my life better. My car allows me the freedom to go where I want, when I want. The bills, allow me to write this very article and post it to the internet for the world to see in the comfort of my bed. Reflecting on the changes you have made, or even how you had to adapt to changes you couldn’t control over the years is much more productive. It also allows you to view your present with a much better overall perspective. I am sure there are both good and bad things, events you responded to with positive change, and events you could have handled better. The point is that although reminiscing on a time when life was less hard or complicated can be fun, it’s better to reflect on the decisions you have made that got you to where you are now.

If you are ultimately unhappy with where you are, reflect on how you got there and ways to better your situation. Dwelling on the past, especially the good times, is not a way to make a better present for yourself. While reflection on the other hand can not only help you make better choices in the future, it can help you understand the how and why you have reached your present. I am a firm believer and practitioner of this. As with everything this takes time to learn, as any new skill. But with practice comes perfection, or close to it at least.

I hope to one day reflect back on this blog, and my life, to find that in making the distinction between the two and effectively using them helps me find and understand my why. I hope you can too.

The Last Couple of Months

Long time back from a mini hiatus….

Its been 2 months and I just haven’t made the time for my blog, I feel ashamed. One of the many reasons I started this blog was to have something to do, that could not only distract from the humdrum and boring day to day life I lead, but to also serve as an outlet for my writing. But alas, 2 months have gone by and not a word, so here I am, getting back on the horse.

The last two months have been a bit of a whirlwind. Lots of traveling, changes, and family events, hell even a holiday, with another just around the corner. I have recently visited New York for the first time, visited some family and friends in Florida, and was even a best man in my best friend’s wedding! I have seen and been through several changes at work, and feel like I have watched the last couple of months fly by with limited input…almost on autopilot.

Fortunately this time of the year is I feel when I normally begin to reflect on the passing year, and start to think of the things I could or rather should have done better or change. Things like seeing my family more, spending more time outside, being more active physically, writing, (obviously) and just a multitude of other things, that for one reason or another just haven’t been made a priority. The last few months have only made all of these things even more painfully obvious, and I have every intention to change all of these things. So I start here with writing.

While I have enjoyed the last couple of months, the changes that have been made, and the things I have been able to do, there is still this feeling in my stomach that just leaves me filling unfulfilled or disappointed in myself. I unfortunately have also picked up some not so great habits, that I also intend to kick to the curb. The point I believe for this post is to remind, not just myself, but anyone else who may be feeling a little down on themselves that there is still time. There is time to make the changes you wish to see, not only in yourself, but in the world. I try to take this into consideration, especially on days when Im not feeling quite my best.

I am sure many feel the way I do, there a plenty of things, you should or could be doing better with your time. Maybe you should be spending more time with your family, maybe your friends or loved ones. Maybe you should be following your heart, pursuing your passion, or maybe you should be eating more kale or whatever it is people claim is healthy for you these days. Again, I say, there is time. The challenge comes with finding the will power to make the changes you would like to see.  As I mentioned above, for me, its more writing, more exercise, and more doing what makes me happy. Sure there will be sacrifices; giving up that soda with dinner, not grabbing a six pack of beer friday night, going for a run instead of bing watching the latest Netflix series (although I have officially put off Stranger Things season 2 for far too long!)

But in all seriousness, it is high time to audit some of the behaviors and activities that I would like to change, and I recommend it to anyone who feels the same. There is time, and now is as good a time as any to make the changes to your day to day life to be who you want to be and do what you want to do. Take your time, and take baby steps, flipping the script on multiple things may not work all at once, and personally I find it more beneficial to let my changes roll into one another, but knowing yourself and how you handle various change will determine your pace. Take some time, reflect and take action my friends. Gear up for the holidays, and make wonderful memories!


Las Vegas

I wasn’t sure if I would chime in on this topic….even as I write this post, I’m still not sure if what I have to say on the horrendous incident that happened just a few short days ago, is anything more than a rant. I think this is part of having a blog though, so if you feel you can stand to read on, then thank you for listening to my thoughts on the matter. It makes you feel just a little less lonely when your thoughts are heard, and not just screamed into the void.

Moving on…

Let me start by saying I am not well educated on the matter, as in knowing all the details pertaining to the evolving investigation I am sure is underway to determine the cause of such devastation, loss, and heartache, or the events leading up to it. I will also start by saying that this post is not to talk about the politicizing that is now taking place, from what I can see, on both sides of the government, at least not much. Gun laws, control, or anything other than the nurturing of the people who have been effected, lost, and injured by this senseless violence, should be the furthest thing on your mind.  What should be is: the people lost, and injured by this terrible event, are human beings. Like you, me, your friends and your loved ones. A deranged man or multiple men, hell bent on seeking and destroying life, has just shown us all what true evil is, and we continue to point fingers at each other and demonize anyone and everyone who we do not agree with. This is wrong. It seems has though people have lost their humanity.

What sense can be found in arguing about the things we continue to disagree on? Why do we not focus on the things we do agree on, like that the senseless killing of innocent PEOPLE is one of the cruelest and unforgivable things we have ever heard or seen? Instead, we are pushing for stricter gun control, or we continue to say those who wish to have more gun control are whiny liberals who only think feelings matter. None of that should matter right now. We should be grieving; as a country we should be devastated that something like this can easily take place in our own backyard. Sure, the laws, and protest, and arguing will come, but can we not take a moment to be humbled?

Life is precious, and this guy or multiple men, deranged, clinically insane or depressed,or  what ever you want to call him or them, just proved just how easily it can be ripped from us. Unity, love, and peace should be all we want as a country, yet we are constantly labeling, and belittling each other. We drive wedges between ourselves out of pride, prejudices, ignorance, and narrow-mindedness. Try to sympathize and empathize with those with whom you do not agree. America, has been and always should be a melting pot; I grew up believing that, and still believe that. America was started and built by foreigners who wanted nothing more than to pursue their own version of justice, liberty, and happiness. All of which are rights, given to us by the country herself.

Pardon my rant.

The world is a dangerous place, even without senseless killings. Please promote love and unity, not hate and division. My heart is heavy with all the sadness I have ever felt doubled over. Innocent men and women, murdered, for what seems at this point to have been for nothing. Take a moment to think of what it would be like to have lost someone in these horrible circumstances, and think about what you be feeling, thinking, and what would you want to be hearing? People arguing that because your loved one is now gone, in the most unimaginable way possible, that we should have access to less weapons? Or that now, because you can no longer call on your best friend who just tragically lost their life, guns are not the problem, people are the problem? That is the world today, and I would love to fix it with one wish. But I can’t. I can simply grieve for those who lost their lives, loved ones, and friends to a tragic event that will go down as the deadliest massacre in modern history to date.

Again I say this, please stop the hate, and start the love. Empathize and sympathize with everyone. We are ONE human race. We all live and die the same. Its easy to take your thoughts and opinions and post on Facebook, and start arguments and rants about your point of view, and why you are right, and others are wrong. Instead I encourage you to take those thoughts and reengineer them and your passion for those topics into something that solves a problem, rather than adding fuel to another.

I’ve seen lots of posts regarding a similar thought process, that I agree with totally.

“…”Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

-Fred Rogers

Pray for Las Vegas, and the rest of the world. That we will all one day find peace by helping each other not only in times of need, but always.

Lonely vs. Alone

One of the hardest things people deal with in life, I think, is being alone. Recently I had a brief conversation with a friend of mine about this and he believes that being alone and lonely are one in the same. I told him, I believe they are two very separate things. Although they often work in tandem and many use them as synonyms, they are in fact not the same. I will discuss the differences in more depth in a moment, but lets get back the the beginning. I believe being alone is one of life’s hardest challenges for many reasons. Mainly, most of us have never truly been alone a day in our lives. From the second we are brought into this world there is always someone there wether its your birth parents, foster parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. someone is always there.  What we get from them is the constant need for accompaniment or companionship. And for the rest of our lives we continuously search for more people to find that sense of companionship. This leads to us never being truly alone, or at least not for very long. So you see it’s a never ending cycle of companionship that we constantly seek and is constantly molded by our environment and the company we choose to keep. But there are instances in life when you must truly deal with being alone. Now, I understand that not everyone has to deal with these instances and the example I use will not pertain to everyone. And if that’s the case then this bit probably doesn’t and won’t mean much to you. However, I hope that you read on, as it will set the tone for the rest of the post.

So being lonely versus being alone. Alone, in my opinion, is a matter of fact. It is the word you use to describe your current proximity to people around or near you. Lonely, on the other hand is the feeling you get when being alone is hard or unpleasant. Lonely has a sad connotation that I feel doesn’t rightfully belong to alone. Like at this very moment I am alone in my room, and I am not lonely. I am not saddened by the fact that there is no one around. I am very much at peace with it. And it is this feeling of being at peace with being alone that I feel most people miss out on. And it’s because our whole lives we have been conditioned to want to be surrounded by people. This in turn causes us to feel lonely when we are alone, hence the common misconception, in my opinion, that they are one in the same. Don’t misunderstand me though, I am not an antisocial pessimist and I understand that being around people is healthy for personal development. Although Im sure those who know me well may beg to differ. But, what happens to the people that can’t adjust to being alone. The feeling of loneliness sets in and in some cases also self loathing. It can be a very self diminishing thing. For example take a new college freshman, he is going to his dream school and it’s miles away from home. Fortunately, he has his own apartment for the first time, so its assumed he will have good times with parties, and lots of friends over all the time. But perhaps he isn’t outgoing, maybe he doesn’t know how to make friends that well and all the friends he has ever had are miles away. Imagine what he must feel. This again comes from not knowing how to be alone. But it is in this moment and moments like these that we need to learn to be alone.

It goes against our nature, to turn something that has always been considered a sad or negative thing and turn into a positive. Personally, I feel there is a reason for being alone. Any time I find myself alone, my mind, naturally wanders to darker places and my first response is to be sad and feel lonely, but I decide to stop it there. I begin to, instead, think of the things I feel I never have time for, or things and places I’ve never seen or been to. This can be anything from The Grand Canyon to a coffee shop I read about in a magazine, or a movie I wanted to see. It’s this change of mindset that allows me to focus on more important things rathe than the feeling of loneliness. Instead I get excited, I find something to look forward to, and plan my time and day from there. The thing is it’s not to distract from the feeling of being lonely, it’s learning how to be alone. It’s hard teaching yourself to rewire your own thinking, especially when you feeling lonely is often the immediate emotional response to being alone. It is still a work in progress for myself and the very reason I’m writing this post. But I decided to write and voice the inner monologue I constantly have in my head rather than feel lonely. Being alone can be hard but being lonely is harder.

Now, this is the harder part to get through and although I primarily wrote this to stress the importance of learning to be alone it’s hard to do so without acknowledging what makes it so difficult. Again, this post has been nothing but opinions that I personally have on the subject and I have no evidence whatsoever to prove I am correct in what I say. However, I feel the reason we allow ourselves to feel lonely is because it is easier to do. Now, I also know there are people who are medically or clinically depressed and it’s not as easy as finding something better to do or look forward to, but I can not speak to or for those people, as I myself have never struggled with depression. I am not a medical professional nor am I someone who deals with medical depression. I have however dealt with being lonely though and understand that allowing myself to feel that way is easier than finding something good about my day. I hope this can encourage, again, that change in mindset in those individuals who do deal with those thoughts. Now there are two sides to this but as I write about it one side seems very insignificant but in order to be unbiased I will talk about it. It could be argued that feeling loneliness is a good thing as it will allow you to appreciate the feeling of having people around. Personally though, I don’t see that as true because most of the time we know what it’s like to have people around all the time and missing human interaction isn’t all feeling lonely is.

On the flip side, feeling worse about something is easier than finding something good, in almost every situation. It requires less energy but in the long run is much more taxing on us in every way. To find a silver lining in loneliness or even sadness can be one of the most difficult things people have to experience in life. It requires out of the box thinking at times and for us to push aside our immediate feelings to move onto something better that may not be immediately clear or present. But as I said, finding something better to do and feel, will strengthen you more than anything else in the world. Finding strength in yourself and being your own savior is sometimes all you really need. We are around people the minute we come into this world and we end up depending on them more than we should. We get accustom to having that comfort of someone always being there for us that it rarely allows us the opportunity to stand on our own two feet as an individual. We are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for and can choose what is best for ourselves everyday. People will not always agree and that in itself is why being alone and learning to be at peace with being alone is a lesson worth learning. It will not be easy and often times you will fail but the things worth doing are never easy and you fail to one day succeed.

So I strongly encourage you, whenever you feel loneliness or whenever your are alone think of something that you never get to do for yourself. Better yet, think of something that others don’t typically want to do with you. Maybe trying out a new restaurant isn’t something your best friend wanted to do, go without them. Maybe your significant other didn’t want to go see the new RomCom that came out, see it without them. You don’t need people to experience all of the great things life has to offer. Can people make it better? Sure, but to have someone else tell your story instead of you is crazy. Live a life outside of the people in it, and when you do, share it with everyone!