Thought control

Sometimes we go a bit too far?
so the last few days for me have been emotionally hectic. It’s not ofren that a person gets called out on bad behavior let alone by people who are close.

so shifts my blog for all of my two readers lol. My original intention was to post sonething positive every day but lets face it life just sucks sometimes.

so posts on struggle good and bad it will be, love it or not. theres a million othet blogs to read if you dont like mine. i just cant in good honesty pretend life is butter.

that said I will be blogging daily if i can and about real life (no made up unicorn shit) if you like it great if you dont theres an x to click.

welcome to the next step of reconstruction.
~J

What I Don’t Know

Sometimes what I don’t know is a better reason for action.

This is somewhat of a two part thought so bear with me, I’ve often found four words to be incredibly frustrating to me when I either hear them or say them myself.

I Don’t Know How…….

What is this?  In the context of hearing them being frustrating I find it often simply means “I don’t want to” or “I don’t know how and I don’t care to learn”.  It seems often to be a quick and simple cop out or way of avoiding an unfavorable task.  Sometimes, this can simply be a quick and easy way of avoiding something out of fear or anxiety surrounding the possibility of failure.

A quick and dirty yet incredibly effective tactic in avoidance that often results in success.  I would classify this as “efficient” but, what has someone efficiently accomplished?  I would be a liar to say I myself haven’t used this wonderful tactic in my lifespan and it seems so efficient that I could not even remember when.  It is when a person uses this tactic on a constant basis with intention and awareness of it’s efficacy that I begin to gnash my teeth.

The idea that I could shrug off responsibility or opportunity for personal growth with four simple words is baffling to me sometimes.  There is that whole hubbub about four letter words, how about the four word phrase?  I simply cannot understand what propels someone to be content in stagnation and I do understand that to state this is quite hypocritical of me for reasons that I will get into some other time.

Let me give you some back story real quick, I managed to build a very successful career as well as become prominent in what I will call a more academic community both without any formal training, qualifications, or initial “knowing how to”.  I accomplished this through opening myself to learning, general curiosity, the will to progress, and yes a lot of hard work and sleepless nights.  I struggled and scrambled, dealt with condescension, accepted and examined a lot of criticism, and a lot of failure.  I took risks and learned how to talk to people well above my level and more importantly to listen to those people even if I disagreed.

I did this through action

I would have had a much easier time simply being content to sit and play video games, watch television, sleep, or just sit on the couch eating chips and staring at the wall; all the time making big plans on what I was going to be or do in my head.  Instead I took action reading and networking, going out of my way to network with people and get my hands on whatever tools I could to learn by myself.  I have taught myself a broad range of things from information technology to microbiology and even cooking.  I did this through action.

I’ve also managed to destroy much of this over time but again, more on this in future posts.  The point is had I said “I don’t know how to” and left it at that I don’t think my life would be so fulfilling, I have met many amazing people on my journey and experienced so many things that a lot of people out there may never get the chance to, and for that I am grateful all by avoiding those four words and using action.  Imagine for a minute if as babies and toddlers we were to use this cop out to avoid learning things such as how to eat, talk, use the restroom, walk, etc. I do not think we would get very far.  And if the forefathers of invention such as Tesla, Edison, Newton, Aristotle, and so on, had they used these words as a cop out instead of a reason for exploration I would not be typing this now.

This of course brings me to explore the second part of this thought, the use of “I don’t know how to” as a means of inciting curiosity and solution finding.  My opinion here is that this exhibits itself more internally as a thought rather than externally as a statement.  That is to say it occurs when someone sees a rough goal or vision to reach and realizes that at present there is no knowledge of how to get there.  When this opportunity appears the miracle can happen should that person decide to take action.

Having typed that thought out and analyzing it further I now wonder if I should have even used that fork in the road in this post.  The initial part of the post was meant to explore my frustration of “I don’t know how to” as a cop out or excuse, this second part I believe has more to do with a much longer string of words “I don’t know how to but, I think”.  The simple addition of three words changes the dynamic a full 180 degrees don’t you think?

I always hated bullshit affirmations such as “Thomas Edison said I found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb I only needed to find one way to make it work”, seriously??  First off every time I see the quote the number is different, secondly I’m not Thomas Edison but what does this say for my own mentality?  Am I really open to failure or should I brush them off as simply finding ways that don’t work?  I not only value but thrive on learning if I look at failure as a means to learn in this manner then I should seek failure should I not?  I think we should take every opportunity to learn from failure but place our energy into seeking knowledge through success.

In any case, of the myriad of thoughts whipping through my head I decided to reach out and grab one and you got what I grabbed.  Whether through success or failure, action or complacency, I hope at the end of my days I can look back at a fulfilling life.

~J

 

A Fairly Perfect Day!

Simple things, even helping out family made for a pretty damn good day!

Today so far has been a fairly perfect day for me!!  I managed a better amount of sleep last night than I have the last several days though I was still up earlier than planned but around my typical time prior to this hectic week.

I started the day as usual with a good breakfast and puttered around for a while, my only major plan was to go to my Aunties to do a washer / dryer swap at noon but I started thinking about my Aunties poor dog which I love who was in dire need of some good brushing and a paw massage for his arthritis.  I decided around 8:30 just to wander over and spend some time with my bootsies (my nickname for him) who has been my best friend through a lot of tough times.

After spending some time with the dog one of the housemates woke up and wandered a bit and helped me out with some tasks around the house and we decided to go for a hike at one of my favorite places.  We packed some sandwiches and grabbed camelbacks and off we went to a place I haven’t been to in almost a year for a good hike.  While it reminded me how out of shape I am as I haven’t hiked much lately it was a great hike and we took our time getting home as he is fairly new in town and I showed him some of the nice areas here.

On the way back we stopped for a pair of cigarillos to puff on while we cruised the interstate to get home, had a good meal of chili and here I am typing this waiting for laundry to finish in the old dryer before we make the swap.

All in all a pretty perfect day, simple but busy.

~J

Unless You’re Jim Henson Don’t Expect to Change Shit

If everything around you fails expectations perhaps it’s your expectations?

Yesterday was a very rough day for me in fact it’s been a rough couple of days but today especially. Today I saw my grandparents off to move to Arizona, the home I consider to be my family home will soon be listed and no longer be the place I’ve always felt the safest. Today my aunt and I had much to do so we did what we do best… we did (if that makes sense). We had a three day plan to get things done and at the time of this writing we’re pretty much done granted there are a few cleanup things tomorrow.

Naturally as family is people get “volunteered” and others that volunteer themselves end up having an expectation set. Well, needless to say we had most everything done before the help was even awake. Aside from the emotional frustration, the tiredness from working so hard, the sadness, the everything…. Well so my work shift gets cancelled, traffic was a pain in the rear, I haven’t had a full night sleep in days in fact I’m lucky if I get more than half hour spurts peppered with nightmares, my patio is flooded from the rain due to my piss poor property manager, yadda, yadda, yadda.

After all was said and done while sitting down with my wonderful auntie and relaxing for a bit before coming home and chatting (well bitching about things really) I realized that everyone has emotions affected by others, I honestly knew this but a lot of times at least for me knowledge often gets buried in current emotions. For some random reason I blurted out “Yeah, unless your Jim Henson, don’t expect to control shit!” hence the title of this post, we both laughed but realized it’s entirely true!!

So taking this into account I suppose I can focus on the things within my bounds of control, most notably my perception of things! I can also control my external reaction regardless of my perception and emotional state should I choose. If Bob decides to scream at me for wearing brown shoes with my black pants I can simply nod and smile rather than argue the fact that my most comfortable shoes are brown, chances are with a reaction like this I will walk away feeling better than I would if I were to engage in a senseless argument that serves no purpose other than to raise tension.

Interesting way to think in my opinion when I begin to dissect it as I would most likely not be entirely aware that I am in a better emotional state by not engaging in the argument with Bob who I cannot control this brings a new angle to the already complex conundrum of focusing on what I can control. In this manner even though I can control my perception and external reaction to a degree I truly cannot control it completely as I would be unaware of what I would experience should I have behaved or taken things in a different light. The best way I can break this down to myself is to compare true skydiving to one of those indoor skydiving activities, unless I experience both I cannot truly make any comparisons as to which is better for me.

Does this mean I should try reacting or perceiving multiple ways? Perhaps the perception part in multiple angles would benefit me as a whole but I think if I were to attempt negative reactions in many situations I would be worse off and the experiment while interesting would most likely destroy me over time. So maintaining an attitude towards perception from multiple angles but tempering my reactions to keep them positive might just be a better way to go for a healthier lifestyle overall.

Perhaps the fact that I cannot play the puppeteer as the great Jim Henson was and let the external entities that I cannot control provide me with ideas and inputs to other perceptive angles could act as a strong “growth hormone” to my own internal perceptive traits. Perhaps over time allowing my perceptive traits to grow would provide me with more depth in which to set my own roots as to who I am overall? After all, just as I cannot control those around me; those around me cannot control me and this is the beauty of individuality! Should I have more depth of perception I might posses a stronger sense of tolerance and understanding and by providing a more positive display of reaction might illicit change in something that I cannot control for the better.

Today I will try to maintain a positive external display of myself while still remaining open to others perceptions.

~J

 

Dear morons with oversized trucks in town 

I know there’s a reason for dually diesel trucks, I live in the city.  When I’m already speeding you have no other reason to hug my bumper other than your an absolute fool.  You have Proved your point your stretching to be a man.

Try consideration over blowing your gas mileage to show me your truck can move when you stomp the gas pedal? And maybe not try and hook your bumper to mine if it weren’t such a pain I’d hit my brakes and let you pay for being an ass.

Nobody notices or thinks your cool in fact the one time you rear end someone goosing your throttle your probably going to owe.  Just tell your girlfriend you can’t buy dinner because you need to pay me for being a moron.  

Look fool I grew out of my hot rod days in my early 20s just grow up you stupid shit (I’m holding back) get the fuck off my ass you cocky fuck and drive like a human or don’t bitch when you tag me and I take your cocky fuck ass to the cleaners.

Accidents happen we all have them but I never ever pushed like you do to save 30 perceived seconds on the road in an urban assault vehicle.  Just piss off you cocky self important fuck there are hundreds of us on the road you’re just one.  Deal with it you pretentious fuck!  Your diesel means nothing to me but an insurance payout when you can’t stop in time.

I wanted a pizza not an urban assault and you following me home to complain I wasn’t speeding enough was the tip.  I bet you didn’t think I would argue back let alone push you away from my neighbors who have families and lives and such.

Follow me because I slowed down to the limit??  Threaten me??  Bring it worst case my wasted life gets lost and you live with it.  Knock on my door you followed me home and know where I live because I only did 5 over instead of hot rodding through my neighborhood.

I promise a knock on my door will result in more than just me answering and your threats are empty.  This is my home the minute you Pulled in complaining that I wasnt breaking the law to your satisfaction you gave yourself to this property as a trespasser I will take care of it.

So ask yourself is 15 over the speed limit in your new truck worth it?  Why did you follow me home?  Did me following the rules bother you that much?  Is your new truck that cool?

I’m done with fool kids I’ve got a community I care about show up in our parking lot with that jack handle again and see….

An interesting view…

So bear with me I’m posting from my phone, I sit surrounded by boxes of clothing and paperwork and trinkets sorting through and throwing away and building massive give away piles.

Sometimes something hits me, remembering a past that seems now long ago or a person even a dog that I lost along the way.  What of this do I keep and what to let go?  How many more pictures can I hang before I run out of wall?

On the one hand shedding some of this is incredibly freeing but on the other I miss a lot of the past.  I will grapple with this most likely for the rest of my life but it’s nice to know I have a few things to reflect and remember over.

Years ago in October I had a mentor pass away in a boating accident, I came across the news clipping last night along with custom tee shirts a friend made with his picture and the word “hero”, I came across a tee shirt a dear friend gave me with nothing but a picture of a chair on it.  So many things I drag around and yes I suppose it’s time to let some go.

My precious Akita’s ashes still sit by my bedside the dog I worshipped (she was amazing) various cards from the love of my life and stuffed animals, etc from my K that I hold dear.  Pictures and even funeral programs it has been an adventure.

I have charechatures from 8 years old on to a more recent 25 ish (well not all that recent I guess).  Box stamps from a former employer, hats, pens and notepads, all manner of random shit that I think we all tend to drag around.

My question is such, do I desperately cling to these pasts or move on?  Do I do a combination of both?

I think that in the coming days I might actually finally spread my pups ashes and play guitar in honor of my lost mentor.  I would view these as the best way to honor both. And my beloved Soja pup will have a bag of haribo gummy bears to keep her company (she loved gummy bears).

I will sort my paperwork and keep that which is truly dear (I have a happy one month anniversary card still) and the rest who knows.

The interesting thought is that I have gone through much of my life absolutely blind to the blessings I have been given through those around me.  My family my K my pup and many friends and customers.  

I had a good run but I don’t think I’m ready to give up yet!

Miss sojas stone

Life awareness …

It’s Saturday and most everyone I know is sleeping in.  For myself today started 4 hours ago at 4 am with a shower and breakfast and then a nice jaunt on the trails around the apartment I’m at.

I love where I live, there is a lot of attachment to the open areas and watching the mountains change colors as the sun rises from dark and ominous to a calming purple and then bang, it’s a mountain!! All at my door it’s right there!

I’ve touched these mountains, they’re mine!!  This is a hard concept to explain to anyone who hasn’t spent a lot of years here.  I live a 5 minute walk from some of the most amazing trails ever!  People travel miles, thousands of miles to be there and for me there is here.

Yes I’ve got my problems and yes I could bitch and moan but really?

Really J really?? I’ve got everything I need to survive plus some and I’ve got a back yard no billionaire could ever afford.  I have neighbors that struggle much like me and we all seem to fit together like a real life puzzle.

I hated the idea of leaving what I considered my childhood home.  I was angry inside an it led me down a very dark path.

Today, well today sucks I can’t get work shifts, my calls are all collections, everyone hates me, all of this is true.

But

Not everyone hates me I am lucky to have a handful that love me and I am more than appreciative.

Today I am going to rock my second interview and then spend my time finding ways to show my appreciation to those who have supported me.

Life doesn’t really suck when you have friends…

~J

Exploring Hidden Effort

A lot of mystery happens behind the scenes and it’s great!

I’m not so much of a TV watcher I don’t own a television nor do I have any service, I couldn’t tell you the big movies released in the last few years. What I do love is older movies and TV shows, a weekend of greatness for me is zoning out over as many episodes of MASH as I can cram in while I putter around the house. I love old westerns and film noir, old war movies and a lot of other classics. I do watch some semi recent things such as Hellboy and the Riddick series, etc. but most of it is more for background noise and not so much for actual engagement.

Recently for background noise I have been pulling out a lot of DVD’s that I haven’t viewed in a while and going through the special features specifically looking for commentary from the directors and actors / what not. Because I have seen these films often multiple times just hearing the commentary gives me some entertaining background noise while I pop around not able to see the actual screen. At first it was just a need for noise and the commentary for one of my favorite films “Hellboy” which soon spurred a whole new interest for me.

When I was in information technology I used to get frustrated at the fact that often I never really achieved job satisfaction. Often the sign of success or acumen in technology is that you never hear from anybody, people don’t call when things are working and rarely do you actually get to see a “finished product”. In construction you can stand back and see completion, sales you obviously see the sale, culinary arts produces food, information technology produces an unseen electronic ether that nobody ever really digs into. How many people did it truly take to allow you sitting at home perhaps halfway across the world to read my ramblings? When I hear this commentary I get this window on the back wall where I can see huge amounts of effort from people in the background.

This morning while preparing breakfast and puttering I had commentary for Who Framed Roger Rabbit on which is what inspired this post. At the time the movie was a pairing with Touchstone and Disney and it was one of the most expensive movies made. The big comment that grabbed me was interesting; effectively they eluded to the fact that they really had 3 movies going on at once all mushed together. The thought that there was live acting on sets, about a 45 minute animation feature, and then a whole separate overlay of just special effects and composition shots. The credits alone, for just the painters doing animation cells was some 3 columns scrolling by just… WOW!

What makes this fun is the idea that there is so much imagination and talent behind a lot of what we think of as the day to day. This is not specific to entertainment or information technology, think about your favorite restaurant and whoever came up with the recipes and menu or who planted the flowers and landscaped the median you drive by every day on your way to work. There is a certain wonder for me tied to what I look at now wondering “just what went into that?” it’s an incredible thought. Now it seems people expect the biggest best whatever and have no real idea of what exactly happens behind the curtain.

Having recently started a creative project of a kind I have never done before I’m beginning to understand and appreciate more the extra efforts that are often simply unknown. As I wander around today I find myself looking at things with a different wonder and curiosity, how did this get shaped, who came up with this idea, why this shape? I have always been a quick learner primarily through curiosity and drive, to lose that curiosity is a tragedy and for today I am excited to have a strong sense of curiosity back.

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain,

~J

A Positive Day

Positive action pays off

So my last post was about keeping my head up and I mentioned that I was going to pour some effort into finding a more stable career track. Shortly after firing off several resumes my work began to pay off! I got a call for an interview which I went to this morning and the interview in my opinion went very well!

For me the environment seemed quite ideal, the hours are constant and stable, and the benefits are decent. I now play the waiting game after sending my follow up email and of course am still searching as well. The interesting thing I need to keep in the forefront of my mind is that had I just sat in a semi depressive state waiting for work to pick up I would have lost this particular opportunity. It was in forcing myself to take positive action where I found the opportunity not in sitting waiting for it to just swing by my place for dinner.

Yesterday evening I started working on a new little project I’ve been thinking about for some time now and such that most of my free attention has been focused on that I’ve really not much else to post about today. I just wanted to get the thought of positive action out there.

And just because I don’t want you to feel short changed on content I highly recommend you check out DawnSeeker’s Depression Emergency Kit as it’s well written and has already helped me.

Roll on cognitive wheel,

~J

Forward Momentum

I still have plenty of fight left maybe it’s time to dream again.

Life continues…… Despite me taking my day of self reflection and avoidance of people the world does not stop just because I did for a day. In all honestly things are not that bad this morning! I could go on about all the things I don’t have or the faults that I do have but that really gets me nowhere at all. Today I think I will work to spend every minute of my time just a little more wisely.

I’m slightly annoyed and incredibly tired of trying to pick up a shift or two here or there and payday doesn’t come soon enough. Reality is, I’ve got it pretty good my kitchen is stocked and I live in a decent neighborhood. Things could be much worse so there is no sense in dwelling on any of that. After all we create our own situations is this not true? So it’s time to spend today shifting focus from past and present to the near future. We don’t naturally walk backwards it’s just not in our biology so why is it that I spent so much time trying to make that work?

Odd when I think about it, with all this self reflection I suppose I do risk dropping back into a depression again. Of course if I choose to bottle it up and ignore it how can I ever progress past this dangerous ledge that I seem to keep skirting? Nope, I don’t think I want to do that anymore so off we go! In the absence of a shift this morning I have a little bit of time to sit with a cup of good coffee and my thoughts over breakfast. The one meal I rarely miss is breakfast, it’s become the cornerstone of my mornings whether I can sleep or not.

So today (after breakfast of course) I will hit it hard looking for a more stable career track. I will make some calls, send some emails, fire off some resumes, and somewhere in that mess I will sit down and put together a nice list of goals and values for the next 3 months or so. Thinking too far ahead is dangerous for me, thinking too far behind buys me nothing. I’ve got to stay within a nice small window for now until I can achieve some stability. Best to keep thinking but not think too much!

I much too often wonder what life would be like today had I chosen a different track long ago? Would I be successful? What is the definition of success for me? Yes I think too much. Continuing this thought (and there I go thinking again), perhaps something I lost along the way was the ability to dream. I lost the ability to look forward and feel the wonders of excitement about the future again and have real actual goals. This is today’s task for me and I hope it keeps my direction properly aimed.

Momentum is an interesting word, a near nebulous term I think much like the word “mechanism”. Words have interested me lately as I read other bloggers and tap into some of my older books as I have unpacked them. I am currently focused on a passage from Dante’s Divine Comedy, Purgatorio (Purgatory) 25th canto line 4 “Therefore, like one who will not stop but moves along his path, no matter what he sees, if he is goaded by necessity….”.

I’m a huge fan of Dante’s works, in particular Vita Nuova (The New Life). It’s quite interesting that the opening of the 25th canto of purgatory is the start of the ascent from the 6th terrace to the 7th (Gluttony to Lust) I suppose in a way our dreams and hopes for the future could be easily connected to them both. I will re-read this canto today I think, if not for anything than to have consumed something resembling art today. I have 3 translations of this wonderful book and much like I do with the Hawaiian creation chant the Kumulipo, I will enjoy comparing the translations today.

And so this post is getting a little bit too long now, I have in fact defined two very short term goals while typing this though. I will finish breakfast, pull a few books from the shelf, and enjoy something I haven’t done in a long while. I will spend a short time comparing old writings and let myself get lost for a half hour or so in deep thought. I will then be off to action today, no more walking backwards.

Time to dream again,

~J