As I move into new branches of my life, I am reminded of the importance of my choices and which voice I choose to listen to. Understand?
We all have that internal voice. We have that internal monologue, which can often have a way of misleading us from our goals.
Before going forward, I want to be very clear about a few things. Understand that I am not a clinician or a social worker. I am not a medical doctor, psychiatrist, nor psychologist, nor do I want to be.
I am me and I say this proudly.
I am me without apology, in fact, and before going forward, I am not claiming to be a professional or an authority; however, I someone of experience on the matter.
I cannot say why or how or if I know for certain.
I can only say that I know my love is real.
I know my love is real because
I feel it.
It lives and breathes. It feels and it weeps.
My love is a laugh that I could not live without.
It’s a soft touch.
My love is the feel I get when I hear a name and I realize,
at last, I know I’m not alone.
It was right around this time. I knew something was about to happen. I had not gone all in, just yet.
I had gone back to old behaviors and used old defense mechanisms. I went back to the old coping skills of my previous life. Essentially, I went back to the old me because in the simplest terms, I failed to maintain the new person I had become.
Yesterday was the first hint of spring. The ground is beginning to thaw. I have not seen a red-breasted robin yet but I did watch a brown eagle glide in circles. The eagle swept around behind my house and flew between Horse Stable and Panther Mountain the other day.
One would think I am far from the city but I am not. I am still close but yet I am far enough away that I can disassociate myself with midtown chaos and the Kamikaze cab drivers that speed down Lexington.
This is us. You and me. This is us on an everyday basis.
We are all more relatable than you think. I mean, here we are on Project Earth, basically moving around on this huge conveyor belt we call a planet, trying to find our place in the circle, and at the end of the day, all we want to do is finish strong and come to some kind of constructive conclusion. Whether we get along or find ourselves on the same journey is a different story altogether. Either way, the sun will go down at sunset; and if we’re lucky, we’ll all wake up to see it rise one more time.
Somewhere, there’s a little unknown town with a diner that serves an amazing slice of pie. I imagine this place.
I imagine the people are friendly.
They say things like, “Hello,” and “Good morning,” as they pass each other.
Strangers are welcomed like family and smiles are like currency. This place is the kind of town where everyone knows each.
There is a problem that occurs when we settle for less than what we deserve. The problem is called resentment.
Eventually, we become resentful towards the people we settled for because in all honesty, we are mad at us because we took the trade.
Eventually, we grow frustrated because we traded away our dreams, which, we understood in the beginning. But in the beginning, we believed the that maybe things will turn out in the end. We accepted a smaller return but hey, at least it’s a return.
The truth is the world is not always a best foot forward kind of place. Adversity is real and so are the struggles we face.
Life has nothing to do with being fair or unfair. Life is only life. It does not act on behalf of or in regard to our plans or choices.
Life just happens.
There is something about those old photos we have keep packed away in boxes and placed somewhere in the back of a closet or down in a basement somewhere. There is something about the old photos taken at family gatherings, long ago, and from the days that seemed to happen to us in another lifetime.
There is more to us. There is more to everybody than what we see on the surface because on the surface, we might see a smile or maybe we see an exterior success. Maybe we see people and look; and as we look at them, we think how their lives must be.
On the surface, maybe we look at a student or n athlete. Maybe we see grades and an honor roll status. Maybe we look at the pretty people and think how “Their” lives “Must” be easier.
We divide ourselves by status and place each other in different echelons of popularity and social appearance.But that’s just an appearance.
Maybe we see the surface of the so-called “Gifted” and think how our lives would be easier if we were more like them. Truth is; however, the surface of anyone is only the surface.
Beneath is often an entirely different story
I ever tell you about the dream I have of Mr. Golden’s 5th Grade classroom? It’s not much really. It’s just a dream.
There is something to it though. There is a meaning behind the dream but sometimes, it’s hard to put my finger on it.
For some reason, I find myself in the back of the classroom, which is empty.
The room looks exactly as I remember it. The walls are covered in 5th Grade artwork. There are pictures on the wall, letters of the alphabet, and rows of desks which in fairness, for the life of me, I cannot recall where I sat.
I only know I was there.
I go back to a walk I never expected to take on a coast I never thought I would see. I go back to the beach and the sign on the hills, which said, “Hollywood.”
I go back to the way the Pacific looked and how the sun felt upon my skin. I think of this trip and the doors it opened. I think of its consequences and the doors which closed behind me. But I was fine with this.
You and I have talked about this before but I think it’s important that we talk about it again.
The word “Friend”
A friend is a feeling. It’s a person. It’s a relationship that helps us find balance in this crazy thing we call life.
A friend is a source of comfort. It’s a meaningful name that either puts a smile on your face or a feeling in your heart.
That’s what a friend is.
As we grow, we learn from a young age about how to be, how to act, how to think, and how to behave, how to say please, and when to say thank you. From the early years, we are taught things like, “be nice,” and “Share,” and “Don’t hit.”
We are taught things like The Golden Rule, which is do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The Gold Rule is a practice we follow to create our ultimate success, which, in a perfect world and in optimum conditions, sounds great. Unfortunately, the world we live in is far from perfect and the conditions are far from optimum.
When I listen to arguments over opinions about our country, I wonder if people realize that it is okay to see things differently. I am not sure when opinions became fact. I am not sure how we became the way we are, so divided that we fail to see straight or realize that we are actually on the same team. I don’t know much about politics. I don’t always I agree with what I hear and I don’t always like what I see.
All I know is I am me without apology. I am not the right side or the left. Instead of choosing a side, I consider myself the middle. I consider myself the heart of this country. I am part of the pulse that beats the blood through the system of this land. I am no better or worse. I am me. I am the son of a man who chose to serve our country. In fact, my Old Man served our country proudly in the Army Air Corps in 1946.
This morning you asked if there was a way to bring someone back from the dead.
Out of everything I have learned in my life, I have learned one certain thing, which is in times like this there are no right words to say.
I was thinking about that small place I stayed in. This was a while ago in Fort Lauderdale on the beach. I was not too far away from The Ritz and some of the other glamorous hotels.
In fact, I was only few blocks away. I was down the street from the beach and witness to the morning sunrise.
It was pretty here. Of course it was. I was on the beach seeing beautiful things during an intense time.
But oh, how the ocean does wonderful things. I swear the sound of the waves rushing in was perfect enough to cleanse me the same way the waves cleanse the sands.
I have been thinking about the farm lately. I was thinking about the barn crews and the times we spent on the hill, running around, chasing each other, and playing games like capture the flag. Hell, I was only 17 years-old then. I was just a kid.
There was something to this place though. But in fairness, if you were to go back and ask me if I would ever regard this as the best days of my youth, I’d have laughed and said you’re crazy.
I suppose everyone on the farm would have said the same thing. We’d have all said you’re crazy
There is nothing more real than life
It’s as simple as that. Life is very real.
It happens every day.
Every morning, life happens.
Imagine yourself sitting comfortably. Imagine yourself away from all of your stressors. You are far from the anxieties that cause concern.
Imagine yourself sitting on a shoreline where the waves move in quietly. The sound of the waves is the sound of Mother Earth breathing.
When the waves come in, she inhales.
When she exhales, the waves return out into sea.
I was just about to step outside and break away from my normal routine. I decided to talk a walk. I wanted to take a break from my usual scene. I wanted to get away from the group of my so-called friends.
I wanted to separate me from them and the self-absorbed conversations about this one keeping up with that one. I was young and the city was still new to me.
The following is about strength so as you read; I will kindly ask that you keep an open mind. This is not a plea or a cry for help. Instead, this is a roadmap that starts from where I came from and leads to where I am now, today, here with you.
We were at the start of a job on an old pipe in an old column of a commercial office building on Lexington Avenue.
Keep in mind, this pipe was domestic cold water line. It was an old pipe and galvanized. The pipe was also placed in this column, sealed up, and untouched since the original construction, which was completed in 1927.
To the young, they think they’ll never be old.
For them, they think youth will stay young forever.
This means we can be wild forever.
We can play forever.
We can feel alive forever
and we can live without caution or worry.
When you’re young, tomorrow is just another day.
Nothing really matters.
At least, not really.
When you’re young, you’re still young enough to defy the idea of time.
Time is just a minute away.
And to the young, life is still young
and minutes are more than plentiful.
We left the dock just before sunup. It was warm and the winds were mostly calm. Everything was quiet. All there was to hear were the the sound of an early morning summer breeze and the seawater moving through the back canals.
The reports from offshore said the seas were somewhere between 2’ and 3’ rollers, which is fine. Soon enough, with all aboard, we prepared to move slowly through the “No Wake” zone. I started the engines and one of the crew untied the ropes around the cleats.
I loved it this way. When it’s quiet, I mean. The only people around are the people heading offshore. The marina was empty and all was quiet. I loved the sound my engines made and the vibration that I felt beneath my feet while standing at the wheel. She was mine, alright. She was all mine.
I believe in the soul.
Even if others tell me there is no such thing, I believe in the soul and the soul’s need to be free.
I believe in the inner self.
I believe in the “Us” deep within that has been covered by layer upon layer of emotion and experience. I believe in the inner self, yearning and aching to break out from beneath the weight of all things.
Life has a way of teaching us lessons. And if we don’t learn the first time, the lesson comes back around again; only, the next time the lesson is more intense. And it goes this way until we learn.
Eventually, something happens and suddenly, a light comes on. Maybe we can call this an “Ah-ha!” moment. Maybe we have what people call a spiritual awakening or in more intense situations, we have what people consider to be a divine intervention.
Or, maybe something occurs; maybe this is as simple realization, which allows us to see things as they really are.
Something happens and suddenly, we take notice.
We see the need for change.
We come to this moment and find a need to take action. But what is action without reason?
More importantly, what is change without motivation. How do we maintain long-term goals without feeling motivated or inspired?
I want to find myself somewhere (with you) now, beside a tree I once knew in a different life. I was younger then. But of course you already knew that. Everything that happens to us before now is something that happened when we were younger. This means we are constant. We will always be constant (So help me God) so long as as we believe this way, we will always be allowed to grow.
I want find myself here (with you) beside this tree on a hill at a place where I store my memories. I was young at the time. The hill was behind a big main house on a farm I once knew. The tree was not so much unlike any other. The tree is just a tiny part of this place. But yet, at the same time, this tree is symbolic of something so much bigger.
There is nothing in the world more irretrievable than time. Nothing, whatsoever is as precious, as fleeting, and as ongoing as the turning of a clock.
She was little once. She was small enough to fit inside my arm. The world was big to her; much bigger than anything I could compare to. Then again, the world was new. Everything was new. Literally, everything was like something brand new and out of the box.
My little girl was my little girl then.
ever watched someone begin a personal program? Whether the program is exercise based
or diet based; whether the program is a newly acquired position at work, whether
the program is a new relationship or a new schedule designed to create life
changes, in the beginning, have you ever noticed the way some approach the
starting line and how they blast off out from the gate?
More and more, I see the world changing, which is fine because change is a natural act and no amount of pretending will ever change this fact. I see this in business and in personal interactions.
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has their own system of beliefs. Everyone has their own political view, their own passions, and their own rights to each. You have your way and I have mine.
More and more, however, I see a great imposition between others with conflicting opinions. I see fights and division. I see hatred and frustration and people pointing fingers at this one or that one, quick to say which one is right or wrong, but never daring to listen to an opposing view because it my disturb their system f beliefs
I used to speak with a salesman on a somewhat regular basis. He was good to speak to. And I will tell you why.
Business is business and life is life. But sometimes the two intertwine. Sometimes life bleeds into business and sometimes business bleeds into life. We are human, which means life happens.
Things happen in our personal life or something can happen in our work life that weighs us down.
Maybe we lost a sale. Maybe our boss decided to go on a shouting spree. Maybe something at home went wrong.
Maybe the love life went south or something happened to the kids or a family member.
Life happens to everyone, but yet, professionalism is expected, which means we cannot allow this to distract or deter us from our path.
We live and we learn. Somewhere along the way we form habitual paths. We are a system of daily routines and unvarying ways. some are more crucial and some are less concerning. Some are subconscious and some are more outwardly.
I have seen people try to quit smoking by changing their brand. I have seen people switch the hand they hold their cigarette with to break their habit and lose their usual fluid motion.
It is said that nothing changes of nothing changes, which means even the slightest change can perpetuate the ultimate change.
My Dear Old
It’s been a
long time since we were all together in the same place at the same time. It’s
been even longer since we were the kids from the town, the kids we were, the
kids we used to be, and doing the things we used to do.
There are times when I am scrolling through my phone to find a number. I come across a word that means more to me than almost anything. Sometimes, I begin dialing a number and due to the technical intelligence of my cell phone, the dialing screen shows suggestions of whom I might be calling. Every so often, I begin to dial a similar number and the word pops on the screen.
The number I come across is not titled with a name of a client or a friend or anyone else.
The word that comes on the screen is Mom.
I was never
sure what love is or if love could be defined or be distinguished by one true definition.
All I know is that as I’ve grown, so has my definition of what love is or what
love should be.
never the same. It changes and evolves.
Love expands and contracts. It has peaks and valleys, good times and bad. Love
does not come without mistake or flaw or pain.
I say life is math. I see us all as a mathematical equation. I believe we are all this way. I think we are the sum of our past. We are a compilation of memory and a combination of circumstance. I see our personal factors as a mixture of events; some of which, we swore would never happen again, so obviously, we behave in a way to prevent past events from ever occurring again.
One of my first jobs was a door to door sales job that paid cash at the end of each day. I sold small impulse items like calculators and little things like pens and other catchy knickknacks that people buy on a whim.
None of the items were high priced but in sales like this, volume is key.
In all honesty, I hated this job. I hated the network marketing aspect and the fake promises of owning my own distribution center, which is literally promised to everyone in their interview.
I knocked on doors. I sold most of my products on factory settings. In fact, lunch time was best because all the workers would stop by and buy what I had. But most days were uphill days. I heard no more than I heard yes. And the abuse was terrible. The rejection was unmatchable. At the end of the day, my feet were tired from walking all around throughout different parts of the city. At the close of business day, I went back to the home office with the balance of my goods and paid what I owe to receive what I earned.
Everyone has a dream . . .
The way I see it
there is only one thing between us and our dreams.
That is the beast within.
And everyone has a beast within them
Everyone has that inner monologue
That inner demon
That’s the beast I was telling you about
My beast speaks too
He whispers . .
But I know it’s him,
which is why he changes his dialect.
I swear this is to trick me,
My beast changes the way he speaks,
always disguising himself,
always trying to make me guess myself,
and always looking to maintain my attention
so I won’t look anyplace else.
And sometimes . . .
Sometimes I listen to the crazy laugh of my inner animal.
Every wonder why the devil never dresses himself in anything fancy?
It’s so you never see him coming . . .
Today is the third day after my Botox treatment. I can feel the physical differences in my shoulders and at the base of my neck. I have a better range of motion and with much less discomfort.
I can clearly see how Botox injections help with pain management. As far as the mental aspect, I am someone that lives with frequent battles of insomnia.
This is a tough thing because like most of the working world, I have a schedule to keep. This is difficult to keep on a full night’s rest, let alone a night where sleep is this thing made for other people. However, after the injections, I can see an improvement in my sleeping patterns. Although I still wake up in the middle of the night to make a bathroom trip or two, I am able to fall back asleep, which is miraculous for me.
Nothing fills a room like emptiness. There may be a chair, or a hard wooden bench or a place to sleep, like a narrow bed, there is still nothing but you an bricked room.
There is a hard floor and a flat ceiling, walls, and a door with a small window at eye-level with wire mesh that intertwines within the glass.
I sat in a chair,
nervous as ever, because of an old subconscious fear about visits to doctor’s
offices that resulted with needles and date back to my early childhood
memories. The procedure itself is simple. The anticipation, however, was my
biggest hurdle. The rest was nothing more than a few pinches of the skin. And
Back when I was a little kid, I remember when I had headaches that were bad. Mom used to break up little tablets of baby aspirin and put it with a teaspoon of water. I’m not sure why she delivered the aspirin this way. I suppose I struggled to take the pill itself. Maybe Mom gave me the aspirin this way because it tasted better. I can’t say why she did this.
Unfortunately, Mom is not around to ask but I do remember the teaspoon trick. The medicine was delivered delicately and with love. This was good for me. Also, the aspirin would do its trick. And I understood the exchange; therefore mentally, I knew something was going to help me. I knew that if I felt uncomfortable, I could take an aspirin, wait about 20 minutes, and then I would feel better.
I think of that chicken or the egg theory and which one came first. Was it the chicken or was it the egg?
In all honestly, I never really think of the chicken or the egg. At least, not exactly. More to the point, I think about this when it comes to situations in the mind.
I think about me and my own dilemmas. As far as I know, nobody ever asked to have bad things happen. They just happen. But if in some cases, there is a reason
There is nothing so healing to the world like a laugh during a hard time. I swear in the most impossible of settings, a laugh, say like from someone you love, can be the most redeeming thing in this crazy world.
The word just is nothing us. We’ve talked about this before. I love this word because I love the reaction I get when doing presentations.
Just don’t do that anymore . . .
buried treasure somewhere in a backyard of small home located five houses north
of Front Street in a town called East Meadow. I know this because I buried it
there, long ago, at a time when youth was made for the young. I’m sure I drew a
treasure map, just in case I forgot where I buried these things.
I think hard and then I laugh when you tell me how you see me. I laugh because of your inaccuracies and I think hard because I wonder about the way I see myself, which is different from the way you or other people see me.
I suppose this is the way life is. (. . . Isn’t it?)
We are three people. We are who we think we are, who say we are, and then we are who people see us as.
Something went wrong. I was not sure how this happened. I was not sure what took place or what would happen next. I just knew I was about to die. I knew the paranoia had overwhelmed me and I swore (if this were possible) that I was beginning to see the sounds I swore I could hear.
I felt my heart beating through my chest. There was a sensation of pins and needles going down both of my arms, which were numb for some reason.
I was wet and cold.
It was wintertime and I was hiding (like usual) away from the faces, the places, and the people in my town. I was wired and caught up in the aftermath and desperate.