North and south of me, up and down, or high and low. I am not alone here, not m I the only one the feels or thinks this way.
We’re not crazy, you and me.
We just wonder if we are.
Note to Self:
Going forward, I say there needs to be a dedication to move onward. I say this takes commitment and an awareness that understands the depth of our commitment is equal to the level of our success.
I say we need to understand our goals. In future, I say it is important to understand the value of our dreams and the importance of our best possible interest.
I say this because there will be no one else there to see this through (Except for us) and that rather than have a dream deferred, I plan to have our goals achieved.
I look around us and I see the path we’re on. I look around at our society. I see the people that we work with and live with and the faces we pass on a daily basis. I see the good and the bad, the tough and the easy. I see life and death and all that meet in-between. I look around at the basic and daily complications we all face.
There was a walk I took through Central Park once. I was alone. I was all by myself with nothing else to do. There was no place else to go and no one else to see. I think they call this “Me” time.
I was at the tail end of a bad job with a suit and tie type of lifestyle. Or, more accurately, I was just a kid in a suit.
I was selling woven labels and identification items to garment manufacturers at a place over on 33rd St.
This was literally one of the worst and most uninteresting jobs that I ever had. I was young and trying my best to impersonate a grown-up. I had a job though. I had the briefcase. I wore a suit and read the newspaper on the train. I drank coffee from a Styrofoam cup with the little plastic lid, flipped upwards.
I tried my best to fit in. I did my best to dress well and play the part of a young, hotshot salesman. I tried but deep down, I knew this was not for me.
We had a conversation in one of my empowerment classes about the things that hold us back and keep us from moving forward.
We talked about our thinking process and how they say, “Alcoholism and addiction is a disease of our thinking.”
Keep in mind, the main focus in this group is to create goals, plans, and strategies to create a clean and sober lifestyle.
We discussed the word “Relapse” and what brings people back to where they left off. It is argued by me that the reason is not because a lack of knowledge or understanding of our actions; however, there seems to be a disconnect in the application process.
This one is personal to me.
I suppose they all are personal but this one has an exception, which I hope the reason becomes clear to you.
The truth is no one ever wants to “Feel” or “Be” alone.
Depression and fear are very real things to me. I had to learn from them. I had to learn how to interact and live instead of struggle or suffer. above all, I had to learn how to move on.
There is an
entire world out there that exists far beyond our fear and feelings of any kind.
There is a world out there that is beyond opinion and beyond personal theories.
People live in this world. Life happens here, every day, all day long. This is
a world beyond our assumptions or bias and persecutions.
One of the biggest triggers of anxiety is the internal voice. This is the internal narrative that discusses the past and the expected futures. This is the internal criticism, which we all have, and let’s face it; everybody claims to be their own worst critic.
Perhaps this is true.
There was a little old boat in the rear, left corner of my backyard. The boat was aluminum, small with two bench seats across the beam, and while my memory of this is equally as small, I remember tiny glimpses of the little old boat.
I remember me, sitting in the boat with a life preserver that was perhaps bigger than my entire body. This is my first memory of her. We were fishing someplace near City Island.
I somehow caught a little starfish, if I’m not mistaken. This was before we moved out to The Island and away from my birthplace in Queens.
Where does anything begin?
Where do we start? You, me, and the rest of the world, we all start from somewhere, which is obvious to all of us, but when it comes to personal and transformational change, the question remains.
Where do we begin?
morning . . .
You wake up
and there’s just nothing
nothing, and this has nothing to do with a place to live or money
I look at where I was in the beginning and I come to the same sentiment as I did back then. In whichever way possible and by any means necessary, I made a commitment to myself to create and recreate me on a daily basis for the rest of my life.
I have to want to improve in order for me to be better. I have to see where I am in an honest perspective.
There are times when even the strongest denial cannot blind the eyes to the obvious. In my case, I knew there was a need for change.
Is it really possible for someone to change?
I remember seeing a picture of a kid. He was holding a stick in his right hand that ran over his shoulder, and at the end of the stick, the kid tied a sack to it with all of his things inside.
He was running away.
Remember running away? I do. I used to run away all the time. I would stay gone for a while but I would eventually come home.
I have no idea where I will end up in the later years of my life. The one thing I learned is life changes and life can change quickly and unexpectedly.
I change. You change.
People change and so do the landscapes of the places we used to know when we were younger. Life fades and so can memory, unless we nurture them.
I go back to that word again. I go back to the word “Friends” and think to myself, what is this?
What is a friend?
What is friendship?
What is the
relationship between others and me?
Is this friendship?
Is everyone that says they’re a friend, really a friend, or is this just a contract, or is friendship nothing more than a social construct, or a notion based upon a semi-emotional agreement, or is it an idea, or better yet, is this just an invention between people?
Back in the days when I was just a helper and working in a building on 3rd Avenue as an assistant building engineer, I was studying for my certification to move up in the ranks.
I was part of the team, somewhat liked and somewhat disliked by a few of the members in my crew. I was liked by the ones that worked and disliked by the ones that looked to skate.
Soon the air will begin to cool. Soon enough, the trees will take on a new shade of color. Autumn will arrive and the air will smell from fallen leaves and fireplaces from nearby homes.
I can dig it . . .
I love it this way, not too hot and not too cold. I love the world during the in-between seasons. I see the summer and winter as the ultimate inhale and exhale of Mother Nature. Spring and fall are the pauses between breaths. The Earth will undergo change, which I identify as the foreshadowing moment of a new and up and coming chapter.
The thought of starting over is of course, intimidating, to say the least. As the saying goes, we start from square one. We have to start from scratch and begin again. The idea of change can be frightening. I know this for a fact.
For a little more than a year and a half, I have been going to a drug and alcohol program in a county jail to coach an empowerment class on Sunday mornings. The class begins immediately after breakfast at 8:30am. Most of the room is still tired. And then there’s me, blasting through the door, charged with energy and ready to roar.
I would like the record to reflect that his is not my description of what happens. No, this was something I was told by someone that used to attend my class and reached out to me upon his release.
I am writing this in response to a question. I was asked about what I do. I was also asked what coaching is. I was asked if self-coaching is possible, which it is, but it is always helpful to have someone to interact with.
Well, this is how I see it.
To define coaching is very simple. There are different coaches that are certified in different areas of wellness. First and foremost, the connection between a coach and client is important.
Every so often, I need a morning like this.
All is quiet and the sky is gray.
The wind is moving like a whisper
and the leaves in the trees are barely moving.
But Project Earth, I know she is moving.
To Whom This May Concern;
Going forward and for me to move onward, I made a decision to reject the fear based or shame based ideas and the programs or programmed thinking that leads me back to depressive thought patterns that keep me stuck.
Note to you:
I am putting this here (with you) in a collection I call The Book of Firsts. I say this because everything begins from somewhere. Every journey begins with the first step and so on and so forth.
I know this and I know you do too. So, I will spare the philosophy and leave this thought here where it belongs, in The Book of Firsts to build from here and create what comes forward, one brick at a time . . .
Of all things said to a loved one, one of the most popular questions is asked almost like a statement. This happens when something is wrong, only we didn’t know about it until something unfortunate happened and then we ask, “Well, why didn’t you tell me?”
There is a reason for everything they say.
I suppose there must be a reason; only, I’m not always sure I like what the reason is. I’m not sure how reasons make sense of things like the loss of a loved one or heartache.
They say there is a reason, that there is a path for us, and that someway, somehow, we are all going to end up exactly where we are supposed to be.
I assume this is true —I mean this has to be true especially if we believe this is true.
I was about to head to a small town I had never heard of in the Upstate part of New York. I was physically uncomfortable in my own skin and sick in a way that I had never felt before. I was told that I had to go “Away” until the courts figured out what to do with me. My attorney warned that I better hope this worked. He advised that I better pray that I don’t get what I deserve. I say “My attorney” but he was not my attorney. More accurately, he was the attorney my folks hired to defend me in a court of law. So it was more like he was “Their” attorney.
There is a voice within us all. In fact, there is more than one voice within us. In fact, there may be several voices, which come from different angles and speak for different reasons.
Each and every one of us has an internal monologue that we interact with on a daily basis. This is the voice of our thoughts. However, there are times when our thoughts tend to grow legs and run too quickly.
There are times when our thinking is not our friend. We tend to play this out and one thought leads to another and then another thought leads to the next.
I watched a group of men argue about a job for an entire day. One of the men argued about the equipment and the other argued about the supplies. Another argued about the man power because obviously nobody knows what they’re doing these days and another man argued that everyone was too busy arguing, “So why don’t you all just shut up and get to work!”
It was late afternoon towards the end of August. The entire house was out in the fields for most of the day. The sun was hot and the air was thick. Our job was to gather the hay bales after the mowers cut and bundled the grass. I can’t say this was easy because it wasn’t.
I never did anything like this before. I never saw hay in the rough; and what I mean is I never saw freshly cut hay bales nor did I understand how heavy they could be because the grass was still wet and green. When I think of hay, I think of barns and blocks of tan straw. But that’s not what they look like when they’re fresh.
There is an entire world out there—
There is a quiet street just outside my front door. The sun is coming up as I write to you. I can see the outline of the trees through the window in my loft, which appear black in the contrast of the dark grayish sky.
Currently, the moment is silent. All I can hear is the sound of keys as I type my thoughts and the ringing I hear in my ears when there’s no other sound around me.
I am writing
this to you as a roadmap, just in case you find yourself lost. This way, you
will know when to turn and get off at the next exit. Otherwise, you might find
yourself heading the wrong way for a long time, which is no different than
driving the wrong way down a one way street.
This is what happens inside the head . . .
. . . you think too much
You feel too
everything, in fact, but you can’t shut this off because it won’t shut off.
across an old post of mine and thought how things happen without warning. Life happens
at any moment. No one expects life happen the way it does. I suppose I would
have been more prepared for things if I knew what was about to happen.
Come to think of it, in some cases, I knew exactly what was about to happen and
I still wasn’t ready.
When I was a young kid, I worked as a helper in The Old Man’s shop.
I was only a kid at the time. My intentions were elsewhere and my mind was on other things. I had no idea what it meant to work for a living or have a family depend on me.
I was too young to understand and too young to know what it means to endure or why people do it.
What is endurance anyway?
We were a few miles out of Jones Inlet with the sun behind us and the open sea ahead. The hour was closing in on sunset and the horizon took on the shades of orange and purple. There were slight traces of pastel color outlining the clouds and bordering color between Heaven and Earth.
I believe in all fairness, I should follow up with my previous thought about my Mother and tell you a little more about my Father.
Before I begin, those that have followed along and those who’ve know be from before and know me up until now will also know that each time I refer to my Father, I refer to him as The Old Man.
Before going forward, I think it would be best for me to explain where I learned what it means to be a strong woman.
Of course, as a man, my ability to understand what it means to be a woman is extremely limited. However, I can say that I was raised with strong role models. Above all, Mom was the strongest.
Make no mistake, life can change in the blink of an eye and just like that, everything is different. As a young man, I swore The Old Man would always be around. I never expected him to pass or my family’s business to go under.
I never saw my Father’s death coming. I never saw the bankruptcy of his business coming or the theft of all my family’s worth coming.
If you had asked me, I would have sworn this would have been my future. Only, my future was changed two weeks before Christmas in 1989 when The Old Man had his first heart attack.
Hold on to your own enthusiasm folks because rest assured, not everyone shares the same thing and not everyone is interested.
There are all types of different people out there.
Believe me on this one.
Be advised, life comes with options. Even when the options are not what we like or even if the options we have are unfortunate or painful; there will always be options.
Be advised, we do have the right to choose who we spend our time with. We have the right to choose who we share ourselves with and how much we give.
There is no rule which states we have to give it all, especially when we all we feel is that we give and we give, but nothing is ever returned.
As parents or loved ones or even as good friends, we try to find the right words to say when life turns bad for someone we love. However, before going forward, I will take into account my own times of hopelessness, in which, any word was too hard for me to hear. Some words, in fact, were more like an insult instead of encouraging.
When I was young, I swore I would never grow old.
I made a promise to myself that I would never be like them.
I said this with an emphasis on the word, “Them:” to define my contempt.
I never wanted to grow old or forget myself.
I never wanted to be lost in the land of status whores
Or lost to my own contempt or lost to my resentment as a result of my insecurity. I swore, I wanted to be strong, if not stronger.
A note for the kid:
I wrote this a while ago. But the shoe still fits, so . . .
I was around 14 or 15 years-old when a tall, heavy-set teacher, shoved me into the back corner of an empty classroom.
He was out of line but then again, so was I.
Grinding his teeth he said, “Do you wanna know what I’d like to do to you?”
Then he leaned even closer. “I’d kick the living shit out of you right now if I could.”
There is something I know, which we all know, which is unfortunate at times but even still, the truth is no matter how much we love or care, no matter how we have the best interests at heart, and no matter how hard we try to help or “Fix” the problem, whether we like it or not, not everyone wants help. Not everyone accepts it. Not everyone agrees. Not everyone wants to stop what they’re doing and not everyone wants to change their life.
It is true. So many of us fall short of our dreams and live secretly or privately unsatisfied. It is also true that many of us fail to step forward. We fail to try or dare to risk the odds of disappointment.
I came across a quote this morning. I was listening to random motivational speakers so that I could A, improve my own life and B, learn more and improve my own motivational abilities.
And now it’s here, summer, and I am thinking of how it was when the days were long and the nights were hot. The lights were bright and the music was good. I remember.
In fact, I remember it all. I remember the bars on the waterfront and the friends I thought I’d know forever.
I remember the songs that played throughout different periods of the night and towards the later hours; they’d always play the song Sweet Caroline at a place called Paddy McGee’s.
Everyone sang along too.
At this point, the crowd was thick and the liquor had flowed enough to fuel the patrons that stood and danced around at the outside bar, which was on the canal, and tucked away in a town called Island Park
I believe in the ultimate connection.
I believe in beauty
and that true beauty never fades
nor should it
or could it.
So now the fad has changed. Now it’s vaping. It used to be smoking. And now it’s the products because let’s face it, everything is based on style and the different variations of what’s cool.
I sat with a small group of people and someone asked, “How old were you when you smoked a cigarette for the first time?”
And me, I was in grade school at the time. I was this little prepubescent kid, smaller than everyone else my age, and I appeared to look much younger than the rest of my class.
I spent a great deal of time worrying. I was either hinged upon emotion or dependent upon people, places, and things, which I believed were parts of my identity. I was so afraid to be alone. I was afraid that my fears may be true; that I was nothing more than the sum of my concerns and that I was truly incapable.
A lot has changed in my life. Then again, a lot changes in all lives. This is us and how we live. We go through changes, like it or not, and we evolve and we grow.
We move through different phases of life, which may or may not overlap. However, one thing I have learned with all certainty is that awareness and personal realization happens on an individual and timely basis. Maturity takes time. Growth takes time. And awareness also takes time. This is fact and as fact, this is non-negotiable.
I have seen some pretty incredible things over the last few years. More specifically, a lot has changed in the last year and a half, and more so, a lot has changed over the last several months.
I have grown and come into my own sense of self-awareness, which is important in order for me to grow