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.

No one asks to wake up one day and find their company is out of business. No one asks to be poor, uncomfortable, homeless, or out of shape. However, we have to be clear that while life is out of our control; sometimes, our behavior can facilitate our own downfalls.

I say we all find ourselves in losing positions. I say we find ourselves in a spiral that we can’t get out of. And we lose. There are times when we lose like water loses to a drain.
There are times when we say something and the last of our words resound in our mind, repeating in our thoughts like a painfully insecure echo.
So to make it right, we try to say something smart to fix the stupid thing we said last. But it doesn’t work.
Instead, we find us stuck in the social awkwardness, which is like being caught in quicksand; and the harder we try to escape, the deeper we sink.

The burden of self is a very real thing. Ego stirs the pot but the truth is nothing is always as it seems. Sometimes, we fail to realize that the battles in our head are nothing more than the battles in our head.
We can be our own worst critic and enemy. This is true for sure.

Truth is there is a difference between realism and skepticism as opposed to pessimism and cynicism. Truth is life kicks us hard. And there is nothing wrong in acknowledging this.

I am certain my Mother never asked to have five diseases in her spine, which left her crumpled and in pain for the last decade of her life. I am also certain Mom never asked for The Old Man to pass away. She never asked for me, her youngest, to have any disorders. No Mother ever asks to receive a phone call from a police department late at night.
No Father builds a company to see it rise and then nearly fall and then open up another company, which soars upwards, and just as the fruits of his labor begin to show, BAM, a car accident changes his exercise routine, which causes a change in weight, which inevitably lead to a heart attack.
As their son, I never asked for this. I never wanted any of these things to happen. I never wanted to be smaller than the other kids or skinnier or awkward or u comfortable.
I never asked to be picked last when choosing teams on the playground at school. I certainly never asked to struggle in class. I never wanted to be the bad kid in class. However, when frustration built to an insurmountable point; I saw no other choice but to act out.

Frustration is a very real thing.
Know why? It’s because life is a very real thing.

I had the honor of working with a Mother whose loss was tragic. She suffered the incredible loss of a child. She lost her oldest of three daughters.
Truly, there is nothing more unnatural in the world than a parent burying their own child. This disrupts the natural order of life, which we have been programmed to believe. But again, life does not comply to our sense of programming.

Three years after her loss, sadly, this Mother was diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. Upon her diagnosis, she was scheduled for an emergency hysterectomy. All of her bodily rights as a woman to conceive and reproduce were taken out. This is not to say she was looking to have more children; however, still, she was losing organs and faced with the threat of a terrible word known as “Cancer!”
While in recovery after her surgery, Dad went home to fetch a few things for Mom to help make her hospital stay more comfortable. Upon Dad’s arrival, he came home to find his middle daughter unconscious and unresponsive. The middle daughter died, leaving behind the youngest of the girls.

As one could imagine, the pain in this was unthinkable. The guilt, the blame, the shame, and the grieving are too painful to consider.
No one asked for this. It happened though.
No one wanted this. But life doesn’t always happen according to the things we want.

I had the honor of creating a small program with this Mom. She wasn’t unable to do much. There were days when she could hardly get out of bed. But in a week’s time after working together, she was painting the rooms in her house and replacing tragic thoughts with opposite behaviors.

Think of her loss. Think of the tragedies. Now look within, life I did, and ask yourself (honestly) what stands in your way of being the “You,” you choose to be.

I meet people all the time that tell me what they can’t do. Realistically speaking, we are capable of anything.
We just have to replace thought with action.
We have to “Do!”
Otherwise we don’t move . . .

The problem is we put off ideas and hinge them on the ideas of, “When,” as in, I will do that “When” this happens.
But “When” doesn’t always happen when we ask it to.
Therefore, there is no such thing as when.
There is only now

If I were to ask, “When is it your turn to have the life you choose to have?”
What would you say?

I can’t say when I will break out into this world. I can’t say when or if I will be “That” guy who started writing a blog on a tattoo website and then out of nowhere, I hit the best seller’s list somewhere and now I own a home somewhere in the hills of Los Angeles.
I can’t even say if that’s what I want anymore because the more I do and the more I act; the more I see my dream is transforming and morphing into something new (and bigger.)

Firmly, I know this: I am always responsible for my output. Life has shown me enough times that all else is out of my control. All I can control is my effort. I have no say in what will happen in life.
I just know that I have to live it.

I know what adversity is.
Truth is we all do. I know there have been times when I was so far down that I swore I would never stand up again.
I know there were times when I believed I would never be better and I would never recover my losses.
At my worst, I criticized myself and put myself down. I gave in to the internal monologue and interacted with the thought machine so much so that I created a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

But still, I endured.
I continued and persevered.

When I was young, I was told I would never amount to much. It was me that was picked to fail when I left my last drug treatment facility.
It was me, almost 28 years ago to this date that overheard people laughing (about me) and saying how I was “Gonna be dead” before I even get out of the parking lot.

Shortly after me overhearing the slander, I went into a meeting where I listened to a speaker tell us the odds of sobriety are 1 out of 32.

1 out of 32 people make it.

I remember news of the statistic hovering in the air in an awkward moment of uncomfortable silence. We, the patients, looked around at each other with haunting expressions as if we were told on and as if we were afraid to go back and face the demon of addiction.

The speaker said, “I guess the real question is, you just have to decide which one you want to be.”

 I decided it was going to be me . . .
I decided I wanted to be that 1

I didn’t decide it would be me, “When.”
I decided this is going to be me, “Now!”

I decided there is no when. There is only now and since now is all I have, I better make this count; otherwise, I will always wonder when my life will be the one I want.

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