Most of us don’t enjoy limbo – that place where we are left without knowing what the future, either immediate or distant, holds. It’s unnerving. We just want to know one way or the other. If it’s good news, we will be happy. If it’s bad news, at least we will be able to begin dealing with it and move on. At least we know. Your circumstances are not a mistake. This is part of your story, written just for you. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am right here to read right along with you…..
“Do you remember the things you were worrying about a year ago? How did they work out? Didn’t you waste a lot of fruitless energy on account of most of them? Didn’t most of them turn out all right after all?”
I didn’t “make the cut” again. But if I keep failing, I must be getting closer to succeeding. I keep telling myself “I can fail over and over again, but I only need to succeed once.”
Education doesn’t mean being smarter than the person next you, it’s about better understanding them. Their culture, their orientation, their being. It’s about finding cures, giving insight, opening the mind and the world that you never thought you would see, that you didn’t know was even there. Learn as much as you can. Ask questions and make sure you listen.
I know I haven’t posted much, but at least a thought can be made into something, though small, it is still something….
Getting smart is also quite enjoyable…. 😉
Day 2 of Fun Facts About Me…
People that are around me a lot will quickly pick up on the fact that I listen to every genre of music.
Favorite Band of All-Time: Metallica
Favorite Artist: Sarah McLachlan
Top 5 Songs of All Time:
- Tiny Dancer – Elton John
- Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
- Learning to Fly – Pink Floyd
- Sinnerman – Nina Simone
- What I Got -Sublime
Top 5 Songs Currently Getting Constant Play
- I’m Me – Lil’ Wayne
- So Far Away – Avenged Sevenfold
- Better Than Love – Griffin House
- You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
- Find My Way – Mama Hagglin
First Snow Storm of The Winter, I Listen To: The Rolling Stones – Forty Licks Album
Songs Played @ Every Gym Session
- Cinema (Skrillex Remix) – Benny Benassi
- I’m Me – Lil’ Wayne
- No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame
- Pumped Up Kicks (Butch Clancy Remix) – Foster The People
- A Real Hero – College
- Thoughtless – Korn
Favorite Classic Rock Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd | Led Zeppelin | AC/DC | Neil Young | Jimi Hendrix
Favorite Hip Hop|Rap Groups/Artists
Jay-Z | T.I. | Doomtree | Eminem | Atmosphere | Input | P.O.S. | Dessa |
Favorite Country Bands/Artists
George Strait | Keith Urban | Brad Paisley | Carrie Underwood | Sara Evans | Montgomery Gentry
Favorite Metal Bands
Metallica | Rammstein | Nine Inch Nails | Avenged Sevenfold | Tool | A Perfect Circle | Bullet For My Valentine | System of A Down | Static-X | Within Temptation
Bands/Artists You’ll Find in My CD Collection
Linkin’ Park | Korn | Otis Redding | Staind | Sarah Brightman | Frank Sinatra | Griffin House | Snow Patrol | Bad Company | Chevelle | Kid Cudi | Sheryl Crow | Bob Marley | Egypt Central | Gorillaz | Rihanna | Johnny Cash | Flyleaf | Fatboy Slim | Gin Blossoms | Our Lady Peace | Hans Zimmer | John Williams | Band of Horses | Hugo | Nelly | Otis Taylor | Usher | Supertramp | 30 Seconds to Mars | Switchfoot | Madonna | Elton John | Kenny Wayne Shepherd | Katy Perry | Dropkick Murphys | Adele | Rage Against The Machine | Styx | UB40 | Ray LaMontagne | Grieves | Prodigy | Norah Jones | Keb Mo’ | B.B. King | Dr. Dre | Grouch & Eligh | Kanye West | Kylie Minogue | Vast | 2Pac | Michael Franti | Trevor Hall
Some things I do when I am just off mood…
- I go to the theater and check out a movie, alone.
- I’ll walk around stores and brainstorm ideas for room designs/organizations
- Lights off in my office, sitting in my papisan chair with the music playing
- Driving around town with no destination, windows rolled down & music playing
- The gym. If I am there late in the night, it has nothing to do with my workout regime. I’m clearing my head.
- Watch movie after movie after movie in my room.
The most scared and most fearful I have ever been in my life was when I got a text message saying my brother (Elwyn) was in ICU after a car accident. I remember that morning constantly as I was talking to one of my co-workers going over what needed to be done and when on our projects currently in the shop when my phone made the incoming text message sound. I figured it was just one of my friends who I would have day long conversations with once we were both awake. I took my time to look at it as I finished my current thought with my co-worker and once I grabbed my phone and opened up the text… I froze, apparently wobbling, before dropping down to the floor. I didn’t collapse or go unconscious, but it was like my legs suddenly disappeared.
My co-worker helped me up and was like “dude! are you alright?” I showed him the text message and he responded simply with, “Go!” This happened when my driver’s license was currently under suspension so I started walking home while hitting up everybody that was on my phone book as I had no idea what to do. My brother was currently living in Scottsdale, Arizona so it wasn’t possible for me to head right to the hospital. I must have paced back and forth on 402 for an hour or so before making it to my house which is only 2 miles away from work…..
I fully believe in the saying that a parent should never outlive their child and I also believe that the oldest child shouldn’t outlive a younger sibling. Instantly after receiving that message, flashbacks of all the times from childhood to the present with my brothers and sister started going through my mind. Climbing that crabapple tree right outside our apartment in Boulder in our early childhood years, one time watching Elwyn slip and slide all the way down completely tearing up his back. The day after day after day, no matter what season it was, playing baseball in our on sandlot between the apartment buildings upon waking up until we went to bed. Only time we took breaks was to eat or being in school. The first time someone stood up for me was during a baseball game and I was punched for the first time in my life and I fell to the ground. My baby brother went chasing after the guy, who was older than me, taking swings at him. That guy never showed up again.
I could go on and on about this. But most everybody knows the story about Elwyn’s comeback and how much he was missed during some huge events happening here. But that’s not what this is about.
Elwyn was already shocking doctors and all of us in how quickly he got out of needing a wheelchair. One day as I was at the parent’s house, where he was residing during recovery, he all of a sudden just decided to stand up and walk to the bathroom. No crutches and no lending hand. We all just looked at each other with a huge smile. My words once he returned were “Dude! That was fucking awesome!”
Shortly after, I got Elwyn to join the gym I was spending most of my time at (Anytime Fitness). Then a couple of days later I swung by the parent’s house after work and picked him up to go to the gym. I was smiling all day waiting for this and once I got out of the changing room, I saw him on the bench lifting. He was back doing what he loves and it hit me hard that I had to go into the bathroom as I didn’t want anyone to see the tears coming down my face. 4 months after a horrific car accident where he shattered his hip, femur and had a collapsed lung…he was back in the gym.
Every day since then, my whole perspective of working out had changed. I never had a reason to do what all I was accomplishing other than just doing it for the hell of it. Whenever I felt tired, I remind myself of that moment seeing my brother do what he had done, and I go longer. He will no longer be able to lift the same way he did before the accident but he is finding ways of still doing it and finding a different reason to workout. I never had it in my mind to train for a competition but I am doing it now and Elwyn is my reason why. Even though I believe we are going to be training for the same competition, I am going to be fighting for first. Or at the very worst, second to him.
There is nothing I won’t do to help my brothers get where they want or just generally need help in. When it comes to money, I know I am lucky enough to be in a situation with my job where I can come back from a situation that would not be as easy for my brothers to accomplish, so without thought I have lent them money. When they needed a ride, I did everything possible to be there for them. I show up to support their dreams whenever I could. I stopped coming up with excuses not to do so and told myself I will deal with it later since nothing is going to keep me away from being there for my family. Especially after having done the opposite in my early twenties.
Anything I have or will accomplish in the gym will be for Elwyn. I love him. I love both of my brothers. I love my sister. I love my parents. Elwyn is my motivation for what I do in the gym.
- The front of a building that looks onto a street or open space.
- An outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.
An often mispronounced word when first looked at, well at least I hope so since it took me two attempts, but….
For one reason or another many people create a façade, a role we play for the world to see, that isn’t who we really are. It’s an art form that some of us have mastered. But it is a lie nonetheless. Really, it’s quite sad that we’ve felt it necessary to portray ourselves as something other than who we really are. The origin of all of this is difficult to pinpoint, it likely varies in reason depending on individual circumstances. Regardless of reason, the depth and truth is all too apparent.
I don’t believe it would be a stretch to say we have all gotten to know someone and later been surprised by their actions that didn’t line up with the person we believed them to be. When you begin to truly get to know someone, your perception of them begins to change, for better or worse, because the mask of their façade begins to falter. A façade can only withstand a certain level of closeness, after an imaginary line is crossed it begins to deteriorate and reveal aspects of a person it was created to hide. The point is a façade is temporary and unstable.
To be honest, I’m probably the last person that should be writing or talking about this. It would be very difficult, for me to give you a name of someone who truly knows me, the real me. At the same time, that’s kind of why I decided to write about it.
I’ve spent a lot of time creating various images of myself for the different people I interact with. (Sad, I know.) Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about why. Unfortunately, I haven’t arrived at a profound conclusion. However the more I think about it, the more pathetic the whole idea becomes. It takes a lot of work to maintain a façade and it doesn’t allow you to have truly fulfilling relationships. There is always a void, created by the discrepancy of who you really are and the façade you’ve created. What is worse, it all begins to blur to the point where you aren’t really sure who you are. And that’s what this is really about.
When we create a façade, for whatever reason, we risk losing our identity. We start to become someone we aren’t and lose sight of the person we were meant to be. It has been a few months since I dropped that facade and while a lot has changed for me in those few months, I feel like some things haven’t and never will. It’s a frustrating process that, at times, I really resent. Yet, it’s my fault. If I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about other people and who they wanted me to be, I would know who I am. I wouldn’t have to be on this difficult and, often times, painful journey to find the person I lost or maybe had never found in the first place.
I guess I’m saying all this to simply say: who you are, is better than any façade you can create. Knowing your identity and being that person is infinitely better than playing a role for the world. Because, eventually, you’ll grow tired of juggling the different masks, you’ll lose yourself in the mess of blurred lies you’ve created by the façades you’ve grown so accustom to hiding behind. And that’s worse than being rejected, disappointing someone, or any other reason we feel the need to create a façade in the first place.
If you can relate to any of this, I challenge you to drop the act. I am and though in this moment, that doesn’t mean anything. Hopefully though, a commitment to that will lead me to the person I lost and allow me to begin living as the person I am supposed to be…As I hope for you as well.
Three days ago the world witnessed “Two Faces of Freedom” from opposite ends of the spectrum; the hollow and gaunt face of Israeli Defense Force soldier Gilad Shalit as opposed to defiant and robust faces of hundreds of convicted Palestinian terrorists and murderers; the innocent in exchange for the guilty. Both have gained freedom from the four walls that imprisoned them yet both groups are still not truly free.
As I viewed photos of this frail young man, my thoughts drifted off to scenes from the past that are burned in memory; skeletal images of innocent men, women and children who were subjected to horrific horrors in Nazi prison camps due to the deep-seated hatred of their captors. One can only imagine the terrors young Gilad Shalit experienced in his 1,941 days of captivity and although he is now bodily free and will gradually gain back physical strength, his heart and mind are very much in need of healing and freedom from this nightmarish ordeal. The love and support of family and friends will do much to help him but no one will ever know what he felt through all of those days of captivity. Where do you start? How do you begin?
I know there are many of us who have similar, yet hopefully not to this extent, situations with friends or family that are in the military and have seen the face of war. Even with those that are out helping at orphanages in 3rd world countries, supplying aid to the wounded and ill. They all see and experience things that we here in America only see through the news, history lessons, stories….
All of us want to be there to love and support them, but we don’t have that actual life experience that they went through. A few of my closest friends that are out there seeing these things have both told me at different times that when they come home, talk to us on the phone, through facebook chats or posts. That being ourselves as if nothing has changed but to give them that feeling that they are home, they are with their friends, their loved ones, their family. Not necessarily avoiding talking about what they’ve done, because we are friends and we want to hear each others stories. But they don’t want to feel like they are a completely different person, as if they are a new acquaintance, as much as we never want to feel that way.
It makes me ridiculously happy, overflowing with joy, every time I hear from my friends who are out there in the world making a difference. When I can take jabs at them as if they are just down the street. A quick hello, how are you? Hearing that they are doing okay. Even those times when you hear they miss you or aren’t feeling well. It’s like they are right there with you and you still feel like a part of each others lives. I love all them very much.
….and the only thing that makes me happier is when they come home. I can give them that hug. See that smile. Hang out. Just like it was yesterday.