Feel Every Yard (BIG Announcement!)

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Before I get to the post today, I promised you a couple things from Wednesday. Sorry if it was a tad bit misleading, I wasn’t about to shout out some cool stuff if I wasn’t sure it was happening, but here we are.

So, first of all, I’ve been releasing a few shirts over on Teespring for Random Acts Creations. Year One through Year Four shirts/hoodies/v-necks are available now + I don’t plan on pulling the stock ever. I’m working behind the scenes to release a spring line towards the middle of April this year. It will be full of rad stuff like hoodies, T-shirts, and phone cases. (There is more but Imma keep some of it a secret!)

Second, I’ll be releasing a compilation of poetry from the blog itself (edited and updated, I promise.) Some of em were pretty rough around the edges but They’re shaping up nicely + you’ll be hearing more about them towards the third quarter of the year.

Third, I’ll be putting out another blog compilation this November, Year Five is going to come with a lil bonus though, I don’t want to give you too much about it, but I’ll tell ya you might want to keep some space available on your wall. 😉

All of that being said, if you’ve made it this far, you can check out my website, freshly updated and looking super fly to see my release schedule every single month. I’ll have days scheduled for blogs, poetry, YouTube videos + anything else I’m doing. Don’t think I’ve been forgetting about some of the older stuff you all loved. Over on the S+I Facebook page i’ll be bringing more happiness and inspiration than ever before. Snapchat will be live with some new tutorials just for kicks and I have SO much more. 2018 is just getting started and your favorite hippy is swinging harder than ever.

Best believe that.

It’s funny how they say time is money when we are so reluctant to spend time but we will freely throw away our time. Before I get into this week, I hope that you spend much more time this week than you do money, it is so much more valuable and so much more appreciated.

Last week I was having a conversation getting to know a new coworker and discovering their interests when they told me something I have said to others. We were talking about his passions and his dreams and he told me that he wanted to travel, he was going to set up a motorhome and just drive around the country in the next three years. That his dream was to see every state in the US and then he continued by saying something I have said countless times before.

“I know it seems stupid…”

Right before he launched into the description of his dream since he was a child, he wanted to touch every piece of dirt in the USA and he looked away from me in shame as he told me that.

It rang a bell inside of me that has been softly ringing since the day I picked up a pen.

I remember when I was that kid, unsure of my future with lofty goals and dreams, this grand desire to be all that I am working to become, an author, a YouTuber, a poet, a musician, a business owner, a chef, a friend and a blogger among so many other things. I remember being in that exact same place, telling others that my dreams sound stupid.

That was before I found The Buried Life, I’ve written about the show before + in case you’re new around here and have been hiding under a rock, they set out with this idea to cross off items from a collective bucket list and along the way help others cross one item off of theirs. The show + corresponding book inspired me so much that I decided to do the same.

It’s funny how these things that cross over into my head overlap so often. It is a still small reminder that my purpose is clearly defined and I cannot stop building for it, fighting for it and praying for guidance along the way.

I lost my job and began to panic about making money, how I could support myself still, how I could keep moving forward and what I could do to pay my bills, when I was provided for as if by magic I silently prayed a thanks and kept moving, without realizing that I had begun orienting my time beneath making money. The time I spent with friends decreased, the time I spent working increased and I began to trip up a lot, wondering if I was worth it or whatever.

Well that’s some shit if I’ve ever heard it.

Talking to my friend I was reminded of the madness that my life has become and how I enjoy every last second, every last wasted cent, every last smile and tight embrace between myself and those that I love.

This life is so much more than we always think it is. In the midst of darkness, for you or me, there is always light. You have your purpose and I hope that you consider it if you feel lost today. You have dreams and goals somewhere within you, you have a calling and there is no greater sin than wasting you valuable time.

Spend it instead, searching for the next step and moving forward. If you want to become an author, start writing. Streaming on Twitch? Download the app and go. There is no back tracking as long as you are aware that you are accomplishing goals and dreams with every new step you take. So don’t stop stepping.

Just get out there, climb in your motorhome and hit the road. We have a long list of items to work through, it is going to take a minute…

…and every minute will be worth it.

Thank you so much for reading.

Conversations With Machines

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“There are things in the twilight that trace the terraces of turmoil.”

“Did your father die, or was he artificially constructed?”

“You already knew the answer, why did you ask?”

 

Have you ever pondered things you already know the answers to? For example, things like how much time you spend a day, how long it will take you to fall asleep, when you will be off the clock at work, how long it will take to brush your teeth? How many lightbulbs are in your home, transistors in your computer?

Some of these things may be a mystery to you. I don’t know how many transistors are built into my PC, nor do I really need to in this moment.

I often come to my own headspace and question thinks I already know. Why I am continuing to write in an uphill climb some days, beating my brows out just to get words onto the page. I question some days why I get out of bed, it would be so much easier to stay, wouldn’t it?

Of course it would but that is not what we are alive for.

There will always be things we will never understand. In some cases, those things can even be our own motives and ideas. I urge you to consider the reasons you do things. The reason you think, act, move, work, all of them are instituted with great purpose. You breath carries a weight behind it more valuable than gold. So I pose the question today:

Do you know why you are here? If not, it isn’t something to fret over. I have many friends who don’t understand their purpose and don’t know what it is they were created for. All of us must find those things in our own time, with our own chosen path that we create.

It does us no good to speak to those without answers, we must instead learn from them. It is something I’ve come to find recently, even those who don’t know how to tell you the answer to your questions will, in the least, give a clue to finding it within the way they speak or act or move or work.

Have you ever watched a dancer go about their talent without a seeming care to the rest of the world? They could dance anywhere, a stage, their own living room or the crowded streets of New York City, and yet it would still draw your attention. There is beauty in the way they move their bodies. There is a certain grace in the way public speakers shape their lips. The way passionate people operate through the stormy waters of their chosen craft is always bleeding and pouring out magic from within.

Yet, here we are, wondering what we will do next. It isn’t something to be ashamed of. I often don’t know my next move, but I am regularly working on it, because I want the feeling I feel when watching a master craftsman or a mechanic, a sweet old lady knitting a scarf, or a DJ mixing tracks to be the same feeling I send to you with the way I write.

All of us have a passion within us, some rest it deep inside out of fear or anxiety or some other motive. Others have found theirs already and are building upon them, but I can tell you from experience, there is nothing to be gained from sitting in the corners of our homes with our hands folded across our chests wondering what our purpose is.

To some, your purpose may be to divine your purpose. To understand the world around you. Others may have story pent up within them, others contain art, engineering talent, mathematics, or more. None of those things will flourish when we sit alone and wonder what to do.

The quotes at the top of this post exemplify that. I chose, as an example to have a short conversation with Cleverbot online. I wanted to give a true definition to what it is like when we answer our own questions. All three of those responses made less than no sense in accordance with the conversation, yet the bot continued it. It is a lot like that inside my own head sometimes.

I like to ask myself things, I like to wonder and I love to question, but I would be nowhere if it weren’t for the plethora of other people in my life who willingly spar words with me and question my motives. I would be nowhere without the existence of you, my friends, my family, and the numerous people on this earth who seek to challenge my way of thinking. I became a writer for all of these people and through doing so I have come to understand my passion, my purpose for life, no matter how difficult things get.

If I had spent all of my time alone, in my own mind even in a public setting I would not have reached this place and I would not be working every day to move forward to a new place. This of course, is a silly notion in itself. We are forced into social interaction at almost all hours we are not pent up at home, so this week, what I’m saying, is go outside.

Stop talking to computers or video games or books or yourself. Spend some time with your friends, enjoy dinner, and enjoy life together.

Stop talking to machines.

Stop being so hard on yourself.

All things will come in time.

 

“Pacing hallways back and forth, asking yourself questions you already have the answers to. In the end, stumbling upon something found that was never lost at all.”

Thank you for stopping by! If you like it, check it out, feel free to tell your friends and share the post. It really helps me out and I’d love you for it!

For more, you can always pick up a copy of the compilations I release at the end of every year! You can find all of them on Amazon right now for $8! If you’re in the mood to pick up some new sweaters for the cold January coming, my store on Teespring has just what you need! Batches print every 3 days, so the stock will never run out.

(One more.) If you’re interested, I have been working on Youtube under the name Dyzygy, Go check it out if you’re into video games and inappropriate comments about them.

Swinging on the Radio

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We set out daily to accomplish task after task, get back home and rest. I once heard someone say to those who constantly wait for the weekend, they are abandoning 5/7ths of their lives. I have found myself caught up in the grind of weekdays consisting of mind numbing work, only for me to return home and do the thing I wanted to do. I make it a point to find work in my day to day life that is not going to numb my mind. If I let the blade dull for a moment, it will take me much longer to regain the sharpness that I had lost. My mind is always moving and because of that, sometimes even exciting tasks become dull to my senses.

I don’t mean this only within the guidelines of a workforce either. This happens within personal relationships and our passions too. Sometimes we pile so much onto ourselves that all the noise becomes mind numbing. Each task is just something we need to get done. I feel this way about food now, which is a shame to me because cooking has been a passion of mine for years. I focused so intently on my work and my job that eating regularly was kind of swept to the side. I just looked at each new plate as another pile of nourishment that I needed to consume so that I wouldn’t die. Eating became a dull task, and I instinctively remove dull tasks from my life, so I would forget to eat. I still regularly forget to eat because I don’t think about it, but it is not because I have forgotten the value or the importance of a home cooked meal, it’s simply because my mind is focused on other things nearly all the time.

When this happens, when we are drowning in our own projects or ideas we can grow weary and lose sight of our goals. Everything comes across as static to me when I am overwhelmed, or bored. Either extreme feeds me nothing. The weight of having innumerable tasks to complete bears down on me so much that the pressure suffocates me, and the vast emptiness of boredom on the other side saps all of the focus from me and I end up sitting in my chair staring at my computer wondering what to do. I spend so much time swinging between these two extremes that it begins to wear on me and I have to force myself to start over and get back on track.

I feel this so powerfully in moments between swings. When the pendulum is just close enough to solid ground for me to hear the noise of the homes, the oven timer, the alarm clocks and the radio below me before I am ripped back up to mind numbing boredom or blistering work routines.

In those short moments I would hear a dripping coming from the radio, a radio that I purchased to listen to my own thoughts and my own ideas in return. It is an introspective piece of me that I left behind as tremors rocked my home and set me off on this back and forth pattern. I am either writing thousands of words a day and working on YouTube videos or playing video games for much longer than usual, with no real goal or relaxation in mind behind the monotony.

Something that people don’t talk about, I think, is that being busy can be its own form of monotony. We can have hundreds of tasks lined up and eventually, they all become part of an assembly line. Write the book, plan a new book, edit the first book, writ the second book, upload youtube videos, record more videos, plan a third book, edit the second book, release the first book, blend your poetry into your blog, panic approaching release dates, push the dates back, write a fourth book, plan to release a second, create clothing, cook food for your girlfriend, go Christmas shopping, get gas, pay your bills, make sure you can have rent on time, write a sixth book, make sure your blog posts aren’t late, I guess you could take a break now right? Game for an hour. Oh your friends are on, another hour wouldn’t hurt. Okay three. Okay you’ve had enough of this, I wonder what’s on YouTube? Watch the same videos you’ve seen a hundred times. Cook. Consume. Watch a movie. Fit sleep in somewhere. Justify why you don’t spend time with anyone by telling them you’re terribly busy. Know you aren’t that busy, drown yourself with more books, poetry, food, movies, games, music, ideas, projects, passions, and then eventually that thread swinging you back and forth is inevitably going to grow weak…

What happens when it snaps?

I don’t want to know.

I want to sit at home, listening to my blood pump through the radio. Thinking about all I have done and knowing that I can swing away from it for a moment.

It is so easy to get caught up in this trap. Feeling as if we are useless and then drowning in work so that we truly become useless. I am all too familiar with the snare of it and its something I work to get out of every day. When I feel myself drifting too far in one direction I must swing to the other side and breathe for a moment or two and think about the opposite. Should I be working too much I know I need to go out, unwind. Should I be sitting at home watching YouTube or movies or playing games too much I should know to get back to work. Life is a balance, and in the center of it all is us, swinging from one side to another endlessly, wondering if we will ever make it back to solid ground, where hopefully, we can listen to the radio for a while, drink some coffee and rest, knowing that life doesn’t need to be a constant back and forth. We are allowed to take breaks, but we must know that there is a time to leave our break a while and do something we are passionate about. The soft buzz of monotony will destroy us from the inside out, at least, this is true for myself.

If you’re planning to wear something new to your New Years party this year, I have shirts available for sale on Teespring! (They will look great with fruit punch and puke on them.)

www.linmtba.com

A Cathedral of Ants

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I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about how I speak and how I act, who I am as a person and the things I’ve said to others over the course of my life.

In some countryside, standing proudly beneath an old farm house, built before the people in it were born, built when the dustbowl was raging, built in a time that the generation before me sometimes refer to as a “simpler time” lies an anthill.

This anthill has survived for centuries, through queen after queen.

Although, Queen can sometimes be misinterpreted. In human life, a queen rules and makes decisions regarding the status and the safety of her people.

However, A Queen Ant doesn’t have much say in the activities of her workers. She, rather, sits in the center of the maze and is used to produce more and more ants so that more and more dirt is moved, more food is found, and more ants are made.

In this aspect, there is a Queen, (Or King, for the sensitive) ant inside of your mind.

See, an ant colony is built meticulously, and despite the time it takes to do things perfectly to humans, ants can do this in a fraction of the time, developing cathedrals across the world, building homes for themselves to continue about their business as mindlessly as ever, picking up one small stone or fractured piece of dirt, driftwood or what have you to bring back and fortify the chapel, to deliver food to the queen and the other workers. Though, unlike us, they have no lunch time. They eat when the world allows them to. They live in a day to day course of venturing, delivering, and continuing their course.

I found this particularly interesting, given how many similarities we share with ants when it comes to the words that we say.

Often I find myself speaking mindlessly about something, it may be a topic I have extensive knowledge upon, it may be an idea I wish to learn, it may be something I’ve heard and I want to share. This is an especially terrible action to set my ants upon, because if I speak words which hold no truth, it will not matter to the ant colony. They will deliver it into the ears of another and the idea will root within their minds.

We must be careful in how we use our words, we must be mindful of how we speak to one another.

Once the words leave our minds they are as ants. Small morsels of gossip that are brought to the minds of other hungry colonies, begging for something to take them away from the dull monotony of their minds.

I would be lying to you if I were to say that I was always exciting, or interesting. I am a simple creature with complex ideas, nothing more and nothing less. The idea that I would chase something painful often springs to the tongues of others. I think, in one regard, gossip finds its way to our ears and out of our mouths because we can’t understand others.

Obviously, there is the popular thought that gossip is spread because of jealousy. This is true in some cases even. I once heard that I had an STD (Even though I was a virgin.) and that women should be careful around me.

Obviously, the gossip couldn’t have been started because someone was jealous about how much action I was getting, I wasn’t getting any. I wasn’t even really thinking about that.

Of course, I don’t know the truth behind that small line. It could have been a simple message mutated down a seemingly endless line of other ants that eventually reached my ears and was entirely different from the initial comment.

This cements my thoughts on this subject even further. We have an immense power within our words. We say things that can uplift another’s soul, or we have the power to utterly destroy them with words alone.

I haven’t spoken much about reputation on this blog, because I never felt as if it was important, but I have come to see things a bit differently.

My stance hasn’t changed, my reputation doesn’t matter much, because those with harsh words hell bent on my soul will likely never reach me, those that do will slide between rows of ants I have sent out to adjust my own thoughts. Of course, this is a dual edged blade. You can see me for who I am by simply reading this blog. I have published the good and the bad, left and right on this blog. Those who have read from the beginning up until today have been with me through four years of good and bad, four years of lessons learned and victories celebrated. They have read about my dances with everything that may have been the death of me.

I say this knowing, however, that the whole world does not have an outlet or a place to vent as I do. I know this, and it only further proves to me how important it is that we select our words carefully.

According to my faith, gossip is considered something to avoid. Saying that the human tongue is evil and full of deadly poison.  I am sure, though I haven’t looked, that other religions and simple moral compass guidance would say that it is not wholesome as well. It is not something to be looked upon with glee and it is not something to be proud of, but, if that is the case, why do we still seek out the gossip and the misinformation in the world?

Because it is easy.

It is much easier, to say that we know someone, or to spread something vital about the life of another, than it is to accept that someone would be willing to trust us with something dear to them, or something frightening to them.

It is easy to tell your friends that Karen is pregnant, it is difficult to tell them that her life is not their business.

Of course, gossip doesn’t come only in the form of spreading truth that wasn’t meant to be spread. It comes from lies slipping over the stone barrier and poisoning the well.

One by one, with everything we whisper to one another, ants will crawl from deep within our throat carrying these tiny stones of information, true or likewise, and deposit them over the edge of the well. Deep below, a sound so faint we may never hear it, the pebbles splash in the water and it begins to turn black.

See, I have been witness to and spread much gossip over the course of my life. There are things that feel so important that I can’t wait to share them with someone. This is the problem, with these cathedrals full of ants. They are autonomous. They act without notion. There is no billboard that orders them to carry your words. You simply speak and they do their duty, in subtle, stoic service to their Queen, resting on her throne, meant for breeding more division, more pain, more untruth.

Consider the abilities of this colony. In the midst of a flood, did you know that ants bind together and are capable of floating? They link their legs together in formation and float atop the flowing water.

This is not the only attribute granted to these tiny cities beneath our heavy feet and heavy hearts. If you remember biology class, or any science class in elementary school you may remember that ants have super strength. They can lift up to three times their own weight. Communication through chemicals and an overwhelmingly powerful hive mind are just a number of things that leave me in awe about the intricacies of ants, and in the same way…

The things that we say.

We may not consider the weight of our words, but they can carry much more than we anticipate. I realied this as I was speaking with someone the other day, making jokes as I do, and I hurt their feelings making a comment that wouldn’t have harmed me at all. I didn’t’ realize the punchline of the joke directly attacked them, and so I sent it off with a pack of ants into their minds.

We have a responsibility to be better with what we say, who we speak to and where our ants go. The longer we spend poisoning the wells around us, the farther we will have to travel to find clean water and a refreshing break from the gossip that permeates everything around us with every tiny slip of the tongue.

I have heard much gossip about who I am as a person, I have even spread my own about others. I have mistreated the ant colonies around the globe, and I am here to ask forgiveness publicly for those who I have effected by what I have said, know that I am apologizing for what I have said through the messages my ants carried.

We are meant to do better. So let us do better. I will keep untruth from my tongue. When trusted in confidence towards another’s secrets, I will keep them. The colony within my mind will spill out with only encouragement and love as often as I can. The unnecessary things we say will rip apart everything we have been building, it will bleed hot mercury into our colonies and it will eventually be our undoing. I forgive you, for the gossip you may have spread, whoever you are, wherever you are. It is okay. I forgive you.

you can’t get enough of the blog, right? Right? Well, good news! I have the updated compilations coming out on Amazon over the course of this week. The First Volume is available now + Volume Two will be out in a few days!

If you grab the book, maybe you want a cool way to rep the message? If so, I have a shirt available on Teespring. Go cop some sweet, happy, inspirational shirts or hoodies for your grandmother for Christmas. She’ll be down for sure.

Looking for more? Check out my website for updates on upcoming projects and action I’ve been putting down behind the scenes. Youtube is seeing weekly updates, I have four big projects due out next year and there will be more poetry on the way.

Life is not meant to be awful, friends.

Fairy Law (Yr. 2 – 2015.6.5)

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This week’s post will be about a lot and about a little. A lot like our lives.

We are made up of a lot, and a little.

I’ll be the first to admit that I spend a great deal of time watching television, specifically anime. I also spend a lot of my time listening to music. Playing games. All around, my life is just a bunch of premeditated horsin’ around. When I’m watching anime I point out things I notice or thoughts I have about where the story is going. It’s become a habit. Whether you think that’s bad is up for you to decide.

Currently, I’m catching up in an anime called “Fairy Tail.” Now, I love the story for this show. It’s become one of my favorites, if not my favorite for sure. This show relies heavily on the “power of friendship” trope, wherein the characters are faced with an obstacle and are too weak by themselves to overcome it so they have to rely on each other to solve their problem. In shows this usually comes down to winning the last fight against the bad guy/monster/scary thing. I see it all the time, and generally it cheapens the story. However, as a story teller myself I know that tropes exist for a reason.

We exist for a reason.

Lately I’ve been feeling caught up in life and overwhelmed by the work I’ve set out for myself and the things that have to be done and the money I don’t have and the cigarettes in my hand. All of these things have become burdens on my heart and mind. That being said, it has altered my mood. I noticed it clearly when I was called yesterday and told that I owed a sum of money to someone that I did not owe a sum of money to. That I was being called to notify me of a collection of that money, which right now I just don’t have. For the first time in a long time I actually acted out my anger. Throwing things, yelling, swearing because I was so upset. I acted in a way that I do not encourage myself (or anyone else) to act. I was childish, and immature. Shortly after that call I had to go to work. I popped in for three hours and while I was there I stewed on my thoughts. I considered my life and where I have allowed myself to go. Like usual, when I stop racing and think about where I’m going I realize I’ve gotten off track and need to be realigned.

I’ve noticed my anger getting out of control and my disdain to even speak to people has become a real problem. Which is pretty much shit considering that I have to talk to people 24/7. If I’m at home, I can’t reasonably ignore my roommate for days at a time and when I’m at work I am forced to talk and be cheery with people so that they will be enticed to buy things. It’s part of my routine now.

I’ve grown mold. My brain has stopped working as it should be.

The other day, I was listening to a favorite song of mine by a band called “The Wonder Years.” This song ends with important lines from each song on the album and top it off with a line that always gets to me… (Pardon the language.)

“Two blackbirds on a highway sign
Are laughing at me here with my wings clipped.
I’m staring up at the sky
But the bombs keep fucking falling.
There’s no devil on my shoulder;
He’s got a rocking chair on my front porch
But I won’t let him in.
No, I won’t let him in.

‘Cause I’m sick of seeing ghosts
And I know how it’s all gonna end.
There’s no triumph waiting.
There’s no sunset to ride off in.
We all want to be great men
And there’s nothing romantic about it.
I just want to know that I did all I could with what I was given.”

These two verses always cut me deep, because they remind me that I’m not doing what I should as an employee, as a son, as a friend.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately.

I’m not where I want to be, I’m not doing what I want to do, I’m not acting the way I know I should be acting. I constantly feel like I’m wasting time when I’m not working on my projects, and when I am I feel like they aren’t good enough to spend my time working on. I’m just racing, trying to get to the next step of something permanent.

When I do something, I search myself to see if I will feel a permanence of any kind. If I don’t, I know that I need to work harder or rework it or make it better. I will try and do whatever it takes to give everything when I’m doing anything. It’s part of who I am. As of the last few weeks, I’ve been too apathetic to care. I’ve gotten into the inner workings of my heart and stirred up feelings that don’t need to be stirred up. I have begun tampering with things that should be left well enough alone because I have simply stopped caring about everything else. The problem with being so careless about everything is that I get into my head. I begin thinking about things and making mountains everywhere I go.

I play Magic: The Gathering. I don’t like red decks, I don’t like mountains. So I should stop making them, right?

Right.

I’ve been focused on my own problems so much that I seem to have forgotten my two best friends. Well, not so much forgotten them, I think about them constantly. I think of how they must be disappointed that I’m still smoking. How they either think I work too hard or I’m too lazy. How I don’t want to be around them for any length of time and how I have been slipping. Of course, I don’t know most of these things for certain. I’m sure they’re disappointed because I still smoke. They know it’s killing me. I know it’s killing me, yet every couple of days I go buy a new pack because I’ve grown weak. I’ve grown careless. I don’t know how they feel about the rest of the things, save for the last one. I know that they know I’ve been slipping backwards. Becoming the opposite of what I am supposed to be. I know they see it because I can see it. As much as I’d like to think I’m the first one to evaluate myself, I’m not. I only look at myself when someone mentions something about it to me. I’m not self-aware, you know what happens when someone becomes self-aware.

So, last night I was watching some more of that show, and they played the power of friendship card in a scene. Again. For the millionth time. I finished the episode in awe. (Big reveal about my favorite character.) I stepped out to smoke and it was almost like I had a vision. Somewhere in the midst of the smoke screen, I saw myself in a perfect mirror. I realized that I have put too much of my weight in places it doesn’t belong. I have grown attached to the sadness and anger that had manifested in me. I have let them overstay their welcome and it has begun affecting me long term. Worst of all…

I have gotten lazy.

I am not lazy. I do not ever want to be lazy.

A few days back, one of my best friends, Travis, returned home from college to visit for the summer. I was excited for this, but didn’t show it. On the 9th, my friend Preston returns from his mission. My friend Lukas is coming to town to visit with us. We are all coming back. This weekend is my friend Chase’s birthday. There are so many opportunities in this next week for me to be filled with joy.

Instead, I’m still apathetic. I’m still racing myself.

A few weeks ago I went to Reno to visit some friends. The whole way down there and back was rainy and wet. There was standing water on the road and I didn’t feel safe driving as fast as I would have liked, so I forced myself to keep my speed in check so that I didn’t hydroplane and get myself into an accident.

I think that I should begin that same practice in my everyday life. It’s a series of steps. Brake slowly. Don’t slam on the brakes. Keep your wheel steady. Allow others to pass you, you will arrive where you need to be when you need to be there. No point in racing birds. They’ll always win. Sometimes, when it’s terrible on the road and you don’t feel comfortable driving at all you just need to stop, get out of your damn truck and enjoy the view. That’s what I did on my way down there. That’s what I did on my way back, that’s what I need to do now.

It isn’t a race. No one has challenged me to anything, and if they had it would be a fruitless race because no one is on my road. I’m the only one here. There is no prize for getting to the end first in life. As a matter of fact, life is much the opposite. People fight and bicker for a chance to come in last. To be in this race for as long as possible.

I have been slamming on the brakes, trying to avoid skidding across the water as best I can but it’s a knee jerk reaction and I didn’t think it through. I can feel my tires popping up. If I were to jerk my wheel right now I would flip.

The rain is going to come down whether I want it to or not. I just need to let it fall. It would make as much sense to fight the bad thoughts and feelings that drop into my head as it would to go out into a rain storm and try to empty a puddle with a plastic cup. The rain will always fill it back up.

There is good news though, eventually it will dry. It will leave your head. It will leave mine. If you’re really lucky, it will soak up into the ground and nourish you. It will slip into the cracks of your mind and bring you new lessons learned or new reminders of things you or I have forgotten.

Finally, the last step, for goodness sakes. Get out of your damn car and look at the sky. It is the most beautiful thing in all of creation. So complex, so many other things out there that we can’t even quantify it all. It is endless. It should be appreciated and celebrated. Even the thick storm clouds bring us beauty simply because of their size. The problems in life are something to be admired, not ignored. Because if you quit paying attention when you’re on the road in a storm it’s that much easier to lose control.

Never let yourself lose control. If you do, dammit you get it back.

I need to get it back.

Writing this, I’ve been able to point out the things I need to work on immediately and the things that I need to seriously dedicate my time to. Namely, that would be my two best friends. I have been snapping at Jess at a moment’s notice, I owe him money because he graciously picked up food for me and I haven’t been capable of paying him back. I have become even lazier around the house. I have grown to complain about everything inside my head. Travis has come to town and I have hardly acknowledged that. I realized that I’ve only been able to talk about things that directly involve me. It has been months since I told either of them that I love them. Everything I do feels jaded and empty.

I am not empty.

I am full of rainwater and I am going to be happy, over everything.

If you liked this, consider picking up one of my LINMTBA Compilations, this one is from Year Two + It was a good year. Check them out on my website!

www.linmtba.com