Year Two: Blackjack + The Miller Life (2014.11.14)

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Tomorrow is the last day of Noose Ends, I have come such a long way since last Halloween and honestly, I am so excited to see where my future will be going. I’ll be posting the final blog post for Year Four tomorrow at four thirty, I can’t wait to show you all the great stuff I’ve been working on.

Inkworks, Poetry, Clothing and YouTube are all coming your way still. I hope you’re ready to have fun with me.

Last night after work my friend Mariano + I went out to pick up a bottle of whiskey to split with our friends. We had both had rough days and needed a bit of relaxation. So, we all threw some money together and picked up some Maker’s Mark. Once Mariano + I returned to the restaurant we sat at the sushi bar and split it between five of us. We talked mostly about music and how music affects us, then once Brian had gotten off work we went outside to smoke. While we were out there our boss Mike began a discussion with all of us about belief and faith systems, which has been a topic on my mind a lot recently while writing Helium Constellations, so I relished in the debate.

After a few minutes of that, Brian decided to head home and since I was far too drunk to drive, I hitched a ride with him. Mariano was close behind me. So there we were, the three of us wanting to go do something else but we had nowhere to go. We hit up a couple friends and got nowhere, and none of us really felt like going out into the hills to drink because it was cold and nobody would’ve been able to drive back home. So, we stopped at Walmart, picked up a few beers and then hung out for a while more. While we were at Walmart, Brian + Mariano had begun talking about something that had been eating one of us up. Then it evolved into a full blown conversation about life and families.

It has been a good while since I’ve gotten to sit with these guys, who are among my best friends in the world, and talk about stuff with them. It has been far too long since I’ve gotten to be a part of their lives and I relished in it. So, we pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex and sat there for a good hour or more cracking open Miller Lite + talking through our bullshit.

Now, for the sake of keeping their privacy the contents of our conversation won’t be repeated here, but we did talk about one important thing that I would like to put out there today.

Mariano was explaining one of his fears to us and Brian + I had begun giving him feedback, because I think both of us are afraid of it to a degree as well. I started off by asking if he had ever played blackjack. After he said no, I explained the premise to him, as I will explain it to you. In case you aren’t informed.

Blackjack is a card game, where the purpose is to get the value of your cards as close to 21 as possible, the ultimate goal is to hit 21 exactly. The dealer will give you a number of cards to make a hand with, and you add up the totals in the set to find your value. It may be 8, it may be 18, it all depends on what the dealer hands you. To which, the dealer also doesn’t know.

If your hand is lower than you would like, you can ask for another card and try to get your number higher. You cannot, however, put down cards that are unfavorable.

Life is a lot like blackjack. I think. Each person is dealt a set of cards that they have to play, regardless of whether or not they want to. We may be the child of a single mother, an influential family member may be struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, we might be abandoned at birth or born with a defect of some kind. These are things that we cannot change. Regardless of if we want to, at the end of the day we must play the hand.

If we are feeling brave, we can hit to have the dealer give us another card. This can go a couple ways. If we are sitting at 18 and bounce to 22, we’re toast. We were dealt a bad hand. In Blackjack, we are forced to fold. In life, the option to fold is unfavorable. We must live with whatever new thing our card has presented to us. We could pick up an addiction to drugs ourselves, we could find ourselves in a shitty job or an abusive relationship. We could find ourselves selfish and afraid of life. It could be anything.

The nice thing about life though, is that it is not like blackjack. If we are dealt rotten cards in blackjack we can fold and be done with it. If we are dealt a bad hand in life, we are stuck with it. However, it presents us with a great opportunity to learn. To grow from the challenges that we face. To exist with other people who are facing their own challenges and come out of them successful, together.

That’s the big thing. Life is not like blackjack because we are together.

Togetherness isn’t a part of Blackjack, Togetherness is a part of life. We exist beside a few billion people who are learning how to react to the hands they are dealt. In Blackjack, we are competing at a table with four or five other people trying to make it big. Get the big money and get out.

I’m glad that life isn’t exactly like blackjack. I’m glad it does have similarities too, because if it didn’t I wouldn’t learn. I need to be dealt a bad card every so often to remind myself that I don’t have it all figured out. That I still have a million lessons to learn. I’m thankful at the end of the day that when I play my hand, I have a good number of people playing theirs with me. If we bust, at least we busted together. And that’s the best part about life.

I believe in Happy People Over Everything.

I think that we should strive for that. Not to discount our sadness or depreciate our negative feelings but instead to thrive from them. To take the shitty cards and throw them out. To tell the dealer…

“You gave me this, but look what I turned it into!”

And I love that we can do it together. Because being together is the most important part of life. Don’t go it alone.

 

You do thousands of things every day, if you break it down enough, you could say that you do millions of things. Be proud of the things you accomplish and the things that you overcome. Be proud of the things you do.

 

Just remember that the things you do, or accomplish, or overcome are never as important as the people you do them with.

Lay down that hand. I’ll be right here. If we bust, we’re busting together. But don’t worry, we will get a new hand. We will make the best of every situation.

We are Happy People.

Over Everything.

Life can be a lot to handle sometimes, Just remember that it will all be okay. I promise you that the sun will come back out.

www.linmtba.com

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Year One: On Writing a Good Story (2014.1.31)

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A lot of people think that just because you are a happy person, that you are no longer allowed to be sad. Period. I disagree. Sadness, like Happiness, is a habit. It will grow and grow until it consumes you. I don’t think that people who are literally happy 100% of the time are mentally stable. You are supposed to be sad about things. You can’t be happy when someone dies, that isn’t how your emotions were designated to work. Much like the rest of life, whether or not you are happy is a give and take.

Things are constantly happening to us, every moment of every day. It’s a process that creates our emotions. Your thoughts about how things happen will yield different results. Personally, I am happy about the book that I am writing. The book makes me sad because I began writing it before I had lost communication with someone that I loved dearly, it reminds me of the good times that we had, which makes me happy, but it also serves to remind me that the chances of me having those good times with that person are slim, which in turn makes me sad. That sadness about that specific topic leads me to hopefulness that I will come across someone that I can spend time with like that who will make me feel the same way that she did. Which makes me happy.

All of those thoughts came linked to a book. Now, everybody isn’t a writer, and not everyone has a book that they’re writing in a literal sense. That doesn’t mean that we each aren’t weaving our own stories as we get up every day. you make choices to feel things, whether it is intentional or not. So many people let their sadness control them, they don’t know that they are in full control of their mood. If you’re writing a story with your life, write it in an interesting way. Nothing is interesting about people who have no conflict. Now, take note that I don’t mean conflict to be fighting or pressure against someones plans, or anything one sided. I mean anything that stops you from being stagnant.

The emotions that a human uses are dynamic. They are always changing. There are so many more than just happy and sad, too. In writing, conflict is important. there has to be something that gets in the way to propel a story forward. Their full range of emotions, just like yours, will be exploited by the time their story is over. Don’t be sad that you’re sad. Sadness is good, it means that you are alive. I’m sad ever single time I work on my novel, which is almost every day. I want my character to portray it, and I want those reading this and (hopefully) my novel to see it too. There is a balance however, no conflict can be so big that it stops you in your tracks. The same goes for characters in stories as they do in real life. Your story will have conflict, but your desires will overcome it. Don’t get sad about your sadness, because it is a habit, and it will destroy you. Instead, make a habit to become happy. Make happiness your reflex. In any good story, when the main character wants something, they will go to get it, unfortunately it is a guarantee that something will get in his way, if the story is a good one.

Write a good story

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider picking up the compilation that it came from! (And share it with you friends, please, I’m not trying to beg I promise.)

You can get it on my website or on Amazon.

Year Three: Bad Car, Good Stories (2016.10.14)

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The other day I was talking with a friend of mine about life and a lot of things. Our conversations spanned over so many topics, but she brought up something that I wanted to talk about on the blog specifically.

My vehicle.

More specifically, my truck in relation to me. For those of you that don’t already know, I drive a 97’ Chevy Silverado named Misty (Formerly Mystery, until she took her top off.) She has carried me since 2012 and I have put so many miles on her. Every mark on the car I can explain to you. The melted plastic where my cigarette burned a hole, from sitting on the panel for too long. The crack in the windshield that has expanded across the length of it like a storyteller who doesn’t know when to end his tale. I remember almost getting into that wreck up North Fifth Street when I punched my throttle and sent her over a hill that had a steep drop off on the other side. Every day when I step into the cab I see the lei and the small figurine of a feathered head hanging from the rearview mirror like a talisman that was meant to protect me. I see the sun faded purple bandana that has been bleached of most of its color, looking less like a regal purple and more like a lilac in the springtime. I see the “Nightmare Before Christmas” Lanyard that is similarly sun-faded that I purchased at Disneyland for $22 because I absolutely felt that I needed it. When I reach up to pull my seatbelt down I can feel the fabric on the seat stretch around a tear she suffered when I was consoling a friend in the midst of a thunderstorm and the boom that echoed in the sky took me by surprise, jerking me back and ripping the seat cover. I often find spare change jingling around on the floor and every time I turn Misty on she presents the CD that has been in her disc drive for years now, “Blazed by the Bell” by Mod Sun.

All of these things hold so many fantastic memories. I remember going through so much with that truck. Bad breakups. Long road trips. Joyous nights, drunk out of my mind and singing with friends from the top of the shell. I remember using it to hide from a particularly bad snowstorm and I remember lying in the bed of the truck every time I go camping, terrified that some kind of ghastly grey being will come to drain the life out of me in my sleep.

There are reasons that I love Misty so much. It’s because she has carried me through life for four years, yes, but there is more to it than that. Misty is a stable vehicle, but she is nothing prime. She runs when she needs to and she gets me from A to B. I can’t ask her to do much more than that anymore, she’s getting old and I have done her a disservice by not caring for her the way that I should have been.

Still, this brings me to my point. I think it is far more important to chase memories and experience rather than going for material gains. I have spoken to so many men and women from the window of Misty and heard their stories while behind her wheel that I could never replace. Men and Women who wouldn’t have spoken to me as freely if I had been driving another car. There are so many things I have experienced alongside my truck that I couldn’t recount them all to you. I have burned bridges with her, I have ran from parties about to get busted. I have done so many things and that’s the important part. Had I spent my money a different way, had I searched for a more expensive car I would have needed to take much more time to pay it off. I would have had to pull more hours or even pull extra jobs. That isn’t something I am afraid of, but it is something that would have halted the progress of experience in my life. I would have been working so much that I wouldn’t have wanted to go on any adventures. I wouldn’t have wanted to go out and party, or pick friends up from places. I wouldn’t drive to fast food joints because I would need every dollar to pay for my nice expensive car.

That is something to be proud of. I hope that where you are in life, you understand that I am not trying to demean your money spending choices. I’m just bringing to light something that I have learned about my life. If it weren’t for Misty/Mystery I would have had so much less fun in life. So many of my stories would be replaced with: “Oh I just got off work, I think I’m gonna turn in. Gotta be up early in the morning.” Or something similar.

It’s important to note that in this life, we seek experiences rather than possessions. Of course, to the car guys, the large number of you who are my friends, don’t get upset. Just because you find enjoyment in it doesn’t mean it is still bad. If expensive cars are your passion, keep going! Keep fueling that passion. Keep doing the things you love. This world is so dark sometimes and if a shiny new whip is what will make you feel better, then use it. Abuse that love of vehicles. Just don’t forget to get in your car and do something meaningful every once and a while. Life doesn’t have to be all about what you have or what you earn. It should be about what you do with the things you have.

That’s why, back in 2012, I purchased Mystery. I picked her up and knew that I would love her, through all of the ups and the many, many lows I have seen. She ahs been there through it all. She is nearing the end of her life, so before she goes I want to send you as much love as I can. So she can be there for that experience too. If you have a bad car, or a nice car, if you have a lot of money or a little, if you are a politician or a hippy, if you work your ass off or pursue laziness, I hope that you make it a point to go out and experience this world. It has so much to offer you, it has offered me so much as well and I’ve reached a point where I’m finally okay with offering Misty back in return. I hope that she goes towards more stories. I hope that you do too.

Never stop pursuing the beautiful goodness in our world. It makes everything so much better, whether you drive a 2015 Civic, or a 1997 Chevy Silverado. I hope you love your car and the memories within as much as Misty has loved me.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider picking up the compilation it came from.

You can find it on my website or on Amazon!

Year Two: The Fear of a World Without Cereal (2015.5.1)

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The other day, during one of my self-made fits of insomnia I was lying on the floor of my apartment, contemplating life. By contemplating life, I mean that I was thinking about cereal. Cereal, and appreciating things for what they were. At about seven in the morning this Tuesday I was on my back with my feet up on the wall staring at the lights hanging from the ceiling, wondering: “How weird would it be if we put all of our furniture on the roof and just lived up there? The whole world would turn upside down wouldn’t it?”

Sure. It seems goofy to be thinking that, but I wasn’t in my right mind. I don’t think a lot of people are in their right mind. Once, when I was younger I wrote this story about molecules that fused with the bodies of animals and made them badass world-saving, bad guy smashing warriors. The villain of the story was a snake that had been hit with the same stuff and had turned evil. (It was fifth grade. And I stole most of the concepts from my friend Travis. Sorry, man.) Part of the assignment for this story was to illustrate certain events. So, I did. I drew in what it looked like when they got infected, when they changed, how they changed, what they were meant to do afterwards, their fight with the snake-man, and inevitably, their victory against him. It was a gruesome victory at that. The snake had been impaled on a spire at the peak of his castle (Mountain? Maybe? It’s been a while. Sorry I can’t remember all the details.) To be honest, there was blood everywhere. More blood than he could have held in his body. Regardless, after I showed my parents the final page (Which I was incredibly proud of.) My dad told me to make a new one and throw that one away because people would think I was crazy.

In other, much more extreme instances, people have had their lives threatened by psychos with guns because they flirted with the wrong girl. People have had their bodies tortured and prodded because they have information that other people want. People have always been crazy. I think some have it worse than others, but in the end that’s how it goes. One way is perceived as the right way and everyone else is wrong so let’s just kill them.

Today before work I was talking to my boss about some of his escapades when he was younger. The topic of the Middle East came up, and in normal circumstances I would have changed the subject, but I decided to let it play. I needed to soak up some kind of topic for this week’s blog post. We began talking about the lunatics threatening lives in the world and how they would probably regret choosing to attack Elko. (There’s nothing here, plus there are six guns for every human in the city.) We talked about the rash of paranoia that seems to be spreading across the minds of our friends and families. It brought up something that I seem to have forgotten.

Why are we so focused on the bad shit happening everywhere? Why don’t we take solace that right here, right now, things are good.

Don’t get me wrong. We should be paying attention to the state of our surroundings, but we shouldn’t be letting that control our behavior in an everyday setting.

What I’m trying to say is that we should appreciate the here and now.

The smell of the flowers, the reflection of the sun in a puddle, the way our friends laugh when we joke.

Those things should be influencing us more powerfully than the fear of something bad happening. Whether that is terrorists, cancer, liver failure, whatever. The case may be.

Be aware. But do not be afraid.

We live in a world where Reese’s peanut butter cups come in candy form, and in cereal form.

That shit is amazing.

Don’t let the fear of life control you.

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider picking up the compilation that it came from!

You can get it from my website or Amazon!

Year One: Ferociously Blessed (2013.11.10)

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With the news about Las Vegas today, my heart is hanging heavy. I will be spending a lot of time praying and finding out the best way to help these people. When something like this happens it is always frightening, it is scary and it is awful to hear, it happening in my own state was a bit of a wake up call.

Take something away from the news today though, our lives are so short. We don’t know how much sand is left in our own hourglass so make sure to tell those you love that you love them. Don’t let a second go past with fear or hate in your heart. If you do, people like the terrorist who did this will win.

We won’t let them win. I promise you that. I’ll be fighting every day, with love as a weapon.

I love what I do. To be honest, it is my favorite thing in the world. I have this incredible opportunity in front of me with my clothing company and my writing and all of that. It floors me sometimes. I realize that not many people get to say what I just said, there are so many people who get up and go to work and go home and go to bed and get up and go to work and so on and so on… I don’t get to do that and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Writing is my passion, above everything else, and besides writing, I get to draw, and sing, and play instruments, and live this beautiful life what with its little hurdles. I am so ferociously blessed, that I can’t often comprehend. I have just spent the last three days working with one of my best friends in the world on my passion, and we have spent the last two days doing photo shoots with a beautiful girl, who happily represented my company. We even have another model lined up to shoot tomorrow. When people told me that this was going to be hard work, I agreed, because I knew that it was going to be hard work day in and day out. The thing they didn’t say though, which happens to be the most important thing, is that I absolutely love doing what I do. Meeting new people, getting the opportunities to make new friends and talk to artists and expand my view of the world.

Who gives a rat’s balls what you do with your life? It is your life. Do whatever makes you happy, that’s what I’m doing, and let me tell you honestly. I love every second of it. If you are sitting at home or in a coffee shop reading this, and maybe question what you want to do with your life, I have only one thing to tell you.

Do whatever the hell you want to.

As I type this, I am sitting less than ten feet away from one of my best friends who probably is doing the same thing that I am doing. Typing up a blog about our weekend. And this? This is work. Can you believe it? Every single thing I do is work to me, and I love doing it. If you hate your job, and can’t find a good reason to get up and do it every day, I hope that you find out what will make you feel like this soon. Because I want every single person in the world to feel how I feel right now. I am ecstatic about life, friends, the ability to be creative, Anxious about my future, but still completely calm at the same time and to be truthful, just a little bit exhausted from all of the nothing it has felt like we’ve done this weekend. Even though it has felt like we have done nothing, We both have accomplished so much.

This trip hit my life at the same time that some emotional turbulence did, but I am so thankful for it, because it got me away, it got me to sit down in a whole different reality and look at my life. Right now I am living a story, and somewhere along the line I think I forgot that.

I remember now, though.

In some small way, it feels like the story to a book, like a real book. The Hobbit, or Harry Potter, I don’t know. Maybe somewhere out there, there is a room just full of old dudes, who constantly watch a certain group of people, and write out every single thing that they do. they would put them chronologically and arrange them into a story, bind the pages with some leather and store them away when they die. There would be millions of these dudes, just sitting in buildings on the highest peaks of the Earth, or the deepest levels of the sea in little huts. What if at the end of our lives we get that book? It would be considered a great value on Earth, it took nearly 80 years to write and it’s full of a lifetime of stories. I believe that there is something like that out there maybe. I have no way of knowing for sure… All I know right now is that someone out there is ready to hear my story. I want to make sure that when I meet that Person, I hope to have a good one, because I am ready to tell it.

 

It’s adventure time.

If you liked this blog post, consider picking up the compilation and giving the rest of them a read! I’d appreciate it so much. You can find them on my website as well as Amazon.

October is always a big month, I’ll be rearranging the blog and my webpage a bit as the days go by + I have cool stuff on the way soon! I love all of you. Spooky Saturday will be returning this weekend + I’ll be managing my YouTube channel a bit better, participating in NaNoWriMo + more. For updates, check out the S+I website. 🙂

www.linmtba.com

You’re The Exception (Yr. 3 – 2016.5.27)

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When my generation was younger, I remember always being told “Labels are for soup cans, not people.” And we stuck to that. We didn’t want to be called jocks, or preps, or emo kids in high school. We wanted to be people, not soup cans. So here we are five or so years later and the lot of us have grown up with that label free mentality. We don’t want to be put into a box of any kind because we are all different and special and unique, but those trait in and of themselves don’t mean anything, because there are so many voices screaming at us all the time saying “If everyone is unique then uniqueness doesn’t exist. There are only so many ways to be different, you have to organize yourself into something so that you can be identified.”

It comes in a million different forms. Myself as an author according to a handful of bloggers, should create a pen name for every kind of genre that I want to write. I should make sure that every different one has its own distinct personality and that I set up social media accounts for all of them. I need to be sure that my horror pen name sells only horror, that my romantic comedy pen name only sells cheesy romance books and so on.

I read that and laughed out loud.

I’m one dude who is comprised of about forty million different ideas and concepts and plans for myself. I’m not going to divide that down because it would take me years to figure out who wants what. Either that, or I trim the fat and only write in one genre because “Publishers don’t want to hire you for a myriad of titles. They look for specific genres and writers, and if you can’t always fit their bill the chances of you getting a deal with one is slim.”

Well, I’m (not even sort of) sorry to say, that I disagree. You don’t get to do that. People don’t get to raise us by saying “You can be anything you want, you can do anything you want, you don’t fit inside any kind of label.” Then when I’m an adult you don’t get to change your answer to “You have to be a specific kind of person because otherwise you won’t be accepted.”

Well, I’m not looking for that kind of acceptance. If I have to foot these books on my own, I suppose I’ll have to. But why? Why do we have to fit inside some kind of idea all of a sudden?

I think that’s why people are getting so confused and fed up with how the world is. We’re fighting against the ideas that we have been taught because they don’t crossover. We lived our whole young lives believing that any person can do and be anything. That stretched through even to the people who do bad things. Thieves have a shot at redemption when we are kids. If you atone for the bad things you did, or your narrow mind state you can come back. If you don’t like yourself you can reinvent yourself. We were told this kind of stuff over and over again.

Then? Bang.

Out of nowhere we are adults and trying to understand bills and taxes and full time jobs while balancing school or our own projects. We are trying to make something of ourselves even though we didn’t have enough time to make a plan to begin with. So we fight and we dodge through life and we get forced into these roles because we haven’t made up our minds.

“Oh, you’re good at engineering. Be an engineer.”

What if you hate engineering?

“Oh, you’re just short tempered. That’s how you are and you will have to understand that it will make your personal life difficult.”

What if you hate that about yourself? Are you supposed to keep living thought and never doing anything to improve?

That’s the big problem with fitting us into boxes. You can’t improve. You can only stack boxes on boxes for a while. Like a machine, pick up life skills that align with what you already know so you can multiply your productivity. Stack, stack, and stack.

Well… I’m not here to tell you to keep that up. After all, I believe we were meant to be like trees, not machines. If you are happy doing what you love and you are good at it, great. Keep going. Keep being happy and doing what you love. Grow and learn and change! Do what it takes.

See, any person in this world that tells you that you must stay the same is a liar and I’d bet that there is someone above them who taught them that too. You can get anywhere and do anything you’d like as long as you believe in yourself.

It might come off like a loose “believe in yourself” blog post, but it’ll come around.

Picture it.

One day, when you start doing what you love and learn how to do those things well, you can make a career based off of that thing and you’ll never have to worry again.

If you interact with people in the most positive way possible, your arguments with slowly vanish and eventually it will be hard for people to pick things about you that are frustrating.

All this takes is a bit of self-observation. If you frequently find yourself getting angry with another person over something they do, chances are high that you see that same thing in yourself.

I started this blog to help me, and I want it to help you too. So here I am.

This life is wild and difficult and full of unexpected things. Some parts will be dull and frustrating. Other parts will be exhilarating and will fill you with passion. You are driven to find a career from the moment you get out of school, if you can’t find one people will tell you to go to college and “shop around” which is fine for some, but I’ll let you in on a secret. College isn’t that important. It’s not mandatory. I encourage every one of my friends and readers that are in college because they want to get to a higher level of education, or their chosen profession requires it. Keep going, I’m so proud of the choices that you’ve made. If you’re on the other spectrum, like myself, and don’t want to go to college because it isn’t necessary for who you are, then don’t. Granted, this is no excuse to be lazy. But you don’t always have to get a higher education thought colleges or schooling to get to where you want to be. Maybe gather experience for a while. Maybe live life in a different way. Every person has a different plan and we all need to take a look at that. All of our plans have exceptions. All of our plans are building us to be the kind of people we want to be.

That’s really important to this whole blog post. We all have exceptions.

Which is great.

There are a thousand things I want to do, and I’ve been told recently that I should maybe take it slow and pick out the things I truly love and focus on those. I am focusing on those, for now. When I’ve reached some goals there, I’ll get to the other stuff. I’m not going to give it up just because it doesn’t “fit who I am.”

You shouldn’t give up either.

For everyone reading this right now, if you have a dream, I want you to follow it in any way you can. Obviously some adjustments and exceptions will have to be made, but that’s okay. You can get there. You can, and you will.

As long as you believe.

The whole world is going to try to file you into a box of some kind for the rest of your life.

 

“Oh, most people aren’t artsy and creative like you.”

I beg to differ, I think everyone has some kind of creativity inside them. It’s how we work and laugh and love. It’s how we are.

“How can you explain left brained people then?”

My father. He is without a doubt left brained. He thinks in logic and numbers and carefully constructed thoughts, he speaks only after he has thought his reply though. He is the most left brained person I know. Yet he helped create me, who you’ve said is ‘artsy and creative’

“Sure, he helped raise you, but you have your own creativity. Not everyone is creative. Not like that.”

You’re right. He doesn’t have creativity like me. He has a kind of energy that I actually can’t understand. I can describe something in 3D and he can sketch it for me. When I was a kid he showed me ways to build and construct solid toys for me to play with. He openly offered for me to cut swords out of plywood and helped me paint and design them. He showed me how to fix my bike and he taught me how the important stuff works in my car because I was frustrated and couldn’t understand it. He doesn’t often get to use big technical words with my mother and I because we don’t think in car parts and exploded diagrams. We don’t think with the same kind of creativity than he does, but the fact that he shows it differently than we do doesn’t make a difference. When you say that someone isn’t creative, you might as well have killed their spirit. Creativity and Passion are one and the same. Just because you can’t place it in a crate and ship it out with some kind of label doesn’t mean that it suddenly doesn’t exist. To think otherwise would be foolish. My father is one of millions of people whose creativity is shown differently. Finding different creative thinkers is important, because if we all begin to think the same you might as well stick every human in the same box, because we will go nowhere. Unified thought with no options to explore will destroy you as a person. That’s why we have our creativity in the first place.

“Well, your dad must just be an exception then. Not all people are creative like you. I can’t write, I can’t act, I can hardly sing.”

Can you create?

“I guess. I liked woodshop in high school.”

Look at that. You’re an exception, too.

 

 

And so are you. The person reading this.

Life is full of exceptions.

Be exceptional, at whatever it is you want to make your passion.

I believe in you.

Gemstones (Year Three – 2016.2.5)

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So, I’ve spoken about some of my mentors in the music scene before, specifically Mod Sun who has been one of the people I’ve looked up to for a few years because of the happy and positive lifestyle that he leads. Not long after publishing my blog post “Make a Mod Sun” I started to notice changes in his demeanor and his music, and I foolishly let it affect me. This, coupled with the realization that my journey isn’t over and that I am still actively struggling with a lot of things myself led to a pretty terrible state of mind.

I lived in this half in, half out sort of way for a few months. I was openly preaching about happiness and love and all the stuff I regularly preach about, and yet I wasn’t living my life in the same way. It was frustrating, and I felt as if I was letting myself down, and at the same time I was letting down everyone who I had lifted up over the course of my journey. That being said, the fastest way to solve a problem within yourself is to detect it.

I watched my actions as I would reflexively snap at people simply because I was angry or upset that day. I would grow near tantrum throwing like a child when things didn’t go my way, and I began to realize that I am a control freak. This realization, at first, negatively affected my everyday life. I saw that I was acting like a child, which frustrated me even more, so I continued acting like a child. Which frustrated me even more, so on and so forth.

I had gotten fed up with who I was turning into (or rather, regressing back to being) and decided that I had finally had enough. I was done taking a back seat while my attitude and my mood declined with each passing day. Every time I woke up it felt as if I was pushing back all of the hard work I have put forth to become the man that I want to be, regardless of the outside helps I’ve had. It was something that I had built. That I had done.

The power to make it or break it all rested on my shoulders.

This realization came heavily, as I sat down after a particularly bad day at work where I endured a lot of bad-mouthing from customers, and people whining over things I had no control over. I returned to my house after my shift had ended, confused because I had been used to that only a month or so prior. Where did that resilience go?

Well, the answer, I wasn’t looking at things in my life the same way anymore. I took to talking shit about people instead of praising their good qualities. I saw the bad, not the good. I stopped looking up for a while. I know I promised that I would move on from this topic a few posts ago, but I needed to touch on it once more.

The best way, I’ve found, to get out of a funk of anger and sadness is to purposefully do something good for someone else. Whether you want to or not. (Usually, you won’t want to. Especially if you’re being a grump.) So earlier this week when I was asked by a friend to come help her set up a catering because they were short-handed…

I said yes. Don’t misunderstand me. I really wanted to say no. I wanted to take the time today to sleep in and wake up in the afternoon with another 12 hour night under my belt. I wanted to stay away from anything I didn’t have to do.

That’s the problem.

So when she texted me, before I allowed myself time to think about it or to come up with excuses, I said yes. I would be there, of course I would. She is my friend. Friends support one another, and if I can’t support her, I shouldn’t boast about being her friend.

So here I am. It’s 8 something in the morning on the day of, and I feel so much better. Simply by offering to help someone else instead of wallow in self-pity and bad thoughts, I’ve managed to flip around my mentality once more. The greatest thing about people asking me how I got to the mentality that I did is that no one understands how simple it is.

I’ve learned a lot over this last year, and 2016 is going to the biggest year yet. So I want to keep sharing all of the things I’ve learned. I’ve been asked a lot, as if I’ve finished my journey or something, how I got to the positive state of mind I’ve found myself in. I’ve gotten messages from people I love telling me that I’ve inspired them and that I’ve helped them through dark times.

It honors me every time I receive them, because I never expected my words to be capable of doing so. I always wanted them to, but for years I was certain that I would have no impact…

Until I decided to assure my impact. I decided that it was time to assure a positive one.

When life starts weighing me down (because I certainly am not finished walking this long road) I look back to the posts that helped other people going, I look back and read them as if I wasn’t the one who wrote them. When I’ve been feeling sad, I look to my other friends making art and jokes and laughing and smiling and it gives me the energy to keep going.

I’ve said it before, this blog was started so that I could remind myself why life is an incredible adventure that I am meant to enjoy, but when I look back on all these little gemstones. Reading messages of inspiration from people I love and talking to them about all the delicate intricacies of life… They inspire me. They remind me that, even though I started this business for myself it has grown to be so much more important than that.

I don’t do this for me anymore. I do this for all of us.

That, is a great reason to keep going. Thank you for your inspiration in good times. Thank you for your support in bad times. I hope that you can look back on these posts as gemstones too, to be reminded that no matter how deep we are in it…

Life isn’t meant to be awful.

If you liked this blog post + would like to learn how to fight dragons, you can check out the Year Three compilation on my website or over on Amazon!

I’ve also started a Ko-fi account, if you would like to pick your polar bear boy up a cuppa joe I would be honored. Thank you for continuing to follow me. (even when I forget to upload videos for like six days.)