When do we get back to the way it used to be?

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I go back and forth on this. Sometimes, I don’t like what I see. But I am the one responsible for it. I can use my anxiety and depression as a crutch. But I’m not gonna. I don’t believe in making excuses. It’s not who I am or how I define myself.

So, here we are in this forever confusing winter. One of unusual and bizarre warmth and now one of icy cold temps and snow, slush and icicles everywhere in my town. Maybe the truth is this depresses me. Well, because it does. I hate the long winter. Truth be told, it hasn’t been bad. We got next to nothing for so long. But as soon as we get into March, it snows and then snows and sleets some more.

Every year, this is what happens here in New York City. Whether you live in Staten Island like me or the other four boroughs, it’s too confusing for words. If you were lucky, you didn’t get any snow or little like here. But lots of ice which makes it even more fun. If you live in certain parts of New Jersey, you got belted with over a foot of the white stuff. If you are from Connecticut or Boston, you’re buried with about two feet with more on the way in Massachusetts. It doesn’t sound like Long Island got hit too bad either.

Maybe when I go back on a normal schedule tomorrow with work and the gym, I’ll feel better. More like myself. I’ve just been bored lately. From the past Friday when the snow crud started. When I get into these ruts, they tend to stick around a while. But I’ll push myself out of it Wednesday and get myself back to who I truly am.

Hence why I went live on Facebook before an why I am writing in this space. Music helps. I was just listening to this cool song from The Girl Next Door.

Wasn’t Elisa Cuthbert breathtaking in it? Who wouldn’t drop everything for her in that movie? Now she’s married to Dion Phaneuf and that’s just boring. I know how that sounds but whatever became of her career? Jesus.

Do you ever stop to “Take A Picture?” I do. Whether it’s capturing a perfect sunset with daylight savings giving me more time if the sun makes an appearance. Or a fascinating photo of the moon or stars above or just one of mother nature. I love taking pictures. It’s fun just to shoot something once in a while. That’s what my Instagram’s for.

Normalcy is good. So, I’ll return to the real world and get back at it. Oh. And it won’t just be fun and games. But life. It’s what I need right now. Peace. ❤

Until the end of the world

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The title choice is inspired by the wild and wacky weather we’ve had this week. We have gone from snow not too long ago and icy conditions to Spring conditions with temps approaching 70 degrees. It really is crazy for late February. Not that I mind. I didn’t even have to wear a jacket to work.

So, is the end of the world near? If you’ve heard U2’s underrated hit “Until The End of The World,” from the overlooked Achtung Baby  album in the early 90’s, then maybe you can feel it too. But despite all the warning signs of manic and panic, the world isn’t ending. That’s a good thing.

We get to choose what we want to do each day. I choose to enjoy every day to the fullest. Not the dullest like my job which can put you in a sleep induced coma. Customer service is so thankless. But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to remind everyone of everything good. You won’t get anything negative from me in this space.

I choose to stay positive and think about the people in my life. My family is all here. My friends are too. The awesome coworkers I share laughs with over these six years. Of course, my writing which always has some creativity and paints a different picture which is unique and takes me away from everything. That’s art.

That includes music. Something I will always share with people I meet. It also includes my random rhymes. I got my new car finally washed Thursday. It only took 30 minutes after the first place was too backed up. Everyone wants to do it when the sun is shining and the weather is nice. Almost too nice for words. But I’ll take it. We all will.

Do I have any pearls of wisdom? You bet your ass I do. 😉

Current mood: “Good Vibrations” Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch

 

Stay true to yourself 

And in good health 

See the good inside 

Smile on the outside 

Let the sun shine 

Like a fancy rhyme 

Enjoy the poetic sky 

As the birds echo a cry 

Fly away into a different dimension

Beyond the level of comprehension

Raise the roof 

Because each and every day you are the truth

Hit it out of the park 

Like the Babe lighting up a spark

I got more bars than electric guitars

Like Jimi Hendrix and all my shining stars

They sit high above the roof top 

Cause legends never die the cream of the crop

Jimi, 2Pac, Biggie, Marley and Lennon 

Were champions of life always winning 

Their message was one of hope 

Rather than the negative spread by mainstream media dopes

Whose only goal in life is to bring you down 

When we should be our own person minus the frown

Spreading a message of peace and love 

End the hate conquer and divide rise above 

Live for each day and do it our way 

Yesterday is gone it’s all about today 

Love and respect each other 

Stand together for one and another 

We can accomplish anything our heart desires

My heart bleeds red with plenty of fire 

Showing emotion because I care 

Never live my life in fear 

I’ll rise above the rest 

God willing we’ll pass this test 

From coast to coast 

East to west we must be the best 

The Hurt Inside

We all experience different types of hurt. Physical and emotional, it always feels the same. Physical of course can be very painful especially if it’s from participating in a athletic event or activity and you do something bad. I used to limp around school in so much pain from plantar fasciitis.

It’s not as bad as breaking an ankle or tearing a ACL or MCL sprain. But basically, your feet really do feel broken. I guess that is the price that can be paid for the physical pounding of running. I was never the most fluid runner. Heel to toe should have been eliminated completely. Prescription orthodox should be a requirement for running. That way you have a protective arch and aren’t naked on the concrete.

Mental pain is just as taxing due to the stress. Whether it be in the form of rejection from that hot girl turning you down or chronic anxiety which can do a number on your psyche, there’s only so much we can take. I can remember going through a difficult period about a decade ago. Of course, it involved a girl who I liked. But I basically punished myself. I couldn’t eat or sleep. Naturally, I became dehydrated and a mess.

Sometimes, the mind really overworks. We’re pushed into overdrive when we overthink. That’s a lesson I learned. It’s better to just speak. Say what’s on your mind. No matter what the response is, you will feel better. It doesn’t always have to be the opposite sex. It can be depression from a number of things. I used to score basketball games at a private school Berkley Carroll in Park Slope, Brooklyn. And for no apparent reason, I started to feel really sick inside. Like I was either gonna pass out or die.

That was a pretty scary time. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Only that it couldn’t continue. I had to do something about it. I wasn’t on the right medication. Nor did I know the proper diagnosis for my panic symptoms. It was only when I did volunteer work at a clinic that I discovered the panic disorder I suffered from. Panic attacks are common. It can come for no reason at all. But usually, it’s a social setting with a crowd of people.

There would be Ranger games we would be at with my family and friends when suddenly, it came. I couldn’t even breathe. That’s what it felt like. The pain was sometimes too much. There were moments when I had to leave MSG early and go for walks outside or just back to the car and listen to the rest of the game on the radio. It was then when I was alone that I cooled off and felt better.

The deadening of legs and random joint paints and heart racing can cause so much fear and panic. It was like I was crying for help inside. No matter how much I hid it from the outside. There were enough times at the basketball games where I always acted the part as if everything was cool. I would do random freestyles at the scorer’s table to crack up the people who worked with me. No matter how much pain, it was a way of coping. Somehow, I got through it.

Overcoming the hurt inside can be very hard. There are peaks and valleys. I still have my moments where I feel overwhelmed. It’s why I have not accomplished what I want. I can’t let it hold me back any longer. I must reach my potential. When I was in my 20’s, I didn’t care. I just made it happen and didn’t pay attention to such distractions. That method is how I scored my best gig as a hockey statistical researcher at ESPN at the headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. At 25, I was living on my own with an apartment set up and paying my monthly bills and my student loan.

Ever since I came home, that’s when the anxiety started. It’s hard to explain how or why. Only that my brother had his own personal ordeal which I finally got to see. Maybe that wasn’t the best environment for me. But I needed to be there for him. I always have been. And maybe that’s why we’re best friends who can’t be separated.

At some point, I need to break through. To escape. 2017 is fast approaching. My goal is to make it happen. Whatever it takes. One thing though. I will always be there for my brother. Even if we no longer share a roof, that will never change. Family always comes first. It’s how I was raised. I am very proud of the positive steps he’s taken. Now, it’s time for me to do the same and stop holding me back.

There’s been too much hurt lately. Whether it’s the loss of friends or me crying out for help, it’s too negative. I like to stay positive. When it gets too down, I turn to music or feel good shows like The Wonder Years which have life values. Yeah. I’ve been rewatching it on Net Flix. So much of that show makes sense to me. I understand why things are the way they are. I understand so much more than I used to.

Never Give Up. That’s a message that stands with me. Or as the great Jim Valvano said:

DON’T EVER GIVE UP

Look at Jimmy V who I again donated money to for cancer research. Or Stuart Scott. Now we lost Craig Sager, who fought so valiantly for two and a half years before succumbing to Leukemia last Thursday. He personified all that was right in covering sports with great journalism, a kick ass personality and amazing attitude despite the terrible disease he fought. Between the colorful outfits, there was the professional Sager on the NBA sideline with his fascinating interviews on TNT. No matter how much Gregg Popovich didn’t like them, you knew he loved and respected Sager.

Everyone did. Just listening and watching different tributes from former colleagues, NBA players, etc., Sager was amazing. You’ll never hear a bad word uttered about this man who had a wonderful wife and children that loved him. He was tremendous.

I’ve learned a great deal. So many people suffer from this chronic disease. It must be stopped. The same way suicide must end. We have to be there for our friends. Knowing a friend who committed suicide is mind numbing. I have friends who have lost others to suicide. It’s all too common. I spoke to a coworker who lost her nephew to suicide. He was only 22. It’s crazy.

We need to raise mental awareness. An area that isn’t covered enough. So many people are suffering. I vow to do good on this and gain a following. Let’s call it one of my life goals starting next year. Love each other. Be kind to each other. Unite as one. That’s my message. Who’s with me?

Disappointment

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Okay. So the title of this new post is Disappointment. Why would I do such a thing? Because at various times, we have all suffered from it. Whatever it might be, whether it’s how we’re treated on a job or dealing with people, we are bound to experience disappointment in life.

For me, it’s been all too common. I’m not where I need to be quite yet. But as I write these blogs, I’m moving in the right direction. It’s a therapeutic way for me to communicate what’s going on. By being honest, I’m getting off my chest my true feelings on the situation.

It’s six days until my 40th birthday. Other than plans made with my family, I still don’t have a clue if any of my friends want to do something. To me, that isn’t right. While it’s true I may not be your normal person this age due to not being like friends my age who are married with kids, I am a cool person to be around. Ask any of my close friends younger than myself and they’ll tell you. I’m your guy if you want to hang out or do something.

Just the other night, we went to see my friend at her new job. She’s a bartender at a nice place that’s about 20 minutes away. It actually is right around where I grew up out here. It brings back memories. So, we checked it out and even though it was late, we had a blast. For someone who’s younger, she sure has her shit together. She’s been doing bartending for six years. It’s nice to see someone who is mature enough to hold her own at what’s a demanding job with customers who at times can be annoying.

For her, it’s worth it because she knows what she’s doing and enjoys her job. Bartenders make a lot of money. If only I were that kind of person. I’m easy to get along with. I just don’t know if I’m the right fit for handling and mixing drinks. I’d probably be lousy cause I’m kind of clumsy. Ha. I know they train you. It probably explains why I never waited tables or did retail.

At the moment, I’m exploring my options. There are some intriguing possibilities. I do need a change. Something that isn’t as slow paced. More moving around and more being involved. I am giving serious consideration to a couple of things that would change my life for the better. I know it’s the right time.

As far as disappointment goes, I want more for myself. So, there is motivation and extra incentive to do the right thing moving forward. As my birthday draws nearer, I feel calmer about things. I understand what must happen. I have the power to do it.

Until next time. 🙂

Moving Forward: The thoughts and impressions of a blogger

It’s the final day of November out in Staten Island, New York. Just another gloomy late Fall day in this town. For a second straight day, it’s raining and the temperature is actually a reasonable 56 degrees. Not too bad before the calendar changes tomorrow to December.

A week from Thursday is my birthday. We already made plans to go eat out at a real nice restaurant in downtown Brooklyn that I’ve been to before. I have fond memories of Henry’s End because it was back when our family was together. We used to go out to eat on special occasions in Brooklyn Heights. I can recall spending New Year’s there once with my Mom, Dad and brother. And the menu was superb. It really was a great way to bring in the New Year.

It’s hard to believe that that time in our lives was so long ago. To someone like me, the 90’s don’t seem that distant. But here we are two decades later with 2016 about to close its final chapter. I can’t even fathom that it’ll be 2017 in 32 days. Has it been that long since I graduated high school and attended college? Remarkably, yes.

I guess I’m just wowed that so much has changed. Maybe not for myself personally or for my brother. But just in terms of technology advancements. Back then, I was introduced to mobile phones. They were primarily used in the car for emergency situations. Now, you can do everything on your phone. I’m not so sure that’s been a positive development. Like many, I spend way too much time on mine. And while I do my fair share of reading and watch old videos, it’s not the same.

Perhaps it’s time for a change. Maybe to just go back to reading books and staying off my I-Phone as much as possible. And cut down on social media. Unfortunately, it’s become a place where opinions are shoved down others’ throats. Especially given the recent election. Never has a country been so divided. At the end of the day, what for? We are all Americans who are looking to better ourselves. No matter what side you’re on, it should be about treating each other with respect and not disrespecting differing opinions. There are far too many personal attacks and ridiculous labels that are so despicable, I can’t believe I knew some of these people. Indeed, it’s a sad time but one where we must come together as one.

There’s this distinct impression today that if you’re not with them, then you don’t belong here. That’s not the way it works. In America, we are allowed to have freedom of opinion, expression, etc. I may not like the same team as you. But that doesn’t make us enemies. It reminds me of your classic rivalries. I am a New Yorker who supports the Yankees and Rangers. The Yankees have one of the best rivalries with the Red Sox. New York and Boston go way back. As rival fans, it’s instilled to hate your opponent. Some fans take it too far. I’ve seen it in the stands at MSG during Rangers games when the Islanders visit. Too much alcohol or viatrol can cause serious problems. And what for? Because we root for different teams.

It really is the same thing in politics. If we’re on different fences, we shouldn’t be so consumed by it. There are too many circumstances these days where some get sucked in leading to more division. If you’re not with them, then you’re the enemy even if you are a nice educated person with common sense who is principled. Not everyone is “brainwashed” or “racist.”

Most of us have good upbringing and come from diverse families with different ethnic backgrounds. That includes race, color and religion. First and foremost, most of us are Americans who are citizens of this great country. We should be proud of that. Our country affords us more opportunities than most.

It’s time to come together as one and be united.

At A Crossroads

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Jimi Hendrix would’ve turned 74 on Sunday, November 27. He will always be my hero. AP Photo via Getty Images

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything that wasn’t sports related or hockey. Be that as it may, I felt compelled to write in this space about personal stuff that’s been ongoing.

I’ve worked the same job for five years. How I lasted this long I still don’t understand. All I know is working at a call center is one of the worst things you can ever do. Between the long shifts spent on the phone and the rude and disrespectful customers who have no time or patience or appreciation for anything we do, it’s tedious.

I have needed to get out of this for a while. I feel like I’m going insane. I have lost all sanity. I miss the hell out of my friends I did things with. So many people have moved on with their lives. My closest friend works from home which makes this job a lot more tolerable. I just don’t know if I’m built for it anymore.

Even when it’s not supposed to, it causes me a lot of anxiety and stress. It doesn’t matter that it’s become consistent hourly pay. Honestly, salary at this place sucks. The fun went out once education died. Commission was better because it motivated us to work harder and get leads. Ever since they transitioned to jobs, this place has gone downhill. Between the awful records and poor management, they let a lot of quality people go.

I feel stuck. And really, I shouldn’t be. I should’ve just quit and done something else. I have control of the situation. But no direction. Try telling your parents that and they’ll think why did we spend all this money for you to get a Bachelor’s Degree. I’m told what to do. Not what I want to do.

Anyone who knows me knows I am one of the nicest, most unselfish and caring guys out there. I am always looking out for other people. I will always have my friends’ backs. Just once, I can use them here. Personally, I think I belong helping others. Whether it be as a guidance counselor or someone who can assist troubled younger adults because of the crap I’ve gone through.

Anxiety and depression suck. They go hand in hand. Even when I don’t feel down, I am because I keep wondering how I let it get to this point. Next week, I turn 40. And it doesn’t even faze me. Anyone who’s seen me knows I look nothing close to my age. Let’s just say I can than my Mom and Dad for good genes. I have a baby face. So, it helps. I also am easy going around people and love conversation.

It’s just that I’m shy around certain people. Mainly women I like. I don’t know why. It’s always been hard for me. And it shouldn’t be. But I just think about my situation and wonder why anyone would want to be with me. While former classmates have raised families, I sit here at my desk and wonder where I am going. And I honestly cannot answer it.

Sometimes, I think about getting away. I hate it here. I wish I could just pack up and leave. That would make it easier. I don’t need to be told what to do. If only I didn’t owe Sallie Mae so much money. If only I had made more wise decisions. But here I am. Nothing will happen on December 8. It’ll come and go just like every holiday and birthday in our family. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. And that’s not the person I want to be. It SHOULD!

Everyone I’m friends with always tells me how cool and funny I am. That I’m nice. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I am too damn nice. But that isn’t changing. I could never be mean to anyone. Not unless they are to me. I always have had this motto. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It applies in life. Also, never label anyone. Don’t judge unless you have been in their shoes.

So, here we are. A late November Fall night post Thanksgiving. Thank God. My favorite holiday is now one I dislike due to all the disgusting food. When did Americans become such pigs? We really are spoiled rotten. Don’t think so? Just look at the portions we eat. I can’t do it anymore. I drink antioxidant water. At least a gallon on average. That’s the one positive thing I’ve done. I just need to cut out all the junk. Getting older sucks. Anyone who tells you different is a fool.

Unless you’re in the perfect situation, I just don’t see how getting older is exciting. Maybe for parents it is. If I had a kid, I would give my left arm for them. It’s basically what I’ve done helping out my brother. I am not gonna get into his situation. Let’s just say I’ve given everything. At what point should I start living for myself?

It’s okay to care. If we don’t have emotions, we’d be hopeless. I have them. I smile. I laugh. I cry. Well, not really. Unless you count inside. Sometimes, we have to let it out. Be truthful. Be brave.

That’s what I’m doing here. I am being truthful to myself. And to anyone who loves or appreciates me. I hope I find the right path and plan the next decade of my life much better than my 30’s. I know I can live with myself because I am focused on getting the job done.

Until next time these three words appropriately from my hero Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. He would’ve turned 74 yesterday.

PEACE. LOVE. HAPPINESS.