Category Archives: Ramblings

Random wanderings through my psyche.

My Reason for the Season

Most people know the rhyme “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Well I respect all beliefs but as I don’t consider myself a Christian I certainly have other reasons I honor the holidays.

In a sentence: It’s not about religion, as much as it is about what they holiday represents.

The major holidays to me (and I will miss a few as I provide examples) all have a good solid reason for existing. Easter is about renewal and clearing the way for new things in your life. July 4th is about patriotism, and pride in our country. Halloween is about putting on a mask and being someone different for a night. Thanksgiving is about reflection on the blessings you have been given in your life. And I will elaborate on Christmas in a minute. Now arguably, there are other reasons these holidays exist…religious, historical, etc, but to me the most important reason is it’s something we do as a culture, and it brings us together both in small groups as friends and family, and in a much larger sense as an entire nation or species (in the case of the non US specific holidays). How amazing is it that across the globe, nearly every small child is rapt with anticipation of Santa Claus leaving them gifts.

But now to Christmas, and why I feel it’s so much more than the birthday of Jesus. That is what Christians celebrate, but all the religious holidays around this time of year have a similar purpose. They bring people together. All the holidays do that, sure, but Christmas time in particular it is the singular reason for the season. The “point” is to spend it around people you love.

I had a friend tell me the other day that “Christmas is just another day” (okay paraphrased…still) and I was shocked. It’s never been “just another day” to me. It has always been something special, even after I found out Santa Claus was a lie (although I played along for a few more years until I got my Mom and Aunt to admit it). Christmas is the one day a year you show people how much you love them. You may do this by giving them presents, or just sending out mass text messages (Sorry guys, poor college kid…guess what you are all getting this year?), but you do it because on this day more than any other it should be done.

That is the purpose of Christmas.

At least, in my opinion.

I hope, dear reader, you aren’t alone for Christmas, but if you are I love you and Merry Christmas! If you aren’t alone, then…well I guess my message is the same.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

CG

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Valentine’s Day: Relationships and King Arthur

Okay, so I know this is a day late. But I have been thinking it over this long, I promise!!!

So of course being a post about Valentine’s I wanted to talk about relationships and my thoughts about them. I know what you are thinking. “Oh great, here comes the 12 page epic love poem, or the whiny emo rant about being alone.” Not at all. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find myself happy on Valentine’s Day. I enjoyed giving my closest friends Valentine’s like we were in third grade again, and generally had an average day otherwise. But I didn’t spend it curled up on my bed wishing I never had to get up again as I have in the past.

But as I analyzed the why, because I’m a freak like that and like to know why I feel a certain way, I started thinking. It’s because I have accepted a few things about being alone that apparently I hadn’t accepted until rather recently. And I am honestly not even sure when it happened. But first, before I get more into that let me talk about relationships.

Every successful relationship (the culmination of such being marriage) I have encountered has a common theme. As much as the partners in said relationship live together and move forward through life together it is a melding of equals. Both support and pursue their dreams equally. And I am sad to admit I have yet to have such a relationship. I have a bad tendency to either dominate or submit in a relationship, because either I am myself and become overbearing wiping the other person out, or I subsume parts of my personality in order to not dominate the relationship. Basically, I haven’t found anyone who is my equal. That sounds arrogant, but it’s not about intelligence or any real thing I can quantify as far as I can tell. The only word I have for it is soul mate.

And in my life I have experienced a lot of things. Good and bad, but honestly mostly good. That is part of what this blog was about, sharing my thoughts and insights with others hoping they could learn something from the wisdom I have gathered. But certain things have happened for a reason. For instance, my spiritual beliefs are very agnostic. I believe mere mortals cannot understand the underlying truth of the universe and that there are not only things man was not meant to know, but things man cannot know. This is a hard path to follow, and very lonely. But it is the one I believe God has sent me down. For some reason, He wants me to walk this path and I have faithfully believed in that since I affirmed my beliefs as an agnostic deist. In the end, I believe I will end up where He wants me, and in a good place.

But until Tuesday I had never considered my inability to find that special someone in the same light. I know you are thinking “OH NO! Here it is, finally! The emo rant!” I have spent many, many years being “alone” in the girlfriend sense. 7 years between high school and my last relationship, and now around a year and a half since the tumultous 6 month long distance relationship. One of my friends made the statement, “I am not any prettier than you are, and I know I could get plenty of girls. So go for it!” a few years back and my response was “I don’t want just any girl.” I realized at that point I was waiting for something special. I think that I have finally accepted that I am searching for someone truly amazing and that I may never find it, and why I wasn’t depressed this year on Singles Awareness Day.

I am sure you are still wondering what King Arthur has to do with all of this. I loved that story as a kid and it’s easy to see why. It has everything. Knights, nobility, chivalry, war, betrayal, truly epic love, and interwoven through all of it is the quest for one object: The Holy Grail. And the main character, King Arthur, even after being repeatedly told he is unworthy and will never find the Grail still keeps looking. He spends his entire life searching for the unattainable Grail, and the legend says he never found it although he knew that someone else did. But there was no jealousy in his heart from Gaiwan finding it, just acceptance and knowledge that he wasn’t done yet.

The lesson? I haven’t stopped searching for the truth or God just because I believe I truly couldn’t understand Him even if found. By the same thought, I won’t truly stop searching for my soul mate until I find her. Because even if I never succeed, the journey will be worth it.

 

CG out.

This ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race

I’m sure most of you recognize the title as a song from Fallout Boy…well we will get to why in a moment.

First I need to talk about dreams. I believe that dreams have power. I believe they tell us things. Things about ourselves that maybe we don’t know yet, things about our world we don’t notice consciously, and things we want but don’t see why. In short, oftentimes they answer questions we haven’t asked yet. Now whether dreams come from some higher power, or our own subconscious is up to speculation, but regardless they tell us things.

As I am sure you can guess, I had a dream. And I have been trying to figure out what it means all day.

It started off with me leading a group of my loved ones through a city, trying to get us out as fast as possible. I never thought of what the danger actually was, I was so focused on getting us to the countryside. The next thing I can recall is meeting my dad with the group in front of a lake and he had all these supplies. Well we gathered them up and went on, making camp after hiking for a while and beating back a lake monster. And after camp was set up I saw my dad standing a little apart, so I went to talk to him. He just looked me in the eye and said “It’s time to live up to those words now.” “What words?” I asked a bit confused. And he replied “This ain’t a scene, its a g__ d___ arms race” and I woke up.

This has been going around and around in my head all day. What does it mean?

In the song, they are talking about how life is all about making money, not providing comfort, or making someone’s life better, or anything besides making money. (“I am an arms dealer, selling you weapons in the form of words, I don’t care which side wins, as long as the room keeps singing, that’s just the business I am in”)

Kind of makes you think about how we feel like bands are speaking to us, and how much music can affect someone but really it’s just about making money, not changing lives.

Unfortunately, that seems what the world is like these days. Oddly enough, I have always felt like I was meant to change the world. I guess that is arrogant, or prideful, but it’s always been a truth to me not a question. After all, that is what gave me faith in my plan to graduate college, and why my world was shattered when I failed out the first time. I remember have a long conversation with my junior high youth group leader about how I wanted to program computer games, and my desire to change the world through my games. We talked about all kinds of Christian friendly games I could make (it was church after all) and he shared my faith in myself and my plan.

Somewhere along the way I have lost that faith in myself.

I remember telling someone that it was easier to endure difficulty when I had someone else in my life to work for…when I was working towards a goal. It seemed like everything cleared up, and became so simple and easy…when I had a clear path instead of slogging through the muck. I guess what I need…what my dream was trying to say is that I need to find that level of motivation by myself, for myself, and not for someone else. I need to stop settling for good enough and start reaching for my greatness before too long because “this ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race.”

Christmas, Faith, and the Weird Stuff

So, time for another blog…it seems like I wait until my mental cup is overflowing and then get it out in a single cleansing purge…but so here goes nothing.

Someone on my Facebook today mentioned that she asked a little boy if he was ready for Christmas and he said he hadn’t told Santa but it was okay because he would know what he wanted anyway. She seemed kind of bothered that this little boy apparently decided Santa was omniscient, but she has no problem believing in God.

Here are my thoughts, which granted are the thoughts of an agnostic deist so they certainly won’t be Christian. Christmas is about so much more than Jesus Christ. If that was all it was about why would a non-Christian celebrate it? Just to give gifts or put themselves in debt? No. It has become a secular holiday as well, and represents family coming together and spending quality time. It represents a renewal of the bonds of love and friendship that hold people together. Now to Christians obviously it means something more. But Santa does not represent some BIG EVIL degradation of Christmas, and this is why.

Santa (as well as all those other silly things kids believe in like the Easter Bunny) teaches kids how to have faith. If you sit your child down and tell him or her “It’s silly to believe in Santa, can you prove he exists?” how can you expect them to believe in a God who they cannot prove the existence of? Kids believe in the magic of the world because they want to. They have an undying faith that the world is good, amazing, and magical. Yes, we live in a world of harsh realities and hard truths, but that just makes that magic period of childhood so much more important. The concept of God is something full grown adults struggle with, and we have to learn how to have faith before we can truly attain it.

Because I’m going to tell it straight out: A man who delivers elven crafted toys around the world in a single night, riding a sleigh with flying reindeer that must fly faster than the speed of light, who also lives at the North Pole, is much easier to believe than the concept of an omnipotent being that exists outside time and space and created us all.

And now for something completely different.

Well two things really.

The first is another Facebook post from one of my friends about how when she was a kid she always figured she would be normal when she grew up. This got me to thinking…I was the same way. When I was a child, I didn’t relate well to others. It seemed like I was about three steps ahead of most of the people around me which was probably a result of my mother not putting me in gifted classes in kindergarten, for which I am grateful for the social skills I did develop. I am, and always have been an introvert. As a general rule, I don’t talk to strangers, and sometimes I don’t even talk to people I know when I seem them in every day settings. The friends I have made are more like family to me, brothers and sisters who chose each other…which is also an oddity of my life and something else that sets me apart. There are a laundry list of things I could natter on about, but you get the point…I am FAR from “normal”.

But I have to ask you this…who really wants to be?

Most people do, but not because they are unhappy with themselves or their weirdness. It’s more like they don’t want to be the ugly duckling, or the black sheep. But what we’ve got to realize is there aren’t any pretty ducks, or white sheep. Everyone who is so called “normal” is just hiding their weirdness. They aren’t as open or comfortable about it, or it’s not something that comes up in every day conversation.

In this scenario, “normal” is cake.

And as we know…the cake is always a lie!

 

Happy Holidays,

CG

Experiments, Beta Testing, and Skyrim

Okay, so this is going to be a LONG post…I’ve been a busy man lately and I have wanted to review Skyrim but it sucked me in…and then I was beta testing SWTOR this past weekend so didn’t even have a chance to play Skyrim more, and I also want to talk about other things in my life. Feel free to skip to the sections that interest you if you wish.

Experiments in Life Hacking

So, last week I had a little bit of money and decided to download some stuff on to my Kindle. I got a couple of recreational books and I saw this one:

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

Now, the sex part didn’t interest me because I am not getting any at the moment, but the rest…rapid fat-loss, I am in! Becoming superhuman? Okay! So I downloaded it. And I started reading. The author approaches things with a practical mindset. He says at one point that he doesn’t expect you to believe everything he says, but to don’t let it stop you from trying it. He’s not a doctor, or a scientist, just a dude who wanted to get the most out of his diet and workouts and found some interesting little shortcuts.

Okay, man, I am still listening.

So as I am reading, I started searching for something from this book to try. I mean changing my eating habits isn’t the easiest thing…I want to try something small first to see if it works. Skepticism at it’s finest. So out of all the things I decide to try taking cold showers instead of warm ones. Pretty simple right? Well besides cold showers being used to treat depression (which scientists are still scratching their heads over why it works) the book claims it jump starts your metabolism if you take one immediately upon waking. Now I have only been doing this for 5 days (the requisite number, apparently, for humans to ingrain some activity as part of their routine…from the book) but I have felt a dramatic uplift in my mood, and analyzed my reaction to this not so great activity. Since I have been taking scalding hot showers all of my life the transition was not easy.

Friday, Day 1 – Have to really psyche myself up to get into the water, and it is a constant act of will to stay there. Make it through about 5 minutes of the ten minutes recommended time.

Saturday, Day 2 – At home now, actually woke up and had a mini anxiety attack about taking a cold shower. Finally snapped myself out of it by calling myself an idiot for freaking out about a SHOWER, and comforting myself with the thought of only 4 days left. Eased into the cold more and set an alarm to be sure I stay in for 10 minutes. After my shower experience an immediate spike in happiness and can’t help but grin the rest of the day.

Sunday, Day 3 – Have a smaller anxiety attack, but this is curbed by the mood spike I had. Imagine that, I enjoy being happy. No problem staying in the whole time.

Monday, Day 4 – Ambivalent about the cold shower at this point, just want to get it over with. Found out a better way to acclimate myself to the cold, so the shower is not so torturous.

Tuesday, Day 5 – Actually woke up looking forward to taking my shower, quest complete.

Now, it remains to be seen if this has any effect on my metabolism or weight especially since I am only quasi-dieting (I do my best!!). But I know, for the mood lifting alone it was worth it, and I don’t even feel like it is an inconvenience any more. So maybe this guy has a few things right…but anyway, kind of cool, huh?

Beta Testing and Initial Thoughts on Skyrim

So I was in the SW:TOR beta this past weekend. It is a TON of fun. To quote one of my friends last night “It’s like this game is a drug, and now they are taking away my stash…”, It has an AMAZING story line for an MMO, great character development, and I was worried the grouping would be clunky, not as much fun, or not as rewarding. But there are some missions that absolutely require you to have a group or use your companion (about 50 to 75% equivalent to a group member) and take up a LOT of slack for them. Other than that you can go into other people’s class missions (read storyline) and help them with their objectives, and of course do the open world missions with them. One of the truly awesome things is the group dialog system. Basically, whenever you talk to an NPC you go into a conversation and get multiple options kind of like Mass Effect if you have ever played that. Well if you are in a group you all pick, and a random roll is done to see who actually speaks. Now, you don’t get Light Side or Dark Side points if the person wins, you get the points from whatever option you chose but it creates an interesting dynamic, and a real flow of conversation where the entire group is chiming in at some point and getting a chance to speak. And also an illusion of competition (“Yeah that’s right! I win! We look like buttholes now! HA!” And yes that actually happened) for group conversations that is fun and engaging. Another point, although we just did the first one, are the Flashpoints which are SWTOR’s “dungeons”, This is not your daddy’s dungeon crawl kids. When my buddies and I got to the space port to leave the Jedi planet we had two options…a personal shuttle to Coruscant OR fly first class on this freighter with your friends. I was like “Sweet, we get to kick it on this freighter” and so you are going along…we tried to gamble but they wouldn’t let us because we were Jedi and might cheat…suddenly you are attacked, and the “dungeon” begins. But really, to steal my friend’s summary of it, it feels more like an extended quest line than an instance. It was such a natural extension of the world, and well…fun. The ONLY way we found it hard was *gasp, shock* my friend had to mostly sit back and heal on the boss fights. 😛 I am glad I had to money to preorder the game, because it’s going to be a long two weeks…I can’t imagine waiting longer.

And now for something completely different.

The Elder Scrolls…ah, I have loved thee since Morrowind. I have played Oblivion for over 72 hours, had a completely maxed out character, and beat nearly every quest line in the game. Enter Skyrim. At first, I was like “Wait! Where are my ‘classes’? I don’t have to pick skills? No statistics? WHAT IS HAPPENING!” but I kept playing and it is interesting that a natural set of skills kind of extends out of your play style. So I like that…and you aren’t running around for 3 hours trying to let stuff hit you so you can level up your block/heavy armor skill to get those last few points of endurance. (Don’t judge me, maxing out every stat in Oblivion takes dedication!) My only complaint so far is that some things are based on your level (mostly instanced areas, caves and the like) but the open world is not. Which while interesting, sucks when you, the Dovakhim savior of all, running like a scared little girl from a Frost Troll because he regenerates faster than you can do damage to him. Yeah, bud, don’t worry, I will be back… Killing dragons is epic, every quest line is good enough to distract you from the main one, and as long as you develop at least a few skills devoting to killing stuff you are good to go. My first character was more sneaky and kind of got into trouble…so my second character for a long time I played as an agile warrior until her combat skills were up to snuff. So just a warning. Also, I will have a much more in depth look once I finish the main story line…but that could take time as I keep getting distracted chasing butterflies (for alchemy ingredients I swear!!), crafting, and doing the thief and mage missions…not to mention I haven’t even found the Dark Brotherhood, but I know they are around somewhere.

So initial thoughts. It’s awesome. Go buy it. 😀

Well, kids, that’s all for today. Time to get the day started!

Walking Down Memory Lane…

Finally. Sorry I have been gone for so long. I have been moving, and then I was having trouble posting because my internet at my new place doesn’t seem to like WordPress much. I don’t know what changed but luckily I can post again. So…here we go.

 

Had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for my friend’s wedding tonight. It was…well a wedding rehearsal. The dinner part was…okay. But really the part I enjoyed was afterwards hanging out at my bro’s house with everyone. It’s so great to see all of my old high school friends again and talk about how they are doing in their lives. We have always been closer than just friends…more like a family, and when we get back together it’s like we never left. I hope we always stay that way…it’s a great feeling. It is especially great to have a support group outside of your family. I always feel like my family HAS to love me and support me, but my friends chose me. Or…well…we chose each other.

And one of them, who I have never really gotten along with kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Of course, she has been doing it for years so I don’t know why that would have changed. First she scolded me like I was five years old for using language she didn’t approve of. Which I respect the sentiment, and usually try and avoid using foul language around people who are bothered by it, but she could have been nicer about it. She also asked me if I knew about this big life changing decision she is making, and when I told her I knew already she launched into talking about it, and how she was kind of sad because if she did it she would miss going to our ten year high school reunion and seeing people’s reactions. I told her not to feel bad, that I would probably miss our ten year reunion too because I might be going to school far away. And she just kind of brushed it off and turned away from me. Self-absorbed much?

Then on top of that, if she does go for it, I feel like she is making a bad decision. I don’t feel like she has done everything she can with what she has. She has an amazing degree, and I assume a passion for what she studied in college, but didn’t do anything with it afterwards…I am guessing because it was probably too hard. I get that…I’ve written here before that I feel like I have never really challenged myself, and that I have always taken the easy way out and done just enough to scrape by. It is kind of funny, because I remember a time when she was in school that she made me feel like an utter failure for dropping out…and yet now I feel like she has completely given up on whatever her dreams were and is settling for a life-decision that she can’t take back. At least I am still trying to better myself and realize my dreams…although the last couple of weeks have been kind of bumps in my road. Thinking about all this tonight also reminds me of the best advice I ever got from my Dad and that was “You don’t fail until you stop getting up and trying again.” You hear similar things all the time, but coming from a man who barely graduated high school, dropped out of college, and still managed to create an amazing life for himself and touch so many people that my Mom’s church was full to overflowing with people to pay their respects when he passed was absolutely inspiring.

I just wish I was close enough to this girl to actually sit her down and say some of this and have it get across. But the truth is ever since I had a crush on her in high school we have never been close…maybe she thinks I still feel that way, I don’t know. I hate to see anyone in my adopted family, even someone who ruffles my fur more often than not, making such a permanent decision and not doing it for the right reasons.

But hey, maybe I’m wrong and she does have all the right reasons. Only God knows if she does.

CG

 

COMING SOON: Review of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim….once all the wedding craziness dies down.

Smart phones…dumb prices.

I just don’t understand the pricing on the phones that I want…it seems ridiculous.

Xperia Play Pantech Breakout DROID Incredible 2 HTC Trophy Thunderbolt
Price(*) 99.99 149.99 199.99 199.99 249.99
4G Ready No Yes No No Yes
Memory 8 GB 8 GB 16 GB 16 GB 8 GB
Camera 5 MP 5 MP 8 MP Rear/ 1.3 MP Front 5 MP 8 MP Rear/ 1.3 MP Front
Mobile Hotspot Yes Yes Yes No Yes

So this is a table of the things that seem to matter, at least as I understand it, from the list of tech specs off of the Verizon Wireless site. So to me, the price differences make utterly no sense. If you care about your phone’s camera…get a digital camera. You can get an 8 MP camera for 50 bucks. Granted that’s the cheapest, but still. I can see paying a little more for memory, but don’t most smart phones have microSD slots to upgrade the memory? Also cheaper than paying 100 bucks more. Now the ONLY thing I can see is the 4g. I would be willing to pay more for that…but I don’t know how much faster it really is…not to mention if it is more per month. If it’s not significantly faster…then what’s the point?

So, the front runner is definitely the Xperia Play at this point. Unless one of my more smart phone loving tech savvy readers gives me a reason to pick another one.

Well, as always, thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy this installment, and see you next time!

CG

Miles To Go Before I Sleep…

Okay, so I’ve been bad about keeping up with this…just haven’t had much to talk about. Although soon Skyrim will be out and I will be salivating over it and will probably post a lot about how awesome it is and how much I want to play it. 😛

Until then, well I just post when I have something I want to say…and today I have a lot.

So first, let’s start with back in high school I was a part of this amazing group of people called Venture Crew 203. Now the Venture Crews started out as a special patrol that was an adjunct of the Boy Scout troop but over the years they let us break away and become an independent entity. We were also co-ed…boys and girls could join with impunity. And I actually didn’t find out until we went to a Scout-O-Rama as a crew that all the other crews in our area didn’t do nearly the exciting and cool stuff we did. We did tons of backpacking and rock climbing/rappelling, and I learned quite a few lessons from these experiences that apply to me even today.

However, the most important thing I feel like I learned from these experiences and mostly backpacking was that you always push yourself to the limits…and then a little farther. And every time I did I always found that my limit wasn’t ever where I thought it was. It was way beyond that, and even then I could push myself farther until I was ready to collapse. As soft indoor dwelling people, our minds rebel at the thought of walking 10 miles in a day, and then add on 30 to 50 pounds on to your back to make this feat seem impossible. But it can be done, quite easily once you remove the mental blocks and just believe in yourself. The backpackers call this “hitting the wall”. You get to this point where you feel like you can’t go on any more, and then you get a second wind. It’s like something clicks in your head and your brain goes “Oh, this isn’t so bad, I can keep going!” Now obviously, eventually, you will reach the end of your endurance…but that end is much, much further than most people think. And even knowing this and having experienced it before it’s hard to go through it again and again. Every trail is a new challenge.

So, why am I talking about this? Because last night I was thinking, as I often do, about my life and where I stand. And I quickly realized something. I have never reached my limit academically or mentally. I’ve never truly pushed myself and found the end. I’ve gotten discouraged and stopped, I’ve let myself be distracted by other things, I’ve let myself be lazy and do just enough to scrape by. And every time I have applied myself, everything is too easy and I wonder why I am trying so hard to accomplish something so small. As a result, I have never even gotten close enough to the “wall” to give up.

But also, I feel like I don’t have the motivation and focus on my own to study and really push myself. I know…weak right? But even backpacking I had my Dad and the other leaders pushing me so I could get there. And that’s what I need…a learning environment where the teachers will push me to be my best. BPCC was great for that…I loved the teachers and all of them pushed me and did their best to challenge me and let me push myself without moving too fast for the other people. And I could tell by the end that my advisor knew me too well because she said “Are you sure you are going to be challenged enough by these classes? We both know you struggle when you are bored.”

So, this is all leading up to…I want to go back to school. And it would be AWESOME if I could go some place like Full Sail and study game development, or game design. But truthfully that is just kind of a pipe dream. I don’t have the money and I don’t know how I would get the financial aid without having to take massive, massive student loans out…and my credit is terrible (well more non-existent).

But it bothers me how easily my Mom dismissed it. I mentioned going back to school to her and she tried to talk me out of it and said I need to try and get a job and just get some money coming in. And I understand…I am 26, I am getting older every day…I can’t go on living on my family’s mercy. But I went back to BPCC in the first place to get a stupid piece of paper so I could say I have a degree. Obviously that isn’t everything since it has been almost 6 months and I haven’t found a job yet. And there is a part of me that HUNGERS for knowledge, and a need to push myself as far as I can go for once and reach that limit and say “Enough…this is it…I’ve found the end.”  To not have her support, hurts me a lot. She’s always supported me…and now that I want to go back to school and try and realize my potential her discouragement (especially considering my whole family pushed me into going into college right out of high school when I wasn’t sure I was ready) is well…discouraging.

But then, part of me realizes I can’t settle. After seeing all those inspiring quotes by Steve Jobs after he passed away, and rewatching his commencement speech to Stanford in 2005 more than ever I am resolved to do what I love. I have to do this, I have to realize my potential and be everything I can be. Otherwise, I am failing myself and everyone else by being less than what I could be.

Well, thanks for reading, although this was more a “I need to get this out before I scream” kind of post. I will try and get back on the weekly gaming posts and try and find stuff to talk about more often.

CG

And the cat came back…

So today I went to see my friend Helen and hang out at the park for a bit with her and her son, Dakota. All right, now…take a couple of deep breaths. I can already hear the growling from any of my friends who read this. Just calm down, and listen for a moment.

It seems like no one else I knew saw Helen the way I did. Even her best friend at the time, Kristin, saw her in a different way. And really a true understanding of why I wanted to be around her and have her in my life did not come to me until after Kristin was gone.

First off, you must understand that I am an introvert. It took me years before I could talk to someone I didn’t know and look them in the eye, and even then it was just barely. When I was younger, I listened more than I spoke and apparently this idea fascinates people. It makes me seem intelligent and wise because I didn’t speak unless I had something useful to add to the conversation. The truth is simply that I hate the spotlight. And after high school I struggled with a lot of emotional darkness for a lot of years and finally reached a point where I was just surviving more than living. But I was kind of a zombie walking through life. However, then I started working with Helen and Kristin, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. I certainly never understood why but they dragged me to the clubs, out to eat, out to drink, and everywhere like their favorite stuffed teddy bear. And in a way, they helped me wake up from my zombie like state.

But back to why I wanted to keep Helen in my life so badly even after Kristin (whom I wanted to date) was gone. Helen throws herself at life with a passion and energy the like of which I have never found in any other person on this earth. And having her in my life (combined with her resolute stubbornness) means she drags me along for the adventure. It means I get to experience life and not just make it from one day to the next. I get to do so much more than just survive. And meeting her little boy today absolutely amazed me. He throws himself at life with the same fearless stubbornness that his mother has. And I half expected (mostly due to my recent experiences with single mothers) to find her unhappy, or exhausted. However she was as full of energy always, chasing him around, pushing him in the swing, and making sure he stayed away from the bigger kid’s side of the park. I was amazed to see the woman who said she never wanted kids so full of love and adoration for her child, especially since I have known someone who seems to regret and, in my opinion, mistreat their child by not putting them first in her life. To see that Helen had made the transition from the crazy, party girl I knew to a real mother, and one who was handling herself very well at that, was quite astonishing. But I should not have been surprised, as she is also one of the strongest people that I know.

Anyway, it was great to reconnect with her today and I sincerely hope it is not three years before I see them again. I feel like I truly need someone in my life to push me outside my boundaries. Debate helped when I was in school to completely remove my comfort zones, and it has. It also increased my confidence and got rid of the outward shyness (on the inside I am still freaking out when I talk to strangers ;)) but it is behind me now, and I need someone who won’t take no for an answer, who is more stubborn than I am, and who will drag me through this crazy whirlwind adventure called life. Otherwise, I will just be sitting and waiting, gathering knowledge, and never build my cocoon and become a real boy.

Yes, that just happened. I referenced two different things as the end result. Yes, indeed I can do that.

CG

Laboring hard this weekend…

So my “weekend” started early…I thought we were leaving Friday morning early, but apparently we weren’t scheduled to leave until early Saturday morning. So I packed everything up and headed to my Mom’s so we could leave at 3 in the morning.

My bro, David came by and we talked for a couple of hours about how our lives were going, and other things that kind of made me more convinced of a few things. I know when I went to BPCC that I was where I was supposed to be. It felt like the right place and the right time. But now, I feel like every time I turn around doors are slamming in my face, and no matter which way I run a wall snaps up to block my way. I am getting a little frantic because I need so badly to find a job, preferably one here in town…but those doors keep slamming shut. They say “when one door closes another one opens” and if true it means there’s an entire hallway somewhere just waiting for me. And the longer this takes (it’s been nearly 3 months at this point) I just feel more and more lost. And for someone who is used to at least having trail markers being lost is not a good feeling.

That and…I have been feeling more and more removed from my friends lately. One pair of friends is getting married in two months, and another just announced their engagement. Now, this is not an angsty “Oh I am SO ALONE!” thing, and it’s not like they make me feel unwelcome. And I certainly don’t mind being single at this point (and I think it bothers Stephanie more than it bothers me) so that isn’t it either. Just somewhere deep down inside me it’s like there is this little voice whispering “You shouldn’t be here anymore, there isn’t anything holding you now. There’s nothing left for you here.” Which of course makes me feel like I should be looking farther afield, but so far no luck there either. Sometimes I wish I was as lucky as Moses and God would just come down and speak to me in a burning bush. *looks up at the heavens* Just kidding, Big Guy, I would just think I am nuts.

Anyway, it was really good to talk to David for a long time…he oddly enough is one of the few of my friends that I feel can really understand where I am right now, although he has moved on in his own way as well. It’s great to see him doing so well and so…at peace after watching him struggle for years and years trying to find his place. Now that he has found his it gives me hope that I will find my way again.

Anyway, after talking with him until about midnight, I got up at 3 am to drive up to Oklahoma for a weekend of food, soda, barns (Okay just one, and it was round), and family. It was good and made me think of all the times I took trips with them when I was younger. Tuesday I get to start the grind again and try and find a job, but tomorrow I still have one more day to relax.

Well, I hope you enjoyed and feel welcome to check out my other posts.

CG