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Alas, I remain a work in progress

 This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 at 4:47 pm

I feel happy, but more than that, I have a level of peace. As a child, all that I wanted was to be rich. In my naïve elementary mind, I always thought that money would make me happy. At one point I wanted to be a dentist because I thought they made a lot of money. At another point I wanted to be a stockbroker because they made a lot of money, in fact, I even interviewed for a job only to be told that “you don’t have the look to be a good stockbroker.” It was defeating because, well, “I want to be happy” (i.e. RICH). I think recollection from my past is easy to say right now as I’m sitting here on Sunday night, my parents here from out of town in the other room playing with my kids. Alas, I remain a work in progress.

I think peace for me comes from a place of being married 14 years and never imagining that any one person would except me for that long. From time to time I will be personally awoken with a terrifying fear that my parents will be gone one day, my wife whom I love and laugh with deeply could be taken from me, my kids that frustrate me each individually could all be taken at any moment. But I live with a peace. I am past the point of thinking that any money, the house, experiences could bring me true joy and peace, it is those relationships that really provide me a level of peace. The anger and strife of my childhood and early adulthood has waned a bit. Alas, I remain a work in progress.

I want to be good, I want to know that I’ve impacted others, I want to know that I have opportunities to help make another person’s life better. I think about my funeral from time to time and wonder when I leave this earth will there be just one or two people there? I’m not done though. I think real fear is wondering did I do anything good? Alas, I remain a work in progress.

I still wish that moments didn’t make me so emotional. I wish that in the moment I didn’t get so angry. I wish that I recognized true beauty more often. I wish those little things that I think are “not little” I got better at recognizing how powerful they are. But alas, I remain a work in progress.

I truly love that there are people out there that will trust me and tell me deeply personal stories that no one else has heard. I love that somebody would put that much trust in some random guy with the hopes that maybe we can get through it together. For me, there’s nothing greater than that. I truly love it, and I think it contributes to my sense of peace. I have been privileged to know real darkness, whether my own or someone else’s, and in hearing somebody expound on it in a way to either test me and see my reaction, or to let me in that one corridor of their mind that we never go in……that is a very powerful thing. We are all filled with the tension of do I go further, do I share this nugget, do I push through the personal resistance that is telling me in any and all ways to just stop!!!!? My operating system can be downright despicable at times. My internal Fight Club will be something that I will forever try to master. My personal intense insecurity I have to believe one day will be smothered to a minimal ember……. Alas, I remain a work in progress.

The Friendship that Overcomes

 This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 at 3:01 pm

The other night I was flipping through the channels when I noticed that the movie Tombstone was on. Tombstone was a 1993 American Western film that is based on events in Tombstone, Arizona, including the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the Earp Vendetta Ride, during the 1880s. Like most movies, I am sure that the producers/directors took some liberties as far as the plot being completely true, but regardless it is one of my favorite movies. During the course of the movie, you catch glimpses into the relationship between two people on both sides of the law, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Although they may not see eye to eye on a number of issues, it is their bond in the most of important of areas, their friendship. At the end of the movie (clip attached), you see Wyatt come to see Doc in his most fragile state. Even if you put the movie on mute, you can see the intensity and magnitude of their deep friendship as Doc lies dying.

There is something so powerful about this moment for me due to the unwavering friendship these two people possess. My mom has that, others have that, that friendship that lasts through real struggle. That friendship that has suffered heartache, resentment, fear, frustration, and yet in the end the bond cannot be broken. It is this bond that I seek personally, and for those that I am in regular contact with. It is this type of bond that takes us out of isolation, forces us to examine our blind spots, and ultimately leads us to a better self. We should all seek this type of bond. For it is within bonds like this that I grow, they grow, and we learn real peace.

Change is a Verb

The keys to making significant changes in one’s life, according to the book Change or Die by Alan Deutschman.

The First Key to Change


  • Form a new, emotional relationship with a person / community that inspires and sustains hope
  • If you face a hopeless situation then you need the influence of seemingly “unreasonable” people to restore your hope – to make you believe that you can change and expect that you will change

 The Second Key to Change


  • The new relationship helps you learn, practice, and master the new habits and skills that you’ll need
  • It takes a lot of repetition over time before new patterns of behavior become automatic and seem natural – until you act the new way without even thinking about it
    • Change does not involve just “selling”, it requires “training”
    • Remember, CHANGE is a verb

The Third Key to Change


  • The new relationship helps you learn new ways of thinking about your situation and your life
  • Ultimately, you look at the world in a way that would have been so foreign to you that it wouldn’t have made any sense before you changed

Through this process you have the opportunity for new hope, new skills, and new thinking. 

Curse and Crush

 This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 at 5:46 pm

“We try to understand
The right to life like fire to the arson
You got it right at last, but then the world
Had a different plan and took it all away

Years and years you fought
To try to light your darkness with a reason
Maybe a woman someday, maybe even a child
To hold and help and start over again”

(Dispatch – Curse and Crush)

Pretty well said boys.

I Wear A Thousand Masks (re-boot)

 This entry was posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2018 at 8:45 pm

(Charles C. Finn)
I hope you won’t be fooled by me for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off, and one of them is me.
I am likely to give you the impression that I’m secure, that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the water’s calm and I’m in command and that I need no one. But I hope you won’t believe me.
My surface may be smooth…beneath I dwell in confusion, in fear, in aloneness. But I hide this. I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed. That’s why I frantically create a mood to hide behind, a nonchalant, sophisticated façade to shield me from your understanding. But such understanding is my salvation. My only salvation. And I know it.
If I don’t keep the mask in front of myself I’m afraid you’ll think less of me, that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
So I play that game, my desperate pretending game, with a façade of assurance without, and a trembling feeling within. And so my life becomes a front. I idly chatter to you in the suave surface tones…I tell you everything that’s nothing, and nothing of what’s everything, of what’s crying within me. So when I go into my routine, I hope you won’t be fooled by what I’m saying. I hope you listen carefully to hear what I’m not saying.
I dislike the superficial, phony game I am playing. I’d really like to be open, genuine and spontaneous. I want your help in doing this. I want you to risk approaching me even when that’s the last thing I seem to want, or need. I want this from you so I can be alive. Each time you’re kind, and gentle and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my courage to risk sharing myself with you increases.
I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can be a creator of the person that is me if you choose. But it will not be easy for you. A long conviction of worthlessness leads me to maintain distance.
The nearer you approach me, the blinder I may strike back. It is self-defeating but at the time it seems the safest thing to do. I fight against the very things that I cry out for. But I am told that empathy is stronger than walls and therein lies my hope. I desperately want you to understand me in spite of my distancing tactics.
Who am I, you may wonder? I am someone you know very well.
I am every man and every woman you meet.

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