Sunday, May 28, 2017

Good evening people! Today I am relaxing after a fantastic weekend with my little dude, cycling and enjoying some beautiful spring weather. It is now an awesome lighting and thunder show outside, so I'm pretty happy with the day.

 So I'm writing about some thoughts that I've been putting off somewhat. I hadn't wanted to get down on things, and essentially I want to invest my time into myself, being positive, and sharing that as much as I can with others. Given my history, that is a welcome goal to have.
 I have had time to consider a couple of thoughts that have been presented to me, one of which is the dependency on another person in a romantic capacity, but I suppose this could be relevant in any type of relationship. I certainly have experienced loss and rejection, particularly in a very committed relationship but I really can't see fighting constantly to cling to something after it ends. For starters, trying to convince someone to be with you if they've have moved on just doesn't add up. A relationship is connection woven with reciprocity, and not something that can be negotiated. To quote Our Lady Peace, "Happiness is not a fish you can catch". I firmly believe that if the "chaser" continues to pursue a person not so inclined, they really put an unfair burden and pressure on them, to the point that it completely disregards the "chasee's" well being. And to what end? I honestly cannot quite get what the final goal could possibly be. Getting someones heart is not a result of attrition folks. Further to that, being a bit trite with remarks when the pursuit is unsuccessful can guarantee only one thing, and is the persons permanent departure. It's sad to think that a possible cordial friendship ends because of an all or nothing approach was taken. It's sad when mental health can have a role in this exact scenario, but the facts remain the same. Ultimately a person HAS to participate in the outcome that they are after. Meaning if you cannot bear the reality of a relationship ending, seek professional help. If you are in a relationship that is not healthy for you, remove yourself from it. Dependency on a person is no different than a dependency on substances, eating, any addiction really. Depend on YOU. Seriously, I've been a poster boy for depression for some time, and it's knowing that I am who I am that got me alive again. The people who love me don't feel that way because I depend on them, trust me.

Enough heavy shit. I'm going to see TOOL on Wed, so have a listen with me:

Friday, December 9, 2016


  So. This one is going to be really, really hard to start, let alone get right. I feel like this is the real reason I ever started a blog in the first place, despite that being a number of years ago now. I didn't know it at the time, and even now I am only beginning to acknowledge it.

 I'm writing today to dig into a dark little corner of my brain. I feel like I've had a struggle, a very dark and very significant struggle throughout my life. Those who know me might know about a few interesting traits; my inability to make eye contact, the fact I can be a little too loyal, cannot say no to people, can be a little distant, really uncomfortable with physical contact, and most of all, very tense. I have no doubt that there are more to mention, but these are what I notice myself a lot of the time. Internally though, I have much bigger struggles. I probably cannot reach them all right now, but I feel like I really need to address one of the biggies.

 Depression is almost a household name these days, and I'm no exception. To be more specific however, I have a real struggle with two big things. The ability to be happy, and I cannot stop thinking about dying and/or suffering badly. Not exactly suicidal thoughts in the traditional way, but more like being prepared to go, and to deserve the most brutal exit I can imagine.

 In the case of the former, I was asked very directly recently about what made me happy, and I completely drew a blank. I mean, I know I love my son completely, as I do the people close to me, but as far as things that a person does, or pursues for happiness, there is not a single thing. I feel like I've become apathetic in fact. I'm very prepared in every possible situation to lose, to have to survive again, to hurt, and to carry it alone. I pretty much always limit my involvement in a given situation so that when I inevitably crash and burn, I can maintain the simple little safe life I have. I used to be extremely passionate about many things, and I was very optimistic about any goal I set for myself. Right now though, it is completely opposite of that. I have somehow managed to cling to music, although I sense the struggle it is to feel the love I once had for it all those years ago. I worry about my appearance, but I do nothing to change it. I worry about my health, but won't stick to any of the things I need to do to protect it.
 Relationships have been a real struggle for me especially. I meet great people, and within a short time I can almost always see the inevitable pressure, strain, conflict, etc that leads to a conclusion. I will write another passage shortly to expand on those remarks, but for now suffice to say that it is an area I'm having a tough time finding happiness in. Basically, I feel like most of the time I really don't give a shit, because I expect things to end for me. I can remember a time when I had lofty, lifelong goals, and I was happy to pour in the effort to achieve them. I'm learning that some of the scars I've picked up along the away is the fact that I can't possibly see or understand that effort anymore. In my own situation, and in many I see near me, it seems that these wonderful goals are just that much more fragile, and less likely to succeed. Everybody is broken. I fight hard to not be a cynic, but my pragmatic self brings me there every single time. There are therapies, drugs, support groups, but again, and maybe I'm alone in this thinking, but none of it changes the reality that everything is so vulnerable.
 I used to have a little private balance in my happiness when I could daydream. It was great; listening to some good music, or just taking in some scenery, and getting kind of lost in the randomness of it. Even at night, I could steer the dream a bit. I could shape the life I thought I wanted, always make people happy, and simply not be detracted by the usual stuff in life. It gave me that little daily intermission when I could take a breath, regroup and go back at life like everyone else. There's a little passage I'll borrow from a writer here, tweaked slightly to suit the illustration I'm after:

 The dream is as real to me now as my waking life
I don't know when one begins and the other ends
I wish I could tell you. but I'm afraid to

In my dreams, nothing holds me down
Everything's out and away
There's nothing in my life to keep me here anymore

I wish I could die
and be born again as a....

 I suppose this is a good point to transition to the latter. As I said earlier, I don't consider myself suicidal at all. I do however have a constant feeling of my pending death, almost wishing for its arrival. This is not elective for me, it's just how I feel. Every single day, every single night, the dreams I used to look forward to as an escape are now dominated by thoughts of a self-loathing I'm not sure I can describe. Sometimes I think about being publicly beaten. Other times it's about being violently murdered, and sometimes it's a pretty spectacular vehicular crash. I'm a long way from understanding why these thoughts occur, but I am seeing some relevance with the cynicism I carry after a few too many setbacks in life. I'm really, really tired. There is never enough time to fix things, there is never enough time to learn, never time to be happy. It's almost comical when you see all the mental health awareness posts on social media, or stumble into a conversation when people apparently acknowledge these struggles. The fact is, we are collectively about as far away from managing this environment as a cow is from playing hockey. THAT is why I'm so damn tired. This isn't quite in the category of "mindfulness", this is a predictable result from a badly structured environment. I'm starting to feel like the old man who was raised not knowing about the dangers of lead paint and cigarettes, and is currently dying of cancer. We can tell our kids and save them from a similar fate, but the damned remain as they are.
 I'm afraid that's all I can do tonight. Kinda tired after all

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Good people

Lots of music, lots of people, lots to think about!

 This post is about people. They could be your friends of many years, they could be friends just starting, or they could be brief acquaintances.  They could be family. This is is about how lucky we are, to be able to connect and to care about each other. To be able to teach, to be able to learn.

 Over recent weeks, I've had several close friends in completely unrelated scenarios go through some really tough times. Really heartbreaking stuff to be honest, and it was very hard seeing people I cared about in that kind of pain. There were many spontaneous and very long conversations, and they really poured their hearts out. It occurred to me just how important it was for me to be there to listen, and how much trust they must have in me to share their pain that way. Not surprisingly, these are all the same people that were there during my dark years that I've written about in this blog. It really struck me just how important it is to be available and be understanding when people need you, regardless of where on your journey you may be at the time. You may not always have answers or advice; being a sounding board for people when they are working through things may be just what they need. The big thing is to let them know that they are safe, cared for, and most importantly, being heard.  I consider myself infinitely lucky to have these people, in all the different capacities we are in, and to have a role in their lives. I just hope I can do for them all the things they have done for me.

 This kind of ties in with an impromptu conversation I had recently, mostly about a positive attitude, but also about the role I have with my son. As you may or may not know, my little guy is on the spectrum with Asperger's, and he is very much the biggest thing in my world! Seeing a little person with the struggles he has getting people to understand him really opened my eyes to so much, not the least of which is really listening to someone. This is not typically in the school setting, and this can make some pretty big waves in a developing mind. As a parent, and presumably as an educator, we need to remember that our job is not to create or build the person we want them to be, but to give them the tools and ability to become themselves. This is very crucial for all children, and it is also relevant when you see an adult struggling through something as well. They may not arrive at the same solutions you will, and they may have a very different path to discover things, but that's ok!

 I guess that I'm really getting my teeth into such a milestone in my life, and my level of understanding, that I really want to express how grateful I am. Every conversation, every person I meet, and every moment I spend with my son has taught me so much, and really brought me some peace in my soul. It's a great world out there, with great people in it.

Anyway, here's some cool tunes:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Outrunning the past

  Spring is finally here! I've been on the motorcycle once with my son, windows are open at home, and I'm not wearing a coat this week!

 I'm writing this time after having quite a wonderful evening recently. This last week or two have been significant in that I have made a few more steps that are pretty big, and somehow I'm coming out to the other side with a little smile emerging. At work, I've had some issues that have finally grown to a point that a decision needed to be made, and after a 19 year run, I'm going to be moving on. It is a matter of considerable stress for me, but I've got to make a change for the sake of survival and long term happiness.
  I may have also mentioned before that I am facing a pretty ugly financial reality, and this week I took the first and biggest steps to address it. It'll be a long road, but I am finally emerging from the errors I made previously, and moving toward a stable future.
 Also, Julie and I are going to be finalizing the divorce in the next week or so. We have been very fortunate; we have managed to find our way through the separation on our own, and have become good friends. We are actually going to be going for a celebratory dinner once the paperwork is final, and we will raising a glass in honor of our new futures.

 While I was kind of surmising my overall status (broke, soon to be unemployed, and divorced, lol) I had the chance to go and see an absolutely gifted and amazing musician, in the company of a couple of great old friends. I realized just how lucky I am, and I felt a true happiness that I was on the right track after letting go. I beat my smoking addiction. I am a huge part of my son's life. I love my friends. I feel nothing but love and warmth from those close to me, and I can't overstate how thankful I am to be healthy enough to enjoy it. On the road to recovery, as they say.

To keep in the spirit of sharing great music, here is a little tune from the aforementioned musician I went to see the other night. He had the whole crowd entranced when he played this one:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Faith, music, and irony

 Good evening friends!. I hope the day finds you well, wherever you are in the world! I'm sitting at home, late at night waiting patiently for this cantankerous winter to move on for a change, lol. I guess my motivation for posting is a little bit more vague this time; I have many thoughts on my mind these days, but I'm struggling to find a way to articulate them the way I want to for this blog.

  I guess I'll refer first to the the "ironic" song link I posted....It mostly caught my attention (20 years after its release, lol) for it's musical energy and exuberance, especially the harmonies, but its lyrics gave me pause as well. In retrospect, I can't help but appreciate the irony of the last few years, with respect to my own experiences as well as of those close to me. Speaking about relationships, I have seen how my own marriage had the opposite trajectories for both of us. My ex (with whom I enjoy a healthy friendship now) wanted a great deal of independence and freedom in her life, and has found herself in a couple of relationships, up to and including one now that is progressing and maturing at a pretty good pace. This is not a bad thing of course; I just can't help but appreciate the irony of her predicament, as someone who wanted a good long break from a committed relationship to now find herself in one. I am genuinely happy for her, and although I know she is nervous, I think it has all the earmarks of something good and lasting. A further irony, is that I am the opposite....I craved a long-term relationship, a partnership if you will. I have zero interest in being a lone-wolf in terms of my place in the world, but I am just enough of a free spirit that the right partner is extremely elusive, so much so that I am wondering if I should exclude that part of my life for the foreseeable future. I have been dating a fair bit, or at least I guess that's what they call it. Thankfully, I have met some wonderful people, but I have not been able to make that emotional connection. Among other things, both musical expression and religion seem to be stumbling blocks. Weird combination! That is how I will smoothly segue into the second link I posted, lol.....

 So, the feared public discussion about faith. I have no idea if my views are unique and I reside alone way out in left field, or what. Basically, I completely believe that there is a God in the way we understand and define God in a Christian interpretation, however I also believe that God has been revealed or lives in many different ways among everyone on earth. I do not believe that the way we necessarily practice faith is completely correct for all people, nor do I subscribe to any one denomination. I don't see the bible and the teachings quite the same way as most Christians do, but I don't doubt or question those who follow it in the traditional sense. Unfortunately, in my past that has led me to be excommunicated more than once, and in the back of my mind, I fear that it will happen again. It's extremely difficult to depict my dilemma in the space available on this blog, but essentially I believe that God has a connection with people on an individual basis, not as a group per say. I'm not trying to be a convenient hypocrite, but the amount of translation that has been lost over the years, not to mention to simple difference in exposure to the world that people experience has me believing a basic morality to guide me, plain and simple. Now, that has caused some distress in my relationships from both sides of the coin; I'm not a true Christian to some, and others have ridiculed me for even trying to be a good guy for the beliefs that I have.
  Anyway, I'm probably boring the life out of you with this post, but basically I am finding myself in a weird void, and it's a very lonely kind of place. I don't expect I'll ever find the answer to this particular dilemma, but I am staying true to my faith and who I am. I feel as though I am good to people, and generous with my heart. I can't quote scripture, and I swear too much, but I have a great deal of love in my heart for everyone. Have another song to enjoy:

Monday, February 17, 2014

Car crash

Hello! Yes, I've been very quiet on here for some time. Kind of a long, self imposed period of time for reflection I guess. What better way t come back than to have a post littered with metaphors and gloom! lol

About the song.....Our lady peace, and the song title is car crash. It's well worth a listen; very moody and dark, best listened too alone at the end of the day. The subtleties I personally took out of the song had me reflect on a number of things I've experienced over the years. More recently, this has to do with my professional working affiliations, but there are connections to previous family conflicts, and some relationships of years gone by. Perhaps the reader can relate in this way too!

In my case, I'm aware that depression has touched me somewhat over the years. I have a tendency to let the actions of others wear me down spiritually, and it can be a heavy weight to carry. I know this is anything but unique, but it is what I feel. In this song, I feel like it speaks to a familiar dynamic, usually displayed in a scenario where there is a predatory force, exerting their will over another. In many relationships of any given variety, the bully, or predator, will grind down and victimize the partner right to their limit. But, at the point of breaking, they are also the ones to "save' their victim, and bring them back into their arms, feigning love, dependency, etc and let the cycle start again. This is a pattern of abuse, make no mistake. I am very much going through this at work, but I have also faced it within my family. This is a very painful admission, and the part of this song that really prompted me to write about this, is the depiction of the futility that this abuse can create in someone's mind. It definitely feels like there is no winning or surviving the conflict. Stay, and continue to live the abuse. Leave, and be destroyed, or succumb to failure of a life you cannot live alone. Pretty self-defeating, no? It's really nothing complicated to see how some people can be driven to suicide. This kind of despair, futility, and lack of self-confidence can do a lot of damage. Speaking as someone who is very much sensitive to these emotions, I would humbly ask this of the reader.....take your actions with people with this in mind. You don't always know what someone is thinking or feeling, and it would always be a better way to address someone by re-affirming their worth and place in the world. They may not belong at your side, but they belong somewhere, and it is not for us to stand in the way of that. Getting in the way just results in a crash, and as for me, I don't really want to end that way.