Archive for May, 2009

Hiking the Mountain

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

It has been a while since I’ve had time to write so I chose to jot down a few things tonight before hitting the sack. It seems like I’ve been too busy lately without anything to do if that makes sense. I’ve found myself gazing into the future on a regular basis over the last month. I’m not sure it’s a good thing, but it’s something I need to do right now.

I’ve set a goal for having my book formatted with the picture boxes drawn. I hope to have it done by July 11. I’m going to make that my number one priority right now. I’ve wasted too much time doing nothing and it’s starting to get under my skin. I need to move forward before I let anymore time slip away.

When I was cleaning the other night I came across a few quotes that I had written down and stored in a book. One of them spoke of staying true to yourself. After I read it I let it slowly sink in. I’ve seen many people change who they are in order to make someone else happy. Instead of being themselves and living their own lives they try to become what they think someone else wants them to be. I was probably guilty of that in the second half of my marriage. I didn’t know what way to turn and I gave up a lot of who I was. I became someone I didn’t like and I lost my ability to smile every day. I was so deeply involved I didn’t realize what I was doing. I lost touch with myself and rolled into a place that I never want to go again.

After I got away from that and started rediscovering who I was my smile gradually came back. As I got my haircut one day my stylist told me my best feature was my smile. I had never heard that so I asked around to see if other people thought the same. Well, after a thorough examination I guess that’s my best feature. Almost everyone agreed.

Along the way I had lost my ability to smile. In many ways it was because I didn’t like where I was or where I was going. I went to the woods to find the answers and more often than not I never found what I was looking for. I stood in the backyard and launched arrow after arrow for hours on end. I did it because it brought me inner peace and tranquility. I was in my own world and nobody could enter that sacred area. I was there by myself. Although I shot hundreds of arrows it became a natural act. I didn’t think about it and the only reason I did it was to relieve the constant monkey chatter in my mind. My mind that never rests.  The monkey sometimes sat on my head, flicked my ears and pulled my hair. Every once in a while he would put his hands over my eyes at the last second to see if I could still send an arrow into the center. Somehow I managed to get the job done. I blocked out all outside interferences and found solitude behind the string. Day after day, arrow after arrow I stood in the yard for a reason.

It’s funny, but my interest in archery has definitely taken a backseat. I’ve recently picked up other hobbies and there are many other things that I would rather do. Although I still like to shoot I don’t put anything into it. Here we are in the end of May and I haven’t even been to a 3D shoot yet this year. Sunday will be the first one and that will be the NY State Championship.

It’s amazing how much something in our lives can change everything else. If I had never went through my divorce I sure as hell wouldn’t be writing in this blog right now. I wouldn’t have tackled the project of self publishing my book either. My biggest chore of all will probably begin about a year from now. Although I’m excited I’m also scared to death. As with anything though I know that I just have to dive in and see where I end up. I’m sure the old archery habit might become quite active again at that point in time, but I’ll have to wait until I get there to find out.

I have a busy month ahead, but I’m thankful for everything that has happened in my life to allow me to have all these things to do. Sometimes it’s hell in the hallway to get to the other side, but after you walk on hot coals anything is possible. With every passing day I’m gaining more inside than I ever could have wished for.

I’m glad that I was given plenty of new opportunities in life. I welcome each of them as they are presented and I will surely see many more on the road ahead. If you’re ever down and out always remember that your life is what you choose to make out of it. We all come across different paths to follow. It’s up to us to follow the ones that will bring us the most happiness and joy. Don’t think too hard about it or stress out about everything. Rather, do what brings a smile to your face and keep marching forward. When you look back at the tracks you left behind you’ll be amazed at the mountains that you have climbed. Day by day. I’m still climbing and the fresh air that enters my lungs is more than I could ever ask for. I can see the summit in the morning sky, but I’m not in any hurry to get there because I’m enjoying every bit of scenery on my way. My feet are sore, my back is aching and my ankles are swollen, but my joy of life makes all of the pain disappear……………the pain is in the rear-view mirror with nothing but sunny skies ahead.

Why Do You Read?

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

It’s hard for me to believe that this weekend is over. I went to Boston for the day yesterday. It felt good to get away. I think I need to go on a vacation sometime soon just to address all of the thoughts that pop into my head on a daily basis.

I thought I would tell you why I keep the blog on my site. I like to write. For some reason it’s easy for me to relay my thoughts in this manner. I’m a fairly quiet individual and many people often wonder what’s going on inside my head, my family included. If I write a few times a week it gives people a look into my mind. It allows me to share my triumphs and failures with all of my readers. I can track all of the visitors on a daily and hourly basis. I can’t tell who you are or where you’re from, but I can tell when you visit. The number of page views I get are amazing to say the least. I’m not sure why all of you come here, but I would like to hear. At the bottom of every entry you are able to leave a comment and I would like to ask you to leave me a comment with why you come here and what you get from it. If you prefer to leave your name off that’s fine by me. However, I just want a good idea what draws you here. I would also like to know what you like to read about as well as things you don’t like.

I try to help people understand that they aren’t alone when they’re down and out. I try to give others hope. I let them inside my world to see that everyone is human. I also like to let people know how I feel. I try not to use names because I feel it’s better that way. I have many friends who have brought a tremendous amount of happiness to my life. I’ve also had a few who made me a little sad with their choices. I’ve learned that the ups and downs are what make us grow. At times, when my hope was the highest, I felt as if someone punched me in the gut and swiped it out of my hands before I had a chance to watch it grow.

I don’t let very many people close to me as many of you already know. I’m not a big risk taker which limits my choices. I often over think things and in hindsight probably end up making the wrong decisions. That’s why I live day by day and just push forward. I try to stay positive and I show my concern for the people that I care about. I hope I’ve shown a few people that there are good things to be found if you’re willing to step out of the ordinary every now and then. Sometimes I wish that I had more control on the direction of my life, but I’ve realized that in all reality I don’t have much control at all. Life tends to take us down the path that was set for us long before we knew it existed. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to unexpected things when they appear in your life. All of us are presented with multiple paths to follow. Far too many of us don’t take advantage of the people or things that are sent to us to make a better life for us. I believe people appear when they do to help us make our choices. Pay attention to these things as time moves forward.

Those are a few of my reasons for writing. Please feel free to share with me your reasons for reading. I look forward to hearing from all of you. Thanks for listening to my endless babble. I’m always open for topics to write about so if you feel like you could use a piece on a certain topic drop me a note through my email on the site and I’ll try my best to come up with something that will fit the request. Thanks again.

Pets, Happiness and Change

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I haven’t felt the best this week. I’ve been battling a cold since the end of last week. I thought it was just about gone, but tonight my head is pounding. I feel like someone’s hitting me in the temple non-st0p. Hopefully it will cease when I lay my head on the pillow.

Last night after I clicked the light off and crawled under the covers I had a few thoughts racing around the empty space in my mind. I didn’t try to slow them down because things like that are just a fact of life for me now. After about 10 minutes I could hear the pitter patter of small feet. Although it was pitch black I knew who it was. My dog Theo was coming to hop in bed with me. Within a few seconds he was nudging me with his wet nose. He gently placed his nose under my jaw and moved his head up and down. I scratched him behind the ears and petted him for a few seconds. Then, he laid down next to me.

He seemed closer than normal. I smiled to myself and began thinking of everything that he has given to me. I have often said that he was probably the greatest gift that I ever receieved. At the time I got him I didn’t know how big a part of my life he would become, but time has definitely found a way to show me.

He’s like a spoiled child. He could be the worst dog in the world and I would still love him. He follows me around the house like a shadow. He has been beside me in my best and worst times. He loves me because I love him. I now understand that I have given him a good life. Although he can’t talk, we can silently communicate with each other. When I’m down I can tell that he knows it. I can easily see when he’s not feeling up to par as well.

The other day I had to have blood drawn to make sure my liver and kidneys are still functioning ok. As I sat in the chair I glanced toward the wall and saw a small picture of a dog with a quote next to it. The quote said, “A dog is the only thing that loves you more than it loves itself.”  As soon as I read it I knew exactly what it meant. No matter what happens every day, Theo always greets me the same way. He runs to the top of the stairs and wags his whole body when I greet him. I can see the excitement in his furry little body. It’s funny because I could have had the worst day in the world, but the sight of him instantly makes me smile. I love him likes he’s my own child.

He’s getting older now and I’m just thankful for all of the great years we had together. Every day with him has been a gift for me. I do know that if I ever find someone that can love me as much as he does I will be the luckiest man on the face of the earth. It’s so easy to give pets unconditional love. The reason it’s so easy is because they don’t speak. There are no direct feelings involved other than love and happiness. Of course, every once in a while something happens where we might be upset for a short time, but within seconds it is forgotten. There are a lot of lessons to be gained from that. If more people treated their loved ones like they treat their pets the world would be a better place and there would be a lot less failed relationships.

Shortly before I closed my eyes last night I patted Theo on the head and scratched behind his ears. I softly said to him, “I love you buddy.”  Then, I closed my eyes and let my mind begin to roll. I’m not sure his life is easy, but I wish I could be him for a few days. He doesn’t have to make very many decisions. Instead, he just waits for his daily dose of attention and enjoys his life. It sounds so simple, so I’m sure in all reality it probably doesn’t work that way in his world. Some pets have better personalities than others, but they are all unique in their own way. People are very much the same way.

For all of you that have pets, whether they are cats, dogs, lizards, hamsters or rabbits, think about the way that you interact with them. When you chose your pet you chose it for a reason. The pet gave you something you needed and you returned the favor to it. Most pets bring a lot of joy and happiness to our lives. They can bring us up when the whole world is crumbling down around us.  As your lives go forward remember how easy it is to love your pet once you let it inside your world. There are many things that can make us happy, but we sometimes ignore the most important ones that walk into our lives unannounced. They might have what we need and really want, but underneath we’re afraid for some reason. We’re often unsure of why, but something holds us back.

However, we give everything to our new pets. Our pets make us feel good from the start. I’m sure you have all experienced the same thing when you have met certain people. Some people make us feel good, but instead of picking them up and giving them attention like we do to our pets, we push them aside. We might not even know why we do it, but we do.

If something makes you happy then go with your gut. Fear is what makes people brave, but it also kills just as many people in the process. Go someplace, sit in silence and ask yourself what really makes you happy. Look back on things that brought you happiness and how you reacted. Did you give the experience a chance to blossom or did you walk away because you were afraid? Then, look at the things that brought you pain and misery. Did you stay because you were afraid to cut yourself loose? Did you think you deserved what was happening to you or were you just content with living a life filled with misery? I can’t answer these questions for anyone, but if you’re caught in a gray area it might be time to determine what is best for you and what you have to do to get there. If people treat you well you should embrace them like your favorite pet. There’s no better feeling than seeing Theo on top of the stairs wagging his body every day. I’m sure we’ve all had people that made us feel the same. The secret is to latch on when they appear because once they’re gone there’s no saying that they will ever return. Life is full of choices and sometimes the most happiness that we ever could have achieved might be passed up because we didn’t acknowledge it when it knocked on our door.

Open the door slowly and gently. Let the happiness soak into you one day at a time. Every night when you go to sleep think of where you want to go in life and take a good look into your soul to see if you’re on the path that is the most fulfilling. An unlimited amount of happiness could be right in front of you if you take the chance to find out. Sometimes you have to leave the comfort of your current life, but once you start going forward you’ll be forever thankful that you took the chance. From the greatest risks come the greatest rewards. Do yourself a favor and acknowledge true happiness when it knocks loudly on the door. You’ll experience soft knocking from time to time, but the sun will light up the sky when you allow it to. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow could very well be found after you answer the door.

Follow Your Heart: It Will Guide You

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I had no intentions of writing tonight because my head has been pounding since I got out of work. It seems that this cold is getting the best of me. I had a nasty cold this same time last year. The only reason I remember is because I couldn’t make the trip to Indiana to shoot in the first leg of the National Triple Crown. I was disappointed, but in all reality it probably didn’t matter.

About an hour ago I was taking a nap. As I laid on my couch and flashed between this world and the next I was startled when my phone rang. I quickly glanced at the caller ID and saw that it was a good friend of mine. After a short conversation I gathered that he wanted to borrow something. I offered to meet him within the next few minutes. He was over off from Bay Road so the short drive was nothing. I needed the escape to give me a little life if not anything else.

Since my journey became clouded a few years ago I no longer take anything for granted. Whenever I meet someone I always wonder what he or she will bring to my life. I never gave it much thought before, but for some reason I get lost in the topic now. I probably put too much thought into it, but I’m convinced that each and every person that we encounter brings something to us that can help us along the way.

When I met this friend I had no idea what purpose he would have in my life. I met him around the time that I started getting back on my feet. I was getting out and about and I finally felt good about who I was after a long absence of that feeling. I knew that this kid shared one of my passions. He also wanted to learn more about archery and asked for my help. As with anything, I was more than willing to offer my assistance. I would try my best to supply him with the information that he would need to get better. As one day led into the next we formed a pretty close bond. He shared some of his intimate secrets with me and I could tell that he felt at ease talking about this stuff. Although I’m different I welcomed his conversation. I’m a much more reserved and private person. I keep things to myself and I try to figure it out without too much outside interference.

Throughout last summer I watched him as he had some extreme highs and lows in the relationship he was in. I didn’t offer a whole lot of advice, but I listened to everything that he said. Sometimes a simple nod of the head or a smile here or there can make a world of difference when someone is sharing their thoughts with you. I wanted him to know that I heard what he was saying and I appreciated the fact that he trusted me enough to let it all hang loose. As time moved forward I realized that he was looking for the same thing that everyone else is looking for. He wanted a relationship without all of the drama. He wanted something where he could be himself and let everything else fall into place. With some of his actions I was almost certain that he was a long way from finding what he was looking for. Although he’s very mature for his age I saw some actions that made me roll my eyes and laugh a little when he spoke of what he wanted in a relationship.

Well, move ahead to tonight. I just got back from meeting him and dropping off the stuff he wanted to borrow. As I pulled up beside him he had a little 9 year old boy in the truck with him. The boy was one of his girlfriend’s twins. Back in January he met a girl by total accident and they quickly became attached and formed a pretty tight bond. I remember everyone making fun of him at first and telling him that it had no chance of working because of the generational gap in their ages. However, I didn’t say a word. All I told him was to do what made him happy. If he was happy then everything else would fall into place. As the relationship started progressing he started talking about the future and if this or if that and maybe this or maybe that. I had to slow him down and tell him to live in the present. Sometimes people get too far ahead and they’re not able to enjoy the moment they’re living in.

When I saw him tonight it appeared to me that he has finally got to the place that he has been searching for. It looks like life has slowed down for him and he’s in a routine. He’s extremely happy and doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. All odds were against him for a while, so I’m glad to see that he pushed forward and found his way, at least for now.

I watched him when he was in a position where he had to make a choice. Many people in his spot wouldn’t have done what he did, but he did what he thought was best for him, even if it meant leaving some other stuff behind. When I see him now I can tell that this relationship has helped him in many ways. It’s comforting to see because as I watched him last summer I became worried at times. Some of his actions were somewhat disturbing and I questioned why he did what he did. Now, it’s almost like that person has totally disappeared. It has been one of the coolest transformations that I’ve ever watched.

As I drove away tonight I looked in the mirror and smiled. I was happy for him. I have no idea how long this relationship will last, but he has found peace. There was a reason why he met this girl and to me the reason is apparent. Their meeting helped guide him toward a better place. Even if it doesn’t last I think the experience will serve him well in the future.

No matter who I meet in my travels I always wonder which person will have the most significance in my life. I’ve met many people, but something that one person said to me will always stick in my head. I met him this week in 1998 while I was in Bedford, Indiana at the First Jewel of the National Triple Crown. His name was Chuck Nease and he was beginning his defense of the overall National Triple Crown from the year before. When my shooting assignment was drawn I ended up in a group with him. We shot together for the weekend and when we were nearing the end he said something to me that I will never forget. It pertained to shooting archery as well as everything in life. I shot one of the best rounds I had ever shot in my life. He congratulated me and was truly happy for me. I was excited, but I listened to him when he said, “Never forget that you don’t learn a damn thing on your best days. It’s the days that seem like they will never end that you learn the most about who you are.”

I can’t agree more. When things are smooth sailing we don’t learn much about who we are. However, when the storms begin rolling in one after another we quickly learn how to protect ourselves. We learn what we have to do to survive. I’ve encountered a fair amount of stormy weather. I’ve realized that life is just like the nasty thunderstorms that we experience in the summer. In an hour it can go from being the nicest day ever to the nastiest, ugliest picture imaginable. A brief storm can wreck a whole town. It can uproot trees, tear roofs off buildings, take down power lines and kill people, but within minutes the dark gloomy sky is gone. It is replaced by a sunlit sky often followed by a rainbow.

As you all march forward remember to pay close attention to the people that mysteriously show up in your lives. They were most likely sent to you for something much deeper than you can comprehend. If you don’t acknowledge them you might miss out on something that was sent to you in order to bring you to the end of that rainbow in the sunlit sky. Although fear is natural, don’t let it cause you to turn and run. Open your heart, look inside your soul and search for the meaning. When you do this make sure you listen to your heart. Your heart will not lie to you. It will point you in the right direction even if you don’t want to believe it.  It won’t scream out to you, but it will gently and softly tell you what is best for you. Ignore your mind and conscious thoughts and follow your heart, for in the end that will be the best road for you to follow.

Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Today is a funny day for me. Mother’s Day is a wonderful day where many of us are able to celebrate our own existence by thanking our mothers for bringing us into the world. I’ve thought about a variety of things over the past week. When I woke up this morning I didn’t feel the best. A few complications from diabetes as well as battling some allergies has me feeling under the weather.

My mother has always been the most positive person in my life. I’ve never heard her say anything negative about anyone even when she very easily could have. She tries excusing everyone for their actions. If there’s no positive to be found by anyone else, she will find it. I think I’m lucky because I tend to follow her lead. I’ve had people walk all over me in different periods of my life, but I always forgave and moved forward. I perceived their actions as things they had to do in order to find their own way. There’s no reason to point a finger and lay blame.

Lately my mother has asked me on a daily basis if I’m ok. I guess to her I can’t hide anything. I am ok, but I’ve also been battling a few internal demons that like to create havoc in my mind. I always assure her that I’m ok and she lets it go at that. She knows that I don’t need anything more than her concern. When things become too chaotic in my mind I seek her out and talk about things. I know where to go when I need someone to listen and she accepts that.

It has been a long time since I’ve had a quiet mind. A quiet mind is something that I long for. Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes the reasons are beyond my reach. I search for the answers, but in reality I know that I will probably never find them.

On Friday night I went to a friend’s house and watched the “Ghost Whisperer” or I think that’s what it was called. It’s a weekly network show. The woman in the show can see ghosts and talk to them. As we watched the show I could feel the chills run through my body. It was a strange sensation. After I watched the show I wondered to myself if anyone actually has the ability to communicate with ghosts. I do believe in ghosts and lost souls. I think it would be a wonderful power to have. As I laid on the couch near the end of the show it was kind of sad. Every show ends with a lesson and the lesson usually hits home. The writers for the show deserve a lot of credit. Of course I picked on my friend about her choice of shows to watch, but it was just me being an ass and trying to get a laugh. It’s odd, but I was at peace when I laid there. It’s one of the few places that I can go where my mind isn’t a jumbled mess. My mind is able to relax and think of nothing except the moment that I’m living in.

Life is becoming a little confusing right now. I look into the future and all I see are huge decisions that will affect the rest of my life. It’s so hard not to get too far ahead but I try my hardest to remain in the moment and let my feet carry me where they will. I never offer my opinion to others unless they ask for it. Sometimes I would like to offer some constructive criticism here and there but I know that it’s best to remain quiet and let their actions show them the way. I wish I had a special power to help people do things that would make their lives a little better. Although my life isn’t the the best, I think I could help guide people in the right direction if they were willing to accept the help. It’s just a far off crazy thought, but I think it would be neat to see people become the best version of themselves that is possible. Far too many people do things that aren’t good for them when better things are right in their line of sight. I’m probably guilty of the same thing. I think the people that suffer the most are the ones that know they’re not helping themselves. They know what they want and what they have to do to get there, but they just can’t find the path to lead them. It’s strange, but I’ve seen it many times along the way.

I’m starting to get off on a tangent. When I started this I thought I wanted to write, but  I realized that I don’t have it in me today. I just wanted to tell everyone how thankful I am for having the mother that I have. She is the most wonderful person in the world and I’m glad that I came from her. I encourage all the women out there to pay attention to how the male in your life treats his mother. If he treats his mother well and respects her, he will most likely treat you the same way. It’s not a sure thing, but the odds are in your favor. A close relationship between a mother and a son will almost always translate to a man and his significant other, providing all of the other essential things are in the relationship.

No matter how old you are, you are always your mother’s child. Here I am at the doorstep of 40 and I still feel like I’m 10. I appreciate that and I will be forever thankful that she still acts that way. I try to treat everyone as my mother treats me because you never know how far your presence will carry on when you’re not there. If I ever gave any of myself to any of you then you surely know that it came from my mother.  I love you mom and thank you for making me who I am. It feels good to hear people say that I’m a good person because I know that trait comes from you.

Fork in the Road

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Well another week is almost behind us. Nothing of any importance happened this week, but I did find myself passing from thought to thought with regularity. Every day before I write my post on here I have to sort through comments to approve or disapprove. Some things cease to amaze me. One of the comments today came from a source called, “Cheap Viagara”………mmm maybe someone is trying to tell me something, but I sure hope not, because I still feel like I’m a teenager.

A few people have shown their concern for me over the last few weeks. I’m not sure where all of the concern comes from, but somewhere in the back of my mind it is comforting to know that so many people care about my well being. I’m not sure if it’s because many of them watched the hell that I had to endure for what seemed like months on end or if it’s from something totally different. I’ve always tried to make the best of the hand I was dealt and right  now is no different. I don’t get overly wrapped up in emotions, but I also don’t hide behind any fake walls. I like the fact that people can see my ups and downs. I think it makes it easier for many people to relate. Although people pretend everything is ok and wear their happy faces from one day to the next, I don’t. If I’m feeling up you will probably see it in my actions and if I’m dredging the bottom you will see that too. That’s all a part of who I am.

It has been a long time since I can remember having so many decisions in front of me that need attention in a timely manner. I don’t look too far ahead, but I try to glance far enough down the road to open myself up to ideas of where I want to be and what I have to do to get there. That’s where some of the decisions become mind boggling at times. If I took a step back and looked at the big picture I think I could clearly see what I should do, but for some reason I walk to the end of the diving board every so often and stand paralyzed with fear. I know I should jump into the placid water below, but I can’t get the spring in my feet to begin the bounce that I will need to launch myself freely into the air. I know that the water waiting below will welcome me. It will cleanse my soul and allow me to see new things and go on new adventures. I’m on the edge of attacking the board, walking briskly to the end, taking a quick hop and throwing myself forward.

I don’t like being told what I can or can’t do. For some reason that has always gotten under my skin. When I was getting ready to head off to college all of my college entrance exams said that I should focus on mathematics because I had advanced skills in that area. The exams clearly showed that I should stay away from English. I few counselors along the way also said the same thing. However, I didn’t like math. I found something in the written word that allowed me to be myself and relay my feelings without sound. I found a way that I could bring my feelings into the souls of others. People could relate to what I wrote and it made them feel good. I still try to do the same today. I’ve gotten away from the things I’m good at because this journal type format is easier to do. I prefer to write children stories and fiction that relates to the activities of the  every day person.

Well, when I was told I wouldn’t be successful, I decided I would give it everything I had and see where I ended up. I’m not sure I did anything other than attain a 4 year degree in Literature, but even that was more than the doubters said I would accomplish. Then, I started writing my book and that came together quickly. The writing was easy, but the pagination is beginning to get under my skin. I just need to finish it. I need someone to push me to get it done. I also had great success in the short amount of time that I spent in the poetry arena. I won some prestigious awards and got published in some top notch books. I’ll have that as long as I live and nobody can ever take that from me.

I’ve recently encountered a few situations that made me recall all of the people that doubted my choice in my adolescent years. Some people can’t understand where I’m at and the choices that I’m making. I patiently listen to them and I process what they say. I take some of the advice and pass over the rest of it. However, when I sit back and look at it, I really don’t care what anyone thinks because I’m living this life for myself. I’ll make some bad choices along the way and I’ll learn from those failures. I’ll also learn from the correct choices which bring me happiness and fulfillment.  I feel as if I’m being pulled in multiple directions right now. I’m not sure which way to go, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out in the coming months. It’s funny how everyone knows what is best for me and what I should and should not do. It actually cracks me up. I have a general idea right now what I should do and I’m going to concentrate on a few little things to help me with my decisions. I love to prove people wrong too. It has always been one of my finest traits. If you tell me I can’t do it I will find a way to make you eat crow. I might not end up where I intended when I started but I will be where I intend on being when I get there.

Sometimes when I get down I forget that I am very blessed. I have friends from far and near that always reach out to me. My family has held me close when I needed them the most too. Although I’m fragile at times, I am also a different man behind the mask that what most people see. I don’t let many people beyond the surface, but for the few that I do, I know that you all know that it is a good place to be. My hard exterior that so many people see is not who I really am. However, I leave that in place because I can. Little by little I feel the walls breaking apart. It’s not an overnight process, but the journey will be worth the reward. I try to let my simple gestures speak for themselves. That’s why I write. I probably don’t let enough people experience the pieces that I pour my soul into, but they are the ones that define me. If I’ve given anyone a small taste of that they should feel very fortunate. I think my inner soul is one of the most precious things I have and I remain very hesitant to let most people inside, even for a brief look. I do know that it’s opening more with every passing day.

I think Mother Teresa says it best when she says, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” I firmly believe that quote. There’s not a person in the world that doesn’t want to be loved and appreciated. However, far too many of us don’t acknowledge it when it comes and sits in our lap. Then, before we know it, it’s gone and we have no one to blame but ourselves. We all want the same thing no matter where we are in life or what we have experienced in the past. It’s a battle to realize that we need to open up and let it overwhelm us when it shows up. Day by day, one foot in front of the other, breathe in and breathe out. I do all of these things day after day as I continue on my journey. My journey is never ending and I’ll try to use all of my experiences to guide me down the right path.

I believe I may have finally come to a fork in the road. Which one shall I take? If possible I’m going to sit back, try not to over analyze and over think things and I’ll let the actions of others speak loudly for me to hear. I’m sure if I do that, as I stand alone at the fork in the road in the forest, where time stands still, one foot will gently go behind the other as they lead me to where I belong. I’ll hear the wind howling through the trees and I’ll listen to everything around me. I will search out the tree frog that chirps the loudest throughout the night. If you show me the light my little friend I will find you and I’ll take you into the palm of my hand and show you the world. You must remember to chirp often and chirp loud or I will keep on walking because I can’t find you if you don’t want to be found.

Butterflies, Unicorns & Tumbleweed

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

This weekend was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. I can’t remember where it all started, but I believe it was on Thursday. On Thursday I was at the lowest point that I’ve been since the day I found out that I would be on my own again. They claim that once you hit the bottom of the barrel that there’s no place to go but up. I’m not so sure of that statement. Instead, I would have preferred to lay in bed and wallow in self pity. I would like to get into the reason why I was brought to such a low point, but I just don’t feel like going there. I’ll try my best to skirt around it and give a few of my passing thoughts as  I go.

I don’t like hurting people and I don’t like being hurt. However, I know that honesty is essential to my well being. I’ve always tried to be up front and honest. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and although it sometimes gets the best of me I go with the flow. I cried throughout the week due to a variety of issues that were going on in my life. It was tough at times, but with everything that I’ve been through over the last three years I realized that it was something that I would have to accept. I would take a step back and realize that what is meant to be will be and what isn’t will not. I can’t control the actions of others and I don’t try to. The only thing I do is control how I react to things and what I do in order to make myself be heard and understood. I’ve always tried to treat others with respect, class and dignity because I expect the same in return. I am not perfect and I have failed a few times along the way. However, I’ve always been man enough to stand up and accept my faults, apologize for them and move on. There is no human on the face of the planet who is perfect. I’ve always tried to grow from my failures and mistakes rather than let them eat at me and take control of my actions. Some people will respect that and others won’t care. The ones that respect that quality are the ones that should be held the closest because they will be there when you need them.

A few of my friends are struggling mightily right now to get through each and every night. Both of them have told me that the daytime isn’t so bad, but when they lay down to sleep the whole world seems to crumble down around them. I can relate to this. It doesn’t matter what time period of my life I look back on because it’s easily identifiable that the night hours were and still are the worst times for me.

I think it’s because our body slows down. We’re all alone in bed with our inner thoughts and insecurities. Our mind tends to run rampant and although we should be resting our souls don’t allow us to. Over the last week I’ve laid in bed and wondered when I will ever get a break. I would like to wake up one day and realize that I’ve finally made it to wherever I’m traveling. As I spoke to one of my friends yesterday I realized  one of my biggest voids right now. I really miss going to bed with someone every night. I miss the closeness and the security of it. When I was married I used to wake up every morning, wander around the corner of the bed before I went to the bathroom and gently lean over the bed. When I was there I would softly put my lips on my wife’s forehead or cheek and kiss her. Even now, I’m not sure she ever felt it. I don’t think she ever woke up or even knew that I did it. However, it was something I did as often as I could. I don’t miss the person that I did it to, but I do miss the action. I always felt safe and one of the reasons I did what I did was in case anything ever happened to either one of us that day. In some way it was for my own inner peace and it worked for me.

It’s so much different now. I go to bed every night and plug my cell phone in and leave it on my night stand. I almost always leave the ringer on because I tell all of my friends that they’re welcome to call me whenever they need me. Most of them are worried that they will be interrupting my sleep if they call so they choose not to. I always assure them that it is ok. Over the last month or so people have started calling me at all hours. It actually makes me feel good if someone calls or sends me a message in the middle of the night. For some reason it makes me feel as if I’m making a difference in someone’s life, even if it’s only a small difference.

Then, every morning the alarm goes off and I know it’s time to start all over again. I never know what will happen in any given day, but I always promise myself to make the most of what the day has to offer. I’ve prided myself on giving what I have to give to others and trying to bring out the best in them. I’ve failed a few times, but I also know I’ve succeeded from time to time and that’s why I continue doing what I do. Every morning I click the light on and see nothing on the opposite side of the bed. It’s an empty feeling, but I know it’s all part of the journey. Yet, there my cell phone is all by itself. I guess some days I look at it and expect some miracle to jump out from behind the cover. It hasn’t happened yet so I’m assuming it probably just isn’t going to happen.

Many people ask me how I can stay positive. I think much of this comes from my family background and the people I’ve had in my life. I try to take the best of what each person has to offer. I also read a lot, probably more than I should, on issues that I struggle with on a daily basis. It helps me to know that there are many other people who go through the same exact thing. I still have to fake it until I make it from time to time, but that’s all part of the comedy of life. I guess I must be a good faker at some points because very few people can see the writing on the wall. I just keep pushing forward and I remain optimistic that my good caring and loving nature will guide me to wherever I’m supposed to be. I try not to over think it, but at times it gets the best of me. I might be a little lost right now and unsure of my next step, but I do know that somebody will get the very best of what Todd Alden Mead has to offer. I’m not saying that I’m a great person or anything of the sort, but I know how to respect people and give them the things that make them realize that they are important in my life. I’ve definitely missed the boat here a few times, but I’ve also given enough to show people that I might not always be up to the task. It’s at those times that I hope they have the ability to see beyond the present moment and look at the things I’ve already done.

I feel pretty good about where I’m at right now. I realize that I need to make a choice about housing and all that other good stuff. I’ve talked with enough of my friends to understand that I should probably just take a chance and see where I end up. I think I’ll put my deadline as the middle of next summer. My choice will definitely have to be made by then.

I know that right now I need to do things that bring me happiness and inner peace. I enjoy doing things outdoors. I enjoy campfires, nice evenings under star filled skies, sunsets, sunrises, the ocean and ballgames in the city. I need to continue on my journey while doing all of these things that bring me happiness.  I think I was put on this earth to share myself with others. Some might get more than the next, but I’m here to give a little of myself to everyone. I hope that everyone that passes through my life is able to enjoy me for who I am and what I give to them. The only promise I can make is that I will treat the people well who treat me well. I will fail from time to time, but underneath it all, I’m not too proud to own up to my mistakes and take corrective measures to ensure I’m better prepared in the future.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne which says, “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is just out of grasp. But if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

I’ve never chased it and I have been sitting quietly for a what seems like a long time now. I hope the little creature gently touches down on my shoulder in the near future. I hope it settles in for the ride and gives me wings to fly. The upcoming months are when butterflies are the most active so I’ll continue waiting patiently. I’ll wait as long as it takes because I know that when I’m ready to leap I’ll be on my way into a land that I never knew existed. It’s so exciting to think about, that I might watch unicorns jump through hoops in my sleep tonight. I’m done being a piece of tumbleweed blowing across the Kansas prarie in a dust storm. I’m ready to glide high in the sky and let the butterfly take me where I belong. I’m patient and I’ll keep waiting because I know that every day I awake I’m gaining more ground. One foot in front of the other….as long as I can walk I’ll find my way.