Good Bye Fantasy World

All my life, I have understood the necessity to constantly be making changes.  The world is changing rapidly and it always will.  We as people will get swallowed up and thrown wayside if we don’t adapt, and we will lose out on endless things in life by not doing so.  The realization that everyone communicates differently and no one method works.  Some people respond to texts right away, others a day later, others never, some want emails, some just want to hear a voice.  I could go on and on.  I have learned to communicate differently to different people and at times it disturbs me that no one rule applies to all.  Perhaps technology is the major problem here, but I think it goes way deeper.  I think it is the way we perceive and try to conjure up the message from the recipient based on the time it took to reply, or the length of the text, or the certain emoticon that was used. It is absurd to think that we could possibly ever understand what the other person is really thinking.

Over the years I pretty much lived and mentally survived on the concept of behaving or acting the way I feel people want me to be.  If someone was serious and business like, I will be the same.  If someone is flirty and forward, I will be the same. If someone is quiet and respectful, I will be the same.  In this equation, though I would never be who I really am.  I learned that people seem to throw out “leader lines” in anticipation of the desired response.  You know, when you tell someone how good they look, knowing they are going to turn around and give you the desired response back.  With this choice of communication, why don’t we just stand in front of the mirror and tell ourselves.  No one is really being true to themselves.  Personally, I am stuck in a fantasy world, creating relationships internally with others that are most likely as far from the truth as it could ever be.  However, I managed to convince myself that this is healthy.  IT IS NOT!!!!!  Reality is healthy.  Being here and Now is healthy, being true to one’s self is healthy.  I think I got caught up in the desire the belief to believe that what goes on in my head is all good, as long as it is not acted upon.  I dwell on the age old adage, “if only I had….”  No one in this world makes perfect decisions all the time.  The world was not meant to be this way.  The other day my girlfriend and I were watching a bald eagle perched right above us.  I took maybe fifty photos and a few came out absolutely amazing. I included one below.

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All is perfect in my eyes. Then IT happened. As the Eagle flew off I snapped my photo and was milliseconds from having possibly one of the most incredible photos ever. As I looked down at my camera to see if I got it, my heart sank. So close, yet at the same time so far.  As I imagined what the photo could of looked like, I could not curb the feeling of what I just missed.  Let me get this straight. I am surrounded by beauty having the moment of my life and this is what I am focusing on. Not the fact that I am with a beautiful woman, in God’s country, witnessing some of God’s greatest creatures, and being fortunate enough to possess a piece of technology that allows me to capture this moment. Shouldn’t I be thankful I got to see this creature with my own two eyes regardless of whether I had my camera or not.  I am blessed, and have no right to spend more than two seconds thinking about what I missed.  Be here, be now, be present.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/121122607@N08/16135499148/

As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I am learning to appreciate the moment, not what could have been, or even perhaps what could be.  This is not how I lived the last 35 years.  While I partake in endless activities, at the same time, I partake in endless fantasies adjusting the perimeter of how I would of liked it to go.  While I have a long way to go to cleaning the inside of my head out, I now realize that by minimizing the intake perhaps all will slowly fade away.  The last ten years I wasted endless hours texting artificial relationships and mere fluffery in hopes of receiving the same back.  By just creating the moment in real life without having to conjure up some fantasy will make all the difference in the world.  Hopefully by writing I will clear some cobwebs and maybe make a difference to those out there that are doing the same.  Go live life, be true to those in your life that are there for you and not those who merely are playing the mirror. There is no need for a fantasy world. Everything we need has already been given to us.

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Clutter

Throughout life there are certain traits I have possessed from day one.  I could write endless blogs about these, but at this point I choose to focus on just one.  CLUTTER!!!  When I was a child I collected pretty much everything possible.  I collected matchbooks, anything baseball, stamps, coins, books, and even bird nests.  I am sure there is an actual disease related to this, but I pretty much stopped it all.  I still have most of these minus the birds nests and matchbooks.  I have rat holed pretty much all I could over the years.  Things I have from my stores, gifts, all sorts of silly mementos.  Anyone who has seen my store understands this about me.  

The problem that has now occurred to me after 44 years on this planet is WHY?  Value wise I could of put every penny into Microsoft stock and retired say 15 years ago.  Instead I have a mountain of junk that my daughter would have no desire whatsoever to possess when I leave this planet.  At the same time I am realizing this same clutter has held be back in many ways.  Over the years I paid for storage, I have broken things on accident, had water damage and could go on and on.  Having a clear living environment, working environment, and perhaps conscious from not always giving energy to this could be quite beneficial.  Even worse I think is the endless ties to periods of life that were not as wonderful, or simply memories that should be replaced with something newer, more relevant, and more peaceful.

I want my daughter to not have to deal with all my crap in my later years.  I want her to be able to enjoy what I have left for her and build upon it, not to have to worry about what the hell to do with a Camel Joe light or endless boxes of baseball cards.  Perhaps what is most important about the whole thing is what most people I think will never get. Free space leads to free thought.  Time to experience the simpler finer things that are most important to us.  With this in mind, I am clearing out the endless closets, walls, garage, and cleaning up my life, one piece at a time.  Ebay will make tons on my listings, I might break even, but all in all I will be able to move forward, grow and build a future both for my daughter and for the wonderful woman in my life.  Life is simply to short to store pointless objects.  As always I think it is quality over quantity at this point in life. Should be fun, should be sad, but most importantly it will be full of growth, and that is what I need the most.

When is it too late?

I know we all have regrets in life.  I know we all hate the idea of thinking…”if only I had….” I know life is short and we will never be able give the proper amount of attention to all that is deserved.  With this in mind it recently came into my mind how often this happens.  

As most of this world knows Philip Seymour Hoffman recently died, most likely because of drugs in one form or another.  I am not one to judge his lifestyle, or the choices he made that led up to his finality.  What I am guilty of is now watching his movies and realizing just how incredible of an actor he was.  I had seen a few of his movies, but never really put him in that “great actor” category.  We could all argue the merits to lead someone to get that title, but for myself it is simple.  Do I hear the name and want to see the movie because of it? If so, I consider them a great actor.  Simple perhaps, but I have never been big on the Hollywood side of life.  I don’t appreciate many actors who everyone loves, nor do I spend much time searching for those who are a step above the rest.Image

What I am bothered by, is the fact that it took him dying in order for me to appreciate his talents.  How many other people on this planet have I done this with as well.  Perhaps more time should be spent paying attention to those who impressed me one way or another.  Perhaps not so much time should be spent hitting tennis balls, finding geocaches, writing, or the endless other mundane hobbies I use to simply fill my time.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how I really should call family more, keep in better touch with friends, or simply be a part of  life on a deeper level.  The thought of watching the list grow of those I under appreciated is simply unacceptable. The thought of having loved ones left behind with little or no communication is beyond sickening.  While Hoffman’s death was probably not a surprise to many in his life, I am sure everyone knows someone who was a shock, and they wish they had done things a little different.  While I will be shallow right now and watch another one of his movies, I will do so with the reminder of what he represents to me now.  To have been given this clarity and muck it up for my own good would be a shame.  To get to know the loved ones in my life a little better would be much more fulfilling.

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Lessons in being overly competitive or worse yet….SELFISH

 I think all of us in this world realize our strong traits and our weak traits.  At the same time, I am sure most of us view these traits in different light than what many others view them. For example, while one person may view themselves as confident, others may view them as cocky.  There are endless examples of these traits, and I think we all understand the fine line between these simple adjectives.  When it comes to others being affected by each trait, the line perhaps becomes less gray and more black and white.  At this point I will not go into great depth surrounding my less honorable traits, but I will focus on selfishness and being overly competitive.

Throughout my life I have straddled the lines of black and white, and made them as gray as possible.  The main purpose for this was to either put myself at a more competitive advantage or simply me being selfish and wishing a more favorable outcome based on my decision.  This last weekend was a fine example of how my mind thinks at times, and how much I wish to leave this side of me behind.  As anyone in Portland knows we are at the tail end of a big snow storm that left the roads covered in both snow and ice.  At the same time the tennis team I captain and play on had a match scheduled with most likely the toughest team in our division.  They are already in first place and our league is set up to where there is literally no room for error if you wish to play in the playoffs.  Simply put. EVERY MATCH MATTERS!!!Image

 

 As the weather became worse and worse the other captain contacted me and mentioned that maybe we should cancel the match due to weather.  I thought about this and was not a happy camper to put it lightly.  I was only missing one player from my team(usually 2 or 3) per match and the thoughts of rescheduling and playing the top team missing more players was not as cool option.  Furthermore, I realized the likelihood of him having players back out due to the weather was greater than my teammates.  Could I actually use this weather to my advantage and increase our chances of a victory.  After all, I am not breaking any USTA rules.  Well I must say some little angel convinced me to look at the bigger picture.Image

My girlfriend, Amy asked if I really wanted to have the players safety and perhaps life on my shoulders. ” How would you feel if one of the players got in a car accident while coming to a match they had to play in?”  Yeah, I don’t want that on my shoulders, and furthermore, I should not be looking for a cheap win at the expense of others.  This is where my selfishness comes in.  The thought of a win, or a major upset, or better yet a possible first place position would all rub my ego well.  This is the combination of my competitiveness and selfishness.  I have always thought many poor and undesirable traits were needed to get ahead in this world.  We see it everyday and most of us complain about witnessing others get ahead using these tactics.  When all is said and done, I am pretty sure I would be happy in last place knowing no one was compromised or cheated in the process.  As with all my traits, I just wish to balance the ego a bit and lose the selfishness.  As far as the competitive goes……it will always be there, I just need to stay in the lines a little better.

Photographs

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Just a quick thought on photographs…Over the years I taken endless photos and have always enjoyed doing so.  Maybe one out of a hundred has a little more special meaning to it.  This one here, taken by my daughter on campus has even more meaning to me.  She also seems to enjoy photography and is starting to take some great shots.  My dad did the same growing up and I often look back at them with a great appreciation. Hopefully this will get passed on from generation to generation.  BTW she got this one published on the Corvallis Gazette’s website.  Way Too Cool!!!

A brief explanation!!!!

I decided to write again after well over a year off.  I have always enjoyed writing, but like a lot of things in life, I did so for all the wrong reasons.  Mostly, I feel deep down I enjoyed the multitude of praise and ego fluffing for what I wrote.  Well that should go without saying considering I often wrote what people wanted to hear.  Hopefully, at some point in my life, I will get past the constant need to have my ego stroked, and the need to falsely stroke someone else’s ego knowing the favor will come right back at me.

By spending so much time in pointless relationships, I feel I lost touch with reality and how to truly be faithful at the same time.   About 16 months ago, I began chatting with a wonderful woman I met through my mother.  We texted, called, wrote back and forth and I knew this one was everything I wanted in a woman.  At the same time, I never stopped giving energy to all the other women in my life, who I was at the same time hoping to hook up with.   Later, Amy and I moved in together.   I could not of asked for more, however, I never let go of the hunting in my mind and actions.  To this day, I still fight with doing what is right to her, only because of how selfish I have become for my own ego.  She has been patient and continues to help me grow to become more loyal and less selfish.  I am finally beginning to see how rotten of a boyfriend I have been, in this area, not only currently but for the most part of my life.  This it was has led me to want a more balanced life, and to become a better person.   The only reason in this world to be in a relationship is to make that persons life better, and your own better.  I never truly gave the proper attention to anyone other than what I wanted myself, besides doing the easy fake things to keep the relationship going.

For the most part, I never really gave much thoughts to my actions.  I know all I had to do was say what I wanted to hear, and all would be good.  Basically I was trading a hit for a hit, much like two people getting high.  This time around, I would like to open up more, and at the same time close more doors behind me.  Many of my “relationships” over the years have been nothing more than me doing what I can to look like a great guy, while in reality I was only stroking my own ego.  What I never thought about was that by doing so, I was not allowing anyone to grow. MYSELF mostly!!!  The last ten years or so, I don’t think I have grown a bit.  As a matter of fact, I have probably regressed to a point where it will take a long time to rebuild my inner self.  I am beyond embarrassed by many of the decisions I have made, and look back and want to laugh at them, but in reality crying would probably be a more appropriate response.  Basically, I want to begin part four of life, and I want there to be no part five.  I wish to quit making mistakes and just live true to myself and be the person I was raised to be.  I didn’t want to start this blog on a deeper level, however, I do wish to have a deeper involvement in this world, instead of the ever so easy quick hit this world has to offer anyone who is willing to compromise their morals.

I am seeing more and more people trying to better themselves at this later point in life, and the saddest part of it is the thought of what happened to get to this point in the first place.  I will give it my best to help those in need, as I know I am going to always need help myself.  For the most part, life has been easy.  However, this is only because I chose to live a more shallow existence.  As I move forward in life, I wish to focus on two main things.   While there are endless areas that need improvement, I am sticking with the golden rule of, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and the harder one of the two, “quit taking the easy route, and be willing to fight for what is right.”  No one said life was going to be easy, but I do know at this point I don’t want to leave this planet without truly making a difference in others lives, and I don’t mean in the trivial ego fluffing way I am use to.

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