And this is what I learned…

I held my grandma’s hand as she died. She was never supposed to be on life support, but they kept her on until the family could see her. I got there last. I closed the diner up early, got on the motorcycle and hauled ass to the hospital where she was sitting upright, completely unable to move, speak or breath. She was there, however.

I held on to her arm and her hand. I closed my eyes and tried my best to talk to her, but all she could do was point her finger to the door. I knew what that meant. A few minutes later, I felt her leave. Everything in the room got a little brighter… I looked out the window and knew right then that she had left. Her body was no longer struggling to breathe. It was nothing more than a vessel. As we all are.

In trying to figure out what the holy-hell to do with myself, I think back to that day. When she was there, giving every damn thing she had to hold on for even a few more minutes, there is only a few things that really matter. It was what her and grandpa did. It’s what I realized is ultimately the most important thing in my life.

Before I die, I not only want to have a good story to tell I want to accomplish these three things… Build a Family. Build a home for my family. Help others build the same. Everything in-between is just pages in a book.

Tonight, I stopped by to grab a bite to eat from a fast food joint. I saw a homeless guy laying on the ground next to his wheelchair. I bought a few extra burritos and parked in front to give him some food. Looking at his almost empty bottle of vodka, various blankets and random things, I realized everything else in this world didn’t matter to this guy. I got him back in the wheelchair with the help of another passerby that saw me struggling with him.

He was lost. He was scared of the bags of blankets tied to the handles. He had no clue what was happening. In a weird way, it didn’t seem so unfamiliar to me.

As I drove off, I looked back at him and something took a hold of me. This isn’t about realizing that we all need to help one another. Dead horse is beaten… This is about realizing that at the pace I’m going right now in life, I could only hope that a random person would help me if I was ever in a position that I couldn’t help myself.

It’s time to start realizing what’s important for our own lives. Damnit…

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It’s not what to do…

You haven’t truly lived until at least one point you’ve held your head in your hands and asked yourself ‘What… The… Fuck…’

I’m not talking about dealing with stupid people, or a frustrating day. It’s not even about life giving you lemons. It’s about being aware that life is full of uncertainty. You can’t fix it. You feel like you’ll never be able to figure it out. Many of us have resorted to ignoring this heart-wrenching feeling and just plain accepting things as the way they are. Life simply goes on.

I’m guilty of simply accepting things as they are. It’s easier. You don’t have to worry about a broken heart or shattered dreams or a tortured ego. Religious or not, we may tend to rely on fate or chance to determine our path. I guess that will suffice… But what fun is that?

We are not here to accomplish nothing with our lives. We are here to do all those things that make for an amazing story at the end. Some of us get stuck on the idea that we may be doing it alone, or we may not have enough money or we may even be missing out on something awesome within the bubbles that we cocoon ourselves in. Of course you can’t leave out the fact that self-esteem and confidence determines what we ultimately end up doing with ourselves.

You may have at one point asked yourself, ‘What do I do!?’ You hope for some answer to appear or some revelation to manifest in your mind. You may even construct your own half-ass answer simply because you are dying for something to hold on to. You hold on to it as if God himself whispered in your ear and said, ‘This is EXACTLY what you’re supposed to do…’

I asked myself that today… ‘What should I do?’ … Nothing… Nothing at all. All that came to mind was noise and self manifested ideas on what  I would imagine could solve all of my woes. Throughout the last 15 years of my life I have always wondered what to do. Truth is, I’ve never known. It has never made sense. What has made sense is where I’ve been.

This may not be the answer for everyone, but for anyone with a gypsy soul such as mine there is really no better way to leave your sorrows than by getting up and… going. It was when I was 24, I decided to do just that. I went on the hunt for an amazing story. 12 years later I look at what I have and who is by my side. All I see right now is a glass of whiskey and a desire to start what I set out to do.

Wasting my days…

“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American Culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially two drugs that western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
-Bill Hicks

This was on one of those Facebook motivational/thoughts of the day pictures. At first it rubbed me the wrong way. Not because I didn’t agree with it but because I immediately thought ‘drugs’ and didn’t even think of caffeine or alcohol as a drug. Throughout the day I kept thinking about this peculiar quote and how insanely true it really is. It has a hint of metaphoric function for the case that specific verbiage doesn’t apply to any one specific person(s).

What really touched me about this idea is how we are living in a prison. We are bound by these shackles and chains that we become immune to noticing. I sometimes call it complacency. All too often the attitude of our society becomes uninspired to do anything worthwhile with our existence. Even if we don’t want to accomplish anything beyond what would benefit our own little life, why not do something at least?

A personal battle I fight on a daily basis is deciding whether or not to use my time wisely. I allow myself to function on the schedules and expectations of what society has set forth. I feel like it moves at a snails pace. I wonder ‘what’s the point’ of rushing only to find myself waiting for the rest of my life to catch up.

I then thought this… The rest of my life is what I need to change. This life that I’m not happy with isn’t worth waiting for. I am in fact working on changing it as my life commences at this moment in time. I have a few more months of school left before I hope to be able to start my life over once again. It’ll be rough this time because all I have is faith in myself that I can handle whatever I find myself up against. It better be a fun ride! I am making this next move in my life for something better. Something bolder.

Back to the quote above, I think about my off-time and how much I don’t actually do with it. My ‘drunken weekend’ is actually my job. I immerse myself in my duties to earn an income and I lose sight of the fact that I’m wasting my energy and knowledge on something that doesn’t really benefit me at all. The only thing my job gives me know is a little extra money to indulge on things that actually don’t do me a bit of good. Things, alcohol and random activities that fool me into thinking that I’m being productive with my life. I become tired and exhausted on a regular basis. I then fell like I’ve wasted evermore of my life by wanting to sleep all the time. It’s an ugly downward spiral and I’m really starting to despise it.

Now, it’s time for me to go to sleep. Hurumph.

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Hypothetically speaking…

Because of my current state of mind, I chose to google some blog ideas tonight. I’m hesitant to open up about several things in my life right now because I don’t want to afford any more of my life towards unnecessary drama. So anyhow, I found an idea to write something hypothetical. Even in the last twenty seconds I’ve thought of all kinds of scenarios in my life that could be different ‘if only’ things happened a little bit different in my past.

I’m reminded of an obscure meeting with an individual about twelve years ago. I still have his phone number memorized. He was an obnoxiously wealthy individual who had his hands in several night clubs and entertainment venues. A life was laid out for me that would put me in a far different spot than I am now. For reasons that I don’t fully understand right now I chose to push aside the notion. As with many things in my life, knowing I could have, is simply all I need.

I then think about the possibilities of what would have happened if I didn’t choose to join the military when I did. My life at that point was at one of the lowest of lows. If I didn’t make that jump, would I even be able to sustain myself? Would I even be alive?

If I didn’t call some random airport while I was debating selling my restaurant would I have even been going to flight school? Or even writing this blog? What if I said no to the ridiculous offer that I accepted for my place? If I kept my place open would I have made the choice to open multiple locations? If I didn’t fire my manager would things have worked out differently? What if I chose not to break up with my ex, or not come home one night to get my daughter’s mom pregnant? What if I pulled the trigger?

It’s hard for me to deny the fact that our lives mean something greater than we give credit for. I don’t feel quite comfortable claiming divine intervention with crossroads but I do feel that we are meant to experience certain things in this life.

Funny thing I’ve realized about hypothetical situations… What if instead of thinking of changing our past choices, we change what we decide right now. What if I woke up tomorrow, quit school, sold off everything and moved to South America? Maybe I go get rid of everything, get a blue water boat and sail for the next five years. I could move to Alaska and work some crab boats for a while. Work on a cruise ship maybe? Or get back into trucking and drive for the next few years? What if I proposed to someone, got married? Maybe I can tell someone to fuck off and die? Or better yet, go donate a kidney to a random stranger. How about I simply wake up tomorrow and decide to do exactly what I’ve been doing for the last thirty two years of my life? When I’m taking my last few breaths in this life I really hope I don’t regret not making a change right now.

Hypothetically speaking, I could do anything I want in this life. And so could you.

Once upon a blog

It was the summer of 2005 and I was deployed to Iraq for the first time. I feel we’ve all been overwhelmed by stories from those who have been a part of this recent conflict. I’ll spare you as much as I can. I was immersed in a world where egos ruled, women were scarce and the general mantra was ‘suck it up.’

Porn, video games, junk food and Internet kept most of us occupied when the socializing got old. You’re disturbed by the ‘porn’ word aren’t you? It’s a fact. On my second deployment I administered the satellite internet system for the unit. I saw what came through the pipeline and clogged up our bandwidth over and over. Women were just as guilty about it as the guys. Moving on.

As might be expected, I was flooded with all sorts of crazy thoughts and feelings. It was hotter than (insert really funny analogy here) and I missed my… uh, I don’t know what I missed. The hottest day over there was something like 150 degrees. The helicopters couldn’t even fly because of the air density/fuel ratio.

My friend Amanda played a big part in saving my life whether she knows it or not. Before joining the Army shit got real and I was forced into taking charity simply to eat. It was my own fault but my pride found a way to avoid acknowledging it. Amanda and her mom brought me several bags of food to sustain the sorry excuse of an individual I was. I gave her my computer when I left for basic training. I wish I could have given more.

A few months into the deployment I started feeling anxious about things. It wasn’t about the mortars or random IEDs exploding. It was about something more. What the hell was my purpose? I started writing in a journal. It was all handwritten and I’m sure they make absolutely no sense. Amanda used to write quite a bit on Xanga. I used to really enjoy reading her daily ramblings and watching her progress from a cutesy teenager into a beautiful young lady. She suggested I take up writing on Xanga. I did and it was awesome! With barely any effort people started following me and even began sending gifts to our unit.

It seemed that as I wrote, some people actually enjoyed what I was writing. The more people read it, the more I wanted to make it better. Though my Xanga days wore thin, I found something that lit up my world quite a bit more than anything else had in a long time. Though my presence in the ‘blogosphere’ has dwindled to nothing more than being featured on page four thousand of any search result, there has been a spark inside me that is hoping to get the fire burning again.

If I can make someone laugh, cry or even take a moment to pause and reflect on their life then I will have succeeded. Enjoy!