I Promise, I am Going to Piss You Off

I’m not good with words. Restatement: I’m not good with spoken, impromptu words. I am better with words written down, thought over, and edited into the best form of themselves. Not a text, nor a tweet, yet not a novel, but actual words that come from a place where their meaning is so wrapped around themselves there is no confusion.

In person, I’m probably going to upset you. I am going to offend you. I am going to inadvertently say or do something that will make you question my thought process. I will say things, that to you seem pointed, judgmental, or harmful, yet to myself, I am clueless of such actions. It is not that I removed myself so from reality to not know I have done this, but that the meaning in my head, and the words used, to myself are perfectly placed in the moment my brain arranges them. I am often wrong. I blame my brain working differently than some; thinking too quickly and making mistakes too often, and the filter and correction department being too unorganized to catch the mistakes until it is too late.

After this mistake, in my self-consciousness, I see the reaction taken wrong. I go to the replay monitor and watch the play from every angle, analyzing where the mistake was made. Then, I will see it. I will see the actions, and hear the words, and understand, too late, the context that makes me sound like a selfish asshole.

At this point I go into several places. The first, I try to fix the mistake, usually making it worse, but I try. Secondly, I relive the mistake, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, over and over again, spiraling down into an “I’ve Got You, Babe” Hell until the world just decides to come back around, and things seem to be right again.

So, I’m sure, somewhere, I’ve pushed your buttons. I should probably apologize, but I need to know what I did to upset you in the first place. I have no problems making amends. But, I have to know what needs to be amended.

I’m learning to think before I speak or act, but, even after all these years, it is still a process. I’m making efforts to be an active listener and not speak to just be heard. I want to be someone a listening ear, and not a waiting response. But I will also remain my passionate persona. I will still get excited when I speak, and still forget and say something that will make you mad. I will do something that pushes you a step or two back. But I’m me, human and flawed. Sometimes I’m going to be a kind gentleman, and sometimes I’m going to be a complete asshole. You’ll know when it is on purpose, and when it is accidental.

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In the Depth of Loss

Since my grandmother passed away, I have suffered from so much feelings of great loss. But I have also dealt with this overwhelming feeling that I have nowhere that I belong. Over these past several week, I have spent both time alone, and time surrounded by so many family members, you cannot help but feel that strong connection.

Through this process of understanding what it is that I’ve, we’ve, lost, I’m scared we’ve lost more than we realized. We’ve lost the sense of family. Without Grandmother and Granddaddy here, the extended family has lost the physical ties that held us together and caused us to gather. This may have been the last time we will all have gotten together to hear stories of our fathers growing up, of how our grandparents, great-grandparents, and extended family grew up. The last time we all go through photos and school annuals, like we have for decades to, to remember what happened during the time the lens took the shot. There is more to loss that we understand, and it is sad that we are not aware of it more. That we end up having to fight harder for those moments to be together.

Losing a sense of belonging is a tough adjustment. Over these weeks with family, I’ve started to feel the longings of nostalgia. There are feelings of connection that I don’t feel always, that I feel cut off from too many people. I have a personality that puts me in circles within circles within circles. I love the crowd, I love the chaos of backstage at award shows and concerts, but at the end of it all, most of those connections don’t go beyond work, beyond networking, or beyond the exit signs.

Much of these feelings could be false, or from the wrong perspective. Don’t misunderstand, I have great people surrounding my life, encouraging me, and pushing me to be a better person, but for some reason I don’t feel connected like I did. I run into people that I have those connections with, but we don’t spend enough time together, we get busy, we move away, we fall apart. I don’t even know what it is I need. My roommate finds herself on the beach shores of the Atlantic Ocean, some people find peace alone with a cup of tea. The things I find my wholeness from, though, aren’t where I am now. I find it involved with music, or on the back of a horse as she’s racing a field in moonlight. I find it sitting in an open field staring up at every star in the sky. I find it more in conversation that I get excited about, and that the people feed me that excitement instead of smothering it. Maybe I haven’t had these in a while. Maybe I got them for brief moments in all my trips to Mississippi the past couple months, and their weight is pushing down on me.

I don’t know what I need to break this loss. The pain of it all is fresh, and time is needed to heal. Some scars will remain and burn on occasion, but for now, what is the medicine I apply to keep the infections from spreading? What are the tools I use to find my way back?

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A Freelancer’s Isolation

I’m a workaholic. Or quickly becoming one.

Being a freelancer can change the way your brain works, where you are always slightly hustling. I’ve hopefully managed to not always talk about my job, or constantly promote myself around people. Which can be a hard thing to do when one of the first questions you get asked by someone is, “So, what do you do?”

But that’s not the main source of this post. This is about the isolation work sometimes causes me. I’ve always struggled with feelings of isolation or not belonging. Of missing out. I’ve always struggled with the idea of missing out on things. Today, I question if these feelings are attached to work. I spend a lot of my time working, or stressing about not working. And when I’m not working, I find myself scared to do many things that spend too much income, because it’s not coming in.

Because of this, I often think that I’m letting life pass me over. I’ve made a habit of listening to biographies on road trips, and lately they it’s been from people who seems to have lived much more extraordinary lives than myself, but who also are surrounded by great people who experience wonderful adventures and times together. I partially feel that I’ve lead a life similar, but also fear I’ve not allowed myself to laugh as much as I want, or be around people I need, and find myself removed from some moments that I need to be completely involved in, instead of distracted by a phone, computer, or television. The worst are days I do not work and spend those days inside my house on the computer attempting to work, but instead go hours without real human interaction. It is my own choice, but after some time it does make the isolation real. Social media does not help, as we see the best parts of people’s lives spread out in photos and posts, enjoying concerts, dinners, road trips, all while i either spend 13 hours on a set working, or sitting at home alone instead of participating in life.

It’s an odd balance to find the rhythms of a life like mine. I don’t have the luxury of knowing my schedule, nor my income, and finding time to enjoy life can be complicated, but work-wise,  I wouldn’t trade what I do, yet. I enjoy it and many of the people I work with too much, and I’ve worked way too hard to get to this point. It is just allowing myself to let go of that, be still in the moment, and embrace life as it comes at me and take chances with people I want to build memories alongside.

I know much of the isolation is as much my fault as it is the world, because I am terrible at reaching out to people, fearing they don’t want me around, or don’t have time to when I am free, or fill in the blank. It is a challenge that I much take on, to reach out to people who may need pulled back into society as much as I do. To share a laugh, a meal, a moment together, instead of fearfully hiding in the corner waiting for something to happen.

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Who Sees You for Your Soul

Spending a year looking at different relationships.

LIke a Rose among the Thorns

Over the past few months, I’ve been tasked with reexamining what it is to be in different types of relationships. I’ve always observe how we interact, who it is we become attached to, and why some go by the way side, while others we will fight tooth and nail to keep the relationship going.

I’ve always been a loner. Not that I haven’t had people around me, I’ve just always been guarded as to keep from getting hurt. I found that by not letting people in, and only allowing them to see the softer sides, then I would be fine and make it through. As time moved forward I found that there’s a longing for something real, something deeper. Growing up I was always fascinated with the relationship between Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World. I found it intriguing to see two people so intertwined into each…

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Miles to Go Before I Sleep

I’m in the process of several things right now. I’m currently working on 2 different blog posts, very similar in tone, but also very personal. They take time to work out. I’ve been piecing them both together for several weeks now, when the emotions are right, and the words flow more easily. So hopefully those will make a way there shortly.

BUT, aside from those, I’ve stepped into an odd journey of life for this month. April 2015 has been a very interesting and adventurous month. I always state that i want to live a life that is always moving, bringing with it adventure and challenges. On April 8th, I boarded a plane to Southern California, a place I’ve never been, and honestly, really don’t know anyone. And I did it all alone. I took chances and said I’d make it work. I decided to get out here and work the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA, for both weekends, as well as Stagecoach. And do it all as a “local hire.” What local hire means, is that you work as if you live out there, and that the days you have off work, you better find yourself a place to stay.

Palm Trees of Beverly Hills

I’ve never been to California. I’ve not really done too much traveling, especially solo. This was all an adventure. First time in California, first time doing a solo experience, first music festival, ready to meet all new people, find amazing new music, see wonderful things, and maybe, if time and luck are on my side see some old friends who’ve made this their home, and hopefully make a little money in the process.

The Coachella Ferris Wheel and famous lit baloons over the crowd as the sun is setting in Indio.

The Coachella Ferris Wheel and famous lit baloons over the crowd as the sun is setting in Indio.

It’s been amazing. I’ve really met some cool people here. I got to see Beverly Hills. I walked for miles from West Hollywood, where I was staying with a friends i had not seen in so long I can’t count the years, friends from Nashville who now live in Cali, and kept walking until I found Rodeo Drive, Melrose, the Witch’s House (that I had never heard of but everyone said I had to go see it.) I’m fairly sure that I walked between 15 and 20 miles in one day to see as much of California as I could. Didn’t walk quite as much in Anaheim, but I’ve definitely worn some shoes in this month that may now need to be replaced.

Located just off Sainta Monica Blvd in a Beverly Hills neighborhood, commonly referred to as the Witch's House of Beverly Hills

Located just off Sainta Monica Blvd in a Beverly Hills neighborhood, commonly referred to as the Witch’s House of Beverly Hills

Today I woke early, took a bus to a train, and walked around Anaheim, found some good food, and now I’m sitting in a small coffee shop waiting. What I’m waiting for is something that is chance and luck all rolled into a great time to be had. I’m waiting on family that I have not seen since November 2006, the week that we all gathered to lift each other up and morn the loss of our grandfather. While I’m here in Cali looking for places to crash, I had the wonderful luck of two of my cousins, my uncle and aunt, and several children I’ve never met coming to DisneyLand at the same time. So, while they currently wander the head and the wonderment that Mr. Walt Disney created, I’m waiting and just reflecting on this ridiculous journey that I’m still yet to complete. I still have another week of adventure. Of trial and error. Of hoping everything will all work out in the end. And just making sure that it comes together in the end.

Outdoor Stage as Alabama Shakes rocks out the crowd at sunset.

Outdoor Stage as Alabama Shakes rocks out the crowd at sunset.

I came out there to work a job. But I’m going away with miles of adventures and memories that I’ll keep, even if I just break even on this. My feel hurt from the walking, my skin is darker from the heat of the desert sun. But my mind is full of wonder, and I’m growing more as a person who’s taking chances. Stepping out on my own and just seeing if I land on my feet.

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Oh, the things we learned, and forgot, from Dr. Seuss

“Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?”

Today we celebrate the birthday of an author who has brought so much joy, education, and wonder to many people’s lives. Today we celebrate the gift of imagination and creation in ways that started in the minds of us as children, and who hopefully we have continued to bring to our own children as we grow up and expand our own families.

Today we celebrate the great Theodore Geisel, who we know by his stage name, Dr. Seuss. This man created wonders and worlds for me as I was a child. He is one of three authors that I hold in high regards because of their ability to create complete worlds from nonsense, alongside A. A. Milnes, and Lewis Carroll.

These men generated my imagination, and allowed me to escape to worlds that for some reason made sense to me, worlds that were simple, yet vast, and as imaginative and amazing as they could be. Dr. Seuss, like Charles Schulz and Walt Disney, influenced my childhood in ways that i don’t think I’ve fully understood even yet. As an adult, I still fall back to their works, whether for nostalgia or escape I am not sure, to remember that it is okay to still imagine, to create, and that no matter how old we get, it is that childlike imagination that I think keeps the world moving.

As we get older and stressed with work, bills, and every day stresses, I think we forget these things. We forget how to imagine. We forget to leave the stress behind. We worry more about what people think about us, and what the future holds. Maybe sometimes we need to remember these moments, and forget being an adult for a minute.

Here’s to you Theodore, may your phrases and characters always have us remembering childhood.

“Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”

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Learning to Set Aside Wild Fear

I always wanted to stand out. Be extraordinary. Be outside the boxes of our culture. To not be boxed in, or bound by labels or ideas. I wanted to change the way the world viewed things, and not be afraid of the consequences. I wanted to help people see things that they may not have seen otherwise.

That was what I wanted. It’s what I still want sometimes. I think it is what most people my age and younger feel. We are all the generation that was told we could be anything we wanted to be, and do anything we wanted to do. Some of us want fame and fortune, others that great adventurous love that was shown in Disney cartoons, and some wanted to be the next great generation to change the world and make it a better place for everyone in it.

Some of us are doing it. Some of us are making it. They’ve taken chances and made the world a great place, or seen the great places the world has to offer. Others are teetering on the ordinary life that makes each day go, and the extraordinary that makes stories happen. I live on that teeter, a fence that I spend much time on trying to decide what side is best for me. Mostly because I find myself too full of anxiety or fear about what would happen if stepped into the unknown and let chance happen. I’ve taken so many chances in my life, and pushed myself into a career I honestly thought I’d never get into, but I still feel that i’ve done very little or taken so few chances.

I’ve tried to break free from fears. I’ve attempted to recruit help in a way that will one day stick, one day last, and I’ll take adventures similar to those of Cheryl Strayed, or be as carefree as Jack Kerouac, to be my own person with little fear and little hesitation. To walk up to a stranger with the ability to carry on hours of conversation, and not stand like a shy wallflower waiting for the world to happen around me. To see the world, I must start with a step in a new direction, and to find excitement and adventure, I must first be willing to not be afraid of what could happen, and embrace it instead.

If you need some people who took control of their own, here’s a nice little list.

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