Dreams of Purple

For weeks we have heard about the pleading remarks to “Go Vote, your voice counts.”

Tonight we hear whose voice was the loudest.

And I’m scared. I’m scared that people are going to continue being angry. I’m scared they are going to attack the people who didn’t vote because their choice didn’t win. I’m scared that each person who encouraged the nation to go vote will find hatred at people who voted, but not the way they did.

We voted, we spoke our decisions as best we could, we did what you all told us to do. But I’m fearful of whichever side falters.

I don’t remember in my 36 years seeing people so divided for by so many things. We are so focused on the Right or the Left, the Blue or the Red,

Im’ reminded of a story that I used to love growing up. I have always been a huge fan of the work of Theodore Geisel. He created the odd, and made it the norm. He brought the Cat in the Hat to life, gave the world the Grinch who terrorized Whoville as he looked down from Mount Crumpet; but very few people know or remember the story Dr. Seuss wrote called, The Sneeches.

The Sneeches, you see, lived in on the beaches. And as the story goes, you can read it here, I won’t reinvent the wheel by rewriting the poem, the Star belly sneeches felt better than the Plain belly kind, until the became equaled at one point, then kept changing their status depending on the amount or lack of stars their belly’s bore after an invention kept adding or removing the stars.

By the end of the story, they realized, the stars didn’t matter. They were all the same, and “no kind of Sneech is the best of the beach.”  They didn’t care about the stars, the stars were irrelevant in the end.

So when do we finally grow into the realization of the Sneeches? When will we stop fighting and start looking at people?

Maybe I look at politics wrong. Maybe I make the mistake of thinking people matter. And that people matter for being themselves and for being people. I don’t judge them for the color of their skin, the God they pray to, or who they lay next to in their bed. I’ve learned to accept people’s politics and still accept who they are as a person. I just which instead of fighting with the other side, you would meet them. Take them to get a coffee, walk with them for a bit and hear their story, both of the stories. Are people perfect? Absolutely not. If you look, you can find fault everywhere. Even a Monet up close looks like a mess, but when you take a couple of steps back, you get a beautiful image.

So tomorrow, when the votes are tallied, and the winners have taken their seat, let’s, for a moment, stop being red or blue. Maybe we can find a blend of purple. Maybe we can try to learn from those who see a different perspective as we do.

The only way to change the world, is to get to know it. The world is a made up of over 7 billion personalities and growing. It takes time to get to know them, and you won’t agree with them all, but sometimes a little time spent with someone who’s view isn’t exactly like yours is, but met with mutual understanding and listening, can make a world of difference.

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What Happens to the Lone Wolf?

I’ve never been diagnosed with depression, but i sometimes get depressed. I often feel lonely and unneeded (or unwanted) in crowds. There is no reason for me to feel this way. I’m aware of that knowledge in my head. I’m aware of how I can reach out to anyone in my phone and try to fill that void. But my emotions, or spirit, or lack there of some days, tells me differently. My depressions come from situations, and from expectations that are not met the way I want them to be in my fantasy world that I, too often, live in.

I struggle to feel that I am a part of any group, like I have been before. I struggle not knowing who understands me at a core level, in my every day existence, and will let me be myself without making me feel inadequate or wrong about something. Someone who will be that fun existence of life that I want to experience, and pull me into things that I don’t always want to do, but deep down I really do because my greatest fear is living a boring life. 

It’s hard finding a footing in your mid-30s sometimes, when part of your brain has accepted that you are the age you are, and the other parts still haven’t caught up and want to do life the way you’ve done it for the past 15-25 years. I still dream of taking some cross country road trip with a friend who will be able to tell the story with me, or just hop on a plane to a new destination that I’ve never been to. I dream of making these spontaneous movements, but stop myself because I hate being alone all the time. Which I don’t want to be mistaken for hate being alone in general. There are many days that i enjoy it, and get things done, but, often, I spend too much time alone as it is because of my lack of schedule, lack of groups that I’m actually part of on a constant basis, and so i find myself, when i’m not working, sitting at home watching life through a window of social media. Windows that I can easily browse through, but find that I just see people and events that I didn’t get to be a part of, an it pulls me farther down into the loneliness that I feel.

So, I want to find my way back to not feeling that way. To find something like the groups I had in my youth, who lived life together. My own version of the NBC show Friends, or Will & Grace, or any number of other sitcoms that shaped the way i thought friendships were suppose to be like. I miss the day’s when I had a group like the Friday Crew in college. A group of 10-25 people who at any given day we were together in some form or fashion, football games, tailgates, cookouts, or just spending evenings hanging out and watching television and talking until far late into the night.

What happens to the lone wolf when it is completely removed from its pack? It can survive, but as a pack animal,  are they not better to stay with the pack?

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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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