In every walk of life, you will find detractors who will criticize anything you do. It doesn’t matter what you do, whether you are a veritable scumbag or honorable citizen, someone will say something ignorant and judgmental.
The truth is, unless they are watching your every move, they will forget about you soon enough.
This is my personal way to combat social anxiety. You might feel like someone is judging every step you make, and maybe they are; some people like to people-watch. But they will forget about it in a few moments. We are all inherently selfish (it’s not a good or bad thing — it just is) as we have too much on our mind to care about what other people — particularly strangers — are doing.
Some food for thought. Something to remember if you feel anxious and/or monitored while in public.
The other day I wrote about living at home despite being 26. An old man (relative to my age), 52, from Australia, made a snide comment: “Move out of your mothers. 26, seriously?” Yes, seriously. Go fuck yourself.
I love Jeff Pearlman. Great writer and seems like a nice guy. Loved “Boys Will Be Boys” and “Showtime”. Still need to read “Sweetness”.
But I deleted him off of Facebook because all he — literally — does is bitch, whine and cry incessantly about Donald Trump every single day of the goddamn week.
The reaction to Trump’s presidency is worse than the way people reacted to Obama in 2008/2009 (reference: I live in a pretty small, rural town full of old conservatives). When Trump defeated Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, I read grown adults writing things like, “I can’t stop sobbing” and “I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to my daughters”. Jesus fucking Christ… I once thought the “safe space” meme was overplayed, but it’s a reality.
Look, I don’t mind when people opine their opinions. That’s exactly what I’m doing. However, day after day after day of the same stupid, old shit gets tiring, whether you are a liberal or conservative or plain ol’ bitcher’n’moaner. I was Facebook friends with Pearlman for a couple years. The first several “Trump is shit lol wtf is he doing? omg he’s not fit to run dis country omg we are effed omg what is he doin now???” were alright. I looked past them. But day after day, it’s the same old shit from Pearlman, a sportswriter. Fucking hell, man.
“But if we stay silent, we’ll end up like Germany did in the ’30s and ’40s” is an argument I’ve seen. The Trump/Adolf Hitler comparison is the most mentally retarded comparison I’ve seen in a while. Apples and oranges. Besides, whining like a petulant 7-year-old on Facebook isn’t helping you fight the cause.
I’m Facebook friend with a redneck from Ohio that occasionally posts stupid memes about “making America great again” and “fuck Obama” every few months. If he was doing this every damn day, his ass would’ve been long deleted as well. Thankfully he posts delicious grilled and smoked foods every day rather than constant crying about the state of America.
It’s the same old shit from both sides. I hate politics with a maddening passion. Both radical liberals and conservatives are fucking dumbasses.
Remember when people didn’t say who they voted for? It wasn’t a personal matter. Politics have been discussed forever, but I remember a time in my young life when it was against the status quo to constantly, brashly emit your vested interest in a candidate. Now, people hop on Facebook and Twitter at the drop of a hat to impulsively pound the keyboard with their horse shit.
It’s just fuckin’ tiring, you know? “I’m right, yurr wrong! Neener neener neener!”
Three things make us men stupid: 1.) sports, 2.) politics, 3.) beautiful women.
“How am I gonna explain this to my daughters?!” still rings in my head when I think of melodramatic dipshits reacting to the election back in November. Still blows my mind. This country is geared to overcome bad presidencies; it has done so in the past. What it’s not prepared to overcome is a crooked media.
We are a country full of pussies. Political correctness is harped about 24/7. Yes, you should be thoughtful and courteous of others. Yes, you should think about and love your fellow man/woman. But we need some humor in this nation. Everybody has a stick up their ass. Dark humor is how I get through and process pain. Every time I put mayonnaise on a sandwich, I make cracks about how my dad is probably flipping me off from his grave (he hated mayo) because of it.
But seriously, you are weeping with tears and wondering how you are gonna explain Trump’s presidency to your goddamn daughters?
Holy fucking shit. Pull yourself up by your boot straps and move on. Just as I am now doing after deleting Jeff Pearlman’s pussy ass whining about Trump.
I was with my ex-girlfriend Bekki in the fall of 2009 when I was a student at a local community college. I was 18-years-old, didn’t manage my priorities correctly and ultimately finished the semester with a 1.9 GPA, only completing one of my five classes (while not properly dropping the other four and receiving F’s). The one class I completed was an 8am Tuesday/Thursday English class, the only time of the day I felt like I could relax, because my relationship with Bekki was a colossal shitbag disaster. Yeah, that one class I completed, I only made a C in there when I should have made an A, but my dumb ass didn’t turn in the final term paper and I half-assed the final exam.
After a five year hiatus away from college, I returned to that same local community college in 2014. Now, in 2017, I’ve managed to take that 1.9 GPA and raise it to a 3.3/borderline 3.4. Redemption has been mine, but damn, it was a long, painful journey!
In a nutshell, I’ll tell you what happened in the fall of 2009: I was an in-love 18-year-old dating an immature girl that was still in high school. I prioritized that relationship over my personal goals and mental health. I got myself so wrapped up in making sure she was happy, I lost sight of what was going on in my life. I didn’t consider the consequences of my choices at that community college at the time.
You can read about my experience with Bekki in another post. I linked to it in the first line of this post.
2010-2013 were the biggest wastes of time in my life. Especially 2012 and 2013. I did not accomplish a single thing in those years.
I was handicapped by fear. I knew I had to return to college and make things right. But how? But when? I’d say “now“, every time, but I was so scared. I remember, back in April or May 2013, it was a late night, and I had my TV set to TNT. I was watching the NBA playoffs featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies. I loaded up my local community college’s website. I was so nervous… I had to go use the bathroom, so I did, and when I came back I closed the page, closed my laptop and ate six Snickers ice cream bars instead. Complete and total avoidance.
On June 1, 2013 I walked to the top of a pretty big mountain at a park here, alone, and I talked to myself out loud. “I will give my self one year. One year. One year to get my shit together and go back to [my local community college]. It’s now or never.”
I’m not so sure I got my shit together in 2014, but I signed up for classes about two weeks before they began in August 2014, and here I am.
Fear is a bitch. Fear is a friend. Fear is a two-faced motherfucker. I mean what I wrote in the title of this post. It is absolutely a double edged sword that can either drive you to do great things or paralyze you with complete and utter inactivity. I’ve been on both sides.
I knew I had to return to college in 2014. I had to make things right. I wanted to, deep down, but I was so goddamn against wanting to be around new people. Specifically, younger students. Nowadays, I don’t care about that, but back then, I didn’t want to be judged for being an older guy, even though I was only 23 in 2014. It’s funny, thinking back, about how silly that insecurity was.
I used Nike’s “Just do it” slogan to fuel me, I reckon. Also a dash of, “What’s the worst that can happen?” in my mindset. “You fail? Fuck it; everybody fails”. Everybody makes fools of themselves. Everybody is a error-makin’, failure-havin’ human being.
When I signed up for classes, I decided to go ahead and do public speaking. Get it out of the way. I’ve always had a narcissistic enjoyment for my voice. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a sportswriter and a sports broadcaster. In 11th grade, my sports marketing teacher — she was a babe — told me I had a hypnotizing sportscaster voice. That got to my head. I knew that deciding to get public speaking out of the way would push me out of my comfort zone. I was hardly around unfamiliar people in 2010-2013, so putting myself out there and doing public speaking after barely being around anybody was a fucking huge, but fucking awesome, challenge.
The best part about it, and I’ll never forget this because it makes me smirk, is that the two girls I sat next to — Alexis and Whitley — told me that I was just so calm and that envied that about me, when it came to speeches in class. I always volunteered to go first whenever we had our speaking days. Because, my theory was always, if you go first, nobody is really going to pay attention to what you are saying, because they are going to be too worried and anxiety-riddled about their own speeches. I never understood the people who tried to stave off doing it! You have to do it, anyway, so why not get it over with so you can relax!? I’ll never forget — right before Thanksgiving break in 2014, we had a speaking day, and a few people didn’t want to get their speech over with, so our instructor said they’d have to do it after our holiday break was over with. Are you fucking kidding me? You’d rather stew over it during your entire break rather than get it out of the way?!
Most of the students in there were second year students that were just about ready to graduate; they had put that class off until the last minute.
Anyway, the “calm” comments they made about me? Yeah, inside, my heart was pounding, but despite my heart pounding with anxiety, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could do it. I guess that’s why I appeared calm. It was nerve racking, but I knew had the ability to stand in front of a group and talk.
Fear paralyzed me in 2010-2013 when I’d spend all day crying/stewing over Bekki or otherwise wasting my time in other useless endeavors.
Fear drove me to return to my local community college in 2014.
I have a lot to do and a lot to work on. But when you are faced with fear, you have a choice to either do nothing or to take action. If you take action, typically you’ll face your fear and figure out if it’s just a phony — and 99.9% of the time it is. When you doing, you never find out and you only stay in one place, never moving or growing or evolving.
Life without pain is a life without challenge and a life without challenge is a life without growth.
Early Sunday morning thoughts while I chug my delicious coffee.
Never marry someone you’ve never argued with or have never gone through difficult times together.
Honeymoon stages of relationships vary in time. A time when everything is all good and there’s no hardships.
But what about when money isn’t there, disposable income sounds like a myth, you disagree on things? Can you effectively communicate with one another and remain level headed? Or are you at each other’s throats, yelling and incapable of rational, mature discussion?
I emitted the same phrase in an online relationships forum and one person told me that my statement was silly. He said that he and his wife had been married for five years and they’ve never had a real argument or spat. My take? Just like I told him in my retort, the exception is not the rule. Besides, I have no idea how this person’s life is. He may be wealthy; they may naturally get along so perfectly there’s no bumps in the road. But that’s rare. Life happens. Life doesn’t plan anything. Life is spontaneous.
Shit happens. There are always bumps in the road. And by the way, when I reference money, I’m not claiming that a large bank account with inordinate disposable income is the be all, end all, because in reality, money isn’t everything, but when you do have money, not having to worry about a healthy meal being on the table every night or worrying about not having life’s essential items is a big plus. You see, while money isn’t everything, when you don’t have it then money is the only thing.
If you’ve never argued or have never gotten into some kind of spat, big or little, with your significant other, you are either delusional or you’ve never faced difficult times.
I say that you go through hell with one another before saying, “I do”. Most of the happiest, longest landing relationships I know, when I’ve asked about their time together, they mention their endurance and perseverance through the most difficult times being the biggest factor in making the relationship work. A relationship shouldn’t be built solely on the good times; the backbone of a relationship should be how mentally and emotionally strong the two of you are and how well you handle adversity as a team. A marriage is a lot like a business. You must sustain it and take care of one another.
I wrote in this post that I was in an online relationship once upon a time. I was. She was my first love. Bekki. It all started in June 2008 in the books & authors section of Yahoo! Answers. Around that time, the Twilight book series was on the rise in popularity. I was 16, a couple months away from turning 17 and starting my senior year of high school. I saw a girl making comical contents about the Twilight series, bashing it sardonically. I thought she was charming. We answered each others questions on the site. She had a link to her MySpace on her profile and I added her.
In late July, I sent her a message entitled, “That Twilight Junk”. It started off with yours truly complaining about the popularity and oversaturation (in society) of the Twilight series. She agreed with me. A common interest (or should I say disinterest?) joined us together. Soon, we were talking about our lives, interests, hopes and dreams. She was 14, and a freshman in high school. Again, I was about to be a senior. She was from Florida; I was/am from a different state.
In October 2008, we started talking on the phone, and it began a daily ritual of us talking every single night (and some days) for two years and two months, all the way up until late December 2010.
Her parents attempted to stop her from talking to me. Looking back, I can see why they did that. She was talking to someone she met online, and they were concerned I was some old man, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Regardless — again, looking back — if I were in their position, I would do the same thing.
Despite her parents doing their best to nix our relationship, she found ways to go behind their back and talk to me every single damn night. It was an amazing time. I still contend — not out loud, but this is the way I feel — that 2008 and 2009 have been the best years of my life so far. She and I had the perfect chemistry. We would talk about every and anything you can imagine. She was a music fanatic, and to this day I still believe she knew more about music than any person I’ve met (that’s not in the music industry).
So, you might be wondering, what happened?
Well, we never met in person.
Looking back, it’s easy to tell what happened. She was young, and still mentally and emotionally growing up. Her parents began to separate in 2010. That’s when Bekki changed, too. Her friends made fun of her for being in an online relationship; I think that was the kiss of death to our relationship, because for a teenage girl, for your peers to make fun of you, that’s huge.
On December 28, 2010 we Skyped for a few hours, everything seemed normal, and then I didn’t hear from her again until September 4, 2011.
Just like that, she ended all contact with me. Do you know how it feels to go from contact each and every single day for two years and about five months to no contact at all?
I had a delayed emotional response to what happened. I didn’t grieve at all in January 2011. I was in shock, I think. I watched the TV series, “Rescue Me” on Netflix, was on a ketogenic diet (bullshit diet; I mean if it works for you, great, but it’s not the best thing ever or anything, which I’ll discuss in a different, future post) and watched the Green Bay Packers steamroll their way to the Super Bowl.
But in February, when I was alone at my aunt’s house, after I finished watching a recent episode of Californication, I began bawling my eyes out, thinking about Bekki and how much I missed her. I genuinely spent the entire month of February 2011 crying. I spent that entire year depressed. There were many days I didn’t want to leave the bed. I was in so much pain.
You might ask, “Well, why didn’t you contact her or check on her? What if something happened to her?” I didn’t want to look her Facebook up or Google her, because I feared the inevitable that she’d gotten with somebody else. I knew she’d ended things a couple days after that fateful day in December 2010, because I’d logged into Skype and saw that she’d set a status, and she logged out when I tried to contact her at that point. That day, I just had a pit in my stomach. In April 2011, I checked again, and she’d once again had a different status/post on Skype.
On September 4, 2011 she sent me a Facebook message that I didn’t see until September 7th. She started out by saying, “Hello, you. I owe you a billion dollars for the damage I caused to your mind and heart”. She told me that she started seeing someone in person in late 2010, and it was a breath of fresh air to have actually been treated nice by her parents.
In hindsight, I should have told her, “Alright. Thank you for explaining to me what happened. I appreciate the closure.” and never spoke to her again. Except… we began talking again. This time, we Skyped every single night until 12:29 AM on December 8th, when she did the same thing as the last time, except this time I knew I’d never hear from her again, and I didn’t.
It’s funny how life turns out. 2012 was a horrific year. My last remaining grandparent — my grandmother; my mom’s mom — died, and I was bitter, angry and carried an awful attitude towards everything. 2013 was a bit better, but unproductive. I was still depressed.
However, I’m over Bekki now. I wanted to write this post today, because I know somewhere out there that another person has gone through hell and back when it comes to a relationship like this. I never talked to anybody about it (outside of my current girlfriend, Dana) for all these years. I just bottled it up and let out the sadness and incandescent rage whenever I was alone.
It’s unfortunate, too, that I never talked to anybody about it (outside of the internet and, again, my current girlfriend, which wasn’t until 2014). 2012 was the lowest point in my life. I remember spending an entire day in my bedroom in 2012 when my family from South Carolina came to visit, and I didn’t even come out to see or talk to them. What an asshole, right? But I was depressed. I’d stay up all night and sleep all day.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but looking back, it’s not surprising how things went down. She was a teenage girl going through the motions of finishing high school and gaining wisdom through experiences. She was evolving and changing fast. Peer pressure is real.
I’m over her now, but the pain put a chokehold on my life, and I wasted a few years of it.
If you would’ve asked me about the year 2011 during the years 2012 or 2013, I would have told you it was an awful year, but now that time has passed and I have a broader perspective, I can genuinely say that 2011 was an amazing year. I had some incredible times with my best friends. We made a horde of memories. However, when 2011 was occurring, I wasted a lot of time being depressed over Bekki. Even in 2010, I was so concentrated on making her happy when her parents were separating that I missed out on some awesome experiences.
Now, 2012 and 2013 were still atrocious, wasted years, but 2011 was not as bad as I originally felt it was.
I’m in a better place now. I’ve been with my girlfriend, Dana, for over two years and six months. We, too, met online. Hell, I met Dana on Lush Stories, an erotica website! We encountered one another on there right before my grandmother passed away in 2012, but we didn’t become close until January 2014. I was truly an asshole in 2012. I didn’t know how to process my emotions, and I shut a lot of people out.
It’s funny how things work out… I met Dana on Lush, she was from a different state, we met officially on August 3, 2014 and then in May 2015, I visited her and her family, and now? We live together. Dana moved in with me on June 6, 2016.
If everything that happened with Bekki never occurred, I would have probably never met Dana.
I’m not religious, but count your blessings, folks. I’m not an “everything happens for a reason” type of guy, but those past events led me to today.
Another thing: I originally started college in the fall of 2009 at a community college. I allowed myself to be distracted by my relationship with Bekki and didn’t prioritize my classes. I ended up not going to my classes and I never properly dropped them. I didn’t re-enroll in 2010. After almost five years of inactivity, I returned to the same community college in 2014 and I’ve taken my paltry 1.9 GPA and moved it up to a 3.3/borderline 3.4.
Why does the post title say not to let a failed relationship hinder your future even though I wrote that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the aforementioned past events? Well, I still mean what I titled the post with.
Even though who I am today is derived from the past, I still wasted years of my life. Even though I said I had some awesome times in 2011, there was never any growth in regards to something to expand on in my life. I didn’t accomplish a single, solitary thing in 2012 and 2013. In the first eight months of 2014, I didn’t accomplish jack squat either.
I used to want those years back, so that I could rectify ’em, but I can’t.
That’s why I say to not let a failed relationship hinder your future.
Once the relationship is dead, in your mind the other person should be dead to you, as well. That’s not sound mean or macabre, but when it’s over, it’s over. A breakup is called a breakup because it’s broken. No matter what happens, the world keeps spinning. The roosters keep cockle-doodle-dooing. Life is short and there are so many experiences and lessons to be learned and had.
It took so long for me to get over Bekki because 1.) she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen, and 2.) we had incredible chemistry. But I looked her up a couple weeks ago and saw that she now has two children. A daughter that’s a few years old, and now a newborn son from a different man. She might be doing well in her professional career, but it looks like I dodged a bullet, since I know who she turned out to be (I don’t know now, but in 2010 and 2011 she was a molecular structured liar and cheater).
If I would have stayed with Bekki, I would have had a tumultuous relationship with the in-laws. Fortunately, Dana’s family loves me to death and her parents treat me as if I was her son. They are so sweet o me. They actually gave me their old smoker for Christmas, to cook incredible barbecued meats and bacon-wrapped, cheese stuffed jalapenos in.
Go through hell in life. Experience it. But don’t let a past, failed relationship hold you back for as long as I allowed mine to do me.
If I have any say about things, I will never go back to using an auto-drip coffee machine unless I absolutely must. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but after drinking my delicious French Press coffee this morning, the auto-drip machine pales in comparison.
I’ve been a caffeine fiend for about eight years now, but surprisingly, I’ve never owned something outside of an auto-drip coffee machine or a Keurig until yesterday evening. I’ve known about French Press coffee for years now, but yesterday I tried coffee from my best friend’s French Press for the first time. Maxwell House. It was pretty good. Strong as hell (in flavor) and I guess it’s because of the scoops to water ratio. I bought a Bodum French Press from Target and decided to give it a shot this morning.
The other day I was at Food Lion (a grocery story, for the uninitiated), and under their clearance/closeout section they had three bags of their limited edition chocolate raspberry coffee. Their name brand coffee was on sale for 40 cents off the original price last week, so I thought, hell, I’ll try it since the Van Houtte chocolate raspberry truffle K-Cups are my favorite.
I drank it a few times from my auto-drip machine. Eh. Alright. Nothing special, at least compared to the Van Houtte chocolate raspberry truffle K-Cups.
This morning, I tried it with my French Press. Holy shit. It’s absolutely delicious.
I hate to make this post about shitting on auto-drip machines, but as a caffeine lover and someone who simply enjoys the smell and experience of morning coffee preparation, this is tantamount to seeing the ocean for the first time.
The flavor from the French Press is incomparable! The clarity is just, wow!
I was planning on doing a review of Food Lion’s chocolate raspberry coffee, but it would have only been based on what it tasted like from the auto-drip machine. That would’ve been a sad review, because the conclusion would have been, “Meh”. Before, the raspberry notes were nonexistent outside of the scent. Now, the raspberry comes out so perfectly well with the chocolate. To compare the teamwork between the chocolate and the raspberry would be like talking about John Bonham’s meaning to Led Zeppelin!
Food Lion’s chocolate raspberry coffee is excellent. I’m not sure if the coffee is that way or if the French Press magnified the flavor. Maybe a little bit of both. They are the yin to each other’s yang. Tom Brady-Bill Belichick style.
My only problem with coffee (particularly any kind) is not knowing the caffeine content. I can be a little OCD about how much caffeine I put into my body (I just like knowing) and the lack of information is disconcerting.
Now it’s time to get a grinder and some whole bean coffee to experiment with.
I’m only on day four of my first ever StepBet game, but it’s been smooth sailing (or, er, stepping) so far. Originally, 1,285 people entered the game, and just four days in 13 people have dropped out. If nobody else drops out, I’ll only win $2 bucks from the total pot ($51,400). At this rate, there will be over a 100 people that will drop out by the end of the game. I’m not gonna sugarcoat my hopes: while I wish everyone genuine success, I won’t complain if a lot of people drop out of the game. And if you are playing with me, neither should you!
I do most of my walking either at my community college campus or here at home. Sometimes I listen to music, but lately I’ve been catching up on episodes from my favorite podcast, The Fighter and the Kid. I have a fairly big basement that features a treadmill, but most of my walking comes from leisurely walking around my house or in the basement. I’ll get on the treadmill if I want to get my heartrate up from running or faster walking.
Here are my tips and tricks in order to conquer your StepBet game, win back the money you originally placed to enter the game and win a share of the total pot.
1.) Just walk. Move. No excuses. You can do this. Even if you live in a tiny, single-wide trailer. Walk throughout the house. Even if you only have a tiny bedroom to walk in. Walk in place. Do what you can to move. You don’t have to be outside or on a treadmill or going on an actual walk to get your steps in. You can walk in place. Just move. Again, no excuses.
2.) Listen to music, your favorite podcast or watch a show on your tablet (the last one: if you are on a treadmill and you have decent balance). It makes the time go by, and before you know it you’ll have your active and stretch days met in no time.
3.) Don’t ‘plan’ your rest day. You get one day off during the week in a StepBet game. This is my most important tidbit of advice. Why would you plan your rest day? I’ve noticed so many people in the Super Steppers game I’m in doing this. Life features so many unexpected moments. You might say, “I’ll have my rest day on Tuesday” and then have something unexpected happen on Wednesday. You might get sick or something else might call for your attention. And then you are screwed! Life is not linear. Sometimes plans don’t go the way we want it. Develop a #NoDaysOff mentality. Besides, walking isn’t hard. It’s the easiest way to be moderately active. As human beings, we were never meant to be sedentary, so get off your ass and move.
4.) Along the same theme as the last tip, try to get your stretch days in as early in the week as possible. As you can see in the screenshot, I got mine out of the way on Monday and Tuesday. I recommend you do the same. By getting them out of the way quickly, it makes the rest of your week easier when you only have to meet your active day goals. You get a sense of relief and there’s no panic when it comes to getting only your active day steps the rest of the week.
5.) Your schedule pending/permitting, get some steps in when you wake up. If you can only be more active in the evenings, so be it, but getting your active/stretch steps out of the way earlier in the day allows you to rest up a little bit before the next day’s challenge.
6.) Park far away, take the steps, find excuses to walk. When you go to the grocery store or any miscellaneous store, park far away. If you are somewhere in a building where you must travel a few floors up to get where you need to be, take the stairs instead of the elevator. This simple tip will add so many steps. You might be surprised.
7.) Don’t give up. Even if you don’t feel like getting your steps in, just do it. You don’t want to lose all the money you put down on yourself to meet your goals. If we only ever did what we felt like in life and shunned the necessary things we didn’t feel like doing, we’d be in terrible shape in every facet of our personal lives.