Tag Archives: Learning

Chances

Tomorrow is my paperwork based one year anniversary at my job, even though I actually started two weeks later.  I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this other than I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had stayed in my other position.

I had to ask Ray for a topic this morning because I couldn’t think of anything to write about.  I was going to write about setting goals but that didn’t flow as well as her topic is.  Her question was, “What have you gained and lost by taking chances?”

Gained?  A lot.  Lost?  Maybe some of my sanity.

My chances or risks have been pretty successful for the most part.  The last few months have been rough, with both of us questioning things, but for the most part, things have been good.  The biggest chance I took:  Coming to D.C. for Job Corps.

You never really think about one decision changing the course of your life.  I’ve screwed up a lot in the last 12 ½ years, but that one decision rolled in with a whole lot of others.  Taking the train home, starting a conversation with someone who is still in my life, people who have come and gone, all of that leading to one major chance that further changed my life:  Meeting Ray.

I’ve said this before, but it bears a lot of repeating.  Writing about the people you love is easy, even if it gets a little bit tedious to others.

I hadn’t wanted to go to that party, and I was pretty pushy.  She didn’t want to have much to do with me, and after looking at old pictures, I wouldn’t have wanted to have much to do with me either.  But we took a chance, and we’re still taking chances on each other.  There are days I wonder how I got so lucky.  I love that woman like there is no tomorrow.

And there are days I wonder if we made the right choice, if I’m missing out of something by being with her and settling down.  I get that from my dad, the not-quite-settling-down part of him that made him never stay long in one place.  I’m like my dad in some ways, but the choices I’ve made make us different people.  My dad wasn’t ever really afraid to take chances on his dreams, even if the family unit suffered.

My dream might be easier without people there; I’d love to travel more.  I’d love to do the European Tour as a solo traveler, just once.  But there is one thing that I noticed during Orlando, walking towards Ray with food in one hand after making her walk through Epcot.  Traveling the world may be more expensive with two people, but the experiences that those people share are priceless.  You never know how priceless without taking a chance on a future with that person.

Had I not taken that one chance, I wouldn’t have everything that I have in my life today.  Life may suck somedays, but the only wish I have was that I would have met her sooner and saved both of us some heartache and life lessons.

Listening to:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Reading:  They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Quote of the Day:  “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy

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Managing Expectations

I had a few things happen to me personally over the weekend.  They weren’t bad things just annoyances that are still hitting me today.  When I came in this morning for work, I was talking to a friend about them, and about something else too.  I forget the exact words, but we ended up talking about managing expectations.

See, I have expectations for things in my life.  When things don’t meet those expectations, I get upset.  Normal human reaction, especially for someone with control issues.  Here’s how all this came up though.

My expectations for this weekend:

  • Make between $300 and $500 this weekend ridesharing.
  • Finish at least one book that I was reading/listening too.
  • Walk seven/eight miles.
  • Pick up the remaining things needed for vacation.
  • Post two videos: One wrap-up video and one book tag video

One… One thing out of those actually happened.  The others were partly done or not done at all.

My expectations for life:  That people are open enough that my lifestyle shouldn’t bother them.

I’m gay.  I get that there are people out there that don’t like gay people, aren’t okay with, etc.  I hadn’t really met any of those people.  I’ve met people that don’t agree with my choice to not have children (at one point I did, but now I have three.  I’m good.).  I’ve met people who make comments about my day job and how I couldn’t make it in the private sector.  I’ve met people who wouldn’t even say “Hi” to me because of my size.  I’ve met people that I didn’t feel comfortable telling I was gay to while they are stuck in a car with me.  So my expectation I guess had become that more people than not are okay with my lifestyle.

Yeah, no.

I was talking about my son going to Marines this past week to a couple from NC.  When I got asked if I was a nervous wreck, I said, “No, but his mom is.”  *Confused looks*  “But you said ‘your son?’” “Yes, my wife has three boys, so that makes them mine too.”  *Subject change*

Needless to say it was awkward after that confession.  I did it to myself by being proud of my relationship and our son.  I stopped talking so much after that trip and just drove.

I’m waiting to hear back from my application for Amazon Flex so I can give up rideshare driving.  Between that instance and people abusing the system (UberPool and Lyft line are for two people per trip.  Please stop trying to get away with 3 or more people.  Please order the right vehicle for your party, too.  OMG, the horror stories people…horror stories–See this upcoming Wednesday’s post).  I liked the money but I’m over the people.

Sigh.  Come on Sunday!

Listening to:  Human by Raggin Bone Man

Reading:  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Quote of the Day:  “There’s a certain grace in accepting what your life is and embracing all the good things that have been – but there’s still an expectation of good things to come. Not necessarily what you expected.” ― Emmylou Harris

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Home

I haven’t done a question day in a while.  With everything else going on, but not much too really talk about yet, I figured it would be a good idea since there are still 90 more to go.

Thanks to Google’s Random number generator, today’s number is “49”.

Question #49:  When you think of “home,” what, specifically, do you think of?

This question is pretty appropriate because we are looking for a house to settle into.  We’ve been living in an apartment for the last couple years.  I’ll spare you the rant about home buying and the American dream.

I’ve never been a white picket fence type of person.  Sure, it would be nice to have some roots, but when you don’t really grow up with them (we moved a lot when I was growing up), putting down roots is scary to me, even if it’s just a house.

That’s not answer the question yet but just a bit of background on why this question is sort of hard to answer.  Of course, if it were easy, these questions wouldn’t exist to make you think about your life and the experiences and people who’ve passed through.

So home… Home is a place where my family is.  Not just the family I’ve married into, but my biological family.  Sure, I don’t see them as much as I should; someday I’m going to regret that.

Home is where things should be less stressful and serves as an escape from the stress of the day.  Lately, our stress has been at home because of us trying to make sure we are set for our next move.  There’s a few other stressors there too (funds mostly because I haven’t been Ubering in almost a month and things are tight).

Home is the arms of the people who can make the day fade away and can make anything feel possible.

Home is where the people in your heart are.  It’s where you get the answers to the hardest questions you never got to ask while they were around.

Home isn’t always about shelter, it’s about love and respect and trust and knowing there are people who love you enough to be there to help you pick up the broken pieces when you are failing at adulting and at life in general.

Home… is home.

What does home mean to you?

Happy Friday!

Listening to:  Amazon Music

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” — Maya Angelou

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Grief Part 2

Yesterday made a year that my step-mom has been gone.  I went home over the weekend to visit my dad and sisters.  February isn’t always the best month for us with birthdays (Dad turned 65 on the 23rd and one of my brother’s turned 35 on the 19th) and deaths (Mom on the 8th and our other Mom on the 27th).

Since I’ve already done a post on grief, I wanted to talk about happiness and living.

Question 72:  What is the different between being alive and truly living?

There are a few different answers to this one.

Settling vs Being Happy

The Whisper App has several threads where people are asked why they settle for what they have instead of going after what they truly want in life.  For me, settling was staying in a dead-end relationship, and more recently, in a job that I had outgrown.  Being happy is being married to a fantastic woman who makes me want to do better for both my family and myself.  Being happy is that feeling of wanting to go home at the end of a day of hard work and hugging someone I love.

Routine vs Doing Something New       

A routine means doing the same thing, or nearly the same thing, every day.  There is predictability and known things and a form of comfortability that comes with a routine.  One shake up or change can create upheaval.  I used to be the type of person who after something had change, I felt life was chaotic and that I would never get back on track.  However, by doing something new, it can become the known.  It may also be a better way to do things.

Learning vs Doing

We are always learning; that’s where the doing something new comes in.  To me, though, there’s a difference when it comes to learning and doing, especially when talking about being alive and truly living.  Take signing up for something (I signed up for the Maryland King Crab yesterday).  I can learn how to train for a ½ marathon, I can learn how to exercise properly but none of that information helps me out if I’m not doing it.  Doing it would be truly living and learning how to do it but not fully doing it is being alive.

Groupon…

Groupon did a commercial about the Have and the Have Done.  It was a neat little commercial and it really brings home the point that having something is totally different from experiencing anything.  That’s true with being alive and truly living.  Everyone is alive; that’s a given.  But not everyone truly understands there is more to living.

Tomorrow starts Lent, 40 days of doing something, giving up something, learning something, reading something.  It is a spiritual journey but can also just be about doing something you’ve wanted to do and doing it for 40 days.  I’m saying this because anyone cane doing anything for 40 days; mine is writing at least a page in my notebook for 40 days.  It’s also a great time to do something outside of your comfort zone in a self-care kind of way for 40 days, things like reading books, practicing meditation, answering questions that make you think about your life, exercising, walking, etc.  The list goes on and is only as limited as you make it.

Enjoy Fat Tuesday today.

Listening to:  A Coursera video on Mindfulness Meditation and the Brain.

Reading:  The Scourge of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler

Quote of the Day:  “For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race.” ― C. JoyBell C.

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