Monday, December 7, 2015

Am I a Writer?

So I have been thinking a lot about my blog and whether or not to keep it going. It doesn't hurt to have it all out here...and my readership is basically my family and a few close friends (Thanks for reading guys!), but I want to minimize wasting my time and make stuff like this productive. SO...I'm thinking of maybe doing writing prompts. I found some cool ones, and thought I might incorporate them here and there when I write posts and don't have a ton to say.

Is that a good idea? I'm trying to get into writing again. I feel like I waste a lot of time not expanding my mind or challenging myself mentally--whereas it used to be something I did regularly.

Anyway, here is the first one so you guys can see what it will be like and maybe give me some feedback. :)

1. Describe yourself from your pet’s point of view.
My human (the one that feeds and plays with me) came home early today. I make sure to wag my tail extra hard so she knows how happy I am to see her. The noise from her mouth sounds like, "-- Honey, ----! Sit -----. -- ------- --. Sit. ---, --- ----." So I sit down. She comes in through the gate and scratches me around the ears, just like I like her to do. My human goes to the colder room with the little flappy door and when she turns to say, "bad dog", I know that I'm in trouble. I lay back my ears so she knows I'm sorry for tearing apart the papery things that are fun to tear. She pulls down the bristly stick and uses it to pick up the papery things. I walk over to my human and lean against her leg. She reaches down and scratches my neck. My human is soft and playful, so I know she won't be mad for a very long time. I watch her clean the room and we go to the outside! The outside is my favorite place. My human throws balls for me and chases me around making growly noises. She also makes small barky sounds and smiles at me. She is tall and strong, and I like to wrestle with her. She calls me, but I ignore her because she doesn't have treats for me. I won't go inside unless she gives me treats or she has the special noisy ball. She has the ball, so I jump up and try to snatch it out of her hand. She likes this game, and so do I because I can jump really high and my favorite ball is the noisy one. My human puts a long ropy thing on me and we go for a walk. I try to show her all the cool places that other dogs have been. She stops a lot, so I have to turn back and get her. Maybe I'll slow down so she doesn't stop so often. When we get home, my human makes me food, and I eat it when she says I can go. Then we go and relax in the special room and play tug-o-war and fetch. After a while, my human falls asleep. She sleeps sometimes when the light-noise box is on. I go and breath by her face to make sure she is okay. She opens her eyes and pets me. She's okay.

From the human POV (BONUS!)
I look at my clock and clock out. I get to go home a few hours early today. I park in front of the house and see my puppy Honey pop up in the front window. I can tell she's wagging her tail because she can barely stay on the window sill. I get in and she tries to jump up on the gate. "Hi Honey, baby! Sit puppy. No jumping up. Sit. Hey, get down." I scratch her around the ears and head to the garage to clean the puppy pads up. I open the door and see that Honey has torn apart an entire roll of paper towels. I turn to her and say, "bad dog!" Man, look at this mess. I grab the broom and start sweeping. Honey comes over to me and leans on my with her ears back. I pet her and finish cleaning the room. I grab the leash and take her out to the backyard where we play for an hour or so. We play fetch, and I chase her around making monster noises and laughing. I have been trying to train Honey to come when she's called, but she rarely will unless I have a treat or her favorite squeaker ball. I have the ball, and she comes to the gate. I put the leash on her, and we go for a walk around the neighborhood. Since we're in training, I stop any time Honey is pulling and stand there until she stops pulling. It's slow-going, but that's all a part of having a puppy. We finish our walk, and i feed her. Afterwards I flip on the TV and we play tug-o-war and fetch. I fall asleep on the couch and wake up to Honey centimeters away breathing in my face. I laugh and pet her. Silly dog.


Hahahahaha! Yeah, IDK if I'll be winning any newberry awards, but whatever. ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

You Caught Me!

Okay, okay.

I am officially TERRIBLE at doing challenges. So...remind me next time to never do another one again. ;)

How are you guys? Things here have been...pretty busy and sort of stagnant at the same time.

The holiday season is here, and so I am busy...because of that fact alone. I feel like busy-ness increases at the holidays by at least 40%...even though I feel like I'm not doing anything different. I guess it's because now there are extra things to think about...like shopping for gifts, making special meals, and coordinating schedules to maximize time with the fam.

Anywho. In addition to that, I was also enlisted to become a part of the "Coins for Kids" board. Basically, they are a charity organization that provides Christmas for families in need. It's a pretty cool organization. You guys can check them out HERE if you want to learn more or donate. :)

"I am a goofball!" ;)
Also--I know you guys are all dying to hear about my puppy. She is doing AWESOME! She is SO BIG now!!! Here is a picture because I love you and her and think she is pretty awesome and funny and goofy and miraculously not very cuddly. Hahahahahahaha!

Anyway, Honey is doing pretty awesome. She is obviously growing a TON.  She is okay with obedience too, but I think I'm going to try to put her in another class because she does better with the structure of being in a class, and I feel like I'm a better dog-mommy when we have a goal in mind, instead of "poop outside" or "don't bite my face when I'm rough-housing with you."

If any of you have any idea of how to train a dog better, please pray for me or send me tips that will work with a SUPER stubborn dog that only listens to one person at a time... >sigh<

I love her so much more than I thought I would. I am also interestingly becoming the "one you ask when one parent already said no." Haha. Poor Leo. She is the strict one and I am the one that just wants to play all the time. I wonder if I will take on that role when I become an actual parent.

Well, my dears. That's pretty much it for today. I feel bad about the challenge, but truthfully it was sort of boring. I promise to remember not to do that again for at least three months. Haha.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Back with a Challenge

So you guys know that I am not as consistent on here as I would like to be. I committed to my cousins to do a "21 Day Truth or Dare Challenge" with them, so I decided to write about it here. :) At least it gets some content on here...which I can tell you guys are just foaming at the mouth for. ;) Anyway, here are the rules:

• Each day, you have to pick either a truth or a dare.
• You must answer all questions truthfully.
• You absolutely cannot back out of a dare.

Do hashtags work on blogs??? Well, here is the hashtag anyway: #21DayTruthOrDareChallenge.


Anywho...on to the challenge!

Day 1 - TRUTH
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to have fun on a "school night"?
    Well, I'm not in school, but the last time I went out to chill with friends when I had work the next day was last week. I went to my friend C's house to make chicken pillows...which were delicious and nutritious. :) The sad part is I was home and in bed by 11 or so. Hahaha! Also---I don't know how fair this is, because I have fun pretty much every night whether I am with friends or just at home with my puppy. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to post this quickly before I got into my day. I'll be posting everyday, so feel free to come back and check in with me. You can also join me and let me know/post a link to where you'll record it in the comments so I can go and read what you guys do! :D

Have an awesome day!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Lost

This is a letter to someone I thought I knew.

There is a specific feeling when you get your heart broken. I don't have a lot of evidence to back this up, but I'm sure it feels different for everyone. For me...My heart contracts and pain shoots down my arms and legs. I ache and burn. A giant weight settles in the pit of my stomach and I feel like I can't breathe.

I think of what I want out of life. What I want to accomplish. I have so much that I think I would love to do. I've had so much failure and so much success. It's weird to think that I'm an adult. It's weird to think that I could go my whole life without feeling love on a romantic level again. Or that I could spend my life not making the difference I always thought I would.

I've had three friends get engaged in the last couple weeks. I am incredibly happy for each of them. They all deserve so much happiness, and I am so glad they've all found it. However, it makes me feel the sting of loneliness just a little keener as I help them plan for their big days. I'm not complaining at all. I just thought I would be at a different place in life at this point.

What is the next step if you want to be on a different path? Do you wander out into the wilderness and hope you find the path you want to be on? Don't they always say that if you're lost, you should stay put until someone comes and finds you? I feel like I've been waiting for someone to come find me for too long, and now I'm just forgotten.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense. I feel like my life is detonating one room at a time. I feel like I'm losing touch with what it means to be me. Or who I want to be. When you lose place of who you are, who helps you to find it again?

I thought I was done with so many things in life.

I thought I was done with you.

Why not me? Why didn't you choose me?

I want to be the priority in someone's life. I want to find someone that chooses me first...that makes me feel special and beautiful and loved everyday. Someone that can help remind me of who I am when I lose track of it.

Stop haunting me. I need to move on.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Clarity


You know, I think I've spent most of my life trying to avoid feeling any negative emotion. It's weird to think that I've gone so long only wanting to feel happy, or excited, or joy, or wonder… I think it's normal to want to avoid sadness. It's normal to want to avoid pain. But feeling  every emotion is what makes us human. 

Avoiding the negative doesn't make us feel more positive. If anything it makes positivity fade. I have been feeling that my like is...boring. Blasé. Tasteless. I didn't understand why until now. 

Of course it feels bad to be sad, depressed, heartbroken, angry... I don't like to feel negativity. However, what is that old saying? You can't recognize light unless you see dark. 

How can I change my life without facing the things I try to bury and ignore? How can I feel joy or love without knowing sadness and heartbreak or loss?

My life is pretty amazing. I am so grateful for everything I have and all the people I love. But I am also grateful for my rough points in life. They make me who I am...and instead of running from it, it's time to face it.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Judgmental

I try to be as nonjudgmental of people as possible.
I don't always succeed. I am an imperfect being. Surprise! Haha

But for the most part I try not to be judgmental. TBH, it's pretty easy if you don't care what people do. Which...for the most part is true of how I look at society. You want to walk around only dressed in sequins? Go for it. You want to go three years without showering? I could not care less. It's your life. It's your choice. As long as I am not directly affected by your actions in a negative way--you do you.

I live my life from day to day, and most of the time I don't get it right. It's not all sunshine and rainbows. I make mistakes...pretty much hourly. Haha. There isn't a blueprint for life, and even if there were, I have never quite fit into what people consider "traditional" or normal. I dance to the beat of my own drum, and luckily people think it's pretty great.

However, I don't always meet my own requirements of making the people around me feel loved and accepted...in whatever state they happen to be in. You see, even though I don't care about random strangers, I do care deeply for my friends and family. This is normally a GREAT, AMAZING, and SUPER AWESOME thing. But, it can also be a burden. Not only for me, but for the people I care about too. That might sound weird, so I'll try to explain.

I've lived most of my life loving the people around me with as much strength and conviction that I can. There was a time where I didn't care about anyone or anything...including myself. #alcoholism but for the most part, I have had a deep abiding love for my family and the family I choose--my friends.

I was talking to a friend of mine, and they said something to me. They said, "there is no such thing as unconditional love within the realm of mortal existence." Of course, being a hopeless romantic--I started to argue the point. After a long discussion, I came to realize their point to be true.

I do believe in love, but most love in this life is conditional. It has to be, because we are all prone to making mistakes. We cheat, we lie, we hurt the ones we love. Why? Because we are imperfect. There isn't a blueprint for life. There are guidelines. We can pattern our lives after other people's lives, but there isn't anything saying: Karyn will get her PhD in Psychology on this day and time and will marry John Smith on this day at this time, and they will love each other forever and always and have 2.5 children and will be healthy and happy, amen. I WISH THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED. Haha! Of course we all know it doesn't. Well, it hasn't for me. If that happens for you, tell me what I'm doing wrong! (If you want to see a movie where this sort of happens, watch the movie TiMER. Super interesting.)

Anyway--back on to my point. I completely love my friends and family, but sometimes I condition my love on whether or not their choices or life path is concurrent with what I think it should be.

That sounds SUPER douchey and controlling, but I think we all do that to some degree. Look at the "unhappy married couple." If you ask one of them what the issue is, they will spout off stuff like, "he doesn't love me the way he used to" or "she just isn't attractive to me anymore" or "they have lost the 'fun' part of themselves" or "they bore me now. I need someone more exciting!" (These are all actual excuses I have heard from people, btw.) Each of these people have an image of who their partner has to be in order for them to be happy. At one point in time, their significant other was EXACTLY what they wanted. However, over time--as each person grows and matures, they change. This change can determine whether or not they continue to give love to their significant other.

I fall prey to that "conditional" love thing. Luckily I can catch myself most of the time, take a step back and adjust my mindset. That doesn't always happen though. Sometimes, I will say and do terrible things to the people I love. Sometimes, I will "advice vomit" all over people and make them feel like garbage. I recognize that I have extremely high and oftentimes unrealistic expectations of the people I love, and if I see them going down a path that I know will result in unhappiness--I will do everything within my power to stop them. To my own detriment and often the detriment of the relationship.

Is that judgment?

Is it hypocritical for me to tell my friends to go to church, or to pray, or to read their scriptures, or to not drink alcohol or WHATEVER when I struggle with most if not all of those things daily? I don't know. We all try to do our best with the time and life we're given...and (at least in my case) most of the time, we fail. Where does that leave me? or all of us?

Despite what everyone thinks (including myself sometimes)--I don't have all the answers. I don't know whether or not we'll all find happiness, or whether or not we'll be successful, or that tomorrow will be better than today. What I do know is that as long as we all keep trying...as long as we all endeavor to love each other and try be a little better every day... I think we'll make it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

False alarm

I think I have mentioned on here that it takes me a while to process and sort through my emotions. With that said, let me tell you a story.

So, for the last 6 months or so We have been expecting my grandma to die. I know. It sounds weird to say that. To sum up--her pacemaker battery was dying and she opted to not replace it. I understand where she's coming from. Her husband is dead and being on the caregiver side of things, she didn't want to suffer unnecessarily. Totally legit, right?

Well, after a SUPER crazy weekend, she ended up getting a new battery in her pacemaker and will be alive for another 10-15 years. :)

Pretty great, right??? I'm so happy she is okay now and is going to be around for a long time. She is really one of my best friends, and I'm glad that she's sticking around.

I am happy about life, but I am in a super weird funk right now. I think a part of it is my pent up sadness that is now no longer going to be expressed. I think a part of it is some personal crap that I am just needing to deal with and be done with, and I think a part of it is my birthday coming up.

Maybe I just need a good cry? Maybe I need to punch someone in the face? Maybe I need a RNCMO? Who knows. Haha!

Anywho--I am SUPER hungry right now. I need like a burrito or a giant ceasar salad. (Is that how you spell it???)

Adios!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What's next

There is a lot going on with me. I feel like I've been busier in the past month that I was in my 20s! Hahaha!

This is my birth month. I'm officially over the hill on the 29th. Pretty crazy, huh? Hahaha! I guess it's all downhill from here??? Maybe? I don't know honestly. I still feel REALLY young. I'm not sure if that ever goes away...but I hope it doesn't.

When I was 15--there were a lot of things that I thought I would be doing right now. Oh, small, innocent version of me. When I was 15 I thought I would be an EXTREMELY well-to-do veterinarian with my own practice and a giant ranch filled with animals. I thought I would be married and deliriously happy and in love with my husband. I was never sure about having kids, but we would have them eventually. I also first conceptualized the "808 Skate" around that age.

There are so many things I thought I would be...and honestly, I'm not sure where I'm at right now with my life dreams. Is this version of my existence what I want? I know there is more....more for me to discover and experience. I have let fear rule my life for a long time.

Fear of my own potential mostly. I might sound arrogant or cocky to some people reading this post, but I know what I am phenomenal at. I also know what I need to work on. I am amazing. I know I am amazing, but I need to figure out how to harness that and mold it into something that makes me happy and feel fulfilled.

I know what I don't want out of life. I know that I don't want to look back and feel regret or disappointment. I read an article a while ago about the top 25 regrets people have. Here it is for those who are interested. I don't regret a lot in this life, but most of my regrets have to do with love. I was watching this today, and it pretty much sums up what I am feeling right now when it comes to love:



I have a pretty amazing life...and I am so grateful for that every single day. The real question is, as Prince Derek says (admittedly a regret I am sure he carries with him) in Swan Princess, "What else is there?"

Well, that is the real question isn't it. What's next? I have no idea... but I do know that I'm done having regrets. It only took me 30 years to figure that one out. Haha.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The best

You know what's the best?

The freaking 90s were the best. Are the best. I look back and think...man the 90s were awesome. The music was great, the economy was awesome, the president was a cool guy that cheated on his wife and played the saxophone...it was good times man.

I had a great time in the 90s. I was in elementary school and middle school in the 90s. I have a lot of fond memories of that time. The toys, the TV shoes, the music. Man...The 90s were a special time.

I have nothing else to say.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pontificate is a weird word

I have been pontificating on the meaning of my life and what I really want out of life. Like a lot. You want to know what the answer is?

I want to be happy.

That may not seem like a lot to some of you. In fact, it may seem like I am shooting below where a lot of you think I should. It's a good thing that I really don't care. Haha.

You see, it probably takes more to make me happy than most people. Not because I am impossible to please, or because I have impossibly high standards, or whatever. I don't have a specific life plan for happiness, but I know that the road to happiness takes a few things. It takes hard work. It takes humility. It takes gratitude...it also takes love. Let's talk about that. :)

I was born into a family that values hard work. I've been doing hard work pretty much all of my life. I am not a "delicate flower" that has never dug a trench or cut her own firewood. I know how to build a house, I know how to build a wall out of just rock so that it will stand for eons. I know what hard work is. I have my parents to thank for that. They are two of the hardest working people I know. Anything worth getting in life takes hard work and dedication. I never understood the "newer" generations complaining about having to "work" or do things they don't want to do. It's called work for a reason idiot.

I am a prideful person. I know I am. Humility is not something that has been easy for me to learn, and I'm still learning. I don't have a lot to say about humility because...well, I am super terrible at it. However, I read a quote once that says, "Pride is concerned about who is right. Humility is concerned about what is right." Or something to that effect. I try to remember that when I am being stubborn. :)

Gratitude. Gosh. One thing I have learned in life is that NOTHING is guaranteed, and everything in your life can be taken away from you...and at some point probably will be. Hitting rock bottom isn't something I would wish on my worst enemy. However, hitting rock bottom is helpful when you want to see what you are made of. It is also a good thing when you want to see who your true friends are...which leads me to the last topic in this happiness seminar.

Love. Love is a weird thing. It feels impossible to fall in love right now for me...but it also feels scarily easy at the same time. I am surrounded by some great men. Men that it would be SO easy to fall in love with. But...well...that's a conversation for another time. Romantic love is something that I'm trying not to focus on at this moment, because I'm learning to love myself. I think that learning to love YOU, no matter what you look like, what your job is...what you've done in the past...THAT is what is important. Anyone can be happy when they are with the love of their life. What about when you are alone? Can you find happiness in the quiet, lonely moments? I'm working on that for me. Love is something that can bring profound happiness to the people around you. If you just love the people around you...without reservation or judgement...life is just BETTER.

Happiness! That's the goal for 2015!

Okay. I'm done. I want some peanut butter now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What a ride!

I'm sure you all are wondering when the playful and funny Karyn will be back to blog for you. The little mini posts are all pretty much from her. However, if you have been reading recently, you know that I am currently in therapy and working through a lot of things. A part of that for me is to blog about what I have been up to and what is significant for me in this moment.

I will try to be more playful, but there is more to me as a person than the "funny girl" or the "crazy, fun girl." This is a part of that. So yeah. My blog, my rules (as if I were structured enough to have any). This is a serious post. So, read on if you'd like. Or just stick around. I'll have something fun and breezy in a week or so.

Have you ever thought to yourself, "It would be better to feel nothing than to feel like this way another moment"?

There was a point in my life where I wanted nothing more than to just turn to stone so I didn't have to feel anything again. There was a long stretch of time where I turned to drinking to numb the pain. Numbing the pain was a "quick fix," but it never helped anything. So, I tried to pull everything in my life together and make it better. It worked for a while...until "the pit of despair" (movie reference!) opened up after a series of heartbreaks, betrayals, and just plain terribleness happened that plunged me into a mire of negativity and depression.

So, doing what felt like at the time as a smart and logical thing, I turned off my emotions...or as my friend C says, I broke my "give a damn."

Apathy is something that has been an undercurrent in my life for a long time. I never wanted to feel what I was feeling again, so I turned it all off. Some people deal with their issues by hurting themselves, or emotionally vomiting everything all at once, or not eating, or abandoning the people they love. I did something equally terrible to myself by becoming apathetic.

I can hear your collective gasp. To try to articulate what I mean in one sentence... I believe that the emotional pain we inflict upon ourselves is as much or more hurtful that any physical harm we do.

No one that is as outgoing or extroverted as myself can stand being alone for any given amount of time. I crave human connection. I need it...like a drug. I need it to be happy. Even if it is just sitting with a friend doing absolutely nothing...that means more to me than anything.

So imagine what it was like for me to sit in a room filled with people and to not connect to or feel anything for anyone in that room. To actively choose to cut off the one thing that I actually need to be happy---human conenction.

It is so incredibly lonely, but the mental state I was in didn't let me acknowledge that as a symptom of what I was doing. It was because of the people around me. It was their fault I was feeling lonely. It was their fault I was sad. Couldn't they see past my fake smiles and laughs and see what was just beneath the surface?

Spolier alert: the answer is NO.

There is a music video that I think translates my journey. It is a bit of a controversial video. None of the people I have shown it to really got it. It is the "Elastic Heart" music video by Sia featuring Shia LeBeouf and Maddie Ziegler. (<--CLICK IT!) If you don't mind the tangent, I wanted to pontificate about it.

People only focus on the fact that a grown man is doing weird and vaguely intimate interpretive dancing with a girl in a cage. Yeah. That's what is happening in the video. However, I was never weirded out by it. The first time I watched it, I cried...for hours. You see...it isn't two people in that cage. It's just one person. Shia and Maddie are parts of the same person.

Just like my apathy (the cage). I locked away a part of myself... the most beautiful part of myself (Shia's role). The more powerful part of myself (represented by Maddie...and the innate need I have to connect to people) wanted to just break free. But you can't be free unless you unlock all the parts of yourself.

There are so many things I love about the video, but the part that haunts me is at the very end. The girl is pulling at his arms and trying to get him to step out of the cage...there is a moment where the hopelessness of being trapped within yourself...where all the worries and sadness and heartbreak is evident on his face.

It is so raw and beautiful. I have always admired Shia as an actor, but that raw emotion...that is what true acting is. I feel like he took a note right out of my heart and played it in all it's melancholy glory. WOW. Anyway...back to the story.

It took me a long time to figure out that apathy and indifference wasn't a viable life plan. It seems like a no-brainer....and for some people I'm sure that it is. For me it wasn't that simple I guess. There was a lot going on that I didn't have the skills to cope with. I'm SO lucky that I have the most amazing friends on the planet, because they were the ones to pull me through. They stuck by me...apathy and all and showed me it was okay to open up again. That I was worth working towards being healthy and happy...that I deserved it. Some of them didn't say that in so many words, but there is something transformative that happens when people love you unconditionally.

At first I was like a feral animal. I couldn't trust anything or anyone around me. I was rebelling against any kindness or love that anyone gave me. I hurt a lot of people. I can only say (again) that I am truly sorry for the pain I inflicted.

I started working on me. Moving away from the apathy, and really FEELING what I feel. It's harder than I thought it would be, and more wonderful as well.

For a long time I was terrified of my own feelings. I tried to minimize the risk of my life by turning to apathy. As time has gone by, I've been contemplating a lot of things about where I want to end up in the future and I decided that I can have a safe, comfortable life where I would never be in fear of pain or hurt, but what is the point of a life like that?

I think it was Hunter S. Thompson that said, "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

Sometimes finding yourself and bearing your soul is the only way to find what makes you happy. It's time to make risks and take chances! Mistakes will make me better...and the people that hate me in my mistakes and sins aren't worth my time. Look past your fear and face life head on!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's toast to 2015...or not.


"Hi, my name is Karyn and I'm an alcoholic. "

I can't tell you how terrified I was the first time I said that. I still get butterflies 10 years later. For those of you that are shocked at that confession, don't feel bad that you didn't know. No one really knew unless I told them or they saw me out drinking...which a lot of people in Kona did...

I remember the first time I took a drink. I was working late at the theater and a bunch of my friends had been pressuring me to drink with them after work. I was in a weird place emotionally. I was pretty messed up actually. I can't think of one particular instance where I made the decision to drink. It was 100 little things that built up to the decision. My first drink was sitting outside of Makalapua theaters with people I thought were my friends, sipping on a Corona.

The stupidest thing is that I didn't even like drinking in the beginning. People that LOVE beer or alcohol in general are CRAZY. It does not taste good or rather I should say it is DEF an acquired taste. Despite this fact, I didn't care. The more I drank, the better I felt... actually, the more I drank, the less I felt. Feeling less meant I felt better. And just like the decision to start drinking began with 100 little things, the path to alcoholism were little "mistakes" that built and built this dependence. A dependence on something that was illegal for me to drink, and against everything that I was raised to say no to. It started as just something I did for fun. Something I did to forget my problems...but they were all there when I was sober, only they were magnified by about 20 now because of all the issues that came with drinking.

I read an article today called, "10 Things I Don't Miss About Drinking" and I can honestly say that every one of them except the one that didn't pertain to me (hangovers...I don't know if I can actually get them) are TRUE! Drinking was a mistake that I wish I could go back and just erase. It got so bad that I would take alcohol to school and work just to get through. I was always in some form of drunkenness. I hated beer and would just have people buy me the hard stuff...and I have an alcohol tolerance that you wouldn't believe. Haha.

It all came to a head when a couple things happened. The first is that my brother and his new wife and baby moved in with us. I don't think I ever loved a baby more than I loved my nephew Keala. He was the first and I loved him so much. The second thing was that I decided to drive home drunk. It wasn't any different from any other night driving home. I was plastered (as usual) and started on my way home. Driving drunk in a town where you know all the cops and they all know you from when you were a kid is an interesting thing. I had been stopped so many times before and warned to pull it together. No one ever gave me a sobriety test or even made me get out of the car.  Anyway, back to the story--I had decided to drive home.

I should not have been on the road. I drank an entire bottle of vodka, half a bottle of tequila rose, a bottle of peach schnapps, and just for kicks 3 or 4 beers. I was buzzing, and I remember feeling buzzed, but pretty clear comparatively. I hopped in my car and started home--which was only about 10 mins away. The next thing I remember is swerving to miss a car. I spun out and the other car spun out. It was around 2 or so in the morning and no one was on the road (thankfully). I got out of my car and stumbled over to the other car to make sure they were okay. I heard the baby crying before I got all the way across the road. The mom (still don't know her name) was crying and came to meet me in the middle of the street. She saw how wasted I was and started yelling at me. Her baby was sick or something and she was on her way to the hospital. The last thing she needed was a drunk idiot killing them on the way.

I felt pathetic. Pathetic isn't even a big enough word. I felt like nothing. Worse than nothing. When did my life become this? I remember crying and saying I was sorry over and over again. I got in my car and went home. That night I decided to stop. Why did I even start in the first place? I felt so stupid. I was better than that.

Ten years. It's a long time to be done with something. Quitting drinking was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And I'm still working at it everyday. Some people think that it's just quitting and then you're finished. I wish it was like that. I may have stopped drinking cold turkey, but the addiction was still there. I still think about drinking when things get hard. For a while I used other things to take the place of my addiction...none of which were healthy or good for me. Swapping out one addiction for another is like using a different brand of cigarettes. You're still smoking, it's just a different brand. I was still an addict, I just moved through different things to be addicted to.

Addiction is so weird. It can manifest itself in so many ways. Eating too much food, not eating anything, sex, exercise, media consumption (you know, like video games, TV shows, etc) ...we can get addicted to so many things in so many ways, but the root of it is the addiction itself. It spreads its tentacles through you until it controls what you say and do. You lie and manipulate your way through life to get what your addiction is. I know I've hurt so many people with mine. I've spent the last ten years trying to pay for what I've done. I'm trying to get to a place where I feel...forgiven. Not really by any deity or person in particular. Mostly I want to forgive myself.

Who knows when that will happen. The cool thing is that I think living a life where you are trying to be the best version of yourself and trying to make up for all your faults and shortcomings isn't that bad of a life. It works for now.

Thanks for reading my story. Hopefully it can help you with whatever you happen to be dealing with. If not, I hope you still can deal with your issues with a little more grace and confidence.

Here's to 2015. It's going to be amazing...because we make it that way.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The ones you hate

I don't really hate anyone on this planet (or off this planet...since I haven't met anyone not of this world). Hating someone takes too much energy. I'd rather just empty my life of people that don't make me happy than spend any energy hating anyone.

That being said, this is the best website I have ever seen. I have a couple people I would love to send these to. That is all.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

#thestruggle

Hello people in the blogosphere.

First of all, Happy New Year. It's been a crazy 2014. Let's make 2015 memorable as well, shall we?

Today I had a pretty long conversation with a co-worker and friend of mine. While we were talking I had an epiphany. Well, I knew it, but the conversation we had made it more poignant.

Struggling in life makes us appreciate what we have.

As one of my favorite movie characters (bonus points if you can name them without looking it up) says,
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!

I've gone more than a few rounds with life. 30 years of #thestruggle and it legit takes everything I have some days to make it through. Despite what some people think, life hasn't been easy for me. Everything I have achieved...everything I can do...everything I am is due to working my butt off and more than a little faith that the Lord will provide.

Life can be tough. More for some than others. Life can grind you under its heel until you call, "Mercy" and will still not let up. Life gets so hard sometimes that people shut down, shut off. I've seen it happen. I've seen the light go out in people's eyes when they are too tired of fighting. I've seen the toll giving up on #thestruggle can take.

Life will knock the living daylights out of you and not blink twice. There may be times that you might want to give up. There may be times that you'll want to check out and never look back. Don't do it!

Life can be hard, but it is also beautiful, joyous and fleeting. Seize every moment! If you're feeling like you want to give up or surrender, get back up and keep moving forward. No matter how small the step, keep going forward.

I know how hard life can hit you. I've been down for the count more times than I've liked. The measure of your character is getting back up and moving toward the goals that you want to achieve. You probably are like me and never seem to catch a break. Well, the one thing I can guarantee you is that #thestruggle is your chance to prove to yourself what you're made of.

I think sometimes I forget that being perfect and never getting knocked down isn't reality. That failure is okay. I forget that everyone is struggling and that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. Life can catch you in the jaw and knock you out. Get up, grab life by the throat and go after what you want.

This year is just beginning, and I feel like it will be one of the best yet. I might get knocked around...but I'm not giving up and neither should you.

Something for the road: