A swimmer in distress cries, “I shall drown; no one will save me!” A suicide puts it the other way: “I will drown; no one shall save me!” In relaxed speech, however, the words ‘shall’ and ‘will’ are seldom used precisely; our ear guides us or fails to guide us, as the case may be, and we are quite likely to drown when we want to survive and survive when we want to drown.
-Strunk and White, The Elements of Style, 4th ed.
Listen close when someone asks for help. Chances are they don’t want to drown…
I was just thinking….
Back in the day, we were obsessed with everything about the so-called future. Now that it’s the future, we are obsessed with everything about the past…
And now I’m just sorta confused about it all….
As you were.
Everyday I’m learning, that a normal day in the life of a substance abuse counselor is rarely ever normal. This evening, one of the residents stopped me and asked me one of the hardest questions anyone has ever asked me so far in my young career…
“How do I love myself?”
It sounds like an easy question, right? Well to someone who has basically spent 50% of their lives destroying themselves and the lives of those around them, a little thought and consideration was much needed before I could even begin to formulate a response. Personally, I love myself just fine. But getting that to translate to someone who has a skewed concept of self worth is a task much tougher than expected. So, being the scholar that I am I took to the world wide web. After perusing through countless self-help articles and google links, I decided to take what I found, stir in a little bit of my personal insight, and formulate my own little self-help list of things to do to love yourself.
1. Treat others with love and respect. Bringing joy to other people’s lives will help you find the joy in your own.
2. Create goodwill and thankfulness by practicing random deeds of kindness. Constructively share your knowledge to help someone else in their situation.
3. Express yourself. Jot a letter, write a poem. Share your ideals.
4. Learn to LET GO of past events. You deserve a fresh beginning. There are a lot of people who have had hard lives/bad beginnings or moments. Don’t close yourself out of grief, disappointment, or fears. Acknowledge your feelings, but work to put them behind you. Cherish what you have learned and grow from it.
5. Forgive yourself. Don’t punish yourself for something you have done in the past, especially if you have already been punished for it. Look at the mistake as a learning experience. Verbally forgive yourself in the mirror and say it like you mean it. BELIEVE IT!
6. Work constantly to say positive statements about yourself instead of negative ones. Self love comes from within… If you believe it, so will the rest of the world.
7. Be persistent. Changing yourself is a gradual process. Start the process step-by-step, but don’t quit. You have to be the one to motivate the change in yourself.
8. Keep a positive attitude at all times. If you can learn to love yourself when you feel you are at your lowest, then loving yourself will be natural once things start to look up.
9. Be yourself. Be who you really are, express yourself, laugh, play, and sing. Don’t be afraid of what others think.
10. JUST DO IT! Loving yourself can’t come from anywhere else but from within. So, you have the ultimate power over whether you love yourself or not. Make a decision to love yourself and just flat out do it. You deserve it!
That special moment, when the music makes you feel that maybe, just maybe, life isn’t so bad after all….
Favorite part of my living room decor….
I call him… Toupee’d Trombone Man.
4:30am….. Can’t sleep. Only two things come to me at this time of night, and that’s either deep sleep or deep thoughts. So since about 66 ounces of coca cola have me wide awake, the later of the two has taken center stage. I’m not even sure what I’m talking about, or why I even feel the need to write, but I’m not one to stifle creativity or expression. Especially not my own. With that being said, I’m extremely blessed. Eveyday I wake up I am reminded of it. Between a serious wreck and stray bullets tearing through my window at two o’clock in the morning, I know full well that there are a lot of places I could have ended up. All of which would not have been pleasureable. People always say eveybody gets a second chance. I think God actually gives us numerous second chances. We often lose sight of how much he has kept us safe from, taking advantage of his grace. I’m not an extremely religious person, and I don’t really know much about the bible. However, I was raised to believe in a higher power than myself… And as a realist, I understand that nothing we acquire in this world is gained alone. These so-called “second chances” we get are nothing more than a series of blessings and favors our respective higher powers bestow upon us.
Do we deserve it? Definitely not. Do I appreciate it? Hell yea I do.
Nobody is created perfect. I personally think the universe is set up like that to make sure we never lose focus on what allows us to be great in our own rights. That guiding force waking us up in the morning, keeping us from hurt, harm, and danger on a daily basis. Allowing us to earn means to take care of ourselves and our families. We all do it. Every one of us is guilty of overlooking what we owe our life to. It’s human nature, all a part of our free will and ability to form our own thoughts and ideas. But just take a second, and make sure you remember, that each chance you get is your second chance. So take advantage. Because there’s only one person who determines when that second chance gets changed to your last chance.
And it isn’t you.
Ok, so who wants to stick around while I outline the kind of day I had? Nobody? Good, because I’m going to anyway.
First off, its raining like a cow pissin’ on a flat rock all night. Lightning and thunder abound. The wind is blowing this big stupid ass, ugly ass tree on the side of my apt by my bed so all I hear all night is the sound of old wood scraping against even older wood. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep.
Second, I had every intentions on getting up a little early and studying for a good hour or two for my departmental comprehensive exam coming up Monday. However, because I was up all night dealing with the sound of processed oak 2x4’s and a weeping willow branch having sex, sleep was paramount to any test I could think of.
Third, I had an appointment to go get a haircut before work. I text my barber to tell him I was coming and he proceeds to tell me he doesn’t cut at the shop anymore, he only works from home, and that the earliest he could get to me was around 9:30…. PM. No thanks homie.
Is it over yet?? Nope.
Next, I’m in my car, minding my own business in my own lane when some chick decides she wants to change lanes completely oblivious to the rest of traffic and sideswipes the shit out of my truck. What makes it even worse is, she speeds off. Just leaves. Didn’t even stop to see if I was ok. Riding around with temp tags on a old ass maroon Maxima tearing everybody else’s cars up. I hope your transmission goes out and the seatbelt buckle gives you third degree burns when it gets hotter. Bitch.
Furthermore, I decide to go to Wataburger, which I’ve only been to like twice. In life. I get my order which clearly stated that I wanted a double cheeseburger, no onions, and no tomatoes. Guess what? It has onions. I bring it back. They give me a double HAMburger (no cheese) but it has tomatoes. I bring it back. They bring me a double cheeseburger, no onions, no tomatoes. Finally right? Nope. The manager comes out and apologizes for the mix-up and offers me a free milkshake and my choice of desert pies. I tell him ‘apple pie please,” and he says ok, I’ll bring your apple pie and shake towards the end of your meal. Cool, I’m thinking, that sounds like a fair deal for messing up my order. Negative. As I’m leaving he hands me the shake and the bag with my apple pie in it. (keyword: Apple) I’m driving to work and decide to eat my apple pie on the way there. (Again, Keyword: Apple) I bite into my pie and to my surpise…… no apples. Just a mouthful of warm, strawberry compote pepperd with little seeds and strawberry pieces. This wouldn’t have been so bad had I not already been expecting an apple pie. Needless to say, I was pissed again. I probably wont be going back to Wataburger.
Lastly, work…. Sometimes work is a bad day in itself but I was determined to not let my day effect my attitude towards customers. That lasted all of two hours when the infamous Peggy Bologna came in. First off, why is your last name Bologna? More importantly, why does your wig look and smell like you have been rackdaddying for three days in a gorilla cage next to a silverback in the middle of mating season? Even more intriguing, why have you had so much plastic surgery that I cant even tell that you and the mysterious woman in your ID are the same person? Really though, all that is beside the point. Why are you in here exchanging $500 dollars worth of stuff that you bought yesterday and was “So In Love With” when you left. Real talk, she does this at least twice a week and she’s been moving for about 3 months. Crazy much?
Anywho, I’m not complaining because I’m thankful to be alive. A lot of people weren’t so fortunate. But I think it’s funny that when one thing happens to ruin your day, It seems like everything else just fails to make it any better. So, if you’ve ever had a day like this, I feel you. If not…. Keep living. Just take it all in stride and keep kicking. Trouble don’t last always.
…..Oh yea, and make sure you have car insurance.
Well…. So far this year, the public journey of this private person hasn’t been documented very well. Mainly because I just haven’t had time to sit and think out what I want to blog about. (Which seems a little crazy seeing as I have two laptops, a smartphone, and an iPod, all of which have Tumblr apps)
But I digress….
Truth of the matter is, I like to write when I’m frustrated, angry, or just bothered by something. It’s my release, helps me cope a little better. But at this particular point in time, I really don’t have much to gripe about. Over the Christmas holidays I got to spend a lot of time with my grandpa, easily one of the wisest men I know, and he helped me put a lot of things in astonishing perspective. You see, everything in this world has its own special place. Its on niche where it can exist in complete harmony with the rest of the world. The same thing applies to things in your own personal world. Somethings are meant to be close to you. At the same time, some things are meant to be stored at a distance. Hell, some things don’t even belong anywhere near you. (Counterintuitive huh? I know) In a nutshell, knowing where each and every single thing in your life belongs helps maintain a healthy balance and flow. If its important, keep it close. If its not, let it be. Do that and see how much unnecessary clutter you’re able to avoid. Your stress-levels will praise you for it.
A few of my friends and I were having a conversation and the question of dating someone who was already established career-wise as opposed to dating someone who was in school, or working their way towards where they want to be came up.
Ladies, how many times have you overlooked the brother in grad school, working at a low paying job, driving a 1995 Honda Accord - for that young lawyer, working for a prestigious firm, living in the garden district whippin’ the new 6 series BMW?
Ok my comparisons might be a bit drastic but think about it. Which is more important to you? Taking the journey to success with that special person or coming into the relationship and adding to their already established life? Personally, (and this is my opinion only) I would rather date a girl who is working her way to where she wants to be. Supporting their dreams and aspirations will in turn make them yours as well. In return, they will do the same for you. I feel as though a person who already has the world won’t feel the need to depend on the other person, which is what all humans are driven by - the want to be needed by their significant other. It’s much more rewarding and it builds a stronger foundation when you both work and endure the rough times, to create a comfortable lifestyle you can both enjoy together for the rest of your lives.
So that’s my take on it. And with that being said, you tell me… Which would you prefer? The hotlines are open and callers are standing by.