This isn’t a pitiful self-indulgence, just an observation I’ve made recently. It seems the more intimately I have shared my life, my personality, my strengths and weaknesses with any individual, the farther they have distanced themselves from me. The more that I have shared of myself to them, the more they’ve been left changed, damaged, or in an other form spiteful, indifferent, or in direct opposition to me.
So this has me thinking, contemplating my life in general. It has me thinking about what’s right and what’s wrong and how to distinguish between the two. I’m the kind of person that asks “why” a whole lot and gets relatively sparse answers, but this is the kind of stuff that keeps me awake at night.
I really hate to say this, but it has been in these moments of vulnerability that I have realized that we are all selfish people afraid of pain. In the Bible it says to grieve with those who grieve, to rejoice with those who rejoice, to bear the burden with your brothers. But the truth is, people don’t do that - at least, the people I know. And if I was honest, I’d say that I really don’t do that either, and maybe that’s why I don’t see it. As a good friend of mine once told me, “The best friend you can have is the best friend you can be.”
There is so much energy torrentially rushing through my mind and body that its hard to capture all of it. Memories replay like silent movies in my mind, and the old anxieties and smiles come together while they play. Even inner monologues I had replay, and new commentary is added. I see all these crushed cans of PBR littered along the countertops, and I can feel the hangover again. I watch the coffee drip slowly from the black and gray coffee maker, and my fat arm reaches for the half-empty bottle of Svedka surrounded by the aluminum graveyard of miller lite, colt 45, and whatever was on sale at the liquor store down the street.
As I pour from that deep blue bottle into the coffee mug, something changed in my mind. I realized how depressed I was. I realized that my dreams were broken, and that I was commiserating with people I thought were friends, but we held a common bond of sadness that kept us drinking too much, smoking too many cigarettes, and keeping us down in hopes that one day luck would change.
Chicago changed me, and I’m not sure if it was in a good way. I lost a good friend before I left, over my anger at how he handled a situation, and over the pride I had for my reputation to a bunch of strangers. And a different night when he got high, he barraged me with insults that hit my core so deeply with absolutely no remorse, even to this day. I don’t think he realized that his monologue directed at me had hit me so deep that today I still can see every detail of that room and who was in it. It was exactly at that same moment that a switch was flipped in my mind.
Two months later, I had lost 35 pounds and a lot of the love I had for the midwest.
So here I am in sunny weather, but that conversation still haunts me. Its the shit like that that makes you wonder if you’re really good enough, you know what I mean? It makes you wonder if its worth having friends, because it makes you wonder if you’re just a let-down to people. It makes you wonder if you’ll ever be good enough. It makes you wonder if you really have the capacity to love anyone, romantically or platonically.
So its days like today that I polish up my hypocrite badge and wear it with all its shiny glory while I wonder how the fuck to even be a good friend or human being in general.
And even though you never even said goodbye to me, even though I had remorse for hurting you, you didn’t, and you gave me the longest lasting farewell present anyone did. So sleep soundly at night while I’m two hours behind counting every calorie, wrestling with anxiety and isolationism, and body checking at the appearance of every reflective surface in my point of view. Keep trying to validate your life while I try to not think about how big of a worthless piece of shit I keep thinking I am since you had to drill that down to the fiber of my being. And I’d like you to keep 50 pounds above your head to know that wasn’t all you took away from me.
Maybe one day I’ll forgive you, but until then, go fuck yourself.
I don’t have a scruffy beard anymore. Also, I feel like I look too hip for LA today. #thuglife #hollywood
This is the type of stuff I’ve been making in my absence from the internet. I’ll be posting the final products very soon to iTunes and soundcloud.Played 0 times.
For Lent this year I decided to give up something that, embarrassingly, was a big part of my life - facebook. It was eating up waaaaayyy too much of my time and killing my productivity, and I started to realize that it was manifesting as an addiction in the same way I had been addicted to binge eating and cigarettes, and I decided that it was time to cut the cord.
Now I know some of you may not celebrate lent or do anything that extreme. The most common things I see are giving up chocolate, or giving up meat on one day of the week, and this isn’t to discount that - I’m just an extreme person, so I wanted to go all out.
To be sure, my first 4 days were really difficult. Any time I was feeling the pressure when I was working on music I’d hit “fa” into my search bar and then realize that my nervous tick was coming out. I had to consciously stop myself from doing it. But I realized that the best way to eliminate something in life is to switch it with something else.
Often times people switch addictions when they want to quit something. If you’re a person with an addictive personality or a tendency toward addiction, like me, you’ve probably seen this in your own life. So then I realized that my nervous tick went into checking email, tumblr, twitter, finance blogs, fitness forums, etc. And that all turned into a whole different beast.
After I started being mindful of the other manifestations of my procrastinations (no rhyme intended), I decided, “Hey, I need to actually get away from my computer and start being productive.” It was at this point, a couple weeks into lent, that I feel like I started actually making progress.
It started with one weekend at the beach after being sick of working all day every day for a few weeks straight, either between my job or on music. I had had enough, so I just said, “F this, I’m going to cruise the PCH.” There’s something about the open road on the coast, with the salty ocean air coming into and out of my body that gives me clarity, so I pondered while I gently guided my wheel along the twists and turns of the beaches and hills. I truly needed to do something that I’d never done before and put myself out of my own element. I figured with a few weeks left, I could do a whole BUNCH of things with all this free time that I now had since I wasn’t procrastinating LIFE.
So here’s what I did:
- Tried all the foods that I had been meaning to, and also a bunch of ones I never did want to (chicken liver, for example)
- Started meditating every day, even if only for a couple minutes
- Fixed my bike and started riding that for longer distances instead of using my car, which I now run twice a week to move to opposite sides of the street for street cleaning
- learned how to sprout my own food
- explored the farmer’s market and how to save money on my groceries
- acquired several new programs for music production and learned how to use them all. Now I’m inventing new sounds that haven’t been made in dance music, because that takes time.
- began my process of elimination and trimmed the fat of life so that I began the path to manifesting the life I want. Ex.: I got rid of netflix, got spotify premium, downsized possessions, maximized my savings and eliminated unnecessary spending
- celebrated my birthday with the most people I ever have
- produced more music than I ever had
- learned many of the music theory things I had been putting off for months because I “didn’t have any time.”
- read every single day
- started the habit of doing yoga/stretching every day
- contacted a grammy-nominated songwriter and producer and had conversations about how to write songs effectively
- completely changed my self-talk and personal belief structure about who and what I am
and the biggest one:
- broke my binge eating and isolationism, and started being intentional toward my friends and others to enrich their lives through selfless motivation, even if that’s uncomfortable.
Doing new things sometimes is uncomfortable, but when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, we can often times discover better things and ideologies.
Now that this 40 day challenge is over, I don’t think I’ll really spend much time on facebook ever again. I see certain necessities it has for this day and age, how people connect and do business, but when it gets down to it, its merely a tool - not a lifestyle. But since I had this experience, I’ve started to see the limits of what I can and cannot do, and who establishes those limits:
So now that they don’t exist anymore, I plan on doing more of these challenges in hopes that I may inspire others to do the same.
Thank you for reading, and Happy Easter
Today I woke up one day older, on a day that made me feel one year older. Realistically, time chips away, it doesn’t slice away life. But it’s a nice reminder on your birthday the brevity that we so often forget.
What is money, possession, or comfort to the company of those who love you, time in the nature of God’s green earth, and the appreciation of your location? What is pursuit of happiness when you can find it in a sunrise, or a sunset?
There’s a lot I don’t know, but I know enough to know that life moves slow, but it ends fast. Daylight brings potential energy, night time brings celebration. I don’t freak out about life anymore, because I’m not concerned about the past or the future. Of course I have goals, but I don’t know if I have tomorrow. But I know I have today, and I’ll take all the juice that it offers.
So if you want to celebrate my birthday with me, introduce yourself to a stranger and then do something nice for them. That’s what I’d want on any other day, and what’s a birthday but just one more day to do some good?
Here’s to aging slowly.
I was going to make this blog post more cerebral, maybe more neurotic, but I decided that I should just be more straightforward about this.
In my life I have fought many a battle and claimed too few a victory, and in my life I have questioned all too often the meaning of this.
Granted, I don’t believe that you can win them all, but I think that you can win a lot more of them than you do, but I also believe that its dependent upon one thing and one thing only:
Fighting your battle and claiming your victory are two parts of the same thing. One is the journey, the other is the destination. If you’re going to get groceries, part one is the drive there, part two is walking out with your food. If you’re becoming president, part one is the campaign, part two is the white house. If you’re trying to get hired, part one is the interview, part two is employment.
You see what I’m getting at here?
I’ve fought too many battles and claimed too few victories because I never thought I could actually win. And if I did, what would I even do if I won?
We get so caught up in the struggle sometimes that we forget what we’re fighting for. We think that things have to be difficult to be significant, that our battle will vindicate our victory, and that all meaning will thread together once we’ve proven that we’ve won. But what have we REALLY even won?
Proof. Proof that you can win at something.
No, see, battles become insignificant once you realize the victory you want to achieve. Because truthfully, once you see that you are the victor and that victory is important to you, your battle becomes too small to your perspective to be important. It ultimately shapes how you view hardship, and in turn creates your reality.
Every addiction I’ve ever had I’ve defeated the same way, and it applies to everything in life. I saw what I wanted, which was to not be addicted to that, and held fast to that victory. The destination shaped the journey, not the other way around. When you know where you’re going, the journey becomes a beautiful retrospect instead of an anxious labor of your time, energy, and emotion.
But ultimately, Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best:
“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”
Going full bore isn’t always glamorous.
Laying in my Hollywood apartment, I’m staring at my ceiling fan rotating slowly, thinking back on things that could’ve been and the things that never could’ve been. I think about the missed opportunities and the small victories, the crushes that faded, and the ones that remain. We as humans are forever at a crossroads.
Every moment of our lives are ripe with decisions to be made, some important, and some not important at all. From your breakfast decision to not eating, the compound interest of these seemingly minute decisions tend to lead you in one direction or another. This isn’t a bad thing, per se, but what if you’re striving for freedom? What if you want the ability to not have to make decisions with great impact, but to make every decision you make work in your favor for mobility?
Well, that doesn’t exist- the implicit nature of such freedom, that is. If newton was right, then every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And if all matter is made up of energy, then that applies to our own actions, interpersonal and introspective.
So what then, of freedom? What of controlling your destiny? It’s not based upon your own doing, it’s based upon your actions toward others, and more importantly, your actions toward yourself. For out of your actions toward yourself bear the fruit of those choices you make with others. If you have no compassion for others, it is because you lack it for yourself. If you hate others, it’s because you hate yourself. The outer chaos you constantly see is the inner chaos you constantly feel.
So what’s the answer? There isn’t one, really. Just that we have to see that there is no crossroads, there’s only one road, and one road alone leads to freedom. Because freedom isn’t a destination, it’s a journey, a lifestyle, and one road takes you on that scenic route.
Forever at peace with that path, that’s freedom.
Greetings, fellow humans!
I’m sure most of you have realized I’ve been pretty inactive on the internet. There’s a reason for that. I gave up Facebook for lent, and I decided to cultivate some new habits and experiments in my lifestyle design. Sounds weird, but follow me.
What it boils down to is I decided to reverse a lot of the things that I thought were true about myself. What happens when you do the exact opposite of what you think you’re just “programmed to do?” You make a new program when you do it enough times, or you realize that program is terrible, so you go back to playing Angry Birds.
That’s what I decided to do. So, I 86’d my time on Facebook for 40 days.
I have to admit, it was extremely difficult for the first 4 days, but after that, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. With this abundance of free time and lots of real estate opening in my mind to plant new gardens and build new houses, what’s a boy to do? And how does any of this have to do with knowing your worth?
A lot, actually. You see, often times we get into patterns, be they sub/unconscious or conscious, that we then believe define who we are. However, that’s not the case. Have you ever acted out in a situation only to realize in the middle of that situation that you’re acting ridiculous and YOU KNOW BETTER that to act how you are? That’s a conflict in your mind between two opposing thoughts. The interesting thing is that we as humans have the power of choice. Sure, there’s times where its difficult to choose one thing over another due to various circumstances but at the end of the day IT CAN BE DONE.
So with the power of choice at our helm, its quite clear we can control our actions. But what about our thoughts? Thoughts are funny - if you’re anything like me, they’re torrential and unrelenting. They fill the mind, flow out of it, escape through its pores, and trickle into everything. But what if you start watering the weeds in your heart? Ah, but see, we can direct and even choose the thoughts we think. And the things that we think create the worth that we believe about ourselves.
After all, energy begets energy. You know those times when you’ve felt sad or depressed and you forced yourself to smile? You felt ridiculous at first, but if you kept smiling, you realized you actually started to feel happy. Pretty incredible, but not really - that’s just one of those examples of choosing your own thoughts. Your energy begat energy, from a physical form to a mental/emotional form.
So here’s what I’m saying - the thoughts that you choose to dignify will create the reality in which you live. People with bulimia know this well. The feeling of shame and disgust leads to dieting, which leads to extreme tension and cravings to binging, purging, and feeling of shame again. Its a vicious cycle only broken by the power of changing the way one thinks, because if one link in the chain is broken, its a lot easier to escape that bondage.
And so it is with you, dear reader. I challenge you, even for a day, to actually think about different things, to not align with destructive beliefs about yourself, and see the positive ways that your life gets shaped. As for me, I don’t know if I’ll return to Facebook at the end of next month, but even if I do, I know what’s truly important now and how much I really am worth - more importantly, what’s not worth it to me.
This is what I got done for this week’s contribution. This one will be getting finished eventually.Played 0 times.