I think I want to make this a more often type of thing…

I flex from one minute to another – I’m either miserably lonely or miserably content. I know that seems like more of the same on either end of the spectrum…but like…it’s not?

I mean it is. Yeah, I get it. I just feel one at least lets me be a little better off than the other. I’ve positioned myself in scenarios that don’t help my cause though. I’ve talked at length about my issues in my past posts but like, I’m never one to fix the things I know need fixing. I’m stuck between the now and the later – the meantime I hear it’s called.

The meantime is the point in life between two significant events. It’s a beautiful sentiment, really. That the lull we sometimes feel is there to break up the excitement of life changing circumstances because we need a break from the blood rushing life alterations to keep us…

Honestly, I’m bullshitting. My gripe is that while I think the idea behind the word and the in-between moments of our lives are still beautiful in their own rights…when should we be expecting these significant events? How long does the meantime last? What if that significant event never comes? Or worse, it came and we missed it? The latter makes me worried that I missed out on something that needed to be commemorated, that needed to be given attention. And I guess I’m asking for too much right now – I JUST graduated college, JUST started a new job not 6 months ago. Those are both significant life events…but I guess my question is when will I feel like I’ve made it? When will I feel like I’ve become the person I’m supposed to be?

I ask this every post it feels, and I never talk myself into realizing that maybe I am that person. Maybe I am the person I’m supposed to be, but I just don’t let myself be that person. I said it last time even. How do I fix that? How can I be comfortable enough to be myself for everyone?

I sometimes think I need to move away to find what I’m looking for. I’m so dead set on wanting to stay in this house…I’ve convinced myself that this is what I want – to live in and take care of the house that my family has called home since 1988. The only family to have called it a home actually. I’ve lived, laughed, and loved in this home. I watched family come and go in this house; watched them wither away, take their last breaths, mourn, grieve, love each other, argue, get arrested…however a family exists in this world, we’ve done in this very spot. For 35 years. But, my wonder is…what if I’m not supposed to stay? What if the answer to my miserable loneliness, my miserable existence and my introspective want to find myself isn’t in this place? What if I’m supposed to move to a new place…far away…away from the people who know me and have certain expectations of me?

I can’t help but get happy at the thought of starting over somewhere new. I know what it means for me…leaving friends, family, love interests…the whole 9. But even still, I think about it and I get a little…I don’t know, excited I guess. I mean, the likelihood of it happening is slim to none. I’m not anywhere near confident enough to leave my comfort zone yet. As an educator I still have so much to learn about not being bad at my job and the schoolboard schedule is WAY too good to not have again. But…I sometimes wish I could get back to wanting to do what I’ve always wanted to do, which is write for a living. Imagine running a column that allows me to put my words into something others are also passionate about? To grow an audience and connect with people just by using my words and by creating content? Ugh…that makes me hopeful.

I’m stuck in this position where I feel like I need to be happy I got into a career that can and will sustain me for however long I want to do it. But at the same time…being an educator wasn’t ALWAYS a dream of mine. I decided on it BECAUSE of the sustainability of it, and because it made sense since I was always working within music education anyways. But…my dream is still and will always be to create things: compositions, stories, videos, films, speeches…art. To create all art. That’s what I’ve always wanted, and I just settled for the most definite path.

And maybe I need to stick to that path while I can save up money and start a life for myself. But if I could find a job that does both? Sustain and fulfill that passion? I mean…come on.

I don’t know what it is I’m meant to do…but I feel like I’m meant to connect with others outside of myself more than I do now. While being socially anxious, I tend to be a people person…I have a way of connecting that seems to make sense for me. I feel like my words help people, or at least they can. Or I feel like I have a way them anyways…words I mean. And people for that matter.

Or maybe I don’t…but I don’t know. I’m rambling at this point.

I think I just wanted to write some more tonight and this was a stream of consciousness kind of post. I’ll revisit these thoughts at a later date. Until then…I’ll just ponder more and more.

New Year…Same Old Me.

What can I say about 2022 that hasn’t been said already? Did this year suck? No. Actually, it didn’t. I graduated college, started a new career, achieved something that hadn’t been done before in the activity that I work so hard to be recognized in…despite having road blocks the whole way. To give myself some credit, I’ve done some pretty good things for myself.

So, it’ll come as surprise then when I say this next part: why doesn’t it feel that way? Why do I feel like I’m leaving 2022 the same way I went into it?

Last December I confessed my feelings for a girl I had gotten close with over the course of the 2021; one I had thought was perfect for me and one I had felt was in a place that could recognize that the relationship she was in previously wasn’t good enough for her and that I was maybe worth checking into. Whelp, now look at me. Same story, same setting, different year.

I realize that this type of blogging isn’t indicative of the age I should be acting. LOL. As if that matters I suppose. I don’t know.

I guess my biggest complaint with myself is that I feel too much. I say it a lot these days, but it’s my dad’s fault. And it doesn’t help I was raised by women. I mean, I think that actually does give me a leg up? Again, I don’t know. I need therapy. I need help understanding everything that is wrong with me.

I’m sitting at my house on New Year’s Eve raging about not being wanted by a singular person when frankly she isn’t worth being upset over? Like…I’ve done NOTHING but question my own self worth since being interested in her, but when I think about it what has she done to deserve my attention and the best parts of me? We’ve established that we are friends…she says best friends. But, how does that work? I feel like I’m an after thought in her life most times. And honestly…that shouldn’t even be a big deal considering the precedent we’ve set up for ourselves. I’ve confessed my feelings and she’s remained constant – we’re just best friends.

These issues are mine and mine alone. I take it out on her and others because I’m incapable of getting over feelings because I’ve been taught my entire life that it’s OK to have them. That it’s OK to feel them and to keep feeling them. The more I allow myself to feel them, the stronger they get.

But I know she isn’t the one who deserves me. She’s not the one I’m going to end up with. At least…I’m pretty sure. If I have to put this much effort into just being a thought in her head, then I know she isn’t the one I’ll be crazy for in a year. At least if history has taught me anything.

My issue is that I’m so desperate for love. I consider all of the things I’ve accomplished this year and none of it seems to matter without having someone to share it with. I’ve fallen away from my faith because I’m terrified of the answer I think God has for me. And I feel that by not going to church I can circumvent His plans. I know that’s ridiculous. I can’t hide from what He wants, and I can’t think that what I want is at all important in the grand scheme of things. I’ve just been praying and begging for the right one to come along – for God to pair me with someone who loves me and will be with me and will treat me the same way I treat these other girls that come into my life – as if I’m the only option for them. As if I’m the most important person in the room at any given time. And I get so angry thinking about it not happening.

My friends also make the joke that maybe I was meant to be a priest; my love of theology and philosophy sometimes lead me to think it wouldn’t be that farfetched of an idea. But then I get sad…I WANT love. I WANT a wife, kids, the suburban lifestyle – I want to LOVE and be LOVED. My life will never seem to be complete or happy without it.

I say that because the majority of my life isn’t terrible, honestly. I mean, yes, I have a lot of things I have to get over trauma wise, a lot of things I have to face in terms of relationships within my family and with my friends. But even though I know that things are going sort of well, my biggest hang up is that I ALWAYS feel lonely. All of my depression seems to stem from that idea. I don’t sit down at this computer to write without my loneliness leading me to the thoughts I have – the darkness stems from an idle mind. This new girl staved it off for a good bit…but now? It’s worse than before. Because I’m reminded how not good I am, how no matter the connections I thought I had with this person, I’m still not good enough to be with them. And I know she said it had nothing to do with that…but how can I not think about it that way?

I wish I knew where this chain of thought stemmed from. I really do. Cause then maybe I could fix it on my own, help myself understand how to get better at being me…allow myself to just find the confidence I need in everything I do.

Maybe that should be my resolution – to just be me. No better, no worse – just me. I could do it I guess. For all of my self-deprecating tendencies and the constant abuse I put on myself, I know I’m a great person and a catch for all intents and purposes. I offer a lot to a lot of people…I just need to allow myself to not give a shit what my worth is to other people. If they don’t see it, that’s on them. I wish I could get her to see it…but if it’s not meant to be, I have to find a way to accept that.

So new year new me…no…just me. New year…and me just being the person I’ve become. No better or worse…just me.

What should I title this?

I’m still alive. Which I guess is a feat really. Millions of people die everyday so…the fact that I haven’t means something good is happening. I haven’t posted in forever because I’ve just been busy – no other reason really.


I should’ve been posting all the time. I’ve needed so many writing sessions over the last few months that it’s not even funny. I feel…stuck? I guess. Or like I’m floating; floating where isn’t something I know though. It’s more like I’m just in a spot that I guess is OK…but is definitely not where I want to stay. It’s not in relation to a physical location, I’m actually happy with my living…well decently happy. More of like a spiritual/mental location.

I’m beating around the bush – let’s talk about HER. That’s the reason I came here isn’t it? The only reason I even think about writing or expressing myself. I can’t say things to her…otherwise I’d be crossing boundaries that we’ve apparently established, which would push her away…which would honestly crush me.

I have to ask myself this question a lot: is she worth it? The answer to that question is that I don’t know. Is she worth questioning my own self worth for? Is she worth being miserable when she doesn’t contact me or when she discusses the guys she’s been talking to? I don’t know. But sometimes I feel that’s the beauty of new feelings? That maybe I’m supposed to not know where I stand in her hall of…feelings? That was a bad metaphor. Is that a metaphor? Doesn’t matter.

I find myself torn between wanting to take a chance with how I feel and not wanting to lose this relationship that we’ve established. She’s so much fun to talk to; to be around. I can be open with her and I feel like I can be my WHOLE self. I often hide sides of myself in order to not be confronted with opposing ideologies…a lot of friends remain on far sides of certain spectrums and in my need to please everyone, I find it exhausting trying to fit into each mold I’ve crafted for myself. But I don’t feel that with her. My only bit of censorship is in not being able to say things to her that I really want to…

“You look beautiful”, “I love your laugh”, “I like seeing you smile…”

I sit at an impasse – I could move on, find someone who feels for me the same I feel for her…but how fair would that be? Unrequited feelings would keep me from truly being with that other person. Because they will never be HER. SHE’S who I want to be with. But if I stay, I compromise my pride and ego to be her emotional support animal when she finds someone that does for her what she does for me. I’m not a prideful person for the most part. At least I try not to be – there are always aspects of my life that I DO take pride in, but in my own existence and in the case of allowing others to be happy…I don’t. I never do.

Happiness to me is existing in a place that allows me to connect unabated with those around me. If I truly want the things that make me happy…that doesn’t happen. I cut people out of parts of my life that I don’t ever want to lose. I’m not good with that idea. Again, people pleaser. I don’t even know what that stems from. I mean, I could blame my mother’s death on a lot of things, and that could be a big proponent. I lost it so early that maybe I don’t like the idea of other friends or loved ones leaving me while they still exist. If I can help it, I want to keep people in my life that mean something to me. Case in point…HER. She means so much at this point. I can’t even explain it – I just get so happy when I see her name come across my phone, when she sends me snapchats, when she reaches out. To hear what she truly feels about me is nice…even if it’s not in the intensity that I feel it towards her. She’s honestly a breath of fresh air and I couldn’t imagine her NOT being around me at this point.

But therein lies the problem – if she never sees me in the way that I see her, how do I navigate that? How do I move on from someone who seems so perfect to be with? And listen, I understand no one is perfect. I get that – she has flaws and I have flaws…people are people. But…maybe it’s this early phase that seems so great, but I could spend every minute of every day with her, and I don’t think I’d get sick of her. All I want from her is her company…her laughs, her conversations. I want her and her heart. Everything else is a non-factor. I don’t know if any of this is in the cards for us or if it’s even in the cards for me…but with the amount of time we spend together, it still gives me hope.

I often wonder what my purpose is in life and if God even has plans for me to find love. I grew up around the idea that happiness is finding love and sharing a life with someone you hold special. I have my dad to blame for that. He was a sap and a sucker for romanticism. I don’t know how he held onto such a pure heart from the grief he experienced. But he filled my head with talks of finding THE ONE. THE woman that would come out of nowhere and make me feel like I never knew any other woman in my entire life. That’s not HER. At least, that’s not how this feels. It feels like I found an old friend and we started a relationship on a sprint. An exhilarating, fast paced, laughter filled sprint.

But am I meant for that? Am I meant to find the one that makes me better and makes me feel special and appreciated and loved? Or am I meant to be alone? Am I meant to not find that love? I feel like I have so much to give the person I end up with…but what if that person doesn’t exist? If God puts us in the places we are meant to be in, then why wouldn’t He also put the people we are meant to connect with there also? Is this girl…this woman…not the one I’m supposed to be with? Then why does it feel so good when I am around her? Why am I the happiest I have been in a long time when she’s in the same room as me, treating me like I’m wanted around…like I’m meant to be there with her? What does any of this mean?

I sometimes think I’m delusional. Not in the personal sense…but in the outwardly relationship sense. Like how people perceive me and my role in their lives. Most of the time when I feel delusional I remind myself that I’m nothing to anyone. I answer delusion with further delusion. Or is it? Am I delusional in thinking that people hold me in high regard, or that nobody needs me? Am I delusional in thinking that I’m inconsequential, or that I’m needed? Am I needed? I often think I’m not…that my life, or rather the people within it, can run smoothly without me. That I’m replaceable in this world of infinitely more qualified people. More qualified to do my job, to be better friends, to be lovers…more qualified to take care of the people who need taken care of in my life. I’m a hinderance…a self serving freeloader that doesn’t offer any extra substance to those who need it in my life. I do things that better my standing with those in charge of me and with those around me so they don’t think I’m worthless or unnecessary.

I know this thinking is…loathing to say the least.

I’m not the best with self love. Rather, I don’t do it enough to be good at it. I can feel myself one second, but realize that I’m not the person I wish I was.

I think of my life as a journey to become the person I’m supposed to be, while disregarding the person that I am at any given time. I hate myself now, I hated myself then…why would I love myself in the future? It’s hard to accept my place in this world when I can’t accept my existence in my own head. Maybe my realization about this girl…this woman that I so deeply feel for, is that no matter what happens with her, I still won’t be happy happy. I’ll find momentary happiness because she truly is great for me…but I’ll still look in the mirror and question how anyone could ever love me. I’ll still question how I can be truly happy when I can’t even let myself enjoy the SIMPLEST things. I don’t love myself, how can someone else break through that barrier to love me separately? Confidence is hard to find these days for me…and I don’t know how I can feel it when I’ve never had it.

This woman I feel so many things for has never said a bad word about me, but in my lowest form and mood, I think she says nothing BUT bad things. I have no evidence to support this, but I’ve convinced myself that the reason for her not feeling the same ways about me that I feel about her is because I must be broken…unrepairable. That there is nothing good about me that she can latch onto. None of this is true…or at least I don’t think it is. But again…what do I know?

I started this whole post to talk about new feelings for a person that appeared into my life without me even acknowledging it until it slapped me in the face. But after a drive and a session of self-loathing, I find myself at the same fork in the road that all of my other posts allude to – how am I ever going to feel whole again when I can’t allow myself to be myself without beating myself up? I used to think that being self-aware was a gift of mine; knowing the things that catch me up about myself and that I need to work on SHOULD be a gift. But instead it’s ammunition…reminders of my short comings and failures. A reminder that I’m not a complete person and that I perhaps won’t ever be. This self-awareness is something that turns me into a bully that only attacks himself…constantly putting myself down until I convince myself that the world sees me the same way I do.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have a fix for this…I need help. Professional help. Not a blog, not a self-talk in my car on my way to look at Christmas lights…I need someone who can pinpoint why I can’t let myself be myself in all aspects of life. Why I pick and choose who I am at any given time. Why I can’t understand my past trauma truly, and why it still defines me. Why I can’t get over people who don’t give me the same amount of attention I give them…or why I can’t recognize when I’m losing myself in something that will break me. Why I can’t just love the person I was and the person I am and instead idolize the person I could be. The person I could be wouldn’t be the person I could be without the other two having existed.

I leave this post the same way I came in…clueless to what I have to do or who I have to be. And to think…all of this started because of a girl. Funny.

I’ve attempted this so many times

I’ve started and stopped blog posts ad nauseum over the past month or so. I haven’t completed one in a while and I feel like my brain is full and needs to be emptied.

So…here this is.

I don’t know where to start other than just acknowledging where I am with life – which is to say…I’m in the same spot as I have been. No better, no worse…just…here.

Well, no I take that back. I’m better off I think. I don’t know. What do you call going through random spurts of anger, sadness, tearful joy, tearful depression, and mainly just being an emotional wreck every other day?

The same, probably. I think maybe I just see an end to the proverbial tunnel that is “the meantime.” I’ve spent far too many years of my adulthood resisting this eventual evolution. I mean, I didn’t purposefully resist…

Ok, maybe I did.

But still, it’s nice to see some light there.

But you know…I experienced something today that I think I’ve been trying to accomplish my entire artistic life.

This is turning into a line by line thing…I hate that. Anyways:

My mother has been my biggest inspiration my entire life. She passed when I was 13, and it shook me to my core. I never got over it…still haven’t if I’m being honest. I’m an emotional wreck because I never want that to go away…that is a remnant of my grief; a way of staying connected to that feeling of missing her. I know that sounds ridiculous. I get it. Who WANTS to be sad? She’s a constant presence in my life despite it almost being 20 years now that she hasn’t been here. I live with my mom’s mom who has been my second mother since I was 13, and my mother’s pictures are all over my room, all over the house. I always feel bad for my Dad in moments like this…where my ode to my mother’s existence overshadows what he did for me…but I think he understood when he was still here that Mom’s impact on my life was so short lived that it was always going to be a looming shadow over my entire human experience.

But long story short…since her passing and since I started writing both words and music, I’ve searched for the best way to honor her memory…and I think I just did that.

I designed a show for Lecanto this year that is all about an ode to motherly figures…”She Taught Me to Dance.” It’s a reference to all of the lessons our mothers taught us throughout our lives. The lessons of unconditional love, of appreciation for music and finding beauty in things and the world at large. All of the things that I never understood until I got older. Don’t get me wrong, I found appreciation from the other women in my life that took over for her…but even they know that Mom’s influence took center stage at every point in my life.

This show is my way of putting my thank you into the universe – art begets emotion and translates into a language that isn’t for our ears to fully understand. I may not always come off as the most religious person, but I believe God gave us the ability to make music to communicate things that words can’t do justice. There is a beauty to music that transcends our realm of being…and the only explanation to that than it being that of God’s means of connecting us to it.

When Mom passed, I threw myself into music. At the time it was just drumming, but I always wanted to write my own stuff…so I started to write on marimbas and vibes and it grew to piano and so on. Eventually I started writing songs and designing shows, etc. Meanwhile…I wrote words to connect with Mom and show the world how much I missed her and how thankful I was to have had her in my life at all.

But NOTHING hits me like this show does right now. I mean…yes there are voiceovers to help push the story along. The music underneath though…totally original, from my own brain in my best attempt to connect with whatever realm my mother can hear it in. I always hope I do her proud and I think for the first time in my creative life I feel like I’ve done that.

Not that she wouldn’t have been proud of me no matter what I did – she was always supportive of everything I’ve done…but I don’t know…this one hits different.

So, I’m currently sitting here a blubbering mess listening to this show on repeat just wishing I could play it for her in person and have her know what she meant to me. This was all for her. Everything I do is for her…and always will be.

Oh man, it’s been awhile.

Remember when I said I wanted to make blogging and podcasting a normal occasion?


I mean hey, it happens. Especially with me. I wish I could say I was doing better things, or super busy making a life for myself. But alas…that’s not the case. Well, not entirely. I mean, maybe not. I don’t know. Maybe I have been, but I’m just so hard on myself…I have such high expectations for my creative output that me not utilizing free time to do something with it just feels…you know. Bad. I guess. I don’t know…and that’s the point of this blog. To write until I do know. It happens more than you realize actually.

I guess I could catch every one person who reads this up with my life details. I’m still in school, still at my job, still single and miserable about that, still contemplating on future projects every day of my life, but I’m better. Like life doesn’t seem to be bad, or at least not as bad as it used to seem. I don’t know why. I mean, I guess I just don’t think about it, which maybe means it’s going alright. But honestly, I can’t tell you it is or isn’t better, it just doesn’t feel bad lately. I don’t feel sad, and generally I feel OK. I get upset every now and then, but other than that, it just seems normal.

That’s an improvement I think. Not think. I know it’s an improvement. Life often feels like it’s just one task that flows into another…constantly trying to figure out what to do one moment to the next, never getting to relax and consider the things I’ve brought myself out of and places I’ve prepared myself to go. But I think now is a time to do just that. A lot of people have found themselves well before I have – well seemingly found themselves. They put up pretty good facades, if I’m being honest. I’m constantly telling family members that life isn’t a race, and there’s no universal destination for us to reach by certain times. But hell, I never listen to that myself…I just constantly judge myself based on other’s achievements and timelines. I used to think that if I hadn’t gotten into the film industry by 26 (the age that Ben Affleck won his Oscar for Good Will Hunting) I would be a failure.

Jokes on me, I’m 32 and feel OK about it.

Point is…I’ve grown exponentially since the last time I checked myself. Even if that last check was yesterday, I’ve grown. I grow daily…we all do. That’s the point of the passing of time. I guess. I think. I don’t know…I don’t know much actually. But, that’s also part of the point…I’ve grown to accept that I won’t ever have an answer to life and its path and process or its plans. And that’s…OK.

It’s all OK. I’ll be 33 when I start my official teaching career – but I’ll have almost 16 years of practice before doing it. I’ll probably be 37 or 40 before I reach a point in life where I’ll be comfortable enough financially to own a house. And maybe in the meantime I’ll have enough security to start personal projects that make my life feel meaningful. All of that is OK. I feel like I’ve spent the majority of my life putting off doing anything of substance because it won’t give me instant gratification – no instant success, no instant fortune. And because of that, I’ve become what I’ve become.

But the kicker is…I am who I am, and I’m OK with it. For the most part. I still hate how I haven’t centered my focus on my health and becoming not diabetic and not self-conscious about my looks. But, when it comes to my thought process and the person I am…I’m doing alright.

So I guess the point of this was to reassure myself that I’m OK. That I’m almost done with school, almost ready to begin a life and career that I’m happy with, almost ready to be independent. I feel like my time is coming…that my glow up is inevitably around the corner.

I’m sorry. I’ve never used the term glow up before but it felt like it was apropos. It seems so unlike me, but I’m gonna leave it. It adds to the word count. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from school it’s that fluff creates pages of content in otherwise daft research papers.

If there’s any message to take from this entry in my life’s journal, it’s that things don’t stay gloom for too long. Time moves, life continues, and the things that hold us back at certain avenues in our lives are but blips in the full scope of our existence. You have overarching pains and losses – but the micro hiccups we experience come and go. I’m realizing that I’m in a better place mentally than I originally thought I was, and it makes me hopeful. I’m sure in a week something will nutcheck me back into oblivion, but I’ll remember this feeling and know it’ll last a microsecond in the grand scheme of things.

I’m thankful for an outlet like this to escape to every once in a while. I know I don’t have a lot of readers…if any. And that’s OK, I’m just happy to relieve some nonsense onto a blank canvas. Those who do read this get a good glimpse of who I am, and I’m happy that you do. I know this isn’t a gift that a lot of people have – the ability to just write and think and put thoughts and feelings to paper. I was blessed with that ability, and I’m thankful for having this outlet. Who knows where I’d be if I’d have to internalize everything and bottle things up. It’s easy to say “wouldn’t be here” but I know I would be, I’d just be a terrible person for it. I have the ability to regulate my moods by talking about them and my mental health is better for it, which means my relationships with people are better for it, and my relationship with myself is getting there because of it.

What I mean to say is…things could be better, they could be worse, but right now…they’ll do.

Let’s divert a little bit

So back in 2014, a friend and I decided to go and see the premier of “Wish I Was Here”, a comedy/drama written and directed by Zach Braff and his brother Adam Braff. We were HUGE…well still are HUGE “Scrub” fans. I’ve watched the show as many times as I’ve been able to. It’s sort of my comfort show now…I’ll put on if I can’t sleep or I’m just looking for stuff in the background. But ever since getting into that show, I’ve become a big Zach Braff fan…and it’s mainly because of his off screen interactions with fans via Twitter or in interviews: he’s a very emotionally driven person. And it definitely shows in his writing.

I watched Garden State back in high school with one of my Aunts and I remember being immediately entrenched in this loser character he created for himself to play. Also, he dealt with the passing of his mother…I’m hooked already.

But, sadly I fell asleep and never got a chance to watch it further following that night. But, years later I did and it hit me harder then than it did when I initially experienced it. The main reason? Because I faced a similar issue in my own self assessments…in that I felt lost on that path of life. Like Zach Braff’s character, I felt like I was spinning my wheels, just looking for something I didn’t know I would find anywhere. Then of course came the death of his mother and his estranged relationship with his father.

After my mother died my father and I became really close. We did a lot together, and I understood his depression just like he understood mine. But he started dating really soon following my mom’s passing and I don’t think I was prepared for it. I knew it wasn’t my place to be ready for him to move on, because it’s his way of grieving, but I still resented him for it. He searched for pieces of my mother in other women…dating a few here and there, mentioning how they reminded him of her. How they shared personality traits with a ghost…

And that seems insensitive to say, and trust me I know…it’s my own mother I’m talking about. But, in a sense, what dad was doing was just that: he was ghost hunting. Mom wasn’t here anymore, and no matter what he looked for, he would never find her again. But I understood it…because I wanted it too. Not from someone else mind you, but from her…however that had to look. I wanted my mother back. But the thing was, his search put a strain on us because his desperation to fill that void meant that he wouldn’t listen to me or my concerns. Fast forward 5 years and I’m 18/19 dealing with his long term girlfriend who just entered my life at the wrong time. And my dad and I were OK, but in the back of my mind I always felt like I was forced to grieve on my own…and I resented it. My dad wasn’t always my target, but sometimes it was his eventual wife…sometimes it was the people she brought into my life. It took me some years to be truly OK with everything.

I always refused to talk about my dad and I’s relationship, but I think it was something that I always needed to address, because it wasn’t always puppies and rainbows. We became friends eventually, because I couldn’t live at home anymore and I because of the resentment I carried in my heart, couldn’t always be around my stepmother. So…I moved out and visited occasionally.

Which brings me to “Wish I Was Here.” This movie speaks to me in ways that a lot of grief focused movies don’t. It takes my inability to deal with confrontation, my fear of being a disappointment, and my fear of grief and balls them into two separate but equally relatable characters. Zach Braff and Josh Gadd play Aidan and Noah Bloom respectively; two brothers who lost their mother earlier in life and now have to deal with losing their father, both while trying to figure out what kind of people they actually are. Aidan is a failed actor, and Noah runs a blog…

Sounds familiar.

But I watch this movie and I constantly think: yeah, that’s about right. Noah refuses to go see his father. At first it’s because of his resentment towards him…his last conversation with him was about how much of a lost cause he was. Aidan’s relationship with him is more business like: the father pays for his grandkids private Jewish schooling, and Aidan keeps in contact only to ensure it.

Now, this is counter to my relationship with my dad, I know that. He wasn’t unsupportive in the least: in fact he constantly saw greatness in me, no matter what I did. A lot of the issues with us came from me, and my hidden resentment of how my childhood went. But, the other forces that kept me from him added to it as well. I was afraid to get into fights with my stepmother about this or that…and especially about dad in general. When he got really sick, after his brain surgery and subsequent chemo treatments, it got really bad. I felt pushed away and I kind of just…accepted it. I felt like I was a burden to them and just let them handle things however they wanted.

In hindsight…I regret all of it.

Obviously that’s the issue with hindsight…we know the end of the story and know what could’ve changed the outcome. Regret eats away at me in those quiet moments…where I wish I had been there for my father more when he needed me around and not sitting in a room afraid to confront the situation.

Fear is a funny thing. There’s a reoccurring daydream that Zach Braff’s character has throughout the movie – a space adventurer on a foreign planet, running from a cloaked figure. He treks across the entire planet and he never loses the cloaked figure…it’s just always right behind him. He’s afraid of confronting the issue at hand: forgiving his father and himself. He knows his father is dying, and he knows he let his life get away from him – he’s mourning the loss of two things: his dad and his dream. He knows and realizes that in order to be the father he needs to be to his own kids…he needs to find his way and forget the things he’s chased. It’s not a death per se though, more of a compromise.

I know I read off that speech I gave that one time about not compromising our dreams, and fighting for them. And you still should…while finding a sustainable living. I have only ever wanted to be a writer for a living, no matter the way I’d have to go about it, that’s the only thing I thought of for myself. But, life comes at you in multiple ways. When my dad died, I knew it was my time to reevaluate what I saw as being an adult. That’s the kicker with loss, it leads to revelations about life. Out of death springs found livelihood I guess. It’s like the sprouting of a tree through the use of compost fertilizer…kind of.

But fear of these revelations, and of course fear of loss and of pain…it can prevent us from beginning to heal. There’s a scene towards the end of the movie that absolutely WRECKS me every time I see it. Aidan (Zach Braff) calls Noah (Josh Gadd) and tells him that his father might pass any minute and that he wants to make amends with Noah before he goes. Noah says no, obviously…until Aidan’s daughter gets on the phone. She asks him to come and Noah admits to being scared. “Losing my mom was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through…I don’t know if I can take it again.”

Man it hits me where I live…it kills me.

But then this little girl Grace (played by Joey King) says “I know you’re sad…but we’re sad too. And we should all be together.” And that right there…man that’s the key to this whole thing. Collective sadness…collective grieving is a powerful thing. I would have been absolutely lost if I didn’t have my family to be sad with after my mom died. My dad helped me, my aunts and uncles and grandparents…cousins. All were there for me, and I’ll never be able to thank them enough.

There’s a sad aspect of life for a lot of people when it comes to familial issues, and that is often they don’t feel they can rely on family members for comfort because of those strained relationships. In the case of Noah, he felt like a disappointment to his father, but he felt hopeful because of his mother. When he lost her, he didn’t feel support from his father, making the grieving process his burden alone.

That scene kills me so much because I hear the pain in his voice and it’s the same pain that came across my mind with my situation.

I got the call my dad was declining fast and only had two weeks when I was headed to work on a Monday after a music theory class. I’ve only ever been too anxious to eat twice in my life: when I got back from a trip with my aunt and went to go see my mother in the hospital just before she passed, and when I had to look my dad in the face after hearing the news he had a short amount of time left. The kicker is though…I didn’t spend all two weeks with him, and instead let my relationship with my stepmother get in the way of spending what little time I did have left with him. I’ve forgiven my father for the way the relationship went…and I’ve forgiven my stepmother because that isn’t something I want to continue to carry with me. But I never really forgave myself for letting it all happen. I make excuses for myself…but I avoid taking the responsibility of letting those moments with him slip away. And this isn’t going to be a post about me forgiving myself…it’s just an acknowledgement.

This movie, “Wish I Was Here”, is such an honest portrayal of losing somebody…and it’s so painfully beautiful to watch. If you ever get some free time, I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a film that captures the true moments of sadness, and how absolutely lost it makes you feel.

I might make this an ongoing series…grief fueled movie reviews. Or something like that. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming…

I don’t have anything profound to say today, but I wanted to do a podcast, so here I am. I think I can use some of these “empty” days as days that I can talk about things I’m devoutly interested in.

And maybe that can be a theme going forward – coping episodes. I think a lot of people find coping with grief an all or nothing situation: you’re either upset and thinking about it, or you’re avoiding it altogether…and I gotta say, each of those in isolation is SUPER unhealthy. I’ve had days like the former…woke up, didn’t want to, sat in my room all day and just thought about the things that triggered me the most: mom, dad, personal insecurities. Because let’s address it, the problem with depression is that it’s not about the thing that directly makes you sad.

It’s like driving on a worn-out road, there are the divots that develop overtime that every car eventually sinks into as they traverse that road…you get stuck in those divots and it’s hard to stay out of them. The issue is, all of the gunk on the road ends up in those divots as well, so if there’s extra water or debris, you’re more than likely going to run over it, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Same thing with these bouts of depression. If you can’t find an escape from these ruts, every. single. bit of negativity you can or do feel daily will undoubtedly find you and eat away at you.

My day may start like “I miss my parents”, but after awhile of unchecked idleness, my thoughts often go to “I’m tired of being alone,” or “I’m going to die alone.” Does it make sense? No, of course not. Is it OK to feel? Yes, of course it is. But the problem is, while allowing yourself to experience those feelings is important, it’s also important to recognize when your mind needs an extra dose distraction.

I know this seems counter to my previous statements…that allowing yourself to feel those emotions…to experience those moments of sadness…that doing that is a good thing. And I still think that. Finding “distractions” – and I’ll put those in a quotes for right now – finding those “distractions” that take you away from continuously berating yourself with every negative thought you have isn’t at all invalidating those feelings you’re having. It’s quite literally just distracting yourself from…well…constantly punching yourself in the face metaphorically speaking.

So I know what you’re thinking: that still seems contradictory. And, maybe it is. But these moments of grief are fluid…there’s no rhyme or reason to them. Sometimes they hit and it’s a light sprinkle…a quick sun shower in the middle of the afternoon.

Other times…it’s a monsoon. A continuous thunderstorm in the middle of summer…aggressive and loud.

Taking on the quick rain storm of a mid-afternoon is much different than weathering a hurricane. In those moments…you HAVE to find a way out. Otherwise…it’s flooding season. You’re waist deep in water and your house doesn’t have any exits.

So what do I do? Other than this of course. Writing brings me solace, but sometimes I just want to be mindlessly entertained.

I guess this is going to be just another about me post. You’ll live through it. I’m an interesting person I think.

I love playing video games. I currently go back and forth between Madden and UFC 4…but I also really love a good story. Most recently I got into Assassins Creed Odyssey, and Injustice 2 – although I’m absolute trash at that second one. I tend to enjoy sports games a lot more than other games strictly because you start and it’s right into the action.

I mean, I say that…but I’m constantly replaying stuff like the Final Fantasy 7 remake, or old Assassins Creed games. Story catches my intrigue a lot, so it just depends really.

Speaking of good story, I’ve been getting more and more into the Marvel shows available. Wandavision is awesome…and if you want a good story that centers around grief and the processing, or perhaps misprocessing of it, that’s a show for you. Falcon and the – sorry…Captain America and the Winter Soldier is also a fun time, and addresses some hard to talk about issues such as racial bias and the pressure and scrutiny black men experience in America.

It’s interesting how open that show was about talking about it, but also very much needed. I think these shows give Marvel a perfect platform to address deeper topics. The serial format gives writers a more open playground with which to incorporate more intricate elements into a longer and more elaborate story. It makes me wish these two shows were longer now that I think about it, but they did a great job with what they had, and set up a lot of MCU stories going forward.

Something you’ll learn about me over time…I can get overly interested in a topic SUPER quick. And I can talk about said topics for DAYS if prompted. Here’s the kicker about finding these microbits of pleasure within hobbies or interests…once you get in and you find out they do a bang up job in keeping your mind away from whatever negative thoughts you could possibly be having…they then become your past time.

I have hundreds of interests that I know I can rely on to pull me out of debilitating funks. And that’s the name of the game with grief. You can experience the pain you need to…the want to hear them again, laugh with them, hug them. But don’t let that pain drag you further away from the person they wanted you to be. There was a beautiful quote about the nature of grief in Wandavision, and it’s such a good one. Wanda had lost her parents at a young age…had just lost her brother and now felt excruciatingly alone. She sat in her room grieving the way she knew how to grieve…by herself watching the same shows she did as a kid. And at that moment Vision walks in to comfort her. An android who has no idea what loss is like…no way to fathom the heartache Wanda was feeling. But Vision…in his inhumane glory spouts off the line that millions of people will quote forever when talking about the loss of a loved one: “What is grief, if not love persevering?”

That love is ever present in our lives, and if we don’t take time to pull ourselves out of harmful funks, we’ll forget what it’s like. We’ll forget that it is love, and become angry and cynical. The only emotion associated with them will be negative…and that’s far from what they would ever want.

So “empty” days that are neither sad or incredible are always just what the doctor ordered. Healing happens second by second, minute by minute…hour by – you get it. It happens at it’s own pace, there’s no need to rush it and run head on into a seven hour session of tears…and there’s no need to avoid it altogether. You find a happy medium, and distract yourself when it gets to be too much.

There’s no right or wrong, there’s just…you. And how you want to do it.

I waste my time reading about MMA stats and comic book characters. You might pick something much more interesting…it’s up to you.

Maybe in the future I’ll talk about some of these interests more in depth…like do an entire episode on them or something. We’ll see. Until then…I hope you have a good day.


So a lot has changed for me since beginning my original blog.

First off…I turned 30. So, that sucks. My back hurts all the time and I’m perpetually wondering what death will be like. But honestly, I did that when I was 16 too…so, nothing changed there.

I used to think that turning 30 would lead to downward slide…like my life would snowball in excitement…going from interesting to “I enjoy watching Jeopardy and reading books before bed.” But it hasn’t been like that at all…mainly just flat. Like a day old soda you forgot in your car. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s definitely not as fresh.

But the next big thing that has happened since turning 30 has been that I found out that I’m unhappy. Well…let me rephrase. I started to realize that I’m unhappy and that I lack something that brings me joy on a consistent basis. It used to be music…and I think that still helps me, but it also lost it’s shine over the course of the pandemic. And I say that only because I didn’t miss it that much, which helped me realize that maybe I’m missing something else a lot more.

And that something else is writing.

Before I get too far into this part of me, let me re-introduce myself to anyone new here: I’m Justin, and I initially started using this website as a place to share all of the random thoughts I had about the random interests that take up my day to day life. But…like most things, it fell off and just became a dumping ground for my depression and writing I didn’t want to show off. Which honestly…isn’t fair to me.

Because if there’s something I’m happy with myself about…it’s my writing. I found out after my mom died that I could funnel thoughts onto paper in semi-coherent ways…a pen acting like a translator of sorts, allowing me ways to voice my frustrations with life, with family, myself…with God. I don’t say that often, but what person loses a mother and DOESN’T get mad at God? It seems only natural, and I know God doesn’t blame me for it. I think in a way, He opened up my passion for writing because of those frustrations. Imagine not having a space to vent and having to find different ways to take out my anger…what kind of person would I have become if not for writing? If not for words?

I don’t know, and frankly…I don’t have to. I’m the person I am because I do what I do. I come to this website and write my thoughts out onto a blank canvas…the clicking of the keyboard my defining opus. I write with conviction because these are my thoughts, and my thoughts aren’t wrong or worded incorrectly…I don’t have to cite my sources or back up my thoughts with quotes from scientists…I can just write them down. There’s a peace of mind that comes with that…a soft comfort in watching a blank webpage fill up with words and a lot of ellipsis.

But I lose my place from time to time. I forget that I have this space…designated just for me. So I leave, and I come back when I remember to unload all of the burdens my heart feels. I don’t talk about them often…or at least not like this because I never know how my friends or family will respond. I mean…I know how they’ll respond. By telling me that things aren’t that bad, that my life is full of blessings. And they’re right, it’s not and it is. Granted they don’t ever really say those words out loud…but they act as reminders that I shouldn’t be taking the time to write out these thoughts because maybe they aren’t valid.

And I know I said it before…but I need to know that they are valid. If there’s something I’m wholeheartedly an advocate for, it’s that how you feel is always valid. Emotions are tricky, and sometimes they don’t make sense. What you feel is what you feel, and allowing yourself to feel however you feel is OK. It’s even healthy. At times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert by any means…I just have my own life experiences to draw from. I know there are very dangerous thoughts and feelings that could lead people to do harmful things…and what I’m saying about allowing yourself to feel those might be counterproductive. Again…not an expert. BUT, I know that by invalidating feelings or gaslighting yourself and in turn suppressing those emotions can lead to more extreme cases in the future. It’s a cause and effect thing really.

I’ve realized lately that talking about my own mental health is good for me. Well…writing about my own mental health. But yeah…in turn through the podcast, talking about this stuff is good because it helps me put into word then to voice the thoughts that constantly run through my head. And lately, dealing with loss has had me become largely introspective again, asking the questions that have always plagued me: what do I want to do with my life? Why am I settling for this or for that? How can I incorporate things that I’m passionate about into other things I’m passionate about? Or…simplifying it: how can I turn the things I enjoy into a platform that people will want to connect with? And honestly, I had no answers to any of those questions. And I still don’t…I think? Or maybe I do? Maybe I thought of it while writing this. Talking mental health and sob stories and being emotional…all of that speaks to me in ways that I feel could be helpful to others…and maybe that’s my purpose with this new podcast. Which…you are currently listening to. I hope.

All of my life…or rather adult life…I have reveled in being the one friend out of all of my friends that can help people get through grief. I don’t know why, I just like it. It’s a pride thing probably…that they feel that I somehow traversed the way through those dark moments of life and came out healthy enough to give them advice. That maybe I didn’t lose my way and didn’t get damaged…and I’m happy to help them. I may think they’re nuts for thinking that, but they don’t see me in this place often. I used to think that I was broken…that if people saw the true side of me that I kept locked in the dark they would realize that I’m not the person they should go to for advice.

But then I thought…maybe that they SHOULD see that side. If I can present myself as normal to them, then my time in this place is the remedy others could use to find their own light out.

I don’t know…I could be suffering from delusions of grandeur…thinking I’ve figured out some hidden secret in dealing with the cold parts of life. But at the end of the day…we’re all just trying to figure it out. The secrets I figured out might work for you, or they might not. Or maybe they help you find your own secrets that help you through whatever it is you are looking to get through. This time on earth is limited…out of the billions years that existence has been or will be a thing…we’re here for 80 of them. Not all 80 will be good…but we can work to make the majority of them ones worth remembering.

So, I’m going to keep doing this podcast because I think in a way it’s necessary. If not for you listening, then maybe for someone else you know. Again, I’m not an expert in any thing other than my own thoughts and emotions…but maybe something I say in the coming episodes can help however it can.

Or at the very least you can make fun of me for mispronouncing words and stuttering every once in a while.

So I started a Podcast

Hi everybody. It’s me…Justin.


Anyways, for those of you who have been checking my page constantly, here is a new link for you:

It’s my podcast. Now granted…it’s a podcast I make out of posts I put on here, but it’s still something. I like using it for mental health checks…and think I’ll start doing that more often. I’ll talk openly about my thoughts and what not, and hopefully help others along the way.

So, if you get some time…check it out.

Want and Needs

Well hello there.

I’m back already. I figure I can work on myself the more I allow myself to sit behind a computer and write about things. It clears my head, reminds me why I enjoy it so much. Why I like feeling this way…this disconnected from life but somewhat connected to things outside of myself.

None of that may make sense, and I think that’s OK. At least…maybe it is. I couldn’t tell you what’s OK or not OK, or if I’m even OK to begin with. I work to be…strive to be. But, it’s all relative really. I feel fine but maybe I’m not, and I feel like it’s honestly OK to not be right now. This past weekend we celebrated the life of another family member lost way too soon…a woman who acted as another mother to me, watching over me during the times in my life that I most needed guidance. And I didn’t always listen to her, or seek her guidance out…but she was there. Through every holiday, every family event…she showed up and let me know I didn’t have to be alone. Ever.

And honestly…I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I have a large collection of people who never let me feel alone, or unloved. And that’s such a blessing.


Sometimes it feels like a curse. And this is where I start to sound ridiculous: as if having a backing of friends and family who allow me to feel needed and wanted and constantly loved is at all a burden. And yeah, writing out that way does make me seem ridiculous, but it also needed to be said, because I invalidate my feelings so often because of it. Because I recognize the areas that don’t make sense in my head and stop myself from feeling things even though I do need to feel things in order to outgrown them…to leave them behind. Instead they sit bottled up and I say to myself “why do you feel like this when you could call literally any person in your phone and have them around to not let you feel this way?”

And that kind of thought process is what hurts me the most. It hurts true understanding and growth I think. Like, have you ever been mad for no reason? Or sad for no reason? You sit back and ask yourself “why? Why do I feel like this?” And the more you ask, the more you realize it’s for no reason and you shut it down. And you could say “yeah, that’s good. You shouldn’t be upset for no reason.” And sure…I guess that is only logical.

But we’re not logical all the time; sometimes we experience emotions we don’t quite understand…no rhyme, no reason…just emotion. And man…sometimes I just revel in those. I NEED those moments. I feel so numb all the time, so disconnected from the world at large…but those moments of raw emotion untethered to any real experiences remind me that I have the capacity to feel things.

And maybe I shouldn’t say “untethered”…because there is that one law of thermodynamics right? That energy is constant…that it can’t be created or destroyed but rather just transferred in it’s original state. If we think about it that way, maybe these random spurts of emotional baggage are transferences of previously stored emotion…things we need to transfer away from us in order to syphon new and healthier energy into our minds.

You could kind of say this is the same as confessing sins…the stain of which remains constant, stored in our souls until we transfer that burden to a priest, who then transfers that to God who converts that energy into grace.

We carry these sort of burdens with us as we move through life, and we just hope that when that stored energy returns to us, it’s returned in ways that we can handle. The comeback is inevitable, and I just hope these spurts of depression or anger aren’t meant to be anything but spurts of energy just seeking a transfer.

So, what’s the point of all of this? I don’t know. I say it often, I’m never sure what my points are when I start writing…I just write. I let myself explore my thoughts as they come to me in order to hopefully make sense of them as they are written down and processed onto this website…and now podcast I guess. I find that speaking the words I write make me sound so much more intelligent at times. I mean…I think everyone feels that way when they actually plan out what it is they are going to say. But, honestly at the end of the day…I do this stuff to help myself remember how things are, so that if and when they are the same in the future I can read or listen to these posts and remember that I’ll get through the next thing too.

My whole life has felt like a wasted opportunity…I look back on so much regret and just wish I had started this process of giving my thoughts a true voice sooner. Talking, even though I’m decently introverted, brings me contentment…maybe even makes me happy. I enjoy this process…I wish I could speak on other things…but lately these types of entries are all that speak to me. And you know what? That’s OK. I want to do it…and frankly…I need to as well.