Information overload.

The idea of a person searching for their soul mate is a relatively new idea.  Sixty years ago, people married because it was the social norm.  When looking for a partner, people often approached it from a social and economic perspective.  Will this person be able to give me children to work my farm? Will they be able to be the breadwinner and support a family?

People didn’t necessarily need to fall madly in love and have a laundry list of things they needed checked off  in order to find a suitable partner.  Many people started off with a partner they felt lukewarm about and worked hard to cultivate love in their marriage.  It wasn’t totally shocking to see a couple married for 30-40 years like it is today.

Now everyone wants a storybook romance that would sell out every movie theater in the country.  We have impossibly high standards that few of us could ever live up to.  We don’t necessarily want to be perfect ourselves, but we certainly want the people we date to be.

I’m part of this problem.  I’m one of the assholes out their in the world straight fucking up how people view relationships for generations to come.  The thought of settling for anything less than perfect person seems intolerable.

Thinking about the concept of finding a soul mate and the “perfect person” made me curious.   Did people always look for this deep-level of fulfillment, meaning and purpose in other aspects of their lives?  What about in their careers?   Is the idea of “do what you love and you will find your purpose in life” a new thing?

Where did all this searching for purpose in life come from?  Is it something brought about by motivational speakers and bad movies?  Do we search for deeper meaning because it’s what society tells us has value?  Or is it something that transcends time and is worth spending our life trying to figure out?

We’re flooded with ideas of how life it supposed to be and when we compare that to our reality, we become dissatisfied and feel less than.  We have access to so much knowledge, and even more so, the opinion of others who we think know what the fuck they’re talking about, that we get confused and aren’t sure how to process it all.

We’ve become lost in emotions and fluffy bullshit, so we create stories to make life match up with our fantasies.  We want the fairy tale and the Ferrari to match.  We don’t want to work 60 hours a week, make 50 grand a year and take our kids to eat at fucking Applebee’s. (more…)

Just for today

Today is my 18 month check up at the oncologist.  Every three months I come here for a full day of tests and appointments.  Most of the day I’m sitting in waiting rooms working to keep my mind off the fact I’m surrounded by people who are dying.

I’m one of the fortunate ones.  I only needed two surgeries to get rid of my liver cancer,  no chemo or radiation.  I’ve been given another chance at life. I’d say a second chance, but this is probably my 50th.

When I think about how many chances at life I’ve received I’m grateful. But, I’m also very frustrated with myself.  Life’s precious and I know that, yet I don’t treat it as such.  I continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly, wasting years of my life.

I spend too much time on social media, I do drugs I said I wouldn’t do anymore, I continue relationships that aren’t healthy and run a business that makes me unhappy. I lack passion and kowtow to fear. I settle for the status quo of “good enough.”

What kind of life is that?  From the outside,  people may think I live a good, comfortable and sometimes indulgent life. That may be true in comparison to others.  But, I’m not living the life I truly want to live.

The truth is, I’m not exactly sure what the life I want to live looks like.  I’m still experimenting with what works for me. This could all be a symptom of my age; coming up on the midlife crisis and searching for meaning.  Some existential belief that I need to leave my mark on this world or I won’t have lead a life worthy of my years.  I’m not sure.

But today, I received another clean bill of health and for that, I’m grateful.

It’s Really This Simple

I’m a little high and I got way too much sun today, but I’m pretty sure I realize how life works now.

I spent a lot of time on the beach today.  I had been pay attention to everyone surfing, trying to figure out what made some of them better than others.  I’m a wannabe, novice surfer at best, so I wanted to figure how I could get better.

The surfers who were really ripping it up were patient and perceptive.  They didn’t try to ride every wave they saw.  Most of them were out there for hours.  They didn’t look frantic or panicked trying to pop up on their board they way I did.   They took their time and choose the right waves for them, then took action.

After I was done surfing and watching the sunset on the beach.  I was walking back to my little “jungle hotel” and thinking about how life works. It came to me that life really boils down to three things: Action, choices and chances.  The more action you take, the more choices you make, the more chances you get at living the life you want.  I’m pretty sure the majority of life really is that simple.

Everyday we get out of bed, we decide how we are going to live our life for that day.  For me personally, if I lay around in bed half the morning, then fuck off for the next 90 minutes trying to pull my life together so I can go on with my day; I’m probably making the choice to be a piece of shit that day.  It doesn’t have to mean that, but usually it means my day is screwed and destined for jacking off and watching TV. (more…)

Doctors Orders – It’s Got To Go


The background turned dark and grainy as the doctor gazed at me with a maniacal smile and screamed, “the liver has to go!” I may be embellishing this story a little, or whole lot, but that’s how it felt.

I popped a Xanax and begrudgingly had my semiannual MRI of my abdomen.  Im claustropobic and the MRI machine nearly causes me to have a panic attack.  I’ve gone through this process every six months since they found my liver adenomas two years ago.

My doctor’s preliminary diagnosis was everything looked fine.  The lesions appeared to be the same size or had shrank slightly.  All was well in my world for the next six months.  I said goodbye and went about my day.

The next morning my doctor called with a different story.  The adenoma on my right lobe had grown.  I would need to have another biopsy.  An hour later his secretary called informing me I needed to come in first thing the next morning to talk with the doctor.  Things seemed to be progressing quickly for the worse.

At my appointment I was told the Adenoma on the right lobe of my liver had grown in size and started to become amorphic.   There was concerns the lesion could be bleeding into itself.  Or worse, it could be turning cancerous, as that is a possibility.

I knew where this conversation was heading.  His recommendation was to surgically remove the adenoma.  The issue is I have two and due to the size and location of each, he will most likely only be able to remove the one on the right lobe.

The adenoma he will be removing is over 6 cm in circumference.  About the size of an orange.  The adenoma on my left lobe was smaller, but near two major veins.  He was afraid if they tried to remove both they wont’t be able to leave me with enough liver functionality.  I wasn’t thrilled to hear he wont’t be taking both at the same time, but that’s life.

I agreed to the surgery and he explained the recovery process.  I will be in the hospital 3-5 days, then out of work for an additional 2-4 weeks.  Because of the large incision he needed to make in my abdomen I’m supposed to be out of the gym for three months.

That’s when the panic set in and my mind started future tripping.   (more…)

On Resentments…

burning paper 02

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”

Resentments undermine progress and wreak havoc on my life.   They serve no purpose other than to drain my emotional health and positivity.  Resentments keep me in the past.  They handcuff me and stifle my ability to move forward.

Resentments have very little to do with what another person has done to me.  They are about the injustice I feel I have suffered and find unacceptable.  I hold onto these toxic feelings because they are comfortable and familiar.  I don’t have to think much to process them.  I can simply feel the anger and indignation fester inside of me and know that I’m alive.

12 step programs thoroughly discuss and address resentments in their literature.  One of the most powerful statements that I have read on the subject comes from the Big Book of AA:

“This mental habit extracts tremendous costs. After all, resentment does nothing to change the person we resent. Nor does it resolve conflict. Instead of freeing us from the wrongs of others, resentment allows those people to dominate our thinking — a kind of emotional bondage.”

Working through resentment is an arduous task.  It takes the ability to truly let go and not only forgive someone else, but yourself as well.  In every resentment usually lies shame, embarrassment, guilt, sadness and anger (the list extends far past that).  I feel that my actions have played a role in creating all of my resentments .  There is a part of me that questions what I could have done differently in order to avoid these feelings.

In order for me to relinquish my resentments I need to get passed my fragile ego and accept things for how they are.  That is the starting point.  From there, there are others processes that I have been taught, or learned on my own, to create a resentment free life.

I have been told to pray for the people I resent.   Asking God to give these people all that I would want for myself.  It takes the power away from the resentment.  If you are able to pray for someone you have such ill will towards you can overcome your feelings.  At first it may feel like just words.  That’s fine; go through the motions anyway.  I have done this for several years and it has helped me.

The other day I tried a powerful exercise.  I wrote a list of everyone that I was resentful towards.  Then next to each persons name I made a very detailed list of each reason I had to resent them.  Some of these reasons seemed silly and foolish, but it was important that I write them down.  It got all my feelings out of my head and made them real and concrete.

I had to be willing to be uncomfortably honest with myself about why I harbored each resentment.  Sometimes those feelings were embarrassing even to admit to myself.  However, it was important for me not to be judgmental about what I wrote as that could keep me from being completely forthcoming.

I started the list with the most obvious person that I harbor the most resentment toward, myself.  This list was by far the longest.  There are just so many things I have done that I resent.

Then I added my family, my ex girlfriend and people from my past that tormented me.  I added anyone to my list if I dwelled upon their “unacceptable” actions towards me.

By the end of the exercise I had 10 people on that list.  That seems like a lot of people to have resentments against.  I have struggled to let go of this poison.

After the list was completed I reread what I had written.  That sparked some more ideas of what I was resentful about and I added to the list again.  Once I had emptied my tank and my list was complete I folded the papers, said goodbye and burned them it my sink.

I watched as the flames grew larger and smoke emanated from the paper.  The words turned black and slowly disappeared in front of me until eventually the list was nothing but ash.

The process of writing them down on paper,  facing them and then burning them  was cathartic.  I felt a sense of relief.  The burden of all the resentments I had carried round with me for far too long seemed lighter and less intense.

Resentments can only live inside of our hearts and minds.  They do not exist anywhere else.  The more they are ignored the stronger they become.  Learning to resolve resentment gives us mental and emotion freedom, as well as the ability to become more confident, happy and cognizant of the world around us.

Is Hindsight Really 20/20

“You were too busy sticking steak knives in your pee hole”

I had totally forgotten about some of the odd shit I did in college.   Until an old teammate decided to post that comment for the world to see on Facebook.  Maybe I suppressed those memories or maybe I really had forgotten them.  I used to do a lot of drugs and took several blows to the head, so it’s possible.

It’s amazing to think that I used to stick objects in my pee hole in front of numerous people.  Whats even more mind blowing is that there was always a girl who would witness my ridiculous actions and still say to herself, “Yeah, Im going to fuck that guy tonight.”

Looking back on my bizarre and almost unfathomable behaviors in the past I cringe.  Occasionally I laugh.  Knowing I shoved things in my pee hole is still pretty amusing to me today.  I wouldn’t want to do it again, but I still giggle a bit.

I’ve talked to so many people who say, “If I only could do it over things would be different.”  I’ve said that same statement more times than I can count.  But I’m not sure its necessarily true.  I don’t know that if give then chance I would do anything different.

I made my decisions based on the information and life skills I was equipped with at the time.  Many of my actions didn’t, and still don’t, feel like they were right.  Some have caused me a great deal of pain and suffering.   Other choices felt wrong at the time, but have paid off many times over.

Eight  years ago I left my career in Corporate America to be a full time drug dealer.  I  wonder what my life would look like had I chosen a different route.  Where would I be right now?  What type of career would I have?  Would I be more successful?

Then I realize it doesn’t matter.  The exercise of looking back and wondering is futile.   More than likely, even armed with the information I know now, I still would make the same decisions.

The reason being is I know where my life has gone and I’m happy with the majority of it.  If I made different choices I fear I wouldn’t have had the same life experiences, fallen in love, or lived in the manner I have for so many years.

Who knows were I would be or what my life would look like if I had made different choices.  Maybe my life would be better.  But maybe I wouldn’t have met the people I met or learned the lesson I’ve learned.

Life is about experiences and my life has been rich with them.  I treasure my experiences, even the really shitty ones.  For better or for worse they created the person I am today.

Love and embrace who you are today.  Don’t hate and regret your past.  Instead use it as a road map to build a better future.