Tag Archives: inspiration

I Hope You Find Your Place

When we tell ourselves that we don’t have talents. When we downplay our skills in favor of modesty or belief of inadequacy or when we fear higher expectations following our performance. When we do these things, and convince ourselves or others that what we’ve done is nothing special, what good does that do?

Perhaps it does some, certainly it is contextual. If it weren’t so, then modesty wouldn’t ever be considered a positive trait, and I like to think there are scenarios in which it is.  I like to think the “good” people are the ones who support, encourage, and lift up other people’s talents to remind them of their place in a good way, but at the same time I don’t think someone is necessarily bad if they lift up their own talents, even if they are a bit cocky. Again, I think it’s all contextual.

I’m still not sure if I have found my own place. I know I am good at reasoning, structured thought, and improvising. All of these talents have a broad application, but I would like to use them in programming as I develop my future. Still, part of me wonders if this is where my talent belongs. I also kind of want to teach? Weird right? Teachers don’t get paid a lot and I really could care less about the whole “summers off” thing. I like to help kids, I had a few good teachers in my life and they really inspired me or turned things around for me in a personal way. I think a lot of teachers won’t invest in their students, or won’t adapt to different teaching styles to better educate.

Maybe I should pursue that. Maybe I can do it later in life after some of my financial destiny is secured. I don’t know. What I do know is that there are moments in which I find myself in awe of my talent and thinking I didn’t know I could do that. And that is probably one of my favorite feelings in the world. I think other people really enjoy that experience in the same way. And for this reason, I believe we should be supporting each other the same as we support ourselves (and yes that means if you support others more, time to believe in yourself). We should dare to dream, as cliche as that is. I don’t like dreaming, it feels like a different world. A world where things go right, and our world is anything but. However, if we don’t dream, we become husks of what we want to be. I don’t want to be some locust of a man, and even though I won’t “aim for the moon and land among the stars” I’m not content to just let dreams be dreams.


Why You Are Better Than Me

The author weaves a story with voices, both in out of the characters awareness. The narrator may bring much to the table, lest the characters exclusively take his role.

Even so, the character’s mind brings more to the scene than we might in our own. Are we the characters in our story? The heroes and champions of our novel like non-fiction? Or are we the writer, putting much of our heart into what happens, subtly manipulating events in hopes to achieve a goal. Do we reach that goal? Or perhaps our audience misunderstands and under-appreciates our efforts, instead casting their own ideas, blanketing all that we prepared. Or. Perhaps we ARE the audience, interacting with this entertaining display to reach our pleasures. Or, perhaps we feel the narrator is more in keeping with who we are someone else dictating our thoughts and impulses, feelings and motivations.

Maybe we like move around. I think people are fluid like that. But even so, when we change from author to audience, how much really changes? Don’t we have something characteristically “us”? Don’t we bring our own inescapable perceptions with us no matter the role?

I’m…. inadequate. I have an inferiority complex. I need to show others why I am smart, and then act humbled when I am complimented on my efforts, ideas, and results. I need that constant validation to remind me that I am who I want to be. I don’t look down on others, most of the time I truly feel that they are worth more than me. When I dissent with people, I am frustrated, but often relent, both because that feels the right thing to do and because they may have more value in this world than I.

An example: We have a very strong-willed and agitated neighbor. She has a couple of children, one of which is autistic. I don’t rightfully know the age of these children, but the autistic one seems to probably be around 3 years old. We ran into a huge confrontation with our neighbor, our yard was continuously being flooded. This was because the water would run in their yard directly from the faucet for hours at a time on occasion. It did not appear our neighbor was consistently watching her kids, seeming to rely on the older child to keep the younger one safe.

During our first confrontation with our neighbor, we did not know the child was autistic though we had suspicions he might have some sort of special needs because of the sounds he made while playing. Finally when we were enduring the immense flooding (our entire yard and spilled across to the opposite side into our driveway, hard to really explain, but it was an extreme amount, not just along the fence we shared) for the fifth time I think I politely asked whoever was out there to keep the water in their pool because our yard was being flooded. My glasses were off because I had just finished setting up a bed frame and was under it, I could not see who was out there clearly but I got a nod and thanked them. When I first started requesting the water be turned off, I had not reached the fence either and was instead assuming an adult was out there watching the child (at the time I also did not know there was another child). So I go inside and say to my fiance I am not sure if that was an adult or an older child, but the water was turned off and I felt relieved that a solution seemed to have been reached.

A few minutes later our neighbor, the adult one, walks up to the fence we share and starts shouting at us, and yes we are inside at this point. She yells about how dare we talk to her kids that way and how they can run water all the way to Japan if they would so like. My fiance went to confront her after enduring a few minutes of verbal abuse and the situation didn’t really improve. I freaked out because I felt like I did something wrong. “How dare I talk to her children. She’s right, I didn’t even CHECK for an adult first. Shit, I messed up.” My brain is stuttering trying to right itself, reminding me that I was extremely polite. “But I really messed up, fuck.” “No, children are just easily intimidated, I you remember being a child right?”

All this time of this panicking and mixed dialogue, my fiance is engaging this wrath. I finally realize that I need to go address and say something, anything. I can’t leave her out there. That’s also messed up. I go out and the first thing I say is an apology that falls apart because I start tensing up again. I try to explain I didn’t know an adult was out there. The situation de-escalates a smidge and we go inside finally. Following day, my lovely fiance delivers cookies and little plush cows, “mini moos”, from chick-fil-a. They seem to be accepted and so we feel our olive branch mended the situation.

Fast forward a couple weeks, the yard is flooded again. HUGE confrontation. Way worse than last time. At this point we are informed by the woman that her child is autistic and this is the only way he really seems to have fun. Although that information is disseminated quite violently and with a great deal of vulgarity. I somehow remained calm, I don’t know how, God gave me some sort of stillness in the moment. Our neighbor seemed to punctuate her insults and exclamations by pounding her hand on the brick wall. She insisted she was pregnant or she would be “beating the shit” out of my fiance. Also if my fiance’s man (that’s me) weren’t here, same thing. I keep trying to return to the issue of compromise. We don’t want to take her son’s playing in the water away, but she will interpret this conversation as nothing else. Amidst her rantings and screaming about how my fiance should be “fucked up the ass with no Vaseline” she laments that she doesn’t have the money to regularly take her kids to the pool.

Rationally I feel that was a deflection, because that water bill can’t be less than trips to the pool. My fiance storms off while I try to calm our neighbor down. But afterwards I felt like I still owed my neighbor something. Rationally I knew this not to be true. Anyway, to shorten the story, I bought summer passes to the city’s pools. $100 out of my pocket to give to this lady who may not even use them. But it brought me peace of mind. I felt I went out of my way to right a wrong, which didn’t even exist. We truly did no wrong. But also, it felt like I was called to do that, as Christian/good person sort of thing.

But in the end, I remind myself, she’s just a person, like me. I laugh about how my neighbor is crazy. And then internally chastise myself for saying (and thinking) that. We are all the same I force the idea on myself, sometimes more easily than others. We are all the same, except that I am a little less.

I am the author, not the hero, I have an active role in the story, but I have no glory. I merely aim to keep the character’s stories alive. I don’t like sad stories, but things often turn to sorrow. It’s the little details that I cherish and make it worth it, the ones that other characters don’t observe or understand. The intent behind the writing, the motivations, not the actions. I aim to fill my heart with goodness and love, and spread that to others. I find myself relying on the author more and more. It’s okay that the characters are better than me, I enjoy this part of life more often than not.

Ah, The Sweet Return of Sense

Just like Stella, I got my groove back. Well… Sort of. It was a really rough period, that depressive episode. Mixed in a few other elements and BAM! I had a really shitty past couple of weeks. I even spent a night in Jail! More on that some other time. Tonight is about positive reflection.

I was down. Super low, I hid it from some friends and others I didn’t mention it to until I was just barely crawling up away from it. A few things I learned from this one. First off, I actually seriously analyzed it to the best of my ability! *Pat on the back*.

Bulleted points? Listen to music, no matter how much I’m not “feeling it”, listen to 90s geek rock, chiptunes, stuff like “The Flight of the Conchords”. Music connects with me, even if I don’t want to listen to it, I’ll feel a little better with the positive tunes playing somewhere.  Next, pep talk yourself. I’ll be writing one here for my own reference before the conclusion of the post, so there’s that. Distraction used to work, but it only makes me exhausted, because I keep going for the distraction instead of actually doing healthy things, like sleeping. Friends, talk to them, even if you aren’t wanting to, tell your close ones that you got a few issues, sometimes they help pick up the slack.

In particular, I believed I came out of this episode when I talked with another friend who has bipolar disorder. Our general conversation led to me affirming my goals and intentions. It was a good conversation to recenter me. 10 out of 10, would have that discussion again, and again, haha.

Another bit of obvious “discovery” I had, was to be ok with being depressed. Don’t fight it, like don’t get upset you are depressed, the depression is already bad, don’t add to it. Just accept it, remind yourself you’re going to come out of it at some point and do the other pointers. No important decisions in a depressive episode, those can end terribly. This includes no decisions about future goals, no decisions about relationships, no decisions about terminations of friendships, and certainly regarding the ending of life.

All in all, productive depressive episode. Gotta admit, wasn’t bad, well, I’ve certainly had worst at least. Keep on these meds, no matter what I think about their effectiveness. I wanted to stop in the depressive episode. I remember how that went every other time though. I did spend a lot of time reading my positive posts, trying to regenerate that attitude and summon it from the depths. I thought if I could cling to that memory, I could get a little boost. Instead, I just lamented that I could go from such happiness to bottoming out so easily. That’s part of the reason for the following bit, the motivational speech to myself, feel free to enjoy, I encourage everyone to have one of these handy!

Grant, dude, you got this. I mean it, you really got this. Yeah, I get it blows right now, life isn’t the best to you, sure, but it’s just temporary thing. You’re gonna come out of this and know that, so no stupid decisions. You keep on fighting, at least to do nothing serious, until this blows over. I mean seriously, you’ve made it, what, a decade like this? More even! And you’re getting better, you got plenty of stuff archived to show for that. Don’t fret that this is part of your cycle, just know that it IS a cycle, it goes back around and gets good again. You’ve beat so many odds already. Bullying? Sure, it left its scars, but you have a good heart and strength to show for it. That kindness you are thinking right now people take advantage of? They do, I won’t lie, but you’re strong enough to rise above that. You strive to be the best man you can be, and most of the time you don’t fall short. You are an integral part of people’s lives, and that won’t change, in fact, you’re going to go on to do great things. Greatness is in you, even if darkness is too. You’re going to rise above that darkness though. It’ll happen, just you wait. In the meantime, ask anyone of your closest friends what they see in you or in your future, it’s good things, trust me, go on and ask, you’ll find that out. You’re a good man Grant, no matter what you want to think of yourself in this trying time. I hope you read these words and recall a many more great thing about yourself. Just remember to give it a few days and it everything will be right again.

So there, that’s done. Hopefully it can keep me focused and returning to at least stable thoughts if not happy ones. The happy ones come back, they did this time and all the ones before it. Time I start fighting bipolar this way instead of exploding against having it. I think this is a step in the right direction. Good night folks, it’s a wonderful night to change.