I’m good. You?

I passed by my Dentist, walking opposite directions in the grocery store isle. It took each of us a second to recognize each other, for I was not on my back with a paper towel around my neck; and He was not in his scrubs, or wearing those spy goggles he rocks on a daily basis. We did notice each other however, and in passing, a simple: “Hey!.. How are you?.. Good!” was all we exchanged.

He had slowed down more than I, and he would have no doubt stopped and had a conversation with me, if I slowed down as well. I kinda regret now, not stopping to say more, but he read my body language properly. It’s past dark, on a thursday, at a grocery store . I’m here to shop, not to socialize. 

I’ll see him in a couple of months.

As I got into my car however, my mind grew sporadic.  What if he really wanted to talk? It seems so unlikely (I’m a twenty-some year old bachelor. A patient of his; but only because my mom provides family dental insurance, etc.) but honestly, what if he wanted to say more than “Good” ?

Beyond my dentist, in the grocery store..

“good”.

What does that even mean?

I’ve heard it said before, by pastors and comedians, but what does it mean when you say “I’m good”.?.

…”I’m not comfortable telling you how my life is right now, and even if i was,

you’re probably not interested anyways.. so.. ‘good’.. I’m ‘good’…”

?

Oh, how callused we have become.

Are we all too self absorbed? Too self conscious?

We approach each other with a fear of the expression of how we feel,  simultaneously apathetic of the fears and feelings of those we have approached.

Or is it simply a waste of our time..  (?)

 

With all this (and more) on my mind, I begged the question of myself. Was I honest?

“I’m good”.

I have been doing a lot of self reflection lately. I tend to flip one of two ways.

I am incredibly blessed, life is good, God is faithful, the people around me are supportive and loving.

 – or –

I’m not good enough, ever.

Allow me to analyze, and explain.

For the most part, both are true. The change in my mood is dependent on which of these two near-facts I choose to dwell on.

I cannot even decide, in this moment, which of these to explain first..

I am incredibly blessed. There is no denying that. My parents are still together, they are loving and supportive. All my siblings are responsible, and kind; well put-together individuals. I have a tight knit crew of very close friends, many of which are off on their own life ventures,  growing fluent in adulthood. I have a steady, respectable job, with good hours and a very appreciative boss. I do not go hungry, and I have a place to sleep every night. I’m good.

The flip-side however. I have to include this, because despite these being terrible reasons to get depressed, I often overthink my own circumstances, and grow tired.

I’m a college dropout. I live in an old house, in which I split rent with roommates. I am not married, or even close. My savings account is almost entirely made up of tax returns. I still owe money, to my parents, for my car. I don’t know where I see myself in five years. I am in my early twenties, but I feel like I was seventeen just yesterday. I have been out of high-school for nearly as long as I was in, and I have nothing to show for it. I’m ‘good’.

If you have read this far, understand, I am not looking for a pat on the back, or your pity. And please don’t scold me either.

 

I take everything for granted.

I sit here at my desk, writing this blog, observing the metaphorical Pros & Cons list of my life, and I am good.

*Let me google that for you.. 
good
ɡo͝od/
adjective
  1. To be desired or approved of.
    “we live at peace with each other, which is good”
  2. Having the qualities required for a particular role.

 

I’m good. I mean that. To anyone remotely interested, or myself, reading this from the future. 

I’m good.

I often struggle with anxiety, and depression, like the future is some mystical journey in which I am tried and tested, for weakness and flaws. Like life is some kind of game for which I have never trained, or been told the rules.

And while in a sense, it is.. I’m prepared.

When I look back on where I was just two or three years ago, having just dropped out of college, and moved out. Living with roommates I did not get along with. Working a minimum wage job with higher-ups who did not appreciate me. Eating ramen noodles and frozen pizza rolls day and night… When I look back…

..I’m good!

Since the last week of december, I have Ran, every weekday before work for 10-20 minutes, and 45 minutes on Saturdays.

The only thing on my debit card over the past two weeks has been coffee and gas, not because money is tight, but because I have everything I want, and I regularly cook myself full meals at home.

I also make a 16 oz smoothie almost every day. They’re delicious. Yogurt, Berries, Milk, Orange Juice, Oatmeal, and Kale or Spinach, the occasional Kiwi.

I even started using mouth wash (or whatever you call it) after I brush and floss, which is something I have not done consistently, since my dentist made me, as a kid.

In the 8 months of my books existence, in 2014, I wrote 4 chapters. In all of 2015 I wrote 7. In these short 2 months of 2016, I have written 3. At this rate, I may finish writing it before 2017. Which would be amazing!

..and the list goes on and on.

At this point, the conclusion I would like to make, at risk of being too repetitious..

is I’m good. Ha!

When we push aside our fear of the future, the present becomes so much more clear. Wake up in the morning, breathe in the sunrise, and let the daylight put to sleep your nightmares.

I can look back at every moment of my life, including the most grand of them all, and think.. I’m better off.

Just because I am not moving as fast as I might like, and I have no idea how I got here, and I have no idea where I’m going.. does not mean I have any excuse to panic.

My mind is an endless game of tug-o-war, and here I pour water, on the solid ground, of the side I wish to lose.

My life is going by a plan, divine, and I have not one reason to be discontent.

I’m Good.

So, next time I ask someone how they’re doing, they’re going to respond:  “I’m good” .. and I’m going to pull them aside, look them in the eyes, and ask again..

“How are You?..”

I want to be the first stranger, in their entire life, to really care.

..How are you?

Day, After Day… After Day.

I love, love, love, what the Above Love does,

Upon us, ever longing of Above Love’s Love.

 

I panic on a regular basis.

Take my hand. I don’t want to fall. Can I even trust one more step?

Are there any guarantees the ground before me won’t just crumble?

Life is a terrible dream. You’re half asleep, so all your surroundings are faded. Nothing more than ten feet away from you has any real shape or form. You have no real grasp of what is outside of your direct reach. You stand on flat ground, but the sensation of being off balance is tearing apart your insides, like the slightest nudge will send you collapsing to the ground. You have one hand reaching behind you, holding onto all that is stable. Yet, because it is your dream, they too are invisible, for you cannot turn around. You look at your feet, they are all you can see. The ground beneath them appears distant. Your knees are shaking, you’re sweating, everything is dark. Voices around you plead. One step. Just take one more step. Like every other day in your chaotic life, you feel like a child in their first attempt at something new.

Take my hand. I don’t want to fall. Can even I trust one more step?

Blood stops short of your hand, as you clench what rests behind you. Raising one foot, trembling off the ground, you extend a leg in front of you. For just an instant the ground disappears, your eyes roll back, consciousness subsides. The foot plummets a short distance below you, onto solid ground. You regain momentary strength, but it’s short lived. Everything is still black before you, and your heart still throbs within. Your back foot unknowingly catches up to your newly found location, and the battle continues once again, never looking back.

Take my hand. I never want to fall. How can I trust even one more step?

The ground you stand on quakes. Bits and pieces of the stone you rest on fall through the surface around you. A gaping black hole appears beneath you, as all you’ve known to exist, falls away. Your arms and legs go numb, as the ground disappears. The darkness engulfs everything around you, until nothing remains but your feet themselves, standing on thing air. Complete fear and agony overtake you, as the nothingness you have known for all this time, breaks your heart.

Emptiness.

For a moment.

Emptiness.

Gravity pulls you through the dark. Your arm still reaching behind you. You’re falling. Nothing can slow you down. Nothing can be seen. Your heart, your soul, your entire being, cries out at the dark.

Let me Go!

 

Behind you, from where you cannot see, you hear voices.

Take my hand. You will not fall. Take just ONE more step. 

 

 

Watch, with me, the birds. Can they see the air? The very ground they walk on. Can they see it? A flap of the wings, lift off.

Emptiness.

Keep going.

Emptiness.

 

What if we could fly?

Would you believe me if I told you; we are already flying..?

Each day is a flap of our wings, showing off to the world around us, and those in it. We look to the air beneath us and smile, as if to say:

Are you seeing what I am capable of?! 

I can fly. Each day, if I choose to, I soar.

We cannot see what gives us lift, and it may be a lifetime before we do.

Regardless, As a bird does not see the empty space beneath its wings.

We cannot see tomorrow.

But a bird takes off through thin air..

Can we, together, feel the wind?

Misjudged.

Driving home from work, I was planning out this big elaborate blog post.

I was gonna touch on what happened this summer between myself and some other individuals (who were gonna remain nameless)..

I was going to briefly explain what happened, and write about how angry it made me. How unjust it was. How misjudged I became.

I was going to discuss trust, gossip, and reputations. Jumping to conclusions. A slap in the face.

 

Now, I’m sitting at my computer. I checked the mail, ate some food, took a shower. I turned on some chill music. I’m having a change of heart.. At least in regards to what I want to write about.

What happened months ago is nobody’s concern. It happened, it ended, I have moved on. Bringing it back up again, to the top of my mind, for my soul to boil over, is unnecessary.

Like clouds that roll in unexpectedly, and disappear on their own time, this past issue eats at me.

I am not just making some cliché metaphor about clouds to sound poetic. I have gone weeks without it ever surfacing on my mind. Then, without any real warning, I remember. The clouds roll in overnight, and if I’m lucky, they blow over by late morning. Other times, like the cold season, I am not so easily set free.

My mind is not the sky, however. Unlike the open air, I CAN change my perspective on issues. I CAN push out the clouds, and reel in the sun.

Today, I reel in the sun.

Anyone wandering across this page, may by this point, be extremely curious what instance I am referring to. Maybe if you’re lucky i’ll address it in another post. Not today.

Needless to say. I am making a conscious decision to shift the wind of my mind. I have already done what I can to forgive. This post is not about forgiveness, but it Is in the past. I am done getting angry about problems I cant go back in time and fix. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone carries a knife. Who am I to complain? When i trip over backwards, and they happen to be standing behind me?

When we were kids, pictures and notebooks had the occasional rippled surfaces; that when moved, would animate themselves, or change color. Depending on the angle you looked at it, you might see an entirely different picture*.

Life is a series of mental games. A card is held up, and you’re asked what you see. You can see whatever you want of the card. You can sit and stare at it for hours, until you’ve convinced yourself, you know exactly what the image depicts.

Stand up and walk around. Ask someone else’s opinion. You may find something entirely different.

Is the card red, or blue? Is it a lion, or a fish? Was it a stab in the back, or one big misunderstanding?

Plot twist!

yes.

It depends on how you look at it.

That being said..

 

Life sucks.

 

But, good gracious.. Life, is no short of spectacular. 

 

Forgive, Forget, Move On. Stand up for what you believe, and when your biggest critic is yourself. Light your own sky on fire, and chase away the clouds; because the sun needs reeling in.

 

 

** Lenticular Printing

Tears of Glowing Red

I’m writing, right now, just to write.

Because writing, right now, feels right. 

Imagine, with me, a world where no one ever struggled with purpose. Where no one ever wondered, what am i supposed to do today? Where no one ever wondered what they were going to do tomorrow.

Imagine, no confusion. No loss for words. No pain at loss of worth.

Imagine… Imagine. 

Imagine that world, was already here among us.

Imagine we just fail to see it.

Would we struggle with depression, would we struggle with anxiety, would we struggle with the pain of ‘no purpose’… If we knew, the depression, anxiety, and pain, were in fact our very purpose?

A tree does not struggle with losing its leaves. Losing its leaves is part of its very purpose. A tree cries, tears of blood, glowing red on the way to the ground. Over time its’ tears become exactly what the tree was needing all along. In doing so, the tree provides for everything around it, simultaneously saving its own life, and yours.

Imagine.

Nobody ever notices a tree, until it changes colors.

Nobody appreciates a tree, until it has learned to cry.

Not an “about me” page.

When i awoke this morning, after the 9 hours of sleep which followed my Incredible Thanksgiving, I was depressed, and tired. My mind ached, and i was hungry (for more than just food).

I would explain what my Thanksgiving consisted of, and what all made it so spectacular, but that is irrelevant. All you need to know, is my Thanksgiving was an amazing day of great food and fellowship with my family and many friends. My thanksgiving ended with me in bed at 11:00pm feeling full of love and great food. I slept until 8:00am and woke up the the sun breaking through the curtains on my bedroom windows, with 3 more days free of work..

But, this morning I awoke to the sun, and my mind, to my surprise, went:

“…ggghhhaaaaaa…. why am i here?..”

And immediately I scolded myself like my mind was a spoiled child on the car ride home from Disneyland, on Christmas break. Like Yesterday was so amazing, and i have 3 days ahead of me with no homework, what could i possible be upset about?

To this hour, at 5:30pm, i have no idea what caused such discontentment.

I feel much better now though. Let me explain.

I woke depressed. I didn’t shower. I rolled downstairs and jumped on my computer. I grabbed a cookie from the day before, and I played videogames for 2 hours. Often times a bit of ‘relax and enjoy doing nothing’ is all i need to sorta lighten a bad mood, but this morning it didn’t help.

I shut my computer, and took a shower. I texted my mom about a pair of pants she wanted me to try on before she bought them, for me, for christmas. I put on my favorite pair of skinny jeans. I played my favorite music.

My mind went: “..ghhaaaa… why am i here?..”

I opted to visit my mom and sister, who took me out to lunch.

We stopped by the store. I tried on the clothes. I picked out the correct size. I watched my mom pay for them right then and there. We ate at cheap restaurant, and my mom bought me the most expensive meal on the menu. Her and my sister were all smiles. They were going shopping for the rest of the day, and had plans for a movie later in the evening.

I was welcome to come along.

My mind went: “…ghhaaaaaaaa……. why am i here?..”

I told them: “Im just really tired. Thanks, but no thanks”.

(Not a lie… not the full truth).

I left, to go home. I planned on sleeping the rest of the day away, and maybe playing some videogames again in the evening. So i drove away.

 

Here’s where my day began to turn around

 

I got half way home, playing some of my favorite somber songs.

One song in particular spoke to my soul..

*And I begin to envy the headlights driving south
I want to crack the door so I can just fall out
But then I remember when you packed my car
You reached in the back and buckled up your heart

For me to drive away with
I began to understand
Why God died

Following that verse, is a happy little drum beat, alongside a sad little melody..  my heart burned.

I bobbed my head, turned it up, and started the song over from the beginning.. because who am I, and how dare I?

Who am I to ask: “Why am I here”?

This day is not an ‘About Me’ Page. No day, is an ‘About Me’ Page.

The right turn was towards home, but I turned left.

I ran to the grocery store on a whim and spent a little money on some minor grocery items I was in need of. My laptop was in my car, so I made the conscious decision; after the grocery store I was going to stop by the library and write in my book. Today needed something productive. Today needed something more than just me.

As i left the grocery store.. i stopped my car in the middle of the lane, at the sight of a middle aged mexican man. He was obese, and struggled to walk. He was loading groceries in his tiny little ghetto car. There was an elderly woman riding shotgun, and an eight foot 2×4 sticking out the back window. This man had his calloused legs wrapped, and was apparently Ill beyond his obesity. Yet, somehow, all things considered, this man seemed entirely content with his life and well being.

So, stepping from my car, I approached this man. I handed him a twenty dollar bill. Shook his hand, wished him a great holiday season, and told him God Bless.

I got back in my car and drove away before he could say anything more than: “Thank you, you too”.

Driving away, I smiled.

You reached in the back and buckled up your heart
For me to drive away with
I began to understand
Why God died

Life is not an ‘About Me’ page.

I worked on my book for an hour and a half at the local library. I wrote the first two pages of chapter 11, and felt like i really accomplished something for the day.

As I walked toward the front door of the library, on my way out, I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out a five dollar bill. It belonged in my man purse, not in my pocket. I would surely lose it.

I did not, for one second, hesitate.

Without stopping for a moment, I dropped the five dollars in the lap of an unsuspecting young man sitting in a chair on the edge of the hallway. I didn’t lock eye contact. I didn’t tell him my name. I didn’t look back. I had headphones in, so I didn’t listen.

I didn’t want to hear “thank you”. I didnt want to hear “come back”.

I walked out without a word, and this young man is now five dollars richer, and I’m glad.

Love is not an ‘About Me’ page.

Ultimately, this day has brought me here. I am home, 25 dollars short, and I couldn’t be more happy, with 25 dollars spent. 

Because what is life, if lived only for ones self?

It is certainly not a life, full.

It is certainly not love.

So to that, there is no About Me page.

This blog is about you.

**twenty øne piløts – A Car, A Torch, A Death