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
…°oÕĚod/
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?

Layers

I awoke again today, with that feeling. Why am I here?

Today it was less of a depressing feeling, and more of an unproductive feeling. Friday and Saturday night I was housesitting for my brother’s in-laws. I spent two nights, and one day there.

I went to sleep early friday, and woke up in good time on Saturday. After taking care of the pets, I made a run for donuts and coffee. I played videogames most the morning, was messing around on the piano for part of the afternoon. I ordered a large pizza, and watched a two hour movie on Netflix. I played more videogames again in the evening, in a Skype call with my friends. I fed and let out the animals again in the evening, and then laid in bed on Youtube until i went to sleep again, early.

Nobody robbed the house, It’s clean, and the animals are all fed and happy.

But other than that, I did nothing productive. I sat around by myself, enjoying not having much of anything to do. I slept a lot, and it was refreshing.

Today..

My back has hurt since I woke up. I had no plans. I did not make it to church. I had spent all Saturday in a pair of sweats. I did not have a change of clothes, and though I could have; I did not feel like going to church in what are essentially, my pajamas. I tidy’d up the house, packed up my computer, and went home. Made myself coffee, and played more videogames.

But why am I here?

Saturday was my day off. Saturday was relaxing, and easy. Saturday was an excuse to not do anything. But it’s sunday. I could literally be out saving lives, and instead i’m sitting in my pajamas, playing videogames.

Why am I here?

This is not a cry for help. This is not me, telling you I’m depressed. I am actually in a pretty good mood. It snowed last night, I’ve been listening to Christmas music off and on all week. I have all next week off work. I might roadtrip to the coast, just to get out of town. Life is good.

But today..?

I changed clothes. I packed my computer. I’m at the Library.

I need to write. I need to move along in my book. I need to vent. I would eat myself alive, if I sat at home all day.

When..

I could change lives.

 

Friday evening.

I stopped by Staples, the office supply store, to pick up some documents I had ordered to be printed. They were ready to be picked up, and it was a good time for me, because I was on my way to go house sit. After leaving Staples, I got in my car to grab some food. A KFC around the corner was a quick and easy option, so I got in my car and began heading over. I didn’t make it out of the parking lot.

She sat in the light of the entryway, outside the grocery store. One door down from Staples. Hands in her lap, back against the wall, legs straight out in front.

Her eyes were the only inch of skin to be seen, as they stared off into the nothingness before her, that was the entire world.

As I rolled by in my car she seemed to stare right through me.

I pulled over. I didn’t hesitate. From inside my chest, my heart made an executive decision. My mind knows not to argue with my heart, when my heart sets its own eyes before me.

“Excuse me, do you need something to eat?”

I asked her, self conscious about my appearance, to her, and anyone else looking on. She did, in fact, want something to eat. She agreed KFC was an ok option. She asked if we were walking, or driving, and wanted to know if I could bring her right back to her current spot. I told her we were driving, and yes, I could bring her back. She picked up her sleeping bag, and followed me to my car.

I told her she could get anything off the menu.

Five Dollars. That was it.

I went and took a seat before her and told her we could sit in the restaurant and eat, but that I would take her back as soon as she wanted.

She sat one table away from mine. There was space at my table, but she sat away from me. She did not want to annoy me. She did not want Me, to have to be seen eating with her. I allowed her the space she gave herself, while we ate, but I finished my meal and moved to her table. We sat there in silence.

Even inside the building, she did not take off any layers of clothing. Not even a hood. Which, at first does not sound weird. But I was wearing a t-shirt, and a jacket. I was comfortable.

She however, had on: A wool turtle neck, under a cotton hooded sweatshirt, under a fleece jacket, under a zip up hoodie, under another fleece jacket. With a beanie, and both hoods over her head. Beside her, was her sleeping bag, stuffed into a small canvas bag.

I caught her name, and found out she was Fifty Eight years old. I tried striking small conversation but she did not seem interested in talking.

I would have liked to know..

Are you actually homeless? Do you have family? How long have you been in this area? Is this all you own? Is there anything you need?

She didn’t talk.

I asked her what kind of music she liked, to which she responded:

“Oh you know.. I like just about anything. Whatever they play.”

Which I took as a generic response for:

I never really have the chance to listen to music enough to know what i like.

While we sat in the restaurant in silence, another older lady came in. She wore a cute cold weather sweater. She had a man and another woman with her. They all looked like they were in their Fifties and Sixties. They were all smiles.

I thought to myself, comparing and contrasting the two women around me.

These could very well be the same two women, under two different realities.

The thin, Grey, 58 year old homeless woman, wearing a dozen layers of clothing, with nothing to carry but a sleeping bag.

The thin, Grey, 58 year old wealthy woman, wearing a cute little wool sweater, and too much at home, to carry into town for dinner.

Where in their lives, did they make the different choices they did, to get where they are today?

Was it even a matter of mistakes? Was one born into a well connected family with happy jobs and healthy genes?

Was the other born alone?

Where was this poor woman’s family?

I don’t know what would be worse..

Finding out she has family, and they do nothing to care for her(?)

or Finding out she has no family to even attempt carrying for her at all..

 

When I dropped her back off at the grocery store, she returned to the spot i found her, and leaned up against the wall. She dropped the sleeping bag to her side, and was motionless. I wished her a Merry Christmas, and lifted a prayer.

But I left her there. longing.

Her and I both.

There was nothing I could have done to fix her. I could not change her past. I could not clear her mind. I could not extend warmth. I could not extend joy. I could not line out her future.

All I could do was provide a meal, and show her: at least on person cares.

To me.. That did not feel like enough. Though, I am told, that is all I needed to do.

When I picked her up she was sitting, and when I left her there again, she was standing. Maybe that’s all that matters.

If if could raid the world, and raise to their feet, everyone sitting down.. I would do it.

Life is too short to sit at home, and melt away.

Perhaps, one day; I will be at a place in my own life, where I can do more in others.

 

 

Forever strive.

Change lives.

 

 

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 √łne pil√łts – A Car, A Torch, A Death