This “Weight” I Can’t Shake

I’m feeling loaded down, people. I need help and don’t even know where or how to start. I don’t mean that I don’t know where to find help, I actually have a plethora of resources at my disposal.

I separated from the military in 2014 and moved home to Louisville, KY. I wasn’t sure about my decision to get out and to be honest I still question the decision from time to time. Although, when I do question myself I quickly remind myself why I got out, and based on the state of things going on in this country right now, I leave the thoughts feeling fortified in my decision.

Since I’ve returned home, going on three and a half years now, I’ve had four different jobs, all of which were “ok” jobs, but overall they just weren’t a good fit. There was no advancement opportunities, not really a big chance of getting decent raises or making good money.

So, after going nine years without missing a day of work, I haven’t worked a single day going on three months. Now on the one hand I have had the opportunity to spend those days with my 15 month old son, which I didn’t get to do with my other kids while they were at this age. I feel very blessed to have finally gotten to do that. On the other hand, though, I’ve been extremely restless, just itching to find that thing that fits, to feel like I’m heading in a direction that will allow me to live up to my potential. A direction that’s not only good for me, but good for my family as well.

Still I feel weighed down. I feel this heavy weight that is burdening me and I can’t seem to name it. I feel fine, I feel healthy, but most importantly I feel happy the majority of the time. I can feel the weight though. It’s not so heavy that I can’t shoulder it, I think, but then again, maybe that’s where I’m going wrong.

Anyway…I have a chance to get a part time job at Amazon, which is exactly what I’m looking for because I start college next month. I’m going to school to hopefully get my AS and get certified as an Aviation Maintenance Technician. It’s a great opportunity and I’ve been wanting to go back to school for a while now, but I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. And that notion, not knowing what I wanted do, is a repetitive theme in my life. When I joined the military I went in without a rating, or MOS as some vets know it, and spent two and a half years going basically no where before I decided I wanted to be an air traffic controller.

So, while deployed, I did all the leg work and put a package together that got me the chance to go to “A” School (Apprentice School) and become an Air Traffic Controller. The school was 16 weeks long and certified by the FAA. Needless to say, it was fast paced and challenging. I excelled. I finished 3rd in my class and was designated the class leader throughout school, which is typical of “fleet returnees” (a sailor who went to the fleet first, then went to “A” School, which is not the typical order).

After graduating, while meditating on my accomplishment, I realized that if I’d have attended this school immediately following boot camp I would have flunked out. I also learned that I had leadership capabilities. So, not knowing what I wanted to do with myself turned out to be to my benefit.

However I can’t see many benefits in the time I feel I’ve wasted since separating. Maybe I’m still to far in front of it to see them.

I’m so unbelievably excited to be going back to school I feel like I’m in elementary school again. I feel so extremely motivated that I know I’m going to excel. Feeling positive about any situation is the way to go into said situation.

But…still…I feel this weight and I can’t name it. I don’t feel stressed, I don’t think I’m depressed, hell I don’t even feel overwhelmed (although according to my family, I have every reason to be).

I think maybe I feel like I’m running out of time, maybe like me going to school is a little late, like maybe I’m a day late and a dollar short, and let’s face it, I’ve been avoiding some of my responsibilities while unemployed. Maybe I just feel like a POS for my avoidance. I do know for sure that I’m not a fan of “shrugging” my responsibilities. Thinking on that though, thinking about my excitement and sense of motivation and even though I can’t see where this ends I still have that overwhelming feeling that it’ll be somewhere great.

Thinking some more, maybe I feel like I don’t have the support to help me through any tough times, but I know that’s bullshit. Being a veteran alone means you have a fantastic support system, not to mention I have a great girl, and excellent parents and siblings that are always encouraging and never fake, and a handful of friends that I know, even if I fell, they would see me through.

And still…this weight. I have to do something, it has to be figured out, because even though I feel good about life and the direction I’m headed I know it would be just that much more enjoyable if I felt a little lighter on my feet.


Drawing Again

I used to draw. I used to draw a lot, almost as much as I wrote, and recently I’ve found the motivation to start again.

My newfound motivation spawns from a game I’ve recently started playing called (redacted). This is a fun little game, still in it’s infancy, that I play on my phone. The whole game is centered around growing and selling marijuana, legally.

The game also has a very active message board that I contribute to frequently. On these boards you can get game advice, suggest future updates for the game, or just have general conversation with the community in the Off Topic section of the boards. 

While perusing the boards one day, waiting on my “buds” to mature for harvest, I found many interesting things, many fun goings ons. Among these were a Halloween costume contest with prizes for best costume, a furry friend thread to post pics of your favorite getting high buddies, and a bi-weekly drawing contest. 

I started looking through the drawings people had posted and the drawings are really good! “I used to love to draw,” I remember saying out loud to no one. And there I found my motivation, I acquired a drawing pad, a sharp #2 pencil, and some inspiration from around the game. Who knew pot was such a great motivator? 

Needless to say, I highly recommend the game, if that’s what you like to do to pass spare time and I felt inclined to share my first couple drawings. 

I hope you all have a great day.

It Needed to Be Said

Recently I had a bit of a falling out with, what I would consider, a good friend. No matter the circumstances, no matter what was going down, no matter who was pissed at him (even if that someone was me), I always had his back. 
A little background: I met him when he started dating my cousin. He got me a job with him at FedEx, working for a contractor, driving a box truck and doing pickup and delivery of packages at various warehouses. We talked for hours everyday and really got to know each other. It’s been a fantastic and productive friendship until recently.

I’ve been down for a while (in life in general) and he’s been there, and he’s been down too and I’ve been there as much as possible while also trying to juggle life. 
He and my cousin have broke things off now, and that’s all I’ve heard about from him recently. How much he loves her, wants to be with her, wants his family, and so on, etc. Which, I have much empathy for his situation, been there, done that, got the T-shirt. At the same time, it was putting strain on our friendship due to the fact that he just didn’t seem to get that it was time to move on. 
Recently, he came over to my house and asked to use my phone. I let him, not thinking anything about it, and instead of using it to make a call, he went through all of my messages (like a suspicious girlfriend) and saw some things I had been discussing with a mutual friend about him and his need to slow down, take a step back, and try to see the bigger picture. What’s worse is he’d done this to other friends, going as far as putting his email in their phones in order to keep track of their movements and their correspondence. Well, he stormed off and said I was talking shit, although, everything said in the messages I had said to him at one point or another. 
I was pissed, I saw it as a betrayal of trust. I’ve had his back more than anyone and he was engaged to my cousin with two kids. I knew that we needed to talk (and we most certainly still need to) to get our shit straight, but I wasn’t ready, I was still very angry.
We’d been around each other a couple times since and we only traded pleasantries and small talk. This may have fixed things in his mind, but not in mine. 
To further this drama, I recently got found doing some things I shouldn’t have done, with which he was involved. My cousin (his former fiancé) and her brother (also my cousin) were also implicated in the mess (I am neither confirming or denying their involvement). When approached about it, in order to end any implication of either cousin’s involvement, I had to share a name and I shared his. You can debate and argue to me that that was wrong, but in my eyes if he wasn’t/isn’t willing to fall on that sword for the “family he loves so much”, especially now as a family outsider, then he’s not the guy I thought he was. 
He’s somewhere right now brooding, blaming the whole thing on me, and in my opinion, just being an ass about the whole thing. Hopefully, one day in the not to distant future, we’ll sit down and have the talk that needs to be had and then we can start the rebuild our great friendship. I’m open to the conversation, the ball is in his court.

Batman 💩

Batman is a crock of shit. He’s not a super hero, not even a hero, he’s a vigilante If Gotham knew it was Bruce Wayne, the cities beloved son, there would be no outrage about what he does. They would adore him and they should! 

But the people of Gotham are ridiculous and naive. With all the fancy gadgets Batman has, he’s either ridiculously rich or being bank rolled by someone ridiculously rich. Hmmm…he’s the same height and build as Bruce Wayne? Hundreds of millions of dollars in fancy gadgets? But who is he? I can tell you this: Bruce Wayne is involved with the vigilante “superhero.” 

I see the appeal for kids, they know who Batman is and the world Batman lives in does not. Kids can’t wrap their head around the whole thing. But that is exactly why when we begin to mature we start relating to the Joker. The Joker is real, he feels the struggle and he just wants to prove that society, as a whole, is no better than he is. 

This brings me to the upcoming Justice League movie. I’m not hyped about it at all! I’d much rather go see Ragnarok, at least it’s the continuation of a plot line that already exist and is leading to things of epic proportions. Justice League is just DC trying to play catch-up, which wasn’t necessary in the slightest. They could have done all the solo movies, then the group movie, then more individual movies, and so on, etc… 

Look at the way they did Superman! He’s just gone? What kind of shit is that? What kind of Justice League doesn’t involve Superman? Superman is a real superhero! 

Suicide Squad was good and let’s you believe there’s going to be a big Batman vs. Joker movie that could give the Dark Knight a run for it’s money. Will it ever happen though? 

Batman’s a crock of shit. And know, only DC can change my mind on this. At least they have decent soundtracks. 

The Glass is Half…?

WOW….what in the hell is going on? Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. I woke up this morning…broken, to say the least! I drove around this morning just trying to find a way to attempt to begin to wrap my brain around it.

Then I got this meme from a Trump supporter and one of my best friends. I laughed because it’s funny in that hopelessly depressing sort of way. Although I laughed it still wasn’t do much for the impending doom/the end of the world is upon us mood that I was in. I started calling family member and fellow liberals to bitch about the fact that our backwards ass country voted in this racist, this bigot, this fool to the arguably the most important job in the free world. While talking to a family member I was urged to watch Trump’s acceptance speech, which I was actively avoiding because I wasn’t trying to hear the same shit I’ve been hearing for two years.

Reluctantly I watched the whole video before passing judgement on what he said. Um…first, is this even the same man that has been campaigning the last two years? Now, you can say whatever you want about the campaign trail being tough and doing what you have to do to win and all that, but I’m calling bullshit. Bernie didn’t run smear campaigns, but maybe that’s why he lost. 

The man I saw today, talking about the debt of gratitude we owe Hillary for her service, how we’re going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, how he would like for all of us to come together to help him accomplish his goals, how we are going to help ourselves and then others, and how we are going to be peaceful with those who wish for peace. 

😳 I was SHOCKED!!, to say the least. And found myself a little excited, if you will. It was not anything I was expecting to hear and nothing I was expecting to feel. Hell, it could be an act, another lie among many, it could be absolutely horrendous. On the other hand it could be ok, maybe even great. I mean in all the research I did on Trump the one I can tell you for sure is he is far from a conservative. I mean he could possibly accomplish one thing that Obama didn’t (not that he was given a fair shake from jump) and that’s bringing the country together. Hillary sure as hell wasnt going to do it and I think that a lot of supporters, myself included, were so iffy on her that we can still try to “hear out” Trump.

I do, however, still have great concern for marriage equality, Roe v. Wade, and for the LGBT community.

But, as for me, I will be Glass Half Full. I will do my best to try and support our soon to be Commander in Cheif and I will remain cautiously optimistic until proven wrong, if proven wrong. And if I am proven wrong…?

Feeling Every Emotion

Is it possible to feel every emotion at the same time? I’m starting to think/feel it is! What’s got me feeling this way is the state in which I find our country. I think our country is becoming deplorable. Everyone is literally fighting, currently, over politics and the two subpar candidates we have chosen. 

Let’s take a look at it: on the one hand we have a lying, cheating, money hungry, no good for America, piss poor candidate and on the other hand we have almost the mirror image in female form. 

Donald Trump appears to be an undiagnosed narcissist with no experience, a womanizer, a bigot, a xenophobe, and a racist who wants to make America great again by taking our country back to the “good ol’ days” where all his short falls are common place. Referencing the wheel, that makes me feel ANGER>MAD>FURIOUS/ENRAGED, or ANGER>CRITICAL>SARCASTIC. A good word is that is left out is PISSED. I’m pissed off at the fact that anyone would find him a good leader or worthy of running this country. 

Hillary Clinton appears to me to be an uncaring (despite all her seeming caring), over experienced mob boss waiting to take this country to the mattresses (see: Russia). Her campaign slogan, Stronger Together, which is actually true. We as a citizenry are stronger together, but not with her. Which brings me to her other slogan, I’m with her, well I definitely NOT. The idea that the majority of the female population is voting for her because she’s a woman is despicable. It makes me feel SAD>DESPAIR>VULNERABLE/POWERLESS. 

These two candidates as a whole are awful and makes me feel FEAR>ANXIOUS>WORRIED/OVERWHELMED. I feel at this point the only reason either party is voting for their candidate is to stop the other from getting in office and that people is every kind of SAD.

So what’s that leave us with? Jill Stein who’s not going to be on the ballot in all 50 states and Gary Johnson, who will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Surprisingly Johnson has won the hearts of 5% of Bernie followers even though (quoting Bill Maher) he’s a ventriloquist dummie who’s policy positions are almost uniformly the exact opposite of Bernie’s and who when asked to name a foreign country said Brangelina. The majority of his supporters are Libertarians still trying to make their voices heard. Neither of these candidates make me feel anything except maybe STUPID. 

So to sum it all up, politics has made me feel, at least, all of the negative emotions at the same time. Which ultimately leaves me feeling DISGUST>DISAPPROVAL/DISSAPOINTMENT/AWFUL/AVOIDANCE>JUDGEMENTAL/LOATHING/REPUGNANT/REVOLTED/DETESTABLE/HESITANT. The most being HESITANT,hesitant to even cast a vote next month. 

Losing My Religion, Finding the Answer

I was born in Louisville, KY in 1985 and was raised in the Catholic Church where I attended on the occasions that are relevant to the time of year it happens to be. Entering first grade I attended Portland Christian School (Church of Christ), from which I graduated in 2004. Once in PCS going to church on Sunday was mandatory and part of my grade for Bible class. My family then started attending church more often where I completed 4 of the 7 sacraments. The first being baptism (at a very early age), then Eucharist, reconciliation, and confirmation. I loved going to church on Sunday, I always sang along and could recite mass from memory. I liked helping poor people, probably because I grew up in the poorest neighborhood in the city and saw them all the time. Additionally, due to my parents playing on multiple softball teams, I grew up around a very diverse group of adults from pot smokers to openly gay people to ex-cons. I loved going to school too and learning scripture, putting it to memory, and reciting it on the spot when called. Then I got to high school and starting noticing things, things that I wasn’t particulary happy about. The first thing I noticed was being treated different by some, some teachers as well, because of the neighborhood I grew up in and because of my parents political views (very liberal). I also started noticing a lot of hypocrisy and a lot of people not “practicing what they preach.” These things made me a bit of a rebel (or so I thought), posting rock n roll lyrics in my locker (I still love rock and many other genres of music, but more on that later), calling out teachers on their bullshit (I love Jesus, but I cuss), and many other things that landed me in the principle’s office on multiple occasions. Going to a private, Cristian school was unique but not very diverse, unlike my life away from school. Looking back now, it wasn’t so much of me being a rebel as it was the beginning of me “losing my religion”. My parents were wrong for being Democrats and the people they hung around were going to hell. It left a sour taste in my mouth and as much as I fought against it it was difficult not to walk away from there with a lot of things I disagree with instilled in me. It hardened me quite a bit thinking that although I didn’t necessarily believe like the people from PCS did that maybe they were right and my family was wrong.

After high school I joined the military and it was a diversity explosion! I met and befriended people from all walks of life, different religions, atheist, gays, etc. It was easy making friends because of the way I was raised in my home life, but still having this idea that these people were going to hell. I grew up a lot in the military and realized that everyone there was there for a lot of different reason, but we all had one common goal and that was serving our country. Getting to know the people I was serving with and seeing that they were great people I began to wonder how these people could be damned. It made me bitter and it made me resent my religion more. 

Then beginning in 2008 I lost my religion completely. America had just elected its first African American president and racism was running rampant. I noticed people on my FB saying and posting racist things and being cruel, my “Christian” friends. It only got worse as time went on, every “liberal” move the president made was criticized and condemned by Christians and now eight years later he is still hated by “the Christian Right” because of his politics. Now I didn’t come here to defend Obama, but what a great POTUS he’s been. While campaigning for his second term racial tensions, among other things, were rising and I hated my old religion, I wanted nothing to do with its people or their God! And then just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, Donald Trump becomes our countries conservative, Christian, Republican candidate and spews his hate and anger and lewdness and narcissism and bigotry around like a cold! And what does the people of my old religion do? They defend him, make excuses for him, and continue to support him like he is the second coming of Christ. It seemed most Christians were intolerant of all non-Christians and vice versa. Now, it seems, I’ve lost my religion and my faith. My faith in God and my faith in humanity. 

Through my whole experience the big things that I’ve wondered are: what happened to Jesus? What happened to his teachings? What happened to the love? I have this overwhelming feeling that He is disappointed. I think, no, I know that this is not what He taught, not what he practiced, not what he preached. What he taught and showed to all was LOVE and acceptance and understanding. Judge not lest ye be judged, treat others as you want to be treated, love each other!! John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. My religion needs to return to this simple commandment and quickly. Quit concentrating on the Old Testament and focus on Jesus’ teachings, because His sacrifice made the the Old Testament moot, rendered it useless, null and void! Get it? The answer: Love

In closing, I still believe in Jesus and I still believe that through Him all things are possible. I still believe in love and I still believe that people that share my beliefs are, at their core, good people. I believe that no matter what walk of life you are from or how you believe that we can all accept/respect each other and that we can all love one another. Maybe then I, and others like me, will “re-find” my religion that I love.