Monday, September 3, 2012

A Friend of Yours

As humans, we strive for interpersonal relationships with one another.
We don't just want to communicate.
It's a need for survival.
Is it at all possible that these relationships can sometimes become a detriment to personal progress?
That their presence is a necessity in our lives, and any reality without that presence is an unsuccessful one?
I am facing this very phenomena.
Never left alone, grew up in the same city all my life, twenty years, ever reliant on family and friends. 
I've stepped out of my bounds, and it's fantastic.
Canada, New York City, Texas, Oregon.
There's no doubt there are wonders and experiences in every which direction, enough to wet my palate of open-mindedness for years to come.
And yet part of the reason I stay is to be close to family and friends. 
Family has been there my entire life; people to rely on in trying times.
When the going gets tough, there they are.
Friends have been there my entire life; people to laugh with, cry with, drink with.
When you need to talk, they listen. 
Not that you couldn't find any of that if you venture out on your own.
It's every man's unspoken fate that he find his own niche in this world at some point.
Whether it be a few blocks down or leagues over the world.
We all leave family and friends.
It's inevitable.
Not that they are cut out of our lives, but that you open your heart and mind to others.
And that's the frightening part. 
Making room.
It's unreliable. It's uncertain. It's unstable.
Despite all these depravities, it's bold.
Getting lost helps you find yourself.
So what are you afraid of?
You're not really losing anyone.
Just opening the door.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


When your future plans are questioned, you doubt.
Doubt what you've done.
Doubt what you're capable of.
Doubt yourself.
But sometimes all you need is a little perspective.
It's unbelievable how empowering something as simple as a sunset can be.
Other than the obvious beauty of a sunset, why is it so empowering?
Because even when darkness falls, the Sun shines it's hardest.
Ever resilient in the face of looming bleakness.
Proving that you too can shine your hardest.
When you're discouraged, remember you are human.
Show them what you're made of.
You're unstoppable.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Sinner Kissed An Angel

Would you question someone you've looked up to for years if you'd heard a rumor about them?
Someone in my past may or may not have done something terrible.
For years I wrote it off as simple gossip.
That they were crazy to think it was true.
And yet, it could be me who's the gullible one.
Trying to see only the good in people.
Not acknowledging that it's human nature to slip up and make mistakes.
This person was a role model of sorts.
IS a role model of sorts.
Because I still refuse to believe it.
Is it that it truly couldn't have happened though?
Or am I just repudiating the claims because I don't want my role model to have turned out a bad person?
I would say that his good acts far outweighed this one not so good act.
But then again, two wrongs don't make a right.
It just seems unfair to deem a good person a criminal based on nothing more than a rumor.
Especially when it's hard to find someone with such genuine kindness, passion and morals.
Even in the off chance it did happen, it was a mistake.
The authorities did a damn good job keeping it hushed up.
In conclusion, I won't believe it.
I'll remember him as the person who cared.
Who gave you the time of day.
Who gave his family and friends all the love he had to give.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Swingin' Down The Lane

Do cops get a bad rap?
You see one driving behind you. What do you do?
You immediately reassess your driving. Take turns slower. Drive at a more appropriate speed. Eyes flicking nervously back and forth between the road and your rear view mirror. Heartbeat beginning to pick up.
A friend tells you of their recent altercation with a cop, ending with a hefty ticket and abrupt, commanding conversation.
Newspaper headlines screaming "Police Corruption," "Cops Kill Execute Innocent Man On Street," "Police Kill Teenager After Shooting Him Five Time In Back."
Of course we're only going to hear and pay attention to the bad things.
Despite these stories, what people seem to forget is that there are more good cops than bad cops. There are more good cops than bad cops as a whole.
Admittedly, it is difficult for someone to look at a cop and say "Thank you for doing your job."
Yes, they're protecting our streets, making our cities safe for everyone.
But when the only times we've ever spent time with a cop end with a fine, it's difficult to swallow your pride and move on.
The conclusion I've arrived at is looking at the situation as similar to your relationship with your parents. relationship, anyways.
Kids are little shits.
They're kids, they don't know any better.
That's what childhood and being young is for. Being pretentious.
So of course there were times when I was probably hard to handle.
And disciplinary action followed, thankfully.
Then, I hated it. Didn't understand.
Now, being twenty years old, I'm extremely thankful my parents weren't easy on me.
You shouldn't beat your kids, but punishment to some degree, in my opinion, is necessary.
So look at your cops as you see your parents.
They'd do anything to save you, they'd jump in front of a bullet for you.
But vice versa, if you step out of line, they won't hesitate to punish you.
Just take it with a grain of salt, and realize they do a lot more for you than you do for them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's Take An Old Fashioned Walk

It's funny how wiping down a table for the hundredth time can make you feel dead.
I don't mean that in the exaggerated sense, or the "I'm gonna go online to complain like a little bitch," sense.
I mean it in the parallel "not alive" sense. 
Working any job for an extended period of time with a constant unwavering, regime will make anyone question their current position in life. 
Rather than focusing on not feeling alive, I instead wanted to reflect on the moments in my life in which I felt the most alive. 
Since most of the moments are precious to me and would take far too much time to extrapolate, I'll instead provide glimpses.

Stumbling into a pond as an infant, having mistaken it as a patch of grass. Water enveloping me, the light form the Sun breaking through the surface. A strong hand grasping my wrist, pulling me sharply upward.

The cold night air whipping my face as the cruise boat sliced calmly across Coeur d'Alene lake, the town's Christmas lights in the distance. A heavy coat keeping me warm as a friend and I stare intently into the distance.

Opening a can of Root Beer in a movie theater, surrounded by laughing, raucous comrades.

Four young men, jumping off a dock into Liberty Lake, skinny dipping on a warm summer night. 

Relaxing on steps leading to Riverfront Park's river. The hushed quacking of ducks moving quietly through the water. A head lightly resting against my shoulder as dusk approaches.

Wandering through Times Square, people teaming past me, the bright lights illuminating what seemed like the world.

A gentle kiss, tears falling, promises fervently made.

The barrel of a shotgun resting against my temple, a short man screaming, demanding money.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dancing In The Dark

I'd like to address two people I greatly look up to. Russell Seaton and Eric Whitacre.
Russell Seaton was the choir director when I was in high school.
He was a father figure, a man with morals, and someone you could always count on to make the right choice.
One of my greatest memories is his wife and kids visiting him during class.
His two young daughters running to him as he bent down for an embrace.
Seeing that is what made me want to be a father one day.
The look on his face was the look you see on a completely fulfilled man.
Someone who is completely content and happy.

Eric Whitacre is another choir composer, one I don't know personally, but whose music I can turn to and feel at peace. When he speaks of his music, of how he makes it, he sounds genuine. Like it came from his soul. 

Maybe it's just something about choir music. When I hear it, it's magical. Poetic. Peaceful. 
It's pure.
That's probably why I can't listen to modern day pop and hip hop music nowadays.
I mean, to each his own.
But it's not pure.
Auto tuning isn't pure. And therefore, it's fake in my eyes. A mask.
Pure human voice is something so beautiful, and always seems to bring me back to the phenomenon that is human voice. It's transcendent. 
It sends a shiver down my body, as cliche as that sounds, I get it now. It's a literal, physical reaction from head to toe, and it feels like Heaven.

Until The Real Thing Comes Along

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Best Is Yet To Come

While I'm on the topic of "Things That Motivate Me," I'll share a poster I have hanging in my room.
It's a manifesto from a company called Holstee that specializes in recycled clothing and accessories.
It's bold, to the point, and encourages me to give it my all every time I walk out that door in the morning.

Out Beyond The Window

One of my more reliable sources of news comes from a popular youtuber, Philip Defranco. You might've heard of him. He said something on today's show that really struck a chord in me, so I'd like to share it.

"True greatness is found within, and the only person you should aim to be superior to is yourself. 
Greatness is not listening to family and friends who say you can’t. 
Greatness is overcoming whatever unfair hand you were dealt with this life, and greatness is overcoming your biggest enemy always and forever: yourself. 
That’s really the only thing that ever stifles change and sadly it’s the only thing that can provide success. Because at the end of the day, you are the one that is either not doing or doing
The moment you realize that, the moment you overcome it, that is greatness. 
Not going through the motions or throwing yourself against a wall several times expecting a different result."
- Philly D

You are the one in control of your life. Not anyone else. You. Get up and make a change.

New York, New York

Took my first trip to New York City last week, and boy howdy, was it somethin'.
Hot, humid, sweaty, packed, streets full of garbage. But I loved it. Every moment. 
What an experience.
From the numerous hot dog carts to the persistent beggars on the subway to the cockroaches on the walls.
Nothing sums it up better than one word: Character.
It has something from every culture, yet it is a city with a culture of it's very own. 
It's odd coming back to my small city of Spokane Valley. It almost feels empty. I would go back to NYC in a heartbeat, but I would never replace it with my hometown. Much, I suppose. 
It's interesting how you can be surrounded by throngs of people, and still feel lonely. 
But there was never a dull moment. 
Though I didn't see a Broadway show, and the only "celebrity" to speak of that I saw was an anchor from Fox News, it was an incredible trip.
Central Park, the West Village, the shops in Greenwich, Chelsea Market, Wall Street.
Getting off the subway in Harlem to nothing but a sea of black people and a Popeye's Chicken.
But my favorite experience was relaxing at the Pier in Lower Manhattan after a long day.
Seeing the sunset hit the buildings on the opposite side of the water, a stoic Brooklyn Bridge in the background, waves gently crashing the side of the docks, a man playing Motown Blues on his guitar a few feet away. 
Though my camera died, I'll never forget that memory. 
Some advice to others planning on seeing NYC in the future:
Stay for at least a week.
You'll need it.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Girl I Never Kissed

The Earth is incredibly human.
I normally go for a walk at night, around 10 or 11. Just to clear my head.
I've always felt it very serene; the cool night air, the dim street lamps lighting my way, the stars blanketing the sky, the calm and quiet.
However this morning I altered my agenda a bit. Mostly due to waking up inexplicably early.
I took my walk instead this morning around 6 am. Right when the Sun comes up, as it turns out.
I took the same route, walked the same sidewalks, got barked at by the same dogs frantically protecting their master's territory.
Though it seemed like a new world. Seeing everything I always see, through a new lens.
Just goes to show you only see things a certain way until you happen upon it in a new light.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reaching for the Moon

I feel I should explain the titles of these posts. They will be named after classic songs by Frank Sinatra. Mainly because he's one of my idols, if you will. We all need senseis. He had the three S's: soul, suits, and swagger. Not to be confused with the "swagger" so commonly used by teenage facebookers and internet memes. "Swagger" as in the privilege you attain for speaking the truth, being who you are, and not letting other people's criticism stop you from doing what you love to do.

I digress.

I am a Christian. It's not often that I get into deep religious...for lack of a better word, debates, with people. Especially people I'm close to. Not that such conversations often lead nowhere, far from it. I think talking about religion and sharing one's own perspectives, while at the same time respecting each other's right to see it in that way is very healthy and natural. It's being one-sided and not willing to listen that spurs hate and prejudice. Also, note there is a difference between "willing to listen" and "accepting their belief." You don't have to accept their belief. You can simply acknowledge that they believe something different, you can give them your perspective, and be done with it. Let bygones be bygones, you've said what you needed to say.

So had this conversation with a co-manager of mine. Kind of a stoner, but very intelligent guy. Does his research and has legitimate reasons for believing what he does; much better compared to those who just spout off random crap or take the easy route of falling in with the crowd.

He had a religious background, growing up going to Catholic school. But now in his late 20's has somewhat lost his faith in God and religion as a whole. He claimed God has made a beautiful world, but the pathway to achieving faith and accepting God into your life was a bloody one. People in history have been known to manipulate religion for their own gain, or preached religion through pride and vanity. Agreed. It has happened. No doubt that religion, not just Christianity or Catholicism, has been the foundation of much war and bloodshed for certain peoples. Even current day. Still happens, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Though what he was asking for was "a glimpse of the truth," just so in the end he wouldn't be caught off guard. Nothing big, just something as small as a bird, anything. Now, word that as you may, what you're asking for is certainty, or proof. And I explained to him, through my Christian background, that he shouldn't hold his breath. A bird would be too easy. God doesn't want you to come to him because of a bird; you need to confess and accept Him in.

John 20:25-29 New International Version

25 So the other disciples told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

You can't just tell people, ya know, "Get faith now." It's not something you can find half-off at Target.
My grandma, one of the people I will always look up to the rest of my life, fantastic woman, put it well. It takes baby steps. You peak in, open up a little, research some, open up a little more, try this and that, start praying, open up a little more. You can't expect anyone to go from having no faith to faith just like that.

Acts 16:29-31 New International Version

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved —you and your household.”

God will never give you so much in your life that you can't handle it. You can look back on your entire life. Yes, admittedly, you've likely had some tough times. Had to make hard decisions. Had to get this much done in this amount of time. But you've always overcome it.

John 3:16 New International Version

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Point being, it's just been on my mind the last day or so. I don't talk about religion in-depth THAT often, but once I get into it, I can't seem to stop thinking about it.
I'll go to the fridge to get something to eat, but I can't think of what I'm hungry for because I have all this other crap in running through my head! Gah!
So, yep. Just needed to get that down in writing. For my own sanity.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Accidents Will Happen

The idea of creating a blog occurred to me a few times. But to me, a blog just sounded like another word for a diary. A diary open to the public. And that alone sounded pretty self-centered and egotistical. Like "Here, everyone, take time out of your day to read how precious and enlightening my day was!" Not that my days aren't filled with a variety precious and enlightening moments. I just don't want people in my head sometimes.

I'm giving it a chance though. I love new experiences and I've heard it helps englishy, literatey ways. So here goes. 
What do I talk about?
Is it stupid to type out "What do I talk about," on my own blog? Seems kinda redundant.

I really don't want this to become some complaint blog. I guess if I got right down to it, that's why I never started a blog. Because I just wrote it off as some other medium that allows people to bitch about their daily lives more than they already do on social networking sites. But that's not what I want to focus on.

I want to write about current day happenings, positive messages, all that zen crap.
We'll see where this goes though. Can't tell the future. 

Until the mood strikes me to write,