Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flipping The Script

Here recently life has changed in a very odd way for me. For as long as I can remember I have been the black sheep within any circle I join, whether it be family or otherwise. I take my own approach to almost everything I do, and my outlook on most things is different than the majority of the people I've come into contact with in my life. So, Ryan does and thinks about things in his own way, very surprising, right? Seriously though, it wasn't until this last 8 or 9 months that I've grown to accept some things about myself that I have been beaten down over, which I now see is mainly my own doing. There has been an influence on the way I view myself, little pieces that I've taken along with me from all the bad shit I've ever been told about me, and over time it became my own view of who I am. Its never been about anyone else....well, not since I've been in the place where I could separate myself from those people. Since the moment I became free of them it has been my choice of whether or not to hold on, and whether or not I actually knew at that time, I did hold on. I've been holding on to those old ideas for a very long time now and the point has come where I could no longer do so and live happily. I am what I am, and I am happy with it, so people are going to accept some of it. At least, this is what I was telling myself.

Now, somehow, here I am on the other side of all that and all of a sudden Ryan is no longer the family scapegoat. Me calling myself out on my own bullshit in the face of everyone caused a curious chain reaction, one I didn't see coming. It wasn't like a meeting with family and friends and everyone started spilling their guts. I've been sharing a little bit more of myself with some of the people around me, on an individual basis, and not necessarily the same things with the same people. It's almost as if it has sparked something in them that created a desire to change. Mind you, all I've done at this point was share some of my own personal shit that I keep guarded, hidden from the masses, my own shit to wallow in when I feel the need. I don't ever talk to people as if THEY need to do this or that, I only ever speak of my own experience, as I do here. So, in a matter of a few months I went from being the black sheep, the one that's always fucked up, to the one that isn't so fucked up after all. And everyone started putting all their shit out there to me and the whole thing just seemed rather twilight zone-ish.

This isn't about me being any better off than anyone else and I don't wish for it to sound that way. I only ever intended to help myself in this situation, as selfish as it might sound, it's the truth. At the same time, I know that the best way to influence other people isn't by talking, it's by acting and showing as proof of what you say. It becomes a relief when you accept who you are and decide that it doesn't matter if anyone else likes it or not. Putting myself out here was just the first step in trying to open myself up in face to face life. And I have been doing more of the latter, which I think is why I've been writing a little less, which is fine, I'm always about finding the balance even if trying is only as far as I'll ever get. Before all action is intention and we'll never get anywhere without it. So, if you're thinking about doing something, keep thinking about it and eventually you'll be forced to do it. In my experience, at least.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I believe...

....that pizza is the most awesome food on earth. ...that spring mornings in the middle of May are my favorite of the whole year. ...that to tell someone something is wrong with them can quite possibly be the worst thing you can do to a person. ...that growing up simply means becoming more comfortable in your own skin, whatever that might require. ...that laughing uncontrollably with your kids can be topped by no other experience. ...that friends can grow close no matter how far apart they are. ...that i might be able to compile a list like this no matter how silly i feel. ..that to tell someone something is wrong with them can also be the best thing you can do for a person. Obviously this is not an original idea, but a good one nonetheless.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Solitude and some other ramblings...

Solitude is my gracious companion on late nights such as tonight.  When there is nobody else to turn to I have to finally take a look within to see what's stirring.  I've found that I don't work well within routines and the like, and try to find solitude is like trying to solve an unsolvable mystery.  And, as it turns out, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day in which to find my good friend if only I take a minte to look.  I now have a better means of writing here than trying to peck some shit out on a little three inch screen, and the best part is that it's mobile.  I have arrived in 2013, y'all!  Perhaps it'll mean some better thoughts as it sit with myself on nights, quiet, with stillness in the air.  It's still 55 degrees outside and I, for one, am enjoying it, even though it is 12:30 in the a.m.  My head feels kinda light as I write by the light of the moon.  It shines above reminding me of the dark nights in the army, praying that the moon would be in full force so that you could actually see what you were doing.  Those days are so long ago now that it almost seems like it was the life of another person, and I guess I've changed so much that it sort of was.  I hardly feel like that was me, but I can say that I think I've finally stopped feeling like a kid.  The body grows and ages so quickly that the mind doesn't always have time to keep up and you're left at the age of 30 wondering where the hell the time even went.  Perhaps this doesn't happen to everyone, but I hardly think I'm unique in that its taken a long time for this change to occur.  Growing up is painful and it's a process that I think never stops, at least for me it won't.  I thrive on the experience of being uncomfortable and having to embrace humility in the face of ridicule.  It turns out, the greatest ridicule comes from within, and that kinda brings this whole thing full circle.  I always say that everything is related to everything else somehow.  I am inspired tonight by a friend who asks all the right questions and forces me to think.  You see, I have always been the one doing this in other people and it seems that after 31 years I've stumbled upon someone with balls enough to ask me, and make me dig.  It's all part of my process.  Often times people don't even see the how I come to the conclusions I come to, and believe it or not they are oddly similar to my writing.  One thought leads to the next and the next and before you know it I'm back where I started only this time I have a clearer view.  You may understand because I believe that you all reading here catch glimpses of it, but most of the people that "know" me don't really know me.  There are times I sit in a room full of family and friends and I feel alone, and the only thing greeting me with open arms is solitude.  Today I'm comfortable with the uncomfortable and I think I'm better off for it.  If nothing else, nobody will ever say I failed in life because I didn't think enough....haha.  I think it's time to call it a night.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Springing Thoughts

Spring has sprung as I sit on this balcony taking in as much as I can.  Coffee cup sitting next to me with steam spilling over the rim gives me a boost without ever taking a sip.  It invites me to let to let my ideas flow, and roll, over the edge of my being and onto this page so that you might have an idea what I see.  The creek next to me rushes with the water of recent rains and it's kind of calming.  The grass is green and the trees seem like they're beginning to show some signs of life.  It's that time of year when life is given back to all those that waited patiently.  I wait, somewhat patiently...

I'm beginning to become more comfortable with my surroundings and it's easier to get through each day.  I thought that lonely dread would never go away, and while it still hasn't, it has begun to subside.  Learning to live life all over, in a completely different way has got to be one of the most challenging things I can imagine.  I did it once before going from roaming the streets to marching in cadance with a hundred other souls out of sorts.  It wasn't easy, but I did it.  Reinventing yourself when you've grown used to your old ways is tough, and it takes a bit of humility, which I am learning to embrace.  It's oddly familiar.

We don't always know where life is taking us and I'm finding that it's ok.  Walking into the fear of the unknown is proving to be the way to go.  If I were to sit, and wait for everything to present itself BEFORE I make a decision, I'll become stagnant and stale.  That's easier said than done, now, don't get me wrong.  I have by no means learned the best way in which to take life.  I really have no ideas aside from just taking it as it comes and rolling with it.  I think that's one of the things I'm good at in life, just rolling with it.  I never know the weather until I walk out the door...I don't need to know everything all at once.  Where's the fun in that?

So, what's spring doing for you?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Inspired Moments Of Truth

My days are thick with uncertainty, as of right now I'm homeless. I mean, i have a place to lay my head down and sleep but beyond that I've got nothing. I feel like a bum living out of my car roaming to kill time in between work and the kids. It's hard, and its scary but in between moments of doubt i have stretches of confidence that I'm doing the right thing. Life has a whole new perspective for me right now, I'm vulnerable and uncomfortable and as much as i don't like it, i do. I've got some things to work out for myself, and I'm confident i will, it'll just take some time. I move forward. It hasn't been all dark and depressing, I've had moments of simple bliss leading to hours of dreamy realities. My inspiration to write has me bursting at the seams with rhymes and punch lines. Things have rolled off the poetic assembly line in my head at a rate I've never seen. Granted, i haven't been writing here, but i have been writing, indeed. These moments of pure inspiration are fleeting, as always. They loan to us few precious moments in which to delve deep into ourselves and see what we come up with. I've learned more about myself through my writing than anyone may ever know. That's why i throw it all on the line, my pain, my joy, my sadness and laughter all those things in life that have defined who i am, i throw the dice. We only get a brief visit with these emotions on high, coursing through our veins. I intend to make use, and that's what i do here. I sort out my thoughts in this random, messy style you see here, and some enjoy to read it, even. Flushing my soul to make room for something more, and through this process here recently I've gained exponentially. I can't begin to describe the things I've seen only by opening my eyes, whoever thought it was so simple? Simple bliss has shown me a few things...a few, wonderfully colored, every day, simple things that are utterly enjoyable, or can be if i slow down. Time is creeping by right now and walking into the darkness is kinda enlightening, you feel me?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dr.Suess and Hardcore Discipline

Today, Isaac and i were teaching Gwendolyn about rhyming words, and she loved it. We talk a lot in the car, the kids and i, and i was telling her how to rhyme words and she picked it up instantly...most times she's in too much of a whirlwind to listen, but in the car seat she can't escape! And then she asked me about Green Eggs and Ham, implying that there are rhyming words in it. We read that often...always Dr. Suess and those wild range of characters. Those were my favorite books when i was kid, I've always been fascinated with rhyming words, it's a part of me. It's real cool. Oh, and we also learned that Gwendolyn can clean up her own messy room, and all i had to do was be there to direct here, keep her focused. I said "who cleaned the room?" "me and you, daddy." "nope, i didn't touch anything, you did it by yourself." And a high five was in order, then she cleaned the living room of her stuff too. And all it takes is a little bit of time. Thanks Dr. Suess

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bells and Chains

Church bells are a beautiful thing. To hear them ding-donging in the distance is just another one of those things you grow accustomed to, and pretty much just ignore. Although a church is not an establishment that i frequent, i do love their bells. I cannot, however, say the same for the trains that run right through the neighborhood immediately across my street. The screeching and squealing of the metal to metal contact as the train slows, followed by the slamming together of the cars stopping against one another. But these are sounds we get used to, i could fall asleep to those mad, clashing trains. There are sounds that i miss as well. Ever since i was a kid, the sound of a swish through a chain link basketball net makes me perk up. The sound i remember stirs in me memories of the playground court to go with the soundtrack . Shuffling shoes on pavement and chain link swishes, music to my ears. Music encourages me to move with it and feel it through my being, seeing is only half the battle. Taken for granted all the noise we try to ignore but we're missing the soundtrack of life. I think it's kind of awesome. What are your favorite sounds that you may overlook because they're the norm? What's the soundtrack you hear?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Shout Out

Sometimes things crop up in life that were totally unexpected, and quite possibly at the worst time imaginable.  Living on the fly can be a welcomed thing but sometimes it allows us to be vulnerable, and even that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  These surprise happenings here lately definitely haven't been a bad thing, but could have been infinitely better had the timing been right.  Leaving me more vulnerable to things outside my control than ever before and I'm having to learn to adjust and adapt as the days go by.  It's very hard to open up when you trust just about nobody.  I've had trust ripped away from me in some of the worst ways and the time came when I just gave up trusting people.  I can be open and honest, but it's never full details and I'll only tell you as much as I trust you with, which is very little.  Here it's quite a bit different in that it's not face to face and much easier to spill it all onto this blank white page.  Trust is something I'm working on and even opening up this little bit as I've done here is making a difference.

I've got a few people in my life that I trust to the fullest with anything about myself.  Others I just tell them what they need to know and I think this is probably something everyone does.  It really helps to have someone around that can listen and understand and thinks about life along the same lines.  I've had a couple very very important people pop up here recently and they're helping me to break out of this concrete shell I've created.  I just wanted to give them a shout out and let them know I appreciate it.  Putting up with my wild rantings can be quite taxing, but somehow y'all manage to do it.  So thanks.  You're all great.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Its Been A Long Road

Stubborn, just like me and most of the people in my family.  Little Ms. Gwendolyn is a tornado of energy and for the most part I let her be what she has to be, silly and free.  I won't bash her mother because she really is a good mother, but she has a hard time controlling the kids once in a while.  I don't know what to tell her anymore because for a very long time she has undermined almost everything I tell the kids, but when the kids are alone with me there is absolutely no problems.  Everyone co-exists calmly and we all have fun together.  There is no bad behavior because there's no reason for it.  When mom is around they act like they've lost their freakin minds and I know it's because of the tension in the air, so I cut them a little slack.

Everybody is always telling me that once in a while kids need a good smack on the ass, but I ain't down with that.  Those of you that have been reading along know why.  I've never hit or touched either one of my kids harshly, ever.  I don't yell at them either, there's no reason for it.  For some reason people think it's cool to hit your kid, and whether it actually hurts them or not it instills a fear in them that may never go away.  Children are innocent and should be treated as such.

Last night I come home after a 16 hour day, there have been a lot of those lately.  I don't mind working afternoons too much except for the fact that I don't get to see anybody, but Gwen is usually up when I get home.  She's a late night person like the rest of us.  She's been having some real issues with staying in her bed once she's put there and last night she was just off the hook!  I talked to her for a minute and tucked her in and within two minutes she was out running around.  At first it's kind of silly so I let it go but put her back in bed.  Two or three more times and she's just getting more out of control than anything.  When she first started sleeping in her bed I could get her to lay down and go to sleep, but when she tested the waters as all kids do, her mother would always eventually let her out.  This is the problem and I've talked about it calmly and reasonably but it never changed.  So, last night I had to deal with it once and for all because my wife just threw her hands up.  She was done.

I sat on the floor with her and tried to reason with her about why she had to stay in bed and that I didn't even care if she stayed awake as long as she stayed in bed.  Didn't help.  Then i had to basically hold her there, gently, so she would calm down....but she only got louder and kicked harder.  I just held my arm over her and sat there quietly, with my eyes closed trying to stay calm.  She yelled and screamed for mom who actually almost came in there to get her but she left.  Screaming dotted with pauses to catch her breath I just sat there quietly and tried to reason with her a bit when she calmed for a few seconds, but she just kicked harder.  That freakin kid is stubborn!  I didn't know what I was getting myself into trying to have a power struggle with a three year old.  Her last ditch effort was to go to the bathroom but I called her bluff and just sat with my eyes closed, resting my head on my arm on the side of the bed, breathing deeply trying to give her some of the calm.  The pauses grew longer and then she says "Daddy, I want to stay in my bed!"  I didn't hear her clearly, I thought she was still fighting with me.  So I asked her what she said.  "Daddy I want to sleep in my bed!!"  I could tell the tears were real now, so I let go of her and rubbed her head.  Covered her with her blanket because at some point in there she took her shirt off in a fit of rage.  She rolled over on her belly and I told her I still loved her as I kissed her forehead and she tells me "I still love you too, daddy.  We'll talk in the morning."  I always tell her when I tuck her in that we'll talk in the morning.  I rubbed her back until she fell asleep which was about thirty seconds.

This morning the first thing she did was jump on me and hug me and tell me how much she loved me, and I knew I did the right thing.  It's crazy to sit through some of the emotions of making your child scream like that, especially when you feel the way I do about the whole situation.  It was tough.  That whole situation lasted fifty minutes, and that child pushed me to the limits of everything I swore I would never do, and I feel quite fulfilled.  Tears welling up in my eyes, but it was just another day, and there will be more like it.  I'm just glad to know that I've got them, because they're helping me more than anything I could ever do for them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Finding Home

External facades create diversions from internally tough decisions. When living with no limits daydreams want to creep into reality. It's hard to discern if what I'm feeling is real sometimes, pinching myself daily to make sure I'm awake. No period of writing in my life can rival where I'm at right now. I almost have too many words and not enough hands to jot them all down. I'm looking around and life ain't the same, a lot has happened in a short period of time, exploding in my mind making me want to rhyme. Everything seems to move easier here lately, thanks to the weight that's been removed from my shoulders, among other things.. You'll have to pardon my language once in a while, writing, like my life, is stained with obscenities. I have a tendency to insert expletives for emphasis. I think I'm good at it. That, and raising questions. I think its amazing how a few simple questions can change a persons life. I ask because i want to know, and i want you to know. Until recently i never imagined a butterfly would intrigue me, simply by being simple, and beautiful in its colorful glory. I'm writing a story, only i don't know where it's going. It's in the hands of the dream gods, or so it seems. Right now life continues forward into an inescapable unknown. I'm used to it though, it kinda feels like home.