Select quotes from my blog posts…
See also: Letter Replies & Comments
Life is hard enough as it is — we shouldn’t make it even harder on ourselves by focusing on our failures, lacks, or shortcomings. Sure, it’s excellent to know where are weaknesses are, and to find ways to compensate for them, but to beat ourselves up over not being able to do everything we attempt every time, that’s a waste.”
But anyone who thinks I ever for one moment consider myself more important, more special, or more deserving of anythingthan anyone else as a result of the attention I get is wrong.”
No two people, businesses, or ventures are exactly the same. You always bring unique things to anything you seek to accomplish. There is room for you at the table, too, but you have to take action to get there. Getting discouraged and giving up gets you nowhere.”
So before you go slamming the door on it, take some time to make sure it truly isn’t what you are seeking. Different does not equal “bad” — be smart, but stop fearing it.
Only change leads to progress. And change means different.
Everything we have is a result of someone who thought differently — and anyone who thought differently and pursued an unusual idea was first considered crazy or strange because of it.”
Where the cook is called “Grandma” and your eggs are greasy, your hashbrowns are greasy, and your toast is greasy — but they are all are somehow delicious. And when you get ketchup, it comes in a tiny paper cup on a greasy plate.”
It’s the zombie virus — it’s real — and it’s an epidemic. The “living dead” are here — but they are not the walking corpses we’ve come to expect from the movies. It’s scarier than that…”
It feels like things are crawling all over my skin — or maybe there really are things crawling all over my skin…”
These little leaps of faith outside of our comfort zone are what truly teach us what we need to know to better ourselves and our lives. No, taking a leap of faith doesn’t mean you will always get what you leap for. And it doesn’t mean that things won’t go badly — but every time things don’t go according to how we want (or expect) them to be, we learn something – and what we learn leads to growth, if we let it.”
While I eventually realized there are limits to “what I could be when I grew up” (mainly because piracy on the high seas has gone out of style… and I’m also not great at math), I more recently looked at where I was in my life and realized I was no longer on a trajectory that made me feel good about where I was going.
I wasn’t unhappy. I was unfulfilled. There’s a difference.
I felt like a great deal of my life was being wasted and that there was so much more I could be doing and experiencing…”
And the gunshot — the ricochet — and the rock I’m standing next to that just sent a million little pieces into the air.
There is now a tree next to me with a bullet hole in it.
And now another.”
But it does work — it just isn’t quite as “intuitive” as you may expect — your energy isn’t returned to you from the same sources you give it to. But your energy (again — which is very real) is contagious and as it travels around, it comes back to you.”
Without hesitation — and without a clue as to what this could possibly be about — I say “Sure” and get up. I notice that there are a number of people watching.”
It isn’t that I don’t think my work is aesthetically pleasing. I think a lot of what I share is. It’s the fact (that I think) very little of it is that compelling or meaningful. I want to tell “stories” or say something. Most photography, in my opinion, doesn’t say anything these days — some of it’s pretty, but much of it is superficial and easily forgettable.”
Well, I’ve discovered that liberating one’s self of a particular outcome that one is attached to (or invested in mentally) is also liberating. I think knowing what you want out of life is good. I think having specific goals in mind is good. And I think dreaming about even some things that seem incredibly unlikely is good, too (why limit yourself?).”
It didn’t happen.
I had valuable things stolen from me. I accidentally destroyed things that were valuable to me. I was threatened. Screamed at. Scolded. I had health issues and no insurance. A broken tooth — still broken. I eat on one side of my mouth because it’s the only way I can without pain. I had to file it down with a metal file so it didn’t stab my tongue.
Dedicated to what I’m doing? You might say that.”
What’s hard is consistently believing that doing any of the things I’ve done can be a catalyst that propels me to a place that is ultimately better than where I started from — that the sacrifices I’m making and the discomforts I’m dealing with along the way are worth it. That’s hard. That’s why it’s called a leap of faith.”
And then time passed — months, in fact — and I forgot about it.
And then — yesterday — I got a call from an assistant at the production company. My resume and letter had traveled through the channels necessary to arrive in the hands of the casting director who took notice — Would I be available for an interview [this morning]?”
I haven’t mentioned feeling insecure about my appearance or whether the person standing next to me in line somewhere just distanced themselves because I smell (and I just don’t know it).”
So as I sit here and type this, I am almost relieved. Almost.”
The sound fades — no wait, it’s just muffled, as if it’s being blocked by something. There’s more talking. I make out only the occasional word — mostly profanity, and “dude”.
I’m nervous. Beginning to make sense of the situation — I think the door slamming into the side of my vehicle was a test to see if my alarm would go off.
The discussion shifts to the side of my car that I can peer out. But I have limousine tint, everything is darker than normal, my windows keep fogging up because I’m hot & breathing heavier than usual — but I see figures in the dark and the sinister glow of a cigarette.”
Research shows that people have a tendency to avoid information that contradicts what they already think or believe. It is also why we have a tendency to hear what we want to hear in conversations (for good or ill) and filter out the rest.”
I want to focus on being a better person — but I still make mistakes. I still react negatively in certain situations and I still judge people, the decisions they make, and how they live their lives — as much as I don’t want to — as much as I want to remain open-minded and simply be responsible for my own life. After all, that’s the only thing in the world I truly have control over.”
Even the most successful people in the world have set goals, made mistakes and suffered setbacks — but they persisted. They were determined in their will to succeed.
And that made all the difference.”
It was a lot of coffee…
I am happy to report that my experiment was a complete success! My laptop responded by making a “pop” sound and “shutting down” immediately. No waiting for silly programs to close or anything.
But — and while my laptop smells remarkably delicious now — upon further analysis, it appears this experiment may not have been entirely “good” for the sensitive circuitry and gizmo-thing-a-majigs inside — as what was formerly a “working” laptop is now entirely unresponsive to further stimulation.”
Fired up and in my face. Agitated. Well within the no-go-zone of my spacial bubble. So much so that I can smell the beer on his breath as he speaks.
And he’s moving and speaking in such a way that — at that moment — I would not have been at all surprised if he pushed me.”