Saturday, May 27, 2006

My hero

Have you ever really known someone on a personal level that amazed you in everyway? This person has been in your life for years yet you still find yourself in awe of them. I have someone in my life that is and always will be my hero, someone the world benefits from just because they are here. In more ways than one this person has shined, and the effects have been felt far and wide.
Too many people in modern day society will take a troubled childhood or a broken home and use it as an excuse for whatever failures they produce or hardships they might encounter. My hero took a stormy childhood and used it as motivation to rise above circumstances. Provided little to no moral support by his family unit, more criticism than encouragement, success was improbable for my hero in most people’s eyes. The journey for my hero is nowhere close to over, but the adventure thus far keeps me waiting with baited breath to see what the future holds.
By the time I encountered my hero in high school, he had endured more than most in a lifetime. Yet even so early off in life, the effects he had on the world around him were apparent. Each and every person close to him in his life was benefited in some way from the relationship. His influence ranged from encouragement, comedic relief, athletic challenge, confidant, all the way to scapegoat. Not all these relationships benefited him, but he was strong enough to carry the burden for those that needed him in there lives.
As if the hand life dealt him was not quite challenging enough, enter me to add to the stakes of the game. I was a melodramatic, strong spoken, rebellious teenager with a chip the size of Mt. Rushmore on my shoulder. I was dangerously independent to the point of almost closing everyone out of my life. My home life was far from the everyday troubles and trials that he had been raised in, but more along the dramatic suburban line. I was a free thinking, open minded youth in a conservative toe the line world. I was fighting my way out of a world I simply did not fit into.
Barely knowing much of my situation or about me for that matter, my hero became the most important person in my life. When I was ready to shut the door on the world of others completely, he showed me a glimmer of hope for humankind. He was a balance that I had never before experienced. Strong when I was weak, Relaxed when I was stressed, Optimistic when I was depressed, Funny when I was sad. To simply state it, he was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it.
My hero allowed me to develop into whatever I was to become. He did not try to influence me in one way or another, but simply allowed me to take the path I needed to. He helped me up when I stumbled, and cheered the loudest at my accomplishments, but never pushed.
Even if his influence stopped there, he would be a hero in my world. But in my opinion he is a Hero for the world, so I go on.
My Hero feels he has a curse. It’s a curse that many would take off his hands at any point in time. Artistic Talent. He calls it his curse because, it is not always what he feels like doing with his life, but he feels the obligation to take advantage of what he has been given and worked so hard to develop. It is also one of those doubled edged swords, because it gives him the greatest sense of both accomplishment and failure.
My hero has a very gifted artistic talent and he has used it to benefit so very many people in so many very different ways. He has produced art work for many people in many different areas of the world, from local groups going on vacation to Little League in our hometown, he has produced artwork for every employer he has every had from the restaurant we all worked at right after high school to his infantry units with the US Army. He has worked with BIC mechanical pencils on copy paper to working on a digital tablet on high end PC workstations.
The element of his art that most impresses me, and is one of his most heroic traits, is his willingness to share it with the world. I am not referring to him sharing the product of his artistic talent, but the sharing of his knowledge. He gives himself to all that ask and are willing to learn. He has committed uncountable hours to review and critiquing others art, creating personalized tutorials, sitting one on one. He believes not only in his own talent, but in the importance of helping other artist grow and expand there own knowledge and talents. This trait runs over into most areas of his life.
My hero is always willing to watch out for the other guy; he never forgets the team and places high value in the spirit of the underdog. For as amazingly talented he is at most things he does, he couldn’t be a better team player. He is a natural born leader.
His leadership skills have never taken a more world wide impact than the time he has spent with the US Army. He is currently serving overseas with the Army on his second tour in Kuwait. He has often and is again placed in command of many younger and less experienced soldiers than himself. He has an amazing strength to carry a team and the spirit to create a bond. Those both result in an amazing team confidence and a relationship among each other that is a benefit not only to them but the hostility of their environment benefits from such team coercion. In an area where lack of team communication can set off a variety of unpleasant events, the importance of teamwork and the responsibility to lead through example could not be placed in better hands.
As he cares for his soldiers and the world wide concerns they are responsible to uphold. He still finds the time to dedicate himself as a father. My hero shines with a urethral glow when he comes to his natural love and amazing relationships with his 3 children. One might think that because his parenting example was weak, that his skills might be lacking. Reality could be nothing farther from that statement. From the outside looking in, you might think his actions were a result of overcompensation to make sure things are very different from his own childhood. As someone who knows him and sees him on an everyday level with his children, you will know it is just a natural love and nurturing spirit that leads his actions and responses to his girls.
As a man’s man, he has an uncanny ability to relate and find common ground with his 3 young girls. Give him 10 years and they might not relate on the same level, but I know that they will always be able to sense the love their father has for them. He has stated that even if it requires him showing up at their high school in a Bunny costume just to embarrass them, he will always make his presence in their lives known.
My hero is so many things to so many people all at the same time. Part of what amazes most is his ability to juggle all of the responsibility he has. The ability to shift gears, change hats and fill another role so quickly.
Hero: A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life
My hero fits that definition in everyway. He has shown courage, lived his life with purpose and has sacrificed his life many ways at many times. I will never stop adoring, respecting, admiring and idolizing my hero. Living life in proximity to someone who has and will do such great things only inspires greatness. I have and will always be a better person because of the example set by my hero.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The battle within

As days pass I would expect the excitement to be growing, but it seems I cry more and more with each passing day. I can feel as if I am just dragging myself through one day simple to get to the next, and repeat.

I want to be happy, I fight with myself each day to try and make it so. Physical activity seems to make things a little easier to forget, so the gym has become my friend.

I have never felt so alone in the world, I have also never felt so selfish. I feel like at time my emotions have taken over and I forget the happening in the rest of the world, my own self pity takes on global importance in my mind, and the guilt of those thoughts only makes it worse.

How the hell do I pull myself out of this cycle? How do I put on the happy face and survive another day? Planning events that are supposed to be happy, makes me fear them, am I so far gone that I will not be able to recover.

Or.... will it only take that one look, that one moment for this all to seem like it never happened?

I am normally the optimist in life, it is against my character to want to admit that I can not make things better, but lately my battle within has been making me feel weak. I want to be strong, I need to regain control, if not for me than for them.

My happiness is more important to many others than just me, I wish it was that easy. I wish I could be depressed and it not really make a difference. At least then the guilt of being depressed would not follow. Why can't I wallow for awhile if it helps me through the day, is crying myself to sleep really going to matter to anyone else in the end?

I barely have it in to me to keep writing this, a confession of sorts, exposure.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Power of the Human Spirit

Spirit is one of those words that is used in multiple ways. I refer to spirit as the life force within each one of us that represents our ability to thrive and our connection to each other and the world around us.

Some people are gentle spirits, there are the wise spirits. Those that are giving and the brave and strong spirits.

I don't know if I truly believe in some cosmic forces contained within the flesh of our human forms, in some Sci-Fi manor, but I do believe that the series of emotional events and personal growth in reaction to those experience and your interactions in everyday life, create in each one of us something that is unique.

You as a person contain your own set of emotions, intellect, logic, and morals that together combine to create your personality and your character. I believe that the combination of all these things is your spirit.

On a more basic level, to put it as simply as possible, if were all blind, your spirit is what would still show. Your physical appearance gone, mannerisms gone.

I think people on many levels have given up on the power of the human spirit, that we live in a time where we only truly appreciate it in times of crisis.

On a normal day to day basis, we feel no need as a species to feed the spirits of the those around us, to nurture our own spirits or to acknowledge the spirit of people who might seem inconsequential in our lives.

An unattended spirit will wither and die, but that those acknowledge their spirit, can accept that things beyond the physicality of themselves need to be maintained as well, will thrive in live. They will be able to handle the disasters that can happen everyday. They will live life to it's fullest absorbing and growing with each passing day.

I know it sounds a little metaphysical for some of you out there, but you can not deny what I am speaking of, even if I am putting it in terms you find uncomfortable, there is something inside us, a bond between us as humans, something that keeps us fighting to live each day to see the next.

Self Acceptance

The internal battle of managing self image versus perceived image can be constant. For me it has been something that has plagued me a major portion of my life.

I have had times that were better than others, and times that were definitely worse. In the more recent months and through the process of self discovery I have tried to pin point what was a factor in changing the times that were good, why did they stop, and how did I get out of the times that were bad.

More often than not, I can track it to my level of self importance at the time. I tend to very giving in nature, and will without a thought sacrifice to do everything I can to help someone if they need it. While this is not something bad, nor would I ever have to give up that ability, I have had to learn to accept that I have to be as willing to help myself as I am other people.

When I take away the world from my picture, stop letting outside forces tell me what I am worth and what importance I have, I have to look inward for that. When faced with the inward reflection, it is clear to see what I do and don't like and that only I can change it or accept it.

Lately I have truly been trying to conquer my doubts in myself. I have always been a logical person, so I rationalize them to death, but the ability to combine the logic to the emotional side of it is much easier said than done in some cases. I have always known what is true, but accepting it has been another story.

I think I am starting to take a hold on some of my doubts and fears in myself. I know that my level of self acceptance is on the rise. My self confidence is growing and starting to reflect that strong individual I truly am. I am trying to make the way I think reflect into the way I feel and the way I live.

I hope that I am not just winning the battle, but truly winning the war. To put this issue to rest would be a blessing of tremendous proportions.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Simple truths

" The opposite of war is not peace, it's creation..."

Ever hear such a simple phrase in your life that can totally change your perspective?

Upon hearing this, I could not believe how true it felt. Sometimes one sentence can open your mind to a whole new level of understanding.

I am always grateful, for things that help me remember that life is a continuous learning process. That anywhere at anytime, we have the opportunity to learn and grow.

Be sure you are available to the world around you.

" Live your life with arms wide open...."

Idea forming in my head

They say the most successful ventures in life, spring from those things which you are naturally good at, those things which require little effort.

I have been told by a few people lately, that I have a knack, actually 2 and that I should try to combine them. While I do think the idea is viable, I am not sure.

While part of me, wants to jump right in, another parts has a fear of the embarrassment of failure or rejection.

Most people would be shocked to hear such a thing from me, I have had a hard time admitting it to myself. This venture would be very personal though, I would exposing a true part of me, and should it not succeed would be blow to me as a person, not just a business idea.

I know I have it in me, I fear not having the backing and support of those close to me, I would hate for the ones I care about to think of it as a joke, when should I pursue it, I would be very serious.

Well I am just going to have to find the spirit in me and the encouragement I pass to others. I will talk myself into it, it will just take a major leap of faith on my part.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

What goes around, comes around.

Something I was taught by my mother so many years ago. That to be careful what you did, and who it hurt, because it always makes it's way back around.

One way or another this idea has always proved true, either through direct repercussions or the dreaded guilt. This idea does fall right in line with my belief in Karma, as they hold the same basic principles.

I wish there was truly someway to avoid others being hurt by personal mistakes, but it seems that the bigger the mistake the more people close to you it impacts, or that those closest take the brunt. I guess it would be said that too avoid making the mistakes in the first place is the only true way to avoid any ripples they might cause.

I don't know if it is possible to completely avoid making mistakes, to err is human. I think that we can only hope that those around us love us enough to forgive us, and that we truly learn from the mistakes made. To repeat is a mistake, means it is no longer a mistake.

To forgive and forget is also one of those phrases I heard a lot growing up. I always understood the forgive, but the forget can be so much more difficult. And I truly believe the forgetting only applies to the forgiver not the forgivee. For you to forget the forgiveness you have been extended, is to take for granted the love you have been shown. You must not forget the forgiveness, it does not show a high level of respect in my opinion.

Forgetting does not enrich the learning process. They say knowledge of where we have been, helps us to know where we are going. They say past behavior predicts future problems. They sure do say a lot don't THEY????

I believe that the process of forgiveness is a personal one. That it is harder for some than others. And that some don't forgive in the manner they should. They release the problem from outside, only to absorb it and take it on within themselves.

I have come to believe that even the hardest hurt can forgiven. I think that most people benefit from some sort of therapeutic act to aid in the process. It might be the act of releasing a balloon as a symbol of them letting the problem go, it might come down to writing a letter they never intend to send. There are many ways to find it within yourself to forgive, if you really look.

We have all made mistakes and at some point we have sought forgiveness. I hope we can all remember that feeling, of repentance and true remorse the next time we are faced to be doing the forgiving.

Always remember, What goes around, comes round. In both directions. Both the good and the bad. So think about one of the old sayings next time you are faced with a mistake to forgive, take your pick, they all tell us to forgive is a great choice, one from which we receive benefit not only give it.

What goes around comes around.
Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.
Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.
Love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Our friends are those who know their own faults well enough to forgive us ours.
Practice what you preach.
There's no point in burying a hatchet if you're going to put up a marker on the site.
Without forgiveness life is governed by... an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.
To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.
Forgiveness is not an emotion, it's a decision."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bet you thought I fell off the planet, right???

Just kidding, no one who truly knows me, will be surprised by the lapse in blogging I am frequently guilty of.

I am one of those BAD people, who gets into thing, it fades, then it rekindles itself. I have been extremely busy. Continuing my personal bettering journey and planning annual trip to E3 in May. Nothing like planning a trip for 18 across the country to kill some time.

My life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately, with so much going on, but nothing being as much as I need in the moment.

I find myself trying to keep abnormally busy, as a distraction. I have never been this long without my best friend, and he truly is a missing piece of me. Everything has become a way to pass another day and make another X on the calendar.

The girls are going through the usual growing pains, learning their limits by testing them everyday.

All in all, things are well here, will check in again soon, I am off for the night.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sunset/ Sunrise Junkie

I just couldn't resist sharing one of my weak spots. I am a sucker for a great sunset or sunrise.These pics are 2 recent sunsets I have captured. I am in utter amazement how something that happens everyday can be so beautiful and so neglected.
How do people not stop and look when the sun puts on a show like this, it creates a variation of colors and textures as it welcomes each day and before it says goodnight.

Call me a romantic but I don't think there is any better setting than a fantastic horizon that captures a beautiful sunset or sunrise. I think that skylines can be so accentuated by the shadows of building, bushes, telephone poles before a bright beautiful display of the sun.

I am so thankful that I get so much joy from something so simple and something free, and it has the potential to happen twice a day. Nothing gets better than that.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Ringing in the New Year

Peet is Awesome!!!

I have always held a slight superstition that whoever you spent New Years with is who you would spend the next year with, that you should hold those close to you as the New Year rings in.

Well knowing this Peet waited in line to be sure he could talk to me as the New Year fell here is EST. He was on the phone with me at the clock struck 12.

I so appreciate him going out of his way to be sure that I was in whatever way I could be, was with him when the New Year came.

It's things like this that truly show how much someone loves you. When they are willing to go along with you weirdness's, just because they matter to you.

I love You Peet and can't thank you enough for that gesture.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope 2006 brings great things for everyone.