The library is an amazing place where nearly every question can be answered. The smell of paperback novels, memoirs, historical accounts, and fictitious tales of mystical adventures fill the air. The echoes of faint whispers barely fade out behind the lofty carol of the bells playing down the hall. There is hardly a sign of life, yet in some fashion, every life ever lived is represented with an ISBN. The library is a sanctuary where there are no membership fees, no charge to get in; the only requirement is a thirst for knowledge and a hunger for information. The wifi is free, the seats are comfortable, the heat is on, and the possibilities are endless. It is in the confines of this building that I find myself today looking for clarity.
My mind is hungry, my spirit unsettled, and my direction remains uncertain. There is so much in this world that I desire, but at the core of it all I find myself bumping into the metaphorical wall of questions. What is it that I truly desire in life? Is my quest to discover my calling in life ever going to turn up answers? Is it possible to work a job that I have no desire for while pursuing a life I truly want? These are the questions I find myself asking today (and most days). Why I came to a library to find these answers, I am not quite sure.
I wish I could just turn my thoughts off sometimes. The overclocked PC of a brain I have leads me to a repetitive cycle of frustration fueled by passion. I want to be great at whatever I do, but whatever I do must have a great purpose. The allure of money is not something that gets my heart racing and spurs me to action. Helping someone get through a tough time is something I get excited about. I would rather live a simple life and change lives than make a million dollars. This is where the frustration sets in: the treasures I seek come in the form of riches that have no monetary value. One can not simply pay the bills by making karma deposits and that sucks! Money has never brought me true happiness (not that I have ever had an abundance of it to know). There is great irony in the fact that I recently made the most commission I have ever made at my job, yet feel so disconnected from my purpose.
When I get totally honest with myself, I don’t care about selling you a product. I don’t care if the potential to be a millionaire exists. I find little concern with the tax brackets above me and the amount of commas on your check. I believe in living life with purpose and living on purpose. This is quite the conundrum I find myself in however. Life isn’t fair. Money is a necessity. Being a good person doesn’t pay the bills, and having good intentions doesn’t mean the road to finding the answers is any easier, yet here I am lost in a room full of answers.
So many of us were asked as kids what it was we desired to be when we became grown. Like many of you, I had lofty expectations and dreams, which at the time seemed easily attainable. I am not sure if the line where one becomes grown is a bit unclear, or perhaps my ambitions (while courageous) were beyond my reach; the reality that unfolded did not look like the dreams I had as a child.
I had dreams of being a baseball star with the glove and swagger of “the kid” Ken Griffey Jr. My free time as a young boy was voraciously consumed with the crimson stitched, white rawhide sphere, sunflower seeds, and backwards New Era fitted hat, the starter kit for the cul de sac diamond. My intro into business economics was berthed over Upper Deck and Topps rarities and a Beckett price guide. To say that I dreamed of becoming a baseball player would be a lie, I was already one who just wasn’t famous yet.
Life doesn’t have a set course, nothing makes complete sense, and yet somehow we are supposed to navigate it fearlessly, head up, and accepting of the challenges we encounter. I am not sure if I am defective or not, but that just isn’t easy. To be clear, I know I am not defective, in fact I find that I am rather driven and battle tested in ways that give me some hope in tough times. However, the journey remains a worthy opponent; strategically providing opposition to mold us to be a better version of ourselves.
One day at a time I am given the chance to make myself a better version of the man I was yesterday. Outside of this, I have absolutely ZERO control or influence. It is my responsibility to give a compliment where I can, lend a listening ear to a troubled friend or loved one, call that someone to remind them that I miss them, stand up for myself when I am disrespected, and at all costs love myself. Outside of the current moment lies the future or past, each of which is but a dream.
Despite the fact that I have not signed a MLB contract, I still have to grow. Despite my dreams not materializing, I still have a desire to push on and become the man I am destined to be. Anything lost can be found again except time wasted. Vision without action is merely a dream, and I’m not interested in wasting time or dreaming my life away. Today is a new day!
I have always found “persistence breaks resistance” to be somewhat of a mantra for me. It is my take on the many popular sayings expressing the same sentiment: if at first you don’t succeed try and try again, even a broken clock is right 2 times a day, and so forth. While I truly believe this with all my heart, there are just some times when a break seems to be the more logical of options. In my case, I find myself in a rut and keep pressing forward, hoping somehow I am going to snap out of it. I wake up, meditate, read my devotion, exercise, do my best to be conscious of positive thoughts throughout the day, eat healthy, and at the end of the day I still feel a void. My head can be a cluttered space, riddled with a labyrinth of psychological obstacles, some big and some small…all equally influential in conditioning me to navigate the synapses that manifest in the frustration I am experiencing. So, I find myself back at the board, systematically punching keys to formulate some constant train of thought that might take shape into some semblance of a sense making that will in turn give me some clarity.
I find it therapeutic to write, it might be alphabetical vomit at times, but in the end I feel relieved to some degree (as a good guttural expulsion should do). As it pertains to the persistence theme, I am hoping that by writing regularly, I may look back and see that during this time of uncertainty in my funk, that it was truly nothing all along. I might even divulge that it is during these times that I do my deepest soul searching instead of just cowering to the confusion that could easily be manifested into complacency. I am a thinker, it has it’s drawbacks at times, however I am grateful that the master of the universe gave me a mind that requires answers and finds unrest in the unknown. There are far too many individuals that take life as it is, not bothered by the questions unanswered; accepting what is told to be fact without taking the time to truly evaluate their truth. I have never been the one to take the path most traveled. I fail to find the adventure in knowing that the journey has been done before. If there is one thing I have promised myself, it was that I would write my own story and regret nothing in the process. While I wish I could say that I have made all the right choices, I will not dwell on the things that could have been. I am who I am meant to be and where I am is exactly where I am supposed to be.
I may be a bit of a control freak, I like to call it OCD (the clinical recognition makes it sound a little better to me). Regardless, I like to know that everything has its place and belongs in that place. The biggest struggle I have with this as it pertains to my own life, is I am truly not in control of anything, yet the illusion that I am gives gives temporary comfort. If I can just make the right career moves, save the right amount of money, talk to the right people, attend the right events, I will be able to strategically place myself in the right place to excel and gain an advantage in life. There is no harm in being conscious of these things, but I have come to learn that life abides by no rules and has no predictable patterns. I just desire to be at the open doors that god creates for me when the time is right. I must go with the flow.
I suppose I must get back to the job that pays my bills. It has been fun rambling once again to the audience that doesn’t yet exist. I hope in due time that there may come a day that I can use this platform to discuss the inner workings of my mind, existential questions of days yet to come, and memories of days not forgotten to help the next person feel a like they’re not the only ones with the same struggles. At the end of the day it is about progress and not perfection. I will press on towards the goal (whatever that my be).
It is often said that wanting more is a fast lane to unhappiness. I am not sure that I am quoting that right, heck…I am not even sure if anyone of notoriety has even said something of the sort but I think it sounds logical. To want more is often a gluttonous behavior and is a lack of gratitude for what we currently have. I know the battlefield for the mind is where our lives are made and destroyed, and today I am waging war on the topic of “MORE”.
I just want to do something in this life to make a difference and there are just some days when I am sitting at my desk wondering why I feel like I am wasting my life. I do not see myself being a saint, but I just can’t help but scream internally when I feel like my work is so pointless. I just hate that I feel as if I could be making a difference in the world instead of making money for someone else. Unfortunately that is not how the world works, and I need this job. I need to make money to pay bills so I don’t have a slough of REAL problems to complain about and bring me unnecessary stress.
I just feel like I have reached a plateau in my professional life, and I am not sure where to go with it next. I do not want to succumb to the need for stimulation and jump ship just to have something new, but I also don’t want to become stagnant. In order to become great, it is imperative to be surrounded by great individuals. This is no slight at my work environment, but I do not feel as if anyone here is going to help me get to the next level of greatness that I want to achieve. I am so passionate about despising mediocrity that the mere thought of allowing that to become a part of my routine angers me, yet I feel as if it is accepted around here. I know what I am capable of and I know that I have a skill set that can be an asset to a company and to feel as if that skill set is undervalued is beyond frustrating.
I do not expect to change the world where I am sitting, but I also do not want my desire to believe I can to be extinguished by the environment I work in. Life has ups and downs, and I want to be very careful in my objective view of where I am at. I feel passionless at the moment, I feel unappreciated, underutilized, and lacking a support group that can help me reach the next level of success and more importantly, professional growth. While I know that feelings are fleeting, there is a fire within me that is sputtering out and I am the only one responsible for keeping it alive. I can’t blame my work, but it would certainly be nice if I felt like the lack of passion was noticed. The problem is, I can come in to work, do the bare minimum, and get paid. That’s complete bullshit! Mediocrity is a disease and I will not contract it.
I just want more and I don’t know what that looks like at the moment.
It is so commonplace to start the day chasing emotions, thoughts, and feelings, left over from the prior day. It is habitual to begin the day in the infinite loop of ruckus and digital pollution, giving no regard to the essence of stillness. I find it bewildering, that before I even take a moment to be present with my self, my consciousness has been hijacked by a story someone else has created. The world we live in is FAST…too fast at times. To slow down and invest in my self and conscious well being, is a deliberate act of discipline. While I find this discipline to be of great reward and joy, to regard it as easy is a fallacy.
I am a deep thinker, it drives me mad at times, and other times I feel as if I have a better grasp on my reality. At this current juncture in life I am finding that it is more a curse than a life hacking skill. There is a good chance that I missed my calling in life as an psychologist. To understand the mind and all it’s intricacies is something that I love to do for myself, so why not try and get paid for it? Besides the obvious student load debt I would have to incur, I think that diving into the minds of others might be a murky pond to wade through. However, when it comes to my own mind I often think that to accept is to understand, and that just could not be farther from the truth.
In the stream of consciousness we call life, I am finding myself in one of the valleys. It is hard to rest here, because if I am down, there must be something wrong. If something is wrong, I would be remiss to simply sit in it and allow it to go unnoticed. Yet, this is where the meditation and mindfulness correct me. To be mindful is to be present in the moment, focusing on the touch of the keyboard, the sound of my breath, or the scents wafting from the Columbian coffee roasting in the distance. There is nothing more and nothing less in this instance, including the “problems” I thought I was having. It is so counter to my standard MO because my overthinking brain tells me that this is just being naive and denying the existence of reality. So much energy can be wrapped up in figuring things out that I completely miss the peace that is the here and now.
I have no point here, and I guess that will just have to be OK. I will try not to over think that!
Bernie…or shrimp ‘cuz he looks kinda like a shrimp, doesn’t he? He is just a little golf ball head (“GB head” to be precise). This little orange feline has been the CATalyst of the emotional undertow that has slowly been sucking me under lately. To even think that when I finally sat down to document my feelings in this moment of clarity, that Bernie (my cat) was the genesis of the thought process is still a bit bewildering. For anyone who knows Berns, they know that entrapped in that dusty tangerine fur lies an incredible little spirit. If there were ever an ambassador for the feline race, Berns is the face. Now…before this gets misconstrued as a love story about a furry friend gone away, it is not (at least not entirely). The story that has been a parallel in my physical and emotional life has been perfectly embodied as the recent events that occurred to the aforementioned feline of mine.
My mans Berns, shattered his femur this weekend, and while I don’t feel the need to dive much into the obvious emotions that come with this, I wanted to try and live the moment through the eyes of the one who was hurting. Over 24 hours passed before we found Bernie in the driveway. As is customary, Bernie likes to wait under the cars, wisely dodging the everlasting heatwave that global warming is DEF NOT causing (wink wink). When he sees his mother or myself, he likes to roll on the rocks – adding to the permanent layer of dirt he likes to carry with him. As Andie reaches down to pick him up, Bernie remains still, raising only his head. It was such a small change but the fear manifested within me. I know my boy and something was off. Bernie is dirty and his greetings require acquiring more dirt; while it annoys me that he is a dirt bag, I wouldn’t change it for the world. As it would turn out his femur was shattered beyond repair. It was the moments between the discovery of the injury, to the physical outcome that caught my attention.
There are qualities in everyone that are magnetic; transcending all prejudices and preconceived notions, these qualities are life changing and vital to the life I know I want to experience. The one that seems to be resonating to me more than ever throughout this whole process is a four letter word (although not my favorite one). LOVE (n): an intense feeling of deep passion. You don’t have to identify with any organization or belief to know that love is the most powerful force in the universe (all you Science nerds who wanna argue – you’re probably right). The interesting observation I have about said emotion, is that I have a very deep need to understand it. There is a part of me that has yet to fully understand that love consists of ups and downs; the accepting of the downs as a part of the process is where my frustration has been hung up. I have this innate desire to dissect and understand everything, even if it is impossible to understand. It is fair to say I have spent over a week wondering why the fuck I am in a funk, instead of accepting the funk and pressing forward. You might be wondering how this relates to the cat…I assure you that while it is a detour, it will come out where it needs to. The subject of the quality of love I am writing about is a wonderful woman in my life. We all have this person in our lives, the nurturer, the comforter, the better half, in my instance she goes by Andie.
To say that Bernie is my cat isn’t a lie, however it isn’t the entire truth. Bernie was the second addition to the family, out of a necessity to have a feline who wouldn’t be so obsessed with yours truly (Fiddy is my dude)! Bernie was a stray who followed us home from a walk last year. We gave him some kibble and the rest was history. We took him to get his chip scanned, there was no chip…and the lost and found pages online found no claimants. It was not long before he found himself “long pawed” out (think Superman in flight) above our heads at night. Bernie would quickly identify as Andie’s boy.
From the minute that Bernie met Andie there was a connection. Andie isn’t the most emotionally charged individual so the way she responded to the news of Bernie blew me away. The impending reality of the thousands of dollars in doctors visits, surgeries, and medications, for the dusty coated stray from the library set in between the tears. I selfishly thought there was no way we would go into debt to fix this (speaking from a financial viewpoint), so when I looked to Andie for the answers there was no hesitation that our wounded comrade was worth every dollar. There are seldom moments that Andie is the one with emotional convictions, this was a major exception. There was no misunderstanding how she felt about her furry lil man. It didn’t matter what it took, she was going to get that boy back in the house…cuddling, licking, and whining, as Berns does so well!
Remember that love thing I was talking about? This is the moment that really brought this all home. At the core of everything, I believe we all want to be loved, through our brokenness, our flaws, our dirty exteriors, and even financial burdens. Lord knows that I have certainly had my share of difficulties far beyond a broken leg. I have stolen, I have lied, I had basically given up on myself and done a tremendous job of trying to push others away. I have been the Bernie of this story, helpless and broken, just in need of someone to love me through it. We all have the power to be the Andie in this story…so fully capable of loving with zero reservations, and zero conditions. We don’t have to be Neil DeGrasse Tyson, to see that a simple act of loving kindness can pull even the most lost souls out of a dark place.
I am blessed to be loved by my family, my girlfriend, my cats, and maybe a few other people. I am one of many people whose past actions are anything but deserving of love, yet somehow I am showered in it today. The Beatles once said “all you need is love”, the Bible refers to God as love, love is a universal language that knows no boundaries and overpowers all forces. It is not easy at times, and loving can be quite emotionally taxing, yet love never runs out. It is my hope that you might find love to give and receive today. You might just help someone get through a funk. Find a Bernie today and remind them that despite their dirty coat, busted teeth, and broken leg, that they are worth being loved.
I typically do not write unless truly inspired by a topic, however this subject deserved a little insight. If you are remotely clued into the social realm required to observe this post, you might have found yourself stumbling across the rumblings of a so called “POPEYE’S”. There is a great chance you have seen the likes of Barstool’s “El Pres” doing a blind taste test, perhaps you have observed the twitter rumblings of celebrities and friends alike chiming in on their evaluations of this “newfound” king of chicken sandwiches; Instagram feeds are flooded with #POPEYESGATE mentions, and any reputable account covering pop culture has delivered their take on the subject at hand. To call it rumblings is a bit of an understatement, as it seems as if everyone is clucking with chicken talk.
“This is chicken talk dawg! This is chicken talk!” – Gucci Mane
The truth of the matter is that Popeye’s has done something that they have never done before, they have actually been talked about. If anything, the mention of Popeye’s here in the south has revolved around World Star Hip Hop fight videos, and memes that do nothing to but make you wonder who the hell they are and what are they even doing in the land of the lord’s chicken?
Sure, the pictures look great, but someone gets paid some good money to present the chicken in a manner that instills desire. I can’t undermine the fact that the economics of the hype have been manipulated in a fashion that leaves the unknown to be answered: IS IT REALLY THAT GOOD?! There have been plenty of aspects revolving around this whole hysteria that deserve their accolades, but the truth of the matter is it is a hoax.
This is Georgia! We are the home of Chic-Fil-A! You can take your super crispy, imitation sandwich and truck right back to the bayou and feed it to the swamp monsters you call family. I am a bit offended that you think you can come into our house and think that you are welcome here uninvited (although I am sure Truett Cathy would welcome you with open arms). I live 15 minutes away from the closest Popeye’s and I will admit that I made the drive today with some optimistic anticipation. There was one issue I encountered during the process that has led me to my current rant and observation: THERE WAS NO CHICKEN SANDWICH!
On the menu board, placed over the newly placed marquis intended to glorify this giant killer of a sandwich was a (shitty) black and white piece of paper reading “We will be back soon!”. What kind of shit is that?! I have read that stores are limited to 175 sandwiches, and while that makes the supply low, while demand remains high, it fails on the most vital point – THE ACTUAL FREAKING CHICKEN!!
YOU HAD ONE JOB POPEYE’S and you have failed. I was willing to look past the fact that your facilities are typically littered and unkempt, your employees seem to hate their jobs and express no joy, and your sporadic, random, locations outside the prospering cities, just to get a taste of the chicken you think is so incredible. In conclusion, I will proudly stand firm that the lord’s chicken remains the King. The flawless record that CFA holds will remain exactly that…FLAWLESS! Aside from the incredible customer service, speedy delivery despite tremendous lines, and the waffle fries, there will never be another home of the chicken sandwich.
denying myself of popeye’s has been “my pleasure”!