Reset.

It’s time for me to officially hit that reset button, guys.

For anyone out there who feels like they’re moving backwards or like everything is falling apart and they’re having to start over… I feel for you. I’m in that boat too.

But our boat is not sinking.

Sometimes you have to take a few steps back to make the leap forward.

Sometimes you have to reset and live.

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They were wrong.

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A while back I was pulling a late night trying to pack up the last apartment I was living in getting ready to move to the one I’m in now and I had a youtube playlist running on my laptop for some background noise.

I wasn’t really paying attention to what was playing at all, it was just something to fill the silence. I can’t remember what the playlist was exactly but I remember choosing it because I needed to stay awake and pumped and hyped and, honestly… angry. I wasn’t okay that night and I was trying to fight my way through it because if I let myself break down I would cease to function and I didn’t have the time for that (it’s something I’m working on as a person).

Anyway, the playlist was probably something either rap related or something from the super hype side of the alternative punk esque collection of stuff. Either way… this particular video stood out like a fart in church and seeing as I’m the kind of person who has absolutely no problem studying with the tv on but is hopelessly distracted by commercial breaks, any deviation from the norm has me instantly hooked. Needless to say, I had forgotten my computer was even still there until this started playing.

To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan

When this came on, I instantly stopped what I was doing and turned to my computer like, “what is this sh**?” and then, just as if my studies had been interrupted by Billy Mays and the power of oxiclean, I was hooked.

I have absolutely no idea how this video had made it onto that playlist but I am glad that it did because I needed to see it. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this video and so I wanted to share it with you guys in case maybe one of you needs to see it too.

 

Please don’t give up on me.

A letter to my future spouse

If I could, I would already be outside your door like Ted Mosby wanting those extra 45 days.

And don’t even sweat it if you don’t catch that reference because I already know that one day you will.

One day, in exactly some unknown number of days from now, you and I will finally become an us. We’ll go out on our first official date and we’ll start getting to know each other better than anyone else ever has. We’re going to smile and we’re going to laugh and we’re going to realize how much better we are together than we’ve ever been apart. We’re going to fall in love and we’re going to fall so hard and even though that might scare us, we’ll be willing to take the risk. We’re going to get married and we’ll be the family that we chose for ourselves. Our life together is only so many days away and as your future spouse, I’m writing this now because like Ted Mosby, I want those extra days.

I want to get to know you for who you really are. I want to see your smile and hear your laugh and I want to learn all those subtle little things you do when you’re nervous or excited or when you’re trying to hide that you’re not okay. I want to feel the way that your hand fits so perfectly in mine. I want to stand before you and all of our friends and vow to love you for the rest of my life. I want to spend every single day of my forever with you and I am so incredibly sorry that I’m not ready for you yet.

One day I will be with you and I promise you that once I am, you will never again have to feel worthless, or unwanted, or alone. But right now I’m still learning to love you the way you need to be loved. I’m still being taught to appreciate all of the ways that you’ll love me like no one else ever has and to never take for granted a single moment spent with you. I know that sometimes it feels like there’s no one out there for you, like we’ll never find each other, or that you’re just not meant to be loved but none of that is true. I’ve been hurt and I’ve been broken and I’ve been shattered harder than I ever thought possible but I have refused to give up on you.

I know I still have a little further to go but one day I’ll be enough for you and when that day comes I promise that I will always love you the way you DESERVE to be loved. 

I will never stop choosing you. I will never stop loving you. And I will never stop fighting for that forever with you. No matter what anyone has ever made you think or how anyone has ever made you feel, know that you’re worth it and that I will always want you. There IS someone out there who loves you and I am begging you not to settle for less. I know how badly you want to be loved and I know how hard it is to keep holding on when all you want to do is let go.

But as that someone who’s out there for you,

Please don’t give up on me.

The Fortune-ate Ones

fortunecookie

Fortune cookies.

Sometimes these little slips of paper can contain the sign you’ve been looking for and act as that sweet banner of hope encased in an even sweeter crunchy cookie…

And sometimes they just don’t.

Lately I’ve been spending nights and weekends in my sister’s dining room trying to figure my life out and get work done before my job ends. She’s usually doing work either across the table from me or at the counter in the room next door but we typically break for food at some point and a few times now that’s been a trip to Panda Express.

The first time we went there, just after the start of the new year, I was feeling hopeful about 2017. I was ready to shift gears and start carving my way through the waves of my life instead of sailing along with the currents that came for me. The hurricane of 2016 had ended and 2017 was already off to a pretty good start. Things were lookin’ up, my friends and I wanted to believe that they would stay that way.

[Crack open fortune cookie number one.]

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And guys… come they did.

Life was great. Things were great. The best things had come to me and everything was wonderful. 2017 was on an official upswing and it was spectacular. Everything I had been nervous about had worked out. Everything I had been worried about, all the things that could have easily been the catalyst for an epic downfall, all of it had worked out so much better than I ever could have hoped it would. And to top all of that off…

…she kissed me.

For the first time, she kissed me. And things didn’t fall apart like I thought they would. Things were better than good. They were perfect.

And then things kind of weren’t… but I refused to be daunted. I was not about to let a few dark clouds heavy with the threat of a torrential downpour scare me into veering off course and away from where I was ready to take my year. Things were going to work out and things were going to be good and I was going to get my work done and I was going to be okay and my sister and I were going back to Panda Express! (Not because of all of that or because I needed a new sign but because we were hungry and there’s one relatively close to her house.)

[Nervously, albeit still quite hopefully, crack open fortune cookie number two.]

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Vague… I know…

What kind of changes? BIG changes could be good or bad. BIG wonderful changes? BIG horrible changes? BIG changes in my favor…? What does this mean?? I didn’t know. This red ink on a slip of white paper I had just pulled out of a prepackaged cookie created in some factory and shipped to the fast food chain I had just gotten food from certainly didn’t know. But I was hopeful that the changes, however rough they may be, would be for the best because all I could take from this cookie was that big changes were definitely ahead.

Changes are always ahead. Of that, you can always be certain.

Fast forward (I want to say a few weeks but all of this happened THIS month – Cheese is priced, guys. It is still only January) some vague amount of time, probably a week or so… and I wrote my last post. If you haven’t read it, you should because it’s honestly what really drives this next one home because YESTERDAY! Less than 24 hours after I had written all of that, we were back at Panda Express to grab dinner before getting back to work.

I know, it sounds like I have a problem and I really need to stop going there but to tell you the truth, those are the only three times I have ever been to that place and it’s mainly just because I love rice… I could love worse things. Some people love heroin.

ANYWAY! We went back to Panda Express. And this time I don’t know what I was expecting this cookie to contain or what I was hoping that it would say and I honestly, I wasn’t feeling particularly like it would contain anything I needed to read but when my sister turned to me and asked me what mine said, I can tell you that I wasn’t expecting to bust it open and read this..

[Bust open the third cookie to pull out the slip of paper and read aloud]

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and as soon as the words left my mouth all expression just fell off my face and my sister voiced my thoughts exactly as she laughed and just sarcastically said,

“Well thanks, fortune cookie.”

So there you have it, friends. My prospective fortunes for the new year have been predicted by the fortune cookies of Panda Express and it appears that my 2017 will be full of good things and big changes BUT! If I can befriend myself, it won’t be full of loneliness. If you stay tuned, maybe one day I’ll write a blog about how to be your own best friend.

Plot Twist

Have you ever fallen in love with someone?

Did you ever become their drunken mistake?

Did that someone also happen to be your roommate?

 

I know it’s been a while. The last time I was on here I was talking about how afraid I was of being alone… ironically enough, it was only a few months after that post that I met my best friend.

That was almost three years ago… Jeez, my last post was almost three years ago… I had completely forgotten I had even written that post and to be honest rereading it when I logged in to post this is a little bit heartbreaking because of how much has happened in that time.

A few months after that post, in early June of that year, I met someone who turned all of that around. It wasn’t like finding a flashlight in the dark, it was like finding that sliver of light shining in from the outside of a cold, dark cave and finally discovering the way out into the sun.

Guys, I was broken when I met her. We went to the same college and moved back to campus early for band camp so since no one else was there and our campus is in a sketch area, we would stay in each other’s dorms at night and I’d have panic attacks so bad that she’d wake up to me hyperventilating but she never saw me as broken… the panic receded when I was with her. Even in her sleep she could tell when I wasn’t okay and she’d roll over and put her arm around me.

Anyway, she became my best friend and broke down more of my walls than anyone else ever has that year. Once the spring semester ended, we got an apartment off campus and she’s been my roommate ever since. A lot has happened in the past three years though. I apologize for not keeping you all posted, but honestly, the reason I’d been gone so long is because I was happy… I had someone… and I was incredibly busy (side note: this past May I GRADUATED!!! BSE in Mechanical Engineering! What up!). And then it was just a combination of being really busy and also sometimes really sad.

Well okay, I kind of stay busy on purpose when I’m sad. Life’s been rough guys. Amazing, and wonderful, and exciting, and terrifying, and at times tragic, and hard, and rough, and devastating, and… life. It’s been life.

There’s so much I could say right now and maybe one day I’ll tell you all the stories of these past three years but right now I’m still processing and I think that’s why I’m here… I just had my heart shattered harder than it’s ever been broken before. My roommate was my best friend and after that night we were perfect for all of about 36 hours and then she just left. And then she came back with her boyfriend to pack up her things and she’s moving out but only comes by when she knows I’m not there and I can’t even afford to live in that apartment by myself and the job I have ends in 19 days and I don’t know what to do or where to go or even who to talk to because no one knows about any of that. In case I’ve never explicitly said, I’m not actually a guy and on top of that I’m a Roman Catholic middle school youth minister and the night that happened I was coordinating a retreat for a bunch of high school kids and if you are reading this and you’re Catholic and you think that’s wrong or that I’m a hypocrite or that I’m whatever else you want to say, you know what?

Go ahead.

Judge me.

Without knowing anything I’ve thought about this or how I feel about this or how I’m doing with any of this, go ahead and cast your judgement. But for those of you who feel so inclined to tell me what Jesus thinks, go check out Luke 6:37-38 or even Matthew 7:1-5 and remember what He said.

But thoughts of overly opinionated assholes aside, I think I may be coming back to the blog guys… I mean let’s be honest, never has a blog been so aptly named than now. In the words I posted on my about page like 5 years ago…

Explore the world, get lost, find your way.

Sometimes you need to lose yourself to find out who you are. Sometimes you need to Reset and Live.

Thanks for reading this, my friends. Sometimes the words I can’t say, I just have to type… At the very least just to get them out of my own head and let me just say that from the station of my mind, I really needed this thought train to gtfo already.

But EJ, if you’re reading this, surprise..!. please don’t question our friendship or wonder why I didn’t tell you first because posting this may or may not be the only way that I really knew how to bring myself to do that…

Hang in there.

The struggle.

It is so real.

For whatever reason, people tend to look at me and think I’m tough. They think I’m a punk and kind of a badass.

I don’t know why. I am such a wimp. I am terrified of frogs, I can’t be alone in the dark. If it’s a dark bathroom, not a chance. If I’m ever in a dark bathroom with a frog, I will probably die. That is my defense mechanism. My fight or flight response is like that of a freaking possum. Freeze and panic. That’s basically what I do. I don’t scream or yell for help, I freeze.

Granted, if I’m in the situation long enough, my mind thaws first and I think of my next move but fear is always an internal struggle for me. No matter what it is, I always end up facing it alone.

The irony of it all…
being alone is my biggest fear.

Next year I’m basically starting over. I have no friends left on campus. They all live somewhere else, transferred school, or they aren’t coming back. I’m alone. and I’m scared. I feel like Jessie in Toy Story 2 when she’s afraid to jump into that dark box after having spent so much time in one. I know what it’s like to be alone. I used to feel alone all the time and then I came to college and I found awesome people and then I spent three months at camp and found the greatest family I could ever ask for and now I’m having to go back to being alone and I’m terrified.

So what do I do?

I freeze.

I know it’ll be okay and I know it’ll all work out. But fighting that fear is like treading water in a frozen lake. Keep moving. Keep swimming. Keep fighting.

There’s a difference between being alone and feeling alone. Right now, I feel alone. But I know I’m not. Fear has been getting the best of me lately, but if there’s one thing I learned this summer, it’s how to be fearless.

If you’re reading this, there is a 99.9% chance that I have no idea who you are. But I know that you’re not alone. If you think I’m wrong, I’ll prove you wrong. I’ve got you.

Hang in there. Fear is a lie. Greater things have yet to come.

We all have to take a few steps backwards in order to make the leap forward.

The Liebster Award

liebster awardI think I’ll start with a big Thanks! to Christine for the nomination!

Per instruction, I will now answer the questions I was given (which by the way, are pretty on point):

1. If you could have your dream breakfast tomorrow morning, what would it be and with who (living or dead)?

Honestly, I think it would be the pancakes and bacon breakfast with scrambled eggs,  potatoes and a glass of chocolate milk with my missionary family.  It sounds generic, but we made sure we had the best pancake toppings out there for camp and I loved the people I ate breakfast with those mornings. It was always so relaxing to just take a break from working and just eat and talk and be together for a while. I love those guys.

2. Is the reason you started your blog the same reason you maintain it?

Yes, yes it is actually.

3. What do you think is important to understanding you, but you haven’t said on your blog?

I have a thing for fixing things and I get incredibly frazzled when I want to fix things but certain situations are out of my control. I think it actually shows in some of the topics I write about.

4. Make a rhyming sentence or haiku describing your essence. Think intelligent soulful marketing statement.

Ohhhh, the haiku is back! (I used to post them for no reason back in the day if you’re a newer follower who hasn’t explored the archives)

You need me? I’m there.
Just remember one small thing,
I will need you too.

5. What last made you laugh uncontrollably or until your chest hurt?

My band director tried to be really intense and angrily shout instructions at us but his voice cracked.

6. If you could only have 2 books on your nightstand for the foreseeable near future, what would they be? This can include books you’ve been trying to make time to read but still haven’t gotten to yet.

My bible and Confessions of Saint Augustine

7. What do you find to be the most creative part of your daily life, or how do you express yourself when you can?

I build/make things and come up to crafty solutions when my friends are in a pinch.

8. If you had to self-identify as either Batman, Robin, Catwoman or one of the many undeniably great villains they’ve faced based on their powers, which would it be?

Robin

9. What’s your favorite part about blogging and your readership?

That it’s anonymous (for the most part) and that I can write whatever I want with no fear of people I’m not super fond of judging me for it.

10. Happy childhood memory you hold dear.

As a kid, I was really shy. I went to a school for two years and then moved to a new school in first grade. The first day, I cried because I didn’t know anyone. But I only knew the friends I had in my class… So first day of second grade, none of them were in my class so I cried. It sucked because I had to leave class once a week to go to a different class because I was really smart and we had a special class you had to be selected and tested for that was more challenging then normal class. So other kids thought I was weird and smart and I missed EVERYTHING when I missed that one day of class each week so I never understood the inside jokes my class had. Halfway through 2nd grade, I had to move to a new school on the other side of the country. BUT (drum roll for why this is a happy childhood memory…) I almost cried, verge of tears, and then I realized I’d only be there a few months because I was going back to my old school the next year. SO! My solution… I decided to not be shy and was completely and utterly myself.

and guys…

Everyone wanted to be my friend. I was the coolest kid in my class.

Score.

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I’ll be posting my nominations for liebster awards momentarily! Have a nice day!