Big C goes to Washington D.C.

For a while now, my friend BP and I have talked about me getting out to D.C. to visit. He made it out to Chicago at one point for work and we were able to hang out a while, but it’s been a while – at least a couple years – so this was a regular topic of conversation. Plus, I had never been to D.C. and it seemed like a place everyone should go at least once.

Additionally I’ve been pretty open about the mid-life crisis of sorts that I’ve been going through lately, and one constant thread of conversation I’ve had with a number of close friends (I’m looking at you RK, CM, and GK who will never read this) is to seize the moment, to start saying yes, to stretch myself outside of my comfort zone, to live life and give myself something to look forward to.

So one day while BP and I are having one of our regular video chat smokes, I made a rush decision that I was going to D.C. After some conversation and schedule checking, I decided 4th of July weekend made the most sense – and just like that, it was on!

The initial plans to head to D.C. on my own, but during a conversation with a group of friends, MR said he was down to come with – so it became a party! Instead of flying I wanted to drive, so early Friday, June 30th we set off for the nation’s capital.

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One week later..

Last weekend was a bit of a revelation. I felt that instead of the 1 step forward, 2 steps back that I’ve seen recently, it was more like 2 huge leaps forward, and maybe a small step back. I knew then that things wouldn’t be perfect moving forward, and they haven’t been, but they have been somuch. better! 

I’m happy that I can say that I have been much better able to move past those hiccups that happen here and there. I’m better able to identify when I am heading down a road I don’t want to – hell, that I can’t – go down and I’m so much better able to reverse course when that happens. This has helped me keep a much tighter handle on how I am throughout each day. As I said, it hasn’t been perfect, and it may never be perfect, but it’s.. ok. Hell, I’d argue it’s been good.

And with good comes some reflection..

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More than Meets the Eye!

Ok, that title is a stupid play on words, but it’s fun.. ish.

This is also a really long post. So kudos for anyone who actually reads through all this garbage.

That said.. this has been a really good weekend. I’ve had wonderful ups and some anguishing downs but all told I really feel like this was a very solid weekend which will leave me feeling so much better going forward. Earlier today I was thinking about how I would explain my weekend when I am inevitably asked at work tomorrow, and the word that came to mind was transformational. This weekend.. for all the good and all the bad.. feels absolutely transformational. (Get it now? Transformational, Transformers, more than meets the.. oh, never mind.)

The story of this weekend goes well beyond this weekend, though.. so a bit of context..

It came to my attention that some people, no names were given, had been asking questions or making comments about me and how I am interacting on social media. This in conversation with an apparently mutual friend. They didn’t ask me.. or contact me.. or reach out to me.. but to someone else. And the message that came through was, “Get over it.”

That’s right.. get. over. it.

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Crisis Mode

It recently (like, last night) came to my attention that people have a very strong misunderstanding of what all I’ve been going through of late. Honestly, it doesn’t matter all that much, but I also know that what I have written here and elsewhere has been more one-sided than what I’ve actually been thinking about and going through, so I can understand that one-sided point of view. In fact, throughout much of this I think even I had a one-sided view, but there’s much more to it than that. (See, B? I was nice and didn’t go into any of the stuff you were afraid I would!)

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Cigar family

There is a common phrase out there that family doesn’t always have to be your blood – and I believe that in a lot of ways. There are people in my life who I am not related to by blood or marriage and yet I consider them family. This last week I had an eye-opening experience with that.

There is no question I’ve been struggling lately, and by lately I mean all damn year. My thoughts have gone to the worst place they can go on many occasions and while I have hinted at that here and there, outside of sharing with one or two people I kept the depths of that to myself, mainly because I don’t feel anyone else needs to worry themselves about it. It is my darkness.. they are my demons.. and I’ll own them.

But something odd happened this week. In a cigar group I belong to on Facebook someone shared a post about their week – how they had huge ups in being offered a new job, and huge downs when they found out a friend took his own life. Even though this is someone I’ve never spoken to, certainly never met, and likely never even crossed paths with even online, I was horribly affected by his words. As I mentioned in my own post on that site, I have heard 5 or 6 of these similar stories in the last few weeks, but this one hit me hard..

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No jam tonight

 

I drive a lot. Like.. a lot. I know some people drive more, and that’s fine, but I still drive a lot. I have a minimum 1.5 hours in the car just driving to and from work, and more often than not I’m heading somewhere else after work and especially on the weekends. I probably put a good 500 miles on my car each week. So I spend a lot of time in the car.

I spend my car time generally one of two ways: podcasts or jamming out. Today was a jamming out sort of day.. but tonight? Well, you guessed it.. there was no jam tonight.

I had another rough day and, spurred on by comments from some friends, I spent the drive home tonight with music playing softly in the background and finally used the time to my benefit and did some deep thinking.

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Which way is up?

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Maybe this wasn’t today’s happy, or yesterday’s.. well, maybe yesterday’s.. but the simple fact that there has been any happy recently is a good thing.

I re-read the last post on here before I began writing this one, and it’s funny how 2 months ago I was talking about the upward swing I was on and how I had overcome so much and was looking forward to how things would be better..

And here I am, 2 months later, knowing that the last 2 months have been hell. Perhaps the worst part of this whole ordeal. No, almost certainly the worst. I’m not 100% sure why that was, but it was.. and yet here I am.. again.. talking about how things are maybe looking up. It makes me wonder if this is just another false ray of sunshine before the clouds roll in and the storm starts once more. Which scares me.. because I nearly didn’t survive the last one.

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I can see clearly now..

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A good cigar, some gin, some juice.. hard to beat that. This was actually my picture from yesterday but today was much the same. It was absolutely gorgeous out after work and I enjoyed my favorite cigar with a drink I’ve grown a bit fond of lately.

Today’s Happy was.. me. How I felt, how I saw the world, how things are going in my life.. it made me happy. I had a really good day, overall. Things at work are very good in a number of different ways. Things outside of work are pretty good, too. I’m in the midst of planning a get together for my birthday and hopefully I’ll be able to spend the day with some friends. Then the week after I head to Phoenix with my oldest friend to take in some Spring Training.

And that.. other stuff that has filled these pages, is much, much better. Not to say it’s 100% gone, but it’s mostly gone. The sadness, the loss, the anger.. the depression. There are bouts here and there but overall it’s gone. Admittedly tonight I scrolled through some of our first text messages when this whole thing started up.. that may have been a bad idea, but still.. overall, I’m in a good place.

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Can you feel the love tonight?

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Today’s happy was the opportunity to spend the day with a couple friends, have a cigar, and I tried espresso for the first time – and actually really, really liked it. An espresso maker may be in my future so if you have a recommendation on a lesser expensive one – let a brotha know! After spending time with friends today and this afternoon, I got to video chat with another friend this evening while we had a cigar and talked about life and what the future may or may not hold. We don’t get a chance to catch up nearly as often as I like, so I was glad we were able to make the time. All told – a really good day.

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Contrition..

So I failed at taking a happy picture today. But what I can say today’s happy is – was making something homemade for dinner. Chicken szechuan stir fry with brown rice. I totally should have snapped a picture but I failed miserably. I was too excited to get back to my fantastic and amazing Friday night alone on my couch with stir fry and HBO Now.

Also, I think I’m going to start working on some longer-term goals. What I want to accomplish by my next birthday, just over a year away. We’ll see how that goes..

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