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.

I don’t know the context behind it. I don’t know the purpose or what their intention was. Hell, I don’t even know who it was. But clearly their take on what I’ve gone through is to just.. get over it. I mean really, it’s so simple.

Why didn’t I think of this on my own??

Look – I don’t expect everyone to get me. I don’t expect people to understand who I am or what I’m going through. I don’t expect anyone to understand the pain or frustration or any of the other thoughts and feelings that I’ve been having. I would even say that I don’t ask anyone to.

But it really, really bothered me that there are people out there, possibly people I think of as friends, who would go around behind my back like this. Maybe it was intended completely innocently, I don’t know, but for the last few weeks since this came out I’ve been in a hell of a funk.. a different kind of funk than I have been in as of late. I started rethinking everything.. everyone. I spent time trying to figure out who these people are and why they would call themselves my friend but not come to me with this? Just who the hell do they think they are?!

But this weekend it dawned on me that.. it doesn’t matter. It really just doesn’t matter. People will think and say and do whatever they want, and it has absolutely no impact on who I am or what I’m going through or how it is that I live my life to try to get through each day. And it was incredibly refreshing to come to that conclusion.

But now.. this weekend.

The weekend started on Thursday when some baseball tickets fell into my lap from a friend. It was a very long drive and would make for a very long night – but I made the decision with a friend to go for it. And it turned out to be a great night. It was the first time I’ve seen a game in the area of the field we were in – all you can eat, all you can drink – and got to hang with some good friends and had some great conversation. And it left me in a good place..

Friday I got to hang out with a great friend for a few cigars. More good conversation followed and again, the night ended on a positive note.

Saturday things changed.. dramatically.. for the better.

A friend, CM, sent me a video to watch which followed up on the conversation we had Thursday night. It just struck me.. really hard. It was a video about how you can’t truly experience good, without also experiencing bad. That without understanding and going through one it is really hard to truly understand and appreciate the other.

My initial thought was immediately negative, which makes sense given my most recent moods. Instead of taking it as it was intended, that these bad times will help me realize the good, I instead turned that around and instead felt that the reason I know the horrible lows that I have now, is because not too long ago I had everything.. and I lost it.. and I felt punched in the gut. But as I continued to watch the video, I slowly began to shift my mindset, and see things from a different perspective.

The image attached to this post was taken by me on my way to Milwaukee for a Brewer game. Despite the clouds, all I could see was sunshine. I was so incredibly.. happy. I had all the windows down, the radio turned up, and I was smiling like a fool as I sang at the top of my lungs. I just felt flat out good – for the first time in so, so long. And it carried on throughout the day. It was a good day. A really good day. I joined a couple friends for a Brewer game, had a tailgate with some beers and plenty of cigars, then hung out with some friends to end the night.

Today wasn’t as fantastic. It started off rough.. but it slowly began to turn and, in the end, I came to some really amazing realizations.

So many great things are happening right now because of all this turmoil.. this pain and anguish and depression. None of that is good.. it hasn’t felt good, it won’t feel good.. but it has led to good.

I have a new found understanding of who my friends truly are. I’ve also made new, closer friends that I hadn’t had before. All of this, especially over the last couple weeks, has helped me better understand who I can and who I cannot rely on. And who I want to be in my life and who I may not.

This whole ordeal has helped push me toward some personal goals that I have had my sights set on for years but never taken any step towards. And now I am. I don’t want to get into details what those are exactly but they are things that I’ve wanted to address and am now taking steps to do so. Again, never would have happened without what I have gone through.

I’ve done a lot of introspection on a lot of different topics. I’ve thought about who I am, who I want to be, who’s in my life, who I want in my life, and who I don’t. I’ve also done a lot of thinking about my career and what direction I want my career to go in. I firmly believe I am where I am more by accident than planning, and now I want to take the time to plan out where I want my career to go – and I’m already taking steps to make that a reality.

And then it dawned on me that in a couple weeks I will be taking my 2nd vacation this year. Hell, my 2nd vacation in the last 3 months or so. I had only taken 1 proper vacation in my adult life before this year, and here I am about to embark on a second. I never would have taken the steps to reach for something like this before all this happened. And I think part of this is inspiration from the person who came into and left my life, and a lot of it is also due to some of the conversations I’ve had with a number of important people in my life who have helped to push me to chase those dreams that I may have, and push myself to say yes to as many things as I can, and to stop sitting around and watching life happen in front of me instead of stepping out and grabbing it with both hands and holding on for the ride.

So that’s what I’m doing.

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