Nelson Mandela is a stud

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Nelson Mandela

On change

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

They say “nothing in life is more constant than change.” Life is basically one long string of adjusting to changes that happen, through our own choices or through others’. In the last almost-a-year, there have been a ton of changes in my life. I have basically re-built my life from the ground up, after the nuclear bomb of divorce shattered it. All my old patterns and habits disappeared in the aftermath, and I was left a shell of my former self. I found myself actively clearing away the rubble of lost inside jokes, habits that were never me, traits that I’d picked up to keep the peace. I found myself asking the question, over and over, “but who the hell AM I?”

I’m still working on that question, but I feel I have come a long way in ten or eleven months. I still have a long way to go, but I feel in some measure like I’m healing, and somewhat adjusting to my new life. All the old has been stripped away, and some of it has been replaced by new. Some of it is still in-progress. There is one difference – I live for ME now. One thing I never quite got down while married was how to live for another without losing yourself. How to live for the new team you’ve created. I think it’s because I never knew myself to begin with. This made me impossible to live with, because I tended to chameleonize to match my surroundings. I still have a ways to go, but I know now somewhat who I am, and I am done apologizing for it. I need to find someone who will accept me the way I am, a music and computer geek, because nothing’s gonna change that. And trying to be someone you’re not never brings peace. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.”

I’m not saying I don’t need to try and improve myself – on the contrary, I am just as focused on self-improvement as I was when I was perfectionistic and saw everything in black and white. The difference now is that I accept where I am, no matter how low that might be, and I work from there. You have to start from where you are. Shaming yourself won’t change anything; it will just keep you stuck where you don’t want to be.

I’m done apologizing for who I am. I am done hiding under a bushel, so to speak, in hopes that I will fit in with the crowd, in hopes of looking “normal”. Normal is overrated! Being myself is much more fun.

It’s not like there aren’t still tough moments in my life. One change I have not quite gotten used to yet is waking up alone, post-divorce. Once you’ve experienced waking up next to your best friend, not having to say goodnight, and knowing that person will always be there in your life, it’s surprisingly hard to go back. It has been almost a year since my marriage ended, and I still don’t enjoy waking up most mornings. Looking around and realizing “oh yeah. This is my life now.”

But there are still plenty of good things in my life. They’re just, well, different things now. I’m trying to enjoy the chapter of my life I’m in, rather than wishing for something that’s not there. Yeah, sometimes I wish I had those years back that we “wasted” on marital incompatibilities and fights, but if I hadn’t gone through that pain I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I like my life, ultimately. I like myself. I’m trying new and different things, expanding my horizons, making friends and trying to make a difference in the world, in their lives. A positive difference. I am loving learning how to use power tools, working on studio improvements, networking in the music industry, learning how to take care of myself and my surroundings, becoming my own best friend, learning to be self-reliant, learning to make better choices. Learning to surround myself with positive, uplifting people. Learning from both the similarities and differences between me and my friends, learning what I agree and disagree with. Making fun, uplifting games for kids. Getting paid to do what I love. Figuring out, finally, that I am addicted to music and don’t ever want to recover. Working on my keyboarding and vocal skills. Working on my business skills. Working on being the best me I can be, instead of worrying about being alone.

Ultimately, I am trying to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The theory has always been there, as long as I can remember, but now I’m putting it into practice.

It’ll be exciting what the future brings.

On the importance of physical exertion

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I have a sedentary job. TWO sedentary jobs, actually – I am either sitting on my butt writing computer code, or sitting on my butt recording and mixing audio. When I go home, I play video games or surf the Internet. I’m always staring at a screen of some kind.

I’ve gained a bit of weight as a result, since my metabolism is not as young as it used to be. Lately I’ve been trying to be more active – working with my hands is never something I’ve felt any good at, seeing as my family growing up was decidedly white-collar. Fix something? I’m the LAST guy you should call, or so I thought.

All of this has led to a somewhat startling realization – any day where I get to use power tools is a good day.

Lately I’ve been doing a bunch of remodeling at my recording studio, and it has been SO empowering to do as much of the work myself as possible. I now own a drill, a level, a few saws, and I make as much use of them as possible.

It’s SUCH a good feeling to look at something physical – a new wall, some shelves, a paint job, or whatever – and say “I did that!” It takes away from my frustration, my depression, my cabin fever – and it gives me vigor, energy, self-esteem, and life!

And that is never a bad thing.