Tag Archives: reflection

| Self Medicating |

A 5 year old boy pushed his bicycle and kept thinking: “I’m going to fall. It’s going to hurt. I’m going to fall. I’m going to fall.” He was comfortable with the training wheels. Honestly, wasn’t it kinda early to move away from that? He was weeks away from his 6th birthday and just wanted things to stay as he knew them. This brand new year and no training wheels seemed like a lot to take on. Where was the fun in this? This just seemed like something scary. Something an 6 year old would be able to handle.


His mom and dad were right behind him. They gently put their hands on his back and encouraged him to make the step forward. They said things like: “don’t be afraid.” Or “It’ll be ok. Just give it a try.” More than anything, they didn’t want their son to fall and hurt himself, but they knew that the initial hardships were worth the effort. Once he could ride a bike, he’d have so much fun. They could picture the squeaks of laughter as he streaked up and down the sidewalk. Yet, they saw the fear in his eyes and wanted to fast forward through the painful beginnings for him.

Eventually, the boy got through the hard parts and his parents slyly removed their hands from his side and they all celebrated together, once he realized that he could ride the bike all by himself.

I recently read a book called: “How To Be Here” by Rob Bell. I have no idea who this guy is, but in general, he’s written a book about being fully in the present. His bigger picture concept is based on the fact that the past doest write the future. The future doesn’t happen all in one go. All the stops along the way are what make for great learning and great experiences. There’s no greater gift than the present (cue the old joke about it being called that for a reason… I’ll give you the side eye and a second).

Sometimes we don’t take the risk because of something that happened in the past. We tried something and it blew up in our face and so whenever there’s a new opportunity all we can think about is what happened back then.

If I’m to be real, I’m  in a space where this is totally true. I am also in a spot where I am definitely a little jealous of where some friends are in life. I am 33 years old. When my father was my age, he had a wife, a 6 year old me, and a 3 year old my sister. He was already pushing forward in the world. I have no wife, no kids, no house, nothing. I’m living with two housemates and I don’t have a car. I’m surrounded by friends who are all married and having kids. All I can think about is where I missed there boat. I want these things, but it seems far off.

There’s something though, about trying to self medicate/protect. I would say I live a pretty safe life. I use my intuition to keep me safe and not make take many mistakes. This has served me well until recently, where I am seeing that this muffler of the road life… It’s missing something… There’s flavor being missed. No growth is happening. Failure is a part of life, however it’s something that I’m running away from. What does it say about me, that I want a perfectly content life without challenge? It sounds like I want all the spoils and none of the adventures.

For the last few months, I was dating 3 women. No, not 3 women successively, 3 women simultaneously. No, I’m not exactly brushing my shoulder off (shout out to jigga). I really wanted to try this whole dating thing after some recent events. I was constantly questioning my motives with each young lady. I have zero experience with dating, in case you were wondering (I know, I am charming. You’re correct, but it was just never anything that I was super concerned with). Throughout this time, there was one girl who I really was excited about. Through the process of elimination ( I got eliminated by one, I eliminated the other), I found myself going on dates with just one woman. Yay! Cue the rom-com music and celebration!

The last woman standing is the one I was most excited about all along (big surprise, right)? The problem is that I’m currently sabotaging that situation. We’ve been on 7 dates. I have a mental block about her. Can’t read how these dates are going, haven’t even tried as much as holding her hand ( now what do you think about that silly shoulder brushing)?

I had a conversation with a friend last night. She was legitimately questioning my motives and desires. I walked away from that conversation with the conclusion that I am definitely getting in my way because I am not sure how things are going. It’s like I’m looking for signs or guarantees that something could happen. Classic middle road actions. The problem with that is simple. While I’m fumbling around and waiting for an in, some self-assured hottie with a fresh ( Man bun? Undercut? Insert trendy hairstyle here) is going to take a risk and win her over, right in front of me.

Instead of making a move, I’m already pushing her away and steeling  myself for rejection. The problem is that it doesn’t have to end that way, if I get over myself. I swear, I’ve been in this spot before and the outcome was exactly that. It’s hard to learn things, isn’t it Justin?

Why speak on this, you ask? Well, technically, It’s my blog and I can cry if I want to… Wait. That’s not right. I like to think that if I write something down, I’ll kinda carry it out correctly. I realize that I have to stop protecting myself. I’m depriving myself of the gifts of life. Mistakes/suffering/pain are around to let you know you’re alive. You learn from these things.

I’m definitely  couple of lessons short of real living. It’s worth a try, I think.

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| Move it Along |

Everybody hurts.

Everybody gets hurt.

One hurt does not mean that you stop progressing, but it sometimes leads people to move to actions that will keep them from feeling that same hurt again and again.

inspirational quote

I saw this quote online earlier, and it registered with me pretty deeply.

The older that I get, the more I understand that life isn’t so much about what happens to you, but how you react to the things that happen to you. The power is then, checking how you react to something, and how you learn from it/move forward from it. It sounds like it’d be a simple thing, but I’m really checking myself lately on how this works out in real life.  There’s that old cliche about lemons being given and lemonade being made.

Seriously though, I think there is something to be said about the fact that we try to come up with coping mechanisms for things, and those coping mechanisms work for a season or two in our lives, but there is a point after which, these things become nothing more than a crutch for behavior(s) that we’ve become accustomed to and are too comfortable with to manage in any other way.

I am not the king of the silly self-imposed rule, but I am somewhere in the high court of the silly self-imposed rule kingdom. Of course, some of these rules that I follow are not silly, and some of them just need to be re-examined as relics of a previous iteration of myself that could be given a makeover. One example of such a thing is my “No dancing in public” rule. At one time in my life, this was actually a requirement of me, as a member of a Christian fraternity, but I have clung to such things because it keeps me from making a fool of myself in front of people in dancing situations.(I’m not a horrible dancer, but not all of us are MJ ok?) I’m sure there’s not that much wrong with cutting a rug in public (I’m actually told that it’s fun), but it’s something that I haven’t wanted to let go. I fear that the time for the death of that rule is upon me, based on a semi-recent conversation I had with Iona and Helene… (Yup, I just called y’all out in a blog!)

The face of the: “don’t hold yourself back so much” movement, for me, has been my friend Laura. She really pushes me to just question the motives behind my actions (or non-actions), and encourages me to rage against that machine.  (I think I just became a robot in my mind? Not quite sure on that one.) I have appreciated being able to take a step back sometimes, and really think about where some of these things come from, and how they can affect my current or future happiness, without any real reason or logic.

The fun thing is to now see how many of those rules, when destroyed, invite others to get to know me in ways that they might not have previously. This can be a tool for infinitely more true connections with others, or deepening existing connections with people. This, being the 11th anniversary of my 21st birthday, seems like a really good time to try out something new.

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