Double 21 or 2 Score and 2 Years

Well, whomever thought up the addage, “time flies by,” was not joking.  Yesterday I celebrated my 42nd birthday with my closest family and friends.  Looking around I was reminded of just how blessed I am to be surrounded by so much love by truly amazing people.

I have a habit of using a birthday or specific holidays as a time to self-reflect and sometimes, doing it to the point where it consumes my entire thought process and is exhausting.  Sitting around with my family and friends yesterday as well as some events that took place over the past week that left me in this self-reflective, melancholy but grateful mood.  Yes, I know right, it’s confusing?  

My birthdays have never really been the same since March 14, 2007.  My closest and dearest friend was killed in an automoblie accident, an event that would forever change my life.  I try not to associate the accident with my birthdate but even after all these years I find it difficult to do.

Most of the day was pretty funky and I think it was a combination of turning 42 (yikes), lost in thought and self-reflection, eventually snapping out of it when I was reminded of all that is good and love in my life.  This year was the first time in 4 years where it felt like “my special day” and was humbled by the expressions of love and care by those closest to me.

Saving the best for last, all the gifts I received yesterday were great but there is one that will always stand out, an expression of love and two souls united, as is and was meant to be and together a brighter light shines forever.  

Yes, Happy Birthday to Me and  Yes, I love you too.

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You Inspire

My friends and I have a few discussions and many debates but it is a rare occurence when I have a discussion that inspires me. I am always interested in the life story of others, many times their stories put our lives in perspective and can provide us a unique insight into other cultures, beliefs, morals and values.  

Admiration is a large word with a big meaning and is not used very often by me but when adversity is faced and not feared and obstacles are viewed as challenges to overcome and applying the tools necessary to achieve personal goals is commendable but facing those in a culture that is all new, learning their language and having to acclimate to an environment in a culture that is unfamiliar with an expectation that failure is not an option earns my admiration.  Faced with incredible odds, personal expectations and high goals, seeing obstacles as challenges and not barriers should be admired by all of us.  The ability to live the American dream and experience success resulting from determination and patience was the only motivation he required.

10 years ago he arrived in the United States with limited exposure to our culture or traditions but he had heard that with hard work and patience the American dream can happen for anyone.  Life was not easy for him, growing up he seen his family struggle daily, where hard work was necessary to keep warm meals on the table.  Having to work THAT hard to provide the family meals was not how he wanted things to be for him.  He was distraught over the working conditions in Mexico but was inspired by the American dream.  A place, he had learned where hard work and patience is recognized and rewarded and he knew, for him to live up to his personal expectations and to achieve his goals this is where he had to be.

Arriving in the United States he immersed himself into the American culture and traditions.  He listened to pop artist from the United States to hear English.  He remembers listening to Bob Marley and Sublime, hearing the English but confused on the concepts behind the stories told to him through music and it would be these two artist that would emerge as his favorites.

He had a little over a year left in high school and he was worried that he would not meet the educational standards of this country and pushed himself even harder, reminding himself that failure is not an option.  He picked up on English quickly, completely immersing himself in an environment where English was the only spoken language, applying post-it notes to common household items and furniture to assist him in learning the English equivalent of a word he only knew in Spanish.  He joined his High School Band and performed in drum corps, enrolled in a drama class and played a singing part in Les Miserable, cast in a commercial to promote a local product and after graduating from High School enrolled in and graduated from college where he trained to become a Medical Assistant, all in a span of just over 2 years.  Failure was not an option.  It is times like this where I gain a deeper appreciation for what our country has to offer and it makes me pause and celebrate the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.  

We need to remember our roots, embrace the spirit of our great country and appreciate all America has to offer.  We need to stop feeling entitled and practice humility and begin to appreciate all our freedoms and liberties many of us take for granted.  

I was fortunate enough to witness how the American dream can happen.  He was able to vote in his first election, own his first car, travel and now is sharing all his success with his family and I have never met anyone who loves this country more than he does.  Once, I asked him “What is it about this country that you love so much?”  He replied, ” As a kid growing up, I dreamed a lot and I dreamed big and all I had wished for and dreamt of is now my reality and I am grateful and humbled to be American.”  

Seeing the American dream happen and his answer made me come to love and appreciate this country even more.  Let us all take a step back and appreciate and be proud of the ideals and beliefs that truly captures the essence of what our country represents.

Thank you my love for showing me that anything can be accomplished and your strength and courage through all your adversity inspires me every day and YOU make me proud to be an American.

Scared of Love- Part 1

Boy, life sure is interesting.  Just when you think you have it all figured out you get thrown a curveball and all that you thought couldn’t happen does and at much faster than even you could have even predicted.  Well, for starters these past few weeks have been a personal challenge.  The situations I found myself in dealt a great deal with matters that come from the heart.  I have always considered myself a strong person who takes great pride in his integrity and always was careful to not be hypocritical.  All of this was tested these past few weeks and before I knew it everything that I stood for on a personal level was gone.  Funny how love works.

I suppose I should rewind a bit and give a condensed version of events that unfolded over the past few weeks and how the final outcome is not yet resolved.  

Nearly a year ago I was lucky enough to meet an incredible individual who really understood the core of who I was and encouraged me to share my writings and my thoughts with others. My writings,  he found to be inspiring and thought provoking and changed the way he perceived others and their actions.  It was shortly after taking his advice and sharing that I found work as a freelance writer and am happy with the direction I am going.

When I met Fernando, he was in the middle of a transition period himself, just ending a relationship and moving back to the city he was raised in, he felt a bit awkward and out of sorts with himself.  It is during this period of time that we began to grow a bit closer each day, coming to understand one another and at some point it became a emotionally intense relationship, scaring us both.

I knew what was happening but didn’t really push too much, perhaps thinking it was going to pass, never really pressing the issue with Fernando as he never really pushed the issue either.  It became much more apparent, as we spent time together, a few days here and a few days there that the closer we became the more resistant I found Fernando.  He would find fault with just about anything and really nothing that made sense and  would result in an argument and him leaving.  This happened the last few times we were together and over Christmas it reached its breaking point.

It would be a week later, shortly after New Years that I would hear back from him again.  We never really spoke about what had happened during our last visit together but  I know it was in back of our minds, each having a different reason for why it happened.  Our next visit was positive, went well and we continued like we never lost contact but little did I know this would be the last contact I would have with Fernando until Valentine’s Day, six weeks later.

It was during the six weeks that I ran into someone who I had not seen in a few years, a time where we found an attraction but bad timing for the both of us made it impossible to explore with one another.  It has been about two weeks at this point and I still have yet to hear from Fernando, not a peep and the longer it went that I heard nothing I believed that he had moved on and I should as well.  

It never fails… when it rains it pours and the way this was headed a flash flood was just around the corner….

 

To be Continued….

 

Real Eyes, Realize

There comes a time in our lives where we find out that life isn’t about trying to figure out.  Trying to have all the answers to life’s daily questions, we forget to live.  We are so wrapped up in the details of life that we forget that life’s detail is to live. Having been loved or to love is to live as life is meant to be, which may explain why many of us hold on to that unhealthy relationship, running in place, while our thoughts scatter and our hearts race always anticipating what we recognize as healthy only because it is familiar and a human’s need to be loved can supersede what real eyes, realize.

The heart feels, the eyes see.  Blinded by love, what is it that sees.  The heart sees and feels. it is the love that binds us that can blind us.  We are told to trust in our hearts for this reason, despite the scars of our past hurts or the heartache and pain that comes from a lost love, our heart is our pump of life able to sustain us at its mos+ damaged, heartbroken and lovesick because blind in love, we see with our hearts if we just remember that real eyes, realize.

A hearts desire ignites the hearts fire.  Its the eyes, giving us a peek into life’s soul, leaving us wondering and wandering.  A heart is our compass, always pointing in the direction we need to go, eyes focused on our final destination.  Life’s journey, with its blast of color shades and monochrome shadows have us question our vision.  A heart that beats is a heart that lives, a living heart, broken or bent provides us what we need, realize real eyes.

One heart, one mate and when two souls unite in a lover’s kiss a brighter light shines forever.  Light for sight, fire for desire, through our lighted sight and our fired desire, we look within and we begin to realize, with real eyes. 

 

My Inspiration

 

 In my entry today I am going to introduce you to an amazing artist, however, to me he is much more, he is my mentor, D.R. Lowe. A local artist here in Modesto has been recognized in his ability to manipulate digital photos and create open interpetations of surrealism throught his artistic expression.  I may be a bit biased in my opinions with our artistic expressions taking different forms he was the first to help me understand art, I have always appreciated art but didn’t always quite understand it.

He encourage me to share my talents but, there were times I felt my writing made me vulnerable because it was from the stream of my consciousness, thoughts of memories that caused me great harm or pain or sometimes even joy and happiness.  He explained to me that some of our best work comes from those “places” and are the best to write about as others can easily  relate and here I am today, writing and enjoying every minute of it.

D.R. Lowe is known for his digital art and the top quality of the finished piece.  Well, I told you he was my inspiration, my muse and I wanted to share a couple of his poems and in the next entry I will be sharing his artwork, some of which he has been recognized for and placed with.

Your feedback is and would be appreciated.  The next entry will be the first poem of his entitled “Effigy.” 

Facts and Random Trivia- Issue 1 Volume 1

I am excited to be bringing you the very first issue of Steven’s Facts and Random Trivia. In honor of celebrating my last day of Geometry I present to you facts and a list all about numbers.  Pull up a chair, take a bit of a breather and enjoy.  Look for Issue number 2 this Friday.

Any suggestions or topics you would like covered please let me know and I will see what I can do.

ISSUE 1

By The Numbers

The object in the game of Battleship is to sink all your opponents ships; The number of hits that requires is 17.

The U.S. Mint has circulated more than 390 billion coins since 1792.

Australia’s Burning Mountain is home to the World’s oldest fire, a coal seam that has been burning for 6,000 years.

7,000 tons of worn out paper currency is shredded by the U.S government ever year with a face value of $10 billion.

The last 60 years 3.000 people have climbed to the top of Mt. Everest, 200 have died there.

10% of Americans are left handed; 18% of American presidents have been.

Running for 4.5 miles, Bay Shore Blvd in Tampa, Florida is home to the world’s longest continuous sidewalk.

A 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine and a 1.5 oz. shot of vodka all contain the same amount of alcohol. 

There are 4 cars and 11 light posts on a $10 bill.

A Boeing 747 Airliner is made up of 3,100,000 square parts.

 

 

Steven’s Facts and Random Trivia- Announcing A Weekly Feature

I have tried many times to blog on the regular, being consistent and providing a blog that is unique and distinquishes itself from the others but have never been able to find my niche.   I have always enjoyed writing and I have a thirst for knowledge, especially when it comes to random facts and useless trivia, the kind of facts that are fun and interesting, not well-known and pretty obscure, the kind that makes you want to share with others.

I have decided to take my love for writing and share with everyone some of the random facts and trivia I have learned, making it a feature of my blog.   The weekly feature will be updated on Mondays and Fridays bringing you the most obscure and random facts.  I think this is a feature most everyone will enjoy.

Get ready for the obscure, the random, the unbelievable.  You will know everything there is to know about absolutely nothing.  Its Steven’s Facts and Random Trivia, His First Volume.

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Los Lonely Boys

Fear Yourself

TO FEAR LONELINESS IS TO FEAR YOU.

I spent some time with a friend today and our conversations  went from one topic to the next.  Completely random conversations, not on any one particular topic, except one, being alone.  I am surprised, when this conversation comes up among my friends, nearly all of them do not like being and are scared of being alone.  Am I the only one that finds this absolutely insane?  My friends, are by no means insane, it’s just that fear of being alone I just have a hard time wrapping my head around.  Sure, there are times where fear is understandable, almost necessary, but to fear loneliness is fearing yourself.  

I have this belief that no one is ever really alone.  Sure, there are times where we FEEL lonely and perhaps those that fear loneliness are merely fearing the feeling of being lonely?  I never fear being alone, like most writers I do enjoy my solitude and keep a healthy balance between being an introvert and extrovert.  

When I explained my theory on being scared when alone, he flipped a gasket, which revealed to me that I hit a bit too close to home, here is my thing.
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I don’t think it is possible to go through life with the fear of being alone and question why that relationship failed, it is symbolic of FEELINGS and what we fear is not being alone, we are running from the FEELING not the fear.  It is when we are alone, we think, we ponder and we theorize.  To fear being alone, denying even the company of yourself, uncomfortable because you don’t know what to do when you are alone makes it absolutely impossible to know your inner-happiness and without knowing what makes YOU happy, makes it nearly impossible to recognize what makes others happy.

Los Lonely Boys… I just think we gay people like the drama and attention. OY VAY.

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The Gay Way List

It’s the GAY WAY LIST. A humorous look at our stereotypes and the things we say, what we do and what we have.  Stereotypes with sarcastic humor.  It’s the GAY WAY LIST.

We understand the difference between the 43 brands of imported vodka.

We can call anyone “honey,” including our pets.

We understand the immense importance of good lighting.

We can be at a crowded disco and still spot a toupee.

We really have “been there, done that.”

We are the only type of male who can say “fabulous.”

We can have naked pictures of men in our home that we don’t know.

We can have naked men in our home that we don’t know.

We understand why the good Lord invented spandex.

We understand why the good Lord didn’t intend everyone to wear it.

We only wear polyester when we mean to.

We can smile to let someone know we can’t stand them

We know the most important part of a party’s decor is the catering staff.

We are good friends with women others can’t stand.

We know how to get back at just about everyone, and have.

We always have an opinion.

We have read the book, seen the movie, done the musical.

We dress strategically.

We are the only ones at our High School reunion who looks better than when we were in High School.

We have framed picture of at least one pet.

If our mattresses could talk it would be Joan Rivers.

We know that sex complicates things. And so???

We know that being called a “cheap slut” isn’t actually an insult.

There is a married guy somewhere who is terrified of us.

We have a medicine chest stocked for every occasion.

We have at least one movie musical on video/dvd.

We are not embarrassed to sing in a piano bar.

We are embarrassed by people who do sing in a piano bar.

We never hold a grudge longer than a decade.. or two.

We know how to make an entrance.

We know when to make an exit.

We worry about people we don’t know, like Liza Minelli.

We have sunscreen at every conceivable SPF.

We think tanning beds were invented for us.

We have a cologne display worthy of Nordstrom’s.

We understand Joan Crawford.

We know how and when to play dumb.

We have called someone “girlfriend” who is neither a girl or a friend.

We made Donna Summer a star.

We made Donna Summer a has-been.

We make sunbathing a performance art.

We know when the party is over.

We know where to go after the party.

We are fearless when it comes to fighting gravity.

We know that pigs and bears are not always wildlife.

We will never have to hear our mother’s complain about our wife.

We all have a favorite Disney character and they are almost always a villain.

We have left someone totally speechless.

We have shaved something other than our face.

All our friends do not have to “get along.”

We have a large collection of anniversary pictures, however, they may be with different guys.

Our love handles are used as such.

When someone turns their back on us we consider that an opportunity.

We have the most interesting coffee table books.

We know every line in All About Eve, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Our face.

When throwing a party we know how to put out quite the spread… after the party.

 
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2012 to be continued . . .

Anahata chakra symbolizes the consciousness of...

Anahata chakra symbolizes the consciousness of love, empathy, selflessness and devotion.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most everyone I always look forward to the New Year.  It is a time where we can wipe the proverbial slate clean and have another 365 days to get life right.  Facing new challenges that test our fortitude, embracing change or rejecting change based on new fears or ones of the old, choosing inevitably whether we will be the directors, dictating how this next chapter begins and ends or will we  just be the actor, taking direction of our life from someone or something that will, in the end be nothing but a production of our life based on their own self-interest or gain. giving up on our creative control despite our creative differences.

This year was supposed to have been much different than last.  A year where my life seen major changes and tested my strength like no other.  It left me exhausted and hopeless, giving up the production of my life for 365 days, becoming a mere actor in the production of my life, losing myself and what and who I was seemed like a life learning lesson and one that once I came to understand what was happening, learn from it and correct it I would never have to face that test again, as this year as proven so far I still have much to learn.

It seems like my altruistic ways leave me vulnerable and that doing for myself and doing for me is selfish and unattractive.  Why when others do for themselves their motives and/or reasoning for doing  is never questioned but when doing for myself it becomes a selfish act, inconsiderate of other. Why do some of us have to go through with life having to deal with a different set of standards and expectations?

I believe there are some I have allowed into my life who appreciate and respect my unselfish acts.  There are some who have come to expect my altruistic ways, taking advantage of my generosity and it is only when I step back do I take notice of what I have allowed to happen.  The circle of friends I keep, the ones I can depend on in a moment’s notice have always admired my inner strength and remind me of the personal challenges I have been able to overcome but why do I not see what they see?  I’m I blinded by my own humility?  Are we supposed to recognize the strength that others see in us?  Is it possible that someone can be too altruistic? Where some consider that a strength others see as a weakness.

Have I become a bystander in the production of my life?  How can I be giving and unselfish to some and self-centered and ego-maniacal to others? Have I become to naive to human nature that I am unable to recognize emotional manipulation?   When your empathy and altruistic nature is used against you for their own personal gain or self-satisfaction, am I at fault?  

I do not want to be someone who goes through the rest of my life jaded and I won’t if I become the producer of my own life.  I need to surround myself with those who embrace all the good in me, recognize that we all have flaws and take the good with the bad.  I am no means a perfect person but never will I manipulate emotionally for my own personal gain.  Allowing someone to manipulate a positive trait and turning it into something ugly but advantageous for them shows me my weakness, 

Perhaps it’s a lesson that I have yet to learn and why 2012 should have ended with, To be continued and not Happy New Year.

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