Tag Archives: believe

Because There is No Alternative

Things have been going extraordinarily well, as of late. I’m employed at a fantastic company that I love, with awesome coworkers, good pay, and a real chance at learning and growing. I’m grateful for such an opportunity. My home life is also going pretty well. My lovely oldest younger sister is on a mission for our church and is currently in Utah for training before being sent off to Washington State. It’s super cool. I’m very proud of her. My brother is doing really well for himself, working for a pest control company. What was the first thing he bought? A ton of video games and an epic computer for gaming. My youngest sister is in the grip of mid-high school life, so it’s about as good as it could be for her (rough, but manageable). My parents are happy and my dad might even be able to get off insulin in a year. I might have an opportunity to move out sooner rather than later, and I’m starting up a tiny local business-thing to help me make some extra money. (Don’t worry. It’s not drugs. Yet.) Life is simple and good right now.

So then, why am I feeling so craptastic?

The long answer: I’m halfway into a relationship I don’t know will work, my self-image is crumbling, my health is in decline, I’m still nowhere near to releasing my first film, I’m tired most of the time, I get anxious about the dumbest things, yadda yadda.

The short answer: I’m not perfect.

I know, I know. You can’t be perfect. You can’t expect yourself (or be expected by others) to perform flawlessly and shoot to the top of the ladder at your job, relationship, or whatever else is in your life. You just can’t. To do so causes stress, and for a man who is 24 and has to live at home, that’s a pretty normal. I know, intellectually, that I’m imperfect and that I’m not supposed to be perfect. That said, I know I’m not at my best, that my potential is untapped, that I am nowhere near where I would like to be. It’s rough.

I want to be traveling the world. I want to be making movies. I want to be changing lives. I want to be helping people. I want to be independent. I want, I want, I want, but I don’t have. I’m failing to live up to my own expectations. So I came up with a couple solutions. The first is pretty obvious:

Lower your expectations of yourself.

This tends to be the go-to when I asked for advice on the matter. “You can’t be perfect,” and “you shouldn’t try to do too much,” were common responses. “You need to set lower standards,” was also popular. This might work for you, because your standards might be ridiculous. You might think that you have to raise those four kids, balance a check book, and end world hunger all before 8 in the morning. It’s admirable that you want to do all these things, but it might be a little foolish to try to do it all alone. Which brings me to my second solution:

Try harder.

Maybe your expectations and standards are within reach. You’d probably know better than I would. I personally don’t think my standards are that implausible. I want to live in my own apartment/condo/house, travel to a new place every month (even if it’s just to another city), and make enough money to support myself. It shouldn’t be that hard, yet for some reason it is. In fact, in my experience, this is basically impossible. Why? Because I’m not trying hard enough. I haven’t ever been able to completely focus or devote myself to any one thing – goal or otherwise – without assistance. Or rather, I haven’t forced myself to do so. When the going gets tough, the Tay got going. But that needs to change if I want to reach my goals.

To sum up, there are several roads you can take. You can change your standards, change your course in life, change how hard you work; whatever the case may be. You have the power. And I have the power. Believe.

That not good enough for you? The whole “just be positive” speech doesn’t carry as much thunder once you’ve heard it a dozen times. Allow me to present you with another fact:

Do what you need to do to reach your goal. Do it because there is no alternative. There just isn’t. I got home from a walk in the park a few minutes ago and my dad proceeded to lecture me about my eating habits (which are pretty bad). I’m now officially 70 pounds over my personal weight limit. I have plans to live forever and the gunk in my veins is going to clog up my heart before I get the chance to discover the cure for death. I have to be healthy. It’s no longer an option of “Well, I want abs to looks sexy.” Now it’s “I need to be healthy, or I’m going to die at 30.” There is no alternative. I have no other options.

Neither do you.

You want your life to change? You want to reach your goal? You want to be something more than you are today? Do you want to do something but just can’t find the motivation? Then remember the title of this post. Because you have to do it. You have to. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. There’s no backup. There’s no checkpoint. There’s no restart. There’s this. This is it. Do not waste what life and time you have. You have to try. You have to do. Because there is no alternative. Humans have proven their resilience time and time again. It’s proof that you can persevere and do it too. It will be hard. It will seem impossible. But you have to. You have no other choice.

Don’t give up! Don’t give in! And always remember to DREAM BIG!

How to Feel Grateful, Even When You’re Not.

Over the first few months of the year, I’ve been mentally falling apart. That’s what tends to happen when you have no plan, no idea where you’re going, and under 60 days to decide all of that. Stress and anxiety destroyed me and I reverted to a version of myself that I neither like, nor am happy I ever had. But in this last week, I was brought back to joy by techniques I learned a few years ago. It’s funny how going back to the basics is so important. I suppose that’s why they teach you those first.

I’m going to list a few steps I’ve taken to correct my behavior and my attitude. Hopefully, if you find yourself in a spot of bother, these things will work for you.

Step 1: Stop

Stop whatever it is you’re doing. Really stop. If you’re doing homework, put the pencil down. If you’re driving, pull over. If you’re eating, swallow first and then stop. If you’ve been sitting, stand. If you’ve been standing, sit. I want you to literally stop whatever it is you’re doing for 17 seconds. It may help to put on a piece of uplifting music.

Step 2: Examination

Are you stopped for 17 seconds? Good! Now the un-fun part starts. Look at yourself. Look at what you’re doing. Look at your mood, your behavior, your mannerisms. Look at your posture, look at your facial expression, look at breathing. If you are not happy, if you are not in a good state of mind, then these things will be wrong. I guarantee that these things will look and feel the way you do, emotionally. You feel angry, you’ll look (your version of) angry. You feel sad, you’ll look (your version of) sad. I say your version because sometimes people hide their feelings from others. This also hides feelings from themselves, disconnecting the feel-er to their own emotional state. Stop all of this, and close your eyes.

Step 3: Let Go

LET IT GOLET IT GO! CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMORE! There is joy inside of you. It’s there. Don’t think that you’re a joyless creature. Within the human mind, we are capable of all things. With that in mind, let go of all the crap that you are carrying right now. Let go of the anger, the sadness, the stress. This is one of the hardest things to do, but don’t stop.

Step 4: Say Thank You!

You wouldn’t believe how powerful this is. You don’t necessarily have to feel gratitude yet. Just having let go of the crap from the previous step, and choosing to allow yourself to feel gratitude, even if it’s not there, opens you up. Say “Thank you”. Who are you thanking? Well, you can thank God, thank the Universe, Spirit, Fairy Godmother, your parents, your friends, your family, your significant other, or yourself. What are you saying thank you for? It doesn’t matter. Just say thank you and mean it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Start off by saying this twenty times and you’ll start to feel an energy shift. If you feel nothing, go back to step 3 and try again. Repeat these steps until you feel genuine gratitude.

Step 5: Write everything down

You’re now feeling gratitude, or starting to feel gratitude. Keep chanting Thank You! Grab a pen (not a pencil) and some paper. Get specific with your thanking and write it all down. “I am so grateful that I can write this down.” “Thank you for letting me change my attitude.” “I’m so grateful that I am free from my own self-afflictions.” List EVERYTHING you feel in a positive connotation. Instead of saying “I’m so grateful that I don’t have to deal with a crappy coworker anymore” write “I’m so grateful that my job has a better work environment.” This is critical. Gratitude doesn’t work if you’re snarky or sarcastic about it. You must focus on pure, positive reinforcement. You will be astounded at the difference it makes.

Step 6: Smile

As you do these steps, remember to smile genuinely. Physically adjusting yourself to allow that happiness into your life will make it easier for you to feel gratitude. Fix your posture, smile, breath deeper, be deliberate in your mannerisms. When you breathe, breathe in joy. When you stand or sit up straight, imagine your spirit becoming aligned with the universe as your spine does with your body. When you smile, every ounce of pain is shredded before your eyes. You will begin to feel a powerful shift in your body. Tilt your head towards the sky in awe, or towards the ground in reverence. Feel.

Remember that attitude is a choice. Whether you’re going to have a good day or a bad day is entirely up to you, not the circumstances you’re in. I know you have it in you to be powerful creators of your own lives, of your own destinies. Be strong, be brave. Be unafraid to challenge your old habits and stand up for your happiness. Be grateful. Be wise. And follow your feet. They know where to go. Trust yourself and your inner joy. I have so much more to say, but I want you to go right now and try this out. Try it out and comment on how it made you feel. Comment. Like. Share.

You guys are amazing and I cannot thank you enough for your time and your attention. It’s incredible. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Remember, if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!

True Christianity

Today was an amazing day. However, at the last hour, I got a rather disturbing notification. A friend of mine manages a candy store in a neighboring city. It’s a fairly large corporation and is packed with every kind of candy you can imagine. Willy Wonka would be jealous. Among the many treats and candy-themed memorabilia are gag sweets and joke candies. Among those was a “marijuana breath spray.” It is very clearly meant to be a joke. First, the price is too cheap for it to be real marijuana. Second, it’s illegal to sell here in Arizona. Third, it says on the packaging that it isn’t real marijuana.

I should put a disclaimer that while I don’t smoke it, I don’t mind so much if other people do. To me, it’s like alcohol: a tool that muddles the mind and slows the senses. It’s not a toxic waste dump. It’s not crystal meth. It’s not going to spread like a virus from the smoker to the “helpless victims” on the same bus. It’s weed. Big deal. Now, that being said, I also don’t have a problem with people who think aforementioned things. I won’t have a problem if you think that smoking marijuana is wrong. I won’t care if you think that it is a danger to your children and to society. I won’t judge you if you think that it’s a sin to use God’s plants in such a way. However, there is something else that bothers me.

I hate when self-proclaimed disciples of Christ use His name to spew slander at organizations that support the use of marijuana. First off, this candy store wasn’t even supporting anything. They had a gag candy. I might also point out they had some very hilarious fake poop chocolates. Doesn’t mean they think kids should go around eating poop! When a leader – a true, passionate leader – uses his/her influence over the masses to not only A) tell an outright lie, and B) publicly bash any establishment, said leader is abusing his/her power.

To be less vague, here’s the story:

A religious fanatic walked into a candy store and found this fake marijuana breath spray. He whips out his smart phone and proceeds to record himself while spinning around, careful to get an entire view of the candy store. He introduced the store, gave it’s name and location, and then held up the fake spray and loudly said “They are selling marijuana to kids!” He then proclaimed that this was affront on the communities children. He then urged all of his followers (which are in the range of millions), to spam his… sorry… OUR outrage (because clearly he speaks for us all) to the store’s public Facebook profile, their corporate office, and their in-store phones. Within the next few minutes, the store was alight with rage from concerned parents, anti-marijuana activities, and community officials. The News swooped in and said they’d be arriving in the morning to cover the story.

I am totally okay with you having an opinion. I am totally okay with you having an opinion that is entirely different from my own. I honestly don’t care. If you hate it that bad, fine. That’s totally fine. Boycott it. Keep your children from the store. I think it’s excessive and a little silly, but fine. That’s okay. That’s totally okay.

But how dare you claim to be a disciple of Christ and set the dogs on anyone or anything like that? How dare you call yourself a follower of Christ? When, in any record, did Christ waltz into an establishment and go “Hey! This place is evil! Everyone, destroy it! DESTROY IT, MY FAITHFUL SHEEP!”? Some of you who haven’t studied the bible thoroughly might point out when Christ entered the temple of His Father and saw the merchants there. He cast them all out. That temple was a house of God, not a shopping mall. So don’t go INTO A SHOPPING MALL and THROW STONES AT THE CORPORATION.

What this person did, as a human being, was totally inappropriate. You can be passionate and fight for your cause. That’s okay. But you march into a store, high and mighty, and say “DESTROY THIS DEVIL’S HOUSE, MY SHEEP!” and you instantly lose all credibility as a respectable human being. But worse than that, you soil your name. And if you bear Christ’s name – Christ, who was perfect – then you damn well better live up to it.

To the anti-religion people out there looking at this going “See? THIS is what I was talking about…” know that you aren’t wrong here. But religion, true religion, isn’t about power, or throwing stones. It’s about bringing people closer to God, to their bliss, to their truth.

To the religious people out there, I’m so sorry you are being dragged down by this moron. You are good people, with good hearts and good intentions. So please, for your sake, and the sake of your children, live up to your good intentions. Don’t let people like this man hurt your name, your religions name, or Christ’s name.

I strive to live up to the good name of Christ, in my own way. I may not follow all of His teachings to the letter, but I take His second most important commandment to heart: Love thy neighbor as yourself. Love is the most powerful thing in the world. We must love one another, love each other, and love even our enemies.

To the man who blatantly misused his influence under Christ’s banner, shame on you. To ALL to preach hate and rage under the name of Christ, shame on you. Nevertheless, I still love you. I may not respect you, but we are all Children of God. We are all members of the Human race. We are all in this life together, forever. Let us love one another, tolerate each other’s mistakes, and teach the future generations of this world that hate only creates more hate. As Yoda, the wise (albeit fictitious) councilor once said: “hate leads to suffering.” Suffer no more. Let go of hate. And let’s all build a better world together.

Love is all we need.

Thanks for reading. I love you all, from the deepest parts of my heart. Remember: if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!

My Job and I

It’s never a good idea to talk about your job in a less-than-positive way on the internet. Perhaps I do so because I want advice, but I’m too prideful to directly ask for it.

I am a retail associate at a fairly large corporation that has stores dotting the United States. The retail industry isn’t hard to get into. You have to have a mostly-working body and be brain-dead and you can land any starting position you can think of. I’ve been doing this ever since I was 18. Five years. What have these five years amounted to career-wise? What have I gained?

Nothing, actually. I mean, I can slap these five years on a resume to help ensure getting yet another entry-level position somewhere else, but that’s about it. Recently I was contacted by several different people working for Vemma and it was rather interesting, but I know my personality. I know I could make it big with their company and probably end up financially independent in less than a year. But doing so requires a lot of effort for something I don’t necessarily have a passion for.

All I know is this: I cannot continue at the job I’m at and expect to be financially independent or emotionally secure. I want to take a risk and “be my own man” and so on. I am not sure what to do or where to go. I haven’t any savings left. My job doesn’t cover my bills and expenses and I drained my savings trying to support myself. The only reason I’m not homeless is because I’m living with my parents. Woot. I’m not okay where I’m at. I need to move forward. I need to move up.

During this time of thought, I remembered watching The Secret. I have to change my perspective, change my attitude, change my everything. The path I set myself on is not going to give me what I want. So I think it’s time I left this road. But where do I go from here? How do I change? Who should I surround myself with? What actions do I need to take? What habits do I need to build? These questions are rumbling around in my head. I’m scared. I’m excited. I can make these changes, I just need guidance.

What Can You Do?

What can you do?

This question haunts me. My reflection often looks back at me and says “Come on Tay. What can you do?”

First, what does that even mean? “What can you do?” asks what you think you’re capable of. It asks what you think your limits are. It makes you examine yourself. How far are you willing to go to accomplish your dreams? What are you willing to give up to get what you want? You take those hard, but necessary steps in the hopes that you’ll reach your destination in one piece. In a few weeks, months, or years, you make it to the top, your goal is achieved. Congratulations! One down, infinity to go.

What can you do? Let me rephrase that… What do you think you can do? What evidence do you have that you can make these dreams come true? What do you see yourself doing? Can you make it up the mountain? Can you take your time? Can you quit? What options do you have while you are on this journey? Flexibility is always good, but I would caution against being too flexible. Don’t let yourself lose sight of that aspiration that started you on your mighty quest!

Go ahead and think back to the goals you’ve missed for a moment. Yeah, I’m sure that list sucks. I look at New Years Resolutions and slap the palm of my hand right smack-dab in the middle of my face. I look at some of the writing goals I had. I was supposed to have at least 3 novels done already. Don’t even get me started on how long it’s taking to get my first movie done. So yeah. That all sucks.

Now stop. Stop thinking that right now. Do whatever you have to do to stop thinking that. Okay? You had your Debbie Downer moment, and now it’s time to have your Happy Harry moment. Or hour. Or day.

Think about all the things you’ve accomplished in your life. And yes. You’ve accomplished way more than you realize. Me? Well, for starters, I assembled a cast and crew and started shooting my very first short film on a professional level! My friend and I have published not one, but two short stories in the last couple years! My bouts of anxiety are getting shorter! I have recognized what foods make me healthier and happier! I have had a healthy relationship that, even though it didn’t last, gave me so much information about myself as a person, as a boyfriend, and as a Tay! These are only a few. I’m not even close to scratching the surface of the things I’ve done in my life. What? Those are real accomplishments. You should have seen me last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that! I was a disaster. I’m still healing from my years of stupidity, but dang it, I’m better than I was yesterday. So what about you? What have you done? Don’t say nothing because you’re lying and we both know it. You’ve read this far into my blog. That, believe it or not, is an accomplishment.

Don’t stop thinking about your successes, but start adding to them future successes. I will own my own company. I will be financially independent. I will run my own charity. I will be a healthy weight. I will figure out a cure for hyperhydrosis. I will find out how to overcome my serious addiction to goldfish crackers. I’m tellin’ yah, I got some real massive goals here.

So, in relation to my future goals, what can I do? I can stop eating so many freakin’ goldfish. I can further my studies in business and charity organizations. I can start dieting and working out more. I can try a new antiperspirant. I can wake up every morning and run through what I’m grateful for. I can make a short list of at least 10 of my most recent successes while I brush my teeth, and that’s with a groggy “I just woke up” mind. I can envision what I want to happen and feel what I want to happen in the day(s) to come.
What can I do? I can push. I can run. I can work harder, work myself to the bone. I can scrape myself up and put myself back on the path. I can discipline myself. I can educate myself. I can trust myself. I can be a better Tay today than I was yesterday. What can I do? What can you do?

Take a look at everything I’ve listed above. Think about yourself for a minute, about your goals, your dreams, the things you’ve already accomplished. Think about the friends you’ve made, the lives you’ve impacted. Think about all of this and then you’ll start to ask yourself the right question. You’re going to ask yourself:

“What CAN’T I do?”

What Goes Down Must Come Up!

Somewhere in high school, I obtained this strange notion that “no one loved me” and that “I didn’t deserve love” and so on. These small feelings grew and consumed me. Much of my teen years were spent lost in doodling and drawing comics to avoid the pain of reality. As I matured into an adult, these feelings were only magnified. Who was I? Where am I going? What am I doing with myself? Life now stood before me and I was unprepared to take it by storm. Why? Because I had locked it out of my mind during my teen years.

So, what brings this up Taydebear?” you ask. Well, dearest reader, allow me to tell you:

Tonight I was a jerk. I am frequently inconsiderate, but not as bad as I was tonight. Wielding the personality of a turd, I refused to become uplifted by the kindness and generosity of a dear friend. Why? Because I’m stressed. What does that have to do with anything? Everything. Like the Fairies of Neverland, I’m so small that I can only feel one emotion at a time. When I feel it, it’s all consuming. Be this joy, pain, love, hate, or (like it has been for the last two months) STRESS. Stress. What a nasty word. I won’t go into what I did exactly, but let me tell you this: I was mean, downright rude, and inconsiderate to a person who has literally done me no wrong since the moment I met him. I cannot think of a time where he has done anything deliberately or otherwise to hurt or offend me, despite the countless times I have done so to him. I realized this at dinner, which is why I didn’t order anything. I was afraid that if I allowed myself to enjoy the kindness he was offering, I would lose it.

He dropped me off after a painfully long and silent car ride, during which I wanted to scream at him: “I’M SORRY! I’M BEING A DINGUS!” But alas, no such words escaped my gaping noise void. If they had, I would have unleashed all the emotional stress I had been building up over the last two to three months. We pulled up to my house and I got out with a quick “Goodnight” and walked around to the back of the house. I hadn’t even gone through the back gate before I started to feel overwhelmingly sad. I spent the next half hour bawling my eyes out behind my house. I fell into a dark place that I haven’t been in in several years. It was so real, so unnerving. My dad found me and we hugged. He, my mom, and I all sat down in their room and talked long and hard about what I’m dealing with.

I told them my worries, my griefs, and my pains. After I got it all out, they offered comfort, tough love, and genuine compassion. They assured me that they weren’t going anywhere, that they’d help me through whatever this nonsense is. My goal to move out is still soon, but maybe not so far as originally intended. We are doing this as a team. Those are my parents. They love their children unconditionally. They give and give and give, hoping to help me grow. They may not have done a perfect job, but they did all they could, and by golly… It’s enough for me.

As to the man I spoke of earlier. I did text him back and apologize. Profusely. And while I feel he has forgiven most of my stupidity, he still hurts from the things I said and did. I must address this man and his character, as I feel I have not captured the truth behind this individual…

This man, who shall remain nameless, might not know what he means to me. (Don’t get your undies in a twist or anything. I’m not talking romantically. Weirdos) He is the kind of person that I met at my brightest time, and he shined brightly with me. We took the world and all its woes in our stride and we have both grown in many ways since we first met. It’s been inspiring to watch his transformation. This man, time and time again, has proven that when he says he wants me to be happy, he means it. This goes back to the beginning… I didn’t deserve love. Especially right now. I behaved like an uncultured swine. Some village somewhere had lost their idiot. It was profoundly disappointing. My behavior, short and simple, was unacceptable. As an adult, as a human being. And yet… even now… He still cares for me. How? Why? I don’t understand. I can’t understand. I mean, sure, I love everybody I come into contact with. I even love those really annoying customers who yell at me for doing my job. I mean, I don’t THANK them for that, but still. We’re all family, right? But why me? What did I do to deserve it?

I don’t know, but dang… I’m sure glad I did it. Mom and Dad and I are working on getting me some professional help. We’re seeking a good doctor who will give me some perspective and maybe some meds. And I’m so excited! Guys! I’m going to be sane soon! The good kind of sane! There’s this stupid stigma with mental illness and such, but people need to get over themselves, admit they have some issues, and go work on them. I told y’all this was the year of the Tay! I am going to rise up to the challenge. I’m going to be living in a new place, with a new job(s), starting my career, building my company, finishing my movie, and hey, maybe – HOPEFULLY – making the world a better place. I know I can do this. I know I can conquer this, or at the very least, I can learn to handle it. You guys have no idea what you’re all capable of.

Be brave, my lovely, powerful readers. Be strong. Life is going to be hard. Life is going to have some sucky moments. But there are people out there who love you, no matter what. And love you, no matter what.

Remember: what goes down must come up. And if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!