Tag Archives: examination

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!

The Color Red

I have two favorite colors: yellow and red. I fluctuate between which one I like more depending on my state of mind. Before I continue, let me define my version of “states of mind”.

For me, I have two states of mind. I have a good state and a bad state. Both of these states of mind encompass every possible emotion. Yes, that means that I can be angry in a good state and happy in a bad state. “How can this be? What kind of sorcery is this?” you ask. Here’s what it means: If I’m in a good state, I am able to shake off negative emotions far easier than not. I am able to see the logic behind why I’m feeling a certain way and I am able to find solutions. In a bad state, I am unable to do these things and become completely debilitated.

You could probably guess which state of mind favors red.

Red is the bad state of mind. Even though I can be happy and have a great time, my mind is unable to control how long that good attitude will last. On days like this, I will deliberately go out of my way to wear red, write with red pens, eat red-colored foods (cherries, apples, red velvet cake, etc.), and try to surround myself with as much red as possible. Again, it’s not that I’m angry or in a bad place, per say. But I’m not in control. Let’s examine that for a minute.

According to colormatters.com, red was symbolic of the primal forces. It represents passion, fury, life, and energy. It is a color of radical choices and behavior. When I’m in love with red, my impulse control is all but gone and I follow my instincts and my whims. Fun and dangerous, the color red represents a less-than-optimal use of my time.

I bring this up because over the last few days I’ve become less and less concerned with the important things and began chasing the things that make me feel good. I went on a real date for the first time since my last ex and I broke up. Had I had my whits about me, I feel like it would have gone a lot better, but I’ll spare you the details. My siblings and I were supposed to a special project for my mother, as Mother’s Day is just around the corner. However, none of my siblings were available for various reasons. Their excuses ranged from “I was going to see a movie with a friend” to “I’m working” and while these are okay reasons to not participate, I couldn’t help but feel abandoned to do the entire project alone. It wouldn’t have turned out nearly as good as I had hoped and it wouldn’t mean as much to my mom. So my rage consumed me. What do I do when I get angry? (Besides complain about it on the internet/to friends)

I change my hair! I shaved the sides and back of my head without really looking and because of that, it’s a bit uneven in the back. I then decided to do something I haven’t done in a long time…

Kinda subtle, right?
Kinda subtle, right?

I PUT RED IN IT. My Scarlet Stripe, my Crimson Coil, my Red Ripple. None of the hairstylists I’ve been do would do it for me, either because we were friends and they didn’t trust my idea of style, or because they didn’t trust themselves to do it right. SO I DID IT! Honestly, I love it. I think it’s really cool. Just a subtle little nod to my insanity for all the world to see.

This change in hair color represents a change in attitude. Whether I am a slave to my emotions or not, I will allow the best parts of the color red shine through; passion, determination, heroism, and life. No longer will the “bad state” be a bad thing. All things can teach you, can help you grow, if you know how to use them. Now I’m driven by the color red to accomplish my wonders. I can’t wait to show them all to you. I love you all, you beautiful people, you.

Thanks for reading. 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!

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?”

Anxiety Sucks

My family has raised me with the belief that mental illness is just a phase or bad attitude. Because of this, I cannot say for certain that I have some kind of anxiety disorder. I have not seen a doctor, nor do I have the funding to do so. So let me tell you what I know:

When I was no older that 5 or 6, my mom took my little brother and I to McDonalds to play on the playground and I saw him pushing another kid. This made me uncomfortable to the point where I returned to the table and started to silently cry to myself. My mom asked me what was wrong and I angrily said “nothing”. I couldn’t have been more than 6 years old, and yet that memory has burned into my mind.

When I was a little older, my family went to Skateland Roller Derby. It was really fun. We zipped around the rink as cheesy late 90’s early 2000’s music blared overhead. I left the rink, talked with the parents, and decided to go back into the rink. I swung my hand back too far. A little girl with a massive blue icee was standing behind me and my hand hit it, causing it to erupt all over her. She screamed and cried and I sped away. I hid in the bathroom, bawled my eyes out, took of my skates, and started having trouble breathing. Eventually, I calmed down, snuck out, told my parents (who told me to apologize and gave me money to buy a new icee). I found the girl sitting with her parents and I set the slushie on the table… I didn’t have the heart to look them in the eye, but I saw their faces change from angry, to confused. My face was red, snot dripping from my nose, my eyes swollen and wet. I said I was sorry before I marched back into the bathroom. The room was spinning. I felt dizzy and then I threw up into one of the toilets. I hid in that stall for a good twenty or so minutes. I sat in there, still as stone, tears running down my face, thinking I was a horrible person.

Nowadays, when I look back at the things I’ve done that are embarrassing, I can laugh a little. These two memories, though, are just two of the many that make me so sick that I cringe. I feel nauseous just thinking about them. My heart skips a beat, my mind enters fight or flight mode and tries to think and find things to distract me. I stop breathing. I stop being me.

When I tried telling my parents about this, they told me I was being dramatic. To be fair, I’ve been known to add unnecessary flair to my life. But somehow, I think this might be more than that. Last Tuesday, my sister and her friends and I gathered for our weekly dinners. I told a long and drawn out joke that left them confused. The silence shredded my soul into pieces. After dinner, I left and had some kind of panic attack where I had to curl up in the passenger seat of my friend’s car and wait for over half an hour before I felt I could trust myself to drive home. Today, I was supposed to do an event with these same people, but yesterday (Monday), I started feeling uncomfortable. I dreampt a bad dream and tried not to let it get to me. I went the whole day through work without much of a problem. But then I got home and everything came rushing forward. I don’t have a good job, I have no money, these people aren’t interested in this event I thought of, even my friends are ducking out, I have no where to move to at the end of the month, my car is falling apart. All these things seemed to rush in at me for no reason, causing me to cancel tonight’s plans and go into hiding.

I am a laid-back person. I love hanging out with people I don’t know. I love being random and laughing at myself and my foibles and follies. I love being me and not giving a crap about what other people think. But for some reason, I failed to do that two weeks in a row. This has never happened so frequently, but it has happened. It’s rough. I apologize for my lack of posts, updates, and general improvement.

All this being said, I am excited to move out. I am excited to find a new job. I am grateful for all these wonderful new people in my life. I am thrilled to be a part of their lives. I love to laugh with and at my own expense. I love to be with them. And I love all of you. Your support, your enthusiasm, your love has seen me through thick and thin. I am so proud of my peoples. You guys are powerful and you’re going to great places. Many blessings upon all of you. Thank you for your continued patience and support. You mean the world to me.

Much love,

Taylor

Dear Yak in the Crack (AKA, Rant of the Year)

To Whom It May Concern (and it should concern you),

I am a lowly man, poor of wallet and of nourishment. Nevertheless, I am blessed with opportunity to live in a country where I have the freedom to choose where I spend my last* 7 dollars for the week. For whatever reason, I chose to dine with you. Perhaps it was because you are across the street from my current residence, or perhaps it because my options are limited at this late our. Whatever the reason was, it is no longer relevant. I suppose I could have been more conservative with my ordering of cheese-slathered food, but not wanting to look like a pansy in front of my friend, I decided to order some of your cheesiest, spiciest food. Because #YOLO. Your meal also came with fries, a drink, and two tacos.

One bite of your cheesy, spicy burger-esque garbage ball and I knew that I was going to throw up if I continued, so I ate the fries instead. After finishing those I moved on to the tacos. Let me clarify something: what you served me was hardly a taco. Strips of lettuce, hot sauce, some yellowish liquid-abomination I can only assume was supposed to be artificial cheese, and some “meat” slapped between the folds of a thin crystal grease disk does not count as a taco. That meat felt and tasted like sand, dirt, and meat seasonings. Not that I could really tell over the abundant neon mucus flowing from within the bowls of this soggy, yet crunchy vagina you call a taco shell. The smell should have clued me in, but with the thought of all those starving, ebola-infected children in Africa, I reasoned that gorging on this repurposed poop was the honorable and American thing to do. #MURICA

It was after my second taco that I began to realize something was horribly wrong. My insides were already plotting revolution. After all, food only takes seven seconds to hit the stomach from the time it slides forcibly down my gullet. When I was pulling up to my home, I knew I had mere seconds before the inner walls of my stomach were torn open to reveal the Spanish Inquisition. I got to my piddly diddly department and “released the kraken“, as it were.

I accept that this is entirely my fault, as I am the one who willingly consumed your painted mush and bowel-destroying doom dish. That being said, I feel the FDA should shut down the branch of your establishment that pretends it knows the difference between Mexican Food and the grim beneath a dumpster that can be sprayed brown and be called beans. I will not return to your eatery until such a time when you no longer have these dangerous bioterrorist weapons on your menu.

Thank you kindly for your reading of this letter.

May your “tacos” burn in hell.

Sincerely,

The Man You Just Poisoned


*My friend actually paid for the meal (bless his heart), I just wanted them to feel even worse.

I Did It

In my last post, I talked about how to remain positive in the face of challenges. I told you guys about how I had to work an excessively long shift for someone like me in a job abounding in negativity. Let me tell you, these last 10 hours weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be. In fact, they were (dare I say it?) fun. That’s right. Fun. I had fun at work today. For 10 hours. I was really impressed with myself. To be fair, I might have had it easy: our meals were catered for seemingly no reason but the holiday madness, I actually got to take all my breaks, and we even managed to close up shop ten minutes early. Sure I had to deal with a few unpleasant people…. Oh, wait. No I didn’t. So that’s another thing in my favor. Weird.

You know what else happened? I got a cute girl to talk to me. She gave me a website where I can get new frames for my glasses at discounted prices! (Mine are haggard and over 3 years old). I got people telling me funny stories about their families. I related to people when talking about our pets. I even cheered someone up! Guys! The Power of Positive Thinking is incredible! You literally change the world around you. It’s phenomenal! I sang along to the crappy music, joked around with coworkers, and even made my manager laugh. My manager is a really funny guy and doesn’t laugh at my jokes very often. And for the first time since I’ve known him (over a year now), he actually gave me a formal goodbye WITH MY NAME. Unlike his normal “See you later” thing, this was an actual “See you later, Taylor.” and I was like:

We Is Serprized!!!

And here’s the weirdest – and possibly the coolest – part: This day was exceptionally ordinary. Had I now made a conscious decision that I was going to be happy today, that no matter what, I was going to be positive and cheerful, I think this day would have gone very differently. I had to train a noobie today. Someone stole an entire basket’s-worth of merchandise and got away with it. A customer blatantly told my coworker that I was wrong about something that I knew I wasn’t. (She insisted that the tie she wanted was 8 dollars when I literally sold that same kind of tie ((color, brand, and size)) to a different customer for 12 dollars) And you know what? I had every right to be unhappy today. My car… Oh jeez. That’s a whole blog post in and of itself. Not to mention, when I got home, I read through a hilariously long post about how my (and other people’s) methods of trying to surround ourselves with positive influences was the same as being ignorant to the world. (I have a blog post about that coming soon).

But would you believe it? I was happy. I was so happy, and I still am. I am cheerful, blissful, and I am doing great! Have I described the same thing enough times now? Has it sunken in? Yes? Good.

How did your day go? What steps did you take to prepare yourself to get into that happy state of mind? What kept you there? How different was your day? What are you going to do tomorrow?

Comment below. I see all these new followers (Welcome! by the way) and no comments. I cherish feedback and ideas and love a good discussion. I would be honored to hear from you all. What’s something you do to cheer yourself up?

I love you all and I am so grateful to have you in my life. Be strong. Be brave. And remember: If you’re going to dream, dream big!!!


PS. I meant to actually write this as a blog post, not it’s own page. But because I like the message, it’s going to stay there for now. When I figure out how to transfer it over, I will. So… Yeah…. Oops.

Weekly Word Examination #1: Sometimes

Sometimes.

“Sometimes” can be a powerful word, given the appropriate context. A Google search for its definition will tell you it is an adverb and it means “occasionally, rather than all of the time.” For me, there are many reasons why this word holds a lot of power. It is perfectly clear while still providing vagueness. It is a gentle commitment, a soft promise, and a tender covenant between you and the subject.

Sometimes I can be strong enough. Sometimes I am better than this. Sometimes I am hungry. Sometimes I am awake. Sometimes I like to sing. Sometimes my friends annoy me. Sometimes.

If we start to look at all the potential that this word holds, we begin to see that it does more to hinder us than it does to help us. I’m not saying this word isn’t helpful. It absolutely is. Sometimes there is no direct answer. Sometimes it is a sometimes. It isn’t until these “sometimes” start to become excuses, start to overtake our deliberation, that they become an issue. A real issue.  “Sometimes I sit around and relax,” can turn into “Sometimes I am deliberately unproductive.” The word gives us a way out of a tough spot. If we don’t want to do something, or if we don’t have a definite answer for ourselves, we can slap a “sometimes” on there and call it good. But is it really good? Is it really helping?

When I was younger, I was part of a youth group in my church. I was taught something very simple: “If you make a decision now, you will have your answer when the question is asked.” Okay, so maybe that wasn’t so simple. I’m paraphrasing. The goal was to teach us to decide what our morals were so that when we were presented with difficult choices we wouldn’t have to give a wishy-washy answer. We could flat out say “yes” or “no”. Maybe the word “sometimes” isn’t the perfect metaphor for a dilemma, per say, but bare with me. I might actually make a point out of all this. Life presents us all with choices, with decisions that need to be made, that need an answer. These moments can easily be swept under the proverbial rug with a simple “sometimes” or, more (just as) accurately, “maybe“. It gives us time to think about what we want, what we are going to do, and who we want to be. But if there is one thing I’ve learned in my brief period on this earth, it’s this:

Life is not long enough for “Sometimes”.

Now I’m not talking about the kinds of “sometimes’es” where we literally are in the mood for chocolate ice cream one day and sponge cake the next. I’m talking about the kind of “sometimes” we use to ignore who and what we truly are. Let’s take a quick look at something I saw on Facebook today. “I don’t feel adequate. Like for people – I’m not good enough for anyone.”

When I saw this, my heart broke. This individual is a gift to the world. Okay. So everyone has down days. Everyone has trouble sometimes. Everyone has issues that surface in moments of stress. Being overwhelmed is okay. Feeling crappy is normal. Feeling alone happens. And while I can honestly say I wish it never does, if it’s going to, at least it’s only sometimes. We all have moments of weakness that tear us down and we don’t usually see a way out. And if you’re thinking negatively, you’re thinking “great. If I’m supposed to be miserable sometimes, then what’s the point of being happy?”

Cheer up, buttercup! Sometimes you’ll be sad, but…

Sometimes you’ll be happy. Sometimes you’ll be joyous. Sometimes you’ll be bursting at the seams with glee, dancing up and down, singing to the heavens. You’ll try numbering all your lucky stars, but you’ll lose count. You’ll go on that date, see that new movie, drive that fancy car, move out of your parents basement, fly that kite up to the highest height! Sometimes you’ll have days so wonderful that they will sear into your mind for eternity. 80 years from now, you’ll look back and say one of two things: “Sometimes I was sad, but other times I was happy!” or “Where the devil did I put my face?!” Depends on how sane we are, I guess.

So there you have it. The good, the bad, the uses of the word “sometimes”. I’m sure you, like me, will spend the rest of the week trying to get forget that confounded word. Make it a goal. Act deliberately. Choose what and who you want to be now. And realize that for as many bad days, there are even more good ones out there waiting to be had. I love you all and I am so happy and proud of the journeys you’re all on.

And remember: If you’re going to dream, dream BIG. Goodnight!