Tag Archives: fight

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!

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!