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The Heavy Weight of Awareness

Good morning this morning, 

now afternoon...


Long I've harbored random rampant thoughts flailing through my head.  So much so it feels like constant loops left open.  Like having all the windows and doors open, there's no way to cool down the house.


The mind is distracted by the this and thats of everyday life, that you become comfortable being not comfortable.  This is not to be confused with being "uncomfortable".  For growth to take place one must become comfortable being uncomfortable.  That's where things happen.


But being "not comfortable" is like being too lazy to fix the loose shoe, the nub of lint at the bottom of the sock making you walk funny, but you grind on... begrudgingly-ignorant to the situation you are causing.  You could just fix the shoe, remove the lint, or at least bro, shut the damn doors and windows... but your moment of shittyness might as well be just continued shittyness.


The not comfortable however evolves into a painful part of complacently.  The type that builds and suddenly you're self sabotaging yourself for growth.  Now, you're sweaty, unpleasant, the loose shoe made you twist your ankle, and taboot, you've got a blister on the pinky toe in the other shoe.  This pain doesn't come with complaints, but people can likely tell that you're not very comfortable.


For a good hot minute this is how I've felt.  I don't have an answer as to the impetus of why this happened, but as I self diagnose, it's part of this stage in life??? maybe?.. I.. think?


I reread my thoughts of Finding Jason Brady.  The origin story of my alter ego, the one who's always been there to pull me through the stuff of life to make life happen when you really just don't want to.  The buddy who's in the stink pit of shit with you.. the one who's equally tolerating the gagging, cold, unpleasant, but the asshole is there to start singing to make light of the shittyness - cause you got to go through it.


It's been a year since I wrote it.  Long enough to forget what happens next.  As I recall the story of why and how Jason, I'm reminded of how alone things have been for me.  This is NOT me complaining, this is entirely the awareness of the situation.  Which is okay.  Like being too short to reach something.  You can't complain about it, you find a tool or a ladder to help you.  Same goes for this moment of my awareness.


In the spiritual fashion of happenstance.... today's blog post is #350.  A milestone of itself.  One does not reach that kind of milestone without caring about what they do.  As time has carried on, I have conditioned myself, my family that Fridays are my blog days.  Days to get whatever it is in my head, out of my head.  My outlet of creativity that's filled with humor, emotion, and stress articulated as written detachment.


As of late however, I just don't have the gas.  I'm not wanting to show up for work.  But I really didn't care if I get fired.  I will or I wont, so, let's just see what happens.  So what if the phone doesn't get answered - ehh... oh well, not like they'll take it away.. they'll just add a late fee... it's cool... so on and so forth. 


It takes no magical level of wisdom to see that there's a problem with that mental state.. sounds like a self sabotage of not being comfortable. 

Taking a moment, detaching from the situation, putting on my self therapy hat - I'm gonna call it what it is... depressed.


In today's time, that's a diagnosing word.  One that's filled with negative connotations, loaded with unraveled baggage.  Likely more unsettling is to hear this come from someone such as myself.  And saying it out loud is even more daunting.  


But this is me being human at a level of vulnerable transparency. 

I saw a show the other night where a Dr wouldn't let up on a patient.  The patient conveyed confidence and capabilities of purpose, however, the Dr picked up that he didn't really "accidentally" get hit by the car.  Instead, the patient put himself in front of that car to end his life.


BEFORE I CONTINUE: This is not a plea for asking for help cause I'm looming over the horrid idea of that - BECAUSE I AM NOT. :)


I am drawing a parallel.


After a constant battle between the Dr and patient, ultimately the patient succumbs to the vail of pressure from the Dr... the Dr says (I'm paraphrasing) "You've got a great job, everything is together in your life, your married, have money for things and bills"... "but, why are you so depressed?" "you feel like at any moment you're just gonna lose your shit, be a bucket of emotional mess" "but again, why do I feel like this? these are thoughts in your head".. 


It's delivered in a way that is "It takes one to know one".. the Dr himself was also fighting the randomness of depression he was facing and could see it in the patient.  The scene ends with the patient's wife coming into the hospital to be there with him.  The Dr created a safe place for him to be vulnerable, which is what he needed... and! to understand that he in fact was depressed.


We hear stories of people who sadly take their life and yet the impression they convey to the world is really a mask covering what's going on.


Being who I am, of all that I have accomplished in life, to those who know me very likely don't see the other side of life that becomes so stressful.


My GratefulMan blog posts are to reach out and tell a buddy hello, I love you, this is what's going on... but the real underlying reason for this platform is so that I can read and recall a history of my life for my life, for myself.  To step back in a time of "use-to-be" "once upon a time".. and also, someday when my boys are grown men, stressed out with the weight of the worlds responsibilities and expectations they too will know that they are human too - like their dad.


I am no longer the kid in the room.  I am no longer the one with allll the energy, free time, gusto.  My life is different now.  But I believe that's part of the journey.  As my Dr told me, you have one foot in your 30's and one foot in your 50's.  The things you do during this decade will make the next years easier on you or harder on you.  


Beyond that, I also believe that when you aren't the youngest one in the room anymore, your life, the wisdom bestowed to you, on you through action, decision making, survival, all paint a different kind of picture.

What truly is important to you?  The relationships you have, the joys, the stresses, the connectedness of life, the kind of job, how you spend your time, the "I'm approaching half life status" or shit, could be full life status.. dodging bullets is part of what makes life so fucking stressful.


All that to say, someone who cares about what they do, the purpose they bring to the world, their family, the community, themselves personally... does not come without its mental breakdowns.  It's awareness of being depressed and being depressed about being depressed. hahah.. I'm being a playful ass on the significance.


Self awareness is hard.  Especially vulnerable self awareness.  In today's cancel culture world we live in vulnerable authenticity can be a punishment.  But it's real.


When I hear stories about those who have served in combat, survived combat, but come home and take their lives - RIP Rob Guzzo. they've made comments about how stressful life is here in our normal world.  Whereas in combat, all they had to think about was staying alive.  For me at least, paints a picture of how stressful everyday life can be.


I suppose this is where the term midlife crisis came from... I don't feel like I'm headed down a midlife crisis... but I'm completely aware of how they likely come about.  One for sure is not dealing with the stresses and then you fucking pop.


So, as my friend Jason Brady would ask, what's got you sooo stressed out?


I suppose the shortest answer possible (because I'm so long hearted) is that I'm still recovering from a form of burnout.  Where that with where I'm at, I have to kinda grind through the loose shoe, lint in my sock situation because I have to.  Ultimately I will be stronger because of it - and talking about it.. But it doesn't make it easy to do.


In 2022 I took a training course that at the time changed my life.  I had been waiting for this seminar for over a year.  It found a sense of purpose that I had been struggling to find. That summer I took off to get certified.  I took the time and had about checked out of everything I was responsible for.  This was it!


In 2023, I took that summer off too Up until this time I was still in a salty mood having been bogged down and need to really commit to the action.  So I fell further away from tasks, was working to just work, but I was out of here, because this was it!  


I remember being on vacation with our family - the first one in five years - there we are in a grocery store and could feel my blood pressure spike and needed to get out of there.  I was borderline ready for a panic attack due to stressing out about spending money on food - because we really didn't have any to spend.


In August I finally had the courage to announce what I've been working towards for years.  The cost of announcing this was tremendous.  The relationships of past businesses, all such things, for me, felt as announcing that I was leaving my gud life and potentially real estate and this was it!  Add the other sides of stress having squandered of all our savings, the cost of taking summers off, legitimately risking bankruptcy to pull this off.


The months that followed were packed by extreme levels of being uncomfortable.. like levels I have never felt before.  Shit tons of growth came from that effort.  Through the end of the year, that inferno of discomfort, discomfort like wearing a nice pair of shoes that don't fit well, I'll call it pain really... that pain brought clarity to the entirety of my efforts over these few years.


All of it was a bust.... and fuck that's hard to say.

I allowed myself to become sold on something that wasn't for me.  There's a number of other reasons, but I'm leaving it at that to keep it clean.  What comforts my exhausted soul, is that there were a number of other people, brethren in arms who did similar to me and left as well.. all with the same disappointment. 


Life is nothing short of growth.  Growth comes with costs of pain, time, money ~ something.  Something ultimately has to be traded for.  In my case, the trade was a big part of what made me, for what I feel, special. 


Metaphorically speaking, I feel like I was physically dialed, then bought a motorcycle at the suggestion of a trusted source.  Ultimately to crash the bike due to latent mechanical defects.


Not only is there nothing salvageable of the motorcycle...

I am also injured, and in pain. 

It hurts to move around, but I have to.


I will close this off with wisdom from my buddy Seth Godin.  

His words bring comfort to my situation and state of mind.


 

What to do in the face of failure? What happens when you’ve done your best and it still doesn’t get the review, close the sale or win the race?


One approach is to embrace the easy path of “did my best” = “failure” therefore, I should give up or simply accept mediocrity.


The other, the growth mindset, is to realize that while you did your best, it’s not your best forever, it’s just what you’ve done so far. And that while you haven’t created what you set out to create, the key word, the one you have to remind yourself of daily, is yet.


That growth mindset demands advice and collisions with the marketplace. That mindset means that you need to see what those you seek to serve have to say because without that insight, your ‘yet’ might not arrive.


By all means, ignore those that aren’t in on the joke, that haven’t signed up for the journey, that don’t want to go where you want to go.


For everyone else, though, the answer is, “thanks, wait until you see what’s next.”


 

So today as I retrain my body and mind I am focussing on the important things.  How my time is spent, what I am choosing to let bother me and not bother me.  Chas said it wonderfully the other morning, we've been in shitty spots before and have come out on top afterwards.  


Presently the focus is to literally be "grateful" for the life I have created.  The cultivation of opportunities that ring on my phone daily are things that I created.  Wearing my tools IS my happy place. Serving people to make their lives better brings happiness.   So as I grow through the challenges of having injured myself on the motorcycle, I am okay walking.  And walking this direction is a lot to be grateful for.


The road less traveled can be a daunting one.  With its blind corners and fluctuating terrain the risk of injury is hiding in plain sight like a snake in the grass - you just can't see it.  Self awareness is key to the success of the journey.  No matter the effort, sometimes on this journey one must go backwards now and again.  This is not a bad thing.  More so it takes a special kind of courage to make that decision and act on it.


These are likely the most vulnerable I've ever written - specifically about me.


I appreciate you taking the time to hear them.


Have a grateful weekend, friend.



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