April 13

The inspiration of death

Ambulance

On a lovely summer night, three days after I moved into my beautiful new house, back in July of 2018, the most wonderful soul left this earth. After that, I drank more alcohol, smoked more weed (it’s cool – totally legal here), watched more TV, and ate more junk food. My niece overdosed on Aleve, but she realized she had made a mistake. She wanted to live, and held onto life the best should could, but a paramedic accidentally gave her morphine, instead of the life saving drug he meant to give her, twice!

She was the kind of person who would make fun of you then snuggle right up into you, the marshmallow with barbed wire on the outside. She seemed tough, but she just loved you completely, and that was all she needed. Close your eyes for minute, actually close them and imagine how you would feel.

Although I would do anything to take her death back, it has given me a lot of perspective, changed me. I don’t turn into a giant ball of stress when work piles up, and I know that every moment counts. I’ve been given purpose by her mother, my sister. We are starting an amazing organization together to help children and prevent future deaths. The weird thing is, I don’t even want to watch TV anymore. I don’t want to smoke weed or drink. I love junk food though, but hopefully that will decrease as well.

I want to work on being the best person I can be. I want a life of purpose and meaning. I want everyone in my life to know that I fucking love them so damn much, and the people I don’t love and don’t care about – well you’re probably assholes. You know who the fuck you are, so GFY.

So what will the last half of my life look like? I don’t really know, but I’m excited to find out. I’m helping to start an organization that will improve the lives of people, especially children. I’m writing, which is something I’m very passionate about, and I’m getting a lot of very cool technology projects for my day job.

People often ask: “if you could go back and give advice to yourself as child, what would say?” That child and the young adult who came after that, they taught me everything I know. There is no bit of wisdom that I’ve gained that wasn’t because of them. I’m nothing more than the sum of their knowledge. I should be asking myself: “what can I teach my future self?” The answer is everything. If I realize that I’m the teacher, and I’m responsible for who I’ll be, it makes me think in a very different way. My future self isn’t going to just bail me out of a miserable existence; he’s just going to keep doing whatever I’m doing.

My niece’s death was a clear sign that everything changes. I won’t let circumstance change me in an uncontrollable way. I’ll change how I want to change.

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May 6

Profound Fucking Sadness

Profound Sadness

What man needs to cry? Maybe all men need to cry. I’m going through couching right now, a type of couching that looks inward. It can be a bit like therapy at times. Other times, it can look like business coaching. My coach tore open an old wound. The years of stress and unexplained anxiety that I feel everyday was washed away with sadness and tears, just like that. Instead of being stressed and a little bit angry all of the time, I’m just very sad now. Maybe I’ve always been sad. Not maybe, definitely. I’ve always been sad. At least now I can deal with that sadness, instead of the unexplained stress.

I suffered from childhood trauma, and all of my life I just seemed like I was a little bit angry and maybe a little bit dead inside. I’m just as emotional as anyone around me. I have the soul of a poet, and I’ve finally realized that while I’m rough and strong on the outside, I’m still gooey and mushy emotionally.

I know I’ll come out the other side as a better more enlightened person, but this is really fucking difficult and strange. Luckily, the sadness makes me want to write more.

Has anyone else out there gone through emotional transformation?

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November 28

How to Keep Peace

She takes your dreams,

Steals your time,

Makes you mad,

Bloody irrational.

She’ll take your health,

Then your life.

Breathe.

In, she’s translucent.

Out, she’s transparent.

Breathe. She’s gone.

She whispers in your ear.

Breathe.

In.

Out.

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May 10

Killer Deadlines

An inexpensive trenchcoat of waterproof khaki ...
An inexpensive trenchcoat of waterproof khaki with a snap-out lining by VEB Leipziger Bekleidungswerks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deadlines happen, and they’re good at causing stress and crushing creativity. Deadlines are important, but your work is always more important. If you’re working towards a writing deadline, start early and finish early. I don’t recommend handing your work in early because it gives time for editors to ask for rewrites and other things that make you feel you’re being touched in your “no no places” by a creepy stranger in a trench coat.

The tricky part is that you need to meet your deadlines, but you never need to agree to tight deadlines in the first place. If someone asks you to deliver a project by May 31, but they don’t give you materials and a brief until May 30, you can say no, even if you previously agreed to do the project. If all of your time gets eaten up by someone else not getting their job done, it’s not your problem. The stress and pressure should not be downloaded to you. Do, always make it clear ahead of time how much time you need to do your work. If you said one week and someone gives you that project on May 30, you tell them that they’ll get it back on June 6, regardless of their deadlines.

Lots of people allow money to be the motivator, and money can mean a lot, especially if you’re having trouble paying the bills. I don’t recommend ever taking a project that doesn’t have enough time because it can negatively affect the quality of your work; however, if you absolutely need the money and fear that you’ll lose the job by not meeting an unreasonable deadline, you must charge extra for it. Although you might feel that you should help out a client in need, remember that they didn’t do anything to help you out when they stuck you with a ridiculous timeline in the first place. Your daytime hours are worth a different price than your nighttime and weekend hours. Many people have trouble seeing that, but it’s true. Your daytime hours are intentional work hours. Your nights and weekends are family, social, and general relaxation and wellness hours, and they’re worth more money, so if you absolutely must take the project with the tighter deadlines, let the client know ahead of time that if they can’t get you what you need on time, there will be additional costs. This will create a financial barrier to the client taking away your weekends, and if it doesn’t then at least you’ll be getting paid appropriately.

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