Starting to Breathe Again

A takeaway I learned this summer when I lost myself and tried for a new job was based on an old favorite saying; No matter where you go, there you are. You can have people what they believe is good advice, but ultimately you have to deal with the consequences of your decision. Here’s the thing, even if someone has good intentions, when you stumble or unsteady, people may not be there to lend a hand or help you through trials and tribulations. Yes, take council, get opinions, but when you decide on a course of action, you own it. Blaming the folly you fall into on other people will not do you any good.

I have to make some difficult decisions soon. Well, let’s change that up a bit. I’ve made some decisions today. I was talking to someone who kind of made me questions the choices I made hours earlier. I started to doubt myself, worried I made the wrong decision. I started to think about when I made a similar decision a few months ago. Symbolically, I made a left when I should have gone right. It seemed like the right choice at the time, but less than a month later the situation changed and had I waited a week or two, my situation would have changed and I wouldn’t had to make the sacrifice.

Now, I’m able to get a better deal, but I was met with this new crisis. This morning I was thinking if I should pull the trigger and get it or wait.

The thing that rings in my head about the conversation I had this morning is that I’ve had my life on pause for a long time. I haven’t wanted to go forward. I’ve been worried about finances and other issues inhibiting me of exploring. I pulled the trigger this morning to move forward in my own way and with the discussion I had doubts.

I’m pretty sure in two weeks, if everything works as I think it will, I’ll be OK, well relatively OK without any guilt.

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Distressing News

I’m back home today, but I don’t want to be.

Early this morning, around 6am, I saw a message from someone early in the morning. I had a feeling it was from my mother because she’s the only person to call me that early. I listened to the message and she told me to call her back when I got the message, and to call the landline phone.

I got a shiver because when my mother says to call the landline, it tells me it’s a distressing phone call. In my head, it’s like a code signaling me there is extremely bad news. I called her up and at first, she didn’t really want to tell me what was going on. She talked in general that my father was in the hospital again, but when she could hear in the background I was traveling to work, she said she didn’t want to keep me long on the phone.

I finally got her to tell me my father is in the hospital again, and while she’s thinking he will be back out min a day or two, the tone in her voice wasn’t right to me. After talking a bit more, which meant I listened while she talked, my mother told me the doctor told her my father’s organs are deteriorating. They’re not shutting down, she was clear about that, but she also said she and my father, as well as the doctor, talked about do not resuscitate options. I really didn’t get all of the words she said at that point, but I did recall she said the doctor said that with my father’s age and condition, if he got to a bad point, there was little they could do.

When I was off the phone with her, it took me a few minutes for everything to sink in. I was trying to keep it together, but I couldn’t. When my sister died, everything was quick. I talked to someone a few days ago about my sister’s death. I didn’t have a lot of time to dwell about her death in the moment. By the time I found out her condition until she died, it was I think 24 hours at the most. By the time my father and myself got to my sister, we were already told by my mother and the doctors there was nothing they could do.

I feel the same way now, except it’s still in the moment, at least I think it is. I’m at a point where there are so many conflicting emotions I don’t know how to sort them out. I’m sad, angry, sorry for myself, guilty and just perplexed.

I called out of work today. I probably shouldn’t have but how I feel right now I wouldn’t be a good worker right now.

I might change my mind, but something I strongly don’t want to do is hunker down into protective mold. The past week I’ve tried to get out of my shell, to become, for lack of better words, a kinder and gentler person. The way I used to be. I’ve been trying to think positively. What is hurting me right now the emotions with my parents, when this has come up in the past I’ve shut myself down. That’s why this year I didn’t attend any conventions. I had the feeling if I went, I would get distressing news about my father. Sure enough, it did at the times when I would have attended conventions and it gave me a bad justification for not attending.

I’m just confused right now. I’m trying to move forward but, I don’t know.

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Thoughts In The Morning

I’m killing some time before I start work. It’s been an uneventful trip to work. The morning started with my cat waking me up wanting food. She’s been like this for a few weeks, nudging me to wake up and feed her. It was cute at first but now it’s an annoyance I’ll still tolerate. She’s been eating a lot of food and I’m trying to get her to eat less. Of course she’s bothering me to get more food.

I think I want to take a big trip for my 55 birthday in two years. I’ve gotten hooked on YouTube videos recently showing airline trip in business and first class going all over the world. The amenities and hospitality looks wonderful. I’ve had a bunch of friends who routinely take long trips to different places across the globe and my global wanderlust is calling. Taking the occasional trip to San Diego, Tijuana or Cleveland isn’t enough. I need something bold and a real adventure.

Another reason for branching out is something I was thinking about when I was walking to the bus stop. I’ve been in a rut for a longer time than I’ve realized. I’ve isolated myself for a number of reasons, but I’ve become so comfortable in that isolation I’m worried about what that’s doing to me. I’ve had some interesting talks with my mother recently, and I’m reluctantly realizing I’m becoming a lot like my father. I think I can understand a number of issues my father is going through and because I sensed this behavior at a very young age, I think I started taking on a lot of my father’s characteristics without realizing it. Now that I’m older, I’m seeing a pattern that I’m not comfortable with.

There’s seriously a lot of dynamics going on between my parents, which I know I dealt with by assuming, incorrectly as it turns out, that isolation would be the best way to deal with the issues I saw with my parents. Now, as I watch them in their older years, I don’t like what I’m seeing. For them, I guess their relationship works well because they have been married for over 50 years. When I visited my parents a few years ago, the constant bickering and nitpicking drove me crazy. It just made me more resolute that my decision of keeping to myself, for the most part, was the best thing for me.

That’s was before the health issues, before the weird self-reflection I’ve had last year. Along with the recent heath concerns with my father, I’m understanding I’m achieved to goal of keeping to myself but I don’t have that support system a family would give me. No significant other and no kids makes for a rut right now. I mean, when I leave this moral bonds, who would leave my comic book and other collectables to? My comics are something I have dragged along since I’ve been in junior high and I don’t have anyone to will them to when I die. When I go, they could just be thrown away.

What about Chaotic Fringe? I’ve been writing articles for the many publications for over twenty years. When I finally die will all those articles be digitally lost?

With a family, good or bad there would be people who would remember me, who might have a toast for me. I don’t have that now so, as far as I can tell, I could die tomorrow and I would have no impact on anyone.

Ever since my sister died, legacy had been something I’ve been concerned and confused about. When my sister died, my parents and other family members remembered my sister is glowing terms. She became a saint in their eyes. I’ve tried to remember her as a real person, with warts, faults, goodness and hope. Like all of us, she was complicated, but maybe as a way of dealing my parents and family thought of her as doing no wrong. Even when the article came out in Glamour magazine about my sister’s death, my parents refused to acknowledge the article. They wanted to cling to the saintly few of her rather than the real person.

I realize I’m not going to be the son my parents want me to be. They have already said, in so many words, that I’m a disappointment to them. I’m not the man they wanted me to be. It makes sense that they would embrace the cousin I don’t speak about and treat him as their son. He makes the money I don’t have, he has the family I don’t. I have a cat, he has a daughter.

My life hasn’t been defined by traditional route and I’ve taken knocks for not taking the road my parents and others wanted me to take, but I’ve had a life, and will continue to live life, as a complicated journey. Now, how I’m going to branch out this isolated funk I find myself in I’m not sure. There are things, medically, which I’m dwelling on after getting a sense of some of the issues my father is facing. Self-diagnosis is a dangerous thing. Possibly, if I had good health care, I might try to check myself out and see if some issues I suspect I have can be verified, but that’s not going to happen.

The only option I have is to forge ahead, live my life to the best of my ability. One thing, kind of aside from the minor self-revelation downer I’ve just gone over, is that I’m going to try and dive back into some of the creative projects I’d been working on. That’s when my mind, body and spirit felt alive and I miss those feelings.

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Silent All These Years

A few years ago, when I was starting my new job, this woman struck up a conversation with me. It turned out she worked where I worked and with my struggle of getting comfortable with people, it was nice to come into work and see someone at the start of the day.

She worked there about a year. One day, she wasn’t on the bus anymore and I haven’t seen her again.

I didn’t think her disappearance was unusual. In my life there are people I always see and I kind of wish they disappear from my life and others whom I’m sure, despite what I do, will continue to pop up in my life.

I thought about the woman today because there was another woman I’ve seen on my bus route who has returned. I don’t know how to react to people who I meet at the bus stop, especially when it’s obvious we recognize each other. Thanks to technology, people can ignore each other. She had headphones on and was concentrating on her phone. She was humming also, which I found a little distracting. I had my headphones on too, but it was more to avoid conversation.

Two weekends ago this woman came on the bus and was chatting me up a lot. I had seen her on the bus before and at the time she was talking to another person loudly about her job. When she talked to me, she told me the same story. Her job seemed interesting and she was happy with it and I tried to be friendly and listened to her story.

Last weekend, I got on the bus and it was night and day. She didn’t say a word and was intently focused on her phone. I sat town right next to the exit of the bus. When she left the bus, I tried to wave at her but she gave a distracted wave like she didn’t know who I was.

One I know people I can be talkative, jovial, funny and all of the nice human traits you’re supposed to exhibit, but it takes me some time to get comfortable and warm up to people. When I was at the former job a month ago I was the quiet, observant one and it was difficult for me to warm up to people. I’m really not comfortable around people I don’t know and I’m starting to be comfortable with that fact about myself.

I’m not the one to walk into a room and make friends. Well, to be honest, if I’m among my people, and that would be the SF/comics community, I feel I’m among family and I can loosen up and can be outgoing. Drop me in a room with strangers, especially when they’re trying to engage me in conversation, I’m going to be friendly but frosty.

I’m very comfortable being isolated and keeping to myself. As I’ve gotten older I’ve shut myself off socially from what I consider awkward situations. I think why I was so uneasy and uncomfortable in my job for a month was it was too many new things to adjust to. I tried to loosen up, to be one with the team, but the whole teamwork motivation wasn’t something I was comfortable with. At my former job I had hit a comfort level balance with things that allowed me to work in the environment. Being back here has been good for me, though it has taken a little time to readjust to the flow of the environment.

My parents, bless them, dislike the way I am. They want me to have a “normal” life with the big social life, wife and kids. As much as I love them, that’s not me and I can’t be that person. I like my privacy and I like my isolation. I mean, I call it isolation but that’s too strong of a word, because I’m not really living the hermit life, hording away junk and living with a bunch of cats. (OK, yes I kind of horde with comics and prop stuff and only 1 cat) I get out when I want to, I have friends but I’m a private person and I like my space. I’m not comfortable in crowds, which I admit I’ve protected my privacy more as I’ve gotten older. I can explore by myself but I’m an observer not a participant. That’s why I can sit in a bar and watch and have fun, but I’m going to go up and sing karaoke. Not in my wheel house.

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A Better Week

Last week I got some cleaning done along with the drama. Not as much cleaning as I wanted to do but it was a start. This week, well, a little more drama. I have to make a few financial decisions correct, well, move toward correcting them, so I’m going to struggle the next month but if I keep to the schedule I should get right by the beginning of October.

There’s been a lot of little bumps in my life for a month or so, and I could blame others for a lot of the mess I find myself in. Truthfully, I was pretty sure I had a few people I could pin this mess on, but I had to think about something that’s been my mantra; I gotta live in my own skin. It’s a cool saying, but it took me a bit to know where I got the phrase. It’s from good old Buckaroo Banzai.

No matter where you go, there you are.

I keep having to re-learn this lesson; I’m ultimately the one who has to make decisions about my life and I’m the one who has to live with the consequences. Blaming people for problems doesn’t help because other people have to live their own lives. They can help you, give advice but you are the one that heads in whatever direction you choose.

I’ve been putting so much energy into blaming others for my current issues I’m not sitting down and solving them.

So yes, I’m going to probably have a month where I’m going to struggle and stumble some, but I’ll be stronger at the end of it and I’ll have my burden a little lighter (I hope!)

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Frustrations on Sunday

Listening to Boston’s More Than a Feeling getting started for work today. Why? It just feels right to me at the moment. I have a lot on my mind and I’ve been trying to get myself out of this feeling for the past two weeks. It hasn’t happened.

Wow, now Ozzy’s Mr. Crowley playing. OK, that’s a good transition.

I’m doing a lot of dwelling on bad things going on instead of looking at the positives. I’m trying to look at the bright side, the good things going on, but I have the little bumps in the road and it’s tough not to notice the bumps. The focus on the bumps is starting to become overwhelming because I keep getting more bumps in my way. That’s why a few days ago I said I wish I could have a month or two without any issues in my life. I just want no drama, no crisis going on so I have time to sort out things.

I just need a breather.

OK, this is what I’m dealing with, the little bumps. I wanted to log on and add this to the website, but I have an Error Establishing a Database Connection that popped up. This has been happening all weekend. Just 30 minutes ago the site was up. I know if I make a call to see what’s going on, I’ll get even more frustrated with the lack of customer service assistance.

This is how it’s been for the past few weeks. The little bumps in the road I have to work on. It’s maddening because the bumps are on top of issues I need to focus my attention on. I have been trying for 30 minutes to either get onto my site or get into chat for my hosting site. The browsers are too old and aren’t supported for chat.

Wow.

Just breath. Well, obviously the site got resolved for the moment and I can upload this missive.

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An Easy Rainy Day

I’m in a strange mood today. Since there is rain in the area, I think the weather is influencing my day. I just have a blah feeling. I don’t have training for the next two days but I’m not feeling the need to get any work done. It’s an hour before I can conceivably get sucked into a Law and Order: SVU marathon on ION television and that prospect seems like a life drainer.

I’m not feeling hungry for anything nor a craving for anything. I really don’t want this to be a blah day but with no motivation, no real goals and I’m even caught up on the writing, I don’t have a reason to do anything. Even the stuff I ordered from Amazon last week aren’t do in until next week, so I have no anticipation of exciting arrivals to brighten up the day.

I checked on Amazon and my products should get shipped out today, so the desk lamps and the new X-Wing miniatures should arrive by next week. The miniature order was not anticipated. I saw a new series was available but one part of the package was sold out on the official site. When I went to Amazon I saw all three were available so, in keeping with getting the whole pack, I had to purchase to ensure I could keep all pieces in the collection.

There are a few times when I say I want to be a bum for the day but I end up working on some project I had on the back burner. Other than studying for work on Monday, which I have set up for tomorrow, this is the first time in a long time I have no plans for anything. Back in the alcohol days, this would be an excuse to booze it up but I don’t have a craving to do that. Last week I had a similar feeling and I ended up purchasing a needed laptop. Can’t afford that today.

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Week 2 at New Job

This the end of the second week on my new job. The best way to describe the past week was I didn’t know how much I forgot and I haven’t gotten a clear path as to remembering the stuff I have forgotten.

I haven’t done this type of tech work in years, but I have been able to figure out how to solve the issues in time. I’m getting frustrated with myself because I have to talk it out on what I need to look for, what steps I need to go through to solve the issues. Let’s face it, I went through the same issue on my last job and it took some time to get myself oriented and to find my own way of doing things. That’s what I keep reminding myself but I still feel lost and stupid because I know this stuff.

Maybe the injury late last year messed me up more than I realized. I can see in my head what I want to say, I have the words in my head but when I try to say something coherent it gets jumbled and rambling. Now, I say my incident last year may be the cause, but that might be overly dramatic as to the real issue. I think the past two years has made me more of an introvert than I was previously.

OK, so people that knew me from my old job are probably thinking no way that I was an introvert. How I would explain the statement is at my old job, it was frustrating to talk on the phones because we were dealing with people who didn’t care to pay attention. It got to a point where I got stronger because I was facing people who didn’t listen, didn’t want to listen nor would, for the most part, do the basic troubleshooting to solve the issue. What I always said was really annoying about the situation was the people that called has basic knowledge of the issues and knew what we were expecting. These were not random customers unaware of issues but employees who knew the procedures.

Now that I’m in a new environment and culture by perspective is altered. I mean, changing jobs would be an environment change of course, but I don’t have the confidence because I am unsure of the path to solve the issues, thus I’m hesitant to answer questions or make decisions because I don’t want to make the wrong answer. Of course, the only way to learn the right answer or paths to the right answer is to risk making missteps so I can learn.

I’m trying to slowly push forward and not stay hesitant. Next week, when we’re doing phone/customer training, that will be the real test. I’ll have to work around my hesitations and do the job.

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A New Chapter

A bunch of exciting things going on early this morning. BTW it’s five min before 0100 am. The big thing I’m working on now is getting photos prepared for the next round of Star Citizen articles. It was something I was putting off until later, but I had to hunker down and just put my nose to the grindstone.

The reason I put the photos off was because to get the work done right I had to learn, finally, Photoshop. Up until a few months ago I had a Photoshop like program that worked fine for me. That program developed a bug and wasn’t recognizing jpeg files. I had to start learning and while I’m not an expert, the program has gotten easier to use. I should be caught up with all the photos in a day or two.

If you know my work schedule, you might wonder why I’m up so early, since I should be at work in a few hours. Well, that is the real big news of the week. I will have this weekend off, which is why I’m up early on a Saturday, because I have a new job. I will be starting the new job on Monday.

I had a chance meeting with a former co-worker who told me about his job and he figured I might want to explore the option. I put in the application, did an interview and got a call back for a second interview Thursday morning. By Thursday afternoon I got offered the job and I accepted.

It has been a wonderful almost two year run at my former job. It was sometimes challenging but I put my mind to it and could thrive in the environment, at least I think I did. Considering the support from people when I gave the announcement I’m pretty sure I did well. Now it’s time to open a new chapter of my work environment.

For at least a month I will be training at the new job, but then, by coincidence, I will be working my old schedule! It wasn’t something I asked for, but when I was told my schedule it was too funny. The time is a little different, I work afternoons instead of morning, but I’m OK with that.

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Some Updates

In the next three weeks I’ll hit the comic shop. It’s been a long time since I was there. There has been lots of issues occupying my time. I’ve been working a lot the past month. I’ve been doing overtime and the paychecks are really reflecting the improved productivity, but I’m still not making a significant dent on paying bills. Actually, I should clarify the statement a little. I’m not getting ahead as I want to be. I’m paying bills but I’m not at the level where I want to be; where I can close the gap significantly on the expenses I have. I think in the next month I might get some breathing room on the bills.

Something I’m determined to do going forward is to have a little fun. I honestly didn’t realize how I miss having random acts of fun. Back in the day (which was months ago) all I had to do was go to the local bar, have a few drinks, and the hijinks would happen. I’m not doing that now and there are less opportunities for me to go all wild. On the flip side, I’m not spending any extra money on drinks.

It looks like if I drink and I’m poor and not drinking and I’m bored, I’ll take bored.

Within the month I will probably finish the third “season” of my Star Citizen project. It has been fun, creative challenge and eye opening as to the possibilities of the project. I have a few ideas kicking in my head about ways to expand my little corner of the game, and now that I’m almost two years ahead on the stories I was preparing for phase two, phase one was getting the groundwork set up for my avatar for the game, I’m starting to think about my phase three direction.

The thing I’m hoping to do by the end of the year is to get mobile again. When I got my backpack taken, it was a discouraging setback, but there was a silver lining to the terrible incident. I’ve had a chance to evaluate and think smarter about regaining a lot of the items I had to replace. With any luck, by the end of the year I will replace a major component for mobility.

Unfortunately, I will not attend the San Diego Comic Con this year. After having such a long streak, over 30 years, missing two years in a row has been disappointing. Last year it was a simple date mistake on my part, but, considering I was able to be hang out in Cleveland for the Republican Convention, it was a tradeoff I was OK with. This year, I probably could have worked harder to negotiate the option of attending, but with family health issue that occurred in February and April, and this is something I don’t think I would have said five years ago, the San Diego Comic Con had to take a back seat to family concerns.

Next year I’m going to try to attend, but with the continuing health concerns in the family, I can’t plan too far in the future.

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