It’s A QD!

Quote day. QD stands for quote day.

Hi, everybody.

I’m currently at a graduation party but I wanted to write a bit — then I realized I don’t have much today. So what did I do? Scoured the internet for some gosh darn amazing quotes. Just for you.

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

Morris West

You can say that again.

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.

Seneca

I mean, that’s hard to argue.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Vivian Greene

Sense a theme yet?

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

Les Brown

Yup.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Me

Doing Surprisingly Well in Texas

Hi, everybody!

Quick update for you. I am not dying on this trip. I’m not losing my mind like I did on my last vacation. I’m actually doing quite well.

So what’s changed? I talk about it often but I really believe it comes down to awareness. Self-awareness specifically. I knew coming here I’d be sleeping in a new environment, that my mind might push me to a state of loneliness, that being without boxing might throw me in a hole.

Well, it did. But I knew it would and I proactively made some adjustments. New environment? I made sure to bring some stuff to help me sleep BUT I also told myself I’d be more involved/social with my coworkers here, and that helped me integrate a bit better into this new place (yes, I know, I leave in like a day or two, it’s not a big deal… but it is for me).

Loneliness always sets in for me in a hotel room late at night when I’m by myself. But this time I didn’t let it happen. I knew where my mind would go (and it did go there) and I fought that shit away. I did that. I did that by myself. And if you can’t tell, I’m proud of that shit.

And the boxing. I knew this would be an issue for me. Boxing isn’t just a sport for me, it’s therapy. I took action. I Googled for boxing gyms near me and guess what? I found a decent one. Well, not really, but it was enough. I threw my headphones in and went at the bags, hit a few shadow boxing rounds, and tried to not step on any toes. It was worth it. I left feeling recharged.

So what am I talking about here? “Oh, I’m doing so great”. – No. The real thing to take away from this blog is that simple “control the controllable”. And there’s a lot more we can control than we give ourselves credit for.

Whatever you fear today, whatever you’re hesitant about, whatever is holding you back–think about what you can control and focus on that. You can’t do shit about anything else. You’ll need to accept that like I’ve had to accept it.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Work “Boot Camp”

Hi, everybody!

That exclamation mark is deceiving. I’m actually not excited whatsoever. It’s CULTURE time at the new company, meaning I have a two-week orientation starting today. And I’m not excited. I’ll probably tell you how unexcited I am about 50 times throughout this blog, if it lasts that long.

OK, but really, I’m not excited AT ALL. But I do like this company quite a bit, so I guess I’ll suck it up and push forward. Sometimes we have to do shitty shit in life to get to where we want to go. We all need to accept that. Your Instagram feed isn’t realistic, so don’t think that’s what life is supposed to be like. Life still comes with many ups and downs, lulls, and voids. Usually more of the latter than the former for most of us.

But stick in there. If you are about to embark on a two-week mission of misery, identify it. Then find a way to dominate it.

OPE! First “meeting” starts in five minutes. Gotta go.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Snowed Under (Literally)

Hi, everybody.

I guess it’s time for a quick update. Seriously, I need to keep this quick. I have a LOT of shit I need to get done – somehow, someway.

So the title. That’s what this whole thing is about. If you’ve been following me on this blog, you know I closed on a house this week. Wait, did I tell you lot that? Well, I told you I was planning on closing on a house this week… I think I said that last week.

Fuck, I’m confusing myself right now. I can’t imagine how confused you are.

Anyway, Monday morning I closed on a beautiful house. My new home. Sunday night through Monday night, we got ten inches of snow. Found out I have a super long driveway. Awesome. I literally got a quadrant of the driveway done last night after my job & my boxing coaching & my workout. A quadrant – it took me an hour, maybe longer. Yuck.

Tonight I’ll spend another hour heaving snow & trying to use my legs to do so, but at a certain point it will be all lower back, & as I get closer to 30, that lower back gets a little bit less trustworthy.

But let’s dial back the negativity & find the positive here. It’s quite simple, really. At some point, no matter how overwhelmed or “snowed under” I am, I will finally have a house. A place I can call home. I’m excited.

Anyone know where I can find a cheap snowblower?

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

New House Nerves

I close on my house this upcoming Monday. I’m extremely, actually I can’t even put it into words how pumped I really am about having my own space again. That’s what it’s about, that’s what it’s always been about when it comes to “owning” or “renting” my own space. I need that own space. I get that back Monday, but it comes at a hefty price.

Buying a house seems super fun. It’s a great achievement I guess? I mean a decent one. Most likely you’re pretty much just borrowing a fuck ton of money from the bank to buy the house for you. Then paying that shit back.

Jesus, I sound negative today, don’t I? I swear I’m not. I think I just need some food.

Anyway, I am excited about the house. My dogs will be able to sleep wherever the hell they want again & I’ll be back to a routine. Not a boring routine, but I will be able to keep a sleep schedule again. Thankfully.

I mentioned hefty price earlier. I am worried a bit. I know I can handle anything thrown my way. I do know that, but pulling out a check of most your savings in the middle of a pandemic isn’t the best feeling. Oh, my company is also looking at a way to structure our pay in an even worse manner. They won’t tell us that, though. Keep your eyes open, people.

Let’s drop all of the negativity. I get my own space again on Monday. I get something to work on, something to pour passion into. Maybe I’ll even have enough time to start another garden this upcoming Spring. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you lovely people posted.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Maine Fun Facts & PICTURES!

Hi, everybody!

I went to a place this week where the sun hits first in the USA. Pretty dang cool. It’s called Cadillac Mountain, nestled in Acadia State Park, & I highly suggest you try to make it up there at some point in your life. The air, the wind, the sunlight, & most importantly the quiet is really something to make you appreciate the world we live in. Don’t worry, I’ll put some photos down below so you can take a look for yourself.

Did you know Maine provides about 90% of the lobster distributed throughout the USA? I didn’t, & today I’ll be trying my first bite in Portland, Maine. To be honest, I’m not huge on lobster. So far I’ve devoured bolognese, fish & chips, & a few other items not specific to Maine. I don’t have any regrets yet & I hope to not have any by the time I leave.

This trip hasn’t been all sunflowers & daisies, though. I’ve had my struggles. Being alone in a new place is always a struggle, but day after day you tend to get better. The more decisions you make for you, the better off you usually are. I’ve finally figured that out. Finally.

I’ve also had some bumps & bruises with Airbnb, but let’s not get into that. PLEASE, let’s not get into that.

Did you know that Maine is the number one provider of blueberries in the USA? I just missed out on blueberry season, so I’ve had to settle with strawberries. These little pockets of sugar are FANTASTIC. Highly recommend.

Outside of that, Maine is kind of a… slow-moving place. I’ve asked locals what to do & they usually respond with “go to the coast”. Well, pretty much everywhere in Maine is the coast. Did you know that Maine has more coastline than California? Crazy, innit?

Mind you, I’ve still yet to see the state bird. I know I posted a few weeks back which state bird it is, but honestly forgot till about right now! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a sighting.

This trip is about restoration. It’s about getting out of my comfort zone & surviving, thriving, whatever. It’s really about learning how to take deep breaths again.

Deep breaths are so very important. I was able to meditate atop the Cadillac Mountain & wow, was that an experience. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve felt connected to nature. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all hippy on you. Deep breaths are so, so very important.

My anxiety’s picked up a bit since I’ve been out here, but that was to be expected. The deep breaths help. I hope to find more of those today as I travel throughout Portland and other southern parts of Maine.

Oh! The locals are extremely friendly & nice. Keep that in mind if you make a solo trip out here. When in doubt, when tired, when beat up, strike up a conversation with a local Mainer. I haven’t been disappointed yet.

I’m off to get some breakfast & coffee! I have a list that tells me… Bards Coffee is the best coffee in Portland & Hot Suppa or Local 188 are the best spots for breakfast. We’ll just have to see about that, eh?

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Portland Headlight Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth
Airbnb in Camden, ME
Cadillac Mountain (West Trail) in Bar Harbor, ME

Black-Capped Chickadee

What, you didn’t know Maine’s State Bird? What the… is wrong with you?

Anyway, let’s get into the meat of the matter. Yesterday I booked a trip for me, myself, & I. Eight days in the beautiful state of Maine.

I’ll land in Portland & crash at a Airbnb on the coast for a little over a week. Why Maine? Why Portland, Maine? Well, have you seen pictures of the state? Acadia Park, Cadillac Mountain, Mount Katahdin, Beehive trails, & more. Don’t Google search these. It’ll ruin it for you. Just go.

I like taking trips by myself. I did once before, a few years ago after a terrible breakup. I went to NYC & had an absolute blast – actually met a woman from an eastern European country that I’m still friends with to this day.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is important when you’re trapped in a mental struggle. Challenge yourself. Put yourself in uncomfortable positions with your uncomfortable thoughts. But don’t just do that. You’ll struggle a bit when you travel alone, of course, but say hi to some stranger. Help a stranger pick something up off the ground. Take a photo for a stranger so they don’t look so strained in their selfie. Just look open to anything. You’ll be surprised what your trip turns into.

I’m extremely excited for this trip. It’s been way too long since I’ve went away on my own. Don’t you worry, I’ll be blogging from my kayak. I need to go pick up some hiking boots…

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

New Beginnings

Right now I’m sitting outside on my deck thinking back on the past couple of years I’ve lived in this town. Thankfully I’ve been able to step away from work for a few minutes. I’ve had some good moments, I’ve enjoyed the backyard component of my house, but boy am I happy to finally have a way to get out.

This week my debt will be paid off. I’ll be measuring what I need for carpet & hardwood for the upcoming sale of my residence, and I’ll be moving back to my hometown to rent for a few months before deciding what to do next. That’s somewhat based off what job I land next, but who knows what could happen.

All I know is I’m grateful. Throughout the past six to seven months, I’ve been completely lost on the map. Now I’ve seemingly found some direction. I have some plans in place. I’m working towards some goals. That’s a good enough start for me.

Life hasn’t been all that bad here. I’ve learned quite a bit about owning a home, fixing random things (like my sink, my sink always has issues – can’t wait to be rid of that thing), and gardening as I’ve mentioned before. I’ve found passions in things I never thought I’d find passion in, like cooking. I’ve picked up reading again because I haven’t had anything to do socially in this town. There really are many positives that came out of these last two years, but I’m ready to move on. And now it’s becoming real – my next step in life is really unknown, but at least I know I have a next step.

My buddy tries to get me to do a five year plan. I want to, I really do, but I can barely think a week ahead let alone five years. Maybe once the house is sold & I’ve settled into a new place with more friendly faces around, I’ll be able get that plan done. Highly unlikely, but I’d like to see myself do it. My buddy is usually right on what’s important and what’s not – hell, some of the reason I’m still here to this day is because of his advice.

Have I mentioned what I dislike the absolute most about where I live? The mosquitos, the flies. Just now as I’ve typed this, I’ve slapped myself in the face three times trying to swat away whatever’s attacking me. I think I’ve missed the bug every time, but I definitely haven’t missed my face.

What have I loved most about this place? This is what’s important to acknowledge. The independence it brought me. The maturity forced upon me from owning and taking care of a home. I really am proud I got here. I’m a guy that spent many months in jail as a kid, spent almost my entire high school life penned up in a random shelter, lost a brother, my mother suffered a terrible accident, and I was addicted to opiates for almost six years. It’s quite amazing that I’m sitting on my own deck watching my own two dogs eat stuff they aren’t supposed to be eating. It’s the simple things, it really is.

I really am proud of myself, and I couldn’t have done any of this without the people that love & support me. No matter how bad your situation is, I bet you can find one or two positives in it. That’s what’s kept me going, and I hope you start to look for those positives, too.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Waking Up in an Unfamiliar Place

If you read my blog from yesterday morning, you would know I’m currently on vacation. I’m doing my best to call it a vacation, but this morning proved to me it’s also a challenge. And a big one at that.

I messed up RIGHT AWAY in this challenge. I texted my ex this morning once I woke up. I don’t know if I dreamed about something (never can remember my dreams) or something just took control over me, but I did it. And I regret it. She’s on an island right now – I’m in some random apartment in Boston. Big difference there, eh? Be more positive, I know.

OK, let’s get to the topic at hand. Sorry, had to let a little bit out of what I’m going through this morning, and I guess that ties into the subject matter of this morning: Waking up in a new place (with anxiety, depression, etc., but you all know where this is going, why do I keep explaining myself?).

Waking up in a new place is never easy for those that suffer from mental illness or lack essential mental awareness. I mean, shit, the yoga meditation I use to fall asleep took me THREE times last night. I usually knock out in five minutes (the meditation is 18 minutes). It was tough. I woke up at 6 AM and didn’t have the balls to get out of bed for another two hours. I knew this morning would be tough. I didn’t think it’d be this tough. I knew I’d have to pull out my computer and start typing so I can get through this shi. Why? Because I can’t be a depressed piece of shit all day long. That’s no vacation. That’s imprisoning myself.

So how do I snap out of it? Well, right here is a good start. Honestly taking my meds is another good start. So, I’m 2/2 so far. What else? I’m racking my brain here and finding nothing, so if you have any input, I’d much appreciate it.

Massachusetts allows recreational cannabis. I mean, that could be an option. If I go to a dispensary, we can count that as 3/3, right?

All jokes aside (that last question wasn’t a joke, who am I kidding?), I feel kinda fucked this morning. I’m sure I’ll snap out of it, whatever that means. I always do at some point in the day. And that’s what I look forward to, but you want to know the healthiest shit you can do when you’ve woken up distressed about God knows what? Soak in it. Embrace it. Take it in. Let the thoughts come and go. It fucking hurts, I know. I know it hurts. But you have to let those thoughts in or else they’ll come back ten times harder the next time.

So next time you find yourself waking up in an unfamiliar area, remember there are things you can do to help make it feel right. And it always starts with you.

Also, yes, I know this wasn’t my best work. You don’t have to critique me, I can handle that on my own.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Update: We ended up getting invited to a beach house in Cape Cod. Told ya, just keep living and shit works out.