Every story has an ending

…and it’s time that I write some of my own.

This month I’ve finished a few stories. Since buying GTA V in 2014, I’ve actually made it through the storyline and finished the game.

As of last night, I binge-watched several hours of Westworld and finished the series. It has to be, hands-down the best series I’ve ever watched, if not really heavy. I think that it’s time that I write some of my own narratives, and endings to come to peace.

Some time ago I wrote how that there is always a deeper story, some lack of perception when viewing our realities, especially other’s realities. Things are never as they seem and I really have to question if resentment is a useful emotion to carry.

I’ll never understand why our species’ default mode is apprehension. Maybe it has to do with survival, that our lizard mind hasn’t caught up with modern life.

Instead, I’ll attempt to write new narratives and finally put these stories to rest.

This is the story of someone whom I was with last year.

I once dated someone whom I didn’t spend much time with. This person never really seemed to let go and let themselves fall. I jumped into this relationship head first and I never really assessed if we spoke each other’s love languages. By the time I realized that we weren’t a good fit, too much was invested and I wasn’t strong enough to leave.

This person suffered from depression and often found it difficult to get up in the morning. They spent so much time in their bedroom and I never really noticed that the vast majority of the time they spent outside of their prison was with me.

This person turned around mirrors, spent countless hours trying to find love within themselves with products, and sought validation in some unhealthy ways, as it was the only way they knew how.

Like me, they likely didn’t come from a loving and stable family. Real self-care and acceptance were never learned as a child, and such bled into their adult life. I was never able to heal them, or convince themselves of their own self-worth – nor was it ever my place to do so as there’s nothing I could have done.

I never really appreciated the things that they did manage doing, that they fought their depression for in efforts to express love, but I wasn’t the right person to feel loved by their efforts because of who I am as a person.

This story ends in tragedy as I wasn’t taking care of myself, by setting boundaries for myself. There is never such a thing as a “right person, wrong time”, I tried forcing something that wasn’t there — because I was scared of being alone.

I am grateful for this experience as it led to me discovering genuine self-love and acceptance, that I’m okay being alone, and how to set boundaries for myself. These were the true keys to resolving my long-time afflictions of anxiety and agoraphobia.

This is the story of someone whom I was with for five years.

This person and their family were kind, often so kind that it was alien. Of course, they had their own issues, but at the end of the day, they maintained their family connection and support.

Our relationship began around the time of two major tragedies in my life, one was the murder of a family member – while in town for another family member’s funeral. This person, whom I barely known, expressed love and care not only to me but my family as well.

Our relationship was intense, but enjoyable for both of us more often than not, for the first three years, we became best friends, had inside jokes, and always seemed to make each other laugh.

The last two years were riddled with conflict, growth, and misunderstanding. Much of this was fueled by my inner-child surfacing and working on myself in therapy. Since the age of 16, to about a year ago, I had intense anxiety and agoraphobia.

The treatment of such was very painful. I had to relive and come to peace with my childhood. I was erratic, projected upon my partner, and their own issues with depression compounded the conflicts between us.

There came a point in which to continue the relationship, a move would be in order, far away from my child and family for them to seek employment after their Graduate program. This terrified me.

This, in addition to our relationship turning toxic for the both of us, led me to end the relationship.

I’m grateful for this experience as I grown much as an adult, as a parent, and was pushed to the beginnings of treatment for my childhood codependency and abandonment issues.

This is the story of the person in which I moved across the state for at a younger age.

Someone whom was still in college and was sheltered, never really experienced life as an adult and had much growing to do. Their family took me in and tried showing me that there was more out there than my small-town, dead-end job mentality.

I never really realized that I was the “college boyfriend”, someone to spend time with during a growth period of their life. I, of course, was very lost and young myself and didn’t know what I wanted out of life.

I’m grateful for this experience as it was the first time I lived alone and started to discover who I am. I discovered that there is much more out there than small, dead-end towns, with dead-end jobs and was the first experience I had with healing from anxiety and agoraphobia.

I hope that I never write about these experiences again and that I can finally put them to rest to live in the present, for what short time we have left to learn and love on this planet.

Gratitudes = 8-10-18

Amanda has a funny way about her. She often writes gratitude lists, often on a daily basis to help ground and balance herself. Today has been a pretty shitshow of a day at work, so here’s my crack at it:

  • I’m grateful for my daughter, Lola. While being a parent can be difficult (especially in a divorce situation), there are moments that cannot be traded for anything. She has so much light in her.
  • I’m grateful for my partner, Amanda. As I continue to discover the depths of her personality, I’m learning the ways we are different, and the ways we are the same. We both seem to have savior complexes and tend to see the best in people. I can only hope that we’ll continue inspiring each other to become the best people that we can be.
  • I’m grateful that I’m no longer majorly ill. Even my hearing has eventually returned. Sometimes you really need to be sick to stay humble.
  • I’m grateful for the passage of time and the ability to forget. I’m still not where I want to be with setting the recent past to rest, but I have healed greatly thus far and have become a better person and partner.
  • I’m grateful to have a fulfilling role in a company that I enjoy. Some days can certainly be more stressful than others, but I’m doing what I love – solving issues and making people’s days.
  • I’m very grateful that anxiety an agoraphobia have been mute for many months now. I’ve been off all medications for some time now and I’m feeling much better in general. Nothing is holding me back now from doing anything I’d like to do, and I’m very excited about our Vacation in Portland coming up.

That’s all for now!

The curious tale of the missing notebook

A missing notebook found in the road, poor voicemail transcriptions, Google Translations and a call from a police officer. It’s been a long day.

Today was clothing shopping day for back to school with Lola. The day started out with a trip to see mom and family, we met for lunch at Bob Evans and headed to JCPenny to school shop.

On the way to the store, a paper notebook was found in the middle of the road. We were curious to know of the notebook’s contents. What story did it tell? What kind of person owned it? Why was it discarded in the middle of the road out in the middle of nowhere?

The pages contained dimensions, to-do lists, the typical fare for a scratchpad. One page though contained a list of login details for web services such as email, banking, and other sensitive details.

I asked Amanda to try to find any identifying information so we may return the notebook to the original owner. There was a number scribbled on the front cover, “My Cell”.

“Hello”. It sounded as if a young girl answered the phone. I said, “We found your notebook, it seems to have a page of passwords in it. We’d like to get it back to you.” The person on the other line said that they’d call us back.

Driving in the country and having poor cell phone reception, the call went to voicemail. I received a transcription of the call via text message, “Ya ves que me joda la vida(?) de pues. Thank you. Escuchar su mensaje

I asked Amanda to use Google Translate, I was driving:

We were confused, then upset that someone would call back cursing at us in Spanish. We decided to block the number and chuck the notebook back out of the window of which it came.

After all, we were on a short schedule due to Bob Evans taking forever and only had a few hours to ensure my daughter had school clothes before needing to drive an hour to take her back home.

We didn’t have time to deal with someone being rude when trying to return some litter we found in the middle of the road, in the middle of nowhere.

The next voicemail I received (from a different number said):

We just arrived at the store and was parking. I listened to the voicemail and it claimed that they had a video recording of me picking up the notebook, the police have my information and they followed up with my full name in a text message.

I became really angry to the point at which I was shaking. Why is someone claiming to have recorded me in the middle of the country, knew my personal information, and was threatening police action?

Not only is picking up something in the middle of the road absolutely legal (in fact, they were the ones littering trash, which gets under my skin, to begin with), but why was this person acting in a threatening and stalkerish way? After all, we called them to return something that we found out of the kindness of our hearts that we had no duty to return to them, that we didn’t really have time for in the first place, and yet they were acting belligerent.

I somehow kept my composure and shared how I felt:

Again, I blocked the phone number. I didn’t have the time, nor patience to deal with someone conducting themselves in a rash and threatening way. I felt as if my personal safety, the safety of my partner and child may be at risk of meeting someone claiming to have recorded me in the middle of nowhere.

Once we have finished clothing shopping, I received another phone call, this time from a police officer. This officer seemed frustrated and somewhat angry and began questioning me.

Long story short, I needed to return the notebook or the defectives would become involved. I didn’t take too kindly to being further threatened about some ridiculous situation about some litter on the road in which my family’s personal safety was at risk.

Amanda took the phone call as I was unable to do so any further. She explained the situation calmly and clearly, something I was unable to do. It seemed as if the officer started to realize that something was amiss here.

Having used Google Maps, Google tracks your location history on a minute by minute basis and saves it to your Timeline. I sent the location log of where we believed it was chucked out the window, as they wanted to go out and find the paper notebook. I also sent the conversation we had up to this point.

Later this evening I ended up emailing the police officer again, sharing full details of that day’s activities. There seemed to be some miscommunication occurring, I did nothing wrong and I still was rather upset about the clusterfuck of trying to do some good in the world by returning a lost item.

Amanda and I talked over dinner about it and came up with a theory. The police officer said that the notebook went missing sometime during a Home Depot run by the owner. The mention of video may have referred to security cameras at the business.

Did someone think that the notebook was stolen out of someone’s vehicle? Was this the key to understanding the situation?

I listened to the actual first voicemail. Instead of some Spanish cursing at me, it was a woman’s voice asking me to please return her phone call about returning the notebook. Excellent job on Transcription there, cell phone carrier.

Some time passed and I decided to give the owner a call. I was greeted by an elderly couple who seemed really nice. The husband put me on speakerphone so they could both hear me.

I explained the situation and apologized for the miscommunication. I asked them why they said I was being recorded out in the middle of the country. The gentleman apparently left the notebook on his rear bumper and thought that someone took it off his truck.

The lady misheard me when I first called and thought I said that I have their notebook with their passwords in some sinister way. When I first called, I had the impression that I was speaking to a child who was going to have her parents call me back.

“Hi. I found your notebook. It seems to have some important things in it like passwords. How can we get this back to you?” “I’ll call you back”.

I went through my location history again and cross-referenced the time of the voicemail to where the notebook may have been chucked back out of the window and sent the couple some maps as to where it could be. I offered any future assistance and wished them well.

I’ve learned a few things from this experience.

  • People are very paranoid about their personal information and seem to assume the worst. It makes sense, identity theft, constant scammer robocalls and worst of all, scams targeting the elderly is far too common. It’s disgusting.
  • Picking up anything in a public space, regardless of your intention, opens you up to some liability. It didn’t occur to me before those people who misplace things, even on the back of a truck bumpers, may still think that someone stole it at some other time. People don’t like to think of themselves as clumsy and making mistakes.
  • Voicemail transcription can sometimes be absolutely off the wall, even in a different language. Don’t make decisions based on it.
  • Invest in a good 360-degree dashcam for each of your vehicles. Not only will this help protect you in case of traffic accidents, such would have cleared up such a situation instantly.

And while I concluded my email to the police officer, “You can count on me never picking up and trying to return a lost item again.” in frustration; I’m not too sure I can completely adhere to this in the future.

There have been many cases of going the extra mile to return lost items in my history. Cell phones, a wallet and so on. I do so as I want to bring love and care to the world, and maybe, just maybe someone would return something of mine as I often misplace things.

I just hope next time the experience won’t be so stressful, or insane.

Stop using Beta products and services in production!

It’s a common story. A customer preorders a product, buys an early access game, launches a Beta PaaS instance; then something goes wrong and they flip the fuck out.

Dude, what were you expecting?

I’m frustrated that the 3D Printer I’ve been waiting over a year for since Kickstarter arrived seriously damaged, but the company made it very clear that these first few thousand units are pre-release units and improvements will roll out over time.

Improvements like proper shipping materials, instead of having a large structure up against the surrounding cardboard box which leads to easy warping of the frame if slightly dropped.

I logged into their support chat to see if anyone else has been having the issues. Instead, I’m greeted with someone who apparently ordered tens of thousands dollars worth of these units for their business and they are having a nuclear meltdown over shipping priority and needing to wait for a unit they shipped back to be tested before receiving a replacement.

Stop using Beta products and services in production!

This is a $3,000 MSRP printer that I snagged a year ago for $400 because of the wonderful economy (and risk) of Kickstarter. Not only should you expect issues with clearly labeled pre-release products and services, but the first generation of just about any product will have issues.

So yeah, I’m bummed out that I never got to use the rather massive printer that I’ve been waiting for and it’ll need to go back for a replacement, but this is what I signed up for. /dealwithit

It’s time to minimize my camera gear

Combatting consumerism can be hard. Advertising is a multi-trillion dollar industry that has such sinister goals that they actively hire and keep phycologists on staff to keep cranking out content to make us want stuff.

A vast majority of YouTubers are funded by this same machine, these can be categorized as “Lifestyle Advertisers”. Making videos takes time, making videos people actually want requires high production values, which requires even more time and cost.

Companies send gear out to YouTubers to “review” if their channel meets certain viewership and demographic requirements. There is a perception of there being no implicit bias, such hosts aren’t paid to review the products (such is illegal in many countries), but imagine how afraid you’d be when considering giving a negative review to a provided product?

Do you think a company such as Canon, Sony, Microsoft, Makeup brands, whatever, and so on would consider providing further products to YouTubers who had less than stellar things to say about their products?

And consider the YouTuber. To be successful on YouTube is to have much time, skill, and equipment investment for those production values which gain viewership. It’s very difficult to review products if one must purchase them themselves.

There are some exceptions. AvE doesn’t accept “free” or otherwise provided products for review, period. He relies upon the business model of Patron and some merch sales to afford to buy the products he reviews (often with a brash, yet entertaining perspective).

This channel has awesome Patrons. We have no need, nor any inclination to do corpo shill vids. If you are thinking you’d like me to review your fantastic new banana peeler, I invite you to please fuck off.


That’s the consumerist hole I was finding myself in after watching some hundreds of photography related videos over the weekend and into the week (I’ve been ill and stuck in bed). Sony A7III, awesome! Low light, ISO, 4K! Bla bla de bla.

Yes, the camera is objectively an awesome piece of kit, enough for Nikon, Canon to reconsider their product lines and scramble to put out their own Mirrorless systems. Yes, I could augment it with AI (Arsenal) which is absolutely brilliant, or at least very exciting to me.

But I just can’t justify the cost to purchase and maintain after purchasing. Not only in terms of money, but time and inconvenience lugging around yet another bag with me when I’m traveling.

What becomes of my photos? I upload them to social media.

  1. Instagram has a low ass resolution. 14MP iPhone vs 42MP interchangeable lens camera means almost nothing, in terms of sensors.
  2. Good Interchangeable lenses for 95% of my needed focal lengths are finally available for iPhone, mobile – including native Bokeh with the Moment Portrait Lens, Wide with the Wide Lens
  3. I’m going to take more photos, videos with a camera that I already have on me 24/7. Convenience = Greater Use = More Creativity
  4. Except for low light & audio, devices such as iPhone can do 4k 60fps, 1080 240fps. Moment lenses enable the use of ND filters to drop that framerate down for smooth motion blur and audio can be synced later in post with an external recorder
  5. Accessories are much cheaper, smaller. Osmo Mobile 2 is under $200, while something like the Ronin-S is $699

I don’t plan on shooting any indie films anytime soon & I can still shoot RAW with my iPhone for a flexible post experience. Sure, I’m losing tons of low light performance, but how often do I shoot at night anyway?

If I get a wild hair up my ass and want to shoot my friend’s band or something, I can rent the most modern equipment for a weekend from several online sources for cheap. No depreciation of value and the exact gear one needs without upfront costs. Maybe I can even ask for whoever I’m shooting to cover the gear. This same use model can be used for vacations.

Maybe someday I’ll deem it joyful enough to own another dedicated camera and would get enough use out of it to justify the cost.

Until then.

Portland! And camera stuff, apparently

It’s official. Our flights are booked to Portland to leave in a short while. It’ll be the first time I’ve been on the West Coast since I was in California as a teenager.

I’m looking forward to the rolling hills, mountains, liberal peeps and I’m sure Manda will quite enjoy the widespread Vegan fare, seeing the ocean for the first time.

I think that I’m ready to give flying a shot again. If the recent party of being med free with Anxiety, Agoraphobia is a benchmark (rolling around onto two months now), I have the suspicion that I should fare just fine. For everything else, there’s Xanax.

It may be the first time that I stay at an Airbnb. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but I have an open mind.

I’ve been getting more into photography recently. I have a growing understanding of aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focal lengths, crop factor, framing, composure, lighting, ND/Polarizers, bla bla bla bla. It’s one thing to be a gear whore, another to actually build experience.

I keep trying to convince myself that a 24MP APS-C with dual pixel autofocus is good enough for my skill level. A full frame Sony A7III has a backlit sensor, EyeAF, 10FPS burst & sweet sexy 4k video with SLOG3. The fucking lenses are around $2k each, with fast primes going for $899! One can pick up a used Canon L lens for more than half the price.

My current setup is a Canon Rebel T7i with a fast f1.4 50mm for portraits/night and a Tamron 18-400 superzoom for daylight photography. ISO is usable up to 12k.

Another reason for wanting to go mirrorless is handheld shooting with Arsenal, the machine learning, magical ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed, timelapse, photo stacking, kills artistic expression, end of creative photography monster that will be coming out.

People complain about each innovation in the artistic space. “Oh, noes! Rangefinder cameras will kill the art form!”. Meh, I don’t care as much – I’m a technical shooter and enjoy the technological aspect of it. Fucking around with the deep learning AI sounds complex enough to keep me entertained after I memorize things like what shutter speed works for x situation.

But one thing that I don’t like is Canon intentionally gutting video features from their “lower end” products to ensure continued sales of their cinematic line. The marketplace is finally changing with companies such as Sony and Panasonic releasing featured 4k “DSLRs”, it makes me wonder if I should hold out and see how Canon responds with their mirrorless lineup (cheaper glass, yo).

But then I have to ask myself, is it even worth it? This is a hobby for me, one that I enjoy, but I’d never make money with it. The 14MP sensor in the iPhone is more than adequate for Instagram, Social Media, plus it fits in your damn pocket.

With Apps like focos, you can expose the depth data from the dual camera iPhone to refocus in post?! I guess it comes down to low light performance (small sensors = smaller pixels = shittier low light performance) and glass options.

It boils down to what one needs, versus what one wants. Is lugging around a device that I can’t stuff in a pocket going to be a help or a hindrance to my travel experiences? Is the novelty as a hobby enough to justify the investment?

I haven’t the slightest of an idea and I shouldn’t make any decisions until I do.

In other news, being sick fucking sucks. The distraction of writing is helping pass the time, yo.

Look at that fake ass fog effect that I was too heavy handed with while messing around in LensEffects.

Inner, mid, outer ear infection, sore throat, runny nose, yellow mucus. Yum. Delicious. I’m half deaf and can’t really talk. You would be surprised at how much I’m complaining and moping around in misery (I’m not). Whenever I feel like crying or becoming a mess, I remember that life is beautiful and this pain is a gift to experience, as the alternative is being dead, in the ground, incapable of anything. Ha! Or like, its humbling to be sick because you are more grateful when you aren’t. Sometimes you need your ass kicked to put things into perspective? Woo, positivity. Optimism.

Or, I suppose that forcing myself to get shit done, like putting together nightstands, running to the store, whatever makes me more prickly and less filtered with my words. Whatevs. WHATEVER. I reject your reality and substitute it with cheezepufs.

Oh dude, last thing. Remember that 3D Printer that I kickstarted like a year ago, that was supposed to be my first 3D Printer, but I consumerist’d out and tried to buy shit to fulfill personal happiness, for a lack of self love; so I ended up going into debt and buying three? Then I bought three more from the same kickstarter, then traded in those three in credit for one big ass machine?

Yeah. That is coming on Thursday. Its massive with an almost 400x400x400 build surface, is fully enclosed, has dual mixing material support, has an ARM processor, is a CoreXY, and so on.

I’ve been without a 3D Printer ever since I brainfarted in December and sold off my Taz 6 to buy a vacation that I didn’t say more than 24 hours at, brilliant. I’ve been craving designing and printing things like a fat kid wants to break into Dairy Queen at 3am.

Oh noes! Doesn’t that mean that you are copious consuming again, Ross? Fuck no. I still need to like, go through my clothing and the remainder of the stuff that’s been moved here when we moved in to get rid of even more stuff, but overall – I don’t need this printer to be happy.

Instead, it’s a mindful decision to seek out things that bring true joy and push out the rest. It also has utility, by being able to manafacture my own goods right here in the good ole USA, in my garage, whenever I want for base material and time cost.

Things like Donald Trump buttplugs, apparently.

P.S. Cats are sometimes douchebags.

You can’t buy yourself to happiness

Once upon a time, there was a gentleman who tried to buy his ticket into nirvana. He thought that if he owned the right things and carefully curated his home, that he would finally be worthy enough to be loved; by others and himself.

While this seemed to work for some time, and the distraction of obsessing over possessions provided an outlet to stifle self-loathing;

Reality started to settle in when his then partner continued failing to want to spend time with him outside a rigorous schedule. There was never a night in which he felt as if his partner truly wanted to be there, as they never quite slept; even after the new memory foam bed, another specialized mattress topper, toiletries, even special toilet paper.

Frustrations continued to mount when he continued to invest his resources into things. His office would become their art studio. An expensive clay wheel was purchased and installed in the garage.

At the peak, a car was purchased for his partner, hundreds of hours were spent meticulously refurbishing it from the wheels upwards. All resemblances of his personal hobbies were vacant. It was as if every living breath was spent in the pursuit of vulnerability and acceptance by his partner.

Then it all came tumbling down.


It’s important to remember, but only so much as to learn not to err again. I find myself in a much different situation in July 2018. I’ve found a true partner, someone who speaks my love languages. Someone who can communicate and be vulnerable. Better yet, someone whom I can naturally communicate my love languages to and be heard.

I no longer feel desperate to be seen, Sufficient Quality Time wants to be spent with each other. We sleep well together with our feet touching, our arms wrapped around each other. Yet, we know when to take time to ourselves.

Intimacy is easy, in all sense of the word. There is no expectation upon each other. It’s fluid, natural. Physical touch is important to us and something that we need to feel loved.

Love isn’t happenstance where you stumble across someone who is magical who suddenly meets your needs, and you theirs. It’s hard work and a daily commitment.

Love is being okay with being alone and not becoming codependant upon the first person that just so happens to glance your way. Finding someone right can take much time and there’s a real chance that you’ll never find someone.

But it also involves learning how to be vulnerable if you choose to begin a relationship with someone, with the thought of it could eventually not work out. Sticking around with someone who wants to invest while knowing you won’t put in the effort on your part is a dick move.

Regardless, it’s important to know why you are seeking someone and hold yourself accountable if you are seeking a relationship for the wrong reasons. Being single may not give you a distraction from needing to deal with yourself and your issues, but you’ll save inflicting this pain upon someone else.

Long story short, never force or dilute yourself into seeing something that isn’t there. Run. If the pain is too great due to the inequality of your investment, too bad. Take it in stride and be more mindful next time.

But of course, I’m a much different person than I was then. I’m pretty sure it didn’t matter who I was with, as I was seeking relationships from a perspective of codependancy, fueled by unresolved issues from childhood abandonment and abuse. I shall always be a work in progress.

Again, where are the lessons here?

  • I could say that I learned not curate yourself and your possessions, hobbies around the pursuit of acceptance of others, and especially love. If people don’t like who you are, fuck them. Seriously, write them off, burn those bridges. The only person you should be attempting to gain acceptance of is yourself (and believe me, it’s hard).

Once you’ve learned to love oneself, the attraction from others will naturally follow. They’ll think, “Holy shit, who is this person who has a spine and can live for themselves? I want this person in my life”. Just be wary of vampires. They’ll be dumping their narcissism and self-loathing onto you to carry for them in a heartbeat.

  • I could say that I learned that you should give ample space for someone new that you are dating to put in their own effort; in assessing if they speak your love languages. Steamrolling ahead and building a life around someone, instead of with someone is possibly the worst error one can make in dating. The more invested you are with someone, the harder it is to leave when you realize that they aren’t worth your time. I keep coming back to this article.

When we get hung up on what we feel that we’ve invested and we hang around to get a return on investment (ROI), it’s time to ask ourselves: Why do I need for my partner to feel bad so that I can get what I want?

We’ve Got To Stop Trying To Recoup Our Sunk Costs In Our Relationships

  • I could say that I learned that copious consumption will never lead to happiness. Anything that you buy has a hidden cost of ownership in using, maintaining that thing. If something doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. Stuff is noise and confusion. It paralyzes you and loads you with decision fatigue.

I’ve gotten rid of, sold, gave away, trashed just about everything from my past life, and there was a metric ton of it.

It’s going to be scary as fuck. Once you get rid of the things that try to give you an identity, the things that advertising and society tells you that you need to be successful, you will be left with this core being. When the bullshit of noise and confusion is absent, and your soul becomes light enough to surface, it’s going to be painful.

Who you really are bubbles up to the surface and you have mental space for internal dialogue. Things that you’ve suppressed and run from for so long is going to rear its ugly head. Embrace it, love it, cry with it, follow it into the depths of hell. This is your inner child and if you never take them by the hand and embrace them for their flaws, you’ll never quite love yourself.

  • I could say that I learned how to say no. The key to finding someone who is worth the vulnerability that a real relationship entails is being self-sufficient in loving oneself, and them of themselves. Every time that you meet someone, every time that you let someone in and invest, you must keep in mind that in any relationship that you don’t need them to exist and eventually will be happy again once they are gone, alone, with yourself.

This is not to be confused with a lack of vulnerability. The song Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes can go fuck itself wholesale. You have to be vulnerable, you have to be okay with investment.

If you can’t look at what a relationship entails and see that there’s a very real possibility of drowning for some time, maybe years afterward if something were to happen to them, then you have no responsibility of being in a relationship.

Or at least, this is where I’m at and need to be satisfied with a relationship. Your needs may differ. To some people, a lack of vulnerability and deep connection is attractive to them. I’ll never understand it, but to each their own.

  • I could say that I learned to accept that I can’t save anyone but myself. Things could always be different. While there certainly is beauty and art in this world, there is an equal share of pain and suffering. To those whom you are most vulnerable, you may choose to invest time and resources to help equip them to deal with their own demons. There is a fine line between attempting to help someone curate their own tools and enabling them to continue to fail.

Above all else, you should never go so far as to cripple your own happiness and resources over a sustained period of time. You can’t save anyone and no one will ever change unless they want to for themselves.

Again, and this is so important for the empaths out there, you must learn how to reel in your liabilities when your efforts no longer have a meaningful impact. Not only must you become comfortable with knowing that some people need to hit rock bottom to effect real change (I’ve been there), but some will never change and are destined to fail, a “bad life” and there’s nothing you can do about it, other than getting sucked right down there with them, if you allow yourself.

  • I’ve learned that most people are shallow, and while it isn’t their fault due to how society programs the masses to keep the capitalist gears turning, you have to realize that a vast majority of people aren’t worth your time, as someone who has a self-identity.

A step above mindless consumerism is groupthink. Granted, there’s more likely that you’ll run into others who are “woke” such as yourself, it’s important not to confuse someone who has self-identity with someone who subscribes to groupthink (angry twitter hashtag storms and protests notwithstanding).

…But even then, I believe that there’s fluidity there. Every person will fall into the spectrum of somewhere in-between. There simply isn’t enough time and mental capacity to be absolutely genuine and original in all that we do (evolution programs us to conserve energy to survive). There are some distinct advantages to groupthink and teamwork, the capacity and creativity of the whole to effect wider change often leads to a more powerful and complex outcome than one could possibly hope to achieve on their own.

Hmm. I suppose then what I’ve learned is to be mindful of your inner voice and not lose it on a sea of other voices. Maybe what I’ve learned is that you should take breaks and media fast (meaning, sit alone without external stimuli to hear your inner voice, meditation is awesome for this) then reassess if how you are conducting yourself, who and what you are associating yourself with is true to what you actually want. It’s easy to get swept away in bullshit and lose your perspective in today’s overstimulated society.

  • In short, I’ve learned that it’s okay to do what other people are doing, but to be mindful not to drown out your inner voice. Stop and reassess often.


  • I’ve learned that sometimes you are going to make mistakes, sometimes many over a long period of time. You are going to hurt people, not meet expectations, show narcissistic personaliaty traits,  destroy people’s trust in you, be less than genuine, manipulate to get what you think you deserve, sometimes even suffer mental health issues. Yes, your actions are dick moves, they are selfish, unempathetic, destructive. People will call you out on it, even attack you for it.

Some will make more or fewer mistakes than others. I’ve done my fair share of them. The key differentiator is to accept that you make mistakes, learn from them, and let them go. You will never quite be as sane or balanced as you’d like, nor will others. The only thing that will solidify you being a “bad person” is never being open to introspection and change.

  • I’ve learned that people are going to despise you, hate you, speak out against you, attempt to mame you, call you nasty names and steal your lunch. Sometimes, even the people closest to you will lash out and become someone else. You’ll learn that your perceptions of others were very incorrect.

Compounding all of this, I’d say that the more genuine you become, the more life will try to knock you off balance. Unfortunately, this is a part of life. It can be argued that one of humanity’s core instincts is to destroy what we find foreign. We can, of course, strive to be better, and some do.

No one will ever quite understand, or love you the way that you can. There will always be some sense of isolation and being alone. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can begin to build genuine connections with others, and yourself.

External resources

What Is Minimalism?

My Story

The Five Love Languages

The Book of Life – My most used resource as someone who enjoys reading.

The School of Live – An excellent resource for those who prefer video content.


I write for myself as I often go back and read my own work over, and over again. I find the act of writing to help me process and ground myself. I just so happen to share my work in the public space.

You must keep in mind that I may be wrong. Take what you can use and leave the rest. Make your own decisions.

Writing in a public space is scary. I’ve always had the thought that anything that you share can be used against you. On the other hand, my life will someday end and if I keep everything to myself I’ll have nothing to show for it. In short, fuck it.