Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
My father used to talk a lot about this one mechanic that he knew. It was this man named Chet who owned an auto shop down on Venice and Western Blvd a long long time ago. Chet was the most honest man you'd ever want to meet. He worked hard every day and took care of your car as if you were trusting him with your life. Your satisfaction is what motivated him and your paying for a job well done was a blessing. Chet would always say "no problem, just leave the car and I'll have it done." My father's fondest memory of Chet was that this man would never take money from my mother. He'd basically fix the car perfectly, have it all tuned up and cleaned up but would wait until my father came around to pay him. He wouldn't worry. He was a man driven by honesty and wanting to be appreciated for not only that honesty but for his quality work. He didn't even have to preface his actions by saying "you have my word, it'll get done." In today's world, people say those words all the time and then you have to keep calling and asking them when will it get done. People today seem to lean on the shoulders of excuses. They embrace laziness. They don't care. A lie feels more natural. The truth is abnormal. Chet was a good man, did incredible work but times changed and finding a person like him is rare... Your word is your most valuable, transportable possession. You carry it everywhere you go. You wear it like a badge of honor, connected inside, hanging from your heart and soul. It shines when a soul is true. You can see it reflected in the eyes of others. Have someone ask others that know you, what their impression is of you. I hope they come back with more than just you looked good, made money or had nice things...
Friday, January 04, 2008
Rest in peace to 2007; one of the worst years of my life(not all bad) but also probably the single most powerful lesson that I will ever live/experience. I leave this year in the past but I’m amazed at what I had to endure. It will affect me for a long time and has changed my outlook on many things; underline trust. The way I used to trust must change. And as I attempt to repair the damage done, I have to go on and return to simply living again. There’s a certain someone out there with false assumptions. She believes that all was resolved back in July concerning a bad decision I made. It wasn’t and may never be but I'm surviving... I had to take that chance regardless of how it looked or what I might lose. Sometimes you gotta do something for yourself... "do for you, for once" as a few people have said to me recently.
The last seven months have been the most significant part of this lesson. I’ve had to endure losing my freedom to live the way I was always accustomed to. I’ve had to struggle like never before. Every day, week after week I've had to deal with trying to get back what I’d lost due to a very bad decision that was motivated by love and also by what sounded like an easy way to obtain something that’s better to achieve through hard work and perseverance. I also lost a great deal of my own self respect; feeling trapped every day inside of a nightmare that I had no control over. I allowed someone to steal my joy and almost destroy my spirit. I felt like a slave or a prisoner waiting for freedom and during this time the calls of misguided assumption kept on coming. In a strange way, those calls gave me strength. They validated my decision to walk away despite wishing that things could've been different. I wish that it could've all turned into the beautiful dream that I imagined from the start but for whatever reason this was one puzzle in life that no piece could fit. I had to make a decision for me. I wouldn’t have been able to survive these past seven months if I didn’t make that decision.
As the holidays approached, things got worse. Keeping my spirits up and believing that an end to this craziness would come soon began to wear me down. I tried to find motivation by planning a special trip. The only thing that really gave me some degree of excitement was the fact that all aspects of my creativity were improving. I guess when you feel in a sense, imprisoned; you find other ways of escape. You turn up the notch with respect to reading more, writing, and in my case you can add to that, music and photography as well. All of those things gave me a sense of pride and kept me holding on. The holidays were nothing to me. They came and went like regular days. I felt nothing but the worry of my mother who continued to watch me struggle. I had one night of escape when I went to see Denzel Washington’s “The Great Debaters.” That put me in the mindset of east Texas where my family comes from on my father’s side. That made me think of all the fun, the inspiration and beautiful connections to the past that I’ve enjoyed in previous years. But, as I exited the theatre, walked down the escalator and headed to my car, I truly hated how I felt as that feeling of escape inside of the movie theatre quickly wore off. I had to return to my own life and the darkness of feeling so disappointed in myself that I hated to see the next day arrive...
In the last few days I've had to reach down and pull myself up. I've been writing like crazy working on a few stories. I've re-written and edited my most powerful novel, Until Again and half done with the sequel to my last book, My Life Is All I Have, which ironically was about life decisions. I'm down but not out... I don't believe I deserve what has happened but it happened. Somehow, I'll get back what I've lost ten times over... I accomplished something at the beginning of 2007 that I must now say goodbye to. It hurts my heart but one day even this loss will be ten times less than what I believe I can accomplish.
A couple of people have sent me quotes that they live by and refer to whenever feeling down. As I say rest in peace to 2007 and look ahead to rebuilding my life, I leave you with these two quotes...
"No weapon formed against me shall prosper..."
"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it..."
I wish everyone much happiness, joy, and what I hope to find.... peace..