Thank you Jack and Andrew!

I have been sitting on this post for awhile. I guess you can say that I do not know what people will make of it, but with the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, I decided that I need to put this out there. I have to share this because we need to be talking about what struggles people go through. Plus, sharing our stories might help someone out there so we should not be afraid of them. Here it goes.

I get by with a little help from my friends” The Beatles

In January 2016, I wrote about a very low point in my life and how I overcame that point with help from my dadblogger brothers. I said to myself that I will never be at that point again in my life, but you can never say never. At least I think that is how the saying goes.

Why is it so hard to make it in America?” Charles Bradley

Most of my issues came from the fact that I was not working and that things were getting pretty tight at home. Bills were piling up and then I was lucky to be told about a job opening at a company downtown. It was a contract position and I knew it would only be temporary, but while I was there I tried my best to network and find a permanent position within the company. After several interviews and second interviews, nothing came out of it. So, at the end of my contract, I was unemployed again.

While the blog was helping out with paid opportunities every now and then, it was not enough to help out at home. Sometimes it felt like forever for the payments to arrive and when they did they were already spent. Little by little I was sinking back into that state and it started to suck, but I was trying my best to not let it get me.

It sucks when you don’t work for half a year and you spend your time trying to make ends meet until a job comes around. I hated seeing my savings dwindle while I had to decide between buying groceries or paying utility bills. In the summer months, I interviewed with schools and other companies and it became disheartening to hear that I was overqualified or not what they were looking for. I just did not know what to do anymore, but I had a family depending on me and I kept moving forward.

And then it happened! I got a job with an amazing company and although I knew things would not change overnight, I got the feeling that things were going to get better. I still had to make tough choices when it came to paying bills, but at least I felt that I was making the right ones.

When it looked like things were getting better, my son had a medical emergency that pushed us back a little and now I have another bill to add to the list. I mean, I know bills are going to be a normal part of life, but why does it always feel like when you are near the top, something pulls you back down.

Man you don’t know me you only know my name” Asher Roth

Now why I am going through all of this I still have a blog to run. I still have posts to write, giveaways to post and prizes to send out to the winners. I am thankful that the community that we have built is understanding of our issues, but they don’t always know what is really going on.

We post pictures online that look like everything is great, but inside I am not myself anymore and I just become obsessed with getting out of this rut. As a father and a man, I feel that I need to take on all of this responsibility, but I also know that I should ask for help. I just feel ashamed to ask. I know that people have their own issues, so I keep mine to myself and don’t want to bother them with my problems.

I start to focus on the medical bills, utility bills, and trying to keep my family in good health, meanwhile, my own health is depleting. I don’t run like I used to or exercise anymore because I’m just too tired mentally and physically.

There are days when I start thinking of ways out because I’m tired of all the pressure. I am tired of trying to live up to an image that I know isn’t real, but I’m afraid of letting the real me show.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling like you want to cry” Blueprint

One day in February I started looking at the train on my way home and began to think, “Will it be quick? Will it hurt? Who around here will actually try to stop me?” Even though I had those thoughts in my head I also had something else on my mind: “Tonight is the season finale of “This is Us”. I know that sounds weird, but there is so much on that show that resonants with me and I needed to see what was going to happen.

During the evening I was sitting in the dining room trying to write something, while my wife had the show on in the living room. I looked over at the show and the main character Kate was having a flashback of her father Jack. She looks at him and asks him if he is going to walk her down the aisle when she gets married. He looks at her, smiles and promises her that he will walk her down the aisle.

For those of you familiar with the show you know that this does not happen, but at that moment I lost it. My eyes started tearing up and it hit me: What kind of bastard was I to take that away from my daughter all because I was feeling overwhelmed? I mean, it’s not only my daughter’s future that I would be hurting but it would also be my wife’s and my son’s life. I’ve been through so much already, so why stop here?

“I don’t know the plan/ Just disarray/ I just lost the plot/ I got lead astray” Andrew WK

After that day I started focusing on the positive things in my life. I started focusing on what was more important and following my daily affirmation. Yes, my friends, I have a daily affirmation and I have it tattooed on my arm in Aurebush. You see, years ago I wanted to get a tattoo that had meaning. I wanted to have something that I could look at and feel good or look at it and remember why I am here. So I wrote something that I thought was profound at the time and now I see it carries more weight than ever before.

On my right forearm, I have the phrase:  “I have meaning: I am someone”, tattooed in Aurebush, the font that is used in the Star Wars movies. I remember when I first got it and told people what it said they would laugh and say something like, “Were you picked on as a kid?” or “Didn’t anyone love you?” I guess people didn’t get it. having my own family, this phrase takes on a whole new meaning, because they are what give me meaning and they give me a purpose.

When I was younger I always felt like I didn’t fit in or belong and when you’re the youngest in the family you feel like a nuisance to your older siblings. I never let that define who I was so I would lose myself in video games and comic books.

A few weeks ago I was lucky to remember that Andrew WK was going to be at a local taco spot by my work having a “Guac and Roll” party. I liked the man’s music and had time to kill while my ride showed up and I went in to get a free taco.

The restaurant was playing his latest CD while we were in line to get our free tacos and I remember hearing interludes between songs of him speaking. I couldn’t really make out what he was saying, but I just told myself I’ll try to listen to it later online.

As I approached Andrew I saw him putting guacamole on people’s tacos and taking a few minutes to talk to them and then pose for a picture. When it was my turn I thanked him for doing this and posed for a quick photo.

I started listening to the album later that night on Spotify and as strange as it sounds that album has really helped me with my mind frame. I know weird right? Weird that a rock album can change your whole perspective on life, but it has. A lot of his songs are about going through life struggles and continuing to party, which I take as living. One of the pieces of spoken word that has really helped me with my struggles is “In Your Darkest Moments”.

“In your darkest moments
Never forget that you can
And will make it through
Never forget the hard times
That you already have
Made it through
And understand that in the future
There will be more challenges
But also more rewards
And all of this counts as life
It’s all part of true joy
Everything counts”

“These problems are the good ones to have” Atmosphere

Since then I have refocused the energy in my life. I know that there are going to be days that will be rough, but I have gone through rough days before. I try to look more at the positive things in my life and just move forward, never backward…yeah, that’s a quote from Luke Cage, but it is spot on. I know that as much as I loved how things were when I was younger, I will never be able to relive those days due to the experiences that I have had in my life.

What I have to do now is focus that I am living my best life and use that energy to make my children’s lives the best that it could be. Inevitably, my life will continue through my children when I am gone and I want them to let their children and their children’s children know that their grandfather made the most of each day and did not let anything bring him down.

Now here is where the contradiction occurs. I know that I am not 100% cured of whatever my affliction is if you want to call it that, but I am not going to let it control me anymore. I might have bad days in the future, but it is up to me determine how bad I will let those days be. I do not want to be sad every day and feel like I missed something because of it. I want to enjoy the days I have and hope that I can spread this to others and make their days a little better.

“I get by with a little help from my friends” The Beatles

I started this post with a Beatles quote and I am ending it with the same quote because I feel that we are all friends on this Earth and we should try to be there for each other and look out for each other. I know that there are friends that I have not talked to in years, but I am always thinking of all of them. I always wish my friends are doing well and I just wish that I had more time to reach out to all of them. While we do not know how much time we have on this Earth, let’s make sure to tell those around us how much they mean to us while we still can.

Thank you for reading and thank you for taking a few moments from your day to learn a little more about me. 

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