30 September 2010

New directions

When I created this blog as a substitute for my old one that was destroyed by the blogger monster, I fully intended for this to be a place where I could come and express my inner-most thoughts and feelings on anything I felt like talking about. This place was supposed to be my therapy session, my one place where I could go to remind myself that it's okay to feel the way I feel, and to understand that it's okay if I'm slightly screwed up in the head -- which, the severity of this could be debated, I'm sure -- because I'm not the only person in the world who's screwed up in the head, and there are a lot of people who are screwed up a hell of a lot more than I am.*

* - If I tried, I'm sure I could name at least five people right off the top of my head.

It amazes me that when I sit down and really think about myself and this blog, I realize that I have been too lazy to do my favorite thing: write.* Why is that? Is there something wrong with me? (Don't answer that.) What could possibly make me not want to do something that I absolutely love to do? I mean, I know that lately I've had a lot going on that has prevented me from having a mindset to just sit down and write, but that mindset doesn't really apply here because this blog isn't topic specific. I don't have to write about sports, or the Panthers, or music, or movies. I don't have to write on a specific day every week, and I don't have to keep a mandated schedule that forces me to come up with something even if I'm not really in the mood to write anything.

* - Okay, it's not my FAVORITE thing to do, but it's in my top-5.

When I take away the veil and look deep into the recesses of my soul, I do see where my problem lies. I've been putting too much stress on myself to write about specific topics (i.e. - Panthers football). It's gotten to the point where talking about the Panthers is depressing me and making me hate writing, and it's not just because they suck right now -- don't get me wrong, that has something to do with it, but it's not the whole reason -- but it's more of a sense that I don't want to be restricted to just writing about one thing all the time. I like being able to freely discuss whatever is going on in my head, and I like being able to just be myself on paper. I haven't allowed myself to do that lately, and it's been slowly eating away at my soul until I finally gave up on writing altogether (as I'm sure you've noticed).

I did some reading the other day and came across this blog that really spoke to me. (Thanks, -A, I really appreciate your inspiration.) After reading it, I realized that I need to get back to where I used to be, and get off my lazy ass and write what I'm feeling without trying too hard to restrict myself to a topic, because I've learned that when I do that I end up being miserable when I can't come up with anything to fit into the guidelines that I've created for myself. I'm trying too hard to control everything, when I should just go with the flow, and it's making me miserable.

There are a lot of things in life that I have no control over, and I have to learn how to accept that. One of my biggest flaws is not being able to handle a situation if I can't do anything to change the outcome. For example, my brother has cancer, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it other than give him my support. It kills me to know that I can't take the pain and suffering away from him, and it frustrates me even more to know that I can't do ANYTHING about it.

There are only two things in this world that I can control. The first is my outlook on life, and the attitude that I choose to have each and every day when I wake up to go through my daily routine. I can also control how I will approach this blog, which will be with a free mind and spirit from this moment forward, and I will use this blog for the purpose that was intended when I created it: a place to come share what's going on in my mind, and a place to unwind and be myself with no reservations.

If I can't do that, then what's the point in writing anything at all?

29 September 2010

Please excuse the mess

Update: I think I'm finished with the redesign, so I will resume posting shortly. In the meantime, how do you like the new digs? Personally, I think the design fits perfectly with the blog title, and it doesn't look girly or gay*, so I'm happy with it (imagine that!).

* - Not that there's anything wrong with that.

* * * *

As you may have noticed, I'm redesigning the blog, so please excuse the mess. I plan to have the blog finished within the next few days, but if you know me at all, you know that it will probably take me two weeks to finish.

If you want to let me know what you think of the new look, feel free to do so.

Because I need to see how videos look on the blog, and because I honestly can't stop watching/laughing at this video, take a few seconds and check out this video of the girl from The Amazing Race getting blasted in the face by a watermelon.

If you haven't seen it yet, it's definitely worth the time.

In case you were wondering, my favorite part is the following exchange:

Blonde Girl: Are you okay?

Brunette Girl: I can't feel my face.*

* - What she really meant: What do you mean am I okay? I just got hit by a watermelon shot out of a slingshot. How the hell do you think I am? Let me hit you in the face with a watermelon and you tell me if you're okay afterwards.

09 September 2010

Three Little Words

It's amazing how some of the most important messages that can be communicated between people only require three little words to get the point across. It baffles me how the English language can be so expansive, with hundreds of thousands of words, yet all it takes is three words to make a profound statement. Sometimes those three-word phrases give joy, such as "I love you" or "It's a girl", and those three little words light up hearts brighter than the eastern sky.

But other times, the three little words bring pain, sorrow, and uncertainty.

You see, there is one particular three word phrase that no one should ever have to hear from anyone. Words that do nothing but cause hurt. Words that destroy families. Words that kill.

If I had it my way, this three word phrase would be forever banished to the depths of hell, never to return to the surface where they can inflict never-ending pain upon those who hear them.

Three little words.

I have cancer.

It's real. It's heart-wrenching. It's sobering. Those three little words remind us of our own mortality, that our absolute appointment with death is closer than we may have originally thought, and it hurts like hell. It doesn't get any easier to digest after you've heard them, either. I can bear witness to that.

The image of a phone conversation with my brother last week is still burning in my brain as if it were 5 minutes ago. No matter what I do to distract myself I am constantly reminded of that exact moment when he broke the news to me.

Last Thursday, I was sitting at work and suddenly I saw my cell phone ringing. I should have known something was wrong when I saw his number on the caller-ID, because he's not the type to just call me up to discuss the weather. He's just like me when it comes to talking on the phone (i.e. - we hate it). It's funny how brothers can be alike in so many weird ways, yet be totally different in others.

Anyway, I remembered that he previously told me he had a doctor's appointment because he had been abnormally sick for several weeks, but I never in a million years would have imagined that he would have cancer. That's just not something that goes through your head when you get a phone call from your brother. I was expecting him to tell me something about where his fiancee would be stationed after she completes her training (she's in the Air Force), but I never thought I would hear those three little words that he had to say.

Cancer? How can he have cancer?

Talk about a bombshell - I'm still not over the effects of that conversation. Ever since he told me, I've been in a daze - like I'm in the middle of a bad dream and can't wake up from it. Perhaps I haven't quite wrapped my head around it yet, or perhaps I've accepted it and moved on, without even realizing I've done so. I do have a tendency to compartmentalize everything - have I already tucked this away in the back corner of my mind as a coping mechanism, or am I still in shock and will have a total meltdown when it all sinks in?

I have no freaking clue.

The hardest part is not knowing what the future holds. There's still uncertainty in regards to treatment options, quality of life, likelihood of survival, etc., and it's destroying my soul because I can't just "know". Sometimes I wish I could look into a crystal ball and see that everything's going to be alright, but I can't. Knowing that I can't makes it hurt even more.

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to help. Feeling helpless doesn't make matters any better, because I'm the type of person who likes to solve problems. Approaching the unsolvable is something I prefer to avoid, and something that I'm not accustomed to.

What I do know is that I have a long road ahead, because not only do I have to travel down the path of the concerned relative who doesn't know what lies ahead, I also have to pick my brother up on my shoulders, and carry him through the fire.

Three little words.

Yes, I believe.

07 September 2010

Some people just don't get it

I just read this article about the church in Florida who feels that it's a good idea to burn copies of the Qur'an to mark the 9th anniversary of 9/11.

Yes, you read that right - they think that it's a good idea...

Hey, here's an even better idea: Let's totally ostracize one of the world's largest religious groups because 1% of their entire population are extremists. Throw in the fact that we're currently invading their lands to pilfer their oil (please don't tell me you think it's to "fight terror"), and you wonder why they hate Americans so much?

Now, don't get me wrong: I hate that 9/11 happened, and I take a moment out of my day every year to remember those who lost their lives, but just because the terrorists responsible for that event were Muslims doesn't mean that every Muslim is a terrorist.

In fact, burning a religious text to demonstrate a point could be considered an act of terrorism itself, if you really want to get technical about it.

Hi Kettle, I'm Pot...

So, does that mean I'm a terrorist too since I'm an American, and Americans are going to burn the Qur'an in an anti-Islam demonstration?

Absolutely not. I think it's ridiculous that they want to do this, and even more preposterous that they actually think they're doing a good thing.

I guess some people will just never learn.