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They’re An XBOX And You’re More Of An Atari

12 Feb

Sometimes no matter what you do … things are just not enough.

You’re a decent person.

Not enough.

You try your best, work hard, and you have a good heart, a good one.

Not enough.

You’re the John Cusack of this movie.

Still not enough.

It breaks my heart when good people who deserve good things end up with the shaft. I tried to be supportive with my friend’s situation, put a neon light at the end of the tunnel, but that tunnel is pretty damn long right about now.

I heard Cee Lo Green’s song … and thought of my friend.

 

Atari rocks. It’s a badass original.

It had Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, and Frogger.

C’mon, now.

I’d see my buddies in the neighborhood who had the game, and they loved it. They’d get lost in the challenge and in the fun.

XBox, I imagine, is the newer shinier version of it. The one with graphics and 3D stuff with guns blazing and blasters everywhere. All these Internet age kids enjoy it, it’s the glitz and glam of their generation.

But here’s the thing Atari is still cool. It was one of a kind. Groundbreaking, back in my day.

And just because something appears shinier and sparkly doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. It’s just newer. It’s not 2.0. because it looks good on the outside, it’s what inside that matters. And sometimes newer ends up being better it does, but when we’re talking about things that mean something, shinier is not always better.

Substance matters. It’s always better than fluff. It’s too bad people forget that and good hearts everywhere end up broken and beat up, thinking they did something wrong or were unworthy.

They didn’t and they are …

So if some jackass thinks you’re not an XBox and that you’re more of an Atari, keep your head up. They don’t see your value. Atari’s are still cool, one-of-a-kind originals worth something.

They just can’t see it.

 

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Crisis of Imagination

25 Sep

I need imagination because I can’t see it right now …

Holy crap. That was it.

I had never heard it put that way, but that was it. I had found the right words to try to help my friend understand what was happening. They weren’t mine, but I heard them and I knew why they had come my way. My buddy was stuck in a moment and couldn’t get out of it. Stuck in the hurt. Stuck in the disbelief. Stuck in the ache of their heart. Stuck in the “it is what it is,” situation they thought they’d never find themselves in.

That’s where they were currently residing.

And when I heard these words I knew I had to pass them along. I thought maybe it would bring a sense of comfort, knowing that once they broke through the mind block, they might be able to feel less hurt, and more hope.

You can’t imagine your life like this … You can’t imagine how you’re going to get through it … You can’t imagine life differently. And that’s the point … because you were never supposed to, your future wasn’t supposed to look this way. But now there’s no choice. It’s happening.

Most people go through something like this in their life, whether it’s the loss of a relationship, a dream, or a job. We’re hurting because we’re in the midst a life crisis, suffering a “crisis of imagination.”

We can’t see outside the box and that’s why the hurt lasts so long. That’s why we feel stuck, because we still can’t believe it.

I’m hoping I can help my buddy find some creativity in the unknown future. Help imagination find its way to their doorstep, so they can exhale and begin to heal, begin to realize that they can do it. It’s going to be hard, extremely hard to change their vision, but it’s possible. I’m hoping I can help them out. I’m hoping I can help them imagine that tomorrow’s tomorrow will help them find happiness in the present moment. I’m hoping I can help my friend find the imagination that their not seeing.

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:)

🙂

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Friday Five … Plus One …

21 Aug

Normally I use humor to help myself and others get through the rough spots. But before that can usually happen perspective has to surface. Sometimes that doesn’t happen right away, the lows hit you in the pit of your stomach and you find yourself on bended knee having a moment of heartbreak.

And sometimes you’ve just got to feel it before you can stand up again.

So I send this love out to my buddy who’s going through a rough patch.

Sometimes music helps to let you know that someone else has been where you’re at, and has felt what you feel. But you’ll stand up again, maybe just not now. But you will, and I’ll be there to hug you when that happens.

She’s Gone Hall & Oates

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Wasted Love — Matt McAndrew

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Not Gon’ Cry — Mary J Blige

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A Little Bit Stronger — Sara Evans

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Love Don’t Live Here No More — Lady Antebellum

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Ooh Child Things Are Gonna Get Easier — The Five Stairsteps

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Today … Joanna Was My Exception Joanna And Her Six

19 Aug

Normally I don’t … I just don’t.

But the title caught my eye.

Six Things I Wish I’d Known About Marriage When I Was …

Dude I was like wait … only six? I would have waaaaaaaaaaayyyyy more.

So I got curious, and it wasn’t so much the information, it was the fact that I thought, dude I could have written this article. I definitely had plenty of lessons. I definitely had plenty I-Wish-I-Would-Have-Known moments. I totally could have had a byline on the front page of a magazine. Totally. Who was this chick and what were these six?

So I went against my instinct and clicked on the link.

I had to, I had to find out if the pretend article in my head would be better than what was posted on this major site. And the thing is I never do. I don’t. I stopped reading stuff like this after my 20s. In fact I bet you did too. I bet you didn’t even click the link I posted.

I bet, and you know why?

The majority of these articles are a load of crap. All these relationship articles out there claiming to know the secrets of marriage, or the top ten things your wife really wants, or ten things to never do in front of a guy, or what your husband is really thinking, or do these four things just like so-so celebrity and your partner will thank you for life.

Dude this was crap. It wasn’t like it was Oprah or anything.

I was already reaching 30 and decided I had to stop. I had too.

None of those articles out there had my life, my dudes, my problems. They knew very little of what my ideal relationship should be, so I just quit all of them because you know what? There is no secret to marriage. It’s work. Hard work, but it’s worth it with the right partner. It’s worth it and if I needed advice I’d probably ask a friend how she made it work. That’s real to me.

So I don’t do it anymore. I had stopped doing it. I made the rule and that was that. No exception. Nope. None. I’m done wasting time with that nonsense. Now I stand there in the grocery store line, waiting to pay, and I ignore the crap out of all those magazines with some hot chick on the cover they think I want to be like and I focus more on whether I brought the right coupons and people watching.

People watching at the market rocks. Makes for good material and characters in stories.

But this time I wasn’t at the store. I opened up my computer, clicked my Firefox 30.0 and waited for my homepage to appear and then there it was staring at me.

Six Things I Wish I’d Know About Marriage When I Was …

I thought yeah I wish I knew some things. I wish.

Six huh? Just six.

And so I clicked.

I read.

I was like Amen sister! Preach! Preach! I’ll testify. I’ll testify tonight.

Yup. For once they got it right. This chic Joanna Schroeder rocked those six lessons, I would have added a few more in my case, but overall I think she covered some ground. I don’t know what else she writes but this one was right on the mark.

Today … Joanna was my exception. Joanna and her six.

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Guys … Try To Be Smart

3 Aug

Normally I don’t pay too much attention to social media sites, it’s just too much fluff and not enough substance out there. But every now and then I find an inspirational post, or some great pictures, or good stories from friends. Friends. But then there is the post out there that burns me out.

The one you look at and say, really?

Yeah I found one this weekend. I came across this and for some reason it seemed to bother me.

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Now it wasn’t so much the message, but the responses to this message that had me shaking my head.

This is the girl I’ve never heard of who posted this. Apparently she’s a model, and this was one of the less risque photos I found of her, the majority of pics I came across were of the Playboy suggestive nature type.

She’s a good-looking lady who probably does very well for herself in the modeling industry and the message she put out there seems to shed some light on the type of person she is within a relationship. And apparently a friend of friend’s, cousin’s, brother’s, uncle had this re-posted on Instagram or Facebook. I can’t recall which social media disaster this came from but it was up there. I don’t know if it was an ad or something but it was up on their feed.

In any case this girl happened to post this message up there and the responses were mostly from the male population consoling her and letting her know that they were there for her and how amazing it was that she was this type of person. However, in addition to their well-wishes they seemed to express their discontent about the message itself. According to the men that replied there are no women who fit this description. They haven’t seen any of this caliber within a 10-mile radius. Nope. False. These women were a myth.

Idiots.

The fact that these dudes were so narrow-minded to believe that ladies like this did not exist made me shake my head at the stupidity of this thought, and how they might spread this stupidity through more social media or discussion. Maybe they were burned by not-so-nice chicks who happened to leave a deep scar.

But let me enlighten you … They are out there people.

They are.

Maybe not in a push-up bra and thong, but they’re out there.

I know plenty of ladies with great hearts who love deeply, like The Notebook kind of love, loyal and caring, the kind that makes you grateful for their very existence, the kind of love you find in 80s love songs, the kind that accept you and love you for who you are and not for what you can do, the kind that make you feel like you matter.

Yup these ladies are out there, guys just seem to be looking in the wrong places. Some ladies are taken…smart guys who noticed. Some are single … not so smart guys who let them get away.

They are out there you just have to be smart enough to notice.

Try to be smart.

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It Was Definitely On … Definitely Exhausting … But Definitely Guatacular

15 Apr

I needed a minute.

I actually needed a minute, when it was over. And that’s never really happened.

You know the minute right after your Rocky Balboa moment when you raise your hands in the air victoriously, right after step 1,393, right after your picture gets taken, right after the you-can-do-it adrenaline wears off and the volunteer guy hands you a bottle of water that you so desperately require and it feels so heavy, reminding you that your superpowers to climb stairs in claustrophobic spaces was only temporary.

Yeah … I needed a minute.

1,393 steps.

I needed a couple, actually.

And the reason why?

The 58th floor … followed by the 59th.

They seemed so close to 60, which seemed even closer to 63, and that seemed to fuel the fire. I began pushing even though my gas tank was clearly on empty and my calves were burning up. They were on fire and suffering from I’m-getting-close-to-40 syndrome, but all I could see was the finish line.

Then I hit the deadly 61st floor, and I thought I was about to pass out and just crawl my way up the stairs, because at that point you’re thinking there’s no shame in crawling really.

But no … I decided to do it the badass way … the Gatorade-Commerical worthy way. I raised the volume on the iPod, and I thought of my Dad and said you can do it!

The deadly 61st floor ignited something in me, something that should have just stayed dormant that late in the race, something that would eventually take out the ice packs from the freezer and empty out the BenGay jar later that evening. The I’m-almost-done-I’m-almost-there feeling bubbled inside, the-I’m-doing-this-for-my-Dad feeling kicked in, and then it was on.

There was no stopping me or my weary broken-down knees.

It was on.

The 73-year-old IronMan Champion looking dude, whose name I later found out to be Aaron Asher, was pushing his way up the stairs and gaining on me like some kind of Terminator.

I thought Holy Crap … it’s definitely on.

I pushed my way to the top and raised my arms to the sky …

And then I took my minute, several of them. Something that hadn’t happened in previous races. But something quite necessary and I didn’t want to be the only one to pass out on the rooftop, so I slowly drank my water and appreciated the view of Downtown L.A.

I thought … even Superman needed a minute.

I clocked in at 16:54.

63 stories in less than 17 minutes to honor my father, the man who thought I’d be somebody, the man who supported me and my dreams, the man who was a good grandfather, the man who had untold adventures, the man who struggled with depression but still managed to fight his way through and find the lightness in being, the man who enjoyed laughing, the man who was my friend, the man who was my family, the man who had a big heart and who passed away too early.

I made my way toward the helicopter landing pad, thinking of this man, thinking of my dad, and I did my best Hulk Hogan-Randy-Macho-Man-Savage victory pose. I had stormed the Fight For Air Climb and it was a Guatacular moment.

Exhausting, but Guatacular.

Special thanks to Peter, Erdmann, Gisela, Estela, Alissa, Karina, and Sandra for their generous support.

My Dad

My Dad

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Bedtime Routines …

13 Mar

 

How Things Work

From Becky Mansfield @ ModernFamily.com

 

 

 

Relationship Advice … Costanza Style

25 Feb

 

Costanza Wisdom

Costanza Wisdom

 

 

For All The Love Birds …

16 Feb

 

romancedemotivator

via despair.com

 

 

 

 

Looking For Gallons …

1 Dec

During this four-day marathon weekend of dysfunctional family accompanied by turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole,  I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a gallon type person.

A friend of mine sent me a quote about the two kinds of people out there, and whether you were thinking about relationships, family ties, acquaintances, or the chick from work that drives you up the wall, you know the one, there are always two kinds of people.

Gallon type people and pint-size.

The gallon type of person has a huge capacity to give, to love, to laugh, to rejoice, and to receive. They have a huge heart and what they put out there in the world they naively think that they’re gonna get back regardless of who is in their circle. If they love they think they’re gonna get love. If they rejoice in your triumphs, they think you’re gonna support theirs. If they show compassion and grace, they think others closest to them will do the same.

But no, not so.

Not gonna happen if you’re the only adult gallon-size person within a 10-block radius. My Dad was a gallon person, I’m a gallon person. 10-gallon size capacity.

And then there are the pint-size people who give to you, but it’s never enough. Their capacity for love, laughter, consideration, kindness, and friendship is less. It’s pint-size. It can be someone you marry and didn’t realize it until later because love made you stupid, it can be your family where you’ve always known something was off, or it can be that chick from work that just sucks the air out of your balloon just by walking into the room.

Doesn’t matter who, the feeling is still pint-size.

And the thing is you’re not asking for something extraordinary of them, you’re just asking for the basics and sometimes not even asking just expecting and it just never comes. You’re like that chic alone at the bus stop waiting for the number 44, but not aware that you’re at the wrong stop.

Sometimes it’s not their fault. Sometimes you’re asking and expecting some kindness, some heart, some hilarity and they’re giving it to you, giving you what they got but it’s pint-size and doesn’t even reach the line. They’re not lying to you, that’s just all they can do. Sometimes it’s because they’re hardened by experience, other times it’s because that’s how they’ve been their whole life. Some people were just already broken when they got here.

I recently learned I am one of the last of the Mohicans. I’m a gallon type of person currently surrounded by pint size people.

 

“We are ten gallon people, but we may have been born into families of people who have pint capacities.” TD Jakes

 

And when this happens I apparently need to lower my expectations of what others are capable of and try to meet them at their level.

That is some Dalai Lama-Nelson Mandela type of magic that I’m still working on. I’m an angry Guatemalan I need some time to get there because I’ve just recently had this revelation.

But while on this journey I can surround myself with my kids, my friends, my comadres, my peers, my WordPress buddies who are of gallon-type capacity that can fill what is missing, so that I can hold on to the best version of myself.

The kind with clear eyes and full hearts … and bar of chocolate.