Anxious Anxiety

I haven’t written for a bit. I feel like my head is keeping in my thoughts and I’m unable to actually sit down and put down how I’m feeling. This blog has always been journal first and everything else second – the lack of structure and planning was here from the beginning – but I still try to adhere to a schedule of sorts, if only for myself. It’s good to sit down and rummage through your thoughts and put them down someplace neat and tidy.

My anxiety is getting worse. Whether it’s me thinking about how I’m going to eventually die and wondering if I’ve already done something to lead to the event – or it’s me looking back on things I have no control over and trying much too hard to forget about them. I always have my memories – people can change and hate me in the present, but the memories don’t change and stay with me. For better or worse.

My girlfriend has brought some friends over to the house and I sit around and make jokes every so often or make a comment when I have an opportunity, but they’re her friends, not mine, and it reminds me that I literally don’t have a single actual friend. My friends tend to be women, and usually they’re women that I’ve been in a relationship with – as in I used to either date them, or had some sort of fling with. Obviously you can’t keep those friends in an actual, proper relationship.
And not being in school hinders that too. I had a couple of male friends that I spent time with, but after graduating those friendships faded off, as they tend too.

Now I work in a job I hate, with people I don’t like and I suspect don’t like me very much, and I’m either there or at home, and I don’t keep up with anyone or spend time with anyone other than my significant other or my brother and sometimes that gets to me – even though I love both of their company, I yearn to spend time with someone that I feel isn’t required to spend time with me. A friend who is with me simply because they want my company, nothing more.

I yearn for a sense of stability – not in the sense that it usually means, I suppose. But in the sense that my life doesn’t constantly feel in flux. One day, I’m concerned about money. The next, we find ourselves well off. One day, I hate my job to the point of picking up bad habits and picking out silver hairs, the next I can tolerate it for what it is. I’m tired of being concerned about going back to school, or friendships, or my weight – I’m sick of my anxieties having anxieties to be anxious about.

I know who I want to be, and I’m making strides to get there. There’s just a riptide that pulls me back in whenever I find myself making my way out – and already, two months into the year, I find myself getting worse again.

I don’t write as much as I used to. Poetry, fiction, and on here. This is my first post of February, and likely my last. I don’t want to drag out my problems, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse. If I’m depressed, I am, and if I’m anxious, I am, and my mental illnesses aren’t going to go away no matter how many times I rant to a webpage that nobody reads just for the sake of catharsis. So, if I don’t find myself moving forward, I’m just simply not going to write. I won’t write the same blog posts over and over and over again – because I don’t want to think about it over and over again. Perhaps writing is cathartic but also, maybe it’s a little unhealthy too? Focusing in on these issues that I know I’m not helping yet I keep talking just to hear the sound of my own voice?

I don’t know.
I’ll write when I feel I have something to say, whether it’s personal or not. But I’m done moving in circles – tired of my circular anxiety.

To whoever reads this, I hope your month has gone swell. Talk to you next time.

– Brandon.



I hate cigarettes.

I’ve known too many people who fall into their trap and let it over take them for the worse. Most of the time these people regret it – but it’s just so hard to quit. Understandably so.

I smoke from time to time, and I hate it. I can’t smoke without thinking about the nicotine flooding into my bloodstream. The tar filling my lungs and turning them black. My heart slowing its pumps until my blood flow ceases and I die a death of oxygen deprivation or lung cancer or something. I can’t not focus on every little pain that I feel in my chest as I take a draw from the filter. I have a family history of heart issues anyways, and any little heartburn or chest pain I have I worry about it to no end as it is, but when I smoke… I worry that I’m cutting off years with every sip of the smoke.

I have a pack in my glove compartment that I bought yesterday. I was feeling stressed beyond belief and that’s usually around the time I succumb and search for one. It’s bad. I’m currently trying to bring up the will power to throw them all away and forget about the one I smoked yesterday. But it’s hard – what if today is stressful? What if I really need one? What if I throw them away and a month later I but another pack just for one? I should keep it. If not for now than for later. Just in case.

Though I shouldn’t. I should power through it. I shouldn’t let it over take me because I know the minute I light up another I’ll feel the same pains and feel the same sort of regret that comes with the realization that I’m killing myself even quicker than I am already and as someone who is terrified of death, that isn’t very productive.

I’m trying. I really am – things get difficult and life gets stressful and my head gets to me – and I only ever do this a few times a year, if that. And I do usually end up throwing away the pack, or just bumming a cigarette to begin with. But I’m working on not needing it at all – because there’s nothing I want more than to not let the smoke get to me.

Moving Forward

Dusk over Adam Hats’ Lofts – I took this while waiting in line for a concert in the venue right across from here.

I don’t write this blog for people – I don’t expect many people to come across it. I write this blog to help me with my racing thoughts and put down things that I want to say in a tangible manner to get it out of my head. I keep a journal, as well – but it doesn’t get updated as much and when I do it’s far more personal. When I write on here, it feels like I’m speaking to someone – maybe one person, maybe ten. Maybe none. But anyone can come onto here and see what I’m saying and see my opinions – and that’s what matters and makes it work a bit for me, I think. But the point is – I write this for me.

I’m working on myself. It’s really hard to do – first, you have to admit you need to work on yourself, and I always thought that by doing so it would be admitting weakness. I’ve learned that it’s anything but. Second, you have to take steps forward to fix what’s wrong – I swallowed my pride and started my medication again. I try to be conscious of when my anxiety and depression and racing thoughts take control and try to separate myself from them. I talk to my girlfriend and communicate, and try not to push people away as much as I once did.

I’m not perfect, and I have a long way to go before I’d even classify myself as okay. I used to think that I was healthy as it gets, but mental illness stews until you’re old. I just pray it doesn’t evolve into something worse. I am trying, though. Trying to fix myself, trying to accept help, trying to reconnect with the world and start being me again. I feel like I’ve been disassociating for so long that I’ve kinda forgotten how to be me.

But I’m stopping that as best as I can. I’m moving forward onto what was and now, what is.
You can’t change the past. I have many, many regrets and it still pains me despite the time that’s gone by. But the universe tends to unfold the way it should – and for better or worse, I’ll move on and go forward with everything I’ve done behind me.
I was one person last year, and I’m another this year. That may sound worse than it really is, but it’s a step towards accepting my life and being happy with the decent life I live. I’m really quite lucky – and I take that for granted.

I’m moving on, and moving forward. Into a new era of my life where I finally gain the courage to take back some control. To work on myself, and to love who I am despite my faults – and to love others, despite theirs. My entire mission this year is to be a better person – and it starts with me.

We all move forward. Some by force, some by choice, some with resignation.
But I’m looking at what’s here in front of me, taking it by the hand, and walking with it, together, as one.

This is moving forward. This is a new era. This is me.

Hello, I’m Brandon.
Pleased to meet you.

Fall Out Boy ‘MANIA’ Review

Fall Out Boy arrives in 2018 with a return to form, bringing back some the old sounds pre-hiatus, while offering some new experimental sounds that hit all the right notes, no pun intended.

In short: The album is excellent – it offers something for everyone, and even the songs I didn’t expect to enjoy I ended up liking quite a bit. This album would not feel out-of-place if it were  a successor to Folie a Deux, and indeed feels like a spiritual successor with the confident and experimental sounds and vocals, and songs like ‘Church’ would fit right in with Folie with songs like ‘What a Catch, Donnie’ or even Infinity on High, with ‘Golden’.

I feel like for each song, you could find a pre-hiatus counterpart to a certain extent. The album seems to cut back and forth between songs that sound like Fall Out Boy, and songs that do something entirely different. The first half of the album is superb, but the second half is just a treat. Songs like ‘Church’ and ‘Heaven’s Gate’ are particular standouts, songs that fit like a glove for Patrick’s soulful vocals.

I enjoyed the entire album – even though I seem to be one of the few people who actually enjoyed ‘Young and Menace’, a song that to me, felt like an evolution to what we heard in songs like ‘Tiffany Blews’ and ‘w.a.m.s’ from Folie a Deux. Lots of this album feels like a call back to that era of Fall Out Boy, even spilling over to the ‘Infinity on High’ era. If the hiatus never happened and this album was the next one after Folie, I would totally believe it. I’ve grown to really enjoy Save Rock and Roll, and grown to find American Beauty/American Psycho rather dull and generic – but this album is absolutely my favorite of post-hiatus Fall Out Boy and feels like a new era of their music, separating them from their 2013-2016 music and leading the way towards the future.

Favorites of this album – The Last of the Real Ones, Hold Me Tight or Don’t, Wilson, Church, Heaven’s Gate

Least Favorite – Champion. Though not a terrible song at all, it is the least inspired of the bunch. Definitely middle of the road.

This album has my love for the band soaring to new heights. They’ve been my favorite band for years, but this is the first album that has truly gotten me excited since their comeback. Go give it a listen and support physical media and pick up a copy. It truly is a delight.

– Brandon

The Breaking of Resolutions

Last December, I had made a couple of resolutions for myself that I wanted to lead into the new year with. Some of them were attainable, and already I’ve set myself into place with going through with them – I wanted to start using reusable shopping bags, and with that, be a little more environmentally conscious. I’ve done that – I’ve used the reusable shopping bags, or at least, I’ve done so the past few times I went shopping. I’ve also started using Walmart Pay, which allows me to scan my phone and get an eReceipt instead of getting a long piece of paper. We also drink an ungodly amount of soda, so I’m saving our cans to recycle at a local center. Small, doable things that make me feel better and do a little bit of good in the world.

One main resolution I had for this year was one that had carried over from last year, and the year prior to that, and the year before that… I wanted to stop biting my nails.

I’ve suffered from biting my nails for as long as I can remember. I don’t recall a period in my life where I haven’t seen my nails getting ever so longer and I don’t get the overwhelming urge to bite and chew them off.
It’s partially a symptom of my anxiety, I’m sure. Partially because I’ve been doing it for so long, I’m sure it’s comforting.
But I absolutely hate it. It hurts my fingers and makes me feel gross and makes my fingers look gross and I hate stubby nails with a passion. It’s so bad that my ex-girlfriend used to smack my hand away from my mouth whenever I tried to bite – something that I didn’t appreciate enough at the time.

I’ve tried clear nail polish. Jalapeno juice. Vinegar. Disgusting nail polish made specifically to help with biting nails. None of it lasted more than a few days – and I stopped caring and my nails I kept biting.

But this year – oh, man. This year I felt strong. This year I felt I had it.
For the first couple weeks, I bit my nails at a rate much smaller than I had in a long time. My nails started growing white over my fingertips, something I rarely experienced. My thumbs had nails. I could scratch my arm and feel satisfied.

This was finally it!

But then… I noticed my thumb nails. My teeth chattered. I started picking at the nail, and within a second it was in my mouth. I thought to myself, “I’ll just bite on the nail a bit, not rip it off. That’ll be okay.”
Little did I realize that by doing that, I was weakening the nail. Easier for it to be torn off with my hand later on.

And both nails came off.
And that snowballed into most of my left hand – just taking a little off. Just trimming a bit – until I was back to where I started.
I have a little bit of nail left, but I still felt ashamed. I had come so far only to let myself down again. How could I? How could I take that away from myself? I’ve been biting my nails for twenty years and I can’t summon enough willpower to just stop?
How weak am I?

New Year’s Resolutions are fickle things. They are spur of the moment and come because you get washed away in the feeling of renewal and starting over.
Time doesn’t exist – and the Julian calendar we use only means something to us. The concept of a new year only exists to us – but in reality, days just keep passing. The New Year is just a way of keeping track.

So the question is, why wait for a new year to start making yourself better? If you know you’re going to have certain resolutions, why not start the second you think of them? It’s for the same reason that the laundry can wait until tomorrow. The diet can wait until Monday. You’ll start your new, tighter budget next month. You’ll stop biting your nails next year.

It’s validation that we’ll eventually do the right thing, and gives us a way to keep putting it off. There’s always another tomorrow, another Monday, another year.
Until there isn’t.

And that’s the difficult part.


So while I may not have succeeded just yet in my lifelong quest to stop biting my nails, I’m not going to let it get me down yet. I won’t wait until next year. I’ll keep trying until I do it again and then I’ll just start over again – because while keeping track of time is so inherently human, something else that is inherently human is the drive to persevere and to keep moving forward, no matter what happens.
So with that in mind, I’ll keep working towards my resolution. I’ll keep trying.

And I’ll let you know if I ever succeed.

To whoever might be reading this, I hope you’re succeeding in all you’re trying to do – daily, weekly, monthly or for the New Year – I’m sure you’re doing great, and if you don’t feel like you are, there’s always a chance to get back up and try again.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon. 8:15 PM.


Are you happy? – 2018

This is the third time I’ve tried writing this post.
I don’t know why I seem unable to come up with a coherent thought on this matter that I actually want to say and I don’t mind putting forth, but here it goes.

I don’t want to focus if I’m happy or not – it seems the more I think about the subject, the more unhappy I become. Call it blissful ignorance, for sure – but if I don’t seem to realize how unhappy I am with everything, I feel like I can go about my life in a bubble of sort of faux happiness.

But I’m not delusional – I take medication to make me feel okay. I start on another in a day or so to help with my anxiety. Actually, I’m taking all the same medications now except for a sleeping medication that I took back when I had my first battle with depression – with an additional medication to help with my cholesterol, because heart problems run in my family, but I digress.
I don’t have friends, except for my girlfriend. She has friends, and they associate with me through her, but ever since I graduated I don’t talk to anyone.
I don’t write anymore, as much as I’d like to. It seems like I can only write poetry when I’m going through something and I feel like all my fiction has been shit thus far.

Literally all I have the energy to do is watch YouTube, eat, and sleep. I can’t even bring myself to start a series or something because it’s too much work and commitment.

I try to talk to my girlfriend about it. I don’t like therapists and I don’t really trust in my family, so she’s the one I try to go to, but it feels like she can’t really understand it. And I find it hard to explain it. How do you explain that you feel one step out of sync with the rest of the world? That everything continues on and you’re just stuck, ski-skip-skipping.

I don’t have any suicidal thoughts – on the contrary, I am literally so afraid of dying it’s crazy. When I drive to work, or when I walk through the shady parking lot on the way back to my car, or when I go into a crowd, or when I read any news about the state of politics. Or when my grandmother tells me she’s having open heart surgery because bad hearts run in the family.
Or when I have a pain in my chest, or I can’t get enough air in my lungs, or my vision gets blurry because my headaches get worse and worse and I’m afraid of having a brain aneurysm, heart attack, and lung collapse all at once.

I’m afraid that I don’t believe in God and when I die it’ll just be another thing that I got wrong and I’ll spend eternity in pain.
I’m afraid that I’m right and when I die, that’s it, and I’ll never recall being who I am and everything I experienced and all the trouble I went through will mean nothing.
I’m afraid of pushing people away who needed to stay and keeping those who I needed to step away from.
I’m afraid of being so afraid that I don’t take any of the steps in the direction I want to take to better my life and do the things I want to achieve.

I’ll be twenty-one this year. If my girlfriend and her parents have their way, I’ll be engaged by the end of it. We’re looking at houses once our lease ends. I’m in a steady job that I hate but pays my bills and has cohesive benefits. We make enough money that I can mostly buy what I want without too much concern. My girlfriend loves me and I have no fear that it’s insincere.

On the outside things are okay. I’m doing better than I ever have been, and if seventeen year old me could look in on this and see what’s going on, he’d probably sock me in my mouth and berate me for complaining – after all, this is nearly everything I had hoped for.

But it’s never as good on the inside. I’m not the person I wanted to be. I’m scared I won’t be – scared I won’t ever have the chance to be.
The world moves on but I’m just ski-skip-skipping.

And that’s it. That’s it on one page. That’s the pain and struggles and worries I have – that I try to keep inside and not think about in the hopes that they won’t bleed through the cracks. And with everything out on one page maybe I can keep in contained – locked away in a webpage prison, separate from myself. Maybe I can will it out of my head and into the real world where I can keep it away from me.

Maybe, someday, it’ll fade away and I’ll catch up with the rest of the world and finally feel in sync.


Here’s to 2018.


The State of 2017

The first time I tried to write this post, it was a long, dramatic, introspective look at this year and how I felt it changed me. With relationships, with my depression, with my writing, with how I saw myself and who I felt I was.

But after nearly being finished with that version, I stopped writing. And I’ve been thinking about it for a couple days.
And I’ve decided that it is insane to dwell on what has happened to me this year, the good and the bad, knowing all too well that it doesn’t do my mind any favors. I think 2017 has been the year of burning the past – I started the year with a mantra of ‘the universe tends to unfold as it should’, and even Kylo Ren knows that it’s time to leave the past behind and go forward.

2017 was a growing pain year. It was a shit year for the world, and it was a tough year personally. I spent the year from start to finish in love with the woman I’m more than likely going to marry – I graduated high school – I finished a new book of poetry I’m proud of.
But my depression returned. I lost friends. I lost purpose and lost sight of myself in far too many ways.

But we’re moving forward. This is but one year in the many I have left, and though it wasn’t great, it was transitional. It is setting up the stage for better things to come – whether I always believe it, or not. It’s time to kill the past and march forward because no matter how much we may want to, you can’t return to the past and you can’t change what has already been done.

I have a long way to go. In myself, personally. To those I care about around me. To the purpose that I hope I find. To the world.
So while I could choose to exit this year in a way that would still be fairly true to how I feel – I choose to discard that. I don’t want to exit the year thinking about the negative. Putting too much thought into it is only going to give it claim in reality, and negative energy and depression have no place in my life, and not in my 2018.

There will be tough times. But struggle and pain and sadness does not equal worthlessness. I’m not naive enough to believe that my clinical depression will be cured just by thinking positively enough, but I think it’s time that I set aside a place for happiness and hope to take a seat.

No matter the time it takes.

And that’s my resolution for the next year.


On an additional note, a couple extra resolutions for myself to look back on this time next year:

  • Continue to try to stop biting my fucking nails
  • Use reusable shopping bags as often as possible
  • Build relationships instead of building walls around myself
  • Read a few books for fuck’s sake
  • Do more stuff
  • Have a solid, feasible plan for college
  • Never be cruel nor cowardly.
  • Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.
  • Don’t eat a single pear.


So going forward, I wish everyone a happy, pleasant new year – and I hope everything ends up the way you wish and meets your every expectation.

With love:

That’s all I have to say about that.

The Star Wars Problem

Possible spoilers for the film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Proceed with caution.

I wanna preface this – as a massive Star Wars fan, I love the original trilogy, I have some vague respect for the prequel trilogy, and I have thoroughly enjoyed The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, despite their glaring issues. I don’t dislike any of the film’s – I really don’t even hate Phantom Menace.

My issue that I’m starting to have with this new, corporate, Disney Star Wars is that they seem to lack depth. Whether it is or not, it seems to have a major issue of ‘making it up as they go along’, which for a franchise with such a rich, deep, extensive history and plethora of lore at their disposal, seems to stick out more than should be acceptable.

TLJ was a great movie. I really, really enjoyed it. But looking at the movie as a whole, I start to feel a little underwhelmed. Snoke was underplayed – supposedly this big, powerful, deeply evil villain – that they do zero with. Rey, this character that teases depth and intrigue – never delves beyond what is teased. It seems like a movie that is focused on teasing and setting up without ever paying off – and not in a way where it builds excitement and curiosity for the next film, but where it feels lazy and unfulfilling. All these characters are teased to be these great characters, but sadly end up staying in this little box of personality that doesn’t show anymore growth than when we first met them. They go in circles – we meet them, they show that there may be more than meets the eye, we reach the climax that should affect and change the characters, then they plateau into the same people they always were.

Take Rey, for example. In the last film, we see a desert scavenger that is shown to have a strange connection to both the Skywalker’s, and the Force as a whole. She is shown to be immensely powerful and a natural with the Force, proving to be a more than fair match to Kylo Ren, who has been training in the ways of the Force for years.

What’s her lineage? What’s her connection to the Force? Why is she so powerful? Who or what is she really?

Flash forward to TLJ. Rey is an incredibly powerful user of the Force, shown to be an equal to Kylo Ren and almost Luke Skywalker himself, is able to feel both sides of the Force, walk into the Dark Side and back out again – and is a desert scavenger born to two drunkards. None of it pays off. None of this grows her character in any way – she’s powerful and shown to be an embodiment of the Light Side of the Force to match Kylo’s embodiment of the Dark, but neither she, Luke, or us as the audience have any clue why.

Anakin Skywalker was a child born of the Force to fulfill a prophecy that would bring balance to the Force – in a world where the Jedi ruled as a ruthless, arrogant system of government, Akakin’s descent into darkness throws the Jedi off of their high horse and proves that their arrogant ways have led to their downfall. As Luke states in TLJ, the Force does not belong to the Sith, or the Jedi – it belongs to every living thing. The Force uses Akakin to end the Jedi’s narcissistic hold on the Force, and then uses his child, Luke Skywalker, to bring down the Empire and restore peace within the Galaxy and within the Force, completing the circle. It’s all one prophecy that fulfills itself over the span of about forty years or so, starting with Akakin’s life and ending with his death.

This is what was intended. George Lucas may not be a brilliant writer, but they was a plan in place, there was a story to be told, and the pieces (mostly) fit together.

But what is Rey? What is her purpose? What is she trying to accomplish? So far, we’ve had nothing to tell us why she is what she is. Why she’s as powerful as she is, or even what her connection to Luke and the Skywalker bloodline really is. She’s very well acted – but in the grand scheme of things, it feels like she’s pointless. It doesn’t feel like she’s that important to the world and to the rebellion around her – while, once again looking at Luke, he was a key player in the Rebellion. A brilliant pilot who was instrumental in the destruction of the Death Star, a powerful Jedi, and the son of the second-in-command of the Galactic Empire. He had purpose. There was a reason why he was important to the story and the people around him. And each installment built on his importance with an extra layer to who he was.

Rey? She means the exact same from TFA to TLJ – hardly any growth, and nothing explained as to why she is what she is, or really even what for that matter.

To me, the only characters that make sense are Kylo Ren/Ben Solo and Finn. Ben Solo really should have been the focus of the trilogy – born of Skywalker blood, lured in by the Dark Side of the Force, yet unsure of himself and how evil he actually he is. He just wants to be something – and to prove himself to those around him and the galaxy. He’s seen as a temperamental child, and he acts the part – but while Anakin had been totally torn down and rebuilt in the image of the Dark Side – both metaphorically and literally – Ben is just a conflicted young adult.

Why wasn’t he the key focus of the trilogy? A Skywalker torn between the image of Darth Vader and the reality of Anakin and Luke. Desperate for power and a place in the world but still unable to kill his mother and only driven away because he thought he had been betrayed by his uncle?

And Finn, a meaningless, nobody clone who had always been in the First Order but pulled himself away knowing that he wasn’t like them – and chose good over evil.

They have purpose. They have reason. They can be built upon – but where’s the foundation for Rey, our main protagonist and the keeper of the flame of the Jedi after TLJ? It isn’t there. There isn’t a point, at least a point that is planned out, thought out, and then executed.

This is my problem with a great deal of the new Star Wars’ movies – a lack of a point. The Death Star had a great deal of history and gravity. Starkiller Base? Not so much. The Galactic Empire had a reason and a purpose – the First Order? Just being evil, I guess, led by a villain who never got to make their point before being Darth Mauled into irrelevance. They build up these things as huge, important plot points and never pay them off – and that’s just not fair to the audience.

Now, this could all be rendered null by December 2019.

The 9th film may show us that Kylo and Rey were being utilized by the Force to create a union between the Dark and the Light, forcing the end of the Jedi and the Sith, who have caused too much pain, war, and death in the universe. It might explain that after all these years, the Force was trying to bridge that divide – the Force is a force of life, after all, and having two religions that create a divide between Light and Dark just make death. Kylo and Rey were the vessels to do so – and together, instead of toppling the First Order, they rule it together and restructure it, creating a new Republic that isn’t fixated on the ideals of the Sith or the Jedi. No more old religions, no more Empires and Rebellions – just unity.

Or, it might not. It might be vague plot points and pointless exposition or not enough exposition and a lot of fighting without any purpose or reason to fight and end without any satisfying resolution to lead to another trilogy where they do things just for the sake of doing them – without any rhyme or reason or story to back them up.

Like I said before, I do enjoy the new movies – quite a lot, if we’re being honest. But I’ve just been thinking a lot about these things and wanted to voice them a bit and get my thoughts out so they weren’t just echoing around my head. I’m hoping that I’m wrong – that come 2019, all will be revealed and everything will come full circle and we’ll be able to look at the trilogy as set of movies that tell a specific story for a specific reason. It’s just that beforehand, each movie told a specific story while contributing to an overarching trilogy plot point – which is something that, as of right now, the current trilogy of movies can’t very well say.

But I’m optimistic – if not with life, than at least with Star Wars, haha.

And as with everything else, here’s looking to the future.

Happy holidays.



Blind Faith

I envy those who can have it. The types of people who don’t need anything other than what they believe themselves to feel within – they don’t need reassurance, they don’t need evidence, they don’t need answers. They just understand. They believe they know.

And that’s enough.

Of course, this could be taken a multitude of different ways. Blind faith in a leader, or in an organization, or a religion – frequently a combination of all three. Or perhaps just the other side of the coin to anxiety – not having to worry about every single last little thing there is, and just knowing that all will be alright. Being able to close your eyes and let the universe take you – as it tends to unfold as it should.

I am not a religious man. After years of struggle and contemplation, I am an unswayed agnostic. I never could quite bring myself to make the delve into calling myself an atheist, only because I believe that it would be rather arrogant – I can’t say that there is a god, but who am I to say there isn’t at all? I don’t have the answers and I don’t claim to – I just have the information available and I use it to the best of my understanding.

I used to identify as a Christian. I did so right on this very blog, in a post talking about theocracy in America a couple years back. I am uncomfortable with that moniker – as I don’t like modern Christian thought in the slightest. I think Christians are rather un-Christlike. But I do know there are exceptions to the rule, to some extent – I currently date someone who would be categorized as an Evangelical Christian.

She’s not as hardcore when it comes to a lot of stuff. She’s politically liberal, as well. It’s just that her religious beliefs hang on that side, as do the majority of her family. She was raised in a home where it was taught as fact, with little outside influence. They’re also very traditional in their beliefs, unlike her – the fact that we live together outside of marriage is a particular point of contention, despite this being the year of our probably non-existent lord, 2017, and a rather common part of society.

The issue is, though, is that that doesn’t matter. Society doesn’t matter. The world doesn’t matter. Only the perceived word of god, timeless and everlasting.

Blind faith.

They don’t like me very much – her father is fairly accepting of me, her mom is a little further away – and her extended family just tries not to think I exist. It stings a particular bit more when my side of the family – also fairly religious – tends to accept her with open arms. Even my staunch Conservative grandmother who doesn’t like us living together loves her dearly. Yet her side doesn’t want much to do with me.

At what point does this become an issue, or does it at all? Can one enjoy a long-term relationship with such contention on one side due to a fairly significant difference? The plan is to marry this girl – but how can you go through a life together while also trying to constantly avoid a good chunk of family?

I wonder how it would go. I can spot little details already – if I tag her in a couple’s photo or something on Facebook where her friends can see it, her side of the family comments something about her, ignoring the fact that it was either posted by me or includes me. On the flip side, the side of her family that isn’t very religious tends to talk about us as a couple, as a group, as a union. It may seem trivial, but I find it to be an interesting comparison – and it really shows me that, despite it never being said out loud, the big elephant in the room to them is the religious difference.

Is it significant? To a degree, but is it completely unworkable?
I’d like to think not. Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes together real hard and when I open them back up, suddenly I understand why belief in a god is still incredibly relevant in modern society. It would honestly solve a lot of issues – both internal and external.

But as I’ve gotten older and strayed away from religion, the ability to have blind faith has withered away. Maybe it’s cynicism. Maybe it’s residual angst. Hell, maybe it’s just depression, back at it again. But I can’t stand and say that I know everything will be okay, that everything will work out right. That I’ll be fine and do great things and that my significant other’s side of the family hating me doesn’t affect me when it really does. That I could go to church and feel like a deity has my back and not feel like I’m screaming at a void.

I pity those with blind faith and other times – for different reasons – I wish that I had it.

If I don’t end up posting again before the new year, happy holidays.

Things may be rough and you may feel terrible, and that’s okay. You have a right to feel those things. You have a right to feel those emotions run through you and understand them. I don’t know what is inside your head, but just know that even though things seem so bleak and out of focus – you’re not cursed. You’re not alone. You are you for all that you are with some brain chemicals that are a bit out of sync.
At the end of the day – we’ll all be okay.

Even if takes a little longer for some than others.


Cold, Cold Man

Music is too fucking powerful, man. There are bands I absolutely adore, but there are some songs that I listen to by bands that I’ve never given a second glance that just make me shut my mouth and go back in and time and watch a film reel of memories that make my skin tingle and make me choked up and relive a dozen feelings that I hadn’t felt in a long time and missed dearly.

What am I?
I have become so disassociated with myself that it hurts. I look back at myself from various points in my life and they feel like different people. I don’t feel like an evolution of who I used to be, I feel like an recreation of what I was that someone made from faint memories. Sometimes, I don’t feel real. I feel different than what I was twelve months ago – I look back on those memories and feel like it was another man making decisions and than he died and I woke up sauntering around in his body confused and anxious and unsure. I take medication in the hopes that these feelings will dissipate. but it doesn’t make me feel happy, really – instead, it’s like looking at my depression without glasses. It’s blurry and unclear and I can’t make it out, but it’s still there, lurking, waiting – just out of sight enough for me to occasionally put it out of my mind.

I feel so out of touch with who I am that sometimes I’ll put on one of these songs just simply to remember. To feel it. To let those memories wash over me and let me feel a recreation of emotions that I’ve missed feeling, whether directly or not.
I know I’m a cold, cold man, and it disappoints me. I could be better. I could be different. I could be who I want to be and not hurt those around me if I could just take the time to pick up these pieces in front of me and do my best to put them in their place. I don’t, though, because I’m a narcissistic piece of shit – I think that I’m fine, that I am who I am, that this is natural, that I know who I am, that I can think for thirty seconds and suddenly diagnose all of my issues. I can’t let anyone tell me what my issues are, because they are always wrong and it’s only valid if I come to terms with it first.

I am a cold, cold man. I’ve probably done half of this to myself – everything I miss, everything I regret, everything that I don’t like about myself – a good portion of it could probably be remedied if I didn’t force myself into a little corner where only I exist, and only I know who I am.

But the problem I have now is that after doing that for this long, now I’m at the point to where I feel like I don’t exist.

So, I play the songs – Cold, Cold Man by Saint Motel, Texas by Magic Man, and Bloom by The Paper Kites to name a few that are hitting particularly hard right now – and let it wash over me like a rainbow of colors against a blank canvas. I feel human. I feel alive. I feel like I am Brandon again. In touch with who I was and who I am and who I hope to be.

Then, they fade away. Memories locked back in my head again waiting for the moment that they can come back and show me myself. Waiting for the songs to play.

I’m hoping one day, everything will finally come together and I’ll connect with the world and all of me comes back to me. The puzzle will finally be completed again, and you’ll be able to see the entire image for what it is.

Until then, I’ll be here, listening to the songs play over and over again, washing over me until I flood.