Needed Love vs. Wanted Love

Standard

Not all love is equal.
I spent a year and eight months in a relationship with someone I loved dearly – but the love that was there was misguided. It wasn’t healthy. It was off-key and headed for all the wrong directions and based on so many things that love shouldn’t be based on, and overall… it was wrong. It was wrong to drag it out for so long.
I’m sure plenty of people face the same sort of circumstances. Loving someone for the wrong reasons, or staying for the wrong reasons, regretting so much time spent in a haze now that you can finally see clearly – I never thought twice about it. I was so sure that this relationship was where I was meant to be, so content with my own perception of destiny and my own fears of being alone that I forced something together that didn’t really even fit that well to begin with.

I cut off pieces of me to fit in with them. And this occurs to many people. This is because that I needed to be in love. I needed them to be in love with me. Regardless of what kind of relationship it was and how it affected us and the people around us, I needed it. We both did. And it was a catastrophe.
Love shouldn’t be based in need. I was lonely – a series of events and misguided choices had led me to a place where I shouldn’t have been and where I felt immensely out-of-place. I felt different and alone and like I was going to spend three years of my life stuck with just myself for company. I was depressed and anxiety ridden and a mess.
Then I met them. They were depressed and anxiety ridden and mess. We came together under the same sort of false understandings of destiny and how we thought life to work. We bonded over similar interests, including mental illness. We became close, and eventually we started dating – because they liked me, and I was lonely. And I was so happy to have someone who actually liked me and wanted to be with me, I jumped on it regardless of whether or not I truly felt like I wanted to be with them.
I needed that relationship dearly. I needed them. Over time, I do feel like I developed a wanting for them – I do think I valued the relationship as more than just an escape and self validation. But that feeling was frequently fleeting, and when it was just myself sitting alone and thinking about why I was there – I knew it was because I couldn’t bring myself to go anywhere else.

I was scared. I didn’t want to be alone again. I didn’t feel like I had many friends, I felt like I wasn’t noticed, I felt like I was just a mess relying on someone else who was also a mess to keep me company.
That wasn’t right, I realize now. It wasn’t right to keep something going for so long when I knew from almost the beginning what it was. But I cared for them, and I didn’t want to lose their friendship, and I didn’t want them to be alone either – so it made sense to just stay wallowing together.

Needed love accomplishes nothing. It creates nothing. It doesn’t build people or lets them grow – instead, it keeps them stagnant and complacent with whatever was going to come, and it makes them comfortable. So comfortable in what they have, that they don’t want to lose that sense of control for fear of spinning out of it.

Wanted love, on the other hand…
After I ended that relationship, I was content with my being alone. I enjoyed it, even. I liked the freedom. I liked the concept of being myself, not myself plus someone.
I truly felt like I would’ve been like that for a while. Because I truly was content being with just myself. And I felt like I had grown from that alone – and I knew I had made the right choice.

But there was someone who I had known for a while who came along – someone who I would’ve never guessed I would’ve ended up with. I enjoyed them. I enjoyed their company. I enjoyed who they were and what we were and for a while we were just… I have no clue. But my point is, is that eventually it grew into a relationship that I really wanted to be in.
I didn’t need it. If it didn’t happen, that was fine. I just enjoyed them so much and I liked them more than anybody and I wanted to be with them.

I feel content, in that section of my life. I find myself loving them in a way that I didn’t quite understand before. I want to love them, and I do, and it’s truly the best relationship I’ve ever had the pleasure of being in. And with the way it’s going, I hope it sticks around for a long time.  It seems like we want it to.
And I’m glad I have the opportunity.

I feel like I’ve grown quite a bit. I feel like I’ve found myself a bit more than I did before. I feel more content simply being myself and going through life as myself. Trying to fake it through may feel fine for a little while, but after a bit it’s just gonna drag you down. It’s okay to need time – just don’t try to lie to yourself about your intentions.
Relationships that are built on the desire to be with one another first and foremost, like I’ve finally found – I think it really helps. And at the end of the day, you really should be with someone you want to be with. Someone that builds up who you are, makes you into a better version of yourself than you were before, and really just makes life a joy to live in.
Destiny may or may not be real.
But there are things right before our eyes for us if we just take the time to look around.

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

– Brandon, 2:24 PM

Behind the Curtain

Standard

Scream a song of rain and water
Reach out to me from beyond the ocean
Call my name and preach your devotion
To the man behind the curtain
Restore that lost faith that you had in me
But never truly be certain
That this is where you want to be

Scream out, a song of flame and iron
Leave me to drown
And as I go under
Read from the gospel
Of that deadly belief
That there is more beyond the horizon
Then what your eyes can see
And that you’ll make your way up there
By giving up on me

I never preached my innocence
I never tried to plead against my fate
I quietly laid there – always content to wait
I could admit I was wrong and that’s more than can be said for you
Hiding behind the thin pages
Of some ancient, mistranslated text
Take my life
But leave me the rest
I’ll meet you again, someday
Fighting against the ocean’s tide
My prayers won’t ever be answered;
But at least neither will yours

And I’ll find comfort in that,
As I wash up on that dark shore
That as much as you want faith
Beyond the sea, behind the horizon  –
For you, there is nothing more.

One Day We’ll All Be Found

Standard

Sometimes, it isn’t a matter of not knowing where I’m going, it’s just a matter of how I’m going to get there. I occasionally will look at where I am in life and wonder how the hell I got there – but I figure that if I am here and I’m alive and well than this must be where I am meant to stay. And that’s difficult, sometimes, if it differs from where I thought I’d be. I look around and see people and I think that they have such a good hold on their life. It seems like all these faces around me know what they want to do and how to get there and they’re just following the map down the road to their desired destination. I’m sure they too have issues and worries and fears – but from the outside, it’s scary to be in a place of struggle and uncertainty when your friends and peers seem to have such a grasp on where they want to be.

Here, at nearly twenty years old, I didn’t think I’d look like this. I didn’t think I’d dress like this. I didn’t think I’d be into the things I’m into. I didn’t think I would be at the job I’m at, have the friends I have, be in the relationship I’m in… and the thing is, I didn’t think a lot of this merely six months ago. I was a vastly different person just last year and while I enjoy where I am – I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever been in, I’m healthy and look better than ever, I have more opportunity than I probably ever have – what’s frightening is the fact that I have no clue how I got here.
I feel like I don’t remember a second of the journey.
I feel like I was sitting in my head while life played out and I didn’t have a hand in it.

But, maybe that’s alright. It’s probably for the best. Had I gotten involved, I probably would’ve fucked it up. I would have taken one wrong turn, followed the directions of the wrong sign and somehow ended up in the middle of the Pacific ocean. I am grateful to be where I am. I just wish I could set autopilot on, go to sleep for a little bit, and wake up in my fully fledged and realized life, that way I wouldn’t have to worry about where I’m going.

Everyone worries about destiny. I think that’s what it boils down too – and whether you believe in a set destiny or you believe in free will, you have to realize that at the end of your life you will have made one set of decisions. You will have gone down a path and might not even know about the alternatives. There is a destination for us all, and while we choose where it lies, we WILL end up there – at the foot of our graves. And as I’ve stated, I do believe that things occur the way they should. I believe that any disorder will be ironed out and the universe has a way of getting where it wants to go and putting us on a path it thinks we should go. That gives me some solace – having a bit of faith in this great vacuum we all live in.

One day, we’ll all be found. No longer lost, just hanging around.

 Here I stand, worried and concerned and screaming into the vacuum itself. But even though I’m scared, I know that I have a destination. I’m not driving down an endless road, there’s a place up ahead – however far – where I am supposed to be. It’s tiring, and stressful, but despite everything I know that one day we’ll all be found.
And when that day comes, when we stand out and look up at sky and realize that we have finally reached that destination, I hope that it brings us contentment. I hope we find joy in it. I hope that we will be there, no longer lost, and the fact that we’ve made it overwhelms us emotion – because there is no better place to be.

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

– Brandon, 1:14 PM

Are You Happy? – 2017

Standard

For the vast majority of my life, I’ve suffered from clinical depression. I remember being about eight years old and writing in a journal, and in it I wrote something along the lines of “I’ve been feeling really sad, lately, though I don’t know why. I shouldn’t be sad, because nothing really bad is going on. At least I don’t have that medical sadness.”

I meant clinical depression. Boy, was I in for a ride. I knew as that creeping shadow of sadness moved in, there wasn’t a reason, it just occurred. It didn’t care how my life was going, what was going on, how I was – it just hit me senselessly and beat me until I couldn’t stand up.
Back then, I remember who I was – I was a nerdy little kid, pudgy, and I wore glasses. I had a couple of friends, but I was vastly unpopular. This continued throughout middle school and much into high school with small differences here and there. I thought no one liked me – any friends I had, I thought they talked to me out of pity. I thought I was good at nothing – any thing I enjoyed doing, I thought it was terrible. I thought I was destined for a life of being unhappy. A life of mediocrity. As time went on, I didn’t enjoy being with people. Or with myself. I didn’t do anything. I was me, and that was not something I particularly enjoyed being.

In eighth grade, after some stuff went down, I got diagnosed with my depression and was put on medication. I took it for about two-three years, then once the huge rain cloud dissipated, I stopped because I didn’t want to be a zombie – not sad, but not happy. A slave to my own head. High school was not much better for me – I was in band, which I didn’t fit into and failed to gain many friends. I, once again, found myself with few friends and few things that I enjoyed.
I was left on my own.

But something happened. Partially junior year and into senior year, things changed – I got into theatre, and found that I was good at it. I was getting friends. People enjoyed me and my company. I was, in such a strange twist of events, becoming popular to certain degrees. I was cast as the lead in that year’s musical, and I had a whole group of people who I could truly call friends.
I felt like I was home.

But here’s the kicker – was I happy? Was I happy? I asked myself that. I thought long and hard, and I began to realize that I wasn’t good at this. I got my roles by chance and sheer luck. When people told me I was good, they were lying to make me feel better. No one enjoyed my company. I had interjected myself in and they dealt with it. People didn’t like me – they tolerated me. And it would be better if I just shut up and finished the year and got out, for my sake and everyone else’s.

It came for me again. And was I happy? No. Had I ever been? I wasn’t sure. Maybe it was just a guise. Who knows.

And so here I stand with the thought in my head, lingering – Am I happy? Are you happy? Why? I’ve tried to enter 2017 with the mantra that the universe unfolds the way it should. I’ve tried to sit back and let things happen but that’s hard to do when you so desperately want to control it. I want to reach in and make things happen the way I want, but every time I do that, it just turns out worse. No matter how I change myself to somehow be like everyone else, it seems like I’m getting pulled further away.

Now, am I just delusional?
That’s what I worry about.
But what does a person need to do to truly feel that sense of happiness? Not a fleeting spark of emotion that comes with an experience. Not the happiness that comes from someone’s touch. I mean the happiness that comes with standing alone with yourself and being able to smile without thinking about it.

I’ll be twenty this year. I don’t know where I’m going, and I’m confused as to where I’ve been. I don’t have much faith in myself and I can’t bring myself to put my faith in a god to work it all out for me. So much has happened in the past two years, and my life has completely changed. There’s a lot that’s been good, but there’s a lot of bad there and I struggle not to focus on the shit that’s happened.

Here’s 2017. We’re ten days in. I’m ready and prepared and despite my fears and the thoughts that tell me to pull back, I’m gonna try to move forward. I’m going to continue to write. I’m going to build myself up. I’m going to be something I want to be and I will not be afraid to let that be my face. I will tear down the masks and try to be what I want to be for the first year of my life. Planting flowers so this year can bloom.
Here it is. Here we go.
Good luck.

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

– Brandon, 3:46 PM

River Bed

Standard

Baby, put your head on me
Lay down and start to dream
Let the wind be your melody
Close your eyes
And believe

 

Times will get easier
As the days go by
Simple songs and quiet words
The ways to make you cry
On your back, we’ll go down
On that river bed
So come with me, darlin’,
And lay down your head

 

Honey, I know
The world seems to be getting a little darker
Times are getting tough
And the air grows colder
And it won’t get any better –
‘Till the night-time is over
But grimace through your whiskey
And take my hand
We’ll brave the ocean blue until we see land

 

Times will get easier
As the days go by
Simple songs and quiet words
The poems that made you cry
Push down your suitcase
With the bible you never read
So come with me, darlin’,
And lay down your head.

Honey, these days will go by –
Like seconds on a clock
One more time to worry
One more wayward thought
All those hymnals you sang
And all those verses you were taught
But just take my hand, and we’ll go down
Across that river bed
It’ll be okay, darling –
Just rest your weary head.

Vastness

Standard

Life is such a strange place. The very concept of being is so strange, so hard to grasp, that we spend the majority of it trying to break it down into small, easy to digest pieces that our own minds can comprehend. Which makes sense, right? We’re thrust into this world, these realm of senses, of physical being, of responsibility and pain and pleasure and wonder and we never once asked for it. We never asked to be granted entry. It simply happens, whether you wanted it or not. No one asks if you’d prefer the oblivion before it.

Life is a beautiful place. I don’t regret a single moment I’ve spent wrapped in it, and I don’t regret continuing to live it. It is strange and hard, but beautiful and wondrous and so worth living. Despite that, though, it doesn’t change that it is so very vast. As I said, life is so strange that we have to try and decipher meaning from it. We write poetry, we create art, we try to make it all make sense with some grand being up above that created us for… so because it could. The sadistic fuck.
We do this because it lessens the confusion. It makes a little sense of it. We take the very concept of being, and we put it to metaphor. We put it against music.  We philosophize and hypothesize because unless we try to make sense of it, the pure vastness of it swallows us whole.

Why are we here? Who put us here? What meaning does my life hold? How the hell can I be expected to go forth and be fruitful when I am but a speck in the grand scheme of things. I may be able to move mountains, but those mountains are nothing compared to the star systems and trillions upon trillions of planets that exist above us. Everything spins – if you’re silent and still, you swear you can feel the turn of Earth around the sun, moving so fast and if we don’t cling to it and to each other, we might just slip…

I’m no different than anyone else. I am a wholly insignificant player in this game. I barely move grains of sand, let alone mountains, and I’ll be lucky if more than ten people remember me six months after I’m gone.
Yet I feel like I’m more. I stare through these eyes, and I move and walk through my life, I make choices and I craft worlds and I know that I am my whole life. I matter. To what, to whom? Perhaps just myself. But that’s something.

And it’s slightly frightening. Time moves faster and faster. I have many years left, sure, but it continues to slip between my fingers. What am I doing? Am I doing as much as I could? Why do I get up, go about my routine, go to work just to fund the cycle, and continue onward? What is the point? Why continue when everything is so god damned vast and so god damn frightening and confusing and everywhere you look, the meaning of it all escapes you?

Vastness scares me. I am afraid of the depths of the ocean, the far reaches of space, and just how much I don’t know and am unaware of. Maybe that’s why people go to God. It gives them something tangible to focus on and it gives them meaning. They move forward for Him. They live because it’s what He wants, and in the end He will reward them. Because with God, there is a purpose. Does anyone want to believe there isn’t a purpose? God is a comfort, there is no denying that. Once again, it’s a way to make sense of something we are so unable to comprehend.

I tried believing in God. I also tried not believing in God. Just like nearly everything I do, I find myself inadequate in both – I can’t devote myself as a follower of a deity, but I can’t completely reject the fact that one exists, watching over us all. I play it safe and call myself an Agnostic, because it’s the easy way out. I feel that just lends more uncertainty to myself.

But I digress.The point is, I find myself growing more weary and more afraid as I try to attach meaning to everything. I’m not a nihilist, or some dark depressed fool who is going to do nothing because everything has no meaning. I have meaning. But I won’t exist forever. There will come a day where I won’t write another word. I won’t think another thought. My jokes and my personality and everything that I know and have known for all these years just won’t be. And it gets even worse – reincarnation doesn’t even console me, because if I’m born as someone else, then THIS still won’t matter! I will be back on square one, trying to figure it out all over again. Is this all just a scientific coincidence? We just came to be accidentally? Or is there an omniscient force who created us for their own purposes? Or are we all just blips of energy in the huge sea of the universe, crashing on the shore for a short while only to be pulled back in later on?

Is this all just a hallucination?
Just a simulation?
Maybe it’s the matrix, or a video game, or…

Or maybe life just is what it is. A vast sea of crazy, improbable, ultimately meaningless but no less beautiful and important to us.
Perhaps there is no purpose. And we’re just here by chance, to do with our life whatever we can.  Pull whatever meaning we want.

It’s so crazy and scary and when I look at the sky and think – I still feel like I’m being swallowed whole.

I don’t know.

But I’m alive. I’m here. I’m me, and I enjoy doing what I do. And I have many more years to enjoy, with all luck.
And I should probably just stop taking it for granted and go out there and do something. Anything.

Just live.

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

– Brandon, 11:48 PM

 

On the Matter of Exercising and Dieting

Standard

This post is going to be simple.
Non-controversial.
Easy to read.

This is all from ME… with personal experiences to boot. If you’re struggling with some of these things, I’ll give you some advice. Otherwise, you can leave this post alone.

Let’s talk about exercising.

Exercising – some people love it, some people hate it, some people know they should but don’t.
For a long time, I had a problem being active at all. I didn’t play sports, and the only thing that moved was my mouth when I ate.
I stayed on my computer, I played video games, and ate an entire frozen dinner for a snack.

I eventually began to gain a lot of weight.
I was skinny, for a long period of time. Like, real skinny. But I began to get broader, I gained muscle mass, and… fat mass.
Skipping ahead some, once I began over two hundred pounds I felt like something was off.
But I kept going.

Now, I have never been obese, let me get that out of the way. I’ve been a little over chubby, but always under obese. I was simply overweight, and I knew it. But I had a big problem with overeating, and lack of activity.

Growing up, of course, will switch your body around some. I am a big guy by nature, broad shoulders like a linebacker, thick upper arms. I haven’t been the 4’11, 106 pound little sixth grader for a while.
So things switched around. A couple months ago, I weighted about two hundred and thirty three pounds.
I’m about the same build and size as my father, and yet I weighted more than him.
Then, I realized I had a camp coming up that required lots of activity.
And then I just decided that I was tired of being a chubby guy.

That’s when I started the dieting.

Dieting is hard, for a lot of people. What to eat, when to eat, how to eat. For a while I played around with the ideas of juicing, the grapefruit diet, even the starvation diet. All sorts of gimmicky ways to lose weight.
Then, I found the most efficient way to diet, that beat out any plan, any paid organization, anything.

It was simply the practice of counting calories.

Look it up, there is a lot of websites that can tell you what you should weigh, (although those are usually a bunch of malarkey, because they don’t take into account muscle weight), and tell you how many calories you should consume to either lose, maintain, or gain weight.

Now a lot of these differed, so I originally went with a two thousand calorie a day diet.

But it was hard to count those calories, especially if the serving size was something weird like one half milli-teaspoon of a cup.
Then once again, there was something great.

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days. And we know that these phones can almost due anything.

Including count your calories for you.

If you are looking to watch what you eat, and diet a little, I cannot recommend the app AND website, www.myfitnesspal.com more.
When you start up the app, or go to the website, you create an account and put in some information. Height, weight, age, etc…

Then it tells you how many calories you should eat a day.
And then… when ever you eat a meal, you just put it into the app or website.
It has a LOT of different foods in their database. You can also can bar-codes with your camera for easy adding. And if there something that they don’t have, you can just create a new food and put it in yourself.

You can track the food you eat, the calories you consume, and also… it can track the calories you burn.

At first, you’ll have to figure it out yourself. Figure out how long you went on that run, and then it will generate the calories you’ve burned, and put that back in the calories you can eat for that day.

There is another app and website, called www.mapmywalk.com, and if you sync it with My Fitness Pal, every time you walk… run… treadmill, whatever, it will take it and automatically put it into your account, giving you back those calories.

A little tip, there… treat those calories like a budget. You have to get what you need, you can’t spend over the budget, and you should always save a little if you can.
That sort of mentality works really well when using this.

And that’s all for dieting… but for exercising?

Like I said before, some love it and some hate it.
And I’ve really grown to enjoy it.
Putting it in my schedule and doing it everyday is something I look forward too as I go to sleep at night.
And once again, there are a few apps that can help you with it.

Pushup/Squat/Sit-up/ Pro.
These are apps that are really simple. When you first open them, you do a little endurance test to see how many of whatever one you are using you can do.
Then it generates a series of rounds for you to do based on that, and when you do them… you just put the tablet or phone on the ground, and do a push-up, touching your nose to a big button in the middle of the screen.
Every touch is counted as one.
Then it calculates what you can do, what you should do, and what you will be doing next.

I also enjoy the Johnson and Johnson Seven Minute Workout.
Very intense. Very fast paced. All you need is yourself, a floor, a wall and a chair and you’ll be set.
For the first few times, you’ll be sweating bullets if you give it your full.

Last thing I can recommend is sort of an all around thing. It doesn’t even have to be an app.

Get a pedometer. App or physical device, get one. It is really nice to go on a walk/jog/run, and see your progress right there. It gives you a reason to keep going, almost like a game, keep trying to beat your high-score.

And that’s all I really have today. I just wanted to keep it simple, easy, and a little personal. No deep thinking today.

Thanks for your time, and if any of this applies to you, I wish you the best in your endeavors.

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

– Brandon, 2:55 PM

 

Welcome, welcome…

Standard

Of course, at this point in time, I am quite unheard of. You might not even read this post, nobody might ever read this post. The purpose of this post anyways, isn’t to entertain, to inform or persuade you. This is merely a post of formalities, and a way to say hello.

At the time of my writing this, I have recently finished writing, and published my first book, Creation; an anthology of American poetry. It was a long and daunting road, but I feel more accomplished than I think I ever have before. I realize there is still a lot more work to be done, and I’m still working hard to make a name for myself, but I have a feeling good things are still yet to come.

If you feel so inclined, please take a wander around my rather small website. Mi casa es su casa, after all. There isn’t much right now, but I write insatiably so there is going to be updates and more features fairly often.

And if you came across this site at this early point in my writing ventures and took the time to read this… give yourself a pat on your back. Go get yourself a cookie. You deserve it.

And since your already here, go check out my book. Couldn’t hurt to take a look, right?