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I Always Get What I Want

They say:

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need.

I’m not a huge Rolling Stones fan, however even though I understand that philosophy, I politely disagree. In some ways, I always get what I want, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

We have this suspended belief in life that it is somehow a selfish act to want something, then go out and get it. Personally I don’t see how this is a bad thing at all, unless you are royally fucking someone over in the process of getting it,  and I don’t mean like making plans and then breaking them to do something else, I mean it’s a bad thing if you pull a 2008 housing market crash to get what you want. Wanting more money isn’t inherently a bad thing, but if the act of getting it hurts someone else in the long run, to me that is inexcusable. It’s not money that is the root of all evil, it’s greed.

I consider myself a honorable friend and a good person. In no way will I deliberately fuck over someone for personal gain. How do I know this? Because I’ve done it in the past and I didn’t like myself afterwards and I promised myself I’d never do it again. I was a shitty person for awhile when I was younger and even though I tried to cover it up or make excuses for those selfish actions, the truth always comes out in the end. Sometimes in an inconvenient way.

I’ve had rifts with my lifelong friends that I never want to go through again, and each day since, I try my hardest to avoid those perils in my life.

I’m honest, but I’m not transparent. I’m supportive, but I’ll always speak my mind if I disagree, and even though part of my job is to bullshit with people, I’m not a liar and I’ll always say what I mean because the world needs to hear it.

I’d like to think I’m a good judge of character, but my experiences this last year living in Seattle has left me with the notion that when it comes to matters of the heart, sometimes I let shitty people into my life, but not anymore. I want people who are honest and who are trustworthy and who understand that it’s not always important to be right, as it is to be fair. And like I said before, I always get what I want.

I have always lived my life for me, and in some ways I have always gotten what I wanted, although it never happen exactly the way I planned, or it’s never precisely what I expected. I think that’s alright as long as I realize that my wants must be genuine, and my actions to get them must be honest and commendable. If that’s the case, then I don’t see anything wrong with the idea of putting yourself first to get anything in life, especially if it helps someone else.

Maybe the Rolling Stones were on to something with that song, but I feel like the lyrics need to be tweaked just a bit to fit into my personal experiences. Perhaps it’s like this….

“You can’t always get what you want, but you will always get what you deserve.”

As someone who has proof of that concept, I like those lyrics a lot better.

roccojerks

Sometimes, Rabbits are Jerks

Recently I was in Hollywood to decompress, visit friends and help one of them move, and to figure out the answer to the question..”What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” While I was in L.A. part of my job was to watch Tasha’s bunny Rocco for a few days while she was moving stuff out of one apartment, and into another. I had a great time hanging with Rocco, playing with him, and feeding him his daily cheez-it treat, but I found out something new about this bunny that I never saw first hand. Sometimes, he can be a real jerk.

Rocco and I got along famously when Tasha and I lived together and shared an apartment a few years ago. he and I bonded, took selfies, and played and watched TV. He would occasionally get into little amounts of trouble by chomping on the walls and trying to eat power cords, but that’s expected with a bunny.  However I never expected the acting out in a blatant spiteful way like he did my last morning in Hollywood.

Tuesday night I brought a pretty bird back to my hotel I had met that weekend. Keep in mind I mean the slang word for “girl” and not an ACTUAL bird. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, I introduced her to Rocco and he liked her immediately. Rocco is a flirt, and loves attention regardless of if it’s male or female, so when she and I were making out on one of the queen sized beds in my room at the Hollywood Super 8, Rocco would jump to see what was going on and to try and “get pets” from us by forcing his little head under one of our hands. It was cute, and it was kind of funny, so I played along for awhile. Then I noticed something. He was getting a little bit….jealous.

When we went back to making out and stopped paying attention to him, he decided to jump on the pillow and started scratching and ripping it up as both our heads were using it. I shooed him away and he ran to the chair where I had my leather bag and jacket. I look up a few seconds later and he’s trying to eat my Kenneth Cole messenger bag so I scold him like any animal guardian would, and make him get off the chair and back on the floor where he belongs. He proceeds to jump up on the other bed in the room, and starts nibbling on and ripping up the cover sheet, like a jerk. Like a way of saying, “Fuck you Christian, I’m gonna do what I wanna do.” A bunny after my own heart.

I don’t care at this point about the $5 hotel sheet this rabbit is ruining, so I go back to my grabbing and pawing, and Rocco goes back to the destruction of property.

At around 5am I wake up to the very loud sound of Rocco eating a road atlas from 2012. He is tearing out the pages reminiscent of that scene from Dead Poets Society when Robin Williams tells his students to rip out the first 15 pages of their textbook. Rocco is TRYING REAL HARD to get me to notice him, obviously.  I get out of bed and walk over ready to question his motives, but what catches my eye is not the damage he had done to the bed sheet, it was the 23 little perfectly rounded poops that he left at the scene of the crime.

First of all, he knows better because he’s litter box trained. I’ve seen a few turds here and there over the years, but this was an epic shit fall that I know was pre meditated. Rocco was clearly not happy that I had a girl over, but why would he act so sweet in one moment, and then so ridiculously like an asshole the rest of the night?

I know animals can be jerks, I mean just look at chiuauauas and other little dogs like that. Most of the time they are just yipping little dickhead rat dogs with Napoleon complexes. But Rocco and I shared time. He’s my boy, my pal, my bunny confidant. Why was he being such a dick?

When Tasha picked me and Rocco up, I had to tell her what happened. She has always told me Rocco can have an attitude sometimes, but I had never seen it first hand. It made sense that he wanted attention, but did he have to try and cock block me too?

“He was mad at you because he knew the girl wasn’t his Mom.” Tasha said.

Now it all started to make sense. When Rocco, Tasha and I lived together years ago, he never really saw me or Tasha with other males or females. He certainly never saw us making out because we had evolved to being best friends, but we also never brought over a significant other out of respect. Plus it would probably be weird to say to a date “and here’s my bedroom where I sleep 3 feet and one queen sized bed away from my ex girlfriend. Wanna make out?”

Rocco was pissed at me because he probably thought I was doing something bad like cheating on Tasha, hypothetically. If I’m a rabbit and I see my “father figure” touching on a girl who isn’t my mother figure, I’d be pissed too, especially if I had never seen two people hook up before. He acted out and ripped up that bed as a way of protesting the fact that he wanted more attention and he probably thought I was doing something wrong, which clearly, I was not. This was just a case of misunderstanding, and a funny way to find out that Rocco can really be a jerk sometimes.

26-1-2017
Dear Rocco,
If you’re reading this blog, I sincerely apologize I didn’t pay you enough attention that night. I know you’ve never caught feelings for a girl and maybe as a bunny you have a lot of pent up sexual tension. So destroy whatever sheet, bag or book you want next time, but please don’t shit on the bed in a motel like a a vagrant. Have some class. Remember that Tasha and I had a chance to neuter you, but decided against it. You’re welcome

Love,
Christian

dontbeanidiot

Don’t Be An Idiot

Sometimes I get these thoughts in my head that are detrimental to my otherwise positive outlook. It’s an old habit of never really believing that everything is going to be ok, as if there is some magic switch that turns on and off the good luck and wonderful things I have in my life that make me happy.

Funny thing is, there IS such a magic switch. It’s that annoying part of my brain that sometimes thinks like an idiot, and even though I have been off REAL drugs for quite some time, when I catch myself thinking that way, I feel like it’s my brain…. on drugs. (enter egg in a frying pan)

I always know things will work out for me, but the process of getting there is occasionally a mixture of positive thinking combined with a tepid level of creating troublesome scenarios in my head that may never even happen. Duh.

For example, before I moved into my new apartment, I dramatized about them not accepting the fake letter I made from my old job in L.A. saying I was still currently employed so I could prove my employment, when in fact, I was unemployed. Or how about the classic case of when someone says I love you to me and I’ll always be there for you, and then when I’m not with that person, a part of my brain starts to doubt it. Or sometimes when I feel my wrist getting sore from constantly pouring drinks at work, I imagine me having to take some time off from bartending and I worry I will lose money.

These are all prime examples of a stupid and idiotic way to think, and guess what, I know I’m not an idiot, so why think like one?

The good news is I am now more able to catch myself when I have those thoughts, and immediately I tell myself not to think that way. Not to be a slave to my fleeting emotions. Not to get caught up in what isn’t really happening, but instead live in the moment.

I’ve been saying that line for over fifteen years, yet in the last week I have had two different people suggest to me that I follow those words during this time. Live in the moment.

It’s pretty easy to say that, but what does it really mean?  I guess for me to live that way, I need to define what those four words are really suggesting.

When I find myself thinking unwarranted negative thoughts, I’m going to look up and see what’s right in front of me, and appreciate it. When I’m driving or riding the bus to work, instead of letting my mind wonder, I’m going to put on a song that makes me feel like the confident man I am, and I won’t be ashamed even if my voice cracks when I sing along. When I miss my girl,  I ‘ll text her “I miss you” cause if she were there, I wouldn’t be so lovesick. And when I’m thinking about my future, I might want to remember that it’s a direct cause of the present, and that I should live in the moment, and not focus on what is yet to come.

Everything that has come into my life these past three months has happened so fast, I’m only now able to catch up and make sense of it all. It’s a juggling act that started when I took a huge risk for the third time and chose to change everything outside my proverbial window. Part of, if not all of the reasons why I’m writing this is to remind myself I lived in the moment for the last three months, it sure seemed to work out, and I’m currently reaping the benefits yet recently I feel like I was stuck in a mental blockade. I was resorting to idiotic ways of thinking and that doesn’t feel like me at all.

Maybe I need some therapy, or maybe I need to re-read some of the things I wrote a few months ago when I was confident as fuck. THAT guy would say to me  “Hey dude,….you got this, and there is no way that getting what you want is a bad thing, unless you flip that stupid fucking switch and try to sabotage yourself.”

I can’t let that happen. This is a challenge, and one that I’m ready for.

So I choose to turn off the negative and flip the switch in my brain back to an assured polished smart ass, instead of a weak and paranoid dumbass. This is good. My life is good. This is what I have, and this is what I want, because this is who I am now.  That’s living in the moment.

Every day of my life I must remember to look up, let go, and listen to the sounds and sights of the world that are right in front of my face. I need to stop focusing on what isn’t really happening, and instead pay attention and nurture what I actually have.  That’s the best advice I can give to myself. To me, that’s living in the moment, and the opposite of acting like an idiot, which is what we all should strive to do in our lives.

“Whenever I’m about to do something I ask myself, would an idiot do that? And if they would, I do NOT do that thing.”

– Dwight K. Schrute

 

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For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic

I’ve always believed in being an optimist, but strive to try to not be one to a fault. I guess I had no choice back in ’99 when I started thinking overtly positive, and yeah maybe always thinking on the bright side got a bit out of hand but I knew no other way to live.  I try to see the perfection in every thing, and by that I mean the positive AND negative and that can be a tricky game to play, especially when some things happen that I regard as “bad.”  Bad is just the opposite of what I want to have happen. See?  I just did it right there. I’ve trained myself pretty well.

This is my life, and I’ve chosen to try and find the good in everything even though with each situation that becomes a challenge, but just like the title says, for a pessimist, I’m pretty optimistic. There is a song with that same name and I have no shame in admitting I stole it for the title of this blog. It fits, and this is the realest I have been with myself all week. I’m sitting on my patio on Memorial Day drinking a skinny bitch and typing out my fuck yous to the world, all while I try to perfectly transpose my self inflicted rhetoric on a computer screen. I don’t know if this is what the war veterans had in mind for a celebration, but I thank them for their service today while I try to make my complaining look an art form.

I’m not really a pessimist at heart, but I swing so far to either side sometimes, that it almost makes me feel like I could be fooling myself into thinking I’m an optimist. But who cares if I am?  I’m rarely let down with things in my life for more than a minute and believe me, I can get over anything pretty quickly.  But if I can be totally honest, the only way I wake up disappointed is when someone else lets me down. I try not to let that happen a lot, but unfortunately, it’s not entirely up to me.

However, I do suffer from the case of the “slightly dramatics” and sometimes I’ve been known to make it out to be the worst thing in the world…. for about five to ten minutes.   Even though I’m still a member of the drama club at age 40, BELIEVE me, I’m not as bad as I was when I was eighteen, nineteen, or twenty, so in my head I think I’ve made progress and I’m cool with that.

I have to cry out loud some of the time, but then I have to laugh out loud the rest of the time because those acts remind me not to be so fucking serious. “Why so serious,” a dead celebrity once asked. Well, he certainly took his life, and took it seriously, and all that makes me think is I don’t want to be anything like the joker. I’d rather be the King.

The King of wishful thinking. Another song title that comes to mind. I don’t know if wishful thinking is the same as being an optimist, but it sure feels like I’ve been doing what works for me for 16 years and I’m pretty sure even in my darkest hour, I have found some light at the end of the tunnel.  When something is going the way I want it to, I’m highly optimistic about it, but when something is going backwards or when I don’t like the outcome, I’ll probably get bummed out for a minute before the phrase “I guess it wasn’t meant to be” comes creeping into my brain.  Sometimes that works, other times it’s all smoke and mirrors.

I believe that the shit gets better, and that the shit is never as bad as it seems, but I also believe that sometimes the shit needs to hit the fan, and I think it’s healthy when it happens every now and again. I think that I’ve been used to the worst thing always happening in my life, but I’m learning to train myself to think otherwise because I outgrew my fatalist quarter-life crisis attitude, and I’m outgrowing my foolish post traumatic stress way of thinking.

I’m learning to be the positive thinker with his head in the clouds, but his feet on the ground so that way I’m always connected to what I really know to be true which is that sometimes, I’m a pessimistic optimist, but it doesn’t matter as long as I’m a confident pessimistic optimist.

That’s literally all it takes.  I’m calling the shots in my life and I know what I know. I’ve gotten to where I’m at by being who I am, and so far I can’t complain about how it’s all worked out. So if I could sum it up in one ironic phrase, I’d have to say that for a pessimist, I’m pretty optimistic. You can just call me Mr. Brightside.

 

 

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The Only Way Is Up

I am not defined by the amount of time it took for me to be happy.

I am a culmination of every person I’ve ever loved, every girl I’ve ever dated, every guy I’ve called my friend, and every experience I’ve lived through that made me stronger and didn’t kill me in the process.

I took a calculated risk more than once and it paid off in dividends that can not be measured by any amount of material success.

I live my life on my own terms, hold myself up to my own standards, and if I fail I know it’s no one else’s fault but mine, and that level of responsibility makes me feel ok.

I do not blame anyone for the way things turned out except for myself, and when I wake up in a good mood, I know it’s because of the things I did to get me here.

I financed my present for a few years in the hopes that it would pay me back a hundred times over in the future, but what it really ended up doing was making me aware of the past fact that money doesn’t buy happiness, and that is a comforting thought which I’ve known all along.

I gambled everything for love a couple times in my life, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized every chance I took back then led me to have the patience, the luck, and the game face to finally know what to do when I hit the jackpot recently.

For a long time, I lived in the world of possibility days, until I finally made those possibilities a reality and chose to stop thinking that a better quality of life was simply a possibility that I didn’t deserve.

Sometimes I can’t believe how quickly everything I wanted in my life has become my reality, but then I remember that when I finally decided what it is that what I wanted, and when I finally figured out how to go about getting it, there is nothing anyone can say that will bring me down from this cloud.

The only way is up.

Break the rule concept

I Want To Break The Rules With You

I want to break the rules with you.

I want to light a fire and watch it burn from a safe distance while we sip champagne out of coffee mugs.

I want to read between the lines to understand you, until there are no lines on the page to read between anymore.

I want to polish those parts of who I am so I can be the best looking to you on the inside, as well as on the outside.

I want to reach the sky with you.

I want to look over and see you sitting next to me while we drive on a desert road, speeding  in the middle of the night with the sunroof open so the stars can guide us.

I want to jump in and splash everyone around us, and I want us to turn back and watch them smile even as the water cascades down their bodies.

I want to live the life that I never thought I could have, because for some reason everything I never thought of before seems perfectly possible now that I’m with you.

I want to break the rules with you.

 

 

 

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Leaving Los Angeles

Another one of my friends left Los Angeles recently. One by one my small group of East coast transplants that were living in Hollywood with me since the early 2000’s have come to the decision that the city of Angels just isn’t for them anymore, myself included. I had my own reasons for leaving, but the similarities as to what life path we took after we moved have been astonishing.

It seems like all of my friends have moved away, found good jobs, a level of happiness, and have gotten married, had kids, or got “wifed up” since they left Southern California, and even though it was never my plan to follow suit, it appears that I’m well on my way.

I am an artistic and creative person at heart, but a part of me knew how difficult it is to swim in the shallow waters of Hollywood. You can have all the talent in the world, but in the last 5 years, being rich and famous for nothing, has become the new being rich and famous for something. After a mediocre amount of success that allowed me to pay my bills without having a “in the meantime” job, I had to go back to bartending and it made me feel like a failure, even though I know I’m not. It got tougher on me as I watched every one of the friends I love leave southern California only to meet someone special and start a new life with them, until I chose to do the same thing.

I had a vision in my head of what I wanted my new life in Seattle to be, and even though I’ve only been here a little over three months, it has all fallen into place like some form of poetic justice. Sometimes I wake up in disbelief of how easy it has been and how smoothly things have worked out, but then I remember to stop thinking like a negative fatalist and just accept the fact that perhaps this time the other shoe is never going to drop, because I won’t let it happen.

When I lived in L.A I was stressed out all the time, and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was sad and depressed more times than I was happy, and I got used to having panic attacks because I felt like that was just part of the game. I did it for so long because I really believed in what I wanted to do with my life, but it never dawned on me until recently that even if I DID succeed and I sold that TV show, or I DID land that big role on Criminal Minds, would I have really been happy with coming home to an empty apartment and no one to share my life with except for my cat?

Would I have been able to look into the eyes of my bank account and know that it loved me too?  Would I have gotten into my car and felt alive and free stuck in traffic going eight miles per hour on the 101 at 11:54 pm on a Wednesday night? Fuck no! There is nothing about any of those scenarios that would have made me happy if that turned out to be my life. I think I just needed to admit that to myself, even though I knew it all along.

I know that this isn’t everyone’s experience in L.A., but the reality is that those examples I mentioned were what I was looking forward to. How fucking dismal would that life have been? What does it say about me that I couldn’t wait for the day when I didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet, or how I couldn’t wait for the night when I finally felt validated for all the time and effort I put into my career? I deserve better than to look forward to a life that is defined by how much money I can make.

I know a select group of people who are more talented writers, actors, and producers than half of the people who are actually making a living from it, but it’s kind of morose that talent doesn’t get you very far in Hollywood. I don’t want to feel like I wasted my talent in life, but what if my talent is to do the right thing and be a good person? What if I could be the best at being a great husband to my wife, or being the father that I never had? What if those things mean more to me now than a fleeting chance at fame ever did?

Even at 40, I’m still growing up. As I have watched and continue to watch my friends leave that town to follow their heart, I can’t help but be proud of all of them, including myself. Believe me, I understand it takes a lot of perseverance to stay in Los Angeles and to follow your dreams even after you are repeatedly rejected and told no.  I wish nothing but success for my friends who are still there who I know are going to make it, yet, at the same time, I feel like it takes a shit ton of guts to look around at the palm trees, the pretty people, and the 334 days of sunshine and tell yourself that this just isn’t for me anymore.

For me, it’s pretty simple. I left L.A. because all I’ve ever wanted in life was to be happy. It’s just that for the longest time I thought happiness was one thing, when in reality it has turned out to be something else.  And that something else looks a lot like my life right now.

Midnight-Road

The Midnight (Drive)

When I was younger and lived in New Jersey, I used to go on late night drives by myself around town. I would start out at point A and blast my music for the duration of the calculated loop I made around the city as I tried to clear my mind by speeding on the empty highways and letting the midnight wind blow through the open windows and sunroof in my car. It used to center me and it used to help me deal with what ever stress I had been feeling that week.

I loved taking those drives. There was never anyone on the road except for me, my car, and the occasional random vehicle or copper I would pass in the night.

As I got older, these late night drives stopped happening as much due to the fact that by the time I was 27 I was living in Los Angeles and regardless of where I was at midnight or 1 am, there was always traffic, not to mention I was reluctant to drive anywhere for fear of losing my parking spot. I remember taking one trip around the city looping around the City of Angels via the 101, to the 405, to the 110, and back to the 101. It was the most stressful forty five minutes of my life and had the complete opposite of a calming affect on me and my psyche.

Motorcycles passed me at a high rate of speed on either side of my car drowning out the tunes on my radio and making it almost impossible for me to enjoy the ride, and due to the overwhelming population of the city, there was almost never a place to go where it didn’t seem like everyone else was driving too as well. I thought to myself it was ok though because at least I had made it out of New Jersey and I was doing something with my life. 10 years have past since that night, and come to think of it, that was the last time I took one of those late night drives by myself.

Last night I got home kind of early from my second job, went upstairs to sit on the couch and sometime around midnight I decided to go for a drive. I guess for years I didn’t think about how driving in my car alone listening to music actually helped to calm me down and made me feel stress free, even if it was for only a fleeting moment. I put on a song I love to hear when I am driving, I sang along to the lyrics, and I drove up and down the hills of my North Seattle neighborhood heading down Rooosevelt and ending up at the QFC to pick up some coffee and some gummi life savers.

I started singing along to the lyrics of the song playing in my Prelude.

“I’ve been asleep in the drivers seat. I’ve been lost in my head for weeks. Trying to find what it is I need. Too goddamn tired to sleep.’

I had this flashback to when I was driving around in my late teens/early twenties and there was nothing that could get in my way. It made me smile. It was the perfect retro moment that was topped off by the perfect driving song by a band called The Midnight. I could actually enjoy being in my car and accelerating up to fifty miles an hour with no one else on the road even though I knew the speed limit was half that. I could drive till the coast was clear, or at least until that part of my brain felt less clouded. It just made me feel so much better.

I haven’t been very stressed out lately which I am happy to report, but I’ve been tired as fuck and restless at night, even though most of the time I can fall asleep within half an hour of getting home. There is a part of me that understands why I’ve been working a lot and how my routine of going from one job to the other has kind of burned me out, but it has made me more appreciative of these moments in life. It’s not that I couldn’t do it when I lived in L.A., but I was always felt so irresponsible out about wasting gas, or getting into an accident, and these were NEVER things I thought of back when I lived in Jersey when I tried to drive my problems away. I think I truly missed that part of my life and I’m so glad it is back for good.

Sometimes the only cure for the late April blues is to get into my car, put on some really good music and drive aimlessly. It’s probably the only time in my life when I don’t mind not knowing where I am going because I know where I’ve been, and I know where I am, and of course, I know the road I’m on will always take me back home.

bearded

The Question Answers the Question

In honor of throwback Thursday, here is a little post from over 9 years ago.  I started blogging on MySpace back in 2004, and every now and then I re-read some of the things I wrote and I try to figure out how that work applies to me today.  It was clear to me after reading this that I was in some sort of love/infatuation triangle.  These three women had been coming in and out of my life at different times since 1997.   In some ways they still are, if it’s as a memory, a phone call, or a rumor I hear through the grapevine. But just like I wrote in the blog, I don’t expect anything, I wait for no one, and ultimately I go my own way.  (and yes, that is a legitimate photo of me from 2007, beard and all)

Originally posted on MySpace.com/*starduster   

January 10th, 2007

I always believe that I will find out the reasons why something happened when I’m ready to hear it. Sometimes years go by and you think you’re ready every second that passes without hearing a single thing, but if I truly was prepared for the information, it would be here by now. Recently I have had to let go of some questions that were not being answered. It’s a hard thing to do & I would love to know why this happened, but life somehow has a way of timing every thing so perfectly.

So perfectly that when one handful of questions go unanswered, I now find out the answers to other questions like whatever happened to Seattle… three and a half years since I lost contact with her. For the time being I’m taking what’s on my plate one bite at a time even though I’m not sure what it is I’m looking at again. There’s this girl that once existed in my mind and recently she has had a change of heart. There’s another girl that exists in my body and I haven’t heard from her in months. I don’t know when I will see her again, but I’m sure it will happen someday. And then there’s the girl that lives in my spirit and she knows how to see right through to me, and she knows how to get my attention after three and a half years of remaining incognito.

There’s something about the way I walk down the street now that even I notice is different about me. There’s an air of positivity and confidence that along with a million other attributes helps to make up my aura that you can see from across the street on a cloudy day in L.A., or a rainy Thursday morning in the Pacific Northwest. I’d hope that my light can be seen to the shores of Jersey and perhaps as inland as Ohio but I’m not able to find that out right now, so I go with what I know and I let life show me the path I choose to take. I wait for nothing, and I don’t stop for any one because I’ve lifted my anchor for real this time and I’m out to see about a past destiny I almost forgot was ever an option again, until now.

Through it all, I’m sure I’ll have questions answered and new insights spring up.  I’m not sure what to expect anymore so I don’t expect anything, but if I know my life well enough it won’t let me forget what’s meant to happen, and it will never lead me any place I don’t want to be.  And right now, that’s right here, when this is right in front of me for the first time in awhile.  So I go my own way.

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I Think it’s Time I Better Call Saul

The story of how Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman is a fictional one, but last night when I was watching the latest episode on AMC, I could swear it was a mirror image of my life. I got home from a slow night at work, turned on the TV, and suddenly I could see me staring back at myself from a show about a criminal lawyer that is set in the past. No, I’m not a lawyer by any means, and I am no longer a criminal, but what caught my attention was how Jimmy was trying to find his identity in a new town at a new job when all he really wanted to do in life was to be happy and do the right thing.  Why can’t those two things go hand in hand?

In essence, that’s what I’ve been doing. Granted, I am not out there shopping for colorful suits, I didn’t have a huge signing bonus that I can’t afford to give back, and my story takes place in Seattle instead of Albuquerque, but just for last night there were so many striking similarities between Jimmy and Saul and I that I woke up this morning feeling like we were the same person, at least for forty four minutes.

Spoiler alert, for those of you who haven’t seen the TV show Breaking Bad, I’m not going to ruin any of it for you as this story takes place before and after that series. This isn’t so much a blog about television as it is a blog about how what I saw on television was so much like my life right now, that I had to comment on it. Jimmy, like myself has always been a square peg, but man how much we both try really hard to fit into a round hole.

I’m a creative person by nature, but I chose to leave the world of massive creativity behind when I left L.A. for Seattle in an effort to try and do the right thing by working my ass off to pay for my debt that I put myself in the last two years in Hollywood. I went into debt because I believed in what I was doing. I don’t mean a small debt like “I owe it to myself” I mean a pretty large debt that is the equivalent to one years worth of tuition to a semi-prestigious college somewhere where in the pacific northwest, or southwest depending on inflation.

Much like Jimmy, I got everything I wanted. The job, the second job, the “coco bolo” desk that I tried real hard to put together the other week, but in reality my desk was from IKEA, and everything I wanted wasn’t in a desk job. Eventually, Jimmy finds a way to get fired from his job so he can keep his signing bonus and go into private practice by himself in a future episode and become the grifty Saul Goodman that I know and love. But the thing is, that’s where the similarities stop and where my life starts to kick in.

Maybe I haven’t been very honest with myself, or maybe it has just become second nature for me to think that I want something, get it, and then decide it’s not for me anymore. My “Kim Wexler” reminds me not to be crazy and to remember that I have only been here two months to the day and I have accomplished a lot in those 60 days. Sure, I agree with her in theory, but then I start to see something I thought was so secure and tight begin to unravel. Maybe it was just a slow Monday,when I barely made thirty-five bucks, and maybe there was a reason that Jack in the Box burger made me feel nauseated before the end of the show. Regardless, the doubt began to manifest and I had to start questioning myself and wonder am I just like Jimmy, a square peg trying to fit into a place where he doesn’t naturally belong?

Much like the character on the show, I find myself bending the rules a little bit like I always have so life suits me better. I find myself taking a calculated risk to get to the place I need to go quicker, but no amount of back roads or shortcuts are going to get me where I need to go. I am doing what I thought was the best thing for me because it was honest, and don’t get me wrong, I believe honestly is always the best policy, but guess what….winning the lottery or robbing a bank would solve my problem in a heartbeat and I think if I got away with the latter or was lucky enough to hit the former, I would be able to deal with the ethical backlash, no problem.

I know I’m not stuck anywhere, and I know that I could get up and leave this all behind like I have three times before, but what would that prove? I can change my outfit like a chameleon to match what I see on the outside, but the truth is I don’t feel like someone who tucks in their shirt, and I won’t bring myself to do that anyway.

I know I’m going to end up being me, just like Jimmy/Saul did, but I don’t think I need to change my shirt or my name to do that. One reason is because I already did change my name back in 2002 when Better Call Saul actually takes place, the other reason is because I can’t afford a new shirt right now. Wow, the similarities are almost too much for me to handle.

I’m not going to sabotage this opportunity, or throw it all away for some foolish pride, because I remember it was the right decision for a long time, it helped me to save myself, and I know it might turn into something good and I guess perseverance is the key to my success. However I will continue to think about if I made the best move every single time a little bit of doubt creeps into my head. I will persevere in spite of the fact that I don’t really know if this life I’ve created is for me, but one day I will know for sure.

That could be in a week, in a month, or later today, who the fuck knows?  All I really know is that much like Jimmy, I’m trying to find my identity in this place, and I think that at least for one night accepting the fact that I don’t know if I fit in, actually helps me feel more like myself, whomever that is.