Updated: May 17, 2019
It has been a couple weeks since I wrote a blog. I don't like to write just to write, so forcing myself to blog isn't on my agenda if you will. I do the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook fairly regularly but the blogs are a little more sporadic. But it's Friday morning. I have my cup of coffee. Wait, it's empty. I need a new cup. Be right back. OK, got my cup of coffee and a few laps around the downstairs to get those 250 hourly Fitbit steps. Where was I? Oh yea, I have my morning coffee, a quiet house, sitting at my dining room table watching life in my backyard performed by the animals in front of the green tree-lined backdrop and thinking. I guess I should say contemplating. Is that the same? I'm too lazy at present to Google search it so it'll have to stay. It's my blog I can make mistakes if I want to. Right? After a quick scan of my house I see no objections from the dog so it must be right. OK, let's get to the point of what I am thinking of for today's amazing, wonderful, did anyone actually read this blog.
So I am here thinking about who I am and what I am doing in life. It is crazy when you reflect back on your life. I mean really reflect, how much a person changes as he/she ages. I am sitting at my table and I realize the anger that once filled a young LA boy's head isn't there like it was before. There is a calmness about what I get to do in being "the me" I choose to be. I don't hate people because they hate me. I don't fight with others simply because they don't agree with me. Instead I listen and share my points of view to those who are willing to talk, learn and teach me something new. It dawned on me that I am not at war anymore. Not the war like when I was in the military but the internal war many of us are fighting that is reflected in how we treat others and ourselves. As I reflect on my past "me" I was wondering how to show what I was thinking of myself in the days of old. This picture I took while watching the sunset one day answers that question. The Seattle-Bremerton ferry went by and the waves started crashing the rocks. I snapped a few pics of the splash with my cellphone. The splash catches my attention again.
Many of us have this going on inside. An explosion of sorts fracturing our energy and causing chaos and turmoil inside. I see this picture and think of the LA kid once called "Crazy S" and "Temper" by his friends. No control over the splashes in my life. No control over where the energy would go. Just reaction to the wave crashing against my shores. This was me. This, at times, is still me. But more often than not the chaos of it all is no longer there. I'm thinking about the kid I was and I see him so vividly that it is almost scary. I hear his words full of life, anger, love, pain and feel for him. He is this picture. He, no I, was lost in the chaos. Just like a crab or fish caught near this rocks I was in a whirlwind that i could not get out of no matter how hard I tried or if I tried at all. That kid is many years away but he is also with me as a reminder of where I came from, what I built from and what I conquered so I could be the man I am today.
As I sit and enjoy the birds fluttering around my hanging red barn of a bird feeder I smile at the journey that took me from self-destruction to appreciation and growth. How did I get to be this guy at this table talking to you (the reader) about this topic that I randomly chose? Because I stopped fighting the splash. I stopped trying to control the waves while ignoring them. I stopped reacting to strength of them instead recognizing when they would be strong and reacting to that when I could. I changed my thinking. I changed my battle. I changed my enemy. Wait! That is it, that is the one. I changed my enemy. That is definitely where I want to take this blog.
(but first I have to change laundry. Some will say that I don't need to add that but, like I said, it's my blog and I like sharing my process in writing it. Lets see how long this takes! Bathroom break, laundry change, let the dog out, fixed a smoothie cause one cannot live on coffee alone, 2 laps around the downstairs to get the magical 250 steps my Fitbit demands and I am back after about 15 minutes. You're welcome.)
Back on point, I changed my enemy. As that young man I was fighting myself. Fighting what I wanted to do, wanted to be or what any of that meant for me. I was fighting my honesty. I was fighting the image I put out, the image others saw and the reality of both. I had to change the enemy. I stopped looking for the war and started enjoying the peace. That's where I am today in my reflection. Who is this guy sitting in the peace of himself? How did he get here?
I look at this picture I took on the way back home from the Dodgers vs Mariners game a few weeks back. It reminds me of how I, and I am sure many people, view life as a race of some sort. We are all lined up ready to go as fast and as hard as we can in a need to beat the next person. This was the mindset I believe I lived with for many years. Life as a competition against others. Who has Pole Position? Who is my biggest rival? Who am I chasing? who is chasing me? How do I beat them? Is the playing field equal or is someone getting an advantage? That is a lot of thought going into a day. That is the splash the younger me battled with and against. I couldn't live my life in constant battle with every one, any one and no one at the same time. I learned something in my journey that needs to be shared over and over and over and over and over and over (my English teaching friend is crying right now) again. Of course I have a picture for that too.
I learned that my life is a journey of my own. I walk a path that is designated for me or built by me and controlled by me. There are visitors along the way but the truth of life is that the journey isn't a race to beat someone else but a simple climb from start (birth) to end (death). I got out of the (proverbial) car and took a picture of the race. Sure the winner of the race will be proud but then he or she must run another and another and another. Lightening McQueen learned in Cars 3 that he could no longer run with the big guns anymore. He had to pull out of the race. We have to change the enemy. Pull out of the race because no one wins that battle. That's how I got here I started my own journey to being the best me I could be and that makes me happy.
I learned to be comfortable in the very body that I once fought. Where I once looked for hate and aggression to fight my battles. I now look to my brain and understanding to fix my battles. my
tools are different now. I capture sunsets and sunrises instead of searching for something to be angry at or to fight. I find peace in the waves where I once found a battle. I learned to appreciate the magic of the world and the amazing kindness of strangers when I walked with an open heart and mind. I learned that what people thought of me didn't matter as much as what I thought of me and how I gave to the world. All that being said, just like my pictures I am not perfect. I have ways that society, as a whole, may not agree with but I can live with that because society isn't my truth. I am my truth!
In this picture you see my little tripod, magnifier and wide lens attachments for my cell phone. All my photos are taken with my nearly 2 year old phone. I love them. I love sharing them. I know in the eyes of professional photographers they are not their quality in many cases. Even so, I share my "eye" with the world. I'm not racing to be the best photographer. I am simply sharing the view I found amazing and the way my eye wanted to share it. It doesn't matter if someone loves it or hates it as long as it is what I wanted to share. I share so other's can enjoy but if they don't I am OK with that too. I started to give because it brings joy to me. The water, the sun, the birds, the laughter, the silliness, the stories, the love and even the pains became part of my journey. It is no longer about the splashes on the coast or the fastest one out of the starting block in the race of life. It's about me walking down that dock and enjoying the journey.
All the pictures you see here are taken in different areas. All random. All simply because instead of looking down I looked up. I embraced the world and it consistently gives me treasures that I get to share with others. I am here because I stopped looking for hate, forcing love and simply started being part of the ebb and flow of the world.
That's it. I stopped fighting me. Unlike that young boy splashing along the coast I look in the mirror and find peace. I find peace in the my failures and mistakes. I find peace in the negatives people say about me. I find peace in the nay-sayers and those who would use me as a platform to further themselves. I find peace in the darkness. I find peace in the rain. I find peace in the storms and giant waves toppling passing ships. I AM peace not because I ignore any of those things but because I understand one thing that Crazy "S" didn't understand, in the end none of the things gained or lost will matter because life moves on if we participate or not. I am peace because I know that the only thing I have to do is enjoy my trek along the way to finish line. I'll leave this with one last picture that sums up what life looks like to me. You interpret it as you wish I'll leave that up to you.
Today I ask, who is the enemy you are fighting? Might be time to stop the battle. Now here is my last pic for this blog: