Driving on Empty

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I love you, car, but I think it’s time I see other vehicles.

Yeah, I’m looking at getting a new car.

It’s not like my current 2007 gold Ford Focus is a complete waste of a car. It still works and drives like any other working car, but it’s getting on in years. It’s a whole decade old. While I should abide by the “age ain’t nothing but a number” cliché, I’m starting to get advice and suggestions from friends and family that it might be time to start looking for another set of newer wheels. I know they’re right, but I’m hesitant to trade my old keys for a shiner, new model.

Basically, I don’t want a new car.

At least, I’m not ready for a new one.

My great reluctance to purchase a new automobile only pales in comparison to my reluctance to drive. I’m of the generation that had no desire to earn their driver’s licenses at the legal age of sixteen.  It wasn’t like I wasn’t moving forward. I had a job and got good enough grades. I just didn’t want to drive. There was no interest to get behind a wheel and operate a motor vehicle. Finally, as I rounded out my senior year of high school and was heading off to college, I was forced to start going for my driver’s license. Failing my permit test and driver’s test a few times, I finally was given the right to legally drive in the state of Pennsylvania, but I didn’t really want to use it.

Having my driver’s license, cars still held very little interest for me.

Hell, it took me forever to find the vehicle of my own I have now.

Not that I ever had aspirations to get anywhere near the driver’s seat. Like I said, I preferred to be driven instead of driving. Driving is scary for me because of a few different reasons. Firstly, I am horrible at directions. Spin me around a few times, and I will get lost. I get panicked if I don’t know exactly where I am. Additionally, other drivers make me nervous. You can’t trust that other drivers to drive properly, or at least, the way you want them to drive. I’ve also been in accidents, so I’m a little hesitant to want to drive if I don’t have to drive.

Still, drive I must because of various obligations , so I must buy a new car.

What makes my decision harder is whether to buy a new car or a used one. The frugal part of me wants to buy used so I don’t have to worry about spending money I don’t already have.  On the other hand, I have a damn good credit score which would make it easy to buy or lease a new car with no problems or miles on it.

I hate making decisions.

While I don’t love driving, I love my car. It’s reliable, and I know exactly how to drive it. I know it’s time to move on.

But, I’m not ready to pull the keys from the ignition.

Stuck in the Middle

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I am at a crossroads, my friends, and I am completely stuck where I am at this point.

That is the worst place to be.

I am at the point of the crossroads. Life is at a standstill for me right now. Life hasn’t been incredibly kind to me, but it also hasn’t been too terrible. Life just is. That’s it. I’m happy that I’m not completely at the absolute lowest point in my life, but I’m frustrated that my life isn’t moving forward as much as I want it to right now. Life for me isn’t up or down. Like I said, life just is.

I’m in the middle.

Sometimes, the middle is a great and safe place to be in because there are no expectations for being the worst or the best. You aren’t at the highest point or at the absolutely lowest. No one expects you to do more or less than what is the average of the age at the time. You can just relax for once and not have to worry about being the best of the best or the worst of the worst.  You can just float in the in-between without any type of worry of fitting into some sort of absolute.  There is just one problem with this seemingly ideal life in the middle.

It’s not always so perfect.

If you are in the middle, you aren’t falling backwards. However, you are also not moving forward in life. You find yourself stuck in some sort of limbo. Life may be continuing on, but ask yourself whether life is actually moving forward or moving backwards. You may realize something about the mediocrity of your current situation.

You are in the middle a lot in life, whether you know it or not.

The middle can come in so many different forms in life. Most people, at some point during the course of their existence, face a point where they are in between moving forward in whatever they want to do with their lives and falling or stepping backwards in the progress they have made in their lives. Some people take the steps to move in one direction or another. However, some of us stay in the middle ground. The middle takes on many names, but there is one variation of the word middle that boils my blood more than any of the others.

Average.

The word “average” has got to be my least favorite word and idea in the entire world. It is a word that implies an idea of sameness. You are just like every other person that walks this earth and are nothing remotely special. Average to me equates mediocrity. As bad as my social anxiety can get and that sometimes I would love nothing more than to blend in with the average others that I walk amongst in my life, I hate having the persona of being nothing worth noting in life. Average means you are just one of many.

Who wants to be average?

 

May You Offer Me Some Advice?

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What do you think, random internet strangers of the world?

Have you got any advice for me?

Actually, don’t answer that.

Advice. It’s words of wisdom regarding various aspects of life that we encounter that we either receive or give depending on our position in the situation. At some point in our lives, we are in great need of advice. We need experienced words of wisdom to guide us in the best path in life when we encounter the unknown. On the other side, unless we have done nothing but sitting around since birth, we ourselves have experienced a fair amount in our lives that has given us wisdom to guide others in life. When we see struggling people in situations we have ourselves gone through, it’s good human nature to want to help by offering our own tales of experience and wisdom as to how to proceed.

We all have a lot to give in terms of advice and are in great need of advice ourselves a lot of the time.

The question is, when should advice be received, and when should it be ignored?

When do we give advice, and when should we keep our mouths shut and let people figure out their lives for themselves? The best of humanity will always try to help their fellow man in any way they can, and we’re often able to best help by using our own experiences to guide others through confusing or difficult times. However, people cannot grow if they are only taking advice from others. While a little help every now and then is wonderful for both the person seeking help and humanity as a whole, people need to be able to make mistakes and learn our own lessons. Advice can’t be given properly if experience is never earned.  We should know that giving advice isn’t always easy; we’re not always in the position of the advice giver.

How about when we ourselves need guidance in life? When and where do we get advice to get through our day to day life?

Some look to family for advice. They ask their mothers, fathers, siblings, or whomever else in their bloodline they are the closest to or whomever can offer the best advice in whatever situation the person finds themselves in. They feel comfortable taking the advice as this person is family. Unfortunately, not everyone has family worth mining for various aspects of advice.

Some people have look elsewhere.

Self-help books have been offering advice to people for year. They find areas where most people in this world needs guidance and craft outlines and essays to hopefully lead people to a more positive outcome in the various situations they find themselves in. Some writers have even made a career out of crafting guiding literature.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter.

Personally, I am horrible at giving and getting advice.

I am a firm believer in living life the way you want, and I don’t know if giving and taking advice will keep perpetuating any sense of free will and choice.

I don’t know.

Anyone have any advice?

Digital Pack Rat

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Time to do some digital spring cleaning.

Well, ok maybe it’s more like late summer cleaning, but the point still stands.

We as a society nowadays live on the world wide web, and I am no different. Like most people my age, I am on most of the major social media sites and do a lot of normal day to day tasks online from reading up on the news to buying normal grocery items. We all have created a lot of digital clutter with our various purchases and posts that are made every day.

It even speeds to blogging sites like WordPress where I ended up with three separate pages for my various writings.

When I first started posting on this site, I strictly used it to post my depressing poetry. Poetry was and still is where I am the most vulnerable and honest with my writing, and I often write poems when I’m feeling extremely emotionally charged. There was no time I was more emotionally charged than when I was in college. Going through a really rough and dark period, I found solace and a voice in scribbling down my scattered thoughts onto paper which I then transferred to a digital screen. When I felt my feelings weren’t being heard, I turned to the ears of digital strangers in order to have my voice heard by someone, so I started posting on a blog. I didn’t know if anyone actually heard me, but what I was feeling was now out in public and that made me feel better.

Then life got a little easier and busier, so the emotional need for poetry began to dissipate.  However, I found a new need to post a different type of my writing and needed a new blog to showcase it.

I’m a cheap person. After graduating grad school, I knew I needed a writing portfolio to showcase my skill as a writer and hopefully get more editing and writing jobs. Once my memoir thesis was complete, I gathered up all of the longer writing I have composed over the years and uploaded as quickly as I could.

Another separate website created. I ended up with three separate writing blogs: one for blogging, one for longer pieces, and a poetry blog.

Now, I’ve combined the three blog pages into a one stop writing shop for my own convenience and for anyone who may stumble upon my page for professional purposes or just casual passersby, which will hopefully boost my chances of being noticed and recognized as a writer. However, when adding and moving my various writing pieces to one central location, I’m starting to realize one sad fact.

I’m a digital, hoarding pack rat.

Environmentally, this isn’t nearly as bad as being a real life pack rat. All of my junk is stored on a few small devices, but it’s still a lot of junk I have to sort through. Hopefully, by condensing my pages, I’ll begin reducing all of my clutter.

I’ll end with a self promotion of myself, something I rarely do.  When or if you’re done reading this, take a look around at my other writing. It’s a weird mixture of intellectual ramblings and old memories.

I also must apologize for my college poetry self.

She wasn’t a happy camper.

Good for Her, Not for Me

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I judge you.

You judge me.

We all judge each other and each and every thing around us.

Judgement is something that we all do and all have done to us. There is no way of stopping it. Each and every day as we move about our normal routines, we are knowingly and unknowingly judging the world around us and are judged in return whether we know it or not. We take in every little detail of everything we see, evaluate it, and make our own observations. We judge no matter what we encounter in life whether we want to or not.

We can’t help it.

People are like snowflakes, not like in the hypersensitive easily hurt way the word is used now. Not one person is fits into the exact same mold or follows an identical path to anyone else in the world. We all live our own different existences without anyone matching perfectly with another person. It’s natural to evaluate our own life in comparison to the completely or slightly different lives of the people we pass by in our own lives.

We always judge and are judged in return.

Sometimes, this act of judging can get quite malicious.

Look at the headlines right now. Your newspapers and news feeds are filled with one story that was fueled by the hateful judgement of others regarding particular groups that live in the United States. These judgements have led to destruction, mistrust, and even death. Unfortunately, these judgements are shaping the world we live in right now.

Those are the stories that are reaching the headlines of the world, but they are not the only acts of judgements we see in our day to day lives.

The little judgements are the ones that we don’t always realize we do. It’s passing someone on the street and evaluating their appearance. It’s hearing a story about another person’s life and comparing its quality to your own or that of another person. It’s simply seeing something and forming our own particular opinion on it.

We can’t help but judge, but we can keep it from continuing on longer than it should.

“Good for her, not for me”

This brilliant and accurate quote is from comedians Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes Please!. Like I said, judgement isn’t always something we can control or realize we’re doing it. We  look. We see. We judge. It just happens, but what matters more is what we do once we realize we’re in this judgement cycle. When we start to judge others for their life choices being different than our own, whether positively or negatively, we don’t really add anything positive to the world by comparing ourselves to others.

Still, no matter what we do, we judge.

We are judgmental creatures, and there is no one we are more judgmental of than ourselves. Sometimes, we keep this judgement to ourselves. We only look at our own life and it’s perfections or flaws, and we judge ourselves for where we are in life. Other times, we judge ourselves in comparison.Our lives are our  lives, and their lives are theirs. We cannot accurately compare them because they are different. What works for me isn’t always what’s best for them.

“Good for her, not for me”

 

Choose Kindness and Do Good

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“White Nationalists March in Virginia”

Today was yet another day where the day began with an act of violence and hatred. It was a day where those with such strong darkness and anger burning in their hearts, minds, and souls decided to violate and challenge the safety and peace of those they deem unworthy or lessor than themselves. It was an act that fueled hateful and hurt words and ideas being hurled back and forth at one another from either side, each asserting themselves as the correct team while damning the other. Video clips and pictures of angry protestors with signs reading hateful words against others flooded digital screens of the world’s bystanders watching the events of the day unfold and feeling helpless that they had no way . Then, this demonstration of anger led to what days like this always lead to as another news headline flashed before our eyes.

“One Killed in Charlottesville Protest”

Yes, because of this demonstration and its beliefs, an individual is no longer able to draw a breath and move about this world. I don’t even know or care what side this person was on because it doesn’t matter. Someone lost their life because hatred was so strong in the hearts of man. This march of hatred and darkness led to what hatred always leads to: a horrible act. Because individuals chose hatred, someone eventually had to pay the ultimate price. A light of life was extinguished because the fires of anger and hatred burned too brightly.

Why does the world always turn out like this?

Why do people choose to openly attack those whom they disagree with? Why are there people in this world who choose to act of the feelings and thoughts of anger and hatred with violence and open aggression? Why do those who disagree with those hateful individuals chose to hurl equally angry and hateful words at the opposition and think they are doing better than them? How is that going to help the world get any better than the way it is right now? Why do we need to hate at all?

We need to do better. We need to do so much better.

The world is so, so incredibly dark nowadays. Everyday, some sort of terrible tragedy shatters any sort of peace we may have found. Every second, people who disagree with other people decide to yell and scream at each other instead of just sitting down and talking to one another. People choose to act violently on the hateful feelings in their heart, and others with seemingly good intentions choose to react in anger over everything instead of choosing to be better.

We need to do better.

I know it is hard. When I see both sides of an argument hurling mean and angry words at each other, I want to just give up. Both sides fight each other’s fire with equal fire. Is it any wonder that the world is burning? As difficult as it may be, we need to choose kindness when the other side acts in hatred. We need to do good when other’s do bad.  The world is dark. Let’s try to drive it out with kind light instead of our own dark hate.

Choose kindness and do good.

 

Gotta Get Down on Friday

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Finally, it’s Friday.

Once four thirty in the afternoon hits, I leave my office building, get into my car, and drive home. I step into my home, crack open a beer, and take a deep breath. For the next two days, my time is mine and mine alone. I can do what I want whenever I want.

The weekend is here.

My weekends are up to me. Sometimes, I try to fill the evening of Friday to Sunday night with activities. I try to fill each and every minute with something to do and somewhere to go. Other weekends, I do absolutely nothing. I am perfectly content with resting in bed, watching a movie, going shopping, or doing nothing. My weekends are entirely based on how the rest of my week went. It all depends on my mood, and Saturday and Sunday are entirely up to me. I know what the freedom of a weekend means nowadays.

Back in the day, I didn’t know what the hell a weekend was.

As a young kid, weekends were days where you got to play with all of your toys and do whatever your parents will allow you to do. You didn’t have to do homework or pay attention in class. The weekends were free to do whatever you wanted to do with your time.

Then, I joined the schools color guard and marching band.

School activities will always eat up your time, but doing marching band and winter guard will guarantee you will never know the freedom of a weekend. Two or three days a week, you go to practice to help your band and color guard craft a show that will appeal to a bunch of random judges that you will encounter at the various shows your school directors schedule for you

This was my life from eighth grade to my senior year of college.

I though once I left the marching band lifestyle that I would absolutely free to do whatever I wanted to do. I could take this time to relax or get errands/homework done. However, once I was awarded all of this free time, I realized something.

I don’t like all of the free time.

Now that I  have my weekends all to myself, I am utterly confused. With a car and a credit card, the world should be my oyster. I have disposable income and not a lot of bills to pay. I should feel free, but I don’t.

I don’t like free time.

It cannot be said enough. The worst thing for an anxious mind is idleness and free time. When you allow me to be on rest mode, I don’t always know what to do with myself.

Free time is scary.

Nowadays, I try to fill any empty space I have. Even if it is a small activity, I try to engage in anything that will keep my mind from imagining the worst possible scenar.

Whether I can figure out what to do with my weekend or not, the weekend is here.

If I’m being completely honest, I think it’s going to be one of those lazy weekends. It’s been a long week, and it’s that time of the month. I have absolutely no energy to do anything productive for the next two days.

Happy weekends, friends.