My brother’s 40th birthday

Today I am honoring my brother’s birthday. He would have been 40 years old today. He has been gone for over 20 years and I still think about him everyday. I miss you Joe and I love you. Happy birthday, brother 🍰

 

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My depression is back ( video)

I write an earlier blog post on depression and I just uploaded a video expanding what I talked about in my post.  Depression is very real and destructive for fortunately for me I have learned to reach out for help and am making progress; like making videos; that would be have been unimaginable a mere few months ago.  Anyways check out the video and feel to subscribe to my Youtube channel. Thanks

 

 

 

My thoughts on social media ( video)

Social media is a wonderful tool for connecting with others but it also causes a lot of anxiety, depression and we end up comparing ourselves to others. And I find myself believing the highlight reels when I know in the back of my mind; it’s not reality. So social media is great when it’s used in the right way and used in moderation. What do you think?

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Went on the suicide awareness walk

Yesterday I went with my parents on a suicide to awareness walk to honor my brother, other members of my family and a friend/coworker that took his life on the anniversary of my brother’s death.  I was so anxious about this walk;it has been on my mind since I registered over a month ago.  I wasn’t quite sure how I’d react or how emotionally I would be. My brother died over 20 years but the pain is still there and I have been effected greatly by it; I often write about and reach out to my friends who knew my brother.  I was a little sad because none of my friends live in the area and it would have meant so if they could have walked with me ( although I am not sure if they’d be comfortable with that).  Sometimes I feel so alone because I’m so far away from them but by the grace of God I communicate with them online and that makes a huge difference in my healing; I know they loved my brother and they love me as well; I am blessed to have that support.

It was a cold and rainy day and I was worried; it might impact the walk. But I decided rain or shine we going to go on that walk to honor my brother. So we got to the walk site and I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be. My sleep has not been good lately and I was really tired and sort of out of it.  But there were so many people there; with a loud speaker directing people where to go.  There were a lot of booths; one to register; one with different beads; relating to my relationship to the person that took their lives. They were selling t-shirts and armbands. I even noticed a lot of people with dogs stating “I’m walking for____”; it was a big crowd.

We made a walk around the city; we passed by the baseball and football stadium.  My dad noticed a woman with a t-shirt that had a quote about mental illness and that there was no shame in it.  I asked her about her shirt and she said she had a blog; I couldn’t believe it; a fellow writer. We talked for a bit and I told her I had a blog as well; it was incredible; she seemed really nice.  I told my dad that I was sad because there were so many people there; he didn’t get it at first. I explained it was sad that this huge crowd were affected by suicide; all these years I thought we were the only ones because no one talks about it and people seem uncomfortable when I bring it up; so I feel uneasy when I talk about my brother and almost ashamed as well.  Overall it was a nice walk and I knew my brother would be happy that we were honoring.  When we got back to the site; I put up a poem I made for my brother. As we were heading for the parking the deck; the sun came back out and it warmed up again. I knew it was my brother smiling and giving us a sign that he was ok.  It was a touching moment. I am hurt he is not here but at least I know he is safe and with God.  I am so happy I went on this walk despite the preceding anxiety and the fact I feel disappointed that no one could show up; it worked out well in the end.  Things always work out for the best when we have faith.

 

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When are you coming home?

I used to wait by the window for you to come home; I was worried. I scanned the street below; looking for your face; my mind racing; wondering where you were and why you were out so late. Sometimes I’d hear the door open and my heart rate would go down and I could go to bed and drift off to  sleep in peace. Other nights I just gave up and hoped eventually you’d come home. The last time ever i saw you looked scroungy and upset; they were arguing with you; either you clean up your act or you cant live here anymore; they said. You left for good that time; never to return home again. At least now I know you’re safe.

The girl in the mugshot

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I met her for the first time in my communications class; interestingly enough.  I thought she was pretty cute but was too nervous to talk to her.  In this post I’ll call her Natalie       ( not her real name of course)   There was another girl named Jenny ( not her real name) I liked her more but looking back she seemed kind of boring and a snob; I only liked her because she was  attractive.  She seemed really smart; kind of a book worm; wore glasses.  I have a thing for intelligent women and I am not threatened by it as opposed to some men.

During the class we were assigned to do some report about a movie of our choice and we had write about the communication in the movie.  Both girls I liked were in my group and the only I really liked was Jenny. You know that point when she walks in the room and doesn’t even look at you and sits as far away from you as possible? Yeah; that was happening big time.  But with Natalie; we cracked jokes and get along and I was thinking this is great but I’m still focused on trying to get the attention of Jenny.

A week or so later Jenny made a flirty remark right before we were to go on to spring break and I assumed she really was interested. I thought about it non-stop for a week; planning to ask her out because I had no sense at the time. When we got back I saw her walk in and very nervously asked for her phone number; I didn’t even really asked her out. I’m sure she assumed it was because we were in the same group and that made perfect sense. I called her a few days later and basically asked her out; she rejected me; saying that we should focus more on passing this class ( which was sound advice) and after that I got more anxious and she got more annoyed at me.

Around this time I began talking to Natalie more.  I sort of bad mouthed Jenny to her; she agreed and thought it was funny. ( looking back never a good idea to bad mouth another girl to a girl you like).  We started chatting online and we really got along. One night we had a really long chat conversation and it was personal and not about school. We talked about partying and how her current boyfriend was abusive; he had thrown her phone across the room or something; this made me nervous; talking a girl who had an abusive boyfriend who might be trying to kick my ass if he knew I was talking to his girlfriend but I ignored all of that because hey it wasn’t everyday a pretty girl wants to talk to me. The next day something unexpected happened; in class Natalie sat right next to me.  You know they have those two desks together in row and every other seat was open; so it was strange. I sound like a little kid here but it was exciting because most of the time girls I liked avoided me like the plague ( which hurt by the way) but she wanted to get closer.  At some point she grabbed my hand and we walked  arm to arm around to the school book store; like we were going out or something. I was confused at this sudden change of behavior and thought maybe my luck had changed. I never had any luck with women.  The class eventually ended and we talked online from time to time but suddenly she unfriended me from Facebook and I figured I must have said something and was hurt.  A year or so later I was still in school and I saw her in the hall; she ran up to me to give me a big hug and was very friendly and I thought hmmm maybe I was wrong.  After that I didn’t see her for many years.

I was studying human services for disabilities at another campus about 5 years later; I was a in counseling class. It was one of the hardest classes I ever had to take; the teacher was really strict and some other girl gave me her notes just so I could pass.  So I was nervous; like everyone else.  All of a sudden this really cute girl walks in; which is a rarity in those classes.  And she looks like Natalie but I thought no way; that can’t be her but she kept looking back at me and not in a bad way. You know when someone is looking at you because you disgust them ( come on, we all have been there) but this wasn’t the case. At the end of class she came up to me excited and said “David?. it’s me Natalie!!”  She told me how good it was to see me.  She gave me this big hug and her phone number and said to call her to help with class; I was more than happy to oblige.

I have a past history of being too anxious and driving women away and I didn’t want to do this with her; I saw this as a second chance; so I waited. I didn’t call her but one day I get this call and she’s crying.  I couldn’t make out what she was saying but she was upset about class and being overwhelmed; I did the best I could but couldn’t really help her. Even after that I still liked her and I was curious to see if she was seeing anyone so I googled her name to see if she has a Facebook and a boyfriend and to my shock I found like 5 or 6 mugshots of her; drug arrests and dui’s; that explained the odd phone call and her overly friendly behavior.  I am not sure why but it made me angry; like I was judging her and thinking that she was a horrible person. After that I gave her the cold shoulder and when she asked me for help about something; I told her to go find someone else. I was really hurtful and I regret that because what she did had nothing to do with me.  Soon after that she dropped out of the class and I figured that would be the last I would ever see or hear about her. But of course the saga continues.

Last year I decided to get back on Facebook. I had this stupid notion that if I met a beautiful women I would have a social media account; that would make it easier for me to talk to her; stupid I know.  I had been to the bar once night and been rejected by every woman I approached; I went home feeling bad about myself.  I looked at Natalie’s Facebook ( I still thought about her from time to time) to see if she had been arrested again so I could revel in her misery ( I was different than I was now).  Low and behold she had a post about turning her life to Jesus; she had gone to a rehabilitation facility; found god and was turning her life around; I was floored.  It struck me like a thunder bolt; I wasn’t expecting it. Maybe she had gotten a new boyfriend or was dealing drugs     ( something crazy) but no, she was talking about God.  I saw it as a direct sign from God that I had meet this girl for a reason. I got on my knees and prayed and gave my life to God at that moment; started reconnecting from old friends from church and my life improved greatly. I messaged her a few times but she didn’t seem terribly interested in talking to me; I don’t blame her I wasn’t very nice.  After deleting some friends who I didn’t talk to on Facebook; I unfriended her as well; not out of anger but because I no longer needed to talk to her.

I realized God placed her in my life as a bridge to him; it sounds crazy; I know.  I am blessed to have met her and it took me awhile to understand the real reason we met; if I hadn’t of I wouldn’t  be where I am today.  She has no idea the impact she has had on me and I am forever grateful.  And to think if we had gone out and started a relationship; I would have lost my focus and never turned my life to God.   This is one those God things where I can’t deny he works in mysterious ways.

Have a blessed day

Dave