New Year goals 2019

New Year Goals

Well, a new year is upon us and it has been quite a incredible year for me; I made a lot of progress and really grew as a person. I pray that 2019 will also be a good year for me; I plan on making the year to come a very successful one; I’d like to improve myself on a mental/emotion, spiritual, social and financial/career level; all aspects of my life. I am ending the year on a somewhat sour note; being unemployed but I have perseverance and I am very driven. I am many goals for this year and I plan to achieve a lot in the coming year.

One of my goals is education; I am determined to finally get my associates degree in developmental disabilities; I want a job in the field; maybe as a job coach, a peer mentor or a motivational speaker in the future. I can sense how my writing and story has inspired others and the idea of using it to help people is something I very much like to do. I will take any opportunity to use my experience to inspire others to do their very best and not to give up; this may be one of my callings in life. I want more career aspects because like anyone else; I want to make enough money so I can be independent; I don’t live with my family by choice; I’m with them because my health issues and disabilities limits the kinds of jobs I can take; I want to push myself to do better; I think we all deserve that.

And speaking of my career; I want to continue to volunteer with the disabled ministry; I plan on spending more time with them this year; getting to know them further; and learning the skills I need to enter the human service field. It also helps me grow closer in my faith and become a more spiritual person. Through this group, I know God is working in my life. I plan on volunteering in other areas such as teaching English as a second language and other volunteer opportunities throughout the area. Now that I have all this free time; I plan to use it wisely and maybe get involved in church more as well. I think God has big plans for me in 2019 and I just have to follow his lead.

I think this will be a big year for me socially as well. I plan to continue reconnecting with friends and hopefully making new friends as well; I am trying to learning to face my fears and learn to meet new people and not avoid social situations; just to put myself out there. Something as simple as asking for a someone’s number who I’m interested in is a big step for me. Maybe dating is on the horizon for me; that is an exciting new chapter for me. That’s something that creates a lot of anxiety but I know God will guide me through whatever happens. I plan on maybe taking a trip back home to see old friends; there are so many people I want to see; just the idea of traveling is new to me but I am ready for it. I am so thankful for all the friends I have connected but am sad most of them live far away; so I have to make the effort to see them. This will be the year where I expand my social life.

I will continue to write; exploring new ideas and forms of writing; I am going to keep my blog and hopefully gain more followers and connect with more writers; I am so excited about that. With my free time; I hope to find a writers group in the area and meet fellow writers face to face; maybe get the chance to share my poetry to a live audience; I would love that. Yes writing is my saving grace and I have no idea where I’d be without it.

I figure if 2018 was such a big year; then 2019 will be even better; I just have to have faith; I need to stay positive and move forward in my life. I want to inspire and encourage others and do my part to make the world a better place. I want to be a more compassionate and forgiving person along the way; I remain in prayer and I hope for the best in the upcoming year. And I wish all of my family, friends and followers a very happy new years. May 2019 be a successful year for you; may you be blessed with all the happiness in the world

Dave

 

 

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Last day at my job

Today was the last day at my job and I’ve written a lot about it; I’ve been so depressed about it and today was no exception. At the time same it’s pretty bittersweet; I have been working for the last 2 years and I feel so tired; a part of me is looking forward to enjoying the rest; volunteering more; make it to church on Sunday and finding time to write and of course going back to school.  So I am trying to have a positive attitude about all of this and I also tell myself that this was seasonal and they let go of almost everyone; so I can’t take it personally.  It really wasn’t a bad last day;  them letting me go was not a result of an emotional breakdown or me quitting in anger ( unlike every other job in the past); it’s all circumstances beyond my control; my old store was closing and I took the job as a means of making money during holidays; knowing full well it was seasonal. I am proud of the job I did; I managed my emotions; I showed up on time everyday; didn’t complain and worked hard and a lot of my co-workers have mentioned how hard of a worker I am.  I am grateful I didn’t have to be at Sears until the very end; I am grateful to God for blessing me this short time at this new job and giving me the strength to make it through all this; it was tough.  I also felt good that a lot of people wished me luck; I got a lot of hugs and people seemed genuinely sad to see me go; they realized how much this job meant to me.

I am just struggling to figure how I am going to deal with all of my anxious thoughts and depression with so much free time; I feel rejected in a sense that I wasn’t picked to stay.  I have been irritable and I have felt rejected both by this job and by trying to contacting people I’ve known life and getting ignored responses; it hurts. So I know I am in a middle of a depressive episode and I pray God will get me through this. I hope by writing I can make sense of my feelings; so they don’t build up. So if my blogs seem erratic; just know I am struggling with these changes in my life. I have no idea what’s ahead but I do know I am ready for whatever comes ahead.

I also wanted to talk about something that I haven’t shared on my blog or any of my social media; which is amazes because I have a history of being so anxious about these things.  In fact I have managed to keep it all to myself and not ask anyone for advice; that’s a first. Anyways there was this girl at work that I met a few weeks ago; she seemed really nice and she was in college and I told her I really liked to write; I had a blog and how I loved school; she seemed real interested and whenever I was on break; she’d sit next to me ( along with a lot of other women; I don’t sit with guys lol) and she would just light up when she saw me and it was such a good feeling; she’s really cute but somehow I was confident; mostly likely because she seemed so interested in talking to me.  I thought about asking for her number but I didn’t want my anxiety to show and I could never find any moment alone with her; I couldn’t do it while other people are around; I am so self conscious about those things.  I sort of decided that I’d just leave it alone because again I have long history of being rejected ( especially asking out girls I worked with)  Once I found I was leaving this job; I realized I had nothing to lose but I tried not stress over it. If I could ask her; great; if not; then I’d be alright either way.  Anyways as I was leaving for my shift; head down; very sad about leaving; I went back in to do some shopping; I then saw the girl I liked on her own; at the front door; looking at her phone.  I decided in a split second right there that this was chance to ask for her number.  I sort of nervously told her that if she had questions about writing ( stupid I know) that she could talk to me about it.  I told her this was my last shift; she seemed happy about me asking for her number and told me to put my number on her phone and she’d text me. She then hugged me and wished me luck.  I just felt so proud of myself at that moment; that I had the confidence to ask her and I wasn’t too anxious.  I went about it the right way and I realized that maybe I lost my job but I gained a possible opportunity to get to know this girl. I just tell myself to take it very slow and give myself a chance to catch my breath from all the stress; I’ll text her soon and see what happens. When one doors closes another one opens.   I think this is a new chapter in my life; a new year and good things are truly on the horizon.  Thank you for all the support regarding the job; it really makes a difference

Thanks

Dave

 

I’m feeling less anxious these days

I was driving home today and I thinking to myself; how tired I was from working non stop in the bakery;  I am on the go; all day; wrapping bread, making cookies trays, placing pies in holders, placing baked items on the tables and rotating baked goods; aside from my breaks; I literally do not stop; I take a second to catch my breath and continue onto the next task.  I am not complaining; I am just busy; it’s not like my old job where I checked my phone every few minutes;  In fact I keep my phone on airplane mode and only check my social media on breaks.  My old job I  was anxious all the time  and I was so emotionally drained from all the negativity; at work; now it’s more mentally draining and it’s something I have never experienced. In fact I keep my phone on airplane mode and only check my social media on breaks.  Even other workers who don’t have disabilities tell me that they heard the bakery was brutal; and they have no idea that I have learning disabilities or ADHD ( Although I’m sure some suspect it); so I am really working hard.

So as I was driving I realized that since working this new job ( and working 40 + hour weeks); I have felt less anxious and depressed. Hold let me take that back; I feel anxious but about different things; I have less social anxiety or thoughts about the past; the anxiety is more about trying to keep up with a face paced environment and whether they will keep me after the Christmas season; all normal anxiety.

But it’s anxiety that I can handle and it doesn’t make me feel bad about myself; in fact I have more confidence than I ever had in my life.  I have never gotten along with my co-workers and supervisors so well in a job; no one has really criticized me too much; they seem to enjoy seeing me and I make sure I say hi to everyone and they seem genuinely nice.  Even a lot of the women seem very friendly with me; which is a first for me in a job situation.  Obviously I am going to stay focused on my job but it does feel nice; and for whatever reason it doesn’t make me anxious; which is the past would have created so much anxiety; I am really not sure what’s happening but I seem to be comfortable around people in general and more sure of myself.   I am just happier right now than I ever been at a job and I think that all the praying; the support from my friends; my writing and my growing social media accounts ( the blog included) has made me more confident in life and people around me are picking up on and responding more positively to me than in the past.  I also think perseverance is really starting to pay off; I hope to inspire others never to give up.   Anyways this is all I have the energy to write tonight; I have the day off and I am going to get some much needed rest and recharge my batteries.  Thanks for all the support; it really makes a difference in my life.

Thanks for listening

 

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Unrelated but music helps me to calm down; this is what I am listening to as I write this; first track is great!

 

I hate the sound of my own voice

Have you ever made a video or heard yourself on tape and said to yourself “I sound like that, really?) I think most people here see themselves and recognize how different they sound when they hear their own voice recorded; and it never sounds good to them. I just started making videos because I want to express myself to my follower not just with text but so that you can hear how I feel in my own words on video; I am trying to gain confidence and the more videos I make; the more comfortable I become. At the same time ; I am very self conscious of my voice and mannerisms; my voice is very feminine and I have a slight speech impediment from childhood; I hate it. I know you shouldn’t hate parts of yourself but I wish I sounded like other guys; I really struggle with being too sensitive and how I am perceived by others. I am not fishing for compliments but am just expressing my anxiety in seeing myself on camera.

But a lot of people are camera shy and I am finding that I am a work in progress; I am just proud of myself. I am learning how to be more comfortable in social situations; I have actually started having conversations on the phone ( which is really tough for me) and now I am making video; I am pushing myself and I hope that it will all be worth it; to reach out to others and make a difference with my story.

Edit- As I was writing this; one of my friends from childhood asked if she could share my videos about disabilities with her students and other schools. I am so honored that someone thought enough about me that she thinks my videos could help young people; amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

How to handle compliments

I just want to first say are going really well for me right now;  my new job seems to be working out; I am active in volunteering with the disabled ministry; I am reaching out to people online and the past two weeks I have been able to attend church; I couldn’t be happier right now.  And on top of all these good things I have been getting a lot of praise from people at church, work and a lot of online support ( I love the comments and messages; they make my day) Also I just started making videos and the response has been positive. I admit I am self conscious about how I come across; how I speak and my appearance but people have been unbelievably supportive. Making videos creates so much anxiety for me, but I am finding that people have been beyond kind; I didn’t expect it; to be honest.  And offline  I am getting compliments left and right; especially about my work with the disabled ministry; a lot of parents of the young adults have been praising me and I hear good things; it makes me smile. I had no idea I was so appreciated but I try to be kind and gentle and I think they can see that.

I just want to say that I am not bragging; I try to stay humble. I know a lot of us can feel unappreciated and unloved sometimes and I have felt that way all my life; so this is all new to me.  And that’s the thing; like anyone else; I love compliments and it kinda sets me on an emotional high which isn’t always good; maybe it occupies my thoughts too much and I have to tell myself to slow down and take a breather and not get big headed about it.  But even though I love praise at times; it also makes me very anxious because I am not used to especially when it’s almost everyday and from so many people ( some I know and some I don’t know). It makes me nervous because a part of me feels like I’m not worthy of the praise.  I have felt so bad about myself for so long ( and been treated so poorly by others) that I question the authenticity of their praise.  Do they really mean it?  Is it pity? Is it going to blow up in my face when they find out I am not as great as they say I am? I have a past; like anyone else and I have behaved in ways that I’m not proud of; although I feel like I am a much different person these days.  All this praise feels like I am in the spotlight; when some days I prefer to be in the background and yet I crave it; it’s a terrible paradox.  I am hoping over time I can learn to enjoy praise without questioning it and not be as anxious when someone says ” You’re so wonderful”

So when someone praises you how do you handle it?  I know most of us would accept the compliments but how do you handle it internally?  Do you obsess about it? Do you question it?  I used to think to myself; I would ecstatic to have all these praise; and sure it’s great but damn does it create anxiety.   I am really reaching out here and looking for help because I should be happy but some days I just feel overwhelmed with it all.  It’s like I woke up one day and became a different person overnight and it’s like a dream. But I will say that no matter what happens ( and if an some alternate reality I become a famous author) I never want to forget where I came from and all the people that were there for me on those days where I wasn’t getting praised and I felt like life was a battle; days that were long and exhausting.   That’s all I have for today. Thank you again; I am eternally grateful for all your kind and beautiful comments and praises; you make all the difference in my life.  Take care of yourselves.

With much love,

Dave

 

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Feeling like a million bucks after a much needed haircut

How we treat attractive people

Forgive me if I have written about this topic before. I don’t like to sound conceited but I look at myself in the mirror and I look a lot better than I used to ( in a physical sense) I take better care of myself; I seem to have more confidence; I smile more; I don’t know I just like myself more these days. I also sense that woman are looking at me differently lately; like getting longer glances and they just seem friendlier and more comfortable with me which feels good to be honest.  When I was younger I had no confidence in my looks whatsoever; I had big curly hair and I just looked different from all the others guys; and I sensed that girls didn’t like me; they rarely talked to me and I felt lonely.   Right now I am not dating and I am starting to see it as less as that I’m not good looking enough or I am not interesting enough or confident enough to date; i think it’s lack of opportunities. I don’t get a chance to meet single women that might give me a chance; meeting a woman at work would be next to impossible. Although I get the feeling that some female co-workers might be attracted to me based on looks they give me and how comfortable they are around me; I talk to them a lot ( far more than my male co-workers) and that has given me confidence.  It is easier for me to connect with women and when I told my therapist and she shook her head and said ” And how is that a bad thing?”  Even my therapist is a woman; go figure.

But it has got me thinking that if I am attractive to some women; do they treat me differently as a result? Are women nicer to men they find more attractive? Are they more willing to trust them?  Because it seemed that up until a few years ago; women rarely talked to me; they were sort of dismissive.  I found that if I was sitting on a lunch break; no woman would sit next to me and talk or respond if I tried to engage in conversation; now they start conversations with me. Whenever I’d go out to a bar; woman would approach me; which is a rarity for most men. I stated earlier that I had curly hair; I hadn’t had my haircut in quite a while; my hair became coarse and I had big sideburns; I looked rough. When my hair was long; women never talked or joked with me at work; they wouldn’t even look at me. I got a haircut last week and I find myself again sensing women at looking at me again; being nicer; engaging me in conversation.  So does attractiveness  ( if that’s the case) really make a difference.  If I was acting the same way and saying the same things but I was 300 lbs; would I just be ignored?  I am not saying I’m attractive but I’m wondering if maybe I am and women are nicer simply because they think I look good.

It’s all very confusing to me. I was bullied from a young age and called ugly; and over time I believed it myself because I heard it so much.  I didn’t like the person I saw and I had a hard time believing anyone else would find me attractive.  I really need to stop beating myself up and realize that I’m not ugly and those are lies. Maybe if I stopped believing these lies I might more confident. I think about these things a lot.  And I am wondering if I am the only who feels this way sometimes; I’m sure I’m not.  Anyways I hope that someday I can find someone to have a relationship with me because we all need somebody, right?

 

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Classic Smokey…..

A birthday poem

My birthday just passed and I’m a year older; the sunshine is shining on me; it’s far less colder; with an air of confidence; more bolder.  It’s been an amazing year; overcoming so much fear; goals that seemed far away; now feel near; i stand here a different man; I feel like I  can finally say that as a person I’m growing and I’m showing signs of progress; I take comfort in knowing that things are going to be alright and I can see that there might be light at the end of the tunnel if I keep moving forward; toward where I need to be; it took me a while to see but now I get it.  And on a positive tip I wanna flip this negativity I have had around because I’ve found when I can smile more ;life is just better and isn’t that what living is for.  You got the best make out of your day and make sure if everything you say are blue skies instead of clouds of grey because that is how I want to spend my birthday.

Dave

 

Get confident

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Dating is a sore subject with me; I have had very  few successes and I put the blame on how I carried myself in the past; how I put myself down; I had low self-esteem and I didn’t take care of myself physically, emotionally or mentally; that really affected my interactions with women. I have been isolated for a long time with pretty much no friends since I moved to this city about 10 years ago.  I have had small successes like talking to women in bars or going on a date with a coworker but that was short lived and it ended in disaster; which left me with basically no confidence when it came to women.  I think I have had more opportunities than I had realized in the past but my emotional difficulties I think were a barrier. Every time I liked a woman; I would get all nervous and she could  tell; any chance of a date or even a friendship quickly faded due to my anxiety. I used to get frustrated at myself and wonder why I couldn’t calm down and manage my emotions like every other guy around me ( it’s a question I have yet to answer).

But about a year ago something interesting happened. After a few years of being unemployed I got a job in a department store and started working 30 + hour weeks; it made me feel productive; I interacted with people instead of staying inside of my house; I wasn’t moping about being depressed and alone plus I had money in my pocket; it was kind of life changing. After a few months I just started feeling more confident without even realizing it. In the shoe department there was this young co worker ( maybe 19 or 20 years old) who started talking to me every time I was there. When were in the stock room; she’d get real close when talking to me and I thought this is interesting.  One day she says that there is this movie she really wanted to go but had no one to take her. I knew immediately what she meant but I hesitated; she was much younger than me. She was 20 or 21 and I was 35; so I declined. Plus my last experience with trying to date a co-worker was so bad that I decided it wasn’t a good idea to date anyone from work. But it was an ego boost and I kept it to myself which is something I would have bragged about in the past. And other things started happening; another female co-worker started trying to talk to me all the time; even asking me to lunch. Again I declined and I have to mention; she’s pretty cute and I noticed her right away but she’s a little off and I have enough problems to deal with.  I just started to see that women were noticing me and I was a little confused as to why; since I felt like the same guy I did a few years back but maybe I am different who knows.  During my lunch breaks sometimes I sit by myself to write or check social media ( and of course my blog) and there have been many times when female co-workers will sit with me to keep me company; I mean, this was not happening in the past.  I don’t know if it’s because they find me attractive or they feel comfortable around me; I may be more approachable. I certainly see myself as different than most of the guys there ( in a good way) I have a gentle way or speaking and relate more to women; maybe they sense that. I even notice at times female customers will smile at me more; or get closer to me physically; maybe it’s in my head but in the past I found they were nervous around me and never smiled at me and rarely engaged me in conversation; now they do; it’s nice

So I decided that I wanted to meet people since I had no luck at work or school; I started going to this bar which was known to cater to people in their 30’s and 40’s; it is an immensely popular bar that is packed during the weekends; they even had a band.  I had so much anxiety the first time I went; I felt myself getting an anxiety attack so I went home.  I calmed myself down; got something to eat and went back. I’ll never forget that I went on the patio to have a smoke; I was alone and it pretty cold. This woman walks out with her friend and I was expecting her to ignore me but she walked right up to me and asked for a cigarette and we hung out for 30 or 40 minutes; pretty amazing. It may not seem to amazing to some people but for me; someone who couldn’t talk to average looking women was talking to this beautiful woman who was actually seemed interested; even offering to buy drinks. I just didn’t understand why she was talking to me; I was dressed like crap, I was alone and to be honest I didn’t think I was half as good looking as the other guys there. But maybe I had confidence; maybe I carried myself well and I was approachable; obviously I was doing something right.  I realized that I needed to go back and so I went the next week and I met another woman and we talked for a while too and she was also beautiful. It didn’t turn into anything but I realized that I had the confidence to talk to women I was attracted to; i could carry a conversation and hold her interest.  Those few nights did so much more for my confidence than reading any article or book ever could; experience,  I am no expert on women but I think confidence and personality gets you further than physical appearance or financial status; but I could be wrong.  I think guys look at a woman and day she sure she’s totally emotionally unstable and could destroy me but at least she’s hot ( I am not speaking for myself here; just to be clear) and a woman looks at a guy and she might say she he’s cute but he’s crazy as hell or is boring and i have options; so no.  The difference between the sexes I guess.

I want to end this and note some things that had made me feel more confident and that is 1. my writing and 2. My support network.  I think ever since I started writing; I have really grown as a person; this is my outlet and it’s something I’m very proud of; it’s a conversation starter and if I can recall I’m pretty sure I used it when talking to women      ( and this was before the blog); it always seemed to pique their interest.  I think some women are attracted to creative types; but don’t get me wrong I write to help myself and other; not to pick up women but it doesn’t hurt to be passionate about something. But yeah, writing makes me feel confident; like I’m finally good at something. The second thing I have a support network ( online; because I have moved far away) mostly of female friends which to me is vital. Regardless I love my friends but talking to them helps me to relate to women; to understand them and see them as people instead of sexual objects. I prefer to have a female perspective when I talk about my issues with dating or my feelings in general.  I started to make a connection and saying to myself that these friendships are important because if you can’t relate to women in some way then you can’t have a romantic relationship. I started looking back and realizing most of my close friends growing up were girls; I felt more comfortable ( the ones I wasn’t attracted to) with them  and I started see how today that could work in my favor. Instead of hiding my feminine traits; I am embraced them; the sensitivity; the gentleness, the writing, helping others, encouraging people; traits I hid for many years. Once I was able to be myself; I became happier thus more confident. I was talking to my therapist and she mentioned that I could be dating soon; and maybe all of these could be leading up to a potential relationship.  If I continue to work on myself and find ways to boost my confidence then in the near future it could be possible,  I think confidence is key to success in anything in this life. If you want people to believe in you; first you have to believe in yourself.

Have a good night

Dave

The man in the mirror

I don’t recognize the reflection in the mirror anymore; the sunken eyes replaced with a burst of a confident look; the perpetual frown; now a sly smile; a full smile is simply too cheery. The person I couldn’t bear to see before surprises me; he’s handsome; lookin good; a little more bounce in his step; radiating good vibes; well some of the time. All I know is after years of despising this guy ; I quite like him and the person he’s becoming. I like the reflection in the mirror; I’m hoping one day to love him too.

Dave

 

Learning not to care what they think

For the longest time at work I cared too much about what others thought of me; every dirty look or snubbed hello; made me feel terrible. I felt totally unworthy and I took it personally; wondering why they were treating me so bad. And when I am hurt I usually show it; which only serves to feed the egos of some people who need to put others down to make themselves feel important; you know? But since reconnecting with my old friends and family; and realizing how many people cared about me after all these years; my confidence built. I started seeing myself as someone who was worthy, intelligent; kind, sensitive; a good writer; I felt like I didn’t need people to validate or recognize those things because I knew they were true. They could try and take away my dignity; they could mock me behind my back, they could show how much stronger they were than me ( real men are strong according to them) or they could totally ignore me; like I didn’t exist but they didn’t have control over how I reacted or how I chose to feel about their actions. Whenever I read a new comment of my blog or someone reacts to something I’ve written on Facebook; it brings a smile to my face; and no one there can take that away from me. I’m choosing to take back the power and it feels damn good. When someone used to hurl a smart comment towards me at work; I used to either react with anger or humor them and laugh ( even though I was annoyed) Now I’m not even having it; I just walk away with no response; not in anger but in the sense that I am above all that.

I keep thinking of this co-worker who was asking someone about what I saying on Facebook; he was trying to use what I share on Facebook as ammunition to use against me; I was furious. I was hurt and angry; I blocked everyone from work and decided I might just leave Facebook. So even though I was really upset at the time; I didn’t realize it was the best thing to happen to me; this is before I started writing and sharing on social media. Once I blocked everyone; it freed me to speak my mind; share my deeply personal story and feelings with the people I cared about the most. I didn’t have to fear an idiot co-worker finding out my Brother had took his life or I suffered from anxiety or depression; I was free and it lead to writing this blog and all the wonderful things that have happened as a result of my writing.

So I walk with an air of confidence ( maybe too much) but I have never felt good about myself; I have never been good at anything. I have never been able to really communicate well or tell the people around me how I really feel but now I can; through words. So they can throw anything my way and I won’t pay it any mind because I look at the source and all I can see is ignorance and a total lack of sensitivity. So yes, life is good. Life is good indeed.