So I’ve been noticing on social media that everyone is posting their first photos they posted with their current photos; most go back 10 years or more. I hate thinking about those days; I am much happier now but I was really a miserable person in 2008. My mental health had deteriorated to the point where I couldn’t function mentally, emotionally, physically, spirituality. I was working but my anxiety and stomach problems were so bad; I was just going through the motions. I leaving in the same house I was growing up; with the memory of my brother’s death and the trauma of living in a chaotic household. I couldn’t take care of myself; I never bought new clothes or got a haircut; I just looked bad. I wasn’t communicating with anyone and I spent more of my time just watching movies and going online. I wasn’t writing or doing anything constructive with my feelings; I was just wallowing in mental illness. As I write this I feel a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat and anxiety; remembering those days. And this was a continued pattern since I graduated high school ( 7 years) It was 7 years of isolating myself from people; staying locked up in my house; not leaving for days at time. I am sure some of my readers are going through those struggles right now and I want to stop for a second and tell you that you are not alone; a lot of us have been through that and I feel that pain; I myself never want to back to it but I don’t to forget where I came from and the work I did to be the man I am today. So yeah anyways I also had no concept of God; I had no faith or prayer; maybe I believed in God but I blamed him for all of my misery and refused to go to church or be associated with anyone I knew from there. It was the darkest period in my life ( aside from my brothers death) 2001-2008. In the summer of 2008 I moved from the DC area ( the place I had grown up in all my life) to NC and slowly over the years my life has changed for the better.
Just thinking about the past makes me awashed in sadness and it can set my depression off for me days. I felt that way when I saw some of those old photographs of my friends. It hurts seeing some of these photos because it reminds me of all the things I missed from my friends; college days, relationships, weddings, careers, starting a family; I wish I had kept in touch with them; but I haven’t seen some of them since I graduated high school; I am filled with regret but grateful that I am in touch with them now; it still hurts though. It also makes me think of all the things that I haven’t achieved; I have never had a long term relationship; I never went to a university; had a career and I don’t have a family of my own. I look at my life and it seems lackluster compared to theirs and it kills me inside. And in thinking about all that makes me realize that I only have about 1 photograph from about 2001 to about 2016; that is amazing. It’s a family photo where we are together and I look pretty happy next to my cousin but that’s the only photo I know of myself from that 15 year period that is awfully depressing. I think I just hated myself so much that I couldn’t bear to be photographed; I thought I was ugly and I hated the idea of anyone taking my picture. I was in such a depressive state; I couldn’t even smile; my eyes dark and sunken from lack of sleep; my hair too curly; whatever the reason; very few photographs exist of me. And it shows the progress I made since my social media is full of selfies, photos of me with family and friends; I’m smiling and I think I look better than I ever have; I have much more confidence. I am making up for all that lost time, I guess. So while I can’t produce a photo from 10 years ago; I can share one today;a much happier, healthier Dave; full of life. One that begs for his photo to be taken so he can share it with the world. Here’s to progress.
Thanks for listening
Well I just got back from a 3 day fall retreat to the mountains with the disability ministry that serves those with special needs. I was taken aback when the leader asked me to go on this trip since I’d only been there a few weeks. I guess she could see how well I interacted with the young adults and how much they liked me. I was concerned about some of my physical issues but I learned to manage them because I was determined to make this trip a success and not let it get in the way of being there for the young adults we were helping. And by the way; in the short time that I have known them; I have really grown to care about them and I hope the feeling is mutual. I get along with them great and I have stated earlier but they all are so kind and gentle; with the biggest hearts of anyone you’ll ever going to meet. It was touching to see how happy they were and how much they cared for one another; when others were down they made such an effort to cheer them up; at one point praying over someone; I was amazed.
This trip was also good for me because it has been a stressful and painful few weeks with a lot going in my life; I needed a break and this trip kept me so busy that I forgot my troubles for a short while and focused on being a part of this ministry instead. And we were really busy; we did all sorts of things like cooking meals, bible study; hot dog roast, apple picking, out to dinner and exploring the mountain city; it was busy busy busy but they really seemed to enjoy themselves; they were very excited everywhere we went. One of the more frustrating parts of the trip was that a few times I noticed people giving us funny looks and that made me sad. These young adults are so cool and funny and sweet and yet the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way. But you obviously can’t react so you talk to the person next to you and continue eating your chicken fingers; pretending not to notice the people staring at us. But for the most part; people were accepting of them and that made me smile.
When I joined this group I was also looking forward to getting to know some of volunteers and I felt that I was able to connect with most of the people there; really well. Oh and I have always managed to get to know some of the parents of the young adults and I can tell some of them really like me; I really try to get to know them and hopefully they can realize how much I care. Anyways while I get along with a lot of the people; . I am exhausted and I finally have a day off; so I am taking this day ( how did i get Saturday off?) off to rest and recover from this positive yet emotionally draining trip.
The mountains so beautiful before me; air crisp and cool; a crow provides the soundtrack as i enjoy this time of peace with God; alone in my thoughts; bright blue fall sky as I rock in this chair; smoke billowing from a nearby kitchen where we cooked breakfast; reflecting on the days events as i prepare to go back; back to the routine, but for now i am peace with the cold wind blowing at me. This is time I need ; time to reflect; gather my thoughts. Nature inspires me to write out my inner thoughts to no one and everyone at the same time. A good trip this was; just what i needed.
Atari music on my turntable; screeching guitars, a gateway from one decade to another; something fresh from a different world; the sound of upcoming excess; trade in the bell bottoms for the bell of the stock exchange; gone are the leisure suits; replaced with tight jeans and polo shirts; a new era has emerged; priced 8.95 from Sam Goody ( the sticker still attached); this LP has been recorded digitally; touts the label; ; who bought and what did they think of this when they first heard it the beginning of the decade? Did they understand it or was it tossed out the window; the vinyl record smashed into a million pieces by someone who had no idea of what he was listening to. Or did they play the record over and over until the record was so worn by surface noise that it was unlistenable?. Or maybe it was played every so often by someone not so nearly obsessive about music as me. I have no idea since I wasn’t even born yet. So why am I writing this about an album and a song you’ve never heard of? No idea. Anyone? Help me out here?
As night approaches; I see a glimpse of the sky and it’s on fire; a bright orange sunset before me. I must capture this moment for posterity, but I can’t stop my car in the middle of the road; I feel the pains of frustration; I decide to catch this sunset before darkness encases the sky; robbing me of this wonder of nature. I pull to a safe place but the sunset is obscured the trees; leaving me only the tiniest crumbs from the fire in the sky. As I drive I try several times to capture the sunset but to no avail; I’m running of time as I see the sky getting darker and darker. I pull into a bank parking lot and walk up to the adjacent sidewalk and feel my foot sink into a puddle of mud; my shoe completely soaked; i finally took a photo of the sky on a busy street full of traffic with the lights of the cars flying past me; this was the Pulitzer prize winning photo; the sunset I so desperately tried to capture. I shrugged my shoulders and thought to myself; I did the best I could and there’s always tomorrow’s sunset; if you miss one; they”ll be plenty more to capture that’s for sure.
When I’m walking alone in the woods during the day; nothing is more beautiful than the sun shining through the trees; it’s almost magical; giving me warmth and illuminating all the nature around me; shimmering light that dances on a nearby pond; hidden creatures running for cover under for darkness; as not to be seen by predators from above; a long reflection of my own shadow and I glance down towards the ground; I’m mesmerized by this. Sunlight means to freedom from the cold; to play freely without restraints and to enjoy mother nature at it’s finest. And of course this was written on a cloudy rain day; with my shoes and socks soaked from the flood I had to walk through to get to my car. Trying to shake off the rain; great I’m finally back inside; nice and dry; just dreaming of when the sun can come out again.
What is your favorite song about rain? Leave it in the comments below.
I see you there beautiful balloon; stuck on the ground; I’m glad I found you before you flew into the air and I don’t mean to stare but I had to admire you since you caught my eye and I wonder what you’ll see when you rise up to the sky; where will you fly to places that exist only in a dream; I seem to be lost in my own thoughts and wishing I had bought a ticket for a ride in your balloon but I blinked my eyes and you were gone too soon.
This is me kicking it old school in my elementary days. Circa 1991