Sunday, December 11, 2016


I feel like things had been happening to me. I wasn't really experiencing things, they would just happen to me and I would respond. Instead of actively participating, I would just sit back as different events occurred in my life. They would occur and I would respond accordingly.

I realized recently that this isn't a great way to live. I don't feel nearly as *alive* as I used to. I didn't know how to break out of this slump though. I would reach different breakthroughs, however. I remember feeling great because I realized that all of the resources I needed were there for me(mainly my friends and family). But I would struggle with how to utilize those resources. I would talk to my friends and family but i wouldn't really make any progress.

I'm not sure what's changed in my life, but I just feel different now. Different in a good way. Instead of letting things happen to me and responding, I'm actively participating. I'm taking action. I'm being proactive in a way that I haven't in years. It feels great.

I think part of it has to do with the fact that I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. I would stop breathing(10 seconds or more) 95.5 times an hour. That's WILD. Surely that had an effect on my everyday life.

Now that I've been diagnosed and started treatment in the form of a CPAP machine, I've felt a lot better. I wouldn't say the difference is night and day, but it's absolutely noticeable. I don't fall asleep at work anymore. I've been having much more meaningful conversations. Not only have I been more physically active, I've felt better as I exercise.

I feel a lot more normal. It feels like I've reached a mountain peak and I get to look down(or back) on the world below. I'm reluctant to say that I'm *okay* now, because I felt that I was okay many times before, only to find that I still had a ways to go. But I do feel very optimistic with how things are progressing.

I've found that I've experienced a lot of love from different friends and family. I also have to give credit to my primary care doctor and seeing a therapist. Seeing them has helped me sort out what's real, what's not, and how I can improve.

There's a lot of music out there about how love is the only thing that's real and worth striving for. Money and possessions are awesome but at the end of the day love is all you really have(or something corny like that, lol). I've been fucking with that message so much lately. Yeah.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I feel good. I feel happy. I felt joy today for the first time in foreverrrrr

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I'm a big believer that you've got to go through the struggles in order to appreciate the peaks. Sometimes you have to suck it up and take it on the chin. You learn and you grow from that kind of thing.

I don't like it when people take the approach that they need to get better as soon as possible. You should take the bad with the good. You can try to do whatever it takes to feel better ASAP, but I feel like you won't genuinely feel okay. It's okay to be down in the dumps(healthy even, in spurts). Take your lumps and when you're ready, get back to killing shit.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Summer Friends

It's no secret that I've been having a rough time for a while now. I had a lot of good stuff that I'd write but i wouldn't post it cuz this blog would turn into the most EMO of emo blogs.

But i do regret not posting them. It'd be like when an artist drops a real dope, dark album out of no where. I missed out on a chance to chronicle how i really felt during one of the darkest times in my life.

I will say this though. One of the biggest things I've learned while gong through it is that family and friends really are the most important things in my life.

I never saw why it was dope important that you be at every hangout, every party that you're invited to. There's always next party. I'll see you motherfuckers then.

Now that I'm older and the chances to see each other are lessening, I see the value in all of us being together, reminiscing and building memories together. If you miss the birthday party, you might miss out on the one chance you get to see your old college friend. You might not be able to see them again for another couple of years.

So try not to make excuses to not see people. Shared experiences come few and far between the more we grow and tack on more responsibilities.

Be there for each other, tell your loved ones that you love them, and appreciate the times you get to spend together, no matter how often it is. God bless

Sunday, April 10, 2016

One In A Million

Listen to One In A Million (dvsn remix) by dvsn #np on #SoundCloud

This reminds me, I gotta make a "late Sunday night driving home and thinking about how your next girl has no IDEA what she's getting into" playlist. Lol

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Skipping Stones

Holler at chore motherfucking ghorl!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


There's a point in everyone's life where your parents are no longer the perfect beings that you look up to. It used to be "momma knows best" or " I know pops will have my back!"

Now you're witnessing as your mom is losing her memory and your dad just cussed out this poor restaurant worker for a simple mistake. Now you feel responsible for them. Now it's on you to take care of them.

But wait, these are my parents, they're supposed to take care of me, not the other way around. Wtf is going on?

I remember I had a high school teacher who had a nervous breakdown and told us how he was struggling. He said there's a point in your life in your 30's where you're stuck in between three generations. You're 30 years old, competing with your peers. You want a better job, better car, better relationship than them. You also have parents who are aging and you have to take care of them. On top of all of this, you're a brand new parent and you have to figure out how the fuck to raise a baby. Add all of this together and ain't no way BUT to feel absolutely FUCKED.

Well fuck you Mr. Hardin, that shit doesn't wait til your 30's. I've got a friend whose dad attempted suicide. Cops busted down his door, sent him to the hospital, the whole 9. Meanwhile, my friend was working thousands of miles away, unable to come help the situation. Thank God everything worked out in the end, but how the fuck are we supposed to deal with something like that?

I have another friend who's working hard to support him and his parents. He's working hundreds of miles away and the only way to help his dad with his mentally ill mom is an occasional phone call and visit every couple of months. He talked to me about it and we were able to get both of his parents on Medi-Cal and CalFresh. His dad thanked him and I because his mother was able to get the medical attention she needed and now his dad has been getting the best sleep he's gotten in years. Thank God everything worked out in the end, but again, how the fuck are we supposed to deal with something like that?

I have a post buried somewhere deep in this blog(too lazy to find and link to it) talmbout how maturity doesn't come until you're not ready for it. That absolutely applies here. Me and my friends are in our mid 20's, struggling to get our acts together. Meanwhile, life is hitting us hard and we gotta deal with taking care of our parents. Our parents used to be a symbol of strength, safety, and togetherness. Now we can't look at our parents without seeing a shell of their former selves.

No longer does my mom's advice scare me because I'm scared of how she'll react if I don't follow what she says. Her soon to be 55 year old soul just doesnt elicit the same fear in me that it used to. She used to yell at me and it would physically shake me. She probably stands like 5 foot nothing, but she always commanded this fear and respect from me.

Now that I'm getting older my mom isn't passing off this facade that she's this all wonderful person. She's allowing me to see the more human side of her, and its scary. Now I see why my parents were so quick to make me respect my grandparents. I'll always remember taking my grandpa to his cancer radiation treatments, and my dad would always tell the nurses and doctors, "be careful, he's the only one I got left."

What's cool is that through all of this, I've grown an even deeper appreciation for every little thing I get to do with my family. Any time we take a walk together, any time we get to take time out of our busy schedules to have dinner together, any time we get to spend together period, I'm appreciating it more and more.

My mom's been a manager for years and years and years now. I just had dinner with her at the mall(Genghis Khan all day erryday) and told her about my struggles as a trainer at my job. She was able to listen to me and give me great advice on how to proceed. I'm soooo appreciative of the fact that even though I'm old and grown and the list of things she's able to school me on is getting smaller and smaller, we were able to connect and have another mother-son conversation that I'll always remember.

When was the point that you realized your dad wasn't as strong and sharp as he used to be? My dad died when I was 11, so I never got to see much of that, but I think it's an interesting question to pose to people my age.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Small Talk Corny Ryan might be making a comeback y'all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I Got A New One For Ya

"I'm content, I'm not bitter, I'm happy. I reached all my goals."

-Momma Bear Manalili

Look out world, i aint gotta worry about momma bear. Commence the fuckery!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I spent most of 2015 heartbroken and depressed. Mind you, I never was diagnosed with depression by a doctor or anything, I just had a lot of symptoms you see in someone who's depressed. (As an aside, I do believe it's disrespectful to people who are going through depression to jokingly say you're depressed, if you know fully well that you're not.)

Anyway, I felt a lot of conflicting emotions. I didn't know how to deal with things. Every day and every week felt like a struggle. I felt like I was drowning. Any chance I got to grab my breath, I took. I felt out of control and it was stressful.

To complicate things, I was experiencing burnout at work. It was weird because I love my job and I love coming to work. Anyone I work with will tell you that I always walk around smiling like a fucking weirdo.

However, I was working too hard. I didn't take a real vacation from June 2014(Copa Del Mundo en Rio De Janeiro, holla!) til Christmas 2015(Philippines). I would both dread and love coming to work. On one hand, work was my safe haven, where I was good at what I did, everyone loved me, and I didn't feel so much like I was drowning and gasping for air. On the other hand, I needed a fucking break.

I learned that I'm a fucking weirdo because I would show up to work even if I was sick. I would rather be at work being productive and helping people, than at home JOKOing and playing video games. I'm so selfish that I would rather put my coworkers at risk of being sick than stay home, call in sick, and recover. Really weird, contradictory feelings here.

I also started to feel the phenomena (there's gotta be a name for it but I can't think of it) of "I go to work, I come home, I pay my bills, and that's my entire week. I don't do anything meaningful to me aside from my career. I felt like I was living to work instead of working to live."

That really bugged me because having been blessed enough to have traveled around to many places, one of the main things I've learned is that many Americans work too hard and don't put enough focus on enjoying the other things in life. There's more to my life than my career. Somehow I turned into someone I spent so long avoiding.

There's a theory called Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that I've always been interested in. I'm probably going to butcher this(we dont like to fact check too much on this blog, lol), but the gist of it is we as humans need to meet our basic needs before we can address bigger, grand scheme kinds of things. It's imagined as a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid are the absolute basics we need to survive, like feeling secure enough to know that no animal is going to come and bite my head off in the next 30 seconds. Once I feel secure enough with that, I need to feel safe enough to take care of basic bodily functions like pissing and shitting. Once I get that taken care of, the next level up is something like building meaningful relationships with others. You can't reach one level until every other level below it is taken care of.

Eventually, you reach the self-actualization stage where you can start thinking about philosophy, mankind, earth, and big picture theories. I feel like I was able to reach this stage in college. I didn't necessarily have my shit together, but I was taking care of myself enough to think a lot about  random, crazy things. Coincidentally, a lot of those things ended up in this blog.

Anyway, during my drowning period, I never really thought about the crazy things that I would when I was still in college. I was too busy worrying about what the next hour, day, week had in store with me and how I was going to deal. It was really weird how every hour, day, week would blend into the next. I was just showing up to places without really being present. Next thing I know, the day is over. The week is over. Jesus Christ, six fucking months have passed, and I dunno what I really have to show for it.

So now I can say with confidence that I'm working my way out of that weird slump. I'm a little disappointed because I don't get to blog about anything that I feel is worthy of posting when I'm in that weird drowning state. But now your boy is BACK and I's gon' keep posting that provocative and interesting SHIET for yalls(and mostly my) reading entertainment!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Learn from each other

I've talked before about how important it is to consider who you talk to first about something. I'll find the link later and link it to this post(or maybe I won't! Fuck you! lol). Like when you come back from a first date and start talking to your friends about it, they help you digest and figure out what happened and how to deal with what happened. The person you choose to share that experience with has a good amount of say on how you feel about that first date.

On a semi-related note, I've seen advice that you should be careful about venting to your friends and relatives about your significant other. You don't want to tell your best friend about each and every fight you have with your significant other, because fighting and conflict is natural in any relationship. Eventually you're going to tell your best friend about 500 different fights, and your best friend might start to think your significant other is a fucking douchebag, when in reality you guys are just going through the typical growing pains that any couple goes through.

So you don't want to tell any one person about each and every fight that you and your SO go through, great. But how do you go about it so you're not just holding everything in? I guess the best way to go about it is to spread the wealth and go to different people each time. But what if you only want advice(or simply to be heard) from one or two people? Everyone else gives you shitty advice or is a bad listener? What then?

That's an interesting decision that any boyfriend or girlfriend has to make. I dunno why this interests me so much but it does.

In other news, new Majid Jordan in a couple of weeks, new Kanye in February, and new Mayer later this spring. Let's. Fucking. GO.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Listen to Too Deep by dvsn #np on #SoundCloud

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Only wanna provide whatever makes you smile

     I'm thinking about the different kinds of girls I would and wouldn't date. I definitely don't like dealing with girls who haven't had to deal with struggle. I think everyone's dealt with struggle, but some people moreso than most. I don't like girls who are spoiled and entitled.

     I can go on and on about the list of things I'm looking for and not looking for in a girl, but that's not that interesting. But this got me thinking about another topic: how I'm going to raise my kid.
     I've heard plenty of people say that they spoil their kid rotten. They do it because they want to give their kids everything that they didn't have growing up. And it sounds so good on paper, but your kid is going to end up with that as part of their personality all throughout life. They're going to be spoiled all their life, including when they start dating. They're going to end up dating a guy who eventualy figures out that she's entitled and spoiled, and that dude is gonna be mad at me for raising her to be who she is!

     I want to raise my child(ren) to be well-adjusted, reasonable people.

     Feel free to show this to me in 20 years when it turns out that my son is a womanizing asshole and my daughter is a disrespectful bitch, lol.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Don't Pay It No Mind

     It's important to express yourself when you're in different places in your life. You only go through some emotions so many times in your life, and it's important to document how you felt and what made you feel that way.
     That being said, I'm over talking about breakup and heartache and all that cheesy stuff. I had a good conversation with a friend about how i felt about breakup and heartache, and she recommended this podcast episode. The episode was about breakups and described how people felt about dealt with breakups. The episode is super on point with how the breakup experience is. I love it, but it makes me cringe so much how pouty and woe-is-me all of this sounds.
     So I'm over talking about breakups, heartache, love, and all that corny shit. I didn't write as much as I had wished while I was going through it, but fuck it. It's on to talking about how we gon' get these BITCHESSSSSSS!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015


It's crazy because I asked for this. I told multiple friends that I couldn't wait until I had a girlfriend, not so much for the good times, but for the bad times, the hard times. "I've never cried over a girl before! I've never yelled at a girl before! I've never felt so emotionally invested in a relationship that could even possibly elicit those emotions and responses from me!"

Now that I've felt these emotions, I can absolutely say that it was all worth it. The headaches, the struggles, the fights, they were all worth it in the end. I came out with a better understanding of what love is. Now I understand what love can do for and do to you.

I've seen people say that they're too hurt to love again, and they're scared to put themselves back in a situation to love again. That mentality confuses me because the way I see it, if you've gone and experienced true love, you know that it's completely worth it in the end. I'll willingly put myself through pain and agony if it means there's light at the end of the tunnel. If I have to go through a couple dates and get burned by some girls, that'll be fine by me if it means that it brings me closer to finding the woman who I'm going to start a family with, raise my children with.

I promise I won't turn this blog into me being sadboy about relationships and whatnot, lollll. I just know that I want to write down and express how I feel about this shit, because its the first time I've ever felt it. And I want my next girl to be my last girl, so if all goes right, I won't ever feel this again :) so expect some more corny relationship posts, but know that's not all that this blog is gonna be about.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Poker in the sky

One day I'm gonna write some poetry about how i feel. I don't wanna die without trying to describe how i feel through poetry.

I could even justify it by saying I'm making a rap, lolllll

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hotline Blang!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Staring At The Beast With Teeth Blood Red

I'm in a really interesting spot in my life. I'm just gonna freeball this shit and we'll see how this goes, lol.

I both love and hate the fact that I'm single. On one hand, I love the freedom and independence that comes with being single. I don't have to answer to anyone. I don't have to take anyone else's feelings into consideration when I make decisions. I can do pretty much anything I want. I can flirt with whoever I want, say whatever I want to say, do whatever I want to do. Accidentally flirt with that new girl you just met? You ain't gotta worry dawg, you ain't gotta feel regretful. There's no one you have to answer to, no relationship you have to protect.

On the other hand, I know for a fact that I was happier back when I was in a relationship. My ex was amazing to me. She wasn't perfect and neither was I, but we were a force to reckoned with. We approached every obstacle we encountered together and no matter how hard it was, we figured out something that worked for us. She was so sweet, caring, thoughtful, and was so good at doing the little things. There are countless little things she did that made me appreciate the hell out of her.

Breaking up with her was absolutely one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. We were so incredibly happy together. I knew going into the breakup that I was going transition from a position where I was incredibly happy with her, into a position where I would be single and not nearly as happy as I was with her. I knew this going into it and that made it that much harder to break up.

Why would I willingly go from a position where I was happy, into a position where we separated and I wasn't nearly as happy? No bullshit, I did it because I love her and always will. When you truly love someone, you want the best for them always, even if that means not being together anymore. I knew that we wouldn't be together happily ever after. So instead of letting our relationship slowly deteriorate, I opted to end things between us. If you truly love someone, you want to see them happy and winning. The reasons we broke up are important but I won't go into detail about them here. I knew that she would find a better man for her and I hoped that I would find the right woman for me. I haven't gotten to talk to her much about her new man but I hope that he's treating her as well as she deserves to be treated.

I do know that I'm still not really ready for another relationship. I'm too selfish. I'm not too welcoming to the idea of having to take another person's interests into consideration. I don't think I'm too willing to compromise and make sacrifices, as is absolutely crucial and necessary in relationships.

I do hope that I turn that corner soon. Cuffing season is right around the corner, lol! Just kidding. But I'm 24 years old, turning 25 in November. If I put things in perspective, I'm still really young. If I look at the big picture, I have plenty of time to do what I want. One thing is I've always planned on is getting married at 28 or 29. That'd give my wife and I a couple of years to fuck around, travel, do all the things we want to do before we're tied down by family life(I'm thinking kids by 32 or 33). This isn't a drop dead deadline, more so a general timeframe of how I'd like my life to go. Gauging from my prior relationships, i think it'd take a minimum of 3 years in a relationship before I decide whether or not I want to marry someone. That means that if I want to adhere to this loose timeframe of mine, I should find a girl over the next year or two and hope it works out.

The funny thing is, I can't even begin to imagine myself dating right now! For some odd reason, I don't even enjoy talking to girls right now. I've always enjoyed talking to girls more than guys, but ever since the breakup, I now dread the thought and actively avoid extended conversations with women! It's no fault of theirs; I'm just a weirdo right now and prefer the direct and predictable conversations I have with guys. There's something to be said about the predictability and rules of guy convos. I just know that some poor girls have actively tried to engage me in conversation (both flirty and non-flirty), and I actively avoid and try to end those conversations as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, I think I'm slowly breaking out of my post-breakup shell. I'm hanging out with my best female friend more and more, and its helping me ease back into being able to conversations with girls(its not that bad Ryan, I promise! Lol). It's showing me that I'm capable of hanging out with a girl and not being too weird or quiet. Hanging out with her is giving me hope that the Single Ryan of yesteryear can finally make his way back out into society! Single Ryan was charming, charismatic, funny, and generally a fun guy to be around. I feel like I've toned down all of those aspects of my character, but here's to hoping that I break out of this post-breakup slump. Here's to hoping that Single Ryan makes his way back into society and post-breakup Ryan can stop being such a weirdo!

Been a good day to run away bro, what I would give to have the Majid Jordan only version of this song.

Friday, December 19, 2014


If I were an artist, I don't think I would care if people didn't interpret the art the way I wanted them to. Let's say I made a song about heartbreak. I would hope that people hear it and use it to help them get through that emotion. Or they could use it to reflect on a previous breakup.

That being said, I wouldn't even care if people "missed the point" of the song. If someone heard my song about heartbreak and found that it was the happiest song they've ever heard about, I wouldn't mind at all. Someone could hear my heartbreak song and use it in their sunny day, summer playlist. I wouldn't mind at all.

What I would mind is if my art didn't move you. If you hear my song and it doesn't move you at all, doesn't evoke any kind of emotion for you, doesn't make you feel a certain way, then I've failed as an artist. Like, the worst thing you could tell me is that you're wishy-washy about my song. You can tell me that my song sucks and it only barely makes you feel a certain way, and that'd be fine with me. But if you told me that you're indifferent about my song, that would bother me deeply.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


This song means a lot to me. Everywhere I've looked, it's been described as a sad song. Yukimi's friend died and the song is full of sad descriptions. However, I think that not only is this song a happy song, I think it's the definition of a feel-good story.
The song is about Yukimi missing her friend. They had written many letters to each other and stayed in communication. They were planning on meeting each other in Paris, but Yukimi's friend died before they could set it up. Yukimi is heartbroken and is stuggling to cope. However, the first verse shows that she's making strides to "move on and look ahead instead." She acknowledges that what they had was incredible and it's horrible that they weren't able to meet in Paris the way they planned, but she's doing okay now and is able to move on.
That's the definition of a feel-good story! Being sad and heart-broken is terrible. It feels like it won't ever go away and you end up afraid that you'll feel this way forever. I know I've reached a point where I look at myself and tell myself that I'm being dramatic, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel alone and scared. After having such deep, personal feelings, you truly feel stuck. It's a terrifying feeling. But in "Paris", Yukimi found the strength to dig herself out of that hole, no matter how hard it might have been for her.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

This joint has got me open

Tuxedo - Do It (Official Video):

Little known fact: I'm the inspiration for this music video. The protagonist? That's me, lol

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Im so dependent

A big part of being in love is allowing yourself to be you when you're with your significant other. You've got to be able to be vulnerable around them. You've got to let them see the real you, imperfections and all.

My sister and one of her exes(let's call him Kevin) made it a point to show off the fact that they "never fought." Somehow they managed to convince themselves that they never had conflicts, that they never let disagreements escalate to anything more than just a civilized discussion.

Being able to tell people that you and your significant other never fight is awesome, but it's entirely unrealistic. If you put two or more people together, conflict is inevitable. You can try your hardest to simply let it go whenever you get into a fight, but that's disingenuous to your SO. Part of being in love is allowing your SO to see you at your worst, so that they can know all of you, not just you when you guys are happy. You can get away with letting things go for only so long. Eventually, you're going to have to let them see you when you're angry.

Let me give you a more extreme example. Let's say my sister and Kevin managed to stick together for a couple years. They had gotten away with not fighting because Kevin had the strength to let things slide whenever a disagreement was brewing(and let's be clear, letting things go takes a lot of strength and trust). The thing is, marriage is for forever and Kevin won't be able to let things slide forever. Eventually those true colors are going to come out and he's going to react. That reaction is going to be something that my sister Jamie has never seen out of him before. Jamie's going to be taken aback because this is a part of Kevin that she's never seen before. Now they've got issues because this isn't the Kevin that Jamie married. Hopefully they can patch things up, but they would have avoided the issue altogether if Kevin had allowed Jamie to see his true colors. He justified letting things go by saying he was doing the best thing for their relationship. What he was actually doing was making things worse and putting issues off for a later time. No matter how pure his intentions, he probably should have been honest and pure with his actions.

Obviously this is a bit of an extreme example. But I think there is something to be said about people who are scared to let their true colors show. The moral of the story, kids, is to not be afraid to let your lover see the crazy side of you. You might think you're doing what's best for your relationship by letting things slide(and there are definitely times where that's appropriate and necessary), but eventually you're going to have to respond honestly and address the issue directly. You can try to mask it and hide it for as long as possible but if you truly love your significant other, you have to let them love  you for all of you, flaws and all.

Okay okay, this was a really shitty and cheesy post. But that's all I got for you right now, you greedy fucks. Lol

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

U i don't know how to embed this on my phone or tablet but here goes, lol

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dem ghorls

Ugh, it's Friday night and I'm out with my girls. I just wanna go out and forget about these stupid boys! I just wanna go out and dance! I just wanna dance!

Mark Morrison- Return Of The Mack Lyrical Video:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sad and lonely

Milan, my favorite sports team, is about to sell Mario Balotelli, one of my favorite athletes.

This is hard to admit, but when times get hard, I find myself listening to the most EMO and DRAMATIC songs. This is fucking hilarious lol

Keyshia Cole-I Remember

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This whole Ferguson thing is crazy. I really wish I was still in school and could participate in a sociology class discussion about race. That'd be an interesting convo

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I remember when my dad died, I didn't cry. I helped my mom go to Costco to buy party supplies that would be necessary for all the people that would be coming through our house over the next few weeks. I had my mom buy me NBA live that day. I played the hell out of that game. I would lock myself in my room, bump music, and play NBA live and grand theft auto.

Anyway, over the next few days, I remember talking to my dad in my head, telling him that I knew that I now had to step up like Robert Horry(he was tearing shit UP at that time). I thought I would be able to step up and be the man of the house.

I learned quickly that it just wasn't possible. I was just a young boy with so much to learn. I figured that if I couldn't do that, the least I could do is do my best to not be a burden to my mom.

My mom had a horrible time trying to recover from my dad's death. She couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, and struggled overall to take care of herself. She never wavered when it came to taking care of me or Jamie, but she couldn't find it in herself to do what she needed for herself. It wasn't for a lack of trying, either. She was going to support groups for widows. She was taking sleeping pills. She was talking to our doctor for possible solutions to her struggles. Nothing worked and it got scary for a while.

Then she found relief in church. Her best friend (my sister's godmother) invited her to join the cursillo with her. Together they went through the initiation process and together they made it. Part of the initiation process involved a weekend retreat. I don't know what they did during the retreat, but after the retreat, my mom seemed like a changed person. She seemed grateful and happy for all of the blessings in her life. After that point, I stopped worrying about my mom taking care of herself.

After she joined the cursillo, she forced my sister and I to go to church every weekend as well as join the cursillo in praying the rosary each Sunday. My sister and I attended CCD each week.

I hated going to church. For me it was boring and a waste of time. It didn't do much for me. I still wish my mom didn't force church on me and my sister the way she did.

That's not to say that I hated church and religion as an insttution. I firmly believe that the church saved my mom's life. Without my mom finding herself in church, I have no idea where my sister and I would be today.

So there I was. My dad was gone. My mom was there taking care of me and my sister and after she had found herself in church, I knew that she would take care of herself, which meant that she would be capable of taking care of us as well.

I figured life would slow down for me, that people would be sympathetic to my struggles. And I couldn't have been more wrong.

I was in seventh grade when my dad died. I was enrolled in some advanced classes already but I started struggling. I thought teachers would take it easy on me. But I never really communicated with them what was going on, so they never cut me any slack. They can't help someone who doesn't ask for help.

I became a little disinterested in things. I remember requesting to speak to a school counselor, just to see what she would say about my dad dying. Honestly, i really only did it have an excuse to get out of class. But when I did get to speak to my school counselor, I ended up telling her I was having a hard time focusing in school after my dad's passing. I guarantee you she had no idea that her workday was going to end with her having to console a grieving 11 year old. That poor woman. It's gotta be tough, being a middle school counselor.

My teachers weren't cutting me any slack, but the other kids were much worse. We were all trying to deal with the struggle that is middle school life, so it seemed that no one had time to check up on little me; they had no choice but to worry about self-preservation, something that admittedly is pretty draining during middle school.

Movies and television paint this picture that high school is this terrible place and time in everyone's life, full of bullying, judging, and public embarrassment. But in my experience, high school wasn't that difficult at all as far as social interactions go. Middle school was much worse. I saw bullying, fights and peer pressure all the time. Everyone was struggling to figure out where they were on the social scale.

For 11 year old me, this meant that my closest friends were unforgiving in their pursuit to make sure that they ended up as high as possible on the social totem pole. They saw a deflated boy with self confidence issues and pounced on that weakness. Despite the fact that I was struggling with morning my father's death, my friends went on with the teenage ritual which is poking at each other's insecurities, finding each other's weaknesses and tearing each other a new asshole. I would give examples but I think I might have blocked those memories since they were so painful, lol. What I do remember is thinking, "these are the people I call my friends. Why aren't they treating me the way friends should year each other?"

I was also bullied by the cool kids on the bus. They would flick my ears and I wouldn't react with anything more than an angry glance. They would point their laser pointer in my eye until I reacted, at which point they do their macho dance, screaming "what are you gonna do, pussy? Nothing, that's right!" After a certain point, I stopped taking the school bus and opted instead to have my mom drop me off and pick me up from school. I told her I was doing extra curricular work with teachers. I think she still has no idea why I really needed her to take me to and pick me up from school. This is about the same time that I realized that I wasn't capable of being the "man of the house", whatever that meant. Like I said before, I needed to try my best to not be a burden to my mom. Having her take me to and pick me up from school definitely wasn't what I wanted, but again, it was part of me having to do the whole self-preservation thing. I couldn't grow as a person while having to deal with all of that bullying and pressure.

I think the first time I cried over the death of my father was in October 2012, the ten year anniversary of his death. I was off at college, living it up. My friends were throwing a surprise birthday party for one of our friends. That entire day was a struggle for me, as I reflected on many things. Was I making my dad proud? Was I happy with where I was at in life? I knew I was okay because I was set to graduate college in four years, something that I knew my dad would be proud of. He had always stressed that he wanted me and my sister to graduate from college. I came to the realization that I probably had made it through his death okay. I didn't have any lingering after effects, no daddy issues I needed to get over. The tears that I was crying that October afternoon were simply because I missed him. And that that was perfectly fine.

I ended up missing the birthday surprise but I did make it in time to party with the birthday boy. We ended up doing the ever popular "Edward 40hands" drinking game and got entirely too drunk. I drove home that night and was too drunk to drive. I pulled over and opted to get some drunk food at Carl's Jr. I remember listening to Childish Gambino's "All The Shine" and just breaking down completely. I sat there in line at the drive thru, crying years' worth of tears. Up to that point I knew that I missed him but that moment really shed light on how intense my feelings were as far as missing him. I cried myself to sleep that night, thinking about how much I wanted him to be there to see me graduate. I wanted him to just know that I was okay, that my mom and sister were okay. I had come to grips with the fact that he was gone forever, but I wanted to give anything to have him alive for just one day, to celebrate how far we've come in life thanks to him.

Since then, I've definitely had a couple of crying sessions after thinking about my dad. Making up for years' worth of tears, I suppose. And I'm sure I'll shed more tears in the future when I think about him. It'll be so intense when I have to explain to my children that their grandfather died eleven years after I was born. It'll be tough when my sister gets married and isn't able to be walked down the aisle by Dad. Honestly the toughest thing for me is worrying that my mom will retire soon and won't have my dad there to retire into the sunset and grow old with her. Luckily she has a tremendous support system in the church and our relatives. And she's the strongest individual in the world, so I'm sure she'll be okay. Maybe the best way for me to pay back all of the hard work my dad did is to make sure my mom doesn't have to worry about a damn thing for the rest of her life.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

See the thang about you that caught my eye

You really won't get any of my personality off of a first impression. Unless we're in a setting where we're talking or something, you probably will think I'm just a quiet dude. Then you'll go off and assume I'm a boring dude.

To be fair, i probably am a really boring dude, lol. But that seems unfair, to meet me once and think you have me all figured out