Keep playing the game, it gets better!

I sell on Ebay, and to sell on Ebay I need to procure “stuff” others want to buy on a regular basis. So here is the thing, when I first started out going to thrift stores, and searching for items through apps such as Offerup, I really had no clue what I was doing.

I started out driving all over town, picking up bulky items that I would pay whatever the asking price was. I didn’t try to haggle the price down with the seller. This business model ended up being inefficient and time consuming.

But this is the thing. When you are in the process of learning anything new, you will go through a similar phase. The awkward path of figuring it out, stumbling along the path of being green at something. Along the way this newness brings with it feelings of uncertainty, self doubt and feelings of loneliness.

There is no way of avoiding it. When starting something new you will most likely suck at it for a while. For me I enjoyed the exploration and learning. I enjoy meeting new people and speaking with them about the items they are selling. The process of learning was more than just a job to me, it fit my personality well.

I guess this segways into the next main point is your “why”. Why do you want to learn this new thing, and is it a big enough “Why” to help push you over the hump when the going gets tough? Being clear about why you want to master a new subject or take a new class will help bring clarity to your mind, when the going gets tough.

The longer you keep playing the game, the more opportunities start opening up for you. I am reminded of this time and time again. On one given day, I might visit a couple thrift stores and garage sales and come up empty. For some this is enough reason to call it quits and stop going out looking for more items. A sign from the gods that they have failed, their luck has dried up and there are no more riches to be found. However, I never quit. I understood that in order to get the good items, I need to be consistent in searching for new items. It never seems to fail. I can have a string of one or two bad days, but strike gold the next day.

You have to keep playing the game in order to reap the rewards. If your “why” is strong enough and you persevere, you will succeed. The odds are in your favor.

What Is My Message?

I wonder what drives many people to write a blog, much less write anything at all. Is it to quench the fundamental need to express ones thoughts and share them with others? To scatter ones ideas into the empty abyss of the internet? Is it the need to be heard and in some small way validated through feedback offered by others? To be both seen and heard?

I guess to some it is a calling such as certain individual’s need to draw, paint, sow..etc. Its a need to create, to give birth to an idea in the small chance that this small fragile idea with germinate, grow and spread.

Writing in many ways is a very personal way of tapping into one’s most inner thoughts. it’s a conduit between the unconscious and conscious then expressed out into the world via a medium such as blog or article.

I know I have a strong drive to help others. In any profession I have had, it has always evolved around helping. I have struggled to find the right profession though where I felt my natural talents were fully realized. I have always felt like I was going against the grain in any job I have taken.

This of course is my fault. I can’t really blame anyone else for the path and decisions I have made. Of course I can blame others, but that never has helped me better my life.

I struggle to listen to my inner voice and head in the direction it suggests that I take. Instead I listen to what society as a whole has laid out for me. Conventional, outdated ideas and paths that have never fit me.

I am coming to realize that I have never fully fit in with societal norms. Others as a whole seem content or completely oblivious of the child safety bumpers that society puts up to cage and strain creative thought.

American society and corporate loves to tout that they encourage creative thinking and new ideas, but for the most part I don’t believe this is true at all. They want blind obedience and will take a subservient employee over a creative outspoken individual.

It is becoming more apparent as I get older that I will never fit into corporate America. That what I can focus on is making my voice heard through writing and creating. If at all possible I can strive to develop skills where I can work for myself.

Circling back to my original topic, my message is to help shine a light on what others in society might not be fully aware of. To give voice to various ideas and opinions that might spark someone’s curiosity and make them think differently about a subject or trigger them to ponder a particular idea.

That is all I can hope for. To make some small change into this world instead of settling for just being another misshapen cog in the machine.

Why Are We Here Anyways?

I was just having this thought today while perusing the news headlines. Mankind is such a mess it seems, no matter what day it is. Man is such a slothen, deceptive, manipulative, evil mistake it seems on this overpopulated and overwhelmed planet. What is the purpose of all of this. Just some random mistake slowly winding its way to the end of its life, while holding this planet’s other inhabitants hostage slowly poising and killing them in the process.

Ok ok maybe I am taking it to far…but probably not. I don’t think it is a good enough reason to live just so you can eat, shit, fuck and sleep. There has got to be more than this in life. For mankind to rise above their fragile egos and make the world a better place, people on a large scale will need to have the drive to aspire for more.

Maybe this is a futile request. Maybe I am asking too much of the majority. Most humans are just trying to get by in life. They have neither the energy or the willpower to contribute their extra energy to a cause. Possibly, I am thinking about this the wrong way. Someone who is not monetarily rich can still contribute to the world in a positive manner just by the way they interact with others.

How one individual treats others, can have a far ranging ripple effect. So what am I really asking here? I am asking how each individual can contribute more to the well being of others and the world as a whole. This fundamental shift doesn’t need to occur at a governmental level, it can occur at a grass roots level too.

Will the ever growing global warming crisis spur such a change within our society? Will we see a large scale environmental change where society as a whole comes together to combat the injustices that mankind has inflicted on mother earth? I don’t know.

Mankind is selfish, short sighted, with a fragile ego. This type of thinking has benefited him for thousands of years. Consequences be damned for the bad decisions made today, we can deal with the after effects tomorrow. Well, fortunately or unfortunately the bill has come due and now it is time to pay the piper.

the biggest detriment to your success

What is success

What is success. The definition success, in Webster’s dictionary, “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”.  Why do we want to succeed, and at what particular task or goal are we trying to succeed at.  Are our goals and dreams our own or are we trying to succeed at something that is not congruent with our values and wants?
I have only had some limited success in life. A large part of being successful is being able to put your self out there and take chances.  Playing it safe, and living a meek life will not allow you the opportunities to be in the right place at the right time when opportunity strikes.

How to be successful

How to increase your chances of success anyways? I would say the most important predictor of being successful is someone who is willing to fail over and over again, and keep on persevering  A person who is open to experiences and someone who willing to meet new people and put themselves in uncomfortable situations.
Now you might say, “hold on, I’m an introvert, there is no way I am going to be able to put myself out there”. To that response, I would say “bullshit”. Anyone can change the way they behave if they are determined enough.  It takes modifying your behavior one small step at a time.  For example, instead of spending quiet time alone at home, you join a Zoom meeting for writers interested in writing their memoirs.
Success takes persistent dogged determination.  But it doesn’t have to be a grind. You can work on what you are trying to accomplish one small step at a time.

Why strive for success?

I would say that the best reason I have for striving to become better person than you were yesterday is the simple reason that I like to improve.  , others might have other motivations for success:  respect,  money, adoration.  The source for what motivates an individual to strive for success can be vast.
Regret could be one of the biggest motivators.  Life is short, and the more you wait to accomplish your goals, the less chance  will have time to complete what you set out to accomplish.
Along with success comes the rewards: money, accolades, respect from others. Many strive for success for the material gains in life.  In America, if you are a success, you are revered.  To be successful to many is all that there is to be gained in life.

Is there a downside to success?

There are two sides to a coin, when pursuing your dreams.  There is always the chance that things will not work out, no matter how much time and energy is put into the endeavor, however, usually with persistence, the odds of realizing ones dreams increase.
To pursue success and achieve ones goals, a significant amount of time usually needs to be dedicated. If someone has a family, it is often times that family time is sacrificed in order to make more time for ones endeavors.  Someone can be a success in finance, but at the same time be a complete failure as a father.  There is a price to success, in many situations.

Should I pursue success?

When success it is not the end goal to someones aspirations but a byproduct of someone’s dreams, anything is possible.  Like the artist who cannot stop painting.  Sure, they had dreams of being famous from time to time, but the true source of their success was their undying desire to create art and share with the world their creations.
When success doesn’t poison the well, but instead spurs someone on, encouraging them to create, explore, connect and grow, I believe that is when success is realized

Life at corporate is like taking a shit

Working in a corporate job is similar to taking a shit. It is a necessity to follow through, but in the end there is no glamor or esteem or purpose gleaned from most of it.   Some like a shit a lot.  They go through life taking regular shits, and with smiles on their faces when they flush their turd down the drain.

I would rather do something more meaningful and unconventional with my life than take regular bathroom breaks.  It’s all too conventional and boring.  Who gives a fuck at the end of the day if Bill from sales closes the deal.  I get it, it helps putting food on the table, but living an unconscious life will kill your spirit, and lead to a sad life.  But we are told this is how the game is played.  Who told you that you have to play the game.  It takes courage, curiosity and insight to question the game to begin with.


My life is a mediocre hotdog

In purchased a 14 pack of subpar polish frank hotdogs at the grocery store. I was anticipating they would be as good as the Costco franks. I was wrong.

Even though the hotdogs tasted bland, gave me indigestion I kept eating them.

This sums up my life. I intentionally settle for less in my life.

I ended up throwing out the hot dogs. Life is too short for subpar Franks.

Midlife career change

How do we know where to head when we don’t know where we currently are? I have been struggling with finding my path in life for quite a while now.  I would like to change careers but I don’t know what career suites me.  I am afraid to step off the ledge.

My biggest fear would be…well, fear.  Fear of the unknown. It probably also doesn’t help that I don’t trust my intuitive instincts. I want to say that I am consciously aware of what I want and don’t want in life, but I would be lying. I struggle to understand what my base needs and desires are.

I know that I crave to live an autonomous life. I want to work for myself.  Back when I was in my late teens, I ran a small lawn care business.  I mowed a number of people’s lawns throughout the summer. It was enjoyable.  I arrived when I wanted at the job, and I took as many breaks and as long a lunch as I wanted, too.

I just struggle in seeing the big picture.  I let each day go by with no progress in sight, firm plan of what I am trying to accomplish. It’s frustrating, and time keeps ticking by. I struggle to see where I stand in this life.

I don’t feel like I fit in, especially in the corporate culture. I feel like I aged out at 40.  That is crazy to think of, but today’s work environment seems to be tailored to baby the millennial generation.   A 9-5 job pays well in some regards, but you give up a hell of a lot in return. I never really thought of it that much until recently.  You lose a lot of your freedom in some sense, and autonomy and purpose are usually put to the side in favor of what the employer’s wants are.

So, what do I want in this life? Like I said, autonomy is paramount.  I would like to pursue multiple areas of interest, if possibly.  I have bought and sold on Ebay for over twenty years. Jesus, has it been that long, really? I think pursuing a side hustle in flipping items and sourcing items from online and locally could be pretty lucrative.  I would need to build up the business, though.  Nothing is for free, well it is…but that is another story.

I want to also pursue creative work.  I am artistically inclined, though, I am very rusty and I don’t have many skills, but I am a good learner. I love to learn.  I have read a number of articles from people in the business that say after 40, you will have a hard time finding work in the creative field. I don’t know if this is true, but I think there are areas or niches where this isn’t so prevalent.  I just like the idea of working remotely and using skills that I have to earn more money.  I don’t want to rely on one employer.  I have a drive to use my creative mind, to design and create.

Helping and connecting with others is also a big drive for me.  Over the past couple months, I have joined a number of Zoom meetups, and I have met a lot of great people.  I never really explored this side of myself. I am pretty avoidant, so I don’t usually put myself out there that often. It has been a wonderful experience to open myself up to others, and be well received.   People on the whole are good.

So, that is about it. I want to work for myself, where I can use my intuition to procure items, and sell them to the highest bidder. I would also like to polish my skills in creative work, and at the same time reach out and build meaningful connections with others.

I’m sure there are others out there in the same predicament.  It seems that I have come across others who are in their early 40’s or later that have come to the realization that what they are currently doing for work is not what they would like to continue to do until they retire. And this is ok.  You are only on this planet for a finite amount of time.  I think it is wise to steer yourself onto a better path, even if some people might be dismayed by your decision.

Strive to be more creative

What is creativity? The dictionary defines it as “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work”. I ask this question because it feels like I have lost my ability to be creative.  They say that creativity is like a muscle, you have to flex it in order for it to be developed.

For the better part of my life, it seems that I have purposefully shunned my creative nature. I have avoided using creativity to possibly make my life more enjoyable and express who I truly am.

Like all children, I grew up liking to draw and create. It seems this is a natural proclivity for all small children. Throughout middle school and high school, I drew and art class was by far my favorite subject.  High school like for many introverted, shy individuals, it was not very kind to me. Though, I had some friends, I never felt like I truly belonged.

After high school, I stopped drawing for the most part.  I took an art class at a local community college, but besides that I never really pursued an other creative courses.

Here I am today, working to define who I truly am.  The key areas of interest to me that keep coming up are: Writing, drawing, and designing. The common theme it seems among these areas of interest is that imagination and creativity play a big part in all of them.

The jobs that I have held in the present and past have all relied heavily on analytical thinking. None of my past jobs have been tied to creativity.  When I look back on my past, I believe my authentic path would have been to become a graphic designer or a counselor.  I struggle to imagine myself finding a path to get into either field, currently.

Since my youth, I was never an avid writer.  Only recently have I had an interest in picking up a pen and put words down on paper. I find that expressing myself in writing alleviates some of the cognitive burden I sometimes feel that wells up in my mind.  I try to fill out one page per day, expressing the current thoughts that run through my mind. It helps.

Designing, I have not studied up on too much.  I have a knack for noticing details, if I pay close attention to my environment.  My senses are more my achilles heel than my strength, though. When stressed, I tend to overlook the details.  This can bring me much frustration and consternation.  I love color and shape. I marvel at the lines and structural features of a car or the curves of a woman’s body.

I have a need to express myself creatively.  To let it to continue to wither on the vine, as I slowly get older doesn’t feel like an option anymore.  The world is too bland and boring to continue on the same emotionless path that I have been taking.  I want to set on my own path, and anyone be damned to question that I should stick to a more standard, safe route.

If you are not growing, then you are definitely dying.  The life that you want will not just fall in your lap, you will need to work to make it come a reality. I plan on working to make my life filled with more creativity and joy.



To Be Kind Allows You to Be Kind to Others

I haven’t always been kind.  Actually, until recently, I never gave it much thought or attention. I was always blunt to some extent when conveying to others how I felt or what my opinion was in relation to what we were speaking about. You see,  I just didn’t give that much of a damn.  It never weighed on my conscience, or it could have also been that I was not overly aware or interested in others thought of me.  I was, and I think still am to a certain extent a perpetually unhappy person.

Recently, I have been making progress on being more mindful on how I treat others.  I think a lot of my self growth has stemmed from addressing my past. Only recently have I fully acknowledged the narcissistic abuse that I endured as a child.  And if you have come from a similar past or have been in a relationship with a true narcissist, you will understand that they leave a large swathe of dysfunctional wreckage in their wake.

You are left picking up the pieces of your life, long after you have separated from them, or have had the ability to distance yourself from their traumatic abuse and mind games. Being able to focus and resolve old wounds from my past has given me new insight into how I treat others around me. You see, I too have narcissistic traits. I gain the trust of others, and then purposefully devalue the individual ever so slightly.  Like a thousand paper cuts, it takes time for the residual effect to set in.  To behave this one, I see now that it is very unkind and destructive to both parties.

Now that I have a better vision of how I behave and where these traits originated, I am in a better position to change them.  The biggest shift is that since I have a better understanding of myself, and by practicing self forgiveness, I am on a trajectory to treating myself better. Forming a better relationship with ones self is the quickest way, in my honest opinion, being able to form stronger relationships with others.

Mindfulness, and positive self regard are the two most powerful tools someone can have to build a better, kinder future for yourself and your loved ones.


Only the good memories, please

One of my earliest memories was me as a three-year-old boy exploring the space under the living room table.  In the wee morning hours, the first rays of sunshine shimmering through the glass pane windows of the living room.  Time seems to stand still when I think back to this brief period of my youth.  It still feels like time has stopped, I have been transported back in time and, and once again, I have all the time in the world to ponder and discover new things.

I haven’t made the most of my time on this planet. Maybe many can relate with my sentiment.  When we are young, there is so much promise, so much untapped potential.  Maybe this is why older folks smile so endearingly at their grandchildren.  Because of the hope and promise that the future generation brings to them.

Lying underneath the massive table, I can still envision myself on all fours peering out through the legs of the chairs.  looking up at the living room window, my mom had strung a large glass crystal, shaped like a teardrop, secured with a piece of fishing line, pinned to the top of the window’s frame.  The crystal, when given a slight turn, would produce a thousand shards of light, filling the room with a flurry of dancing, shimmering rainbows.  The light projected onto the ceiling, walls, and floor would always bring a smile to my face.  I remember sitting under the table and just looking up in awe at the light show that surrounded me.  These brief moments of time still fill me with great wonder and contentment.  Just me and my imagination to keep me company.

when I was four I remember my teacher helping me make a wax candle in kindergarten. I remember this memory fondly. I had the job of producing the large indent in the sandbox, and then the teacher would pour the hot wax into the indentation, and insert a wick soon after before the wax had a chance to cool.  How proud I was to be involved in such a marvelous, challenging project. 

Or when I would spend time on the back porch of our home in California, playing in the sandbox.  I would build these large sandcastles and place the hose at the center base of the form.  When the castle was complete, I would turn on the hose, and watch with glee as the water would eventually erupt through the side, and expediently disintegrate my creation.

In in early summer morning, tucked away under theshade of the trees, I remember sitting in an old shell of a boat with a wheel attached at the stern, in a playground,  looking up at a church bell, as it chimed, counting off as it slowly made its way to eleven.  Another time, I remember, me and my family visiting an outdoor amphitheater in the park.  It was spring time. We watched the 1968 movie, Oliver.  What a brutal movie, from what I remembered, nonetheless, an enjoyable, memorable experience.

These were all fond memories.  Maybe that is what we all should focus on, and consciously reflect on more of.  There are good times and bad times in everybody’s life, shouldn’t the good times get the most time in the highlight reels of our minds?