Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reunions, Doors closing and doors opening

A few weeks ago, I had my ten year reunion. I posted on facebook that I was apprehensive about going because of the torment that a few bullies had on me in school. I was apprehensive about going because there were people there who I really REALLY had no care to see whatsoever. Ten years wasn't enough time to heal the wounds that had been created by some really horrible excuses for human beings. I wasn't ready to forgive them, I wasn't ready to see them, and I certainly wasn't ready to put up with any more crap they had to throw at me.

That was the evening before my reunion. I told my wife, mom, and aunt (all 3 women who I can confide in and get an honest response from), that I was starting to think I didn't want to go. Thankfully, the 3 of them told me to pull my head out of my ass and go. I thankfully had friends from school chime in as well and tell me they weren't going to see those people who they didn't like. they were going to see the people who they WANTED to see.

So I started thinking about it, and I came up with the mantra that I was going to be around people who wanted me to be around and who I wanted to be around. I was going to form friendships that never got the chance in high school, and I was going to forgot those ding dongs who needed to be forgotten.

The short story is that I didn't see anyone I didn't want to see. I saw those who I wanted to see, I completely forgot about those who needed to be forgotten and most importantly, started some friendships that never got the chance in high school.

My reunion was the beginning of a new stage of life but I just didn't know it yet. On Oct 1st, the Non Profit I had been working for over the past two years announced it was going out of business. Suddenly, I found myself unemployed and scared to death. But as the title of this post says, there was an open door. So, off to the world of the unknown I go. Small business owner now, I'm self employed and working my tail off to make it work. I will keep everyone updated as things progress.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I will Never Forget!

Tomorrow will be nine years since the worst attack on United States soil occurred. It is a somber day for our nation. With everything going on in our nation, we need to stop, take a pause, remember where we were, who we were with, and how much blood, sweat, tears we shed when we first heard about this. We must remember the lives that were given... no, Taken on that day and every day since then.

Whether you agree or disagree with the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, take a moment and thank a Veteran or Servicemember that is still alive. Take a moment to thank those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Take a moment to say a prayer for those who lost someone, say a prayer for our soldiers, sailors, and airmen who are still in this battle.

As for me, I still remember it as if it were yesterday. I was returning from a Western Pacific Deployment on the USS Cleveland LPD-7. Our ship was between Hawaii and San Diego. We had Tigers (friends and family of those on the ship who boarded in Hawaii to ride with us to San Diego) on board and that day we were about to have an awards ceremony. Our Captain was known for being early to everything. at least 15-20 minutes early. As such, we had been on the flight deck since around 0715. the ceremony was to start at 0800. 0800 came and left. 0815 came and left. around 0830, our captain came on the 1MC (shipboard PA System) and told our crew that the ceremony was going to be postponed because there had been a terrorist attack on our nation in New York. He dismissed us and we all made our way to berthing areas, mess decks, anywhere that had a television. I remember watching a replay of the planes hitting and staring in disbelief.

I would lie if I said I wasn't scared shitless. My mom was on board with us. Were we going to turn around and vanish from our family for months longer than we already had? was my mom going to worry herself to death at home while her only child went off to war? would I pay the ultimate price for my country? if I did, I would never know the joy of being a father, the joy of being married, and every other great experience I hadn't had the chance to enjoy yet?

on a lighter note, later that afternoon while I was on watch, my mom came up to the bridge where I was on the Helm steering the ship and asked to talk to the Captain. I knew this was either going to be either very very bad, or just BAD. The captain said of course, what's on your mind? She simply said "My only child is right there steering this ship. I taught him how to shoot and that's why he has expert ribbons for every gun he's shot in the Navy. If he's going to kill terrorists, they should be afraid of me, not him. If he's going there, so am I". That was the one and only time I ever saw my Captain speechless. He had the wisdom to say "Ma'am, while I can't keep you from showing up overseas, I can't bring you on the ship. but you scare me more than the terrorists do right now. If you taught him how to shoot, I know he will be just fine, the terrorists on the other hand, I don't think they will be as lucky." Damn, I love my mom!!!

The ironic part of this whole situation was the night before, we had what we call "Cinema at Sea". where we watch a movie from a projector on the flight deck. Wanna guess what the movie was? Yeah, Pearl Harbor.

The events that happened on that day have shaped the man I am today. I cherish everything I have, the problems in life aren't as bad as I see them, and every morning I wake up thankful that I am still alive, I now have been fortunate to know what being married to a wonderful woman is like, and I know the joy of being a Father. My mom isn't worried about her son dying in war, she can be a grandma, and I get to come home to my family every day from work.

However, there are thousands that never got that chance. To those, I am saddened to the core by that thought. To the Families who have lost someone I pray for peace in your family. To those that have paid the ultimate price for our nation, you will be forever in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you and God Bless The United States of America!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

give the Nice Guy a chance

Something has been bothering me lately... I've been hearing stories of ladies having crappy boyfriends, either just not being around, being unfaithful, abusing them mentally and physically and so on. I also keep hearing and seeing people talk about how they are done with the jerks...

OK, I will bite... What will these ladies do when they find a Nice Guy? Will they toss them aside because suddenly they have a man who is willing to fall madly in love with them? Will they return to the bad boy because of the drama that ensues? is it the "danger" of being hurt mentally or physically by the bad boy? What is it? Really I am lost here!!!!

Let me try to set a few things straight:

the Nice Guy isn't whipped. He is head over heels for the woman he is with.
He isn't the guy who sleeps around and breaks your heart. He's the one who is there to be a shoulder to cry on whenever you need it.
He isn't weak because he isn't aggressive. That's not his style. His style is kind, caring, compassionate, and strong when you need him to be strong. He doesn't care for fighting in any way, however, he will most likely break some dudes neck if he tries to get violent with a lady (any lady for that matter)
What you perceive as clingy is just what he knows as being loving. The "just because starbucks" be brought to you at work.... That's not him trying to keep tabs on you. It's him showing how much he cares in small ways that mean a lot.
His ability to show his affection isn't him being needy, clingy, or whipped. It is a conscious decision to show love regardless of whether it will be reciprocated or not (because lord knows he's done this many times and not even received a thank you)
Lastly, odds are the Nice Guy hasn't had as much dating experience as the bad boy because we aren't interested in a one night stand or a "fling". We want the real thing and more often than not, we are put into the friend category instead of dating material category. So give us the chance to be a boyfriend not just a friend.

These are just a few of the things I've noticed recently. Nice guys have been knocked down, stepped on, dumped on, used and abused, and neglected. Yet we come back for more because we know that the only way to be in a relationship is to jump in with both feet in the deep end and go all out. A relationship that only has half the effort put into it isn't worth it to us. We are all or nothing and the only thing we ask in return is the same effort.

If you are a fellow Nice Guy, what has happened to you in past relationships? Did you choose to stay the nice guy course or not and why?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Missing my Grandma

Today, My mom called me to tell me she had some items that my Grandma had left for me that she had found while preparing for a yard sale. I knew my grandma collected coins and I figured that would be cool to go through. I found rings, watches, cufflinks from my grandpa, tie clips, you name it, I found all sorts of cool stuff.

But then I found the greatest treasure of all. A letter my grandma had written to a gentleman asking for help in keeping a part of her town in good shape and explaining that she had poured her heart, mind, body, and soul into. countless hours she devoted, and she was never afraid to ask someone for donations to help things go along.

I wasn't even a few paragraphs into the letter before I realized this was a part of my grandma I never knew. This philanthropic woman who raised money for MS, community events, and gave of herself for the betterment of the town she lived in. To show how resourceful she was, the letter was even written on a paper place mat that you would see in a diner or small restaurant.

Even now, almost 12 years since she passed away, her Legacy continues on with little bits of wisdom here and there for me. I told my mom that the most valuable possession I have from my grandma was the cribbage board that I used to play against my Grandma on. I still remember the first time I skunked her :) Also the skip bo decks that we used on many many different occasions and the uno deck we used as well. My favorite times with my Grandma were those simple times, just her and I, playing cards and her sharing stories with me.

I'm missing my grandma something fierce today. She taught me many lessons when she was alive, and she taught me another lesson this evening. I only wish I could have had more time to listen and learn. I don't have any grandparents left sadly. However, to this day if I have the chance to listen to someone who is an elder, I close my mouth, and sit and smile and listen. Of times that were simpler. Of times when neighbors were next door and not across the world but right next to you on the internet. Of times when Family was gathered at the dinner table. talking about the day, hardships, lessons, and laughter.

If you still are lucky to have grandparents, give them a call or stop by and cherish the time you have with them. I love you Grandma! See you someday up above!