a beautiful monday morning

I woke up at 0530 Mississippi hour today. I made my day, started my breakfast, and showered and shaved. When I looked in the mirror, I thought to myself how I want to be the person who I’d want to be with forever.

In many ways, the recent days have found me questioning my own reliability to be the same person. While understanding that we all face ups and downs, that life is never static, its hard to accept how certain habits just don’t click. But the realization I had was that no one, nobody, will come to save me.

A sink filled with dirty dishes, a floor that hasn’t been swept, even my bathroom mirror – are all reflections that I need to take better care of myself and cultivate a more thoughtfully kept environment. I don’t want to be the person who can’t take care of himself, and what’s my excuse? That I didn’t have time. That these things were too hard to do? That I couldn’t find the motivation. Well, wake up! I say to myself. Because you can’t just sleep walk through life.

A big thing for me is being intentional about the life I want to create. I want to live without a single dollar of debt. But this month I found myself owing $6,000. It didn’t happen overnight. It was the result of many days of overspending compounding to this mountain of stress. I found myself deviating from my principles, violating budgets, tearing through boundaries.

But it’s a beautiful monday morning because I have the chance to reflect on this. I can make a difference today. I can still spend money, a lot of it, giving to others. Which is what I love to do. I’m excited for the day, for what I will learn, accomplish, and how I will feel towards the end of it.

A beautiful monday morning, here we go.

again again again

Again, again, again. 

Life moves in cycles, there’s no proof I can provide really, but maybe the similarity shines through most when the sun rises and sets. This day felt like the last.

I can’t remember the first time I felt rain. Once we experience things, we can’t experience the new-ness again. What do we experience instead? We experience the same-ness. This reminds me of that time we broke up. This reminds me of that time I argued with my mom. This reminds me of that remembrance. shit. 

We go over and it sounds meaningless. I was really about to stress myself out right now because I am upset. But I’ve been upset before, just like I’ve been let down before, and it ain’t never broke me. I’m tough now. Tougher, and it really isn’t the same again. 

Each day is new, an opportunity to prove yourself and do things that you’ve set out to do. Don’t waste in the past. Everyone time travel’s. I’ve relived memories and reached back in time to pull out old relationships out from the dust. It’s pointless. Work with what you have… 

To call your whole – family. Call them. To me it’s just like I have to talk to mom right now. I need to hear grandma’s voice. I need to feel love. If anything, here’s a poem to myself. 

Ledimir, you are a good man. 

Good like a can of diced pineapple 

set to expire on May 1st,

on April 30. 

Ledimir, you are a good man.

Good like weekday morning television,

Maury, Jerry, but also Dragontales and

Arthur.

Ledimir, you are a good man. 

Good like ice cream on a summer day,

not the one you wanted, but the alternative

because your choice sold out. 

Ledimir, you are a good man.

Good like when you don’t listen to songs 

because they have negative memory associations

so you discover a new favorite song.

In the end, it’s just this. Life is what you make it. If you call it hell, then you’ll see the fires, and the torment, and the demons, Demonstrations.

If you call it heaven, then suddenly there’s peace, and good people, and a life full of substance.

Obviously, it’s not black and white. It’s what I imagine it is to a blind person. What are borders to them? A flag?

Again, I’ll write. So that’s cool. Be back later.

mkd

Mario Kart! I have so much fun when I play. I move fast through the turns, drifting and collecting items, avoiding obstacles and bouncing back after my mistakes. I always feel like I have a chance, and that feels great. 

When I play online, I talk so much trash. I cracked Jeffrey with the green shell, or I sniped him with the banana peel. The minute he dropped his item, I sent him a red shell and then passed him. But then he got me.

He left a bomb right behind him as we passed close to the finish line. And his teammates blue shell made it possible for him to get the win at the end. He’s crafty, fast, and I could not catch him in the music world. Gosh I hate that world. 

It’s all a small escape, a cheap vacation, and adventure. A small world, or worlds, to run to and feel like it’s all ok there. I like this game a lot, and I like getting better at it. Slowly, but surely, you’ll win this race.

day x day

The things on my mind that are hardest to forget are the ones that I will search for and make peace with. It’s not easy living a life hampered by insecurity and jealousy. I wouldn’t even call it living. 

Sometimes, I’ll read the title of this blog. Maybe I meant it in some ironic sense, happy person. Because a person like myself has come to know so much sadness. So much so that sadness then becomes a habit, more a way of life than a feeling. More an attitude than an emotion. Sometimes being alone makes me sad, but I didn’t realize that me not placing an importance on connecting with others is causing me to be alone. I am shutting people out, and then I am complaining that people don’t come near.

It’s difficult to view these circumstances like an outsider would. Someone could have probably pointed this out to me, but when you’re living in your own thoughts and feelings you don’t see much farther than those very same thoughts and feelings. But I think, and I feel, that I can truly be a happy person if I decide to cultivate happy thoughts. 

Maybe it will come in the form of the literature that I read, maybe it will come in the form of the people that I choose to connect with, maybe it will come in the form of the activities that I choose to spend my time engaged in. Swimming is one of those activities that brings the ultimate joy. A month away from swimming, and I felt some anxiety plunging back into the water. For a moment, I hesitated and second-guessed. But once I felt the water, I took the plunge and submerged myself entirely.

The feeling that I get when I’m underwater and release all of my air is out of this world. And when I swim down the lane, I feel like I’m flying. Tomorrow morning, I want to go back into the pool to swim. I’m going to wake up at 04:30, and then I’ll be at the gym by 05:00. I’ll do some yoga and stretching, and then I’ll go swim at 06:00. In my opinion, a happy person makes time each day to swim. So that’s why I’ll swim. 

But also writing. No matter how poor the writing seems to emerge, writing is such a big part of who I am, and it is a disservice to myself and the world if I let writer’s block stop me from expressing my thoughts through writing. It doesn’t take me much time to write a few words, and I think the practice of writing daily is also like meditation to me. I feel connected to my words, thoughts, and emotions when I write and publish on my blog. In September, I have been pretty diligent with my writing. It can only get better. Until tomorrow. Good night!

remembering a third grade day

The 9/11 documentaries I have been watching recently have brought up sharp and painful memories from a day that I was too young to understand. As a third-grader in New York City, I had no clue what was happening when kids in my class were being picked up from school early. I just know that I was in a private school that day, that my mom was in Brooklyn, and that she couldn’t pick me up until later in the afternoon. 

I felt abandonment, but my mom, as a single mom, was probably feeling panic. All my friends were gone, even my teacher who had left to get her own child, and I waited, left behind. Something about the energy of that day felt off, and watching this documentary, 9/11: One Day In America, I can see and sort of understand why.

The horror. My God. The images of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, children, running for their lives or clinging to the side of a building. Somee waved their white shirts hoping for respite, to no avail. The nightmare of having to choose between jumping to your death or burning to your death on a morning where you were probably just getting into work. It’s frightening, harrowing to imagine.

So I wanted to send kisses and hugs to my mom, my sister, the family I still have – that narrowly escaped the disastrous effects of a horrendous event in national history. Documentaries like this provide stories and perspective. I never understood what led to the 20 years of war activity that we just ended in Afghanistan. People say that it’s a lot like Vietnam, but it doesn’t seem like it at all. I wasn’t alive for Vietnam. I reference another documentary to make this point: Ken Burns’ Vietnam War. But we had national interest in Vietnam, our deployments to Afghanistan were fueled by revenge and anger, by grief and hopelessness, by vengeance.

We wanted to get back. Some of us still do, and feeling like we’ve lost doesn’t really sit right. We’ll soon commemorate a 20th anniversary to this event. I hope it never goes forgotten, but I also hope that we have learned lessons from the past to avoid plunging into another war-time scenario in a quest for vengeance. 

nightmares again

The nightmares persist, interrupting my sleep as I come face-to-face with infidelity or an anxious disagreement. We’re yelling at each other because you seem to be sending him messages, crossing boundaries that I assumed were established. It is easier to be alone. Looking back, when you asked about the times I was sad. I noticed I was sad because of my relationships. Relationships without trust are a personal hell. Man-made, and the result is nightmares, anger rushing to the surface, taking charge as the dominant emotion. 

The articles about insecurity that I read tell me about the dangers that lie ahead. But trust isn’t learned from a book, and more and more I start to question whether peace is learned from a book either. Peace is cultivated, lived. Though it takes time to attain a level of peace that you can feel comfortable. 

I don’t know if I will ever have peace or comfortable sleep in which I don’t face nightmares. But certain attitudes don’t work for me, being scatter-brained, shooting blanks into nothing and hoping to hit, living careless about the outcome. That’s where people make mistakes sometimes, and movies glorify this sort of thing. As if chance were reliable. Chance is chance, almost a mistake, most of the time luck. 

If you want some sort of happyness, you have to be intentional, willing to ask questions and look in the mirror. Sometimes I need to be alone. I need to feel like I have the space to examine these questions, because otherwise I end up overwhelmed with my decisions. Am I doing the right thing or the wrong thing? But things aren’t as black and white as that. The real question is am I acting in a way that fits in accordance with my nature, or maybe it doesn’t fit with who I am. 

But I don’t want to leave it up to chance. It doesn’t mean a whole lot when you do. I wish people would think of this more, that it’s worth so much more doubling down on something than it is to replace it. The key, and this is a big thing to consider, is that you may be wrong and end up with nothing. But this is only a problem if you are more concerned with outcome than you are with process. 

I’ve written and thought about this a lot. The outcome is unimportant – how much money? Married/divorced? Together/alone? Unimportant is too strong, maybe. The outcome is less important than feeling like you are earning a living honestly, and that you are making a difference in people’s lives. Whether you are married or divorced is a consideration that should be thought of only after you answer the question are you acting out of love. Am I marrying you out of love. Am I moving in with you out of love. No one wants to be partnered with out of obligation. And sometimes it’s better to be alone, and sometimes its better to be together.

But you. You have to think about what works best for you. And the nightmares and insecurity – how much does it bother you to feel that you are being lied to? How much does it affect you to feel that there is someone else your partner might show interest in? These are powerful questions. 

Now think, are you lying to yourself? Is there someone else you are placing above yourself? Love yourself. Know that you are good enough. Know that you are enough. Then dream for bigger things. 

a perfect mississippi morning

A bowl of warm oatmeal 
with frozen blueberries,
a dash of cinammon powder, 
and teaspoon of honey

A warm cup of green tea, 
the yogi variety with anti-oxidants,
a quote about love, or emotions, 
and a thought life’s sublime

A pen and a note book
to carry these thoughts, 
to savor these feelings, 
and remember my words

A tooth brush, some floss,
tooth paste, and mouthwash
I brush the top and the bottom,
then I practice a smile

A bag, my two shoes, 
my clothes for the day,
my towel, deoderant, lotion, sun spray,
my swim trunks and goggles.

A walk to the pool, 
a podcast, some tunes,
A sunrise, the views, 
of a Missississippi morning sky.

And then there’s the water, 
water, water, water, water,
water, water, water, water,
water, I love swimming

Dear September

Dear September,

Thank you for granting me two beautiful days so far. After a brutal August where I experienced emotional lows, I feel balanced, renewed, ready to begin to pick up where I left off in the journey towards happyness. 

The recipe is very simple, and it only gets complicated a little bit when I try to do more and balance too much. But here it is, for reference. 

Happyness = read + swim + write

That’s the internal happyness criteria. How much of each depends entirely on me, but I like how I have allowed myself the fluidity to dance with each parameter. Some days I’ll read more. Some days I’ll have a lot to communicate through my writing. If I could swim every day, I would. So I’ll work to craft a life where that’s possible. 

How else will I be seeking to express myself in the next 28 days? Financially, I’d like to be more mindful of my spending. Today, I felt an urge to order food from Dairy Queen. A craving for sugar zapped my attention, and I felt I needed to act on that need. Thankfully, I didn’t. I saved my money, and I ate food that I had already purchased. So I had my first zero-spend day in a long time. A long string of those will lead me to the path away from negative-income months. 

Then there is the habit of tea. My first cup in the morning made me feel relaxed, at ease. The yogi green tea antioxidant with a touch of caffeine helped to keep me focused on the day’s tasks. 

This month I am committed to learning about statistics and readin a book on mental health issues. It’s called Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. It’s allowing me to learn about the trauma that my parents may have endured in their life, but also about some of the emotional responses I’ve developed as a mirror of their behavior. Needless to say, this can be traumatic. But I am grateful for the opportunity to introspect and reflect so that I can maybe one day be more happy. A happy person. 

I’ve felt better being alone, and maybe changing to this new room was a good thing. I feel that it served as a reminder that no situation is changeless, and we should keep that in mind. A movie I watched this weekend had a very powerful message. Just float. A metaphor about swimming too! 

How I struggled so much to float when I swam. I feel I’ve never let myself fully trust the water. I love the water, I love being with it, but I realize it’s ultimate power over me and I am cautious still. Will I let myself go, trusting it to carry me?

Who knows… I am looking forward to you September. 

Ledimir