The never ending fight to start over

So it is now 2014! Finally. My recap for my 2013 is as follows. I started the year with the same job working security on a Navy Facility and had just gotten out of a bad relationship, so besides the relationship woes, it was pretty much my standard practice for the past 6ish years. My boss at the time Eric, saw a substantial amount of potential in me, so he decided to give me a promotion as a Fuel Distribution systems operator. Me and Eric share the way in which we view character, so i can understand why he made his decision, and god bless his soul for giving me a shot. Things were going great, i was learning a great deal of new things. Come May, I had met a new girl and was wondering what was going to happen with the upcoming contract negotiations at my job. Crappy part is being the new guy in the union, my tenure on the facility meant nothing regarding my placement on the union seniority list. So there i was 3rd from the bottom. Pretty worried, I discussed with fellow coworkers who had been through the process of a contract negotiation before and tried to get as much insight as possible. The consensus was that its a stressful time, but i had nothing to worry about, we always get hired back. New company invites us all to a work demo/interview in which we all apply for the positions we already held with the old company. The new company also accompanied a interview with a few people from HR, as to which the same questions regarding loss of our jobs were posed, with a very nonchalant answer. Basically what i took from their demeanor, there wasn’t going to be any issues. A week or two goes by and i start hearing that some people started to receive offer letters from the new company. Figured since i was low on the totem pole mine would be a little later. Patiently waiting, that letter never came. The sheet of paper, the phone call from Virginia that solidified my livelihood never came. To be 100% honest with all of you, my last few days at work i just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. And mind you I wasn’t the only person with this fate, 3 other people were put in the same situation as I. I was shocked, scared, and really didn’t know what to do. I did what i suppose was my best option and applied for unemployment. I absolutely hated it, made me feel like a weak individual, but i really had no other choice. I had learned about a small refinery job in South Gate who was hiring, so i printed out the application and walked it in. Later that day i got called in for a interview as to which i was given the job. During the interview, my now boss Ray had made a comment about him not expecting me to be at his company long, but more on that later. So this is where I stay at the start of 2014. Commence my extreme remodeling .

My parents both raised me to look out for others before looking out for yourself. For people who are still lost that means being selfless. Selfless people are few and far between nowadays. So i try my damnedest to do to others what i hope to be done to me. Im reminded of a quote from the movie We Bought A Zoo: “all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, and i promise you, something great will come from it.” That courage could be in any form. It could be stopping to help a lady that just dropped her groceries, or buying a coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks, or giving drunk people rides home on holidays. You’re probably sitting there wondering how these items i listed take any courage, or how they can positively effect someone else’s life. Ill take the first example i gave you. A lady is putting groceries in her car and drops a bag all over the floor. About 90% of people wouldn’t beat an eye and walk right past her; mind you my views are from being a californian. That other 10% would take the courage to stop and help her. Why does it take courage to help a woman pick up dropped groceries? Because it takes courage to be different, to not follow the norm. Karma is real whether you believe or not, and it will bite you in the ass if you’re not careful. So why, following the morals of my childhood, had karma served me this dish? Because its seen my potential and knows I’m better than this. How do I know this? Things throughout my life have shown it to me but I’ve never taken the time to look. My old boss Eric, who is probably one of the best people I’ve met, saw it in me to be something better and gave me that opportunity. In the end i got laid off, and i have a feeling that it bothered Eric to some extent considering he got me into the position that lead to that, but in the end i have to thank him from the bottom of my heart for putting me in the position to maximize my potential. My boss now, Ray, told me during my interview that he didn’t expect me to be with his company long, but will hire me for experience. I sat and contemplated the quote from him when I first heard it. First thought that came into my head was that he didn’t intend on keeping me very long. It took me a while to figure it out, but i understand what he was talking about. The man saw potential in me. Potential that superseded any position he could give me. But he still hired me with the understanding that i would search for other work.

I shit you not, searching for work in this economy is the most gruesome experience ever. In 3 months i applied for probably, 80 or so jobs. Anything that peaked my interest, and had decent pay. Its pretty bad now considering most places take online applications. Don’t get me wrong they are extremely convenient, but i think it takes away from the whole “getting your ass up and finding a job” attitude our country was founded on. Sitting on a computer requires no effort whatsoever, and really shows no initiative to get applications out and meet with soon to be employers. If i were going to hire somebody I’d like too see they took the time to print a application, hand fill it out and deliver it. It means they care about what they are doing, it’s not just something they are doing to pass the time. After getting laid off i put feelers out to friends of mine for open positions in there area of business. Of course nothing was really available, but i insisted they keep me informed. A few months later a friend of mine named Mike shot me a message on Facebook with a link. He told me to go there and apply. The company in which he worked for was tesoro.

20140114-232633.jpgI submitted my résumé, applied and received a email to take the test. Upon arriving i found out that over 1800 people had applied as to which only 400 received the email. I took the test, and waited. I find out that i passed and was accepted on to the next part. After a barrage of tests i ended up in the last part of the all the steps. So here i sat and waited. If you don’t know tesoro is in charge of making petroleum products, especially gasoline for companies such as Shell, Arco, and Texaco. So a few weeks went by with nothing, i was slightly worried, but really tried to keep it out of my head. On December 24th i received a job offer in my email. My heart hit the floor. Not in a bad way, but i was just flabbergasted. Out of 1800 people, i was one of only 20 that were chosen.

So what does this tell me? It tells me that you can accomplish anything, i was working at a hole in the wall refinery, and now work at the biggest refinery on the west coast. It tells me that karma is real, and that doing good for everyone really does pay off.
The next time you meet someone just stop for a second. Look at who they are, appreciate their struggles, whether you know what they are or not. People tend to forget about what other people go through; our society has become more about me and whats wrong with me. People are absolutely beautiful in every form, as long as you can take the time to find out. Be positive, fight for everything you have. Be the best individual you can be. Be different in every way possible. Next time you meet someone, don’t give em a handshake, give them a hug.

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A stupid simple thing such as a hug can uplift a individual. Just as previously said, you have no idea what people are going through, a hug can put a smile on someones face, or be that small measure to make somebody’s day better. I swear to you it will make people happy. Find the energy to get your ass up and help people! its such a beautiful thing. Be happy. Try and find something to focus on if you are feeling down. Motivation can be found anywhere, you just have to open up enough to find it. Be proud of who you are and strive to be better. Appreciate peoples stories, learn from them, be a part of them. Things will get hard, and things may get in your way, but keep your head up and fight. Open your heart to the world and i guarantee you it wont let you down.

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Hop on the elevator with me

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So for whatever reason, as of late I’ve noticed some things about the people I’ve surrounded myself with. Not so much with my best friends but with acquaintances i keep. I constantly try to please everyone, or at least help in some manner as much as possible. I’ve been noticing a lot of negativity. Anger towards me, negative reactions, and rudeness; people taking shit i do for granted. I’m usually one to drop people who treat me like shit, but usually the people who do, don’t last long enough for me to have to make such a decision, but some of these people I’ve never had this issue with before. I’m thinking that its got something to do with the holidays, the lack of some people not having family around to see, or not being able to be with family but taking it out on me is getting old. I also think my demeanors got some thing to do with it. I don’t care if you’re Barack Obama or my sister, I’m going to speak my mind, whether you want to accept it or not.

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o not ask for my advice and shun it because its not what you expected to hear. If you can take the time to ask, my advice will be always in your best interest. But if you’re expecting me to sugarcoat something, you’ve got another thing coming . Some people can take the truth and some people can’t. People get offended easily when you speak the truth. I’ve been told more than a few times that I’m seen as a rock, as someone people can depend on, but I’ve begun to see that people are taking me and my actions for granted. I freaking hate saying that. I hate to be so obtuse, but the truth is the truth.

A friend of mine, whom just graduated from college, found a very good job pay wise, but it wasn’t something she really wanted to do. The constant nagging, whining, and attitude that comes my way because I’m that friend, my horrible, too nice attitude. She’s sitting here bitching, and I’m just sitting here thinking to myself, can’t you just be happy you have a job and look for something better? Honestly how hard is that? People seem so negative about shit they shouldn’t be negative about. You can afford to live a very well life, and all you do is bitch. I can understand that its hard and may not be exactly what you like doing, but where did the pride of having a job and accomplishing tasks go? Whining has never gotten anyone anywhere. But considering we are in the same situation somewhat i can understand what she’s going through, i guess I’m just not as vocal about it. I’d rather keep my head down fight through the bullshit and come out victorious; not sit around and whine. Id give her some advice as to how I would approach the situation, in hopes shed maybe see something differently, but nope she’d just throw a fit and not talk to me for a few days.

The attitude im receiving is starting to bug me because I’m starting to feel like a vast majority of people are starting to do it.

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I’ve spent a majority of my life being a doorknob for people and i feel like its starting to take its toll. Ive been steadfast in trying to stop it, but with certain people it just happens, forgive me for having a heart. When situations other people present stress me out, i need to step back. It’s really hard for me to do so, and I’m just starting to figure out why. These are people who were around before i started changing, after my weight loss taught me to not deal with people’s shit. I look at different people’s approaches. I look at my best friend, who keeps a constant contact with only a few people. Those people are close, but not horribly close, but they still offer a two way playing field for him. If they ask him for something it’s done, if he asks for something it’s done; there is no in-between. And there are people like my sister, who has a close knit group of friends but has a vast majority of acquaintances, with whom common interests are shared. i know that I have my best friends who will be by my side through thick and thin. Want to know how I know that? Read a few blogs back about my hospital stay. I had 3 people non family visit me, even one who took the day off and sat with my parents in the lobby throughout the surgery. None of them had to do that. But I was important enough for them to take a drive and see me when i was at my worst. Things like my friend knowing i just got laid off, and i don’t have any money to eat but still inviting me somewhere and paying for me. Being able to know that if i don’t have food to eat, i can go to his house and his family will treat me like one of their own. Knowing when something’s bugging me automatically, and offering straight knit advice. How do i know all this? Because its exactly what id do for him. That’s friendship; its stupid, and small, but it is the little gestures that show true value.

So why this blog. I hear the quote often that good friends are hard to find. People tend to look for a certain set of characteristics in a person. It’s just like relationships. I want someone who can do this or someone who can do that. Everyone’s concentrating on what everyone else can do for them. Instead of being selfish, why don’t you take a step back and see what you can do for someone else. My greatest friendships have started and been kept by helping the people closest to me. Why? Because i care about them. I don’t do it because I’m looking for something in return, or because I’m trying to amass a tally of favors. Its funny because as im not here looking for something in return, it automatically surfaces when i least expect it. That one time i forgot my wallet, or am low on a tank of gas, my true friends help without a second thought. I guarantee you if you stop looking for mediocre things and start doing small things for the people around you, all will fall into place. You must remember that this also may mean loosing them. But you must realize that people will take advantage of it, or be angry about the ways in which you choose to help. There’s no way to stop it, nor control it. You need to be yourself and respond the way in which you see fit. I’ve started to realize with a few people that when they don’t get the answer they seek from me, they’ll just go find it elsewhere. Which is fine, I’d rather know i gave someone the best advice i could, then to know i ignored them when they needed me. When i started writing this, i was in a pissed off mood about how I was supporting people and not really receiving the same support back. But throughout the course of the few days its taken me to finish this blog I’ve realized something, the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. So where does this leave me? I cannot as a man, neglect someone who needs advice. If somebody comes to me and gets pissed for the advice i give, at least i know I gave them the best advice i could give. That’s what good people do; that’s what friends do. Elevate people as much as you can, but never cage them.

Letter To My Future Self

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Dear Future Compton,
As you may or may not remember, this letter is from the past. You have a amazing future ahead of yourself. Im writing this so in 2023, when you read this on your 35th birthday, you can say “that fucker was right!” I hope you stay vigilant in your endeavors. Im interested to see what happens.

Let me refresh you on life right now. You’re 25, working your ass off to become a better individual. You have 2 huge opportunities staring you in the face as to which you are handling both with stride. The government is shut down; remember that? Gas is 4 bucks a gallon, although I’m sure you’re going “damn that’s cheap!” Your addicted to Ducatis and Supras. I really hope you kept that car. Dads health is deteriorating, I really hope you lost all that stubbornness and learned something from the man. Whatever situation you’re in now with Dad, just remember he loves you in his own way, he’s just got a fucked up way of showing it sometimes. Mom and grandma are still in AZ, and your sister is still in Vegas. Where you’ll end up, I’m not positive, but I’m sure it will be close to them; the thought of your children not seeing their great grandparents or grandparents gets harder and harder everytime you think about it. You’re on the 5th version of the iPhone, and it doesn’t look like its slowing down at all, so i assume you’ll be reading this from your iPhone 11 or 12, or whatever apple is calling them now . You eat more sushi than any normal person should, hey it’s good protein.

I really hope one of those 2 opportunities i spoke of earlier work in your favor. You have gained a strong sense of self in the past few years. Something i really didn’t think you would’ve discovered unless you lost the weight and the hate. You have slowly began to form into a wonderful person. You want to teach people, especially children and teens. Why? Because you want to positively effect people’s lives, and make them better. You still have trouble with trust. I’m assuming its something you’ll grow out of. I hope in 10 years you have a degree, and a lovely home. You deserve to be happy man, you deserve the lovely things life can provide you. You deserve a beautiful wife and even more beautiful children. Children to whom you can love, cherish and give them the life they deserve. Did you go riding with Brian last weekend? Well you need to this weekend. I hope you still love helping people, even with all the times it’s never worked in your favor. You can’t make everyone happy but you can make yourself happy. Stop texting people, phone calls are so much cooler. If you’re bored find something better. You don’t have to settle. You will find something better. You’re a survivor whose already accomplished so much successfully. Smile more, dance more, sing more, love more. Be thankful for the past and what it’s taught you, but don’t make it your passion.

The most important thing for you to remember is that no matter what you do I’ll stand by you because even if you are not who I imagine now, I’ll support you, because maybe who I’m imagining is someone else, and you are, well your not someone else, you’re me. And you inherited it from your mother, but stop worrying man! Things will work out the way they are supposed to, take each day as it comes live in the moment, don’t forget to laugh more, and to return the favor; you’re good at. Stay awesome you old fart.

Love,
Younger sexier Compton

Real Men Wear Pink

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Sitting on my living room couch filling out some paperwork, I flipped on the tv for some background noise. Being background noise, I wasn’t really paying attention to what was on. All of a sudden, from the background of my computer screen, I hear it. Lieutenant Dan! Now if you’ve ever seen any good movies, you automatically know which one I’m talking about. Good ol’ Forrest Gump. Now if you’ve never seen the film, you need to be hung at the stake. Im kidding, but ill give you my little synopsis to better fill you in. The movie starts with Forrest Gump narrating his life to a complete stranger as he waits at a bus stop. His life is far from boring. He seems to always find himself in the right place at the right time in many of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century. As a young child on a school bus, he meets a girl named Jenny. Throughout Forrest’s whole life, Jenny and him are apart for most of the film, but no matter what happens when they see each other, they kind of just leave off from where they ended the last time. Forrest makes an abundance of interesting life choices, where as Jenny goes out and experiences the drug ridden side of the 70’s. Throughout the movie, Forrest really has no interest in any other woman, although he has less than a handful of opportunities to do so anyway. His love for Jenny doesn’t stem off sex, or beauty, but off of the true unconditional love he has for her.

So what is love? I’ll go with the standard definition first. Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. This intense feeling can be for anything from your car to a movie star. It’s funny now, after reading the standard definition, and seeing how horribly vague it is. Now off to the urbandictionary.com definition, as these seem to sum up things very well.

“The most spectacular, indescribable, deep euphoric feeling for someone.

Love is an incredibly powerful word. When you’re in love, you always want to be together, and when you’re not, you’re thinking about being together because you need that person and without them your life is incomplete.

This love is unconditional affection with no limits or conditions: completely loving someone. It’s when you trust the other with your life and when you would do anything for each other. When you love someone you want nothing more than for them to be truly happy no matter what it takes because that’s how much you care about them and because their needs come before your own. You hide nothing of yourself and can tell the other anything because you know they accept you just the way you are and vice versa.

It’s when they’re the last thing you think about before you go to sleep and when they’re the first thing you think of when you wake up, the feeling that warms your heart and leaves you overcome by a feeling of serenity. Love involves wanting to show your affection and/or devotion to each other. It’s the smile on your face you get when you’re thinking about them and miss them.

Love can make you do anything and sacrifice for what will be better in the end. Love is intense,and passionate. Everything seems brighter, happier and more wonderful when you’re in love. If you find it, don’t let it go.
This one word frees us of all the weight and pain of life. ”

It’s kind of interesting how of all places, urban dictionary gives a pretty spot on description. Funny thing with love is, if you ask someone, whether they deny you until the cows come home, they’ve all experienced it, most likely in both negative and positive ways. It may have only been once in their lifetime, but I guarantee you it’s been experienced. I feel bad seeing people who have loved once, been destroyed so much, that they don’t have the courage to do it again.

Love causes people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. It makes you take risks, open yourself completely to another individual putting you in your most vulnerable state. It’s finding the imperfections in another human being perfect. Love can change people. Go to YouTube and listen to Let it enfold you by Senses Fail. Did you? Alright go back and listen to Ancient Tombs by the same artist. Alright alright, you can’t handle the music, but at least read the lyrics. Let it enfold you was written in 2004, while Ancient Tombs was written is 2013. So why has the writer changed his tone, his way of thinking? It’s because of love. It’s changed a man who has hated himself and his life, into someone who loves everything about himself and his life. One simplistic thing such as love.

Want my definition? I remember sitting at a friends house, when the conversation was brought up. Her definition caught me off guard. It was once again something completely simplistic, but made so much sense. She’s going to read this and probably kill me, but for the sake of purity, I’ll take the beating. She began to tell me what it was to her and its the best description I’ve ever heard. Love is when you’ve got nothing left, no house, no money, absolutely nothing, you can sit on a curb with someone, eating a bologna sandwich, and be perfectly happy. That’s really all it is. When you’ve got nothing else in life, you’re left with one person, and couldn’t be happier about it.

The list of reasons why people love is about as big as the dictionary, but ill rap a few off. People love because its convenient to them, they just can’t help it, mystery in the situation or person, reciprocal affection, desirable characteristics, physical or emotional arousal, and social influences. There is also a large list of selfish reasons in which people love. I honestly think selfish love is hypocritical, but I’m not one to judge.

A quote that gets thrown around a lot is that true love is gone amongst my generation. I think this statement is bullshit. Society’s determination of love has skewed the way it is perceived. I hate to burst your bubble ladies, but if you think your going to have a love life like the movie the notebook, you’re sadly mistaken. Not saying it would never be that great, or never have the potential, but I think people expect men and/or women to follow some prerequisite our society has laid out. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve truly loved someone, which has only been once in my lifetime, where it has ever gone in a pre-determined direction. Things just flow, as long as they aren’t forced; yea I’ve made that mistake too. But along those lines you can’t force anyone to love you, no matter how hard you try. On the contrary, you can’t help who you love. I know a few people, myself included who have loved someone that is not good for them. Whether it be because the point in time of your life, or their life, or because it was something out of reach. It’s a lesson Forrest Gump shows so effectively. This man lives his whole life unconditionally loving one person, and when the time comes to truly have the opportunity to do so with her, it’s abruptly taken away from him as she passes away from aids.

Forrest Gump is also extremely effective at showing the world that no matter what, anyone can be loved. It’s pretty apparent by the film that Jenny for lack of a better term is a hot mess. Horrible childhood with a abusive father, followed by the drug filled, sex fest she has in the 60s and 70s. Someone who never in her life has been loved, is still capable of being loved. Now most would agree in the movie that Forrest is somewhat of a suckass, but just like i said previously, you really can’t help who you love. Its pretty amazing when everything works out, but it can be pretty vicious when it doesn’t. I’ve truly loved only one person in my life, although things didn’t work out, she still has a small place in my heart, and always will. It’s both unfortunate, and rewarding.

Don’t get me wrong love is a amazing thing. I’m still trying to figure out why I’m writing this blog. I really don’t have much experience in the area of love. But I know how it feels. I know how it feels when you can’t live your life without someone. I know how it feels when you get butterflies in your stomach when you are with someone. I know how it feels when someone walks into a room, and lights it up. I know how it feels when you’re willing to sacrifice your own happiness, for the happiness of another. All these feelings are amazing. It’s something that can’t be replaced with anything else. People try their damnedest to not feel these things because of the consequences they bring along with them. For whatever reason they put up walls, make excuses, run away from it, or never put themselves anywhere near the situation to begin with. You can do whatever you’d like, try every trick in the book, but its going to happen sooner or later. Learn to embrace it, it’s not negative, it may hurt you but in the end would you rather live life not experiencing the great things listed above? I’m listening to your head say yes, but I know your heart is arguing with it. It’s harder to pretend to love someone when you don’t. But it’s harder to pretend you don’t love someone when you really do.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isnt it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love take hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like “maybe we should be friends” turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you apart pain. I hate love”

-Neil Gaiman.

Never A Mistake, Always A Lesson

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The long, windy canyon road that i climbed in my truck. The road that made me want to go grab the monster. It’s one of those roads that no matter what form of transportation you’re in, provides you with a serene place to think about whatever strikes your fancy. With a cigarette in my mouth, the new senses fail record screaming in my ears, my mind traveled afar. Somewhere I try not to travel because I know the power of its unsubtle way of making me question who I am, but hell it didn’t stop me. Through my short 24 years of life, I’ve learned so many things about who I am. Problem is learning and understanding are 2 different animals.

When you learn you examine a decision, look at the outcome, and determine the casual chain. It is incredibly useful, as well as simple and straightforward. Learning is about seeing things only for the results they provide. Understanding, however, necessitates examining the context of a decision and the basis for the process in the first place. Learning is forward thinking (do-this-get-that), understanding is backward looking (do-this-because-of-that).

Where does this leave me? Trying to figure out how what I’ve learned has made me understand who I am. I have such a old soul In a society that is full of, for lack of a better term, new souls. I wish I had a horrible childhood to tell you about that coerced my way of thinking, but I don’t. I was raised in the house I still live in. My parents, now divorced, have always been supportive in my endeavors, no matter how much they disagree with them. My grandparents are beautiful people, to whom I treasure. My sister is a huge dork , with the coolest set of idiosyncrasies I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t a typical child. I always felt school was unimportant. It didn’t involve engines or wheels, so I wasn’t interested. I received my fair share of bullying, due to the fact I was one of the bigger kids. But in our day and age for every pair of underwear you put on, there is new bully waiting to pull it through your crotch; at least I was big enough to scare them away. I was a homebody during school, due to the fact I went to a school nearing 10 miles from my house, making it a hassle to see my close friends. I wore glasses due to inheriting my mothers 20/20 vision, and spilling battery acid in my eyes when I was younger. Que the start of my learning curve.

I attended Los Alamitos High School, which at the time was one of the highest drug fairing schools in California. Yes the rainbow pills were flowing, along with weed, cigarettes, PCP you know all the good stuff. I was always one to shy away from things i wasn’t familiar with. I’m not to positive on why, i don’t really remember having the drug talk with my folks. Being a part of the football team automatically gave me a large group of friends i could hang around with. I saw them everyday, cried with them, bled with them so i figured they’d be good buddies. It’s funny when you’re in high school, how you are so certain that group of friends will be with you forever. Where’s my bullshit button? Oh there it is i found it. BULLSHIT! That group of friends, to whom I loved, made choices that i wasn’t fond of. Don’t get me wrong, I will still give them the shirt off my back to this day if they asked for it, but I no longer talk with them. Stupid shit happen, and I was forced to make a decision. Friends became acquaintances, acquaintances became people I’d hear from once a year, then down the chute they went. It’s hard loosing people to whom you’d think would be the best men at your wedding. I can’t be too angry at them, that group of people introduced me to the people i now trust my life with. It’s a funny thing how and when people enter your life. My life was in the shithole, I’d pretty much lost everyone i trusted, i was overweight and angry at myself. I honestly don’t know what my now best friend saw in me. It’s even bugged me enough to ask him, to which his response was a nimble laugh.

You begin to find yourself after you start noticing how you already found, already messed up, already learned, and already understood. Heres how i became myself: mistakes, embarrassment, harassment, addiction, pride, hate, love, death of people with whom I could not live, loss of pets that left my stomach in knots, horrible relationships, rejection, strong morals, great relationships, feeling like i did everything right even though it was wrong, dating a 18 year old when i was 23, dating a 29 year old when i was 24, loosing my mind, finding it again, determination, strength, helping people, betrayals but much greater loyalty, conversations about life with friends and family, stepping out on a limb, breaking said limb, being stupid while intoxicated, getting lost, being a doormat, using people.

The most important thing I’ve learned throughout my stint of life is you have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. You take the action, and the insight follows. You really can’t think your way into becoming yourself. Mistakes are the most justified part of my life. So I began the daunting task of figuring out what I will not do. Now understand that some of these idiosyncrasies and/or lessons have been discovered as early as yesterday, so bare with me. I will not change myself for somebody else. Now as i sit and think back i understand how much hard work I’ve put into myself, and how much effort it is learning myself and adjusting accordingly. I refuse to let that hard work falter, to anyone let alone myself. I will never judge anyone, ever. I will not bend over backward for someone who will not do the same for me. Call me selfish, but breaking your back for someone who will not return the favor is pointless. You are the only one who gets hurt in the end. I will not give up. No matter what odds i may be given. I will not be a doormat anymore; I’m still working on this one. It’s hard as hell, but I’m learning brutally that when you do that people will take advantage of it. It then becomes a hassle and stresses me out. I will not be stressed out by other people anymore. Somebody else’s emergency does not constitute a emergency on my part unless i make it that way. That’s the short list. When you decide what you won’t do, you also have to recognize what you will do. I will not list that out for you, if you want to find out you’ll have to accompany me in my journey, and be important enough to stay by my side.

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Another integral part in finding yourself is the company you keep. The quote “your friends can either be a elevator or a cage” is so veracious. I lost my job, or I was left heartbroken, or I was in a funk, i know where I can go. My friends and there families will take me in with open arms to guide me, provide me with honest, insightful opinions, and make sure I’m taken care of. My friends will offer me there whole hearted support when I need it. I still remember with all the crap that was going on i approached my best friend in my nonchalant way. Funny thing is my best friend is nothing near nonchalant. He guided me in the correct direction but the funny thing was is the way he did so. From what I’ve learned about psychology is a psychologist will not tell you what to do, they will guide your wheels in a direction. You take your guided wheels, and figure out where to go. You need to figure out life on your own terms, in your own way. If people tell you what to do, you’ll never learn anything. You will never get the benefit of making mistakes, yes I said benefit. You must harness mistakes for your benefit. Mistakes can point you to something you don’t know, deepen your knowledge, show you what matters and what doesn’t, it can serve as a warning, point
out hidden faults, show us that we are like others, bring out relationship problems, show you your authentic self, show you when you are not listening. You must expect mistakes as a normal part of growth and development.

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So why this blog? My mistakes have bitten me in the ass as of late. They aren’t mistakes i literally made, but mistakes that arisen after a certain set of circumstances came to be. You know the funny thing? I’m more happier than I’ve ever been. I’m not in a rut, I’m making things happen and my life is progressively changing for the better. There’s a way of playing safe, there’s a way of using tricks, and theres the way I’m learning to play, which is dangerously, where you’re going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you’ve never created before. I’d rather live my life making mistakes, learning, figuring out myself, understanding, than to take a seat and watch it roll on by.

To go left, you must turn right

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A few blogs back i filled you in about some not so good things that happened to me. You know me bitching about losing my job, blah blah blah. Sitting in a Marriott parking lot as i escorted my grandmother to the car, I started the daunting task of putting all my motorcycle gear on. For some reason, on that day, i was second guessing myself and everything i was doing. I’m not going to lie, I felt like i was failing at my life, like something was missing. I had lost my job, to which I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about. My life was in turmoil. This is a place i don’t come to very often because I try to do my best to stay away from it. Life tends to throw situations at you testing that you can keep the garbage in the trash can and not get it stuck in your head. On the elevator ride down from my grandmothers hotel room, she was talking about something or someone getting hurt. Im sorry grandma, that i can’t remember the conversation we were having, but in a nonchalant funny way i mentioned “along with my pride” trying to initiate a conversation about the crap running through my head. Throughout my life I was accustomed to being babied when it came to things i didn’t want to hear; I now am tired of it because all it leads to is a sense of apocryphal hope. At the end of the day, for whatever reason, I know my grandmother will tell me how it is, whether I want to hear it or not. So here I am, asking the smartest, most beautiful, stubborn souled person i know about what to do with my life. I’d love to tell all of you that my grandma had some miracle advice that would fix all my problems, but unfortunately life doesn’t provide you with miracles, you have to make them happen.

I began to tell grandma about how I didn’t like the way things were going. I’d finally found something useful to suffice my non working status. But things weren’t as I expected, and making sense of it was troubling me. I still find my grandmas approach to the whole ordeal interesting. Her first question to me was, “what do you want to do with your life?” I sat there, motionless with nothing useful to say. I honestly had no idea. Its such a simple question, with such a simple answer. With a dumbfounded look in my eyes, grandma started picking. The place she went to took me off guard. “When you were a little kid what did you want to do?” Holy crap! That’s a question i could answer. Ready for my childish pipe dream?

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A sprint car is an “open wheeled” (no fenders), “open cockpit” (no roof, no doors) vehicle measuring roughly 12 feet bumper to bumper and 7 feet side to side. The chassis is constructed of a minimal tube frame with a short 84-inch wheelbase. The suspension, deliberately crude by modern standards, consists of a live axle in the rear and a dead axle up front, and torsion bars for springs. A V8 engine, fueled by methanol, is connected to the quick-change rear axle by a coupler called an “in-out box”. There’s no starter motor, and the battery is only large enough to power the ignition system for the evening. Sprint Cars use very large right rear tires, in fact an average right rear tire is around 21 inches wide, has a circumference of 105 inches and a 33.2 inch diameter on a 15 inch diameter wheel to couple the irresistible force to the soft clay below. The driver sits atop the rear axle, “upright”– much like sitting in Grandma’s antique chairs for Thanksgiving dinner with his legs straddling the driveshaft.The body, what there is of one, is made from either sheet aluminum or fiberglass. The standard powerplant of professional sprint car racing today displaces 410 cubic inches, and is based on aluminum blocks from Donovan or Rodeck, and aluminum heads from Brodix. The basic dimensions (bore center spacing, deck height, etc.) are still those of a Chevy V8, but you won’t find a single GM part in the engine. Roller tappets and rocker arms actuate the titanium valves. Tall injector stacks top it off, feeding a potent mix of methanol and air to the cylinders. More fuel is injected through “down nozzles” in the side of the heads . Oiling is handled by a dry sump system, with the oil tank often located just ahead of the driver on his left. These engines routinely top 8000 RPM, producing in excess of 1000 horsepower. The cars can weigh between 1300 lbs. and 1700 lbs. with the driver. With a power-to-weight ratio comparable to a Formula 1 racer’s, and a short, tippy frame, a sprint car spends most of its time scrabbling for traction, broadsliding around the corners, wheelstanding on the straights, and throwing clay into the stands, while the driver wrestles frantically with the steering wheel. The car holds one occupant, the driver, who sits centered in the car behind the motor but in front of the rear wheels. Sprinters can be raced both with and without wings. “Wingless” is the traditional form of competition, however “winged” sprints became a common form in the early 1980s.They are known to be one of the most dangerous forms of racing in the world. They see in access of over 140 miles per hour. The interesting thing about sprint cars is the way they turn, or the way they don’t turn. A famous quote about sprint cars is that ” to go left you must turn right, and to go right you must turn left” Turning a sprint car involves pitching it into a corner, and keeping the car in control with the throttle. The first race i ever attended was a sprint car race, And god was i hooked.

Awesome pipe dream isn’t it? I wanted to drive a race car. It’s funny how in such a small amount of time, my grandma turned my dumbfounded, saddened look, into a huge smile. Yes I want to strap myself into a 1000lb, 1000 hp, adrenaline machine and take it around a clay oval, sideways doing 140 miles per hour. Come to realize its not a pipe dream, It’s what makes me happy. Isn’t that what life is about, making yourself happy? Yes, that’s exactly what it’s about. Although this being my childish pipe dream my other dreams can’t be set aside. Now let’s get one thing straight, driving a sprint car is a dream that is not happening anytime in the near future, there are so many important things than driving a race car. I want my own house. Something I can call my own, and be thoroughly proud of. I want a family. I truly feel that I have something special in me to offer my kids, and would feel empty if i had to live my life without them. I was born to be a father. I forget this from time to time, because hell I’ve never been in the situation where the opportunity has been available. People in my life have reminded me of this, whether it was something i wanted to hear at the time or not. I appreciate all who have, and appreciate you having my best interests always in mind, even if it means reminding me in a way that doesn’t make me happy,

I got follow your bliss tattooed on my arm so i would never forget to do what makes me happy, but for some reason i still do. The same tattoo is printed across the chest of Buddy Nielsen, the lead singer for my favorite band Senses Fail. The reason this quote was so important to me is in the context in to which I first heard it.
In the Senses Fail song Can’t Be Saved the song begins as such,
Follow your bliss , it reads on my chest
I knew I got it tattooed for a reason
Why can’t I just hold it true.

From the context of the song, buddy feels he can’t be saved because he hasn’t “followed his bliss”. When i heard it for the first time, my utter love of quotes took over and i started researching what it meant. The short definition is to follow your heart. On the contrary, Follow your bliss is a sacred call to action for your soul to pursue what makes it happy, and what makes it light up. To find the thing in your life that makes it seem like three minutes has gone by when it’s really been hours. Now the unfortunate side to this, is that some people will never find this. It will bother some, and to others it wont really matter. I’m lucky that in my life, I’ve found it, and in more than one thing.

After my smiling, gitty ten-year old self calmed down, grandma took charge. The essence of what grandma was saying is best described by a quote by my father. “There are 3 types of people in this world, people who watch things happen people who make things happen and people who sit around and wonder what the hell happened”. It’s a quote i refer back to a lot, but its meaning keeps being redefined over and over again. She told me that the only thing left to do was to get up and go do it. If you want to follow your dreams, you need to just go do it. It’s hard to change your life, I’ve been through it before so i understand it. But when it involves bettering yourself or doing what truly makes you happy there is nothing to lose. You have to realize what is important, set goals for yourself, achieve those goals, and never stop setting and achieving. So where did this wonderful conversation with my grandma lead me?

There is more than one correct answer to the question, it lit a fire under my ass. A fire that has always been there but never really had a very flammable fuel source. It made me think about what I truly want in life. Take a second and think back to what you wanted to be when you were a little kid. Is it something like being an astronaut, or a movie star, or maybe even the president. If its something that still puts a smile on your face, go do it. When you’re a kid, the only thing you care about are your dreams. You don’t have to worry about bills, or the mortgage, or having gas in your car, all you have to worry about is having fun, and being happy. Its something we adults tend to forget when we grow up. The simple pleasures in life, that put smiles on our faces. Whether it involves collecting stamps, or running marathons. Go do it. Ill end my blog with a beautiful quote from Hamilton Wright Mabie. The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages; the question is what he will do with the things he has. The moment a young man ceases to dream or to bemoan his lack of opportunities and resolutely looks his conditions in the face, and resolves to change them, he lays the corner-stone of a solid and honorable success.

Letter To My Younger Self

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Dear Pre High School Compton,

You’ll learn through life that your first name doesn’t mean a damn thing when your last name is Compton. That guy up there is telling to you to step out of your cage, to experience the good parts and bad parts of life. Take risks and do things you’ve never done. That group of friends you had that you thought you were going to have around forever? Yea they’re gone, and almost put you in jail. That girl in high school you thought you couldn’t live without, you can, but keep her around she’s a wonderful person and will always have a place in your heart. Being proud of the color of your skin is the stupidest thing you’ll ever let someone try to talk you into doing. Don’t let anyone talk you into anything, do what you want to and what you think is right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Virgin, don’t ever think there is. Drugs are stupid and illegal, as far as alcohol, there’s a time and a place. Your mother is a beautiful person and just wants what’s best for you. The only person that can judge you is yourself. Don’t ever be with a girl because she’s the only thing presently around at that time, there are plenty of women out there. Get a degree, it may not seem like college is worth your time, but trust me it is. Go to more sprint car races, its the happiest you will ever be at any point in time. Learn how to budget your money, it won’t be important for a while but if you don’t do it now you’ll be forced to do it later. And all that money won’t make you happy. Read the last sentence again. You’re a sexy monster, ask Siri, you’ll meet her in a few years. Your father is the smartest technical person you will ever meet, when he tries to teach you something listen, don’t be stubborn he won’t be around forever. You’ll have your heart shattered more than once, but its a part of life, learn something from it and move on. No shirt, no flirt! Don’t worry about finding the right friends, they will present themselves when you least expect it. Don’t sell your first car, it was a grandpa mobile but it was awesome. Your blind, get used to it. Listen to your grandparents! Your grandma, although you won’t understand it right now, is one of those people who’s soul is true, she will make it her obligation to point you in the right direction, if you ask her. She’s going to tell you how it is, and you may not be accustomed to it now, but learn to be, it’s the best way to be. If you get offered a cigarette say no. Follow your bliss. Don’t ever forget that quote. Get a job, and be proud, having a job somewhere is better than not having one. If a girl likes you for anything other than who you are as a person, tell her to keep walking. When you’re in a relationship and you want to leave, leave but don’t expect to not break someones heart. If you’re with a girl, and she thinks there is something better out there, don’t beg her to stay, bid her farewell and wish her good luck. If she comes back, you’ll need to figure out what to do. When you’re in high school you’ll meet a guy with a fast white car, don’t ever forget him. Keep making people laugh, you’re good at it. Don’t be lazy, hard work is good for the body and the mind. You’ll want a tattoo, pretty badly. You’ll have two choices in your head, i beg of you to go with number 2. Don’t think you need to change there is nothing wrong with you. Be confident in yourself. Read books. Love people for who they are not what you think they can be. You’re a amazing person you just need to be fine tuned. And for god sakes when you get on a bicycle with a engine, wear a helmet; they may look dorky but staples suck.

Love Older Compton

The Different Sides

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As i stated in my intro back a few months ago, i saw a friends blog and became very intrigued. It seemed like quite the contrary way to express myself, and to for lack of a better term “put myself out there” as to which I’ve had issues doing in the past. Captivated, I started to research everything i could about blogging. I never really understood what it was, but educated by the material i was reading, it was a form of colorful writing displayed on the internet, for whatever person who crosses your web address to peruse. I couldn’t figure out what the hell I was going to blog about, so i searched what people write blogs on. I found out that a blogs subject is not limited, it can be whatever you’d like it to be about. Blogs are authored about everything from stamp collecting, to sexual frustrations. So basically, there is no standard blog topics to begin your blog with. After surfeit research i knew that i needed to have a goal about what my blog is about and what I’m trying to accomplish, rules to writing it, and what subject matter i felt suitable enough to write about.

When I started this journey i was experiencing writers block quite often. I had seen examples of blogs, read a large amount of them, but still didn’t know where to start. I knew I had to figure it out, but instead of thinking about it, i jumped up and ran with an idea, as I tend to do. My goal for my blog was undecided, and as I can recall, still is. Maybe it’s a way for me to share my life with people. No that’s not it, I’m not here to be some kind of haughty individual. Maybe it was for me to try to find ways for people to relate to me. No that’s not it. The opinions of others are becoming very trivial to me as i get older. Sitting here throwing ideas back and forth, I’m left here to think that I’m doing it because i feel I can help someone in some shape or form. Funny thing how words can ultimately heal, or utterly destroy. A simple word or phrase can truly uplift you, or shatter every piece of confidence you’ve ever had. I’m glad that I’m trying my best to be on the uplifting side of the seesaw, because I truly do understand how much words can hurt. I just hope that people can come to my blog and discover something about themselves they may have not seen, or get inspired to try something they have never tried before. I truly love making people happy, although it mostly can be positive, it can be horribly negative, but I refuse to change how I operate for anyone so here i am, doing what I can.

The biggest thing I think in my blogging is the 3 rules i have set for myself. First and foremost i always will be completely honest with myself, and with the reader when writing.

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Everything in those few posts up there is my true heart and soul for the world to see. You really think I want to explain what dumping syndrome is and how horribly it effects me? Hell no i don’t, but its pertinent subject matter to the story at hand, so I’m going to include it. I’ve learned all throughout my life, and even a bit more recently, that you need to be honest, whether it be with yourself or anyone else. It’s a hard thing laying my guts out for the world to see, but what do I accomplish writing about something and hiding information? Absolutely nothing.

My next rule involves having no expectations. I’m trying my best to just write. To express the person i am, and the things I’ve learned to the world. I’ve learned that the world may not like what I have to say, but the best thing about that is they don’t have to and I’m completely fine with that. Expecting my writing to accomplish anything other than expressing myself, is pointless. So I will not.

My biggest rule is how I get my subject matter. Almost every post, besides the first few involves something that happened at that point in time. I really feel like pulling things out of a hat to blog about is ridiculous. Usually someone will say something to me, or I’ll notice something that will spark a large amount of negative energy or feeling. Everything I’ve heard and/or seen, and write about, is negative in nature, or sparked by a negative comment. My blog posts are pertinent to things that are directly related to my life at that time of posting. I feel this is the best way to write, it shows you how you grow, how you analyze situations, how you react to said situations, and what you’ve learned. Every venture in your life to which you fail or may not prosper, is never a mistake but always a lesson. Don’t get me wrong there are blog posts up there where I was so angry i couldn’t even correctly comprehend the sentences as i wrote them. It’s like shooting words out of a gun and trying to make something work out of it. After i initially write the blog, i will wait a few days, check back, see how i perceive it with a different attitude, and adjust my closing paragraphs accordingly. It’s a style of writing i like due to the fact of its harsh way of making me understand how I act when I am angry, and when someone has something negative to say.

So as you read this you may be thinking to yourself what prompted me to write this? My last blog post was about my gastric bypass surgery. Something people don’t understand, but still feel they need to comment on. A situation pissed me off enough to start writing. In all honesty blogging about my surgery was not something i really wanted to do. It is one of the most personal things i possess, and wouldn’t normally share it. Very few people know or understand why I did what i did and feel they need to put in there .02 cents. But i don’t care, if you aren’t pissing someone off you aren’t doing something right. I wrote out my story, got a picture, posted it and shared it to Facebook. So there it was, my drastic, intimate, lifestyle change laid out for the world to see. Now normally when I blog, I will get the same viewers, who will share their thoughts with me over text or phone call, which I enjoy hearing. WordPress has a stats page that tells you stats about blogs that you have posted and how many people have viewed them. In the first 5 hours i had over 100 views, and by the third or fourth day i had amassed somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 views. My gut reaction was shit, the most personal thing I’ve ever written, just got viewed by 200 random people. it was out, i wasn’t taking it down, so i let it be. Interesting thing is, who read it and how I found out. I have my 4 four best friends, who don’t read my blog, but hell they don’t need to, they’ve been by my side though fat and thin, but nonetheless I have small social circles that i run around in. I try to always keep in touch with people of my past that i don’t normally see very often. First time i heard about somebody reading it came in regards to a friend named AJ. I rarely see the guy but he hosts a great little party in seal beach every sunday for kids from any area to come out, meet, and have a good time. After i showed up, while we were talking away, he had mentioned that he read my blog. It surprised me to say the least. He told me how he didnt know that i had gastric bypass, and i thanked him for taking the time to read it. I even told him what I’m telling you now, wondering about why it got so many hits, in which he responded “hey man it’s whats people want to see.” Among AJs nice comments, i received numerous different comments from other people. Another freind Morgan, who had recently just had the surgery done, read it and told me it made her nervous of what’s to come. I had old coworkers to whom I somewhat inspired to get the surgery done, read it along with their family members, who were taken aback on the journey. I’ve had people tell me that they cry every time they read it. I’ve had close friends and family members tell me they never realized how much pain i was in. I’ve had people tell me to never stop writing, that it makes them rethink themselves and to change direction in their life. I’ve also had people tell me that what I write is selfish, and chauvinistic. Not having any expectations, its nice to hear the various sides. It shows me that I can do something positive for somebody else with my writing. I never, in my wildest dreams thought i could do that before. I thrive off of doing positive things for people, even if that is my downfall. It’s weird as well for me to see how most of my blogs come from negative areas, or involve a negative comment. It’s interesting for me to see how I can take a negative and flip it to be a positive. It instills that fact that throughout the things i talk about I’ve learned something, and something great at that. So I usually end my blogs with some moral exposition i feel the blog has demonstrated after its been read, so ill continue that. I think after writing this blog I’ve found my reason for my blogging; to displace the negativity in myself into positivity in others. Thank you all who read this, I hope to provide more insightful things for you to enjoy.

Falling Down to Find Your Way Back Up

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Kim Brittingham once said, “Every weight loss program, no matter how positively it’s packaged, whispers to you that you’re not right. You’re not good enough. You’re unacceptable and you need to be fixed.” Weight loss has been a struggle for many Americans. New and improved vices appear, with new and improved systems telling you these vices can be held on to, along with losing weight. Being an overweight man all my life, led me to have to make a difficult decision to save my own life. Losing the weight is easy, but losing your mind and finding it again is the hard part.

Throughout my younger years my size was always something that proved an effective tool; a mind-controlling tool. A tool is described as: anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose. I had possession of the perfect tool its uses were endless. I became an easy friend for someone, the intimidator, that guy on the football team, a feeling of safety for the girl I was dating at that time. Weight made me feel important. Its distinct control over the differences in how you feel, and how you present yourself formed me into a person I despised. I was angry with myself and the world around me. I started smoking cigarettes, which provided something to curb the anger. My feelings inside were unhealthy; my self worth was in the toilet. I was depressed, and felt alone in my own skin. I hated who I was. The large majority of people I confronted couldn’t help but burst out a comment about how big of a guy I was, or how my football team was “lucky to have a big guy like me.” Every negative word about my size, hit me deep down in my soul. Now I realize that these comments were never made to hurt me in anyway, it was simply just people commenting on their own observations. The big guy tool slowly began to break as soon as I left high school. Playing football for a top high school in southern California led me to be able to eat whatever I wanted, with no negative reparations, due to my extensive workout routine. Well after graduation I still felt I could eat the way I did in high school, causing even more problems.

Being overweight my whole life, I knew something had to be done. Fact of the matter is, when you are depressed and don’t feel like doing anything, it makes it hard to find the motivation. Being used to the screaming and yelling from my football coaches, and being forced to work out were things I no longer had. Around November 2010, in an unscheduled checkup with my doctor, he informed me of a few issues. My blood pressure was 145 over 110; a few numbers away from extreme hypertension. I was extremely close to being considered a diabetic, and suffered from small bouts of sleep apnea. I’m not going to lie, at the age of 20 its hard hearing that you wont make it until 30. His suggestion was to do something, and do it fast. Skeptical, I began looking into weight loss solutions. I tried every diet from the Nutrisystem diet, to the master cleanser. Some showed promising results, but I cant live my life eating packaged meals, or drinking peppery lemonade with maple syrup in it. I tried adjusting my eating habits, along with added exercise, but I was so lost and in a hole, the small amount of motivation I had faltered as quickly as it came. After hearty research by both close family members and I, my decision was with the Lap-Band surgery. Through even more information provided by my bariatric surgeon, I decided to switch to gastric bypass. There was a large amount of pre surgery tasks that had to be accomplished. I had to go to 2 meetings prior to learn how my body would now work, I had to lose 15 lbs. in order to prove that I was serious about loosing weight. Another prerequisite for my surgery was to meet with their in house psychologist. At the time, I had no idea why. “I’m losing weight, why the hell am I talking to a psychologist.” She asked a barrage of intrusive questions, as psychologists do. She asked if I was married or had a girlfriend, due to the fact that its extremely hard to keep them after, why I was losing the weight, what I hoped to accomplish, and sent me on my way, I didn’t understand any of it or why I was meeting with her, but come to find out that was the part of my surgery I should have paid attention to the most.

Surgery was conducted May 25th; the day my life changed forever. The one question the psychologist asked that I would never forget, regarded me handling all aspects of my weight loss journey. My original thought was of course I can, what is so hard about loosing some weight? Her question wasn’t in regards to pounds id drop but more to the psychological effect it would have. The first month requires only liquids, so it’s no wonder how quickly my weight came off. Everybody was noticing, and making comments about it. I was losing weight everyday, and looking better and better, but I wasn’t feeling better. I was more confused about who I was than I have ever have been. I heard my voice, saw the same hands, the same feet, but I looked in the mirror and I wasn’t the same person. People to whom I hadn’t seen in a while didn’t recognize me. I was skinnier, struggling to fit into clothes, struggling to well, just fit in period. The standard “your such a big guy” approach from other people, abruptly turned into “oh you look so good!” The nice guy in me always tries to find the best in people, so I’d politely respond to any questions they had and be on my way. Eventually things became much more interesting. People were treating me completely different. The best examples I personally can recall are situations involving women. Women, with whom Id had personally thought id never have a chance with, were approaching me. Women from my past who wouldn’t give me the time of day are now coming to reveal themselves. Why would somebody, who didn’t give me the time of day, then, do it now? Is this seriously the shallow world I lived in? The devil on my shoulder was telling me to act on all these new shortcomings from people of my past. These were people to whom I previously trusted. It started to become apparent that there was a reason we were never close friends to begin with. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I had women to whom I had around my entire life, whether it is friend or love interest, who wanted the old me. Its funny you feel so horrible about yourself, but there are people, who in their own selfishness don’t want you to change. The quick answer to what happen with that is they are long gone. People come into your life for a reason, and leave for a reason.

I had lost my mind. I was trying to make my way through the minefield of my past life. The minefield was the same but the mines were now different in shape and form. I had to step back and figure out how to tackle this. I contemplated forking my way through it, and trying to find the best mines to step on. I hit the point in my life where I needed to change my way of thinking. Everything you do usually involves food. Hanging out with friends, work etc. I came t learn that my life revolved around food. I was forced to change my way of thinking. If I went out and ate like I did before, id either be extremely uncomfortable, puking, or experiencing dumping syndrome. Ill give you the short definition of dumping syndrome so I can keep you up to pace. If I eat more than somewhere around 20 grams of sugar (usually processed not natural) in a meal my body goes crazy. Since there is no longer a way from my stomach to break down sugar, it inserts it directly into my intestines in its natural form. My intestines go crazy and flush my body with water in order to dilute the sugar. In doing this, the pain I experience is immense. Puking, stomach pain, diarrhea all is a part of this. The kicker is it happens in an instant, there is no real way for me to control it. So it can be quite an embarrassing thing if im around people I don’t know. Luckily it’s only happened a handful of times, and mostly at home, or around people I can trust.

In the process of trying to find my mind, I began to get the negative comments from people. Its funny how people’s perspectives can go in a completely opposite direction. Sometimes as soon as I tell people that I lost weight with gastric bypass, I can instantly tell by the look on their face what they are thinking. Some people will act upon their feelings and tell me “You took the easy way out”. It messes with your head. It’s hard having someone, close or not tell you that to your face. Even recently talking to my sister, she expressed that in the beginning she thought I was taking the easy way out, but after seeing all the crap I’ve gone through it definitely isn’t the easy way. I’m not sitting here telling you for pity, or telling you because those comments hurt me, just like the negative comments about when I was heavier, but to remind you that everybody has a different journey in their life. Don’t judge somebody by the way they accomplish a positive thing. Gastric bypass changed my life, and still does. Its taught me how to be confident in what I am doing and who I am. It’s taught me that I no longer am controlled by food. You do not realize how much sugar you consume until it’s all taken away. I cant go eat half a cake like I used to, I only get to have a bite. It’s taught me that no matter what I do, the only person I have to make happy is myself. I’ve lost close friends, and realized the people I need to have around. When you’re in a hospital bed, whether it is by a choice of your own or by no fault of your own the people who visit you, you keep around. I’ve learned that no matter how I look, somebody will have something negative to say. I’ve learned that when I support someone who is trying to loose weight, they may not want it because I did it the easy way. My diet has drastically changed and I have learned how to use it to my advantage. I’ve learned that people who don’t understand what I’ve gone through never will, and I accept that. I don’t expect them too.

Life is what you make of it. I did what was necessary to live my life, my way. I’ve lost weight and gained life. Im not going to thank the people who have helped me through my journey they know who they are, but I will tell you I know who will be in my life forever. Whatever the case is, if you feel something you are doing is good for you, do it. Be open to opinions of the people you care about, they are usually in your best interest. But at the end of the day stand by your decisions, and above all be proud of your accomplishments, no matter what negative responses you get.

The Changing of Times

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So its been quite a while since ive blogged anything with any depth so let me fill you in; I got the supra painted and entered her in a show, met a truly beautiful person, and lost my job.

With the longstanding task of trying to build a car i enjoyed that offered me a release from the crap of life, i feel i made a car that divulges my like of being different. it took me a little around a year to get the car to the point to which i am proud of it. As anyone knows its a long hard road to build a car; usually a road that never ends. I can already think of a list of things that need to be done to my car, although to the normal person it looks done. For the list of people whom have helped me along the way, refer to my last blog post. On to more important matters.

Not sure if you caught that last item on my list with my subtle way of inserting it, but yes i lost my job. The company to whom i proudly served for 7 years got outbid on a new contract. The new company deemed it necessary to drop all the lower people on the union seniority list leaving me, second from the bottom, laid off. Im still to this day trying not be bitter about the situation. I mean hell, not bragging but i was a hell of a employee. In the 8 years of working there i had a amazing attendance record, did my job and more everyday, was always early for work, never had been written up, etc. So from what i could muster up in my own mind was that none of this was my fault, which is true, but i at least wish that it could be for something i did. If i made a mistake that has ended in me getting fired, id feel better knowing that everything i had landed on me, but the reason i think this way is because i know i would never do such a thing. Its hard thinking that the reason i got laid off was because of how many years i had been a part of a union, or how many years that i had been in my newly promoted position for. Don’t base it on my work performance, or my attendance or anything of value, just my union tenure. Fact of the matter is the only person who is whining and bitching about that shit is me. The new company does not give a damn; at the end of the day I’m just a paycheck they do not have to fulfill. I was raised with the standards of always taking pride in what i do, in every sense of the meaning. But this situation has taught me something, not about me, not about who i am, but about life. You ready? It goes on, whether you are ready to accept it or not. Ive been telling myself for years about how good i had it. Damn near straight out of high school I had a job making very good money. Always in the back of my head i kept telling myself that my kick in the ass was coming. That point in time when you get thrown into a situation you have no control over that completely changes your life. Ive never been put into that situation, thus giving my reasoning for thinking that i had it “good”. Im not going to lie, losing your job is a very scary thing, I don’t wish it on anyone. I sit here as i type this thinking “damn i was looking at buying a house 6 months ago, imagine if i had a mortgage to pay”. What if i had children, who were counting on me, what would i do? You get your jobless ass up and keep fighting. You do what you have to do, whatever that may be. Things crossed my mind such as selling my bike, or selling my car. When brought up to a fellow bike enthusiast at my work his initial response was “You cant sell your bike!” to which i responded with, “i will if i have to live”. Luckily it hasn’t came to that, and i don’t think it will. So i did what i had to and took unemployment, which not only is nowhere near what i made, but it made me feel belittled as a man. I should be out working. I am a well bodied, smart individual who can do something better then sit and accept a check from the Employment Development Department. And by no means am i degrading anyone who does, i am just describing how i view the situation.

Ive learned a few things looking for work. I need a degree, in a field i want a career in. As i type this i sit and think why do i need a degree, Ted turner doesn’t have a degree, Bill Gates doesn’t have a degree, but yet these two people are some of the most productive, successful people of our generation. What I’ve come to realize is, i am not either of these people, not saying i don’t have the ability to be, but i am intelligent enough to understand that there is always something more to learn. If im going to learn something why not do if the from the indivuals who have done it before me and perfected it. My argument against degrees is that there are so many talented people in this world who have no formal education, but get overlooked because they do not have a piece of paper that tells the world of their accomplishments. Sitting in a classroom does not supercede somebody who has a vast amount of experience in a field of their choice. But degrees teach you common knowledge skills that somebody else would have to work so hard to accomplish without higher education. Degrees teach you discipline. Face it you can sit your ass on a seat for hours and listen to a professor, and then survive your class and pass, then you have shown discipline. This is higher learnings ultimate lesson. It is easy for a student to miss a class without the teacher even noticing. But when you work, chances are that no one will be there to punch you in. Your boss will notice and you will get the boot. You will always be a marketable person. Having a degree is becoming incresingly more important in the job market. Consequently having a degree now will open doors in the future. i will gain future opportunities in ways i may not be considering now, Persuing a graduate degree is much easier when you have a undergraduate one. I might be able to better weather certain situations in the future such as getting laid off. I will have a strong sense of pride and accomplishment. Attending 2 friends graduations recently and watching another achieve a masters degree, has shown me what hard work looks like, and how it effects people. Working your ass off for something and accomplishing it is no easy task, but i feel that earning a degree will teach me more about hard work then previous opportunities have.

Im finding out the hard way that the world is not going to give you a damn thing. You need to fight for everything you have. You must obtain as much knowledge as humanly possible about everything that interests you. You have to surround yourself with supportive people. I just counted on my hand 8 people total with whom i can trust my life with, and i know that their opinions, although maybe not what i want to hear, will always be in my best interest. They will support me until the day i die, without question. I am striving to become a better person, to make best of the negative situation that has been presented to me. Life isn’t about what you do when you’re at your best, its about what you do when you’re at your worst.