Monday, November 28, 2011

Swimming Upstream

All my life I have been a loner.  I have never felt like I truly fit in anywhere with any groups I am a part of or anything I do.  I realize this is partly my fault because how we perceive our lives is exactly how they turn out to be.  (If that is confusing basically if you see yourself as a loner then you are going to make yourself one because we make ourselves what we see ourselves as).
In being a loner I have also made myself a chameleon.  I work on blending in and I can get along with most groups I am a part of.  But it doesn't stop me from feeling like a loner.
All my life I have lived this fine line and done my best chameleon impression.  I have done the hair style thing or the clothes thing, or the interests thing, or the whatever thing that allows me to feel like I can fit in well enough with a group to hold my own and to feel less lonely on the nights that I want to feel the presence of my fellow human beings.  But still it is all just a charade as I wander through life.
Lately I have more and more felt like swimming upstream.  By this I mean I don't want to go with the flow as much as I used to even though I am generally a fairly laid back person when it comes to interests and activities.
I know what I like and I know what I want to do and if that means I walk my own path that is becoming more and more acceptable in my life.
I don't know if that is because I am just becoming more stubborn or if I have stopped caring as much about what society thinks about me........
I guess it doesn't matter either way in the long run.
Doing my usual reading and thinking these late nights I have found more and more that there is only one being that I care about their opinion.  That is God.
I try to make myself charming or funny or handsome or many other things in order to try and attract a wife (and yes I would really really like a wife and I would give up softball for the right woman and those of you who know me well enough know exactly what I just said) and I also want to be friends with everyone.  But what if I look at those people I want to be friends with or the people I want to attract and I find myself less than enamored with them as people?
That is kind of what has been happening lately.
I value friendships; I really do.  The friends I have I would do so much for and I hope they know that.  The ones that stand by me at all times I would give my very being to help them in their time of need.  I love them and I do my best to let them know that as much as I can.
But the ones I am trying to impress; why am I trying so hard when I am not even sure I want them to be attracted to me when I stop and look at them?
Why am I being a chameleon when I would rather just be myself and if they don't like me we will be almost no different than we are now which is we say hi cordially when we see each other on the street?
Rather than go with the flow and not be myself I think I would rather start to swim upstream a little here and just be myself.  If that means I have only a few friends but they are good ones I really am no worse off than I am now.
I am through trying to impress people if it means not being me.  I just want to be myself and be happy with myself and God will love me for that person because I know that person wants to be right with God.  As for the rest of the people out there; I am always willing to be friends but I don't need to impress any of you if I am acting in a way that is not me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Something that makes me a little sad

I have really spent the last few weeks looking very carefully at people.  I know that with my state of mind I was being rather observant and I wasn't just looking inward.
I have noticed lately that I know a lot of people that really make me sad inside.
While I have had ups and downs in my life I generally find myself happy and satisfied.  I deeply trust my friends and when I know they are there for me I truly do let them in on my whole life if they want.  I know they won't let me down when I really need the help.
As I look around me lately I have noticed that there are quite a few people in my life (not necessarily good friends but just people around me) that are either very negative or very cynical (or both).

I know that I can be both of those things as well and I know that we are all like that when things are frustrating and it seems like the world is pushing against us.

Perhaps it is because God is so central in my life; perhaps it is that I have seen that most of the time things work out for me and I don't have to worry too much about them (yes I know concerts still freak me out so I have my own problems with this); perhaps I just don't like being negative and cynical.  But no matter what I find it sad that there are so many people out there that this seems to be the predominant thought processes every day.

While you see what you want to see and your past has made you what you are, I just can't feel the same way.  I don't have a get other people before they can get you attitude and I don't think that people are out to ruin my day.  I don't feel like I can be cynical about other people all the time and talk about how they are just doing awful in everything and I am doing wonderful and they are almost out to be lazy and stupid.  I think we are all trying and sometimes we don't get as much done because we aren't as talented or we are having a bad time but I like to think that each of us does our best to go home every day knowing we tried.  Maybe I am wrong or naive but I like to think that most people are out there doing that.

I am also saddened by people that are always negative.  Or usually negative.  They seem to have one subject that they can talk about that is positive and the rest of life just sucks all the time.  They can only take a small bit of happiness from the few meager things they have in life.
I just don't see it the same way I guess.
Perhaps I am just simple but I am mostly happy where I am.  I know I wouldn't mind having a bit more money or being a bit more handsome or having a wonderful woman to call a wife or at least a girlfriend but I have a job working with some very good kids, I am getting paid more than a lot of people out there (and those credit card bills are my fault so I really can't complain when I ate so much pizza in college :P), I have a roof over my head and while it isn't the Hilton it is warm and I have tv to watch and internet to surf the web and I even get out with friends once every couple months.  I have books to read and I have some video games to play and I have time to write in my blog here.  I have food that keeps me full and even though I don't always get to eat whatever I want it isn't like I am eating lousy food, I just don't get to eat steak or lobster on a regular basis.
There is so much to be thankful in my life I don't see how I can complain too much.  And I feel sad that some people think they have it so bad.
I don't know, maybe my tastes are just simple right now too.

I realize that in complaining about people that complain I am putting myself right into that same category and I see the irony in it.  haha

I guess I have it better than most people.  I could have had nothing.  I was born and could have been in an orphanage for years and grown to hate people.  Instead I was adopted by loving parents with great sisters and have made friends that I would lay down my life for and they would do a ton for me in return as well.
I am generally healthy, I get to watch some baseball and play some softball, I have got to go sailing and camping and fishing and I get to read good books.  I have a fun car and I get to eat most of what I want if I just save some money and make it special occasions.

I am glad I don't have to be negative or cynical all my life and I wish I knew what I could do to help show those people the way to happiness.  For now though, I will stand by and be happy I don't have to look at life through such dreary circumstances.  It makes me sad for them that their lives are so rotten.
But I feel lucky I have what I do.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Smile in a While: The Weekend

There are some good things to look back at this weekend; I just want to write them down so I don't forget them either.

Most of you know that my grandma recently died.  While it is never easy for anyone to lose a close relative, for some reason this one hit me especially hard.  It could be many things about her and it could have been partly my state of mind but whatever it was, I hadn't been having a really good time as of late.  I am sure those people I was around noticed and my students definitely did.  I was facing some pretty hard depression there for a bit and I had lost all my happy thoughts.  The concert was a nightmare for me; not because the kids had done a bad job (far from it) but because I couldn't find any joy at the completion of the songs.

I had been struggling since the day I sat by her side as she drew that last breath and I couldn't find a light at the end of the tunnel.  Every day was cloudy and there was always rain.  And Friday started no different than any of the other days.  (I realize that there wasn't really clouds or rain but sometimes your frame of mind can make it that way).  I had an ok 1st period and a bad 3rd period (the kids were not well behaved).
6th period rolls around and the kids had been unfocused ever since Halloween.  I don't mind if they day after the concert they are unfocused because I push them hard right before and they deserve a small break.  But it lasted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well and I had to give them a tongue lashing as a result.
The first spark hit that 6th period on Friday.  They were focused.  Boy were they ever focused.  I had my band back; the one that I love to conduct.  We got some work done and had some fun too and that is all I ever want every day for my band during rehearsals.  7th period as good as well, the kids were working so hard and doing their best and there were even some break throughs musically to be proud of.

Friday night is seminar at Jackpot Junction.  I am by myself from Sleepy Eye and I went in not really caring.  I figured I would sit by myself, learn some stuff, go up to my room and just chill.  But instead I get to sitting by some other people that seem pretty cool and we went out after the seminar was done and had a drink and got to know each other.  It was fun.

Saturday isn't sleeping in (more seminars) but that is ok too.  Then off to play practice where we get done a little early and I come home and take another shower.  Tangent: I don't like seminars at casinos because they still allow smoking and then you come home smelling like crazy and you have to take a shower to be presentable to people around you.  Fish Frye, my favorite local band is playing.

I got to the Grand early (where they were playing) and I sat with a glass of wine and just looked around.  There was something in the air that night for me.  The clouds had finally started to pull back and I could see some sun.  I wish I had brought a notebook to the Grand because I felt like writing my feelings while I waited for my friends to arrive.  It was really nice there.  I had a good server and some nice wine and I was going to get to hear some good music.
Fish Frye was amazing as always.  I love their shows.  When they do arrangements there is a good chance I prefer their arrangement to the real thing and since they always do a song for me (Pinball Wizard) because they know I love it I always feel special and I will always keep a special place for them in my heart.

Sunday (today) sleeping in for the first time in months.  Pit Orchestra where Lauren made me smile all afternoon (and evening even though we were done) and Nate and I got to talk music (one of my favorite things to do in the world right now is to talk to Nate.  He always has good things to say).
Then stars in the sky as I drove home and here I am.

Grandma, I still miss you and I still get tears in my eyes sometimes when I think of you.  But finally this weekend, with the help of some great people, I was able to smile (I mean really smile not the fake ones I had been putting on for the last couple weeks) and enjoy life a little bit again.

Thank you to all of you who helped make this weekend good for me again.  Scholls, Berans, Christmans, and Lauren.  (p.s. Lauren I read your pie blog this weekend and that helped too!)