My Name is Matthew, and I am a soldier. I have an interesting view that I share from time to time with the folks I encounter as I walk the road. Some of those people have encouraged me to seek out ways to help others or simply share my views or ideas with more people. I will blog on many subjects, from things that piss me off on a daily basis to more important issues such as dealing with chronic depression and the struggles that ensue as a result. I will be taking bits and pieces from emails and rants that I have verbalized as well, so if you see something we have talked about please, smile and nod...Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A better version of me

         I was recently told by someone I care for as a friend. "I just don't know what God wants from me". You all have read my writing before and I hope that I don't come off as arrogant as I feel from time to time so believe me when I say that, what I said next was with the best intentions possible and I was quick to explain.I looked him straight in the eyes and I said "I do, I know EXACTLY what God wants from  you." The soldier looked perplexed and sceptical as I'm sure everyone reading this must be looking at their computer going WTF?! Which for those of you who don't speak Army or Acronym means What The Frak. I said "God wants the same thing from you that he wants from me..."

       I waited for the soldier to ask me, which he did. "Please elaborate on that for me, I'm curious now, you can't just say  THAT and then stop..." I looked at him for a moment, trying to be as serious as I felt at that moment, hoping that I would acquire more than mere amusement. "God wants ME, to wake up every day and be thankful for the air in my lungs. God wants me to see the opportunities before me and not fear my failures from yesterday. God wants me to forgive those who hurt me or make me upset. God wants me to forgive myself for being human and not enough like him to feel comfortable in his presence. God wants me to love others, as if they were him. God wants me to treat others with kindness and respect. God wants me to do, what I know in my heart is the right thing to do no matter who it upsets. God wants me to STAND and not be afraid of anyone or anything because he stands with me. God wants me to remember all that and be thankful for all that and to be proud of the man that I am because he made me the man I am, and if it isn't good enough for someone else, that's their issue, not mine..... I think God just wants me to be the best ME that I can be, EVERY SINGLE DAY. God wants me to push myself to become a better person, every day. God wants me to say thank you more often and be generous more often. God wants me to be angry less and happy more. God wants me to quit trying to figure out what to do in the next ten years and be happy as the moments tick by right now, knowing that I am who I am and I am where I am and it could always be worse. In short, God wants us to be better people... God wants us to TRY to be as much like him as we can, because he created us in his image..."

          I waited as my words sunk in... and I stood patiently waiting for a response. The soldier took a few deep breaths... Then he said "What should I do with the rest of my life? After I get out of the Army?". I took a moment again... "Do what you know in your heart is the right thing to do, and if you aren't certain, ask God to show you a way, and don't be afraid to go when he does". The soldier smiled, then went on his way.

         I sincerely hope that I didn't offend the soldier or anyone reading this. I am in no position to judge or grasp God, or his infinite wisdom and understanding. I'm in no position to interpret God. I just know that, we talk all the time about how Christian we are, and then we judge our fellow men and women as though we had some kind of right to determine their guilt or innocence. We talk about how humble we are, just to inform our fellow man that "I'm not as great as you give me credit for, I give it to God, for making me who I am. Instead of saying "Thank you, you are an awesome person too. God made us both in his image, so I say we are both Beautiful and God doesn't make mistakes." I'm not sure why or who or how, but some where along the way, the Human race forgot what it means to love itself. The Human race decided to be antagonistic toward itself. This has to stop somewhere. We have to come to a point as a species where we realize how precious LIFE is, and what a crime and shame it is to value it so little.

        I am not a Godly man, and I don't pretend to be in any sort of Organized Religion. I've been to church, and I know a bit about a few different faiths. My interpretation of God in this situation comes from within me and how I feel. I didn't read it from the bible or some secret passage way. I didn't quote any references because, to my knowledge, I am the first to say these things out loud or write them down this way. If I have offended anyone with this post I sincerely apologise now. Please understand it is my intention to help people, not hurt them.

           Thanks for reading and following. Thanks to Paula, who I already know ahead of time will have some awesome feedback on this post. Believe it or not, I love hearing your comments. Please leave whatever ones you have. Thanks again, for following and reading. Keep your head up, your character is defined by what you do when no one is watching and by what you do when there is pressure on you and you feel crushed. THAT is when character is developed, defined, and recognized...

Friday, November 7, 2014


        Being a leader is tough sometimes. The people you lead, if you do it right, don't know the crap you go through to take care of them. They don't understand that when they do something wrong it ruins your day because it makes you look like a failure. They don't understand that you are managing several things at once and one little slip up could ruin your entire day. The people you lead also don't fully understand that anything they do is seen as a reflection of you, good or bad. The people you lead don't understand that they aren't the only person who feels the way they do. The people you lead, don't know how you lead others, if you do it properly.
        My style of leading means that I take my people aside and talk to them one on one most often. The reason for this is so that I don't embarrass them in front of peers or people they may one day have to lead. I take my people aside so their peers  don't know if they are getting a repremand or a pat on the back. Sometimes I even take the time to further the rouse by smiling and laughing while saying something like "don't you EVER do this again!" and such.

       The down side of this is that my people think that they are the only ones ever getting into trouble because they never see me repremand the others. Even after I explain this, I still have people who think they are being singled out. I cannot please everyone and I understand it, I cannot make everyone happy and no one likes to be corrected. I can go as far as trying to explain to my people how making mistakes is a natural and normal part of learning. I still find that people get angry and frustrated when they get caught doing the wrong thing and want to blame the leader (me).

        Negative bias is real, and most of this post has been about the things that I don't like about leading people. The truth is, that there have been a few times where I sat back and smiled and thought to myself "GOD I LOVE MY JOB !". When someone you work hard with to succeed finally gets it and does something amazing. Even though they may not name you or say "thank you" to you directly, you know that you helped that person do something great. What really gets to me in a good way is when someone you know you worked hard with is a success story and they come to you in private and say to your face that they thank you for being an outstanding leader. Those same people, when they are doing things right, will accept punishment and correction and thank you for it.

         When I was a younger man, and a soldier still, I was corrected by a leader often enough. One particular time I was being punished for something incredibly stupid I did. The consequences could have been devestating, but the leader saw potential in me and instead of destroying me, chose to take matters into his hands. I was doing push ups for a very long time. At one point, I looked into the eyes of my leader and said "Thank you Sergeant". He got this confused look on his face and said "WHAT?!". I repeated my comment, then went on to say "You could have fed me to the wolves, and I know they wanted me, but you took this yourself and gave me a fighting chance to fix what I had done wrong. Thank you.". The point was made, and I was doing push ups for quite a while longer still. What I took from that experience was that being kind isn't always being NICE. Sometimes what is in the best interest for the people you lead is going to be painful for them and they need to feel that pain in order to move on.

        Being a leader in any capacity requires a degree of responsability uncommon to the average person. You must be prepared to accept the ramifications of your actions and still manage your life day in and day out. You need to also accept that of the people entrusted to you to lead. You must actively push yourself to be the best example to them that you can be lest they believe that it's okay to slip. You must also watch out for them and do the best you can to ensure that every last person you lead has what they need to do the job properly.

        I love my job, and I will continue to do the best I can at it until I no longer do my job. Then I will move on to another job and do that one to the best of my abilities. I will always seek ways to help those still learning and strougling to do the best they can. I will always try to help those who cannot or don't know how to help themselves. That's just the man I am. The Army taught me how to do that, and train people at the same time. I'm fortunate for the lessons I have learned in life and the ones that have taken me to where I am today. I look forward to the challenges of tomorrow and push myself daily to be better than I was yesterday.

I wish you all the best, thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A better me.

      We can all do our best to strive to be the best people we can be. We get frustrated when things don't go our way and we get jaded when we are burnt bad enough time and time again. When someone is mean to us we want to retaliate. We wish we could inflict upon that person the same pain they inflict upon us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. We all know that just leaves us all blind and toothless. We all know that violence isn't the answer unless it's the absolute last resort. We still want to harm people who harm us or the ones we hold dear.
       In my daily efforts to be a better human being, a better man, I am working on something important. I seek to defy the nature of mankind. Mankind is inherantly antagonistic toward itself. We have seen wars and strougle and poverty over the decades. We have seen people treat eachother with complete and total disregard. On a side note, I think that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. I think that to feel hate you still regard the other person, to feel indifferent is the absence of emotion, and that is the opposite of love in my opinion. When we completely disregard others, we don't even show them the courtesy of acknowledging the presence of another person at all. Treating people with malicious intent and being nasty is just something that people do out of spite, or some internal urge to express power when they feel powerless. I believe that this happens when someone isn't secure in their ability or understanding of themselves. I don't need to crush a tin can with my hands to know that I'm powerful. I don't need to insult someone else to know that I'm intelligent.

        I know that I'm insecure, but knowing that allows me to consider myself with regard to my capabilities. I'm capable of doing many things. I can write, cook, sing, and a few other hidden talents which I won't discuss here. I don't need to prove these talents to anyone but when I do use them, I try to use them in a way that enriches others. I cook for other people to share my joy of the art. I write, in this blog as an outlet and a forum for my thoughts. As stated before in another post entirely, I write also because I think that it may help other people. The moment I use my gifts, skills, or attributes to harm other people, I'm disrespecting them and their power. Taking something beautiful and making it ugly is something people have a tendancy to do. Wars have proven this time and time again. We can create just as well as destroy though. People have turned junk, trash, scraps, and other "useless" things into great works of art for a long time now.
        I simply can't relate, nor do I want to, to the people out there who mistreat others for the sheer joy of it. I don't understand how being nasty can be good. I can understand how it can help the person subjected to this torment. They can learn how NOT to be, how it feels like when someone treats them like that and maybe never treat another person that way because of that lesson. The person acting that way, however, must be in desperate need of help or attention. I don't judge, I just dont want to be like that or around people like that. We work with them, we see them on the road when we drive from place to place.

        So, I intend to be confident, and do everything in my power to be kind to those around me every day. I resolve to consider everyone's feelings before saying anything or acting any way around people. I resolve to make a conscious effort to treat people with the utmost respect and consideration lest I fall short of my goal. My goal, of course, is to be a better Matthew than I was the day before. If through understanding, and thought, and study I can do that, then I am going to continue to do so. I want to LOVE the world, and I want the world to see me, unafraid. So I intend to thwart the logic of being mean because someone is mean to me. I intend to challenge Eye for an eye. I plan to make every effort to be a better man one day at a time. I want to do this simply because it is the right thing to do....

I wish you all the best of luck and thank you for reading...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The sky is falling! The sky is falling! No really, it's raining cats and dogs outside.

Thunderstorms and lightning are beautiful but they can remind us of things that we don't want to remember. Sometimes the thunder and lightning remind me of incoming rounds in the middle of the night. Sometimes I wake and reach for a rifle that isn't there.

If you know someone who jumps when something startles them, or had some kind of trauma in their lives where some things trigger a response from them, I have some ideas that may help you both.

If you are the person who is startled or jumpy from things like thunder, tell the people close to you that those things bother you. You can't expect people to understand if they don't know.

If you are someone close to someone who jumps, or startles. Either be up front and ask or let them explain when they are ready. If you ask, don't be frustrated with the response. Sometimes people don't like to share the past like that. I'm an open book but that's the way I am. Some people like to keep that stuff to themselves because whatever happened to them still has a nasty hold on their emotions.

In any and all situations, communicating is the best answer in my opinion. You can't hurt anything by explaining how you feel or why you feel that way, even if you just don't know. Simply saying "I'm not sure why, but the thunder I hear is making me very nervous". Sometimes we have to swallow some pride, I had to tell my ex Wife "Would you mind terribly if we swapped out driving for a bit, the thunder is messing me up." I felt shame and embarrassment at the time, but she was kind and gentle and switched with me without another word. When I was comfy enough, I told her why and how I felt. She was nice enough to wait for the explanation and listened to my story. She never freaked out or acted like I was some freak of nature or some twisted psychopath.

People that go through trauma are normal people that bad things happen to, that's all. They aren't broken, just scarred. Sometimes those scars heal, other times they stay around a while. Don't stare at the scars, and don't pretend that they aren't there. Be real and honest at all times. If you aren't sure, ask gently. "I saw you jump a seccond ago, did something startle you?". Or simply ask, "is everything allright?" Sooner or later, if someone who is going through that trauma trusts you, they will tell you. They won't tell you if they think you don't want to know. They won't tell you if they think you will freak out.

On the other side of the coin, I have heard some people who claim to be very very touchy about certain things who seem to have no reason at all to be that way. I have known people who claim to be trauma victims, who never were. Some people like the attention. I'm not saying it's wrong or right, I will just say that some people need more attention than others and if that's how they go about getting it, that's on them. Trauma is real, and suffering from it is real too. Reliving a past event or having a startle response from one isn't a joke, and shouldn't be taken lightly. Just understand that you can't ignore it and you can't push someone aside who needs attention. Regardless of what they are going through, if they need attention that bad, there is a reason for it.

I wish you all the best of luck

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Other people

It has been some time sense I posted last. I'm still doing all right though. I ran into a friend of mine from years and years ago just the other day. I was in a pet store getting food for my bearded dragon, and I heard a voice from the back of the store. "I know that VOICE!". It turns out it was my friend from two of my four combat tours. Joe, was working in that store, just down the road from me sense he got out four years ago.

We hit it off like old buddies, and the next thing you know, we are hanging out together during the weekends and offering to help one another with various chores. His Wife is very nice and does a wonderful job putting up with the two of us.

At one point we started talking about those rougher times when we were over seas. I asked him questions about some of the events I remembered and he asked me some of the questions he had. Together we both went through those memories and tried to put the past to rest. We tried to better understand some of the things that had happened to us back then. We even remembered some of the fun times as well, and that made it seem less upsetting. The simple fact is that we were both not sure what to do in those situations and we were doing the best we could to cope and come out with our heads on straight.

The reason I'm posting this, is that sometimes, it's okay to talk about trauma and past events with people that were there. Sometimes that helps us process those things. Sometimes that process can be made a little easier with confirmation and some sense of justification from someone who was there with us. That's why they always push group therapy for people in that environment. I think that a Doctor, who is smart and educated on various coping techniques can also recognize that he or she can't replace someone that was there with us. The Doctor can't replace someone that shared in that experience and maybe formed a bond in that process. The Doctor can't help us validate or confirm what we think we know about an event. In our minds, we still want to second guess those memories. I think that we do that because in times like that, we don't always have the best memories. I think that in moments like that, in high stress environments, we strive to stay alive and our cognitive mind steps back. So, why shouldn't we trust our memories? Why should we feel the need to validate or confirm what we think we know? I think we do that because we always want to better understand ourselves and the world around us. I think that people genuinely care about the things that happen to them and want a better understanding of the world around them. That drive to learn is inside us all and I think it's important to cultivate.

I ran into a complete stranger, and started talking to her. One thing led to another and I found myself wanting to talk about some of the events from the past. I opened up to her. Complete stranger, what could it hurt? If she judges me, all I have to do is walk away, no harm done. If the encounter leaves me feeling one way or another it will only be because I allowed myself to feel whatever way that was. We want to let this crap out, we genuinely want to spill out all the trash from our past and get rid of it. When we ingest something poison, or unhealthy our bodies try to get rid of it, any way possible. This is typically speaking, I'm not a doctor. I think that our minds want to wash the dirt away too so to speak. I think that we want to clean that stuff out of there so that we can make room for better memories, better dreams, better fantasies.

So I leave you with this thought, if you only have one good friend in the whole world, is it because of shared experiences that you are so close? Is a friendship, a REAL SOLID friendship built on trial and struggle, and hardship? How good for us is it to relive the trauma with another person who can actually identify with us? I personally believe that something like that should be done in the presence of a Doctor, who can help us make the right conclusions and steer us away from dangerous ideas that can creep up into our heads in those moments. I know it would have helped me. Whatever you do, if you feel yourself sliding into a depression, call someone for help. Don't just sit there feeling lousy. GET UP and go outside, get some fresh air and pull out your cell phone. Go to a friend's house or call a family member, call a 1800 number, call a church. Go to the hospital, or go to a stranger's house and say "I NEED HELP, I'm feeling dangerously low right now and I need to talk to someone". Most people in the world are decent enough to help out someone in need like that. Just, don't stay alone and sad with no one to talk to. Shoot me an email and I will talk to you if that's what you need. Life is precious.

I hope this helped someone, if not, it helped me to write it out. Best of luck to you all.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


       I recently told a woman in a public place that she was beautiful. I described this encounter in an earlier blog post. This is what recently happened regarding that.
       I was back at the same place, once again waiting for my number to be called. This time I was in uniform, and sometimes people say I look different out of uniform. I approached her and smiled, as I said "I'm sorry if I embarrassed you or offended you the last time we spoke". She had no idea what I was talking about. "I'm the guy who came to your window here and told you that you are beautiful. I'm sorry if I upset you".
         She smiled very big and replied "I didn't recognize you in uniform, no you didn't offend me, it was very nice of you to say that and it really made my day".
         I said "People should do that more often, say what is on their mind and be polite to others. I didn't mean to put you on the spot or anything, I just wanted you to know that I think you are very pretty".
         "Thank you"
       I finished my business with her window and left knowing that I didn't  come off like some sleezy guy trying to illicit a date or hit on someone who didn't want to be bothered while conducting business. I feel that I did make her smile and I didn't come out the wrong way. I wasn't interested in dating her or being anything more than a customer at her window. I just felt the urge to say that I thought she was pretty. She didn't misunderstand me and she was happy for the compliment.
       In all the time I have been working on my social anxiety, I think that this was probably the best interaction I have had. It was with a complete stranger, and I'm so glad for that. Be real with yourself about how you feel. Be truthful to yourself about who you are and what you feel. Then, when you feel ready to, try sharing that with those closest to you. If they truly care for you, they won't be upset or offended. If they truly care for you, they will be happy you shared. No matter how crazy you think your thoughts may be, I bet you aren't alone in thinking them. The difference is having the courage to tell people. It's outside the comfort zone for sure, but that's where the magic happens.
Thank you all and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dream Big

        I was inspired recently by a few things. The idea that sometimes we limit our dreams and our ambitons to what we THINK we can accomplish. This works with relationships as well. We get the love, appreciate the love we THINK we should. We fail to see the world as our Oyster, and the dreams we have we are timid to reach for because we THINK they are beyond us. We are intimidated because the world or the society we live in drives into us that we can't or we shouldn't reach for the stars. We are discouraged by precieved limitations, and therefor succumb to a reality that we create based on the impression that other people give us. FORGET THAT. No no, hold no limits on yourself that are not needed. Refuse to bow to "normal" and refuse to cut your dreams short or your ambitions. "I WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT, I WILL NOT VANISH WITHOUT A FIGHT !"... It's said over and over in movies, songs, plays, poetry. The same message over and over again. Those who bend, break, or flat out ignore rules and societal norms are propelled forward or land on their faces and never attempt such greatness again. The difference between the two is that those propelled forward have landed on their face, they just refused to give up. This message is read and heard again and again. Even so recently as the Bat Man movies with Christian Bale. "Why do we fall Bruce?"... You would think with so many people out there telling us from such an early age that we would get beyond what OTHER PEOPLE say we can accomplish. This makes sence to someone thinking as an adult, who was there, did that and grew up. Those of you reading this, going "yep, I knew it all along" take a seccond. Look at your life, as I look at mine, and realize how short you sold yourself. Realize how timid and afraid you were when you failed to look PAST the horizon. Though we hav all done such silly things, I think that everyone also has a quite different story as well. I think that everyone at one time or another says "Screw the rules, I want this, I'm going to do it my way". I think that everyone has some success story where, they ignored what others told them they could NOT do. Stories of patients told they would NEVER walk again... Stories of people who thought they would NEVER recover from an injury or illness who made the effort, took the time, refused to give up and eventually made it. WE CAN NOT GIVE IN. Though we do.
      To often we focus on the negative. I'm here to say, that's easy enough to do. Sitting on my couch or in my easy chair feeling sorry for myself crying my eyes out with a beer or a glass of Scotch in my hand. Fair enough, fine, that's all well and good. You can have those moments. Just dont forget to pick yourself back up when your done. Don't forget that there are people who care about you. Don't forget that there are places you can go and people you can call. Don't ignore the list of numbers in your phone when that happens. Don't think that they wouldn't want to help you or wouldn't have the time to help you. Don't think that you would be a burdon. Trust me you won't be.

     The burdon comes to those of us unfortunate enough to know someone who DIDN'T call. Someone who didn't ask, and didn't make that leap to the top. We have felt the pain of loss and remembered those moments with clarity. Often times we think "If I had known that this person was feeling THAT BAD, I would have given up ANYTHING to help them". You know my story is true here, and if you don't, ask around. I would rather get a call at 2 AM from someone I don't know than read about an accident in the paper the next day thinking that I could have helped.

       DREAM BIG, and refuse to bow down. If you slip and fall, pick yourself up, and if that's too difficult, ask for help. God, friends, family, or even a complete stranger will help if you just have the courage to ask for it. Best of luck to you all.

          The picture posted here is my pet Bearded Dragon, in his favorite place at the window. I'm not sure if he is dreaming of being out in the sun or just teasing the birds. All I know is that the picture inspired me. DREAM BIG.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fine... Sure... Whatever

         I'm writing a ton lately. I guess that's a good thing, the thoughts are coming out rather than sitting in my head without any outlet. I recently got frustrated with my social situation and joined an online dating site. I've given the link to my blog to at least one person I have been talking to. Honestly, I don't have anything to hide. This blog goes back almost a full year, there is a ton of personal information here. I don't want to meet someone who isn't aware of who and what I am. So if this helps eliminate the people I wouldn't be compatible with, so be it.

          On the flip side, my life is riddled with compromises I so wish I had never made. Too many times I thought to myself, "I need / want attention and affection, so I will allow someone willing to give it to me". I should have been more picky along the way, I should have taken my time instead of rushing in blindly trying to gulp down the water. It always makes you sick when you do that. When you are thirsty and dehydrated and you just POUR water down your throat you get sick and things only get worse. That's a medical fact. Apparently it has emotional and social implications as well.

         I hate hurting people and I hate getting hurt, but in the process of finding Mrs. Right, I may have to tell some people that I'd rather not continue talking to them because they just don't fit the bill. I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings or lead people on. For me this is an ethical problem, I don't want to get to know about someone and talk to them for hours just to find out some tid bit or crazy little THING that makes me say "Nope, sorry, NEXT". The simple fact of the matter is, maybe that's what I have to do so that I don't waste a long time trying to make something work that simply shouldn't. I'm not heartless, and I'm not a mean person. For me, the hard part is knowing when and how to stand up for myself and assert myself.

          Maybe the reason I've been trampled on is because I didn't stand up for myself and say "I'm sorry but this shouldn't continue. This needs to stop and we should just go our separate ways". I am very aware of what I am looking for. I am very aware of what I will accept and what I won't. The problem for me is intentionally causing someone else harm by letting them down when maybe they think that things are going great or that I would fit their needs. I don't like hurting people. I'm the kind of guy who sees a car pulled over on the side of the highway and I stop. I approach with caution and ask if the person or people are okay or if they need help. I've been that way my whole life. I guess it's a miracle I haven't been shot. Sad truth is, I'd take a bullet to prove that there are still human beings who care enough to stop. I'm not trying to be a victim, but I would rather be a victim who tried to show he was a human being than a victim who didn't care enough to stop and let someone else fall into the trap. I'm rambling now because facing this the way I am writing it is making me feel odd. Some how slightly uncomfortable.
          I wish you all the best luck finding someone for you. Don't settle, and don't do like I did. Don't justify taking someone out on a date or going further than that even if you aren't sure they are worth your time. Best of luck to everyone.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fortune Favors the BOLD

       Fear, what a bunch of BS. For a moment, let me refer to a movie. I know, big surprise right? The dangers in life that cause us to have fear, are very real. Gunfire, or being fired from your job are both very real things to fear. Fear itself however, is stupid. Anxiety or fear can be used to motivate us to act, but more often than not the actions that are caused by these emotions are counter productive unless one has been trained to recognize and deal with said fear.

       I went off on that little rant to prove a point. Sometimes the size of our fear is way bigger than the size of the actual danger and then we act silly. I went off yesterday about howling. I was talking about howling because I wanted to prove a point that we can do ANYTHING we want to if we just forget to fear what other people will think of us. Well, today I wasn't howling in public, but I may have been.

       I went to a place where there is usually a line, so you take a number and wait your turn. As numbers were called off I could see different people providing customer service behind the counter. As I always do, I watched what was going on around me and I saw something stunning. There was a woman behind the counter that was simply beautiful. Her eyes, her hair, the shade of skin, the way she moved all conveyed a sense of feminine grace that I believe has been lost lately. She reminded me of water flowing over rocks in the river. I was hypnotized and I felt myself trying to find the right words to say should I be fortunate enough to be called to her line. Sometimes, I feel the urge to say or do something silly or irrational. More often than not I chicken out at this point for fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment or tripping over my own words. My biggest fear was what if she is offended or what if she thinks I'm being unprofessional and decides to complain that I harassed her? So as I waited for my number to be called, her window was number 1, I got called to window number 2. As the man behind window number 2 took down my information, I asked him if I could have just a second. I approached window number one and asked if I could speak to her. I don't even know her name. As she approached me I found myself saying "I'm sorry for bothering you, but I just wanted to tell you that I have seen  you and you are simply stunning, I saw you and I said DAMN. I'm sorry if I'm being inappropriate, or if I offended you but you are beautiful and I just wanted to tell you that".
       She beamed from ear to ear and before she could say anything I walked briskly back to window number two and pretended that I had just said hi to a friend. I watched as this beautiful woman gathered up the other women in the back and giggling ensued and she couldn't seem to stop smiling. I feel like maybe I made her day. I'm not sure, but I think that every woman out there likes to be told that they are beautiful. I'm pretty sure that every woman out there would like to have a man come to them and do as I did, without asking for a date or staring at her chest or acting rude. I wasn't asking her out on a date, though I wish I could have. I was just telling her that she was beautiful and I noticed and I appreciated. Maybe she was back there, telling the other women that there is some silly guy out there hitting on her. Who knows what she went back there to say? What I know, is that I told her that I saw her, and she is beautiful. Maybe the next time I see her, I will remind her, that she is beautiful.

        Whatever the case, I thought, what the hell? What is the worst thing that can happen? If I'm respectful and polite, it can't be sexual harassment. If I come across genuine, even if she is married, which, I didn't see a ring, she would appreciate someone saying something nice like that. When I am in a relationship with someone, I do my best to remind myself and my partner of the little things that I appreciate about them. The company, the pat on the back that I get sometimes when I'm with a woman. The gentle way a woman does things. The sick sad truth is, I think the average man forgot to appreciate woman. I think the average woman got so used to man being that way that, when a man comes along who cares, it's seen as flattery to get something. Not genuine. I feel this is a shame and shouldn't be allowed to continue. Women should demand men treat them right or hit the road jack. I think men should stop allowing women to treat us like ATM machines, or in some cases, escorts. I am a man, and I would like to be caressed. I would like to be hugged. I would like to be treated with the same soft gentle respect that I offer to any woman I've ever been with. I will not be taken advantage of anymore.

        Fortune favors the bold, and if we never reach for that peach at the top of the tree, if we never risk the fall, we won't know how sweet it tastes because it will start to rot before it falls. Worms will get to it before it reaches the ground on it's own. DARE to be great, HUNT for the challenge, and challenge the "normal". You may never know, what if she taps me on the shoulder out in public and offers me the chance to ask her out? What if I'm so nervous that I don't? Stand up to your nerves and fight your fears. You cannot pretend to know what is at stake if you don't.
        I wish you all the best luck in the world.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

For the "howl" of it

      I have been writing allot lately, I guess I'm inspired. I was in the car today running errands on my day off, it seems to be the only time I can do things for me. I renewed my car registration, and after that I just drove. I found myself wandering around this town going down one road. The thought that all roads lead to the highway. It's a mystery to me how I believe in such things and they most often are true. This time, out in nowhere, I found myself listening to a particular song. I was encouraged to howl at the moon from the song. So, looking around and finding no one else in the car, I howled. LOUDLY I howled. I raised my mouth to the roof of the car and let out a long howl. NORMALLY I raise my voice and sing in the car, it's not an odd thing. Although I hide myself from my impulses from time to time and it feels odd to do something people would find ODD. This time I found myself howling in my car because it felt good. WHO CARES ?! I had a sudden daydream, or fantasy of someone in the car looking at me as though I was crazy. She looked at me like I was nuts, and I simply said to her "Who knows you are howling in my car but me?". Together we howled, loud and clear baying at the moon, or the sun, whatever. WHY NOT?! Why can't I do something as silly as howl in my own car? If it makes me feel better, or makes me smile, or if for whatever reason it breaks me out of my shell, why shouldn't I howl? This moment of complete absurdity was simply beyond me. I'm not sure why, but I found the experience tickling. I found myself laughing in the mirrors and smiling from ear to ear.

      The thought here, is whatever makes you smile, whatever makes you laugh, so long as no one gets hurt who cares? So long as you aren't doing something that compromises your morals or ethics, and doesn't hurt anyone who cares what you do? I once found myself with a girl friend in the mall, I walked up to a complete stranger and asked if her and I looked good together as a couple. My girl friend immediately froze and changed color, the mysterious passer by simply smiled and said "Yes, you guys make a cute couple". The point here is that it was completely unexpected at the time and she was embarrassed. I feel bad for embarrassing her, but at the same time, if I can be strange and still have fun what/s the problem? I wish you luck, and I wish that you do whatever makes you feel good, no matter how silly or crazy it may seem. The story is written by those who aren't afraid to break the rules, or change the rules. The story is written by those who don't care about the rules.

        I appreciate you reading and I wish you all luck.


             Sometimes as I walk my road, I see the good and the bad. I stop to appreciate a sunset, or a flower blooming. I go out of my way for just a minute or two to make someone else I don't even know smile. I don't do these things expecting some grand reward. I do them because I want to, and I do them because they make me feel good. I do them for the look of shock or pleasure or gratitude in the eyes of someone who has seen the ugly side of things, maybe much worse than I have had the misfortune of seeing. I go the extra little bit sometimes to smile when I'm given a distasteful task at work to complete. Sometimes I even volunteer for something I'm pretty sure I won't enjoy. Why would you do such a thing Matthew? Because, if I didn't have plans anyways I would simply end up alone in my flat wishing I had company. If I am on a detail of some sort I will be with other people, and maybe I can make them smile by acting silly or shouting something absurd at an awkward moment. Maybe I can trip and fall and cause people to laugh at how silly and clumsy I am. Maybe by interacting with other people I might make a new friend. Maybe I can learn something from the people around me and somehow find a way to be a better man, or a better Sergeant. Whatever the case, I won't be alone in my flat watching the TV feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I don't have a good reason to go out on my own just yet, maybe I can't appreciate my off time just yet because I want so badly to be with someone who cares about me as passionately as I care about them. Why should I suffer alone in my apartment when I could be out conquering demons and dealing with my issues the only way I seem to be able? Someone dear to me once said "THANK God for your suffering, it teaches you". I was frustrated when I heard this, SUFFERING HURTS doesn't it? Well DUH! If you can appreciate what you are being taught by your suffering, if you can stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop being so selfish and see the situation as an opportunity, you might be able to learn something. Shouldn't we be grateful for every chance to learn we are offered? If we have the chance or the money to go to school or the chance to learn from someone at work who is more proficient than we are, or if we have a chance to see beauty in motion, or hear something that changes our hearts, what fools we would be not to appreciate the chance to LEARN? Suffering and pain teaches us if we let it. So yes, thank God for your suffering, or simply appreciate the opportunity to learn in whatever way seems best for you. I used to have crying fits; I haven't had one in a while. Part of me misses the complete and total release of control. Part of me misses feeling the warm wet tears splashing out of my face onto my hands. Part of me misses the way my whole body would shake and tremble from the raw expression of pain as it leaves me like dirt being washed off my body in the shower. What a powerful and beautiful way God gave us to express grief and pain, what a beautiful way we humans suffer. I marvel at it now, and wonder, dogs and cats can whimper and whine but they can't cry. Humans may be the only beings on the planet that are capable of showing pain this way. If you know different please correct me, I'd appreciate knowing. I don't cry lately, but I've been in my share of pain. Working through it, I struggle to find the positive side of things. I suppose the good thing about breaking up with someone you care for is that now you know that you aren't supposed to be with THAT person. Maybe you are just another step closer to who you are supposed to be with. Maybe you needed that kick in the teeth so that you can be just a little more humble or maybe it was so that you see something in a potential mate that now is a warning sign when before it wasn't. Whatever the case, every situation you find yourself in is a chance to learn. Don't be afraid of pain, but don't drown in it. Look for the lesson you should learn. Look for the method in which you found yourself in such pain and learn that pot hole good so you don't slam into it again later down the road. Be who you are, and try your best to understand yourself. Don't be scared of the dangers that await you down the road, look forward for the opportunities to learn your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. If this is the only bright spot, then let it shine. Let it blot out the darkness and swim in the light. Refuse to be consumed.

Best wishes, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What fools we can be sometimes

       Here I go again, same old story. I open my heart up to someone and get burned. Without going into too much personal details out of respect for myself I'm going to explore the nature of history and abuse and growth and how it affects our relationships later in life just a bit here. Hold on, this one is going to get bumpy.

       Have you ever met someone and it just seemed to CLICK? I mean you both seemed to just hit it off straight away. Some how the stars put you two in a position to meet and look how much you have in common and suddenly you feel your falling in love and the other person seems to be right there with you, on the same level and everything. You move to the next step and in your head everything is going well and good and nothing is wrong then out of nowhere after a great weekend together relaxing, POW the other person tosses you into the FRIEND ZONE and slams the door in your face.

        You express how hurt you are by the situation and how much you wish that things were different and how upset you are because you feel like you have been led on. Nothing changes, she is upset because you don't want to be her friend, you are upset because that's all she wants. She tells you that no man has ever been so good to her, and you explain how much you care for her. Stuck in the dreaded FRIEND ZONE you remain. She then gets mad at you for every little thing you did wrong during the entire relationship that she never felt the urge to express to you. After telling her from the get go that you aren't psychic, and you can't read minds. You explain clearly that you have a past and baggage. You express yourself clearly from the start that you know how you are and you are prone to being a certain way. After the relationship collapses she wants to bring up all the little things that you thought weren't a big deal because she never said anything was wrong.

          You don't want to go dark and depressed, you don't want to get upset and childish so you just agree to disagree. She continues to persue you and ask over and over to be friends. Finally you break the silence and ask directly "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" You get the expected, "I thought we could be friends but obviously you are just too immature for that". Please, throw more stones on me after you thrash me when I was just getting comfortable enough to let you into my armor and not protect myself anymore. She swings hard and fast and the next thing you know you are fighting the urge to use four letter words and throw low blows. Maybe you let one or two of each slip, and then it's over. The break up is complete. You once again are single and you feel hollow because once again you have put your trust in someone who hurt you. For whatever reason you felt comfortable enough with this person to let them into your guard and allow them to see you for who you are, and without a seccond thought they cut you to the bone. Then they get mad at you for not understanding why they dumped you. Why does all this happen?? Allow me to explain a bit.

         I asked a few people the conditions in which I grew up. I was curious if I was always as crazy as I am now. I'm sure that four combat tours didn't HELP me any, either did two divorces with women I never should have married in the first place. The question was about my childhood. The answer I got from the person I asked was "Matthew, you didn't exactly grow up in a "STABLE" environment, there could have been dozens of reasons for the way you were when you were younger". Great, so I'm fouled up from the start. Nice jump on life I was given. Not to beat the dead horse here, but I got up off the ground and found my feet and did the best I could. You don't walk across broken glass and not have a few scars. You also don't walk across broken glass and not develop some thick skin. So why am I so sensitive? Why am I the way I am? It's not Chess, it's checkers, simple. I seek women who will hurt me and cuddle me because that's what I grew up with. That's what I was taught was "normal". Fighting the urge to find a woman that's like that isn't exactly easy. I gravitate toward women who fit my version of "Normal". Obviously if that impression was formed during my childhood in such a chaotic environment, the picture wasn't healthy or clear to say the least. Knowing all this is part of the equation, finding someone who is gentle, kind, and willing to be that way with someone as screwed up as I am is entirely seperate. Making any sort of "normal" human connection requires skills that I never really learned. If people didn't like me when I was a child, they hurt me. Those who did like me didn't hurt me. I had to impress people or be useful in some way so that people would have a reason to let the screwed up little kid hang out with them. So as an adult I feel a constant urge to impress people and do above and beyond in order to win attention and make "friends" who later get frustrated when I realize I've been used and no longer wish to be treated that way. This isn't a sob story, I'm writing this out because I know for certain I'm not the only one out there running on a tread mill of lousy experiences with interpersonal relationships. Not just trying to find a partner.

         The moral of the story is clear. Once you know, set a limit, a line, a standard. Once  you understand what makes a situation unhealthy or hurtful or damaging to you, don't accept it. Break off whatever lousy relationship you are in, eat the bullet and let the other person go. Find someone who will treat you proper and don't stop looking until you do. Don't accept someone's pity or urge to help you because you poor thing, you have been so mistreated. Find someone who can look into your eyes and see you for who you are and appreciate it all. The good, and the bad inside you. Then show that person that you are willing to love, if it's reciprocated. Build a friendship based on trust and understanding and allow that person to see that you are past the pain of the past but sometimes you slip into your depressive state. Don't be afraid to show that person who you TRULY are. If they are there for you they will accept you. If not they don't deserve you. Don't accept someone who wants you around one minute then needs to think about it the next. BE who you are and be proud of who you are and don't ever let someone tell you that you aren't worthy of them. If they say that it's because they are scared that they aren't worthy of you. We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and not a one of us deserves to be living in fear of upsetting the other person or causing ripples in the water. Disagreements are part of life, accept it. There is no perfect existance, accept that. Not every person gets to live in the house on the hill with the white picket fence and the dog and 2.5 kids. Not every woman out there will be soccer Mom one day and not every Man will be Father of the year. That doesn't mean that we don't all deserve to find a partner that can appreciate us and love us for who and what we are. I'm done settling for seccond, or third, I want to be number one for someone.

           Look at your past, at the men and or women who shaped you and then look at your choice of partners over the years. Decide if you have been searching for something healthy or if you have been chasing the wrong person the whole time and you deserve better. Then go where you are truly happy and maybe someone worth your time will show up one day. Like the song says however, "You can't hurry love". I wish you all the best.

Man Vs. Machine

       As you know, from time to time I feel like getting dirty. Sometimes I sling it, sometimes I shovel it and sometimes I end up eating it. I may do a bit of all three here on this one. As the modern age has evolved we have found new ways to damage our children and ruin our culture and society as a whole. The GO GREEN movement and the Vegetarian and fad diet culture as well as the WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANT mentality is starting to make American society rather scary. Cell phones that allow people to play games, instant message, call co workers, and download directions all at the same time have added to the pressures of American workaholics. Let's face it folks, we all work way too hard and we could use a vacation.

        I work as a soldier, and I'm sure that my experiences at work are rather different than anyone NOT a soldier. In some ways I'm sure my "normal" day of work is a cake walk for the average middle class working single adult with no children. Then again, those days that make me want to rip my hair out may seem like a friggin freight train wreck to some of you. The point is, this isn't an article where I cry on your shoulders and tell you how hard it is to be a soldier. I admit that my life can be pretty easy going sometimes. That being said, let us recall the days of old when kids in school weren't allowed to have any sort of personal electronic devices. Not because they weren't available to people, but because Mom and Dad didn't have the money for that crap to use themselves. Now everyone has a cell phone, even toddlers have little cell phone toys and there are getting to be cell phones that kids in elementary school can use that have a button to call home or whichever parent and one for 911. Advances like this make us think how safe our kids are and how comfy we can rest knowing that our children can call for help at the touch of a button.

         If you haven't seen the movie THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY... Now would be a great time to shut the computer down and find a copy of it.

         In the days before everyone had a cell phone, most people had a home phone that plugged into the wall and if you were lucky as a teenager you might have been able to put a hand set in your room which you could use when your parents weren't on the line. This made coordinating things a bit more difficult than they are now, or did it? Pryor plans and a well thought out idea of how you wanted things done made it possible to make one phone call one time and get the results you were after. Given an example, I was going to plan a barbeque at the park with some friends. Maybe some friends at work were going to go, and at work we sorted out that we would go but weren't sure who had what or who could bring what. Once I got home and inventoried my fridge I could call up my first friend assess what he was going to bring and give him some suggestions on what to bring. Then I could call my other friend and do the same. No muss, no fuss, simple. Now a days we would be driving to the park remembering that we forgot ketchup and while driving try to shoot a text off to whoever to stop on the way and get it. This all seems well and good but when you are texting and driving.... whoops. Consider the strain on certain lower level employees with demanding bosses. NOW a boss can be as demanding and unrealistic as possible and the potential employee needs to be three times as flexible. Stress beyond stress. We have advanced society so fast and so dangerously that we are causing more stress than we are alleviating with our brilliant new toys. How many passwords to you need to remember on a daily basis? I personally have a book with all my passwords in it. WHY?! Why must I have a book with fifty different passwords in it?! I thought all this security would make life easier, places still get hacked, credit cards are still stolen along with identities.

         What is the point? Every time we come up with a problem, someone wanting to make a quick buck and have some fun with science and technology is busy trying to find a quick easy solution. It must be tough creating gadgets to make the world a better place. How civilized we must all be with such amazing advances in technology. (Refer to the movie HERE). I'm not saying we should all live like cave men, I'm just saying maybe old Issac had a point. Azimov wrote some amazing books and I tip my hat to the man who saw the simple truth that one day our curiosity would cause us to work twice as hard. Now if we are smart, the idea would be to take these new advances in technology and try to find a way to make them LESS complex. Find a way to make things better without being so ridiculously impossible for the average person to understand that we break it. Cell phones are great, but lets be real here folks, how much pressure do they add to the average adult? Now my boss can call me 24 hours a day and I have to answer my phone. If I don't respond within ten minutes to a text I get threatened with being in trouble because I'm out of contact. I WAS IN THE SHOWER FOR GOD'S SAKE... No no, not more complex, less complex. I don't need five thousand apps for every little thing on earth. I don't need more technology, I need simple technology. I need people to be more responsible with what they invent and how it can be used. The world wide web was a great idea until about 4 million people turned into hackers in less than a year. The Anarchists cook book was distributed in an instant to anyone who wanted a copy and teenagers learned quickly how to make dangerous incendiary devices in the garage. No clue nor care for how dangerous the things they were playing with were. Kind of like the folks advancing technology today. I'm not talking about dooms day folks, I'm talking about being just as responsible as we are smart. I'm talking about considering second and third order effects before allowing the most dangerous things out into public hands. This is just, my opinion after all. I mean no offence to anyone, and if I have offended you I sincerely apologize.

What I deserve, and why

          I haven't written in a long while, I have been busy with life, it happens. I was prompted to write today as quite a bit has changed in my life lately and I am finding the impulse to express certain new views and opinions.

          Every time we enter into a relationship with someone, I feel most people go into the situation with some sort of expectations. Based on our past we expect the other person to react or behave in a certain way, but there is still a big mystery. We want to discover this new person and we want pleasant little surprises that make us smile and feel a certain kind of way. I feel that having expectations is a great way to be upset and disappointed. The minute you expect something you set yourself up to either be happy or sad. What if you simply let the other person show you who they are with their actions and accept them as they are. What if you allowed the other person to express over time how they behave and what they value and how they intend to treat you.

          I have learned that I don't like to be treated a certain kind of way. Being treated the way I feel I should be, pleases me. Why should I tell someone I'm interested in having a relationship with "This is what you need to do to please me"? Why give away the answer to the test before handing the student the work sheet? Cheating is implied at this point. Of course the other person is going to give you exactly what you want. They want you to do the same. If you don't, they feel used and taken advantage of. Excuse me, I'm sorry but if I tell you what I want and what I need, I need to know the same from you right? Wait wait wait, HOLD THE PHONE. Now we go and try to force someone into our little dream of Mr. or MRS. Right. Instead of simply getting to know someone and finding out if they are even remotely compatible without a cheat sheet.

         I deserve a woman, true and whole, who is feminine and beautiful. I deserve a woman who will respect me, treat me with kindness, and never degrade or insult me. I deserve a woman who is soft and tender and caring, one who understands what it means to nurture and love. I deserve a woman who isn't afraid to tell me what I have done wrong and accept that I will do silly things from time to time. I am a man after all. I deserve a woman who won't write down a list of all the things that I do incorrectly in the context of the relationship but does however take stock of all the little things I do in my efforts to show her how much she means to me and how much I appreciate her. When I screw up, I deserve a woman who will refer to her list and then decide weather or not I'm worth the effort to put up with. I deserve a tender caring woman who can appreciate a man who adores her. I deserve an affectionate woman who enjoys being touched by an affectionate man. I deserve a woman who can appreciate holding hands walking down the street watching the sun go down. Or sitting in a lawn chair on the beach watching the clouds drift by or splashing in the ocean. I deserve a woman who can smile, and make me laugh when I'm feeling down. I deserve a woman who can laugh with me when I'm happy. I deserve a woman who knows her heart and her mind enough to be up front with me and spell it out rather than relying on my non existent psychic powers. I deserve a woman who will taste my cooking and dance in the kitchen with me. I deserve a woman who will push me out of the kitchen and fix a meal or two from time to time. I deserve a woman who can have patience with me when I'm being stubborn and be stubborn with me when I'm patient. I deserve a woman who can laugh with me, and cry with me.

          I am every man in America, and every Woman has their version of this little paragraph. Most of us want the same things from a partner. So why is it rocket science to find a partner? We are all different people with different quirks. Most people don't know themselves enough to know what triggers them or why they ride their emotions like a coaster from time to time. Most people don't know why or how they go from happy to crying. This makes finding someone who knows when to be happy or sad in response to our emotional flow difficult. If you know yourself, and you are honest with the person you want to care for, you are still only halfway there. The world is harsh and cruel, and those of us who do our best to be honest and live by a moral code are few and far between. We end up jaded by those who don't and then hurt others who would have been fine if they hadn't been pushed over the edge by a jaded person. The key to stopping all this nonsense is to be true to who we are and not let someone negative change the way we interact with the rest of the human race.

          I am a nice person, not because everyone I run into is nice to me. I am nice because I respect myself enough not to let others dictate how I behave. Someone is rude to you and makes you spill your coffee, which frustrates you. Then you hurry on your way and trip someone on accident and instead of apologizing you shrug your shoulders and scurry on your way. That person rushes on with their day and bumps into me as I drop a file folder containing 300 sorted copies of paperwork that my boss needs NOW. I take a deep breath, punch my bosses number and tell him that I will be a moment or two behind because the papers slipped. I don't freak out, I control myself. I hold true to who I am because the person who bumped into me cannot control me or my emotions. Neither him nor my boss can ruin my day. I won't give that power away to just anyone.

           I deserve someone who won't hurt me on purpose. NO KIDDING? You would be shocked what people do out of anger from a misunderstanding. Pay attention to WHO YOU ARE and hold true to that. Then what you deserve is irrelevant, you get what you need.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


                Every person has it in them to be something GREAT. Every single person, I am convinced that if we all took the time to understand ourselves we could discover our strengths and our weaknesses, all  that is left to do is capitalize on one and then the other will work itself out over time. Work WITH your strengths and the weaknesses will slowly be dealt with.

                A man, is not just a male human being at or above the age of 18. In my opinion a man has certain qualities or he simply is a grown child. The qualifiers for me are relatively simple. As a young man we learn the difference between right and wrong. To know that difference and attempt at all times to do the right thing regardless of who is watching is a degree of integrity. A man has this integrity and doesn't care who is watching or isn't watching. A man does his best to do the right thing at all times. No one is perfect and I’m not suggesting that cutting corners isn't warranted in the right situations. I’m not even suggesting that there is no grey area out there. The entire human race lives and breathes in this grey and it must be appreciated, observed, and understood. If you have the mindset that there is simply black and white in this world, right and wrong, then I personally believe that you are misguided. Yes, there are some things that are pretty cut and dry. If you lie, simply to gain something for yourself with no care of who you hurt, I would say that you are doing something wrong. However, if you omit the truth in order to spare someone great pain, instead of an outright lie, what you have done is obscure the truth in order to spare someone suffering that would serve no purpose. There is always an extenuating circumstance. No one should be able to judge another person. You are your own judge. Understand though, that you alone are responsible for your own actions. Nothing can spare you the guilt, or anger, or frustration you will feel if you do something wrong simply for personal gain. A man, in short, is honest. Once we learn what it means to have honesty and integrity, as children growing older we seek to conquer. Well, one thing we can conquer is a home. A place to stay, and dwell. A man is someone who provides for his own. A man will provide a home, and safety for his family. A man is interested in keeping those close to him safe and secure. You can’t do that if you don’t provide for your family. If the only way you can do that is writing a novel, then you can do that. If you need to work two jobs to put the food on the table, you do that. A man, is not afraid of sacrificing for those he loves. As a young man I took an oath in a program designed for young men. “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country”. I took that seriously then and I take it seriously now. As a young man I went to church, and I devoted hours to prayer and understanding of God. I’m not here to preach that, what you believe in is on you. I would pass on the same wisdom my father passed on to me though. Whatever you chose to believe, whatever you chose to say you believe, you might want to completely understand it before you say you belong there. People make assessments and assumptions about those they encounter. Human nature dictates that when we approach someone we gather information about them. A simple, pure example of this is the interactions between children playing on a playground.

“Hi!” Ryan says to the strange boy in front of him at the playground.

“Hi!” The young man responds.

“I’m 5, how old are you?” Ryan makes an attempt to assess the other boy by age.

“I’m 7, my name is Ethan, what’s yours?” Ethan then offers some personal information in an attempt at forming a basic understanding beyond age.

“I’m Ryan, I can run really fast.” Ryan gives his name to Ethan and expresses a desire to show his physical strengths.

                The encounter progresses and eventually the boys play hard running around and exploring the playground together playing Army men and having fun. A person observing this from the outside would take for granted that the very basic simple things we do as people is so simple and clear. These young men were doing what we as adults do every single day. The exchange. This is me, this is how I see myself, who are you? How do you see yourself? Can we be friends? This is relevant because, as a man, we must advance past this level of thinking and seeing the world.  We have to learn that once the simple definition process is over, we must learn how to interact with other people on a level of understanding. A man, for example, will not only make the assessment of friend or foe, he will go so far as to think do I need to help this person or stay out of their way? He may ask questions to decide if this person is going to help or hurt them and their family. Everyone has the ability to affect us, when you walk down the street or through your office even. Take a moment and try this if you can. The next time you go to work, fake a smile. Smile as big as you can at everyone you encounter. Even if you are having a rough morning. You spilled your coffee, you got to work 5 minutes late or worse. You did everything wrong in the morning and are having a horrible Monday. Yes, even then, fake a smile. Approach everyone you meet with a big smile and a kind word. See how many people return the smile. You are infectious. Suddenly the people you work with are happy, if only for a moment. The next day, don’t say anything at all, just get in your head how angry you are about the state of the Economy or the weather or the fact that your date didn't appreciate the flowers you got her last night. Get this look of contempt on your face and walk through your work like that. See how many people ask you what’s wrong. See how many people scowl back at you. See how many people don’t act like they take notice. We are lost in our own little worlds and we don’t allow others to affect us, or we lie to ourselves and say that they don’t. The fact is, they do, and we allow it to happen without knowing it. I work in an auto repair shop, our hours fluctuate and go crazy from time to time. I am a middle manager and I don’t always get my hands on vehicles. More often than not I am trying to help my team out and ensure that my people are being taken care of and getting work done that I organize for them to do. Our hours were CRAZY for 3 weeks straight, everyone was down and tired of working such insane hours. I came in to work, smiling and “happy”. I put on some upbeat music and started acting goofy.  I bounced around the shop giving my people High Fives and talking about how awesome it was that it was finally FRIDAY. My men went from being completely miserable to happy and excited. They went from moping around to being happy and getting work done. They asked me if I had been taking illicit drugs or had a particularly eventful night with a woman. They asked me if I had too much coffee. Suddenly I was the subject of conversation. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was just as miserable about the hours that they were. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was simply manipulating them to get more work done and pass the time in a productive manner rather than sulking about the horrible hours. The work got done, and we went home. A man, can understand this and change his mood and attitude to have a positive effect on those around him. A man is patient and kind, and understanding. A man has the basic understanding of the world around him enough to know when to tone things down and deescalate the situation. A man also understands that failure is not always something to be avoided or feared. Sometimes all you can do is fail. Sometimes failing can lead to the greatest successes. When we try something that doesn't work, we know that, and we calculate that it didn't work. One less thing to try next time. We have the ability to learn from our mistakes. Men should be aware of this and not be so childish when things don’t go according to plan. In Combat we have this effect called the “fog of war”. This is something used to describe the chaos that happened when things get hot and heavy. In too many situations men get lost in the confusion of the moment and get bogged down trying to multitask. It’s okay to understand this effect and properly compensate for it. With a moment or two of preparation, the effect can be minimized and sometimes eliminated. If you know for example, that you are about to perform a complex series of moves. You can set yourself a list of point to point planning. From here I’m going there, from there to there and so on. That way when things get crazy you know where you are, where you were, and where you are going. If you put it on paper or in your head, you can adjust on the fly without losing the whole thing. If you only know your end state, you may get lost in the middle and not do what you set out to do in the first place. A man, in short, can keep his head. All this is just my opinion and not a clinical fact or some form of a doctor’s reference book. A man understands his strengths and weaknesses. He knows that he’s not good at multitasking, for example. Most men can do simple things if we are used to the operation, but for the most part we are lousy at doing many complex tasks at once. What a man can do with this is understand that and compensate or account for it ahead of time. A simple pad of paper and a pen and 4 or 5 seconds of notes can solve the whole issue. Another silly “weakness” men have is our pride. It gets in the way. Some men reading this book read that last bit about the pad of paper and pen and go “no way, I’ll look like a fool taking notes all the time”. You may, your coworkers may think less of you for writing everything down. I’m not going to speculate what your coworkers will think of you. What I can promise you, is that if it makes you a better worker, your boss will notice and you may end up with a raise. You may end up preforming better than those who are poking fun at you for always having your note book. The way I see it, if it makes me a better worker, screw them. If I can go through my entire day, without asking my boss one question, because I took notes and got that out of the way in the morning, and I get everything done, I’m a success. If I can manage my team and keep my guys busy all day long and get more accomplished than the guy or girl next to me, then I did a good job today. I don’t care much for how. I don’t care if I had to pack my lunch and eat on the fly because I worked through lunch checking and re checking my paperwork. I want my boss’s job, and I want to work in charge of those people whom I work with now. I don’t want to sit still.
              What makes a man super? What makes a regular man something extra ordinary, is the ability to go beyond the basics. To see an opportunity and capitalize on it is one thing. To be hungry for the opportunity and search for it and find it hiding in the corners of life, is what sets us aside. To actively hunt down and find the secret little parts of the world that wait those brave and strong enough to climb the tree for the ripest juicy fruit on the branch. You have to be willing to fall out of the tree. You have to be willing to get bit by the thorns. You have to be willing to risk the fall. You also have to be confident enough to try. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

That's one way of looking at it...

Hello again. I was recently talking with some people about life and how things can get you down and you just need to face the man or woman in the mirror and see what it is that you are made of. Sometimes you don't know until you are tested. Sometimes you aren't aware of how strong or courageous you can be until the right things happen to test those qualities in you. I'm aware that I have many good qualities in me, but sometimes it's hard to see them in the mirror. I am also painfully aware of my flaws and faults and wrong doings. I'm aware that I have many things to work through. This blog has been a step by step through my battle with depression and ever day life. I have tried to write things out that kept me going as I moved through space and time with my issues and I tried to think of things to offer people who may be going through some tough times as well. I know that I'm not the only person in the world who feels down and sometimes can hardly move because life simply eats at me.
      I was hit in a lower region recently when a doctor told me that he was going to have me tested for bipolar disorder. My brain kinda did a double take. I'm not trying to sound arrogant but I thought, "isn't that what crazy people have?"... I know, I'm bad. I apologize, it isn't my intention to call people crazy, I just thought that I wasn't in any sort of category like that. Funny how I could be absolutely okay hearing that I have major depressive disorder with moderate severity but hearing that I would be tested for bipolar disorder was like hearing that I might have stage three cancer. I know, I know, NO COMPARISON WHAT SO EVER. The dramatization was to further illustrate how ignorant I was about the situation and why my nerves were kind of rattled. ME? Bipolar?? WHAT THE HECK ?! Yes, that's the reaction you would EXPECT from someone with Bipolar Disorder. Matthew, you just may be a little bipolar. And so what if I am? God made me this way for a reason.
       I am a passionate person, anyone who knows me knows that I care very much for little things and I try my best to help people out. Why would it freak me out that they may have yet another label to stick on me? It doesn't define ME or who I am. Such labels don't change what makes ME MATTHEW. I'm ME, so what if I am also a Brother, Son, Cousin, Friend, Sergeant, or any other silly label or name you can stick on me. The key is, can I be happy? If there is a little magic pill out there that can take my swings and my depression and level me off so that I don't feel so down so fast, so that I don't have mood crashes and sudden crying fits, why wouldn't that make me happy? Why shouldn't I be excited to find out if there is such a pill? What if there is a better treatment more targeted to help me get through day to day life without. A way to avoid such inconveniences as crying fits and the sudden bits of depression that take me from being a happy guy to the quiet guy in the corner wishing I could vanish into the chair on which I sit?

         So another way of looking at things is to simply enjoy the fact that there may be help out there for me. There may be someone who is willing to do what they need to in order to make my life better and help me move forward without slipping so suddenly. The trick of the matter is, not to be scared. Yes, I'm scared, I'm nervous from time to time. Hearing that they were going to test me terrified me, again, I was afraid of the label. I didn't see what it could mean. I didn't see the implications. WHY should I be scared? The worst thing that can happen is that they find out that I'm not Bipolar and they have a better view of what is going on with me and may yet be able to refine my treatment and help me. Either way, no matter what happens I'm going to move forward.

       So don't be scared, is that it? Don't be afraid of moving forward? How simple is that? How many people out there are so scared of change that you go out of your way NOT to change? You stay in bad relationships, you continue to drink excessively because it provides temporary relief for whatever you are scared or hiding from. You do whatever it is that you do, knowing that it isn't the right thing for you because you are scared of changing or finding a better way to do things. Trust me, I am there myself, I'm not without sin. I plan on having a beer tonight to calm my nerves. Then again, maybe I will just keep drinking cranberry juice and water. Who knows?

          I wish you all the best of luck, thank you for reading and whatever comments you may leave. I appreciate your time.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wrestling Rages

I would like to talk today about rage. Rage is something we all feel, it can be used to motivate us, it can be used to fuel our desires and push us to do things that we wouldn't otherwise do. Rage can empower us to take risks that we wouldn't otherwise take. One of my favorite bands Blues Traveler has a song where they describe this. "You accept what you would have lost if you stand tall, you might just get it back but you can get it all, so now you know why it's a long way to fall". I love lyrics, sometimes my own words get twisted in my head and it helps to have some music to listen to that can put things into proper perspective. Again, rage can be used here.
We accept the love we believe we deserve. When we are enraged, frustrated beyond words, sometimes we act harshly. We say things we don't mean. We can also act out some of the most powerful and passionate acts when we feel rage. I know that as a man it is in my nature to be in tune with the aggressive side of myself, and when I feel rage it can be used in some very amazing ways. I can move my world around me in an effort to tame the frustrations I feel. I can grip the very fabric of my universe and tear it to shreds when I feel like that. I can cause exquisite pain and rapture all at once. I can cause myself to be in an entirely foreign frame of mind, just to appreciate my reality in another perspective. I demand nothing less of myself. I rage within my sorrow and my pain. I push myself to feel the most astounding pain, just to enjoy the relief when it is removed. Have you ever been in a crying fit, and you clench all your muscles at once, tears barely escape your pinched eyelids. Then you release, and you almost feel like you are floating because the pressure is gone? This is what I am describing.
I can tell you from experience, that we will only endure what we desire to. We can only put up with what we allow ourselves to tolerate. The question, always, is weather or not the intended reward is worth the pain. In most situations in my past I have simply walked away from things that trouble me. ONLY when I hold tight and fight for what I know I should have, do I reap the most wondrous rewards. I fought for 12 years to earn something once. 12 YEARS. When I finally got what I was after, I almost cried. I felt pride and rage, I felt release and joy, I felt the power that comes from defeating a devastating foe. I felt the rage of a conqueror. Then I wept, for there was no more struggle, no more strife to endure or villain to vanquish. I reveled in my own majesty and my own superiority to the task that I had accomplished and I stood tall and proud. Then I felt the intense desire to find another mountain to move. I gathered myself up after a momentary celebration, and pointed myself in the direction of another "impossible" task. I beat that one too. Then, I took a hit. Rage, RAGE against the dying of the light. DO NOT GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT it is said. Challenge those who create rules and standards. Make your own. RAGE with all you are for your own right. Your right to decide not to go down without a sound. SCREAM let there be sound, lest they forget who you are and what you are capable of. DO NOT let them claim you, don't let them shake your unbreakable will. ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE MIGHTY. Feel the power that God gave you to conquer those who would oppose you and refuse to settle for second best. DEFEAT THE DARKNESS WITH YOUR LIGHT, for it is bright and it burns hot, if only you nurture it. RAGE, yes RAGE WITHIN YOURSELF against all that threatens you and your sanity, your safety, your security, your comfort. Do not allow someone else to tell you that things should be some such way. Rules were not made for those who are great enough to ignore them. Bend or break, twist or shatter, be a wrecking ball and demolish the rules and the fabric of the universe. YOU are the only one who can tell you what you can and cannot do. REFUSE to go down easy. STAND and be proud for you are AMAZING. ALLOW YOURSELF TO SHOW IT. Be with pride, yet be humble enough to shed it when the time is right. Be with shame, and sin, for we are fools to deny our inherently fallible nature. However, when you take a hit and you fall, remind yourself that you are mighty and only the mighty recover. Those without the drive are those who are no longer driven. PUSH yourself, stretch your limits, aim high and stand firm in what you believe and what you know to be true. RE DEFINE that which the world would chose to thrust upon you, the chains of reality that weren't meant for you in the first place. FORCE YOURSELF out of your comfort zone and conquer. If you have it in you to do so. If not, please, step aside, I have work to do.
I wish you all the best.


Have you ever had one of those days that makes you think that the sun just can't get any brighter? For those of us with depression, we typically brace for impact at this time. When ever things get going good, it seems that we are about to get hit the hardest. It takes courage and fortitude to raise your head and enjoy the moment regardless of how tragic you may think it's going to get. Don't be afraid to let yourself breathe and just enjoy how beautiful life is at the moment. This was hard for me, for the longest time. I feel that I'm in a place right now where I can actually take my own advice this time.

Out of nowhere, you can surprise yourself and fake being happy long enough to meet someone out there who is trying to be happy too. Who knows, you just might make each other smile. The problem is, if you are so busy being sad and upset, you can't see past your own funk. Maybe all you need is a smile on your face. It's exercise, your face uses way more muscles to smile than to frown.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Well... It's complicated

So, life sometimes throws us curve balls. We do our best to hit them but sometimes we miss. I made a decision, to go to the zoo today. I tried to coax a friend of mine to go with me, but that didn't work so well. It's easy to feel sad and depressed when your friends won't even go hang out with you when you offer to pay. I won't let that ruin my day. I'm taking my camera and I'm going to the zoo damnit.
       I'm pretty sure that I'm going through a break up. I don't want to be in a relationship that causes me constant pain anymore. I don't want to feel like I do. So I'm pretty sure that I'm ending things with my S. O. (Significant Other). The last few days I have been drinking ALLOT and trying to come to terms with how I feel and what to do about it. There just isn't an easy answer at this point. I'm suffering and I know that she is too. There is just no way for me to make her feel better and knowing that only makes me feel worse. It's all very complicated and I won't violate anyone's privacy in a blog. Sufficient to say that I'm fairly certain her and I are both in a TON of pain right now and getting through it is about the only thing I can think of.
         So I'm going to the zoo. I have a black T shirt that says "CHILI HEAD" across it. It makes me laugh because I love spicy food. I figure if I can act goofy and pretend to have a good time I might actually convince myself to relax enough to enjoy the day. Whatever the case, I'm going to the zoo. After that, I may go to eat somewhere nice down in Nashville. By "nice" I mean, maybe Joe's Crab shack or DICK'S Last Resort. Some place I can have a beer and some good food and pretend to enjoy myself even further.
        I have to remind myself to eat. I almost forgot last night. I looked at the food I made, red beans and rice, and my stomach rolled. This morning I made a fruit smoothie, and again, my stomach isn't sure it wants to eat this. I know that I need food. I don't want to eat, I want to drink, but I'm going to the zoo. Bananas and peaches... Good smoothie. So, the time is coming where if I want to get there, I should hop in the car and turn on some good music and start driving.
       One small step at a time, I'm going to the zoo... Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Food, painting, and other outlets

We all know how much outlets mean to someone suffering with depression. The problem is that most of the time, for people with depression, failure makes a situation unpleasant. The only way you can practice or get good at something is to fail, over and over again. If you want to paint, you need to learn, and that means failing. For someone who tries so hard to please other people in order to gain acceptance and feel connected, failure isn't the best thing. Part of the learning process is to fail, and be okay with that. accept that you are learning and getting better, and keep trying. Sense my trip to NOLA and Florida, I have wanted to try cooking some of the food I ate out there. I wanted to try painting and I have always been interested in drawing. SO, yesterday I got everything I need to paint and sketch and go at a slow pace as I want to. Day before yesterday I got everything together to make gumbo from scratch. I worked all day on it and it came out quite tasty. I was very happy with the results. I made every effort to do things exactly the way they tasted in New Orleans. The trick of the whole thing is, the food there is so diverse there really is no "Proper". I can taste Korean cooking, and make it at home and keep the flavors about the same. I can mimic just about anything, I can even add my style to a flavor that I taste. I found some amazing hot sauce while I was out, and added it to some red beans and rice I made last night. BLAMO ! Find something you like and enjoy it. I don't know why cooking is such a release for me. I'm not sure why I feel the intense urge to get in the kitchen and create things. What I do know is that I'm good at it and I enjoy it. I just wish I could express myself in other ways as well. So, I'm going to try my hand at painting and see where that goes. I'm going to try to sketch and draw. I will see where that goes as well. Maybe I will develop skills, maybe I won't maybe it will just be something fun that I do on the side. Maybe it will be something I'm horrible at and I don't do well at all no matter how much I try. The thing is, I have to try. I have to put my effort into it, and work at it or I won't ever know if I can enjoy it. I won't ever know if I can appreciate it, or use it to express myself. There is hope out there for us, those of us who are scared to try new things. There are things that we can do, if we can just get past the initial failures and take small steps forward. We have to accept that we will fail, and let that failure happen, if we want to find out how good we can be. We have to accept that we will fail, and enjoy that failure, let the failure teach us, learn from it, and then we can decide if we want to pursue something. I still cook dishes that aren't all that great. I still cook dishes that taste rather nasty sometimes. The difference is, I have had so many successes that the little failures don't bother me anymore. If I were to start cooking today, having never done anything more than box macaroni and cheese or beans and rice boxes, I would have SO MUCH TO LEARN. Anything is like that, you just have to work at it. Get outside that silly comfort zone. I wish you luck, just remember there is hope.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fun, what's that?

For me, fun was always something other people had. My ex Wife said I was like her cat, any time I caught myself or someone else caught me having fun I would stop and pretend not to. For me, fun was elusive, why should I have fun? There is so much work to do, there are so many things that are on my to do list. Why should I have fun if I am not perfect, there are too many things to do still. As I type, I have a dragon on my left hand riding my fingers like a mechanical bull, she is very cute but this is distracting so if I go off topic please have mercy. Fun, right. So, I was wandering the streets of New Orleans looking for something that sounded FUN. Not entertaining, entertaining can be a show on TV, but that's not fun. I passed by the New Orleans School of Cooking. If you know me, you know my heart is in the kitchen.
         I did a walk in class for two and a half hours and learned more culture and history than food preparation. Trust me, I know how to cook a stew. I understand that you need to soak beans the night before.What I didn't know, was that the Cajun style of cooking, Creole is all about diversity. The many many cultures that co existed in that little area is just amazing. So is the diversity in the food, the many many styles and presentations. One place you have gumbo on rice, another it's on potato salad. Sometimes they use Okra, sometimes they use Filet. Seafood gumbo or chicken and pork sausage gumbo. Just for gumbo there are fifteen or twenty variations. This was all so fascinating to me and I enjoyed the class very much.
            Yesterday was a wash, no fish at the lake, apparently they dropped the water level and no one was catching anything. So, today I'm making gumbo. I'm making gumbo and I'm relaxing at home with my dragon. I wish you all the best of luck and I urge you to get out of that silly comfort zone. That is when you can start to see what you like and what you don't like. You may even have fun with something you never knew you would enjoy.  Best wishes, Matthew

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I know I haven't written in a while. For that I apologize, this will explain why and give you all something to think about as well.

           When you have personal issues in life you tend to shut other things down that aren't so important. You may stop doing things you enjoy, you may stop feeling things that you normally would, you may even stop taking care of yourself in extreme situations. Doctors look for this, and list them as signs that you are depressed and need help. I have been there obviously. One method for me to recover, was to take a break, a vacation.

            The idea of leaving my apartment and going away on vacation was about as nerve wrecking as going to the dentist for a week at a time. I didn't want to leave my comfy little apartment and certainly didn't want to drive 8 or 9 hours to go to a hotel and be somewhere strange where I don't know anyone. I have no backup and no weapons to defend myself and I have no way of getting home in a hurry if I  get spooked. Such things can make a "normal" person a bit nervous.

            So where do you go? Where do YOU go when you want to relax? Where do you retreat to when you have some time off? Most people go to a place they know or are familiar with. Most people go to a place they feel safe and secure right? What if you have NEVER had that before and you want to get out of your comfort zone and try something new? Where do you go? If you are like me, and I bet some of you are, you go somewhere that scares the hell out of you. You go somewhere that puts you right in the middle of crowds and people. You go somewhere that isn't safe and isn't familiar. You might go somewhere that is full of all the different cultures of the world. I decided to go to New Orleans and visit the French quarter. I have a friend who said that I would enjoy it and there was plenty of history there. The food will be amazing and you will have all the time you need to collect your thoughts and see the different side of things. That's what my friend told me. So, I drove 9 hours south and went to New Orleans.

         I have NEVER been on vacation before on my own. I have been with ex girlfriends, and when I was a kid I did the family trips camping and fishing. I have NEVER gone anywhere alone other than to travel from post to post in the Army. So, after 9 hours on the road I checked in to my hotel and decided to get out and see what I came to see. Bourbon street, here I come! No one warned me that if you are out having fun you need to make sure you don't over do it. I would normally have someone with me to watch me and make sure that I didn't go too far. Sure enough, I went too far. I drank way too much and had way too much fun listening to all the live music and seeing all the strange people walking around. I spent the next few days trying not to drink in a town that makes money selling alcohol and food. I heard plenty of live music and managed to enjoy a few beers without going over board. I can honestly say that I should have known better but was trying to relax and have fun. Some how I confused relax with being irresponsible.

            So after a few days in New Orleans I went to Florida. Pensacola beach, to be precise and there I had fun. There I was able to relax. No, seriously, I can relax. There I sat on the beach in my swim trunks and was so comfy and calm that I fell asleep on the beach and burnt my skin to a beet red. The following day I went to the Harborarium. I suppose you could say it was an aquarium with harbor attractions as well. There were shows and I got to meet a seal and a sea lion. I even got a kiss from a harbor seal.

            I discovered a few things while out on my vacation. I learned some things about me and who I am. I learned some things that can't be written down or explained. I gained the confidence that I can get past this hole in my life. I can move on from the past and be a whole person. I don't have to let my past cripple me and make me something I am not. I am a beautiful person and I can continue to be a beautiful person and no one has to tell me who or what I am. I can be happy knowing that I am just fine the way that I am. These things sound simple and easy to understand but for me saying them was much different than feeling them in my heart and knowing them to be true. There has always been a seed of doubt in my brain about my own worth. There has always been a part of me that thought that I was used baggage and because of my past and my issues I would never be someone worth getting to know or be with. One lady friend of mine a long time ago told me that I would never find the right woman because I was used baggage. Never listen to people who put you down, they aren't worth listening to. It would be different if she had said "you need to get past your past before you can meet the right person". She would have been completely right. She would have had a point worth sharing. She might have made a difference for the better not worse. What she said, was an attack and a judgement against a 19 year old boy who didn't know the world, didn't know the truth, didn't know his own worth, and didn't know how amazing he could become if he just gave himself the chance.

            We are all amazing people, we all have potential. We all have good days and bad and we all have our road to walk. On the road, there will be holes and stumbling blocks. On the road there will be flowers and trees and sunshine and rain. We must do our best to continue to walk the road and move forward while enjoying the things that it has to offer us. Good and bad, we can learn from every experience, which is why I believe we have experiences. We are meant to learn from them and use that knowledge to better ourselves and be a light for others to use when they need it. We are meant to help, each in our own little way, the better of man kind. As organs in the human body, each with it's own purpose we are all part of the human race and we are all connected to one another by that. Some people are like cancer, they just eat away at the whole of humanity. Others are like medicine, they stop the cancer and they fix the damage. Some are like tattoos, they offer color and light and something unexpected. Who ever we are, what ever our purpose in life, we should use what we have to better mankind not tear it down.

            I now have a bearded dragon Aiden, as my pet. She is a cute little cuddly dragon and as I write this post she is napping on my shoulder while we listen to classical Cello music. I am going to go to the lake today so I figured I would write this post and give her some attention before I head out. I encourage you to get outside your comfort zone and expand those boundaries. You will make mistakes, that's normal, but you can learn from them and move on. That's what we are here for anyways. Thanks for reading, I wish you all the best. I will be posting more, so please keep an eye out.

            If you are interested in bearded dragons or want to know more about mine, I am setting up a blog for her at . The Cuddly Cricket Crusher. I hope you enjoy. Please ask whatever questions or comments you have about dragons there. I will try to keep this blog as I have in the past more about getting through depression and the daily stuff that comes up in life. I hope you enjoy.