sacrifice

My oh my, what a crazy few days it has been. In the ten days since I gave my three weeks since I gave my notice, I have heard a variety of opinions towards my decision. Many family members and friends have supported me. I welcome their support, because it shows just how many people realize that I am not happy and have not been happy for quite a long time.

We can go back and forth on my happiness at my job being directly related to what I am going through in life, but as bad as 2013 was, 2014 has already been that much better. From what I’ve given up though, it could have been much greater. That’s where I place the blame both on my employer and myself.

I could have easily stopped working eighty hour work weeks. I could have easily stopped caring as much as I do. That being said, it wouldn’t be my style. I can’t NOT give my all to anything I put my name on and care about (qualifier there). My job was to get the store back on track…so I did it. Was it really so necessary that in order to get to 22.7% up on the year (year-to-date sales through Sunday) that I began to cut out almost everything in my life and focus on work?

We’ll never know the answer for certain, but my money says no. I put my heart into what I do. That’s the way I was raised, and no one will ever convince me to change that. If my heart isn’t in something anymore, then I need to step aside. One of my associates has come near begging me to stay on and keep being his boss. I explained that even if I changed my mind and stayed, he and the company don’t and shouldn’t want me anymore. You can’t expect loyalty or the same work ethic when you know they were that close to leaving once before.

While I clearly shoulder much of the blame for my unhappiness and schedule that I let work give me, I do not excuse the employers. I feel that someone had to say SOMETHING when they saw consistent 70-80 hour work weeks. The resolution to the whole mess came far too late to convince me to change my mind. I have missed birthdays, dates, functions, parties, time with friends, and so much more because I let this job take control of my life.

I don’t even really like dressing up anymore. It’s become a mundane routine for me. I have been burnt out by idiotic customers. It took two years, but the retail world is no longer somewhere I want to spend my time. It’s given me more grief than I would be willing to bear, to be frank. Between those absolutely god-awful customers and ridiculous conference calls about mundane/unimportant details, I’m done sacrificing my time with family, friends, and myself for it. I’m not seeing any real returns outside of financial gain, and I can be the first to tell you that money cannot buy happiness. I’ve lived that life the past few months!

I’m going to start living my dreams. Whether that’s sticking my neck out and getting off the beaten path of life or it’s doing what I want to for a change, I’m going to live my dreams out. I’ve had some dreams for the better part of ten years now, so I am finally ready to move forward and take the amazing chance I have been given. Maybe one day I’ll settle into something more established and concrete, but you can’t live with what ifs…no matter what the age.

I told you guys I was on the up-and-up. It just took a stretch of road a few hundred miles long and a hookah bar or two…

-G

Categories: exposition, my life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

you should read this

One day when I write my memoirs, I’m going to find it humorous what moments stood out among the rest. I can already tell when things began to change for me, and I have to say that I’m, frankly, surprised it took me this long to give in.

Before I continue, I just want to say that I do understand the point of life to everyone is different. Some find happiness the goal while others choose money, yet the list goes on past there. My choice to be happy and take care of number one might ruffle everyone’s feathers, but I’ve been leading to this point.

Anyway, I need to recant something I said. I don’t regret Mercer. In fact, it’s still the greatest four years of my life. I should have never claimed that I wasted my time. After all, I met some incredible people. My closest and best friends and brothers are from Mercer (minus like one). I might have chosen classes and activities that didn’t enhance my passions or focus me better towards a degree that really resonated with who I am as a person, but the blame for that falls squarely on my shoulders. I should stuck to my guns and studied things I cared about. Hell, for those of you who follow me on Twitter, you guys see where my heart lies.

This past weekend is easily one of the greatest and most surreal series of events I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. My alma mater shocked the entire world by knocking Duke out of March Madness.

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It’s those moments that make you amazed at how fortunate you are to experience it. Nevertheless, between the chaos that is my job and the safe advice that Bell gave me (yes people, Bell has become a font of wisdom that I kept overlooking for a while) to just be happy and find what makes me happy, I had to make a decision. He is my boss now, so I had that position. BUT GUYS, what makes me happy!?

Sports.

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The pageantry and majesty of the game entice me. I have to be around it. Yes, I’ve got no idea how to do that just quite yet. BUT I have some ideas. I’m putting them into play now, and I think it’s for the best. I can’t continue to charade that what I am doing is in my best interests. As I disclaimed above, this is purely due to my happiness and need to follow my heart.

After two years, I QUIT MY JOB TODAY. I quit the salary and eighty hour work weeks for the same as if I worked the bare minimum. I quit being a slave to suits and things I couldn’t have cared less about in May 2012 before I walked in the mall that day.

I hate to sound ungrateful, because I couldn’t be further from it. I have loved what I have learned. I am incredibly blessed and fortunate to have had the good luck to happen into a job when just 22 that could be a serious career. I am not indebted. I am merely ready to close this chapter.

Folks, I’m 24 and barely sleep at night because of how much I work. If my heart isn’t in it, then why do I care so much? Because I don’t know how to NOT give one hundred and ten percent!

Enough is enough though, because my last day is 4-17-14. That date will live in infamy. I will close a chapter on a tumultuous time in my life, and it’s a great bookend for what comes next. I’ve said a great many goodbyes to some people, because I know that there are some I shall never see again, and I’m ready to move on. It’s not everyday you end two year relationships in both your personal life and your workplace in the space of a few weeks.

So thanks to my incredibly supportive friends and family. My parents are AMAZING. They are backing me, albeit hesitantly. After all, I’m still living upstairs haha! Yet they are ready to help me chase my dreams. The same goes for my amazing friends. To the font of wisdom, I say thank you…my life is better having met you and become your brother. I owe you far more than I could ever repay. As for the rest of you, thanks for the amazing tweets and texts and voice mails supporting me as always.

I can’t wait for the next chapter.

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-G

Categories: my life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LORD HAVE MERCER

Hey guys! I’m not here to rub salt in any wounds. I just want the readers to know what yesterday was really like. I wasn’t able to post much today on any forum because I was at the arena

Anyway, I’ve been a loyal Bear for six years. The path to this day has been absolute murder on my heart and soul.

Freshman year: nearly beat GA Tech at homecoming, go on to have really unremarkable season. We had beaten Alabama and Auburn too. It was incredible. But, we flamed out in conference play and the tourney.

Sophomore year: first year we host the ASun tourney, and we have a decent run that sees us play ETSU for a third time that season in the final. It was heartbreaking when we couldn’t complete the sweep. I’ve always regretted getting antsy and beginning to make plans for the Big Dance the night before. I felt I jinxed us.

Junior year: The core of the team that beat Duke today begins to play together for the first time. They’re young and make mistakes, and I have heart attacks every game. Belmont KOs us in the tourney, and I begin to fear that it was never going to happen for us. Hoffman just wasn’t getting us over that hump.

Senior year: This was it. My last season as a Mercer student. We had the controversial game with Belmont at home that we should have won. BUT we know we’ll get them in the final. Our love/hate relationship began with FGCU that year. Us few seniors in the student section who had seen these four years come to a screeching halt with missed FTs and the stunning FGCU loss were all wrecks. I remember just sitting in the middle of the court after the game (we still hosted the tourney) in tears. It couldn’t end that way. We never got our crack at Belmont… Well, we would be sent to the CIT, and we won the whole damn thing. I’ll tell you, while it isn’t as prestigious, it was great. That postseason run on the road got our guys motivated for the next two years.

Last year: stupid Dunk City. I watched Gulf Coast cut down our damn nets. I swore I wouldn’t cry again that year, but yet again, I had been making plans for what was next. I counted my chickens before they hatched. The guys on the team were just as distraught. As the single alumnus in the student section, I was given reverence and many freshmen had no idea that this whole thing was becoming almost a sickening trend. I got into a mindset that it was never going to happen. Plus, the tourney was never going to be hosted at Mercer again. We had announced we would be switching to the SoCon, effective 2014-2015 season.

This year (6): last shot. All seniors. My friends and heroes. This is what it was all about. Great nonconference play had me beginning to believe that if we could get over our hump, we would be a serious contender nationally. Mental toughness and leadership don’t come to freshmen who go one and down. They’re trained and developed over years of what Mercer has gone through in terms of basketball. So we have to go to Ft Myers to win it all. We hadn’t won there in several years. I skipped that game in order to have off this day today. I risked it all.

And it paid off.

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Six damn years.

We cut down the nets at the team we can’t stand the most. Heartbreak and tears and aging superquickly because of this game. I truly live and die with them.

At the game today, I collapsed when we won. Just broke down sobbing. I had always believed we could win it all. I truly believed. It was just unbelievable that my dreams had become a reality.

Honestly, I’d say every mid-major team that pulls an upset has fans with similar stories. It almost makes me sad in a way. Fans of the powerhouses will never get this feeling. They’re almost robbed of an incredible passion and energy. Duke fans won’t ever get to feel this emotion of giant-killer. Kentucky fans aren’t lucky enough to understand. It’s depressing that not everyone will ever truly comprehend it.

GO MERCER BEARS!

-G.

Categories: my life, school | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

240 miles out

It’s a rather long way out from my eventual goal. I weighed in today at 244.5 pounds, and this was after two soccer games last night. Obviously, I have moved in the wrong direction since December, but times have changed.

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So, I’ve joined a gym. LA Fitness has been a blessing this time around, as their hours and locations have helped my retail life cycle (working odd hours) be able to still have time for cardio and losing weight. I’ll be honest, I finally looked in the mirror and realized I had to do something fast. This isn’t a desperate act or anything, it’s a committed goal to getting myself into shape. Thankfully, I was able to lock myself into a good plan.

I’ve cut out soda (most days). I’ve cut out sugary foods (most days). I’ve exponentially grown my water intake (most days). I’ve focused on getting healthy over some attempt to become an Adonis. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that an Adonis body type would get me all the ladies in the kingdom, but I just want one.

However, the beautiful game started back up for me last night, and boy, did it start in a hurry. I came on as a sub about seven minutes in for a cramping midfielder, and my presence was immediately felt. It felt great to get back out there. BUT, much like my working out, there are consequences.

My back hurts. My thighs hurt. My shoulders ache. My legs feel wobbly.

But I’m smiling. I know it’s paying off, because I feel better about my body. It’s rather fulfilling, because the shrink always said it would help. Since I’ve been taking melatonin, I haven’t needed a sleep aid. However, this activity is making me go without the melatonin. My aching body thanks it.

In essence, I’m going to stop at nothing to get what I want. I’m going to work my ass off until there is not an ass back there anymore. I will easily travel 240 miles in order to get there or more, no questions asked simply because I love the ending. I have no qualms over such a short distance, especially when the stakes and rewards are so high. I won’t give up…not ever again. I’ll make it happen.

-G

Categories: relationships, sub 200 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

dropbox discovery

I rarely use Dropbox anymore, because it was mainly a cloud sharing program I utilized for classwork and group projects back in the day. I just happened to go on there tonight for the first time in over a year to see an old video I had uploaded to it from a friend’s computer, and I found this random clip.

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Wow. I forgot this ever happened. I promptly deleted the screenshot tonight, but not before I made this edit to upload here (redacting and vignetting). It’s just super weird to see how things were 16 months ago, to see where life was headed. I can’t really say I wish I could go back to this point and do things differently, but I do believe my life took a drastic change in the weeks following this text. It’s peculiar, almost ironic.

Late last night, I get a text asking for my email address, wondering if I had time to read some thoughts. Never have I read something so close to my own head for most of the last few years. Never have I read something that spoke to my soul so clearly and directly.

My friend is experiencing serious depression (though they’re having a good day today), and the thoughts are exactly what a battle with clinical depression is like. To explain it better, you have to understand that depression is an awful lot like mental cancer. It can go into remission, but it never fully goes away. You develop a predisposition to it.

Life swirls around you carefree and bright, when the edges of black start to distort your clear and happy view. In my experience, it hits when you least expect it. Like any good enemy, it strikes when your defenses are down, when your shield fails to protect you.

See? It’s cancerous. Just a rabid, feral pest that never ceases to make trouble for you. It’s a major reason why I have trouble sleeping at night, but we will get into that in a different post. I’d be lying to you loyal readers if I said I was fine right now, that it isn’t bad. However, I’m trying to right the ship. Just like my friend, those piercing thoughts can render you incapable of normal function at any given moment.

Since I’m naturally a glue/fixer type personality, it’s tough for me to accept I can’t fix everything, and that added to my frustration. Both my friend and myself experienced that deep side of loneliness and solitude that comes on because we don’t want to seem a bother and ask for help. It sucks, but we have to move past it.

It’s cyclical, even with me taking sleeping meds and them working well. You’ve got to stop the cycle, and that’s the difference for everyone, what actually stops the cycle. Part of it is a self-perception issue, so don’t be afraid to tell the people you care about how you feel; you’ll never know how much good it will do in their life.

-G

Categories: my life, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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