too busy to catch a breath

At some point, working three jobs, starting a relationship (even if long-distance), having a social life, and trying a major lifestyle change is bound to start hitting a wall. Things get sacrificed as I begin to weigh what is most important in life for me. One thing I learned from therapy was about cutting things I didn’t need and focus on me. I was a people pleaser for so long that it constantly took a toll on me that I neglected to add up for years. We long to be these great beings of selflessness and virtue while having it all, but how often have we ever seen someone of humanity rise up to have all of that without serious sacrifice? I’m not trying to get philosophical, but even the best of us have had some drawbacks. We all find that moment in which we realize that we can’t have it all, so we decide what is best of us and go from there.

I cut out some social engagements to focus more on building up a budding relationship. It’s the best decision I made, because in just a few short weeks, I’ll be visiting somewhere out west for the first time as I hang out with someone who is pretty freaking awesome. Some might cut me down for choices, but I couldn’t really care at this point. I still stay in touch with those who mean something to me (albeit poorly sometimes), and that’s what matters. After all, life is fleeting, and we should just strive to be spectacular in our own ways.

For far too long, I imprisoned myself to what everyone else wanted. People who have read the blog see the evidence of this in my life. I almost acted like a marionette for far too long. The expectations weighed on me. These unnecessary social cues and standards continued to control and direct my movements even as I began to see that there was a multitude of choices ahead for my life that I never considered. I always wanted to leave Georgia and work in other careers than what eighteen-year-old me thought was going to be the plan.

National politics and living in DC…neither of which sound appealing or have for the last few years. Meanwhile, I have set those goals that I eventually want to achieve. It’s all so far from the guy who was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school. As a species, we all tend to rewrite history for ourselves, but I was unable to get past that yoke for a long time. I felt pressured to fulfill that. It’s taken me a while to understand that it wasn’t meant to be the most successful or the highest earning….it’s succeeding in YOUR goals. My fellow students then saw that, even if we were all a bunch of teenagers voting on senior superlatives.

So what has been a goal? Weight loss and getting into shape lately. No, I’m not trying to become an Adonis, but I do want to feel good about how I look. After a little over a month, I’ve knocked 25 pounds off through some hard work. I still have about eighty to go (yes, that’s a lot), but I know I can make it at this point.

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I’m running ahead of schedule, and it’s great. I was running faster, but there was a rough week where I got a bit sick. I’ve been instituting caloric deficiencies every day, making sure I get enough to stay healthy, but I’m cutting enough to make sure I continue to drop weight. I consider this a success. I consider this a great step in the right direction. This is great for me, and I believe that it’s the kind of thing that lets me realize I can get motivated and succeed in my goals.

Just remember…

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I have that on me now to remember that I can’t get lost in a dream world or a land of missed chances. Every thing has gotten to me this point, partially because I no longer forget to live! Just relax and let the music play, like the intro track off J. Cole’s new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Just be free, people…and you’ll start being more at ease. I know I have :).

-G

Categories: exposition, my life, sub 200 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

appearance

As someone that works in an industry that demands a pristine and polished appearance, it’s almost humorous how little I can care what some people think of me. I tend to be this quandary in that regards, because I am intensely worried about some aspects of my perception, yet I could care less in other places. Here I am, wearing a suit again because the job demands it, but most recognize that while I put together fantastic combinations for myself and my customers, I’m much much happier in soccer shorts and a t-shirt, walking around barefoot if I can help it.

Does this affect my appearance? While I am maintaining a growing beard and always bathe, does my body language and lack of desire to be in the suit hurt my case? I’d love to say that I’m just worrying for nothing, but it clearly affects me. If you were to walk in my store yesterday, I easily had the most experience of anyone in that store who was working (the boss is away on vacation). That being said, my disregard to wear my suit jacket didn’t help my case, as people routinely went towards the clean-shaven employees who had their suit jackets on. It’s hilarious to me to see them defer to me for decisions and advice from time to time, because I can tell I’m being considered slovenly for not wearing my suit jacket and growing a beard compared to my clean-shaven compatriots.

Plus, I’m bigger. I’m at my highest weight again. That cycle just keeps kicking my ass. It’s a self-control and motivation issue that I’ve struggled with for years, and I tie part of that into my depression. That all being said, I’m finally not letting it define me. I’ve been working out consistently for the first time in ages, and it feels great. I know that my smaller and more fit coworkers are considered more knowledgeable when their suits fit perfectly and mine are a little snug/ill-fitting. Hence, I’m getting there. My very, very bold claim was that I will lose 100 pounds in the next two years. I honestly believe I can do it. Heck, if I lose 70, I’ll be happy as well. I just need to do this for me. It’s a body image thing, and it helps the perception of people who see me.

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So I’m doing this. I have to take better control of my appearance and how people view me. As much as we all want to live and say that we don’t care what people say about us, I’m trying to work in an industry that is directly tied into your appearance on a daily basis. I’ll get some swagger back also when I don’t feel like I look terrible. Plus, Killer is gonna get mad at this post for saying I look bad. Haha!

-G

Categories: my life, sub 200, work | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

new leaves and all that

Well, I never saw THIS coming. Seriously, after all this time of complaining and bitching, I finally shut up and listened to Broneal. For those of you who have been on this journey with me over the last few years, you’ve seen me really go in waves over dating and all that. I can honestly say that I was broken-hearted and angry and all that. I gave up though. I finally gave up and stopped worrying about EVERYTHING. Broneal was yelling about it. I needed to just go live life. If you all remember, I very clearly proclaimed that and began to just live life. I left where I was working and all that. I made a choice that basically saved my life. Anyone who has seen me before and after can just tell that I’me more easy-going. Well why? What’s so amazing though?

Y’all…I MET SOMEONE!!!!! 

(no, that’s not us)

She’s perfect. Seriously. Intelligent, hilarious, bigger soccer fan than me, drop dead gorgeous…everything I’ve always wanted, plus a lot more I didn’t even know I ever wanted. When you meet somebody that’s like you in so many ways but challenges you to make the most of yourself, you know that’s someone you want in your life. That’s all I will say on the matter beyond she literally walked into my life out of absolutely nowhere (Yes Broneal, you were right again). As for Killer, she’s amazing, and I know she’s probably blushing reading this. Sorry babe, I had to!!!!

Anyway, I’ll stop waxing about this girl, and I’ll move forward towards something a little more pertinent in terms of writing. I have been offered a spot to write for one of my friend’s blogs!!! She has an incredible blog, and I am super excited to write sports pieces for her. Make It Work Molly has a fantastic variety blog, and I am super excited to be writing pieces for her. It’s a chance to reach a new audience! Maybe, some of you guys will become faithful readers of hers and her featured contributors, and I can only hope some of hers come here! Welcome (in advance)! You can visit her blog here!

Thus, this awesome girl and a chance to write for a new blog…NICE. I’ll be back soon, peeps!

-G

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a difficult decision

Hello again, everyone. It’s been a while! I won’t lie and say that everything has been kosher in my life lately, but I’m not going to complain. Instead, I’m going to catch everyone up with where I stand at the moment. This might be the first post in over 65 days, but it doesn’t mean I stopped living!

First of all, the most recent drastic change that truly emphasizes that the more things change, they do actually stay the same. Ending back up somewhere to work where I swore I would never go back is definitely a weird place to be in. You think you’ve left a world, and then, you find yourself going back out of necessity. It’s not the ideal situation, but I did what was best for me and went back with almost demands and just certain limits that wouldn’t cause me to go insane like last time around. It helped that I have been able to go back into a crew where I’m with people who are actually a joy to work with most of the time. That being said, this is a step forward, not one backwards in my opinion. When you’re welcomed back and then given a chance to show you’ve still got it, there’s obviously room to grow.

The first response from many people, and my parents are a part of that, was “Was the summer a waste?” It took a while to really weigh it all, because I had to make sure I wasn’t discounting anything that I’ve been a part of. I turned down salary for a chance to chase my dreams to an extent. I found an incredible group of friends to add to the people I see on a regular basis. All in all, I focused more on me, and that experience cannot be understated. I have friends across the US that I would have never been able to have if I was working 80 hours a week all summer.

I think it’s a fair trade. After all, when you’ve had such an incredible victory like I have had lately, then you’re definitely able to look back and judge accordingly. You faithful readers know that I’m very, very hard on myself. For me to say I’ve been doing well, you know it’s the truth. For those who I’ll refer to as the Groupme Gang, they’ve seen me grow a very large amount.

Hence, as we move forward into the fall, I’ve been able to develop some great things in my life. Opportunities, relationships, and everything. It’s all working. For that, I can’t wait for the future. Who knows? Hell, I’ve actually been working out too… Depression might be something you never fully escape, but you sure as heck can put it in remission.

You all are awesome! I thank all of you for sticking with me on this journey.

-G

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

when I met you in the summer

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

I’ve heard that cliche more times than I’d like to count in my life. Frankly, it gets tiresome. That being said, it’s pretty spot on. After all, where else did I look for something to do during the summer while I wasn’t fully employed anymore? I went back to the same place I’ve worked all those summers before. It wasn’t like I was looking for anything special or fulfilling, but I went back to a safe and well-known place. Basically, as I began to venture on something new, I found myself back where it all began…at summer camp!

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I sit here and realize that I won’t be at camp in twelve hours’ time like I have every Monday for the last two months. It’s a bittersweet emotion, knowing that sleeping in and resting is only because this glorious summer is over. I’ve loved it more than ever before. Everyone remembers my previous posts about being a role model and the emergency situation, but I don’t think it really clicked in those posts how much I’ve grown to love this job. I used to think of it as just this easy job that was a simple paycheck. I don’t know what moment turned that into actually caring about it, but I can say that this whole summer has been like that. I actually want to come in and be a good role model for these kids, which is more than what some can say for their attitude here.

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There is something special about camp. Anyone who has ever worked at a summer camp for more than one summer can attest to that. You watch these kids grow up, and it’s unbelievable what you feel. This was my fourth summer working there in seven years. The group that I’ve known from the beginning…they’ve grown so much. Meanwhile, I feel a little adrift, but I realize, this is all a part of the plan. I chased my dreams, and I will continue to do so.

IMG_3242These kids. These people. God, it’s so much. I’ve never been as happy with a summer at camp like this one. Bright Eyes continually asked me how I was going to be as the summer got close, and I don’t think I knew that she saw how happy I was. Last Friday was killer. I teared up a little bit. One of my favorites begged me to come to her soccer games, and I knew that everything I was thinking about in terms of being a role model was actually true. When you spend so much time with someone in their formative years, they’re bound to look up to you. It puts your life in perspective. On the flip side, those same people can rub off on you too. They’ve kept me young and probably not as mature as I should be at nearly 25, but I won’t be upset over that. I’ve been told I’ve got a good sense of humor, and I definitely know part of that is due to camp.

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I went to dinner with some of my oldest friends at camp after that final day, and I have to say, it was perfect, if not incredibly emotional for me inside. I knew that I would see them throughout the year, because – for the first time – I realized that camp was just a part of my family. Most of you realize I’ve had an interesting ride with my family as of late, and I think I forgot that there were people who were just as much my family that I kept forgetting about. I might be the oldest, and the one who is supposed to set an example…but that doesn’t mean we don’t all care about each other. I’ll tell you, it’s been one incredible summer.

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It’s a peaceful lake, where I work. So much of my life has been thought about and talked about near these waters. It’s funny to think that I only ever applied for a job that was an easy check…when it would become such a major part of me. There’s something about this place. It’s a sanctuary for me, much like the soccer pitch. I hate that it took all these years to figure it out, but now, as I impatiently wait 300 days for next summer, I’ve never been so excited for summer camp. It rejuvenated my soul in a way I never saw coming…another paradigm shift.

What a summer :)

-G

 

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

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