I didn’t think it was possible…

I have this friend who was going through deep depression the same time I was. We would sulk in our misery together. Somehow our level of depression seemed to always be the same every time we saw each other. When we were at our lowest point, I remember us saying how we didn’t remember what it felt like to be happy. That we haven’t smiled in such a long time. All we felt all the time was emptiness. We didn’t want to live another day. We just wanted to end it all, right then and there. I don’t remember when we said those things or felt them. Sometime last year I think. We met up about every six months or so and would text each other every once in a while after that.

It has been over six months since the last time we met and that last time, we were already both doing okay. We met again this past weekend and let me tell you. Someway, somehow, we both are happy and loving life. She did what she needed to get better and I have written about mine. We sat in front of each other scratching our heads and laughing and saying “remember when we said we don’t know what it feels like to be happy?” Now we are saying we don’t know what it feels like to be where we were when we were depressed. We laugh and we smile. Life is good for both of us.

Never did I imagine that things could be like this. I thought I wasn’t going to make it to the end of the year. I didn’t think I could be happy again. To be able to look past tomorrow and the next day and next week and even next month. Heck, maybe even the next year. All I know is that my medicine is working and things couldn’t be any better. I still have that fear that my medicine will stop working at some point because I get immune to them, but I just got to remember that I am happy right here right now and I can always come back to this point, if not, even better.

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Live life unleashed

So I take Mochi to the dog park every day, Monday through Friday. Going to the park isn’t just going to the park and taking a stroll and run around a bit then go home, it’s a whole social hour! Mochi has her friends and I have mine. Mochi’s mission in life, whether we are at the park or home or walking around the neighborhood, is to get her belly rubbed by every single human she comes across. Forget the other dogs around, she goes straight for the humans. When we get to the park, Mochi knows exactly knows where to go, her first lap to sit on is Jan’s lap and make Buddy jealous (Jan’s dog).

After her hugs and kisses from Jan and Adam, we walk down the path to go and look for Wade. Now Wade is the park’s dog whisperer, cookie man, treat guy, and whatever other name the other people give him. ALL the dogs follow him around wherever he goes because they know he’s got treats in his pockets. Dogs forget to follow their owners when he is around. He’s usually got a few dogs that he is watching for that day with him.

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So we find Wade. Mochi gets her first treat and joinS the pack with the regulars Dwight, Eva, Riley and Tyler. Sometimes Scooter when Bill is not there. Don’t forget Piper. Here we are walking along the path of the park, Wade and I with 5 or more dogs trailing behind us. We pick up other dogs along the way. About halfway through our walk, we do what we call “Table Time.” This is when all the dogs jump up on the picnic tables, Wade gets them all to sit and gives them treats one by one, by name and they all listen to him like he is their master.

After he’s given them about three or four treats each, we head back to his car to load up on more treats and meet up with the other dogs and humans. Mochi will make her rounds and go up to people and immediately lie on her back so you could rub her belly. Now there are certain people that she will automatically go to without question, her favorites, she gets longer belly rubs and major hugs and kisses from these people and they love her just as much. Sometimes she will cut clear across the field and run up to one of her favorite people just to get those hugs and kisses. She can’t get enough of them and they can’t get enough of her.

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After her meet and greets, she mingles with the other dogs. We sit around and socialize with everyone around and just have a relaxing time. Then it’s time to go home. half of the time Mochi will follow me to the car, half of the time, she will stick around with her friends and not want to go home. That is the only time I ever have to put her on a leash at the park, unless she is being bad. Eventually she follows. We race to the car, she knows which car is ours and stands at the door waiting for me to open in so she can hop in. Time well spent in this daily routine of ours.

Sadly our park days will end in a couple of weeks due to Daylight savings time. I get out of work when it is already dark so I can’t take her to the park. I just walk her around the neighborhood when I get home. Talk about a drastic change. I feel bad because Mochi gets depressed during this time. She doesn’t see her friends for 5 months! But, this is our routine until Spring when Daylight savings time begins again, then back to the park we go.

A week and a half to go and we’ll make the most of it!

 

I shut people out and don’t let anyone in

A lot has happened in the past week and I can’t say that it was all good. My past caught up with me again and in the same time I didn’t realize that I put up more walls to add to the ones that I already had to begin with. I’ve been through a whole heck of a lot of heartache and trust issues and still going through many of life’s roller coasters. With that being said, I naturally built walls, apparently too many to count. I’ve become over protective of myself that I have, not knowingly, shut people out. I think about it and I really only trust maybe one person to know what goes on with my life and I still don’t tell them everything. Now that I think about it, I’ve shut out the people closest to me, my friends and family. I refused to let my own family know what was going on in my life and I’ve kept it that way for a very long time. Even now I still find it hard to open up to them. I remember a conversation I had with my mom and she told me that she knows I have a hard time trusting people. When she said that to me, it kinda struck a chord in a sense that it is true and maybe I didn’t want to hear it. I lived my life in a way where I wouldn’t get hurt. I do everything on my own. I had to prove to myself and everyone that I was fine on my own, that I didn’t need anyone. If anything went wrong, it was because of me and no one else would be at fault. Simple as that. Easier to accept. I shut people out and I didn’t let anyone in. And then I begin to wonder why I feel so lonely sometimes.

I had a chance at something great and because I wouldn’t let anyone in, I shut this person out and lost a good thing before it could even happen.

Only the Lonely

As much as I love doing things on my own, not having to worry about anyone else at all, it really does get lonely. I know I’ve said it time and time again, I’m lonely. This past weekend I went up to the Sequoia National Park. Did some hiking, climbed a rock, more hiking, saw ginormous trees and more hiking before a four hour drive home. It was nice being out in the woods since there isn’t a lot of it in the city. I had plenty of time to think to myself, clear my mind, overthink some things and in the end I still thought, I wish someone actually came with me.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the middle of downtown L.A. for their monthly art walk. Went from gallery to gallery and found a couple of the artists that I follow. I even went to a place called The Last Book Store. Pretty cool place. A giant maze of books. Everywhere you went, there were books.

On my way to one of the galleries, the scene was straight from a bad movie where there is a girl all alone in the dark street and three guys coming her way and attack her. I was lucky and didn’t get attacked. I made it to the gallery and I just had this eerie feeling when I walked in. Creepy security guard in the entrance. The building was empty. Took the elevator to the 5th floor. Inside the elevator was all carpet with a dim light and musty smell. I walk out of the elevator and find myself in an empty half lit hallway. I look for the suite number of the gallery, turn a corner here and another one there and then I found it but the door was locked. Gosh I wish someone was here with me. So I had to go back through the dim lit hallways back to the creepy elevator down the building and back into the dark street alone. I eventually made my way back to the crowded streets and made it back to my car. After that, I didn’t go to any other galleries because they were opposite from where I was and a lot further and I certainly didn’t want to go down any more dark streets. This is why I wish someone was with me. Well one of the reasons.

That Saturday, I went to Santa Monica for a Kite Festival. I love kites! I brought my camera to take pictures. I wanted to fly a kite but couldn’t because no one would hold my camera for me. I didn’t stay too long since they kept flying the same kites. I walked around 3rd Street Promenade a bit, got something to eat then went home.

My cousin always tells me how jealous she is of my life and how I can go anywhere whenever I want to and be spontaneous. We were roommates for two and a half years. We were Disneyland buddies. We would go on food adventures together. I miss those days. She’s got two kids now.

So I know how it feels like to have a friend or a companion or just someone to do and share all these things with and now I do everything alone. I may be courageous and say, “YEAH I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!” and be proud of myself for doing so, but it always comes back to me being lonely. Everyone is like, “Look at you, miss independent.” and will say “I’m so jealous of you.” But on the flip side, I look at their lives and see that they have a family, they have family events, everything is done with someone. So I will say this, I am jealous of you. You have memories to share with your family. Don’t get me wrong, I like doing all the things that I do, I just wish I could share them with someone.

I got to FLY!!!

Every time I am asked the question “What do you want to do?” my answer has been and always will be and I will quote from the movie Ever After when the prince asks Cinderella “is there anything you don’t do?” and she answers back in  the most  satisfying confident way as she looks up at the sky and closes her eyes and reads her arms wide open, “FLY.”

The good news is that I’ve gotten to FLY (sky diving) 3 times already and would do it over and over again. To feel so free, to fly with the birds, to be closer to the sun, to be so high off the ground, to hear peace and quiet thousands of feet in the air; there is nothing quite like it.

The first time, I think in 2009, was for a friend that was supposedly going to move to Thailand for good and it was his goodbye party, sort of. We went to the one in Temecula. Signed up for the entire package, video, pictures and all since it was our well my first time. Didn’t think I was going to do it ever again. We suited up and got our pre flight training. Off to the tiny dinky little plane we went and they managed to shove 20 people in there like sardines. You get the divers, the professional jumpers, the camera crew, and a few extras training or just doing it for fun. One by one we fell out of the plane. It was funny hearing my friends scream die out as she fell further away from the plane and scary at the same time because that meant I was next. DUN DUN DUN there is no backing out now!

3 2 1 go fall out of the plane! Screaming didn’t last too long, free falling was kind of fun, letting the wind catch you and it felt like you were just floating in mid air not to mention all you skin flapping about HAHA HAHAHAHAHA Okay I’m just laughing at myself now… No really, that is what I saw and that’s what really happens. Oh wait, don’t forget to say4788_1163932984223_1886901_n HI to your camera man! and oh yeah SMILE! Try doing that without having all the wind go into your mouth all at once… hahaha And now the guy strapped to your back finally pulls the chute. Oh so peaceful. We were having a normal conversation and just cruising around in the open air. That was the best feeling I’ve ever had I’ve forgotten that I just fell out of a plane however many thousands of feet off the ground. We finally landed and I was screaming and yelling WOOHOO YEAAAAHHH LET’S DO THAT AGAIN! I loved it so much that I even considered doing the training to get certified and jump on my own.

The second jump was in Taft, California. It was for my birthday December 2013. It was only two of us this time around. We get to the site and it was very different from my first experience. Small air space with no real solid buildings around. We checked in. They geared us up. We were kind of scared since the weather didn’t look so good. Mid December, cloudy skies, not your ideal forecast for skydiving right but they still booked us anyway. We see this tiny little plane come in and it looks questionable. It was one of those small planes that have the propellors on them. It looked like they pulled the back seats off and laid carpet on the floor. You could probably only fit about 5 people in there. On the inside, there were parts held up with duct tape, scary. But off we went. As we ascended higher, we were flying through thick clouds, we couldn’t even see above or below them. We get to our altitude and we are ready to jump out of the plane. My friend DCIM100GOPROwent first. Oh and the cameras were just attached to our jumpers wrists. It turned out that the camera on my friend’s jumper was not working so they were sitting at the edge of the plane trying to fix the darn thing. Oh and by the way, my friend is afraid of heights, imagine that. And there they go. I was next. We fell out, spun a little, fell through clouds, sleet, some rain, it was freezing cold I couldn’t even pay attention to the view. The next thing I knew we were on the ground. Still was fun, but not the same as the first. Nice way to spend my birthday.

The third time was in Oceanside with some church buddies. This one was, I guess you could say, extra special. A week before the jump, I found out that one of my best friends from college passed away ( I wrote about it in one of my other blogs “loss of a special friend”), DCIM100GOPROG0078488.I didn’t know if I was going to do the jump or not. Some people told me I shouldn’t go, some people told me I should because it would help get my mind off of things. I did it anyway and I’m glad I did. I took one of our old pictures and wrote a message on the back of it and had planned to let it go mid air. The cool thing was I told my instructor about it and he was like sure and caught the whole thing on camera. The best part was the jump was during sunset overlooking the ocean and I got to say goodbye to my friend in a way I thought she would appreciate.

I suppose I should’ve written about this some time ago since it is something that I truly enjoy, but it’s okay. I never thought I would ago skydiving once, let alone three times.

I LOVE TO FLY and I will continue to do it over and over again.

on the up and up

It’s been a crazy month but that phrase doesn’t seem to change for me does it? but it’s ok, things are going good… it was bad for some time, maybe too long in my book but what is good without the bad? it’s what makes the good even better right?!? I do miss writing, i miss my random rants about anything and everything and my mind has been on soooo many road trips good and bad… half and half too… at this point I’m back to rambling before i even get to the meat of the subject but that’s how i normally am right? besides, what is normal? heck i don’t know? who’s to determine what that should be? and besides the normal ones are weird and the weird ones are normal… so there… if that doesn’t make sense to you… it’s not supposed to.. haha i feel like i’m finding myself again, i miss me, a lot! nice to have you back! it’s good to be back! i’ve made it another year, woohoo! i’m doing a lot better than expected of myself, medicine is doing its job.

15078677_10211575985380953_6371228842385683589_nso i’ve set some new goals… i submitted Mochi’s picture for a calendar for 2018, hopefully it gets on there. i submitted other pictures as well. The cats are out and about getting along with Mochi dog. I signed up for a Disney Half Marathon in September, a Hillsong Conference in November, and I’m back in my piano lessons… notice that these are all for the next year if not two so i’m doing some reaching here… that’s good cuz i used to not be able to look past one day. Oh yeah I switched jobs, back to my old job and I am much happier! feels like home. I feel like I made the right decision and I’m happy with my decision.

With All of that said there is still only one person to thank for all of this, God! God is and will always be there to support me, listen to my hearts cries, and answer my prayers. Last weekend at my retreat, with the help of Pastor Tim, he confirmed all of this for me. That God has always been there, that God has always listened, and that God answers prayers. Pastor Tim told me things that came from God that were some of my deepest darkest secrets and deepest prayers, and yet through Pastor Tim, God speaks to me. Faith grows that much stronger.

loss of a special friend

My heart has been ripped out of my chest and placed in my hand. As the blood drips down my arm, I feel my life fade away slowly. I am barely alive, enough just to make sense of what is going on. The pain is real, the heart beats slowly through each agonizing breath.

My heart cries and it overflows into the corner of my eyes and come the never ending flow of tears. Through the tears, I am blinded by pain and sorrow. God I need your strength to carry on. I have no one to lean on but you. You are the constant rock and support whether someone is there or not. God fill me with your love. Wrap me in you protecting arms. Put my mind and my heart at peace and help me to let her go.

I lost a very dear friend of mine. My best friend from college.272519_4621957472674_1690358338_o

I have nothing but good memories of Cheryl, from the first day I met her in college to the days we would meet for dinner catching up with our lives. In college, it was her and I and the rest of the guys. When it was just her and I, we got to be who we really were, different in so many ways, and in some ways the same. She spent a lot of time with me and my family and eventually became one of us. When she wasn’t at family parties, my relatives would ask where she was. Even on a regular basis, they would ask how she was doing and invite her to the next family gathering. I would have to promise my aunt that I would bring her with me.

She had such a carefree attitude that was contagious.She was such a strong woman. She didn’t let anything get in her way. She didn’t care what people thought or said about anything she did. She did what she wanted when she wanted to, nothing could stop her. I was always jealous of her in that way (good way of course). She was a great friend to not just me, but to everyone around her.

Her faith in God kept her strong just like her poem…
“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack?
Proving nature’s law wrong, It learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems but by keeping its dreams
It learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else cared.”
 knotts2
In Loving Memory of my best friend Cheryl Lynn Grucelski
P.S. Our last adventure together… I know you would have loved sky diving!
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