Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Two Steps Down the Ladder. (Tranquillity Part 2)

I have not been able to help myself keeping up with all the recent hype regarding Lebron James and his first NBA championship. I find it extremely fascinating how he self-destructed in the playoffs for so many years and then finally figured it out this year. Like him or not, it's a remarkable story. 

I am not comparing myself to Lebron James but I can relate to having a mental block in pressure situations. The end of last year and the start of this year were the best and happiest times in my life. I felt more comfortable and confident than ever before.  I exited a relationship that went sour, networked myself into a law firm, navigated myself though Europe and had the best social experiences of my life. I was seemingly on a path to greatness and this feeling radiated everyday throughout my soul. 

Then I started to get discouraged about finances, dating and feared that I had become weak. Unable to express myself, speak up or voice my opinion.  I watched as my best friends were becoming successful in their careers as mine became stagnant.  I lost my rented house in Akron due owner sale and when I could not find a rental in my budget, I was forced to do the unthinkable!  I had to move into my parents house and "figure" things out. An ominous cloud developed directly over my head. A minor set back quickly turned into dark feelings of hopelessness. For lack of a better term, I freaked out.  Confidence turned into timidness and comfort into disarray.  I lost my ability to write blogs, perform at work,  hit tennis balls and interact socially. My favorite activities were now daily burdens as I witnessed everything I spent the last years building crash down in haste. 

I received a comment recently asking what am I so afraid of? What stops me from hurling myself over the bar when I arrive at the edge of success? Why do I watch my friends overcome their fears, sustain healthy relationships and exponentially thrive in life? I know that I have all the tools. I just throw them away rather than figuring out how to get them to work properly and efficiently.  My frustrations manifest and I cannot solve the formula that will allow me to overcome fear of rejections and failure .

I have returned to the same rut that has plagued my conscious too many times in the past. The funny thing is that I know I really have nothing to lose. I've spent weeks using the same failed techniques expecting different results. I know everyday that I take the same route to work, fall into the same routines at the office, or hit a tennis ball in the same manner that the end result will be dissatisfaction. I know that other techniques are available but I simply have not allowed myself to utilize them the last two months. 

What am I so afraid of? I should be afraid of sitting around years from now saying what if?  The great people get over that hump. The rest merely watch year after year pass and never maximize their potential.  We all have the potential to be wonderful, rise to the occasion and life amazing life. I have the ability right now to get where I need to be.  I do not want to be writing this blog again in 2013. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What happen to my Tennis Game?

The year after I turned twenty-six, I ballooned to 216 pounds and was suffering from extremely high blood pressure. I was suffering from perpetual mental health issues not much different than what I have been through the last six weeks.  I began playing tennis as a casual hobby to help me shed a few pounds. Within several months of picking up a racket, I lost 25 pounds, my blood pressure drastically reduced and it undeniably a contributing factor to improving my mental health. I played in leagues, clinics and took private lessons, sometimes playing on clay in 100 degrees Charlotte, NC weather.  Most importantly, I had fun playing tennis and had complete control of myself on the court.

When I returned to Ohio, all of my friends anticipated my return to the courts in Ohio. They all loved tennis and had been playing frequently while I Charlotte. When I returned to Ohio, it was on. We started a league and began playing matches regularly.  The league and the matches were fun, competitive and supplied some of the best exercise I've ever endured. At age 29, I worked myself up to playing 3 hour tennis matches. They were the equivalent of mini-marathons. Even though the matches were ultra competitive, I never had the impression that the outcome was important. The close points and improvement everyone made during these matches were more important that anything else.  Most important, it helped me reconnect with friends I lost contact with in Charlotte.

Over the past 6 weeks, my mental health has been declining. I've been prone to episodes on the court but this year, I have sunk to a new low. I've started bring emotional baggage with me on to the court. I constantly feel pressure like I am playing on the ATP tour and my livelihood depends on the outcome of the matches I play with friends. My head is never completely in a match, I am cursing at inappropriate times and being childish with my actions. The game the once made me healthy and happy as being another emotional barrier that I am fighting to overcome. It's frankly unacceptable for a thirty year old to act the way I have the last 6 weeks in a recreational setting.

Today I played a friendly match and found myself having a meltdown. I played nervous which has becoming a reoccurring theme. What used to make me a great player was being a relentless, now I play timid. The tennis court was once the one place I felt in control of situations.  After 4 seasons, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I need to step aside and take a few months off while I get healthy again. It would definitely be a hard decision to make because tennis has become such an important part my life and physical well-being. The next several weeks will bring about major changes in my life and I hope to be able to work through everything and move forward again. I hope that I can move on from this, and have fun on the tennis court again.

I understand that 30 year old man's recreational tennis games is not the most interesting topic for a public blog forum . Especially one that I have aspirations of reaching a broader audience. However, this blog has relevance in conjunction with the blog I posted yesterday and the line of writing I believe will dominate these writings until I am free of angst and depression once again. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Bump in the Road to Tranquility (Part 1)

      I have been unable and unwilling to write for weeks. At the moment that I started to feel that this blog was reaching its highest level, I had a major set back that hindered my life for the past month.  My relationships, tennis game, work, and health have immensely suffered because of a return of depression symptoms. I have not wrote in this blog because I have felt ashamed. I worked hard in my twenties to overcome depression and it was not supposed to happen again in my thirties. For nearly three years, (Especially the last 12 months) I have been in as highest of spirits. However, it would be disingenuous if I feigned the writings in this blog.  I began writing this blog to openly talk about overcome depression.  It's about Overcoming Wednesday or those obstacles that prevent us from being the people that we see ourselves becoming. I spend most of my early and mid twenties battling depression.  I thought I had finally overcome it for good, but for anyone that has dealt with these issues, you know that it's a continuous process. 

 For weeks,  I shouted all over social media how I was experiencing the most optimism that I ever felt in my entire life. I proclaimed that my 30s would be the best years of my life. I was inspiring friends and people were seeking our my advise and looking to me for inspiration.  This was a completely new concept that left me with a sense of fulfilment I have never felt. My body was comfortable, my spirituality keen and cognitive abilities were sharp. I was writing blogs that provide me with a high sense of accomplishment, I was learning French at a quick pace and developing the best relationships of my life. Most importantly, I was becoming a better and understanding friend.  I lacked the urge to run away from problems and seek solace from any foreign substance. 

 Everything was seemingly moving in the right direction. Two hundred people sang happy Birthday to me on April 21, 2012. It was my father's annual Booster Club Reverse Raffle at Raintree Country Club. The crowd was full of family, people I've know since high school, lifelong friends and new friends.  It was one of the best nights of my life and without a doubt the best of my thirty birthday celebrations. 

Three weeks after the Raffle,  I planned to start the first summer of my thirties and rest of my life with a dream trip to Europe. A trip that was nearly free after I worked the credit card points system.  I developed a new motto, One World, One Life. I vowed that I would experience everything I wanted in life and bring everyone along with me that wanted a ride.  I spent months rewiring my brain to think in the abstract about a new approach to success and to achieve tranquillity.  The formula was working perfectly until I let the smallest amount of doubt perpetuate.

 The first doubt began to slow creep in the weeks proceeding France....

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Controlled by Fear

I have had psychology 101 at the University level. It's the only educational exposure I have ever had in the field of psychology.  I honestly could not even properly spell the word when writing this blog.  Most of my professional psychological exposure has came from hearing about the field from my good friend that holds a PhD in counseling psychology, sitting on the other side of the couch from a counseling psychologist and countless theoretical and intoxicated conversation in which I believed I was a psychologist.

Preface- I am not attempting to claim any expertise in this field. 

I am listening to a "motivational" speaker while driving in my car this week. Please don't ask me which one because I really don't know, nor do I want to go back and look it up.  My interest peaked when he talked about how children are their most creative at 2 years old. He spoke about how their imaginations run rapidly and wildly. Then he spoke about how parents spend the majority of their time controlling their behavior and inhibiting their ability to freely think and explore their imagination. 

Hmmmm. The bells and whistles start to sound, while I drove my old business man Toyota Sedan. I started pondering how I can sit in front of my computer so many times and not being able to think of one goddamn word to say. How, I can sit at work and not be able to write a simple legal brief.  Why cannot I not learn to play guitar? Why do I have such trouble picking up on a second language? Could it be the fact that I have never allowed my imagination to run freely? Could it be associated all the way back to authoritative control exercised over me starting at two years old? 

I have expressed my desire to have less of a filter on this blog. What do I really want to say? I am constantly living my life in fear.  What will certain people think if I openly talk about being anti-religious?  How will it affect my career if I openly express my political views? What if my parents find out that I am not a virgin?  I live my life everyday like I have something to loose.  In reality I have nothing to lose. I am major fucking fearful tight ass, constantly worried about making mistakes. 

I want to believe that I have the ability to open up, think freely and thoroughly explore my imagination without the aid of psychedelics. I can learn and conquer whatever I want. I want to believe that I can make this blog (or another) interesting to read. Not because I plaster it on social media websites but because of the content I create. The only authoritative figure that is hindering my ability to take this blog where I want it go, is my own goddamn fear. I am afraid of practically everything and that is no way to live. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

One Life One World

When I moved from Ohio to North Carolina in 2008, I was extremely unhappy.  The sporadic dismal moments I experience today are not close in comparison to my feelings in 2008. My sense of what was important in life was heavily distorted. I was disappointed in the relationships I had developed and saddened by my inability to commence new ones. I had become bitter and bored. I wanted excitement from a new source and I made the mistake of not seeking bliss with any particular strategy.  I failed to address the problems I was having and merely transferred them to another time and place. Luckily,  with the help of some amazing people, I was to work on issues in Charlotte and begin the fix the problems I had taken South. 

What brings us back? What brings us back to Akron/Canton, Ohio? We have all said that we need to leave this area. I left Ohio in 2008.  Many of us have left and returned. (Me again). Has anyone really thought about why we all say that we need to leave? It is always easy to identify the obvious scapegoats that in reality are not real reason anyone should leave.  The weather is too cold, the economy is rubbish and the people scumbags, just to name a few.  Maybe it's our broken dreams or that the routines that we have conjured up over time have led us to questions our self worth.  Maybe it's generational, television or our insatiable taste for the unknown.

There are many reasons we leave but a simple answer to why we return.  There is nothing dreadful about this place nor is there anything extraordinary.  I have no doubt that inspiration can be found all around but it's not the most advantageous place to discover it. There are literally hundreds of more desirable places all over the world that anyone of us have the unique ability to inhabit.  It's familiarity. Familiarity breeds comfort. When I was lost and didn't  know what direction to turn in 2011, familiarity brought me back to Akron/Canton. Does familiarity equal satisfaction?  I soon realized that familiarity was a short term fix.  Comfort does not equal fulfillment in my life.  It's once again left me in a state of disarray.

It would be easy to leave again and take on a new mistress but I desire stability too.
I will ultimately settle in one place for a very long time.  Unfortunately, I cannot live a life of a gypsy because of the high amount of bills I now possess. Everyday I ask myself if the familiarity and comfort of Akron/Canton is enough to keep me here indefinitely. As I have traveled to several different erotic and historic places over the last three years, my answer is unequivocally no.  Nevertheless, another move must be made for the right reason.   I want to find the one places that has all the factors I need to achieve happiness or at least satisfaction.  However, as I write today, I am not in the position to tell you that place. I will not leave here without making the right decision for the right reason. This show is not going on the road without proper planning this time.   I will listen to my heart, abide by my brain and avoid influence by all societal agendas.

One Life One World.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Peaks and Valleys

I never understood the meaning of writer’s block  until I started writing on regular basis. I have discovered it has a two-fold meaning when it pertains to my experience. It is not that I am absent of original ideas but I simply lack proper motivation to write regularily. I literally have hundreds of ideas swimming around in my brain that could be transcribed into great blogs or even books. I really thought I would be writing more frequently after returning from Europe, but I have been hard pressed to even write a few sentences. I have not blogged, returned emails, or even cared to try for weeks
Yes, I have been in a funk lately, devoid of a contagious personality. I used to find it very easy to write when I was in a somber mood but these days I find it much easier to when in a cheerful state. Day to day life has become a hindering drag and hopeless feeling have creeped into my conscious. I have become dependant on major trips and extravagant excitement and I constantly dwell on the fact that I lack of means to seek a new high.
I spent years looking for and ideal law firm jobs and countless hours of conversation expressing how much gratitude I was would possess when I finally arrived at my destination. Today I walk around with metaphorical shackles on my wrist and ankles. I wonder how I  wasted  so much time wishing for something when I never even considered it was what I truly wanted.
This situation is very similar to past relationships I have been involved with.  Boredom and questions of self worth forced me into projecting feelings and desires that were completely absent. I’ve pontificated in this blog about how humans have the ability to do anything they desire yet I am afraid to make the next step in life. Four years ago I was fully energized and having a love affair with a hyped-up booming city. In this moment, I am seemingly fearful of my own shadow. What the fuck.
We are busy trying to solve the conundrum of the meaning of our own existence. I have been the only person holding myself back for years and the only person to be able to push myself up. Depending on someone else will never answer my questions or solve even my most simplistic issues. Maybe I have been unable to write because I have thrown my arms up in the air and given up lately. However, giving up only has exacerbated the issues. I have adopted the motto “One Life, One World”. Only one life will ever make that motto true. I have come much too far for this behavior. Not now, no more.

As I edited this blog, I realized how depressing it sounded as I read every word. I debated posting it online or retaining it for my personal collection. It was very sad after I have had so many straight months of optimism evidenced by a string of strong worded inspirational blogs. I quickly realized that I hit a major peak and quickly descended into a melancholy state. After thinking, (for a seconds) I inevitably decided that I blog to authentically portray my life. It would be disingenuous for me to give the false impression that I am always in a joyful mindset. Authenticity is not achieved by creating a false reality. People that do this can be spotted all too easily. To minimize these episodes, I must confront them instead of denying them and remain candid with my speech.