I Overdose

Have you ever gotten high off a person? Their presence, their being, it just intoxicated you to the point where you thought they radiated happiness, and it was your job to bask in it. They were the chemicals following through your veins bringing you joy. You get so high off that feeling you get when they talk to you, when they care about you, when they simply smile, it’s so amazing you find it hard not to think about it.

Soon you realize that every time they care it’s only because they need you to care about them. You start to realize you’re only important when it’s convenient. You start to open your eyes to who they are. You start to come off that high.

Soon they don’t shine so bright. Soon they don’t radiant happiness anymore. Soon that scent that made you think of joy now makes you think of pain. Your brain builds a tolerance to them.

That chemical reaction they gave you, that feeling they gave you… that’s gone. And now you realize the hollowness of it all, and it’s time for them to go.

Detoxing from a person is one of the hardest things to do. Getting off that drug takes more out of you than you realized.

Soon you realize you never needed them to be happy. You realize that you were happy all along and they were just there. You realize it was you who was radiating happiness and they were stealing your glory. They were taking everything you were to make themselves happier. You never needed them, they needed you. You were overdosing on being needed.

It’s over now. The sting is still there. You find yourself still craving them every once and awhile. When someone mentions them, or reminds you of them, you find yourself wanting more. But remember what you felt like when you detoxed. Remember how it felt to come down, never focus on the up.

You are happy and they are nowhere to be found. You are drug free. Love your life without them. Live your life without them.

Simplicity is a Dream

There was a time in my life when everything was simple. I had an answer to every question, I didn’t even have to question, I just knew. I knew who, what, where, how and why. There was no wondering, no time spent thinking, everything was just… so… simple.

There’s was a time in my life when everything was as complicated as everything could ever be. This time I was afraid to think, afraid to move, I was afraid of my own breath in the night. The who of it all was never clear. The what was never answered. The where was never found. The how never figured out. The why stayed lingering in the air.

Why.

The word washes over me like a cold shower washing away the sins of my life. There is no shower that could ever get me as clean as I was when life was simple. No amount of perfumes chemicals can ever mask the scent. No scrub brush harsh enough to rub raw the skin of a sinner. There is no drain that could take away the complexities of my life.

So I stopped trying to get clean. I sealed the dirty up and put it away for later. Yes sometimes it can come up. Yes sometimes some people can see it. For the most part I am clean on the outside and dirty on the inside. But my life is simple.

I am back to it being simple. I’m back to that time in my life. I only question when I’ll be forced to go back to being complicated once again.

Circus Life

Can I laugh?

It took me a while to take a good hard look at my life. It took me even longer to realize what a mess I had made of it. The things I did that brought heart ache and sorrow to those who loved me they way love is described in songs. It took me a while to see past the tall dark shadow that towered over me sweeping me off my feet and hugging me so tight I could barley breath from all the pressure. It took a while to fight through it, push away, get away, run as fast as I could until the shadow was so small it was barely noticeable. It took a while for me to see it as a big joke. I had run away from home and joined the circus.

My life was a circus. The type that makes you sad. The one that travels from town to town with its rides with chipped paint and missing bolts that only work sometimes. The type that has a stage of freaks putting on a show, but instead of being impressed you are just sad and no longer wish to watch but you stay out of curtesy. My life was the tilt-a-whirl that only tilted, and never whirled. My life was the fun house of mirrors that only pointed out your flaws and made you feel small, fat, and unattractive. My life was the petting zoo with sick goats, rabbits with milky eyes, and monkeys in diapers smoking cigarettes and blowing the smoke in toddlers faces. My life was that point in time when the cotton candy makes you feel sick and you want to throw up but you know that once you start you’re not going to stop. My life was a circus, a sad circus.

Can I laugh at myself and the thought that I had running through my head that made me feel like I could have been safe? Can I laugh at the thought that everything was going to be fine? Can I laugh at being naive and young and reckless and careless and just all the things you shouldn’t be?

I realized, just a little while ago that I didn’t have to live in that circus. It was a traveling circus, that packed the rides up in huge boxes and the carneys pulled their trailers with them as the found a new home for two weeks. I didn’t have to live that life. A travelers life, always searching for more. If I looked past the dull lights and sounds of children being forced to have fun with their parents I could see my real life. The life I needed, the life I wanted.

If I looked hard enough I could see a town. I could see brick walls built high and packed tight with everything I wanted. I could see the sun. I could see a home. I could see everything that I wanted. I could see everything I had before I decided to run off and join the circus. If I looked hard enough I could see everything I left behind. And if I ran fast enough I could get back to it.

So, can I laugh?

At the past.

At the present?

And at the future?

Can I laugh and run away from the circus?

Can I please come home?

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/circus/”>Circus</a&gt;

Master at Work

So there I was, bored, and I mean bored, in a small room starring down the hallow TV pointed at my bed. My idle hands had come creeping back. I spent years with an instrument in my hands, mashing down buttons of a brass trumpet, pressing on the steal strings of an electric guitar and bass. Well now after almost 6 months of school, and 6 months of being a brand new vehicle mechanic and only fixing things, my hands were aching to create. Let’s face it, art is not my thing. I was never going to be able to draw anything close to what anyone in their right mind would consider art, so drawing was out of the question. I was stuck in a dorm room with neighbors all around me so a new loud instrument was out of the question too. But low and behold, that hallow television introduced me to something I could in fact do in my tiny room. Carpentry.

There was no way I could buy fancy power tools. They would be too loud, and well to be honest I was poor and they would be too expensive. So I bought a hack saw, a hand drill, a few clamps, lots of sand paper, wood screws and some wood glue. I drove the 30 minutes to my local hardware store and bought an extremely long 1×1. I had acquired a some heavily stained 1×6’s from a pallet at work, and I was ready.

First step, I needed to clean up the boards a bit. With no electric sander, I took some 80 grit paper and attached it to a small block with some finishing nails and got to sanding. About 2 hours later both me and my entire room were covered in saw dust. To give you a good idea of how it looked, imagine if someone took a big bag of saw dust and threw it into an osculating fan until every surface was a faint tan color. But guess what? The boards were cleaner, but still needed a lot more work. My aching hand attached 120 grit paper and went back to work. By the end of the day I was exhausted from sanding, my arms hurt, my hands were falling off, and it was time for me to sleep.

Oh unexperienced me. I fell asleep with the dust still in the air. I breathed in so much saw dust I was coughing up trees for three days. My lungs burned, my snot was black and I could hardly breath, but I was not a quitter. The next day I vacuumed up the dust with my tiny vacuum and got back to work.

With my hack saw I cut the boards to length. No board had a straight cut. Everything was just slightly off, no matter how hard I tried it was impossible to cut through the boards with a hack saw. It was time to upgrade. I ran to the store and bought a proper hand saw with great teeth. When I got home, I had cut through the board easier, but not that straighter.

Next was to glue it up. I slopped glue on the ends of the boards and clamped those babies together TIGHT! It was night again and time for me to sleep, this time saw dust less, so I could breath easier.

The next morning, the boards had shifted. The second board was up higher on one side than the other and it all looked messed up. This brought me down big time. I left the boards in the clamps and didn’t touch them for days.

About three days later I got my second wind. I measured out the 1×1 and cut out four pieces 8 inches long. I cut 2 pieces about 18 inches long. With my hand drill I drilled holes half way on the 8 inch pieces. This hand drill was not that great and the handle kept hitting my knuckles as I turned it, so my knuckles were all cut up by the time I was done. But I was done.

I went to the store again and bought dowels big enough to fit in the holes I drilled and some band aides. With bandaged knuckles I glued my pieces together with the dowels and clamped them down. The next day everything turned out great. The only thing I needed was to fix my ugly boards.

A new planner was in my future. Again I ran to the hardware store and bought a small hand planner. I began to plan. And plan. And plan. And plan. Until finally everything looked even. I took to sand paper again, this time 220 grit. After a few hours and being covered in dust once again the boards were nice and smooth. Again I was breathing in dust nice and heavy. There wasn’t five minutes between my sneezes for three days. Each sneeze shot out a thick black booger. Lets just say I wasn’t the most attractive over the next three days, but I was close to finishing my creation.

I drilled some holes in the boards, it was time to attach the pieces I glued up. With some wood screws, a screw driver, and a lot of determination I screwed the pieces to the boards.

IT WAS COMPLETE! I had done it. Me, this unskilled, untamed beast had done it. I made a tray table. I was so happy, I held my creation up like Simba on the Lion King. There was no prouder person in that moment than me and I had no shame in showing it. I took my new creation and set it on the ground…. The legs were a tiny bit off… it wobbled…

BUT WHO CARES!!! I built it! It was a freak of a tray table, but it was mine.

Cut to two years later and I have more power tools than I know what to do with. My wife bought me a respirator, so no more dust up my nose.  I am building work benches 7 feet long and 4 feet high. I made a dining room table able to fit 8 people. I am a skilled carpenter and this all comes back to my wobbly tray table that still sits by the bed I built.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/learning/”>Learning</a&gt;

The Runner

I have spent my entire existence chasing life. I have been running behind it with my hand out missing it by mere inches every time I come close to grabbing it. There has been times when I have come close, I could just graze it with the tips of my fingers only to have it speed up and become just out of reach again. It has felt, at times, impossible to even see, it being so far ahead on the road. Other times I find myself out of breath needing to take a seat and a drink of water before beginning the chase once again. By then I am so far behind I have to run blindly, hoping I am on the right trail, hoping I can one day catch a glimpse of it.

I have spent my life as the slow kid, just a touch out of shape, and with the wrong shoes, trying to catch up with all the others who seemed to be jogging at a nice steady pace. There they were, the fast kids, all in step, running heal toe as if it was nothing, as if chasing life was as simple as just reaching out an grabbing it. They never seemed to have a problem keeping up with life. I could never figure it out. I would watch them run so effortlessly pass me. As the wind blew past my ears a loud swish sound would consume me and anger would well up inside. Every time, I would decide it was time for me to catch life, I would convince myself that I could keep up, and this time I was going to finally get it.

I would sprint harder to catch up with the fast kids. I would sprint until my muscles ached and my heart pumped so hard it could just explode in my chest. And there I was with the fast kids hanging on by a thread reaching out to grab life as they did, in that moment, my calves would cramp and a stitch develops in my side. I feel myself slow down, limping on the hurt leg. I could feel myself needing to take deeper breaths just to keep myself from passing out. My vision would get blurry, I would reach up to wipe my eyes with my sweat soaked hands, only to have them burn from the salt on my skin. And there they went again, the fast kids steadily jogging at their pace. I could not be left behind again, so I would push harder.

I would run through the pain, move this out of shape body as fast and hard as it could go to catch up. I would be next to them, out of breath and in pain but with a smile on my face as to not let on. Those kids, those long legged kids taking their big steps in perfect sync they would look over and say “nice day for a run” and I would nod. There was no way for me to speak, not now, not when all the air my lungs could hold was going to keeping at this pace and most of all keeping me from passing out then and there, I could not speak, so I would nod and keep running. And there was life, right there finally within my reach.

Life in all its bright and beautiful glory was finally in front of me, of all people, it was there for me to grab. This slow, out of shape, kid was no longer so far behind that life looked like a tiny spec in the horizon. It was there, clear as day, waiting for my to take hold of it and never let go. I would reach out and try to touch it when I feel the pain, and it is  the worst pain ever. My ankle twist from under me, I can feel the tiny bones crack as my foot hits the hard pavement. I fall to the ground tucking my head in as I tumble off the path and into the dirt. I grab my ankle still unable to breath, I hold it close to me and try to keep it steady. I look up at the fast kids. They look back at me. I stick a hand out longingly. I plead with my tired eyes for one of them to stop and pick me up, keep me going even if it means they have to slow down for just a little while. They all look to each other and shrug, one yells “sorry kid, we’re making good time” and they jog on.

There I am in the dirt not able to stand let alone run the race. I am stuck miles behind holding my ankle close watching as everything and everyone passes me by. I am alone, trying to heal so one day I can get up and run the race once again.

Is this who we are?

I am at a lost for words when it comes to the people I see around me. It seems like the word responsibility has yet to enter the vocabulary of the majority of the people that stand up and call themselves adults. Has the day in age long passed when an adult was someone who stood up and admitted their faults, admitted their wrong doings and asked what they could do to fix it? Are we the generation of ‘not my fault’ adults? Are we now the people who pass the buck, and find excuses in the world for our short comings? Do we avoid responsibility because we cannot be bothered with it? Do we find fault in others because we cannot see fault in ourselves? Do we give hand outs simply because people have asked for them? Is this truly who we, the people have become?

We live in a world were everyone gets a trophy. Everyone gets an award or no one does. In order to make people not feel unspecial we take everything special out of actually succeeding so that everything is the same. Everyone is equal, no one kid is better than the other. What do the others have to reach for if they are not reaching to be the best? What is the reason for being the best and staying that way if you are never acknowledge for it? We take down our #1 because we do not to hurt #20 feelings. We shoot our best horse in the leg because our worst is sad about the race. This is what this world has become and we have taught our children it is okay not to do your best because you will be treated like everyone else.

If one person messes up than everyone stays to fix it, because the team should have been looking out for them. I am sorry, but the team was to busy making sure the team did not mess up. It is hard to monitor everyone and yourself all at once. Why is this one member failing, when the team is succeeding? Is it the team, or is it the member? There is no more weak link in the chain. We cannot hurt the links feelings so we say all the links are weak. Do you know what you get when all the links in your chain are weak? Someone is going to break your chain. This society of blanket rewards and punishments has turned us all into reward seeking dogs, who cry at their masters feet when they do not get what they want.

A little girl hates the answer daddy gave her so se goes to mommy to find the right one. Mommy hugs her and tells her she is special and now daddy is mean and bad for telling her the truth. This behind the scenes, back stabbing, find a way no matter what to get what I want is disgusting. When an adult hears something they do not like, they work to get what they want. When a child hears something they do not like they cry until they get what they want. The back handed deals, the running behind peoples back makes me sick to my stomach. The thought that someone can call themselves and adult and still scheme and plot to get their way is truly one of the great faults in the work place.

We live in a world of self entitlement. Because we were born we are entitled to certain rights though we have done nothing to deserve them. We say ‘give me money’ though we do not work. We say ‘give me food’ though we have not paid for it. We say ‘give me shelter’ though we have not built it. The phrase is ‘give me, give me, give me,’ instead of ‘how can I earn this.’

A child screams in the store for it’s mother to buy it a candy bar.

The mother says “If you are good mommy will get you that candy bar.”

What happened to, wash the car, earn the dollar, buy the candy bar. We think it is okay to just get things for simply being there and not causing trouble.

The worker says, “Give me an award.”

The supervisor says, “Please do not cause a fuss and I will give you an award.”

Now everyone thinks they should get an award for simply showing up for work and not causing a scene. We make it okay for the mediocre to continue to be just that, mediocre.

“Boss I have not been late once for work in three months, may I have a raise?” asked the good worker.

“Sure why not.” says the boss too afraid to say no.

How about no. Keep showing up for work on time and you can keep your job, if show up early and help out from now on I will give you a raise.

Have we forgotten the definition of the word best? Have we surpassed the time when the best got the best and the rest got the rest? I was taught that if I wanted the best in life I was going to have to work for it. If I wanted to be number one I would have to work my ass off to prove why I am number one, and when I got there, never stop working because the jobs not done yet. I was taught to never stick my hand out, but to find a way to make it on my own. I was taught, asking for help is okay, but only when you truly need it, because if you ask for help Sunday through Friday, when Saturday rolls around help might not be there. This philosophy is no longer needed in this world I live in now. This world where everyone gets the best and no one earns it.

Since when is a hard days work something to complain about? What happened to the day when people where thankful for their job and worked their hardest to keep it? It seems like the negative complainers are getting the best of this world. It is now cool to gripe and moan about how your job sucks then it is to try and find a way to improve it. I was asked how can my leadership help improve my work morale. The answer I gave then is still the answer I would give now. “They can give us candy and cookies everyday after work and the majority of workers will complain about the flavors.” Not everyone loves their job, (God knows I do not) but how do you expect to get a better one if you can not even handle the one you have now. I am not cracking stones with a pick axe, I am not scrubbing floors with a tooth brush, I have a good job with great benefits, if I do not love it, then I work hard and I try to find a job I love. I complain about my job because it has it’s faults, but at the end of the day I thank God I have a job and I don’t have to worry when my next pay check is coming in.

I have been witness to the fall of tough leaders in this world. My eyes have been set upon the injustice that is ‘fear of reprisal.’ I have seen the weak win simply because the strong are too afraid to be strong. When someone is afraid to do their job simply because they are afraid that the matter will be turned into a legal situation is sad. For someone to simply give in because they are afraid to be called a racist, sexist, or homophobic, to me is the downfall of strong leadership. This world of excuses has driven those who would be great leaders to roll over like a submissive dog simply because they are afraid to be branded as someone who does not support people who are different than they are.

It is not racist to fire a person of a different race because they are bad at their job. It is not sexiest to pass a woman up for a promotion because she is not ready for the responsibility.  It is not homophobic to not hire a gay person because they were not qualified for the position. These are valid reasons to make professional choices for the work place.

This new time we live in has turned all of these horrible injustices of the world and twisted them to use for their own agenda. When you cry wolf, eventually the towns people will stop coming. So a woman screaming sexism ten times will get attention whether or not it is truly happening. Then the eleventh time she calls, and it is actually happening, no one will listen. Is that what we want? When a truly illegal and immoral thing is going on for those in power to not take it seriously, because it’s “just another one of those minorities claiming they’re being wronged again.” Is this truly what we want for ourselves, and those who really need help?

Excuses. I was told when I was little that one day I would run out of excuses. I did not understand it then but I do now. Every excuse I made for not performing at my peak no longer applies. I realize now that the only reason I do not perform they way I know I can is because I am the one stopping me. It is not society. It’s not my mom and dad. It is not my teachers or my boss. It is me. If I can not get the job done, it is because I have not found a way to get it done and I need to work harder. I am twenty-four years old and I have just come to that conclusion this year. I have run out of excuses and taken responsibility for my actions. I have admitted my mess ups and asked what I can do to fix them. I have said my faults and asked how I can improve.

It is time to finally stand up and become an adult. It is time for men to stop blaming women, and push past these gender stereotypes. Stop treating women in the work place like delicate flowers and let them work they way they know they can. Make that fact that you are a man the reason why you are strong. It is time for women to stop blaming it on the fact that ‘it is a mans world’ and that is why they failed. Make it the fact that you are a woman why you succeeded. Do what you know you can do, and do it the right way. It is time for the minority races to stop blaming it on the man. Make your triumph in this world because you are a minority, and stop blaming your failures on it. We can be proud to be who we are all day long, but if we are not successful it is pointless. It is time for homosexuals to raise up and live their lives. Stop making your excuse because you are gay, and make it your reason for greatness.

It is time to teach our children how to be the best and not let them settle for mediocrity simply because it is easier. We need to stop giving everyone a trophy. When someone sees another person get the award they thought they deserved instead of them complaining about it, or making and excuses it should light a fire under their ass and make them work that much harder. It is time for this world to be fair, not politically corrected, but fair. The difference is, in a PC world everyone is great, in a fair world, only a few are great and they actually get recognized for it.

We live in a world full of excuses. We say “it is not my fault” every day. We find a reason why everyone around us has messed us up instead of looking inward. We will all have our bad days. We will need to vent and yell and scream. After we are done, we need to get back up and get back to work. There are some people out there who are those scum bags that ruin it for the rest of the world. There are people stuck in the ‘good o’boys club,’ people who still think this is a mans world, and their are people who think only mainly men and feminine women are right.  Some of us might run into a real world situation where a true injustice is being done. That is the time to let someone know and fix it. Until then you do your job and you do it right. Trust me a good hard days work feels a lot better on the sole then a short day complaining about life.  It is time to be adults.

I am an animal

Shall we talk about being human and feeling like nothing more than an animal. Shall we talk about looking up at our masters hoping they are in a good mood today. Shall we talk about the fear of the boot, the hand, the lonely exile of the cold outside. Shall we talk about being a human dog careful not to bite the hand. Shall we talk about the longing for the gentle pat on the head signifying a job well done. I am an animal and there is nothing I can do.

I have been chosen. I pressed my cold wet nose against the glass that is the working force. I wagged my tail and cocked my head to the side, lifting my floppy ears in curiosity. I am cute and young, desperate for love and eager to please. It was the force that drives all masters that sent mine for me. They wanted a mindless thing to do what it was told. No questions, no straying, a simple yes sir and on with my task. They wanted a young ambitious pup to teach how to guard the gates, pull the sled, entertain the children. With the promise of undying affection, three meals and a warm bed they drew me in close. I snuggled close to their bosom and felt the warmth of their body, finally someone to take care of me. No more lonely nights wanting a family to call my own. I am a house dog now.

They gave me my shots, took me to obedience school and patted my head “good girl.” They taught me some tricks and gave me treats when I did everything right. My master is good to me, my master feeds me when I sit. I am a good girl. They took me everywhere with them and I gazed out the window of the fast moving car. They loved me, hugged me, kissed me and gave me everything I could want. They were pleased, I was indeed a good girl.

But what is this? Has the animal done something wrong? You left your shoe out and I chewed it and now you are angry at me. Bad Girl. Now you left me in the house for ten hours alone and I pooped on the floor, you are so disappointed in me. Bad Girl. You left a tasty snack on the low table alone with me and I couldn’t resist a taste, you did not teach me that. Bad Girl. You bring me a new place to meet new people and I get scared and snap, that’s not how we act. Bad Girl. I go with my nature, uncontrolled by the complexities that make the master who they are. I am an animal and you don’t like it.

I am a trouble maker. Now I am no longer allowed to sleep in the room. Bad girls sleep in the hall alone.  I am not trained correctly. I no longer receive the love and affection of well mannered dog. Bad girls get no treats. Now I can’t be trusted outside. I am no longer given the liberties of the past. Bad girls stay home while we go out. I am a uncontrollable. I am no longer allowed out when company is around. Bad girls get locked in a room.

But I am still your animal and I still need to do the job you bought me for, and so I work. I get no treats, no pats on the head, no love. I have become resentful and I growl at my mean owners. I have become bitter and I try to fight back. I am a rebel and I will do what I want. If you will not treat me like a good girl, I will not be a good girl. My rebellion does not work, bad girls get punished. I have become sad and I avoid my owners. I do not look you in the eye. I try and hide my simple mistakes. I am too afraid to admit what I have done. I am a scared girl.

Now you are angry. Your animal no longer listens. It gets the hand. You are frightened, your animal is a danger. It gets the boot. You are scared for your children. Your animal snaps at all the humans. It gets the cold bitter chill of the night air. Your animal is so frightened it no longer preforms its job.

Your animal is useless. It will not do what you bought it to do. Your animal is unreliable. It will not work when you want it. Your animal is unpredictable. It is not the animal you thought it would be.  Your animal no longer serves it’s purpose.

If the sled does not get pulled, what’s the point of a sled dog? If the house does not get guarded what’s the point of a guard dog? If the children are scared of the animal what’s the point of a play thing? I am an animal that disappoints its master, I am pointless.

Shelters are for bad girls who are uncooperative. I am alone in a cage for hours. My family gone, never to be seen again. What did I do wrong? It is ingrained in me now, I am a bad girl, so I bark at the people looking for an animal. I growl at the kids and snap at the adults. I am aggressive and will never be taken home again. I am pointless and I know it so I become angry and scared. It’s time to put me down, an animal that will not do what is trained to do cannot be in this world. I don’t even get to explain myself. I am an animal and I am gone.