That Light At the End of the Tunnel

So, I had to call off work today for a few unexpected family things to take care of. All I’ll say about the first thing on the list, was that it was an easy enough fix. The only problem is that I found out about it while I was trying to take care of some paperwork to get a raise at work. So, I’ve had a few things going on today, but nothing incredibly major…

As I was getting the paperwork, I get on to Facebook and see that my half-sister posted that my maternal mother has come down with Covid-19. I had known that my mother had been in and out of the hospital for probably the better part of the last year or so. I had also known that she was getting taken care of in a nursing home, yet somewhere in-between, I don’t think that I was expecting this.

I’ve been in contact with that side of the family for the last eleven-years. It was my sister Barby who had reached out to me on Myspace. Remember when that was the thing? So long ago, huh? It was at this time that I had started to get to know her, my mother, and my brother. I tried to connect, and I tried harder to be a decent big brother, since that was something I’d never done. That’s not completely true, I did take on a big brother roll for Sarah’s siblings, and I tried to treat them the best I could. Yet it was in this situation that things were different.

I do love my half-siblings, and I try to be the best big brother that I can, but as we’ve lived very different lives from each other, I sometimes have found that it was hard to relate to some of their troubles. After all, I was raised by my dad, and step-mom, who’d been the only woman that I was ever known to call mother. Even from a young age, I was aware of who my maternal mother was, yet we never actually connected until I was already thirty-years-old. I’d already lived a good part of my adult years, and have had my own opinion on life without her influence.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad, however, I am saying that it makes life a bit different on how I react to things. I’ve made it no secret that I don’t get along with many members of my family, as it is. Though there have been cousins on my dad’s side who’ve come into my life and have shown such love and support, that I’m grateful. These people are showing an uplifting love, and it’s not something I’m used to.

I had a conversation with my half-sister, and I told her now was the time to get closer to family. As I was speaking it to her, I think that I was also speaking it to myself as well. Her, my half-brother David, and some other relatives on that side, I’ve had contacts with. I’m going to do my best to be closer to them. As I was explaining to my sister that I’m not the best staying in contact, especially since I’m creating content, getting an education, and working full-time, as well as trying to be a family man, and maintaining my health. So, I’m aware of how busy I do get.

The strange part is that sometimes I don’t feel like I’m doing enough, and then I get those looks of people who think that I’m slightly crazy because I’m constantly doing something, and I help take care of my family, and their health issues. I’ll admit that I have those days where I just spend time playing video games. I think that’s the time for me to not sweat everything. Sometimes it interferes and causes me to procrastinate. The worst part is that I view movies, television, and video games, as a distraction, and honestly, a waste of time. With that being said, it’s usually something I indulge in after work as a way to relax and unwind…

What’s even crazier is the fact that I am a filmmaker. I just feel that if I indulge too much on watching something or keeping myself distracted, I’m wasting time. I don’t even know if that’s part of me trying to keep myself care in check as well. I feel that there’s too many times that we get distracted from the end goal. While I’ve been trying to get to an end goal, I know that I’ve let little things in life distract me.

However, I’ve been doing somethings lately that I feel will take the things I’ve been working on, to another level, and soon. It’s crazy to know that consistency is key. You hear that all the time through coaches and trainers. I hear it from my buddy AJ Jackson all the time in his Instagram posts. He’s a successful personal trainer, and a talented musician as well. Well, what’s stopping me, you may ask?

As my last blog was about the fear of failure, I think that sometimes I get in my own mind about how success could also change me. The truth is, I struggle with my own insecurities, and at this moment, I finally have hit a switch that has me running on full cylinders, and I’m charged for what’s going to be coming out.

Covid-19 has put a damper on some of the plans we’ve had as a film company, however, we’re in meetings every week. We’re coming up with ideas so that we can come out swinging as soon as restrictions are lightened up and this pandemic ends. The plan is too be busy during my time away from work. With that, I’m expanding my team, so that we can have more time to focus on other areas. I’ve made contact with someone who has an interest in editing, and I hope to make good friends with him, and be able to teach him something about the tricks to editing. That way I could concentrate on the writing and filming, while the editing can be done at about the same time.

That means more time to film, that means more time to create, which in turn, equals a faster turn around to bring out content. The other thing I’m trying to do is add people to the team that would be in the various stages of the whole process. I need some people to take some of the reigns during pre-production, and be involved with out the rest of the production, but I also need people for the specifics on the various stages. I hear my friend and brother Ed in my head, and he keeps telling me to get rid of some of my hats. That’s been difficult to do, because it’s been hard to get rid of certain hats that I don’t want in the first place. I think that I’m going to be finding the right people for this as well.

Getting back onto the topic of what’s going on with my family at the moment, I just would like to remind people that life really is too short. A given example is that my oldest child is nineteen, my middle is almost fifteen, and my youngest is twelve. Where the hell did all that time go? I know that my depression kept me from living life to the fullest for the longest time, but I’m gonna do my best to make it up. As for connecting with the rest of those family members that do wan to have me as a part of their lives, I will do my best to be available and I will be there the best that I can.

As more of the details come forth, I will keep everyone updated. Good or bad. That’s the way I’ve always tried to roll with my audience. Thank you for taking that time out to read the “going-ons” in my life, and as always, I hope that you find some value in what I write. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Winning with Failure

I recently applied for a job, that I thought I had in the bag. I was told why I didn’t get it, and I accept that. I had this feeling that it might not have been the way for my life to be headed. I was looking forward to working with one of my best friends, however, I think that I have to pressure other avenues.

I know that rejection is one of the hardest things for anyone having to deal with it. It keeps people from growing, and trying new things. The fear keeps people trying to keep things the same. People who have depression probably have it the worst, especially since the “darker times”, self-worth is at it’s lowest. I’ve been there.

Some people can’t handle criticism either, which is different than rejection, yet can at times feel the same. I know that from my own personal experience, I prefer criticism over rejection, as I’ve found that criticism makes for a great teacher for improvement. I guess that rejection can end up being the same kind of teacher.

At times, criticism can be hard to handle, especially if it’s something on the character of a person. I’ve had issues hearing about how stubborn that I can be. I mean, I know that I’m stubborn, I just don’t need it pointed out. All joking aside though, it’s about self-improvement. I think that my over compensation of insecurity by having an ego, was perhaps one of the hardest pills to swallow. I think this is my biggest downfall, as I’m stubborn, and usually don’t want to hear it.

All these criticisms and rejections can be a bit much to handle, yet as one to try and find a silver lining in most situations, I suggest turning the perspective around and really see where the improvement can be made. I was fortunate enough to know the person doing the job interview, and I didn’t take it personally, I just wanted to know what I could do to improve. That person told me, and now that I will do much better when I decide to pursue different avenues.

Remember that life has so many opportunities to grow. I’ve spent the better part of the last six-years trying to become someone better than I was. For the most part, I think that’s true. I still have my moments of doubt, which is funny because it hits a bit different now. I think the biggest thing that still gets me is that I have those days where I see myself at that four-hundred-and-thirty-pound person that I was.

I think that we are our biggest enemies. We criticize ourselves into thinking that we’re not good enough. We reject the notion that we’re worthy of anything good. I think that is where an inflated ego comes from, at times. I know that I went on doing that as a way to shield myself from the way I truly saw myself inside. Self acceptance was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

The way we think and realizing that we need to find a better way to view things is even harder. Our relationships, not only with ourselves, but with others can often be affected. I know people who “can do no wrong” and that “it’s everybody else’s fault”. That’s often the hardest type of person anyone can deal with. I’ll admit, that while I’ve grown to accept myself, I’ll even say that my relationship with who I am has improved, I wouldn’t want to actually hang around anyone completely like me. I have those friends, who do enjoy my company, and I’m thankful for that more than they’ll ever know, because I drive myself crazy at times.

I think that’s why my oldest and I clash at times. She is her “daddy’s girl”. I love her, because she’s smart, kind, and I feel that she’s probably a better person than I’ll ever be, but God damn, if she doesn’t frustrate me with her stubbornness. It’s her razor sharp wit that gets me. I find it to be one of the greatest things, yet I get frustrated because I would respond the same way at things. She’s got a passion that drives her interests in her life, and I couldn’t think of anything better.

I hope that by my example, that my children can learn to turn rejection and criticism into something positive. I hope that from my mistakes as a parent, they can become better than I ever was. I think that’s a desire that most parents have, to have their children become better, and do better than we ever did.

Coming back to the point of rejection, another way it cam be positive, is by rejecting our past selves. I reject the fact that I was an addict to self-medicating with food. I reject that I was close minded to other ideas and thought when I was younger. I get into my own head more often then I care to admit, but I reject being a prisoner there. I did so much damage to myself with an environment that tried to break me and end my life. The environment was inside my head. Yes, there were more factors coming from external negative energies, but I had to learn to process what was going on.

Update:

Since I started the final cut of The Driver Episode One: Handle Your Business, Mr. Ballenger(2020), I realized that failure really is something that can make us all better. I’m not saying that I failed at bringing it out, on the contrary, I just see that what I can do better, and we, as a company can do better. I believe that’s the way things should be no matter the circumstance that might happen in life. I call it finding the silver linings, I know that it might sound a bit of a cliche, however it’s the best way to help survive.

I know that’s how I’ve been coping with our current situation in life. I’ve heard so much about how people feel oppressed, and we should be able to do whatever we need to do for our own sanity and economy. I look at it like this. I’m not looking at the negative, I look at it like this: I’ve saved so much money since I’ve had to stay home. As a matter of fact, I’ve been able to pay off some of my bills during this time.

Yes, I miss going to the movies, and I miss going out of town to do window shopping or getting things that I can’t in my town, yet I have saved money. To me, it’s about finding where the priorities lie. I have family members that compromised immune systems, and I put my focus into other things, that have helped me tolerate my time at home.

I think working the nightshift helped me not worry about most of this pandemic, because I had not been wide awake most of the time being on a nighttime schedule. However, I had experienced some relaxed restrictions and did take a trip out of town a few weeks ago. It felt weird, and in a way that made me think that it wasn’t going to be normal in the way we used to have it. I think we’re into a point where we’ll be having a new normal once all is over.

In the end, we all need to look at the opportunities, especially the negative, and see if we can find a positive answer to all that we can get from this. Remember, I commonly use the ten-percent to ninety-percent ratio on how life’s out of your control, compared to how you react to it. Once that point of view is taken into consideration, it seems that life becomes that much easier to handle.

I know that the blogs are still lagging a bit, but I’m going to attempt to bring them out more often once again. This is the director and that’s a wrap.

I’m Fighting Through

Okay, so I know that it’s been awhile since I’ve actually provided any sort of content. To say that we live in difficult times, is an understatement. Myself professional, and personally have been met with some rough times. Some of it has to do with some major self-realization. It’s the self-realization that’s been the hardest part.

Emotions have been high, as well. Those who know me, and the things I do to make money, know that some of the current events of the last few months have really hit close to home for me. Some of them have gotten me to question my own views and beliefs that I’ve had for years. With that, I can say that listening, and reflecting on what the message really is, goes a long way in understanding the situation from another perspective. It may even make you question if you’re part of the problem without realizing it.

I realized that I felt a certain way about the kneeling at the national anthem when it happened. I had the gut reaction of how wrong it was. Yet, then I listened, and I realized that there was something more than the media was saying going on. I felt a certain way about the Black Lives Matter movement, but I began to listen. That was the same way with the rioting and looting, while I don’t necessarily agree with those actions, I now understand the frustration behind it. I also understand that there are opportunist out there, looking to get away with doing illegal actions.

The point is, I listened. I tried to understand why these actions had been going on the way they were. I wanted to understand the frustrations of the people protesting. I did it for growth. I listened for understanding so that I could myself grow from not paying attention like I should have.

I know that people have said that this year was even worse than last year, which most people seemed to hate how it went anyway, but I’ve found this a particularly enlightening year. Like I’ve said in most years past, when everyone wants the fresh start from the new year, I feel that it doesn’t really change anything. It’s all in how you react to the situations at hand.

I hear so much complaining about what’s going on, i.e. work, earthquakes, or weather conditions, and yet there’s never any solutions given in that same set of breaths. The truth is, unpopular opinion is that most people seem to complain, just to complain. If you hate the earthquakes, and think that they need to stop, the best way to do that is move. It’s not like there’s anywhere else that does’t have its own set of  natural disasters. Just pick your poison and endure. Don’t like your job? Get a new one. I know that it isn’t always that simple, however, unless you’re willing to try and change the scenario, stop complaining. Most people don’t really care for the complaints.

I try to keep real with everyone, especially for my own details. I know that some people have felt that I’ve been complaining, but my intent has always been to keep truth involved, both the negative and positive. I know I’m known as a pretty positive person, but even I have doubts, and depressive episodes. It’s not something that I suffer alone, because I’ve had other’s reach out and thank me for being brave enough to share my struggles.

As I’ve grown, I’m viewing some of my past actions as unacceptable. I’m also realizing that the way I’ve allowed others to treat me, is also unacceptable. The truth is, people can be ugly to each other. I know that my sense of humor can be very mean at times. I know that the snide remarks made towards my weight, has done more damage, then I would have let on. I’ve hurt people that I call close, and that I love. My realization is that I can do better, I can be better, and I will do better.

Mentally, things have been taxing lately. There has been so much going on in the world, and it’s affected me on a professional and personal level. There have been days that I felt like I wanted to give up on things. Yet, I keep on going, I’m trying to look for that motivation deep down, but at this moment it hasn’t seemed like I can find it. My motivation has been down for doing things most my time off. My creativity has been suffering the most.

I know that this year has been a rough one for most people. I know that we’ll all get through this ordeal, but we need to be cautious, and we need to be diligent in keeping ourselves safe. I know that there are people who don’t believe that the Coronavirus really exists. I know five people who’ve had it, and most of them I actually know personally, and can say that I’ve never gotten the vibe that those individuals would have any alternative motivations, then being truthful. As I’ve said this to some of the non-believers, I’ve watched their faces change drastically.

One of those things that I can say about the Coronavirus is that I don’t really know how sever it is going to be if it affects my family. The people that I do know who’ve had it, have survived. I think one of the biggest things about all that’s been going on, is that it seems that the professionals don’t even know what it’s all about, and I understand because this is new. Yet it’s frustrating because things seem to be contradictory from the various sources that are keeping up with the epidemic at hand. The one thing that I’ve picked up on is the fact that as everything opens back up, and the group settings keep going, things are going to get worse. Please be careful, and mindful.

While things are looking to be getting worse, things will get better. We should remember to treat each other so much better than what’s been shown lately. I have faith that we can all be better humans, and I wouldn’t expect anything less. I’ll be honest, after what happened to George Floyd, I’ve seen an ugliness in people that I expected better from, and that’s a bitter pill to swallow. This is the director and that’s a wrap.