When It’s Out of Your Control

Ten-percent, is the things that happens that’s out of your control. ninety-percent is how you react to it. This is something that I’ve mentioned several times over in the previous blogs in the past. With that, I’ve been pretty good about navigating life that way. It tends to work, and help keep the mindset in a good view on life. However, what happens when that ten-percent starts to push the bounds of comfortability?

Frustration has been something that has been going on with me for the last week or so. Is it because I’m having to depend on communications and technology from various areas, that aren’t immediately within my grasp. Anxiety of depending on things that I can’t control has been something I’ve really been feeling the last few days. I’ve also said before that technology can be great, yet there are times that I absolutely loathe society’s dependence on it. I think it’s funny because technology has made filmmaking even more cost effective than ever before.

I guess that the anxiety comes in because of the unknown. It’s common that people would get anxious during situations of uncertainty. It’s taken my focus and put me off track on things that are important for me. Regret can come from decisions that were made. I’m not trying to go there though, because in the end, I feel that I made the right choice. Though in hindsight I could have been a bit more patient before making the choice I made, yet here I am. I know that things will work out. I just need to take that frustration and anxiety, and turn it into patience.

The pressure is still there, especially when taking on responsibility. I worry about the fact that the choice I made could damper if my family is supported. Now, in the end I’m sure everything is going to be okay, but that unknown still puts me on edge. It just shows that I like to be an adult and take on those responsibilities that come from both being one, and being a parent. I strongly feel that where the anxiety comes in, when feeling like being a failure at either one.

One the bright side of the struggle is that once you get past the point and are guaranteed to make it through, the relief and piece of mind are well worth it in the end. So, what happens to those who don’t get to that point? What about those who fall down on “their luck”? These are often the people we see on the side of the road, holding up the Will work for money signs. What do we do about them? I think this is were things get tricky, because some become dependent on drugs as a way to cope with the hard times in life. There are those who also find it as a way to beat the system and take advantage of people’s good hearts. I’ve been in the situation where I’ve given money to those in need, and I’ve also ignored those who’ve been in need.

I’ve recently been put in that situation, and I’ve lost someone because of how I run my principles in life. I take care of me and mine first. If I’m unsure if they’ll be provided for, then I won’t help others. It may even sound harsher than I’m intending it too, but with the shift going on in my life, I wasn’t sure when the next pay check was coming, and I was told by someone that I didn’t really care about them. That’s the furthest thing from the truth, and it hurt. I just know that I’ve got to think of those I’m responsible for.

Anxiety and frustration are hard to control because life can get complicated. One of the things that I’ve learned is that there’s not always a right or wrong answer, the path isn’t always clear. It’s only the consequences of the decisions that we make. I realize that putting it that way makes it sound bad, but it’s just the end result. By my saying no to someone that I care about, because I’m taking care of my responsibilities, I may have lost that person in my life. I can continue on and do the best I can, hoping that person will understand and come back, or I can let it eat me up.

That’s something that I’ve had a bad habit of doing in my life though. I would let even the littlest of things eat me up. I’ve let too many negative situations and people live rent free in my head for so long. Is this something that’s a common occurrence with others? How do we over come such things? I think the answer is in forgiving, both ourselves and those who’ve hurt us. All any of us can do is try and be the best version of ourselves, and try and make the best decisions that we can. Does it always work? No. Some people tend to have self-destructive natures, and making bad decisions can have a certain appeal. It feels like an adrenaline junkie: Will I get caught? How long can I get this feeling to last.

This also brings up a point that I’ve stated in the past, we are our own worst enemies. I know that when anxiety, or depression come along, that’s when I’m not at my best. I start looking for some sort of validation, and continue to seek it. Strangely enough, usually they will follow each other. I remember times when I was working night shift hours, the anxiety of not being able to keep busy with conversation would start getting me to think about my depression. There would be times that just thinking about the dark places that I’ve been, would give me anxiety. It’s funny that I’ve noticed things in life tend to go in a vicious circle. Maybe there’s more than one reason it’s called the circle of life?

I’m not religious by any means. I consider myself spiritual because I do believe that there is a higher power. I hear my old, boxer friend, Philip in my head when he would tell religion is for those afraid of going to hell, spiritual is for those who’ve already been. Well, I’ve been there, and I think those who deal with some form of mental health issues have been there. PTSD, trauma, depression, addiction, these are all various versions of hell. Sometimes those demon’s win, which results in death. Losing a loved one in these situations is never easy.

Being one who’ve been on the brink of harming myself like that, a bit of an insider view is this: the better alternative isn’t always something that’s thought about. That’s not even an option on the table when going through some of those hard times. Yet, being strong enough to survive, and being able to find the help to deal with the issues can give a better outlook on life. It’s all about the mind, body, and spirit, when they are aligned, things flow better. Working out is a natural version anti-depressant. It helps the mind focus, and for some, it’s like a religion. Just something to think about, when getting into a negative mindset.

Patience is something that has been difficult for me to come by at times. I’ve not had much anxiety in the past few years because of that ninety-percent of how I handled it would be to try and keep positive through things. Do you have any suggestions on handling anxiety? Hit me up at ckproject@zohomail.com. Leave me a message or comment down below, and let’s get this conversation started. Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest blogs when I write them. All any of us can do is to better ourselves, improve the way we treat each other, and hopefully leave the world a better place than when we got here.

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope that we can build a community and lift each other up. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Stuck In A Box

As I sit here, I find that I’m having a feeling of frustration. It’s a bit windy out and the night shift has me pondering all sorts of crazy things. I feel that I need to find a way to better fill some of my time up. I think that I should start brining my scripts to work on while I’m at work, during my down time. That’s after I do get my 10,000 steps in a night at work. I can’t forget that’s part of the reason I decided to take the night shift at work.

As the weather gets better, I know that I will continue to keep the momentum up. I’m not a fan of the cold wind that presents itself to me when I’m doing the work outside of my box. Losing the weight, I really notice the cold now. Yet it’s nice to be on a shift that I’ve gotten to meet and talk to a different set of people than I’ve been used too.

I think part of what’s been driving me crazy is that I get stuck searching the messengers for people to talk to, or the updates between the social medias. I’m finding late at night, Twitter seems to be the more active late at night than any of the other social medias that I follow.

One of the small reliefs that I’m able to enjoy is a mini vacation at the end of the month, where I’ll be able to go to Wonder Con, and geek  out on all the things I’m passionate about.  For a set of five days, I’ll actually be back on a normal schedule, and be able to sleep next to the wife that I’ve slept next too for most of the last eighteen years. Yeah, the night shift has been rough on most of the family because of my absence at night.

The bright side is that I’m counting down my time, and I’m about three-and-a-half-months until I can switch shifts again. Oh, and someone reached out to me on LinkedIn to discuss a possible job offer too me. I hope that this interaction leads to something amazing, because it would be great to have a new opportunity for professional growth, and it would be even cooler if that job was seeking me out.

Sometimes my box at work gets me to thinking a wide variety of things. As I’ve discussed before I’ve had some dark times at work, and then I sometimes get the feeling of loneliness, but I’ll never revert back to those dark times. Those feelings where the worst, and seeing people with those same kinds of feelings made me feel even worse than I had already felt. Seeing people end their own lives actually made me feel guilty, because I had felt that way. I’m not even sure if that was an appropriate response, but that’s how I felt.

Even in those brief moments in time now days, life has gotten better. Hell, this week marked my one-year since I graduated from Los Angles Film School, and it feels so good to have that accomplishment. If it wasn’t for all the events that happened so long ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Am I where I want to be? Not completely, but I know that I’m heading in the right direction. After releasing The Reunion(2019), last week, and getting the feedback that I did, I’m on the right path. Positive reactions, and being told that I’ve done a good job, and even got asked about specific aspects of the process, has shown where the talent lies.

The avenue of podcasting has been another topic at hand between me and a several people lately. The comments on that have also been surprisingly positive. I’ve always been one to shine when it came to personality and charisma(not my own words, I promise), and I guess this really shows where the talent lies as well.

I’m blessed to have the support system, and they enjoy putting the work in these projects as well. Some of those in my family seem a bit more eager than others, but it’s beautiful that I can share these passions with them, and watch as everyone grows into something more.

Has anyone else ever felt stuck in a box? How do you deal with the feelings that come with it? Where I work, I actually work in a small building that feels like a box, and getting to talk with customers is probably the best part of the job. No, matter what happens to my future, I’ve been lucky enough to make friends both out of co-workers, and customers, and some of those customers have becomes some of my strongest supporters. Hell, one even hooked me up with a place to film Nash Gray(2017). Customer service has always been my strong point in the professional world, and I think most jobs require some sort of customer service, no matter the industry. So, that’s a tip, learn good communications and customer service skills, because both seem to be lacking in the world today.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

The Adventure Continues….

I’ve done so much changing in the last several months, and one of the biggest was what started in April when I started looking into getting the Gastric Sleeve. When I first went in I weighed in at 419.4 pounds. I did my sleep study and had to go back in the beginning of June to retest. At that point I ballooned out at 429.9 pounds. I’d probably say that I had eaten a lot of beef jerky that day so I was retaining water and salt, and that’s why I was weighing in at so high.

I had another appointment some where down the line and it was about my deviated septum. At that point I had gotten back down too 412 and some change. I was glad to see that I could get myself down again as it was a few months before I would know about when I was going to have the surgery done. With being almost done with my six months with the nutritionalist, I was glad to see that I had gotten a positive on the loss side finally.

As I was getting ready to actually have my surgery, I was called in to get my weight right after it was approved. I weighed in at 400.3 pounds, and I was excited to see that much of a weight loss. Especially since I was excited for this change that was coming for me. The day of my surgery, I never weighed in. So, I’m not exactly sure where I was at during that time, but Monday, December eleventh, I had a bit of weight removed from my stomach, and getting sick on Friday, I went in the emergency room and weighted in at 392.

After that, I was moved seven hours later into a room, where I weighed in at 389. I didn’t think I would lose anything that fast, but it was nice that I did. I think for the next week, my weight didn’t quite lose very fast because after my two week appointment, I was sitting at 384. Not bad for somebody who just happened to be sitting around the house and going out for the occasional walk.

As of today, I’m at a weight of 373. I haven’t been this weight in a few years, and that’s a total of fifty-six point nine pounds that I’ve lost so far. The best part is that I’ve been cleared to do light workouts. I’m ready to get this body working again. For so long, I’ve had this fat in my chest that’s gotten in the way of everything I do. Things like bending down to tie my shoes, to the way I would breathe, it was my obstacle in life.

This has been a good decision on my part, but it hasn’t been without it’s ups and downs. I’m finally past the depression of the way my body feels when I eat, and the regrets of having it done. I know that this was what was needed to save my life. I think that I was about ready to die, part of me probably wanted to die(secretly). I hated that I let my depression come in and make me feel trapped in my own body. I hated looking at myself in the mirror. I hated who and what I became. That’s always the hard part, fighting those demons that make us feel like we are worthless and shitty.

Feeling worthless was a feeling that I battled with for several years. I’m glad that I finally took that and started to change my life around. With a diploma, and a chance to be healthy, I don’t plan on squandering anymore of my life. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Gonna Sew Myself Together

Things have been going so good for the last several months. By that, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had some bumps(see last blog) along the way.  I haven’t dealt with the depression from my surgery in a week or so. I believe that the rough part of the after affects of it is done. Though tonight, I find myself wishing that the growth for my future would be here much sooner than it is.

I do realize that I need to be a bit more patient, but sometimes it feels a bit discouraging that I’ve not gotten any positive feedback from my ventures yet. I’m also not trying to falter in my ventures to get my brands out there. I do slightly feel like I’ve been in a bit of a stand still there. I think I need to keep going and put forth the effort, after all, Nash Gray https://youtu.be/881V4iLEhAY has gotten a bit of exposure, and it seems to have positive reviews from people I know. Maybe the bug to get another film going is part of why I’m feeling the way I am.

I also know that I need to shoot more video’s for my weight loss documentary. I actually thought that maybe it should be about my life long battles with food addiction and possibly about some of my mental health battles as well. Especially since they both intersect at several points in my life. Plus I’m still mentally preparing for another documentary that I’m doing involving a new friend and his potential boxing career.

I think one of this biggest things that’s been on my mind is the fact that I go back to work in two and a half weeks, and I’m not sure how things are going to go for me, in specifics due to my surgery and how I am physically. At least I should be going to the gym after next Tuesday, and I can’t wait to get that going before I have to put the uniform back on. Maybe it’ll help with the impact of the long days I’ll be back at.

One the positives, I feel like I’m swimming in most of my shirts now. My S.H.I.E.L.D shirt was feeling snug and you could see my done laps at the bottom. Not anymore though. I’m also starting to get motivations to do things, like I wanted to help my mom cook on New Years day. Then I also wanted to go for an actual walk that wasn’t just around a store.

Another positive is that I’ve been hearing from friends that I’ve motivated them to get on the losing weight train. I think that’s the biggest reward of them all, and I’m glad I could help. That’s what all of this CK Project has been all about, to help somebody. I know that questions and concerns come up, and there are people who’re too afraid to ask the questions. At least my experiences can help someone in need.

I’m feeling a bit better putting this out there, and I hope my readers find this useful in solving something that might be bothering them. Once again this is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Why Body, Why?

I’ve been dealing with the post operation stuff for two and a half weeks now. I’ve mentioned my bouts of depression, but I feel that maybe I should expound upon my feelings a bit more. Hormones, are a big part of the issue that’s going on, or so I’ve read, let’s explore this a bit.

My body is changing(feels like a second puberty), and the way things go through my body tends to cause me to feel depression. I was told that it was my hormones changing, and from other people’s experiences this is about the time for it to happen. All with in the first month. My thoughts have been everywhere about this, since my depression as hit, and I think that it sucks.

My wife has noticed a few changes in my attitude, and the way I’ve been feeling lately, I have some regret going through this process. I’m glad that over all I’m feeling better and moving around more, but at the same time, I hate how eating makes me sad. It feels like I’m missing a part of who I am as a person.

I know that once all of this is done and I get my body used to the changes, I’ll be better for it, and that the process is going to be worth it, but at this time, I hate the way I feel when eating and drinking. Now I understand why they recommend a support group. I think that it’s great that I’ve got supportive friends, and I haven’t even began to ask those who’ve gone through the process on how they’ve felt with it, but the group on Facebook as helped to read, and ask questions on.

Since I started this process in April or May, I’ve gone from about 419 to 429.9 to the week before surgery of 400.8. Now I’m officially at 384 pounds, and I’m starting to feel good about myself, by the numbers, but I don’t feel all that different. Still, I’ve gotten so many kudos for going through this and how proud people are of me for making this decision, I’m thankful for these people, and the outpouring of support shows how much I’m loved(or at least liked). I just wish that I felt better about myself when I eat.

I started on soft food this evening, pureed turkey and pureed green bean deluxe, and it was so nice to have something more solid in my stomach. I do know that I have to be careful on how much I consume, as it could give me an issues of getting sick(like the parfait I had yesterday), but I’m being mindful, and paying much more attention to how I’m chewing, and trying to slow down how fast I eat. My stomach also tells me too slow down.

I have another appointment on January ninth, and I plan on having some better news with the way I feel, and I think that I’m going to talk about this on video for my documentary. So this is the director and that’s a wrap.

Strange Feelings

I’m loving the way my body feels. It doesn’t fee like I have a large clump of fat getting in the way every time I move, and I seem to be moving much easier too. I’m looking forward to seeing what potential my body is going to allow me to have in the next few months, and it’s not really that far away.

I’ve noticed that I’ve had to be mindful on how I treat my body. Even some of my soups have some solid pieces, and I’m having to make sure I chew the pieces up until they are smashed down until about nothing. I could never imagine myself being so mindful before about food.

I’ve said it in a few blogs before, and as I’m having those feelings now, I think that I need to address them. I’ve been having a weird case of depression off and on since my surgery. It’s probably because my body is changing, but it’s still there, and it kind of haunts me a bit. This isn’t a life threatening depression, good lord knows that I’ve been down that ally a few times, but it just comes a me in spurts throughout some of my day. I think that I’m doing okay with it, but it feels odd to have these slight feelings come up at inconvenient times.

This is a discipline, both of the body and the mind. That’s what the change for weight loss is all about. You have to treat your body and mind with equal amounts of love, and that’s not always the easy thing to do. My mind is what got me through that first week. My body was in pain and it wasn’t thinking clearly enough to say if something was the right decision or not. Well, at least I haven’t wanted to quit or anything like that yet. Though if you ask me, I wouldn’t do this again, or at least at this moment, I’m not completely sure the ends justify the means yet. Though it is still early in the process.

I’m feeling a difference and that is what counts. I can’t wait to be closer to my goal weight, it would be nice to be smaller than what I ended up being my sophomore year in high school. I can’t wait until my body matched my mental image of myself, I think that I will be most happy at that prospect in life.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

Forward March

Wow! In seven months I get to call myself a graduate from Film School.  I will have my Bachelors of Science in Digital Filmmaking, and I’m about ready to have an office, since plans kind of fell through with the other place.  Life is good!  All I need now is a few more shots for my B-roll of my documentary, and it’s been suggested that I might consider applying for a Film Festival.  These are the moments that I love.  It seems like a validation of all my hard work, and I couldn’t be more excited on what the future has in store for me.

I have some friends, who are about to deal with the one year anniversary of their son’s tragic death… things have really changed in this past year.  I think I appreciate the people in my life more.  Even if we aren’t close, I seem to wish that they have safe travels and hope that they arrive back safely.  Life is too short to let negative things get in the way, and if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s too treat people better, because you never know how they may change your life.

We started this local Geek group called The Geeks of the IWV last August in response to the celebration of his life.  I thought it was a good way to help my friends mourn, and to help deal with their grief.  I never thought that this whole process would change me as well.  I feel that I’ve become a better person, a better friend, and more positive about life.  I love my kids so much more than I ever thought I did.  I love my wife more because she’s supported me.  My friends have also seen a difference in the way I handle things.  With this group, I’ve been able to network so much better than I ever thought possible.

I think tragedy can become triumph in the end.  The tragedy itself never goes away, and I in no means, say that to cheapen what’s happened, but I think it can lead to self discovery.  When I had my suicidal melt down and work, I needed help, and I was able to find that help through a professional.  The tragedy that hit me at the time was that friends, and family members had suffered suicide in their lives. Around that time, there were five people that I had heard committed the act.  I knew one of the people locally,  he was a hip=hop dance instructor  at the gym I was going too at the time.  When I found out what happened I became morose because I felt like if I had the chance to talk to him, he would have known that he wasn’t alone.  We connected over our fondness of hip-hop and talked about trying to choreograph some dance moves to a Michael Jackson song or two.  His death really impacted me.

Human connection is important.  I try to pay attention to what people wear when I see them at my job, and it often times leads to conversations, and friendships.  I’ve become acquainted with so many people by noticing the lanyard they wear around their necks.  If it’s a sports team, we’ll start talking about sports, and we talk about favorite players, and teams that we like.  The one that gets the most attention is when someone wears either comic book characters or video games.  Those usually spark the best conversations  and I’ve made a good set of friends because of it.  It’s funny what you can learn about someone if you pay attention to what they wear.

I had a conversation with my little brother today, and I think that I finally summed up my goals in life.  I told him that it’s hard work building an empire, and that’s what I feel like I’m doing.  I want to do movies, music, podcasting, and on top of all of that, I want to have the accessibility to show that I’m there to support those who can’t handle mental illness. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be any options than to end their lives.  All I can say to that is- I’m here, you’re not alone, I love you.  Don’t let the darkness be the answer, because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.  I know that it doesn’t seem like it, or that the light is too far to see, but endure, fight through it…you’ll come out stronger in the end.

These are things that I’m more passionate about now.  I’m getting the tools to help lend a voice to the unanswered, and I plan on using it to help.  My creativity is there to help entertain and maybe even be thought provoking at times.  Life’s hard, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve wanted to quit.  I almost have, more times than I would care to admit.  My depression hit me hard because I felt like I was stuck in a spot that I wasn’t happy in.  I had set plans to leave everything behind because I couldn’t deal with being stuck.  Life was closing in around me.  Now I’m moving forward to a bright future.  I’m not stuck anymore, and the momentum is carrying me along a new path.  Somedays it moves very quickly, than other days, I wonder if I’m still moving, but forward is always ahead of me.

While I’m not going to mention names of my friends who lost their son,  I do want to leave a thought on the eve of the anniversary: I love you and your family.  My heart goes out to you in your time of suffering.  I’ve seen growth from both of you in this past year, and I think you’ll learn to manage with your loss better as time goes.  Your eldest left a giant hole in the lives of everyone who had the fortune of knowing him.  I wish that I could have known him better than the chance that I had.  By the time my family and I had entered into your lives the way we did, he had already became a working man who was busy with school and work.  The time I did share with him was great because we geeked out about the same things.  Just know that there isn’t a day that you two don’t cross my mind, and I’m always going to be here for you.