Remember to Uplift Each Other

Part of the journey that I’ve been on has focused on helping others. This has one of the better aspects of my life. With that, it’s also nice to help uplift a friend when something good has happed. People like praise. People like to know when they’ve done a good job. While the cynic in me has teased a few people for overly trying to get that pat on the back, I understand the desire for recognition. While I’ve teased a friend, or a co-worker, I would say that it was all out of fun. Silently, I’ve been proud of the work that they’ve done. This was an attitude from another mindset.

Joke’s aside, I find myself trying to show how proud I am of people’s accomplishments. This year alone, not only myself, but several friends have seemed to have things go in a better direction. New jobs, new friendships, better choices in life. That’s what makes this year amazing so far, despite the fact that there have been a few instances that has left us questioning how the year’s going to go. Plus, my friends who’ve had Covid-19 have seemed to have taken a turn for the better.

I beam with pride to see the accomplishments of my friends, in particular my teammate. The people who are part of my inner circle, whom have been working with me with the filming part of my life. It’s amazing to see how the group is growing in friendship, support, and success. I find that this helps each with their, and my own mental health. To see how each of us had struggled with some sort of stressor, to find that a new adventure will help take us each on an unexpected journey, is truly a delight, in my opinion. I hope that this success rolls on into the things that we have intertwined together for this year.

I think what’s going to help deal with what’s going on right now in this world, is to do the best for a positive mindset. What about those who’ve lost loved ones to the pandemic? I get not everyone is going to be able to get through this without some rough times. I would never take away the pain that has happened as I’ve lost people to it as well. It’s part of the journey called life, and it’s during these times, that we find ourselves finding out who we are.

It’s training ourselves to think differently. I’ve seen where things look bleak. Hell, I almost took my own life when life looked darkest and I couldn’t seem to find a way out. Yet, we have the potential and power within ourselves to make a difference in the way we experience life. We don’t always have the answers, and I know even with the experiences that I have, I’m finding myself discussing things that I’ve not had to deal with. How can we figure these things out, without the knowledge to get there? I think this is where therapy can help. People far smarter than me, helped to get me learning a new way to think.

I used to watch Saturday Night Live when I was younger. Al Franken used to play this character named Stewart Smily, and he would look in the mirror and say this phrase that he would say at the end of every skit: I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me. I know that it was used for satire purposes, and that it was to get a laugh, but there was something there. It sounds crazy, but it works. It’s tricking your brain into believing something.

Self-esteem is often times something most people have little of. So many people are their own harshest critics. I know that I’ve tried to over compensate with having an inflated ego. It wasn’t the best way to handle it, but it was the only way I knew how to overcome anything. Remember when I said that I had been a toxic person? That’s the reason why. It’s hard to navigate through life, when you have no idea what you’re doing, or have no direction.

Which brings another point up: knowledge is power. I know a bit cliché, but it speaks to the messages we would get through our Saturday morning cartoons when I was growing up. NBC had that catch phrase of the more you know, with at little jingle while the wishing star flew across the screen. GI Joe, He-man, a time where it seemed like lessons where just as important then entertainment. Know what your worth is, too many people won’t let you know your true value. It’s fortunate when you can find those who see your value and potential. I’ve been blessed with those that I call to my inner circle, because they know my worth, as I know their’s.

I do fall short at times as I don’t always seem to show my appreciation and adoration for the woman that I call my wife. She does more than anyone could ever know. She’s dealing with chronic illness, healing from a major surgery, helping online schooling two children, one of which isn’t getting the best attention he needs, because of his special needs. On top of that she still finds time to take care of the rest of the family life, and tries to get stuff done for the brands. As I had said before, she truly is the captain that steers this ship. I just happen to be the charismatic mouth piece.

Yet, she’s the example of lifting others up. She just seems to have people not be as supportive towards her, and that’s not on any in this house. Though I will admit that I’ve not always uplifted her as well, this is just something to remind her that I do appreciate her, and the caring uplifting person she is.

It’s really a shame that this world has shown so much ugly, and I always wonder if it’s because there are those who feel that they’ve gotten the short end of the stick? I’ve know, and am related to people who just can’t seem to accept the responsibilities of their own actions. I’ve been there myself, but becoming self aware about these things has brought some peace, and it helps the stress levels. I feel it’s better to put out the positive energies and vibes than not.

This also leads me to have to say that I try not to give up on people, and I’m always optimistic that things will turn around for those who sometimes are toxic. I have those long time friends, whom I can’t seem to give up on. It gets hard to navigate because of their tireless complaining about how bad they have it seems to drain on my positive energy, and it gets tiresome. Even when explaining that they could look at it from a different point of view, it changes their tone for at least the rest of that conversation, yet seems to go back to the same thing every other time. I’ve considered stopping the contact, and I get sad about that idea, since I’ve been friends with some of these people for twenty-plus years.

Maybe that’s where balance comes in for my life as I’ve got those who are amazing and uplifting as well? It sucks when that energy sucking conversation is the normal for every conversation, and it doesn’t feel normal trying to have a normal conversation. I got stuck with some people this way, and I know that we don’t talk as much as we used too. I even had to say that I didn’t have the energy for that specific conversation at the time. We would be able to change the subject, but it felt kind of forced and unnatural.

Side note time: I found myself getting busy during the second half of this blog, because well, life happens. I noticed that I’d lost my train of thought for a bit as live is getting into a new normal for me as I’m about to embark on a new journey with a new job.

I lost some contacts through social media, of co-works, who I considered friends. I’m not mad that I was unfriended, just a bit sad about it. Sometimes I realize that I take things like this too hard. Maybe it has to do with some deep down need of validation? I just have to think that I have the important people in my life for a reason, and those who’ve I’ve had the chance to truly befriend are still in my life for a reason.

Thanks for taking the time and following me on my train of thoughts. Remember to like subscribe, share, spread the word. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

How Should It Feel?

So, as we start the last month of a strangely rough year, a few things have come to mind, that has me thinking of life in general. I’m usually a person who tries to stay positive, even in the less than positive circumstances. I’ve heard to opinions on both sides of the Covid-19 isle. While I respect people for who they are and I try to respect their belief systems, I can’t say that I haven’t been affected by this pandemic. In particular during the last few months of this year. I’ve been replying to people who say that they can’t wait to get to the new year for a fresh start. The last few weeks, I’ve been saying that there’s a plot twist, that it gets worse.

I got news last night that put me in a spot of reflection. I was told by a mutual friend that my ex-wife, yes, the one I’ve ranted about in several posts, had passed away from Covid-19 a few days ago. For a woman who put me through hell, how should one feel about this news? Should there be a justified vindication? What if I said that it left an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach? This wasn’t the way I expected her to go. We’d gotten in contact a couple of years ago, and started to make amends, she had been apologetic about the way things happened. Her father was an instigator for many of our problems. Anyway I digress.

She had stage four Adrenal cancer and had been sick, even when we had talked after so many years. I had people who had known her tell me a few years before she reached out, that she had cancer. At that time, I wanted to know if she passed. I think the reason at the time was for a peace of mind, but in truth I felt like I would feel sad. I do feel empty, at the same time I feel that she is better off because she’d been riddled with health problems her whole life. Most of our marriage spent time in the emergency room due to her declining health.

It was nice that we could catch up as we did, because I was able to share my passion for filmmaking, and that she said she was proud of where I was in life. I felt bad for her because her life seemed to get progressively harder after our time together. I guess it could have been considered karma, but I think that train of thought would be horrible, and I knew that after we had talked that I had felt sorry for the choices that she made. I’m glad that she got to have the kids that she always wanted, but I’m also glad that they weren’t mine, because I think that it would have kept tension between us, if we would have had any children.

I keep wondering about how I should feel. I’m not blogging this to find sympathy, and I’m not on this subject to bash the woman that I had once loved. I think it’s surreal, because she was the first person that I ever considered having a family, a future with. The relationship was toxic, but I had loved her.

With that Sarah was the savior of my soul, and she’s defiantly one of the most patient women I’ve ever known. She’s the one I’m glad I did build our lives together. It’s not always easy, God knows how much harder it’s been since she’s gotten Crohn’s disease, but I do try to show her the support she needs. I go to every appointment I can, but the pandemic has put things into a different mode for everyone.

What’s harder is the fact that I lost my maternal mother due to complications from contracting Covid-19, I mean it’s not like we were close, as a mater of fact I did keep distance, but she did give birth to me. The fact that I got to go to Pennsylvania and got to learn about her was nice. I got to meet family that seemed to accept me, even if I wasn’t there for most of my life. I did learn that she loved me, and that I was always in her thoughts.

More importantly, I found something I was missing from my life, and that I got to fulfill her wish to have her kids together. Come to find out that I actually like my brother and sister. I know that I’ve talked about that experience in another blog, so I’ll just continue on.

Isn’t it weird that things can seem to go to shit, yet an amount of good happens about the same time? I mean, I lose my mom, I come home and find out that my dog has to be put down. I get a raise at work, and an opportunity to have a place to actually produce some serious content for all three brands. That’s crazy, right? Then I find out about Mariah last night, and it’s just got me thinking about life in general, both the blessings and the trials that we face on a constant basis.

I think that the hardest part of this year is that it’s changed me, some for the better, but I’m sure that there’s been some negative effects thrown in there, I’m just not sure what it is yet. I mean it’s hard to see our own flaws at times. I do know that I’ve decided to keep pushing forward with what I’m doing and I plan on improving my brands. I also plan on learning more things and different skills to help me become a more well-rounded person over all. You should never stop learning, and if you’re passionate about something, you should continue to improve your knowledge on the subject. I’ve come to the point in life that I don’t feel like I know much of anything, but I’m trying.

Remember that all hope isn’t lost. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, nobody said how long that tunnel is though. Just keep pushing forward, because in the end, we’re our own competition. We’re also our own worst enemies. I spent many nights on nightshift feeling like nobody liked me, but it was just my mind. Remember, you are good enough, you are worthy. You got this.

I don’t know if there’s going to be more surprises for me to experience this year, but I do know that I’m going to keep going forward, and not let these things break my will. I know there are those who would say that they couldn’t handle much more, and I get that I’ve been through quite a bit, especially within a short period, but I’m a survivor, and that’s something that I’ve done my whole life. I’ve faced my demons several times over, and I’ve prevailed. I know that if I can do that, anybody can. I’ve hated myself, and then come to terms with my dislike. I love who I’ve become over the last several years, and I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’ve not always been the best person, as a friend, a husband, or a father. My depression has caused me to be absent for part of life. I’m not going to make that an excuse, because I can do better, and I’m trying to do better.

What happens when we stop growing? The trick is: we never do stop. You can’t control time for stopping, children get older, we get older. Our hair, nails, age, it all grows. The only thing anyone can really do is make the best of it, and the best advantage is to improve on what you already have.

If there’s been a real eye-opener this year, it’s been the fact that I’ve seen the ugly that people can show. I’ve seen hate, and racism more harshly than I thought possible. I saw it from the most unlikely of people, and I have had to disassociate from some of these people. It’s hard to lose the connection with people. Even if that’s to help your own sanity, it’s never easy to get rid of people. I’ve been used by friends, and abused by lovers, but it’s never easy cutting people off, but toxic is toxic.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my life over the last few months. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Fourteen Years Of What?!

Today’s my son’s birthday. In the fourteen years that he’s been in my life, I’ve learned so much. There was so much unknown about how he would turn out, being for pre-mature, and everything has been a lesson in itself. Watching him in the first few years, we didn’t realize that he was different.

Autumn, being born four-and-a-half-years before was a far easier experience. She was mostly independent, and such a loving and smart kid. Chris, while loving, has always depended on us for so much.  As a parent, it’s striking to see how very different these two would be at such a young age.

Little Chris was born six weeks early, and between the two pregnancies, his birth seemed much quicker than his sisters. He just ended up spending so much more time in the hospital, because he was jaundice. Three weeks, and Sarah was having fits about not having him home. 

At the age of six, we found out that Chris was high functioning autistic. We also discovered that he has a slight mental delay. This made since because it explained why it was so difficult to get him potty-trained. Before we knew this, I just thought his stemming was a quirk. Frustratingly, hearing the professional say that my son was mentally retarded was a difficult thing to hear. I mean, who wants to hear that about their children?

With that being said, watching him in the proper educational environment has proven that he’s smart. Yes, he can be a little slow, but he’s brilliant. Just spend time with him, and listen to his views on life and other things. Sometimes he speaks and I wonder where he got the observations that he has.

Autumn, was my first child, and she makes me so proud with everything she’s overcome. I know that we don’t always get along, and that’s the fact that she’s way too much like me, but I love her to death, and I will always be there for her.

Chris and his special needs have tested me in patience and understanding. He shows me a love and loyalty that makes me want to be an even better person. I’m proud to have seen how much he has overcome as well, and continues to mature and become his own person. 

We do so much together, and it’s fun that he actually likes hanging out with me. We play video games together, and he works for me when I film. It’s amazing to see how fast he’s progressed in the last year, I was always afraid that he was always going to fall so far behind and never catch up, but the last several months have shown that he has the aptitude to over come those things that life has thrown at him. When he started out this school year, he was technically in seventh grade, however due to his special needs, he was only at a third grade, middle of the school year level. As of his last report, as of a few days ago, he’s up to a fifth grade level in most of his work.

Think of the things he accomplished. It’s something that we all should take into account when it comes to life. If the deck is stacked against you, you can overcome it with motivation and determination. Too often in life, we find it easier to quit and not put in any effort. Sometimes, it’s easier to try and put the blame for our problems on other people. It would be easier, but that doesn’t mean that it’s better. 

This kid has been there every step of the way, just like the rest of my family. He does everything to make sure that I keep honest with what I do, and he tries to keep me motivated in all aspect of this weight loss journey. Often times, he’s the one who goes on walks with me, and we talk about various aspects in life. The most common subjects usually revolve around professional wrestling, or superheroes. We’ve gotten into discussions about politics and filmmaking. I love to hear his thoughts and opinions on these subjects. I’m always fascinated by the fact of what he learns about these things.

He is fourteen, and it blows my mind just how short of time we actually have to enjoy these little creatures, before they become adults. I mean, my oldest is already half-way to her nineteenth year. She’s now an adult and looking to move forward in her life. She’s looking for a job and going to school for a career. 

I see that they both have general ideas on what they want to be when they grow up, and how they want to impact the world they live in. I wish I had remembered that I had some sort of direction on what I really wanted to do back then. Autumn wants to work for Disney and my son wants to have his own restaurant. I love to see them start to explore their chosen paths.

In contrast, the things I wanted to do was be involved with entertainment. I wanted to be a singer, and own my own record label. Life got in the way, and I discovered that I preferred acting to music, even though I have a deep love for performing music. The truth is, I find that being a visual storyteller seems to fit me way better.

If he ever gets to read this blog, or, I know his mom will. I’m going to leave some imparting words to my second born: Christopher, we’ve been through so much as a family. I see that you’ve struggled, and have been frustrated with the difficulties put into your life. You’re stronger and smarter than I could ever give you credit for. I’m proud to see the man you are becoming. Truth is, you’re inspiring not only to me, but those around you. Your love of music matches mine, and it’s always great to see that you have a love of crooner music thatI find fascinating. Keep shooting for the stars and reach higher than you think you can. People aren’t always going to root for you, but your parents will and we can’t wait to see where you’re going to go through this journey in life. 

As a side note: I knew from about the age of twelve that I would want children. I don’t know if it came from the fact that I was raised as an only child, but that feeling of being paternal was there. I’m just fortunate to find a woman like Sarah, who decided that I would be worthy enough to build a life with and have two of the best kids ever. I kind of pictured having three, and while she’s not mine by blood, our niece Lily is that third child that I wanted. While she has had a rough life in the beginning, I can only hope that she has learned and taken to heart the lessons that I’ve tried to provide her. There’s always a better way in life. 

With that, this is my team, they’ve been there all the way since I started to turn my own life around. I’ve got the most loving children, even if they’ve picked up on my humor, and have become assholes in their own way. I love them and wouldn’t change much about how things have gone. Why, you might ask? Because the positives are good to have, but the negatives are the necessary to traverse to become better humans.

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

Remember to like and subscribe to this blog, and follow me on the various social medias, because I appreciate the fact that you would take the time to share my thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Your Door Mat

I’ve mentioned how I’ve been changing in both physically and mentally. I mean the weight loss has been obvious, and I’m navigating the new found confidence that I’ve been getting. Mentally, I’m far healthier than ever, but it’s the fact that observing the way others have treated me, is where things have gotten a bit trickier.

In the job that I do, it’s very customer service driven. I mean if you look at it, what job isn’t? Movies are the same thing. You put a story together for a specific audience, that’s why most superhero movies are rated PG-13 and more family friendly. Yes, there are exceptions, but in general, they’re geared to a family audience.

Back to the story though: the people I tend to deal with come across as both impatient and entitled. They also often times expect way more then they should, and expect us to work harder and put unnecessary tasks, that aren’t apart of our job. I was one who would get bullied for “not doing enough”, and that was were some of my depression issues manifested from.

The point that I think I should make clear is that nobody should ever be felt that they aren’t enough. Yes, there are those who we all work with that would like to do the minimum and just be there to get a pay check, but that doesn’t mean that anyone should treat you like you have less value than you do. I know at my lowest point mentally, I would allow that feeling to be validated by those people around me. When I was feeling like a burden, that kind of behavior just seemed to agree with the way I was already feeling.

That was the past though, and if anything has been shown since I started blogging, is that I won’t allow my past to define who I am. That’s something we all should need to remember that our past does not define us. Why should we let something that was a mistake be the defining factor in the definition of our lives? Everyone has a bad moment, and life should be about growth. I found that something like this is where my life needed to change.

Now getting to this point took time to develop, and lots of self-realization to get there. When I finally got to this point, I knew that I needed to change. I knew that I needed something to help me become better than I was. When I decided that I had to accept responsibility for my own actions, and that I wanted something better, growth was the only way to go.

We live in an ugly world, and the truth is that you have people who would rather put you down, and watch you lose, then see you prosper and be successful. Why is that? Why would anybody want ill-will to their fellow human? The statement, “misery loves company,” is true. People will try to bring you down to their level, just so that they can feel better about themselves. Maybe it’s just a way to stroke their ego? I have said in previous blogs that ego is the enemy to ourselves. It’s that way to self-sabotage, and I’ll even say that it leads to negativity in life.

Grow, water, nurture yourself. Maybe ego is the thing that holds you down. I know that I’ve had to deal with the complexity of low-self-esteem, and ego. I think that the ego was to overcompensation for that low-self-esteem. This has lead to so much heart ache and turmoil in some of my relationships. This was something else that fed into the negativity that I was producing in the world.

It’s just like not accepting responsibility for our own actions. I think the realization of accepting that responsibility was the first step in becoming a better person. It’s sad that I have seen this same toxic behavior in others, and watched as it’s ruined relationships and success in others. It seems to make life much harder to get through in the end.

Going back to the point of being a doormat to other people and the negativity that comes with it is this: change the way you look at yourself. I know that I have, and I know that I was in so deep with being treated a certain way, that once I started realizing that it wasn’t acceptable the way I was treated, I started to want that change. When it’s the norm, I guess we don’t realize that it’s that bad. Maybe that’s why people stay in abusive relationships? Could it be because our minds try to protect us from the traumatic horrors that can come from our lives?

I know shedding the fat like I have, feels like I got rid of layers of negativity in my life. I know that for me being fat, it was from a lifetime of negativity in my life. This comes with some odd realizations. My household had always been surrounded with a negative energy. I don’t know if it’s just now, or I don’t remember if it always been, but I think there was always that vibe in the house with my parents.  I just see it more now, as my parents have gotten older, and my mom has always had this temper about her. I just notice it more so now days that she is always yelling when something  disturbs what she’s doing. I think there might be some deeper phycological stuff to deal with there, but I don’t got the degree to analyze it.

Again, the past doesn’t define us. Whatever I had been through, and however I’ve allowed myself to be treated, the past doesn’t define me. I use that to define what I had to help make me better than I was. I use my choices to help make things better, and it helps drive me to do better. This is the director and that’s a wrap.

If you have any questions or comments that you don’t want to post on here, you’re more then welcome to e-mail me at ckproject@zohomail.com

 

 

 

-101.6, Say What?

Okay, this was the day I have been waiting for, that scale to finally tell me that I hit the triple digits with a loss. So, I feel great, amazing, excited by the fact that I haven’t been close to this weight since 2003. I’ve got a smile that can’t be beat.101.6

One of the most fantastic and odd feelings is the fact that as I do better, I want to push harder to do even better. Think of that statement, and isn’t that an odd thing to think about? Wouldn’t you think slowing down would be a better idea? Why burn yourself out like that? Yet, that’s the shit that motivates me. I’m losing inches, I’m gaining energy, and my drive to get things done is even stronger. This is what excites me, and I want to share this experience with others too.

I remember when I didn’t have a drive to do anything. It was where I would just want to come home after work and sit. I would zone out the rest of the night watching television, or I would play video games. At that time, I would feel better that I could rest my muscles and not hurt as much for my next day at work. This would also be the time that I would take ten steps and start huffing and puffing out of breath.

I can’t really imagine living that way anymore. Sure, I have days that I’m a bit lax on my steps and other movements, but most of the time, I’m on the go. That’s the way I choose to live my life now. I love my video games, but I don’t have the time that I used to for them. I’m sure I’ll spend a day or two here or there playing the new Spider-man or the new Red Dead Redemption 2, but if I’m not working on myself,  I’m working on my brands, and that is my life.

I live the hustle, why? Because I want to succeed in life at the profession of choice. These last four years was the journey of self discovery. I finally grabbed the “brass ring” and decided to run with it. I found the career that I wanted. It did take a bit longer for me to decide that I wanted to live, and now that I made that decision, I’m getting the life I wanted. I’m not trapped in a body that I never felt was mine, and now I’m happy.

I’ve found my motivation for my health, both physically and mentally. I found the motivation to go for what I wanted to do in life, and I continue to strive to get to the point that this will be my livelihood. Too many people are scared to pursue what they really want in life, and choose the “safe route”. It works for people, but are they really happy? Is there where they saw themselves in life as a child? When did we stop being the dreamers that we were of our youth?

I believe that our mistakes are the guidance that we need to make to find ourselves. Otherwise we continue to make those same damn mistakes. Sometimes, we have to go through several mistakes before we get there. I can remember at least three times, where shit hit the fan, and I hit rock bottom. That’s where the depression, magnifies the feelings of helplessness. These events define who we are as people.

The first time was February 29, 1992. This was the time that I had gotten into an accident on my bike, because I wasn’t paying attention. I think I had a hard time that day because I had gotten rejected by a girl I liked that day, or something along those lines. I suffered sever head trauma, that caused me to have a slow down in my thought process. I had to fight to get back to normal. As a matter of fact, I came back, better, and stronger.

The second time was when I was married to my ex-wife. This was a marriage of fuckery from the day she said, “I do.” Suffering complex PTSD from this relationship, thought me two things: One was not to be so trusting with people, and two how to forgive. It’s this second one that took me many years after to finally understand, I ran into my ex about seven years after we split, and I forgave her. I didn’t do it for her, but for myself. I think that this moment helped me grow into a more mature adult.

The third event that would change things, was my meltdown at work. The lesson here was that I needed help. I needed the help because I tend to bottle up everything inside until it gets too much to handle and I explode. Getting that help, got me too the point where I am now.

These moments define who I am as a person. I get that not everyone can get on the Chris Keeling band wagon, and that’s fine. I’m glad that going through life, has given me the momentum to become a tool for advice. I’m glad to use the talents to guide others, and I’m far more able to connect with people, in a way that I’ve never been able to before.

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