Sunday, October 28, 2007

On Contradiction through Persistence and Patience

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to my little corner of George Bush's "Internets". While I'm at it, let me give credit to one Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. for creating such a fine virtual world (Thanks, Al. While I'm thinking about it, that Nobel Prize you won for your work on global warming was touching. Really, it was.).

To the 90% of you who waited patiently for more than a week for a new entry to quench your parched thirst for knowledge, let me say thank you. To the other 10% who I liken to salt in an open wound, your persistent pestering served only to encourage me to delay this entry a day or two longer than I originally would have. Luckily for you, it just so happens that this particular delay allowed for a magnificent weekend experience from which the motivation and material for this post originates.

Thirteen days ago I wrote openly to the world about giving up on up on "her" up on "you", because I know you're reading this. I had done it my way, and as painful as it was to accept the outcome of doing it my way, only to fail, I found solace in the fact that I was true to myself all along, refusing to compromise who I was in order to make the situation less painful. I remember sitting in this exact chair at this exact keyboard thirteen days ago, typing out the phrase "Second chances are rare". And while second chances are indeed just as rare today as they were two weeks ago, they still happen, and not only in the movies. The key ingredients involved in increasing the odds that you will stumble upon your own second chance at some point in your life are simple. They are persistence, and patience. Neither of these is more important than the other. The relationship is symbiotic. One simply has to find the right ratio in order to achieve the desired result. In my case, my desired result was/is getting the girl.

It is because of this desired outcome that I take almost a pride of sorts and pleasure in completely and totally contradicting my last Sinatra-inspired entry. It's not over. The curtain, as much as I thought it had closed two weeks ago, is still very much open. The lights have yet to go out, and the cast of characters remain at center stage. The final bow has yet to occur. As much as both characters both thought the show was over, it turns out it has only begun. Who knew it was so hard to discern "The End" from intermission? Act Two has thus far been a welcome surprise.

Persistence is an interesting fellow. For those among you who don't know him very well, you should know he has a very close cousin who goes by the name Stubbornness. These two cousins are character traits one possess in order to get something one really wants. It is all but impossible to have one without the other. They work very closely in conjunction with patience. Patience is perhaps the most difficult of all adopted behaviors to master, mostly because one never knows when it will pay off until that moment occurs. It does not allow one the ability to plot their progress on some virtual graph. It's impossible to analyze a given situation and tell one's self "Being patient is working so far, so I'm going to keep it up". No, patience pays off when you least expect it. Most among us don't even realize they possess the ability to summon these traits and behaviors until they are thrust into a situation (either by circumstance or one's own doing) in which a strong desire to achieve or obtain something (or in my case, someone) is present.

Let's face it, you can't make someone love you if they don't. Isn't that a lyric from some Top 40 song? But what you can do is prove to that person you care by simply simply remaining. Persistence, patience, and stubbornness: three traits that when applied correctly, can make a world of difference. And trust me, when they do, you'll be just as happy to contradict yourself as I am.

Stay tuned boys and girls, minor details of the weekend's happenings are forthcoming...

Monday, October 22, 2007

A step in the right direction...

I'm taking a big step forward today to ensure future success in every aspect of my life's progression. More later...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Old Blue Eyes: "I did it my way"

I suppose you could say I've been trying to pick myself up off the pavement for the past week or so since my last post. The trouble is, getting up has proved to be far more difficult than I could have ever imagined. Such is the burden of the guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. You see, instead of springing upright in a timely fashion, I've been more like the deer you see when you're one of the first people to pass the scene of its collision with an automobile: limbs flailing, painfully trying to bring itself upright and continue on its journey, only the pain and damage are too great for any real chance at success. When this happens, the police officer on the scene has the unenviable task of putting the poor animal out of his misery via the .45 he wears on his hip.

For the past week, I've been that deer, only no metaphorical police officer has responded to put me out of my misery. Therefore, I've taken that task upon myself - metaphorically and symbolically, of course. I've rarely applied these two little words to any task at hand in my lifetime, but I've deemed them necessary at this point. I QUIT. The game is over. Give me my ball back, I'm going home. The extent of my injuries this time are far too great to hope for a recovery. I went down swinging, and it just wasn't enough. I failed - for the last time.

There's only so much one guy can take, I don't care who you are. By now, all of you know my status as a hopeless romantic. You know what that consists of: wearing my heart on my sleeve, being real, being genuine, being honest, caring, willing to do anything...all of that. You know that's who I am. The risk that comes with being that guy is that you put yourself out there on a limb to get your heart ripped out. And well, I got my heart ripped out. It wasn't the first time, but it was the last. I quit, as much out of necessity as choice. The thing about being a hopeless romantic is that each time you get your heart ripped right out of your chest, the person ripping it out takes a piece of it with them. There's only so much of me to go around, and this time someone just happened to take the last piece. And not only that, they probably took the biggest.

Let me give you a scenario: Guy has feelings for girl, girl reciprocates those same exact feelings. She acts on them, albeit briefly, and just when you think a harmonious melding of two people is about to occur, it's over. She doesn't retract those feelings, she just refuses to act on them any longer. I'm not sure there could be anything more frustrating than knowing someone feels the same way you feel about them, only they choose to ignore those feelings and emotions. I have a strange suspicion that it probably feels worse than outright rejection.

It's funny how quickly life can change. One minute you're on top of the world, and the next minute you're blindsided by something so negative, so polar opposite that your feelings shift to the other end of the spectrum before you realize what hit you. I think people who read this blog regularly like to take a brief moment out of their own personal lives to live vicariously through me. Want to walk in my shoes for a minute or two? Imagine making love to someone for the first time and three hours later they tell you it's over; all the while they're trying mightily to mask their feelings for you, which are exactly the same as yours for them. I bet you want to take those shoes off pretty quickly, don't you? For those of you who still want to keep the shoes on a moment longer, spend a week thinking of nothing but that person, and asking yourself only "Why?" and "What could I have done differently?" Second chances are rare. There's no DVR in life. If there was I would have pressed pause two Saturday nights ago and rewound to earlier that afternoon, and replayed those few precious hours over and over. I guess that's what memories are for; they're virtual DVR. I recorded that day in my mind, burned it to disc, and filed it under the description "The Day the Last Piece of my Heart was Taken".

When you have nothing left in the tank, nothing left to give, you quit. It certainly wasn't easy to make this decision, but I take some solace in reminding myself that, like Sinatra, I did it "My Way".

And now, the end is near;

And so I face the final curtain.

My friend, Ill say it clear,

Ill state my case, of which Im certain.

Ive lived a life thats full.

Ive traveled each and every highway;

And more, much more than this,

I did it my way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Blogging the unbloggable...

I never once thought when I began this blog that I would experience events with circumstances and outcomes that would prove extremely difficult to write about, not only emotionally, but without stepping on some toes. I did, however, charge myself with the task of writing in full honesty, without holding back any one though, feeling, or emotion about the subject at hand. And that's what I'm about to do.

Update coming soon...

Friday, October 5, 2007


I don't know if I can do this alone

Oh after all our sweet love is flown

I've been running

I've been skipping like a stone

And I don't know if I can do this all alone

When I met her she was standing by a door

I ain't never seen a light like that before

Now she's left me for something more sure

And I don't know if I can do this anymore

Cause loves will come, lovers will go

These rare seeds are from which true love might grow

If you see her, won't you please say hello

Cause I don't know if I can do this alone.

-Amos Lee, "Skipping Stone"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wine and Cheese(cake)

As I lied in bed last night, the day's events and various highlights played out in my head in slow motion, as is the norm for me. It's become so much a part of my daily routine that I hardly ever have to think about doing it because it just happens. Lately I've also begun to pose questions to myself about what I'm doing in my day-to-day life: various actions I've taken, were they right or wrong, am I as tuned in to the needs of friends and family as I need to be, etc. Often, I ask myself these questions as a means to not only reflect, but to identify ways I can improve when the sun peaks through the blinds the next morning.

I mention this portion of my daily routine not because I aim to persuade any of you to begin adopting this practice, but because I want to share with you a question I posed to myself last night in the hopes of getting some feedback from some of you. First, a little background information is necessary.

I've been dating this amazing young lady for the past couple of weeks. Last night was our fourth "date". I prepared what I suppose could be considered a thoroughly intricate meal to the majority of you, and even the food snobs among you similar to myself. We enjoyed the meal, a bottle of wine and finished it off with lemon raspberry cheesecake and an episode of House. However, the details of the night are irrelevant. All you need really need is that bit of background information. Let me get to the matter at hand.

Last night, as I lied staring at the ceiling, the most significant question I posed to myself was "Why am I sharing my deepest thoughts and feelings so willingly to you, my readers in this little corner of the virtual world?" And not only that, but also "Is it a good idea?" I asked myself these questions because I have begun to wonder what topics should I refrain from posting here. I've begun to wonder if I share with you my truest thoughts and feelings concerning my various experiences - especially my pursuit of the elusive thing known as love - will I in fact be doing myself a disservice?

You see, last night by my estimation was a very good night, and I can only hope that the one whose company I enjoyed feels the same way. But do I really need to be sharing that here? Could it perhaps be doing me more harm than good? That, dear readers, is my current struggle.

Those of you who know me, and I mean truly know me, know that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm just beginning to wonder whether or not it's a good idea for me to wear it on my blog as well.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cruel and Unusual...

In my estimation, there are three topics that evoke deep, heartfelt emotions in us as human beings, usually at one extreme end of the spectrum or the other, but rarely does anyone among us remain neutral in our opinions of the subject. They are (in no particular order) abortion, same sex marriage, and capital punishment. Seldom do you ever hear someone say apathetically that they do not care about these issues. Unfortunately I was once forced to put my own ethical and spiritual beliefs about abortion into action, in the not too distant past. Luckily, it was not a decision I had to aid in making that concerned fathering a child of my own, but instead, rather or not I would financially back someone in need who wished to terminate their own pregnancy. Needless to say it was the hardest decision I ever had to make, but that is neither here nor there at this point. And I won't get into my feelings about same sex marriages today. Look forward to that one in the future. Today I'd rather focus my energy on providing you with another perspective on the ethics of capital punishment, or as it is more commonly known, the death penalty.

Again, it's one of the three main topics that evoke the most extreme, raw human emotion. I suppose a fourth topic would be the merits of war, but nevertheless, just think about it. When you go home at night and turn on the news (those of you with brains, not you simpletons), what are the most common things you see people protesting and picketing about? I guarantee you the death penalty is one of them.

Capital punishment is something that has been debated since its inception however many thousands of years ago, when a sharp, descending blade to the back of the neck known as the guillotine was the most common method of carrying out such punishment (though I have to imagine it was not the most sanitary). We as a society later advanced (if you choose to think of it that way) to electrocution, the gas chamber, and to today's most commonly used method, lethal injection.

Lethal injection has been in the news quite frequently in the past few months in North Carolina. Death Row inmates have even brought a law suit against the state in which they argue the case that this so-called "cocktail" of deadly drugs constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, thus violating their rights given to them under the Constitution of the United States of America. Quite simply, I agree with them. Who's to say what level of pain someone endures when injected with this concoction? Who knows the length of time this lasts? No one, that's who. No doctor, no matter how educated and experienced in the field can say with 100% certainty they know what it is like from a first hand account.

Law suit and cruel and unusual punishment aside, this is not my issue with capital punishment. The severity of pain is irrelevant to me. I don't care if an inmate injected with this lethal cocktail of drugs experiences sensations similar to euphoria before expiring on that cold, sterile table deep inside Central Prison. In my mind's eye capital punishment is wrong, regardless of physical pain endured. It's immoral. It's despicable. As a Christian, it is my devout belief that taking the life of another human being is wrong. No one - not me, you, Governor Easley, President Bush, the nine Justices of the Supreme Court - should have the right to determine whether an incarcerated man or woman should be put to death. I can only hope to live to see the day a moratorium is placed on capital punishment, not only in North Carolina, but nationwide.

I know many of you will disagree with me on the basis that those who are sentenced to Death Row received their sentence because they took the life of a person, or even multiple persons and therefore deserve death and nothing less. I recognize and acknowledge this. To not do so would be foolish and ignorant. But let me ask you this: Does executing someone for their decision to take the life of another make everything right? Does one forced death cancel out another? Does it bring anyone true happiness? What, if anything, does an execution solve? I know news outlets always question family members of victims who usually say it brings them solace and closure, but I really don't think that's what they are feeling.

I think only evil inside someone could cause them to be relieved by the death of another human. I believe in forgiveness. People make mistakes, it's a fact of life. Granted, some of those mistakes are larger and therefore come with greater consequences and punishment to fit the mistake, or in this case crime. However, death should not be an option among the types of punishment available. Life terms in prison should be adequate. Taking away the freedom of another is the real death. It's the death of the mind, and it's the death of life as one knows it. The physical death of the body is simply symbolic and, at best, serves as a deterrent, because the real death occurs long beforehand.

Those among us with hearts know that the debate should not be whether lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the rights given to us by our forefathers, but instead should focus on the ethics of carrying out such punishment at all.