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Sunday, July 24, 2011

7/12 - 7/23 Days 193 - 204

Writers block - I think I have been suffering from it.  I think I am starting to put to much pressure on myself when it comes to blogging.  I want each one to be some sort of masterpiece that makes the reader think; that leaves them moved, touched, inspired.

What happens though when I don't feel capable of creating a masterpiece, when I don't feel moved, touched and inspired myself... what happens then?  I think a lot of this:  a lot of time is spent staring at the screen, fingers moving over keys but not creating any words.  Lots of thoughts of all the things I "need" to get done, but am struggling to do.  Lots of "wasting time" scouring over the internet looking for anything that will distract me from doing the things I think I should be doing.  I have looked through albums on facebook, read movie reviews of movies I have no desire of seeing, and watched a couple of cartoons on youtube.  It has taken me 20 minutes to write these two paragraphs. Typing this right now I feel like I am running a marathon up hill with a heavy back pack on my back.  Typically blogs flow with ease out of me, this one feels more like what I imagine being in labor would feel like - long and painful.

So what is going on with me... why do I feel the way I do right now?  Is it an accumulation of a bunch of little things, or is it a couple of big things?  I  honestly do  not know. 

2 hours later...  just had a great talk with one of my housemates, we sat outside, we meditated, we laughed, we cried it was much needed and definitely insightful for me.  So what's on my mind...

Fear: Am I on the right path?  Do I believe what I believe I believe?  What happens if I am wrong?  What do people think of me, what do I think of myself?  Am I 100 percent honest with myself all the time?

Self:  What do I see when I look at myself in the mirror?  As a kid I hated everything I saw.  When I looked in the  mirror I saw a loser, an ugly person.  As an adult I have worked hard to change that outlook to see something more than that.  It's taken years of work, a lot of affirmations, and a lot of changes in my outlook on life to be able to look in the mirror and see someone different.  The last couple months I have not liked the reflection looking back at me.  I've allowed my feeling sorry for myself, my inability to exercise, my perception of getting fat, my internal view of myself to alter that which I see in the mirror.  If I step away from myself I can laugh at how silly it is I am behaving in this way, but when I slip and fall into a funk that is easier said than done. 

Love: ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

What is love?  I guess the better question is how do we define it.  I know what I want in a partner, the bigger question is what do I want in myself.  I have standards/expectations/wants for myself that I feel I have not yet ascertained.  Is it a case of me being to hard on myself or am I being honest with myself?  I can point the finger at events in life that have been catalysts for me thinking, feeling, acting in a certain way, but those are just events, things that happened in the past.  I am the one that has control, that has power in the present, so what am I missing?  Am I purposely overlooking stuff?  I like to believe I am on the quest for 100 percent self love  I think this articulate's it the best ... I want to be in a place where every morning I jump out of bed and just want to hug myself.  Not every other day, or a couple times a month, but every single day I want to be in a place where I love myself so much I wake up with a smile on my face I race to the mirror because I love the person looking back at me.  I want to be that person every day and when I have that, I want to share it with someone else.  I don't believe the person I am meant to be with deserves anything less than that - she is much to special to have less than my best.

Money:  It is amazing how much stress green little pieces of paper can cause.  I used to ALWAYS stress about money, always.  Growing up my parents constantly stressed about that which we did not have and I held onto that life lesson.  I spent most of my early 20's obsessed with making money and no matter how much I made, how much I saved, it was never enough. I constantly focused on what I did not have and allowed that to dictate the way I lived  my life - I never traveled because I was afraid to take time off of work and not make money.  I didn't buy clothes because I felt guilty spending money on things I could not afford (even though I really could afford them).  I have worked hard to begin to let go of those thoughts, and to switch my mind from focusing on that which I don't have to that which I do and that which I will have.  It is an extremely freeing way to live - I love it!

However, with medical bills starting to come in, I am not going to lie the thoughts have been creeping, actually rushing back in!  "Wow that's a big number, how am I going to pay for that?!?!"  "Did I do the right thing getting that procedure done?" 

In some ways it is a good reality check for me, it reminds me to slow down, take a deep breath and re-center my thoughts.  Focus on what I want, believe in it, believe in myself - I know I will get there. 

Im in my head a lot.  I put myself under the microscope daily because I want to learn and want to be a better person.  I am guilty of taking this to to much of an extreme at times.  Instead of just letting things, myself be, I have to try to understand, have to try and come up with an answer.  There are times where I get so sad, I don't know why, but I do; I get so sad I feel like I just need to break down and cry.  Instead of allowing myself to cry I start to think - why do I feel this way, where is it coming from?  Perhaps there is no answer, perhaps that feeling of sadness is just me being human, me needing to experience one of the 1000's of emotions that make up human beings.  My goal for the next week: focus on just being get out of my head and stop thinking so much.

I am grateful for the life experiences I have had now as they serve as reminders that while I may feel this way right now, it is just a way of feeling, it will pass and things will be much better.  I remind myself of that daily when I find myself in a funk.  I know that while the road we travel in life may be bumpy at times, it will eventually smooth out.  If it was smooth all the time we would never appreciate it like we can after we have gone over a few bumps.

These "raw blogs" as I like to call them, raw because I am writing almost purely off of raw emotion, are the hardest for me to share.  I write from an emotional place and don't really know what is coming out or if any of it makes sense.  Maybe it doesn't have to, maybe this is just where I am at today - focus on just being Jesse you do not have to have all the answers right now - just be. 

It is now a little after 1230pm.  I have been working on this blog off and on for over five hours and I think it is time to bring it to a close.  God knows what I have just rambled about for the last few hours.  Before I go, I do want to leave you all with a couple of important little facts, facts that I try to remind myself of when I get down:

Little Fact about friends - the good ones are hard to come by, cherish them.
Little Fact about family - blood is a strong bond love them in whatever way you can.
Little Fact about belief - believe in yourself (I write this one selflessly for me! ) :)
Little Fact about love - if it is worth working for work for it.
Little Fact about our thoughts - they create our reality.  If you want a better reality (Jesse make sure you are paying attention to what you are typing), think better thoughts.  Don't just think them, believe in them.
And the most important Little Fact of them all...
Little Fact about life - is it is meant to be lived.  Live life from your heart.  Think with your mind let it aide you in your life quest, form a partnership between it and your heart; but when it comes to really living, let your heart do the talking.

Thanks for staying with me on this one.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


Monday, July 11, 2011

6/28 - 7/11 Days ... 179 - 192

As I type his I find myself sitting on the floor in LAX waiting to see if I can get an earlier flight home.  I look past my computer to see my toes still painted.  I just logged into facebook and saw the now famous "Scuba Mustache Picture" (see below) has become a promo for my friends scuba instructor business.  I still cannot stop laughing at that picture.  I am wearing a stretched out white tank top and checkered red and white board shorts - no underwear today as today I have elected to go commando for the 1000 Challenge.  My outfit really brings out my painted toes which have caused more than an eyebrow or two to raise in the cultural melting pots that airports are.  I look like a vagabond... I can't remember when the last time I shaved was and I know that the last time I got a haircut has been even longer.  I travel with a small backpack, my lap top, my man purse (that holds my camera) and an additional "big lens" camera that my client let me borrow for capturing the space shuttle launch (pics to be uploaded later tonight).  My poor clients tonight, what will they think of me?  Never mind the body odor that is emanating off of me; a result of a blend of humidity sweat and airplane sweat - a very potent combo.  In addition my stomach is upset from inconsistent eating that sometimes comes with travel which has left me more gaseous than normal, hence the reason I am sitting in corner by myself, far away from everyone else in the terminal!  I try to be considerate of others.  :)  Ohhhhh life ... I really would not have it any other way.

I used to spend so much time worrying about what other people think.  I have to admit it feels really good sitting here right now in crowded airport being able to laugh at myself.  I really look like, well, I don't know what I really look like, but it is something ridiculous, but I love I can laugh at it!  It is an amazingly liberating feeling.   You all remember at the beginning of the year how stressed out I was over my facial hair and worrying about what everyone would think of me.  It is nice to report having made it past the halfway point of the 1000 Challenge I do not let that occupy as much of my time as I once did.  I definitely am still in my head, but am no longer sweating the small stuff as much as I once did!  SELF HIGH FIVE!! :)

They just announced the flight I am trying to get on is oversold!  NOOOOO!!!  And they are offering $500 in travel vouchers for people to give up their seats and go on the next flight, the one I am currently booked on.  Man... it is funny how quickly opportunity changes your thought process.  I was just on the phone with a friend talking about how I hope I can make this flight because I do not want to wait around LA for another two hours.  Now, I am wishing I had a seat on this flight because I would happily give it up for $500 in travel vouchers since I would ONLY have to wait another two hours.  Just like that... I went from feeling like I was stuck in purgatory to wishing for the opportunity to stay here for two more hours if I could have the travel voucher.  I could go virtually anywhere with that.  I still have the same two hours in front of me.  How's that for a change in perspective?  Thank you American Airlines for that important life lesson!!! Is there anyway I could have maybe a $200 travel voucher for being a good student?  NO?! Shoot, well I can hope right??!

I've been a little more quiet than normal the last few weeks, I have been doing a lot of reflection.  With the official halfway point of the year having come and gone I wanted to spend some time looking at myself.  How has the 1000 Challenge changed me?  Has it changed me for the better?  I have made some amazing new friends, but also said goodbye to some old ones, was it worth it?  I have changed the way I live my life, would I change it back?  Do I laugh more, smile less, has my health suffered, has my self awareness expanded?  All questions I have spent a lot of time on.  And then the mother of all questions... who am I?  Who is Jesse Brisendine? 

Having hung up from another phone call and discussing another friend's life choices and changes she wants to make in her life I was reminded of some important points for my life and the answers to many of the above questions.  My life is different, but I would not want it any other way.  I feel like I am living it the way I have always wanted to.  I work more than I ever have, but I also play more than I ever have.  I am learning about myself everyday and learning to be less harsh on myself which is a HUGE one for me!  I have said goodbye to some friends, does not mean I love them any less, it just means our life paths are a little different at this time.  That does not mean they will not one day intersect again in the future, but for now I must live for me and they must live for them.  The friends who are a constant presence in my life I feel like I have grown much closer to and have found myself having richer, more fulfilling conversations and experiences with them than I ever have before.  It is awesome and I am so excited to see how we all will grow as life continues to move forward. 

As for who I am...  well as I type this to you on the 192nd day of the year...

I went and saw the final Space Shuttle launch this weekend.  It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I will never forget it.  I had goosebumps for over an hour and tears in my eyes as it blasted off for the final time.  I knew I was witnessing something very special and I had an enormous sense of national pride seeing all the flags waving and the people, over 1 million from what I have been told, who traveled from all parts to share in the experience as I did.  This may be my favorite challenge of the 1000 Challenge's as of this writing.  Why?  The shuttle launch represents so much of how I feel at this time in my life.

I watched the shuttle blast off into the world un-explored that's what I feel like I am doing, every day breaking out of my comfort zone and heading out into a world I have always wanted to explore. 

I watched the shuttle blast off of how fearless those inside must be... willing to travel the path less traveled.  I can relate; I feel more brave, more fearless traveling the road I have chosen and making the decisions I do. 

I watched the shuttle blast off and thought of the confidence those inside must possess in themselves, in one another in the people who built the shuttle and I could relate.  While I have my moments, I find myself and my confidence growing daily not only in myself, but in the choices I am making in life.  I am learning to  
 trust myself more listen to my brain chatter less and follow my intuition as a north start.

I watched the shuttle blast off and thought of the ingenuity and imagination that it must take to create the shuttle and send people to outer space.  Again, I could relate. I find myself daily not only day dreaming about the future and ideas, but putting pen to paper and creating new and exciting things for myself.  After trash day I saw what the 1000 Challenge Community could do as a collective, now I am excited to imagine up other endeavors that we can all be a part of.

I watched the shuttle blast off and thought of how much power it must take to propel it into space.  I could relate, I feel an inner sense of power that I have never felt before.  Power that I really am in charge of my life, that for the first time I am fully acting as the captain of my ship.

I used to be so timid and indecisive never going after all that I wanted.  I put off career advancements out of fear and lack of self confidence, I put travel plans on hold because I waited on promises of others who said they wanted to go too that never came through.  I held myself back so as not to hurt the feelings of others.  I don't regret any of it as I have learned a tremendous amount. 

The most valuable lesson of it all is life is going to keep moving forward, whether I want to move with it is ultimately up to me.  As much as I would love to stop time and have it wait until I am ready - this game of life is not played that way.  I have the same 24 hour seven day a week clock as I have always had.  The only difference is now I find myself squeezing more juice out of the clock than I ever have at any point in my life.

Rather than wait, I took action - I saw an opportunity to be a part of history and I went for it.  I bought the ticket with my credit card.  I have a lifetime to pay off the ticket, I only had one moment to witness the final shuttle launch.

I wanted to share the above with all of you because I feel you have all watched me travel through life this year. This blog is my celebration blog, I am halfway through the year and I have transformed my life in a way I have always wanted.  It renews a deep seeded belief that I have shared with all of you before and I will share with you again and again.  Your life, my life, it is only what we chose to make of it.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,