May your comeback be stronger than your setback.

Simple. Concise. Powerful.

I’m not sure who the first person was to say this quote, but it was exactly what I needed to hear today. I’ve had a rough day. Well, if I really want to sell myself a pity party, I’ve had a rough year. Nevertheless, I digress.

As I sat across the table from a complete stranger today and listened to his sage wisdom of life, love and the pursuit of happiness, these words struck me.

‘May your comeback stronger than your setback,’ he said. ‘No one can escape setbacks in life. Even the most privileged, wealthiest, well off of individuals still have setbacks. One of the best things you can do for yourself is use that setback as a setup for one hell of a comeback.’

My god, one hell of a comeback it’s going to be. I need to keep fighting. And… I really need to stop feeling sorry for myself. Truth be told, it’s a pretty big flaw of mine that, almost at the snap of my fingers, I can go from a happy-go-lucky state of being to pretty down-and-out. And it’s once I hit that down-and-out state of being that I really stop fighting for my comeback.

I need a comeback. I deserve a comeback. I’m smart enough, talented enough and I can do this. I can and will do this.

There will always be bad people in this world.

The fact of the matter is, no amount of effort put forth will eliminate the evil in this world. All that we can and should do is try to lead by example.

There will always be bullies, there will always be keyboard warriors and there will always be those who thinks that their wealth or privilege allows them a right to treat others poorly. There will always be crime and people will always be innocent victims because of that.

We need not be evil though.

When you’re trying to justify horrible behaviour, don’t. You’re better than that. When you’re thinking that revenge is the right answer, it’s not. You’re smarter than that. If someone tells you that vengeance is the answer, tell them they’re wrong. A temporary solution to a permanent problem is going to give you nothing more than an empty feeling in your heart.

Be good. Do good. Lead by example.

‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ I hear this quote recited a lot, but I think people often forget about the message it conveys when they get angry. When in reality, it should remain applicable regardless of what happens.

Be the change. Don’t tell me that because bad people will always exist that you don’t need to be good. That your goodness couldn’t possibly matter. That shows weakness and lack of character. Are you either of those things? I don’t think so.

Goodness matters, every day. Kindness matters, every day. Be the change. Lead by example and let the bad people, the bullies and the idiots self-destruct with their own… because you know they will.

At the end of the day,

all you can really do is put your best foot forward and your true self out there. If people don’t like that, that’s their loss. You are who you are for a reason and you should be damn proud of that. Don’t ever feel ashamed for who you are.

Enough with this ‘I don’t measure up’ talk. Enough with ‘I’m just not good enough’. It’s time that you looked yourself in the mirror and reminded yourself just how amazing you are. Because you are. Ignore the noise and focus on you.

If someone doesn’t want you, that’s a reflection of them, not of you. Your tribe is out there, and let me promise you this… they will appreciate you for exactly who you are and what you bring. Whether it be a job, a relationship, a friendship or a family, you deserve the very best and I don’t want you to ever settle for less.

The world you want is out there and it can be won. Anyone who tries to keep you from that doesn’t belong in your life and doesn’t deserve your time.

A ‘love letter’ to the WordPress community

I think we all want to feel like our words matter. Like they make a difference. Like we mean something to someone. That we’re not just aimlessly wandering through this life, not leaving a mark anywhere, with anyone.

I get that. I really do. I feel that way a lot.

I think that’s why it’s so amazing when we come across someone who’s words align so well with the way that we think, with how we see the world, with who we perceive ourselves to be. Finally finding that feeling as though you’re not alone, it’s a big deal.

For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of meeting someone who understood me, who didn’t want to change me, who liked me just the way I was. And last year, I found that. Not only had I never known a love like that before, but I’d also never known an understanding like that. It was beautiful, unwavering and felt like it weather any storm.

Because when you find someone who’s words resonate with you, it’s a magical feeling (for lack of better terminology). It’s almost as if you’ve got this family that you never knew you had. People who understand you, who love you for who you are and have no interest in changing you.

I get that. That feeling, it’s everything.

This place has become like a second family to me. I come here when I’m sad. I come here when I’m mad. I come here when I’m happy. I just like to come here. I like the people. Even when they notice, and point out that I probably come here too often, I just like the place. I just like the acceptance, how everyone treats you as though you’re one of their own. Like you’ve known each other all along and this is the place you were meant to be.

No one judges me here. No one holds my faults against me. People just appreciate and respect. And, man oh man, that’s a nice feeling to find.

Thank you. All of you. Thank you. You mean the world to me.

Simple ways that you can be a better person today.

I’m a firm believer that if you take small steps every single day, you can be a better person with each day that passes. It doesn’t take much… it really doesn’t. There are no grand gestures needed, no shows to put on for attention. It’s just a matter of making select choices to make your life better and make the lives of others better.

Here’s a few small things you can do to be a better person:

  1. Tell someone you love them. Whether it a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, son… whoever it might be, just tell them you love them. We all need to hear it once in a while.
  2. Hold the door open for someone. It’s a small gesture, but it means a whole lot.
  3. Use your manners. They cost nothing, but mean a whole lot. Please, thank you and have a nice day can make a difference between someone having a shit day and someone having hope in the human race.
  4. Offer a compliment to a stranger. Everyone’s just trying to get by and kindness from a stranger can go a long way in this crazy world.
  5. Be honest. Stop lying to people. Show them that you respect them enough to tell them the truth.
  6. Listen. Listen. Listen. Sometimes, being an ear for someone to talk to is the best thing you can do for a person. You don’t even have to talk at all, sometimes all someone needs is just to be heard.
  7. Help. Whether it’s giving up your seat to an elderly person, helping someone carry their groceries, or corralling a runaway toddler, a little bit of help that takes virtually no time out of your day can make a world of difference.
  8. Be yourself. The world doesn’t benefit from your playing small to fit in. Be who you are, who you want to be, who you dream of being. Project your best self and you can be your best self.
  9. Be respectful. You can disagree with someone without being an asshole. You can appreciate the time someone takes, even if it isn’t of benefit to you.
  10. Educate yourself. Learn. Learn what you can. Learn all that you can. Knowledge is power and spewing opinions and misinformation because you aren’t up to date on the current situations of the world, it doesn’t benefit everyone. If your thoughts, opinions and words are factually based, that’s one thing . But if you’re just spouting regurgitated talking points, stop… educate yourself, then try again.
  11. Make someone smile. I’m a firm believer that a smile is the best, and cheapest, gift that you can give someone. And, since you never really know what someone is going through, giving them a smile at the least is a great addition to their day and can often mean so much more than you could ever imagine.
  12. Let go of anger. It’s not doing you any good. It’s not doing the person you’re angry at any good. Just drop it. You’ll feel better when you do.
  13. Try to assume the best in others.

Reminder: you are enough.

Dear Self,

You really ought to be nicer to yourself more often. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and remember that you are the glue holding this together. Remind yourself of your intelligence, of your humour, of your good moments and your strengths. Because you have them all in stride.

You really ought to remember what you’ve been through in your life, not as a negative, but as a positive. You did it. You survived. You got stronger. You made it through that and you can make it through this. Nothing in this world is insurmountable so long as you believe in yourself and your capabilities.

Also, you really ought to quit with the excuses. Exercise is good for you, so stop finding reasons to not go. Eating healthy keeps your body properly functioning, so stop eating crap. Your well being is what is most important, so don’t ever deny help when it’s offered, or when you need it. We all need help sometimes. Your family loves you, so stop avoiding them and your friends want what’s best for you, so let them know you appreciate them.

Self, I wish you could know how great you are. I wish you could quit thinking poorly about yourself and direct some of those compliments you like to give to others towards yourself once in a while.

Don’t ever try to hide who you are. Don’t lower your standards, don’t dull your shine. Don’t think that you’re too much or you’re not enough because who you are is good enough. Good enough for you, good enough for friends, good enough for family. Those that love you love you just the way that you are. And the great thing about being human is that good enough can always get better, so long as you believe in yourself.

You’re talented. You’re insightful. You’ve got a way with words that you really ought to start using more often. You’re open-minded, you believe the better in people and yet somehow you don’t believe the better of yourself. You really ought to change that.

Promise me self, in the latter half of this year, I want you to be better. I want you to think smarter and stop putting yourself down. I want you to see the good in yourself and make a conscious effort to smile every day. Because you deserve to smile… even on the crappy days. Nothing in this life is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a bright spot.

You are enough. Love yourself, please. Love everything about yourself. You’re this way for a reason so it’s time you start appreciating that and understanding that you are enough.

The Good Folks

You know those people in your life that just make you better? Goodness, I am so thankful for them.

Without even trying it’s like they just completely understand you, they appreciate you for exactly who you are and they bring out the best in you. They want to see you succeed and they do all that they can to help you get there. They’re the best kind of people in this world.

They’re also a rarity. They’re hard to find and easy to lose, so when you do find those people you hold on for dear-life, knowing the good that they spread is just the kind of good you need in your world.

I have a few of those people in my life. Those people whether I’ve known them 15 years or 1 year, it feels like I’ve known them forever. I admire them. I adore them. I dream of being like them and I hope that I can do for them even a fraction of what they do for me.

But the good folks, they don’t care about that. Because they don’t help you to ask for, or expecting anything in return. They don’t want reciprocation. They’re just that good. They pass along their goodness like a light to your life and to everyone’s lives that they touch, just because. Because that’s who they are and that’s what they bring to this world.

I got a phone call this morning and it wasn’t a request, it was just to talk. He knew that I wasn’t in a happy space and he just wanted to talk. He wanted to make it better, to make me feel better. And I can’t even stress enough how much it helps when someone calls just to say hey. So few times in life do people reach out just to reach out. More often then not, they’re reaching out because they want something.

If you have someone in your life who calls to just talk… remember that. Remember them. The good people in this world, they’re hard to find. If you’re lucky enough to find them, hold on for dear life! They’re worth it. I promise they’re worth it.

Some people, they just make your life better. They make you better. That’s what I want to be for someone. That’s who I strive to be.

Today was a good day. Today I am grateful.

A dear friend of mine, Ashok, recently told me that I should end each day by saying ‘Today was a good day, today I am grateful’.

I’m trying to take his advice to heart, knowing that if I start believing the better, I’ll start seeing the better. I’ve always been someone who’s had a hard time getting past the negatives in a day. But I’m making changes. I’m trying to remind myself the good is more important, and that I need to stop and pay more attention to it when it comes.

Today was a beautiful summer day. In what’s a seemingly rare occasion around here this season, the sun was shining… all day long, the birds chirped, the world (at least my corner of it) was peaceful. Anxiety will always be a part of me, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the largest part. Today, my anxiety did not win.

“Your value is not your current circumstance.”

I went to see my Therapist today. Let me just say, she’s wonderful.

One of the biggest takeaways that came from today’s session was the fact that I’m someone who correlates my value to my present circumstance.

I’m in a shitty place in my life right now. I am. I don’t avoid that fact at all. I’m unemployed, I don’t get along with my parents, my family and most people around me. Not for lack of trying, mostly for the fact that my beliefs and outlook towards the world are vastly different than those which I was raised with.

I know that I’m an intelligent, competent, qualified person. I know that I have a pleasant personality, that I’m loyal and I giving of kindness, compassion and love. I don’t see those things though. I see consistent rejection. I see consistent disappointment. I see myself consistently falling short, whether it’s my fault or not… I always find myself blaming… myself.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think no matter who you are or what your situation is, a lot of people correlate their value to their situation. And a lot of people wind up in bad situations at one time or another in their life. After all, we’re all only human.

It’s something that I struggle with. I need to be better at accepting rejection. Because this is my present situation and even though it’s my present situation, it’s not my value. Even if they reject me, I’m still intelligent, competent, qualified, pleasant, loyal, kind and compassionate. I’m still all of those things. But when I consistently find myself getting rejected, I consistently find myself believing I’m being rejected because I’m flawed. Because I’m a problem, because I’m a loser. Because there’s something wrong with me. There’s always something wrong with me.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect. Because I’m definitely not. But I could be a fucking incredible addition to any office, and all of these rejections do not have anything to do with the value that I bring to this world.

I need to do a better job at talking myself up. I need to do a better job at remembering that if they don’t hire me that’s their loss, not mine.

My therapist, the sweet and wonderful human being that she is, said ‘I think you’re too big for this town. I really do. In the limited time that I’ve known you I’ve come to realize the sheer capacity you have to change people, and to make them better.’ And honestly, hearing it come from her was a huge boost to my self-esteem. Then she went on to say ‘I wish you would take that power you have to change others and use it to instill change within yourself. It’s time you start believing in yourself.’

After I left her office I went to watch my nephew play hockey. There’s no reception in the arena(it’s basically a giant cement cave) so I had a few missed calls when I got out of the arena. One of the voicemails was from my Therapist. She’d gone online and looked up positions pertaining to my skills/experience and called to tell me the positions that she found that she believes I should apply for. How amazing is that? She went looking for potential jobs for me!

I need to do a better job with rejection.

I need to remember my value. In 2019, dealing with this shit storm has made it so easy for me to believe less of myself and diminish my value. I’m not any less of a person than I’ve ever been and I need to start remembering that.

Circumstances don’t define me. It’s just a temporary stop on a journey to where I need to be, where I belong and where I’m happy with what I truly deserve.