If We Were Having Coffee // More About Us and Less About Me

Hello dear readers and thank you for stopping for a bit of conversation and caffeine. I know it’s late, but I had a bit of a crazy night last night. I figured out how easy it is to make lemon drop cocktails and my girlfriend and I overdid it on the sugary sour drinks. I’ve only just recovered enough to tolerate the brightness of my laptop screen. But, it’s okay, and a cup of strong espresso and a chance to catch up with you sounds like the perfect after dinner treat.

“Drink some coffee and pretend you know what you’re doing.”

Unknown

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was another busy one, but for a while, things are going to calm down a bit around here. I think my girlfriend has found a little peace too. She’s been able to cut out of work earlier and earlier and the 15 hour days are more like 12 hour days and our weekends are back to being all about us instead of half about work.

I’m not sure how long the break will last. Part of me feels more anxious than I did before knowing that the stress will return eventually. No matter how often we go through this cycle, I have a hard time adjusting every time. I hate having to share her with her work. I think I wouldn’t mind it so much if I at least knew she was happy and doing what she loves but having to be away from her and seeing her so stressed out and upset all the time hurts my heart.

I suppose I shouldn’t worry about that so much right now. I should just make the most of this time before I’m back spending so much time by myself again.

***

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a very merry First Day of Halloween! As much as I hate to see the summer go, at least it ends with a whole month of horror movies, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, and candy corn. All of my favorite things!

This week we’re seeing a ballet performance of Dracula and maybe a play starring a friend of mine as Jack the Ripper on Friday the 13th. I’m really hoping to go to a movie party at the Alamo, and maybe a costume party if a couple of our friends are willing to open their home. If nothing else I’m going to watch all my favorite scary flicks like The Shining, Carrie, The ConjuringNightmare on Elm Street, and The Fly, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting the new season of Stager Things too. I haven’t settled on a costume yet, it depends on what kind of parties I end up at, but I’m thinking about going back to classics like zombies, mummies, and skeletons.

I haven’t settled on a costume yet, it depends on what kind of parties I end up at, but I’m thinking about going back to classics like zombies, mummies, and skeletons. But even if I end up sitting at home with my girlfriend, gorging myself on candy corn and pumpkin seeds and sipping fall cocktails while freaking ourselves out over ghosts stories and slasher movies, I’ll be happy.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I continue to be embarrassed by our tone-deaf, selfish, and insensitive President. I am so angry I don’t even know where to begin. All I can say is that my thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico, our forgotten fellow Americans and that I am in full support of Colin Kaepernick and every player who joins him in bringing attention to police brutality and killing.

I’ve unfriended a few people over the last week over Kaepernick and the NFL. I don’t even watch football, but I do care about this issue, and I won’t have people in my life who refuse to listen and refuse to understand. This year was about saving my energy and focusing on brown, queer, and fem voices and issues. Anyone who isn’t on board or willing to support that can get far away from me.

***

If we were having coffee, I would give you a heads up that there may be some changes coming to the blog. Nothing big. Just more and better content. I’m working on becoming more focused and covering more big questions and problems we are all going through. More about us and less about me is what I am trying to say. More about self-care, creativity, society, education, relationships, science, sex, pop-culture, and mental health. More life lessons. More culture. More society. More about human life. That’s what this blog was always supposed to be.

I’ll still be writing about me, but a lot of that will be vented out on Twitter and Tumblr. I’m working on some other big projects too. Something all about my death anxiety, maybe a chapbook, but it will be slow going. I want to take my time with it.

In the meantime, while I’m working on all that great content, and preparing to face my mortality in a very public way, things may get quieter around here. I won’t shut down completely. I still need this little space while I figure out what the hell I’m doing, but don’t be put off by a week or more of silence. I promise you I’ll come back, and I will keep getting better and better too. Just be patient with me, please? My goal will always be to talk about those parts of ourselves we have forgotten and to find a way to bring comfort and calm to all our emptiness and suffering.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say thanks again for chatting with me, and for reading my little writings over these past few years. Thanks for being an ear to vent to and a shoulder to cry on. It’s nice to know people still come around, and care about what I have to say, even when I have no idea what I’m saying myself. I know many of you have left comments and I have been horrible about getting back to you. I’m sorry. I write all these things and post them for the world to read, and still, I’m so shy. I feel so unworthy of an audience that I don’t ever know what to say except thank you, thank you, thank you. I worry that gets old though. I worry it isn’t enough. So, I say nothing at all. I’m going to change that.

***

If we were having coffee, I would say it is getting late, and I have kept you long enough. The work week begins again tomorrow, and we both need our sleep, me especially. My headache hasn’t gone away completely, and my body is sore and stiff. I think there is just enough time to take a hot shower and swallow some Tylenol.

I hope you had a good week, and that our weekend was relaxing. I hope you are taking care of yourself out there. Drink more water, get more rest, and be patient with yourself. We’re all just doing our best, and that is always good enough.

Until next time.

***

Thank you for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

Advertisements

Monday Motivation // Thankful for Love

Hello and happy Monday to you all. Mine has been a busy one already and to be honest I’d like nothing more than to head back home and crawl into my nice warm bed. But that is not what Mondays are for. Mondays are a new start and a fresh chance to make changes in our lives that move us forward and make us happy.

This month I am doing my best to incorporate the principles of Thanksgiving into my daily routine. (Even if the story of the Native Americans and the Pilgrims coming together to share a feast is a complete lie). I am working on being thankful for what I have, showing gratitude, connecting with, and appreciating, my community.

This week I am doing something a little different and thanking the person for whom I give credit for all my happiness. This week I am thankful for the love of my amazing girlfriend. I know without a doubt that without her, my life would be less joyful, less fulfilling, and certainly less comfortable and secure.

“Thank you…for gracing my life with your lovely presence, for adding the sweet measure of your soul to my existence.”

― Richard Matheson, What Dreams May Come

Of course I am thankful for the love of all my family and friends but her love has changed me in a way I would never know was possible had I not experienced it first hand. Romantic love is so different from the other kinds of love we have in life. It is the love you have for someone who sees you at your best and often at your worst. This love reminds you that you are not an island. It reminds you that going through life with a teammate and a witness is the greatest gift this life can offer.

My lady is there when I have bad days. She is there to help me through life’s demands and hard choices. She is there to struggle with me and to enjoy the rewards of that struggle. She supports me in my crazy plans and ideas. She listens when I need an ear and she tells me the hard truths no one else will.

One of the things that makes me saddest in this world is when I hear someone who has that kind of love complain about it. I hate to hear that love is being taken for granted. I once had a coworker, after spending a few minutes complaining about his wife, look at me and say “after 14 years there just isn’t anything to talk about anymore, you know?”. No I don’t know, and I hope I never do! After 13 years together me and my girlfriend still talk, joke, and vent together every day.

I think this coworker had gotten lazy in his relationship. He forgot to love and cherish his wife. He forgot what brought them together in the first place. Worst of all, he forgot what it was like before he had her. If you are in a relationship, remember to appreciate what your significant other has given you. Remember to show gratitude and to return the favor. If you can’t do that, then I urge you to love them enough to consider letting them go.

I know that not everyone is lucky enough to have this kind of love in their life. Even our love has not been without its ups and downs and there were times in the past when we almost lost each other. We were lucky and we got through the bad times. I hope we will continue to be lucky and make it through many more.

Even if you’ve loved and lost, you have to admit that when it was good, it was really good. I hope you can look back and see the good that kind of love did for you. If you loved and that love was not returned, be grateful that your capacity for love was proven and do not give up trying to find someone who will return your affections. Be grateful there is even a chance in this world to have that kind of love some time.

As for me, this week I will have a little time off of work with the love of my life and I plan to tell her how much she has meant to me over the years. I hope to remember to do it more often because, without her, my life would be a very lonely and harsh one.

Without her I would never have known how beautiful a place this world could be.

“I want to thank you for the profound joy I’ve had in the in the thought of you.”

― Rosie Alison, The Very Thought of You

 

If We Were Having Coffee – The Big Thank You Edition

Whew! It feels so good to sit down with you for a bit and sip a good cup of coffee. I have been so busy lately but the holidays are over now, I survived, and things should start to die down a bit.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had a wonderful Christmas. I visited with one of my brothers who I don’t get see very often and met his very adorable girlfriend. Us kids got together with our dad who we also don’t see very often and it was hardly awkward at all. Then I saw my mother and sisters and niece and nephew and had a ton of fun with them. We spent time with the in-laws, which dwas a bit awkward but also good.

Christmas day was spent just me and my lovely lady. We woke up and made ourselves a nice big breakfast, and then the wine started flowing. We drank, and ate, and watched movies the whole day! I have to say it was definitely the best Christmas ever and I highly recommend couples spend the day lounging with each other rather than stressing and rushing around to make family happy.

There were gifts too. A bunch of camera accessories, filters, and lenses, and what not, and a shark tooth necklace for her from me. I got tickets to see The Nutcracker, which we did yesterday, a big, soft, stuffed snake to tide me over until the real one comes, and a beautiful engagement ring to match the one I got for her last year. Mine has an opal and two raw diamonds, my favorites. Pictures soon I promise.

If we were having coffee I would say that, all in all, it was a beautiful end to the year. All that’s left to do now is to find a party to ring in the New Year at!

If we were having coffee I would also take a moment to say a great, big, thank you to you. I feel like I have neglected you a bit, Dear Reader. I haven’t written nearly as much as I had hoped these past few months, but you stuck by me. You read my posts, even the bad ones, and liked, and commented, and gave feedback and encouragement. I can’t thank you enough for that.

I started this blog just last March with no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it. I still generally feel that way but things are becoming clearer. If nothing else I have learned that I do love to write and to share what I think and feel with all of you. I look forward to spending another year here with you Dear Reader, I am sure it will be even better than the last.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had better go. There is more writing to be done and I have to get to work. I would wish you all the best going into the New Year, in case I might not see you again. I would give you a hug and tell you the coffee was on me.

See you next time Dear Reader.

If We Were Having Coffee…and Baileys

It’s another late night coffee date, which means I am adding some Baileys to mine and I’m encouraging you to do the same :)

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this past week was alright. I mean, it started out rough because I was sick but I am finally getting over that and just about feeling normal again. There is still irritation in my chest and throat and I will have a small coughing fit a few times a day and at least once every night. Thank God for Ricola cough drops though! They really work but don’t eat too many in a row. I did that earlier in the week and it wrecked havoc on my digestive system!

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that me and my Ole Lady had a wonderful week together last week. We had noticed that the stress from work was causing us to be irritable and short with each other. We weren’t treating each other very well at all and after a few arguements we finally sat down and really talked it out. We realized that we didn’t want to be like that, we love each other too much to be acting like that! So now we are patient with each other and show each other love whenever possible. We know things may bubble over again but we’ll just talk it out again and again.

If we were having coffee I would take a minute to thank you for being here and listening to me. This blog hit 200 followers this past week and I have to say I am very honored that there are people who like what they read here enough to like and comment and follow. I started this blog just 8 months ago and I never imagined that I would learn so much both about myself and about other people in such a short amount of time. There are times when I feel like I’m not sure what exactly I am doing or why exactly I am doing it but I do know that I am enjoying it and I will be doing this for a long time to come.

If we were having coffee I would say that it was late and I have to work early tomorrow so I have to go. I do hope you had a good week, as always, let me know in the comments, and thank you again for taking a bit of time for me :)

image

100 Followers! Thank You!

IMG_0243.PNG

Today I hit my first goal of 100 followers! I know it isn’t much but it’s more than I thought I would get so I am proud, and happy, and also very grateful. I appreciate everyone of you coming to my blog and taking the time to read and comment. I haven’t been able to return the favor for each of you but I will take the time this week to check out all of your blogs as well.

Reaching 100 followers has also made me think more about what I plan to do with this blog. I went ahead and purchased the domain zenandpi.com and I plan to do my best to post everyday. I still don’t have much of a focus except to learn to write better. I want to write about everything and as time goes on I might find I like to write about some things more than others and the focus will narrow. Everything I have read has told me to choose a niche but I can’t choose one when I don’t know much about writing at all. So I guess I will be pretty random for awhile, I hope that’s ok.

Thank you all again for choosing to follow me, I hope I don’t disappoint. As always I welcome your comments and critiques. I love hearing from you all, even if it’s just to say hi.

It’s Monday – Lets Do This!

image

Good Morning!

Normally I hate mornings, Monday morning especially, but this week I am trying to do things a little differently. I am trying to see Mondays in a whole new light. Mondays are new beginnings, Mondays are full of potential! So I think I am going to start doing posts every Monday, hopefully earlier in the day than this one, and include summeries of the week before, goals for the week coming up, and “intentions” for the week. By intentions I don’t mean a to do list I mean a a sort of personal affirmation, a way of thinking or being for the week. So let’s do this!

“Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?”

― Wendy & Dennis Mannering

Last week was a pretty good week. I got more writing done. I still feel like I am just an average writer but I have found joy in it. Really it has been over the past few weeks that I have really gotten into this blog and tried to make it something.

I want to say a quick thank you to all my new followers and commenters. I try to get back to everyone and check out their blogs too. I’m still apprehensive about leaving comments of my own on other blogs but my goal is at least two a day. The community here on WordPress is amazing and I really want to be a part of it. So two comments a day and find more blogs to follow. If you want to leave a comment here or on any of my posts or pages I will definitely check your blog out.

I have been working on writing at least 750 words a day on top of writing for this blog. I signed up for the monthly challenge over on 750words.com and I got busy on Friday, the 2nd, and forgot to write. I am really disappointed in myself and I will be donating $5 to the website since that was my pledge if I didn’t write daily. Just sucks I messed up on day 2!

I have noticed a tendency to slip into bad procrastination habits. I am mindful of it and try to stop my mind from wandering or fighting itself. There are things that I want to get done but fear is getting in the way. I don’t really need to be afraid though. When I think about it just trying new things is an accomplishment in and of itself. My girlfriend has been so supportive and tells me she’s proud of me for doing this. She knows I like writing and I think she sees this as putting myself out there in a small but significant way and she thinks it’s good.

I’m doing ok with the quitting smoking thing. We went out with friends Friday night and I couldn’t resist drinking without buying a pack of cigarettes. I’m also having trouble dealing with irritation without smoking. It’s funny high stress situations I can handle, mild irritation, I have to smoke. I’m working on it and I am doing really well. I stay positive and try again every time.

This week I hope to do 750 everyday and post here 5 or 6 times. The words are easier because I can write however I want. Here I have to focus and have a topic and decent grammar. I am also thinking of doing an outline for a short story. I want to write one but I want to take my time with it. I’ve never written a story before so for now just research and an outline. I’m also going to try to find a few blogs that feature short stories. I’m looking for a bit of inspiration. Having never written anything like that I don’t really know how to go about it. Anyone out there who can offer any tips that would be GREATLY appreciated!

Another big thing I want to do this week is start drawing again. I used to draw a lot. I was in love with charcoal for a long time. I like to do more realistic drawing of human and animal anatomy but my goal is to change it up a bit and add a touch of fantasy. I also want to learn to work with other mediums, particularly ink and water color. I have some ideas for a graphic novel too. Small steps though! So this week I just need to put the pencil to paper and sketch a bit. Nothing too big, I have no expectations of myself. Just putting pencil to paper will be an accomplishment.

“The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities.”

― Unknown

So this week I will accomplish my goals by being mindful of where I waste my time and what I waste my time on. I need to focus and prioritize! That does not mean that every moment needs to be filled with productivity. There will be time for relaxing but I need to make sure my free time is filled with the things that matter. Free time need not be wasted time. More time with my girlfriend is important, more time with family and friends is important, more time scrolling through Facebook and checking bullshit emails is not.

So what are your goals for the week? How are you accomplishing them? I’d love to hear any ideas or tips, or even just words of encouragement. I could really use them you know. :)

A Letter to You, My Dream Reader

image

I mentioned the other day that I had been checking the Blogging U. 101 and 201 courses. I think they are on day 11 today but I decided to give the 101 Day 6 a try. The challenge was to write a blog post to your Dream Reader. I admit I saw this challenge two days ago and I found I was really struggling with it. I have been learning how to get more people to my blog but I never pictured who those people might be. I thought long and hard about it and I realized me dream reader is you. My dream reader is anyone and everyone. I am here because I have a story, and because I know you have a story too.

So, to you, my dream reader,

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to get to know me. You took a little time out of your day for me and I am grateful. Hopefully you fell like I am someone you can relate to because I want you to know that I am. Some parts of us are universal, and we all share in the hardship that is the human condition. There are differences in the details but deep down we are all the same. I know that life can feel like it’s nothing but stress and suffering. There is no road map and we are all trudging along in the dark hoping to find something good. Sometimes you might feel lost. Sometimes you make the wrong choices. You will get angry, you will get sad, and sometimes you will hurt people, especially those close to you.

“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

I want to know that I see you and you are beautiful. I want you to know that all things you don’t like about yourself are the things that make you special and unique. I want to be like a mirror to you so you might in turn be a mirror to someone else. I will show you the ugly parts of me and turn them around so you can see the beauty in my imperfections and look inside yourself and see the same.

You give me hope. Hope that deep down inside every human being there is goodness, even in the parts we see as bad. If only we could all take the time to stop and see it the world could be a better place. I am working on doing the same for myself and through this blog I hope to show you that you can do it too. So thank you Dream Reader, thank you for reading my story. Thank you for connecting with me if for only a moment. Thank you for following my journey. And thank you for walking the path with me.

“Thanks to you guys and girls who read my stuff, too. May you have long days and pleasant nights.”

― Stephen King