Memories from an Airplane

About a year and a half ago, I was on a plane heading to San Francisco for work. While waiting in line, I saw a very attractive young lady. I assumed she was older than me, but I’m bad with guessing ages. As we lined up to get on the plane, a different woman asked if there was a line. I said, “Your guess is as good as mine. It’s sort of turned into a mish-mash of people just shuffling forward.” As the lady smiled and thanked me, the girl, who clearly overheard, chuckled slightly.

I loaded onto the plane and put one of my bags down in a seat near mine so that I could put my other bag in the overhead compartment. After I put my bag in storage, I noticed the girl was standing there, waiting. I apologized for holding her up and stepped out of the way, only to watch her sit in the seat next to my bag. I moved my bag and sat down next to her, but realized I had put my bag in the wrong seat. I quickly tried to correct my mistake, and offered her the window seat, but she said it was no big deal, and insisted she was fine sitting where she was.

We ended up chatting for the bulk of the flight, save for a few minutes when she fell asleep (it was an early flight). As it turns out, she’s from the San Francisco area, but was visiting her mom, who lives in a city near mine. Eventually, toward the end of the flight, she told me she was going to be back in a couple of months. I said, “Awesome! If you want someone to show you around when you’re back, I’d be more than happy to.” She said that would be great and we exchanged numbers.

For a few weeks, we exchanged occasional texts, but the content was shallow, and the responses were infrequent. I started to think maybe she’d just given me her number because she didn’t know how to say she didn’t want to. And I was content with that. I even felt a little bad for asking in the first place once I began to assume that might have been the case. Why did I feel that way?

Because women are scared to reject men, and rightfully so in the vast majority of cases. She could either say, “Sure, here is my number,” and slowly stop texting me from several states away, or she could say no and I could be a lunatic that follows her home. The flight was just over an hour long, so it’s not as though she could really gauge my character, so she had no idea how I’d respond. So giving me her number and then slowly cutting off contact is much safer. And because I knew that, I wasn’t upset with her.

I was sad that we got along for the duration of the flight, and now I wouldn’t get to continue getting to know her. I was disappointed that she would be back in a couple of months and I wouldn’t get to show her around, because I love giving people a tour of my stomping grounds. But ultimately, I knew I’d get over it, because I’d “hung out” with her for less than two hours, and texted her on and off for about two weeks. It wasn’t as though she had any significant impact on me. So I did get over it. And it didn’t take long.

Even that response feels like a bit much though. My sadness over the situation seemed, even then, unwarranted since I barely knew her. Being hung up on it and disheartened even for the couple of weeks that I was seemed excessive. But being sad is the natural response to being excited about the prospect of something, and having it fall through. It’s okay to be disappointed. It’s normal to be disappointed.

What isn’t normal, though, is to harbor those feelings of resentment and let them manifest by way of shooting up a fucking school. And pretending that behavior is even the slightest bit normal or rational by saying, “He was rejected by one of the victims,” only serves to further perpetuate this culture of violence that we find ourselves living in today. Everyone pointing to this girl rejecting the advances of someone she wasn’t interested in as the reason she and her classmates are dead needs to stop and really reflect on what they’re saying. This is a level of victim-blaming that I hoped we’d never reach. “If she didn’t want to get shot, she should’ve just gone out with him”? Is that really where we are?

Men: Please, prepare yourselves for the notion of being rejected. It will happen. It will hurt. And you will get the fuck over it. Because that’s life and that’s what happens. (Note: I’d direct this to all genders, but men are the only ones shooting up schools)

Everyone else sympathizing with this wretched piece of filth because a girl said no: Shut the fuck up.

Memories from an Airplane

Dust the Page

I just spent the last half hour going through all of the old drafts on this blog, as well as removing some of the other posts I did publish. While looking at this blog, it may look like I haven’t had much to say over the course of the last couple of years; that’s not at all the case.

Some time after I started writing on this again, I became really insecure about the things I was writing about. I didn’t want people to see that I struggled with things. I didn’t want loved ones to read that I’m not always 100% thrilled with the choices they make or the things they feel or believe in. And I didn’t want to make anyone sad. I like presenting myself as some sort of beacon of happiness, because that’s generally how people perceive me for some reason. I don’t like the thought of that facade fracturing, and revealing that I’m human. People feel comfortable coming to me for help, whether it’s for advice or just to vent, and in my mind, that must be because I am always such a source of positivity. I don’t want to let those people down.

So I began drafting posts, and saving the drafts, but never posting them. It was a good way to get my feelings out without getting them out. This morning, though, I realized I have some things I want to write about, and I want some of those things to be read. I decided to revive this blog. I’m not sure if I’ll tweet out any of the things I’m writing, or promote the entries in any way, but I’m not going to save secret drafts anymore. I can be open and honest about the things I think and feel and admit that sometimes, I get really fucking sad. And I can have that out in the open, which I didn’t realize until very recently.

This realization has come largely from having a very good group of supportive friends that value mental and emotional health, and speak openly about their own struggles, as well as offer solace when I’ve made the effort to voice mine. That attitude has taught me that everyone endures some sort of mental or emotional adversity at some point, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting it.

Lately, though, I’ve been much happier. At the beginning of 2018, I realized I was depressed. Not in the sense of being sad always, but in the sense of being in the doldrums. Every day was a cycle that repeated. I would wake up, drink coffee, work my 9-6 job, drink beer or bourbon, try to do something to unwind, go to bed, and do it all over again. I wasn’t getting any gratification from anything I did on a daily basis, but because I wasn’t in a state of emphatic despondency, I didn’t feel like I could really complain. Everything was just routine and the individual aspects of the routine were objectively good things, so my grievances weren’t justified. And I couldn’t point to anything that took me to that place, so I didn’t know what to change or fix or how to escape it. Eventually, I sought out therapy.

After two visits and four instances of reassurance that the therapy sessions I was attending were covered by my insurance, I received a bill for $325 and a bill for $250. I canceled my next visit and wrote a strongly worded letter to the therapist, suggesting that lying to people who likely have issues with trusting and opening up might earn her a living, but maybe isn’t the best way to go about being a professional (though much like the drafts I previously mentioned, I never sent it). I decided it was the wrong time for therapy, because I didn’t have that kind of money.

Eventually, I was offered a part-time job at a bar owned by some of my friends. Nothing fancy, just the closing shift on Sunday nights. Between the self-esteem boost I received from working this job (as it’s a job I take immense pride in), meditating more regularly, and spending my spare time (which is now immensely limited) doing important, productive things, I haven’t had too many instances of dark thoughts creeping into my day-to-day life.

Earlier this week, one of my best friends came out to visit for a few days. She and I met in Seattle at a video game convention back in 2015 and have kept in touch online since then. She’s become an amazing source of support, perspective, and general amusement, and having her here was an immense joy. It was one of those instances of a friendship blending seamlessly from online interaction to face-to-face interaction which, if you haven’t experienced, I can only describe as looking at clothing online and finding a shirt you really like, and having it fit perfectly when it shows up. If you haven’t experienced that, then I can’t fucking help you.

I took her to the airport early yesterday morning and was hit with a wave of sadness at the thought of her leaving. Generally, I’m ready for visitors and guests to leave by the time they are leaving. I love my personal time and space and can’t wait to get back to routine once it’s been disrupted. But this time I didn’t feel that. I just felt sad.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was at least partially because I’d spent several days having someone to go out and experience things with, which is something I haven’t had in a long time. I’ve been single for years now and that often results in the “fifth wheel” situation (which I’ve found I don’t do well in) or hanging out in more of a group setting, which doesn’t have the same level of personal connection that spending time with one person does. Having someone to just go do things with, and connecting through experiencing those things, is something I’ve really missed and something I greatly enjoyed. And I don’t mean it in any sort of a romantic way, just from the angle of genuinely connecting on a personal level with someone. Getting to do that for a few days was fantastic, and losing it was almost painful.

This is the first foray I’ve had into being sad again, after about two months of being happier, but I can tell I’ve grown because rather than wallowing in these feelings, I’m thinking about ways I can move past them. Maybe I can make more of an effort to spend time with friends one-on-one, and experience those moments of connection more often. I can also acknowledge that this feeling of being sad is temporary. By the end of today, I may have completely moved past it, but even if I don’t, I will eventually, so spending my day feeling like a fuck-up for being anything less than elated is silly.

Dust the Page


A year ago, I didn’t have any friends here.

A year ago, I spent Thanksgiving with my parents and my ex because I knew she had nowhere to go and still figured we could save shit.

A year ago, I was unhappy. Despite my best efforts, I was still a person in need of change, growth, and perspective.

Tonight, I was invited to “Friendsgiving”. I hung out and had drinks with the people who have given me a social life.

I sat and explained that the only reason I have friends is because of an establishment that my friends all spend time at.

I explained it to one of the two people who own that establishment.

She cried and told me it was awesome as I explained that the only reason I was sitting at the same table was because of friends I made at the place she owned.

Life is weird and it leads you through all kinds of ups and downs. I’m a firm believer that most of the time, those things are (be it in the immediate future or distant) good. You’ll get where you need to go because of those things. It was awesome to tell someone that they’d impacted my life in a fairly significant way when they just thought of me as a familiar face.

I love the friends I have now. I’m alright with the life I have. Things might just be okay, but that’s okay and I’m okay with where I am. Goodnight.


I don’t know what this is

Have you ever felt like nobody wants you?

Not in the sense that people don’t like you

More in the sense that people like you but nobody desires you.


It’s funny because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy:

You don’t feel like anyone wants to be with you

So you start examining the aspects of yourself that may not be “desirable”

But then you realize there are too many to deal with

And then all your self-confidence is gone and you become undesirable

Because nobody wants to be around someone who isn’t confident.


The only way to get past it is to learn to accept yourself

For everything that you are.

People always say, “Make peace with your insecurities,

Because they make you who you are.”

But what people don’t tell you is that you can love every aspect of yourself…

It doesn’t mean anybody else will.

I don’t know what this is

Just Let Your Dreams be Dreams

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want lately. As far as my long-term goals go, I have a few things that I’d absolutely love to do and to some extent, I’m constantly working on those goals (to varying degrees), but I’m honestly not putting everything I have into them every day. I’d love to be, but life gets in the way and it’s sometimes just not an option. I’ve dreamed of making my living as a musician ever since I was 11 years old. The only thing that I don’t get bored of and don’t want to distance myself from after repeated exposure is music. I’m at my happiest when I’ve finished writing a song and I get to hear the finished piece or play it through for the first time, even if it’s just on my own.

Tomorrow I’m auditioning for a spot as a lead guitarist in a band that will be touring; almost exactly what I’ve always dreamed of doing. If I nail it and this band is legitimate and will be going out on tour, I’ll be making my dream come true. And honestly? I’m fucking terrified.

When I think about the life I have right now, I’m happy. I work a full-time job that I don’t legitimately hate where I’m paid a decent salary (I’m severely underpaid as far as the industry is concerned, but for my area, I do pretty well). I own a house because of that job and have minimal credit card debt (I had none until my refrigerator died recently). I have a great relationship with my family and friends and I have an amazing dog who is always down to hang out with me when I’m really down. If I take this opportunity,  I may have to leave that job. As this band is up & coming, I’d imagine I won’t make enough to own this house anymore. I may not even make enough to keep my dog. Part of me doesn’t want to leave any of that behind.

But there’s another part of me that’s totally discontent with things being the way they are. Something about the day-to-day grind and feeling like I’ve just become a workhorse that wakes up, drinks coffee, works all day, has a couple of beers to unwind, goes to sleep and does it again is legitimately sickening to me. I keep telling myself it’s all temporary until something better comes along, but there are days when I think this is it. I have friends that are content with that life and say they’d only chase their dreams if their dreams proved to be as prosperous (monetarily speaking) as their current situation.

I get that to a certain extent because change is scary and comfort is not, but if your dream is to be an author, you’re probably not going to write a best-seller and be set from there on out. You’re going to have to struggle if you want to chase your dreams.

The funny thing is, it’s all tentative. The band is more of a singer-songwriter whose backing band I’d be a part of and he doesn’t have any recorded material to date, but is currently recording an album. I could go to the audition and blow it and never get a call back. I could go out to audition and find that I just don’t jive well with the rest of the band. I could go out and find out that “recording his first album” means he’s sitting with Protools on a Macbook, no record label or way to really make income on it, in a bedroom at his parent’s house and “touring” means we might drive 4 hours to Salt Lake City to play a show and then come home. None of this is certain and I’m still stressing over it like I need to make the decision tomorrow. Either way, it’s gotten me to think about whether or not I’d be willing to give up what I have to chase what I want.

But I still don’t have the answer.

Just Let Your Dreams be Dreams

Sand is overrated.

For the first 22 years of my life, I didn’t really dream that often. I’d have dreams that I remembered every few nights. Normal dreams, nightmares, whatever. I didn’t have any of them that often (They say you dream every night, it’s just whether or not you remember it, but that’s not the point I’m making).

After my last relationship ended, I weirdly started having dreams a lot more regularly. I don’t think that the two events were necessarily related, but they did happen around the same time. I went from having vaguely memorable dreams a few times a month to having vivid dreams a couple times a week. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed it. I seem to feel more well-rested when I wake up remembering what I had dreamed about the night before. But obviously, if you dream, you’re going to have bad dreams too. Those are the ones I need to write about today.

Starting back in December, I started to have dreams about people. I would have dreams about being in a relationship with someone. Not anyone in particular, though there were a couple of people I was romantically interested in at the time. Without attempting to sound too melodramatic, I was pretty lonely back then and so it only made sense that I’d have dreams like this. But everything felt good in those dreams. You know that feeling you get when you meet someone new and you’re interested in them? You get butterflies. You wake up excited to talk to someone again. The whole time you’re with them, you’re just elated. I felt those feelings in those dreams and when I woke up alone with no real chance of being with these people, I was sad for the rest of the day.

Those dreams happen a lot less lately, though they still pop up from time to time. Lately, they’ve been replaced by dreams about the girl that I dated most recently. We knew each other for 3 weeks before I ended up breaking things off, so I’m exceptionally bothered by these dreams. Saturday night, I relived my entire first date with this girl in my dreams. The entire fucking thing. Details about that night that I didn’t even remember made their way back into my mind as we retraced our steps.

Funny enough, I didn’t remember what I dreamed about when I first woke up. Things felt off and then about midway through Sunday afternoon, I remembered what I thought was something that had happened the day before. Then I realized it was a memory from about a month ago and it was fresh because I’d just relived it.

It’s incredibly irritating. Whether I’m reliving dates or dreaming about being with someone, it throws me off for most, if not all, of the day. I’ve been trying to sleep less lately to minimize my chances of having dreams like this because it’s just not that awesome to deal with as often as I have been these last few months. My only hope is that they either go away or my reality gets good enough that these dreams don’t bother me anymore.

On the bright side, I had a zombie apocalypse dream two weekends ago and that was pretty fucking cool.

Sand is overrated.


Sometimes I think about how many people will go to my funeral.

I don’t think there will be a lot of people there. Most of the people I know that would attend are family and friends. I have a lot of family, but I don’t honestly think that most of them will be around by the time I go. I have a few friends that will probably make it and maybe I’ll have settled down and married someone by then and hopefully she’ll be there, but other than that, I don’t anticipate a huge crowd of distraught people.

I watched the movie Hesher last night and there’s a funeral scene in it. There are maybe 8 people in the entire room during the service. A father and his son, a neighbor, and a handful of nameless grievers. Every time I see a scene like that in a movie, I feel like that’s what my service will look like.

That isn’t to say I think I’m unlikable. I have a decent amount of friends, but given the fact that most of them are online friends, I don’t know how many I’ll keep in touch with until then. I’ve recently made a few “real life” friends, but I don’t think any of them would show up.

My great grandpa died when I was 15 and it’s the first funeral I was old enough to remember vividly. He was absolutely beloved in every sense of the word. Everyone in the family loved him, everyone he knew loved him. He made an impact on every person he met. We all wept together at the loss of this beautiful, beautiful man. It was powerful.

I would love to think I’ll have affected that many people by the time I die, not out of some desire to be some kind of adored figure, just out of a genuine love for helping people out. But the reality is, I don’t do much for other people. I basically stay in my own house most of the time, focused on myself and my dog. That isn’t to say I’m selfish. I’d like to think I’m pretty accommodating to other’s needs and desires and almost pride myself on it, but the scenarios in which I can show that don’t present themselves to me that often because I am so god damn reclusive.

And I don’t know that I want to change it. I feel like I’m supposed to be quiet and keep to myself and not touch many peoples’ lives. I feel like that’s what my life will mostly be. I’ll have a few great friends who I will help and who will help me through hard times and that will be about it.

So I don’t think many people will come to my funeral.



When I was 13 years old, I spent a few days in Brussels, Belgium with my family. My dad had spent a summer there with his aunt and uncle, who were living there at the time, when he was about 15 or 16 and wanted to me to experience the same thing, so he, my mom, a couple of family friends, and my best friend all took a trip to Europe with one of our stops being Brussels.

I grew up in a very rural area. The town I grew up in had a population of less than 2000 people, most of which were white Christians. Accordingly, that was all I was familiar with. I didn’t know much about other religions or other peoples’ beliefs and wasn’t religious myself, but I grew up in a conservative family. My mom and dad are both heavily affected by acts of terrorism in the sense that they react exactly how terrorists would want them to: they get scared. As a kid, some of that inevitably rubbed off on me.

Accordingly, when we went to Brussels, it was one of the biggest culture shocks I’d ever experienced. Not only were people speaking other languages primarily, but we stayed in a Muslim neighborhood. We would hear them praying in the middle of the night. I was fucking terrified. I knew they weren’t terrorists that were going to plan some kind of attack on my family and I in the middle of the night. I was scared for two reasons. One was that it was new to me. New things are always scary for at least a minute. The other reason was I felt that the world at large hated America. I was scared to be American because I didn’t know how someone would react to me being American in a foreign country. Whether it was a result of the fear that comes from terrorism or my 13 year old mind knowing that my country had no place in the war and that the rest of the world was looking at us with judging eyes, I’m not sure, but I was terrified. I was relieved when we left and went back to England.

As I got older, I learned more about the world and became less scared of things I didn’t know. Like I said, new things are always scary, but as I got older I learned that it’s important to be scared of those things until you get to know them. Then they become familiar, you’re not scared anymore, and you’ve learned something. One of those things was Islam.

I wound up learning about it because one of my all time favorite musicians, Cat Stevens, had given up on a life of what was probably agnosticism after a near-drowning experience where he pleaded to whoever is out there and said, “If you can save me, I’ll devote my life to you.” He lived and began studying religion to see which made the most sense to him and landed on Islam. Having someone I admired embrace a religion that I didn’t understand and had grown up almost fearing helped me get over that. I looked into it. I became informed of their beliefs, customs, and realized it’s another religion. It doesn’t preach terrorism or carrying out massacres on Americans. It’s just a religion.

When I learned of the tragedy in Brussels yesterday, I had two thoughts after being fucking devastated that a landmark of my childhood (even if I was terrified of it) had endured something like this. It almost felt closer to home than any attacks on US soil. But anyway. My first thought was how different it will be for me when I go back. Not solely because of the tragedy, but because my perspectives have changed. I’m excited for that. I’m a much more open, accepting, and understanding person now and I know things will be better. My second thought was one of disgust for the inevitable “Muslims are terrorists” backlash that it obviously received. They’re fucking not.

I encourage you to look up and research something you don’t understand. I guarantee that 10 times out of 10, you’ll have an idea of where the people who believe in it are coming from, even if you don’t agree. Understanding is not only much more important, but way more fun than living in fear of things you don’t “get”.

A friend of mine tweeted that we should be focused on uniting in times like this, not pointing the finger at one side and excluding them. Muslims live in Brussels and Muslims very likely died in the attacks. They could use some camaraderie too.


Start Up This Fire (With Hope & Desire)

Alternatively titled “Go to a Bar. Alone. Part II”.

I wasn’t planning on celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. I’m Irish and I’ve celebrated in the past, but I wasn’t really feeling it yesterday. I’ve felt that way about a lot of holidays since I’ve become single. Holidays are based around tradition and though I’m a traditionalist through and through, I get really sad at the thought of honoring a tradition by myself. In the past, I’ve made steaks and vegetables that were soaked in Guinness and herbs all day for my family/significant other. I had no drive to do that for just myself. In fact, I love cooking, but I only really feel in my element or enjoy it if I’m preparing something for someone else. I don’t care nearly as much when it’s just for myself. But none of this is the point of my story.

So I didn’t plan on doing anything. A friend (who I met by going to a bar alone) said he might be having some people over for a fire in his back yard, but he wasn’t sure and would text me to let me know. If I didn’t hear from him, I was just gonna watch Peaky Blinders and hang out at home.

But then he texted. Said people were coming over around 9:30-10:00 and that I was welcome whenever. My social anxiety skyrocketed at the thought of actually doing something with a ton of strangers. The idea was cool and exciting, but once it became a reality, I was terrified. But I ended up meeting him and some of our friends at a bar about an hour and a half before the fire was supposed to start. By the time we got to my friend’s house, a ton of people had already shown up (we were late). I met a ton of new people, including a transgender girl who introduced herself to me almost immediately, since I was the only person she didn’t know.

As the night went on and people got more comfortable, due to a combination of alcohol and just generally warming up to people, she ended up telling me that she was very afraid to talk about being trans in front of me. She said that when I walked in, I had a very confident “tough guy” vibe about me (thanks, leather jacket) and she was kind of intimidated, because she wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it or if I’d accept her. I assured her that I’m not that way at all, have trans friends, and am generally accepting of just about everything. But it still struck me as odd.

I’m not a tough guy and I’m not confident. I definitely put up a persona so that I can function in social situations, but I never intend to come across like a “tough guy”. A couple months ago, my ex and I went out for drinks to just kind of hang out and talk while I was dealing with some personal shit. I told her that I’d been going out a little bit more and wanted her honest opinion on how I came across, so that I knew how to approach other people. She also used the term “intimidating” to describe me. She said I seem like I have my shit together and that it makes me seem uninterested in my surroundings. Not necessarily arrogant and looking down on everyone around me, but self-assured and content with what I already have. Not looking for more.

The difference in how I see myself versus how other people see me is kind of hilarious. I don’t see myself as confident, outgoing, social, or fun to be around. And not in a self-deprecating way, just in a way of knowing what’s going on inside my own head. I’m aware of my insecurities and my weaknesses, but strangers aren’t. Apparently, none of those struggles are outward enough that you can look at me and know I’m really not super comfortable in my own skin.

All in all it was an awesome night and led to new friends and introspective thoughts. In a weird way, I feel more confident knowing that people think I come across as confident.

Start Up This Fire (With Hope & Desire)

Go to a Bar. Alone.

Last night, I wound up going to a bar alone. It’s a spot that I’ve been frequenting, alone, for a few months now. Within the last month, I’ve gotten to a point where people recognize me there. The owners know me by name. Other regulars are excited to see me when I come in.

I went with the expectation to have a couple of beers and head home, but one of my bar-buddies invited me over to another bar with he, his friend, and a couple of girls they had just met. Historically, I would’ve said no. And at first I did. But after my friend’s relentless insisting, I went. It was weird, exciting, and something I wouldn’t have been comfortable doing until recently.

The point to this story is that I moved to this area with no friends nearby. The girl I was with at the time was the only person I knew here and when she and I broke up, I didn’t know anybody. I’ve worked from home for most of the time I’ve lived here and finished my associate’s degree 7 hours away in 2013 with no intentions of going back, so I didn’t have the chance to make friends through work or school like most 23 year olds do. Eventually, despite the fact that I’m not a social person, I was getting lonely and needed some interaction. I decided to go to the cool craft beer bar that I’d visited a handful of times in the last year.

I was terrified to go to a bar alone. I have dealt with social anxiety in the past and didn’t leave my house unless I absolutely had to (for school or work) for a period of about two years. When I was in a relationship, I had a safety net when I left the house. There was someone there who liked me and it didn’t matter what other people thought, cause that person liked me. Without that, I was terrified to do anything I hadn’t done before. But I was more terrified of how dark my thoughts were getting late at night when I hadn’t spoken to a person at all that day, so I forced myself to do it. Months later, I have friends I met at that bar that invite me out to other bars with them like last night, invite me over to their house for Game of Thrones watch-parties, and fires in their back yard. All because I went to a bar alone.

Whether you need more friends or you’re content with the friends you have, go to a bar alone. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. At the very least you’ll walk away with a story, whether it’s about how fucking weird that person was or how cool the stranger at the bar was. You might even find yourself with a group of friends in a city where you don’t know anybody.

Go to a Bar. Alone.