So this past week was not a good week, but in hindsight, it was a necessary pain to have gone through. Last Sunday I went to the hospital in an insane amount of pain in my kidney and appendix. I later found out that I have 2 kidney stones. I first had thought it was my appendix but it turns out one of the stones was pushing against it, causing irritation.
This whole week was basically spent passing those stones, I’m not sure if I passed the second one, but after the passing the first stone on Thursday, I ended up in the ER again with intense pains. Due to burning when urinating I have suspicion that I ended up passing the second stone because it broke down…I’ll later blog about this as it’s a longer story as to why I think this is the case.
Today was the first day I worked out again and I feel amazing.
Regardless of the fact to how shitty of an experience this past week was, there’s good to it. What I went through was because for years I ate greasy foods and I consumed alcohol. That is why I had kidney stones and it’s because of my journey to heal and rebuild my body that it was time for my body to push them out. These are foreign objects and my body no longer wanted them. I can tell you one thing, I never want to go through that again. So now I have yet another life long motivation to carry with me.
Not every aspect of this journey is going to be positive, you have to endure pain at times and face adversity to learn and grow. The one thing I realized from this is that regardless of all the new knowledge I have…I still have a lot of improvements to make.
So as of this week, including a week where I wasn’t able to do any working out and I had to drastically change my diet, I am still down 40 lbs.
Am I proud of this, kind of, but I’m not satisfied by any means. There’s so much more I can do and now after going through this my eyes are opened as to how deep I need to really go.
Wanted to share this from an awesome site that I check out every now and again. I no longer drink, but I enjoy good finds and supporting creative people of all platforms, art, photography, music, food, fashion, etc.
It’s just about time to clear your fridge of all those crazy strong imperial stouts you’ve got in there. Days spent out on the deck call for something crisp and flavorful without the quick-acting headache. Here are the 10 beers we think you should be drinking this summer.
1. Schlafly Summer Lager – Link
2. Russian River Supplication – Link
3. Founders All Day IPA – Link
4. Drake’s 1500 American Pale Ale – Link
5. Victory Summer Love Ale – Link
6. Dogfish Head Festina Penche – Link
7. Harpoon Summer Beer – Link
8. Sixpoint The Crisp – Link
9. Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils – Link
10. 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon – Link
The past week I’ve been a little derailed in my journey due to 2 kidney stones but this gave me time to slow down and think about some things that I’ve been wanting to follow through on.
I did a lot of thinking about squandering the gifts we are naturally given in life. When I was about 5 years old, I came to realize my first gift and my first passion in life. I remember it like it were yesterday. I don’t recall what I had done, but I was grounded as usual. So while in my room and laying in my bed, I decided to draw one of the ninja turtles on my ninja turtles bed sheet. This drawing was not like that of what most 5 year olds would produce. I’m sure it wasn’t perfect, but I knew that days that I found something I liked….maybe that’s why I always got grounded? so I could draw in my room? It’s a reach but who knows….
I never gave up on it, I kept drawing and I knew my whole life that people were impressed by it. I also vividly remember my sister asking me to help her on a project. Turns out it wasn’t a project, but something she submitted in class for a drawing competition. Needless to say, she won and “her” drawing was put on display. Disclaimer: That story may be skewed a little due to me being really young and still bitter about it! I kid, I kid.
My mom signed me up for a drawing class at the park district, I was very much against it, but I tried it out. Needless to say, I only attended 1 class. The teacher wanted to me to do all sort of grids and shapes to help create the perspective of the subject…a very common practice in drawing but that’s not how I worked. I would just see things, find a point that felt right (usually an ear) and then just go from there. My perspective was always flawless and while I did have to start over at times, usually it was a one and done. When I got in to high school, I loved and hated the opportunity to take art classes. I had to take all the basic stuff to get up in the more “freeing” classes. Junior year I got in to AP Art (typically a senior class) and that’s when I really started to understand my gift. AP art at our school was amazing, the teacher let us have a lot of control in regards to what we would create, she didn’t confine or limit us. I came to the realization that I was given a gift to express my thoughts, that I could move people, and manipulate their thoughts and emotions….I could give them something to think about. Maybe I was technically sound and I didn’t take classes like a lot of the kids to learn how to do different things and use different mediums.
My teacher and I had a very odd relationship, she once told me “I don’t like you as a person, but I love you as an artist” and she also took me aside one day and had expressed she felt I was one of the few students she had seen in all her years that could actually make it in the fine arts.
Now, my parents didn’t agree with this, they didn’t feel a degree in art would be something that I could make a living off of. Now in life, I completely understand their thought process and I don’t blame them for wanting me to go to school for more practical applications. They weren’t art people or creative types at all, they didn’t come from creative or artistic families, so they didn’t really understand that world and again, I don’t blame them. Essentially they wanted what is best for me and to them, art wasn’t the path to take in life.
Today I also realize that was the day that I gave up on my gift of creating art with my hands that express what is going on in my head. This is my fault and I only have myself to blame for not continuing to make art with my hands.
My life took a fun turn and led me back to being “artistic”, every day I get to use my gift to oversee the creative aspects of my business. People love us because they have ideas, but they don’t know how to make them happen. One of the things we do best is taking their ideas and not only making them come to life, but we better them in the process. I’ve always had this gift to hear someones idea, no matter how detailed or vague it may be and then get 10 ideas in a matter of seconds as to how we can make it happen, improve it, or go in a different direction. I’m blessed to have this gift, it’s just how my brain works and I truly feel this is a big reason why our company (my father and I) has gotten to where it has…don’t worry, I’m not taking all the credit, it’s been an amazing partnership, tho it sometimes reflects that of the Tuttles on American Chopper….
There’s a “but” to this story. As much as I love what I get to do every day and how I get to be creative, I have come to realize that I gave up on a dream and the gift I was originally given, the gift to create something that expresses myself and manipulates peoples thoughts and emotions.
So my goal is to get back to painting and creating in general. Creating concepts and ideas that come from within my head and from my heart. Ultimately I would like to do things that get shown in galleries, I don’t know how the things I create will be accepted, mostly because I don’t have a “fine arts degree” or because I’m not trained. But that’s not something that I will let prevent me from trying.
What are the gifts you were given in life and have you given up on them? If so, I encourage you to find them again and fit them back in to your life. We were given these gifts for a reason, don’t be afraid to use them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “change” lately and I’m starting to realize that change is a word that often comes with negative connotation. A vast majority of people walk around thinking change is not necessary in their life, but they will also be the first to complain when something isn’t going their way or when a negative scenario comes about in their life. These people ask questions in their head that starts with “why…” and usually have the word “me” in it.
So the question I pose is “why” not change? Why is change such a negative thing? Why does change have to be hard?
Maybe the word is deceiving because when people think about change, they think they have to go to all these extremes and totally flip over their life. I now know that this isn’t the case.
I suggest you no longer use the word change, but instead use the word “improve”. Improve your life by becoming the person you see yourself as deep down inside you.
That little voice in your head that you often hear saying “I wish I would have done _______ differently” or “I wish I would have tried _________”. Those thoughts are coming from the real you, the you that wants to be better and try/do new things. It’s the more adventurous, energetic, personable side of you.
Yes, you will have to look at how you’re living your life, the routine you’re in, and the habits you’ve formed over the years. You’ll have to do things differently, you’ll have to take risks, and most importantly, you will have to fail. When you fail, you will have to push forward and keep letting that voice guide you.
These past couple months, every person I’ve met who I’ve talked to about the things I’m doing have all said “I wish I could work out more”….”I wish I could eat better”. None of us go through life not having these thoughts about “change”. So instead of relying on self pity and asking yourself the “why me” questions, ask yourself “how?”.
How do I become the person I see myself as deep down? How do I achieve my goals? How do I improve my life? Then put a plan in action and give it your all. No one ever got somewhere in life by putting in 50% effort, if you put in 100% effort then you will be rewarded. Plain and simple, that is how life works.
Since I don’t want to just sound like someone who is preaching, I figured I should share the improvements I’ve made over the last couple months, feel free to continue reading and ask any questions if you’d like:
1. Get rid of my Gout – I was going on almost 3 months straight of having a gout flair up and I was too embarrassed to go to the doctor again for meds so I just let it go. So for almost 3 months limping around in pain. When you have gout it feels like a broken toe and your toes is swollen and red. These last couple months my toes has been it’s normal size and no pain whatsoever. I made it a personal goal to never suffer from this again.
2. I’ve become more open and honest about myself – Most all of this applies to my family. For whatever reason, in my life I resorted to lying to them to try and get out of bad scenarios. To be honest, I just don’t want to disappoint them and I thought I was slick, so I’d do whatever I could to get out of a jam. I’m not a bad person, the things I’ve done to get in “trouble” in my life are miniscule compared to most people (never been arrested, no drugs, alcohol problems, violence, etc). But when you lie over and over again, people lose trust in you no matter how small the lie may be. I desire a better relationship with my family, I may be completely different from them, but they are my family and it’s become obvious to me that they don’t get me, because I haven’t given them a real chance to know me. We are all very different, but I think that’s what makes us an awesome family b/c we all have different things to offer in life.
3. Cut my nails – I use to just let them grow and then bite them (horrible habit)
4. Cut my toenails! – Feet are disgusting but I love wearing sandals, which was ironic b/c I i would rarely cut my toe nails or pay much attention to washing my feet. I use to have this big thing of dry skin on my right big toe. After making improvements in my care for my feet that was gone within a couple weeks.
5. Stop Eating Out – Have I been perfect on this one, no. I’ve eaten out several times during this whole process. But you know what, I use to eat out 7 days a week virtually 3 meals a day. How I did that, I have no clue….but it’s no wonder why I just had kidney stones to deal with.
6. Think before I talk – I was always one of those people who said the first thing that popped in to their head, but I started to recognize the trouble that was getting me in to. So I’ve noticed myself slowing down, processing thoughts, and even speaking slower as I continue to still process exactly what it is I’m saying. This has caused a lot less issues in my life.
7. Patience – This is definitely still a work in progress as I’ve always had a small amount of patience with people. But I’ve recognized that it brings unnecessary and added stress to my life. A lot of people live in their own little world and they’ll never understand your view point or ever take the time to fully understand a situation. In America, we’re consumers before anything else and technology has shifted the way we expect things in life. I’ve accepted that a majority of people no longer read the information given to them, follow directions, or take the necessary time to solve a problem on their own. Like I said, this is a work in progress b/c when running a business, you’re constantly put in scenarios of ignorance. But I do know one area I’ve thoroughly improved in is handling situations that consider mistakes within the business, you can’t get flustered in front of employees, someone needs to keep calm and solve issues and I feel I’ve stepped up there.
8. Communication – This is yet another work in progress, but I’ve acknowledged that I use to do a horrible job communicating in general. Whether it be work related or personal, I am doing a better job of just letting people know “things”.
9. Getting in a Routine – Don’t get me wrong, I fly by the seat of pants and I can do amazing things when in a time pinch. But living like that takes a toll on your mind and body. Routines are hard for the creative types, but I feel as if I’m achieving more on a daily basis by having some consistency in my day. Organization is a whole other project for me!
10. Over Analyzing Situations: I’ve made huge strides in this department. I’m genuinely an interested person and I ask questions because I care about people and I just honestly want to know things about them. But at the same time, I had a tendency to over analyze and over thing their answers or actions. I’d say the only recent hiccup I had was when I recently sent a girl flowers. It was the first time I’ve sent a girl flowers, but this was the first time where I felt like it was completely necessary. I sent them to her work and her texts were sporadic so I started to get all worried, thinking that it was the wrong move and that I probably embarassed her. But of course, the situation was more simple than that, she was merely busy b/c she was in fact, at work…tending bar, on a Saturday night. So yea, I’ve admitted that I can be an idiot and make myself think things that aren’t true and that helps absolutely nothing. So for once, I’m finally enjoying getting to know someone b/c 1. She doesn’t mind that I ask questions and 2. I don’t dissect everything she says. I just take it for what it is instead of looking for more.
There are plenty more things I could add to this list, but it’s starting to get a little long and I think you get the point.
The point is, I’m finally becoming the person I know I am meant to be. Over the years I’ve picked up bad habits , half-assed a lot things, and been inconsiderate to how my actions effect my life and the people in my life.
For the first time in 28 years I feel like I understand who I am and how I work. This is the first time I truly feel happy in multiple aspects of my life. I realize this is going to be a long journey, but the reward well outweighs the risks that come with “change”.
I invite you to change the way you view the word change and you’ll start to become the person you were meant to be. That first step won’t seem so hard anymore.