Tag Archives: Friends

What I’m Thankful For

Recently I’ve learned not to complicate things; that I’m a simple person that thrives on the little things. So when I started thinking about what I’m thankful for, I thought of all the things I’ve learned over the last few years about myself and where I currently live, Oswego, NY.

My list may seem cliche and boring, but to me, after learning about all the hardships of those in my community without the same “Zella” luck that I’ve been able to take advantage of, it made me appreciate what I have even more.

With that being said, here’s my list of things I’m grateful for since I started living on my own and learning about what it takes to survive.

1) I can afford to turn my heat on: For many people, this is an unaffordable luxury. It’s not terribly expensive, despite National Grid charging $60 in “delivery fees,” but for some this is a burden that can only be combated with layers of clothes while in the house.

2) My car starts every time I need it to: Another thing that people may take for granted, my car is the most expensive thing I have and something I’m really proud of now that I am paying for it on my own.

3) I have a (two) job(s): They’re not much, but I can pay my bills and frankly, isn’t that all we need?

4) I can afford to eat what I want, when I want: My favorite part of Italy wasn’t the history or the sights, it was about what the Italian people really care about: Food, culture, and conversation. When I visited my family in Milan, we didn’t do anything extravagant; nothing that would get a wow out of a thrill seeker. We went on bike and car rides, swam in a river, went to festivals, and ate and ate and ate. Though this is something a lot of people don’t find to be one of the more important parts of their lives, the fact that I get to surround myself with good people and tasty food makes my life a little better, and I’m glad I can afford to do it.

5) My clothes fit: Everyone complains about clothes and I’ll admit, I do too. But when I really think about it, I have clothes that fit and make me look a bit better when I need to go into public.

6) I have people around me that genuinely care about my existence: Good friends are hard to come by and even harder to keep in your life, especially if you met them in college. However, I’ve been lucky enough to keep a good group of people in my life for quite some time now, even if they live 3 or 6 hours away. When I messaged old high school buddies to help me be a part of Movember, they signed right up with me. When I call a friend in Buffalo and ask what’s going on, we spend over an hour shooting the breeze and planning a visit to each other’s current residence. It’s amazing; something I’ll never take for granted. My family, too, has continued to be a rock for me to stand on in a time of need, even if it’s not of the fiscal nature. I can always call my parents or grandparents for a good laugh and some reassurance.

7) I’m on my way to a Masters Degree: I was lucky enough to have most of graduate school paid for by my employer, SUNY Oswego, making it easy for me to concentrate on my studies and complete my degree in 4 semesters. With one more semester remaining, I’m happy with what opportunities have turned into over the last 2 years.

8) And of course, my girlfriend: She’s put up with me more than anyone of the last 2 years. Between never being home, reading or writing papers when I am home, and making sure I eat every day, there hasn’t been a person more involved with keeping me on the right track than Leah.

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Being responsible for your emotions: A rant

We’ve all heard the saying, “Control your own happiness,” but what about other emotions? Sadness, regret, and anger are all things we humans experience on a somewhat regular basis. Why should we let other people have such a huge influence on the positive or negative aspects of our lives? I recently figured out a little bit about myself and started understanding why it is I do what I do.

I want to control my ALL of my emotions. If I’m going to be happy, I want to be the reason I’m happy. Whether it’s surrounding myself with family and loved ones, playing hockey or music, or just having a couple beers with some friends around a bar or a fire. I answer to no one when it comes to my happiness.

This goes the same for my occasional err…somewhat constant anger and aggressiveness. I choose to let it out when I want, which is probably healthier than keeping it in. Meh, what do I know, I’m not a doctor, nor is yelling at someone from my car for cutting me off going to change anything. Anyway, I want to be in control of those emotions, too. I’d rather get in trouble for something I did and be mad/embarrassed at myself than let someone else make me feel helpless and have anger towards them for something I can’t control.

I want to make my own messes and I want to clean them up.

I want to make my own mistakes and I want to own up to them.

 

I’ve been called abrasive, aggressive, angry, unorthodox, told that I worry too much and to slow down…yada. yada. yada. You know what? (Cue hardcore lyrics) “I’ll keep my failures. You keep waiting.” (Call It Fire) In other words, keep it to yourself. I’ll be over here learning something from what I just did.

I don’t mind being the guy who tells you what you don’t want to hear. I don’t mind being honest.

I do mind when people don’t do their jobs and I catch the raw end of it. I’d rather let them know and skip a few rings in the “chain of command” to make people aware of the problem than sit there and have no control and be miserable. Too many people sit idly by and let things happen to them. They get stepped on or skipped over all together. I want to learn from mistakes, because that’s what life is all about, right?

Sometimes bureaucracy is helpful, but most times it isn’t. For what my jobs have been and what I hope one day they will be, and that’s helping or educating others, we don’t have time for it. Face problems head on. Take ownership of the problems and mistakes made along the way. Then, move on. Put your pride away and learn something to help the people you’re supposedly in favor of.

The moral of this rant is, control your emotions. Not in the, “keep them in check” kind of way, but in the, “take them by the horns” kind of way. Be happy, be sad, be angry, cry, punch shit, be alone or with others, write a blog post about it, laugh SO loud, scream your face off – be emotional on your own terms.

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Weight

You don’t have to think about something all the time for it to be a burden. It’s also hard to realize how much something weighs on your mind until it goes away or you get closure. Last night I spoke to someone that I haven’t talked to in a long time and you know what, it went pretty well. For someone I never expected to have a real conversation with again, it went as well as it could have.

It wasn’t exactly closure, but dare I say it helped us move into a new chapter in this whole situation.

I won’t go into detail on how it all started, but I will say he absolutely had his reasons not to talk to me. No matter how much I hated the idea of losing a friend, I knew that I needed to just let it happen.

It bothered me for a while that we just weren’t friends anymore and even more so because there was nothing I could do to fix it. But last night we actually spoke and it was more than just “Hey” in passing. I was caught off guard when we talked about music for a second and that, “Yeah, I’ll have one of them get in touch with you this weekend,” as we briefly talked about our old bandmates coming to Oswego for Harborfest and that we should hang out and jam or whatever.

Even though I was really happy that I found the medallion thing hidden at the Raven (a local bar I frequent) that came with a few prizes, the fact that we were speaking lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. Like I said, it wasn’t something that I thought about all the time, but it was definitely something that bothered me enough that it was on my mind.

I know it’s not over and we’re not all of a sudden best friends, but as this point, talking is better than pretending that the other person didn’t exist.

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(The “medallion” which won me $13, a t-shirt, and 2 pints of beer)

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