Saturday, April 10, 2021

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I hate this mindset. I hate the feelings that go with it. I do not want to be here. Seriously, why am I here? I have no reason to stay. I have no purpose and whatever purpose I can think of, someone else can probably do it better than me.

It’s tiring to be here. I occupy my time doing little projects to combat my “I give up” voice. I’m tired. I’m tired of COVID, I’m tired of the news, I’m tired of people being jackasses, I’m tried of the world. It’s exhausting to be in it. I'm tired of the daily battle I have with my dysthymia. 

What happened? Is it me or has the world truly turned to crap? I don’t remember things being this bad when I was in high school and college and that includes 7 suicide attempts in there. Seriously, that sucked but what’s going on now in the world makes my suicide attempts seem like the best party to ever go to.

I try to counteract the doom and gloom but it’s hard. I try and find a way. I have been told I am resilient. I find a way to keep going even though I have some resistance. My motivation to do things is a struggle and yet I get up out of bed every morning and go to work. I do things but so often I think staying in bed and watching TV for an entire day would be more rewarding. I wish I had the disposition of skateboarder.  They seem so chill, life is good, they all seem to be in a good headspace or maybe people in California are naturally that way due to all the sunshine. I have no idea.

In the past few months, I’ve tried to find the ‘chill zone’ and be better, be happy, feed my inner self, but I’m failing miserably. I have my moments, but it’s a struggle. Trying to find balance quite frankly is a real pain in the ass! This is my life, and frankly, it’s normal and I’m trying to rise above the standard.

Why can’t I be like Tony Hawk or Bucky Lasek? Seriously, they seem so chill and life seems pretty put together for them.  Bucky especially seems to be in a zen like place a lot of the time in his videos. Life is good. I’m sure he has his moments where things suck but he takes it in stride.  I want that!  I want to be in a good place. I want to be in a place where my headspace is light and cheerful instead of dark and dreary all the damn time.  I deserve that, right? 

I would like to experience an hour or a day where everything is good. 

Should I stay or should I go? For now, I will stay and take care of myself. I will continue to be resilient and find new ways to cope with things. I will find things that make me smile and laugh.

Let's end this on a high note. Kelvin Hoefler has become a new fave of mine to watch in skateboarding so enjoy a couple of tricks of his from SLS a few years ago.

Rock on!

~Maynard




Saturday, March 20, 2021

Name a Woman Who Inspires You

 Every week at work, we have a team meeting in my department and start off the meeting with an icebreaker. The most recent icebreaker was to name a woman who inspired us.

When it came to be my turn, I answered, "I don't have one."

There was silence. The question had been provided to us 15 minutes before the meeting but even leading up to the meeting and while in it, I drew a blank. I continued on and told the group I couldn't think of any one. I did throw out Betty White's name just to throw out a name.  Who doesn't like Betty White? Admittedly, I threw out her name just to get the spotlight off of me. I reiterated to the group that I didn't have an answer.  I went silent as that was my answer but it was clear they were waiting on me to say something.  

My boss jumped in and told the group that I had the day off tomorrow and my mind was probably already there.  I was thankful for my boss to move the session along.  Even after the meeting, I still couldn't come up with anyone.  Hours later, days later, I had no answer to the question to name a woman who inspires me.

I mentioned this to a friend who knows me well and they asked, if the question were to name a man who inspired me, would I be able to name someone? The answer - yes!  If the question was to name a man who inspires me I could list at least 10 men. It got me wondering if something is wrong with me that I could not name a woman at all. 

I racked my brain and throughout my life no woman has made a significant impact on me, enough for me to call up their name.  In speaking with my friend, they said what they know of me it made sense that men have had a more significant impact.  Only a small number of friends know about Sean and he made a huge impact on me.  His impact has lasted with me all these years but there is no female equivalent.

My influences or the people who inspire me are reflections of the things I like. I have musical influences, skateboard influences, influences all over the place. I draw from each one a bit of something that gets filed away in the deepest parts of me. I call upon these wonderful beings when I'm struggling, tapping into their magic to help me keep going but they find their way into my everyday life too.

It got me thinking that maybe I have a code for who inspires me much in the same way I have a code for generosity. People do inspire or influence me in different ways. I think the label of what they mean to me is a little gray.  I will admit that some of the people who inspire me, disappear with time. I suppose that makes sense as we grow and change through the years.  Someone who inspired me in my teenage years, may have no significance in my life now.

It's been a couple of weeks since the question to name a woman who inspired me landed in my lap and I still have no answer.  I have no answer. I don't know if I'll ever have one and perhaps, I don't need to have one. There is the possibility that I haven't met them yet and one day I will. Time will tell.

If you need some inspiration though, enjoy this clip from Tony Hawk doing a 540.


Rock on!

~Maynard




Sunday, March 14, 2021

Getting Back Up Again

 The days continue on in my little world of isolation. The motivation to get up out of bed every morning and keep going has been a struggle. Every day is a struggle, a battle for which I participate in. My life was like that prior to COVID coming along. Through COVID I rediscovered skateboarding, started watching it and have finished two books - one on Tony Hawk, the other on Rodney Mullen.  Both books resonated with me but in different ways.  

I had planned to write about the latest adventures at work and our latest ice breaker activity but I'll save it for another post. My mind, my fingers hit the internet and found this little gem of a video from Rodney Mullen.  It's true that skateboarders fall more often then they land when doing a trick especially if it's a new one.  They fall repeatedly and get back up, scraping their skin, broken bones, twisting an ankle but they continue to get back up.  

I think that mentality lives in my brain but it's not as dominate like it would be in a skateboarder. It might be due to not knowing the linguistics of skateboarding. I don't speak their language but I can get the gist.  

Over the years, I suppose I have tried to pull survival skills from skateboarding. I think I've attempted to fill the void left by Sean. I look to lots of things to help me hold on, to keep walking forward, another day arrives and I'm still alive.  Finding happiness, knowing joy comes in brief moments. 

If watching Tony Hawk land a 900 or Bob Burnquist scoring a 98 or Shane O'Neill doing a Switch 360 Double Flip doesn't move you in some way, you are a robot. I often feel like one but those moments in skateboarding are ones that will make you smile, cry, bring you joy, have you cheer and put you in a good mindset.  They are moments worth holding onto. The only way these inspiring moments happen is due to the endless hours of falling and getting back up again. Trying and trying and then making it.  I may fall multiple times, but if skateboarding has taught me anything, it's that I need to get back up and try again.

Rock On!

~Maynard




Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Urge to Help

 I have been trying to figure out my need to help people. It comes in waves where I feel I need to do something and sometimes do something like knitting scarves and donate them. Then the motivation goes away only to come back again.

 I want to support organizations or people but often the way I would like to help is not an option.  For instance, I want to help a podcast that has provided me entertainment. You can help them by getting a membership to their YouTube channel or donating in their chat when they do a live feed.  I don’t want to do either of those things. I don’t want a membership as I know myself all too well. I get into something for a good six months and then walk away for a bit and then come back around. I don’t want to donate in the chat because everyone can see how much you donate. Neither of those options appeal to me so I bought a shirt. Not exactly how I wanted to show my support but it's better than nothing. 

 I run into this all the time. I want help but in my own way.  I honestly have a code by which I follow, but I have never sat down to write it all out. I want to help but sometimes don’t know how or even why. I think the creative part of me is itching to do something and because of the pandemic, that has been shut down a bit. I want to help the skateboard community even though I don’t skate. It’s something I’m into right now and know a few months from now my focus will be elsewhere. I did donate to The Skatepark Project (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation) and they surprised me by reaching out. Mind you I had sent a letter about why I felt moved to donate.  If I’m going to donate money, it might be nice for them to know why.  I didn’t expect a response from them but surprisingly I got one.  

There are lots of things I want to do but feel lost, stuck, unsure, defeated…at least I’m thinking about helping so that’s better than nothing.  Part of what drives me is Sean. That friendship, that connection fuels the desire to help too.  He’s not here anymore and doing good things like donating is a way that I can keep honoring him and our friendship.  He gave me back my life and the least I could do is acknowledge it by honoring him in small ways. He's not around to help other people so maybe I can on his behalf…on our behalf.

 Sean showed me kindness and compassion when many others wouldn’t. In my own way I guess I’m trying to pass it forward. For much of my younger years, I thought I was worthless and didn’t want to live. Depression and suicide had a firm grip on me, and I didn’t see the point in living.  It wasn’t until I met Sean that I learned I had something to offer the world.  Sean helped me find a reason to stay.  He helped steer me in a direction that gave me a new beginning, a new life.

Sean was in my life for about a year and he most definitely left a mark.  A mark that has been burning bright since he died 22 years ago. No one has had an impact on my life like Sean. It was certainly life changing and one I’m glad I went through with him.

I'm sure I'll find a project or group to help out. It stands to reason that part of my code is whether or not the cause is something Sean would have approved of if he was still here. A cause that speaks to both of us.

I hope all of you find a cause of your own and that it brings you joy.  Today's video is one I found by accident and it's pretty cool.

Rock On!

~Maynard

If you are interested in homemade scarves, a friend of mine has opened on online store: Handmade scarves by DeeListed on Etsy



Saturday, January 23, 2021

You're The Expert

Recently, I asked myself a question that I have asked myself several times over the years - Am I really depressed? 

Throughout my life I have read articles, watched videos and even talked to someone about my Dysthymia. There is a part of me that questions what is happening to me and at the same time seeks to understand the situation for which I'm in. There is a massive amount of conflicting information out there. It's easy to understand the confusion about what it means to have Dysthymia.

I think most people never want to look at themselves, understand the way they are. I do. I want to understand why my brain makes me think random things, I want to understand what is happening to me and as painful as it is, admit and face my own feelings, my life. A lot of people just don't want to know. I don't blame them as it's a scary place.  Admitting something is wrong is not a great feeling but it can be liberating.

During my recent adventure of asking a question that I have asked many times, I came to the conclusion that a lot of people online who "claim" to be specialists/doctors don't know a thing. Too many others think they are experts and it's clear that none of them know what it's like to live with something like Dysthymia. They just regurgitate stuff over and over, not once thinking maybe some damn list they're reciting from the 1980's may no longer apply.

I had a discussion with someone, a professional, who talks to plenty of people like me. Even he said himself that there are too many people who claim they know but actually known nothing. This person has known me for sometime. They commended me for continuing to understand Dysthymia. Some people don't want to know about the darkness they are forced to co-habitat with but I want to know. I want to understand myself and how I manage to continue to go to work, do craft projects, read books, etc. all the while living with a cloud over my head.  I am resilient as I find ways to keep going. If a previous coping mechanism that used to work no longer does, I am able to find a new one and put it in my survival tool kit.

I read that calling someone like me "high functioning' was incorrect. I have depression and go to work. I'm functioning. I'm able to walk out into the world and do things. My mind is creative and imaginative. I knit and bake, do other creative endeavors and my mind does chew on solving problems especially at work when I'm doing a round of software testing. How is that not high functioning? 

On the spectrum of depression you could say I'm on the low end but I have experienced the other end as well. It's well in my past but I know what depression is like when you are dealing with suicidal thoughts. Been there, done that, don't want to go through it again.  Seven attempts in four years is nothing to be proud of but it goes to show that even though I wanted to give up, on a deeper level I was fighting to stay. That was four year battle that I'm thankful to be 29 years away from and yet my last attempt remains forever fresh in my mind. 

I know that I'm rambling with this post and that's due to my mind rambling.  I'm scattered today and I'm okay with that. I'm not working so my brain is enjoying the weekend in it's own weird way. It's on vacation. 

There are experts who know their fields no doubt, but when it comes to you, you are an expert. Remember that!

Rock on!
~Maynard