Am I Dreaming? It doesn’t matter…
How nice is it to have a great dream? Not a “I Have A Dream!” dream but the unconscious, sleeping dream. I love dreaming. I love having the freedom to do whatever I want to whenever I want to. In a dream you can talk to anyone you want to. In a dream, you are the one in control. If you can do the elusive Lucid Dreaming, you have even more control. A lucid dream is basically a dream that you don’t wake up from when you know that you are dreaming. If you can figure out that you are in a dream you now have complete power over that it.
Here is an example of a lucid dream. It starts off with you working in a busy downtown office building. You don’t really like your job and want to be away from the office as much as possible. It’s almost your lunch time and your boss comes bumbling in. “I’m going to need you to work late today.” You look at the clock and you can’t seem to read it.* Needed to step away before you go off the handle and quit, you take your lunch break. Since your office is just a short walk to this really nice cafe you decide to go there and grab a cup of coffee. You walk past shop windows and then you see something that catches your eye. All of a sudden….WamBO!! ‘I am in a dream…I can do whatever I want!’ (And you really can! In a dream you can fulfill all of your wildest fantasies and even the most modest desires.) At this point you start tinkering with your dream. The stop lights all change in your favor, people aren’t bothering you and then…there’s that person you’ve been wanting to talk to for weeks but haven’t had the guts to do it until now (in the safety of your dream). You and your crush stop to chat about this and that, and then you ask if they want to go grab a cup of coffee. Of course they say yes, (it’s your dream) and when you finally make it to that coffee shop and sit down you wake up, you remember that it was a dream and nothing more. Your crush didn’t really want to go have coffee with you…or do they?
Why can’t we live our lives like we are in a dream? Why do we need to be so scared of rejection? How do you know that the person you like doesn’t like you back? Have you asked them? I challenge you to start living your life as if you are dreaming. Take chances you normally wouldn’t. DON’T BE STUPID! You can’t fly so don’t go jumping off of roofs, you are not Aquaman so don’t go trying to hold your breath for 20 mins under water. Keep things safe. Don’t go out and harm yourself or others. If your dream is to kill someone then you are at the wrong website. I don’t condone harmful actions or support those who do harm others. Do only good and only good will come to you. So, treat your life as if you are dreaming. If you see someone you would like to talk to, go do it! Don’t be afraid of consequences. A “NO” will hurt, I know it will, but how much more would it hurt if you didn’t make that first move and you find out years down the road that it would have been a “yes”???
*When in a dream, clocks and mirrors will have blurry images. This is a trick to recognizing that you are in a dream.
Long days and pleasant nights
Image from: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/meyer769/myblog/writing-2/2011/10/
Weighing Your Options
When you are faced with a new opportunity you may need to weigh your options. The classic list of pros and cons comes to mind here. Let’s say you are in a job that doesn’t treat you the best, but pays fairly well. Now, you are offered a new job that will pay less but be much less stress. What do you do?
You will need to think about how much your happiness is worth. If you will be happier in a different job, should you take it even though you’ll be making less money? Do you need to be making as much as you do now to be happy? There isn’t a cut and dry way to make these decisions. The one question you really need to ask yourself is, “Does this path lead me closer to my personal legend?” If it does…then the answer may already have been made for you.
This is a short post, but time is short these days. I would expect the longer posts to return within the next week or two. Don’t forget to live each day to its fullest and enjoy what you do!
Long days and pleasant nights,
Stuck in a Rut? Break the Cycle.
It’s like being stuck in a sailboat without a breeze; like wandering through a maze that has no exit. Living your life in a repetitive cycle is not enjoyable. I myself feel like I am “stuck” in my current position in life. I have had the same job for over 3 years now and not much has changed in my life during that time. Instead of just sitting around and waiting for something to happen I am being active in my own life. I am writing for Barefoot Buffalo, I have gotten my old band back together and we are playing shows again. I am doing things that make me happy and trying to find my own personal legend. I think it may be either writing a book, or it may be playing in the band. Only time will tell.
For those who do not know yet, I am taking Barefoot Buffalo and turning it into a book for the National Novel Writing Month competition. I will hopefully get the book done by December!
My plan for my hectic life right now is to take a step back and evaluate everything that’s going on. When one thing starts taking off, it may be time to put the others on the backburner. This brings me to my point this week. When you feel like the world is falling apart around you and you can do nothing to change it, take a step back and think. Your bills are piling up, your job keeps getting crappier, and you find yourself over-stressed and losing control. All these things are temporary. These problems have solutions. I know that they don’t feel like they can be fixed, but they can.
I know from experience. I was so far in debt that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I got through it. I’m not out of the hole yet, but I’m a lot farther along than I was 2 years ago. With a little patience and hard work I have made it easier to breath. Right now my job treats me like garbage and my stress levels are through the roof. I’m trying to ride out the current wave of B.S. that’s coming my way. I know that what is being done to me at work is the result of a major change taking place. This I can’t do anything about, but as for the stress? That has always been there, and I finally realized that I need to make a change. I’m working toward that change right now.
It’s been a stressful week so far and I’m started to feel a little overwhelmed. It looks like my personal legend is trying to tell me something. I need to take breath and listen to it. That is how you get through these stressful times; taking that breath and finding your options, figuring your way out of the situation.
You need to step out of your comfort zone once in a while to get comfortable in situations.
You need to step away from the cycle to break it.
Be adventurous to break up monotony.
Be who you want to be, not what others tell you to be.
Recognizing The Signs of Your Personal Legend
Your personal legend. Your true calling. Your ultimate passion. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it will find you and make itself known. Whether it’s a subtle nudge in the right direction or a giant slap in the face, if you know what to look for you will discover what your are destined to do. It may not be clear at first, but it you take that seed of hope and nurture it; it will blossom into a beautiful flower of happiness and content.
People don’t have one calling their entire lives. You’ll have many different paths to take that will lead to happiness. As you grow and change your tastes differ, what you enjoy differs and who you are differs. So if you are ignorant to the signs of one path, hopefully you will pick up on the directions for the next one. Life isn’t about one straight line; it’s about taking chances, finding a trail that branches off your current path and taking advantage of the lessons learned while exploring new directions. Whether positive or negative, if it is your personal legend you will benefit. Society tells us that we are set up to fail, we need to follow certain rules, act a certain way and be a certain person. But we are not like that. Humanity needs diversity. Without it we would live in a boring world. We need different to be happy. A bad experience is simply a guide to how to try it next time. It’s like the old adage says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
One of my missed paths was the Alto Saxophone. In high school I was an above average sax player. I could bend my notes a whole step down, play an improvised jazz solo using only three notes (and it sounded amazing) and I could be as technically correct as the next person. I could do all of this without practicing. The only practice I had was during the school day at band practice. I never practiced at home. My senior year, when preparing for Solo-Fest, all I did was read the music. I didn’t play it, only read it. I thought to myself, ‘Well, the beginning is pretty easy, the end is alright…man, this section here is going to be trouble. Yup, that’s a tough part right there…’ but I didn’t practice. I decided to just “wing-it”. And wing-it I did. It was one of the hardest solo pieces performed at this competition and out of 100 I earned a surprising 93. I did better than most people without even playing the piece before that day. No, for those of you who don’t know about solo-fests, you go into a room with a judge and you perform scales, the piece you (hopefully) prepared for, and a sight-reading section. My piece was a 7-8 minute song and there wasn’t enough time to play the whole thing. I started playing, nailed the beginning and when I got to the first hard section the judge told me to stop and start towards the end of the piece. JACKPOT! I nailed it. Did great and had a great day.
That is one missed opportunity I wish I could have back. If I wasn’t a dumbass, I would have realized that this was a sign. I had so much talent and caught so many breaks. The universe was telling me, THIS! THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO BE DOING TO BE HAPPY! But I didn’t do it. Since graduating in 2004 I have barely touched the thing. I do pick it up every now and then, but it’s nothing like it used to be.
You need to take advantage of those signs. You need to be active in understanding how the universe works. The universe wants you to be happy, it wants to push you in the right direction. Have you heard of Beginners Luck? That’s the universe saying, “Hey! You’ve found something that you will enjoy! Congratulations, here is a few wins to get you started.” I had a friend who had never thrown a Frisbee before in his life, then he plays Kan Jam for the first time and gets the instant win slot. If that’s not beginners luck, I don’t know what is. My major slap in the face was that solo-fest. I should have taken my saxophone talent more seriously and perused it with fervor. My life could have been so much different. I could be a famous musician or a movie composer rivaled only John Williams (google him). But I didn’t do it. I ignored the universe and now I’m here, living this life, in this present day and that’s alright with me.
Long days and pleasant nights,
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Working on Leaving the Living
That wonderful day I graduated from Genesee Valley Central School I had this amazing picture of how my life was going to play out. I was going to go to Daemen College, have fun, and earn a degree in “Women and Beer”. After college I was going to be a big shot making that paper (and a lot of it). But, here I am. In that future, and it looks nothing like I expected. The college part was great. I had a ton of fun, met a lot of great people and couldn’t have asked for more. When I was a senior and about to graduate I thought about how much time I “wasted” doing fun things. I thought of all the things I didn’t get to do, then I realized that there wasn’t time to do those things because my time was spent on grand adventures and overall great times. I am not upset with the way I lived my life in college, what I am upset over is the debt I accrued while there. Credit cards are the devil. I wasn’t that far in debt (only around $5,000) but when you miss a few payments here and there, your interest rates go sky-high and then, BOOM, out of no where your 5 grand just turned into 8. Tack on the student loans and you have a horrible situation.
I currently work full-time at a health insurance company and part-time at the College. The money I make pays the bills, not it’s nowhere near what I thought I would be making at this stage of my life. I had to get rid of my car because the insurance and cost of gas were getting to be too much for me. I’ve had to make many more cuts, including not having cable for over a year. The point I’m trying to make here is that I really don’t like how my life is going. If I could take on more responsiblity at my job at the college and work full-time, cut my job at the health insurance company to part-time, I would be a lot happier. I really enjoy what I do at Daemen. The environment there is top-notch, the people are the best you’ll ever find.
The ultimate goal for me is to not work at all. I’m not saying that I want to be a bum, live in my parents house and mooch all my life. I just want to live. Work shouldn’t be work. You should do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. So, I’m working on leaving the living. I’m working on finding my “personal legend” my “true passion”. That’s where this website comes in. The things I enjoy and the things I’m good at all involve the outdoors. I love being outside, walking through grass barefoot, building shelters out of nothing and staying the night in them. Camping, hiking, music, story-telling; that’s me. Turning that into a job is my personal legend. Owning a campground and running an outdoor gym are a couple of things that come to mind. It takes time and faith to find and follow your true calling. You have to power through and trust in yourself. You need to start making moves towards doing what you love.
Changing up my current situation from full-time claims analyst and part-time Daemen staff to full-time Daemen and part-time claims would be an amazing leap in the right direction. Running this website, talking about the outdoor, being barefoot, camping, survival skills and live is a step in the right direction for me. Making YouTube videos to correspond with the website is a step in the right direction. All I have to do is focus!
Focusing is hard. It takes a lot of energy to focus on something that seems destined to fail. But I’m giving it a chance. I’m throwing off the chains of self-doubt that society has placed on me and going for it. Thank you for being a part of it. The more you comment on my posts, the more suggestions you have and the more faith you all have in me, the more focus I can have, the more drive and determination to succeed I will have.
Thank you all again.
Long days and pleasant nights,