Molded, Bended, Incomplete, Identity, Gender, Adequate

“Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow.”- Jay Z

I guess have wandered for most of my life, fifty-nine years, who am I. I take out my wallet when asked for identification, my birth certificate states my full name, the date of my birth, and where I was born, for me that was the province of Ontario, Canada.

But I still ask the question, who am I? Is it the color of my eyes, my gender, my faith, or even my anatomically body. Is it define by the ones I have chosen to love, those who I have decided to let into my circle of friends.

This question of identity was brought home that one sunny day when I found myself in a hospital ward that deals with people who are suffering and challenged with mental health issues. Even in there I hid a part of me, a part that I thought, and maybe still think, is hideous.

I started this blog because it piqued my interest, the wanna be journalist inside me, and maybe a wanna be novelist. I am the first one to admit that my strength is not writing. I probably make grammatical errors after time I publish a post.

I chose what I knew the most, it was my faith and my knowledge and understanding of the Bible. My posts didn’t move the needle. Oh, every once in awhile someone would take note of what I had written. Yet, there wasn’t a fire in me, a fire that said, that urged me to sit at the computer and write posts. My writing then was spotty with my thoughts rambling from post to post.

Feeling like I belong, I have it all together, and nothing to worry about, these descriptions speaks of someone of who I wish I was. I entered high school weighing less than ninety-nine pounds. My muscle tone was in hiding, so at the height of six foot one inch I looked like something of a half made coat tree.

I relate to others who are belittled, treaded upon, and pushed to the sides of the ride by those who are maybe smarter, are at the top of their game. I still do not have it all together, but, I have learned ways to mask those feelings of inadequacies, those feeling of inferiority. It may answer why I watched cartoons and TV shows with super heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and even Batman.

I would watch shows, see posts of, men who had a six pack for ribs, and there muscle tone ripple from their shoulder down to their forearm. Honestly, I still have feelings of inadequacies when I see some guy who looks like he has spent all of his extra time in a gym somewhere to give himself that buffed look.

Maybe, my writings, my posts brings across of a guy who has it all together. A guy who knows who he really is. I am far from that, I am not that super guy like the one you would see on an Harlequin romance novel. No, let me assure you, I am not some six foot, a body with ripped muscles from my head down to my feet. No, I am not that man who could pick up a lady and whisk her out from the gangs while held by my arms as I swing her to the ledge of a window.

However, my identity, the person that knows itself when he closes his eyes at bedtime, that person is under there somewhere, somewhere beyond the words written together, the being behind those words that create paragraphs, that speaks about those things I have faced in this body, one person who needs medication to keep me stable, one medication to help start my day, an another one that is meant to keep me stable. Then at the end of the day a pill to give me a calm, and a peaceful night’s sleep. All those medications are taken, that have their purpose to keep this bi-polar man walking up-right.

So dear reader, who am I, who is this person that wakes up day after day, places two feet on the floor, and does his best to be the best human I can project in this world that I am travelling through.

So, I am the sum total of a man, who has a function, a man who is working through this life being the person I am meant to be. To learn, love, belong, engage, to listen, learn from others that I encounter along this path, a path at it’s very best, a road map, from beings of all different sizes, shapes, and colors.

So, hear me, listen to me, engage with me, and help me in my path of who I am on this journey. I am not complete, I still am learning, still encountering along this journey those things that are helping to make the best man I can be. For I am more that I was yesterday, still being shaped and molded into what I hope and pray will be the best, just me, the best me.!

Mental Health Lessons From Renovating

“The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.”
 Dan Allender


Stress Management

Back in 1997 when I agreed to buy my trailer I knew nothing about them, how to maintain them. I am not handy with a hammer and nails. When it comes to all things with carpentry and plumbing as am useless.

I lived in here for a length of time and I really wanted to replace the windows. The original windows were single pane, drafty, and they did not open to allow fresh air in. I secured financing through a program that gave first time owners a forgivable loan. So, I send for the application, fill it in, and send it off in the mail. Several weeks latter I receive a letter of approval.

I set about looking for a reputable contractor to work on the windows. A couple I know had just had their windows replaced. I went to see them and asked who did the work for their windows. They gave me the name of the contractor, I contacted him and set a time for him to look at what needed to be done. Afterwards he came back with an appraisal and from there I hired him.

All of this taught me about how I handled stress. It was frustrating at first with my routine being upset with people in and around the house. Sawdust and other debris created from the new windows being installed. After about a month I found that I learned how to manage my stress through understanding.

Knowledge

It is amazing what a little bit of knowledge does to eliminating stress. I became comfortable with the contractor and the other carpenters to ask questions. I found out things like the building code for how many windows per square feet. Later when having a wheelchair ramp installed it was how much the incline was to be per foot.

Patience

The windows and wheelchair ramp were only two of the things that I wanted done to the place. The next big things for me was to take up all the carpets and replace them with a nice wood looking laminate. For me to do this work would mean it would have to be done over a lengthy period of time. I began to look around for something that I liked. I found some that I considered I wouldn’t mind to have put down. Over several months I purchased the materials for the new floor. Have had the bathroom floor finished just at the end of last month. This leaving me with my bedroom and laundry room.

So dear reader that is three takeaways I learned from the renovations of my trailer!

The Perfect Blog Post?

Don’t try to plan everything out to the very last detail. I’m a big believer in just getting it out there: create a minimal viable product or website, launch it, and get feedback. ~Neil Patel

I have to admit that sometimes I am envious of others blog posts. They way they are organized, for others how they have a theme for every day. Then they are those who can rant that leaves you feeling their anger.

Every once in awhile I get to thinking how I could change my blog, maybe give it some spice, but that just wouldn’t be me. My style is the result of many years, yet there are those times I feel like I am in a rut.

There must be something that is working within my blog posts, something that I am not grasping. There are those posts where when finished I think I have nailed it only to receive minimal response. The ones where I feel should have been throw in the trash are the ones that surprise me. They are the ones that seem to have something that speaks to the reader.

So the question arises, “What is the perfect blog post”?

Could it be the writing, not necessarily so. I am not the best of the writers, but, I am not surely the worst.

Is it the beautiful images that are posted? I love great pictures, I can barely point and click with a simple camera. So, images are not it.

Would it be the in depth knowledge that the writer brings to an issue? There are many who do this, I love that because I can read their post to the benefit of my learning. For me research is something I lose interest in. I never received great marks in Science class.

So dear reader let me leave you with another quote that sums up what makes a great blog post.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”Brian Clark

Don’t Worry, They Won’t Bite…lol

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“Sharing will enrich everyone with more knowledge.”
― Ana Monnar

There is one area of blogging I would love to see used more, the comment section.  I love the back and forth that it creates.  Sharing our thoughts openly without worry of being rejected.

I sometimes receive more likes from comments I have made on other’s blogs.  Some comments are light banter, some serious, and some just thoughts about the post I just finished reading.

So dear reader, go ahead, share your thoughts, use that comment section.  Don’t worry they won’t bite!

What I Know and Don’t Know!

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I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. Leonardo da Vinci
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/knowing-quotes

For the past several days I have been pondering about which is the better; learned knowledge, or experiential knowledge.  Or could it be a mixture of both, I am just not certain.

There is a pattern in all the blogs I have read thus far of people trying to cope with some form of  mental health issue/s.

All the situations I have observed are unique, just as our fingerprints are unique to only one person.  Another observation I have made is that all remedies to each of the issues also vary from person to person.  These are things I do know!

What I don’t know are these: 

  • The situation/s leading up to the point in each individual’s crisis in mental health.   
  • The life experience of each unique individual.
  • Other challenges that the individual is having along side the mental health challenge.

One more thing I know and that is, I cannot assume I have any answers for a person.  I can only speak to the things I have experienced in my own battle with mental health.

So, I can have empathy, sympathy for the person I am listening to, for all I can do is be a pillar of support for him or her.