Let’s hit on 5 things that I’m chewing on and pretend that Tim Ferriss and a handful of other content creators don’t already do a much better job of.
FOOTBALL – It’s back. Preseason football is back everyone. I’m going to quickly tell you why preseason football is awesome. It’s like baseball: WHO CARES? They’ll play again next week, the wins and losses don’t really matter, and it’s just athleticism from a bunch of kids that might not be there come September. You can put it on in the background, catch a wild play, and go back to whatever the hell it was you were doing. Preseason football is a blast and simultaneously irrelevant to the fans. It’s fun and reminds us that the season is getting closer.
Jim Kwik – I guess, yet again, I’m late to the party with this guy. Poor lad that smacked his head and almost died as a kindergartener, damaged his brain, and taught himself to “learn.” He now spends all his time sharing his tricks and secrets on how to become a faster learner, have better memory recall, etc. His book Limitless is a pretty easy read (thus far – only a few chapters in) but highly recommend for anyone looking to improve in everything!
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Please, for the love of God, watch this movie. You’re going to laugh, cry, and change the way that you see the world you live in. It’s the type of movie that comes around once every 20 years. As far as perspective changing, I would put it right up there with The Matrix. The first Matrix. The other ones were enjoyable, but definitely did not have the same impact as the first one. But again, watch this movie if you haven’t already. It lives up to and surpasses the hype.
Summer – It’s almost over. We have roughly a month before fall arrives and we’re missing the time we have at the beach, with friends at cookouts, and long days. It will be gone before we know it and not to be morbid, but how do you know it’s not your last one?
Love you all and if you’re reading this, I’m grateful for it. Do me a favor, I’m switching my “Coffee” purchase over to beer because, well… it’s a summer weekend and I’d love to share a beer or cocktail with you. Reach out, let’s talk/hang/exist on the same plane.
Oh shit, writer’s block. Sitting in front of the screen with a million thoughts running through your head but none of them really feel tangible. They’re like taunting, little kids in a game of tag with their thumbs in their ears and fingers pointed up and wide saying, “You can’t catch me.”
How about I make you eat dog turds, you little shit? I know where you live.
I know, aggressive. Sometimes a healthy dose of fear reminds them to keep their lips zipped.
I know! Let’s browse social media! That’ll give us some ideas! Look at that cool new device on instagram! Someone said something controversial on facebook! Boobies on snapchat! Anything new on WhatsApp? YouTube updated all my subscriptions this morning! How are my stocks doing? Crypto going up yet? Reading 4 books and close to finishing all of them, maybe I should pick one up? I need to get to the gym so I can get my errands done. Let’s throw shit out the window at people walking by… literal shit. Like a monkey. It’s not illegal if monkeys do it… because we’re monkeys. I am, at least.
Honestly, I wanted to write one big post about the rat race and how it steals the artist’s soul but I’m having more fun slapping the shit out of the backspace button than I am rifling through my own thoughts trying to get them to organize themselves. Listen, the story is that I took a job that’s going to reap me of my time to create, but pay me a bunch of cash. It feels like I’m selling my soul. Then again, I firmly believe there is no right way to live this life… and to make some cash, pay your bills, and then fuck around in your off time is perfectly acceptable. Video games, movies, partying with friends, whatever… it’s your life – live it!
Although, it won’t be me. No siree bobarooooooo. I’m going to continue to write, continue to film, and continue to pump myself up for the next couple weeks telling me that this will never end. I’ll go on adventures, explore the world, and write about my ever adjusting and ever growing perspective on life. My father sacrificed his writing to support his family which is absolute nobility in my eyes. I’m eternally grateful. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.
To give up your dreams to raise a family and keep a roof over their heads with food in their bellies? Yes, quite fucking noble. There’s probably no one in their right mind who would dispute me.
But if we truly enjoy something creative, do we ever stop doing it? If we stop, is it”giving up” or is it just a lack of discipline or is it that we didn’t truly love it? What’s the answer? There’s many people that seem to age that get wrapped up in something easier to digest in their off time instead of their creative pursuits. Television has become a succubus. There’s a million things to watch but simultaneously it’s 90% repetitive trash. There’s billions of hours worth of videos on YouTube and tons of it is rambling distractions. Have you checked out my channel yet? I’ll let you make the judgement call on that one. Be gentle, I’m sensitive.
Instagram reels, Chinese spying through TikTok, Facebook stories… the screens, screens, SCREENS! (read this in the Grinch’s voice).
It never ends. There’s a scale of creation versus consumption. If you’re not creating anything then what right do you have to consume? Think of it like a currency, right? So if I go out to a restaurant and my pockets are empty, what right do I have to eat there? I don’t. You can certainly eat there, but you best have your running shoes on. Never dined and ditched myself, but it certainly happens… and you’re an asshole for doing it, but I’m sure you knew that.
Your creation versus consumption is the same… it’s just a different currency. Even if your creation is a literal statue of shit, congrats. You made it. Now enjoy some Jersey Shore or whatever nonsense gets your rocks off. Again, you can sit around and binge whatever media you want to, but is that really going to make you happy? You might as well take your monkey out and spank it. Again, live your life… but were you really put on this plane to spank your monkey 8 hours a day?
If you’re always consuming, there’s no possible way that your creative soul is being satisfied… and yes, it does need to be satisfied. You know that feeling when you click an app on your phone, get bored, close it out and then 2 minutes later you’ve opened it again? Please tell me that you at least REALIZE what you’ve done. It’s a clear sign put the device down and get to work on something. NO! NOT YOUR MONKEY.
Satisfying your soul could be telling jokes, creating theater, teaching martial arts. Anything creative For some people it’s as simple as cooking an extravagant meal. Reminder: it doesn’t need to be extremely pious either, you can make money. Look at high level artists. Actors. Directors. coughWriters cough. You CAN profit from your creations, but it shouldn’t be the purpose. The purpose should be to soothe your soul. If you ever make money from your art, it should be another motivational factor, like, “Oh shit, why WOULDN’T I be doing this? I enjoy it… and people are willing to pay me for it? Jeepers Jonathan, I should keep doing this!”
Draw at night, do some writing, painting, video editing, teach something, tell some jokes, dance… do it in the morning, do it at lunch, but like Shia LeBeouf would say, “JUST DO IT!” (Funny enough, during a Hot One’s episode, he actually said the reason he created that on a green screen was to engage people’s artistic endeavors. Even if people are “memeing,” it’s still artistic, just a new type of art.)
I’m certainly not Shia LeBeouf, or even close, but I do believe that people should be using their time to create and to explore their artistic side. It’s successful if you stay consistent, that’s the only way it gets “there.”
I guess it’s okay to get wrapped up in the rat race. The roles in society are extremely complex and everyone needs to do their part. But don’t you dare fucking keep your talents from us. Share with the world, let your soul out, and take a picture of you doing something weird in front of a green screen so we can meme-ify it.
Again, I’m not stopping regardless of the bullshit I get wrapped up in. Things will get modified as I adapt, but my writing will always continue and I’ll make sure you know about it too.
Look at that. Even feeling the writer’s block, just getting some words on paper allowed me to find a path through it. Again, consistency is key. Stay with it, do something, the rest will follow. Let it be your escape, not a chore.
Much love, create some content, and share it with us all. ❤
It’s confusing. You would think as you greatly improve in almost everything in your life, that the “almost” part would be pulled up with it, right?
I can seemingly get fairly decent at a ton of aspects in my life, but it doesn’t seem like time management is one of them. It was ingrained in me as a child that time didn’t really matter. I can remember consistently being picked up late from sporting events, friend’s houses, etc. Then I noticed that I was always late to the bus in the morning, late to practice, late coming home after I had been out with my friends, late getting out of bed in the morning. We still show up to the designated time of cookouts and no one’s there for the next 2 hours. No exaggeration.
Not many of these habits have changed. I planned my morning to be up at 7am to get on with my day and start ticking off my habits one by one and then be able to get to my appointment with plenty of time on the clock. Really? 7am? 6am Kris said, “No, sir. There’s no logic to that,” and turned it off on me. What a wiener.
I understand his point of view, but DUDE, we had things we wanted to get done without additional stress. The enemy is training at 7am, why aren’t you? Stooooooooop it. That’s not motivational enough to get me up at 7am. I want my full 8 hours and all the rem cycles that come with it. Don’t you dare try to take one from me. That last one is like the ending of a movie, it’s where all the cool shit happens.
So here we are, with 5 minutes on the clock to get some writing in, and it’s getting done, but the work is suffering. I’m sure there’s a typo somewhere, there’s something more clever that could have been written, the anxiety is piling up knowing that the clock is ticking. I wish there was another 15 hours in the day, but we can wish in one hand and then shit in the other, right? I’ve tried. It’s gross.
All I ask, is that as I actively work on improving all my habits, knowledge, and general life… that time management just comes along for the ride. That mother fucker keeps sleeping in late and staring out the window with drool on his face while the rest of us are trying to achieve something. Can meditative-Kris grab him? Or what about health-freak-Kris? How about entrepreneur-Kris? SOMEONE GRAB THAT DROOLY IDIOT AND GET HIM ON THE BUS!
I guess we truly are pulled down by our weakest link. Goddamnit. Can someone at least wipe the drool from my face? Anyone? Bueller? SLUUUUUUUUURP Got it myself, fellas. Thanks. Aaaaaaaaaaand it’s back.
We are different people, you and I. My name is Kris, yours is Poopie McFartypants. No takesie-backsies.
Our conditions are different. Our lives leading up to this moment have been dramatically different. Our life experiences, perspectives, our bowel movements… all different. We’re aligned different structurally, morally, goalally… like our goals are differently aligned, however you would say that. I have friends that want to own tons of property, run multiple businesses, and wear suits to work. They’re fine people and we get along great. I have friends that dig ditches all day, cut down trees, and lay asphalt. Those people are just as awesome. We are all different. But I must say, I do align better to the blue collar workers simply because of how genuine they are. They’ll always be true to themselves and could care less if you like them.
Morgan Freeman/God said in Bruce Almighty, “People underestimate the benefit of good old manual labor. There’s freedom in it. Some of the happiest people in the world go home smelling to high heaven at the end of the day.”
There’s so much truth to that quote. We all get wrapped up in the financials, the chasing of the all-mighty buck, and our title on the business card that you hand out to people that ultimately don’t care. If you look back to the movie American Psycho, there’s a scene where everyone hands each other business cards and the inner dialogue of the pro/antagonist (really wasn’t a protagonist in that movie), is all about the comparison of his card to the other ones. Then there was jealousy and anger that the card was “better.”
It’s a goddamned piece of paper with your information on it. They’re antiquated. You can store everyone’s information in your phone. You can google it. There’s Facebook. The cards are purely advertisement now… just another way for you to remember who the person is. Shouldn’t a first impression be the “advertisement?” Shouldn’t it be how the conversation went, how they made you feel, and the energy they gave off? But again, we’re all different and that’s what I remember of people. I may use their card for a few minutes to store their information in my pocket-computer-telephone-wallet-Gameboy-Walkman, but I have probably received hundreds of business cards over the years and they all end up getting thrown out. Sorry everyone, I want to reduce clutter in my life and quite frankly, your business card is clutter and inevitably more unnecessary noise in my life. /EndRant
Those are different ends of the spectrum. High end business/white collar work and then blue collar/get-my-hands-dirty grinding work. They’ve both never been for me and I’ve done both. I worked the dirty jobs where I’m up at 4:30am and watch the sun rise while I’m sweating my ass off mowing lawns or pushing a log through a chipper. I’ve also sat in an office, worn uncomfortable clothes for 9 hours and done work that doesn’t seem to have any effect on anyone, except for the dork of a manager breathing down my neck for some report that no one will read.
We all find purpose on this planet. Some people are happy to do the tree work because they have a knack for it and love to play in trees. Some people are happy to work in the office, chase some status, deal with high stress, make a big paycheck and know that their family will be well taken care of. Whatever we end up doing, we must find meaning and purpose in what we do. At no point can we engage in nihilist behavior for a buck, otherwise it will disappear as soon as our bank account allows us to live.
I want to tell you I know what my purpose is. I want to tell you I’ve defined it, set a 5 year plan based on it, and I’m going to attack it. I want to tell you every nitty-gritty detail about why I was put here on this planet. I want to tell you that you should have some laid-out plan like me.
But I can’t. I’m unsure. My finances are certainly not where I’d like them to be and I want to tell you I don’t care. I want to say I can sit here and write all day to motivate your or to philosophize on our day to day bullshit, but my bill collectors have no interest in a martial arts lesson or a quirky take on why we use business cards. Verizon has still yet to buy me a coffee. What assholes.
Through discipline we can find freedom, right? I’ve heard it from multiple people. So yes, I’m most likely going to have to take on a job I don’t like (again), and yes It’s going to zap my time and energy, and yes I’m going to miss the days where I could get my 8 hours of sleep, my hour of breathwork/yoga, my 6 hours of exercise a day, and my peacefulness…
But I’m not going to stop writing, I’m not going to stop my Coffee Talks. I will continue to stay disciplined and creating these little chats, albeit they’re quite freeform and all over the place, will be my solace. They’re leading somewhere. I don’t know where, but sometimes we find out when we arrive.
There was a smarter man than I that once said something about how he doesn’t necessarily place huge goals for himself, but yet creates a healthy set of habits of things he loves to do and continues to do them. That’s how he found himself to not only find the most success, but to be his happiest version of himself.
That’s been me. I don’t have any real place for these activities to lead. Enlightenment would be nice, but I can’t promise that. Eventually I’d love to write a book, but the focus (right now) is consistency in the things that I love to do. That’s doing martial arts, that’s exercising, that’s writing, that’s making some goofy videos about being a good person, that’s meditating. Perhaps I won’t have the biggest blog on the planet, but I have one that continually pumps out “content” (or whatever the fuck this babble is). Perhaps I won’t have the biggest YouTube channel on the planet, but I’ll have one that is authentically me and has a constant positive message. I have no aspirations to be the best BJJ practitioner on the planet or win the crossfit games, but I’m going to keep training. I’ll never be Wim Hof, but I’m certainly going to own my headspace and be responsible for the energy that I give off. I tell everyone that I’m not some amazing, brilliant guy… I just keep showing up. I’m like a nicer version of Herpes – there’s no getting rid of me.
We don’t all need to have these huge goals to accomplish. We’re not all the same. We can’t be. Just like people have told me that they love what I’m doing, I love what YOU’RE doing. I want grab some of your habits too! Being all the same is boring as vanilla ice cream with vanilla frosting on a vanilla turd. Variety is the spice of life. Be different, do what you love, give back, and be happy with the progress you make. Whatever you choose to do, whatever your habits help you create, make sure that they’re HABITS and you do them CONSISTENTLY.
If you draw once, workout once, play the guitar once… nothing will come of it. Stay the path, continue to do what you love to do. Remember – the goal just needs to be doing it consistently, not to become the next Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan. Honestly, this blew my mind. Google is a beautiful thing.
I love you all. Buy a coffee if you’re still reading this. Let me know you’re alive. Or just give it a like. There’s that too. It’s a “heart.” Can you not click the “heart?” If you can’t click it, you don’t have a heart. How about that? What now? I’ve now logically cornered you into clicking the heart. Or, you’re just going to spite me and not click it. You can lick it too. That’s just the click without the C. Whichever. I do enjoy a good coffee on your dime though. C’mon. If you’re still reading this, what’s to lose? I’ll keep writing, you feed me coffee, we all win. Maybe I’ll change it to a beer. Maybe you buy me a beer and this writing starts to take a dramatic shift…
Let me know IN THE COMMENTS. YOU CAN ADD COMMENTS, YOU KNOW. THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A ONE WAY STREET.
This video is absolutely beautiful and 100% worth your 9 minutes. It serves as such a strong reminder that we owe it to the world to be creating. Ethan goes off a tangent from Allen Ginsberg’s story of “Playing the Fool” to what art ends up meaning to people, including himself. It’s just a silly poem or a lengthy fart joke or an entertaining movie or a colorful painting… until life sucker-punches you with emotion from some end of the spectrum and you need art to make some sense of it all.
There is a constant battle happening when art is being created that we all need to understand – It’s the “Artist vs. Critic” entanglement. Ethan hits on it for a moment during this video but I wanted to hit on it just briefly today… as I’m typing, I’m noticing that my mind isn’t as sharp as I thought and as I continue to write my brain seems to be taking brief naps behind the wheel or doing carthweels. I guess those millions of studies about “alcohol being detrimental to your health” have some weight to them? Naaaaaaaaaaah……………………………………..CARTHWEEL.
The artist has a job. His job is to create. That’s all. He needs to sit his ass down in the chair, keep his space clean… clean of everything from distraction to a piece of trash. He needs to sit his ass down religiously in that seat at the same order of his routine so that he can listen. “Listen to what?” you ask? Did you? I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.
The muse. Whatever or whoever the muse is, the muse delivers a vibration… a message to the artist of what to create. At no point does the artist look at the message and decide if it’s “good or bad.” That’s a good way to fuck things up. Besides, it’s not his job nor does it have any bearing on the art that’s to be created anyways. It’s a useless thought.
For example, spell check is one hell of an art-destroyer. It’s one thing to proofread whatever you’ve written and fix it later, but as soon as you misspell something and that red or blue squiggly line pops up underneath a word or a phrase, you’ve already lost a bit of your train of thought, or a bit of the vibration that you were tuning into. The irony here is that I misspelled “misspell.” I didn’t think there was 2 “s’s” in the middle. Oops. What was I even talking about….? SHIT.
The artist’s job is to shut the fuck up and listen. As soon as you want to question if it’s “good or bad” art, you’ve already lost whatever it was that was dropped on your doorstep. If you don’t get to your workstation in time, someone probably walked by and took that package too. Goddamned porch pirates. ARRRRRRRRRR.
Goodness. There are just days where you don’t have it. Today seems to be one of those days. I’m sitting here writing this and it’s all feeling so forced. Maybe this isn’t an essay that I need to be writing but yet a confession that the muse passed me by… or maybe this is the message she is giving me. The writing about being an artist or a critic was feeling forced for a bit. It didn’t feel like something that was coming through me. Is it a spectacular message? Yes. it’s hugely important. but even more important is being honest to her. Is it a her? Is it a xe/xim/xul/zooooloooooo? Whatever. It doesn’t matter what the pronouns are (it never does), but what matters is that you obey it. If we cheat, if we force something, it’s going to lose it’s meaning in that moment. If you’re forcing something that you’re not hearing, is it really art? Sounds more like a 5 paragraph essay. Man, those things were such robotic pieces of trash as far as literature goes. I’d love to go back and read one from high school and then use it as toilet paper. Imagine the papercuts. Yiiiiikes.
So let this be a lesson, both to you and me. A very dumb lesson. If I killed any of your braincells, I truly apologize. I’m not functioning with many myself. Mid-post, I’m realizing that I don’t want to write that drivel. I wanted to just write what was coming to me. I wanted to type the keys that my fingers wanted to type, almost like a Ouija board but with less dead people… I hope. You cannot force what message you hear from the muse, that’s not your choice. You don’t decide what comes to you, only that you listen and create. It could be dogshit (go ahead, I know this isn’t my finest piece) or it could be beautiful. If you keep showing up, eventually you’re going to hit one out of the park. Maybe it’ll be 20 years from now or maybe it’ll be tomorrow. That’s not for me to decide. I just need to keep writing and showing up to listen.
We all have shit to do, so let’s make this one a short one, shall we? It is Friday after all.
Tim Ferriss does a “Five Bullet Friday” which I’ve been reading for years, so I’ll do something similar because I need to get out of my house… or apartment… or just out of this chair that my ass seems to be conforming to. Or the chair is conforming to it. Chicken and the egg.
Breath Holding! – breathology.com – I read about t his during the pandemic or right before it. I truly can’t remember, but I DO remember all the benefits that it gave me. I remember being more calm throughout the day, I remember being able to trigger that calmness at will, and I remember my cardio/endurance went through the roof during my training. I highly recommend working on this, especially if you’re an athlete, someone looking to heal, or just generally trying to practice mindfulness. Don’t take my word for it, actually do it.
Risk of Rain 2 – This has been the go-to game for all of my friends, my pretty little lady, and myself. Instead of taking a half nap on the couch before bed while trying to watch a movie, we’ve been socializing with friends over discord and running through this game. It’s a very well done, creative, rogue-like RPG where you kill bad guys, pick up items with the money you’ve earned, and progress to harder and harder levels or waves. Levels are less stressful but more time consuming, waves are faster and pulls the baddies to you instead of chasing them around an entire level.
Dr. Andrew Huberman – This guy is amazing. Everything that is scientific about the body, body hacking, self-improvement… he breaks down in layman’s terms (kinda… sometimes things can get a little nerdy, but still incredible) on how to improve yourself, ward off disease, sleep better, exercise better. But it’s not all himself, he pulls on a lot of really humble intelligent guests that you’ll learn a from. Great on a long drive or while doing some long cardio.
PIZZA! – I’m probably late to the game on this one, but instead of trying different types of pizza and being utterly disappointed, this app has nothing but pizza reviews from either Portnoy himself or locals in the area. Next time you’re traveling (or just close to home), pull this up and find the best pizza around! It’s entirely user based so there doesn’t seem to be any tomfoolery about. If we’re going to splurge on some unhealthy wheat-glue and cheese… we might as well make it worth it.SIDENOTE: Does anyone know of one for coffee? Very few things worse than having to find a decent cup of joe after spending your time and money getting a bitter cup of coffee-flavored water.
Sharktivity! – Summer isn’t over and we’re still hitting beaches. Although shark attacks are SUPER RARE we all have our outrageous fears (if I die while crawling through a tunnel in a pyramid I’m going to be so let down), this app does a great job of keeping you up to date with any shark activity in your area. So if you want to enjoy being in the shark’s house without pissing them off, I suggest grabbing this app to see who’s been swimming around your favorite spot in the sand. Simple rule – if you see seals, gtfo of the water and wait for them to pass.
Just a few things I’ve been munching on the past couple weeks… this may become a common friday post, but for now…Happy friday y’all!
You do you. Just a reminder, that you doing you the way you want to do you, will make it so that others that are doing themselves, may not want to do you. That’s okay though, you doing you authentically and honestly makes you doing you kind of appealing so that others may want to “do you” but they’d be just doing themselves. Or they may like you doing you, but you doing you isn’t how they really like you to do you.
No no no. You misread me. And by you, I mean me, reading me doing me, which all I’m really trying is a self-centric “you do you” mentality in a you do you way. When we do we, you and me, we attract others to “you do you” because of our bravery or some bullshit. So we should all be doing ourselves and helping other people do themselves.
NO BRO. Are you soft or dense? And how do these two words, in an insulting manner, mean the same thing? “Soft as puppy shit” gets me every time. But dense as a… what? I don’t feel like we have a really good one for that insult. First one to get me a good “dense as a ________” wins. You win a high five. These high fives don’t just get given out to everyone, either. So work diligently. I’m sure I could have googled one, but where’s the fun in that?
What I’m really digging at is that our authenticity, sharing it and expressing it, is what people love. We’ve all been around the salesman putting up a front, or the person that has a conversation with you and dances around their words, or reading the lame writer that shits out drivel instead of writing about what really kicks through their brain just so people will read what they write…….. I’M STARVED FOR ATTENTION!
No one likes a liar. When you’re not being real, that’s what you’re doing. You’re full of shit. No one wants it, no one cares, it’s not fucking interesting. Send it back to the toilet you picked it up from and open up your heart and mind to people. A collective audience out there, somewhere, will enjoy it. Remember, we have the entire world at our fingertips. If your immediate circle has no interest, draw a bigger circle. One person will share one of your pieces, then another, and another, etc. etc. Now you have a bigger circle. Congratulations, you can draw.
Maybe your shit is niche. Sweet! Who wants the McDonalds of art? That’s 90% of Netflix shows. The woke-apocalypse (I tried to shorten this in some creative manner but it nearly gave me a stroke. woke-opolypse is what I kept coming to. My head hurts) has ruined a lot of good art, movies, shows, and the minds that ingest them. Motherfuckers keep trying to be politically correct as to not offend someone. They’re taking all the good flavors and making them vanilla. “Mint chocolate chip is offensive to my heritage as a dumbass pronoun of some culture that doesn’t really exist.” Fuck off with that nonsense. You’re of no interest to me or people that are actually interested in other humans. If we could break them down, hear what emotional trauma they’ve endured… maybe then we’d get an understanding of why they need to be “woke.”
It’s funny… the woke culture is so about being “different” that they’re all the same. Would you like a scoop of vanilla or choco.. CHOCOLATE OFFENDS ME. STRAWBERRY IS A FLAVOR OF THE CIS-WHITE MALE AGENDA TO CRUSH THE QUEER MOVEMENT!
Offend us. Mock us. Take something that drives you insane to the point of treating the streets like your own Grand Theft Auto canvas, let it loose through some writing, a podcast, a video, a rant, a painting, music, etc. Just don’t actually go GTA on us or even them. It’s not their fault. Hopefully we can save the woke culture. Some of them are too weak and confused to save right now. My guess is that they tried to be themselves when they were younger, got made fun of, needed to fit in, so instead of being unique they had to be part of the … unique movement? “That’ll teach people to be themselves!”
We all need to endure some struggle to grow. A hermit crab needs to be vulnerable when it leaves it’s first shell to move to another one. It leaves what’s been its’ source of comfort and safety, exposes itself and crawls to the next shell of it’s liking. For that brief instant, the hermit crab cannot hide, cannot defend itself, and is its “authentic self.” It also draws a painting of it’s take on the modern establishment’s take on the turmoil of the war efforts in Ukraine. Then it reaches its’ new, bigger shell and grows.
Be real, be you, and fuck yourself. Then tell me to fuck myself and make fun of my bald head. Slap me in the face and call me Sally. Whatever. Life’s too short to be offended.
I pulled out a few notebooks and books this morning as I felt re-energized about some topics that really grabbed my attention years ago. Not only did they just grab my attention, but they changed my perspective on life. Learning what I did was the first time that this life started to make sense for me. I absorbed a lot of the information and worked on implementing it into my day to day. My eyes were open and how I saw the world was through a new pair of lenses. Truly, nothing else seemed to matter, this seemed like the answer to everything I had been missing.
Then my phone rang, emails rolled in, work had fires that needed to be put out, I read another book, watched a movie, played a game, changed professions, then there was that whole “pandemic” thing. It all seems like a faint memory and one that’s kind of foggy if I’m being honest.
So how much really got absorbed? Well, considering it was about 40 pages of notes, a 300 page book, and other reading I really only flipped through… it has to be somewhere around ooooooooh 5% if my brain is really firing and if all the shiny objects in the room are hidden from my view. Look, I got a text message!
Some people really do memorize information better than others. I’m part of “the others.” What’s wild, is that I don’t think I’ve ever been intrinsically good at anything I’ve ever done. At no point in my life, do I have a memory of picking up something new and thinking, “I’m really good at this!” Martial arts? NOPE. Writing? LOL. Video games? Get real. Communicating? Anyone that knows me has heard me say “Words are hard.” Honestly, I envy those people that pick things up quickly. Not in some negative way, but like a “Damn, that would be cool to do… just once.” The only way I’ve gotten relatively decent at anything is by continuing to show up. Enjoying the process, knowing that nothing I ever do the first time will be good. Come to terms with it quickly and if it’s anything different, then it’s a nice surprise.
Although, it seems to be a double-edged sword for those people that can learn so quickly because they get bored just as quickly. They never seem to master anything, but just bounce from one hobby or craft to another. Nothing really sticks for long because they already “got it.”
This goes back to these books that I’ve read all of once or the seminars I’ve taken all of once – there’s still SO MUCH MORE to learn. So many times I’ve finished a book, put it down, ordered a new one to fill the void. Taken a seminar, drilled the techniques or filled the notebook, then walked away from it for years only to see it again and go, “OH YEAH” in a moment that might as well be a firm slap in the face. “I knew that!” Nope noooooooooo you didn’t! “Well, not me personally… but this guy I know. He and her GOT IT ON!” Nope nooooooooo they didn’t. “Yeah… but you could imagine what it’d be like.” Impulse is a bitch, I apologize.
Instead of learning the material, drilling my techniques, re-reading a book that would intensify my knowledge on a subject that interests me… I spent my time watching Billy Madison 300 times. Jesus H Christ that’s sad, but still hilarious.
Full Disclosure – At my worst… on my days off after I graduated high school, I used to find movies that I could rewatch, buy a large container of sweet and sour fried chicken, get a pound of Sour Patch Kids… and gorge. Ugh. Can’t believe I even have a working pancreas anymore. So now anyone that understands why I’m a health freak, it wasn’t always like this. But I’ll still fuck up a large pizza from time to time. Earned meals, not cheat meals.
Does depression come from a lack of fulfillment and creativity? Lack of purpose? Lack of goals? There wasn’t any real drive during the summer season before college. I suppose it was exactly that, right? Working nights at a restaurant, days at the beach, barely hitting the gym because “why exercise” when you’re not playing sports? Goddamn, what a mess I was. But practice forgiveness and all that jazz. Sitting around waiting for life to happen is never a way to live.
Rambling aside, if you’ve only read something once, practiced something one day… even forgiveness, how well do you know something? I only said I was grateful for this life once today, that’s not enough. The fact that I’m breathing, that I CAN go to the gym, that I have a car to drive, that I’m able to enjoy the sunshine… it should be practiced every few minutes.
“Practice makes perfect.”
Not entirely… PERFECT and CONSISTENT practice makes perfect. Some people use rubber bands on their wrists to remind themselves, some people use tattoos, some people use Post-it’s, some people use doorways (yes, every time they walk through a doorway it’s used as a reminder. I forget where I heard this concept, but I know I actually did. Doesn’t work for me, but to each their own). You have to figure out what works for you. Leave the book out so you read it, schedule some time to practice your movements/stretching, wake up early to practice your breathing (that one always gets me, but it’s important). Habit, routine, and reminders seem to be key for making that progress we want. Take action instead of thinking about what to do. Practicing anything is better than practicing nothing.
So before you order a new book, check the bookshelf and ask yourself, “Did I really squeeze these books for all they were worth? Is there more to learn from them? How well do I actually know them? What’s Veronica Vaughn up to these days?”
When we prioritize our moments, our days, our weeks, our months, our years, our lives… what’s going to come first? Is it going to be the all might dollar? Is it going to be some faux status we’re chasing at our jobs? Is it going to be our creative endeavors? Is it going to be our family and friends? Is it going to be our fitness and overall health? What needs to get done in comparison to what should we get done? What do we want from this life? What can our mental capacity handle before we’ve burned the candle at both ends? What’s going to put a smile on my soul? How much guilt is real versus noise?
Good thing in school they taught us to put everything down in a list. Should we just make a Venn Diagram of our lives? That’ll give us ALL the answers. Check the table of elements, it’ll tell me how I get through the day and feel like I accomplished everything. Hot Cross Buns has the secrets to life hidden in between the notes. Now, write me a 5 paragraph essay on how this should all work.
They didn’t teach us how to learn or how to manage our time on this planet, but only managed it all for us. We were taught like robots. Teachers obviously do their best and are probably top 5 underpaid professions (they literally take care of our kids for 50% of their waking hours), but at no point can you take the “how to manage your life” or “how to make decisions that will coincide with your moral compass” class. Then our parents don’t always have the time or energy to be patient with a child and guide them day in and day out. Again, they do their best they can! And if the kid was a little shit like myself, it would take hearing the same lesson 40 times before he/she/they/them (UGH) understood a fraction of it.
It becomes our job to figure this out along the way and thankfully (you’ll never hear me say this again) we have many social media platforms that we can bounce ideas off each other. After talking to friends and listening to many versions of success through books, podcasts, interviews… I’ve found that there’s not just ONE thing that works for everyone. Welcome to the party, I know. There are specific things like prioritizing sleep (working on it) that helps everyone. But there’s not one set of habits for everyone. Our lives are so radically different that my morning routine wouldn’t work for the person who’s working an overnight or has to get up at 4am to be somewhere. But a couple years from now, my schedule could change and it won’t even work for me anymore.
This is the point I’m getting at. How do we learn to adjust and keep everything intact? Without trial and error, there’s no solid answer. One thing I haven’t started to implement, but want to, is a healthy nighttime routine. When your energy is so low and the day has been nothing but an uphill battle, just getting into the bed can be the task of the century. BUT, priorities, right? Knowing that it’s universally important to every human, turning off the screens an hour before bed, not eating within 3 hours of sleep, and eliminating ALL light pollution from the bedroom should be priority numero uno, so that tomorrow isn’t an uphill battle. The rejections roll off your shoulders, the problem solving abilities sky rocket, and getting your physical activity is a delight instead of a chore.
Maybe we should structure out each and every day so that I have time for learning new things, reading books, writing/painting/creating, playing with my kids, taking care of my home, getting all my tasks from work in order, exercising, spending quality time with my significant other, keeping my social media game up, getting a degree in something new, prioritizing my morning, prioritizing my night, stretching, having a side hustle, making sure to only eat kale and simultaneously go on the carnivore diet, fast for 3 days a month, go for long walks, get 8 hours of sleep, take an afternoon nap, drink 5 cups of coffee a day and never drink coffee, water your plants, water your pets, water yourself, take a cold shower, get a cold plunge, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in years, meet new people, meditate an hour a day, never play video games, play video games to increase mental aptitude, take yoga, write a book, make a movie, take a vacation, work from a vacation, go hiking, go camping, start filming a YouTube series and be more active with your blog…………………
We have to continue to be grateful for what we accomplish and do our best in each moment. Let the moments stack together like a brick on a wall. The wall will come if we continue to stack them the best we can. Some will not be perfect and that’s O-KAY. Some will be better than others, but that’s just how it happens. Continue to stack as best you can, remind yourself that the wall will come. Perhaps today you need a break from stacking bricks and that’s okay too. Just know that you have to come back tomorrow. It’s okay to miss a day, but to miss 2 days is to create a new pattern and it will only be more difficult to come back to stacking bricks. Maybe today you only stack 10 bricks and not the usual 20 or 30 that you do on a good day. All that matters is that you keep the streak alive. Keep the habit, especially if you enjoy the process. There will be a wall but you have to trust the process. You have to listen to the artist and not the critic. Do what you can, something will most likely try to pull you away from your brick-stacking. There are only 24 hours in a day and we should be sleeping at least 8 of those hours. Then the rest of them it’s up to you to prioritize them, not some social media guru or some Dr. that’s never met you. You have to listen to your soul, maaaaaaaaaan. For realsies.
When we look forward on the deathbed (we’re all headed to the same spot) what will you have contributed to this world that you’re most happy about?
It doesn’t matter what you have going on today. It could be your day off and you’re on vacation in the Caribbean and you’re being fed pizza and monkeys are doing the salsa dance for you and Joe Biden just honored you in an address to the nation… BUT YOU STILL KNOW IT’S MONDAY.
Restaurants are closed, coffee places are closed (NOOOOOOOOOOOO!), the streets are a little bit quieter. Everything has the Monday vibe to it. The weekend left hours ago and now we’re all dreaming of lasagna and telling Jon to take care of his neglected but loveable dope of a dog Odie. There has to be some significance to that name, “Odie” right? Like the Greek god Odin? Or like “O, Die!” That’s dark.
Each Monday I’m looking at the week like some arduous task that needs to be taken care of, making Monday an arduous task within itself. As humans, planning is important. It helps us navigate ourselves to some version of success. Planning a hunt, planning a season, planning a drive, etc. We can all agree on that. Personally, trying to sit and plan is like pulling teeth. As soon as I look at the week and what I need to map out I feel the urge to pee. Then I sit back down and I need to stand back up and take out the trash. Then when I get back in and put my pen to the paper I need to do the dishes. I know exactly what’s happening… I need to clean the bathroom. I’m totally unsure if it’s ADD or ADHD or ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY I need to brush my teeth.
This is probably why I fell in love with the martial arts and exercise in general. If the body can be enduring some sort of “pain” or input, then the mind finally has something to focus on. If the body is at rest, especially without having burned a million calories already, I’m jumping out of my skin. Just trying to write this is like trying to have a 1 on 1 conversation in the middle of a Metallica concert. “HUUUUUUUH?! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?! BATTERRRRY” /Headbang
Whenever I’m writing and posting (Reminder: KrisOakey.com has been around for years) I think of the Pilgrim lady giving the tour in Billy Madison “Is anybody even listening to me?” The writing has never been about having a massive audience or anything like that, but just feeling like I’ve been able to leave my door unlocked. Here’s my soul, my psychotic train of thought, and some analogies that are really just eloquent movie references of a lady that pees her pants to be cool.
On the sidebar, when you’re working on a post, you click all the categories of what your post may fall under. As I’m clicking I reminded myself to be “grateful,” to queue up “healthy habits,” to admit that I deal with overwhelming amounts of anxiety, depression, and am self-conscious to a fault. It all comes in waves. Big, fast, and sudden waves. But save the pity party for me, it only makes the problems worse. It’s something we all get in one way or another. People have come to me through the past week and told me that they felt that they were alone in this and I’m here to tell you all, “I need to vacuum.”
Honestly, the waves of anxiety can hit hard and today I feel is like high tide with 100 foot waves of the coast of Hawaii. It feels like drowning in emotions that you can’t even understand. Almost like if I could cry a tub of tears I’d feel so much better, like relieved. And for whatever moronic reason, I conditioned myself to not cry because “crying’s for pussies.” Right. Brilliant. I’m not one for political correctness (it’s ruined millions of people and conversations in general. Just say it. Be real, be genuine, and save your PC terms for some TikTok reel) but that’s definitely some toxic masculinity. The thought of embracing the sadness, anger, *insert a word for an emotion that doesn’t exist* makes me feel like I’m weak. Like we should just be able to shake it off, pull a Jocko, and tell ourselves that the enemy isn’t crying at hour 0420. He’s doing pushups in the jungle surrounded by scorpions with a bayonet pinched between his asscheeks. That motherfucker is a MAN.
It would be nice to just sit on the couch and watch movies all day while scrolling through my phone, taking the day as an L and just isolating myself from all humans. Making eye contact with someone just feels like they could break me. One look at them and my brain tells me, “They’ve got it all together and you’re crumbling. Put on some fake smile and tell them “everything is fine.” In actuality, everything IS FINE. We have food, we have water, we have a roof over our heads. Nothing and no one is trying to kill us (I hope). It’s all first world problems that we’re dealing with, right? Oh no, the bills are due, inflation is rising, it’s Monday and the workweek has begun WAAAAAAAAAAH. I’m anxious WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.
There’s fucking war all over the world, people are dying of starvation/disease/lack of drinking water, and some people don’t even have a place to sleep at night. Those are REAL problems.
But anxiety and depression have no interest in being reasoned with. Logic doesn’t have any power over them. You can play the “I’m fine” mental loop on repeat, but they’re like a 2 year old having a tantrum. They’re screaming and ripping your hair out subsequently forcing you to rip all your hair out. That’d be a good reason to explain my lack of hair besides “male pattern baldness.” Such a boring answer.
The only way I’ve ever been able to put a cork in them is by exercising until I want to throw up. I have no understanding why this is has been the solution for me, but it’s not the end-all be-all solution to these emotions, but it’s the only thing that buys me some time. It allows me to remove some of the people at the Metallica concert while I’m trying to talk. The music is still loud and there’s still a metric shit-ton of people there… but there’s less.
Perhaps this will be an ongoing battle for the rest of my life. Each day just trying to conquer some demons that want to rattle my cage. Maybe one day there will finally be some inner peace. But we can’t plan on it. All we can do is take each day like a fight of good vs. evil, reminding ourselves that we have something to offer the world. Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about. Get out of your house, make the connection, meet new people, be interested in them and forget your own bullshit for a minute. Genuinely get lost in someone else’s life and what they have to offer. Learn something new. We have to do all we can to conquer our battles but not get lost in them either. That’s selfish. Unlock your door, do some writing for us, play some music, create something to share with the world! You WILL feel better. Go for a long walk, maybe move fast, maybe focus on being still and practicing stillness of the mind, maybe do some pushups with a knife between your asscheeks. You are not in danger like the wave of anxiety is trying to tell you. Just like all waves, it’s going to crash and go back out to sea. The beach remains. Whatever you’re battling today will pass.
I mean…. fuck it, we’re all going to be stardust eventually None of this shit actually matters. Everything you do is meaningless in the grand scheme of the universe. Or maybe it’s already happened in an infinite amount of other universes? Or maybe we’re in a simulation like the Matrix? Or maybe I should just bang my head off the keyboard until I forget how overwhelmed with crippling anxiety I am? I need to do the dishes. I need to take out the trash. I need to clean the bathroom. I need to eat lunch so I don’t throw up at BJJ. I should have done a long cardio session so my body wouldn’t be making my brain scream in 4 million directions. I should brush my teeth again. I need to pee.