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That’s why they call it the blues.

A part of me wishes I could write more. I wish I could share more. Not just via the written word, but in person too. In many ways, and I think I’ve said it before, this is my therapy. It’s the only way I can let any emotion out. Outside of anger that is. And Lord knows I have a lot of anger.

I honestly can’t recall a time when I wasn’t angry anymore. I’ve been angry for so long that at this point it feels like that is my default setting. In my own mind, I feel justified. I haven’t had the best of life moments. They haven’t all been bad, but it’s human nature to focus on the negative, I think. I could be wrong.

Any time I think about my anger one of the scenes that pops up in my head is from an episode of “X-Men” the animated series from the 90’s. It was the episode where Wolverine ended up in a small Alaskan town and had finally found peace. But then Sabertooth came to ruin it. Wolverine screamed that he was tired of all the fighting. He was tired of the anger. The pain. The hurt. That’s how I feel. I just want all this anger to fade away. But it doesn’t. And every day it kills me a little more inside.

I sit back and read all these articles about how people now understand mental health more. How people are advocating for it to be discussed and stories to be shared. But half the time I just think it’s bullshit. DMX just recently passed and now all of a sudden people are playing his music and calling him the GOAT. Such balderdash! Such trash! Such lies. I actually liked DMX and his music. I knew about his past. His struggles. I respected him. But now you see all these phonies come out and praise him as if they actually cared. The same exact people who made fun of Britney Spears and now are “on her side” in her mental health struggle. Such bullshit.

Here’s the truth: most people won’t ever care about something unless they actually experience it or it affects them in some way. And that goes for everything including racism, sexism, assault, hate crimes, cancer, etc. But just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you can’t be there for someone.

Being there for someone is hard. Especially the rougher a person is dealing with someone. It can be draining. Worse, it can be even more draining when so many people depend on you. People often forget that we all break down or need a little maintenance from time to time. And sometimes we go to the wrong mechanic. We think a person can do the job and fix things, but they just don’t have the tools for it. Or even worse they don’t care.

When someone doesn’t care or makes it look like they don’t care, man that’s rough. For me, I just really need a break. A real, honest, break. I think back to that episode of “X-Men” and envy Wolverine. He just woke up and left. I’ve always wanted to do that. Just leave all of this behind. I don’t feel comfortable most places or with most people. I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of being called crazy. And I’m tired of people thinking it’s cute to do it. It’s partially why I keep getting angry. The circle of life, no?

All day I’ve had that Elton John song “That’s Why They Call It the Blues” stuck in my head. And of course, it’s just the chorus. I know they lyrics and story, but the chorus is all that matters. Maybe I’m just sadder than normal lately. Who can even tell at this point? I feel like Eeyore but can’t express myself properly. Even with this blog, few people actually read it. Less people care. Gone are all the people who claimed they would read anything I wrote because I had a way with words. Do I even? I’ve never dared call myself a writer. Much less an artist, but sometimes in the middle of the night, when no one is reading I say: “Not bad”.

A part of me hopes that people like what I write. And another part hopes someone else can find some comfort in what I say. Mostly, I just stopped giving a damn. Everyone is too busy. Too happy. Who wants to bother with an old dog like me anyhow? I haven’t looked at my reflection in a while. When I do catch a glimpse I quickly turn away. After all this time, I still hate my stinking guts. But I’m trying. Some days are better. Most aren’t.

It’s funny because as I write this the voice in my head constantly changes. But it is usually low and growly. Just the way I like it. I have so many thoughts going on at once that I hope that when it’s all said and done people have some sort of idea where I’m coming from.

There was a really great Roddy Piper biography on A&E recently. And one of the things that stuck out to me was how Roddy was described as never being able to escape his demons. Those pieces of trauma we suffer early in life that makes it tough for us to go with our daily lives. I’ve spoken to a lot of people about their trauma. Their pain. And as much as it saddens me, what saddens me more is how some are unwilling to fight for their lives. By writing this blog I am trying to fight and better myself. By writing these stories I hope to grow. By writing these stories I hope to find peace. Maybe then I’ll actually be able to relate to normal humans. Maybe.

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Arturo Exists

Blog X

Like so many, I grew up watching superhero cartoons and reading comic books. Although Batman will always be my favorite character, the X-Men cartoons of the early 90’s is truly a thing of beauty. Although the animation wasn’t as great near the end, the show had some truly amazing episodes. I don’t know how we got so lucky to have such well written and mature episodes from several different cartoons, but I am certainly grateful.

During these difficult times I think back to one of my favorite episodes: “Beauty and the Beast”. Here is a quick synopsis from Wikipedia:

Beast falls in love with Carly, a blind patient of his. Carly’s father is a rampant mutant hater until the Friends of Humanity thugs kidnap Carly.

Beast is one of my favorite characters and I think he’s someone that a lot of people can connect with. Beast is a fearsome looking individual with the heart of a poet. The mind of a genius. A perfect example of why it is important for people to get to know someone before they judge them. Beneath his “scary” exterior beats the heart of a gentle man. A man who often worries that because of how he looks he won’t be treated well.

No matter how gruff a person may look on the outside, it does hurt to be rejected so much for one’s physical appearance. Many have often cited the X-Men as a mirror for our society, using mutants as the oppressed minority. The hated minority. In fact, there is an episode where Jubilee, a young Asian-American mutant, asks someone (I think it was Senator Kelly) just what she did to generate so much hate. The response? “You were born”.

Sadly, that same response is what a lot of people in the real world would say to me, you, or anyone else. So many people blindly hate and it is one of the most tragic things in the world. Blind hate is usually backed by fear. These two things usually lead to people acting irrationally and hurting others or worse yet -killing them.

You were born. Just think about that for a second. Imagine someone coming to you while you were out buying groceries and slapping them out of your hand. Imagine how angry you would feel. Then imagine how terrified you would be when after you asked them “Why did you do that?” Their response was to pull out a gun and say “Because you were born”. Scary, right? The worst part is that for so many of us, it’s something that can really happen.

If you have Disney+ you can actually watch this episode, and I would encourage you to do so. Even if you’re not a comic book fan. Even if you hate cartoons. Just look up the X-Men Season 2, Episode 10 “Beauty and the Beast” and watch it. It’s a little over 20 minutes of time well spent.

In the episode Dr. Hank McCoy is working on curing a blind patient, Carly. Over time he begins to fall in love with her. And she with him. Hank is a mutant. He’s a big, blue hairy man with fangs, hence the code name: Beast. Carly’s father did not know that he was a mutant at first, but as soon as he saw Hank he was filled with rage and anger. A rage and anger that Hank had seen too often. A rage and anger that many of us have seen too often.

Carly’s father did not want his daughter anywhere near a mutant. Hank was hurt. But he knew that if he tried to pursue a relationship with Carly there would be problems. He was afraid for himself and for her. Fast forward and Carly is kidnapped by the “Friends of Humanity”, a hate group equivalent to the Klu Klux Klan. Hank was ANGRY.

Hank went to go find Carly and bring her back to safety. Carly’s father realizing that Hank really did care for his child changed his stance on Hank, and maybe all mutants. But that was just one man. One person who had to actually open his mind and stop thinking so narrowly about what makes a decent person. At the end, no matter what happened between Carly and Hank, the world was still filled with angry people filled with blind rage. The parallels to today’s world are easy to see.

Sadly, these are views that have existed for a long time. Truthfully, I know that these views won’t go away for a long, long time. If ever. I’ve been rejected by people because I wasn’t “the same” as them. Relationships have never truly happened or blossomed because I wasn’t the same color. Hell, I’m a fairly light skinned guy and I was once told I wasn’t light enough! Really!

My hope is that little by little we can each make a difference. Little by little we can each open our minds and the minds of others. That’s the only way we’re ever going to advance. Take the time to get to know someone. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that had they not had to talk to me they would be afraid of me, I would have a few bucks. Or how surprised people are when I quote Shakespeare. Or how people have told me how surprised they were that I was intelligent or charming.

It infuriates me when people would refuse to get in elevators with me. Or how people would clutch their belongings. Or how they would refuse to sit or stand by me. The dirty looks I would get would boil my blood. The fact that I KNEW that I was hated or discriminated against because of my appearance drove me mad. Few people would believe me early on until they heard otherwise. Many of us know when someone doesn’t like us because of our appearance. Even if others don’t see it. Even if it comes from someone who claims to be “woke”. Frankly, the more “woke” a person claims to be the more I believe they are half asleep.

It is saddening to see how much of a target we’ve ALL become for each other. Some of us have a larger target on our backs, this no one can deny. The thing to remember is that we need to live our lives with an open mind. We cannot blindly judge anyone. We need to take a chance and get to know people for who they are, not what they are. We cannot ignore someone’s experiences just because we have not shared them. No one lives the exact same life. No one has the same struggles. No one has the same fears. But we do share the same sky. The same sun. The same planet. I hope to live long enough to see a better world. Nuff said.

#Wisdomination #ArturoExists #XMen #Life #Race

Beast and Carly

Beast: Now that you see what my life is like, you’ll understand what I have to tell you.

Carly: Hank, please don’t…

Beast: We have to face it. I am a mutant in a world that fears and despises my kind. I thought for a moment we could live in that world together, but I know now that we cannot. Someday, with work and hope, the world will change. Until then, if you care for me as much as I care for you, you will understand why we must part.

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Arturo Exists

Loneliness and abandonment

The date is April 23, 2020. The current time as I start this blog is 12:26 am. We are still on lockdown. No clue how long this will last. I write this not only to be able to look back at my current thoughts, but to help put me at ease.

Perhaps ease is the wrong word. I’m not worried. I’m not scared. I rarely feel like that. But I can understand those who are afraid. I also understand those who are frustrated by this whole situation. I really do.

I was speaking with a woman a few weeks ago about this and I made two comments that I am sure will come true. 1) We’re gonna see a lot of babies born in 9 months and 2) we’re gonna see if people truly belong together.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned it’s that a lot of people can’t and don’t do well on their own. And sometimes even if you’re in a crowded house you can still feel completely alone. It’s an ugly feeling, but one that needs to be addressed. I know that a lot of people who suffer from depression will likely end up feeling worse. And I know that some people who aren’t experienced with the sensation may get these feelings now, and they may not be able to cope.

I’m lucky that I’m used to being alone. I’m lucky that I have means to keep myself fed and entertained during these hard times. But not everyone is as lucky. That’s why it is important to check on those you love. And more importantly its important to note that even if a person is sad or lonely, they may never reach out to you. Or anyone. So try a little harder.

I titled this post “Loneliness and Abandonment” because those feelings go hand in hand. Realistically there may be people who feel alone and abandoned for a variety of reasons right now. I’m not here to tell anyone what the right way to feel is. All of your feelings are valid. All of your feelings matter. But I do want those poor souls to remember that they are not alone.

I have spent years feeling alone and abandoned. It’s not a good feeling. And while I have more good days than bad now, those bad days suck. I personally have zero drive or ambition on those days. Honestly, I have very little drive most days. A part of that has to do with me not feeling challenged. A part of me just asks “why?”.

Like many of you I’ve tried to be a good person. I’ve made mistakes. People have screwed me over. I try not to dwell on that though. I’ve learned to forgive those who have wronged me. Anger truly is like a piece of coal you intend to throw at someone else, you are the one who ends up getting burned. But sometimes, late at night, the mind wanders. I’ve never been able to sleep well so my mind wanders a lot.

I don’t know what will happen over the next year. I know things won’t get better for us any time soon. I think that the sooner people realize that the sooner we can try to move forward. In my life I’ve experienced a lot of things but nothing like this. There are still a few older people alive who have. The rest of us have just heard stories.

But things are different now. A lot has changed in 100 years. Social media has both positively and negatively affected how we deal with things. One things that is true now is that we are more honest about mental health. I’ve seen a lot of people post things that have made me know that their mental health isn’t holding up. If you are doing this, you are not alone. I encourage you to try and reach out to someone. No one will think less of you for this.

It’s 1:21am. I’ve been writing for an hour. Taking breaks to think about my words. I’m not sure if this will help anyone. I’m not even sure if it will help me. For all my intelligence I still struggle with basic communication. I can admit that now. Take care my friends. Take care of each other. And remember: hard times breed better people.

#Wisdomination #wisdom #Life #Depression #lonely #alone #abandoned #hope #coronavirus

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Arturo Exists

A Mentor in Time

There is an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” that I rewatched recently that really stood out to me. The episode was “Tapestry”. In this episode the legendary Jean Luc Picard was near death and given an opportunity by “Q”, an omnipotent creature with a lot of powers, to go back to his youth and change one detail that would allow him to live. Just one.

The episode itself was good. I love Q episodes and I love Star Trek in general. At this point in time I am watching some version of Star Trek nearly every day.

So many shows, books, plays, movies, etc have done this angle before. And every time it’s done, it’s always good. That’s partially why I’m talking about it now. I’m lucky that I am young enough to understand how fortunate I have been in life.

Have there been struggles? Yes. A lot. Has there been pain? Yes. A lot. Have I ever wished that I could go back and change things? Rarely.

I understand that I would not be the man I am today had I not gone through some hard times. Hard times breed better people. I never knew what or who I would be when I grew up. Honestly, I always felt like I grew up too quickly. I have spent nearly all my life taking care of others. It is exhausting.

But you know something? As much as I complain about it, I love it. I never had any real mentor. I had to learn a lot of things the hard way. And I’ve been able to take those experiences and pass them on to others.

I realized that without me ever knowing it, I have become a lot of people’s mentor. I have become their guide. Their confidant. Someone that they trust, respect, and maybe love. Or fear. I’m not always sure about that last part.

I am honored to have helped so many people. I am honored to have people come to me asking for help. But how did I become this guy? I guess it’s because I never really had someone to go to. And I got tired of being angry a long time ago.

I’m not the angry, young man I used to be. I’m still plenty angry, but not as much as I used to be. That may come as a shock to some people because they can’t imagine me being any worse than I am now!

I used to want to just pick the world up and drop it on its head. I wanted to climb the highest ladder and drop an elbow on the world. J wanted to just crush everything and everyone. Now? I’d settle with just kicking the world every once in a while.

I have become more calm. I have learned from my mistakes and I can pass this knowledge on to my younger friends. If I’m lucky I may even finally convince a woman to stay with me and have my beautiful babies. In time. I hope.

Time. What a concept. People always want to wait to do things because they have plenty of time. They don’t. We don’t. Take chances. Make mistakes. Try. Fail. Succeed. Live. You don’t want to wake up one day hoping that some magical being can come to you and let you change your life.

Here’s the funny thing about the Star Trek episode. Picard DID change his life. He became timid. He became someone he did not want to be. Someone he could not respect. So he asked Q to let him fix things and let him make his stupid mistakes again. Because it was his mistakes that made him. And it is my mistakes that made me.

It is our mistakes that make all of us. And maybe we’ll regret some things. That’s life. Right now I’m in a place where I feel calm. I feel at peace. The anger that I once had is… smaller now. Now I just want to keep taking chances. Keep making mistakes. I know that if given a chance I can do great things. I’ve been given some good opportunities lately. I still have some things to fix. I still have to grow. I still hope this blog becomes soemthing. I still hope.

I don’t feel this is my best blog but that’s ok. I’m going to keep trying. I hope you all keep trying too.

#StarTrek #Wisdomination #Life #Hope #Picard

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Arturo Exists

Somewhere I Belong

I have often dreamed
Of a far off place
Where a great warm welcome
Will be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer
When they see my face
And a voice keeps sayin’
This is where I’m meant to be
I will find my way
I can go the distance
I’ll be there someday
If I can be strong
I know every mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere
To feel like I belong

-Go the Distance, Hercules Soundtrack

I’ve never truly felt comfortable around most people or most places. I’m sure many of you can co-sign those feelings. The feelings of loneliness can drive a person mad. And there truly isn’t a lonelier place to be than in a room full of people.

Making a connection with someone is hard for me. There are wonderful people out there who I feel I have bonded with, but I’m terrible at keeping up with people. It’s not that I don’t care it’s just that… I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I wish I had an answer for you. I really did.

Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I don’t like not being able to see them every day, but it’s hard for me to keep that lifeline going. Do I truly care about these people? Yes. I do. I know I do. And sometimes I make an occasional effort, but often times I just can’t.

I’ve read so many articles and books and studies about people who are depressed or have social issues and yet I still can’t find the answer I’m looking for. That’s part of the reason I decided to write this blog. So that if anyone who cared about me wanted to know how I was doing they would know.

I’m alive. Sometimes I try to live. I try to find love. But not too hard. Although I have to admit, I feel like I’m really trying now. I really am. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe it’s because I’m just tired of having no one to confide in completely, but I’m trying.

Obviously I haven’t been successful, but it’s been an interesting journey. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people in my life. A lot of jerks too. But I am trying to focus more on the positive.

A little over 6 months ago I told myself that I needed to be better. In every way. Some bad stuff happened along the way. But some good stuff too. I have to believe that I am on the path I belong. I have to believe that this is where my journey was meant to take me. I have to.

I always knew my journey to happiness would be a long one. I’m just so tired. So very, very tired. I think about John Coffey in “The Green Mile” all the time. He was tired too. Tired of being alone. Tired of having no one to talk to. And just tired of people being ugly to each other.

The saddest part is that I’ve been tired for a long, long time. Truthfully, it’s made it hard for me to care about a lot of things. Like me. I used to be an extremely angry and bitter young man. I wanted to fight everyone. But like Chief Joseph said: “I will fight no more forever”. All I want now is peace. Deep down, I’ve always wanted that. I was just so hurt and angry at the world that I couldn’t see anything but hate.

Maybe that’s why I never found a place to belong. Maybe I was too angry. Too hurt. Maybe. I’m glad that those days are mostly over. I’m not as angry as once was. I’m still a little hurt, but it’s getting better.

A lot of people tell me that I’m still too angry. Or that I’m always angry. Maybe that’s an obstacle that I’ll need help with. Funnily enough I’m reminded of Frankenstein’s Creation asking Victor to create a partner for him. The creature never really stopped being angry. Sometimes I worry if I must suffer the same fate. For years I felt like the creature and I had the same heart. The same soul. And truthfully it’s a broken one.

The creature never found a place to belong. But I hope one day I do. There are people whom I have met who have made me comfortable and happy. To them I owe them a debt I can never truly repay. I can only hope that I mattered to them as much as they matter to me.

I weep for those who, like me, struggle with finding comfort. Some have harsher roads to travel. Some don’t. But each journey matters. I often sit back and ponder how much harder I would have fallen if I were different. If I were more “normal”. If I gave in to temptation. Alas, I’ve seen how those journeys end. Very few have happy endings.

I wish I could take all the people who have made me feel good and make them feel better. I wish I could take all the pain that they have and give them nothing but joy. Above all, I wish I could verbalize my love and thanks to them. But I can’t. This is the best that I can do. Those who read it will know. Those who don’t won’t.

How does one even find where they belong anyway? I think that it comes down to who you surround yourself with. I’ve been fortunate that so many wonderful people have taken me under their umbrella and helped me feel cared for. I remember damn near everything in my life, so you can bet I haven’t forgotten the people who have helped me. To them I say thank you. For a brief moment you made me comfortable and like I belonged.

As my journey continues I hope to pass on such feelings to others. More importantly I hope to find that special someone who makes me feel like that every second of every day. I’m getting closer. I can feel it in the deepest part of my heart. And when that person is willing to love me for me, I know that she’ll remove that final strip of hate in my heart. Then I’ll truly feel like I belong in this world. And that I belong to her, with her.

#Life #Wisdomination #Frankenstein #Fear #Love #Belonging #Therapy #Hope #NeverGiveUp #NeverSurrender #Help