Tune-In + Volume Up

I want to say thank you to everyone who follows and interacts with my ramblings. I’m stunned that people would take the time to read my thoughts.

I can’t say in all consciousness why I suddenly decided to double down on writing my blog, but it’s been nice.

Along with thanking you all for your precious attention, I want to walk you through some of my thought process for my blogs. I’m only thirty-three years old, but I have a strong life-variety to share. While there are some aspects of my life I consider myself competent and masterful at, I know that some of what I share will definitely be emotion or opinion-driven.

I’m not out to make a political statement, make waves, raise the dead, peer through walls, or any other highly evocative exercise. I simply want to share my thoughts and perspectives with the hope they create opportunities for someone else.

I love questions and curiosity, and I feel too much that we expect what someone else says or does, in most senses of life, to cause some incredible impact in ours.

The truth is, no matter what I say, I don’t get to determine how it’s received, same as any potential reader doesn’t get to determine how I deliver it. I only want to deliver something and get the chance to participate in what happens after should I be invited.

In this wise, I’ve come up with a couple of categories to help me prepare my blogs each week. I haven’t been following this to the letter, but it has inspired me on multiple occasions to a fun diversity. Here are the categories I’ve chosen to share over the course of the next foreseeable future:

  1. Personal Stories: Content not directly plugged to any specific topic. If I feel inclined, then I’ll share.
  2. Martial Arts: I have twenty years of experience in my chosen art of Westwing Kenpo Karate. This medium has been the single-most influential part of my life, and as such, I have so much to I’d love to share.
  3. Improv Comedy: Next to Martial Arts, Improv has acted as a channel for me to interact with life in dynamic ways. I owe a lot of my mental and emotional health to this art form.
  4. Teaching: This is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve taught formally and informally since I was in my teens. I’ve personally been taught by both fantastic and horrible instructors. I self-published a book on the subject. I’d love to share observations, theories, principles, and questions with you and see where we go.
  5. Dreams: I’ve been an avid dreamer since I was a child. I keep dream journals, and to this day stay active in re-reading my past. I also find a lot of religious and spiritual communication from God through my dreams, with some of them have come true. I want to literally share my dreams with you and hear your amazing thoughts.
  6. Short Stories: I love to write, and I love stories. I have a fiction novel in a fourth draft that I’ve been unable to finish due to many life changes over the last year and a half, but I also have a plethora of short story concepts. I’ll be penning those down and sharing them from time to time.
  7. Religion: I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and quite active. I consider myself a little unorthodox in my faith, however, and I’d love to share my thoughts and feelings regarding many aspects and hear what you’re pondering and musing over.

There you have it.

Now, in the spirit of transparency, vulnerability, and to help you get a better sense of who I am, I’d like to share some of the abysmal time I’ve had the last month, and a little of why that’s the case.

To take a minute and vent, I’ve been feeling incredibly worthless and engaged in a crisis of faith. And while the quarantine isn’t the culprit, it’s identified itself as the catalyst.

I started a business back in the fall of 2019–Finding Parallels–with the intent to use Improv Comedy to hold workshops for youth, adults, and businesses. Improv is uniquely fashioned to help communication, relationships, listening, confidence, idea creation, and learning follow through. And with my experience teaching high school improv teams for the last five years, specifically watching how impactful it’s been for them, I figured more people would be interested.

Like most things, I received a lot of lip service or absolute silence with my attempted networking, and very, very few serious customers. In the end, COVID eliminated my seven-month traction almost overnight and now my business is done.

I teach at a high school part-time, but to help supplement and try to keep my family up and running for the foreseeable future, I accepted a customer service job that pays less than $15/hour. That starts tomorrow, and I feel I’ve taken a huge step back in life because of this. I have a Bachelor’s Degree, years of experience in a variety of leadership, analysis, product management, and customer service, and this is the job I could get. I chose not to pursue a formal degree in education to push my business, and I’m not sure if I made the right choice or not.

On top of that, I’ve experienced push-back from God regarding His “ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you” policy. While I’ve definitely seen proof of this in the past (I don’t doubt His existence or His interest in us and our lives), He’s been oddly silent with me for a while now and I can’t figure out why. I’m a creature of communication and questions, so when the line suddenly goes silent I have a real hard time. I mean, this is His whole deal.

With all things considered, I’ve left myself feeling bitter, frustrated, worthless, and confused. And believe it or not, I really don’t like feeling this way.

My current state has been hard on my wife as well as those few people I’ve associated with since the quarantine began. I apologize as I can, but I don’t feel like I’ve been able to adjust or change enough to see something different on the horizon. This, for me, is the most frustrating thing of all: that no matter how many changes I make, or how hard I self-analyze, or how hard I look for what I’m doing wrong to change it, nothing is improving the situation.

As an American, I believe the American Dream is either dead or significantly debilitated. As a Christian, I find myself tethered by passive-aggressive teaching and policy while conflicted with the active inspiration that comes from actually following the doctrine of Christ. As a man, I fear that any sort of behavior I exhibit will get reduced to the offensive by someone who happens to pass by. As a teacher, I work hard to respect and love those I teach, while worrying if any of them will decide to manipulate the relationship to their advantage.

In short, I don’t feel like we live in a world that promotes the health, well-being, support, growth, or positive promotion of humanity. I think we all want that, but we’re fighting a battle against foes who work from the shadows, or know how to yell really loud and divert the effort to change.

I recognize there are incredible forces for good, and I believe they’ll win in the end, but I find it harder and harder to know where to locate that good. I do my best to exemplify good, but how do I know if that’s what I’m sending out?

I’m tired, and I’m almost beyond hope.

But not quite yet. I still have a little fight left in me. I don’t know what to use it for, so for now, I’ll use it to keep loving, supporting, sharing honesty, receiving feedback, and working together with those who want to work.

At the given moment, this is what I have to offer.

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