Monday, September 29, 2014

Change is Good

The past few years have been especially rough for me for reasons I won't go into here. Bottom line is I was completely stressed out, depressed, unsure of myself and my future, angry, sad... you name it. I saw no way out, and even though I did pray and work, I just couldn't get my head above it to figure out a solution. That happens when you're that deep in a dismal situation.

Finally, an answer to my prayers came from an unexpected source, and I've been happier in the past few months than I have been in years. I am no longer in that awful, soul-sucking situation, and I finally have a clear head again. I only wish I could say the same for my mother and brother.

For those of you that don't know, on July 10th - coincidentally both my mom's and brother's birthday - I moved from Kentucky to Texas. A good friend of mine had an extra room and really wanted to help me out of the situation I was in. So after much prayer and consideration, I took the plunge. And ever since, I have been living in a small town in Eastern Texas.

I was skeptical moving so far away from the place I had called home for the majority of my life, and I had no idea what to expect once I got here. But really it's not that much different at all, at least not in the area I'm in. And the people I've met here and have surrounded myself with now are super kind, supportive and caring. Genuinely caring.

Change can be a scary thing, but it's something I desperately needed even more than I realized. And while things aren't perfect - they never are, right? - they are SO much better than I could have imagined. I am happy, I am revitalized, I am clear-headed and focused, I'm no longer stressed or depressed, sad or angry. I worry about my family, but aside from that, I am in such a better place than I have been for years.

I never thought of all the places I could go that I would end up in Texas. But I haven't regretted this move for one second. Who knew?

Change was needed, change was made, and now things are good again.

So for anyone that I haven't told yet that happens across this blog post, I apologize and I hope you can be happy for me. The move happened very quickly and I had little time to prepare, let alone inform everyone. The important thing is I'm in a better place, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Figuratively and literally. So be happy for me, my friends. I know I am!

-B

Friday, June 27, 2014

Think Before You Speak

"Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another." -  Napoleon Hill

One of my greatest pet peeves is when people speak on situations they have no idea about. When they share their opinions - secondhand at that - on situations others are going through without truly knowing the facts. But placing themselves in a position of an authority on the matter at hand.

Sure, we're all entitled to our own opinions, and anyone with two brain cells can look at a situation and form said opinion based on various factors. We all do that, but that's not what I'm referring to. What I'm referring to is when one hears one side of a situation and formulates not only an opinion, but also a response about the situation as if they were fully informed.

When we are faced with the situations of loved ones, we innately jump to defend that side without ever considering the other side at all. What we truly need is more objective thinking and reasoning and less one-sided, biased opinions informing our stance on situations.

I understand that sometimes, in certain cases, the fault of one party over another is undeniably clear, and in those cases, sure, we can rightly form an opinion based on those facts, one-sided or not. For example, if someone breaks into a house and shoots the resident, it is clear where the blame lies in that given situation. There is no reason to consider the other side. And while that may be an extreme example, it illustrates the point I'm making.

Take, however, a couple arguing. Let's say one party is feeling neglected, while the other party is feeling smothered. If you are close friends with one of these parties, chances are you will jump to their defense and place all the blame on the other party. But is that really fair? No, it is not. You don't know the full story and both sides of the argument. All you know is what one party relayed to you in confidence, and you have formed a biased opinion based on that information.

If you really wanted to help this hypothetical couple, and if they wanted your help (which is first and foremost here), you would listen objectively to both parties and then offer your assistance in helping them resolve what issues they were each dealing with.

I get that there's a sense of loyalty that comes into play in most of these situations, but I'm not just referring to couples either. This goes for friends, business partners, family members, religious leaders, political leaders, etc. We, too many times, base our opinions on a limited amount of facts and/or hearsay and never seek out the full truth of the matter. And then we present our opinions with some level of validity that paints us as an expert on the matter.

No matter how eloquent you may be in your presentation, your opinion is still one-sided and therefore uninformed, resulting in you speaking out of turn and potentially souring others on the party you've placed your judgment - however vague or mildly so - upon.

I will never claim to be perfect or to have all the answers. Nor will I ever make the statement that I am right all the time, or that none of my opinions are biased. I'm just as flawed and imperfect as anyone else, and I make mistakes like anyone else. I know what they are, and I try to correct them or learn from them as I can. I am accountable... when I have something to be accountable for. No one will ever be harder on me than I am on myself.

What I can say, though, is that I sincerely try to look at all sides of every situation, and to place myself in others' shoes as much as I possibly can when coming to a conclusion about something. No, I can't completely do that as we all have different experiences and none of us will ever truly know what another person has gone through. We all perceive things differently, and that degree of perception dictates how great or small various things affect us. One occurrence may be no big deal to one person, while it may be devastating to another. But still, I try.

That's all we can do. We try to better ourselves, we try to understand each other, and we try to live our lives as peaceably as we possibly can. To do that, we have to face ourselves and ask ourselves if we are truly making informed decisions and opinions, or if we're getting seeds of information or gossip and basing our entire philosophies off those tidbits.

The bottom line is, you may know certain things about certain individuals, and the situations they are in and the obstacles they face. But you don't truly know them and everything they've gone through, especially when you are only talking to the opposite side and never considering for a moment that the counterpart may have something valuable to add to your opinion on the matter at hand.

Think, people. Think before you speak and let the world know what your true motivations and instincts are, and what limited resources they are based upon. Think to speak to the other parties involved before making blanket statements based on half-truths and misinformed notions of what you feel are justified thoughts and actions. Think what effect your words will have on those who are familiar with the situation you speak of, even if you try your best to keep it vague. If you truly care, think. Or don't speak at all.

-B

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Trying to Restrain

I want SO bad to rant and rave here, but I'm not going to do that. I've mentioned several times how I don't want this blog to be me whining about this or that. I know you all don't want to read that, and I don't want to be remembered for that impression.

That said, I am having a really hard time restraining myself in that regard today. You ever have one of those weeks where little things build and build up until one last thing just sets you off? That's where I'm at today.

The past couple of days, some things have happened that kind of ruined those days. To say they put me in a bad mood would be the understatement of the year. Completely wrecked my focus and drive to the point of a near standstill. And then today, something that just happened just set me off. Just the way it was done and what little regard was given.

Anyway, that's where I'm at. I'm furious, but at the same time I'm just annoyed and frustrated with everything. I have spoken many times about needing a change, and that change has never been needed more than now.

In the interest of partial disclosure, my current living situation is anything but ideal, and I'm incredibly unhappy in it. But it's beyond my means at this time to change it. Every time I take a step toward that, I get pushed back ten. I am living with people I don't want to live with and don't really get along with, at least not anymore. And it has taken a huge toll on me, just ask my closest friends.

Anyone that knows me knows I work my butt off. But they also know where a lot of that pay goes, which is also not ideal. But it is what it is. I'm no slacker despite what certain people think of me. They just simply don't know me as well as they think they do, and have no clue what goes into what I do for a living.

I need to get out of here and I don't know how. Circumstances currently prohibit me from doing any other kind of work at the moment, and honestly, I don't have time for it anyway. I've got too much on my plate.

I don't know what I hoped to achieve in blogging about this, or whether it will make me feel better or not getting it out there. And I certainly don't know how to change things or I would have a long, long time ago.

If I can get my act together, I'll be a published author later this year. Prose, not comics. That's a huge step towards one of my dreams and goals, and one that could open lots of doors. That's then, though, not now. Still, I've worked for years toward certain goals and had many doubters, some of which live in this house with me. My hard work and sacrifice has paid off before, and it is paying off now. I'm not ready or willing to give that up.

So I don't know what the answer is. I just know if something doesn't change soon, both with my living situation and other circumstances that are prohibiting me from moving forward, I don't know what I'll do. I'm kind of an emotional mess because of these things. I do a pretty good job of holding it together and putting on a brave face and voice, but inside is raging sea of turmoil that I just don't know how to calm and set right.

The way I figure it, I need about $3-4,000 to get out of here and get a fresh start. Between rent wherever I go, past utility bills and new connection fees, food and supplies, and so forth, that would get me started. From there, it would be a struggle for a while, but I could manage I think.

Problem is, even though I'm constantly working, I'm not making enough to save that up in short order (and I have limited time - this house is up for sell), nor am I getting jobs that pay that large at this time.

Again, I don't know, I just felt like writing and really had to get this off my chest. I'm tired of complaining to my core friends, and though they are very supportive and never make me feel like I'm a bother, it still has to grate on people trying to enjoy their own lives or dealing with the own problems. So I turn here.

Whoever is reading this, thank you for indulging me. Any positive thoughts and/or prayers are greatly appreciated. And hey, if you're in the market for a letterer, logo designer or writer, keep me in mind!

-B

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Year of the Gonzogoose!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and has a wonderful year going forward!

The Chinese Zodiac tells you that 2014 is the Year of the Horse. I don't really pay attention to astrology and zodiacs, personally, but instead, I'm declaring my own distinction for 2014...

THE YEAR OF THE GONZOGOOSE!



That's right, this is going to be my year!

2013 was a rough year for me. Probably one of the roughest years of my life, and I've had some bad ones. Just situations weren't... optimal, and every time something good happened, it felt like ten bad things followed it. So I am happy to be shedding that year off and moving forward.

I do have New Year's Resolutions, but I'm keeping those to myself for now. One main resolution I have, though, is to KEEP my New Year's Resolutions! lol

I'm one of the many that keeps making them, knowing I'll never hold fast to them, and then doing it all over again the following year. But this year, I'm breaking the cycle. I am ready for change - I NEED change, in may facets and areas of my life. And so I'm going to make them happen.

I have been trying, BELIEVE ME! It just hasn't worked out. So this year I'm doubling, nay tripling my efforts, so I can finally have some peace of mind.

I often feel completely stressed out and overwhelmed. One goal is to not feel that way as much, because it is taking a toll mentally and physically.

As I stated in the last post, though there has been plenty of bad, there was some good that came from 2013, and those are the moments and instances I am cherishing and treasuring. They give me hope going forward. And that's where my focus is. Not looking back, and not even "looking" forward, but "moving" forward.

So while I won't divulge my resolutions for 2014 just yet, I not only intend on keeping them, I WILL keep them. I must. There's no maybe, no but, no if this happens or that. It's a done deal, signed and delivered. This will be the Year of the Gonzogoose!

HONK!

-B

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas...

This year doesn't feel like Christmas to me. I haven't been able to get into the spirit of things. I've tried, and I'm sure I'll muster a little bit come the day. I'm just not really feeling it this year.

This past year has just been... trying. And things haven't quite fallen into place as much as I had hoped they would by now. And that puts a damper on things. Professionally, things are fine. Personally, things could be better.

This post isn't to whine about all that, though. I just felt like blogging, and this is what was on my mind. I do understand the true "reason for the season" as they say. And trust me, I'm not upset about gifts and all that. I do get joy out of giving, though, and that's just hardly possible this year. But still, that's not even it.

I had hoped a couple of things in particular would have worked out and come to fruition by now, but they didn't. And so the holiday I usually can't wait for (I'm the guy that's typically playing Christmas music in October in anticipation) just feels like another regular week filled with the same old stuff I do every week.

My surroundings this year are less than desirable, I'll be honest. I'm not happy about that. Circumstances have dictated this be the case for now, but I wish that were not so. And that's all I'll say about that.

I really don't mean to be a downer. Despite the negative crap that's gone down this year, and the current doldrums I find myself in amid my favorite time of year, some truly wonderful things have happened to me this year.

I was blessed with some amazing friends, who blessed me in amazing ways this year. Certain friends in particular were there for me in my roughest spots, and helped me get through in ways I hardly deserved. I have some true friends in my life that understand me, support me, and truly have my back, and I thank God every day for them. They have been a great blessing to me this year. I would have gotten through the tough times without them because I'm a fighter and survivor, and because God would have seen me through. But the way God chose to help me through was through the help of my friends. And for that I am eternally grateful.

This year, I've also made several new friends who have become a new community for me, and I enjoy every minute I get to talk to them, even if I don't get to see them.

And work, while up and down as always with freelance, has been surprisingly consistent throughout. Usually, this time of year, I find myself scraping the bottom of the barrel to find work. This year, I have three projects due before Christmas! So yeah, things have been far more steady than they usually are, and I can't help but be thankful for that.

So no, this year doesn't really feel like Christmas to me, nor am I in that jovial holiday mood, but I still count myself blessed and find myself thankful for those blessings that occurred throughout the year. If I can't have Christmas the way I would like, at least I can look back on these things and know that my Christmas came early and often, and that even better things await in the year to come.

God bless, everyone, and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Wherever you are, whatever you're going through, remember the blessings, however large or small, that have been bestowed upon you in your lives.

-B

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Comic Frontline

Comic Related, a website I co-own and co-run on a daily basis, has recently partnered up with Comic Frontline, a blogger run by my good friends of Dark Avenger INC.

Comic Frontline does the same stuff Comic Related does, posting comic news and reviews and other content. But there are some features and items posted there CR doesn't always cover, and by partnering with them, we have access to their content, and our RSS feed runs the latest five CR posts in their sidebar. So it's a great collaboration.



Today, I have a weekly feature starting on Comic Frontline going behind the scenes of what we, as comic press, do and deal with. The ups, downs, trial and error, good and bad. I started really early this morning with an intro column, followed by a full entry that just went live.

The first official installment chronicles my introduction into comic press for a site called Comic Avalanche. I talk about how I got involved, and how I ended up doing a LOT more than I originally intended.

Next week, I talk about the next site I was involved with, and then I'll be talking about Comic Related. After that, I plan to delve deeper into the ins and outs of what we do and how it's done. Should be an interesting journey.

Many times on this blog, I hold back because I know people from both my past and present, and from different divisions of my life read this. I know because I get comments from some of them, anonymously of course. Recently, I think I chided them in a post, can't remember if I deleted it or not. I was in a bad mood that day. heh I just got aggravated by the "anonymous" nature of the comments.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. Comics are a part of who I am, and always have been. Anyone that really knows me knows I've read comics since I was six years old, and aside from a 5-year period just before and during college, I never stopped. Even then, I'd occasionally buy a couple here and there.

So, I'm not going to hide from that passion of mine anymore. I have many passions, and unlike many people I know, I don't feel like you have to turn one side of yourself off to let the other side shine. I think there's a balance, and moderation is key with everything.

Okay, so that rant is over. I do intend to try to post here more often now. And I'll try to keep the frantic ramblings like the last post to a minimum.

In closing, please check out Comic Frontline, not only for my new feature, but for all the great content over there... if you're a comic and TV fan that is. :)

-B

Friday, October 04, 2013

At Wits End

It is SO hard to restrain yourself and keep it together when you are constantly being attacked, over and over again, by people who claim to love you.

Here's a tip: Don't offer a kindness only to throw said kindness in one's face every single chance you get. That's not kindness at all.

These people not only kick you when you're down, they run over you with a bulldozer.

And some people that claim to be Christians need to learn what that word truly means. You're not.

As you can tell, I'm having a VERY frustrating day. I know you are supposed to pray for your enemies, turn the other cheek, and all that. I've prayed, and I ran out of cheeks a long time ago. Life has dealt me some... very intense and unavoidable situations over the past few years, and I can honestly say the last year has been the hardest of my life. Considering my life, that's saying a LOT.

Bottom line is when you're in tough situations, you learn real quick what people in your life are truly like. And to be perfectly honest, I'm sick and tired of having toxic people in my life. I want to move forward, but feel stuck and don't see a way out of my current situation, at least not immediately, which is what I so desperately need.

That said, let me make a positive note, because it is highly warranted here. I was recently blessed greatly, beyond what I deserved by a very dear person. That eliminated a few issues and will ultimately help me immensely. And for that, I'm eternally thankful, grateful, and I praise God for it.

But sadly, there are still other issues and factors that I can't seem to get around, and it worsens by the day because of my living situation and those I'm surrounded by. I have tried, and tried, and tried to come up with a solution. I've worked my butt off, I've looked into things, I've done the legwork. But no solution presents itself. And those people I mentioned sure don't make it easier. And unfortunately, at the moment, I can't escape them.

This is not a whining post - this is me expressing my frustration in the only way that is possible for me at this time - through the written word. I have held my peace for a year, and I have taken, and taken, and taken. But expressing that frustration in other ways would only do more harm than good, so, again, I'm trying hard to restrain myself. Believe me, it's a challenge!

I don't expect anything from this post, and I'm not putting out another cry for positive thoughts and prayers (though I won't turn them away, either). I just needed to put this into words and try to get on with my day.

Why do so in a public format? As I've said before on this very blog, there's something freeing about releasing it into the ether of the internet. Just writing it for myself feels like bottling it up and gives me no true release. So here, my thoughts flow freely, yet vaguely. I don't feel the need to call people out specifically or divulge every detail of my personal life. I just need to express it in a way that gives me some kind of release.

But going back to the topic at hand, I just need a way out of my current situation and I can't find it. I wish I could be more specific, but that's all I'll say. Anyone that feels a similar way, I can relate and I sympathize with you.

-B