Looking back on the amount of time that has passed since I last wrote anything in this medium, it has occurred to me that the original intent of “Stroke of Genius” seems no longer applicable to my life. I began this blog as my way to mentally and emotionally process the recovery of my stroke while coming to terms with all the demons I carried with me prior. It’s been just over five years since I fell ill, and although I have been “well” for a long time, I still feel the need to write and share experiences. But I no longer want this to be about me and my process. I want it to be about yours.I want to share my perspective on life and all the craziness that goes along with it. Bring a little common sense, calm, objectiveness, and, most of all, truth to the table. I spend a great deal of time online these days. I am reading news online, seeing posts on social medial sites, and participating in group conversations about the world with my friends and colleagues. In these exchanges, I can sometimes see simple resolution for life’s dilemmas. People come to me and ask my view. Wonder what I would do. Sometimes just looking for a non-judgmental ear that will not force opinions or condemnation down their throats. I believe, (and I say this with complete humility), I get it. What I mean is that I see life for what it is. Temporary. Fleeting. Frustrating. Simple. Amazing.
2014 was an enormous year of change for me. More so than almost dying. Because I actually feel like I kinda did die and was reborn. (No, I have not become some crazy snake toting church freak). On the cusp of turning 40, I completely overhauled my life. And am still immersed in the process. I made some of the most difficult decisions of my life this past year. I pressed the pause button HARD. Then completely restarted the tape in a whole new direction. Has it all been seamless? Hell no. Am I where I desire to be? Not yet. But in ending the most significant relationship in my life, picking up and leaving all that had come to be my security and norm behind, jumping ship on a secure job to pursue being closer to where home truly felt to me, and reconnecting with people who I wanted in my life, has taught me a whole hell of a lot about myself and others. Of course I still worry. My current bouts of freaking out are because I am two months deep into looking for a good job. After returning to Pittsburgh with no job, I landed, (what I thought), was a great one. It was challenging, the money was good, and it had a ton of future growth potential. I settled into the work. I bought a home of my own. I was developing new relationships and rekindling old ones. It was all falling into place. Then after my very first mortgage payment, I lost that great job. This added to the stress and woe of Briscoe, my beautiful sweet German shorthaired pointer, dying. Being that I hate to be idle, (and I needed to stop crying about my dog), I refocused my mind to get by and grabbed a fun yet mindless retail job to get my ass through the holidays. Since that has ended I have tirelessly applied for jobs and tried to leverage every contact I have to secure something promising. It’s a work in progress. I know something will break. At this point it’s a numbers game.
Lately I have become increasingly antsy. Like I said, I don’t do idle well. Starting the New Year unemployed was not my ideal. I clean my house and work out to stay even keeled but that only works so much. I began thinking about what I could do that would keep me engaged and also be of some service to others while I continue my job search. I looked into volunteer opportunities but it’s amazing how many hoops people who want help make you jump though to give it. So I started thinking even further outside the proverbial box. Reflecting on posts, news, and conversations, I had his overwhelming urge to share my thoughts with people in a constructive and applicable way. I am not quite sure why, but I feel the need to open up the floodgates of my mind and invite everyone in to pick through the contents.So here it is. Ask me. ANYTHING. I am here to provide advice, perspective, and an answer to ANY question for which you desire an answer no matter what the context or conundrum. Privacy and/or anonymity will always be respected. I hate to say it’s an “advice column” of sorts, but I guess it can be. I am lucky. I have a very unique perspective on life and what it means to be alive. Again, I share this with no pompous or conceit. I do not have any sense of over self-importance. Nor am I searching for any monetary gain in this venue. I simply want to engage and assist. I was granted a great deal of sense in this life and almost losing it all has brought me even closer to appreciate the world and being able to reground myself in any situation. These past five years I have grown immensely and have learned a great deal about the human condition. It’s amazing what you see when you are forced to step back. An objective honest view is the greatest thing you can give or receive. The lessons learned are immeasurable.
My biggest lesson? I am stronger than I ever thought possible. And so are you.