If you’re in my life it’s because I want you there. Remember that.
If I give you my time, my attention, my mind, and especially my body it’s because I genuinely care about you on some sort of level and you bring some sort of joy in my life.
If you know me, you know I don’t hand out my time freely.
I cherish myself and my mind.
How can I respect myself if I allow others not to?
The older I get the more I’ve realized how important it is to cut out any bullshit in life.
Anything that drains you emotionally or drains your energy, lose it.
Family, a friend, a lover.
If you aren’t a positive outlet in my life than there is no place for you, period.
I know my worth and you should too.
Words are cheap.
Actions, not words.
Time, what a confusing concept. Nothing but a calculation of existence.
There isn’t much that scares me but the older I get the more terrified I am of it. Terrified of wasting it, not taking advantage of it or even lack of embracing it.
There are certain moments in my life I wish I could freeze.
Feelings that only a certain taste, or fragrance, or the flow of a warm breeze can trigger.
Time moves so fucking fast and I can’t keep up.
There are so many chapters to life, some painful, some blissful, but moments that don’t last forever. Whenever I’m happy I try to remember that. That the happiness is only temporary, same with sadness, only temporary. But then in return I am only doing what I hoped to not do to begin with, waste it.
Think of the feeling you get with a first kiss or a goodnight text for instance.
But then time always steals those moments away from us.
You’re left with the memories in which you can only dwell on.
I have this cynical but realistic outlook that EVERYTHING is temporary. Nothing lasts forever, and thats okay. As scary as it might be, its okay.
Are we just existing to feel as much as we can? Existing is just our bodies slowly cycling til we meet our demise.
I fell asleep and while my eyes were closed and my subconscious ran wild I dreamt my body was non existent. My mind, my spirit, wandered the earth aimlessly. It looked for nothing as it was already complete. There were no bones or flesh, no lungs or heart, yet I was so full of life. I could feel the wind blow against my non existent face as I breathed life into those who felt as cold as I once did. The pain was gone, there were no tears. No feeling of disappointment or failure. No hands to tremble and no bones to ache. No god damned noises in my head. The constant back and forth battles inside my brain had ceased. It was quite, so fucking quite.
There was solace.
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My friend Sarah and I were having an interesting conversation yesterday and as we were texting I realized it’s a topic I wanted to write about. Actually, I might have alittle bit in a previous post but my mushy pea brain can’t remember.
She asked me what characteristics I look for in a significant other so I started to think about it. I’m pretty picky and I guess that is why I don’t have much of a love life. I mean sure, I have flirty friendships or people who text me now and then but nothing that goes beyond that. My answer to her question was first and foremost funny, successful in life, a big heart, humble, strong work ethic, adventurous, passionate, someone with a backbone who isn’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in or those they care about. Someone whos been through life and overcame. Someone I can relate to and understands me.
It’s hard for me to find all of those qualities and I refuse to settle for anything less. I don’t really understand why everyone thinks its a race to find love, as if they’re afraid to be alone.
People seem to rush relationships because they like the idea of being in one. They conjure up this idea convincing themselves that their partner is everything they want but in the end theyre stuck being unhappy with heartache. I’ve done it.
My mindset is that everything ends, everything. Everything is temporary. I take it all for what it is, live in the moment, enjoy it, soak it in and then keep moving. No emotional attachment. People are scared of not having commitment or emotional attachment. Theyre scared of infidelities. Imagine a love without attachment. No pressure. Where you connect so deeply with someone that titles and commitments are so insignifcant. There are no restraints, no worries. Just so present in the moment and in the time you have together.
To me, attachment is losing all of your independence. It’s focusing all your attention and energy on the object of your love. You eventually lose your confidence and self-worth. You grow doubt, and shit falls apart. Attachment is a replacement for love. It’s controlling and requires a structure. It’s not free. Love is free, like wild horses. I don’t reckon I’ve ever been in love. I have loved, but with harsh attachment. We were together for 7 years and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him.
With that being said, forced attachment can really push me away.
Soulmates- I think they exist, but I don’t believe we all have just one. There are billions of people in this world and I bet there are many that I could probably live a happy life with. When Im with someone I know that as much as they may care about me, there is someone out there who they could probably love more. Throughout life we meet people. Some who come and go, some may stay awhile, some who want us, some who we dont want, but they were/are there for a reason. Embrace those feelings and move on with it.
Okay- so I can be somewhat cynical. This doesn’t mean Im not open to the idea of being IN love, I just don’t like everyone elses idea of love. I do believe you can still be commited to someone without attachment as long as you’re on the same page with the person. My thing is I just can’t waste my time or anyone elses.
I can’t compromise my wants/views/needs.
A lot of times I feel the urgency to write about something from my childhood but I hesitate on it until the feeling subsides. Mostly because I feel a sense of loyalty to my mom. I try to tread lightly when bringing up the past so people won’t judge her for some of the shit that happened. The last week I’ve had a lot on my mind and anyone who talks to me on a daily basis knows it’s been tough.
I think Chester commiting suicide brought on a lot of emotions that I struggle to keep in a lock box somewhere in the back of my head.
Ive tried to keep my emotions to myself and not be dramatic, as I didn’t know Chester personally, but something really struck a chord.
Suicide has and always be something I hold on a very personal level and heres why;
When I was young, my mom drove into a church parking lot and shot herself in the chest. She missed her heart barely. That was the first of many suicide attempts.
By the time I was 15 life had taken us down a dirt road that felt like a dead end. I remember feeling so hopeless that I just decided I didn’t want to live anymore. I don’t remember it being a long discussion with myself. To me, back then, suicide was just a normal thing. I had saw my mom try and do it so many times that it was just another decision like going to school, or anything else. I went into my moms medicine bag, took out her bottle of valiums and ate them. I couldn’t swallow pills back then so I chewed them with popsicles. (not sure how I thought that one up) As I fell asleep I literally remember thinking to myself “okay, this is it” Thank the universe it wasn’t. I was told when I was found there were popsicle sticks stuck to me. Ill get more into all of that one day in my book.
Fast forward to 2010 I get the news at work that my dear friend who was like a brother to me and also my roommate, was in the hospital. He drove his truck out to a remote road and shot himself in the head. Luckily, he also lived. Now this is a guy who I never ever once even suspected suffered depression or suicidal thoughts.
Fast forward to 2015, my uncle, my moms brother commits suicide.
Fast forward again to 2016, the man my mother claims could be my biological father commits suicide by hanging.
Over the past week theres been something weighing on my mind and heart, something that happened to me when I was probably 10 that Id like to share.
Now as I mentioned before my mom made many suicide attempts but one really sticks out, one was excessively damaging to me.
If youve read previous entries of mine you’re somewhat familiar with my childhood and that my mom suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, on top of being bi-polar and many other issues. She was addicted heavily to prescribed narcotics majority of my childhood which were brought on after major back surgeries and then being diagnosed with MS. That is what made things so difficult, thats what changed the course of my childhood. Mom was very depressed all of the time. She was always in pain and just laid in a hospital bed in her room 24/7. Literally. Unless she had a doctors appointment that day she didn’t leave the house. Mom was very manic and up and down and if she would run out of her meds early that month we were prepared for hell. We were very aware at a young age that she didn’t want to live. She was miserable all the time.
There was this particular night that really stands out. As I said earlier I was probably 10 or so and my mom called my sister, brother and myself to come into her room. She told us that it was the last time we were gonna see her that she was going to take all of her medications and go to sleep because she just couldn’t take it anymore. I remember her words. “we were all better off without her and it was the selfless thing to do” None of us knew what to do, but it felt so normal to us. The three of us sat there and cried. We didn’t have anyone else, nobody to call. I ran to my room and shut my door. I started writing, I wrote my mom a letter, I remember being hysterical and my tears falling on the paper, blurring the ink as I wrote. I don’t know word for word what I said, but I do remember telling her that I was tired of seeing her cry and tired of her being sad and miserable. I told her that I would be okay if she needed to go, that I would be okay. Now, as an adult thinking back on that, a tear streaming down my face, wondering how in the fuck that scenario could even be real. Who puts that weight on their kids? That letter stopped my mom from trying to kill herself that night. But years later during a fight we had (prob pre-teen yrs) she actually threw that up to me. Told me that she couldn’t believe I was going to just let her do it and that I didn’t even want her around…. That is something I will forever carry with me.
I brought that up to my mom for the first time a few months ago. She had no recollection. She says she hates herself for what she did. She holds a lot of guilt for those years, as she should. But I do know that regardless she always loved us more than anything, except maybe the addiction.
Also, I just want to note that my mom is my bestfriend and honestly she always was. Aside from the shitty times we had alot of good ones and I was a huge mama’s girl. I loved her more than anything which is why I felt/feel a huge loyalty to her. When my brother and sister left I stayed. I could have moved to FL with my dad, not had to worry about taking care of her, or whether we would have power that month, or food. I could have never left her. I understood she was sick both mentally and physically. I understood she was fighting the depression battle on top of an addiction battle.
That one particular story from my childhood has been bothering all week. I’m not sure why but I felt compelled to share it.
I haven’t written in awhile and I’m sorry for that. I could say it’s because I’ve been too busy but honestly I just haven’t felt inspired to write until today.
Not really sure why I’m feeling this, this burst of emotional energy. Especially since I’ve been in a very weird emotional state. Right now I’m feeling this high vibrancy, but I’ll take feeling this over feeling nothing at all. Usually when I write I know the topic or basis of what I am writing, but not tonight. It’s 2:43 am and I just want to put my feelings on paper. Fuck man, it’s so insane what a roller coaster life is. All of us have ups and downs, some are higher and some are lower than others but essentially we are all on this, or in this together.
As I sit here and think about life and people and the few that I have in mine it makes me think how drawn I am to those who have overcame hardships. I mean, people who really know life, who really know obstacles and suffering. Those strong ones with scars and stories to tell. Those who have cried and fucked up. Those who have made mistakes, came from broken homes, dealth with depression or suicide, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse. Those who aren’t perfect. Those who decided the cycle would end with them. Those like me. Those are my fucking people.
A few months back when I was out with Fozzy we had a gig in Pittsburgh. I seldomly have time on tour to fuck off in the cities but I just so happened to have an hour or so to myself, I took off to explore alittle bit.
At that point, I didn’t realize how rewarding that day would be.
First I met a charming young lad who went by the name of Dog. Dog was sitting on the side walk selling his mixed tape which in reality was an old JLO cd. He was a really funny clever dude. I ended up talkin to him for awhile, purchased his mix tape, bought him lunch and was on my way. As I was returning back to the bus I noticed a lady and her pup sitting outside the bus on the sidewalk. I immediately went inside the little grocery mart and grabbed her pup some dog food and asked her if I could buy her lunch. She accepted so I went to a pizza place right next door and bought her a pizza and some dessert. The pizza had a 15 minute wait so I went back outside to chat with her for a bit. I sat on the ground next to her so we could be at same eye level. At first I just asked her name and where she was from. We talked about the pup and how she hadn’t had him long and about her abusive boyfriend who expected her to be out in the street panhandling while he slept. I really wanted to know about this lady who was not much older than me, but looked like she was in her late 40’s. How did life bring her here to this point? What all had she seen or done? I could have very easily ended up in her situation, how come I didn’t? Turns out, Shelly had been homeless since 8 years old. She was part of an underground child sex worker ring and was placed in an abusive foster home. She showed me the burn marks all over her arms from the cigarettes that were put out on her. She ran away from her foster home at 13 and quickly began to prostitute. I told her alittle bit about me, my childhood and shit I’ve went through. I wanted her to know I can relate to her on some sort of level. This woman was worn out and beat down but she had her senses about her. I wanted to shield her from all the hurt and pain she had ever felt. I wanted to pick up the pieces of whatever was left of her and put them back together. I wanted to tell that little girl that she was going to be okay, but I couldn’t. I cried, she cried. At this point I was sitting on the ground with her, I was still in the clothes I slept in because I hadn’t even loaded in yet, and I had no makeup on, the public around us assumed that I was homeless too, making me feel less of a human with their eyes. Her clothes were filthy so I walked over to the bus to get my suitcase out of the bay so that I could give her a couple of clean shirts. I was approached by a man who saw me next to her, he made a rude comment implying I was stealing and told me to get a job. Boy did I get an apology from him.
After that I walked over to grab her pizza and decided to go back into the grocery mart to get her a few things to take with her. Apparently the clerk was outside smoking and overheard my conversation with the man and told me I had inspired him. What a fucking feeling that was. Thats what life is about, inspiring and helping other people. At that point I had to get back to work so I dropped everything off to her and said my goodbyes. As I was leaving she said “Thank you for this. I haven’t felt like a human, like a real person in so long, thank you for treating me like one” I could not hold back the tears.
I wonder about her often and I hope wherever she is she is safe and her stomach is full.
Later on after I loaded into the venue I walked to the bus and noticed that outside the grocery store there was a box of food that the store clerk I had talked to earlier put out for the homeless to take. I was so fucking happy seeing that. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO BE. ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.
My heart was so full.
Brad Patton Photography