Decisions, Decisions

So last time I got really personal on here, I admitted about the fact that I was (or am) battling depression. I appreciate everyone who read that because like I said in that blog, it wasn’t just for me – it was for a lot of other people who couldn’t type out their words before it was too late.

In the aftermath of posting that, I’ve learned a lot about myself. That I’m selfless. I’m a tireless worker, regardless of what individuals may see from the outside. That no matter what, I care and now realizing that I’m actually worth a damn here on this planet. At the same time, we face our problems and we strive to be the best person we can be on a regular basis.

I possibly created a stir when I said on my Facebook that I was at a crossroads at life, and not sure which direction to go to because I feel like I have a lot of options and directions to go to right now. I just looked at my life and said, “Is this what’s really there for me right now?” I’m just stuck in the middle of mud, and I don’t know how to get out of that. 

I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform on a regular basis. I’m my own worst critic and my own worst enemy because my brain never stops thinking for a minute, and I assume the worst of a situation. Do I handle pressure well? Absolutely. But does it take about three days to just recharge myself? Duh. I’m not a robot like Lebron James. 

One of the reasons why I take breaks from work and travel for a couple of days every two to three months is because my job is an emotional roller coaster every single day dealing with customers (I actually know understand why teachers get summers off because man, dealing with people is EXHAUSTING). Like I said above, I put a lot of pressure on myself to show up and perform at the highest level although there are times where I don’t want to. 

When my mom and spoke about my depression after she read my blog in early January, we talked about how emotionally drained I was from working every single day from November to late December while taking 18 credits and other things that cause it, and she told me that every couple of months, escape for a bit and make myself happy. It might not work for some, but man, that works for me. 

I posted that on my Facebook because I’ve been thinking about what I want in my life – what more can I do while I’m still young enough to do it, while not giving up on my goals, but instead maximizing them even more. Regardless of the multiple paths I take, I’m pretty sure that things will end up being fine, and I’ll get what I want at the end of it. 

So what have I been debating my life?

In the last three weeks, I’ve been applying to jobs back out West (the motherland) from Seattle to San Jose because I’m ready to return to the coast that raised me with or without a bachelor’s degree. Is that a risk? Hell yeah it is. So was coming to the east coast (twice), without knowing anybody for school, too. That initial risk of coming to a foreign place without knowing a single soul turned out to be my best decision in my life, which is why I’m comfortable taking another risk, if needed. 

I should finish up school considering that I’m about 18 credits short of a degree (literally one semester), and have been saving money from paychecks just to pay for it because that’s the necessary thing to do, although that might be nearly impossible now. 

On one hand, I believe finishing out something that I started now is worth it. Like my boy Jake told me on the phone last week when we had a conversation, he said, “why quit when you’ve put in the tears and effort to get to this point,” which is facts. Not many people can say that they’ve done what I’ve done. It’s been a pioneer effort to say the least for myself, and I have become a better person in the long run although others would say differently. 

On the other hand, I’ve realized that a piece of paper wouldn’t define me and make me better than the next person. I’d still wake up in the morning being the same Shaun Howard.  Would I care about it? I mean, I guess, but I believe more people care about me finishing that up more than I care about finishing it up. In all honesty, I’m striving to leave an impact on the planet more than having a degree, if that makes sense.

When I admitted this to my mom and close friends, they told me that regardless of what I do, that they got my back because at the end of day, it’s all love and they’ll support whatever decisions I choose to make. The way I look at life, no matter what I do, I’ll probably end up with a degree in my hands. It might be later than sooner.

I will say this, though –  I’ve learned that I’m not a failure in life regardless of what decisions I make and I’ve realized that life is not a sport. Realizing this has put me at peace with how my life has turned. Life isn’t a race to finish out things and place these unreal expectations on yourself, which is what I’ve done in the past.

People have different paths, and have different opportunities to pursue their own goals. When one door closes, another one with an opportunity opens up – if you choose to find it, which I’m looking to do now.

If you’re one of those people like my grandma (THE GOAT) who prays for me daily (She admitted this to me when she called me while I was working because she has that sense), you can do that. If not, well keep the boy in your thoughts because it’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve been thinking about things like this.

I’m not sure what I’m gonna do, and that’s what makes life scary, but exciting too. Maybe I’ll actually finish school. Maybe I’ll go travel and figure out what’s best for me. Maybe I’ll go back west for good. I don’t know.  What I do know is, regardless of what I decide, it’ll be a decision best for myself, and that’s what matters. 

My life journey has been interesting to say the least (when this is all said and done, maybe I’ll just write a book) and I’m not done yet. For all I know is – I might be getting started on the journey to my own success. 

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I promise you, I’m not crazy.

Depression is a real thing. I’ve never been like this before. Not many know I’m facing this, and I don’t want people to like, know about it, until now.

I knew something was wrong with me weeks ago. Mentally, I wasn’t myself. I was having crazy mood swings and lashing out on people, and either crying myself to sleep or drinking heavy just to sleep and hide the pain.

As a person, I dealt with a lot in 2017, especially in the latter half with the loss of my grandpa. On the outside, you see someone who can fake a smile, but that’s just a face to keep. I’ve been doing that since the beginning of time. Everybody has their own personal demons that they’re faced with and for me, I keep a lot bottled in and I’m 95 percent never honest with anyone.

Everyone deals with events differently. I haven’t coped with my grandpa dying yet because the void of losing a father figure is there. At first, I shrugged it off because it didn’t hit me. It hit me that my papa wasn’t here anymore at the end of October while I was calling home. When you’re consistently busy with school and work, you rarely have a moment where you have that free time to think. I found that moment where it clicked and it triggered instantly. Since then, I can’t lie to you, it’s been fake happiness.

There are days where I just sit and cry while drinking a four to six cans of miller lite in a hour, which isn’t normal or healthy. But that’s how I numb the pain of it. There are also days where I just sleep all day, not because I’m this lazy figure of a person (it actually bothers me that people think I’m lazy), but because I don’t have the energy to do anything. I’m not proud to admit that, but it is what it is. Social media is a great place to mask things. I post a lot of pictures on Instagram that show the happy side because why send a selfie on the internet with you in tears at 2 AM?

There are times where I lash out at people and I don’t mean anything by it. But the words that I’ve said to those have probably cost me friendships, which leads me to have regret over things and hopefully, maybe one day, they’ll understand how truly sorry I am that I hurt them and ultimately, forgive me. 

I know there are people out there who are in the same shoes as me – People who are depressed and probably do more than what I do – either taking drugs or drinking heavy loads of alcohol to help cope with it, or ultimately, killing themselves because that’s the only thing they know how to do. I’m not writing this for sympathy or attention. There are plenty of other things I could do in life to get those things.

Two reasons why I’m writing this – One, for me to be self-aware on my life, and to realize that I’m not this superhuman. I’m human and I need some help.  Two, I want people who could be in this position to know that they aren’t alone in this regardless of what others say and think about you.

For myself, it’s finding a professional just to talk to, which I’m gonna strive to do in a week or two. Learning that people aren’t alone in this struggle makes me feel a little better. My goals this year is to be more honest with myself and other people about life, and to find something everyday that makes me happy. Writing this helps.

It’s one step and day at a time. I know days will be hard still, but the biggest thing I’ve learned in the last week or so is talking it out. I’ll be okay in the long run. 

Thanks for reading.

I’m mad.

This isn’t about #ProsperSeason. This isn’t about sports. I just felt like I needed to get this down somewhere, and of course, I have a blog. If you disagree with my feelings, fine.  I could care less. If you agree with it, fine. I’m good with that too.

I’m mad.

Not about sports. Not about my personal life. But this Trayvon Martin thing has me mad.

When I say mad, I mean it as that I want to do something about it. Most people want to riot. But what’s a riot going to solve? Maybe I’m from the old school because my grandparents raised me on some different values so call me old-fashioned, but violence isn’t the answer to solve problems. Violence is how Martin’s life was ended. Violence is how a lot of lives in this country of ours end.

My question is this: When are we as people going to be better to ourselves? When are we going to rise up, and stop the terrorism in our own country?

Most people won’t understand how I’m feeling, and you know what? Fine. I don’t want you to understand it.  But,  just imagine if this situation happened to a family member or a friend. Would you be mad? Would you want to change how us as people are?  Any child of any race could have died that night, and I, personally would still be upset. Wanna know why? It’s a child. A child. We don’t know what happened that night, and I’m not going to assume. It’s possible George Zimmerman was afraid of Martin. It’s possible Martin said something to set him off. We don’t know, and we’ll never know. But you know what happened? A child is dead because of….. violence.

All I’m saying is this: as people, we need to rise up and be better to each other. Enough of the violence. Enough of the hurt and hatred towards each other. This is America. Not Black America. Not White America. Not Asian America. Not Mexican America. Maybe I’m asking for too much from us as American people. But, damn. I’m sick of it. I’m tired of  these types of crimes in America. I’m tired of watching the news and seeing someone dead.

And no, I didn’t write this because Trayvon Martin was a black male. I know how some people think, and that’s sad.  This is about us as people being better. It’s time to stop the violence.

Just, God. I’m asking you this.

Help us. Help us be better as people because this needs to end. Enough is enough. We have to be better.

Amen.

Meanwhile…. the Sports team in my life.

Matt Barkley spoke with the media today.

Hopefully, Matt can get back on track starting next Thursday night in Salt Lake City. I think he will.

The scary thing thing is that USC hasn’t hit their stride as a team yet.

What do I mean by scary? SC is 3-1, lost their road Pac-12 opener where their Offensive line was over-matched by Stanford’s front 7, folks have seemed to jump off the bandwagon. I mean, before the season started, I figured USC would lose a game… just thought it’d be between UW, or Arizona. Not Stanford. But oh well.

The room for error is marginal, and these guys shouldn’t press. Just play football, and have fun.

Hopefully, they do this before it’s too late and it’s mid-November and the Pac-12 South is out of reach.

Caused some backlash in Seattle about my blog.

Even though, I said the refs were bad on both sides.

Coach K thinks reading is good for you

But I digress, I’m just keeping it real.

Pretty soon, Oregon fans will be upset with me and find my blog at this rate. It’s not like I said, “Golden Tate should shut up and not tweet.” or anything along those lines, but I digress.

The Atlanta Braves are in the playoffs.

!

Exciting time in my life, I guess.

Braves can’t catch the Nationals in the division race, but as long as they get the homefield, they have a shot in the one game playoff. If they somehow win that…. I think this could be a memorable postseason.