I’m Going Through Changes…

Greetings y’all!  What an incredible journey I’ve been having since the last weekend of 2018!  I will tell y’all that my life has been almost completely turned around to a new normal.  I can’t deny it, either.  It feels great.  It’s even odd enough to say that, but it does.  I think my brother (from another mother) who lives in Salt Lake City told me the best way about it too; “Well, dude, you were due for a change.  I don’t wanna sound like a dick about it, but your life had gotten pretty stagnant.  I’m happy for you, dude!”  Hmmm… maybe he’s right!  I mean, I have traveled more in the past 3 months than I have in the past 5 years, and east of all things!  I mean, before about 3 or 4 years ago I had never really been anywhere else here in Texas for any more than a quick stop or some specific thing to do.  I went to Houston 10 years ago for WWE’s WrestleMania 25 for a weekend, but we didn’t venture out much aside from going to the area where the event was being held.  I also went to the DFW area a few years ago to visit one of my band members for a weekend, then again to his new place in Bryan but it was more for a working/band trip, so I didn’t really see much then either.  Well, this year, already, I’ve gone to Houston and explored parts of that wonderful city again, and I got to drive through San Antonio for the first time in 20 years!  Just this past weekend, I was back in Bryan/College Station where I got to see a bit more of the town.  I’ve also gotten to know Interstate 10 from the state line in my hometown of Anthony, Texas all the way through to Houston, Texas.  Before this year, I hadn’t even driven it past the exit to highway 280 right after Junction, Texas that takes you into Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and Austin.  My two trips (and one more scheduled coming up in two weeks) have been really eye opening to me.  I’m wondering why it is that I didn’t want to head east before.  I mean, I can tell you why really.  It’s because my favorite Major League Baseball team is the Arizona Diamondbacks (who are based in Phoenix, Arizona), and the place I visit at least annually is Las Vegas, Nevada.  Both of those places are west of me and I’ve always felt comfortable in my familiar desert climate.  Say what you will about things, but nothing beats the sunsets here in the desert southwest.  The way things are heading, I might be heading east permanently, so I gotta take in as many of these sunsets as I can while I can still remember to!

Along with my travel and my new found appreciation for what lies east of El Paso, I’ve also fully embraced my new lifestyle change.  I have kept losing pounds each passing week and I’m ramping up my confidence that I can continue to get to my goal weight, which I should hit sometime in November.  I’m really looking forward to that AND looking forward to seeing a better version of me in the mirror!  I’ve even started to eat way healthier than I was previously, and I am getting compliments at least weekly from my coworkers about how great of a job I’m doing.  It feels awesome to know that finally, for once, things are heading in the direction they should be when it comes to my health.  Speaking of my health, on Tuesday, I’m finally going to have a sleep study done to hopefully help fix my problem with sleep apnea and snoring.  Hardly anybody understands, but I am super excited about this too.  The more changes, the better I say!

Have a great weekend y’all!  Stay safe out there in this wild planet of ours!

Be Peace

Hello once again, y’all!  I hope this blog post finds you well.  Things for me are quite in flux.  Should I be surprised at it?  No.  I part of me wishes some of the aspects of my life were different right now, but I’m of the mind that God puts us in all situations for good reasons.

I’ve had a lot to be thankful for lately, actually.  I have been kicking so much ass at my weight loss and the steps that I’m taking to get there that I’m actually pretty excited that getting to my target weight may actually happen a lot sooner than later.  If it all goes somewhat well, I should reach my target somewhere in between October 31st and November 8th.  Kind of exciting and scary all at the same time.  I mean, how insane to think that if I continue with my hard work and dedication, just under 100 pounds will be shed by then.  100 pounds in 10 months…  I’m trying real hard to imagine how I’ll look and I have no idea how that’s going to be, but I’m pushing all my chips towards the middle of the table to make that happen.

I’m wondering about a lot of things with that change too, actually.  How differently will I be treated by everyone?  How about in public?  Will people want to approach me?  Man, I hope not!  Hahaha!  I’ve been generally left alone for 38 years and counting, I don’t wanna start socializing now!  Don’t get me wrong about it though, I’m not scared or nervous about it, I’m just really wondering how it’s going to be.

There’s another thing that’s been happening since I started this journey in earnest on January 1st.  I’ve been openly happy about the results I’ve been getting so far and with that, I’ve been getting mixed reactions to my happiness.  A handful of people have really sincerely praised me telling me encouraging words and such.  Some others have been surprised and have also told me to keep going.  Others have been really just MEH about it and seem either annoyed, jealous, or some other negative feeling towards me and my journey and I just can’t figure it out.  Why is it that some people just live a negative life?  Is it the fact that they get more satisfaction from talking smack about other people to boost their own ego?  Or is it jealousy over the fact that they aren’t happy with themselves, yet they choose not to fix whatever is bothering them?  Or maybe some other reason.  I don’t know.  This song here below has been around for about 4 years and goes very well with this topic…

All the lyrics in that song speaks to my question, but the main one is “Why can’t you be happy for anyone else?”  That’s so true.  We all need at least a little bit of positive encouragement.  Hell, all words are powerful.  I know, personally, I’m a very sensitive person.  Words affect me a lot, especially when they come from people whom I love, and/or respect.  Some people in my real world life just don’t seem to notice that their words have effect on me and they say harmful things.  I hurt a lot and even though I hide it, words sting me for a long time.

Well I was told yesterday that in so many words to say “to hell with the people that aren’t going to be supportive of you!”  and I tend to agree with that.  I’ll just let those negative words slide off and focus on the positive words as I continue to make this transformation.

If there’s one thing I’d like to share for people who read this to take away from, it’s be nice to everybody.  There’s never a reason to rude, disrespectful, or speak out of anger to anyone.  We all need love and encouragement.  Who knows, maybe the person that you offer praise to was just waiting on those words to get themselves through another day.  Be nice, be loving, and live life in peace with each other, everyone.  It’s amazing what we can accomplish together!

Entertainment to Spark the Mind

Hello y’all!  I’m back with another posting.  I rarely do these types of posts, but I feel that I cannot help myself in this case.  I don’t know how many of you saw the Super bowl over the weekend, but I did and I happened to notice the commercial for season 3 of the Hulu original, The Handmaid’s Tale.  Now, I’ve been deeply involved again in my personal Star Trek journey as I’m trying to watch the entire series (from The Original Series all the way to Star Trek Beyond) chronologically and that’s really been all I’ve been watching on TV, but seeing that commercial reignited by interest in that show.  I remember seeing trailers for it at the movie theater and various TV programs in the past about season 1 and I wanted to see it then, but it wasn’t until after the Super bowl that I finally started watching it.  If you haven’t seen it, be prepared for an INSANE ride.

The synopsis as per Google is as follows: “Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, this series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, Offred, is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.” HOLY SMOKES, right?!?!

I won’t go into much detail about it aside from this.  As what’s said in that synopsis, the now former United States of America is now a totalitarian society named Gilead.  In Gilead, women are servants to men in all aspects of life.  There are different classes of women, but none of the women are allowed to read or write.  How insane is that, right?!  The women are also forced into Plain Dress attire, and the men are kinda midway through it themselves, and the most horrible aspects of this all involved the violence in the name of religion.  And violence in all forms as you’d suspect.

Now, for those that haven’t seen the show or read the book (I still have to read the book myself), all this happens over the span of about 5 years or so where rights are taken away and people start getting brutally murdered either by gunfire or hanging.  Throughout the show, I’ve been thinking to myself, “How the HELL did the people who didn’t believe in these crazy people’s beliefs not leave?!”  Well, the way it’s shown from the episodes I’ve seen is that people fought back and tried to maintain their rights as American citizens until it was too late for them to escape and they ended up in a life of slavery due to their non-conformity.  It’s brutal.  Catholics, LGBTQs, unmarried couples, divorced and remarried people, and basically anybody else that does not believe in that particular protestant sect’s beliefs are hunted down and publicly hanged, or shot for their beliefs or lifestyles.  In a particularly hard scene for me to watch during episode 2 of season 1, two of the main characters, handmaids, are walking down a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where the show mainly takes place) and see St. Paul Church, a parish church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, being torn down.  One handmaid tells the other that the régime also bulldozed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan to try to “erase” the fact that it ever existed.  Seeing that happen on the show just broke my heart.  I started to wonder what I would have done in that situation.  Granted, for at least the immediate future, I’ll still be here in El Paso where if something like this happened… wait, well first off, I think Texas as a state would throw up the proverbial middle finger to this protestant sect and go independent republic like we were from 1836-1845.  Granted, the Republic of Texas existed 183-174 years ago, that independent spirit of native Texans still is strong.  Anyway, with that said, again if Texas didn’t become its own republic again and instead became part of Gilead, it would be pretty easy for people here in El Paso to cross the border into Mexico and escape.

The question is, would people who didn’t believe in radical Gilead retreat or fight?  What would I do?  That’s really the question here.  What the hell would I do?  I didn’t give it much thought, I’d flee.  Now, that’s what I’m trying to figure out about how exactly to feel about my decision.  Does that make me a coward?  Does that make me a non-believer in Jesus Christ?  That’s what I’ve been struggling with.  I mean, sure, it’s said in a few scriptures to be willing to die for the faith, but at what cost?  It’s the double edged sword of laying down one’s life for Christ, but at the same time fighting for one’s life.  An argument can be made for both sides, in my opinion.  I have always just had a very strong sense of self preservation, so I’d find a way to escape and then find a way to fight back any way I could to overthrow evil.

With that said, my next question as I’m watching the show is “Why the hell didn’t these people leave in droves to escape either north or south?!”  From what it looks like to me, it went down like this:  First off, protests took place denouncing the beginning of the removal of rights, etc.  all the while, people believed that this protestant group wasn’t going to really take over the United States and as much crap as they were doing, the country would never cease to exist.  Next, and finally, when the United States of America ceased to exist, all the people who didn’t believe it could happen and fought back instead were then trapped and forced into either slavery, or outright murdered.  I could totally see this happening too.  I mean, who in their right mind would think that something like this could happen?  Ask the German people when the Nazi party took over in 1933.  Of course people say now that something like that will never happen again, but history has a tendency to repeat itself, and that thought alone terrifies me.

So, I’m going to keep watching The Handmaid’s Tale, as I’m on episode 7 of season 1 as of this writing, and keep wondering what I’d do in this world.  I love shows like this.  Shows that make me either think about my own life or make me dream about how I hope life will turn out for humanity as a whole is what sparks my interest.

Have y’all seen this show?!  What are your thoughts on the matter?  Do you question your life and the decisions you’d have to make if thrust into this situation?

Blessed be the fruit and praise be!