Dreams

What exactly are dreams? According to google, dreams are a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. What deeper meaning can they hold for us? I have been thinking about this for a while now and I find it funny how they operate. They can contain images and scenarios that can mimic your real life and can have a deeper meaning than you think. I feel like dreams are your mind’s way of rationalizing your deepest thoughts and feelings. Even when the dream doesn’t have a direct relation to what may be happening in real life, the lesson taught in the dream may have meaning for you.

There are many interpretations of dreams in our world. African traditional healers say that dreams are a platform for communication with our ancestors. Ancient Chinese people thought that dreams can imply auspicious and inauspicious things. Many Native American cultures viewed the dream space as a sacred place, one where a person could step outside the bonds of mundane existence and connect with a more universal consciousness. According to Hindu culture, dream interpretation can provide a window into the future. As you can see, dreams have a lot of powerful potential in some cultures and walks of life.

I personally believe that dreams are a doorway of sorts to the heart. I feel the locales and people in the dream don’t matter as much as the actual stuff happening. If you are afraid of something in the dream, it’s the fear you are worrying about in real life. You probably fear something in your waking life. The dream is just your deep feelings manifesting in a scenario thought of by your brain utilizing things you may have seen or heard. Your brain may not be as active in your sleep as when you are awake, but it’s definitely trying to send a message.

Dreams shouldn’t be ignored. They may hold a message you may not want to deal with. They may expose what you hold in your heart. Nonetheless, what they show comes from within you somewhere, so I feel like they may yet hold another piece of the puzzle of mental health. The sensations can be powerful and you can feel like it’s real life, especially with vivid dreams. I don’t think that is just mere convenience. Dreams mean something!

Don’t Be Afraid to Expose Yourself!

Mental health and the issues that can come with it can be ostracizing and sometimes people can be afraid to talk about what ails them. Fear of being judged can cause a lot of people to withhold information. This information can be key in helping to really figure out what might be afflicting you and it could be the first step towards finding out why you are the way you are. There are people who literally spend their lives listening to people just like you so that the climate of mental health can improve. In order for this to happen, people must not be afraid to speak on the happenings of their mind and how they feel about themselves and the world at large.

Some people get very anxious in social situations. Some people have frustration tolerance issues. Some people get too energetic when it comes to situations not necessitating such outbursts. Mental health and the support that comes with it encompasses so many different different illnesses and afflictions. Too many people feel like they will be labeled as crazy or even insane if they speak to a therapist, for example. Society as a whole seems to hate any title related to negative mental health, and I feel that is the wrong approach to the problem. We need to be as transparent as possible to those that care to know and learn about us. Therapists are here to listen and help guide us to a better version of ourselves. Counseling, support groups, even close friend groups can help immensely with curbing the stigma of mental health that can stick to you. You might think that nobody wants to hear you complain or that nobody cares about what you are going through, but someone somewhere out there does. If you are truly surrounded by those that broadcast apathy towards your plight, GET AWAY from them. You need to be able to surround yourself with people that care about the words you speak. You need people that care about your mental landscape.

I said before that I would happily be a martyr for mental health and I refuse to be ashamed to talk about what I learned about myself. I am one of those people with frustration tolerance issues, namely something called IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder). Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation. Basically, the things that can mildly frustrate others can have me going from 0-100 in terms of my anger and emotional response to the situation. I have at times thrown objects, punched walls, exploded in indecent verbal tirades, and in general just been a scary person to be around in these situations. The remorse I have for my past actions is immeasurable and I can’t begin to ask for forgiveness from those I have hurt or frightened due to my lack of awareness of my problems. I went for years just thinking I had “anger issues” and that I needed anger management. I had anxiety as the driving force of all my negative emotions tied to my inherent affinity for anger. Low frustration tolerance also factored into the intermittent part of the of disorder, as my triggers for frustration were way too sensitive.

I can admit that I avoided therapy for years. I thought I could handle my issues on my own and that therapy was for truly crazy people. I can say wholeheartedly that the way I was acting was truly crazy in itself. It took way too long for me to start seeing a therapist and for me to really give attention to my own mental health. As they always say, there is no time like the present and it’s never too late to start the journey towards positive mental health. We are not our diagnosis. We are not mental illness. We are people living in this sometimes fucked up world and there are a lot of people and energy at play. Not everyone is the same and not everyone is wired the same, thus is is critically important that we gain as much knowledge and understanding of ourselves. I feel this will greatly benefit the world at large and can go a long way towards making the world a better place.

Don’t EVER let anyone think they can judge you on whatever issues you may have. No one on this earth has any power to be judge and jury on who you are as an individual. Whether you get labeled as having BPD, NPD, etc, you are still human. You can still be loved and live a purposeful life. Having a better understanding of yourself can make that life even happier and healthier for everyone.

Infidelity Is Over Normalized in Society

There is nothing funny or entertaining about cheating on someone. Its heart wrenching to be cheated on. The pain is immeasurable and you are forever changed, no matter which side you fall on. I can’t begin to comprehend how people can do this to people and continue to live life all the same. Human relationships are the cornerstone of our society and making light of a heart smashing situation like infidelity is one of the biggest things wrong with the world today.

Now imagine: You have been with the love of your life for 6 years. You met in a pure, almost fantastical way. You didn’t bond with trauma. You learned all you could about this person and together you went through life’s ups and downs together. You bonded over shared experiences, likes and dislikes, joint ventures, common interests, etc. You grew together and became intertwined with one another. Life without the other person became a foggy image, as you could not imagine such a life in the first place. They become the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about before you go to sleep. You feel more engrossed with life and the future seems bright as long as this person is a part of it. You heart skips a beat when they are near and overall they make you feel great. You argue and have disagreements, and you don’t share all the same interests, but that is okay because you love each other and the differences you both have make you individuals that have come together to form an authentic bond. They become your person. Your significant other. They may even become your husband/wife. They have become your life (in a healthy way) Words can’t describe how you feel about them, you just know in your heart that they add on to what you are and you do the same to them.

Your lives are intertwined and they are the last person that you would expect to ever hurt or betray you. So then why the fuck would they do that? Why would they think it’s okay to give all this same energy to someone else? Why would they think it’s okay to spend time with and develop a bond with someone else? To love and cherish someone else? To be physically intimate with someone else? All of this without telling you, or even worse, straight up lying to you about it. It takes truly fucked up people to do this kind of shit. They know how you feel about them and they know how they feel about you. You may have had your differences, but you never thought they would go the route that they did. Your love was supposed to be the safe landing to any hardships you may have faced. Unfortunately, they didn’t care about any of that. They felt the way they did and acted accordingly. They met someone else and all of a sudden, you didn’t really mean that much to them anymore. All of your time and energy, didn’t mean much. Your love? Didn’t mean much. They met someone else and that was pretty much it. They never said anything to you about how they felt or that they wanted out. No, they needed to have their cake and eat it too. They needed to have your energy and the other person’s as well until it was solidified. They monkey-branched (which IS cheating) They thought they would never be caught, so no harm, no foul. They never meant to hurt you, yet they did the MOST fucked up shit they could have anyway.

If you want someone else while in a relationship, you should let your partner know. You end things with people right then and there. I feel like most people would rather you ripped off the band-aid rather than drag them along into oblivion. It is OKAY to not want to be with someone anymore. It is OKAY to want someone different for yourself, no matter how long you may have been with someone else. It is okay to break up with people. Sometimes, people no longer serve us or our spirit and we need to CUT TIES. Heartbreak in this way is a normal part of life and most adults understand and accept this. What is not fucking okay is to think you can CHEAT on people. What is not okay is thinking you can get from this person and that person as well (polygamy is obviously not included in this discussion, I am speaking about monogamists in this entire post). People expect a level of loyalty and integrity when entering into a relationship. It’s an unwritten rule that neither person will cheat. We either work this shit out or we break up. No leading on, no false promises, no misunderstandings. Only self serving, indecent people think otherwise. People’s feelings will always matter. The human heart is not a plaything. People can be forever changed by the actions of others and we all need to understand that. Playing with the lives of others just for your own happiness and gain is selfish and disgusting.

I’ve noticed that infidelity and it’s effects have been made almost normalized in our society. Everyone seems to be cheating nowadays. If you aren’t cheating, you are probably being cheated on. Emotional and physical affairs are an everyday thing now. It’s all over media. Movies constantly showcase it as though it’s just a normal part of life. Rap lyrics are always talking about fucking another person’s spouse or partner. People speak on it as though it’s almost a fun thing to smash someone’s heart to pieces. The more normalized it becomes, the more people think they can do it with no recourse. Society is becoming desensitized to cheating and the effects, and I feel that is putting us on a dark road to an apathetic future. I cheat on you, you cheat on me, yet we claim to love each other. The word “Love” is thrown around with infidelity and clearly people either don’t understand the concept of love or they are just throwing the word around carelessly.

Being cheated on does things to you that people either don’t comprehend or don’t care about. Both equally devastating. You become a different person. You don’t trust people the same and sadly, you may never trust anyone 100% ever again. You see the world differently. Everyone becomes capable of hurting you, which might ignite feelings of paranoia and fear of betrayal. Your self esteem takes a semi-permanent blow as you wonder what the other person (or people) had that you didn’t. You become angrier, hating the other person for destroying in a small amount of time the trust it took years to build. You question if they ever loved you in the first place if they could do that type of shit to you. Your emotions go haywire and life gets harder to live. If you suffer from mental health issues, they can be exacerbated by infidelity, sometimes to a very disturbing extreme. You begin to question everything and worry if the life you have been living has been one big lie the whole time. You got kids? You start questioning paternity. This shit affects everything, fuck whatever you have been told. It hurts to the core. The worse part is that even with time, all of these things may still affect you for the rest of your life. You can literally get PTSD from being cheated on. It can feel and be traumatic as hell to go through and recover from it. Therapy is almost a given to even try to come to terms with the feeling.

I don’t care if your favorite rapper raps about infidelity. I don’t care if your favorite influencer laughs in the face of it. I don’t care of all of your friends have done it. It’s fucking deplorable. To cause so much emotional damage to a person just because you want to be selfish is fucked up. You want that other guy/girl so much, go be with them and leave your person. Tell them straight up before you take the next step with the other person. Don’t lead them on. Don’t give false hope. Don’t lie to them. Don’t fucking try to juggle them with the other person. Don’t believe what is in the dark won’t come to light. You will be found out, and unless your heart is pure evil, you will live with the pain you have caused and they will forever be scarred. The climate for relationships has so many stereotypes because of this shit. “All men cheat” “All woman are not to be trusted” “He’s just a friend, don’t worry” No the fuck he wasn’t. You were just a shit person doing shitty things and then you got found out.

Fuck what you heard, infidelity is not the wave. It’s not cool or empowering. It was and never will be a good thing. We should not be speaking so light on it while those who have gone through it continue to suffer. The jokes, the satire, the lessening of its impact, all this shit has got to stop. There are actual people being destroyed by this. The tears being shed are real. The aftermath is real. Infidelity is too damn normalized and it angers me to the depths of my soul. You can’t even watch a movie or listen to music without being triggered. I wouldn’t wish the pain of infidelity on anyone. Being unfaithful was never funny. Too many lives can be affected by it for us to just act like it’s just another Tuesday when it happens. Fuck infidelity and those who partake in it. Fuck those who think it’s a joke or something to just mull over. It isn’t. For some people who have gone through it, it comes very close to the pain of losing a loved one, as most people lose themselves after it happens.

Fatherhood

Being a dad is great. It’s an experience that I can’t adequately describe in words. It is life changing. Living life for yourself is one thing, but knowing there is someone (or people) that need you to survive and look towards you for encouragement and protection is a feeling like no other. These little people who then become big people are slowly stoking the fires of their lives and we get to watch front row seat. Watching them grow and develop likes and dislikes, seeing their personalities develop, watching them overcome difficulty respective of their age. All of these things and more encompass the trials of parenting, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

I have a 3 year old boy and when I tell you he is my ultimate test, I mean that with all of my soul. He was my little baby boy fresh out of his mother’s womb and he was the most precious little guy I could have laid my eyes on. It felt like I stepped into another universe when I saw him at the hospital. I did skin to skin with him first and it was a different kind of experience. My entire sense of self shifted and all I saw in my future was making sure I was strong enough so that he could be even more powerful. I prioritized him above all else in my life. There is no video game more fun than playing with my son. No amount of money from any job could replace time with my son. There was no greater pleasure than seeing him smiling. It became a mission of my life to make his the best I could. I think all parents can sympathize with that. We want the best for our children and the first step to that is being the best version of ourselves. He has since grown into a 3 year old tyran- I mean 3 year old angel *nervous laughter* It’s a whole new ball game trying to keep him from hurting himself while also dealing with his newfound attitude, personality, independence, everything. I see pieces of myself in him that make me proud, but also show me that I need to make sure I have a handle on my own issues so they don’t replicate onto him. Our children literally have our genes, thus they also have our predisposition towards what we may be dealing with. He still has so much more to experience in life and I want him to be his best man living it.

Motherhood and fatherhood have many similarities, but many stark differences as well. We look to our mothers as a pillar of kindness. Caring, loving people who will be a little softer to us than anyone else in the world. (Hey, dads can be too!) We see our mothers as the women who carried us for nine months and continued to nurse us, kiss our wounds, and for the most part were an integral part of our child rearing. Society puts a certain pressure on mothers more than us dads. Nonetheless, fathers have a VERY important role. Mothers can do it by themselves, but that is a fate I would never wish on anyone. As fathers, we are the number one support for the mothers of our children. They can’t wake every night for every feeding. They cannot be the only source of child rearing. They did not create these little creatures on their own. As dads, we have a role to play in protecting and providing for our families. A woman is never more vulnerable than after giving birth, and thus the father is needed to provide care and protection for her and his children. A father’s role is pivotal in every sense of the word and a child’s upbringing can be made way more consistent with the dad’s involvement.

Fatherhood changes you. It makes you look at life differently and it forces you to look at yourself and make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. Our kids depend on us (whether they want to admit that or not) and it’s hard to be sturdy for them if we aren’t being mindful of our own performance and growth. As parents, our mental health is extremely important. Strides are being made to improve the mental health climate of the world and this will have a direct impact on the youth of tomorrow. They will have a head start at making sure they are mentally prepared for life’s hardships because their parents laid the groundwork for themselves and for their children. I plan to teach my kids all that I can about my struggles so that they can be prepared for their own with the experiences I share with them. Naturally they are their own people and they will deal with things their own way, but I feel it will help tremendously being forthcoming with them in order to bolster their mental health.

Fatherhood has made me a better man. I feel more equipped to deal with many things in my life and I have the power to become stronger for my kids. Your kids should light a fire in you to live life more purposely and dutifully. Our kids did not ask us to be here, so it is only right that we do our best, as men especially, to make sure that we are there to make their lives as happy as can be. Take them to games, the park, the gym. Spend time with them. Be available to them. Children love their involved dads and honestly the world might end up being a better place with more loving, caring dads who take care of their own wellness to make their kid’s lives fulfilling.

You know what grinds my gears?

A city that seems so far gone, it’s almost hard to fathom where it went. A mayor that seems so out of tune with the populace. A mayor that has big corporations handling him like a puppet on strings. A mayor that has only proven that money and the bottom line are the only things that big cities care about. The life and livelihood of the workers is extremely low priority over the financial growth of the city. What grinds my gears is the fact that crime is at an all time high, yet for the sake of the NYC economy, they want to resume sticking us all in tight spaces forgetting that covid is STILL a lingering threat. I find it hard to understand how the masses can voice their opinions, yet those in power just don’t care with those dollar signs in their eyes. It grinds my gears how a city with so much potential can’t seem to get with the program and changing times.

Why exactly would Mayor Adams tell businesses to start bringing employees back into the office? Are you so out of touch with changing times? Productivity has not fallen among workers who work remotely. The industries that can allow remote work have begun to evolve and establish many different policies that are forward facing. Completely remote, 4 day work weeks, hybrid schedules. There are so many compromises that can made to accommodate employees, but some employers just don’t care. Those employers are just begging to be left behind in the changing work climate. The pandemic has shifted how we look at remote work and the world has come to realize that work still gets done remotely. Business profits haven’t stagnated and some companies have even increased productivity. Work can be started earlier when working remotely due to the elimination of a time consuming commute. Collaboration efforts haven’t stagnated due to the many different applications that allow workers to communicate and keep in touch (Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx). There is no excuse for the industries that primarily have workers using a computer to force people back into working conditions that do not serve them.

NYC isn’t the best place to live and work, contrary to all the glitz and glam. You’re paying ridiculously high prices for virtually everything just to be stuffed up on your work commute, both taking public transit or driving. Homeless people litter the streets and the city can just feel oppressive at times. Manhattan has the best potential for financial growth, but the commute into the city is, for better or worse, dreadful. It’s not a commute that no one wants to have to make five days a week. It was a drag before it’s necessity was questioned by the pandemic. Having to do it just to help out the economy undermines the positive effects it has had on the workers; the human beings doing the job.

Workers, especially those working in the city, contribute to the economy by dining at the restaurants and taking in what the city has to offer. Office space was bought to facilitate these workers and the landlords that lease these offices don’t want to lose the money from these leases. Just because we was workers contribute to society doesn’t mean we need to be victims of discomfort. We can happily contribute to the shops and dine at the places near our homes and save more money to do so by not trekking on public transit everyday. The workforce has the chance to fight for a more comfortable, convenient work/life balance that can only be a good thing for us.

Workers everywhere are realizing that a better work/life balance actually helps with productivity. Especially in New York City, where everything is stuffed up moving so fast, a way to continue to work while easing the burden on our souls and wallets is a no brainer. Offering your employees flexible options within the limits of your respective industries shows that you care about the employee. Employees that feel cared about produce more deliverables. They actually want to work. The businesses will adapt to the changes in working schedules in order to continue to make profit. A healthier, happier workplace and the positive effects it will have on society are going to speak for themselves.

The Ultimate Enemy of Mankind

A little dramatic, right? What could possibly be a threat to the greatest species on the planet? We evolve and grow everyday, becoming more powerful and intelligent. Yet, our most disgusting adversary continues to walk among us, blending in and corrupting our society. They slither and masquerade as our friends, yet they only exist to be blood sucking zombies, bent on the destruction of mankind. They are the narcissists.

There is nothing more devastating then running into one of these despicable creatures. As I stated before, they slither. They slither their way into your heart in a process known as love-bombing. In love-bombing, the narcissist throws affection and adoration at you. They become your biggest fan overnight; no one can tell them anything negative about you. They learn what you like and what makes you tick so they can continue to feed it to you while your fondness for them grows. The moments with them feel like heaven on earth and you can’t believe how happy someone can make you feel. You are breath of fresh air and they are so happy to have found you. They literally bomb you with as much love as you can take. It’s almost a little too much…..or is it? You don’t know because they already got you. You like them so much. You love them so much. You love them and they LovE yOu, RIghT?

Everything is going great and heaven looks and smells how you’d always dreamed it would. You are just what they have always wanted. A dutiful wife. A strong, powerful man. A beautiful trophy. Arm candy. Banging sex. Whatever they wanted, you had it. You were exactly what they wanted in their life and life is amazing because they found you. You are the light of the world and no one is what you are. They ain’ never knew nobody like you. You different from everybody else. That makes you amazing. That makes you their ideal. This is the second stage, Idealization. You are the most wonderful person on the planet and they thank god that they found you. You will always agree with them on everything and share the same values. You are soulmates. Twin flames. Everything is going perfectly fine……until it doesn’t.

“What happened?” “Why doesn’t he text me like he used to?” “Why doesn’t she ever answer the phone when I call? Did I do something?” “Shit, what’s going on?” They start being mean to you out of nowhere. “What the fuck?” They tell you how all of a sudden their exes were better than you. They make you feel like less of a person, when you were just being deified last week. They don’t feel like having to deal with you anymore. Upon further investigation, you actually were not the best thing they could have wanted. You actually smell really bad and you don’t make enough money. You don’t look beautiful and you could lose some weight. They understand now why you were single before they met you. Nobody would want to deal you. You are not valuable to them anymore. You have been de-valued.

This is normal relationship stuff, right? After the initial honeymoon phase where we are all over each other, the relationship begins to ebb and flow because the fog is clearing and we se the truth in the other person. We then begin to get an understanding on if we want to over look the flaws enough to truly love the person. So why does this feel different? When they devalue you, they try to make you out to be even less then you were when they met. They want you to feel like less than you ever thought you were. They feed off of the superiority they gained from putting you on that pedestal and then knocking the pedestal right from under you. You hit the ground and they are just looking down on you like the trash you are. They can and will do better than you. When they are truly done with you, you might ever hear them say these things and not just come at you with antagonistic indifference. When they are done with you, they don’t care anymore. You will be thrown to the wind.

They threw you away and now you are on the floor, discarded. They have decided that you are no longer necessary. The energy you gave them is dull. Your blood is no longer sweet. Tu amor no es necesario. They don’t want you anymore. They’ve made the decision that as low as you are, you are nowhere near their level. They are on to bigger things now. They have much higher aspirations and they need to be with people who understand them and what they want for themselves. You don’t do that. You can never do that. You were not enough and will never be enough. The adoration you gave them from the lovebombing they gave you doesn’t stroke their ego like it used to. They treat you like shit and fuck with your head to keep you embedded in the darkness that is your relationship. All this happens only if they even attempt to stay. Some will just drop you and get with the next person whose energy is ripe and ready to be picked. They cheat and blame you for your weakness and low value. You are the reason they did what they did. When they did it, at that point you had no value in their eyes, so they had no loyalty to literal trash. The other person was better than you. They understood them more. They give so much more potent energy. You never meant much anyway. You actually did though, in a way only these twisted people can understand.

They are in a whole other different universe doing their own thing. They are living their best life and have moved on from what did not serve them. YOU. So why do they all of a sudden want to know how you are doing? They text “Are you ok?” They know you got that raise. They know you lost that weight. They smell the improvement. Or, the grass wasn’t greener and they need their old grass back. Better was actually much worse and their backtracking back to their good ole’ energy supplier. YOU. They are checking in on you so that they can keep their good ole’ energy supply on the shelf just in case they need you. They care about you because they check in, right? They need to see what you are doing and who you might be with just because, right? They are hoovering you. They basically gravitate around you subtly to make sure that their former energy supply is available. All the pain they caused you. The permanent damage to your psyche. The damage done to your emotional stability. And yet they still feel entitled to you. Hoovering is by far my most hated part of this. How fucking dare you reduce someone to feeling like nothing but shit and then think you can go back when shit doesn’t work out for you. You need energy and sustenance that badly? Despicable.

You would think being broken up with by a narcissist would be a good thing, but unless you run and run far, it doesn’t work like that. You are never done with them unless the next energy supply doesn’t work out or can’t be put on a shelf like they did you. Hell, they may even have plenty of room on that shelf for others like you. They use people for their energy and adoration, faking empathy until they no longer need to do so. Then the real person comes out. The mean, nasty, abusive person. There are many kinds of narcissist, some more covert and undercover than others, but they all follow a similar modus operandi. Wicked, evil manipulation by utilizing a trojan horse of love and connection to blow you up and throw away the pieces. And then they try to pick up the pieces, not to appreciate them, but to repair them to use them and break them again. What is truly sinister is that the stages are usually a cycle that can go on for years. You can’t grow as a person being trapped in such a hideous cycle.

I really did not know how to approach this topic. I made it more of a story and tried my best to really exaggerate just how horrible this cycle is. The sad part is for some people, these aren’t exaggerations. It’s real life. You feel trapped with the person due to the love-bombing and idealization phase. Some people can be further trapped by preexisting codependency issues, seeing the narcissist as someone they need, which only feeds them. Or even worse, they seem themselves as someone the narcissist needs, making themselves into the energy source. Your life becomes a big trauma bond with them, requiring extensive therapy and support in order to not overcome, but just continue to live knowing you went through it. Narcissists and Narcissism (or Narcissistic Personality Disorder) have become hot topics in the media and just in society in general and when a lot of people talk about something, it’s impact can be reduced quickly. Make no mistake, Narcissists are not to be fucked with. It is my honest opinion you can develop PTSD or something like it from dealing with these fucking people. It’s no joke. The emotional, broken, dingy, rollercoaster you get shoved on dealing with these people can break even the most powerful individual.

I would give tips on how to avoid these people, but the only real thing you need to do is stay true to yourself no matter what. We are all individuals and we are our own people. We don’t need others to be who we are. You don’t need anyone to survive. You don’t need to pedestalize someone in order for them to stick around. Be authentic. Be real. They can’t seem to stand real, solid, blunt people who don’t beat around the bush with how they feel. They fish for and feed from insecurity and idolization. Don’t idolize anyone. No, he is not too good for you. No, she is not the only woman who will love you. In order to navigate a world with these people, you need to be the most authentic version of yourself you can be.

This Mental Health Shit is Hard

Ima keep it real with y’all on this one. Unapologetic and Raw. This mental health shit is hard. It is hard to practice what you preach and be truly positive about your mental health in the world we live in. Mental health awareness is growing rapidly and that is a very good thing. People are becoming more aware of themselves and the traumas they may have gone through that have shaped who they are today. Therapy and necessary diagnosis have changed the game in how we see people for who they are and what they went through and are currently going through. The world is heading in a good direction and the future looks bright. It ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, however, and triggers exist. It’s like pressure plates are installed in our minds and the more pressure is applied, the more intense the physical, emotional, or even social reaction will be.

Some days I get triggered. Triggered hard. Like full clip ready to blast on every one. I won’t pretend to live every day on some hippie peace bullshit. Some days I really feel my insecurities and they come raining down on me like acid. I hate myself for how I look. How I talk. How I think. How I feel. Some days I walk through society and I just hate everything and everyone. Why do some people have to act the way they do? Why do some people have to be so mean and nasty? Should I join in to make myself happier and not get so triggered? Life gets to me sometimes and I go off and forget who I am for a minute. I forget my own morals and beliefs when I feel I am wronged, and I feel like that a lot. People judge you for some of the most stupid, ignorant shit and it’s really hard not to wild out and lose it on these kinds of people. I feel like sometimes I don’t belong in this type of world, and it’s only getting worse with time. Social media has the world fucked up, no matter what anyone wants to say. The entertainment industry, the news, politics, everything almost feels set up to trigger or influence someone in to doing something, usually negative or not serving anyone in a good sense. Life can be grating sometimes and you can lose sight of your purpose and fall into that sunken place of subpar mental health.

This world is losing empathy. Shit, I’m losing empathy. I’m losing patience for the way people judge others in this world. I’m losing patience with social media and the absolute fucking devastation it has brough upon us, especially the youth. “Influencers” who can’t influence their followers to stay in school and get an education, but can happily influence their follows to alter their bodies and show every inch to strangers. Body positivity falling to the wayside in place of vanity and fake bullshit. Scamming, deceit, and lies are the only way for some people to feel like they have something going on. That’s sad any way you slice it. The media in general is fueled by negativity and negative content get’s promoted like you wouldn’t believe. It’s like you can’t even go on popular sites without something trying to spoon feed you some stupid shit meant to get a reaction out of you. It’s all just so debilitating and for the people that can resonate with what I’m saying, it affects you.

Mental health is a journey. A long ass journey that we all will eventually have to go on in order to reach our full potential. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s a swim through thick mud. You will go through a lot of shit. I know. Trust me. And I intend to chronicle as much as I can on this platform in order to give someone out there the message that you are not alone. You are not crazy for what you are going through. You will be triggered. You will feel emotion. You may have an episode. That bitch will try you. That guy will be an asshole. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all that shit might need to be deleted. At the end, we will all come out of this better people. Life can be fucking annoying , but there are very good points we need to prioritize in order to live our best ones. I am not nor will I ever again be ashamed to tell my stories. I don’t want any of you to ever be ashamed of living your own stories. And just like the rest of my story is still being written, so are yours.

Your Job and Mental Health

It should go without saying, but your job can play a big role in the state of your mental health. What you do for a living can affect many aspects of your life and how you think and feel about yourself. We all have different temperaments and personality traits, and we need to make sure that our employment can be a positive impact on our mental. We spend a good majority of our days either physically at or thinking about our jobs or ventures that make us money. We need to make sure that we align ourselves with opportunities that we have an affinity for in order to maximize our potential and lead more happy lives.

I’m a more introverted, silent type of individual. I’ll speak at length when I feel the need to speak, otherwise I mostly listen and observe. I can easily engage in conversation and articulate myself well, I just don’t necessarily seek out conversation and interaction. I have a great affinity with helping others with issues and providing solutions for problems. I always loved technology growing up playing video games, and working with computers came easy to me. With all of this combined, information technology and the careers that come with it were a no brainer for me to get into. It’s an incredible field with a ton of potential and I feel I sync well with IT (information technology) positions. I’ve been working in IT for almost 7 years now and it’s a career I feel I will stay and retire in. It fits me very well and I can bring out what I capable of while being content and comfortable in my position. Before I was cemented in my current career trajectory, I dabbled in different career fields and found what I liked and didn’t like. Customer facing roles were not my thing as I hated interacting with too many people at once. I also hated just sitting at a computer all day without interaction as it felt soul draining and that’s why I couldn’t go into programming and software engineering. I can’t and don’t want to sell anything ever, so sales didn’t work. I found my affinity in computer and system administration, and it’s been fruitful and satisfying.

Life is both long and short. Long in the sense that you will need to put in time and effort to get where you want the way you want. Short in the sense that we are only here for a finite time, so you don’t need to waste time in a position or field that does not suit you. “Faking it to make it” does not work forever and authenticity is admirable. Mental health plays a very big role in your success in life, whether you think so or not. The most influential entrepreneurs and business owners know this and work hard to gain mental clarity to continue to succeed in their endeavors. They are on paths that suit them and help maximize their success and we should all strive to follow suit and be our best selves.

Working Remotely is Here to Stay

I am in full belief that working remotely is the future. With what has been going on in our world and everyone getting used to a new norm, I believe reform is necessary. We as humans are always adapting, making strides and always improving. This is a good thing, as constant improvement shows that our species will only continue to grow and prosper. The pandemic has forced us to look at what we saw as a normal process and make critiques in order to keep everyone safe as we recovered. One big discovery was that working from home wasn’t so bad for some industries. As a matter of fact, productivity in those industries actually went up.

Several studies over the past few months show productivity while working remotely from home is better than working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive. 77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to a survey by ConnectSolutions. These statistics are quite a shock to management, as the fear was always that working from home would reduce productivity and result in lower company revenue and progress. Such a fear isn’t unfounded, but at the same time makes light of the integrity of us workers, especially those of us who are aggressively trying to climb the ladder in spite of the changes around us. A lot of management tends to only care about the bottom line and money being made, not caring about employee health and wellbeing. Working from home has shown that when employees are more happy and comfortable, more work gets done and money gets made. Despite the naysayers (who are mostly management (isn’t that funny?) ) working from home has not caused the damage that it was purported to have.

Being able to work from home has done wonders for me:

  • I don’t have to pay to commute to and from work everyday saving me money
  • I don’t have to commute every day, which means I don’t have to be on a stuffy train everyday (during a pandemic, which means less of a transmission rate. Omicron doesn’t care about vaccines, lets limit the risk, no?)
  • I don’t have to engage in meaningless conversations at the office. I mean let’s be real, how many conversations do we have in the office that just pertain to work? My time is valuable and my work is important.
  • I get to be with my family more. I care about my loved ones and I have a 3 year old that needs his dad to be involved. I much prefer him running around me bonding instead of only seeing him while I’m tired at the end of the day
  • Things need to be done around the house (laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc) Working from home has allowed me to stay on top of things and I feel less like my life is in shambles working most of the week and only having the weekend for housekeeping
  • I am way more productive at home. I am ready to work even earlier and I can work my comfortably. I actually want to work knowing that I am in my own space and can do my own thing while I work. Something about waking up and not having to get dressed and do a grueling commute makes me want to work even harder.
  • I was able to work out more at home, being a lot healthier working out during my job downtime

I could go on and on forever about how working from home has benefitted me and I am sure some people can agree with some of the bullets. The biggest boon working from home has had for me is my mental health. I don’t do good around a lot of people. I live in NY and anyone can tell you about how “eh” the subway is here. I always hated the commute ever since I was in school. It was always so much people and unnecessary shit you had to deal with just trying to get to class or get to work. All that just to go somewhere I did NOT want to be, having to leave people I wanted to be around to go be with people I did NOT want to be around (at least not everyday). Working from home changed all that. I was fully remote in the beginning of the pandemic and it was a huge breath of fresh air. Working was awesome. I was able to do even more work than before. I felt a rush of energy knowing that my “office” was right there. I felt more proactive to do the more mundane parts of my job. My PC was more equipped than the ones in my office, and I was able to multi-task with even greater efficacy. I felt closer to my son and I was able to notice his growth as a little person. I cooked more being home, saving money instead of buying overpriced city food and Uber Eats. I was even more receptive in therapy and my therapist heard the elation in my voice when we did our sessions. I felt better about the 9-5 grind knowing that the more annoying parts of it were being mitigated. I felt good overall, period. My mental health soared and I made strides with the many issues I was dealing with.

Now, I won’t pretend as though everyone can work remotely. Some industries literally cannot work remotely as per the nature of their jobs and responsibility. Some jobs are too essential to allow remote work and I get that. For those positions, working from home may be out of the question, but for the industries that do have room for remote work, the argument for it will only get more powerful. Even the industries that don’t should experiment with ways that allow their employees more flexibility with work. I’ve even seen some employers testing out a 4 day work week. That could be the starting point for an answer to working from home for those industries that can’t work remotely or do it for the majority of the time. Hire enough employees for the coverage needed to allow even one day a week for a necessary recharge and reconstruction of employee psyche and morale. I am no manager, but I still think that things can be done in the way of factoring the current climate into how we will do things going forward. Hybrid work schedules (what I currently work and am a BIG advocate for) allow for both in office work to be done as well as allowing workers to work remotely as well. A 3 day in 2 day out or 2 day in 3 day out schedule seems almost like a no brainer to me. It allows for all the benefits of working in the office (office camaraderie, socializing, etc) with the benefits of work from home (the aforementioned housekeeping, family bonding time, comfortability, etc)

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, companies that can should try their best to allow flexibility when it comes remote work. It’s 2022 and people have been working remotely long before Covid. Covid just opened the blinds and showed a lot of industries that stuffing workers in an office five days a week was not at all necessary. A lot of people faked it to make it and most of us wanted to work, just not in the office. We felt more comfortable on Teams calls in our pajamas. We liked writing reports and designing in our big comfy couches. We got more work done in ALL aspects of our lives. We were more productive. Companies saved money on unnecessary office space and equipment. Remote work is the future and anyone not down with that may unfortunately get left behind in our changing world. The next generation is here, and we are for remote work. We care about our wellbeing. Our physical, social, economic, and mental health matter to us. Let’s get with the program, people.

Over Sexed Media

Okay, let’s get it out of the way, sex is good. It feels great. It makes you feel alive and it’s just what humans do for reproduction. It’s an activity that adults partake in order to connect, feel pleasure, bond, etc. It’s natural! What I don’t like, however, is how much sex is shown in the media and the audiences that can take in the messages sex can put across. Sex can be seen in almost everything, from TV, to movies, to smartphone apps. It’s broadcasted to us, constantly reinforcing our want to perform sexual acts and keeping us in the mindset. It’s overdone, and it’s polluting what we are as people. We are not just sexual objects. We are all individuals who do other things and can appreciate other things.

Yes, beautiful woman are eye candy. There are nice to look at and they bring up primal desires. Thats normal. That doesn’t mean that when I go on Instagram that I want to see scantily clad woman all the time. Women aren’t just sexual objects. The algorithm all too easily would like to just shove over-sexualized women and concepts in general in our faces. Even trying to alter and shift the algorithm, it feels like overly sexual undertones are the default type of content that Instagram tries to show us. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, no matter the avenue, sexualized concepts keep getting pushed into our faces, trying so hard to get us to give in to our more primal instincts. What’s even worse is the fact that the over-sexualization is then profited off of, which was the ultimate goal. Humans love sex, so naturally let’s sell it to them anyway we can.

There are so many ways that sex can be profited off of. Scantily clad women in video games to profit off horny teens and young adult males. Instagram “models” selling their more sexual assets and prowess for a quick buck. The prevalence of these “models” that attracts men to the platform in the first place, men who then bring money and attention. I mean, let’s be real, the women are why men for the most part are even on the platform. Instagram being a primarily picture focused platform makes this all the more apparent. I am primarily using Instagram as an example, but all the platforms do this in some way or another. Sex is over broad casted, utilized for gain, and no one cares about the after effects.

No one is thinking about the women who lose a piece of themselves having to keep up with sexual standards that dehumanize them. No one thinks about the youth who will be exposed to these images and ideas due to the very low amount of policing done on these platforms. No one thinks about the hit to mental health and the effect that over-sexualization will have on future generations. Young women will grow up, trying hard to keep up with each other in gaining attention the best way they know how. Society will continue to undermine women and place them in a bubble of sex, disregarding what skills and talents these women may have. This cannot be allowed. Humans are sexual creatures, yes, but that is not all we are. Especially women, who get most of the attention from the sexualized media.

Humans are more than sex objects. We are more than just our horny mindsets. We can indulge in more than just sex and carnal pleasure. We know what our bodies do, we don’t need the constant reminder with all the images we see on social media. All the rap lyrics that scream sex acts in our ears. The Netflix shows that throw it in randomly to remind us that people have sex. Like damn, we get it. We are more than that. In order for society to truly continue to evolve we need to put more of our skills on display in all forms of media. We are scholars, engineers, architects, entrepreneurs. Both men and woman can aspire to anything we put our minds too. Sex is just a part of the bigger picture that is human civilization.

I welcome any arguments to my thoughts, as maybe I am trapped in seeing the constant sexualized media pushed to me. I just feel it’s a detriment to our society for sex to be at such a forefront. I would very much like for that to change and for the media to show more of our talents and abilities as humans more than trying to ignite the desires in us for personal gain.