The Tattoo

I’ve wanted a tattoo my entire life. For whatever reason, I could never really wrap my head around what to get or taking the time/money to sit down in a chair and actually get one done. 

When I was in my 20’s, I really didn’t care about tattoo that much. As I entered my 30’s, I thought that I had the perfect design in mind. It would be a blend of my over-the-top personality while still telling the story that I had finally gotten what I had wanted for so long in my life. It was something in my mind that was very close to this…

A little silly, I know. But to me it showed that after years and years of trying, Wile E. Coyote FINALLY captured the Road Runner…and screw anybody that was every going to doubt him again. Of course, using the cartoon approach would be my way of still being myself.

As time went on and I separated from my wife, I realized that I hadn’t, in fact, captured the Road Runner. I was still the coyote, but I was still using ACME products in an continuing losing effort to get what I wanted out of life. It took me a long time to straighten myself out and focus on all of the good that life has to offer.

Today, as I approach my 45th birthday in a couple of months (ugh), I’ve decided that now is the time for getting a tattoo. My wife is getting her first one this weekend and she has inspired me to finally do what I always wanted to do but was too afraid to actually do it.

 No, I have zero plans to get the Wile E. Coyote cartoon tattoo that I wanted years ago. Instead, I have something in mind that has been with me for a very long time, but only now seems appropriate: 

To me, at this point in my life, I honestly feel as though I have broken the chains that have prevented me from finding true happiness…both internally and externally. Let me explain…

I have a good job with a bright future. Without going into much detail, I’ve finally found a job that is everything I’ve ever really wanted. It blends a combination of sales, account management, personal and professional growth, spreadsheets, reports, helping others, and the freedom to not be micro-managed on a daily basis. Add to that a decent pay structure and I’m one happy, nerdy camper! 

In addition, I have a blended family with five amazing children, three of which I’m having a fantastic time helping to raise. Long time readers already know that I wasn’t around in the beginning to help raise Rugrat (who just graduated from high school and is 18 years old now!). We have a good relationship, but I feel as though I missed out on a lot with her. My oldest daughter (Pebbles, who I only met for the first time four years ago) is almost 21 and is definitely her mother’s daughter. Thankfully, I’m having a hand in raising the three youngest kids — my 10 year old son (Ankle Biter, who is almost 11) and my two awesome stepdaughters (Lil’ Mo – age 12 – and Kiddo – age 14). I never wanted to have children when I was in my 20’s, but now I couldn’t imagine my life without them in it every single day.

Of course, I have an incredible wife who is everything I could have ever asked for in a partner. She is beautiful and, quite frankly, way out of my league. Because we initially met online, we’ve been able to focus our relationship on personalities and really getting to know each other. As we approach our fourth wedding anniversary (WOW!!), I realize that we’ve been together for almost nine years and I don’t ever want to be away from her. She’s my best friend, my soulmate, and the most incredible woman I’ve ever met in my life.

SIDE STORY: I never had a girlfriend in high school. Well, I dated a girl for a week once…but that was about it. Seriously. From eighth grade thru twelfth grade, I never had a girlfriend. I had a ton of girl friends, but was always the guy that was in the “friend zone”. I didn’t hate it, but it certainly made my high school years tough at times. I remember a conversation that I had with a female friend of mine while at a party close to graduation time. She told me that one day I’d find a beautiful woman who would love me for who I was. Little did I realize just how true those words were. 

Finally, I feel as though I’ve made some personal breakthroughs recently that have helped me grow as a person. Without getting into too much detail, I have gotten out from under a thumb that has been on top of me my entire life…even when I didn’t realize it was there. I have finally come to realize why I have certain shortcomings and am trying to work my way through them. This new “freedom” has helped me realize that I’m entering the second half of my life with renewed purpose. It’s like I’m getting the chance to live life all over again, only this time I just happen to be a bit older than the first time I lived. 

So the chains mean a lot to me. I firmly believe that I’ve broken the chains that have held me back for so long so I can now move forward in life without anything holding me down. 

I’m not looking for a massive tattoo or anything; I just want the chains to be on my upper left shoulder on my bicep area. The only question I’m having, though, is what chain photo I should actually get. This is where I need YOUR help.

I’ve got my top 5 choices for a chain tattoo. Which one should I get??

 

1. 

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Did I Forget To Mention…?

Oh…did I forget to mention that I’ve finally got a job?

YES!!

I haven’t been around much over the past few weeks because I’ve been transitioning from my NINE month unemployment life (!!!) to my newly ’employed in a dream job’ life (!!!).

So long story short, I had three interviews with this company and was offered a position about a month ago. I started on May 2nd and have been incredibly happy ever since. This job checks ALL of the boxes for me. Not only that, but the amount of welcome and respect I’ve received since starting has been above and beyond anything I’ve ever had before from any other employer.

Two weeks into the job and I feel like I’m respected, appreciated, and part of a team. That, my friends, was all I was really looking for in a job. But to also have the kind of position that I’ve always wanted to have on top of everything else is really a dream come true.

The only downside is that my time management skills are taking a beating. Not so much with the job itself, but with my work-life balance. I mean, I’m home at a decent time and I’m up on my own pretty early, but I find myself either relaxing from a long day or doing things that need to get done.

Thus, my blog-writing has fallen to the wayside as of late. I’m going to try fixing that because I feel as though I’ve got things to say. I’m wanting to do a “re-boot” with a variety of things in my life over the next few weeks and blog-writing is just a part of the overall picture. Fingers crossed…I can do what I want to do without falling off the bandwagon (yet AGAIN).

So if you’re still around reading, I certainly appreciate it. I’m not done yet…not by a long shot.

Thank You For The Reminder

Every day, Facebook reminds me of what I posted “On This Day” in previous years. Sometimes there isn’t much of note, other times there are things that make me smile.

On Saturday, I saw a post that has helped to remind me of what I’m capable of when I find a way to motivate myself.

6am

That’s me while on vacation four years ago. I was up and ready to hit the cruise ship’s gym at 6am and, as you can tell by the look on my face, I couldn’t be happier. 

While I’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to become a better person and not let this unemployment situation get the better of me, I still haven’t gotten to the point where I was in terms of running. 

I’ve officially signed-up and paid for a half-marathon that I fully plan on completing in September, yet I haven’t begun training for it (which is insane, really). This photo helped remind me of just what I was capable of when there was a challenge put in front of me.

So today marks Day 1 of my training. I thought that was going to be a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been working on myself mentally and emotionally instead of physically. Now it’s time to put it all together. 

 

Wide Open

My future…it’s wide open.

The FutureUp until recently, I had gone a few months forgetting that fact. After losing my job last summer, I was absolutely certain that I’d find something sooner rather than later because I had a really good resume and I was experienced enough to be a great asset to any company willing to give me a chance.

I had a second interview with one company that didn’t work out. I then had a second interview with another company that didn’t work out. I made it to a third and final interview with a company who then contacted my references…before calling me to tell me that they’ve decided to change the position that they were advertising for because they don’t think they need it at the moment.

That’s what sent me downward. 

The holidays were brutal and it’s been tough getting my head in a better space. But over the past couple of weeks, I truly feel like I have. Sure, it’s been a really tough eight months (!!) sitting at home, but all I have to do is sit back and look at what I bring to the table…really look at where I am and how my relationships are…and I see that my future is, indeed, wide open.

jobI’m applying for at least one job every single day. Just by sheer numbers alone that means I should be called for something at some point soon. I’ve updated my resume and updated my cover letter, and I’m doing my best to be exactly the person that these prospective employees want me to be. 

CBG & FamilyMy relationships with my wife and kids are so much better than they were a few months ago. I’m in a really good spot mentally and my medication seems to be working. I feel as though I’m falling in love with my wife all over again and we’re in a really good place. My kids are fantastic and I feel as though we’re all working towards building better relationships. 

So the only thing that leaves me is taking care of myself. I’m still not getting outside and exercising like I should be, but I feel good about myself. I feel confident that I’m going to get where I need to be sooner rather than later. My future is wide open and I’m going to own it.

Finding THIS Guy

It’s been a rough few months. A series of emotional highs and lows that have taken their toll on me. The battle is ongoing…through depression and ADHD and unemployment…but every time I think I’m down for the count, I find a way to battle back. I refuse to lose and I refuse to let my life drift into a series of bad life choices; my life has been filled with them and I’m not ready to simply give up and not try to take it back.

I don’t know how, but I need to find a way to get THIS guy back…

Anniversary 14CBG - Marathon 096 IMG_0009 033 5K 100 Happy Days - Day 8

Polar Bear Dip

I don’t know how I’ll do it, but I’ve worked too damn hard over the past few years to simply let life pass me by now. It’s time to live.

Finding Inner Happiness

Inner happinessIt’s been a rough few months. I’m a guy who is constantly trying to better himself, whether it’s physically or emotionally. I’m not content to just fade off into the distance and disappear. Admittedly, there are times when I feel that way, but that’s normally a blend of my depression and ADHD rising to the surface. It’s not who I really am, though.

Being out of work for seven months has taken its toll on me. I’m mentally drained and there are days where I don’t feel like getting out of the house…at all. It’s a constant battle to be positive and happy in the knowing that a good job will come around and I will be where I’m supposed to be.

A couple of weeks ago, Sunshine and I had a heated discussion about how I’ve been giving up on living life to the fullest. The guy that she fell in love with wasn’t the man that I was turning into. I’ve been having issues finding ways to be happy that are long-term and consistent. Instead, I’ve been relying on little things here and there to keep me motivated and happy. When those things fade away, I find myself moping on the couch and not wanting to do anything.

She was absolutely right, too. My motivation to live life to the fullest after being let go from my job last summer lasted for a few months. Just as I was falling into a depression, GoodLife Fitness came along and offered me the chance to join their gym for three months. Motivation was at its peak once more and I was all about changing my life and being as happy as I possibly could.

A couple of “final interview” situations really took the steam out of my sails. I was almost hired for two jobs and when I didn’t get them either time, it felt like a punch in the gut. So when Christmas came around and I couldn’t afford to give the kids (and my wife) all of the things that I wanted to give them, depression began to creep back up.

Christmas ended up being better than I expected, but I was still not myself. And my emotional roller coaster hasn’t been easy to deal with. It’s not that I’m the angry guy like I was a year ago, but one day I’d be perfectly happy and content and motivated to run a half marathon in September (something I still plan on doing), where the next day I’d be depressed and not want to leave the house.

After our “heated discussion”, I made a concerted effort to get out of the house almost every single day. I knew that I could no longer find one specific thing to get me motivated or excited about life…it would be up to me to do that myself. I have to find my inner happiness and live life as best as I can, in spite of whatever obstacles are standing in my way.

I’m trying. It’s not always a winning battle, but I’m trying. Some days are a lot tougher than others. 

Will finding a job finally make me happy? Will losing weight and keeping it off finally make me happy? What can I do to make me happy on a consistent basis? 

New Beginnings?

Some of you may be wondering why I haven’t been around over the past week. As I usually do with this blog, I’m going to have to be completely honest with you, my readers.

While I wouldn’t consider last week to be called me falling into a “depression”, I did fall into a bit of a funk. The issue is simply job related. Or in my case, no job related.

I had an interview and even a second interview with a couple of companies back in August and September. Neither of those interviews turn into anything at all. Earlier last month, I had an interview and a second interview with a potentially great employer. The second interview went really well and I was having some high hopes. The problem, though, is that whenever I have high hopes for these things they do not normally come to fruition.

And yes, I do realize that’s “Depression CBG” speaking and not “New & Improved CBG“speaking. But I would like to think that even if I were not taking antidepressants and ADHD medication, the situation would still have me in a little bit of a funk.

Last week I decided to contact the employer and find out why I was never advised on their decision after the second interview. I mean, it had been two weeks and they said that they were to let me know, one way or the other, if I were to be required for a third and final interview.  Where I was not getting any other requests for interviews, I was getting concerned. I sent off an email to the employer asking for feedback from my second interview as I was wondering if, perhaps, I had done something wrong.

Thus, the week of funk began.

I was immediately contacted on Tuesday and asked to come in for a third and final interview. They had told me that they simply had a communications issue and that was the reason why I wasn’t contacted previously.

You would think that I would be really excited about the opportunity, right? My problem, though, was that now I was wondering if they were simply asking me to come back in for an interview because they had forgotten to contact me and wanted to save face somehow. Yes, I realize that is really silly, but that was what I was thinking.

It took a lot of work to be calm enough for my final interview on Wednesday. I was told that it wasn’t going to be an interview as much as it would be a conversation with the person that I would eventually be working underneath. By the time I got into the room with him, I felt pretty comfortable. It ended up being a fantastic interview/conversation, and I left feeling really great about myself.

I told myself that even if I didn’t get the job (I am up against one other person), that it would have been through no fault of my own. If the company ends up going in another direction, it is because that person is a better fit and not because of anything I did or did not do.

But in the time between Monday and Friday, I was not having very confident feelings about everything that was taking place. I felt bad because Christmas is around the corner and, once again, I felt as though I was failing the kids. I also felt as though I was failing my family because I wasn’t able to provide some other things I would love to provide. Monetary things, yes…but still. You always want to provide for your children a better life than your own. 

Instead of taking these feelings and turning them into reasons to exercise and workout, I became “Old CBG” and used it for a reason to sink into the couch most of the week. I believe I only went to the gym twice all week, and I didn’t even have the desire to write about it. On Thursday, Sunshine got offered a job that she thought was not going to be that great, but turned out to be a fantastic opportunity. I was over the moon with excitement and happiness and pride for her accomplishment, but also felt a bad about myself because I wasn’t certain I would be able to get a similar opportunity. 

On Friday morning, though, I received a call from the company. They asked me for references and that’s when everything seemed to change for me. I mean, I do not want to get overly confident about the possibility of being offered a great role in a great company, but I don’t think there are too many times a company will request references after multiple interviews unless they are going to go in a specific direction.

So that is where I stand this morning. I have updates to provide from my workouts last week and I am hitting the gym first thing this morning as I have some anxiety and pent-up feelings to work off.

Fingers crossed, I will have some good news for you later in the week.