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.

 

Where My Shoes Have Taken Me – Halifax Pride

As long-time readers of this blog will undoubtedly know, I’m not writing nearly as much as I used to. I think it just happens to be that when life isn’t that bad, bloggers have less and less to write about. Life is right now is good. VERY good. Things are finally coming together in a variety of ways. While I’m not writing that much, I am still taking photos on a near-daily basis and trying to appreciate everything that happens around me.

I’ve decided to do a new series of blog posts where I will try to tell a story through photos. It may work; it may not. But at the end of the day, I hope that I will be able to continue sharing my life through pictures and stories.

My shoes take me to a lot of different places. Here is the first of the series of tales about those places…

These are my new Relaxed Fit: Skech-Flex sneakers. Without a shadow of a doubt, they are the most comfortable sneakers I've ever owned. On this day, they took me to a hillside in downtown Halifax to watch the 2016 Pride parade.
These are my new Skechers: the Men’s Relaxed Fit: Blais-Telen. Without a shadow of a doubt, they are the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever owned. On this day, they took me to a hillside in downtown Halifax to watch the 2016 Pride parade. We were VERY fortunate to find a near-empty hillside by the very beginning of the parade route. While thousands and thousands of people waited throughout the downtown core, there may have been maybe 100 people scattered along the hill. It was the PERFECT spot.
This was the first time my son had ever attended the Halifax Pride Parade. In fact, I'm not sure if he ever had been exposed to the LGBT community before. I tried to explain to him prior to the event what to expect, why we were going, and why there was a parade. I felt it was important for all of our kids to understand what everybody was celebrating.
This was the first time my son had ever attended the Halifax Pride Parade. In fact, I’m not sure if he ever had been exposed to the LGBT community before. I tried to explain to him prior to the event what to expect, why we were going, and why there was a parade. I felt it was important for all of our kids to understand what everybody was celebrating.

Halifax Pride 2
Halifax Pride 3
Halifax Pride 4

This was my son's favourite part of the parade. While no San Diego Comic Con, the local Hal-Con has grown in popularity over the past few years. To watch a rainbow-coloured stormtrooper walk by was really cool to him.
This was my son’s favourite part of the parade. While no San Diego Comic Con, the local Hal-Con has grown in popularity over the past few years. To watch a rainbow-coloured stormtrooper walk by was really cool to him.

Halifax Pride 6
Halifax Pride 7

The kids stood there the entire time…smiling and enjoying the entire parade. This was an experience that they weren’t soon going to forget.
As the final float went by, we dashed home for a few minutes before the second stop on our Pride Tour, the roller derby game!!
As the final float went by, we dashed home for a few minutes before the second stop on our Pride Tour, the roller derby game!!
I had never been to a live roller derby game before, but my wife had always wanted to go to one. This just seemed to be the perfect opportunity. Anchor City Rollers is the name of Halifax's flat track roller derby league. On this day, they were presenting a mixed, queer-themed scrimmage roller derby game featuring players from all over the Maritimes. It was considered an official Halifax Pride event that was made up of the UNISCORNS and the SCISSOR KICKS.
I had never been to a live roller derby game before, but my wife had always wanted to go to one. This just seemed to be the perfect opportunity. Anchor City Rollers is the name of Halifax’s flat track roller derby league. On this day, they were presenting a mixed, queer-themed scrimmage roller derby game featuring players from all over the Maritimes. It was considered an official Halifax Pride event that was made up of the UNISCORNS and the SCISSOR KICKS.


When all was said and done, the game was a blow-out. It didn't matter to the kids, though...they had a GREAT time. All of the women put on a helluva show and displayed more toughness than I could ever imagine displaying myself (I mean...I certainly wouldn't do that!!).
When all was said and done, the game was a blow-out. It didn’t matter to the kids, though…they had a GREAT time. All of the women put on a helluva show and displayed more toughness than I could ever imagine displaying myself (I mean…I certainly wouldn’t do that!!).

So this is where my shoes have taken me this time. Because I’m always wearing something on my feet, I’ll always have a way to get somewhere.

Not Around Here, But Still Around

Hey gang.

As you have probably noticed, I haven’t been around at all this week. There is a reason for that, and I’ll probably open up about it next week. I’ve got blogs that I want to write but I just need the right headspace in order to write them.

In the meantime, I’ve ramped-up my exercise schedule in the hopes of running a half marathon this fall. I know I’ve tried this before, but right now I’ve posted about a workout for 10 days in a row…so I’m feeling strong and able to continue on this journey.

If you’re interested at all, you can read about my journey here:

I Got Off The Couch08-06-2015 6-19 AM

Have a great weekend and I hope to be back to a normal writing schedule next week.

When Bloggers Don’t Blog

Most of my blogger friends have stopped writing.

will blog 4 foodWhen I started blogging, it seemed like everybody and their dog was starting up a new blog and writing. I immediately started following a community of bloggers, left comments, and tried to get all of them to read MY blog. If you go back to some of my earlier posts, you’ll see a lot more comments than you do now.

And that’s fine, though…because I no longer write for them. I no longer write for you (sorry). I write for me, whether it’s good or bad. So if nobody reads the blog, I’m actually alright with that. I’m still going to throw my two cents out there and hope that the people who DO read my blog are entertained.

I think therefore I blogSo yeah…other bloggers.

I can give you a list of about a dozen bloggers who used to be in my whole “writer’s circle” who don’t write anymore. Some of them have even deleted their blogs entirely.

It’s funny…the majority of the blogs that I saw were written by single parents or newly-single parents. I mean, that’s one of the main reasons I started blogging, too. I wanted to vent and bitch and make it known to the world that I wasn’t a terrible father or a terrible person. I had something to say and I wanted people who didn’t know me to like me for me…not what people thought I was.

Thankfully, I’ve made some friends through blogging. Some real, good, actual friends. Heck…one of them came all the way from Texas to attend my wedding to Sunshine! Another who flew us down to their home in Chicago as a wedding gift! These connections are real and they’re very important to me. 

To blog or not to blogIt’s a shame that these folks don’t blog anymore, but for the most part it’s because they’re no longer single. Or if they’re single, they’re no longer in an unhappy place. I’ve seen a number of situations where people got happy and simply stopped blogging…or they tried to create a new blog or a new persona and it just didn’t fly. It’s hard to continue your “single” online persona when you’re happily remarried and in love.

I did that for a little while, actually. I’ve been happy for a very long time and once I moved to be with Sunshine, I simply couldn’t find the time to write as much anymore. Of course, I didn’t have much to say other than, “I’m happy”. Maybe I hit a writer’s block (that I still find myself in occasionally). 

So here I sit…writing away and reminiscing about bloggers past. Whether you’re new to the blog or have been around since the beginning, I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read it. I may not ever make a living as a writer, but hopefully what I write is interesting enough to make you want to come back and read some more.

And for those other bloggers who have stopped…you’re missed. I hope you’ve found true happiness in whatever you’re doing now. 

Why I Still Blog

To blog or not to blogI started writing this blog at a time when I really needed to express myself. I had ended a marriage and fallen into a deep depression full of unhappiness and turmoil. I even had some very dark thoughts at one point…self-harming thoughts…and sought some professional help through a program at work.

It was suggested to me that I somehow release these inside thoughts and feelings in the form of a journal. My counter-argument was that I didn’t see the point in a journal as I wouldn’t be held accountable for anything I said or felt or thought. The conversation turned to having an “open journal” of some sort, shared with either people I knew very well or people I didn’t know at all…just to keep myself accountable for the things that I said; hoping to hear feedback of some sort in an effort to converse about these thoughts and feelings of mine.

Thus my blog was born.

I think therefore I blogI’ve shared a lot over the past few years. From intimate thoughts to really sad times to extremely joyous occasions, this blog has served me very well and has done the trick. I’m not perfect by any stretch, but I’m not nearly the angry guy that I was six or seven years ago. My life is full of various forms of happiness, and for that I attribute a LOT to my blog.

So why do I keep writing? If the purpose of my blog is no longer required, why bother doing it?

I think, for me, the passion for writing has overtaken the need to write…if that makes any sense. Where I initially felt I needed to put my feelings down on paper (theoretically speaking, of couse), I now feel like expressing my feelings, instead.

I simply want to talk about things, whether it be directly related to me or not. Whether it’s a post about my family or about my health or about my favourite tv show, I feel the urge to write about stuff. I think that I’m a good writer, too…that my “write as I would speak” style is easy to read and that I normally have good flow to my posts.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers come and go since I started my blog. The two or three bloggers that I used to follow don’t even write full-time anymore…or if they do I’ve stopped reading them completely.

When I started, there was a very large single-parent community of bloggers that all shared similar thoughts and stories. We were lonely, but didn’t feel alone when it came to our online community…thus we shared in stories and comments and likes on each other’s blogs, always helping to be there to help support each other.

I’ve made a couple of really good friends from this blog, and for that I’m extremely thankful. I’ve helped cultivate an incredible relationship…from the first date to the wedding day…with my wife through this blog, and I don’t know if I could have managed to go through some of the down times at the beginning if it weren’t for writing here.

Why Blog

I now have four blogs that I update on a semi-regular basis. These blogs reflect different areas of interest for me and I write when I am inspired to write. I went through a “down time” in inspiration but, thankfully, I’m back on track with the “writing bug” firmly implanted within me.

My site stats aren’t what they used to be. My comments are fewer and farther between than in previous years. I hardly get any new Twitter followers anymore. But y’know what? It’s all good because I’m writing due to my love of writing and this blog will continue to survive because, for better or for worse, it’s all me.

I appreciate you reading…for however long it’s been. I hope you continue to stick around.

I’m Not Really Trying

Honesty-475x475I can’t tell you how many emails I get in the span of a week asking me to apply to some blog-sponsored site or offering to increase my readership by joining some kind of group. It’s a bit overwhelming at times and yes, I have absolutely had sponsored posts here on my blog.

But here’s the thing: I’m not really trying.

Sure, I write from time to time when I’ve got something on my mind (like now), but I never got into blogging as a way to start my own business. I didn’t start writing to get a million readers every day flock to my website. I certainly didn’t begin writing thinking it would be a way to make money.

I began writing as a form of  self-therapy. I wanted to try to write my way out of a funk that I was going through and I ended up not only pulling myself out of it, but becoming a pretty decent guy who has changed over the years in a very positive way. Some people relate to my stories and other people simply enjoy my stories. Either way, I continue to write only when I feel like it…not as a way to increase readership.

Yet here I get another request to be a “brand ambassador” as if I’m desperate for readership. Y’know, I actually feel bad for people who feel like they need numbers in order to justify the existence of the blog itself or, better yet, as a way to quantify the blog’s success.

For me, I’m a better person today than I was five years ago. I’ve made real connections and some real friends thanks to this blog. I continue to write because I want to, not because I have to.

THAT, my friends, is enough success for me.

Now all I need to do is find a way to stop those incessant email requests from filling my inbox…

Happy 5-Year Bloggiversary

i am 5I got a notification yesterday that I was celebrating five years of blogging on WordPress. I thought that was a pretty great accomplishment, considering all of the blogs that I’ve followed over the past 5+ years that have fallen to the wayside over time. Some bloggers have gotten married and had to change their “single” persona, some bloggers found happiness in their life and didn’t know how to translate that to words (most bloggers start writing out of unhappiness or loneliness), some bloggers simply didn’t have anything else to say, and some bloggers, unfortunately, passed away.

While the amount of my writing has decreased over the past year or so, that’s more to do with living with Sunshine and simply not having the time to write more than anything else. I still write here on this blog on a semi-regular basis. I also have a travel blog that serves as an outlet for my creative side (plus I just love documenting where I’ve been…for no other reason than to have a distinct and detailed account for when I get older and can’t remember anything). I still have the “guilty pleasure” blog, but I seem to have run out of a lot of guilty pleasures so that hasn’t been updated in awhile.

I appreciate the friends I’ve met through this blog (and even more-so the ones I’ve ended up meeting in person!) and I really appreciate those who have continued to read this over the years.

I thought it would be fun to share the original post that kicked things off here back on January 21, 2009…

**********

I guess the point of this thing isn’t really to be cute or funny or unique or original, but to just BE. That’s what I plan on doing.

I’ve been writing a blog now for almost a year over on another host.  It started off as something I wanted friends to read, but as I continued on day after day…week after week…month after month…the blog became more of a burden because I was debating whether or not I could be myself.  If I revealed something personal or said something “off-color”, what would my friends say?

So I’ve decided to start over…start fresh…begin anew…

You can expect random ramblings from a thirty-something divorced father of two.  Although, technically, I’ve just been separated for almost two years…not quite divorced yet.  That’s a story for another day.

I might transfer some stories over from my old blog from time to time, too…primarily to fill space (heh) but also to establish who I am and where I’m coming from.

And me?  You can just call me CBG…the Canadian bald guy who used to have hair before this world drove me to lose it (pun intended…heh).

Nice to meet ya!