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The Happiness You Seek

That’s an interesting statement, don’t you think? I used to be one of those people who bought into “seeking” happiness. “What do you really want out of life?” someone would ask, to which I would answer “to be happy”. Oh, the things we learn during our journey.

Something important I have finally figured out during my descent through hell in this last year is that happiness is not a thing you can obtain. It is not & should not be made a goal in life. It is not an ending to anything, it is merely a feeling you either allow or do not into your soul. 

At our core, I believe that most people, including myself, are good. Call me a fool, but after all I’ve seen & done, I am still an optimist. I believe in me & honestly…I’m starting to realize that may be all I need. Sure, it’s nice to receive approval from others, but I don’t really need it anymore, not entirely, or at least not from the people I sought it from for so many years. To quote Neil Young “it doesn’t mean that much to me, to mean that much to you”.

In the eyes of some, I will never amount to anything. I will never overcome the opinion of myself that I have put into their minds. I will always be a failure, a liar, a drug addict, a thief, a lost soul…I am finally okay with people thinking that of me. It is not my responsibility to change the opinions of others, nor is it my responsibility to argue the validity of each of these claims. It is only my responsibility to do the best I can at making every day I breathe the best day I can. I am my responsibility, no one else is nor is anyone else mine. Some days I fail at my responsibilities. Some days I don’t get out of bed. Some days I can’t shower. Some days I’m angry at nothing in particular. Some days are spent crying for the loss I’ve put myself through & some days are spent crying for those who have left the rest of us behind to miss them. Luckily though, lately, I am happy more. I smile sometimes. I work tirelessly to put this project I have dreamed of for years together so that we can share it with the world. My dreams are becoming a reality, against all odds & that not only makes me smile, but it makes me happy.

I do not seek happiness. I don’t need to. It comes to me whenever I allow it in.

I wish that for everyone else in the world, to allow happiness in, even if you feel like you’re drowning, you can’t breathe, you can’t scrape yourself off your sofa, you hate your reflection in the mirror, nobody loves you…whatever negative excuse we can all come up with at any given moment….let it go & be happy! Go for a walk. Listen to music & dance, even if you have no rhythm. Sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs, even if it makes the neighborhood dogs sing with you, jump in puddles~no matter your age, dance in the rain. Laugh until you cry. Do it for you & no one else! That is the answer to healing, smiling & finding happiness, at least in my opinion.



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Dirty Laundry

I’ve given this blog post more thought than I have most that have come before it. I made a declaration that I would air all the wrongs I had done to others today, but the more I think on it, the more I don’t feel right about putting all that negativity out into the universe. Would it give me back the power over my own life, knowing that if I type it all out here, no one has anything negative over my head to threaten me with? Yes, but at what cost? The conclusion that I have come to is that I don’t think I am willing to compromise the person I am today by continuing to do nothing but look back over my shoulder. If you are constantly looking backward, you are unable to focus on your path or even see where you are at any given moment.

I did what I said I would do. I wrote down, on paper to the best of my memory, every bad thing I have done to anyone I have hurt in my life. Sadly, the list is a long one. I am not proud of that fact.

There is only one thing that could be considered “wrong” in the eyes of others that I do not regret on that list & that person knows what it is & who they are. Unfortunately, in times of desperation, you do what you have to do in order to get away from & end a toxic relationship. Sometimes you have to do the one thing you know for a fact will cause that person to no longer want anything to do with you. It still sucks, but I did what I had to do.

To those that loved, cared about & trusted me who I have done wrong…I sincerely apologize for taking your kindness & betraying you. There is nothing I can do or say to take back a single bad action in my life. I don’t expect anyone to forgive me for these betrayals, but I must, just as you are, move on & live my life. In the majority of these cases, that life does not & will not be included with those who will not be mentioned, as is best for all involved. Contrary to certain popular belief, I am allowed to do this. I will not end my life to satisfy the grudge of another. I will not dig myself a hole & hide in it. I will do my best every day that I am blessed to open my eyes to make it a better one than the day before. I will continue to follow my dreams & make the project I’ve worked so hard on & put my entire soul into a reality. I will learn to forgive & love myself…again. At the end of the day, all I have is me.

So…my decision is this….

I will not publicly humiliate myself for the pleasure of others. I am not my past actions!


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I’m Still Standing

When we lose someone we love, it feels as though that particular pain will never go away. What we learn along the way is that while the pain never truly goes away, we find a way to accept it as part of our reality. We learn to live with it, we adapt & go on. We have to. Whats the alternative? I can think of a couple, but none that appeal to me.

There are more than one way to lose someone you love. The obvious one is death. That one is final & out of our control. It is also possible to lose loved ones due to mistakes, conflict or from growing apart. These can also be difficult to move past for some.

Lets focus, however, on loss due to death. Before the second week in February of this year I had lost 3 friends to sudden & tragic death. I knew all 3 of these guys for more than 20 years of my life. One was lost as a result of a terrible auto accident that made it onto all 3 major network news programs that day in Detroit. The second passed due to a blood infection he caught from a chemical burn & the last died from a massive heart attack at the age of 44, 24 hours after having surgery to repair his broken ankle. Not a single one feels fair or makes sense…but what untimely death makes sense? I just know I miss them & know that there are plenty of friends who have already passed who can meet them & help them on their journey. I also know that there is some AMAZING music being made in “heaven” right now, if that place exists.

All this death got me to thinking about friends who’ve gone before these 3. I’ve never actually sat down & counted how many of my friends have passed since it started in 1996 with the murder of my buddy Steve, who was gunned down during an attempted car-jacking after a Motorhead concert. I know the number is somewhere in the double digits, but I prefer to remember them individually. They were all unique & beautiful in their own special way. Each gave something to our scene that could never be replaced & will never be forgotten. I do hope to honor my fallen brothers in some way, whether I write a story about it & them or finally follow through on that documentary that I’ve been threatening to film for years now. They deserve to be remembered & celebrated! I’m grateful & lucky to have known every one of these guys, because the color they added to life was breathtaking. 

Sadly, I’ve become a pro at moving on, but it’s what we do, we endure. When I first begin to notice I’m getting through entire days without crying I feel guilty, as if I’m forgetting. The thing is, I’ll never forget, they walk with me every step of my journey, sometimes carrying me along when I’m unable to walk myself.

You see, at a certain point, I remind myself that I’m still alive & I have to get back to the business of living. I’ve got work to do, a life to live, memories to be made….so much to see, to photograph, to write about…people to meet, faces to make smile, cities to live in for a year, lessons to learn, wrongs to right, maybe even lives to change (hopefully for the better)

I admit that I’ve wasted a lot of precious time in my life. That was one of the hardest lessons to learn…that I’m only ripping myself off by doing nothing, by not believing in myself. I’m done with that. I’m excited about everything that lies ahead for me. I look forward to seeing what changes. I am ready for the challenges that lie ahead. I’m lucky, you see, because I’ve got an army of angels surrounding me with love. 

Now, I’ve gotta get outta here….stuff & thangs ;^)

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Day 1


So it begins…day 1 of a brand new year. Everything has to change in my life, or it’s pointless to carry on like this. I’m done existing. I’m tired of punishing myself for things I can’t change or take back. I’m over hating myself, the way so many others do now. That’s their bag, not mine.

It’s my responsibility to love myself for a change! I’m the only one that will or can. It’s true what they say…no one can love you unless you love yourself. I don’t give a shit about men loving me, I’ve never needed that…but at this point in my life more people hate me than love me & that feels like shit every single day that I open my eyes.

I’m exhausted of this….no more negativity!


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I’ve fallen & I can’t get up

Do you ever ask yourself how you happened to find yourself in a particular situation at some point during your life, good or bad? Of course you have, we all go through up s& downs, happy times & tragedies. It does seem, however, that some people are more prone to struggles, pain, sadness & failure, as if they are somehow cursed or followed by the proverbial dark cloud. That would be me.

As I type this, I find myself sitting on a bed with no frame, in the spare room of a wonderful & caring friend much younger than me, because I am once again homeless & hoping to start over. During the last 7 weeks I have found it difficult to do even the most basic of tasks, such as showering, brushing my teeth, changing my clothes, working my job or serious challenges such as finding the will to live another day. For the first time in my 42 years, I don’t care if I live or die. Considering the life I have led, the things I have endured, been witness to or caused myself, one would think that suicide had crossed my mind multiple times. The truth is, no matter how dark the skies, how difficult the challenge, until now, I always fought my way back up & started over again. But not this time. I don’t know if I have just finally hit the wall as far as having the strength to start over yet again or if this particular scenario & the outcome have damaged me deeper than any other period of failure in my life. I do know one thing….this time something has to change permanently, there is no alternative.

When I reach inside my memories, looking for a reason why I insist on living such a miserable, painful, mundane life; there are many signposts leading me to this exact moment.

But I keep running into the same answer….at the very back of my mind, locked behind layers of doors & brick walls, hanging on a wall….is a mirror. The reflection in the mirror is of me. I am the reason I have chosen to live this miserable, painful, mundane life.


Now what?

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Down On The Farm

Many people in the world make a choice to live their lives on a farm. Some people are born into it & the land goes back generations. Then there is the rare person who lands on two farms within a year, someone who never considered that life or saw themselves living such a rural life. I am that rare person. I type this to you while feeling very down on this farm.

The circumstances that landed me on the farm I am currently taking up space go back 30 years. At the age of 12 I began to truly rebel, as a direct result of the childhood I had endured up to that point. Sadly, as I inch ever closer to 42 by the day, I have still not managed to figure out how to leave the pain behind me & break the cycle of self-sabotage & ruin that I perfected decades ago.

It all started with a panic attack. Okay, that may not be entirely true. I had slipped up & made mistakes in the months preceding the morning I was frozen inside my car. Most, if not all, people make mistakes. Sadly, some of us have made so many that the people who are closest to them can’t take any more of the pain, the worry, the disappointment or the betrayal they feel. It’s understandable. There is no such thing as unconditional love when it comes to a screw up. Who could?

In a matter of four hours my life came crashing down around me on a Wednesday in April of this year. I experienced one of those panic attacks that keeps you from doing anything…calling someone for help, telling someone close to you that you were going through a trauma, answering the swarm of phone calls or texts messages that flooded in. All of these things, for reasons I still don’t understand, just made the anxiety worse. By the next day I was told I had nowhere to live. Day 2, they were keeping my dog for money owed, without even being given a choice. Also on that day, there was a phone call between my father & myself in which he told me he was done & that if I picked up my dog, it would be the worst thing in the world for her & that she deserved a better life than being stuck with me, especially since I am now homeless. I did call the police & made a report, so I couldn’t be accused of abandonment. They informed me that they would accompany me to the house where they would ask for the dog to be turned over, but then told me that there was a chance that they could refuse, causing me to have to file a court order to have her returned. Well, I don’t have the money to file a court order. My other choice is to file a report with the microchip company I am signed up with stating that she has been abducted. All I want is to have my dog returned to me, because she is the only thing I truly care about on this earth, with the exception of my 4 year old niece. I live for my dog. She is my baby, not my pet. She chose me, regardless of where or how we live. At the same time, I feel an incredible amount of guilt over the idea of tearing her away from the only life she’s known for the last 7 months, even if that life did include me until 6 weeks ago. I can’t even imagine the abandonment she must feel. Dogs do get separation anxiety, but her feelings were never taken into consideration. Damn, I really should have chosen not to respect their wishes that 2nd day to not go into their house without their being there & taken MY dog with ME. I have never been more shattered or more torn about anything in my life. Without her, I honestly don’t care about anything. I just don’t. Life means nothing. A future doesn’t matter. I have no ambition; even more than what has become normal for me. She is all that matters. Sure she’s probably loved & to a degree happy, but these people are kidding themselves if they think she isn’t hurting or that she doesn’t wish she was with me. Dogs know & feel FAR more than they are given credit for. She wants to be with the mommy she chose when she was 6 weeks old.

Now….well, now my life is empty. I have no job, no money, nowhere to go, no interest in caring if I’m going to be alone in this. I have even considered ending my life, but then I think of the people who were closest to me & have now chosen to take themselves out of my life. I truly believe that some of them would be pleased that I offed myself & some would just consider it another ploy on my part to make them feel bad. The funny thing to me about this entire situation is the fact that I have nothing negative or bad to say about a single one of these people. While the circumstances surrounding my return to Michigan are confusing to me & not necessarily in my best interest in the long term, they were very supportive of & good to me. They helped me in ways I didn’t deserve. I appreciate all they did for me. The only thing I have a problem with is when a person looks you in the face on multiple occasions & says that you ALWAYS have a home with them, up to the week before the events of that fateful day in April, only to turn in less than 24 hours & put you out without any notice whatsoever.

After weeks of soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that this is my fate, my payback for decades of bad behavior & disregard for the feelings of others. So, I’ll take the suffering. I will embrace my fate. Beyond that, I don’t know what will become of me & as I type this, I honestly don’t care. If Gypsy is not returned to her mother, what does it really matter?

So, that’s where I am today. I DO NOT want any of your sympathy. I DO NOT want help. I DO NOT want money. I just want to write. Do & think what you want of me, I honestly don’t give a shit anymore. I’ve been turned on, burned & betrayed by people who used to be friends, much the same way others feel I’ve done to them, during the unfolding of these events. All I want is for the pain to stop. I can only think of one little face that can heal the wounds….but I’m fairly certain the people that I would be fighting for her will tap their wealthy resources to bury me. Well….job well done, because you already did!

I love you more than life itself Gypsy Rae….& that is NOT bullshit!!!!

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“Distance should remain just as it is….distant!”

I stumbled across this quote as I tried to come up with one last idea to salvage a shattered relationship with someone who, though we share a partial bloodline, I barely know & vice versa. It reminded me that some scars are generations long & life is all about ones perception of any given situation.

So, I guess all that’s left to say on my part is this…”I am whatever you say I am”, to quote Eminem. It just seems to fit the circumstances I find myself in.

At least I find comfort in the realization that those who truly know me…good, bad & ugly…love me regardless of my faults & forgive me when I make mistakes.

That is love.

That is family…in my eyes, because sometimes blood does not a family make.

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