What a difference a year makes…

A year ago I was in the midst of the greatest weekend of my life. Unfortunately, I had no idea at the time that it was the greatest weekend of my life. My cousin, one of my best friends growing up, had just gotten married and I was having a bit of a “staycation” with my girlfriend. Staying in a wonderful hotel in the middle of the beautiful city of Minneapolis. The weather was nice and we would spend days exploring parks, lakes, the city, everything. It was so much less about what we were doing and more just about the idea that it was only us. No one else mattered or even seemed to exist. It was perfect.

As my cousin was celebrating her first anniversary yesterday, technically that weekend started a year ago last night. So what was I doing last night? I was waiting in a parking lot to exchange the puppy. I was excited about the the idea of getting Penny Lane, my favorite dog in the world. But I was also dwelling on the past. So of course, I was a complete wreck in my car. I tried to keep it together once my ex-girlfriend arrived but I couldn’t. I broke down again. Talk about polar opposites.

The point of me writing this is quite simple. It’s not to be “woe is me” or to gain sympathy. It’s for it to hopefully be a lesson for someone else. If you have someone you love – value every single second. Don’t just be happy you’re having a great weekend, act as though it may be the greatest weekend of your life. Don’t just give them your attention, give them your everything. Love is the greatest thing that any of us can do and someday I’ll be able to love again.

Please friends: Don’t forget to share yourself, share your love and be happy.

My Bucket List

I haven’t written anything for a couple days, but I’ve been kicking around this idea of what I was going to write… A legitimate bucket list. You always see lists like “50 things you need to die before you die” or “30 things everyone should experience” but honestly… That doesn’t make sense. I have no desire to go sky-diving while someone jumping out of a plane may have no desire to visit London. So this is MY Bucket List. And not necessarily in a particular order.

  • Visit places – D.C., London and San Francisco in particular – And a vacation where the destination has nothing to do with the vacation
  • Be published – I was actually picked to write a technical book on iPhones once upon a time. It was scraped when another book of a similar idea completely flopped. I actually did enjoy it.
  • Sell an app – I don’t mean like make a sale in the App Store. I mean create an app that’s so great that another company looks at it and says “We need to buy this.” I mean, Nest just sold for billions so… There’s that.
  • Drive a Shelby Cobra – This is my favorite car of all-time. Driving any car designed by Shelby would be amazing, but the Cobra… That’s the holy grail.
  • Sit courtside at an NBA game – I’m talking Ari Gold style courtside.

I guess that’s my list. It’s short and sweet but there are a billion things I want to do. A lot of these things could happen this year, even. Even if I accomplish these, I’ll find more things to do. I don’t think I’m the type of person that would truly retire. Sure, I would stop working, but I’d volunteer and stay active, and if I’m being honest I don’t see that as retirement.

In need of a hobby…

I’m always getting in my own way. I’m sure everyone does at times but I make it an art form. I can’t help myself. I can’t. I want to figure this out, and I want to be happy but I swear I sabotage everything that gets in the way of me being happy. Maybe this is why I identify with Minnesota sports teams so well. The Timberwolves last night were ready to beat a team that is 21-13… But they lost in the final seconds by one point. The Timberwolves have now lost 7 games in a row when trying to get their record over .500. And 0-10 in games decided by 4 points or less. Classic close but no cigar. Just can’t quite get there.

And that’s how I feel. I’m supposed to be happy. This is supposed to be my year! But something is holding me back. Maybe I’m still overanalyzing everything or maybe I’m just not good at this. It’s really tough going from what I was to who I am now. I am at home by myself basically all the time. I haven’t even had a car to leave right now! So I just sit here. And think. I want to shut my brain off but I can’t so I think. And think. And think. And when you think that much you overthink EVERYTHING. And then get in your own way.

Anyone have any ideas for a hobby I can pick up?

No, are you a jockey?

It’s pretty damn cold outside. Everywhere. So I’m stuck inside but I’m not too worried about it. I’m just cranking some jams and getting some work done. Jack White is amazing. In particular Blunderbuss really gets to me. I feel like at different points in the song it is relating to different parts of how I feel and who I am. Often I feel like I can relate with a line or two of a song but some of these are uncanny.

You grabbed my arm and left with me but you were not allowed to
You took me to a public place to quietly blend into

Such a trick pretending not to be doing what you want to
But seems like everybody does this every waking moment

If you read some of the previous posts you know I have social anxiety disorder. Quite often my life has been pretending to be happy I am where I am, when in fact all I am doing is counting down the time until I get to leave. I’ve also had people who don’t understand how I feel that I shouldn’t be nervous in places like malls because there are so many people and no one will notice me. But I know they notice me because I hear kids say it to their parents as they walk by. “Daddy, that guy is SO TALL!” “Daddy, is that a basketball player?!” “Mommy, look at that tall guy!” And sometimes even directly to me.

Luckily my brother is only a bit shorter than I am. He’s about 6’6″ or 6’7″ and he gave me a fantastic line. When someone asks me if I play basketball I simply respond with “No, are you a jockey?” and the situation goes from annoying to hilarious for me in a moment. I don’t want to be noticed because I’m always worried I’ll embarrass myself somehow. Maybe I’ll throw up. Maybe I’ll pass out. I don’t know, whatever it is it’ll draw even more attention and I won’t like it. This is my fear. But it’s getting better, and I think possibly better every day. Pretty soon I hope I get to hop on a plane and fly. Honestly, it doesn’t matter where I fly, because just being able to fly will be a huge step for me. Knowing I can do that would be better than seeing any landmark.

Well, it’s time for this basketball player to get back to work. Later, jockeys.Image

Burying myself in work

It’s felt nice to bury myself in work from time to time lately. 

I just sit in front of my computer and create. I’ve been a bit all over the board as far as what I’ve been working on, but I have at least been productive. I’m looking forward to this week in some ways because of it. Sure, it’ll be at least a billion degrees below zero but that traps me inside and forces me to just create apps.

I was also thinking about how this app I’m preparing an update for was actually the first thing I ever started working on for the iPhone. Keep in mind the iPhone 3G had just come out, we didn’t have 3rd party apps yet and such, but EVERYTHING seemed cool. I would make an app or even just a screen and I’d have this a-ha moment. I miss that. I feel like I’m starting to get it back, but I need to work more to appreciate what I’m doing. I’m very good at it and I just need to realize that I am creating things using the tools and pieces available to me. The same way an artists creates a painting using watercolors or a construction worker creates a house using boards and nails.

Time to grab another pop, sit down in front of Xcode… and create.

Image

Getting better…

Things are getting better… And I’m really glad. I should have known that it was going to be tough at first. I should have known 4+ years doesn’t just go away instantly, even if it has been fading for a while. I think I needed to be crazy for a bit. Sad. Devastated. I wouldn’t say I felt that way today. Sad, sure… Sad because I wish I could have been better and stronger.

I think one of the main reasons it is getting better is because I am starting to feel like it’s me. I know who I am, at least a little more. Previously so much of me was the “us”

It’s exciting to be me.

Things aren’t “normal” with me…

I wish I could say I’m a normal person. Yet any mentioning of this phrase doesn’t seem to work. See, I have social anxiety disorder (Or social phobia) and it is diagnosed, medicated, yet barely understood. I’ll give the short version: In public or social situations, I feel like I’m going to throw up. The less control I have, the more prone to these feeling I become. And it’s not just throwing up. It’s shakes. Sweats. The feeling like I’m trapped. Like I need to get out of whatever situation I’m in. For example, if I’m in a store and it strikes, I need to get out of that store. Or at least close to the doors. If I designed a giant store there would be doors fucking everywhere. We’d get robbed like 90 times a day but at least I wouldn’t feel horrible just because I need to buy lightbulbs.

It’s not something I would expect people to understand. It’s not something I can even describe… It just… Is. This is what I was working on. I had begun going out to dinner, movies, bowling, lots of places I didn’t think I would go. Hell, I was even suggesting things. At first, I felt like these were appreciated. She was very happy, would say she was proud of me for my efforts. But it’s not like after one time it stopped being hard… It is still hard. Every time. And she wouldn’t say those things anymore. I used to be called brave, now I was ushered back into the house with no remark at all.

Maybe I should be happy with myself and shouldn’t need to hear it from others. Maybe this entire situation comes down to me being too needy. Maybe I just don’t know what I want. Or need.

Maybe I need to be more proud of who I am.