Tyler Durden, Dismissed

️I woke up this morning thinking about Tyler Durden. For those of you who don’t know who he is, let me give you a brief explanation. Tyler Durden is a character from the movie Fight Club and this is what he says about himself, which in turn says it all,… “All the ways you wish you could be, that’s me. I look the way you wanna look, I fuck the way you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways you are not.” Tyler Durden is the alter ego of the main character Jack.

So why did I wake up thinking about this character who is a delusion of a fictional character. Well, I am not exactly sure, but while discussing it with Keri I said something along the lines that everyone would probably like to have a Tyler Durden in their life and she said except that Jack went a little psycho to get his Tyler Durden.

I wasn’t really thinking about the “going a little psycho” part of that scenario, I was thinking more about being free, about letting go of concerns about what other people think about me and my choices. I was thinking about the freedom of being true to myself without being dissuaded by concerns of what others think.

I guess if you were a psychotic delusion of a fictional character there would be no consequences of totally disregarding all opinions. So is it even reasonable for a real person to desire such a thing? It seems to me that a compassionate person would take into consideration the feelings of others and come to some sort of compromise.

I don’t want to be an aggressive person that doesn’t take others feelings into consideration. I like the sweet person that I am. I believe I am more assertive than I have ever been, and I am happy with the freedom I have to be me. I am eager for more expansion.

You Matter

I think it’s pretty easy to state things in a positive manner, but I have been practicing for a very long time. Here’s a fine example. I like the way, “Please remember” sounds as opposed to, “Don’t forget”. Personally, I am more inclined to remember something when it’s phrased in this manner. Perhaps it’s because, “Please remember” feels like a polite request and a considerate reminder. Where as, “Don’t Forget” feels more like a doubting order.

When I meet someone new or learn their name after I’ve known them for a while and I want to remember their name, I say their name, “Meredith” and then I say, “I will remember your name is Meredith”. It really helps me. It is important to me to remember a person’s name.

It seems to me when you’re able to call someone by their name it creates value in the relationship. It says to someone, “You matter….” and I like cultivating that feeling in people.

I’m Number One??? Thank you. :)

There are some slight nuances to being a positively focused person. For instance it takes only a moment to carefully consider the way you say things when communicating with others that will create your exact intention rather than accidentally offending someone. If you are trying to explain a situation and you’re not quite sure how to say what you are intending without saying the wrong words, simply state this fact.

Personally, I would much rather announce my inability to think of the right words than use the wrong words and offend someone. Let’s be perfectly clear here too. I’m not in any way, shape, or form implying that I am always able to manage this task. I have placed my foot quite firmly and completely in my mouth a time or two before and I find it to be uncomfortable and embarrassing. I’d rather not have to apologize and clarify that offending someone really was not my intention.

Recently though, I was in a couple of situations just exactly like this and in one circumstance I knew I was thinking of ALL the wrong words to say, so I simply stated the fact, “I can’t think of the right words right now to correctly convey what I’m trying to say,…” it only took me a little bit more effort to explain this and it was totally fine.

In the other situation, I wasn’t quite that cool. I actually told Keri while she was trying on new glasses that she could present herself with a little more flair. Yikes!!! Her appropriate response for the misunderstanding was to give me a single finger salute. I wasn’t implying that she didn’t have any flair. I was simply saying the possibility exists that she could, if she chose to, present herself with more flair. I apologized for the misunderstanding and clarified what I was intending and all was fine, but see what I mean?

Yes, it’s a mindful choice to be considerate of others feelings and personally, I feel it’s worth the effort. However, I also know that I am only human and do not expect myself to be perfect. So when I do insert my foot into my mouth, I am mindful of myself as well. I don’t beat myself up and I chose to go easy on myself, because I know my heart and my intentions.

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Going LIVE in,…3, 2, 1!!!

I just want to take a moment to share some real feelings I have had over the last few days. Not to imply that I am usually not sharing real feelings in here, but I had a slight little scare. As you probably know if you’re an avid reader, Keri and I went to NYC for a week recently and I know I have made my feelings clear about NYC, but I want to bring it full circle.

We got home on Thursday Oct. 16th and by Sunday Oct. 19th I was still wiped out from my NYC experience. I was so tired and sort of felt like I had lost my luster a bit. I was writing for my blog to post for the upcoming week and I was not feeling motivated or inspired. I had a fleeting fearful thought, Could I be done writing Apozitude? I just am not feeling the usual zest and passion I usually feel. I felt like I was writing CRAP.

It felt like I was only giving 3%, but my energy level was ZAPPED!!! I was not liking how NYC MADE me feel. I talked to Keri about my feelings of doubt and she helped me see things a little clearer. Now it is Wednesday Oct. 22 and I have had some time to get back into my routine. I started working out and meditating again. It is amazing how a slight shift can throw you totally off your axis and send you swirling out of control and doubting your true path.

I am feeling like I have regained my balance and I am pleased to announce that I am grateful for the time I spent in NYC. Being home and reflecting on the wonderful experiences we had creates appreciation and gratitude. I love my life. I love exploring and I love being home.

Silence, meditation and time to myself, my true self, resuscitated Apozitude. And we’re on again. Thank you.

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A Thousand Times, YES

Some of you may know that Keri and I went up to Seattle right around our 18 year anniversary last year and got legally married. It seems like I must have written a blog about that, but just in case I’ll give a brief little refresher because it’s a sweet little story, and one of my favorites.

Gay marriage became legal last year in Washington and it happened right before our 18 year anniversary. Keri heard about it before I did. She sent me a little text referencing the legalization of gay marriage in Washington and in that text she wrote, “What do you say we go up north and make this thing legal?”. I responded, “Are you asking me to marry you?” and that little bubble popped up on my phone screen, so I knew she was texting right back, “Yes, I guess I am”. One of the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen stretch out across my face as I replied, “Well, then yes. A thousand times yes, I will marry you”.

Quickly, I wondered if she was trying to get out of the big wedding I was wanting to plan, and just as quick as I wondered it, she clarified that she still wanted me to be able to have the big party that we had already started planning. She delivered the best of both worlds. We have enjoyed so much being married and calling each other wife, really that’s more me on the use of wife, but I know she likes it too.

Well, our plan was to have a ceremony around our 20 year anniversary and then go on a honeymoon. Yippee!!! Well, that 20 year mark is coming up fast and so we decided to get serious about finding a venue. Keri stumbled upon a blog that featured our venue in one of it’s articles. I can’t remember the blog now, but we scheduled a tour and the minute we walked in the door it felt so right.

It was busy, hustle and bustle, as there was to be a wedding there that day. We asked around and met up with the coordinator, Megan, she was very sweet and very helpful. Once we finished the tour and let her know this was the place for us she said, “I knew it when you walked in the door. I’m not sure how, but I always get a feeling about people when I know they will be married here and I got that feeling about the two of you as soon as I saw you.”

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Portland Sweet Portland

I really love my home, not just my house, which is pretty awesome, but also my city. I live in Beaverton, Oregon which is about a 15 – 20 minute drive to Portland. Which is just perfect for me. I love the pace here. I love the culture. I love the weather. I love the beer. Nothing creates more appreciation for home than being away.

We got home last week from a week in New York. Whew! We did have fun and we enjoyed our stay in NY, but we sure do love being home. Portland sweet Portland. My house feels like a luxury compared to the little apartment we rented in Greenwich Village. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that our apartment was crappy, because it wasn’t at all. It was just small and much different than my house.

When you walked up the stairs and opened the front door, wait, back up. First, we had to unlock the outside gate, then walk up the stairs to unlock the outside door. Once inside, there was an entry way that was smaller than our downstairs half bath. Then we had to unlock the front door to our little apartment, which by the way opened up right into the bedroom. That was kinda weird. Not, that we did, but if we were to have guests over, they would have to walk right through our bedroom to get to the living room.

The apartment had hardwood floors and the bedroom was separate from the living room kitchen and dinning area, but it was very small and it was never quiet. Not even in the middle of the night. It kinda felt like we were staying right upstairs from a bar that was open all night. That’s just not for me.

I love my quiet little neighborhood. I love the peace and quiet. I love the homey feeling of my home. It feels warm and welcoming. It feels full of love.

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Rolande, My Subway Blessing

One day when we were in New York we decided to buy a 7day unlimited Metro Card. We thought we’d be real smart and just buy one and both use it, but New York City Transit people were a little smarter than we thought. You can’t use one card twice within a certain amount of time. Oh well, we tried.

One day while getting ready to catch the A train up town we got the fortunate opportunity to meet a very sweet French woman, Rolande, on her way to church as we were on our way to Times Square. I had already gone through the turnstile and handed our card back to Keri, so she could come through, but that was a big NOPE. The digital display read, “This card was just used”. So, Keri had to go back to the ticket machine to get another card. Before she stepped back, Rolande was having a little challenge with feeding her Metro card through the reader, so Keri helped her.

I was on the train side with Rolande as the train was pulling away and Keri was in the process of purchasing her Metro pass. Rolande asked me if that was our train that just took off and I said, “Yes, we just missed it, but it looks like another train will be along here in another 15 minutes”.

In her thick French accent, Rolande, was apologetic and I told her it was no problem for me because my wife had to go back and get another Metro Card and now we had 15 minutes to spend together. She had a big smile on her face and asked me if I knew the woman that helped her with her ticket getting through the turnstile. I said, “Yes, that is Keri, my wife”. Her eyes widened and said, “that woman that helped me was your wife? She has a French accent. Is she French?”.

A little perplexed, I said, “No, she’s not French” and Rolande replied, “Oh my, I guess my ears are hearing what they want to hear. Your wife, Teri is very nice.” I smiled real big and thanked her and clarified that her name was Keri. Then she asked me for my name. I told her my name was Angel and she said, “Oh like,…how do you say?” as she gestured with her arms as if she had wings. I smiled again and said, “Yes, wings, Angel”. “Yes, wings!!!” she replied with a wide smile.

We chatted as we waited for the next train and Keri joined us once she was through the gate. Rolande explained to Keri that she thought she had a French accent. We chuckled and boarded the train when it arrived. We sat apart from each other as space allowed, but when a seat opened up next to Rolande, I told Keri I’d be right back.

I went and sat next to Rolande because I wanted to tell her it was a delight to meet her. So, I went over to her and she smiled as I sat beside her and she proceeded to tell me what an angel I was and she was happy to have met Keri and I. I thanked her and explained that was exactly why I had come over, to tell her the same. We talked briefly about her son living in France and that she was a writer and artist and she loved going uptown to go to her church that she had attended for many years. I told her I was a writer and artist too and she asked what I wrote, so I gave her my Apozitude card and she said, “Oh you write a blog! I would love to check it out” It was a wonderful experience.

As I was about to depart, and rejoin Keri, Rolande leaned into me and said, “I just want you to know that God loves you and you are a blessing”. I smiled and thanked her. What I took from this experience was very uplifting and I thought you might like to know, even though New York is not the city for me, I did have many wonderful experiences while we visited there. I am very grateful for meeting Rolande and I sincerely hope that she does check out this blog and finds that meeting her has had a lasting impression on me.

Thank you Rolande. God loves you too and you are a blessing as well.

New York City is not the City for Me

️We had a blast in NYC last week. Our first morning there we went to a bagel shop, Bagels on the Square, where we got the local treatment of being yelled at by the staff. You better well know what the hell you want when you walk into that place, at least that’s how I interpreted their behavior. I knew I had been wanting to try cream cheese and lox, but they probably had 30 or so different kinds of cream cheese to choose from and I didn’t even get a chance to look at them all. It was a little off putting, but the bagel was very good. I ordered an everything bagel (my go to bagel) with cream cheese and lox, not toasted. It was very yummy. I told Keri, I’d have that again.

We got “kauffee” (pronounced in a NY accent) around the corner from our apartment, not Stump Town, but it was good. As we waited for our kauffee that first morning a bunch of little kids were rushing off to school and one of them popped into the little shop we were in and bought himself a danish. He wasn’t more than 6 or 7 years old and he walked into that coffee shop with a 20, ordered his danish, got his change, placed a tip in the jar and ran off to school. It was so cute. He had dark curly hair and his curls were a little bigger than nickel sized. He had cute little rubber toed tennis shoes on with a little back pack.

As I observed him, I naturally thought about my son, Garrison, and the difference growing up in a city with 8.4 million (NYC) has on kids versus growing up in a city with 609,000 (Portland). That’s a huge difference. I got a little curious when I looked at those numbers and looked up Manhattan, Portland, Oklahoma City and Poteau, OK. For those of you that don’t know, Poteau, Oklahoma is where Garrison currently lives.

Here is what I found:
Manhattan has 1.6 million people in a 33.77 sq. mile area,
Portland has 609,500 people in a 145.1 sq. mile area,
OKC (where I grew up) has 610,600 people in 621 sq. mile area,
Poteau, OK has 8,590 people in a 31.7 sq. mile area.

I’m not usually a numbers person, but those are some pretty impressive differences. What I learned about myself in the time I spent in New York is, it’s not the city for me. It seems like you have to try harder to attain peace with that many people in such a small space. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer the path of least resistance to a sense of peace.

It’s the Little Things

A couple weeks ago I was laying in bed on a lazy weekend morning, talking with Keri and planning our day. As I was laying on my side looking at Keri, I occasionally would peek outside our window to look at birds and squirrels. As I was looking out there I discovered in the leaves and branches of the trees a familiar shape. I refocused my eyes and looked a little harder.

I said to Keri, “Look, baby, we have a puppy outside in our tree”. I do this kind of thing all the time. I see images in random patterns of clouds, leaves, grains of wood, swirls of marble, and just about anywhere. I have tried pointing these things out to Keri over the years and we just see things differently. She knows this and I tend to forget, so when I tried to show her the puppy she said I have a hard time seeing those things, but you can tell me about it.

There was a cute little husky puppy out there. It looked to me like he standing right at my feet, looking up at me with big puppy eyes as if he wanted a treat or some lovin’. I told Keri we need to name this puppy. She said, “Ok, let’s call him Roscoe”.

Even though she can’t see him and he’s not really real, I’m happy to have a puppy around the house until our new puppy is born and is old enough to come home with us.

What? No disrobing?

In the Portland International Airport on our way to the Big Apple, Keri and I experienced the first ever no hassle security. We really couldn’t believe it. We were to fly out American which is out of concourse C and while I was searching for my driver’s license Keri was paying attention to the security announcements. All of a sudden she asks me, Do you wanna try that? I was totally distracted and a tad bit panicked because for a split second I couldn’t find my driver’s license.

I thought, Oh shit!!! Where’s my license? She asked me before we left if I had it and I said yes. Crap! I didn’t even check. I just said yes, where is, Oh here it is. Whew. What? Try what? Oh,… The security people said we can go to the other end of the airport to access concourse C and it would be quicker and easier. OK, I’m open.

So, we did a 180 and headed the opposite direction. Who would think going the wrong direction would be so much faster? Not me, but it worked. Maybe because the south end of the airport has concourse A,B and C and the north end has D and E. It seems to make sense, right?

Once we got to the security line at the other end we were preparing to remove shoes, belts, jackets, empty pockets and basically unpack all of our electronics, but before we started we heard the security person say, “Please make sure your cell phones are in your bag not in your pocket and leave on your shoes, belts and jackets.” What? Did you say leave them on? No disrobing? Nope. Wow!! and we both wore flip flops just for this occasion.

Keri leans into me and whispers, “yeah, we get to leave all this on, but I bet they’re going to do random asshole checks at the end”. That woman cracks me up. Her sense of humor is crude sometimes and I just love it!!!

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