Posts

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6 Ways You Can Use Game Mechanics To Mesmerize A Crowd

Steve Shenbaum from “game on” shares some time tested tips for how to mesmerize a crowd and take control of a live audience.

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The Never Ending Quest for Purpose

This article is a modified version of a post I made in my journal a while back. If you enjoy it, please share it with a friend who might need to hear the same words.

It’s how I make my living, and it’s the best compliment you could ever pay me.


The last six years have been the most difficult years of my life.

At 32, I am already acutely aware of life’s finite nature, and I often find myself questioning the purpose of my entire existence.

I’ve always been a deep thinker, but sometimes you need time to pass in order to clearly see the points on your path towards purpose. To be able to look back and realize how many of those little moments ended up becoming the beginning of something much bigger.

Exploring those thoughts is what prompted me to start this blog, and has allowed me to learn more about myself than I ever wanted to know. It has been the best therapy anyone could ever ask for and recently, it allowed me to understand how much certain events have changed the entire trajectory of my life. A picture that only became clear to me ten years after its full effect had been felt.

Long after the decision to drop out of college or the nights I wasted drinking and gambling the pain away in a pool hall as opposed to dealing with the pain directly.

Long after my first move to Florida, or any of the other seemingly random decisions which have lead me to my current path.

A path that was riddled with impulsive behavior, squandered success, missed opportunities, marriage, divorce, financial hardships, and five cross-state moves.

I’ve worked as a lifeguard, spent almost 10 years as a “sales-slave”, almost subjected myself to a career as an empty suit, and even spent some time as a kitchen bitch. Add in some questionable character decision, and well, let’s just say that the university of life has taught me some pretty interesting lessons.

A lost soul searching for purpose.

Most people look at this set of “experiences” and use it to define who they think I am, or what they think I am capable of.

They see a college dropout who had a few good years in insurance sales, and hasn’t been able to keep a job since. They see a smart kid with some potential, but they fail to see the real me.

They don’t see the tenacity it takes for a 20 year old to move 1,000 miles from home, with nothing more than $100 bucks in his pocket and a desire to change the world. They do not see the unending desire to do, to be, someone… something… special.

Related: 7 Reasons Why You Will Never Do Anything Amazing With Your Life

They don’t take the time to get to know the guy who failed in life at 27 and had to move back home to mommy’s basement for 2 years while getting back on his feet.

They don’t appreciate the humility and desperation I felt after learning about my ex-wife’s affair, the struggles with addiction, and the lack of communication which ultimately led to our divorce.

They do not understand the amount of time I spent alone, lost, and depressed. They can never know what it feels like to come that close to ending it all.

Which is why I share these personal posts publicly

Because I feel like not enough of us walk around willing to be weak. Willing to show off the pain in order to allow others an opportunity to find strength in that weakness.

As if we were not allowed to share these parts of ourselves with the world. As if we might become too powerful if we all realized that we are all fractured in one way or another.

If we could relinquish the fear of what others think of us, or how we might be judged, and then came together as a powerful Frankenstein of individuality. A collective of miscellaneous parts, all with the same purpose.

But the popular world we live in forces us to hide these parts of ourselves, from everyone. As if the world saw them only as ugly scars instead of looking at them as a beautiful part of what defines each of us as individuals.

For me, these experiences are what give me the strength to stand here in front of you, naked, but not afraid!

Which leads me to the purpose of this post

One of my more popular articles over the last few years deals with the concept of finding your real world superpower.

If I could have picked my superpower, it would have been the ability to fly, or control time. Instead I was given the ability to leverage my art and my words in a way that allows me to instantly share my unique thoughts and ideas with millions of people all around the world.

Which in its own way, is kind of like traveling through time…

It’s a power which leaves me feeling inexplicably driven to produce. To create and devour information.

Like a human version of Google, I aim to ingest as many thoughts and ideas as I can, in order to more clearly form my own opinions. Because the more I test my so called “crazy thoughts”, the more I realize that they might not be that crazy after all.

As if the more I share, the more I realize that we are all the same. And in that quest, I have found my purpose.

In the idea that I might be able to openly explore the struggles in my life in an attempt to help you find direction in yours. In the idea that I might inspire even one other person towards their path, and that they might in-turn, do the same for someone else.

So I’m not sure where this path will lead me over the next few years, but I’ll keep pushing forward in order to see it through to the end. If only for the fear of turning around, only to find that I was closer to completion than I am in retreat.

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Join Me for 30 Days of Thought

Join me for 30 Days of thought to connect with your inner artist and challenge your creative thought process. #AskHardQuestions

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How Writing Changed My Life And Why You Should Start A Blog

An in depth article that explains how a single blog post changed my life, and why you should start building your own personal online brand.

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Homeless Guy In Sarasota Practices Piano Instead of Panhandling

Meet Steve. He’s homeless, but instead of panhandling for money, he works when he can, and practices piano in his spare time.

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Five Things I Learned From F**king Up My First Live Podcast

  • NSFW – Language & other things your boss won’t want you to see while you’re at work. 
  • Skip to 1:16 to get past the blue disclaimer screen of death.
  • Skip to 4:23 to get into the meat of the opening. (It’s actually a pretty good podcast once you get past the technical miscues.)

Tonight we tried to run our first live podcast. It didn’t go so well.

It’s kind of ironic actually. We pre-produced a funny intro video that showed us screwing up the live stream, and then actually screwed up the live stream. We thought it would be a funny way to open up our new live segment, but it turns out the joke was on us.

At the end of the day, we did run into some technical difficulties, but the truth is that we should have been more prepared.

In typical Raymmar fashion, I wanted to go all in, without really knowing the depth of the water I was jumping into. But don’t worry, I’m a good swimmer. Over time, I know this will all get better, and even though we screwed up, we did a lot of things right.

To be completely honest, my biggest concern was letting all of you down. Those of you who wanted to watch, but couldn’t. Those who set aside time to be there and then found a blank screen when you showed up. I want to personally apologize for that. This is all part of a learning process, and I appreciate your patience as we figure it all out.

And even though we did not “succeed,” we did learn a few lessons from fucking up our first live stream.

1: Test Everything… Twice

We thought we double checked everything, but in the end, it was something simple that did us in.

We tested the ability to broadcast live before the show and it worked perfectly. Then, in an effort to optimize the production process, I decided to use the auto broadcast feature on the encoding software we are using. Whoops.

After realizing that the broadcast had not begun on time, we tried again a few times manually, finally getting it to start streaming, but inadvertently starting the stream in a new feed instead of sending it to the previously scheduled event on YouTube. This created a new URL for our broadcast, which meant we actually did broadcast live last night, but unfortunately not many people saw it.

2: Give Yourself Twice the Time

If this is your first time trying to produce a show live, you should plan on spending twice the amount of time you think it is going to take you, if not more. There are all sorts of hidden hurdles that will jump out to derail you so make sure you give yourself enough time to navigate all of the obstacles that are bound to pop up.

Tyler and I worked our assess off in the weeks leading up to this live stream, trying to produce a few of the segments ahead of the show, but timing them up, cutting them just right, and packaging everything up for the live broadcast was more time consuming that we initially expected. And although we messed up big time, we did get a few things right, and I look forward to learning more on the way towards the bigger vision.

3: Keep It Simple Stupid!

We tried to complicate the show in an attempt to tell a better story. But at the end of the day, those complications cost us the quality we were looking for. Moving forward we will simplify the entire process to eliminate some of the moving parts.

Additionally, I feel like as I am typing these “lessons,” I am just repeating things to myself that I knew before we started. I guess I just thought we could pull it off, and to be honest, we almost did. Unfortunately, in the world of live broadcasts, “almost” is about as good as not-at-all.

4: Keep it Short

In retrospect, trying to do a full hour for our first live stream might have been a little too ambitious. We may need to take some time to build our audience before too many people devote an hour of their day to tune in live.

We definitely should have spent more time working on shorter segments, producing them ahead of time, and then getting a feel for how to string them all together over time. Instead we tried to cram a months worth of work into a week and a half. This leaves the podcast feeling a little scatter brained. Not to mention, the fact that I am the talent and the producer, which made it hard for me to direct my focus completely in one place.

Moving forward, we will stick to telling short stories, and then we will start a recap show where we talk about all of the content we have created since our last recap. Maybe we start this once a month, and slowly move  towards a more regular show schedule.

5: Practice Practice Practice

We were under the gun to get all of the content produced ahead of time, and at the cost of doing one thing right, we did it all wrong. We left ourselves no time for a dry run, or dress rehearsal. We should have failed inside of test run, not on live airtime.

At the end of the day, I think we were just a little too ambitious here, and I think we learned some valuable lessons, even if we did screw some things up.

And if I am being completely honest, I think this makes for a way more interesting start up story.

For those who made it all the way down to this part of the article, then you might want to bounce around the first show below. We’re not going to make a big stink about it, but I am going to leave it up as a reminder of where we started.

We also think it might be a good faith gesture to our audience, to show that this is all part of a learning curve, and that we are planning on sharing everything on this journey with you. Even the shitty parts.

So stay tuned, I promise this will all get better as we go.

Until then, thanks for your patience.

Regards,

Raymmar-logo-Enfold-blue

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Why I’m Supporting A Gay Rights/Equality Event

If you had asked me a few years back to attend the Annual Harvey Milk Festival, I would have looked at you a little weird. I would have told you that I think homosexuality is unnatural and that I wouldn’t be attending because I did not agree with the lifestyle.

Watch a short video from the most recent Harvey Milk Festival. Courtesy of Sarasota Underground.

I might have referenced a gay person that I was somewhat familiar with and claimed to not have a problem with their sexual preference, but deep down, there was a piece of my brain that made me feel really uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality. The part of me that society has trained to feel that way, the part that hates the thought of two members of the same sex finding happiness inside of an intimate relationship with one another.

But that part of me is dying fast. And I can’t tell you that it is gone completely or that it ever will, but I have a whole new perspective on many things in life. And the amount of fucks I give about how people decide to explore their sexuality is quickly fading.

And honestly, what kind of world are we living in, where the things that happen in the privacy of of our own bedrooms, among two consenting adults, is anyone’s business other than that of the people who are in the room doing it. And more importantly, who the hell am I to tell anyone, where, when or how they should play with their private parts.

“But homosexuality is immoral and wrong!” Said some religious reader somewhere!

Oh yeah, says who? The bible? Your church? Your government?

Related article: Is everything you know about religion wrong?

Who the heck are they? And why have we let them into the most intimate parts of our private lives? Are we so incapable of ruling ourselves that we have deferred every one of our decisions to the approval of others?

Are we not just people living inside of small communities? Are we not all human? Do we not still preserve the right to think and act on our own? Have we lost the ability to mind our own business? Have we stopped managing our own lives and shifted towards the idea of collectively managing the lives of others, and in turn, lost control of everything?

And what kind of world are we building for our children? One where we are still free to think and act on our own? Or one that is managed by mandate? A world where our decisions are dictated to us? One that leaves us always worried about the opinions of someone else. Always letting someone tell us what to do, what to say, and how to say it.

So you see, I may not support the entire LGBTQ movement, but I wholeheartedly support my gay friends. I support their right to believe in whatever they believe in. I support their right to gather, and celebrate and have sex with whoever they want… As long as it’s not with me.

Because what right do I have to claim free speech, if I am not willing to support those who speak freely?

What right do I have to talk about liberty if those are around me are not encouraged to live freely. And what right do I have to tell you, or anyone for that matter, how to live your life?

Because that is equality.

Because that is the level playing field that America was supposed to be. Not this doctored up version of democracy that is starting to feel more and more like fascism.

So I am supporting the Harvey Milk Festival and my friends who help pull it off every year. With my words and with my wallet, and I would ask you to consider doing the same. Mostly because they need it, but more importantly, because America needs more people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, even if that means defending someone else’s right to do something you might not completely agree with.

 

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30 Things I learned After Writing Something New On My Blog Each Day For 30 Days

What I learned while writing my #30DoT

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9 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job & Become Your Own Boss

I just talked to the boss. He said your raise is effective just as soon as you are.

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Have I Become Unhireable?

Being your own boss can be hard, but it can also provide the ultimate pay off.

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Am I Analog Dating in A Digital World?

How to date when you cant relate. An open exploration of our current dating paradigm.

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What Does Your Story Say About You?

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

Why everyone should write their own story in life

Everyone has a story. Everyone has some part of themselves that is interesting enough to share with the world. But society often leads us to believe otherwise. Leaving us feeling like little more than a statistic in some marketer’s wet dream.

Divided and aggregated by demographic information. Sorted by location, age, sex, income, etc. and then marketed too at every opportunity. Always being sold something by someone who cares little about us as individuals, but only as possible consumers. As potential padding for their profits or as a pedestal from which to grab more power.

Why does it work like this? Because the methods work. Because we allow it.

Because even though we all claim to hate the system, we continue to live with, and inside it. And because nothing will change until we decide to change it. Until we decide to start writing our own history in real time.

Which brings me to my original concept of… writing your own story.

You should tell your story because it will separate you from the crowd. Because it can help you remember how unique you really are.

Because, by understanding and defining your story, you can become impervious to other peoples attempts at writing it for you. And when you become confident in who you are, in what you know, and of where you’ve been, you can better know where you are going and how to get there.

Because it is in the moment of becoming that thing when you can actually affect its trajectory. Not while sitting there thinking about it, and not in the dreaming and planning of it, but in the actual state of doing of it. In telling the story by living it each day.

Because telling a story is one thing, but living a life worth telling stories about… well that’s something else altogether.

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

 

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The Game We All Pretend Not To Play

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

Image credit

You walk by and see a glimmer of your reflection on the side of a building You still look good. But who’s keeping score?

You are, that’s who. That’s right, I know you are. We all do. We all judge one another based on first impressions or superficialities. We all walk around with this idea of who each of us is supposed to be, but so often, we don’t even know ourselves.

Looking when we can, fighting for a glimpse of the person we think we could become. Hoping that the world will one day see us as who we might be, not as who we actually are. Hoping that they will believe the person we pretend to be.

But then the facade cracks.

The cloak of cowardice that you have been hiding under will be lifted to expose the real you. But the real you is not strong. The real you has not thought that far ahead. The real you has been too busy pretending to prepare.

Pretending not to be flawed. Presenting perfection to the public in order to bask in the glory of popularity. Hiding under your make up and materialism. Hiding the emptiness that has consumed your existence.

But this game will end. And when it does you will know true loneliness, because your entire existence has been built on the pretense of prosperity. Because you have not learned how to handle the hurt. You have just learned how to hide from it.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend. It’s the best compliment you could ever give me.

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

 

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Determination

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”

– Og Mandino –

Highlight any text in this article to share it directly.

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

I’ve been good at a lot of things over the course of my life. I have a lot of natural talents, and the ability to learn quickly. I actually feel like there are not too many things in this world that I couldn’t do if I decided to apply myself to them wholly.

But I am not telling you these tings to brag about myself. Quite the contrary actually. The biggest problem over the course of my life, is that I have rarely throw myself completely at anything. Not for long that is.

Typically, I’ll dive into something new head first, get all excited about it and then get bored pretty quickly thereafter. I have a short attention span, I’m impatient, and impulsive. Which brings me to today.

It’s day 16 of my 30 Days of Thought creative writing challenge and a couple days ago the challenge got even more challenging. If you have not been keeping up, you can learn why here and here.

I thought this challenge would get easier as it progressed, but it has been more difficult than I initially expected to write a new article each day, set up the email campaigns that go with them, and manage everything else I have going on in life right now. So much so that I have considered quitting. On multiple occasions.

You see, I’ve quit a lot of things over the course of my life. I have either walked away from, turned my back on or just didn’t see whatever it was through to the end. Usually leaving me ashamed at myself for not sticking with them a little bit longer. For not giving just a bit more effort.

But the stuff I am working on now (this challenge included) is not something I will quickly abandon. Partly because of the insights I have gotten after quitting so many other things throughout life, and partly because I enjoy it all so much. I have finally found something that I love. Something that leaves me feeling fulfilled and something that is perfect for my impulsive, ADD and OCD tendencies.

Web consulting gives me a place to do the same thing every day, but still experience something new each time. Writing gives me a blank slate on which to share my wildest ideas with the world, marketing gives me the ability to use my sales prowess to its fullest potential and art allows me to wrap it all together into one beautiful package of consulting awesomeness.

But even as I write this, I am being tested. As I write about sticking with it, the thought of abandoning this 30 day challenge weighs heavy on my mind. What is the point of it all anyway? And who would really care?

Sure there are about a hundred of you who have signed up for the challenge and most of you are writing along with me, but it is my challenge after all. There are no rules to follow, no income to be lost and really, nothing to keep me here each day. So why not give it up? Why not walk away?

But I refuse to let those thoughts take hold. I refuse to walk away again.

I’m determined to do something different. To find a way to make it all work out. Starting with this challenge and ending with my vision of flipping the world of sales on its head. I’m going to do whatever it takes, to see this dream through to the end.

So if you are struggling with something today. If you are thinking about giving up on whatever it is that is challenging you right now, don’t. Step back into the ring and put your gloves up, even if you know you might catch a beat down.

You owe yourself at least that, and you might be surprised at what you can accomplish when you find a little conviction. When you decide that no matter how bad the beating gets, you are going to stay in the ring until the fight is over. And when the score cards come out, you might just be surprised to find yourself holding up your hands to celebrate the victory.

Because if you stick with it, you at least have a chance. But if you walk away, then you’ve already lost.

 

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Well Laid Plans

Mike Tyson once said “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face.”

And life has a way of punching us when we least expect it.

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

There’s nothing like getting a group text in the middle of the day to let you know that your dad has been in an accident and is laid up in a hospital. Turns out he was riding his motorcycle on I-95 in Miami when he was struck by another vehicle and flung from the bike. Luckily it was stop and go traffic on the highway so he was not hit while going full speed.

First reports indicate that the only major damage is a broken leg and some bad road rash. Maybe a busted up bike and a sore ego to go along with it all as well.

It wasn’t too long ago that I got a call from my best friends girlfriend. My brother from another mother had been thrown off of his motorcycle that morning. But he would not be as lucky as my dad had been today. He was going full speed when he was flung from his bike. He shattered his pelvis and both wrists. It was a miracle he survived.

Both of these are freakish moments which could have dramatically changed my life. So close having two of the most important people in my life permanently removed from the population. But nope, not this time. And hopefully not any time soon.

I’ve not had to deal with death very often in my life. There was one difficult death in my past, but most of the death in my life has been relatives that I was not very close with, so the pain was not devastating. Even though part of me wishes it had hurt more. Part of me wishes that I was not so estranged from my extended family so that those deaths would have meant more to me.

But today we are not talking about death. We are talking about life.

The news I got today, although initially upsetting, is actually good news. It means that right now I am writing this thought as I head out to go see my dad. Alive.

I could just as easily be going down to handle funeral arrangements, and that would suck. And as cliche as it sounds, that should remind us that there is no guarantee of anything in this life. There may not be a tomorrow, or even a tonight. There is no promise that this moment is not your last. So make sure you do something today that matters.

Make sure you make the most of whatever moments you do have because no matter how well laid your plans may be, there is always the rest of the world to deal with. And that means complete chaos is always an option.

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A Family of Friends

If I shared this article with you directly it’s because you are part of my family of friends. Please take a moment to read it and then share it directly with those who are in your family of friends.

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

I don’t come from a big family, so over the years my friends have become my family.

In some ways that family is more important to me than the one I was born into. I mean… I don’t want to diminish the strength of blood relationships but that is not what this post is about.

This story is about the few people we encounter through the course of our lives, that make us feel as if we were meant to meet. Those people from whom you are incapable of withdrawing your unconditional love once it has been given. The people we call our best friends.

The family we are born into “requires” our love but we get to decide which of our friends “deserve” our love.

There may be nothing more powerful than picking the people you want to love in life. Then letting a few of them in to see the real you. The broken you.

See, we all put on a show for the world. We all want the public to see us one way, while in reality we live anther. Because who would accept us if we were really ourselves all the time?

It wouldn’t take long before we started getting into fights, and running into problems at work. We would start pissing people off left and right and eventually we would find ourselves all alone. So instead, we pretend.

We attempt to restrict our true selves. We pretend to comport in order to fit into the different communities in which we live. But there is a small group of people from which you need not hide.

The people who you would take a bullet for, and just as fast, punch in the face. Maybe even while laying in the hospital bed after taking that bullet. And you would throw that punch with confidence, knowing that they will love you anyway.

Because physical pain stands no chance when you make that kind of connection.

When you find someone who can make you smile from a million miles away. When you find someone who doesn’t even have to be in the same room to make you feel better about yourself. When you find someone who you can allow into the closest circles of these lies we love to live.

When you can find a person who decides to put you first, because they know that you have done the same for them.

When you can finally find, a family of friends.

 

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Stop Waiting For Permission

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or here to explore the other posts in this series.

I want everyone who reads this post to do one thing today. Actually, you should do it this very second.

I want you to quit pretending like there is going to be a moment where someone walks over to you and says “Hey there, It’s your turn to be amazing today!”

Stop pretending like things are going to get better on their own, or that a business is just going to build itself, simply because you had a great idea.

Stop waiting for the light to turn green. Just look to both sides to make sure there’s at least a shot of making it across the intersection and run the damn light! Why the hell is there a light there anyway?

As soon as you can do that, you are one step closer to becoming the real you. Closer to being the person you were always meant to be.

So right freaking meow, before you move another muscle. I want you to…

Stop waiting for permission to pursue your dreams.

I want you to stop doubting yourself and give in to your inner winner.

I want you to stop talking in the mirror as if you hated yourself, and start telling yourself something specific you want to accomplish each day.

I want you to stop yourself every time you try to bring yourself down. Stop letting the world inside of your mind run over you. Seriously, quit that shit.

Quit waiting for someone to tell you what you can or cannot do in this world.

Quit thinking that you have to live your life one way or another. Quit thinking that you have to do things today the same way you did them yesterday. Quit thinking of yourself as second class.

Stop thinking that the purpose of your life is to serve as a cog in some other mans machine. Sure, some people make great cog’s, but not you.

Stop acting like you can’t go out tomorrow and make something happen on your own. Like you couldn’t go out right now and do something that would help you be a happier more fulfilled version of yourself.

Stop pretending that the world is not malleable. That everything you want is not within your reach. You just have to be willing to go out and grab it.

Stop thinking that you are incapable and just do it! Do something new, do something completely out of character. Surprise a friend, kiss that girl, change your routine. Do something. Anything to shake the machinery of monotony. The habits of humanity that so many of us refer to as life.

Start waking up each day with the thought that you are meant to do something special with your life. Reassure yourself that you are not just another purposeless pawn, professional this, hourly that, or salaried brat.

Quit your job and start that company you’ve been talking about. Ask that redhead on the airplane out for a date. Do something that makes life last.

Because it is in those moments that time stands still. It is in those moments that we can live forever. The brief moments in time, when we define who we are and what we will become.

So stop asking for permission. Just go out there and break some shit!

Maybe a leg, maybe a bank account. Maybe just your own ego. Whatever it is you need to break, then break it. Whatever you need to do, then do it.

Test yourself. Find out what you are capable of by pushing yourself to the brink. Because it is in that moment when you will find the person you have been looking for all along. Then, and not a second sooner.

 

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I Saw Myself In Another Man And Hated What I Saw

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or explore the other posts in this series.

Today I saw myself in another man and hated what I saw

I was in an argument that had absolutely no purpose. An argument, simply for the sake of arguing. Picking sides in a battle because I had to be right, but by the time I noticed, it was already too late.

I was too stubborn to step back and too determined to prove to myself that I was right. Because, well… I was right.

But so was he. Kind of.

And so there we sat. Both right, yelling at each other for no real reason, and then I saw it.

I saw myself.

Looking at this man I saw myself arguing with so many others over the course of my life. Defending my position because I was already emotionally committed to the argument.

Unwilling to humble myself because my macho man mechanism was in full force.

I hated that moment. It made me realize how it must feel to sit on the other side of a stubborn mule like myself. I found myself in the middle of the same argument that I must have had a hundred times before. Almost always as the immovable rock.

So as hard as it is for me to do, I tried to humble myself. I tried to take a step back but I couldn’t fully disengage. I still had enough of the old me left in the tank to try and show him how much like me he was actually being. But it was of no use.

He had no interest in having himself tell himself how much like himself he was acting.

And it was in that very moment that I grew. As if I had hit a psychological growth spurt. As I sat there dumbfounded, caught in this real life freeze-frame of a time, not long ago, when I was the one who was arguing recklessly. Oblivious to the futility of it all.

It was in that moment that I realized how childish I have been all along and quite often still am. It was in that moment that I realized there was no sense in being right if all it meant was feeling wrong.

And so it ended. Another tough lesson in this game we call life, but one we would all be well served to learn. Maybe next time, I’ll see myself in a man and like what I see. And maybe I’ll learn how to be more like him. Maybe I’ll learn to swallow my pride and take a step back. Or maybe, I’ll just do it all over again, like I have before.

After all, do any of us ever really change?

Are you a writer? Ever have a desire to write? Click the button below to learn more about my 30 day creative writing challenge and learn how you can empower yourself through your words and the words of others.

 

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Because Fuck You, That’s Why!

An in your face article that challenges you to consider the real reason our country is in turmoil. Who is really to blame?

This post is part of my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn more about the challenge or explore the other posts in this series.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson –

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First of all, lets set some ground rules!

The word “fuck” is in the title of this article! So If you keep reading it and then decide to bitch at me for using it again later, then that’s on you. Don’t come crying to me in the comments or on social media about how inappropriate my use of the word is or how much it offends your sensibilities.

After all, If a couple f-bombs are all it takes to keep you away from what I am about to say, then imagine what other wonders of the world you are missing out on while hanging from that noose of naiveté.

Secondly…

Fuck YOU!

That’s right, I said it! And you’ll be lucky to get one or two people throughout the course of your life who are willing to be as honest with you on a consistent basis as I am about to be.

The truth is that everything is not going to be alright. Things are not a-okay, and the world we live in is full of people who will fuck you over as soon as you give them a chance. People who will hand you a dollar bill to help you pay the rent while stealing your house from the guy who rents it to you.

People who care about nothing more than using you as their philandering whore. Who give you just enough to keep you happy, and feeling free. A type of 21st century slavery. Something that will leave generations to come as slaves to a silent master. And do you know why?

Because fuck you, that’s why!

Our country was founded by people who felt that freedom was part of a natural law. A right that should not be intruded upon by men. But the country they gave us has been overrun by people who have strategically played the system on both sides in order to control a game bigger than you might even be willing to consider. And they are doing it all right under our noses. Do you know why?

Because fuck you, that’s why.

The books have been cooked for a long time now and the real reason that things are not getting better is because as a species, we need to be pushed to the brink in order for us to break. Its a fundamental flaw of human nature. One that leads us to fall prey to the pied piper time and time again.

So I know these words might piss you off, but you know what… I don’t much care. And do you know why?

Because fuck you, that’s why.

For not seeing that the the people in control want you to hate me. For letting them make you think you do hate me. Not because of who I am, but because of the labels they have given us. For not seeing that they are in control of our education and the entire national conversation. Only letting us know what they want us to know and burring the rest with streams of misinformation in order to further confuse us.

For not seeing how easily humans are controlled on a mass scale. For not understanding the fundamental nature of our educational, religious, media and government institutions. For letting them pass off their own doctrine as that of the majority.

For going in to work each day and selling your soul to do something you hate. For not selling out to your passions and for not chasing your dreams. For not being willing to create an opportunity if your path is not clear. And for hating those who do.

For not playing more. For not spending more time laughing! For acting your age. For living life as if you were on a stage. Always on call, always taking the easy path to ensure you don’t fall.

For thinking you deserve something. For thinking that because you had something yesterday it’s still yours today, or that you won’t need to keep busting your ass in order to keep it. For not realizing that nothing is permanent in this life, and that the world will erase you as fast as you let it.

For not recognizing that our society is still in its infancy. For not knowing that the American experiment was a gamble on mankind as a whole. That it was an all-in bet on whether or not man could rule themselves.

For not understanding the consequences of giving the government overarching rule and control of the means of production. For getting mad at lobbyist in Washington but allowing them to enter your house in high definition for hours a day in the form of entertainment and news. For being a hypocrite and not even knowing it.

For knowing and still standing by. For not participating in local elections. For not looking for something more than superficial. Fuck you for not seeing that our society has been designed to do exactly what is happening right now. For not seeing that the rug is about to be yanked out from underneath our feet and put us on all on our asses.

For thinking that we can give the same assholes who drove us into this collapse, the keys to the tow truck that is supposed to pull us out of it. For not seeing that Democrats and Republicans are both pieces of the same puzzle. A large game of chess that has been played on a global scale. One that will never end. One that will be played over and over again, everyone available for sacrifice. Other than the royalty that is.

So fuck you for all of that. For being a doormat. For lying there on the ground so flat. For watching idly by as the the world falls down. And for sitting quietly on the leash while continually being pulled around.

And fuck me too, for blaming you. Because if it’s true for you, then it’s true for me too. Because we all sit around and pretend like it’s not our fault, but in the end, who else is there?

So… What the fuck are we gonna do about it?

 

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Last Night I Slept With A Girl, But We Didn’t Have Sex

This is the second post in my 30 day creative writing challenge. Click here to learn about the challenge or explore the other posts in this series.

I’m not very good at love…

Sneaky-sunset

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Actually, I’ve destroyed every relationship I’ve ever been in.

The biggest trophy in my case of fuck-ups came from a four year relationship that ended in divorce. But I’m over it, or at least that’s what I tell people.

The truth is, that when you truly love someone (at least in my jaded perspective) you give them a part of your soul. You give them a small piece of yourself that you will never get back. And the pain that comes from having that person rip it from you and run away with it forever is one that will never fully fade away. You can simply hope to get better at living with a little less of yourself inside.

I was heartbroken for a long time after my divorce. Unable to let others in. Unable to let anyone love me because I hated myself.

Over time, my heart grew cold. I slowly became jaded, callous and cynical. There seemed to be a process of petrification that was consuming my heart and soul from the inside out.

I have only had one relationship with any ounce of importance since then, a relationship that showed me that there might be a chance for me to love again. A relationship that probably never would have worked, but one that felt right in the moment. A fate I’ll never know because I walked away from it to chase my dreams. The same dream that leaves me here in front of you. Alone.

I have however, recently seen a few holes in the armor that protects my heart. There have been a few moments where I have allowed the thought of being that happy again to cross my mind. But only for a split second. Then I slam the shit out of that door and tell myself that “there is no time for a distraction right now!” I tell myself that I must get it right this time and that there is no more room for failure! Definitely no time for women! Only work, art and self hate.

But that’s not true. If there is one thing I should be making time for in my life right now, it’s love. Not necessarily with someone of the opposite sex, but for myself. And it’s that thought process that leads me to remember that at the beginning of this year I made a single resolution. It was not to lose weight, it was not to get into better shape, make more money, buy a nice car or anything like that. My resolution was simple. Learn how to love.

I wanted to learn how to love myself again so that others might have a chance at actually loving me. Because if I learned one thing from all of those failed relationships in the past, it’s that I must be true to myself in order to expect someone to be true to me.

But being true has been hard. Being true in the life of me can be quite scary. The thoughts on this website have cost me more than $150,000 dollars in consulting work over the last two years and being this open, especially about my personal life, makes it very hard for me to date.

Not to mention that I’m a tough person to get along with for any length of time. I am stubborn, sarcastic, prideful and I like to talk shit. Over time I wear people down, just like I wear myself down. Eventually they just get tired of it. Tired of me.

I’ve lived with myself and the harshness for a long time now so I know how to handle it when I get too aggressive. Something that is not as easy for others to do. Especially with any regularity.

They do not understand that it is the only way I know how to be. That those moments of loud assholery are me trying to communicate with them and not knowing how to do it any other way. It’s like some sick twisted joke I play on myself. “Let’s see how fast you can scare this one away Raymmar!”

But I’ve gotten tired of it. Tired of myself.

This was the year I wanted to change all that. I wanted to try and understand others better. I wanted to be more empathetic and emotionally available. But it has been a hard transition. And I have to admit that I have not been doing a very good job of living up to that resolution.

But then I met her.

She absolutely baffles me. She is more beautiful than I deserve and she makes me laugh. I can be honest with her and she has even seen some of my darkness and still came back for seconds. I think it might be the main reason we could work. Because our pains have connected.

I can feel an energy on her that is the same energy that I have lived with for so long. The hatred that comes from being betrayed by your closest friend. The energy that comes from holding it all in. From never letting anyone see you for who you really are. The pain that comes with hiding from yourself. Form your emotions. From pretending to be stronger than you are.

I know that pain. I don’t know the specifics of her pain, but I want to. I want to know everything about her. The good and the bad. Because if I am going to learn how to love again, I have to be willing to lose again. Because that is what I would want someone to want from me. Because I am only interested in someone who can see the darkness inside of me and still chose to stay. And what better way to get what you want in this world than to let someone know that you’re looking for it.

So yeah, she slept over last night, but we didn’t have sex. And honestly, I’m ok with that.

I’ll be ok with that for as long as it takes to find out whatever it is that we need to find out about each other before we are open to taking that next step. Before we find out where the next turn leads in the early stages of whatever this dance we are doing might be. Until we can communicate about what we want from each other and from ourselves. And until that moment comes and neither of us hesitates.