Seasons

For all the seasons and fall leaves,

The wind howls like a crying ghost,

Passion days of ever gold,

For the story not yet told,

Come to me,

Snowfall twinkle of the coldest winter,

I hear the voice that has not been seen,

Call her an angel fitting for the season,

Dressed in white and lost in feelings,

She’s come back again without a reason,

I awake to the morning fitting for spring,

A rustling in the mind and all for seen,

Looking up at the sky and feel a breeze,

Feelings come and go telling you need me,

I’m calling calling calling

Rainy Days Call for Accidents

I’ve always told myself, no matter how much of a Boy Scout you are while driving, there’s always someone less focused who’s bound to hit you. Tonight’s the night — and it’s raining no less.

Honestly, I’m hoping and praying insurance takes care of this so I can put this behind me. The lady who hit me only has a bent license plate so this should be pretty cut and dry. I can’t say that about my passenger side door though.

After any bad event, I usually retrace my day in my thoughts to see if I did anything differently than my usual routine. Well, today I stopped for gas at the corner gas station on my way back home. I really should of done this in the morning, but I had neglected to. Did my laziness cause this to happen? No. You tend to combine two unrelated events into one to justify what happened. Today, I’m just very unlucky.

After the initial shock and subtle rise in blood pressure for shouting “WHAT THE FUCK” at the top of my lungs at the lady, I’m more or less fine. She refused to hand over her information until I called for police. Essentially, adding insult to injury. Why a police officer has to come to hand over information is beyond me. On the bright side — if there is one on this cold dark and rainy night — I’m not hurt, no one was injured, and at the end of the day, it’s just an old car that can be fixed. Optimism prevails.

To be fair, my car already had paint peeling on the hood and seemingly everywhere else that I give a closer look to. Now instead of bubbles, I have a nice long white scratch on blue paint. It’s almost artistic. Almost. Hey, I have an excuse to drop $1500 to repaint my entire car. Ha. I’m semi-serious.

I think the only thing I’m bugged about is my family’s lack of concern for my well-being after breaking the news to them. Not so much as a simple “Are you okay?” or even bother to see the damage to my car. They didn’t care then and they obviously wouldn’t care now. I’m flying solo.

I can count the number of unfortunate events that happened to me this year. From having my radiator leak, my tire blowing out on my birthday, to being a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident, and getting a BS parking ticket — life has a lot of downs. Some days I’m not looking to put up a fight. Hell, I want plain, boring, uneventful days. My old roommate from college said it best, “You’re incapable of being boring. Shit will happen.” I’m tired physically and mentally with bad habits I’m trying to keep under control. Give me a fucking break. Days like this make me think if I need to go back being Christian and believing in Jesus — yeah right.

Later world. I need a drink. It’s late. I’ve had another long ass day and just wanna knock the fuck out. November really won’t let up, but hey — there’s always December.

It’s Okay to Be Sad

To be human is to have the capacity to express all types of emotions. I’ve come to realize the following:

  • It’s okay to be sad or depressed. I’m inclined to believe everyone is a little bit sad. You cannot see what lies ahead of you and on some days, something tragic or terrible happens. Everyone will be affected by depression at some point of their lives. No one is immune to sadness. One in four people suffer from depression in some form. Struggling with depression and feeling at your lowest of lows is just another part of life. It doesn’t mean you’re broken and there’s no quick and easy solution. Whether it lasts a day, a month, or years depends how you deal with it.

If anything, being sad humanizes you. Being able to feel sadness means you are just has human as the person next to you. It’s a normal human emotion that’s part of life. There are some, like my best friend who chooses to numb all his feelings with drugs and alcohol. That’s no way to live and likely makes the road to recovery that much more difficult. Being aware of your behaviors makes all the difference. I recall one time, while he went through a very hard break up, he essentially drown out his sorrows with alcohol. He went as far as to trash his place — even with his mom home. You can say he didn’t take it so well and I don’t blame him. I (meaning we) should have not let him have alcohol.

What Helps With Depression

  • Talk About It: I do this all the time with my group of friends. Being able to vent out my frustrations with the world gives me a brief, but satisfying feeling of relief. Does it completely remove all my lingering negative thoughts? No, never. It’s not easy opening up to someone, even if you’re close to them. You have to willingly open up and it shouldn’t be forced. It’s worlds better than keeping to myself and having the same thoughts on repeat all day. Your greatest enemy is your own mind. For days I don’t feel talkative, writing makes a difference too. I only publish 1/3rd of all the things I write about, but putting words on paper is another avenue to help with sad thoughts.
  • Good Habits: I’ve noticed good healthy habits are essential to a happy life. Smoking and drinking feels great, but the health risks outweighs any momentary feelings of sedation.

1) Exercise is important and is often my way of  distracting myself from intrusive thoughts. After every run, my mind is clear and it’s incredibly satisfying to know I got a few miles in. Runner’s high comes is real and it’s well-worth it.

2) Eating right: Reduce your sugar intake, reliance on processed foods, caffeine, and switch to food made of real ingredients. There’s that saying “You are what you eat” and it’s true. People with a high sugar intake are more prone to depression. Switch to fruits or vegetables for the road to recovery. My friend suggested I completely stop eating out to see if it helps with my mood and my God — it did work.

3) Positivity: I like to think my optimistic view of the world helps a great deal. My one friend is the definition of a Debbie-downer, so I stopped talking to him for a couple weeks. Bad news and people who can’t see the bright side negatively affects you. Take a break from all the terrible things the news or internet tells you everyday and focus on yourself. That’s not to say I think every day will be a good day. Perspective is everything and you shouldn’t go about your day blindly.

4) Laughter is good for the soul. Whether it’s a video of someone falling over or the hundreds of mini pig videos I have bookmarked, find something that brings you joy. Spend time with someone who makes you laugh and watch your favorite funny movie. Everyone needs a good laugh even if you’re not depressed.

5) Enjoyment: Do something you enjoy. For me it’s running, reading, and watching old black and white films. My hobbies are niche — if you consider stocks and investment tips niche. Taking walks around my favorite city costs nothing, but I find it incredibly relaxing. Some days I take photos of any interesting subjects or scenery I see and go back to them to marvel at the natural beauty around us.

Getting out of bed some days is a monumental challenge. Whether is going to a job you cannot stand or the dread you feel in having to put up a smile for everyone, get out of bed. You can either dwell on your thoughts and be a prisoner of your own domain or go outside and experience the world around you. With enough time, sadness fades. It may not be gone completely or perhaps make a return in the future, but three things are certain. Everyday, the sun rises and sets, and with every month, there’s a full moon to gaze up at.

Everyone will suffer. Everyone will be sad. Happiness is illusive. The road to feeling better is met with bumps and cracks, but don’t never give. Hope is within reach and never think otherwise. You’re not invincible and can be quite vulnerable, but there are friends and family who care about you who’ll lend a helping hand.

Later world.

Goals, this year, etc.

In a little more than a month, 2018 will come to a close. The new, skinnier Garza will be back for Christmas. I’m hella fucking excited actually. Not to say 2018 was bad in any way. I will argue it’s been my best year yet. I got a lot of shit done and then some. I was 100% honest with everyone I met or talked to and left nothing on the table — so to speak. Most my thoughts now center on making new goals for next year. Whether I should make them more ambitious is up for debate. If a goal is too easy, is it really a goal?

I ran every week this year and the benefits are definitely there — if my smart watch is as accurate as I think it is. My resting heart rate is in the high 50s. Pretty fucking sweet if I do say. It’s a far cry from my old self a few years ago when 80 something beats a minute was the norm. Fuck that life. Next year, I’ll definitely keep this activity going. If I know me, I’ll eventually end up over doing it and risk injury in some form. I walk up and down a flight of stairs maybe 20 times each day and don’t feel the least bit tired. This, I dig.

Self-improvement was a big goal. Had I not did as well as I did this year, I would have never had to means to fix my eyes. I’m still fucking amazed at how clear I see everything and especially at night. I’m certain I look like an insane person just casually glancing at everything out my car window, but I digress. I was blind as a bat and now I’m not. Was it worth it? Hell fucking yes. I’m more than thankful for the new outlook in the world — in the literal sense. I have 6 pairs of glasses I need to get rid of. Donating them to Goodwill looks like the best option. I could sell them for $50-100 each, but I could care less about the money. Someone else needs them more.

Everyday I wake up and give myself a hard look in the mirror. Why? I’m getting fucking old and it shows. My hair has more than a few strands of grey, which only causes a brief moment of existential angst. I tried a new skin care routine and it’s worked wonders. Think less oily and clearer skin. My friends call it gay, but I call it taking care of yourself, so sue me. Sunblock is a God send and should be used everyday. I’ll keep this going, but it’s adding up a lot in cost. The stuff at the local mens section at Target sucks if you’re not Caucasian.

Most people have a hard time saving money. My co-workers think I’m some masterful person with money, but I don’t think so. All year, I did buy a number of things for myself. Did I need a new set of clothes? No, not really. Three pairs of Ultraboosts? Definitely not. A new MacBook or iPhone XS? Hell no. Honestly, I can do better. I need to be content with the things I already have and should make a conscious effort to not always need the latest and greatest. I think I’m getting slightly better at it, but only time will tell. The biggest money pit — so to speak, was my car. I got a new HD radio, speakers, window tinting, and all kinds of fixes so it runs the way I want. Knowing me, I might not even have this car in the next 5 years. Kind of crazy considering I’m only 1 year in to owning it. Next year, save more money. Got it.

This really should be a high priority for myself. All things considered, I used to survive off a mere $5K a year while I was in college. I spent no money on books or school supplies and cooked every single day. Not factoring in the sheer amount of money spent on drugs and alcohol, this is definitely doable. I like going to nice restaurants as much as the next guy, but it’s not a necessity. Hell, I have a hard time finishing anything I eat and it ends up going to waste. That alone should be motivation to stop eating out so much.

I should be nicer. I think my attitude has shifted to more savagery this year. Everyone likes a good joke or laugh, but I think I’m taking it a bit too far most of the time. My co-workers call me out on it and I really should be a little more considerate of what comes out of my mouth. Being direct, blunt, and honest is always warranted, but I know it rubs some people the wrong way. Case and point: women. This poor girl I was seeing teared up and started crying when I told her bluntly to her face, “I don’t want to be with you. You and I will never be together.” I could have worded that less harshly, but I swear to fucking God she did not get the message. Did she finally leave me the hell alone? No. What a surprise. I thank modern smartphone call and message blocking for that, but I feel a little bad she took it so hard. Words hurt and I need to work on how I say and not pass it off as the hard truth to the person in front of me.

Work has been absolutely hell this year and it took a toll on my mood and mental health. Was this warranted, no. Did I cause this upon myself — definitely. Safe to say I’m a workaholic and will forgo rest and relaxation if the motivation to finish a project is there. I legit need to work on this part of myself. All work and no play makes for one hella fucking depressed (and quiet) Danny. Everyone has been saying I need a new hobby or activity to preoccupy my time and I’m inclined to believe they’re right. Old me use to just drink a couple and knock the fuck out, but now I don’t have that luxury.

Speaking of drinking, I’m certain I will go all year without a sip of alcohol. This was no fucking joke and if I had a dollar for every time a drunk person handed me a beer or tried to persuade me to take a fucking sip, I’d have a good amount of money. I really don’t think people understand my rational for not wanting to drink, but they wouldn’t, couldn’t, and I can expect them to. Come end of December, I’ll feel a bit more accomplished I pulled this off and breathe a sigh of relief.

Although I made some good habits and broke some bad ones, I did let myself down for 2 weeks out of this year. Work was absolutely killing me and I let my addictive personality get the better of me. Having a mild dependency on anti-anxiety medication is no joke, but I’m thankful I’m so mindful of my thoughts before it really spiraled out of control. My honestly saved me from the worst and there were a number of people / friends willing to voice their concerns and offer much needed help. How do I feel? Fucking fantastic and that’s the truth. Will I fall back one day to this terrible period of my life? Fuck. No. Of course it didn’t help my best friend was so willing to get me whatever I wanted, but I (meaning we) need to talk to him about his habits and addictions. Not everyone can be saved, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try.

Truthfully, I feel I need to make a more conscious effort to actually meet up with friends. It’s easy to message someone on messenger or text, but it’s the same as face-to-face. People have their own lives to worry about, but I feel like I’m falling short in this department. Digital communication really doesn’t translate well to the real world. It’s like it almost doesn’t count in my opinion. If you wished someone happy birthday online, it obviously doesn’t have the same impact in person.

Lastly, I need to stop giving a fuck to everyone who won’t give me their time or attention. Case in point, my two less than stellar parents. They absolutely rub me the wrong way and have been essentially the main source of problems in my life. I find it amazing the two people responsible for my existence can be so jarring and full of shit. Part of me hopes I never end up like them and I pray I never do. For many years now, the time I spend talking to my dad throughout the course of a year amounts to no more than 1 hour — that’s combined. My mom I have to see since she’s not good for anything other than traditional around the house work. I have not the slightest idea how much longer I can put up with them. At least I have the means to leave whenever that day comes.

Later world.

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You fell into my arms and I ran into yours,

It was the coldest of winter nights, yet the feeling was warm,

I held on like a lingering wind, but the time has passed,

You came and you gone like a ghost — haunting until dawn,

I remember your smile and the thousand year stare,

The torment within — fire and despair,

You needed saving, yet I was not the one,

A never ending nightmare that consumed within,

I dreamt of the time that has all since faded,

A glimmering looking to the year that’s all since forgotten,

Sincerity could not save us,

Not a ring, not a vow — all but betrayed us,

Running Out of Time…

My beloved Grandma told me on Thanksgiving she knows I’m the one who cares and loves her the most in the family. It was beautiful to hear, more so to spend the day with her ensuring she’s not alone. You can say I redeemed myself for all those years I let slip by — salvation even. She remembers the day I arrived in America and I called out for Grandpa and Grandma. I was just 3 years old, yet, I remember it too. It brought a tear to her seeing how old I’ve gotten. Gone are the days of cooking me breakfast and walking me to school. I’m thankful she’s been essential to my upbringing for so long and I have all these memories to keep.

But my Grandma is getting old. She’s pushing 80 and broke to me the hard truth — she doesn’t see herself around in the next few years. Having her tell me the truth shook me to my core. It bothers me to no end. It’s a constant reminder how little time I have with her. It’s the sad reality and I can’t bare the thought.

I’ve planned to buy a condo or house by 2022 and naively thought I was ahead. To my friends, I suppose I am. However, the end should be less important than the journey that brought me there. I just want to share in the moment with her. For some time, I’ve had this perfectly planned phone call. Upon closing on the condo or house, I would call her. I’d asked how her day is, what she’s up to, and surprise her by saying I did it. I can imagine her voice and excitement from the good news. To me, it would be relief and a several tears. Once I’m settled in, I’d bring her over. I’d open the door and let her walk in first to see what my years of planning brought me. It’s joy, excitement, relief, tears, salvation and redemption at the highest magnitude. I could die a happy man if this happens. Her opinion is supreme and this no different.

A few years to me seems like a nothing, yet, my Grandma doesn’t have that luxury. If I could stop time just for her I’d trade my time for hers. I’m running out of time — and it doesn’t sit too nicely in my thoughts. I’ve always said death brings urgency and this Thanksgiving, it resonates all too loudly. My love for her and anyone I care about is everlasting, but time is of the essence. I want a cheat, more time, a few extra lives, a time machine, more money now… I could go on. It’s ambition that drives me — but I blindly follow through the unknown life brings.

The last few years I’ve haven’t fallen short the least bit. Much has been accomplished for my own personal fulfillment, yet the grand scheme isn’t about me. Is so she knows I did it. It’s so she knows I’m ready to take on the world. It’s so she knows I’m a man and not a little boy. My Grandma is everything and my god, I hope and pray I have more time with her.

Life is inherently unfair, but doesn’t mean I won’t make my journey fighting and pushing forward. The very people you love are always the first to go and its wrath shows no mercy. It’s not my idealistic optimistic appraisal, but life always has a set a new challenges with every turn. All I can do is stick to my instincts and remain mindful of my actions. I tend to think about the past a great deal to keep me grounded in reality. You can say that keeps me from forgetting memories that I hold dear.

To live is to share in the moment with your loved ones. Friends, family, the only woman I’ve ever loved… It’s a race against time to make memories.

Later world.

Untitled 11/23/2018

I peer up above the night sky,

For yonder window break,

Many to think and all to wish,

Torment for the soul yet all shall know,

Passing ghosts of yesterday,

Lurking in the shadows for better days,

Wishing up above on the lonely star,

Shining bright but all too far,

A moon that glows for just a night,

Seeing light to fill a sky,

Find her wings as flies above,

Searching searching like a dove,

Reaching down like heavens gate,

A hand for mines but not yet fate,

Hear me call for once that was,

A man fears love for times that twas,

Searchlight for one,

Radio — silence,

Across an ocean and seven seas,

Castaway on land alone again,

Mercy for the soul and fate that’s gone,

Thinking for another that’s begun,

Gone gone… baby

Haunted by a ghost of memories past,

The sounds of a voice that yet to pass,

Feel the hand that held mine,

Days to remember of a forgotten time,

Lost lost — rescue one

Tell me of the days that time has lost,

A man and a girl fallen in love,

Feelings then and feelings now,

Yearning for months and years,

Was it all a dream of man’s mind?

To All My Friends

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It’s been a rough couple of months this year. I can easily blame my crazy 80 hour work weeks back in October for falling into the deep end, but it’s my life — my actions are my own. Being overworked takes a mental toll, but my position calls for it — no one else is qualified to do it. I know my efforts now will pay off in the end. Even though I try to remain mindful of all my actions, from time to time, I am guilty of putting myself in danger. I know this happens, but am at odds with myself.

I am truly thankful everyone I see, talk to, or love is there to listen in my hour of need. I, for that reason, know I can turn to them when I feel I’m going down the wrong path and without fear of judgement. They are there to voice their opinion and I always listen intently hoping to never forget a word. The perils of living is bearable knowing there are friends who are there to support me. My closest group of friends I’ve know for almost 12 years and wouldn’t trade a day with them for anything. We’ve had our own battles and demons to fight, but we’ve stuck together even as some have moved on to start new lives.

Garza is in DC, Anthony is in Orange County and Julian and I are still in Alhambra. We’ve gotten old and more apart physically, yet we make time to catch up. We share stories, several memes, the occasional phone call, and keep in touch. Their happiness is important to me and I wouldn’t hesitate to stop everything I’m doing if they needed me. I know they’re always looking out and for that reason — I trust their judgement whole heartedly — perhaps even more than my own.

I forget just how good I have it sometimes. My brothers are my family and I’m lucky to be part of theirs. Knowing I have this with me puts me at ease. Life is full of unknowns, but one thing is certain — they’re not going anywhere and neither am I. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am forever thankful you all exist and we are friends til the very end.

La La Land

“I am very moved by the idea that you can meet someone in your life who transforms you and sets you onto a path that is going to finally enable you to be the person you dreamed of being, but ultimately, you need to go on that path alone”, says Chazelle. “You can have a union that winds up dictating the rest of your life but doesn’t last the rest of your life. I found that incredibly beautiful and heartbreaking and wondrous. At its soul, I want that movie to be about that.”

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Plot

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.


One of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years is “La La Land” directed by Damien Chazelle. In it, Mia — a struggling actress meets Sebastian — a struggling jazz musician, as they grapple with reaching their dreams. Mia and Sebastian, are at odds with their two selves, the actor and musician who must make sacrifices in their relationship to find what they long in life. Mia’s first stage play is a disaster, but Sebastian urges her to follow her dreams and not let this setback sway her from continuing forward. Sebastian finds success in a new pop-oriented jazz band, but must give up his roots — classic jazz vs. post modernist — and in the process, missed Mia’s first stage performance.

Mia and Sebastian go their separate ways, but years later, find the success they dreamed for while they met. Their lives intersect again one evening. Mia — now a famous Hollywood actress married to another man, unknowingly goes to Sebastian’s jazz club. She sits in the audience and Sebastian sees her from the stage. They share a moment and the movie cuts to a montage of the life they could of had if they were still together. It’s bittersweet and subverts your expectations of the traditional feel-good Hollywood ending. It’s anti-Disney live happily-ever after. I loved it.


Love vs. Your Dreams

At one point, Mia and Sebastian live together — in love. Ultimately, they separate knowing they will never reach their dreams if they are together. They are motivated by themselves to push forward and travel the journey of life alone without their partner. It’s the reality of being in a relationship, it ties you down. Commitments now impact your ability to find personal fulfillment later on. Do you chose love or yourself? Love blinds you, but taking the road less traveled, must be by yourself. Never give up on your own dreams for others and you may have to leave the person you love to reach it. It’s ultimately what you want that makes the most significant impact in your life and the need for fulfillment. Sacrifices need to be made.

Duality of Self

In the opening scene, Sebastian is seen in the reflection of his rear view mirror. Mia is seen playing a role for a movie as she is stuck in traffic. She has many selves — the movie roles she portrays. You see them day-dream — an allusion to the city of Los Angeles — also called La La land.

To Be Selfish

Both characters move on with their partners in pursuit of their dreams. For Mia, its a successful movie actress, while Sebastian wishes to open a classic jazz bar. They must forgo their own love for each other and the relationship they once shared. Sebastian in one scene realizes he will not be present in Mia’s show in order to meet the needs of his jazz group and the pressures his new found fame brings. They put themselves first, yet are aware of the strain it puts on their relationship.

Love is One Of Many

La La Land’s ending shows that Mia and Sebastian’s love is another step in the ladder. While at one point they are in love, they do not end up together. Love is dynamic and used as a motivator for each character. Mia is motivated to continue being an actress by Sebastian, while Mia tells Sebastian is losing himself being in a band he does not like. They help each other and support their dreams. While their relationship does not develop further, they use it to better themselves. It’s a learning process whether or not they’ve broken up. In that regard, there is really no end, but it where it sends them.

Personally, I can relate to this a great deal. My last girl friend motivated me to be more ambitious and even landed my first job because of her. I learned to cook due to her insistence and I love making new dishes to this day. My girl friend before her, told me to not give up and keep trying even in hard times. I would not have known I did not have my life together if it weren’t for her. Subsequently, I got the best grades of my life after her and I don’t call that coincidence. Everyone you’re with supports you and is another lesson in life. The relationship may be gone, but new habits develop and remain. I am who I am now because of my “failed” relationships.