Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Life is Uncertain

When I was 16 an imminent fear came upon me that I would never figure out what I wanted to do with my life. In past posts I have referenced that I have thought about being a husband and father since I was 13 years old. With that forward thinking, came the fears of the future. I questioned how I would truly provide for my family. While I was able to see some of the things I was good at, I never saw a potential career sprouting from my love for basketball or desire to talk openly with others. Now, some of you may say, “hey it’s so obvious Landocommando, I know what you should have done”, but I wanted to know for myself what should be done.

This fear loomed and consumed my being. I tried to ignore it, but I believe this was one of the reasons that I feared growing up and going off to college. To say that I had similar a complex to Peter Pan was an understatement. I slightly feared each birthday knowing that it signified a landmark in my progress to becoming an adult.

My only comfort came through the advice of others who told me that I would know when I was older. When the time was right, I would really know. So I ignored my fear my first year of college and continued my college education as an open major. Then I took a two year leave of absence for personal desires. I figured by the time I was back I would definitely know what I wanted to do for my career. But time passed and I returned to the college life, yet still my fear and confusion continued.  I came to my last possible moment to choose my major; I had finished all of my general education and needed to specialize in something. I honestly took a list of all the majors available and crossed out all of the options I knew that I would not enjoy and/or would not provide an adequate salary for a family. Before I eliminated ALL the options I finally chose statistics. And it was nice to know I had some sense of direction.

I bring this up because I have talked to many friends recently about the confusions of life. I often learn that I am not alone in my confusion with finding a direction in life. Others were also told or convinced that they would “JUST KNOW” what decisions they needed to make once they were old enough. But to those individuals who told us those calming fortunes… you lied. It is okay, I am not mad. Maybe for you that is what happened. But for me I am still left in my confusion of what I want to do with my life. I have less than a year left until I graduate with a statistical science degree.  The only thing I have figured out is that I hope I don’t work with numbers all day for the rest of my life. But I will continue with my major because it has lead to great opportunities.

So here I am living evidence that even though the time has come to make a decision about my life, and I still do not know exactly what I am doing. Most importantly I share it’s okay that I don’t know. I am learning to take life one decision at a time. I know the key things that I want, but I have no clue how to get to this amazing vision I have.  Life is good each day should be enjoyed. I look to see how each day leads me to my final vision of financial security, time with my family, and sharing the moments that matter most with them. But I cannot see past the next couple of year.

My life is uncertain, and that is okay.  The future is unknown and I wouldn’t want it any other way!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Do I really know you?

This week there has been a reoccurring theme that I would like to talk about. I recently moved to Salt Lake City and as an outsider I often notice the differences between what I am accustomed to and the way people act here. I notice the different types of people and I have always loved observing others. I have noticed though, that my curiosity to understand the people around me is not a bad thing, but it can often lead to a negative action that we all participate in. What is this mysterious negative action that we all participate in?.........Judging others.

Now some may roll their eyes because they think about some lecture that their “Parentals” have given about seeing the good in people. I want to talk about a couple of things that I have reflected upon this week.

First I wanted to talk about when I was a Junior in High School. Like many men I was self focused and overly focused on the 3 things that mattered most to me at the time: Sports, Girls, and Doing wild and crazy things (note: I never really got myself into any trouble, just stupid teenage pranks, and other shenanigans). At the same time however my little sister was going through a hard time, but differing from the self-esteem issues that many teens struggle with, hers was a chemical imbalance. At the time I understood little about depression and at first found myself almost afraid of my own sister, who had been my best friend (“my sista”, “sisi”) turned worst enemy.

To better understand you must know that I was the most carefree person alive at 17. Every day was a “great” day, and I felt that I could make it a great day by making a simple decision. I was the optimist who loved being around other people.

But as I started to see my sister struggle with depression, it was confusing and at times angering. I thought to myself, how is she not able to get up and go to school? I could not understand what she was going through, nor could she explain it to me. As time passed I began to see that there were times that she did not have the capability to function the same way I did. Some days I could see the strain that it took for her to get up and get ready for the day. I began to realize that she did not have the capability to do so. As I noticed these things, my anger was swept away. Feelings of compassion came to me.

Though at times she would push me away, I would stand near as close as she would allow me. I would watch her girly shows (like one tree hill, or even pride and prejudice, which she must have watched 30 times that year) just because it was time we could be together. My eyes were opened to see, that if she had been injured and confined to a wheelchair I would have taken care of her, so why would I not do the same, when she needed my care more.  The more I was around her, the more I saw that this was a physical ailment, and not sparked by wrong decisions that my sister had made.

I need to preface this, saying that I was an immature teenage boy, and though I wish I could say that I always stood by my sister’s side, I often grew tired of the effort it took to be around her. I often did things that made her angry, but I will say that I TRIED, with the emotional ability I had as a 17 year old boy.

I learned many things from these experiences and here they are in a list to be simply seen:

1. I was afraid of what I did not understand

2. I judged my sister wrongfully from my perspective, which only took into account the way my life was.

3. Mental wellness should be viewed similarly as physical wellness (we need not run away from it or shy away from expressing our need to medical attention)

4. We all have different capabilities that allow us to be good at some things, while we may have weaknesses in others. 

5. I learned that if I used my strengths to bless the lives of those around me, then I would live a happier life, whether others chose to do the same or not.

This week I had a great conversation with a co-worker who has a brother with crohn’s disease.  He expressed to me the difficulties that he is having trying to grasp the concept that his brother cannot control his actions. He explained that he felt like if his brother would just eat the right things, take care of himself that he would be fine.  I tried to explain the lessons that I learned (listed above), but I often feel like in the moment my mouth to mind connection does not exist.

Here in Salt Lake City I find the same lessons coming back to me. Both in application and in explanation. As life often does, it cycles so that we can re-learn the lessons that we have in the past. I need to both apply and openly talk about what I have learned from my experiences.

I often feel like the young man who said:

Riffraff, street rat.
I don't buy that,
If only they'd look closer.
Would they see a poor boy?
No, siree, They'd find out
There's so much more to me

They say don’t judge a book by a cover, but I move to change this statement that we should not judge a book by its cover or its first 20 pages. Just we because we “think” we get to know someone does not mean we understand what they think, feel, or can imagine their personal experiences. Again if we bring back the story of my sister. I had lived with her my whole life, and “knew” everything about her, yet I found that I had no room to judge.

From a song dear to me I quote, “Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly? In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see.”
I recognize that my imperfections make it so that I cannot see why people are the way that they are.

There is such good in the people around me. When my eyes are opened to see the gifts that people around me possess, I am made better. I begin to believe that the world will be a better place. I find hope that when I have children those good gifts will shine brighter than the constant darkness we are convinced surrounds us.

To the man who plays guitar outside the restaurant, thank you. You have brightened my day, many times.  To the old man who waves when I leave for work, thank you. To the random lady, that gave me something to read at the trax station, thank you. And finally thank you for reading this,


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hey everyone this took a lot longer than a blog, but I think it allowed me to feel better about some things. It didn't quite turn out how I wanted, but I'm not that skilled when it comes to musical or video production. 

Just let me know what you think. I'm not really sure if this will make sense to anyone else besides me. 
Well Enjoy your week, I will be enjoying mine.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nice to meet you....

So as my first post I just wanted to introduce everyone to who I am and what I am up to:

So I'm Landocommando, the overly social, versatile kid, that doesn't really know what he wants for his future. I have grown up with 4 sisters but I think I have done a very good job at maintaining my masculinity. Growing up I was always the carefree type, who's favorite song was always "Don't worry be Happy!". I have come to realize that with that attitude came some consequences where I often didn't seem to think about what mattered most to me. The last couple of years I have changed a lot of my viewpoints on life, but have also found that what is important to me often doesn't match what the people around me place as their priorities.

Things that are important to Landocommando:
1. Real Conversations: I enjoy having REAL conversations about things that matter- while I understand that the "Get-to-know-you" conversations are a necessary first step, I will often ask people questions that surprise others. For me I like talking about things that will actually make me think or get to know the way you think, not the role you play in the act we call sociality.

2. Sports: sports are an important part of my life. I realized in high school that there is more to life than sports, but when I left high school I also realized that I hold Sports (basketball in particular) very close to my heart because of the lessons I have learned from it. I was the kid that hung around parks just waiting to find a pick-up basketball, frisbee, soccer, or football game.

3. My future family: People may ask me why I am so focused on a family that I don't even have yet (nor do I even have a girlfriend to be pondering about marriage). But I feel like since I was a young teen I have been excited to be a father (Not so excited that I wasn't going to be willing to wait til marriage, but none the less....Excited). I know that the decisions I make now will effect the husband and father I will become. I look forward to finding someone to share my life with and raise children that will cause us so much worry, but also increase our capacity to love.

4. My Faith: For me my faith has made me the person I am. I know that I can become better each day and have a large influence for good (if I am living my life in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ). I spent two years serving people in the Caribbean area and most importantly teaching that Christ is our redeemer and that we can each have a personal relationship with Heavenly Father. It is true when Christ said, "He that loseth his life for my sake (Christ's) shall find it." (Matthew 10:39). When I forgot about myself I learned a lot about the greater things in life. Now I am back in the real world and am trying to create the life that I potentially saw for myself in the future. One thing that has helped me is to find a way to serve  someone else and you will feel happy and your perspective will be the correct one. Feel free to ask me any questions you want: Landocommando@comcast.net  place BLOG in the subject line or I probably won't read it.

Those are just a few things that are important to me, but as I write more you will get to know me.

Well I feel like this has been an adequate introduction and I am sure I will write some blogs  involving friendships, relationships, funny stories, and maybe even take some requested topics.
My goal for today is looking for 5 things I am grateful for (I definitely need to)
See ya,