The Reasons Why I…


It’s great to be alive!! This morning I opened my eyes. And like days gone by, I was reminded many people didn’t. I’m grateful. Life is hard. Sometimes, it’s impossible to see the rainbow. Through the rain. Let me share some of the reasons why I get up in the morning. Here’s my invitation: make a list. Or two. Place it in a spot, where it can be seen. Often. The result? You’ll see. Go on. I dare you.

  • I love life.While there is life, there is hope.
  • The love of family and friends.
  • I believe in my dreams. I have goals to accomplish. Many things to do.
  • People need and depend on me.
  • My motto:“Life is the ticket to the greatest show on earth”. It’s not a dress rehearsal.
  • The dreams I have for my family. One day.
  • The feeling that I could change a life. Today, might just be the day.
  • I have everything I will ever NEED.
  • It could be a lot worse. And it’s always darkest before dawn.
  • I was destined to be here. At this time. In this life.

Until the next post, enjoy #100reasonstokeepliving

Best,

Juan

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?!?


Them, on a day when you are using your last good nerve: “Sometimes you gotta let things slide, you know? Turn lemons into lemonades.There are more important things in life”. You :“NO! Say what?! Why don’t you make the lemonade, and pour me a glass while you’re at it?”

What drives you crazy? Annoys you to no end?. Call them pet peeves. Personal vexations. Bother. Nuisance. Beef. Bellyache. Button pushing. Things people do that pi$$ us off. You know. And really. Truly. Grinds our gears. Have a look at mine. No particular order. What’s yours? Sound off below!

  • When people say in all seriousness:” I know how you feel”.  And they have no earthly idea.
  • Chronic liars. Especially when they are overselling.
  • Dressed. Ready to go. And having to wait on someone.
  • People who post TMI on Social Networking sites. Spare us.
  • Hearing: “It’s outlined in the terms and conditions section. Did you read it?” No! No one does. Did you?
  • Chronic offenders who don’t respond to messages in a reasonable time, but gets upset when you return the favour.
  • People who take, and take, but won’t give anything in return. AKA the “all about me” types
  • Outsourced customer service to the nether regions.
  • Any type of psychological manipulation. Especially transference, and projection.
  • Shoppers with the double the amount of items in the express lane.

Until the next post, take time to sound off. To someone willing to listen. Write it down. Or hash it out within. You will feel better!

Best,

Juan

30 Sumthin’


At the ripe age of 30 sumthin’, life has taught me valuable lessons. Some were harsh and unforgiving. While others were beautiful and lasting. Yea, I know what you are thinking; did she say 30 sumthin? Yep. Sure did. I know. Don’t look it. Thank heavens for good genes. Lmao. Through it all, like anyone else, I have laughed. Cried. Been driven to anger. And desperation.Denied some were happening. Loved. Lost. Begged for forgiveness. Persevered. Overcame. The entire lot. I can’t imagine what the next few decades will bring my way. Permit me to share some bits with you.

1) No one can take the place of family, but some people come pretty close.

2) You can’t change people. And some people will never change.

3) Sometimes, you have to stop waiting for the perfect moment(s) and take the risk.

4) People will let you down. They are only human.

5) Things always look better the next morning.

6) The only person you should compare yourself to, is the person you used to be.

7) You cannot please everyone. Don’t bother trying.

8) Sometimes you have to lose to win.

9) Crying is NOT a sign of weakness. It actually cleanses the soul.

10) If you are stuck in one place, perhaps there is trouble ahead.

11) Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

12) Everyone makes mistakes. If it happens again, it’s a choice

13) Don’t judge, everyone is fighting a different battle.

14) We teach people how to treat us.

15) Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can come together

16) Today will never come again.

17) You know their name. Not their story.

18) In every heart, there is sorrow the eye can’t see

19)” When someone has a problem with you. It’s their problem. Not yours”.

20) Don’t change to impress anyone.

21) Tomorrow is not promised to us.

22) “Don’t take people for granted. No matter how much they love you, people get tired”

23) No matter how much you guard and protect your heart, you are still going to get hurt.

24) You cannot love another, until you love yourself.

25) You are fabulous! Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

26) Try to live each day as if it was your last.

27) No matter how bad things look now, they will get better.

28) “No matter how much you revisit the past; there is nothing new to see”.

29) Everyone has skeletons in their closet.

30) It’s okay to ask for help.

31) No one can take your place in this universe.

32) If something is meant to be, it will always find a way.

33) Treat people how they could be.

34) If you walk away from a relationship and he/she does not chase you, keep walking.

35) “Everyone comes with baggage; find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack”

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Yes.It’s. About. Me!


Chindeepinlife is almost a year old. I intend to do something to mark the event. Staying power. Time in the blogging world. You know. It’s also time to share a bit more about myself. Through random facts. Twenty of them. Some won’t surprise my friends. No one knew them all. Until today. Of course.

I learnt how to cook at the age of 10.

Unless it is dark and quiet, I cannot fall asleep.

I can eat a pint of Hagen Daas Vanilla ice-cream in one sitting.

I have moved 10 times in the past 8 years.

I have a tendency to change my plans at the last-minute.

I am deathly afraid of snakes and frogs.

I sucked my thumb into my early twenties.

I love to dance in the rain.

I detest cooking.

Kissing is a hobby.

I hate high heels.

I was a cheerleader in high school.

I love listening to podcasts.

I like to eat hot, just-out-of-the-oven-bread, with melted butter.

My second ear-piercing was done by a high school friend during lunch period.

I was terminated from a job once: for helping someone.

I made it through a category 3 hurricane by myself.

I get along better with men versus women.

Both parents have high blood pressure.

I lose interest in things very quickly.

Until the next post, let me remind you of my favorite quote by Robert Frost: “Education is the ability to listen to anything without losing your temper or self-confidence”.

Best,

Juan Williams

IF This Was My Last Blog Post..


We never forget defining moments. Where we were. And what we were doing. The Oklahoma City bombing. Sept 11th 2001. The capture of Hussein. And Bin Laden. The minute Obama became president. The death of Michael Jackson. And now Whitney Houston. When a famous personality departs this life, shock, and sadness are expected. The entire world mourns. Understandably so. However, the devil’s advocate in me must ask, are we sad and mournful when countless children die every day from lack of food, and clean water? No. Do their stories make headline news? No. Is there a world while outpouring of grief? No.

Let me hasten to add, I loved Whitney Houston. Loved her music. The woman was a superstar. She blessed us all with a voice that beckons the soul. And stirred hearts. I danced to her songs. Following the loss of my first love, I cried waterfalls every time I heard “I Will Always Love You”. When The Bodyguard was released, I sat like a sardine, in a cinema with temps rivaling the Sahara desert. Because it was the movie everyone had to see. The point is, let us spare a thought for the children dying every day. Can we? Let us remember them in our prayers. In acts of service. Mourn for the loss of young lives. Hopes. And dreams. That will never be. They were snuffed out by starvation. Hunger. Malnutrition. Yes. I know we cannot save them all. But we can save some. Anyway, my soap box has now been placed under my bed. For now.

When the world loses a well-loved figure, naturally, it engenders feelings of your own mortality. I mulled over what I would write about if this was my last blog post. What I would want people to remember? Here are a few the things I would want my readers to be aware of.

(1) I would want you to become aware of the work of Zainab Salbi. One of my heroes. And founder of WFWI . I have pledge my full support behind this organization. WFWI helps women in war torn countries. They have been used as weapons of war. They were raped. Tortured. Abused. Suffered loss of limbs. They have survived genocide. Civil wars. Loss of spouse. And many other atrocities.  Along these lines, I would encourage my readers to choose a passion. A cause. And fight for it. Leave it better than you found it. Make your contribution. In your own way. Don’t stand by. And do nothing. So many people can use your help. The great Muhammad Ali once said: “You lose nothing when fighting for a cause … In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.”

(2) I did what I could with the time and resources given to me. Yes, there were many false starts. Roadblocks. Harsh learning experiences. However, using the knowledge. Experiences. And skills I had, I did what I could to stay standing. I made the majority of my decisions on my own. I took forever + 1 day to figure out everything happens for a reason. People will disappoint you. Cause you grief. Hurt you over and over (if you let them). Break your heart. Let you down. Stab you in the back. But I kept going. TBH, I had no other choice in most cases. Many watched.  Some judged. Others accepted. The rest turned away. I am who I am today, because of where I came from. What I endured. And the choices I made.  One of my favorite songs is “I did it my way” by the man. The legend. Frank Sinatra. Who remembers this quote by Judy Garland? “Always is a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

(3) Despite tremendously painful experiences in my love life. I chose not to give up on it. And the beautiful experience it could be. I still hope (d) to find someone who shares my passions. Drives. Hopes. Dreams. Love of laughter. The husband whose eyes I meet across a very crowded room, and the contact makes me breathless. My palms get sweaty. Heart rate increases. A man who still gives me butterflies 50 years later. He lets me make mistakes. Because he loves me enough to let me find my way. He is in it for the long haul. He makes all my ex’s look like backyard experiments. Because the search is over. It will not take an act of congress for me to love again. I was/am ready. You catch my drift. I love this quote: “When you ex says: you will never find anyone like me, reply with: that’s the point” Anonymous.

(4) Do not lose sight of your dreams. EVER. I recently published my first anthology of poems Have a Read On Me, two decades after being stung by the writing bug. As a teenager, I sat in a fifth form English class, and listened with pride as the teacher read my short story (along with a few others) to the entire class. This is how monsters are created! Is there is something you want? Go for it. No. Scrap that. Chase it. Pursue it. Relentlessly. Leave the naysayers in the dust. And proverbial wet blankets? Let the door hit them on their way out of your life. Do it. Do what makes you happy. Live your dreams. I love, love, yes love this quote: “Listen– are you breathing just a little, and calling it life?” -Mary Oliver

(5) It’s okay to apologize even though you did no wrong. Yes, you read right! “Apologizing doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego”. Before I learnt this valuable lesson, I was there. Holding  the apology until I absolutely had to give it. That was until I saw what it was doing to my spirit. Hear me out. I am not saying to walk around apologizing to everyone. For everything. You will know when it’s needed.  It might be to settle an argument. Soothe hurt feelings. Or just be the bigger person. Try it soon. Sincerely apologize for something you did not do. Use it as a way of opening a dialogue. You will be surprised. I think it was Harriet Beecher Stowe (1865) who said “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone”

(6) You have the right to forgive yourself anytime you want. Seriously.We are too hard on ourselves. Somehow, we’ve become experts at self-fulfilling prophecies. And social aggrandization. Comparing ourselves to others. Dissecting our failures. Playing host to doubts. Being our own worst enemy. Holding onto things we have done wrong. On and on. And on. Let it go. Forgive yourself. Tomorrow is another day. To start fresh. To move on from this latest failure. The very public fall from grace. It’s the day to look in the mirror. Smile. And say to yourself: “Don’t worry, I got this”. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.Anonymous

(7) If money was not an option: I would work only 6 months out of the year. Volunteer for three. And spend the other three travelling. Life is a rat race. I believe it should also be well-balanced. We work very hard. With very little time to enjoy the benefits. I would volunteer in Africa for a month. Spend another at a shelter for abused women, and the last at a local humane society. As for travelling, I would spend a month in my favorite place. Another in the places I have only seen in my dreams. The last would be determined by closing my eyes and blindly picking a spot on the world map. Dr Kathleen Hall said: “We have overstretched our personal boundaries and forgotten that true happiness comes from living an authentic life fueled with a sense of purpose and balance.”

In closing, the list above is far from exhaustive. However, these are the things I felt impressed to share. Live. Love. Laugh. Forgive. And while you are at it remember this saying: “Life is the ticket to the greatest show on earth!”

So, if you were writing a final epistle, what are some of the things you would include?

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

If I Could Have Twelve Wishes……yes twelve!


“It’s that time of year again”. An oft-repeated phrase. We all have wishes. Secret desires. Kept silent. Yet hope rages on.  Permit me to share my twelve wishes for this holiday season. If they could be granted of course. Yes, I believe in the “genie” story!

  • To  the women who have repeatedly suffered rape. Loss of spouses. And children. As a result of wars and genocide…I wish you peace. And hope your fellow countrymen would somehow grow a conscience. If possible.
  • To the parents of children who died because of starvation, lack of clean water, etc…I wish more world leaders viewed your problems as if it was happening “in their own backyard”.
  • To the countless young women who were sold into sexual slavery in just the past month …my wish is that one day, you will find a way to escape your sentence. And your captors.
  • To the more than 50,000 child beggars on the streets of Senegal…my wish is that one day, when you are old enough to make your own decisions; your children will not be subjected to this way of life.
  • To all the other children who are constantly mistreated. Especially by the ones who should be protecting them, (the Burundi children locked up without trial, in the same prisons as dangerous, adult criminals, the child miners in Bolivia, the tobacco workers in Malawi etc)…my wish is that one day, your faith in humanity will be somewhat restored.
  • To the activists battling to save so many worthwhile causes; the Amazon rainforest, the endangered species of orangutans in Indonesia, the elephants from poachers in East Africa etc…my wish is for the powers that be to take notice. And support you in your efforts.
  • To the approximately ten percent of the world’s population suffering from some form of disability… my wish is for you to realize that you are inspiration to many of us. And know that one day you will be free from pain and suffering.
  • To the soldiers who cannot make it home for Christmas…my wish is that next year will be different.
  • To those who have been wronged in some way. By a spouse. Partner. Significant other. Family member. A friend…my wish is that you do not let the offense rule your life. To forgive. And see them the way God sees them. This is one of the hardest things to do!
  • Finally, my own personal three wishes:  to those who have supported me in one way or another. Cried with me. Prayed for me. Laughed with me. Given me a hug~ just because. Cheered me on…my wish is that if you are reading this, you will be blessed with the things you stand in need of, for many years to come.
  • I also wish my family were all together. Under the same roof. In the same space. Not in 4 separate countries.
  • And my last wish? This time next year, I will have someone special to celebrate this holiday season with.

These are my twelve holiday wishes. What’s yours?

Until the next post,

Best!

Juan