At Least If I Believed In God…

At least if I believed in God, I’d have someone to direct my rage at.

Although if I did believe in God, I’d probably do the ‘Good Christian’ thing and tell everyone that it was all part of God’s plan for me and that I was growing.

I’m not growing. The current situation kinda sucks. But it’s all first-world related, and I’ll hopefully be able to dig out of this mess in a few months.


Show Your Hand

My manager said something interesting to me this week. We’re trying to find a new team member, and I was worried that his star candidate might not be fully aware of the requirements for the position.

“We don’t want to show our hand”

I love my job, but when I got hired, the hiring manager had the mindset that any engineer could do the job he was hiring for, and so instead of sharing details with me, he talked in generalities. He hid his hand, and the result was six months on me struggling to get up to speed on the project. It was a welcome change from the previous employer who worked me to death, but still not pleasant.

Why do we feel the need to not be upfront and honest?

My favorite question of late has been, “What is your ask?”

People feel the need to explain themselves and paint a picture before getting to the point. I don’t care about the backstory as much. I want to know what you need. If I know what you need, I can help you, or know that I can’t help you without the linguistic dance.

Of course, I state this, as a man who is trying to figure out his needs as a human being.

And sometimes, know what you need is half the battle.

When Someone Shares Something Beautiful And It Bothers Us

I shared the video of Will Smith a few days ago. It talks about seeking out people who fan our flames.

My week started off in the most phenomenal way. I did a float in an isolation chamber first thing on Sunday morning. It was incredible! I came out buzzing and feeling on top of the world.

On Sunday evening I shared a quote on Facebook. It was from some Toltec teachings that I’ve been reading, discussing how each of us is perfect.

Perfect because we are exactly the product of our experiences and our choices.

Perfect because we are here in the present.

Perfect because we are.

It was interesting and disheartening that a friend, who has meant a great deal to me in the past, took issue with what I said.

Not only did he point out why I was wrong, but he brought up something I’d said a few months ago about being psychologically damaged by my experiences with religion.


Why did he feel the need to impose his views on me?

Why point out my weaknesses and vulnerabilities?

It made me this of this selection from Hafiz, a 14th-century Sufi poet.

The small man
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the


From here:


I’ve been thinking a lot about healing lately.

Years ago I felt that maybe a therapist would help. People suggested it too. Some out of concern for my welfare and some because they view mental health as a weakness and wanted to point out that I was weak. First off, fuck that second group… They caused the problems in the first place, and their intentions aren’t pure. They’re dead to me.

But back to the therapist. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a lot of different therapists over the past year in various capacities. I think the guy I found to help me out is one of the better ones.

But I don’t know if he’s helping. I think he has some good ideas, but I think he’s developed an idea of who I am in his head and he’s solving the problems for that guy.

That guy is close to me, but he’s not me, and that makes diagnosis and treatment a little like a shot in the dark.

PSA: Dealing With Someone Who Is Overwhelmed.

I’m not entirely sure what the Live Your Legend topic was for today.  It’s been one of those days.

I woke up at 3 this morning with one of those headaches that feels like someone has driven a knife through my eye, and into my brain.  Took some pain meds and actually fell back asleep.  This is kinda good because I’ve been struggling with insomnia of late, and waking up anytime after midnight usually just results in me trying to sleep, and succeeding at all.

It was a struggle to get out of bed…  And I got to work late.

I’ve been wearing a couple of hats at work lately. Which is good for my career, but not so good for my sanity. My boss keeps commenting that he’s worried about me, and doesn’t want to burn me out. And then assigns me busy work, or offloads a decision he doesn’t want to make onto me.

Thanks, Man.

The truth is, I’ve been burned out before, and this is nowhere close to that. But I am overwhelmed. Between work, home, family and personal issues, I’m barely keeping my head above water.

Lots of people ask how they can help.

The thing is…  When they ask, I have to then spend energy trying to find a way for them to help me out.  Usually, they throw in some kind of helpful comment about me needing to be willing to let go, give up control and trust people.

And then invariably, after I’ve spent time finding something they can help with, explain it to them, they drop the ball, and I’m left picking up the slack and being even further behind than I was before.

My advice.  If you’re seeing a friend, family member or co-worker who seems overwhelmed, don’t burden them with the additional task of having to find a way to shed some of the load and make you feel better.

I think that’s what drives most of this. Mike seems overwhelmed, Mike is busting his ass, and I’m sitting here like a lazy schmuck.

If you want to help me, or anyone…  Figure out what they need and do it.

Or just support them.  Something a simple acknowledgment of their effort and achievements will go further than any form of help or support.

Writing Wrongs

OK, so that’s kind of a weird play on words, but it’s late, I’m tired and it’s been a long ass day!

Today’s assignment is to write about a difference we want to make in the world.

Every year for the past couple of years, I’ve attended the World Domination Summit in Portland.  I’ve had an idea for something I wanted to do to help the world, but it has never been more than a fleeting idea.  The problem with WDS folks is they want to know more about your idea, and what you’re doing to achieve it.

I’m working a full-time job, a part-time job, raising five kids and trying to keep my marriage on track…  Finding time to flush ideas out is tough.

But with the help of friends, I’m starting to flush out my idea.

My idea is to build a platform that helps people establish their own platform. Specifically, I’d like to target black woman. The idea is for it to be entirely non-profit, so I don’t gain anything by establishing this platform and that it functions as a tool to enable, empower and connect black women with each other and resources which can help them.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten though.


Today’s challenge was to write about something I’m proud of.

A number of things come to mind:

  • Escaping a Fundamentalist Cult-Like Religion
  • Leading My Family Out of the Same Religion
  • Raising Children with a Strong Sense of Social Justice
  • Earning a Graduate Degree and Growing My Career, While Supporting My Family and Helping the Mrs Raise Our Five Kids

But here’s a small one. I’m a freelance technical writer in my spare time, and this piece got picked up and went viral last year.

Making the Jump to Go: A Guide for Java Developers

Seeing more than 10k views on something I wrote is definitely good for the ego.

Falling In Love With Perfection

I was listening to a podcast earlier this week, and reference was made to Toltec teachings. If you’re interested in the Toltec Culture, you can probably start here.

The Mrs and I started listening to The Five Levels of Attachment: Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World. The author begins by talking about perfection. Perfection is not a destination, but rather, it’s your current state. Whatever you are right now, you’re the product of your choices and experiences, and you are perfectly you.

He talked about looking in the mirror and seeing yourself for who you are, not who you could become. He talking about loving yourself as you are. As a perfect person.

With that in mind, the Mrs and I went to The Float Shoppe in Portland this morning and spent 90 minutes floating alone in a sensory deprivation chamber. I’ve had good experiences in the past, but today was the best by far. I’ve always liked who I am, but I thought this morning about connecting with myself. About loving myself unconditionally.

Love is a powerful emotion and realizing that you love yourself is the most powerful form of love. Being 100% in love with someone, and knowing that the person in love with you is 100% genuine and never going to abandon you, hurt you or let you down is incredible.

What Makes Me Feel Alive

I’m a decent software engineer and when a task is done I feel a lot of satisfaction.
I’m OK at endurance racing, and when I cross the finish line, I feel a sense of achievement.
I’m fairly good at problem-solving, and when that problem gets implemented I feel a certain amount of pride.

But, when I can work with someone, enable that person and watching them realize a sense of empowerment and opportunity…