No Easy Day

Yes, I stole the title of the book I’m sure many of you have read. But it fits perfectly with this post. This won’t be about books.

I’m already crying my eyes out and I haven’t written anything.

One year ago today I lost my grandma. It was the single worst day I’ve experienced in my 27 years. I haven’t had a good day since then. I’ve had a few okay days, but oh so many absolutely terrible ones. On the outside I look fine. No one in public or at work has any idea anything is wrong. Even the few who do know, don’t. Not really.

When she died it was part of a chain of events that continued throughout the year that I haven’t overcome. It’s so easy to get a glimpse into someone else’s life and think all is well. They don’t have to worry about money? They have a nice place to live? They try to travel as much as they can? They work for a Fortune 100 company with lots of potential growth opportunities? They must be doing so well!

All of those describe me. And I’m not doing well at all.

No one understands my feeling of not being good enough for anything. Not good enough for a better job. Not good enough for people to genuinely care about me as a person. Not good enough to be in a relationship. Not deserving to be happy. And on and on.

I have maybe 5 friends. I should take the blame because I’m the lone constant in the endless line of people leaving. Honestly, I don’t expect to regularly talk to any of them by year’s end. It’s just how things are. But when I’m really having a terrible time I only turn to 1. Or when it gets really bad, my ex. Lately I’ve stopped saying anything to anyone because who wants to be the person constantly bothering someone else about how bad things are? Or the person who never has their shit together? Or worse, the person pitied by others? Not me. Especially when I do reach out just to talk and get nothing in response.

I know there are so many people out there feeling the same as I do. But still my feelings are only mine. No one walks in my shoes just the same as I don’t walk in anyone else’s.

I don’t know what the best course of action is. Therapy, probably. Which I haven’t done because I’m too embarrassed. If someone asked me to my face why I feel the way I do I wouldn’t have an answer. And quite honestly, I’d just break down.

My birthday was recently. I visited my grandma because she would always sing me happy birthday. I cried alone at the cemetery for an hour and went home and went to sleep. Remember those maybe 5 friends I mentioned? Not one said anything. Not one.

When all of this really began in late 2017 I never thought I’d get to 2019 and feel worse. But here I am. Yet I want to end with something positive. When someone makes an impact on you or simply helps you through some rough patches, let them know. You might feel silly or nervous or awkward, but I promise the other person will appreciate knowing they’ve helped you along the way. I cannot think of anything negative that can come from a genuine message of “I really appreciate everything you do for me.” Can you?

I’m still crying. And that’s okay.

If you read this far, thank you. I know this didn’t flow well at all.

PS: I got this in October as a daily reminder to just trust myself. I’m still working on it.

The Diary of an Unhappy Nobody: Day 29

I began the year by posting daily about my own personal struggles in recent months. I haven’t posted in recent weeks because all the things I’d been writing about worsened and worsened to the point of me texting someone at 4 in the morning a couple of weeks ago that I was on the verge of complete collapse.

But it was something entirely unexpected that caused this. My grandma fell ill.

I’m going to be completely honest with y’all. As an adult I’ve always maintained the attitude that death shouldn’t sadden us the way it typically does because every one of us will reach that day. My grandma was the closest relative I’ve lost. All of my other grandparents died when I was younger. I have memories of and with them, but I had my grandma twice as long as all the others. And I lived with her for 14 years.

She left us on the 19th. I went home from the hospital and cried all night. I’ve cried every day since. I’ve never cried more at any point during my 26 years.

I delivered the eulogy on the 25th. It was the single greatest honor of my life to tell everyone about my grandma and what I learned from her. Her funeral was the 26th. I’m still not sure I can handle this going forward.

But one thing I learned throughout all of this is that I’ve been mistaken for a really long time. I’m not alone, no matter how I might feel. I’ve had old friends reach out to me. But even more importantly, I’ve come to realize I have my family. It shouldn’t take death to realize this.

I already miss my grandma more than I can possibly put into words here. But I’m so much better off because of the two and a half decades I had with her.

Let my experience possibly be a lesson for you. We’ll all experience the feeling of loneliness I’ve been experiencing, but we aren’t alone. Not really. Not a single one of us.

Take That Chance You’ve Been Thinking of

I’m not one to give unsolicited advice to people. Not co workers. Not friends. Not family. I mostly keep to myself. I’m not a fan of people trying to force their beliefs on to others. No matter how well intentioned they may be. So this isn’t advice. I’m not telling you this will change your life or alter the way you do certain things. I’m sharing with you a mindset I’ve adopted.

I don’t think it’s particularly astonishing to say we’ve all been asked about the things we regret. And we all have things that come to mind that we don’t share, for various reasons. My new mindset aims to eliminate those things from my life.

I’ll never want to ask myself “What if…?” again. I’m serious. I’d rather face rejection or fail at something or experience defeat than simply avoid taking a chance. Because when we avoid risk or chance, then what are we really doing? We’re sticking to routine, what we know best. And guess what? That’s easy. That’s how we can have a good job and close friends and family and STILL be miserable. Because we’re too busy not taking any chances. I refuse.

If I have a question at work I should know the answer to but don’t, I’m asking for help. If I have the opportunity to travel, I’m taking it. If a girl appears in my life and I want to know if she wants what I want, I’m asking. If a job opportunity opens up at my company or elsewhere and I feel I’d be a great candidate, I’m applying.

These are just a few examples. I plan on carrying this into every aspect of my life. Why? Because taking a chance or risking failure is much less damaging than never doing so.

We’ll be faced with tough decisions. But they don’t always have to be agonizing.

Goodreads…For Love?

Guys, this is probably going to sound stupid to some of y’all. Fair warning.

I’ve never really had a real relationship with anyone before. There are a number of contributing factors to this statistic of mine, but I believe I know the top one. I’ve never really wanted to be in one. You know those people who are ALWAYS in a relationship? Like, they’ll be with someone for a year, break up, and then a month later they’re with someone else. Oh boy, do I know those people. Lots of them. Just think of me as the complete opposite.

When I think of my priorities right now I come up with a few. Travel. Learning. Improving. See, even as I write this I wouldn’t list a relationship anywhere near the top of my list of things I want to do. But I can see your all-knowing gaze. You’re thinking I wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t feeling more open to the idea, right? Welp. You caught me.

When I think of myself and the whole dating scene I’m just like “WHAA?”. And when I think of all the so-called dating apps I’m just like 🏃. That’s me running away for those of you on a computer.

We have dating apps for everyone. Farmers. Christians. Different ethnicities. Sexual preference. Casual sex. Over 50. And on and on. Why hasn’t someone developed an app for people who may or may not be obsessed with books!? This is a serious question. That’s an app I’d download and fill out a full profile for. I mean, why not? Other dating apps oftentimes have questionnaires in order to “match” users. I’d rather compare my responses to book-related questions than the crap that gets asked in other apps. I’ll even offer some easy starter ones to get you and your developer friend off the ground running.

“Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey”?

“Do you rate every book you read 4 or 5 stars?”

“How often do you give books as gifts?”

“When was the last time you started and finished a book in a single day?”

“Rank these in order of importance: books, oxygen, water, shelter, food.”

I mean, tell me this isn’t a fantastic idea! I want this app. I want someone to read this and believe it could work. Then I want someone to develop it. Then I want to download it. Then, well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.

Are you aware of any literary-centered dating apps currently available? If yes, tell me. If not, go find one. 😎

UPDATE: After writing this but before publishing I discovered that there was a dating site devoted to book lovers. It was called Alikewise. It shut down last year. Guys, I could have missed my opportunity to find *gulp* “the one”. I’m sad.

Why I want to Visit the World’s Museums

Over the next few days I’ll likely be posting a wrap up of my vacation. But first I wanted to post once more about why I want to travel to cities all over the world and visit their museums.

It comes down to one thing, but this one thing is as important as any other thing in my life. Learning. I understand that some people kind of give up on learning new things once they’ve earned their degree and gotten a good job. But there’s so much out there I’ll never get to experience. We like to think 70-80 years on earth is an eternity. But it isn’t. Not even close. My primary purpose is to learn as much as I possibly can during my brief time on earth. That’s it. There are other things I’d like to do, but learning trumps them all.

I’m one person in a world of billions. I only know one life experience. Mine. Is it so unbelievable to want to learn about the experiences of other cultures, people, and geographic areas? I don’t think so. Museums work to preserve. And I work to learn.

One Day

Being unemployed gives one plenty of time to think. Time to think about work. Time to think about life. Time to think about the big picture, as they say. And I’ve been thinking.

There are things I’d like to do at some point. Lots of traveling, duhh. Side note: visiting BOSTON in April! But there are also goals that some would consider lofty. I don’t. Not out of arrogance, but because I know me. I know what happens when I push myself. I know what happens when I challenge myself. I know the only limits that’ll be placed upon me are those I’ll place upon myself. Which is why I don’t limit myself in anything.

But let me get back to the point here. I’ve known for quite some time now that I plan on pursuing public office later in life. I don’t think for a second it’ll be easy or simple, heck, I think it’d be the most difficult thing I ever pursue. But I can’t tell you how strongly I feel about this. I may never become an elected official, but there will come a time in which my name is on the ballot. Because I won’t accept that it’s too hard.

Do you believe that I’ve said all this and I haven’t reached the point of this post yet? Ha!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about causes and issues I want to tackle. I mean, I’m about to turn 25. And boy, there are many. But that whole unemployment thing is quite limiting. So I’ve been thinking more than I’ve been doing. I’ve decided to start a nonprofit organization to promote literacy. Again, there’s no timeframe for this. But some people gain satisfaction from money or material possessions, but me? I’d love nothing more than to go to work each day with a small group of people promoting literacy.
I know what you’re thinking. Why not volunteer for an organization or work for one? I could. I’m not taking that off the table. I’ll just have to see what happens.

My message to you is this: I know some of the things I’m going to fight for and support throughout my life, and I imagine more will come into focus along the way. The causes and issues you care about are guaranteed to be different from mine. And that’s great! Because there’s no shortage of incredible causes around the world. Find what you’re passionate about and do something about it. So many people think it’s only about money. It isn’t. Maybe volunteer in your city. Maybe share the link to an ongoing fundraiser. Maybe use your blog to talk about an organization you’re involved with.

Now tell me about just one cause or organization you’re really passionate about. You know one of mine is literacy. I’ll share another. Hunger. My brother will tell you how much I HATE seeing people just throw away food. Now tell me what you’re passionate about!

15 Reasons to Read This Post!

Photo Credit: Leah’s Thoughts

You guys know that I rarely deviate from my books/writing/reading posts. Well, I’m about to. But I promise it’ll be fun. And interesting. So, unless you’re really new around this side of the blogging neighborhood then you likely saw my Liebster Award post from this past Saturday. If not, you can read it here. Anyway, I felt that my readers/followers enjoyed learning a bit more about the guy behind the blog as I listed out 15 random facts about myself. Some having to do with writing and some not. Well since I like you guys so much I figured why not just go ahead and tell y’all even more about myself? Here come 15 more random facts about me. Hope you like.

1. I may have fallen in love yesterday. She took me by surprise and now I don’t know what’s going on! It’s scary. Love is scary.

2. I have a really obnoxious laugh. Like whenever it gets out in public someone always looks at me like…what the heck are you doing? But it’s me. 🙂

3. I want to be able to travel the world someday. The Sistine Chapel. Pyramids of Giza. Stonehenge. Anywhere in Rome. Statue of Liberty. And so many more places. Someone with a lot of frequent flyer miles should loan me a few. Or all of them.

4. I cried when I got the author proof of my first book last year.

5. I come from a rather large Mexican family. Four brothers and three sisters. John. Brandon. Marc. Michael. Christina. Adrianna. Brandi. I’ve also been led to believe that there are others out there, though I’ve never met any more. Eh. We’re Mexican after all.

6. I share the exact same name as one of my brothers and my dad. It’s funny because we all go by something different. Our full name is John Raymond Guillen. My dad is Ray. My brother is John. And I’m JohnRaymond. But only family calls me that, so you guys can’t. Unless you’re the person who I may have fallen in love with yesterday. Then you can call me anything you like.

7. I have a weird double standard that I didn’t realize existed until fairly recently. When I’m around any guy friends I speak pretty vulgarly. Is that a word? But when I’m around a girl friend I won’t even say damn. And I would NEVER EVER EVER cuss at a girl. Nope. I’d hit a guy who did that in front of me.

8. I hate wearing jeans. With a passion. I have to wear them for my job but I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I wore them somewhere else. It’s cause I can’t find any that fit right. My brother and I seem to share the same problem. They’re just too tight. Probably why I never wear pants once I’m home. Or a shirt.

9. I had an iPhone 4 for more than two years and never had a single problem with it. I’ve since switched to a Samsung Galaxy S4 and the screen went out after about six months and I got a free replacement. And the replacement phone doesn’t lock when I’m not using it. But I’m not going back to Apple! I refuse.

10. I routinely cry while reading books. I’ve cried while reading my own and I always knew what was going to happen. Call me a baby.

11. I don’t talk to a single person from my high school graduating class from 2010. It’s sad. I met some great people in high school. Their loss.

12. I don’t dance. At all. My sister got married about a month ago and I didn’t dance. I wish I could. But I can’t. I have no rhythm. Or anything. I’ve vowed to make a fool of myself at my wedding and never again. You can’t change it!

13. Normal people my age (22) do what on the weekends? Party. Go out. Something other than sitting at home doing nothing. Well I sit at home and do nothing every weekend. Cause I sleep. And read. And occasionally I’ll actually get some writing done. Call me boring. I’ll call you an alcoholic. 🙂

14. I hate when people criticize me for not using my degree a year after graduating. Seriously, get out of my life. I’ll punch you.

15. I went to the gym on Halloween last year in a hot dog costume. Yes, pictures were taken. Yes, I’m more awesome than you.

Yay! So now you know even MORE about me! Are you ready to give me your flyer miles? Say yes. I’ll love you forever.

I usually end every post with a question of some kind. So, tell me what you thought of my randomness. Or tell me something random about yourself. Or hit Like and leave my blog. Whichever you prefer!