What Are You Listening For?

Well, hi there!

Welcome to yet another new week and Monday of my blog!

For those who are new to reading my words, welcome! And for those who are loyal readers, welcome back!

If you are someone who is living on the East Coast, I sincerely hope that you were able to survive the little taste of Winter that Mother Nature gave us last week and that you are continuing to stay warm and finished with all your shoveling duties!

I’m not sure what it was this week, but something just felt off for me. I have not felt like myself and I can’t seem to pinpoint what it might be that had me feeling that way.

The snow–although it provides some beautiful scenery and photo capture opportunities, it also seems to blanket our world with what seems like a swirling depression that exacerbates the feelings of anxiety that we already seem to feel normally during the season of Winter.

The snow coupled with some exhausting customer interactions at work, missing both morning workouts with my personal trainer this week, constant news about the pandemic and the unknown of when we will feel “normal” again, and intense feelings of missing the office atmosphere with my colleagues just culminated into moments of feeling like what we could describe as being a “darker Mr. Sunshine.”

During one of my evenings this week, I put aside some time for just myself to start reading again. I started a book called Everybody Always: Becoming Love in A World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People” by Bob Goff.

As of right now (and I’m writing this post currently on Friday night at 9:18pm), I’m about halfway through the book on Chapter 12 and loving every single word. It is so relatable and I find myself going back to write down quotes that really speak to me.

One of these quotes that really jumped out at me more so than others, especially during this past week when I didn’t feel like myself was the following:

“Keep track of where you are, figure out what you need, and listen for voices you can trust.”

If I’m keeping track of where I’m at, I would say that I’m at North Plum Street and if I’m figuring out what I need…well…I need some extra sugar right now. Well, I guess I don’t really “need” it, but boy it sure could give me that extra jolt of energy to keep me going to finish this post.

Obviously, the above is just me trying to be funny with thinking about that quote. Like, duh. Obvi.

In all 100% seriousness though and stepping back to really think about this and what it means, it does pack a punch when I really think about it, especially with the way that I felt this past week.

Keep track of where you are…

-I’m a 33 year-old single, gay man living in Lancaster working three jobs to make sure the bills are always paid timely–bills that include a mortgage, car payment, house renovation loans, Netflix, Hulu, Internet coverage, groceries, gas, electric, sewer, trash, water, cell phone…I feel like I could just keep going. I, like most people in this world, is also trying to navigate a pandemic that has crippled a Country for almost a year. I’m also in the midst of a huge year-long fundraising project with the ultimate goal of trying to bring some awareness and light to the surrounding World.

Figure out what you need…

-I need sugar. Haha. Kidding…kind of. There are lots of things that I need, but some of the most important ones that were brought to light this past week were the following:

  1. I need to run everyday not only because it is part of my year-long mission to change the world, but also because it is time to myself where nothing else in the world matters. It is decompression. It is a mental release to sweat out the negative toxins that I happen to be experiencing in that current moment whatever they might be—tangible or not.
  2. While I would consider myself an extreme extrovert…shocker I know…but on the flip side of this, I need some time to myself with no distractions…no texts…no social media…no human interaction. This might mean watching a Disney movie in my bedroom with no other humans present, laughing to myself as I watch that same episode of The Golden Girls that I’ve seen a thousand times, reading a book, or just something as simple as coloring or journaling.
  3. I need theater and concerts. It is something that I have been without for more than a year–the last production that I was able to be a part of was being music director for Frozen Jr. at EPAC during January/February 2020–right before the pandemic shut everything down. The Facebook memories that I keep seeing about my shows at EPAC literally bring me to tears every time they flood my newsfeed. I don’t think I was going to fill such a huge void without the theater and the action of making art with my dear friends and colleagues, but man…I was wrong on all accounts. And live concerts…I miss them just as much. Celine Dion in Atlantic City with my friends Abby, Jed, and Devin was my last one of those right before the world became crippled with COVID-19. Ugh. I literally just had to watch a YouTube video of her concert tour and it gave me all the feels.

Listen for voices you can trust…

-This is one that can always be a big challenge especially with the fact that there is just so much noise happening around us 24/7. Who do we believe? Who do we listen to? Who do we trust? Do we have people in our lives that we try to listen to more often than not because we just feel obligated to do so? Do we find ourselves listening to voices more often than not because they are a notable figure in society? What makes us wander from those we do trust? Is it the difference of political opinion, social status, behavior, accomplishments, or titles that clout our judgment? These are definitely great questions to step back and ask yourself.

I hope as you go about your week and the coming weeks that you will think about this quote that I shared above and will share once again to re-iterate:

“Keep track of where you are, figure out what you need, and listen for voices you can trust.”

As we continue to navigate this pandemic world together, make sure you know where you are personally in life, what you need to keep healthy (mentally and physically), and what voices in your life you can trust to understand your needs while also keeping you uplifted and supported.

What will you be listening for this week?

Sprinkle sunshine always,