What I've Learned in 28 Years

As my 28th birthday approaches - my golden birthday, in fact - it's time to reflect. Some this I have realized over the years may be considered juvenile, some profound. Mostly juvenile. 

3 3/4" G I Joes are the Greatest Toy of All Time

Lets just put this one to bed right now.

Their heyday was long before those recent garbage movies. I'm talking about when the cartoon was on TV. That was the golden era of cartoons.

The knees were joints. The elbows were joints. The hips were joints. The hands became more posable than they had been.

At one point, Hasbro did away with the flexibility of the original figures. I wrote to Hasbro for information on the change, and if they could go back to the original figurines. They wrote back to a "Mr. Andy Whisney" (I was like 6 I think), with some forgettable, canned response.

BUT! They went back to they original design. My ego would like to believe I had some hand in that...you're welcome, America.

You don't see G.I. Joe's on the shelves much anymore. I should know. I frequent the toy section. EVERY ADULT SHOULD FREQUENT THE TOY SECTION AND REMEMBER BEING A KID! 

I'll always hold my G.I. Joe's close to my heart because they let me be creative. I'd guess that they are a subconscious inspiration for my approach to fashion. The colors of the outfits of the figures were incredible. Look at these and tell me they don't scream 90's fashion!

Surround Yourself with People You Enjoy

2015 was a year full of reflection, among many emotions.

Other emotions included panic, frustration, joy, etc.

You get it.

What my 27th year has shown me is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who bring actual value to your life.

A value in the sense of deep, intellectual conversations. Caring for one another. Asking "How's life?", and listening to what the other person has to say. Life is more than surface level conversation and interaction. If you have too much of that, dullness will ooze out of your pores. Find people with whom you're not afraid or hesitant to break through small talk.

So often we're surrounded by people with whom we get too comfortable. Not wanting to push the boundaries of what we share with others. You shouldn't feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk with friends. So many times I've wanted to talk about something with a group of friends, only to bite my tongue out of fear of it not being acknowledged.

So branch out. Network. Find people of the same mind and get to know them. Your brain, your attitude, and your well-being will thank you.

Comic Book Movies Make Me Cry

Even typing that sentence made me get a little emotional. I don't know what it is about seeing your childhood heroes on screen. It makes me feel like a kid every time I see a new comic book movie.

I have this theory that seeing comic book characters on screen is the closest you'll ever come to seeing them in real life. It'd be like if I saw an actor or author I looked up to in real life. I'm seeing them "in the flesh".  I don't know if I can properly explain that hypothesis. I think I get too excited when I try to. 

2016 is going to be the year of the comic book movie. My favorite comic character, Deadpool, hits theaters in February, and I can't wait. If you need me on release day, you'll find me in a movie theater, in a pool of my tears. Tears of excitement and joy.

Dogs Are The Greatest

If you follow me on Instagram, you have a sense of how much I love my dog. Tank, my dog, and I have lived together - just him and me - since late 2012 when I moved in with two friends. Since then it's been walks, countless bags of dog food, ear rubs, leg twitches, and stinky dog breath. I wouldn't change any of it for the world.

Tank will be 12 years old in June. I'm slowly coming to terms with time. I've thought about how that day will unfold. In reality, though, I have no idea how I'll handle things when time does finally catch up with my best friend.

The past 4ish years with him have been pretty wild, and he's stuck with me through it all. Knowing that means a lot to me. He has no idea the effect he's had on my life.

All I can do now is go on more walks. Give more belly rubs. Laugh harder while his leg twitches. And cuddle him harder when he's dreaming. 

Folks - if you take one thing away from anything I write, it's this.

Put down your phone. Turn off the TV. Leave work early. Spend more time with the people and things that you love.

Technology, TV shows and our jobs are all somewhat necessary. But don't let each trump your relationships. Relationships are all we have.

Tank won't ever understand how much I love him and how much fun I have with him being around. What's most important right now is cherishing those fun and loving moments to come. Now shut up and stop making fun of me for crying as I wrote this *sniffle*.

Divorce Isn't the End of the World

Relationships are weird. Some have argued humans shouldn't even be monogamous. It just seems super difficult. And having been a child of divorce since 2000, I've realized that it's just not as bad as some people say it is.

My folks split up at a pivotal point in my life. I was switching to a public school. My older brother was going off to college, and I was 12, I think? Something like that. A pretty important time for a young kid. I remember going to required counseling. I remember the counseling being somewhat of a joke. I always went in not knowing what to say because, honestly, I didn't have anything to say.

Sure, it was weird for a while. But I didn't feel the need to talk to anyone about it. I was just rolling with it. I've always been able to roll with the punches. I remember my Dad concerned I wasn't talking much but in reality, I didn't have anything to say. Their marriage just didn't work out - and I get it. And I get it now more than EVER.

Seeing my parents divorced for the past 16 years, I don't know how the marriage lasted for so long in the first place. They're just so different. And, from my perspective, they're so much happier now. So in my case, the divorce was a good thing. Good for everyone.

My parents are much happier now than I remember them being. My step-dad is one of the best people I know. And he is a saint for putting up with my wonderful mother :). Dad is doing his thing being single, chugging coffee, and marching to his drum. It's great.  And the two Christmases part isn't bad either!
If you're struggling with your folks splitting up, are going through a divorce yourself or whatever other crazy scenarios I can't think of - just do whatever makes you happy. My parents did that, and now they're happier than ever.

Being Unique is the Bees Knees

Laugh at serious shit because it doesn't matter. Sure - it might matter at the time. And that's fine. But stop and smell the roses sometime. Stop and be goofy more often. Laugh at weird stuff. It has helped me come out of my shell more - and has helped me have more fun in life.

Sure, I get weird looks. But laugh at the faces giving you the funny looks! There's a good chance the person looks funny if they're making a funny face. 

Just be you.

Be whatever you want to be. Have fun being that person. You have the ability to control what stresses you out. When you can laugh in the face of adversity more often, they better you'll feel - and the more fun you'll have.