i am (no longer) the walrus.

People ask me why I only smile with my mouth closed…a few years back while playing trumpet on a wedding gig, a guest accidentally bumped into me, and my mouthpiece cracked the bottoms of my two front teeth. The combination of this plus the natural gap between my two front teeth has always made me feel like a “walrus with fangs”, and I’ve been very self-conscious about my smile.

My dentist expressed concerns about the stability of these two teeth, and recommended I get Invisalign (or as I call them, my “AARP braces”)….this will straighten the other teeth, and reduce (but not eliminate) the natural gap, and after Invisalign, my two front teeth will be repaired either by composite or by crown.

The American Songbook tune “I’ll Never Smile Again” will no longer be my theme song…and it’ll be nice to smile with confidence.

Got my Invisalign trays today…I will no longer be the “walrus with fangs!” #AARPBraces
😊🦷👍🏽

damn you, facebook.

So I was made aware that even though I deactivated my Facebook account months ago, my Facebook Messenger was still open. There was a ‘double downside’ to having to deal with this today…..

First I had to go back into my Facebook account to retrieve messages, as I didn’t want to download the FB Messenger app. In predictable fashion, the first post in my feed was somebody whining about politics….shut up already!!

Then I went to Messenger to see the 14 messages I missed, including one from a friend whose child is gravely ill – this was posted three weeks ago. To say that I feel horrible about just finding out is an understatement.

The only upside to dealing with this today was to quickly realize how much I don’t miss Facebook – I could feel my stress climbing when I saw that ridiculous post. There’s no doubt in my mind that my quality of life has gotten much better since walking away.

giving back.

Spent the evening at an alumni function for my alma mater in DC tonight. Very cool to have the chance to speak with recent 2019 graduates (that are less than half my age! Holy crap!), and share life experiences since my time in college. I truly enjoyed being around people with such optimism, as they are beginning their journey into the real world, and it felt nice to be an elder statesman helping them as they begin the journey.

Ithaca College, Class of 1990

25 years ago today….

Columbus Day, 1994….this was the day I moved into my very first apartment at Applewood Acres in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania….I remember banging my head numerous times on the dining room chandelier each time I walked by until they brought in the dining room table, my downstairs neighbor bringing me a six pack to welcome me to the building, and the combination of feeling excited and intimidated by having my very own place for the first time.

It’s hard to believe that it’s literally been half of my lifetime since this day….this was before I knew some of the key people who would come into (and in some cases, leave) my life, and before I had any true concept of who I was or would become.

It’s easy to wonder how my life would be different had I not been transferred to Pennsylvania, but if this time and place in my life had not happened, I don’t think my life would be as complete…and if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. You have to experience bad things in life to truly appreciate the good things, and who I am and where I am now are a direct result of my time in Clarks Summit….thank you, Applewood Acres. ❤️

im not a square peg….im a rhombus.

I had one of those moments last night…the one where I felt like I didn’t fit in with the people around me, and where I’d normally be down about feeling so different.

Then for the first time (in a very long time) I felt a moment of clarity this morning – I thought about one of the things that I was challenged in therapy to do about my lack of self-esteem in moments like this – my “words of meditation”….simple, but so effective…

“I’m not everyone’s cup of tea…..and that’s OK.”

Being the “square peg” implies negativity, as if my flaws are why I don’t fit in with a certain group. I love that I have a creative sense of humor, but that I’m also an introverted extrovert. (Sidebar: if you’re one of those people who thinks I’m upset when I’m quiet, please re-read the last part of the previous sentence.) There’s no shame in being different this way. And it takes a LOT of patience to stay positive when you’re perceived to be the “square peg” by the people around you.

So today, I fully embrace being 180 degrees different from the people I will be around, and it’s not my worry if they can’t deal with it. Why be a predicable “square”, when I can embrace being a different and unique “shape?”

With all due respect to Paul McCartney and John Lennon…..I am the RHOMBUS. (Koo-koo ka-choo.) 😎

revenge….so not worth it.

This is one of those moments where I wish I could talk to the 20-year-old me….I always felt the need to feel vindicated, whether I felt wronged by someone, or to ensure I had the last say in the matter, one way or another.

Three things I learned this year that have given me a much clearer perspective:

Forgive.

Other opinions or judgements don’t define who I am.

It’s better to be happy than always try to be right.

It’s easier said than done….as much as I wanted to rip “Miss Vitriol 2019” a new one face to face for the horrible things she said to me, it felt better to write how I was feeling in this blog, as I know she won’t see it (and maybe five people will at most).

Hindsight is 20/20….hopefully this will help my foresight become clearer when people try to push my buttons.