Thanksgiving thoughts

Very often, I find myself *in my feelings* around this time of year. Thanksgiving. The time to give thanks. For me, being thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life leads me to feel guilty and upset with myself because I don’t deserve everything and everyone in my life. Guilty for being a shithead. Upset with myself for not doing more for the people I love and care about. I think these feelings are the ones that come most naturally to me. Most of all, though, I’m sorry. Really.

Friends and family, I am sorry.

I’m sorry I am the way I am. I’m sorry “kindness” and “love” don’t come as naturally to me as they do most people. My first instinct in most situations is to look out for my own interests. I’m selfish to the bone, and I’m sorry for it. If you ever find me doing anything nice, I promise you there was a long dialogue in my head in which Bad Stu was talked out of his plans by Good Stu.

I’m sorry I’m so judgmental. I’m sorry I’m so self centered. I’m sorry I’m so fearful. I’m sorry I’m a scumbag. I’m sorry I’m so stubborn.

To Mom and Dad: I’m sorry I don’t call enough and I certainly don’t say I love you enough. I’m sorry I don’t make more time for you. I’m sorry I moved to the other side of the country and you don’t get to see me.

To my friends back home: I’m sorry I don’t call enough or text you back within a day. I’m sorry I don’t keep in touch as much as I’d like to. I’m sorry I haven’t come back to visit and see you. To be fair, wouldn’t you rather visit me in California instead?

To my coworkers: I’m sorry my first instinct is to tell you what you’re doing is wrong. You’re great. Don’t change. Ok maybe you could change a little, but I’m sorry for not being nicer about it. I’m sorry for not praising you when you deserve it and encouraging you.

To my friends in San Luis Obispo: I’m sorry for leaving so soon after moving here (is it self centered to assume that you’ll miss me? Maybe, I don’t know). I am so so so thankful to have met you people and I’m sorry that I’ve decided to leave you. I’m sorry that I take you for granted. I don’t deserve such incredible people in my life.

To my future friends in San Francisco: I’m sorry you’re going to meet me and decide to hang out with me. I don’t know what sort of wrong doing I’m going to do to you, but I’m sorry for it in advance.

To any woman I’ve ever gone out with or dated: I’m sorry for not texting/calling you back. I’m sorry for texting/calling you too often. I’m sorry that commitment scares me. I’m sorry that I scared you away.

I’m sorry I’m too much of a wimp to say these things to your faces. I’m sorry for all bad shit that I’ve done and all of the bad shit I’m going to. Just know, that I’m trying to do more nice shit. Thankful for all of you. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Moving on up

Life feels so crazy right now. I’m a fluster of emotions. Today marks me being in San Luis Obispo, California for one year straight. I truly didn’t know what the fuck I’d be doing at this time a year ago. I was just a Missouri boy looking for some uncertainty and a change of scenery. I’m such an emotional mess right now because I’ve decided to leave SLO to make the move up to San Francisco. I saw a position at Verve Coffee Roasters’ upcoming SF café, and I knew that I would hate myself if I didn’t apply. Well I got it. My head is filled with excitement, sadness, guilt, and fear.

In the year that I’ve been here, I’ve seen more of California than most of my friends from here have seen, made some of the best friends I could have imagined, learned more about coffee than I thought I ever would, and picked up tons of dope hobbies. I’ve only been here for twelve months, but I feel like it’s been twelve years. I walk down the street and see at least three people I know. SLO has become the best home I’ve known so far.

Words don’t come close to adequately describing how stoked I am about this. I fell in love with San Francisco when I first visited back in 2012. I can’t explain why I feel the way I do about the city. It’s been the dream to live in SF since my first visit. Stop fucking telling me it’s expensive and foggy and dangerous and cold. It’s also probably the most geographically beautiful city in the country. The weather is perfect. The food is the best. The people are the coolest. Shit is gonna be “hyphy” as the locals say, I think.

With all good things, there’s always a tradeoff. I have to say goodbye to the some of the best people I know. No more perfect sunny weather year round. Hello traffic. Hello long commutes. Hello being broke as fuck. But it’s cool, I’m cool with it. I see it as a challenge, a welcome one at that. These last few months I’ve felt pretty stagnant, and I think this is just what I need.

Thank you to my friends and family here in SLO that have taken me in as one of their own. Thank you to my friends and family back home that have visited me here in California. Thank you Scout Coffee Co. for taking a chance on this Missouri boy and teaching me about coffee. Thank you Verve Coffee Roasters for the opportunity. And thank you to my future baby mama that I’m gonna meet in San Francisco.

Cheers to the next adventure. Cheers to growing. Cheers to making coffee in a new city. Cheers to another year in California. Talk soon.

 

 

 

~*friendship*~

Friendship is a really weird thing to me. Always has been. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that people actually like me and want to be around me. I grew up as the weird kid. I wore shitty clothes at a school where the 7 year olds wore designers (panda panda panda panda). I died my hair tomato red in sixth grade. I was also a really emotional kid, crying a lot for no reason. I was a bully’s wet dream.

I always had friends, but not many. Never a best friend, just a few close ones. The friends I saw as my closest friends didn’t see me as their closest. And I definitely wasn’t good with girls in my adolescence. This isn’t even on some my-life-was-so-hard-what-did-I-do-to-deserve-this type shit, this is just me telling you how it was. Facts.

Now I have more than enough friends. Friends that live in SLO with me. Friends that have moved to other parts of California. Friends that still live in Missouri. Friends that have moved to Texas, Georgia, New York, etc. The only problem I have now is losing contact with all of my friends around the world.

My closest friend back home and I text most days, not necessarily about anything important. But we’re connected. My closest friend I made here in SLO just moved to Seattle, and nothing about our friendship has to change. We may not text every day, or even every week. But I know that when I see her next, we’ll pick up where we left off. Because that’s all a friendship has to be.

People get so upset when their friends move, or vice versa. But we live in an age where you can stay connected through communication via like seventeen different apps every day. You can obsessively stalk your friends’ locations at any time of the day with Find Your Friends. If that isn’t friendship then I don’t know what the fuck is. Just because you don’t live in the same city, state, or country, doesn’t mean you have to lose touch.

Conversely, the dopest part about me moving to California or friends moving to other states is the ability to cut irrelevant fuckboys out of my life. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had people in my life that I’ve called my friends, but these people have done nothing but bring me down and infect me with their bullshit. They don’t treat me or others with respect. They take me for granted while bringing absolutely nothing to the table. These kinda people are not my friends. They are irrelevant and they do not belong in my life. It’s funny because now I’m in a position to choose who I’m friends with, when I used to take whoever I could get. Options.

Friendship is whatever you make it. You can keep up with friends in many ways. Maybe that just looks like sending a random text every now and then, just checking up. Maybe that means having a weekly Facetime appointment. Maybe that means flying halfway across the country to see your homie. You can also cut people out of your life if you want to. That’s the beauty of it.

I’m pickin and choosin friends, and I suggest you do the same.

“I’ll take a root beer, please.”

Today marks four years of continuous sobriety for me. I feel pretty weird sharing this, but I wrote this lil’ piece on the flight home from New Zealand. Keep reading if you wanna see your boy get mad vulnerable.

                                  

“It’s so boring without drugs.” – Amy Winehouse

I’m 35,000 feet above the Pacific flying back from New Zealand, and this quote is all I can think about. I’m trying to fall asleep, but my mind won’t shut off. Also, homeboy next to me on the flight won’t stop moving around and going to the bathroom, so that might have something to do with it (I hope he’s reading this as I type it out. You should probably get your prostate checked out if you have to urinate this often.)

This quote from Amy Winehouse is all I can think about because I just finished watching that film about her career, life, and unfortunate drug abuse. Allow me to put the quote in context for you.

Amy is at a Grammys viewing party back in her hometown in England, surrounded by fans, friends, and family. She’s been sober for maybe a few months at this point. After hearing that she won the Grammy for Record of the Year (her fifth Grammy of the night), the whole room erupts in applause and cheers for good reason. This is arguably one of the highest accolades a musician can be awarded. Amy’s friend, Jules, tells her how proud and happy everyone is for her. Amy shrugs and says, “Jules, it’s so boring without drugs.”

Normal people might’ve cried at this point in the movie because this was so shocking and sad for them to hear. I, on the other hand, almost cried because it was all too relatable for me.

You might or might not know this about me, but I’m in recovery. Just like Amy was. Just like many others that walk the streets with you. Some of my closest friends and mentors are in recovery, too. Some are public about their struggles with alcohol and drugs, others are more private.

I’m not extremely open about my past. I confide in people that I trust, but I usually don’t bring it up out of the blue. It embarrasses me, to some extent. So here goes nothing.

I could go into explicit detail of my partying days, but I don’t necessarily want that kind of stuff floating around on the internet with my name on it. So I’ll try to keep this short and to the point:

I used to not like myself. Not even a little.

I started drinking and smoking weed, (on that good kush and alcohol, shouts to Future and Weezy. Still didn’t have any down bitches that I could call, though).

Lo and behold, the drugs made me feel comfortable in my own skin.

But I started doing mean things. Really bad things.

The drugs stopped working. I found myself in a dark place, more fearful and resentful than ever.

My substance use got out of hand (0-100 real quick. Real fuckin quick.)

Friends and family members noticed it becoming a problem. My dad convinced me to start attending 12 step meetings.

Thanks to friends, family, and people I met at those meetings, I’m sober today.

I’m 23 and I’ve never had a legal drink. That’s dope as fuck.

Amy’s life reminded me of the power that one person’s story and struggle can have on other people’s lives. I remember how she felt, feeling bored and unhappy without drugs. But I can say from personal experience, as well testimonies from homies in recovery, that life gets way better the longer I’ve been clean.

I have real friends. My family doesn’t hate me. I can look at myself in the mirror and be happy with the man standing in front of me. I graduated from college, something that definitely wouldn’t have happened had I continued along the path I was on.

There are shitty days, sure. But the worst days now are far better than the best of days when I was getting fucked up. Life is worth living (if you don’t know that song by Bieber, do your ears and soul a favor by giving it a listen right quick.)

This isn’t me telling you that you shouldn’t be drinking or doing drugs. If you can enjoy substances in moderation, more power to you. Matter of fact, smoke a blunt for me. I just know that moderation isn’t something I completely understand, so today I’m choosing to be sober.

Hopefully something in here was of interest to someone reading. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna try to catch some Zs and cuddle up with the stranger next to me. I hope he likes being little spoon.

 

 

 

 

Shit happens

I poop a lot, or what I’ve been led to believe is a lot. I go several times throughout the day, and each time lasts about ten minutes, sometimes more. My friends and family are well aware of this, as they receive countless Snapchats and texts while I’m taking care of my business. Usually they don’t appreciate being alerted of my bowel movements. Oh well.

As I was taking my morning dookie today, I was texting my friend Nadine and I just happened to mention to her the fact that I was mid-doo doo. She responded with “Oh NICE! That rocks! Bodies are COOL.” Her enthusiasm was unexpected, but appreciated. I often text, snapchat, and talk on the phone when I poop because it makes the time go by faster, but usually the responses I receive from my friends are more negative.

“Ew that’s disgusting, Stu!”

“Do not contact me ever again.”

“You are going to die alone.”

We started talking about poop and poop shame (the embarrassment many people feel after pooping, and the lengths they go to hide it), and its similarities to how people hide other things in their lives that they feel they should be ashamed of.

Why are people so afraid to let their peers know that they just dropped a big ol’ (Dej) loaf? Why don’t more people ask their friends about the health of their bowels? How are people supposed to know what to do when there’s something wrong with their dookers when they can’t even have a normal discussion on the topic?

Much like feces, why are people so afraid to let their peers know what’s going on in their lives? Why don’t more people ask their friends about what’s troubling them? How are people supposed to know what to do when life fucks them, if they don’t know how to talk about life?

Poop is the PERFECT metaphor for life. Here’s why:

1) L i t e r a l l y everyone poops and l i t e r a l l y everyone has shit (lol) in life that they have to deal with. Nothing to be ashamed of, that’s just life (and poop).

2) Sometimes life stinks, just like fanny fudge. Sometimes all you went to do is get the fuck out of the bathroom, but you have to finish what you started.

3) Pooping isn’t all bad, though. There’s nothing I look forward to more than my time spent on the throne in the morning. I check my email (lol what emails? I graduated, no one emails me anymore), scroll through my feeds (v important), and send Snapchats to my friends (sorry). It’s a good time. Just like pooping, life can be a lot of fun.

4) Sometimes it’s ok to call on your friends if the going gets rough. Everyone needs help once in a while. It’s totally understandable to send someone that “Hey can you talk?” text, or that “Yo there’s no tp in here, help a brother out?” text.

polls_need_toilet_paper_1322_788026_answer_1_xlarge

Savage af

5) Sadly, strangers don’t want to hear about the consistency or color of your bum nuggets, nor do they want to hear about the resentments you hold towards your mother. Some things are better to share with people you’ve known longer than a couple minutes.

6) There’s no right or wrong way to live life. No one can tell you how you’re supposed to live life. The same thing goes for dropping logs. Some people wipe while sitting down, and some do it standing up. I like to listen to music when I go potty. Pants can be halfway down your legs, or all the way off. Shirts are also optional.

to5iv6r

When you forget your shirt in the bathroom after a nice, relaxing poop.

7) Lastly, I think we could all benefit from being a bit more open about our excrements, as well as life’s woes.

when-you-catch-your-woes-running-through-the-6-without-you-drake

In summary, pooping is good and so is life. Let’s talk about these tough subjects with our friends more. I know I will.

 

Unapologetically myself

“I will never apologize for being me. You should apologize for asking me to be anything else.”

Someone I follow on Twitter tweeted this quote the other day. Obviously, I did what any logical human being would do, and immediately unfollowed (and blocked) this person. Sadly, I can’t shake this cheesy quote from my head. I relate to it more than I’d like to admit.

I find myself apologizing and explaining myself a lot, even when it isn’t necessary to do so. I might apologize for the way I’m typing on my laptop, in the off chance that it’s annoying someone. When I can feel someone judging my music preferences (Fetty Wap, Chief Keef, Young Thug, etc.), I feel the need to justify why I choose to listen to the music I listen to.

Maybe I like Chief Keef for his no bullshit attitude.

Zero fucks

Maybe I listen to Young Thug because he transcends gender roles with his fashion choices.

Thugger

Maybe I fuck with Fetty Wap purely out of respect for the blind.

Really the only time I should have to explain myself or apologize is if I’ve offended you. Ironically enough, that’s probably the only time I won’t apologize because I can be a pretty shitty person if I’m not careful.

Why should I feel embarrassed for wearing clothing I like? If I think I look good in raw denim, Jordan 1s, and a t-shirt with embroidered roses, then I do. I don’t need the opinion of someone wearing Sperry’s and Chubbies to influence how I dress myself.

“Nice shoes, GDI.” – I literally heard some random douchebag in a frat say this to a friend of mine as we walked by. There’s a reason why fraternities aren’t looked fondly upon. 

American Psycho is my favorite book. Am I embarrassed about it? Actually yeah a little because it’s a pretty fucked up read and I totally understand why someone might not like it. Is that going to stop me from talking about it? Nah, judge all you want.

A few more fun facts about me that I imagine people judging me for: My favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I fart pretty often, some might say an unhealthy amount. I’m not doing anything with my college degree, unless you think working in a coffee shop is a good use of a Bachelor’s in Psychology.

While writing this, my friend looked at my laptop and asked, “What are you writing about?” My first instinct was to close the computer while my cheeks turned bright red. As I explained the feelings and thoughts I was trying to put into words, I found myself embarrassed for even starting this blog. Thoughts of low self-worth and inadequacy flooded my mind. “Feelings are feelings,” she said to me.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out who Stuart is, and what he should like. Middle school was a shit-storm of changes in style and tastes. When I got to high school, I was so overwhelmed by my surroundings I thought it’d be best to just fit in and do as others did.

When is there NOT a quote from American Psycho that’s applicable to my life?

In college, I finally began to express myself. And then came more crippling anxiety.

“Do people think I’m cool?”

“Why don’t more girls like me?”

“Is that group of people staring at me because they like my shoes or because they hate them, as well as everything else about me?”

I was doing whatever I wanted, but I still cared too much about what all these fuckboys thought of me. Not a good combination.

Now in this new town with new people who know nothing about me, I have to start all over. Missouri was just starting to get comfortable. Now I’m in California with a new batch of people to judge me. So I’ve found myself explaining myself and apologizing for things about myself that I can’t control.

Since I’ve been here in California, I’ve been doing me and only me. I go where I want, when I want. I eat whatever I feel like eating (not enough ice cream, San Luis Obispo is seriously lacking quality cream). I can wear pretty much anything in my wardrobe to work at the café. Music I like has never sounded better. My favorite movies are more entertaining. I’ve never read more books for pleasure in my life than I am now.

I finally feel like myself.

But here’s the weird thing. People actually like me for the same things I apologize for and feel the need to justify. Some people even think I’m fun to be around, which is a novel concept. Someone told me I was so positive and happy all the time and I was like “???????” Who knew people would like me when I act like myself?

If I’m not careful, I might never apologize for being myself again. Then it’s game over for all you fucks that ever judged me.

Sometimes I’m sad

Anyone else tired of seeing all these stupid people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pretending to express no emotions other than joy and happiness? It’s not that I take pleasure in seeing other people in pain (okay, maybe a little), but scrolling through hours of posts from people claiming that their lives are so great ALL THE TIME gets fucking old.

We get it, you love your boyfriend. We remember the #mcm you posted last week, and every single Monday for the last 27 weeks.

Yeah I like hanging out with my friends, too, but I’m not gonna post 13 pictures in a row of them and I at a bar on a Wednesday night, acting like it’s the most fun we’ve ever had.

It’s not the positivity that I’m angry about. If you’re truly happy, great! I’m glad that you’re content with your life. Who am I to rain on your parade just because I’m an angry fuck?

Sometimes I feel like Patrick Bateman

But I do have a problem when people act like everything is all good just because they’re too afraid to admit how they’re really feeling. We’re fucking humans, we can’t control our emotions. So why the clear lack of negativity on social media? Even the happiest of people have less than ideal days once in a while.

Maybe I had a shitty day, and all I want is for everyone to know how much pain I’m in. Sadly, there are unspoken rules and etiquette of social media that determine what is and isn’t acceptable to post.

Expression of negative feelings on social media is looked down upon. No one wants to hear about my thoughts of suicide I have every now and then. Maybe the thought of not existing, of not having to think anymore, is attractive sometimes. But people would rather laugh at a tweet about Drake.

Cries for help on these public platforms are scrolled past, lost in the feed forever. People would rather look at a stupid picture I post of a donut (I’m eating a donut right now shouts to @strangedonuts I miss you) than read one of these posts in which I speak as candidly as I can about things important to me.

I’m guilty of this false positivity on social media as well. I’ve deleted a tweet or two. I derive (dis)pleasure from a lot of (or not enough) likes on an Instagram post.

Sometimes I actually get annoyed when people leave a comment, but choose not to double tap my picture. Reading that typed out on my computer is fucking embarrassing, but it’s the truth. I try not to let people’s opinions affect the way I live, yet it’s hard not to when I can feel people judging me based on how many likes I get on a picture of my dinner (btw I make better sofritas than Chipotle, fuck with me).

Even when I think about sharing this post on Instagram tomorrow, I already know what picture I’m gonna use (thank you Jennica for taking cool pictures of me ily sis) and what time of day I’m gonna post it (in the morning, I feel like that’s when my pictures get the most attention).

Point is, I wish people/I could express how they/I truly felt on social media, or even real life. I rarely talk to people about how I’m really feeling, unless I’m feeling positive.

Nothing good can come from bottling up emotions and pretending like everything’s alright when it’s not. So let’s start talking about our feelings when they’re not alright. Deal?