This past weekend was another weekend spent with friends. These friends of ours are long time friends. My wife grew up with them and they have been her life-long friends. The best friends to have. I love hanging out with my long-time friends and I love hanging out with her long-time friends. Really, over all of this time, my wife and I are lucky to have long-time friends still in our lives and most assuredly, her long-time friends are my really good friends and vice-versa with my wife and my friends. These are the types of friends you start to drop the “friend” designation and you really think of yourselves as family. When I’ve talked about having a core group, these are the folks I am referring too.
We spent the weekend over in Indiana at one of our friends houses that is near a lake. We spent all day Saturday out on the lake as they have a boat and aren’t afraid to use it! Lucky for all of us. It was a day spent cruising and swimming and watching our buddy try and knock the kids off of their tubes as they taunted him and his ability to do so. We even had a small storm go through that found us heading for cover. It was a great day full of sun and a ton of laughter. Really the perfect medicine in my quest to better my mental health and to keep heading forward on my journey. I found myself laughing hard and smiling often. I found myself reflecting positively as I stared out of the boat at the many lake houses found on the lake. I found myself being extremely happy where I was and with what I was doing at that moment. The best part may have been is that my anxiety I experienced the weekend before wasn’t present this past weekend. I consider this a major breakthrough in my re-entry into the world as a “new” guy. It felt really great!
A very awesome and repeated topic kept coming up. As we all were talking we found ourselves talking about some of the dreams we have for our lives. Whether it be a house one couple was looking at or talking about getting some level of an RV and traveling the country. A way to see some of their kids that are spread out around the western portion of the United States. Another friend talked about getting a travel trailer small enough to be pulled behind her SUV just to allow her to get away from the responsibilities of everyday life and get back to and out to the outdoors which she truly loves.
I even talked about a huge step I am trying to take with my mission to spread mental health awareness as far as I can reach. I filed to make my endeavor, mostly my website (rockingmentalhealth.com), a not-for-profit organization. I filed literally days ago. I am super excited and nervous all at the same time. More will come out as this hopefully becomes a reality, but my goal is to turn my website into a site where I still share my blogs, podcasts, videos, music and other stuff, but I want to invite others who are dealing with their own mental health to have another place to share their message from as well. I want to make the website a library of sorts for creative thoughts and media. A place where those who may be struggling can find some strength, comfort, and hope from some form of media. Not everyone relates, necessarily, to my story, but I want there to be a number of stories available, being told through the use of our creative talents, to have content people can relate to and can pull whatever they are searching for from what is available. All free. A place for people dealing with their mental health, where they can share their story, further helping their healing and strengthening, for people who are dealing with their mental health in any and all ways. I feel this can be very powerful as we are all definitely stronger working through all of this together.
We talked about how we can make all of these dreams a reality. We encouraged each other to make our dreams a reality. Really, why shouldn’t we?
One thing I have learned through all I have been through is that life is short. I have peered over the cliff’s edge and I almost jumped. I have been able to pull myself back. I can say it has been the hardest and best thing I have ever done in my life and for my life. One thing that has come from this experience is that life is truly short.
We hear this said all of the time, life is short, but I almost made it short on my own accord. Now that I am coming out on the other side, I can look back and the fact that life really is short glares back at me. It glares, but it also looks at me with soft gentle eyes. At least my mind tries to no longer see the glare, but I try to see life like it looks at me with soft gentle eyes and that life does want me to succeed in being happy with my life again.
Part of this is to dream. We have to dream. Kids need to be allowed to dream and adults need to remember it is OK to dream. We also have to let some of these dreams come true. Or at least we need take a leap of faith and risk and just go for it sometimes. Life is short. I see it now. We need to make the most of it. We need to dream. We need to work to make some of these dreams come true.
I have been reading and learning a lot about what it means to start a not-for-profit organization. The government has a lot of control over me getting there. This means I will need to exercise patience along the way as the process can take awhile. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I have been a grunt my whole life. I have never been the person running something. But I’m learning and I am determined and I’m fueled by my fire to spread mental health awareness and to hopefully save a life. I know I have to and I know I am led to take this huge jump and see what happens. To achieve this dream, I have to take a huge risk. The risk being that failure is always on the horizon, but success has to be on that same horizon. I have to try and see where it goes.
I feel like I have lived a fairly safe life. I haven’t taken a ton of risks and I think it fuels my feeling I have of coasting through life. This feeling is a struggle for me and is a constant topic in my life. I need to spice up my life and stop coasting. I need to strive for the next level. This is the perfect opportunity for me.
Nothing about starting a not-for-profit is easy. There is a lot of paperwork and deadlines. There is a definite accountability to the public you are trying to serve. You do not go into this endeavor with the goal of getting rich. This isn’t the right arena for that thought. You have to go into it with a mission to change lives and hopefully improve on what is currently out there for mental health. I have some assistance, thankfully, from some outside companies on what to do and when to do it, but this will be a lot of work.
I cannot let that stop me. The fear of hard work and the fear of failure cannot stop me from attaining this dream. This thought cannot stop any of us from attaining our dreams. Everyone of us needs to dream and everyone of us needs to step out of comfort zones, sometimes, to make our dreams a reality.
I’m also not talking or encouraging you to go broke or anything as you work to make your dreams a reality. Dreams don’t have to go to this level. I really feel, as we are trying to implement more positive aspects into our lives, that dreaming and working to make these dreams a reality is a huge part of this.
I love the fact that I am chasing a dream. Two years ago and even before that, I did not possess the ability to dream. I was so far lost or at least confused, that my mind wouldn’t allow me to dream, let alone chase a dream. My thoughts were way to negative and my motivation to chase something involved chasing something that further drove me down into my dark hole.
And here I am dreaming! I made it out of my dark hole and I have the ability to dream again. I feel this is a huge step in my journey. It means I want to live life again. I want to experience it again. It means I am getting closer to the happy life I have envisioned for myself. It means that I am invested in myself again and I am actively striving to live my life how I want to and as I feel drawn to.
The overall vibe of the conversation we had on our friends’ back deck was GO FOR IT! Get the RV, if you are able to, and go see the country. Get the camper and spend time in the outdoors which you love. If you feel compelled to start a business, then do it. If you can dream it, you have the ability to strive to make your dreams a reality.
Life is so short. I see it so much clearer now. Life is to short to sit around thinking “what if” or “I would love to do that, but…” These thoughts are OK to have. These thoughts are us being human. Never forget part of being human is we have the ability within us to work hard to achieve our dreams as well.
The thought of living a life where we can make our dreams come true sounds so much better than sitting on idle. We have worked so hard to pull ourselves out of our dark holes. We have the right, through all of this hard work, to do what we need to achieve our dreams however big or small they may be. A life where we achieve our dreams and our goals is a life worth living, to me and the thought of this brings a smile to my face and to my heart.
Dream. Dream big! Dream small! But dream. It is OK to dream. It is OK to dream as much as it is OK to Not Be OK. You do deserve to achieve your dreams. Your mind may be telling you way different right now, but this is where asking for help and beginning your journey forward, out of your dark hole, can and will lead to the desire and the renewed ability to want to dream and to work to achieve your dreams again. All of this is possible…it really is!
You got this! I got this! We got this! Let’s keep walking this journey together.
Have a great day!
Head on over to rockingmentalhealth.com. There I share this blog, a podcast I do, some videos and animation I’ve come up with, along with some music I’ve created as well.
Stay tuned fellow bloggers, podcasters, videographers, photographers, artists and beyond…I will need your help if(and when) my not-for-profit endeavor takes off. I would love to help you share your work and build your reach through a website that will be ours, and will allow all of us to spread the reach of our mental health awareness missions!