A little preachy? Yeah sorry, had to be done

I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I have made so many mistakes and had terrible lapses in judgement that have altered the course of my life. Moments of weakness and decisions based upon instant gratification mark many chapters of my life and have cost me personal relationships, financial well being, and professional goals. Yet as I sit in front of my computer, re-playing each of these events as if they were a reel-to-reel movie in my head, I cannot express true regret for most of them. They are my mistakes, my indiscretions, and I own them. I wear them like scars, because each became a permanent piece of my life and made me part of who I am today. Sure there are moments that, at the time, I wish I could have taken back. But now I know that each of those moments, in fact every minute of my life so far has led me to right here, right now. And this second in time is leading to and building the next.

I am not a preachy person either. How does the expression go- "Those who live in glass houses should not cast stones"? But when something is weighing on my heart, I have no choice but to let it out. I hate confrontation and hurting someone's feelings. But I also get to the point of needing to say something, if even for my own sanity. That is the inspiration for this morning's blog. So pardon me while I vent for a few minutes about a couple of things that I need to let go of.

I had someone unfriend me on facebook. No big shakes, happens all the time. I feel like I am constantly tweaking my friends list to weed out those people who I don't really know or talk to. You know, your friend's wife's 3rd cousin twice removed that you ran into at Giant Eagle once and now blow up your news feed with every quiz, poll, and secret girl post that the social media site has to offer. But this one, it stung a little more. See, she has been a friend for 17 years. One of my best friends. The third in three friends who vowed for almost 20 years that no matter what, we would be there for each other. I have tried hard to live up to that. Every crisis, every heartbreak, every time she needed me I was there. More than once I dropped everything to drive 3 hours because she needed a friend. I supported her through things I didn't believe in because they made her happy, and that's what was important to me. In recent times, though, it seems that every time I spoke to her, she was pessimistic and negative about whatever was going on in my life. When I met Tiffany, she let me know what a mistake I was making. When I changed jobs, she made it clear she felt I was doing the wrong thing. Then the last time, she made me feel incredibly bad that I didn't drop everything to come see her when she made an unannounced visit back home, close to where I live. Some time after that, she decided I was no longer friend material.

Like I said, that stung. But what am I really missing? This person, who would let me know that what I was doing was all wrong whenever we talked, decided that because I have found some happiness and was not going to drop everything for her, unfriended me. And I thought about it some more. I can never remember her telling me that she was happy for me. No matter how many times I expressed that very sentiment towards her. So while I am sure there will be times I will miss my friend, I will think back and ask how much of a friend she really has been. And the sting goes away. See, I am not the same guy I used to be. I think back on the last couple years, even last 17 years, and wonder who that guy is?. I was miserable for a very long time. Even when I thought I was happy, it never felt like it does now. I guess maybe she only wanted to be a friend to that guy. Misery loves company right? Too bad, because she will never see the best days of my life. I wish her well. I hope she too finds happiness. But que sera sera. good luck, my friend.

Off that soapbox and on to another. I do not call people out very often, but the time has come.

I am, on facebook, marking 30 days of blessings for Thanksgiving. One of the things I am most grateful for is my family. Tiffany, the boys, my dad, sister, and my brother Josh. I love that kid, through everything. but right now, he seems lost. He is in his yearly cycle of getting close to the mother of his children, then turning and running to the first pretty young thing that looks his way. All the while telling everyone how it is all Chrystal's fault. You shift blame, tell half truths and give us jaded sides of the story. Don't get me wrong, I think we all are guilty of that sometimes. When I left Angel, it was all her fault. Only through time and mistakes and growing did I realize that wasn't true. I just didn't see it then. What you don't see brother is that she has taken a lot from you, and seemingly has dealt with it with grace and dignity. Even when you hurt her. We all see that, and see what a good mom she is to your children.. And at some point, when the latest fling breaks your heart, you will go running back and it will all start over again. At the end of the day, you aren't just hurting her, but the kids as well. You know that as well as I do. But that is between you and her.

And then the rift with you and Angelia. We have both had our issues with our sister. You know it. I know it. And more importantly, so does she. But you are the one who will miss out. Because she is not trying to be mom. She only wants to live her life according to what mom would have done. How can that possibly be a bad thing? But again, that's between you and her. She and I have found, after everything, that we aren't just brother and sister, but close friends as well. I wouldn't trade that for anything, and it makes me sad that you may never experience the same.

But the feud with our Dad - come on man. If your kids are the greatest blessing you ever had, your Dad is 1A. Look at what he has done for you, for all of us. Look at the example he set for us and ask yourself how far you are from that? I am a long way from it, I know. I work so hard to get a little closer every day. He is a great man, and for all your stubbornness and trying to convince everyone (including yourself) how right you are, you are alienating the one person who has done more for you than anyone. Any other person would have written you off. Instead, he has been there whenever you needed. Now you are intentionally hurting him. That very much is my problem. He is my Dad. And I won't stand for it. Thus, I am calling you out.

You never know what tomorrow brings. Make it right. Stop trying to be such a bad ass and stand up for your mistakes. You have said yourself you are an a-hole. Its a tag you wear proudly. We have laughed and joked and talked about this many times. But at 32, don't you think maybe its time to do things a little differently? You are a great Dad, when you want to be. You are a great son, when you want to be. You are a great brother when you want to be. But you will always be my brother and I will love you no matter what. You just need to think about how many times you have set the bridge to your family on fire, and how many times they have allowed you to rebuild it. There is going to come a time they won't. And I am afraid for you that day is coming soon. I also am afraid when you torch it for the last time, it may leave you on an island by yourself. Because if you continue to hurt my father, I will set a match to that bridge myself.

I love you Josh. You are the only real brother I have ever had. And as sorry as I am for calling you out, I hope you realize that this is coming from me. I don't often criticize you and I always have your back. If you are feuding with everyone, what is the common denominator? It is impossible to be wronged or misunderstood by everyone in life. Just stop and think.

Enough preaching. Have a great day everyone.....................


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