Dying Words

First things first, to anyone who reads this thing… Effective September 1, I’m going to post twice a week or at least try to for all of you.  So, look for that as I post pointed and not so pointed content in the coming months.  Now that I’ve said that… 
So, lately I’ve had this song stuck in my head.  What it is really isn’t important but the message is.  Seeing as how much we take it all for granted, it really is something that needs to be addressed.

What really spurned it all forward was that I was having a conversation with a woman on a dating site that which we are both subscribed.  She told me a story about how she was mistreated by her exes and that it’s alienated her and all that.  [For the record, I believe that physical abuse any relationship is unacceptable from either party.]  So, I asked her thoughts on the matter.  Before I get into that, I’ll put the cart before the horse.  My response illicit some pretty harsh comments from her.

Granted, I’ll take some heat for this and that’s fine but my point is strictly this:  I asked her whether or not she deserved what she got.  Both good and bad.  That’s when I got the onslaught of comments and insults.  [She didn’t hurt my feelings one bit, by the way.  But, it did go a long way for the sake of this entry.]

Now, a lot of the time we say things, we use them to either hurt or heal someone.  Words like regret, mistake, goodbye, hate, and a multitude of others are used to take shots at others.  We want them to hurt. We want them to fucking suffer!  Conversely, we will use words like joy, blessing, welcomed, and love to bring them healing.  We want them to heal.  We want them to be made whole!

Personally, anyone can say whatever they want to me or about me.  I don’t care an awful lot seeing as it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  Sticks and stones, right? 


But, I’ll BE DAMNED if people flaunt the word deserve around.  Talk to me like the consequences of your choices in the past entitle something to you now and there may be an incident.  Call me an asshole.  Say I’m a piece of shit.  Hell, run me through a wood chipper for crying out loud.  Do whatever except sit here and tell me that I deserve what I get.  That anyone deserves what they get…  Especially when they think it’s owed to them because they want it.  Hell, I want a blonde haired, blue eyed, and well-endowed Australian woman who has the accent to match.  Doesn’t mean that who I am or what I’ve done merits me one.  It’d be my luck I settle down with a Canadian woman.  As long as she has legs that go up to there, naw’mean fellas???? I digress…

I guess the method to the madness is here is that I’m a firm proponent of the philosophy of “You get what you give.”  Nobody owes anyone anything and that work and effort are rewards and rewarded.  It chaps my ass to see people, men and women alike, who are critical of their situation because they don’t deserve it.  [Now, I’m also a believer that life is indeed fair and that situations regardless of what they may be are a result of many things.  None of which stem from entitlement.]  Consequences aren’t always favorable, but they are definitely a result of what happens.  Not from what we want to happen… 
I want the best for people and I’m willing to go as far as they are to get it.  If they want it bad enough, I’ll support any action that leads to that goal.  But, sitting around waiting for something sounds like a lesson in patience to me.  I hope I’m not the only one, either. 

Now, those are some words to live by. 

-Kevin

Advertisements

Twenty Minutes

When I woke up today, the last thing I honestly wanted to do was reflect on points in my life that had come and gone.  However, I was reminded by an awesome colleague and even better friend of this:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

 

It really resonated with me because of something my driving instructor at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas said to me.  He said that he wouldn’t have been telling me I was doing good things if I hadn’t been.  For a long time, people telling me I had been doing things well just to be nice.  Brandon, my instructor, also said that he had been around way too long to tell people constructive things for the sake of being constructive.  Looking back at it all now, it really makes me wonder just when I had been doing good things or just being told I was doing good things.  However, that is something for another day.

 

What I really wanted to get off my chest is that we seem to only really encourage or impart words of affirmation only when we’re on the journey.  We feel that the need to encourage one another only has punch when we’re about to do something important, risky, or unknown to us.  I can agree that those three instances can be critical when it comes to being encouraging.  However, it is disheartening to see it practically in only those three instances.

“For the most part, we have to work on small things right now.  So, if we’re having to work on small things after six laps, that’s pretty good.  It’s a car you don’t know.  It’s a track you don’t know.  It’s a driving style you don’t know.  After six laps of doing pretty good… getting to where you’re working on small things, I think that’s pretty good, right?” -Brandon, my instructor

Halfway into the experience and to have this spoken to me by an experienced driver was… for lack of a better way to put it, encouraging!  Here I am… no competitive racing skills or experience under my belt and just there for the sake of getting to drive a $120,000 sports car… to be told, by an experienced driver, that is what I would need to work on to progress?  That’s what we all want!  We want to be naturally in a position to have to make subtle adjustments instead of these whopping, life changing ones.  All too often, we take those whopping ones for granted because we don’t necessarily appreciate the journey we took to get there.

As I’ve gotten a little older since then, I’ve learned to really enjoy not abiding in being stationary.  Just because I haven’t left Canyon, USA doesn’t mean that I’m stationary.  There’s always a place to go or a thing to do wherever you are.  Lately, I’ve been exploring my faith and what it means to me.  I’ve been exploring my talent for composition and creativity.  I’ve been lots of places that a car could never take me.  But, for those twenty minutes in that Nissan GT-R, I found that a car could take me places that I wouldn’t have ever considered otherwise: a place that showed that encouragement is a journey all its own and not merely just a stop along whatever path you happen yourself to be.

 

So, as I find myself sitting here reminiscing about the things I have experienced and the things yet to come, I am encouraged.  Because at some point, somewhere down the line, there either has been or will be a Brandon telling me that regardless of what point I exist in, I have done good things and those little things will resolve themselves with understanding and application.  It’s kind of a shame that at first, I didn’t believe him.

 

Now, I do.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction serves you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

I can still hear “Turn now!  Brake now!  Push through the apex!  Go, go, go!!!!” in my head.  A lot better now because I can appreciate what it means to be encouraged through proper guidance.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction continues to serve you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

IMG_20170413_163016

IMG_0158[1]

-Kevin

P.S:  Thanks, JP!  As one racing fan to another, “Boogity!  Boogity!  Boogity!”

 

Captain’s Chair

“I always thought I’d get a shot at this chair one day.”

 

Lately, I’ve been moody.  Not in a happy or sad sense… for the most part, I’ve been a happy person.  A lot of good things have happened to me and I’ve learned to ride the momentum and to cherish everyone and everything that has brightened my life to date.

 

I’ve been moody in the sense that I’ve really begun to liken the journey that I’m on to having a command.  I’ve had to learn how to follow, and yes, being a follower is definitely more of a learning experience than you think it is… and I’ve also had to learn to assume the authority that command entails.  Out of the two, learning to wield authority has definitely been more of the eye opening experiences of the two.  Not to mention, perhaps the most trying and infuriating of the two.  But, perhaps the real skill to master here is knowing when to command and knowing when to let yourself be commanded.

 

A friend of mine said that our personality is the sum of the five people that we most closely associate with.  I believe he’s right.  We’ve let them close to us and influence knows no discrimination.  There is just this part of us that wants so much better than what we already have.  I’m not saying that what we have isn’t necessarily good or bad but if you’re a “Glass is half full” type of person, you could definitely endeavor to “fill your glass,” so to speak.

 

As easy as we make that sound sometimes, I’ve found that it’s become increasingly difficult to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.  Me personally, I’ve found that I’m a “Glass is half empty” type of person.  It definitely takes a lot of courage to take on such a task of completely flipping this trait of my personality.  But, even more so, the level of risk involved is definitely intimidating.  Rejection is one of the most crippling fears that I possess.  It honestly is.  I don’t take chances unless I wholeheartedly believe that there is no chance of failure.  And if you ever get a chance to speak to me about it, it speaks volumes about the experiences and memories that have defined me as a person… so far.

 

However, being around the people I’ve invested myself in over the last good while has taught me that being rejected is just a part of Life.  It’s going to happen no matter what.  What really hasn’t sunk in, considering the level of success that I’ve experienced first hand with these people, is that it doesn’t stop them from continuing.  I don’t measure success as being financially secure, having a family, or necessarily anything tangible that you could associate with the word.  I consider “success” as having a firm grasp on how one experiences Life.  Yes, I know quite a few of these people and I’m blessed to have them in my life.  No, they always have not enjoyed the level of “success” they now do enjoy.  That’s why I appreciate them as I do.

 

One of the lessons that they’ve taught me that I’ve taken for granted for as long as I’ve known them is about risk.  “Risk is part of the game if you want to sit in that chair.”  Risk really is part of the game.  We do it all the time and don’t give it a second thought until it presents a conflict with our sensibilities.  One of the hardest things that I’ve come to experience about being granted command over anything in my life is knowing when to risk something in favor of something better.  A lot of lessons that I’ve been taught is to be content with what you have being nothing really is promised to you.  It’s hard to overcome that fear because Life also teaches you fear is a very powerful motivator.  We never know if something will succeed or fail until we try but if we’re too consumed by our fear and insecurities to try… it’s an outcome we will deny ourselves or save ourselves from experiencing.  Depending on what side of the glass you’re drinking from…

 

Through all of the experiences that I’ve gone through and all of the people that I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege to associate myself with, I am glad to have been given a chance to command the types of influences I come into contact with.  I may not always get to pick and choose the types of people I come across but I’ve definitely been blessed with some wisdom in knowing that said people pose either a chance to grow more as a person or to regress back into traits that I feel like I’ve grown out of.

 

But, the most important lesson that I feel that I’ve learned is that nobody really is fit to wield any kind of authority over themselves or anyone else for that matter.  It’s just too powerful of a tool for anyone to expect to use responsibly.  However, one of the burdens of command is that there will be times where you may have no choice to exercise influence and authority over someone else.  Letting someone pour their experiences of tragedy and triumph can be a risky thing to do and in the end could do a lot of damage or create a stepping stone in the ascent of who you are to become.

 

And I’ve found that being in the Captain’s chair is less about being in control and more about being groomed into a person that knows they shouldn’t be there but have been blessed by those around them enough to have been given the opportunity to affect success in others.

 

“Perhaps you still will… somehow I doubt that this will be the last ship to carry the name Enterprise.”

star-trek-generations-startrek-screencaps.com-13260