Posts Tagged With: Life

This Guy I Know

Helping Others

There is this guy I know who I admire and respect. This guy wants and tries to help others, to do and be good. This guy feels there are valuable life lessons that can be learned through his experiences in life. Lessons that people can learn from without HAVING to experience the tough situations personally as he has. He lives with blinders and forgets all that is good about himself because he sees little change with many of the people he encounters. I should mention – this guy I know has lost his religion and he lost it because of religious people!

This guy I know has family that loves him and that he loves, but it is a conditional love. He sees a not only deeply religious people of faith, but he also sees people who are deeply helping religionmisguided. Like many “Christians”, they read the Bible to find reinforcement for their prejudices and hatred.  They NEVER see the contradictions of the Bible.  This guy I know sees them use the Bible to justify and rationalize how they can “Stand Their Ground” for their beliefs while showing contempt for others beliefs. They find it difficult to live with things it says like “love thy enemy” (because as a gay man… I AM the enemy), “turn the other cheek” or to quote Jesus, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 

I would rather be a pet if I could be happy!

I would rather be a pet if I could be happy!

This is the first  and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:37-39). But it is often translated as, love the Lord as YOU see Him and only how He is seen through YOUR eyes and anyone that sees God differently than you is a THREAT to your faith and their lifestyle condemns not only them, but also you if you are tolerant of it and they are not worth respect and love: love your neighbor as yourself (your own children are exempt – they are not a neighbor) only if he/she believes the same as you and otherwise it is ok to dismiss them and their “sinful lifestyles” because as a Christian you have to stand for what you believe in (or you’ll fall for anything – or some other catchy country music lyric). Oh yeah, I almost forgot…  AND eat Chick-fil-a as evidence that your Christianity is real.

This guy I know WORRIES! He has never actually known hunger, but worries – will he have enough money for food to hungry-childlast the month? During the last week of the month before payday… he does have to be creative sometimes. This guy I know tells me he has never felt true hunger but one reason his money is sometimes short, on payday he shares! Each month one friends gets treated to dinner out. Each month he buys rice and beans that he gives to a lady that helps care for homeless orphans and street kids. This guy I know, he DOES more Christ-like things than most Christians. He also exercises a faith few Christians could do by hoping (having faith) that he will have enough food to eat after doing a kind deed for a friend and even some poor strangers – orphans and children! I think Jesus would like that about this guy I know.

This guy I know lives with a pain from a disability that few could endure for a one day, much-less DAILY! But this physical helpingpain is nothing compared to the pain in his soul that comes from seeing injustice and the casual acceptance of these injustices. This guy sees selfish people fight to prevent others from having health care because in someway allowing health care for the poor may slightly affect them and how can they share something like healthcare… with poor people no less? This guy, if given the magic to do so, would cure cancer, AIDS or even heart disease because as inconvenient as his Multiple Sclerosis may be, people “die WITH MS not FROM MS” and he would rather help others that more urgently NEEDS help than he does. Didn’t Jesus say something about helping healing the sick?

This guy knows that suicide is now the leading cause of death from “injury”, beating out even car crashes. But helping gays trevor projectpeople still accept their “Biblican” ways to justify a blind eye as to how their callus attitudes toward others affects others. Teen bullying is epidemic. Being different is unacceptable and frightening to many. At 45, this guy I know is often brought to tears reading about a gay teen that has taken his/her life because it is more appropriate for family and friends to stand their ground and make these people feel worthless than to show kindness or to attempt to understand. There are bigger problems in the world than does this guy’s Mom love him, but for a teenager… rejection from a parent stings more than to an adult! For both teen and adult it HURTS!

If standing up for your beliefs hurts others… I think you should question your beliefs! I think Jesus would helping conditionalhelping soldierhave peacekeepers versus soldiers. When did Jesus advocate for militarization? Would He really? The attitude of “I condemn your lifestyle not you” is simply a lie! When I say “I am gay”, I am not using gay as a verb or adjective… I use it as a noun.  I AM a GAY. If you cannot not love the gay part of me and being gay is WHO I AM… then your love is not UNconditional! This guy feels a loneliness because he now knows he has to sever ties with his family for him to feel self worth again. But this guy knows he is not alone there are thousands of others whose family cannot accept that they are gay and we do know – “it gets better”!  

Maybe this guy I know can now begin to remove the blinders and see what is admirable within himself and find respect for himself again, not letting so called Christians rob him of his integrity because they use their religion to make him feel like less of a person. Even Bible Saysthough he takes no pleasure in calling out faults of those that claim to love him. This guy’s mother feels that even meeting or being friendly with her son’s boyfriend is surrendering her faith, giving up her beliefs! She does not see the fallacy of this thought just like she can not rationally interpret scripture. Being gay is worthy of condemnation and is an abomination, but she loves shrimp, wears jeans sometimes, eats bacon enough she should have concern for he salvation and owns some poly/cotton blends, yet she fails to see those things for the abominations the Bible says they are. This guy sees it as hypocrisy – USE the Bible to justify the things in life you do not like so you can feel a just and righteous foundation for your bigotry! But most of all, this guy I know is confident that the God he believes in and even Jesus, someone he feels Christians misrepresent, would not even care that this guy I know is gay.

HelpingOthersThis guy I know uses writing as his therapy and has had over 33.000 people read his blog. Many have interacted with encouraging words but yet NONE have hit his paypal donate button.  This guy is happy others enjoy and are encouraged by his words, but he would FEEL more encouragement if ANYONE helped support his efforts financially!  😉 If you click on MY paypal link… I will be sure “this guy I know” gets the money! lol This is the only way “this guy” feels he can reach out for help!  As much as he likes to help others… he is taking a break to take care of himself for a while. I need to find this guy so I can tell him I love, admire and respect him!  

Below, Jillian Jensen sings Jessie J’s “Who You Are”… This guy asks himself often this very question and he relates to her pain!

I stare at my reflection in the mirror:
“Why am I doing this to myself?”
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf.
No, no, no, no, no…Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
(who you are [x11])
Brushing my hair, do I look perfect?
I forgot what to do to fit the mold, yeah!
The more I try the less it’s working, yeah
‘Cause everything inside me screams
No, no, no, no, no…Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
But tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
There’s nothing wrong with who you are!Yes, no’s, egos, fake shows, like WHOA!
Just go, and leave me alone!
Real talk, real life, good love, goodnight,
With a smile, that’s my home!
That’s my home, no…No, no, no, no, no…
Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay…
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!
Yeah yeah yeah

 helping trevor project

helping trevor-project

helping gay teens

I could never hear this too much!  But it is too much to ask!

I could never hear this too much! But it is too much to ask!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/suicide-leading-cause-death-us_n_1909772.html

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MS Monday

I will die WITH Multiple Sclerosis, not FROM Multiple Sclerosis!  This has been an epigram by which I have lived since being diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in March 2000.  There are very few people in my life that KNOW the true effect this illness has had on my life and how I am able to live it.  I was a double major at Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi for international readers) studying Marketing and Real Estate.  I took the Brokers exam immediately after graduating, but not one day did my Real Estate Brokers License get put to use.  But the aspects of Marketing have followed me in every area of my life – and life with MS being one.

How do I use Marketing in relation to my MS you may ask?  Mainly, I TRY to present the best face!  Most people, other than my family have never seen the amount of TRUE down-time I have as a result of my MS.  They only see me when I am feeling good or decent anyway.  With Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis what happens is just as it sounds.  I have relapses and I have remissions.  This is not completely true in that one symptom has been CONSTANT for me for more than 5 years now.  The numbness someone feels in their leg when it goes to sleep, I have had the nonstop for more than 5 years In all of my right leg and from the knee down in my left leg.  This symptom sometimes becomes more severe and causes me to fall, trip, and limp.  These are the days few people see me.

My legs show the constant battle scares with the wars of the simple effort of walking.  MS also sometimes causes me dizziness, so add that to numb legs and sometimes just getting from the bed to the bathroom without falling takes effort!  Another of the most common symptoms is fatigue.  Fatigued, dizzy, combined with numb legs can create DAYS of anti-social behavior and hours of sleep even most teenagers fail to accomplish on any give free weekend.  The use of a cane is sometimes needed even inside the house, so when this trifecta of symptoms hits, I become a hermit.  When traveling, I general need the use of my cane just because the act of keeping a schedule, carrying luggage and the stress related to travel (thanks TSA – it is very easy for me to take off my shoes and but them back on with a line of people breathing heavy and muttering “HURRY UP!)  The photos represent marks from just the last month of “walking” or attempting to walk!

Also as the name implies, there are MULTIPLE symptoms during relapses usually.  I am familiar with most of the symptoms listed on the photo above at one point or another.  When one symptom passes another comes it seems.  But the beauty is I can market the pain as less painful than the reality or I smile even when it takes all I have to just not scream!  Since the relapses change and each person with the disease have different symptoms, MS is frequently called a designer disease.  This makes marketing my illness easy because as in this blog, I can only speak for myself and how MS affects my life!  Anyone that knows me knows I am a shameless self promoter! lol

There are few photos (if any) of me with or using my cane.  The one I use is kind of a combination of a crutch with a cane. It is not that I am ashamed of NEEDING walking assistance, but I am able to “market” myself as healthy and happy like most people like and want to see.  Simple activities take more from me and takes me more time to recoup from doing them.  Friends know I do not go out much any more because not only do I have to have the energy and ability to go, I pay for it usually having fatigue from a night out – even if I do not drink a thing!  Any friend that has had a “night out” with me… please see that as evidence you are worth the extra effort.  For those I have said no to, understand it is not you… most times it is just my body does not cooperate.  Most likely I used a different excuse than my MS, because actually – I like when people FORGET I have it… I WOULD LIKE To FORGET MYSELF!  But my body reminds me too often!

Facebook is a haven for me to post photos from times I am feeling good and that I actually do get out and do something fun.  I even at times market

Car shopping in Medellin

myself too well, with people thinking my MS presents little or few challenges in my life.  My idea is I better do it (whatever it may be) while I am feeling ok because the moment I am ABLE to do “it” may pass.  There are things I am willing to share in my blog that I do not share with REAL people in my life, because the people “in” my life, I am afraid of them feeling pity, sympathy or sorry for me.  Breaking precedence, look here…a photo of me WITH my cane (I have named it Pablo and the story why will come later)! If you are someone “in” my life and this blog reveals new information to you… you have fallen victim to my marketing and as I have learned from experience – I am damn good at marketing, especially marketing myself!  

I will post about my life with MS weekly (I hope)… follow my blog and feel free to donate! 😉


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Sleeping Is All I Do Good (Or Is It Well?)

Experience "faking" a smile is often confused with "having" a nice smile!

I am trapped in a life of feeling like a victim fighting to defend myself.  Depression is my way of existing. The one thing I do good is sleeping!  I even question my grammar skills to ask, is it only sleeping I do well or good?  I was molested as a child (1) and that may have set my path for life to fight to not be a defenseless victim again. I cannot break this feeling of constant defensiveness that borders on aggression (ok, ok, I am a mean, angry bloke that fights too much!! lol).  I want to write and explain how I feel and I find myself the victim of a poor education or weak mind that even infects this expression. Or should I say can not instead of cannot?

I have great friends and see them struggling with the pressures of life as well.  I know I am not alone in this experience of struggle, but, in general, they do not feel victimized by life.  To me I feel EVERYTHING is a struggle.  I have to FIGHT an insurance company to do what they are supposed to do for me.  I have to FIGHT my demons of a victimized childhood.  I try to bring attention to my cause with political leaders and have to FIGHT to be heard. I live with Multiple Sclerosis and FIGHT to live the best life I can in-spite of the constant pain and discomfort.  I am gay and have to FIGHT to prevent society from discounting my worth as a human for simply wanting equal treatment.  I have learned to live with this and feel the struggles and fighting to defend myself have made me a stronger man. Sadly now I also find I have to FIGHT to be respected within my own family.

Dad - The Watermelon King!

Recently my father passed away.(2)   It is understandable to be melancholy (or ma lunk o lee as Mega Mind would say).  But even feeling like a constant victim, I felt my father was in my corner.  When I “came out” to my family; my father, a very religious and conservative man, hugged me and held me by the shoulders and explained, “We (he and Mom) do not understand this.  But as long  as we remember we love each other, we will get through this.”  My life has become a series of getting through things.  I’ve lost the man in my corner.

Being disrespected could be my career also Mr Dangerfield!

A recent family situation helped bring focus to the fact my family has little or no respect for me.  Why not, who the hell am I to be respected?  Respect is earned.  My father respected me even if I had not earned it and again I feel I fight life alone.  I may not have earned respect, but I sure have not earned disrespect!  The disrespect is spreading to the next generation of my family and with no one in my corner in the family anymore, I choose to isolate myself from my family because the acceptance of the disrespect makes even sleeping, the one thing I am good at doing, more of a struggle.

Writing my little blog is even becoming a struggle.  I voice my opinions about the selfish attitudes of politicians and this “Tea Party”  movement (teabaggers as I affectionately call them) and I get people justifying why their opinion is more valid than mine or trying persuade my opinion.  I used to enjoy respectable debate, but have even grown tired of feeling I need to justify why I feel as I do.  I guess the teabaggers feel they are victims themselves for having to pay taxes for programs that do not benefit them directly – so they have the attitude do away with them.  But since I feel I identify more with the people that these programs are intended to help – I only see them as bullies.  When they have solutions other than just cut, cut, cut – then I may see them differently.

I still feel like this kid inside!

Sleep and depression go hand in hand.  Fatigue is my most common symptom of my MS.  Struggle wears a soul down.  I still feel my Dad’s hands on my shoulders and hear him saying, “We do not understand this.  But as long  as we remember we love each other, we will get through this.”  I am just struggling to remember the “feeling” of being loved, respected and protected.  I am tired of all the struggle and resign to do the one the I am good at – sleep.


Maybe you can show me some respect? lol

1  https://thomasajohnston.com/2010/05/25/innocence-taken/
2 https://thomasajohnston.com/2011/03/24/no-one-wants-to-write-their-fathers-obituary/

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Not Even If There Was A Ladder!

Two injured soldiers on top of a snow-capped mountain, out of ammunition, pinned down by enemy fire know they will not make it.  The more injured soldier tells his long-time buddy to go, climb down.  The buddy replies, “Not even if there was a ladder!”  WOW!  When was the last time any of us had the dedication to anyone, anything or even a principle to stay knowing we would face death?  Or have any of us ever had the kind of dedication to stand by a friend, stand up for an idea or principle without even threat of bodily harm?  That scenario is from a movie but it does not change importance of the questions or better yet the answers to the questions.

I want to change the E.R.I.S.A. law of 1974 and have asked for help from my readers.  It has not helped my cause much because so few took any action – most climbed down the ladder over a simple request to send an e-mail on my behalf.  So now let me take the effort off of my goal of changing a bad law to something broader – bringing our troops HOME!  There should be more support for this idea.

2,977 Americans were killed in the 9/11 attacks.  In Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom now re-branded with an even friendlier sounding name Operation New Dawn; more than 5,880 (*1) American soldiers have died as of January 11,2011.  When another 114 die, it will be double the number killed in the 9/11 attack.  When will we as Americans have the outrage for the deaths of our soldiers?  They are sons/daughters, husbands/wives, brothers/sisters, and friends of ours as well as the ones killed in the original attacks.  Are their lives less valuable?

The U.S. military is made up from volunteers.  These young men and women fight for our liberties and freedom, but who is fighting for theirs?  I even ask who are they fighting?  A war on terror is quite ambiguous.  The longer we are there, the more terrorist we are creating!

Why are we so disliked by the people we “liberated”?  In Afghanistan 8,813 civilians have been killed and 15,863 have been seriously injured. (*2)  Even worse in Iraq 864,531 Iraqis have been killed with 1,556,156 seriously injured! (*2)  That is 2, 445,363 people and their families that have been hurt because of our “liberating” them.   821 times more people than were killed in 9/11.  We will never defeat terrorist while innocent Afghan and Iraqi civilians continue to be killed as we so call “protect America”.

I HATE this image of America and our troops!! They are so much better than this!

We will never be 100% safe and there will always be terrorist – it is time to BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!!  The United States needs to stop using our money for war and use it to save our economy and HELP the world not FIGHT the world!!  I will not use the ladder and stop fighting the injustice of the E.R.I.S.A. law but I will also fight to help our troops!  We need to have the same determination that our troops have and say “Not even if there was a ladder”, we will stand up for our troops to bring them safely home.

Our troops need to be brought safely home to fight for more meaningful and better causes!

*1 – http://www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf

*2 -http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html#fn3

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But

I am not sure if this would really be considered a poem or what, but it is something I wrote on August 23, 2006.  Since I share more than I should… I might as well share this:

But

Life is good

Life could be better

But life is good

 

There is good in life

There could be more good in life

But there is good in life

 

There are people I care about in my life

There could be more people in my life to care about

But there are people I care about in my life

 

There seems to be something missing in my life

There seems to be too many things complicating my life

But there seems to be something missing in my life

 

There is someone missing in my life

There is a fear in finding who is missing from my life

But someone is missing in my life

 

There is a lot for me to share with someone

There is trepidation to share even the desire to have someone in my life

But there is still a lot for me to share with someone

 

Life is good

Life could be better

But someone to share my life with would be good

 

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Finally – I Know It Works!!

Naive as I may be at times, I still hope for the best. I write these blogs hoping and thinking people will read and enjoy. The idea to blog really started as a way to find an audience for my way of expressing myself. I do have a small audience and a few are even faithful readers. Visitors from 21 countries totaling 2201 hits with 1641 being one time hits makes 561 the number of people who have viewed the blog more than once. Now – I compare this to a book or magazine; 2201 pick up (visit) my blog and 561 take it home (visit more than once). That means 25% of the people who read or visit my blog come back. I think that is pretty good for my limited experience and developing talent.

Today was another landmark – I found out the donate button really works! After I started blogging, I saw the movie Julie & Julia. Julie’s reader’s started sending her gifts and money. So in March, I had the idea to add the paypal donate button to my blog like she did. I pretty much forgot about it as I blogged about: my friends, life’s adventures, politics, movies, my life with Multiple Sclerosis(MS), solicited advice, asked for help with the barn, written editorials, reported about the Bogotá bus strike, and shared my opinion on many topics. Most read blogs have been: Innocence Taken, Roger Starner Jones, M.D. – Letter Writing 101, A Day at Cerro de Monserrate, I Am a Mexican in WalMart, My Life and the Knife, and Funny How Falling Feels Like Flying….For A Little While. With all the views, hits, comments and readers; it was not until today that I was reminded of the donate button because someone actually made $5 donation.

This donation excites me enough to make me think I will blog more often.  So, feel free to suggests topics, offer feedback and share you opinions. 

My naïvety helps me feel these small landmarks have HUGE significance. $5 in 8 months does not inspire me to dreams of being the next David Sedaris or John Grishim, but makes me feel warm and fuzzy.  One bit of feedback I did get was to have some shorter posts. So, trying to apply my feedback I try now to stay below 500 words.  I value feedback and hope for more.   Because now I know that button works and it has been used, now my question is how to get more people to use it? 😉

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The Edge

The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. – Hunter S. Thompson

My friend Pat posted that on his Facebook page.  I felt I was on the edge.  I was writing about a very difficult part of my life when I read this and felt if I looked to see if I could see over the edge, I may fall!  So this put things in prospective for me… maybe I am not as close to the edge as I thought.  Most once thought the Earth was flat and if someone expanded their boundaries, they ran the risk of falling off the Earth.  But isn’t life close to the edge so much more fun?  The view is so much better than most realize!

Life is more exciting to me when boundaries are challenged.  I start my day usually with a cup of Colombian coffee like a lot of Americans do….but I am drinking my Colombian coffee IN Colombia.  I buy my bread at a bakery instead of WalMart.  I have no need for a car so when I go anywhere, I usually walk and see things I would never notice if I were in a car.  I buy my vegetables at a farmer’s market not at a grocery store.  I have created for myself a healthier lifestyle.  As different as my life may be, life here is routine.  Going to the bakery, going to the farmer’s market, walking where I need to go is typical to me now.  I feel I have adapted.

My weakness living here is my lack of Spanish….that I have not adapted to.  I also live in an English bubble here.  My friends all speak English and I know just enough Spanish to get by.  I feel this is a weakness of most Americans.  We feel everyone should speak English.  I have friends that get upset because they have to press 1 for English and there is even an option to have services in Spanish in the U.S.  I feel this is a beauty of American life… LAND OF THE FREE!!  Everyone is free to speak their own language.  Many Americans do not realize that English is NOT the official language of the U.S.  There actually is no “official” language, just English is the most common.  Why do we have such an arrogant attitude that everyone should speak OUR language?  Why can’t American say, “it would be good for me to know another language”?

Beyond the benefit of knowing another language… people could learn about other cultures.  After my first visit, I was ashamed of how little I knew and understood about Colombia and the Latin culture.  Most Americans only think drugs, jungles and guerrillas.  Knowledge is not something to be afraid of.  I know with school, I learned what I needed to pass and get by.  Sometimes even using Cliff Notes instead of reading the books assigned.  Now I am older and learning is more difficult, I regret that I did not make more of an effort when I was young.  Sarah Palin running for vice-president referred to the country of Africa…. I bet she wishes she made more effort also!!  I do not feel Sarah and I are alone.

If we expand our horizons – know more learn more – then our world become larger.

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Funny How Falling Feels Like Flying…For a Little While!


The title is a line from a song in the movie “Crazy Heart”.

I love that line, “Funny how falling feels like flying….for a little while!”  How true is this?  Nothing like a country song to tap into how I often feel. Sometimes we know we are on our way down, but we pretend it is a roller-coaster and throw our arms up like we are flying.  I am in a roller-coaster cart with lose seat-belts.  I am reminded how my life was as a struggling college student with little money!


 

Me with Mom & Dad December 2009 – 212 pounds, 97 kgs

My decision to move to Colombia was largely based on the exchange rate with the U.S. dollar.  Roughly 2000 (COP) Colombian pesos = $1 (USD) U.S.Dollar.  I live next to the Catholic University of Colombia and places catering to students allows me to buy lunches at a lot of places for 2000 – 5000 COP – that is $1 to $2.50 for some really good meals.  I have a 1,400 square feet, 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment for less than I paid to rent 1 bedroom and share a bathroom in Las Vegas.  I do not need to own a car, eliminating that expense.  So, with careful planning, I can live on my social security check alone comfortably.


 

January 26, 2010 – 207 pounds, 94 kgs

The key to that last statement was “careful planning”.  Since being in Bogotá, I have lost almost 4o pounds.  That is all well and good, but none of my clothes fit me anymore and I need new clothes.  I do not understand with the weight loss why my feet would be growing because my shoes are feeling too small, but at least my socks still fit properly!  So there were no plans to buy a new wardrobe.  I have used a corkscrew remover to poke hole in belts to hold my pants up.  Anyone knowing me knows clothes are important to me.


 

February 20, 2010 – 203 pounds, 92 kgs

Moving first from size 38 waist pants to 34, the belt just was not cutting it anymore.  I bought a pair of inexpensive jeans size 34.  I never thought I would be that size again.  Then a couple of months pass and the 34 waist is too large.  Here is where I started flying…. I bought a pair of Diesel jeans to mark the occasion of needing a size 32 waist.  Rent from the 2 unused bedrooms financed this idea.  I never expected to be in a size 34… so investing in size 32 waist seemed a safe move.  Along the way I did by some Exito store brand shirts (Exito is Colombia’s version of WalMart).  For most… the fact I was buying discount store brand shirts was evidence I was falling, not flying.  But I was so happy I kept my arms up enjoying the ride.


 

March 20, 2010 – 194 pounds, 88 kgs

One roommate moved out, now the other roommates were moving out at the end the next month and was faced with living on the “careful planned budget” and still needing clothes that fit.  The rent from the rooms was not much money because I do not pay a lot to start with but the extra helped.  I kept flying with my arms up, eating out most meals.  The meals are inexpensive I thought and can’t add up to much.  Then I noticed I have 1o days until payday and only 10,000 COP ($5.00) in the “carefully planned budget”.  It is amazing how far I stretched that 10,000 COP.  I was able to buy a pack of ham, a loaf of bread and splurged on a pack of cheese also.  I would have sandwiches if nothing else, I would not starve those 10 days.  5,000 of the 10,000 COP was in coins. The other day I had 1,200 in coins left and the ham was running out so I decided to buy eggs.  I found eggs here for 300 COP each and I was proud to get my 4 eggs.  It is a humbling experience counting eggs and counting the change to pay for them.


 

April 5, 2010 – In the Diesel Jeans! lol 185 pounds, 85 kgs

The exchange rate was not the only reason for wanting to move to Colombia, I wanted to learn to live and fit in living in a new culture.  The common misconception is that all Gringos have money.  I am proof that is not true.  Most Colombians live on carefully planned budgets and I will now be right along with them, counting my eggs, sometimes paying with coins; but I will learn to feel like I am flying….even if it is just for a little while!


 

May 10, 2010 – 178 pounds, 81 kgs

I am not worried about starving, but worried about being hungry.  There is a difference and someone wearing relatively new Diesel jeans cannot say they are starving.  I fired my last egg a couple of hours ago and my pay for the month will be available in the morning.  I survived. The feeling of flying has passed and now I see I am falling, but if I can eat 10 days on 10,000 (COP) I know the next month will be more carefully planned and I will just poke holes in my belts again.  I have another problem that is also a mixed blessing, the Diesel jeans are too big now!!

No photo at this time… But May 24,2010 – 175 pounds, 79 kgs

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