2017: Getting Shit Done

If you look back through some of my posts from the last year, you would think I was the most miserable son of bitch on the face of the Earth.

Honestly, I felt like it. I felt like the world had kicked me down to the ground and kept stomping the fuck out of me. The past two years were an emotional shit show for me. So many things happened, and at the same time, that I was drowning. Only a few close people know about them. My social media presence remained upbeat because I didn’t want anyone asking questions or knowing.

I am sure if you are reading this that you are probably wondering what happened. For several reasons, I cannot go into them in such a public forum (although some of my previous posts allude to parts of it).

To be quite honest, I don’t want to focus on that nightmare anyway. I want to focus on 2017, the year that I am getting shit done for myself and moving past the vaguely mentioned experiences.

Near the end of 2016, those several shitty experiences all came to an end and set the stage for 2017. The things that were seriously plaguing me were finally over. It was like the winds blowing my sails into the Bermuda Triangle decided to just change direction and take my tiny boat to happier days.

And happier days it has been! I got a fresh start and was able to start over. It was at this point that I started to feel that 2017 was going to be great. I was going to make it awesome!

I changed jobs at work in December 2016 and transitioned into a role, that I absolutely love, as a leadership trainer. I loved training Servicing and also training other trainers in the art of training. But there is just something about training leaders.

Jumping into this new role in 2017 pushed me outside of my comfort zone and made me very vulnerable, but I am experiencing so much growth of my own skills because of it. It feels amazing being able to make an impact on leaders, which will in turn trickle down to their team members (the only time trickle down economics actually works). I am part of a newer team and doing what I can to help build us up. I am so happy right now!

Personally, my mind has let out this loud sigh of relief. The past two years pushed me over the edge and I fell into a pit of mental health issues. I was seriously balls deep in Depression and Anxiety. My ADHD was out in full swing. I had to start seeing a therapist and was prescribed something for the ADHD to get myself together. So many nights were spent on being victim to racing thoughts, fear, sadness, and fear and not on sleep. I became so fixated on the negativity because I couldn’t see any light. Not even a damn glimmer of it. Life has an intense way of reminding us that nothing lasts forever though.

Many of the things I was experiencing have started to dissipate. I forced myself to start focusing on the good things, and if I didn’t feel like there were good things happening, I fucking made them happen. I was going to get shit done this year. The shit that I wanted, and needed, to do for myself. No more reasons or putting myself in situations where I can’t do shit for myself.

Shit to do #1: Traveling

One thing I decided was that I needed to travel. My soul is the traveling type and staying stationary has negative effects on me.

So I went back to New York and visited family. I went there first because it was where I was from and the first time I was able to travel anywhere for quite some time. I love to explore and it really did me good to get out and check out new places and hang out with one of my amazing cousins. I even went to the hospital I was born in to take pictures!

This is me in Central Park:

I also took myself out every single night I was in NYC. I either went alone or I met up with another cousin. I went out, had drinks, and socialized. Words cannot express how doing that made me feel. I could almost hear the sound of the top popping off and all my mental BS exploding out of me.

While I was in New York, my sister (who really loves to travel) talked to my mom and booked us three tickets to Mexico.

New York was amazing…but fuck..going to Mexico from Christmas to New Year’s Eve was FUCKING SUPERB!! We stayed in Playa Del Carmen. We were there for 9 days and we rocked out that trip! It was gorgeous every single day! Even when it rained, it only rained for 20 minutes and then the sun came back out.

While in Mexico, we hit up several (it’s impossible to do all of them) bars/restaurants on the main strip in Playa Del Carmen. We also went to Tulum where we did sightseeing of ancient ruins. We also went to Chichen Itza where we saw the amazing ancient ruins there as well as went snorkeling! I mentally needed these adventures!

This is me sightseeing:

If you are ever in an emotional rut, I HIGHLY recommend traveling to a place like Mexico. The country is gorgeous (from the tourist side of it), the people are so friendly and genuine, and the scenery is a feast for the eyes! It’s that tropical vacation you long for, but also super affordable! I promise, if you are really going through something, do this for yourself.

I have also booked a trip to Denver for April! So I am moving and experiencing life! I cannot wait to get into the mountains and just be outside in a new place!

Shit to do #2: Personal Goals 

When Old Deller, my laptop, died several months ago, I never got around to getting a new computer. No wait..not that I didn’t get around to it..I just wanted a Mac and those are WAY more expensive than a PC.

Not having a computer probably wouldn’t be such a huge deal for some people. However, I like to write these ramblings of a mad man and share them on my blog. If I wanted to continue writing and building myself as a writer/blogger, then I needed to have adequate resources, like a computer. I don’t like to use my work computer for personal business. So I actually splurged on a Mac computer today! This thing is fucking magical!

I’ve always loved writing and I think (know) being lost in so much negativity was taking that away from me. In other words, I was fucking myself because I was letting my dreams just waste away. I just laid there and let everything run me over. I am also tired of starting something and not seeing it through because of shit excuses.

I also want to get into the beard oil business. This year I registered my blog as an online store and even got an Employee Identification Number (EIN)! Awesome! I have some other stuff around that to figure out, but I have it on my Shit I Need to Do Right Now list.

Lastly, I grew up speaking Albanian, but since I never really used it where I grew up, I don’t speak it like I used to. I am working on relearning and practicing it some more.

Shit to do #3: Personal Upgrades

I first got glasses when I was in second grade. I have always worn glasses, until I became a teenager. Then I transitioned to contact lenses. After that, I went back and forth between contacts and glasses. I have always had corrective lenses in my life.

The past few years though, I found myself thinking about LASIK and eventually making it a goal. Well I can say that as of March 2017, that is one goal I turned into reality. I got LASIK! I feel like I accomplished a bucket list item, and it feels amazing! I can see great, and as my eyes heal my vision keeps getting better. I tested at 20/20, possibly 20/15.

Earlier this year I also signed up for Warrior Dash with my friends from work. I have always wanted to do a physical challenge like that. I have been working out a lot and put on some intense weight.

Last week I signed up for a 6 week workout program with a place called Michigan Kettlebells. It’s going to be intense, but so worth it. It will help me cut down some of this fat I gained and tone up my gained muscle. It will also get me ready for Warrior Dash! I also want to play rugby so this will help me with the training and conditioning of my body!

My goal is to look like this guy (or a watered down version) at Warrior Dash! I even paid for the kilt so I can really experience the event:

I am so ready to continue smashing through my goals! So fucking ready! It is really easy to lay down and die when life hands you a large glass of “Fuck you.” I am guilty of that more than I care to admit. Especially when the shit gets piled on! However, like I said earlier..the negative shit is gone! That means I only have positive things to focus on!

Seriously, if I find something negative to focus on at this point, I brought it on myself and I am a fucking lunatic!

 

I am excited to share this because I have seriously never felt happier. So many great things happening that I just need to let the sun shine on my face!

 

My Life and Where I’m At

It is 2:37 a.m. and I really should be getting into bed. However, I took a really great nap earlier so I am not ready to check out just yet. 

I have had some changes in my life and some thoughts in my head so I thought I would write them out. So here goes!

First, and most importantly, I have had a wonderful career change that could not make me happier! On June 3, 2013, I started working for Quicken Loans as a Training Consultant. After suffering at Flagstar for as long as I did, this position is the best relief. I am so appreciative of this job! It is really perfect for me. It combines my experience in mortgage servicing, my people skills, and my natural understanding of psychology and the learning process. 

I could be angry at Flagstar for all the bullshit they put me through, but I really should thank them. Without their abuse, I would never know what I am worth and what I could possibly do. They really motivated me to better my life. I put myself through the ringer trying to get a position at Quicken Loans. No one will ever really know the joy it brought me when I was chosen to join the Servicing Training Team there. I am still green to this position, but I am 100% motivated to becoming the best trainer and making my team proud. They invest a lot in me, so I turn want to repay them with success and dedication!

Financially, this is a huge score for me. On my half birthday of July 12, 2013, I finally became financially stable! No more working two jobs, or struggling to make ends meet after quitting my second job in anticipation of a raise that never came. Now that I have caught myself up where I needed to, I am ready to rock and roll! I will, for the first time in a long time, have money left over in my checks to actually save AND spend on leisurely activities! Now I can start taking the weekend trips and do the updates to my apartment that I have wanted! Also, once I become seasoned and my lease is over, I will be able to buy a home! My own home! My very own piece of the world!

My financial problems caused by my pay issues at Flagstar caused me to experience a depression and low self confidence. I feel those really starting to slip away now. I am bouncing back and feeling great about it! 

I am also really excited that not only am I back on my fitness plan after my rib was jacked up, but I am really cranking it out hard at the gym! I am finding my confidence is getting higher because I just strut around naked in the locker room and I don’t care. I am going to achieve my dream body! Especially now that I can afford the tools I need like my Serious Mass and 1.M.R. I no longer have to sacrifice those items just to buy food to last me. 

However, there are a couple of things that I am having issues with. Both are extremely large parts of who I am. Being gay and being Albanian.

Let me break the two down:

Being gay: I love that I am gay. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t. The issue that I have is being gay in Detroit. I fucking hate it. This is an awful place to be gay. The gay scene is the size of a dime. Dating and meeting someone new is a slim to zero chance when you are single. I’m not the kind of guy that is dying to have a boyfriend, but it would be nice to know that it could be an option. I go to the gay bars here and they are all the same people, and no one that I am interested in. Online is the same shit too. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may not meet someone. That is O.K though. I have many other plans for my life that don’t include someone. I go to straight bars too, but that can sometimes leave me feeling like the odd man out. It’s also depressing because those bars have all these good looking straight guys that I wish I would see at a gay bar. 

Being Albanian: I am very proud of my Albanian heritage. My parents came from Kosova and I have been there twice to visit. We have a very rich and beautiful culture. I would not be Valdet Selimaj had I not been born Albanian. I am just not always proud of other Albanians. Albanians can be very fucking small minded. You try being both Albanian AND gay. That severely limits my friendship pool. It can be a real fucking pretty time. Albanians can also be very douchey sometimes. The shit that they do. Talk about socially retarded. Occasionally I find myself wishing I had more Albanian friends, then other times I am grateful I don’t really have any. My family is good enough for me. 

I know this is my frustration talking and I shouldn’t be bashing anyone, but that’s where I’m at. 

I don’t know what to do about those two. Like we say at Quicken Loans: “We’ll figure it out.” 

Now I am a little tired. But that is where I current stand in a blog post nutshell. 

Good night

My Long Road To Education

I have been working on my two year associates degree for about five years now. I have been so embarrassed to admit that to anyone. When people ask me when I will be done with school, I just laugh and say “Oh it’ll be a while.’ Technically I am not lying.

After several years of just f*cking around, I finally started going to college when I was 25. I had decided in my earlier 2os that I want to be a PR. I think I would be really great at it. I was really proud of myself because I finally grew up and made the decision to better myself with an education. I started off light and only took 2 or 3 classes (I don’t remember anymore). I had been out of the school swing for a while and need to get reacquainted with it all. At that time I was also working at Applebee’s full time. It was perfect. On my days off I would take all my classes, do my homework, and study. Then I would work over the weekend and make my rent money. I didn’t have anything else to pay for except my phone and portion of utilities at my old apartment.

Like all things in life, change was coming my way. I then began to work full time at Flagstar Bank Monday-Friday. I was also still working at Applebee’s on the weekends. All of the sudden my free time was gone. Then I had to work both my jobs, pay for my apartment on my own, car payment, insurance, and all that other fun stuff. I was no longer receiving financial aid because now it was deemed that I make too much money for aid. Too bad no one takes into consideration the costs of being an independent student. I also had lost a huge monthly bonus that I received. That is why I had to pick up my hours at Applebee’s.

I was still managing to take some night classes and paying for my classes out of pocket. I refuse to take out student loans because I want to walk away with a degree, not debt. Anyway, I was doing pretty good. I did hit a couple of speed bumps here and there. I ended up not going a semester here and a semester there. OK fine, it happens. What are you going to do?

A few months ago I started to dabble in music. You can read about that here. I fell in love with it. The more I fell in love with it, the more I realized that I hated working in an office. Even now, six months later, I still dislike it. It is so boring, I’m tired of office pettiness and cattiness. I just waste away my energy there. I knew that music and writing is what I wanted to do with my life. When I realized that, it felt right. So my next step was to speak to a counselor regarding the educational path I was on towards an ABA and how I wanted to get an associates in Liberal Arts.

Whatever I do end up doing, I still work full time at the bank and I work part time at Granite City. So I am still crunched for time and funds for school. So school is definitely going to “take me a while.” The difference now is, I don’t care anymore. I shouldn’t be embarrassed. I’ve paid my own way and have made it this far. I am an independent person who lives an independent life. But I do need to do something, quick.

I made an appointment with the counselor at my school. I met with her today 8/15/2012. I wanted to explain to her where I was coming from and what I wanted to do. She looked up what I needed and I discovered I only needed about two more classes. Also, I could actually get two Associate degrees! One in Business and the other in Liberal Arts. However, the Business Associates would require that I take Managerial Accounting. I dropped that class once. What a beast. I might just do both. But I know my heart is not in business. Maybe there is an opportunity in a different kind of business and I shouldn’t be basing my office experience to default mortgage banking. So that is why I am going to work on getting both Associate degrees. So I can have a plan B.

Even if I did find something different, nothing makes me feel better than writing something. I love words. I love expression. I love taking words and singing them (to the best of my ability). I want to make music and write pieces. It’s what excites me.

Writing especially has been a long time hobby of mine. But I was always afraid to try and turn a hobby into a job because then it wouldn’t be a hobby anymore. They do say “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I don’t find that to be entirely true, but it is a great goal and I plan to never work a day in my life again!

What is your passion? Do you do it for a living? Why or why not?

The Walls of My Lunacy

My life is like a bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal. All kinds of fun letters just mixed around and starting my day off. Most importantly are O.C.D, and possibly the new letters of A.D.H.D.

That is certainly a lot to choke on huh? My doctor told me a year or so ago that I have O.C.D and wanted me to talk to a therapist and getting on medication for it. I know that I probably should, but I don’t want to.  Sometimes O.C.D works out in my favor and I am afraid to lose out on it’s benefits. I have really good grades at school because I can’t not have good grade. However, it really does cause me more problems than solutions. So in an attempt to do something about it, I have really self reflected to see what the cause of my O.C.D is. There is always an underlying issue with this disorder. For me I realized, it is the irrational fear that if I break pattern in things that I am doing, something terrible will happen to my mother, brother or sisters. There have been times were I have been forced out of my patterns, and I stop and wait for the devastating phone call.

Another issue that I struggle with is my inability to throw things away. It is an emotional challenge for me to throw thing of importance out. I kept an entertainment system and 32 inch TV for years because my mom bought it (14 years ago). I didn’t even need it, not did I have space for it in my apartment. Those are just two of the many examples I have. I have cluttered my home on numerous occasional because of this disorder.

A great tool to help with this is my illogical impulsive behavior. As if the O.C.D was not enough, I have recently learned that I could possibly have A.D.H.D (which I am not self diagnosing, I plan on seeing someone for that). The symptoms certainly explained a lot of why I am the way I am. Either way, I have a huge impulse control problem. More times than not I end up just shooting myself in the foot. I go on this “binges” or “episodes” were I just can’t control myself and do things like spend money on things I shouldn’t or do things I shouldn’t. This impulse control also causes my dislike of a clutter (contradictory right? Welcome to my life) and causes me to go on weekend long sprees of cleaning, smashing, breaking, and ripping things apart in my apartment. Just two nights ago, I ripped apart the entertainment system I was talking about. A few months before that I had the same episodes where I ripped a sofa and love seat to pieces. I had a vision and nothing was going to stop me.

I recently came to realize that my cluttered/hoarding home is also my barrier from me and the outside world. My mess, my garbage, it’s all a subconscious way of keeping out people from my life. I never have people over. Ever. I honestly believe that this is what prevents me from getting into the dating world. Or rather, I prevent myself. Fortunately, once you admit your problem, you can begin healing and rebuilding.

Not that I have any dating prospects beating down on my door, but I think I am scared or nervous to start something new with someone. I was did that once and it fell apartment. I have long moved past that, but it is in the past, so it is easier to move on from what has already happened. The future is a little more open and I am not sure what the universe holds for me. I think as a precaution I have this messy home as my back up and bomb shelter. I can hide here and no one can get to me.

Luckily, I think I took steps in the right direction by completing cleaning and revamping my apartment. Now I am comfortable with perhaps letting someone in. Now maybe I won’t be stuck in this same place. I feel like a rock sometimes. I am not even living. I just exist. I exist in my madness. Well I can no longer live like that. I’ve started the journey, that’s really the hardest part.

Anyone else have O.C.D or A.D.H.D? How do you deal? Any stories you would like to share?