Trapped

Happiness was the bait. Loneliness was her trap.

“Never go alone,” his mentor reiterated. He had his trusty sword at his side the whole time.

At first, everything was great. The adventure was moving along smoothly. Battle after battle, win after win. But slowly, his energy wained. His determination fluttered. Before he knew it, he found himself running, instead of fighting. He was trapped in his brain. A whirlpool of “what-ifs” and “whys” began to bring him to the end of his whits.

He was trapped. Like a mouse to the cheese. “Snaaaap!” The bar held him hostage. He struggled. He fought. He cried toward the heavens, to find now answer in return. Minutes turned to hours, hours to days, days to weeks. He finally started to let the trap take control of him, and he laid down to rest.

He dreamed of a better place, one where true happiness rained supreme. A voice spoke to him, telling him to press on. It was not the end, there was something more. Sure, he lost battles, more than a few, but there was still a war to be won. The voice assured him that his sword was there, but he would need something more, something less tangible. Faith, perhaps.

He woke to find himself surrounded by darkness. This was the most scared he had ever been, but he remembered his dream and what the voice had said to him. He immediately jumped up, and began walking. He cold feel the weight of his trap still pulling behind him, but he marched onward. It was still dark. It was still lonely.

But he marched on.

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I Blogged During My Anxiety Attack (unedited)

I typed my way through an anxiety attack and thought it might be beneficial to share. I have not read this other than as I was typing it. Please forgive any typos, grammatical errors, etc. 

Do you ever just feel so alone? Like you sit and wait for your roommate to get home, because you really need her, and she just never comes home. And you get notification after notification of her tweets, but she’s still not home. Your heart starts beating. Faster. Faster. And your legs start to go numb. And your ears start ringing. Suddenly you realize you’re on the floor, then on your bed, then in your bathroom throwing up. Now you’re sobbing on the cold linoleum, and you realize that you have no one else but yourself. Your mom says, “Cheer up.” Your friends say to get over it. Your coworker says you’ll make it through, But right now, you don’t want to be anymore. I don’t want to feel anymore. I don’t want try anymore! I can’t “cheer up,” Mom! It won’t go away! I don’t want to die all the time. Sometimes I can make the pain seem not so bad. I can put on a smile at work, tell the customer to have a nice day. But I’m dead inside. Hollow. But now my façade wears thin. The rafters holding up my roof begin to rust from the incessant flow of tears. Store Open flashes. Flashes. But I am not open. Not ready to serve. Not ready for this. I can make a list off all the shitty things in my life. But that’s too taboo. Too negative. Well let me be negative for God’s sake! Tell me it’s ok to want to die. Tell me there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Tell me the world just might be better off without me. Or don’t. I wont believe you no matter what you say. My brain tells me that this is my reality. That this is the only way I can exist. I’ve watched 100 TED talks, all saying that my brain is wrong. But I am my brain. My brain is me. So am I now wrong? And how am I supposed to feel when I am told that I am seeing my life through drunk goggles. How am I supposed to live through the pain? Day in. Day out. Day in. Day out. I can hardly function. My clothes pile up. Not dirty, but clean, fresh out of the dryer. I haven’t touched a hanger in almost a month. My bed has become an escape. But the dreams I have feel far to real. Life becomes nightmare. Daydream becomes reality. The doctors say to take my medication, but the only medication I want runs through my veins. I want to forget myself. Move on. Become someone new, someone less me.

Apotheosis

My nose has been running a lot lately. Whether or not this has anything to do with my current mental state has yet to be decided, but it does feel like my brain is dripping out of my skull at times. I stay up until three in the morning; usually, and then sleep until the alarm tears my mind from its peaceful dreams. Or until it doesn’t, and I get a call from my boss saying I’m an hour late to my opening shift. Either way, pulling my body out of warm sheets is a lot harder than it used to be. Customers begin to pile up in my dining room, cars wrap around the building, and suddenly I’m struggling to hold onto my breath. I find myself hyperventilating in the walk-in freezer.

Dishes pile up in the sink and I can tell Tori is pissed. But still I drown out the pain with the strings of my guitar. Capo pulled up tight, hands trembling with each strum. I hold firm, to my guitar, and to the promise of a light at the end of this stygian tunnel. But my vision is hazed over. I look behind me, nothing. I look in front of me, still nothing. What I wouldn’t give to silence the turmoil that is my consciousness.

But Sunday gives way to yet another Monday. Then Tuesday rolls around and it feels like another Monday. And so it goes on. Anxiety cripples, but people still want their sandwiches. My mom still wants me to go to church. Tori wants me to clean the apartment. But I, I want to crawl back into my bed, to sleep ‘till a day when I can wake up truly happy.

My shoulders ache from the weight Atlas has left for me to bear. I’ve stopped looking in the mirror for fear of seeing Narcissus staring back at me. The rivers of my life converge at the Styx, leaving me at the mercy of Hades, to foot the bill myself. I pray to Heracles to come kill this eagle gnawing at my liver, and to finally set me free…

Apotheosis of Washington

The Things I Cannot Accept

Yes, it has been a while, thanks for asking. A new year ushers in thoughts of resolutions and goals. Although nothing has really changed, besides our calendars resetting to January, and scribbling out 2014 to rewrite 2015, it does give us a terrific way to measure our lives.

This is not a New Year’s post. This is not a new me post. Please do not get confused.

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” -Angela Davis

That is 2015 to me. I’ve written a few posts about change, weakness, and being tired; but now is the ultimate time for change.

In four months I’ll be 20. Where the hell did my last two years go? I feel wasted. At least my constituents have spent the last two years “serving the Lord.” That’s more than I can say. Perhaps this is a queue to drink more tea, perhaps meditate a little more. I know my twenties will be my defining decade, so I must start out strong.

I’m already rambling.

So perhaps we should reimagine the Serenity Prayer, and start trying to change the things we cannot accept.

Have a blessed day, I guess…

-Lando

September 3, 2011

I went to my first funeral that March. I was only sixteen, and she was our ninety year old neighbor. Death was not an easy subject for me, just because I had very little experience with it. Three of my five grandparents and an uncle had passed before I even turned six. I went to my second funeral in September…

Long nights. Randomness. Deep discussions. My best friend. My mentor. Those are the only ways I can describe my brother, Logan. I mean, at least that I can remember. I’m purposely omitting our arguments and fights, ’cause I do what I want. Logan taught me how to make music. He bought me my first ukulele the year before, and the following Christmas he bought me my guitar. I’m only now realizing just how much he loved me. He was a very special kind of person, and it took losing him for me to realize that. I’ve started this post at least ten times in the past three years, but I’m doing it now, like a Bandaid.

Logan

I remember how his room sat empty, with his clothes still on the floor, his computer still on his nightstand, and his bed still a mess. But it didn’t stay that way for long. We made the decision, as a family, to clean up his things, and begin the process of moving on. While some may view this as a burden, I chose to view it as a blessing. We didn’t hold back. Logan introduced me to the band Noah and the Whale, who have a song called L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. Basically, life goes on. We couldn’t sit around wallowing in our sadness, we had to learn how to heal ourselves.

I no longer feel the need to go into detail about the day he died. I will say just two things. The first, I don’t remember a single thing we talked about that day, not one thing. I’m not sure if this is a blessing or not, but it still makes me very sad. And the second, I was so fortunate to have the Skinners with me when I got the phone call from my mom. Bradlee was my drama teacher, and both him and his wife knew and taught Logan, so they were able to comfort me at a time when I had no one else.

I miss him every day, but knowing him, loving him, and losing him, all shaped me as a person. Today marks three years. I lost my brother that day. But I also lost my best friend, and the only person who I could be myself around. Having him gone forced me to change as a person, and come out of my shell. I miss him every day. So so me a favor, when you get done reading this, go hug your mother / father / brother / sister / significant other / child / friend and tell them that you love them.

Stay classy.

Lando

Weak

He is weak.

Sure, at first glance many people see a strong, smart, well-rounded, young man. But deep down inside, he’s fool. A loser. A sinner. What went wrong in his life that could lead him to such an unfortunate state? I surely don’t know.

He is me, I am him. I am weak.

He looked down at the Earth below him. He saw his mother, his sister, his brothers, his friends. Sure, he missed them, but he had work to do. He raised his mighty wings into the air and gave a flap. Nothing happened. He tried again to no avail. He looked around to make no one was watching and began the long walk back to the Temple. With his head hung low, he walked past the crowds of other angels in same. 

After what seemed like an eternity, he made it to the temple.”Father,” he said, “I am too weak to fly. Why? All the others can, so why not me?”

God replied, “You are so young, and your wings are so beautiful, but you have to give them time.” 

“But I’ve been waiting eons to get to use them, I thought I would be able to by now.”

“Just have faith. Faith in me, that I know what I’m doing. Faith in your wings, because they are what brought you here to heaven. And faith in yourself, because you are stronger than you know. I created you, son. I know just how beautiful your soul is,” tears streamed down God’s face, “Just remember, the strongest wings are the ones that are forged in the fires of Hell.”

God gave him a mighty hug and sent him on his way. As he hopped and skipped down the stairs of the Temple, he felt his wings start to catch onto the air. It wasn’t much, but he felt a little less weak, and a little more hopeful. 

 

-Landon

“U R ALIVE”

Perhaps it is considered an act of vandalism, but in Utah, they get away with it. Typically bearing the obligatory Welcome home Elder/Sister So-And-So, this overpass cup homage was very different.

U R ALIVE

Three “words”, seven letters, and two spaces. Something so light, so simple, hit me like a ton of bricks falling off a truck. I’m not aware of the “tagger’s” intention for this statement, but it meant something to me.

You are alive! There is blood pulsing through you veins, electrons jumping from neuron to neuron, inhale and exhale. You are alive!

Get off your ass butt! Go do what you love. Don’t let anybody tell you that what you want in life is wrong. Dress how you want. Live life on your terms. Confess your love for him. Tell your mother you forgive her. Visit your grandma before it’s too late. Run a 5K. Climb Kilimanjaro. Go back to school. Drop out of school. Finish that novel. Apply for your dream job. You are alive!

In short:

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.

–Dorothy Thompson

Be brave, for you are alive!

I wish I could’ve taken a picture of it, but I was driving dow the Interstate at 85 75 miles an hour. I’ll do ya one better!

So now I’m standing on the overpass
Screaming at the cars, hey

I wanna get better


I didn’t know I was lonely
‘Til I saw your face

I wanna get better


I didn’t know I was broken
‘Til I wanted to change

I wanna get better

 

–Bleachers

 

I WANNA GET BETTER

Courtesy of Sarah Nowell (I didn’t actually ask her if I could use it, sorrynotsorry.)

 
Just remember, You are alive!
 
 
 
 

Gay-versary

It’s funny, how fast time flies by. Two years ago I was lying in bed crying, and now I’m sitting in the Gerald R. Sharratt Library. I’d say that’s quite a bit of progress. I texted Mishae and after a lengthy conversation I came out to her. Flash forward two years: today she’s entering the MTC to serve a mission in London, England. Then there’s me. I’m finishing up my first year of University and in a couple of months I’ll be living in Salt Lake going to the U. Tomorrow I turn 19. Mishae and I I guess to finish off this really short and random post I’ll just say thank you. So, thank you, to everyone who’s helped me get to the point in my life that I am. Coming out is not easy, ask anyone who is gay/lesbian/transgendered/ect., so thanks for not flipping out and leaving me in the dirt when I came out. 😀

Tired

I’m tired

Blood barely pulses through my veins

 

The flame dims,

The scene fades,

The curtains close

 

The bags hanging under my eyes couldn’t hold

the weight of my struggles

Lives continue on just outside my door,

but I stagnate in my room

My mind rests on the mistakes of my past

and my present

I hardly leave my room

 

Days like these come too often

The light at the end of my tunnel recedes

 

I digress

 

The kettle begins to whistle

Usually a sharp and painful noise

now music to my ears

I let the tea run over the bumps of my tongue,

swish around my teeth,

and finally drop down into my throat

 

I have no big words to describe

my feelings

not now

 

Again, I digress

 

Pillow

Blanket

Even Teddy Bear

My lids weigh

 

With hope,

as Annie said,

the Sun

will come out

tomorrow

Las Vegas

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Tristen’s Hip-stir F’real lid.

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Tristen and I (I being goofy.)

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Sunset.

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Finally getting somewhere, somewhere blurry.

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We ate El Pollo Loco on Friday night. Memorable things: Nate shimmying with chips and horchata highs.

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I can’t find what building this is anywhere!

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What a gay necklace!

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Brantz really wanted to lay in this, and become one with it…

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Nate being… well, Nate.

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The Karma Machine

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The Karma Machine

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Deer

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A beautiful zen garden. (Fun fact, looking on Google maps, this used to be a junk yard!)

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(I love tea.)

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Hehe

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This is like Pizza Cart on acid!

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Art District

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Alfred Dorniels

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