- My sister is always gonna play matchmaker – She’s my sister. Her plan is always to go find the most awesome, impossibly gorgeous woman she can find and try to get me to muster up the courage to ask her out. Never quite works out that way – i’m always gonna be a shy guy – but, I love her for trying.
- Life is better when you don’t have to worry about your health – 30 was the first time in what felt like forever that I consistently felt healthy. I try to jog everyday, and try to eat healthier, but, most of all… I don’t get stressed out. It’s a recent idea that I’m now kinda laid back. I just want to experience the goodness of life. I know i’ll never be the carefree type like my sister, but slowly i’m becoming the grand optimist that the rest of my family is.
- If a snack comes in a variety of flavors, I’m gonna want all the flavors… It’s that simple.
- End of relationships don’t equal the end of the world – I’m still alive. And Happy. The End.
- It’s OK to be different – There was a time when I felt like an outsider because I felt so different from other guys I saw. I was never a girl chaser, I’ve never had playboy aspirations, I’ve never referred to a girl as shawty, thick, fine, or any of those other terms… It’s just not who I am. And, you feel strange when you see women respond favorably to that sort of behavior and not to what you’re presenting… Until you finally meet women who actually like guys who are going to treat them with respect. I like those women. A lot.
- I’ll never understand dysfunctional relationships and why people remain in them. I can’t relate to the desire to yell and argue constantly; It’s not something I’d like to engage in. I’m not into yelling, and I’ve never been. I can’t understand how people argue and fight everyday and call it love. I’ll never understand how women allow men to degrade them and they simply stay. I’ll never understand why guys try to ruin the self-esteem of the women they’re dating. It’ll never make sense to me.
- My thoughts are extremely lucid when being recorded with my Magic Pen – Never fails. I turn on that little blue light and the thoughts begin to flow. Haven’t quite rationalized the correlation between the pen usage and ability to write, but, it happens that way..
On that note…
- Birthday kisses are the best kisses – I’ll miss this the most on my birthday. Life is awesome, but, let’s be honest… A Kiss from a beautiful girl is inherently better than a kiss from your mom.
- I’m glad that Taco Bell is a part of my life again
- You’ve only truly moved on when you no longer seek vindication – I can still remember that May morning in 2008… It still stands as the only time in my life outside of the chickenpox in 5th grade that I failed to attend worship service. Even 4 years earlier after I had a blood transfusion the day before and was insanely weak, I still found a way to muster up the energy to make it out to serve the Lord. And yet, my body and mind and spirit couldn’t take it, and, I laid in bed and refused to attend worship. It was during that morning that I contemplated for approximately 8 minutes how I might just leave the church altogether because I felt like everything I had come to know and believe was false. Having essentially been withdrawn from by-proxy, No one at the congregation spoke to me or looked in my direction, or shook my hand for 8 months.
So, this past month, when My sister came to me and told me that The minister sent his sincerest apologies to me for that situation, it was fine.
I can recall my father joking as to whether I felt vindicated. He knew every detail about the whole ordeal. My reply, a simple “Nah, I’ve been over that”.
It was done years ago. I don’t harbor any ill-will towards anyone for that situation. I know that God allowed me to go through that situation to test my spirit as well as to show forth an example to the other members that, in standing up for yourself, there may be some persecution, but, in the end, you’ll get through it.
All in all, 30 was Awesome… Here’s to hoping 31 is EPIC!
There’s a measure of clarity that comes when you’re on the 5th night of working past 4am on a project. That clarity pertains primarily to the idea that I am doing work for the sake of saying I’m working instead of working towards a goal. And, upon further assessment, I can genuinely say that I am working on a project that I’d rather not be involved with and in doing so, it reminds me of the fact that I have a consistent streak of being unable to decide on which direction to take projects these days. Such is every other aspect of my life, AND I need to change it.
So, I’m going back to square one.
This time 10 years ago I purchased the domain alaldanzopratt.com. I had no real idea what I would use it for and I knew absolutely nothing about the concept of blogging, but I did understand that in terms of branding it would be useful, if for nothing else, the ability to place a web address on my business card ((Yeah, I was thinking about business cards and stuff when I was 21)).
In some form, I’ve had this blog for 8 years, and yet, I only have 150 posts total. In reasoning why, I point to posts like this and this, and finally, this. Indeed, I have deleted all of my old posts and started over every year for the past 4 years. I have no true reason why, save for the idea that I allow the winds of change to sweep me away, leaving my blog rather empty.
Unable to decide on a particular domain, over the past 8 years this blog has resided at alaldanzopratt.com, and aldanzo.com, and alaldanzopratt.com, and danzo.tv, and…. alpratt.com. This, of course, is in addition to danzo.org, danzo.info, aldanzopratt.mobi, aldanzopratt.info, danzo.me, alpratt.info, and alpratt.net.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve had 7 different business card designs, 4 alone in the past year.
The consistent themes in my life over the past few years have been dissatisfaction and lack of a singular focus. I have been plagued with the inability to settle on a singular idea or of a plan of action. In assessing, my father has consistently told me that:
I need to discover my passion….
On that point, I am in full agreement. It appears that I’m always searching for that missing piece. There are so many things that I do that others are much more passionate about. I sing, I write a lot, I design for others, I create constantly, I’m engaged in the youth ministry at my congregation, I co-produce an awards show, and yet, none of those individuals items really move me. Even as I pull all of those individual ideas together under an umbrella and term it all Marketing, it still doesn’t drive me on a consistent basis. In terms of work, I go at it hard; I always have. But, none of that is really getting me anywhere in terms of fulfillment. I would spend hours on end in the library researching and studying and trying to be great in school, so much so that I nearly drove myself insane with desire and want. I believe, by my own personal count, I spent 5 consecutive years worth of Fridays in my mid-twenties holed up in my room reading and writing instead of experiencing anything else. I love reading and writing, but even that isn’t my true passion. My parents are constantly telling me that I need to build better relationships; that, in doing so it will allow me to narrow my focus to what truly matters in life. That, in finding solace in that relationship, I will find a passion in something else altogether. I agree. And, that’s something i’m working on constantly.
I’m seeking a change. It’s always unsettling to look back on how indecisive I have been for the past few years. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I never feel comfortable with the overall quality of the work that I’m producing, be it writing, or strategic work, of something arbitrary. I have a tendency to over-do things even while not being thorough and this has caused me to accomplish less, even while doing more in an effort to stay busy. This lack of balance in thinking and working is really killing any forward momentum I build when I finally am able to deliver a finished project.
And, so, I am resolving to simplify everything. I am planning to do less projects this year, but, do those projects BETTER. I want the work that I complete this year to be meaningful. I have made a personal vow to stick with this particular domain for the entire year. I want to see what I can accomplish if my focus is singularly centered on the current project at hand and not on 7 or 8 projects that I need not be involved with.
I’ve thrown away all of my journals.
For as long as I can remember, they’d been a part of my life, my closest and most trusted friend. They served me well through the years, on days when I felt on edge, or felt like crying, or laughing, or like simply sharing the mundane… It’s always been a part of my life. But, I haven’t written a journal entry in a year and a half.
There’s an almost regressive feeling associated with that sort of writing these days. The purpose of it was so much associated with needing an outlet; that, I was too shy to talk to anyone else, and so I just wrote down my thoughts.
I read an entry from 3 years ago. It talked about how my weight kept falling and how I couldn’t seem to get out of bed anymore. The helplessness of those lines made me realize that I no longer in that place as a person.
There is no great nostalgia to be found in those volumes. There was only angst and uncertainty and I just don’t feel that way anymore. There are plenty of friends to talk to now, plenty of people to communicate with and now I simply write for the joy of writing. I maintain a blog…. But, mostly so I can deliver documents and thoughts on various subject matters, but almost never my feelings.
Life is Good. I’m just enjoying it. Less writing, More living.
Simply put, it was the best year of my life….
In 2011, I made a promise to be kinder and gentler, to reach out more to people and allow my feelings to show. I feel like, as I assess the year that was, those qualities allowed me to grow as an individual and therefore allowed me to move past the old me; but, it’s time to evolve from last years me. I’m considerate, and patient, and I’m loving, and a pretty good friend… But, to all those that know me, the two-word combination they would never use to describe me are Kind & Gentle. I’m super nice, but, I am never gonna be warm and fuzzy… I’m just not that person, and, as I tried to force that upon people, it came across many times as disingenuous. And, I want to be as genuine as possible.
2011 was an exercise in branding and rebranding.
But, at the end of the day, I love the simplicity of Aldanzo Pratt. I love the idea of being who I am. And, I love great color usage.
I feel like returning to the person I’ve always been… The guy who was just humble, though slightly brash, who was always there for his friends and was always thinking.
I’m moving forward. I’m always moving forward, but, for this year, I want to be Incredible. For the first time in years, I’m capable of thinking straight. There’s a clarity that comes with no longer worrying about sickness. I can now go full days and weeks and never think about my illness.
My Resolution: If there is a resolution I’d like to have for 2012 it would be to eat more Taco Bell.. It’s weird… I had Taco Bell for the first time in 6 years the other day… Oh how I missed it!! It was my first true fast food love as a child.
Alas, I think my mind is beginning to work again. I can feel the desire to create returning, and it feels mighty good.
There’s a time of the day, when the sun’s going down…….
It was time for a refresh, so, I went ahead and ordered some new Business Cards..
Day Twenty: Meditate.
In the end, we all get exactly what we ask for… So, you better think hard on it and then be very specific in your asking.
It’s a part of me and my life; the constant pinging of my blackberry all day. The reading and replying to the emails and text messages. I’ve come to love communication. In many ways it serves as a mental departure from all that is going on in life. But, I have an equal affinity for time spent with my phone on silent, with my journal in hand, deep in reflection and thought. I enjoy being able to clear my head of everything else in the world, to isolate myself and to delve deep into the confines of my mind. It’s my way of avoiding a longstanding tendency towards regression.
When I was young, I was considered
somewhat of a hothead. I would get so emotional, so riled and I would lose my temper and would fuss and argue and get angry and would constantly find myself on the verge of hyperventilation. It was the saddest scene, but, it was the most honest part of me. I did not understand how to process what I was going through. Helplessness often brings about our truest emotions. I used to feel like I had no other way to cope with things than to simply roll up in a ball, pout, and then be the most ornery individual to be around.
It’s been years since I’ve done any of that. It’s a complete 180 in terms of the way I handle stress and confrontation. People who’ve only known me as an adult comment on how they never see me yell. I’m not into yelling; I’m seldom into arguing. I’m generally the one capable of keeping a level head and analyzing the situation before reacting.
It’s been a long journey.
A few years go, after continually finding myself with hurt feelings, I decided that none of my decisions moving forward would be based in emotion. Emotions are great in their purpose; they enlighten us to our bias towards empathy. But, they should never be used as a basis for decision making. There’s a rather superfluous nature about emotions of which I care not to allow to overtake my mindset.
I’ve made it a practice of listening to Earl Nightingale’s audiobook “Lead the Field” at least once a month. There’s one concept that I’ve taken away from it that drives me on a daily basis; Thinking. It’s the simplest ideal, but one i’ve come to realize many people don’t seem to apply to their lives too often. I’ve come to realize the truth in his words, that people often never think, but rather react. Many people, if they’re honest, never think.
Devoid of emotion or a concern for other people’s reactions, I choose to drown out the world and think. No crying, no anger, no frustration. Just meditation. I don’t think to arrive at a decision, but rather to arrive at greater clarity. I’ve come to understand that many of the decisions I need to make that are thought upon are already in front of me.
There is much that is elementary about what we need to do. We simply can’t see what we need to do because we have too much emotion attached to the thought process. It’s a practice I’ve tried to do away with; the motion of beginning to reflect, only to be bombarded by feelings associated with the surrounding situation.
I want to grow into a better processor of thoughts. I want to be even clearer in my understanding of self, so that I am capable to know which direction my thinking should go in and how I can better come to the aid of those around me who seek guidance. There’s a certain altruism associated with meditation in that it allows you to be better suited to assist others as your mind is now free.
Meditation, for me, allows for the subtle nuances that may be a hindrance to otherwise good thinking to drift away, and allow me to then see situations for what they really are. It allows me to regard things that are occurring in my life to be put into proper perspective. There’s a sense of gratitude that goes along with the meditation process, a reality that I’m blessed to be of sound enough mind to even collect thoughts to be processed. It takes the seemingly major trials of life and reduces them to compact scenarios of which I can see clearly enough to resolve.
Recently, I’ve engaged in a rather intense round of reflection and self-assessment. I had to be honest with my self as to what I really want out of my life in terms of joy. It’s my therapy. And, after having a good conversation yesterday about dating and relationships, it made me even more absolute in my current thinking.
I’m NEVER gonna be THAT GUY.
There’s nothing casual, in my mind, about dating. Relationships are too vital to the overall human experience to just think we’re gonna simply happen upon a great one casually. And, I don’t want to be that guy who jumps from relationship to relationship, ever seeking,
never finding never seeking to find. I’ve always said, that it is so important, I don’t want the feeling to be diminished. I want my I love you to feel as genuine as possible. I do not want to have said it to a multitude of women. I’m selfish like that.
And, that’s why I’ll wait. I don’t want a lover-friend, or a jump-off ((Watching a ton of Basketball Wives these days, and taking random trips to the Urban Dictionary… Yeah, I’m not hip.)), or anything else remotely close to that; It lies in direct contrast to my faith. That, and I want the maximum effect of love. I want it in its most pure form. I want it the way God meant it to be. I don’t want my heart to be overrun with too many emotions based on past experiences. So, I can’t, in my mind, settle for some simplified emotion. I don’t want to simply pass the time.. It isn’t fair. I’d rather wait patiently for something substantial.
I’ve decided that moving on, for me, doesn’t need to include dating. As I conversed, I became increasingly disheartened that my friends continue to tell me to get back out there and start dating. I know they mean well, and, to be honest, I’ve given it some major thought myself; but, the reality is, I just don’t have a real desire to date at the moment. While I don’t wallow in self-pity on a daily basis, I do still feel a lasting effect of the relationship, and I don’t want to simply date – for dating-sake. I’ve always believed that we only get so many genuine experiences in life when it comes to romance… and, I don’t want to waste one of those simply trying to prove to myself that i’m over someone.
So, I move forward….
Even if it takes a lifetime….
I want to be grabbed by love. To touch, and taste it’s goodness.