What Makes You Happy?

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What Makes You Happy

 

I haven’t written in a long time, part of me felt like it was maybe because I’ve been doing better. I haven’t been feeling as depressed. My life had seemingly come together, even if just the slightest. I always told myself that when hockey ended, I was going to become an author, a literary wizard; I was going to write every day now that I had a bit more time. Well, hockey’s been over for about six weeks, and I am just starting to write at 10:56PM Easter Sunday.

Sure, I’ve been busy with things in the meantime, but if anyone knows me, busy, is not an excuse. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find the means to do it. Busy doesn’t exist in my world. It’s not because I don’t ever do anything, in fact, that’s probably quite the opposite. I probably have more going on than most folk. Actually, I could almost guarantee that. I just don’t feel the need to let everyone know how I preoccupied I am. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. It makes me sick when people say they are too busy.

Why? I remember years ago, my sister tried to chat with me through Facebook, through simple Internet chat… and, I recall looking at the messages, the message read something along the lines of hey, call me when you got some time, want to know how college is going. I looked at it, thought, meh; I’ll call her later… I am busy. I never called her. And, I don’t know if I ever talked to her again. She committed suicide a couple of months after, and I’ve never been too busy since.   So when people tell me, they are too busy. It doesn’t sit well. At all.

So, to say that I haven’t been writing, because I have been doing well, or because I have been doing poorly… I don’t even know the answer. Sometimes life has a tendency to just happen, and just leave me trapped in the motions that I just can’t comprehend the appropriate emotions, and feelings.

I know that writing provides me with the single most joyous experiences of my life. So, you would think it’s easier to do so. But… for some reason, it’s been getting more difficult, and for the first time, I feel like my writing is actually good. In the past, all I did was write about how I felt. That’s it. There was no scientific method to it; there was no English specialty behind it. Simply, just how I felt. I have such a difficult time re-reading my pieces, for a variety of reasons… mainly because I feel such a huge disconnect with the person who wrote that very piece, but also because… I think it’s shit. I looked earlier, and I have posted 47 entries to GAB. This being 48. I can honestly say that 1 was of quality, Your Move Chief. So, as much gratification as writing brings me… I don’t know if it’s from the actual writing, or the feedback. As pathetic as this may be, I seek so much approval, and accreditation, from… whomever, predominantly from my mom, and from my fiancé…. It’s pathetic, if I don’t hear anything within a day or so, I am texting those two asking what they thought… It drives me crazy that I do this. But… I do. And, I can probably recap every single compliment, or piece of positive feedback I have received from my blog. There is truly nothing, and I mean NOTHING more gratifying than when I hear about people who have read my blog, and find comfort from reading. Whether, I know them or not. I spend so much time wanting to write, then I spend such little time actually writing, and I conclude with spending even more time looking for approval on my writing. From, my family… my fiancé… my best friends… my friends… strangers… When, I receive this, it’s pure happiness. Joy. Elation. You know that feeling where you just can’t wipe that smile off your face. This is the only time I’ll feel it. So you’d think I’d write more, with this being the case. But, truth is… I think I have become a bit scared. My unrelenting life standards have once again trapped me with failure. Where, I need simple accolades. However, that’s slowed down significantly. I don’t know if it’s because my writing has gotten stale, or the content has. Or maybe, I am just without the random viewers from Europe. Or, perhaps, the people who have already graciously patted my back don’t feel like they need to tell me good job every single fucking time. Though they shouldn’t. However, I feel like, unless I get that… I am failing. I want to know what every single person thinks of my writing, even if they think it’s complete crap. I just want to know… because; I think it is too, I can’t even find myself appreciative, and satisfied with my own work.

So, in getting to the point of this entry… the great folks at Mind Your Mind proposed the question, what makes you happy? I thought about it for a long, long time. There are so many things that I enjoy, so many. But, to label them as something that makes me completely happy would likely be false. I think at any point, doing makes me happy. Regardless, of what it is that I am doing. I think sometimes you can find temporary joy in that, and I do. But, I tried to really think of something that makes me truly happy. True joy. I almost couldn’t think of anything, till I thought about writing, then I thought about all of the positive feedback I have received over the two years, and the people I have been able to help, if even just to help them temporarily. This has brought me pure joy, and continues to do so. It’s the only thing that allows me to feel self-pride, and self worth. Regardless, of the success I have at work, or in coaching sports, or my daily life even. I always seem to be stuck wanting more, and eventually get a place where good just isn’t good enough. But, with writing, that’s different. Even, if I receive two notes about my latest post, to me it was a success, and it provides that feeling. That feeling where I can’t stop but smiling, even if it’s a random stranger at an arena that says, “hey, you’re the guy that writes that mental health blog” … Yes, I guess so. These are the things that keep me ticking, and continue to remind me just what it is to feel joy, and to feel good.

You just hope that somehow you can find a way to enjoy, accept and appreciate your own bravery and work. Sometimes there is just far too much pressure on writing purely for the audience, and hoping to help them find joy, and hope. I need to find my own first.

Rest easy, and rest happily Max. I hope you can still find some time to read my blog, and I hope that you’ve found true joy.   I know you and Jen are hanging out as we speak. Listening to music, watching over us, and laughing at us.

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A letter to the kids & the parents.

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It’s OK to be THEIR disappointment.

Hello All,

Hope summer has been a treat for you all.  Mine has just concluded as of this past weekend with the kick off to another hockey season.  It’s August 12. And, I’ve already hit the 4-straight-days-on-the-ice mark.  Which, seems rather early.  Though it seems earlier each year.  However, I’m not really complaining.  It’s my choice. I absolutely love doing it. Each season is an absolute blast, thus it’s a little easier to get back to the rink August 12th.  I look forward to seeing some returning faces to the herd, and some new faces eager to make the squad and become apart of it.

The next 6 weeks are the toughest for us coaches as we spend hours upon hours at the arena, followed by hours upon hours at a table somewhere, sometimes at an arena, sometimes (If I am lucky) at a pub, and we try to get it right.  Then, we hit the sheets, only to wake up do our 9-5 and do it all over again.  For 6 weeks. But, we absolutely love it.  Though It’s taxing & exhausting, it does not compare to the pressures that these young men face. 13 & 14 years old.  160+ kids try out for our association, with our team being the pinnacle group.  For the first week, teams will scrimmage against one another, alternating opponents each night.  Easy? Sure. Queue, about 15 of us in the stands whispering to each other, and writing on our clipboards, making note of each and every play, and player.  Not so easy anymore for these kids.  We take 19 of that 160+. 19. That’s just over 10% of kids trying out will actually make the top team. And, that only then becomes step one.

It’s tough.  These kids are 14, and their entire year as a 14 year old basically goes into the arduous month long process of making “the team”.  There’s parents, There’s coaches, there’s friends, teammates, there’s teachers. All pressuring the players to DO BETTER!  That’s not all either, even at 14, there can be prospective agents (most of whom are complete rats), but oh there are scouts, junior coaches, bloggers, other parents especially whom love to have an opinion on a grade 9 student regarding his ability to save the day, and more importantly the city. “THIS kid WILL be the next 99. HE WILL.” “ARE YOU NUTS – YOU MUST BE HIS DAD CAUSE HE SUCKS!” …He’s umm 14 you guys…

He’s still learning the history of his very own country in social, then he’s just beginning algebra after he wakes up from that class.  Not to be outdone by the English teacher down the hall, whom is chomping at the bit with piles of “The Hounds of The Baskervilles” homework.  Then we go home and beg our parents to help us with all this surmounting work, and maybe do a book report or two because I have practice. And I HAVE to make the team.  How can I have time for all this homework?  I have hockey.

As part coaches who are fortunate enough to lead these fine young men at such a level, I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that family & school are always, absolutely always the first and foremost important thing when it comes to a young adults life.  Hockey is third. Regardless of the team you play on, or you want to play on.  And, if there is a coach out there who says otherwise, I want you to eat the grill of my F150, cause you deserve that and nothing less.   But, anyway, best of luck trying to tell these young men this.  You can tell them? But, realistically, how can you expect them to understand this right now?  They have more weight on their shoulders from their peers and surroundings then anyone else I know.  And, they’re just 14.

It’s not just bantam hockey players, I am sure this argument could be made for many different fields or sports just change the game and age if you please.  But, this is the world I see every day.

The pressures that are on these young men and women is terrorizing, utterly damaging.  It is no wonder the rate of depression & suicide continues to skyrocket in younger people, and continues to climb as one of the leading causes of death.  How can any kid be happy, or satisfied when expectations of them are absolutely unrealistic before their life has really even begun? When they’re constantly failing the readers, the dads, and the moms.  So ya didn’t make the AAA team? Or lead the league? So ya didn’t earn top student honors? So ya didn’t win the little league world series as clean up batter and pitch 7 straight like Dad told ya to do? So fucking what. What next? Your life is over? You’re a complete failure? You let dad down, you let mom down?  Fuck off. You’re a kid.  Do you know that just because you didn’t make the AAA team, or that you weren’t top student that you won’t earn a phD? Or be ridicously wealthy, or better yet happy because you created some kind of change that made this shitty place a better one? Do you know that these outcomes and more of the like are impossible, because at 14 you didn’t achieve a goal that someone wanted for you more then you wanted yourself?

No. Not likely kid.

Some of the best players I have ever had the opportunity to coach weren’t necessarily the most skilled, or talented ones.  But, they were the best kids. They were the best people. They smiled every day. They had fun. Sure, they had ups and downs, hell,  they went through life, life outside of the hours of practice in a week, but they had fun, they learned. It’s amazing how truly mature some of these young athletes can be, some 14 year olds seem like they’re 44 for fucksakes! These are the type of people you know that will succeed in life, whether it is at hockey, or whether it is at something entirely separate but you just know they’re on the right path heading for complete greatness.   As for par with the handful of these kids I’ve come across, you see it in their parents.  Their parents aren’t the ones attacking others in the blogs, they aren’t cohorting with the GM of the Saginaw Ice Queens every intermission lathering him with a Double Thai Chi fucking Latte in a double cup with a warm sleeve so Steve & Andy don’t burn a hole in their newly purchased designer leather mitts.  No. They watch their kids do what they love to do. Play. And, the only reason the kid loves to do that…. Is cause the parents let him just play.

So, my words to all trying to achieve a goal of making a team this season whether it be ours, or whether it be elsewhere.

Control what you can control. You can control your work ethic.  You can control your attitude. You can control your body language. You, unfortunately have absolutely no control about what us coaches talk about in the war room. You, unfortunately, unlikely have any control over your parents.  But, above all, you can control if you’re having fun or not.  If you’re not having fun, and you’re only doing it cause Dad wants you to.  Tell him to fuck off & stop.  You have way too much future ahead of you to waste time doing something you don’t want, something that doesn’t bring you happiness.  Control what you can gentleman, and enjoy it.  It’s a tough 6 weeks trying out for teams.  But, I can guarantee if you do not have fun throughout the process. You won’t be apart of the outcome you’re hoping for. Do it for you & no one else. It’s your life. Smile. It’s hockey.

It’s OK to be THEIR disappointment.

It’s May 7th. It’s 5 years. Time For Something Different – Cheers Jen.

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The world’s stopping but we keep going

And we’re ruthless and we’re cunning
And I’m heir to it all

Days like these you’ve gotta find it in some other way
It’s all or nothing baby

Avalanche, start inside of me
Avalanche, down through the trees
Avalanche, start inside of me
Avalanche, hell down through the trees

– Matthew Good –

The day that I have feared for… well, since last May 7th, has arrived.  But, in particular the day that I have loathed for the last few weeks.  5 years since Jen found peace.  It’s been a weird few weeks.  Last time I wrote in this blog, I wasn’t doing well.  Whatsoever.  It didn’t look like I was going to make it this far to be completely honest.  It’s almost like completing a marathon when you do actually get here.  It feels like a mental accomplishment, you’re relieved and you’re exhausted.  But, in the days and week following when I last wrote in the blog, things got better.  Much better.  I felt true happiness, for the first time in a long time.  I felt a lot of things I never have before. Things I didn’t know were possible for me to even feel again, as I was quite sure I had gone completely numb.  It was weird.  It was like Jen knew where I was and just reinstalled all these emotions and feelings back into me. Everything that I was pretty sure I had become incapable of.  Making me feel like a human again.  I think she knew there was no way I was going to get through the next few weeks on my own. She was probably right.  Just the people that have been put into my life, the opportunities I’ve had, and the good friends and family I have been able to spend some time with over the last few weeks that have really helped me get to here in one piece.  Even if it were just for a short while, it was a longing impact.  I’m quite sure all of it was her lending yet another hand to push me through another difficult time.  The playoffs & weather don’t hurt either.  Thanks Jen.  Can you help MA Fleury make a save now, please? Haha.

I’ve spent the last few weeks gearing up for May 7th, and now that we’ve arrived to this day.  It’s… kind of a bittersweet day.  There is nothing sweet about it.  But, you’ve thought about this very day for the last 30, and you’ve made it.  Like I said, it’s as if I just finished a marathon of sorts.  An emotional marathon, if you will.  But now what? Well, if I ever can shut my brain off and go to sleep…  I am going to drive to Edmonton to spend time with my mom, and some other friends and family and just have a few Stella beers, and celebrate a life that was of Jennifer’s.  It’s been 5 years.  And that’s not to say it’s time to get over it.  Because I never will, but the last 5 years I’ve been miserable, and have been completely sad on the couple weeks leading up to, and May 7th and the day itself.  But, this year… I wanted to try something different, gather a group of people and head to the pub where I last had a beer with my mom and Jen, and just enjoy the day.  Enjoy the sun. Enjoy the company. Enjoy the memories, and just enjoy Jen’s legacy.  Last time I was at O’Byrnes, it was my mom, Jen and myself crushing beers in the sun.  I am ready to do the same tomorrow, with the same 2 people and the rest of our supporting cast.

I am fearful, and nervous that I won’t be able to handle this tomorrow, and that it will be a heartbreaking experience.  And, I am sure it will.  But, its time we do what Jen would want on May 7th.  Celebrate her life. Stop crying, stop lamenting and just have a fucking beer with her.

Plus, I owe her one after she helped get me to this day.

See you at O’Byrnes @ 2:00 pm Jen!

– Cheers –

 

 


 I wrote this entry about 10 days ago as I was boarding my flight home from Hawaii, It took me awhile to post, but I have finally settled back into my routine at home, and here it is for you to read if you wish!   

 Sitting here, in one those gimmick-y massage chairs that you find in the malls, and airports.  Except, the difference is.  I am sitting in this chair because it remains larger than those plastic chairs in this airport, and without my last american dollar bill, it is still leather.  However, I will not waste my last american dollar on a 3 minute massage that will likely ruin my back within seconds.  So, I will sit here, and allow the thing to blink at me, and tell me to put money into as long as I feel comfortable, and sane. Fortunately there is only 3 people within my visibility of this lengthy hallway, that stretches across about 10 airport gates.  Yes, I am finally leaving my beloved Hawaiian Islands and am returning home, to the real world.  It’s been an exceptionally amazing 15 days in Hawaii.  Having spent 10 days in Maui, and the last 5 days in Waikiki on the island of Oahu with my girlfriend, Amanda. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Hawaii for extended periods of time the last couple years as well.  However, this year, was different and better then all of the rest, despite my 15 days being the least amount of time I have stayed on the islands.   I know, I’ve been pretty lucky.  But, this time, I was able to spend the first few days in a condo, with my mom, grandparents, my niece and my brother Brody.  All of whom, are people I only see a couple of times a year.  Especially, my grandparents and Abbey.

 It was a different vacation, in our condo we had my grandparents, my mother, my 7 year old niece, and my 13 year old brother, and then myself.  Every person was in a different age bracket, and some in Hawaii for their first ever time.  We of course, all had a different idea of what a holiday looked like, and a few times this resulted in some people being edgier then they would be otherwise, but whats a Courchene get together with a little wit, rift and edge.  Probably not a Courchene gathering, at all!  Nonetheless, It was an awesome couple of days, my brother and I spent most of the time together, walking around, hanging out at the beach, boogey boarding and chucking around a half sized water football that I could chuck better then Elway.  But, just being in the company of some people who are really important to me was above all what made the holiday one that I will never forget.  My mom and brother left about 4 days after my arrival, however, my grandparents and niece stayed another handful of days.  Later in the week, myself, my grandparents and Abbey had a nice dinner with the Fedyna family at their place.  This was probably one of the best days ever, and not just on the trip, but in recent memory.  Amanda’s dad was beyond generous, again in housing me probably longer than anyone should, and then as well, inviting my family over and making a terrific surf and turf meal yet.  I can’t remember a time seeing so many people in the same small place, having so much fun, and just being generally happy.  Especially us!  It was awesome.  I wish that my mom and brother would have still been there, to complete the presence of our family, and as well, Jen.  But, I know she was there with us still.  It was just awesome.  I can’t say enough about how special that night was, and how thankful I am too the Fedynas for making it happen.  What made the night even more special, was my grandpa and I having a race in the pool.  My grandpa is in terrific shape for his age (haha) but, he really is, it’s amazing.  He got up and snorkelled nearly every morning.  I snorkelled for about 3 seconds and hated it and vowed to never do it again.  He does it every day. So he is a terrific swimmer.  And, I am not a terrible swimmer, though it certainly isn’t graceful.  I do get to where I need to go pretty quickly in the water.  But, Grandpa thought I would have no chance against him in a race.  And, no one else really took my side either.  2 strangers watching in the pool decided to have a countdown for us, and were apparently betting.  I was pretty confident that I’d beat the man, so I suggested we throw some money down.  Well, much to his surprise and of the strangers husband, I was 50 dollars richer. Thanks Pa.  Nice try though.  I am still too young, and too athletic.  Despite my greek olympian-like figure.

Anywho.  As special as that night was, it concluded their holiday, and off too Victoria the three of them went in the AM.  But, it was an awesome 9 days spending half of that with my mom and Brody, and then more time with G&G and Abbey.  I loved it.  I missed them so much.

Amanda and I headed off too Honolulu together within the next couple of days.  Honolulu is probably one of my favourite cities I have ever been too.  Aside from the pure beauty of the place, the greenery, ocean, mountains…etc,  It’s just a really cool place.  The layout of the island is pretty neat, and the history is just amazing.  Of course, Pearl Harbour.  As well, the military feel too the city is something that I find so cool.  Driving around you’ll see different Air Force Bases, Naval Stations.  It’s awesome.  I love that stuff.  I know that the city is not all the peaches and cream that you see along Waikiki, and at the North Shore.  It can be a pretty tough city, and if I am not mistaking, I believe crime is pretty bad in Honolulu.  And if it isn’t, by the sounds of sirens, and the presence of police, you would never think otherwise.  But, I like Oahu too because it is just a real place.  As much as I like Maui, and some other places I have been.  They just don’t seem real.  To me, Honolulu is a real place.  It’s beautiful.  But, our 5 days in Oahu is coming to a halt here in the next 45 minutes or so as I will board my flight home, and Amanda has already taken off back to Maui to spend another couple weeks with her parents.  But, This has been an awesome trip.  We did a tonne within our 5 days here, Taking in the final round of the Sony Open, Spending probably too much time at the Ala Moana shopping centre, we did a drive around the island after stopping in at the dreadful Dole Plantation Farm.  We went through Haleiwa – Surf City USA, then checked out where the Banzai Pipeline action is, and the surf there was still pretty good.  About 8-10 feet. Then, we just continued driving along the shores till we made it back to Waikiki.  What a beautiful drive.  If I am fortunate enough to come back here, I am going to write off 2 days and just drive around, drive through the different towns and cities, check out the Hickam AFB and the Naval Stations, and again spend an entire day at Pearl Harbour.  I just love Honolulu.  I am sad too be leaving, but I am excited to get back to life, and get back with the Bisons, and see what lies ahead in 2013 for the kid!  Hopefully the year continues to be as great as it has been the last 15 days!

What the hell…. The massage chair beside me just randomly started going off, and no one is sitting in it, or has put any money in it.  Weird.  Thanks for reading!! Aloha!

Blair

@Blairlystang

 

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Wow.  What a couple of days.  I don’t even know where to begin, other than once again I am truly disappointed in mankind, and our society.  After, yet, another devastating, senseless tragedy.   Yet, another.  That’s sickening.  28 people dead in a small USA town, and we say yet again.  Brutal.  But, true.

First, I would like to pass along my utmost best for all of the victims, and their families, friends, and neighbors.  I can not imagine the unbelievable grief you are going through right now, I just can’t imagine.  There are no words to really alleviate any of the pain you are feeling either.  But know, I do, and will continue to pray for you, and pray for mankind.  Because, it clearly is in dire need.

Since this tragedy has occurred, it has left me feeling in absolute shock, disbelief and more than anything left me just confused and disappointed.  Those of you that know me well enough, know that the lone soft-spot in my heart is for young children.  I hate seeing them hurt.  Even if it is as trivial as them crying it breaks my heart.  Even in movies, and TV shows, if the youngster is being hurt, or something bad is happening.  Instantly I am devastated.  This is part of the problem with Criminal Minds.  I don’t know why they can’t leave the damn kids alone.  I can’t put a finger on why I am like this. I just am. Maybe its because growing up, my brother was a youngster, as he is 10 years my junior.  And, I couldn’t then, and still can not imagine anything bad happening to him. Even now that he is 13.  Same with my niece Abbey.  And, any other young child.  Maybe it’s because they are just so harmless, carefree and defenseless. Nothing bad SHOULD ever happen to them.  Especially at the hands of an adult.  It’s sickening that stuff ever does happen.  This is why I think this mass shooting has left me more upset, and disappointed than any of the previous.  And, after the other shootings, I felt the same way.  Just sickened, confused, frustrated and upset. But, this one.  How someone could be capable too hurt so many young children. I just can’t understand it.  I have tried to put my finger on it the last few days, and I just can’t.  I can’t understand why anyone would shoot up a high school, a movie theatre, a temple, a mall, a coffee shop, a university.  These are all places where we should feel safe, and free.  Not where we need to worry about our fucking safety, or lives for that matter.  But that is changing, and changing quickly.  After trying to understand these recent events, I simply just could not.  Gun control, yes.  I agree something needs to be done.  But, is it simply just gun control.  I don’t think so.  If Obama constructs, and passes some kind of law restricting gun control..  Would these tragedies come to a complete halt?  Hmm.  While, I think that this would drastically help, and I think it needs to be done ASAP.  No. I don’t think it would bring these events to a halt.  These gunman are absolutely deranged, and gone from reality.  They’re going to find ways to acquire weapons to enable them to do these things.  Whether they steal them, or build other means of destruction; bombs.  Or whatever else have you.

One common thing about these mass-gunmen is they are, obviously as I said, completely gone, and deranged.  But, they are incredibly smart people.  At least the reports on Lanza have suggested that, and well, thanks too CNN and ABC, we each could write a 10 page biography on James Holmes.  The kid was pretty bright.  Which, makes this all the scarier.  These guys will find ways.  Adam Lanza was a 20 year old kid.  Now, IMO, without knowing the complete laws and politics of gun control in the USA.  A 20 year old kid simply should not be able to purchase a weapon.  Period. Especially the weapons that Lanza had. What the hell does a 20 year old kid need those kind of weapons for? For hunting dinner? No. For killing people, and mass destruction.  Hmm. Probably.  But, He didn’t purchase these weapons legally, on his own like previous gunmen have.  They were his MOTHERS! Now why in the hell does a single mother living in a house of 4,000 square feet with one child, why the hell does she have these weapons!  To hunt, and find dinner.  Probably not.  She already lives in a massive home, I can’t imagine a wealthy, divorcee is out in the woods daily hunting meals.  But, to protect herself from other potential crazed gunmen.  Probably.  This is completely wrong in itself.  I don’t know if this is the reason she had all these weapons, and I am certainly not blaming her for this.  It is by no means, her fault.  She too was a victim, But, that is just how americans are.  They, themselves have guns, to protect themselves from other people who have guns.  Just don’t have the fucking things in the first place!  I am 23 years old.  I live in a city of >1,000,000 in a rather affluent community, and I would be completely ignorant to think that people don’t shoot other people in my city, or in Canada, because it happens.  Often. But,  Do we have guns?  No. Hell, I have never even in my life shot a damn gun!  Have we done just fine, and lived our lives safely to this point.  You bet.  Have we ever felt the need for a gun. Nope.  Have we had encounters where someone may be trying to break into our house.  Yep.  Have I thought, damn, if only I had a gun! Nope. I didn’t.  Actually, It didn’t even cross my mind.  I do not hunt, and I do not live in fear.  Thus, I do not need a weapon.  Americans.  They either hunt, and have a gun.  Or, they live in fear, and have a gun.  And, to be honest.  How can you blame them for living in fear after all these tragic events have occurred. But,  they are doing it themselves.  And, when the crazed gunman is unable to purchase guns from Wal-Mart, 7-11, or wherever the fuck they get them.  Hey, I’ll take them from my mom.  What. The. Fuck.  Gun Control.  Is it the single solution.  I don’t think it’s the only one.  But, it’s a big player.  And needs to change.  Now.  And, while the NRA nerds will raise their rifles and say guns didn’t kill those children, guns didn’t kill those people in the movie theatre.  They’re clearly gone too.  What did then.  Did the gun grow legs and walk into Sandy Hook.  No.  But, did a crazed, deranged individual know that if he were in control of that rifle, then he could walk into wherever he pleased and kill people.  Yep.  For some reason, no body has gone into these mass killings, and decided to kill people with a knife or a bow & arrow, hell, even his fists.  No.  They’ve done it with guns, Why, because guns fucking kill people!   Wake the fuck up America.  And, I don’t think I am the only canadian who has lived his life this freely without access to a weapon.  I actually don’t know anyone who owns one.  Exception, my old man because he is an avid hunter.  I just don’t get why some of these americans don’t think guns is at all a problem.

I was on twitter I came across an arguement between a few americans after looking through the NRA timeline.  This moron suggested that the teachers should have been armed with guns so they could have killed Lanza, as soon as he walked in with a weapon.  This makes me sick on so many levels.  Again, we blame the victims, and the heros.  Those teachers, and children were heros.

Now, let me rephrase this, and paint a visual in your mind.  This moron thinks that a grade 1 teacher, who teaches in a classroom, likely full of encouraging, cheerful posters, childrens drawings, paintings everywhere, she should be armed with a gun. Say, in her desk. Just in case.  A grade ONE teacher, should be armed with a gun. Just incase a crazed man enters.  A grade ONE teacher. Are you kidding me.  Talk about teaching children in a safe environment.  “Mommy, Mrs. Smith has a gun in her bottom drawer, she says it is just in the event that bad guys come, we’re safe”  No.  This is safe?  How the hell does a 6 year old feel safe in a class like this. How the hell does a parent feel safe sending their child to a class where her teacher is armed!   I don’t think so.  Not too mention, both Holmes and Lanza came equipped full of combat apparel and vests.  Which, is another question in itself.  How does 20 some year old kids get there hands on this kind of gear.  What the hell do they need it for?  Obviously they’re not going to Iraq.  You can be armed all you want.  There are still going to be lives that will be lost.  Teachers being armed, is a disgusting thought, and surely not the answer.  I just couldn’t imagine being a parent, sending my child to class, where there is a glock at arms reach in a drawer.  Fuck me.  Talk about feeling safe.   Actually, you know. Yes, Lets talk about feeling safe.  I already mentioned the different locations recent shootings have occurred.  I think in America, safety may becoming nothing more than a simple illusion.  It doesn’t seem to exist anywhere.  I can remember after the Aurora shooting, I thought how bizarre it was too shoot up a theatre, and then wondering what is it going to take for America going to step up there gun control laws. Not imagining it was even possible, I thought,  Is it going to take a mass shooting at children’s school.  Well..  Fuck.  Now what America.  There it is.  And, again, confirming my thoughts that safety has become nothing but an illusion.  If we can’t drop our 6 year old son/daughter off at grade school.  Where the hell can we drop them off.  Sickening.

But, as I said while, I think gun control is a major player in this issue, I don’t believe it is the only issue.  I think mental health is another. particularly education of, and the rehabilitation of.  Clearly, in order to shoot anyone, I think you need to be completely mentally, and psychologically out of touch.  Let alone to pull off a mass shooting.  I can’t even fathom that.  These individuals are all the same.  They are incredibly brilliant, and incredibly deranged.  After each shooting you read the reports of the suspect, and comments from people who knew them, and you generally hear the exact same thing.  “He was a quiet kid, typically a loner, kept to himself” “He was incredibly bright, but quiet, didn’t fit in with others, bit of an outcast” “There was always something a little bit different, he kept to himself, seemed a bit strange”  Ok.  So we have some common themes here.  Quiet. Smart. Outcast. Different.  Is that now to say that anyone who has these 4 traits is a potential mass killer.  No.  but we all hear the same things.  These kids are similar.  I don’t have any idea what it is that pushes them over that edge and makes them so deranged that they are able to construct a plan and commit to a mass killing.  I have no idea.  I have no answer for that.  I can’t even imagine it.  So, I am not going to pretend like I have an answer on how to spot these kids out of the crowd, or how to deal with them.  Because I have no fucking idea.  Personally, I have mental health issues too. Hell, 25% of us do.  Does that mean 25% of us are capable of pulling off such a horrific event.  Absolutely not.  But, a select few obviously are.  I don’t know any of these kids. I never did.  I don’t know any kids, or people either that I could suspect of doing something like this.  I don’t have any idea what it looks like.   I have no idea.  And, I most certainly am not trying to justify the actions of these people, and writing it off as another kid who was completely insane.  No.  I do believe that these people have all consciously made the decision to do what they have done.  Whatever conscious is for them.   And, absolutely nothing about it, is right.   I don’t think that Holmes, Klebold, Harris, Lanza and the rest of them, decided on the eve of, they were going to wake up and devastate a nation, the world with another tragic, mass shooting.  These are years in the making, at least I would imagine.  My question is, how did no one seen any of it? There had to have been signs.  Is it because we are just completely uneducated, that we don’t know what it looks like, or we don’t know what to do.  If we are better educated about the severity of mental illnesses, maybe these kids receive proper treatment, or are put into some sort of “home” if you will to seek help, and make them… better, I guess.  Or at least bring him closer to reality?  Possibly preventing them from ever being that far gone.   I don’t know.  But, I think as a whole, we need to put more focus on the education of mental health.  It is not a shame to suffer from it, maybe someone did see some signs coming from these crazed individuals years ago, but they didn’t want to say anything because it was their brother, sister, cousin, friend, son or even daughter, and they were embarrassed.  Now, neither am I saying that these events could have maybe then been preventable, because I have no idea.  I can’t speak to that effect.  If I had the answer, trust me, I would do all that I could to ensure that these events never happened, or never would happen again.  But, unfortunately, I do not know, and with the way this world is, I am not that confident either.  But, in going back.  I just think that we can all do a better job within the realms of mental illness.  Be more educated. As I have said in the past, be more educated, and aware.  Then maybe, when we come across a 12 year old boy who has demonstrated signs of a potential mental illness, we can act appropriately, and deal with him/her, instead of turning the other way, and allowing him to fall deeper and deeper into a mental burden to the point, of, who knows.

And finally, I think the third thing that is a contributing factor, is the media.  I was thoroughly disgusted in how the media dealt with this event.  Interviewing the children was first and foremost on the my disgust list.  A grown 40-some year old man working for ABC, is in the home of a 7 year old girl who was there that day, and survived.  And he is asking her to replay the events that just occurred hours ago so we at home can have a better visual of what happened?  This made me absolutely fucking sick.  I don’t care if the parents agreed to it.  These parents are in as much complete shock as anyone else.  I can’t imagine they were in the proper frame of mind to make this decision.  Which, I am sure the media knew.  These people are completely vulnerable.  These families didn’t need Chris Cuomo in there home interviewing there daughter.  They need the comfort and support of families, and friends.  Not fucking CNN cameras and their reporter.  I really think that CNN, CBS, ABC and the rest of the media vultures, truly ought to be ashamed of themselves, and know, you are part of the problem.  Not the solution.

In closing.  This has been a extremely difficult piece to write, if I offended anyone, I certainly did not mean too.  Unless you are one of those NRA morons.  But,  As I said, this tragedy resonated with me more than any of the previous did.  And, thats not to say that the other’s didn’t either.  They did.  All of them. They’re all senseless, tragic and devastating.  I am not blaming gun control for this latest shooting, I am not blaming mental illness on this either, nor am I blaming the media.  I think that all of this plus more is contributing to the problem, but I certainly do not think one of these three things is the answer to a solution any more or less than the other.  It is complicated.  But, it is our job to figure out how we can make this stop. And make this stop instantly.  Safety should be real.  It should not be an illusion as it is becoming.

– I’ll leave you with a quote from Morgan Freeman that further discusses the impact the media has on these shootings.  Whether this was actually from Freeman or not, has yet to be confirmed. But whoever it was.  They’re right.

“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you kn
ow the name of a single victim of Columbine? Distur

bed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem.”

I am praying for you Newtown.  

Rest in Peace & God Bless

Charlotte Bacon

Daniel Barden

Olivia Engel

Josephine Gay

Ana Marquez-Greene

Dylan Hockley

Madeleine Hsu

Catherine Hubbard

Chase Kowalski

Jesse Lewis

James Mattioli

Grace McDonnell

Emilie Parker

Jack Pinto

Noah Pozner

Caroline Previdi

Jessica Rekos

Avielle Richman

Benjamin Wheeler

Allison N Wyatt

Rachel Davino

Dawn Hochsprung

Anne Marie Murphy

Lauren Rousseau

Mary Sherlach

Victoria Soto

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