Archives For love

together

ROCK. PAPER. SCISSORS. – Be Together.  Not the same.

1983 was a very transitional time for me, as I was about to enter my first year in middle school as a 6th grader and McDonald’s had just introduced the chicken McNugget.  Yeah, you know those nuggets changed your life too, admit it.  Swatch also released their first watch that year, which I would later overdose on and wear way too many at a time on both arms, but that’s for another 80s story.  One story that always comes to mind though as a new middle schooler is one of my first real experiences with a bully.  I remember him clearly, yet I always forget his name.  What’s funny is that it made no sense why this guy was bullying me and several others, because he was short and to this day is probably the size of Mr. Danny Devito the lovable little actor.  One would think that HE would be the victim of bullying because of his awkward size and I only use the word “awkward” because at that time he was obviously very different from most kids.  He wasn’t technically a dwarf or little person, but was small, stocky, strong, and definitely menacing to me.  For reasons unknown to this day he chose me as a target and would constantly pick at me.  I don’t recall ever having to give him my lunch money but he put a fear in me that eventually led me to share with my older brother, someone who didn’t play around and wasn’t going to allow anyone to mess with me.

My brother is about 4 years older than me and the early 80s were the beginning of many many tough years for him.  A year earlier our dad had died from Cancer so all we had was each other and even as he struggled with his own issues and even though we had brotherly fights ourselves, he was going to do his best to watch over and protect me as needed.  The next day after receiving this news about the bully, he met up with me on the side of the school where I would normally run into this little bully and sure enough he could be seen walking down the sidewalk towards the school gate exit.  He saw me and as he and his friends approached and got closer my brother stepped in front of me and confronted him.  My brother drilled him about his bullying and Mr. Bully was clearly concerned and worried and without any warning or notice, my brother punched him right in the forehead.  This surprised everyone that was surrounding us and within seconds the guy’s forehead swelled up like a baseball.  My brother calmly asked him to leave me alone and from that day forward me and the bully became friends, which lasted all the way through high school.  Turns out he wasn’t so menacing after all and was actually a very nice person.  He just needed a little guidance and punch in the forehead.

I bring up this story because here I am, 44 yrs old, and I thought that bullying and situations like this were reserved for the school yard, yet I see more of this behavior by adults everyday on social media and yes, even in person.  You would think that with age we would mature and handle things differently but I feel like social media has created a world where humans are finding it a lot easier to bully, bash, attack, and beat up on each other with words and images.  More than ever I’ve seen this bad behavior as we approach an election and I’ve seen sides of people that I never thought existed, all in the name of politics.  People are getting angry and wanting to poke people’s eyes out because of differing opinions and views.  Speak against the opposing candidate or appear to be supporting another and you run the risk of being eaten alive or have your limbs torn off.  It’s very sad and it shouldn’t be this way, but it is and all I can do is acknowledge it and ask those in my circle and my readers to do something different and be different.

The video below is one that I saw this past year during the Oscars and I have to give props to the agency that created this, because they delivered a message of unity better than I’ve ever seen. Every one of us is different in many ways yet we are all very much the same.  We all have hands, feet, eyes, a brain (some bigger than others), we have beating hearts and that heart pumps the same blood throughout our veins.  We’re going to have differing opinions and politics, we’re going to like different music, and we’re going to see the world differently, but please don’t allow those differences to cause ugliness or hate.  Don’t allow those differences to attack your brother or sister and hurt one another.  We’re bigger than that and we may have had an excuse for this behavior as kids but we definitely have no excuses as adults.  Learn from one another and accept each other’s differences.

So whether you’re a rock, a wrinkly piece of paper, or those little tiny scissors that they give you in elementary school that don’t cut worth a damn, be nice to one another, love each other, and encourage those around you to do the same.

With lots of love.

@hectorgarciahtx

mistakes_blog

MAKE MORE MISTAKES

“The wisest man/woman in the room is the one who’s made the most mistakes. We all make mistakes, no one is perfect, but if you don’t learn from those mistakes, then that’s all they are . . Mistakes.”

I can’t take full credit for the quote above, as its a mixture of something I heard somewhere else with the addition of my own thoughts in the second sentence, but the truth in this little statement is so huge and powerful.  Life is full of successes, but filled with even more mistakes.  In fact, I think that it can be said with much certainty that very rarely will you have success without making a few mistakes.

So what is a mistake?  Can we define it as an accident?  A failure?  Using poor judgment or making “bad” decisions?  I think it’s all of those things and more.  Our mistakes can probably be classified as anything and everything in our life that has brought about hurt, pain, suffering, disappointment, heart ache, frustration, and even sadness.  Many of you can relate, you’re either going through a “mistake” right now or struggling to ensure that you don’t make one.  It’s part of daily life and yes, making mistakes sucks.

I remember going through a divorce about 6 years ago and feeling like such a failure.  I had been married 12 years and with that person for over 18 yrs.  That’s half of my life!  Regardless of the reasons for the divorce, I did love that person whole heartedly and I fought for the marriage as long as I could so I have no regrets.  It’s not something that either of us ever wanted, but it happened, and was definitely a failure and disappointment, not to mention a very sad part of both of our lives.  But with that said, I can sit here and type this all out and say that I am much wiser after going through that, and as a “mistake” in my life it provided experiences that I felt I learned from and I worked to apply what I learned in the next relationship.  Unfortunately the next relationship had it’s own share of struggles and after having that person abandon the relationship, I found myself alone for the first time in my adult life with lots of time to reflect on mistakes, lessons learned, and all the time in the world to work on myself.

EMBRACE YOUR MISTAKES

Does a “mistake” like a failed marriage or relationship make me want to be on guard with my heart or love less?  I’m definitely guarded, but my failures make me want to love even more and cause me to want to give the next person more love than others in the past.  I have a lot of love to give away regardless and when i love I love with all of my heart.

The same goes for other areas in my life such as business.  I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made over the years doing business or at least trying to.  I’ve lost so much money in the past on ventures that I later felt were a waste of time and energy, but I learned from them.  Some lessons learned took longer than others, but I’m wiser from them none the less.  I remember hosting BMX Flatland events from 1999 – 2006 in an effort to push an apparel brand as well as help promote the sport.  I did it out of love for BMX but I wasn’t a smart business man and I lost money every year.  Flatland is a small part of BMX and there isn’t enough involvement to help sustain these types of events, so 2006 was the last event for the Elevation Flatland series.  I get asked all the time to host another series or flatland event but with the help of my good friend Cisco, I’ve taken what I learned from that time and turned it into one of the largest outdoor bicycle festivals in Houston called the HTX Bike Fest which celebrates it’s 5th year this September 2016.

ALLOW YOURSELF AND OTHERS TO MAKE MISTAKES

Making mistakes is a fact of life.  If you’re in a relationship, you and your partner both are going to mess up and it’s important to give each other room to do so.  Some “mess ups” will be “bigger” than others but the both of you need to give one another room to mess up, over and over again.  I don’t know where this ability to forgive comes from but in my past two relationships, one being my marriage, I was put in positions to have to forgive many many times.  I could have given up and walked away but I loved the people I was with and I wanted to give each forgiveness that I too would need at some point.  No couple is able to celebrate 10, 20, or even 50 years of marriage without having made 1,000’s of mistakes along the way.

So if you’ve had many failures, made many mistakes, and are even in the middle of the hurt or disappointment, know that you are a wiser person because of it all.  Learn from these mistakes and do something different because of your new wisdom.  Don’t ever give up on yourself or on others.  If we could all understand that every single one of us is an imperfect human being and that we’re going to make mistakes, there would be a lot more forgiveness in the world.

If you don’t allow your mistakes to produce change inside of your mind and heart, then all you will ever be able to say is that you made a mistake, and that in itself is a big mistake.

Make more mistakes, but not on purpose.

@hectorgarciahtx

rideordie

RIDE OR DIE:  NEVER GIVING UP ON LOVE

It’s Valentines Day and if you’re not already eating some chocolate that a special someone gave to you then you’re chilling at home watching the Notebook or Dear John, back to back, because that’s all they’re playing on cable for all you love birds, over and over and over.  Vday is definitely that one day that causes us all to pause and think about love, relationships, and yes, chocolate, lots of it.  Whatever you’re doing this beautiful day I wanted to share something about love that I hope you find helpful, especially if you’re in a relationship.

RIDE OR DIE

I hear the term “ride or die” regularly as a description for someone’s girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife.  It’s the ultimate term of endearment and if your significant other feels this way about you then you’re doing something right.  It describes someone that will stand by your side no matter what, someone who will ride with you through any storm or challenge in life until death.  It’s someone that will protect you, guard your heart, and never give up on you.  This is the kind of love and commitment that we all desire and if you have a ride or die in your life, cherish that person, because they’re hard to come by.

On Instagram I follow MMA fighter Conor McGregor and this week someone shared a post of his that clearly described a ride or die woman in his life.  Conor’s words about his partner were as follows:

“We’ve been together for more than eight years.  We lived in Ireland , 30 km from Dublin, in a rented apartment on the 188 euro unemployment benefit.  I had no job because I spent all my time at the gym.  I believed that I would be the champion, and she always did too.  She believed in me.  Despite the lack of money, Dee Devlin tried to get me to eat right and always keep my daily regimen.  She dedicated herself to it.  Coming home after an exhausting training session, she always said, ‘Conor, it’s okay, you can do it!”

Conor is now one of the most successful MMA fighters in the world and Dee is reaping the benefits of sticking by his side when he had nothing.  From what I’ve read and understand, these two are madly in love and she’s there in his corner, whether in the ring or out.

45 YEARS

I’ve always been curious as to how a couple can be together or married for 40 plus years.  That type of commitment is slowly becoming extinct and being with someone that long is either a true testament to love or two people who got stuck.  I’d like to think that it’s love in most cases.

I know a couple who’s been married for 30+ years and one day I asked what the secret was to keeping it together.  The first response was of course “love”, lots and lots of love.  You can’t be with someone that long unless the two of you truly love each other and in this case the couple was still very much in love.  But it was secret number two that interested me the most and I feel that it’s the key to longevity in any relationship.  My married friend looked at me with all seriousness and said “Hector, the real secret however is forgiveness, an enormous amount of it.  Each person is going to fuck up, guaranteed, and those fuck ups will be plenty, and you’re going to each have to forgive one another over and over and over.”

I’ve had my share of fuck ups in past relationships and needed forgiveness, but I’ve also had to give it many times as well.  I’m a ride or die type of person and the past two serious relationships are ones that I never wanted to give up on.  My marriage only lasted as long as it did because I fought for it and I wasn’t going to give up on her.  My last relationship was full of love and required lots of forgiveness from both sides, but apparently wasn’t enough.

As you ride through life with your partner in crime, I’m sure you’re already learning this big secret to longevity and I’d like to say that you’ll master it one day but I doubt anyone ever does.  There’s no “one size fits all” manual out there for relationships but if you love that person next to you with all of your heart, don’t ever give up on one another and learn to forgive each other even in the worst of times.

HOLD ON TIGHT

If you’ve ever ridden on the back of a motorcycle with someone, the safest way to ride as a passenger is by wrapping your arms around the driver and holding on tight.  You realize how important this is when making turns or when the motorcycle accelerates.  If you’re not holding on tight you’ll fall off that bike so fast and either die or experience lots of pain and no one likes pain.  Hold on tight as you two ride through life and don’t let go.  Life will have so many twists and turns and you simply need to lean into those turns together.  As life speeds up or even slows down, hold on tight and have fun.  Be each other’s best friend and when the other person “fuck’s up”, show them how much you love them by giving them the best and most powerful gift you can give, forgiveness.

Love is powerful and it’s best friend is forgiveness.  Walk with these two daily and hopefully you can look back 20 or 30 years from now and say “Thank you so and so, for never giving up on me and being my ride or die”.

Ride or die.  Happy Valentines Day.

@hectorgarciahtx

donkey

HECTOR’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS

You’d have to read yesterday’s blog post to understand what my plans are for MakeAShift this week.  It all stems from my love for a movie I watched a few weeks ago called Hector and the Search for Happiness, a very inspiring and powerful movie, at least for me it was.  My name is Hector of course and what better topic to cover this week than that of Happiness.

Unlike the character Hector in the movie, I haven’t taken a journey around the world that provided me with some crazy life changing revelations or anything like that, but I have had my share of challenges, some recent and some not so recent.  As a 43 year old man who has lived as full a life as possible, I can say that I’ve been through enough to be able to write on the topic of happiness and I hope that my insight can help you find yours today.  My list isn’t in any particular order so know that it’s all coming out as I write.  Enjoy.

HAPPINESS IS DOING WHAT YOU LOVE

I’m a fairly happy person most of the time and it’s very rare that I wake up grumpy or upset.  I’m usually ready to go and look forward to that first morning cup of coffee.  I work for myself and for the most part I’ve been doing so since college.  I of course have had some full time jobs over the years, but the longest I ever worked for someone else was for about 5 years in the 90s.  Some might say that being my own boss is the reason I can wake up and be happy, but no, this is my disposition for the most part.

Trust me, working for yourself isn’t always easy and there can be many reasons to want to quit, but I love it.  I’m not rich by any means and being my own boss is great but that’s not the part that I love the most.  I could be my own boss doing anything, but I don’t think I’d be happy running my own landscaping business or owning a kiosk at the mall, not because those aren’t great, but because they’re not my passion.  If you’re going to be your own boss then do so by doing something that you actually love and enjoy.  I own an ad agency and I get to create and design every day.  Sometimes the work and clients are great and sometimes it’s challenging, but in the end I’m doing what I love and enjoy.

By working for myself I’ve also been able to turn other passions into businesses with two of those being a love for cycling / bikes and dogs.  Two very successful festivals have come from this and 2015 marks 4 years for each fest.  This November 7th will be the 4th Annual HTX Bike Fest and this past Spring the Puppies for Breakfast Dog Festival was the largest yet.

If you have a passion for something, whether it makes you a lot of money or not, jump in and do it.  You don’t have to get up and quit your current job today or tomorrow to make it happen, just take baby steps and start doing something that you love that will increase your happiness everyday and make waking up all the more better.

HAPPINESS IS COFFEE

I love coffee but I’m not what you call a “real” coffee drinker.  I stick to the basics, just give me a good cup of standard brewed coffee and let me add some cream and sugar and I’m happy.  My ritual every morning is to heat up some water and then poor all of that hot water goodness over a one cup pour over system that is usually filled with some Dunkin Donut brand coffee grounds.  I’ll usually just sit out on the porch for a little while and sip on that cup or I’ll do what I am doing this morning and I’ll write or work.  I usually only make it to cup #3 before I realize that I have the shakes and then it’s time to stop.  I’m sure there’s an addiction by now, but it’s ok, I’m happy.

HAPPINESS IS FORGIVING

Remember, I said that this list would come in no particular order, which is why i can jump from loving coffee to now talking about something deeper such as forgiveness.  Working for yourself is great and can be awesome, especially if you do it each day with a cup of coffee in one hand and a donut in the other, but if you’re walking around with unforgiveness towards someone you might as well quit and go work for someone else.

If there was ever anything that could affect a person’s happiness it’s the decision to carry around unforgiveness.  We’ve all been hurt by someone at some point in our lives and I’ve seen first hand how destructive unforgiveness can be to a person.  It can be a huge weight and there are some people that will carry this weight for years and never deal with it.  Forgiving comes easy for some but can be very difficult to do for others.  I’m wired to forgive fairly easy and quickly, to a fault, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I would hate to be walking around with the burden of that huge weight, stunting my growth and disabling me from moving forward.  Forgiving someone can be so freeing and life changing.  If you’re carrying around one of these weights, please, let it go today.  Lay it down, give it to God or allow friends or family to help you remove it and take it off.

I found this image online of the donkey that is suspended in the air, still attached to an overloaded cart that he was pulling.  It’s hilarious, but the only way to safely get that donkey back down on the ground is to begin removing some of the weight from the cart.  Only then can his legs touch the ground again and he can be detached from the cart.  I’m sure that donkey was scared as hell being suspended in the air like that, and he was probably the happiest donkey in the world when they brought him back down.

Take the weight off of your cart.  Lighten your load and in doing so watch how much room you can make for happiness.

Until tomorrow, enjoy your 3rd or 4th cup of coffee and get back to work.  Thanks for reading.

@hectorgarciahtx

 

bikes

IT’S ALL ABOUT WINNING

Saturday mornings at the Garcia house always involve two things, coffee and TV, oh and checking emails, oh and dogs.  As I sit here doing a little work and sipping on a hot cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, the movie Kicking and Screaming is on, featuring Will Ferrell, the funniest man in the world.  Haha, all Will has to do is stand there and he cracks me up.

The movie is about a kids soccer team, coached by Will Ferrell, who is the worst coach ever and who’s only concern is winning games.  For him it’s not about the kids but is only about destroying the other team.  As the movie progresses, Will’s obsession gets out of hand and the kids and their parents have to witness him literally become a crazy man on a mission to win the championship.

During the last game of the movie he comes to his senses, as he realizes how much damage he’s done, especially to the relationship with his son.  He makes amends and as he addresses the team before their last game he says these words, “It’s not about winning . . . it’s about having fun”.  We’ve heard this line so many times and it usually has to do with sports and team work, but when I heard it this morning I immediately thought about how much this applies to relationships.

Over the past couple of weeks or more, for some reason, I’ve found myself providing counsel to friends in relationships and I’ve amazed myself at what comes out of my mouth.  Recent life circumstances and situations have given me a new appreciation for life & love and I have a sincere desire to see couples succeed and be happy with one another.  I want to see them thrive and build each other up, and even with couples who have been together for a while, I want to see them be strong for one another, continue to grow, and not lose site of who they have by their side.  If there is a lot of love there, then my desire is to always see love win, because a strong deep love is what will always get you through some of the toughest times with one another.  If you give up on that love, then you give up on each other, and well, we know what happens from there.

When i heard the phrase this morning “it’s not about winning, it’s about having fun” I thought about how serious couples can make a relationship and forget about having fun with one another.  I know that sometimes life can take over and consume us, but don’t ever stop having fun with your partner, wife, or husband.  Life is too short to be so serious all of the time and if you can’t have fun with your mate then something is wrong.  Your mate should be your best friend and the person that you enjoy being with more than anyone.  Don’t allow work or even the kids to get in the way of ensuring that your relationship is fun, spontaneous, and alive.  You two will be useless to your kids if their parents are in a cold dead situation.

It’s the weekend, and a long one, get outside.  Go ride bikes.  Find some live music playing somewhere and call the baby sitter.  Go play.  Do something you haven’t done yet and enjoy each other.  Let the weekend include lots of hugs and kisses, and yes, maybe even some Netflix.  Haha.  We all know what happens when Netflix is on.

Have a good weekend everyone.  Let love win, and have fun.

@hectorgarcia