“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The life we choose to live is one of the most important decisions we continually make. The argument could be made that family, love and careers are all equally important, but, if we step back to view the wider picture we will see that all these micro choices fill in the details of the life we are attempting to create. We might even consider life as Pointillism art, where tiny dots are placed on the canvas until we see the whole picture come together in one sublime image. In truth, we all continue to add more and more dots on the canvas of our life story with each passing day. These choices may reveal something positive about us or something we wish weren’t so and aim to improve upon. Either way, how we see the world because of our decisions ultimately (as Mr. Emerson so brilliantly states) reveals something about ourselves beyond what our actions tell the world. And, if we’re paying attention, these new revelations uncover new truths about ourselves that we can use to enhance our experiences going forward in our day to day lives.
The past few years have easily been the weirdest of my lifetime. And as a result, I’m here writing this entry while enjoying classical piano music and drinking room temperature unsweet tea. Amidst all the bizarre occurrences I do take some comfort in knowing that the emotional ups and downs I’ve experienced you haven’t been witness too. Thankfully, those surprising fluctuations in mood and character have been showcased only to my family. I’m sure they feel very honored to have shared such unique times with me, as family only can.
In the past two years, I was fired from a job (which I’ve been told happens), I started a YouTube channel, “Brunansky’s Vlog” but that didn’t get the traction I wanted so it has been placed on the back burner. I shot, produced, wrote, edited and published a short film, “Yellowstone National Park and the Spirit of America”for a short film competition. I’ve been working on photography (which you can see in this blog post) and I’m almost done with my book which is currently titled “thInk”. I’m also in the process of getting another short film together for this years short film competition. And finally, after being fired, I’ve been unemployed/broke for almost 2 years. I’ve applied for countless jobs and received many, many emails rejecting my applications. In that time, I’ve also only had 1 job interview. Spoiler alert, I did not get the job. And the reason I mention all of this is simple, it impacts the way I see the world, which in turn reveals something about myself.
Everyone remembers the above quote from Emerson, correct? Great. Continuing forward…
These dots of my life have taught me that even though I don’t understand the art of my life right now, the necessary love I need, I still receive and am able to give to family.
In the peculiarity of the last two years I’ve never felt this misunderstood. This stems from the fact that I am not fully comprehending who I am in the midst of this bizarro reality I seem to be a part of. To paint a more vivid picture it feels like I’m walking through the eye of a hurricane and everyone and everything around me is swirling chaotically. Meanwhile, I’m just passing through the eye confused as to how it arrived, why it persists, and what it truly is. And while I might succumb to emotional waves from time to time, I still find moments of clarity which whisper small comforts reminding me that all is well. That’s the beauty of a wave, it rolls in and just the same it rolls back out. I know that the life God has blessed me with has prepared me for this trial.
I have been fortunate in that I have dealt with so many individuals from several walks of life. They shared their life story with me which opened my mind to the reality that reality is larger than I can perceive. I’ve also had a mother and father who encouraged kindness to strangers and getting to know people. So, that helps, absolutely. I’ve conversed and/or been friends with folks who have been sober their entire life, as well as those who have had incredible substance abuse problems and those in-between. I’ve known Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists, Lutherans, Jehovah Witness, Mormons, Christians, Agnostics, Atheists and more. I’ve shared stories with celebrities, politicians, the rich and then turned around and shared laughs over coffee with folks on the lower income scale. I’ve listened to the stories of straight folks, gay folks, and even the occasional individual who, after telling me what they’re into, I had to Google because I wasn’t familiar with their lifestyle at all. My family and I even had the pleasure of helping Muslim refugees from Kosovo after the Kosovo War, foreign exchange students from across the globe and the occasional Green Card holder. I was the only white guy in a R&B cover band, and yes, I was the drummer. Much like Jim Carrey’s character “Carl Allen” in the movie “Yes Man”, if someone asked me to get coffee, food or a drink and I was free, chances are I’d say yes and share time getting to know their story.
My life style has always been the contradiction to the philosophy “Birds of a feather flock together.” If you were to look at my life through a narrow lens I’m sure you could try and pin me to a certain group or groups. Unfortunately, if you’re a negative person, as Mr. Emerson stated at the beginning, what you see from my life only reveals something about you and your pessimistic perception of life. If birds of a feather do in fact flock together, and I have flocked with most everyone, than it’s safe to say that God has molded me from His many creations in the world and by extension, He did the same to you for flocking along with me. I can’t say for certain who I’ll be when I emerge from this trial but I know that I’ll be exactly who I’m destined to be. I will also continue adding more and more dots to my life painting.
I don’t know to what extent you may have endured dramatic change in your adult life, (personally, professionally, romantically, etc.) but I do know that those dots that have made up your life story prepared you for victory during that time… at least that is my hope for you. And that is the message I guess I needed to relay in this blog entry. Embrace your life story. You don’t have to share it with everyone or anyone for that matter. It’s your story and you have a right to share it with whomever you feel is worthy of it. Finally, don’t lose faith during the difficult times and remember to keep truth and mercy in your heart at all times. It won’t always be easy… but we can try! As the great Winston Churchill stated, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”