Thursday, February 16, 2012

I won't give up

When I first listened to this amazing song, I thought of my "forever love", which was with my ex-wife. I remember the very second I met her. The way she awkwardly laughed at my jokes and the way her green eyes were focused only on me. I can honestly say I knew from the very moment I met her, that I would marry her. Forever love, is the type of love that blinds you and makes all other aspects of life obsolete. It makes waking up, worth it. It can make you crazy with rage, yet burn with passion. Not many people get to experience "forever love", and even fewer get to grow old with it. But I'm not sad about getting divorced. Yes, I was sad, very sad; but it has brought exactly where I'm suppose to be.

In the song it says:
"Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up"

How true is that? So I didn't stay married to my "forever love". So what? I know that I'm worth it. I'm worth my own life, my life of happiness. I'm worth making a difference. I worth my education. I'm worth my friends. I'm worth learning who I am in the process. I'm worth my mistakes. I'm worth risking my "forever love", because I will, simply, not give up.

I know I will never have another relationship like I did with my ex-wife. For starters, I date men now, but more importantly, I was young and blind. I didn't think things like cheating and lying would ever be obstacles, but they are. I think the most important thing is that I'm not bitter anymore. I'm ready to love again. It's taken a long time and A LOT of mistakes, but here I am, universe. Like the Jason says, "I'm still looking up".

Jason Mraz
I won't give up on us

When I look into your eyes

It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won't give up on us

Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

And when you're needing your space

To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn

Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up

I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily

I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not
And who I am

I won't give up on us

Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
Still looking up.

I won't give up on us (no I'm not giving up)

God knows I'm tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We've got a lot to learn (we're alive, we are loved)
God knows we're worth it (and we're worth it)

I won't give up on us

Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

Monday, February 13, 2012

Word of the Day

Definition of ABERRANT

1. straying from the right or normal way
2. deviating from the usual or natural type : atypical

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Well folks, here it is! Number 5 of my 2011 bucket list!

Skydiving was one of the most euphoric moments I've ever experienced, despite my discombobulated face :) The best part about it is I never thought I'd ever go skydiving. Which made me think, "I never thought I'd do a lot of things".

I never thought I'd:

graduate undergrad- let alone start grad school
come out the closet
get tattoos
go skydiving
have such amazing friends
love life this much
fall in love
get my heart broken
be divorced
create an entire new image every chance I get
try pot
be in love with my dog, more than most humans
write as much as I do
be in a movie
etc. etc.

The point is: I never thought I'd have such a fruitful life. Reflecting over my hardest trials, it is clear that I was trying to control too many aspects of my existences; which in hindsight, is just silly. Of course, I'm an advocate of making & completing goals (almost to a fault), but there is a reason we weren't born with instruction manuals. Which, thanks to a very dear friend, I learned that lesson at a young age.

Life's funny that way. Sometimes, its just easier to appreciate every moment, because after all, the rest is just details. So try and live this messy life with your ears flapping in the wind and a song in your heart, I do.

Dedicated to Vanessa & Beauman.

Garrett Paul


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Well, the Big Easy did it again!

This. Weekend. Was. Wonderful!

Does anyone remember how I made such a big stink about having more defining moments? Moments that make me think, "Wow, this is my life?" Well, check out the defining moments tab on my blog... And I had another one!

As Maggie and I were taking a bike ride through the historic subdivisions of New Orleans, I thought to myself, "here I am, I'm suppose to be here, I love every second of this, how can this can't be my life?" Along with the overwhelming feeling of happiness, I found it necessary to relay my feelings to Maggie. In a weird unison, Maggie and I said, "I love you", which was followed by a burst of laughter as we slowly cruised the broken streets of Uptown.

After Andrew died, I decided to start telling everyone how much I appreicate or love them. It's funny how such a simple task can be taken for granted. I've recently told mere acquaintances how much I love them. Yes, the degree is much less, than let's say Maggie, but I do love them.

Along with my, new found, creepy expression of feeling, another undeniable feeling has been larking around my mind: If I died today, I'm ready. I'm not trying to be morbid, which I am; I'm just saying that I appreciate my life. There isn't one day that I don't wake up thankful and appreciative for the time I have already received. This is the main reason I spent two full days in a city that I knew I wouldn't be productive with school or work. Who cares, life's too short...

In efforts to avoid divulging anyone's personal information, I'll post this timeline of events:

running hugs, slice, coffee, wonderful wonderful conversation, amazement, beer, lost cigarets, HUGE balloons, lost jobs, flu, lost keys, laughter, stupid movies, more love, nom nom, long walks, long bike rides, red bull, nervousness, martinis, more nervousness, drink, drink, drunk, defining moments, french fries, wine, wow- for reals? it can't be, making out, too personal to disclose......... wonderful breakfast, missing mag pie!

I love you, Maggie!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This I Believe

Below is a recent essay I wrote for submission to, which is a public dialogue that accepts short essays about personal beliefs. If your essay is selected it will be published on the website and possibly read on NPR. I had to do it for a SW class, but will most likely submit again in the future.

Check out my submission:

This I Believe: Volunteering is a gift that keeps giving

I believe that, much like a venereal disease, volunteering is the gift that keeps giving. Before you go out and get herpes, let me preface:

After a life-shattering divorce, I was left directionless in all aspects of my life; which encompassed a dead-end job, being overweight and friendless and a non-existent love life. This is when I surrendered to my friend’s unending requests to volunteer at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Group, a local suicide hotline, as a para-professional crisis interventionist.

The application process was quite difficult, rightfully so, as the callers’ lives were often at stake. However, the most challenging part for me was the in-person interviews. The social workers were very selective with admissions, so naturally, I was uneasy given my current life situation. The interview was daunting, ranging from what I thought of volunteering to my favorite color. Honestly, I do not recall much from the interview, however, my recent separation and divorce took precedence. At one point, the interviewer asked what I had to offer the crisis center. It took me several seconds to formulate my thoughts, then I explained: I cannot build houses for needy families because I do not know how to build, I cannot help poor families with legal issues because I am not a lawyer, all I have to offer is myself. Looking back, this question was a turning point for my view on the importance of volunteering.

I do not remember leaving the interview or getting into my car. I just remember feeling confused, sad, broken and inevitably alone. At that moment I felt the deepest hurt I have felt in my entire life, that is when I wanted to become a volunteer.

I understand that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs indicates that social and community gratification are met after all other, essential, needs are satisfied, but forget Maslow. I knew that surrendering to volunteerism would help me get to the place I wanted to be and I took a chance, much like the social workers at the Crisis Center, when they took a chance on me. I got approved to enter into the Summer 2009 training class to become a phone counselor; I was more than ecstatic.

I find it necessary has a human to give to others. I believe volunteering should be a requirement to graduate high school, but more importantly, I believe it is a pre-requisite for a happier life. At the ending of the movie Evan Almighty the main character asked God “how to change the world?” And God responded, “with one act of random kindness at a time.” Although, this is a great motto to live by, I think volunteering is about making a conscious effort to serve someone less fortunate than you. It is very difficult at times, but volunteering benefits the volunteer and the recipient of that act, which makes everything worthwhile. Volunteering made me a better version of myself and I believe in volunteerism.