Thursday, May 13

Dealing with Death

Today I lost my beautiful puppy Sophie to Parvo. Until today I was somewhat unfamiliar with Parvo disease and its symptoms/effects, so I didn't know she even had it until this morning, and she was already showing all the symptoms.

As soon as I realized she was sick, I brought her in the house to take care of her. I first thought she had a bad case of dehydration, but after some research I realized it was Canine Parvo. I began bottle feeding her Pedialyte and I ran to the store and grabbed some Parvo medicine to help her get better.

She was deteriorating so quickly, and I had never known that Parvo could take over a dog so fast. She went from high-energy yesterday to walking around to tonight where she couldn't even stand up. For me, watching an animal that I love deteriorate like that is one of the most painful things I have ever had to go through. It is agonizing to see them in so much pain and not be able to do anything about it.

For the last four or five hours, I held her in my lap and then laid her on the floor and I laid beside her. She had no strength in her legs and couldn't stand up anymore, and she was starting to have a hard time breathing. Around 10p.m., she started bleeding from her hind end. I was starting to realize that she wasn't going to make it, but I refused to believe what was happening. I just couldn't believe how fast everything had happened. So she fought through it for about another hour while I laid beside her, then her time came.

I have never up close with death. I have never watched someone die. Especially not a painful death. I had given Sophie some ibuprofen to help with pain, so I hope it wasn't as painful as it looked, but as I laid there beside her, she suddenly stretched out and started gasping for air. Realizing she was fading away, I sat up and rubbed my hand down her back trying in some way to let her know I was there. After several agonizing breaths, she laid down and I could see her muscles starting to relax. I wrapped her up in the towel she was laying on and held her nearly lifeless body close to my chest. As I leaned my head in close to hers to give her a farewell kiss, I heard her take one last deep breath and as that breath faded away, so did her precious little life.

I never really understood before why people blame God and ask why He allows people to die certain ways until I experienced Sophie's death tonight. Watching someone that you love so dearly die in such a painful way is complete and utter torture. Now in my heart i know that everything happens for a reason, and that Sophie's death was no exception, but my heart also wants to scream out, "why did it have to be this way"? I can sympathize to a degree with people who've lost a loved one in a painful way now, but each of us still has to muster every ounce of faith within us to truly believe God knows what He is doing and although we may never understand His reasons in this life for what we go through or experience, His ways are better than ours, and we will understand it all one day.

Watching my precious little puppy die the way she did was extremely difficult, and many of my tears were spilled tonight over her. However, I know that nothing happens by chance, and there was a good reason for what Sophie and I went through together today. I doubt I'll understand it in this life, but what is important is that I learned valuable life lessons tonight through this situation.

I miss my Sophie already very much, and hope that in some way through her pain and suffering that she was able to realize that I was by her side to the end. I loved her dearly, and will remember her always. She was an amazing puppy, and there will never be another one like her. Goodbye, my precious Sophie. I do hope that all dogs go to heaven, because I want to see you there one day soon.

Wednesday, April 21

Learning Self Control Phase One: Preparing for the Journey

This is the first in a series of blogs I'm using to chronicle my journey towards a better me. This all started from desire to achieve a better-looking physique. As long as i can remember, I have always wanted to have a decent-looking body. I'm not looking to imitate Arnold or any other ridiculously built guy. I just want to be in shape, lean, and muscular.

For several years now I've been saying the same thing. "I'm going to work out and eat good so that I can get my flat stomach and abs. Well here I am several years later, and although I'm not insanely obese, I'm still no closer to my flat stomach than I was three years ago.

So now the moment of truth. How do I get what I want and not keep repeating this same redundant cycle over and over again? I've discovered several ways to do so, and if this approach to my dilemma doesn't work, I think I will toss out the idea of ever getting a six-pack.

So this is my plan. First, I recruited my all time BFF Karissa to hold me accountable to the rules, regulations, and goals I'm setting for myself. She will be checking up on my workouts, meal plan, etc. to see if I'm doing what I'm supposed to. Second, I'm telling all of you people out in blogger world about what I'm doing so there's nothing left to hide. If everyone knows what I'm doing, then I will have more drive to accomplish the goals I've told everyone I'm setting for myself.

Basically my trek towards a flat stomach (my ultimate goal is a good-looking physique, but for now I'm focusing on the abdominal region) is comprised of two main categories: a strict meal plan and intense workouts. I plan to do cardio everyday, and a total body workout every other day. Both the meal plan and exercise will aid in the development of muscle, while making my body healthier and zapping those unwanted fat cells.

I started my journey on Sunday, April 18, 2010, and plan to continue it until I reach my desired physique. Once I loose the last few stubborn pounds of belly fat, I will probably move away from the strict meal plan I'm on and develop a higher-calorie, protein-rich diet.

I will try to post at least once a week on progress, and any interesting workouts and/or meals that came my way that week. Hopefully by June/July I should be seeing some pretty decent results. Stay tuned and see how things turn out.

Friday, April 2

No One Else Knows

Lately I've been experiencing a lot of anxiety, depression, sadness, etc. I've really gotten bogged down by this "trying to find work" thing. This month it will be one year since I was employed somewhere. One year.....365 days...8.760 hours....525,600 minutes of life without a job or a regular income.

When I moved to California, I was really excited, because I just knew deep down inside things were going to work out for me here and that I would be able to pursue my dreams and ambitions. I had a fire burning in my soul, a desire to take on the world and really show them I'm going places. Now, here I sit, one year from my last job, wondering where the time has gone, and trying to remember that burning flame which has been reduced to a smoldering ember.

Instead of taking on the world with a purpose-driven attitude, I'm carefully monitoring my checking account, hoping that after the bills come out there will be money to spend on gas, food, ect. My credit cards are not getting paid off because minimum payments are all I can afford right now, leaving me with a balance each month that is almost identical to the last months amount. Then there are the times where I feel so down and discouraged (which is quite frequently these days) that I end up spending money I don't really have on myself, eating out, seeing a movie, or buying something I want. I'm not helping myself any, but a guilty pleasure tends to make me believe somehow that things are better than they seem.

I'm constantly day-dreaming about all the ambitions I used to have. I will have been out of high school for five years this May, and I imagined myself in such a different place than where I am today. When friends my age are finishing up their bachelor's degrees, I sitting here with one semester of college work on my list of accomplishments. I don't even get the chance to play the piano during the week (the piano is my stress-reliever for bad days) because I can't afford to purchase one. I want to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel like everyone says, but I've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and still all that I see ahead is a bleak darkness.

Cue "No One Else Knows". This song has really carried me through times where I really thought I was going to throw the towel in. First off, I really admire and respect the guys from Building 429 for their testimonies and the powerful songs they write/record. "No One Else Knows" really is the essence of what I'm feeling right now; the definitive heart and soul of Ryan.

My one true stronghold in all of these hards times is my faith, however weak it may be. My faith gives me the strength to walk through another day, to brave another trial, to continue in unemployment. The song captures what my heart is crying out on the inside; the part that not many people see.

Since this song has done so much for me, I'm posting it for you to listen to and hopefully get some encouragement from if you understand where I'm coming from. Although my heart hurts, there is still hope for tomorrow. Even though I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, the beautiful rays of pure light will soon cast themselves upon my weary eyes. There is hope...

With that I give you "No One Else Knows"

My world is closing in, On the inside
But I’m not showing it
when all I am is crying out
I hold it in and fake a smile
Still I’m broken, I’m broken
Only one can understand
And only one can hold the hand
Of the broken, Of the broken

When no one else knows how I feel
Your love for me is proven real
When no one else cares where I’ve been
You run to me with outstretched hands
And You hold me in your arms again

I need no explanation of why me
I just need confirmation
Only You could understand the
emptiness inside my head
I am falling, I'm falling
I’m falling down upon my knees
To find the one who gives me peace
I am flying, Lord, I am flying

When no one else knows how I feel
Your love for me is proven real
When no one else cares where I’ve been
You run to me with outstretched hands
And You hold me in Your arms again

I have come to you in search of faith
Cause I can’t see beyond this place
Oh You are God and I am man
So I’ll leave it in Your hands

When no one else knows how I feel
Your love for me is proven real
When no one else cares where I’ve been
You run to me with outstretched hands
And You hold me in Your arms again

no one else knows

ameze | MySpace Video

Wednesday, March 31

Born To Sing

Yesterday was a very uplifting day for me. I met up with my friend Josh Murray to record some songs because I want to start getting out there to see what people think. Josh has some really nice recording equipment and we spent about five hours working on songs.

Although at the end of the day, when I heard the tracks played back I wasn't to impressed with what I had done I still had a blast with music. When I sing, everything that's on my mind, all the cares of this life just disappear. I am swallowed in the melodies and harmonies. I can't help but feeling exuberant! Singing gives me a high that nothing else in this world can compare to. I can't really even describe it in words. All I know is that what I want to do; what I was born to do. I want to touch people that hear me in a way that will change them for the better.

I dream all the time about being a recording artist. I can't imagine how amazing it would be to do what you love so much all the time and be loved by others for doing it! Wow, what a thought. Maybe for me that dream will come true one day. I'll leave it in God's hands. But I can still hope...

Sunday, March 28

Technology: Have we taken it too far?

As I'm writing this blog I find myself sitting in a living room with three of my friends. "Everybody's Fine" is playing on a 55" TV with surround sound. While enjoying the movie should be entertaining enough, somehow each of us has placed ourselves behind the display of our laptops, all working on something different. Then there is the occasional glance at the cell phone to check for an incoming text. What has technology done to us?

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love technology. Seriously, I mean, I hope to get a job as a Systems Analyst someday (if the recording artist thing doesn't work out), so I really love technology. Well, I appreciate it too, not just enjoy and love it. I'm glad there are brilliant minds out there that develop this awesome technology that I get to use everyday. I just hope it isn't to our detriment. I mean what happens when the computers go all "Terminator" status on us and become self aware, leaving us to fight for survival like a bunch of wild banshees? I know the idea is far-fetched, but you never know :)

Anyways, I just got a kick out of watching all of us sitting here drowning in technology and loving every minute of it. Although I guess the idea of computers trying to take over and rule the world someday may be plausible to some extent, I'm definitely not going to be putting down any of my technology anytime soon. Too far or not, I'm addicted! :)

Wednesday, March 24

Charice: The Voice Of An Angel

Okay, anyone who knows me and my passion for music knows how big a fan I am of Charice. For those of you who don't know who she is, Charice hails from the Philippines and rose to international stardom through YouTube videos. This 17 year-old girl is one of the most amazing female vocalist I have ever had the privilege of listening to.

Today I was listening to her latest single "pyramid" (feat. Iyaz), and I was overwhelmed by how beautiful her voice is. I listen to all types of music all the time, and much of it speaks to me, but when I listen to Charice, it almost like time begins to slow down, and everything around becomes a distant blur. All I can focus on is her amazing voice. She is truly talented and I cannot wait to buy her self-titled album due May 11th.

I have a dream, a very far-fetched one, but I guess it could come true. Before I die, I want to sing a song with Charice. I mean, how incredible would that be. I know I'm not even a recording artist and she's only 17 and already an international superstar, but I'm entitled to hope. So maybe, hopefully, someday I will get to sing with Charice. I probably have as much a chance of singing with her as of winning the lottery, but still, it would be totally incredible.

I love you Charice!!! You're AMAZING!!!

Tuesday, March 23

Content with Cleanliness

So today, after a very long morning in bed, Crockett and Jodi decided today would be clean-up day. They are planning on having some friends over Saturday night to watch UFC 111, so we wanted the house to look nice.

We had run into some problems with the clothes dryer so after a quick trip to Lowe's (and stopping for a tasty bite at Subway), we came back to the house and Crockett and I got the dryer back in working condition. Once the dryer was fixed, I decided to tackle my bedroom and get it looking spot on. I then migrated to the living room, where the 1993 comedy "Coneheads" was playing on the television. I found myself quite amused by this very corny movie which in turn continually distracted me from the work at hand. After spending much more time than necessary in the living room (i mean, come on! I had to finish the movie), I turned to the kitchen/dining room, all the while washing my growing pile of dirty laundry which as of late has seemed to get neglected.

Needless to say, I am now laying on my bed amidst a very clean room, satisfied at a day put to good use, and exuberant that almost all of my previously soiled clothes are now fresh, clean, and tucked away in their respective drawers. Now if I could just find a decent job, then life would be perfect. I'm not complaining though. I'm doing just fine, and I know the right job will show up when the time is right.

Well, another good day has gone by, and if tomorrow comes, I know it will be a good one to. I'm going to finish the night off with an iPod, earbuds, and a great playlist of some peaceful favorites to send me off into a tranquil slumber.

Always remember, the best is yet to come.