Thoughts of the real Matt Stone
Keep Smiling

In looking at my blogs, and my life in general, I can observe that I frequently go from a good mood to a bad mood.  This is why yet another change for the positive did not seem to be a large shift, and it appears as only a matter of time till I revert back.

However, I believe that this time I have acknowledged some elements and made some changes that will allow this positive swing to remain in place.  It is difficult for me to define this change, as I was never deemed to have any specific attitude problem.  However, this does not prevent me from examining myself and making some observations. 

This does not paint a positive picture.  II did often work hard and succeed, but this was not my only source of happiness.  It seems that things went my way when I was in a bad medical or social situation and required help.  I may also blame my tendency to aim to find pity on the success portrayed by the media.  The responsible culprit is unimportant because this disposition isn’t even certain.  I believe I have frequently just been lazy and waited for others to help me.

I know this attitude is very immature.  I know I have matured and now take active steps to avoid this attitude.  However, this is not always easy to do, as I believe much of this behavior is subconscious.  It can be as simple as forgetting where I put something to seem unfortunate and feel success in finding it. 

I acknowledge that the human species (yes, I acknowledge that I may be included in it) has itself as a primary interest.  We only help others to the extent that helping them will not hinder ourselves.  I would like to say that I take steps no matter what, but the only way I differ is in believing that others would always do what I wanted merely because I seemed needy.  I am no longer willing to accept this attitude.

I am not saying that there is nothing I want to change, nor am I saying that I am very content.  I will, however, attempt to make the best of things, an attitude I have always seem to have, but didn’t embrace (as I did not acknowledge this attitude in myself).  I just want to reiterate that I will continue to smile, and am certain that I will find more happiness by seeking it myself.

Smile

I have made a bad habit of using this blog to bitch.  Frankly, I’m sick of seeing me do it, and I want better.  So it is time to start thinking better.  I am going to start making good things happen, even if I’m not changing anything.

How do I propose to do this?  One thing I have been told inspires positive thinking is to be thankful for the things in my life.  Despite my bitching, there is a lot great in my life, and it is overdue for recognition. 

I love my friends.  They make me feel great, and I love seeing them.  Despite some of my flaws, they are always there for me.

My family has always been a huge part of my life.  They go above and beyond to provide support and this is truly invaluable. 

I have found some great friends and resources through activities I take part in.  These activities have occupied much of my time.  Whether they provided me with needed training, improved my health, or provided me with precious contacts, all have served as great resources.

I have embarked once again in education.  I love what I am learning, and my government has recognized my ‘condition’ as a disability and has made it easy for me to return to studies.  With my vision, resources have been made available to me to make studying a great deal easier. 

Those are only some of the many things I appreciate in my life.  This is not to say that everything is perfect.  There are things I always want to ameliorate.  Even some of the things I am happy about have issues.  There are moments where I am so fed up I don’t think I can handle anymore, but I think back to the happiest moments in my life, and even then I complained and did not take the time to appreciate the good things.  So I am now taking the time to appreciate all that is right.

This does not mean that I will accept all that is wrong.  I will try to improve it, but must be happy for all I have that is right.   I know thanksgiving was last weekend and this may seem late, but thank you.  If you are reading this, I am very thankful for everything you do for me, you make me smile. 

Nothing wrong

How are you?  Me, well, nothing is wrong, but I have never been less happy with nothing being wrong.  Perhaps it is because very little is specifically right (that’s not true, nothing new, or substantial is there for me to be proud of), or perhaps it Is because I have expectations for myself that are not being met to the extent that those around me are exceeding.

I know, it is unfair to compare myself to others, but we live in a world where comparison is frequently used.  I am not looking to use comparison or judgement, as we have enough of that already.  If I put comparison aside and wonder what I need for me, the answer is simple.  I need to be impressed with myself.  No matter what words are used, I come back to comparison.  The key I remember is not to compare yourself to anyone else, rather to the person you used to be.  To be fair, I am more physically active and in better shape then I was last year, or at many other points in my life.  However, I can easily identify points where I was more successful, had more activities with friends, had relationships.  Frankly, me of the past is a hard person to compare myself to.

So just comparing me to me will not do me any good.  There are others who say that you have to be happy with yourself now. …. But I’m not.  And I’m not looking for excuses why, I’m looking for solutions.  It is true that I need to find these on my own, but your help is always welcome.  I’m lonely and I want to talk, and not just about me.

The Unreal Real Matt Stone

This blog has the title of “Thoughts of the Real Matt Stone” but I want to clarify something for any readers.  It is true that these are all real thoughts of mine, but this is not an accurate portrayal of me, at least it’s not necessarily me.  I am a person who looks to put a positive spin on everything in life, and I often joke, frequently by implementing sarcasm. 

At the same time, I can be serious.  I can be an open book or I can just listen and be a shoulder to lean on. I just want to be clear that there are many sides to Matt Stone that are all real.  I just frequently use this blog to express some sentiments that cause people to misinterpret me. 

What’s more important to me is to be part of others lives, so I am comfortable with being virtually anything.  So smile and I hope to talk to you soon. 

Controlled Intensity

I realize that perhaps I occasionally over-invest in the ideas I have in my head without any proof that I have reason to do so.  I am an intense person sometimes, and I allow that intensity to control my actions.  I admit that this is often a flaw, but it is one that I am working on.

But there are occasions where this over-intense over-commitment has proven beneficial.  In getting my favorite job, I learned in the first interview that one of the main goals was to obtain accreditation at Canadian and US government bureaus, so I went home and called those bureaus and discovered exactly what was required.  This experience was so beneficial that I feel that giving 110% is always best. 

But my intensity is not always beneficial.  I’m not saying I need to change who I am, but I may benefit from being who I am at a decreased percentage or not as frequently.  This is not changing me, but perhaps maturing. Age brings wisdom and all that jazz.  I need to start recognizing which situations merit which behaviors.

I will try this approach and hope that it works.  Though I am currently happy and perhaps do not require change, but I am always looking to improve myself, as are most people.  Turns out I might be human.

Smiling in the Sun in the Summer

It may come as a surprise to some people that I rarely say this, and others may be surprised to hear me speak this term, but I am currently content.  This is not because my status in life has altered in any large way, it is just that I have empowered myself to be content with some pleasant things.  I am not settling, nor am I perfectly pleased with everything in my life, but I am smiling at the good things.  This is not to say that I am ignoring the things in my life I need to change, but I am allowing myself to enjoy the good things for once.

To be honest„ this feeling of pleasure impacted me after I installed an application on my phones that allows me to text, call, set the alarm and work with contacts and see call history without needing a magnifying glass.  This isn’t like my computer; where it enlarges everything, but it allows me to conduct basic functions in super large print.   I found this app on my own and took the initiative to install it, but more importantly, I can now use my phone like others.  It is true, I need to return to the normal screen to start my music, go on the internet or use other apps, but still it’s great.

I was also extremely content Thursday night, when I accomplished a difficult task, by taking the avenue Mont Royal and pedaling up the entire mountain without stopping, at the fastest speed accomplished by my group this year.  And it was constant pedaling, sometimes very slow and hard. 

Today I canoed 8 km with a guide in 2 hours, after walking 4 km with him.  This was after having gone to the gym yesterday, before walking 10 km with my sis to see the international fireworks festival of Montreal in the old port.  I also saw some jazz fest shows this year.  I am finally taking the time to enjoy this great city and the activities available in the summer. 

Nothing huge has changed and I’ve made no great accomplishments, but I’m happy and smiling.  Here’s hoping that continues, as I return to school in the fall.

Comedy, Drama, always theatrical

I have a tendency to deal with much in life in a humorous way.  Occasionally, this is uncalled for, but I must first explain why I have this tendency to allow others to better understand me and perhaps others.

Throughout my childhood, I was dramatic.  Perhaps reflecting what I saw on television, I thought being dramatic would benefit me.  In fact, I was voted most over-dramatic in high school.  Throughout CEGEP, I looked to change that.

I was also nervous about getting older.  To deal with both aging and being over-dramatic, I used humor.  I was also mirroring what I saw at home (how my dad acts.)  I have realized that I can’t use my influence of others behavior as an excuse.  I am solely responsible for my own actions.

I had previously concluded that the best way to deal with aging and being over dramatic was this humoristic approach.  However, I have accepted that aging is an inevitability that I can’t prevent, one of those side-effects of time.  I have also concluded that dramatic and humoristic are not polar  opposites of each other.

 What I have concluded is that neither drama nor humor are unwanted, but each have their time and place.  I must learn to better identify those times and places.  I must be honest, my humor (often in the form of sarcasm) and my serious nature will remain, but I will try to identify opportune moments for them. 

A different World

I have often stated that I am legally blind.  However, stating it often does not provide clarity.  Clarity has always been a problem for me, but I will try to provide some in order to make you understand what I see and why I act as I do.

Statistics wise, it is easily said that my vision is 20/200 or 10%.  What that means is what you can see from 200 feet, I can only see from 20 feet.  That is clear; however that does not explain my condition.  If you looked through glasses that only provided you with 10% vision, this would not suffice.  You would be accustomed to seeing the world regularly, and have to adjust to my capacity.  However, I have always had this vision.  I remember when I was in high school that a student in my grade was legally blind and glasses were brought in to see like he did.  I saw no difference, but said nothing because I assumed I was using them wrong. 

I used to think that was an advantage because I am used to seeing things this way.  I am considered deluxe blind.  In many ways I am, and I am not complaining about my condition.  However, this makes it virtually impossible to understand the world you see. Now it is true, I have recently acquired a pocket telescope that makes things eight times bigger and improves my vision a great deal.  However, there are numerous problems that impair me from walking around with this device on my face all the time.  For one, I see very little at a time.  I see less than the size of a dime and it is eight times as big, so unless I know where to look, this device is useless. 

What is more, I need to re-adjust this device for every distance that the object I’m looking at is located.  It is not like I just adjust once for my eyes and while I’m adjusting, I can barely see what is there.  If I don’t know where to look, I may be adjusting to look at the wrong thing.  However, this device allows me to read street signs and addresses.  When I do accomplish the adjustment, I am amazed that the world is seen so clearly.  However, if I’m looking at someone, I must realize that they can see me with even more detail.

The bottom line is that I have no idea how you see the world.  It blows my mind just seeing a focused item with the telescope, the fact that your whole world looks even better than that is unthinkable to me.  However, because I don’t know what you can see, I have never asked people to provide me with details.  I assumed that everyone saw as I did.  Basically, my world always looked different and I thought everyone saw like that.  So I have always taken my reality for granted and avoided asking questions, cause I thought everyone saw as I did.

Basically, I lived my life in much ignorance.  However, I was obviously good enough at it that no one ever questioned what I saw.  I may have taken a lot for granted, but this allowed me to see what others may have missed.  Being comfortable with the world this way is great, but helps me very little, because there are few that do see the world this way that I need to relate to.  So in life, I need to optimize my strengths and push my weaknesses aside, but I am still aware of them.

There are few who can tell me what I should do now, because I know of no one else in these shoes.  I don’t want to start asking for details all the time, but I also don’t want people to explain everything to me as if I saw nothing.  I welcome your ideas.

New Adventures

 

My search for activity and fulfillment has led me to a few new places.  These adventures are positions … positions without salaries.  Some might call these internships.

One is with the “Association Sportive pour les Aveugles de Montreal” (frequently refered to as l’ASAM)http://www.sportsaveugles.qc.ca/asam/   This is fitting for me, as I participate as a member on an almost weekly basis.  I was granted the position that was ideal to my interests and creativity.  Though there were openings to assist in general with administration, I choose a position to help develop and roll out sporting events for the group.  My title is Directeur Sportive. 

I completed my first day tandem cycling with l’ASAM and am now going to do the Tour de L’ile. 

This internship is not going to occupy too much time.  Though I do have another task.  I am working with some former colleagues from radio and others from the theatre, music and dance scene on www.curtainsup.tv  This is a website for arts in Montreal.  This will also not involve too much time, as everyone involved is doing this in their spare time.

I had started a while ago interning with Kutoto.  This is an app available online at www.kutoto.com that allows users to find qualified candidates to complete tasks they need to complete.  This app has recently appeared on the morning Global News show.  I’d like to say that this is thanks to me, but I had nothing to do with that.

I have also applied to do a continuing education graduate diploma in Applied Marketing at McGill in September.

Tha t‘s what’s new for now.  Is it enough for me?  I hope so.

What Now

I saw an expression today that made an impression on me.  It said something about appreciating what you have before you have to appreciate what you had.  This rang true because, undoubtedly, I do have to appreciate what I have.  And I have it good, despite all of my complaining, which I am not proud of.  However, I am also struck thinking about things I once had and loved and didn’t appreciate when I had them. 

Looking back on the things I appreciate once having, I am inspired to appreciate the things I have more now.  I am ashamed of the excuses I make for the things I don’t have.  Excuses provide me with no benefit.  They are what they sound like, excuses.  When you have an “excuse” this is only motivation to find another way to accomplish this task.  I think calling them reasons puts them in a better light then the name I used previously. 

I need to take the chance to rejuvenate my network of friends, as I have learned that my strong network of friends was the reason I had a lot of the happiness I once had.  However, many of my friends have moved away, and those still here are married or busy with employment or other ventures.  I feel lonely, but I should use this feeling as motivation.

Perhaps I do need a new adventure, a new life somewhere else where I am not expected to already have a strong network of friends there.  Of course, there are many things I appreciate right here.  My family, the support and activities here for people with impaired vision like mine, and the friends I do still have here.  A new adventure is only one of many ideas.  Of course new employment would rejuvenate my mind, but finding employment to fill a personal need is not likely to find a position.  It is true that I want to give back, and maybe my previous idea of being a career student isn’t as ideal as I once thought. 

I am currently pondering.  I don’t have any answers to my questions yet.  I always appreciate any input, but I acknowledge that this is a decision I have to make for myself.  Hopefully we’ll speak soon.