Defining Moments

(Note to my brother: If you don't want to read the whole thing, skip to the bottom... There's some things I wrote for you)

"They" say that character is who you are when no one is looking. I say character is the person you are when you don't have to be. It is when you see something on the street as you are walking by and something inside you says, intervene, do something. It is when you pull over to help someone push their car out of the intersection (safely, of course).  It is what you do when you don't have to that defines you.

These Defining Moments are full of our own character. In these moments, who we are is revealed not only to others, but to ourselves. We see where our loyalties lie. We see the things that are important. We see where our hearts are. It is in these moments that we see what really matters.

My brother recently had what I believe to be a defining moment. He wrote about it and posted it on his Facebook and I have posted it below. (Background info: my brother is 22, works for a moving company in Vista)

"I woke up around 930 today. I had the day off and I didn't think anything extra about getting some extra sleep for once, but my body woke me up.

Around 10 minutes after waking up, I get called in to work to help some guys who are nearby.

It's what I call a MUL: A messed-up local:

Some ridiculous amount of armoires and china cabinets, estimated way too low, and they tried to send 2 guys on it to start, instead of a recommended 4 since we are trying to go upstairs with some of the armoires.

That's all fine and dandy, situation normal, all fouled up. But after we began loading our MUL, I step out from the house and hear what sounds like a mixture of a diesel truck and a waterfall. I look around and see a geyser about 100ft in the air, which I first mistook for a water main break.

And then I see a car on a front lawn.

It turns out, as I walk toward the center of the street, that a car had hit a dumpster, then a fire hydrant, the source of Vista's most recent geyser, and then came to a crashing halt in a landscaping wall on someone's front yard.

No one else around me says anything other than the usual "Oh that sucks" or "Dude, look at that" type comments, and the four of us just set down our loads in the truck and then take a gander off the side and down the street.

I see the car and people outside of the car, talking to each other and looking at the damage, and I assume these people to be the driver and passenger or homeowner.

I still want to make sure they are all right, since the water was also on our way out from the job site, and I had my natural curiosities spurring me forward to ask if everyone was okay.

Turns out, the people near the car are bystanders, and the driver is still in the car, with airbags deployed, seat belt unbuckled, etc. I see that the lady who was with the driver initially after the crash was unsettled, and very nervous, so I offer to take over, because she had been trying to keep his attention and to keep him from moving around, but was unable to do so at the time.

I ask if anyone had called 9-1-1 yet, introduce myself to the driver, who is very clearly suffering from either a stroke/seizure and a concussion. He had his eyes open, but was having difficulty breathing (Likely from getting punched in the chest by a steering column, or the airbags even), and he also had glazed eyes, a blown-out right pupil, coughing up fluid from his lungs, bleeding from his tongue and cheek, and very scared look on his face.

I talk to him and tell him I want him to keep his head upright, because he was trying to move around and exit the vehicle, and it was clearly a bad idea in his state.

Meanwhile, the property owner returns from calling EMS/Police and thinks it's an opportune time to tell me it's the second time a car has hit his wall in two years, and how much it's gonna suck to rebuild it again.

I tell him "I don't care about your property damage right now", and nothing else. I don't have time for someone who is clearly more interested in some concrete bricks than the man barely maintaining consciousness after a crash.

I turn back to the driver, who had become very active, but still disoriented, seeming to try to turn the car off, or open the glove box, or check the center console, and tell him again that I don't want him moving his head or worrying about anything in the car. I tell him the car is safe, I'm here with him, and that the paramedics are on their way.

I continue to try to talk to him, to keep him focused on me and my face, and I hold his hand while he rests his head back on the headrest. Meanwhile, I hear sirens in the distance, and tell him the paramedics are only seconds away and that I just want him to stay still until they get here.

Before EMS arrived, he looked at me again, and all I thought to say is "My name is Aaron", and then he said the his only words to me, "Thank you".


I don't know his name, I don't know if I'll ever see him again, I don't know if he even survived to the hospital, but his eyes and voice will be with me for a long time.

I needed to type this out, to get a handle on things and just meditate on it as a whole, because if yet another specific set of circumstances did not fall in to place, I would not have woken up naturally at 930. I would not have taken the call to work. I would not have been there at the scene, and I would not have been able to, hopefully, comfort the driver when he needed it."
I had a Defining Moment like this back in the day, read about it here. I, too, felt the need to write about it in order to digest it. Defining Moments bring along with them deep introspection. There is an aching need to sit down and really think about what happened and what you did or would do or would have done or should have done. And then you think about what you want to do. You decide what this moment means and you move on from there.

To my brother:

If you read this (and I'm tagging you in this on Facebook, so you BETTER read it...), I want you to know that not only is this a Defining Moment, but this is a Divine Moment. You were SUPPOSED to be there. There is something bigger than us out there and He has a plan for you. A plan bigger than being stuck at a dead end job, a plan bigger than just making it through the day.
You are destined to thrive. You are destined to do big things. You are destined to touch the lives of those around you.

Don't ever settle for a lackluster life. Even in the bad times, there is amazing beauty and great good. There is happiness and joy even when there is little else. While there is always room to improve, don't ever forget that there is a life worth living right now. I used to think "when will my life really start?" And then I realized that life started the day I was born and I had been wasting it while waiting for it to "really" start.
I have loved you since the day you were born. I walked around the house calling you "my baby". You drive me absolutely insane but if anyone tried to hurt you, I would come at them like a screaming female banshee going through a hot flash during menopause. I will love you no matter what you do (though I may not always like you...). I want the absolute best for you and I want you to want the best for yourself. I will never lie to you or tell you what you want to hear. I'm not your babysitter, I'm your big sister (er, um, your older sister... You're quite tall...) and I don't care if you like me, so long as you know that I love you.

Well.... I didn't expect this to turn into an open letter to my brother. :)

My challenge to you (to anyone who is reading this),  take note of your Defining Moments. Pay attention to the Divine Moments. Know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, even if where you are sucks monkey balls. Take responsibility for your actions, accept the consequences, make changes if you need to. There is joy in life even when everything is falling apart. You just have to choose to look for it.


My heart breaks for the lives lost in the tragedies that have occurred this week in Boston and West. My heart breaks for the lives lost in all the shootings that happened earlier this year.

It breaks for the people who decided to it was necessary for them to create and plant bombs, to shoot and kill civilians, children and police officers, to light structures on fire.

It breaks for the friends and families who have lost someone or sustained life altering injuries, both physical and emotional.

But at a certain point, it stops being news and it becomes sensationalism. We stop watching for information and start watching for the "drama" of it all.

It is hard not to be sucked into the terror, panic, worry and grief. We feel for these people, yes, but in all honesty, we like the excitement the same way we like a scary movie. And THAT is sensationalism.

I know myself. And I know I have fallen victim to sensationalism. I have sat in front of the TV for hours, watching the same footage over and over (because at some point, the newscasters have absolutely nothing new to say). But all that does is unsettle me and ruin my day. It does nothing to help the investigative efforts, it does nothing to help the injured, it does nothing to ease the grief of those left behind.

So today, I will be praying. Whenever someone pops into my head, I will say a quick prayer for them. When my mind wanders to what's happening in Boston and West, I will pray for them. But I will be turning off the TV. If I need information I can check an online source (let's be honest, I can check Facebook and become informed about a myriad of things).

I hope this doesn't offend anyone or make me sound insensitive or like I'm downplaying what happened (actually, I don't care if you're offended... Free speech, blah blah blah). People die every day. There are injustices happening EVERYWHERE and they are happening ALL THE TIME. We just don't hear about them because they don't make the news.

In all this tragedy, in all the hate we see, there is always good. There are people who run towards the chaos, there are people who open their homes, there are people who give and give and give. They are the good in this world.

Let's Discuss: Online Dating

Let's Discuss: Online Dating


After many months of being out of the game and a week filled with extreme boredom (the cursed flu got me and it got me good...), I made what I will probably consider later to be a horrible decision: I reopened my OkCupid profile. 

Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with OkCupid, it is an online dating website and it is much more user friendly than some of the others out there. Every step of setting your profile is entertaining and almost fun. The creators must have an incredible sense of humor and it comes through in the various messages, instructions and general information provided regarding the site.

Like any online dating website, there are a lot of creepers out there. And I mean A LOT. In fact, before my ex and I dated, I was on this site and he told me numerous times he was worried one of these guys was a serial killer and I'd end up diced into little bits. I tend to be overly cautious and I like to think that my instincts are pretty good, though.

However, creepers aside, there are some great people who are on dating sites! I've met a few people who it didn't work out with romantically, but we're still in contact and are friends. I've also been matched up with people I already know in "real" life (this always amuses me greatly and with every round of Matches I go through, I have my fingers crossed that someone I know is in there...).

I wanted to write a little something to help out all you male online daters out there. Every day, I seem to get a message from a guy who has absolutely no fucking clue what he's doing. I don't know if he thinks we ("we" being women...) can't tell? Well, listen up, buddy. We can tell.

First Impressions:
Dude A - "How are you? Well my name is ***** and I have to say that you are truly beautiful and yes I know you get that everyday but thought you'd hear it from me. I have to say that you definately sound like an amazing girl and honestly I'd love to truly get to know you so with that said I hope to hear from you soon"
I didn't reply as there was nothing for me to reply to! "Thank you"? "Learn to spell"? If I don't have anything nice to say, I won't say anything at all...

If you send me a message and you want me to respond, it would help if you READ my PROFILE and didn't just scan my pictures. Reference something specific I said in my profile, ask me a question or two about it. I can tell when you have a copy and paste message that you send out to everyone (cause if you send out 100 messages and 10 women respond, chances are 1 of them will sleep with you, right?).

Here's how your introductory message should go:
"Hi there! I'm ***** and I found your profile really interesting! I see that you like to play mailbox baseball? So weird, that's a hobby of mine too! And I see that sardines are one of your favorite pizza toppings... I've never had sardines, but I like trying new foods. How long have you been a trapeze artist?"
See what I did there? I introduced myself, pulled a few things out of the profile in question and referenced them, then asked a question or two.

So I introduced myself, what next?

 If you sent your introduction message and I responded, that's great!! Now, the next step is to actually read what I wrote. Tough, I know. At this point, you need to exchange some more messages. A disadvantage to online dating is I automatically assume each guy is a creeper, but only moderately so. Until you prove me wrong, just trust that I think you're crazy and there's no way in hell I'm meeting you in person.

So ask me some more questions. Answer any questions I might ask. Volunteer any information you think I might like to know. (For the record, asking me to tell you about myself does not count as asking me questions... It's a cop out)

One common question all you duds, er, dudes, like to ask (and you shouldn't) is "What are you looking for?"

DID YOU READ MY PROFILE???? There's this funny little section called "What I'm Looking For"... That's a topic that should be talked about a little further down the line (like when you're meeting me in person) or when I bring it up. The pushier you seem, the further away I will keep you.

I didn't like what you said in your response!

So Dude B messages me and his first message is rough around the edges (and lacking most punctuation), but it sounds kinda sincere, so I respond. In his third message, he asks what I'm looking for and states that we should meet up. So I tell him I'm not really looking for anything, that if a connection with someone develops, great, let's explore it, but I move at my pace and my pace alone.
Dude B - (After I said I wasn't yet comfortable meeting in person or giving my number out) "OK well good luck to you. This is my first dating website and I'm not used to how people treat people on here but take care"

Listen...... If you're going to get butt hurt, even in the slightest, because some girl online didn't respond favorably to your masterfully crafted message, you need to go put yourself in an adult time out while you grow up a little bit.

If you don't like what I said, shake it off! Kudos to Dude B for deciding I'm not what he's looking for and excusing himself from our conversation, but you need to be very aware that rejection will still happen, even online.

1) Read her profile, reference it in your initial message.
2) Ask questions that warrant a response.
3) Give information about yourself in addition to asking her questions.
4) Read. Her. Profile.
5) Don't ask to meet up or exchange numbers in messages 1-5 unless she suggests it.
7)  If it doesn't work out, that's ok. There are plentyoffish in the sea... (See what I did there?!?)
8) I don't know if you picked up on this before, but READ HER GOSHDARN PROFILE!!!!

I realize that I may sound like :

a) a psycho
b) THAT girl
c) a Crazy Cat Lady

... but I swear I'm not!! (unless you put me on hormonal birth control... then I become d) All of the above). I'm merely someone who is incredibly amused at the whole online dating mess. I am aware that "boredom" isn't truly a relevant reason to join on online dating site, but it's what I'm going with.

Ugh... My head just started swimming. Perhaps this is too much activity for my recently ill brain... nap time? I think yes.