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A walk through the woods

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I -I took the one less traveled and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost


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The city has its moments yet it is a place of chaos. clock in, clock out, sleep, eat, work. We forget to breathe. We close our eyes and take a deep breath, we listen.

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At first we are met with silence, a gentle breeze rustling our hair. We hear the birds chirp merrily as they build their nests. We stop, kneel, and notice the moss growing on the rocks.

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We walk further and find a path. We follow the path, not knowing where it leads.

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We find a creek and listen to the trickle of water. The sun shines through the canopy of trees and we feel its warmth, a blanket of joy as we lose ourselves in the moment.

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Our steps begin to slow, our panic subsides. Time fades as we continue down our path. And for a moment, we see the world through another’s eyes.


Hope you found this relaxing. If you like my content, consider “buying me a cup of coffee”. Your contribution will help support my creative endeavors and help me achieve my dreams.

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Was it worth it: A reflection piece.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a reflection piece. I’m happy with my update post (I based the design off of developer patch notes) but it’s not enough. I’ve worked hard to free myself from my shackles and be a better person and for the most part I have. Yet I am still living dual lives. I thought over time the “Old Mike” and the “New Mike” would merge yet that hasn’t been the case. It turns out however far I run, life always seems to have different plans.

I find success only to have it ripped away from me over and over again. My world has and I suppose will always be in a state of chaos. It’s by no lack of effort on my part but rather always a series of unfortunate events. The straw that broke the camels back was when I had a contract with my dream company. Most of my life has built towards this moment, reaching the finish line. I saw the good in the business world and truly believed that I had finally made it, only to be cut down by the political nature of Corporate America. And I am at a loss. I pick myself up and have nowhere to go.

And here I am, split between being honest and being correct. My world has been a firm handshake, a quick smile, and language so polished that it’ll make your ears bleed. And I’m tired of it. With over 300 contacts on LinkedIn, it might be time to hang up the towel. What I’ve built has become ash and I feel nothing. The money is nice but at the end of the day, it’s an obsession not worth having. I am tired of being used as a tool, or worse, a weapon. I learned as much as I could so that I could help others yet that same intelligence has only ever brought misery. The more I learn, the more I wish I didn’t know. Americans bathe in ignorance and it’s tough to see.

During my search, someone I trusted introduced me to Amway disguised under the pretense of “Alticor”. I went through the process and saw how some choose to make their money. An honest answer is it made me feel dirty, so I walked away. Is this the right answer, I can’t really say. The business model is sound and works for those with enough motivation, yet the reverse pyramid is still a pyramid. And at the end of the day, I must follow my heart. Corny, yes, but the truth nonetheless.

I don’t know who to trust anymore and it’s a damn shame. I love my friends and I love myself and for me that’s enough. It’s when I’ve put my faith in my professional network is when I’ve been hurt. Interesting to say the least.

This said, I am done hiding. It’s time to find just what all I am capable of. I am finally doing what I want and while I sacrifice the security of Corporate America, I don’t want to die in a cubicle. I thought I could waltz into an organization and change the world, yet I realize that change starts at the grassroots. My whole goal with writing and now photography has been to give myself a voice. It’s liberating to talk and have others listen. Now that I have, I want to focus on what I care about and not worry so much about reputation. So, cheers. Let’s build something together, it’s time I finally got my priorities straight.


A late night musing and I have to say, it felt great. I’ve been feeling anxious since graduation trying to find my place in the world but I came to realize that it has always been the route of the entrepreneur. What that will look, God only knows but in my never-ending pursuit of happiness, this is worth pursuing. Thanks for all your support throughout the years, it has meant the world to me. As I continue to grow, may you grow along with me and if I can inspire just one person from the work I do, then I’ll have done my job.

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The life of Mike: An update post

So it’s been a while. My blog has been expanding quite a bit since graduation and there have been a lot of changes. I’m trying a new format for how I relay the information, so hopefully you find this helpful.

Changes since January:

  • Site now has a Patreon as well as advertisements
  • Site has been upgraded from a personal account to a premium account
  • Site theme has been updated to accommodate for photography and the occasional original videos
  • Bought camera so I can actually take photos
  • Learning basic coding to help with edits
  • twitter feed has been integrated into the blog to make for a more personal experience
  • Goodreads reading list has been added so you can see what books I’m reading at the moment.
  • Added my personal mission statement to the navigation menu

In addition to these changes, I also plan to eventually add a contact tab (currently figuring out the best way to implement) and am adding Ko-Fi to content centric posts (so not this).

Patreon and Ko-Fi:

I’ve been struggling for the past few months figuring out ways to monetize my blog in a way that builds a stronger community. As much as I love writing, writing well takes time and effort. At the moment I am hopping contract to contract in the Hellscape that is the current US job market. As such, I am looking at ways to become independently sustainable. I realized the problem with Patreon is the subscription. I like with Patreon that I can set long-term rewards and will keep the page as I still think it’ll (eventually) add value to the site as it grows. But I also realize sometimes people read content and simply want to chip in some money but don’t care for rewards and don’t want to pay every month; that’s where Ko-Fi comes in (it’ll be a “buy me a coffee” button). With Ko-Fi you simply click the button, pay what you want for the post, and that’s it. Most of the money spent goes into the blog and it’ll allow me to create better content and to do so more frequently.

Upcoming Posts:

The plan is to do a Corporate America series! The series will be a few articles such as a look at contracts (small business vs. corporation), reputation (the in’s and out’s, why integrity is important, etc.) and How to spot a manager from Hell (a tale of modern day managers and a look at when to leave a company). I also want to post about the gun “situation” in America, however, I also don’t want to get burned at the stake (this article has been years in the making and might be a few more years in the making). Come May, I have a lot planned for mental health awareness month but want to keep that a surprise. And finally, more poetry and fiction! I’ve been enjoying what I’ve wrote thus far and am glad you have as well! I have a few stories I’ve been bouncing around, it just takes time to write and edit (I’m only one man).

In Other News:

I have decided rather than trying to build a team for this site, I am going to keep the site my own. While an editor would be nice, quite frankly I do well enough on my own that the cost would far outweigh the benefit. As for the writers, if need be, I will have the occasional contributor (however, at the moment, there is no need).


That’s it! Thanks for reading! It’ll be a while before another post like this, so sit back and enjoy the content in the coming months; I have a lot planned and am glad you can join me on this journey.

 

With love,

Mike

Photos fresh off the press

I’ve finally bought a camera! I used to do black and white photography 5 years ago and have always been meaning to get back into taking photos as it was something I really enjoyed. This is an experimental blog post as I figure out how I want to start incorporating my photography into the blog. So sit back and enjoy!

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A yellow flower that peers into your soul.

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You didn’t know grass could look this good.

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A little bud ready to bloom

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50 shades of purple

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The tree most likely to fall over and kill me in my sleep

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Feeling a little blue


If you like my content, consider supporting me over on Patreon so I don’t have to sell my soul to Corporate America again. If not, that’s ok, I only ever really put my soul on rent anyways. Cheers and hopefully this made your day a little brighter!

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As I roll out of bed: A short poem by Mike Cole

As I roll out of bed, sheets unmade

I look around, yet find no aid.

My foot gets caught and I fall

I hear a snap, and begin to crawl.

 

I wonder to myself, is this a dream?

Perhaps I’d believe, if I didn’t scream.

I reach for my coffee  while out of bed

Whoops, down goes the coffee on my head.

 

The heat would be refreshing, if it didn’t burn.

My, oh my, when will I ever learn?

 

Let it be told and not unsaid,

this is why I never get out of bed.

 

All I feel is Sorrow

My heart beats but there is no life.

I smile yet the fire is gone…

I reach out a hand and get stabbed with a knife.

My chest tightens yet still I carry on…

 

I ask for help, someone to catch me as I fall.

I close my eyes, and take a deep breath…

I think I’m in a meadow and there are only walls.

My body drags through the dirt, my mind ready for death…

 

Few understand the pain they cause.

And if they do, it’s easier to turn their back…

I try to do right and life keeps digging in her claws.

Life is unkind and every disappointment leaves its cracks…

 

All I feel is sorrow,

Oh how I wish for tomorrow…

 

The Hermit: A short story by Mike Cole

He could still remember the day the bombs fell. The heat washing over him and the radiation mutating his body till who he was before held little importance. He could not remember why they went to war and cared little to remember the world as it was before. It was a mess before the war and for better or worse, at least everyone was an equal footing in this brave new world. How many years had it been? 50 years? 100 years? Perhaps 200? In truth, it didn’t really matter. Time stops for no one. What was once a precious commodity in the 21st century held no sway after society collapsed.

Mother Nature had reclaimed what was once hers, although what was left was not as we once remembered. The radiation twisted animals into brutish creatures and those who survived the initial blasts were in for a surprise some 50 years later as the radiation turned cute little woodland creatures into giants with a taste for blood. The Oceans were no better. The Hermit had heard stories of sailors going out and having half their crew torn apart by 100 foot sharks and whole ships dragged to the Ocean depths by giant eels who could bring about thunder storms just from breaching the surface; and these are only the creatures that have been sighted, God only knows what lurks in the darkest reaches of the ocean…

And the weather? Where once people worried about the planet burning us alive (the bombs did that well enough), now a frozen wasteland, the atmosphere a radioactive blanket where light dare not tread. Truth be told, it’s amazing anything survived at all, let alone adapt to this new world; yet adapt it did. The Hermit’s skin was thick from the radiation (it having accelerated his growth) and over the course of about a century and a half, the 5 foot ten lad now stood at 10 feet tall. It is said he could lift 10 men with ease although no one can truly say for certain. For some reason, his body didn’t decay from the radiation; it thrived. Others were not so lucky. Those looking directly at the blast when the bombs fell were blinded instantly and while some survived, most perished.   Those living on the coasts (both West and East) were all but disintegrated, and those who did survive were turned into monsters. Their skin started peeling off, rotting as their body’s couldn’t adapt quickly enough to the rampant mutations. Over time their brains began to rot and their fingers grew into claws as their bones pierced through their skin. Half zombie, half alive, their blood-curdling screams as they found their prey sent chills down even the toughest of men; it didn’t help that the radiation made them much, much faster than any ordinary man.

In order to survive, humanity began to build underground. Those who heard the sirens and made it to the safety of long forgotten bomb shelters were all but spared from the horrors above. Nowhere else to go but down, they dug deep into the Earth and never stopped. They built intricate tunnels which turned into underground Mega Cities powered by the still beating heart of the Earth’s core. Those who were on the surface tried to rebuild cities once lost, however, between the cold and the mutated fiends, quickly learned that the surface world was no longer made for man and thus began their descent. And there remained The Hermit; a man with nothing left to fear and nothing left to lose, a wanderer out of place and out of time. Some called him a Guardian while others couldn’t distinguish him from those forsaken souls who now roamed the Earth; in the end, who can really say what was true?


Hi all, hope you enjoyed this piece of content! I’ve been super busy the last month having started work and all, so I’m glad I was finally able to put the finishing touches on this story. I’m still playing around with writing styles and working on creating vivid Imagery so hopefully you saw some improvement over the last piece of fiction I wrote. I’m also excited to announce that the blog is expanding! Expect a redesign coming soon and more photo focused entries (I can finally afford a camera, yay!) All in all, lots of good things to come. Cheers to the future and thanks for reading!

 

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