The Lighthouse: A Short Story by Mike Cole

He had reached this shore many times before. The waves crashed against the rocks as the façade of the lighthouse came into view. Faded were the once bright colors, the bricks long since crumbled on a shore unknown to man. He was trapped and every time he ventured, he eventually wound up back where he started. His memories were beginning to fade and his reality had become a blur. How many years had it been? Ten years? One Hundred? Time had no relevance here. He could see every reality play out, timelines that were no longer his own. When the rift had opened up, he had thought nothing of it. A glitch in the matrix, a blip in time and space. He thought he could make it back but the further he ventured, the more the route changed and the more it stayed the same; twisting and turning as if a machination of his own imagination. For every step forward, a step backwards. It was always the Damn lighthouse. A shelter in the storm and now a prison. He would always end up back here. He could be gone years, live a life and travel as far as his body would take him, but eventually, he would find himself back.

The light had not shone in years. But every so often it would begin to flicker and come whirring back to life, focusing its beam on some unseen shore in the darkness. And every time he would follow the light. Sometimes through storms, other times dead stillness. The waters were always an inky black. Heaven or Hell, he could not tell, more of an in-between if anything; purgatory, if you will. At first, reality jumping had been fun, living a different life from his own. He could see how his life would have played out, if he had only made different choices. In one he had a family, found love early on and kept it. The other he was a CEO, another a treasure hunter. Each a piece of him and each uniquely different. There was no life in this Ocean as far as he could tell, only darkness. Funny, considering the rifts he jumped through. He was getting closer to the rift and he wondered what he’d find this time around. Would spiders crawl out of it? Would he feel the splash of water? Rats? Anything was possible when traveling through the rift. He felt something brush up against the boat. A moment later, he capsized.

Deleted Posts and private posts: A 2020 musing

So today I felt like writing. Some days are like that. Roll out of bed, drink some coffee, and write. In honor of the 5 year anniversary of the blog, we’re going to be taking a look back and simply enjoy the stories that have been told throughout the years. Half a decade is a long time to be doing anything and I’ve been writing for the better part of 8 years. I’ve been a reader and a blogger throughout that time. I’ve watched blogs grow and die yet what you don’t see are the posts unseen. The articles made private and the ones deleted in the blink of an eye. I used to have a thousand drafts of articles never written, ideas never allowed to blossom. I tried a revival series once upon a time, taking my drafts and using the titles as prompts. Some were a few weeks old, others years old.


Writing is tough. If topics aren’t covered gracefully, people lose interest and at worst, you are offending people. One of my now deleted posts was one of my first posts on religion. Nothing crazy but a post I deleted nonetheless. Finding your footing is hard and all too often we’re afraid to stumble. Another discarded draft was on gun violence, back when people weren’t all too numb to the record setting shootings we have in the US. Another, a late night ramble made private concerning my relationship status, which is still very much single. We live in the information age and for the most part I’ve enjoyed what technology has brought to offer. I have a voice and that’s beautiful.


I always try to stray away from these ramble topics. I like content focused articles but honestly, ramble writing is therapeutic. In that sense, the blog hasn’t changed so much in the last 5 years. My writing has become more focused over time but a ramble is still a ramble. This post would be easy to delete, to stop half way through but I always find it an interesting perspective looking back. By keeping my posts, I’ve essentially created my very own time machine, where I can remember exact moments where I was in a given moment. My young adult life, well documented, for the world to see. So now, when I write, it’s with the intent to publish. And to be honest, I regret deleting my earlier posts. God and I have a complicated relationship but reading my thought process at a time when I was full blown atheist was fascinating. Over time, the article will fade into the abyss, but I have to wonder if I’ll ever tackle religion again in its full beauty. And gun violence? I wouldn’t even know where to start; it used to be a top concern for the US but years of inaction have left the point mute.


And that’s it! Just felt like writing today in a more relaxed tone. Over the coming months I’m getting an itch for poetry and short stories so we’ll see what happens later on this year. I’ll be trying out some writing workshops here and there as well, so we’ll see if there’s any noticeable change. And my book? still very much a work in progress, just a lot of research and fear of publishing but I’m committed. And if you like what I write, please like, follow, and share with others who might enjoy my writing! This year I’m making the push to grow the blog so I can eventually write full time. In a perfect world, I’d be traveling, writing, and learning. We’ve already surpassed 2019 in terms of everything, so we’re on the right track. The year is shaping up to look a lot like 2018 but I’m confident that we’ll surpass 2018. I have a lot planned for the year and I’m excited. Below is a link to my Patreon and Ko-Fi, I do everything on this blog by myself, so the donations help! Whether it’s a one time donation or a subscription, I cannot express how grateful I am for any support.

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And that’s it! Let me know what your thoughts are! I am always open to feedback!

Journey’s End: A Tale of Love

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” -Abraham Lincoln


A Note From the Author

A post written nearly 2 years ago. Lost to the ages, brought back to life. This article has been left in its entirety, with minor edits made to help the overall flow of the article itself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!


In honor of this being my 69th post on WordPress (nothing to read into here), I thought it would be fun to talk about relationships and love. So if you’ve ever been curious about my thoughts regarding this topic or wondered what deep secrets Mike is hiding, this is the time.

A Rare Glimpse

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m management by trade. A benefit of management is a lot of proper management and leadership is understanding people. To not put a one size fits all label but rather see the little nuances, do some math, and create a picture of each person. One aspect in particular is emotional intelligence. Which, in a nutshell, is how well you understand others emotions, as well as your own. Can you accurately read someone’s facial expressions? Their body language? Are they fidgety? Does this mean they’re nervous? Excited? Uncomfortable? As you can see, it is a fairly complex topic and it’s taken me about 5 years (if not a lifetime) to have a somewhat decent grasp over. To go further, I’d also like to acknowledge the unconscious mind. I read a lot of business/ business psychology books and I’ve spent years learning how to pick apart my mind in order to reprogram my behavior. As such, I have a good understanding of who I am, what I want, and how to get there. I’ve also been an observer most of my life, with excellent listening skills (developed over time) and a desire to understand.

I Walk a Lonely Road

Say what you will about when boys and girls start to fall for each-other and develop crushes, but for me I’d say it was around first grade. The scenario was this: I go play with my friends or I go for a walk around the schoolyard with a cute girl. What did I choose, being a first grader? My friends of course. Any regrets? Nope. Then after first grade, there was another cute girl that came along. We went through elementary school, middle school, and high school together. I’m 99% sure she liked me and while I liked her, I made the mistake of going after the girl I couldn’t get. How did that go? As well as one can expect.  The girl that got away? perhaps, but let me make a note of that.


Everyone talks about the one. You listen to any love song and more often than not it’s about the one that got away. Usually the singer is filled with regret and what sounds pleasant to the ears is more often than not obsessive. You want to know how stalkers are born? Surprise, this is how. It’s not letting go and moving on. It’s OK to be upset and give yourself time to heal but sooner or later you have to move on. And of course, love is messy. Hormones run wild, people go insane. Love is indeed a feeling… Anyways, the point I want to make is that there are multiple “ones” out there. If a girl breaks your heart, don’t worry, another will come along. It may take a while, but it’ll happen.


So, back to the story. Come college, I took a break. I was waiting for someone to come along and save me from myself. I thought I deserved a girlfriend and resented those who had one. I sound like quite the charmer, no? Everyone has their issues and nobody is perfect, so I figured it would be fairly easy. My philosophy back then was girls dated assholes. And yet no one came… So I started burying myself in my work. Work was a distraction. After bumming around my Freshman year, I had a job by my Sophomore year. I’d go to class, work, and sleep. My first real taste of responsibility. I had money and that was spent on books and classes. Then I quit and joined student organizations, where I had even more responsibility. I was shy and awkward back then but I still remember one of my mentors saying, “one day the right girl will come along for you”. Simple, yes. True? Don’t know yet. Fast forward a few years to last Winter, when I first installed Tinder. I had my first date. Coffee by the water front. And afterwards? A walk along the water front and then a walk back to her car. We exchanged numbers and then? She got cold feet. I uninstalled Tinder and continued to focus on making myself a better person. I wasn’t perfect, but at least I was trying. Then came Spring… The cherry blossoms began to bloom and my professionalism was at it’s peak. At this point I was juggling both being the Director of Social Media for management club and being the Service Chair at the same time. I wasn’t looking for love. And then one of my friends decided to touch my arm… The cruelty of the human touch. Like a witch, she put me under a spell. I, being the rational individual that I am, tried to fight it and didn’t quite understand what was going on. After the touch and suggesting that we go dancing, she went in for the hug. If I had any chance at this point, it was now gone. The casual arm brushes, the “accidental” touching of hands, the subtle mention of weddings in everyday conversation, or the “how much I love fro-yo, we should go sometime”. Of course there is more (all of which is well documented in my personal journal) but I think you get the idea. So I said, “what the Hell?” and asked her out to drinks. She said yes and she tried to drag me back to her place to do God knows what with me. I politely declined, citing that I had a job interview in the morning. Being the Gentleman I was, I was in it for the long game. So come the end of Spring, we were making summer plans and it felt as though I was on top of the world. So I figured I would ask, “do you want to go on a date”? Not asking to date regularly but rather than “hanging out” it would require a tiny bit of commitment. What did she say? “I’m flattered Mike, but right now I’m looking to have fun, focus on myself, and then see what life has in store”. Best part? She was playing the field with her childhood friend, saying they were just “friends”.

So my fragile heart was now crushed to dust and I was  left to sweep what was left into an urn. And what did I do? I buried myself in my work. I found a summer job and simply worked. It was a summer thinking of what could’ve of been but what would never be. Up until this point I had always assumed women were more mature than men but this instance shattered that illusion. And then I was in Germany.

Germany was there to mend a broken heart. I had 3 months of pain and in a sense got a chance to hit the reset button. I worked on my flirt game. I learned German pickup lines, reinstalled Tinder and tested the waters. My goal, as I have so elegantly put it, was to be “wild and free”. So I played the field, saw how far that got me, and simply enjoyed the ride. Of course, it being 4 months, there wasn’t enough time for anything meaningful to transpire. That’s besides the point. I gained the confidence I needed, changed my look, and essentially was reborn in Germany as I made some of the most meaningful relationships in my life. This was the final hurdle, to break away from the shy and awkward Mike of the past and fully embrace who I wanted to be.

Coming Home

And now that I’m back from Germany, I’ve gone on a few dates. The first date was terrible (nothing in common) and the other date was interesting… Nice date (although no second date). And of course, the story wouldn’t be complete without a little more heartbreak. There was a girl in my class who once again touched my arm. Then she’d sit next to me everyday and invade my personal space. The “accidental” brush, the flushed face, dilated pupils, heavy breathing, even mimicking. And then the cursed corporate holiday came, Valentine’s Day. A holiday where people who are in relationships try to make up for 364 days of neglect (love should be year round) or a holiday that has now become single’s awareness day. So I, being the hopeless romantic I am, decided to ask her out to coffee after conferring with her friend beforehand on whether or not she was single (according to Facebook and the friend, the answer was yes). The result? I got a, “I’m flattered but I’m kind of seeing a guy from Spain right now”. And was my heart broken? Not at all. I was frustrated but I learned a lot in Germany. Perhaps more than learning to love others, I learned to love myself. So being rejected on Valentine’s day didn’t phase me.

The Fragility of Love

Over Spring break I went for a walk. I live on a mountain (more a glorified hill) and at the top of this hill is a park. I sat down and enjoyed the view. To the side I overheard a girl and a guy talking. The guy was trying to convince the girl (who was with another guy) to be with him. Over the course of a few minutes, the argument the girl made eroded and at first she talked about being loyal, then how they weren’t really together, and then it was over (rationalizing her decision all the while). The mood had soured and while I was simply there to gaze out to the horizon and ponder the vast mysteries of the world, I got up and without looking, walked back down the hill.  I always have to wonder how truly happy people are. People profess their love for each-other yet I don’t think many know what that truly means…

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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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