The year the Earth Said, “enough”

Today is Earth Day and I wrote an article. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this break from the Apocalypse!

So it’s Earth Day and we’re all inside. Unless you’re in Georgia, then you’re probably getting your haircut. This year is a little different from other Earth Days, isn’t it? While it’s easy to focus on the negative right now, an unforeseen consequence of the pandemic is people are driving less, have a new found appreciation for wanting to be outside, and are starting to garden. All in all, doesn’t sound too bad, does it? While the effects of the pandemic might not last for the environment, given long enough some individuals might form positive habits from being forced inside. This year, I wanted to take some time to discuss some of my personal habits and what makes me feel good.

I’ve always been inclined to walk. When I lived in Corvallis, I either walked or rode my bike to class, I never drove. If I needed a car, I’d carpool. It was a simple, elegant lifestyle. Corvallis was the perfect town for college. Public transit was also free but I only ever took the bus a handful of times, opting in most situations to walk. Towards the end of my senior year, I was running almost every day. It was great.

In Corvallis, I rarely ate out, which was a huge transition for me. Freshman year I went from eating out almost every day to kneading bread and crafting quiche by my Junior year. I learned to compost and use energy efficient bulbs and shower heads. I took sustainability courses and environmental economics.

And now I have Pokemon Go and an electric bike! I made a decision early on to not drive and opt for public transit when I moved back to Portland. I drove for a bit but ultimately stopped when it came to the economics of it all. I could buy a car for a couple thousand and then make car payments on top of that, or I could by a fold-able bike with a motor and a basket for around $2000. Now that I have plenty of time on my hands, I plan to be using my bike a lot more.

My primary hobby before the plague was learning to ferment food. To date I’ve made miso paste, hard cider, bitters, and sauerkraut. A DIY project was to make soap. I opted for an oatmeal textured, grapefruit scented soap. From the consumer end, I’ve been trying to find creative uses for cardboard and when I make purchases, making an effort to purchase all at once rather than a thousand different packages with one item each.

The next task is DIY projects and gardening. We are a wasteful society and I want to make positive change. If I can’t recycle plastic, I can at the very least learn how to re-purpose it so it doesn’t end up in some foreign country America has deemed its landfill (or create a completely new continent…).

And it wouldn’t be Earth Day without a call to action, would it? I spent the majority of the article talking about individual actions that I’ve done and that have made me feel good; in a perfect world, this would be enough. But, we do not live in a perfect world. In the 70’s corporations shifted responsibility away from themselves and led effective marketing campaigns to convince the consumer that the environment was their obligation and they should be good stewards. I can’t disagree with this. What I can disagree with is many companies have absolved themselves of responsibility and pollute as much as they can get away with. This needs to end. My recommendation is start with an education. Watch “Broken” and “Rotten” on Netflix, learn about supply chains. If you’re a student, consider sustainability courses and even down the road, a degree in sustainability (eventually I want to get my Masters in the subject). When you can argue beyond a doubt for the environment, that’s when people will listen and change can happen. Then, share your message. Start with friends, then governors, and then, perhaps one day, with corporations themselves. Profit shouldn’t be the bottom line, our health and the health of the environment should be. Happy Earth Day!


Like my content? Remember to like and follow. Share with your friends! If you want to support me financially, consider subscribing to my Patreon or buying me a cup of coffee through Ko-Fi! Below is the link:

Support this Blog!!!

I’ll also be trying something new this post! I’ve picked a cause and I’d recommend donating to them! The Ocean Cleanup is an Organization I’ve admired for a while now and their whole mission is to make the oceans a bit cleaner. Below is their link:

Ocean Cleanup Donation Page

I’ll be working on ways to improve donations and fundraisers on this site in the future as I’d love to integrate social change causes in the day-to-day of the blog as the site continues to grow and expand. For now, expect to see the occasional donation link but who knows what the future might hold! As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.

And it’s been a while since I’ve done a prompt, so here we go! What are you doing this Earth Day to make an impact? What is something unique or that you’re proud of that you do to have a positive impact on our environment? Looking forward to your responses!

Most Likes

So on April 20th, on the day after my 5th anniversary with WordPress, I also received the most likes on a single post in a single day. 14 likes. It’s crazy. Likes can vary from post to post but to put that in perspective, my posts typically receive 14 likes in their lifetime. If you go through my blog, posts that have been there months or even years have typically 13 to 14 likes. My posts from 5 years ago? Most have zero likes, the best typically had one. What was I writing at the time? Back then, I had word of the days and poetry commentary (if I even chose to comment on it). It was around May that I started to expand my writing and try to have some semblance of my own thoughts and it is around this time I started getting more than a couple likes on my posts. A like back then feels just as good as it does now and with my blog growing, it is satisfying to take a look back every once in a while. Some of you have been with me since the very beginning and I do notice, I see your likes pop up time and time again and I appreciate the support; I may not call anyone out individually, but as a blogger it’s gratifying to know that whatever I post, you are following me for me and not a persona I would like people to believe I am. There is a reason my domain is my name.

On the back-end, I do enjoy combing over the stats. Typically after a post, I check each day to see the views and the comments left. I see what content people prefer and do my best to meet demand (I actually have no idea what demand is). Another favorite of mine as far as data is concerned is looking at the map to see where the views are coming from. While the majority of views come from the US, at this point my blog has been seen by many nations throughout the world. And that’s what I love about blogging. Is, for every barrier we put up, we often find we have more in common than we do not.

My most popular posts seem to be my update posts. Clunky at first, like a fine wine they have only gotten better over time. And they’re fun to write. As I sit in my room, sipping my cup of coffee, I’m in a state of pure bliss.

Each like helps support the blog, each follow helps grow the community. Part of my content restructuring involves ideas for long term growth. What happens when the blog surpasses 150 followers? 200? 500? And then finally, 1000? Honestly, I don’t expect much to change. The benefit of having more followers is a larger community. I’ve been talking primarily about likes but another aspect I’ve enjoyed is comments. At the moment, very few comment on my posts but when I started, no one commented on my post. As the blog grows, I expect an influx in comments and I’m looking forward to it. All in all, it’s an exciting time for this blog.


And that’s it! Remember, if you like my content, share it with your friends or give it a shout out on social media! The more traffic the site can get, the better. And remember to check out my Patreon and Ko-fi! I’m steadily improving both, so please take a look and provide your feedback! I can add tiers for Patreon and set goals for Ko-fi, so let me know what you’d like! Below is the link:

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Looking to contact me via email? Click below:

Contact me!!!

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below!

The Passion Dilemma

A title written, never finished. Perhaps, now, a fitting time to add words to a page and bring an article to life. As part of my ongoing project, I’m taking old posts never published and breathing new life into them.

This article was started October 24th, 2017 and the last timestamp shows 10:49pm And given the title, it’s fitting. A question without an answer and in fact, the question that produces more and more questions than it ever has answers.

A little while back I wrote “The Happiness Equation” as an update post to simply put thoughts to paper and try to make sense of my ever changing world. A reflection piece and one that I’ve since reflected upon.

As I translate my jumbled thoughts, a clear picture begins to emerge and while it’s still incomplete, it’s better than what I had before.

In a matter of speaking, I hit the emergency brake while I was still driving.

I let the stepping stones sink into the shallows of the river for one last glimpse of childhood and I’m glad. I’m not ready to drop my flame just yet, the real question is figuring out how brightly it burns and where.

Career wise, I’m in a good spot. I’ve moved laterally within my organization and my role is keeping my life fresh. I’m slowly learning to relax and take a breath.

My career goals have become increasingly a checklist. Every time I talk, it sounds like I’m trying to tick my box. Good or bad? Hard to say but I need to chill. My lifelong problem has been I always try to skip a few steps. I see point A and point B but tend to miss everything in between. So now it’s time to deconstruct and analyze. No more talk about College and where I was, the conversation must turn to where I am.

So, where am I? My passion is I enjoy helping others. I love the process of learning and sharing to those who might find what I have to say interesting. Outside of that, I can’t really say who I am. Writing as a hobby? Great. Photography? Enjoyable when I get out and take photos. I learn skills only to see no end, the constant acquisition of progress for the sake of progress. I stay relevant for the sake of being relevant and that is concerning. I said my career was a checklist when in reality it applies to my life as a whole.

I keep building and then breaking, to what end? Instead of thriving, I am simply struggling to survive. I can’t find my “why” even if it hit me across the face. Perhaps I’ve reached a point of insanity, trying the same thing over and over again expecting different results yet I keep trying.

I change the angle and still see the same road. I will be the first to admit I am broken and where once I repaired, now I begin to fracture. And that’s the beauty of life, riding the highest highs and lowest lows. The fact that my heart feels ready to burst at any moment and spread its warmth like confetti all over my cubicle is a good thing. It means I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone. Too fast? Too soon? Too Much? Ain’t that always the case.

My anxiety has ensnared me and I wonder as the chains break, that they weren’t holding the foundation underneath. I’ve been short of breath and my body wants to freeze, however, I’m not going to let it. My list is ever growing shorter and the page is about to flip unto a new chapter. As I learned in cross country: strength, confidence, and desire. I haven’t come this far only to fail now.

I am learning to trust once more and opening my heart (queue the eye rolls). No more paranoia and no more fear. I breathe and feel my heart beat, and if I’m alive, I can move forward. One step, one foot, slowly (if only, I’m running at this point), and with a map in hand. I now know where I’m headed and where I need to go.


Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my content. It’s been ages since I’ve finished an article and am glad I can hit the “schedule post” button for this one. A fun little ramble as I go through my life and try not to vibe “hot mess”. Next month I’ll try to have one article published regarding mental health and the topic I’ve picked is anxiety. When will that be? God only knows. Outside of that, expect more poems and short stories sprinkled throughout the year as I reach the next chapter in my life and after I’ve had some time to swallow a few more chill pills.

cheers!

– Mike

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

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