Suffocating: A Poem by Mike Cole

I took a breath to feel if I was alive

My life was mine to survive

It would easy to make this rhyme, all the way through.

But life is imperfect, just like you.

A broken smile, a glance at the wall.

You stand and yet you fall.

Where is your glory, where is your name.

What is to happen, when you play this game.

Tomorrow shines a new dawn,

And come tomorrow you’ll be gone.


So it is once again national poetry month and I’m ready. As I have done for a few years now, this is where I go through my poetry and analyze it myself. What I write and why I wrote it. This year, I am fairly exhausted as I execute my big plans. With poetry, a lot of it is a reflection into the soul. These next couple months are mostly about survival. Whatever it takes to get where I need to be. The first couplet reflects this. Often I like to make imperfect rhymes to reflect broken poems, this time however, I didn’t. It is simply a series of couplets with matching rhymes throughout. The poem itself is a reflection of dreams and how life doesn’t meet expectations. And with the last couplet, I reference leaving it all behind. It’s a line that’s hopeful yet cautious. While some of my poetry is a mix between life and fantasy, this poem follows more closely to where I am currently at. Leaving my hometown is in reach but getting there has taken many years of planning. It will require paying my debts and venturing deep into uncharted territory, a scary prospect for any soul, so the name is accurate. It feels like I’m out of breath as I make cash, plan housing, work on my skillset, and ultimately, a new life.

And… That’s it! That’s the poem and some of the logic that went into writing it. This national poetry month is about to ramp up. Get ready for a few more poems and a month of celebrating the art. As always, thanks for reading!

February/March 2023 Newsletter: A New Chapter begins

Talk about stepping on the gas peddle. I went from doing four part time jobs for about 30 hours a week to one full time, contract job for 40 hours a week. As it turns out, 10 hours makes a huge difference. So instead of having the newsletter at the beginning of the month, we’re doing it at the end as a double whammy March and February Newsletter.

So, How am I doing?

On paper, I am doing great. My dreams are coming true, I’m making the most I’ve ever made, and I’m branching out in emotionally healthy ways. However, I am exhausted most days and I attribute this to overall weariness after graduating college. A Pandemic and the death of a father have been draining experiences to say the least. I’m hoping once I get back into my healthy habits, I can ease the burden a bit. However, even knowing I have the tools at my disposal, I know the only way my life is going to excel is by doing something extraordinary.

A Year of Mental Health

Last year was kind on my mental health, I took a break to slow things down and learned about stoicism along the way. This year, I’m going to be digging a little deeper and in May, I have most (if not all the articles) for Mental Health Awareness Month planned. One will cover the male malaise and the other will cover imperfection. Ideally, I’ll talk more about my craniosynostosis but only time will tell. And I’m going to take a deep dive of what keeps pulling me into my past. The last couple weeks have proven that my mental health isn’t quite where I want it to be and that’s ok. I have a lot of stressors right now and I’m only human.

The Revival of Adventure

If you’ve been waiting for more travel related articles, it has finally come. With my trip to New Zealand, I will have plenty to talk about but before then, I’m hoping to write a bit more about my goals for this year. I am an avid runner (or was) and with a half marathon, I can finally prove I still have the discipline to face down my toughest challenges head on. And I want to document this journey, so this year may well be a hodgepodge of all that will be done.

March…

So, this year is a little chaotic. I am taking more time for myself, which is good but it also means a bit more of going with the flow. So February I missed the newsletter deadline and while I had most of it written, I simply didn’t hit publish. The important article was my new year post, which I did manage to accomplish (although not in January). This month should be much better than last month as I finally settle into my new role and have a bit more room to breathe.

Life getting an update

I’m long overdue for a bit of a reboot. It’s a year about making the extra effort count and letting the pieces fall in place. It’s a year about having faith and it’s a year where I can be truly free. Each paycheck is going towards my savings and with it, a guarantee that I will be debt free before I turn 30. The next focus is the money I do make and a focus on adaptability. The future job markets will require flexibility and I’m hoping to finally get established this upcoming year.

Dating

I’m at a point in my life where it can really go either way. I’ve developed a lot of healthy habits towards dating and am working on feeling less urgency to settle down. My life is not really conducive to settling down right now. No dating apps but dating coaches I’m open to. Friends setting me up and meeting people in person? Yes please. It’s a chaotic process and my time is better spent other places. But also understand now that I’m older that it may be a necessary one. I have great relationships and enjoy my own company (most days) but there is still an element missing and perhaps it is time I prioritize that element just as much as everything else.

Keep on keeping on

So I have to remember to stay on the path, specifically, my path. I tend to overextend and suffer for it. This year is about knowing my goals and following through. And by knowing my goals, I mean really knowing them. Knowing why I’m doing something and having it lead to a better life. I’m tired of spinning my wheels, waiting on others, and being at the mercy of the world. I have not felt like I’ve had control over my life since graduation. And while in freefall, I’ve been just barely able to hang on. That is the truth. My purpose in this world has been lost in the chaos and that’s what worries me the most. That I am adrift without an anchor. It is so hard to fight back the fear and not let it crush me. So here’s to hoping.

This Month

I’m going to try to get out another article, thinking about writing one on dating apps. It’s going to be pretty low key as I keep my head to the grindstone and work on making sure everything is in place for later this year. As always, thanks for reading!

January 2023 Newsletter: Mike Cole’s year wrapped

What a year. As has become tradition at this point, I’m using the January newsletter to illustrate the previous year. I’ve fiddled around with the title a bit and since literally everything else has a “wrapped” this year, I figured I would too!

How My Year Starts

As I sit in my room, sipping on my coffee, I thought it’d be fun to go over how I like to start my year. Each year, I like to brew myself a cup of coffee and make myself breakfast. My new hobby has been listening to lofi and I have chill beats playing as I write. Now fast forward a week two weeks and here I sit once more. I am excited to say I just wrapped up my third day first week at my new job. A New Year, A New me. Once I finish this article, I can once more post my New Year’s resolutions to this site and thus begin again what has become annual tradition. In December I wrote about my habits and what I had achieved in 2022 and can say with confidence that I am proud. From being a man who was content to bum along to someone who has dared to dream, my journey has been long and the fruits I planted many years ago have become an orchard. Last year I highlighted the past but 2022 was a year spent living in the present, with much of the thanks going to the daily stoic. So, let’s highlight some of it!

MMO’s and going full nerd

This last year I doubled down on my gaming and found an MMO I enjoyed in Elder Scrolls Online. I have not played an MMO since Runescape and it’s been fun simply getting lost in a world. In ESO I officially joined a guild and have been working on finding communities that align with my interest. Whether I pick up another MMO remains TBD but most likely not as we’re talking hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of content with just one. With my new job, I’ll have less time to game so I’m in the process of figuring out my schedule as I readjust to having fulltime work. Pok√©mon Go I’m still active with and it’s been a year of questing through my hometown to catch them all. And looking at my wrapped, I apparently walked 930km or 578 miles thus far! I’m really glad I’m leaning more into my nerdy tendencies as I feel like that’s been missing from my life as of late.

This Year

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of the blog this year. This year will mark the 9th year my blog has been in existence and as I’ve learned over the years there is always something to improve. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own personal mental health and what I want to talk about come mental health awareness month and might even get an early start on writing the articles. I’ve also been looking at what’s been working and what hasn’t over the last year (fortunately more has worked than has not). As I’ve mentioned a bit before, I really want to start looking at my writing as a whole. For the last 9 years, I’ve been winging it and outside of an English class here or there, I haven’t really had any formal training. Do I need it, I don’t really know. I’ve seen fantastic writers over the years and read beautiful articles, so it’d be interesting to see how I can push myself even further.

New Zealand and other things

So, I just recently got my passport back and it is now good for the next ten years! I have one dream for this year and that is to do a working holiday visa. I’m anxious and stressed but also very excited as things are seemingly lining up to make this a reality. I plan to bring my camera if I do end up going over, so here’s to hoping everything continues to go well!

More Dating Articles

Speaking of looking at data regarding certain articles, one category that has done surprisingly well has been when I’ve talked about dating. It is odd because I don’t date often and truth be told I have yet to be in a long term committed relationship. That’s not to say I haven’t tried but it has been a long, messy process filled with few highs and a whole lot of chaos. Apparently most men don’t get bit by women, who knew? In the past, I always thought I should be going on dates and having these crazy adventures to talk about dating but this year I’m going to try something a little different. I’m going to start to open up and be a little more candid about my experiences as well as some of my speculations. There’ll be the craziness of it all for sure but I want to share more of the difficulties I’ve been having and talk about my thoughts on the current dating scene. I’m super excited and hope you like the content I have planned!

Are My Business Articles Dead?

One aspect of my blog that has changed over the years is what I write about. To think I used to write a lot of business articles on my blog! What I hadn’t realized is how much my blog has changed over the years and in turn, myself. Writing business articles no longer interests me as much as it once did! I enjoy talking about business related subjects but in terms of the time dedicated to writing an article I would honestly much rather spend that time talking about mental health, fitness, games, or other subjects that I find to be more interesting. So this year is going to have renewed focus on what I write and while I love business, it’s an easy subject to get writers block on and doesn’t bring in the views.


2022 is officially wrapped and what a year it was! 2023 is already shaping up to be a very exciting year with a lot of big changes! Expect my new year’s resolution post in a few weeks! As a preview, the year theme is “new beginnings”. As always, thanks for reading!

August 2022 Newsletter: Summer heat ain’t so sweet

It is now officially August. The summer is coming to a close and it has been a chaotic summer to say the least. There’s been some small victories and other more frustrating endeavors but all in all I’ve landed on my feet.

The Good

I’ve been working near 40 hours a week this summer. With this extra work has come an influx of cash that I’ve been using to refill the treasury. I’ve been running a lot this summer and adult co-ed soccer was beyond fun. I bought expansions for my board games and think the next game night will be a real banger. I’ve situated myself to be working more hours in the fall and I’ll be taking on the additional job of a rock climbing instructor. I’m prepping for my old college roommates wedding and am beginning to think of what I want to do for my birthday. At the very least, it’s set up to be a smooth year for me.

The Bad

Sustainability month was great! Except it was only one article! Last month put my blog to the test and ultimately I fell short. That said, I might extend sustainability month into August and make it a two month affair. August will calm down for me after the 18th, so I imagine I’ll have more time to finish up the articles then.

The Ugly

As my year of a desire, this year is all about getting back out there. It’s a year focused solely on my wants and needs. While I’ve seen great success in some areas, dating and relationships are just as messy as they’ve ever been for me. It’s a time of emotional volatility as I ride one high to the next and hope by the end of the year I dock in safer harbors. My one meet-cute this year has been a disaster and while it hurts less as I grow older, it still hurts nonetheless.

Where I’m at

It’s a strange time in my life. I’m doing what I want in life and life by every measure is good. I’m still aiming for great, however. The newly found stoic in me would say this is a folly; but stoicism is an ideal, not a reality. My present moment is very much present and while it feels good most of the time, there is still this undying pull that I should be doing more. My ponderings are not so much in what I’ve built this last year but more in wondering if it is but an illusion. Should that matter? Hard to say. Will opportunity find me or I it? Are these questions worth asking or a waste of energy?

In Conclusion

All is fair in love and war. To win at my year of desire I must outcompete. I thought I had accomplished this very aspect in my many years of personal growth but it appears I have more work to do to beat out ‘The Other Guy’. My final conclusion in this regard is to workout more often. I thought I could simply run and that would be enough but now I have to wonder if that is really the case. I speak Spanish, German, and Elementary French. I play Tennis, Write, and am learning piano. One must ask what more a man can do? So now I will try working my upper body in what will be a bit of a social experiment. The plan is to add swimming to my routine as a way to expedite results. With swimming in place, I will put an end to my hot boy summer. Will we see victory or defeat? Who knows at this point. Worst case, I have a wedding to attend in September and I know how to dance. Until then, cheers!

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