“You’re Not Good Enough”

Some days you wake up and feel like a million bucks.

You're Not Good EnoughOther days, you don’t.

You're Not Good Enough

“My job sucks.”

I hate myself.

“I feel fat.  And this idiot on the basketball court just said we should play shirts vs. skins.”

I hate myself.

“I ordered a pizza and fell asleep watching TV alone on a Friday night.  At 8:00pm.”

I hate myself.

If you’re anything like me, sometimes you’re not a big fan of you.  That’s not good.  The world can be pretty tough and there is already too much hate out there.  If you hate on yourself for a few mistakes or supposed flaws, you’re missing out on all the beautiful things you have the offer.  And if you’re missing out on all your unique gifts, the rest of the world probably is too.  That ain’t right.

So here are my five tips on how to like yourself more.  If you need real advice, watch “Dr. Phil.”

(1)  You are the only you.

It’s probably life’s greatest challenge, but don’t compare yourself to others.  Sure, on the rare occasion, it might inspire you to do something good.  However, it will usually just take you to the Dark Side.  That’s not good (although Vader was so much cooler than Luke).  You’re wonderfully and beautifully unique and the world needs you to be you.

(2)  You’re awkward?  Cool.  The rest of us are too.

You’ll probably do something dumb today.  Don’t fret.  Billions of other people will too.  Myself included.

You're Not Good Enough

(I felt SO bad.  That guy probably felt worse.)

You're Not Good Enough. Yo

Plus, most people won’t even remember your mistakes in a few days.  Hopefully, neither will you.  So take it easy on yourself.

(3)  You REALLY screwed up?  Learn from it.

There are two kinds of mistakes: there are “Call of Duty” screwups where you get to start over from your last starting point.  When you make one of those mistakes, no big deal.  Time for Take 2.  On the other hand, there are old school Nintendo screwups. You’re playing Mario 3, jammin’ to some “Ace of Base” and, BOOM, you finally get to the last level to face King Koopa.  Oops, you just died.  That sucks, because now you have to start over from the beginning.

(throws controller and rips off B.U.M Equipment shirt)

That kind of mistake really hurts and is not easily forgotten.  So you’re left with two choices:  you can beat yourself up for the next few days, weeks, years, or even decades OR you can learn from it and move on.  Do the latter.  Oh, and if your screwup hurt someone else.  Apologize.

(Amanda, I’m sorry for eating your rice pudding last week.  I’m not sure if you noticed…)

(4)  Don’t live life alone.

We aren’t meant to live life alone.  Tom Brady wouldn’t have won those 5 Super Bowls without my encouragement and the help of his teammates (and arguably the help of secret video recordings of opposing coaches).  If Tom can’t do it alone, neither can you.  Live life in a community.  A community that will encourage you, a community that will make you laugh, a community that will support you when life gets tough.

(5)  Go shopping.

Don’t try to fill your pain or insecurities with material things.  It won’t work.  However, if there is an affordable purchase that will give you an extra boost, bring a smile to your face, or give you some extra swag, buy it.  Or better yet, you can “shop your closet” and dig up some forgotten gems for free.  And then rock the streets like only YOU can.

pimp-walking

Bye.

Da Beard

Fashion accessories are fun.  I really love shoes, ties, and pocket squares.  They can add some extra life to an outfit and allow you to bring a little craziness to the business world.  Well, I’m now rocking a new fashion accessory every single day…and night.

Da beard.

Da Beard

It wasn’t planned.  Rather, it was born out of laziness.  I usually pull the plug on beard growth after a week.  It doesn’t really mesh with teal pants and a neon shirt.  Plus, my beard turns red, and no offense to my red-headed friends, but that weirds me out a little.

But I’m not shaving this beard.  I’m not sure if it can be scientifically proven, but I’m pretty sure it is a Gandalf magic beard.  Two weeks ago, my beloved Nationals were dead.  The season was essentially over.  But then I stopped shaving.  Since that fateful evening, the Nationals are 10-1.  Our chances of making the playoffs are still incredibly small, but I’ve got faith!  More importantly, I’ve got a beard.  A magic beard.

picstitch

I love DC. A lot.

I was going to write a silly Gaga-esque post today, but it didn’t feel right in the wake of yesterday’s horrific shootings in D.C.  I also tried to write about the tragedy, but I didn’t have the words to say.  Thus, I’ll let some pictures do the talking.  Although D.C. is often the brunt of jokes and political rants, I love this city.  Here’s why:

The loves of my life met in D.C.

I love DC. A lot.

The other love of my life is in DC.

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Oh, and the other one too.

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(Hill Country BBQ. If you haven’t been yet, go. NOW.)

NYC has a million pizza joints.  DC has froyo everywhere.  We win. 

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(Our rent is cheaper too.  And there are fewer Yankees fans here.)

Lauriol Plaza.    

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If it wasn’t for the two-hour wait, I’d probably go to Lauriol Plaza every night (except for Monday nights because that’s all-you-can-eat night at Hill Country).

It is becoming clear that I eat too much.

The Washington Monument

DC10

Mayor Gray and I are tight.

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(For the record, I have no connection to any of the corruption allegations brought against him. We just like to chill on the weekend and watch some WNBA.)

Seersucker is kinda embraced here.  Yay.

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Red pants too.

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WE’RE THE N.L. EAST CHAMPIONS!!!

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(for one more week)

Our July 4ths are pretty epic.

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(even with a caged Washington Monument)

Our Christmas tree is too.

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D.C. has some sweet bike trails.

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…and a sweet boy band.

DC22

We’ve got the N.L. Rookie of the Year. 

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…and a really athletic caveman.

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Capital City Church is in D.C.  And in another month, VIRGINIA too.

DC6

Dat Ben’s chili.

DC16

We’ve got a sick backdrop for pickup games of touch football.
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The baddest building in the world is in D.C.

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We’ve got bike lanes so cars won’t run us over.

DC1

The cab drivers don’t care.  The texting pedestrians are worse.

We have a lot of pretty buildings.

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(See, not all your tax dollars are wasted.)

We have Natitude.

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(But maybe a little less than last season.)

We’re an international city.

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But we all love America (and Turkey).

Most importantly, D.C. is full of amazing people. 

D1Final

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by yesterday’s tragedy.  I hope you find some peace in this time of tumult and that you can cling to moments of joy.  A hateful lunatic can create incredible havoc and pain, but he cannot break us.

Faithin’ Ain’t Easy

Although my wife says I’m perfect, I’ll admit it, I have a lot of flaws.  For example, I talk too much.  That probably means I annoy some people.  It also means that I don’t have many secrets.  Well, here’s one:

I think believing in God is kinda crazy.

I’ve spent most of my Sunday mornings at church.  I paid attention “most” of the time.  I go to a dynamic church here in the DC area.  It has helped transform my life and my marriage.  I pray a few times a day.  Occasionally, I even pray for things other than the Washington Nationals.  I try to read the Bible each morning.  However, I often fail and the snooze button gets the best of me.  My days sometimes end in disappointment because I desperately want to live a bold and passionate life like Jesus lived, but the stresses of life consume me.  Plus, I waste too much time looking at Facebook.  And Instagram.  And Twitter.  And sports websites.  And pop culture blogs.  Meanwhile, the things that I know matter most, the things that I desperately want to pursue, are pushed off until “tomorrow.”

In short, faith has always been a challenge for me.  Outside of sporting events and Sarah McLachlan pet adoption commercials, I’m not a very emotional person.  I conduct a calculated cost-benefit analysis before making life decisions.  I don’t take dramatic leaps of faith or do risky stuff.  My wife doesn’t like watching movies with me because I point out all the plot holes or stupid things that make no sense.  Meanwhile, she just wants to admire Ryan Gosling’s incredible “acting skills” in peace and quiet.  I’m also a lawyer.  I love facts, evidence, and reason.  None of those things mesh easily with a belief in an infallible God who has always been, and forever will be, chillin’ somewhere in a palace made of gold.  When I pray, I sometimes wonder why I’m sitting around talking to myself.

Despite the doubts, the struggles, the tragedies, and the endless questions, I still believe.  Here’s why:

1.  One of the greatest rock bands told me to “Don’t Stop Believin’.”  I don’t know about you, but I do what Journey says.

2.  I have traveled to 30+ countries, met my ultimate celebrity crush, hung out with a President, married a great lady, get to kick it with the best BFF EVER, have attended some awesome concerts and sporting events, work across the street from a froyo joint, and own a “few” pairs of fun pants.  However, the only times I’ve felt that I’m truly living life the way it was meant to be lived is when I’m following the two rules Jesus said are the most important:  Love God and love others.

3.  Why do I believe in God?  Because these things exist:

Faithin' Ain't Easy

Faithin' Ain't Easy. Yo.

SPKs

TB

4.  I know that I’m in good company.  Whether it was a Bible dude building a big boat or a modern hero of the faith like Martin Luther King, we’ve all had our doubts and we’ve all made mistakes.  My struggles are nothing new.

5. Finally, I refuse to believe that my life is the result of random chance.  I refuse to believe in a world without purpose.  I refuse to believe in a world without redemption.  Yep, really bad stuff can happen that shakes those ideals, like today’s tragic DC shooting, but I still believe there is a God who made us and loves us.  I wish I had some impressive theological explanation about why God allows bad stuff to happen.  I don’t.  All I know is that God has given us a priceless freedom.  We can use that freedom to do incredibly beautiful things.  Sadly, some will use it to do unspeakably evil things too.

So those are the five reasons I believe in God.  That might make me kind of crazy.  However, that’s nothing new.

Sonogram

All the Small Things

Our A/C broke last week.  Not cool.

(Literally)

After seven days of sitting around in a swampy and fan-filled home, something magical happened on Tuesday evening.  I walked into a cool house.  I felt like raining down a million celebratory fist pumps, but I was too tired after my bike ride home.

Whether it is walking into a cool house, the “burn” from that first drink of a soda, or hearing your favorite song at da club, it’s often the small things that make life so amazing.  The little things that bring a smile to our face, make us laugh, or give us A New Hope during a time of need.

Things like Bike Bro.

?

I don’t know his name, but Bike Bro is an enormous dude I see on the bike trail every morning.  He wears ridiculously awesome rec specs and a bike helmet so big that it makes me feel like I’m in a Mario Brothers game.

All the Small ThingsI don’t know his name, but I do know he’s a rockstar.  As he blows by me on the trail each day, he lets out an enormous “GOOD MORNING!!!”  Although it nearly gave me a heart attack the first time, it always brings a smile to me face now.  It can be a little depressing to bike 12 miles to work on a Monday morning, but when Bike Bro tells you “good morning,” forget what the rest of the world is telling you, it’s gonna be a good morning.

I always give Bike Bro a holler back, but can never catch up with him to get his name (and maybe that would be a little stalkerish).  I hope someone out there knows Bike Bro (pictured below).  I would love to tell him that he’s an inspiration.  He’s helped show me that our words are powerful.  They can tear people down, but they can also give someone much-needed hope and joy.

Be like Bike Bro.

Bike Bro

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. VII) – Disney

Although we may disagree about our favorite sports teams, political idealogies, and religous beliefs, we all love Disney movies.  I don’t know about you, but a 1980’s Disney animation classic and a rap jam seem like a perfect fit.

Awkward White Guy Rap (Vol. VII) - Disney

This is a little different than the other “Awkward White Guy Raps,” but I like it (and it only took 10 minutes to film and edit).  Have a great day!

Thankfully Employed.

There are times when I complain about my job.  I probably shouldn’t.  In the wake of the Great Recession, having a job is kind of a big deal.  Yep, it’s too stressful and I work too much, but having a job is better than the alternative.  However, like so many other things, it’s easy to take the good stuff for granted, to constantly think about the next step, and to daydream about the greener grass across the street.

This past Saturday was my three-year anniversary of being a lawyer.  I celebrated by working for ten hours.  Despite an un-awesome Saturday, I’m so thankful for my job.  It’s a place where I can be myself, I get to do interesting legal work, and I still have a life outside of the office.  Because I dwell on the negatives too much, I wanted to make a list of my ten favorite things about my job to remind me of the positive stuff.

(1)  I scored four points at the Verizon Center during a Partners v. Associates basketball game this year.  That’s more than most of the Wizards scored all season.

Thankfully Employed

(2)  My life is never in danger at work.  Sadly, this isn’t true when walking to and from the Metro.  Don’t waste your money at Barnum & Bailey, DC’s Chinatown is the real circus.

(3)  This was a work event:

Work Sucks. Sometimes.

This too:

Work Sucks. Sometimes2

Oh, and this:

Work Sucks. Sometimes3

(P.S. – White guys love throwing deuces.)

(4)  I didn’t gain 50 pounds after I started working.  25 pounds?  Yes.  50?  Nope.

(5)  Once a month, we have a fajita buffet at work.  Once a month, I eat three plates of fajitas.  Once a month, I have an “interesting” bike ride home.

(6)  I work with awesome people.  Lindsay Lohan in “Mean Girls” and pre-Federline Britney kind of awesome.

(7)  Whenever I need a laugh, I can look at my cheesy work website pictures.  Don’t let the movies fool you, no lawyer is cool enough for “action” shots.

work profile picture

(7)  My bike commute is pretty sick.

commute

8.  Although I don’t earn enough to qualify as a “baller,” we’ve paid off student loans, haven’t missed any bill payments, and can buy two car seats, two high chairs, and one giant stroller.  That’s a blessing I should never take for granted.

9.  My job is challenging.  Sometimes that means I’m up until 2:00am doing work, but I’m never usually not bored.

10.  This was a work outfit.

plaid

Rather than getting fired, our Managing Partner said I needed to charge people money to take pictures with me and donate the proceeds to charity.

Thank you, job (and thank you, Bonobos, for making those pants).