Tuesday, December 28, 2010


There are a lot of things that happen that I don't understand. Things that I don't think should be able to happen do; things I never thought could happen have; things I hoped wouldn't happen will. I don't like it much. Today was one of those days that I got reminded of this.

I received some heartbreaking news; an old friend of mine, someone I grew up with, someone I even looked up to despite his own struggles, had passed away over the weekend. Worse still, his fiance' of one single night also died. They were in a 4 wheeling accident...I am not going to lie and pretend that he and I were close; but he was a constant during my entire childhood. He was someone I wanted to emulate in a lot of ways. He fought his way out of some extremely difficult things, and I admired him for it. I was rendered speechless by this news of his passing.

I believe in life after death; I believe he and his fiance' are together...but I feel it's the people living that have the hard task. I feel heart-broken for his and her family. I feel ripped in pieces for all of the people who knew him. I didn't know him well and I have shed some tears as I write this. The loss of anyone is tragic; the loss of a friend is heartbreaking. We can share sympathy or empathy and shed our tears and share memories, but we can't bring them back. We can't say the words we never could. We don't get another shot...not in this life at least. These are the scars that we bear not on our bodies, but on our souls.

Although I've dealt with death a lot through my life, I can't shake the same feeling I always get. Something feels...unfinished. Like a movie that ends badly. So many questions unanswered, so many things left undone. I don't do well with death; I never have. I don't think it's something I'll ever do well with. I don't WANT to do well with it. Never leave words unsaid. Never leave space between you and those you care about. Sometimes the opportunity to fill it never comes.

I wrote this next bit a couple years ago after my uncle died. I wrote it for my mother. I've never played it in a show, never shared it with anyone beyond my wife and a few others. I don't know how to express myself the way that I want to, but it seems appropriate for the moment. It's called Unbreakable.

I've tried to be my brother's keeper
but I closed my eyes too soon.
I thought that I was invincible,
Now I'm falling like a star.
In my hands I've held the world
but there's things I can't ignore;
A world of broken dreams
I don't dream anymore.

I thought that I was unbreakable
I thought that I could take the fall
I'll leave the light on just in case
and you'll be in my heart.

I've tried to find a better way
to open up my eyes to see
that there was nothing left that I could do
but it's hard to carry on
In my hands I've held the world
now it's nothing but a scar
a world of broken dreams that I can't see anymore
I thought that I was unbreakable
I thought that I could take the fall
I'll leave a light on just in case
and you'll be in my heart...

Rest well, my friend. You'll be in my thoughts, and in my heart.

Let the winds carry you home; blackbird fly away. May you never be broken again. (Blackbird by Alter Bridge)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Words Are Only Words

There are times I catch myself thinking out loud. For some reason, it irritates me. It's not that I don't like the sound of my own voice; more that it's nothing more than hearsay to me. I feel that I'm talking, not acting. I'm a great talker. I probably talk a lot. How much action do I actually take? Not nearly enough. Though I may have the best intentions, acting upon said intentions is sometimes difficult.

Talk is cheap, cut and dry. Anyone can say they're sorry, but until they act to make things right I can't say I honestly forgive their sleight. I am not much for pretending things are better until I see a change. I've never been good at that, and I doubt I'll be much better at it in the future.

But I'm actually all right with that. I've been taught my whole life to forgive and forget. In principle, I love this idea. You get what you give in this life. I absolutely believe in that. But I don't think anyone should be naive enough to keep forgiving and forgetting the same thing over and over again. That falls into something called ignorance.

With all that said, I am a very harsh critic on myself. I've looked back through my blogs and tried to see where I've traveled to in the last year. I don't honestly have an answer to my own question. There were things I really wanted to accomplish this year; I didn't. There are things I thought I wanted a year ago; now I don't. One can say to keep trying to get better. I'm not ok with that. I feel there are 3 Steve Barringtons right now: Work Steve, Home Steve, and Alone Steve. All three have their place, portrayed by the first word of each title. But the lines are blurring; I'm not sure exactly who the composite Steve is.

Worklife and homelife are pretty simple; it's the alone time that bothers me. When I'm alone, I feel like my soul is separating from the rest of my body. I feel like my skin can't hold my soul inside anymore (look for that little ditty in a song to be posted soon). It's exhausting, really. I'm sure others can relate to this...It's rather...uncomfortable. The reason I mention this third self is because he is the one that talks to himself. I seem to sort most things out during these little talks, but I feel like I'm doing a lot of talking lately. It's time to act.

I may not have achieved all of the goals I set early this year, but I'm ok with that. Most of those goals can keep floating into 2011. Sometimes things get in the way. I think the biggest roadblock for anything is a little word we call 'doubt.' But, as I said earlier, it's just a word. Words have power, but only as much as any of us give them. My focus has shifted. My dreams are a little different. My life has it's own course, and I am the captain of my soul. My intention is to attain every single one of my dreams, but, like I said, words are only words.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lateral Move

Sometimes looking in the mirror reminds me of speaking with an old friend. Someone long removed from my personal life; someone I'd almost forgotten. Mirrors never lie. Our reflections look us in the eye, never stab us in the back, and they never spare the details. I think mirrors have a lot of power. Late at night, sometimes I'll just stand and look in the mirror. Not because I'm beautiful, but more that I feel I need to know myself a bit better. I have spent a lot of my life awake when I should have been sleeping, although lately I feel it's more the opposite.

Life has an interesting way of maneuvering us into different positions for things to happen. People often act surprised when life throws them off track a little, but honestly I don't feel that the 'track' is all that linear. Birds don't fly in a straight line all the time, nor do fish swim directly forward eternally. I have a hard time believing that forward is always the best option.

I've heard the term 'lateral move' a lot lately. Basically it means that you decide on something that doesn't increase your position nor hurt you in the long run. There's nothing wrong with lateral moves; in football, sometimes moving to the outside can open up the field. Others, you get annihilated by a linebacker. Either way, 'lateral moves' are irrelevant. It's the person making the choice that matters.

Don't get me wrong; I definitely think we should be trying to move forward in all aspects of our lives. But I've had a hard time throughout my life at any point that I feel I am just standing still. A mentor of mine has said that even though we are on the right track, that doesn't mean you won't get hit by a train if you're just standing still. That has stuck with me a lot lately. I want to progress, but the opportunity hasn't quite presented itself yet.

So, I will pretend to be a patient person and make a lateral move. I am going to take the time I have before the proverbial train arrives and better myself in ways that don't relate to my ultimate goal. I have songs to write, a book to finish, and a new album to record. I have friends I haven't seen in what feels like a decade and friends I still am yet to make. I have books to read, weight to lose, and projects to finish. I'm making a lateral move.

I know I haven't posted in a while, and that too is something I want to change. Blogs are a great way to vent pent-up emotions, so buckle up. This might happen more than just once every three months. Those of you in my life who support me, I thank you. Those that don't; well, I'll prove you wrong.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tornado of Souls

The winds of change are blowing, and life is extremely interesting. One of my favorite songs is Tornado of Souls by Megadeth. In the end, that's all life is; a violent maelstrom of ups and downs. I have found peace in the chaos as of late...despite how painful adaptation can be.

I have had a very interesting few months. I have been working like crazy, trying to maintain a regular sleep schedule (failed!), and trying to balance all of my spinning plates...Needless to say, it's been difficult. But anyone that knows me knows that I don't back down from challenging situations. However, little things like blogging and recording often suffer.

I love what I do. I have been a massage therapist for over 2 years now, and I still enjoy doing the work. The beautiful thing is that I don't actually have to be doing the work to enjoy it. I love that when I am in the classroom as a TA, I get to share my love for my work with future massage therapists. Students tend to be a little painful at times, and yes, there are some interesting people who go to massage school, but I love it all the same. My life has been greatly enriched by some of the people I have met and I've also made some incredible friendships with the teachers that I work for. I have had my biggest class load ever this last term, and I've realized just how much I love being there.

We finally moved! Yay! I don't live in a crappy apartment with squishy walls, leaky windows, and broken doorknobs anymore! We've moved in to a basement apartment in Orem, complete with 3 bedrooms, internet, and cable! Let me just say that DVRs are quite possibly the best inventions EVER.

I have found myself struggling mentally over the past little while. That's not really a new thing for me, but it's to a point now that I am getting concerned. I find myself obsessing over little insignificant things that often lead to a horrific night of not sleeping. I have done a bit of research, and it turns out a lot of insomniacs are treated for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I laughed at first, but the wheels have kept turning in my head. I'm starting to wonder if it might be a valid argument for my lack of sleep. Don't get me wrong; I don't freak about washing my hands 1000 times a day or have to have all my clothes color coordinated in reverse alphabetical order...but there are things that I have to check several times a night and things that irritate me if they are out of place. Interesting thought.

I have come to realize just how much I don't know about myself. I spend most of my days watching and evaluating the general public's posture and walking habits, yet I don't take much time for introspection on myself. I consider my inner self a dangerous and foreign person; volatile, manipulative, secretive...apparently, I think I'm a ninja inside :) But keeping yourself in check isn't always a good thing. I've always had a hard time trusting anyone but myself, and a lot of my personal experiences have driven that antitrust even deeper. I find myself wearing the proverbial masks on a daily basis. I wonder just how many people really know me...Who sees through the cracks in the porcelain? Can I?

My blogs are a little erratic...but hopefully this one is semi-relevant.

PS. Batman is so much better than Superman. I've been arguing with a good friend of mine about this, and, since I posted it on my blog, I win. Don't bother arguing. Accept it. It's cold hard fact.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"One More Day"

There are always so many things I want to write about, but never any words to say them. I have had a crazy few weeks, between grading finals and trying my best to get taxes and things in order. But I had a very interesting experience this week and thought I would write it down.

Sometimes working at a massage college is incredible. Sometimes it's wicked difficult. Sometimes I have a hard time getting excited to go to work, and others I can't wait. For most of this last term, I have been having a hard time getting excited. But it wasn't why you might think. I realized the end was coming for one of my favorite classes. When a class graduates, it's bittersweet for me. I make some great friendships with the students, and when they graduate, I know I may never see many of them again. That's hard for me, seeing as I'm not very good at goodbyes.

Yesterday started out pretty typical of a finals week day...I woke up and showered, had a good breakfast (that is only typical TO finals weeks), and left for work. I arrived and saw the familiar faces of the graduating class. They were nervous for their finals, so I gave my usual words of encouragement and told them they'd be fine. What was different was the feeling I had saying those words for the last time. I left them to go to my class, thinking about the road that brought them to this point...one so similar to my own a few years back.

I chose to spend the whole day at the campus with the grads-to-be. I have always felt a bond with this class, and I think they felt one with myself as well. I sat through their final class with them by choice, listening to their plans following graduation. I don't know why I chose to sit through it, but I felt drawn to their classroom all day. I have never done that before. Towards the end, following the little cryfest that is almost every class's last session, I asked the instructor if I could say a few words. I couldn't really think about anything except my own class from 2 years ago, and the words I left them with. I wrote a song the night before my last class, and I decided I would recite the words to this new class, in the same room that last heard them 2 years ago.

How many days will I wait
to find the words I couldn't say?
How many days will it take
for the sun to chase the clouds away?
How many nights I lay awake
to see the stars before they're gone
How many more will I wait
before I know I'm not the only one

Don't say goodbye
I'll remember, I'll remember you
Don't say goodbye
I don't want to be just a memory
Don't say goodbye
We still have one more day

As I recited those words to the class, the unthinkable happened; my voice broke, and tears ran down my cheeks. The class then lined up and gave me hugs and said thank you, but I could barely speak and tell them how proud I am of them. My emotions overtook me I guess. I didn't really know what to think...You see, I don't show most of my emotions to the students or the rest of the world for that matter. I don't know what it was, but the unity of the class mirrored so much of my own class, and being in the very same room...I don't know...call it deja' vu maybe. I don't know why it happened, but I guess I'm glad that it did. It's nice to be reminded of the things I felt for my class so long ago and that I still feel them.

I don't want anyone to think I don't feel strongly for each and every class that has come through those doors. But the circumstances just created the right chemistry for the moment. I have since decided to record the song "One More Day" and post it for each and every person that has come in to my life because of UCMT, and for that matter each and every person to come in to my life at all. I love each of you. If I haven't said it lately, thank you. Those words are for you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I've decided to make a concrete list of resolutions this year. I don't really know why; I just felt like it. Hopefully I will keep them :)

1. I want to play at least 5 shows this year. Be it by myself or with a band, I feel I need to stop talking about it and start playing again. Performing is kind of a drug; sometimes you just need to be in front of people and make an idiot out of yourself. More than anything, I need to prove to myself that I'm not a poser. I think this is doable based on the math; a show every two months or so, with wiggle room for a third month if needed.

2. I am going to record another album this year, possibly two. I have so many new songs written, and so many I would like to re-record now that I know what I'm doing. As I lay down the tracks I can add so much to them, i.e. vocal harmonies, solos, and various other dynamics I can't do by myself. I also have a very cute wife with a very good voice, and I have a few songs she sings with me that I'd love to share. Be excited.

3. I would love to be mostly out of debt by the end of the year, but that probably won't happen. This is my long term goal...Borrowed money isn't and never will be my money. I don't like taking money from anyone that I didn't earn, but it is a necessary evil when your car dies/you go to massage school/blah blah blah...Basically, I don't want to owe anyone anything. I'll keep this one for a few years I imagine.

4. I plan on getting a massage, a GOOD massage, at least once a month. I need it to repair the wear-and-tear on my body from doing massage, not to mention the stupid things that happens to my body. I tend to fall on the ice a lot, trip down the stairs (or up the stairs), and a million other hilarious-yet-costly blunders. If you need all the reasons massage is good for you, just ask. I could write a novel on it.

5. I want to finish The Nemesis Diary. For those of you who don't know, The Nemesis Diary is a story that I've been writing for the last few months. It's posted on http://thenemesisdiary.blogspot.com, and I would love any comments you have. It has been very good for me to dust off my creative writing mind and focus on a story again. I dream about it :).

6. There are a few other things I want to do for sure, but they are more on a personal level. Things I'd like to change about myself, my attitude, etc. I'm sure we all have these to some degree, but I have put mine off for far too long. Pay attention, I might surprise you in the near future.

7. This is a little one...I am thinking I want to try acupuncture for my insomnia/depression. I don't know much about it, but a good friend of mine recommended it to me. Some of you know that I am terrified of needles, but I am getting really sick of relying on pills that work only half the time. I am in control of my life, not my fears. I will not let them rule me, especially when it's something that might work.

Thanks for reading! Now go to The Nemesis Diary and tell me what you think!