Go Big or Go Home

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A few days ago I ran into my old friend Adam at a bar. It had been a hot minute since I had seen him so it was really cool catching up. The two of us used to play basketball together back in the day, but we hadn’t really seen each other since. Funnily enough I am currently looking for an investment property for his mother as well, so fancy that running into him too.

I met his girlfriend and another friend of his at the bar and we all caught up. As the conversation progressed his friend and him showed me photos of them skateboarding as they had recently gotten back into it. They were riding on these sick backyard half pipes and I asked them where they got those? Adam responded that someone built them on this empty lot next to his house and that they had just been sitting there for a while.

No fucking way.

Talk about a teenage dream. If only those half pipes existed when I was in high school. That would have been the best. Adam then invited me to come through anytime and skate them, and so today I took him up on the offer.

Man oh man, it felt good.

I had not skateboarded on a half pipe in quite some time. At first I was a little nervous as I naturally did not want to fall, and it had been a while. But once I dropped in a few times I started to get the hang of it and my tricks came back. I was able to pull off 5-0 stalls, rock to fakie, fakie to rock, and most excitedly tail stalls.

I absolutely love going into tail stall.

Especially so because that trick took me a very long time to learn originally. The whole move freaked me out so much, I always thought I was going to eat shit. But once I committed to it and went for it, it honestly my opinion is one of the easier skateboard tricks. But I will say, full commitment is required.

If you half-ass it you have a golden recipe for falling and hurting yourself.

That is one lesson I have really taken away from my days in skateboarding. If you don’t seriously attempt a trick believing that you can actually land it, you are just asking to mess up. And worse, when you mess up a trick often you might land with only one foot on the board which is exactly how you slip and fall.

So my recommendation is when going for a trick, or really anything else in life, just go for it all the way. Don’t give it 50%. If you are giving 50% then you might as well save that 50% and just not go for it.

Go big or go home.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

The Death of my Electric Blanket

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Today’s post is a bit different from my usual ones. Normally I write about what I call “incontestable life advice,” i.e. the types of things that everyone can agree with, such as not looking at your phone while you are conversing with another. But today’s post, well this one is just for fun.

Enjoy.

This past Christmas my mother gave me an electric blanket. Yes, an electric blanket. And yes it was one of the best presents I have ever received. Not only because the blanket keeps me warm at night, but because it makes me dream. No lie.

Every time I go to sleep with the blanket turned on I have absolutely crazy dreams.

And man oh man do I love to dream with this thing on. Every night I get to experience utter insanity as my dreams make zero sense. They often have nothing to do with anything that has recently happened in my day or in my life (as far as I can tell, but I’m sure some psychologist would disagree, whatever sue me), and almost always no one I know is ever present.

Every night I submerge myself into a world of complete strangers, constant teleportation, and games of insanity.

My last crazy dream had me in a large house, of a Victorian style construction (maybe because I recently became a real estate agent and I saw a house like this?), and this Chinese man and I were in a strange fight. I ran up the stairs and he was waiting in the bathroom. I then proceeded to throw a Molotov cocktail at his feet and set the house on fire. (I think my Molotov ideas came from my days playing Counter Strike)

He was quick to respond though.

He started throwing plates at me and I quickly dodged them, similar to George Bush and the flying shoe from back in Iraq. I returned volley with a vase (where the hell was I getting these things to throw? I think maybe the Vase came from me liking Ai Wei Wei’s art, who knows I’m just shooting in the dark here) but he too dodged with Matrix like skills. And he wouldn’t burn either.

Maybe it was Ai Wei Wei!

Let’s just go with that. And if so, the dream might make sense in that I recently have started making art, and maybe it was my subconscious revealing its insecurities to me that it feels that Ai Wei Wei is a better artist than we are and that it was lashing out. If so, my subconscious is stupid because Ai Wei Wei is a way better artist than we are and it shouldn’t be picking a fight with him! Anyways, back to the dream.

In that moment I knew I was defeated.

I was no match for Ai Wei Wei. The only option left was to run. And run fast. I flew down the stairs, and that is where my dream memory ends. Let’s just round up and assume I escaped and lived to fight another day.

But my main point is that the electric blanket was one of the best gifts I have ever received. Every night for me is a bizarro movie. Makes no sense, but hey I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now that my blanket bit the dust I am going to need to get a new one. These dreams are too fun to let go. And even more so fun to hopelessly psychoanalyze.

So I say, go buy an electric blanket and turn that puppy up to 11.

Dream on.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Be Spontaneous

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Last night I was about to go to bed, but then I thought I would walk down the street to my favorite local bar. I’m still all dressed up in my suit from work earlier in the day and I am getting lots of looks. One guy I passed by said,

“Hell yeah man! A fucking suit!”

And then all of his friends were cheering. I tell you people, dressing up in Southern California makes it simple.

If you dress up, you just win.

I finally make it to the bar and I sit down next to two guys, Lee and Chris. We get to talking and they too are asking about my suit and why I am in it when I notice this woman across the bar. We are both looking at each other like we know each other but we don’t seem to look quite the same. But then we realize that we are who we think each other is. I stand up look at her and yell,

“I’ll kick your ass!”

She stands up, I take off my coat we embrace and then we start an impromptu planking contest. Naz had beaten me once before over a month ago in this same bar, but this time I had done some yoga in the meantime and I was prepared to defeat her this time around. The bar soon started going crazy, and people started placing bets.

They were loving every minute of it.

The planking contest lasted a total of 2 minutes and 47 seconds, which was my personal best. But unfortunately I also lost again. A man named John who bet 30$ on me lost his money.

Poor John.

But despite losing, the night was extremely fun and it was not only memorable for Naz and I, but everyone also at the bar. Most people are too afraid to do something spontaneous because they are afraid that all eyes will be looking on them, but that is exactly the beauty of what happened. Naz and I gave everyone there something special and fun to talk about for that night. Even though John lost 30$, his friend won 30$, and at the end of the day both of them had a fun story to share for the night.

And that is priceless.

So don’t be afraid to be spontaneous, have a little fun, and not only will you enjoy yourself, but likely everyone else will too.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Don’t close doors

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Today’s post is very personal to me. It is about the woman who will always be special to me. Her name is Alice and I will never forget meeting her.

I was on the train from Oxnard California headed up to Klamath Falls Oregon. It was going to be a long ride, but I was no stranger to this trip at this point. I was prepared for the trip with a new trusty book, I was reading The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris at the time. I was settled into my cozy chair in the viewing cabin, where passengers of the train could sit with chairs facing outwards and see the areas that the train passed through. I was prepared to finish reading my book.

But then this absolutely gorgeous woman sat beside me. And she wanted to talk to me too.

So naturally I bite, and I get to chit chatting with her. And I was absolutely blown away by her. The two of us naturally vibed more than any other woman I had ever met with. We talked and talked and laughed and laughed. So much of us was in sync it was absolutely unreal. Then she looked at her watch. It was midnight and we were stopping in Sacramento where she was getting off the train.

10 hours had passed by.

They were the fastest 10 hours of my life. Neither I nor her wanted them to end. I asked for her number and she laughed and gave it to me. She told me that if I had not asked that she would have asked for mine. I loved that. She got off the train, and then I spent the rest of my ride thinking about her.

The two of us started talking on the phone regularly after that and eventually when I was back in California a few weeks later I went to visit her in San Luis Obispo. The two of us really had a great time together but sadly our relationship was marred by the fact that I was still getting my Masters Degree in Washington D.C. and that she was living in San Luis Obispo California. Further, she was older than me and she gave me some to the truest advice I had ever heard, despite not wanting to hear it then.

She had made her decision to be a teacher and she was very content with that. She was out of school, and settled into her career. She pointed out to me that not only was I not done with school yet, I still had to figure out what I wanted to do in life. She told me that while she was extremely attracted to me, she needed to be rational and not hold out in an irrational manner as I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life first. She had been through this with two boys before, and she said that she was not going to do it again.

It was very sound advice.

So I was off back to Washington D.C. but the two of us were remaining in touch. It was tough though because we both really wanted to see each other but we were 3,000 miles apart. It became clear that being so much in touch was making it too hard for us to just live our normal lives and move on.

Alice wanted to remain in touch with me, she made it clear that she was going to go on dates with other men, but again she stressed that she wanted to stay in touch. At the time I thought that I just couldn’t bear thinking about her going on other dates so I made the decision to end things and to move on.

What a stupid decision.

And I will tell you why.

No one ever knows how their life will turn out.

I sure as hell didn’t then, and I sure as hell don’t now. I thought back then that I wasn’t going to be back in California anytime soon, or potentially even at all. Well at this point, I have been living back here for over a year and a half now and I really wish that I had not closed the door with Alice.

Again, it was such a stupid decision.

And unfortunately, as far as I can figure out, I closed that door pretty good and I don’t think it is ever going to open again. So the least that I try to do now is to learn my lesson from that experience and not do the same thing again in the future. I made the mistake once, I am not interested in making it again. So this brings me to the main point.

Closing doors can be simply unnecessary.

Sure, in the moment you might feel a certain way, and it may seem reasonable, but later on when circumstances change you really might be kicking yourself for doing so. I sure have. Yes, I know, sometimes things may be hard (especially in emotional situations) but closing the door might be the wrong decision. Maybe you think closing the door will help your heart in the short term, but maybe you closing that door becomes “the one that got away” in the long term.

So you really might not be sparing yourself any heartbreak.

So my two cents for today is just that. Don’t close doors. Don’t be too emotional. Don’t over think it. Sometimes things might work out, other times they might not. But in the future they may work out. And if they do, you will be ever so thankful.

Keep that door open.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan