Dear Knox

Dear Knox

We are getting so close to meeting you. It feels as though these nine months have flown right by (your mother may differ on that opinion). We are at the point where you could arrive any day now. We have so much that we want to say to you; so much that we want to teach you.

If I had to choose the very first thing that I hope you learn, that I want you to feel, is that you are loved.

It’s a powerful emotion that will scare you the first time you feel it, but once you know and understand what love is, Son, there is nothing better in this life.

I want you to feel it in your fingers. I want you to feel it in your toes. I want you to feel it pumping straight from your heart and coursing through your veins. It may feel overwhelming at first, but know that love is beautiful, and that it will guide you in all that you do.

There is, of course, much more to learn in life and your mother and I will do our best to teach you everything we can. You will quickly realize that we are still learning and never stop. We want the same for you.

Your mother and I are elated to start this journey with you.

mom & dad

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“Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been”

So many times throughout my life I was pretty convinced that I was broken. I had heard the word depression bandied about before but never thought it applied to me. “Josiah is just being emo” was always the excuse made for me. It was always the excuse for awful decisions I made, the awful way I treated people, and the awful way I allowed people to treat me. Alcohol certainly fuelled a lot of my anxiety and it never helped my ability to maintain longterm friendships or relationships. I’d always say or do something I’d regret. I would often spew outright mean-spirited venom towards undeserving friends in person, via text, email, or (not to date myself, but…) MSN Messenger. I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t living healthy. I skipped classes, avoided work, and continued to drink often. School was incredibly damaging and I had ZERO direction or help because A) I didn’t seek it and B) No one seemed to recognize the problem, including myself.

Why am I talking about this now, a decade later? I’m not sure. I felt reflective this morning. With Knox on his way in ten or fewer weeks, I began thinking about the kind of father and person I want to be. I never want to be the above person, ever again. I don’t believe I have been that guy for a while now. Two years ago (yeah, just two), I started hitting that wall again. I was drinking too often and would wake up hung over and severely depressed. I decided to try to cut back. For the most part, I have. I mean, I still have the odd night of celebration, but they are fewer and further between. I feel much better because of it. My brain is still in overdrive more often than not, and my stress and anxiety certainly still pokes its ugly head in, but overall, I feel healthier.

Meeting Mandy changed everything for the better. For all the times I used to think I was broken, that no one cared and that no one ever would, she has proven me so very wrong. She loves me, flaws and all, and I love her. I can’t wait for Knox to be born and to be the best parents we can possibly be together. I want to be the type of father that is always there. So much so, that I want Knox to look at me one day and say, “Dad, I love you, but PLEASE go have a drink with a buddy, I got this.”

I hope I can be. I’m nervous, scared, but so excited. I love him so much already. It’s easier knowing how amazing a mother Mandy will be, and how much love and support we have from family. LET’S DO THIS.

I feel like this turned into an incoherent ramble of sorts. My apologies. The main gist is that I don’t like who I used to be but I am starting to finally like who I am, and that is a good thing. To be a good parent, you need to like who you are and reflect that faith in yourself onto your child. I hope Knox grows up confident in himself and never afraid to ask for help, because I was always terrified.

love always,

josiah

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“Those words at best were worse than teenage poetry”

We all have regrets. Maybe we had one too many drinks and said or did something stupid. Maybe we ate a delicious slice of pizza knowing full-well that our gluten-angry and lactose intolerant tummy may revolt. No matter how much you want to live life without them, you got ’em. I have a little time, so let’s talk a little about one of my biggest. Let’s travel back to high school.

I was an awkward teen, as many are, but I was also horribly shy and introverted. Music was my main escape. I couldn’t play anything, but I was never without my Panasonic Shockwave and CD booklet. The majority of my collection would fall into the FAT Wreck/Epitaph category back then, but, I was starting to venture out. I was feeling more, EMOtional. If you catch my drift.

Taking Back Sunday put out “Tell All Your Friends” and it was all over for me. I had a massive crush on a girl in the grade below. She was pretty, popular, and she wanted to save the world. I never really considered that she would ever like me back. I may have been wrong, but I waited too long and she started dating someone else.

I was just discovering writing as a form of venting on top of my newfound love for My Chemical Romance and From Autumn to Ashes. Writing political “songs” never seemed to gel, and my punk rock roots were weakening. Instead, I found writing about how unfair life was and how unjust it was that she chose someone else to be quite therapeutic. I was a whiny little shit. Really, I was.

I was a whiny little shit, that LOVED to write, though. Heavily influenced by the bitterness of Brand New and the violence of raw emotion, I wrote A LOT. I won’t lie, it was terrible. I wish I could remember some of it or still had some of it. I would share it with you all. Luckily, it appears to have been wiped from the face of the earth.

This girl continued dating the other guy. I continued to write. One day while chatting on mIRC, I mentioned I had been writing. She thought that it was wonderful that wrote and wanted to read some of my work. In my head, at the time, this meant she must still kind of like me and this is my chance to win her over!

I started frantically typing everything I had written by hand. I printed them all off and made her a booklet, I included stupid little personal notes and a ticket stub from a show we had gone to. I thought, this is it, she’ll finally realize she loves me!

I gave her the booklet of lousy teenage poetry. She took it home and read it. She didn’t speak to me for at least a week. I got a message from her boyfriend asking me if he and I had a problem that needed sorting. It was a boondoggle.

It took me years to get over that. I never wanted to show anyone anything I had written ever again. Looking back, she probably responded the right way. A few years later, she messaged me out of the blue saying that she had found he booklet in her room. She actually apologized for the way she treated me and told me that she hoped I had continued writing. It meant a lot because she didn’t have to say any of that.

I guess, in the end, I don’t actually regret giving her the booklet and the whole premise of this blog post is wasted. Shit. Okay — uh, I REGRET SITTING NEXT TO THE DOG WHILE WRITING THIS BECAUSE HE STINKS. There. Blog saved.

How about you? Share a story. We won’t judge.

Love always,

josiah

cheer-up-emo-kid

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So, it’s supposedly Spring.

Spring is in the air, allegedly. The sun is setting later in the evening. The birds are singing early in the morning. The cat downstairs is desperate to get outside and kill them all. Yes, surely Spring has arrived.

So, what are some fun Springtime activities you can do? The weather is warming up but not quite there and the ground is still kind of muddy from the melted snow and fun Spring rain. That means your usual warm weather plan of drinking PBR in Trinity Bellwoods is out of the question. OR IS IT?

You know, it doesn’t HAVE to be. Show some dedication to your craft. Get out there and get muddy drunk. Muddy drunk is great because you don’t notice or care that a lot of the mud is actually dog poop.

If rolling around in poop isn’t your thing, there are still lots of fun Spring things you can do. Here is a list, because everything these days needs to be in list form:

1. Attend a Blue Jays game. Sure, they are always a huge let down and beer costs $10.50, but there is still something great about spending an afternoon or evening at the ballpark.

2. Venture into High Park. High Park is Trinity Bellwoods classier older sibling. You may still find the odd drunk Hipster, but you’ll mostly find nice young families and thousands, yes THOUSANDS of dogs. If you aren’t a dog person, High Park may not be for you.

3. Take a stroll along the Humber. The lakefront gets all the hype but taking a nice long walk along the Humber River is so much more relaxing. It’s less crowded than the lakefront and quite frankly, the scenery is just better.

4. Take a long bike ride. I have to take my friends’ words on this one. I don’t have a bike and the thought of biking in the city terrifies me. They, however, LOVE it. There are all sorts of areas around the city that are great to bike. I have experience biking around the Island and enjoyed that. So, hop on a bike and cruise. Just watch out for taxis.

5. Write stupid blogs. I can’t recommend this one enough. It kills time, makes you feel productive, and the best part, it totally wastes the time of your friends and family who feel obligated to read it. IT’S THE BEST.

6. Day drink anywhere. I mean, really, once the weather hits double digits it’s a license to day drink anywhere you want. It’s the law. I think.

7. Attend a Maple Leafs playoff game. JUST KIDDING.

Okay, I’ll stop there. I mean, how lazy are you? Come up with some of your own ideas. Jeez. I love the Spring, but I can’t wait for Summer. Stay tuned for a list of fun Summer things to do! (Spoiler: there pretty much the exact same as above, just in shorts).

Love always,

Josiah

Springtime

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So You’re Jobless

So, you’re jobless and you don’t know what to do. Don’t worry, most have been where you are before. It’s frustrating, I know. You’ve applied to hundreds of jobs and gotten nowhere. I HEAR YOU. All these jobs posted seem to want a minimum of FIVE years experience and you’ve only got one. Worse yet, these jobs demanding a Harvard Grad with ten years experience and a super cool haircut are freaking entry-level jobs a goddamn monkey could do. The struggle is real.

What can you do? I mean, you could lie. You could SAY you have experience. You could list your mom’s best friend Betty as a reference. Betty has always had a soft spot for you and she’d have no problem vouching for you. Between you and me, Betty seems bored these days, she’d likely relish the opportunity.

You can justify it by thinking things like how you KNOW you’d kill it at this job if they’d just give you the chance. SOMEONE needs to give you a chance. If it works out, then a little white lie isn’t all that awful, right? If it doesn’t work out and they realize you lied, maybe they’ll black list you on LinkedIn. Does anyone really take LinkedIn seriously? They do? Oh. Well. I guess that explains a few things.

Okay, so, lying ain’t your thang. It’s cool. People dig honesty. You could always take a job outside of your field for the time being and keep applying to jobs you’d rather be doing. I mean, the only harm done in this scenario is to your current employer and potential customers/clients who can see it in your eyes or hear it in your voice that your heart just isn’t into serving them frappuccino. Oh, you may find fulfilment in cleverly writing the sandwich board, but we all know the truth. You’d rather be writing super cool blogs for VICE.

Let’s face it, you’re probably screwed. We live in a society where our jobs are our self-worth. I mean, really, who thought, “Hey, I know what we should all do! Let’s all work at jobs we hate for AT LEAST forty hours a week. Trust me, it’ll be sweet. You can be miserable for like five whole days, but, get this, you get TWO STRAIGHT DAYS OFF! HOW AWESOME WILL THOSE TWO DAYS BE? So, yeah, we cool? We all on this work week misery thing? Great!”

Sorry about that. I got off on a tangent. Real talk? You could maybe start a YouTube channel where you review every episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants by contrasting it with Breaking Bad. Watch enough of both and you’ll see the connection.

Or maybe you could make money by SnapChatting your daily call to your mother. People LOVE the bond between mother and child. Your mom will totally be okay with it because you just won’t tell her.

These ideas are terrible. I don’t have any of the answers. Just a sympathetic ear and boredom. I have boredom out the whazoo. So, let’s be friends. Let’s start a business together. You come up with the idea and plan and I’ll write spiffy blogs about nothing in particular. Deal?

Long story short, the job hunt sucks. Employers, I know it’s a buyers market, but give the little guy a shot, will ya?

Love always,

josiah

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Top 10 Reasons You Should Hire Me

Hi there, I’m so very glad you could make it. Please, have a seat. I know I once offered punch and pie, but unfortunately, we’ve just run out. Instead, I will offer you another one of those fancy “Top Ten” lists that the kids love so much.

I know, I know, you can’t technically eat or drink a list, but, they’re just so darn fun! This time around, we are going to list the top ten reasons YOU should hire ME.

Sound like fun? Why, OF COURSE it does!

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the glorious ride of list reading.

10. I came up with the idea to make a super cool list of reasons why you should hire me and that shows initiative and awesome creativity.

9. I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. I’ve suffered enough. Come on. Give me a break/shot!

8. I am a Toronto Blue Jays fan (see above)

7. I have a super cool beard OR not. You know, whichever you’d prefer.

6. Number 7 proves that I am willing to compromise and be a team player. Team players are rad. Don’t you want to hire a rad team player?

5. I speak FIVE different languages. Sure, only one of them is real (English, just in case you thought I was using Google Translate), but, I mean, Floog Nis Para Para Joog!

4. I have all sorts of experience. Writing, Customer Service, Administrative, etc. You name it, I’ve probably done it.

3. Okay — So I haven’t flown a commercial airliner, but, so few of us have. Are you really going to hold that against me?

2. Have I mentioned the beard?

1. Finally, I need a job. I am a WLU grad with all sorts of experience. I am highly motivated to kick any and all butts that require kicking. By butts, I mean jobs and by kicking I mean succeeding at.

So, there you have it. It may not have been punch or pie, but it was at least 32% accurate and 24% entertaining.

Please send any and all job offers to: josiahcyoung@gmail.com

You can also send me money. I love money. Money means I can buy concert tickets and vinyl.

Love always,

Josiah

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Brand new Brand New!

I won’t lie to you, typing at this moment is difficult. You see, I’m too busy hyperventilating whilst rocking the fuck out to NEW BRAND NEW. That’s right, Long Island heroes, Brand New have teased for months and finally delivered this morning.

A new website. A new song. A new video. It’s better than Christmas.

It’s been SIX long years since “Daisy” was released. Some doubted we’d ever hear anything new from the band, but we true believers never wavered.

Head on over to http://www.brandnewrock.com to hear “Mene”. There is a video and a chance to download it for a limited time (for free).

fightoffyourdemons

Love always,

Josiah

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