A More Empowering Way to View a Loss

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. 

It’s Thursday. I always post every Thursday. Given my relationship with November 23rd, I wanted to wait and share this not-so-happy”post until tomorrow. But I feel it’s a message that will help those who need to hear it today. So forgive me for sharing this today, if you found this and don’t happen to know Dave or Andy. That said, you can always save this for tomorrow. In fact, I encourage you to do this with “important articles” on the wellbeing of the world, how to handle grief and sadness, and read it during a time where you’re more ready to “feel all the feels” 🙂 

 

 

Hi friends. It’s Tony Rossi. 

I wanted to wait to share this message after the holiday, as to not bring others down who don’t know either of these individuals. But due to recent events, this can’t wait. Thanks in advance for bearing with me.

(PS – Feel free to mark this as a “saved” post and come back to it during a better time, if you’d like. Same goes for political posts, news stories, etc….;) ) 

About four years ago, I was introduced to the world of personal development. Through a life coach, self help books, and more positive people, I felt like I was moving through the world a lot lighter. I was able to look at my problems through a different lens. They were still there, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Or when I did go into a funk, I’d stop beating myself up. I also noticed I wasn’t holding grudges toward people who had “wronged” me. And it wasn’t long before I got addicted to absorbing as much information on the subject as I could.

Since learning how to literally live a more enjoyable life, I decided, “You know what? Other people need to hear this. It’s too easy to apply this stuff. Through my blog, #SundayVideos, and doing a 180 on how I use social media, people started to referring to me as “the guy who is always happy.” And as much as I loved this, I found myself getting the same objection from a lot of individuals: “This doesn’t make sense….how are you supposed to just be ‘happy all the time?’”

I’ll get back to that. 

Let’s rewind a bit: In the fall of 2014, only a year after I started applying self help principles, my longest childhood friend, David Kendricken, passed away. The first thing I thought of was, What “good things” are going to come from this, that wouldn’t have happened in any other way?? This doesn’t make the situation okay. But it gives us our power back. It gives us meaning to something that’s shitty. It allows us to find love and gratitude in a place that’s really, really hard to find it. 

Last night I got word that this day was going to be an even darker day. We lost Andrew Scannell. And the craziest part? Both of these guys were FUNNY. They were really funny. They were loved by a lot. These two would have been great friends. 

Friends. Being a happy person will never, ever mean “happy all the time.” 

Being a happy person means being authentic. It means acknowledging that there are going to be dark times where you don’t feel happy. It’s like being a healthy person – it doesn’t mean you never, ever get sick. It means you get sick less and recover quicker. You’re not all of a sudden invincible. 

While there’s a bunch of different ways to handle death, one of my preferences is to look at the situation in a new light: What can I genuinely be grateful for right now? 

I go write a million more words on this, but I’ll leave just one on each of these sons of bitches: 

David Kendricken: You were my longest childhood friend. I lived next door to you for what, 14 years? And we had a friendship that’s hard to replicate. I couldn’t be more grateful that I got to have that with you. Thank you for that. You might be gone, but those loving memories aren’t going anywhere, son. 

Andrew Scannell: I met you in college at freshman orientation. You asked me for a word suggestion. Becoming friends with you? Oh that was a boost to my 18 year old ego. After four years of laughs, performances, and jokes that only a true New England Pirate would understand – we actually had a falling out. And then – we both forgot about it. We reconciled a year ago and had beers together with some old friends. I am so, so grateful we reconciled. 

Friends. We have an amazing opportunity to find gifts amidst a dark and dreary day. Don’t let your love go to waste. Yes – be sad. Cry when you need to. And when you’re ready, start finding those takeaways. And for extra credit, share those takeaways so we can spread this message to others. 

I love you Dave. I love you Andy. 

And I love you, friends. 

 

November 23rd.jpg

Advertisements

How dating reminded me of my (embarrassing) past

Last week my longtime friend, Sammy B, married a wonderful girl named Ashley. 

 

0915171737.jpg

 

0915171750.jpg

 

0915171938b.jpg

 

It was a fun night filled with food, dancing, and a bunch of wonderful people I don’t get to see nearly as often as I like. Our group of friends growing up was a good one. It warms my heart that most of us are still in touch. 

Since we don’t see each other often, we go through the usual interrogation process when we catch up…. 

 

“So, still living in the same place?”

“Where are you working these days?”

“Are you seeing anyone?”

 

That last one has always been my favorite. (And by favorite, I mean least favorite.) 

I usually was the single one in our group of friends, and that didn’t change as I got older. I watched in envy as the rest of my friends fell in love, went on dates, and had lots of sex. (Seriously. I wasn’t even cuddling with anyone. It was so unfair.) Which is why I was thrilled to report to them that, “Yup! I am seeing someone! Wanna see a picture?!” 

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t discovered any “secrets to dating.” But the whole night made me discover something: I used to be pretty unhappy with myself because of my dating story. And that night – none of it mattered. Hell, some of my friends I used to envy were currently single themselves!  

We waste far too much time and energy beating ourselves up, don’t we? 

 

We aren’t making a certain amount of money.

We aren’t married with kids. 

We haven’t reached a certain point in our careers where our dream job is paying the bills. 

 

But here’s the thing: Unless we’ve reached a point where it’s literally impossible to achieve our goals (Too old to have kids, etc), we can still get there. It just might take longer than we hoped….Oh, and it usually does. And the deadlines we place on ourselves are so unfair and silly. But that’s for another blog.

And here’s the best part – once we get there, that “embarrassing” past – which is really nothing to be ashamed of in the first place – isn’t going to matter. The point isn’t that you took longer than you thought. The point is that you got there. 

Friends. I have no idea when I’ll get married. All I know is that I will someday. (Not sure about the kids part….but if I do, we can cut go back and edit this part out, yeah?) And as long as that happens, I don’t need to be embarrassed about things that did or didn’t happen before getting there. 

 

21616514_10100746878177499_2582951478301474860_n.jpg

We clean up alright 🙂 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

 

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel

How to stay positive when you’re skipping a Cubs game – that you were really looking forward to

Have I ever mentioned how much I love baseball?

 

10255951_10100117733463549_5310493680930150873_o

0605171822 (1)

These are a few of my favorite things

It’s my favorite activity that has nothing to do with my goals. And that’s coming from an entrepreneur/personal development junkie who struggles to make time for any such activities. But I make an exception for baseball.

And I’ve been craving some Cubs baseball. Especially lately.

The context: I had tickets for a game I was really excited about. May or may not have had a hot date (which I was equally excited about.) I had just skipped out on staying late for my Broken Nose Theatre cast party for “At the Table” due to other commitments. And I really, really wanted some baseball and beer…

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 12.16.08 PM.png

My last several facebook photos….all including “At the Table” pictures of cast, understudies, or social outings with said friends. (Yup. Even the one with the puppy.)

 

….and then I got sick.

……..WHY NOW?!

So friends. As I write this post (very deliriously, I might add) the day I’m supposed to go to the game, yet share insight after insight with my peers on how to be more positive and live an authentically positive life – how do you stay positive when this happens?

I got three tips for you:

  1. Get pissed. Seriously. You’re sick when you’re FINALLY free to do something fun. You think airy fairy positive thinking is going to make you feel better? HA! No. This sucks and you deserve to be in a bad mood if you want to be. 
  2. Put things into context. But obviously staying angry forever won’t help. And let’s be honest, other cool life stuff is going to happen. Like my friend’s wedding in a couple weeks. And the Red Sox game I’m going to see two days beforehand. And not to mention there’s another entire month of baseball left in a city with two baseball stadiums. One of which never sells out their games (even with their $10 tickets.) So put things into context: A year from now….are you even going to remember this happened? (Hint: Probably not.) 
  3. Really put things into context: I met a doctor recently who shared she wasn’t allowed to practice in the United States. Despite six intense years of medical school, her papers can’t be transferred here because her country kind of doesn’t like our country. (Not for reasons you might think, but I’m sure those aren’t helping either…) Add on top of this the fact that her family was stuck in her country surrounded by war, having no idea if they made it through the night. After hearing this story, a baseball game didn’t seem to be a big deal. 

(Note: As of a month ago, this doctor’s family is safe and out of the country!!) 

A note about putting things into context….

Your feelings still matter. When I had this insightful conversation with the doctor, she also validated my own feelings (though I didn’t specifically mention the game.)  Just because I’m comparing my situation to hers doesn’t mean I don’t get to feel bad about it. Her words – not mine.

Keep that in mind. The next time you’re feeling guilty that you had a shit day when there’s war and famine going on in another part of the world – that doesn’t mean we don’t get to express our own feelings that humans experience. I bring this up because while putting things into context helps me realistically and positively feel less bad about my own situation, it doesn’t mean I have to feel guilty that I’m feeling feelings. Ya know?? 

So in summary: 

-Be pissed (but don’t stay there) 

-Will this matter a year from now? 

-Put things into context

-Remember that your emotions are valid 

Go get ‘em. 

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel

3 Things I Learned From Having Maggots

So I woke up ready to start my day the usual way: Journaling. Stretching. Workout. Breakfast. Shower. Do responsible adult things and get back to people who have been waiting for you to finish your routine. 

I got as far as journaling. Then I found maggots. 

20689677_10100722328310629_1505551194586341180_o.jpg

While this was taken much later at my first day of interning at Compass Casting – that was pretty much the same expression on yours truly…

I got maggots twice last year. It wasn’t fun. This year I was determined to decrease that number. By 100%. So when I did find them, it was rather upsetting. Insert Tony-Tantrum consisting of cursing and a plethora of “Why me?! Why now?!” questions here.

And then…I realized the problem wasn’t as bad as I thought. 

Not only did I find that there weren’t very many, but I also remembered that of all days I could find maggots – it was also the day where Ernesto’s Pesticides was coming to the building! And while my unit wasn’t scheduled for a spraying, I found my building manager…right as I was taking out the trash! 

Long story short – I have no more maggots. 

Things I learned: 

  1. Freaking out about problems as soon as we identify them doesn’t serve us. It robs us of taking time to reflect and see if the problem is as big of a deal as we’re making it out to be.
  2. Even knowing that – it’s very easy to get caught up in our emotions that stem from the problem. 
  3. I’ve learned this before. I’ll likely need to hear it again. And again. And again. 

Here’s to having a maggot free week 😉 

Let’s go get ‘em.

Disclaimer: Tony had a lovely first day of interning at Compass Casting. Please do not mistake his Beaker face for any negative feelings towards actors, his fellow interns, Sarah Clark, or her dog Tucker. 

Other disclaimer: Tucker is still feeling me out. But we have a good thing going. So he gets smiles before any of the others so far. 

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel

You’re allowed to feel shitty today

Ever find yourself in a mood and beating yourself up for feeling (insert your favorite negative mood here)?

Just yesterday I found myself in one of those moods. Don’t get me wrong – the day had a good start. It was an early morning, but an easy shift with some positive people.

ChicagoBisnowJune28.jpg

 

I don’t usually like gigs like these….but the staff at Bisnow are wonderful. 

The thing is, these shifts make for a very early wake up. Like, a 4:30am wake up. And of course I got to bed late the night previously after my Vagabond School class. Oh, and I just so happened to have a show later that evening.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 4.33.38 PM.png

Aren’t we cute? Grateful for Broken Nose Theatre this group of people right here

“No worries!” I thought. ” I can totally take my time to rest, nap, and take it easy in between….”

….except I still haven’t figured out this nap thing. ( Like seriously!)

I experienced my normal symptoms of feeling tired, groggy, and cranky following my nap. I wasn’t happy. Which of course led me to get upset about anything and everything for the rest of the afternoon.

And then I said to myself, “You know what – it’s okay to feel shitty today.” And the minute I told myself this, I felt better.

Funny how much pressure we take off ourselves the minute we stop trying to do things right or perfect.

I hope that the next time you’re in a cranky mood, regardless of the reason, you cut yourself some slack and remember, “Hey. I’m human. I’m not a terrible person for being #notperfect.”

18700393_10100668901358669_2676868405783730287_o

Write it down. Hang it up. I swear it helps.

 

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

-Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

-Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel

Positivity with Pet Peeves?

It’s hard to stay positive when you have your pet peeves.

A lot of people who read my blogs or watch my live videos assume that I don’t have any pet peeves of my own. Rest assured – I’m very #notperfect and have my bad moments.

This week, for example…

 I went to Starbucks to do some work. Without my laptop charger.

I value my time. Friends will tell you (and probably tease me for this) that if I schedule a call with you at 2pm, I will call at 2pm on the dot. You can imagine my reaction when I started setting up at Starbucks, only to realize I didn’t have my charger with me. I could easily run home and grab it. But that’s wasted time!

On the (very short) walk back to my apartment, I realized that I was actually stressed before even getting there. Of course the stress escalated once I realized I had wasted time. But the morning had gotten off schedule already, and I wasn’t in a good place mentally. Having to go back and take an extra walk actually allowed me to reframe my focus by the time I had all my things and was ready to work.

My laptop overheated and shut off. While I was in the middle of a webinar.

Again – I value my time. When I schedule things specifically around a webinar, I’m looking forward to watching it. When this happened (just yesterday), I was livid. I’m sure my neighbors are wondering why I’m always cursing….

Fortunately there was a replay link. However, by the time I had finished I was way behind schedule for the day. There was no time for Starbucks, lots of work to be done, plus I had errands to run before an audition. I decided to stay home – much to my dismay. I’ve been working on getting out of the apartment more (hence the Starbucks visits) and was concerned my work session would be ineffective.

Since I was staying home, I decided to try a tip I picked up from the webinar: Setting up a work space that’s just for work. With my studio apartment, space is pretty limited. Fortunately, I recently received a folding table for some of the brand ambassador work I do. I decided to take advantage and set it up. Maybe see if I felt any different as I got to work.

It. Was. Great. And I don’t know if I would have discovered this as quickly had it not been for my laptop shutting off.

0817161637.jpg

Give me a few more days, friends. I’m sure it will get even more messy. 

So what’s the message here? Both examples are things that I literally can’t stand: 1) Forgetting things and 2) when my laptop interrupts my work. Yet in both cases, something good came from it. I’ll be the first to admit the last thing I want to do is “look for the positives” when it comes to my pet peeves. Yet I discovered both of these positives that might not have happened if things went according to plan.

I hope these examples can help you with some of your own pet peeves, my friends.

Have an awesome week. Let’s go get ‘em.