Mike Dariano

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For Love or Money (Month of Happiness)

This month's challenge is to live a happier life. Here's where I got started.

To start with happiness might seem like I'm unhappy, that's not true. It's a bit closer to Am I content with the foods I eat?

I like to eat pizza and chili. Somedays I think I could eat those two things all the time, but not really. Those things would get boring and their allure would spoil. Instead I need to find more food options and to do that I have to start looking. One recent example is with my chili recipe. I formally used the seasoning packets that come premixed as 'Chili' or 'Spicy Chili' off the grocery store shelves. As I was looking at the ingredients one day, I realized all the spices in those little packages already lived happily in my cabinet. I opened my cabinet to find chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper lined up like little soldiers. I started mixing and remixing until I found an even better combination for my chili. The same with happiness.

Let Me Keep My Mask On

On Manic Moments Beyond Wonderland

"Take that mask off and let the real you exist!"

I hear this a lot.

I do exist and I sit beside you on the bus, a table across you in a restaurant, the person behind you in a supermarket line, the one you see alone in the park, the girl you see dancing in the rain, the drunk who passed out, the stoic co-worker. This is ALL me. I am here.

I exist and I am experiencing this unrelenting illness that is depression. People ask me to "snap out of it" all the time like it was that easy.

Newsflash - It's not easy. Never was. Never will be. I would've gladly "snapped" myself out of it already if it was that easy.

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