#11 – My Happiest Me –

Today is the 1 Year Anniversary for Ty & I! This is a huge milestone in my life because I never thought that I could be my truest self in such a happy relationship like this. It was the scariest thing when I came out to the World almost 2 years ago by this blog post – https://jgpiv.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/i-am-me/ – I was terrified but in the end it was all worth it to get exactly where I am at today dating the most amazing, caring and wonderful man! This is the healthiest, emotionally and physically I have ever been being that this August marks 2 years for me off drugs! I thank God every day that he kept me around and gave me the chance to change my life around! I thank and appreciate those in my life who stuck by my side through all of it. All to bring me where I am at today and now for the story of how Ty & I met…

Last July I was contemplating signing up for match.com. I remember asking my friends for advice about it. I was hesitant because I kept thinking who in the right mind would want to date someone that was close to being homeless with no job, divorced and had some baggage! LOL Well apparently Ty did! I was starting to climb out of the rock bottom hole that I was in and was ready to finally meet someone. I just moved to Phoenix and was still in the process of getting back up on my feet which was why I was hesitant on joining but I just knew my “Love, Simon” happy ending was out there and was determined to find him! So I finally muster up the courage to join match.com! I then get a message in my inbox from a cute guy named Ty that was a 97% match! We starting talking which then led to texting which then led to calling which then led to Facetiming which then led our first date!

Since I was still new in the city and did not know if Ty was some phsyco killer I asked to meet at a central location for our first date at a busy restaurant called Culinary Dropout. I remember I was sick in my stomach with all the nerves! I arrive first to order a drink and wait for him to get there. Ty then arrives and the first thing I thought was dang he is tall! LOL He sits down right across from me and I immediately get lost in his bright blue eyes. Within the first few minutes we were laughing, we felt comfortable and just had a great time. It honestly was a perfect first date. We ended up going out after and hung out almost all night! I was so glad I decided to jump into the dating world when I did to meet him. It was almost like it was meant to be.

From the first date last year to our 1 year anniversary time just flew by. When they say time flies when your having fun they are not lying! We shared some of the most amazing memories this year from climbing South Mounting, my birthday, going to pumpkin patches, trying our favorite restaurants which meant to going to Zipps alot, trying Dutch for the first time, dressing up as Batman and his Joker for Halloween, shopping, going to haunted houses, cooking and baking for each other, doing the ALS Walk for his Grandpa, meeting each others families, spending our first Christmas together, helping each other through new job changes, family parties, climbing Tonto Natural Bridge, art festivals with his Grandma, going to festival of lights shows, attending my crazy fun work Christmas party at my new job, going to Zoo lights, being my rock through hard times of suddenly losing my Grandfather and friend, planning Ty’s surprise birthday party, moving into an apartment together then turning around and GETTING A HOUSE TOGETHER, going to Diamondbacks game in the Pool Suite, lots of movie and date nights, working out together, and finally getting Ty to Pittburgh to meet all my family and friends and this is to just name a few from the past year of the amazing memories we shared! What a year it was. I am so looking forward to another year and more years to come with you Ty! I feel I finally found my person. Everyone who knows me knows how positive I am and try to be. Ty works on bringing the best out of me and makes me even more positive. I remember one day in the car someone cut me off and I may have sworn at the person and was just angry about it. Ty looked at me and said not to let that person get to me. Not to bring that negativity even in the car because whats it going to accomplish other than making me upset? He was so right. I looked at him and smiled. But it made me feel so good to know he always has my back in the best way possible. My sister asked me the other day what makes me so happy in our relationship. I looked at her and said its like not only finding someone you love and enjoy dating but I wake up and get to spend every day with my best friend. Not only is he my partner but he is my best friend.



#10 – My Reason Why –

Ok I was totally inspired by the show 13 Reasons Why to write my next blog post. It is important to bring light to topics like depression, anxiety, bullying and self-harm and that is why I want to share my story. Some of you already know this story. Maybe you were one of my friends at the time in Plainfield, HS when I lived in Chicago. Maybe you were one of my close friends that I kept in contact with when I moved away from Pittsburgh at the end of my 7th grade school year. Maybe you were someone who is close to me now and already knows this story but this is for the rest of you who do not know. I never really open up about this expect the few times in therapy as it is not a subject people like to hear about or talk about. Or when I do mention it or bring it up most people do not know what to say or they look at me different. So I usually do not talk in much detail about what happened the night of my accident and how it has drastically changed my life ever since.

It all began back in the 2004-2005 school year. I was in 10th grade at this time and living in Chicago, Illinois. I was dating the 1st girl I ever loved. We will call her “Sami” for this story. Sami was in the grade below me. She was the 1st girl I “truly” lost my virginity to and I was her 1st as well so we had that deep connection going. We dated fall of 2004 through the end of our relationship was July 2005. For high school relationships that was a long time! Haha! But deep down inside I knew she was the 1st person I ever loved. She was the one who got me to fall in love with the show One Tree Hill too as we would be laying in her bed watching that (of course with her bedroom door open because her mom was scary!) But I never really got into the show much due to the fact that I could not keep my hands off her… I was that in love….

Our relationship was very fast paced. And lets just say I was kind of a bad kid during this period with drinking a lot already, parties, sneaking out at night, breaking the law. But those stories are all for a different time. So… Sami and I would drive to the Menards (Like Home Depot but I think they even sell groceries there) parking lot to “make love” in my 1996 Toyota Camry… yes very romantic, I know.. but it was the only place we could escape to. We were just madly in love. She also had a group of girl friends that were on the wilder side as well and always like to party with the bad group of guys from high school. This group of guys that they were into most of them I knew and lets just say they were into very heavy drugs at this time and crazy wild parties. I remember the one night Sami called me crying. Her couple friends where so messed up at a party at one of these bad group of guys house that we had to go and get her out of there. I remember driving up to this house scared as hell because I knew these were the type of guys you never cross but knew this girl (we will call Lex for this story) needed help. I drive up to the house and some of the bad group of guys were sitting outside in the driveway in lawn chairs smoking weed. I heard loud music on inside the house. I just walk right in as it was a party so there were people walking in and out. I see all the drugs on the table but start asking everyone where this girl Lex was. No one seems to know and everyone was either too high on drugs or too drunk to even answer me. Sami is right next to me as we are searching through the house for this girl. We find the bathroom and see that its closed. We bang on door to see if Lex was in there and she was. Crying her eyes out saying some guy took advantage of her. Half naked. Clothes a wreck. She can’t even stand or walk. I pick her up and carry her out of the party and laid her down in the back of my parents SUV. We get her out of there. This is when this bad group of guys starting hating me and coming after me. Fast forward to a few weeks later. This group of guys were now really starting to come at me from this night. In the hallways at school I was getting into fights. Pushed up against lockers. Getting verbal death threats. Getting my house egged at nights. I remember being in Blockbuster (so funny that I am really that old now those stores don’t even exist) and hiding from these guys that would go anywhere to try to find me to beat me up or in their words “end my life”. It was really starting to wear on me…. I decided I needed to make a trip home to PA (as any time something bad happens in my life I always come home to get grounded and still do til this day). But when I came back to Chicago I find out my very best friend was secretly hooking up with the girl I loved. I was crushed. We broke up and my heart was in pieces. At the same time my parents were also going through some normal issues and troubles and it all just felt like every wall around me was closing in. And at this time I was also still adapting to living in a new city away from my home town was hard enough. Plus, all the other teen emotions and drama I was feeling at this time was all weighing so hard on me.

Ok this next part is hard for me to type and might be hard to read….

The night of my accident.

I had been crying for days and days. I needed to get out of the house I begged my parents to let me go watch a movie at my friend’s house. They give in and let me. They had been so guarded of me as they were now aware of everything going on. The bullying, the break ups, the egging of house, the best friend backstabbing drama. But this friend of mines house was a safe place for me to go and they knew that. I drove to my friends house in my parents black Acura TL Type S.  It was a fast car and super sharp looking. We watched a movie and I am laying there thinking about everything. It’s just eating at me in every direction. Bad flash backs in my mind of all the hurt and pain I was feeling. I couldn’t breathe and I needed to be alone. I went to the bathroom and came back and made up a lie that my parents wanted me home. I started my drive home and bam it was like one flash of a bad memory coming at me like every few seconds. I pull over as it is hard for me to drive. I was having a panic attack at this time but didn’t realize that’s what it was. I pulled over into a new plan of homes being built. Maybe a mile from the big entrance that was made of bricks and had the name of the plan of homes on it. Now I am just in the car crying the hardest I have ever cried. I was punching the steering wheel. So angry. So sad. Feeling all alone. I felt like my family including my sister at the time all living in Pittsburgh and I was missing them so deeply were just so far away from me and all had moved on with their own lives. As well as having that feeling I also had a group of bad guys after me wanting me beat up and “dead” according to them, plus the love of my life was cheating on me with my very best friend. I felt backstabbed. I felt betrayed. I felt hurt. I felt empty. I felt hated. I felt worthless. I just felt like there was nothing left to live for…. Wow… I really just made the decision that I wanted to die. I wanted my life to be over. I wanted total darkness. I called my friend Crystal who was my neighbor when I first moved to Chicago in 2007 but she ended up moving into the city. I was bawling my eyes out crying to her on the phone saying I am sorry and I am so sorry over and over again. She was so confused as to what I was even apologizing about. But I was telling her I am sorry for what I was about to do. I asked her to tell My Mom and Dad how much I loved them. She starting crying on the phone begging me to stop as I kept telling her I just wanted to die and screaming those words over and over. And that I had nothing else to live for. I wanted my pain to be over. I hung up the phone. Pushed the gas pedal to the floor and drove straight through the big brick wall of the plan of homes entrance… boom. It was done like a blink of an eye. Blackness. All over. It is that easy to end your life?… or was it for me… I woke up… was this heaven? I am still in this damn car the last thing I remember is a brick flying through the front windshield and hitting me right in the face… I ended up fracturing my cheekbone from the brick that hit me… but I am alive. I guess God wasn’t ready for me yet. I heard sirens and people pulling me from the vehicle into an ambulance as I am in and out of consciousness.

The next part of this story is the version from my parents… My dad actually has this dream written down…. the night of my accident my Dad had a dream. He dreamt that I was in trouble and God had to help me. He even wrote about God’s hand coming to grab me and pull me out of harms way. He woke up from this nightmare and woke my mother up in panic about the dream he had. He started to write this dream down in a book near his nightstand as he did with a lot of his dreams. And as he was writing the phone rings… it’s the call that every parent hates and hopes they never have to get… the call that says, “I am sorry but your son has been in a bad accident. He is on his way to the hospital.”

Guys…. point of this story… I am ALIVE and so thankful to be alive. I can’t believe the opportunities and experiences I would have missed if I didn’t have a second chance. A lot of people do not get second chances but I was lucky to have one. It might have taken me a lot of years to realize how thankful I am today. But I couldn’t feel more blessed and appreciative of life. I guess that is why I move and experience as much as I can. I want to feel alive and feel everything I can from being in this wonderful life. Sure… things have changed since my car accident. Once you go from completely giving up to waking up alive… things will most definitely be different! The biggest thing would be that since my accident my mind does not trust my body. For instance… before my accident I rode rollercoasters and was not afraid of heights. Now after my accident I am afraid of these things. Not in fear like “oh my, so high!” but in fear of my body wanting to throw myself off the ledge even though my state of mind would never want that… it is like my mind does not trust my body ever since of my acciedent. The biggest step I made was I now live on the 3rd floor here in Arizona! I was never able to live above the 2nd floor but this was my only option here and with everything I was going through financially I knew I had to make myself do this. I was terrified but now I am able to sit on my back porch and not be afriaid. I hope this story reaches someones heart. I hope this story makes someone not give up. I hope this story makes someone realize that bullying is NOT OK! Some people go through suicidal thoughts and it is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to seek help right away. I thank God for my second chance at life and yes it has still been a lot of ups and downs but that’s what life is all about. And if you are someone experiencing bullying seek help! FIGHT! DO NOT EVER GIVE UP! It’s not “uncool” to ask for help. If anything it might save your life and this is coming from someone who tried to end his but yet got a second chance to make it right… Make your change now and make it right! To others out there. You do not know what is going on in someones minds. Be kind. Spread love not hate. We may think someones life looks perfect from the outside or we may think certain things about a person to what they are going through or how they are feeling but truth is we never really know what someone else is thinking. Spread love, not hate. Hug the person next to you because we never know when it is our time…


This is the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Do not EVER give up. Keep fighting. A better tomorrow will come…

*UPDATE – I wanted to stress that my ex at the time “Sami” is a wonderful person! We had talked since the accident and forgave each other! None of this was ever her fault either. I just wanted to update this since I didn’t do a good job the first time around saying how great she was and how thankful I was to have known her as long as I did!*

The Acura 001The Acura 002The Acura 005The Acura 007My Fractured FaceMenardsAt ChicagoAll Of UsAll of Us at the Bridge 001

#9 – Austin, Texas –

July – September  My experience in Austin, Texas was a growing one for sure. Times were tough but I managed through them and I met great friends along the way! I knew going out there would not be easy for me as well as what I knew I had to do in order to be a better person, work on my inner-self and change my destructive path that I originally was on to a positive, loving and thankful one. I would say I definitely accomplished all of that and more! My journey started off when one of my best friends, Steve, flew with me to Austin to scope it out! I quickly fell in love with that city as it is gorgeous and there is so much to do! We went apartment hunting with an amazing real estate agent down there named Randi and she found me my new home! When I arrived back to my home in Pittsburgh my house sold sooner than I expected because I had like the best real estate agent ever! Thank you Devie! With little time to pack up everything on a truck and start my new journey one of my other best friends, CeRia, wanted to throw me going away party at our favorite bar called, The Roo Bar. That was one hell of a going away party that I will never forget and will be forever thankful for! After saying good-bye to my friends and family it was really starting to hit me… I am moving to Austin, Texas! Wow! This was really about to happen! Over the next few days I packed everything up and me, my Mom, Uncle and Pap headed on a drive through the states on a 3 day journey to Texas! From then I knew my next step was going to be a difficult one, quitting drugs and alcohol all together instantly at once. Then, a hurricane decides to hit the Gulf and I got to experience my 1st effects from a hurricane while stuck inside my apartment going through withdrawal. It was fun… let me tell you… After, I got through what was the most important part in changing my life around I then started to replace bad habits with good positive habits! I put a workout plan into place that consisted of running at local trails and lifting weights. I was 224 pounds and very unhappy at being that weight! I also started practicing my aim at one of the nicest gun ranges I have ever been to, started making cooking videos because I love to cook, and started a blog! Through the 1st crazy month there Mason and I were finally making this home for us. He even found friends sooner than I did! Haha! I have been so thankful and blessed to have Mason in my life. Our bond got even stronger through all this. He truly is my best friend.

September – November  Now, it was time to look for a job! I wanted to bartend and I heard 6th Street was crazy and fun so I took a bunch of resumes and walked down up and down 6th Street until I got hired somewhere! Well, actually 2 places hired me that day – Ranch 616 and Eureka! And, I finally made my 1st close friend named Shay! Things seemed like they were finally falling into place. I knew it was time for facing my biggest obstacle next. Being real with myself and accepting who I am for me. It was time to do what was the scariest thing I have ever done before – to come out. I was about to tell the world I was GAY! I never dated a guy prior to coming out either but knew what I was fighting against my whole life and I knew I had to make this step in order to work on my inner-self. So, I did just that on October 6th, 2017. I will never forget that date because my life really took a big change then. I was worried I would lose all my closest friends and I thought my family wouldn’t accept me but I was very lucky that most of them did. And the ones who didn’t… well I do believe everything happens for a reason and it just wasn’t meant to be. A few days later my friend Shay wanted to take me to my first “Gay Bar” experience! An experience it sure was… A fun and interesting one though… My next step was making a trip back home to see my friends and family in person. I just wanted to see how different it really would be. I decided to make that trip home right before I left for Vegas with CeRia because she was afraid to fly alone as it was her first plane ride and I wanted to be there for her. My trip home was very interesting… Me and bunch of friends all go out together. During that night a “straight” guy friend of mine follows me into the bathroom at a bar that we were at and confesses his love for me and telling me that he had a crush on me for the longest time but was always afraid to tell me. I was super shocked and surprised at what was happening and just went with the flow. He was the first guy I ever dated. The next day I left for Vegas after the crazy experience that went down the night before. I was thinking if my trip to PA was that crazy I didn’t think Vegas would even top it but come on, it’s Vegas, of course it did! I ended up meeting a super hott guy at the bar on our last night there who I had my first public kiss with. Then, you should have seen my friend AK’s face! Haha! Who is usually seeing me with lots of girls! Haha! It was the very first time I was able to be my true self in public in front of all my friends that were there and it was the best feeling in the world! To be who you are and have the people who you love, love you back, without judgment or hatred. When I got back home to Texas after my wild trip to Las Vegas my sister had her baby! I was so excited to be an uncle and to meet the cute little Katalina! During this time I talked all day everyday to my guy friend from home who I shockingly found out about. We then started dating but he said it had to be secret because he was not out yet and he didn’t want anyone to find out about it. I respected that and knew it was common in this life. I was just so excited about it I would have done anything he asked. I never felt feelings like this before and fell really hard for this person. He was even planning on moving to Texas to be with me and his plan was to come out to the world then and tell everyone we were together! Until what happened in January which you will find out by reading on…

November – January  I quickly realized the 2 jobs I had were not for me at the time in my life I was at and I really wanted to change-up my career. I was looking into all different kinds of fields and found this $1,500 class where a group of people teach you how to sell online and promise you all kinds of things that turn out not to be true. I really had hope that it was going to be something for me. I invested my time and money into it but come to find out it was a hoax and they pressure you to take all your money, well they ask for $30,000, and try to trick you into giving it to them through loan officers that were there. It was a super big let down but I brushed myself off and kept on pushing through. Which landed me to my next job at the JW Marriott in Austin as a bartender at Corner! What an awesome job! I really enjoyed working there and meeting so many people from all over the world but knew it would always be temporary because I did not want to be a bartender forever and really wanted to find a different career path that I enjoyed and can grow at. Now, Christmas time is approaching and I met my mom in Phoenix, Arizona (where my sister lives) to meet my niece for the 1st time! We had such a wonderful time all together as a family! When that trip was over I flew back home back to Texas to meet my good friend Heather and her friend Lucia to spend New Year’s together! We had such a fun time all together I just felt bad it was one of the coldest winters Austin has seen, it even snowed for the 1st time since the 1970’s! During the night of New Year’s Eve while we were out I started receiving hateful comments and messages about my sexuality and my character. It was very hurtful to me but really who sits around on New Year’s Eve to make fake Facebook accounts to send hate to others? I honestly feel bad for those people. Over the next few days I was really bothered by the comments being made to me from a few different people who I knew I had to do something about it. Instead of retaliating with hate back towards them I simply took their hurtful words and I made them into positive ones about myself. That really helped me to get over it!

January – March  One night towards the end of January I get a message from this guy while I am at work, who I never knew before, asking if I was the other guy? Ha… come to find out over the next few days that my “straight” friend from back home whom I been “secretly dating” was a pathological liar and was in 4 different relationships (3 guys and 1 girl) all at the same time, all while lying to everyone. I was crushed… It was the very first time I opened my heart up to a new relationship like that and it did not end well for me… I quickly ended that relationship and never spoke to him since. I decided to take my sadness and put it into positive health goals! I was 224 when I moved to Texas then dropped to 196 and was stuck at that weight until I started Arbonne thanks for my friend Chrissy! I was able to get my weight down to 177! The very lowest I weighed since my Freshman year of college! Working out & clean eating really helped me get through some tough times! I also really enjoyed going to the gym with my friend Ryan. He was such a great friend to have especially during those months I was in Austin! I ended up catching Mono around this time, too. After a few weeks of being sick I finally was able to get back to work and get ready for the craziness of SXSW (huge music and movie festival throughout the city of Austin)! It was super fun to work during it and make some decent money! My 1st day of SXSW I received the biggest tip of my life! It was what I normally make in a 2 weeks pay all in one tip! I was all happy and smiles that night as I was walking to my truck after getting off work checking my phone and seen I had a message that my cousin Kimi passed away. I was so saddened because I knew she was starting to get sick and I had it on my To-Do List to call her but never got around to it until it was already too late. I was so upset with myself not calling her before she passed. She was such a cool cousin and always supported me through anything! RIP KIMI… Hope you are having fun up there with my dad laughing and smiling. The following week Austin started getting explosive packages with bombs inside! It was scary because I love getting mail and was always nervous to check it! The last bomb that went off was super close to where I lived! So thankful the cops caught that crazy person. Especially with my mom coming to visit in just a few days!

March – May  My next big obstacle that I needed to take on was the fact that I went bankrupt from my divorce. I was struggling so bad almost to the point of not being able to pay my rent! They went as far as sending me an eviction notice with having to move out in only 3 days! I was freaking out but they ended up giving me a second chance to get my money in late to them. The bankruptcy was 3 months long. Glad it is almost over now! It is crazy to look back at my life last year this time… married, 4 bedroom house with hot tub and fenced in yard, good job, nice cars, to now divorced, broke and literally starting my life completely over from scratch with almost nothing. And the few things I did have left all got completely damaged and broke on my move from Austin to Phoenix.

It has been one heck of a crazy ride in Texas and I will for sure miss the friendships I made especially with some of my co-workers at JW Marriott, Eureka and my neighbors! But I knew I wanted to build my future somewhere and I missed family at the same time. I decided with the help of my sister to move to Phoenix and settle down there…

Now my next chapter begins…



#8 – The Ups & The Downs –

I love writing. It is a release for me that just feels good. Sometimes I write about the good and sometimes about the bad. This blog is about failing but never ever giving up!

Just recently I was pushed down, probably one of hardest falls I have ever had. But that is ok. Why? Because I am relentless. I will never give up. I will brush that dirt off and keep on trying. Because I have a dream. A dream that I know I can reach. I live and breathe this dream everyday. I look at this dream when I wake up. I dream of it when I sleep. I will make this dream one day become a reality. I just know it. The important thing to me is to never stop chasing my dreams. Life is short and I only have one life to live so it is important to me to make the most out of it. But it is not an easy ride. It is sometimes the hardest thing I will do. It might take moving across the country by myself not knowing one single person, without a job, on the chance of finding a better life or working on myself to just be better person. And that is where I am at today. I knew this would not be easy. I knew I would have many ups and downs. Seems like lately it has been constant failures for me at finding the right job, and finding out where exactly I fit in this world. Then, I have been knocked down to where I hit my lowest point, like being punched in the stomach and getting the wind knocked out of me. But, I get up and keep trying over and over and never ever lose sight of the end goal.

I had something that happened recently to me that made me feel like the lowest garbage on this Earth. I couldn’t get it out of my head. But, today I woke up and was like I need to write about it. Learn from my mistakes and move on. Because, nothing or no one will put me down. I had a moment of weakness where all I wanted was to just be accepted. I didn’t stay true to myself or my beliefs. Part of me thought I accepted myself but realized that I still have yet to fully do so. I was so eager to be accepted that I put myself in very bad and scary situation. I now look back and realize NEVER AGAIN. Never again will I allow someone to prey upon my eagerness to just be accepted. Never again will I allow myself to be put in a situation like I was. What I realized from the horrible experience is that I do not need anyone to accept me. I just needed to accept myself.

Besides that knockdown comes the career hopes or should I say letdowns. I put all my eggs into a basket that I thought would really pan out. I went to this job training class recently in hopes to find what exactly I was looking for. I did learn a lot from it and was glad I did it but by the end of the class it was a complete setup to where they want all of your money and try to hard sell you into buying into their dream and company. I was so let down by what I thought it could have meant for my future. I was even more let down that I had to start all the way at the bottom again. But this is a journey. We are all on a journey in life and like I said before there will be many ups and downs but staying focused and just getting back up each time is what makes you closer to your end goals each time. So this weekend, I applied to new places, realized I need to just start all over again but that it will all be ok and that no matter what I will never give up. I know one day I will find what I am looking for in life and in my career!

Now, just a few days ago my sister and her husband had their first baby! It hit me, I am AN UNCLE!! They brought this beautiful little baby girl into this world and it made me think about how I was feeling lately. Seeing her born gave me a new inspiration and fire that I needed right then and there. I want her one day to be so proud of her uncle. I want her to be able to read my story and see the struggles but more importantly see that you can overcome anything you put your heart and mind to. When she grows up, I want her to be able to read this blog if she ever has a bad day and see that it is just a bad day and she will get through it. I want her to see you can be at your lowest points and still come out on top. I mean she does have the most amazing inspiring mother and father as well but I also want to be a guiding light for her to come! I want her to know she will never be alone and that she is loved by so many!

So this blog is me turning my frown upside down. To anyone who is struggling from whatever reason or experience that may have happened to you, never give up. Dig deep. Get back up after you fall and just brush that dirt off because this world we live in is amazing. Learn from your mistakes. Make it your life that you would look back on and be proud of. It is never too late to have your best today.

“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Failures are part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t LEARN. If you don’t learn you will never change.”

Lastly, here are 2 of my goals that I will achieve one day…

1. I will take my mother, sister, brother-in-law and niece all on a vacation to anywhere in the world that I will fully pay for in cash!

2. I will find my career that I will love so much it never feels like I am working a day in my life!

The picture on the left is me after the week I had. The picture on the right is me realizing to stop feeling sorry for myself and to get up, dust the dirt off, learn from my mistakes and back on the road to achieving my goals!


My beautiful little niece with my sister and her husband!


Me hitting my goal #2!


Me hitting goal #1!

Thank you for reading!! Have a great, positive, sky is the limit kind of day!!

#7 – A New Beginning –

It has been about a month and a half since my last Blog post. I really wanted to share what has happened in my life since I came out on October 6th, 2017.

After posting online I received numerous calls and messages from people who I have known throughout my life with overwhelming love and support. I am so thankful and blessed to of had that and actually still kinda shocked by it all. I have also received calls and messages asking for advice or guidance which I love because my goal is to pay it forward in any way. But deep down inside I needed to make a trip home to just see how things would really be in person. For me that was the true test to what my new life was going to be like around my friends and family. Was it going to be awkward? Was I going to get hated on? Was my family or friends going to understand? Was I going to be looked at like I am some gross person for liking the same-sex? Were people going to think that this was just a random choice I made and not really who I am deep down inside? I had so many questions I needed to just figure it out in order for me to really move on. And now I would say that trip last week was the best decision I have made. That week home to Pennsylvania and Las Vegas was literally the BEST time in my entire life and I couldn’t even of asked for anything more!

Last week between PA & Las Vegas was probably the most life changing weeks of my entire life. I have been on cloud 9 since then and literally can not stop smiling because I found something in myself that I never found before. I feel like I found somewhere where I can actually belong in this life. I found out that my family and friends still love me. I found out that my guy friends whom I have known for years actually still treated me the same way as they always have. I found out who my real friends or family are and the ones who I lost well… lets just say everything happens for a reason. I found out that the people who care most for me just want me happy. I found out that I can love & be loved equally back. I found out that no matter if you have a deep complicated history with someone you can just still want the best for them to be happy and loved as well. I found out that you can be afraid but what comes next is worth every second of pushing yourself through it. I found true happiness. I found out that in the first time in my entire life I can just be myself and the feeling of that is the best feeling in the universe! I found out that there is a whole world out there of endless possibilities, opportunity, drive, passion, kindness, love, happiness, new beginnings and life experiences. I found out a passion I never experienced before and that it was ok to feel that way. I found out that it is ok to be who you are and to love yourself. I feel like I just starting living for the first time in my life. It gave me this drive to want the most for my life. To never stop. To push yourself through the hardest times of your life. It just is crazy to me how months ago I was ready to give up. Be done. End the pain I was feeling but something inside just told me to keep going a little further and I did. And in only 3 months my whole life changed. I met amazing new friends in my life. I got even closer with the friends and family I have. I got myself clean. I took my weight and cut down 30 pounds. I found a healthy lifestyle. I took the life that I took for granted for and made it the life I WANT TO LIVE EVERY DAY FOR! It is never to late to change your life around for the better! I couldn’t be more thankful and happy to be where I am at today knowing where I was at just a few months ago. I want to seriously thank all my friends and family who have stuck by me, who push me in a positive way and who I love with my whole heart.

My message to anyone else feeling depressed like I was… PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP WHEN YOU FEEL THAT YOU CAN NOT BREATHE FROM THE PAIN INSIDE OF FEELING A CERTAIN WAY TO WHERE YOU THINK THE WORST OF YOUR LIFE OR THAT IT IS THE END OF YOUR ROAD BECAUSE IT IS NOT THE END!!! Fight, please fight for a tomorrow that you want to live for because I would have never ever seen this chapter in my book where I am at today and I couldn’t be more thrilled that I didn’t close this book months ago when I thought I had nothing to live for. When you think you have lost everything, do not give up and know it can only be up hill from there! Being different is not a bad thing it just means you are brave enough to be yourself because life is what you make it and we all only get one life to live!

“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.” – Guy Finley

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu



Below is a picture of two of my best guy friends wearing shirts I bought them from Texas! It meant the world to me that they still treated me like nothing was different! Thanks for being in my life Zac & Chris!


#6 – I AM… ME –

This is THE HARDEST & SCARIEST POST I HAVE EVER MADE. I have been going down a journey here the last month and a half to really work on myself. This is the final but scariest step in my journey to really just be open and honest with myself and the world. I know I will lose friends by saying this but it is not fair to them or myself to not be honest with who I am.

I am gay.

Besides my sister & mother I told no one this. I did call my ex-wife today to let her know the truth at what I had come to find out but what really deep down I guess I had always known. She was the first person I actually said those words out loud to. That was probably the scariest phone call to make but she is such an amazing person I didn’t want her to take out there in the dating world that she ever failed me or our relationship in any way or know that she was anything but perfect. She is the kindest person I know with the biggest heart and I know she will find true love. I also want her to know that I will always be there for her for whatever she needs and that I am so very sorry for ever hurting her.

When I first noticed I started having these feelings I was at the very youngest age that I can remember. I remember in elementary school I would ask my mom to buy me Britney Spears & Madonna CD’s to sing along to them. Haha! Did I know then this is what it meant? No. And not saying if you listen to either of them your gay either! LOL. In my later years in life especially high school & college it was the hardest thing to run away from. I was finding out that I had feelings for the same-sex which I didn’t understand nor want but was heavily there. That is when I really started to heavily drink and use drugs. I honestly didn’t really accept this until recently when I was in therapy for my marriage counseling. My ex-wife & I both went together. After the first day my therapist asked if she could start seeing me alone which was odd but we thought it must have been necessary. When I went that day by myself she point-blank told me she could just tell I was running from something and by what we talked about in the first session she just came out and asked me if I was had feelings towards guys. I was shocked she pretty much knew instantly but then again that’s why she was great at her job. At this time I was the lowest point of my life. I was at the point where I wanted to end my life, again. Therapy really saved me. I was running from this my entire life. I never EVER wanted to feel this way. I didn’t choose this. I tried different drugs throughout my years to make these feelings go away. Drugs and Alcohol may helped make them go away for a short period of time but when I was coming down, off, or sobering up those feelings would all surface up again. I even looked up stuff online to see what you can do to not feel this way but nothing helped. I thought marrying the HOTTEST GIRL ALIVE would also help. But you can not just wish this away. I really believe I was born this way. My therapist said the only thing to get yourself better is to be honest with how I feel to the people around me and myself. That was the only way I was going to turn my life around otherwise it was like a vicious circle and I would keep coming back to the same outcome if not end up dead. BTW, I am proud to say I have been off drugs for a little over 2 months now and I am ready to face everything that comes my way head on.

So here it is. Totally putting it out there for all. I am so sorry for all this may hurt including my family or friends that won’t accept this. I am done running. I am done doing drugs or alcohol to hide who I am. I am done being scared. I am done pretending. I am done not being true to myself. I AM DONE HATING MYSELF. I am going to finally let go and love myself for who I am and love all those around me! Like Logic says…


If anyone out there is having a difficult time like I was with whatever it may be. Please, feel free to reach out to me at anytime. I am always happy to help anyone I that I can.


#5 – The Law Of Attraction – The Power Of Your Mind –

Hi Everyone! An old friend reached out to me the other day that I haven’t spoken to in YEARS! Probably since 2006! She told me a story about her life and how she was able to change so much around her because she started to view her life in a different way due to this book she was reading called, “The Secret“. I am not much of a reader at all. I think the last book I read I was in high school, over 10 years ago! So, I started to read this book on the plane from Austin to Pittsburgh (with a layover in Chicago). I am going to try an explain how this book helped me in a couple high anxiety (for me) situations today and how I was able to completely turn it all around just based on my mind. Below, I am going to try to be as descriptive as possible so that you can visually put yourself where I was at.

Friday, September 1st, 2017. This is the honest truth of my day with NO EXAGGERATION! LOL! This all really did go down the way I am saying so below… ok here is goes…

My day started out terrible! I woke up late, couldn’t find anything that I needed to pack, like my glasses (not sunglasses), my passport, my Beats By Dre Headphones, my carry on luggage, my checkbook with account info, etc. Things that I thought were important to me to have. Mason, my dog, was sad I was leaving. I felt he could sense that something was going on as he sees me freaking out running around my apartment looking for these things. At this point in time I look down at my phone to see the time is now 12:18pm and my flight DEPARTS at 1:24PM (Departs, not boards, there is a big difference there). I still have to drop off Mason at Pups & Pals for the weekend and the airport is about 20 mins (without traffic) from me. Now, I am in major panic mode as I throw whatever I have packed in my truck along with Mason and his weekend bag. I look back down at my phone to see there was an update with my flight status to “DELAYED“! It was only a half hour delay but that was just what I needed to have enough time to get to the airport and catch my flight! It is now 12:38pm and I just pulled up to the Doggie Daycare and rush Mason to the front door! IT IS LOCKED WITH ALL THE LIGHTS OFF!! Really!??? Like for real??? I see a sign on the door that says dog pick up and drop off times end at 12 Noon and they will be back at 4pm!! I really start panicking and pounding on the door. Thankfully, they heard me from the back and came out! I checked Mason in then on my way! This whole time I am thinking how my day is terrible, I am panicking, I am just thinking negative thoughts!

I finally arrive to airport, park, get the shuttle, check in, run to my gate as they were boarding the plane. No time to even take a piss break. I get on the plane look to see where I am sitting because I had no time to look prior… 16E… ok not bad that’s somewhere in the middle of the plane. If anyone knows me, they know I hate middle seats… oh of course thats a middle seat in the middle of the plane! I mean with the negative day that I was already having, why not? Pour it on me. Or did I pour all this on myself? The guy to the right of me looked to be Muslim, the guy to the left of me looked European, I had a group of young kids behind me, and didn’t really get see the people in front of me. We finally hit the runway and we are off!! Flight is in the air!! I soon noticed a strange smell, something almost like a rotten egg. Someone definitely wasnt wearing any deodorant either to my right or left. I tried to block it out but I was constantly thinking negatively. I then tried to get comfy and the seat was as hard as a surf board. Terrible. Worst seat ever. Next, a little kid near me starts crying so loud and just will not stop. Again, thinking negative thoughts. Perfect time for me to get this book out to read that my friend recommended to me called, “The Secret“. Not even 20 mins later the guy on my right starts putting his finger in his ear to clear out the ear wax that has apparently been building up. Keep in mind this flight is so crammed I am elbow to elbow with the person on my right and left. After cleaning out his ear from all the wax , he realizes that he now has wax stuck underneath his long fingernails. He then goes to clean them… Of course you know that’s what anyone would do. I kid you not… while he is using his other fingernails to clean the wax off a piece fly right past me to hit the seat directly in front me. I am now in direct eyesight of ear wax smudged up on the seat in front of me. I almost threw up. Now, I am really thinking how much I hate this flight, I hate American Airlines, I hate, I hate, I hate… All negative thoughts…. all of a sudden I start to hear these Viking Women screaming or was it singing? I couldn’t tell… the guy next to me was watching music videos of larger celtic women singing that look like vikings. No earphones? No…. why would he use earphones? I start having more and more NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, It was almost like a “magnet” the more negative I was thinking, the more negative things started happening. I then noticed that I must have tied my shoes too tight because my feet hurt from it and I couldn’t even bend down to loosen them or else I would end up in someones lap. Great! Maybe, I will just lose circulation to my feet! Next, the wind starts picking up and the plane was rocky to the point where I was now starting to get motion sickness! Then… ooh yes… there is more… the kids behind me starting kicking and pushing my seat!

Now, to quickly recap what is going on… here’s me as I am sitting in the middle seat, the guy on my right is flinging ear wax, the guy on my left is singing along to celtic viking women, the kids behind me are hitting my seat, the plane feels like it could fall apart from how windy it was, little kids are screaming & crying, my seat is hard as a rock, my feet are about to lose circulation AND SOMEBODY IS NOT WEARING DEODORANT!!!! At this point I am ready to have a panic attack. I dig into this book and the words just hit me. Speak right to me. I am thinking nothing but negative thoughts and all around me more and more negative things keep happening. I realize this is what I am putting out into the universe! All this negativity! I then put my head back, try to block out everything negative and start thinking positively… I start thinking of my family, my moms face when I see her happy to see me, my sister at her baby shower tomorrow! I think, WOW, I am going to be an uncle! I start thinking of my friends and who I will get to see on this trip. I start thinking of being so happy to have my dog Liam for the whole weekend! The positivity just started flowing through my veins! Positive thoughts were flowing and my mood  changed instantly! I kid you not, the kids behind me stopped, I couldn’t even hear those celtic viking women because I was so into this book that I was able to block it out. The ear wax… well that was still nasty but I was able to move past it. All these issues that were about to make me have a panic attack, I was able to block out by focusing my mind on all the positive thoughts! All the positive things that I can look forward to this weekend! As Willie Nelson once said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results!” That, I truly believe in as I am seeing it with my own eyes happening to my own life! I believe in this book and the LAW OF ATTRACTION. Think of your own life? How do you view things? Are you constantly negative? As for me, I am now starting to attract all the positive thoughts instead of all the negative ones. In this book it states how thoughts are magnetic… You attract what you, yourself put out into the universe! I now truly believe that!! I hold the power to change. You too can do this! Just try it out and see if it works for you! I now can apply this law to my life and anytime I may need it! Ahh does it feel great!!

But wait… there is more? What is this I hear we are running even more late and will not get to our arrival gate until 4:30pm?? My connecting flight to Pittsburgh departs at 4:49PM!!! They close the doors in 9 minutes and I am still waiting to de-board my first flight!!! I tell the lady at the front of the arrival gate and she says, “Run! Hurry! I will call and tell them you are on your way!! I never ran so fast in my life! I also have a 30 pound book bag on and holding, like a baby, my 50 pound carry on duffel bag that I held the entire way to my next gate from H8 to G15. If you have been to Chicago O’Hare International Airport then you know that’s a hike!! Ahhh… I see the gate!! Great!! I made it!! Nope… door closed. I start to freak out! I turn on my phone to look up options and I have multiple texts from my mom saying my best friend Ron couldn’t pick me up anyone and that she was going to?? I start thinking negatively… She has to be up early for my sisters shower and who knows now when and if I will be able to get to Pittsburgh!! I start thinking maybe I should just give up and fly back to Austin! Then, I pause. No! I hold “the secret“! The power to change my negative thoughts and all negativity around me… I instantly feel a sense of relief that no matter what, it will be ok! I will be positive no matter what! Then, I look down and get a text from Ron… HIS GF IS GOING INTO LABOR!!!!!! OMG!! Now, I really want to get to Pittsburgh! I talk to the American Airlines staff member and he was able to get me on the next flight which was only an hour and a half away! AMAZING!!!!

I get on my plane, headed to Pittsburgh… Wow! My seat was comfortable (it was the same type of plane), I sat next to a mom and two little cute kids! The one little girl started to cry, I looked over smiled and said, “awe don’t worry we are almost there!” The little girl looked back at me with a little smile and not cried again the entire way! Her mom says to me, “Wow, this is the first time she stopped crying and we have been flying all day long!” I then ask… “Oh, where are you coming from?” She says, “Austin, Texas”. Then, it hit me! I knew that lady looked familiar! This was the little girl on my plane when I was thinking negatively about everything and here this lady and her family are sitting right next to me. The rest of the flight not one thing bothered me! Why?? BECAUSE I CHANGED MY WAY OF THINKING!!! And YOU CAN TOO!!

On your hard days, or days where you are just miserable, think of this blog post. You can change your whole day just from the power of your mind and how you view everything around you!!! Also, go and buy the book, “The Secret“. It has already helped me ao much and I still have more to read!! Thank you old friend for putting this book into my hands and helping me to find this secret!! Have a great day everyone!!

I am beyond blessed to not have given up and flown back to Austin, Texas. Why? Because my best friend is having a baby right this minute and my sisters baby shower is tomorrow! What more positivity could I ask for than that!!

#4 – You Are Not Alone –

I was inspired tonight to write this blog post by watching the 2017 VMA’s which just aired. A song came on that I never heard before and spoke right to my heart. Its called 1-800-273-8255 by Logic. This song, I have felt, said, and thought before so many times. I downloaded it immediately. I am in tears as I am writing this as this is the main reason I started this blog.

I am a victim of sexual assault. I experienced sexual abuse from the time I was in 2nd grade until about the 5th grade. I went through many different stages of my life fighting this pain, anger, and sadness that I was experiencing. My biggest emotion of it all was embarrassed. I was embarrassed to finally get help. I was embarrassed that this happened to me – a guy (it can happen to anyone!) My entire life I used alcohol, drugs, relationships, even suicide, anything to forget those 3 years of my life.

On July 5th, 2005 – I was living in Chicago, Illinois at this time. I was in pain, hurting so much – feeling so much of what this song I heard tonight says in it.

“I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine”

“I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die
And let me tell you why”

That night I plotted my death. I took my parents Acura out, took it to the middle of no where – about a mile away from a huge brick wall. I sat in this car for a good hour crying, hurting, hating, and then pressed on the gas took that car to 100mph and drove myself through that wall. That night before my accident my Father had a dream. In this Dream, he dreamt the Lord said to him that “he is in the Palm of my hand.” The Lord was watching over me. (While unpacking this week I found my Dad’s dream from that night he had written it down. Below is a picture of it.) Then, him and my mom were woken up at 12:15am to get the call that NO PARENT wants to hear. – “We are sorry but your son, Joseph Prizner, has been in a terrible accident.”

Wow… I actually just said it. I am letting the WORLD know. Something I was told by so many others to “hide it”, to “not tell anyone what happened to me”, to “try to forget about it”. To all those people who I reached out to in some point of my life for help and that’s the advice I was given… well here it is! Out in the open. Tonight, I do not want to go into detail about who, what, where, etc. on this blog post as it is not the reason I am writing this blog. The reason I am writing this is to reach somebody. Help somebody. Give someone hope that there is more to life!

My past has always affected my life. Until recently.

I wanted to reach out to others and help them with things I have been through, thoughts and feelings that I have had before. I told my family that the whole reason I was making this Blog was to share my experiences of what I have known to torture me my whole life. Something that I have always been running from. Something that has hurt me for years by being bottled up. I knew one day I would be writing this on my blog but never ever expected it to be this soon. I got through these troubling times and I am on to so many more brighter days. If you are hurting or feeling this pain. You are not alone. You can get through this to see your brighter days. I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe you are in the exact place and the exact time you are meant to be. This is why this move to Austin, Texas has been so personal to me. BECAUSE TODAY I FEEL EXACTLY AS IT STATES IN THE LAST PART OF LOGIC’S SONG…

“I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die today
I don’t wanna die
I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die
I don’t wanna die”

“Pain don’t hurt the same, I know
The lane I travel feels alone
But I’m moving ’til my legs give out
And I see my tears melt in the snow
But I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry anymore
I wanna feel alive
I don’t even wanna die anymore
Oh I don’t wanna
I don’t wanna
I don’t even wanna die anymore”

With that being said I feel like I was so moved by this song tonight I needed to share my experience and to let anyone know…


PEACE, LOVE & POSITIVITY – These Words I Want To Live By


If there is anyone that this messages reaches that needs someone to talk to, please reach out to me on here, Facebook, Snapchat, texting, calling, anything.


Me back in my younger days!

Dad's Dream

This is what my Dad wrote on July 5th, 2017.

The Acura 001

The Acura 002

My accident


Today!!! If I gave up back then I would have never experience everything I have up into this point and I am just getting started!! To a better and brighter world!!! There is always light at the end of the tunnel!!

Below someone shared this with me just the other day. You never know who’s lives you will reach so BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU, THAT YOU CAN BE!

#3 – Setting Goals To Become A Healthier Version Of Myself –

Hi everyone!! I am setting goals to become a healthier version of myself. These goals are Mental, Physical, and Spiritual. My Mental Goals to work on are the ability to understand myself, to share my feelings of what life brings (happiness, fear, sadness, love, joy, stress, anger, trust, hope, etc.), to work on getting good sleep, to cope with the ALL challenges life may bring, to embrace the unknown, and to constantly challenge myself! One of my Mental Goals that I need to work on myself is being able to look someone in the eye. My therapist found that I hated myself so bad I never felt worthy to look someone straight in the eye without looking away. I remember when I started therapy this year only a few weeks ago I would cry when my therapist said, “Joe, you are a good person.” Today, I still struggle with this. Why, do I hate myself so bad that I can’t even stand to hear anyone say that I am good person? Why, can I not even say this out loud myself? So this is my TOP Mental Goal to work on! My Spiritual Goals to work on are my ability to establish a peace and harmony within myself, to provide myself with values and beliefs that give me a purpose in my own life. This is not just believing in a higher power – it is believing in my own purpose in life. To me this means being able to sit in silence without feeling awkward. My life has always been such on the go and with ADHD it is very hard for me to sit still and focus. I never can just sit still or let alone sit still in silence! Lately, every night I have been laying on the floor, putting on Pandora (Nature Sounds w/Music Channel), and would lay there in silence (no phone, no computer, no tv, nothing but the sounds of nature). I would focus on nothing but the far away sound of Nature (which I would put on very quietly) and just relax. Honestly, this might sound like a crazy stupid idea but I found this to help myself so much! Give it a try! My Physical goals are to lose weight, feel good about myself, develop strength, and become a way better runner! Being in a depression like I was I really let myself go and put on the pounds! Yes, guys can be emotional eaters too! I went from 180 pounds to 220 pounds! Enough is enough. If I am going to seek a better version of myself! I am going to have to work very hard to get there! I know I can do this and I will not give up! I really want to work on myself internally and externally. I want to build my self-worth (something that I have always struggled with) and start to believe in myself again! I want to feel healthy again and not run out of breath walking up flights of steps. My TOP Physical Goal that I am setting for myself to reach, something I have always wanted to get to but never could… I want to take my shirt off in front of whoever I want and not think twice about! Not think who is looking at me, who’s judging me, who’s disgusted by me, not think any negative thoughts. Those of you who are close to me know this is something I am very self-conscious about… taking my shirt off in public…

Today, I woke up in my new home. The first thing I did was look in the mirror and say, “Joe, you are a good person, wait… no you are a GREAT person!.” Then, I decided to go for a run at Lady Bird Lake Trail! It was so beautiful there which will help me push myself to get there on lazy days! I just got back and now I am going to continue my work out with lifting (chest day). Then, I will lay on the floor only 20 mins or so in silent (with Mason of course) and chill my mind. I am going to repeat these steps until I hit ALL MY GOALS!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

“I’m gonna make the rest of my life, the best of my life!”

“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change!” – Jim Rohn

“Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good but you may gain something better.”

“Those who seek a better life, must first become a better person.” – Jim Rohn

Joe Prizner – JGPIV

This was taken yesterday!! THIS WILL CHANGE!! I am done making excuses for my life and going to start living my life the way it was intended to be lived!!



#2 – Why I Moved To Austin! –

Hi everyone! I wanted to post on here to answer a lot of questions as to, “Why?”, “Where is the wife?”, “Did you & your wife split?”, “Why Texas?”. Before you read please excuse my grammar and how terrible I am at writing lol! Well here it is… what landed me in Austin! First off, my now Ex-Wife & I did divorce for many different reasons… We both went through a hard time (like any divorce) when it came time making that decision but it was for reasons that needed to happen. However, I do wish her nothing but the best, to find true happiness & to find someone who will show love equally just like I wish the same thing for myself! I am a firm believer of “everything happens for a reason”! My life took a turn when my father died. My Grandfather Joseph George Prizner II passed away at 66 years old on April 13th, 2004 (opening trout season in PA) from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and idiopathic cirrhosis of the liver. After being diagnosed with IPF most people only live 3-5 years after diagnosis and pass away from respiratory failure. It is a really scary disease to see people die from because it cuts off your oxygen to your most valuable organs. I remember when my Dad was passing he wanted to use Terminal Sedation to pass comfortably because he said how hard it was to watch his father pass due to loss of oxygen. I think he made the right choice and if that is the path I go down then hopefully I can make the same one. Idiopathic in the Health field really means they have no freaking clue as to what causes this disease as well as there is no known cure for it. Years later my Dad, Joseph George Prizner III also passed away from the same disease at the age of 58 on December 20th, 2015. Now this disease is called Familial IPF & IPC because more than one person had it in the family and is passed down in the genes. “What does this mean for me?” Well, as my doctors would say my chances are “extremely high” of getting this same disease around the same age as they did. “What does that mean now?” I won’t lie at first I was angry, hated life, thought my life was over…. I went through this phase for a long few months! I put on the pounds from 180 to now 220 pounds!! Then, finally I woke up and realized living that way was not healthy for me or for anyone around me. Maybe this started the downfall for my Ex-Wife and I? Who knows… but I needed to change the way I was thinking and living. Think of all the young kids who have cancer or are dying at a young age then there’s me being selfish pouting about a possible death in my 50’s when you do not even know whats going to happen tomorrow let alone in 25 years from now! From this point forward I looked up to Heaven and told my Dad that I will not live afraid anymore! I will not live selfishly and take my life for granted. I am so blessed, so thankful to be alive & heathy. I needed to continue to LIVE LIFE the way (in my eyes) it is meant to be LIVED and that is what I was going to do and no one would stop me! After, my Ex-Wife and I decided the divorce the only thing stopping me from moving like I have always wanted to was my job as General Manager at the Antonelli Event Center. Again, I looked up to Heaven and said to my Dad, “Please tell me what to do!” He was always the best at life advice especially when it came to the job! Well, soon enough I had sign after sign after sign to the fact that it smacked me in the face and I knew it was time for me to move on! I wanted to make this move a reality! 10 months ago when things were really bad between my Ex-Wife & I, I would lay in bed go on my phone and dream of living somewhere else. Try to picture myself anywhere but where I was! One thing working for Jim Shorkey has taught me was when you start to believe in your dreams they will slowly become your reality and damn was that right!! I looked into California, Las Vegas & Florida! Never ever did I think TEXAS! Haha! I said no to Cali because in my search I found it to be way to expensive for me. $2,000 PLUS for 400 square foot apartment! Plus, the plane trips to see my mom would cost me way too much money so that was out. Then, there was LAS VEGAS. Damn, I loved Las Vegas. I visited it twice in 1 year. That city just makes you feel alive – a feeling that I thrive off of now. I looked at places there then I thought… hmm… me actually LIVING in VEGAS might be dangerous lol plus my mother would probably worry even more every day of my life down there. Lastly, was Florida. I have been there so many times so I kinda wanted a new adventure for me. Somewhere I am not familiar with. I then started to GOOGLE, yes google never lets me down, statistics for cities. I looked up best cities to live in for the service industry, youngest cities to live in (Austin actually has one of the youngest living cities most people are in the age group of 26-38 years old), safest cities (for my mom of course! However, crime can happen anywhere.), most actively fit cities (yes – i am the opposite right now of actively fit however I am in the process of changing that) and the most things to do and places to see around the city! All that research led me right to Austin! I even had people say to me, “What did you throw a dart at a map of the United States and say ok that’s where I am living!”… ah no, That is not what I did. LOL! So to sum everything up. Why did I move besides everything I listed above is because I WANT TO LIVE! I WANT TO FEEL ALIVE! I WANT TO CHERISH MY LIFE AND MAKE THE MOST OF THE TIME THAT I HAVE LEFT ON THIS PLANET!

“Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain!”

As Buddha once said…
“The purpose in life is to find your purpose.” – And that is what I intend to do!

And As Socrates once said…

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Thank you everyone who took the time to read this! I really hope one day I am able to help others that might be going through similar situations as well as just to be there to listen for whoever might need a helping hand!

Joe Prizner – JGPIV

My Dad’s Senior Picture on the LEFT & My Senior Picture on the RIGHT!