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Updated: Mar 25, 2022

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I blame, myself. I blame...myself? Where have I heard that before? It must have been in a movie somewhere. Maybe a book? I have been reading a lot more lately. No. No, let's see. It must have been in a classic movie. Surely, only classics are worth remembering and quoting on a daily basis. Let's see here. It must have been, hmm. No, I think ... comedy ... wasn't it? Yes, a comedy. Family! Yes, family movie, not comedy, necessarily. Ok, in the 90's. Yes, it has to be ... alright ... and if I carry the 1 ... oh, yes! Of course. The Sandlot.

Timmy Timmons. The future multi-millionaire who would, according to the story, later in his life go on to invent mini-malls, famously uttered the words, "I blame myself. We need total surprise and airborne attack. The beast will never expect it." This line is so quotable! I laugh every time I think about this movie. I watch this movie at least once every month. No exaggeration. It's as I said, a classic. So why did this quote hit home differently in recent days? Why did I catch myself repeating these very words in what seemed to be everyday for the last 3 months? Was it perhaps to lighten the mood? I had a January. That's for sure. It's a peculiar thought that in my life only 3 months ago I found myself in a state of shock and utter dependence on those around me. I felt scared. Like a child who is afraid of the dark. Hoping for mom and dad to fight off the beast under my bed. Yes, afraid of the dark. And when the lights would go out, tears would stream down my face. Afraid of the dark or afraid of the beast who lurks in the darkness? "The beast" seemed to want to take something that never belonged to him in the first place.

In the words of another notable character in the Sandlot, Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, "You're saying I should hop over that fence and pickle the beast?" Benny waited anxiously to hear a response from his most influential baseball hero, "The Great Bambino." "Think about that kid," said The King of Crash. "I'll see you later. Remember kid! There are heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die! Follow your heart, kid, and you'll never go wrong." It wasn't just this quote that always gave me a sense of hope, but it is in the question that Benny asks The Sultan of Swat. This question made me consider the place in life I am in. This question gave me the biggest shellacking i've felt in a long time. You're saying I should hop over that fence and pickle the beast? This question lingered for so long. One day felt like 2 weeks. and 2 weeks felt like 2 months. Well, 2 months and I'm ready for Christmas again. My family got covid. I got covid. I got covid and its lingering effects and not just for my entire family, but for me rendered me frozen with fear. I had been struck with the worst illness I've had ever felt in my life. Frozen with the fear of the question that I kept asking myself nearly everyday, "You're saying I should hop over that fence and pickle the beast?"

I had failed a huge examination and found out of the results in the beginning of January. I was dealing with the swift cut-off from my time as a YouTuber and Study with Me streamer and in the process lost what I thought were pretty good friends. In what I thought was someone ... who was a good friend. Yes. Perhaps a bit melodramatic, yet a simple exit from a community that I thought, at one point, was coming together, in my eyes, was crumbling and isolating. Perhaps I expected too much from people who at the core "prefer" isolation versus community. Slowly I had started to resent this community and all in it or that represented it. No. I cut it off before it got to that point. I did. And I'm so proud of myself. I'm not 25 years old anymore. And I'm not bitter nor resentful to this community. I made the cut before it got there. I'm not 25 anymore. But that's another story for another day. Oh, January! Thou art a heartless ... well, I blame myself.

Well, its March. Things have changed. Time has changed. When it comes to time, I would like to say the words that the illustrious Kevin Hart stated, "You are something else, you know that? You are something else!." Time can either be on your side or against you it often seems. In the last month I was taking much needed time to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually from a January that surely turned my world upside down. I had made many changes. Changes that started as early as August of 2021. Had I not made those changes, who knows if January would be my last. I was diagnosed as diabetic. I thought, surely there must be a mistake. I mean, I know I am heavy set now, but surely, I need to be pre-diabetic first before I'm diabetic. I'm not diabetic. I just can't be. The truth was scary to face. Diabetes runs in my family. I never thought I would get it. I have been in decent shape my whole life. Athlete in many different sports and was doing okay for many years. That changed in August. Throughout the last several months, I was also diagnosed with Dysphagia and was dealing with many the issues of clinical depression, anxiety, and straight up panic attacks. Yes, it's clear that much went down and was trying to keep me down. What's that common saying again? Time heals? Time heals all wounds? Time does heal, just waiting for all the wounds to be fully healed. It is certainly true though. Time does heal all wounds. Time is a welcomed friend. Time is a friend. A friend that does not leave.

I played baseball my whole life. I love baseball. "How can you not be romantic about baseball?" I always had friends and even family that I played baseball with. But you know I always wished I had a friend like Benny. Like in real life. One who, regardless of the L-7 weenie that I am, sticks up for me. Is a friend of mine. A true friend. Even one who on my behalf, pickles the beast. While I'm afraid of the whispers in the dark, He is with me. Have you ever felt like this in your life? While you are wandering through life, while you're treading carefully or perhaps carelessly, or perhaps feeling like you are in the dark, you had someone you could depend on? A true friend? Through sickness or health? Through confusion or clarity? Through depression or joy? Well, I do have a Benny in my life. A true friend. I have a friend like this. He just may not be seen or heard, but He is there. He is the Benny in my story. Who pickles the beast on my behalf. I messed up. I am a mess up. I sent The Colossus of Clout's signed baseball over to The Beast. Benny hopped over the fence and took back what was mine. As messed up and chewed up as it was, the baseball was still there, and Benny brought it back and fought The Beast for me. That is a friend.

My relationship with God is where you can find the connection with Benny. It's really in the Son of God, Jesus. There is a particular story in The Bible in Mark chapter 4 where Jesus is on the boat with His disciples. That story is one to consider and think hard on. While you may encounter whispers in the dark, or have many bouts of dealing with "The Beast" in your own life, I know that Jesus fights for me in the storm and against "The Beast" and He does in this story as well in Mark 4 on behalf of the Disciples. I would encourage you to read it, and realize something important about this storm and the fear the disciples feel. Is it really fear about the storm? Read it. Let me know what you think in the comments. "Remember, heroes get remembered, but Legends never die." My hero is Benny. My hero is Jesus.

While my time on YouTube perhaps is done, although I will be posting videos in the near future occasionally. Especially for my members who I am thankful for. With much consideration and a new brand identity and seclusion on Discord, I officially started streaming March 1st, 2022 on Twitch and it is a bit strange and yet, very familiar. I also started a bookworm book club in my Discord server, along with movie nights, study rooms with timers, and a section to offer encouragement to users in the community. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and thanks for reading. See you in the next post! HADOUKEN!


Check out my review of books I read on GoodReads!

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This is a bittersweet message to send out to all my subscribers. My time here on this side of YouTube has perhaps come to a close. While you should never say never - things can change of course; I can say that I am moving forward with no intention of returning to the platform in this community. I do, however; want to give to each and every single person who has followed my channel and supported me a huge extended thank you. From both myself, and from my good pup, Linus. Thank you. Thank you for all the love, care, encouragement and support you have given to me and my pup Linus. While I will not return to YouTube, I still will be on discord in our PAXFAM Discord as a way to keep that part of our community alive. You may see me there on occasion. So, if you'd like you can be with our PAXFAM Discord community. Thank you again to everyone for the memories, the long hours of working hard completing tasks together and celebrating together. I wish you all nothing but the very best and perhaps one day, our paths will come in contact once again. Until that time, remember to be kind, and to rewind. Hadouken. God bless you all. -Paximus

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