An explanation and apology…as best I can via the web.


I’m grateful to be “on the other side” of a valley — but as is sometimes the case with my loud mouth and unfiltered comments, I have some damage control to do – “taking ownership for my sh**” as they say.

Or as one Christmas sign says, “Santa, I have some ‘splaining to do…”


 

It’s clear you’re upset about some things Todd, and I’m so sorry..however, you just managed to insult a whole lot of people in one fell swoop


I’ll lead off by saying that none of these words “justify” my actions or behavior over the last month, and in particular the last week.  There is damage that has been done to some relationships, which will possibly linger “under the surface” for quite some time.

For those who know me, and know my battle with addiction and mental illness (depression, mood swings, etc), some of this will be easier to understand. For some who don’t know me or my journey to “get here,” it may not even come close to explaining my actions and behavior. I understand that – I simply ask for as much compassion and tolerance as you’re able to offer.  And I’ll live with the consequences…because that’s part of taking responsibility and owning “my sh**.”


This year, life continues to happen – even with some of the grounding and framing I set out for 2015 in my “brand” and personal intentions for 2.015.

While I don’t want to go through all of what has been going on “behind the scenes” per se, suffice to say that continuing to look for part-time employment and considering a move to North Carolina in 2015 have brought me face-to-face with some of my demons and some of my past (many of which I’ve written about on my blog here before…)

Personal events in 2009 and 2010 have fundamentally changed my path in life, and either closed some doors permanently or is keeping them closed for several more years…  And while none of the information is new, facing the topics and roadblocks again is hard…and sparks off some grieving and a range of feelings from anger, to sadness, to resentment…  And, I sometimes let those flow over into comments and actions that have hurt others (as the quote above says!)

Of course, having our timelines for the move to NC change again (probably not until 2016!) set off another set of reactions and feelings – and grieving…

And, then last week, a friend that I used to run around with in my using days passed away from heart failure at the age of 23.  A couple people in my life knew about this, but not many…so that was working in the background, bringing about its own feelings, grieving, regrets, self-loathing and fear.  So young…

Lastly, an individual who robbed me last year and has been “AWOL” / missing for a year suddenly contacted me because he was “embarrassed” that I had posted about the burglary / house invasion.  That resurfaced some of the pain of that trauma…


 

As I’ve shared before, like most people, I’m trying my best, with good intentions – but am imperfect and will fall short sometimes.  So, if I’ve said or done something recently that hurt you – I’m truly sorry.  I’ve tried to “clean up” some of the damage that was posted to Facebook or the web – and as importantly, focused on personal apologies and conversations where the pain / damage was perhaps greatest.  And, I need to “regroup” and get back to better managing my issues and shit, such that they don’t “come out” in such ugly ways.  It’s a life-long process for me…so I’m doing my best, and try to patient and compassionate with myself (and others!) along the journey.

With some exceptions, I rarely intentionally hurt others – but when I do (intentionally or unintentionally!), where I’m aware, I do endeavor to go back and make amends.  So, if I’ve hurt you and we still need to clear the air, even after this post, please let me know.  Of course, as I aspire to as much as I can (and will still fail!), please express your unmet needs and valid feelings in an objective manner that allows me to hear and receive your feedback. Silence is by far the worst of all choices. Passive-aggressive behavior I can work through; silence robs us both of a growth experience and an ability to connect.

Perfectly imperfect,

Todd

 

 

 

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To my friend & life coach Scott Collins – thank you for your gift. RIP.


My original post on New Year’s Day has “percolated” into the following – my 2.105  personal Brand and Intentions.  Thank you to Scott Collins – friend and life coach, who taught me some new tools for living before he left us.  Your spirit lives on.  I think of you whenever I see the “eternal flame” candle at Broadway, and for that I’m grateful.  I still use a “Scott Collins Plan” template  regularly to coach the best out of life…


Todd Fuqua, Community Connector & Reflector

Living into visible, intentional, compassionate community thru conversations, faith, meals & action


The building out of my “personal brand”

  • Bakingwhich is really about sharing generously with others; showing hospitality; eating meals together and building community
  • Tech Geek (digital photos, websites, social media, remixing) – which is really about creating or using tools to enhance but not dominate life and having fun
  • Travel – which is really about seeing more of our world and nature; connecting with people; and having fun… whenever possible with my soul mate, friends or family and on a motorcycle
  • Photography – which is really about telling stories; connecting with others through empathy and creativity; and building community 
  • Blogging – which is really about telling stories; connecting with others through empathy and creativity; and building community
  • Being with Loved Ones (my soul mate, family, friends & pets) which is really about finding shelter and being home; naming, connecting & sharing one another’s gifts on a level playing field; and unconditional love 

My perceived gifts that support my “personal brand”

Empathy. Creativity. Compassion. Integrity. Authenticity. Joy. Love.


The organizational realization of my “personal brand”

CToddCreations
www.CToddCreations.com
Sharing hope through creative photography & videography

Second Chance ConneXions
www.SCConneXions.org
Connecting experienced professionals with needs in the community

Candlestick House & Engagement Center
www.Candlestickhouse.org
Individuals helping individuals lead fulfilling lives in community 

CTRecoveryJourney
ctrecoveryjourney.wordpress.com
inspiring each other to greater understanding, peace and health


 2.015 intentions for taking action
“Be Mindful, Authentic & in Community”
(knowing my Higher Power will bless my actions with Her desired outcomes)

  • Intentional community
  • Time banking
  • Compassionate communication 
  • Social Justice & Inclusion personal passion for re-entry, recovery, mental health, homelessness, poverty, LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS

Plan to be spontaneous. Live in the present.
Choose the healthier option.
Listen. Observe. Ask questions.
Be comfortable with “
good enough” and “I don’t know.
Practice serenity.
Admit when wrong. Forgive first. Love always.

Where am I? Foster kids and TCK’s share some commonality…


A friend of mine who is a teacher sent me the following devotion, written by a foster child.  “It relates to many of my students,” he added.

I’m a TCK – “third culture kid” – “Exxon brat” – child of an ex-pat.  Although my sister “had it worse,” going to three different schools in two different countries for High School, the three of us grew up moving around.  And, I’ll be honest – there are many strengths / benefits I have grown up with as a result…so I’m don’t regret my upbringing (perhaps in that way, we are different from foster children…).  I learned a foreign language early on, and am fluent in French even today because of that early education.  I’m able to adjust to new surroundings more quickly, and make new friends.  I’m perhaps more aware of and more resilient to change (though it can still be hard!) because of my changing circumstances.  I followed in my dad’s footsteps, and was an ex-pat myself, moving every 3-4 years during my career, living in different countries and States.  I was a foreign exchange student after High School, the willingness to go, I attribute largely to my upbringing. So, there are many “pluses.”

But “Google” TCK / third culture kid, and you’ll learn more about the effects of this experience.  I have experienced loss and change at a young age, which I’ve later learned has affected me emotionally when it comes to grief, commitment, and feelings.  I’ve done a lot of work to understand and grow from those insights as an adult.  So, there are many “minuses” too.

“A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture.”

Sociologist Ruth Hill Useem coined the term “Third Culture Kids” after spending a year on two separate occasions in India with her three children, in the early fifties. Initially they used the term “third culture” to refer to the process of learning how to relate to another culture; in time they started to refer to children who accompany their parents into a different culture as “Third Culture Kids.” Useem used the term “Third Culture Kids” because TCKs integrate aspects of their birth culture (the first culture) and the new culture (the second culture), creating a unique “third culture”

 

I’ll let your searching bring further enlightenment into this experience.

I’ll close with my friend’s devotional.

And then, maybe I’ll go write a friend a letter…

WHERE AM I?

I hate moving. When I was a kid, my family moved every year or two, and the whole time the U-Haul was being loaded it always made me sick. Hugging the toilet sick. I didn’t really get any pleasure out of seeing my new bedroom or exploring a new neighborhood. Mostly I spent the first few days worrying. Wondering if anyone knew where I was. Would I be able to get on the right bus at school? And off at the right stop? I didn’t even know my address – how would the bus driver? Would my grandparents be able to find us for my birthday party? And how would Santa know where we were?

Those nerves could be largely settled by one simple thing – getting mail. Not mail for my parents, mail for ME. Mail meant that someone knew where I meant that someone knew where I was. Mail meant I wasn’t lost. Mail meant I was thought of. And, if I was lucky and it was from my grandparents, it usually included stuff – stickers, toys, activity books, crayons – you get the picture. Foster kids move a lot too – an average of 4 times in 20 months, and among kids who age out of foster care at 18, a third moved more than 8 times while they were in custody. Each move means a new house, new neighborhood, new school. Each move means you lose stuff that matters to you – stuff like pictures and drawings and stories you have written and favorite CD’s. Each move means new rules – new bedtimes, new chores, new ways to fold the towels and make your bed. And, they wonder if anyone knows where they are.

GOD, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going.  This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in! (Psalm 139:1-6)