So, Who ARE These Monkeys, And Why Do They Keep Telling Me What To Do?

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s been seven weeks since I decided to find out what blogging was all about, and start my own. Sometimes it seems like it was ten years ago, and sometimes it feels  like it was only yesterday…

I couldn’t have imagined when I was just beginning that this blog would reach as many people as it has in seven short weeks. Many of you leave wonderful comments or write me directly to express how my efforts have helped you. I’m glad. My main intention is to find a new way in life for myself and share the process so others can do the same.

It seems that some of you are curious about who is writing this stuff. So, I felt it was time to give a bit of background…

Doug the monkey, or how I became overshadowed by my stuffed animal
The myth, the legend, the monkey... Doug.

The myth, the legend, the monkey… Doug.

I’m John, and the monkey is Doug. Some of you address Doug, and some of you address me. Either way is fine. I suspect some think my name is Doug and maybe some are just more comfortable addressing the monkey…

Doug is a stuffed monkey that I’ve had for about five years. He’s taken on a personality of his own within my family, and I felt that having Doug be the star of the blog would make it more relatable for readers.

Until now, I’ve tried to share personal information without actually exposing much about my everyday life. I felt this approach would allow me to share my journey and experiences without turning the blog into a soap opera.

People love Doug, in spite of him being a grumpy slacker. Maybe I should have pretended to be a monkey back when I was growing up… I might have gotten farther in life…

You’re not really a monkey? What are you then?

That’s what I’m working on figuring out. I’ve always been an artist, and worked professionally as one for most of my life (Here’s my Linkedin profile I created for this site, in case you like reading boring things). In 2007 I took a job with a major city doing soul killing work… I abandoned my creative side and became frustrated with life…

I was injured while on duty, which required extensive shoulder surgery. I’ve been recovering and doing rehabilitation for the past four months. When I am fully recovered I will be faced with having no job (right now, since I’m still recovering, I’m being paid). This is why I decided to figure out what I want from life and go for it.

I want to be creative, help others and make a living doing so. This blog is my first effort towards this goal… Doug is a useful element that helps me express the points I make in my posts… Plus he’s funny to me as I watch his personality develop even more.

That explains why you’re online 44 hours a day. What else is going on with you?
No, that's not Doug, it's my daughter!

No, that’s not a monkey, it’s my daughter!

I have a daughter from my first marriage, and we’re very close. She’s almost 14. Her mother is attempting to move about 800 miles away with her (again. I fought and defeated her effort to do this five years ago).

My ex wife chose to try and move again as soon as I was injured, assuming I wouldn’t be able to afford legal fees. I managed to mount a defense and am going for custody of my daughter… It will be decided in December.

So, instead of sitting home and worrying about work, my daughter and the future, I examine myself and my wishes and write about them.  I see this time in my life as an opportunity to create what I want for my future…

You must be superhuman to deal with all that stress!

I don’t know about that… My parents did find me crashed in a field, safe inside my little escape pod though (yes, that is a Superman reference). I’m just trying to do what I  think is best for me and for my daughter.

Writing about my present journey helps me define a clear path to my goals, so I will continue to do so. Anything I learn will be shared here, in hopes it will be of value to someone. I know I’m not unique with my admittedly common problems. But that’s the point to me… They ARE common. Lots of people are facing life without employment and children potentially being taken away from them. What’s not common is knowing what to do to address them…

That’s where Doug and I swing in to the rescue! By helping ourselves, maybe we will be helping you too…


  1. A great blog – thank you for sharing part of yourself!

    1. Thank you for reading Penny!

  2. I just wanted to say I am really glad I found your blog. Like you say, the problems you describe are very common. I am also like many people trying to find a fulfilling career/purpose. It’s easy to get stuck in the ritual of surviving rather than truly living. I find a great deal of inspiration in your posts, so keep them coming. 🙂

    Also, thanks for clearing up the whole Doug thing. I was pretty confused. I thought maybe it was two different people trading off doing the posts or something. I watched a TED talk the other day talking about vulnerability, and one of the main points was the importance of letting ourselves be seen. It’s a little easier to let our true selves be seen in the blogging world, but let’s hope that the practice we get here will help us to let our true selves be seen with the people we deal with on a daily basis in real life.

    I especially related to this:

    ” I abandoned my creative side and became frustrated with life…”

    That really hit home since for several years I have pursued many different creative pursuits. I never got paid for any of them, but I thoroughly enjoyed drawing, writing, making music, digital graphics…and other things. However, some time ago, I just stopped. I don’t know why, I can’t really explain how it happened, but I just stopped. So now I am trying to regain that passion to start again, despite the voice that tells me I shouldn’t bother, that I’ve waited too long and yadda yadda yadda. Know that your positive suggestions and the truths you are learning and sharing in these posts are helping people, namely me. 🙂

    1. Thanks for taking the time to write. I’m glad you found my blog as well… I use Doug as part of my act… I guess he’s kind of the straight man in our duo… Abbott to my Costello.

      I was hesitant to write this post because I didn’t want to seem too real… I thought some people might prefer me to be a faceless monkey and not have to think about me having problems just like they do. In the end, I felt there needed to be a bit of a back story for my posts to hang on…

      I’m glad my posts are helping you. I think we all, myself included, kind of fell asleep and let life just happen. Now we’re groggy and trying to figure out where we are… Don’t listen to your inner critic… He isn’t you. I wrote about my inner critic a few weeks ago and I’ve felt much happier since exorcising him.

      Keep going on finding your path!

  3. jjwalters · · Reply

    Good luck, John.

    Doug, remember Wilson in ‘Cast Away’? . . . you have great power, use it wisely.

    1. I just hope Doug doesn’t float away and leave me to do this on my own…

  4. This is my ‘food for thought’ for today. Yes, many people face these common issues or others, but certainly it is not common to know how to address them; and you are so right. I identify in a way with ‘Reticentone’, as I try also to fulfil a purpose but I am affraid to leave my day job becouse I need the money and therefore, as she says “I find myself stuck in the ritual of surviving rather than living my dream”. So, thank you for having found my blog which in turn allowed me finding your blog that has already helped me in many ways.. Your are a very profound, mystic, and full of wisdom divined being who has already helped so many of us in such a short time.. Thank you John for sharing this part of your live and your inner feelings.. I know that you know that as ‘Jjwalters’ say: ‘You have a Great Power’, and I have not doubt you will issue it wisely.. Amoung other things I believe in Reiki, absence healing and the therapy of the soul, I will be sending you a lot of energy and divine thoughts for you to obtain a positive outcome next December.. (P.S. I also know that you know (I like this ‘paraphrase’), that you are never alone, the Divine John resides within you.. and I am sure Doug will not dear to leave you…hahaha, he is a truly monkey!!.. Glo.xx

    1. Hey Gloria- Thanks for sharing your thoughts.I’m glad my posts are helping you. I appreciate your feedback, as usual.

      All positive energy is welcomed that’s directed towards the December outcome. I know everything will happen as it should, but it’s difficult to not be concerned. Like everyone, I wish I could see into the future and at least know the outcome…

      Doug is standing by with his monkey wisdom ready to go. Don’t tell him I said he has wisdom though… His head is big enough already!

      1. Keep up the good humour.. Laughter, such a healer!…. Take care!

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