Daily Musings 4: The Next Chapter

Hey there folks! I know I missed my posted writing yesterday but you will have to tak emy word that is was nonsense. A lot of random rambling that really did not go in any direction so I opted not to share it. I almost thought the same would happen today but once I let my fingers start running over the keyboard a thread started to take shape.

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     Do you ever find yourself viewing your own life as a story, with its own chapters/acts? If so, are you observant enough to recognize when you have or are shifting from one chapter to the next?

 

     Well for those of you that read my writing it should come as no surprise that I do. This may be a double edge sword but I am very analytical by nature. When mom passed I saw that as a definite end to a chapter of my life story and my subsequent move back to my home town was the beginning of a new chapter.

 

     However, identifying these steps did not take any great insight to recognize. When mom passed that meant both of my parents were gone. The only people in my life that I knew I could count on without a doubt aren’t there and I am just on my own. This was a far more sobering though considering my predilection to hide from most people and keep to my own company. I did not have a network of friends and loved ones that I trusted. Hence the move back to Ohio made all the sense in the world to me. It was a chance to reacquaint myself with family I had not seen in many years and help battle the suffocating loneliness I was staring down in my future.

 

     Now that section of my story is over, I have returned. Not everything went as planned but things have found a relative pattern of ease again. It is time for a new chapter to begin. There needs to be new drama, new struggle and new achievement. I have steady employment that grants me a fairly reasonable work/life balance but I am not satisfied with where my career lies, I still need to grow. Most importantly it is time for me to stare down my lurking lonely shadow. I have to find a way to be comfortable being on my own because there is no other option right now. I am not sure what will come but I do know that no one currently in my life will be part of my day to day going forward and I need to be ok with that.

 

     I am finding this is a two pronged battle. The first prong is the most obvious of the two, the ever present loneliness that comes with living by yourself. At times it can be very nice to come home to a quiet apartment, with no one expecting anything of you. However, the majority of the time it is just a numbing experience. You begin to feel disconnected because you are always returning to your fortress of solitude and the rest of world feels less real as a result. Also, while having your attention demanded in a particular direction can be aggravating being needed is an important thing. I mean I suppose it is different for a sociopath, but most of us really do need people even if we do not realize it.

 

     The second prong is more insidious as it is the self doubt that come when pondering the state of your own loneliness. Even as I write this now I mentally criticize myself for my own weakness. I spend all day at work thinking about how much I do not want to be around most of those people because I feel they are nothing like me and then I come home where I can be alone and long for just a little company. My own hypocrisy bewilders me at times. I am purposefully selective in who I open up to, obviously excluding the faceless anonymity of the internet. So, I bring about my own damn misery.

 

     The point of this all is I am starting to get restless and need to start doing something. I can no longer be complacent and need to start making changes in my life. The only changes that have come to me in life without my direct action have been terrible and to be honest I have had enough of those for quite some time thank you very much. I may not be 20 anymore but I sure as hell am not dead yet, it is time to get to work!

Fathers Day Memories

     Hey there folks! Here I am again making another effort at getting into the habit of writing. I do not know what is going to come it all but if I have learned anything when trying to take a journey the first step is always the most important.

     I have to be honest I have been trying to think about what I am going to write today. I do not have any anecdotal stories currently on my mind, but then I remembered today is Father’s Day. Days of remembrance like this I usually try to keep to myself and ignore the outside world. As I have mentioned before I lost both of my parents. Not a day passes by that I do not think of them and honestly I find it difficult to be see all of the communications and such that go along with a day like today. Yet, maybe there is some value in sitting down and reflecting. Maybe showing my wounds to the world will help me heal.

     I was criticized not too long ago about how I speak of my parents in conversation. The person I was speaking with said it sounded as if I did not remember them very fondly. Honestly, that idea struck me as rather absurd. However, the more I though about this the more it made sense to me and I started wondering if this wasn’t a defense mechanism. It is easier to sit back and share my critical thoughts of my parents because those ones bring back the least amount of pain. At the same time though I do not like that thought because it seems like an easy cop out to draw sympathy.

     The truth is a convoluted thing. I could share with you a string a cliché feelings and experiences about my father that are all true and sharing all of those things would turn me into a sobbing puddle of emotion. So, yes it is easier to share the less sentimental things because the tears do not flow so freely when I do. However, what I love and what I miss are not just the best parts of him but all of him.

     My father was not a paragon of anything, he was just a regular man trying to figure life out just like the rest of us. What I remember most is all the day to day stuff that at the time would just piss me off. The truth of the matter is though that I would rather be aggravated with him here next to me than have to deal with the void of his absence. I learned how to be a man not just from the things he did right but also from the mistakes he made. I learned to define myself within my opinions of dissent and the shared traits we possessed.

     This is why it is not fair to say my critical memories of him are just a defensive mechanism. Hell, one of the lessons he taught me is that there are two sides to every story and at the end of it all what is a life if not a story to be told. Paying homage to just one side of the man would be doing him a disservice because what makes my father exceptional is not any one great achievement or accomplishment, but rather the whole of who he was both the bad and good.

     So, here is to the fathers out there. Not because your are heroes but because you are real men, with real flaws doing the best you can and we love you for that.

Daily musings 1: Those crystallizing moments

Hey there folks! I am doing something kind of new today. In the spirit of self actualization I am hoping to start making myself sit down and write for one hour a day. My first attempt at this is a kind of self reflection. Honestly, I do not know where I am going to go with this. I am just going to focus trying to write everyday and I am going to share it here as a way to hold myself accountable. If anyone reading these things ever has any topic requests please leave comments below. Anyways enjoy.

 

 

     Have you ever had one of those moments where it feels as if the entire universe falls into place and you recognize that you are exactly where you need to be. In these moments time seems to slow down for the briefest of instances, it is almost like you have found the perfect harmony with everything.

     I haven’t had very many of these moments but I have had a few. Most of time when I try to talk to people about them they look at me as if I am slow or speaking a unknown language. Never the less I want to try and put one of these experiences into words. Who knows, maybe my writing will illuminate what conversation could not.

     The moment I want to share requires a little bit of backstory. When I graduated high school I was a headstrong fool like most of us are at that age. I was in a band, I was in my first serious relationship and I was sick and tired of doing what people wanted me to do. However, life caught up to me as it has a way of doing and at the age of 25, after dealing with the sudden loss of my father I decided to re-evaluate some things and got my ass into school.

     Since it had been so long since I had been in school I started out at the local community college. I knew I could get some credits under my belt and then transfer to one of the major in state universities.

     It turns out going back to school was a great decision. I immediately felt like I was where I belonged. Semesters flew by at the community college and I quickly found my lost love of academia. Time flew by in at the community college and I quickly found myself getting ready to move on to the four year school I had intended on going to.

     Switching from the two year community college to the four year university that had tens of thousands of students was a big change. Being as I am not an overly outgoing person I fell into a routine of going to class, then going to work and ending the day at home working on school work. So, in the spring semester of my first year at university when I received an invitation to an informational meeting of a co-ed honors fraternity I decided to throw caution to the wind and put myself out there.

     The idea of this was daunting but I was determined to try and make the most of my collegiate experience and meet some new people. The fact that I went to the intro meeting and a fair number of attractive women, a few of whom I even had things in common with. One thing led to another and I soon found myself in the middle of this fraternities initiation process.

     I was thoroughly enjoying everything about this experience and was even glad to discover that there were a few non traditional students in the group much like myself so I didn’t feel like the old guy. However, due to my general stand-offish nature I never really felt all the way in. Even as I had people reassuring me and trying to help bring me out of my shell.

     So, the end of the semester came and things had gone very well. I was reasonably confident that I was going to make it into the fraternity and I was invited by one of the brothers to an event at a sister chapter at another university. A weekend road trip full of athletic competition and college shenanigans. When I got to the event I found out that it was strange for initiates to go to one of these events so I tried to savor it all the more and I had a ton of fun.

     On the Saturday night there was a big party before everyone drove home on Sunday and I was introduced to a fraternity tradition that created a crystalizing moment for me. In the wee hours of the morning as the official party was wrapping up the final song the DJ played was a fraternity song. By this point I was well past drunk and I watched as the lights came up and this room full of people all locked arms and started singing this song together.

     This moment has been frozen in my mind ever since. I am sure the alcohol certainly helped fuel the feelings I had at this time and I know for sure that fact that there was a participatory musical experience was a huge factor.

     Anyone who has ever come together with others to create music will likely understand that feeling you get when everyone is on the same wavelength. The quality of the performance or the material being performed does not have to be amazing, there is just something about everyone being in harmony with each other.

     Now in this instance I was not singing along because I had never heard the song before, but I was very much in the moment. I have since gotten a copy of the song and found out it is not terribly long, but that first time was an instantaneous eternity. I knew that I had made a great decision and truly felt like I was part of something larger than myself.

     I had spent years prior to that moment kind of wandering through life not really sure of what I was doing and that one moment felt like the universe was reinforcing the path I was on and the choices I had made. Maybe I did not always do the right thing or make the smart move but everything I had done in my life up to that point brought me to that one moment and I fell in love with a group of strangers, most of whom I never even spoke to again after that night.

     I have had other moments in my life that I would put in the same general category as that night but none that left the same lasting impact. It was a rare moment in time when I was able to leave my own head and truly exist in the current moment, which is something that does not come easily for me.

     Prior to this moment I had been familiar with Buddhist thought and read much about the importance of being right here, right now but no single moment in my life had ever so embodied that idea.