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Just a Boy & His Subaru

On a Journey to Find Themselves

Category Archives: Home is Who You’re With

What a difference a year can make. Unforeseen loss, unforeseen gain and bountiful adventures.

It has been a little over a year since I started this blog as a mode of expression and reflection, and Thanksgiving seems like the perfect time to stop and jot down a few takeaways.

Not often enough do we stop to reflect on a year passed and the growth that has taken place. If someone would have mentioned to me that I would lose two of the closest people in my life a year ago, I would have actually taken it into consideration; I would have never guessed it would be the two people it was.

Everything is different, everything is the same, and everything is better. It’s a feeling I would equate to losing massive amounts of weight; what I lost has no value going forward, it has already depreciated, and what I found underneath was the original core I had distanced myself from.

There is a deep feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the partner that taught me so much, and the best friend that played the role of my sister when it was needed most. It is as if I struck gold, and as I kept digging, I only felt richer; now the mine is dry and the time to dig elsewhere has come. To say I would live out my life never thinking of these people again would be false, immature and nothing more than a destructive lie I’m ultimately telling myself.

There is only so much deviation one can impose on a script when he succumbs to the understanding that life truly is a stage. Each person coming into your life has a role to play. For some, the role is recurring and purposeful. For others, it’s a short lived flash in the pan, and they must move on to play another role. No matter the length of stay, their role is no less important. And, while you may think the leads in this production are here to stay, respect the fact that the script may have been written for another, more fitting player.

This last year was a much needed reality check, and while I didn’t write about it as much as I should have, I’m so grateful I wrote what I did. My pieces serve as a reminder of where I’ve been, what I’ve done and where I’m going.

I keep telling myself that it’ll be fine, you can’t make everybody happy all of the time.

Frequently I remind myself that everything I did was exactly what I wanted to do (with some exceptions, of course). Essentially, no regrets; there aren’t enough hours in the day to waste your time dwelling over decisions you made in the past. Each decision, in some tiny, maybe indirect way, has lead me to where I am today, and that makes me happy.

But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

In the last year, I relearned what it means to, “live for yourself.” Each day I try to focus solely on myself and what will make me happy. Selfish? Certainly. Healthy? Without a doubt.

You’re the only person in your entire life who will be there beginning to end, so make sure you’re checking in on you.

Oh, and as for your role in this production, don’t take it too seriously. The director, life, has a funny way of making sure you don’t get out alive.

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I’ve been in this situation before; the one where someone has to choose my friendship over another relationship, typically a romantic one. It’s not a great place to be, and there’s nothing enjoyable about it, but I’ve been here before.

That’s the easy part: I know it gets better and eventually the pain becomes less immediate. It’s still there, it’s just resting in the back of my mind and allowing me the necessity of getting back to everyday life.

There’s that silver lining you’ll always find if you look for it.

You have to be careful with people, you can never be absolutely sure of who someone is. (Read: people can never be absolutely sure of who they are.) The real problem with that clause is knowing that there will be instances where you never fully understand what’s happening, why or how–and neither does the other person.

People, even the most important people in your life, change unexpectedly. They throw a wrench in life and chuck deuces to the wind. Personally, I’ve been the person throwing the wrench, so I know how rewarding it can feel, but that doesn’t mean I’ve overlooked any toes I might have been stepping on or hearts I might have been breaking. I was fully aware of the damage I was doing.

When that happens, when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s wrench, you have to be ready to catch that shit and use it to your advantage. And let’s be honest: you’re going to need the wrench for some major emotional repairs a little later down the road.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that more often than not the person never really meant to hurt someone with the wrench, they just thought it was the best possible choice at the time. At no point did that person stop to think about how you might feel and how this might change your life, not because they don’t care about you in some capacity`, but because their focus has shifted so intensely to something that holds a higher emotional value to them.

By the way, there’s a touch of blanketing in this post as I’m speaking directly from experience and not from sustained research (although honestly you might say that my experiences equate to a sort-of ongoing experiment).

Again with the silver lining though, this is the ultimate chance to grow as an individual and make the other relationships in your life stronger. Like grieving a death, there’s never a great time to do it, so when someone pushes you away, work to harness that energy into growth.

Sometimes you’ve gotta work and you’ve gotta grow and it’s gotta hurt.

Losing a close relationship, romantic or platonic, is never easy. It makes you question so much about who you are as a person and how you’re valued as a friend. Your mind is stuck in this rut wondering why it had to play out the way that it did, and if it will ever feel as real as it seems. Don’t fall victim to this pitiful mindset. Remember that it’s always going to be their loss (this can only be used as a means to remove yourself from the rut if you have, in fact, tried to be a good half of a relationship).

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

People will knock you down when you get in their way, and sometimes stepping out of their path to let them pass is easier than tending to the wounds of a nasty fall.

Let go, and let flow. Cheesy, but amazingly efficient.

Some people just don’t want you in their life any more. If you’re like me, you’ll begin to understand that your booming personality and unmistakable drive for success intimidates people. Don’t ever lose those qualities for a relationship, romantic or platonic. The pain of losing yourself far outweighs the pain of letting go and moving on. Trust me on this one.

The world is full of snakes that think they look smashing in jealousy.. and they should be smashed. Shine your light as bright as you can. I’ll never suggest avoiding the process of dealing with your emotions and processing situations, but I will suggest speeding it up as quickly as possible so you can continue to do you the best way you know how.

Remember your self-worth and all of the things you deserve in life: happiness, sunshine, love and laughter (and good sex).

And that silver lining..I’ve been meaning to get back to writing and life is only facilitating that process.

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It becomes increasingly more difficult to sit down and write regularly.

Or such is my excuse.

Realistically, there’s no one reason I’ve not taken my time to sit down and write. Actually, so much has happened in the past month that I’ve wanted to write about, it’s a little embarrassing I haven’t already.

To touch on a previous post, sometimes life just gets away from you like that.

Here’s the really big stuff: a very close friend of mine came out to Colorado to find a place in Denver and ended up taking shelter with me. It’s been reaffirming. Then, as if she was a good luck charm (disregarding my persistence), I was offered a position with an amazing nonprofit organization granting me the opportunity to use my education and acquired skill set to give back to the community.

To touch on a previous post, seize opportunities that allow you to give back to your community, paid or unpaid. Put energy out into the universe that you want to come back to you; it always will. It won’t always be when you expect it or when you want it, but it will come.

Work hard to spend your time making a difference.

Aside:

Many times I find that these posts get a bit bossy in a sense. “Do this,” I say, “do that,” I say. Mainly it’s because I want to remind myself of what I need to do. It’s positive affirmation, if you will. So don’t take it as bossy, unless you want to (clearly I know what’s best).

Since starting this job, and it’s only been one month, I’ve felt more fulfilled than I think I’ve ever felt. I’m so satisfied at the end of my day, that I’ve been able to really dive into and explore things that excite me. I’m running more and am training for an obstacle course in August, I’m reading again and I’m spending time with myself that is (for the most part) stress free.

Here’s possibly the best thing about my recent life developments: my job inspires me, it makes me want to do better things and be a better person, especially for my community.

Stay tuned to upcoming posts for a bit of a shift in this blog. Not a fundamental shift, but a trial shift. I began this blog as a way to express my thoughts and emotions, and to have something to reflect back upon as a measurement of growth. As I continue to grow, so to will this blog.

If you hate something, lets talk.

If you love something, lets talk.

Lets talk.

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In the last month, I’ve started doing some volunteer work for a local nonprofit. It’s mainly community outreach, resource development and organizing fundraisers. It keeps me busy and keeps my skills sharp, plus it’s for a great cause.

If you’ve not donated your time, one of the most valuable things any of us has, I highly suggest it. The return on investment is phenomenal and nearly unmatched by any other activity.

While I love what I’m doing, it is volunteer based. I’m thankful to still be receiving unemployment, which is allowing me to take my time searching for a position more in line with my career goals. However, it has been a struggle not having a job, and I’m getting to that point where I start to worry that I’m not going to find one in time and I’ve even gone as far as to say I’m scared.

My unemployment runs out in six weeks. Unless Congress gets their act together and passes a bill that will extend unemployment benefits, which doesn’t look likely given the current state of political affairs, it’s sink or swim in no time at all.

The frustration comes mainly from the fact that I’ve applied to, on average, five jobs a week for the past four and a half months. That’s 90 jobs if your math is rusty. I’ve reached that point where I’m beginning to feel as though I’ve run out of options. I’m questioning what I’ve done wrong. I mean, I have an extremely flexible, yet focused degree, I have extensive experience in higher education and customer service, and yet I’m either under-qualified or over-qualified.

 

Such was the case with my most recent rejection letter today.

My 25th birthday is on Tuesday. I’m trying so hard to hold it together and not have a small break down, but I’m looking around and wondering what I have to show for 25.

Then again, who says I have to have anything to show for 25 other than me? Who says I’m not successful other than me?

We can sometimes be our own most-intimidating worst enemy.

Deep down I know I’m successful. I know that I’m a survivor. I’ve been through far too many tests and passed with flying colors not to be. Do you know how many people thought I’d never finish my undergraduate simply because I was working so hard outside of class? My own father had my failure mapped out. This entire blog was started to document one of the hardest tests I’d ever taken. Impossible is nothing.

The reality that is so easy to forget is that it’s not always what you do, but who is there for you, that counts. Those people that stand behind you, always have your back, always remind you of the person you are no matter what, those are the people that determine your success.

As I began to write this post, I was sitting here a bit down in the dumps, almost unable to type; I was just so frustrated. Unexpectedly, and almost eerily, one of my closest, dearest friends text me. We don’t have censors with each other, so I naturally used this as a chance to express my frustration, dumping my stress and worry upon her.

In one single text, all my worries disappeared:

You saved me during my worst hour…I’ll always have your back!

It was a reminder of who I am, what I stand for and where my priorities have been and should be. It didn’t give me a job, it didn’t fix any of the “problems” surrounding my unemployment, but it did clear my outlook on life. Knowing that someone had my back, no matter what, was the boost I needed to hold my head back up.

There have always been hard times, there will always be struggles. There isn’t anything I can do about the uncertainty of life except to keep a positive attitude, march forward and remember that I have amazing people that love me unconditionally.

There is no better way to staple it together than with trust and love.

And to the angel in my life that sent that text, if you should read this, listen to this and remember:

You deal with the humps. Take the jumps. I feel like you’re an island of reality in an ocean of diarrhea. And I love you.

Hold your own, know your name, go your own way.

Note to self: read after every job rejection and again after you find the perfect position.

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In the past couple of weeks, I’ve done quite a bit of hand-shaking.

I love meeting new people.

That’s honestly one of the best parts of moving to a new place, every person you see is someone to meet. And everyone has a different story, which makes meeting new people the chance to tell your story.

That leads me to what I’ve been thinking about endlessly: you have to have a story.

Maybe I’m full of myself and I’m crazy for thinking my life should be remembered, but should it not be? Everyone’s life is worth remembering. When I’m old and gray, I want to look back and feel filled to the brim with stories.

In the process of jotting down ideas on what essays I would draft, I started thinking about why I’ve made some of the decisions I’ve made in life. After some serious consideration, I  noticed that most times I made a decision based solely around the story it would produce. There are exceptions, of course, but is there a better reason to live life?

The idea of story telling is becoming a lost art, and I still consider myself an artist. It’s something people avoid at all costs. It’s as if no one cares what their great grandfather says because, well, what would he know?

Continue reading this article ›

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Over the years many of my peers, and even some of my professors and mentors, have suggested I write a book about my life.

Doesn’t that sound incredibly pretentious? The majority of people who sit down to write a book about their life are entirely too into themselves. (They have too much money.) So the book is really about how they had a decent childhood, lived a full high school and college-existence playing varsity sports and landed their dream career as someone who is allowed to be out of touch with reality. I’m not sure who buys these books, but I can tell you right now I’m not the only person who feels this way; I can’t be.

But then I thought, what if that’s the point? What if what everyone was trying to tell me was that I should write about my life because it’s actually quite fucked up?

You can’t honestly realize how entertaining your life is to someone else unless you’re a story teller. It just so happens that I love a good story, especially if I’m involved. (Make me the main character and I’ll pour your drink myself just to get your ear). A large part of it is my love of talking. The other, larger part, is making people laugh while I revisit my favorite memories. If I don’t revisit them, I’ll forget them, so the more I tell them, the better!

“Stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

I’m in a very good place in my life right now. It hasn’t been without a few difficult months, some unexpected twists and turns, but that’s life.

As I’ve been settling into Colorado, the main question is, “What brought you here?” There’s a short answer to this that sometimes sticks and sometimes doesn’t: “I was unhappy with my life back east, so I decided to move west and start over.” Every once in awhile, naturally, people want to ask, “What was making you so unhappy out east?”

Now at first, I loathed these people. Obviously if I was unhappy, there are details I wish to skip over by generalizing my life. The problem with going into details, was that one linked to another and it wasn’t a simple singular reason. It required me to go all the way back to July when I was hit by that drunk driver (for the second time in a year and half), then my job loss, then my relationship ending.

Think about those words coming out of your mouth as you’re talking to someone you’ve just met.

“Well, I was hit by a drunk driver doing 50 mph, then I was laid off from my job, and then my partner of three years and I split up, so I just figured now was as good a time as any to pack up the car I bought right before I lost my job and start over somewhere fresh.”

Wait for the look. It always comes. They think, “Is he fucking with me right now? That kind of shit only happens in Lifetime movies.”

It’s the truth. My life is a Lifetime movie without the estrogen. (There’s some, lets be honest, just not enough to actually get picked up.)

The most common response? “Oh.. Wow. Welcome to Colorado!” That’s why I like it here.

Sometimes I get an attempt at consolation, which I do not need and have not needed since my life started to become humorous. My consolation comes from finding the laughter in my life; it comes from thinking as each twisted event as a well-written story developing right in front of me. Why not? Do you know how broken I’d be if I didn’t laugh at the stuff in my life that I’ve had no control over?

There’s no possible way someone would buy a chronological publishing of my life. What if, I said to myself in my best Jessica Fletcher voice, I wrote short little essays about events in my life that I found the most obscurely entertaining?

Yes, I admit that this is bordering on Girls material, but the sexuality of it would be a subset. And plus that bitch isn’t original. All artists steal. (Just like I stole those last two sentences.)

I don’t plan on attempting to have my stories published. I’m no English major, and really the only thing that qualifies me is my inherent ability to lead a life of twisted, dark humor.

I do, however, plan on making a little collection for myself. It will likely be put on here, so if you’re following me you’ll get a good taste of my life as I see it. In the last week, as I’ve been glued to the couch awaiting the arrival of my root canal, popping Percocet, I’ve made a short list of starting stories.

It’s not like I don’t have the time.

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