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Just a Boy & His Subaru

On a Journey to Find Themselves

When something is right, it feels right.

You don’t have to question it.

It’s as if the universe is continually giving you blatant signs that it’s right.

In the last two weeks I’ve been happier than I can remember being in at least the last year and a half.

And I can’t exactly explain it, there’s just this feeling in my gut that I’m where I’m supposed to be right now. In every aspect, it’s the exact opposite feeling I had about being in Pittsburgh. At no time in while living there did I feel like it was where I was supposed to be. Of course I appreciate my time spent there and the life lessons that I learned, but I knew from day one that it wasn’t home.

So I apologize for not updating more, but I’ve been busy enjoying this new life I’m making for myself. I’m not sure I’ve stopped smiling since the first morning I walked out to the bluest, sunny sky I’ve seen. No joke, I started laughing as soon as I took a deep breath. Everything felt right.

People are friendly here, they talk to you and make you feel welcome. It’s an amazing thing to meet all of your neighbors without having to go out of your way to know who you’re living next to. Better yet, to have them offer to move your couch in. Better still is having people help you connect with those in a position to hire.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m beginning to feel like myself again. I’ve laughed, hard, everyday. I’ve danced even harder. Life just feels right. And I don’t want to seem like I’m gloating, but I suppose I am. Why not? Everyone deserves to find happiness. Am I fully pieced back together? Unlikely. But I can say that I most certainly feel it happening.

Last night I got on Facebook to see pictures of my ex with his new guy. Initially my heart sank, and for approximately 45 seconds after, I was a bit a sad. Then I remembered how much I love my life and the decision I made for myself, and it seemed insane to even feel a shred of sadness. So I smiled. I even began to chuckle a bit.

I’m not broken. I’m far from it. And I realize it’s going to take a lot more to actually break me.

Over the holiday my mother and I had a chat about the last couple of months and my decision to leave my ex and move to Fort Collins. It started with her asking about what restaurants were out here and how I liked them (she always wants to know the oddest things), and led to my realization that in one week of living here, I’ve fallen in love; I’m happy.

Now, if I’ve not mentioned it before, my mother is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for two years. When she decided to get better for herself, I stepped in and helped her get her life back in order. There’s never been a day in my life that I doubted my mother’s pride for me; she is most definitely my biggest fan. What I doubted, naïvely, was her ability to see how unhappy I had been. So when she smiled at me and told me how good it made her feel to see me happy, yeah, I started to tear up a little.

I’ve opened myself to the universe. And as a wise friend of mine helped me realize, when you open yourself to the universe and the idea that everything will work just the way it’s supposed to, you will find peace and happiness and your true self.

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

So far, all of the signs have let me know I’m heading the right way.

 

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When I was a young boy, about the age of seven, my family and I were visiting my grandmother for her birthday. Typically the youngest in the group, I could be found outside playing with her beagle, Jake. On this particular day, when adult banter became too much for my tiny brain to tolerate, I went to run around with Jake and found him dead in his dog house.

In my memory, this was my first encounter with death.

The last thing I wanted to do was run inside and tell my grandmother that her dog had died on her birthday. It’s what I did though.

My grandmother was devastated. They had been inseparable for as I’d been on this earth, and since she lived alone, he gave her a sense of a purpose (something we all need). I’d not seen so many people in one room cry, and at such an intensity; Jake was a good dog that we all had fallen in love with. No one was taking it as hard as my grandmother.

My mother made arrangements to stay a few extra days in case my grandmother needed the company.

There’s never a good time for life to happen, it just happens. When it does, you can look the other way or you can handle the situation.

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Well guys, keeping up with this blog while trying to escape life has been more difficult than I anticipated!

I’m going to pull it together, I promise. I’ve been hiding in Chicago since Saturday enjoying the moment as best I can. Each day has been a bit better, but I can’t say my heart doesn’t still hurt.

Driving into the sunset was the highlight of my departure. Until that point, the weather was as gray and gloomy as my mood. There was something about seeing the sun force its way through the clouds that resonated with me. No matter how hard someone tries to steal your sunshine, it’s still there.

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Next stop: Mom’s house.

Once I’m there I’ll add some pictures that I’ve taken along the way documenting the journey. I’m trying to remember to catch everything.

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December 7, 2013, 0900 hours

After much anticipation, my journey officially begins tomorrow morning.

Yesterday my tires were delivered and installed, and since that was the missing puzzle piece, there’s no reason not to begin this next chapter. Today I finished a few small packing tasks and tied up various loose ends. The weather didn’t permit me to start packing the car, but after some shut-eye I’m sure I’ll be able to get it packed in the morning in less than an hour (note to self: watch how long it takes you).

Chicago is my first official stop.

As I suspected, all of the emotions from those very first days have resurfaced. Their intensity has yet to be matched, but I have felt notably sensitive today.

In my life, I feel I’ve sometimes been very naïve. Not to any sort of crippling point, but I find myself wanting and believing that the best possible outcome will take place. On top of that, my expectations for people and situations tend to remain unrealistic. How do you not try to see the best in everything and everyone?

This boy’s too young to be singing the blues.

The lesson I’m trying to learn out of this is that you can’t keep worrying about things that are out of your control. You also have to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it’s more important to recognize when someone is showing you their true colors. As cliché as it sounds, my feelings are hurt, and they’re mostly hurt because of someone else’s actions. But honestly, I’m beginning to believe that it’s not the action, it’s me caring about the action. It’s not my business anymore and the sooner I get that in my head, the better.

If I’m correct (and this is my first go-round, so no promises), that last sentence will finally sink in after tomorrow. Being here and watching my ex move on was difficult. It was like a sick form of self-cutting. As evident by last posts, I went back and forth on this. Overall, I’m going to suggest you never do this. It honestly just makes the situation more difficult. I don’t regret it, but if I had to do it over I would likely not. Unless you’re looking for what a friend of mine referred to as, “an unnecessary test of character.” It does make for a better story though (it’s really all about the story).

Well, I suppose it’s time to get going.

Oh, I’ve finally decided my future lies beyond the yellow brick road

Boy, with these new tires the ride down my yellow brick road should be relatively smooth.

 

 

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When you heavily study a subject, say it’s your major in college, it changes you. Mostly in subtle ways, but sometimes in not so subtle ways.

Thanks to my [insightful] father, I jumped from major to major a few times. Nothing really felt right, and when it did feel right, someone was right there to convince me not to stay in that major.

My acceptance came as a Broadcast Communication major. The school had an excellent program, amazing facilities and on top of that I was convinced I’d be famous. It was perfect.

Before I even showed up for my first day, I had been talked into changing my major. Mrs. Riggins, my high school guidance counselor, tried to assure me that it was completely normal, but I was embarrassed; I was sure I should know by now what I wanted to do. My father was sure I should be in the medical field, and I couldn’t exactly say I had no interest in it, so I chose Athletic Training. In high school I had developed a close relationship with the athletic trainer and she was really the reason I had such a fascination with the field.

Life always has that way of working out though, and after my first semester in the ATEP program, I knew it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t love sports medicine, the program and faculty just didn’t make me feel welcome and wanted. In fact, one professor told me after getting in a car accident that, “college just isn’t for everyone, you should consider all of your options.” The next day I left the program.

That left me ill-advised in the College of Business. Why? Because now my father was sure that I belonged in a corporate setting.

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Normally I would refrain from starting out a post with a quote, but it’s just too perfect.

“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”

This is the week, folks. My journey is set to start. I’m finally flying the coop. This is the big moment.

Damn it if it didn’t just sneak up on me.

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One thing I learned very quickly in life is that when it rains, it pours. With that in mind, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I came down with a wicked case of strep throat last Monday.

In the middle of job hunting, packing and constructing my itinerary, my body shut down. It was so awful; I can count on one hand the number of times I had the energy to sit upright last week. Plus, if I’m being completely truthful with myself, I forgot that it really is nice to have someone taking care of you when you’re sick. That’s not to say I wasn’t fully capable of nursing myself back to health, I can take care of myself, it’s to say that there’s an added factor of comfort when someone is making sure you get well.

That brings me to the epiphany I had while I was in bed-lock: my ex is not the guy for me; I am not making a mistake. The fact that I could barely drink my water or break my fever didn’t seem to weigh on his decision to go out. Should it have? Should he have been here taking care of me? That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that I’ve realized we are two very, very different people. And while previously I felt that living here with him until I left town was a mistake, I feel now that it has helped solidify my decision to move on with my life.

I still love him, very much, but I can no longer hold him in the same esteem as I previously have. With a full understanding that I see life with a different paradigm, the man that he is displaying himself as now is not a man I would like to be close to me. My goal in life is to surround myself with people who love me unconditionally and care about my feelings and my emotions. There must be a mutual respect. And while I spent some time being angry over how he has acted, I’ve let it go. It serves no purpose in my life. Each time I catch myself feeling angry or sad about the situation or his decisions, I remind myself that we are no longer together and it is no longer my responsibility to worry about him.

I’ll always care, but I can no longer waste my time and energy being sad or upset over someone that doesn’t have a mutual feeling for me.

Don’t take that as a promise that I won’t still have demons to sort out about this whole ordeal when I hit the road, because I’m sure I will, but right now I’m feeling good. So good, in fact, that I’ve officially made my itinerary:

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The night can be so hazy with love still in the air. Love has that amazingly bitter sweet property of staining everything around it. If you think you’re getting rid of it, leave that nonsense at the door. Time does it’s magic, and the stains fade to an acceptable (maybe not even noticeable) level, but you can’t. Rush. A thing.

Remember that post I did awhile back, the one where I gave some examples of situations you spend NO time preparing for? Here’s another one for you: agreeing to stay in the apartment you’ve shared with you ex until the month is through.

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This week has been one hell of a ride.

Not the ride where you want off right away, either. It was the kind of ride that leaves you thirsty for more, and unable to remove yourself from the coaster seat. Then, just as I’m about to peel myself out of place and exit, I’ve been granted another go around.

Monday was my first day job hunting. Nothing about me was looking forward to how real it all would seem once I began actually plotting my leave. I used my list of favorite things, which, just as I’ve previously mentioned in past posts, was precisely what I needed. Later that day, I talked to my best friend, my sister and future roommate, and I was really amazed at how right making plans was feeling. Just days before, I was feeling useless and broken, like I shouldn’t have made so many big decisions at once and now, how will I deal with them?

But Monday. How often do people talk about loving Mondays? I’ll never forget this past Monday; it serves as the day I understood fully the good I was doing for myself.

Then, to sweeten the deal, I got a call yesterday and had an impromptu interview on the phone. It was great. I hate patting myself on the back too hard, but I was really impressed with my ability to switch to, “I’m so charming and well-spoken, you just have to love me!” mode. And it went well (I think)! We are set to have another phone interview this afternoon. He was even comfortable with the fact that I wasn’t in Denver yet, letting me know that they completely understand. Plus, they’re a small startup doing great things in the world of higher education. I’m all about being a part of something small and impactful.

Plus, my ex, whom I am still residing with until employment falls in line, has been staying out at night, leaving the apartment to me and my thoughts (plus whiskey, Dave and dancing alone). It’s given me time to enjoy the moment without feeling like we need to be speaking. Not that I don’t want to speak to him, but it seems as though it always leads to a conversation about us. And there just isn’t a reason to go there anymore.

I sleep through the night on occasion now when he is not home. At first, him not coming home would just liquify my insides. I was still so attached, and knowing that he was out enjoying himself without me was tough. Now that I’m detaching, and spending enough time away from him to understand that this is just who he is and there isn’t a thing I can do about it, I only feel better about the decision we’ve made.

Some how, I’m learning how to dance. I want to be realistic and understand that I still have to physically pack the car and drive away. I’m in touch enough with my emotions to understand that there are still bumps to come. What I’m finding recently, to my pleasant surprise, is that my overall excitement and desire to be happy are out-weighing the bad.

I’ll take it for now.

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There a few things I consistently keep in-stock in my life. No matter my mood, no matter the day, no matter the weather, I can’t fathom a reason to get out of bed if someone were to tell me I couldn’t have them.

  1. Good coffee. No sugar, just creamer. If it’s really good coffee, just black will do.
  2. Good whiskey. Preferably with ginger ale or ginger beer. Similar to 1, on the rocks if it’s really good whiskey.
  3. Dave Matthews. Not just because he is one smooth lyrical gangster, but because it is a love I share with the best people in my life. Every song carries a unique, completely weird, absolutely unforgettable memory of them.
  4. The best people in my life. Five of the most outstanding, inspiring, successful, loving, jaw-dropping-beautiful souls I’ve known since they were just girls. There are people I’ve met over the years that are also staples in my life, but these ladies are my foundation. It’s an understanding.
  5. Floss. On an OCD level. There’s no greater feeling than knowing your teeth are clean.

I bring this list of my bare necessities to the table because with everything that I’ve going on right now, these five things are keeping me upright. I would almost go as fas as saying these are the chemical compounds capable of mending a broken heart, but number four is essential.

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