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Just a Boy & His Subaru

On a Journey to Find Themselves

Tag Archives: Communication

The simple action of sitting down to write this piece makes me feel exhausted. It makes me feel crazy, out of it; I’m nothing like myself anymore. But it has to be done, it has to come out or I’ll implode like every other member of my bloodline.

I’m tired.

As long as I’ve avoided admitting that to myself or anyone else, the reality is that life has me beat down right now. And to be even more correct, it has me beat down further than it ever has before. Even though I know deep down that life is a series of peaks and valleys, I’ve also never seen a valley so low and so never-ending.

But you know that a king is only a man
With flesh and bones, he bleeds just like you do

Four months ago things were better. And worse. There were things I didn’t know, but also things I did, each balancing the other to maintain a sense of normal. For instance, I didn’t exactly love my job, and I knew that, but I was becoming content in the fact that it paid the bills without much worry. On the other hand, it’s not like I was wishing stage four metastatic lung cancer on my mother.

After leaving to be with my mother and almost immediately losing my job at a company that cared about function over family, I thought our blood family was stepping up to the plate. My mother’s brother elected to step up to the plate and get her back and forth to appointments; to make sure she didn’t want while I went back to Denver to figure out what to do with my belongings, my cat, etc. It didn’t take long until the ‘burden’ of that was passed along to his wife, and her discontentment was obnoxiously clear right out of the gate.

In the short time that I was back, I found a job as a server with some amazing coworkers who quickly became the support system (and distraction) I so desperately needed. I was working as much as possible to make enough money to allow for my extended absences as I anticipated traveling back and forth to help mom. Being 14 hours away makes it difficult to drop everything and rush back, and it goes without saying that there is some planning involved.

When the time came, my mom’s brother and his wife (I’d call them my uncle and aunt, but then again it’s clear we’re not family) insisted I return right away. Someone needed to be with my mother 24/7, she was slipping away before their eyes, and they, “couldn’t do this alone.” Once I arrived I realized that they had stretched the truth, lied, filled in the blanks, whatever it took for them to be done and not feel guilt that they decided they were too burdened; if they couldn’t do it alone, apparently I could, because I’m the golden the child; everything hinges on me, and it is all my responsibility.

So here we are today. Many mornings I wake up feeling bitter, then immediately following comes the feeling of guilt for feeling bitter. I suppose I’d have liked if everyone was a bit more upfront about things. I’m happy I can be with my mother and help ease her mind, but I’m also pissed off that it wasn’t her choice or my choice for it to happen right now. It hurts that grown men and women (reference to age, not maturity) feel the need to lie instead of just laying it all out. It’s frustrating to me to that ‘family’ lives in the same town as my mother (a town of 400 people, 30 minutes away from the nearest gas station and 14 hours away from my home), but simply cannot be bothered. Even if I use the excuse for them that it’s the only way they know how to process, I still can’t come to peace with it.

I find myself with an outlook on life that feels like there is no way it’s coming from inside of me, as if I’ve been possessed. This, the process of writing, as I knew it would, has helped me to feel a little less crazy as I align my thoughts and feelings, but I know my work is cut out for me if I’m to shake these feelings of anger.

At the end of the day, my mother is dying, and that’s the real root here. She’s too weak to start chemotherapy, too stubborn to ask for more help throughout the day, and too proud to tell people that she’s feeling as terrible as her face and body language tell me she is. But to say it’s not all about perception would be a lie; this situation is ultimately as I choose to see it.

Be weary of the ways of the world.

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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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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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