Saturday, December 26, 2009

Round and Round

Today is Christmas.

Each that passes gets a little more depressing. They're never as good as when you're a kid, when you think everything is perfect this time of year.

The older we get the more we realize life is messy and rarely perfect. In some ways I think everyone realizes and deals with that in their own way this time of year.

For me, this year is just one more I spend alone.

I hate when I see happy couples in the winter months. I shouldn't, but a small part of me hates them for having what I don't.

What makes this year more depressing is that I've been putting myself out there again, finally. Small signs of hope, but nothing worth mentioning. I just don't understand some people. It's hard to open up to someone when you feel like their feelings about you change daily.

I liken being single and being "out there" to being a hampster. You try to find someone, get to know them and whatnot, but in the end you end up in the same place: alone and confused.

Don't get me wrong, it's not depressing persay in the sense that it gets me down and sulky. I'm over that. I'm happy being alone. I'm happy with the person I am and strive to match that with the person I want to be. It makes me depressed when I genuinely like someone and feel like something real or meaningful might take place just to realize I'm still a hampster in a wheel that never goes anywhere.

Just round and round. Which makes it all the tougher to open yourself up to someone in a real way.

It seems so much of getting to know someone is a game. Most people find it hard to actually say how they feel. I'm tired of guessing about how someone feels about me. I'm tired of thinking that their feelings for me fluctuate on a daily basis. One week they can't wait to see me and the next they hardly acknowledge my existence.

Round and round.

I'm tired of the proverbial carrotstick that both tantalizes and taunts me. Even haunts me, sometimes.

Deep down in each of us we have an inate desire to both love and be loved. To hold and to be held. To keep our egos on the earth but to not let our spirits fall off cliffs.

There's a point when we all question if we'll ever find this. I'm not there anymore, although these questions often swirl in the back of my mind. I'm not looking for love. I know you can't find it until its ready to find you. I just want something real and someone who is also tired of playing games.

Not someone to fall in love with, just someone to free me from this wheel.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hey, it's me again

Hey You,

I know we haven't talked in ages, but I guess I've been thinking about you lately.

It's odd to say that because I haven't in a while really, I guess. The past few months we've almost accepted that we're both okay with where we are.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. People grow. Sometimes apart, even. I accepted this a long time ago.

But maybe sometimes people grow apart and sometimes they let themselves drift apart.

Anyway, there's no point to this, really. Just thought I'd throw a distant line into the language of 1s and 2s out here in cyberspace.

So like I said, I've been thinking about you again.

But this time it's been different. Not like before when it was always a little sad. Now it's just... curiousity. It's been forever, it seems.

I've changed a lot, and so have you, too, I'm sure.

I thought maybe the new you and the new me could meet, since the old you and the old me were such a big part of each other's lives.

But if not it's okay, these letters will just vanish into the sea of useless web posts.

Maybe that's where this letter belongs anyway...


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Vision of West Texas

I need nothingness. The sweet expanse of land and space and time all laid out before me.

West Texas.

If you've never been there, you don't know what nothingness is.

There's a sweet peace about driving when what's before, ahead and beside you is the same. All the same brown land with powerlines running alongside a highway you'll never see a cop on. Stores along the highway no one goes in.

You can drive for hours and never receive cell reception.

That's what I need: an escape. To experience nothingness is to feel everything. To delete the peripheral, if only for a drive. To erase the unessential.

Feels like most of our days that make up most of our lives is about the inconsequential. We spend our lives racking up triple-letter scores on words no one will read. We all commit to play a game where everyone loses, some just less than others.

How did it get like this?

I need nothingness. The sweet expanse of land and space and time all laid out before me.

West Texas.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

About that time again

My apologies, folks (or maybe just folk?) for the delay. Haven't had a working computer in a few months, and there's no indication that is going to change anytime soon.

I find my relationships with people funny. It's scary how much they depend on where we are in our lives. How fast they can fall apart. Or come back to life.

Few I have are worth the trouble to keep them alive. Not in a depressing, whoa-is-me sorta way, but in a realistic this-is-the-world-we-live-in, realistic sorta way.

How many people come into our lives so quickly and become so important only to wash away a few days/weeks/months/years later. In the end, we're all just fleeting instances of paths crossing momentarily in the infinite realm of time.

People? Soon-to-be-decaying masses is more like it.

Time to go home and enjoy another bowl.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Tonight I will go home and start packing. It will be close to 2 a.m. when I start. And probably about 5 by the time I'm done.

When you move as much as I do, you learn to live simply.

It will only take my a few hours to put almost everything I own in a few measly boxes. I think I like my things best when they're all stuffed in the back of my car.

In the past year I've had five different homes. And on Friday I will make it six.

In one year I've moved at least eight times - that I can remember. That's across four different cities in two states.

While I've never been homeless, I have been without a home.

The place I grew up in is like another world. I don't recognize it on the inside. Nor do I want to. Now it's just the place where my parents live, where I used to.

Sometimes the people that live there are like strangers to me. The walls are painted. The furniture is new. And so is the kitchen.

My mom asks why I never visit anymore. Maybe because there's nothing left for me. I've been in prisons that I'd sooner go back to.

When you know you're only living somewhere just enough time to get settled, you never get settled. That makes leaving easier. Like you were never really there to begin with.

And while I've never been homeless, I have been without a home for some time now.

Maybe that's why I feel so comfortable on the road. Cuz in the end, it's all just a journey. Wherever we are, we're always leaving somewhere or something behind for something new. Always leaving. Always arriving.

And the highway is the perfect representation of this. Cuz on the road, we're never stopped.

Always moving. Always leaving. Always arriving.

Monday, August 3, 2009


"It snowed today. December will be a better month."

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. Don't ask me why, for I could probably never accurately explain it.

But these simple words tell a story. I can hear them - how each word is said perfectly.

Hopeful, yet honest. Accurate, but misleading.

Something about these words strikes me in a way that I can first remember reading them many months ago.

And when I stumbled upon them again a few days ago, the honesty I felt when I first heard them rang even louder.

There's truth there. Somewhere etched into the seemingly simple words is a clear statement. An omission. A sigh and half-hearted smile.

"It snowed today. December will be a better month."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update Shmupdate

Summer has been excellent. However, I've never been more ready for school to start. This might be the only time in my life I can remember wishing that summer was over.

And that's not to say that this has been a bad few months. Instead, they have been the opposite. I've had a blast this summer. Met a lot of cool people here in the city. Had a great internship. Slept a lot. I mean, like a whole lot. No complaints, truly.

I've just never been so geared up to get back into the grind, even though I know this means going to classes five days a week and working six. Plus there's finding a job for next summer.

But I can feel that this is going to be the best year of my life. What's changed is not so much what I will have to do, but how I live my life.

I am in the middle of a life reconstruction. I tore down myself only to rebuild me. My life is much different than it used to be. And while I'm not nearly done with this yet, I can feel the fruits of my work paying off.

This energizes me to continue this process, which I'm sure I will be able to do regardless of what's going on in my life this fall.

The reason why has to do with the person I've become and how I live now. My quarter-life crisis forced me to re-examine my priorities and what came out of that is nothing more than a life-transformation.

At this point, I'm babbling, and surely no one really cares this much about me. But I just want everyone to know that if you invest the time and energy you need to find yourself you life will turn out better.

I'm not saying I've found out who I am. But I am a better person (and happier) than I was at this point last year.

I care so much less about what I do for a living. I don't have much concern for how much money I make. I am not pressuring myself to get a stellar internship next summer. I am not afraid of fucking up. I have more friends that I truly care about. I have more people in my life that are important to me.

While I'm not back all the way, I'm on my way.

Progress happens so slowly and so unnoticeably that it can be disheartening at times. But I've felt the results of all this soul-searching lately. And let me tell you, it feels good.

Most importantly, I'm happy. Maybe happier than I've ever been. Ever.

And I know that I'm still thinking, still questioning, still looking.

I guess you could say I've learned the secret to life. You know that age-old question we ponder since birth? Well, I know it now.

And that's why this year is going to be the best of my life.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My apologies

Yeah, I know... it's been a while.

Sorry about all that. My computer died (the coroner ruled it a suicide) so the Internet thing has been a little iffy.

Updates (for whoever cares):

I'm halfway through my internship. All's going well. Minus firings, but hey what can you do. Such is the biz right now.

Been chilling up in Indy. Met some cool people lately. Starting to really get into this city.

Been playing a lot of guitar. Like a lot, seriously. Anywhere from 1-4 hours a day. Every day. I've never loved it so much, which feels nice to say. I'm realizing that making music, even if it goes nowhere past my bedroom, is the most calming and stabilizing thing I can do in my life. I love it. I hope I never stop making music.

Also, I've realized that who you are is more than just what you do. No one is defined by their job, title or salary. Each of us is complex beyond anyone's ability to understand. In fact, no one is defined by any one thing, at least not inside of themself.

In the past month or so I've been questioning who I am a lot. But not in a bad way. In a self-exploration sort of way. I want to keep this going. I never want to stop asking questions. I never want to be satisfied knowing enough about this crazy world we live in.

In some ways I'm just as lost as I ever was. I think the only thing that's changed is that I've accepted that I'm lost. Being lost only sucks when you want to know where you are. Once we accept that we may never know, life becomes a lot easier to deal with. Downright enjoyable, even.

I can't wait to get back down to B-town for the school year. August here I come! This is going to be the best year of my life. That might seem odd to say as I'm still trying to finish up year #20, but I feel like #21 is going to be one to remember.

I can just tell that this is going to be the best year of my life. And, no, I'm not just saying that. I believe it with all my soul. I'm not sure why, exactly, I think it will be. I just do. Odd, huh? I guess that while there's not a lot I can control, I can control a few things: First, I can work well make some progress in school. Second, I can spend a lot of times with people I care about. Third, I will do something for myself every day. Doing that, I don't think anything can throw me off my game this time.

A friend recently said that he's never been happier than he is right now. I thought about how I've been much happier previously in my life than the last few months. I guess my mindset is nothing more than a way to ensure year #21 will be the best.

At this point I'm rambling (per usual, I suppose). I feel like I have a lot more to day, I just don't know what that is right now.

I will try to post some song lyrics soon. I've written 4 (maybe 5sh) songs this summer I dig. I'll try to get them up once I get them looking semi-respectable.

Today's nugget of inspiration:
Anything worth doing is easier to say than do.
Anything worth having done is better to have done than said.

Until later, keep your chins up, kiddos. And be sure to drink plenty of milk.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fuck rain

I can't remember the last time it rain that hard.

All I wanted to do was walk back to my dorm and relax. Maybe read a book. Maybe watch TV. Maybe nap.

But when I walked outside in my cargo shorts, white tee, sandals and ballcap I wasn't ready for the thunderstorm turning streets into rivers.

Dismayed and more than slightly pissed, I smoked my last cigarette before running across the street to seek shelter in a small sandwich shop.

It's a twenty-minute walk to my dorm on the other side of campus. The last thing I wanted to was arrive a walking mop. "Fuck rain" I said in my head over and over.

So, determined to wait out the storm, I ordered an Italian on wheat sub and read a few pages in my newest book.

All I wanted to do was be back in my dorm and relax. Some people I knew from work were making the trek anyway, but I was determined to wait it out.

Fifteen minutes later my resolve had diluted and I had given up hope of waiting it out. Defeated and deflated, I began the walk.

At first it was unbearable. The rain was cold and soaked me within the first few blocks. I was no longer angry. I had deteriorated into depressed.

Then something funny happened. The rain was no longer cold. I no longer cared about getting wet. There's comes a point when you're so drenched you can't get any wetter.

There comes a point when you stop asking why it's raining.

Sometimes the sun shines brightest when it rains.

Much like anything else in life, there comes a point when you begin to accept the things that happen to you, whether it be rain, death or losing your best friend.

Eventually you stop hating it for what it is and accept it. Only then can you find the beauty in it.

I began to love the walk. I jumped in puddles and stared to the heavens as rain refreshingly splashed upon my face. I felt like a kid again, playing in my backyard. On the horizon I saw the sun peaking through the clouds. A promise of things to come.

It's easy to get down about the things that happen to you, like the rain ruining your evening. But when you accept it and embrace it, you can find happiness in even the worst of times.

And sometimes it's hard to look to the horizon when you hate everything around you. It's easy to stare at the ground and wish you were somewhere or someone else.

Sometimes the sun shines brightest when it rains. It's just harder to notice. Sometimes the greatest moment of hope comes in the most trying times for our souls.

It's easy to say that now, I know. Months after my life fell apart it's easy to look back and say that I should have looked to the horizon. Trust me, I know.

But life teaches us lessons every day, even many months after the fact. Embrace change, even when it destroys everything you used to love or had planned.

That walk was the best I've ever had once I stopped hating the rain. And only once I stop hating the things that brought me here will I love this walk too.

Sometimes the sun shines brightest when it rains.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Note: This was originally written on December 21, 2008 at 6:13 p.m. Like the four posts below this one, I wrote it on Facebook. I recently found them again on my profile. I'm reprinting them here because I'm deleting them off the 'book. Some things are just too personal to let everyone know. It's not fair to the people involved to keep them up there anymore. But I'll keep them here as a record and memory of what I was going through what now feels like an eternity ago.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing lasts forever.

This is a scary thought. So scary that most people don't want to recognize its truth. Rather than grapple with it's consequences, they live their life in the dark, unwilling to change.

But fate will not let you avoid this truth. One day life will slap you in the face. It's like a wake-up call: the second you realize that the world doesn't owe you anything, including what you've already got.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing.

Everything is subject to change. I used to live my life thinking that it was like a photo in a frame, but life is more like a movie. But a movie before TiVo and DVRs. Movies that cannot be stopped, or fast-forwarded. Movies that play in real time.

And you may not like what's going on in the movie, but there's nothing you can do about it. You might like the scene a few minutes ago, but right now you're watching this one. So you just have to sit back and enjoy, or at least do your best to enjoy, the scene you're in right now.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing.

This doesn't have to be scary, though. It is just as empowering as anything else. Why? Because the inverse of nothing being guaranteed is that nothing is NOT guaranteed. In other words, nothing is off limits. Every day you wake up can bring new opportunities and chances that you never saw coming. Every day can be the day you are reborn or that changes the lense through which you view life.

This is another way of saying that anything's possible, but that's one of those cliche sayings I hate.

Every day you wake up will bring you something you didn't expect. You can either hide from this, fearing the unknown, or you can embrace it and look it in the eyes - ready to take on whatever life throws your way, both good and bad.

So much of life is learning to love the process, the journey, because the destination is never guaranteed. You may dream of a family and kids, but you can't count on it. You may dream of falling in love and living your life with that person, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. Life cares little about your plans and aspirations, so you have to learn to love the present, more than you do the future.

Today is the day to seize life. Carpe Diem, or whatever you want to call it. Don't wait until tomorrow. Don't wait until it's too late to see all the beauty, passion and joy around you every day. One day life will call everyone's number, and what will matter isn't the grades you got, the number of parties you went to, or the money you made. One day we will all die, and we will realize how precious every second is. The question whether you will be satisfied with how you lived whenever that day comes.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is off limits.

We can either ignore this fact and live in ignorance, or we can let it be the freedom that removes us from the monotony of everyday life.

Ignorance is bliss, but freedom is truth.

It's the little things, stupid

This was originally written on December 10, 2008 at 2:51 a.m. on Facebook.

A smart man once wrote that "sometimes you reach the end and you can’t just go back and start loving the little things."

It's the little things, stupid, that make life so meaningful. A nice pure snow. A cold chill running down your spine. Christmas lights at night. Long walks with no destination in mind. Eating 3-hour lunches just to hang with your friends.

And it's the little details, the quirks, the idiosyncrasies that make you fall in love. The way that one person looked at you. Held your hand. Made you laugh.

The way she could tell what you were thinking before even you could. The way everything just seemed so perfect. How she managed to say whatever you needed to hear.

You can't count on anything forever. It's a sad thought, but it's true. So you've got to learn to love the journey as much as the destination, because sometimes you can never go back and relive the journey and some times you won't make it to your destination.

It's the little things, stupid, that make life worth living. The sunrise. Singing in the rain. Leaves changing color. Making a stranger laugh.

That's all life is really: a collection of little split-second memories and opportunities that all add up to an hour.

A day. A week. A year. A life.

Every one of those boil down to a second. And in every second there is a chance to love the little things all around you.

It's like a wise man once said: Sometimes you reach the end and you can't just go back and start loving the little things.

So don't wait until it's too late to enjoy the little things. Because before you're ready, it may all be gone. It's a sad thought, but it's true.

It's the little things, stupid.

Happiness is a Warm Gun

This was originally written on December 1, 2008 at 12:43 a.m. on Facebook.

I was talking to a friend earlier and we began talking about life and happiness.

We're both going through hard times right now, and sometimes it makes you wonder if you'll ever know true happiness again.

Not I just found 5 dollars in my jeans happy, but the kind of joy where everything feels right all the time. It's like the world is in perfect harmony.

And then the next second, you can't tell which way is up. It's like you have to stop and tell yourself to breathe, or else you might suffocate.

The thought of never being able to attain that perfect happiness is the scariest thought in the world. It fills your mind until it's the only thing you can think about. You can't do anything without thinking about what you're missing.

And all the while you just want that one person who made you happy. The one person who could put a smile on your face no matter what.

And all you want is that feeling of perfect happiness. It's a high no drugs can recreate. It's like you're flying over the world. Complete invincibility and vulnerability.

That's love, happiness, or whatever you want to call it.

And when it's taken away from you, it's like you're living life in slow motion. And it makes you wonder if you can ever be truly happy again, or if you'll just have to settle for finding 5 dollars in your pocket.


This was originally written on November 26, 2008 at 4:12 a.m. on Facebook.

When you base your life - your existence - on one thing it becomes the pillar of everything you do. That one thing defines you and what you stand for.

The only way I know how to describe it involves a house...

...and like any house, it's built on a foundation. This foundation holds everything up. The walls, the furniture, the floors, the roof. Everything is built on that foundation - that belief - whatever it may be.

And you can handle rebuilding a wall, or retiling the floors because it's just one small feature of the house, which is otherwise strong and sturdy. So repainting the bathroom is alright, so long as the foundation is strong.

But when the foundation breaks down, what happens to the rest of the house?

When the one thing you hold more sincerely and concretely than anything else in your life fails, you have to re-evaluate everything else. When the one thing you've been depending on while you've been putting in a new stove cracks, the solidity of everything built on it must be questioned as well. No matter how nice the house may look on the outside, if the foundation is ruined that house will eventually crumble.

So everything that was ever based on this Truth has to be questioned. You are standing in the house and now it seems like it could fall over at any moment, maybe from the smallest push in any direction. It's a scary thought: that the one thing you held as a Truth in your life is gone, everything else based on it seems less legitimate.

You look down and you see nothing to hold up the rest of the house and the rest of what you've built, and so you know that at any given moment everything else around you can fall apart too. And it shatters your world to know that foundation has ruined everything, but there's nothing you can do.

Everything around you seems like a lie too.

So whether or not you like it, you have to re-examine and question every detail of the house to find out what else is true and what else is just going to break.

It's not until you break down the house piece by piece that you can start to rebuild it once again, except this time on a new, stronger foundation.

Starting to rebuild is a scary process, and it can seem intimidating. But it's also a fresh start. A new beginning. A new house.


This was originally written on November 22, 2008 at 7:24pm on Facebook.

It’s funny how fast things can change.

Last week I bought her gifts for her 20th Birthday. She grew up a huge IU basketball fan, so I took her to the opening game of the regular season. I’ll never forget it. I spent the next week thinking of what I should get her for X-Mas and our 2-year anniversary, which is just like 6 weeks away on January 1st. We always said we were going to get married on a beach somewhere on Jan. 1.

I think the best 100 memories of my life all involve her. I remember when we first met at Seth’s house. How we tried to keep it a secret. We would sneak out to our cars and pretend like nothing was happening. At school we acted like the other didn’t exist.

I remember getting up early and watching the sun come up at G-town park our senior year of high school. We would sit there in one of our crappy Toyotas, just talking before we drove to school. We’d do this at night too and would always get kicked out by the cops.

One night we went to the park by her house and sat there listening to music. We found a half-empty wine bottle in the back seat and just sat there talking, listening and drinking. She understood me like no one I’ve ever met. From the first time we started talking, she just got me. We just seemed to click. We were perfect then.

The first valentine’s day we ever spent together we skipped school so I could take her ice skating. On the way there I was driving on I-64 when I ran over a pipe in the middle of the road that took out two of my tires. We never made it to the rink. We spent our first Valentine’s Day in my mom’s PT Cruiser waiting for AAA to come and tow the car away. But she didn’t care. She never cared about that kind of stuff. She always made me feel like everything was perfect. This is the same year she made me a heart-shaped cake.

I remember the day I told her I was going to IU. She was so excited. I told her I would be going there regardless of whether she was or not. I never told her this, but that was a lie. I probably would have ended up at Missouri or Texas instead. I chose to go to IU because of her. At the time I couldn’t imagine not being with her. I knew that I would hate any place that wasn’t where she is.

She is my best friend. I can tell her everything and she gets me like no one else. I will never love someone else like I love her. No one. And I don’t want to be with anyone but her.
That’s why this hurts so much. I can handle losing my girlfriend, but I can’t handle losing my best friend.

I never thought I could love like this. I never thought something like this was possible. Now it feels like my heart is gone. I can’t do anything without thinking of her and what we had.
I know her better than I know myself sometimes. Last summer she bought me Dylan tickets as a surprise for my birthday. But I called what she got me weeks before the concert. I can tell when she’s mad, sad or upset. I can tell when what she wants and what she says are two completely different things.

I remember playing the SIMS at my house, sitting in my basement until 4 a.m. We made a future family of us. We had a house and three kids: Dylan, Isabelle, and Izekuel. We would sit there for hours playing that stupid game, making sure we got promotions and taught the dumb dog skills.

I remember the good and the bad. The happy times and the fights. But no matter what she was there for me. She’s been the strongest thing in my life for almost two years, and now I feel like I’m in a freefall.

I remember going to her house every day after school senior year. We’d cherish the time until her mom came home from work. We’d sit in her small room, listening to music or playing guitar.

I remember the 4 a.m. grilled cheese sandwiches. And when we bought stuff for our apartment. We were so excited to live together.

I’ve loved her more than I thought was ever possible. I know a lot of people say that, but I really thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. Now I feel incomplete, and it seems like I may never be able to be happy again.

We always said that no one was perfect, but two people can be perfect for each other. I thought that was us, but now I don’t know.

Things may never be the same again, and that’s what scares me the most.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hard to do

Thank God I'm finally out of southern Indiana. Just in time, I say. Just in time.

I'm excited to start this summer - a new chapter in my life.

When I find myself getting depressed, lonely or bored the best thing I can do is something I've never done before. New place. New people. New everything.

This week is a new chapter in my life. One that takes me to Columbia, Missouri and then to Indianapolis and finally back to Bloomington.

It's been a long time since I truly dedicated myself to school. I'm looking forward to putting all of my energy into becoming the best copy editor and intern I can. I've been afforded a great opportunity and many doors for my career have been opened.

Time doesn't heal all wounds. Time just makes them easier to live with. Time makes you accept them as part of you life. But it doesn't heal them.

Sometimes, when you least expect it they come back, fresh as ever. And this time they hurt in different ways. The pain is different.

It's less raw, more realization. Less anger, more perspective. Less visceral, more emotional.

Save some face. You know you've only got one.

I want my best friend back. I don't think that's too much to ask.

I want to feel whole again. I want to feel like myself. I want to wake up and not feel something missing from my life.

Zen Buddhists train themselves to only live in the moment. To release the past and put aside the future. Easy to say; Hard to do.

"Only love can break your heart." -Neil Young

For now I guess I will try to do as the Buddhists. Try to live and let go. Try and be in the present. Easy to say; Hard to do.

The words aren't coming easy tonight. They say that when you're having trouble saying what you mean it's because you don't know what you mean. That sounds about right.

I've got so much to say that I can't say anything. That's it for now, I guess. I'll try to have something more coherent tomorrow.

"Let me die on this Earth before I die underground." -RAZ

Friday, May 8, 2009

Still stuck in Nothingtown

This is my last night in Bloomington until August.

For some reason this goodbye seems different than last year. I can't really explain why.

Maybe it's because this time I'm comprehending how short my years at IU will be.

Maybe it's because I actually had to say goodbye to some really good people I know, some of whom I may never see again.

Maybe it's because this time I'm returning to a home I don't like. To a town I just want to get out of. To memories I don't want to relive.

Maybe it's because last year I only say adios to a city rather than to people.

Maybe it's because the last time I went home I hid from my problems with alcohol and I'm afraid I'll do that again.

More than anything, it's probably because this is the first summer I will have by myself in three years.

Tomorrow morning my dad will be here to pack up and leave. Fortunately, there are just enough people I want to see and enough work to do to fill up two weeks before I head to Missouri and finally Indianapolis.

Still, I don't want to go back. So much of home reminds me of her. Everything. My house. My room. My bed. My shower. The park by my house. Every restaurant in town. My car. My CDs. My kitchen. My yard. Every friend is mutual. I hate having to split time with people I used to be able to see whenever I wanted.

The last time I went home I would randomly find a shirt or book of hers in my room. I can't even count all the hours we wasted in that basement, just the two of us. I could tell you stories for hours.

And now we barely speak. I've seen her in person twice since December. Going home is like a different universe I used to occupy with someone else. And now she's gone, but I'm still stuck in that world.

The worst part is feeling that she no longer cares. That what we had is replaceable. That in the end what we had will go down in a laundry list of relationships.

I can deal with a break-up. They happen. Not every relationship is meant to last forever. But it seems like us not being in each others' lives doesn't even bother her. She's OK with our relationship deteriorating into nothing. With forgetting everything we ever had.

I wish the her two years ago could meet the her now and be as surprised as I am at how much she's changed. She's not the person I fell in love with as far as I can tell.

It would be nice to know that I didn't waste two years of my life on something that meant nothing. The person I once loved is a stranger to me now. Sometimes I wonder if it all meant as much to her as I always thought it did.

Maybe that's why I hate goodbyes so much. It's the acknowledgment that two people's paths may never cross again. That, at least for the short term, they are no longer in your life.

Do you know what it's like when every step you take reminds you of the one thing you don't want to think about? That there's no place in this town you can go where you didn't go with her? When every second is a constant reminder of better, happier times?

I do, and it's scary.

So no — this isn't goodbye. That's too final.

I'll see you later, friend.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I hope you dance

Living might mean taking chances, but they're worth taking.

Loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making.

If there's one thing I've learned recently, it's that life doesn't care about your plans. It doesn't care about your hopes or dreams.

This world has a path for you, and it won't always be the path you want to go down. But rest assured it's a path you've never been before.

This is a crazy world we live in. Sometimes I feel like I'm being tugged in two different directions. Not externally, but internally. Different forces inside me compete for control. There's a civil war in my heart, and it's unclear which side will win.

On the outside, different forces pull me in every direction. With all these pressing winds, sometimes it's just easiest to stand still.

There's a certain serenity in standing firm in a sea of crashing waves. It's comforting to know where you'll be and not give yourself in to the forces you can't control.

But soon enough the feeling fades and all you're left with the same thing day after day.

And the feeling that once was comforting is now dull and boring. You're no longer satisfied with just knowing you'll be safe. What was once your form of protection no longer fulfills you.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just let go. While these two little words are so simple, they can often be the ones that consume us.

It's easier to stand firm and dig your toes into the sand than to give yourself up to nature's will. It's easier to hold onto what you feel than to have the courage to let things go. Forgiveness and acceptance are what most of us struggle with every day, especially during those times that try our spirit the most.

But sometimes you just have to let go.

Sometimes what you thought was the best solution is only delaying what you must inevitably do to truly live. You realize you're going nowhere while the sun continuously gets closer to the horizon. Every second you dig your does in deeper is a second lost at sea.

And while it's never the easiest choice, there comes a time when we all must let go.

Of our past. Of our present. Of our future.

Of our pain. Of our anger. Of our sadness.

Sometimes you just have to let yourself go, too, just to find out where the world will take you next.

Living might mean taking chances, but they're worth taking.

Loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making.

I hope you dance.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I love you

It's true.

I know I don't say it enough, but I do.

And just in case I don't live long enough to see the sun set tomorrow, just know that I love you.

I know I should say it to your face more often, and for that I'm sorry.

But just know that I've got our back. If you ever need anything I'm here for you.

I know I should say that to your face more often, but I'm saying it now.

And if I die in my sleep tonight, let this post remain for all of eternity.

Because I love you.

It's true.

I know I don't say it enough, but I do.

And just in case I don't live long enough to see the sun set tomorrow, just know that I love you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Open up your Eagle Eyes

Life continually surprises me, even if it's not in the best of ways. Still, there's an odd satisfaction I get out of knowing that something could happen tomorrow that could change my life forever, good or bad.

It's freeing. To know that you can never really be in charge of your own life is to accept the things you can't control. It's about acceptance and enjoying the trip, wherever it takes you.

My life is only a fraction of what it used to be. And for all that's happened, I would never go back to the way it used to be. My life last semester feels like a movie. An out of body experience.

Sometimes I forget that I used to live with my significant other. That we had our own place. Thinking about it now feels like I'm replaying an old favorite film I haven't seen in a long time.

It seems like years ago, and in many ways it was. I've grown tenfold as a person and my outlook on life has change immensely, mostly for the better. I view the world through a different lens. I am starting to become the person I've always wanted to be. We must learn to be our own heroes.

My life is only a fraction of what it once was, but I'm okay with that. Learning to accept our pasts is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give ourselves.

So much about life is acceptance. I've been reading a few books on Zen lately and that's a fundamental belief in it. Zen teachers preach that we are not the past or the future, but simply the present. We must accept where we are right now and do our best to enjoy it and make it better. We can't spend our time analyzing the present and comparing it to the past. This only makes us waste the present, which evaporates continuously.

While I don't agree with all of the Zen philosophy, they're definitely on to something.

Many of my last few months I have spent wanting, praying and wishing things could have turned out differently. But the fact is they didn't. I'm lucky for the blessing Life wished upon me at such an early age. And to quote a great writer, indeed the excrement certainly hit the fan. But this I must simply accept.

My life is only a fraction of what it used to be, but change is the only constant in this world. It is truly the only thing that we can count on daily. Whether we accept this fact is up to us. And yes, my life is different in almost every regard from only five months ago.

Different friends. Different home. Different priorities. Different wants. Different needs. Different everything.

On the inside I'm different too. I see Life in a new way. I'm more appreciative of what I had and what I have right now. I more easily brush aside stress because I have a better idea of what's important.

I am starting to become the person I've always wanted to be, and that makes me happy.

And while my life is only a fraction of what it once was, I'm okay with that.

Learning to accept our pasts is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give ourselves.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cream or sugar?

One day I will go for a walk and never come back. Never stop walking. Never turn around.

Just walk until my legs give out. Walk until the road ends. Walk until I've reached somewhere where no one can reach me. Someplace I'm completely alone. Where no one can give me any more bullshit.

I feel like my entire life is a house of cards made of jello. It's no wonder things always seem to fall down around me. I wonder when I will ever get my life back.

Question: can you call the police if you think someone stole your life?

You should. That has to be the worst crime someone can commit. Sad part is I don't know who stole it, or if I just kind of gave it away.

I feel like I'm a passive observer in my life. My life is a movie and I'm not even a main character. I'm only an extra in a sea of nobodies.

Do you ever get the feeling that if you were never born no one would miss you besides the people that brought you into this world? I do sometimes. Occasionally I feel the other way. Occasionally.

It's nights like these that make me think I may never stop smoking. I know people hate to hear that. But I know that if the rest of my life is like this I will never stop. Period.

I want go so somewhere I've never been. Just pack up and leave. Turn off my phone and not say goodbye. Just drive to a city where I can walk the streets and meet people who hate this world as much as I do. Where the slums are packed at night with other lost souls bumming cigarettes and sitting together because they have no one else. There's an odd satisfaction I get from people who seem as confused as I do.

Sometimes I feel like these lost souls are my brethren. My kindred spirits. I feel so unlike everyone I know. I want things they can't understand. I hate things they love. I want more than what others are satisfied with.

I want meaning. I want love. I want enlightenment. I want happiness. I want inspiration. I want Truth. But I can't find any of these things and it kills me. I want something more than just waking up and going through the motions. I can't do this for the rest of my life.

It's like most of the time I'm not actually alive. I'm one of those ghost-white zombies walking down an endless horizon of disappointments and roadblocks.

I don't feel important to anyone. No one really goes out of their way to see me. I feel like a burden to my friends. Like I bring them down.

I'm not going to burden anyone anymore. If people are fine letting friendships slip away, then so am I. Relationships don't survive on the back of one person, they fizzle. No one knows this better than I do.

I don't want any favors. No sympathy. No bullshit. I'm past the point of trying to avoid pain. Now I just seek the truth and a little genuine caring.

The one person I have ever thought truly loved me said she didn't want to see me right now. That it was too difficult. Too painful. Acting as if she was doing me a favor or some self-righteous bullshit like that. Apparently seeing someone twice in almost five months is just asking too much from them.

Sometimes I wonder if it's ever possible to really know someone. I wonder if two people can ever really be in love forever. Or is this just what people convince themselves into believing because the alternative is too painful.

But I guess that after you dedicate almost two years of your life to someone you don't deserve anything at all. Not even a face-to-face conversation. So much for always caring about someone. This is a fucked up world.

There's no real point to this post, in case you haven't figured it out yet. I just want a place to talk about my thoughts since it's just me tonight. The beauty about a blog is that it can never let you down.

"Don't need a friend, 'cuz my friend lonesome's unconditional."

These days my dreams seem more real than when I'm awake. My nights seem more clear than the day. And silence says more than words ever could.

My life is a movie and I'm not even a head writer. I'm an intern fetching coffee for those that tug on the strings, making me dance like a fool. Would you like donuts too? Cream or Sugar? Both? Ok, I can do that.

One day I will go for a walk and never come back. Never stop walking. Never turn around.

And when I do, I wonder who will follow after me and who will watch me walk away. Who will miss me and who won't know my name a month later. Who will notice. Who will care.

One day I will leave town and never look back, like Matt Damon's character in "Good Will Hunting." One day. You'll see. You'll see. I will go somewhere you couldn't find me even if you wanted to. Where you can't neglect me. Where I won't have to put up with all this crap. I'll go somewhere I can start fresh. A new life. Another chance to do things right. Another chance to find happiness and meaning in a world full of nothing.

You'll see.

One day you'll see.

It's nice out tonight. Maybe I'll go for a walk. I don't know where to. I'll find out when I get there.

Friday, April 10, 2009

What sustains you?

I saw world-class interviewer and journalist Terry Gross a few days ago. She said a lot of things that made me think, but one stood out. She made a reference to finding out what sustains people when she interviews them.

Interesting question.

What sustains you?

I've never put it in those terms before, but it makes you think. The toughest part of life, to me, is finding the answer to this question and striving to achieve it.

I like this phrasing better than asking what drives, inspires and motivates me because I feel it encompasses all of them.

To sustain anything it takes a plethora of ingredients. Many things go into sustaining something, such as a plant. The same is true of people. We all have things that allow us to continue on in this world as better, more whole people.

I guess for a lack of better wording, I'm going to call this sustaining me.

What sustains you?

To begin answering this question is to start a response that has no end. But that's how it should be. It contains everything we love to do. Everything we do for ourselves each day.

But it's more than this. It's about what sustains our soul. What makes us wake up every day. What makes us look forward to tomorrow. What makes us human.

Many things sustain me. Friends. Family. Music. Nature. To name just a few.

Too often I find myself content with the ruts and monotony of everyday life. Happy just to go to sleep each day knowing I've gotten through one more. But at the end of the day where does this put us?

One day closer to graduation? One day closer to the real world? One day closer to death?

It's a depressing way to put it, but sometimes that's the only way to make a point. So I'll ask again:

What sustains you?

I'm surprised to find that even the smallest of things gives importance to my life. Buying a book. Taking a walk. A good conversation. Sometimes what sustains us isn't the big things that we do but the small. Because lives are made up more by the continual occurrence of the small rather than the big, despite how glamorous and life-changing the big may be.

What sustains me?

I don't have the answer to this question, and I may never have it. But that's not the point, really. Just asking the right questions is enough. It's about training yourself to think of life in a certain way more than it is finding all the answers. Because you will never run out of questions no matter how many answers you find.

What sustains you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Honesty and Cigarettes?

People are weird.

Maybe one day I'll get the hang of this whole 'human species' thing, but I'm not banking on it.

Why can't people just say what they mean? It's like everyone has to play games with everyone else. As if you told someone how you actually feel that would be the end of the goddamn universe. As if honesty is something to be feared rather than embraced.

Not sure where this is coming from or where it's headed, but it just seems like people I meet enjoy the games. Like there's something fun about keeping people guessing or firing blanks at their feet and watching them dance.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if we could just be honest with people and say what was on our minds? No more of the bullshit. The unwanted pleasantries. The wasteful small talk. The insincere smiles. The mere nods of acknowledgment.

Oh what a world that would be.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want pure honesty. I'm sure I don't even want to know what my best friends think of me sometimes. I'm not talking about being brutal, just not bullshitting anymore.

I hate bullshit. I can smell it miles away. And when people feed me lines of pure crap I just want to squeeze their heads until their innards pop out.

Or something like that.

At this point I'm rambling, but if you've made it this far you're probably used to it by now. And if you're not, I apologize, but you'll get used to it.

Keep on rocking in the free world.

I'm not sure where that came from.

Neil Young is pulsing through my ears. I can't believe it's taken me so long to realize how amazing he is. Probably the second-best song writer besides Dylan himself. That's the highest praise I can give. Period.

I smoked only three cigarettes today. OK, I know. It's still three. But when you've been smoking around 20+ a day for the last two months, three is a big deal.

It's hard to explain, but my body can tell when I haven't smoked in a long time. And by long time I mean like 10 hours. My mind craves it. And when I finally smoke...'s like heaven. Sad, but true.

Ahhhhhhh sweet serenity. It's like the entire world is alright again, if just for a few minutes. Smoking is one of the most relaxing things you can ever do. It's so easy to get used to having the first cigarette of the morning to wake yourself up and start your day. And there's something peacefully magical about the last cigarette. Just you in your pjs and sandals staring at the stars while the rest of the world sleeps.

And during the course of your day it's like a mini-vacation. A time where you can just go outside and stand by yourself, lost in your own thoughts.

I don't expect people to understand why I do it. But I can say that it is all mental. Cigs were there when I was at the lowest of the low. They became my friends, my support group in a weird way. I could always count on them, no matter what. And when you feel like everyone has abandoned you, you'll turn to anything for help.


Cigs were always there for me. They never left or wavered like so many people in my life. And they never questioned me. Never judged. They were just there to calm my nerves and tell me everything was alright.

I guy whose struggling to just make it through the end of the day gets used to that awfully quick. And in many ways I didn't realize it was happening until it was too late. You think you're in control until one day you wake up and you plan your day around when you can go to the gas station for another pack.

Today I was so desperate I smoked a Parliament. If this isn't the bottom I don't know what is.

And while I want to quit with 98% of my body, that last two percent is mighty stubborn and has been through a lot. That two percent is ready to give it up quite yet.

Sad, but true.

When you depend on something to get you through the bad times it's easy to fall back when you're having a bad day. Or a bad hour. Or a bad month. Or a bad year. And when you're doing good, it's nice to celebrate with something you enjoy.

Here are all the times I enjoy smoking: Right when I wake up. Right before class. After I eat breakfast while it's still becoming light outside. In a quiet spot where it's just me. Between classes. At high noon with the sun straight overhead. Right after lunch. On a break during work. On a clear night. While it storms. At a party. While I read the newspaper. As the sun sets. As I sit in the park. When it's really cold and I'm in sandals. When it's the middle of the night. While I study. While I play sports. While I walk to class. After a big meal. Before a big test. Anytime I feel happy, stressed, sad, lonely, curious, concerned, disillusioned, tired, peaceful...

You get the picture.

And people ask why I still smoke.

Oh if you only knew. If you only knew.

Okay so I'll end this now. If for no other reason than because I'm finally feeling tired. Once again I apologize if you've struggled all the way through this. I'll buy you a cookie the next time I see you, or something like that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

*Insert appropriate title here*

"You've got to know right now these words still sting. I've lost everything I've ever touched."
-Landmines and Landslides, by Less Than Jake

Time makes things easier, but that doesn't mean time makes things easy.

Story of my life.

There is no real point to this post, I just feel like I need to write something right now before I go to sleep.

"Said 'Goodbye' to my best friend. Sometimes there's no one left to tell me the truth."
-The Rest of my Life, by Less Than Jake

This has been a good weekend. One of the best I can remember in a long time, and that makes me happy. It was awesome, despite the fact that one of my best friends isn't talking to me. The reason it was so great had less to do with what I did than with who I did it with.

Good friends are hard to find. And when they come into your life you feel blessed and you should. Maybe that's what makes this so hard. I'm having that oh too familiar feeling of having someone close to me slip away. It's scary and reminds me of times I do my best to not think about.

I'm still not sure what I'm getting at, but I'm not ready to go to bed quite yet.

So I'll guess I will keep rambling for a few more lines or so.

Writing is such a release. I will do my best to make a post each night before I go to sleep. Not that anyone reads this typo-ridden garbage anyway. But I don't care. I write for me. It's my time to me. Sometimes it's the only part of my day that feels right no matter what.

"I don't need a girl, don't need a friend 'cuz my friend Lonesome's unconditional. We're flying, forever bored."
-Open Road Son, by Eve 6

Just a few more weeks left of school. I will miss Bloomington dearly. But I'm ready for a change of pace. New scenery. New experiences. New memories. A fresh beginning. A clean slate.

All of the above.

I'm ready to see what else life has in store for me beyond Bloomington and school. I'm ready for something new, good or bad. I just want something I've never experiences before. Something with no connection to my past. Something to expand my horizons and challenge my perception of who I am.

"I will not go down under the ground because somebody tells me that death's coming round. And I will not carry myself down to die. When I go to my grave my head will be high. Let me die, in my footsteps, before I go down under the ground."
-Let Me Die in My Footsteps, by Bob Dylan

I went to Lamb Lake today. Simply amazing. I loved the people and I loved the setting. Something about nature's inherent beauty that can just put you at peace. That's how I felt in the mountains of west Texas, and that's how I felt today drifting on the lake. That's a feeling I know I will never tire of. It's too amazing to ever be saturated with.

It's tough times that really makes you appreciate the simple things around you that have so much beauty. Like a soft sunset. Or an undisturbed lake. Or a quiet sky. Or a never-ending horizon.

I do my best to remind myself every day about life's simple and majestic nature that surrounds me every second.

Almost ready to go to sleep, but not there yet.

So insert more rambling here.

Wait. You're still reading? You, my friend, need to pick up a hobby or two rather than wasting your time on my 5 a.m. sleep-deprived blog posts. Sorry, but it's true.

God bless the people I have in my life. If you're reading this (and even if you're not), God bless you. I love you. You mean more to me than you will ever know. You are amazing. Thank you.

I know I should say this to your face more often, but I love you.

I do. It's true. Thanks for everything you've ever done for me. I only hope that I can be as good a friend to you than you have been to me.

Okay, so I guess it's about that time. My eyelids are getting droopy and I think that's my clue. My roommate must hate this thing that makes a soft pitter-patter every night around this time.

But like I said, I love you. Just thought that was worth reiterating.

"If you won't forgive me the rest of my life, let me apologize while I'm still alive. I know it's time to face all of my past mistakes. It's going to kill me for the rest of my life."
-The Rest of my Life, by Less Than Jake

Good night, my friends. May tomorrow be even half as good as today or yesterday was.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Sometimes you don't realize how big events in your life have shaped you until months later. What happened has changed me in ways I'm still discovering. The sad part is that you think you're doing okay. You don't really realize how different you are until someone points it out.

Tonight one of my good friends made me realize how different I am in my relationships with people.

For more than four months I've been thinking and expecting the worst from people. I didn't really know I was doing until someone called me out for not having faith in them. At first I didn't know what they were talking about. I was confused.

Then I said something that made it all become clear. They were just asking or me to believe in them and trust them to make the right decisions. That they wouldn't fuck up. I said that people say that a lot, implying that there was no reason to believe them.

And within a few minutes I realized how messed up I've become. I always think the worst of people. In my mind I doubt the things they tell me, and I doubt their sincerity in every syllable.

I didn't realize I was doing this. I mean, I know I've been really pessimistic, but I didn't know to what extent. The sad part is that this is happening with even my best friends. I do this to even the people I've been counting to get me through this. They deserve better. I just wish I could give it to them.

How do you trust people when the one person you trusted a million times more than any other betrayed you in the worst way? When the person you opened yourself up to the most and made yourself completely vulnerable hurts you in the worst way, how can do anything but think the worst in people you know a fraction of the other person?

When you make yourself that vulnerable you just assume they will never hurt you. And when they do, it's tough to believe anything else other people say, no matter how many times they ask you to just have faith in them.

That's not fair for anyone else, but it's really hard for me to trust people and their intentions after everything I've been through. I know this doesn't make it right, but I'm still dealing with the repercussions of what happened.

It's not that I don't have faith in you. It's that I can't. I dont' trust anyone. No one. I just can't. The one person I trusted more than everyone else combined let me down. And that didn't just hurt our relationship, it hurt my relationships with everyone around me. It damaged how I view the world and how I see people. It destroyed my ability to trust people absolutely.

I don't want to be the kind of person who sees the worst in people. I hate that I've been assuming the worst and doubting people's sincerity. This isn't me. I can - and will - change.

How do you trust people when the one person you trusted a million times more than any other betrayed you in the worst way?

I wish I knew the answer to this. But my friends deserve better, and I'm going to do my best to give it to them.

All I ask is for a little patience and understanding. I'm not perfect. I'm far from it. And what happened has changed me in ways I'm sure I'll be discovering for years. But I value our friendship, and I hope you give me the room to fuck up from time to time. I know I will. But I promise to do my best, unfortunately sometimes that isn''t good enough

I value our friendship more than just about any other I have. And I can't take losing another friend right now.

All I ask is for a little patience and understanding.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Who am I?

Do you ever ask yourself who you are?

I do. Every day. More often usually. I never really have an answer for this, but if I do it varies every time.

It's scary to not know who you are. It's terrifying when the person you thought you were for so long doesn't exist. Because then you have to come to terms with the fact that you're starting from scratch.

I feel like I'm the only one who feels lost sometimes. It's impossible to explain, so I never really try. The thoughts just keep swirling around in my head and creep their way into the quietest and loneliest of my day. It's like I'm constantly searching and I'm never satisfied with what I find. So I keep searching. Constantly looking for what? I don't know. I don't even know if I'll know when I come across it. But I know I don't have it now and it has to be somewhere.

Do you ever ask yourself who you are?

I do. Every day. I never find answers I like.

But I have discovered things I'm not. I know the type of person I don't want to be and the type of life I don't want to live.

That will have to do for now.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I wonder ...

So here's a little poem I've been working on for a while. It's not complete and I'm not really satisfied with where it's at, but I figured I'd go ahead and post it up here. If you like it, great. If not, I really couldn't care less.
_ _ _ _ _

I don't know if I ever stopped thinking about her
Or if I just pushed her farther back into my mind
I can’t decide if I will ever forgive her
Or if I will ever be whole again
I feel like I haven’t been myself since she left
Like I’m a stranger
I look into the mirror
And I don’t know who stares back
The life I used to live
And the person I used to be
Seem more like a movie I was watching
Than a life I was living

She took part of me with her
A part I’m not sure I will get back
I do my best to forget
But you can only hide from yourself so long
Before you begin to lose yourself too
And you can only pretend so long
Before you must tell yourself the truth
And you can only run so far
Before you must face what you’re running from
And you can only avoid looking in the mirror so long
Before you forget what you look like

And so I think about her
I replay every second that became two years
I relive every moment in slow motion
And I wonder if I ever cross her mind
If she still loves me
If she ever misses me
If she ever talks about me
But mostly I wonder
If she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

Because I miss her
And not an hour goes by
That she doesn't cross my mind
Not a day passes that I don’t wish
At least for a second
That I can travel through time
And watch her fall asleep once more
Or have just another day in our apartment
Or have one last kiss
But now I spend my nights alone
Wondering if she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

And I wonder what’s she’s doing
How she’s feeling
I wonder about her mom
Her dad, her friends, her brother
I think about her aunts
And her grandmother
And her cats
But mostly I think about her
And I wonder if she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

I hope she does
I hope she remembers what we had
I hope she hasn’t forgotten everything we used to be
Or everything she meant to me
How I used to hold her
Or tickle her knees
How I was always there when she needed me
And even when she didn’t
I hope she’ll never forget
Our love
Because I won’t

Because I remember:
I never felt as alive
As when I looked into her eyes
As when she said “I love you”
Or when I fell asleep by her side
My heart never beat faster
Than when I saw her face
Or when she played our song
I was never happier
Than when I did nothing with her
Or when I saw my reflection in her eyes
Or when she said she loved me

Sometimes the loneliness is unbearable
I cry myself to sleep once a week
If I’m lucky
I don’t sleep because I don’t want to dream about her
So I stay up
And she fills my thoughts
I try to imagine what she’s doing
How she’s feeling
What she’s thinking
How she’s sleeping
If she’s missing
Any part of me
Any of what we used to have
Any of what we used to be
So I cry myself to sleep
Once a week
If I'm lucky

I wonder if anyone will see in me
What she saw
If anyone will feel for me
What she felt
If anyone will say to me
What she said
If anyone will hold me
The way she did
If anyone will love me
Like she did
I wonder if I will find in another
What I had with her
If I will ever be as happy
As I was in her arms
But mostly I wonder
If she thinks about me
As much as I think about her

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It was just time

If there's one thing I can count on in life, it's that I will always be surprised.

Yesterday I did the one thing I haven't done in almost three months. The last time I talked to her it was 2008.

I can't explain what changed in one day that made me do it. And honestly, I probably never will. The best I can come up with was that it was just time.

I never had a grand plan about how all of this would go down. Even when I called her I didn't know what to say. I've never had an idea how it would all play out. Sometimes I think people have this notion that I'm orchestrating some well-thought out scheme about this whole situation. They're fucking crazy.

I just take one day at a time. One step at a time. That's all I know to do.

For some reason there was something about Sunday night that just seemed right. I can't explain what it was. It was just time.

I've learned not to look at decisions I make as good or bad, simply decisions. It's impossible to have anything happen to you that is completely good or completely bad. Everything has pieces of both in it. The question is really just which side you concentrate on.

You just have to do what seems right in the moment. Later, after you've had the benefit of time, hindsight might prove you right or wrong. But regardless, at least you can go to bed each night knowing that you weren't afraid to do what you felt in your heart.

That's what I did. I took a risk. Calling her was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time. After so long without so much as a text, the easy option was just to keep ignoring her and pretending like she didn't exist. Not calling was the easy option.

Facing my past, not running from my demons, taking a risk that could have blown up in my face - that was the hard thing. I would be lying if I said seeing her again was easy. It brought back a lot of memories and emotions I didn't really want to relive. Still, I'm glad I went.

The road of forgiveness and friendship is long. But like any journey, it depends upon thousands of small steps. Here's to making the steps, even the difficult ones.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bucking tradition

I ate meat last night for the first time in 5 years.

I don't know why I did it. I just did. I really can't explain what came over me and made me want to eat it.

All I know is that for about as long as I can remember and all of my adult life I haven't eaten meat. It's as much a part of who I am as anything else I know. One-quarter of my life I have been a vegetarian.

But when people ask me why I don't eat meat I hesitate. I hate explaining it. Lately I've realized that I don't eat meat because I never have. It's just something I've always done. It's as ingrained in me as anything else I know. It's like breathing.

So that's why I think I decided to have a hamburger for the first time in years.

I'm at a point in my life where I need to question everything I do or don't do. I need to decide who I am and what I believe. I need to push my comfort level to see who I really am.

So I think I am - occasionally - going to eat meat again. I don't know why but I feel like it's time for a change in my life. It's time for me to discover who I am and not be limited by who I've been in the past.

I feel like before I can be me I have to explore all my options. I have to push my boundaries and do things I've never done before.

Only then I can truly know who I am and where I fit into this world. Only after I've pushed myself into a new frontier and challenged my perception of who I am can I find myself.

I need to wipe the slate completely clean before I begin to redraw my self-portrait. It's only after I abandon everything I think I know about myself that I can determine what's real and what's simply tradition.

So for now I will eat dead animals. Yuck. It's disgusting to even think about.

But who knows, maybe one day I'll even go hunting.

But I wouldn't count on it.

On the road again

Road trips are good for the soul.

There's nothing like setting out with a good friend, an atlas and a world of ambition and possibilities.

There's something about driving for four hours with no music that just gives you time to yourself. With your phone off and the wind blowing your hair you all you can do is let your mind wander. It's like you're in your own little world.

Driving gives you time to think about things in a different way. This week I've been thinking about her and where I am in my life right now.

I can honestly say I'm happy, but it's bittersweet. I've changed so much as a person - mostly for the better - that she probably wouldn't recognize me today. It's scary to think about how much my life has changed in so short of a time.

It's safe to say that probably the 10 people I hung out with the most last semester I almost never see. This makes me wonder if I was ever really friends with any of them beyond just a superficial level. Now my best friends are people I barely knew a few months ago.

When I hit the road I think about these kinds of things. When I can't sleep I think about these kinds of things. When I smoke my last and first cigarette of the day I think about these kinds of things.

And I get scared.

I'm not sure why, but I do. I fear that everything in my life is a lie. I used to think I had everything I could ever want. Now I fear that having everything is impossible. I fear that maybe this is just a dream we persuade ourselves into believing so we can sleep better each night.

Maybe that's why I don't sleep. Rather I spend hours every day thinking about things that are out of my hands. And I ask questions that don't have any answers.

But on the road things just feel different. I feel like my soul is liberated. That nothing is holding me back. That nothing can stop me.

And when my mind wanders to these larger-than-life questions I seem more willing to shrug them off, because I don't know what lies ahead on the road.

This probably doesn't make any sense to anyone else but me. I'm not even sure if I understand what I'm trying to get at. All I know is that while I may not have the answers, at least I'm asking the questions.

And that's a start.

One piece at a time

I saw her mom last week.

It's the first time I've seen her in about four months and the first time I've said a word to her since we broke up.

I think she was as surprised to see me as I was that I actually went.

On the way there I was freaking out. I talked myself in and out of doing it the whole way. As I got close to her house I slowed down. I couldn't bring myself to drive down her street. Then I gunned it and sped past.

I turned around and just turned into her driveway, trying not to think about what I was doing.

I'm glad I went. It was good for me. After two years it's hard to just forget about everything, although I tried my best for a long time. It was good to see her and know that she's doing okay.

I think about them a lot. It's impossible not to. The hardest part of the holidays was not seeing her family but rather having to sit at my house with mine. One of the things I liked best about being with her was her family. They accepted me from the beginning and I always felt welcomed.

When you grow up in a house of four with all your relatives hundreds of miles away it's nice to feel that sense of family. It was something I'd never known before. And it's good to know that they're all doing fine.

My close friends know how much I love a good analogy and one I thought of lately seemed especially apt.

It's like I was doing a puzzle and I was nearly complete when someone came and took it away. Instead they handed me a completely new one that I didn't know what to do with.

They didn't even hand me a box, just a lot of random pieces. At first I didn't know what I was even supposed to be making. I just sifted through the pieces overwhelmed and lost.

Then I found an edge. Then another. Then I found the box. And now I have at least a general idea of what I'm supposed to be making.

And slowly I began to make the outline and get all the edges done. Now I'm working on the center, slowly working my way inside one piece at a time. It's not an easy process, but it's doable.

I feel like seeing her mom again was me putting one more piece down in the puzzle. Granted, there are a lot of pieces left, but it's nice to know I'm making progress.

Even if it is just one piece at a time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lean on me when you're not strong

So lately I've realized how blessed I am that certain people came into my life.

A few days ago I told someone that life tends to work out in your favor if you give it the chance. I'm starting to realize just how true those words are.

The people I'm closest with now I barely or didn't talk to a few months ago. It's funny how fast things can change.

Even though this has been the most difficult time in my life, I can see drastic and lasting changes for the better that have taken place. This most important of these is how I view my relationships with my friends.

It's easy to lose track of people and fall apart when you are thrown into an intense and close relationship. It's easy to lose track of how important having friends by your side is. I don't know where I'd be today without the people that showed me support when the world seemed to be falling down around me.

And that is something I will never forget. Never. To those out there who were there for me and for those that have my back now:

Thank you. I love you more than you will ever know. And I will never forget. Never.

Nor will I forget how important it is to have people who are there for you no matter what. Everyone needs a shoulder every now and then. Shit, sometimes we all need much more than a shoulder.

I'm blessed in so many ways, and I'm starting to count them more than I used to. I'm starting to count what I have and not what I've lost.

Life tends to work out for you if you give it the chance. And for the first time in weeks I think I'm starting to give it a a fair shot.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

At my high school there was this super-intelligent kid. He is hands down the smartest person I've ever met. He only went to school with us for a few years sporadically. He had some mental issues I never really understood that plagued him constantly. I haven't heard from him forever, but I hope wherever he is, he's doing okay.

Because he wasn't with our grade all the time and got held back he didn't really have any good friends at school. A lot of times at lunch I'd see him sitting by himself and I'd join him, because I've been that kid before. Plus I always loved our conversations. I considered myself a smart kid, even when I was younger, but he always had a different way of looking at things that I loved. His perspective was different from anyone else I'd ever met. We'd talk about everything, often times something spiritual or religious in nature.

During one of these such lunch talks, I remember saying something about looking forward to the weekend and how swamped I was with school. I said that I just couldn't wait for the weekend to relax.

As usual, his response surprised me. He said that he avoided trying to live his life by looking forward to tomorrow. He said he looked forward to today and not the future. He didn't want to always be looking forward to what tomorrow had in store. Like most highschoolers, I had been living my life for the weekend - a time when I could hang out with friends and forget about school.

For some reason his comments have been floating around in my head lately. Work and school seem to pile up into a mountain of to-dos each day. The beginning of each week turns into "if I can just make it to Friday" thought.

And I'm not alone.

Most of my fellow college students are the same way. We look forward to the parties, getting drunk, and not going to class. We look forward to tomorrow at the expense of today.

But tomorrow won't always be there. It's easy to think tomorrow will be better than today. But, honestly, it's usually not. Tomorrow will always bring more to-dos and more lists to accomplish.

When I was young I couldn't wait to be able to drive. When I could drive, it was being a senior. Then it was graduating and going to college. Now it's the weekends and not wanting to be in school. Then it'll be getting a good job. Then marriage and a family. Then when the kids move out. Then a middle life crisis. Then the first grandchild. And what then?

Retirement? Old age? Death?

This isn't how life is meant to be lived. In my sobriety following the arrest, this warped view of life hit me like a cold shower. For pretty much all of college I've been looking forward to the next party, the next bottle, the next binge-drinking night with friends.

You shouldn't have to wait for tomorrow to have a good time and love life. Happiness is not something that can only be found on the weekends. So much of what you make out of life is the mindset you have rather than the circumstances around you. Tomorrow will always bring more obstacles. And if you ever reach a point in life where you've caught up on everything, then your apathy has far surpassed your ambition.

So no matter how busy you are, give yourself something to look forward to. Even if it's just reading a good book or watching your favorite TV show. Have lunch with a friend. Go for a walk. Anything that makes you happy. Give yourself something to look forward to each day so you're not always waiting for the next day. Don't gamble your happiness and sanity on tomorrow.

Because tomorrow won't always be there. And what then?


This isn't how life is meant to be lived.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Today I got on Facebook for the first time this year. Ironically, the one thing I went there for was deleted when I deactivated my account in December. Just my luck. And of course I was sucked into the Facebook vacuum and started looking at things and people I shouldn't.

So I deactivated it again.

I remember why I got off of it in the first place. Maybe it's not the best way to deal with things, but much of the last few months I've spent trying to remove myself from certain people and things from my past. It's worked pretty well. I've been successful in pretending they don't exist for the most part.

But this comes at a cost, and I'm starting to realize what exactly I'm giving up.

I don't know if this is the best way to deal with my problems. But it's the best I know. I've made many decisions - both good and bad - through all of this. I can't say they were all the right ones, but I always did what felt right in the moment. It's easy to second-guess that decision afterward, but I sleep well knowing I did what felt right at the time.

Right now moving on like they don't exist feels right. But I'm starting to realize that it won't always. I can't ignore my past and the people from it. Everything in my life has gotten me to where I am right now. And if I like the person I am and the place I'm at, how can I hate what got me here?

I ask this question to myself a lot, usually with different answers. Regardless, I know that eventually I'll want to make amends with some of the demons from my past. That day isn't here yet. Right now I'm still doing what feels right in the moment.

But I'm realizing that this day will arrive, and I'm wondering if I'll be able to handle it when it does.

I can't - and won't - be the type of person who hides from his past, no matter how dark and painful it may be. To make myself completely whole again there are still many things - and people - I have to come to grips with. Before I can say that this is behind me, I must face these things that I've so far tried to pretend don't exist.

I can't say I'm over this whole situation until I can face all these demons that have so far haunted me. I'm not there yet, but every day I take one step closer to this point. I can't say if this is a journey that will last days, months or years.

But it's a journey that I continue to make every day, one step at a time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gives you hell

I feel like I just got hit by a truck.

That's about the only way I know how to describe it. I was just minding my own business walking to class thinking about how great the weather was. I was in a hurry because as usual I overslept and woke up 15 minutes before class.

While I was walking I just happened to look up, and what did I see?



There they were. Walking and smiling. Almost immediately my heart jumped out of my throat and started pounding in my ears as I walked by them, while I pretended not to see or care.

Despite living near him and having a class with her, I've actually done really well not having to see or think about them much. Maybe that's why I've been so mellow about the whole thing lately.

Now the lyrics to that All American Rejects song are running through my head: "When you see my face I hope it gives you hell, hope it gives you hell. When you walk my way I hope it gives you hell, hope it gives you hell."

Those words pretty much sum up how I feel whenever I see one of them. I hope they feel like shit. They should. Not just for what they did, but she should for how she ran from her problems. I've realized that there are two types of people in this world: those that run away when things get tough and those that stay and face them.

When things got bad between us her answer was the easy one, but not the one I deserved or needed. That's why I am confident that I will find closure in the situation before she ever will. Because she ran away. And it's not until she stops running and is willing to face everything she did that she can move on.

Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I doubt it. I know her too well to be off on this.

But me? I'm making progress every day. Sure, I know I haven't spoken to either one of them this year and it's almost March. And I don't really see a lot of my old friends from last semester, but that's their decision, not mine. Point is - I'm moving on. It's not easy and it's not quick, but one day I will be able to see them laughing together on campus without any sort of visceral response whatsoever.

Until then, when she sees my face I hope it gives her hell.

Gives her hell.


It's nice when everything in life seems to work out for once.

It's refreshing when things finally seem to go your way after you've been battling uphill for about as long as you can remember. Maybe this is finally a moment of clarity. Maybe it's a sign of things to come. Maybe its the changing of the guards.

Or maybe it's none of these. Regardless, it's nice when you can relax and think about how things fell on your side for once.

After many months and weeks of pessimism I'm glad that I can not only be a happy person once again, but someone who sees the best life has to offer.

I feel like maybe I've reached a turning point between the person I used to be and the person I want to be. Every day gets a little easier and a little brighter.

Every day I discover something new about myself. Every day is one step further down this path I'm not following but rather forging.

I'm excited to see what tomorrow will bring, and I haven't always felt this way. I've learned you have to savor the good moments, no matter how simple or trivial they might seem. You've got to learn to enjoy even the most basic forms of happiness, like grabbing lunch with a good friend, reading the newspaper or making your favorite type of tea.

Because when you're down these are the things that will keep you going. It's loving the small things that can make even the worst days seem bearable.

And when you're up they will make a good day even better.

Here's to hoping tomorrow is even half as good as today was.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fuck my life

Maybe I'll be a monk.

Right now that sounds pretty good. Girls and relationships just seem like another way to cause yourself pain. Even if you find the right person there's no guarantee you won't get fucked over.

Sometimes I'm afraid that no one else will ever have feelings for me like she did.

Today marks three months that I've been single. In this time no one has expressed even remote interest in me.

I'm certainly not looking for love, but a dinner and a movie would be nice. Anything really that showed me a little sign of hope. Instead I feel like no one will ever look at me the way she did. Sometimes at night I get scared that no one will ever have the feelings towards me that she did.

I want to get back out there but I don't know how. I think I'm incapable of starting a relationship with anyone. I'm realizing that no one wants to be in a relationship with me.

I don't think that I'm not a catch. I think I have a lot to offer. I just don't think other people think I do.

I hope one day someone likes me for who I am and wants to be with me. I also hope that when this day comes I'm not so jaded by love to fuck it up.

Sometimes fucking things up seems to be what I do best.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The slogan of an empty life

At least once a day I hear someone say something like, "I wish I would manage my time better."

What does managing your time better even mean? Time isn't a baseball team, or a stock portfolio, or even a small business.

What people usually mean is that they want to be more productive in their day. They want to do more in less time.

Productivity. Efficiency. Proficiency. The slogan of an empty life.

How come the success of a day is measured by what is accomplished?

I don't get it.

There are lots of days when I get a lot done, but I wouldn't say these are my best. And if I could manage anything better, it surely wouldn't be time. I would rather deal with friends, life, health, or even family. But not time.

Wake up. Work. Work. Work. Do more. Do more. Do more.

And repeat.

Life isn't a contest. It's not about doing the most, being the best or the most efficient. It's not a prize you can hang on your wall at the end of the day. If anything, most people need to do less throughout the day. Or at least do it slower.

Remember: Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

If anything, I want to be the happiest. To enjoy the sunset more than anyone else. To love the little things the most. To have the best friends, memories and experiences. I want to be the best friend I can. The best son. The best person. When people think of me, I don't want them to think of how much I do and how fast, but how I do it.

I refuse to believe that a day's success depends more on the hours I spend in front of a computer than under the sun or with a good friend. Or that happiness is doing the same shit I will do tomorrow quicker than I did yesterday.

I'm perfectly content not managing my time well. Sure, my homework doesn't always get done. I don't pass all my tests. And I'm not always on time. But I'll guarantee that I get more satisfaction and happiness from wasting time than others get from managing it.

Productivity. Efficiency. Proficiency.

The slogan of an empty life.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Peanut Butter and Water Balloons

I dare you to sit in silence.

Turn off the TV, your cell phone, radio, car, iPod, computer and everything else. Including the lights.

I dare you to sit alone with your thoughts and see what happens.

It seems as if people spend most of their lives trying to avoid being alone, but I don't get it. Loneliness is simply when you think being alone is a bad thing. Instead we should just call this meditation.

Or peace.

Or self-discovery.

Call it whatever you like, but at least give it a try. Sometimes being alone with your thoughts is the best thing for your soul. Give yourself time to look inward and ask questions you didn't even know you had.

That's the only way to find answers you didn't know you needed.

The Buddhists call this "self-realization" or "self-enlightenment." You can call it peanut butter or water balloons for all I care. The point is just try it. You'll be surprised with what you find.

I'm always taken back by how many people in this world don't even know who they are. Like they're afraid of asking the tough questions about themselves because they don't want the tough answers.

Embrace learning about yourself and don't shy away from growing as a person.

A friend told me yesterday that she read a book by someone who said to always order something new at a restaurant. Even if it's bad, it's new and you'll remember it.


How many of us are content to order the same thing every time? Safe. Predictable. Easy. Not the way life was meant to be lived.

So I challenge you to sit in silence at least once every day, even if it's just for a minute. Give yourself time to look inward and ask questions you didn't even know you had.

That's the only way to find answers you didn't know you needed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The After

So much to say but so few words.

The story of my life.

It seems like the days get easier without me knowing what's going on. I wake up one day and I've changed. The person I am today is not the person I was yesterday or the person I will be tomorrow.

Such is life.

The moral? Love the journey, dumb ass. Because the moment you're in right now will never happen again. Never. So love the journey, dumb ass, or the journey's going to make you wish you did.

A few weeks ago I read a book one of my good friends gave me. The author said life was essentially made up of two parts: the Before and the After. The Before is everything prior to the moment when you realized what life was about. The After is your new life.

A fresh beginning. A clean start. One more chance. Life blesses each of us with this. The question is not when but how we will respond.

I've realized that life is either what you make it or what it makes you.

I wish I could explain it better. I can't seem to sum it up what I'm trying to say. But I know that some of you know what I mean.

Cherish the ride. Love everything and hate nothing. Run or walk. Scream or cry. Talk or listen. Sing or dance. Sit or stand. Pray or sin. Swim or float. Laugh or mope. Dig or fly. Life or death. Love or hate.

Do something. Anything. Just do something. Feel alive, even if it's just for a second. Feel anything, even if it's just fleeting.

Never stop searching.

Because Death isn't when you stop breathing, but when you stop living. That is if you ever started.

Scary, isn't it?

To think that maybe, just maybe, you haven't been alive for most of your life. But concentrating on the past leaves you unable to enjoy the future.

Here's to praying we all realize this before it's too late.

So much to say but so few words.

The story of my life.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Today will be a good day

Just a little poem I've been working on. It's incomplete, but I figured I'd post it anyway.

I wake up in the morning
Before even the sun knows it's a new day
And I walk outside
Sipping my tea from a dirty cup
I watch the sun rise over treetops
I listen to what the birds have to say
I see the new dew drying on the grass
And I know that today will be a good day

I walk outside and feel the rain
Pounding on my uncovered face
My sandals are soaked
My spirit is flooded
From the gushing springs of life
I watch the fuzzy squirrels run and play
They climb up a tree, unaware of me
And I know that today will be a good day

I find my favorite spot
Right on the bank of the Jordan
Near the tree where we used to sit
As everyone else passes over
I watch the water run by
Slowly, with no where to go
The sun hits the water, sparkling
And I know that today will be a good day

It's late and even the stars seem tired
I'm bundled with my clothes and last cigarette
For the first time all day the world is quiet
Silence and darkness as far as I can see
I think back to all the little things
I saw throughout my day
The sunrise, the squirrels, the river
And I know that today was a good day

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Long nights, November fights

The hardest part about breaking up is the loneliness. And the hardest part about the loneliness is sleeping.

For some reason when I get into bed I still expect to feel her next to me. Maybe it's wishful thinking, not that I want her there, but sometimes the loneliness is too much. I just want someone - anyone - there, so I don't have to sleep by myself.

It's odd how fast you can get attached to some things in a relationship. Sleeping next to the other person has to be on the top of that list. There's something overpoweringly comforting about rolling over and feeling her next to you. Her body heat warming you. Her body rising and falling softly in rhythm with her breath.

Sometimes it takes me hours to fall asleep. Hours. I lay there and stare at the ceiling. I'll get up and write or put on sandals and smoke a cigarette as the rest of the city sleeps. Or wakes. People ask why I stay up so late or never sleep. I can tell they've never been where I am.

Sleep is the one time when I always think about her. So much of my life has gotten easier these past two plus months. I've made so many strides, but going to bed never seems to get any easier.

Maybe because that's the one time I'm not distracted - where I can't hide from my thoughts. And inevitably she's what I think about, even if I haven't thought about her all day. There's something about the silence that makes me feel extra lonely.

And so I think.

I lay there and think about everything that happened. I wonder about her. How she is. If she wonders about me. If she can sleep. I think about how it used to be. I travel back in time. Three months. Six months. A year. Two years.

I let it all come back. All the happiness. The anger. The love. The hate. Randomly I'll think of a memory I haven't thought about in over a year. A special time. Nothing big or momentous, just us. I think about how I haven't spoken to her this year. I think about how she's practically a stranger. And I think about how weird that is.

I close my eyes and remember how it used to be. Me on the left, her on the right. Me hogging the covers and blaming it on her. The smell of her hair. The shape of her back. The whoosh of the sleepmate.

And so now I don't sleep. I stay up late. I chat. I read. I walk. But I don't sleep, because then I just lay alone all night.

The hardest part of breaking up is the loneliness. And the hardest part about the loneliness is sleeping.