I’m 99.95% sure…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2015 by me

… that I’m even more annoying to be in a relationship with than this guy:

Aerodrome Beacons

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 5, 2015 by me

When we were kids Dad and Mom tried to take us on one vacation a year.  Early on, we were pretty tight on money so frequently that involved a business trip for Dad with a hotel with a pool for us.  Hotels would have two queen beds, so M&D got one, the sisters got the other and I got the floor.  Because that’s all we knew, we thought it was awesome.  We’d sight see and hit the pool during the day, meet up with Dad for dinner later and watch TV shows or maybe see a movie as a family after.  As Dad got more successful in his career we’d actually go on destination vacations as a family, but since this was pre-discount airlines we still drove.  And I still got the floor.

I’m not sure if “love of driving” can be considered a hereditary trait, but Dad sure loved it and so do I.  I’ve jumped at so many excuses to road-trip, whether it’s just an hour or two down the road or cross-country on a moment’s notice.  One of my favorite things is driving at night and coming up on a big metropolitan area, especially in the desert, or coming out of the mountains when you can see the city lights from miles and miles away.  I think a lot of that is because Mom and the sisters would usually fall asleep and it would just be Dad and I awake.  We wouldn’t have deep conversations, that wasn’t the way we interacted, but sometimes he’d tell me a personal story about the area we were coming into, or he’d point out attractions he thought I should see.

I can’t really remember the details, but I think we went to Chicago once and while driving somewhere he got excited and told me to look behind us.  There was an aerodrome beacon, the alternating flash of white and green that designated an airport, kind of like a light house.  Dad was a private pilot so those had meaning to him.  He told me that (and this was 30+ years ago) that with all the instruments available to a pilot, that they should always know where they were, but it was still nice to know that if you got lost or in trouble that you could see one of those beacons into the distance, home in on it, and hopefully get down safe.  Just made you feel a little less alone up there.

That little moment in time has always stuck with me.  Even though there were other people in the car, it felt like we were in a bubble, just the two of us and it was probably the closest we’d come to some kind of…  emotional intimacy.  That’s not necessarily a dig on Dad, even though I’ve talked about his inability to share in the past.  I was a kid.  There probably wasn’t a lot we could relate to one another about on that level.  But somehow I got the concept of feeling lost, and could picture the relief of seeing one of those beacons.  So whenever I’m driving at night and see an urban center in the distance, I’m always on the lookout for a beacon, and I’m always happy and content in a way I can’t adequately describe when I see one.

The last couple of weeks have been a complete emotional roller coaster.  Normally in life, unless you yourself are doing something boneheaded and need a figurative kick to the nuts by hitting rock bottom, everything doesn’t go bad at once.  Your relationship might suck, but your job is still okay, or you realize you’ve got great friends who support you.  Or your job might be stressing you out, and your health is bad, but your fantasy football team is doing great.  Whatever.  Sometimes we don’t appreciate the good, because we’re just focused on the bad but it’s there.

I’m not saying that my life is all bad right now, far from it.  BUT I was definitely taking blows from all sides and all aspects.  And then, right after something terrible happened, something awesome would.  Family health issue.  BUT great news about the issue.  It’s still an issue, but it’s about as positive as it can be if you’ve got to have that problem.  There’s just been enough ping-ponging that it’s worn me down.  Issues at work, friends in trouble, “growing pains” with The Boy, dating drama, exes popping back up, health issues of my own…  The snow-globe of my life was shaken, vigorously and repeatedly.  Things are settling down, and I’ve got lots to be grateful for, but this weekend I was exhausted.

I was supposed to ride in a bike tour about 4-5 hours from my house on Saturday morning.  The short story is that Saturday morning, when I showed up to pick up my packet there had been a clerical error and I wasn’t registered.  Even though I had a receipt, I couldn’t ride because it was through a national park and the number of people allowed in was limited and that limit had been reached.  So I got a ten hour road trip and a stay alone in a hotel room Friday night for my efforts.  A lot of people would probably be upset by that, but I was pretty happy about it.  I really didn’t have the energy to ride for six hours, then drive five home.  And the drive itself was cathartic for me.  There was no serious emotional epiphany or anything, but road-time always settles me down.  Maybe it’s my form of meditation.  Or reverse meditation.  Thoughts can pop into my head and I can follow them where they lead, til the next shiny object pops into my head and I follow it.

I left right after work on Friday, and with the seasons changing, darkness is coming earlier.  I was able to approach several different towns and cities on my way in the dark and feel that same excitement that I always do.  When I saw the beacons, it was hard not be hypnotized by them.  In hindsight, I probably should’ve just pulled over and watched until I’d had my fill.  Or maybe not.  Maybe seeing them as I drive past the little city or town on the outskirts is just how I need to experience them.  I love how I have to see it kind of sideways out of my eye, I can’t really scan.  I just have to see the flash of white or green out of the corner of my eye, then try to lock in on it.  I love how when I see it, and then something blocks my view, I get anxious until I see it again.  And how it wants to pull me in.  Someday I might have to take a light plane or helicopter ride at night just to be able to follow the light in.  Or maybe I’ll just leave it for late night road trips.  I hope I’ve shared things with The Boy that will stick with him forever, and keep us connected long after I’m gone.

The Martian

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 4, 2015 by me

I sent someone an email yesterday in response to something they’d posted and in it I wrote something to the effect of “I’d love another chance to do my part of it right, especially after all the work in the last couple of years, if not completely slaying my demons then learning to acknowledge them, talk about them and not let them control my life.”

I was never a complete monster as a boyfriend/husband.  I had good qualities and I could have probably stayed the same and I’d potentially have found someone willing to put up with me the way I was.  But we’re people.  We’re supposed to keep learning and evolving.  One of my problems (and I accept full responsibility for my actions, this is an explanation not an excuse) was the examples I had to follow in life.  Men were to be stoic.  Feelings weren’t talked about, or even examined.  Silence was sometimes used as punishment.  Or, the alternative learned from relationships, was just to act like a crazy, raving lunatic.  I’d never seen something healthy, in the middle, up close.  I didn’t know what that even looked like.  So instead I went with the adage “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”, chosing quiet as the lesser of two evils.

I used to say dating BK was like dating myself.  I learned a lot from that.  Some of it I’d already learned, but it reinforced my efforts, let me know I was on the right track.  One of the big things was the way she dealt with anger or pain.  She’d shut up and wouldn’t say anything.  I’d ask her over and over what was wrong and she wouldn’t acknowledge it.  We talked about it numerous times, the same conversation I’d had with The Boy a couple years before.  She wasn’t hiding her feelings anywhere near as well as she thought she was.  She would make everyone miserable, and possibly drag the misery out longer than if she’d just address it.  Just acknowledge her anger or frustration and even better, talk about it.  Or, if she needed time to process before she could talk, just say “Hey, you’re right, I am kind of mad right now, but I can’t talk about it yet.”  Being on the receiving end of that as an adult, after the realizations of how much I’d bottled up the silent treatments as a kid was brutal and shocking.  It was especially painful because I’d told her what I’d had to deal with as a kid and why that was especially hurtful to me.  But she had her own demons to fight.  The only good part about it was that I’d already recognized the behavior in The Boy and myself and started changing it.

There’s a lot that I’ve identified and changed over the last couple of years.  Like I said, a lot of demons from my past laid to rest.  Evicted completely or marginalized in the light of day.  I’ll never be perfect, always a work in progress and that’s ok.  But one of the things I’m still fighting with is PTSD.  I don’t know everything that’s there, but I do know that it’s big and it’s still…  hard if not impossible to attack head-on.  I still have to come at it sideways and chip a bit off a little at a time.  But even though I’m trying to dig into it, it still comes out and bites me in the ass from time to time.

I started reading “The Martian” a couple of weeks ago, knowing the movie was due to be released soon.  I won’t give away the plot, but there’s a line in the book: “Houston, be advised:  Rich Purnell is a steely-eyed missle man.”  I was reading the book on the Kindle app on my phone in a KFC on my lunch-break from work and when I got to that line, and more importantly what it meant in the book I almost started crying.  Quivering lips, watery eyes, the works.  It wasn’t necessarily a reminder of any of the bad, but the good actually.  Just the brotherhood that I miss so much and lengths we’d go to for one another.  I’m sure it’s related to something else I’m not able to see yet, but I’ll keep picking.

I went to see the movie tonight.  Fortunately they kept that line intact.  And had a similar effect.  I’ve slowed some of…  my “homework” down lately.  But I’ve got a thread to tug on now.  We’ll see what knot this leads to.  I’m sick of having this on my back.  It has a daily impact on me and I think it’s been bigger than I realize.  I want it gone.  But I can’t force it either.


Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2015 by me

Several months ago I had to make the conscious decision to stop praying for PG.  When you take the time to pray for someone, you’re giving them deliberate, mindful thought and that wasn’t healthy anymore.  It’s not like she doesn’t pop into my head a million times a day, but that’s not me conjuring up the thoughts.  For all the anger and pain, I’m still in love with her and she left a huge thumbprint on my life, more so than probably anyone, except for my parents.  To try to continue to heal and move past the relationship I had to stop.  She’s not my girlfriend anymore, she chose to break up with me, and by immediately dating someone else and lying so many times about it, she chose not to be my friend either.  Her choice, not mine.  But as such, praying for her, worrying about and over her?  Not something I could continue to do and try to heal.

She’s popped back up into my life a little more actively the last couple weeks.  With so many shared connections, she’s always present on some level, which makes healing hard, but I was made aware of a big, month-long, international travel trip she’s got going on.  It’s not just go sit on a beach for three days and fly home.  And because of the recent connection, wanted or not, and this knowledge, I feel like I have to send up some prayers for her safety and happiness.

Thank you for understanding the crazy head-space I was in…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2015 by me

“And blogs are how we get information. Emails are how we keep in touch. Thanks for keeping in touch.”

Protected: 1 Week Update

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2015 by me

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Protected: Guess who got married last week!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2015 by me

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