Monday, October 22, 2012

In Hindsight...

            It’s been six months since my relationship with a certain someone ended. Still not a day goes by, hardly an hour even, that I don’t think about her. It’s impossible not to when seemingly everything around me somehow finds a way to remind me of her and what we had.
            She’s moved on now—I know that. She’s made sure to let me know that. What I will never understand is how quickly she seemed to move on...almost like what we had never even happened. So many times I’ve wanted to talk to her about it; to ask her what I did wrong, and what she really thought of me, what I meant to her. But I can’t. Because I know she would honestly tell me. And I’m afraid of what her answer might be.
To quote her favorite TV show, Grey’s Anatomy, “ human beings, sometimes it's better to stay in the dark, because in the dark there may be fear, but there is also hope.” I don’t mean to say that I still hope she might change her mind about me, though a small part of me certainly does. What I do mean to say is I think I’d rather hold on to the hope that she really did care about me like I cared about her. So I will never ask.
It’s hard to imagine her with someone else now, and honestly, I try my best not to. But she most definitely is. Her facebook picture is one of her and him. I didn’t mean to see it, but I did. Inevitably, I find myself comparing myself to him—even though I know nothing about him. I think about what it was about me she didn’t like, and what it is he might have that I don’t. It isn’t just him that I do that with, though. There are guys I meet at school, or random people I come into contact with that make me think, “That’s probably the kind of guy she wants.” I look at them and what they are; I see that what they are is what I’m not. It’s discouraging. It’s depressing. It damages my already weakened confidence.
Today I was thinking about something I said to her one night before she left to go home. I kissed her on the fore head, hugged her, and said, “I’m glad I met you.” At the time I meant it with everything I had. Now, I’m not so sure. I don’t feel like a better person for having known her. If anything I feel damaged by it. She didn’t leave me with much to hang on to. There were things she told me that cut deep. I can’t believe she meant any harm by saying them, she was just being honest...that’s how she is—brutally honest. Still, they hurt me. And now, six months later, I still lay here in bed at night wondering if what she said is true.
She told me once that she can’t imagine me ever being crazy about someone. That was one thing she wanted—someone to be crazy about her, and I guess I didn’t satisfy that. As much as it scares me, I sometimes think she’s right. Though I want it more than anything, it’s hard to imagine me finding someone that could make me feel that way. Just the idea of me loving someone like that is as foreign as France. I’m not sure I even know how.
They say to love someone, you must first love yourself. I’d say for the most part I like myself, but to say I love myself, especially now, after she revealed all these things she didn’t love for me to dwell on, is a stretch. I try to fight it, but all too often I find myself thinking that I am unlovable. I know I have qualities that a girl might like, but I also think the ones I lack are some of the most important. And for a girl that I could fall crazy in love with to come along and see past my faults, to want to hang around long enough to melt through my cold exterior and find those good qualities seems like a dream that will forever stay a dream.
I don’t know if the love I dream about having one day even exists. At this point, all I can do is hope for the best.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Looking Back

     The date is now Saturday, September 15, 2012. The date I began my last post was March 6, 2011. Clearly, a lot of time has gone by between then and now, taking with it something like 533 days worth of experiences and emotions.
     In the beginning I had every intention of documenting this journey on a regular basis. As I re-read some of my previous posts I can almost feel again the excitement I had from those early days. I had a sense of purpose then, I had a mission, and my plan was to write down the feelings, emotions, and experiences along the way with the ultimate goal of turning it all into a book.
     But as plans often do, it failed. Life got in the way I guess. Those little daily tasks that absorb so much of life and never seem to go away began taking up the few hours I had left each night after working. During the days I got so caught up in actually doing the things I was suppose to be writing about that I never did get around to writing about them. Before long days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and... you get the picture. Pretty soon a year was gone.
     I guess in the beginning I did actually try to write about things. The only problem is it was never in one place. I had a little journal going on my computer, and there was a notebook in the farmhouse I’d stop to write in if I got too overwhelmed to do anything else, and some nights I’d end up writing in my actual journal. As time went along, though, I began writing less and less, and eventually not at all.
     When I think about it, it was sort of foolish to think I could keep up the routine of writing about everything to begin with. To routinely do anything you don’t have to do requires a lot of discipline. Even brushing your teeth, which takes two minutes at the most, and most of us much less than that, doesn’t get done every day. And there are other factors involved as well.
     For me, writing is a labor filled activity. The thoughts I have in my head require time and effort to get transferred into words in a way I’m even halfway satisfied with, and here on the farm time seems to be in limited supply. There are always a hundred other things I could or should be doing, so taking the time I need to write about things rarely gets put at the top of the list.
     Furthermore, I’ve found my creativity and ability to focus seem to disappear when I’m surrounded by disorder. For example, any time I sit down to start doing a bunch of homework, that’s when I decide it’s time to clean my room, not that I’m trying to procrastinate doing the work but because I can’t focus on doing it if the room is cluttered. To say that this farm is disorderly is what they call an understatement. It’s a junkyard in some areas and a landfill in others. I can’t help but believe that has impacted my desire to write. I have realized that I’ve felt little inspiration to write anything since coming here. And even if I do, I rarely get any further than the first couple paragraphs before giving up.
     Something inside me has changed, though. I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed seeing the words as they appear in front of me, and I’ve missed the experience of creating something and watching it grow into something uniquely beautiful. I don’t want my experience here to fade away into nothing, and I think I’m ready to do something about it. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

And So It Begins

*I first started this post back on March 6, 2011, soon after I first arrived here on the farm. As it usually does, life got hectic and now, a year and a half later, I'm finally posting it. So much has occurred in that time. There are so many feelings and emotions that have been lost to the past because I didn't take the time to write them down. The last year and a half have been quite an experience for me. In the months ahead I'm going to try and do my best to fill in the gaps as best I can, but we'll just have to see how it goes. Here is the beginning.*      

     Well, this is it. This is home now. The adventure has begun. In the few days I've been here I've already done a lot. The day after I arrived my uncle and I started hauling corn to the elevator. On the way back after dumping he had me drive. That was rough--ten gears and only using the clutch to shift into 1st. I think I've pretty well got the hang of it now, although down shifting is a different story still.
     I've begun working on cleaning out the house there on the left. I plan on moving into it eventually. As I walk around and through it I can see it’s going to be a long road. Too many years of neglect have left it in poor shape, but it’s not beyond repair. The only problems standing in my way are the big three: time, money, and know-how. But, like they say, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” At least I know I will never be bored again...ever.
     But that's on the bright side. I don't always live on the bright side. When I think about it I can't help but think I must come from a messed up family. As I walk through the house and around the farm I am constantly blown away at house lazy they are. I take that back, lazy isn't the right word, they certainly know how to work. That in fact is the problem. Work is all they do. They spend all their time working for other people and next to no time doing anything to take care of the things in their own life that need attention. Because of this it seems everything around this place is falling apart. There is so much junk accumulated and they won't take the time to get rid of any of it. It's so sad.

Pounds per square inch

I'm going through my list of drafts that I've saved and not published. Some of them are kind of good and it's a pity I never got around to finishing them. I guess that's the price to pay in this busy life nowdays. Anyway, here's one I wrote back in 2010 sometime.

It's hot. It's humid. My room is a mess. I have no place to put everything. I need to get a reliable car soon, but that's looking like an impossibility. Did I mention it's humid? I feel like a mist of soda pop has been sprayed on me and dried. I stick to everything. The clutter in my room is driving me mad. There is so much I want to get rid of--need to get rid of. I want to get a camera so I can take pictures of stuff and put it on eBay and Craigslist, but I am preparing to go on a trip and have drained my checking account on equipment.

I need to get away. Thank the Lord I'm leaving in two days. For the first 13 years of my life I lived in the country. It was home. But we moved to the city 7 years ago. As of late I am realizing more and more that I was never meant to live in the city. The constant and unrelenting hustle and bustle is hard on this simple guy. I can look in all directions and see people, and houses, and cars. Even on the quietest of mornings I can hear the road noise--cars, buses, trucks, sirens. Some days I'm not sure I can take it any more. But I'll get through it. I'll survive.

Shifting Gears

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is the one thing you know you have to do. Take that relationship you are in for example. Somewhere deep down between your spleen and your liver it simply doesn't feel right. But there are so many other reasons why it does. You hope and pray, you give it time, you do everything right, everything you can think of in hopes that it will turn out to be the fairy tale you want more than anything...but you know it's not. 

You know they are wrong for you. It doesn't matter that 96.8% of them is everything you can imagine wanting in a person. It doesn't even matter that there are those little extras that you've grown to love that you are certain no other person on the planet will ever possess, the underlying fact remains. As sad as it may be, that 3.2% that's missing is what you need more than all the rest. But maybe they will change...or maybe you can change. It's a nice thought and it's one that we all want to hold on to like a life preserver in a stormy sea. But truth be told...well, you already know the truth. 

You're afraid to let go of them because right now they are the only thing keeping your head above the waves.  You're alone and scared and want nothing more than that feeling of security and familiarity you have with them. To let go would mean risking it all, because God only knows when or if someone else will come floating along. For all you know they may never come and you will be left to contend with it all--the struggles, fears, doubts, and challenges--while you're drained, empty, exhausted, cold...and very much alone. You want nothing more than to face it with someone...with them. But you still know what you have to do.

Perhaps though, it isn't a relationship with a person that you're dealing with. Right now you may find yourself in a weird place in life. You had a dream and you went for it. You threw yourself at it and jumped in with both feet and now find yourself alone in the sea and you're sinking. This dream you believed in didn't work out and is now slowly dragging you down. It's sucking the energy and life from you. And just like that relationship, you know you have to get away from it. Only trouble is you don't want to; you aren't ready to give up. You tell yourself to give it more time, that it will get better. The question is, is it really worth it? Will the end result ultimately outweigh what you're giving up? Like usual, it is hard to tell.

If you haven't guessed, I'm currently living both of these situations. 

For a while there I had this incredible girl in my life. She's no longer a part of my life, but in my mind she is. I can't really say she broke up with me because we were never "officially" dating...but we pretty much were. For seven months we did everything a couple would except kiss. We talked on the phone every night, texted all day long, watched movies together any time we could, went on walks. But we were just friends. Clearly there was more to it than that, and we both knew it, we'd talked about it. As time went on things kept getting better. 

As they say, "all good things must come to an end," and our relationship was was no different. A part of me was relieved it was over, because deep down inside me I had always known she wasn't right for me. She has a very strong, dominant personality. She wasn't the sensitive and calming person I feel like I need. Not that she wasn't a caring and kind person, but for whatever reason there were things I needed that she couldn't give. And on the flip-side there were things she needed that I couldn't give. 

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her. I don't think I can go a single hour without something reminding me of her and what we use to have. I miss her so much. I miss all the little things about her that always end up stealing your heart. I miss her eyes and her smile. I miss her smell. I miss her laugh and our nightly phone conversations. I miss having someone to text all day long. I miss her asking me what I'm doing. I miss having her clean my fingernails and pluck my eyebrows. I miss going on walks with her. I miss having her tell me about her day. I miss watching movies with her, and I miss how after every movie we watched she'd ask me what my favorite part was. I miss making dump cake with her, and washing the dishes with her. I miss texting her late into the night until I fall asleep, and I miss the Good Morning! texts. 

But she's gone now. As I look back now I can't help but remember all the good feelings and happy times I had with her. But when I really think about it I can remember all the uneasy feelings I felt also. In a way I was never able to completely feel at ease with her. But that doesn't make me miss her any less.

The other situation is where I now live. I'm living on my family's old family farm. Over the years it's been allowed to fall apart. Buildings are slowly collapsing, trees have grown up everywhere, junk and cars and equipment have accumulated. It's an embarrassing mess. My dream is to clean it up and make it look nice and respectable again, but I can't do it on my own. The two uncles that still work out of there have no real interest on helping clean up there junk. So I've come to a point where I have to decide if it is worth sticking around and busting my butt to clean up after everyone or if I should give up and spend my energy on building my own life somewhere else. 

I know I need to because I can feel it slowly draining me of what little confidence I use to have. I live in a dump, in a house in desperate need of repair, and I'm alone most of the time. My social skills are fading, and they weren't that great to begin with. I need to get away from it but I don't want to give up because it has been my life long dream to live on a farm and do the things that go along with that. This very well might be my only chance to live this kind of life, so I'm not wanting to admit defeat and give up. Inside, though, I know what I need to do.

I think I'm going to end there for now. I'm getting tired of writing and I'm losing the focus I started out with (you can probably tell). But don't worry, there will be more later. I'm sure you are all already holding your breath.