oh wow

I once told you all that I write to compartmentalize my feelings. Basically, it helps me deal with things. I am still happy and stuff guys, but today is one of those days that everyone would have been better off staying in bed. I never want to relive today. It has been the perfect cap to a rather lackluster week. In the words of another counselor as we locked up and went home today: “After a day like this, I need a drink!

Photo Jul 25, 1 57 59 PM

Now, I’m not going to relive the entire experience today. I will merely gloss over it. My middle school boys and the middle school girls were playing Capture The Flag in the same place we have for YEARS. Yes, there’s some parts you should be careful around, but I have never seen anyone get worse than a cut or scrape from falling. Some of the younger kids have cried, but we move on. After all, as a kid, you’re going to fall and get some cuts and bruises. Now, that’s far from what happened today.

Before I go on, I want to bring up that, on Monday, I nearly snapped my ankle when I was playing basketball on that very concrete surface. I came down hard on my ankle and completely rolled my ankle over. It’s still swollen and everything now, but the swelling and pain has subsided from how bad it got. Hence, I’ve been hobbling around at camp all week. It’s been intensively wrapped and taken care of, but I still have not run on it regularly.

Anyway, they are playing capture the flag. I really can’t run, so I’m half hobbling/hopping after the girls team trying to tag them. I turn away and hear “GET SOMEONE NOW!” yelled at me twice. From where I am standing near the tree, I can’t see anything. Another counselor takes off sprinting away, and I could tell immediately something was wrong. I took two steps around the tree and saw one of my favorite campers (and one I’ve known for YEARS) crying on the ground hysterically.

The wound was bad. It was a complete accident, that she tripped on a tree root and happened to hit the ground at the exact angle to open up her leg. I thought I was good in crisis situations. I know I can’t deal with much in terms of serious wounds beyond blood, but I’ve never frozen before. I was definitely ashamed in myself for a while today, because I thought I could keep it together. It took a few seconds, but I came to and began a brave face for the girl. I helped clear the area and got the kids to other groups as four of us took charge. I went and took care of traffic, getting the ambulance and cop cars where they needed to be.

There’s something to be said for some people who are able to deal with traumatic experiences better than others. I really am proud of my coworkers today. They really stepped up for the first time something like that has ever happened. Also, I’m glad it took me so long to write this post. Just got a text that the camper didn’t break any part of her leg, just had a massive cut. Lots of stitches, but that’s it.

Wow.

I’m very relieved! I thought it was broken for sure. Still wish we didn’t have today happen! This catharsis didn’t need to happen I guess. Oh well, I’m going to go ice my ankle. Have a good night peeps!

-G

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late night thoughts

I have a very enigmatic relationship with summer camp. Part of me has always loved the opportunities I have to work there and be with these kids. Goodness, I’ve watched some of them grow up for years now. It’s a bit crazy to me, seeing that some of them are in the middle of high school now, getting ready to embark on seriously formative years of their lives. I can’t believe how grown they are with some of the stuff we talk about. It’s rather mind-blowing for me!

At this same time, I take a step back and re-evaluate where I have been. I always said I wanted this blog to be a figurehead, some kind of beacon that I could leave for people to see and still feel hope. They would know that they weren’t alone. I remember some of the comments I’ve gotten from people who love this, even if they don’t use what I say. I remember the hurtful things that have been said to me over this blog. At the end of the day, I’m not trying to be a martyr or anything. I just say what I need to say, when I need to say it. I wanted to inspire, but what if this place was never meant to be where I really needed to inspire?

If it isn’t obvious to everyone, I’m definitely moving forward with my life. I’m finally getting back out there and…living life the only way I know how: full steam ahead! I’ve met some awesome new people, trimmed some more cancer (some unwillingly), and found myself dreaming I could have everything I ever wanted again. Plus, I’m vocal about it between talking to friends and tweeting. However, I bring all of this up for one reason.

There actually are people are watching me live my life. It never really clicked until these past few days. These kids at camp…well, I can’t call them kids anymore. They’re teenagers and young adults that are facing life as we speak. I’m not overvaluing my self-importance to them, because several have actually asked my advice on things or texted me to say they’re doing what I would do.

Is this who I am meant to inspire? I don’t think I’m really supposed to know the answer to that question, but I will gladly do what I need to do. If that means living a bit straighter and a bit more upright, then I will. These kids are important, and I don’t want to let them down. If they can achieve just half of the absolute happiness and contentment that I have right now, then I’ve done my job. I should have seen it coming really, knowing that these kids have seen me for years.

Crap, I need to stop some bad habits then! :)

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I’ll cherish this, especially if this really is my final summer (how many times have I said this before, now?!).I’m going to make sure I stay a positive influence in their lives, because I know that, sometimes, it’s hard to find an ally in your corner. I’ve got just a little over a week left, and it saddens me now, as I have this revelation. I’ll just do my best. Who knows, maybe one of you reads this blog post tomorrow anyway.

Don’t you love these late night revelations? It has to be a throwback to the undergrad days, when I had my revelations on a rooftop overlooking campus. Now, it’s from the comfort of my home as I take major steps forward to finally grow up and be the person I have always wanted to be, to hold on to love and never let it go, to experience life at its fullest, and to never ever settle.

And I’m still smiling.

-G

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stage of dreams

There’s something about the World Cup. There’s something about that magical possibility that exists. The soccer pitch has long been a place of sanctuary and freedom for me, and every four years, it gets a little more…magisterial!

The World Cup is for the dreamers. It’s for those whose heads tend to live in the clouds a bit more, because you have to dream a little then. Everything always seems a little more possible during the World Cup summer, a little more hopeful. You tend to be a little more receptive to dreams and desires coming true.

I can personally say I have. I felt that magic. I ran with it. I couldn’t be happier at the moment. When the dream is in your grasp, you have to take it. You have to celebrate those moments. It doesn’t matter how steep the hill is, because you have to take it. If that means moving across the country and jumping off the deep end, then YOU DO IT. Hold nothing back!

Everything feels a bit more magical in soccer. I daresay that without the majesty and dreams from sport, I never would have quit my rapidly climbing career to chase something that makes me happy. Even now, I attempt to keep going after dreams. When I’ve finally given up and ceded some control of my destiny, I have seen more and more that things just happen. When you’re too focused on some plan, you forget that dreams are possible.

So follow that dream.

Call it magic.

Whatever it is, remember to never forget what got you there, but at the same time, remember to keep moving forward. Never settle! Even though you and I can’t be fortunate enough to be playing in that stage of dreams, we can move on from it…taking that inspiration and running with it!

-G

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run it back

I really do love Tennessee. It’s just incredible. After spending another week there with some of my best friends, I just know it’s time for a change in scenery. There’s nothing against my lovely city that I’ve lived in for most of the past sixteen years. I’m from Georgia and the Metro Atlanta area…that will always be a part of me. However, didn’t I always try to impart to you all that my soul needed to wander?

Shit, I quit a great job and career because it was terrible but also because I needed something different. After the past two years, it’s a wonder I’m still here in this city. I love all that I have here. My friends and family are here. I would be a radically different person if I grew up anywhere else (yes, that’s a painfully stupid and obvious statement to make). That all being said, I love who I am…which is a far cry from how I felt about myself just a year ago.

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I’m getting to watch soccer every week in person…the old me would have never been given that opportunity. I’ve gotten to spend time with two of my closest friends and brothers much more often. Coincidentally enough, neither one is a friend from Atlanta. Both were met in Macon, and four years ago at this time, I hadn’t said more than ten words to either one. It’s funny the way time works…because I couldn’t imagine the way time works. I was a groomsman at the one’s wedding! I never ever saw that coming, and I still tell him that I was beyond honored to be chosen.

Hence, it’s time for me to stop living in the past for real. I think I’ve done a stellar job as of late. To hear the way people talk about my “courage” to quit my job and dive into the deep end of life without a safety net has given me pause. Did I accomplish much more that fateful weekend in Raleigh beyond my own emancipation? It was almost a rallying point now that I see it. I always wanted to be there for my friends, but will it turn out that the biggest gesture I ever made was being bold enough to get out of a bad situation?

Time will tell.

I’ve made my peace with anything from the past it seems. I’ve approached this latest paradigm shift in my life with fortitude and peace. As Broneal would say, I’ve gotten hope back. You never really know what bottom is until you’re on the upswing back. You loyal readers have seen me routinely declare that I am getting better. Well…

I stopped writing. I had to. I had to live and let live again. I had to get back out there. I apologize for breaking the promise to write more. I really meant it at the time. Nevertheless, I never saw all of this coming. I didn’t see myself getting wrapped back up in this kind of thing so soon, but I will gladly allow it.

For now, I’ll finish out my summer with what was my first ever job with campers and kids I’ve known for seven years. For now, I’ll spend my weekends exploring where my life is headed. Whether it be in Texas or Tennessee, Abilene or Atlanta, my only responsibility is to be happy and content. This might be incredibly selfish to some of you, but like a very wise friend once told me, never settle. So that’s what I’m FINALLY doing.

*~*~*~*

over six years ago

Everything seemed so different when this picture was taken. I’m not unhappy in the slightest from where I am, because the “real me” is here now, unlike then when I was desperately seeking approval for everyone (tough to admit). I’ve been able to get out of the circles I didn’t need to be in. I have the relationships I want to last me a lifetime. If you look at who I speak to on a regular basis and told me my choices a year ago…I would have laughed hysterically at you.

There’s no way I’m laughing now, though.

Have a good night everyone!

-G

Categories: exposition, my life, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

remedy

I thought it was supposed to be easier to write now that I was not working. Funny, but I think this is the worst case of writer’s block I’ve had in some time. It’s not the normal kind either. In fact, I have too much to say, and all of them are running together into this big tangled mess. At some point, someone or something had to show up and untie my Gordian Knot.

When you lose all hope and just begin to accept and relax, good things happen. I think Broneal said it best that my best quality is an abundance of hope, but he neglected to address how that hope tends to also cut me down. I’m always the last to give up, so it tends to drag me through the mud. Here I am, just being the always hoping G.

It must be a major reason that I love the underdog in sports, because I never give up. Broneal called me an inspiration, but I really think he’s mistaken. All I know for certain is that I’m a bit hopeless when it comes to life, I’m more than likely to be the one who hasn’t walked away from the Titanic, in a sense. Some of that might be due to the influences I’ve had, whether it is sport or literature, yet I still worked up about it.

Never give up, for we never know when the moment when everything will change will come.

This is a small quote I heard once, just came across it while online one day. However, it speaks to my soul perfectly. While most people are content to sit back and accept defeat when it’s staring them dead in the eyes, I’m the kind of guy who refuses to take that loss. Instead, I’ll take an ever worse loss, if only to exhaust all possible avenues…because I can’t lose hope.

It’s so ironic that I act the way I do too. I throw up this front of pessimism and indifference to the outside world. I just can’t bear to show that side of me as much as I used to. I’m not sure why there is the wall, but I’m willing to bet that it prevents most people from seeing the hopeless wanderer side. That’s completely okay with me. When the going gets tough in something I care about, I don’t get going. You’ll have to drag me kicking and screaming in these cases.

Is that a bad thing?

-G

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