closing time redux

As I walk away from selling suits for a second time, I do so with a very heavy heart. I never thought I would be sentimental as I left a job that’s been my home for the better part of the last three years (for the second time), but I caught myself getting glassy-eyed. As I wiped my eyes, I called Killer for our usual phone call on the way home from work (it’s a fabulous routine that helps the long-distance not feel quite as long most days), she immediately heard my voice breaking. I didn’t know I was going to miss this or be so torn up about it. Part of me is just intensely scared to say goodbye that both defined me and was a home to me for the time since college.

I closed the store up, entered my code, and locked up the doors before walking out into that dreary and wet winter night. For some reason, the immortal words of the poet Dylan Thomas rang through my head: “Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” I won’t lie to you all. The idea of this new job that is by NO means a guarantee. In fact, some have questioned my intensity and dedication…so it seems natural that I will not go gentle into that good night.

Since I’m in a very movie mood, I also couldn’t help but think about lines that I have always loved from Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses. Luckily, it was recited very well by Judi Dench in Skyfall. “We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, AND NOT TO YIELD.” I have to find that will inside to rise up and feel the fire burn within me one more time. We’ve seen what happens when I get riled up. We’ve seen what happens when the gauntlet gets thrown at my feet.

In essence, it is some death of a suit salesman. Say hello to a new man. One who has seen his dreams and goals finally within his grasp if he follows down a road laid before him. Currently, I’m finally feeling this inside me, but I still think I’ve said goodbye to another huge chapter in my life. So much happened to me as I sold suits to hundreds of people. I will never forget the place, but I sure as hell never want to go back. I left once before because my heart was torn apart and needed to heal and recharge. I leave again for a chance at a better life, just like before.

No matter what was said to me, I know the things I feel about helping with weddings and interviews will never leave me. Relationships matter. They always will. Money and things will come and go, but the strong relationships stay. I think that’s what was holding me back. Where has this confidence come from? I’ll take it though.

Wish me luck, peeps.

-G

Categories: exposition, my life, relationships, work | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

orange drank and cinnamon rolls

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great celebration, wherever you were. I know I’ve made bold declarations in the past, me hoping for great resolutions when all I really want is to be happier. Well, at this point, I’m not sure how I could be happier! She’s perfect, and I’m finally growing up and acting like it. It’s weird what makes you realize you need to change your ways. I can tell you that staring into a pair of bright blue eyes over some orange juice and cinnamon rolls gave me the courage I needed to step up.

For 2015, I want to simply end the year with who I began it, and that’s more than enough for me. She and I have some incredible plans, and I’m willing to just tag along for the ride. When you’ve got someone in your life, you don’t let anyone else get in the way of that. I’ve made the mistake of critiquing a friend for that, and I know how wrong and hypocritical I am for that. I can say though that I know Killer wants to just have a fun year, so I’ll leave it at that.

From the two of us to you, Happy New Year!

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-G and E

Categories: exposition, goals and dreams, my life, relationships | Tags: , | 2 Comments

no longer stuck

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these last few days. I’ve been in Dallas since Christmas Day, and I can’t lie…it’s been absolutely perfect. I was a wee bit nervous before I came out here, because there was so much I was going to experience for the first time. Within a few minutes, I knew I never needed to be worried or anything. The anxiety ebbed and flowed as I met new people every few hours, but throughout it all, there was always a constant yet rapidly familiarizing presence on my arm. It’s been an absolutely perfect few days. Hell, it started with a Christmas gift exchange here that blew my mind at the thoughtfulness and work put into it.

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Seriously? This is perfect. Killer is even better in person than she is over the phone and everything, and to have gotten five full days of this!? AMAZING. If you look at what I’m holding in my hand and have been reading the blog for a few years, you know immediately what that is. Inca Kola is a regionally specific Coca-Cola product for Peru that I fell in love with while I was there. For Christmas, Killer surprised me with several bottles of that special drink she had shipped in. It just goes to show what kind of person she is when she did enough research just to figure out what would be the best thing to get for me. I got some soccer scarves (my obsessive hobby) and other fun things, but nothing came close to the Inca Kola. And by the way, it tastes just as good now as it did in the cold Peruvian winter four and a half years ago.

Anyway, being back in this state of mind has allowed me to do some serious meditating on my life and where I am at. Recently, I went back and apologized to someone I said very harsh things about for months. I should never have referred to him how I did. It was a terribly immature and childish action to take. As we reconcile, I hope the sincerity I show helps him realize I am changing my ways finally. In a way, my weird millennial blend of adulthood and immaturity were the two worlds I was stuck in. No matter where I go from here, meaning I have a lot of growing up still to do at the still young age of 24, I think for the first time…I’m no longer stuck between two worlds.

Whoa.

It’s a bit strange writing that, especially because it was super weird just to think about that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying my life is perfect and I’m content to stay there, but I am saying that I wouldn’t mind continuing to mature in my current station. I like it here. I’ve got family and friends that care about me, as much as my mind wants to trick me and say it’s not real. For goodness sake, I’ve got Killer on my arm who won’t let me frown on threat of getting my butt kicked!

All levity aside, I mean all of this. I have no idea where I’m going. There’s always a variety of paths you can take. You come to that fork in the road on a daily basis. Some mean significantly more than others, but all I know is that I’ve got some clarity in my mind. I’ve made seriously bold claims in the past about knowing where I was headed and that everything was going to be okay. At this point, I don’t care if it ‘s going to be okay and I don’t care how long it’s going to go right. I’ve got an INCREDIBLE person at my side, and I know I’m more likely to be a pioneer on Mars than see her walk away willingly.

I’m not sure what will happen to this blog and the title, because I’m clearly moving past the point of needing this site to help process my emotions and thoughts. I’ve learned to process and compartmentalize and share. Don’t misunderstand me and say I’m just settling for life as is, because that’s not what this Eureka moment was about. This eureka moment just gave me the notion that I just didn’t care anymore. I am happy and ecstatic and overjoyed.

To be honest, that’s all that really matters after all. You all have a great Sunday, because I will. I’m going to continue to fully appreciate what this girl does for me. It’s not every day you meet someone that’s as easily excitable about the same sports as you, likes eggs sunny side up like you, and thinks the same way you do. I could go on for days about our similarities, like that we can use each other’s glasses to see because we have the same damn eyes, but I’ll be too sappy and give the audience diabetes. Bye y’all

-G

Categories: my life, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

an addendum

I hope you know that you’ve given me the courage to change. I hope you know that who you are is who you choose to be, and that whispers behind your back don’t define you. You are the only one who gets to decide what you will be remembered for.” -Taylor Swift, foreword to 1989

It’s a great day for me. I got something I’ve wanted for a long time, and while it’s nothing exceptionally expensive or crazy, my parents got me a record player for Christmas. Since I’m working so much this holiday season as I prepare for a flight and vacation to Texas to see Killer, I made the executive decision that we would have Christmas early when we actually had time to spend in each other’s company. I opened the record player, and it didn’t really click at first. I plugged the thing in, and I put in one of the records I received with it…and that’s when it hit me. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. This overarching sense of calm and peace washed over me. I’m sure my mom got a photo of the smile on my face. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear it’s her favorite photo of me in years.

If playing some vinyl in a record player was so important to me, then why did I never strike up the nerve to purchase it for myself? Honestly, I think part of me couldn’t buy it. Part of me felt like that if I was buying a record player for myself, I was deeming my life at a good place and that everything was okay. Since I’ve learned far too well that I can’t make those calls anymore, I wouldn’t buy it for myself. I think I’ve been at conflict with myself for a such a long time, part of me was scared to say “everything is okay, see?” I needed that external validation that my life was doing okay. Yes, I’ve got parents that care about me. Yes, I’ve got a job. Yes, I’ve got an incredible group of friends and Killer girlfriend. BUT I didn’t want to just say everything was fine and dandy. Part of me refused to label life like that.

I had several theories as to why the record player made me silently cry happy tears. Part of it is back to simpler time before everything of the last few years. Those golden months after I graduated college in which the plan I had (which is still a bullshit plan, regardless) was going to be my life for a few years and get me on the right path. Part of it was daydreams I’ve had about listening to records with Killer and just soaking it all up. Part of it is just the certain song playing was randomly picked, because I just put the stylus down and let it go. In the end, it helped refresh me in a stretch of work that spans seven days and around eighty hours of actual work. It refocused me.

Broneal and I both suffer from a disease that has symptoms like lack of motivation and a clear apprehension from being in one place too long. I say that because the two of us have had to keep the other in check for years when it comes to staying focused on the task at hand. I have to say, I haven’t been able to with work lately. It’s been dragging me down some, and I have been moving forward as best I can. The record player allowed me to escape a little bit, and I know it will help with my sanity. I’m hearing these gentle whispers from other places to work (potentially) and trying to please every friend I have. I needed this. But in a weird twisted way, after asking for independence for years, I was resolved to being reliant on someone else to, for lack of a better term, appraise my life and determine whether I deserved this luxury that absolute magic for my soul.

So what does that lovely Taylor Swift quote have to do with it? Yes, I do enjoy her music quite a bit, for from a literary standpoint, I reading what other people write about their lives. I know she has help writing her songs from time to time, but much of her music isn’t much more than musical blog posts. I get a glimpse into someone’s life who’s only a month apart from me in age but in a far, far different place in life. My damn need for external validation, which is luckily dwindling as the months go by, has me continually evaluating who I am to the outside. I was reading through the assorted notes and lyrics of her new album when I spotted that foreword. This is the last paragraph, basically the last few sentences before her signature.

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I really don’t know why I needed to see another person write that. Maybe I’m just as much at fault for looking to celebrities for some guidance to my life, but those lines spoke to me again. It helped reaffirm my choices over the past few years to move forward as I can with peace in myself and my choices. I know who I am. We all undertake some revisionist history when we look back at our lives, and I have to admit I’m just as guilty as the next guy. I can tell you I was one of the more popular people in high school, but I know that you could ask some people and they hated me for the reasons I WAS popular. I can tell you I was well-known in college, but that neglects that I was really quite alone for parts of time there due to my own choice. I can tell you that I had a lot of friends and was associated with many different kinds of people throughout my life, but that carefully forgets I had very few close friends. I spent my life trying to please everyone and be the glue…when all I wanted was to just fit in.

Far too often, I used to let the minority opinion rule my actions. It’s been a nice change of pace to not let that affect me (as much). It was awesome to see this decision reaffirmed by someone who lives with negative press all the time as a celebrity and has their dirty laundry aired regularly. I feel for her and emphasize because of this. It’s crazy what a song or letter can do, isn’t it?

Ah, anyway, I feel incredible. Just four more days until Christmas. I can’t wait, can you? Please just listen to the great song I posted (the one I teared up listening to the vinyl) and enjoy your Sunday. You guys rock, you know?

-G

Categories: exposition, my life | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

too busy to catch a breath

At some point, working three jobs, starting a relationship (even if long-distance), having a social life, and trying a major lifestyle change is bound to start hitting a wall. Things get sacrificed as I begin to weigh what is most important in life for me. One thing I learned from therapy was about cutting things I didn’t need and focus on me. I was a people pleaser for so long that it constantly took a toll on me that I neglected to add up for years. We long to be these great beings of selflessness and virtue while having it all, but how often have we ever seen someone of humanity rise up to have all of that without serious sacrifice? I’m not trying to get philosophical, but even the best of us have had some drawbacks. We all find that moment in which we realize that we can’t have it all, so we decide what is best of us and go from there.

I cut out some social engagements to focus more on building up a budding relationship. It’s the best decision I made, because in just a few short weeks, I’ll be visiting somewhere out west for the first time as I hang out with someone who is pretty freaking awesome. Some might cut me down for choices, but I couldn’t really care at this point. I still stay in touch with those who mean something to me (albeit poorly sometimes), and that’s what matters. After all, life is fleeting, and we should just strive to be spectacular in our own ways.

For far too long, I imprisoned myself to what everyone else wanted. People who have read the blog see the evidence of this in my life. I almost acted like a marionette for far too long. The expectations weighed on me. These unnecessary social cues and standards continued to control and direct my movements even as I began to see that there was a multitude of choices ahead for my life that I never considered. I always wanted to leave Georgia and work in other careers than what eighteen-year-old me thought was going to be the plan.

National politics and living in DC…neither of which sound appealing or have for the last few years. Meanwhile, I have set those goals that I eventually want to achieve. It’s all so far from the guy who was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school. As a species, we all tend to rewrite history for ourselves, but I was unable to get past that yoke for a long time. I felt pressured to fulfill that. It’s taken me a while to understand that it wasn’t meant to be the most successful or the highest earning….it’s succeeding in YOUR goals. My fellow students then saw that, even if we were all a bunch of teenagers voting on senior superlatives.

So what has been a goal? Weight loss and getting into shape lately. No, I’m not trying to become an Adonis, but I do want to feel good about how I look. After a little over a month, I’ve knocked 25 pounds off through some hard work. I still have about eighty to go (yes, that’s a lot), but I know I can make it at this point.

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I’m running ahead of schedule, and it’s great. I was running faster, but there was a rough week where I got a bit sick. I’ve been instituting caloric deficiencies every day, making sure I get enough to stay healthy, but I’m cutting enough to make sure I continue to drop weight. I consider this a success. I consider this a great step in the right direction. This is great for me, and I believe that it’s the kind of thing that lets me realize I can get motivated and succeed in my goals.

Just remember…

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I have that on me now to remember that I can’t get lost in a dream world or a land of missed chances. Every thing has gotten to me this point, partially because I no longer forget to live! Just relax and let the music play, like the intro track off J. Cole’s new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Just be free, people…and you’ll start being more at ease. I know I have :).

-G

Categories: exposition, my life, sub 200 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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