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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butterflies the size of eagles

That was four years ago. The range of emotions I had at that moment have never been matched until what happened Sunday against Portugal. Today, I will be at work, and I will be losing my entire mind if this happens. A win or draw and we are in today.

I BELIEVE.

Broneal pulled me off the ground after I fainted when this happened. I can’t explain what soccer does to me. I can’t explain the passion and drama that it gives me. This is my drug. This is my rush. It’s so much better than anything else. My Twitter fam can agree.

No matter what happens today, I will be proud of what we’ve accomplished. BUT I REALLY WANT TO ADVANCE TO THE ROUND OF SIXTEEN.

This World Cup has seen me answer so many questions and get plenty of people interested in the game. I have done my part.

Yanks, it’s time for y’all to do yours.

 

Soccer…what a rush.

(look at center stage in this video, I’ll hopefully be doing the same thing TODAY.)

Yes, that’s me with my mouth gaping open. I think I was having a stroke! Hahaha

Love you guys. Check on me if I have a heart attack or something if we do pull this out…

-G

 

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because I may not have another

While I might have taken off the last month from my old career, it doesn’t mean that I did nothing with my time. Yes, I worked a few days on my new job, but I was also able to begin work on other things. There have been plenty of times that I have wanted to work on something but was unable to due to work. Well, this time off (albeit the worst week of sickness ever) has allowed me to work on a pet project.

What’s in a name? As Shakespeare once wrote, would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? What do our names say about us? In my final days, I tried to make my name stand for something. I finished projects and weddings with more fervor and passion than I had felt in months. I made sure that me team was altogether and working cohesively. All in all, I made sure that they could look back and see me as a good person who gave his all. After all, that’s what my name must stand for, even when people try to drag it through the mud. Arthur Miller nails that in The Crucible, with one of my all time favorite quotes.

Nevertheless, this isn’t the kind of name definition that I am speaking about. Instead, I’ve always wondered where I came from. My entire life, I was told that I was Irish-Italian from my dad’s side and Ukrainian-German on my mother’s. I’ve always wondered though…how much of this was true? Where was I from? Who the bloody hell am I? I signed up for Ancestry and fiddled around a few years ago, but I never accomplished much. I didn’t have much to go off of.

As I cheered on Mercer in North Carolina for March Madness, my aunt texted me that she was so happy we beat Duke (she’s a massive Carolina fan). I forgot she was nearby, but due to my job, I didn’t have time to go visit her between driving too and from work and the games. Sadly, I have to admit here that I hadn’t spoken to my aunt in some time, just because we aren’t that close. A few days went by, and I was just wondering what to do with some spare time. I remembered that my family had this family tree. Our copy was lost, so after reconnecting with my aunt a few weeks previously, I was able to request her copy.

It has been a crazy ride since then. I might not spend much time on computers and the internet dealing with genealogy, but I still know where to go for some research. I took my time and found really who I was (well partially).

It was weird, because I had always heard we were definitely Irish. It just didn’t make sense, because we had very little Irish traits. I dug, used the notes that I had that went back to the 1800s, and I found some interesting facts. My family was only Irish by choice, and we weren’t even Irish for very long. For you history buffs, when the English Civil War happened, many of the Protestants were chased out of the country. It just so happens that my once-militaristic (I’ll get to that) family took off for Northern Ireland to avoid persecution. Before very long, the family emigrated to the United States, where he was the first with our last name.

I was floored with what I found. It’s not like my life is a lie or anything, but the half-truth that my family had believed for so long began to unravel. We were all quite happy with my results. I can now go back and see that a thousand years ago, my family can claim we came from a small southwestern corner of Scotland called Galloway. We’re SCOTTISH!? I found a direct lineage as far back as 1056, with rumors of one into the 800s. I mean, I know we’d have to go back somewhat far, but it was amazing. I found a crest, a tartan pattern (the pattern on the kilt), and even a motto.

All in all, it’s been an incredibly journey. After all, the information was there…and I had a map to guide me. The tougher part is going to be traveling back and finding the other three sides of my family. If I really am the product of four countries (a real mutt, eh?), then I want to discover where exactly they are. After all, I’m of a mixed mind about saying I’m Irish anymore. I really should claim Scottish, shouldn’t I? Henceforth, I’m going to begin digging. I want to see where in Italy I am from (the rumor has always been Sicily). I will be the forerunner on my mom’s side of the family to do this research, so I’ll have my work cut out for me. Like always, I’ll update you guys here.

-G

Categories: genealogy | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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