Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine

The year was 1999. I was in the 6Th grade. At this point in my life my accomplishments consisted of testing out of resource classes, running from my first fight and discovering masturbation. My profile was a combination of parted down the middle or combed over hair, big gold framed double bridged glasses and gaped front teeth. My girlfriend at the time was Rachel Foster. Our relationship was built on saying "Hi" in passing, laughs during P.E. and four square during recess. It was Valentines Day. The halls at school were decked with hearts made by students and streamers of red, pink and white. Rachel claims the title of being my first Valentine.

I don't recall what I got her, on this day of love. I assume the ordinary heart shaped box of chocolates and a stuffed bear. Each one of the class rooms were dedicated to a specific purpose for our grade's Valentines Day party. I favored the rooms with food and games. Then of course there was the slow dance room. (play dramatic sound "dun dun DUUUN") Rachel and I had shared a dance or two through out the party. Things were going well. If memory serves me correctly, I was in the dance room with no Rachel to dance with. I see Kat Kundmueller, an ex of mine. All the ladies were after me in these days. I see her across the room and our eyes meet. Reading her like a book I could see it in her eyes I had left her wanting more from when I broke up with her months earlier........FALSE. She broke up with me through a note, because I quoted a madTV skit too much, in art class....and she sat at my table across from me. Anyway, back to the dance room. I approach Kat and ask for a friendly dance. Amongst our conversation, I took the opportunity to apologize for my impersonations. Then enters Rachel, only to immediately exit the room instigated by the site of me dancing with Kat. I chase after her down the hall to the food room. Our relationship had hit rock bottom and she wanted out. I went home with a bag of Valentine's and a broken heart. To this day I always remind her on Valentine's Day of that faithful moment. She always laughs and apologizes. I can't help but laugh myself. Probably one of the best Valentine's memories I will ever have.

This year I will have been single on Valentine's Day for a whopping twelve years. (if were counting Rachel as the last relationship I was in on this day and judging by the number 12, I'm just gonna go ahead and give it to myself.) Although I have to say I'm not really that put down by this. I have learned a lot from being single a majority of my life. I've had relationships here and there. One or two I had high hopes for it being love. One of the reasons for my consistent singleness would have to be that I'm a firm believer in just sitting back and letting things flourish on their own.

Facebook has become a cancer to dating and relationships. In the beginning stages of "dating" (which in my book means getting to know someone) each person scrolls through the others Facebook. Looking at profile pictures and reading their "favorite quotes" and "about me" in search of similarities in life interests. Here is where subliminal judgment begins. Then the tagged photos begin to get looked at. Insecurity meter reads at 75%. Followed by the reading of photo comments and wall posts from other friends. Jealousy kicks in and questions begin to fly about "who's that person is in that photo?" or "what does that person mean who posted on our wall?" When the sick and sad reality behind it is that photo is of you and your cousin and the wall post is an inside joke from the second grade. Congratulations, you've just entered the pathetic excuse my generation calls "dating." Arguments rise and the interest of the other person fizzles with the opinion of them being creepers.

The "relationship" people use Facebook as a tool or crutch to aid their insecurities by allowing themselves to boast of their "perfect" significant other with status updates of "baby made me breakfast in bed" or photos of what their partner sent to them at work and how sweet they are. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic at how "happy" these couples are together. But the only question I have for them is, don't you want those memories to be shared with just you and your partner? How exactly are you benefiting from blasting other peoples news feeds with exasperated updates and photos of the details of your relationship, only for it to end with some dramatic Facebook status ending in "FML." Then allowing everyone who's followed your distressed relationship to make a "note to self" about you or the other person.

So on this 12Th year of solarity I will be celebrating the love I have for myself. I think the greatest thing I have gained from being single a majority of my life is the incite for myself I have developed. Too many people spend, or waste, their time going from one relationship to the next or are always in search for one when they should be giving themselves a break and figuring things out.

If you make yourself the prerogative and give unconditionally you will discover things always have a way of working out in the end no matter what the journey may be.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Strangers With Candy

I'm finding my biggest challenge at hand would have to be getting through the next 5 months. The urge to just drop everything and go swells bigger and bigger with each nearing day of my departure from Dallas/Fort Worth. But as the great Jim Ron said "motivation is what gets your started. Habit is what keeps you going." This quote is one of many that surround me at my desk. About a year ago I put up various motivational and inspirational quotes to aid in my return to the gym and maintain a better health and fitness lifestyle. A little over a year later I'm 40 pounds lighter, with an 10-15 pound muscle gain. I'm down to a 33 size pants which I haven't been since high school. As a personal achievement, this has been my greatest thus far. Not much for bragging..but its something.

The days here have been gloomy and cold. Last week the entire city was completely iced in. I sat at home and played video games and ate waffle house. Today is another "iced" in day. I went in to work for a few hours to complete some paperwork then made the treacherous drive home. I took advantage of this down time by heading to the post office to finally turn my passport application in. My first attempt at this, over a week ago, was shot down the second I got there by a line of 10 some odd people. I was turned away by the postal worker due to the amount of people wanting to turn their applications in. Today was success, with me being the only one at the post office needing to get this done.

The postal worker assisting Me's name was Travis. A mid-40's heavier set man with gray facial hair and pierced ears. To strike up casual conversation he asked me where I was going. I ratted off several cities in Europe. He noted my Amsterdam mention and recommended I check out the "Red Dog Cafe." He said Amsterdam was a place of sin and debauchery. I fully agreed with him, while recalling in my mind the stories of my friend Lauren's brief three years there. I appreciated his excitement and sharing of stories while he completed the final steps in processing my application. I then mentioned to him my further plans of California and Burning Man. He jumped on Burning Man like a spider monkey. He said he had a choice between that or some other adventure (I can't recall at the moment) that takes place in Louisiana. He chose the Louisiana venture but shared with me his jealousy for my plans to attend Burning Man. He told me to come back and tell him how it went. I'll probably make a return visit to him in June before I leave.

I can't help but notice the people I'm meeting that are having an unconventional influence on my means for travel and self-exploration. My friends are already above and beyond supportive of me doing all this. But its the people I've encountered since the publication of my journey that are having an uncanny relation to what I have begun for myself. I can see the excitement in these people's eyes for me as they hear my plans and reminisce on their previous travels and adventures. I'm sure, in their contained enthusiasm, they are thinking "He has no idea whats in store for him." I absolutely have no idea whats in store for me and with that simple fact my anticipation could not be greater. With a combination of these strangers positive influences and consistent patience, I feel that I will be able to successfully concur the next 5 months. All my research and task lists also aid in good time killing. They are comparable to the little goals I had to set for myself during my return to the gym. Each small goal accomplished was one more step to my larger goal of healthy eating habits and lean muscular physique.

A new car and flight tickets are next on my to do list for destination Europe.

Stay tuned for my Valentine's Day post. Should be interesting.