It’s been one year that I’ve been without you, and what a year it has been. The time has flown by, and you cross my mind every single day. So many ups and downs. So many obstacles that I’ve had to overcome. But here I am. Stronger than ever. Wiser than ever. More confident than ever. And I owe a lot of it to you. You taught me to always stand my ground. To fight for what I believe in. To never settle for anything less than what I deserve. I think if you were still here, you’d be proud of me (despite the fact that I’m living in a van). I think you would be able to look at me, and the life I’m creating for myself, and be truly happy. Even though I’m not a professional soccer player like I always said I would be growing up. Besides, I’ve always kind of been the odd ball of the family. I used to bring snakes in the house even though you hated them. I used to always climb trees in the backyard as far up as I possibly could. I rode my bike too far in front of you when we were on the road. I used to dress like a confused homeless person in 7th grade. And I had a mullet for the greater half of my childhood. But no matter what, you always just let me be me. You encouraged me to go after whatever it was that I wanted, but would criticize my every move, only to make me better at it. The perfectionist inside of me today is thanks to you. It’s both a blessing and a curse, because it causes me to try my best and always work on self-improvement. At the same time, no matter what I do, it will never be perfect. I beat you in a banana bread bake off, but still wasn’t happy because I added my chocolate chips into the batter at the wrong time. You claimed adding chocolate chips was cheating, but I must have missed that part of the rule book. Anyways, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say, “thank you”. Thank you for helping mold me into the man that I am, and that I am becoming. I know I still had a lot that I could have learned from you, but I think I can take it from here. This strive for perfection is going to be my fuel for the rest of my life. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on everything that I have going on, even though I know you’re watching over me. I love you to the moon and back, Mom.
In less than a month I will be returning back home from my job in Massachusetts. I will no longer be living in my van, aside from an occasional trip here and there. But this in no way means that I will return to abusing my access to the luxuries of life. I intend to live as simply as I do now, perhaps even more simply. Sure, I will be back in a house big enough for a family of 6 or more, and sharing it with just my dad and brother. However, I have every intention of selling or donating roughly 80% of all of my possessions. My bedframe will be gone. 2 of my 3 dressers will be gone, along with the clothes inside. My pellet guns I haven’t used in years, gone. Every single knick knack and useless item, gone. Unless it is essential to my everyday life, it will be gone. I’m currently reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau (highly recommended by the way) and it really puts a lot of things into perspective. Even just the first chapter on Economy will make you reassess the value you put on different items in your life. This is a man who, when the sun is shining in his window and making him get too hot, instead of buying a curtain, would rather seek the shade that nature has provided so as to avoid the unnecessary work of adding more housework for himself in tending to the curtain, aside from the small cost of the fabric needed to make a curtain. Perhaps that’s living too simplistic and frugal, but I dig it.
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. A motto I have tried to live by ever since Professor Titus told it to my geology class freshman year at college. It can be applied to every aspect of life, and used to increase the quality of nearly anything. I even use it with the soccer team I am coaching now. If you keep the game of soccer simple, it becomes so much easier and more fun to play. Perhaps the best ice cream I have ever eaten in my life is a simple 3-ingredient recipe that anyone can make. A timeless, and always accepted outfit for anyone: a plain white t-shirt and jeans. The amount of peer/societal pressure that gets placed upon us to “enhance” our lives is ridiculous. People don’t think for themselves anymore, and that is where our problem lies. We need not complicate our mortal existences with the augmentation of futile thingamajigs and gewgaws. <– see what I mean. Stupid.
When I return, I have 3 goals in mind. Firstly, as I said before, I will be living with my dad and brother. I will be taking a few weeks off of work to focus on myself. As it will be nearly winter, I will devote a portion of my time to finding and cutting firewood for our woodstove downstairs, and tending to the fire day in and day out. I will be cooking hot meals for the family every single day. In this time, I will really focus on keeping myself healthy, not just physically, but mentally as well. Doing what my mind and body wants to do, whenever it wants to do it. Secondly, as I have also said before, I will be selling or donating nearly all of my possessions. Unnecessary clutter adds unnecessary stress to your life. I don’t need that crap. But I will need the money. Which brings me to my last goal. I will be converting our unused “exercise room” to a work place for myself. I intend to make every piece of furniture by hand to ensure it has a much higher value to me. An art which I feel is all too lost in todays world. The workplace is going to be dedicated to creating content, in the form of blog posts, photography, and videography. I will be investing the majority of my savings into equipment for this, so I better make damn sure I stick with it and devote myself to it.
I have already realized the importance of networking and connecting with the people in my life. That includes my dad, as well as the gas station attendant who I see on a semi-regular basis. I find so much more joy in seeing someone laughing than I do in buying the latest Call of Duty. My actions need to start reflecting that notion. Rather than bragging about my kill:death ratio I got as a sniper in a video game, I need to start bragging about my laugh:frown ratio I got as a a friend during our last hangout. Maybe not literally, but you get the idea. I will be improving my quality of life by getting rid of all the crap that the world says will improve the quality of my life. I don’t want to live my life “As Seen On TV”. I want to live my life in whatever way feels best to me, which I should have been doing years ago. I have the ability to not give in to peer pressure, which most of you probably already know, seeing as how I’ve never drank a drop of alcohol, taking a single drag off a cigarette, or tried any drugs.
I cannot wait for when I return.
This just came to me as I was driving today. 1st poem in a while. No editing done yet. I’m sure this draft will get changed, and I’ll post the finished product whenever that day comes.
My seatbelt rubs the spot on my neck that you used to kiss.
The unsaid words stinging my sorry lips.
Taillights ahead of me, headlights shining in my rearview.
As if my life was brighter in the past, when I was with you.
The skyline in the distance may be difficult to see,
But I know it’s shining bright, and it’s shining just for me.
Foot on the gas, heavy and steady.
By the time I get there I know I’ll be ready.
Not all great things are meant to be, or the timing may be off.
I’ve got the whole world ahead of me, and time? More than enough.
“Just Keep Motoring” is written on my steering wheel,
Chin up, chest out. “You’ve got yourself a deal.”
Come find out!
I’m starting this little blog because I need another creative outlet in my life. I have a lot of major changes going on externally and internally, and I just want to be able to share what’s going on in my semi-functional brain. Regardless of how many readers I get, how many shares, likes, comments that stream in, this blog will continue. It’s for me, not for you. #sorrynotsorry. But seriously though, any feedback is more than welcome! Some pieces will be edited, some will not. Some will be happy, some will not. Some will teach you something, some will not. I have no theme to follow or goals to achieve with this. I am simply going to write, post, and repeat. So enjoy! Or don’t. Whatever floats your boat.