Monday, March 03, 2014
It's crazy, sometimes, the path life's journey takes you down. It's never what you expect. It's always ripe with surprise twists and turns. It takes you to some uncharted territories, not just physical proximity, but in your psyche, as well.
These last two and three-quarter years have been quite an interesting part of mine. I've successfully navigated two moves--one almost 1,150 miles--a separation, a divorce, another failed relationship, several changes in employment, the ups-and-downs of life and the melodramatic changes in my attitude about all of it. I can't say that it's been boring. I lived on a barrier island near the boundary to the tropics, played in a rock band, dated a beautiful woman, made trips to the Florida Keys and to Tallahassee to see my girls...there were several adventures along the way, most recently an unexpected visit to Mile Marker 59 on Alligator Alley due to a blown headgasket.
I'm thankful for the experience of living on the beach...a lifelong dream finally realized, if only for a brief moment in time. I fully expect to get back there one day, maybe not to Fort Myers Beach, but definitely to a barrier island somewhere on the Gulf of Mexico. That's what the image above reminds me of--a public beach access to a white, sandy beach somewhere in that vicinity. I will have my toes in the sand and a cold beer in my hand, that's for certain.
For now, life has me landlocked in Tallahassee, where I spent more than 20 years of my life. It's a place near and dear to my heart for three reasons--FSU, where I earned my degree and fell in love with college football, and two daughters who stole my heart, both of whom I adopted there. I'm committed to remaining here as long as they are both living here in the moss-draped armpit of Florida. Besides those three draws to this city, I picked a great time to move back. Springtime in Tallahassee, while incredibly shortlived, is quite beautiful--warm temperatures, low humidity and plenty of fragrant, blooming trees and bushes. It could be a lot worse. I could be enduring yet another feet-of-snow-producing storm in central Indiana. I'll count my blessings in that regard.
I've spent the most time journalling throughout this segment of my journey than I ever have before. Beginning in earnest July of 2012, I have made entries on a near daily basis, filling up a dozen spiral-bound, college-ruled notebooks. While therapeutic for me, it has also allowed me the practice of writing and getting in touch with my feelings. It began, largely, out of my loneliness and needing someone to talk to and has become a much needed and relied upon outlet. I just wish I had started earlier in my life, capturing my thoughts and feelings on things I have experienced the last 25+ years.
I know that I have grown and changed a lot. Still unsure of what I want to do with my life, professionally, I know much better now who I am. I've grown to love that person exponentially. And at the risk of sounding quite vain and conceited, I really love the man I've become. If you knew how completely self-conscious and truly self-deprecating I can be, you'd understand and you'd be congratulating me. Learning to love myself as compassionately as I love others was a huge milestone for me in the last two years.
This journey has surprised me in life-altering ways. I've learned things about myself even in the last month that have amazed me beyond belief. And as cynical and jaded as I tend to be, I am very hopeful for what the next leg of this journey holds. I'm still growing...still learning, at age 45. I'm much happier with myself and much easier on myself than I've been in the past. I still have my days. I can be a very gloom-and-doomsday, self-fulfilling prophet, but I bounce back much more readily than before. My realism certainly helps to balance the dreamer in me and I'm learning to love that counterbalance! Still a hopeless romantic, I'm very guarded these days about my heart...slow to trust, but eager to do so.
Well, before I get any gushier or ultra-transparent, let me end this blog entry here. I could go on, but that is mostly what I wanted to say. This is me moving forward.