Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Train of Thoughts

     Sometimes the hardest part of writing is finding a way in.  Not necessarily a place to start but more like a door that will open.  Sometimes it is hard to find the station that my train of thoughts will stop at.  The only thing to do then is meander for awhile and hope my internal GPS will tell me to turn left.  My life has been like that a lot lately too.
     The past year was one of upheaval for me personally.  I started the year having my son every other week.  Now I have him all the time except for two weekends a month and two months in the summer.  I started the year in a relationship I truly thought was going somewhere.  Now I'm single and I'm pretty sure that's going to last for a while.  I started the year in a financial hole still holding a shovel.  Now I'm climbing out of it.
     That was the third year in a row like that.  Three years ago it was lost pregnancies and the last gasps of a dying marriage.  Two years ago it was the end of that marriage and moving and moving again.  Then this past year, in addition to what I mentioned, my divorce became official and a friend died.  This year promises or threatens, I'm not sure which, to be more upheaval.
     Life is like that.  It'll let you sit comfortable in your recliner for a bit with cold beer and football on TV thinking you've got it made.  Then it will smack you in the back of the head and ask you what you were thinking.  Then throw you to the ground and kick you in the ribs.  Then grab you by the hair, spit in your face, and demand payment.  Yes, life is like muscle for the mob.
     Still most of us make our payments and live to see another day, another year.  As Vonnegut wrote, so it goes.  There's one other thing I did this past year that I want to mention, though.  I started this blog.  I told myself that it was just a way to pass the time while my son was gone for the summer.  It turns out I lied.
     It has become pretty clear to me, and probably anyone paying attention, that subconsciously I started this blog to figure out who I was after all the upheaval.  I refuse to say anything as new age as find myself.  I'm old fashioned when it comes to the subconscious, old fashioned in some surprising ways.  Besides, I was never lost.  Sure I might have been confused about which way to go but I knew where I was.
     The truth is I haven't learned much from writing this but I've remembered things about myself which might be as important.  It may not always be what it is but I am who I am.  I am who I thought I was.  I'm a damn good dad.  I'm addicted to caffeine and nicotine.  I'm a good son but not as good as my parents deserve.  That might be impossible.  I'm a night owl who will often play Nintendo or read into the wee hours of the night even when I have things to do in the morning, just as I did when I was a kid.  I'm a good friend, better than some friends deserve worse than others.  I'm too damn empathetic and forgiving but I don't show it often enough.  I'm a bad hunter, a decent writer, and quiet except when I'm not or when I'm drunk.
     There's more to me than that, of course.  I could go on all day and still not mention many things a lot of you have learned about me because I wouldn't know them.  It takes years to truly know someone else and more than a lifetime to know yourself.  Still, I haven't changed much.  I've grown and there's been some gradual changes.  Some rough edges have smoothed and some smooth edges have sharpened.  If you knew me at 17, though, and see me this summer after I turn 34 you'll recognize me as an older version of myself.
     I've been through a lot of life altering shit and that shit has altered my life but it hasn't altered me.  I guess that makes my defining trait stubbornness but I'm okay with that.  It's not a bad thing.  It's called consistency of character and I value it above all else.  For the most part the people I let into my life to stay, stay because they are who they are and they don't give much of a fuck what anyone thinks about it. I dig that.
     How to explain the women I'm attracted to and pursue then? Well, that brings up something I have learned about myself this past year.  I didn't lie earlier.  I didn't learn it through writing this blog but through living and dating and talking to a friend  (I'll admit you're right but I won't mention your name so you can't use this as proof) and in some cases the women themselves.  It's a simple thing really.  I'm not happy unless I'm helping someone else.
     It explains so much about me.  That's why I'm a good dad and why I'm so fucked up when my son is gone.  It's why I'm attracted to women in turmoil, women that haven't dealt with their pasts and have uncertain futures, crazy women.  It's not just because they're good in bed but because I want to help them.  That's what makes me feel good, makes me happy.  Those two things are in direct conflict, though.  How can I be a good dad to Brad if I end up making some instable headcase his stepmom?  So what to do, what to do?
     I'm sorry, I hope you weren't expecting an answer.  That is why I'm contemplating a career change or at least starting back to school to facilitate one.  Maybe if my job were helpful to people I wouldn't seek fulfillment of that need in a relationship.  Of course I can't do anything rash that would threaten my livelihood or Brad's quality of life.  So I don't know.  I'll figure it out though.
     That's what I hope this new year will be; a year of figuring things out.  Hopefully I'll figure out my finances for good, a better and more permanent place to live, how to have a lasting romantic relationship again, how to be a better father and son and friend and lover because there's always room for improvement, how to tame my addictions to coffee and smokes and books and video games enough to get enough sleep at night.  Okay, that last one probably not so much.  Maybe I'll figure out how to live without sleep.
     One thing I know I want to do is write more.  I want to have a blog post up once a week and I want to write other things besides that.  Writing could be the answer.  It can be helpful to people and it is fulfilling.  If only I could make money at it.  All of you can help.  You can click on some ads and make me some money dammit but more importantly you can say something if I let a week go by without posting.  I lack self discipline and I admit I need nagging.  Most importantly you can share this blog.  Recommend it to family and friends and strangers on the internet.  Judging from the numbers I have about fifty constant readers and that's many more than I ever thought I'd have. Still that means my readership increased by 50 times this year so I think in a full year I want another 50 fold increase.  That would be 2500 readers.  That's probably a foolish unattainable goal but that's what New Year's resolutions are all about.
     I think I'll shut up for now.  I meandered a lot but never found the station my train of thoughts would stop at.  So I just jumped on a boxcar as it passed by but it's late as I write this, surprise surprise, and I think my thoughts are about to give me the bum's rush.  I don't know if I've said everything, or even anything, that I wanted to say.  I never do really know.  I do want to say this, though, before I go; thank you all for coming along for the ride and reading what I write.  It means more to me than you know.


  1. Good deal! I enjoy reading your blog!! Carry on Paul! You did good this year on everything else. You fell, dusted yourself off & went on! That's all that can be expected of any of us! Keep on truckin', as they said in my generation! LOL