Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A Good Life

 

 The blog title might surprise you, but I really have.

One thing that has come out of resuming Ubereats delivery/ data work at home is that I have had a lot more time to think.  I forgot about that benefit.  When I was at the accounts payable job, literally every thought for those hours was dedicated to my work, which is why I was so good at it.  However, it stole my free time to think, which is why it took so long for me to wake up to its problems.  So, I have been doing a lot of thinking as I drove through beautiful roads and listened to great music.  It has made me realize that I have been mistaken about more than just work.

One area of revelation is that I... like so many others.. get caught up in noticing all the struggles in my life.  I even felt in the creation of this blog and the turning point of my life moving to a more flexible work style and post divorces that I was FINALLY going to have GOOD in my life, after all the bad.  

But, is that true?  During my time thinking I realized that NO it wasn't true that my past was all BAD, and this is good.  Yes, there were challenges and it DID include bad times, but it also included many many GOOD times, even if those are no longer in my life.  At the time, they were objectively GOOD.  And, what's more I WAS GOOD in many times, even if others failed to notice.  So, I wanted to chronicle some of each in this blog post, which I intend to put on all 3 blogs, as it fits all themes (forwardtohappiness.com, thegoodoldfuture.com, and exittoslowlane.com).

Let's start when I was young.  Yes, I lived in a poor house in a poor community, and we didn't have a lot.  But... I didn't KNOW what poor WAS.  It was just... life.. for me.  So, I didn't dwell on what I didn't have.  Instead, I found ways to make my days interesting, and I did.  I had a 200 in 1 electric kit, which I used to learn electric concepts and make some neat things.  Eventually, I would build a motor out of nails, wire, and other things from the pages of an old encyclopedia.  It was fun.  I also would take an old glasses lense and burn my initials in leaves or such.  My dad was given a job of remodeling and running a plastic recycling plant for a while, so I learned about recycled plastic.  It was a hard summer job, but it gave me the materials to make my science fair board out of the product and conduct tests on the various kinds of plastics.  I won regional at the science fair two years in a row in the Environmental Science category.  Every negative had a positive.  I even remember the teacher's car getting stolen at a science fair, which became a funny story for years as she thought we had moved the car as a joke.  There were a lot of other awards won in academic contests at the end of the difficulty of intense studying.

I wasn't a very athletic person.  I liked sports.  I just wasn't that great at playing them.  So, I was made the bookkeeper for the baseball team, which I did for a few years.  Suddenly, geeky me was revered by sports players that wanted me to make sure I got their stats right.  I got to travel to different cities with the team, and sometimes I was told to ride in the cheerleader van... which was awesome.  I had a crush on several of them.  Me being me, even at that age I was imagining what our lives would be like if they were my girlfriend, and I took a special interest in cheering THEM on, as well.  There were a few cheerleaders I liked at FSC, too, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Mid-year my senior year, my parents moved us to Florida for my father's job.  So, even though I was selected "most studious" in my senior yearbook, it would be a new challenge.  Side note... I was also a sports photographer for basketball for the yearbook, which was really fun to do.  But, I digress.  After we moved to Florida, I got started as a youth director in a small Methodist church, got a job at a movie theater, and would get my own place...sharing rent with two others.. as I began community college.  That was probably the most independence I had ever had and gave me a real sense of confidence.  In that time, I would go on from Usher to Concession to Usher Trainer and then Projectionist at the movie theater.  I actually put the movies together to show and tore them apart.  One of my films was Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, so that holds a special part in my heart for that, as well.

But, I ALSO recall going to theater parties, and I recall waking up with vomit all over my shirt and no knowledge about the night before... being told I was making out with some girl from the theater that I wasn't even that into.. ha.  Cautionary tale, but it was a memory.  I did have a few girl interests in that time... this time more than just crushes.  I remember kissing in the back of the theater with at least 4 in those years.  I don't say that to say they didn't mean anything to me.  On the contrary, I was TOTALLY interested in each, but it didn't always work out.  I recall one of them moving to another state, which had dark red hair and an amazing perfume.  I saw A League of Our Own as my last movie with her.  Even though she would not be a part of my life, I felt like I was floating from that night to home.

It was in that time period that I ALSO started at a modeling agency.  It wasn't long lived, and I only got free gigs in newspapers, but it make me feel really good about myself.  This was in the period when I was wearing contacts all the time, which I would continue to do for many years.

Then, I met my first wife.  We were married for a long time, and we had a lot of friction over those years.  As a personality, I don't think we meshed with what we wanted from each other.  However, we did get to experience many interesting experiences... seeing Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey, and Florida.  She was very career driven, especially after I left the military... I'll get to the military.  It produced my first daughter, which I have noted at times was a challenge.  However, she was also someone that shared a lot of my interests, so we could talk about sci fi shows and more.  She is the one that introduced me to the new generation of Dr Who that was made and Sherlock and more.

When we were financially strapped, I joined the active duty military.  I had been in the National Guard for 6 years, prior.  However, we needed the money, so I joined.  The only MOS I could choose was the national guard one, so it was Artillery.  So, I endured 2 years of very intense service in that time.  However, as a result, I was respected enough to become the 1SG driver and training room manager, and I would get two battalion coins and was selected Soldier of the Month for the Battalion.

Eventually, I wanted another child, espcially as I was homeschooling the first one and my wife was always working. So, I thought that would be someone else to love and to love me.  We talked and agreed to try and got my youngest.  This child was a gift from God in many ways.  Unlike my first child that challenged me, this one was born with a heart of empathetic gold.  She is always thinking about others and how they are feeling.  Because my first ex had a post partum mental break following her birth (another bad event around the good ones), I got the opportunity to raise her pretty much by myself for the first two years.  I had to learn a lot about formula and baby care, and I got less than 4 hours of sleep a night for over a year.  But, I wouldn't have changed it, as those years of caring for her was healing myself, as well.

I would go back to school, since I needed to be covering bills with more than my financial aid from school.  So, I learned Elementary Ed, but that didn't work out as jobs were scarce in 2008 after the crash.  None of the teachers wanted to retire.  So, I went for more schooling for Accounting, which led to a job with the IRS in Boston.

Now, accounting wasn't and isn't a very good fit for me.  It is true that I am very factual and analytical and like a sense of order, but in every application it made me negative and critical.  I didn't like myself in those roles.  But, that didn't stop me from being able to experience Boston for a year.  I loved the park there and the outdoor ice skating on the frog pond in it.  I was also there when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and saw them in a parade with it.  That was fun.  

After my divorce, I would spend years rebuilding in Tulsa.  It was very difficult, but I did enjoy my independence and discovery of self there, as well.  I loved the Christmas lights at Rhema, where I took a girl I was dating once.  I also loved watching movies on the lawn downtown and baseball games for the minor league team.  In BOTH of those it ended with a fireworks display over downtown, which was amazing.  

My second marriage wasn't long lasting, despite my intents or wants.  She ended things, and I never fully understood why.  I mean... I knew some of the problems.  She had been having physical back issues for a while, and it made her feel inadequate, even though I was telling her that I cared for her as she was and that I liked doing things for her.  I generally like doing things for most people, even if they are not my favorite people.  Further, she had negative past experiences with other men that she could not see past to see me for how I was.  Everything I did was a manipulation to her, because it was for them.  But, this followed a lot of investment and emotion I put into her.. including selling my house so that we could have a great wedding in an old building.  The pictures and the experience was amazing, even though there would be issues throughout.  During our dating period, I took her to many many restaurants, and we would take a weekend a month away to a hotel for romance.  I remember her reactions to my giving roses or chocolate or in these weekends.

It might seem odd that I focus on the good of that marriage, but my intent is showing the good of the days and the good of my actions.  Even if she would turn it away, it doesn't mean that I wasn't romantic or that romance was bad. It also doesn't mean that the good memories that I have of those times or of her are null and void because of her change.  They were good AT THE TIME, and my trusting of her was good, as well... even if it would lead to pain.  Just like the other elements above, there was always good mixed in with the bad, but we only seem to reflect on the bad.

I'll end here, even though I only scratched the surface of the pockets of good in my past.  The point I wanted to make is clear, though.  My life was not bad in the past and good in the future.  I have had challenges, but I have also lived a very.. good... life, and I expect that will continue.




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