Monday, September 13, 2010

Changes

Changes in life are often gradual and only noticed by those closest to you, and to those who haven't seen or heard from you in years. For everyone else, everything is just what it is at the moment.

For me, I am in the process of changes to be made in my life, for better or worse has yet to be seen. Some are known changes to my readers, others are new and hold the potential for me to get an earful over it all from certain specific parties whom I have not consulted as of yet. Well, For those people, I guess this post is the notice they're being given, I'll probably have to start screening my calls to avoid certain conversations I don't want to have, as I'm pretty sure I know just how they'll play out.

When I was younger I always lived for the present to lead me to the future. As I got older, I found that most of my life has been consumed with work for the sake of paying bills. Nothing really goes on in my life, with the exception of those that surround me providing me with something interesting to talk about for the moment. All I have is this profound attachment to the past, and all my stories come from there and there alone. I'm sure some people have heard the same damn things come out of my mouth over and over and over again. Meanwhile life passes by like a long movie. Only I'm not in the movie, but merely one of the people who spent $15 on the ticket, $350 on the popcorn and the soda, and sit idly in a semi-comfortable seat alone in the theater watching everyone else play out their parts in the movie. I try to get involved in playing a part in the movie, but as soon as I get started I just stop. I don't know why, that's just the way it always seems to work out.

So, some of my changes.
1. Well, first off I killed my facebook page altogether. Without warning to anyone whatsoever. I just decided it was a big distraction and time waster. All I did was hold disjointed conversations on other people's comments or on photos, and the occasional game. As I have thought about it, I realized that my application of facebook is essentially useless at this time. So it's dead now. I realize I once wrote a post about people killing off their facebook is just the first step before they end up killing themselves. I can assure you this is not the case. Believe me, I'm just too damn stubborn to die. I have too much of a juvenile and perverted joy in irritating people by merely existing as an incorrigible ass.


2. As some of you know that I've been on again/off again on writing books. I think I'm about 85% of the way there on one, as far as my writing it goes. On the other, its been stop and start, as I keep re-editing as I go along the confusing world of politics and how I see the world and how I think the world should be. Both however have in common with each other the fact that I have taken way too long to write short books, when I see authors churning out sometimes as many as 2 and 3 books within half that time period. It leaves me in awe, and makes me wonder if I have what it takes to even put one out. Nevertheless I intend to see these two books through to completion by the end of the year, and then I have to figure out the process of how to get them published and maybe make a few bucks.

3. Simultaneously, I have another mission to occupy my time besides reading and writing. I have dental work that needs to be done. However, it being me, my dental work is never simple and relatively inexpensive. With my current insurance coverage, I still need to come up with about $850 or so to cover the costs. My paychecks currently don't allow for this extra money to come along in any timely fashion. So I have done some job searching. During the day I am confined to how far I can walk, which limits the availability of places to be employed. As of yesterday I was given a bicycle by a guy who is probably a much better friend to me than I have or could be to him. He seems to give me and my family things, even though I have nothing I see of any value to offer him in return. To be honest I don't even know why I was chosen by him as a friend in the first place. Either way, the bicycle will allow me to stretch out my boundaries as to where I can go for a part time day job to supplement my full time overnight job. I am only looking for something temporary so that I might use that income to take care of my teeth situation, which will allow me to take care of the bigger mission in my life...

4. Military service. I was officially released from the military after 2 1/2 years of service. Due to unforeseen medical issues, I fell short of my initial contract by a good 3 1/2 years. That has always bothered me. And because my current dental issues arose since I have left the service, it is something I must take care of before being allowed to sign up again. In my eyes, the sooner the better. At this rate it's looking like next spring, but we'll see if it doesn't happen quicker. I look at it like this. By re-signing up, I can complete something in my life that had always been my goal growing up, and maybe in the process recover a bit of the confidence I seem to have lost over the years. I know, some weird psychobabble stuff, but something that I think may actually be true in that realm, concerning me anyways. I would've joined years back, but I essentially used my family as an excuse, that I had to stay and take care of them, working away at some meaningless job with crap pay just to pay some bills, maybe knock down some ill-gotten debt, and put food in their bellies and a roof over their head.
My plans are to go back to the part time duty with the National Guard, pick a job that will allow me to serve at the camp up the road from me here in the Des Moines area when drill time comes along. It is also my desire to go through the entirety of boot camp, and be on a standby volunteer list for deployment as soon as possible after graduating from AIT. A lot of units here in Iowa are currently deploying, or preparing for their deployment to Afghanistan right now. So most likely, I'd have to request a temporary assignment with a unit out of state to accomplish this, but those are my intentions. It's not that I'm some kind of war junkie or anything. I've never experienced a real war, and so my desire is two-fold. One is to quickly dissolve any false romanticisms of war that resides in the minds of many young American boys before they get there and realize that long standing axiom, 'War is hell.' The second part of it is, that I might replace someone else who has already done more than their fair share of tours, and actually protect the necks of those that have been braver than I. If and when I come back from that scenario, hopefully I will be more of the man I'm supposed to be.

5. To be a better father and husband. While I work myself into total apathy providing for the most meager of family needs and little else, I find that I have continually and steadily disengaged from my family. Occasionally there are moments where we do things as a family, or my wife and I do things as a couple. Most often though, family activities consists of what my wife and kids do while I'm either working or sleeping. My kids lives are playing out like that movie I made reference to earlier. My days and weeks seem long, yet the years go by so fast I can barely keep up. My kids will still wrestle with me once in awhile, or follow me to the park or on a walk in some blind allegiance, merely because I'm their dad. I hear a lot more though about me being mean, or mad dad, mostly because my interactions with them seem to be geared more towards telling them they can't do this or that activity, or to stop whatever loud activity or bickering is going on. I also know that slowly my wife has been changing over the years while I'm just the lump in the bed that needs fed occasionally before he goes to work. I don't understand much about her anymore, I let a lot of my efforts sluff off into the abyss. I spend more time examining bank balances, paycheck stubs and bills, along with time trying to forget about them for a few hours while online or watching the idiot box across the living room, maybe concentrating my thoughts on my actual work to avoid any real issues. I used to be my wife's best friend. I know now that I am not at this point. And unfortunately for the lazy-natured Mook, only I can fix that, as much as I'd like an easier route of outsourcing that task. It will take massive amounts of effort to develop my ability to communicate verbally and with multi syllabic words and complete sentences, as well as open up some form of emotion that can be expressed. I know it will take some time before I can make my wife see that maybe I am worthy to be her best friend again, and that we can share a love that we once had when we were just kids. But again, only time will tell on that case.

So yeah, I have a full plate and no idea which course to partake of first, next, and on down the line to the dessert. Having been essentially the living dead for the past few years, floating aimlessly along, the task of being emotionally and actively pursuant in life is not exactly what you would call underwhelming. I can only ask that you wish me luck in my endeavors to go from being nobody special to someone who can be acknowledged as an actual living breathing person.

5 comments:

All In said...

Mook,

Thanks for sharing with such frankness. Your post serves as a challenge to us all to remember that the time and families we have been blessed with are precious, and not to be taken for granted.
It is a call to live with purpose. I too must strive to do that with intensity.

americanelephant said...

I'll do even better than wish you luck, I'll pray that God bless you in your endeavors. And you are far from nobody special. You are a man providing for his wife and kids, and actively working to do better. That's much better than most. You're a good man Mike, don't ever sell yourself short. :)

QUEEN said...

Mook, Powerful words. I understand parts of where ur coming from. I pray you find what it is you're looking for. Search carefully with ur mind, heart and soul till u find the answer that is best for u. Much love the Queen

scotterb said...

I look forward to your books. One thing I like in your blog and comments is you have a really keen sense of your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. It comes through in this post. That insight is what gives authors the capacity to build intriguing characters with compelling stories. So don't give up, get those books written! I'll buy a copy if you promise to autograph it!

I especially like the honesty and frankness of your discussion of family life -- I can really relate. I've learned that marriage can be really difficult in ways I didn't expect -- I thought the key would be to agree on finances or make compromises on important issues. But its the mundane that be hardest to manage. It's so easy to fall into routine, take family members for granted, and think "today I'm tired or pre-occupied but tomorrow we'll all do something fun..." Families with fights and anger at least know something is wrong; its almost more troubling when distance starts growing and intimacy fades to boring routine. The challenge is to overcome that -- I know, I've been to that kind of place and am working on it!

Mookie said...

Jay-

Thanks for the comment. I don't really know what to say in response to it other than you only have half of the total idea here.

Will-

I appreciate the prayers, I need all the help I can get at this point. I just hope economics can improve personally so I can go after some of my goals.

Barb-
Thank you. Love you too

Scott-

I'll be happy to autograph a book for you. I hope it is one of many that actually sell. Not sure how they will play out in the marketplace, but I can only try and see where it goes.

And yes, the whole growing apart thing is more of a shock than the fights that create some rift. Just gotta hope it isn't too late. Cuz starting from scratch would suck.