Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Okay, so here�s a little exercise in perspective, something I think I�m sorely in need of�

What�s bad about my life:

My job sucks. Not in the typical, �my boss is insane and there�s not enough time to get anything done� sense, but in the �this job is so far from what I know I should be doing that every day I spend here is close to psychic death.� No mere occupational bitching, this.

My credit sucks. This is a self-inflicted wound, but one that is having serious ramifications on pretty much everything else that is bad about my life.

I don�t have the tools to perform the work I know I�m capable of doing. See, one of the major downfalls of bad credit is not being able to buy a workstation that I can start building my portfolio upon, and possibly even doing freelance work.

My apartment sucks. It�s too small for what I have, and frankly, I�ve been living there too long.

That�s it.

Now, here�s what is good about my life:

I have a job. I may not like my job, but at least I�m employed. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, in this city that are not. And if you add to that the number of people who are but still living at the poverty line or below, I should consider my relatively pampered ass lucky.

I have a place to call home. It may be small, it may be dirty, and it may be in need of some serious repairs, but it�s a home, bug free, and with everything (and more) that I could possibly need to survive and amuse myself. Again, walking around this city and seeing what I�ve seen (and I haven�t even been to the �bad� neighborhoods), I�m very lucky to have a place inside the city that I can afford.

I have a wonderful family. Considering the amount of dysfunction that I�ve come from, I�m amazed that my family remains as close as they are. My mother and sisters are a blessing, and my father, while we�re not as close, is still a good father and will always be the incomparable �Big Lou.�

I have the cutest niece and nephew in the world Yes, this should fall under the preceding, but I think these two deserve special mention. Not that I love them more than the rest of my family, but they are just so adorable, and what�s more, adoring. I feel a million times better about my life when I�ve been in their company.

I have amazing friends. It�s true! My friends have always been supportive and have given me nothing but good times and fond memories. What�s more, they make me feel good about myself. Hard to find one friend like that, let alone several.

I have an imagination. This may not seem like much, but I take pride in the fact that my worldview is a bit more askew than most people�s. I�m not insane, but I think I have a wonderful absurd streak, which let�s me find humor in many more situations than I think most normal people do.

I am creative. Similar to the previous, but distinct in that creativity often results in tangible results. I may not be as creative as I would like, but I think I am creative enough that I have reasonable outlets for pent-up energy. (Though, to be honest, I haven�t been using those outlets lately.)

I have a wonderful girlfriend. I probably don�t tell her this enough, but Melinda is one of the most amazing people I�ve ever had the privilege of knowing. She�s generous, sincere, intelligent, creative, unselfish (to a fault), reliable, beautiful, sexy, and humble (also, probably to a fault). She doesn�t agree with me on this assessment (at least not in its entirety), but it�s all true. As far as my life to this point, she is a one-of-a-kind person. Mostly because of her unselfishness, a true rarity in this world of �gimme gimme� (myself included, I�m afraid), but also her combination of all of these things. While I�m not all hung up on the future and what it will bring, I can say without question that I couldn�t ask for a better present.

I have goals and the determination to fulfill them. This certainly doesn�t make me unique, and in a sense, because of various obstacles, can lead to intense frustration when I feel like I�m off the path, but I believe I am the better for it. I shudder to think what my life would be like if I actually was just drifting through it, instead of trying to do something with it. My goals in life are the one thing that probably keeps me going, more than any other factor.

So really, when I evaluate my life like this, I know that I�m pretty well off. Unfortunately, self-assessments like these are all too infrequent. But I�m trying, and hopefully, I�ll get to a point where it will not even be necessary to put everything into perspective. Until then, I�m going to try to keep my emotions tethered to what my life is, instead of what it isn�t. Because my life isn�t all that bad.

Now then�let�s hope that I�m not struck down in an ironic twist of fate, eh?

Monday, July 28, 2003

Well, it's been nearly two months. I really do wish I was a better blogger. This has gone from an occasionally lucid account of my life with a smattering of fun and/or relevant links to a wasteland of bitching and and psychotic rambling. This will be no different, I'm afraid.

My uncle passed away. Shortly before noon last Monday, his life was claimed by cancer. His funeral was this past Saturday. For reasons I can't fully comprehend, I did not attend. I wanted to...or thought I did. I don't know. It's that confusing. I tried to go, but missed my bus. I could have taken another bus, but I didn't. And I have been beating myself up for it ever since. Even with reassurances from my mother (it was her brother), and two of my cousins (one of which is his daughter) that it was okay if I couldn't make it, I still don't feel right for missing it. So I spent the entire day inside my apartment, being absolutely useless. Even though the weather was beautiful, and I had a couple of calls from friends (that went unanswered), I could not bring myself to venture outside or enjoy the weekend at all when I feel like I should have been with my family.

And yet, I wasn't, and I can't really explain why I chose not I guess I stated before. Sorry; repetition is nearly unavoidable when you're writing off the cuff at one in the morning. I'd be trying to sleep, but I've been going to bed at 4am the last two nights and am not really tired. (Don't worry--in case anybody is reading this and is suddenly overcome with that emotion--I'll be going to bed as soon as I'm done typing this post.) I said, I did nothing but be a huge slug inside It was a totally numbing experience, terribly devoid of anything remotely resemebling emotions. Games, sleep, the occasional foray into the galaxy of television. There was some eating and waste elimination involved, too. And let's not forget the usual onanistic forays, more frequent for some reason. (Perhaps that was because of the otherwise emotionless weekend.) It's not the first weekend I've had like this, but it's the first time I thought it was necessary. Not as some sort of penance...but...I don't know why, actually. Perhaps to withdraw into myself to find the answer to the questions that have been bothering me about this whole funeral situation. That's purely speculative, mind you. I just can't explain it.

Beyond that, I couldn't even begin to tell you about the previous two months. Melinda has finally met my friends (all of them except for Ali, my best friend). My friend Mark was made an Elder of the United Methodist Church. I saw my friend Karin for the first time in ages when she visited our friends Kim and Chris (whom I also hadn't seen in over a year) over 4th of July weekend. And two of my co-workers left the Hilton. Turnover is no big deal, but when it's two people who I really liked and helped make that place tolerable, well it just kicks me in the ass. Naturally, I'm now looking for a job as well. Ideally, I would find one for myself and my friend, Marlon, too, so we could both bail at the same time. That office, needless to say, would crumble. And no, I'm not over-estimating my worth. It would crumble mostly because Marlon does so much, not to mention the fact that my boss has become quiet reliant on me. While I don't really wish much in the way of ill-will towards my current employers, I do believe a message needs to be sent about the rapidly declining morale. My hope is that if we leave, the place will fall apart and there will be an open revolt. Okay, I might be overstating things, but I'd like our departures (soon, I hope) to lead to some positive changes.

What else...what else? I don't know. It's 1:30, which means I'll be running on less than 6 hours of sleep tomorrow, so I should wrap this shit up. In a weird way, I'll be looking forward to going to work tomorrow, so I can have a bit of human interaction.

So, I bid you goodnight. And Uncle John, I'm sorry I couldn't be there to send you off. But I'm glad you were a part of my life. I wish you could have been around longer, but I know you lived a pretty full life. I hope your last days were relatively pain-free. I'll never forget you. God bless.