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Another Birthday

Feb. 10th, 2018 | 07:06 pm

This was a tough birthday in seemingly different ways. They are always difficult. This one just felt lonely. I thought about the cakes my mom or grandma would bake whether or not I wanted one. My preferred was one called peppermint chiffon. I love that stuff but haven't had one in years. I still have the container used to send the remaining cake home with me after my 2007 birthday, the last with my mom.

The Winter Olympics are happening, but I can't get it on my TV. Oh, the digital switchover. I remember watching the 2002 one with my family shortly after my transplant and around my birthday. I guess I just miss being surrounded by people, and this was a reminder, though my brother did call and I had lunch with a few friends. One friend wanted to drive from Omaha, but the weather was not conducive for the haul.

And through all this, I wonder if I will ever get to a point where I'm okay with it all. Isn't that an odd thought? My focus was always to deal with it and never moving past it. What would that reality look like? Right now, I'm typing this alone on a Saturday night, the ideal time to celebrate, and not with friends and missing that connection. Perhaps, this is the baby step my mind is taking to overcoming it.

Anyway, this is where I am. Leave a comment if you wish. Later.

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Looking Back

Jan. 24th, 2018 | 10:18 pm

Today would be Angela's 34th birthday. Yes, today was a reflective day. I'm listening to music that I can associate with the happier years, avoiding all that in the later part.

For once, I think that it is healthy to reflect on it all. If you are a regular on LJ, you may have noticed my absence. I've been working a lot. I'm still stuck at the coffee shop, which is killing my body with the lack of rest to allow healing of surgeries and injuries, and I'm doing a lot of startup work. Finding time to write has been very difficult. I think that facing some emotions might be good for me. I still miss my previous life and am still astonished in the direction my life has gone.

After Angela passed, she had a friend turn yarn she had dyed into little owls and had them distributed through channels consisting of her friends. I've had one since 2012 but never followed through the instructions of taking a picture of it in its new home. I finally did it, including an additional picture of it at her grave. I gave a few details of our life and sent it. I think that I may have evaded this simple task, as it would bring a little finality I may not have been ready to address.

Anyway, I really need to get to bed. I need to wake at 3:30 am, and it's cold. Leave a message if you wish. Later.

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Quick Overdue Update

Oct. 23rd, 2017 | 08:19 pm

I made myself stop and write tonight. I've been ridiculously busy.

I saw Loving Vincent earlier. The entire animated movie was created with paintings in a Van Gogh-style. It was incredible. After stepping outside, I realized that the new buildings in the area of town made it look like a completely different place. It was as if I stepped into a new city. It was both transfixing and a little disheartening. I still, deep down, want some things to stay the same.

I escaped one coffee shop for another and will apparently be the first non-manager to train a new one. My marketing work is also taking more and more of my time.

Anyway, I need to finish what I need to get done and get to bed. I have a very early morning. Later.

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Jul. 18th, 2017 | 10:29 pm

Wow, it's hard to believe how little I've updated. I can only update a bit, because I have work to do. I've been busy and stressed. I still have a night ahead.

Max's passing happened one year ago yesterday. It still stings quite a bit. I would love to have him sleeping on my bed at night and greeting me after getting home from work. Of course, I now live in an apartment that prohibits pets. Well, they did make an exception for my turtle. It just feels lonely.

I'm still doing the coffee gig. I really need out. I know that I've said that before, but dang. The freelance work helps to support my self-esteem. I just need that elusive permanent gig.

Anyway, I have to get back to work. Leave a comment if you wish. Later.

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Remember When

May. 30th, 2017 | 05:24 pm

I'm on the cusp of leaving behind a "remember when" period. Most of my stuff is at my new apartment, From February 2014 until now, I have been living with Amy and then my friend in houses, a departure from apartment life. I'll need to take some time to ruminate these past few years and try to make sense of all that has happened. It's been weird, interesting, stressful, confusing, and a number of other descriptors that certainly apply. It's absolutely surreal.

It occurred to me yesterday that I haven't seen Amy since April of last year. That's an interesting thought. I don't miss her, but she was a major figure in my life for a few years. By moving away from this area, I am leaving behind of what is left from that relationship. A piece of me wants to meet for coffee once to bring a little more closure to this time. Then again, maybe it's just curiosity.

My favorite quote from The Office was when Andy said, "I wish there was a way to know when you're in the good old days before you actually left them." That may actually be my favorite quote in anything. I wouldn't call these last years "the good old days", but there was some good that came from them. Perhaps, my first step is to identify that.

I guess that's it for now. I need to finish moving. For some reason, the thought of moving there terrifies me a little. Things like this shouldn't be this way. After all, many people relish the experience of a fresh start. This will undoubtedly be a new chapter, and I am taking the rare moment to recognize it. Within a few hours, the setting where I am now writing this post will transition into another "remember when" period, and I will go to bed during the start of my next step.

Leave a comment if you wish. Later.

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Another Transition

May. 25th, 2017 | 11:32 pm

There are many other tasks I could be tackling now, but I felt I needed to stop and journal. My last entry was Valentine's Day. This long of an absence is uncharacteristic. I've been very busy. I have not been great about getting rest, either. I decided to stop everything and just write.

I'm moving. Actually, I'm in the process of moving. It's elsewhere in the city, closer to where I was when I arrived. I tried to get roomy floors in houses or a spot in a duplex, but they were in high demand. My applications seemed to always be beaten by just one person, so I'm in an apartment. The building isn't that large. Half is occupied by established residents and the other med students. It's quiet, and with an irregular schedule, that's good. The handyman is clearly of Hispanic origin but with a hybrid accent, crossing East LA with Minnesota. It's a bizarre combo, holmes, eh?

My friend had been planning to renovate his home, so I am venturing back into the world. I also came to the realization that this was my first solo effort to finding a place to live. I don't consider university housing to fall into this category. I let Angela do the research on a few places. I found my way to Amy's home due to circumstances. My friend offered a room in his to get away from Amy. Somehow, oddly, this was my first solo effort. There was no parent, institution, friend, girlfriend, fiancee, or wife to guide me. I find it astounding.

I guess that I'm transitioning again, and like other transitions, there is apprehension. Moves always seem to conjure memories. Yes, my thoughts have been on Angela, where they normally never drift there. The drive to work is a little longer. I'm leaving behind a Hy-Vee and Family Video. I realize how odd this sounds, but they are both central presences in my hometown. There is something comforting about them.

On the other hand, staying away from my original neighborhood and leaving behind the area where Amy lives might be a good mental break. I'm still working as an assistant manager at the coffee shop. My head is clearly not in the right place, if this is where I am still finding myself. I am well beyond this level of work. I suppose time will reveal how all of this might help. At least, I'm within close proximity to another friend in the new neighborhood.

Leave a comment if you wish. Later.

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Valentine's Day

Feb. 14th, 2017 | 08:43 pm

For the first time in a few years, I had no one for Valentine's Day. It has actually been eight years since I had a proper one. Seven years ago, Angela left. That's a terrible day to leave. I suppose the best approach is to ignore the day, unless there is a reason to address it. You wouldn't celebrate an anniversary without a spouse or Hanukkah without being Jewish.

I had a coworker in college, who had a drunk friend profess his love to her. The next day, she dumped her boyfriend. That was February 13th. He was apparently very unhappy. I suppose it was over the phone. The following day, Valentine's Day, she received a package in the mail full of sweet Valentine's gifts. She said that she was shocked by her drunk friend's confessions, but to drop a long-term relationship the way she did to pursue it, she must have had something for him, too. They did get married.

Anyway, leave a comment if you wish. Later.

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My Admission

Feb. 9th, 2017 | 09:05 pm

I saw the last of the daylight of this year of age for me. I suppose if I'm going to have a milestone birthday, having it on the same day as a full moon, lunar eclipse, and the passing of a green comet makes it a little epic.

Follow me on this. When I first got sick, it was from a massive auto-immune response after chemical exposure. I woke after three days, missing most of my memory after I took an intentional overdose of powerful chemo to stop it. I continued to get heavy treatment for a few years, before I got treatment to properly address it and the newly-discovered strains of Lyme disease. After a drug interaction, I lost my kidneys and was kept alive by a machine for a few years before my transplant. All this time, I pushed myself to continue going to school, regardless of what my doctors said. When the smoke cleared, I was nearly 25.

If you take away the years of memory loss and the time spent going through heavy medical care, I wouldn't be old enough to drink. I stopped sharing my age, when I turned 18. I couldn't identify with those my own age and was saddened that others were fully experiencing this important time of life, while I was at home fighting my health battles. During my initial recovery, I watched cartoons with my siblings and developed memories around them. I couldn't remember the cartoons from my years. There is a bit of a gap between me and my siblings.

As you might guess, it's tough to talk about my age due to the lost time, lost memories, and not feeling that I should be at this point. I'm scared and very anxious. Today has been incredibly difficult for me. Tomorrow, I turn 40.

I'm not sure how that number is supposed to feel, but I don't feel as though I'm feeling it. There is so much I want to do, but those around me have hit the gradual slide of resignation. Concerts don't seem as appealing to them. Impulsive outings are no longer options. That, in itself, makes things feel a bit stark. More than ever, I desperately want to finally find my path. I've been in flux for too long.

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A Little Relief

Feb. 2nd, 2017 | 10:24 pm

Do you ever watch movies or listen to music to reminisce? I came to the realization recently that I do a whole lot of that, more than I previously realized. I have a number of songs and movies that can only be considered as basically terrible but also some really good stuff. I do have music that I like, but it feels as though looping back to the memory stuff has inhibited my search for other music, of which I have been doing more.

My one brother will not be facing attempted murder charges but is facing two years in prison. If he is able to get passed this, my sister is bringing him to Minnesota on her move. That way, there will be two of us to offer assistance, and he will not have the previous problem crowd influencing him.

That is it for the evening. I need to sleep. I also need to find time to relax. Holy crap. Anyway, leave a message if you wish. Later.

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Distance of Memories

Jan. 24th, 2017 | 11:45 pm

Today would be Angela's birthday. The impact of these memorable dates have lessened over time. As I've previously mentioned, I no longer reflect much outside of this blog, but when I do, I still feel a little astonished that I had that life. Perhaps, I still feel a little astonished, because I don't take the time to reflect. That seems lamely philosophical. It's still a sad reality. I think I need a little light therapy. I'll call about that tomorrow.

My sister visited my grandmother's old house. The workers showed what they were doing for renovations. It sounds cool, but the reality is that the interior will look little like it did before. Those are memories. It's interesting to think about someone new owning the home for the first time in close to 70 years. Wow. The familiar fruit trees are now all gone, as well. It's a strange reality. It also doesn't help that my grandmother is still missing from half the family.

Life really does look very, very different from not that long ago.

My brother's trial is Friday. I still don't know all the details. I think that I need to find the time to travel home and have a come-to-Jesus meeting with him. Even if it doesn't come to the big potential charge, he needs to realize that his choices now will affect a lot in his future.

Anyway, that's where I am. Well, I did have an issue while grabbing a drive-thru order for someone. A customer kept talking about the size of the sign. At this point, I turned on the camera to project a view of myself. She said, "Oh my, God. You're huge!" My reply was, "That's what she, umm, *clears throat*, I'm kind of tall in real life."

Leave a comment if you wish. Later.

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