Posts Tagged 'Regret'
July 11, 2010
One month from now, I’ll be writing a blog post from a coffee shop in Chicago about life in the Windy City. Seven months from now, I’ll be right here writing a blog post about moving back.
Lord willing, of course.
A few weeks ago, I pulled the proverbial trigger on something I probably should have done years ago: Taking a risk. Doing something reckless. “Giving it a shot.”
Having been birthed and raised in the suburbs north of Dallas, I’ve never lived outside of a circle 20 miles in diameter. I went to a local college, living with my wonderful parents (and sisters) until six months before graduation. I took jobs always where close friends worked. It’s been great, and I wouldn’t change the past decade even if I could. But nowhere in all of that have I ever really done anything a little crazy or risky. Nothing that put me outside of the comfortable world I’ve always known. And having no reason to move or branch out, I’m on track to stay here for my entire life.
And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. But as I get a bit older and I look back on my adult life, those little “what ifs” start to rear their heads, and I can’t help but wonder how things would have ended up if I had branched out a bit. Normally I would internalize all of that and use it as fodder for future self-loathing. But not this time.
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December 17, 2007
I shaved yesterday.
And I lament.
October 31, 2007
I have not made a legitimate post in nearly two months. That is a crime punishable by death in many developing nations of the world. Fortunately, here in America, my only punishment is a decline in frequenting visitors. Thanks to you loyal few.
August 21, 2006
Off to school I go.
Well, actually, I’m already at school. I’m in class, listening to this professor tell me the same things that I have already or will soon hear from each of my other professors. Course overviews, required textbooks, grading policies, and the obligatory threat against cheating. The consequences of cheating, by the way, have escalated from the slap on the wrist and possible “F” in the class of yesteryear to a slap on the wrist, instant “F”, rejection of your friends and classmates, and utter expulsion from your school, higher education in general, and society as a whole. They are kind enough, though, to provide you with a complimentary plane ticket departing from “DFW International Airport,” and arriving an hour and twenty minutes later in “Exile.” No peanuts, though.
I thought I’d make better use of my time by posting for the first time in a week or so. Today marks the end of Summer. In fact, it’s the end of my final Summer. Since I’m graduating in May, next Summer will be like any other time of the year. At least from a schedule standpoint. Not a complaint by any means, but it does mean something of a spiritual death of a prized time in any student’s mind.
Unfortunately, this Summer was extremely frustrating, and I felt that it was a monumental waste of time. I quit Starbucks in April so that I could devote all of my time to this new job with the “start-up” Eidon. As it turned out, though. Eidon had hardly enough work for one person, let alone all three of us. What this meant was lots and lots of time off. That’s usually not a bad thing at all, but when you don’t get paid when you don’t work, it’s not so great. On average, I worked two days every two weeks or so. Sure, I get paid really well for the work that I do, but that’s only when I actually work. So, working an average of one day a week (if that) all Summer meant that I was also broke all Summer. Only in the past month or so have I had any real expendible cash. For most of the first two months of Summer, I couldn’t even afford gas to go to work, let alone anywhere else I wanted to go.
But, I hate being negative, and this Summer did have some really great times. I spent lots of time with friends new and old. Took a few trips (most of the on business). Spent some quality time with various video games. But, mostly, I sat at home trying desparately to find something productive to do. And if, on the off chance that I actually did find something productive to do, I was rarely motivated to actually do it. All in all, while it could have been much, much worse, it was certainly not the best Summer I’ve had (that would probably be last Summer)
So, farewell, Summer. We may not have ended on the highest of notes, but we did have some great times. And, who knows? Maybe we’ll bump into each other again in passing. For now, Summer, I bid you adieu.
So, why is it still so friggin’ hot?!
August 11, 2006
Before you say it, yes, I do realize that in the last 4 posts, this is the second one to reference “100 Years” by Five For Fighting in the title. But, I really love that song, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. And, I also thought that line too fitting to pass up. Right now, I’m only going to be 22 for a moment longer. In a mere 6 hours, I’ll be 23 years old.
I don’t want to be 23 years old. When I’m 50, I’ll probably look back at this and chuckle, but I do feel like I’m getting old. Not “geezer” old, but older than I feel. 23 sounds much older than 22. 22 is still “early twenties,” but at 23, you transition into “mid-twenties.” I don’t want to be in my mid-twenties. Heck, I don’t even really want to be in my early twenties. I feel like I haven’t even gotten to really experience life, yet. I’m still in school, theoretically preparing for “life,” but I feel like life is slipping thorugh my fingers. When I was a teenager, I expected to be much further along in life by the time I was 23 than I actually am.
But, what do teenagers know, anyway? Nobody’s really got it all figured out by the time their 23. 23 isn’t that old at all. If life expectancy can be trusted, I’ve only seen about a quarter of my life thus far. …but, then, why do I feel like I’m missing out? I don’t even know what I feel like I’m missing out on. I just feel like life’s flying by and I’m missing it.
I think that might be where my real frustration comes in. I’m anxious to get out of school, and get out into “the real world” and really start my adult life. But, at the same time, I don’t want to miss anything in the here and now. I want to seize the day, and enjoy life where it is, but I always have this nagging in the back of my mind telling me that I’m getting older too fast, and I need to get on the ball. Fortunately, I’ll be done with school this May, so like it or not, I’ll be moving on to the next stage of life.
This is just an odd time of life for everyone, I think. I’m being pulled into adulthood, but I’m still holding on to my childhood. And, you could say that my childhood is still holding on to me, as well. It’s just hard to find my place. I want to become an adult, but I don’t want to grow up. And, yes, there is a difference.
I’ll explain it when you’re older.
July 30, 2006
Two weeks. It’s been two weeks and three days since my last post. The primary reason for this hiatus happened two weeks and two days ago. On that day, July 13th, my cousin Colin died. His doubts, fears, regrets, sorrows, and Lord only knows what else got the better of him, and in what can only be described as a moment of weakness, he leapt from an overpass in the early morning hours. So, as can be expected, I’ve had much on my mind. Now, I realize that should be more a reason for more frequent posts, since the most common excuse that I have for not posting regularly is that I don’t have enough to write about. Unfortunately, I’ve had a bit of an overload in the mind, and I just didn’t know what to write or say, let alone think about the whole situation.
I first tried posting on this just a few days after it happened, but I just couldn’t make it work. And, I didn’t want to really post about anything else, and just pretend that this never happened, either. So, that’s my disclaimer.
Honestly, Colin and I weren’t that close anymore. We were great friends when we were kids, but as we got older, we drifted apart, as most childhood friends do, frankly. So, his death didn’t affect me as much as it did many others, because I didn’t see him in my daily life. I was out of town when it happened, and my mom called me the morning that it happened, and it was shocking to hear, but it didn’t just bring me to a screeching halt. I stayed sitting down for a minute or two after I hung up the phone, but then I got up and finished working for the rest of the day.
The real blow came when I came back that Friday. I was helping my mom put together a slide show for his funeral, which was the next day (Saturday). My parents and I were trying to figure out what song to play during the slideshow, and my dad suggested “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. At that point, I pretty much had the slideshow done, and while it had been sad to see all those picture of Colin (often with me right beside him), I really hadn’t gotten very emotional over it. However, while I was putting some fiinishing touches on it, my dad played the song just to see if it would fit, and that just did it for me.
I haven’t cried in a long, long time. Frankly, I can’t even remember the last time that I got teared-up, let alone cried. That’s not something I’m proud of, honestly, but that’s how it is. Or was, anyways. ‘Cause I cried. I’ve never really like I Can Only Imagine. I don’t know why. Maybe it was too overplayed. Maybe I didn’t like the context that it was usually sung in. But, in that context, it hit me. Looking at those pictures of Colin, and listening to that song, I cried. And when I had the slideshow finished, and I showed it to Mom and Dad, I cried. And, at the funeral when we showed it, I cried.
I got teared up countless other times during that 24-hour period between my getting back home and the end of the funeral. And most of those moments were when I was looking at how it was affecting the members of my family. Nobody was safe from it. Grandparents, cousins, second cousins, great aunts, sisters. And that was the hardest part of it all. Not how it was affecting me, but how it was affecting my family.
Colin was about three months younger than myself. He would have been 23 this Halloween. While he wasn’t technically a “kid” anymore, he was still one of “the kids” in the family, since only three of us have been married and only one has any children. So, I think it goes without saying that this has been an incredibly difficult and challenging episode for my entire family. Colin was the first of any of us to die. Save for grandparents and one distant 3rd or 4th cousin that I hardly knew, nobody in the White/Armstrong/Epps family has died. It’s hard enough when a grandparent, or even a parent dies, but at least it is somewhat expected. While we always pray and hopefully expect that the day is far off, in the back of our minds we know and expect that at some point in our lifetime, our parents will die.
Parents shouldn’t outlive their children. It is unnatural. The older generations should pass on before the younger ones do. And when one goes out of turn, it sends everyone reeling. And that is what my family has been struggling through the past week. And the nature of how it happened only served to make it all the more painful. Not a person who knew Colin hasn’t since thought to themselves, “What could I have done to help him?” “If only I’d known.” “I should have seen it coming.” Unnatural.
So, for me, the toughest part of this whole ordeal has been watching my family suffer through this. Colin’s brothers are crushed. Colin’s parents are crushed. Through the grace of God, Colin was a Christian who only slipped out of the light for a while, so we know that he is with the Lord now. While that gives hope, it only softens the blow, as anyone who has lost a loved one knows.
Speaking for myself, I am over the worst of it. Heck, I was over the worst of it by the time the funeral was over. It’s tragic, and “unfortunate” doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. I’d lie if I said that I don’t think about Colin every day, and I probably will for years to come. But, I have accepted it, and life continues. However, I haven’t tried listening to I Can Only Imagine in its entirity, but just hearing the intro the other day sent emotions surging through my body. I think it interesting that my last post, written less than 12 hours before this happened, talked about this very thing. A song that I used to not like much at all now affects me emotionally more than almost any song there is.
That’s all I have. Not an incredibly deep or well-organized post, I know, but unfortunately, my mind isn’t incredibly deep or well-organized, either.
Such is life.