I started blogging thinking that this is where I would review whatever media I felt like ranting about. It quickly changed direction. So this is my online diary. Comments are welcome.
I'm a vivid dreamer. I can often remember my dreams, and I absolutely dream in color. I have nightmares regularly. (Ask my wife, who is quite tired of my crap.) But sometimes a dream sparks a writing prompt, or an exercise in thought. This is what I got out of last night:
I imagined finding a way to travel back in time (I know, I know, bear with me). The limit was 10 years, and I would be completely disguised. There could be no return trip because I would dissolve in the past. This wasn't a choice I could make. I was being forced to go, and the only way to keep the moments and memories I've cherished over the last 10 years was to re-live them. Understanding this would give most people reason to hide until they dissolved. Some would choose to manipulate their own timelines, others would neglect their influence, and manipulate others' timelines. I didn't know what I was going to do.
I visited my 20-year-old self, and had some tacos that I served myself. That was a bit strange, because I was beginning to have 2 sets of feelings. One part of me was worried that this kid wouldn't figure it out in time to become me, and the other was concerned that if I didn't do something I would just end up right here in an endless loop. How many times have I done this? Of course all these memories started to flood back to me. There were a lot of things I had forgotten about. The kid who stood in front of me had a good head on his shoulders. He was a bit naive, but he seemed older than I remember feeling at that age.
I noticed that I, he (er, it was confusing) was listening intently to everything I had to say. I kept interjecting things that I thought were insignificant until I mentioned the Royals winning the World Series, to which I/he replied, "not in my lifetime." Then, for some reason the conversation changed. I was asked about deeper ideas; how to save money, whether or not to finish school, marriage, alcoholism and addiction, the big bang theory, and God. It happened so quickly, rapid-fire style, that I forgot why I was there. I only wanted to check in on this young man, and all of a sudden I was telling him about his future.
I wanted to avoid this. I didn't want to tell him anything about who he would become. I found myself longing for the future that would be his. I wanted to see my wife, a person he didn't even know existed. I had an overwhelming sense of sadness for the young man and the loss he will experience over the next decade. He was right around the corner from heartbreak and he didn't even know it. I kept blabbering, telling him to stay on track. I told myself 10 years ago that if I do all the things exactly like I did, I would be happy. At 30, I'd have a great job, a new house, married for almost a year, money in the bank, just in case of an emergency, and no kids yet. So, naturally I screwed it all up.
In the dream I began to dissolve into nothingness. At the same time my consciousness was blended with the young man with whom I had previously conversed. The only problem was that I was not in control. I was merely a spectator, and I was forced to watch as I made all the wrong decisions. Time moved quickly, as it often does in dreams, and as I watched the years draw closer to 30 I was devastated by who I had become.
We were all different at that age. When we were right on the edge of adulthood. I know some were parents by then, and others had even more responsibilities than that. But for me, this dream left a feeling inside me that I can't explain. It isn't regret. I don't regret the choices I've made in my life that have lead me here. I just realize that my life could have been very different if I had done a few, seemingly insignificant things, differently. It isn't a good feeling that I was left with, but it isn't necessarily a bad feeling. You see, I also feel fortunate. Because no matter how much dreaming that young man from my past may have done, he never dreamed he would be here. Right were he always wanted to be.
This was a note I took down while Ashley and I were at Jami's grad party. It's a little mushy, but this is how I think when I'm alone with my thought. I wanted to write it down, because this thought was beautiful and genuine.
I’m currently at a college graduation party for a friend the day before Mother’s Day. In fact, the Maid of Honor for my wedding later this year, and I'm looking around at friends and the older siblings of our friends. They have kids here. Kids who think fart jokes and toilet humor are hilarious. It makes me think of my own nieces and nephews, the little turds... I catch the eye of my beautiful fiancée. I can tell she's soaking it in, and the coolest thing hit me. This woman, the love of my life, will be the mother of my children one day. It isn't something I think about often, because I'm not ready to have kids yet. But sometimes when I see her like this in these moments I realize that she is, by far, the greatest thing in my life. I never could have guessed this is where my life would lead. I'm no saint people, but I am blessed by this lovely woman. As things are winding down I find myself wondering if I've made a good enough impression on some of the folks I didn't know at the party. I can tell that it isn't even a thought in her mind. She's a confident type when surround by familiar faces even though she’s normally shy. I love that about her. She's a family gal, and for that I am humbled. The girl I'm silently watching from across the table will be a great mother to my children.
Okay, I know it's been like 2 months since I've written anything, and if you've read this drivel before, then you know that I'm engaged now. Which means I'm busy doing wedding stuff. I don't know, I guess I didn't think I was going to write about more of that, but I feel like maybe putting in a few lines of the exciting stuff. Who knows where it will go.
Ashley and I decided who we would like to be in our wedding party. Then, we had a pizza party (because we're 10), and asked them nicely to be part of our big day. Luckily for us nobody declined. That would have been awkward. We both made individual gift boxes for our people. (Yeah, I call them our people.) Ashley put these really neat boxes together with a monogram stencil of the bridesmaids' first initial on each. Next, she added some girly gifts; nail polish, silly flavored chapstick (the kinds that little girls think are rad), a funky pen, a really nice necklace with a silver engraved pendant, and a miniature bottle of pink moscato. Then she wrapped them in bows the same color as the dress she'd like them to wear.
I didn't put that much work into it. Plus, we're all dudes. I used cigar boxes and I had a friend from work write their names under the lids in really nice calligraphy. Then I added a small bottle of Crown Royal Regal Apple (because I know the way to a man's heart), a cigar, cutter, long wood matches, and a bow tie to put it all together. The bow ties are the same colors as the girls' dresses. We made them match. They didn't seem to mind. Each of them had a personalized note inside their boxes. It was a fun project for us to work on together; especially knowing it would be something special for our friends.
We've booked the church and the reception hall. In my opinion, that was the easy stuff. I think we both walked into the church and felt a tingle that started in our toes, and worked it's way out through our finger tips. We knew right then that it was our place. The reception hall was a bit harder though, because we had the same reaction to one place in particular. The only problem was that it was too small to accommodate the number of guests we anticipate. This is really where my heart broke in the search for our reception hall. I couldn't continue. I didn't want to see any other places. They wouldn't be nearly as cool, and that was the only place I wanted to do it. And that was my final word. But then Ashley stepped in and found a place that will be perfect for us. (Again, boys, she's mine.)
We talked my cousin, Kristen Powers, into being our official photographer for the day. I'm thrilled about it, because it will eliminate that awkward wall of unfamiliarity that comes with a stranger taking personal pictures of you. An acquaintance of mine agreed to MC/DJ for us, and I'm hoping a good friend of mine will do the videography for the day. I have a lot of faith in my talented friends and family. I know they will help us have a spectacular day.
There's still quite a bit of planning to do, but with friends and family helping out I think we're closer than it seems. I'm actually super excited for the day to come. I honestly never thought ahead to my wedding day before all this. Sure, there were times when I thought about getting married, but this is all real. It's a different sense than just imagining. The biggest difference is that when I have an idea about something that I think would be cool, all I have to do is say it out loud and it becomes a plan instead of an idea. It's a neat process, but I'll tell you this; never again. Good thing I'm marrying Ashley. She's the best part of me. She's my people.
No Offense Needed
I was just sitting here at my desk after finishing my lunch of a delicious split pea soup, and decided to click the shuffle button on my iTunes playlist titled, "Classical." And well, let me tell ya, I am never unmoved by great music. Regardless of genre. It could be because I'm a big soft teddy bear, but I think in this case it's because the suite (Clair de lune) makes me think of my dad. Also, it made me think about my upcoming wedding. I'm going to be very real right now. I just want the wedding to be everything Ashley has ever wanted it to be. I could literally be happy to not make any decisions about it at all, as long as it was everything she wanted. And I genuinely mean that. I know a lot of people would probably think, "that's a cop-out", but it's not. I know I'll have to make some decisions, and hopefully they're great ones for the sake of my fiancée and our guests.
It got me thinking about something I saw just after Christmas that kind of upset me a little. (Basically, I let a troll on the internet get to me.) You see, I proposed to Ashley on Christmas. According to the internet troll on Facebook, that was unoriginal. As a matter of fact, I'll post what I read. (This was not from the person whose page I saw it on. He simply re-posted, and I acted irrationally and unfriended him. Sorry.)
"The biggest problem I have with proposing on Christmas is that it's unoriginal. It's just so incredibly lame. Same goes for New Year's Eve. It's just foolish and self-centered to do it on days that should be about family and friends, not your relationship. It's a cliché wrapped in a cliché wrapped in a metaphor for yout sh***y, unoriginal, uninspiring love story that will culminate withe you getting down on a knee in the living room, leaving most of the family members in attendance with a look on their face that says, "Look at this f***in' guy.""
If you're wondering, yes, I edited the expletives. I wanted to address this though. You can't just throw a blanket over something like this and call it cliché. (Actually you can, but I wanna complain about it, so meh.) I don't agree with anything this fella was saying, and I actually felt a little sorry for him. Here's the thing: I (and by 'I', I mean we) have had an extremely tough year. In 2013 we were all still so numb from Dad's death that we really couldn't enjoy our holidays. I'm thrilled that this year was different. Ashley and I gave the family something to smile about and to look forward to. Sounds to me like we were able to give something special to our family and friends. It wasn't just about us.
The other thing is how this dude called it unoriginal and uninspiring. That's great. (I get the idea that this person is really lonely.) See, I'd been planning to propose for about a year. I knew last Christmas that I definitely wanted to marry her, (eat your hearts out boys, she's mine) but the only issue for me was, when? I had a few really cool and totally original ideas, but let's face it, it's all been done before. So, I didn't do something that would have gone viral on YouTube. I didn't fly her all around the world just to ask for her hand at our last destination. I didn't hide secret messages that lead her on a scavenger hunt to find her ring and myself waiting for her to say yes. (Not saying those are bad ideas.) Instead of extravagant I played Santa at out family Christmas get together. I made sure all the presents were passed out. Then, I got down on a knee and asked the woman I love to be my wife. I did it in front of my family. I wasn't trying to take all the attention. I was trying to give my girlfriend the very best Christmas gift I could. She deserves so much more for all the things she's done for me in the past couple of years. I want her to be my family. Oh, and ask anybody who was there if it was annoying. They'll tell you the truth. All I know is that it was about love, not my relationship. Love for my family, love for my lady, and love for the things to come. And you know what? Ashley thought it was absolutely perfect. #winning.
Things and Stuff
Two things caught a lump in my throat today, and it's not even noon. The first was a sense of pride in the company I work for. I don't want to get into what I do all day, or even explain what the American Angus Association is exactly. I just want to say that I was very lucky to have been given this job to start with. (Thank you, Dad.) And that when we reach major milestones I feel proud of what we're doing. Sometimes it's just a small sentiment that means the world to your employees. I guess I just feel appreciated today. So, thank you.
The second thing was good music. Only, the music successfully brought a tremble to my lips. Music has this effect on me most of the time, but this caught me off guard because it was a Christmas song. It wasn't a Santa Claus song. It was a religious song and I felt the words stronger than I ever have. I guess I felt "the reason for the season". I can see what this weekend is going to bring for me, so watch out. I'm bringing the love.
I discovered reading and writing for fun when I was in the 4th grade and I haven't been able to stop. I discovered my musical talent when I was 12 and started a band with my brother and my best friends. I have been on a journey of discovery that has shaped and molded my tastes for music, reading, writing, art, food and extracurricular activities since I was a high school freshman. And I'm not quite finished, so come along.