Archives for category: Deep Thoughts…

There are very, very few – my friends can vouch – women I would call stunning. I could count the number I’ve met in real life on one hand. I realize this post is filled with a massive amount of what could be taken as douchebaggery, but shouldn’t as I don’t consider myself any type of Brad Pitt, or even a sofa-jumping Tom Cruise – does acting crazy about a women make you less attractive in his case? I’m simply stating that in life you see or happen by absolutely gorgeous people who in some strange way seem to easily express themselves through their features. It’s a type of complete comfort and easiness that draws you in and in many cases, makes you feel like it’d be amazing to be something special to them. I don’t know if this is making sense, but honestly there are some people who somehow look as if their insides are showing through and it’s nothing short of jaw-dropping. Perfect example: Natalie Portman

Even with a shaved head she is completely graceful.

Advertisements

So for the past few weeks I’ve been teaching little kids swim lessons.  I did it last year because they needed an extra hand and even though it’s sometimes a pain to make my way back over to work after being there all morning, it’s sort of pretty fun sometimes.  I’ve learned kids are a lot more intuitive than many think.  They’re also really, really interesting to listen to.  I think one of the greatest skills J.D. Salinger had and utilized in a lot of his stories is the art of portraying the confusion and need for understanding all children exhibit at some point in their lives.  One of the best cases I can pull from memory is Lionel’s character from “Down at the Dinghy” from Nine Stories by Salinger.  Lionel’s character is cautious and confused, but yet very certain and adamant that he has been wronged directly even though he hasn’t (read the story to find out what I’m edging on).  Kids also turn on a dime.  They can be laughing and giggling away and then turn to slowly evolving tears at the slightest offense.  They have so much heart and wear it on their sleeves at all times.

On the first day of swim lessons I’m pretty sure I scared one of the little boys I teach.  I imagine that, by chance, I might look like the boogie man if he hadn’t eaten in a month to some children.  His father took him into the locker room and when he came back out, still sniffling and rubbing his nose on the back of his tiny forearm, he walked over with me to sit down and take off his shoes.  He had crocs on and even though I, myself, see no reason they exist commented on them, ‘These are pretty cool crocs you have’ – an effort to shake any boogie man correlations loose.   He looked up and answered.

“Yea.  I like them.”  He sat for a moment and watched as I took off his shoes and put them under a chair.  When I stood to walk over to the steps to get into the pool he arched his head back and whispered to me.  “Wanna know something?”  I smiled casually and bent down to listen – I imagine as a kid I would have liked it if a grown up had bent down to my level when I whispered.  He leaned forward to whisper in my ear.  “They came in a box,” he said and leaned back in the chair as I nodded.

What do you say to something like that?  Well, all I could come back to answer my new found friend was ‘Wow!  That’s awesome.  More things should come in boxes.’

I went on a run this morning; I woke up with the sun peaking through my blinds and could no longer sleep, so I got up, put my shoes on and went for a run down my street.  It was warm, heavy and humid – the kind of warmth that presses in on your sides and weighs on your shoulders like an ox yoke.

I started out down the street, turned left onto the Huckleberry Trail and then up the few steps onto a side road that leads to a hidden driveway that runs parallel to main street.  The gravel on the driveway behind the houses facing the main road crunches nicely beneath your feet – the the tiny rocks spreading into an even grind beneath your forefoot – and so I go running here a lot to escape.

I crossed over main street and started up the golf course hill, winding up and around the paths all the way to the top, expecting a magnificent view.  Instead, the haze clouded over the mountains usually seen in the distance; just a gray veil hiding the crests and troughs of the blue ridges.

I descended disappointed, but continued on, back over main street, past Draper Road, past Preston Avenue, and back onto the Huckleberry Trail by Margaret Beeks Elementary. Up ahead I saw a man walking his dog. The man’s hair was grey and cropped and he wore a simple white undershirt with jeans and a scuffed pair of boots. Now normally when passing people on the huck, elderly or not there is an unwritten and unmentioned rule that, out of courtesy, the runner is responsible for announcing their presence to the unsuspecting walker/biker/runner etc. Normally this can easily be done with a louder cough, a couple shuffles of the sneakers on the pavement, or even just a loud, but fake, sneeze. Some resort to the ‘behind you’ call out, but only those who really don’t mind going out of their way. Afterwards the person, being alerted to the runner’s presence moves aside/stops/slows and lets the runner pass. Sometimes, when the person has not been sufficiently warned, they jump, startle, or even scream softly; it’s not pleasant and I as a runner do not enjoy scaring people, but sometimes it is inevitable and I think how would I feel if a malnourished looking skeleton came up beside me all of a sudden.

Anyways, I approached the man and his dog – a small grey dog with shaggy fur which I assumed his wife had picked out, he at first opposing the animal and then later growing to love it, leading to him taking it for walks by himself later on. I projected a double alert system as this was an older man who looked like he might have a little trouble hearing even if you were right beside him. I scuffed my feet against the path and coughed a few times like I was clearing something from my throat. Thinking he had been warned and even believing that he had moved to the side of the path slightly for me to pass by, I continued on.

Out of all the reactions I have ever encountered while running, I have never met a person who wanted to fight and so when I came up on the man’s side and he turned in a flash poised like a 1920’s prize fighter, holding his fists one behind the other, ready to strike his attacker, me, at any instant, I can say that I was thoroughly surprised. I threw my hands in the air and immediately apologized after which the man calmed and assured me it wasn’t anything to apologize for, that I had only given him a start. I turned and eventually finished my run, thinking the entire rest the way about what would have happened if the man had been a little more frightened. Would he have punched me? If so, where would it have landed? I wasn’t much taller so I would assume the face, but judging from his stance he may have had some experience. Would he have gone for the gut then to the side of the face, finishing with an upper cut to leave me unconscious on the side of the Huckleberry? Could I have taken an old-man punch? I’d like to think I could. I’d like to think I’m pretty tough sometimes, but really it might just be a farce as I haven’t fought, and don’t intend to, anyone since elementary school.

Moral of the story is, nothing really. Maybe, don’t trust old men. Or, don’t surprise them half-naked – top half – while they’re walking their dogs in the morning. Either way, I learned my lesson I guess and haven’t seen the man since. I think if I did, maybe I might stop and do a couple fake jabs at him to see what would happen. Or maybe I’d just run past and nod silently, hoping he didn’t finish what he’d almost started.

I had a cup of coffee each of the past two days, which I usually don’t do for fear of my heart exploding out of my chest, excessive fidgeting, lack of sleep, etc., but I’m glad I did because I sort of stumbled upon – with help – what I’ve truly come to learn and value over these past years in a way that isn’t so easy to explain, or even grasp in concept still myself.  It sounds like a lot, but honestly it’s quite simple.  It’s like when your searching and searching for your keys ’cause your in a rush, in a hurry to get somewhere quickly because you fear if you don’t some negative consequence might befall you that you’d rather not deal with, only, when you reach down into your pocket you find them jangling in the fabric brushing against your skin.

I guess I should back up a bit.  Just a little to let you gain some perspective.  This past weekend I graduated from college.  I did it.  It doesn’t feel like I did much, but there were diplomas and cupcakes and family and gowns and so I’m pretty sure I did something in the past few years that lead to this.  I’ve always admired success, always sought after it with everything I had – if you could speak to my mom she’d be willing to tell you some embarrassing wet-my-pants stories of me not wanting to quit playing to take a break and use the john.  Somewhere along the way – before I even came to college – I started linking girls, attention, money, etc. as symbols of success and fame.  These characteristics would serve well to describe the types of people who the majority of Americans feel are successful, would they not?  It’s not a complete list I know, but the point is I started thinking that there was a path one had to follow in order to achieve these things I thought I wanted.

I had goals and lots of them.  When I was 13 I wrote my current ones down on a sheet of paper and posted it above my bed to look at every night before going to sleep.  Now, even though those goals may have been a little far shot – replacing Derek Jeter as shortstop for the New York Yankees – I look back at them now and wonder where along the trip I got off?  I’m not saying I’m going back to baseball, I haven’t picked up a baseball and actually thrown it in years, but what I’m more or less asking is what happened to the innocence I held in lofting up such beautiful dreams?

I picked marketing as a major because I thought I wanted to do advertising when I came in.  I thought about money and about creating messages and cool slogans with huge celebrities and sports stars and then somewhere in the past year, it just sort of vanished.  I won’t really narrow, or pin point one little thing, any specific event that really pushed me forward, but just know that all those things, all those miniature events and happenings started driving me in other directions.  It felt as if I had almost been sedated the past three years and had woken to find my clothes wrinkly and stained and drool stringing from my chin.  It felt I had finally woken to see that while there definitely are “paths”, they are honestly just something created to provide structure and guidance for ease of learning/life/whatever you might want to plan for.  I realized that I, a senior in college, had the whole damn world in front of myself and no one to tell me no to whatever I wanted to do – legally.

I sat drinking coffee the last couple of days, talking about how I truly viewed things, how I really felt and honestly it was amazing.  It was sort of this realization that I had indeed come upon myself; that I  finally felt fully tangible to my own touch, no longer a soul living inside a paper mache exterior waiting to be cracked open and sent sprawling onto the floor.  There was a word that kept popping up, kept being used that I know now very well and have been getting to know better and better over the past year, that what I had found in life, or rather gotten closer to, was passion.  Not the half-naked-man-holding-scantly-clad-woman on book covers right before the wal-mart registers type stuff, but the real deal… for everything.

I found that, for most things in my life, I had certain feelings and thoughts and those thoughts and feelings combined together formed opinions which eventually made/will make decisions and the whole world is happy now and everything else.  The point of writing this I guess, is that it’s important to find things your passionate about in life.  I thought, this past weekend, while sitting waiting to be called to receive my diploma, about the things I wanted to achieve, how I wanted to help others with what I do.  I thought about how crazy some people may think others are at some points, how sometimes things can be seen as waists of talent, or bad decisions, etc., but honestly who really knows in the long run?  You, somewhere in the future right?  The you, who has learned, who has educated themselves through general interest, or first-hand experience.

I’m not saying it’s bad to follow a path, not at all.  I’m saying sometimes you have to check that path to see if the ground is sturdy enough to carry you all the way forward.  And yea, some paths cross and diverge and everything, but isn’t that what makes life so damn interesting?  Isn’t that what makes interacting with each other so unique that you can sit down and talk, about nothing in general, and just enjoy it for it’s own existence, it’s own happening?  What happened to liking things just because of the way they made you feel?  What happened to being able to openly admit that?  Why are we all so afraid, so hidden from everyone else that we feel we have to conform, or mold into what is seen as successful?  Why not fail?  Why not live?  Why not attempt at dreams outside your path if you feel the passion?  It’s not wrong to be filled with questions.  Not wrong so long as you seek the answers.

Over 1000 words later, your wondering why you just spent time reading this; why you even bothered continuing this far.  Well, maybe it’s because you feel the way I do, maybe you don’t.  Honestly you feel the way you’d like to because I’m not telling you to do anything.  I’d just like to enjoy the things I do, love the people I choose to interact with and live with intention to do things as I see done right and well.  I’d like to close my eyes when I go and know that the things I did, the things I truly cherished, were monumental.

So… this may seem a little bias, but just call me on it because it doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve got a friend who’s got a blog, who’s a pretty legit artist no matter how well known her work may be. She’s got some interesting posts a lot of times, but this one just jumped out as pretty damn amazing in its own right. check it out after the jump.

http://zombiewomby.blogspot.com/2010/05/sometimes-when-things-slow-down-you.html