Empty

I’ve found something deep within
A hole, the shape of a heart
It burns with desire
Its depths are fathomless
I feel it
It pulls at my soul
It rips at my body
It must be filled
But who, if any, can carry that burden?
I know of but one
A pure, loving, angel of a person
Do you feel what I feel?
Do my cries reach you?
You speak, and I listen
You move, and I follow
Your every breath is a relief
Every fibre of my being yearns for you
Every hair stands on end when you’re near
Every passing moment with you is an eternity
You don’t know me
You don’t love me
You can’t possibly
But I dream, and I hope, and I wish
That one day
The hole that I could never bear to reveal to you
Will be filled with the love I so long for
And one day
You will see me for who I truly am

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Numb

Last night was an emotional roller coaster. To start, I was working for almost 13 hours straight. My girlfriend, who suffers from anxiety and depression, was home alone. I came home to her drunk and talking to her old hookups (a culture I don’t understand, but can accept). She was manic, I was tired, and we didn’t really see eye to eye on the situation.

An hour or two before I got home, she started drinking. I didn’t realize she went and bought a bunch of Smirnoff. I got home to an empty 6-pack. We don’t drink often, so alcohol tolerance is pretty low. She’s had history with alcoholism. The drinks put her on a self destructive streak. She was frantically searching for something to rip herself up with. I took knives and staple removers from her, but she kept fighting to hold on to them.

Over the course of a couple hours, we went from talking to me convincing her cutting isn’t going to solve anything. I know from plenty experience that the release is only temporary, and the scars are a permanent reminder of sorrow and stupidity. She kept pushing me to break up with her. I love her. I don’t want to leave her. But she was so convinced that she’s worthless.

Today, I don’t know what to feel. I’m numb. I’m falling into a depression again, and I think it’s due to hers. I don’t know what to do. I have no desire to do any work, to attend class, to be productive. I just want to curl up and hide from the world. I hate this. I want to be okay, and I want to have the strength to help her do the same. But I can’t. Not right now.

A brief history of who I am

I’m forever left thinking what kind of life I would be leading if certain events throughout hadn’t happened. The divorce of my parents when I was young left a rather large, if subtle, impact on my life. I was raised without knowing the man I used to call my father, and I moved from place to place; forever drifting from city to city, and repeatedly losing friends in the process. At the time, I was far too young to understand what was happening. All I knew is my parents fought, and life as I knew it was no longer.

Several years down the road, at my aunt’s deathbed, I was reintroduced to my father. It’s a story I’m sure I’ve told a thousand times. He seemed like a fantastic gentleman, willing to give his children anything and everything. He would bring my sister and I on adventures, from the shore to amusement parks, to regular visits to his friends. My outlook on life changed drastically as he showed me what being spoiled felt like. I became rotten, needy, and found myself wanting more than could be provided while I lived with my mother and stepfather.

Shortly after I’d started high school, I made the decision to move in with my father. Things were going amazingly well at first. But the fun and love in the household didn’t last longer than a month. I realized too late that I’d put myself in a dangerous position. I was living in my own personal hell; perhaps to atone for being the rotten child that I had become, perhaps as a test of my mental and emotional endurance. I was starved, I was beaten, and I was isolated from the world around me. My only escape was in my school, and the only person who cared to help me live was a friend who I grew quite fond of.

Without my friend, who we’ll call Rae, I might not be who I am today. Perhaps not even alive. For a year, I put up with the abuse at home, finding peace only in her warm embrace. She nurtured my broken soul, picking up the pieces as they fell to the ground. It came to a point where I couldn’t bear it anymore, but I’d already been reduced to a hopeless wreck; naught but an empty vessel bent on self destruction. Rae pushed me to seek counsel, and when I finally took her advice, I was moved back in with my mother.

For a while, I was fragile. I no longer felt safe in my own home, and I didn’t have anywhere to run. Rae stayed with me through it all, despite the distance between us. But my heart and soul were still weighed down with the grief that was thrust upon me. I found comfort not in the love of others, but in the hatred of myself. I found solace in the cold sting of the blade upon my flesh. I abused my relationships with others, manipulating them to my own will. Before long, I distanced myself from Rae, and grew close to someone else. Despite everything she’d done for me, despite the love she showed and care she’d given, I left her. I cut her out of my life entirely. And I moved across the country for Macintyre.

I promised myself I would become more mature, more stable; and for a time, I found it difficult. Mac helped pull me out of the pit of despair I’d dug myself into. We lived comfortably and happily for a few years. But I grew complacent. I stopped showing gratitude for the help and support she provided. I stopped expressing my emotions the way I did when we first met. I bottled up the sadness and anger that built within me, just as I did when I lived with my father. This led to complications I had never foreseen. She could only take so much; could only put up with the emptiness for so long. And she found love in another, just as I had years before.

I’m in a new place now, as some of you might know. I’m doing well for myself, and I feel I’ve matured enough to know where my boundaries are. But I can’t help but wonder. What would have happened? How different would I be if my parents had never divorced? If I’d never become spoiled by the man I called my father? If I’d never met Macintyre? I can only assume I’d be in a much different position. I wouldn’t be the man I am today. I suppose I can only be glad that my life unfolded in the fashion that it did.

Nostalgia (A poem)

Fleeting memories of days long past
Smoldering in the back of my mind
Youth, love, betrayal
Bitter words uttered from mine own lips
Emotions in turmoil
A friendship broken by no fault but my own
The passing years fade grief to grey
The hardships passing swift
A life riddled with veiled regret
But lo
Contact, reconciliation
Imparting tales of recent days
A friendship born anew
Memories shared alight my path
Forgiveness passes my way
Joy and hope for what once was
Rekindling a fire I once knew
In memories of days long past

Note: You know when you do things and have to regret them for the rest of your life? I’m fortunate enough to have dodged that bullet. To my old friend: Thank you for finding me again.

Trials and tribulations: Financial edition

Financial troubles are something we all deal with at some point, and lately I’ve been having an unfortunate few months. I moved from Michigan to North Carolina in October, and since then I’ve been struggling to keep things together. My girlfriend is very supportive, but I can only stretch things so far.

When I moved to NC, I had a plan to get a job in retail again. Soon after I arrived, though, things started falling down hill. The holiday seasons were coming up quick, and I assumed I could get a temporary job in retail or food service. Apparently all the seasonal help had been hired already; I hadn’t received a single call from any of the companies I applied to. Fortunately, I had a backup plan.

Around December, I decided to start doing some freelance web gigs. I was able to net 2 customers, one of which I hoped would be a long-term client. I designed some content for a couple of people on a freelancing website, which was nice. Fed me for a couple weeks, and helped me pay my phone bill. A little while later, I met someone who was looking to build a niche social network. Things seemed hopeful. He was willing to pay me every couple weeks for development, and we settled on a price that could support me for a while. After he gave me the first check, he pulled out of the deal. He put his project on hold, and my life with it.

Shortly after I lost the gig, I decided to get a student loan. It was enough money to take classes for IT certifications, and I thought that it would make things easier; I wouldn’t have to pay anything until I’m out of school. I figured, “Hey, if I can get papers saying I’m capable of working to a certain standard, I’ll have no problem getting a job.” Things were going good. I’m currently Microsoft certified, thanks to some of the lessons I’ve been taking. I started applying to some jobs, but as before, nobody was hiring. Some time last month I received a call from Macintyre. She told me she received a letter of delinquency saying I was a couple months behind payment.

That’s when things started getting really edgy. I owed $360 to a company I thought wouldn’t bother me until I was out of school (and hopefully employed). I was threatened with court, and I spent hours on the phone trying to work out a deal. My parents and my girlfriend all pitched in to help me out of the ditch I’d dug for myself, but for the time being I’m still unemployed. I’ve been applying everywhere, and I’ve only recently received a call to come in for an interview.

Yesterday, around 3 in the afternoon, I received a call from a nearby county office. I applied to them a month or two ago. I thought it was a lost cause, to be honest. Turns out, they need a web designer. I’m going in for an interview next Wednesday. I’m not gonna hold my breath on it, but I’m really hopeful for this position. Best-case scenario, I’ll be working a pretty good job. Worst-case, I’ll be deep in debt, jobless, and my relationship will be under a lot of financial stress.

Here’s to hoping for the best. World… wish me luck, and sorry for the novel.

Job hunting.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my career choices lately. In the past, I’ve worked in the food industry (in a pizza kitchen), in retail (let’s call the store EverythingMart), and I’ve done a bit of freelance work here and there. Nothing really seems to be fulfilling to me.

I love the freelance work, as I’ve been doing web development/design, but it’s definitely not something I can do steadily. I don’t have enough of a name to pick up the kind of clientele I’d need to sustain myself. Honestly, I can’t really consider it anything more than just a hobby. I have no formal education, a very limited portfolio, and the skills of an amateur. Family and friends think I’m some kind of wizard for being able to do what I do, but it’s pretty rudimentary stuff.

Something I’ve been pursuing lately is a career in IT. I’m currently attending classes to learn the materials necessary to get my certifications, and so far I’ve earned two of them (on the fast track to a third). As far as jobs go, most things are service desk; which is fine, except I prefer working with the hardware. I’ve always loved tearing down computers, rebuilding them, and making custom builds to sell to friends. Honestly, I think this might be the best choice of career for me. The hours are regular, the pay’s pretty decent.

To be honest, though, I’m not sure it’s entirely worth it. It’s been 6 months, I’ve had 1 interview, no job, and I’m about ready to give up.

The coolest little girls.

I was having a discussion with my girlfriend over Google Hangouts, and we were discussing how cool our kids will be. I mentioned I want them to be fans of DC and Marvel, but still be well-rounded, a bit like myself. She said to not leave out our daughter(s), should we have any in the future. Here’s what I told her.

The coolest little girls use G.I. Joe action figures in their dollhouses. Ken beats the shit out of Hulk, because he abducted Polly Pocket and Betty Spaghetti. Black Widow will hide in the closet waiting to strike if Joker thwarts Batman’s attempts to rescue. After all is said and done, Joker and Black Widow decide to get married. They invite Tony Stark to be the best man.

Meanwhile, Ken is in the kitchen planting nerve gas emitters under the service cart. He knocked out the waiter (Nick Fury), and left him in the walk in fridge. Exit stage left.

Basically, I want to have awesome kids. Probably girls, mostly because I want this to happen.

Wrong number.

For the past couple days, I’ve been receiving texts from people near the city I lived in up in Michigan. Not sure why everyone thinks texting me is going to get to the right person all of a sudden, but they do. And it’s not prank texts, either. They all serve a purpose.

The most recent text I received was a woman saying her child is really sick (sounded like a cold) and that they’d be staying home from work for the day. As someone who was raised on home remedies, and taught that I should always help where I can, I opted to give them some advice to give their child a warm salt bath with some eucalyptus oil. Figured that would help.

A little while later, the person actually asked me if I had any more advice to give them, so I did. Evidently, the bath helped a lot. Also, and this is just an observation, the mystery mother is quite trusting of a stranger’s opinion on how to cure their child’s ailment.  Naturally, I gave the best advice I could think of (honey to soothe the throat, and the recipe for my mother’s “sick soup”).

Anyway, the point is… I really didn’t have a point. I just found it interesting that a stranger would be so willing to take the advice of someone they’ve never met before. Honestly, I’m kind of glad it happened. I’ve performed an act of kindness for someone I’m complete strangers with, and that makes me feel good.

Higher aspirations.

I know I’m a few days late, but today is the day I make my new years resolution. Typically, I’m not one to do this. In fact, I laugh at the idea. Resolutions are doomed to be broken, so I see no real point in making them if I’m not going to keep a promise to myself. Anyway, I have a couple of things that I intend on doing.

First off, I’m going to lose some weight. I know it’s probably the single most cliché new years resolution ever made, but it’s something that I have to do. Since moving away from my parents’ house 4 years ago, I’ve gained quite a bit of weight. It’s bugging me. I’m going to be exercising on a regular basis, and I’m going to try to eat healthier, well-rounded meals. In all hopes, that’ll get me back in the shape I used to be in.

My second resolution is to find a well-paying, stable job. I’m an aspiring web designer, and I have a couple of potential clients I’ve been speaking to recently. I’m currently unemployed, broke, and I’ve been looking for employment for about 3 months. If I can score at least one of these web design jobs, I should be set for a while. All I’ve got to do is finish my portfolio (basically recreating some of the websites that I’ve made in the past), then get that to my potential clients.

The hardest part of doing all this is keeping motivated, but I think it should be a simple enough task. I’ve got the drive to press through, and the desire to be a better, more successful person than I’ve been in the past. With some hard work and dedication, I’m sure I’ll pull through.

On the road again.

The holiday celebrations are over, and the long travels begin. Amanda and I spent a couple weeks at the house MacIntyre and I bought once upon a time. Mac is doing well, and she got along with Amanda much better than I had expected them to. I got the chance to visit my parents, which was nice. Mother thinks Amanda might be the one I’ve been looking for these past few years.

Our next destination us Ohio. Amanda’s grandfather passed away on the second of this month, and we’re on our way to the wake, and attending the funeral tomorrow morning. It’s definitely been a hectic, stressful holiday season. Once we’ve attended the funeral, we’ll be heading back to our home in North Carolina. The drive will be long, but well worth it.

Overall, it’s been a wonderful visit with old friends, family, and the woman I love. Hopefully we can do this again some time in the near future. I enjoyed myself, and Amanda seems to like everyone as much as they like her.