Restarting the Engine

Blogging has been something that has been difficult for me to do as of lately. I have a lot to say about thew world around me, but most of it is frustration and sadness. Thankfully that chapter seems to be over and now that my uncle has passed on I think I can once again put my thoughts here. Even when there are a millions things to talk about it seems secondary to someone close to you battling a terminal illness. I am sure I will eventually post about the lesson’s learned throughout the process.

Being back in Kansas City has been a great blessing in many respects. Sure, the fact that my love and emotional life are in a very good place now is amazing, but the balance that I have achieved in every other aspect is also very telling. I still love Chicago as much as always, but Kansas City feels like home.

Things with my nurse get better and better each time. I had spent plenty of time in my life trying to figure out who I was a not much time actually being. We seem to spend our time together actually doing things rather than talking about them. More than support for who I am or I want to accomplish (which I get) I feel that she is proud of who I am. She is proud to have me by her side as much as I am proud of her. That is a great feeling in the middle of many that I had never felt before from a partner in crime.

The new job is going great. It was that job that I thought I should have had a while back but I am glad I did not get until now. The experience that I have gained during my previous two companies has really enhanced my capability of doing a great job in this present job. It is pretty cool to be able to apply what you know to help others do a better job. The travel part is just icing on the cake.

I have spent this summer doing lots of things that I thought I would not do. Some I enjoy more than others, but I feel like I am being more open minded. I have a more solid grasp on what I want out of my relationships in life and I think the ones I have now are stronger than ever before.

The only thing the really sucks right now is time. I don’t have nearly enough time to do everything that I want to so. Hopefully can stick with it and start to blog again in a consistent basis.

How is this summer treating you?

Mi Tio Gilberto

There is a lot of pain floating around in my heart about my uncle’s passing. There is a lot of anger towards lots and lots of people. There is also the question of did I do enough. The thing is that he would not want me to remember him that way, he was the kind of guy that was never angry or annoyed, he was always laughing or trying to make others laugh.

He was one of those grown ups that always made me feel like my opinion mattered. Even from when I was really young he always asked me what I thought. That was empowering, and probably one of the reasons I have always been so self-assured. If my uncle thinks my opinion matters, then it must.

I still remember the day he got his prized car, a baby blue jaguar. What does he do? He hands the keys over to me and tells me to take it for a spin. I was young and only had my license for a couple of years at the time but he was very willing to trust me with his awesome ride. Come to think of it, any time we were together in a vehicle and I was old enough to drive I was the one taking him around.

Years passed, his sickness got a hold of him and I now had to drive the car because he could not anymore.

I remember the last time I drove the jaguar, it had been sitting for probably a couple of years with little or no use. The vehicle was in very poor condition and I had to tell him that I did not feel safe driving it unless we took it in and had it looked at. I hate the fact that I had to tell the guy that never told me no and always made me believe in the impossible, no… about his car, about him getting better, about the reality of a terminal illness.

Nothing that I say will ever convey who he was, you had to meet him to really experience his larger than life attitude. I am glad that Heather had a chance to meet him, even though it was when he was already beaten up and almost defeated he made it a point that I lifted his had for him so he could shake Heather’s hand and mouth nice to meet you because he could not say the words anymore.

I have many good memories of him and I am holding onto them very much. We spent lots of time together the last couple of years driving around to and from doctor appointment to hospitals but we had great conversations. He told me about his childhood and growing up, also about all the hell he used to raise when he was young. He always had a smile, always had a joke and most of all he loved life.

I am so sad that you got taken away so young Tio. I am glad you got to see the world and experience life. I love you, and I miss you so much.

Boston, the Float and 50 Shades of Crap

So much to talk about, so little time to actually do it. To say that I have been busy lately is to say that DaVinci had a little talent. Life is full right now, but in a good way. The only negative at the moment is that my uncle is close to the end… but that is a post that I don’t want to elaborate on right now.

I just got back from Boston and then right after headed down to southern MO for some river madness. Before getting into those two I want to get into something that I cannot stay quiet about.

So, remember how creepy it was that 40 year old women were lusting over “Edward” and “Jacob.” Yeap, just as creepy as a 40 year old dude lusting over a teenager. So one of those crazy ladies wrote a fanfiction about how cool it would be if an “Edward” type character was all grown up… and well, lets add some misguided view of the BDSM world and voila… we have crap literature. There is plenty of good smut out in the internet, not just pr0n but actual written stories about BDSM that are far better written and not so absurd.

I wish I was more connected with the BDSM world so I could be more pissed, but everything that I have heard about this gem of a book has made me want to vomit. It pains me to know that there are people out there reading this and thinking that it is in any way a representation of that world. It is just as bad as when people think that Colombia is a place where you fly to accompanied by chickens and pigs. I guess the world is becoming a place where you forget what fiction means and take everything you read as reality. I guess we can thank the news for creating more and more sheep every day. Then I read recently that they are going to make a movie… and I really needed a barf bag.

So switching gears from something I am begining to hate to something I had hated for a while, lets talk about the outdoors.

I am not a camping kind of guy. I belive that we have evolved so we don’t have to sleep on the ground anymore. So when a “float” trip was looming in the horizon I was so not looking forward to being in the outdoors. I was put at easy when running water and indoor plumbing were included in the plans. The whole pooping in the woods is just not for me.

I was dreading heading that far south because with the proximity to ARkansas I was afraid of some misguided minuteman that might want to catch themselves and illegal. Deliverance images flashed through my head as I drove down there and was almost ready to turn around and drive right back to civilization. I will leave some of the details out for a future post, I did save a life while going down the river… but let me tell you that I might become more of an outdoor person now.

The place we stayed at was fantastic. Beautiful scenary, very nice people, long chats by the campfire. I really enjoyed the time spent down there (where I was not fearing that someone was going to drown). It really cemented my future plan of some day owning some lakefront property in the future.

Last but not least I visited Boston for business. I got to see the green monster and ate plenty of seafood. The city is pretty and I wish I can spend some time there and walk around… however, NEVER DRIVE THERE!!! its ridiculous to have to wait 2 hours to go 20 miles. This is all I have for now, I promise that I will try to start writing more soon. Love being back in KC, and looking forward to traveling a little more.

Types of Love

Have you ever heard about the languages of love? if you have not (and you are in a – or interested into being in a – relationship) you should really look into it.

The first time I heard about this was after I was already on my way to getting divorced. Gwen and I are actually great friends now, and we were back then as well. When it came to love we did not communicate. I never actually looked into the book or took the assessment back then. From the casual conversation we had she and I both assumed that I would receive love from “acts of service”… then recently I actually took the test. Come to find out that while that is how most of my life I have received love, its actually not my dominant language of love. Mine sits very high on “words of affirmation.”

My life has changed quite a bit during the last couple of years. Losing my grandfather was a huge blow to my family and it opened up a lot of questions to me about the future. Having lunch with a close friend this week made me come to the conclusion that we become who we are thanks to people that tell us we can accomplish things. We have to believe it, but it helps to have someone encourage it. Someone telling you that you can’t do it can also have a very powerful effect. I was lucky enough to meet both of my grandfathers but now both of them are not with us anymore. I had been preparing myself to face the death of my uncle who is still terminally ill and I had not considered my Grandfather actually dying. Losing people that believe in you can make you feel very alone.

Since I was very young I tried to convince myself that I did not really need anyone. It was a defense mechanism that I built to protect myself. While I do have a very independent and self reliant personality, this could not be further from the truth, we all need other people. I started to realize how much I need a partner in crime that supports me not just in words but in action. My sister put it simply to me recently, because of the way we grew up (in kind of a very dysfunctional household) we really did not learn anything about healthy relationships when it came to marriage.

Languages of love aside, I have my own classification of attraction. Intelligence, personality and physical. Without being too crass about the whole thing, while in my past serious relationships I thought there had to be a dominant one. My first relationship was all about personality. We were and still are very good friends, however we were intellectually incompatible for many reasons and while the physical was never an issue we both have agreed that the fireworks with others have been way better.

The rest of the relationships I had were very physical in nature. Not one night stand kind of situations, but just something were attraction was the main driver and personality and intellectual attraction had nothing to do with it.

Maybe that was always my mistake, that I thought that one of those three facets being exceptional would make up for the other two being just ok. I always thought it was unrealistic or perhaps I had never met someone that could engage me on all levels at once. Looking at my parents, I think they also did not look at the whole picture and ignored the fact that their personalities were complete opposites. You could not find two more polar opposites if you looked. My sister and I lived it our whole life with tons of emotional scaring to show for it.

Opposites attract is what people say, but there is something to be said about how people give and receive love. If you don’t speak the same love language and are not willing to learn and use it, love will eventually extinguish. I have always tried to nurture love in my relationships, thing is that when there is love there should not be a lot of trying it should just be allowed to grow. Relationships DO take lots of work, the key is that the work should not feel like work, it should be something that you do gladly for the other person, something you do for love. My friend looked at me with a knowing smile across the table when I told him about how effortless everything felt now.

By choice I have gone through most of the things in my life alone. I have opened up little by little to more of my friends. It still not easy to do and with everything that went on with my uncle I know I felt alone. Thing is though, I don’t feel alone anymore. Since Heather and I started talking I have had something I did not expect, someone that wanted to listen to what I had to say. Someone to encourage and advice me, as well as let me know that I can do better when I let my emotions take a hold of me. I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to have the person by your side… I guess it is why I now understand things like “when you know, you know.”

The fireworks went from being bought in a roadside tent to full on 4th of July fireworks display over lake Michigan. The inside jokes we already have keep us laughing constantly, its hard to even type this without chuckling. We might not be in the same professional field but we are both darn good at what we do. Our languages of love match almost like mirror images of each other. We use phrases like “meant to be” and they don’t seem cheesy. I never thought I would find someone that actually encouraged my “want to be happy every day” attitude. We have different approaches at many things but end up at the same conclusions, respect, family and the value of strong bonds. To say I’m pretty freaking happy does not begin to cover it, so I quote something she said to me this week. “I’m so glad we are solid.”