Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Childhood Magic

Since writing that last blog post, I have been in a bit of a down mood. The past three weeks, I have spent a lot of time with my niece and nephews, and being around them helps me shut out the rest of the world. I leave my own issues behind as we play, swap stories and just hang out. They really are the best remedy for whatever ails me. Evenings are usually the quiet times, the kids go to bed and I like to sit outside alone, looking up at the sky thinking and pondering life.

Sunday, feelings I had been keeping stashed away came to the surface and then after I wrote that last post, all those emotions just seem so “there” and I have been feeling a bit fogged in. I know it’s just temporary and that it will pass, but being in it right now makes it all seem so vast and unending. I am feeling sad, disappointed and disillusioned. I am doubting myself and I hate that.

I want to talk about it, but then I don’t. I write about it and then feel a bit of regret for putting it out there. I try to keep it inside and it just simmers and expands. I do things to distract me and yet it is all around me, the not so quiet ghost keeping me company. I can’t really sleep even though I would love to just escape everything for a good eight hours or so. I’m not feeling depressed, just sad. I am also trying not to do anything to numb the feelings, but really go through it and experience the whole thing. Not sure that is the best decision, but I feel it is just something I need to do for now.

Today the boys were free from school, and instead of doing what I thought I wanted, and staying in my mood and just kind of being alone, I decided to take them out for the day. It was an amazing day during which I spent much of it lost with them in the land of make believe… We walked some nature trails and every mark in the dirt was a T-Rex or Velociraptor track to be investigated and pigeons became Pterodactyls to be feared. Chase is in a werewolf phase and kept sniffing the air and telling us that his senses were speaking to him. After that, it was time for lunch and as Chesney decided he wanted to try sushi and Chase has to do pretty much whatever Chesney does, we were off for some California, Tempura and Tuna rolls. Chesney dove in while Chase decided he hated sushi… That is, until he tasted some and then he declared it was his favorite dish. After lunch, we went to another park which is located at the base of a mountain and then there were more werewolf adventures while also keeping a lookout for meerkats and mountain lions.

I love how being around them really forces me to stay in the moment, to be present and just be. I am in awe of how anything and everything is so possible, even when it is not. They don’t let the impossible get in their way. Whatever is in their minds just is, and it is usually cool and magical and awesome! I wish I could tap into that thing they have, where problems vanish after a short time and anything goes including hunting dinosaurs, being werewolves or Spiderman or invisible, they just do it with no question. 

And if all else fails, there is nothing like fart noises to get the giggling going and make everything else just fade away.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In The End

I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships lately. Not necessarily any one particular one, but more my relationship experience in general. More specifically, why they always come to an end. I understand why the earlier ones did. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I would try and change for the other person or I would look for someone to make me feel complete or validate who I was, and I learned that just never works. Later, I tried to do things differently. I was clear about what I wanted and didn’t want, but it always seemed to result in an end to something I thought was much more permanent or lasting than it turned out to be.

I am not really sure what I am doing wrong. I know I have my flaws, but that is what makes me human. I am working on them, or trying to and some of the rough edges I have definitely smoothed out, but there are still some sharp points here and there and hopefully, those too will soften. In the midst of all my broken attempts at love and the desire to have something that lasts, someone to share my life with, I see other people that it just seems to work for and I wonder what that did or are doing that I am not. My Godmother, for example, has been married to the same man since before I was born and they are still together. Ulco’s foster parents. His sister Paula. It’s the same thing. And I know they had to fight, get on each other’s nerves and at times probably even detested the constant breathing in and out of the other person, but somehow, they found a reason to keep going and they made it through.

I wonder if it is just that some people are lucky enough to find that one person that just fits while some of us are trying to force the pieces together only to discover at some point that they just don’t go. I used to dream of love and a relationship that would last. I’ve dreamt of finding that one person who would just be there. Not complete me, but share my life, cheer me on and not walk away no matter the storms that came along. In some ways I have found that person. Ulco. But even that did not work out the way I imagined it would. When I got married, I got married for forever. I never had a moment’s nerves or doubt. Not a second of cold feet or wondering if I was making a mistake. I never once thought that we would just get a divorce if it didn’t work. Our not working was not even among the most minute of possibilities in my mind and heart, and yet it came crashing down. We have managed to rebuild something different, and maybe better than it was, but not the dream I had.

There have been a few since Ulco – Manuel, Baris and then David and each time when I felt I had met my person, I let myself go, I jumped off the cliff with no thought to what might happen if I hit the proverbial ground. And I did hit the ground, each and every time. And it hurt. A lot. It still hurts in many ways and I wonder how to not hit the ground next time, if there ever is a next time.

I still dream of finding my person, but as I get older and as I crash and burn more and more times, I wonder if love is really meant for me. Not in any ‘poor me’ way, but I wonder if I should just give up on it and pour myself into my hobbies and travel and just be totally selfish in my life. I really don’t want to be hurt anymore, but I know and understand that even in the best relationships, hurt is a part of it. It’s the fire that either burns everything up or makes everything stronger than it was before. I just don’t know if I have it in me anymore. I don’t know if I can give my heart out again because I really can’t seem to get it right. Yeah, I know some of the things I have done wrong and could have done different or will do different in the future, but I don’t understand why I keep ending up in this same place when I keep trying different things, each time hoping for a different outcome and each time being surprised and hurt and alone in the end.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

On Being an Uncle

I have been in Vegas the past week. As it looks, I will stay here for some time. David and I decided to end our relationship and that is all I will say about it here, only mentioning it to answer the obvious question. I have very mixed feeling about being in Vegas. On one hand, it is really not my city. I don’t really gamble and have no need to get falling down drunk, make an idiot of myself or do stupid things just because I am here.

What I love about being in Vegas is being near family. My sister and I, while we didn’t really have any issues between us, we didn’t have a relationship that went any deeper than the occasional email or seeing each other here and there with years in between. Now we see each other everyday and it has been really great reconnecting. So far so good, but I can imagine she is going to get tired of seeing my face all the time.

But my favorite part, I have to admit, is spending time with my niece and nephews. They are just amazing and if I am feeling sad or low, just a couple of minutes with them picks me right up and puts a smile on my face.

In the past week I have been here, my nephews have decided to become little versions of me. It is amusing, humbling and scary. I am not used to being idolized, watched and copied. The want to use my toothpaste as they told me it is just better than theirs. They want to get their hair cut like mine and now every morning, I have to put product in their hair so they can take their mohawks to school, which is how they put it. The other night, Chesney and I were in the car and I was playing Lana Del Rey. He decided that “Radio” is his favorite song and a couple of hours later he suggested I take him to see her when she comes to Las Vegas.

Chase, being a year younger, has to do everything Chesney does, so I have two little versions of myself running around, competing for time and attention, each one asking me here and there if they are my favorite. The other night, I took Chesney to a concert against bullying, to kick off anti-bullying month and Chase was devastated that he couldn’t go. To add insult to his injury, Chesney and I got free t-shirts at the concert and he has not really taken it off in the past two days.

Today, I will take Chase out for some one-on-one time. First, we are going to the shark pool at the Golden Nugget, as he has never seen a shark in person. But the main thing we are going to do is go to the car museum and see Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other super expensive and cool cars. I also made sure Chase has a camera so he can take pictures, which he loves to do He likes to use my camera and at seven, he already takes his time and thinks of what he wants to shoot. Perhaps another photography buff in the family? I would love to be able to take all of them of photo safaris here and there.

This morning, I came outside to spend some time alone and write and predictably, within five minutes, Chesney was at the door asking to come out. I am surprised how paternal I am. It is chilly and I made sure he had long sleeves, socks, and all those things on before coming out. Chase followed within another five minutes and now they are sitting next to me composing some masterpiece in GarageBand.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to do something with Bentley. I would love to go out to Death Valley super early in the morning and shoot some pictures. She has a dance tonight, so not sure she will be up for that this weekend. I am also looking to see how I can hook up my camera to her telescope so we can both try our hands at space photography. I am not sure how much she really is going to embrace photography. It seems to come and go in phases, but maybe she just needs someone to encourage her and drag her along, which I am more than happy to do. Tomorrow will depend on how tired she is and what she wants to do, but Death Valley is on the agenda for sometime very soon. Maybe next weekend.

So these days have been a mix of feelings, but there are definitely many good things happening while I am here. I love that I get to b a part of their lives and a part of who they are becoming. I hope when they look back, they don’t see me as the uncle who bought them things, but as the uncle who loved them, spent time with them and introduced them to some very cool stuff. I love being Uncle Robb.