Day 15: Derby Fun

I’m writing a short post because it’s late, and I have reading to do. I took the 2 older kids to see a high school fried’s roller derby bout. I don’t know much about the sport, and had never seen it live before. We had a blast, my friend is a super-badass jammer, and got MVP. She scored a ton of points against the opposing team, and beat them by nearly 100 points. We had fun cheering, and it wasn’t as brutal as I thought it might be. I was worried about having my 6-year old there, but I think she had the best time.

I was invited to go to practice and try-outs. I could see myself going to practices, but I don’t know I can add another full-time activity at the moment, but I want to try it out.

All in all, it was a fun, family-friendly event. Cheap night out, too. Good time.

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Ugh

I don’t think delivering bad news about someone you care about to someone else you care about gets easier. It shouldn’t. I can’t compartmentalize and detach myself from this situation, it’s real and painful. Forgive the vagueness, but I wasn’t able to deliver the message to the recipient today. I just couldn’t do it. I tried to psyche myself up and make the call, but I failed. It’s a bad one, and will require action. Again, vague-but maybe if I talk around it, I’m not keeping it all inside.

However, we bear burdens in the name of family. It’s what we do. We weather minor inconveniences and struggle with helping loved ones through sickness, addiction, dark valleys. “Bad news travels fast”, as the phrase goes, and with distance, you rarely get to share in triumphs and valiant efforts.

I will take courage and do it. It will not get better right away. It will strain tenuous relationships. It is the right thing to do. Peaks and valleys, right?

*3 deep breaths*

In an attempt to segue to a more positive note to resolve the composition, I would like to share that I reconnected with an old friend, the one my old blog post Autodidact is about. After I left Hawaii at age 20, our lives took very different trajectories, but are now moving somewhat in parallel, as far as family life, making sense of our hardscrapple upbringing, and career stuff. It’s a good thing.

I also had a really good phone conversation with one of my hanai aunts. Though we are not related by blood or marriage, and we speak infrequently, and I haven’t seen her in 15 years, we are family.

This weekend I’m going to meet some folks we met as friends-of-friends, and we’ve been talking online for a few years now. I may get to see an old friend from high school. It’s going to be weird and fantastic.

I’m choosing “weird and fantastic” as the lens through which all things are viewed. I will recognize the awful, take it in, fight it if needed, and let it go, but “weird and fantastic” is my default outlook.

 

 

Friends

I’m writing at a coffee shop, because some cliches are deeply rooted in truth. On the patio, there’s a group of teens, and it’s obvious they’re a tight-knit bunch.

I had friends like that in high school.  They’re amazing people, and I’m grateful to have spent so much time with them. We don’t see each other much these days, and might wish each other Happy Birthday on facebook. I forgot to do it the other day. Sorry, Dom.

I’ve been a family man for a long time, and joined the military right after my 20th birthday. I’ve moved around. A lot. So have most of my friends. At last count, I think I’m living in my 9th house since leaving Hawaii. Our lives have taken divergent paths, and we’ve grown up and apart. This is the natural order of things.

I often say, a bit grimly, that I don’t have friends. A more accurate statement is probably “I’m not as close to my old friends as I would like.” I’ve made a few new friends. Different friends. This is appropriate- I’m a different person.

I don’t remember how it happened, exactly, but one day about 2.5 years ago, my brain said “you’re a writer.”  My actions and social circles reflect this, and I’m stoked to be connected to so many people who can write their asses off. I’d like to be able to more consistently put out quality content, and knew how to steer my projects, but it’s okay. I’m a white belt at writing, and my writing friends are encouraging and advising me, much like upper belts at a good martial arts school.

Yes, I could have just said “mentoring”, but it’s such a run-through buzzword.

It’s more than that. The folks who have mentored me have been experts in their field, and they could envision me being active in their thing, and have helped me get there. That’s dope.

Even though I don’t see my old friends for a decade or more, I’d still give them a kidney or rob a bank with them. The ones I’ve stayed engaged with are the ones who are still learning and growing, still having adventures, and doing cool stuff.

So, cheers to friends, new and old, cheers to having adventures and doing cool stuff. Skoal!