Can’t Keep My Eyes Open

Got back from Maine late last night. The weather was pristine. I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better. I ate and drank a ton too and got around my grandparent’s island and the surrounding islands as well. Although I laughed a lot, a disconnect was definitely present. I wanted to be writing, working and generally pushing forward towards other goals. Sometimes I just don’t know how to kick back and relax. When my on-switch is turned I just go.

I feel like every time I go to Maine I get back so late. I drag my feet when it comes time to leave. By the time I pack my bags into my little Toyota Yaris it’s already getting dark and the long drive home seems so much more melancholy. One of the only things keeping me from living up there is the complete lack of a job market. As I drove through downtown Portland on a highway overpass I thought of what it would have been like if I got awarded the fellowship and moved to Maine. The two years up there would have been amazing as I was working on the on-island projects, but if I tried staying up there to find a job or go to grad school who knows what sort of financial situation I would have would up in with my student loan interest running rampant.

So, I don’t stay. I climb through the gears and keep moving along back home where I’ll stay for now until my next ideal grabs hold.

I am so tired right now. Work has been a mad house. I need a real vacation where I do nothing. But you know I’d find something to do. I know it too.

Sheer Endurance

After returning from a hellish weekend in Chicago, I feel drained. Yet, I haven’t been able to pull myself away from the keyboard before midnight a single night this week. I’ve had a mad urge to just write until to my heart’s content. This feels good and I fall asleep quickly. I get the same effects from writing a lot as some people do from reading before bed. But, I’ve been so tired all week.

I’ve been riding my bicycle to work as much as possible trying to save money on gas and to get some exercise in before the weather gets New England nasty. Massachusetts drivers are the absolute worst. I always feel like my life is threatened when I ride my bike. I never even feel that safe in the car for that matter.

My boss and I had “the talk” today. It’s sort of like when one person asks a person they’re in a relationship with “what are we?” Basically I asked my boss what she thought of my work and where she thought I could be heading if I wanted to try and take on some new tasks and concepts. She seemed glad that I asked and offered sincere advice that as I continue to master my tasks then I can integrate into the parts of the company better suited for my skills and desires. Hopefully I can just blog for them and get paid double what I’m making now. Otherwise I may wind up as an account exec. or a brand message analyst. Either would be fine as long as it shoots me further towards my goal of being creative in my day job.

Until then I can only be creative and write disconnected blogs like this one way after my bed time.

…Eyes shutting…

Write about wine and love

Gary Vaynerchuk has something truly special going on in his video blog. He’s passionate about wine and his career and he most importantly loves people. I’ve met him in person once and he’s just a stand up, truly genuine guy. The guy is a celebrity with tens of thousands of views per day and he still answers virtually every email he recieves! I hope to hit that stride someday. I’d talk about wine and a lot of other things I love. Possibly it would involve fiction, facts and poetry. Could they all be the same? I’d hope so. Check my man Gary V out! and his personal, business and social media driven video blog

Travel, doing big things, meeting interesting people. These things make me want to write and share. I am amazed at how much I like to share at times. I can be a giving person although I take, take, take my personal time and enjoyment whenever I can.

Everything inside me tells me that something like this could be beautiful

Last Friday morning I left for Chicago to stay with my friend Maxime who I had met during my study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic in 2005. It is weird for me to think that it was three years ago that we met and had the time of our lives in a strange country. I have a hard time remembering things that happened last week yet the 5 months that I spent in Prague are still as clear and sharp as this very moment that I am typing this entry.

The plan on going to Chicago was to not really have a plan and let the winds of chance and curiosity takes me wherever they pleased. Max had to work the first day so I decided to walk until I got hungry which usually doesn’t take too long. In this case I wound up walking at a good clip stopping just to visit a museum of “freedom” and to ogle over the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski get into a car accident right in front of my own two eyes.

The first day was beautiful as far as weather goes. Max had offered to take my bags to the offices so I only had my backpack with camera and laptop for electronic necessities. I spent the first hour or two getting my bearings straight and mapping out the city blocks within my own mind. Once I knew where I was and how to get back to Max’s office I ventured off a bit down Michigan Avenue where all of the shops and sights were. I didn’t notice too much on my first day of walking and I felt like I had missed something. I finally went back to Max’s office to meet up for some lunch and plan out the rest of the weekend.

Later on that night Max took me out to meet his ex-girlfriend for a traditional Chicago deep-dish pizza. It was delicious and she was charming. I can totally see why he moved out there for her. After that we went out and partied a bit at some bars. Nothing was so remarkable about the way the bars were set up, but they were definitely crammed with some beautiful people. We didn’t have to pay for drinks either night that we were there because Max, of course, befriended bartenders and employees (and in one case a bar owner!).

I felt like a young person in Prague again. I was in a strange city that I knew very little about and so much of the experience kept unfolding before my eyes. As I was drunk and wandering the city both the first night and the second night I felt excited yet not menaced by my surroundings. The days after I had been out at night felt that much better. I think the initial feeling of being under whelmed when I got there was just because I hadn’t adjusted to the rhythm of the city yet. The same thing happened to me in Prague.

I feel as if I saw a lot in Chicago that I don’t see much at home. The city is just expansive and goes on for what seems forever. Lots and lots of diversity pulses throughout the streets and it is exciting and encouraging to know that opportunity has found its way into so many people’s lives. Not to say that poverty isn’t an issue, as there are a good amount of homeless people living on the streets of Chicago. This is a sad fact of big city life which is something that everyone no matter where they are needs to combat. Max even showed me some of the local street people whom he had developed a rapport with and helped them out when he could. Max felt at home away from home. I want that new excitement in my life again.

In my last hours in Prague I found myself continually joking around with Max about how I was just going to “work from home” in Chicago until my company fired me and ordered me to send my laptop back, in which time I would be able to find my own place to live and a job to sustain myself. Obviously not a well thought out or realistic plan, but the more I said it aloud the more melancholy yet determined I got. I thought, “could I do it?” So many voices have told me that there isn’t anything “out there” that isn’t right here at home. If I can’t make it here than how can I really make it anywhere else?

When I got home my mother text messaged me and told me I should move there. She said it would be nice to have someone to go visit out there. Then after a little while on the phone with my girlfriend she told me, in a truly touching way that she thought I should give Chicago a shot too. I didn’t even bring the idea up to her. She said she could hear it in my voice how excited I got just talking about the place and the feeling I got when I was there. She said she really thought I needed to start actively looking for jobs out there any applying.

I figure that I would need some time indeed to get my money situation in order enough to make a major move half way across the country. If I had a job waiting for me, that would make things significantly easier on me. But nothing is guaranteed. Caitlin thinks that in the time it would take me to apply and really sort out jobs I want and hear back from them I could save up some money and possibly even get an offer to be flown out for an interview. Who knows? Maybe I could even get a relocation allowance. Caitlin told me that a test like true distance and pursing our dreams could help us find out if “out there” is really what we want or if it is each other we want. We could even have both someday if we’re lucky.

I am fairly certain that after some time spent at my current job getting experience and possibly being promoted or learning a acquiring a lot more skills, I will feel truly compelled to make my move. A co-worker is leaving for Colorado at the end of the month on a whim to become excellent at snowboarding and just live the life of a young person for a little while. She really got me thinking when I found out she was doing that.

Grad school there? Grad School here? Grad School then? Grad School when? I’ve got to figure out something to do until Grad School!

Give me my ball and chain

I’ve been driving back to Worcester quite a bit lately. My grandmother is laid up after breaking her pelvis and I’m trying to get in as often as possible. I’ve been tossing around the idea of buying a house or apartment in Worcester through the Buy Worcester Now program. The idea of being close to my family is appealing and scary at the same time. I’d like to travel, see the country and hold different jobs, but as of now I know I don’t have that kind of money and won’t be able to get ahead simply paying people rent money that could be going towards owning something. The girlfriend is going to be living about an hour away for at least a year and so that’s something else to deal with.

Heavy stuff indeed. Treading water just doesn’t appeal to me on the long term and the “big breaks” I’ve been waiting for haven’t come my way yet and I have a feeling that taking what I want out of life is how it’s going to have to be. The pacifist in me isn’t financially savvy. I need to get on that.

Buy Worcester Now is my kind of program, FOR REALestate

I’ve gone in and out of my phases in life which have brought me half way around the world and back. But every time I get away for a little bit I find myself appreciating where I am from even more. I truly have found a love for Worcester deep in my heart and the older I have gotten compared to the days where I couldn’t get out fast enough, I feel as if my stake in Worcester’s betterment has risen tremendously.

I am a product of Worcester. Wherever I go I don’t tell people I am from Boston. I say I live in Boston, or right outside of it, but I always say that I am proudly from Worcester. It has taken some maturity for me to figure out why I love Worcester, but aside from my family being there, I think my tendency to root for the underdog keeps me interested in Worcester. So much concentrated wealth exists in and around Boston and the rat race makes me feel like a true rodent.

As I continue to work my ass off day to day, I have found myself in a good job making a good salary doing something I don’t love so much, but am still interested in. The people I work with are becoming friends and it is a good feeling.

But there is something missing. I am showing signs of my hard work. I have a new car, I am traveling sometimes and I get to do fun things with the people I love. But I feel I need a new challenge and something to covet. I want an education bad, but knowing myself I will get my masters and probably my Ph.D. no matter what, hell or high water.

A long time ago I said that I would sacrifice the ideal of owning my own home so that I could work jobs for less money and live more simply. But I’m coming to realize that no matter how hard I put the brakes on I can’t seem to slow down the pace of my lifestyle. I don’t care to be rich, but I hope to pursue the things I truly care about someday without the worry of having to make a great paycheck every week. I want to have my bases covered.

I know the best way to work towards that goal is to accumulate some personal equity. I am saving towards my 401k retirement plan every week. I know the next notch should be a home. Paying rent is garbage, especially in my situation. I’m trying to work out a situation where I can work close to where I live most of the time. I’d like to buy my first home in Worcester and even though I work in Watertown, making that sacrifice is something I’m looking to make. is where I hope to start. There are some good affordable homes on here. I’ll have to start small, but who knows where it could get me? This is just another step I want to make. Can I get a boost?!?!

Traveling Nurses

No, I don’t want to change my career. I just talk about two things that were profound to me this past weekend.

First, a middle aged woman who was doing blood work on my grandmother started running her mouth to everyone in the room about all of this conservative stuff that you could find on any talk radio show during the day. It was completely un-interesting, annoying and unwanted. Her raving about how nobody’s going to vote for Obama because he’s black and he loves taxes, poor people, and foreigners and hates the middle class and America was so unwelcome. I should have told her to shut her trap before I tell her manager about how unprofessional she is. Instead I looked her dead in the eye and told her that I was a dedicated Obama supporter and that she had a narrowminded point of view. It certainly didn’t shut her up. I should have complained.

Secondly, I’m so happy that I have traveled so much this summer. It’s been a great one despite some setbacks in my personal life. I’m looking forward to a great Fall as well!

I wrote too much tonight. I’ll pay for it tomorrow when I can’t keep my eyes open at work.


Take it on the chin

In passing conversation in the mess hall at work today a woman told me how she was out of work for two months before she started here a couple weeks ago. She was complaining that she needed a vacation already. I could be mean and tell her she has no right to desire a vacation so quick, but who doesn’t want to vacation, like all the time?

I thought about how I’d respond to her for a second and I realized, aloud, that the only way I’d ever get a meaningful freelance career together was if I got my ass canned from a job and was able to pick up unemployment insurance for a little while. Necessity breeds creativity, no? I would literally be forced into all sorts of free time in which I could apply to jobs that I wanted (half-heartedly) while I wrote obsessively for the rest of the day. I already and generating income from my writing simply jotting stuff down for an hour or two a day. Imagine what I could do with eight or more hours?

I’m not going to get myself fired anytime soon, but the thought that not all things are as terrible as they may seem is somewhat uplifting and liberating.

I just want to write. Is that too much to ask? Yes, it is actually. That’s why I’ve stopped asking and just started doing it anyways.

Let’s Get This Straight

You’re reading what I write. That’s so nice of you!

I promise if you bake, sell, sing or fabricate anything, I’ll patronize you until the cows come home and you make a profit!

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