Thursday, July 28, 2005
<-------Look at that guy. He snored so loud, but he was hilarious. Good ol' Johnny. He was a true Scot. This was at our camp in PA. I got bored tonight so I thought I'd post pictures.
This is Si. We went to Phili together and had a lot of good times. He is also a Scot. He says he is going to visit in September. It should be fun. He is always telling me all these great stories about da ladies. He is a pretty crazy guy. A true friend.
<--------This is Si as a kid. Already showing the craziness. ------------------------------------------------>
This is my bro. Look at this guy. Can you believe we are related? Justice (yes that is his name) is a great guy. He is always away doing military things though. Maybe someday we'll actually climb together.
<---------- This is Erinn. One of my greatest friends. We used to hang out all the time my freshman year in Colorado. I see her from time to time when I visit, but I'm still hoping to share some good times with her in the next couple of weeks. She is very important to me. I couldn't get by without her sometimes. One of my climbin chums, Ryan. --------------->
Yeah, sure he is holding a peace sign, but don't let that confuse you. He is a pretty vicious guy. Whoa, fierce. Look at that killer instinct coming through. I have a feeling this guy is going to be doing shots of hot sauce this climbing season. (inside joke)
<-------Marc and Ryan (left to right) Marc decided to be a little bitch and go off to Mizzou this year. WHAT HAPPENED TO COLORADO? haha. I'm j/k Marc. I know.... I know.... You hate Carbondale. I hope you are happy, man. I really do. But you are still a little bitch. Come climb at Jackson!
I was something to Angie. I don't really know what though. She is a pretty cool girl though. While she is not slaving away working on her PhD, she volunteers to help women or teaches piano. A very busy lady. One day she will help children out with her musical treehouse of children's pyschology. You can ask her. She has it all planned out.
<---------Tyler is one of my best friends. We met in high school and have been friends since. He is a pretty responsible guy. He is my go-to guy when it comes down to asking, "Hey, is this okay or just wreckless?" haha. Tyler didn't want to go to Colorado with me this year. Apparently he has a job or something. Whatever.
Emily from MN or Champaign, IL. Whichever ------------>
Emily is such a scholar. She belongs to a million different organizations and is on some kind of national scholar program. She is a cool friend and can always ramble on and on about some point of history I had no idea about before. She also wears scandalous skirts such as the one pictured here.
This is a hilarious photo. I don't even see this guy anymore. He is a friend of Marc's that we used to get wasted with. He always had Alkaline Trio playing in the background. He left to go to another school. Probably good because he would probably be upset that I posted this picture online. I'm not gay or anything, but taking funny pictures is always a great thing to do. So laugh it up because I usually do.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Chocolate Milk! ~ Ya Gotta Love Chocolate Milk!
Imagine a world without Chocolate Milk. Could anyone really survive? Who would want to? It would just be too tough. Chocolate Milk makes me want to make the world a better place.
I have been working the past few days. It is nothing special, but it is a hilarious job (catering.) It is funny to see how everyone takes their job so serious. One of my bosses gets so spastic and stressed out sometimes. I just go along doing whatever and getting stuff done. I crack some jokes from time to time. They have to believe I don't take it too seriously, but how could I?
My last job swayed public opinion. It was taken as fact. I wrote and people listened. I reported the facts and dove into getting the story. My job was an art form. It was a responsibility. It gave me much back in the three semesters I worked there. It was also working towards something. I really loved it. I gave it up for something more though.
I might find something else when I return for the semester, but for now this job guarantees Colorado. I can just feel the start of the trip. I love to drive across the country. I can imagine the wind breezing over my face. I can just picture that one rest stop in Kansas with the McDonalds in the middle of the interstate. I stopped there my very first trip to Colorado by myself. I felt so brave. I felt so alive to be doing something so new.
I have to keep my life new. Every day is something. Some people have to travel all over to try to find something "new," but it is within my very heart that I find the new. One of my advisors at the paper said you have to get all you can from one place and then you have to move on. I think he was making the point that you can't be afraid to try new things and go new places. People just get into this comfort zone and are afraid to try new things. I used to see it happen all the time in my hometown. I feared turning out being the same way until after I left. Soon after, I realized I was nothing like them.
I can't wait to see my friends. I miss them so much. I miss Erinn all the time. I like how much we usually laugh when we are together. I don't really want to think about anything other than just hanging out while I'm out there. It wouldn't be great to complicate things too much. I just want to relax and get my liberal/Western grip on the world back.
I'm taking all my climbing gear and definitely hitting up the rock as much as I can as well. That will be a great experience. I hope I can somehow meet up with Marc, Ryan or Matt on their return trip. I know Ryan will go through Colorado. He told me he liked it too much. It would be great to do a trad climb in the Flat Irons with Ryan.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
The air was moist in my return. The leaves were greener and the sweet cool air was relished. Moist full air. I remember each breath. I could feel it rush into me. I could feel the wind on my face. Crimson leaves reminded me of change. There was the uncanny ability to always depend on one thing remaining the same: change.
I felt lost in the cool air. My heart, so full of passion, looked at the leaves and saw itself. It was dying - dying so much, but feeling more alive than it had ever been. My passion consumed every part of my soul. But I was young. My heart didn't know much. I desired some unknown pleasure.
I wrapped myself from the outside. Two t-shirts covered my heart. The first, white - thick, deep cotton blend, peeked out in front of my pants. It lay nearly hidden by the second, red - white hamburger "Better Burgers" imprinted on the back. Thick dark green pants hung from my waste. They were cut at the feet. Cut to show off the red. My red shoes displayed the way I wished to be. Bright. Funny. Worn. True.
The nights were cold. That autumn cold. I never wanted to go inside though. I thought constantly of the campfires of my youth. Sitting, watching a flame burn, I'd give up my mind and let it be lost in the flames. The firelight sent with it anything that would grab my fascination. Some blues, yellows, oranges, whites would all dance around in the most random ways.
That was the first Fall I came back to Illinois. I felt good because I had accomplished much. I had gone to a school nearly a thousand miles away. I maintained good friendships, picked up some new hobbies, worked a camp job another thousand miles away in the opposite direction, nearly fell in love and found myself along the way.
The world was small to me and I could accomplish anything. I knew I could be here for a while because I knew my life sat held out for me. I was content. I said I could always return to Colorado in the summer times. I could always get a little side adventure in during the summer.
Last year, I spent two days in Colorado. I spent the rest with my friend Marc hiking with some partial climbing in Wyoming. I would not give up that trip for anything, but I still miss Colorado quite a bit. It is more of a home for me than any place ever has been. One of my best friends didn't even get the true me last time. I was tired and the altitude gave me a huge headache when I went too high too fast. I tried to keep up but just couldn't and then I wasn't myself. Erinn got my worst two days. I want to make it up to her. I didn't even get to see my long lost friend Travis. Emily tried to come, but the two days didn't play into her schedule.
I promised many people I'd come this year. I signed up for a medical study just for that reason. I really don't like them, but I'd do anything to keep a promise.
Right now it seems I have a choice between living in a house with one of my good buddies or living in the dorms. The house would be super nice, but looks like if I choose the house - No Colorado. I never like the dorms and I always seem to get paired with somebody who isn't the greatest roommate. But if that is what it takes for one week out in Colorado to keep a promise to not only my friends, but my sister who needs me. Then that is what I shall do. Maybe Ryan will move out in the Spring and we can find a place together.
I thought everything was planned out. I guess I was wrong. I doubt I will go to school next summer. I think I'd rather work for once and save up some money. The Peace Corps will come soon and then I can start to follow my plans. But for now, the main plan is school and keeping up with my promises. I can save the luxury of a house for later in life if it comes down to it.
I certainly need a break from Illinois.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I allow my life to be swept into a torrent. I allow myself to not work like I should.
I say everything will work out as it must. I say the future does not worry me and my accomplishments shall come.
I allow people in my life who only deter my path. I allow everyone in no matter what. Whether they care for me or not. Whether or not they ever had any intention to.
In short, I allow idle words and their own philosophies to override my own.
But I know myself. Many trials have come to me thus far. I have been tested and tried and not found wanting. I have walked away from those people time and time again and counted myself better in the long run.
Whether it is selfish to give up on the human spirit of man or not is beyond me. I think I shall never truly give up on the human spirit. However, the simple truth is, "you can't make someone care." You can't shout from a roof top that they should and suddenly they do. You can't take a person and expect her to care when there is no interest for you at all. You certainly can't.
I am certainly done. Not with all of humanity, but with those I allow a place in my life.
Darkness encroached into my heart. It overtook my senses with an exhiliration. My legs tensed stronger and my breathing became deeper and more fullfilled.
At every turn, I could hear my friend Josiah's footsteps on the path behind. One leg would be fully tensed while another would reach far in front for another placement. I ran faster.
I found myself. I found my inner strength. I found a deep core among the torrent. I fueled it and left everything in the distance.
Lastnight - done.
I do not know what the future holds for me. I am a man of goals, but no longer a man of fear. I have let it override my better judgement time and time again.
I have lost happy moments and cheery advances. I have dwelt where I should have laughed. I have sat idle where I should have left. I have been the victim of a great fear. A big man named fear makes people buy in or sell out and develop a comfortable level so they might never face the unknown - the adventure. Adventure is my greatest friend. I enoy her company.
Words sit on this page. My life awaits me. I must go.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
What a dream. More like, 'What a nightmare!'
I guess it got to me a lot more than I would even admit, but yeah she does get to me. Harsh words always get to me, but those words scare me more.
They were only just words. I had only heard them once so they were only just words.
I stepped up towards her and one of her friends came before me.
"No. You don't get to see her. She doesn't even want to speak to you," she said.
I stepped back. I couldn't even believe it. I mean it was true. Obviously she never wanted to speak to me. Then I began to just to ask why, but no response came.
"Come on. Just tell me why. I want to know why I bother you so much. I want to know if you really think that I am this swagger of a man. I want to know if one wreckless night unhinged me in your mind forever," I said.
"I don't know. You just scare me," she said.
Her friend came back with someone and suddenly I was being chased. Frantically, I balanced myself between believing in myself and not. At one moment I was content. I would gather my thoughts and think, 'why is it ever even worth it to know that people expect you to be so settled in life.' But then I would think differently. It would all just hit me. Maybe she thinks of me as someone who is scary. And the fear would settle in.
And I ran on. My legs cramped, but I still ran. I was being chased the entire time. I could see a picture of her friend, a vicious smile and smug appearance behind it all.
I held hands with fear. I gathered in mercy's court. I stopped and the chase was over. Two men approached with caution. They quivered as they came closer. I slumped to the ground. I knew I was gone. Their hands came down on my back.
I awoke. - End of dream
Yeah. Wow. What a dream! I haven't had a dream like that since I broke up with Charlotte. What is it with me and the girls that always make me feel horrible for everything.
I hardly ever drink, but one night I do and get lost outside in the country. (walking) I left tons of drunken voice mails about how I was lost in the country. My friend from U of I actually guided me back with mapquest. I would have laughed my ass off had another friend told me this. In fact, some of my other friends did laugh because this doesn't happen very much. But as always, it was different with the girl. It ends with this dream.
In all actuality, it ended with Angie ignoring me. I'm not professional enough for her anyway. I will go to law school, and I still won't be professional enough for her. She wants someone who looks good, always. She wants someone who settles down nicely on a picture frame with no embarrassing stories about the picture. It seems to me she wants a nice settled life. One that I have never found. One that would be too boring, too undramatic. It wouldn't be a lovely life. It would just be boring.
I want my kids to go out and have fun. That is why I work so hard. I want people in the world not to have to suffer at the hands of a manipulator. That is why I work so hard. I don't do it so everyone can look at me and say,"Hey. That Brian guy really has everything figured out." and I never will.
But I do sit here and dwell on it. This isn't going to ruin my day, I say. But I know the dream has made an impact. It will take much to remember it is only a dream.
Today, I go hiking with an old friend if it doesn't rain. The gray sky overcasts my window, but maybe it will happen. I haven't seen her in months, and I am lucky I stumbled upon her number.
Friday, July 15, 2005
I am intense. I am fierce. I am emotional.
I will not change for you. My life moves me to be more. I live and strive for an ideal of truth. I won't back down for you.
Drama follows me. It does because I do not just accept things for the way they are.
It isn't like I worry all the time, just whenever I feel like I could do something about it.
Truthfully, I enjoy life. I enjoy every second of it. I love every moment I am alive. I am a fighter. I fight for something because it is good to fight. From the words of a song, "live to fight and fight to live." When the sun shines on me, I feel so lucky. When water beads on my skin, I feel so alive. I think it is good to feel. Live in a moment and know how you feel. I feel. I won't hide it and won't make fake.
I don't trust easily. I have no reason to. If I say I trust you, feel lucky. I don't owe you trust. I do not expect it of you.
If you can't handle me, move on. I encourage you to. I will still be here when you come around. I haven't been able to turn away anyone who makes a good effort. God knows I've tried. So be free. I am free. Free from you and everyone. My life is not lived for you. It is mine. I encourage you to do the same.
You move on. Someone will take your place. If I am friends with you, I enjoy your company. I do not do it because I want to be like you or want something from you. I am just quite happy being myself. I hope you know that.
I love to laugh. I love to smile. But that is not just what life is about. It's about being true. If you are sad, cry. If you are angry, feel it out. Don't be afraid to let it out, my friend, for tomorrow may never come. And you should feel a responsibility to live with that much truth. I do.
So, my friend, do not smile and act cheery if you don't mean it.
It comes from no friend of mine.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Grab my hand.
I reached out to help, but lost myself in the way. I have found so many beautiful people. No one I've met is really that bad, just easily forgetful about a suffering world.
I can't forget though. I studied tonight about South Africa. I did a little work on a project and found a few friends in powerful places. Now just have to get my research done. Time to organize and dig into the facts.
Three rings I wear around my arm with a piece of cordelette. They always stand for the three most important ideals I hold at the time. Not fixed ideals. It just makes sense to at least have three at all times. Faith. Compassion. Courage. are today's ideals. "Livestrong" helps me to remember how short life is. I owe it to some to enjoy life and help others.
Ryan called from Santa Cruz. Said he had been sleeping on the beach and going from place to place with Matt as vagrants. It is hilarious. What an adventure! I can just picture them. I am lucky to have such great friends. They are both coming back, which makes me very happy.
I accepted Angie's apology. She cares. I am still scared though. of what? no clue. But at this point, if I can't laugh about it, it scares me. I am walking very slowly and very steadily this time. I don't want to run like every other time. (metaphor) I always seem to trip up when I run.
New friends are golden I have found. I want someone to go with me to Colorado in August. Just not anyone, either. I want someone who can laugh. I want someone who isn't serious about it. Need someone who knows what a road trip is all about. It's the adventure and the memories. I will find someone. Nothing will stop me this time. I promised.
Amy is married. It is weird to think about. I thought she would call me to celebrate, but she never even told me. It doesn't seem as if we are really friends anymore. She knows I promised her we always would though. It is up to her. I've only made the promise two other times. I intended to keep all three.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Past few days were hard. Tough times in a time when nothing is easy. Yet it was never supposed to be. I heard it long ago that I would have a very tough road with all that I wanted to accomplish. I doubt it will get any easier. People shall come. People shall go. I will miss her, but I have to have Faith in the way it works. I shall move on. One thing I discovered, though. It is only useful talking about someone you lost with someone who cared the same or a great deal more. So the burden is always on the person who cared the most. No one knew Carrie like her mother. She will carry the burden, even though others will try to take it where they can.
I am moving on. I have to. I am happier than I was a few days ago.
Played soccer the other day. It felt so good to have the ball underneath my feet. The hardcore sprints at the end were nice as well. It felt so good to give something my all. (Like climbing.) It takes everything to climb - brains, heart and body.
I miss love. I miss a girl that I could love. I hate the fakeness. I thought I loved Charlotte once upon a time, but I know I wouldn't be happy with her. She was a nice catch, but never happy with me. I had to let her go. I could have had Amy, but I let her go. I didn't know how far to go. I didn't know the lines. She will be married any day now. We are drifting further apart. Soon, I doubt I will be but a fading memory in her life. But that is fine.
It is not okay, however, how far I am getting away from Erinn. I remember being so in love with her. I would do anything for her. My days went so fast when I was with her. We would leave the world behind and submerge into a blazing world of craziness. When I moved, she stayed. She always called, and we only thought it would be a short time until I moved back. Yet I never did. And now she starts to move on. I call her from time to time to pose "the question." We have a good laugh, and I move on. I wonder what would have happened if I stayed. Or I suddenly came back. Unfortunately, we are too practical to believe anything could happen. I wish we weren't.
I have found exactly what I want in a girl, but never in one girl. I wanted poetic. I found Amy. I wanted crazy spontaneity. I found Erinn. I wanted a climber. I found Emily. I wanted someone with a good soul and a good purpose. I found Melissa. - Amy was just happy with anyone. She is a very sweet girl. Erinn doesn't seem to want me at all. She has a million guys clamoring after her every footstep. Emily wanted me and I turned her down, because I wanted all those other things. Melissa was in love with another when I found her. She only fooled herself.
So, truthfully, I have not even come close to finding her. The girl that will be worth it. The girl that will see life is truly short. A girl that isn't afraid of emotions, is crazy and bold, beautiful in soul and mind and just fun to be around. I didn't think that was too much to ask. Maybe in today's society it is though. Or maybe i'm just being ideal again.
On a good note.
The rock will never leave me wanting. And I'll always have my soccer ball.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I have one friend missing. She is one family member gone.
Tears wouldn't do her justice because she always had a smile. I miss her. I walked up to the casket and I couldn't help but cry. Barb was there. It was very comforting to have her there, but I still felt ripped apart inside.
Even now I cry. Tears mark my cheeks, moving down for a salty taste. I wish she wasn't gone. None of this feels real. But there she was. And she is gone. No one will ever be able to bring her back. I can barely see. My eyes are swollen. She was always so damn cheerful and carefree. I remember the last time we spoke. I told her to take better care of herself, and that I was worried. God, why would I have had to say I was worried. I should have just stayed close to her. I should have went to Colorado this summer. I should have been there. It wouldn't have happened.
I told Linda I would be there tomorrow. I don't want to go. I am so afraid that I'll never stop crying. I can't even think of the pain Linda must be going through.
Everything in my life is changing so fast. It unravels before my eyes have time to adjust. I always think of things in terms of consistency and now nothing is left. I mean I get in relationships and always think that this might be the one and it never is. I leave behind everything in hopes that this might be the one career for me, and it isn't. And most of all, I leave behind friends that I will forever see again, and now I don't. And for Carrie, I never will again. I think back on all the good times between us and I smile, but I cry to think nothing new lies in the future. I will forever miss you, Carrie. Be blessed wherever you are now.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I'm here. Southern Illinois surrounds me.
It hit me just now. She is dead. I will never be able to get out there and say hi. I will never be able to hear her laugh or go off with her on some tiny errand. I will never talk with her sister about how Carrie will get a hold on life and we'll all someday laugh at everything. It will never be.
Tears never do anything justice. I don't want her to be gone, but it is so. Tomorrow I will confront everything and have to talk about it with everyone. I would rather have something to keep my mind off the subject.
I filled out applications all day today. Turned one in, but it didn't look promising.
I cleaned my entire apartment, washed all my dishes, organized all my stuff.
I awoke this morning in a bed too familiar and too foreign with a friendly smile (one that I never know what to think about.) I fixed a famous egg sandwich and went on my way for the day.
I'm not going to always look towards the West for happiness. For now, I am truly stuck and poor. All I can do is shrug this whole thing off. All I can do is crack a joke and be happy and know I have no control over the way the world treats me. It is not sad. It is reality.
Farewell to the West now
My mind is open to the East
To all the new faces, new minds
And things to see
But I am alone here
And my heart at times it weeps
I will see you through the colours
As the sun sinks in the sand - Xavier Rudd - Solace Amongst the Sin
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Running. Angie asked me to run with her tonight. I have felt too sick to run recently. I feel it will be good for me. I don't expect her to comfort me anymore. I have gotten the idea out of my head. I don't know if I will tell her about everything. Maybe it will be better that way. She never opened herself up for me, so why should I do the same for her.
Spoke to Kris today. She had much to say. She seemed excited that I finally chose a side. I wonder what kind of a difference I can really make. I have to try though. I told Kris the whole story about why I feel I must accomplish so much. She is going to get me some info on some advocacy groups that might help my friends on the northeast side. Today, I have started the good fight. As Coelho wrote, I fight with my heart. That really counts for a lot.
Running short of breath
my jaw echoing with the rhythm
of a heart tasted freedom
once lived and tried
now sheltered and fearful
kept down, but burning
beating wildly in pulse
in soul, in nature
- a torchered existance.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Relaxed feelings as I drove home in the fog. Amazing. It just felt good to be surrounded by the fog. It was mysterious, a feeling of freedom. It was... free. Such a good feeling to feel on independence day. hmmm.
I always enjoy the feeling of moisture on my face. I always feel more alive. I never wish to forget how precious life is. Many have died around me lately. Carrie's funeral is Friday. I hope I am OK.
I was listening to a song on the way home tonight. It made me think of times long ago while driving in Pa. I wished with everything that I might be back there. I wish I could just feel that free just once. I felt so afraid at first, but then as if I could have conquered the entire world. Now, I am here. Stuck. I look everyday for a little sense of adventure.