XXXI: Failing to Save


I blame the depressing winter weather…

Heading home from dinner tonight I started thinking back to years past. Way into the years that had passed. I started to think about missed opportunities, failed acquaintances, and let downs. I feel guilty for my past. So many times opportunities were given to make the right move, and time and time again…I missed.

In several of those instances it came back to relationships. I don’t know how Darco does it, I really don’t, because the majority of the major mishaps in my life have originated from relationships. Really, I struggle with people. I place so many on altars of praise that I completely miss the point of why praise even exists. I take responsibility for damaging my first love by being a horrified, shallow example of a God-less Christian in the end. The same holds true to my first, second, and third relationship in college. Truly, I was a guy that should have never dated. I started off as a politician; smooth, charming, and kind. In the end, I was shallow, selfish, and manipulative. Can I be brutally honest? It’s been three going on four years since the divorce, and while I 100% am against divorce, I also 100% recognize and don’t blame my ex-wife for leaving. I failed that marriage because I failed to protect my heart.

Perhaps all of this is what makes Darco that much more amazing. She knows all of it, she knows the details of my failures, the things I will be judged for, and still loves me.

She’s definitely more Christ-like than she realizes.

-D-

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Mobile Minutes: Better Block


I had the most fascinating day today.

…if you’ve ever in my life time have made a comment about me and the involvement of politics please save your ‘I told you so’ for later…

This morning my girlfriend, Dur, and myself found ourselves deep in Kansas City, Missouri at our favorite location on an early Wednesday morning; 1 Million Cups. This is my first day going out in the world since being sick and we made it one wild day. After an hour there, and spending some time talking to some business friends of ours we split to Blanc burger to enjoy some quality food from Kansas City.

Afterwards [and some coffee later] Dur was dropped off for work, and my girlfriend and I went to an event in our city that we were curious about: Better Block.

The concept of Better Block is unique:

Take an area of a downtown area [like a city block] and spruce it up; clean up some downtown storefronts and invite local businesses to ‘rent out’ the area for day and practically throw a festival. The final product is to show citizens what a rebuilt, lively downtown can look like. Given the city I live in is older than Kansas City; it could be royally sweet if cleaned up correctly. My girlfriend and I got a tour of some of the buildings [none of which I had ever been in] and the creativity within this city on the architectural side is breath taking.

Prior to this, we had, had a meeting in the regional development office for a few hours and taking the knowledge from the Kansas City Shock; myself and my significant other introduced ideas of social media influence, soccer concepts for the festival, and even the introduction of some of the start up businesses we work with in Kansas City.

We caught the ear of the right person.

Walking to the buildings from the meeting I was able to walk with the director for the regional development office. We spent some time going over my past, the city, and then we entered into politics; both of us being political science students in college. By the time we had entered the first building my questions had been answered, my foot was in the door, and this much had become evident:

I’m entering the world of politics.

I’m on the planning board for Better Block, working with the media director, and am also going to start plugging this group into our connections within the Kansas City area. Imagine if the ideas of innovation and development in Kansas City spread to our neck of the woods, it’d be continued development for the entire region. Needless to say, my head is busting with ideas, concepts, and the overall irony of how my life has played out.

Those closest to me, reading this, combined with the events of the Kansas City Shock are sitting back knowing what all of this is:

The first step.

-D-

O: Boiling Over


It finally happened.

I completely, stupidly, inexcusably lost my cool tonight.

I think I’ve stated before that for quite some time I’ve had to work on controlling my anger. As a youth I would lose my temper in a moments notice and would follow that by making horrible, poor choices on my reaction. Taking a toll on myself, and my faith.

Tonight feels like square one.

I said that this site would be open and honest; both positive and negative. I know lately that it seems more doom and gloom than anything else, but that’s because I can feel myself being worked over more and more these past few weeks. I’m struggling to stay faithful, to hold onto hope, and not be the stubborn Hebrew out in the desert.

My girlfriends mom heading to the hospital added some stress a while back. It would anyone; nothing like what my girlfriend experienced, but my job is to protect; there’s stress that comes with that. Additionally I got taken through the ringer by a relative of hers while I was at the hospital. I’m sure it started as good fun, but when they learned that I was divorced…it was humiliating. I felt absolutely worthless and dirty. It felt like a two year flash back and by the time it was done [my girlfriend removed me from the waiting room] I was shaking because I was so angry. No immediate reaction, but I was so angry. Angry at myself, the man who stated the harsh things, but primarily…I was just mad because the things stated had some truth to them.

The transmission went out in my company car while I was working. Causing my store list to get delayed; factor in not one, but two winter storms on top of that and I was working all the way to the end of the month. As the individual who doesn’t feel worthy of the job I have, it’s like stepping on pins as it is. Completely screwing up a month of evaluations because of the selfish time off I took starting in February…it’s humiliating and causes me for concern. I’m terrified of my boss, and I’d never want to make the company look bad. Between the car and the store list; I did some stupid damage, and I hate the sensation of disappointment. Such as, “Yep, that kid doesn’t have what it takes to be in this position.” It’s a daily fear of mine whether people believe it or not.

Sprinkle in the past three weeks at MoVal being about marriage, and how you should go about it in a Godly, Biblical way…it’s great. The entire three part sermon was amazing. Bluntly though, I walked out feeling disappointed in myself. Perhaps that’s a pride issue? I’m not sure, but the long lasting effects from a divorce, at least in this soul, has been troublesome. Talking about marriage, God, faith, and the mixture of the three in this perfect harmony of  ‘one flesh’ hurts simply because I damaged it. I didn’t follow through. I didn’t follow up with the promise my ex-wife and I made before family, friends, and God. I failed. Being reminded of that three weeks in a row; it really adds up.

Let’s go ahead and add the list of bills that continues to grow each month, the student loans that’ll take twenty years to pay back [at least], and making sure that I have enough for rent, electricity, food, gas [for meetings with my businesses when I’m not working with Subway], and that’s another stressful monster in itself.

Finally, soccer. There are things that I’ve posted in this site about being stressed that have brought about some scrutiny from people within our organization. The reality is; I’m stressed. I’m not stressed because I’m taking on too much. I’m stressed because I’m working around the clock to get things taken care of, looking good in the social media world [though some errors along those lines were made this month as well], and then trying to sleep with the notion that:

  • Some people in this world want you to fail. It’s a sad, harsh reality, but very true.
  • Some people have a hard time respecting you when you fail to lead, when you fail to follow through, and you fail to stand up for yourself.

As I said above, I’ve worked very hard these past two years, working on controlling my anger and not lashing out at anyone. I don’t believe that it is worth it. It’s a waste of energy to scream, yell, and attempt to look ‘macho’. It’s hard feeling like you’re under trial 24/7. Additionally, along the footy lines there are other things in the workings; they’re some very large projects that I’m excited about, but have taken some serious tolls. We’ve come across hurdle, after hurdle, after hurdle, and it isn’t easy [‘no one said it would be’, I know, I know] and that just piles on as well.

Also, as of two days ago; I’m sick. For the third time since December and that is a new record for me. My immune system is giving up, wearing out, and throwing in the towel. Now I’m just having to use the towel to blow my nose.

Much of this brings us to tonight. After a business meeting all day with Subway [including a CX debate with myself against my boss] I stopped in to get some coffee before heading home to crash, after I had spent a few hours talking to MC about…well…life.

First, a man who was very intoxicated came in. There are four girls working in the store, one of which was my girlfriend. So, I stayed in the store for an extra two hours. Later it was learned that he had been picked up by the city police after his two visits within the store. Uncomfortable to say the least…and stressful.

Secondly, and this is all on me. I want everyone to know that what I’m getting ready to say is 100% my fault, and no one else. There was a moment when an individual promptly parked at the front of the store, the passenger got out and went in to get some coffee. I made a rude comment about the individuals parking job [as the vehicle did ride onto the curb…for fun]. One way or another that message found its way to the driver. I know this because as I went out to get into the ‘gokart’ [name for the Mazda2 rental car] the vehicle came speeding by me sprayed me with slush, rocks, and snow and sped off into the parking lot.

I lost it.

Completely lost it.

I stormed back into the store, spoke very harshly about what had just happened and stormed out and went home [at the moment I would have rather chased the vehicle through the city].

I made a scene in the coffee shop.

I made a scene in front of my girlfriend.

I raised my voice.

My anger boiled over.

I yelled in the phone.

I yelled in the car.

I just yelled.

I’ve since apologized to my girlfriend, but it doesn’t take back the action that I’ve displayed. I don’t have an excuse, though I wish the paragraphs above could justify my need to exert such anger. Realistically though; they don’t. Life is rough, Satan is working on me hard…and tonight I failed.

The best thing I can say, and I’m getting some serious rest after this, is to those that I’ve directly and indirectly drove up the wall in recent weeks; from work, soccer, family, friends, and everyone else in between. I’m sorry.

I’m just sorry.

-D-

O: Dating Rules


Doesn’t that title sound enticing?

No, this is not the 16 year old sit down conversation of curfews, talks, and cleaning of random shotguns. This is a moment that should be capitalized and noted of myself trying to place my ego [I’ve been informed that it is quite large] aside, and actually listen to some relationship advice from none other but my girlfriend.

A few nights ago, after chilling for the evening, we were outside her house and we started one of our many conversations, and eventually it led to conversation speaking about work and taking time to focus on us and God. I have to admit that I’ve never had one of these conversations before, nor had I ever anticipated one. However, my girlfriend made very compelling points of stating that I’ve got to take time out of the busy schedule of soccer, Subway, and everything else and just focus on us [as a couple] and growing our faith together, mentioning that some of her favorite time with me was when we just talked about God.

Yes, I do enjoy the humble pie.

Instantly I was defensive, I bust my butt constantly, right? Who was she to now tell me, after so many others had said the opposite, that I was working too hard. I was slightly frustrated, sad, and kind of hurt. I was failing at figuring out this balancing concept of life. I went home that evening, head slightly spinning, trying to achieve some sort of balance [yes, that is a Avatar: The Last Airbender reference].

That’s when I decided to try something new [for me at least]. I always applaud those married couples who have ‘date night’ at least one night each week. I think it is healthy, and I think it is healthy to start that idea as quick as possible. With both of us getting deeper into the Kansas City Shock, Subway doing its thing, and her company adding another store to the region [equaling a promotion for her]; time can become a rarity. So, while getting my drink this afternoon I told her that Friday night we’re going on a date:

Simple concept:
Dinner
Movie
Fun

With one large exception [at least for me, and I think partially for her]: no cell phones of any sort. It’s time for me to unplug and focus on the loves of my life; my God and my girl.

-D-

‘love letters’: Confession


Someday’s I feel like I’ve just stepped back into those awkward teenage years, just without the bad acne and voice skipping.

Confession: For the past two weeks I’ve had one single, specific thought process that has had me aching and reeling with thoughts of distress, mistrust, and poor guidance.

My night have been horrifically treated with lack of sleep and endless nightmares.

My days blur together like a numbing transit of time and space with no actually intellectual position on life.

I pour my time into soccer, work, and attempting acts of sleeping and running. It’s just not triggering the ideology of content, peace, or goodwill. I’ve found my temper to be short, my words to be harsh, and overall I haven’t been the most pleasant person to be around; at all. For those who have found themselves uncomfortably around me, I apologize for the past and perhaps in advance as I continue to try to understand my own mind, heart, and soul.

I could have made this post ‘X’ or ‘Mobile Minutes’ or whatever I would have chosen.

However, I decided out of spite and simple intelligence that ‘love letters’ may be best suited when discussing the hot topic that I consistently flee away from.

Honestly, if I’m being truthful with my thoughts; I can’t even express to you the absolutely terrifying idea of dating, relationships, anything along the lines. Even from a friend, a simple, “Are you OK? You’re quiet.” just instantly brings me back to the text over my phone, the phone calls late at night, every single moment in my past relationship where I made mistakes. I made the wrong move, and I further damaged myself and inflicted further turbulence to a already disruptive relationship and marriage.

I think back to where Jesus talks about the plague of the divorce is that once it is done, it’s going to be with you for the rest of your life. In many ways, it can become your label.

Why do you think that I love wrapping myself up in business? Work? Soccer? Traveling? Anything that can keep me moving? Simply put: to escape. Someday’s I think that there is no reason that anyone would even want to be with me, period. It’s a self-esteem and faith-lacking issue. Other day’s, when I humor the idea of growing old, having a family, even just a house as newly weds, or the first date…anything of those sense; I paralyze myself with fear and acknowledgement of this thought:

I’ll never be ready. I’ll never go back.

For as much apologizing as I’ve done over the past 11 1/2 months I stubbornly, regrettably, and sinfully refuse to forgive myself. I just will not do it. I cannot look in the mirror and convince myself that now, tomorrow, or ever that I would be a good husband. I’m self-centered, egotistical, profit driven; everything wrong with so many men in today’s world; I’m no different.

I see these Godly men around me, the ones with families, newly weds, or committed faithfully to their significant one, but not nearly as dedicated to their God and sorrowfully I cringe to idea that I’d do anything to be in that position; not just in the idea of a loving spouse, but just as a Godly man.

I believe we could chalk this up as a mere pity-party of the sorts, and I’d probably agree and refuse the opportunity to debate. Mark it up as a loss I suppose.

What’s even more unfortunate about this ever deluding thought process is the damage that is brings to a kingdom that I try to promote, to brag on, to demonstrate its love. I mean, tell me, what is God thinking while watching me type these thoughts. I brag so much on faith and what amazing things He has done, but I’m basically telling me, “No, not even You can make someone, anyone, that would be willing to deal with this. Even if you did, I would never commit, because in the end. They’d just leave. They always do.”

I try very hard not to ever get rooted into a niche, or micro-culture of any specific area because of the realization that nothing stays the same forever. For as much as I enjoy my cat that I’ve had for nearly two decades, I’ve fought to never become attached to her. Why? Because she will die. She will disappear. She is just a cat. While I’d hate to compare people to cats and other items in which we grow attached to, the fact is that everyone comes and goes, and I fear that there’s no one that would be willing to stay, or attempt to stay up with myself.

Late at night, when I’m exhausted and for one moment I allow the world to collapse onto me, I spent a split second thinking of what it is life. Trying to envision the joy that so many around me have encountered through their marriages, relationships, and everything in between. Naturally, I’d like my own story. However, as I quietly drift to sleep I tend to think that those chapters will strictly remain dreams.

-D-

 

#getyourpraiseon


Over the past couple days, I’ve stumbled across a interesting, new, consist, relaxing sensation:

I’m grateful and content with currently being single. Sure, a family? Someday. However, God hasn’t shown me that yet, and for the first time that I can recall…

I’m ok with that.

-D-