Monday, November 1, 2010

I realize part of my problem with writing is continuing to do so in a blog that no longer fits my life. I can't keep writing in something that doesn't match what is going on in my life. As much as I wish I never left Steamboat Springs, I did. I'm going to need to start a new blog, something that is more reflective of where I am, not where I've been. The old blog will still be out there for reference and strolls down memory lane, but this should mark the end. To all the characters and memories, it's been real. Onto the next blog: "Tales of Adventure; starring me, Chuck!"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I've finally got myself in a pattern when it comes to the gym again. It took longer than it should have for me to fall back into a routine and am now just beginning to see all that I lost. My core strength is going up, my stamina is increasing and to make sure I stick with it I have signed up for some long distance goals. In January I am going to run the PF Changs ½ marathon from downtown Phoenix to Tempe. It's all too not impressive 13 miles, but it will be the longest I have ever run for one period and I am pretty optimistic I can do it. Then in April I signed up for the warrior dash, a 3.5 mile run that has 12 obstacles (including jumping over fire and crawling under barbwire in mud). When you finish the warrior dash your reward is a beer and Viking helmet. The beer and the helmet was enough to get me to register.

To make sure I avoid injuries prior to the marathon and dash I went to a custom running shoe store to get fitted for a pair of shoes that would complement my running technique (or lack thereof). During this hour I learned that I put the majority of my weight on my left heel (56%) and that I have very high arches on my feet. When I run, my ankles bend inwards and push my legs out which results in pressure on my inside knees. I have been complaining of pain in my knees for the last year and I am really optimistic that these shoes and insoles will help alleviate that.

Granted the insoles and shoes set me back $200, there's proof in the pudding. I went to the gym today and just started running before lifting. I ran 3 miles no problem and when I finished the cool down my knees felt fine. It was such a relief to have ran that distance and not feel any pain. I even had the strength to do squats immediately after running. After the last few weeks of some fairly heavy drinking and poor eating I finally feel like things are coming together. As much as I write about the women in my life and how I feel towards them, I am making a conscious effort to just concentrate on me. There's a girl that I would like in my life and I cannot force her to be there so there's no sense in thinking about her more than I think of myself, so that's what I am doing one mile at a time. I feel better each day since I got back into the gym and since I've been pushing myself as hard as I have been I am seeing results. I'd write more but I got to put food on my table…stupid healthcare.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm normally very very good at reading people. My first impression is usually the one that sticks. Six months ago I put in for a transfer from one restaurant to another. It the world of restaurants it was definitely a downgrade from where I was working previously but it was a change that had to be made, so I made it. When I first got there my immediate impression was that I had made a huge mistake. I looked around and I thought that I had reset and thrown away all the restaurant experience I had up until then and was starting over. The people who I was going to work with were nice enough, but no one seemed to be someone I would really want to know. There were cliques from day one. A few of the cute girls were all hanging together, apparently friends from school that all decided they needed more money and took up serving. I didn't think too much of any of them, except that I recall they all had poufy hair.

We all broke midway through the first day for dinner and all the groups of people went their own ways. I went to dinner with a group of four, one of whom I knew, and ate pretty quickly. We still had some time to kill so we went and grabbed some frozen yogurt. Outside of the yogurt place there was a table where some of the servers were all sitting and chatting. No one really knew anybody so we all went up and said hi. I'll never forget what happened next: This very cute blonde girl (one of the aforementioned poufy-haired girls) looked up and with a very sincere and genuine smile asked me if I knew who I looked like. I've heard it before but I played along and asked who. Then all the girls chimed in, "Chad Michael Murray". I've heard this before and I gave my typical response of, "Yea I've heard that, and I really hate it." I laughed as I said it because I wasn't serious but then the blonde girl smiled and said, "At least you don't look like a Mexican Ross from 'Friends'!" and pointed to my eventual friend, Ever. I legitimately laughed very hard at this because it is actually a very apt comparison.

That was my first, albeit brief, conversation with Katie. I'll admit that I thought the girl was very cute. I had actually heard from one of my previous managers that there was a girl named Katie who I would be working with who was "Megan Fox-hot". I didn't really know how to take that but this girl was definitely very pretty, but more intriguing than anything. She had a way of smiling when she turned her head that made it feel like she was thinking about you as she walked past. I noticed that right away. As the weeks went by I slowly became friends with Katie and her friend Lauren. Lauren was a pretty easy read. She was a young, cute girl who liked to party and was not all too concerned with much else. She was fun. One night when we were closing she blatantly asked me out of the blue "Do you like Katie?" I was completely taken aback by this question but tried not to show it. "What do you mean? Like if I like her? Yea I think she is really cool." Lauren's response was that she was asking about the bartender Katie, not server Katie (the blonde one). There was a sigh of relief from me, but also disappointment. I really wanted to think that Katie had put her friend up to asking me how I felt about her. It was at this moment that I first thought seriously about my feelings for Katie and that I must be starting to fall for her.

Of course when I think I might start falling for a girl I immediately begin to second guess myself. I rationalized that a girl like Katie wouldn't be into someone like me, that she had plenty of other guys that were interested or that she was already seeing someone. It was hard to get a read on her, so I focused my attention on Lauren. I wasn't falling for Lauren in any way, but I was bored and she was cute so I figured if I couldn't have Katie then I should at least have a good time. Lauren and I flirted back and forth and one night we both got drunk and ended up in the same bed the next morning. Katie had been there with Mike, not with him, but they were both partying with us and were some of the last people standing from the night before. When I came downstairs everyone already knew that I had been upstairs with Lauren. I laughed it off and went on my merry way. This continued on for about a week or so and then abruptly ended just as soon as they had begun. During this time I felt a little ashamed, ashamed that I had these thoughts and feelings towards Katie and ran off with her friend. I eventually learned that I was correct with my initial read on Lauren as some people who knew her from her hometown would confirm. I was happy to be done with it and move on. I started seeing a girl who was nice and funny and cute, but the sense of intrigue and romance wasn't there. I hoped it would develop but it never did.

A few more weeks went by and the summer was officially in full swing. That meant that everyone who was still in school could party just about every night and I would go out with them when I could. On one such night a girl Megan had some people over to her place and we all had some beers and some laughs. Katie was there, and we had been talking and flirting with one another the whole night. We went down to the pool to do some night swimming and the group we were with kind of broke up a little and I was left alone with Katie. In that moment I threw all the preconceptions, all my concerns and all my feelings and kissed Katie. I thought I was over her, I thought I was over my feelings but in one instant, with one kiss I knew I wasn't. To my amazement and my relief she kissed me back, and there was feeling behind it. I was drunk, but in that moment I was sober and wouldn't allow alcohol to cheapen what I was feeling. What happened next was a torrent of what I had been feeling. I told Katie everything that I was thinking, everything that I had thought, all at once. It probably didn't make a lot of sense to her but to me it was a relief to get it all out there.

She told me she felt similar, but that she wasn't sure how to feel because of things that had happened with Lauren and I. She said she was annoyed that I was apparently interested in Lauren. I explained to her that this wasn't the case and since it was the truth I believe Katie thought me to be sincere. We kissed a bit more and then slowly retreated back into Megan's place and fell asleep. Well I did, I think Katie and Megan stayed up. Time passed after that night and Katie and I continued to flirt and make fun of each other at work. Cute little text exchanges, funny conversations would follow. Katie had to go home and get surgery on her knee, and I found myself missing this girl immensely. Work, a place I had come to enjoy, wasn't the same knowing I wouldn't see her there: No matter how bad my day had been, or even how good, seeing her smile and give me a cute face just made my day better. The whole month she was gone I was constantly thinking about her and texting her. We had some really great conversations about how we had similar feelings, missed one another, and wanted to see where things would go.

When she came back it was an awesome day for me. I was so excited to see her that I couldn't think of exactly what to say. I just kind of stood there and smiled dumbly. I can't imagine it was the best impression to give her after a month absence, but it was too impossible not to do exactly that because it's how she makes me feel. My normal wit and charm and cynicism just melt away. She completely disarms me and I love it.

Since she's been back we went out on a date once and I didn't want it to end. We kissed afterwards and I genuinely felt like she enjoyed it as much as I did. Since that time I've really only seen her at work, but we still talk and flirt with one another. I don't want to push things with her but I also don't want to lose an opportunity with her. I really want to see where things go with this girl and I am hopeful she still does too. I told Ever that it feels like I always have a 50/50 chance with this girl, but that's part of her charm. We will see where things go with her, one day at a time. In the end, even if nothing more happens, the way she has made me feel and the way she has restored calm to my heart will be what I take away. I wasn't sure I could feel the same way about a girl again, but she's proof that I can. She inspires me to be better than I am and work at being a better person. So if nothing else, I owe Katie a thank you, and hopefully a kiss, too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 17th

A little over a year ago I made a decision that impacted my whole life. I drunkenly broke up with the girl I thought I loved. After two years of a relationship that was better in theory than in practice, things were finally over. I didn’t want them to be after a few weeks of being alone and ran back to what was familiar but by then it was too late. The gravity of my decision began to sink in and for a very long time I think I was depressed. I didn’t know that I was depressed but I did act like I wasn’t; a state of denial really.

What really hurt was that the girl I used to be involved with ran right into the arms of someone she worked with. This happened within two months and whatever scar tissue had formed over my aching heart was cut anew: From there I sort of lost control of myself. On the outside I presented a calm and collected front, but on the inside I was raging. This hurricane eventually downgraded itself into a depression and from there a constant drizzle, but it was still there reminding me of what I had lost and constantly wondering if I would ever find that feeling again.

Then about a month and half ago I had an epiphany: The problem wasn’t her or what I had lost it was my attitude towards her, towards life. I was looking to cover up those feelings with alcohol and women and though it worked as a temporary heal, the wounds would always reopen when my muse was exhausted. Being an out of control borderline alcoholic sycophant has it perks, but the lifestyle is old and redundant. There’s more to life than aimlessly soul searching for something you already have.

So what have I learned on this journey of self-discovery and self-pity? I’ve learned that good friends are invaluable even when they are not there. I’ve learned that pain is temporary and its sole purpose is to remind us that we are still alive. I’ve learned that once you accept your mistakes for what they are you can move on. I’ve learned that negative emotions and thoughts are impossible to avoid but not impossible to overcome. I’ve learned that the girl I thought I loved didn’t love me. I’ve learned that I deserve more than a half committed relationship despite the mistakes I’ve made in my past. I’ve learned that some people find love sooner than others. I’ve learned that experience coupled with opportunity can present itself in ways you can’t see if you don’t have the right attitude.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am currently in a two hour meeting. Please order one gun, one bullet and deliver it to my table, compliments of my employers. I'll be in the bathroom figuring out how best to self inflict a non-lethal wound with above ordered gun. Thank you

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February in AZ is hard to beat. I will miss this the most when I leave, outside of the people, duh.

Also, there is a hopeful pro athlete packing heat at the pool. I'll miss AZs gun laws too.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I like being able to write my musings whenever I like, this is going to be good for this ol' blog. This blog can now be much more "real time", not in the Bill Maher way, but in the literal "this is what I am currently doing". I know people want to know what I am doing and thinking at all times because let's face it, who doesn't?

It saddens me that I have not done a better job of recording my life. I'm actually envious to see the rewards others have given themselves by keeping up with their writing. In some ways I think writing is so much more definitive a captured moment in time versus a photo. A photo only shows you what is happening at an exact moment without much context. When you write something it gives you insight to how your mind was working and what you were thinking at that point in time. I think this serves as better reinforcement than a photo. But hey, photos are pretty swell too.

Last night work was pretty good. Any day I walk out of there with more than $100 I count that as a pretty good night. It's funny because on all accounts I should loathe my job as a backserver, but I don't. I work with my ex's boyfriend, I get paid fairly poorly and work harder than most people there and yet I still have a smile every night for some reason I do not know. I do like the respect and recognition I get for doing my job well, but that's hardly my focus. I find my job easy thus it is easy to excel. I'm being moved up next week to a full fledged server which means I'll have to prove myself all over again but that shouldn't be too hard. Most servers don't have too much going for them and I'd like to consider myself the exception to the rule but then I have to rationalize that everyone probably thinks they are the exception to some rule.

I promised myself I would never go back to the world of serving but plans change. Years ago I was graduating college, had a steady job lined up and a steady girlfriend. Fast forward three years and I still have a steady job (x2) but everything else in my life seems upside down from where it was. In my case change isn't something bad, it's something I've always sought. On the cusp of change again, I have every intention of leaving Arizona come the end of October. All signs point to Colorado, but I think I'd be happy just about anywhere, provided it is not a city with no culture and hellish summers.

For now, AZ ain't bad. I'm just going to shift life into neutral for a few months and just enjoy the rest of my time here. Both my jobs are means to an end, an end I cannot wait to start. That is me being poetic and failing. This is picture is not me failing:

Just kidding. That dude totally fails. I shared a plane with him back to Phoenix. Ick.