Friday, May 29, 2009

Life & Times: Part I

This is not my beautiful house, this is not my beautiful life. How did I get here?

I've decided to write another kinda serious series of blog posts, traveling back in time, going over the thoughts, actions (both internal and external), and emotions that got me here.

"Here" is everything and nothing all at once. It is everything in the sense that it is all I have. Nothing in the sense that I feel like I am starting over from scratch, back at square one, with nothing much of my past to show for anything.

I'm 25 years old, basically unemployed and uneducated (that is to say I lack much formal education), in a place that I would have never pictured myself in, living with someone I would have never pictured myself living with, all the while gazing from afar at what was my life.

I feel like Facebook is the crystal glass of my past. I use it to keep up with old friends, sure, but it acts more as an alternate form of reality to me. I see all of my friends from back "home" and what they are up to: through photos, event invitations, wall banter between them all, and I feel a large sense of disconnection. I subconsciously put myself into those pictures and events that make up the life I should, would or could be living. I wait helplessly for the day my ex girlfriend's relationship status changes from "single" to something else. I try to picture myself in the background of group photos. I see other friends leaving "home," but for a destination; somewhere they are headed for a purpose, whether it be further education, employment, or love. These are the worst parts about being away from "home."

So, I pose the question to myslef time and time again: what am I doing here?

I had a bit of a revelation regarding the answer, just earlier this week. As I left the Cook County courthouse a free man, with all of my DUI woes behind me, it started to come together. My first reaction was sheer elation. I was really worried I was not going to leave the courthouse that day. Though I had complied with all of the stipulations of the court, after everything I had been through, a part of me was just not sure what would happen.

After nearly crying on my drive home, and actually shedding a few tears as I hugged my Mom goodbye, I turned the radio of my sweet new 1991 Pontiac up loud, and sang along with my old Chicago stations. I felt great, free, and almost reborn.

The further south down I-57 I got, the more and more the excitement faded and I came down from my emotional high. It's not that I got sad all of a sudden, but I began to think about the question once again: where was I headed and why?

I came to the partial conclusion that I was avoiding "home" because of all the emotional baggage attached to it. For nine months I had been escaping (or hiding from) my problems. Initially it was just the DUI, and maybe some minor family issues. But then it turned into more serious family issues, responsibilities I had back "home" and of course, eventually Jess.

So, less than a week later I am asking myself the question again. The answer has not changed much, and it's still not much of an answer. Have I convinced myself that Champaign is just more fitting to my lifestyle? I don't think so. Am I simply not strong enough to deal with the emotional pain of being near my ex? Is there more to it than that? What events, people, emotions and actions have lead to my move and caused me to stay here?