A Shift Of Sorts.

Look at me, writing in my personal blog with some sort of regularity. Who am I?

It’s been a busy week since my last entry. Work, getting ready for roadtrips, taking stock of my life, getting robbed….

Oh yes, that happened. Apparently, thieves putting credit card scanners on gas pumps in Las Vegas is a big thing. And once thieves get your number, they can run with your “virtual” card and go on spending sprees. Mine had high aspirations of Circle K and Wal-Mart dreams. You know, if you’re going to do this, at least have some “Movin’ on up” George and Weezie-level ambition, man. Dine well. Dress well. Probably not travel well because that’s personal info. you can’t corroborate.

In any case, they played havoc with with my financials, in addition to having my PayPal being simultaneously hacked, to which the two together shut down my account for good. While my bank’s phone customer service was less than sympathetic outside of frauding out the bad charges, the in-bank representatives helped me out with a better account. Also while all of this was going on, someone stole all the drinking water off of our front porch.

Yes, it’s been that sort of week.

At least I had a friend help me out until I get matters settled.

If there was ever a time for vacation, this was definitely it, for I. Am. Done. It’s hard to believe I’ll be back in the homeland in a few days, about the same time that I was a year ago. Then again, I can’t believe that this is one of those “milestone” birthdays for me.

Not a big fan of the age, but I’ve decided to accept it on my terms and my rules. In other words, I dictate my age, and not the other way around. I expect that, much like this time last year, this will be another “reunion” for me. My present work was goodly enough to give me this time off without any drama or hassle, so I can enjoy the time more this outing.

I have been… reflective about this trip. Perhaps because my last visit affected me so meaningfully. I had “all the feels” seeing my classmates, my friends and family, and even the changes that have taken place since my last visit. When I wrote about the experience last year, I perhaps sounded a little more somber about it than expected. I had a very enjoyable visit, but it affected me. I was so deeply touched by the genuine and sincere nature of old friends and classmates, that it just made me more nostalgic for “old times” than I’ve been for a while. Because Vegas is…. I think I am at a point where I am having to find my place here again.

That, with my birthday coming up, it does tend to put everything in perspective. My life by default is eccentric and eclectic. Most intentional with some you can’t plan for. I don’t want to turn my age into “a thing”. I don’t need “things” in my life. I need moments. And a sense of order in my chaos. My life doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but me, but I do value the things in my life. I just have to make sure that things value me in return.

I went out the other night with co-workers for drinks. We played a game/exercise where we imitated the best and worst of ourselves. It was light fun, but when they got to me, I thought I was ready. My attitude was very much “Go ahead: Imitate my mannerisms.” And then, for people who know me, and yet don’t know everything about me, their impression of me was a near direct channeling of my Father from hand gestures to vocal inflections. Of course, they wouldn’t have known that, but I found it striking that I saw them doing more of a Dad imitation than me, and then realized that for all things involved, I have ended up taking after the old man.

Last night, I went to a going away party for another friend. We didn’t hang out as much outside of online, but I’ve thought she’s been a great person, so I wanted to support her in a moment that had meaning and importance to her. I thought about that as well, about how support, or even in some cases just simply showing up to say “Hey, I’m here”, is a sign of respect and value. I want people to know that I care.

Even more noted, that with Jen and I getting into a discussion of the original National Lampoon’s Vacation, Jen compared me to some of the mannerisms of Clark Griswold. I am committed to, and more often that not obsessed with creating “perfect” memories when it comes to roadtrips and even holidays. I want it to be the “Best Experience Ever”, which will cause me to go over the top to make things happen. To do that “one more thing” to just add to the overall experience. And while I haven’t tied any aunts to the roofs of any car (oh, but we all have one), I do manage to bumble my way through situations to provide the best results that I can.

I’ve learned that my personality is a weird combination of my Father and Clark Griswold this weekend.

I don’t expect next week to be anything more than a celebration of life. I’ve earned making it to this age. If it’s going to be “a thing”, it’s going to be one of my making. On my birthday, I plan to step out on the white sands of my one of my most favorite places that I’ve ever been, and just simply be me.

It’s time for me to redefine. Use my past experiences as building blocks for the foundation for who I choose to be. I plan to temper things. Simplify. Focus more on goals and a “greater good” than get stuck in the day to day drudgery of miserable people and politics and things that don’t get resolved. I just can’t do the latter anymore. That’s where my “world weary” sets in. I think I’m going to stick to the idealism of “making the world a better place”, but that has to start with me. And then I’m going to let that spread to others. At this stage, I’ve found that I’ve grown to believe that the only thing you really need to be a good person is yourself. So let’s see what I can make happen for the next ten years.

One “perfect”, bumbling moment at a time.

I carry less tennis rackets on my trips.

I carry less tennis rackets on my trips.

Countdown To A Fourth Decade.

Hard to believe that in two weeks, I’ll be on my way to celebrate my fourth decade with family and friends.

Candidly, it’s a little weird for me to say “40″. I don’t look it. I certainly don’t act it. And I couldn’t tell you the first thing about what “40″ is supposed to act like. Yet here I am (Well, not just yet, anyway).

I will admit to being a little more reflective, however. A lot of roads have taken me to where I am. Some good, some beloved, some amazing, and some a little disappointing. There were a few things that I thought that I would have done or have figured out at this point, yet I still have time. If I’ve passed the due date for Logan’s Run for this long and am still standing, then I’ve got a few more adventures left in me.

A lot of what I’m thinking about is priorities, with where I want to be, and what I want to do. I had two wonderful personal homecomings last year with my last cross-country roadtrip, and my high school reunion. I believe that life experiences are building blocks that we stack up, store, and sometimes have to take out again to sort out and refit them back into the larger picture. With my health scare last year, I had to stop for a moment, and reassess my values. I’ve been holding up well since then, so it was little more than an isolated incident, but I’ve prided myself of my durability, and to have a chink in the armor happen like that takes time to recover from outside of just physically.

Truth of the matter is: I just never saw myself as getting older.

I don’t know what I expected: Perhaps being whisked off to some grand adventure where if I’m not creating things of value, then I am doing something of importance. Paying bills is not my idea of a “life plan”. It still isn’t. I’ve held so many titles and can do so many things, that I guess in some way it’s frustrating that I haven’t found my perfect outlet yet. Whether it’s timing, or just seeing beyond the fantastical storytelling, looking back, I’ve led a full lifetime for each decade. I certainly have no plans of stopping now.

But that leads into “boring” choices like eating healthier and taking better care of myself, and cleaning out all of the excess clutter from my life. That’s always the “safe” thing to do, especially around the beginning of a year. But I’ve also been wanting to take control of my video gaming career. My acting career. My writing career. And I’ve got a family to build. Not set them on the backburner anymore, and reintegrate them back into my personal structure. So I am trying to consider podcasts, and e-books, and Twitch gaming. I’ve got to push my creative outlets again. Repetition has always been my personal Kryptonite.

But life has been fairly subdued of late. Those who want to see some of my visual day to days can always check out my Instagram – A social platform that I have found that I like. Kind of hard to sponge in pissy posts when people are mostly focusing on outdoor vistas, their pets, or a meal they’re currently eating.

Going “home” this time (though I missed Burning Man again this year) is going to be different. I took in a lot of my old days, but I think it will be more settled this time. I don’t want to necessarily turn 40 into “a thing”, but at the same time, I want it to be a celebration of my life with the people that are as such. That, and another roadtrip under my belt is coming. I’m facing my birthday on my terms, and I want that tone to set the stage for my next 10 years.

We all have our talents, and my calling is this: I’m a damn good writer. It’s about time I find out how good I can be.