Got To Choose

My parents made sure I knew I could do almost anything anyone else could do as I was growing up. I love them for that. While I never played organized sports, backyard football games with the neighborhood kids were a staple of the first ten years of my life, and I never felt like I didn’t belong.

I carried that confidence through most of my life and part of that confidence is what led me to believe that I could forge my own way and live completely independently, in a city far from home.

As a friend put it the other day, “Living alone is killing you.” And now my confidence is completely shot.

So, after agonizing for months, and at times seeing no way out, I have decided, for the sake of my health and my sanity, to leave Atlanta and return to Richmond.

I really hate that it has come to this, and at the moment I feel like a complete failure. The last seven months (dating back to when I left my job in July) have cost me so much, and now that this ‘experiment’ is ending, I realize that I haven’t solved anything; the exact same questions that I thought were being answered by moving to Atlanta will have be answered at some point down the road.

For now though, I just want to shake this depression and conquer this leg and stomach pain. It’s no lie when I say that every hour is a fight to find something positive to hang on to. I’mnot sure where I am going to live, I’m not sure what kind of job I will be able to land, and I am not sure how I will get around Richmond. Like I said in a previous blog entry, Richmond, the city, holds very little for me, but it’s the best option now because that’s where my family is and where some very important friends are.

Even though I feel like a total failure because this didn’t work out at all like I planned, I know that the support of family and friends is what I need now if I ever hope to get out of this spiral.

I want to thank my friends in Atlanta, especially Wendy and her family and Vickie and her boyfriend Travis. They have been nothing but fantastic to me since I had an Atlanta zip code on my picture ID card. They have been very supportive, and I love them for it. (As an aside to my Atlanta friends, if you would like to donate some boxes, I would gladly accept).

I want to thank my mom for coordinating my return with the help of her sister and brother in-law. The next few weeks for me are going to be nomadic and hectic as I try and find somewhere new to call home.

I am devastated that my plan for independence didn’t work out, and it hurts that, at the moment, my feelings toward Atlanta are a bit soured. The Braves’ first Spring Training game is in less than two weeks, but at the moment, I could care less about the baseball season. That may change once the games start to count in April, but right now, I don’t see it. That saddens me deeply.

Things I have learned over the last two months:

1)   I don’t own many solo albums by the members of The Beatles, but the one must own record was not recorded by Lennon or McCartney, that mantle belongs to George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass.’ The three-record set has been on my iPod consistently since Christmas and, some of those songs are as close as I will get to singing songs about religion. Even in the depths of my sadness, the songs on this set have offered solace and at times peace. I’ve owned the record since the mid-1980s, but it wasn’t until recently that it fully resonated with me. If you don’t already own it, you should.

2)   Jackie Gleason as Sherriff Buford T. Justice in ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ and clips of an intoxicated Ace Frehley circa 1979-80 will always make me laugh, no matter how sad I am.

3)   At some point over the last 20 years, Apple Jacks cereal added green circles to the orange ones. Who knew?

I’d like to thank Rob H. for his blog, ‘Robster’s Place.’ His last entry from February 3rd really hit home. Parts of it could have been written by me I identified with it so much. I tried for two days to formulate a reply on his blog page but never mustered up anything I was happy with, so I want to say here that your writing helped me a great deal and it meant a lot. Thank you for being so honest.

I will be back in Richmond soon, and eventually I hope to not feel like a completely broken (and broke) failure. Once I am feeling a ‘bit more like myself’, I’ll look forward to seeing those of you I haven’t seen in a long time. My immediate future will be spent extricating myself from contracts (my lease, Comcast, Georgia Power and, not to mention my employer) and trying to muster up enough energy to move yet again, for the third time in fifteen months.

I really wish things had turned out differently. This one’s going to take a long time to get over.

As always, thank you for reading,