Anxiety and how it takes over.

Years ago after my divorce with my kids mother I discovered that I could not control everything. This bothered me so greatly. I felt as if I was losing part of my life and things were spinning out of control. Control was something I always seemed to have until that point as I was always a very competitive athlete all my life. I was usually able to control the outcome of an at bat or a game. I never took the word lose very lightly. I would kick dirt throw my helmet in the dugout if things started to go wrong and I felt like I was losing control. I would always try to rally the troops. But with divorce I could not do this the courts had control over everything including visitation. It disturbed me not having control for the first time in my life. I was losing being able to see my kids full time to becoming a weekend dad.

Over the years I tried to learn I could not control everything, no matter how hard I wanted to control things, I tried to tell myself over and over again eventually things would be alright. Those thoughts would paralyze me at times lay me up in bed, as I tried to get through the mess of losing control and seeing my kids only on weekends. This drove me nuts still does at times as I want to be the real father I know I can be.

Now as i get older I feel like I only have a few real friends who support me and understand that at times my anxiety gets the best of me. Losing friends over the years was another thing I could not control. So when I do have friends who are always there it really makes a world of difference to me. But the thing I fear the most is those friends will someday leave find significant others, and i will be alone in the world to navigate once more. That Scares me alot. This is why I discovered that the one thing I have that is a constant in my life no matter what is my photography, I can capture one moment in time and go back look and relive that moment in my head.

this year with the surgery I had no control, without it I would lose use of my left arm. This made my anxiety act up in the worst way, and the healing process has been long and out of my control. I always hate when I have no control It makes me feel like there must be some way and than my mind goes into overdrive. I think most of the things I think are mostly big what ifs . Like what if I have no more control, what if I cant make the best of myself anymore. What if people think my photography is crap? All scary thoughts and we let thoughts like that get worse and worse til we are almost paralyzed with fear.

Like I said I watched Friends move on and now when I have friends sometimes I think I drive them nuts. I try to be the friend who knows everything, the friend who needs the attention because of friendships Ive lost I think I try to replace those and keep the ones I now have.  The one constant i have had by my side this past year is my one friend and my son. Ive watched my son become the competitive athlete I once was and it makes me very very proud, He has shown me things even I did not know he is a very smart kid, although maybe he lets his ego shine through sometimes, but that was me at his age.

Hopefully this explains a little bit about how I feel when things seem out of control for me so people get a little bit more of an understanding of me.

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What would you miss?

 

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So I am reading a book called station eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. About a pandemic called the Georgia Flu that nearly wipes out mankind. Behind is left abandoned places, with no electricity, or running water etc… She poses an interesting question in the book. If this really happened and we had limited resources, and we were forced to use horses, hunt and scrounge for water clothing etc… What would you miss most.

I am really not sure what I would miss most. Today everything is stored in modern forms of media such as computers. People really do not go to the library, or take photographs put them in albums. I think I would miss forms of visual stimulation such as photographs. Photographs tell the stories of where we have been, who we are and were. They tell most of our modern history. I am sure we would eventually lose visual forms of art to vandals and thieves. What would be left are the images in our heads.

We would lose most modern music and have to rely on what instruments we had left to entertain. We would rely on the old fashioned play, no more television, or going on YouTube for entertainment. We would have storytellers again, people who would tell stories of the past we would have to rely on their memories to provide us some of our human history. I am sure some of us would probably lose the skills to read or write to communicate.

I would probably miss being able to travel where you wanted to go on a whim and seeing friends and talking to friends from distances. We would not have cellular phones or Skype. We would not be able to just turn a key and go visit those friends when we want to. We would have to go back to letter writing and delivery services such as the Pony Express again. I would miss everyday conversation quite a bit. Really we do not know how lucky we are to be able to use phones, and social media to keep up with what is going on with our friends.

We would probably miss going shopping for the goods we need. We would have to learn new skills to survive, We would not be able to go to Walmart or the Mall to get clothing, or food or supplies we need for everyday living. We would have to learn to hunt, fish, sew and make items we needed to even travel from place to place. We would have to fabricate parts we needed for wagons etc…

 

Being able to go to a ballgame with my kid, or take them places like amusement parks. We would not be able to do any of that anymore. our entertainment would be limited, and we would again have to rely on old forms of entertainment that would probably be very new to most of the modern generations who have probably never even been to a play for entertainment.

Anyways just a few thoughts as into how life might be had we lost everything we know. What would you miss most?

My Hometown and simpler times

I was remembering my hometown tonight when I sat down at Steak and Shake with my friend Omar. We sat and talked about how things have changed within the past 30 years or so. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Bartlett, Illinois. Not much ever seemed to change. Of course over time we made new friends. Some stayed in our lives and some well I never knew what happened to them after I left.

I grew up in Bartlett until I was about 13 years old. I seemed to grow up on a very simple block, everyone knew everyone, and families always seemed to know where we were because they all communicated with one another almost on a daily basis. Our block was nice but most of the boys on my block were all older, and growing up some of them took us under their wings. They taught us how to skateboard, or they would throw the ball around with us normal boy stuff.

I had mainly friends who were girls in my neighborhood because those were all the kids around my age. I had my Friend Dina your typical girl who was kind of the smart ass athlete though. She was more a tomboy growing up with our group. She played baseball, running bases, soccer, sometimes even a football game with us. We would ride our bikes up and down the block, play on each-others swing sets. We really never worried about getting injured when we played.

We would go to the park right down the road. The parks back then were not these plastic parks you see now. We had the cage rocket ship slide made of metal, swing sets and monkey bars also made of metal. If we got hurt we went home got bandaged up and were right back at the park in 5 minutes. Like most kids we were a bit reckless and our parents knew where we were, and knew atleast one of us if not all of us were coming home with bumps, scrapes, and cuts. We understood doing stupid tricks might cause injury but we were kids. We did not want to sue the world because the playground was metal, or because we got injured just being kids.

The park was divided by a creek with woods on one side where many spring and summer days we spent playing war in the woods trying to build forts, and finding wood to build bridges to cross the creek. My first kiss was by that creek and it was with a girl named Melanie. Across that creek was a field with hills we also used to play tag and war and hide and seek. At the back of the field was an old rusted out propane tank apparently once meant for a house of some sort. but it was long abandoned and we used it to sit inside of and have juvenile conversations, Probably conversations to those similar to the conversations in the movie Stand By Me.

Another few girls I grew up with were Scooter, Sissy and Robin all sisters. We all kind of had our own cliche and knew almost what one another were thinking at times. I once climbed a tree in Scooters backyard and they had and old jeep body leaning against the back of their garage the branch snapped and i fell onto the jeep body. I am sure I probably cried but in 5 minutes we were back to playing.

Many summer nights were taken up by us playing baseball in the street, many times we played until we could no longer see where the ball was. Many times we would hit the ball into the “Old Geezers” yard. He was an mean old fool of a man who rented the house across the street with him and his wife. We would run quickly into his yard trying to avoid being seen so we did not experience his wrath and he would tell us how we should not hit the ball into his precious yard and yell and scream and throw a fit. Of course like the movie Wayne’s World, we had to move every time a car would come down the road. Most of the times those cars were neighbors returning home from shopping or work and would always wave to us kids. About half way through the baseball games in the evening the ice cream man would come down the road where each of us had a dollar for ice cream, My ice cream of choice was almost always the screwball with the gumball at the bottom.

After it got nearly dark our parents were usually by this point yelling for us to come in for dinner. We had no cell phones no pagers just good old fashioned loud parents who made their voices heard. We seemed to always rush through dinner on a summer night when we did not have school the next day. We tried to get back outside because it was time for the fireflies to come out. then afer that we would usually play a few rounds of ghost in the graveyard.

Some summer days we spent riding our bikes to Lizzie’s which was the local ice cream parlor and gag gift store, I bought my first can of fart spray there and I sprayed it on Dina’s bicycle seat, Her father Wayne did not find it so funny. Wayne could be a smart ass but we as children respected him because he had a very authoritative voice . He actually made me clean her bike… Funny thing years later I went to my Junior Prom with Dina.

Alot of days we also took our bikes to the Baseball Card shop on almost a daily basis. We collected baseball cards for a very long time and well trading cards with the other kids on the front stoop of the shop kinda became a staple of everyday life. The people who owned the shop always welcomed us in and never said a cross word to any of us. After the baseball card shop we would sometimes go to the drug store get candy and garbage pail kids. The hot dog joint Annie’s was right next door and we always went there for fries or a drink. Tcby was in the same complex for those who do not know what Tcby is it means the countries best yogurt it was a frozen yogurt shop and sometimes we would go there to, I stil know of one in chicago if your ever into finding frozen yogurt shops.

Sometimes we would go to the railroad station and we would of course be kids watch the trains pass count the cars, but the real motive was putting pennies on the tracks and having them flattened, Sometimes it would take us a few minutes to find the pennies in the rocks after. But we had fun social media, the internet did not exist. So we actually had to physically make contact with people, go outside and play and get exercise and fresh air. I loved growing up in that era because now we hide behind keyboards and we find love online. We do not date the old fashioned way anymore and everyone wants to move to the next level in a few weeks. Kids are now trying to grow up acting like thugs on the internet, and we as parents act like well they are just being kids. We should ban them all from the internet their phones for a month I guarantee they would be different at the end and see the importance of actual human interaction.

Anyways getting tired as I am sitting here typing this and I am sure I have plenty more memories to share but these were just a few thoughts that crossed my mind… hope you all read and enjoy.

 

 

 

Wondering what is around the Corner

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       So next week January 15th, 2014 I leave Northern, Illinois for the Fields consisting of Corn, and Soy and a Vintage town in Central Illinois. At the same time I am excited, I still feel some sadness, because of some things I leave behind, like my Family, and Friends mainly. I grew up here since I was about 14 years old or so, and have been in this area since. I got Used to places like McHenry, Illinois. Although me and my ex-wife are no longer together, I met her here in this area, and we had 3 beautiful kids together. I will be getting them a week of winter break, spring break, and all of summer. It is more time to spend with them overall though. Normally I only get them every other weekend on Saturdays and Sundays. I will be sad that they are over 200 miles away.

     I know this will be a change, like I said I am leaving my kids here with their mother, but I know they are still in good hands. I have many memories here though. High School Hanging out with my friends at the High School football games when I was a teenager and the dances after the games. Homecomings, turnabouts, and proms where many new relationships were made, but heartbreak also happened at times. Spending Time at the Spot which was a pool hall in McHenry, Illinois. Working at the McHenry outdoor theater forever and a day.Many nights spent there watching movies. Movies such as Casper, Finding Nemo, Jay, and Silent Bob Strikes Back, The Others, and the list goes on and on.

     The good thing about moving though is I am starting a new life, and getting to make new friends. I will also be able to break out the camera and explore new areas. the closest Wal-Mart will be about half an hour or so away. It is an amazing little town so Vintage, with a splash of modern with the outlet mall. St. Louis and Chicago are only about 2 hours or so away in case I do want to go to either city. Lets face it going to see a Blackhawks game at the United Center is Expensive and it will be cheaper for me to go to see them play the Blues in St. Louis.  Monicals Pizza is a delight to go to if your ever in Central, Illinois, and they have the most amazing French Dressing for their salads, and an even more amazing Pizza. We may not have places like we got up here like a Jewel, as those seem reserved for northern Illinois, and the Chicago Land area. We do on the other hand have the convenience of an IGA. If your hungry late at night places like Denny’s and a 24 hour subway are open. Some of the Best Carmel Apples I have ever had come from the Candy Kitchen there.

    I know I will miss the convenience of some of the stuff here. Most of all though I will miss My family, kids, and My Friends the most. I will be back occasionally to see them and spend holidays and such with them though. I hope my friends also maybe find it in their heart occasionally to come visit me to, I will not have very many friends to start down their, and sure would be nice to see some familiar faces on occasion!!! Well I am going to go for now I hope you enjoyed this it is different than I normally write. But if you like this hit like share it and please follow!!!

Thank You,

Brian