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My Adventure

We All Have One, What's Yours?

Not A Bad Thing

Yes, I am fully aware that this is the title of a Justin Timberlake song, and yes, he gets mad credit for it because it is an amazing song…also a big reason why I am writing this.  That song, in more ways than one, describes my exact feels at this moment.   What do you mean though Shane, what *feels* could you be speaking of?  Well, let me learn ya something about what’s going on inside my head, and let’s be honest, heart.

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So, there’s this girl.  Well, woman rather, and an absolutely amazing one at that.  For the time being, we will call her something totally masculine and evasive to throw anyone off, and call her Luigi (if she reads this, she’ll get my Super Mario Brothers reference).  Moving on, she is hands down, the most amazing woman I have ever met in my life.  As I am typing this, all I can think about is her smile, and how it brightens my entire day when I get to see it.  It’s one of those smiles that literally warms up your heart and soul, combine that with her deep beautiful eyes, I’m lost.  There are no words that describe the sheer beauty of this woman, inside and out.  For those that follow Game of Thrones, picture Khaleesi, but twice as amazing and beautiful.  There you have her, my Luigi.  She’s sweet, caring, understanding, *smaaht*, and just perfect.  I am doing everything in my power to take things slow with her, because I want things to be perfect, I want things to be right, I want the fairy tale romance…the white picket fence, the big house, all of it.  You may ask, “what’s the catch?”  There is no catch.  Not with this one.  “But, Shane, you said that song has meaning, and I listened to it, there has to be a catch.”  Well no, not really, and if there was, that’s her business and not y’alls.  So bam!  I will not tell her story, but I will speak on how I feel about her.
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There are things about this woman that not even my words can describe.  I just can’t.  There are no written words beautiful enough to describe her, nor how she makes me feel.  She truly makes my heart skip a beat when she is around me.  When I check my phone every time it lights up, and I see it is her, I break into a big, goofy grin.  I know this because my best friend pointed it out to me earlier when I was texting her; “Who ya texting buddy?  You have this big goofy grin going.”  I mean, c’mon now, it can’t be *that* bad.  I’ve had feelings for women before, pretty strong feelings, hell, I’ve been married.  But nothing I can describe even comes close.  I’ve seen things that have absolutely taken my breath away, I’ve experienced things that were simply life changing, but nothing like this.  The closest thing to ever make me smile this much was the first moment I held my baby boy, and hearing him laugh for the first time; *THIS* makes me about as happy as that did.  happy

I’m not one to jump through hoops and go out of my way to say sweet things, especially if they are not true, and this is not one of those instances where I am saying nice things to make myself look better…this is one of those instances where I literally cannot say something other than sweet things about her.  In my eyes, she is that kind of girl.  That kind of perfect.  The kind of woman you write home to mom about, and again, and again.  The best part?  The nerdy and goofy things I say and do are actually funny to her, I’m 100% myself with her, and it has not ran her off yet.  Look, I’m not here to score some bonus points, I don’t even care if anyone reads this post, I’m writing it because I simply cannot get the girl off my mind.  There are a million things in this world that I am unsure of, and do not know, but I do know one thing…I do know that this girl makes my heart beat faster and slower at the same time, she gives me that funny feeling in my stomach, that sparkle in my eye is back and it feels good.  I’m not going to bore you with all the gooey details, but it’s definitely not a bad thing…

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Set It All Free

What do you write about when you feel there is nothing more to write about?  Nothing at all.  You just write and hope for the best.  Well, today is one of those days where I need to write to loosen my mind and free myself from the mundane.  I’m not here to write for everyone else to read, and to make others happy by reading words on a page, I’m writing for my own sanity, to temporarily free myself from the prison that is my mind.  So bear with me, and just let me do my thing.write.jpg

The human heart is a very complicated organ, it is our life, without it we’re dead.  So what happens when it feels as though it is broken and shattered into a million pieces?  You pick those pieces up and do your best to put it back together.  At 31 years old, I’m pretty sure my heart looks like one of those yard décor gazing balls that was dropped in the middle of the street and someone glued that back together…not very pretty but it gets the job done for the most part.  I’ve been beat down and bruised, twisted and broken, I’ve been through the ringer. I’ve been in relationships, broken up with, cheated on, let the love of my life slip through my fingers and marry another man, broken others hearts; hell, I’ve been married and divorced, and what does this say for me?  Most people would give up and deny having love for anything in their hearts at this point, yet here I am, holding on to emotions that aren’t really there.  I try my best, I let thoughts kind of run wild with no real focus on much other than to live.thoughts

Today, is that day.  Today, I choose to live.  I choose to do the things I enjoy doing, the things that make ME happy, and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.  If I want a beer at 9:00 in the morning because I’m off work and it’s nice out, and I just want it, then I will have one.  This summer is MY summer….and the little man’s.  I bought a brand new tent this year, and if the weather holds out, we will be camping in our backyard this weekend for his first time and our tent’s first time.  We will be outside as often as we can, I will enjoy this year.  I am not living for you, I am not living for my ex-wife, I am not living for my brother, my parents, my friends, I am doing it for myself.  I have to find myself, find my peace and be the man I know I am on the inside, and if not just for myself but to show my son that life is precious and what you choose to make it.  I will wake up with a smile every day because I am alive.Freedom

There comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to make a choice.  All too often we make that choice complicated by calculating every aspect of how that choice can affect us.  Why not make some blind choices, live for the moment and make it what it is.  We are dealt a hand in life, and just like in Poker we can throw some cards back in and draw another.  They say life is a game, so why not play it?  Instead of just dealing with what we have, make it what you want it to be.  If you hate your job, get a new one.  If you and your significant other argue all the time and you honestly cannot stand them, leave them and move on, that’s your call.  You do not have to be stuck in a situation because society deems it the “right” thing to do.  What is right and wrong anyway aside from the views someone else bestows upon you?  You are the one in charge of your life, you decide what is right and wrong for you.  Do NOT let a television or a magazine tell you that you are fat or ugly, what do you feel?  Do you feel like you are hideous and should wear a paper bag in public?  That’s your call, find the beauty in yourself and harness it.beautiful.jpg

You just have to take the good with the bad.  It’s taking me my whole life to get to this point where I am what I am, take it for what it is, and I’m still not completely comfortable with it.  When you get to the point in your life where I’m at, being a single dad and having the world look you in the face and tell you that you aren’t worth it sometimes, you fight back and prove it wrong.  You are the only person that knows your own worth, and only you can show that to the world.  I’m not comfortable in my own skin most the time, but I make due and try my best to be.  Am I the best at it?  Absolutely not.  Am I still depressed a lot of times?  Absolutely.  But I deal with it.  I grit my teeth and push forward, I make myself be happy…granted I have help from a little three year old that grins at me and makes me laugh.  Truth of the matter is, I do what I can to make myself be me, but this summer I am putting more focus into fixing me, healing and finding myself again.  It’s a relief to be able to say that and know that I am fully capable of taking the necessary time to make it happen.  Thanks for reading, and as always, what’s your adventure?stress.jpg

Darkest Nights Bring Brightest Days

There comes a time in everyone’s life where it is acceptable to reflect upon their lives; personal and professional.  Tonight is one of those times where I find myself reflecting on my own life, mainly personal, and thinking about things I could have done differently.  Truth be told, there are many things I have done in my life that some would deem “uncharacteristic” of a good person, and while I should possibly be ashamed or bothered by these, I’m not.  I do not regret the decisions I’ve made, they were choices I made that resulted in particular lessons that I have learned from; and they have shaped who I am today.  For that, I cannot be ashamed of.  You see, I sit here writing this blog as a 31 year old man, divorced, successful career, father, son, brother, uncle, and for the most part a happy person.  So you may be asking yourself at this point, what is there to reflect on?  That’s where the “for the most part a happy person” comes into play.

forget-what-hurt-youI am happy.  I am happy with my life.  Did I see myself getting married and divorced a few years later?  No, absolutely not.  But am I at that point, yes, yes I am.  Does it bother me?  Sometimes it does, absolutely.  The people who say that it does not bother them, well we call those people liars.  There will come a time and place in my life where it does not come to mind as frequently, and it will not bother me the way it does now, but that time has not come yet.  I loved my wife, with everything I had in me, but sometimes that’s not enough.  And sometimes that love becomes more of a job than an emotion, and when you have to force it, it just is not worth it.  Now, this is not a blog to bash my ex-wife, because as
I’ve said in previously blogs, she is an amazing woman and an excellent mother to our children, and I will stand by those words until my dying day.  We just became stagnant, we came to a place where we were better off as friends than as partners, and that’s okay.  The part that bothers me the most is the kids.  The fact that they have separate houses, the fact that they do not get to see mommy and daddy every day, that they have to share their time with the both of us.  And that my friends, is what this blog is about.

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My ex-wife and I share our kids, we have a spoken agreement on our custody.  We work very well together for what works for the two of us, and for our kids.  Granted, some of you that know our situation know that our daughter is not “ours”.  She is her mothers birth child, and mine only by title.  Being that her mother and I are no longer married, that is all I have with her is a title, and love.  I have no legal obligation to her by any means, and to some people they find it ridiculous that I still raise her.  Quite honestly, those are the people that I do not need in my life.  For those that know me best, they know I have a huge heart and genuinely care for people.  That little girl is MY daughter, and always will be.  In my heart, she is mine.  She has been a part of my life for at least five years, I say at least because I can vividly remember five birthday parties of hers.  Five years is a long time to be a part of a child’s life, that’s something you cannot just brush under the rug and pretend like it never happened.  I am not the type of person to just bow out of a kid’s life and say “Well hey, your mom and I aren’t together, so we’ll pretend these five years never happened, I’m going on my way”.  No, screw that.  She’s my daughter, and always will be.  daughter

Back to the topic at hand, when the kids are here, life is amazing.  Granted, when my daughter isn’t here and little man is, it’s still amazing.  Being that my daughter has a “biological father”, I’m accustomed to her spending every other weekend at his house, as well as most of the summer, so I’m used to her being gone.  But my little guy, no, I’m not used to that, not at all.  Especially since when my ex and I first split up, I kept the kids full time to allow her to get her apartment together, and get everything worked out to where she could start taking the kids.  So there were a couple weeks straight where they were with me 100% of the time, and she came to visit basically daily.  Those are the nights that get me.   Right now, is definitely one of those nights.  I have no idea what to do with myself.  I love my children with every aching bone in my body, I would give my life for them if it meant complete happiness for their entire lives.

parentsUp until the time I met my ex-wife, I did not care about anyone but myself.  I was the epitome of a bachelor.  I did what I want, when I wanted, and did not have a care in the world.  For me to date someone with a kid, let alone have them move in with me, was a huge deal.  It meant I would no longer having that freedom I was so used to, the late nights drinking and playing video games, lounging on the couch in my underwear drinking a cold one…those nights were gone.  Now I have those free nights again, a few times a week, and I do not want them.  I have plenty of things to do, I am moving my father in with me at the current moment, to help him and myself out financially, and to be there for him with his health problems…and I am taking my time.  What I should be doing right now is moving stuff around, unpacking his stuff, getting myself situated in my “new room” (I moved to my basement so he could take my room, he cannot handle stairs).  But I’m not doing any of these things.  Instead, I am in my room typing this out, trying to retain what bit of sanity I have left.light-in-darkI have the freedom to go out and have drinks, to go have fun, go to the gym, go on a date, go do whatever it is that I please…and I don’t.  Why?  To be quite frank with you, I’m depressed as fuck.  The second I drop the kids off, or that their mother picks them up and they are gone, I fall into a dark place.  I feel the full effect of depression.  I lose all energy and focus, I want to sit in a dark room and just go to sleep.  I hate Sunday’s for this reason (that’s when they leave for their mom’s).  The days that follow do not get any better…until they come home.  When I have the kids, I have a routine, I have plans, I know what I am going to do.  When I know Tuck is home with my dad, I come home on my lunch breaks to see my little guy, even if he is sleeping, just to see him.  Then I come home from work hours later to be greeted by big hugs and kisses and cuddles.  Tomorrow, I will come home to nothing.  There will be no giggling, no hugs when I walk in the door, no “Daddy home!”, no toys strung out through my entire living room, no messes to clean, no telling my daughter to clean her room and empty the dishwasher, no baths to give…just nothing.

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Without my kids, life is nothing.  Granted, I could actually make a big attempt to get back into the dating scene and throw myself out there, meet someone that will take my time and make things worth while, it’s possible.  And honestly, I would love to have someone to talk to and spend time with, I’m at that point where I feel I am ready to date again.  Yet, at the same time, I would feel bad for anyone I would date.  I would never be focused.  Especially if we go on a date and the kids are at home with my dad, I would not even be thinking about the task at hand and would only have the kids on my mind.  For example, I went to a work event a few weeks ago; free drinks, free food, a concert, everything, and the entire time all I could think about was getting home to cuddle up with little man and go to sleep.  Luckily, everyone decided to make it an early night and I rushed home, making it home just before he went to bed, so I got my night time cuddles in and slept peacefully.depressionTo ease the pain at times, I get on random “single dad’ forums and websites, just to read how other guys are doing it.  Truth be told, it actually helps, I’m not the only dad out there that is a single dad and truly cares about his kids.  Some of them keep their kids full time, some only get visitation, some have split custody, and some just do not get to see their kids at all.  One thing is the same with all of them that are on the sites, they love their kids, and love them dearly.  They all feel the same type of pain, to an extent.  Some have learned to cope with it and find hobbies to do, and suggest to others to find things to do to pass the time when the kid (s) are gone.  Some of the guys actually have stable relationships with someone new, and their kids love them (or some cases hate them).  The thing is with all of these forums and websites, there is a lot of women on there too that have advice and things to say, and it’s always the exact same thing, something I would have never guessed.  They always say that single dad’s have it harder than anyone else.  In all honesty, I would have said single mom’s have it harder, but after reading some of the posts, especially the posts from women saying it, I can kind of see why they say single dad’s have it harder.  Dating a single mom has kind of become the norm now, it’s acceptable to date a woman with “baggage”, it’s not uncommon to find a woman that has kids.  But a single dad?  Now that’s unheard of.  A man that accepts his responsibilities for his children, cares for them, loves them, nurtures them, raises them, and is actually a part of their lives, that’s not common.  A man with “baggage” is not exactly a sought after trait on any dating website, trust me, I’ve looked through several.

single-dadMy theory on the whole thing is that if I am going to bring someone into my kids lives, it’s for the long haul.  I refuse to bring someone into their lives without the intention of them being there for a long time, if not permanently.  Basically, if I grant you the opportunity to meet my kids and we are “dating”, then you should feel honored.  I may be quite the catch, once you get to know me and ignore the harsh shell of a person I am presently, but the true catch is my kids.  I do it all for them.  If I am going to spend time with you, when I could be spending it with my kids, that there says a lot, because let’s be honest, I’d rather be with them.  Instead, I’m probably at a bar, or a club, or a coffee shop, or whatever with you; but am I dressed up as Captain America?  Am I wearing a cape?  Am I crawling around on the floor pretending to be a dog or a horse?  Am I getting the opportunity to be Buzz Lightyear?  No, I’m not.  I could be having so much more fun at home than I am with you… listening to you talk about the Kardashians or some Dolce & Gabbana bag you are dying to have.  If I go on a date with you, you better make it worth my time, because I know what I want and will not hesitate to end the date early to go be with my kids (pending it’s a night where I have them).

dating-single-dadNow do not get me wrong, I’m not a complete asshole, just quasi-asshole.  As I said earlier, I’m extremely depressed when I don’t have my kids, and that makes me a little mean.  It’s easier to hide behind anger than sadness.  If you don’t believe me, watch ‘Inside Out’, cute movie.  I just know what I want and deserve in this life, and I will not settle for less than that.  What I want the most is for my kids to be happy and safe at all times, and what I deserve is the best.  Rant over.  Honestly, I just needed to vent, and try to get my mind off of things, but there’s no hiding the truth.  I miss my kids dearly, and it’s only been a few hours, and I should be sleeping, but I’m not.  As always, it’s my adventure…what’s yours?

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I’m Baaaack!

Long time no blog, huh?  Last time I wrote I said if you didn’t hear from me after my Florida trip that I was probably turning tricks on a corner to get back to Evansville.  Well, I made it home, no tricks were needed.  So, I’m back home.  The trip was great, the kids really enjoyed themselves, and while we did not get to do all the things we wanted due to the weather or what have you, we made plenty of time for fun and adventures of our own.  That’s all that really mattered, we connected and had fun, I was able to spend every waking moment with my kiddos without distraction.  It was pretty freakin’ amazing.

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Welcome to Florida USA

I also said in my previous blog about dating someone, yadda yadda, and it was my job not to screw it up.  Guess who didn’t!?   That’s right, I did not screw it up.  But it did end, and I really do not give a crap at all.  It was not my time or place, and I viewed it as a lesson well learned, something that needed to be explored a long time ago, and it has been now and now I know how things would have been.  It’s the time that I just put more focus into me, and just me.  That does not mean abandoning my kids, because I can’t get rid of them, they’re my life.  What I mean is stop worrying about “finding someone”, or moving on, and that kind of crap.  It is not necessary, and honestly not wanted.  I’ve learned that I am a much better person on my own, I can do things at my leisure and how I want them.  I finally getting my house back into shape and decorated the way that I want, the way that I feel expresses who I am, my desires, and my personality.  So yes, it’s a hot mess, maybe more like well-organized chaos.  It’s my organized chaos though, deal with it.organized-chaos

I recently had my birthday, like 5 days ago, and it was pretty nice.  I FINALLY got my T-Rex costume, and I love the crap out of it.  If you haven’t seen one in action, go to YouTube and look up American Ninja Warrior T-Rex, it’s worth the time.  Anyway, I have one, and I have a ton of fun in it.  Truthfully, I cannot wait until Halloween, I plan on putting some inflatables up in my yard for kids to come up and have a photo-op with, all the while standing there in the T-Rex and pretending to be just a yard decoration, then BAM!  Pounce on the kids and scare the crap out of them.  I’m also going to try my hand at making a haunted maze in my front yard, if you can’t tell by now, Halloween just so happens to be my thing.  I go all out, as much as possible, for Halloween…if I had the time and money I would so make a haunted house in my carport and through my backyard, I just don’t have that kind of energy to plan and make it all come to life right now.  Eventually though, eventually.

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Look forward to some more frequent blogging in the coming weeks, I’ve got my office all put together at home and have my computer “working”, as long as the charger quits pissing out on me.  I have found though that I write the best blogs when stressed or under some kind of emotional trance, writing to just write does not seem to capture the full thought as much as I would like write now.  For instance, this blog, at this point I’m writing to fill up some free space and make it appear long than it really is.  And to prove my point, I actually copy and pasted this paragraph directly after this one, just to see if anyone actually reads these.  So if you got this far and realized that the next paragraph is the EXACT same, then comment or like this blog.  Y’all have a good day, and remember to continue making adventures.

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Look forward to some more frequent blogging in the coming weeks, I’ve got my office all put together at home and have my computer “working”, as long as the charger quits pissing out on me.  I have found though that I write the best blogs when stressed or under some kind of emotional trance, writing to just write does not seem to capture the full thought as much as I would like write now.  For instance, this blog, at this point I’m writing to fill up some free space and make it appear long than it really is.  And to prove my point, I actually copy and pasted this paragraph directly after this one, just to see if anyone actually reads these.  So if you got this far and realized that the next paragraph is the EXACT same, then comment or like this blog.  Y’all have a good day, and remember to continue making adventures.

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Another Day Another…well..Day

It’s been exactly one week and two days since the Fourth Of July, nothing huge.  As per my previous blog, I had a get together for the Fourth, it was just actually on the third, so my plans for the actual Fourth of July were nothing major.  My best friend and I decided we were going to go to the movies though, and we got our movie time wrong, so we ended up at Show Me’s to eat and have a few brewskis.  Low and behold, the night was far from over.  What started out as just a couple beers before our movie, turned into an all-nighter slamming back beers when an “old friend” showed up.  Long story short, we finally left the bar and the three of us went back to my house to hang out longer and drink a little more.  I had no idea at that very moment, that it would go the way it has.  To avoid going into  details and expressing feelings, or making this blog all about her (as she already has one devoted to her), we’ll just say things have been well…and the feelings I used to have are definitely reincarnated.  The biggest thing I have to worry about is not screwing it up.

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On a separate note, I am taking an official vacation next week, the kids and I are going to Panama City, FL to visit their grandparents.  Going all out, renting a car and the whole shebang.  Should be nice just to escape the throws of reality for a few days, nothing major, I’ll only be gone about three days, four tops.  It’s been a long time since I have taken a road trip by myself, and myself I mean me being the only person driving, and now I am toting two kids with me.  It will definitely be an interest trip, that’s for sure.  Especially since I have never made a road trip that far by myself, and any time I have been to Florida I have been with people that knew where they were going.  Bring it on, I’m up for another adventure.  If you don’t see another blog from me again, it means I took a wrong turn somewhere, the kids have been sold into slave labor, I am turning tricks on a corner, and all hell has broken loose.  panama-city1.jpg

I choose not to speak about certain things, especially on the internet, but I have to rant, just once.  This whole “Black Lives Matter”, “White Lives Matter”, “Blue Lives Matter” thing has just gotten completely out of control.  Slavery has been abolished for decades, racism was a thing of the past, and now this is all coming back.  From what?  Some racist cops killed some black men, with or without justification, it’s not my place to say.  I just think this is been completely blown out of proportion, and some fascists are taking it waylives matter too far.  How about “All Lives Matter”, I mean really, let’s be honest here.  If you aren’t being a part of the solution, then you are just becoming a part of the problem.  The solution definitely is not to shoot someone else because they believe in something else, or they are of a different race, or sex, or what have you.  Where is the justification there?  I’m a white guy, if I went and shot an Asian guy because he shot and killed my cousins black girlfriend, does that give a completely different Asian guy to go shoot a white guy or a black guy?  No, absolutely not.  Shoot an Indian, shoot a Mexican, shoot a Jew, shoot a German, I’ll tell you what, the streets will run red.  And do you know why?  Because our blood is all the same color, it shows no race.  If you want to shoot and kill anybody, join the damn army, at least then you’ll be shooting the people who have put targets on not just you or your family, but your entire country.  I’m a firm believer that to save money on recruiting troops, and to save money on prisons and jails, people that are given a life sentence, or just a large sentence in general, or has committed a horrible crime should be sent to be on the front line of our army.  A guy goes and rapes and kills a young woman, or several, you really want to stick him in prison to sit there…alive?  Hell no.  Stick that guy right there on the front lines.  Force him to defend his country, make him do it against his will, just like he did to someone else.  Of course, leave it open for people to still join the army at will, just make it a little separate.  Maybe the crooks and criminals are treated differently, stuck in a different bunker, have to sleep with chains, something.  Moving on…just stop.jpg

I ramble a lot, especially when things get me fired up, so shut up.  If you are reading this, you have found something interesting in a previous blog and wanted to come back, or you know me and just enjoy torturing yourself with my words.  I just find certain things hard to believe, and obviously am not in a place of power to make any significant changes.  Like politics, I avoid discussing that like that plague.  I am not well-informed enough to pass any judgment, but I will say this.  We’re basically fucked.  Pardon my French, but we are.  I am about convinced to do a write in, and just vote for Vanilla Ice, at least if there’s a problem, he’ll solve it.  It’s insane that either of our main two candidates have even made it this far, it’s like someone said “Hey, let’s give America a real life “reality show”, we’ll call it ‘Life As You Know It’, and they are the cast!”.  We are being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, and I, for one, am at a complete loss.  I will not bash either candidate for what I see wrong in them, not here, not now, but I do not like either, for various reasons.  And I am comfortable enough with saying Bernie should run Independent just so I can make the right decision, even if he was not elected.

ice pres

Furthermore, my hands are starting to cramp.  That’s what happens when you just let your fingers go and don’t really plan on what you are going to say, you just let it happen naturally.  You rant, you rave, you grab the mic and get up on a soapbox, and you have at it.  As most of my blogs are, I do not go in with a specific idea on what I want to write about, it just comes to me.   Yes, I do sometimes censor myself and hold back from talking about specific things, people, or ideas; other times it kind of just happens.  Such is the life of a “washed-up, has been” writer.  One thing that does get rather annoying though, being told how I feel or what kind of mood I am in.  I’m not a depressed person, I’m not sad, I’m not mad, I’m not stressed, and I am certainly not upset.  Right now, I am at peace.  Being at peace, for me, is the lack of other emotions that jeopardize my well-being or those around me.  Right now, I am good, as I have been for awhile now.  I’m not a ticking time bomb, I’m not ready to cry, and I’m not going to punch someone in the face or crawl into a hole and hide.   I am right here, in the open, for the world to see.  So look at me world, what is it that you see right now?

Do-You

I can tell you what I see when I look in the mirror, past my boyish charm and rugged good looks (haha).   I see someone who is struggling with inner conflict, but not upset by it, someone who has taken their falls and picked themselves up again.  Someone who knows exactly what it is that they want, and is just biding their time to choose wisely as to avoid mistakes.  I see someone who wants to make things right, and do things right by the people he has wronged before.  I see someone who has a huge heart, that is willing to do anything to make someone smile, or laugh, or just acknowledge the fact that they are better than they see themselves.  Someone that will be there, by your side, to ensure that you are happy with where you are in your life, that puts another persons well-being ahead of their own.  I see someone that will put the health, love, and comfort of a loved one above all else…someone that knows exactly what kind of love they deserve, and that they are finally comfortable enough to express that emotion with the one person they truly love.  I see someone, that is going to pull out all of the stops to not give up on the one he loves, to fight for her, to prove that he is completely worth the wait that they have both endured, to make sure that she always keeps her head up and smiles because her smile is way too pretty to not share with the world.  I see someone who is going to end this blog with telling everyone that this is his adventure, followed by the question…what’s yours?

wont give up

 

 

 

 

4th of July

So it’s officially the Fourth of July, birth of the great place we call America…and what do we do on this day?  We blow shit up. Fireworks galore, alcohol, grilled food, bonfires…yeah, I love America.  This is probably not the best time to write, as I am intoxicated, but it’s a well deserved occasion.  There is a lull in the party at the Bradley home, and I just felt compelled to write to my audience.  I’m surrounded by a few friends, most of which I call family, my two children are inside “camping” out on the living room now that fireworks are over.  My father has just recently left for the night, as did his buddy, and now I’m left with just the handful of people that I can tolerate being around for more than 20 minutes.  My ex-wife and her boyfriend showed up just to see a few fireworks and to see the kids,my brother and his army of children also showed up to enjoy the food and festivities.  Now here I am, listening to random conversations watching people sneak out to my back porch to fool around, and what have you.

What does all of this mean?  It means it’s been another successful shindig that has been thrown by me.  Here I am, listening to my “Jewish” friend ramble on about God knows what, but it is entertaining.  He’s not ACTUALLY  Jewish, but I have publicly wiped ashes on his nose despite his knowing of it, and proceeded to tell random strangers he was a jew and I had wiped his past ancestors on his nose…great bar joke.  At least it left me with that great story and laughs for many years, I was a horrible person at one time, but…shit happens.  Currently they are discussing religion, the three of them, while the other two are hopping on the good foot and doing the bad thing in my screen in porch. :/  This is my house and I am literally without.  And I kind of prefer it that way.  At times, yeah, I acknowledge the fact that I am completely alone when it comes to the love of a woman, but on the same hand, I acknowledge it and am happy about it.

I’m alone.  I have nobody asking where I am, what I’m doing, concerned with the little details on what I am doing.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  We were actually on the subject of my past “love life” and my actual number, which I had to turn to my best friend to get a closer to exact number.  I’ve lived my life fully, I’ve been in love.  I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve fulfilled my so called “bucket list” of love…I’d say with the exception of a midget, but legally that happened.  She was 4’9″ and over 18, by law that is a midget.  So technically, that’s been accomplished.  Go me, right?   Which in turn makes me think of ‘I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell’, a quote/unquote autobiography by a gentleman named Tucker Max, whom my son is named after. Read the book, or if you are short on time, watch the movie.  I own both.

I’m rambling, I know.  But shut up, I’m the one writing damnit.  I’m at a stopping point anyway, so if you made it to this point, congrats, you deciphered my cryptic drunk blog, I’ll try to add some fun pictures as usually tomorrow when I dust off the old labtop and write a new blog.  Until then, remember, this is my adventure…what’s yours?

Fragmented Life

It’s been over a month since my last blog, and today I just feel like writing, let’s see where it leads shall we?  I’m sitting here in the air conditioning on my couch, the new episodes of Voltron playing on Netflix, and my toddler monster is body slamming a huge stuffed elephant on the mattress on the floor, or diving off the couch onto it.  It’s our normal Sunday.  On the weekends I bring a queen sized futon mattress into the living room so he and I can lay on the floor and watch shows until we fall asleep.  We both sleep better that way.  Somehow we discovered a cartoon based King Kong, which of course Tuck fell in love with and we have now watched Season 1 about 17 times, and I had to get him into something else, that’s when we found Voltron a few days ago, and he loves it now.  Good thing too, because Daddy used to watch the old Voltron when he was a kid.  Haha.  I’m not going to bore you with what has become our everyday Sunday, as it’s pretty mundane and not typically exciting.  I may ramble, but I will get on track and give you something of substance today, so bear with me.voltron

I sit here today and wonder how my life got to this point, and I cannot come with an answer, I’ve been contemplating that answer for the past few weeks.  More so last night than anything.  Tucker fell asleep early last night in the middle of a movie, and instead of going to bed with him I started watching my shows.  In the midst of all of this, my mind was just working a mile a minute, more so than normal.  In an attempt not to disturb his peaceful slumber, I got up and went outside to enjoy the summer air and night sky, smoke my very last cigarette, and think.  As I leaned up against my truck and lit up, I could not help but stare into the sky and search the stars for some kind of answer, some kind of sign.  I may not have explained in any previous blog, but I am extremely far from being religious, not even close to it.  I am, however; spiritual.  I believe there is a higher power out there, something that guides us on our journey, just not sure what I believe that is.  At one time, I looked toward Buddhism, the Tao, Greek gods, Roman gods, everything.  I have looked into most religions as some sort of guidance, and in the midst of all of this I have come to believe a little of everything, with no true religion.  If I were to claim anything, I lean more toward the Tao than anything, as it coincides with my life more than anything and helps me relax and cleanse my mind…most nights.lao tzu

But not last night.  I stood there, in a relatively relaxed state of mind, and was so far from being relaxed it was not even funny.  How did I become a single father, raising my son the best I can and guiding my “step” daughter in the right direction when she is here, which is not very often right now.  She spends a week at her real dads, then the next week is split between her mom and I, but on her days with me she typically stays at a friends house, so time is limited with her lately.  Single father, raising a toddler goofball, trying to hold my own onto this thing we call life, paying bills, keeping up on a home, ADULT LIFE.  Where did my life go?  Last week I was 22 years old at the bar drinking the night away with my buddies, taking home whichever girl seemed fit for the night, and not caring about life in general.  Now I work, come home and hang out with the kids, do housework (inside and out), relax on the couch after they go to bed for a little, and then go to bed myself.  I was married at one time, and that obviously did not work out.  I’m at this place, this stalemate.  I continue to fall apart, and sometimes I just feel like I cannot stop.  It feels like this life is just taking over who I am and is just controlling my every move, no matter how much I try to push back and fight it. I just feel like there is no way to win right now, but there is, I just need to find it.

falling apart2

Holding my little man and cuddling this morning, I realized how alone I really felt.  I am far from alone, as he occupies so much of my time, but I am lonely.  It’s harder to wrap my thoughts around that than anything.  I spent much of my young adulthood completely alone, avoided relationships, but not relations.  Fast-forward to today, 30 years old, and I want some type of relationship.  Just someone else to waste my time with.  If I could take it all back, I would not change much, but I definitely would not have lead the same life.  I forced myself into this callused shell of a person that writes to you today, and I am trying to break it.  I can write this, and tell you who I really am on the inside, but I cannot open up and show you in person.  I have been called almost everything under the sun, and considered myself most of those things; anywhere from douche bag, asshole, “fuck-boy”, man-whore, you name it I’ve been called it.  And at some point in my life or another, I have been those things.  At what point do you try to turn your life around and get yourself away from those titles?  Truth is, I don’t know, but I know I held the reigning title of most of those for so long that they became a part of me and placed a lasting image on my name.  I always laughed when people called me those names, and typically agreed to most of them.

walls

There was never a reason to hide the truth.  Yet, here I am today, and I know that at worst I may still be an asshole on some days.  Even though I really am not, just the callused shell left over from being an asshole for so long that I hide behind my mask.  I have tried to show my true colors and be myself, and it never turns out positive.  So what do I do in those instances?  I become a recluse, I stay at home with my little man and avoid most contact with the outside world.  More or less to protect myself.  I feel I am ready to get back into the dating scene, just have no idea how to go about doing it.  I know what I want in this life, in a relationship, just know that it is not an easy task finding someone that I want and deserve, more so someone that my children deserve.  In the meantime, I choose to stay single with an empty place in my heart, but complacent with life and happy that I have the love of my children.pain in veins

Hell, as I said before, I owe Tuck more than he will ever know, he changed my entire life and essentially saved me from a path that was long and dark.  I look back on my life and realize that a lot of things I did were no the smartest, and definitely not the safest or healthiest, but I have left that life behind.  As I said earlier, last night I smoked my last cigarette, I’m done.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved smoking, but I did not love how I felt when I woke up in the mornings or how it was going to effect me in the long run, and it just isn’t fair to Tuck to have a dad that did that.  I do not drink even close to how I used to, once in a blue moon I drink more than my fair share, socially only for holidays or get-togethers, but I still keep my shit together and my mind intact.  I just live a different life than I used to, and people that used to know me don’t understand that.  My life is completely different than it used to be, and I’m living with a purpose now, to continue to be better than I was the previous day, to become someone that my son will truly look up to and be proud of.  I’m a fragment of who I used to be, but that fragment is a better version of who I am.  My goal in life is to build upon that fragment and make it a whole version of a better me.  As always, this is just my adventure, make your own.

better-me

 

Livin’ the Dream

It’s not every day that you talk to someone you haven’t spoke with in awhile, let alone answer the question “What are you upto these days?”. What’s even more rare is when you answer, and your answer is the absolute truth. I always answer “Livin’ the dream”, because I very much am.

I don’t know about you, I don’t know what you wanted to be when you were growing up, so I cannot speak for you. Did you want to be a home improvement retail manager? Did you want to sell pipe for a living? Or did you want to be a police officer, an astronaut, the President? Aside from wanting to be a football star, I wanted to be like my dad. In every aspect that is. I wanted to work at Kuester’s Hardware, I wanted to be good with my hands and crafty, smart, funny, all those things. Well I am, and have, accomplished all of those things. But that was not my only dream. I also wanted to be a superhero.superhero
You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? Most little boys wanted to be one at some time or another. Superman, Batman, The Flash, Captain America, Ironman, countless others. In today’s world, we’re surrounded by them on the silver screen and on our local cable networks, as well as made for Netflix shows; not to mention the few actual vigilantes out there in the real world trying to stop crime. But this blog isn’t about those superheroes, it’s about me. Mild mannered Shane Bradley by day, by night (and on weekends), I fulfill my dreams. I become Dad-man.

Now you’re reading this thinking “His dreams? Did he want to be a salesperson? Did he want to be divorced at 30? What is wrong with this guy?” The answers are simple. Yes, my dreams. No. No. And not a damn thing. But, I did want to be a superhero, and that’s what we are focusing on, so shut up or go read a blog about kittens with cute little videos. No, really. Do it. Kittens are cute man, who doesn’t love those videos? If you’re still here though, read as you may.CAPE

Do I wear a cape? Sometimes. Do I save lives? Not necessarily save them, but I shelter them, raise them, and guide them. Do I have any superpowers? The answer is a resounding HELLLLLLL YES I DO! Have you ever tried to be a single parent, work a full time job, and maintain a home, all while trying to live a normal life and find your place as a person? Let me be the first to tell ya, it’s not easy. Yes, my ex-wife is around and takes the kids on her days and does her part to be an excellent mother, but as I said earlier, this is about me, so shut up. She’s awesome and loves her children, and they love her very much, she can write her own blog about being Super-Mom if she wants, but I’m selfish and want to talk about me.

Back to being a superhero. Mild mannered Shane Bradley, pipe salesman by day, and Dad-man by night. I do my best to cook (or order take out), maintain the yard, clean the house, do dishes, do laundry, feed the dog, feed the other critters, make sure both kids get a bath, homework is done, rooms are picked up, toys are put away, rules are enforced, and that’s all before bedtime…for them. Dad-man, on the other hand, stays up on average 30 minutes to two hours later to add finishing touches. Fold laundry, and take a little time for himself. It’s not easy being a superhero, but it’s all worth it in the end. Green Arrow didn’t get paid everytime he rescued Star City, but the city adored him and knew he was there for them. Picture me as Green Arrow, and my two kids as Star City, I’m not getting monetary payment for ensuring they are taken care of. What I do get though, is far more valuable than money will ever be. I get to see my children grown up, I know they are healthy and have a roof over their head, their wants outweigh their needs but not by much, they are safe. I get to look in their eyes everyday and without a word know that they love me, and even if we argued the last fifteen minutes, they appreciate the fact that I am there.

capes

I could be the deadbeat father who has four or five kids and does not care for any of them, or even just one of them, but I’m not. I could raise some of my kids and not care about the ones that don’t live with me, and when I do see them treat them like garbage, but what kind of person does that make me? Is that showing my daughter the respect and love she deserves? Am I silently showing her the type of man she should want to spend her adult life with by being like that? Would that be showing my son the type of man he should grow up to be? Short answer, no. Whether you say one thing to a child, positive or negative, your actions are what defines you. For example, I told my daughter she was getting beef flavored canned dogfood with dog biscuits on the side for dinner tonight. She knew it was a joke. I tell her all the time I’m going to beat her in her sleep or ship her to China, all of which she knows with all of her heart is false. How does she know? Because I show her. I would never physically assault my child in any manner other than a slap on the wrist or a spanking, if necessary. My words inflict more punishment than my hands ever will. Today’s youth are so easy to scare into doing something with words, I mean, seriously. “Clean your room now or I’m disconnecting the internet”, for that phrase alone you can get your entire house cleaned, car washed, laundry and dishes done, and probably half their stash of candy. It’s too easy. Why hit a child when you can verbally assault them with threatening no more internet. Maybe that’s why I got hit with a belt a lot as a child, we didn’t have internet for the longest time…and when we did there was no major reason to get on there.

Lost where I was and rambled again, back to the point. So when you ask me how I’m doing, how I’m holding up and I respond “Livin’ the dream” it’s not false information. I’m not feeding you a line to get you to shut up. It’s the honest truth, because in reality who wants to be someone they are ashamed of? I know I’m doing my damn best to make sure both my children are happy and healthy, and if that’s not a superpower then I don’t know what is. Truth is, not all superheroes wear capes. With that said, be on the look out for “The Adventures of Dad-man” coming to a theater near you. What’s your superpower?

Supers.png

 

 

What Kind Of Love Lasts That Long

It’s kind of funny that yesterday I wrote about being fearless and taking chances, yet I clammed up like a shy two-year old and froze, like always.  It was not planned, actually I kind of had my fingers crossed it would not happen, but it did.  My best friend and I took my kids to dinner where a certain someone works.  I was really hoping I would not see her, but I wanted to see her so bad at the same time.  Leading up to the events, I did not even realize all the emotions that had been stirred up throughout the day.  The whole day hadbutterflies been conspiring against me, and I was completely blind to the fact.  The morning started with me getting in my truck and driving to work with the first song on the radio being “Austin” by Blake Shelton.  Basically the song is about a man who never gives up on his love for a woman, very sweet and heart felt song.  Then later in the day writing about my “near-death experience”, I wrote a brief bit about taking my GWB to my senior prom, and about the emotions involved for me there.  As far as I was concerned, they were just little things and had no effect on how I went about the rest of my day.

 

That was until my buddy and I met up early in the evening to go to dinner.  We ended up going to a newer barbecue restaurant here in town, I knew she worked there, but it did not bother me.  The chances of running into her were slim in my head, and I had not thought in depth about things in awhile.  I was way off.  We walked in and I started paying attention to the menu right off the bat, and trying to ask my two year old son what he wanted to eat.  That’s when my buddy pointed her out to me, she was behind the counter never leftworking, and she saw us.  Her big blue eyes lit up, huge beautiful smile covered her entire face, and she was waving at us.  Immediately my heart dropped to my stomach and I started having cold sweats.  It had been a long time since I had seen her, and even longer since I had seen her when I was single and sober.  I tried to avoid eye contact as I knew I would get lost, as always, so I continued through the line until we got up to the ordering counter.  Holding my son, and trying to get my daughter to tell me what she wanted, I started placing their orders before I got to myself.  Then she came walking up to us, and grabbed me and gave me a hug, of course I melted.  What else was I to do?  I started fumbling for the words to say, and I’m sure whatever had came out of my mouth sounded completely incoherent and like a bunch of rambling muffled words.  She reached over and smacked one of the girls working on the shoulder and said “This is the guy that took me to my Junior prom”, apparently they had been talking about prom earlier in the day, and little did she know I had literally wrote about that prom date earlier in the day.

heart races

A little back story probably seems necessary at this point, since this whole blog seems to be about my GWB.  She was a freshman and I was a sophomore in high school when we had first met.  I had always had a thing for her, but one of us had always been in a relationship while the other was single, and we never really had gotten to know each other that well.  My senior year, her junior, we became really close, we had photography together, and of course my best friend was in the same class with us.  Being that we were in the advanced portion of the class, we had a lot more free time than other students and would spend timeimportant in the dark room office just socializing and goofing off.  Her and her on-again/off-again boyfriend were having troubles at the time, and she was still holding onto the fact that he may take her to prom.  He ended up asking someone else, which completely broke heart.  I still had no plans for prom, and of course I wanted to take her to my senior prom, just was not ballsy enough to ask.  We ended up talking about it, and agreeing to go to prom together, much to my delight.  That night crept closer and closer, and I grew more and more nervous as to make the best impression I could.  I went to pick her up from her home that evening, already dressed for prom, met her parents, and then we returned to my house to meet my buddy and his girlfriend (future ex-wife) before heading off to prom.  When I saw her in her prom dress the butterflies started flowing like you would not believe, I was in awe.  I knew I had feelings for her, but I did not know how strong they were as I had avoided it for as long as I could.

 

Still to this day, I do not think she has the slightest clue how much she really meant (and means) to me.  Of course, high school ended and I moved on, and we lost touch, only talking here and there.  I was too stupid to get out of my own way and pursue something, so I avoided it.  We spent many nights over the years hanging out and just talking, but we always lost contact because life just happens.  Most of the time it was me disappearing with my tail tucked between my legs.  I just could never bring myself to it, she was too good for me.  She always had the biggest heart, the sweetest personality, and was (and still is) an overall amazing person; she has the most beautiful blue eyes you have ever seen, a smile that could have brought the Mongolian army to their knees, and she’s just perfect.  So what happened?

whispered

I was not at the restaurant to bother her by any means, or even see her honestly, so I did my best to not pay any attention to the fact she was there.  More often than not though, I caught myself tossing backward glances in her direction just to see if she was acknowledging the fact that I was even there.  When we had finished our food, I kept stalling, finding things that needed to be picked up around and on the table, drinks that needed refilled, anything I could just to catch eye contact one more time, or the opportunity to walk up to her when she was not busy just to say “goodbye”.  It never happened.  They were far too busy for me to even attempt to get a word in edgewise.  So I packed the kids up and told my buddy it was time to go, and we left.  The whole walk to the car, the drive home, and the hours following all I could think about was her.  I tried to avoid doing it, I did not want to be that guy, but I did it.  I shot her a text just to try to make small talk and say that it was good to see her, and throw out the hopes of trying to see her again.  As per her usual amazing personality and genuine kindness, she replied.  I was at a loss of words on what to say back, even through a text, so I just played it casual and left it at that.

butterflies2

Even while writing this blog, I am fighting the urge to send her a text just to say “Hey”, I’m too nervous to do it.  We have both grown so much over the years, and I honestly thought I was passed all of this.  It has been twelve years since I was 18, almost thirteen years.  Twelve years!  I am not some 18 year old kid anymore. I am a 30 year old man, I have children, I have been married, I own my own home, I have faced my demons, I know who I am now, I know what I can and cannot accomplish…but I cannot do this.  I cannot muster up the courage to try to initiate conversation with her and try to even see her more often.  I am petrified of her because of how amazing she is.  That is the most ridiculous thing in the world.  People are usually afraid to pursue something because it may not be the right decision in their life, but I am afraid to try to pursue something because it would be the most amazing part of my life (even if nothing came out of it.)  Yet, here we are.  I am writing this blog, fantasizing about a love that never was, and she is just living her life and has no idea how deeply I truly feel about her.

control

Last night was about the time that I realized that “Austin” was Blake Shelton’s version of how I felt about this woman.  Now I can never listen to that song again without her coming to my mind, and I have no regrets whatsoever about that.  Long story short, the song is gwbabout a man moving on and living his life as normal as can be, but always has a place in his heart for her.  His voicemail tells how he is fishing, or bowling, or out of town, but his heart still belongs to her; however, the girl in the song knew he cared about her.  Every bit of it is worth it though.  My friends and family always knew I loved her, even if I did not know it, as I have been called out on it several times.  I finally accepted the fact that she was indeed my Great White Buffalo, but that is all.

waiting

I’ll continue living my life as normal, and I will keep on keeping on, but chances are there will always be a part of my heart that belongs to her.  While she may never know that she has that part of me, it’s there.  I’ll probably end up married 20 or 30 years down the road to an amazing woman, and see her at the supermarket with her husband, and the butterflies will come back.  It’s just a part of life I suppose, and I have grown to accept it.  As always, I just write these blogs to vent and let out frustrations or emotions that I find harder to speak.  Hell, she may even read this blog, and if I muster up the courage I may even send the direct link to her, but don’t count on it.  I’m stuck again, I found my way back to the quicksand, in fear of actually telling her how I feel.  But who knows, I may bring myself to telling the truth one day, telling her that I am still in love with her.  Until then, keep on reading, after all; this is my adventure.  Live your life, be carefree, love often, and dream without boundaries!

marley

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