Monday, July 22, 2013

I Need A Hero....

If you know even a little bit about me, you know that I’m a sports fan. I was born in Denver and the NFL has always been a part of who I am. It’s how my family could reconnect at the times in our lives when we seemed to have nothing else in common. To this day, it’s a constant topic of conversation no matter what else life is throwing at us. 

I love the NFL and football in general. It’s my first love. But close behind is basically every other sport there is. Over the last five or six years in particular, I’ve found tremendous interest in golf, soccer, tennis, basketball and do my best to enjoy baseball as much as I can. 

I think one of the main reasons I love sports so much - especially as of late - is because there really haven’t been a lot of political heroes in my lifetime. I didn’t have an Abraham Lincoln or JFK. Not since Clinton have I had a political leader to admire. I was excited about Obama... and then almost immediately disappointed. Our political figures are supposed to be the ones taking us into a better and brighter future. They are supposed to be our vigilantes. They are failing. 

So I turned to sports where I can have heroes and strong men and women to look up to. As with all heroes, it’s hard to watch them fall. To realize that they aren’t indestructible. And then to have to find someone new to admire and hope they pass their next drug test or find a way to NOT beat their spouse.  

Clearly I’m a Broncos fan. Fanatic, kinda... and waking up to my ESPN Scorecenter app telling me that Von Miller, our strongest defensive player with 30 sacks in his first two years, was potentially facing a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy did not start my Monday off with a smile. 

I turned on ESPN, hoping for more details and wondering which would be worse - getting caught for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) or getting busted with weed or something. I knew he had some party drug problems back in his rookie year (2011) and, crazy as it sounds, I was kinda hoping that was what it was again. 

But before I could get too wrapped up in that story, The Ryan Braun story breaks. If you aren’t familiar, the quick version is that Braun, star outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, took a Lance Armstrong approach when he was accused of using PEDs in 2012. He insisted that the sample was mishandled. He even made the public question the integrity of the person who handled it. I believed him. A lot of public figures took his side. He spoke of the truth setting him free and all that crap. And he lied. 

Last, but not least, the Ohio State Buckeyes (football, to be specific) are facing a mess with some players who got caught in a bar fight over the weekend. One of them allegedly assaulted a female. These guys are on the ladder to BECOME heroes and they can’t keep their shit straight. 

I don’t know... I’m really not trying to be judgmental. Believe me, I don’t like to give up my vices. My mom and I recently started a little Mom/Daughter Fit Team to lose some weight and get back in shape (I thought maybe I’d like to try and catch one of them handsome, hard-working, responsible fellas one of these days and it seemed a good place to start). In order to do this, I also need to ditch some of the things that I really like to do which are smoke, drink excessively and eat deliciously fattening foods. These aren’t easy things to give up. I struggle daily. Sometimes hourly. 

But I look at these sports heroes and can’t help but think, if getting paid MILLIONS of dollars to do what you are good at and, usually, what you love, isn’t enough to convince you to have your shit together than geez, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself when I want a beer. 

But it is sad. Because heroes are so hard to come by these days. 

I’m not sure it will keep my from buying his jersey, but I will definitely hold it against Miller if we have to face Baltimore without him. Fingers crossed... 

Oh, and Michael Vick came into my restaurant today. His bill was $86.00. He stiffed the waitress. So, not that his image needs to be tarnished any further... but fuck that guy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fuck It, Dude... Let's Go Bowling.

Three years ago today, I turned 30. I felt hopeless and without direction. I couldn’t communicate with my family the way I wanted to, I hated my job and didn’t have much motivation to do anything about it. 

The one thing I felt compelled to do, however, was write. So, I made some fairly superficial changes in my life and decided to blog about them to see how my life could be different. What I ended up doing, however, was documenting my daily behaviors, discussing my relationships, airing out the laundry of my family’s past and generating a lot of... “feedback” as a result. I stopped posting entries last September. 

I’m not sure I’ve ever missed something as much as I miss this blog. 

I made a lot of mistakes and wrote about things that I probably shouldn’t have. My intention was never, ever to hurt anyone. However, when I say what’s on my mind, I have the tendency to upset others or hurt their feelings. I tell myself that if I can’t be honest, then what is the point of writing at all? But there is a limit. I’ve learned that. 

There was a lot of good that came from my writing as well. Initially, my family didn’t want me to continue writing about our past because it made them uncomfortable that I was sharing the kinds of things I was sharing. And I probably did take it too far. But the level of intimacy we now have as a family and the connectedness we feel is a direct result of the things I wrote about. In retrospect, I probably should’ve just written them all a letter or tried to discuss personally my issues with my past, but then again, I’ve always been a bit dramatic. 

I’m 33 years old today. While I still don’t feel any more motivated about finding a direction in life, I’m in a place where I can start letting go of control a little and start learning how to embrace taking things a day at a time. This is not easy for me, the Perpetual Planner. But trying to control the uncontrollable created an anxiety that was really starting to affect me physically. I’ve missed being able to “write it out”. I have no other outlet that is as cathartic. I’ve tried starting other writing projects or simply having a journal, but nothing ever felt quite as good as putting myself out there for others to love, loathe, relate to or simply stay connected with. 

I admit, it got a little overwhelming. I still have a hard time reading the negative things people posted in my comments, but I have to remember also that no matter how hard I try to show others the real me, everyone perceives everyone differently, based on how well they know each other. I can’t force people to have the kind of opinion I wish they would have about me. And I don’t make it easier on them when I feel like being an asshole. Which is often. 

With all that said, I’m happy to be writing again. I like to think I learned a lot from my previous posts and that I can still find catharsis in this blog without getting lost in the details. I definitely took myself a little too seriously at times (who, me?) and dragged some people down through my own insecurities. 

I went back and forth about this, but in the end, it came down to the fact that I spend enough of my time doing things I’d rather not be doing. Why not at least hold onto the one thing that makes me feel productive and satisfied? I think I’m supposed to say YOLO or some shit like that... 

So probably a more casual, light-hearted version of Sin City Seagull? With just enough Tina-Drama to keep it interesting? 

Sounds about right. Hope you’ll come along. 

- T