I’m taking them back, I’m taking them all back

Nostalgia: A sentimental longing or wishful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

Since the day that I accepted myself to be somewhat of a hopeless romantic, I stopped hiding it and became the sensitive type. I didn’t have many girlfriends through high school, I could have, but didn’t know how to approach/talk to the girls that supposedly thought I was “hot”. I was always told that I was good looking, so I would take the compliment and run with it. It’s weird, when I would get a compliment like that, it would boost my confidence and self-esteem, but not to the point of growing a pair and actually talking to them.

I’ve always tried to fit the stereotype of the typical dude who isn’t afraid of anything and hides his sensitivity, but I just made myself look stupid. It didn’t work for me and so I decided to just embrace my shyness by being myself, not pretending to be some idiot asshole jock douchebag. I was far opposite of being a jock anyway. I didn’t get along with them, they would bully me and some of my friends because we would go to school with red or blue hair and have patches of the bands we loved on our backpack. I remember this one time we were walking down the hall in the morning heading to homeroom and some little shit football player smacked the the books out of my friends hand and said “cool hair, faggot”. And their bitch cheerleader girlfriends were all laughing with them. He stood his ground though. My buddy went up to him and pushed him against the locker and was ready to fight the kid right there. One of the teachers saw the whole thing, right from when he slammed the books out of his hand, ran over to separate the two. They both went to the office, and my friend got suspended for a week while the jock dick got off free. I guess my point I’m trying to make here is how in the fuck could a be attracted to a girl like that who is attracted to bro’s like that?

So lets embrace being a loser. I had a ton of friends and we all had each other. They weren’t as socially awkward as me, but they loved me and felt confident when I was with them. We are still family to this day, 22 years later.

Yes, I was a loser and fucking damn proud of it too. That was how I became a hopeless romantic. Instead of trying to impress a girl every time I would walk past them, I would just smile at them innocently, then just keep walking without looking back. That is just one of many examples of how my new personality came about. I felt like me. This is me. It felt so amazing to just finally be myself. I no longer had to worry about being a loser because I no longer cared. I was surrounded by really good people and eventually I would be introduced to other people, then other people, then other people. If I was introduced to a girl who I thought was really cute and extraordinary cool, I wouldn’t try to hide my shyness, and the types of girls I was into would usually think that it’s adorable how shy I am. And then I became “mysterious”, and THAT was how I would start hanging out with them one on one. We wouldn’t go on a cliche “date” like going to a restaurant or something, we didn’t want to be predictable. Instead, we would just drive around town late at night with our 7-11 coffee and listening to the music that we identified ourselves with in a world we loved, spend an our or so on the beach at 1am, if it was raining we would take our shoes off and run around a golf course at a country club we snuck into in the middle of the night, or sneak into a hotel swimming pool in the middle of the night. We were romantics going on adventures while the rest of New Jersey was sleeping, or while those jock assholes were busy date raping the cheerleaders after killing a 24 pack of miller light. It was an amazing time. I loved being the sensitive guy. The types of girls I was attracted to were apparently attracted to sensitive hopeless romantic guys like me. It just worked. It was raw, authentic, and true. We had big hearts and life was really happening.

On nights that we couldn’t be together, I would get off of work late at night and drive past her house when I knew she was asleep and write a short and simple note to leave under the windshield wiper of her car just so she can have something to smile about when she would leave the house the next day. The note would say something like “hi” or something. Short and sweet.

And that was basically me in my early to mid-20’s (years after high school, obviously).

The older we get, the more we change as people. We mature, adapt, and keep up with life. I have always been a very nostalgic person. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to be at a different time in our lives while things are going really great in the present. I am 38 now, have two children, and married to the same women for 11 years. I love my wife dearly, but as I said, life goes on and so do we. With the drama our marriage has been facing lately, and the everyday struggles that most families eventually face, I have been very overwhelmed and have been doing a lot of reflecting of my fast and trying to remember that guy who I once was. I miss that guy. As I said, I have always been extremely nostalgic. But I wouldn’t change a thing about my life today in 2019. However, if I could just grab the feeling, emotions, and how we would view the world, and mash that up with the life we have right now and still be mature and keep up with our responsibilities, I believe that we could be a much stronger married couple with sparks in our hearts and butterflies in our bellies. Life would be much, much easier and full of wonder again.

Just the other night as Bonnie was getting ready for work, she had asked me to pack her lunch so she can save some time. I put 2 slices of bread and an avocado in her lunch bag, with a little note that said “hi, I love you. Have a good night 🙂”. I thought it would be a nice little surprise for her while she was on break in the middle of the night at the hospital.

She didn’t see the note.

This morning she grabbed that same lunchbox out of the refrigerator to empty it out. As it turns out, she had a very busy and crazy night in the ER with no time for a break. She saw the note this morning as I was doing the dishes, she said “aww… when did you write this?? aww.. thank you”. And for some reason, my eyes started to rain. I just got super sensitive and had to escape to the other room so my my wife and kids wouldn’t see me cry. I don’t know why I was crying. I was really happy that she loved my note. It was weird. So after this morning, and after seeing and hearing her reaction, I then suddenly felt inspired to write about it.

Be you, be curious, be adventurous, be sensitive, be vulnerable, and be inspired.

It was the first snow of the season
i can almost see you breathin
in the middle of that empty street

Sometimes i still see myself
in that lonesome bedroom
playin my guitar
and singing songs of hope
for a better future

life is
only
as good as the memories we make
and i’m taking back what belongs to me
polaroids of classrooms unattended
these relics of remembrance
are just like shipwrecks
only theyre gone faster
than the smell after it rains

last night while everyone was sleepin
i drove through my old neighborhood
and resurrected memories from ashes

we said that we would never fit in
we were really just like them
does rebellion ever make a difference

life is
only
as good as the memories we make
and im taking back what belongs to me
polaroids of classrooms unattended
these relics of remembrance
are just like shipwrecks
only theyre gone faster
than the smell after it rains

So long, astoria
i found a map to buried treasure
and even if we come home empty handed
we’ll still have our stories
of battle scars, pirate ships and wounded hearts,
broken bones, and all the best of friendships

and when this hourglass
has filtered out
its final grain of sand
i raise my glass to the memories we had
this is my wish
im takin back
im takin them all back

⚡️ The Ataris ⚡️

Insecurities and adventures

I don’t know how to start these things. Sometimes my “creativity” needs a little nudge in order to get started.

So I’ll just start it like this..

Ever since the “reset” button was pushed (refer back to a few posts ago if you’re not caught up), like 2 weeks ago, things have felt a little different in our relationship. Things have felt better. She seems a lot less exhausted, well, other than her body and mind going to shit from working the graveyard shift and sleeping all the next day, then goes back into the graveyard, and a little more calm. I’ve full on taken the roll of a stay at home dad. A typical day in the life of Adam consists of setting my alarm for 5am, showering and getting ready for the day, making coffee, waking the kids up for school at 6am, getting them dressed, brush their hair and teeth, feed them breakfast, be out the door at exactly 6:30 -because at 6:32, the freeway becomes mayhem- drive 30 miles which takes 54 minutes with the morning rush hour, drop Triston off first, then drop Ari off, drive 20 miles to Alvarado Parkway Institute so I can learn how to cope with existing in society, go to the gym right after, drive 30 minutes to get Triston from school at 2:05, go to Barnes and Noble to help him with his homework, drive to Ari’s school, take Triston to one of his appointments, occupational OR speech therapy, check the planner to see if Ari has any appointments that day, stop at the grocery store on the way home, buy a Bouquet of flowers to replace the dead ones, grab the boys a snack, take Bonnie’s clothes out from the dryer and do her a favor by folding them, then do Triston’s laundry, then do Ari’s laundry, then do my laundry, feed them dinner, give them baths, put their pajamas on, brush their hair and teeth, lay out their clothes for the next day, get them in bed, then clean the dishes, wipe the counter down, sweep the floor, feed the animals, walk the dog….. take a deep breath and fuck off on the couch with a candle burning, glass of wine, and re-runs of Breaking Bad.

No, I am not patting myself on the back. I put myself in manic mode because I know that the second I sit down, I will lose all motivation. And not to mention, I just really want to help my wife out with as much as I possibly can. Because I love her. With the way my emotions have been in the past 6 or so months, with the paranoia that she is out there with someone else betraying me and our marriage, I needed to put those demons away. Nothing good will ever come from it.

So, instead of being paranoid and watching every step she makes, I’m going to do the opposite and kill her with love, kindness, and compassion. She may take it or leave it, that isn’t up to me. But at the end of the day I take great pleasure knowing that I’m doing this for her.

Now, let’s talk about my insecurities and how they’ve become the new paranoia..

Yesterday we had a really great day. Together we brought the boys and our dog to the Del Mar dog beach. When we first moved to San Diego, everything was amazing. We were happy, we had each other, and our marriage was solid. Yesterday as we were standing on that boulder watching the waves crash under the big blue sky, I was reflecting on the people we used to be. I was nostalgic even though it’s only been a year and a half. At one point I grabbed her by the waist and put my arms around her and said “do you remember when we used to do this and enjoyed it before everything went to shit”?

First let me clarify that I do not believe she is cheating on me, those demons fucked off. But of course, the old demons were replaced by the new demons. Last night as we were laying in bed, I started to really get carried away with letting my brain take the midnight wheel. We are having financial issues this week. She brings in the only income and I can’t contribute at all. All I can think about was her and her coworkers. She works with people who really have their shit together and aren’t an emotional wreck like me.

“Why is she with me when there are other men out there who can offer her things that I cannot”

“She is a very strong and intelligent woman, and she works with intelligent men, and I’m just Adam. A dope from NJ with no direction”

“I am worthless to her and the kids”

“With her salary and with the salary of someone else, together they can buy the perfect house”

“I am holding her and the kids back”

“I should do the right thing and let her go”

Those were the voices that were going over and over again until I couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to get up and go on the other room. On the dark kitchen floor, I sat up against the cabinet under the sink with my head between my legs hysterically crying, and I couldn’t stop. I felt absolutely useless. My depression took another turn, and this one hurt. When the voices tell me the things I mentioned above, I’m not very nice to myself. I put myself down, I degrade myself. I’m too deep in that hole that I really do, with all my heart, believe these things about myself. I am her idiot husband.

This morning I came clean with her and confessed what was on my mind (and still is on my mind). What she said to me today is what she’s been saying to me for years…

“You can do what I do if you give it a shot”

-are you serious? Do you really believe that I can do what you do?

“Go to college, it’s never too late for college. You can do ANYTHING you want as long as you don’t sell yourself short”

-yeah but, I was a senior in high school 3 years in a row, I graduated when I was 20. When it comes to math, I can’t go beyond multiplication. I’m just not book smart, I never was.

“Well… you need to find that ONE thing that makes you happy, and pursue it. Do something with your photography skills”

-LOL “skills”??? I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have skills. I bought my camera back in 2010 and I couldn’t even begin to try to understand the settings. I have no idea what I’m doing.

“It doesn’t matter, that’ll eventually come. What you need to do is get the word out somehow and say that you are trying to get a portfolio together, I need people who are willing to let me shoot them for free”

-yeah but, what if I suck and the exposure is all fucked up or something? It’s embarrassing.

“Well, there are photography classes you can take 😁”

So this morning I finally took her advice and started looking at courses I could take. I know my wife. What makes her exceptionally cool is that I know she would support me 110%. Obviously, we need the money. However, if I find that one thing that would make me happy, and I stick with it, and can potentially make it a career some day, she would back me up. It would be different if I didn’t take chances and just sat in my ass all fucking day soaking in my own sorrow. Which is what I’ve been doing. How can anyone be attracted to THAT?

At this point in my life, depressed, anxious, paranoid, on the verge of losing my family, and standing on the edge.. at this point in my life why not just say YES to something and take that leap? Embrace it. I can’t tell you how much I fucking love the word EMBRACE. If I started coming home every evening, with a HUUUUGE stupid smile on my face, completely stoked about my day, things would get better for my family and myself. Even if I’m not getting paid a dime, I can guarantee that my wife Bonnie would enjoy being my wife again. When she and I first met in the winter of ’06, she would see that man again. It’s the only thing I can do with myself and just embrace whatever challenges come my way.

Thomas Edison was one of the most important humans to had ever walked this planet. He was a very inspirational man, and there are three quotes that have inspired for a long time, I just did nothing with it and ended up being a lazy insecure fucking nobody. He said:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

And

” many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

So why couldn’t I just listen to him and go for it, even if I didn’t achieve my goals? Let’s fucking go and embrace this amazing world with curiosity, adventure, and heart!

Let’s go!