Mystery Trip

Dear Anonymous,

In the time that I have been silent, my life outside of education has begun and I have started my adult life. As I tell the friends I have back at my old college, the real world has its perks and its draw backs, but the money is nice.  By drawbacks, I simply mean that ever since I have started my adult life, I feel as though I am being left behind, helplessly watching life pass me by. After all the craziness of college, I am beginning to feel that my life inside the small cubical I call home, is suffocating me. Once more I feel like going above and beyond to give my time to others has further penned me into this prison, a prison created by everything society has expected me to do. I feel like everyone around me is pushing me aside to live while I cam suffocating and I can’t blame them. Most of the people I hangout with are at the point in life where settling down is common, and the other half are still living the life, that by the facts of growing up, I was forced to leave behind. My mind has been spinning in ways it hasn’t in almost a year and I want nothing to do with it. I have begun thinking of ways to free my mind from the torturous circle it has been spinning in.

Let me tell you about a get away I have dreamed about, felt I couldn’t accomplish but am now craving with everything within me. It is something I have only heard of in real-life once, from a classmate in a creative writing course. in my final semester of college. It is a get away that to me seems selfish in nature, but holistically could be the medicine I have been searching for. It is a huge risk that could offend a few people that are very close to me, but it is a risk I am will to take, and one that the people who truly love and know me well will understand.

The plan, now that I am working, and have the money to afford this kind of journey, is very simple. I plan to get away from this place, this place I call home. Most people call that a vacation, a relaxing experience that  cleanses the soul, and eases the tensions of the heart. To me this vacation would be more than that, it would be a cleansing of not only the heart and soul, but also of the mind.

The Plan:  I want to travel by myself to some place secluded, no internet and no cell phone. Reception doesn’t matter, its all about whether or not I will answer. I want to drive, take my car, and drive for some unknown destination, with a cell phone that is there only for emergence…aka I am bleeding out and need help. Take a week or weekend and explore the nature , and scenery around me with no distractions. Watching the world, not life, passing me by as I admire the beauty of this event. I will document my exploration of life not with pictures, but with words. The words that will hopefully paint the picture of my experiences, and make the ones I love understand.

This post may seem like the whining of a middle class suburban kid who doesn’t know what real pain is. To that I say just because I’m not poor doesn’t mean I don’t know what pain is or what the word means. We all deal with our own troubles and things that cause us pain. You don’t have to be poor or abused to know an enemy like pain. The heart is a complex issue that no matter your background can show us all the true colors of pain. My pain is different from many peoples, or maybe pain is just a common word for a cry for help. Whatever it may be, this plan will come true, I will do this because I it’s something I need to do. For some reason or another, I need to feel like people need me…of that, to be honest (people needing me…), I’m not honestly sure of.

To those I love: I apologize for how random this is and how ridiculous it seems. I need to do this for myself. I understand that a lot of people care about me and want the best for me. I am taking a step for the best. I need to do this to find myself outside of what I know and am used to. I need to find a sense of equilibrium. I need to deal with my ghost and face my demons, learn to live with the things I have done wrong in this life and find peace in the beauty that surrounds. I am not perfect and I know this to be true, but I need to find the peace to live with that. I need to find the peace to live with the fact that I will never be the center of anyone’s universe. The way I see fit, is thus, the only way I know. I find contentment in the wilderness like the way I did as a scout. I will be back and every time it will be a fresh start for me. I apologize that I am not the normal, and that I need the constant re-assurance, but this is who I am and there is only one way I know to be me…and that is to do what I do.

Love you all with all my heart,

A.A. Kidd

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Truth

Dear Anonymous,

As you know my life is anything but laid back. I am usually flying in twenty different directions and it only gets worse in the summer. However, my long absence this summer has been for a different reason, one that is a little hard to explain. I do a lot of thinking on an average day, and many thoughts come to mind. It is not that these thoughts lack substance but merely the time to develop. It is a feeling that get I when I finally find the right thought, leads me to write and it is because of that feeling that I am now writing to you.

A few months back I stumbled upon what would become the inspiration for this post, and because of some recent events, is now finally finding its way to you. The thought or question rather came from a very unexpected source. It was a deeply philosophical question from a bright young mind, that being my little cousin. She posted the question “Truth is…?”, which is a short, seemingly insignificant question. However, if you think about it there is a lot you can find out and answer from that question.

I know you maybe thinking to yourself, “for a person who has a lot to say, you must have said something!?” Your thinking is correct but this answer took me a while to think up but I know you’ll see my thought process, and hopefully you’ll agree! My hope is that you will think about it as I did and add to my answer for yourself. My answer was ” Truth is…what you need, but can’t have; what you want to hear, but can’t handle; what can relieve but is harsh; what needs to be said, but no one wants to say; what takes the most courage to reach, but what courage can’t alleviate the sting of; and what you spend your whole life trying to find, knowing you may never find it.”

The recent events in my life that have led me to write this are nothing new to me and once again have led me to find the truth, which, I know is exactly all the things that make up my answer to my cousin’s question. What pains me the most is that I get the same answers every time I ask my now broken record question, and to me they aren’t truth as much as people would like think they are. To me they are nothing more than the answers of someone who doesn’t want to hurt me. I understand the position they are in, as I have found myself in the same catch 22. It isn’t easy but I beg for the truth and hope someone hears my plea. I know I may never find it but my search and prays will continue until my fortunes hopefully change.

Searching tirelessly,

T.E. Kidd

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Familiar Place

Dear Anonymous,

For the first time in my short, but seemingly extensive blogging adventure, I really don’t know how to begin this post. Contrary to what may seem to be utterly apparent to you, I have never put anything out here in search of sympathy or attention from you. I never want complain or throw myself a pitty party, I merely write as a form self medication, a way to put my thoughts in a place I can see them and try to find a solution or new way to think about whats been troubling me or to share with you the great event that make life so special. The reason I feel as though I must explain myself is because I am finding myself in a place I have been before, a place I thought I had left forever, but  it seems I have walked in a complete circle. The only difference between the first time I was here and now, is that I now realize how to find my way out again.

I know how I got back to this place, and a part of me is not proud of it but the other part understands. As I have told you in previous posts, the best part of my week is getting to go out on a Friday/Saturday night, with my brother and friends with the only goal being to let loose and forget about the week. We’ve been doing it ever since I turned 21, so as you can probably tell I have gotten quite comfortable. As we have gotten a little older, the weeks became more and more different but I could always count on my brother to be there next to me at the bar. As life tends to do, I find myself in the middle of a shift that has brought me back to the familiar dark place.

To preface this, I must say that in the past year I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments my brother has made. With a career that is rapidly budding, and the opportunity to move out of the house I am proud as hell to tell people “That’s my big brother!” Recently, it seems like everything is going his way and I couldn’t be more happy for him that after a very long time of being a single guy, he has met a girl who makes him happy. Although I have yet to meet her, I know shes a great person because of the way my brother lights up when he talks about her. With his happiness I know will come change, something I am used to being the youngest, but something I have never really learned to greet courageously. I mean I usually end up coming through it finding that life hasn’t really changed that much but it still makes me wince like a sharp knock to the funny bone.

Now, with a lot of my friends in good situations with girlfriends and my brother seemingly about to be there, you maybe thinking that it’s not a fear of change as much as it is jealousy. I’m not sure that you would believe me when I told you that it wasn’t, and for that you would be somewhat right, but not completely. I mean who doesn’t want someone to wonder about their day, cuddle up next to on the couch, or spend every off day with, but to be honest its nice to not have anyone worrying about where I am, what I am doing, why I’m not with them, or why I do the things I do. It’s quite a strange disposition to be in and I think you may, at some level, know what I am saying.

I guess what I am trying to say, although it seems to really just be denial, is that I’m really not sure what I want or where I am anymore. I couldn’t be happier for the people in my life that have found that happiness. At this point I just feel as though I am searching far and wide for something, with no clue for what, only to end the day upset I didn’t find it.  As illogical as that sounds, its the only way to explain it. In the attempt I am now ready to make, bring on the change and let me see the happiness I so desperately want in my life, in the ones I love the most around me! I will keep searching and hopefully figure out what I am looking for, but in the mean time all I wanna do is sit back, watch the sun set with a beer in my hand, with the people that make my life amazing and the people that make their lives amazing, mentally walking out of this familiar dark place I should never have seen again.

Slowly learn to happily greet the change,

T.E. Kidd

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Difficult Thought

Dear Anonymous,

Tonight I was confronted by one of the most difficult thoughts I have ever had to deal with. It was a night like many I have experienced before, with my brother, and some great mutual friends. All night I did as usual and didn’t really care about the usual bar scene, you know guy tries to be as smooth as possible to pick up some random girl to go home with and never call back. Even better, guy goes to bar to try to find that future MRS. So and So. When I first was of age to go to the bars, I thought it could happen but after a year of aging, and a year of wisdom has told me this is really not the case. However, tonight a realistic thought about my future weighed heavily on my mind.

What do you plan to do when you graduate college? This is a question that millions of college students face every year. It is a question load with assumptions that say “You should know where you’re going” or “know what you want to accomplish” or even “know that eventually you’ll fit the American dream, with a wife, 2.8 kids, a house and 2 cars in your 3 car garage.” Being an Economics major, I hate to come off as bragging, but I can literally do anything in a companies financial department that they desire me to do. So for me it is hard for to say exactly what I want out of my degree, all I know is that whatever it is, I hope it ends up with love and happiness.

As the night goes on, enter the thought I have been trying to make you anticipate. As my under-graduate years of college are coming to a close I am confronted with the question of what I will do next. I would like to go to graduate school but there is one semester, spring, that I will be in limbo. I have to decide whether or not I want to go to grad school right away or throw out my resume and see what hits I get. This decision has been weighing on my mind more than it probably should and more than you can probably imagine.

To tell you the truth I am leaning very heavily on putting my resume out there and seeing what I can get. To sharpen that blade, I really want to look out west and hopefully end up in the pacific-northwest. To be honest, there really isn’t that much holding me here. I have friends and family, but to be honest I have gotten to the point that I can’t really see finding that perfect girl where I am. As much as I really want to go, the thought of leaving my family, to whom I am extremely close, behind, is killing me. With my mother’s health problems, the growing stress at my father’s job and my brother on the egde of greatness, its really hard for me just to walk away, it almost feels like giving up. As I walked out of the bar tonight, the thoughts ran deeper as I looked into that pitch black Wisconsin night sky and asked myself, “knowing that the sky maybe the same wherever I am, can I live with the knowledge that it’s not the Wisconsin night sky, the same night sky that my family and best friends see everynight?”

This is a decision that will weigh on me for the next couple of months, maybe years as I try to figure out where I am going and who I really want to be. I can’t say that the Wisconsin night sky will always be the dark blanket the lulls me to sleep but I know that whatever I do, as long as I am happy, my friends and family will be behind me, encouraging my every step of the way. To quote a very good friend, “my life may not be what I planned it to be, but my life is the way god planned it to be.” I trust that statment because I know god put that statment out there for me to see, to remind me that he will lead me to happiness as long as I do my part and work my butt off to earn what he has planned. I hope that plan doesn’t envolve me being a single guy with a small inferiority complex for another two years, or a guy who isn’t sure where to go, but I will take it in stride knowing he will lead me to where I will find happiness.

Indefinitely perplexed,

T.E. Kidd

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A Team and A Family

Dear Anonymous,

Being unable to sleep tonight with the adrenaline rush of a nearing exam, my mind has begun to wonder a bit from my studies and to the events of the year that has passed. To my amazement this year like the last three of my college career has blown past me like a tracer bullet out of a machine gun. It is a sad realization that I have come to find my college experience drawing to a close. All the friends I have made, all the craziness of homework, exams and projects, as well as the great times I have experienced are now pictures in the scrapbook that is my memory. Tonight though, there is one particular group of friends, and experiences that have come to mind making my heart ache and my face smile all at the same time.

The faces of this group and the experiences have all changed over the years and it has been a battle between my heart and mind when trying to find the words to say. Even now as I am writing this, the backspace button is being worn out and the words are piling up in my head like rush hour traffic. I guess what I am trying to say or rather asking is that you bear with me, and hopefully understand what I am I trying to tell you as this may not be my clearest post. This group of men has meant the world to me over the past 4 years and I have no idea where I would be without them.

I started playing lacrosse four years ago at MSOE because my roommate (turned life long friend) suggested it to me. He knew I had been an athlete pretty much my entire life and like most athletes, was forced to give up sports in college. That winter I walked on to the MSOE club lacrosse team, and all though it wasn’t pretty at first, I seemed to pick up the game quickly. At practice I made some great friends and got to let out my aggression in the form of a swinging six foot pole at someone’s arms. I had filled the void of a team atmosphere I felt in my heart and fell completely in love with the sport. Literally, if you ask anyone of my friends, or family I eat, sleep, live, breathe and die lacrosse!

At the end of my year at MSOE, I transferred to Whitewater and found myself the new guy on the team and to make matters even more awkward I knew absolutely no one. I played my game, winning a starting spot on defense over three upper class-men. I made friends quickly and after only a week felt like I had been with them from the beginning. I’ll never forget that team, the guys, the road trips and the havoc we created. It was that team, in our own havoc, that would give me the nick-name that would become a mystery to just about everyone who knew it. “Bubbles”, a funny nick-name created from one night at a hookah bar, a story I don’t think is appropriate for the world wide web…I mean, future employers may see this! Anyways, I was given the honor of being the captain my Junior year (for those of you counting at home, yes, I had only played for one and a half years at this point) and although I struggled to deal with trying a run a team of a sport I was new at, while dealing with trying to run that team by myself, I tried to do the best I could. If I could go back, yes, I would change some things but one thing is for sure, I wouldn’t trade a minute of being with the team for anything.

Now, on to this year, a year of transition, learning, injury and adjustment. Younger players had take over as captains, fresh outta high school players had come in and for the first time I was one of the old men on the team. For a lot of people, being lead by and learning from younger peers is somewhat degrading, but for me, it was a chance to learn from people who have been around the game for much longer than I, know the game inside and out, and a chance for me to be apart of a team that could do some damage. I have never really looked up to anyone younger than me but I can say I truly look up to those guys. This group of men has stood by me though my days of complete domination, and utter failure, injury and health, and the good and bad days off the field. I honestly have no clue where I would be or what college life would have been like without them.

To my Team: Gentlemen, I don’t want to get to mushy on you here but it has been an honor and pleasure of mine to play the game we all love with all of you. The road trips and hotel stays are some of my fondest college memories and I wouldn’t trade a minute of practice, games or down time with you for anything. I want to thank you all personally for allowing me to be apart of such a great group of guys, a family really. I know that once the time comes and we all part our separate ways, we may forget the names but the faces and the times will be burned into our memories forever. I love all you as my brothers and I hope our times together don’t end as soon as it seems they will. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and I hope that we can meet once again over a cold beer to reminisce about the great times.

GO HAWKS!

With Gratitude,

T.E. Kidd (Bubbles)

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Wonder: Philosophy from a Perfect Night

Dear Anonymous,

Again, I am confronted by the fact that I have been neglecting you lately. The time away has been absolutely wonderful (though incomplete without you), between a guest post on a friends blog, good times with friends and the challenges of school, the time is now right to once again find comfort in your familiar embrace.

I realize the last couple of posts I have gone out, hung my heels over the edge and almost fallen off the cliff backwards. To be honest, have you learned to expect anything less from me? I hope you have come to know me as someone whose fingers put down words that paint a small picture for you of just what goes on underneath the earrings, crazy hair and casually random wardrobe. Well my friend, this post will again be a bit out there, but in a different way. Hopefully just as enjoyably, and seemly obtuse as the rest.

Saturday night, a “religious” holiday (only because it bears the name of a saint) that is oddly enough celebrated in what can only be described as the rituals of an anti-christ…a.k.a meaning so much fun it should probably be illegal, and is for that matter frowned upon in probably every religion known to man. Yes, I’m speaking of St. Patty’s day, the only day in the entire year where we can all sit down, disregarding our many differences and have a drink together, because for that brief 24 hour period, we’re all irish! What I am getting at here is that when you mix great friends, a few drinks, and glorious weather (all of which came together last saturday) you have the recipe for a perfect evening. A perfect evening that for a few short, yet frozen seconds as I stood outside and looked up at the night sky, in the pitch black countryside that surrounds my apartment.

At the time I was outside with my roommate, my brother and some mutual friends having a beer, and as my roommate say “solving the world’s problems!” As if by some divine calling, we all got silent for a few seconds, looking up into the night sky and watching the stars twinkle like pinhole size beams of light through a blanket. I believe, although nothing was said we all had the collective thought that what we were witnessing was nothing short of pure, awe-inspiring beauty. As quickly as we had become silent, our conversation picked back up as though we had all just imagined the pause.

For me at least, those few seconds of silence seemed to freeze time. It may slightly have been alcohol induced, but mainly a thought provoked stillness in which a familiar bit of wonder took over mind. This wonder stems from the popular speculative debates about other intelligent life, and the massive expanse of the universe we think we know. The question seems juvenile, almost ignorant in nature, but always goes much deeper than it seems for me. My question…What if, as I look up at this starry night sky, there is someone just like me out there looking at our sun as a distant star wondering if I exist? A person, maybe a different color or body shape, but who has seen the same highs and lows, felt love and the pain it sometimes brings, tasted victory and bitter defeat….who still, even at an age where wonder is supposed to be replaced by knowledge and anti-scepticism, still dares to dream without fear of societal oppression. Is it so wrong to hold on to the wonder we once felt so deeply in our youth?

I feel as though this question must be answered in the indivdual heart of every person. Do we fear our wonder will be perceived as immaturity and ignorance, or has the real world warped our minds so much it is impossible for us to regress to such an innocent, vulnerable state? What ever the reasons maybe for anyone else, I encourage you to wonder. We have but a short time on this earth, and it takes less than death to kill a person. (Just ponder those two statements for a bit and you will start to see what I mean.) If there is someone out there, who wonders like me, on a planet lightyears away or maybe even here on earth, who stares at the same stars I do….I will find you someday, in this life or the next; let’s find the nearest pub, sit down with a pint and reminise about the days we suppressed our fears and dared to wonder about each other.

Daring to Wondering,

T.E. Kidd

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An Idea for the Romantically Challenged

Dear Anonymous,

So tonight I got the idea for this post from a really good friends lady friend. We were talking about the romance side of relationships and how sometimes it’s lacking because at least one of the partners just isn’t wired to think that way, usually (and I apologize to all of fellow males out there) that being the guy. I’m not saying this is true of every relationship, but of most I think you would tend to agree with me. I am also not trying to say that this is that partners fault or that it is really bad but it does sometimes lead to that spark diminishing over time. Well, being a bit of a weird guy, a romantic, I thought I would put up a post with a few ideas to hopefully help out my fellow males (and even those romantically challenged ladies out there) be a little more spontaneous, and romantic to keep that spark burning bright!

To start off, nothing can beat a dinner date for two at a classy restaurant. Where this idea usually goes wrong is a lack of preparation. Guys if your going to take your lady out for a nice dinner, know what you’re getting into! Pick a restaurant neither of you have been to, go online check out the menu and read reviews on different entrees. When you get there, honestly there is nothing more impressive than a guy who knows his way around a menu and is confident in what to order. Secondly, make sure you have at least an idea of whats on the wine list. YES, I said it, the wine list…why? The biggest mistake is ordering a classic guy comfort drink…the beer. Sorry guys but beer is not romantic, a nice red or white wine adds a romantic touch to any classy evening.  If you’re not a wine drinker don’t be afraid to ask the waiter or bartender for a good starter wine to try, and make sure to know what food your ordering prior. You may not get it now, but certain wines pair well with certain foods…this is why asking questions is a good thing. When the wine arrives always, and I mean always let your lady have the first taste. This will give her the chance to make an unbiased decision on whether or not she’s a fan, secondly, its the classy thing to do. Remember, when your trying to create romance, the focus is always on your partner!

You don’t have to drop a lot of money to have a romantic evening. There is a huge misconception out there that to be romantic or spontaneous you have to “go big, or go home!” Well, everyone, relationships aren’t extreme sports so, Shaun White can keep his slogan! Cliche as it sounds, it’s the little things that really count and create some of the most memorable moments.  Not enough credit is given to a few candles, cheap wine and some quite music, a chick flick, or if your blessed enough to have a fire place, a warm little fire. Now, I’m sure any guy reading this is just about to take my man card, rip it up and burn the shreds…but gentlemen biting the bullet and getting out of your comfort zone, and stepping into her world once in a while isn’t going to kill you, nor will it turn out bad for you…if you catch my drift.

If your more of the dinner type, don’t be afraid to cook it yourself. Now, if you’re not the best cook don’t worry about it, find a recipe online or maybe make your favorite childhood recipe. Set the table, with her favorite flowers, and a candle. You don’t have to have fine china either, let’s be honest, in that situation no one is expecting it and honestly if done right she’s not focusing on the table setting…she’s focusing on you!

Finally, never under-estimate the power of the small everyday things you can do just to make her (or him) smile. That little text that says “Hey beautiful!” or “I miss you!” or “I love you!” is all you need to make your significant others day. That simple little text message lets them know that you are thinking about them and can’t get them out of your mind.  Guys, random flowers or the random lunch date are a simple way to get that smile you love to see.

Your probably thinking to yourself “why would I listen to a guy whose been single for two years?” Well, all that really proves is that I have no initial game, but I have had experience in long-term relationships and have used most of these ideas myself, successfully getting that beautiful smile looking back at me. Now, you can take my word for it and try it, or continue what you’re doing and know that she’s probably complaining to her friends about you not being romantic instead of bragging. Which means when you think her friends thing you’re a flake…they really are thinking just that, no matter how well they know you! These are just a few ideas to get you started, just remember to use what you have around you and always do your research before you do anything big and your golden!

Keepin’ the spark burnin’,

T.E. Kidd

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