In just a few short hours, another year will be upon us. The folk at this site would like to wish you a happy and healthy new year! If you're going to be out tonight, be careful. If you're going to be stupid tonight, do it around other stupid people. Goodbye 2003!
My Mom has been visiting for the past 4 days. It's been good, but it has also helped me to understand something about myself. I realized today that I have a big mouth. In that, it's hard for me to keep a secret. I have a few close friendships that I keep whatever we say private, but other than that, I tend to run my mouth. I know I tend to blabber and it really bothers me. I've hurt a lot of my relationships in the past because I could not or would not keep my trap shut. Of course there are times when you are so disturbed about something, you just have to vent it to someone else. But, I have to be smarter about who I 'vent' to. I don't want to let my friends who trust me be a victim of circumstance just because I can't keep something to myself. For my New Year's resolution(s), I vow to run my mouth less, listen more, don't talk so much crap, accept when I'm wrong, think before I speak, keep confidence, and always love more. If I don't, you can punch me.
Despite not writing when I got back to Graceville, my Mom and I made it safely back to my apartment on Friday night. I worked Saturday and Sunday (tomorrow too). I think my Mom is having a good time in the hood of G'ville. I'm definitely enjoying her being her. I've gotten to eat out so much, it's been great. It sucks that I've had to work because I would like to hang out with her more. However, I do need the money. Speaking about work, it's good. I really enjoy my job. Sometimes I feel like the kids I work with just need a good spanking; or maybe an exorcism. However, I know that their problems are more deeply rooted. Sure, they make conscious behavioral decisions, but I've read some of their files and I can tell you, they didn't deserve a lot of what happened to them. So, I try to be patient and recognize that it's still a learning process. Anyway, tomorrow my Mom and I are going to my Aunt and Uncle's place for lunch. Then, when I go to work, she is going to hang out over there until I get off at 11:00 PM. I don't have to work Tuesday or Wednesday, so we're going to hang out and I'm going to cook for her too. Alright, have a good night. Something more meaningful to come soon.
"Like my mamma said, 'Don't you let it go to your head when you know you're being fed.' I'm so proud to know you. Lizzy I'll write, I'll sing, telegraph, telegram, telephone, tellin' you, I'll be home soon." Ben Kweller, Lizzy, from Sha Sha
The Mystical Afterlife Bar Yeah Christmas was good to me. I plan to blog a list of what I got later on, perhaps this evening. Just for kicks, yo. Anyway, something happened that I just had to tell you. I dreamt a dream that even you would envy. Let me tell you about it:
Jeff and I were sitting at this bar and to our right a band was playing. The mood was that of Christmas and the latter days of December and the year. But I still had classes going on. In fact, this show was in the day time. I didn't recognize them for who they were at first. Apparently though, I liked them enough to skip class and make the trip. I think it was a couple hours drive. I had school and Donna on my mind.
I was worried I was going to get caught skipping. I was thinking about one late assignment in particular and I even saw that particular professor. Thankfully, he didn't see me. I was thinking about Donna as I often do. It was odd that she was not at the show (especially when later I realized who the band was). Plus, in present day reality I miss her a lot because she's in Tennessee. In my dream I was thinking about this and that was my main distraction. The band's set ended and the front man walked over toward us. It was none other than Joey Ramone (God rest his soul).
In my dream world Joey was still very much alive and cool as always. He was as tall as I have imagined him to be. He stood there and began conversation with us, wearing his standard denim jacket and sunglasses. He was more vivid than any rock star or celebrity I had ever dreamed of. Jeff and I had both been watching intently during the show and he noticed. He had come over to tell us he appreciated it and was glad we enjoyed it. He shook Jeff's hand immediately upon walking up. He extended his hand to me, but when I reached out he pulled it back and laughed. That was funny. Punk. I felt guilty that my mind had been elsewhere. I felt like he knew and counted me less cool for it, even if he was forgiving. All in all I felt Joey was close to my heart. He felt like an older brother, even though he's old enough to be my dad.
I wanted to tell him how much I appreciated his music, but the opportunity seemed to have passed. He and Jeff had started talking and I wasn't really in on that. Just sitting there hanging out. Enjoying the comfort of a bar stool. Joey had to go and then Jeff and I got up to leave. Somewhere during all this excitement Jeff disappeared and was replaced with Justin. Justin was talking about how great the show was and how awesome it was to meet and talk to Joey. I was thinking, "you weren't even there" but I didn't say it. I was thinking about school and Donna again. The sun was just started to set. It was dusky outside. Justin and I got into his Geo Storm and left.
That's it. That just might be the coolest dream I've ever had.
Santa Claus is Dead. Yeah kids, I hate to break your little hearts but I shot and killed him in third grade. The fat old man broke into my house. Scared the Christmas cheer out of me. Family comes first. I must defend what's mine, even if it means six years in juvie. Little did I know he was only there to fulfill our brightest material hopes and dreams. Apparently, he was a great guy and I found out a little too late. Sorry elves, sorry I killed your god.
I can't go to the mall during the holidays because I get freaked out by ghost-like reflections of the man that I put into his post-dated crypt.
But enough of the morbid. I've been home with my la familia the past three days. Most of yesterday and the day before consisted of me and my mom shopping. Most of that time consisted of me waiting and waiting and trying to entertain myself. I didn't have much to shop for, but I needed the ride. I've been hanging out with my kid brother, playing Tony Hawk 4 and last night he and I watched The Waterboy.
Last night my dad told me I had gotten hefty and that I needed to go on a diet. And don't forget the exercise. He said he could tell in my face that I was out of shape. Someone verify for me that this isn't so. Also, I am at the most a few pounds overweight. It's mainly just that I've finally grown into my body frame. I cannot help the fact that I'm a big guy. Maybe my pops is just intimidated.
On a lighter but again morbid note, I am killing Eye Level off in 8 days. As of the first of the year it will be no more. In its place will be a new site, a new exploration, a new adventure. Prepare yourself boy scout. At the same time, understand I'm going out with a bang. Eye Level will be more alive this last week than it has been in awhile. It's going to be big, like me. Go read "Dying Words and Sentiments".
And I thought I'd tell you three songs I particularly like today:
the Ocean by Sunny Day Real Estate
We're the Ordinary by Starflyer 59
Thousand Kisses Deep(spoken word) by Leonard Cohen
Have it All by Ace Troubleshooter
Wasted by Camper Van Beethoven
Nevermind that's 5.
Plus you should know my absolute favorite radio Christmas song is:
Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney (is that title correct?)
So yay for Christmas. Good tidings to you wherever you are and wherever you'll be.
A day from now will be Christmas. For now, I am about to embark on the annoyingly long 6-7 hour drive to my Mom and Dad's house in Melbourne, FL. It is now 3:10 AM EST. I'm sort of yawning, but got plenty of music (seasonal and normal) to keep me preoccupied. Plus, if I get tired, I'm not too proud to pull off and sleep at a rest stop. If you read this before noon, please pray that I make it home for the holidays. I hope everyone has a good eve of Christmas!
Tis the season to be... light? Light-hearted that is. After November 31st, America instantly becomes this better place to live. I guess everyone forgets to watch the news due to the hustle and bustle of life because crime, poverty, and injustices are still occurring and maybe are more prominent now, rather than any other time of year. Waiting for winter, Chanukah, Christmas, and even Kwanzaa causes people to forget about all the troubles that are actually going on.
As I get older, Christmas is less exciting for me. You may remember me talking about my twenty-third birthday six months ago. It was the first birthday I had that just meant I was getting older, nothing else. Last Christmas, a year ago, was one of the only times I remember being disappointed with what I got. After these last two holiday downers, I shudder to think what this Christmas, only five days away, will mean to this lonely boy.
It's not that I wasn't appreciative for the items I received or for getting to live another year, it was just that for so long, I had been taught that the holidays were the time of year to celebrate and be happy to be alive. I find myself at odds with my psyche because I am trying to get on the same wavelength that I had been on twenty-two years prior.
Celebration is a rejoicing of the times one is living through and being grateful for those things that happen; good or bad. Why? Because you are still living and gaining a mess of experience to leave someone else. Not realizing that you are blessed to be alive is a bit depressing for me. Even though I don't always practice what I preach, I kind of believe that you should be grateful to be alive everyday, not just a few times a year.
The point to this is, in life, you get what you give. This isn't an absolute because sometimes God blesses me, when I don't deserve it at all. Actually, he blesses me and I don't ever deserve it. So, what should my attitude toward events such as these be? Gratefulness! I can try to make these next five days the best holiday that I've ever had, but I will surely fail. What I need to learn from life is that each new day is that, a new day. I have to live, not for the day, but live by the day. I can't do anything about tomorrow, until it comes. I can always try to prepare myself, but I shouldn't worry about investing my time in anything else other than the moment I am living in.
So, for these upcoming holidays that bring me troublesome feelings, I should just try to be thankful and appreciative that I'm another year older and hopefully wiser. What's funny about this Christmas is, I really don't even care. I'm using some of my Christmas money as gas money and whatever I get, it will be more than what I've had in the past six months. If everyone in the world could just be a little more grateful--I'm not saying it would be a better place, but I do think it would make daily living a lot easier for us all.
"Have yourself a merry, merry Christmas, have yourself a good time. But, remember the kids who got nothing, while your drinking down your wine."Father Christmas, The Kinks, from Misfits.
It’s late Monday night for me. It’s not later than usual, but working 8 hours a day now is about to wear me out. I guess that’s because I was a bum for so long. As I exhale a sigh of relief, I’m very thankful that I do not have to work tomorrow. Give me a few weeks; I’ll get back into the routine of responsibility. I worked 3 PM-11 PM last night. I got up and made it back there by 9:30 AM for the last part of my orientation. Around 10:15 AM, a man asked me to go watch the little boy on our unit who has Downs Syndrome because the other tech had to go take another patient to a doctor run. I watched him sleep for about an hour. When the other tech that was working first shift got back with the other children from school (they attend school here too) it was there time for group and my time to go back to training. So, training let out by 12:30 PM and I swung by my Aunt’s house for lunch. Made it back to work my shift at 3 PM and I got off around 11:30 PM. It’s getting better, but my six kids are hellions! It’s still a learning process. I’m supposed to be shadowing, but I’m down there getting spit at, cussed at, hit, kicked, and everything else they can do to be defiant! I’m still getting used to it and the kids are getting used to me. I know it’ll get better. It’s getting better all the time...
P.S. Does anyone realize Christmas is 9 days away?
In other, not-so-internationally-binding news, today is my first day on the unit floor with the kids. All last week, I was in orientation, but today and for the next two days, I will be shadowing another employee to learn the system. Pray for me. I work 2nd shift, 3-11.
I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was in 6th grade. We folded the paper up and picked people we wanted to marry, cars we wanted to drive, where we wanted to live, et cetera. We were embarking on a journey that only time would prove. We were seeing our future before it ever even took place directly in our lives. We were playing MASH! I know, I know. It was a cheesy set up. But, you can play it online now (no paper cuts this time). Play it here. This is my future:
I will marry Melissa Bearden of North Carolina. I will drive a black Honda Accord. We will live in Hawaii while I'm working as a Mental Health Technician II. While there, we will have 2 kids. Oh yeah, we will be living in a shack. My future seems fun!
Last night, I was in Wal-Mart looking for milk. A gentlemen near me, also looking at milk, made a comment about the outrageous price of this specific dairy product. I made a crack about how it might just be cheaper to buy a cow. That guy must have grew up on a farm because he then proceeded to tell me the process of the who, what, when, where, and why of cow milking. I stood there for about 5-10 minutes listening to this guy's exposition. I just said, "neat" and "cool". Must make mental note, don't make conversation with strangers who grew up on farms.
Today was my first day at Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center (formerly Ramsay Youth Services). It was great! Actually, this first 40 hours (all this week) will be training and orientation. So, that's definitely the easiest stuff. However, my first official 3 days of work will be shadowing other Mental Health Technicians on my unit floor. Then, I will be let loose. I'm apprehensive, but excited, and most certainly ready for a change. I will be on the coed children floor (mostly older children and pre-adolescents). God is so gracious and is looking after me while I get my feet wet. Thank goodness he is faithful because I am severely faithfully-challenged. G'night!
Many things seem misplaced
Memories and stories
One by one
They all seem gone
I’ve been waiting for so long to move on
Vanity of my life
All the things that seem
Being more important than life
Trying to catch more wind than I can glean
Last summer flew by
This time I’m just trying to stay alive
Avoiding things that I fear
Being cliché doesn’t seem so insincere
Humility is a great medium
So is sorrow
I talk about heartache
But I know nothing
I’m the one who needs to be emptied
Ready to bleed
For a chance to succeed
Acclamations of self
Right to complement
Where I’ve been correct
In words or actions
Erroneous to deny
Where I’ve been wrong this time
I go round and round
Just to let you down
I seem proud
What a chance to look
As frail as my words are
My actions remain also
Down to my last cent
Space that seemed to revere
More of a lesson to mean
A condition I have never seen
Well it's finally happening...I am posting again. I seem to be the biggest slacker when it comes to posting. However, I dont have internet at my house, so its rare that I can get online. This past Thanksgiving holiday was really good. I didnt have alot of high expectations, considering the situation with my dad being gone. I was half-expecting it to be bittersweet. I was gladly proved wrong. Usually Thanksgiving is viewed by me as a time to sit around and be gluttonous all day long. The mass amounts of turkey and dressing that I would consume should be enough to feed Bosnia for a year. ( OK....that was insensitive) This time I considered it to be more of a vacation from life. This sounds weird I know. I felt like I truly needed to divorce myself from living in Graceville, and get lost in my hometown for a few days. I realized how dry my life is right now, and how much I needed to move on...to somewhere. I have some plans in my head right now, and hopefully things will work out with it. I just know that I am tired of going nowere...and this possible opportunity could get my career started in the direction that I want it to go. Only God knows.
My family is notorious for speaking before thinking. I too, as my friends with undoubtedly admit, am guilty of it as well. I think humans in general do it constantly. However, my family sure does seem to make a hobby of this not-so-eloquent approach to communicating how they feel about something or someone.
The linage of my life in the ill-communicable Watkins family has a long standing history. I constantly posses traits that help me remember where I come from. If my facial-features and mannerisms aren't enough to give proof of what family I am a descendent of, than my bad habits would also indicate where my heritage lies for sure. Lack of communication is just one of these.
I suppose I could start just by blaming my parents. After all, they were the models for which I learned the good and the bad things. I learned to be sensitive, civil, selfless, polite, respectful, and to care for other people rather than just having concern for myself. Yet, I also learned about things like hypocrisy and making bad decisions--we all did didn’t we? I mean after all, our parents, relatives, and guardians were our whole world for the longest time. But, we cannot hold them guilty for their mistakes because we certainly commit our own faults each day. This touches me and helps me think on what I need to do. Not only as a Christian, but also as a citizen in the free world, I ought to strive to be accountable for my own actions; whether rewards or consequences are imminent.
While at home for Thanksgiving, I have realized more about my family in just a few short days than in recent years of observation. Not only does my family speak before thinking, but they have a hard time conveying just what they feel. It’s not that we can’t say, “I love you” or “what is bothering you?”. We just all seem to want to backbite before confronting each other when we have problems with one another.
This disposition that I was seemingly predisposed to is quite annoying. I can recount the younger days of past and see where this infraction in our daily lives has come into play quite frequently. I look back and think just about myself. I try to remember why I didn’t just tell my Dad I was upset with a decision he made. Instead, I would go cry to my Mom. The same for when my Dad is mad at me for something I’ve done. He now basically does the same thing I would do (without the crying). Why do we do this? I guess it just takes practice and a little heredity.
The avenue I must now pursue is the one of intention, rather than passing the blame. I really need to stand up and admit to my family, friends, and myself when I am the one in error. However, it won’t be easy if I change and see that my family is not on the same path. Maybe I can be more helpful and just ask someone if they are mad at me when they appear to be. This morning, my Dad wasn’t saying much. So, I just asked him if he was mad at me. He said he just had a lot on his mind and he would tell me if he was upset with me. It made me feel better to know how he really felt, instead of just playing the usual game of assumption. Maybe our world would be a better place if we would all just speak our minds a little more about things other than film, music, trends, or politics. Maybe if we would just be honest with each other. Perhaps that would help us learn to love and trust one another.
Somebody Say Something, Anything Right now, the library is the most depressing place in the world. I'm tired of working toward a future I'm not even sure I want. Something keeps me here. I believe this is the place for me to be at this point in time. That doesn't mean I'm enjoying it. My all encompassing thought these days is the desire to pick up and skip town. The words on these pages spell out defeat, outloud and in defeaning. New frontiers call out to me. I want to go there to my home far away and stab a flag in the ground. This land may be your land, but the land far beyond the horizon is mine. I don't know where, but I'll know it when I get there. But I can't go yet. The people I can relate best to here, in this library, are all dead. If life doesn't soon get started I fear I may die. I've glanced pages ahead and well, I want to get out of the preface and into the actual text.