Letting go

As I try to move forward in my life the number one thing that keeps holding me back is my inability, or perhaps my unwillingness, to let go. I can let go of things. I can let go of the past. I can let go of expectations. I can let go of shame, fear, regret, resentment, anger and pain.

Sometimes however, I simply cannot let go. I’ve been reluctant to write about this specifically until now. I have been letting it rattle around in my brain but it is weighing me down. I still don’t have the answer but sometimes writing can help me get a little bit closer.

You see, when it comes to moving my life forward there is no greater motivation than love. While I may not fully understand what love is, I know where it lives. It lives within each and everyone of us. It lives in people. My cat might have it too, I’m not sure.

I’m not willing to let go of love. I am not willing to let go of people. I am not willing to give up on anyone. I’m just not strong enough to do it all on my own. I need love. I need people. I need people who will not give up on me.

And there is the bind that I am in. That is my delima. That is my struggle and in it is where I find my suffering.

Knowing that I can’t get through this life alone I have been reaching out and trying to reconnect with the people who have meant the most to me. One was an ex-girlfriend. We broke up many years ago but I never stopped loving her. For five years she refused to have anything to do with me but we finally did reconnect a little over a year ago. I thought things were going fine but my recent attempts to make contact have gone unanswered.

Until I received this:

[Contents deleted – It’s not like to to censor myself but since these aren’t actually my words I don’t feel justified in posting them. You can use your imagination but in essence I was told that I was not trusted, that I was a violator and that this person did not want to know me anymore.]

Okay. That’s pretty clear. I can accept that. While much of it may be out of line and unwarranted I’m sure that there is some validity to it. I am after all the asshole who just posted the entire contents of a personal text message to the internet. I’m somewhat conflicted about that. I may come to regret that decision but it is my way of letting it go, moving on and finding peace. I may not be able to let go of the love I feel for this person but I can let go of the hate. I just need to take it out and look at it one last time.

[I did that and then I deleted the contents]

The next story is much harder for me to deal with. Over the summer I lost the greatest love of my life, the best friend I have ever had. There is no way for me to write about this without welling up in tears.

For the first time in my life I felt like I had someone who loved and accepted me for exactly who I am, warts and all. For the first time in my life I was able to completely let my guard down and just be me. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel like I was with someone who was trying to use me or change me to meet their needs. For the first time in my life I actually felt safe in love.

Maybe that doesn’t really exist. Maybe I was just under a spell. Maybe it was all a delusion but it felt real to me and I want it back! All I have ever wanted in life was to find one person who could accept me, all of me, just as I am. Maybe that’s not possible. I mean really, if anybody should, it would be me and I can’t do it. I want to be that person for myself but I just don’t know if I can do it without help.

Maybe that help doesn’t come in one person. Maybe it takes lots of people but I’m not willing to give up on this one. This is the closest I have ever gotten and I’m not ready to let go.

As hard as losing my best friend is there is one loss that is even more devastating.  I haven’t talked to my daughter in over two months. If I’ve done anything wrong here, I have no idea what it is. My suspicion is that it has more to do with her mother than with my daughter and that really frustrates me.

The cause is unimportant, the result is still unacceptable. I may not deserve a daughter but my daughter most definitely deserves a dad. I am not willing to give up on her, I’m just not strong enough to navigate her mother. I never have been and I’m feeling defeated.

Not letting go is holding me back but when it comes to the most important people in my life, I’m not willing to let go; especially when it comes to my daughter. I’m not willing to just sidestep the problem and move on. So that means I must carry it with me wherever I go. I just wish I was stronger.

Yeah, I wish I was stronger, I wish I knew more and I wish that I could just fix everything! But some things don’t get fixed. Sometimes there is no workaround. Sometimes there is nothing to do but go through it carrying the load that brought me here.

I had really hoped that I would have come to a better conclusion after writing this. It wasn’t easy but it was worth a shot. I still caved and made myself a cocktail to get through the last half. I had no intention of drinking today.

Anyway, maybe I’m missing something (I do have only one eye and I miss a lot). Maybe you have some insight. At this point there are nothing but wrong answers so don’t be afraid to give me yours.

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People before profits

* Oops, forgot to post this before I left yesterday.

This has been an amazing weekend driving pedicab. The weather was great even if it was extremely windy at times. The Basilica Block Party was going on Friday and Saturday and Kenny Chesney was playing Target Field on Friday night so there were tons of people downtown. It was one of those weekends where you didn’t have to look for riders; they were lining up begging for rides. I gave a lot of fun rides and made pretty decent money. There are so many stories I could tell but I can’t fit it all in here. Still, let me see if I can sum up what I took away from this weekend in a few words.

This job has done wonders for me in so many ways. I’m in the best shape of my life. Every week I get stronger; hill that used to push me to the limit now barely cause me to break a sweat. It’s also improving my social skills and my ability to connect with people from all walks of life. These are both skills that I’m going to need as I move forward with my dreams.

Where I’m still struggling is with the issue of money. I’m making enough doing this that I’m worried about losing my Social Security and more important my health insurance. My motivation for doing this job is not the money but it is so tied to the job that at times it can be hard to separate the two.

After the Basilica Block Party let out there was a line of people wanting rides. All the pedicabs was called down to the concert but we couldn’t get cabs there fast enough to meet the demand. Figuring I would only be able to get one ride out of there because I was coming from the complete opposite end of downtown I decided to not take a ride for less than $20.

Before I could even pull up I had two couples wanting a ride. The first couple asked how much to Brit’s Pub and I told them $20. They thought that was too much which perhaps it was but tried to explain the economics of the situation. Taking a pedicab is a luxury, not a necessity. It’s something that you do for fun even though you could walk. They decided to walk.

I told the next couple the same thing and they also balked at the price. I’m sure that within five minutes I would have found someone that would have paid that or more but I was already feeling bad for not taking rides so I told this couple they could pay me whatever they wanted.

We were only going about five blocks but with all the traffic leaving the concert location it took some fancy driving and creative thinking to maneuver around and through all the cars. I was still hoping to be able to drop them off quickly and get back for another ride.

At one point the guy in my cab said to his wife, “he’s all about business”. I think he meant it as a compliment but it told me that my mind was not where I wanted it to be. I wanted my mind to be on giving my current passengers the best ride I could, not on my potential next ride. I quickly refocused and put my attention on my passengers. In the end he still tipped me $20 and when I got back to the Basilica everyone had cleared out and there were no more rides. Things turned out exactly as I thought they would but it didn’t happen by focusing on money. It happened by caring for people.

I suck, so what

I feel like I have been putting off writing this post for an eternity. That’s probably because I’ve been doing nothing but thinking about it for the past few of days while finding all sorts of other things to do instead. To be fair, they were also things that needed to get done but I can tell when I’m avoiding something.

It all started Saturday night. After driving pedicab all afternoon I figured I had done enough damage for one day and decided to take the night off. I thought it would be fun to check out some of the downtown clubs that my my pedicab customers frequent. While not my scene, I’ve got to tell you that these places sure know how to throw a party. It didn’t take long for me to get caught up in the action. It was fun seeing life from the other side of the fence. I even took a drunken pedicab ride three blocks between club stops. Pedicab rides are fucking awesome. Totally worth the twenty bucks I gave him.

When the last club I tried to get into had a line around the corner I decided that I had had enough and retreated to more comfortable surrounding. I headed to the Brass Rail, a small gay club on Hennepin Ave. There I ran into this super cute boy that I have had a crush on for a couple years. We had one amazing date but nothing since. We run into each other from time to time but it always feels a bit awkward.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that awesome of a date. Maybe it was pretty bad, or as he put it to me that night, “THE WORST DATE EVER”.

Yeah, I suck at dating. I really have no idea how it works. I’ve probably had twelve first dates in my entire life. I can’t remember how many turned into second dates but if it was two I’d be surprised. All of my relationships have been either love at first sight or friends first situations -no dating required.

That’s fine. I don’t need to date. I’m not even sure I’m that good of a boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good guy and I try hard but there is something to the whole relationship thing that I appear to be missing.

At least I’m a good friend… or so I thought.

Sunday I got a text from close friend saying that she was needing to pull away from me. We had just started to reestablish contact after a year of separation. I guess it was too much or too soon but it made her uncomfortable. “Okay,” I thought, “do what you need to do to take care of yourself.”

On top of that, the most important person in the world to me, except for my children, hasn’t spoken to me in two weeks. I guess everyone needs a break from me from time to time. I get it. I’m kind of intense; I can be a lot to deal with and from time to time I downright suck!

Last week I was having drinks with a friend. He thought my post about the 5 Secrets for a Happy Life was a bit harsh. I responded, “My blog is called Life Sucks, So What?!?“. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that tone is a somewhat harsh.”

His response was that life doesn’t suck, people do. He makes a good point. People do suck. I suck, you suck, we all suck in one way or another at one time or another. I just also see the amazing things that people are capable of doing for one another. For me, the only salvation from this sucky life is in the kindness and generosity of others.

I also have a hard time judging others for how much they suck without being equally judgemental towards myself. But maybe that’s just me. When I see someone doing something that annoys me my first response it to look at myself. More times than not I find myself going, “Oh yeah, I’ve done that.”

One of my pet peeves is when people leave their turn signal on after making a lane change – something I do all the time. I will pull ahead of them and put my turn signal on. They idea is that they will get annoyed with me and then realize that they have their turn signal on. This never works though. The other night I was heading back to the pedicab garage. I was following another driver who just so happened to have his turn signal on. We actually do this all the time. They don’t release like a car turn signal. I was just about to get on the radio to let him know when I realized that I too had my turn signal on. In fact, that is why he had his on. He was signalling to me to turn off my turn signal. I was amazed to learn that someone else actually used this technique. I was also amazed to see it work!

So I suck at dating, I suck at relationships, I suck as a friend and I suck at turning off my turn signal. In the past few days I have managed to piss of a co-worker and the owner’s mom (not a good idea). I suck at just about everything I try to do.

So what? So what do I do?

I do my best and I work everyday, every moment to do better. That is the gift of sucking – there is always room for improvement. Some people appreciate this. In fact a lot of people really like me. More than I probably deserve think that I am amazing. Are they wrong? I don’t think so. I think that I am pretty amazing but even so, sooner or later, I’m going to fuck up, I’m going to do something that rubs you the wrong way, I’m going to piss you off.

I’m going to use that as an opportunity to grow. The question is… are you?

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