Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's lonely to be alone...

Sometimes things fall right into your lap and without even knowing it, and you never know what to do with it.

This is one of those times.

In the course of the last four months, my entire life has gone through an entire series of changes. I've sold the first home that I've owned. I've decided to move back home. I've made a decision on a career after six years of teetering on the edge of self destruction. And most importantly, I've discovered the entire reason that I spent a year in complete and utter confusion, anger, and frustration. I was so upset with my entire life and let everything in the world that I thought mattered just disappeared. For one very important reason...

I've found the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. I thought once upon a time that I had met that girl, when in all actuality I was just this insecure prick that had no clue what it really meant to be with someone and want to make them as unbelievably happy as possible. I've never had a relationship that I wasn't completely selfish in; it was more about making me happy than it was in making the other person smile. Sure, it made me feel good to see the person I was with smile and laugh and we could all have a good ol' fuckin' time.

Except here's the issue- that has all changed in a heartbeat.

In the middle of August I met this girl... and she wasn't like any other girl I've ever met in my life. She wasn't just this cute face that I could see myself hanging out with some and not feeling like strangling myself with a phone cord while being around her. Instead, she is this phenomenal woman that just oozes sensuality, intelligence, confidence, and just every other possible combination of desirable traits that I've ever wanted.

At first it was just this great time we were having. Just enjoying each other's company and having fun and things were just... simple.

As time moved on, and days turned into weeks turned into months, things changed. Instead of just enjoying each other's company, we started missing each other when we couldn't be around one another. When we weren't together we were texting non-stop, and it wasn't just the inane random conversation that most people have. We would start talking about how we missed eachother. We would talk about how excited we were to meet eachother's family. We were excited to talk about the concept of the future, with eachother involved.

And that's where the realization happened.

I've felt the concept of love. I've been able to really conceptualize the idea of being in love.

Only now, I really KNOW what it is to be in love.

My entire day, my every night, the very essence of who it is that I am and want to be, solely revolves around me wanting to make her happy. Every smile that graces her lips, every laugh that rings in my ears, every deep sigh that comes forth as I put my arms around her... is absolute and complete astonishment and bliss on my end.

Never before has it been about just wanting to see her happy or hold her or simply just be with her. It has always been about what it is that I could get out of a situation and what I needed. All of a sudden, with this woman... I don't give a shit about me. It isn't about what I want or what I want to do anymore. There is nothing that I want that is more important than the concept of seeing her as happy as possible. I would give her everything in my life if it was what she wanted. I would gladly give every moment of my own happyness if it ment seeing her happy.

For once I understand just how selfless one can be when they're IN LOVE. And for once, I'm not scared. I'm not wanting anything but her. I've finally realized what it is. I've finally figured it out. I've finally discovered the true meaning of it all. I can really, honestly, and truthfully say that I've found the woman that I want to be with for the rest of my life.

She makes me feel like a million bucks. And it doesn't mean a thing, because unless she feels the same, having that million bucks might as well be owing a million without her smile....

I am head over heels in love with Darrel Lee Astle and look forward to spending every night in her arms until the day I die. And as a matter of fact, she's laying in bed while I'm typing this, and I miss it already... It's time for me to sign off and crawl back into her embrace....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Everything is all I have to give you, and I'm afraid it ain't e-nough...

There are few times in your life that you can actually really definedly (is that even a word?) express just exactly when it is that you realized that everything was going to be okay. Sometimes it is a lightening strike realization where it just comes out of nowhere, but you can't pinpoint where it started. Other times it's this slow lead up to the realization without the time frame. It is a very difficult thing to come down to.

When exactly did I go from being so downtrodden to having the thoughts in my head that I really can do anything that I want? That in fact, the world IS my oyster and it's ready to be shucked.

Never before have I ever had this level of clarity or peace in my heart pertaining to where it is that I'm going or where it is that I need to be. Every single decision seems like it should have been so simple to come to, it all seems so trivial and simple. There is no pride blinding my way. There is no weight around my neck. I am not bearing any stones. It is just so pure, so simple, and so easy.

If I could explain it all, I certainly would.

If I could help anyone find it, I would travel the world sharing my story.

Instead, all I can do is tell everyone that in this world, there are going to be people that come in to your life and change everything- and you can either be ready to accept that and go with it, or you can fight it and regret it in the end.

For the first time in my life, I opened my heart to letting something just happen instead of fighting against the current and trying to lead myself in a direction I knew I wanted, but wasn't exactly right. I feel myself waking up, irregardless of the situation or what the day may hold, and I honestly am happy about my day. I want to accomplish things, I feel the ambition that I've been missing for so long. No longer am I preoccupied by the mundane bullshit of every day life and wanting all of these crazy material things. No longer do I have the heavy weight on my heart. I'm just simply.... happy.

This is what it should have been like all along. This is how I've always imagined it feeling, but have never quite gotten to experience.

Even after all of my past relationships, even after all of the strong, passionate, extreme relationships that I've been in; ever since Melissa I've had this worry in my heart if I've ever really fallen in love since.... now I know for a fact I have....

And for everything that I've said before, this just IS different. I'm in love. And I know people are going to shake their heads and sigh at what I'm saying I feel but... I can't help it, and I couldn't be happier. After all of my searching for a girl that "completes" me, I've finally found a girl that simply gets me and really, truly does give me the feeling that I am the man of someones dreams.

And the thing that seals the deal is that I know that even if this doesn't last, and God forbid something happens to end it, I know I'll be happy that for at least one moment, I was so completely, and unreasonably happy, and I made her happy too....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I won't ever ask if you don't ever tell me, I know you well enough....

It's often in the early hours of morning, when I lay awake for no particular reason, I think about things that I dare not contemplate in normal time. It feels as if in the time between night and day I am able to face some of the most terrible aspects of my life without too much fear. I know it's all something I should worry about more. I know it's something that I really should be considering on a day to day basis, but I honestly just can't bring myself to think about some of the things that I know I need to. It would destroy me on a level that I haven't let myself consider as of yet. I still need to hold on to that little bit of myself. At least for a little while longer.

Talking to Onnolee the other day really brought a lot of things to the forefront. Hearing her voice and the complete lack of malice it conveyed really brought a lot of my soul to rest. When I heard the call connect, with her voice on the other end, my heart literally skipped a beat. For months now I have almost been mourning her as if she had died. To my heart it seemed as if that is what had happened. Just one day, she was gone. There was no slow progression of loss, there were no push-up, drag-out fights. There was no chance of ever just happening to run in to her at random while out and about. It was just done.

That made it so much easier to move on. To pick up what was left of my already shattered heart and just plod on like I always have in life. No matter what, I will survive, as I've always said.

Talking to her though, it just made everything feel so real. After weeks and months of deep, dark contemplation I was finally able to say a lot of the things that had been rumbling around in my head. I couldn't hide behind the fake feeling of her being dearly departed anymore- it became suddenly very, very real. And with that, I can finally say that I stood up and held myself accountable for everything that had been done and everything that I couldn't do. I wish I could say that it had all been for some purpose, that there was a logic behind all of my actions; but there wasn't.

I acted selfishly for a very long time, burying myself in work and my own messed up thoughts as a way of trying to deal with a situation that I honestly didn't understand- and that scared me. As much as my "go with the flow" attititude permiates my general life, a lack of control and understanding with things that have such a heavy effect on my very existance scares the ever living shit out of me. Like every person that's scared shitless in this world, I regressed into a person that I haven't let myself be in some time. I went off in a direction that I knew I shouldn't, and all that mattered was what I thought I wanted.

I was wrong.

And for that I can't possibly apologize enough for. I hurt a lot of people, and I betrayed my own morals and my own personal standards. I lost a lot of respect for myself in very little time, and I will never forgive myself for that.

Which is a strange feeling, no doubt. The concept that for everything else that I did, for all of the chaos I caused, for all of the damage done, that I am unable to do what everyone else seems so capable of doing. I just can't pass the buck on to someone else. I just can't go through and let someone else shoulder the blame for all of this. There is no blame to put onto anyone else. There is nothing that I shouldn't have been able to control on my own. I, Daren James, am the only one that is to blame for all of this.

And it finally doesn't hurt to say that anymore. It finally doesn't tear me up to stand up and take blame.

All because I heard her voice.

How silly is that?

Listening to:
Taking Back Sunday
You're so Last Summer

Friday, July 31, 2009

Exhale, Another Wasted Breath- Again it Goes Unnoticed....

There used to be a time in my life that I was an extremely confident individual. A lot of people said I was borderline cocky (some of the people who didn't like me outright said I was straight up cocky) and I was able to really turn any situation that came to me into something that I could at least see a silver lining on.

Lately- not so much.

Ever since Onnolee left, I really don't have it in me. I still joke around and make the usual smart ass comments that are expected of me, but at the same time I am so completely underwhelmed by the world. I have reached a point where in all honesty, I can't care anymore. It seems that every time I let myself get a personal investment in absolutely anything, something happens to make me feel like I just didn't measure up. That I am nothing but the fat, insecure, lonely little boy that I was in High School. That I still don't matter.

I wish I could say this is a conclusion that I came to over a period of time, but sadly this was a flash in the pan moment last night as I sat around with people from work. All of the details aside, I just can't keep up the pace that I have set for myself over the past few months. I've been doing everything I could to keep myself in at least somewhat high spirits, only to have one of the last positive shining lights in my life stand up and walk out on me.

I thought I had finally realized what it was that I was doing to myself, but of course, I was wrong.

Even though I like to tout just how "right" I often am, I can't think of a single situation in my own life that I have been able to take my own advice.

It's something I really need to start doing.

Listening to:
Dashboard Confessional,
Again I go Unnoticed

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just Breathe, The Midnight Air Will Do You Well....

There's something about listening to horribly stereotypical, depressing emo music that makes me feel a little bit better about life. I don't know what exactly it is lately, but there has been a lot of things weighing down on my heart, which has been kind of driving me nuts. I've kind of been really passive about my entire life in the past few months, and while that has brought me a lot of really happy moments with friends and family, there is still a lot of things that I've been less than enthusiastic about.

I've kind of went off the deep end with a lot of things, and I think I'm finally starting to come out of the whole "maybe this will make me happy" fog and started wanting to be more assertive about what it is that I want in my life and less about what will make other people happy. Which is good. I hope.

I just don't want to come off as the whole exestental breakdown emo-kid that I was back in the day. It's just hard anymore not to really think of myself in those terms because of everything that has gone down in the past year or so. I've really done a lot of changing in my life and I'm not 100% certain that it was exactly for the best. I feel like more than anything, I let a lot of people down that were important to me- and I've lost them as a consequence. I overstepped a lot of bounderies and I think I'm just now starting to really accept that.

Which sounds a lot more whiney than it really is. That is definately meant as more of an uplifting revelation than downtrodden meloncholy declaration.

I almost feel like my subconcious was directing me to do things that I knew I wouldn't do for myself. I was in a relationship that lasted only as long as it did for the sole purpose of comfort and financial co-dependance. I was working myself to the bone for something that I never really wanted in the first place. I was in a contradicting series of friendships that were just waiting to become self-destructive. I feel like I have really saved myself from a lot of future heartache and disaster by allowing my entire life to implode on a trunkated time table.

Listening to:
Hawthorne Heights,
Fragile Future

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweet Josaphine, will you follow me home!?!?!?

I think I'm finally starting to tire of always being the one that people run to when they have problems. For as long as I can remember, I was the first line of defense for 99.9% of my friends when there was something wrong. I would always have some encouraging words and even if I didn't agree with whatever it is that you decided to do about a situation, I would stand by you and support you through it all.

I think I've finally reached a point where I'm having a hard time with following through with some of the encouragement that I've tried putting out there. There are just so many situations right now where I stand by and let things happen to people that I care about because they have some stupid reason for it. It drives me absolutely insane anymore

I think the problem is, I care too much. The people that come in to my life get everything from me. My whole heart goes in to a friendship 110% for the entirety of it. So when a person allows themselves to be put through things that are absolutely asinine, it tears me up inside. I want to see everyone happy. I want everyone to be free of all of the toils and bullshit in life, to be as carefree as possible. I don't care about my own happyness or my own physical wellbeing, I just want the people that I care about to not have to worry about things.

It kills me to see someone in a poor relationship or stuck doing things that they don't want to do. Life is too short to be miserable. Why let yourself be unhappy, when there is someone or something out there that can actually be a positive influence in their lives....

Le Sigh.

I just don't want to hurt because I am seeing other people hurt. There is so much pain and torment in my own life right now that seeing the people I care about put themselves through torture just for the sake of being in a worthless relationship or a bullshit job. The investment I put into people is starting to feel less and less worth it...

Fuck the useless boyfriend.
Screw the trash job.
Laugh at your rediculous parents.
Give up on the friends that treat you like garbage.

Find someone to treat you right.
Look for something that you enjoy doing.
Give your parents a reason to respect you.
Show your friends that you can walk away just as easy.

And in the words of my lovely Maria- Give love, it's free.

Listening to:
Devil In Jersey City [Live]
Coheed and Cambria

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sometime I worry about being successful in a mediocre world

Good days and bad days. We all have them.

It seems like mine lately are really starting to balance out a bit more than they used to. This whole adjustment to my new life has been farely complicated, but day by day I'm getting a better handle on it. I feel so much more... alive than I did with her. I feel like every step I take in this new direction is as positive a move as I could possibly be making. For almost two years I did nothing but stress myself out and push myself as hard as I could in pursuit of something that I'm not sure I ever really wanted.

I look at how hard I was working and how much money I threw away at things that just weren't important and I kind of cringe. I was pushing myself into 60-70 hour work weeks to try and save money up so she could go to school, so we could save money to buy a house, to pay for a wedding, to try and start a big kid life when in all actuality it seems from my perspective that these are things that she never really wanted from me. I thought all this time I was doing the things that a MAN should to provide for his family. I thought putting yourself second to everything else in life was what you were supposed to do to show someone you loved them.

Turns out I should have just settled for a life of mediocrity to make her happy.

I refuse.

I want to live LIFE. I don't want to simply live day to day worrying more about my situation than what it is that I want to do. I want to get ahead. I want to stop struggling the way so many people do in their day to day lives. I don't want money to be the primary determining factor behind everything that I do. If I have a couple of days off, I want to be able to cruise off to wherever, just because I can! I want to go on impulse to the store and buy something stupid. I want to be a little kid at the age of 40, working to live not living to work!

And that's what it was all about. That's what I thought I was spending all of my time doing. Now I am starting to realize, that if that's what I want to do with my life, then I need to really step up and take a look at the things that I was letting drag me down- and get rid of each and every one of them. The first step was made for me, and that was the hardest one. I was living with a negative, downtrodden person that was unwilling to help give me the drive that was needed to get ahead. When the chips were down and things needed to be done to do work, she couldn't push through what was supposed to be a temporary discomfort to get to find the bigger picture.

Today I can say, I'm happy with it. I'm being told every day that people appreciate me so much more than they did before. That the person that I am today seems to have so much brighter of an outlook and is so much more fun. At first being told these things offended me. I thought for the longest time that it paid too much disrespect to who I was while I was with Onnolee, but I realize now that it's the truth. I was so blinded by my dedication that I neglected friendships and ignored possibilities to get out and have fun.

Which is rather ironic considering she told every single person that she knows that I had been cheating on her with everything. That I had done nothing for the last six months of our relationship but lie and philander. Too bad there isn't a person out there that knew my side of the story that could say I did anything but live for her. I made my mistakes, and while I was slow to act on admitting them, I did at least come clean- pride was a hard thing to break down.

You live and you learn though. Walking through life living on blind faith just doesn't work. Things aren't going to be exactly what they want them to be without a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work. If the person I'm with can't accept that, then that's not someone that I really want to be with, now is it?

"All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.A life lived in medicority is a life lived in sin" - Scott Alexander

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And the heart still beats inside, and the blood runs through her veins...

So it's official. To anyone that might have been following my (mis)adventures over the past few months, you'll understand this statement- I have no dignity left.

I had to go to the ER because my right testicle had swollen to 4x the size of it's left sided compatriot. How did this happen you ask? Did Daren contract gonorrhea? Chlamydia?

Nope. Neither.

I had a blonde cougar decide at a very inopportune moment to slide her chair out while on the Terrace at work and manage to minch righty between the corner of wrought iron and my theigh. Hard. It was as if she had a perosnal vandetta against me possibly reproducing some day and had taken a contract hit out on my right nut. It's due to this that I have put lefty into witness protection....

Now this hit and the aforementioned hospitalization doesn't seem so bad. What makes it bad is the number of people I had to consult on the appearance of my right nut before we were able to figure out what exactly the problem was with my testicle. First I called and explained it to my doctor's Call Center Operator- a rather cute voiced young woman that sounded both shocked and mildly amused when I told her I had taken a hit to the genitals and things were going wrong down south.

I then had to explain it to a midget at Beaumont. Yes. A midget, not a short woman, not a rather small sided young lady, but a 40-something midget. Thanks.

Then, as many people know- the staff doctors at Beaumont are mostly older men or really really ugly women. I'm laying on the gourney, laughing a little to myself at the misfortune when a rediculously hot asian girl comes in the room. Seriously? Seriously? What-the-fuck. I could deal with an old man checking out my nut. I could feel perfectly clinical about an ugly woman feeling for abnormalities. This though- was not fair. Super hot, short, and her hands on my nuts... This was not a clinical experience for me, this was the beginning of some sort of Penthouse fantasy!

Okay- so next step in this little journey for me was to get an ultrasound. Again- most of the people I've ever encountered from that unit are either elderly or fugly. Not this time! I get the relatively cute middle aged woman that wants to CHAT while she lubes up my nut for the ultrasound. Thanks!

So after a dose of Dilauded and a lot of people holding on to my testicles, I find out that I have a trauma induced infection that simply needs to be treated by antibiotics. Fun.

Oh- and did I mention the girl I've been dating for about two weeks is the one that brought me to the ER and sat with me the whole time!? FUN!

Listening to:
Brave Saint Saturn
The Light of Things Hoped For
10 - Heart Still Beats

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Need a chance, can't say goodbye- wish I could set things right tonight...

Holiday weekends are by far the worst to work in a restaurant in the summertime. Most of the people that would normally be going out to eat are staying home to grill or are on vacation, leaving not only a slow restaurant but a slow restaurant infested by people that normally never go out to eat and are "splurging"- i.e. don't know how to tip.

It's so frustrating to come in to work at 12:15 work until well after 8:00 and only walk out with seventy dollars. I feel like I'm at Red Lobster all over again. Add that to the not quite feeling too well and it's a little bit of double trouble!

On the up side though, I've been spending an increasing amount of time with a new someone special, and I have to admit- I'm pretty smitten. This girl is the embodyment of so much that I knew I have been missing but never really wanted to admit. She has this sense of humor that just follows the same vein as mine, she is willing to listen to my babble on about cars and actually asks questions and is interested in what I have to say, is happily in to adventure, loves all of the same music as I do, is a beer drinker, able to actually talk to my friends without scowling, and is just all around awesome.

I think more than all of that though, it just comes down to the point that she is 100% supportive of all of the things that I've brought up. I have been reconnecting with my Faith more and more over the past few months, and she is very passionate about God. We have open discussions about faith and the role it plays in both of our lives and rather than feeling like how I worship is a burdeon she understands and offers her hand and heart to me if I want it. You can tell though, that from the way she says these things, she isn't just saying them to be nice- she means every word.

Then there is Murder Mitten. I've brought up the concept to her a few times and she is actually really excited for me. I bounce ideas off of her, she offers advice on how to build up the grass roots marketing, gives me ideas for products, and is pushing me to put together a facebook\myspace and maybe even a website. Yesterday while we were waiting in lines at Cedar Point I just bounced ideas off her left and right, eventually building such a cool list of ideas and promotion plans that this might actually get off the ground. It won't be just one more thing that has gone down the drain, this is something that could actually work.

And the scary part is just how short of a time I've known her. I keep having to remind myself that we haven't really gotten to know eachother super super well yet, and that if this is how I feel about her after just this little bit of time- who knows what it's going to be like in a few months?

Life is turning around little by little every day. I finally feel like I've found the stride I had been looking for for so long. A big "Thank you," goes out to each and every person that has touched my life in the past couple of months to help me really get past all of the bricks I had put in my backpack. You are all amazing people and have each given a unique piece to the puzzle of recovery I've put together.

Listening to:
Anberlin, New Surrender
Track 8: Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights)

Every day has a new beginning

So after a good long time of writing on my Myspace Blog I've decided to create a bit of a dedicated outlet for my various ramblings. After seeing anywhere from 800-1000 views a week for the past couple of months it just kind of makes sense. I don't know who all reads my writings, or even if anyone cares- but it seems that if anyone out there takes any kind of interest in what it is that happens in my life or what I have to say about things, than this might just be worth while.

Then beyond the simple every day shinanigans that seem to envelope my life I have several endeavours currently in the works that it would be great to keep people updated on through my blog. Most important out of all of these is my new apparel upstart- Murder Mitten Creations. After seeing some of the lackluster crafts and detroit-made clothing\accessories at a few of the local crafting shows my friend Sarah Smith and I made the decision to start designing and marketing our own line.

Things are still in the works in terms of design asthetic, general style, and vision- but we do know that we want to really put some of the best things about the Metro-Detroit scene on display- past and present.

So here, on top of my ramblings on what can only be considered the mental cost of my own common sense, you'll also catch updates and previews on design, methodology, and whatever else I can come up with- politics, religion, friendship, and love