Times ain’t tough, they’re tedious

a-nice-pre-sunset-burrito-at-deadmadronatreebluff-the-janky-picnic-table-is-a-new-addition-lets-see-how-long-it-will-last-also-there-were-a-lot-of-slurpee-cups-to-clean-up-no-thanks-to-the-nearby-7-11-sumsetburritoclub_2In my last post, I offhandedly noted that I was “going through some stuff”. Well, “stuff” is a way to loosely define what’s been rattling around in my head for far too long. To put it bluntly, I’ve been unsatisfied with myself and what’s around me for a bit.

Now there have been good times, no doubt. And I do manage to have fun from time to time. And nothing real bad has happened to me either, besides April and I breaking up three years ago. But I feel like I’m stuck, like I can’t figure out to get to that next level in my life. And I’m getting tired of this stuck feeling, but still can’t get over it.

How long have I been feeling this? I guess ever since I got back from the Big Tour in 2011. Up until that point, while things were not “easy”, I felt like I was “working towards something”. And I rather naively thought that the tour would change me in a way that I would be different and things would be different when I got back. Well, they weren’t, at least not enough. If anything, the problem was that things were too much “the same” as they were before. But now there was a certain hollowness to it all. I tried my best to distract myself from thinking about it, which worked for some time. But I knew that April and I fell into our old traps. Then we drifted apart, and the relationship fell apart.

Breaking up with someone can be a liberating thing for some, because one can do things without fear of what the other thinks. But I squandered that chance. I had the idea for a few months of moving somewhere else. Instead I dwelled on the dissolusionment of our relationship for far too long. I felt sad for far too long. For awhile I thought to myself, “Well, if you feel like you should feel sad, feel sad.” But I got sick of that.

I’m to the point where I’ve finally gotten over it. But it would be nice to fall in love again. And I felt like I almost had that. I was dating someone for a bit, and things seemed like they were going well, but in the end it didn’t work out. And I’m bummed because I really liked (and still like) that person. And it felt really good to like someone again, and feel liked by someone else. It was the best that I had felt in years. Now I’m back to square one again. It’s always been hard for me to find someone, and I haven’t had that many relationships in my life.

But still, I need to figure out What Happens Next. My job is tolerable at best, but hasn’t felt fulfilling for some time. And I’ve been there for ten years! At least I get some decent benefits, but still, I want something that fulfills me. I also have slacked significantly on being an artist. I draw infrequently, and rarely “for fun.” I haven’t thought about art being a job for quite some time.

And man, I’d like to get out there and bike more. I get jealous when I see everyone’s “epic” bike adventures. But I know that even with the generous amount of vacation time I get, it’s hard to do anything more than a week or so during the summer months. So I wait for the time that I can do a bigger tour. Maybe next year.

And that seems to be the solution to all my dilemmas. Next year. Next year, I’ll move to a different place. Next year, I’ll go back to school to learn a marketable skill. (What skill? I don’t know.) Next year, I’ll get serious about art. Next year, I’ll take the summer off and go on a bike tour or manage a wilderness hostel. Next year, I’ll find love.

But this has been going on for the past few years. And when next year rolls around, nothing happens. Then I wait for the following year. You can see that this isn’t getting me anywhere. But I need to figure out how to get out of this hole I’ve been digging. Maybe stopping digging is the first step?

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10 thoughts on “Times ain’t tough, they’re tedious

  1. I found your blog through the book, “On Bicycles.” It’s not what I expected. I thought I’d find a dedicated cyclist with uplifting messages. Your last two posts are far from happy which brings me to this: Deepak and Oprah’s 21-day meditation experience, Getting Unstuck; and, Choose a direction and the universe will support you in it.

    How do I dare give advice to a stranger? I recognize your “stuckness” and the pain inside. Besides, I’m over 60 and at this age I can do anything I want.

    Namaste,
    Cheryl

    • Hello Cheryl, thank you for your advice. Just thought I’d comment on a couple points you make:

      One, I don’t understand why you don’t find me a “dedicated cyclist.” I mean, I’ve been using a bicycle as my primary form of transportation for fifteen years. I don’t own a car. My “vacations” are based around the bicycle, whether it’s a bike tour or travelling with my bike to another place. If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is!

      As for “uplifting”, I’ll be honest: I never intended this blog to be an uplifting thing. Now that’s not to say that I don’t want to be uplifting or inspiring from time to time, but that’s not my primary motivation. This thing is about my life, mostly as it pertains to bicycles. And before I blogged, I “came up” through the world of zines and personal comics, where honesty and truthfulness were the norm. So what I am for is being truthful. If I’m in a funk, I’m going to say something about it. This blog isn’t a Successories poster, y’know. 😉

      But, I will say that my “downer” posts are infrequent and not reflective of most of this blog. If you look through the multitude of posts through the years, it’s heavily on the positive side. Because I usually want to write about the good things, the fun things. And I don’t want this blog to continuously sound a downer note. I mean, I wouldn’t want to read that either! But occasionally I will reflect on the bad times. Just not all the time!

  2. I think that if you tried to think about how your mind controls your body to enable you to pedal a bike and maintain balance…you would probably fall over.
    Sometimes we over think and over analize things…most times it is better to just keep pedaling.

  3. I’m not going to enlighten you with any deep thoughts and I am not going to offer a catch all solution. What I can add is that you are not alone in your thoughts and what you are feeling is perfectly normal. Sometimes it is best to just let “shit” go and move on. I am a believer in that you control your destiny. We’ve had a humorous saying here at work the past few weeks “People don’t like things the way they are, and they don’t like change”. It’s easy to nitpick about how things currently are, and it is scary as hell to change (not to mention annoying, difficult, etc). Nobody is going to walk into the room and fix it all for you though. You control you!
    I’m not advocating what worked for me will work for you, but maybe my choices will help you. LOVE: I met my now wife through match.com (15 years ago now!!!), It’s worth a shot to take 30-45 minutes and toss up a profile. I was looking to just “date” people and she was the 3rd person I met online and it just clicked. WORK & LOCATION: I liked my job in NH, I was good at my job, but I wasn’t fulfilled anymore. Plus we were both wanting to move out of NH. Both changed for me via networking and a little dumb luck. Friend of mine worked out here in Oregon, told me about a job opening. I applied, interviewed and was offered the job. In 6 weeks we rented out our NH condo, sold a ton of junk and moved 3,000 miles to a place we had only visited for 4 days! It was scary as hell and frustrating beyond belief at times. 3 years later though I am very glad I made the move. There were 100 (1,000 even) excuses to not do it, but in the end we just did it and things have worked out. Trust me when I say it has not been a utopia movie like fairytale either, it’s bee hard at times, but very rewarding too.
    So I guess my advice/comment is strictly this. Do what is best for you, the rest will fall into place.

    -Pete

    • Thanks for all that advice, Pete! I think right now the best thing for me is to travel more. So I should aim for that. Now just have to start saving those pennies…

  4. I made a comment on flicker when you first posted the picture above but often times outside advice isn’t helpful, as you may have experienced. I do know that keeping regular hours, as much as possible, eating a varried and healthy diet, laying off smoking or drinking of any kind is always positive in how those can make you feel better. And having a spiritual background of some kind helps your perspective. Go to churches, listen, then act on those positives and if it does move you, go somewhere else. These simple things have helped me but still, I struggle with my demons. Be well, think good of yourself. You are loved by many. And smile. Can’t hurt.

  5. I made a comment on flicker when you first posted the picture above but often times outside advice isn’t helpful, as you may have experienced. I do know that keeping regular hours, as much as possible, eating a varried and healthy diet, laying off smoking or drinking of any kind is always a positive in how those can make you feel. And having a spiritual background of some kind helps your perspective. Go to a church, listen to what is said, then act on the positives and if it does not move you, go somewhere else. These simple things have helped me but still, I still struggle with my own demons. Life can be and often is very challenging. You know that but it bears repeating from time to time. Be well, amigo, and look for the good in others. You are loved by many and that is quite a grand thing to know. Michoal Chance.

  6. Amen brother too much of this sounds too familiar..separated in 2011, moved out in 2012, divorced in early 2013, contract job roller coaster since 2013, more wrenching the riding.blah blah. If you do figure out the solution to get out the rut please share! For me I try to remind myself of what I am grateful for in my life and also to just keeping slogging on.

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