Eights years seems like a long time. In eight years, I will be thirty-nine. I cannot even imagine the kind of person who will be sitting behind the keyboard at that time. I do not even know what kind of keyboard I will be sitting behind. It is almost just as hard to believe of where I was eight years ago. I lived in a completely different state and was headed for a completely different life. It’s been hard, but each step has led me a bit closer to where I want to be.
Starting off, I was living with my brother in Brookings, South Dakota and not paying rent. That’s probably the. Most pathetic part of it all. I had a job working at the used bookstore. I made decent amount of money, but I threw it all into alcohol and eating out. I treated my body like garbage.
I was the quintessential skinny-fat. My weight was mostly held around my waist and in my face. If you look at pictures of me at the time, I looked a lot more round in body shape. I did not really exercise, much like before starting this blog this year. I exercised sporadically. I liked to run this five mile trek. I ran for one song, jogged for two songs, and then kept going until I tired myself out. I would always compete the circle. Then I would be lazy for the rest of the day. Health and Fitness were far from actual priorities.
Trying to turn my life around, I signed up for the Navy in March. I actually left on the 17th of November in 2009. I wanted it to be this life changing endeavor. I wanted the military to turn me into someone focused. I wanted them to give me money. I wanted them to pay for school. I wanted them to get me in shape. Reality kicked in quickly. No matter what I wanted, I needed to do it myself. I needed to be myself, and I quickly found out that the military mentally was not for me.
Romance was (mostly) dead. It had to be. I was leaving for the military and spending the next six years in the closet. (This, remember, was before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed). I hooked up with a few people, and even convinced someone to break up with their boyfriend so I wouldn’t feel bad about sleeping with them. It was far from my most shining moment. The mostly comes in the form of Charmaine.
The greatest thing to happen to me just over eight years ago was Charmaine. The self proclaimed Advocate of Adventure lived sixty miles away from me. I met her on the fly, and the two of us instantly connected. We haven’t stopped running since then. We live a thousand miles from each other, but still find ways to grow closer every day.
It’s funny looking back at how far I’ve come. I paid for my brother to send his painting to an art show here in Jersey City. I lend my brother money every time I can. I’m living outside of New York City. I work at a bar, I’m starting at a brewery, and I write this blog. I am setting myself up to exercise regularly. And this woman who fell into my life still means everything to me. A lot can change in eight years and that’s awesome. It all comes down to you making things happen.