Log in

free thinking renegade social
25 March 2015 @ 12:13 am
I remember the tubes. Big and small, mostly translucent and plastic, snaking out of your mouth, up from your arm, into your hairline. I remember thinking that the hisses and whirrs of the machines attached to them were unnerving in their regularity. I remember thinking that you, he who could not sit still, he who once managed to break a second leg while healing the first, never would have put up with all this for very long.

I remember looking at the ruddy hair on your forearms and the darkness of your brow and wondering when you suddenly became an adult. My little brother, forever fair and small, now with hands that dwarfed my own. The added fluids from the hospital emphasized the distinction.

I remember the regret I felt for missing more of your recent life up to that point. You were starting to level off into adulthood, fast approaching a place where we could both relate to each other. I didn't really know you that well, not grownup you anyway, but when we talked over the holidays we started to reform the bonds between us. You were still working through things on your own, from a place of independence rather than isolation, and it was deeply encouraging. Being the third kid of four wasn't easy.

I remember the cavernous feeling -- cavernous is really the only word that seems to fit -- I had when it was time to say goodbye. I grabbed your swollen hand, squeezed it hoping that maybe -- maybe! -- you'd somehow squeeze back. I remember the unfamiliar smell of the medical ointment on your skin. I remember thinking that, six days later, isn't it funny? Your bruises were starting to heal. I remember thinking that you would have survived all of this, these broken bones and bruised limbs, with some defiance had you not also smacked your head on the pavement.

I remember all this like it wasn't five years ago, but it was, and that's sometimes hard for me to believe because it at once feels like it was yesterday and a lifetime ago. I don't think of it very much, but it washes over me at the strangest times, in the strangest places and situations, and I feel for a fleeting moment that vast emptiness again. I miss my brother, who died five years ago tonight, following an accident riding the motorcycle that he loved.

It's never lost on me that I lost my brother that day, but in the days that followed I came to learn that he left me many more brothers and sisters -- his network of close friends and college acquaintances that would drag me through everything that came after and teach me about all that I had missed. For that, I'm thankful.
free thinking renegade social
01 January 2015 @ 11:47 am
it's been ages, but part of the fun of continuing to update here long after the internet has left lj behind is that no one's reading anymore. which is kind of how it used to be, in the beginning. no?

it's a new year. i'm not one for new year's resolutions (though always game for a proper resolution), but putting this here as an act of accountability:

in 2015, slow down. dictate your schedule. put yourself first.

always hated that last sentiment—always seemed like a convenient excuse for someone to be selfish—but in this case it's a means to an end. by putting myself first, i can free myself to put others first. if that makes sense.

bonne année + bonne santé

update, moments after publishing: just noticed my previous post was 1.) one year ago today (fascinating, what motivates it on new year's day) and 2.) nearly redundant in sentiment to the one for 2015. so are the lesser resolutions in my head. man, i'm rather disappointed in how predictable i've become
Current Location: brooklyn, ny
Current Mood: resolute
Current Music: phantogram - black out days
free thinking renegade social
01 January 2014 @ 02:02 pm
i rarely post here anymore, mostly because i think to and then move on to something else. it's a sort of affliction that plagues many areas of my life.

i like to post here though. i think it's because there's an assumed veil of privacy. who bothers to check LJ anymore?

this was a good year for many reasons. a lot of change happened along the way.

i jumped to a new job. i moved to a new (old) city. spats died, and nemo declined significantly. i traveled a lot: to las vegas, to singapore, to san francisco, to chicago, to detroit. i finally, after three years, felt part of a community in philly. (but then i left it.)

i'm getting older, and trying to figure out how i'd like to handle that. what kind of twentyeight, twentyninesomething i want to be.

there are things i'm trying to work on.

budgeting is crucial. after a major milestone this year -- no credit card debt! -- i've got more than i've ever had before, courtesy a two-month move. it's the kind of swing that could cause a stroke.

habits are a struggle. little personal quirks -- too many and minor to list here -- i'd like to discard haven't been, yet.

fitness is pending. i'm in good health, overall, but i've lost my gym habit in the move. need to find a way to do that without working against the budgeting thing. could stand to shed a couple lbs and toss some of the softness.

career perspective is key. it's so difficult to ignore the noise and invent, but i need to. i know it's the way to succeed.

relationship is rock solid. nine years this month -- and it's just as fun. that's pretty awesome.

living in the moment -- it's a cliché, but it's hard to have analytical, strategic perspective without disassociating yourself from things. i need to find a better balance so i'm not lamenting lost time.

...and yet i need to do better planning. not getting stuck and wound up by reacting to things.

would really like to use my kindle more than, you know, never. books, movies, new music -- that time to contemplate is always valuable.

i also need to articulate my appreciation for things more, instead of focusing on what needs to improve. the latter is what helps my internal drive, but it prevents me from expressing my sincere feelings on things, which presents an unbalanced view on things. this year, i'm thankful for the continued health of my family, unbroken support from friends near and far, adoption and education by colleagues old and new, the care and patience of my wife, and the general station of life in which i find myself. i'm lucky, and i never forget it. (i just stick it in storage for a bit so i'm not paralyzed by it.)

unusually reflective, this post. oh well. feels right. on to 2014.
Current Location: nyc
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: lorde -- royals
free thinking renegade social
24 March 2013 @ 12:45 pm
lost mike three years ago today.

the truth is, you don't think about it much on a day-to-day basis. you can't, really -- you'd never be able to keep moving if you dwelled on it. and then it hits you, out of nowhere. usually there's a trigger, something minor, something seemingly benign that suddenly creates a daisy chain of memories that ends with the worst one.

that's how it usually happens during the rest of the year. it's infrequent, but it's unpleasant.

but a day like this? you can see it coming. you know what to expect. so you brace for it. you try to forget about it, even.

if you're like me, you try to resist getting sucked into the melodramatic vortex that inevitably happens when people try to mark the occasion by publicly mourning. it's helpful to mourn; don't get me wrong. but the emotional outreach over social networks, like desperate grasping, seems less productive. it feels like an annual reconstruction of the receiving line at the funeral. so i try to avoid it.

the acute loss i actually experienced always felt more personal, private. i think it's a sibling thing. you lose a part of the whole, at least as you know it.

it can be surprising how much you still hurt, though. i like to think that i'm on pretty stable footing, and i am. celebrations? memorials? photos, even? i can handle that. but i can't watch video without welling up. there's something about a moving picture that makes his absence terribly real.

and that's when the loss sets in.
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: beyoncé - halo
free thinking renegade social
03 February 2013 @ 01:11 pm

i want to live in a place where people converse in multiple languages, flipping back and forth every few minutes as their brains choose whichever path is more comfortable. (this might be because my mind sometimes functions like this.) i've been lucky enough to live in several places where this happens, and indeed it's happening before me at this moment in my hometown, of all places, in french and english, of all things. wonderful.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

free thinking renegade social
21 December 2012 @ 08:52 pm
i wrote a very lengthy post in 2009 about negativity and stress.

for some reason, i left it private.

i don't think it needs to be anymore. it's here.
free thinking renegade social
21 December 2012 @ 08:38 pm
looked back over two years' worth of lj entries. still haven't tackled several must-dos.

Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: the xx - chained
free thinking renegade social
19 November 2012 @ 11:21 am
today, i have decided that enough is enough. time to jettison some things, erase others, say "no" more often and delegate.
Current Mood: determined
Current Music: Nicki Minaj - Beez in the Trap
free thinking renegade social
03 November 2012 @ 01:18 pm
the hurricane filled the first floor of mom's house with a foot of water. given that all of brig was submerged, and her house is opposite the bay, it's not entirely surprising. but you can hear the defeat in her voice. she had just redone all the floors because of a persistent water issue. yeah. she certainly doesn't have a dime to spare, either.

she's hoping for assistance but i doubt it's going to happen, given that it's not her primary residence. but it's not about the house. it's about mom constantly bouncing back from adversity: the death of her mother, the empty nest, the separation, mike's accident, the studio, the house round one. she's good at powering through things, but it's a crutch on which she leans so that she doesn't fall apart. i just hope she doesn't throw in the towel on this one.
Current Mood: gloomygloomy
Current Music: bruno mars - locked out of heaven
free thinking renegade social
21 October 2012 @ 12:05 am

[This was written in September, but somehow failed to post. So I'm publishing it now.]

I'm sitting here on the train writing this because I failed to keep a promise to myself to update this. I'm kind of angry at myself for that, not in principle (because really, so what?) but because it's been one of the most interesting summers I've ever had, and that's really what this thing is good for: milestones.

Right now, I'm coming back to PHL from a NYC happy hour with my writers, but the real news is that I'm back in the States after spending three months in Europe: Paris, mostly, plus jaunts to London, Koln, Tours, Brussels, Bruges, Chambéry, Milano, Torino and Zurich.

Being in France was wonderful -- bread, cheese, language, density, transit, continental weather -- but it's amazing how long it really had been: 7 years. My language caught up in due time, but I largely felt like I was in an English bubble. It made 2005 feel like forever ago -- indeed, I felt old.

It was still wonderful. Despite a mostly quotidian existence -- punctuated by fabulous vacations -- I enjoyed the alone time: from work, the Internet, family, friends, colleagues, sources, pets, landlords, neighbors. The best part about 2005 was using a new place to learn about myself; this time, I learned what was most important, and what really matters to me, and where I want to go. You have a lot of time to think. That's why I like going anywhere, really.

And yet it all feels as if a dream. Now that I'm back it's hard to believe it happened -- on paper, it's incredible -- but that's partly why I'm writing this: to record it in a different way.

I'm back now, but I return with a heavy dose of confidence in my ability to manage...whatever. A change of scenery disrupts, then reinforces, this. It's like a muscle: break it down, then build it up stronger.

My focus moving forward is getting back on track: physically, mentally, productivitally. Keep the best and cut the rest. Mais oui.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.