Cafe Hitch-hike


A pretty good place to be

For my birthday, I had a little visit from my bro Deebo, cousin Drew, and friend of the family Tracy. They surprised me and spent a day and night at my place. I showed them around town, and then they wanted to see Miami the next day. Usually, I get a little energized by showing people around, but I felt much more like the host than the birthday girl. Then, they smoked so much cannabis that I felt kind of off for a good portion of the time. Rather than chill and enjoy, I was busy entertaining.

I talked about this with my mentor. He thought I was disappointed with the visit; it wasn't terrible and nothing bad happened, but it wasn't one of those affirming visits where something inside is recharged by the warm glow of familiarity.

Also, my family is not big on social graces at all. I had to shampoo my car interior from the smoke smell, and then clean up the residue of smoke in my house. People really don't visit each other much, and now I see why. It takes effort to be a good visitor and a good host.

I often kicked myself for being distant to my relatives, but just only realized they tend to stay distant from each other. I'm usually the only person who travels to see them. I often thought I didn't give enough and that I put up too steep of a wall for any type of interaction to occur between us. Well, we put up walls for various reasons. I'd visit my relatives and learned to leave before things got crazy. It was a reasonable thing to do. We've always had different lifestyles, and we simply did what we were comfortable with doing; we didn't seem very comfy with each other's ways of life, so there we were. Being with family doesn't necessarily mean the walls lower. Hell, maybe that was why some of them were put up in the first place.

Anyhow, at least I was able to show them a nice time and something they never got to see before. They liked it so much they wanted to come back this weekend, but I told them I was busy. It's been 4 days and I'm still tired.

In a few weeks, relatives are going to Orlando for the 1-year mark of my niece's death. Then, they will spend the rest of their time in Clearwater and rent a little place. My mother will come down and fly to my town, then we'll drive to join the rest of them. I'll probably hang with them for a couple of days, let Mom hang with them, and either go back to pick her up or see if they are interested in making the drive to my place. Either way, we'll all be together again.

School is back in session and it will be interesting to see what happens next. We've been assured that financial matters are good through the end of December, but January and the following year will be a different subject.

I've been tasked to head a completely new group with mostly people I've never worked with before or did on small bases. I've been consulting with some trusted people on how to approach this: be open, flexible, and validate people. Know my stuff, be fair, and professional while letting me be me. I don't have to establish my dominance and that I'm brilliant right away (huh, I don't? Hah). So far, the people in the group seem very eager about it and what we're about to do which gave me some momentum, but I'm also shaking off previous experiences with leading groups. Well, what the hell? When I think of most teams, they're lucky to win between half and 3/4s of their games, right? I can think of how my teams accomplished things. My teams were able to decent work, even when at times I felt like I was in a bare-knuckle fight with others or I had to carry the load.

In a way, the group is kind of exciting because it's a topic that many within and outside of our building are interested in. I've done shit like this before many times but on different topics... This ought to be interesting.

Wish I had as much mojo as I felt 3 weeks ago, and I usually glow when it's my birthday. But, I must admit that when I woke up and realized I war 47, I felt-- honored, proud. I had to laugh because I have the same amount of grays I had 5 years ago. My skin's a little different but that's to be expected. My mind feels much better, and I overall feel better. I made it this far, I'm in decent shape, and I have what I need. My bro, cousin, and friend were resting in the other rooms that morning, and I had my senior puppy with me. Things aren't bad at all. They aren't perfect, but I realized it was a pretty good place to be.

downwind | upstream