The ups and downs of life makes you you😏
You know, if you never go through the ups and downs of life, it's my opinion you haven't seen the scale of life yet. Not sure if I'm making any sense but it's late and quiet at home and that's when the hamster wheel in most people's mind is in full speed. Tonight, I peacefully think about my experiences in life. Everyone goes through the ups and downs and I feel I've been through a slightly above average path. I'm not complaining. It made me the me I am.
Some examples are.... I used to be homeless. Slept in a little strip mall that had a roof back in Hawaii. The city of Kalihi to be more specific. There is/was a bowling alley in the back too so I found the back of the bowling alley a place for me to crash for the night sometimes. Other times, I found an old Chevy truck and the side window lock was so rusted out that it wouldn't lock. I'd open the window and unlock the door and crash on the bench seat these old Chevy trucks used to have. It only had an AM radio that at least could be turned on without a key. Thank goodness I was living in Hawaii so I rarely needed a blanket to stay warm. That's the same truck I used to sneak and sleep in after I'd get a beating from my Dad. Anyway, fast forward to more current times. I owned a 5 bed 3 bath 2 story home at one point. Good sized backyard with outdoor lighting, red brick wall all around the edges of the backyard where I'd plant beautiful colorful plants and great smelling roses between this red brick two ft wall and the fence boundaries . At the corner, I had a waterfall with a 3' deep man made pond at the bottom. The waterfall would cascade down those wide flat rocks that looked awesome. I had a red Japanese maple tree and two palm trees surrounded by nice smaller shrubs along the sides of the waterfall. I planted water lillys in the pond along with an array of butterfly koi that was about 2" growing eventually to at least a foot. So I went from being homeless to owning a pretty nice home. So now when I'm driving somewhere formal all dressed up, I see homeless people and that's pretty much the norm these days. However, when I look at them, I see me. I don' t see me any better than they are. That's why I give them food and stuff because they just happen to be in a tough spot like I was once.
Transportation as a teen? I told this story a few times already. The only way as a teen to get anywhere was to catch the city bus. If I asked my parents for a ride? They'd laugh and wonder who's this kid talking to them? While the city bus did take me everywhere I wanted to go, it'd take a long time to get there because of all the stops. When I finally was able to get a car, I was pleasantly shocked that a 1.5 hr bus ride took maybe 15 min with a car ;). I've mentioned the times when I'd be the closing manager for a fast food restaurant and if we didn't close the place quick enough, I'd miss the last bus and I'd have no choice but to walk home. It was miserable. Then I got a taste of owning a car but that a short pleasantry. When it broke down? Game over. No money to fix it nor anyone to help me fix it. Fast forward to more present times. I've owned two vehicles for awhile now. Even had a motorcycle so that's actually 3 modes of transportation. Overkill on my part now? Yeah .. maybe but you never had to walk in my shoes. So when I go out to my garage and see my truck that I love so dearly? I think that is another extreme from walking home to "pick your ride".
My food budget when I first lived on my own? Good thing I worked at a restaurant. While there, I had free meals during lunch breaks. For dinner at home? I knew no better. I bought 7 TV dinners for 7 meals of course. One day, I was really hungry and ate two TV dinners thinking something will come up. Of course, nothing came up and I was really hungry one night. It was so bad that I caught the bus to the restaurant, went to the break room and ate someone's leftovers that they didn't finish. I think back as a kid growing up with my parents. At least I had food then right? Nope, not really. When I was hungry, I'd just pick mangoes off of the multiple mango trees growing in Hawaii. Mom's cooking? Gross asian food. Sorry but I cannot look into a pot of chicken stew with green leaves in it. You may ask why? Well, the chicken was chicken feet.About a dozen of them. I'd rather starve. I have many more memories of the food we had. Nothing like tripe in a dark gravy. That dark gravy was cow blood. So I was a really skinny kid growing up. Now? I got two refrigerators, Two pantries of food. Most of the dry or canned food expires before I can eat them. When it's close, I throw it away or give it away.
As a kid, my Dad would clean rich people's lawns. When I was around 12, I thought it'd be a good idea to help my Dad so I could get some money to buy ice cream when the ice cream truck came or maybe be like the rich kids and go to a movie theater. Maybe even getting a soda and popcorn. Big ass mistake as my Dad would abuse me at the places we cleaned too. Fast forward to the near present, I no longer do yard work. I hire people to do my lawn, trim, and whatever I need to do the yard.
Even shoes. I recall I'd have one or maybe two pairs of shoes and one pair of slippers. One cheap no name brand sneakers that would hurt like heck because it was junk and work shoes that the grease would tear up so there would be holes on the bottom. It only sucked when it rained and I had to walk home. Again, back to the present time, I see I have at least 6 pairs of gym shoes and not so much Imelda Marcos but I believe another 12 pairs of shoes. Some for casual, formal, boots, hiking, snow, etc, etc.
Being poor, growing up with a love life was...challenging but still managed to have some relationships. Being abused as a kid and growing up poor doesn't make for a good dating profile. Good thing those didn't exist at the time and it was just the old school way of just meeting someone face to face. So like most teens and young adults, I'd have my romances thinking it'd last forever but it didn't. Thought I finally learned enough in life and eventually get married to a beautiful wife, bought a new home, got a couple of dogs, upgraded to a bigger more beautiful home, and had two great kids. Of course, people that have read my diary know what happened so we won't go over that again. I bring it up because I have experienced the extreme of married with kids to the tragic ending that I had.
Even the gym. My first attempt to do a squat failed. We're talking one squat. They tried to give me a weight bench so I could make my way back up from a squat and I couldn't do that. I couldn't do one pushup. When they asked the class to take a lap around the building, I made it to 10 steps before I turned around and knew I couldn't make it. Back to more current times, I can rock it at the gym now. I started at 198 lbs. My best was at 150 lbs but people said I looked too skinny and kept my weight between 155-160 pre-covid. Post Covid, I've danced around 165-170. But again, I've been to the extreme ends of being fit.
So when I see someone new at the gym suffering because they are new and on the heavier side, I see me. I don't see myself any better than they are. At the supermarket, I just toss crap into my shopping cart. I observe and see others shopping. I can see in their heads thinking long and hard to either get that product or not. Not because of the ingredients listed in the package but I can see they are on a tight budget. Again, I see me in them. I see people on the bus stop while I drive pass. This time, the evil in me sometimes comes out and I think to myself "Sucks to be you". hehe. Nah, actually, I think about how long it'll take them to get to their destination. I get tempted to stop sometimes and offer rides but this day and age, they'd think I'd be wanting to hurt them or they could hurt me so that thought quickly dissipates. Now, many things that happen to me in life that is not near the edge of greatness or tragic level doesn't really bug me so much anymore. I used to wonder if that meant I'm a jaded heartless person but I see that I'm not. A lot of things I hear being discussed with my friends that they make so big seems so minor to me.
I hear things from my single parent friends that the ex has a new boyfriend and he doesn't like the way they dress their boy or the stuff they get him isn't to his liking, etc, etc. I'm thinking "He ain't getting beat up so chill". When I get disappointing news myself, experiencing what I experienced in life, it doesn't seem so bad to me. My friends would gasp and wonder WTF?! I just tell them it's ok and in my head, it's really ok and I can handle it.
It also helped me know what kind of woman I'm wanting or looking for. I'm old school. I'm not saying the man is the man and the woman obeys. Nope. All I'm saying is I am a man and I should take a slight lead when we're together. Maybe something like 51% for me and 49% for the woman. Hehe. I'm just saying I'd like a feminine woman. I myself never get tired of holding hands. I got fooled a few times but i stil loved holding hands in public. Even on long drives in the car, I still like it. Sometimes when I'm holding a woman's hands, I swear I can feel the nerves at the tip of my fingers go on turbo mode. I feel the electricity going through my fingers, passing my elbows, going up to my neck making it down my back somewhere into my belly. haha. I enjoy the little touches of our hands across a table having dinner. I like when we can chat on the phone for hrs even though we've been together for awhile. I adore the feeling of a woman leaning over to me when we're on the sofa and not to just get more popcorn but to just bond. I like when a woman puts her head on my shoulders or on my chest even though sometimes her hair gets into my mouth and I have to blow it out of my mouth. I like the smell of a woman's hair and how she looks so comfy just snuggling knowing that I'm next to her and that life is good. Perhaps a smile comes from her as looks up at me while I'm caressing her soft face. Maybe she'll playfully slap my hand as I get a little frisky grabbing her boobs in fun but half in fun and half because I like them.
We'll go out on the cheap at times eating from a cheap restaurant or roach coach but we'd also go fancy-smancy and dress up eating dinner where I can't pronounce what's on the menu, the waiter or waitress will have super ass kissing skills to make the customer feel so well taken care of. Ordering expensive bottles of wine and not caring because it'll be with my sweetie and she's worth it to be next to and enjoy the conversation with. She'll be ok with roughing it at times camping in a tent, sleeping on cots. kayaking or doing something fun during the day. Maybe go window shopping at the small town that's near camp. We'd have some quiet time together as I'll probably be reading some technical book for work while she reads something more enjoyable. Being together but still with enough space doing our thing to not feel smothered. Glancing at each other during some page turns as she smiles at me while she's playing around twirling her hair with her finger as she reads. Maybe teasing me a little bit out of fun by pretending to show skin then laughing at me and shaking her head for being such a perv but realizing that I'm so deep into her that it's ok for her that I have a little dirty streak in me.
This is just the hamster wheel in me spinning again. Random thoughts in my head bouncing around and I'm sure not much of what I typed made sense to anyone. Just me satisfying my restless brain.
BTW, This is a pic of some of the gym peeps last St Patty's day. Guy up front is our coach. I'm actually on this pic so don't say I never posted a pic of me here on this site before. lol