Alright, I feel it's finally time to delve into this adventure...
I plan on backpacking and hitchhiking around the US, because why the hell not? As I said in my earlier post, I'm turning twenty-five in less than a month, and I don't want to grow old and have regrets.. Lately I've been taking stock of my life, my decisions, my problems and issues and strengths. I've also been cataloging skills and supplies I'll need, as I don't plan on returning for at least a year.
I'm planning on taking a DLSR, at the very least the one my grandfather left me, but I'd hope to have a different one by this point, I'm going to take a journal, my cellphone, a handheld camcorder and a backpack filled with the supplies I need to survive. My roommate Dustin may also be going on this trip, but to ensure I can survive on my own, I'm planning according to the expectation that it's just me. I'm hoping to take survival lessons and such before I leave to better equate myself to life on the road and in the wild, hoping to spend 30% in cities and civilization and 70% in the wilderness of the US, so we'll see how it goes.
With luck, I'll be leaving in August, when the lease is up on this house I'm currently at, and I'll be on my way to having one hell of an adventure. I hope to continue writing on here during this journey, and I'm thinking of starting a Youtube channel and a vlog, but we'll see how that goes. I've spoken with a few close friends about the trip, as well as my parents, which surprises me since I didn't really want to tell anyone. My parents would feel better if I took a car, my friend Ria would feel better if I had a clean bill of health, both physically and psychologically, before I went. I had told Savanah, back when she picked me up from Vegas and she begged me not to do it, but since we're not talking, I decided to move forward. Chelsea knows about it somewhat, we haven't really spoken in about two weeks, but she thinks its a pretty exciting idea. Fredy hasn't said anything since I told him yesterday, but that's expected when you have two kids, a wife and a full time job. Needless to say, I'm planning on doing this trip.. if I have to take a car, I'm taking my beat up looking 1983 Datsun 280zx.
In other news, Lindsay, my ex from some time ago I mentioned probably a post or two ago, accepted a friend request I sent her, which surprised me, but pleasantly. We've been talking and catching up, she had another kid, a daughter, it's crazy to think I was her first and we were together so long ago, about 6 years ago when we first met, and I loved her dearly. Talking with her rekindles those old flames, though she is married and I'd not soon forgive myself if I broke up a marriage. She seems very happy though, so it makes me happy, and she had a daughter, seems to have her personality too. She lives in Colorado now, so her place will probably be a stop during the trip.
And as of Monday, one of the pieces of this puzzle called my Adventure will fall into place, the job I'd been waiting to hear back from has given me a starting date. Now I'll have money so I can buy supplies for the trip, as well as pay off whatever I can and buy supplies for tattooing, that way I can develop that skill further as a back up if I need money and I'm wandering. I will be working as an Electromechanical Technician, building and testing various sensors and connections on drilling equipment. It pays a little more than L-3 paid me, and I can't really complain about that, the company seems pretty chill too.
As the old adage goes, everything happens for a reason.
I stopped writing last night around four am, and when I left off, I had just seen Jordan, the ex fiance after many, many years... I felt like it was a good omen, to leave the job and life I had tried hard to build with her and see her the day of walking away from that.
The weekend after leaving L-3 at the start of August in 2013, my friends invited me to go camping with them, Chris and Abby and their son, along with Chris' parents, in Oregon. I say great, I'm up for that, when do we leave? They said five minutes, they were already pulling off the exit to pick me up haha.. It felt good to go on a long road trip, even if camping was just a few days, it was worth it to get away for a minute. Upon my return, I immediately got a tattoo apprenticeship with Immortal Ink of Ogden. Life seemed pretty good, and I was really feeling like I was going somewhere with my art, something I never imagined possible. I made a lot of new friends withing the shop, Sean and Barrett, and outside of the shop, Shae, Derek, Beth, and countless other people.
At some point during this, end of August start of September, I decided to do two things; I downloaded MeetMe and Snapchat onto my phone.. I randomly added a name I seen on MeetMe onto my Snapchat and on September 16, I got a snap from someone I didn't know, it was a video of two girls singing and dancing around like crazy people. Over the course of my apprenticeship, I snap random drawings and happenings going on in the shop, and that's how Savanah and I got to know each other.. just random snaps from then on until one day she got the courage to come to the shop.
October 9th, Savanah sends me a snap of her in this really spectacular vintage inspired dress, black and white with polka dots, and a big black bow on the front, and I decide then that I really want to see her, I want to see her in her dress and get to know more about her. After a few hours of cohering, I convince her to come to the shop, once she gets there, we hangout in the shop, just talk shop and get a feel for things, and she's great. As the shop gets ready to close up, I ask if she'd like to go get a coffee or something with me since it's still a little cold out, mainly just trying to bide my time so I can be around her more.. We go up the road to a place I frequent when I'm in Ogden, Grounds for Coffee, but the funny thing is, we never get out of the car, we just sit in her car for like two or three hours talking, just talking and talking, getting to know each other. It's around this point she admits that she drove around the block three times before she had enough courage to park and call me, letting me know she was there. Savanah is 19, brunette with a beautiful voice and terrific smile, brown eyes you just can't help but stare into. Later on in our time of knowing each other, I admit that right then and there in her car, I wanted to kiss her, and maybe I should have.. She's impulsive, shy, reckless, full of good intentions and just never can make up her mind about what she wants. Things continue to progress with Savanah through October into November, as life continues at the Shop.
November, Barrett has a friend named Layna and she is in a bind, she needs somewhere to live, and it just so happens I have a house I can rent if I want to, my grandparent's old house. I tell her about it and we make plans to move in and split the rent, it is then I sign myself away to lose many important things.. Long story short, Layna convinces me to pawn my motorcycle so we can cover rent, because she is unable to find work, and she has spent the money I gave her for groceries on who knows what, because we don't have food either.. None the less, I try to keep things friendly between us, and then she borrows my laptop without asking, and then leaves in December with it, her stuff and all the money I'd lent her. I lose my motorcycle, I lose countless pictures I had stored on that laptop, irreplaceable pictures and memories and ultimately, I lose my house.. It's around this time, the start of December, Savanah is staying at my house rather consistently for about two weeks, and I'm loving ever minute of it. She offers to give me the money I would need to keep the house, but I decline, it's not her burden.. I end up saying something stupid out of stress and she ends up pretty mad at me for a few days, just before Christmas.. I'm broke, I'm stressed, I'm losing my grip but with the last of my money and courage, I ask Savanah to let me drop off a Christmas present to her. She agrees, and although still very mad and says she isn't going to hug me, she says she just can't stay mad once she sees me, gives me a hug and kiss, and things are a little better, she has forgiven me, and though I'm still losing my house and I'd lost countless other things, I feel alright.
Ultimately I lose the house and the items I specified above. Chris and Abby open their home to me and I move in with them in West Jordan, over an hour away from everyone and everything I know so naturally I have to stop going to the tattoo shop. I am without a car, in a place I only know them, in the middle of nowhere. It's hard but Savanah and I still talk and still maintain closeness, Layna is still ignoring my calls and texts, I'm still hoping to somehow get the laptop back. Chris, Abby and their son end up visiting Abby's parents in the midwest, so they leave me the 22nd of December and return about seven days later. During this time, I am utterly alone and incredibly depressed, and I'm running out of food since the closest stores are a ten mile walk away in the middle of winter, I refuse to eat food that isn't mine, that I didn't personally buy. My spirits are very low at this point, if not for Annamaria, I probably would have walked into a snow storm to die.
New Year's for 2013/14 wasn't a particularly good start to the year, I celebrate with Chris and Abby by going to a bar, Bout Time, then Iggy's for some food, followed by seeing Anchorman 2. We return to the house around 11:30pm and they promptly go to bed, leaving me to sit in my basement room alone.. A few days after New Year's, Savanah tells me she wants to pursue a different person for something more serious and says we should stop talking. During this point, I look back at my New Year's Resolution list and decide it would be best to go to the gym, and after borrowing my dad's racing bike for Triathlons, I bike ten miles to and 10 miles from the gym majority of the week for the coming months, and get in pretty good shape.
February 2014, around the start of the month, Savanah apolgizes and says she understands how it feels to try so hard to just be turned away and asks if we can date again, still continuing this situation so much like a relationship but not. I say we can and I end up getting a job interview up north in Ogden and Savanah let's me stay at her place for the weekend. During this time, I end up picking up an old 1983 Datsun 280zx and fall in love with it, feels good to be back on track to life again, though in all honesty, the car is a huge piece of crap, but I love it all the same. Savanah and I end up spending the morning of Valentine's Day together, and something happens, I still don't understand to this day, but she ends up crying and asking me to leave. I head back to West Jordan and later see that some guy named Logan cheered her up and brought her pizza and they watched movies. This guy will continue to just piss me off, though that is what life is, a constant tug of war with outside competition. During this time a friend from L-3 contacts me and asks if I'd like to move up north into a house he's renting for a really great price, I mull it over and weigh my options for a few weeks. After getting back to West Jordan, Chris tells me that he and Abby are getting a divorce, something I never conceived happening. For many nights in February, Chris and I stay up late talking and drinking and going for walks to the gas station, it still is hard for me to comprehend for some reason, they were such a great team, a great couple, but they feel they are best friends but can't be together anymore, after seven or so years. Towards the end of March, on the 22nd, I move out of their house and into Dustin's house in Clearfield, where I currently reside. It's during this time I begin to make plans to get back into the tattoo shop.
On March 23rd, I go out with Dustin and Danny, one of our old friends from L-3, to a bar called Brewskie's. After a night of several drinks, we decide food is in order. I suggest a Denny's, rather close, just up the road, but Dustin doesn't know the way and would rather not have to quickly turn in any direction because any attention after last call is bad attention. He suggests somewhere closer to the house, somewhere in Layton, so we say Ihop, since I like Ihop more than Denny's. It's funny, if it were any other night, we would have gone into Ihop, but because of this night, it happened to be closed due to an issue with the grill, so we had to begrudgingly go to Denny's on the east side of the off ramp. It is here I meet someone new, our waitress, whom we have a fun time giving and taking jabs from in fun conversation. At one point she almost spills coffee on my phone and it is then I decide I'm going to get her number. I tell them this and they don't believe I'll pull it off, but a few minutes later the two of us go outside for her smoke break to talk. Her name is Chelsea, she's originally from Virginia and moved here after visiting her mom and realizing she likes the schools more out here. She's a 21 year old Bio-Engineering student, brunette with just ghostly blue eyes and a cute smile, which she later admits she wiggles her nose when she smiles if she's really happy but trying to hide it. Numbers are exchanged and we end up talking the next day, and even go out on a date. She is full of life and interesting to talk to, closer to my age than many of the girls I'd been dating lately, so it feels different, conversation has substance to it and I'm loving every minute of it. Being with her makes me forget all about that situation with Savanah, that back and forth push and pull of her.
As March closes out, we end up really getting to know each other and make communication absolutely key, we are open about how we feel, what we mean and what is going on in our respective lives. I tell her that I'm not dating exclusively, I'm also seeing Savanah, and that I have problems with Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia. The crazy thing, she accepts it, just right off the bat, which honestly I'm surprised of because within the first week of being together, I lose my shit lol.. I end up having too much to drink, we played beer pong and towards the end of that night, I let her know I was starting to lose my grip and feeling like I'm just a waste of space and she did the most amazing thing, she grabbed my hand looked me in the eye and said, Hey, you're ok, I'm here, I want you here with me. I calmed down after that and we finished off the night just hanging out with her friends before getting food. I do something foolish, like running out of her car while we're in line at McDonald's, and pee on a dumpster, which prompts her to laugh and say she loves me, which if I were sober I would have caught as a term of affection, not declaration of feelings.. but since I'm quite inebriated, I tell her I love her too, very much and I'm happy being with her, she just smiles and wiggles her nose. When we get to my house, she explains that she didn't meant it in that way and it's here I finally lose it and can't recover, I get to the point of crying, grabbing my sides and closing off to everything and grinding my teeth.. but again, she's there for me and helps me unwind. For majority of two weeks, she comes over after work and sleeps in bed with me, then we hangout during the day, go out with her friends at night, it's a pretty great place to be in life. March closes on a changed view on what I want in life.
April has been one hell of a month, and I think it deserves it's own post, so I'll stop here and come back after I shower and gather my thoughts.
Today was the Spring Equinox. I knew it was coming up and actually thought about it about two days ago, but didn't think much past the fleeting thought that it was approaching.
Well, it was today. How did I spend my Spring Equinox?
In the park. I got up at 8am and by nine I was ready to leave the house to go to the park for the morning and afternoon, for some painting mostly. Jeff met me at the park.
The weather was beautiful today. We sat under two pine trees, by running water. I painted and drew. We got hungry and went to grab sandwiches at our favorite deli, then went back to our lovely spot in the park. Jeff painted on my arms. We went for a walk along the stream we were laying by. He showed me how to swing from the branches of a willow tree.
He picked up a fallen branch of a willow tree, which is very limber and rope-like. "I'm going to tie you to a tree." He knows about my fantasy of wanting to be tied up outside, etc., which I talked about a few posts ago. I actually didn't have to tell him the whole thing - I began to, but he finished telling me my own fantasy - we're so on the same page.
He placed the rope-like branch around my neck and walked with me that way. I told him, "I don't like this. I feel uncomfortable." He stopped and looked at me, then moved the branch down to my torso and began walking again. "I still don't like this. I feel like an animal or something." He stopped again, turned and looked at me, ran the branch through his hands and said, "You're not, though. You're a prisoner." We walked again.
"Oh, a prisoner. Of course. Okay." Somehow that distinction made me much more comfortable. Duh I thought to myself. This was my own fantasy he was learning to play out - and I'm pretty sure it's kind of one of his, too. Of course I'm a prisoner. That's the whole point! I allowed myself to be led by him, happily.
He picked up another branch, walked me over to a tree and pushed my back up against the tree. "Don't move. I'm going to tie your hands together." He took my wrists and placed them behind my back, then tied them together with the branch. This took several minutes, during which time I became increasingly aroused, given time to soak in, psychologically, what was happening.
Then he attached another branch to the ones tied around my hands, and wrapped it around the huge trunk of the tree, and tied that branch to the tree. Tightly. "Ow! That hurts! It's tight!" I wiggled my wrists a bit and the pressure was relieved enough. I didn't want it all gone - I liked a little bit of pain. Even after this, he tightened it even more a few seconds later. Perfect.
Then he walked away. "Hey! Don't leave me here!" He'd said before that he was going to, when we first talked about this on our picnic last week. That's exactly what I'd want, according to my fantasy, and he'd guessed it: "I'll have to leave you there for a while." - "Yes, of course!" He walked several yards away, ignored me, and light up a cigarette. I just stood there, tied against this tree. The next time I looked over, he was gone.
I started trying to loosen my hands in the "rope". No budge at all. Strong branches. Good knot. I started looking around more, trying to find him. Then I managed to look behind me, and he was standing behind the tree all along. He smiled at me and asked if I was able to loosen up the tie he had on me. I told him I wasn't. "Keep trying. See if you can get out of that thing." He walked around the tree and stood next to me.
"I can't. It's too tight."
I did. And after a couple of minutes, I was free. He took my wrists to see if there was any damage to them. "Do they hurt at all? Are there any marks?"
"No, I'm fine."
"I just have to get an idea of what you're capable of, so I know what kind of tie to do when I tie you up." I smiled at him, he kissed me and took my hand, and we continued walking along the stream.
Back at our spot on the blanket in the park, we ended up having sex. Probably the second best sex we've ever had. What better way to celebrate the Spring Equinox by having sex, out in nature? We had to stop twice because once an elderly couple was walking by in the distance, and once there was a young family with three little kids nearby. They took a while to move along, far enough away from us that we felt comfortable continuing. "If they don't want their kids seeing my dick they need to get moving." The fact of people being around - some people playing baseball off in the distance, a playground with families further in the distance, a few hundred yards from a road in the neighborhood, and us just hidden away enough, under two pine trees near a very small hill, made it a great thrill. One of my biggest turn-ons is the idea of having sex in a public space like that, with people around. Perfection! As we finished packing up our things afterwards, "Was that as amazing for you as it was for me?" Maybe even more so. We'll have to do that again. And again.
Work tonight want decently.
Great day overall. Some pictures!
My stuff I took to the park, ready to go! My guitar, my easel, a good book and my purse with knitting stuff in it.
I took these next three through a teeny tiny little hole in a leaf I picked up. This is my sister, who joined us on the first half of our day at the park.
Jeff kneeling by the stream, playing in it a little bit.
Jeff's eyes through a leaf we found with TWO holes in it! Fun!
A little collection of nature stuff Jeff put together:
I told Jeff I wanted to draw him, and told him to pose a little bit so I could get some good clear photos of his face to draw from. I got some good shots, and he was good at taking direction so I could get said shots. After a few serious pictures he started getting playful.
That's all for today. Hope everyone had a great Equinox, whether you realized it was the Equinox or not! :)