I have a tattoo on my left bicep that reads, “Learn from the past. Live in the present. Dream of the future.” The “r” in “learn” is botched, so it reads a lot more like, “Leann from the past.” It’s not that noticeable though. I was so excited to have this mantra permanently printed on my arm that I overlooked the mini spelling blip.
The past isn’t my concern. Was it crazy? Hell yeah. I lived a whimsical life with no purpose. I was an eternal bachelor.
Between 2002 and 2019, I lived in fifteen different places. I was engaged twice, nearly bought a house and signed on the line with pen in hand, totaled my car on almost purpose, got roofied at a bar and wandered home shirtless, danced on a glass floor next to the Mediterranean Sea, and was fired from a job after buying a new car five days prior. These are just a few of my stories. . .
I’ve also traveled to twenty-eight countries, 4 continents, and twenty-seven states. Most places have its own unique narrative of self-implosion that would devour the screen you are watching. But be patient. They will reveal themselves in time.
I’m a Pisces, which means I’m a dreamer. My head is in the sky as some would say, but my dreams of the future are what keep me going.
As a kid, I knew my future would inevitably come. Professionally, I wanted to do something, but that’s all I knew- something. Then my life unfolded as it did, and loss and grief poured on me like a shower to one’s head.
Whatever future I had left, I chased after it by chasing after guys. I hoped they’d provide me the dream I conjured upstairs: marriage, commitment, kids, trips to Disneyland, etc. Instead, I got gonorrhea, heartbreak, and anger issues.
I currently live back in the South where I was raised. This unexpected present of mine has never been so breathable. Finally.
Time moves very slowly here. It’s very much screaming at me: Slow The Hell Down Jeff. Be with me, not against me.
If Big City Chicago Life taught me one thing, it was to always expect something better. After all that running, my “something better” is within arm’s reach. It will just take a whole lot of standing still.
In honor of #wisewednesday, I share my lessons learned from the countless “doh” moments I’ve faced head-on without my mask or face shield. I’ve taken so much from other people over the course of my life that it’s finally time to give back. FaIlures are not mistakes. They only make us stronger and wiser.
We are in this together. I hope something, even if it’s one small thing, resonates with you and gives you a little more hope for your future.