Monday, January 31, 2011

Dade City Dreams

I was driving south down SR 301. I didn’t even realize where I was heading until I was there.

All of a sudden I was in Dade City.

My heart started beating its way right out of my chest. My breaths quickened. Right there, on a Saturday evening, driving in my car, geocaching my way to Alafia State Park… I was having an anxiety attack.

I didn’t know that this would happen. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I was driving through Dade City. I hadn’t occurred to me the way it would feel to be here again; it hurt.

This is the place that it all ended for me; the end of a short, but meaningful, relationship… with an amazing girl. 

It ended right here is Dade City.

The memories of that day and the months before still haunt me.

Every day now brings news experiences and new challenges. The hurts still runs… but not as deep. The feelings overwhelm… but not as much. The healing continues… but is not done. The memories of that day and the weeks that followed will be with me for the rest of my life but…the resulting hurt has continues to fade.

While in Dade City instead of finding tears I found a friend to text. She said this, “Eventually you will be able to say, “I loved her and we had good times, that book  got closed sooner that I think it should but only for a better one to be opened””. Good words from a good friend.

The sadness of a loss hurts. The prospects of the future heal. The tide has turned and the hurt is fading and the promise is growing.

I am so glad that I have a hero to lean on at these times when I need a friend. THANK YOU.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bearded single dude seeks...ah whatever

I am growing my hair out. Hmmmm....

Should I? Why not? Why?

Because of the fact that I am losing my hair on the top of my head I have been shaving my cranium for a good many years now. I do this because, frankly, I'm a little embarrassed to be losing my hair.

Should I really be though? I look younger with a shaved head. Is that what I am going for? Since I am single should I try to make myself as physically attractive as possible.

Same goes with the beard. (Or the squirrel as Colby calls it) If I grow out my hair and grow a beard is this going to hurt my chances of finding a mate. How the hell should I know.

This is what I'm thinking. Being alone for now is OK. I have some girls that I go out with and they don't seem to mind the rugged look. I really don't care. I think now that me being me is more important then the hair (or lack or hair in certain places) that I have.

For now the hair on my head is growing out. The hair on my face is doing the same.

If this sends away a potential date then so be it. I didn't want to be with that person anyway. I am OK with that.

I am OK with that.

But man alive my face is starting to itch....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

X next to wife

So I have been single (aka "not with my ex wife anymore) for almost 8 months. I have two quick observations about what I have observed.

There could be a lot more then two but today I have two on my brain.

There is an old Trace Adkins song that has an interesting line: "Still not used to putting "ex" next to wife".

It's funny because I never got that. I always thought it meant "X" as in I don't have one. Just recently I figured out that it meant "ex". Now that makes sense. The point is this: what do you call you "ex" or soon to be "ex" spouse. If you are married but separated do you still call them "wife" or "husband". I'm sorry but I think it is creepy when you are on a date and the lady refers to her husband. But if you are still "married" are they really an "ex". I guess not. The term husband makes sense but it just sounds wrong.

I think the implication is that there is still something there. I don't know. I've been called my ex wife my ex wife for a while or simply her actual name.

It's just kind of a weird thing that we divorced/separated people have to think about.

The other observation I am going to be a lot less wordy on. As a matter of fact it is going to be very short and not so sweet.

There are a lot of cheaters out there. That's all I have to say about that.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fix 'er up real nice like

When I separated from my ex things were real hard on us both. It was a huge challenge for a couple of weeks for us to find common ground and understanding. As things got better I wanted very much to have a great relationship with her for our son and for our own sanity. For a while the egg shells went away and we started to build a fragile friendship.

That all got shattered to pieces when she didn't like some of the decisions that I had made. For a couple of months we were enemies and nothing seemed to make things better.

Then she told me something one day. She said that she finally figured out that I was going to do what I was going to do and that was the way things were going to be. In other words - We weren't married anymore.

I also gave up my jealousy and curiosity of her dating. Around the holidays everything lined up the way it should.

Now she is one of my best friends. We talk and text some but not too much. We spend time together but not to much. We don't kiss or have sex but we share time and create some memories.

I tell her what going on in my life. I tell her about the people I date and she tries either laughs at me or....OK, I guess she pretty much just laughs me. I do the same thing to her. We give each other advice and proceed to complete ignore it. It's almost like we are married again.

Out of the ashes or a broken marriage has formed a friendship. We still have our moments of upset; after all we are raising a child together from separate homes. But at the end of the day I am happy that she is my friend.

I am so glad that we fixed that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Alone in the frozen food section

So I do my food shopping on Sunday nights..alone. Always alone. Most things that I do I can manage to have a friend or a partner but the food shopping I always do alone.

I go to bed alone every night. I've slept alone for a long, long time.

Being single these are just things that I do alone.

Guess what?

It doesn't bother me anymore! True I don't want to go food shopping alone for the rest of my life. Someday I'd love to walk though the frozen food section and pick out dinners or lunches with another. For now though I am used to it and I feel content when I pick up my organic eggs and bananas.

Sleeping alone used to bother me. Not so much anymore. I go to bed when I want and don't worry about whether the light is on or it's too cold or too hot in my room. I climb into bed and go to sleep.

At a point in my life I am going to want someone to kiss good night and wake with in hte morning. I enjoy these things. Today, at night, alone....I am content.

I guess I am growing and learning. I am accepting my roll as a single guy and divorced father.

I have a routine with my son that works. I have an apartment with some decorations that is becoming a home. I have hobbies that I work on when I'm alone. I don't need another write now.

In the future things will change. For now it's just me or me and my boy. He's got his toys for dads house and I've got place for him to sleep.

Things are getting better and better as I make my way towards completeness and happiness. One step at a time...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I wear those shoes too

I was walking down the sidewalk of my apartment complex just the other day. On the opposite walkway going into his apartment was a man about my age. Behind him were two young girls. I would say they were both around 13. Maybe 12 and 14 or 11 and 15. It doesn't matter. They were young girls with their dad.

A thought stuck me.

These girls were going to their dads tiny apartment to spend the weekend. They didn't seem sad. They weren't acting out. They were just doing the "dads house for the weekend" thing.

It did make me just a little sad. These girls obviously were sharing a room and a bathroom. No toys in the playroom. No basketball in the street. No late nights with friends talking about boys. They were spending a night or two in an apartment with their father. I reminded me of my childhood a little. You say goodbye to your one parent to say hello to your other parent. You leave behind your bedroom and your clothes and your friends to spend time with the parent in their apartment.

I felt a little bad for that man. A single dad. A little place.

It really made me think; for a moment I was actually lost in thought.

Then my son almost startled me. "Dad, can I have the key so I can unlock the door".

It was time for me to be a single dad for the weekend...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Book

I opened a book just the other day.

The reasons that I opened this book on that day I may never fully understand. They really don’t matter. I opened the book because I wanted to see what the story was inside. I wanted to experience the wonder of the unknown; the story that needs to be told.

I opened the book and I read. I read with a sense of wonder. I read for me and of because of me. I read for the mere sense of joy and fulfillment that reading can bring. The characters and the story don’t matter to anyone but me. That is not the point. The point is that I opened the book and found joy, wonder and a surreal sense of contentment.

The book had a nice cover but that it not why I opened it.

I NEEDED a book to read but that is not why I opened it.

The book needed to be read but that is not why I opened it.

I opened that book because I believe that there is a plan for my life. I believe that my plan involved me reading into this book. I followed my heart. I didn’t think. I just was. I just did. I just acted. I didn’t think about the consequences or what anyone else thought of the book.

I picked up the book, opened it and found quite a story.

I know in my heart of hearts that this book isn’t a long book. It’s a short story. It’s a story with a distinct ending. One day, not far off from today I will close the book and put it back onto the shelf. Knowing this didn’t stop me though.

You see this book has helped me to grow. This book has helped to guide me down this path that we call life. I am better because I opened this book.

This experience has brought me joy and peace in so many ways. The only despair I feel is the “what if”. The “what if” I never bothered to open this book because I questioned what was inside it or I doubted my plan.

That doubt scares me a little.

Today, though, there is no need for that doubt. I’m reading the book and enjoying every moment of the story.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Compassion in the eyes

I’m starting to really believe that certain people were put into your life for a specific reason. That being said I’m not sure if it’s divine intervention. But then again, what else could it be?

This is just one part of the equation though. Ever heard that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Same principle.

Part 1: People were put into our lives for a reason. They were inserted there to HELP. They came with compassion in their eyes. They show up when and where you need them and they save your day, your week, your year…. or your life.

Part 2: YOU were put into the lives of others for a reason. Makes sense, right? For every action there is an equal reaction. You have compassion in your eyes and you save them.

Part 3: You see this and you do the right thing. If the right person at the right time thing is divine intervention then guess what? Yeah, we are given the ability to screw it up. We do this all the time.

Today I ask you these 3 questions:
      Who was sent to you to help you and save you?
2.      Who were you supposed to help and save?
3.       Did you see the compassion in the eyes and did you have compassion in yours?

Think about it.

I’m writing this today because of an experience that I had recently.

I looked up one day and saw compassion in the eyes of a close friend. So what did I do? I had compassion in my eyes. We both saw what was there and helped each other and in ways that saved us both. It was a magical moment to be part of the human experience.

Look around you. Look at your family and friends. Look for it! Look for compassion. Look for ways that people can help you because they can and they will!

You know that is only part of it. Now put compassion in your eyes. Lift your chin up and be guided. You never know when the person in front of you might need you.

They might be crying out for you right now. You won’t know this until YOU have compassion in your eyes….

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lessons from Lori

It was a tough point in my life.

I had just moved back east from my love Colorado. In many ways I was forced to make the move. I was 25 years old with a master’s degree living with my dad and painting houses just like I did when I was 18. I was very single and the prospects just weren’t there. As was normal in my life I had been in a period of low self esteem and dating was difficult to say the least. Let’s just say it had been a while.

Then I met Lori.

It was a local 5k trail run on a Wednesday night. I won the race and Lori was the top female. We talked a little after the race and hit it off tremendously. There was an obvious connection. We did a little cool down run and planned to go out that evening.

As it turned out she was a little older than I was. She was nice and pretty and had a great job. She was a really great girl. She was unavailable to me because she living in Michigan and I lived in Massachusetts but that was OK. I let the connection guide my heart. We went out and had a great time.

We saw the sunset. We had food. We ate ice cream. We laughed. We held hands. We kissed. It was a remarkable and fun evening.

The next day she flew away out of my life.

For a while we exchanged letters. I found out that she ran 2:50 for the marathon and qualified for the Olympic trials. (Drat! She is faster than me!) We lost touch after a few months and I never heard from her again.
I would be married and have a son within 2 years.

The point wasn’t the fling. The point was the lesson that I learned from Lori.

This was a low point in my life. She lifted me up. She taught me a lesson that I have carried with me all these years. The lesson is this: I am worthy.

I can meet a nice girl and say hello. We can talk and flirt and hug and kiss and see what happens. There are good girls out there. If I follow my heart and keep my eyes open they are there. I see this clearly all these years later. I remember the lesson that Lori taught me. I can meet a girl that I really like and that likes me! It may not be forever and the timing may not be right but there are women out there for me.

I am worthy. I am a good guy and a good catch. Just because I feel down about myself doesn’t mean that is the truth. I learned this lesson from Lori many years ago and I am reminded of it now; today.

Sometimes people come into your lives for specific reasons. Lori did that for me 12 years ago.

Today I am at a low point again. Lessons learned are committed to memory. Sometimes all we need is someone else to come into our lives to remind us of the lesson…

Sometimes what we need is right in front of our face….

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Looking back helps to see forward. As 2010 draws to a close and the door to 2011 begins to open up I feel in a reflective mood.


What a year! To me 2011 brings great opportunity and great potential. There is more uncertainly in my life than I have ever felt but, to me, that is a good thing. Lack of certainty presents possibilities. With my head high I am ready to move forward and enter bravely into the New Year.

Before I do that I need to look at, and reflect on, the year that was.

To me the year was a crazy and wild ride full of highs and lows. To the casual observer my year was a tragic one. After all I’ll admit freely that the 10 worst days of my life were easily all in 2010. The three worst things to ever happen to me all happed in this calendar year.

If I dwell I don’t heal. I will remember, yes. But I do not dwell.

If I dwell then I won’t get the opportunity to find good and rise from the ashes what wasn’t there before. This is that life is all about. Don’t shed a tear for me. What more proof do you need?

My marriage of 10 years ended this year. While this was hard it needed to happen. In time we will both be better off in many ways. While this represented a huge life change this is OK. It’s a change that helps us both to grow.

Losing my father this year was a devastating blow. Good came out of this! He lost his battle but he won the war! He lived an extraordinary life. His dying got him out of the tremendous pain he was in. It now hurts those left behind but in time we will all heal.

There was so much good in this year: New friendships, new relationships, new experiences, new opportunities…

I could list August 29th, 2010 as one of the GREATEST days of my life. On this day I completed the Ironman. As someone who so highly values fitness and physical accomplishments I can tell you that my greatest feeling that I have ever had from sports what the moment that I heard the announcer say, “Rick Copley: YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”.

I learned to play the guitar this year. I even played and sang for my dad before he passed away. This gift can never be taken away. The bucket list grows smaller.

I reflect so much this year and I learned so much about myself. I have never written as much as I’ve written this year. I have literally typed thousands of word that have helped me and helped others along this road of life. I feel that I have contributed!

As the calendar turns I can honestly say that I am thankful for the year that was. The hurt and the pain all turned to healing and hope. The sad times grow into happy days and new beginning and new experiences. The year is now gone. The chairs are put up. The tables have been put away. The sadness and brokenness of the low times are gone now. The ray of light of the New Year is shining brightly.

I enter the doorway of 2011 and try the new dance with excitement and joy. I mourn the loss of 2010. I will remember this year forever but now it is time for a new one.

To you 2011 I say bring it on. I am ready for you.

To you 2010 I say thank you. Thank you for bringing me great joy and great hardship; for I learned from both. Thank you for the gifts that you laid at my feet. Thank you for the dance of 99 days. Thank you for the Ironman. Thank you for my son and my family. Thank you for the words that inspire and give hope. Thank you for everything.

The future holds many challenges for me. The future holds much joy as well. I’m looking forward to both. My head is up, my eyes are open... I am ready.

Through the door I go…*deep breath* 

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Race

I was a junior on the Indoor Track team at the University of Massachusetts. I was having a really good season as the team’s top miler. I won most of the meets and ran some great times. Training was great and I was excited for the championship races.

Round one was the Eastern Conference meet. This was a race that I should have one. I did everything right leading up to the race. It was my race to lose. I was confident and ready.

The gun went off for the eight laps of the one mile race and I settled into the position that I should have been. I did everything right and I ran my race. As the laps went on everything was going to plan. I was going to be the champion. I was excited and ready to do what I needed to do.

With two laps to go I made my move. I moved from third to second to…wait, the leader held me off.

With a lap and half to go I had plenty of time. I was still confident and OK with the way things were going. I wasn’t going to be denied my spot as champion of the race. It was meant to me. I knew I was going to be the champion.

With three turns to go I again made my move for the front. Again the leader held me off. This wasn’t supposed to happen; he was doing the wrong thing. This was my race. This was my race to be crowned champion.

Plenty of time. Plenty of time. Plenty of time.

There was just one lap, just 200 meters and just 2 turns left. I made a stronger move this time. I still didn’t get by. Before the last turn I gave everything that I had to get by.

Still nothing. Second place still. I had one more shot. One more shot to win the race. For the first time doubt crept in.

Was it possible to lose this race?

Had I not prepared?

I didn’t know who this person was. I should have found out who this person was. With 30 meters left I realized that my plan had been wrong. My race was the wrong race. I was going to lose the race that I should have won. I was going to lose this important race because I messed up.

I can’t give up. I can never give up. I needed a miracle. There was still the sprint for the line. 30 meters…
20 meters. 15 meters. 10 meters….there is the line….

With one last despite attempt I dove head first for the finish line…….