bigbearjournal

Kicking Ass Without Kissing Ass (And All the Cheeky Shit In Between)

Ever wonder if the kid version of yourself would like and approve of the adult version of yourself, or vice versa? Well now I know…

In the middle of a run today, on top of a rock, I decided to sit my ass down and take a break for a second as the westerly winds were swirling about, and my mind continued to annoy and pester the shit out of me with all these lists of things I need/want to do with my life manifested themselves to the point of near meltdown.  Why the fuck is my brain locked in overdrive? Here I am, at my goddamn dream designation, and at least deserve to switch gears to park for a moment to reflect on the miles put in to get here.  No use in just blowing with the autumn wind anymore.

2012map

(My 2012 Ramblings Thus Far, All Mapped Out)

All the packing and unpacking, and packing and unpacking, and packing and unpacking since graduation, although tiresome and repetitive, resulted in the discovery of some treasures- a detailed map in some sort of way, an array of journals, notebooks, sketchbooks, and accounts of a very long journey to today’s destination, all authored by yours truly.

In the summer before 6th grade, my mother handed me a leopard print (seriously, some things never change) journal and a turquoise gel pen (because gel pens were the shit back then).  ”Here. Write.” She said.  To this day I don’t know why she blessed me with that gift on that ordinary, non-eventful day, but it was probably the best gift she has ever given.  I wrote that day, and never stopped.

And to my amusement, and horror, and in between laughter and holy-shit-fuck-what-the-fuck-thats-fucked moments of browsing through the pages of sketches and scribbles and stories today, I was taken back- way, way back.  Several thousand miles back to a small house in Milwaukee, WI with married parents and an annoying little brother all living under one roof.  Twelve years back, to a time where I was playing the saxophone, saving up money to buy an ant farm (a whole $9.00 I had to save), and really in love with my border collie, Zippy, whom I claimed was my best friend at the time.

And today I read. And even just getting through all the pages was one hell of a journey, I’ll tell ya.

An entry towards the last pages of that first leopard print journal, dated 8-23-01, titled “Future” caught my eye first…

I always wonder where I’ll be in the future. Will I be living in a small apartment in a big city or a farm out in the country?  Will I be swimming the English Channel?  I think someday I want to be a wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife photographer.  I have no clue.  Right at this moment, I’d want to live in the country on a farm. I’d only have dogs and cats and I’d go walking in the woods with them every day. .”

There I was with my turquoise gel pen, a mini pre-pubescent clone of myself, writing like I am today, preoccupied with where I should be going, rather than enjoying some of what the past and present moments had to offer.  Sadly it seems, I was pre-destined to become a crazy cat lady.  But it also seemed I had some premonition I was going to be an endurance athlete that liked to travel.

Three weeks later in the same journal…

Today is Tuesday, September 9th [sic], and this day will be remembered forever.  There was a terrorist attack on America.  This attack will affect every American in some way.  After today, which started out quite normal, many things will be different.”

sept11journal

Sept. 11 Entry

This one hit me.  Just last weekend, I found myself in New York for a spur of the moment road race.  After that business, I wandered through subways to meet up with one of my oldest but greatest friends, Caitlin, and the day found us wandering over to the 9/11 Memorial.  On site, in New York City, far away from our Milwaukee homes and eleven years later, we realized we shared the same classroom that day when the news hit, before we had really even started what has become an amazing friendship.

Then.

wolfmiddleschool

Now.

groundzerowolf

(Haha. Caitlin. Let’s just say the past decade has treated us well…Hoping the next ten years will do the same.)

There were other moments and words that packed a punch I wasn’t quite expecting, some foreshadowing of events I had yet to know at the time would change me and weigh in my heart forever.

Last night we went to Marrari’s going away party… He came to Joe’s thinking he was playing cards and we all threw water balloons at him to surprise him.  After the party, the boys started playing basketball, so we went to Jayne’s.  I’m so pissed because I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Marrari personally.  Mark told me he would be at Jayne’s later, but he wasn’t.  He is leaving for the Marines tomorrow.  :( It’s just… weird.

Some know the tears that followed several years later in 2009, and they definitely resurfaced a bit, leaving an extra mark on the page that was written years ago.

All moments of my day dedicated to diary reading weren’t so serious.  Other shit made me laugh, like an entry from a week at 6th grade church camp, describing the day I had to take a swim test.  Even then with a hint of dry sarcasm, I wrote about how I should have been more worried about the swimsuit test than the swim test.  Described in detail, I wrote about how I passed the athletic portion with flying colors, but the counselors proceeded to take me out of the water, shivering, and put me up for display and discussion as to whether my halter top swimsuit was appropriate because “it had ties in the back.”  You think I was buying my own clothes back in the 5th grade assholes? Perhaps this poor judgment of passing judgment on a spindly awkward 5th/6th grader has something to do with my present day aversion towards organized religion, and why I never stepped foot in a church after I survived confirmation.  Also, perhaps, this is why I still wear minimal clothing, and accessorize with a middle finger and an evil tiger stare to any passerby judgers passing judgment. Wouldn’t you like to know what I’d like to do to you?

And one of my favorite finds of all was… THE LIST: “Things I’d Like to Do With My Life,” written by 13-year-old Lauren Kleppin.

thelist

Some Dreams and Schemes, from a 13 year old.

Above is just a snippet of the list I had written out.  It was several pages long. I was an ambitious little shit.  One that also was badly in need of drawing lessons. Some of the noteworthy notables:

  • Run a marathon… and more.   First thing I did in Big Bear. 50k mother fuckers!
  • Kayak a river/whitewater kayak/learn how to man a boat.  Yeah I did the river rat thing, and it was the best thing.
  • Camp outdoors all alone.   Moab. Moab.  That place will always hold a special place in my heart for the ten days I camped in the desert all alone.  The biggest danger I ran across was when my dad called the cops on me because he thought I was either delusional or dead somewhere in the slickrock canyons.  They never found me, but I was so alive and happy, and came out alive and happy.
  • Make the olympics.  Oh lady… Rio 2016. Marathon. Lets surprise those assholes.
  • Get a “tatoo.”  Next time, don’t get an Asian symbol tattoo. Idiot.
  • Snowboard on a real mountain.   I’ve snowboarded on a real mountain.  I’ve done a lot of mentionable and unmentionable things on a real mountain. Thank you Colorado.  And now I live and work and train on a real California mountain.  Home sweet home.
  • Learn to surf.  Maybe this is why I needed to keep heading west to California…Still on the list of things I need to do.(Edited and updated: Meet hot ass blonde surfer dude and learn to surf and fall in love…with the ocean.)
  • Date someone for over a month.  Dear younger self, be patient.  You will do it a couple of times.  You will learn that even a month is too long, let alone four years.  Back to square one in the dating game.
  • Be independent.  
  • Take risks.  

I’d say I’m kicking ass at the mother fucking list. High five and gold star from the imaginary 13-year-old me.

And today, without even realizing it was history repeating itself, I find myself making lists.  I will keep in mind some of the wishes I have yet to grant to that inner-child residing somewhere in me.  But there are new goals and focuses too.

bigbearjournal

The Same Girl Writing.. and the Start of New Goals, in a New Place.

 AND THE INFAMOUS QUESTION: WHY?

WHY BIG BEAR?

Because since I arrived three weeks ago, I never once questioned why.

I’ve got my place. And I’ve got my goals.  Wouldn’t you like to know what I’d like to do? (Tiger eye stare.)

If someone were to ask me, my present day self, what I am post proud of thus far on this crazy journey, through middle school, and high school, and coaches, and teammates, colleges and transfers, studies and jobs, divorces and deaths and relationships, I guess it would be:   I got here without kissing anybody’s ass. I just turned my head away from that shit, pointed myself in the direction I wanted to head, and worked my own ass off to get here.

A new little list has already been started…  but this post is already so fucking long. And I’ve got a paddle boarding date in an hour on the lake.  (Gotta get in the last days on the water before these fall winds turn into winter flurries.)

Hope you all are enjoying the last days of teasing, taunting sunshine before the cold spell hits. Keep kicking ass.  Avoid kissing ass.  And all that shit.