Thursday, May 20, 2010

Memoirs of The Monarch

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Okay, so a few times last week, I kind of eluded to the fact that my Road Trip was a fantastic experience and gave me a lot of time to not only enjoy all the many blessings that I’ve been given in this wonderful life…but also reflect on the past, contemplate the future, and just get a good frame of reference on everything $teve. I’d like to share with you some of my findings…and if you’re not interested, I completely understand. However, maybe you’ll find a little something in here that will help you out too. That’s the main reason for me putting this down. I don’t really like talking about myself that much. “Really? How many blog entries are you up to now, $teve?” Silence. For I am about to speak…

Looking back, my past can pretty much be broken down into three distinct nine-year segments, which I’ll call my Larva, Pupa & Adult stages…with obvious reference to my metamorphosis into The Monarch, King of the Butterflies. By the way, watch Venture Brothers. It’s hilarious. Anyway, during my Larva stage (0-9), I was your typical child. My Family was my world. It was basically all that I knew. Not a bad thing, that’s for sure…because my parents are the best. I’m sure that you may have the opinion that your parents are the best…and that’s cool…but my parents are the best in my own humble opinion. Not only my parents, but I also had my little brother, all my grandparents, my great-grandparents, 25 sets of aunts & uncles, which led to a LOT of cousins. I was a good kid. A bit of a nerd. I loved dinosaurs (long before Jurassic Park, more like…Dino Riders & Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend in those days) and animals and just wanted to know everything about everything. It was truly a charmed life.

In the Pupa stage (9-18), I started going to school & learning (as opposed to the glorified daycare of the first few years of school) and friends became more of a central figure in my world. This is where my brothers from another mother Isaiah & Andy (Spitso) came into play…and they stuck around. During this stage though, my charmed life had its first run-ins with adversity. I still remember the day when my Grandpa J died. He had been battling cancer for a while…but some of my happiest memories were going out on the garbage truck with him after a breakfast of coffee & donuts. Before that, I’d never really known anybody who died. Then a few years later, my Grandpa Love died suddenly of a heart attack on the 4th of July. Then Grandma Love a few years later after a lengthy battle with cancer. Then my parents got divorced. All of this, compounded with the hormones of puberty & not having a lot of friends after moving a few times, was a really rough time for me. In junior high, I had a few suicidal moments of thought. Why? I don’t even remember specifically. More than likely, some stupid sh*t that didn’t matter a few weeks later. However, over the next few years, a few of my classmates committed suicide…and a few more died in car accidents. Not exactly the most incredible time of my life…but I was lucky. Whenever I had those crazy thoughts, my mom was there for me…or my dad when I had questions about my changing body or bike maintenance or whatever (when he wasn’t drinking). I also had a few good friends…and basketball. Whenever I needed to just mull things over, I would go out to the nearest basketball court and shoot some hoops. Imagining my future as an NBA superstar, donating 90% of my salary to worthwhile charities, directing movies in the off-season, traveling the world (furthest I had gone to this point was LaCrosse, Wisconsin) and just living it up while providing for my family & friends. I got fantastic grades in school (because I’m a smart body, not just a smart ass) but really the only place that was offering me a scholarship was Weber State…and I didn’t want to go there (since it wasn’t even a basketball scholarship). All in all, this portion of my life was mostly about Friends and learning about heartache.

Then came the Adult stage (18-27), where I was off to college. First stop was a five-week trip across Europe, from Greece up through to Britain. My first taste of real traveling…and since then, I’ve almost developed an insatiable appetite for it. A few years later, I got my first taste of sweet lovin’…and since then, I’ve also developed an insatiable appetite for it. As mentioned yesterday, I went to college for seven years & got two degrees…and it was a wonderful experience…but a little overrated. It’s great if you’re looking for learning a particular trade or need some structure…or just to meet people in your age group. However, I thought that I was focused in getting a degree in Engineering & making the basketball team as a walk-on…but soon found out that I didn’t want to be an Engineer…and they didn’t want me to lead them to March Madness. So then there was a time where I was basically “wasting money” trying to find myself & what I wanted to be when/if I grew up. Teaching, psychology, sociology, mythology, ballroom dancing, economics, physical education, f**king creative writing, these are just some of the actual classes that I took after I had decided that engineering & physics wasn’t the path for me (though I did have a knack for it). All the while, I was working full-time to make tuition payments for my full-time studies. That may have been the best teaching of all. I learned to prioritize, schedule, live on a budget, maximize my efficiency, sleep four hours a day (if I was lucky), and I was also able to travel the world a bit more & have new experiences. Then I found that marketing & business was more my field…so I got my degrees & decided to stop going to school, at least for a little while (going on four years now). So basically, the Adult stage, though still heavily rooted in family & friends, was more about Finding Myself & my Career.

That takes me up to about two years ago when I started my Monarch stage. Basically, that started when I decided that it was time for a change. Though I had been born & raised in Utah…and my family was well rooted there, maybe Utah wasn’t the place for me. I was no longer content with my job…and wanted something more, bigger, better, different. This was, as the record will show, when I decided that Vegas was to be the new home of Doctor Love, then I ended up being in Denver, then back to Utah, and now I’m in Tahoe. As many of my friends reading this know, I’ve thought about a lot of things…and have discussed most of them with you…as well as had ample time to reflect, basically flying solo in my adventures to Denver & Tahoe. Am I still trying to find myself? A little bit…but I’ve pretty much found out who I am…and though I really like who I am, I’m determined to be better everyday. Do I know what the future holds? Of course not. I have my career & I live in one of the most beautiful places in all of creation right now though…and I plan on taking full advantage of it, because you never know how long it’s going to last. Heck, I’ve already been here as long as I was in Denver. So what’s the next step? Well, knowing who I am, I’d really like to start a family. Obviously there’s a LOT of steps between here & there…and I’m not one to rush into something like that…but I’m saving up financial resources, starting to get out there into the social resources and find my future mate, learning skills necessary for child rearing, basically everything I can do on my part to prepare for that special someone (Doctor Girlfriend?) that I want to raise a family with. Am I even close to achieving this? Not at all…but great things happen suddenly. So in shorthand, my stages breakdown like this…

Larva – My Family
Pupa – My Friends
Adult – My Self
Monarch – My Future Family

You know that when you reflect on your past, along with your present & future, you often think about regrets…or what if’s? What if my parents had never divorced? Stupid thought. They’re happier now. They remarried to the best stepparents you could ever dream of. Even if they hadn’t, they’re happier being apart. What if I had gone to Weber State instead of the U? Or somewhere outside of Utah to begin with? Things would’ve been different obviously…but maybe not for the better. I had some rough times financially…and I had to move into my dad’s basement for a few years (paying rent) to make ends meet. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have had much of an education at all, especially with deciding to switch so many times. What if I would've moved to Vermont a few years back...for a great girl? I'd probably have an annoying f**king Boston accent or something. What if I had somehow become that NBA superstar / director / philanthropist (not full-on rapist)? I may be a little more wealthy. Then again, I may have also felt the constant pressure of always pleasing others expectations on an epic global scale, developed an addiction to pain killers, had trysts with many a questionable liaison, have six baby mamas in four states, friends & family that I can’t trust, until one day I just say f**k it and overdose leaving behind a horribly disfigured corpse. Instead of the mighty, healthy, happy Adonis that you see before you today. The point is that what’s done is done…and sometimes what seems like disappointment in one phase of your life, turns out to be a great thing during the next phase. Would I have been able to travel if I was in the NBA? Maybe…or maybe I would have to spend 9 months out of the year in Detroit, playing for the Pistons and sleeping on a bus, then spend the rest of the time in rehab for my knees. If I had gone to Weber State, I would’ve probably never met all the wonderful friends that I have today, nor started on my current career, nor had the opportunities to travel the world like I have over the last decade. I would’ve also had to wear a lot of purple…and unless it’s crushed velvet, it’s just not for me, baby. Basically, the path that has led me here is really the best path. Hard times make hard men…which explains why I’m so hard…all the time. Seriously. Big thanks to all my family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and whoever else has made this all possible.

So yeah, that’s basically the epiphany that I have had over the last little while…typed up in about an hour in quite possibly the most nonsensical format imaginable. The Road Trip helped to clarify some things about family, friends, life choices, knowing when you have to do for you instead of for others & vice versa, prioritizing, and basically just playing the game of Life. So as I progress through my Monarch stage…and verge on world domination, thank you again for listening to my ramblings…and hopefully this helped you a bit too, instead of just wasted about ten minutes of your life. You’re not the only one who may be confused with their position in life…and what to do next. If you ever need somebody to talk to, Dr Love is always available, 24 hours a day (as some of you know firsthand). Oh...and I'll leave you with some inspirational thoughts & life lessons from The Monarch. My favorite line - "You think you're hot sh*t in a champagne glass...but you're really cold diarrhea in a Dixie cup..." Have a great day everybody!!!

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