Staring at the Future, Standing in the Past

futureOk folks, it’s been a while, I apologize, yada-yada-yada. Graduate school keeps me busy alongside my other responsibilities, and in general I’ve felt very cooped up, if not downright claustrophobic in recent months.

Part of it is living in this small town, way out in the middle of the mountains, as isolated from the world and culture and change as a place can realistically be anymore. I know, some of you are scratching your heads and saying to yourselves “What’s he whining about?” And I get it, there are much worse places and much worse situations than the mildly pleasant if a little too routine situation I’m currently living in.

This isn’t about that. It’s about me, where my life has been going, and where it’s about to hopefully take off to. I love my gym and my students and I love being a teacher at Gunnison Jiu-Jitsu. I’m proud to have built the program here mostly through my own intense passion for jiu-jitsu, by showing up day after day, being the inadvertent leader, learning to teach myself as much as to teach others.  I’m going to miss that when I’m gone, and I know because I’ve experienced it before.

It’s going to hurt to lose that team, that position among my peers, when we move. It’s going to be different to enter another academy as a pure student rather than teacher, but it’s also going to be liberating to finally focus on my own game as I work toward the black belt. But I still feel like there is so much work to be done up at my gym here, important work, work I signed on and promised to do. Work I want to do, even as I know it will have to fall to someone else.

I just can’t shake that feeling that it’s all about to end, that massive changes are coming, destiny-altering changes, the kind I’ve been waiting and working for years to see and experience. It feels like Jazz and I are standing on the launchpad, waiting for permission to launch, and I think I let the anticipation overwhelm me and create discontent in the present moment way too often. There’s no real excuse for it, of course, partially it’s the way I’m wired.

But for whatever reason, I’ve felt very disconnected from the world lately. I’ve been sort of keeping to myself on the weekends, afraid I guess to cultivate any new relationships or activities in a place that will soon be part of my past. I’m going through the motions; in school, at the gym, at home when I write. I try not to let other people see it, but in my head there’s a little clock counting away the seconds until that next stage of life begins.

Now let me point out that I understand how unwise this behavior is. It’s important to find contentedness with what you have, and tomorrow is never guaranteed anyway. I tell myself these things, and I know they’re true, but I can’t help feeling that all the hard work I’ve been doing over the last four or five years is about to manifest, and the anticipation is killing me.

I’m excited to train in a new place, write in a new place, meet new people and work new jobs and hopefully make a real go of this writing career in a new place. I’m hungry for new experiences, and I can’t think of a better town or region of the country for that than Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

New horizons are rolling in, but it’s important to focus on the here and now too, for my own sanity, if nothing else. I keep forgetting to do that, and I find it really fouls my mood up. Spring is here in the mountains, so hopefully I’m going to snap out of it as the season change brings to life all the beautiful scenery, activities and incredible weather that make living in the Colorado high country so amazing. It’s our last summer here, and I intend to make the most of it. Summer here is like no other place on earth, literally paradise.

I bring all this up to say that if you’re someone I interact with in my daily life, or online, or really wherever in life, and you see me forgetting to enjoy the ride over these next three or so months, do me a favor and slap the shit out of me. Don’t wait, do it right then. Tell me to lock it up, pronto. Chide me and goad me and shame me into cooperation, if that’s what it takes. Life is too short to waste today over tomorrow’s potential. I don’t mean to be doing it anyway, my imagination is just running away with me, causing me to live too much in the future, which breeds anxiety and grumpiness.

As always, I wish everyone the best, and I hope that you are finding ways to make your lives better all the time. I’m certainly doing my best, only time will tell how it all comes into being.

By the way, thanks for all the positive response and support regarding the coming publication of Debt Crusher. It means a lot to me, and I hope it is the first of many books to come! Debt Crusher comes out Feb 15, 2016. in the meantime, check out All Due Respect Books and pick up some of their other great stories. I recommend both The Deepening Shade by Jake Hinkson, and Uncle Dust by Rob Pierce, but really any of their titles will impress if you’re a noir fan. See you soon!

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