spring

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I ran into a friend at work yesterday, and he asked me how I’d been lately.  It had been awhile, I realized.  We used to see each other often, but I couldn’t actually tell you the last time we had spoken. I like him.  We haven’t known each other long, nor were necessarily besties or anything, but he is one of the few coworkers who I actually feel like I can talk to.

My answer, “Well…”

He’s not on my social media, and as I began to casually comment on bouncing back from things, his eyes began to grow wider.  The last six months were something of a Greek tragedy, a Southern gothic.  I told him about the family stuff (which I won’t mention here), but I had a lot more to say about the car accident and the breakup that happened right before it.  And there was more… so much more.  But why get into the minor stuff.

It was a strange moment for him I think because I was smiling and looking great as I recalled a litany of drama.  I’ve been on the upswing.  I was speaking to my acupuncturist (a treatment I highly recommend if you’ve recently experienced trauma), and I observed to her that my life of late has been in strange sync with the seasons.  Winter was awful.  A winter among winters.  But spring… ah spring.

“Most people wouldn’t think of it that way,” she said. She meant that in a good way.  So far I really like her.

So: spring.

Having weathered a saga of things that I won’t get into much here, I’ve turned with the weather to greener things, newer things.  As rough as the past six months have been, there’s a great relief that comes from passing through hell:  freedom. I find myself very unencumbered as of late.  Perhaps I set the stage for much of this last year when I was busting ass and paying off my student loans, maybe I would have gotten here sooner had not life intervened, but in either case I’ve entered a phase where I’ve put down or been released from a number of burdens. Work, family, debt, relationships. Unencumbered.

I’ve been doing things on my own lately.  Going to shows.  Exploring new places.  Pushing hobbies to new places.

This weekend I dropped by a Maryland trail that I can’t wait to get back to: The North Central Rail Trail.  It runs from Hunt Valley up to PA, close to York they tell me.  It used to be a railroad but became one of the many Rails-to-Trails projects that have swept across the country (an awesome parks project that everyone should support!).

On a chilly Sunday in March, the winter still holding spring back for one more week, it is a very peaceful place. The last of the season’s white was trickling through the trees, while the first of the season’s green was pushing up along the path.  Once past the first mile marker, I had the place to myself.

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I plan on buying a new bike soon, and this is the first place I intend to ride it.  The crushed gravel is easy, and there is plenty of shade.  It’s one of those strange places where one can feel very removed from society and yet in fact be still quite close to it.  The peace of a country garden without losing any cell signal.

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I’ve taken up trail running.  That’s what I was up to this weekend.  I do a few 10k’s every year, but I want to add some trail runs in this year.  They just sound fun.  I might have to join a runner’s group or something, as I can’t seem to generate any interest in it among my friends who run.

Or I could just keep going it alone.

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More to come.  Tonight I start another new thing: Pilates.  Since my car accident, I’ve become committed to developing more and better-balanced core strength (I might even start observing leg day at the gym!). I’m looking forward to tonight. It will be fun.

 

 

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So I have a new hobby. It’s called annoying the living hell out of everyone by going on nonstop, seemingly uncontrollably, certainly–to say the least–with an egregiously unchecked sense of enthusiasm, about my shiny new juicer. Yes I am that guy: the dude who bought a juicer and won’t shut up about it.

It’s only been a week, and it’s been amazing. I’m still in the early stages, experimenting with recipes, but I’m in love with this new appliance. Just the hum of it as the engine spools up, it sounds like a mini aircraft engine. It hums. And then with frightening ease and efficiency the little bad boy shreds up anything I can put into it. Carrot-apple-ginger, my morning green juice, my homemade V8 (still a work in progress…) Juice man, it’s the best!

I’d already been incorporating V8 into my diet as a snack anyway, but this has felt like a gateway being thrust open. Just a whole world out there of juices to make. And all of them (well most of them), delicious, fresh, healthy snacks. This all ties into my healthier diet of late, which I’m not even sure if I’ve journaled about here.

It’s funny, for a guy whose pride and joy was once his secret chili recipes, I’m subsisting these days mostly on things like chick peas, juice, granola, greek yogurt. And cheese. Of course, delicious life-giving cheese. It has been good, and I have been feeling great (and not to mention looking better…).

But the juicer has kicked it up a notch. I feel as if a new plateau has been reached. In fact, our house has quickly become such a juicing hotbed that my roommate showed up the other day with a Fronana. This is a type of juicer that makes deserts with yogurt and frozen bananas. I promptly dubbed it the Bronana maker and declared it as a victory for our house.

So perhaps in the coming days I’ll post some juice recipes. At the least it would be nice to figure out my own homemade V8. My first attempt did *not* go as planned… but some experimentation is to be expected, even desired.

Anyway, spring is starting and here are the things I am currently looking forward to most:

Sunshine
Kayaking
Floor hockey
Bocce
Game of Thrones Season 3
NOLA
Swimming
BBQs
Gardening
Fitting into all of my old t-shirts again (woohoo!)

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Well, it might not be warm outside yet, but spring definitely seems to be knocking. Actually maybe today it will feel a little spring like. We might see 50 degrees outside! Makes me want to wear shorts.

Had a relaxing evening last night sharing a few beers with a friend and talking about dating. Smalltimore, geeks, hookups, older men, call-backs, beards. My friend, this is a lady friend, she was trying to help me understand how beards are attractive, and I simply don’t understand it. To me it just makes a man look disheveled, and besides that I find them to be terribly uncomfortable.  Those beardy thrift store shopping hipsters do make pretty badass music, though, I have to give them that!

But yeah, spring is definitely abounding in the romantic sense. I’ve had a lot of “hey why don’t you join me at the bar (…and meet my cute single friend)” invites lately. This weekend I have not one but two dates lined up. This concerns me, as it’s a situation I strive to avoid. But it just kinda happened. There are some folks who can have a few early stage things going at once and dally in choosing which (if any) to stick with. Not me. It’s not just that I don’t want to be sleeping with multiple people (which I definitely don’t), but who doesn’t love that thrill of a new crush. Maybe I’ve a bit of a one-track mind, so splitting one’s interests just seems to defeat the purpose to me.

Anyway, we’ll see how that goes.

In other news, Alice in Wonderland is out, and as you might guess I’m a bit excited. I don’t think I’m going to love it. I mean, I already read that it sort of falls apart towards the end with senseless action sequences. But I do hope to like it. More than most Tim Burton films, this one’s all about the visuals. So let’s see some bitchin’ eye candy. I’ll post more later, after I catch it tonight.

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