Well, I’m back at DIA, once again sipping my pre-flight beverage of choice in my pre-flight bar of choice. For the 3rd straight trip, I have a 1-way ticket to wherever. Maybe just Indiana, PA, maybe Indiana, PA and Cross Lanes, WV. Maybe I’ll make a stop in Holmesville, OH and see the grandparents at the family farm. Can’t say that I know exactly where I’m headed, or when I’ll be home. In short, business as usual.
I didn’t sleep too well last night. Besides doing my last minute laundry and packing, I had a fair amount on my mind. This past weekend I attended my 10-year high school reunion, and if that shit doesn’t make a guy look around and wonder what he’s doing with his life, I’m not sure what will.
It was really good to catch up with everyone, cliche as that might be. And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how many of the people that I talked to had been keeping tabs on my misadventures either through Facebook or this here blog. I’m not trying to be an asshole about it, but I guess it was slightly redeeming. Despite the countless lonely nights in lonely towns, I did get to tell everyone about the time I went to Prague, and Paris, and South Korea, and all that good shit. I guess it just served to highlight the positive a bit, and that’s never a bad thing.
There was, however, one thing missing. And it was a big thing. Ms. Müller. She wasn’t able to make it on account of the fact that she doesn’t live on the right continent. I can’t even imagine how much happier I’d have been over the course of the festivities if she’d been there with me. As charming as it was to meet the significant others of everyone from good old Cheyenne Mountain, it served as an acute reminder of the negative. The fact that this lifestyle of mine served to render my dating life entirely impotent for years. And then when I was lucky enough to stumble into the right bar in Bergheim, Germany and fall madly in love, I did so in Bergheim fucking Germany. So there’s that whole thing.
And last night, I was kind of an asshole to Ms. Müller. I guess that might be too strong, but I was depressed. And lonely. And I guess I took it out on her. I laid out for her the second half of what I just laid out for you. I pissed and moaned to the point where she got depressed too, and even expressed some guilt at not being around. And what’s worse is that this, or something like it, has happened a couple of times since I got back from my last trip to Germany.
Seeing all the happy couples didn’t help. I miss the shit out of that girl. Transoceanic relationships are fucking tricky. With an 8 hour time difference, it’s a small victory when we’re both awake at the same time, let alone having our schedules line up so we can find an opportunity to talk, whether on Skype or just chatting on Facebook. And I’m sure some the sad is rooted in the exhaustion from the past couple months that hasn’t had a chance to wane. But I’m awfully tired of using that excuse. That exhaustion is a result of the same job that put me on top of the Eiffel Tower with Ms. Müller in the first place, so I really oughta take the bad with the good.
Now seeing everyone this past weekend, and desperately wanting to introduce them to Ms. Müller, also had another effect on me: it reinforced something that I’ve been thinking for some time now; this chick is the real deal. Hell, she called me this morning and woke me up for my flight, and if she hadn’t, I’d be laying in bed missing that flight right now. She’s the one I want to have standing next to me at my high school reunion. She’s the one I want to come home to.
And get this: a mere 6 months after meeting her, and only 4 months since we started dating, she’s in the midst of applying for a Visa. She’s decided to take some time off from her studies to come spend a few months with me in Colorado. I couldn’t be happier about it. Assuming everything goes as planned, in less than 3 weeks I will get to come home to her. It’s almost a little hard to believe that she’s putting in so much effort to come stay with me…
So imagine my consternation as I tossed and turned in my empty apartment last night, replaying the day’s events in my head. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing, beautiful, intelligent girl who loves me, and I have still have the audacity to bitch and complain about being lonely.
Now if you’ve been patiently waiting for me to explain the title of this post, your wait is over. As I laid there, cursing my own shortsightedness, I remembered an article I read in The Onion back in the day. Some poor bastard is lamenting the fact that the best years of his life seem to always be on the horizon, but never actually arrive:
“After I graduated high school in ’68, I joined the Navy. I thought the best years of my life would finally arrive because I’d get out of this boring hellhole of a state,” Videk said. “I now see that the feeling was oddly similar to the one I had in ’72, right before I finished my first tour in the Navy, and all I wanted to do was get back to North Dakota where things were so much better. Why couldn’t I see it at the time?”
Over the course of Videk’s life, each time he reached a milestone, he believed that his best years were about to begin. Among these life events were losing his virginity, getting married, fathering his first through fifth child, having his children move out, buying a better house, and getting his overbite fixed. None of these events, however, made the slightest impact on his overall happiness.”
For whatever reason, this article has stuck with me pretty well since I read it around a decade ago. I suppose it’s human nature to be looking for the next best thing. And I suppose I saw a little of myself in this guy. The moral, if you’ll call it that, spoke to me a bit. Attitude and outlook are everything.
And this girl, and the fact that she’s coming to stay with me, this is the best “best years of my life” opportunity to date. And it’s hard to imagine a better one coming along. If I’m not happy now, I’m not sure I ever will be.
So it’s time to buck up, take the power plants and the lonely in stride, and do what I can to overlook the indescribably tough aspects of life to the considerable positive side of things that have come my way. This is it. The time is now.
It all comes down to this…