Archive for the ‘friends’ Tag

Living Vicariously

I wish I could be.. British?

Random Observation/Comment #238: I congregate with such an odd lot of friends. My crew would probably be on the cover of some diversity poster at NYU.  Maybe I just like the phrases we make up. Wordlife.

It was the day after St. Patty’s Day. One of my best friends and I were sitting at McSorely’s drinking a pair of Darks, when all of a sudden, a pretty girl sits next to us and starts a random conversation.  Of course, we all chat and give the 2-minute well-practiced glimpse into our little complex lives, but then she finally speaks of her underlying motive.  What she wanted to know was how these two (handsome) men on the opposite spectrum can sit together and enjoy a beer together.

On one side, she saw an artistic adventurist; glistening with a new tattoo slightly covered by his tight white t-shirt.  The skinny jeans, huge steel-tipped boots, and freshly shaven head told a different story from when he expressed his perspectives on Applied Psychology.  Somehow he spoke about his subjects with such passion and interest that the whole room seemed to listen intently.

On the other side, there was a quiet thinker; wearing a sweater-vest and rimless glasses with his carefully chosen words and tendencies to drift off into semi-intelligent tangents.  He told stories about traveling, but he had spoken of these times as if they were from a different life – not much could be done as this new phase has taken over his purpose (or lack-thereof).  He seemed interesting in his own way, but only because he would probably do your math homework if you asked him to (and definitely get you an A).

At the time, we deflected the question with the answer: “We go after different women and different women come after us, so there’s really no conflict of interest.”  This is very true – in a random line-up of diverse and pretty women, our tastes would never overlap.  I tend to go after the intellectuals with quirky personalities, while my friends would prefer typical blonde-haired blue eyes or skinny artistic girls.  It’s convenient, but just because we like different women, doesn’t mean we’re best friends – it’s not like we’re always chasing after tails – What? I said always.

It could be our similarities.  I like beer.  They like beer.  We drink beer.  Fair enough – we have a good pastime, but then again, we can’t always be drinking beers.  Maybe it’s our sense of humors?  Sometimes there’s no other knee slapper like someone else’s misfortunes.  It sounds mean (and it definitely is) but I can’t help but laugh if a guy gets hit in the groin or if a clown falls down the stairs and makes squeaky sounds on the way down.  That’s just funny.  Plus, I hate clowns.

It must have started when I was younger. I hung out with kids who weren’t exactly bad – I mean, how bad can a kid be in elementary school? – But they weren’t exactly straight-A students, or considered “good influences.”  He was (and still is) one of my best friends, but our differences in childhood and circumstances has always fascinated me.  In many ways, he was the adventure side of my childhood.  I listened to my parents and studied, but also went against their rules and played in the dirt with friends that may or may not upturn all of their hard work.  Now that I’ve grown up a little, I can see how dangerous this influence could have been to me.  If I had followed a similar path to his, I would have wound up in a different life.  There would have been some jail-time here and there, and probably a few children lying around (not that it happened).

In another light, although he was indeed a bad influence on me; I was actually a good influence on him.  I can’t imagine how much more trouble he would have gotten into without my conscience stopping us – well, I still thought digging a hole for a swimming pool was a great idea too.  It’s not like I’m doing some charity work or letting them use me; we’re all friends – and damn good friends.  If I ever needed them, I could call and depend on them to be there for me.  As I tell them stories about my past adventures, current endeavors, and plans ahead, I expect them to be brutally honest and tell me their true perspective without sugar-coating it too much.  They know when to pick me up with a few comforting words, and they know when to push me with some tough love.  I guess the best way for me to explain it is that we’re just best friends.  We do the same thing that good parents do for each other, but we’re the same age and our advice is not considered “out-of-date.”

My friends and I always say, “With our powers combined, we could get any girl out there.”  In a more general sense, we all provide a crucial piece to the puzzle.  Honestly, I’m not going to fool myself in believing that I could do everything (actually there are many situations that I would definitely avoid), but at least I can be friends with people that have walked that path – I can live that story of life without going through all of it.  It’s all a complicated adventure where we influence each other’s decisions and branch off into our own developed-story.  Although we’re an odd lot, it works for us and I wouldn’t trade this community for anything.

~See Lemons Thankful for Friends

Learning from the Bucket List

finishing a bucket list

Random Observation/Comment #223: This vacation is completely different from the ones I’ve had before. Instead of looking for purpose, I feel I’ve already found it.  I feel like I’m doing everything the same, but my mentality is just completely different.  I’m not trying to find a home; I’m just treating it as if it’s already my home.  This doesn’t mean I’ve lost those curious traveling-eyes where everything looks like it’s from another universe, but I think my overall observation about the world (whether at home or overseas) seems to be heightened.  Life has those bright and brilliant colors, and I can’t help but smile.

“The Bucket List” is a movie about two well-aged men (Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) who meet as bedmates in a hospital when recovering from cancer. They grow as friends despite being radically different and – after hearing the bad news – decide to form a bucket list of things to do before “kicking the bucket.” Jack’s character, being the owner of the hospital and just ridiculously rich, decides to help make all of these dreams come true and have fun in their final adventure.  Like most people, “travel the world” is basically at the top of the list.  So they left on that private jet and chatted about every aspect of life while touring the major attractions and seeing the majestic beauties every culture has to offer.

Warning: The following is a spoiler for the movie.  I’m mentioning the movie in this blog because I think it makes an important point about leading life.  The underlying message made me review my life and plan for a different type of happiness.

Morgan Freeman’s character is a brilliant man (you know – the type that can answer all of the Jeopardy questions) who selflessly sacrificed his entire life to financially support his family.  After finding out he only has a few months to live, he finds it appropriate to be a little selfish.  With Jack Nicholson’s character as his piggy bank and travel buddy, he goes everywhere and sees everything he’s been unable to see due to time and money restrictions.

Jack’s character is a filthy rich man with four failed marriages and an almost non-existent close family.  He indulges with Morgan’s dreams and sees the “last hurrah” as another adventure – just a simple fun way to see everything he loved about life again with a newly found friend.

Although the list itself seems like it was made to benefit Morgan’s character through the mooching off of Jack’s endless supply of money, it’s interesting to find Jack enjoying himself with a true friend.  He learned much more about community, family, and love while traveling with someone than he had ever done before.  You can say that Jack had everything he ever wanted that could be obtained with money, but he had not found a rightful place with those that should matter most.  Does that initial mask covered with material possessions actually matter at all?  Reputation is definitely important in many respects, but how much reputation do you need when you actually know someone as close as you know your best friends and immediate family?

I can probably write a full 5-page essay about this book, but I’ll save everyone the torture.  The point that struck me most (and I don’t think you need to stretch your brain too far to see it) is that the connection with those around you – the story you leave behind and the bonds you make that are unbreakable– is more important than money.  There will always be that struggle to fight for the higher paying job and own a bigger house, but I don’t think that’s worth it if there’s no one to share it with.

Although some people may argue that the girlfriends will come as money and security builds a sound foundation, I argue that girls can be incredible actresses and unbelievably greedy.  Isn’t that one of those golden rules: Never give a woman your credit card?  I’m not being pessimistic about all women, but I would rather meet someone who’s “real.”  By that, I mean, someone who is okay with being themselves and okay with that causing someone to dislike them (even if it’s me).  Sometimes we should bend and accept certain faults, but other times (which can sometimes be very difficult to gauge), we just need to back away and agree that the relationship is not compatible.

Anyway, even before watching this movie, I had some similar type of revelation. It happened sometime in September when I came back.  After traveling for so long, I still felt at home.  My friends were still my friends, but with more stories, and the scrips were still the scrips, but with new buildings.  It was simple and relieving.  I stared at the unknown ahead and planned as much as possible while making my list of goals, aspirations, and dreams.  As I thought about this community-loving nugget of knowledge, I saw something much more interesting.  I saw a web of connecting interests and a slew of dreams that overlapped.  Dreams were being made and broken every day, but there were the dreams around me that I could actually make come true.  There are lives around me that (while they don’t necessarily depend on me) would strengthen our relationship based on my plans ahead.  With that in mind, I found the bucket list to change into something much more selfless.  I still have the dreams that will help me move forward before helping others, but that choice moving into work experience was mostly for those around me.

I am selling out to help my parents: they deserve to retire and enjoy themselves as I have.  I am selling out to grow closer to my friends: we’re going to run the scrips.  I am selling out to continue making this year better than the one before: What’s better than traveling the world?  Having a place to call home (Or making enough money so you could travel the world with your friends and family.  That would just be ridiculous).

~See Lemons Believe in Community

A Zombie Horde of Four

Zombies with 40s. Vicious.Random Observation/Comment #214: This year’s Zombiecon was epic (in every sense of the word).  It was the best Zombiecon I’ve ever attended – not because there was a lot of alcohol, zombies, zombie hunters, and scared bystanders – but because my closest friends joined in on the fun.  Surprisingly, we were only a part of the zombiecon bar crawl for about 15 minutes at one of their stops.  The rest of the time, we roamed the streets in heavy rain as a zombie horde of four.  People (and especially those whom I call “Mom and Dad”) question why I attend these Zombiecons: “It’s filled with crazy people walking around the streets and making a fool out of themselves,” they say (but in Chinese).  Actually, I think James, Justin, and Jake also once asked me why, but now I think they know. Unless you’ve been a part of it, it’s a little bit difficult to explain.  I think it’s all about freeing yourself from wearing all of those masks that make you conform into society’s norms.  We looked like an outcast to everyone else, but in our eyes, it was the other way around.  No one else around us mattered and none of our normal concerns about impressing people even registered.  Everyone stared at us with looks of amusement, embarrassment, fear, curiosity, and confusion, but alas, it was momentary judgment from a stranger that we’ll probably never see again.  I think every one of us, at one point or another, just realized a simple phrase: “Whatever – I’m a zombie.” (That and “Wu Tang!”)

There’s a formula for great weekends like these: 4*friends + zombie makeup + 40s + 10*shots of jager + wine + more 40s + a holiday where you can do whatever the hell you want = zombiecon 2009 fun.  So much happened (some of which I don’t remember very clearly), but I must highlight some especially hilarious moments.

Do you remember when…

  • Jake shaved parts of his head and looked ten times more creepy than usual (which is difficult)
  • We wished Dexter would help clean up our blood splatter bathtub mess
  • We realized $7 for a bottle of blood was the best purchase ever
  • Wu Tang was expertly represented on our attire
  • Jake used a marker on his body instead of black makeup
  • We hovered around Continental to wait for shots
  • We told people that we were going to a funeral/going to a wedding/gf had a period on us
  • We met the cute girls on the crowded train and they couldn’t make a scared face for the camera
  • We walked 25 blocks in the pouring rain doing the shakey dance
  • We got blood all over the McDonald’s official rule sign (by accident) and then ate our apple pies violently
  • We got stopped 20 times by people to take pictures; we stopped people 20 times to help take our pictures
  • That guy asked “Are you okay?” with the most serious concerned voice and shocked expression
  • We drank a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in less than 2 minutes
  • We got attacked by zombie hunters with marshmallow guns; we ate their ammo
  • Justin and James were a bad influence to an elementary school field trip
  • Jake and James were almost arrested for scaring old ladies near a Broadway theater
  • Justin was a bad/good influence to a mother and her 3 children on the side of the street
  • James screamed “Wu Tang” at anyone and anything imaginable
  • Justin pushed people out of the way so he could hang upside down on the subway pole
  • Justin asked a guy on the side of the street for a cigar
  • We knocked on Eden’s workplace windows thinking it was a good idea
  • We passed out before 8PM and forgot about eating dinner
  • I woke up at 10PM hung over and relatively happy with the memories

The interesting part is that we didn’t really have to be zombies (well I guess the zombie hunter thing wouldn’t make as much sense).  The makeup and costumes made us forget about the school papers, interviews, long work hours, and exams.  We were just having fun, and in the process I think we made a lot of people smile at the craziness of NYC.  I bet tourists and locals alike just looked at us and brushed it off with a chuckle and the phrase: “Only in New York.”   Whether it’s the eccentric personality of the concrete jungle or the immense amount of fun I have within the horde, this is why I call this my Home.

~See Lemons a Happy Zombie

A Hungarian Tribute

I'll miss all of you!

I'll miss all of you!

Random Observation/Comment #199:  The past 4 months have passed by unbelievably quickly.  It felt like just yesterday we were all drinking our first beers in public, dancing on tables, and finding valid excuses to party every day of the week.  I’ve had an absolutely wonderful time getting to know everyone, especially the “Hungarian group” (to which I will dedicate this entry to).  I hope we will all stay in touch through tweets, status updates, and random pokes through facebook, email, or any other social network.  If anybody (Hungarians and everyone else I’ve met abroad included) visits New York, you will have a personal tour guide and possibly a place to stay.  Either way, I hope we will always be international friends.  It’s incredibly sad to see this Hamburg University Chapter come to an end, but as with all good memories, it will have a fantastic finish tonight.  Let’s make the last party rock the house (dormitory/apartment/whatever).  May our paths cross again in the future…

In most of my journal entries, I think about the beginning and then flip through my mental photo album of these moments to find the right words.  Each quirky personality comes to mind through the crooked smirks, embarrassed smiles, and uncontrollable laughter memories we shared together.  I can’t quite pin-point how I exactly became a fellow-Hungarian, but our relationship grew from just being with each other in our happiest times.  Whether it was a relaxing walk through Berlin, a well-cooked dorm goulash dinner, or another alcohol-filled night at the bar downstairs, the time we spent together will always remind me of freedom and friendship.

Interestingly enough, I was accepted into the group with open arms.  It might have been the massage-hands or my tendency to take pictures of everything (which they find adorable), but I really felt missed when I couldn’t make it to a party – like I was a genuine part of their group from the start.  It was only a small amount of attention, but it pulled me into this temporary family and I’m happy that I was a part of it.  Each of you has made an impact on me and you deserve your individual tributes.

Greg has somehow become my pupil after these past few months of living in the same flat and partying (pretty much all the time).  I can sense that he has respect for my opinion and enjoys my company, so he invites me to his excursions and discusses random topics when he passes my room for his occasional smoke.  Although Greg is sometimes overstressed about certain aspects of his schoolwork, he knows how to have a good time and let loose at a party.  Drunk Greg tends to use very flashy hand gestures (which we all love to notice and mimic), and will always push for more shots of Jagermeister (good man).  It may seem like I did most of the teaching with the occasional English reviews, but you have taught me more than you realize.  I’m glad we became friends and I hope I can meet you in Hungary or Austria in 2 years.

Frank exudes the qualities of a professional like no other.  He’s well-dressed, current events savvy, and charismatic about all topics of conversation.  Even if he’s never been to a place, he is automatically crowned the guide, leader, and decision-maker.  I haven’t found this exact quality to his stride or the way he holds his conversations, but there’s a certain characteristic that makes his arguments very convincing.  Either way, I think I have learned one of his secrets: Frank loves the camera and wants to be immortalized in the most interesting poses.  It works out well – every photographer needs that fun-pose model.

For the sexy poses, I’ll, of course, yield the lens to the lovely ladies.  This is one of my outrageous hypotheses, but I think the girls competed for my attention to get more massage-time.  They each had their own strategies for getting my attention (or at least I saw it this way in my mind), but I found it interesting because they appealed to such different parts of my brain (I can’t choose a favorite so I think I fell for all of you in different ways =D).  I’ll be more specific: (It is a given that you’re all very pretty, so I’ll leave it out of the descriptions).

Ria appealed to the obvious and straightforward physical contact.  It is custom for European hugs and kisses, but it was more of an enjoyment than a formality.  In many ways, I felt like she was the awkward hand on the thigh stepping around the line of appropriateness.  We shared the sitcom inside-jokes with How I Met Your Mother and Friends references, which is always an interesting topic of conversation.   I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider it, but there was something with the grouping circumstances that made me more comfortable in a friend zone (going into detail about these personal dating rules would be too far off-topic).

Reka is adorable and really attracted that cute-sy, naming-stuffed-animals side of me.  She shyly smiles, and often shows a silent jealousy I’ve often noticed from my Chinese ex-girlfriend.  It used to work so much better, but I guess I grew up from that phase.  Because of this sheep obsession, her personality stuck in my mind and it made me buy her a sheep toy and draw a sheep-portrait for her.  The cute gestures continued, but my normal observation-driven drunken nights never lead me to common topics and inside jokes.  I feel like younger-timid-Clemens would have been captivated, but more-mature-Clemens wavered and explored a different world.

Juli is the youngest, yet fit in seamlessly.  I was unexpectedly impressed by her wit and our playful conversations.  I don’t think it had to do with age or innocence, but rather a very quick connection to normal wordplay.  I rarely say this, but she has a beautiful personality.  It’s not even that we know each other extremely well; I just find this combination of words to be very fitting.  The odd thing is that I don’t think anyone would disagree because I just said what everyone was trying to say, but just couldn’t find the words for. You’re welcome.

Vikky claims my educational and independence-driven part of my heart.  She really reminds me of Monica from Friends.  She’s responsible, organized, and very tidy with every aspect of her life – to summarize: she will be a wonderful mother.  The trips will be planned down to every detail and optimal efficiency would be achieved (efficiency = super sexy).  I think our personalities have much more in common than we gave time to explore, but (as expected) the positive and negative qualities of social intellectuals arise – we have much to say, yet we rather observe.  However, one who pries will find a topic that just makes us talk non-stop.  Her enthusiasm just so happened to be in volleyball, which – to put into my hobby gauge – matches my enthusiasm for ping pong (which borderlines obsession).

Orsi has the most extroverted personality with quite a contagious laugh and smile.  She floats around in her own world and sprinkles her happy mood on the group.  Not only is she quite the dancer, but I think I would consider her the most energetic.  Her playful nature is something anyone would love, and I feel like a livelier person in her presence.  She’s proof that happiness can be spread by example, and I’m glad I met someone with this quality.  Even though I haven’t called you Sushi since the first time I met you, the word will always remind me of you and your enthusiasm.

Although I did not wind up a fluent Hungarian speaker (I’m surprised too), I’ve learned a great deal about the culture and customs.  At the end of the day, we were all study abroad students living a study abroad student life, but there was a definite connection.  Actually, I was probably drawn to the unbelievably hot group of beautiful girls.  It’s true – you make all of my friends jealous and I’m glad we have so many pictures together.

Cheers! Egészségedre! Kampai! Kippis! Salud! Salute! Skal! Na zdrowie! Budem zdorovy! Let’s get our freak on.  All the best and safe travels.

Your Sneaker,


~See Lemons Miss Greg, Frank, Ria, Reka, Juli, Vikky, and Orsi (Sushi)

they're so cute...

they're so cute...

The Chain of Hostel Friends



I guess I had to be the odd man out (besides not being white)

I guess I had to be the odd man out (besides not being white)

Random Observation/Comment #167: I’m always surprised at how easily you can meet other people in a traveling environment.  This is a part of the overall hostel atmosphere, and should be appreciated to its fullest extent.  The 6- to 8-bed mixed dorm style rooms are ideal for starting these random conversations, which usually lead to some good company during lonely hikes.  It almost makes me wonder why I even planned these days when I always ask the main desk or random people for information.  I feel so fickle when it comes to taking advice from someone that speaks so passionately and highly about a specific location.  When someone says, “You should definitely go to the top of the mountain when you get a chance – it’s completely worth the money,” I can’t help but fork out the cash.  I could have just met this person, and yet those perfectly timed inflections and on-queue convincing smiles just sells so well.  The conversations with some of these people just made me feel like they just remembered this secret and completely awesome, underground fun-zone on the spot and felt the need to share it with me.  Every single time I spoke with these people, I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m glad I asked the right guy about this.”  The great part: They could never be wrong because the mountain sells itself.


As outlined in the previous entry, it is quite natural to meet new people that introduce you to a larger group of friends and open you to a web of connections throughout the hostel.  The first one you meet is always the most difficult, but I’ve let my imagination go wild over the most ideal and realistic series of events.  For example, you could be blissfully eating your own home-cooked meal at the hostel one lonely evening, and your eyes could meet hers across the room, fully-synchronized with a genuine kind-hearted grin and an absent heart beat.  Then, of course, you would try another bite while maintaining the eye-contact and completely miss your open mouth.  If you’re lucky, the food would fall on your plate with a thud.  The less fortunate find themselves in a pickle.  She would give a painful look, trying to be polite by not laughing too loud.  In your fit of embarrassment you would dig your head into the world behind your camera’s LCD screen, trying your best to imagine yourself in another situation.  In the perfect world, she moves her plate over to start a conversation about traveling because she thinks you’re cute, but in the more realistic one, you see her pass in your peripheral vision and go to bed early.  Gosh, even in my day dreams, I find myself rejected in the most pathetic ways possible.  Well, this did not happen, but it crossed my mind in great detail.

Anyway, the truth is, I was not alone throughout my adventures in Switzerland because I continuously met new and interesting people with an incredible outlook on life (this could have been a symptom to the highly contagious virus of happiness).  As the conversations dove deeper past the façade of traveling stories, I really heard personal views on different important subjects.  Conversations about goals and aspirations can last for the first hours, but a bit more digging is required to peek into the normal (or abnormal) trains of thought.  I didn’t understand these people until I spent a few days getting to know odd habits and suffering through awkward silences.  It wasn’t until I noticed this close scrutiny of personalities that I realized the repetition of some of my stories. 

Perhaps it’s not the fact that their lives were not particularly interesting, but rather the fact that they had told the same story with small variations.  So much of these introductions seemed rehearsed or approached with a long sigh.  It felt like an empty checklist of interesting facts that were spewed instead of inserted at the appropriate times.  The relationships (no homo) were sped up to make the travels more comfortable, and I guess it gave me the same impression as a speed dating event.  I didn’t get a chance to learn about the person in the environment’s natural pace.  As a mental note, I guess I will try my best to maintain the mystery and reveal the small tidbits about myself when the subject arises.

Anyway, these new buddies, although now loosely connected through facebook, have hopefully adopted new hobbies or learned new things from each other’s interaction.  In fact, every person I have met has taught me something new – I make it a priority to learn something new from every person I come into contact with.  Whether it’s a new word in a different language or an observation from a dress style, it helps me remember their names and their stories more clearly.  Based on the number of “friends” (at least on facebook anyway) I should know a good deal of random facts about life.  I hope it will one day help me win a game show, like in Slumdog Millionaire.

To put it simply, the friends I met in Interlaken were rad.  Whether they had hilarious adventures about French girls, or they ended every story with shitting on something, their personalities were unforgettable.  Although every moment wasn’t filled with conversations and prying questions, it was as if I knew them for one semester at college instead of 5 hours the day before.  It seemed like the random observations and comments flowed regularly and there was no pressure to maintain interesting conversation.  I was already okay with a few random talks and enjoying the photography moments.

I hope everyone has the opportunity to backpack, sleep in hostels, and meet interesting people.  The experience really adds a different shade of happiness to your life.  Social skills are improved with every night out and the conversations constantly show a new outlook on the world.  Sometimes you just have to ask the right questions.

~See Lemons Link Hostel Friends

Sledging with Jager

Sledging with Jager


Random Observation/Comment #104: I never imagined it would have taken so much time to catch up with my Japan entries.  I thought I would have finished these summaries and reflections a maximum of two weeks after returning.  Now that I had gotten so used to writing about every passing day, how will I catch up with all of the things that happened after Japan?  Well, I won’t, because most of it was spend in the lab writing my thesis anyway.  I’m not worried though, there’s always something to write about.  What chaos doesn’t exist will be created to make things more interesting.


I could tell it was awkward giving everyone hugs because I made all of them blush – guys and girls alike.  I had formed bonds with these students and they have all influenced my opinion of Japan.  So many cultural lines were crossed through a gesture that I find normally fitting for farewell. 

It doesn’t even matter if I’ll see you later tonight, a hug feels good.  I can’t begin to describe how many things a hug means to me.  Let’s just say that depending on the type of hug, it can be more intimate than a kiss.  A hug says, “Welcome into my personal space – we can share.”  The body contact is maximized to spread warmth, and we physically transmit feelings of gratitude, sadness, or best wishes.  It could say “I’ll miss you” or “I love you” or “I’ll never forget you” within that short-lived tight squeeze.  I think my days are brighter when it starts with a hug.  This will be tested with another social experiment (I can already hear the hippie names you come up for me now).

This was a sad day for Japan, but I doubt they skipped a beat.  I had missed my home and it was my presence needed to be spread more evenly.  I needed to leave even if I didn’t want to.  There were lonely nights when I wondered how everyone was passing each day.  I predicted what they would say when I returned.  I imagined what they were wondering what I would be doing to pass the day.  My odd sense of thinking in recursion sometimes hurt my head because I’d fill in the whole three panel comic with pictures of pictures (that made more sense in my head). 

This entire trip was a real life example of that heart aching question: “Will I be missed?” 

When I had a girlfriend, my eyes welted whenever I thought of her cold hand without mine holding it.  I felt powerless with her, yet I could conquer the world at the same time.  There was nothing about her that I could control, but I felt safe letting my heart go.  It was a connection that I was certain, but could never satisfyingly prove.  If I were still with her, I think she would miss me.  I think I would miss her.

I’ve given parenting much thought just because I try to plan everything in my life.  I’m sure I could fill a book with my observations and conclusions, but an analogy comes to mind that reminds me of my current position as a son.  Let’s say I’m obsessed with cars and call them my girlfriends, mistresses, and wives.  Hypothetically, I set a project to build my own car and make it into my hunny-wagon.  Let’s say it takes me 4 years to complete and I document it every step of the way with photo albums and over-sized hats.  One day while I’m taking the hunny-wagon out for a spin, I get into an accident and it’s completely totaled.  I step out of the wreckage without a scratch, but I watch my 4 years of hard work towed away by a dump truck.  Imagine the heartbreak seeing the time and pure manly love that went into this gorgeous vessel that just disappeared in a flash.

21 years where something could have gone wrong with my engine, my brake lining, oil changes, suspension or whatever, but there was always these mechanics worrying about it and trying to fix it.  I had started off priceless, yet I will always accumulate in value.  My time with them should bring us closer, not drift us away.  I am a “good kid” because I always think about this analogy.  First and foremost, I want to succeed in whatever definition I place for “success”.  And second, I want to make my parents proud and give them the reward for putting up with me for so long.  How much frustration have I caused them?  How much do I owe them?  They will say I owe them nothing, but I think I will pay it back by teaching my children and showing them I figured out one of the most important puzzles.  (I’ll probably buy my dad a car and my mom some diamonds too.)

I am a life-long project.  My parents and brother have raised me and watched me discover myself into some sense of maturity or understanding of the vast world before me.  They’ve carefully planned everything one step ahead of me.  Whenever I thought about lying to them, they knew and they already had the next level of the tree filled.  It was so calculated, but I’m sure they would just say they made it up as they went along.  In my eyes, these were not responses or reactions to my decisions, but rather choices of actions based on a solvable game.  How could they know?  Why were they always right?  Every step of the way, they have been there with advice that would never corrupt me or see to my doom.  Although I may not see all of the angles they do, in the end, it never steered me in the wrong direction.  “You’ll understand when you get older” actually means something now – damn.  I am old enough to make my own decisions, but there will be no point in my life where I don’t consider their precautions – after all, they love me, and I love them.

~See Lemons Love Family and Friends