Where to begin, where to begin? I'm back in the saddle now, so to speak, and I fill very mixed emotions about my time away. It was great to get out of Chicago. I really have to do that on a regular basis to regroup, reassess, reinvigorate. That sort of thing. I dunno, just upon exit I always am reminded of who I am in the bigger picture and that is important if not at times frustrating.
But the whole going home thing was hard because of moving and packing and having to be a grown up for my parents. This was the first time I really felt that way. I mean, I think before I've feigned like I could take of them or that's what I do when they come to visit etc but this time I actually caught a glimpse of myself with my 72 year old parents and saw an adult side to myself that seems to be visible so early on in life. That is ok. I am ok with it, but I would be lying if I said it didn't freak me out a bit.
The bulk of the week was really dedicated to packing. Each day we would get up, drink coffee, watch deer or turkeys out the window, chat and then get to work. We started with the attic and worked our way down. I really only think in my week of working we accomplished about 1/8th or even 1/6th of what needs to be done. There are less than four weeks to pack up 35 years worth of stuff and I don't exactly know how they'll do it. I'll return in a couple of weeks to do a bit more, but I'm hoping some other family will step up.
I think the other thing strange about a trip like this is that it stirs up all these memories, especially as I spent a significant amount of time going through old things. I was given a trunk which I filled with all of the keepsakes and disposed of the rest. I really feel happy with that trunk. It has a lot of wonderful memories in it and I look forward to spending more time with it some years down the road.
One of the stranger things I spent time with was my old computer from college which has been sitting inactive in the attic for five years. On its hard drive I found all these electronic pieces of myself, like old emails and pixelated digital images taken when I was 19, 20, 21... It stirred up a lot and made me laugh a lot.
More concretely, I was able to talk a visual walk down memory lane that I thought I would share with all of you as I think it is worth a good laugh and maybe explains a lot. Below you will find the ubiquitous early childhood Sears portraits and some school photographs. I will show them in progression as they get better and better.
Ok, first off I was cute, right? That smile and the that pose, with the hand on the stool as I sit in front of the country scene. It is pretty priceless, but mostly of note would be that freaking amazing belt buckle. I was a big Ronald McDonald fan (the results of which you'll see soon) and apparently I thought it best to display him on my belt. Ronald, I saluted you.
Then we jump ahead a bit to a bridge scene with a conveniently placed rock for me to place the one and only beloved Ret Sylvester. See, back in like 85 or whatever, Cabbage Patch Dolls were all the rage and my sister-in-law worked in this department store where she was able to snag me one of the first ever Cabbage Patch Dolls. I mean, this guy was my best friend. Check out how my mom labeled the back of the photo.
Favorite friend! And let me tell you, he was indeed, causing that sweet smile on my little face.
Then we move ahead a bit, I'm in school, my style is becoming my own. Apparently this causes fireworks as I double layer my clothes and roll up my sleeves (I won't say I'm not doing this again now because I just might be). I remember I was pretty into "neon" clothing and I think this undershirt was one of my first ventures into that realm of fashion along with my "spike" haircut. This haircut never really suited me because my hair is fine and no amount of "Dep" could keep that cowlick in the front from falling down.
...this happened. Welcome to awkward, starring Davin and his chubby cheeks. Now I'm not gonna hate on that shirt, because I think that again was a bold sartorial choice and I stand by it this many years later, but the top button was not buttoned ironically, no, I was venturing into certified dorkdom. But wait, it get's worse...
Remember how I liked Ronald? It is starting to show, but you can't quite see it I'm sure because you are staring at my denim shirt and my bad haircut... oh and that floral tie (that I still have, and don't absolutely hate) purchased at Kmart (I can remember picking it out) all positioned carefully on that wicker chair! But, back to that haircut for a minute. Who is friends with a kid whose hair looks like this? I mean, frankly I would punch me. Notice how my smile has faded? That is me waiting to go through puberty. Praying "please God, help me to figure out how to wear less denim."
I will stop here for now. It only get zittier with braces and glasses and chubs chubs chubs. The good news is, I had these genes just waiting in the wings:
Yea, that gentleman right there did me right. He just needed to tell me I would have to be awkward for a long time before I would be able to carry the dapper nature of his senior portraits, although maybe I'm still waiting.
Ok! I'm looking forward to this week. I have some unexpected things in the works.
Some details to come.