My great uncle - my grandma's younger brother - is visiting tomorrow for my house concert. He's a great guy, really laid back and optimistic, and I'm excited about seeing him. I'm also a little perplexed by his visit, though in a good way. I haven't seen him in over three years, and his visit is just for a night, just for my house concert, and then he's off to continue his globetrotting.
I got to know him best when I went down to visit him, his family, and my grandparents for Thanksgiving in 2002. He's a pretty rich guy, having gotten a job with IBM back when the company was just a start-up, and his house was beautiful - right on a lake, and right next to the guy who invented Viagra. No joke. I was also impressed with his taste; he loved folk, country, and rock music, and had his ears open for new bands despite being in his sixties. We've stayed in touch for the last few years, although I've never made it back down there for Thanksgiving like I had said I would at the time.
Because I haven't seen him in nearly three and a half years, my mind wandered back to that time. I think I saw him last at the high point in my life. I keep looking back at my second year of teaching as this apex of happiness that I hope to reclaim, and Unle Jerry's visit has me thinking about it again. Since that time three and a half years ago, the following events have occurred in my life:
1. First real relationship heartbreak that I'm still a little bitter about (maybe because she got married a couple months ago).
2. Major eye surgery on both eyes, near blindness, and the first health scare of my life.
3. I've gone from 190 to 220 pounds.
4. I've been to the lowest point financially I've ever been, as I was within days of having my car repossessed in summer 2003.
5. I was sued for $10,000 in a total bullshit case.
6. I got a second job (because of #4), and usually work 30 days a month.
7. My car was booted right around when #4 was occurring, and I still cringe at the amount of money that I had accrued in late fees.
8. I came within inches of getting laid off.
Some great things have happened, though, too:
1. First trip overseas (Italy, 2003) (see #4 and #6)
2. I was made head coach of the varsity baseball team at school.
3. I achieved tenure as well as a certain amount of respect in my career.
4. Cemented friendships through both jobs, social sports, roommates, and more.
Still, even with the positives, the first list exceeds the second. However, there's a certain pride I have in making it through the first eight. But I worry, as I'm about to see someone I haven't seen in over three years, that I've hardened to the world a bit. Compared to the person I was in November of 2002, I am less confident and quieter. I'm worried that what Uncle Jerry is going to see is that my life has gotten harder, my body has gotten softer, and my hair has grown thinner.
Or maybe he won't really care. Screw this paralysis through analysis. I'm excited to see Uncle Jerry, who is coming all the way up from North Carolina for my house concert. He's even coming early to help me move furniture. My parents haven't even come to a house concert before. This is awesome. Fuck overthinking. Uncle Jerry, I'll see you tomorrow.
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