Lauren: Part 2

“I wish I could call you. I wish you were still around.”

Those were the words I heard coming out of my car’s speakers the last time I passed her house.

My Spotify was on shuffle. I had not choose the song. I had not planned to go by her house. I was just on my way somewhere else, and where she lived happened to be along the way – the way she had taught me – to where I was headed. It was all totally random. Totally coincidental. But it didn’t feel like it.

It felt like Spotify was being a dirty, dirty bitch. That’s what it felt like. I didn’t even realize what song was playing on my stereo until that exact moment when I passed her house. I was just day dreaming, enjoying my drive, and then I heard those words. When I did, I looked right, and her house was directly alined with my car. “Motherfucker,” is what I probably mumbled next, half-chuckling at the incredible life fuck I just received.

You can always count on the good ole capital B life.

Wait; shit, my bad. This is all near the end of the story about her. I’m an asshole. Let me rewind a bit and tell you what happened after that first night with her before you all mutiny me. Although, you really should’ve guessed where this story was headed if you’re any good at being a pretend detective.


If things we’re only as simple as one night.

If all you needed was a feeling to make everything all right and to never have to worry about anything ever again. If all you needed was somebody. If all somebody else needed was you. Man, life would be awesome if all that were true. Unfortunately, life isn’t that simple. It’s a category-5 shit storm that teaches the best of us that we’re never fully in control; life is.

It’s just life.

Goddamn I’d give anything to be back in that redneck campground with her. Just living in that moment. Having everything be so simple again. Having everything I ever wanted back again.

My heart screams for her just thinking about it. (My heart feels like it gets stabbed every time I edit this and have to look at her picture again.)

It didn’t end after that one night though if that’s what you’re thinking. Fuck, if that would’ve been the case, and had she disappeared or something like that afterwards, I probably would’ve spent the rest of my life looking for her.

I’m not sure what happened next is any better.

You see, timing is everything my friends, and our relationship in the months that followed, that followed that amazing moment with her, the moment that changed my life, was a mix of the most amazing feelings and the most debilitating feelings all at the same time. Lauren was as hard to love as she was as easy to want.

You see, when we met Lauren wasn’t yet 21, so she had all sorts of ideas and plans and experiences yet to be had. Things I was never intended to be a part of. And even though love shouldn’t have been an obstacle to all that, it (I) was.

I knew this, because I too had just come out of a similar phase in my own life when I met her. Spending almost my entire undergrad experience in college being wild and crazy and void of responsibilities so that I could get whatever it was out of my system in order to be able to move forward.

So even though her circumstances were different, I knew there was a good chance she would eventually have to be set free in order for her to find any absolution in her life as well.

For her to choose me, like I had no choice but to choose her.

And I really didn’t have a choice. Not after that first night.

After that first night with her I was infatuated. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I didn’t want anything else but her. Everything about her awakened something new within me. The music she listened to was like discovering what songs had been playing in my head for years, the things she did (hiking, exploring, giving, etc.) were all the simple things I had forgotten how to do, and the way she looked at life was so innocent and beautiful that I found my soul begging to let go of my own artificial existence to join hers.

Even her body was the most attractive body I have ever seen. In fact, she was the only women I’ve ever been with that I can honestly say I never even thought of looking at another women when I was with her. She was the epitome of attraction to me. Not because I’d never seen or been with a woman who on ‘paper’ or in photos wasn’t prettier (I mean I already said that it wasn’t love at first sight), but because of all that she made me feel. And that’s just it, she made me feel. That statement probably says more about her than anything else. She stirred things inside me that I’ll never be able to explain, and that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replicate.

But, despite all that, the situation with her was what it was: it was not perfect timing. I’d realized the hard way that certain plans just have no way of not being a distraction if you don’t see them through, so even though I wasn’t sure what her future plans had held in them, I knew they were going to be plans without me in them.

To paint a better picture of our relationship for you: it was very much so a roller coaster of love. It was really real at times, but even during the best of times we had together, times when the energy between us felt like it could spontaneously combust at any moment, she would frequently stop it all and say stuff like, “This can’t be real.” Saying, in effect, that this couldn’t possibly be “it”; that it couldn’t possibly be the end of her road when she had yet to travel. Or, she would stop and say something like, “How are you doing that?” Effectively saying that she too couldn’t comprehend what she was feeling, or how to deal with it, but that she just wasn’t at a time and a place in her life where she could allow those things she was experiencing to solidify and become a part of her life either.

Man, to be the barrier to everything you could have ever hoped for in life, that is a unique feeling. To have everything you ever wanted right there in front of you and to have it want you back but not be able to give all of it to you completely, at least maybe not until you are out of the picture, that is a motherfucker.

Despite all this reinforcing what I already knew though, I still tried to make it work for a long time and allow myself the idea that I could just put up with only receiving a fraction of what was there in order to have those rare moments together when she forgot I wasn’t a part of her plans and gave into it all. It was almost worth it too.

Eventually though, I had to do what had to be done. I had to love her by letting her go.

Some say that is the greatest form of love. But letting everything I’d ever wanted go, everything I honestly could have never even imagined go, in hopes that it would one day return, that was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my life, and that’s saying something.

But before I go on though, I want to make sure I tell the whole story of her, so I want to stop here and say that decision wasn’t totally of my own doing, and that I was nudged a bit towards making that decision by someone else.

Right as I was debating whether or not to go forward with this decision of letting her go, one of her best friends told me that Lauren herself had told her that she was thinking of ending it soon herself.

I’ve never really known if that’s true, partially because Lauren told me after I broke up with her that she would’ve never broken up with me, and partially because I later realized that same person who told me these things had an attraction to me (an attraction that she later tried to do something about) which I was unaware of beforehand, but regardless of whether it was true or not, being told that definitely forced my hand to move forward with that decision. Because if she would’ve been the one that ended it all, that would have altered the way I had envisioned everything going down, and how the fairy tale story of her eventually coming back to me would’ve unfurled.

So, I broke up with her.



Chapter 4 – mini me

Chapter 4 – mini-me

I’ll be honest, I kinda liked mini me growing up despite all that ridiculous machismo I tried to copy. I was incredibly raw and wild, free and happy, and the world to me held countless possibilities. There was no can’t in my vocabulary, and I honestly believed I could do anything I wanted to.

Continue reading “Chapter 4 – mini me”

You Don’t Need Permission

You Don’t Need Permission

I thought long and hard about publishing this post with nothing but that headline.

In some ways I think that may have even been the best route to go. Who knows. You’re going to get a little more detail as to what I mean by that regardless. Continue reading “You Don’t Need Permission”


“I think people are obsessed with comfort to the point that they forget, if you don’t have any discomfort in your life how do you know when you feel good?” – Gary “Laz” Cantrell (Co-founder Barkley Marathons)

It’s time to get uncomfortable.

As the (former) manager of a small circuit training gym, I know that whenever someone walks through the door of the gym for the first time, that the person standing before me is the result of a life. A life that has been led in one way or another up until then. A life that is more or less comfortable to them, and that it’s going to take a whole lot more than diet and exercise to change that person into whatever they want to become. It’s going to take a new life (something very uncomfortable).

But I never tell them that, because we don’t sell ‘new lives’. Continue reading “Comfortable?”

Chapter 3 – All-American Boy

Chapter 3 – All-American Boy

“Isn’t that pretty much all men?”

That’s a question/statement I’ve gotten from a lot of women when I talk about my previous inability to be emotionally attached or available. As if they all are secretly head nodding as they relate. I think most women in America in fact have just accepted that we American men aren’t going to be someone they can count on to talk to about their feelings, or to share our thoughts with. At least, they don’t expect more than a head nod or occasional glance up from our electronic devices while doing so.

To have a man voluntarily talk about his feelings, in fact, would probably cause a member of the opposite sex to wonder if a pig is flying gleefully through the air somewhere. Yet, it’s the polar opposite if we were to turn things around and talk about women under the same premise.

I wonder, how did that become?

Continue reading “Chapter 3 – All-American Boy”

Real Love Songs


Featured photo via

Love Songs

Like many people, I love a good ballad, or some soul engulfing love song that promotes ALL THE FEELS.

A song you can turn on when you just wanna be engulfed in every little feeling you’re experiencing; like some giddy little school girl.

Orrrr, one of those songs that comes on your stereo and you swear your stereo is trying to fuck with you, and that somehow it knows you’ve just had your heart broken.

Regardless, I’m not sure all the traditional sappy tunes out there really represent what real love is like. The I will always love you’s of the world are far more Disney fairy tale than reality despite how much we adore them.

Real love, or just our experiences with love in general, are far more complicated.

To show what I mean, I have listed some love songs below that I feel more accurately represent real love: hard, complicated, painful, confusing, often disappointing, struggle filled, up and down, and just earth moving.

Continue reading “Real Love Songs”

Art (is for pussies)


I abruptly made an audition the other night for a local TEDx event. Although it was a wonderful experience and I gained a lot from it, I had not planned on talking that night. I didn’t even have a speech lined out (outside of a few abstract ideas that had been rolling around in my head). I was just there to check out the competition and get a better feel for the formatting of TEDx since I was under the assumption I would be auditioning the following week.

I was wrong.

Long story short, I thought I was registered for the following week and I was not. However, there were a few no-shows that night, so I had the ability to just go for it willy nilly.

Continue reading “Art (is for pussies)”