Tag Archives: relationships

Friday Evening Ramblings – 11/18/16

I’m making every effort to fill my life with people who inspire and nurture my creativity. Because of circumstances, my circle has gotten much smaller over the last couple of years, and after all I’ve endured and experienced, I simply have no more tolerance for lies, deceit, negativity, or anything else that distracts from my creative process. I am who I am–the good and bad, the pretty and ugly, the kindness and the scars. I’m all or nothing, full-tilt, pedal-to-the-floor-when-I-believe-in-something, and if you can’t accept me as I am and be fully open and honest with me, there’s no more room in my life for you.

I’m D.A. emeffing Adams, and I stomp upon this terra with all of the life spark that burns inside me.

I acknowledge that I have many flaws: I’m emotional and moody at times. I’m obsessive (um, writer). I can be overly dramatic and even melodramatic, too. I have serious trust issues because my ex-wife hid a relationship from me for years. I can brood with the best of them, and for the love of god please don’t piss me off. Oh yeah, and there’s that felony thing, as well. I acknowledge my baggage and don’t try to sweep it under the rug.

But I’m also kind and gentle; generous to a fault; tender and compassionate; supportive; funny; and one of the most loyal people you will ever meet. When I love, I love with all of my heart and soul, and I don’t know any other way. When I set my mind to something, I accomplish that task or work at it until all of my resources are exhausted. I’m a good listener, a good shoulder, and a rock for those who need it. All in all, I still think my good outweighs my bad, and I hope the people who still call me a friend will agree.

I hold out hope that one day I’ll meet the right woman who will love and appreciate me for not only my writing and creativity but also for my passion for the outdoors and rough-around-the-edges ways. But I also accept that it may never happen. I’m damaged and scarred, so maybe I’m no longer fit for a relationship. Despite it all, I still believe in love. I still believe that there’s a lot of love for me to share, and even if I can’t find the right woman to share my life with, I can share that love with my friends and family and even the world.

At the end of my road, I want to look back and see a life that mattered. One filled with creativity (right now I can’t say I’ve accomplished all that I’m capable of). One filled with love, compassion, peace, serenity, and laughter. One filled with the pursuit of knowledge and the sharing of that knowledge with others. One filled with an appreciation of both the sun and rain, for it takes both to make things grow. I want my life to be more than the accumulation of stuff or the acquisition of money. I want to leave this world a little better than I found it.

That’s all for now.

Let’s Build Our Community

From the outset, I intended for The Brotherhood of Dwarves to bind together a community of like-minded people.  I know I’m not alone in my weariness of the fear-mongering media, corporate fascism, varying degrees of religious intolerance, and divisive  politics that have ripped apart our society.  I would like to see this site become a place where we can discuss the real issues we need to address and not be bombarded by the pseudo-debates of Chik-Fil-A or Duck Dynasty that are little more than overblown publicity stunts.  I would like a community where we can disagree about our religious preferences without attacking each other’s intelligence levels. Let’s grow this community into a forum for discussing, with open minds and critical analysis, the issues we face.

At its heart, my series is about the triumph of personal relationships over materialism.  It’s a message I believe our culture, especially the current generation, needs to hear now more than ever.  I know this message is important.  I know it needs to reach a broader audience.  I also know that because that message contradicts the corporate narrative, it will never be accepted by the mainstream.  As has been the case from day one, I will have to grow my audience one reader at a time, but if we can turn this community into one that is more interactive and supportive, with open discussions, I believe we can create a beacon of light for those seeking answers as to why materialism is so unfulfilling.

That will be my focus moving forward, to create a community for people who need to find their place in a world that is overrun by greed, fascism, and commercialism.  I hope you will help out by commenting on more posts and engaging in open discussions.  That’s all for now.

Venting Ramblings

This post will be highly personal, so if you don’t like that sort of thing, stop reading and find some cat memes.  There’s a high probability that I’ll use a considerable amount of profanity, too.  Just so we’re clear, this post won’t be optimistic or upbeat; it won’t be about my children or my books or education.  No this post is a diatribe directed at the women who have done me wrong, and I don’t care if they ever read it.  There are just a few things I need to get off my chest.  Anyone who disagrees with any of the facts as I state them is free to start their own blog and write whatever version they believe to be true.  However, for this post, I will delete any bullshit comments that I don’t want to see.

I’ll start with what I see as my biggest flaws as a man and partner.  I have a temper.  I can keep my cool really well up to a point, but once you cross that line, I will explode, and yes, I can be quite frightening when I snap.  For clarity’s sake, let me also interject that I’ve never ever struck a woman, so please, don’t get the wrong impression of me.  When I’m tired, I become withdrawn and distant.  When I’m stressed, I become even more so.  I can take this to some pretty far extremes, so I know that can make me a difficult man to live with.  I’m possibly one of the most stubborn assholes you’ll ever meet.  Don’t believe me?  Piss me off or tell me I can’t accomplish something.  I’m also a creative scatter brain and quite messy.  I recognize these flaws in myself and accept that they can make living with me a challenge.

But I still believe my positives as a man and human being far outweigh my negatives.  First and foremost, if I’ve ever told you that you were the only woman in my life, I fucking meant it.  You never had to wonder where I was or who I was with, ever.  I went to work and came home to you.  If I hadn’t wanted the commitment, I would’ve remained single.  If you had doubts about that, those were your own insecurities coming out, not anything I intentionally did.  If my fidelity wasn’t valuable to you, I don’t know what to tell you.  You had men before me who were unfaithful, so you should’ve known what it was worth.

Okay, so I’m not romantic.  I get that you want that unrealistic, Hollywood version of the man who never forgets flowers and always knows the perfect thing to say, but guess what?  That’s fucking make believe.  I expressed my love by doing the dishes, putting up the laundry, mowing the yard, holding your hand, touching you tenderly, and sharing the deepest parts of myself with you.  I don’t know how how else to show my feelings without it seeming phony to me.  Maybe I didn’t do enough in your eyes, but I know I tried my best.  I tried to comfort you when you were distressed, give you a shoulder to lean on when you wanted it, and listen when you needed to rant.  Unless you pushed me beyond my limit, I was kind, considerate, and gentle (if you made my temper flare, you saw a side not so kind and considerate).  I treated you as my equal, not my servant or nurse or personal chef.  I rarely ever asked you specifically to do something for me, and I often returned the favor if I did, whether it be stopping at the store or grabbing something from the fridge.  I know that’s not romance, but god damn isn’t being treated decently worth anything?

I stood by you through difficulties, like infertility or your teenage son running away for a fucking month.  I held you to sleep on nights when you cried.  I gave you something strong and stable to lean on, and if I ever ran away, it was because you made me feel like all that I am and all that I gave was not appreciated or respected.  I only turned my back on you because you made me feel unwanted, and I’m too proud and too stubborn to stay any place where I’m not wanted.  However, my loyalty for standing by you through your lowest was never repaid, at least not in full.  You can argue that if you like, but I know it in my heart.

I can accept when a relationship ends.  I can accept that people grow apart or realize things aren’t working.  I can move on.  I can allow feelings to dissolve over time.  What gets to me is cruelty.  Whether it was leaving me on Christmas Day, cheating on me, sending me insulting messages, spreading rumors about me that simply aren’t true, or finding ways to twist the knife just one more time, it bothers me because I know I fucking deserve better.  I’ve never in this life done anything to deserve some of cruel things you did to me.  You’ve tried to twist it around to somehow make me the bad guy, but I know I didn’t hide an affair behind your back for eleven years or misplace anger that should’ve been directed at your sons.  I tried everything I could not to start fights and avoid them, but I will admit my fault of allowing you to push me beyond my limit and then getting ugly.

I admit that working in education has made me financially strapped.  I admit I can’t afford nice things, especially now with child support.  I live humbly and don’t really mind.  You claimed you wanted a simple life.  You claimed you didn’t want or need me to support you, but whenever things got rough, you made damn sure to throw in my face that I can’t give you all the materialistic bullshit.  You made damn sure to tell me about those who could.  In the end, it really was all about the money.  Deny it all you want, but I’m fairly certain my good qualities would’ve been more than enough if Brotherhood had roared up the charts.  If you’re reading this, yes, you.  You can say whatever, but actions speak louder.

I have no idea what my future holds.  I have no idea if I’ll ever have another relationship or if I’ll grow old and feeble alone.  I’m trying my damnedest not to grow cold and bitter, but when I think about unappreciated I’ve been, it’s not easy.  You didn’t appreciate the person I am, the kindness and decency and simple goodness.  You didn’t accept my faults.  You may say you did, but you always found a way to criticize me in some way.  If you’re reading this, yes, you.  I’m not willing to allow another woman ever to disrespect the decency I offer again.  I’m far from perfect, but I fucking damn sure deserve better than what you gave me, and I won’t ever allow anyone to treat me as a doormat ever again.  Deny it if you want, but I know how you made me feel, and I didn’t deserve that.  Time will be my test.  I hope to live long enough to see what one day after the other reveals, and if it reveals that I’m completely wrong, I’ll swallow my pride and reexamine myself.  Until that day, I will try to keep love and decency in my heart and push back against the creeping bitterness.

Late Night Ramblings

My apologies for not posting more frequently of late, but while the boys were here, I was preoccupied with them, and then, during their last few days, Collin came down with a wicked illness.  He was kind enough to share, and it knocked all of us flat for several days.  I’ve been fighting this crud for over a week and am still not back to full speed.  It turned out to be two different things at work at the same time, which is why it ended up being so brutal.  Hopefully, both have run their course, and I’ll be able to get back to work soon.

Overall, we had a good trip, despite the illness.  The boys loved Louisville, and we had a good family cookout for Independence Day.  The boys also got to spend more time with their papaw this trip than any other, and that made me happy.  As usual, the time wasn’t enough, and they both begged to stay longer. However, we got more this summer than last, and I’m hoping to get even more next year.  I miss them now more than ever because they’re getting so big.  I’m missing out on so much, and it kills me.

There’s a lot I want to write about, so I’m gonna try to put out a few entries over the next few days to cover everything I want to share.  That’s all for now.  Hope you enjoy the pics.

Sparklers before the show.
Finn helping me set up the fireworks.
Collin playing with Papaw.
Finn playing with a Tonka.
I like this pic of me.

Tuesday Afternoon Ramblings

Dear sons, this is a cautionary tale about abusing drugs and alcohol.  Right now, you are too young to comprehend this piece, but as you grow older, I hope you’ll read it and heed my warnings.

Drugs are tempting.  The temporary high can be exhilarating, and the escape from reality can seem like the answer to all of your problems.  But when it comes to drugs, both the high and the escape are lies.  Over time, your body will build up tolerance for the drug, and you will need more and more of it to achieve the high, until you reach a point when you need it simply to feel normal.  The escape is an even bigger lie because once you come down, all of your problems are still there, and more often than not those problems have become compounded by mistakes you made while high.

I have witnessed many lives destroyed by drugs, people with promise and potential who threw away their futures to temporarily feel good in the present.  I’ve seen firsthand entire families ripped apart by addictions because drugs don’t just affect the user.  Personally, I lost my relationships with my grandmother and grandfather because of the addictions of my aunt and cousins, and to this day I carry a lot of guilt for losing those relationships even though I wasn’t the one with the problem.  The addicts bankrupted and drained my grandparents dry, sending them both to their graves earlier than they should have gone and robbing them of joy during their final few years.

In short, sons, drugs suck.

Alcohol is no better.  In fact, because it is legal and considered socially acceptable, in many ways, it can be a worse addiction.  Again, I’ve personally witnessed talented, intelligent people destroy their lives trying to find the bottom of a bottle.  Well, there is no bottom, and once you cross the line from casual drinker to dependent, crossing back over becomes exceptionally difficult.  You both need to be wary of alcohol because the addiction is prevalent on both sides of your family, and you have close relatives who lost their lives because of it.

I can also tell you that when I was younger, I struggled with alcohol.  By the age of 22, I was very nearly a full-blown alcoholic, but fortunately, I was able to pull myself back from that abyss.  I believe that my abuse of alcohol in my teens and early twenties has contributed greatly to the delays in finding success because I derailed myself early on, and it took me many years to get myself back on track.  Today, by the grace granted to me, I can enjoy casual drinking, but every single day, I am wary of slipping back down that dark slope.

My hope for both of you is that you never have to face either of these issues firsthand, but the odds say you will, either with your own battles or through close friends and loved ones.  Just know, that if that day comes, whether you are facing it yourself or dealing with someone who is, I will be there for you as much as I can.  However, there will be a limit to what I can and will do for you because in the end you will be the ones who have to choose whether or not you allow drugs and alcohol to ruin your lives.  From my experiences, I already know that I will not allow them to ruin mine.

Friday Morning Ramblings

Dear sons, I want you to know what an amazing, beautiful place this world can be.  Of course, there are difficulties and adversities to overcome, but there are also triumphs and splendors to relish.  I want both of you to search for and see the beauty on this earth because life truly is what you make of it.  If you wallow in the negative and allow the bad people to engulf you, your life will be miserable, but if you accept the bad as opportunities to learn and grow, then you can appreciate the good.  Simply put, your life on this earth can be either heaven or hell, and the only thing that determines which is your attitude.

That’s not to say the hard times and bad people can’t be challenging.  There will come moments in your life when you feel hopeless.  There are obstacles that will seem insurmountable.  There are pains that feel overwhelming.  But even the worst storms of my life have eventually passed, and once they have gone, I’ve come out the other side a better man, not because there is anything special about me but because I’ve allowed myself to learn and mature.  Sitting here at 39 and looking at my life, I can honestly say that today I understand the importance of how my attitude and perspective shape the way I respond to both the good and bad.

For you boys, I hope you learn this early and follow it throughout your lives.  You will be much happier and healthier if you live with a positive attitude.  Life has a way of giving back to you what you send out, and the people who are the most miserable, in my experience, are the people who wallow in self-pity and look for someone or something to blame and never learn to accept their own part in their failures.  On the other hand, the happiest are those who take responsibility for their own lives, learn from their mistakes, and forgive the people who have wronged them.  That’s the kind of person I want you both to grow into.

The best advice I can give you for achieving this end is to find pleasure in and appreciate the mundane.  Notice and relish as many sunrises and sunsets as you can, for each is unique and spectacular.  Notice the beauty and sophistication of nature, for even the simplest blade of grass is a miracle of complexity.  Respect and appreciate the fragility of life, all life, for death is the one bond we all share, from the simplest bacteria to the most complex person.  If you’ll wake each day aware of these simple things and appreciate each day as a new opportunity to have a positive impact on the world, you will be much happier, and my wish for both of you is to find your happiness and live your lives growing into the best of who you are.

Tuesday Morning Ramblings

Part of my healing process to become a better man, father, and partner has been to re-evaluate my life and look at all the twists and turns and missteps I’ve traveled.  I’ve worked in pizza on virtually every level, including mostly delivery; sweated and shivered in warehouses; drove a short-haul truck route; built a greenhouse; ran the front desk of hotels; cleaned tables as a bus boy; fallen on my face in retail; sold advertising, cars, and timeshare; tutored kids; lectured on composition, business communications, and speech; written books, short stories, articles, and Ramblings; and toiled at a variety of menial labor positions.  From each of these experiences, I’ve learned something about myself and others and life in general.

While not every choice I’ve made has been right, I wouldn’t trade one moment of my past for anything better.  Each step, each failure, each new attempt has brought me to today, to the man I’ve grown into.  I happen to like this man.  Sure, I’m stubborn and proud, battered and bruised, but I’m also more steadfast and dedicated to accomplishing my goals.  I’ve learned our greatest strengths as a species are our capacity for compassion and ability to forgive.  I’ve learned that through giving of ourselves without expectation of return we find peace and contentment.  Even the smallest act of simple kindness can impact a person’s life profoundly.

I’m still a work and progress and have much patience and maturity to learn.  I’m trying hard to let go of the anger and pain I feel towards those who have wronged me, and I’m hoping for forgiveness from those I’ve wronged.  I’m grateful for each and every person who takes the time to read one of my books or silly Ramblings, and I’m humbled whenever someone finds entertainment or inspiration from what I’ve written.  I’m blessed to have my health on the mend and grateful for each new day, each new opportunity to do something positive with my life.  I’m grateful for all the friends and loved ones in my life; you are the greatest blessing a person could ask for.

I’ve learned to define success on my terms, without the  encumbrance of preconceived expectations, and while I’m not financially where I want to be, in many ways, I’m more successful than I ever imagined possible.  I’ve learned who I am and what I’m worth as a man, a father, a friend, and a lover, and that knowledge alone is worth all of the hardships.  I’ve learned that nothing worth having comes easy, and while that may seem trite and mundane and cliche, it’s one of the truest truths in this world.  All I can do, as a work in progress, is keep working hard, keep learning, keep growing, keep maturing, and keep striving.  That is my path to my definition of success, and I will walk that path with my eyes open, my shoulders held high, and my head slightly bowed.  In that manner, I will traverse my road, and in that manner, I will enjoy the journey.