It was a year later and The Old Man was gone. Mom decided to take us all on a trip to Beaver Creek, Colorado for ten days. This was before Dave and Lisa were married.
I was only home for a few months. I was back from the farm in late September and still re-acclimating to the regular world. There rules from the farm were a thing of the past. I was free to listen to music or go out or eat whenever I chose. I was free to do several things; however, I was still adjusting to the change in my surrounding.
I had to get used to life back in the real world. I had to shed the habits that come with institutional living.
Admittedly, I grew accustomed to life on the farm. I was comfortable there. I was someone important on the farm and part of something. We all were part of it, which is what helped me to feel comfortable.
I knew everyone around me. I knew who they were and where they came from. I knew about their life and they knew about mine.
I also knew they could not and would not judge me because we were in the same place and going through the same things.
The rest of the world is not like this. No, in the real world, most people move too quickly to care. Most are self-absorbed. They have their on agenda.
Back on the farm, I always had someone there to speak with, in the real world, I had to monitor what I said and who I spoke with.
Suffice to say, I was uncomfortable. Safe to say that I had to readjust. I had to find out how to interact with people again. All the while, I had to maintain myself and a program which still seemed so foreign to me.
In the beginning, my social life was very quiet. I never went out much. I wanted to go out but the old friends were doing old things and the last thing I wanted to do was the old things that put me on the farm.
I had to relearn how to speak. What I mean by this, I had to learn how to interact on a social level without any mask to hide behind and without acting or posing with an image.
Previous to the farm, my experience with romance was minimal at best. I had girlfriends but none of them lasted long. I had sex too but in fairness, I had no idea what I was doing and most of what I did was one-sided. At best, it was rare to have an episode that was mutually beneficial.
Then again, my introduction to romance was never taught to me by anyone that was truly romantic. I learned a few things by a guy named Johnny the Rug, which if the name dictates anything about his character, obviously, I was learning from the wrong people.
Mom decided to book a trip to Beaver Creek. This is one of the most expensive trips I have ever taken in my life. We stayed at the best hotel. We stayed in a place where the stars go for their vacations. We had it all planned. We would eat the best foods and ski and laugh and forget the fact that December 29th was the one year anniversary of my Father’s passing.
It was supposed to be great. The flight was long but nothing feels so bad when flying in first class. We were excited. I was excited too. We landed in one of the most beautiful parts of our great country. I saw snow capped mountains. I saw the clean blue sky. Then I saw the inside of the airport. Then I saw the baggage claim and I was about to see the inside of the limo/bus that was taking us to the hotel but as soon as the automatic doors opened, I was hit with a flash of Colorado air, which caused something known as altitude sickness.
We were there for ten days . . .
I was sick and bedridden for seven of them . . .
I watched movies. I watched television. I looked outside and saw the mountains, It was beautiful. I admit it. But it was no fun to be in the hotel room by myself.
Finally though, I started to feel a little better. I walked around the hotel. I met a few people. I met a girl from Texas (I think.)
She was with her family and little sister but she offered to ditch the kid and meet up with me later. She had blue eyes and long, blonde hair. She was pretty and extremely friendly.
I’m not sure what intimidated me. Was it her looks? Was it the difference in our accents? Was it the fact that her family was the kind of wealthy that could buy and sell my entire hometown without even thinking about it?
Or was it me?
Was it the fact that I never really learned how to interact with people?
It was New Year’s and she had asked me to meet up after. She said she would look for me. She said she wanted to meet up later and get to know one another.
She said a lot of things but instead, I went back to the room, went to sleep, and then at some hour, Mom woke up and could barely breathe so the hotel called an ambulance. We spent a good part of New Year’s Day in a Colorado hospital.
Some vacation, huh?
We laughed about this. And I get it. Mom didn’t want to be around the house on the anniversary of Pop’s death.
Hands down, this was the most awkward, unfortunate and unforgettable New Year’s of my life. But I smile as I write this. I smile because at least we were all together. I smile because I found a way to come out of my shell. And I laugh because it was a good thing I ditched that girl from Texas. Otherwise, Mom might not have done so well.
I look back at my memories. I look back at my New Year’s past and I think about the tough ones and the bad ones. I think about the person I was and then I think about how fast a full year comes and goes.
Trust me when I say in no time at all, we will be at this point in 2019, about to welcome 2020 while looking back and thinking about how fast the year flew by.
The things that are important today probably won’t be as important then. We will be another year older. Hopefully, we will be another year wiser. And once more, if it is in the cards, we will all get the chance to celebrate another trip around the sun, together, here on Project Earth
Happy New Year, folks.
Let’s make it a good one!