Balance.

Been wracking my brain over the last few days for what I was going to write about. Needed to write about something but couldn’t get right back into some of the things I have written previously. Not feeling drained, more like released from so much that I have consciously or subconsciously been holding on to for years.

Decided that writing about balance, and my struggle with it throughout my life would be a good place to start. I am still trying to find a sense of balance within this website, even. I have begun typing this out on May Twenty-Sixth, Twenty-Seventeen. My last post was May Seventeenth, Twenty-Seventeen. Just one day short of one month — from the day this website was started.

In that time, one month; fifty-one pieces were published.

Balanced out to just about half old, half new. I cranked away night by night. So much that I caused a little bit of a rift in my marriage for a few days. I lost a sense of balance in myself and my life. Focused solely on this website and writing — I saturated myself in them. Like the true addict I am. Found something new and interesting, took my fancy, and I dived headlong in. Had it not been for Megan I may have run myself into the ground affecting me and us in all sorts of negative ways.

Balance is something I have always struggled with. Plenty sure there is an earlier memory about it that my parents could recall, but one that sticks out to me most is when Pokémon first came out for the Game Boy. I was in the second grade. Had a friend at that time, Michael. We would hang out after school every Monday before his parents got home from work — so he would have company and could skip day-care.

After booting up Pokémon for the first time, though. Hanging out with Michael didn’t matter to me so much.

Enthralled by this new world that took the gameplay style I had learned from playing Final Fantasy titles, added cute creatures to collect and level, and was portable. I could play anywhere in the house and get away from everyone to play alone if I wanted to. It was the perfect escape. Which video games have proven time and time again — are. For me, and many others I can only assume.

The first Monday after getting Pokémon Blue (Alan got Red) as a gift I didn’t take the bus to Michael’s. He didn’t take the bus either — Michael went to day-care that day. I had told Michael some nonsense about why I couldn’t be at his place. Couldn’t tell you what. When I got home I don’t remember anyone else being present, though the tiles in the kitchen or walkway had recently been re-done. Was in possession of a key to the house but don’t think anyone was expecting me home — so they weren’t.

Awesome. One of my favorite things in the world is a silent, empty house.

There’s something about it. I feel in complete control of my surroundings and in my element. In those times really nothing should happen that I don’t want to. You know, in the realm of a normal calm sunny day, in the privacy of my home.

So I did what my eight year old self wanted to do, and had been thinking about all day. I ran upstairs, grabbed my Game Boy, and plopped down on the stairs to play. Couldn’t have been very far in at this point, but it had its hooks in me deeply. Doesn’t take much for a video game, movie, or any creative media — honestly. A half an hour or more must have gone by before my mom walked through the front door and asked me what the heck I was doing on the stairs with my Game Boy.

Knowing me, some good ol’ baloney came out. My mom had already gotten a phone call from Michael’s about the bullspit excuse I spewed. So she was legitimately just checking to see if I would tell the truth or not. Mom is good at that.

We had a good long talk after that. About balance, and what is important.

What friendships can provide that video games can’t, and how doing what I did would make Michael feel. I abandoned something that meant a lot to a person because I wanted to play in an imaginary world.

Still have a lot of difficulty with balance, and priorities, and how to get them right. Not professionally — there’s an iron fist in life about that able to keep me in tow. Free time though, how I manage it, what I do with it. Still a daily struggle for me.

I am an addict. I have written about that a few times now. I like to get addicted to things. Now, I am not a twelve-stepper, nor do I adhere to the normal living style of recovering addicts. I still drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. Those are two substances I believe I can control myself with and be a functioning adult perfectly well. I have seen alcohol kill plenty of people I am close to or affect them severely negatively. I really just like a glass of scotch or a beer after a long day to take off the edge. I enjoy the taste, and I don’t often get a buzz, but I do feel better about life.

Regardless of how this living style is perceived by other recovering addicts or people who are not addicts at all, I don’t care.

My current personal and professional life give evidence to my ability to be a responsible adult with these decisions, so that’s all I need to provide if you want to question me. Barring a little coke after the death of my cousin, Paul (which is the only drug I have said I would not say no to if it was in front of me, though would not seek out), I have not touched anything aside from pot and alcohol in nearly ten years.

Well, there was that time where I did some molly, also not long after Paul’s death. My [redacted] [redacted] put it best when he refused, though. “There’s nothing else I can learn from it any more”. Lo and behold, I didn’t. Spent more time trying to figure out what the hell it was cut with that I could see in it and feel in my system than actually enjoying it. Done with that one for a lifetime now.

With that said, the things that I was truly addicted to: cigarettes, personal relationships with people brought closer due to hallucinogenic & drug induced experiences, the rush of trying a new substance, and opiates. Those I really do my damnedest to stay away from.

Opiates are a tough one, because our society medically just doesn’t think about it all that much. How it is literally lab manufactured legal heroin. How addictive it is, and how many lives it destroys without proper monitoring, after care, or an alternative. I have had pain killers within these years, struggled with them as well. I am glad to have family support around me when prescribed painkillers. Things would get terribly ugly otherwise.

Feel like I have lost my way on a few paths here in this piece, but both have to do with balance, and my struggle with it.

I was imbalanced even in the beginning of this website. Thinking I could legitimately handle forcing myself to put out two things per day after I ran out of old things.

This piece was a long way of me talking about my issues with balance, and how I am doing this website almost entirely for me. I really, truly appreciate any and all audience, but also need to recognize balance and to keep myself grounded. I do not need to set precedent about how often posts will go live. I also do not need to feel guilty about when there is nothing new up some days. Nobody is paying me to do this, I do this because I desire it.

So, in the future, still expect my posts to come out at eight o’ clock in the morning. Just don’t expect them every day. Sometimes they will be, sometimes they won’t be. I am going to try and have a little bit more balance in my life, and keep things a little bit more realistic for my health.

As always, thank you for reading. The fact that I have an audience means the world to me and does push me to keep writing.

I was afraid that I would find it difficult to write again after over a week off — but as usual, the fear makes it a lot more difficult than it really is. Especially after getting started.

Thank you for reading and following. If you have any interest in looking for things I have written that you have not read yet. Please check the table of contents, here.

©2017 Trevor Elms
A name and relation has been removed from this piece for anonymity. It will not be added in the future.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2006

 

Ride.

Megan is an Extrovert — with introverted tendencies. I am an introvert, which I have written about a few times. This means that we’ve literally had to work with our marriage counselor about talking, and how much of it I can handle.

How to properly express myself when there has been too much talking and I need to take a break from it. Likewise, for Megan to see this as not being a slight against her and to be able to respond calmly with understanding in kind.

True communication. Recognizing, at base, who each other are as people so that the small things that pile up on a day by day basis do not tear us apart from the foundations. True love in that fashion as well. We love each other with such depth that we want to continually work to communicate better, and reduce the daily friction that occurs between people.

One of the ways we do this is by experiencing things together in which we are not allowed, or cannot easily talk.

Something that we can then have an entire conversation about afterwards that I am not only engaged in, but am incredibly excited to jabber in detail. Movies either at home or in the theater, musicals, plays, and I’ve even dragged myself to some ballet with Megan as it was Swan Lake, after all.

We do plenty of experiences with talking as well, usually to a bar or a sporting event. I really like to listen to people talk in public. Some people call it eavesdropping, I call it observation. So when Megan and I are in a place where I feel like people could and would be doing the same to me, I don’t like to talk very much. I’m a fairly private person in public. Loud spaces make me more me — I’m willing to speak my mind more freely when the evidence in front of me tells me I am much harder to be heard.

Funny to write about being a private person in public, considering all this private information I am writing about myself for the world to see. Though, when it comes to representing myself in writing, I’ve pretty much been free with myself online since before my teens. Also at least, when it comes to who I am as a person — I don’t mind people being able to read it. My thoughts can be edited here — I’m bad at editing my spoken word at times.

Back to experiences, though. Ones where Megan and I don’t get to talk much. I’m going to write a sentence now that I think some people have a hard time understanding — or it will offend them.

Every time I get on my motorcycle I am comfortable with the idea that it may be my last time.

Megan and I haven’t spoken about it yet, though I am sure we will before this is posted in the morning. I am fairly positive she is comfortable with this now, too — and I never begrudge anyone who isn’t. You have to be to get on one of the things. If you don’t think about that decision before getting on one, you should.

Recently Megan and I truly started riding together. I have owned my motorcycle for four years and crashed it twice. Once my fault, the other not. It’s been two years since my last accident. I learn more through my accidents than anything else, and I learned a lot from those.

Don’t think I am a newbie, either. I grew up riding dirt bikes with my friend Jake in his back yard. Took the motorcycle class, got my endorsement, and then rode a moped for a significant amount of miles in Hawai’i before I got wasted and it got stolen.

Riding a motorcycle is like the rest of life, you can be cautious, but it is just as unpredictable.

So to have Megan finally comfortable, so comfortable and trusting she closes her eyes on rides, means the world to me. We do not ride dangerously, we ride extremely defensively and can count out by number when we get home how many accidents we avoided — as well as where we could have died had we not been aware.

We go on these rides together, sharing an experience that no one else will ever get. We see the breathtaking Colorado landscape and sunset — carving in the curves along it.

Knowing full well that if this is our last, it’s our last together.

That is one of the very best things about riding my motorcycle with Megan. It is an experience we share together where at any moment, we could both perish. I know that sounds terrifying to people — but I have have found that being scared of death itself is a great way to not actually live. It’s a great way to hold yourself back from things you want.

When Megan and I get on that motorcycle together, we are comfortable with the idea of Death taking us under its cloak and never letting go. We’re not asking for it, we don’t want it. We sure as hell don’t spend the entire ride worrying about it, though.

No, it’s that slight level of fear that is needed to ride and stay safe. The one that can be acknowledged but conquered. With warm air flowing all around, and a rumbling engine beneath. It’s that feeling of taking back some of the choices life makes for us, and making a choice for ourselves. Doing and experiencing what we want, because it makes our daily life more enjoyable and brings us closer together as people and as a couple.

Riding is one of the many things Megan and I do as opposites so that we can communicate better and enjoy each others’ company better. It’s quickly become one of our very favorite things to do now that Megan is so much more comfortable than she used to be.

Now we can go through this year’s catalogue to pick out a better seat and louder pipes for the highway — because the thing is completely paid off! I wrote about catharsis and football, how there are things that give me great release. I just feel better about life after a ride. Not even football compares to how happy and complete I feel as a person — when Megan is on the back of my motorcycle and we are riding through beautiful scenery.

I’m really happy that as the years go on we are still finding new ways to properly enjoy and appreciate each others’ company. I look forward to seeing what rides we map out next in life.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms, Megan Elms Pictured. ©2017

 

Gun.

Recently I wrote in my story Grocery about my fears of losing my mind and potentially going to jail for it. This is going to be the story of how I kept my cool as best I have since my legal troubles — and how I nearly went to prison for it anyways.

I was on probation for felonies, aware that this meant I was unable to own a gun. My awareness however seemed to skip over the fact that I could not even handle a gun. For months I’d been going up to the mountains shooting with a friend.

I am comfortable with and know how to properly handle a firearm.

At this time I was working for Hustle Paintball — and if I wasn’t the Operations Manager yet, was very close to it. Small place, I got in at the basement. I was “important”. Because of this I knew the combination to the gun safe as well as the fact that it already had a handgun with a round in the chamber — and a full magazine to go in case of emergency. I want to say it was a glock.

I look forward to when I do, because I can — I have not held a gun since last holding that one.

I was working late in our first retail location. We had extended some hours of the week to around eight at night and took shifts taking care of it. This was paintball, and I love the sport — but we had plenty of bad customers like any industry.

The particular type of customer I am talking about is the kind that likes to talk really big, buy really small, and then return something after it has been used for a full day. That type of customer.

We as a respectable establishment had allowed it to go on long enough, and stopped allowing it. Then the customer stooped to sending his kid in alone, trying to guilt us into giving the refund.

I had finally had it that day. I wasn’t going to give him the refund no matter what. I explained to the kid exactly what his dad was doing and how it wasn’t cool. That no person with respect would be doing that.

I don’t think dad liked that very much. After the kid left the store, most likely to relay everything just said — he came in with a very large huff.

Now I am not a large man, but I am not small either. I’m more of an actual man now, physically than I was then — and it seems I have gotten slightly taller as well. I was at this time a good 5′ 11″ (and some change), 195 lbs., though.

This chucklehead about my height, maybe a little shorter — looked like his upper half was just sweating with the steroids in his blood stream. Certainly seemed to enjoy his tanning beds, too.

Hey, you do you, I got no problems with it — just don’t be this guy aside from that. I’m only describing him.

With this wild character established, I can continue about how he charged in across an overly large, open, and empty retail area. He had such purpose and anger in his strides. It was really a sight to behold — how confident he was that his money was going to be returned to him and that he would be allowed to continue shopping at the establishment. Like a retail location can’t handle losing a single unreasonable customer.

The veins in his neck were already popping when he addressed me as “kid” — I believe I was twenty-one at this time. Definitely a kid in many ways, definitely didn’t like being called that. It’s been long now and I tuned him out enough during — so I can’t remember minute details of the dialogue.

I just remember a lot of flapping arms and pointing, with threats of friends and loss of money.

I remember telling him politely over and over that his business was no longer allowed at the establishment. That we would not be accepting his return or his refund, as our legal return policy stated we did not have to — and that I would like him to leave the premises as soon as possible. That he was now trespassing.

I knew there were cameras watching, which was a good thing. I however did not think about the fact that they did not record audio. A big mistake I made in being able to press charges or not at the end of this whole ordeal was the fact that I did not point to the exit. I don’t think this is an experience I will go through again as I do not ever intend to work in retail again, but I will never forget that mistake — nor will I repeat it.

Angry-Chicken-Leg-Muscle-Man, didn’t want to hear any of it and refused to go anywhere.

So I did the next best thing, I pretended to give him what he wanted. I told him that if he walked calmly to the superfluous foyer we had, that I would go into the office and process his refund (as I needed to use “managerial computer powers” to do so). I would then walk out of the office, cash in hand and give it to him. The caveat being he had to wait patiently and quietly.

This is when I made a decision for my and others’ safety that could have changed my life forever.

I was not at the store by myself, though I was the only one at the store running it. A couple of friends and one of their girlfriends were there. One of them was at the time the resident part-time paintball marker tech and he was doing maintenance on a bunch of them.

When I walked into the office, which Mr. Aggressive could see through a window from the foyer; I went directly to the gun safe. Made another mistake here — know the gun was a glock now. Did just about everything correctly, I pulled it out of the safe, barrel down towards the ground. Proper finger discipline straight out along grip, above the trigger, not touching it. Then I slipped this loaded and ready firearm with no standard safety — into my waistband.

Mr. Aggressive did not take kindly to this action and left the premises immediately. He then called the cops from his truck. I’m very happy he called the police officers, I just wish they could have arrested him for falsifying a report. This man had already showed his true colors earlier trying to use his kid as a guilt chip on adults for a whack refund request. He took it a step further though when he told the police that I pointed the gun at him, cocked to the side like some wannabe gangster and said:

“You scared, bitch? You want some?”

I get if you’re going to try and embellish to make a point, but at least make it somewhat believable. Thank goodness for those cameras. The police officers honestly seemed inclined to believe him until I showed them the footage. That was only the beginning of my concern, though.

I remember them asking me if there was anything I needed to tell them for the report. Couldn’t tell at that time if they had already run my details and were probing — or if they actually didn’t know. So I told them all about my probation and what I was going through. I told them my concern and that I really didn’t want this to negatively affect my recovery and rehabilitation as a citizen.

I was honest.

If they hadn’t before, I know they did after this because things took an even more serious turn. It went from them asking me questions like I was a victim — to treating me like a criminal. They told me to sit tight and that they needed to get in touch with their superior. I got to sit for a good long while.

If I remember correctly it was about forty five minutes later one of the officers came back with more warmth again. He reminded me that I am on probation for some serious felonies and that I cannot handle a gun. He asked me if I understood that. I told him I understood that I could not be in possession of one by law, but I took that to mean I could not own one. Not that I could not touch one. I was educated this is not the case.

Some may call it luck, I call it being a responsible adult. I was let off with a warning.

I know they talked to my P.O. for a time, I think a lot of me getting let off and not being charged with breaking my probation — is how responsible I was about it.

I did not miss an appointment. I was not ever late. I was always in touch and kept them up to date. I took my probation extremely seriously from day one because I had friends growing up that got on probation for the smallest thing and were still on it ten years later because they couldn’t make smart decisions. Probation gave me the discipline I didn’t manage to learn growing up.

To this day, though. As a normal functioning citizen that is not seeking trouble, this is the most I had feared for my safety and others — from another human being. I feel pretty proud of myself for keeping my calm and for taking care of the situation in a really logical fashion. Especially because at this time I was not taking medication or admitting to my mental illness.

I’m not exactly sure what the deeper meaning is in this one other than keep your cool, be smart, and learn from your mistakes.

It’s not the easiest thing to do all these things, all the time. Though I do think striving to can help us through a lot.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Featured photo by Douglas Montgomery ©2011, Trevor Elms pictured.

 

 

Belt.

Belts are great. They hold up your pants. Especially for men like me who have nothing to hold up their pants without one. There is a particular belt I own that means the world to me, twice over. It’s the twice over part that gets me.

You see, when I took this belt that I am talking about; from my grandfather’s corpse. I expected to hold on to it for the rest of my life. It’s a symbol to me, at that very moment it became one. The Model-T on that belt buckle is like my “S” insignia, it became hope.

If you have been following my writing for some time I am sure you have read about my cousin, Paul. Paul was the little brother I never had. He looked up to me with these eyes. Eyes I have only been able to enjoy again since my nieces and nephews began to use them. He was also my best friend at the same time — because we were exactly two years apart. So it flipped between the two, but more often than not he would look at me with such admiration. He did it more as I got older, and I still miss it dearly.

It’s this reason why no matter what anyone tells me, I feel a particular guilt about his loss.

I know he had plenty other influences around him, and I saw him but maybe twice a year for most of our lives after our early childhood — but damn do so many of those times define me. I want to think they did him too.

I remember before he was even smoking cigarettes — riding bicycles to town so I could go buy some. He would ask to have one and I would oblige, knowing full well if he wanted to no one was going to stop him anyways. It’s not the sharing that sticks out to me, it’s the bicycle ride.

Just like my friend Alex, so much of the time I spent with Paul was purely with him. Just him. We didn’t need or want anything else, and so many memories I have of him are like titanium encrusted across my brain. So a lot of the things I said and did, I feel like they stuck with him.

Like I wrote, I know there were a multitude of other influences and I was far from the largest. But I still did then and now feel a modicum guilt for the path he went down and ended at. Paul made his own choices, but I think with any loss we feel like there is more we could have done.

This is going to be about what I did do, though. I gave him the belt.

It’s funny, thinking on it — I didn’t even physically hand it to him. I believe I gave it to my Mom and she gave it to my Aunt Mary to give to him. That titanium memory though is from Megan and I’s wedding. May 4th, 2013. Just over four years ago now.

Belt 2
From left to right: Paul Perkins, Mary Pillivant Perkins, Kevin Perkins at the Elms/Taft wedding. Photo by unknown. ©2013

The wedding was over. The reception was over. It was the after party. I can’t remember which relative’s room we were in, but it was facing on the starboard side of the hotel. There were two beds, most likely queen — it was in the Boulderado in Boulder, CO, which is a historic and old place. You know the deal, shiny whites and golds, filigree, encrusted and rimmed mirrors, don’t forget the pretty chandeliers. This room wasn’t filled with all those things, but there were two windows on the far side facing as you walked in.

Paul and I stood amongst the room that was so loud we got called in on a few times. We were center, in front of the beds. Center again, in the gap between the door and the windows. Center. In a world of our own. We just stood there and talked. It’s one of those conversations I only got to have with him once and I was looking forward to checking in on it a few years later to see how things progressed.

It started with him telling me he did not like my now wife until that very day.

Something he saw in her, in me, in us that day. It made him realize something about growing up. How he didn’t exactly know everything. He apologized for it and we had a great heart to heart about him getting to know Megan better.

There was alcohol involved, but I know we both remembered this whole conversation clear as day. Since he had already broached serious subjects I decided that it was the perfect time for me to have yet another talk about his health, and making the right decisions — not putting his body in danger by making bad ones. I was well within my recovery at this time. I was not off probation, but I was on emails only at that point.

I said to him, after probing questions about what his plans were over the next couple years,

“Paul, I’m going to give you Grandpa’s belt. Understand something. If you fuck up again I am going to take it back. I don’t want it back, you don’t want to give it back. It’s Grandpa’s belt.”

He was over the moon about it. I remember him calling me after he got it and being concerned about needing to put a hole in it.

“Paul, Grandpa had a fatter waist than me, I put a hole in it. No worries, wear the thing.”

I really, truly, never wanted that belt back. I am not going to lie, I missed it sometimes. When I would see him and he wasn’t wearing it, I got bummed out — but I know he wore it. From my own recollection, family’s… and how worn that new hole is.

This is why I say the belt means the world twice over to me. I took it off my Grandfather, I hoped to inspire my cousin, and now I keep them alive inside and on me with that belt. I think about them both every day. I have them with me every day.

What I wouldn’t give, though. To be bummed about him not wearing that belt when he could be.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017

Grocery.

Feeling a little drained of my writing juice again. One must push on, though. We don’t get better or accomplish anything by sitting on our laurels. Now I am at the point of writing in multiple drafts before I hit my groove and finish one. Maybe I finish this on this sentence, or maybe I go to another draft and keep writing. One will be finished.

I’ve felt I was beginning to ramble a bit there but I think that is a good thing. Sometimes I still ramble, and sometimes I am still really uncomfortable and just don’t feel mentally healthy. A thing that I no longer feel uncomfortable about is going into grocery stores.

Something happened after I lost my marbles. I was terrified of grocery stores. I think the most interesting thing about it is I have always been able to explain it — I even owned it when it was happening. I would refuse to go to grocery stores alone and be very uncomfortable in them. I’m pretty sure when Alex visited me in Hawai’i we only went to ABCs and the like. Mom did the grocery shopping.

I have not been able to explain completely why, but the repetition of all the items made me feel really uncomfortable.

I’d hazard to say it was almost like a form of claustrophobia? There’s plenty of room in grocery stores so that is the worst way to explain it. I felt like all the products on the shelves and produce in the baskets were aggressive. Like they were an army encroaching with knives lodged in their teeth to pounce on me. That was a terribly oppressive feeling to be getting from Aunt Jemima, Mr. Peanut, & the Green Giant.

I felt like shopping carts were warthogs snorting and charging at me. When a squeaky wheel went by it would summon a twitch.

I would still at times have thoughts that the people handing out food samples might want to poison me.

This was after getting out of Kahi Mohala, this was after starting therapy, this was just an every day thing that I had to deal with and fight against. It lasted up until around five or six years ago as well. I have Megan to thank for helping me through it because those feelings don’t come up any more. I used to have even more that I can’t even remember and am happy to be so far removed from the ordeal now that I don’t.

Megan accomplished this feat in the sweetest of ways, too. She would just softly nudge me to go to the grocery store for one thing. In and out. Just continually dip my feet in. I think there was one day where Megan was out of town and I needed to get more than one thing. If I remember correctly she stayed with me on the phone and walked me through the aisles so that I didn’t lose myself in there.

That’s certainly a laughable matter, a grown man getting lost in a grocery store — but I wasn’t laughing at the time. It was a matter that needed to be taken seriously and I needed to keep myself grounded and focused. Otherwise I very well could have just lost myself in an abyss of madness again. Who knows what I could have done the second time, and I surely would have broken my probation, therefore giving me a cool one-hundred-twenty years.

I can’t remember exactly how the DA came up with that one, but I think I remember it having to do with my plea deal then being broken at that point, so the assault would revert to being on a police officer — and they would have the ability to double the max sentence of all crimes committed. That would be a really hairy situation to put myself in over beef jerky looking at me the wrong way.

It’s my awareness about these feelings and the fact that they were unhealthy that differentiated me from the person who makes an irreversible scene. That’s it.

I think that’s something that some people don’t realize about mental illness. I am much more balanced now that I’m far removed from my substance abuse and mental break with reality. For the longest time, though,  I was just on the verge of cracking again.

This was before I got on medication, I was still refusing my diagnosis of being bi-polar. Let’s be honest here too — these things I  was dealing with go a bit beyond bi-polar anyways.

Megan’s small pushes in the direction of getting myself acclimated with them was perfect, though. She wouldn’t ever belittle me or make fun of me for it, but she would totally call out my nonsense and say that it was something I needed to work on to function. That I would need to go to the grocery store at times because she wouldn’t be able to go for me.

When I write it out like that I feel like it may make her sound a bit motherly. She definitely wasn’t motherly. At that time it was more like an embarrassed girlfriend wondering what cuckoo she had gotten herself stuck with. I needed every bit of that.

Megan would often make me laugh at all the ridiculous stuff that coming out of my insanity would cause me to do. The fear of grocery stores sticks out to me most of all — and the others were so minute that I would have to ask her, I have forgotten.

This is another time where I am not sure what the meaning is, but damnit I am going to try and find one, and it’s going to be about conquering your fears. I picked this draft because I just needed to pick something. I had a fear that I wasn’t going to be able to write a full article because I haven’t in a couple days and lost a bit of my spark for it.

Here I am nine-hundred-ninety-five words in. Just a few more to go and I have a full piece to edit and post in the morning. Just like my fear of grocery stores. Conquering it started small but then it grew into something more and more. Until the journey to the end becomes so overbearing compared to the fear of the beginning that you end up seeing the end much sooner than you may have thought.

It’s really nice to set the mind to conquering a fear, and then doing it.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Featured Photo by Trevor Elms ©2016

Pops.

This isn’t something I was intending to write yet. I’m going to be honest though, I was drinking and I got to thinking about him so couldn’t help myself. Don’t worry. I don’t write inebriated for the most part — I will start a draft, close it, and finish it another time as I am now.

My Pops, my Dad, my Father, my Hero, my Man, my Idol, my Map; has saved my life.

Probably more than I can recall. I’m sure he knows more than I do. This is about the one time, though. The one time he had a conversation with me that I know he remembers maybe more than any other.

I’ve heard it a lot of times from his perspective, but I’m not sure yet I’ve shared it from mine. This will be the closest in the timeline yet that I have written about — to when I lost my mind.

Kahi Mohala
The courtyard my family and I threw a football together in, at Kahi Mohala. Photographer unknown.

I was still in the mental hospital at this point, Kahi Mohala. It is a facility that I volunteered (was deftly convinced) to put myself in after being bailed out of jail, in tow of my Mother. I remember trying to hide from the “Yakuza” in the car seat — backed all the way down so nobody could see me, on the way there. It wasn’t even just on the way there. We stopped at another facility beforehand that didn’t have the capacity? Or something. Before that we went to the Punchbowl memorial. That is when I remember realizing I was being “followed”, though it wasn’t even the tenth time I’d made that realization in the preceding few days.

If you go to the memorial today, I remember signing the guest book. It was 2008. If the page is still there I may have signed it Trevor, Trayber, Travor, Trebor, or otherwise. It would have been December 24th.

That and my soap totem are a story for another day, though.

I remember my Pops and I sitting in some furniture. It was on the other side of some glass, with an enclosed garden beyond it. There was a, if I remember, budless tree surrounded by rocks within the garden.

I sat in the chair, facing parallel with the glass on its right side. I cannot remember the color — but the pattern was raised, and consistent. It created a sense of comfort.

Pops sat nearest to me in the corner of a sofa. The sofa was placed in a ninety-degree rotation of the chair, facing to view out the glass. It was of the same fabric. I need to place the scene very deliberately because that is the last I can remember of it.

Everything else I can remember is the pure intensity in his eyes.

I wrote earlier that I was deftly convinced to volunteer myself unto this place. It couldn’t have been seventy-two hours after that — I decided I was perfectly sane and should be released. Pops’ entire mission was to convince me not only to stay, but that I wanted to stay, and he succeeded.

He remembers the exact words he used with much more lucidity than I. What is in my memory though is that he made me feel like I needed the people in that place. Not only for my future as a functioning adult in society, but as a person.

Pops remembers convincing me to stay because I needed the doctors to tell the lawyers and the judge that I was just some kid that made a mistake and needed to learn from it. I remember him convincing me that those doctors, and those nurses, actually had my best interests in heart.

That I was safe. That I was where I should be and that I wasn’t okay.

It was like a pinhole camera. My Dad was the light and he found his focus, holding on for dear life — my dear life. I was not at this time capable of looking outside my insanity. I was still bopping to random Beyonce songs on the radio and drawing really uninteresting tribal shapes thinking I was some sort of messiah.

He broke through, though. I can only explain how by the intensity of the love that he had within his eyes when he spoke to me. I’m not sure I have ever seen so much concern and care in a man’s eyes before. It makes me feel like a better person just thinking about it now. The connection he made with me, and with his eyes in that time — legitimately brought me into a moment of true, realistic, clarity.

I don’t remember what it looked like, but I know he does. He’s told me about it. That he could see my body language, facial expression, and own eye contact — return to normal for just the slightest of moments. Enough for it to register.

It wasn’t shortly after I went into an existential conversation about how the Devil & Angels live among us and I am a combination of them both realized — or some such nonsense of the like.

I stayed, though. Without much more complaint or argument.

Details of my time in there are still rather fuzzy for me, but I did stay, and did behave; as well as have a number of the patients enjoy spending time with me. I did the activities and talked about my feelings and must have balanced out a bit — because I was out a week or so later.

Another powerful memory I have about that place was leaving it. I can remember how satisfying it was to finally smoke a cigarette again. To smoke it just outside the premises before getting in the car with my Mom to a hotel room. It gave the experience such finality to me, at least the Kahi Mohala portion of it.

I still wasn’t right for a long time, and I’m not sure if I ever will be. There’s definitely a lot less wrong with me today maybe than ever before in my life. I owe a lot of that to all the support I got from everyone throughout the ordeal.

In this piece though, in this moment in time, I owe it all to Pops.

Thanks for being there for me, Dad. Thank you for finding a way to get through to me that day. I’m not sure anyone else could have.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photograph taken by Derek Lofgreen ©2013

Music.

Music is something I have a very personal relationship with. So personal I very rarely share my music interests with others. So personal that I have stopped listening to entire genres of music because I could not control my emotions or desired actions while listening.

Music is so personal to me I literally feel it inside of me. My favorite thing to do during my substance abuse days was to sit by myself in nature, on LSD, and listen to music. To let it absolutely consume me. My every atom. That is, to this day, my favorite experience in life. I don’t know if that will ever change.

I’m starting to finally be able to feel music again. I can listen to Metal again which is fantastic. I’m actually going to a Slayer & Lamb of God concert this summer with my cousin, Ryan. Well, Megan’s cousin, but he’s mine now too. I don’t think of him as anyone but my cousin, and family. That’s why I am comfortable with going to this concert with him. This concert in this genre of music that means so much to me.

After I went crazy music was dead to me.

Completely, utterly, unquestionably, dead. I could not feel it inside of me. It gave me no pleasure. People would try to share their music with me and I would pretend to care. I couldn’t listen to anything. Not the Rolling Stones, Faith No More, Metallica, Tech, Rage, Queen, Tribe, Common, Zep, and on and on and on.

It’s one of the worst experiences I have dealt with — and it lasted years. It really wasn’t until the last few months where music made me really want to move around again. I’ll never be much of a dancer, but I’m saying that I wouldn’t even tap my foot to a beat at this time.

There were spurts, surely. But it wasn’t as deep or as consistent as it is right now. I’m open to and discovering new music. Something I haven’t done again until recently. For the longest time I was either listening to sports radio or film scores — as I never lost my love and emotion for film, so their scores were a form of music I was still capable of connecting with. Kind of a funky roundabout, but it really helped me cope with the issue for a long time.

It’s Metal and my love for Paul Perkins that has brought music back to me.

My cousins Kevin & Paul are the biggest metal heads I know. They were just finally getting myself and my brother into it right before I went insane. Alan went on to become just as big of a metal head as the both of them. I, on the other hand, could not listen to it any longer. I was too angry and it put me in even more of an angry place. Even when the songs weren’t inherently angry! Something like Amon Amarth’s Live Without Regrets is just super optimistic and inspiring.

Unfortunately Paul is no longer with us, but I like to think that part of the reason I am able to really connect with music again is because of that loss.

The journey of me being able to connect with music again can be traced back to a trip myself, Alan, & Kevin took to a record store in San Francisco while visiting Alan together — not very long after Paul’s passing.

This was the first exclusively vinyl store I have ever been into. My brother is hugely into collecting vinyl records like I am with physical movies, so he was super excited to show us his digs. There was a great smell in there. Like the kind you get when opening a brand new paperback book. It just wafts of creativity awaiting consumption.

Rows of boxes with hand-written cardboard signs denoting genres, sales, & price ranges. Records just littered in organized chaos, awaiting fingers to eagerly rifle through them. It’s here that I just went off on my own and started looking around. Alan wanted Kevin and I to each pick out something so we could listen to it together. Alan, Paul, Kevin, & I spent many hours solely listening to music together. Music was our language. I just wasn’t feeling it, though. I didn’t know what I was interested in picking up — because I wasn’t interested at all. I just wanted to get out of there.

Then I watched them look through the Metal section, and walk away from it without anything in hand.

I thought to myself “Well, if there’s nothing interesting for them, maybe I can find something.”

That’s all it took. I walked over to the left most box in the section that was facing the wall and started flipping through each record. I’m the kind of person that loves to judge a piece of artwork by the cover chosen for it. If you don’t put effort into your presentation then don’t expect me to put effort into what is behind it. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has been far more relevant to me in life when it comes to people than when it comes to actual books.

Tempest
The album artwork for Tempest, by Lycus. ©2011

And then I saw it, Tempest, by Lycus. There was something about the album artwork that just spoke to me. It felt like something that if showed to Paul he would not allow me to put down. He would grab my shoulder vigorously and bring his head close to my ear with a “Duuuuuuude! That’s wicked!” So I called Kevin & my brother over and they did something really similar. It was everything I wanted it to be.

Lycus is a specific kind of Metal, Doom Metal. It’s very melodic, deliberate, and patient. There’s  a lot of chanting, and it just had a way of worming into my bones when we listened to it. It’s a kind of music that really allowed me to embrace my torture and grow with it rather than fight it.

Since the three of us first listened to that album my connection with music has been like a tarp full of water with a small tear in it. It starts as a small drip, but as it continues to rain, and slowly drops — that rip ever grows.

I realized today after having reconnected myself with music like Bullets & Octane, Coheed & Cambria, and even the original World of Warcraft scores — the tarp is almost entirely gone now.

I can bask in the rains of music again.

It’s a really liberating thing to be honest. I missed it quite a bit. I’m pretty sure human beings as a species in general share this same connection with music that I have. So you can understand when I tell you that having music dead to me is maybe the worst thing out of this journey that I have experienced.

This is the thing I am talking about when I say that everything happens for a reason.

The greatest gift I can give Paul in his passing is what I am doing now. I am using his loss, and my heartbreak from it to make me a more complete person again. It’s what he would want. He would be so excited to hear that I am going to the concert this summer. I only wish I didn’t have to carry him with me and that I could actually have him there next to me.

Thank you for inspiring me, Paul. Thank you for bringing music back to me. I miss you.

Music 2
From left to right: Paul Perkins, Trevor Elms, Kevin Perkins. ©2008 – Self Portrait

 

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo taken by Trevor Elms ©2015, Pictured from left to right: Kevin Perkins, Alan Elms

Care.

Something that people who know me closely are aware of — I generally don’t like people, strangers. I’m distrusting and they make me uncomfortable. Something that people who know me very closely are aware of — when I care about people I truly and deeply care about their well being and their life. I would in a split second give my life for them without question.

Today I am going to write about how I spent two weeks living on my friend’s floor to save his life from opiate detox, and how I don’t know if he is alive today.

This is another one where the person will not be named. For one, because if he is alive, I don’t know if he would want this story written about him or not. I would rather err on the side of respect. So this person will henceforth be known as Ben.

Ben is one of my very best friends. You’ll find I have a lot of them. Whether we are in touch or not they will always remain my best friends because I love them for who they were at that time, and whom they have helped me grow to become as a person.

My brother Alan is my other half, just like Megan. Two sides of the same coin. When I went to Hawai’i I had this very large void in my life that needed to be filled. I very much missed my big brother who at that time was more mature than me in a lot of ways. Ben filled that void extremely well. He really took me under his wing as a true drug user and distributor.

That last sentence is a bit sharp, and honest, but it’s also exactly at that time what I was looking for and what I wanted. I’ve already written about how I don’t like school, it was really hard for me to apply myself, how confused I was, and the fact I like to try everything once.

So, I decided the thing I really wanted to learn was how to make a living breaking the law.

Not the things my friends and I in Colorado were messing around with at the time. I’m talking weight, weapons, lack of personal welfare — and a willingness to lose one’s humanity.

That is probably as specific as I will ever write about those times. I honestly can’t even remember too many specifics, one of the worst things about it; or maybe best things. It just goes to show how deep I was into my substance abuse. I also just don’t remember a lot of things about that time because I’m still getting chunks back that were lost within my mental break with reality. Just recently a friend reminded me that the name of the tree we were always sitting under was a banyan tree. I have forgotten simple details like that.

This is about the thing that caused me to hold on to that humanity, and how I was able to see where I was headed if I didn’t correct course.

I still lost my mind after this, but I think the stress of taking care of Ben, and his business; as well as my own consumption of a concoction of substances from Meth to experimental hallucinogens like 2Ci — really compounded into what became my crazy spell. That puts it a bit lightly, but I was. I was absolute batshit crazy. I went to bonkersville.

Spending time with Ben meant I progressively didn’t spend much time with anyone else. I began to spend less time with my friends in our self-described Ohana, and Ben and I even hid from his roommates quite a bit with the door locked. Talking business, bonding over different substances, just in general being best buds. Brothers, so to speak.

Over this time I watched Ben who was never tall, but very stout — go from a very healthy looking individual shooting up a water solution of opiates into his anus, to a very frail — hardly ever lucid sack of skin and bones. A skeleton that wanted to physically assault myself and his roommates for taking and disposing of his terribly hidden stash of black tar heroin.

It was then that I began sleeping on his floor. Getting up any time he needed to release himself in any way, in any fashion, and help him accomplish that.

If I remember correctly his roommates helped him just as much, as I was still running around campus at times during the day and night; trying to close out a lot of Ben’s business. As well as get him out of the nonsense and debt he was putting himself in with the heroin. Classes were so far from a priority at this time that I’m not sure I went to a single one.

Shortly after Ben’s detox I remember one of his roommates getting a hold of family to get him a way out of Hawai’i in hopes to save his life. His room was empty, locked, and closed out but someone still attempted to break in at knife point to get some money from Ben. I’m honestly glad that I was really well known and friendly around campus, but in my dealings with Ben’s business I worked pretty hard to be quiet and not make too much of an impression. I think it may have saved my life.

I skipped ahead there a bit, but it was just to illustrate the kind of people Ben and myself had in common with at that time.

It’s​ this period that caused me to see what things other than alcohol can truly do to a person first hand. Someone who is close to me. Someone who I care about. I’m really glad that Ben had a huge stash of marijuana so that we didn’t need to worry about smoking at all. I’m really not sure he would have survived without it. Pot gave him great relief from the pain, fever, and convulsions that he needed to be helped through.

Nightmares with cold sweats, and absolute full body retching which would not stop no matter how empty his stomach was. It was living death and I never wanted to see anyone ever go through that again.

Not long after Ben left campus my friend Tony passed, and that was the nail in the coffin of opiates for me. I’ve been an advocate for marijuana over the corporate-fueled and socially accepted heroin that are prescription pain meds since. I was very close with people that it has hurt greatly. The two mentioned in this piece both started with 100% legal pain medication which is all too often shoveled into peoples’ hands without any afterthought.

Of course when I broke my shoulder years later I had a great time abusing my prescriptions like the addict I am.

No one in my family even gave it a second thought at that time, including myself. I’m not sure if we all thought I had gotten past it or not, but I very quickly went through two re-fills in a week. By the following week I was popping four pills as I woke just to take two more in an hour to actually feel it.

I think the greater meaning I have been looking for in this piece when thinking about caring for Ben is that:

Opiates are a really dangerous thing. Please be really, really careful with them. They, just like any other addictive drug — can turn an incredibly bright person into something very, very dark.

I really hope I never have to see someone go through that again, and that I never put anyone through something like that myself again. I am an addict, I will always be an addict. It’s something I strive to be better at every day just like my bi-polar. When I say that I am sober I mean from everything but alcohol and marijuana. Those are two things I feel like I have the ability to be a responsible adult with, and I feel like my current life has proven that.

The last time I spoke to Ben was not long after sending him a Facebook message to tell him that I was able to plead guilty on all my charges — and lucky to get five years probation on a deferred sentence.

His way of congratulating me was by calling to ask help him move some weight of Ecstasy through the mail from Hawai’i to California, where he was now residing.

He’s since disappeared from Facebook and I can’t find him anywhere. I do not know if he is alive, and truly wish him the best. However, it was the phone call that proved to me he was lost beyond all doubt.  I did not need to be in contact with him any longer if I wanted to make something of myself.

Thank you for all the support and love that was given to me during my recovery. Ben is the big brother I never want to be.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Photo taken December 13th, 2008 by Mariah C. Pictured w/ Kelli K. just days before mental break with reality.

School.

Previously I wrote in my article successful college dropout about how school and I don’t get along very well. There was one school, though. One school that made a very big difference for me.

There’s some people who may think that there were some bad influences in there, but I believe with everything I know about myself that I was going to go in the direction I went regardless of the school I went to. It was this school I went to that gave me the tools and the opportunity to do what I am doing today.

September School.

Bear in mind this is less about traditional education and more about what they gave me in terms of knowledge, encouragement, and experience. There’s a lot of little things the people working for that school did for me as a student — and showed me parts of them as people, that really made me feel like I mattered. That I was somebody, someone besides my parents, actually cared about.

That’s really all I needed sometimes.

I don’t know what it was about me growing up, but kids didn’t like me. They really liked having me around so that they could put me down — and honestly, because at that time I just wanted friends. I let them do it.

It wasn’t always this way, of course. I don’t know if it was the age or the area, but this started when we first moved to Colorado and I was going to elementary school in Longmont.

Before then I had plenty of friends and we all got along in Halifax, Hong Kong, & Andover. Seriously, always. There wasn’t really any bullying or fighting. We were just laughing and having a good time regularly.

Well, there was one time in Andover.

We were riding on the bus and one of the fifth graders (I was in second grade at the time) was turning around the seat making fun of my friend, Jamie. Jamie and I haven’t spoken in years, but he was always really kind and generous with his things. He had more video games than me and a trampoline, so I loved spending time with him and getting to know him.

This jerk of a kid kept calling my friend a “lonely fat ass loser”

And so I looked him dead in the eye and said “Hey! Why don’t you pick on someone your own size, mongoloid!

This was funny for a number of reasons. One, I think that’s the first time I had ever used that word and I heard it on an episode of the Simpsons… or Beavis & Butthead.

Secondly, I was a second grader telling this to a fifth grader about twice my size.

Thirdly, this is the very first time I was punched in the face.

I can’t remember if I got a suspension or just a stern phone call from the school for this, but I remember running up to the front of the bus crying to the bus driver.

The driver asked, “what’s going on?”

I, being of the healthy vocabulary I had at this time properly responded with the timeless:

“He punched me in my fucking nose!”

And that’s about the last conflict I remember with anyone in Andover before we moved. I had very many friends after that, all who wanted to spend time with me.

I really wish I was given a chance to do something like that early on in Colorado.

In Colorado I think kids quickly figured out I had something wrong with me way faster than I ever did. They spent a lot of lunches riling me up just to see me get angry and have a fit. I have fairly good equilibrium with my anger issues these days thanks to my meds, but back then I think kids got a lot of entertainment from me losing myself in a maelstrom of rage. I’m talking about the vein popping, murderous kind. There’s nothing about it I am proud of and I am glad to say that there are very few people now who can remember seeing me in that shameful state.

There’s a lot of details about those years that don’t need to be gotten into. What does is that when I went to September School, I was accepted.

I honestly really hurt myself there a little when I went. There were lots of kids I could have made really close, lifetime relationships with. But, being the person I am,

I found a girlfriend and completely absorbed myself in her.

I think, at that time, it was everything I wanted for my self-confidence and it honestly did help me focus on school, especially writing. Which looking back I think a lot of the teachers there very much focused on trying to get a lot of writing out of me. Getting me to practice it. 

I was very often, almost constantly encouraged to write while I was in that school. It’s something that maybe didn’t mean as much to me as it should have then, but I can’t stop thinking about now.

I do still have some friendships from that school — though more acquaintances these days; it’s more my fault than anything. They were really nice and accepting kids that I am glad I got to know. I still miss a number of them as I was truly beginning to garner some really close friendships before moving off to college and losing my mind.

I really want to focus on the teaching, though. That is the thing that is really beginning to impact me now.

I wrote about encouragement earlier. September School is pretty much built from the foundations up on it. Now, it’s been about 10 years since my graduation so I am not entirely sure how much things have changed. I do know that while I was going there homework was not a priority.

Being there, being accepted, encouraging one another to be ourselves. That was pretty much the biggest deal that went on, and the teachers did this as well. I feel like they often tried their best to get through to the kids they were teaching to try and ignite something in them to apply themselves to.

Back then, I now know they were seeding some really good roots in me.

I still had my legal and mental problems after graduation — though looking back I have absolutely nothing but respect, admiration, and gratitude for what that school did for me.

I was actually able to graduate, for one! I could not apply myself enough in public high school for me to have been able to get a degree there. It would not have happened. I can very easily say I would not be where I’m at today without their schooling. At least not in the same way.

Now, with all this writing just coming so freely from me, I just don’t think there is a way to truly express my gratitude enough.

So I am going to do what I am doing now. Everything I have ever been encouraged to do. I am just going to keep writing.

I think, the deeper meaning I am trying to find from this piece is that maybe

it’s not always about how the person does in school — but how the school does for the person.

Were it not for September School I think I’d be far less successful and happy than I am now.

I wish there were more teachers like the ones at Sep School, the ones before them gave up on me pretty easily.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured Photo by Michael H.-C. ©2008 – Various 2008 graduates pictured in Thailand.

Kids.

I was feeling a little worn out again today. I thought, let’s take a break — it’s been over a week of me consistently putting out a good 1000 words. Legitimately the most consistent amount of writing I have been able to accomplish in my life. But it’s also not the first time I have been able to write approximately this many words in this amount of time.

I decided to go into my drafts and saw this picture. One of my very favorites.

My wife and I cannot have children in the traditional fashion.

I will not be going into the reasons why because those do not matter. What I am going to do today is write about what that loss means to me.

You see, I have never known what I have wanted to be when I grow up — except for a father. Since as early as five years old I can remember looking up to my Dad, wanting to be just like him, and wanting to raise a family.

My Dad has given me memories like lifting me above his head, just by his thumb.

I am also a very scientifically driven person when it comes to my intellectual beliefs about this existence and this lifetime. So I have spent my whole life wanting to continue the genes of my family and continue our line.

I was always either consciously or sub-consciously growing up looking for the person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life, and pro-create with. When I finally met Megan I knew I’d found her. Megan and I had a long journey together before even being official, but I knew from early on that I wanted my kids to be drenched in everything about her personality — and her physical traits as a human being.

So to find out that our child in no way will be 100% the both of us, no matter the path we choose — is the worst heartbreak I have ever felt in my life.

Sure, there is a chance for a miracle — with an almost scientific certainty it won’t because that number has so many zeros in front of it I could hit my word quota just by typing it out. This was the one thing I always knew I wanted. Through all my troubles and my confusion. It was constant — even when I thought I was Jesus Christ who had lived for 1000 years in some poor tenants house, I knew I wasn’t a father yet and wanted to be.

I now know I am completely capable of love no matter where the child comes from.

The picture featured in this post is part of the proof for me. I have been around my nephews and nieces for long enough now for me to consider them mine. I care about who they grow to become and care about being the best example I can be for them.

I would do anything, and everything for them to keep them safe and happy. And I know that I can do this for whatever child comes our way in the future too.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt.

One of the first things my psychologist told me when I first met him is that I deal terribly with loss. Insofar being that when I met him… I really didn’t deal with it at all. I thought I did, but much like a lot of things I was doing with emotions at the time I was just letting them be and putting them somewhere where they couldn’t “affect” me.

This is still a loss that I am having difficulty with, and it is why I am happy that Megan and I are taking until 2020 before we decide what to do moving forward. I’d rather now spend this time appreciating time with her, and the time and money that we have, without a child — since we cannot so easily have one right now.

I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.

Not that the reason comes from some divine force or third party with a plan, I believe that we find reason within the things that happen to us so that we can grow and push forward as people.

There’s a large part of me thinking in this moment that had Megan and I been able to have a child that I would not have started this website — and would not be accomplishing a dream of mine. I would be too busy being a dad, dedicating myself to a child and already working my fairly time and attention consuming career.

Many times in my life now I have been hit with something that isn’t fun. Every time I have picked myself back up from it and gotten stronger because of it. There’s a really cliché saying in there about what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; what I have begun to learn is that these clichés exist for a reason.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

Megan and I have been making a lot of really good lemonade lately. Like the best kind. We have all sorts of travel plans for this year, tattoos, expensive dinners, buying cool things on a whim.

We’re just enjoying the things we have now — and not the things that we can’t have at this moment. We’re enjoying each other, and what we bring forth from one another. At this point, I’m not sure I’d even have it any other way. We can take this time to be as selfish as we absolutely want to. So when it comes time to do the most selfless thing any one can do,

We will be ready.

I think the larger meaning in this piece is that finding a purpose, and a meaning within the things that happen to us is in my experience what helps us grow more and become stronger as people.

I do not know how our child will come to us, but I do know that child will have more love than they know what to do with. That is a pretty cool thing to think about.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Pictured from left to right: Trevor Elms, Lucas Miller, Derrick Miller
Featured photo taken by Megan Elms ©2014