Miles traveled: Started at 60062, ended at 61249:, lowest temperature: 33 degrees. Highest temperature: 73 degrees. Hours slept: 0. States driven in: 4. Time spent riding with friends, meeting new people, and learning and growing every step of the way: priceless.
Plus there were pancakes, so much laughter, mutual love for the Deathly Hallows, nerdgasms, and great stories shared among friends. It’s amazing how much we get to know people when we spend a few hours on the road with our friends <3
It’s nearly midnight as I start this and I’ve got an early start tomorrow to begin another phase in my journey, and I wanted to get this knocked out before I pass out.
The best things in life are those we work our asses off to earn, and I’ve been up for a couple days and would do it all over again.
Here’s what the past few days have been like:
The worldwide December #SkateEverDamnDay challenge is in full-swing, and on Wednesday and Friday I went to Orlando and picked up the blank shirts and took them to the print shop, and before picking them up on Friday, I knocked out 20 miles before picking up the order, then Saturday night/Sunday morning was the Team WetBlack Lock-in, which was non-stop roller derby from 10PM-6AM, and I just got home from the Ocala Cannibals annual Christmas charity scrimmage (a personal favorite event of the year, and my fourth time attending).
Friday I had lunch with my friends Aaron and Elaine, and Aaron’s busting his ass building a business, running two businesses and holding a day job. So when I feel tired as shit, I think about how fucking wiped Aaron is. He’s good to hang with and think about as I’m building my businesses up, as he’s got a lot of the things I want to earn in my life – his own home, a family, and a supportive, loving, sassy, independent, loyal and affectionate wife who works her ass off.
It’s been a great experience and I’m looking forward to continually growing and evolving, and I remember one of the best pieces of advice I was given in regard to roller derby: “These people are not your friends. They are your co-workers. If you can work together respectfully, that’s all that matters.”
At the Ocala event, I was a bit aloof in that I didn’t hug many people, and I let them know that it’s not personal.
See…what had happened was (prefacing for any long-ass story, and I’ll save the details)…
Quite often, we confuse what is to how we want things to be, and it’s such an easy mistake to make. We’re human; we listen way too much to our egos and our desires, instead of listening to our hearts. Our egos tell us to chase our desires, our hearts tell us to connect deeply with others.
I’ve had the blessing of becoming friends with a lot of these folks, and it’s great to know so many interesting and varied people. At the end of the day though, I’m in this for the experience, to have fun, and to serve a community that I love deeply.
However, sometimes intimacy gets confused with romance, and a few folks have stepped out of line. I’ve had to speak with them about it and yeah, it’s awkward and no one wants to deal with that. It happens though, and it goes unaddressed, it continues.
It’s hard to hold ourselves responsible when it’s just easier to blame others for our thoughts, actions and behaviors. However, when we do that, we’re giving someone else control. We lose our freedom. This keeps me in check so that I don’t take ownership of how they think, behave, and talk, either to me or about me. That’s their choice. We’re all adults after all.
So, since lines have been crossed, I’ve chosen to go into recluse mode and be a bit of an aloof cave bear. I’m an official, and it’s good and well to connect with people, but the heart of the matter is I treat this as a professional treats a job, and I invest my time, my passion and my love toward it and I get it back so many times over. I get it back by contributing to our community.
Whatever another’s agenda is, that’s their agenda, not mine.
This was a warm-up for next weekend, my final weekend of derby for the 2016 season. I’ll be at State Wars, which is hosted right here in Daytona Beach 😀
I’ll have my work cut out for me, and you know what? I’ll just do my best. That’s what I can offer, and it’s all I can do. I’m in this to serve our community and to grow, and that’s a damn good ambition.