Art’s Thoughts

I thought it was time for me to write some things since I have a lot of time on my hands these days.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my life and the many mistakes I have made that changed it.  

There are so many things that I want to do in life that I fear I will never be able to do.

Fly a helicopter; go to Africa, Greece, and so many other places that would enrich my life just by experiencing the daily life.  Will any of it ever happen?  Maybe, but one thing for sure is that I need to get out of this slump I’m in and start living again. 

So many things have changed in the past year; it’s hard to come to terms with them.

It all started with an incident last March.  I can’t go into details because of my professional profile but it was the last straw for my wife; I was out of our home shortly after. I know it was a mistake, I’m not making excuses….I messed up, BAD!  I understood why she didn’t want me there anymore but it still hurts. 

My apartment is on the 16th floor of a building in downtown Pittsburgh; it has a nice view of the city and the North Shore.

Northern view from my apartment: Allegheny River and 9th Street Bridge.

During my first month or so, it was very difficult for me adjusting to living alone.  The past 24 years I have been living with my wife.  My son was born in 1993 so after that it was always the three of us.  Now I sit alone in my little efficiency apartment playing my guitar and watching TV. I had my wife bring the 15 pound dumbbells from the house so I could try to stay in shape.  It’s amazing what happens to your body after you hit 50 years old.  You look in the mirror and see someone else.  When did that wrinkle appear?  My hair wasn’t this grey last month was it? 

Those first weeks, maybe more, I plunged into the world of despair.  I had no happy thoughts and I drowned all my feelings with  bottles of bourbon.  How could I have become this sorry man from what I was a year ago?  I had a great job that allowed me to travel, made good money and drove a 10-year-old Jaguar.  I loved that car, unfortunately it was totaled.  I didn’t crash but I hit something underneath that destroyed the entire underbody and steering.  It would cost so much to fix it that the insurance company totaled it.

So I was forced to leave the job I loved so I could move to a place where I could walk to a bus stop or walk to work. I went on unemployment for a month or so until I found a position at another major corporation which is located downtown.  It’s more money and I can work from home at least twice a week….. I just miss the travelling.

I can walk just about anywhere downtown, I found out that I am now called a “Townie” since I live in the city.  It’s only 4 blocks to work which is nice since I can’t drive anywhere. The subway entrance is across the street which I take to complete my community service.  I’m not sure I can do this for 2 years though, it’s difficult.  Unfortunately, there is no alternative.

Between the 5 hours of community service and my 40+ hour workweek, I have little time of my own.  Thinking about my life under these conditions for the next two years depresses me.  How could my life change so drastically that fast?  Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.  I know it’s because of my actions but I guess I thought it could never happen to me.  Those are the famous last words of everyone who has failed at some point in time during their life.

“You have to move forward Art”, a phrase that I have heard a lot recently.  How does one move forward when he has lost all hope?  Will I ever be happy again? Is my relationship with my wife permanent?  Those are just a few of the things that are constantly on my mind. 

My son has been coming down to visit on Saturdays.  That is the highlight of my week.  We have dinner and go out walking around.  It’s quality time with him that I wouldn’t give up for the world.  He will be 19 years old in September.  I savor the memories of him as a baby when I could hold him in one arm.  He is my life, most likely the greatest contribution I have made to society.  I pray he is happy and carefree for the rest of his life.  He is a lot like me when it comes to sensitivity and caring.  He doesn’t show it but he cares deeply about people.

Well, this is getting a bit long so I will wrap things up.  Hopefully I will be able to get out of this rut and start living again.  I’m trying but it’s very hard to do.  Living alone with all the issues I have hanging over my head is not conducive to happy living.  I do have faith though, I’ve been reading my Bible looking for answers, praying, and trying not to be so hard on myself. I made the mistake…. that part is over.  Now I have to deal with the consequences and try to move on.