It’s crazy that I am about to write my third blog post in a week, after nearly drying up for the last two months, right? Well, when you are bugged by something, sometimes you got to get it down on paper (erm … computer screen).
Facebook does this thing where they show you posts you made on that same day in years past. It’s usually pretty fun to look through, with all sorts of pictures, curling updates, and musings I posted while drunk. Today was different.
Today is February 29th – that funhouse mirror date on the calendar, when things just don’t feel right except if you have a monthly goal that somehow you can procrastinate on one more day. As we all know, this date only comes around once every four years, and we are punished for having the extra day with way too early talk about presidential elections. Therefore, if this date only comes around every four years – then the Facebook Memories only show what you posted four years ago (unless for some reason you were posting cat photos back in 2008).
My posts on February 29th, 2012 were about one event and activity — Geocaching. Back then, it was my main hobby. For those of you unfamiliar, it is a GPS based scavenger hunt where people use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware. You basically pick-up a hiding place from a website, chase your GPS to that hiding place, and if you find the ‘cache’ you get the satisfaction that you ‘found a cache’ … and nothing else. It’s actually quite fun, and a great way to get out and enjoy the world around us. It’s also something to go all-in-OCD on, including if you want to find a cache on every day in the year; and because February 29th only comes around every 4 years you have to jump on it. In 2012, I was a part of a group who were attending events and finding geocaches all over Wichita, Kansas. It would be like a pub crawl – but family friendly … with GPS … without booze … and by car … and there were no pubs … or crawls. Still, I remember that day like it was yesterday.
But it wasn’t yesterday, it was 4 years ago, and a lot has changed since then.
At the time, I was living in Wichita working at Cessna Aircraft. I was generally satisfied with my job, but had dreams of what I could do if I took other chances outside of Cessna and Wichita. I was interviewing for jobs, but had no offers or good prospects. Actually, I was only about three weeks removed from getting word that I was turned down for a job in Alaska (the same job I was offered a few months later) – so really Alaska wasn’t even a possibility to me. At the time, I was maintaining on my original major weight loss program pretty well, and usually spent my free time in and out of gyms and program meetings. My life at the time felt stymied, but simple & easy to manage. On that day back in February 29, 2012 – I didn’t know what was going to happen in the years that followed. I didn’t think I could ever take up curling, I didn’t know what Driveway Money was (yes Laura, I am checking to see if you actually read these things), I wasn’t sure where Dorchester was, and I was pretty sure I would never own a dog.
So much has happened since that day four years ago, I couldn’t even begin to start listing them in any kind of fair way. I have gone so far from one point to the next, broken through so many of my old boundaries, and taken so many roads to reach where I am.
Yet in all fairness, I wished I could leap back there to that day, sit down with that geocaching idiot, and lay out a few things to be aware of. That was the first reaction I had to seeing those memories. There are so many things that have gone wrong, so many decisions that have bit me. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that I would want to change everything of the past four years, quite the contrary. Think of it as wishing I had the ear of Icarus as he sailed through the sky with his wax wings, and I could just say “alright, buddy, you’re a little too close to the sun there, bring it down a few feet”.
Maybe that’s what memories are about in general. We think back to those times we were happy and are bolstered by that memory. Yet we try to look at those things we would have different, and have that false hope we could have made something better out of the same decisions.
Yet I do realize that memories only go one direction. Just sitting here thinking about it, I realized that I didn’t once want to know what Mitch 4 years from now wants to tell me. But I am sure that come that next Leap Day he will want to leap back to choke me or knock some sense into me. Maybe that Mitch from 4 years ago wouldn’t care what I would want to say either.
Either way, come four years from now, I will have this blog to tell me what an idiot I was, am, and will be. So at least I have that.