Out Of The Box – 324

Out of the Box weekly stick figure web comic 324 Liftin' Me Higher

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Four Months And A Day

Mark and Sydney goofy smiles blurry

As of last night, Sydney and I have been dating for 4 months.  This might seem a peculiar milestone to document, but I have reasons…

Let me remind you of a year long ago: 2005.  Blockbuster Video was the go-to destination for all of your movie-watching needs, and I just happened to work there.  A friend of mine, a FEMALE friend of mine, had recently graduated college, and we were spending more and more time together.  I’d always had a huge crush on her, and she thought I was cute, so after a while I decided to go for it — and after a cheesy/awkward “hey, you wanna date and stuff?” chat, I landed myself my first girlfriend.  It wasn’t exactly a relationship of great maturity, though, I’ll tell ya that 😉 .  Most of our relationship played out through Instant Messenger online, actually, even though we’d spend time together weekend nights.  We even broke up in an online chat 4 months after we started dating (to the day), so, yeah… this wasn’t a grand love story or anything.  I never even kissed the gal, mainly because I just wasn’t there yet and while I knew that I “should” I never felt compelled to.  Really, it was just a relationship of convenience — two good friends who fell into something out of loneliness.

Why am I talking about another girlfriend on my fourth monthiversary with Syds?  Well, let me remind you that it’s our fourth monthiversary… PLUS one day.  And, that is one day longer than my previous relationship had lasted 🙂 .  So, while things with Sydney have been infinitely more sincere, grounded, and mature, we’re also breaking new grounds on technicalities.. as this is now officially the longest relationship I’ve ever had 😉 .

I had that 4 month relation-friend-ship, I took out 2 girls on 1 date each and 2 girls on 3 dates each, but each of those rightly ended… and now I’ve found something with someone that has been nearly indescribable in its greatness.  Each of these other gals were plenty nice, and I’m still friends with a couple of them, but none of it was quite right.  For so long, I didn’t even know what “right” would look and feel like — and then I met her 🙂 .

Over these last 4 months (and a day), I have found a new understanding of the word comfort.  I visited with her after church one Sunday a few weeks ago as she was housesitting, and we curled up on the couch for hours with nothing but the sound of rain outside filling the air.  I am not a lounger.  I get very tired with not doing something productive very quickly.  But I jokingly (well, only half-jokingly) told her that we should skip our plans with friends that evening and never leave that couch again.  She fills my heart in ways I didn’t know were possible, and I am learning more about that every day.  The poor girl was sick all last week, so I didn’t get to see her for our usual Wednesday or Friday nights together, and didn’t get to see her again until this past Sunday at church.  I often talk to the fact that I am very okay being by myself; I cherish my solitude, and really need alone time to recharge.  However, Sunday morning as I got ready and drove to church, I began to get excited.  I was going to see my girlfriend for the first time in a week!  When she stepped out of the Sunday school room she was in, I gave her a huge long hug… and I tell ya, I didn’t want to let go.  I didn’t cry, but I’ll let you in on a little secret.. I could have.

That’s how much I feel about this woman 🙂 .

I have been learning so many things about love, relationship, and myself, that I couldn’t begin to list them here, but I enjoy who I am with her, I enjoy that she loves me for me, I enjoy how interesting she is, and I enjoy my life in ways I never thought possible now that she’s in it.

So, here’s to four months, a day, and every other day ahead of us.  Love ya, kiddo… you’re one in a million!

…unless you’re reading this and you’re NOT Sydney, in which case I love you, but just a little differently.

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Out Of The Box – 323

Out of the Box weekly stick man webcomic 323 Get Back To Dynamitin'

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Back To Sunday School

Old black and white school teacher

Well, I’m just doing all KINDS of “back at ____ again” posts here, aren’t I?  Well, two.  I’ve done two.  Including this one.  But so many!

I haven’t talked about it much, but since before I started dating Sydney, I’ve been attending church with her.  That deserves its own post, entirely, but in brief summation for now — it’s been a very good experience 🙂 .  The other week the congregation was provided with a Volunteer Form which pinpointed various helper-needs around the church, with the greatest needs highlighted for us.  I had, just weeks before, come upon the idea of emailing the pastor to offer my services to the church wherever I was needed most, so my heart was already in the same place as this request by the church leaders aspired it to be.  I happily selected most of the urgent need options, with an emphasis on my strengths and interests: working with the youth, various “grunt work” opportunities such as cleaning, setting up, and moving things, and community outreach (I underlined this one).  Lo and behold, while the latter two items on that list are what I would most prefer, I nearly immediately received an email asking that I help with the former — assisting with the kids in Sunday school.

I haven’t worked with little whippersnappers for over a year, now, not since my job helping young children with autism drove me to the point of not wanting to work with kids possibly ever again.  And yet, yesterday, I was back at it once more — helping out in the 3-K class during our third service.

It wasn’t bad… but I’m certainly still on the not-working-with-kids side of the fence 😉 .

There were only 3 little buggers in the room that service, ages 4 and 5, so it was really low-key.  Part of the reason I initially veered away from teaching was the nature of the classroom and the structure of school, itself, but the same could be said for my withdrawal from church, too, and yet here I found myself in a place where I was forced to challenge myself on a combined front of these two issues :).  Plenty of fun was had, though… the one boy was sweeter than molasses on a hill of sugar, one of the girls randomly sang “Jesus Loves Me” while we worked on a craft, and we all collectively sang “Deep and Wide” — which was one heck of a flashback to my own childhood in Sunday school.  Of course it’s also just really easy, in comparison to much of the work I’d done with kids before, spending an hour with a group of kids who don’t have to sit through multiple lessons and have no homework or tests to concern themselves about.

I won’t be placed into the full rotation until next month, yesterday was a fluke sudden need, but I optioned myself as available for any grade-level, any service.  I’m still hoping to be able to serve in other ways, but have personally challenged myself to grow and expand no matter what role I’m in.  While I am with the kids, I am going to push to become more “teacherly” in ways that I never did before.  In all fairness, I never really attempted to grow into the role of a teacher while pursuing that career field, and while I think my ultimate conclusion of not wanting to teach at all was correct and reached soundly, I certainly did shirk my responsibility of giving it my personal all and challenging myself.  So, here I am in an opportunity to do just that.  Similar to my feeble attempts to be an actor in the past, instead resting on the easy path, I now have these two former-passions back in my life… and while neither are likely to be future career options for me still, I owe it to myself to actually do my best this time around.

And all of this personal growth while smooshing blobs of Play-Doh with kids 🙂 .

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Out Of The Box – 322

Out of the Box weekly stick figure web comic 322 From The Three Of UsDitto.  My girlfriend’s not feeling so great, unfortunately — hit with a heavy bug, fevers and all.  In addition to Jr and Dog’s sweet sentiment, I hope she can also appreciate the timing of this comic number, as well… we’ve been dating for 3 months and she’s 22.  322.  Accidental brilliance ;).

Feel better, my love (and you, too, Bree!)… Pankey misses his Thundernut 🙂

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Acting Again

Winona Ryder face SAG 2017

When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher snapped a Polaroid of each student and asked what we wanted to be when we grew up.  My answer: actor.

I never put any real effort into this as a career option, and I’m certainly not looking to it as a serious line of work now, but the world of performance has come up in my life again.  My pal Nick is resurrecting a nearly decade-old project, revamped and taken to a much higher level of quality and depth then we originally had imagined it was… and as with the original, I will be in the lead role.  I love acting; it’s exceptionally fun.

Still, I must admit, I’m a LITTLE nervous about acting in this project of ours.

It’s been over 5 years since I last performed, so I might be a little rusty… and here we are taking it up to the next level, too.  I don’t feel pressured from the writer-director, we’re still just a couple of friends having fun telling stories together, and I’m pretty sure all will be fine.  It’s more a healthy, natural bought of nerves, rather than an “OMG this rollercoaster will probably collapse with me on it” type.  What I’m really curious about is whether or not my lack of dreamy passion will have any effect.  For so long I’d looked to the movie industry with starry-eyed ambition, but that changed — and so did my energy-level.  I realized that my interest in creating movies was very lovey-dovey, but it didn’t have the legs to be a full-blown commitment.  So, I thought of acting as merely a hobby… and I then proceeded to not do that hobby for half a decade ;).

I am growing my beard for the role, I’ve cut my hair and have put together costuming, and I am very excited to take on this new challenge — really pushing myself to give a genuine, grand performance, but who knows how much grease these rusty gears will need to get running again.  And, though I do believe it’s only a slight possibility, what if these gears don’t run anymore at all?  We’re getting the gang together this weekend to get reacquainted and rehearse a little, so I guess I’ll find out how moth-ridden these ol’ acting chops of mine are.

Here’s to hoping it ends up being like riding a bike :).

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Out Of The Box – 321

Out of the Box stickman web comic doomsday clock 321 It's Easy As CBA

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