Rock Chalk Jayhawk

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This blog post might seem a bit confusing, but it came from a real place to me. I have always touted about being there for others and being someone to lean on, but that can’t be done when I’m too wrapped up inside of my own heart to look around and see who might need a hug or a kind word. I don’t want to do that, because that isn’t what Grandpa would have done. He would have loved. So I will too.

Things have been moving so fast lately, I’ve hardly had time to stop and look at myself in the mirror. I’ve been out of Elko four times in the past two months, making a few trips. I’ve just moved into a new place and I’m getting prepped to get another job so that I can actually afford living where I am currently. Through all of this, I have been wrapped up in my own problems. I’m not writing my books fast enough, I’m not publish blogs consistently (oops) I’m not doing so and so in whatever timeframe I needed it done and it’s been bothering me so I’m constantly trying to get myself back up to speed. This, coupled with working and getting some freelance jobs started has caused me to fall behind in other aspects of my life.

For example, I haven’t had a sit down with my friends in weeks, to just talk about our lives. A couple of them are going through some pretty rough patches and I realized the other day that I haven’t had time to bring it up or see if they were okay. I haven’t played my guitar in months. I haven’t done anything remotely relaxing since November of last year. That’s not to say that I haven’t been relaxing, don’t get me wrong I’ve used a lot of my time pretty poorly. It hasn’t relaxed me, it’s just stressed me out because I can’t seem to stay caught up because of the lack of focus.

Regardless, that isn’t what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about grandparents.

Recently, a friend of mine lost his grandfather, and due to my busy schedule I realized a week ago that I haven’t asked him how he is doing. I’ve been so wrapped up in my own shit that I’ve kind of glossed over it.

That’s unacceptable.

It makes me think of my own grandfather, who has already passed. I took his first name to use as a pen name. I did this because I wanted to honor him with the things that I do, but I asked myself something this weekend.

How can I say that is what I want, when that is not what I’ve done?

My grandpa was kind and strong. He cared about so many things and he loved so many more. I sat down at our campsite on the 21st and really looked at my life, all of the things I’m doing and the things I’m not. I weighed them against my backbone question, the one I always ask myself.

What advice would Grandpa give me in this situation?

Well, I can’t know for sure but I have a pretty decent idea. I know that he wouldn’t let something this important pass by him. He would be there, and he would love that person and make them know they are loved. He would stand by them and he wouldn’t let his own problems or his own thoughts come first until he knew his friend was taken care of.

I’ve contemplated a lot about my life within the last week. Watching my best friend get married was a huge thing for me and it really made me think. I’ve been waiting around for something that isn’t going to appear on its own. I haven’t really been taking my life seriously. If I have been anything, I’ve been a seagull waiting for a fisherman to give me some squid so I don’t have to hunt for food on my own.

I am not a seagull.

If my grandpa taught me anything about this life, he taught me to stand up and be strong. When I was a kid, he would always draw the KU Jayhawk. I have colored in more pictures of that damn bird than I could recollect today, but now when I think of it, it reminds me how important it was meant to be.

I would always color when I was sad. Grandpa would draw something and he’d give it to me to color. I didn’t put the pieces together then, because he was the one who was always putting the pieces together. I would just fill them in.

Today, I have to do both jobs. It’s not easy by a long shot. Still, I know that my grandpa is out there drawing all kinds of horses and Jayhawks in heaven and waiting for me to come home.

Until then, I’m going to remember what it meant to color those pictures in. I’m going to learn what it takes to draw them. I am meant to carry on a legacy of great men. My grandfather, my own father. There are so many, and I don’t think any of them would have let their own personal struggles hamper them from being a friend or loving their brothers. It is important to me that I pick up my crayons today and color in someone else’s picture, if it will help them, I will do what I can to put the pieces together.

Even if it seems like the pieces will be impossible to find.

I was always told the importance of dirty shoes, because it means I work. So… I’ll take that lesson from my grandpa and I will put those dirty shoes on, climb down into the mud with my crayons and color things, even if we are knee deep in terrible.

I will be there for you.

Just like my grandpa was, and is, still here for me.

If you liked this or anything else I’ve written, please follow me on Facebook + Twitter @alvatobiasbooks

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