I Can See For Miles

Portman's Trail

I haven’t been on here to basically spill out what I’ve been thinking.

I have been a bit busy working.  I was working a ton for practically pennies.  The only reason I worked there was because it was just down the alley.  I was thinking long term, considering the pros and cons on a job close to home vs. a job where I have to drive to.  I chose the job closest to my home.  I thought that if something comes up, transportation wise, I would still be able to get to work without depending on others for a ride.  Nearby stores paid more, but this job was super close and had grocery discounts for employees.

I was working there since the end of March.  I worked there last Summer between semesters.  During the “winter”, I was begged to come back.  So… I did.  I worked as a Courtesy Clerk, which is a fancy word for being a cart pusher.  Contrary to most ideas about that position, it’s a physically demanding job.  I had to work through severe weather and extreme heat on pavement.  Since the employer (Kroger) hired nothing but children (literally), I had to do the heavy duty work.  It’s not that the kids work prohibited from doing hard work.  The Kroger Management never made the kids do anything worth breaking out into a sweat.  The kids would be scheduled to come outside for 30 minutes for carts at a time.  They would come in only minutes into the shift.  Yet…. nobody had the testicles to say anything about it except for me to finish their job and do mine.  Now I don’t want to sound like that kind of person who claims to be the person who does everything, but… I did.  I did to the point to where my body was fighting back against it.

During this tenure, I’ve hurt myself in a multitude of ways.  I’ve dislocated both of my wrists (partially due its hyper-mobility), bruised my shins, multiple traumas to my knees such as runner’s knee, popping it in and out slightly and minor things like twisting it.  I’ve also had hurt my back.  All signs for that is that I’m walking around with a herniated disc between my shoulder blades.  This is the worst pain I’ve felt so far.  I get the sensation that my pinky and ring finger has fallen asleep (fell asleep?).  I’ve gotten to the point that I can’t take as big of a breath because of the pain.

So, yeah, I’ve been working hurt.  I addressed this to management but to no avail.  The store manager asked how I was.  I told her that I’m in agony.  She said “Suck it up, that’s life”.  Seriously?  Coming from someone who sit comfortably in an office, rarely seen in the public.  Her attitude and the attitude of supervisors led me to leaving that place.  The newest supervisor said that I just stand around and refuse to do carts.  I’m always moving around working.  Moving so much, I’ve dropped 60 pounds.  In April, I was 327 pounds.  I’m 267 now.  I don’t think that the weight loss came from me socializing, like she does so well.  I quit because my body was on the verge of giving up.  Mentally, I was exhausted from the BS and lack of cooperation.  I hardly sleep because I’m in pain from the overworking.  I’ll go to bed around 3am, toss and turn and wake up at 11.  Sure, that’s eight hours, but large chunks is spend just lying there.  The lousy manager told my Dad that I quit without notice, even though I sent a complaint/”I Quit” letter to the HR manager days before.  Yes, I did quit.  I gave up.  I gave up on them because they gave up on me.  I wasn’t making much.  I was broke by the following Monday or Tuesday.  I figured that I’d be better taking a break, maybe donating plasma before the new semester began.

In the meantime, I’m relaxing (for once), listening to Earl Scruggs and playing my PlayStation 3.

The new semester is about to start.  Hopefully this is the final Fall Semester I have, that is unless I go to Graduate School.  Had everything gone to plan last Spring, this semester would have been somewhat easy.  But it didn’t so I’m having to take 19 credit hours.  If there is a higher power, he needs to give me a dang break… just this once.  If I pass this semester with flying colors, I’ll have a 10 credit hours for the Spring and I’m beyond giddy for that.

As mentioned before, I’m majoring in Urban Affairs.  The definition that I tell people is to think of the words Urban and Affairs.  It’s the dealings of the city.  Zoning, management of the city.  I have my theories and ideas.  One is something I call “Structural Recycling”.  I believe that the city could and should utilize the area they’re working on.  Many places are being torn down just to have something built in its place.  I think that if you use some of the pre-existing buildings and lot, you would save money and in turn, the city could use the money save for something like alternative energy.  Not to sound like a tree hugger, but it’s about time to use the space we’re already owning and use it to its potential.  Cut down the carbon footprint and go green.  Solar panels can be used for particular services, like gas stations and emergency services in case of an outage.  Saves on generators as well.

I have ideas like that and more… I just hope that maybe I can get something across to make it happen.  If so, this experience at Kroger won’t happen again.

I’m trying to see for miles in my future.  I’m trying to be optimistic.


The Countryside to the Brighter Lights


At twenty-six years of age, I have experienced something that most have not.  For some people, the most they could do is move across the city or move across town.  Migration is apparently lost to some.  More often than not, a city dweller does not know what it is like outside their concrete paradise.  Conversely, people does not know about life outside the tranquil countryside.  I have had that chance to find out if life exist beyond what I am used to.

I grew up in the countryside.  My life was nothing but a rural setting.  Now let me stress one thing.  You cannot claim that you are from a rural neighborhood when your town alone equals the population of an entire country.  If you come from a town of around 14-15,000 or greater, you are not rural.  Sorry.

I grew up in a town called West Union in southern Ohio. The population is between 2,800 and 3,000.  The town, in terms of area, is somewhat large, so the people in the town is spread out.  I lived in an unincorporated portion called Unity, but it was still technically West Union.  My hometown (and pretty much the rest of the country) consists primarily of farm land.  Farms and Amish. Other than that, nothing.  Fields and hills.

We have very little in terms of entertainment.  Walmart is the hottest place to go, mainly because that’s the only mall the whole county has.  We have some McDonalds and Subways scattered.  Other than that, your only way of getting somewhere to do something is to travel 30 miles in any direction.

My neighbors were Amish.  No lie.  In every direction of my home, there was an Amish family.  Unity is notorious for its Amish Community.  Every Sunday Afternoon, city folk would tour, making commuting a pain.  I’d much rather dodge road apples (google it) than a 76 year-old from Indianapolis.  Other than those Sunday afternoons, life was peaceful.  Crime in that area was incredibly low.  You could leave your car and house unlocked because it was so tranquil and people were home by 8.

I left for Dayton, Ohio in 2013 because for someone to grow, you have to do that in some other place than the countryside.  Sure, that’s the ideal place for people to escape to or the best place for people who dislikes the busy life.  It is not really the place for someone to make something of themselves, that is unless you are destined to be a farmer.  I didn’t own a farm, although I eat and have the strength like a farm boy.  I could not find anything that I wanted to do.  What I wanted to do required a lengthy education and West Union was not the place to do it.

For three years, I’ve been in the city.  I was nervous for a bit from the start.  I was not sure if I would hear gunshots or something like that.  I got over it… eventually.  Being up here for this amount of time, I can honestly say that I do not like this city life.  I cannot stand the traffic.  All of that exhaust, the speeding Prius’ zooming down the alley… it’s depressing.  Everyone is moving so fast.  I’m not used to it and I don’t think I ever will be.  I believe that the saddest part of the whole city is that there is a lack of nature.  I have said that to people and they tell me that there is.  That there are Metroparks.  It’s not the same.  A few acres of woods surrounded by highway and concrete does not constitute as nature.  Sorry to disappoint.  To me, in comparison, nature here is artificial.  Nothing can really flourish because of the never-ending change of the landscape.  I want to do something with the landscape.  Majoring in Urban Affairs, I want to implement policies where buildings are rehabbed to prevent to constant spreading of shopping malls and restaurants.

In comparison, I have to say that the countryside is tons more better than the city.  I do have to admit that there are perks to the city.  You can have access to more things and have more a varieties on how you shop.  You can meet new people from other lands and expand your cultural knowledge.  But, how does that help with your mental health?  The stress of constant pressure.  You have to GO GO GO!  It’ll break you!  Go to the sticks and you can move at your own pace.

It’s just an opinion of mine.  Unless you have no choice, just distance yourself from the hustle and bustle.  Breathe, take care of your mind.  The country is the place to be to heal yourself.