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My Lane

What am I doing?

How did I get back here?

Finding myself in familiar cycles, ones that I thought I purged over the last year. The real test is always real life situations. Just like basketball, train all year, all summer, all week to get to the game and the only thing that matters is how you perform under the lights.

When the game is on the line can you stay poised, when being attacked from more angles than one can you still stay focused. That's what's important, my most recent encounter I failed in terms of controlling my emotions and thoughts. Doing things I pledged to never would again, and not even towards the same person but feeling a familiar sentiment.

My dad says it's cause I'm too bitter, too mad about the situation surrounding Amelia that I'm still not thinking as straight as I could be. Noticeably better than last year but improvements can always be made, right? My mom giving me conversations on letting go and forgiveness and how it's not all worth on my end.

My dad and I drove down to Charleston this past Wednesday to file some paperwork for Amelia, and I really can't thank him enough for always being there. All I had to do was ask what he was doing on a particular day and he was ready to jump in the car, as always. Whether it be this or basketball or Rugby or anything his children were interested in he would be there.

The epitome of fatherhood in my opinion, a man to strive to be. I'm going to forever be there for my kids for all their events and sports and dances. In the instances that I can't make one, it won't be that big of a deal because I'm usually present and on the front lines. There was nothing better than watching him walk in the gym holding a big The Citadel sign over his head as the rest of my family strided in behind him.

At the helm, every Thanksgiving he would make his famous sweet potato pie and share it with the whole team as well as coaching staff. I really hope my daughters play a sport, there's nothing like cheering and yelling getting mad a referees and being assigned snack duty. Even more, I would love for them to play in college. Just compete really, anything competitive I would love to see.

I went through an array of emotions on the drive, one of my first thoughts was the poem I wrote "Cruisin." Which was a reflection of former rides down I-95 South, the memories and different thoughts I had. Thoughts of quitting, letting her win. Keep Amelia and I'll explain everything when she gets older and finds me. Thoughts of running off the road hoping that the grave or lesser responsibility due to mental capacity will be more suitable than the current situation I continued to face.

Remembering how I was supposed to make it a short story by now, been focused on my book podcasting and the blog that I really haven't had the chance to work on a short story. Even then, I have another short story series as well as my elongated poem series. I'm always wondering if I should just quit work and write, if I did that, I might as well have hooped.

Around the large Rooms-To-Go off of I-95 there used to be a confederate flag flying high, and I thought it would be gone by now.

It wasn't.

Every time I pass that Rooms-To-Go I always yell it in a singy voice signifying the beginning of my trip and the return. It let me know I was about 45 minutes from home when I was coming North. I started to think about the countless times of yelled that to the open window as the wind masked the sound of my voice.

Thinking about how I traveled this road enough to get a good read on where I was by the posted speed limit. I know when my exit is coming up by the number and know what each one says. I thought about the times in college when I drove up here in the summer with my parents to be dropped off. Or that one summer where I had the minivan with no A/C in the Charleston summer, what a summer. I still had the aux though, that's why the minivan was a plausible solution to me. It did go out from time to time but it worked well enough.

That was also my first summer driving to Charleston by myself, I believe the longest drive by myself to date. If I remember correctly, my mom was iffy on letting me get the care and my dad gave in quicker than she did. They definitely had to think about it though, I was grateful even though looking back might've been where everything started to change. Not the cars fault, just life's events.

Why is this my life? A recurring question that never parts my lips but envelopes the mechanism that controls it.

The process went smooth after my heart dropped when I saw that an appointment was needed. Thankfully, there was a drive-thru where I could pay and sign in front of the notary. The young lady that was doing my paperwork was flirting with me the whole time, I was tense at first and her first comment almost went over my head. She was cute though, if her co-workers weren't around and she didn't look kind of new I would of tried to get the number.

I think the main reason my body was spinning out of control was because, even though I hoped and prayed, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to see Amelia. Sending out a text early in the morning with no response and sending off a few more knowing that she is seeing them. She just replied the day before but never will when it comes to me spending time with my daughter.

There isn't a worse feeling than being in the same city as your child and not being able to see her. I've heard stories of fathers living up the street and not being able to and also of ones who come see one child two houses down from his other and won't even speak. There's so much trauma surrounding broken households that's why it's pertinent we focus on fixing the issue.

Even though this is how they want it for us, to be broken and using our children to pin us against each other. It works because they know the emotions of the women and how it can affect the man causing outlash in hopes of another soul caught in the system. It's honestly too bad that everybody doesn't see it that way, even those who claim to be privy to the traps that lie in wait.

I know in my gut that I'm supposed to have an effect on this issue and those surrounding, I know it's my lane. Just like being a father and head of a household, it's the path for me.

Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you.

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