There's a few differences between life on the street, the avenue, and the boulevard.

I feel like I'm starting over in so many aspects. Because... I am? Yea, that's probably why I feel that way. In some weird way I feel like a newlywed again, minus a girlfriend or the wife I divorced 10 years ago this December. Which reminds me of the season..

It's fall here in Kansas City, and as much as it's easy to bitch about the cold that comes with the 4 seasons we see, there's something about the changing colors of fall that's cathartic in itself. It's football games on Friday nights when the high school kids seemed like real adults. It's this magic-seeming, colorful, visual representation of letting old memories go, clinging to hang on to others that you may finally shed another season, and the promise of new growth and beauty in spring after a season of seeking warm places. It definitely may bring on the nostalgia of a kinda cold evening in ’98 with a snotty nose riding across town on my bicycle after an evening of smoking short cigarettes and listening to Tupac with my homie Dylan (RIP), rarely dressed quite right for the occasion and coming in after the street lights were on for a while. Those were the most fragile of my years, so to look back and reminisce it's bittersweet knowing that you weren't always sure if you were going to make it out of another year. Refer back to my NYC entry to know why I say "thank God for hip hop."

Fast forward roughly 20 years.. I'll be 32 in December, and my son will officially be a teenager. I visit him and my parents "back home" often. The other day he walked out to the car in a new Tupac shirt he got at Spencer's, one of my favorite stores at that age. Life is a fuckin' trip...

So I had this place in Kansas.. I learned the art of gardening in my off and on years on the Kansas side, as well as practiced my cooking skills a lot, particularly at the loft I left in June 2016. After turning 30 in the midst of some terrible health that's become part of my life and re-focusing the tune with my star player (me), I decided to re-arrange my life to fit my new age era. I knew my 30's had to go smoother than my 20's. I had been freelancing photography for 7 years at this point and working in kitchens on the side. That money - combined with child support garnishment - will never, ever stack. The time clock is a trap in general and freelance photography is a rugged, over-saturated industry. I wanted to stack my credit back up, which meant cutting monthly costs, see my son more often and with more cash in my pocket for good times, and travel more in general. I struck a business exchange for a room back in Missouri, rented an office in an art gallery in on Troost Ave, and rolled out. The room deal last hardly 10 weeks. I said "fuck it" and started staying at the studio. So for one year, October '16 to October '17 - I paid cheap ass rent and did what I said I wanted to do 2 sentences back; stack.

With every positive comes a negative.. That's a natural law. Since I was 17 I've had my own bathroom and my own kitchen. I came to understand, I am not about the living in the studio life. At no point was I stuck, necessarily, except in my commitment to getting my paper closer to proper. "You do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do." that kid's dad in The Great Debaters. I had to remind myself of this many times after the first 4 to 6 months, so I held out and hung tight. Just short of the year and a half mark I intended, I made my move.

I need a kitchen... my health has to have it back, my hands and nose need it, and my taste buds, too. So I got these new keys. I'm looking over the boulevard from my balcony, right around the corner from the studio on the avenue and I feel like it was a lifetime ago I was back in Kansas on that sleepy Strawberry Hill street germinating seeds in my window when the month of March arrived.

These are the first keys to go "home" I've had in my 30's. I went into my 20's as an active duty electrician in the Navy with a wife, a son, and a step daughter. I was in way over my fuckin' head... I don't mean that the way you probably assume by the age. I mean, I handled the family man role quite well in regards to the household itself, providing, and enjoying the kids. The problem is I was married to someone I wasn't meant to live "in love" with. I was in over my head with her.. never my obligations. We were both unhappy and forcing "it," in too deep with each other.

Now it's a decade later. My son is a shoe fiend and I think was low key wanting to impress me by coming out to the car in that new Tupac shirt the other day (I was impressed, excited in fact, and I let him know). I'm single with no other children, putting my complicated self together from spirit to body to purpose, low key Waitin' on a Woman (that's a Brad Paisley song I like a lot), and firm but fluid about my future and lifestyle. I'm working towards and attempting the balance I learned about in my 20's.

I guess that's why it's a newlywed feeling.. Aside from the fact that some of the kitchen ware I'm moving in with came to "us" as a wedding gift (I'm replacing soon, swear), I'm starting this brand new "thing," where I've drawn my lines in the sand, made commitments that aren't easy, fighting old and new urges, but never more excited about the future. Until then, another day and this new view will do. I'm gonna do my best to make good on my time on the Boulevard. You know, just like the Midwest autumn leaves, everything changes.. even the keys. Once the keys are gone - more often than not - they're gone for good.

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