I was going to be a baseball player

In middle school, one of my teachers asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember timidly responding, “I want to be a baseball player.” Well, it wasn’t for a few more years that I would lose my love for the sport (and haven’t ever regained it :)) but up until then, I believed I could do it.

2 me and Whitney Williams

me in 5th grade sporting a Semper Paratus shirt.

Childish dreams, that’s what it was. I didn’t have the talent, and even if I had the drive and the willingness to work hard at it, I didn’t have the talent. Have I mentioned that I didn’t have the talent? But kids don’t think about what it actually takes to make it in professional sports. Or anything professional, really. It takes time, dedication, and oh yeah, talent.

The last year I played organized baseball was in 8th grade. Something flipped and I didn’t care to play anymore. When I went off to college (I say “went off” like my parents didn’t live right down the street), I played intramural softball for a winning team, albeit we were all students not playing for any school-sanctioned team of any sport whatsoever, but we were the best intramural team at FSU for 3 or 4 years running. #stillhavemyjersey #livinginthepast

As a grown man, yes I’m a grown man!, I love playing softball and even if most leagues I’ve been in fall into the “beer league” category, I’m still competitive and I’ll push a guy if it comes to that. Hmm, maybe I’m just living out the broken dreams of a middle school kid who just wants to come back to his hometown and ask his dad, “Are you prouda me, Pops?” like some dramatic New Jersey school dropout with a strong accent.

It’ll never happen, though, because my dad doesn’t go by “Pops”. Dang it!

-Out of the Wilderness

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This one time, I was a train conductor

As some of you already know, I sometimes write about my dreams (for example, this one or this one). Well, last night was a fun one! I was a train conductor. Chooooo chooooo!
train conductorToo bad it wasn’t a soul train.
soul trainIt was a real train, full of passengers, and I was driving it. But when I took breaks, another driver took over… it was Fred Savage. Of course it was.
fred savageHe did a great job. There were even a couple of old, scary, wood bridges over bodies of water and I remember praying out loud for survival.

I have no idea what this dream could mean! But I definitely woke up relieved it wasn’t real, although hanging out with Fred Savage would probably be pretty cool.

-Out of the Wilderness

Big waves on Lake Azalea

My brother and I were on a yacht and dealing with what seemed like 10-foot waves. They were crashing over the bow of the boat, and I remember at times only being able to hang on with one hand.I can remember so many details, especially right after I woke up.

I’ve picked up the habit of emailing myself when I have vivid dreams like that. If I don’t, when I wake up for the day I will have forgotten what the dream was. So yes, that means this morning when I woke up I had an email from myself. You’d email yourself too if you were in a life or death situation facing big waves on Lake Azalea! And where did the name Lake Azalea come from anyway?

Dreams are such a wild concept because when I’m in them, it’s real life. It’s as real as me sitting here typing out this post. But then when I’m actually awake, I realize how nonsense they are. And this one about the yacht was tame compared to some I’ve had. I wonder if there’s a way to turn this common occurance (waking up and emailing about my dreams) into some sort of app people can use?

-Out of the Wilderness

Alligators, Bieber, and an Apple IIc

AlligatorWhen I was young, our family lived in a house that backed up to a lake. There were a few reasons to live in fear. The most popular among my siblings was because we lived in Florida. Which meant alligators in any body of freshwater bigger than a roadside puddle. Actually, in the last few years, we’ve seen them in the ocean, too, but that’s another story. Back then, I couldn’t think of anything more scary than alligators. Of course, that was way before Justin Dweeber, reality TV, and Obama which are all more bieberscary that alligators if you ask me! So the most immediate threat was not on the radio, TV, or in Washington, it was in our very own back yard. I remember at night there were 2 red lights that reflected off the sliding glass window. One was probably from the power button on the Apple IIc or something. But I always imagined they were the eyes of  an evil alligator waiting to bust through the door and bite us. Every day we played in the grass and swam in the lake and I wondered where the alligators were. My dad would even swim across the lake a few times per week.

I’ve lived in Tennessee for a few years now and one of my favorite things is there are no alligators! You can swim in the area lakes with total freedom from being dragged under by a prehistoric dinasour-looking death machine. If you’ve never grown up with a daily fear of being preyed upon, you can’t truly appreciate this feeling of freedom I feel every day. But night time is another story. Alligators show up in Tennessee when I close my eyes to go to sleep.

They’re the kind of dreams that make you very thankful when you wake up that it was not real. One recent dream took place at my family’s beach cottage in Florida. There was a small alligator (oddly, it was about the size of a snake) near the shore. I started running because it was chasing me! Before I could get away, it latched onto my hand. To remove it, I held my hand above a fire that was nearby (how convenient!) and it burned up so all I could see was the skeleton. When I returned outside to show my dad, the alligator somehow got to me again! You know things are not going your way when a dead alligator bites you. Not good. Then later when it wasn’t paying attention I smashed it’s head with a MagLite flashlight. That’s what I’m talking about! However, if it was real life, I would’ve ran away like a scaredy cat, zig-zagging of course.

Any interpreters out there?

-Out of the Wilderness

apple-iic

Wacky Wednesday: All I Have To Do Is Dream

Most of the time, my dreams are about one of these 3 things: alligators, Taylor Swift, or Hawaii. The only one I like is the alligator dream because at least when I wake up, I’m happy it wasn’t real! What do you dream about? Confess below in the comments!

Taylor Swift in Hawaii.

Taylor Swift in Hawaii.

I’ll See You When I Fall Asleep

Yes, that’s the last line from the bridge of “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men, one of my favorite songs right now. Is it just me or are there a ton of songs on radio lately that feature guy/girl duo’s or duets? A quick look at iTunes and the top listing is “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink featuring Nate Ruess (from Fun.) and I work in country music so I notice bands like Thompson Square, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, and from Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott has been featured as a duet partner on a few pop songs lately, too. But more what I’m getting at is the back and forth type of song, the guy sings a line, the girl sings a line, on and on. The first one I remember hearing and still listen to when it plays on my iPod, “I Got A Man” by Positive K (which is a whole other story in itself because the rapper Positive K, a guy, also did the female voice on the song, crazy right?). The biggest hit over the last year or so was Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” which featured Kimbra for the female verses. But anyway, this isn’t about coed duets, it’s about a dream I had a few days ago.

ronald reaganI was outside and Ronald Reagan was there. American flags were flying all around. I was balling my eyes out in the dream. When I woke up, my eyes were full of tears. It was weird. I wish in my little talks with God he would just give me a reason why dreams like this happen. Because Ronald Reagan isn’t even somebody that I used to know, but when asked who or what was in my dream, I’d have to say… I got a man!

Going 80 in a 40

I begged, I pleaded, but no one I talked to seemed willing budge… except one kind lady. It was an odd circumstance because I wasn’t immediately given a speeding ticket. I was brought into a room where I had a chance to present my case… and it wasn’t going well. That’s where they handed me the $195.00 ticket, much more than I wanted to shell out. The first lady, the kind one, seemed to have a soft heart, which was working in my favor. Evidently her boss caught wind that she was about to cave, and another agent was assigned to my case. She was not budging as I began to shed tears. For some reason, a new agent came along and he was nice to me, but I doubted his willingness to waive the ticket. Then I woke up.

This was one of those dreams you wake up very grateful that it was a dream (but embarrassed to wake up crying). Weird, though, I’ve been paranoid every time I see a cop car. It seems now I have more questions than answers… like why was I going 80 mph in a 40 mph zone? Were the 3 agents a metaphor for anything in my real life? What kind of car was I driving? I’ll just assume the answer to that last question is this:

general lee

Hey, it’s my dream!

Just a good ol’ boy,
Out of the Wilderness