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Chasing The American Dream

December 31, 2004


Apologies upfront for being melodramatic, but 2004? “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

I could make this post a novel, but I’m already writing a novel in which the year 2004 plays an integral part of the book. So I’ll try to make this brief; brief is not my strong suit as you know so bear with me. I could never have imagined that I’d have a worse year than 2003. I’ve stated before on this blog that 2004 has been the worst year of my life. It’s hard to believe it has been one year to the day when I moved 2,500 miles away from my family. Separation sucks. Divorce sucks. Missing your child is the worst. Traveling 90% for your job and never being home sucks. Depression sucks. Falling in love is awesome, but getting your heart broken can be devastating. Not once, but twice.

But all that’s very negative. I’m tired of negative. That’s the old me. The new me has gotten through all that difficult shit. The “Garden State” me is a better person. A changed person. Positive, happy and hopeful. I’ve made some great friends and have met some amazing, beautiful people this year. You know who you are. Thank you all. I’m listening to music again and I’m writing again. Love that. Yes, I’m looking at 2005 with excitement and anticipation. I am wary though that it's likely that my old flames are going to get engaged in '05. I think I'll be OK with it, but I know there will be 'pangs' tugging at me. Nonetheless, it’s gonna be a good year for me. I wish the same for all of you.

I leave you with three messages that sum up my feelings for 2004. Naturally, as is typical for me, they’re songs that express my point-of-view better than I ever could. Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2005. The Chase continues…


I walk a lonely road, the only one I that have ever known.
Don't know were it goes, but it’s home to me and I walk alone.

I walk this empty street on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
Where the city sleeps, and I'm the only one and I walk alone.
I walk alone, I walk alone. I walk alone, I walk a...

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me.
My shallow heart’s the only thing that's beating.
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me.
Till then I walk alone.

I DON’T WANNA BE by Gavin DeGraw

I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately.
All I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mind.
I’m tired of looking ‘round rooms wondering what I gotta do or who I’m supposed to be.
I don’t want to be anything other than me.

OUR LIVES by The Calling

Is it love tonight, when everyone's dreaming, of a better life.
In this world, divided by fear, we've gotta believe that there's a reason we're here.
There's a reason we're here. Yeah.

'Cause these are the days worth livin,' these are the years we're given.
These are the moments, these are the times, let's make the best out of our lives.
Even if hope was shattered, I know it wouldn't matter.
'Cause these are the moments, these ARE the times, let's make the best out of our lives!


  • 2004 was the most trying for me also. I think I've aged a decade in this past year. I'm trying hard like you to stay positive, but I still keep falling into holes. Luckily I've got the limbs and strength in them to keep pulling myself out. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Getting yourself out. That's the only thing that counts. We will encounter holes all our lives...the important thing is getting ourselves out of them.

    Happy New Year, my friend. I'm raising a bottle just for you tonight. Here's hoping that '05 brings us luck and a published novel (for both of us).

    Your new friend,

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 8:49 AM, December 31, 2004  

  • 'Holes.' I totally agree, and I think that should be the title of your next Auf post so start writing. Tks for the sentiments and the friendship. Here's to a positive '05....PT

    By Blogger Plantation, at 9:23 AM, December 31, 2004  

  • Thanks for stopping by... I followed your link back to your blog & have been engrossed for the past 15 minutes-although I intended to just briefly stop by before I head out for the day! I love your writing, and I will be back.

    I'm a big fan of Greek Tragedy. Her honesty is so inspiring... as is yours! I read your Garden State post #1 and am impressed. I cried, too, but lately I am a big wimp and cry at everything. Anyway, blogs like you & GT inspire me to drop my barriers and Southern Etiquette and write what I'm really feeling and thinking. I haven't quite gotten to the point GT has, nowhere near, but this is a journey, isn't it?

    Here's to your 2005 being a much better, happier, soul-searching year for you, Plantation!

    By Blogger girl from florida, at 11:49 AM, December 31, 2004  

  • Well, not to sound like a contrarian, but you say you moved away from your CHILD? And you sit here and whine about the impact on your romance and dating life? Sir, you are going to have more Dickensian years until you get your priorities straight.

    Your priorities telegraph to women your values. Love is behavior, not just an emotion, my friend. Those attracted to you will be those with similarly interesting backgrounds. You attract where you are at.

    Be a Dad – it is more important than your income and getting laid right now.

    Wanna find a soul mate? Try finding your own soul first.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 AM, December 31, 2004  

  • Anon,

    Tks for stopping by and providing the contrarian point-of-view. I can't necessarily say I'd disagree with you if I only knew what you knew. All I can say is that there is sooo much more to it than just 'moving away from my child.' It was the toughest decision I'll probably ever have to make in life. I miss my son, Andy, in ways you can't imagine, or maybe you can? He's a great kid; I talk to him daily. It's such a long story. That's why I'm writing a book. Tough to tell your life story over a few posts. I'll conclude with simply saying I can look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. Those that know me know I'm a good soul. You're certainly entitled to your opinion. Have a Happy New Year. Hope you continue to 'subscribe.'

    By Blogger Plantation, at 1:30 PM, December 31, 2004  

  • I do know and it is a very very tough choice. You are right, the specifics of your situation are not known to those of us who are readers of this blog, and you are wise and good to stay involved. Your son matters. Work matters too. Keep it up. Your dedication to parenting will help your kid, you and believe it or not, attract women who ALSO value parenting.

    As a divorced dad myself I know what you go through...and want you may go through in the coming year. I have made many gut wrenching choices over my son's life to be there and daily in his world. You and you alone can shape the kind of partner and parent he will be someday.

    These are precious years in your son's life. Active dads matter. There is, as I'm sure you will find, many forces in our society that try to marginalize fathers and alienate male parents.

    And following your advice, I'll refrain from being negative. Sorry if what I posted came across that way.

    '05 is a fresh start. For all of us. I am anxious to get it started and as I am in CA, I'll just start it three hours later than you.

    Make good use of your head start, my friend.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 PM, December 31, 2004  


    By Blogger Amanda, at 2:46 PM, December 31, 2004  

  • Thanks A, you too.

    CA Dad, tks for the follow-up. But you're free to speak your mind even if it is negative so don't mind me and don't refrain. Sometimes, a little clarification from me is necessary, that's all.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 3:00 PM, December 31, 2004  

  • Wow, such respectful treatment of contrarianism. Inspiring, from both of you, really.

    Hoping the American Dream is yours in 2005. And thanks for your terrifically supportive comments on my recent posts...


    By Blogger Esther Kustanowitz, at 4:17 PM, December 31, 2004  

  • As a new blogger, your writing has dtruck me as being particularilky powerful and incitive.
    I too share your views of 2004, it was a most depressing year.
    Good luck in 2005.

    By Blogger Ali, at 8:16 PM, December 31, 2004  

  • K-dude, (sending this to your blog)

    So sorry to read about your tragedy. I lost a friend this year who basically killed himself with alcohol and drugs, but even that can't compare to your loss.

    Let's all kick ass in '05, OK?

    By Blogger Plantation, at 8:33 PM, December 31, 2004  

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