Post Six.

One year on…

It’s Superbowl weekend here in America and the excitement is peaking as last minute snacks from the supermarket, alcohol from the liquor store and their team’s jersey to be worn proudly for one day or the following week – depending on whether said team wins the Superbowl. 

This time last year I was living with Josh & Bryce at The Links, and whilst Michael was away with Naval training, the use of his car was in our arsenal. Our destination for watching the Superbowl of 2016 was with the Africans we love dearly; Thabo, Chiko, Humphrey (Prof), Regis, Tatum and their token Scots-man David. My relationship with Jessica was still in full swing and she joined us, furthering her friendship circle and diving into my life more each day. 

Gaffa was still the Head Coach of CBC and he used his Superbowl Sunday to be our hero yet again with another of his selfless acts. The Impala had been depleted and sat parked at Kroger for almost six weeks, having broken down and no longer starting/running, we were all cramming lifts, here, there and everywhere, unless I rode my bicycle. Gaffa’s superhero powers came into effect just as Jessica, the boys and I had sat down at the African residence for the first quarter. Therefore our experience of the game/festivities were cut short as we went to work on the car and I sent Jessica to her Sister’s for the game. 

What was my life like at this time? Job security? I had none at this time, as a football coach was very inconsistent. Rain one night and nobody showed up, so no pay. Then the next day baking hot and every man and his dog attended, so good pay. Educational life was alright, classes were not yet challenging and rather tedious as only a few pertained to my degree of choice. Footballing aspect of life was good, just been selected from the hundreds of players to be part of the inaugural squad of Little Rock Rangers F.C. Our CBC season was not one to remember although, little did I know, it would be better than the upcoming season. Love life was sound, as her and I managed to share some good memories. Social life was decent although it was hard to come to terms, not having Eddie (Scouse) around.

Here we are, a year on from this exact Sunday…

I now live in a healthier environment with my new roommate Jordan, in a cosy 80’s decor (not our choice) duplex right by the UCA’s American Football Stadium, which is co-incidentally right round the corner of Bears Den if we ever fancied a few.  Jordan came into my life when Little Rock Rangers F.C. had begun training for the season and held training in Conway on Tuesday and Thursday nights. My first impression of him was one I will never forget. Ever seen the John Smith’s advert with Peter Kay and everyone is stood in a circle keeping the ball up? – Yeah? – Great! The only difference was, nobody smashed the ball into a back garden and yelled “Av it!!“. With the ball having done the rounds, Jordan got a little brave after Nick Doyle and I were impressing with our touch/skill. So Jordan tried to stitch me a few times but thankfully in front of my close peers, I was able to keep my composure on the ball and keep it alive. Having seen the fun side to this, I decide to stitch Jordan in return. This does not go down well and a cocky, arrogant, immature kid hurled abuse at me, to which I retort with a laugh on the outside, but a who the fuck is this kid on the inside. 

Nevertheless to say, I now live with that unattractive description of my roommate, but more importantly, my genuine friend for whom I care for. What’s my life like during this time? Its a step in the right direction if nothing else, I’ve had progress. Gained my EAC from the US Government which helped me stand on two feet. Undergone a torrid season under the new Head Coach, Taylor. A great friend away from football but we do not see eye to eye when it comes to football. Gradually become the fittest, healthiest and most athletic shape I have ever been in my life. I thought the previous season I was fit, blimey, this year has seen a whole new kettle of abs(fish should be here but I’m proud to have a solid core). 

Educationally life has become more serious and extremely interesting. The classes I take now are all degree related. In my spare time I have discovered a passion for reading and have been knocking out books left and right. My nutritional knowledge has soared, hence the improved health. I always knew how to eat healthy, now I know more on how to get the best results from food. Footballing aspect of life you heard above, but again, it was the worst season of my life and the team may be part blame because we were the ones out there, but I wholeheartedly believe it was down to the coaching staff. Each element from a simple hello, to teaching you on the pitch – it was poor. Love life was very mundane but I was not worried nor bothered by the lack of action/relationships I was having because this addiction to my health and my commitment to the team I love, took up all my time. Gloria and I did spend about a month rekindling, discovering, reminiscing, loving, whilst finding out more about each other but yet again that ended as quick as it started up. 

As I sit here typing away, one year on, my Superbowl Sunday has been quite different. Waking up to an empty duplex as Jordan went back home for the weekend. Having worked each night from Wednesday through Saturday at the Italian restaurant; a lie-in was deserved as I stirred at 11am before FaceTime calling home for two and a half hours – which was great may I add. Once all was said and done on the phone, I did the chores of laundry, dishes and all that jazz until my food had settled and it was safe for me to go on a run along Salem Trail. I knew homework was awaiting and I did my very best to avoid it, a bit of Peaky Blinders here, reading a book there and I even made a Shepherd’s Pie, but used venison, that a friend kindly gave me instead of lamb. In the mix of it, out of the blue my old work colleague text me asking if I wanted to go to the Den to watch the Superbowl with him. I hesitated on the reply but later gave him a big thumbs up that I would join him. Broaden my friendship circle, enter a new one, even if they were real country bumpkins, they’re still good people.                                                                                                                

A beer or two in and we decide to get on some whiskey and coke, whilst the specials were still active. $5 pizza here, game of pool there and Atlanta Falcons were up by a tremendous amount. The commentator even stated that no team in Superbowl History has come back from this deficit. Low and behold, whilst smashing the 8 ball around a drink spilt cloth pool table, the New England Patriots had clawed their way back and won the game, donning Tom Brady as the most decorated NFL player with five Superbowl Rings.        

Feeling  ever so tipsy and astonished by this emphatic turn around, I stumble on home and my first thought was to run off that pizza, and hope the cool breeze would sober me up. Maybe I didn’t work off the pizza but I came back sober as a judge. Climbing into bed after having a quick catch up with Jordan as he arrived home late, the realization of 6am Insanity workout loomed. Not that it was a bad thing, its just that I had enjoyed today so much, I wasn’t ready for tomorrow. 

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Post Five.

Do you love reading books?

Do you just get excited by a new read?

I know I do and the calibre of the authors that have been and gone create a whole new world for me.

As a international student in America, the guidelines for my life path are to grind hard in my twenties (now – working four different jobs), build in my thirties and forties, to then relax in the remainder of my exuberant life.

There are millions of generous souls out there, ones who love reading as much as I and some that appreciate reading but just do not get into it as much as others.

All I would ask is if one of you blessed people would help me build my library of books with some classics and to-be classics.

Please find the link to my Amazon wishlist of books that have my attention right now, help me invest in knowledge.

thewanderingbelperian’s Reading Wish List

I thank you in advance and with each book I plan to write an in depth review.

Post Four. 

Have you ever been so upset, so angered, so let down by a friend, that in the end you simply just give up?

Well I have and I regret to say that my trying twice, to fix what they did wrong and not actually getting any end product has allowed me to reach the point of just not caring at all. 

Now if you knew me, you’d know that I’m an extremely passionate person, with blood on my tie and heart on my sleeve and I don’t just lost care easily. 

At the end of a short post, I truly believe in loyalty, trust and good morales to form a great foundation of any one person. 

For me to give up on you, you must have really fucked up! 

Post Three.

Storm before the calm. 

On a whole, my experience in America has been the whirlwind one could write about. First year, a freshman in terms of class and my oh my what fun we had. A clan of Europeans walking round campus. Eyes bulging past the blinkers of the “holy” students as they are captivated by our vast range of culture beaming out of our English, German and Scottish backgrounds. A successful year of football, partying, meeting plenty of new people. 

Second year came around as we added an Australian to the mix as we lost the two Germans.  Becoming a sophomore was random, football was good personally, relationships with ladies were extravagant. Saddest of farewells to my best friend as he departed for Liverpool and we later discover he wouldn’t return. Living with the added spice of an Aussie began perfect, an ideal situation as the friendship was strong. Living in close quarters can take its toll on someone with a strong personality when the other person doesn’t take care in their day to day life. 

Present day and I’m now to be moving out and staying in a spare room, of our previous assistant coach who just got the offer of head coach – information I received before any other player. 

The last six weeks of being back in America have been tough and now things seem to be heading in the right direction. I’m pleased to be working three jobs. Salesman, groundsman and a football coach with my transport a bicycle that my first American girlfriend gave me as compensation for our ending. 

The support from my family has been immense, 4,500 miles away. Without the FaceTime calls, I would be in complete meltdown. 

Not being able to change the waves this storm has produced, I have learn’t how to surf them. 

Post Two.

Twenty days ago, I made my first blog post, something that I could of actually done a few months prior with the drafts I type. Many wise people say that you’d be amazed at what can happen in a day, well let me tell you “wise people”, the last twenty days have been rather eventful; here’s a short recap.

The exit from the European Union officially happened, unimaginable to most but here we are. The pound not as strong as it has been in trades with the US dollar, making money virtually equivalent in my life now. My family are going to be affected by this financially and unfortunately so are many others. My father recently went for a job with a higher salary, unfortunately for him to not see it worth the jump in wage. Money is tight all over the world and I could not be more grateful for all I have, believe me when I say that, I’ve been to Kenya and witnessed the devastation Africa has with my own eyes. Nevertheless, my family are my top priority and this will be a monumental set back for us, I am hopeful things shall pick up sooner, rather than later.

Fitness is extremely important to succeed in football nowadays, I used to be alright at playing semi-pro back in England with training twice a week and games on Saturday afternoons. I can see that you’re thinking, he’s making out he’s old… well I have been fortunate to be old in this sport having a wide span career – if you may – of 11 years, so virtually half my life. I have been running every morning and most evenings too, trying to get in a twice a day run whilst balancing the co-ordination of a pest company and the complex management to get our apartment detoxed as it was riddled with bedbugs, something I once thought was a old wives tale. As soon as we spent the first night back in the apartment, a prompt start at Sears Hometown store would embark my first job in America. No rest for the wicked as coaching football was still in full flow. With any chance I got, doing my up-most to secure a home for Scouse and I to live in for when he arrives back in USA from England. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but let me tell you, there is NOT enough hours in the day.

Troubles with a friend, disloyal and cowardly, leaving me disappointed. My mentality has always been, women are less important than your friends who are genuine friends. Maybe that doesn’t go through everyone’s head or heart. B let me down by dating my ex-girlfriend, not only do I not approve, I was informed by him over a Facebook message. Cowardly as we had hung out twice before he sent the message days later, and since he tries to make normal of life and talk to me like nothing’s happened. I’m disgusted in his behavior when I’ve done nothing but looked after him like a younger brother.

Currently I still reside at The Links with J, B & M… the whole scenario started off wonderfully, it was new and exciting as great friends began a life living together. Unfortunately our personalities wildly differ when it comes to motivation, organisation and passion. Thus leaving a few disgruntled evenings in each others presence creating a misty and dull mood through the apartment. Liquid courage has always seemed to enable my counterparts with their issues within the close living proximity, whereas myself, a strong character isn’t phased to tell it how it is over breakfast with a cup of tea. Now back in Conway and settled into a rhythm, we have mutually decided that I am to leave the household, much to my relief and probably theirs.

The fitness I mentioned further up is in regards to the season that is about to unveil to our prying eyes very shortly, a matter of 4 weeks. Preparing myself to be the best physical shape my time and effort allows, giving me the chance to propel to the top of the pack and lead by example. The team is going to have a very different experience in all aspects applicable to football. Much to my dismay, the manager has resigned his post to support his wife with her new job north of the state in Fayetteville. A decision that has broken the man I know and love as a coach, mentor, friend and confidant, but this upset will only bring a new level of competitiveness among the squad we have.

Fast-forwarding a week or so and my hunt for a property to rent still of high priority. I stop by a realty office on my cycle home from work. Strange encounters happen to me all the time – no I’m not talking about Extra Terrestrial abductions. Greeted by a man of the south with his thick country-drawn accent. Firm handshakes exchanged, this man I do not recognise from Adam, instantly knew me from my introduction. Turns out this fella had shown me a property about 8 months ago, and told me how he kicked himself for not holding off on another offer before we had the chance to rent. Anyways… I sat down in his office, decorated with awards on his back wall from the early 00’s and his realtors certificate, slap bang in the middle. We spoke for what seemed a lifetime, and to which I only planned on spending 10 minutes with him, eventually turning into an hour and a half. As I looked across the desk at him, sat in his Razorbacks office chair, the sheer excitement he had at the potential he was prepared to deal. Well the hand he dealt me were not sour lemons, it was in fact an opportunity to have my licensing and schooling paid for, to earn the documentation to become a fully-fledged realtor.

Only went in to get a rental property and got offered the world … strange but enticing!

Sad news dawned upon my day after I received a FaceTime call from my brother Scouse. He has suffered for a few years now with scary and frequent anxiety attacks leading him to want to run away from the world and live in a forest away from everyone. This man is my other half, the person I can rely on the save my life over and over again without even batting an eye lid. The phone call was to be the joy of Scouse letting me know a date and time he would need picking up from LR National Airport. More misery has come my way. Scouse has decided he would carry on with his venture in England, he has everything he needs and he has been consulting with a monk in recent days, helping him come to the conclusion that all he does is run from anything and chase the wind instead of doing what he truly feels, deep down. Not having someone I class as a brother, by my side like we had planned has gutted me, taken all my insides and left me an empty vessel. I have done nothing but comfort and praise his decision, and as he knows, my support is there night and day.

Anyone left?          Hello…? *echoes*

Some may say an exaggeration but fuck me youth, I couldn’t feel more alone. Gaffa & Scouse not here;  B not worthy of my time until he makes it right;  J,B&M not an easy path to walk on, egg shells everywhere. The rest of the people here I have as friends, on the team, people from UCA, the africans… As cruel as it sounds, are not people I would go out of my way to hang out with. As internationals, we are supposed to be a family to one another as our real family are across oceans, this is why I do not feel it’s an exaggeration to say, I’m surrounded by people but I’m a figure in the background…standing alone.

Post One.

      Sitting here, after a sweltering hot day in Conway, Arkansas. – For those who are like, “Where on earth is that?”  It’s the southern and in the central region of the many states America has to offer. – My first post that I have not bottled and left to rot in the drafts folder, so wish me luck.

      Having just returned from a glorious month away from USA, in the comfort blanket of home, England. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with the ones I love most and recharge my batteries in the lustful essence of Tuscany, Italy and share a jam-packed weekend in the historic city of Amsterdam, Holland. As we speak the EU referendum is having its many judges counting the ballot boxes filled with very split ideas behind each vote. As it stands with few votes left to count, 52% of the population have voted to leave the EU, leaving a hopeful 48% of Britain’s population disappointed, myself included. What happens next, the affect this entails and so forth, we purely do not know; I fear Britain will go into sheer meltdown as the pound sterling has vastly declined against the dollar already. – I pray it shall not choke families, especially my own.

      Being six hours behind England due to time zones, I shall arise naturally with the sunlight basking on my skin in the early morning whilst Britain will know it’s fate and will of had the current (maybe soon ex) prime minister David Cameron addressing the actions it expects to take from the door step of 10 Downing St, London. This leaving Britain a lonely figure in the big world, a feeling I am beginning to feel in my own life.