Getting Old.

I realized the other day I don't hate the Gulf Coast anymore.

Instead, the seething hate that had me cheering on Hurricane Katrina and giggling like a psychopath at the aftermath has been replaced with mere intense dislike. With age comes a certain mellowing. I hate being away from my family and life. I hate heat and humidity. I hate flat.
 
I don't hate Biloxi.
 
Credit goes to a lot of really nice people down here, none of whom I knew on my previous trips. The local cycling scene, both triathletes and people with bike-handling skills, have really been the difference. They've helped me fill the time and focus on the positive instead of the negative. They've inspired me to look at old things I used to hate in a new way and find new things that don't suck quite so much.
 
This has been quite a quantum shift in perspective, especially for an inflexible brain like mine. 
 
Every day I pass by empty concrete slabs, overgrown with grass. That one was someone's house. Someone's business. Someone's church. Someone's porn shop or Waffle House. The storm surge did a number on the area, altering it in more ways than one. Some ways it's better, some ways it's worse, but it's definitely different.

This will almost definitely be my last trip down here. My military career is drawing down, and I can't see another reason for me to come back. Ever. In a little over a month, I'll take off from the Gulfport airport and feel liighter. Hopefully some of it will be from the pounds I dropped during the thousands of miles I put in on the saddle, but mostly it will be the weight of the Gulf Coast stress lifting from my shoulders.
  
I'll leave this time with a little less malice in my heart, and that's a good thing.
 
Maybe I'm finally growing up.

Comments

  1. "The seething hate that had me cheering on Hurricane Katrina and giggling like a psychopath at the aftermath has been replaced with mere intense dislike."

    Fatalities: (directly or indirectly caused by Katrina)
    - Alabama: 2
    - Florida: 14
    - Georgia: 2
    - Louisiana: 1,577
    - Mississippi: 238
    - Total: 1,833
    Source: FEMA

    At this point Mike, I don't think you were giggling 'like a psychopath'; I think that just makes you a psychopath.

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