I fixed my financial situation. In spite of my own actions at times, I managed to avoid being permanently tied to the Midwest. It was time to focus my attention back on the Dream.
I may not have gotten married yet, but I wasn’t the only Musketeer who started thinking about the long term. Our self proclaimed 4th Musketeer Linus left the Game first. He was the last one out of KU and the first one with a wife, kid and a mortgage. Go figure. I will always remember this cat breaking down in tears as the procession began for his wedding. I don’t say that to mock him; I just didn’t fully understand. I asked him why it happened and he said it was the happiest day of his life. It was a revelation for me. I cried for a woman once, but I also recognized how foreign it still was to me to expect that level of happiness in my personal life.
Beavis married his longtime girlfriend next. His bachelor party was the official end of the Three Musketeers. I won’t repeat that whole story again, but in true Musketeer fashion, I will say champagne bottles were emptied, the cops got involved, and for the first and only time in my life, my parents saw me hungover. Anyway, there was nothing left for me to do personally in Kansas. The Colonel was in a similar boat, so we each made plans to head to the West Coast.
You almost never, and I mean never get a chance to make right things you did wrong previously. It was the right attitude at the right time in my life, but I was in complete EFF YOU mode when I graduated from KU, thinking I would never be drawn back. In the years since, the chip on my shoulder had disappeared. I had good friends waiting for me in California, and I was leaving great friends behind in Kansas. My family was, and is still healthy and intact (thank God). We still check on each other on a regular basis. The Musketeers took me out one last time for my personal going away bash; I ended up hurling on the Colonel while sitting in Mrs. Beavis’ car (sorry about that to both of you). Alexis told me she was burning me some CDs for my long road trip; I didn’t realize some meant…50 at least! But it was a long road trip and I ended up listening to all of them (muchas gracias Cunada).
In returning to Kansas, I gained a bond with my family I didn’t have when I left. I knew a lot of people when I graduated, and a lot of people knew me, but the bond built between most of my closest friends came after college graduation. And I imagine most of those friendships will carry me through however much longer God decides to let me hang around. I had lost a few good years professionally, but I gained a personal life. All in all, I’d consider that a fair trade.