Sequestered

When I was in Fifth Grade, our class put together a little ‘yearbook’ type deal to commemorate our ‘graduation’ from Elementary to Middle school. Among other things, there was section where we were to put down a nickname if we had one. I did not. However, I made one up (“Golfer” as I’d played golf once or twice at that age, and Dad played it often.) When the book came out, people poked fun at me because A) it wasn’t true and B) it was lame. I desperately wanted to be accepted.

In Middle school, I added signatures from fictional movie and literary characters to the blank pages in my yearbooks so that there weren’t the huge gaping holes between the various “Have a Great Summer” signatures.

I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 17. Aubrey was a nice girl, and I still remember our first kiss. She didn’t have a great home life, and I personally feel those eight months were more of an escape for her than any real attachment. I, of course, latched on quickly since I hadn’t received that kind of attention before. Prom was unmemorable.

When I moved to Topeka, I was often ridiculed by my co-workers. Whether it be my poor sense of style or generally conservative viewpoints, I made an easy target. My manager(s) normally picked me for the lesser duties knowing I wouldn’t complain or raise any issues.

I have spent the majority of my years on this planet feeling out of place and that I have nothing to contribute. I haven’t felt that I have the adequate skill to create anything of value, nor provide an irreplaceable value to someone else’s life. I don’t make friends easy (acquaintances, sure, but that’s because I’m so amiable…it’s nearly impossible for me to be difficult).

When I met Indi, it was the first time that I really felt like someone special. Our marriage has been the greatest blessing I’ve ever known. She makes me into a better person by challenging who I am (and why) and opening my mind to endless possibilities.

I still don’t think I have a lot of value to add, but my upcoming trip is a big question mark for me. I’ve tried many times to break out of my shell and try to figure out who I really am. I don’t know my place here. I feel like a drag on people and I need that to stop.

What do I provide or create that makes me different? What can I do that both makes me happy and makes others say, “That’s why he is my friend.”? I don’t know right now. But I hope to soon.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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One Response to Sequestered

  1. LaughingOak says:

    Dude… you inspire. You were the laid back cool guy who reminded me that who I am is not who I was and is not who I want to be. Plus… I gave up soda. I remembered what you said and I realized that if you could do it so could I and then so could those that follow me… that is what you do Dude… You Insipre greatness in ordinary people. Not because you are a looser but you are at a point of greatness the rest of us want to be at. And your funny too… Not all cool people can pull off funny the way you do. You keep being you… and the rest of us will keep being inspired to do better. Deal?

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