Goodbye & Godspeed

It is December 31, 2015.  It is tradional on this day to look back at the year and try to make sense of it.

2015, you made no sense.

With that in mind, I will attempt to explain my year.

I survived.  My family is healthy.  I have a job.  I have a wonderful son, and a beautiful wife.  Depression hasn’t beaten me.  I got to meet my writing hero.

All of these things have been written about on this blog.  I have been posting consistently for less than a year.  My first post was in April, This is why I drink coffee.

The next week I decided that I needed to be honest with my friends about my depression, and mark Mental Health Awareness Month, so I wrote #IWishMyFriendsKnew.

June and July brought Unfinished Stories, a collaboration with a few friends to write stories together.

A Love Story was told in August, and September was a very rough month with Trigger Words and Bagels flowing freely.

October was all about Passed Away Relationships, while November told of my struggle with Bell’s Palsy.  But mostly, it was about Paris.

December I got to talk about meeting The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, and being Furiously Happy.  I also got to talk about an Awakening, have you felt it?

My stats page tell me that I have had over 1,900 views.  That #IWishMyFriendsKnew is my most read post, that I have sent people to my friends pages through Unfinished Stories, and that I have had readers in 42 countries, and have posted a total of 39 times in 2015.

And I am just getting started.  Goodbye 2015, hello 2016!

 

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Re-Awakening

Look, we’ve been here before.  So full of hope and eagerness.  The anticipation flowing between the two of us, electric and new.  The promise of a new relationship and all of the things that means.

The last time was…let’s be honest, a disaster.  We had an expectation problem.  We had years to sit and dream about what it would be like.  The chance to recapture that feeling from our first fling, and maybe start something new.  But it just never felt…well, it just never felt how we always thought it would.  And that’s on both of us really, we should have tempered ourselves, had realistic expectations.  Maybe not been so selfish.

But here we are again; it’s been a little while now, and we’ve both had a chance to grow and mature.  We can still remember that glow from so long ago, and so we are all prepared to set aside our differences from the last time, really commit to this new chapter in our lives.

We’ve had months, years really, of flirting.  Of teases and small peeks.  Of whispers in the office and sneaking off to look at your pictures at 3am.  I have found that you are all I can think about.  And I’m about to find out the truth.  If you’ve been worth all these thoughts and hopes, all the mental and emotional energy I’ve invested.  It’s almost time for our latest first date.

I’m nervous; I won’t lie about that.  I’m worried that the chemistry won’t be right.  I mean, we clicked so well together the first time, but memories fade slowly; those speeches you gave, the forced way things happened, and we just never had the love story we were both hoping for.  I’m worried that the expectations are just so high.  I’m worried that you’ll be like the hot cheerleader: pretty, but empty.  This time though…  Well, we’ve both promised it will be different this time.

Tonight, these fears will be taken care of.  I will set aside my trepidations, and just enjoy the evening.  The disscussions and over-analyzing will wait.  Because tonight…tonight is just about us.

And when you whisper those first words to me, I know exactly what you’ll say:

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….”

Well, at least I didn’t embarrass myself…

I have spoken a couple of times about Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess.  She has an amazing blog and a couple of great books.  She is amazing.

Last week I travelled to Bookshop Santa Cruz in, perhaps not that shockingly, Santa Cruz, California, and met my hero.

Jenny wrote a book this year, Furiously Happy, and was doing a book signing.  I had bought the book (twice technically…) and I was going to the signing.  My wife had jumped at the chance to go, even reading both books to “prepare.”  I’m still not sure it is possible to prepare for something like this, but I appreciated the attempt.  The night before the signing we realized our son was coming down with a little bug and we had to do some real soul searching; taking a two-year old to a book signing a couple of hours away already seemed like it was an idea bordering on insanity, but the thought of taking a sick two year old on the same trip sounded like something that would get you murdered by a group of very angry people.

My mother wonderfully volunteered to go with me, saving me the unsightly task of begging.  We drove to Santa Cruz, arrived on time, mostly, then walked to the Bookshop.  It was packed.  Like bursting at the

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This was our view.  I may, or may not, be standing on a shelf.  Sorry Santa Cruz.

seams, chock full of awkward and mildly ill people; not in a death and dysentery kind of way, more like a “I’m going to hide under my coat until everyone is gone,” kind of way.  My mother and I found a place to stand, in a canyon of travel books.  We had a pretty good view, although not comfortable in any way.

Jenny was wonderful.  She was honest that the drugs hadn’t kicked in yet, and yet confident.  She was funny, articulate, and rambling.  She read two chapters from Furiously Happy.  She answered questions.  She reminded me why I started blogging again, and why I started writing to begin with.  She reminded me that we are all broken and that’s ok.

The talk was over far too quickly.  I could have listened to her for hours.  Then we started lining up for the signing portion.  This is where it gets difficult for me; see, while I don’t like being surrounded by a lot of people, I really don’t like situations that require me to talk to people.  And even less than that, situations where I might embarrass myself.  Or do the wrong thing.  Or really anytime it seems I might be inconveniencing other people.  Like when I am forcing them to sign something.

My mom was there, trying to keep my mind off of it.  I was trying not to knock over tables filled with books.  I realized my fingertips were sweating, then I started worrying I was going to fling my book at Jenny.  I would be the one that hit Jenny in the face with her own book.  Then I was next in line.

I’m really not sure what I said.  I knelt down in front of her to be more eye level.  I looked at her and…I told her.  I told her thank you for making it ok IMG_2643to be broken.  Thank you for making it so I could be honest about who I am.  For making it so that I could talk to my parents and wife about it.  That I have a blog.  That I’m working on a book.  And I know I can do all of this because of her.  She listened to me, agreed with me.  She added in points, about how it makes it easier to talk about it.  That we are a little less alone.  About how wonderful Twitter is.  She signed my book while doing all of this.  The drugs had obviously kicked in for her by this point, because there was no way I would have been able to do all of that.

There are so many moments from that night that aren’t written here: from meeting Jenny’s sister and recommending where to go find wine, to introducing my mother to a vanilla latte from Verve, and the talk on the way there, and the slightly more real conversation on the way home.  I will remember the awakward people in line, and the insane racoon the bookshop gave her.  I will remember that she really listened to me.

Everyone says, “Don’t meet your heros, you’ll just get let down.”  Meeting your heros isn’t so bad.  Not when your heros are this badass.

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The Fall

There are these moments in life, these periods in which you seem to be suspended.  Like being on a roller-coaster, just waiting for gravity and momentum to push you over the edge.  That is where I am right now.

I can’t go backwards into the life I have been living for the past three years.  The comfort and understanding of an existance I have had.  It is time to move forward.

I can’t go forwards into the life I will be living for the next great while.  The unknown and questions all grand and wonderful.  It is not yet time to take that plunge.

So I wait and wonder and hope and dream.  I find it difficult to work on the things I need to.  On the things I want to.  I find it hard to write with so many questions in my mind.  I find it hard to focus and just exist in harmony with the universe around me, allowing the current to move me along, when I don’t know the direction of the river.

I find myself thinking about the journy I have been on the last few years; the decisions and mistakes, the good times and bad, friends still remembered and relationships changed.  I think about how I haven’t really been settled over the last 10 years, constantly waiting for real life to start.  When in reality, this is real life.  It has been waiting for me.

I got to meet a hero this week.  I saw amazing things.  I got to enjoy being around my son.  I got to enjoy some quiet evenings with my wife.  This is real life.  The questions will go on, and the universe will take me where it does.  But no matter the path, I don’t walk it alone.

Looking Forward

I can’t be funny today.

I can’t be inquisitive or creative today.

I can only survive.  I can only keep walking.  Keep breathing.  Keep trying.

Last week I wanted to post this great peice about Thanksgiving and how we can come together and celebrate as a nation and humanity what we have.  But I couldn’t.  It didn’t feel…true.

I’m looking from the wrong side of the window this week to talk of hope and happiness.

So instead, of that noise, these are the things I’m looking forward to:

  • Furiously Happy book signing in Santa Cruz.  I get to meet Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess, go read her.  Right now.)
  • Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.  The 12 year old in me is crying already.
  • Colder weather.
  • Doctor Who Christmas Special.  Because River Song.
  • Downton Abbey  in January.  Don’t judge.
  • Sleep.  I don’t know when this will happen, but I am so excited for when it does.

In the meantime, I’m drinking tea and trying to make it one more day.