Hello old friend.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I have four good friends, including my wife. She’s the only one who lives close and out of the four, I’ve known her the shortest, although most of the time it feels like I’ve known her my whole life.
The next closest is the one I’ve known the longest (going on twenty years now, buddy!). He lives about three and a half hours away.
My next closest geographically, and the one I’ve known the next longest (what is it? 13 years now?) lives about eight and a half hours away.
The farthest lives about seventeen hours away by car and I met him a few months after I met the last guy. We made that drive once. From there to here. It was an amazing experience. We drank caffeinated beverages and ate No-Doze like they were candy. We drove through a exaggeratedly-lit tunnel in and under Alabama that I still see in my dreams sometimes. We skated across the foggy swamps of Louisiana in a fog of our own. We jammed Tom Waits and Modest Mouse and whatever else the burned CDs and iPods had in store. It was something else. Surreal but Hyper-real. Life-changing to say the least.
We don’t talk as much as we used to. Life’ll do that. But he’s still one of my best friends and when we do talk it’s always a treat. I talked to him earlier today. I’ve had a whirlwind of a past year or so and I’m trying once again to start over for the last time so I needed some feedback. Do you know what he left me with at the end of the conversation. Verbatim:
“.. get the blog back! Its been almost a year man”
Damn, Bones. You got me again. So here it is.
I didn’t know what to write about when I started this. I just knew that I wanted to get it going again. Make some changes. Do some things more and and some things differently from here on out. Restart. Start again.
It’s been a rough year. We observed? celebrated? the one-year anniversary of my Dad dying a few weeks ago. I’ve dipped in and out of depression and anxiety and anger and fits of manic happiness and numbness. I got fired from my job for not doing something that I was never told to do. I got another job and have since nearly double my wages. My wife and I had another beautiful baby girl, born on what would’ve been my father’s 69th birthday. I’ve been beaten and lifted and soothed and then beaten and lifted and soothed all over again. It has been, in my own words, “a landmark year.” But I’ve gotten through it. Not flawlessly or expertly or effectively and sometimes just barely. But I’ve gotten through it. So far. I don’t think the struggle will ever go away. I don’t necessarily want it to. But I’m changing the way I react to it. I’m going to struggle regardless, so why now struggle for what I want? For me, my wife, our family. I’m starting anew and I’m starting here and now.
My wife, my best friend told me today to “choose my hard.” She said it’s all hard: going to work, doing the things, why not pick the hard that works for you? Goddamn brilliant. So I’m choosing this for her, for me, for us, for anyone and everyone and no one. I’m choosing my struggle and carving out the life that I think is worth struggling for.
Here we go.