1 Year In
What have I learned in 1 year? Let’s see….
My life started 1 year ago today. My new life, or so to speak; my life of trying to figure out who I really am, and trying to fight MS heads on. Funny, thing is, it looks a lot like my old life in my tinted view right now.
A year ago I was reeling and alone. Although I had tons of friends, I was in a place where I didn’t know what to do. I talked to my friend, Jennifer, and expressed my intention to write a blog and to start to take control of myself. I wanted to get it out there publicly and see what happens. I wanted to truly start my journey.
I wrote out what I wanted to say, sent it to Jenn, my sister Taylor, and a few of my best friends in my life. I made a video on Youtube to post simultaneously, at the request of my friend, Steve Gerben, who talked me up with confidence to be able to do it.
I was scared no one would like it, and that no one would read it, and more so, that no one would take me seriously. On June 25th, I posted the blog, and went to the bar with Jenn to have a drink and calm myself down. I went home early and went to sleep with 2 likes on the Facebook post and a nervous feeling of “what did I just do.”
The next day I got about 150-200 messages. It was overwhelming, reassuring, and awe inspiring all at once. The blog and my challenges became my life, and the summer of ’14 became all about that. I fell behind a little bit of work, sort of righted myself for a bit, and struggled to find the balance I was looking for.
I’ve made so many friends; I’ve made so many strides at work. I’ve actually taken medication for MS and went to the doctor’s routinely.
I, also, am still the same person I’ve always been. I still have issues, I still have the same fears, and I still have the same douche mentality that posts 9 million things online. I still love attention, and I still love just going with the flow and having non-stop fun. I still feel out of shape, I still feel like I didn’t deal with my MS, and I still feel like I can always do more, even though I’m tired as hell.
I’ve gone through things that I will never experience again, and I’ve done things that I’ve never done before. I’ve walked 2 5k’s and “ran” a 5k mud run in October. I’ve climbed a mountain I couldn’t in 2013. I’ve held fundraisers. I’ve done dumb things. I’ve done healthy things. I’ve traveled more than I ever have.
I’ve become more cynical, all the while looking for a sort of boundless optimism.
I’ve grown up mentally, and understand what anxiety feels like, when you think it’s justified (as opposed to before when I hated myself for feeling this way, because everything was “great” and I was unjustified to feel bad).
But, in reality, I’ve gone up, up, up, down, down, up, down, up, DOWN, UP, down over and over again. I’ve done some good, and those that know me, know that I’ve done some bad.
I’ve been away from family and home for a while, and I’m still here, still kicking and still fighting. I’ve fallen for people, got over it, fallen again. I’ve ignored friends that I shouldn’t, all in the name of being busy. I’ve had some people that I thought would be fixtures in my life, leave, and I’ve had some people that I didn’t know become new fixtures. I’ve realized that some are going to come and go, but an inordinate amount of friends I have will always be there.
I’ve been to the hospital about 10 times in a year, spending 12 agonizing days in the Alameda hospital in November. I’ve lost money gambling that I shouldn’t, I’ve made decisions to not gamble that I’ve never made before.
I’ve quit smoking and started smoking about 35 times. Only 2 times significantly.
I’ve read my first 10 books in over 2 years. Just saying that sounds insane for me, and embarrassing. I’ve come to accept that I’m not 20 anymore, although, I wouldn’t say I have accepted it and moved on.
I’m at a point where I don’t regret some of the things that I’ve talked about on here internally any more. I don’t regret my past; I just judge why I can be so fucked up in the present at times.
I’ve tried therapy; I’ve talked the ears off of friends. I’ve learned to be there, truly for some friends, and I’ve learned when to stop just looking for everyone to be there for you, as you need to give something to be someone’s friend.
I’ve given up on any form of online dating working, and decided I’m living in real life. I’ve decided it’s not a game and it’s not a fixture in my life. Anti-social people need to gear up for meeting women, social ones can just go make friends and see what happens. When I’m at my best, I’m the latter, Tinder, and all that bullshit, makes me the former. I’ve learned how long someone can stay with your thoughts, no matter how much you have moved on, after spending years with them.
I’ve joined a gym, went a few times, and then basically have a membership that acts like a subscription service I don’t use, a once a month charge on my credit card that sits there staring at me. I’ve planned to go back. I am this week as long as the ankle holds up.
I’ve paid back every human being that I owed money to, albeit with some leniency from my parents for my early 20’s. I’ve missed payments because I don’t check my mail, and I’ve paid more fees than any human being should. I am horrible at paperwork (or just lazy) and I am getting that stuff straightened out. Maybe I’ll hire an assistant. Just kidding.
I’ve come to love NorCal, and I’ve experienced more of the bay and the surrounding areas. I’ve come to appreciate that we live in such an awesome place, while learning to truly miss New Jersey. I’ll say that again, I truly miss New Jersey.
I’ve travelled, and know that I want to do that more. I want to live somewhere new, if I ever leave here. Having the professional ability to choose wherever I want to go, and feeling 100% happy where I am is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. I want to take chances, but healthy ones.
I’ve learned more about myself as a person, than I ever have; yet I still have no control over myself at times. I’ve learned that I can scare the shit out of myself when I let my mind roam.
I’ve learned that you can do a lot of good, and will if you try. I’ve learned that you can do a lot of bad, and you will if you let yourself. I’ve learned that who you are as a person, can’t be defined by your weakest and worst moments, just as it can’t be defined by your best and strongest. I’ve also learned that you have a way better chance of establishing others’ lasting views with a few of the weakest than with many of the strongest.
I’ve learned that I don’t want to post this blog any more on Facebook and Twitter, looking for likes, comments, and attention any more. I feel better when I write consistently, but I feel worse about myself when I think about who’s reading it.
I wish I did more of this in the last year, and I wish I posted more frequently. But, I’m going to stop putting things up publically to everyone I know, to stop trying to reach that 1 to 10 people I’m thinking about when I write, almost subconsciously. I may keep the WordPress site going; even if literally 5 people read every one I write. I may just keep a journal. I may try to write stories. I may do none of these things. I may write emails for work and go home and not read or write anything.
I will continue to succeed at work, while making myself healthier, and happier, and I may start to be able to make friends and start new relationships healthily and from a good place.
I have not learned enough yet, and I may keep making mistakes in these areas and only going crazy over things I can’t change. I may keep friends around me that take and take, and feed into my own demons, and I may invite old ones back into my life from before. I may take too much from those that care about me, unintentionally.
Anything is possible. It’s all on the table. I know that this blog and Facebook became what most everyone from home knows about me, and it was almost a running story of what I was doing out in California.
In all honesty, its not close to covering that, and I’m going to use writing to get my feelings and thoughts out, not to make myself feel better, or make myself feel like I’m impressing people.
I’m going to continue to laugh, to smile, to say sarcastic shit, to bitch about traffic and the way Californians drive, to wish I could get good hoagies and pizza, to enjoy the food I’ve never tried before, and to meet new people. I’m going to keep having fun, and I’m going to probably keep being annoying at times, and a little bit of a attention whore. But, overall, I’m going to keep trying to find my life, and what I want, no matter what I have to do. Thank you for everything, that anyone I know, has given me this year. I appreciate it more than you all know.
Be kind, be caring, have fun. Simple and efficient. Don’t stop looking for greatness, and don’t accept sadness. Experience it and learn. Happiness is really all that matters. If you don’t like something, change it. Never stop growing, and never stop learning.
“Hey, hey, hey. A life. A LIFE, Jimmy. You know what that is? It’s the shit that happens while you’re waiting for the moments that never come.”
Lester Freamon, The Wire.