After a night of celebration and a day of rest, I suppose it’s time for one of those horribly predictable “things I’ve left behind during the past year” posts.
But I’d rather reflect on the past in terms of changes, not endings or beginnings. The things we experience never truly leave us, after all.
More than anything, I think what I’ve wrestled with during the past year has been my own set of personal priorities. What does my soul truly crave? And where the hell am I supposed to compromise?
I’ve tried compromise as a lifestyle and it didn’t work. I’ve tried a zero-compromise approach, and that did not work either. In the end, as with all things, it seems that the only real answer is balance. Balance through chaos: sometimes it’s alright to compromise, and other times it isn’t, and there’s no pocket guide for it. You simply have to take things as they come, and consider each twist of fate anew as if it were your first.
My priorities have become far clearer during the past few months as I’ve toiled through a year of turbulence. I had a self-proclaimed “friend” bail out on me when I needed a travel partner, lived in a hellish, mold-infested trailer that was literally crumbling around me, and drank myself sick more times than I’d have liked to give myself the illusion of coping.
But in the end, I believe that I wound up exactly where I needed to be. In between the tribulations are woven some of the greatest moments of this life. I have spent countless hours with the best creature I’ve ever met on Earth, reconnected with a previously-lost family member, and come into a completely different method of living.
I’ve gambled and lost, and gambled and won–in both the literal and metaphorical senses.
And that’s simply the way chaos goes.
The most important thing I’ve learned is that you should never fuck around with a gut feeling connected to those you’re closest to–whether it’s your gut or theirs. If you feel that you should say something, then say it. Do not wait if there’s no compelling reason to. Love your dear ones deeply, completely, and unyieldingly. Never let brambles and stones and dark fog bar your way to that which matters most to you. If you are committed, then be truly committed.
Success, I’m sure, lies in careful, thoughtful prioritization of personal values– and then the unabashed, incorrigible pursuit of those values. I still have a long way to go . . . for everything I have learned, there are things that I haven’t yet. But that is the beauty of time– convoluted, nonlinear time: the journey never truly ends. There is simply adaptation, shifting, and evolution of the soul.
My sincerest of thanks to my loved ones who have helped me during my worst times:
to a brother who has held my hand like our lives depended on it . . .
to a father who has taught me invaluable lessons in blind trust . . .
to a father who has shown me indescribable patience and mirrored my own traits when I most needed to learn about them . . .
and to a father of fathers who has shown me that, regardless of memory or the outside world, sometimes there is no greater pleasure than losing yourself in the noise of an arcade.
Here’s to my house, my brethren, and the connection that threads between us all. You are my heart, my soul, and my blood.
Here’s to our next chapter, one of infinite. Here’s to authenticity and mutual trust. Here’s to honor, neverending and unwavering. Thank you for your lessons and all our little moments. May we share countless more for all eternity.