The Final Chapter
current mood: content
Since this is my first post of 2007, I want to wish everyone the best for the new year. The way it usually works out, the week or so before the winter solstice through the first week of the new year tend to be a time of relaxing and self-reflection for me. Someone close to me refers to a "spiritual new year", which has been something I've incorporated into my life most of the time--for whatever reason, mine ends up coinciding with the calendar. Perhaps that's simply because that's a time of year for me when I'm usually not very busy--in fact, probably the only time I'm not very busy for any extended period. Whatever the reasons, its good to have a time to sit back, gather my thoughts, and recharge the proverbial batteries.
It still seems like only yesterday that we were ringing in 2006 and yet a whole year has passed. Its been a very crazy year with a lot of ups and downs, but somehow the ending has managed to be as wonderful and amazing as it was totally unexpected. We all have people lurking around on the periphery of our lives, acquaintances we know but don't really know in any kind of meaningful sense. But the past few months, almost as if by some cosmic theme, have included becoming a lot closer in various ways with several of those people who have either been in the background of my life or simply kept a certain distance for whatever reason. Its as strange as it is exciting. Its quite striking to stop and think about the fact that no matter how much you think you might have a handle on things, life can still surprise you in the most random ways.
I'm sure many will wonder whether the subject line on this entry is meant literally. And in fact, it is. This is going to be the last--or at least one of the last few--posts in this blog. See, I've spent a lot of time the past few weeks looking back and thinking about just how far I've come in the five years since I've started writing here. I started this blog in January 2002, partially on a whim and partially because of the urging of the always-lovely wlkinonsunshine. One of the major benefits I saw in having a blog was that I thought it would help in making sure I write every day, since I would know that people were reading. Mostly, it has worked, although for the past year or two, I haven't been writing to the degree that I used to. That's one thing I fully plan on changing now, but more on that later.
In some ways, its hard to believe that it has been five years. So much has happened and yet it all seems so fast. More than anything, these have been years of transition. There's much in this blog that is out of date or that doesn't reflect who I feel I am now or that I'm quite simply not proud of. But more than any of that, the real reason that this is my last post is quite simply that this particular transition is over. I am, as most of you know, a writer before all else and I feel that the time has come to bring this chapter of my life to a close. This has been a chapter about learning and seeing things that I needed to see. I feel that that process is now drawing to a close. Of course, there will always be transitions--that is life, after all--but I feel like its time to start a new chapter--one of not only learning, but also putting what I've learned into action.
Five years ago, I had no idea where my life would go from that point on, much as I had no idea what would come of this blog. I was only a little over a year removed from the ending of a bad relationship and I had decided that corporate America and the suburban life weren't for me. But I had no idea where to go from here or what would replace anything I had lost. I was, essentially, adrift. In the ensuing time, I've traveled a bit, moved a few times, learned a lot, found new interests and a new purpose in life, and met a lot of wonderful people along the way. I've figured out a lot about why our society is the way it is and why it causes so many so much pain--and ways to escape that cycle. I've stopped thinking of razor blades and knives as a source of solace for their potential to end it all. I've rediscovered hope and to a large extent, my humanity. And yes, I've even changed my political affiliation--you see, I used to be a Republican but that is probably a story best left for another time.
Taking a page from a friend...
Ten years ago: I was in the process of moving back to Cleveland after sticking around Charlotte for a year after high school for family reasons. At that time, I wanted to enroll in college to study physics and computers. I thought that one day I'd have my PhD and a nice cushy job in a lab somewhere doing research and ignoring the rest of the world. Politics was something I thought I had left far behind.
Five years ago: I was adrift and preparing for a move to Pennsylvania because I badly needed a change of scenery. Too many bad memories floating around--of my ex-fiancee, of disappointment. I knew that after 9/11 the world we knew would never be the same again--but little did I know that neither would my personal life.
One year ago: I finally started feeling as if I was getting to a better place in life. There was finally something of a light at the end of the long tunnel and I was getting comfortable with the idea that maybe this time it wasn't an oncoming train. Of course, it turned out life had a few more suprises to throw my way.
So where to go from here. I'll still be around Livejournal, reading and keeping up with all of you--in fact, probably doing more reading than I have been. I'm going to be setting up another blog, one to begin the next chapter. I'm going to be working on that over the next couple of days. I'll have a new Livejournal account, even if I decided to only use it as a mirror for a blog on another site. As soon as I have it set up--more accurately, as soon as I figure out a new appropriate user name--I'll let everyone know where I am so that you can add me again if you'd like.
A few final notes:
*The new Democratic Congress is an exciting new start. Hopefully, voters won't let them forget why they were elected. The work is far from finished; in fact, its just getting started. My great hope is that this is the start of building a society that's more progressive, civil, and humane--but we have a long way to go to get there.
*I'm no longer single. I'm very happy but I don't feel comfortable saying more here at this point. Perhaps that'll come in the next chapter.
*Still disappointed about my Buckeyes. And that the Panthers didn't make the playoffs. On the bright spot, Carolina is now number 1 in the nation in basketball--you know, our rightful place. GO HEELS!
...and a double does of the Friday Five (Pretend its still Friday)
1. favorite cereal and why?
Cheerios. Simple, wholesome, tasty.
2. what is the best thing about summer?
The end of it. No seriously, I really hate the heat and humidity of southern summers. I prefer much cooler weather and the chilly nights of autumn.
3. would you rather have a slurpee or a milkshake?
A milkshake. Better yet, a frosty. I don't even like slurpees.
4. If you could be a member of any band/musical group, past or present, what band would it be and why?
The Beatles. Do I really have to explain why???
5. Who is your idol? What are they famous for?
There's people I respect in various fields for various reasons. But I don't have one particular person I'd call an idol. But just for the sake of answering the question, I'm going to go with someone appropriate for this time of year--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for always holding on to the dream that we can be better than we are.
1. Do you have any pets? If so, how many, and what are their names?
I don't know, does Amy count? If not, then no, no pets at the moment.
2. What was your very first pet? Do you remember its name?
A white rabbit. I named him Cotton. One day he led me down this rabbit hole and...OK, I'm kidding about that part.
3. Is there an animal you would never have as a pet?
4. What common pet have you always wanted but never had? Why not?
A snake. I've just never been in a living situation where its been practical to have one.
5. What wild animal (extinct or not) would you own if you didn't have to worry about its adjustment or the cost of captivity?
I wouldn't own anything meant to be wild. Wild animals should be enjoyed in the wild, where they belong.