Momentary Reflection: 2015’s Lessons I Hope I Don’t Forget

What a year.

I think that in a way, each year we are alive/survive is the most important — no time like the present and such — but in a lot of ways, 2015 was a monumental year for me personally. Here are a couple of my highlights, including some takeaways that I hope I’ve learned; maybe you can relate, because we humans, we gotta start relating..

Losing my Job/Career Change — the universe has been trying to tell me for sometime to get the hell out of my career. I frankly am just not that good at it, and I lost some motivation for my job…predictably, the job itself followed suit and lost me around midyear. It’s not ideal, but I’ve known for years that my talents and passions lies elsewhere…and I am seeing this latest as one of several kicks in the ass I guess I needed to jumpstart some things. I wrote more in the second half of 2015 than I had in probably the previous two years. Now it’s time to really make it a career and not a passing hobby. takeaways– stay focused, work harder, don’t waste your time or others’, chase your dreams sooner than later, love what you do

Losing My Grandmas: Toughest loss of the year was saying goodbye to two special ladies hugely influential in my life. One was my biological maternal grandma, MaMckee. She was an institution, graceful and lovely to the very end. Though in recent years we did not have much contact, it was always awesome to see her a couple times a year at family events. She is quite literally why I am here, and I will always cherish living as neighbors with her and my grandpa Gappy as a child. The other was my Swedish mormor, Britt-Marie. Nobody aside from perhaps my mother has been a bigger influence in my life over the past 5–6 years, and in some ways I was closer to no one else than my dear svenska mormor. Though not related by blood, she was as much family to me as anyone. She made me laugh, think, and take a more honest look at myself. I could tell her quite truly anything- we spoke of love, writing, drugs, philosophy, religion, language stuff, more language stuff, and pretty much anything in between. And of course Swedish — hours a week of Swedish, over a tasty svensk lunch that she insisted on preparing even to the near end. She left us in March, but there will never be a day as long as I live that I do not think of her and what she taught me about life. takeaways: Live your life, not the one others want you to; balance is good (most the time); love lies everywhere and has many looks, you just need to have open heart, mind, and eyes; language nerds rule.

Appreciating Health/Walking — About a month ago I encountered some excruciating back pain that was almost incapacitating. A week later I am having a microdiscectomy to address a severely herniated disc that was not just giving me the severe pain, but more unnervingly (pun intended I guess), it was causing numbness in my right foot/leg. Four weeks on and recovery has been slow, but I still count myself as one of the luckiest guys ever born. For three weeks including two after surgery, I was truly so fortunate to have the most incredibly heartening support from friends, family, and those of you I consider both. Like my girl Andy– someone I love dearly; someone not easy to define but that I consider a friend, a lover, and cosmic partner in crime — in town to take care of me. I could barely walk but I was hardly ever happier. We had an unforgettable time together, even being in the worst physical condition of my life. I miss her, and hardly know when I’ll see her again, but I am learning to be happy for the “have” and not sad for the “have not”; besides, if I cannot be grateful with all the universe has thrown at me, I’m a true cad. takeaways: pain is not the precise same as unhappiness; be grateful for everything, especially for the people that touch our life profoundly, our health, each good break, moment, day; nothing is a given, everything a bonus.

As I close this reflection on a year that brought me so much joy, learning, and a good deal of pain, it occurs to me that I am truly so grateful for all of it. All of it. The love, the loss, the joy, the grief and all in between. Because it all is part of the curious equation that is me. And as I learn to love myself more and more, i realize that for all my flaws– and they are prodigious– i really should love myself….we all should (love ourselves, not me); i think the world would be a much better, more peaceful place.

I wish you all the peace, love, and growth that you want out of life this year, moreover this day, week, month, and lifetime.

Happy 2016! I hope our paths intersect soon in some form or fashion.