What I Would Have Missed
Boy meets girl.
Of course, she remains skeptical and everything, but oh shit is he cute. Also, he’s smart in a farmboy-sexy way — and a carpenter… with those hands. OMG — those hands.
They go out a bunch. He kisses her in the backyard under a lemon tree.
Eventually she tells him she used to be a boy, too.
He’s really nice about it — nicer than almost anyone’s been ever before — but, in the end, it’s the end.
They become friends, do things together, talk. They’re very close. She depends on him. His voice always soothes her.
Somehow both of them end up tumbling into cryptocurrency around the same time — April of 2017 — right when shit’s really popping off.
But then, unexpectedly, at the first Ethereal Summit — an overly intense blockchain slash community slash money slash art slash tech thing — she breaks down inside and aches.
She calls him to say they can’t interact anymore.
Neither one needs any explanation that it’s because she’s still in love with him. More so than ever.
Every time is the same, she thinks, walking to the subway in Brooklyn.
Every time but this time.
This time, somehow, is different.
She dissolves into a puddle of tears.
She cries so hard, and for so long, that her brain feels like it’s spinning into the ground, and hurts.
The crying goes on for days.
She starts making plans.
I’ve struggled with being bi-polar — and with the depressive episodes in particular — for as long as I can remember. Suicide entered my thoughts and took up residence when I was a teenager, and I experienced my first — and, so far, thank God, only — hospitalization when I was 18.
The medication made me fall over in the snow and I didn’t want to bother with getting my blood levels tested and all the rest. So I threw it out and white-knuckled myself through until I was afloat again.
Darkness has made itself a companion ever since.
You understand. I know you do.
Many days, many months are better than others — yet the dips, over the years, grew deeper the longer I spent alone.
The years, the years. So many revolutions around the sun — so many years.
Man, more years have passed since those white knuckles than I ever expected to live. And I’m “only” 40 — probably older by the time you read this.
I know life is precious. It’s just I lost sight of how much and have only begun to find out again.
You see, I’d never made plans before.
I’d thought about it, sure, but that previous attempt — perhaps “accident that I kept encouraging to go awry until I ended up in the hospital” would be a better way to put it — was on a whim.
Now was different.
How can I make this one look inadvertent, so my mom won’t be devastated? How can I arrange my affairs to leave everything clean and clear for my brother and his wife and their girls? How will I make sure it works, and I die? How can I — for fucking once on this earth — do something right?
And yet, I also wondered, was this all there would ever be?
Was there really no other way?
I mean, instead of giving up, what if I were to give it one more year?
Just one year — and see what happens then.
You know. I know you do.
And so, suddenly, with the parting clouds, came a rainbow: If I did, if I gave myself this time to make sure that ending everything was truly the right decision, what would I want my life to look like?
Who would I want to spend my final revolution with, where would I go, what would I want to do?
Oh God. How could I possibly get myself through?
I groped around in the pitch-dark anguish until a glimmer — was it an illusion? I didn’t care — appeared overhead. Or somewhere in the blackness.
Whatever, whichever — a thread that might lead out shone: Each day, I would write down at least one thing I would have missed the day before if I had been dead.
Just one thing.
You identify. I know you do.
I’d tried everything else — the psychologists, therapists, drugs, the white-knuckling, spirituality, art, exercise, sex, diet, love, family, friends, modifying this or that, not modifying this or that, accepting what I could not change and changing the things I could, reading, traveling, meditating, sports, moving across the country, learning new languages, yoga, the many interests I enjoy, travel, staying in one place — absolutely everything — except this.
So, why not. What the hell.
“Take your broken heart, make it into art.”
- Meryl Streep (quoting Carrie Fisher)
Nine months later I find that I can no longer wait to share how profoundly this endeavor — born of necessity, a hail Mary’s grasp at one final straw — has transformed my life.
Focusing in on what makes the world worth sticking around for — and learning to lay aside the rest — has changed the way I think, how I react (or don’t), and who I am.
The process has resulted in a different human being — another mind — an unlocked soul.
How can we ever imagine what will unfold?
What would it have taken to dream how my thought patterns themselves would alter, how I would relearn what it means to live, how I would get to touch new dreams, how just being would become enough, how I’d uncover a remarkably simple discovery: the hope that you will read through some of these daily entries and comment with your own experiences — so that we can connect across the ether and see what happens next — all as we dance together in the stirrings of a technological revolution that just might improve society, possibly maybe even catalyze a revolution, if we play it right?
You are with me. I know you are — I sense you.
Table of Contents
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