Monday Morning (nearly Noon)
Greetings and Salutations, my wonderful blog readers. It is late in the morning on Monday morning and I am grinding out my time for the week.
Last week, I had Friday off, but thankfully I had the foresight and ability to get caught up last week and this week I am able to catch up that much sooner on my Friday off. Now it is a little but before noon and I am trying to catch up the blog writing before diving into any creative writing this evening.
This is my birthday week, which normally means I would beg my friends to all care about me for a few days and do shit I want, but i have been coming to terms with my own thoughts on my birthday.
You see, I love birthdays. I believe everyone should be allowed to have at least a day, if not a whole week or month, dedicated to them loving themselves and reflecting on their last trip around the sun.
Because aging, growing older, shedding our old selves and growing into who we are becoming is such a unique thing, and we as humans are such unique and special creatures, I personally think we should all “go big” for not only our birthdays but for any old Holiday.
Why the fuck not?
You don’t t have to do what other people do to do this, either. Like, you don’t have to go “all out” for your birthday by going out for some expensive dinner and a bunch of drinks, until your friends had to pour you into bed.
If going all out means a fat bag of weed, take out, and video games, then GO ALL OUT.
If going all out means cleaning your home and room, to be better suited for the new year, do it!
If starting a healthy routine is more your thing, then DO IT.
Whatever YOU want for YOUR birthday is what YOU should do.
By all means go all out, and keep in mind how special it is that you have a birthday.
Even if you can’t go all out, because of lifes nasty circumstances, don’t apologize for wanting people to appreciate your birthday. Not everyone could be you. I fact, only YOU are you.
I hate the mentality that “it is only a day”.
Yes, it is ONLY a day. Only a day that you were born, and only a day that marks your rotation around the sun. Even if you don’t celebrate, I think it is highly important to reflect on your year, where your life is, and where your life is going.
Which is what I am going to be doing in this blog.
So, let’s talk about my last year! I was hesitant to even start it. I have had rough odd numbered years, so I was apprehensive.
Look, I wasn’t wrong. This past year was ROUGH.
Three deaths that destroyed me, to start, that hung over much of my year.
My grandma passed away a few days after my birthday, her death ways days after my birthday. My birthday was the last time I spoke to her. It was the day after my birthday, actually, and she was sad she hadn’t been able to call me, because the hospital phones, and even though I had tried to call her, she had been medicated. So, she wanted to call and chat with me and assure me she didn’t forget. She called on my sisters phone.
That was the last time I spoke to my grandma, directly.
Then, my friend Brian, (who used to have a different name, some of my friends may remember him as Matt.)
Brian (then Matt) was my very first friend when I moved to Texas, at 13. Losing someone my own age was devastating, more so when he had been a friend for so long. He had been a family friend, my parents adored him, he and my sister even became friends. He knew most of my damn family, just by being around all the time. Like real best friends turned family.
Then, to cap it off, we lost my Grandfather. I have always been my grandfathers precious princess, and he was always my dad when I didn’t have one. My Grandfather and I were similar in some key ways, and different in others. My grandpa always encouraged me to write…in fact the last words he spoke to me were encouraging me to write.
Actually, all three of these people encouraged me to be myself, always defended me and who I was, and, believed in me as a writer. Brian had my back when few did, believing me and having my back when others chose not to. Brian encouraged me to write, to use my brain and my imagination. My grandparents, as grandparents do, always supported my writing, my imagination, my creative side. My grandpa used to insist that I should be writing everyday and posting my stuff online, but he never used the phrase blog.
But here I am, a blogger. A blogger who writes everyday, doing the same shit my grandpa, crazy as his old age may had made him, suggested I try doing to find an audience for my writing.
I hope he is proud. I hope Brian is happy I am doing the damn thing I hope my grandmother is happy I am keeping my mom company while we wait for my sister to wise up and become the favorite again. I hope all three of them are chilling with my Grandpa Tom and Grandma Grasso, and Grandma Ma. Eating good food, drinking strong coffee and stronger booze, playing darts, bocce, and any other damn thing they wish.
Because damn, I miss them. This year was hard, if nothing else, for the three memorial services I had to attend.
One of those helped me reconnect with some old friends from high school, Brian, obviously.
The other two, took me to see my family. I hadn’t gotten to see my parents home, so it was nice to see their new place.
For my grandmothers service, I got to help my cousin Chuckie and my grandpa reconnect, healing old wounds, mostly inflicted by my grandfathers failing mental stability.
I know Grandma would have been happy for that. Also great was being able to hang out with my grandfather again.
I knew, then, that it was likely the last time I would get to see him, and it was nice. I smoked a lot of weed with him, he and Bret bonded, and I got pictures of him with everyone in the family, I thought, this would help when he passes away.
Most of my family, other than my immediate family, did not bother to show up for Grandpa’s funeral, despite it being a VERY calm affair. We made a delicious dinner and smoked a bunch of good weed, some in a pipe grandpa had owned for the better part of 45 to 50 years, my only inheritance from my grandfather. My cousin Rhonda brought canolies.
No one showed up. Not the cousin, not any of his siblings, not his TWO sons, not some of his grand kids…Mind you, many I am sure, simply couldn’t afford it, but my uncles, my grandfathers two sons, made it a point to not come…
… I won’t put people on blast. But they didn’t have to dump all of that shit on my mom.
It’s not like there was insurance, that shit had to be paid for. Grandma’s and Grandpa’s services. Grandma, as it turned out, may be fibbed about if she had life insurance policy to not only me but my mom, so we had to pay ALL of that out of pocket. My mother fronted ALL of that. My mother then paid the monthly fees for my grandfather to have a SMALL policy for a few months, which paid for some of the expenses.
Anyways, not to tangent too hard, but, the losses of my grandparents and my friend Brian were hard on me, and kind of hung over the entire year of 31.
Now, I am two days away from 32, an age I have looked forward to since I hit 30.
Overall, I have been enjoying my thirties, and life has been getting better and better with every passing day in my thirties, however, 31 was rough, and 32 looks to be much better.
I am hardly the first person to think 2020 looks to be a great year, we have a whole month of 4/20’s, like three of four Friday the 13ths, a bunch of holidays take place on the weekend or other key times…The year is already set up to be great.
We also have a major election, which tends to lead to more interesting times than usual.
And of course, my own paranoia and superstition with numerology, making me think that the even 2020 year will bode well for everyone.
If I am wrong, so be it. I would rather be wrong and optimistic than correct and miserable.
Later, Monday Afternoon
Anyways, that, as well as some other irritating situations, have clouded my 2019, and my age of 31.
But come Wednesday, November the twentieth, I turn 32. A short month and some change later, we all enter 2020.
My goal is for this year to be the best one yet, because of the good things that started during my 31st year.
I started this blog, for one, and further developed my “write every day” mentality. I now blog nearly every day, and I post blogs consistently, every day, or at least 5 or so a week. I write, on my creative stuff, every day, or nearly every day, between the blog and the creative writing, I write at least three thousand words a day, a la the Stephen King method.
My writing has gotten better, too. I am also writing things I love, and have a full grasp on what it is i am writing, because it has been hard to even see the full story.
Now, I know how Flake City ties in with Molly on the island, and how it ties to Roxy waking up on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain, after sacrificing herself for her friends, inexplicably still alive, how it ties to Miranda and the magical war she has begun, and how that ties to Amy and Kiblah, and the entire group that started my journey into this fantasy world.
I know more about what I am doing and how I will do it, and more to the point, I have been working towards and building a way to release that stuff, at my own pace, to retain my work, not lose the rights to it…
I have grown so much as a writer and a content creator, hell, I have even learned some VERY loose basics on how to vlog and how to edit that vlog footage.
I know more about podcasting, having once again picked up my love of podcasts, I have also been a guest on a podcast, twice, talking about things near and dear to my heart.
I have built a strong relationship with my partner too, with us working hard to have less fights and more communication, Bret and I have been forming what I would say is an incredibly strong foundation for two people to be on.
We have made our financial situation better too, earning more money and managing our funds better. Sure, we don’t have the savings we want, but we are getting closer and closer to it, every single day, and I honestly believe by this time next year, I will have a ton more of positive changes that have occurred thanks to the changes we have been making all year.
Also this year, despite having to see and deal with the sadness of death, Bret and I traveled more, going not only to my parents home in Tennessee, but to New Orleans. We decided to go to New Orleans after my grandfather’s service, and stayed a for a short spontaneous vacation.
This trip was great for us, showing us that we love to travel, we love to travel together, we have a good time when we travel, and our content is well received, which was a fun side affect we did not anticipate.
Before the trip, we had never gotten drunk together, which we also got to experience, and that was fun too. Neither of us really drink much, so it was fun to get to experience that with my partner, too.
This gave us more motivation to save our funds, to allow for more travel time, but also showed us that the views we have and the way we see the world is entertaining to others, which inspired us both to start showing more of our art.
The trip inspired me to up the ante with the blog a bit, and use more of my own original photo’s, instead of legally borrowed and fairly used ones via Unsplash. No, now, I actively seek out photos for my blog, and also try to document my day more to provide for more authentic illustrations.
My grandpa used to encourage me to document everything, so, this is another fun aspect of gaining that inspiration. I also started blogging more, trying to do more blog series stuff, like the Sunday Prep blogs about how to clean various things, like makeup brushes or your bong, I also started posting more skin mask reviews when I learned that people enjoyed seeing that aspect of my content too.
Because while I am not a beauty blogger, I am someone who takes their skin care very seriously.
So, this past year I personally not only started a blog, but I learned that I can totally do the lifestyle blogger thing where I just blog about my life, my theories, preferred products, etc.
Basically, my view on the world and the way I approach life is worth hearing about, at least to some. I am also acting as a template for what a writer does in the modern times.
I mean, how does one blog abut writing without coming across as one of those gimmicky people who is all “Subscribe to my newsletter and buy my online course that teaches you how to make money from home, by writing!”
Easy. You blog authentically, about what is happening in your life, without being some preachy annoying monster. You read and support other bloggers, and actively work to not copy their work.
And, in my case, if you have someone who keeps copy catting your work, you ignore them and keep working, because you know they can’t possibly hold a candle to what you can do.
Yeah, you have to get a bit cocky, I think, or maybe it just happens by proving yourself to the most important person to prove yourself to…yourself.
This year I also started ACTUALLY working out once in a while, adding cardio, and more recently, high intensity, at home, work out routines. I dropped smoking, for the most part, indulging in one or two here and there, it is no longer a habit I have, but something I just indulge in once in a while.
I smoke more weed. I press flower into wax when I am able to, and dab it up when possible. I have learned more about cannabis, I have taught myself more about the community, and I have been actively working to reach out and make more friends, online and offline, in the cannabis and content creator community.
This past year I have removed tons of friends from my circle, and added some people who I can honestly say make my life better. I have online friends like Sam, Shawn, Tricia, Biggs, Hollie, who all make my days and life better, and I have dropped friends who aren’t kind, good people. People who are fake and only reach out when they need something…I dropped them all when I changed my number this year.
Past ex’s, the violent ones, the crazy ones, even just the plain ole asshole ones, no longer have my number.
I have worked hard to only have friends in my life who truly want to be in my life and who are also trying to live lives that make them happy.
Because this year I realized some people can have everything and still be miserable and I do not want to be around those people. I want to be around the people who are trying to be happy, to lead good, happy, fulfilled lives, not the ones who want to sit around bitching about their lives.
Some of my friends, in the past few years, have also left me behind, which hurt, and made me miserable.
I was in a bad place, surely friends know that is temporary. I told myself, when life was hard, that those friends would come around and want to be around and be friends with me when I was in a better, healthier place.
Then, when I was in both a happier and healthier place, they didn’t.
And I realized I didn’t really miss those friends either. I wanted to show them that I was not in the same space I was, that I was on the other side of a bad situation that kept getting worse…I wanted to show everyone that I was better than the ideas they held about me, because they hadn’t gotten to truly know me…
But then I realized if they had been my real friends (Brian) they would have known I was in a tough spot and maybe, just maybe, would have been there for me, the same way I am always there for others. (if not physically there, I will always let people vent to me for hours on the phone, text, or in person.)
Then I realized that maybe those weren’t my friends.
From that realization, a few years ago, I was able to cobble together this past year of choices, and develop friendships that actually…matter. I have become closer with some people, like Amber, Lenyn, Katie, Robin, and, my Mother. I have stayed friends with a few people from years ago, including my dear and cherished friends Tina and Kaynell.
I have been friends with Tina and Kaynell for many years, and of all of my friends, I am so glad they are the ones who have been there. Hell, the two of them have had beers with my Grandma. They both see me for me, and I see them for them, and we all just love each other through that. I have seen them through tough times, and they have seen me through them, and I am so glad i have them in my life. I wish only that I could see them more often, but we all work.
But, some of the things I want to do, moving into 32, is more social stuff.
See, Bret and I are giant homebodies and neither of us like to leave the apartment.
Our weed is there. Our stuff. Our Animals. I like being home.
But I also like to host my friends, cook for them, and be there for them. This year, I would like to have a few more social gatherings, not just the holidays, but maybe informal dinner parties or something, just more time with my friends.
Bret and I don’t know where we will end up living, but neither of us think it will be in Texas, but that is hardly a reason to not spend time with your friends and build those connections.
For all I know, Tina and Kaynell may wanna move with us. 😉 Hell maybe all of our friends will. The world is big and random, so who really knows.
But, that is a goal I have, a social goal, which I don’t make too often.
Which provides for a nice segue.
Goals for 32.
Write, even more than I have in the past. Work out and eat healthy, really just continue the hard work I did this past year. I want to publish the first volume of Flake City. Possibly grow a vlog channel, once I have a few details (Storage, style) ironed out.
I want, more than anything, to become independent from my day job. Even if I keep working here, I do not want to NEED this job, anymore.
I would like to publish two things, Flake City and something else.
I would also like to get a bunch of money saved up, and take at least two trips, one to a weed legal place, preferably Denver so I can go hang out with one of my internet friends, Alex (@Awsumist on Instagram), and another to somewhere awesome, also preferably with legal weed.
Bret and I have both discussed going to Canada to see a few internet friends as well, like going to see the amazingly splendid Sam, of Whaley Sweet Scents (@WhaleySweetScents on Instagram), and also get some touristy content creator photos and videos. Canada is a beautiful country, one we would even consider moving to in the next few years, so we would love to go and see it. Plus, I have heard the weed is even better there, and I would love to blog all about the different cannabis styles and strengths from state to state and country to country. Really fill out my cannabis blogging goals.
More travel sounds divine, as does more writing. I also want to take even more photos and video, so for the holidays I am hoping to not only get a camera that is good for both still photos and video, but also to get some storage solutions for all the digital content we are now generating.
Anyways, I don’t want this to turn into a resolutions blog, so I will wrap this part up here and say that I have many goals for 32, all of which build on the work I did and lessons I learned, in 31.
I want to leave behind the pain of losing my grandparents and my friend, and while I know the pain will always be there, I want to become better at handling it, as I still struggle daily. I want to take the good from each of them and continue to grow and become the person all three of them believed I could and should be.
I don’t want to spend all my time mourning lives when I know all three would want me to celebrate theirs and have an awesome one myself.
I want to continue to grow and better myself not only as a writer, but as a friend, a good, true friend, (thanks to @Hulu’s new show Dollface I really am looking at how to be the best friend I can be, because at nearly 32, I am not ashamed to admit that I could do more to be a better friend and less of a homebody). I want to grow as a better accomplice and ally to minority groups, I want to continue to grow and develop as a fucking awesome human. My goals are all revolving around much of the same themes we all try to focus on, being a better person, having more money, being healthier, happier, etc.
But, I am going to keep doing the hard work needed for those things, as I have been doing. My thirties have been fucking awesome, and so far I cant say enough good things about them.
Sure, I have lost family and friends, but I have also grown. I have also become a better person. And thank every god and goddess listening, I have left my twenties behind. I didn’t like many of the people in my life in my twenties, hell, I didn’t like me very much, or many of the choices I made, or that others made for me, but I made a few key choices that got me to my thirties, alive, so that is something.
Now I am making choices to help me arrive to my forties in even better shape. Not skidding, crying, and praying for more, but arriving peacefully, happily, calmly, ready for the next decade of awesome.
Shout out to any and all birthday twins I have, in my real life, I know of Vincent, who is turning 27. Happy Birthday to everyone celebrating tomorrow (11/20 Birthdays!). Let’s have the very best year any of us have ever had!