From Train Wreck to Train Rides – My 2017 Retrospective.

Time to write my retrospective

2017 was…something

Winter was an absolute wreck

The year started off as absolute shit. My marriage fell apart and I dropped out of that MBA I had just started to try to salvage whatever was left of my life.

(I feel I owe a SINCERE apology to Prof. Steven AppelBaum for swearing so much…I don’t know! He probably doesn’t care! But SORRY!)

Then a few months of just grunting…couldn’t even cry, I just grunted, yip. For months at night. And while, yes, my ego was crushed and I wanted revenge, I can honestly say the hardest part was not having the kids around every other week. I had been a full time, dedicated father for eight year. How do you go from that to part-time dad? I’m still having a hard time with that.

I did NOT drink a SINGLE drop during that time and I think that demonstrates my ongoing belief in a sober lifestyle. NOT A SINGLE DROP. I don’t know how I did it, well, actually, I know. I Lifted a ridiculous amounts of weights to get out of that phase and wrote a lot of poetry that Is actually probably good poetry, but mostly weights. Lots and LOTS of weights…it wasn’t cool now that I think of it.

Spring really is a time for change.

And then things started to get better. I managed to sleep, stopped feeling the need to stack twelve to fourteen plates on a leg-press machine anymore just to get the pain out. (Though I do have to say that phase left me with an AMAZING body, especially for a 35 year old dad…That’s right, I said it!)

I salvaged my writing career and shelled out what is probably my best work so far. And that fucker, I wrote out of absolute will power alone, trust me. Every fucking page was a testament to my resilience and refusal to quit.

I have had insanely bad sex and then insanely good sex (and I mean it, I mean, absolutely stellar sex…)

And then not much sex at all.

I don’t know. I didn’t get that “need” people get to fuck everything that moves just to get past a failed relationship. I’m not judging, I just don’t get it.

 

Summer to stabilize things

I’ve managed (so far) to save my home (the market exploding the way it, I fucking NEED to) with no small amount of help from my family who I absolutely love and I can only hope to be as present for my children in the future.

I made new friends and reconnected with older ones I couldn’t manage to see as my marriage was falling apart. Having a social life is difficult but feels good.

I have visited New-York city with about 50 bucks to spend for a weekend and somehow made it.

I have visited Toronto and loved it. I have actually slept in a very plush boutique hotel, and for a guy who can (and has) sleep straight on hardwood floors, that says a LOT!

 

Fall to figure things out.

I have had plenty of time to decide what I wanted to do with myself now that I’m no longer “just” a father and a husband.

My raging need for insane workouts made way for a different kind of physical challenge. I have reconnected with something I had loved in the past: climbing, and found renewed passion for the sport. It just fits with the challenging-yet-balanced person that I was before all this clusterfuck happened and that I feel I am once again.

Climbing is a lot like writing. You have to work at it, go all in, you have to get hellbent out of shape to make it work and you’ll get a few strains and bruises and fall and stay there, catching your breath for a while. But then you’ll get on your hands and knees, take a deep, long breath and wait. You’ll stretch your limbs and stop yourself from rushing back in and look at what’s going on. You find a way or an angle and a line, sometimes the ONLY line, that can make it work. It’s the only way to climb and it’s also the only way to write.

And you get to it again, always working to make it better, one lane after the other, one book after the other, always more challenging but isn’t that what life is supposed to be about?

And now 2018

This year was a train wreck that I’ve somehow managed to get back on tracks (or at least A track). I’ve had help from friends and family, I’ve ASKED for help from friends and family and I’ve worked hard and I can’t imagine 2018 going bad.

I am confident in my writing, now probably more than ever.

I am confident in my art, now probably more than ever as well.

I really do love punk, now probably more than ever, and hip hop from around 98 to 2004 maybe…

I’ve learned I love trains. I really, thoroughly LOVED my first (real) train ride. I was invited to Philly next November, will totally ride the Adirondak and then see from there. I love trains.

I’ve re-validated my life choices of a vegetarian diet and sober lifestyle. I am in the best shape of my life, by any standard, the absolute best shape of my life and I love it.

I am aware of my worth (workwise) and have (finally) dared to ask for more or move elsewhere. If you know me, you’ll know how much of a breakthrough that really is.

And most of all, I am not so angry anymore. I was the most pissed individual you had ever seen and I think I’ve depleted all of my anger in 2017, all of it in the spring. It’s hard to explain, I don’t feel it anymore. It’s like an emotion I used to know that I don’t feel anymore, like a certain pitch your ear doesn’t register anymore.

And I mean, I’m still moody, I’m still snappy, sure, but that DEEP SEARING ANGER that defined me for years…that beast is not there anymore. It’s just…gone.

I’m still not sure how I’ll work that out in the writing.

But we’ll find out in 2018.

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