I began the year by posting daily about my own personal struggles in recent months. I haven’t posted in recent weeks because all the things I’d been writing about worsened and worsened to the point of me texting someone at 4 in the morning a couple of weeks ago that I was on the verge of complete collapse.
But it was something entirely unexpected that caused this. My grandma fell ill.
I’m going to be completely honest with y’all. As an adult I’ve always maintained the attitude that death shouldn’t sadden us the way it typically does because every one of us will reach that day. My grandma was the closest relative I’ve lost. All of my other grandparents died when I was younger. I have memories of and with them, but I had my grandma twice as long as all the others. And I lived with her for 14 years.
She left us on the 19th. I went home from the hospital and cried all night. I’ve cried every day since. I’ve never cried more at any point during my 26 years.
I delivered the eulogy on the 25th. It was the single greatest honor of my life to tell everyone about my grandma and what I learned from her. Her funeral was the 26th. I’m still not sure I can handle this going forward.
But one thing I learned throughout all of this is that I’ve been mistaken for a really long time. I’m not alone, no matter how I might feel. I’ve had old friends reach out to me. But even more importantly, I’ve come to realize I have my family. It shouldn’t take death to realize this.
I already miss my grandma more than I can possibly put into words here. But I’m so much better off because of the two and a half decades I had with her.
Let my experience possibly be a lesson for you. We’ll all experience the feeling of loneliness I’ve been experiencing, but we aren’t alone. Not really. Not a single one of us.
In only 13 days I’m visiting a new city and state. But I’m a planner when it comes to my trips. The expectation is to take another trip in August, but there’s one question that needs answering: WHERE TO NEXT?
I don’t currently hold a passport. Domestically there are still many places I want to see. But I’m the typical American in at least one regard. I want to make my way through Europe. My prelimunary thoughts on the topic have not done much to aid in my decision making. These are the cities I’ve considered: London, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Amsterdam. London and Rome are at the top of the list. Now you help me decide where to go.
I’ve also thought of Sydney and Tokyo. Here in the US I still have LA, NYC, Grand Canyon, Alaska, Orlando, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Philadelphia on my list.
A little help, please?
This will be a bit on the lighthearted side.
I’ve always loved naps. Any time of day. Any day of the week. My only real requirement in recent years has been that I must be in my own bed. Exceptions for travel, but I’ve never fallen asleep on a flight and I couldn’t tell you when I last fell asleep in the car.
My typical work shift ends at 7:00 pm. By about 7:40 last night I was home on the couch watching TV. By about 8:15 I felt like a sleepy puppy who couldn’t keep my eyes open. I finally gave up right around 9:00 and went to bed.
The moral of the story is that I’m an old man in a 26-year-old body. None of this has anything to do with my recent posts. I just love sleep, and clearly need it.
Also, I’m writing this just after midnight now. Pretty sure I’ll be up until dawn. Late naps turn me into a nocturnal vampire. I’m even about to eat now. 😂
In exactly 15 days I’m supposed to be getting on a plane to Chicago for a week. When I started planning this I’d never heard the term “bomb cyclone” and 90% of the country didn’t just freeze over. But the weather is the least of my concerns.
I told y’all in my 2017 recap post about downloading dating apps last Spring while still on my last vacation. And now I’m doing it again. Going on a trip alone. My time in Boston last year was spectacular, but man, I’m not sure this is the best time for me to embark on a new solo adventure. I’m not sure any time soon would be a good time for it. I mean, what good is it to go to another city and state in the middle of winter just to feel even worse than I already do?
Unfortunately, I think it’s a real possibility I have an extraordinary time in Chicago only to find myself more lonely than ever before. But I won’t let that stop me.
So many people have no ability to travel at all and here I am. This will be my fourth trip in the last 20 months. Sure, I’m not the happiest I could be right now, but that’s okay. There are people struggling with depression. People contemplating suicide. People being bullied on a daily basis. People who don’t know how they’re going to pay their bills. People fighting terminal illness. I’m just a little unhappy and sad.
If all the people in the world who fall into any one of those categories can continue living each of their lives the best they can, then of course I can too. And that’s why I’m going to Chicago.
A few months ago I was introduced to Friends for the first time. Save your shock. I’ve heard it already.
I’ve been using the show as I work through my own personal things. When I’m feeling really down I’ll watch a few episodes. When I’m lonely I turn it on because I’m always laughing when I watch. Yesterday I started season 9 of 10. I’ll likely be finished by the time I return from my trip the last week of January.
This is becoming bittersweet. I’m curious to see how everyone ends up, but I really don’t want the show to end for me. I know it actually ended almost 15 years ago, but this is all still the first time for me.
I’ll just have to find something or someone else to turn to when I need to. I’m open to suggestions.
I made it through the first work week of the year. I’m feeling okay. Things can always be worse, but they can also be better.
I read something in the NYT recently that I found rather interesting. The writer vowed not to buy any materialistic items for a calendar year.
It sounds overdramatic when you just read that sentence, but I found her reasoning to be rational. I found the article compelling.
In an effort to improve myself, in association with being a more giving person in 2018, I’m going to challenge myself to do the same thing. What’s excluded from my personal challenge will be any kind of food, hygiene items, and souvenirs from when I travel since those items support museums and parks I visit.
I’m also making a one time exception for clothing this month because I’m headed to Chicago and I just don’t have the wardrobe needed for the trip. That’s it.
I already spend so little of my money that I don’t foresee this adding thousands of dollars to my various accounts, but at the end of 2018 I’ll decipher my savings throughout the year and make an additional charitable contribution on top of my monthly donations.