What I’m Thankful For (2015)

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.  I mean that.  I might be an insensitive ass at times, but I’d like to think that my empathy muscles still work.  At least a little.  This has been a really rough year, for me.  Everything started going so well, then eventually ended up sliding off a fucking cliff right at the worst time.  That’s how it is, with me.  Things go great, then it all goes to shit.  All at once.  Always in the absolute worst possible way.  I suppose this is going to be one of those posts that gets all personal.  I know that people hate those.  But I guess I’ll let you see behind the veil of my persona, so you all can see why I’m thankful for what I am thankful for, this year.

As I said, this has been a really rough year.  Things keep going from bad to perpetually worse.  It never stops.  It never gets better.  It always gets worse.  I’m about to start a new job soon.  One that is really the dream job.  No joke, it still feels like a dream.  And will until I actually start, soon.  Can’t be soon enough.  Been living the way I am for too damn long.  It’ll be nice to finally not be afraid of my bills.  This new job is a HUGE responsibility, and I am a little scared of it, but this company seems so nice and outgoing.  Given how cynical I’ve become, maybe it is on me that I constantly question people’s motives.  Can you blame me?  Given my history, I have seen how people really are.  All that aspiration of goodness that people talk about, it’s all bullshit.  Underneath all their talks of goodness, people are just users, looking to use and throw people away.

My personal life is falling apart.  I am hemorrhaging connections left and right.  I have tried so fucking hard to hold things together.  Maybe that’s just making it worse.  I don’t know.  Whatever the case, my personal life is on life support.  My ex had talked about the two of us giving it another shot.  This was when I had this great job, and things were looking to work out for me.  Then, I am at work one morning and I get a Dear John text.  A text.  The little bitch couldn’t even say it to my face.  She had to use a text to throw all the time that we spent together in the trash.  All the years that our friendship grew and meant something.  All that caring, and what it amounted to was a Dear John text.  Telling me that she didn’t want to be with me because of the fact that I have depression and she doesn’t want to be around that.  Never mind when we were living together, and things were good!  They were so good!  It didn’t end on that high a note, but things are fucking awesome, for a while there!  Something that I could have conveyed to her, if she had actually taken the time to have an actual discussion with me.  I know, novel concept.

After getting the text, I get home to discover that she has excised herself from my life completely.  Unfriended, untagged from the pics we took together.  Completely having left in every single way.  This person basically found all the years of time and companionship that we had and made sure that every piece of it was gone.  Shows you how much my company mattered.  Shows how much it matters to anyone, doesn’t it?

My friend life isn’t doing any better.  Met a new and interesting person.  Thought that a connection was forged.  Dead.  Person after person, either the connections are fraying to the point of breaking, or have broken already.  The few connections I have, the precious few, at this point, I am no longer hoping for great things.

Through it all, there has been one thing that has been true and loyal – family.  I don’t give my family nearly enough credit, but if there is one lesson that I have learned and kept with me throughout my entire life, it’s this – family is sacrosanct.  Family comes first.  Family always stands by family, Hell or high water.  My parents in-particular.  I’ve asked a lot from them this year.  I’ll be asking for one more last favor, and I swear to Groj that that will be the very last.  I don’t like asking for help, and believe me when I say that couldn’t appreciate them more now than ever.

Things with the parents have been…awkward, through the years.  Me and my old man have always been chill.  Like two roomies just shooting the shit.  That worked for us.  I’ve never complained.  Never will.  It’s fun, when we can laugh at some stupidity.  I’m sure that the old guy finds a lot of my obsessions very odd.  Salt of the earth type.  Worked laying block for almost all my life, and I’m certain far longer.  Did a number on him, over the years.  But he’s tough as nails because of it.  In the best shape of the family.  But I’m getting better.  Being poor is helping.  Having trouble losing weight?  Ask your doctor if poverty is right for you!  Poverty and a Costco membership.  No joke, for the poor college grad, a Costco card is the best friend you are ever going to have.  That and regular exercise.  I don’t hit the gym.  I go on long walks around the hospital that I live by.  To the point that the ambulence drivers wave when they see me.  Yeah, I’m that predictable.  But I digress.  Wow, really got off-topic.  Holy crap.

With my mother, things are a little more complicated.  Or at least, they were.  Now it has gotten a lot better.  See, the thing that me and the mum have had a rocky few years.  It was the first few years in college.  The dynamic between the two of us was getting rocky.  The parent and kid thing gets a little trickier as people get older.  You can’t keep treating your parent the way you did when you were young.  You aren’t a little kid anymore.  Now you have to be a little different.  The mum and I took some time to figure that out.  But we eventually did.  For a time, things between us were really, really bad.  However, we then found the dynamic that worked for me and the father-unit, and now things are pretty alright.

But the point of this tangential writing is – if you remember nothing else in life, and this isn’t true for everyone, remember that friends and lovers will come and go.  Family is the thing that stands by you when things are at their worst.  It is the thing that will be there when no options remain.  That is the thing that I am most thankful for today.  I am thankful for a family that has instilled me with this value.  To stand by your people, no matter what.  Granted, my people is a very short and continuously-shrinking list, but it is still a value I mean to uphold.

Now, as I am preparing to go to my aunt’s for Thanksgiving Dinner (here’s hoping I don’t die on the way.  The roads are icy as fuck here in the great white north), I think to the people in my life whom have been and gone.  Those who no longer have a place here.  I think to my cousin Griffin.  I think to Emily.  I think about my ex.  That last one I hate with a bitter passion, but I think about her all the same.  I think about a lot of people.  My oldest friend, wherever she is.  Are they happy?  Are they mad?  Do they hate me?  I doubt I’ll ever know the answers to these questions, but I ask all the same.  I’ll never know the answer, but some part of me, the part that doesn’t hate everyone, hope that they are okay.  Except my ex.  Fuck her.  A Dear John text.  It’s like the pinnacle of not caring.  To have to give me a hand-wave with a text.  Whatever.

In the back of my mind, there is always this thought that I am going to wind up alone, one day.  I have a lonely apartment, and a lonely fridge, and a lonely chair that is in front of my awesome TV, that I use to watch movies and play games.  I’m not a good-looking man.  A giant, but that doesn’t help.  I’m getting progressively more like the giants in Game of Thrones, with my rapidly-balding head and unappealing features.  So marriage and love are off the table.  I have been grateful for the connections that I have.  I hope that the girls I’ve run with are alright.  None of them talk to me anymore.  I bet that none of them even know I exist.  I’m easy to forget as well.  Another thing about me.

What it all comes down to – family is there for you.  Always.  Don’t lose sight of that.

Until next time, a quote,

“Get to know your parents.  You never know when they’ll be gone for good.”  – Baz Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen

Peace out,

Maverick

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