Monday, February 14, 2005

One-Year Anniversary

This won't be what you're expecting. You read the title and thought, well, I wonder what that's about. I'm going to tell you here, in the first paragraph, that it isn't what you think it is. You might be surprised, or if you know me (as some people do) you might not. It certainly won't be about Valentine's Day, so if you're looking for flowery messages to a secret special someone, you had best move along.

You see, it's been a year, maybe not today but a day very close to today. Granted, it's also been a year since I gave up meat (with the exception of fish... I know, I'm a failed vegetarian, but whatever) though I don't think those two occurances are related. What you see of me now is not what I was one year ago. I'm a new and different person, and the one-year anniversary I choose to celebrate today isn't one that would be considered anything happy, because that's what I've been missing for a whole year.

There was a time, not so long ago that I can't remember the differences between then and now, when I had the kind of blissful existance of a five-year old. Somehow I had held onto that through the various hardships in my life without letting the dark and gloom of bills, family trouble, friend trouble, and self-doubt bring me down. Somehow, that all changed a year ago.

I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment when the hollow feeling replaced that full of bliss feeling that had resided there for so long. I've tried at times to figure it out, but like grasping for the stars, while they seem so close, they are always out of reach.

Now that I've come out with the awful truth, there are some other things you should know. By you, I mean whoever is reading this, because this isn't a purely directed message. This isn't meant to go out to any one person, or group of people. It's really just a monologue that finally decided to slip out from the nether-places in my heart and my head after being held inside for the past three hundred sixty some odd days.

I know that given what I've already said, some of you, especially those who have given me reason to smile and laugh over the past year will think to yourselves, "It must have all been an act", or "That's funny, he seemed happy." There is no reason to think any of those things, or any other things that might cheapen the fun and laughter that I had with any of you. I love all my friends, even those who I've known for only a short time, because they show me the me I want to be again. The one I lost a while ago, and have been looking for.

Now I want to make an analogy. I'm not very good at these, so if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I would say "I'm sorry", but you've been warned:

There is a man standing by the side of a road. This road isn't lit very well, and he has only a lantern. The light from this lantern isn't very bright, and only affords him a dim view of the things passing by on the roadway. Why he's standing there in the first place, is because he's waiting for something. He's waiting for something to pass by that the light from the lantern will show in enough detail to remind him of of why he's waiting in the first place. As it stands though, it's too dark, and the things on the roadway pass by too quickly to be of any service to him.

So maybe some of you are asking, "So why is this coming out now? Why not some other time?" and the answer to those questions... the first answer is because over the weekend I had a glimpse. I got to spend some time with some people I hadn't seen in a long while, and really be myself.

I think that's what I lost a year ago. I started 'acting' a little bit, in order to be accepted by new people in my life. I stopped being a complete goofball, and started making little compromises in my head because I thought that was the only way I could get these new people to accept me. Over the weekend I rocked out to Metallica, played Hearts, and laughed about things I had forgotten for a long time. Over the weekend, even if it was just for a night or two, I was me again, and I guess in order to celebrate this one-year anniversary, I should stay me for a while.

I want you to know that... I guess there're a lot of things I want a lot of people to know. I want you all to know that this day is just another day, but it's also the first day. Any day can be the first day, and today is my first day. For a while. Today I can start uncompromising those things I compromised a while ago, because if people won't accept the silly, goofy person that I really am... the one who will always be less mature than the kids I will eventually have, or the one who takes great pride in discussing nonsense, then chances are they might have lost that something too.

If you have lost that something, take today to read and consider what I've written. Maybe some of it will remind you of what you're grasping for, and it'll bring it within reach. And it'll be a day you can mark for an anniversary some day down the line.

So, if you see me in the near future, please start a conversation with the phrase, "Hey, remember that time..." and remind me of that thing we did that time. Or that place we went. Those people we saw? Remember? That made me so happy. That's what we should all live for. Those times. Smile for me, even if you're just passing by in the dark. Sooner or later I'll see you, and be smiling right back.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day.

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