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.
I said yesterday that I’d tell y’all about the first organization I’ll be donating to this year in my yearlong effort to be more giving.
But first I need to tell you why.
Last April I purchased a new vehicle. Fully electric. Why? Because I believe every one of us should do what we can to preserve and protect our planet. But circumstances forced me to purchase a gas powered vehicle a week ago. I’m not one bit happy about it.
What I know is scientists working in many different fields are constantly coming up with technologies or improving processes to protect and preserve the earth. Scientists are working to save your planet even if you refuse to “believe” in climate change. It might be funny if it wasn’t so serious.
The first organization I’ll be supporting in 2018 will be the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I love museums more than any person I know. But it’s so much more than that. When huge swaths of the population claim not to “believe” in climate change or evolution it just leaves one questioning where the hell we are and how we got here.
HMNS is an incredible place of scientific knowledge. Scientific fact. Scientific history. Scientific education.
Everything on here isn’t going to be negative, I promise you that. Today is the first example.
Every year people say they want this or that to change in their life and so often nothing really changes. I say screw that. This year I have one goal. Not to read more. Not to post more on here. Not to travel more. And not even to find happiness. It’s to be more giving.
I know I’ve told y’all I’m lonely and unhappy, and I am, but I have a great job I love more than you can imagine. I have a home. I can go to the grocery store across the street whenever I need to. I don’t live paycheck to paycheck. And most importantly, I’m healthy.
Last year I gave $205 (I think) to different causes. That’s not enough. My plan is to at least triple that and perhaps get it up to $1000 for the calendar year. I know it’s a small drop in the bucket, but as time moves forward I’ll increase as I can.
Each month I will select one nonprofit organization in or around the city of Houston to donate to. Tomorrow I’ll write about the first organization I’ve selected.
I have no idea what I’m doing. But I know I’m extremely unhappy. So I’m going to write about things.
It doesn’t matter much how or why I’ve reached this point. What matters is what happens going forward.
I’ve been given the opportunity to work from home full time. With that a big raise would also come because of the change in hours. But one of the things driving my constant unhappiness is the fact that I have no friends. I have no relationships I’m building. Which makes this decision more difficult because my coworkers are beyond great. I’m afraid that if I work from home full time and eliminate that interaction with them I may end up feeling much worse.
What would I do with more money? I’d invest more in my 401k. I’d invest more with my brokerage account. I’d give more to charity. And I’d plan a third trip in 2018.
Guys, I don’t know what to do. I know we don’t know each other on a personal level and I’ve been absent from here for a long time, but I could really use some help.