I see fire

It’s been a while since my last post. Truth be told, I haven’t wanted to write. I had some opportunities, but frankly didn’t see the point. I didn’t think anyone was listening. So much has happened. The flames burn higher into the night. My life completely changed this year, very much unexpectedly. Like what is now the largest fire in California history, the Thomas fire of Ventura seems a sufficient parallel to my life. Desolation everywhere.

2017 brought an unexpected change in my living situation – I started the year in a condo in Seattle, not expecting to leave anytime soon. I round out the year in my first house I’ve ever owned near LA. I started the year working in the asset management industry, an industry in which I’d focused my career up to that point. I end the year in a new industry for me, real estate. I bought a new car in June. Cheddar, my sweet cat, is still with me through it all. I’m closer to friends and family in LA, and the weather is much more mild and manageable. On the whole, it’s been a good change for me, but it hasn’t been without its stresses. It took me much longer to find a permanent home in the area, longer than any of my previous moves. As a result, I was commuting to work 1+ hours each way (over 2 hours each day). I now fucking hate driving in bumper to bumper traffic.

The fires in LA were also uncomfortably close. Heavy in the air. Looming. I see fire around me. I can smell it.

My mother’s health took a turn for the worse in December. She was hospitalized for mental health issues, and just released out three days before my flight home for the holidays. I fully expected to stay in an empty home and visit the psychiatric ward for Christmas. 6 loonies screaming, 5 personalities fighting, 4 medications in paper cups, 3 guests allowed to visit, 2 changes of underwear, and a roommate with unparalleled dementia. Old scars from a previous breakdown she had when I was in college resurfaced, fresh and vulnerable. Anger bubbled to the surface at not having my dad around to help deal with it this time around. I remain ill-equipped to handle the turns, yet I continue to do my best when it comes to her. I recall an old promise to my father before he passed, not to abandon her. To take care of her. Even when it hurts. It hurts.

I truly feel like 2016 was a rough year, and 2017 told 2016 to hold its beer. Watch this. I didn’t want to buy a 2016 model car, because it was such a shitty year. I didn’t want to remember that. I bought a 2017 model, and maybe I shouldn’t have done so. Fuck this year, too.

I once had a warm heart. It had been scarred. It was not gently used. It remains so.

A woman I once loved thought that by hurting the lover, she would kill the love. She was vain to believe such a stupid thing. Love is not to be commanded by mortals. That is but the freshest wound. My heart has known many battles. It is broken and imperfect. But it is mine. Love has yet to find me; but there is something out there. My turn will come one day… or it won’t. I no longer care, if I’m honest. I charge forward.

I would like to be better about writing this year. I am tentative; scared to share. I’m more scared to leave this earth with nothing behind to show for my time here.

Holding it all in has done nothing for me this year. Letting it go feels equally ineffective. Like an artist, anything I create feels undeserving of admiration. Insufficient. Yet, I will take one ugly step after another. Not for you. For me.

Florence & the Machine sang it best:
“I never minded being on my own
Then something broke in me and I wanted to go home
To be where you are
But even closer to you, you seem so very far
And now I’m reaching out with every note I sing
And I hope it gets to you on some pacific wind
Wraps itself around you and whispers in your ear
Tells you that I miss you and I wish that you were here.”