December 1st

When people ask me what I do, it’s sad that writer has grown more and more distant from my identity in the past few years.

I’ve been stuck. I have been so stuck. Writing is such an extension of yourself. To put your mind garble into words and publish it takes a good amount of knowing yourself. A sureness in what you’re saying. Well, I’m starting to realize that I’m not sure if I know what my point is anymore. I’ve lost that sureness within myself.

And how unfortunate. You can’t just get it back. I can’t read over my past writings and hit a resurgence. That’s a version of me stuck in time. We don’t relate anymore. I can’t borrow old confidence. I have to find new confidence in who I am now. But like…where?

I’ve come a long way as far as character development over the past few years. I used to be very closed off from people, the world, and my own emotions. And today has become one of those times where I’m reminded of a big catalyst of that development for me. Today, December 1st, marks the day one of my best friends died two years ago. He meant more to me than I completely understood until I lost him. And without that friendship, I’m not sure when I would have shed my defenses. It’s possible I’d be that same hurting, boarded-up-heart to this day.

I like the person I’ve come into. I wouldn’t wish to go back to who I was before. But, this is where I find my thoughts at odds. Lost in between 1.) being proud of the progress I’ve made in love, managing and expressing emotions, sympathizing and empathizing with others, and 2.) setting myself up to be constantly hurt and disappointed because the world functions on another selfish, inconsiderate, and hostile axis. I feel like I was happier being an asshole. People didn’t take my kindness for weakness. There was little to no risk of losing people and things because I poured very little of myself into anything. I considered friends more like human resources for whatever worth I gave them, and they were dispensable. I was comfortable. I was in control, but it was so empty.

Now here I am in all my personal growth from that emptiness, trying to love unconditionally in a cancel culture. To put it simply, I’m facing some serious discouragement and defeat right now. I posted about it before, how 2018 felt hopeless and miserable because the progress I was making was more loss and clearing my life of things that weren’t good for me, and fewer gains. I felt 2019 was a big turn around. I thought I was finally seeing my future coming into place and I was getting excited to step into it. Now I’m hitting some changes that have killed that excitement and left me in the same small, crushed, and questioning state I was in two years ago.

My friend Mateo was such a dynamic individual, I struggle a little sometimes thinking y’know, I wish we traded fates because he would’ve done so much more with this time than I have.

I know that’s no way to think. I’m trying to not let that be the stopping point in my streams of consciousness. So what is next?

I first heard this song on an airplane heading from Morocco to France for a layover before heading home. Anderson .Paak wrote it as a tribute to Mac Miller, who’s death occured within the same year I was mouring Mateo’s death. The moment just stuck with me as I was looking out of the window from the sky and hearing the lyrics,

I’m workin’ on a world premiere
And I could see the world from here
They ask me where I’m going from here
Shit, anywhere long as the runway is clear

It was so fitting. I had it on repeat for the whole flight. And I’ve gotta realign my mind to think like that, I’m working on a world premiere. And I’m rebuilding that confidence to share it, even when I’m shaky on the delivery.

 

 

 

Why I’ve Been MIA

2018 was my weakest writing year to date.

I maybe published three posts, and they weren’t strong pieces either.

It was honestly one of my weakest years in all respects. I’m no stranger to depressive episodes, but I’ve never fallen as deep into a rut than when I lost a good friend of mine in December 2017.

While trying to process that and mourn, I was working one job from 6am to 2pm and another job from 6pm to 11pm five, six, seven days a week for months. I spent the holidays working and away from family. I was in a toxic relationship in which my boyfriend was living off me. I did a favor for a friend and watched his deceased mother’s two cats and they wrecked my house and made my life hell for weeks longer than scheduled, and a bunch of other random things happened that further drained my already tanked energy and motivation.

And as far as my friend Mateo’s death, I couldn’t get to the memorial service, considering it was across the country in California, and I only had one reliable source of information regarding what even happened, and I still don’t know the truth. I never will, and I can’t find peace settling with any of the stories. It all hurts. It all sounds absurd. I had just seen him a few months prior…

I felt so much in so many directions that I eventually settled into an emotional catatonic state. I didn’t feel like myself, or anyone. Feeling like anything would guarantee a complete meltdown, and I had responsibilities. That’s apparently not how this stuff works, and my implosion was inevitable.

I’m doing a whole lot better, but I feel like I’m still putting myself back together over a year later. Maybe I owe myself more credit, but that’s the thing. I don’t feel like I’m doing something unless I’m doing, gaining, earning. But last year seemed to be full of loss. I lost friends, I lost jobs, I lost enjoyment in a lot of activities, I lost material things like my computer, my car, my savings, my growing liquor collection, I lost the respect I have for some of my relatives. Loss rarely feels like progress or an achievement. I couldn’t feel myself strengthening, only falling apart. Especially when I tried to DO, I tried to GAIN, but my attempts only led to more loss.

I sense that 2019 carries a different theme. I sense that different theme as not a turning of the tables, but a continuation of the work that’s been going on in my life. I’ve suffered loss, I’ve cleared my life of things unhealthy or not meant for me. I sense 2019 taking the perspectives I’ve developed through loss to help me decipher and pursue worthy gains.

And I think of Mateo.

My first “best” friend.

Because after moving so many times I refused to get too close to anyone, and I was open about not claiming anyone as my best friend. This offended Mateo, and he immediately changed my name in his phone to “Best Friend” and changed his name in my phone to the same. He emphasized it every time he greeted me thereafter.

My #1 supporter in any and everything I wanted to do.

Back in high school when I decided to try selling my knitted and crocheted accessories, Mateo bought several hat/scarf sets from me and never failed to post pictures of the pieces online. He marketed my hats better than I did.

I made those!

When my mom needed a blood transfusion, and I didn’t have anyone to take me into Beverly Hills to the hospital, Mateo picked me up. He spent time with me in my mom’s room keeping her company and making her laugh for a while.

When I needed my high school transcripts to get into Temple University, Mateo went to the school district office for me in California and paid for them to fax the documents. I still remember him calling me as he was leaving, ” I worry about our education system, Stormy. I’m glad we already graduated. It was $3 to fax the transcripts. I gave them a ten. Stormy. They gave me $8 change. Eight dollars!” He’s contributed more to my education than my parents have.

Any time we would catch up with each other since school, he was never without words of encouragement in whatever I was working on at the time. He just had such a sureness about him, whether he had a plan or not. My neurotic self relied on his confidence in things working out a lot.

Today, February 28th, is Mateo’s birthday. I don’t know a better motivation to push myself out of this inactivity than to honor my best friend by doing the things I enjoy that he always encouraged me to keep up. So I’m writing. And I’ll keep writing. And I’ll keep working on being as great a friend to the people I love that Mateo was to me. And thanks for sticking around through my hiatuses.