.journal 2001.12.31
One last journal for the year.

Now listening to: Delerium, Reflections II
Now reading: Bill O'Reilly, The No-Spin Zone
Now playing: Final Fantasy IX (Playstation)

Okay, one last journal update for 2001. Granted, I haven't been writing many of these recently, but the .blog kind of bore the brunt of some of the old "this is what I got at Media Play" journals. Plus with school and everything else I've had to deal with this past year, I just haven't been able to make time for this site like I used to. After all, I have to make time for myself before I make time for this site.

As I mentioned around this time last year, I'm generally not one to put that much of an emphasis on reflection at the end of the year; I usually save that kind of stuff for my birthday. But given everything that has happened this past year, all I have been through, and all that has gone on around me, I can't help but think about things. I've tried distracting myself with other things today, but it doesn't work. Even if I've managed to slip out of the worst of the depression I was under since the end of the semester, I'm still buried deep in my own thoughts and trying to figure out things for myself.

I started thinking about what I was thinking about this time last year. 2000 really started on a low note for me, and while some things were going reasonably well, on the whole I was caught up in superficial happiness, not really caring about true joy in my life. I had actually applied to the University of Toledo that spring, and since I had to write Antioch to get them to forward a copy of my transcript to UT, I figured I might as well ask about my best friend, L., whom I'd lost touch with after she graduated from there. They forwarded the message on to L., and for the first time in years she and I were talking to each other, and I really felt things getting better in my life.

I can't pin all my happiness on L., though. She does deserve the credit, however, for turning me on to The Artist's Way and helping me to get back in touch with the creative forces that I had let lie dormant for so long. It wasn't long after that when I happened upon C. and J. and the work they were doing, which opened up all new pathways in my mind in addition to netting me another couple of great friends. I found the courage to get away from people who were doing more harm than good in my life, and while the separation was painful in a lot of ways, I knew I'd be better off in the end. All in all I think 2000 worked out well for me, and I saw limitless possibilities ahead of me for this year.

Bam, best friends fall out of touch for various reasons.

Bam, fire at the house and I get stuck in this hotel for the bulk of the year.

Bam, quit work, go back to school and run into even more problems there.

It's not easy for me to look at what good got accomplished during the year, but it was there. Just before the fire I finally dropped below 200 pounds for the first time in ages. My family is still thanking me for my actions during the fire, first getting everyone out of the house and then having the sense to run next door and call 911. And even though I had problems at college, my grades have proven to me that all that time away from school didn't kill that many brain cells after all. The good is there, it's just that in the face of everything else that happened to me I have a hard time recognizing it.

Then again, maybe I'm just romanticizing how things went the year earlier. I went through a terrible amount of grief dealing with "the situation" before I finally got out of it. L. and I certainly had our problems after we got back in touch with each other. And my work situation near the end of the year was hardly what I would call rosy. Still, though, I had a sense of security, I had reclaimed my artistic senses, and I had three friends who were supportive of me and who I spent the occasional time online with. I was still figuring stuff like work vs. school out, but I was happy, and I was confident. And I was, as it usually the case with me, hopelessly naive.

I think what initially triggered my most recent depression valley was simply the fact that for most of this year I've been "holding on". My friends didn't tell me when they'd be getting back in touch with me, and we didn't know for certain when the house would be rebuilt, but it seemed like things would be okay soon, and that if I could just get past this calendar month, or I could just get past this thing I'm working on, that everything would be okay again. Or at least as okay as you can be after watching your house burn down.

Instead, I ended the fall semester, seven months after all the nasty stuff went down, with the house still nowhere near being rebuilt, and still not knowing when I'd be getting back in contact with my friends. Plus there was that little matter of 09.11 and trying to deal with the stress of speaking out for pacifism in a war-mongering nation. All the promises I made to myself about the house and my friends didn't come true at all. I return to school in a couple of weeks here, and doubtlessly now the classes will be harder and the grief more widespread, and I have to ask myself, what can I promise myself to get me through this next batch of tough times?

I've never been one for new year's resolutions, but last year I decided to make one, and that was that I would go out to the west coast sometime this year to see L. That didn't happen for obvious reasons, and given how collosal a failure that resolution was I don't think I'll be making any this year. That's what gets me the most right now, is that I'm trying to determine what I have to look forward to in 2002, and I can't think of much. Yes, the house will be back up by then (unless something really drastic yet), but as much as not being home for the holidays bothered me, I think ultimately it's not hearing from my friends that gets me down the most.

If "the situation" taught me anything, it was that I had to be a lot more careful about how I threw that word "friend" around. L., C. and J. are the closest friends I have, and it was their friendship that helped me get through the end of last year. Granted, I wasn't exactly getting out much back then, but I've been to school now and I've had the opportunity to meet other people. There are people I talked to before and after class, and there are people I even hung out with outside the confines of campus. But I didn't really forge connections with them, the kind of connection that seemed to come almost naturally with my three best friends.

I don't really feel all that comfortable trying to meet other people knowing that my best friends are out there still dealing with their own problems. (I have had very sporadic contact with a couple of them.) It somehow makes me feel disloyal if I try to find new friends, when the core of me tells me that I have to be there for my old ones. Even if I've waited for so long now and have so little to show for it, I have to keep waiting. I don't know any other way. L., C. and J. have all contributed so much to my life, the least I can do for them is to continue to be here, to not let myself get caught up in other things, so that when they are ready to get back in touch with me, I'll be here for them.

Waiting all this time has been tough for me. It's hard for me to rationalize my actions, but then again I was always one to trust my heart before my mind, and my heart stubbornly keeps me holding on. Some days it's harder than others, but I'm still here, still hoping that my instant messenger will chime to let me know that one of my friends has come online and that maybe we can talk about things.

With so little time left, I guess that's not going to happen in 2001. But maybe I can hope that in 2002, all of us have less pain to deal with in our lives, and that we'll be able to converse like we used to. Everyone's life got upheaved this past year, just some of us had some additional upheavals to deal with. I can only hope that everyone in the world can find peace this next year. And not the kind of peace that comes from the violence of weapons or the violence of words, but the kind of peace that comes from the thoughtful actions of thoughtful people. That's the only true peace there is.

Everyone take care and be well. May your 2002 be filled with more blessings than this past year.

-- Sean