I'm just curious to see if this still works. I've just read through a lot of the dumber, sadder, more difficult times of my life to see what made me who I am. Despite this all being pretty teen-angst-y up through my ill-advised boozehound years, this all worked out super well in the end. Thanks, everyone, for helping me keep myself together when it was hard. I made it out the other end, even though I feel like I've lost a lot of connections on the way. syntheticjesso, kandigurl, spinooti, in order of frequency with which I still talk to you: you guys are the folks I miss the most. I hope this doesn't do something stupid or gross like send out e-mails. I forget how LiveJournal works and I'll be hella embarrassed. That said, it brings back waves of memories through rose-colored glasses even typing it in LiveJournal-ese. I'm pretty sure this won't ever be seen by anyone, so I feel like I can be more-than-usually unguarded in stating the extent to which I'm capable of missing people. Being unguarded is nice, and it beats making a performance of having feelings in the way I, apparently, used to. I'm fragile, I'm vulnerable, and I've survived not by hard work and toughness but by the support of friends I never cared for openly enough and who I never let in to the extent I should have.
I'm married now, to Jaala. I'd like to think I've abandoned a really good percentage of my narcissistic, vain tendencies. Not perfect, but good god I try, and I intend to keep trying indefinitely. I really hope I do as well by her as she's done by me. Things are... quiet, I guess? I wish I had language to describe how nice it is. Serene, maybe. I have a job that pays me enough, too. I could live with this kind of work forever. My life isn't trivial really, but it doesn't feel like I'm fighting to be alive anymore. The money's OK. My car's not breaking, and if it does I'm not crying. Big change. Lets me breathe.
Reading back, I wish I could tell past-me to calm down, stop trying to prove that they're smart and fun and cool to everyone, and embrace the parts that they're afraid to admit exist. I was a decent human, but a bit of a prat and I owe everyone a solid for ever putting up with me. Facing my existence to date gives me some thinking to do and presents some areas in which I can improve, not least of which is valuing love and gentleness over fury and indignation. I'm a fighter by inclination, but being aggressive has only ever been a pain in everyone's ass. Accept that people see you for what you do, and stop expecting your "inner light" or whatever verbiage you keep internally to shine bright enough to cover up the times you're rude. When you hurt people, it sticks around. There's no right reason to be cold. I should have kept my emotional vacillations to myself and found my steady ground before asking people to stand with me.
Looking forward, if I could give any advice to future-me who may, but unlikely will, read this: continue to learn. Try harder to love. Trust everyone more. Say to the world what you've been afraid to. You know that there's a part of you that's beautiful and representative of the best you, and I hope you've been able to let that free. I'm not an open book yet, but I want to be. I hope I get closer to that.
Goodnight, ancient blog. Thanks for being a hot air vent for me. May you find the peace of a cold storage drive in a datacenter far from here.