As any of you who have read this blog know—which let’s be honest is all you because I am not picking up new readers—I have not written anything in quite a long time. Some of you may also know that I started writing this internet monstrosity 9 years ago, as a 21-year-old frat bro. My life then, and for far too long after, was about drinking, partying, pretending that I had no interest in talking to girls, and covering up my loneliness and lack of confidence with a sea of fart jokes and live tweeting each and every occasion when I’d defecate in public. Obviously, that’s what this blog was about then, and for far too long after as well. And I never questioned that. It was easy. It was predictable. It represented who I was. Or at least who I used to be.
Now it’s 6:33 AM on a Thursday, and I’m sitting down to write. And I can’t take it anymore. I can’t keep putting up the facade. I can’t handle the desperation. I can’t continue on feeling nothing for what I’m putting on the page and yet having an undeniably thick layer of anxiety hovering over me whenever I think about whether or not people will like it. I realized I was going through this when my feyonce, Kristin, asked why I had not posted lately. This all begins with her
When I look back now, I recognize that my outlook on my own life started to shift when I was 26. That was also the time where I, uncoincidentally, met a beautiful girl out at a bar that I, for some reason, couldn’t stop thinking about. I cannot stress enough how unusual this was for me. Up to that point in my life I hadn’t been in a relationship. In fact, if you discount the several times I took a young woman out for free rolls at my local O’Charley’s before a high school dance, I had spent a shockingly small amount of time in any sort of romantic situation with a woman. I had never tried with girls because I thought trying wasn’t cool and I was pretty sure I was going to get rejected anyway so who cared. I was big and smelly and for some reason always sported a disturbing amount of dandruff on the shoulders of the navy blue polo I wore out on 66.66% of Fridays, which would’ve been 100% if my dad wasn’t too lazy to do my laundry for me every third week or so. I was the person who started this blog. All I cared about was getting fucked up and hanging out. Sincerity was my enemy. Admitting emotion was a weakness I could not entertain.
Yet somehow, a little while later, through the intervention of a friend and a lot of luck I still don’t quite understand, I found myself out at a local watering hole with Kristin, on a real-life date. That night I talked to her unlike I had ever talked to anybody in my life, hung on her every word, casually chatted about the kind of things I had never addressed honestly with anyone before. Each of us taking turns asking and answering questions about our strengths and weaknesses, our families, what it was that made us tick. Kristin made me laugh. Kristin made me think. Kristin ordered mozzarella sticks, and shared them, not even judging me when I spilled an ungodly portion of marinara sauce on my already sweaty shirt. Kristin spoke frankly about her priorities in life. She loved her job and was willing to all but kill herself in order to turn it into a career. She implied that she didn’t think she had time for a relationship. I sat there entranced and happy, knowing nothing other than I wanted to keep seeing her. Luckily I couldn’t take a hint.
Two months later we wound up sitting on a couch in her new apartment. I wanted her to be my girlfriend. Kristin, for all the same reasons she had suggested on our first date, was still unsure. At that point we hadn’t been talking very long. It would’ve been far easier for both of us to just walk away. Instead I said this. I am good for you. I think we can help each other be happier. Let’s give this a shot. For some reason, in that moment, I was no longer afraid. Four years later we are about to get married. When I think about our time together this is the moment that comes to mind first. The night when I decided I’d rather go for it and try to be happy than sit on my parent’s couch with a beer afraid of change. The night when I decided that if I was going to be with the one person who makes me my best self, I couldn’t also be content with everything else staying the same.
The four years I’ve been with Kristin have been the best of my life. I have done things I’ve never dreamed of, things the guy who started this blog would’ve mocked for their earnestness and banality. I’ve gone to the Amalfi Coast and downed Limoncello from a chair lift on the top of Anacapri, waving to a group of nuns as they passed. I found a company foolish enough to pay me to write content for their advertising platform, as opposed to cold calling people who may or may not have applied to an online college, typically while laying in my bed and not wearing pants. I haven’t lived with my parents for so long that I have almost forgotten that the benefit of eating several cans of Campbell’s Chunky you didn’t pay for on a cold winter’s night does not outweigh the cost of having your mom finding you passed out and shirtless on the floor of her living room while vacuuming the rug on Thanksgiving morning. I recently bought a pair of Lululemon gym shorts with my own money and without suddenly being unable to pay for my own cans of Campbell’s Chunky ever again.
I don’t need alcohol to catch feels now, don’t rely on BIG nights out and 3 AM slinger runs—that occasionally led to me waking up with a disturbingly large quantity of chili spilled all over my bed—to derive joy from my life. Now don’t get it twisted, consuming an even mix of Busch Beer and Titos soda (in my personal transformation I may have also became a 19-year-old sorority pledge…) is still my jam, and forcing my uber driver to take me to the nearest Fast Food drive through after the bars close will always remain one of my most universally endorsed skills on LinkedIn. There’s just a lot of other great stuff I get to do now that I am kinda a grown up. There’s a lot of other highs I get to enjoy, and lows I am forced to endure. There are so many emotions to experience. Elation. Pleasure. Rage. Pain. Satisfaction. Love. This is what happens when you stop numbing yourself. This is what happens when your life is more than a countdown to Friday night.
So why’d I stop writing this blog? Because it stopped being about my current life. Instead, it was about the one I used to live. I had become two separate and distinct people: one in real life, the other on the page. I was playing a character in my posts, a guy who didn’t care about anything but buying a round of shots for the fellas and trying his hardest not to leave his parents’ credit card at the bar. And when sounding like that dude got too stale and tired and disingenuous for me to stomach, I didn’t know what to say anymore. Do I write what is expected of me, what I expect of myself, or do I finally share something raw and real and heartfelt about my emotional state of mind? I didn’t know. I refused to put in the mental effort it took to figure it out. So I did what I always did before that night with Kristin on her couch: I let time pass me by. I folded up shop. I walked away. I stopped trying. Because I thought trying isn’t funny.
Because, even after the past four years, a part of me still thought that trying was fucking lame.
9 years ago, when I started this internet monstrosity, I would’ve viewed this post as an embarrassing personal admission. Today I look at it as an article of faith. From the moment I first put my fingers to the keys and composed my very first post as a junior of college, I was hooked. I wanted to write, to be a writer, to put a piece of myself (real or not) out there for the world to see. I wanted to create something that was mine and mine alone, and as of the ripe age of 30, this is still the only way I know how. I want to move you, dear 7 readers. To make you LOL, mainly. But also to make you contemplate shit, inconsequential as said shit may have been. To tickle your brain in the most fulfilling way possible.
To keep you coming back for more. And as much as this essay has been centered around my own individual evolution, it’s also true that some things never change. I still want to write now for all the same reasons I wrote then. It’s still my goal to have fun, to crack your asses up with my unique and completely original antics, to entertain. I am still here to serve as a diversion from your life, as small or meaningless as the distraction or comfort I provide may be.
I just don’t want this blog to soldier on as a diversion from my own. From now on, in addition to everything I mentioned above, I am going to be genuine. I am going to start honoring the person I’ve become, and I am going to be open to whatever person I will be in the future. That is the only way I can once again write in a voice that sounds like who I am in the present. That is the only way I continue on with this labor of love.
That is the only way I can get back what this blog once gave me. Inspiration. Confidence. A deeper sense of self. A level of creative satisfaction that can only come when you believe you have something to say and possess the courage to fucking share it. What I am saying is both that I am different and I am back. Now it’s time to move forward.
Now it’s finally time to get this blog back to what it was at its origin. The method through which I tell the story of my life. The instrument through which I reflect the present day person that I have chosen to be.