State of the union

The first month of 2015 isn’t even officially over yet and I’m already seeing an unexpected uptick in good fortune. With great change comes strife and difficulty, and I had more than my share in 2014. Maybe that was paying my dues in some fashion, as things are really looking up for the next 11 months.

So far this year, I’ve had several bits of unanticipated good news, a good deal of encouragement, and some professional success in the writing and acting arenas. I have been the recipient of unexpected positives that are really helping me get through a very tough time in my life emotionally, and a tough time in the calendar year; this part of winter has always been very challenging for me. I’m finding it less challenging this year than perhaps any other time I can remember, which is really, really odd. Shit is, generally speaking, starting to go my way. Frankly, I’m not used to it. I almost don’t know what to do with it, but am gamely atop my board surfing that wave with everything I’ve got. Eyes wide open, knowing I can survive the inevitable crash of the wave, and that another will follow to lift me again. I feel…happy and it’s been so long since I felt this way, I’m sort of in shock. I also tentatively am letting hope creep out from the shadows. I don’t think I’ve seen hope for, well, gosh I can’t remember, it’s been gone too long. I’m almost afraid to let it out.

I had a dream about my grandfather last night. It was unusual. I wasn’t thinking about him in recent days or anything. Truth be told, I didn’t know the man that well, and he died when I was in college, way back in about 1989 or so. He was mostly a sarcastic presence in his chair parked in front of the TV, spitting out his chewing tobacco into a bucket and occasionally complaining. I remember the coldness of his cheek when I would kiss him hello, the scruff of his shaved face. He was a Navy vet, having served on a big battleship that traveled all over the world. That much I know. I have his Navy discharge papers somewhere, my Mom gave them to me, as I tend to be more interested in family history than she. In the dream, a friend of mine sat right down to talk to my grandpa because I was sitting with him, and there was an uncomfortable silence between us; I didn’t know what to say to him, just like I never really did when I was a little kid. My grandma was all loud and jokes and constant stream of conversation, but grandpa was mostly silent and in the other room, you know? In the dream, my friend (who is a friend IRL) brought a bunch of pictures to share with him upon their first meeting, seeing as how his own father was once in the Navy (which is not true IRL). And my grandpa opened up immediately and talked freely with my friend. I learned so much about my grandfather just sitting and listening to the conversation between the two of them; more than I had ever known about him when he was alive. Of course, all the details were gone into the ether when I was awakened by my alarm. I hit the snooze in an attempt to get back to that world and gather a few crumbs before they disappeared, even though I normally don’t bother with snooze – it’s time to get up, just get up. But it was all gone, disappeared like snow that’s blown across the road and is lost in the wind.

Maybe it means my friends are my family. I certainly feel like it lately. I share in their good news. I feel for them when they experience misfortune. They’ve looked in on me, helped me, held me up when it was hard for me to ask for someone to lean on. Stepping away from my old life and into my new one has brought me a lot of connections I didn’t know were there, and there’s only room to grow from here.

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