A Look Back at 2018

A Rough Start

Earlier this year I had a job I absolutely hated. Despised even. Not so much the workload or requirements, but the people I was surrounded with. I disliked every last one of them for their lame comments, constant misogyny towards women, and lack of focus on getting anywhere in life. Luckily, I got laid off. I was relieved and thankfully, something better came up.

Looking Up

Getting laid off wasn’t so bad. I went to three interviews in the area and got two offers. Heck, I even negotiated a higher starting salary at the place where I’m at now. I got to start fresh and flex my skills at a newly opened company where I was my own boss. My current job has allowed me to finish multiple goals this year and I’m thankful my life is going as well as it is. Everyone here seems genuine, sincere and someone I can call a friend. I think everybody is mildly impressed I’ve gotten them the number of sales we had in such a short amount of time. My general manager and I have long winded talks about our industry, investment opportunities, tech, and real estate — topics I’m passionate and interested in. My business card isn’t anything to brag about but it sure looks nice having your name under “director of e-commerce”.

Share in the Moment

I was delighted I got the opportunity to see my best friend walk across stage at the same school I did 3 years earlier. It was an incredible moment not just for him but everyone who came to support him. We laughed, we cheered, and he cried. It makes me smile knowing he finally did it and we witnessed the closing of this chapter of his life.

I was pleasantly shocked to hear his opinion of me he wrote to someone I was interested in. In all my years of being friends with him, I never thought he thought so highly of me or even listened. It amazes me the level of detail he has in describing me. Stay awesome, brother.

I wouldn’t count on him or anyone to send me any money. I would never ask even if I really needed it to get by. He was not on his feet yet and I quickly jumped to the rescue to save the day. What’s one plane ticket to me, honestly? Generosity is warranted, yet rarely seen.

Wise Men Say Only Fools Rush In

Normally, I have a few reservations about visiting Santa Barbara to go to a party. I can assume I won’t meet anyone I know there and the environment tends to revert me back to my old self. I had twisted my ankle just a day earlier which made walking unbearably painful. I guess you can say that was the best part. Had I not twisted my ankle I would have never sat down next to her and made small talk. Wouldn’t you know it, she lived around my area, went to the same community college, had the same major, liked writing, and also running. Simply too good to be true.

Naturally, I messaged her on Facebook and through forces unknown a la Garza, I had three dates with her. I remember the first time we met after the initial encounter in IV. As she walked out her door, I thought to myself, she was the most beautiful woman I had laid eyes on all year. I was absolutely smitten beyond words and looked in awe. “This woman is going out with me.”

Dating was fun and exciting. We went to nice restaurants where reservations were absolutely necessary and got to share a few candid stories and experiences together. There were far too many coincidences, which only made her more alluring. She was every bit interesting, sweet and kind, with a few welcome surprises — like downing an entire beer in front of me. That’s hot.

Unlike past dates, I felt completely captivated by everything she said. My ears listened intently hoping never to forget a word. Everyone and anyone can be beautiful, but intelligence is a thousand times more attractive. It’s not every day I meet some who’s like that. Even more so, to feel compelled to have flowers delivered to her door — and twice.

It makes me smile looking back on that time. Those couple months felt like an eternity and was the most fun I had in a long time. I have these fond memories to keep and that just feels great. I’m not out of surprises just yet.

Won’t You Pardon Me

I tend to believe all people are inherently good inside. It’s an optimistic outlook I carry and for good reason. As fate would have it, we hired a new sales manager at work. The same day, my car inexplicably broke down just as we made into the parking lot. She was nice enough to call AAA using her membership card as mine was missing from my wallet.

As I had no car to get to work, she even offered to drive me since she lived just minutes away from me the next city over. I chalk that up to luck more than anything. She was too kind and helped make a terrible day that much more bearable for me.

20/20

I never thought this would happen but I got laser eye surgery done. It feels like I’m rediscovering the world everyday just looking in awe and wonder. It’s incredible to see the world anew and from a different perspective. Was it worth it? Hell yeah.

Soul Searching

Much of my year was spent self-reflecting. My memories of that place I called home for two years are beginning to fade. Not that I want it to, but it’s for the better. I asked myself constantly “Who am I?” and “Where do I want to be?” I needed to know for some reason. I’ve been carrying feelings of guilt for what transpired, who I hurt, and who I became in the past. It’s hard to help yourself when you can’t let go. People change only under the most unusual circumstances and you can’t expect miracles. I realized my soul has always been with me and it was never left behind at that beach town of days past. Fuck everyone who didn’t know any better or who turned me into the monster everyone feared.

“Fuck who you know, where you from, my nigga?”

I let myself down those couple years and I’ll take all the blame for that. Lies cascade into one fantasy after another. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Fuck the old me. I partied, I was feared, and respected by those I could care less about. What do I have to show for it? It’s Daniel versus Danny since I left and a source of turmoil. Just revisiting the area made me realize it how awful the environment lends itself. I did a number of things I’m not proud of and won’t share specifics just yet. Call me a heartbreaker, an asshole, and dick. But in the end, I left with a drinking problem, a drug habit, and deep resenting anger towards the world.

Let go now and not later. Before you know it, you’ll never make a turn around and habits become permanently part of your character. Be a fucking human being and don’t hold back due to fear of the past or fear of rejection. The worst is and always will be what you don’t say that you regret the most. I love chasing, but not everyone is running. You came, you gone, and yet time and time again, your image is in my mind — perhaps like a ghost who comes with every season.

Sobriety

I can admit with great certainty, I had a drinking problem. Don’t get me wrong. One or two is perfectly fine, but I’m far from fine. It’s an escape and I can admit I was fighting a losing battle with bottle after bottle. Many people pressured me to drink throughout this year, not realizing the gravity of my situation. Honestly, how the fuck would they? Not many people are as open as I am about their vices, and I don’t expect the same from the next person over. I spent what amounts to thousands on alcohol and it wrecked me into a total mess. I needed to do this not to brag, but for myself. Goals are important and I always intend on following through with self improvement. I did it. I went one year without drinking a drop of alcohol and you know what? It feels like my biggest accomplishment yet to date.

Rx Necessary

Towards the end if the year, I felt off — a persistent state of melancholy. Work life / social life was skewed, as was my brain chemistry. Rather than keep quiet, I did something about it among the over 16 million Americans with clinical depression. Taking medication for your mental health is even the worst part. Not doing something about it is.

I’ve tried self-help books or blogs, read constantly about ways of managing my thoughts, and ran constantly. Ask me how I’m doing.

It was a great year full of ups and downs. I’m thankful for all the people who supported me throughout it all. They gave me hope and the strength to continue forward. Without their words of encouragement and advice, I couldn’t have gotten this far. We are imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. Knowing I’m surrounded by friends and family who have my back makes it all a little less difficult. That’s all I really need or am looking for at the most basic sense. All my relationships mean the world to me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The path less traveled doesn’t have to be alone — and alone I am not.

I can’t see what the future holds for me, but I’m certain it’ll remain bright and full of more successes. The skies may darken and the clouds may loom, but in the end, there will always be people who I can depend on. For that, I won’t ever stop trying. I’ll go to the ends of the Earth for each one of them and that’s something I can promise.

Goals are just hopes and dreams wanting to be fulfilled. It gives a sense of direction in the openendedness of life and a destination when there is none. It’s no so much about where you go, but who you go with.

Signing off. With love, Danny.

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