A Letter to 38yo Me

Photo by Jill Burrow from Pexels

Did you ever believe that you’d live this long? As a child, we used to map out our futures. What we’d be like as teenagers. In our twentysomethings, batting away quarter-life crises. And we’d imagine being 32. Then it was just dark, unplanned. Nothing lay beyond its horizon. It is uncertainty whether we thought our story came to a halt at 32, or if our imagination was limited. This Saturday, we will meet for the first time and we will have outlived our expectation by six years.

Continue reading “A Letter to 38yo Me”

Ballade At Thirty-Five

Meant to write this post last night, but somewhere I lost focus. My Twitter account was giving me issues so paying attention to that seemed more important. It did at the time, anyway. Right now, it seems petty and foolhardy. Which can describe a mountain of decisions I’ve made in my thirty-five years. And the reason is always the same. It’s something I heard a lot in my adolescence. Clearly, I lack focus. In my writing. In life. In romance. Several ideas left on the back burner, shelved, or scribbled on quad pages long forgotten in my journal. When I do write something, I start going on tangents. I fall into traps of writing with morals and hidden imagery for people to decipher later when I’m no longer.

I’m going back to zero. Going to rebuild the craft for which I held such passion. And if I lose focus again, I’ll take it as I not longer want it. It’s a lesson I learned from Mark Manson’s book. And while I build that as my side hustle, I’m going to work on my job. Try new ideas I’d been too afraid to implement or scared to bring up to my superiors.

So here’s to my thirty-fifth year. And here’s to several more.

Always knew I the consequence;
Always saw what the end would be
We’re as Nature has made us—hence
I loved them until they loved me

Doldrums · Stream of Consciousness

Turn the Page

There are moments when I stare up at the night’s sky and feel truly insignificant. The speck of carbon standing upon a rock trying to convince itself to the vastness of the universe that it matters. That it has a purpose. Nothing scares me more than imagining a world without me. How it all goes away with a blink of an eye. Maybe that’s why humanity is fast to hold on to their gods and conjure up new ones.

I spent a lot of my days being angry. Or being sad. Or being uncertain. Questioning my actions and the actions of others. Doing my best to balance the world on my shoulders. Focusing on the what ifs and the maybe whens, but never in the now. I turned thirty-four Monday, and I’m not sure if others are better at life than I am. Or if they’re just better at pretending they are.

There are moments when the anger boils over. When the cool, calm, collected me weighs in. “Remember, holding on to a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”

Calvin & Hobbes Wallpaper“My grudges matter!” I shout out into the infinite. “My anger for being replaced by the woman I vowed to love with every fiber of my being. My anger at the man who abandoned me. The man who didn’t teach me what it’s like being a man. I’m angry at my grandfathers for dying too soon. The grudge I hold for the girl who only remembers me when no one else dares speak her name. These petty, miniscule problems that don’t add up to a footnote in the grander scheme—they matter.”

I matter.

I matter.

I matter!

I fucking matter!

Don’t I?

I press up against the wall of the church. Not the same one I attended in my youth, but it holds the same name. I sputter out a cough, a sigh. A muffled, panicked yell. Is this why people turn to religion? Is this what it’s all about? The great lie that we are more than what we are? Designed in the image of a creator? Its children? All for the sake to pretend we continue existing after we have pass into the unknown?

Someone once asked me if I ever considered going back. If believing seemed easier than just living. And it’s something I thought a lot about in the past. Not these days. These days I’m a Hemingway-ian character. The man waiting for devoutness to take him. But it never comes. Not like it did for the people in his family.

To quote Art Alexakis, “Livin’ isn’t a simple thing.

I suck in a breath. Steady myself. Push myself from the catholic brick and continue on. A crutch. Something I haven’t needed in years, no matter how vulnerable. No matter how broken. No matter how lost I felt.

I spent a lot of my days angry. Angry at the man who left me as a child. Angry at the fact that I didn’t hold on to the woman I loved. Angry at the fact that I allowed someone selfish into my life because I’m a sucker for a cute face and an act of innocence. Angry at myself for not being better than this. Angry at all those who crossed my path and left me longing for their presence. And all these things matter.

Mattered to me.

Because looking up at the night’s sky. Feeling so small, so insignificant in the expanse of the entire universe. Knowing that on some distant planet there is a person just like me staring at his night’s sky and feeling that existential crisis that I’ve felt every day since the concept of my mortality was introduced. They just don’t feel all that important, you know?

One day, I will cease to exist. And while that scares the living shit out of me every night, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. So I’ll embrace death with an  open heart. I’ll let it in when it asks. I don’t pretend to know the truth; that’s part of reason I’m an atheist.

Maybe someday, religion will find me. Or I’ll find some form of a higher power. Maybe I’ll be at peace in my meditation or prayer. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

For now, at thirty-four, I’m content enough to just find my importance while feeling so damn insignificant.


The Third Year

Has it been three years already? It seemed like yesterday that Jeanna was pregnant. Only, yesterday we held Shaun’s third birthday party. Like every year after Shaun’s birth, the weather wasn’t seasonable. I’m just relieved the rain bode its time. It began to pour after we served the cake and the kids broke the piñata.

Shaun spent the day relishing in his ability to play in the rain. We placed all chastising on hold yesterday. Though, he did take a certain song to heart when I nabbed him from the ground on which he lay. The wind prevented the candle from being lit. We sang “Happy Birthday,” though Shaun did note the missing flame. He looked at us, one eyebrow raised. “You guys,” his eyes seem to say, “you do know the candle isn’t lit, right?”

Because of the weather and drop in temperature, many of the invited were a no-show. I’m guessing that, any way. We didn’t open any of the gifts. Jeanna saves that for the house. Mike told me that he upgraded Shaun’s arsenal. A bigger water gun, perhaps. I haven’t asked Jeanna about it.

Though it wasn’t phenomenal, I leapt a great feat yesterday. For the first time since the two paired up, I spoke to Jeanna’s new boyfriend. An inevitability I longed to avoid without reason. It wasn’t friendly banter. It wasn’t filled with disdain, either. I spoke to him like I would a guy at a supermarket complaining about the service. Not sure how uncomfortable it was for him to have the ex-boyfriend around. Not sure how uncomfortable I should have felt. There are no rule books written about this.

While he attended the party, his part seemed minimal. I stole glances at others, gauging whether I should seem unease. A few smiles came from the audience. Though I couldn’t register any of these as pity or worry. Party of me wished Jenny or someone were there with me. Another part couldn’t enjoy the fact I’m alone more.

I’m adjusted to the single life. The bouts of loneliness come and go like any other emotion. I stopped filling my life with meaningless crap by cutting down my subscriptions. My full-time position in technical services has gifted me more time with Shaun. Life is good, despite all the depression.

And as the rain began to fall, we cleaned up the picnic tables. Shaun pointed me to the boyfriend in his way of introducing us. Jeanna and I agreed that next year, we’re hosting the party indoors. To next year. To Shaun, the greatest three-year-old in the world.


“Come inside where it’s okay”

It’s the anticipation that gets me in the end. Anticipation’s the wrong word. Dread? Anxiousness? Staring at the clock. Checking my phone. The corner of my computer screen. Waiting. Ticking the minutes. Thoughts caught in my throat. Weighing my heart down.

I end my thirtieth year with French toast and mini-sausages because it’s whatever. In half an hour, I’ll embark on my thirty-first year on this earth. And it’s a humbling experience because there’s so much eating away at me.

The advice everyone poured out is taking place as we speak. Only not my decision. And it’s frustrating.

In the past, at midnight, my phone lit up at midnight with a text message from her. Wishing me a happy birthday. Or she’d wait until midnight on the phone with me. Or I’d ignore everyone else until she woke up in the morning. The birthday wishes always came from her. Not last year. Or the year before that. Or the year before that. I’m nonessential. Disposable.

Disappointment. That’s the word I’m looking for. The disappointment gets me in the end because I allow it to. Because I’ve defined my self-worth by an absentee lover. An absentee friend. A person I’ve placed so value in her opinion, but who never completely valued me.

So here’s to another year of self-loathing. Cheers.


“…walked around my good intentions, and found that there were none…”

One year, last Friday, Shaun was born into the world. All the emotions I felt this year are new to me. As I sat by him in NICU, I stared at this little alien being looking up at me with so much wonder. Selflessness was never taught to me. And I never bothered to learn.

Before his birth. Way before his birth. The first time my eyes ever welled up with such emotion was the day I heard his heartbeat. I didn’t know how to react at that moment. I probably should’ve cried. I probably should’ve done a lot more than just cry. Instead, I just stood there. Feeling things. Feeling a warmth crawl over me.

It’s the same way I felt when I looked down at him in NICU. The same way I feel every time the thought catches up with me. This isn’t just some kid who’s related to me, this is my kid. My blood. My lifeline. My immortality.

I’m unsure if this comes with everyone who becomes a father, but every time I watch him seeing me, I wonder if he sees the same thing I saw in my father. If, when he goes home, or when I go home, he thinks of me the same way I thought of Javier. There’s a time a boy’s life when he just gives up on his father’s life. And I don’t want that, not for a second. So when I’m with him, I cover him with kisses.

I wish things were different, but even if they were they wouldn’t be. That’s just the way it is in a relationship with two opposing forces.