…And never come to mind.
This hasn’t been a crazy year.
It’s been three crazy years. Three years that took a sharp turn away from the previous 36.
In no particular order…
I saw one world crumble, then another. I saw my health and mind fade under duress, stress and pain, before gathering up all the pieces. I left a wife, replaced my band multiple times, ran away with the circus and fell into my professional stride.
I concepted, wrote, cast, and produced more than 50 televisions spots—hundreds of radio.
I joined the fringe.
I nibbled bellies, kissed strange lips, bit, loved and fucked—and remember it all fondly.
I gave up a dog, then said goodbye to another, before finding a third.
I found the truest lineup for Strawfoot, and wrote some of my best, most painful songs ever, which will help build our greatest work to date.
I was seduced.
I’ve toured the country with my Beggars and played before thousands in my hometown both with the Carnivale and bands like Murder By Death and William Elliott Whitmore.
I made peace with the RFT.
I made peace with my choices.
I hugged my childhood bully.
I began a creative partnership with a lady and a tramp.
I bought a bar.
I danced the Django Tango.
I lost someone to a drunk driver, another to a cliff.
I lost three couches.
I was lied to.
I watched my reputation get stepped on publicly.
I went through something ugly. Then something even uglier.
I noticed all those beautiful little moments that people far too often miss…Those little miracles we happen upon, now and again.
I brought families together.
I injected a turkey with bacon fat, butter and sage, and then deep fried that sunuvabitch.
I developed a new fan base.
I got a funcussion.
I was haunted by ghosts.
I had my heart broken.
My trust broken.
My spirit broken.
I met a woman who became my super glue.
I became a Mad Man in the truest senses of the phrase.
I helped create a Malarkey.
I experienced my first surprise party.
I made a few enemies, but more friends.
I opened my house to new faces that quickly became part of my family portrait—the closest circle of friends I’ve had as an adult, perhaps.
I was used up, then thrown away by some, picked up and dusted off by others— I learned who my truest friends are, and who is merely a part of my past.
I turned away from one novel for a much better story.
I redefined masculinity for myself.
I shook dead weight off my coat tails and now move lightly.
I helped evolve a show.
I’ve been threatened by no less than four bearded douches with little more to offer the world than a skewed perspective, fantastic dishwashing skills and poor sartorial decision making abilities.
I watched my friends find themselves, and at times even helped.
I filed my divorce papers.
I watched old friends fade away for no other reason than life and the roads we chose.
I entertained the thought of becoming a reality show, which may still actually be an option, and one that I’m kind of open to.
I realized just how many twists in life I am open to, when opportunity prevails.
I fell in love with a woman who truly, truly loves me—perhaps the first woman to ever feel such things for me, rather than the things I do.
I made my life public. My pain, depression, problems, and happiness. I shared my food, my drink, my everything, and hopefully through it, changed a few lives for the better.
I leaned on my friends, and they leaned on me.
I was brought down to my lowest, and have reached new heights.
To name but a few…
What have I learned?
So much. More than a simple blog can hold. I learned you can chase after dreams while still building a life. I learned love isn’t enough, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard.
I learned the sun still rises even when you wish it wouldn’t.
I learned how to be lonely, and then I learned simply how to be alone.
I learned how to trust someone again. And that it must be earned.
I learned that however I act is, indeed, me acting my age.
I learned you can’t be happy with anyone else until you’re happy with yourself, and that it goes both ways.
Mostly, I learned what happiness is. I learned about contentment. I learned how to be a satisfied man.
As another year ends with a new one in the wings, I have no resolutions, no grand declarations. I’m merely going to keep doing what I’m doing. This New Years, when the metaphorical ball drops, I’ll be on stage, kissing my woman and singing Auld Lang Syne with friends and fans, there to cheer us on and revel in what we make.
There’s nowhere I’d rather be.
I look back at the old chapters now closed, and I say goodbye, once and for all, like a book thrown into the flames, the story turned to smoke, the ending, merely ashes to rise out of.
My past will remain as such.
I will never forget how I got here, but all that really matters is that I’m here. Right where I want to be. Right where I belong. Happy, in love, and with a bright and open future.
So raise a cup of cheer, my friends, for auld lang syne.