Sunday, April 7, 2013

Five Years

On April 7, 2008, a nineteen-year-old who called himself BB set up a Blogger account and made his first post. At that time, half a decade ago, my life had been defined mostly by loss: the loss of my childhood, the loss of my faith, the loss of my innocence and my sanity and myself.

The last five years, though, have been defined by the things I've gained. Thanks to a group of incredible people (most in real life, some of whom I've met here), I gained a perspective and a confidence that arguably saved my life. They met me when I was damaged and loved me anyway, and then they handed me the greatest gift I've ever received: the genuine belief that I was better than, and more than, the traumas of childhood abuse and illness. They showed me that I could define myself instead of letting others define me. They showed me not to be ashamed of being gay, or of struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or of blaring Kelly Clarkson records with the volume all the way up. They taught me that I was great, whoever I was.

I am so in their debt.

Many of them, like Laquesha, Hungarian Guy, and Black Dress Girl, will never see these words because of the anonymity that I must, especially now, maintain. But I know how much I owe them and how lucky I am to have had them in my life.

To the friends who can read this: thank you so much.

Thank you, Jo(e), for showing me what an adult should look like. Thank you, Sue, for caring about me when I didn't care about me. Thank you, Communist, for being an insufferable dumbass. It's why we get along so well.

So, for those of you who don't know and for those who would like to be reacquainted: my name is BrightenedBoy, which is odd when you take into account that I am no longer, strictly speaking, a boy. I am twenty-four years old and a fledgling literary agent who does freelance reporting on the side in Southern State.

I live with my parents, David and Marie, in Mountain Town, though I may soon be leaving. For the moment I share a home with them and with my siblings: Thomas (age seventeen), Pie (age nine), and, in about a week, Powell (age twenty-three). I am plotting my escape and hope to make it in the coming months.

2012 was the hardest year I've had since I started writing here in 2008, but it came with its golden moments and its bedrock lessons. It made me a little stronger each time it wore me down.

April 2012: I turned twenty-four years old and learned that birthday parties do not mix well with attempted murder.

May 2012: I continued my job search and internship even as an emotional tailspin ratcheted into full gear.

June 2012: I visited my grandmother's home in Native State and got some much-needed family support.

July 2012: A major storm hit our property and my brother Powell decided to throw one of his many impromptu house parties.

August 2012: La Reine hired me as a literary agent with Sentinel of the West Literary Agency on August 9 and I was soon out to Pacific State to meet my colleagues in person.

September 2012: Laquesha and I took turns having sleepovers at each other's houses.

October 2012: Green Eyes and Hungarian Guy hosted me for a three-day bender that, in addition to being a bit epic in scale, proved my social life hadn't ended with college.

November 2012: President Obama was resoundingly reelected, to many cheers and much clinking of wine glasses at the election watch party I attended.

December 2012: The friends who keep popping up here threw a New Year's Eve party that almost made up for the preceding 364 days.

January 2013: I came to the conclusion that my father was truly irredeemable.

February 2013: I sent out my first queries to publishing houses even as I struggled with an emotional and mental beating.

March 2013: I mostly just spent this month breaking and trying to pretend that wasn't happening.

So, that's it. Let's hope things start looking up soon, guys. 2013 sort of just has to work. I can't do this much longer.


naturgesetz said...

The question is always, "What do I do next?" Occasionally it's about something important. All you can do is try to make the best decision based on what you know at that moment. Then you see how it turns out, and decide what to do next (keep on with what you're doing or make a change).

What I'm trying to say is that it's normal to be facing the sorts of decisions you're facing, so don't think that there's something wrong with your life.

Good luck. I hope your 26th year will be happier than your 25th.

laura b. said...

You have the strength and the right attitude to make the year ahead YOURS.

Rena said...

I've been following without commenting for a while, but there's an author you might want to consider, Lois Bujold (Sci Fi, space opera of awesome), whose books I encountered when I was going through a rough patch. One of her characters, Cordelia, has a way of putting things when the world is going to hell that I always try to keep in mind: Tests are gifts. Great tests are great gifts.

It means that when we get to the end of these journeys through hell, we have the measure of ourselves. It is immeasurably hard. That is what life is. Sorry to sound all doom and gloom, but I've been following you for a while now; I know there is strength in you.

Good luck with your queries to publishing houses. The pits of query hell are wide and deep (it's so there's more room for everyone).

jo(e) said...

I can't believe it's been that long. It's been wonderful to see so much personal growth. (And I'm not just talking about your beautiful hair.)

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

And to think I just showed up at about the beginning or so of 2012! BB, you've been more than a friend, you've been an inspiration. Anyone who can navigate the rocky channels of your life, and come out as well as you have is someone to look up to. I know I do, even as an official olde farte, knowing that it does get better. You're getting better. I"m glad to have met you here, and hope to continue following your journey.
Peace <3

dawn marie giegerich said...

As I've hinted at before your level of self perception is phenomenal considering your young age. At times it may feel like a nuisance, a burden but in the end it will be your saving factor. This will make more sense eventually and you will discover the hero that is you. Too bad you can't surround yourself with pure souls such as yourself, but they will come, some already have.

Arizaphale said...

I can't wait for you to get out of there. What naturgesetz said is right: lots of people at your age are 'seeking', trying to find what it is they will focus on, where and with whom. It's just a tragedy that you don't have a supportive family to fall back on. It IS good though, that you are surrounded by other people that love and support you while at the same time providing a few laughs!
Happy birthday/blogday!!

Jason Shaw said...

I think we all can identify with the feeling of searching or seeking a place to exist, to be and to do whatever it is we are to do. It's a search that starts usually in our late teen years and goes on until we find that special place to be (if we ever find it) It can be easy at times, hard at others, but each step of the way shape us for the person we are constantly evolving into. We are the sum of everything we have experienced and have learned. I'm waffling, sorry, I'll stop with just telling you I love to visit here every now and then to find out the way your life is going, it's always a good read and always makes me think and consider. I hope you will make an escape and find place to be you, as always, my very best wishes are sent to you.