Sunday, April 7, 2013
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.