(Originally posted on Faceybookey; pasting here for posterity)
Thank you all, new friends and old, for your birthday wishes. It’s been one hell of a year.
Most of you have probably heard me say it before, and I say it jokingly, but I also vehemently believe it… getting old is better than the alternative.
This past year has been something like I’ve never experienced before. The good, the bad, the ugly… but also the beautiful. Many of you know the nitty gritty details, some may have some idea. (I don’t mean to be coy, but it’s not quite the right time yet to be fully public about all of it, even if my instinct now is to be an open book.)
I’ve had a hard fucking year, in many ways.
I’ve loved and had my heart broken. In many ways.
I’ve learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I’ve learned to articulate what my own needs are in a way I’ve never done so before. I’ve learned to communicate on a level I’ve never done so before.
I’m a better person than I was a year ago.
I’ve given myself over to living a radically honest life. I am striving to be my true honest self.
I’ve learned to never waste a day. Life is short. Life is long.
I’ve discovered the practice of Stoicism (FB group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/Stoicism/).
In some dark times months ago, I discovered this ancient Greco-Roman practical philosophy, and it has helped me immensely. Sad things happen in all of our lives. If we pin our happiness to actions outside of ourselves, we set ourselves up for a lifetime of suffering. We can only change ourselves, not other people.
Learning to realize what is under our own control, and what is not, and learning to not be sad or angry about the things that are out of our control… this is a useful skill that Stoicism teaches. What is important is not the end result, but that we did the most virtuous thing in response to whatever fate sends our way.
I am immensely grateful for my friends, and my family. I am strong. I feel stronger than I have ever felt. But knowing there are many out there who offer me unwavering support, it does make things easier. It fills me with gratitude. I love you.
I am happy! I am grateful. It’s been a great life, and I am thankful for it. I am thankful I got to spend another year spinning around on this wet rock hurtling through space. That any of us gets to spend a moment enjoying consciousness is something we should all be thankful for. How amazing is it we get to be alive, but not just that… to KNOW we are alive in a way that (probably) an ant or a mouse, or even a cat or a dog doesn’t get to contemplate.
We could all dwell on the negative. We could think about how we’ve been wronged or how we could be richer or more handsome or more popular. Or we can choose to be thankful for what we do have. I am.
I choose to embrace the love in my heart.
And I look forward to struggling through figuring out how to live another year hurtling through space on this wonderful wet rock we all call home.
From Phish’s Blaze On (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kn14EIj34E):
And then one day you find to your intense delight,
That three wrong turns can really make a right.
So why not be like me? Be proud of all your crimes,
‘cause when I screw up once, I do it two more times!