Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
So this week’s #BlackCatBlogClub is going to obviously be about how much I love stuffing and the fact that I have never had turkey during a Thanksgiving meal. Don’t @ me.
Let me tell you a story. It’s not about stuffing.
4 years ago, my life hit the reset button. Without getting into gnarly details, leaving you questioning the meaning of your life, and being a total bummer tomorrow at dinner with your families, Here is the short version:
I met a girl in college.
We got married in 2013.
I bought a motorcycle. (This part isn’t super important to the story. I just like that it happened.)
I lost my teaching job, working with children with exceptionalities (Autism, MS, Down Syndrome, etc.) 2 months after getting married.
I sold all of my gear to stay afloat. It didn’t work.
I got a job at a music store. Retail. It was hard.
We had to move. Far.
Stuff happened. Bad stuff. It was not tight.
My friends were gone.
I was alone.
And I didn’t tell anyone.
And that was how it was for months.
Lonely. And sad.
And I had a negative account balance pretty much all the time. And I mean ALL the time. Like the bank called me once to let me know my account had been negative for over a month and when I told them what was going on, the person on the phone goes, “Wow. I mean. Holy [crap]. I…They don’t tell you what to do in this situation”. My response was, “YEAH! THEY REALLY DONT!”
And I didn’t tell anyone.
My family lived in Northern California at the time. So it wasn’t like I could just bop over there and be like, “Hey. I live here now. Also I’m very poor. Can I have some….uh…everything?” and because of things that happened previously that year…and the past few years before that, the relationships around me were…shaky. At best.
It had been 3 months. I still hadn’t told anyone. Because losing sucks.
And I felt like I had totally lost.
I called my friend Sean.
Sean moved into my empty apartment in the middle of nowhere.
And suddenly, even though everything was on fire and my life was a mix up of creditors, past due bills, and living on a budget of 5 dollars a month, I felt like I knew things would get better.
So thats what I said. To Sean. Every day. Every single day.
”It’s going to get better. It’s gotta get better.”
And it did.
I’m going to fast forward thru a lot of scenes, over the course of a year, of me laying on the floor in the dark with my cats as well as scenes of me stealing food from the break room at work when no one was looking. Late nights with Sean and our no internet, sitting in silence on our phones and scrounging change for Taco Bell and the one time we bought a giant sandwich and made it last for 3 days. Scenes from my life of when I didn’t want to get out of my car when I got to work, of me getting to work 3 hours early and then staying super late because I didn’t want to go home. It’s a bummer.
No one wants to see that. Except for maybe the sandwich. Ask Sean, that thing was awesome.
Just know that it wasn’t as easy as going, “And I thought about doing better really hard and then I did better, and then everything was great and I lost 200 pounds and started liking myself again. And then my friends came back! And everything was beautiful in the world!” because that did NOT happen. It kind of did. But not like that.
See, the thing that-over the past 4 years-I’ve come to know about myself is this: when I am going through everything that I want to do as a person. Just me. I bum myself out because I want everything NOW. I want it all. And I get depressed because I can't do it all right this second. Because sometimes I am a child and I want to throw a tantrum until someone gives me the thing I want. Because I’m forgetting that the reset button is still readily available, and wired, and very quickly and so very possible to get nailed. At any time. And I could be right back there. In that empty apartment. In the middle of nowhere. With no food. And when I do remember where I am, even though it is not perfect, it is not always super tight, and sometimes I want to quit my day job and live in one of those communes you read about in those weird documentaries about communes-I remember to be grateful. To be thankful. Not just for where I am, because trust me-I am more thankful for where I am, and for all of the people I have met and get to talk to and be around and share life with. And it is hard. And sometimes it is so painful.
But I am so thankful for the time my life fell apart.
If you are reading this, thank you. I am thankful for you. I am thankful for all of the people that allow me to do stuff like tell stories. I am thankful for BlackCat. I am thankful for my family. For Cory. For my girlfriend, Riley, that lets me go off the rails sometimes and has to tell me back into reality. For companies that we’ve partnered along side and built real, “Wanna get lunch?” relationships with. I am thankful for it all.
If holidays are hard for you. If they are a bummer, I understand that. We understand that. Know that you are not alone and that I am on Instagram all the time. Know that I respond to literally every message, email, and text no matter what time-Unless I’m dead asleep…and even then sometimes I wake up to just make sure I haven’t missed anything. I know that’s weird. Whatever. If you need someone to talk to, we are here. Let’s get lunch. I don’t like seafood. But I love musubis.
Happy Wednesday. Happy Thanksgiving. — Nick