QUOD DAEMONES NON PORTANT/CANTO #5

“To the faint of heart, may you never be afraid. A fate full of sorrow has not yet been made. Though long you have suffered, and much you have tried, the light of hope is a fire and it burns inside”- Me

Know what that was? That’s a poem I wrote for the beginning of an album I recorded. Wrote it, slaved over it for months, and lovingly recorded it at a friend’s studio. Planned a launch party, rehearsed my ass off, a promoted like a bat out of hell. I had written an album of dark, brooding, heavy, and atmospheric guitar music (like a symphony but metal is what i used to tell people) and up to that point it was the one thing in this life I was the most proud of. I reached the point where I was ready to unleash it upon the world and start my revolution and do you know what happened? Nothing. Abso-fuckin’-lutely nothing happened. Why? Because LIFE happened, that’s why. Personal shit happened, other people’s bullshit happened, and my ever-dysfunctional relationship with music came to a screeching halt in the blink of an eye. I was devastated, i was confused, I was fucking lost and I didn’t understand why this music thing just kept NOT working out for me. I still have my masters and I still listen to it all the time, and outside of my wife nearly nobody else has heard it. It was supposed to be the things that defined my life post-30 and it flamed out like the tip of a match.

Yet, here I am. Here I am sitting on the couch in my bedroom, pursuing another passion, daughter snuggled in our bed watching Netflix cartoons, son sleeping down the hall, and my wife taking a well-deserved shower after a day of recovering from my birthday festivities last night. See, I turned 39 last night and thanks to the magic of Uber (yeah, we just started using fucking Uber, welcome to the 21st century, we know) we got to zoom off wherever we wanted for eating, drinking, and the best conversations two people have ever had. SIDE NOTE- I had a margarita with motherfucking POP ROCKS on the rim and it may have permanently altered me in ways I won’t ever understand. It was delicious. And amazing. Sorry, back to the conversations- sometimes when I listen to us talking I can sort of objectively hover above us as though I’m listening in whilst also participating and we have this amazing way about us, we’re like the Gilmore Girls and Aaron Sorkin minus the annoyance and self-righteousness. We talk about everything with an ease and comfort that only comes from time, love, and late night diaper changes. The kind of thing that only happens when your partner is your best friend, the coolest person you’ve ever known, and just as much of a nerd as you are too. It is rare, tough to find, and we are extremely lucky to have caught this beautiful lightning in a bottle. We talked, we drank, we ate like feasting kings, and repeated that like shampoo instructions for hours. We had overnight babysitting too which is incalculably awesome too, so we had nothing to rush home for, nothing to feed or change, and the ability to sleep in later than we probably have in 4 years or so. It was a fantastic night, it always is when we venture out together, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my place in this universe. 39 years, almost 4 decades of ups, downs, heartbreak, pain, disgust, joy, fear, insecurity, anger, laughter, music, games, food, running, reading, writing, staring at the walls, expanding my mind (dipshit speak for drugs), annoying others, bad decisions, good decisions, love, family & the lack thereof, work, blood, sweat, tears, and a little bit of whatever makes me ME. There have been times I thought it was all over, times I didn’t want to carry on, and times when I thought the whole world was crashing down around me. I’ve thought I wanted to die, I’ve clawed my way through the ashes to live again, and I’ve struggled every bit as much as I’ve triumphed. Nearly every “I want to do this by the time I’m…..” either hasn’t happened, has happened and not been what I thought it would, or taken a complete left turn into something I didn’t even realize I wanted or needed. I met my wife when I had no intention of finding my person, I’ve taken career turns I never thought I could take, and I’ve navigated all of it while also constantly doing my best to silence the internal dialogue telling me I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve happiness, and I’ll never hold on to anything good. Call it anxiety, call it depression, call it whatever you want and maybe one of these days I’ll summon the courage I need to take the next step and get someone to slap a diagnosis on this fucking head of mine- but it’s there, it’s real, and it likes to talk A LOT louder than the happy voice inside. Add in kids, stress, and all of the small daily struggles and sometimes I feel lucky just to function out in society without going totally batshit. I love my wife more than I’ll ever be able to adequately articulate, I love my kids just as much even though sometimes they push me to the brink of human sanity, and our little unit keeps me grounded, sane, and happy despite the internal and external forces that constantly threaten to dump a cosmic pile of shit upon my spirit. It is human, it is real, and it is mine. Fuck with it and I’ll erase you, this is my place, my purpose, and everything I never thought I would have but somehow ended up with anyway.

Do I feel 39? I don’t really know what that means but no, I don’t. I still feel like the same person I was when I was writing that album, when I ran a 10K for the first time, when I was living a totally different life- but I’m stronger now, I’m smarter now, and everything I should have known then I have learned through trial by fire and sheer will to progress. I won’t compare myself to a fine wine cause that would make me a dick of the highest order, but I will say that I like who I am now VASTLY more than who ever I was before. I have a metric ton of things I still want to do, I have plenty of things I want to fix, but the difference is that I’m embracing it all. I know who I am and I wouldn’t change it for anything, but now I’m battle-worn enough to know what needs to be done and I still like who I am in the meantime. I might not ever be my version of perfect, but the trying is what counts, and I’ll take whatever peace that provides.

I know there are SO MANY other people out there, having birthdays, getting older, taking stock of where they are and where they’ve been, and I know that a lot of you have a hard time with that stuff. The narrative we have established in this country (and most of the world too) is one of the meteoric rise, material wealth, success, big fucking boats, designer fucking clothes, and all the trappings of a life made rich on the backs of the unwashed masses. Six pack abs, six figure incomes, all ending up six feet deep like the rest of us. It is destructive, it is vile, and it is destroying our spirits from the inside out. We are constantly telling ourselves we’re not enough, someone else is better, everyone is better, and if we just get X we’ll have Y and THEN we can be happy and love ourselves. I’m making myself feel fucking sick just thinking about it, and it should make you feel that way too. What we SHOULD be doing is aspiring to have enough to be comfortable, enough to give others, enough love to share, and enough humanity to leave a better planet than we arrived on. We should be less concerned with job titles and more with how many people we can make smile every day. We should hug, not troll, We should celebrate everyone,not just the famous, cause we don’t give our regular selves nearly enough credit for being awesome- and we are. We are awesome. Every person who gets up every day and fucking DOES SOMETHING is a literal force of nature, a warrior for all that is right, and something to be celebrated. Don’t let this bullshit corporate “brought to you by Mountain Dew” culture tell you you aren’t good enough anymore- fuck ’em. Be yourself, and be it loudly. Take a fuckin’ chance one in a while, go get whatever it is that makes you happy because “they” don’t give a shit, and “they” are not going to give it to you. It’s on you, you get to make this life look how you want it to and THAT is what makes being human so electric, and horrifying, and amazing all at once.

I’m proud to be 39, cause I’ve lived through a hell of a lot of shit to get here, and that MEANS something. Maybe not to you, maybe not to anyone else, but it does to me. I feel like the best version of fucked-up me I’ve ever been and I can’t wait to see what’s next. As for THIS, The Ghost Generation- I have a bit of news for you guys- That wife I keep talking so much about? She also happens to have had some experience in the blogging world and she’s an amazing writer. She is going to be joining me as The Ghost Generation as soon as I can stop touching her butt long enough for her to get some writing done. I’ll still be doing my game reviews and hopefully more of them coming soon, as well as these lovely rantings and ravings too. We’re a team though, and my perspective wouldn’t be complete without you getting my other half’s too. She is smart, fucking hilarious, and she hasn’t killed me yet so you guys deserve to hear her revelatory musings on marriage, parenting, and life as another part of this thing we call The Ghost Generation. So stay tuned for tons more of me, of us, and thanks for playing along. Now go be yourself, as loudly as possible.

“This is your chance to being again, a brand new start to a different end, this is your life to look forward to, and now it’s all on you.”- Ignite/”Begin Again”

AJH

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