(Note: this post was started on Friday.)
Not the best week, this. Not the worst, but … strange.
This post, by the way, is – if all goes well – ridiculous. If it works, I’ll tell you why, later.
Today … today I didn’t even get out of bed before 10:30AM and wasn’t done with breakfast until around 11:15AM or so. But my dad was busy … finishing up some things for the county inspector who came out around the time I got out of bed. The inspection on the electrical passed, so that’s good. And I guess we get an extension on the remaining work on the permit … to put in a ramp and a boardwalk &c. So that’s still hanging over us and needs to get done.
And grandfather has been interrupting everyone, all week, to work on a … a particular project that I’ll probably show you a photo of when it’s completed and hooked up … and has been setting my dad back and frustrating my brother and … well, he’s been overworking himself, too, which isn’t good. So he’s pretty sore, pretty tired right now.
The furniture construction is “behind schedule” for all of us right now. My father hasn’t even yet begun on work on his furniture. I haven’t got far on mine. I admit I haven’t put the effort and time into it that I might have, but … there are roadblocks. The first day, my father showed me how to do basically one thing: sand. I already had an idea, but he spent half an hour going over it with me and I got the information I needed about what the sanding goals were with the Manzanita we’re working with, and that sort of thing. But then after I finished sanding the first piece of manzanita, I ran out of … expertise. I knew I needed a base for it, and to have a hole made through it to string the electricity to the top, and to install the main body into the base and finish it (ie: paint it with a wood finish), but I don’t know how to do any of these things.
I tried selecting a big piece of wood for the base, but … really I didn’t know what to do to prepare it, or if it was even workable. After three days of mentioning it to him, I got an answer from my father about one way we might be able to use it, and several days later we did half of that. Then I spent a couple of hours hand-sawing through the rest of it. Sawing, I mostly know how to do. I didn’t saw straight, but … the wood was sawed. Next I was supposed to plane it, since it was pretty rough to start with. And my dad, on the first day, also spent a few minutes explaining how to use a handheld electric planer, so I tried that. And within less than a minute managed to cause what seemed like irreparable damage to three of four faces of the wood I got near with the tool. Power tools, I think, do not belong in my hands.
Just about as I was getting pretty upset with myself for the huge chunks I was taking out of the wood and was giving up, my father walked up and tried to show me what I had been doing wrong. Now, he hadn’t seen what I did, and watching him do it, he seemed to be doing the same things I had done. When he did it, the wood got better instead of worse. Except that now the wood has some … flaws … that need to be … covered up. By doing something to the wood my father briefly called “scalloping” about two weeks ago, that he said would take just a few minutes to show me.
I have no idea what tool would be used, or what the technique would be, and despite multiple discussions, he still hasn’t shown me.
So, no progress on the base since then.
Instead, when I gave up on my dad getting around to showing me “the next step” any time soon, I worked up enough energy (between other jobs for my father and grandfather) that I spent almost two hours this week working on furniture. Since I can’t get past the sanding stage with what I know on my own, I spent time selecting, measuring, and cutting down new pieces of wood for use in other pieces. I selected a couple of pieces that, since I hadn’t already spent over eight hours sanding them (as I have with the piece I started with, for a floor lamp), I wouldn’t mind damaging or losing. And I tried to drill them.
You know, use extra-long drill bits and careful aim and drill a hole that runs all the way from one end to the other of a piece of manzanita. For the zip-cord, to carry the electricity to the actual lamp part of the lamps. In case you’re not familiar with manzanita (and I wasn’t until I moved up here and had to manually move around a ton of the stuff by hand, one piece at a time… twice for a lot of it), it is quite “twisty” and “bendy” and not a simple straight shot to drill. For my floor lamp, I estimate that it will take around a dozen very long and hopefully neatly-intersecting holes to get all the way through it. I clamped one of the two small, un-sanded pieces into a big vice we have and began to drill into it. I think I got my aim pretty good. I managed to get over twelve inches into the piece before I’d gone through two big batteries on the big, new Ridgid cordless drill and had to wait for them to charge. Oh, that and I’d apparently taken all the sharp off the bit. Something about overheating it … my father eventually (after a couple of days passed) looked at the drill bit and told me briefly that I’d got it too hot and that’s why it stopped cutting. Oh well.
Today, in passing, my father mentioned to me that there may be a way to use our drill press to do the job. Maybe someday he’ll show me what it is.
Okay, okay, enough rambling about furniture for now.
What else? Let’s see… my younger sister lost her phone a week ago, and has to buy a new one, but Verizon won’t let her. Ah, now that’s customer service. She went into a Verizon store, she has a Verizon phone number and wants to buy a new Verizon phone and agree to a new Verizon 2-year contract, and do they let her? No. So instead my father has to order it for her. Because despite the fact that we are on a “family plan” and we each have our name associated with our phone number, phone, &c. (ie: all our names are on the account), Verizon will not let anyone but my father do anything to or with the account. Including give them hundreds of dollars, apparently.
I got a call not too long ago where I learned that the close relative of a good friend of mine is hospitalized. Not my place to share details, but not good news. I’m praying for God’s will to be done in the situation.
My grandmother has been more aware and physically active at times this week than I’ve seen her all year. She’s been able to remember some things for several days in a row, and even seems to know who we all are. A doctor this week diagnosed her with asthma, and says that that is likely the cause of the breathing and coughing trouble she’s had all these years, but which went undiagnosed. Giving her treatment for asthma seems to be having a positive effect, so we’ll see how that goes in the long run. On the other side of that coin, my grandfather doesn’t seem to be doing as well. I don’t know if it’s just that he’s been working too long and too hard this month, or if his body just doesn’t want to go on… or what. I’ve known him to be in more pain than I’m aware of him having most of the time right now, but he is now taking half again more Oxycontin than he was for most of last year, which may just be making him numb most of the time. I think he needs to “take it easy” more than he has been since my father moved up, though I know he can’t stand to just sit around all day. Unfortunately, the projects he gets in his head to work on are not usually the ones that need the most to get done around here.
I just spent … a while … helping my younger brother modify his blog layout. The biggest problem we ran into that I didn’t immediately know the solution to: the posts weren’t appearing in the new layout. The reason: he hasn’t posted in almost two months. That was easily solved. We just changed the main page template so far; I’ll help him with the other templates this weekend. And then, perhaps, he’ll post. He has had the blog for over a year now.
Okay, finally, Heath is going to bed. I expect my brain to finally start kicking into proper writing mode soon.
And on, and on, and onto companionship:
I uhh… Outside of my family, I don’t have much companionship. A few good, long-time friends who I see once a month at best (though usually less often, it seems) and … well, the people who rent retail space on our property, whom I can see every day (though really I’m only friendly with one or four of them, and only really social with one), but they’re all … well, they’ve got lives and families of their own.
And for my dad, his work has always been his life. He’ll work all day, every day ’till Jesus comes, and perhaps take a few hours off once a year or so to go to a movie. But for me, while I can do that to a degree with the work I actually like to do (ie: writing, painting, &c.), it has to be moderated with my natural desire for human companionship and for entertainment.
For a long time after I first started to lose sync with the world around me (right around when I kept getting engaged to be married, age 17-18 or so, but found myself single after all), my ‘social activities’ consisted more and more of my going out to where I knew people would be, with temperaments I was compatible with, and sit or stand around just sorta watching everyone else socialize. For a while, everyone knew my name and no one had anything to say to me, but as time went on the people who knew me became fewer and fewer and the people who never learned who I was became more and more. One weekend I went out to my ‘usual spot’ and realized that I did not know a single person there. And that I had no idea why any of the dozens of people I had known had stopped showing up.
I had tried making conversation now and again with various people, but … as I say, I was ‘out of sync’. When they talked about their lives, their friends, their jobs, I couldn’t keep up because I wasn’t really a part of their life, I didn’t know their friends, I didn’t understand their jobs, and just about everything came across to me as empty as a jargon I didn’t know. And since I wasn’t already a part of their world and didn’t understand it, they didn’t seem interested in trying to get me to understand and stopped saying anything beyond ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. Until one day the strangers I knew were replaced by the strangers I’d never met, and I stopped trying.
Which was not the best, because even at that shallow, seemingly useless level, at least I was in the company of friendly people who knew me. I was a part (admittedly a small and mostly non-involved part) of social activities, a member of a community. And that is better than being an isolate.
I’ve noticed more and more lately my isolation. I say lately, I mean probably six months or more. I’ve noticed it as it comes through my computer.
There was a time when being ‘always on’ was important to me because it was part of being ‘always available’. It went alongside carrying a mobile phone with me everywhere; if people wanted to get in touch with me, they always could. And for a time, they did. For a time, MSNIM was the second application I launched every time I sat down at a computer. At work, at home, away from home when I could, right after checking my email I was available for Instant Messaging. And people would message me. Mostly Iain overall, but also friends, potential loves, ex girlfriends and more.
I became accustomed to the sounds of IM, the dings and chimes that told me when people were online or communicating. I became accustomed to being aware, from across the room or across the house, of the sounds of emails coming in and people messaging me – so that when someone tried to reach me, they would. Even when I was doing something else. I was ‘always available’. My mind is deeply programmed to listen for these sounds and my eyes and head are programmed to look at the computer from other activities to check for missed messages. So when I’m playing a video game or watching a movie where the sound or involvement in it may have kept me from noticing a new message, I automatically and without thinking turn my head towards my computer screen every few short moments.
And lately I’ve noticed that I’m not missing anything.
Last night I was playing SW:KotOR on my XBox and became increasingly annoyed that I couldn’t help but keep looking over at my iMac’s screen as I played. Looking for what, I do not know; I was offline with no programs running – it was simply my desktop image, every time I looked. And I looked every minute or two, all night. And this isn’t the first time, by far.
And every morning and every evening I have an intense desire to check my email, and at every break during the day, if I can, I want to check it. And I always carry my mobile phone with me, even if I’m just running downstairs for a moment, in my pajamas, to use the outhouse. And I don’t get many calls (outside of family members, often from someplace else on the property here, asking where something is, or for me to fetch something) and I don’t get many emails (okay, okay, I get a lot of emails, but very, very few of them are written and sent manually by humans and fewer still were intended to be emails to me (whenever anyone posts a comment on Modern Evil or FYTH on a post I’ve written, an email with the content and context of the comment is sent to me, which I don’t think really counts as an email)). And it feels like the more I look, the fewer meaningful calls and emails I receive. And I check my Post Office Box most every day, you know – in case someone is trying to contact me by post – and I would say that on average there is mail in it three days out of fourteen, and that’s just magazines and bills.
And while I’m up here, there’s basically no social activities for me to take part in beyond perhaps accompanying my family to church on Sunday mornings… And when I go to Phoenix I don’t seem to be able to see even my best and oldest friends without detailed, long-planned-upon plans, let alone taking part in anything involving more than a few people.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m only interested in the companionship of large groups, though that surely is lacking. I am also very interested in the intimate companionship of an individual. I have not been in “a relationship” or had “a girlfriend” (or “a boyfriend”, or more) since … Early 1998, it seems. As I discussed with Jen the other day when she came up to visit me (we had a very nice little “lunch date” on Tuesday), while I have been on dates since then, I couldn’t say I was ever really “dating” someone, as I understand the term to be used. Like our lunch date, it wasn’t ever part of a relationship beyond friendship, or that led to anything “more”. The closest thing in all that time has been a sort of “neither of us knows what it was” that I had with Alison for a while, back in … was it 2000? Anyway.
So, to clarify, in late ’96 to early ’98 I was still getting involved in various relationships including three engagements to three different young women, none of whom married me. Since then, all of my friends have become married or with children or both (some of them twice each), while I have struggled to find someone even to date more than twice. In case you are not and have never been or known anyone in this position, it is not an easy one. It is constant pressure to get married and have kids, above and beyond what I get from my grandmother when she’s cogent enough to realize I’m her grandson and still single. It is an implication by the universe at large that there is something inherently wrong with me that even the people I know who long swore against marriage, against children of their own, have met success while I have not. At something I’ve been at since I was 17.
And don’t try to tell me to “stop looking” because seriously: That might work for people who live in towns with a population over 1000, and/or for people who normally are involved in social and/or public activities, but that is not me. How can it be said I am “looking” when I don’t leave my own family’s property most days, and when I do I’m not anywhere other people are? (Most of the time I go to PHX, I find myself taking a break from spending all day, every day with my family by going to a different city and spending all day, every day with my family.) How can it be said that I am “looking”? Because when I do come in contact with someone I like who professes to like me and who I get along with and have interests &c. in common with, I consider whether I am interested in a “serious” relationship and if I am pursue it? Is that what looking is? I always thought it went beyond trying to mature relationships with the people you already know and into the territory of actively seeking out new people to form relationships with. Which I really don’t (can’t) do.
And now, onto another track I think I’ve covered already, but is still on my mind: Sex.
I haven’t had any.
Well, not “really”. Due to a good-intentioned decision followed later by a series of less-well-intentioned decisions, I have never had my penis inside a vagina (or man’s ass, or a man’s penis in my ass, for that matter). I have experienced a lot of other forms of erotic and/or sexual contact with a fairly large number of partners (somewhere around 15, last I counted, where there was the opening/removal of pants/skirts/&c. involved; at least another dozen where there was erotic or intimate contact yet the genitals in the pelvic region of both/all parties remained clothed throughout), but never “straight” sex. (I say “straight” to indicate “straightforward” ie: penis inside vagina, but also include the straightforward forms of anal sex enjoyed by homosexual men in this category.)
Do you see that last paragraph? I think it shows somewhat why I may have had some … trouble … regarding ‘sex’ in relationships I’ve had/attempted. I mean, really; who cares so much about being exacting and detailed in what they mean when they say “sex”? Personally, I’ve begun to believe that … well, that I’d be a different person today, by far, if I hadn’t held on all this time to the conviction (or whatever it was) that kept me from having “straight” sex. If it had not remained such a big deal to me, the idea of “virginity”, of keeping that one act special for my wife, my wedding night. If I had even been open to the idea of sex, how would things have gone differently, within me, and between me and the world at large?
Surely I would have eventually broken up with Nicole (my 3rd girlfriend in high school), but perhaps it would have been later on, and perhaps it would have changed the course of future events (see: Chaos, re: Butterfly Effect) – she was the first one I knew of who (almost definitely) left me specifically because I wouldn’t “go all the way” with her. And if I’d “given it up” to her (or someone else, perhaps Melissa, my first real “love”), perhaps my attitudes and relationships would have been transformed thereafter. More easygoing, less “serious”. Perhaps. And perhaps I would have children by now. And/or a wife.
And maybe today I wouldn’t be most attracted to virgins and unwed mothers.
Best I can figure out is that some part of me likes the idea of mutually bringing virginity to the honeymoon suite, while another part of me, a part that wants children quite intensely, likes the idea of being able to have children and still not have sex (though realistically I know I would have sex with anyone I married). Or something like that.
It’s fairly odd. I find myself attracted to virgins more than other people, and worse (is it worse), if they go out and “lose” their virginity to someone else they are transformed instantly into someone vastly less attractive to me. Now, that may have something to do with their then clearly being involved with someone else; I’ve learned my lessons about there being someone on the outside of a relationship trying to tear it apart, and have programmed myself to try not to make advances of any kind on people I know are involved with someone else. It’s an extension of the concept of the golden rule. So, that could be it; that I’m automatically less interested in people I know are involved with someone else (my eyes are trained to seek out the left-hand ring finger these days), and that losing one’s virginity is a strong indicator of involvement in my eyes.
On the other hand I’m also attracted to unwed mothers. That’s a more … complicated route. And it is often difficult to discern whether they are actually disentangled from the father(s) of their child(ren) and/or other men. I don’t know (only because it has not come up (yet)) whether I might for some reason lose interest in a woman after her child was lost (ie: died), but I doubt it. Of the ones I can think of off the top of my head, the unwed mothers I am attracted to seem to be people I would be attracted to (perhaps whom I have made advances toward before their pregnancy, even) regardless of their motherhood… though it is hard to deny that motherhood changes a person.
I don’t really know. Maybe that’s just … all coincidence. Except that … well, it’s a painful fact that I still haven’t had sex, so perhaps there’s something to the virginity bit. How can you tell? Maybe the unwed mothers thing is tied to my desire to be married and the knowledge that most unwed mothers would much rather drop the “unwed” part, so they’re likely to be interested in a serious relationship, which is something I desire.
I’m getting really tired. I’m going to go to bed now, and work on this post a little more later. Definitely get it posted before the end of the day, though. You’ll see why later, I’m sure. Sigh. Time to retire to my half-empty bed.
Another day, another depressing stay-in-bed-till-noon.
I should probably go downstairs for breakfast. Or lunch. Or whatever. Get the mail, see if my father has done any of the half-dozen things he said he was going to do today before he could help me with furniture. See if maybe there’s been weather while I slept… some of the forecasts were calling for weather. I never know until after the fact, it seems.
A few minutes of help with the wood. More time spent on my own, screwing up again.
My drilling experiment didn’t work, and I ended up making a big, messy hole right out the side of the piece of wood. I did connect top to bottom, but not in any way that a piece of wire can get through to carry electricity. After fighting with it and trying to get it to work for about an hour, I had to stop on account of a growing headache. I came back up to my room and I’ve been … trying to relax for the last half hour or so. Maybe I’ll head back downstairs to fight with wood some more. Perhaps I’ll irreparably harm yet another chunk of wood. Whee!
Probably, since I can hear his voice downstairs right now, my dad will now proceed to tell me what I ought to have done instead of what I did. You know, now that it’s too late to actually get it right. That seems to be just about the right timing for him. “Okay, here’s what you should do” – he goes away, I do what he said and fuck it up, he comes back – “Here’s what you should have done, that I didn’t tell you because I thought it was obvious.” And then he proceeds to do the whole thing for me. Whatever.
What’s the point of all this? I thought I was supposed to be learning how to do this so that I could do this on my own so that I could make money. Because he stopped doing anything that makes money. So while I’m still up here, doing whatever needs help doing, there’s no allowance in the finances to keep my bills paid anymore. Fine. Oh, wait, except that I can’t fucking make money up here selling furniture if I can’t fucking build any god-damned furniture! If I can’t get the information I need to do it, I can’t do it. If I get the information after I fuck a piece of wood up, I’ve just wasted my time and I’ve turned a piece of wood from potential income into firewood. Why the fuck can’t he just give me the information before I start, before I fuck it up?
I know, I know, we’re just getting started. But we’ve been just getting started for four weeks now, and I’ve ruined several pieces of wood already. At the current rate, on top of not being able to pay any bills, I expect to have destroyed every last piece of useable wood before spring.
I think I hear my dad trying to fix one of my fuck-ups. He’s supposed to be showing me how. Fuck him. I better go downstairs.
Okay, so. Did that, did dinner, did a little more on the wood (more on that in a sentence or two), and now I’m here. It turns out that the thing my dad wanted to show me, the thing that he indicated had some sort of technique to make it look like what people expect is to … sand it! Okay, so, that chunk I tore into the face of the wood, an inch by an inch and a half and a quarter-inch deep? Yeah, you just sand down until the surrounding wood is lower than the error. And apparently people just assume that “natural form” wood products will have these odd dips and strange corners, he says. And since I don’t actually know anything about “natural form” furniture (and in fact consider it quite ugly, myself), I just had to watch and listen. And seriously, I know a little about visual design, so I know that … well, what my dad actually did is not … the best-looking solution. So after supper, when dad wasn’t looking, I turned on a light and a belt sander and created a reasonably good-looking (actually designed-looking) shape that worked with the gouges and the places where I tore chunks out of the wood and made something … I’m not ashamed of, I guess. Actually a bit after I started out, Heath came around and helped me hold the wood down while I did major reconstructive sanding on it. And we discussed the whole thing for a bit as I did it, and then we came upstairs.
Anyway, I guess I’m going to have to force myself to buck up and work on my own. We discussed the trouble I was having drilling briefly over supper, and he promises to show me a better way … at some point in the future. So instead, I’m going to just go ahead and do what he seems to do when I ask him what the next thing is; I’ll just make some bullshit up about what to do, and do that, and if it goes wrong, make some more bullshit up to deal with that. I guess that’s the way it’s done. Maybe that’s why I don’t like this “style” of furniture; you take some bullshit, you pile it on top of some bullshit, and you crap on it. Then you sell it for thousands of dollars.
Whatever. I guess it works. My most popular paintings have been the ones that looked the least … like anything. April had a gift certificate for one (I gave out three gift certificates for paintings to people for Christmas), and after reviewing all my paintings was about to take one that, while I like it, clearly doesn’t represent much of anything… well, anything more than a mood, anyway … but then I showed her one that I considered ‘in progress’ and particularly ugly because … well, I had painted one thing partially and wasn’t happy with it, so had started painting over it, but hadn’t painted over it enough to completely cover the old painting yet … so to me, it looked … very odd… but she loved it and took it home. Anyway, what was I saying?
Oh yeah – I don’t particularly have a handle on other people’s taste.
Speaking of which, that reminds me that I now have access to more of the “mirror” material I used in “Your Eyes” that certain people have commented on greatly appreciating, and can do some more work with that soon. Yep. Planning on painting during my “Focus on: Writing” months. Clever.
Speaking of which, aside from FYTH, I basically haven’t got much done by way of writing in the first month of four that are supposed to be focused on writing. The fronts and backs of two typed pages (one double-spaced, one single-spaced), but … nothing complete so far, nothing really well developed. I’m approaching 20k words between those pages, this entry, and FYTH, but … I can do better than that.
Then again, I’ve also re-worked the back-end of Modern Evil a couple of times, and I think I’ve finally got it finessed to the point where … well, here: Before I changed the back-end, Modern Evil’s bandwidth use was around 150Mb-180Mb per day. For two days after I changed the back end, it was around 260Mb-290Mb per day, and then I turned the not-quite-right cacheing off and it dropped back to between 130Mb-170Mb per day. Then, a few days ago, in trying to fix an error that would come up when anyone else’s site went down… I finessed a few things .. and got cacheing working again in what seems to be a quite good way; bandwidth for the last several days has been in the 61Mb-82Mb per day range, mostly around 68Mb. With an increase in traffic and a decrease in bandwidth use from day to day. So, that’s good.
And, ummm… well, I haven’t done any new paintings, I haven’t done any new comics, I haven’t made any movies, I haven’t invented utopia or fallen in love. So I guess at least I’m not doing all those other things that are normally priorities for me. But I keep having ideas for coding. I keep wanting to design web pages or softwares … I have such strange ideas, sometimes. I keep wanting to creatively program things… and that seriously doesn’t count as writing. It’s writing, but … it’s not. It’s like writing a story for computers… I don’t know.
And now, in the background, my brother keeps complaining about having too many friends to talk to online. It’s like he’s trying to torment me. He’d sure like to quite socializing and play video games, but they just keep talking to him. Sigh. Nowadays I load my IM applications, see who’s online and … well, usually I just close them again, since I can’t even think of who might come online to talk. Oh well. And then he’ll be dominate the TV for who knows how long. Oh well. Maybe … uhhh… Maybe I can … write something and not be distracted by his video-game playing. Yep. Maybe.
Okay, okay, I’ve found myself embroiled in coding something now. I don’t know that I’ll be able to reach my wordcount goal before midnight at this rate. Sigh. I’ve just got into a file I wrote some two years ago, that apparently I deemed it reasonable not to document, and unlike most of the strange code I write, I actually appear to have written this one intelligently; I can read it. That is, I know what all the variables are because I named them intelligently. And the code is in a logical order; I can tell what it’s doing. I think I’ll dig in and see if I can’t come up with something altogether interesting to look at before the end of the night, maybe write something some other day. This is too, too fun.
Well, I can’t seem to get that to work the way I want it to. For some reason I can’t quite translate mass and inertia into a DHTML document with realistic responses… well, at least not within an hour and a half. Which means I have half an hour left to get this post online and still have it be a January post. And several hundred words to go to … well, I supposed I’m almost there, so I’ll give it away; I’m trying to surpass Iain’s wordcount for January. He posted over 100 posts in January, comprised of around 18k words. With this post I’ll have made … looks like 12 posts … comprised of slightly more words. Really, it’s all in silliness, but Iain was right when he suggested that he and I post around the same number of words in a vastly different number of posts. Oh, and by the by, for anyone who cares, this is my 850th post on FYTH.
Also, hey, why not?
It’s not like there’s anything preventing me from writing and writing and writing about … everything. Though I guess it was mostly about trouble with my dad and trouble with my lack of companionship. I’m still lonely, I still don’t have furniture done, but at least I’m beginning to get the idea of how to make progress with one. Too bad I can’t just make up some bullshit and have it turn into a companion.
I’m reasonably depressed, my appetite and weight are fluctuating almost as much as my moods, and my sleeping is all over the board. I can’t remember what it feels like to kiss. I am reminded more and more of how I pushed aside what ought to have been my youth by the constant presence of a youth (my brother), and that reminds me of the life I’m failing to lead today because of the life I failed to lead these past several years. Where do we go from here? Where to I go from here?