It’s 2AM and I can’t sleep.
There is nothing particularly wrong. Sometimes the brain just wants to create…and in my case, that means I’m writing.
It’s been over a month since my last blog. I’ve thought about sitting down and writing every single day since then. I’d take my laptop in the car with me wherever I’d go…including a couple trips to Nashville in December and over New Year’s. But I talked myself out of it each time. I’d find myself responding to an email, stalking my Facebook feed, or looking up which crazy-colored yoga pants I wanted to order from Kate Hudson. While I type this, I realize that the words “I talked myself out of it” feels a bit like a Nerf gun fired to my face.
Because I do that. A lot.
**Talk myself out of things, and get nailed in the face with Nerf darts.
Whether it’s going out of my comfort zone to talk to someone I don’t know, sing a song I’m not sure I remember the lyrics to, go inside Chase bank and make them reverse their ridiculous maintenance charges, purchase the plane ticket, wake up in time for that kickboxing class, apologize to my boyfriend, or write a fucking blog. I’ve probably “talked myself out of” some of the best “could’ve been” times because I didn’t trust it, for one reason or another.
Everyone’s at the gym. Everyone is swearing to call their Grandpa more, lose 14.8 pounds, read the Bible, quit smoking, etc etc…And I wish them all luck. When the ball dropped this year, I was still in horror of the Mariah Carey fiasco. (I don’t think I recovered for days afterward, if we’re being honest.) While enjoying mimosas with a couple of my favorite gays on a New Year’s Day brunch, it dawned on me that I hadn’t made a resolution. Champagne aided in me never making a resolution that day. I wasn’t ready.
Because with this new year/new start, it meant leaving 2016 behind.
There was much to love… I fell in love/stayed in love/am still in love with an incredible man. My two sisters gave me a baby niece and nephew over the summer. Two of my best friends got married, and my childhood bestfriend welcomed a baby girl right around my birthday. I finished filming a music documentary coming out later this year. I wrote & recorded songs that I’m extremely proud of. I’ve sang in the studio and on the stage with some of my musical heroes. My boyfriend and I adopted a sheltie puppy and named her Blanche (Devereaux), after my favorite Golden Girl. I spent time with the ocean, the Great Lakes, New York City, the West Coast, and got to take my 89 year old Granny to Nashville to see her family twice. I read more books and wrote more songs/poems/stories/blogs than I have in years.
There was much I could have done without too.
There was death. There was a cancer diagnosis for my uncle. There were internal battles within myself that felt like a Target bag over the head. There were growing aches and pains for the girl and the life I was growing out of. There were days of crippling self-doubt. There were moments of family drama/crisis that made me feel like I was imploding. There were career/timeline setbacks.
There was life. There was loss.
Nothing better portrayed this than my last blog entry.
On December 2, 2016, I wrote a long-winded blog about the significance of my 1st nephew, Nolan and his entrance into this world 6 years ago. Hundreds of you read it/commented/”liked”… It felt like such a release to share part of mine & my family’s story with you.
On that same day, December 2, 2016, my boyfriend’s best friend passed away.
We didn’t find out until the following night.
“Unexpected” is what they called it, but it felt much more severe than that. When you’re having some beer and chicken pot pie at a neighborhood dive bar with someone, and 24 hours later, that person is gone… “unexpected” doesn’t begin to cover it.
EJ Grossi died at 34 years old.
I didn’t know EJ very well. Him and my boyfriend had over a decade’s worth of friendship. EJ actually lived with my boyfriend for awhile before/at the beginning of us dating. When things started getting more serious, EJ moved out and me & my dogs moved in. My boyfriend and EJ resumed their “best friend status” and were always hanging out when I’d go out of town, mostly just sitting at the house and talking. He loved our dogs. EJ was quirky and weird in the best way, super spontaneous, unassumingly thoughtful, and truly loved his people…and always wanted his people to know his people. Case in point, when my boyfriend & I hung out with him the night before he died, he handed me 2 CD’s there in the bar. It was music by a couple of his friends and he said he thought of me and that I might enjoy a listen. He also said if I thought the music sucked, I could use them as coasters, ha.
His funeral was surreal. There were so many people and never a good place to stand that was “out of the way” of everyone else. Looking at photos of him on the memory boards was numbing and shocking at the same time. He looked just like me, just like any of us. There were tears and laughs as everyone reminisced with each other. I couldn’t attach to any of it. I just fixated on my boyfriend the entire time…wanting to scoop him up if I detected any slight sign of an emotional collapse. I was prepared to save him. I wanted to save him.
I also wanted to cry. But I “talked myself out it”.
I’ve cried since then. Only a few times, and always by myself. I don’t know if it’s my distain for crying…or my fear that my boyfriend will sink into depression if he sees how I affected I am…or that I don’t know/don’t want to think about all the things that are surfacing inside of me because of this loss. I still haven’t figured it out. Which is why, every time I thought about blogging, I didn’t know where to start. It seemed inappropriate to write about someone I didn’t know very well or for very long. Because, as you know, I like to talk myself out of things.
But somewhere, in the last couple days, I started to grasp that it’s okay to speak of things you don’t understand. Because if you don’t speak it, how will you ever understand it? I need to remind myself of that. My feelings are real. EJ’s presence was/continues to be real. My boyfriend’s memories are real.
I think if this gut-punching end to 2016 is teaching me anything about what a new year of life to live should really mean, it would be…
Quit fucking talking myself out of it.
Rest in peace, EJ.