This past year has had some ups and downs. Let me share a bit.

First things first: I ran away last summer! It was a big deal. I wrote about it and shared all my exploits! Check it out here.

I also went to my second Burning Man last August! I cannot say I’m a “burner” whatever that label means, but I love everything this place represents. It is truly mind-blowing! Beyond words. If you have a creative bone in your body, find your way there someday. So many great people and personalities! So much unbelievably great art! So much to say, but not here. Working on writing something…bigger.

Last October, heartbreakingly, The Violet Hour and Magoski Art Colony in Fullerton had their final art walk. I have been going there for practically a decade and recently it was becoming a second home. I seriously looked forward to it each month, it was a hub for some of the best people I’ve ever met and a great place to meet new ones. Not to mention, the art was always great! I was actually planning to show some art there next year. It is truly saddening that hanging out at the Colony will not be in my future. For a little while that last night I bartended again, staying there after hours where a few of us toasted to the end of an era.

Last year, 2018, I started a (short-lived) Star Wars role-playing game with friends, helped a friend paint a mural of adorable pups, ate the tiniest taco in existence, had a CT scan of my bum shoulder, floated a few times, when to a bunch of parties, started a life drawing class, went to a House/Shag event in Palm Springs, had more Art Day meetups at my house, held my annual Thanksmas party, somehow found myself in a San Diego nightclub blaring terrible music but dancing my heart out anyway, went to a Spike & Mike reunion show, played a lot of DnD with the guys, had an amazing Star Wars walk-through virtual reality experience at Downtown Disney, spent 45 days driving to Canada and back, remodeled both of my bathrooms, hosted some couch surfers, had a reunion with all my old BJ Pizza friends, said goodbye to a close friend, bartended a fantastic charity event, and after years away, I started painting again thanks to a new friend!

Not much to say in the love life category, as not much has changed from last year. I’m pretty sure I went on more first dates last year than any before. Not more than a couple second dates. And no thirds. Although, I am currently chatting with someone. So, optimistic superpowers…ACTIVATE!

In other news, I’ve committed to moving out of Brea. Leaving this house of 14 years. This, how does this make me feel? Fucking scared, sad, excited, terrified, nostalgic. If things go according to plan, I’ll not be in this house, the home I’ve had since 2004, this time next year, at the latest Spring 2020. This house has been stability. A constant. A touchstone. A reflection. A sanctuary. A dream. A transition from youth.

I walked through the door on 801 Worthington that first day, before Menagerie, before Kelly, before my 10-year reunion, before any grey in my beard, before graduating CSUF, before reconnecting with Curtis, before DnD, before Amy was married to Dax, before Azzy, before Wendy, before MySpace, before Facebook, before my yearly projects, before Bruce & Kelly, before Obama, before Jeff Stewart and all the friends that sprung from him, before owning power tools, before I knew anything about working on a house, before crawling in an attic, before calling myself an atheist, before being 30, and before knowing so much.

I walked through the door with dreams of eventually living there with the love of my life, starting a family, and eventually outgrowing the house. Saying goodbye to it and moving on as a family. I really tried to make that a reality. Perhaps this is my cocoon. [side note: butterflies molt a chrysalis from their skin, not cocoons. And only some moths spin cocoons] And I must leave it in order to change. But I’m going to do it. Because change is difficult and scary. But I feel it’s going to be worth it. This year is prepping the house, getting everything done that needs to be done. This year is for researching the places I might want to go. Long Beach, LA, Berkley, Portland? I am currently reading a book and these passages caught my eye:

“The journeys made were beyond common sense; who leaves the hearth for the open sea? especially without a compass, especially in winter, especially alone. What you risk reveals what you value.”
—Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

…I forgot about feeling and wallowed in contentment. Contentment is a feeling you say? Are you sure it’s not an absence of feeling? I liken it to that particular numbness one gets visiting the dentist. Not in pain nor out of it, slightly drugged. Contentment is the positive side of resignation. It has appeal but it’s no good wearing an overcoat and furry slipper and heavy gloves when what the body really wants is to be naked.
—Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

I love this idea of personal perspectives of things past. I can see the quotes above relating to my relationship with this house. The metaphor of a cocoon or a hearth, about contentment. What you risk reveals what you value! Ah! I want to write a poem, explore these ideas, these feelings. But not tonight.