An Audience of One Too Many

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right back at chaThe Courteous Intro

Happy New Year! Wow, it’s 2016 – time for fresh starts and new beginnings. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! 2016! TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN!

The Acknowledgement of the Obvious

So, I haven’t posted anything on here since November 3, 2014. Yeah, that’s a long time. In fact, it’s a year and three months ago. That’s not last week. That’s awhile ago.

The Sad Ending to 2014 and How It Changed My Life

Well, here’s the thing: 2014 turned out to be, perhaps, the worst year of my life. Nothing too drastic happened, but still, it wasn’t good. I’m still alive and relatively healthy and there are no major injuries to report. I still live in China. I am not in prison there (although sometimes it feels like I am). I have not killed anybody and I am not on the run. I have not been kidnapped by ISIS and I have not perished on a Malaysian plane.

So in that respect, things are good. But 2014 wasn’t so good. Let’s talk about it. First, my grandfather died. That was depressing, but it wasn’t that depressing, because he was really old and everyone could see it coming. I mean, I’m not sure if something qualifies as being tragic if you can easily predict it. Still, it put a bit of a melancholy spin on things. He was a good guy and it’s always sad when someone like that passes.

Secondly, my mother got cancer. That really hit home. I never wrote much about my family, but we are not close at all and I haven’t seen my parents since 2009. It’s one thing when the mother you see all the time gets sick, and I’m sure the pain and confusion that stems from that is enormous. But when your estranged mother who you haven’t even spoken to in ages gets really sick, well, it’s pretty heavy. You start to wonder if you’ll ever see or speak to her again. Like, if she’s going to die without saying goodbye because, you know, that’s what she wants. It’s tough. And even if your mother is essentially a stranger to you, thinking that a day could come when she’s not on this earth…it’s a tough pill to swallow. All that’s to say, when I found out my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer, my life kind of ground to a halt.

But wait! Things got worse! My girlfriend of over two years – the lovely Korean girl I wrote about so very often on this blog – broke up with me. Although it may sound as though I’m a petty person who lacks perspective (which is likely true), the end of our relationship was by far the most devastating of all. I really, truly believed beyond a shadow of doubt that I was going to marry this person and spend the rest of my life with her. That was the vision I had of the future. And then that all got shut off, like a sitcom that gets cancelled after the first season because of bad ratings.

It’s weird. You have this idea of what things will look like, and then the other person comes along and tells you that your idea is all wrong. It’s almost they she said, “Hey, you know all that stuff you think about? About the home together and the family and everything? Well, you need to stop thinking that. I don’t know what you’re going to think now, but think about something else. Think about, I don’t know, basketball. Put more thought into your hairstyle. Just stop thinking about us. Got it?”

So What the Hell, Man? You Were in Pain – You Should’ve Written!

After all this stuff happened, I realized how odd a forum a blog is. I mean, I enjoy writing about myself on this blog, obviously, and I’ve rarely held back from being open and honest. But suddenly after the break up, I just didn’t want to ever write anything on here again. I felt like the break up wasn’t only an end of the relationship – it was an end to Topiclessbar as well.

I looked over the last year or two of this blog. It really became sort of a love letter to her. So many of the posts are about her or at least feature her. It seemed wrong. To suddenly start writing about dates and being single and trying to find someone new. All wrong. Especially since I knew she’d be there, reading it. I had strangely gotten an audience of one too many, and I imagined in anguish my new ex reading everything and feeling hurt by it. True, she had ended our relationship, but there were still a lot of deep emotions involved. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her. It’s still the last thing I want to do.

I told myself it was more important to not hurt her than it was to keep on writing a blog. And so I stopped.

But You Didn’t Stop! You’re a Liar!

Yeah, yeah, we’ll get to that.

Please Wrap This Up, Buddy, It’s Going on a Bit Long

Okay. Updates. My mother had a mastectomy and, after a couple other operations, I’m thankful to say that she is currently cancer free. We still have not seen each other, but we communicate via email regularly. It’s not great but at least we’re talking again.

I couldn’t make it a year without writing anything, so I started up a new blog and have been occasionally posting on there. It’s called “Parking Space 37,” and absolutely nobody reads it. I’m not kidding – it literally gets 0 hits a day. Which is actually kind of good and what I needed. It’s somewhat freeing to just write and know that there’s no audience whatsoever to judge you. Here’s a link to it, in case anyone wants to start judging:

Parking Space 37

I’m quite a bit better now, recovered from the evil 2014. My ex is doing okay, I think, and we talk from time to time. I miss her a lot still but things don’t hurt as bad as they did. At first it’s all regret and you sit around wondering what you could’ve done differently that might have made everything turn out better. Then as the months go on, that regret starts to change into acceptance. Not all the time – there are still spells of sadness and wishes that I could’ve fixed things – but when those down times happen, the acceptance eventually comes back in and things feel okay again. You start to realize it will probably always be like this. The regret will never really go away, and you’ll have to live with that in your heart forever. It becomes a part of you, and you try not to be bitter about it.

I have a new girlfriend and life is happy. Going forward, with the new year upon us, I plan to write here sometimes and sometimes write on Parking Space 37. I don’t really know what I’m doing. I want to put a book out and do so much more. It’s going to be a good year, I think, or at least an interesting one.

So there it is. My heart on a platter. A little bruised, but still pumping.