Well now....it's been a hell of a year, hasn't it? Truth be told, I felt much like the photo above; stuck in traffic with only a small amount of wiggle room. I'm still moving forward, but at a crawl, not at all at the posted speed limit. For much of the year, my hands have been tied by highly unfortunate circumstances out of my control, and other circumstances within my control. In that regard, many of the past year's problems are of my own crafting. Furthermore, never has the saying, "my own worst enemy" been better exemplified.
Anxiety has been the worst of my issues in the past year. Panic attacks have been a very regular occurrence. Even the awesome pleasure of friends had, at times, not appealed to me in the slightest. Mental breakdowns were had a plenty, the most infuriating being the ones experienced in front of others.
However, despite the intense wave of misgivings accompanying the past year, there have been rays of hope. Friends have managed to drag me out of my funk on more than one occasion. Even family has provided respite from my mood. My small little pup, Vernie, has been a near constant source of happiness that has kept me grounded. Can't forget Bareman's Chocolate Milk; Bareman's has been an unconditional source of pleasure. And there were...other developments, unforeseen, that took away the constant sense that the clouds were opened up and God was saying, "I hate you Andy Beau!"
Phanny B has been one of the most interesting developments of the year ;)
One of my earlier decisions was to avoid getting into a relationship during my time in school. Enough time was spent with distractions during all the years leading up to my reentry into academia, that I didn't want to risk losing focus on school. More so, I didn't want to have to choose between the two, when issues of time management confronted me. Fear that I'd make the wrong decision in that situation was too strong. Of course, it doesn't help that I feel as though several of my failed relationships were my fault.
During the summer, Phanny (Stephany) made herself known to me. Fortunately, I couldn't ignore her either. During our time together, she's placed herself right up there with Bareman's and Vernie, which is saying a lot (heh heh). Yes, indeed, a Coffee Company romance was in the making.
Had you have asked me what my plans were for New Year's Eve even two months ago, I'd have told you that it likely would have involved drinking too much with friends. Imagination then wouldn't have conceived the possibility that I'd be spending it in Chicago with a woman I've grown to *hate* more than should be allowed. Never would I thought I'd be this happy, especially after the year's turn of events.
Truth be told, I'm not entirely happy, at least not yet. Many habits were thrown up as defense mechanisms that will take some time to knock down. When once again I can say that traffic has begun to pick up, when my life has again began moving forward at a speed discernible as more than a crawl, then my heart will be more whole. Then I can truly celebrate a return to my one time optimism. The fireworks of my mind and heart will be as bright as I desire, and as warm as Phanny deserves from a guy who loves her. Then will I feel as if I deserve her, and that she's receiving what she deserves.
With much anticipation, I draw this 365 project to a close. Like the creator's life it centered around, it was filled with errors and hardship. However, as with life, it was a trial; a test that was for me and me alone. To start something and finish it was the real purpose behind the project. I'll embark upon a new, altered project, but something similar in nature. The writing will be reduced to minimize the tendency to fall behind.
Thanks go to anyone who may have been featured in the photos. Thanks to anyone who read the blogs - no matter how few or how many the words there may have been. The usual thanks for the people surrounding me that have been inspiration in life, not just in the blog. Special Kudos go to Bareman's, Vernie, and, of course, Phanny B. Thanks be to God for creating me, Mike Ditka for giving me the will to live, and George Michael for being caught in the that bathroom letting people know that Pee Wee Herman isn't the only sick fuck in public.
No thanks will be given to the following:
Makers of chocolate milk other than Bareman's.
Forgive me if I forgot to shit on someone's feelings that I should have.
I'd really like to continue dragging on. The idea of being finished with it is really quite saddening. Another book closes so another can open, I suppose. Move onto the next big thing.
Love, Peace and Bacon Grease!!!
P.S. Special Thanks go out to the matriarch of the Kline Klan, Jamie Kline. Great friend and wonderful partner in the wild ride that has been this project. Without your dual participation, I might have failed. Much Love....(can't believe I forgot your ass! I ought to be tazed)