It took well over a hundred thousand words (ruthlessly edited down from a ridiculous and unbridled total pushing half a million) to describe the unique journey I’ve been privileged to not only survive thus far but to thrive inside of as well. Things left unsaid were quite intentional. Not all truths are meant to be shared. Some are there to be experienced and overcome. Some are there to regret and forget.
Which brings us to the “What the fuck did you actually learn from it all, Jason?” part of the program. A tough question to answer. I’ve catalogued most of those lessons learned on this site. Exhaustively. Painfully. What is harder to pin down are the innumerable changes that can’t be articulated with words alone. Emotional rewiring existing at the cellular level. I’m literally a different person despite any surface similarities or outstanding refinements yet to be made. I’m finally on the path leading to my most authentic self on several levels previously ignored or totally missed.
Unanswered questions linger. Untouched. Unexamined. Frozen in an amber-hued block of denial, deflection and distance. Reckoning and reconciling with reality remains my biggest challenge. I think I’m mostly there. Not without copious tears. And tears. Rents in the fabric of time, in a space I sought to remake singlehandedly. A vacuum of intent without reciprocation. Why would I choose hope despite so many uninterrupted signs of nope? I don’t know. Optimism? Good enough reason for now, but I’ll need to examine that dysfunctional response someday.
Even though we both deserve a heartfelt apology from her that will likely never come, I keep pretending like nothing even happened. Keep being familiar, friendly and flexible. Keep walling off that part of my mind that will never forget the truth, that part of my heart that can never say goodbye. Keep ignoring the elephant in the room. Whatever it takes for my kid to regain and retain as much of a sense of normalcy as can be had in this worst case situation. They are the most important part of this equation.
That doesn’t leave much for me to hold on to, but I’m doing pretty good despite a Groundhog Day existence. I’m still hoping for someone new, someone interesting, someone magical to appear. Not entirely sure what that looks like much less the timing of it all, but I guess that’s the point. Uncertainty often leads to expectations. The myriad details of my life have finally coalesced into a functional and self-healing whole. I’ve never been happier or more content, oddly enough, which tends to be the moment when transformation takes place.
What comes next for this site is documenting words not my own in JEM’s Guide Volume 3 – The Masters. I’ll interview 42 people in various stages of life and of every possible persuasion, position and perspective. I’m excited to hear these stories even while my own takes off into the unknown. The first chapter will be my mom and what is likely to be a massively entertaining conversation. We’ve been leaning into the truth for decades now. Get ready for a saucy and unbridled discussion about the juxtaposition of the various generations.