Eight years ago to this day, I lost my job.
That’s nearly a decade of days spent staring at a computer screen. Watching television. Playing games. Saying stupid shit on the Internet. Walking my dog(s).
It’s also nearly a decade of self-loathing, of pity parties, of anger, of mild paranoia. It’s nearly a decade of trying to get over my newfound distrust of people. It’s a decade of a lake of loneliness, the life preserver of which has been twenty five pounds of fur and farts (and my family).
But it’s also been a decade in which I’ve come to understand myself. In which I’ve figured out who I am and who I want to be. Of what’s important. Of the lines I’m willing to cross and the ones I won’t. I’ve learned what defines family – real family, not just blood. It’s been a decade of rebuilding. Of healing. Of trying to reconnect with a world I no longer feel I understand.
And recently, it has been a decade in which I’ve actively begun not just a reversal of my fortunes, but an attempt at throwing myself back out in the world again. In a business sense, that’s been going… well, slower than I’d like, but it’s going. In terms of my social life, I’m trying to push past being the weird guy in the corner of the bar at night drinking diet Pepsis and wishing there was a bookstore around, but I’m out there. It’s not easy rebuilding a list of friends I can call and hang out with, especially given my age.
I’ve done more healing in the last two years than the entire previous six. I’m taking gambles on my future and seeing small dividends that will someday blossom into larger ones if I just keep pushing forward. I will probably never be that twenty-seven year old man again, but I don’t think I want to be. This Cam, the one you’re mentally talking to right now, is maybe more broken, more jagged, but it’s also the only version of me that has looked at the mountain in front of him and just started climbing. I’ll get to the peak someday. If my friends, if my family want to come with me, then start climbing too and we’ll do this together.
It has been a very long, very odd eight years.