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A recap of my final chapter of 2022.

Prelude: What just happened?

Well, there you have it. Thirty-one more days of writing, officially in the books. This was a fun challenge to complete for December, even if it was a bit more difficult than last year’s. I had three rules for this month, which I’ll get into in a moment, but my main focus was to make sure I got it all in writing. I read each entry from the beginning, a self-indulgent act no doubt, but I wanted to make sure I had a thorough recap. Because December 2022 is gone now. A lot happened in just one month. And now, 2023 is here. And while I certainly don’t intend on living in the past, I do need to remember what a month of writing meant to me. Each new challenge I do deserves an intro and recap, so we can collectively see the progress; From what I got wrong, to what I did right, and where I hope we can all end up.

So with that, here’s just some of what happened in December of last year.

Join me for a walk down Christmastime lane.

Rule 1: Write my heart out, but make it visual

Well I don’t mean to toot my own horn (yes I do) but this one I knew would be no problem to complete. I pretty much write all day every day anyway, so as far as creating something I could publish, I knew it’d be a cinch. Maybe a stumble or two depending on how I was feeling that day. What I didn’t know was just how much digging I’d have to do in order to stick to the rules.

Each day I grouped together as many salient news stories as I could. A lot of them had to do with the release of the Twitter Files, confirming a lot of what I already feared about the federal government’s collusion with one of its many tentacles: big tech. The government’s reach goes deep, and I was happy to follow the news that came out about it. Very helpful in the contextof my first draft, too. News this month also affirmed a lot of my feelings and theories about the extent of the corruption still leading the way here. We saw a lot about the border, the omnibus package, inflation…etc… Things that kept fueling my distrust of D.C. all while reaffirming my faith in American resilience. I like who I came across being in these entries, if at times I was a little cringey about NYC’s Covid problem. But making the jump from news stories to my own wasn’t as easy as I had previously hoped.

This just in: I’m kinda boring.

It’s not that I thought it would be easy, I knew there’d be days be more difficult than others. It’s that this entire exercise started feeling so self-indulgent. People are out there breaking news and reporting on the important things. Me? I’m talking to myself about myself over and over for days on end. Who in the world would be interested in what I have to say? What am I even doing here thinking people care what some asshole in New York City thinks? But being able to tie my thoughts and feelings to news gave me a little more sense of purpose in what I’m trying to achieve. If I can tell you why something is important based on an important point in my life, then maybe I can sharpen the focus as to why certain stories are the ones to watch. When I’m not writing about myself, I’m reading the news, so it’s not like I’m doing anything I wouldn’t already be doing. Maybe contextualizing it makes me feel less alone in my pursuit of the truth. And I’ll admit it was fun perusing the internet, finding pictures to help highlight my points. I got to splash a little more humor onto the canvas to distract away from the bleak world I had been painting.

There were times I didn’t copyedit as much as I probably should have. I reread all my entries from the start to refresh my memory, and ended up fixing a few grammatical errors here and there. A lot of the time while writing, I remember feeling like I had no idea if anything I wrote made sense. Turns out things flowed better than I gave myself credit for, and either way I made it, showing off my news judgment skills to boot.

News is something that never stops, because reporting causes history to be made. I expect a few more bombshells to drop this year, some that could cause fallout beyond our wildest dreams. It’s already been momentous few days with this Speakership gridlock on Capitol Hill. After the dust settles on many a mindblowing news story, it may not always be pretty, but it’ll sure be important. Because our reporting will turn to how we rebuild instead of divide. There’ll be no need for outrage over frivolous things that don’t matter. The things that’ll drive Americans into the streets will be what we cannot ignore. Not if we want to save a country here.

It’s all so possible, and you’ll see it in the headlines soon. You don’t even need me to aggregate it for you, it’ll just become impossible to want to turn off.

Never thought I’d see the day either.

Rule Two: No THC, for real this time

Yep, no THC. Finally, another month with a clear head under my belt. The only time things got tough was at the very beginning, as giving up any habit is hard when you first start. I’m glad I stuck with it, because I knew I’d feel better if I didn’t give in. The night I got completely trashed, I remember giving myself drunk permission to hit my vape when I got home while in my Uber. But when I got home, even in that state of mind, I decided against it. I knew I’d feel bad when I woke up, but the reason would have been twofold if I gave in to my temptation. Other than that, I didn’t really struggle. I once in a while lit up my rolled herbal cigarettes, but that was few and far between. However, I did eat a bunch of psylocibin chocolate in the final week of the month, so if you want to say this counts as getting high, then go for it.

I had a nice trip.

I was getting restless and wanted to tweak out on something, and I was all out of whiskey. So I decided to take the plunge into psychedelics I was always scared to try. I needed to see if I could in fact reap the benefits proponents of psylocibin keep touting. Overall, I came away with a positive experience; I got a fresh look at who I am as a person and came to several conclusions about time and our life on this earth. I did it four days in a row, which was probably too much, in that it was not giving me the same thrill I got at the start. Microdosing the way I was doing seems to be only something to do if and when it’s needed. If I feel the need to expand the mind, or need some answers, I can eat three squares and smile for an hour or two. I discovered a new plane to perch on should I need the vantage point. And now that I know what exactly it does, perhaps giving some to my mother will help ease her mind, too. I don’t mind being the guinea pig in certain situations.

But right now, there isn’t really anything keeping me away from pot. I think I can lose the vapes, as I’m finding they do nothing but restrict my breathing. But the leaf? Bringing it back to “nature?” I still want it around, even as I’m seeing more signs I should let it go again. There’s always this pull I feel toward smoking, like it was my destiny to become one. I’ve thankfully quit cigarettes, but the hippie aesthetic wants to remain. I’m glad I reached my goal, but I’d like a new one where I don’t need a writing challenge to stop this time.

When it’s time to quit, it will be. And I’m starting to get the feeling it’s going to be sooner rather than later. Just like the top of this challenge, getting over the first few days will be the toughest hurdles. Plus I need to look at it like I’m setting myself free to roam, rather than munching grass in a fenced-in pasture for a fininte amont of days.

I’ve got to think about this. Choose another quit date. Even though I’m having fun, I know clear times bring my dreams to the table. Perhaps one of these days it’ll be a dream where I certainly can’t take a drag for at least nine months.

Peace out, baby.

Rule Three: Not celibate, just sell a bit.

So this was kind of interesting. In the rules, I said “no touching,” which is exactly what I adhered to, despite the ‘one day’ I ended up not really needing. For me, when the chance to partake in a little self-indulgence is on the table, I just can’t help but give myself permission over and over again. But outside of this day, I did not touch. I did, however, release. And I’m going to say I’ve failed this one because I went against my initial intentions.

It happened in my sleep at least twice. So I can’t fault myself for having self-consciousness. But what I discovered in this month is that I’m able to let go just by thinking about it. No help necessary, just a moment to myself. Happened the very first day, in fact. I felt a little bored and lonely so I exploited a loophole. It happened no more than five times total. I’m counting the days, not the multiples. While I feel as though I gained knowledge about the body-mind connection, in an ideal world, I would have not gone over the edge if I really wanted to feel completed.

It’s about to burst.

This past month was one of the most difficult I’ve had to endure when it came to emotional healing. I spoke a little bit about it on Christmas, about having to walk away from something I let live in the deepest recesses of my soul. I had to do it because it was the right thing to do. I have no regrets. I’m fine now. But for a while there, I didn’t even want to think about the act of being physically intimate. It would make me angry to think about. Sick, even. I’d get jealous, I’d be hurt. And there wasn’t a single thing I could do about it. Sure, I could fire up some of those whack-ass dating apps hoping for a nice city boy to come over and take care of Mama, but nothing would be done to satisfy the emotional release that was so sorely needed.

I had been a secret for years. No one knew who I was. I may as well have been Artificial Intelligence. A Sexbot, if you will, since that was a great deal of what was spoken. I never minded. I was into it, because I knew it wasn’t only about the act. It was merely the conduit in order to feel on a much deeper level. And no matter how many times I thought the pulse was over, a new rush of blood would come forth and I’d feel the throbbing once more. So I followed it, forever interested, wanting to know where else it could take me. In my world, no one speaks so explicitly about f*cking every inch of you if they weren’t in love with each and every part of you. But when I learned what I was reading was coming from a place of legally-binding unavailability, I had no choice but to drop everything and go. I threw my life into my sopping wet baggage and left, but not before giving one final message I should have said years ago.

It was a rough couple of weeks after that. Writing was the best way for me to occupy my hands, but more importantly, my mind. I healed a little more every day, and now not a shred of bitterness remains attached to my soul. Getting my words out every day helped me make sense of a lot of personal feelings centered around intimacy, even though I didn’t divulge every exact detail. I feel no guilt about the things I said because I meant every word. And I just want to keep writing about it until the day my partner comes through the door. And then all the days after that. Because I’m left with thousands of stories I can get as graphic as I want with. But don’t worry. It’s not my style to air dirty laundry. I’m just the guttermind who’ll want to make it filthy before we have to clean up our act.

If only you knew.

And that was December.

I wanted to get this recap out on the Second of January. Nothing really earth-shattering happened to prevent this, I was just feeling a little lazier than usual. And I wanted to make sure I got this right before publishing. Next time I’ll take better notes as I read my past entries so I can link more of them here, and maybe make further connections as I write about the present day. It’s pretty incredible how many lifetimes you can live in just one month.

And now, it’s a new year out there. Millions of things are set to happen all at once. And when we find our passions, our clarity, and what sets our soul ablaze, we become the next level of human, where no earthly presence can harm us ever again.

I suppose that’s what I’ll remember most about December 2022; the exquisite revelation of human resilience, and the power of the mind to live a deserved life. Here’s to all that we’ve learned and more.

Until next time.

If you squint hard enough, maybe you can read it.

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