So a lot has changed for me since beginning my original blog.

First off…I turned 30. So, that sucks. My back hurts all the time and I’m perpetually wondering what death will be like. But honestly, I did that when I was 16 too…so, nothing changed there.

I used to think that turning 30 would lead to downward slide…like my life would snowball in excitement…going from interesting to “I enjoy watching Jeopardy and reading books before bed.” But it hasn’t been like that at all…mainly just flat. Like a day old soda you forgot in your car. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s definitely not as fresh.

But the next big thing that has happened since turning 30 has been that I found out that I’m unhappy. Well…let me rephrase. I started to realize that I’m unhappy and that I lack something that brings me joy on a consistent basis. It used to be music…and I think that still helps me, but it also lost it’s shine over the course of the pandemic. And I say that only because I didn’t miss it that much, which helped me realize that maybe I’m missing something else a lot more.

And that something else is writing.

Before I get too far into this part of me, let me re-introduce myself to anyone new here: I’m Justin, and I initially started using this website as a place to share all of the random thoughts I had about the random interests that take up my day to day life. But…like most things, it fell off and just became a dumping ground for my depression and writing I didn’t want to show off. Which honestly…isn’t fair to me.

Because if there’s something I’m happy with myself about…it’s my writing. I found out after my mom died that I could funnel thoughts onto paper in semi-coherent ways…a pen acting like a translator of sorts, allowing me ways to voice my frustrations with life, with family, myself…with God. I don’t say that often, but what person loses a mother and DOESN’T get mad at God? It seems only natural, and I know God doesn’t blame me for it. I think in a way, He opened up my passion for writing because of those frustrations. Imagine not having a space to vent and having to find different ways to take out my anger…what kind of person would I have become if not for writing? If not for words?

I don’t know, and frankly…I don’t have to. I’m the person I am because I do what I do. I come to this website and write my thoughts out onto a blank canvas…the clicking of the keyboard my defining opus. I write with conviction because these are my thoughts, and my thoughts aren’t wrong or worded incorrectly…I don’t have to cite my sources or back up my thoughts with quotes from scientists…I can just write them down. There’s a peace of mind that comes with that…a soft comfort in watching a blank webpage fill up with words and a lot of ellipsis.

But I lose my place from time to time. I forget that I have this space…designated just for me. So I leave, and I come back when I remember to unload all of the burdens my heart feels. I don’t talk about them often…or at least not like this because I never know how my friends or family will respond. I mean…I know how they’ll respond. By telling me that things aren’t that bad, that my life is full of blessings. And they’re right, it’s not and it is. Granted they don’t ever really say those words out loud…but they act as reminders that I shouldn’t be taking the time to write out these thoughts because maybe they aren’t valid.

And I know I said it before…but I need to know that they are valid. If there’s something I’m wholeheartedly an advocate for, it’s that how you feel is always valid. Emotions are tricky, and sometimes they don’t make sense. What you feel is what you feel, and allowing yourself to feel however you feel is OK. It’s even healthy. At times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert by any means…I just have my own life experiences to draw from. I know there are very dangerous thoughts and feelings that could lead people to do harmful things…and what I’m saying about allowing yourself to feel those might be counterproductive. Again…not an expert. BUT, I know that by invalidating feelings or gaslighting yourself and in turn suppressing those emotions can lead to more extreme cases in the future. It’s a cause and effect thing really.

I’ve realized lately that talking about my own mental health is good for me. Well…writing about my own mental health. But yeah…in turn through the podcast, talking about this stuff is good because it helps me put into word then to voice the thoughts that constantly run through my head. And lately, dealing with loss has had me become largely introspective again, asking the questions that have always plagued me: what do I want to do with my life? Why am I settling for this or for that? How can I incorporate things that I’m passionate about into other things I’m passionate about? Or…simplifying it: how can I turn the things I enjoy into a platform that people will want to connect with? And honestly, I had no answers to any of those questions. And I still don’t…I think? Or maybe I do? Maybe I thought of it while writing this. Talking mental health and sob stories and being emotional…all of that speaks to me in ways that I feel could be helpful to others…and maybe that’s my purpose with this new podcast. Which…you are currently listening to. I hope.

All of my life…or rather adult life…I have reveled in being the one friend out of all of my friends that can help people get through grief. I don’t know why, I just like it. It’s a pride thing probably…that they feel that I somehow traversed the way through those dark moments of life and came out healthy enough to give them advice. That maybe I didn’t lose my way and didn’t get damaged…and I’m happy to help them. I may think they’re nuts for thinking that, but they don’t see me in this place often. I used to think that I was broken…that if people saw the true side of me that I kept locked in the dark they would realize that I’m not the person they should go to for advice.

But then I thought…maybe that they SHOULD see that side. If I can present myself as normal to them, then my time in this place is the remedy others could use to find their own light out.

I don’t know…I could be suffering from delusions of grandeur…thinking I’ve figured out some hidden secret in dealing with the cold parts of life. But at the end of the day…we’re all just trying to figure it out. The secrets I figured out might work for you, or they might not. Or maybe they help you find your own secrets that help you through whatever it is you are looking to get through. This time on earth is limited…out of the billions years that existence has been or will be a thing…we’re here for 80 of them. Not all 80 will be good…but we can work to make the majority of them ones worth remembering.

So, I’m going to keep doing this podcast because I think in a way it’s necessary. If not for you listening, then maybe for someone else you know. Again, I’m not an expert in any thing other than my own thoughts and emotions…but maybe something I say in the coming episodes can help however it can.

Or at the very least you can make fun of me for mispronouncing words and stuttering every once in a while.

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