I remember when the biggest concern I had in the world was dying in y2k, and even then I was skeptical at the prospect. 10 years have passed since that day, and much like I thought at 2000 I stare into the gaping maw of a new decade and wonder what will happen next. This is my shorthanded, and undoubtedly grammatically incorrect view of the past 10 years.
2000 started not with a bang but a whimper if you'll permit me to reference T.S. Elliot in such a manner. Given the perspective of the years in which I stopped being a boy, and grew into a man one could say that the world of boyhood, and innocence in which I had originally lived did in fact come to a close over the later half of this decade we soon end. But I'm perhaps being overly verbose in a time in which that is not needed.
I was not much more then a 13 year old boy can be, I had little to no clue what I would do with my life, I smoked pot, and drank. I was anti-social, and typically did these things alone. I'd later compare my youthful self (proving that I'm still as diluted as a child in most respects) to the young Voldemort; villainous to anyone who had less power then I did, and overly charming to those that had more, or at least charming to those that had what I wanted. I was spoiled, as most of us that are lucky enough to call ourselves "the youngest child." are. I was overly resenting of that, I remember wanting to actually feel like I earned something in my life, I was willing to lash out at my parents and peg the blame on them for being foolish, and while I don't change my view that spoiling me as a youth was foolish, I now have the understanding of why they did it. Simply put, they loved me. Something to which I was blissfully unaware of.
I will be the first to tell you I don't remember much of my youth, when I look back on it, I remember mostly being quite bitter towards everything, not willing to shoulder the responsibilities that life would soon be planting upon me. My life was spent sneaking out, hanging out with my older brother, drinking, and playing video games. I had always had a knack for making people laugh, I still do (which will inform later years.) That was my life, it was always as simple as: drink, hang out, meet new people, say good bye to people moving forward. Not even September 11th changed my pattern in life. I thought nothing of it, I was a child, even if I was a remorselessly fickle child.
I cannot deny, had it not been for Evan Price, Steven Eadie, and Dale Green on more than one occasion I would have probably ended my life. They held me responsible for my actions, which was something I had barely had to do until then, but it was something more than that. They respected me as an equal, which up until that point in my life I had never known of. 2000, to 2003 showed me nothing more then the things most people learn in the first 10 years of their lives, how to acceptably interact with other people in the world, and for what I learned from my friends, we formed a bond which was as close as family. I sometimes thought my parents resented it whenever they could see it, so I kept away from them.
It was in this time that I realized I was bisexual, which I acted upon one time, and then subsequently did not for another 9 years, As much as I'd love to be as raw and honest for you all here, I cannot deny that somethings are just better left untold, if only to the world at large. However I was happy with one secret to myself, I had girlfriends, I was selfish with them too, and for those that I had dated in the past, know that I am sorry for such a child having been your chore to deal with. I must have been annoying.
I wouldn't change a single bit until the summer before my 11th grade year. I decided to try and live my life without as much bad influence in it as I had before, I had a strong group of friends, I was feeling confident, surrounded by people that had my back, and was far more adept at social interaction then you could imagine. I will never forget Mr. Koch's drama class. I went into that class probably as normal as I had ever been (considering how I am now, I look back and can tell you I was woefully off course to being normal, which is overrated, and underestimated) and that was the class in which I met two people that would end up changing every single bit of me, they would tear me down and build me into a far more well put together human being, and all it cost them was a broken heart, and half a decade of struggling to keep a friendship working for one, and the absolute hatred of me in another.
Rachel Richardson would it turns out, be the one who hated me. I found out far too late to make things right, that when your me, hiding things becomes a huge problem. At first I shamefully admit I only dated her because her friends told me to, when she and I would date later in 2009 I would realize what I had known the first time, we would be better off as friends, ironically I miss her friendship, though I have no right to ever speak to her again, and I shall not talk to her unless I am absolutely forced. She deserves that much, for teaching me so much in 2009 about being responsible, being adult. I will not forget that which I have learned, if only for the cost of learning it.
Liz Rearick however brash, and forward as she might seem, chose to fall in love with someone as off kilter as her, and I fell for her as well. I had originally thought I knew what love was, as we all do at the age of 16, we all think we know far more then we actually do, but now I can tell you beyond reasonable doubt that while I may not have at first known what love was, I have eventually found it with her, she is my best friend in the world to this day, and I hope that this next decade doesn't change that fact. Love, as it turns out, means you must suffer for each other in some moments, something to which Liz and I would cause each other to feel quite a great deal of up until 2008 when we finally grew out of it. We both claimed we were even. Typical of us to make something as serious as destroying each other's lives sound childish, but a true test of our friendship that we are still as close today as we have ever been. I don't regret most of it, I would hope that when she looks back she doesn't either, it gave the masses something to be distracted by, and I think at that point in our lives we couldn't have maintained a friendship without that kind of TV show like on/off attitude. I do wish to stress that I have no more romantic feelings for her, we are just absurd amounts of close.
This year I learned what may be the last important lesson of the decade from a young Kelley Brewer, I learned that I cannot keep being as selfish towards my girlfriends, or more realistically any partner I have. I wasn't as wrong to her as I may have been to Liz in the past, but that doesn't change that I was being a heel, and though I apologized for it, I couldn't change it so easily, so things fell apart. In the coming 10 years I should hope that I remember what I learned, and not let it fall into the habit that humanity makes of distorting memories to portray myself as a tragic hero, I was not. Granted she was no saint either, she slept with one of my best friends, simply because she could. Something I will also remember, a fact which makes it clear that I won't ever speak to her again, and my friend will forever be kept at a distance from anyone I date.
I started doing stand up comedy shortly after I moved back into my parents house in 2009, and have since made a proud ass of myself for now a year and two months. I have moderate success with it, if only because I have a natural charm about myself. I've only ever met one stand up comic I don't like, and even he isn't that bad. As far as the comedians I've met go, I can honestly say that I feel like I'm in the right place when I do comedy, it feels like the right thing to do, and even when I decided to not do it, I still wrote jokes, I couldn't wait to get back to it, I know what I need to do with my life, at least I know what I love doing in life, and would like to be doing it anyway, a huge leap forward from 2000, in which I only knew I wanted to make people laugh for a living because it was and I quote "the only thing I can do without trying. So its my talent or whatever."
I left so much out of this, but I feel these are the most important facts of this decade, these will be some of the memories of the past ten years that will stick with me forever. I would love to thank all of you who were there for me in the hard times, and all of you that read this, be it just this post, or the blog traditionally. I'll never tell you how much kindness I truly have buried in my heart, because I prefer the cynical approach, but rest assured it means quite a great deal to me that you were there, even if you were causing me problems. Its not me that makes my life, you people out there, you keep me going, either with encouragement, or by angering me and making the desire to show you up exist. To tie it back to the front, I shall end this with yet another hallow men quote.
"Life is very long, Between the desire, And the spasm, Between the potency, And the existence, Between the essence, And the descent Falls the Shadow, For Thine is the Kingdom, For Thine is Life is..."
Your life can truly be anything you want it to be, if you want it badly enough.
I hope your next decade is exceptional, with every day being better than the last. I sincerely mean that world.