Toast at Midnight

It is December 31st and the year is coming to a close. It’s the time of year most people break out their party clothes, rush to the nearest house party or clubimage, and ring in the next year with pomp and circumstance. It’s tradition and it’s inevitable. I’ve already made my plans for the evening but before that it’s important for me to look back at the year that has established my incredible base for my present actions to drive the wonderful future I now feel comfortable pursing.

imageLooking back is a terrifying proposition.  I have been able to see when I lied to my friends, trying to avoid going out so I could continue getting high. I was able to see myself floating out of my body, cursing my name wondering when I was going to stop and begin the work I knew was ahead. I definitely used drugs to avoid the real world and my destiny, and I knew the whole time that’s what I was doing. I have no idea the real moment I decided enough was enough, but the particulars are irrelevant, as now I am drug free and have reconnected with my friends that have always meant the world to me.

imageI can also look back and see some wonderful steps I took, steps that gave me hope and attempted to break the cycle of bad behavior I was in with the activities that are now a part of my weekly life. I’m thrilled for the joy of yoga that connects my meditation and Buddhist practices together with physical fitness I’ve always enjoyed. I never thought I would be that guy loving and talking about Yoga as much as I use to speak about the gym and how much I could bench press, but here I am loving when people ask me how I have lost the weight I was carrying, and I get to perk up and explain the benefits of yoga.

imageIn addition to yoga I began cleaning out my diet by eating more organic food, less bread and cutting out red meat on my way to being pescetarian. I freely admit like drugs I’ve had a red meat slip here and there but I’m pretty solid on being red meat free for the entire new year and wrapping up pork and chicken come the next new year.  It does have to do with my Buddhist studies, even though many Buddhist still eat meat. The wonderful nature of Buddhist allows for our own path to Nirvana based on our on interruption of the Dharma.  Buddhism isn’t a one size fits all in its process, as long as the core precepts are the basis of your practice and leads you to the end of suffering.

imageOne of the strongest blessing of this past year was writing again. I’ve been writing since I was a child.  I remember writing a western in the style of the Never-ending Story I’d seen about that time but it was more a murder mystery set in a certain looping salon scene in the book. From there I remember falling in love with writing but still not enjoying reading too much.  Even now I prefer reading nonfiction over fiction, as nonfiction can sometimes shape the underlying themes in my personal writing that I turn into fiction stories to please a wider audience. I have already started work on a four book series, based on my life in the drug and sex gay lifestyle, the destructive love that still haunts me, and the young people I now call friends I tried to stir away from my chosen path. Next year I will complete book one, be well into book two while preparing the first for self publication.

imageAll of these things: reconnecting with friends, yoga, Buddhism, organic clean eating, and writing, have always been a part of me and my vision for life but I was stuck. I not only was fearful I was on the wrong path and dreaming too big, but I was and still slightly more fearful I am heading to where I should be.  Why would that scare me? Why wouldn’t I finally want to be happy being healthy, fit, spiritual and writing? That answer has plagued me and I just don’t know. I guess I’m finally at the point of not caring because this is what I want.  I want to write and share my work with the world.  I want to continue to grow spiritually and share that energy with those in need and struggling.  I want to become fit through yoga and add on more gym training and Kung Fu which is my real goal ( I recently found a studio). I want to apply for culinary arts school, graduate and apprentice overseas for a more well rounded education.  All that I want I will have and I honestly can’t say I would be moving with this kind of intensity if I hadn’t had the year I have had.

imageSo it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m following tradition, celebrating with friends and loved ones as we all move forward. I have no desire to look back on what was because what is now guides what will be for me. What was will always be in me but I’m no longer held hostage by those memories. It’s the memories that hold us back, even when we know we have learned something valuable from them.  I just know that the stroke of midnight, memories will fade away and the work will finally begin.

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!

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