Monday, December 10, 2007

I'll try anything once.

If I actually took the time right now to count all of my blessings, I think I'd eventually lose track of it all. It's been months since I last wrote anything on this blog and maybe it's because I've been suffering from a lack of inspiration. So this time, instead of writing about what the doors of perception are saying about other people... I'm going to talk about myself. I need to.

And by the time I finish, I'll have written everything without the need to talk about music. Because this IS my music.

The world's been a difficult place to deal with lately and all I can seem to think about are my own issues (or perhaps a lack thereof.) Don't get me wrong- I don't mean to suggest that I am in need of any personal drama. It's just that ever since I graduated from college in May, I've plateau-ed and it's just not any fun. I'm much too young to be hitting a midlife crisis... but that's another story.

Anyway, I started the month of November dreading the possibilities of what would come. Historically, November for me has always signified some type of change... usually something emotionally painful or traumatic- perhaps the ending of an important relationship or the birth of a new kind of resentment. In November of 2006, I sort of gained an enemy and lost a few valuable friendships in the process. November = Bad. It's like clockwork.

Naturally, I went through a period of intense depression, pain AND resentment. It has been a REALLY rough year.

But since then, I've been blessed with something so much bigger than a few broken bonds. I discovered something that I actually had all along- something that I took for granted for most of my life- something that I now KNOW stays in the deepest part of my heart all the time and never goes away: FAMILY.

Instead of experiencing the usual painful change associated with the month of November, I made it a point to spend as much time as I could counting my blessings and falling back in love with the people who've taken care of me. It was like trying to avoid a bad superstition by playing all your lucky numbers.

Well now that it's December- I think maybe now, it's time to reflect.

I almost cried tonight, all because my baby brother decided to call me 'just to talk.' I won't go into the details of our conversation because that's private- but what matters for the purpose of this blog is that RIGHT NOW I feel like the luckiest person alive because of how incredible my family is. I really, truly, love them more than anything or anyone else in the world.

And the fact is, I really don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that - which makes me wonder how many other people in the world could be lucky enough to love their parents, siblings and children as much as I do mine. For the sake of mankind, I hope many could say the same although my own observations of the people around me suggest otherwise.

How many families do you know could sit around all together until 3 in the morning just talking about everything (from sex to religion to drugs to EVERYTHING) in a completely open forum? How many families still sit down to have meals together- because they want to- and if they don't, it must've been a weird day? How many families actually ENJOY going on vacations and spending as much time as they possibly can in this life TOGETHER?

How many people can love their siblings so hard that they're almost embarrassed to talk about it to each other in person? Not a lot.

Which brings me here... ranting on a blog because I think it's so important to explain to everybody else just how much I love and adore my family.

And I guess to best exemplify what I'm talking about - I want to recall, particularly, the last few experiences of the month of November 2007.

I flew to San Francisco on Nov. 27 to go job hunting and to spend some time with my brother Josh (who turned 21 the night before). It was a Tuesday. I spent most of the time wandering the city in a state of introspective bliss, while Josh worked during the day. He made me a quasi-itinerary, complete with bus routes to get me from point A to point B. He showed me Clement Street and the Blue Danube. Nights were good. We smoked cigarettes, drank beer, listened to This American Life, visited Twin Peaks and had dinner in Union Square. We talked... and smoked more cigarettes.

My parents, my 17-year-old brother Nathan, my 8-year-old son Francis and my two cousins (who are both 21), drove up that Friday and we all went to Napa/Sonoma to go wine tasting for Josh's 21st birthday celebration. The first night, we all stayed up until 3 a.m. getting drunk and spilling our guts out. Francis played and watched cartoons.

During the rest of the trip in no particular order: My dad had a few tears in his eyes while he talked to us about how important it is to raise our kids to be strong and confident. We were in awe. Our voices were heightened. We drank and smoked cigarettes. We talked about love, pain, marijuana, our dreams, and the right thing to do versus the desirable thing to do. Francis kicked ass with his etch-a-sketch key chain. We wore our jackets outside on the porch while having good talks. We indulged in a flight of wine at a vineyard. We took pictures, drank more wine, had more talks and barbecued. We played scrabble in teams, played ping-pong and billiards, ate late-night bagels with lox, sang songs while Nathan played guitar and smoked more cigarettes.

We went back to San Francisco on Sunday- DEC 2. We showed mom Clement Street. Josh bought a crepe for all of us to share and my cousin drank a sangria outside on the sidewalk. We didn't want to go home. But we had to, and we said goodbye to Josh around 5 p.m. In the car, we laughed about John Stamos until 1 a.m.

TODAY IS DECEMBER 9. Josh is coming home tomorrow night from his trip to NY. He's flying back to SF on Tuesday morning. Tradition will call for a late-night cigarette. It will probably be too late for coffee.

So maybe these experiences seem completely mundane to anybody else - but to me, they're extraordinary. When I have nothing else... these are the kinds of experiences that I can always look forward to having. These are the people I can share my life with... no matter what.


EDIT: 12/10/07 11:13 a.m.
I forgot to mention something. I really hope that nobody else takes offense to my entry - it isn't me trying to brag. Really, I'm just trying to share the thought and maybe spread a sense of "family" along to other people who may come across this... to show that it's plausible if you want it.
It took years and years of some serious fighting and (mis)understanding for my family to get to where we are now... Nothing worth having comes easily.


Anonymous said...


Roxanne said...

I was going to say what the other comment so gracefully put, but I guess I have to jot down something else.

The first time I met Nathan I noticed how much of his family was there for the show. It put me in a state of awe of all of you. The more and more I've been around your family it made me yearn for what you guys have more than anything. My siblings all grew up in separate private schools, myself in a boarding school over seas, and my parents are usually traveling more 60% of the month for business.

We love each other of course, but we are not that close. Anyways, being around you guys have shown me what a family really should feel like. I hope that someday I can have what you have. I am envious of you. For the love that you have all around you.

Have a good day, Darleen!

- Roxanne

Darleen said...

Don't be envious, Rox. Just keep in mind what's possible - and perhaps when you have a family of your own, you'll just be better off because you'll know what you want.