My Fellow Americans:
I say this not merely because of your adherence to participating in our two-party masquerade, or even for you willingness to watch Reality TV. No, I say it for a different reason; it's a fun way to start a blog.
I went to Texas for my Birthday. Had an absolutely awesome time. Didn't get to see everyone I wanted to, and those I did see I didn't get to spend enough time with. Still, there was food, and alcohol, and singing, and hugging, and alcohol. Good times.
Every year except last year, I've made two State of the Union addresses, one on my birthday, and one at New Year's. This year, doing one poses a bit of a challenge.
I didn't turn an exceptional number this year. I didn't move. I didn't embark upon a new career. I'm not in a relationship (no surprise there, right?). So what was this year about?
I'm old. I really am. I think of myself as a young man, just now finding his way in life. I feel barely into adulthood. But I'm in my thirties now. When I was a kid, that was old. When I was a teenager, that was old. When I was in my twenties, that was old. I find myself believing that age is only a state of mind. Really, who thinks that when they're not old? (Other than chicks who want to date old guys - which, for the record, I approve of, now that I'm old!)
But this has been an extraordinarily good year. Nothing momentous happened, either good or bad. And that has allowed me to accomplish more in terms of small steps in the right direction. A few small examples:
1) I've been going to the gym almost daily for over a year. I am now the biggest and most muscular I've ever been - which means that I could easily win a fight with a small child. Well, if it's a girl. And I have the element of surprise. Still, more manly than ever before!
2) I've been paying off my college debts. My original plan was to pay those off within the first two years of graduating. Well, eight years later, I'm now planning on paying them off within the first thirty years of graduating. Financial responsibility - that's what I'm all about!
3) I've gone back to work on my long, long delayed studio CDs. After the fiasco that was "Right Out of the Blue," I went back to work on a Rock and a Country CD. Then I moved to New Orleans. Then I moved to Las Vegas. Then I moved to Houston. Then I lived in a van, down by the river. But now I've gone back to working on them. In fact, I really should be working on them right now, instead of blogging. Crap.
But really, what was this year about?
I visited my grandmother's grave while I was in Texas. I didn't go there to communicate with her; I'm not really sure I believe in the concept of a "soul," but if there is one, it's sure not in the ground. But I did want a moment to remember her - she was one of my biggest supporters when it came to my decision to be a musician. She was so proud of every step I took. In a way, I was almost glad she didn't see when I was floundering, trying to find my way. But I do wish she could see me now.
I know who I am now, more than I ever have. I know what I want to do, and I'm doing it. I know who I want to be, and I'm working on being that person. I guess maybe in that way I am old, because I'm not searching for who to be, what to do, how to do it... I know now. And I'm heading there.
Will there be setbacks? I'm sure. Will there be surprises? I hope so. Will life be at all like I expect? Highly doubtful. Will I make mistakes, both small and gargantuan? Of course. But I know that I'm heading in the right direction.
What was this year about? Being happy. I'm not content, and hope to never be. But I am happy.