The Assessor

It’s honestly crazy to think how in just a span of nine months, everything in my life took a 180-degree turn. I feel like up until lately, I wasn’t really the type who consciously observed people and assessed every single relationship. And that is exactly what I have been doing.

It’s interesting to catch myself in the most random time of the day just thinking about how I really feel about a particular person. I think it’s absolutely crucial for everyone to constantly assess his or her relationships with other people. Do I hate her? Do I love him? Do I miss her? Do I detest him? Does this person contribute to my days in a positive way? Does this guy put in the effort to make me feel emotionally satisfied? Are these people really still my friends? Etc. 

I’m not the most intellectual person, but I have been training myself to be smart about the relationships and bonds I have with the people in my life.

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To The Starving Artist

I am really proud of all of the artists out there who keep on doing what they’re doing despite the financial instability that usually comes with the Artist Life. For those artists who have been lucky enough to make it big “up there”, I am happy for all of you, and I think that [some of you] really deserve the financial success you have in your lives today. However (and this is me speaking from the very depths of my heart), I am way prouder and happier for those artists who are not “up there” but are still practicing their art – not for the sake of money or social status, but for the sake of art itself.

That’s what I love about art, actually. When it comes down to it, there is no “up there” in the artist world. Because when you really consider the essential things (the truly essential things) like honesty, pain, love, chaos and beauty, you will realize that when it comes to art, “up there” doesn’t exist – only “in here” does. Because that’s what an artist does – to speak from what’s within him, to write, or sing, or play, or draw, or act, or paint, or dance whatever truth it is that he has in his heart; to communicate to the world the naked reality that society constantly and blindly rejects; to find in his soul and in his heart the fiasco that makes this world go ’round and the beauty that occasionally makes it still and smile.

So it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now. The point is you are alive. I don’t care if you are a bassist playing in a next-to-nonexistent local band in a rural area in a third world country; I don’t care if you are a frustrated writer who has tried a million times but never gets published; I don’t care if you are an ambitious actor who waits tables and mops floors just so you can afford that theatre workshop; I don’t care if you are a painter whose works have only been seen by his immediate family and friends; And I definitely do not care that you are not “up there”. Because let me tell you something: you don’t have to be rich and famous for your art to matter. 

Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep dancing, keep playing, keep singing, keep painting, whatever. Just do not stop. Because as an artist, you can never find your success in any pay cheque, bank statement, Twitter and Facebook followers or your boss’ mouth; you can only find it in your heart. That, my fellow artist, is your success. That, my friend, is your ticket to a life not only survived, but lived.

I’m Going Home

My Symphony: Home by Daughtry
I don’t regret this life I chose for me,
But these places and these faces are getting old…

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Maybe that’s the best part of going away for a vacation – coming home again. ― Madeleine L’Engle, Meet the Austins

This is it. In less than 24 hours, I’ll be on a plane back home. 

Damn. Typing that out just literally sent chills down my spine. There is something about the word “home” that is very powerful in a comforting way. And that’s what I am feeling right now – this almost indescribable feeling of danger and safety. It’s been a long time coming, and now here I am. My bags are all packed, and I am more than ready to go.

The weeks and the months that have led me to this moment hadn’t been smooth-sailing, though. There was a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety, a lot of reckless daydreaming and a lot of uphill battles with the people around me and with myself. But I have to say it was all worth it. We take every experience, big or small, and learn from it tremendously.

When I left the Philippines two and a half years ago, I left with one goal in mind: to find whatever it was that I was always looking for. Halfway through high school, I developed this irrepressible longing to leave – leave the city I’m in, leave the people I’m with, leave the life I live. My “past life” (for a lack of a better term) was byzantine, to say the least. I made a lot of mistakes, disappointed loved ones, broke my friends’ trust, caused a lot of emotional trouble and took for granted all the things and moments I now wish I could have back. And instead of facing the world and trying to repair the damaged, I decided to walk away and leave everything behind. And I did that because that’s what I had been wanting to do all along; I wanted to start over, strongly believing that there was another place out there for me which I could call home.

I was wrong. 

I think everybody should leave his or her hometown and go somewhere far at least once in his or her life. Not only is there a myriad of things and life lessons to learn Out There, Out There also makes you appreciate In Here, in a way no other place can. And to me, it’s been an exhilarating ride so far.

Everytime a friend or a family member asks me ,”So when are you visiting the Philippines?” or “Hey Kenn, are you going back here in Bacolod for a vacation soon?”, there’s always this part of me that cringes for some reason. It’s like my heart turns gray and my entire upper body shrinks, and all I want to do is run away screaming like a lunatic. I don’t know, I guess up until now I’ve never really accommodated “visiting the Philippines” as an acceptable oxymoron. Phrases like visit home and vacation in Bacolod sound disturbingly self-contradictory to me. So let us make one thing clear:

I’m not “going on a vacation”; I’m going home.

It’s as simple and as truthful and as accurate as that.

I look at Vancouver and the world that I’ve somehow built here for myself. I look at the bed I’ve been sleeping in for many months; I can see its edges and its weight take up a portion of the wooden floor. I look at our kitchen and then I look inside the refrigerator; I see a dozen eggs with one that’s broken, along with my brother’s sliced cheese which he always reminds us is expensive. I look at the living room; I look at the ceiling, my mom’s new carpet, the big red cushions and the television, which has started to look noticeably old despite its newness. I look inside my closet; I look at the big black bag in which I carefully stuffed all of my notes and physical memories from college. I look at my cat, Dunkley; I see him in the biggest and fattest he’s ever been; I see him groggily walk towards his favorite spot on one of our red-and-white dining chairs, and I see him yawn, stretch, stare devilishly into the air and lull himself back to sleep. And then I look at my pile of luggage sitting tall and proud in one corner of my room. For the first time in a long time, I feel like myself again.

This is why this chapter is very important to me. The farther I’ve been from home, the closer I’ve felt to it. And at these times when I often feel lost and unsure of who I’ve become, I find it crucial to go back to my roots and refresh things a little bit. The people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had here have all been climactic, and I can never be grateful enough for the opportunity to get to know life and the world around me from such a different perspective. But the time has come. For at least the next two months, I will be in my hometown, the small city of Bacolod. For at least the next two months, I will be breathing a familiar air under a familiar sky. For at least the next two months, I will be storing my clothes and my books in a room inside a house which my feet and my heart have known since I was little. And for at least the next two months, I will be not here, but there.

And there is waiting.

See you soon. 

Dim Lighting

On the long winding roads of chaos and uncertainty, I have found the greatest companion in the words of those who are dead and the truest glimpse of meaning within the confines of my self.

The laughter of a simple man, the embrace of a musician, the voice of the sick and the love of the irrational. All this and the occasional life conversations with a starving painter over red wine and with a Turkish Angora cat appearing and reappearing in between brief, meaningful pauses.

To My Next One

My Symphony: Amsterdam by Coldplay 

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(photo source)

There you are. Wiping the sweat off your forehead after another long and torturous day of wondering where I am.

There you are, just sitting there with your signature poker face. You are holding that Humans of New York book that you’ve read from cover to cover for about seven times now. In front of you is a wine glass full of orange juice. You’re not gonna be getting drunk tonight. You’re not gonna be in the club dancing with sixty other strangers and contemplating each soul that’s potentially breathing inside every person in that room whom you find cute. Because tonight, you’re staying in and cooking your own dinner. Tonight, only for tonight, there is no time for any interaction aside from that which you are having with yourself. You’ve decided to just sit there, in front of your overcooked salmon and lukewarm orange juice, and think.

So there you are. Thinking. Not the kind of thinking that you normally do when you answer your major exams, or the thinking that’s required in planning those summer vacations you go to with your friends in spring; it is rather the thinking that you do when you think about love.

There you are. Beautiful as the sunrise. I don’t even understand how someone can be as stunning as you are. I mean I didn’t even know it was possible, but there you are – a breathing, shining proof that somewhere out there lives a higher power. Something that is way larger than any of us earthlings can imagine; something that’s ethereal, superhuman.

There you are. You have said you’ve been single your whole life because none of your past relationships seemed right. There are days when you wonder what love feels like, looks like, smells like. Does it feel the same way the palm trees feel the ocean-catapulted breeze? Does it look like the view of the city from the rooftop of your apartment building? Does it smell anything like green tea and vanilla extract? You do not know. But you wish you did.

There you are. You have gone to at least eight different countries by the age of twenty-four. What are you looking for out there? Nothing, maybe. Maybe you’re just sort of walking around this entire time, subconsciously hoping to finally bump into me. You have spent a significant amount of time with your friends. And they’ve been really good friends to you. They’ve laughed at your jokes, smiled at your happiness and waved at your moments of randomness. They’ve been with you on all those long walks, all those food trips, concerts, live theater performances and sometimes even on Valentine’s Day. And tonight is no different. They’re still the ones that fill your phone inbox. They’re still the ones that flood your Facebook timeline. They’re still the ones that witness your life as it unfolds dramatically. The only difference is that tonight, the unsatisfied longing for the presence of that one person – that one person whom you will love with all your heart – has definitely hit the deadline. You want love, just as much as I do. But the universe has had a funny way of creating two like-minded individuals who are a perfect match, and then putting them so far away from each other.

There you are. Where have you been? It’s actually quite funny. I’m impatiently asking you this when you have every right to ask me the same question. So where have been?

I’ve been here. Not sitting like you are right now, but floating. I’ve been dreaming a lot and sleeping a lot. I’ve been here and there, and I’ve looked for you too many times in too many places. I’ve been in this dozy tourist village that is my bedroom just writing about you, reading about you and thinking about you.

And now here I am. Jaded after all the rollercoaster rides in my life so far. I am bruised and scarred but smiling. Just like you, I had spent the whole day somehow hoping that our paths would finally cross.

Here I am, visualizing the numerous awesome moments we will be making.

Inside my head, here we are. I’ve never felt this special with anyone in my life. I adore the dimples that form on your cheeks each time I smile at you. I adore that. I adore the fact that I can be certain you will always smile back. Because when you smile, your eyes somehow disappear but your joy doesn’t. And I adore that. I adore that we can be foolish and intelligent with each other without having to apologize for anything. I adore that we are so the same yet so different. I adore that you like dogs, Katy Perry and dim lighting. I adore that everytime the wind brushes through your hair, it dances just enough to create the illusion of us hovering above the ground. And everytime I hold your hand, I adore that it fits perfectly. When you’re far away and I see you, it doesn’t take you long to see me; we don’t yell or wave, and sometimes we don’t even smile – we just look at each other as we approach the center point. There’s all this percolating love and passion underneath the calmness. I adore that. I adore that because all those years of trials and errors have led the two of us to this point. And there’s so much inside of us that we can just explode at any given second. But I adore that. I adore the idea that we are now standing face to face like two active volcanoes ready to erupt. And I adore that the eruption would be an eruption of love.

But here I am. And there you are. No amount of thinking and visualizing can realistically put us right next to each other any time soon.

I like to believe that you are out there, Next One. And if you are, I hope that at the very right moment, you will finish that orange juice of yours and take a walk along the beach.

I will be there. And I swear, you will be the Last One.

High School High

My Tune: The Bitch of Living (from the musical Spring Awakening)
audio link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=reqSQy_69m0

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Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that I’m drastically becoming one of those people who are desperately holding on to their youth. I know that the flower-crowned optimists of this world say that age is just a number and that one can stay forever young if he pleases to, and all those other metaphors and euphemisms they use these days to cover up ugly truths, but I feel like a realist today. And today, what’s real tells me that I am an unemployed twenty-year old artist with a lackluster social life somewhere in the jungle-like Western civilization. And I just can’t help but think to myself, “Dang, boi! Where did all the years go?”

Here’s the thing about me: I am lethargic. I am lazy. Bed-ridden. I mean generally speaking, I barely even walk for more than a total of 90 seconds per day, and I don’t really consider sweating a prerequisite to my well-being. The most active thing I do is take a shower twice a day, but that’s about it. I might as well dub myself “The World’s Youngest Retiree Ever”. But here’s the catch: I wasn’t like this before. Not at all. I was one of the most energetic, most party-fueled, adventure-filled, life-loving people I know. Now I’m sitting here just wondering what happened to the livelier version of myself; the one who always found excitement in the littlest things, the one who would not allow a day to pass without trying something new. You know, the one back in high school.

High school. Here we go again. I’ve written several things about this already, but if I actually wrote each time I start to miss high school, even if it’s just always momentary, then at least half of this blogsite would be about nothing else other than high school. But here I am right now. And besides the fact that I haven’t set foot on the grounds of my high school for three years now, what brought me here?

An hour ago, I was re-watching an episode of 90210, and it’s the one where the West Beverly Hills High produces a performance of one of the most notable plays in history, “Spring Awakening”. It is the work of German dramatist Frank Wedekind written sometime between autumn 1890 and spring 1891. And it is one of my favorite plays of all time. It definitely is the real High School Musical.

One of the songs in Spring Awakening has always stood out to me, and that is the song “The Bitch of Living”. If you also love this song, or if you are not familiar with the play and are curious, then go click the audio link I so kindly provided for you at the very top of this write-up. There’s just something about this song that makes me vividly remember how it felt like to be in high school. All of those events and stage plays held in our university gymnasium, amphitheater and football field always top my memory list. I mean, jesus, I’m having goosebumps just thinking about the moments I had there, with my friends, with their hearts, and with all our innocence.

When I think of the past, I think of high school. This is a choice I make because high school, despite the bumps and grinds, was the best time of my life so far. Hold on, I know what you could be thinking right now. “My gosh, what a shallow little stuck-up human being you are, Kenn! High school was the best time of your life? Ugh, that’s just sad and pathetic. You were probably popular, had lots of friends, had a cinematic lovelife and didn’t have social anxiety that’s why you love high school! Fuck y–” But I’m stopping you right there. “The best” is something relative. And right now, I am at that point in my life where I appreciate the past because it’s the only thing I am sure about. And I am so sure about high school…

High2

I am sure that none of those sleepless nights trying to figure out Algebra was a waste, because we weren’t really dealing with those x’s and y’s and binomials anyway. We were up, yes, but we were dreaming. I’m sure we were. We were dreaming of ways to eat our lunch the next day and the ways to get our crush’s number without looking like a retard. And I’m sure that sometimes we all did look like retards, but none of that entirely mattered. Because we had so much energy in us that humiliation and consequences were but fractions of motivation that only kept us going.

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I am sure that those hallways weren’t just hallways; they were our very own world stage. Those hallways had seen so much of us – from the casual chit chats and last-minute note-scanning to the cutest holding-hands sessions and the overwhelming battles of forbidden love. Secrets were blurted out, love was confessed, friendship was made, friendship was broken, all in those hallways.

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I am sure our dusty classrooms during our last year in high school weren’t just classrooms, either. Underneath the drama and some inevitable social discord, those rooms had been an echo chamber of a complex yet blissful familial dysfunction. Those rooms were our homes away from home. And I’m sure we all learned at least a thing or two about teenage hormones in there.

I am sure that those first times were going to be worthwhile. That first drop of beer and vodka was merely the beginning of a journey. That night we decided we wanted to try smoking, that night we got drunk for the first time, that same night we saw ourselves not just as students but as people. All those mini fights, mini flirting, mini kisses, mini heartbreaks and mini nights-out made room for memories that were gonna be larger than life.

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I am sure that puberty, sexuality, poverty, love, rape, abortion, religion, gender, suicide and child abuse were all subjects very fresh to us. Most of us were just getting to know life through a peephole, and we were stoked! We were nervous, yes, but we were ready for anything life was gonna throw at us. We knew at the back of our minds that that was the time to learn, bit by bit, and then all at once.

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I am sure that everybody had a blast during that on-campus camping when we were in junior year. I’m sure that the air that night was rather intimate, but not necessarily in a sexual way. It was intimate in that it brought people who were already close even closer, and that it smelled something like a quarterback’s sweaty bedroom. I’m sure that that bonfire lit up something inside each of us, even though we weren’t conscious of it right when it happened. But it was there, happening. I’m sure that every single one of us who looked straight into that tall fleeting fire felt this underlying gratitude for being alive. We were just so full of life and hope. I’m sure that the tents we slept in, the grass we walked on and the friends we laughed with were gonna be there for the long run. We knew nothing was permanent, but we also knew that that night was gonna last for a long time. In fact, so long of a time it still lives in us today.

I am sure that one afternoon in the gymnasium was a fateful one. I was rehearsing with my co-emcee for the Sportsfest Opening, and you were standing by the gate carrying your sports gear. And you weren’t exactly looking at me the whole time, but I would stare at you every chance I got, and I saw the 4-PM sun light the left part of your body and the wind blow your perfectly straight hair just enough so that a small portion of your right eye was covered, and then revealed, and then covered again, and then revealed again, and I thought you were just beautiful – just you standing there from a close distance, looking like someone I was going to spend the rest of my life with. And of course, neither of us intensely believed that. We both knew it was all on the surface, but we didn’t care. It just felt nice. And that’s all that we could hope for that day; to feel something nice.

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In a world where everything seems so ephemeral, it is a gift to be able to keep great memories close to your heart. We are almost at that point already, my dear high school batchmates. We’re in this for the long haul. We were gossiping about crushes back then, but soon enough life slaps us in the face with jobs we don’t enjoy, bosses we hate, financial crisis we can’t escape, menacing strangers and some pretty devastating bad hair days. I mean, it is the bitch of living. We will eventually lose that youthful energy we always used to own, and we will someday feel like sleeping for a decade. But I think that if we just hold on to those moments from yesterday – those minutes and hours when all we cared about was feeling something simple and nice, those nights when we were living just for the hell of it, times when we were counting clouds and not assets, months when we didn’t have to worry about rent, or how much we had in our bank, days when it didn’t matter how badly we sucked at something because we would always just laugh at it – then we can absolutely feel nice forever.

I was losing all of my energy. But I just suddenly remembered, “I was a fucking teenager with all those fucking bad-ass moves and trips”. And I still am. I will forever be.

Agape

My Symphony: Cold Water by Damien Rice

Family

“I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching – they are your family.”
― Jim ButcherProven Guilty

I’ve been meaning to write this one honest piece since that day in 1996 when my mother was reading me one of the first children’s books I ever came to know. Well maybe “meaning to write” is not the right phrase to use here; I was only three, and of course I didn’t consciously know that I was going to want to write when I grew up. But it was my mom’s voice – the way that she managed to shape every word with absolute love and conviction – that touched me in a way that just instantly made me fall in love with words and stories. When people say, “Moms are the first teachers you have in your life”, my brain jumps with a heartfelt excitement because it is true. Mom taught me everything I had to know, and she still does.

I believe that this day was mapped out in my life ages ago. It is this day, this moment when I am here sleepless and alone in my room at exactly 9:13pm, that marks a milestone in my existence. Today, I have awaken the child inside of me. And he’s beautiful.

This is it. That one honest piece I subconsciously wanted to write when I was three.

When I moved to Canada, it was a given that the cultural norms and traditions will be vastly different from what I had grown used to, and that I was about to sit face-to-face with societal realities that are strangers to me. When I was in college, it always sort of felt awkward everytime I said that I live with my family, or that I still sleep beside my brother, or that I was gonna go home early from a night out because I already missed mom and dad. There was always this energy of question and wonder beaming from my classmates’ eyes. And each time I wrote about something even mildly family-related, at least two North American natives would comment saying things like, “Kenn, I never really understood the amount of love and the seemingly overwhelming connection that Filipinos have with their families and relatives”, or “My God, you’re so cute, you still sleep beside your mom?!” And then they would go on implying how this is a totally different world I live in now, and how they also know other Filipino families whose profound intimacy they never quite get. It had bothered me for a while not because they were saying a lot of things and asking a lot of questions, but because the enigma that was present in the air started to make me wonder a lot too. 

My family has just always been there. Always. They’re one of those things in my life which have been with me since the day I was born. And just like the air that I breathe, just like the water that is oh so essential to my survival, I have never come to know what it’s like to be without them and, more importantly, what it’s like to be with them in the full sense of the word. You know, when you constantly have something, you don’t really take the time to ponder on it and to really comprehend its value simply because you feel like you don’t have to. You’ve had it for the longest time that you can imagine, and sometimes you get so used to the constancy of it that you don’t fully notice its presence anymore. And I had always felt that way, until two weeks ago.

Kenn:  You know, I wouldn’t want any other people to be my brothers.
Nathaniel:  Aww, that’s sweet.
Kenn:  No, not in the sweet sense. It’s just that I feel bad for my brothers already, and I cannot imagine any other people taking their place because, well, it must be fucking hard being my brother. You know, having to put up with me and my shit.
Nathaniel:  LOL

Two weeks ago I was talking to my friend Nathaniel over the phone. I was drunk and exhausted, and it was close to six o’clock in the morning, and suddenly it just hit me: How do my brothers do it? I mean, I’m financially reckless more than half of the time, I have a caustic tongue which is innate to me, I get these ‘episodes’ where I’m so selfish that I won’t give them a single potato chip, and I don’t take out the trash. Ever. And on top of that, I am defensive, demanding, moody, self-centered and argumentative to the point of screaming with matching hand gestures and eyeball rolls. Oh, and the fact that I tend to have these allegedly exaggerated reactions whenever I’m shocked or surprised, like by a slamming door or the sight and sound of bread loaves popping out of the toaster when they’re cooked. Even get annoyed at myself occasionally. 

But somehow, they manage. They have managed. Twenty years and counting.

There are moments when I collapse on my bed after a minor debate with my brother, and I would just laugh silently. It’s usually partly because I won the debate, but it’s also the fact that I am so amazed at the reality that this has been going on since we were kids. And the amount of stamina, the quality of endurance, that it takes for three brothers to live under one roof for more than twenty years of their lives without killing each other (and actually loving each other instead) is almost unfathomable. I am fully aware that not all people have the same kind of bond with their siblings. I, on one hand, consider myself lucky. Because despite all of the negative things that come with my sheer existence, Clayton and Matthew are still there. They’ve seen the worst in me. You would, too, if you lived with me 24/7. But they’ve also seen the best. They see the whole package with full-on bravery and kindness. And for that, I love them.

And then there’s my parents.

I don’t even know where to begin. They’re one of those entities that leave me speechless most of the time. It’s just that I feel like I have so much memories with them that sometimes it’s as if they’re always with me wherever I go or whatever I do. And I’ve always known that I love them. But now, I guess it’s safe to say that I have transitioned from a mere lover to an informed one.

Everything I have in my life, I have because of my parents. Education, money, clothes, even time and freedom. I could be wiping off the ninetieth drop of sweat on my forehead working my ass off in Starbucks right now, but instead I am here sitting on my comfy computer chair, freely writing my thoughts away, with my pet cat sitting cozily on my left foot as I listen to Damien Rice. The point is, I am not a successful individual by society’s standards. And I am just so blessed to be able to do what I have been doing in the past five months. I admit I also have those times when I go, “WTF am I doing with my life? I am not making my parents proud at all”. But the thing is, those five months I’ve spent unemployed since post-secondary graduation aren’t entirely an epitome of Wasteland Escapade. If anything, they’ve been an epitome of life lessons I’m certain I wouldn’t have learned elsewhere doing Zeus-knows-what. In those five months, I read a lot, watched a lot of films, listened to great music, gazed at street art, wrote, slept and dreamed. And all those things brought me to realize several things. This is one of those realizations.

See, the thing is, I used to view my parents as, well, parents. Two parental figures that act as my mother and my father. The foundation of the home and the light of the home. The male figure and the female figure. But as I grow up, I have gradually opened my eyes wide enough to see them beyond their institutionalized roles in the family. I see them now not just as “mother and father”, but as two human beings who have a past,  a present and a future; two people who have strengths, weaknesses, insecurities, successes and failures; two living organisms who, just like everything else, grow old and eventually wither. When I stare at their faces now, I feel so much respect for them. The mere fact that they have successfully raised my brothers and I, with minimal heartaches and minor mid-life delinquencies, already brings joy to my heart. I know you’re always the ones who tell me that you’re proud of me but Mom, Dad, I am so proud of you both. Words cannot even express the depth of my reverence for you two. You’ve made it! You got through the crisscrossing jungle that is post-adolescence, and you did it with flying colors! You figured out what you wanted to do and create in life, and had gotten to the verdict of building up the family that we now are. You both did it with dignity, courage, perseverance and most importantly, love. If there was some sort of a Nobel prize for parenting, you deserve it, Mom and Dad. And I know that there are nights when you can’t sleep, nights when you are tossing and turning, just thinking of how much you failed, of how many things you wish you could’ve done, or things that you wish were different. No. Don’t do that. Don’t lose sleep, because I (and I’m sure Matthew and Clayton feel the same way) can attest to the reality that the both of you have made it. You have succeeded a billion times in our lives. I mean, here we are. And there you are. And we are all together. It simply does not get any better than this.

Over the years, you have become multidimensional in my eyes, my dearest Mommy and Daddy. And I have nothing but love for you. Let it be known that it will only be Mother’s and Father’s Day everyday for the two of you from this point onward.

And there you have it. That one story I knew I just had to write one day.

My family is the largest blessing I have in my life. I am unto myself a walking disaster. I get lost in life for at least twelve hours each day, but my family is that which pulls me back. They are my home. And I know that no matter how disastrous the world gets, I will always find peace with them. I will always be the baby of our home. And I will always come home running, crying for love.