For a while now I have been leaving a very big part of my life out of this blog. I get so confused sometimes as to what I'm allowed to write about. Partly because the written word is so formal and can be interpreted so many ways, and partly because I'm not really sure who reads this blog and what it does for people. I know you're out there, approximately 35-50 of you a day, but what does this space actually affect in your lives? Is it like a form of reality tv? Is it ritual? Is it a first time visit? Why do we find so much fascination in other peoples lives? I'm an avid blog reader, going on like 15 now, and I am fascinated by other peoples outlooks on life. This is mine. But who really reads it?
Of course there are my closest family and friends. They also call me on the phone and send me care packages in the mail. We are in close contact. There are also some colleagues and professional acquaintances from around Alaska/US, and students/former students that read it too. Extended family perhaps, prospective employers maybe, former acquaintances possibly, and then there are the random readers that come from a google search for gnomes or bowl hair cuts or a musical artist, and I don't even really know these wonderful people. I don't know who the international readers are either. There are a few of you I've never met but I know you read all the time. But who are all these great folks reading my fumblings through life. I just don't know, and will never know, but the thing that I have to remind myself is that people are hear VOLUNTARILY and therefore what I write is for me and what people read is by their own choice and if this feels like something you shouldn't be reading you can stop whenever you like.
With that being said I still choose to leave a lot out of this blog. There are certain elements of my past that will never make it into this venue (juicy secrets really). There are certain opinions that I will never say because some people/relatives perhaps, or other people maybe, would take offense. And there are certain parts of my personal life that I have chosen to leave out.
But that all sounds elusive and secretive...the name of this blog is Radiate Warmth, not illuminate my history. I try to share my life through a lense of all the good things I see (and rough things too) in hopes to remind myself and others that kindness and positivity are important. I'm not perfect at all, I screw up life constantly but it doesn't feel right that everyday I am filled with so much joy and happiness (which helps me radiate even more) and never say anything about who or what may be behind it.
So here is a shout out to the fuel behind Radiate Warmth.
Parents: I talk to my mom and dad on the phone about once a week. Even though I consider myself and adult. I still need and seek the guidance from my family. Sometimes just to vent, sometimes to see how my grandparents are doing, sometimes just to have that connection to my home. My mom (with dad's ideas also) sends me awesome (albeit random) care packages, and my dad always has a dream of some fun thing to do in the future. My parents are still a big part of why I make it through each day. This morning I got an email from mom:
"It was so good to talk to you. I can't wait for you to make your way home and get on with your life in the lower 48. I want to be able to see you, hug you and share your life with you. I am so looking forward to this summer."
Its love and encouragement like this that keeps me going. After all, we are made from our parents, whether we know them or not, we are made of their stuff, its important to love them so that you can love yourself in turn.
Brother: My brother is my rock. He is my moral compass. Whenever I'm trying to figure out some really deep things about life I think about what my brother would do. He is the true epitome of all that I preach here on this blog. He actually lives it. I can't wait to travel the Mediterranean with him in just over two months! And we will return and finally be in the same place living in the same city (wherever that is) for the first time in over 4 years. Lately we've been having a hard time staying in contact because he's in England w/o a phone, but when we do talk it seems so much more important and I feel so good after I talk to him. Go BRO!
Family: I have an incredible extended family with cousins like Chris and Jen and their kids Alex and Maddy that read my blog, call me on the phone and send me love in the mail. Uncles and Aunts and cousins, although I don't talk to much up here, are out there listening and reading too, I know because when I come home they always want to know how its going and ask me about certain things I wrote about. I just wish I talked to them more, but I know the phone and email goes both ways.
Friends: Although I don't talk to them as much as I wish I could. I have always enjoyed lots of amazing friends in my life. I am truly a social person, why I ever moved to a lonely place like this is beyond me (I think I believed I could make friends anywhere...no I believe I can make friends almost anywhere). Maybe its so that I could gain the deep understanding of how much I need these awesome people in my life and human contact. My friends like Randy and Suzye and Brett and Stephie and Katie and Jeff and Mason and Reed and Frampton and Koop and Brian and Colby and Katie and Tyson and so many other people (if I left you out I'm sorry!) that I never get to talk to enough but wish I could everyday like we used to when we were together in the sunshine. I always have little check ups with these people to see how they are doing and remind myself of past times in my life when things were great and how far we all have come in life.
Also, I have a great community of new friends I've made up here in Alaska (that will hopefully be my friends for a long time regardless), Erin, Alisha, Brian and Julian and Lee and Joel and Dirk and my coworkers and confidant principal Gary, these people check in and see how I'm doing and we knock heads about our crazy arctic adventures and the realities of life out here.
And not to forget all the awesome people I've met through this blog and all the new contacts I've shared with people I've never even met before, all through the use of words. It always excites me when I get a comment or an email (or even a phone call) from a random reader of my blog. I love that!
My Girl: The what and who of my recent big smiles and tummy butterflies and summer day dreams is an amazing girl named Sydney. Each email, each package, each phone call she sends me makes my day (and seems to come just in the nick of time too), and she rocks my world with her insights and interests and triumphs everyday. She seems to know me better than I know myself and it feels so good to have someone who can't wait to talk to you each day. She sends me so much love and positivity that I can't help but be in a good mood. Although our coming together is pretty recent we have known each other for a long time and it seems that all that waiting must have been for some cosmic reason. I can't lie, if you see me smiling during the day, there is a good chance I'm thinking about her. It feels electric to be in love! Some people go their whole lives without ever falling for someone and I feel so lucky.
With summer close on the horizon so many thoughts seem to steer towards home. My family and friends and budding relationship give me so many reasons to smile throughout the day (there are regrets too). When life seems to keep doling out the shit tickets and cranky pants mcgee's of the world I simply smile and remember that soon enough I will be back in the arms of the people I LOVE! I love my people so much, why did I ever leave you! Maybe it was fear, maybe it was a young man's adventurous spirit, maybe it was plain stupidity, I don't really know. But after two years in utter isolation I know what lesson I was sent here to learn (besides to pick more berries). Never undervalue the people in your life that keep you going, because without them you are nothing but a lonely, theraflu drinking cranky pants mcgee.
I believe that this could possibly be the best year of my life (not without its challenges and heartaches and trials), and its the people that are making it so great.
You guys are my world, and you never let me down (even if I am a self absorbed selfish thoughtless bastard sometimes). I will never be able to thank you enough (or apologize enough), but I sure as hell will try (do you take re-payments in hugs, subaru rides, concert tickets and hammock time?) I hope so.
Hope your week went well too.