I know it's

I know it's a couple of days early, but whatever. This is my huge, long, ridiculous post regarding my 4 year anniversary on LiveJournal. Here goes.

This year in particular has been a big one for yours truly. I lost my grandpa, which means that this LJ has been around long enough to document half of my grandparents dying. His death left me grandparentless.

But, in happier news, Peter Joseph was born. That, of course, means LJ has documented both births of my nephews. I like to pretend the middle name is a tribute to me, but it probably isn't.

The second biggest deal this year has been my job. Well, 2 jobs, since last year at this time I was unemployed. A few days later, I'm selling cell phones. A few months later, I'm designing websites and presentations for an insurance company. Never underestimate the effect a good job can have on you. Financially, sure, I'm much better off than I was before. But I'm also more confident, less embarrassed about what I do. Not that there's shame in selling phones... there's not. But I'm supposed to be talented, gifted, all that stuff, and I wasn't using it. Now I am, and I feel like maybe I'm not wasting my talents and maybe I didn't waste a few years in college learning how to do it. A good job makes a huge difference.

But, the biggest difference is, you guessed it, Jaimee both moving in and moving out. Yeah, they both happened this year, believe it or not. Living with a girl was a strange and learning experience. It was odd getting scolded for things I'd always done and never thought twice about. It was odd having stuff disappear from where I put it. It was odd always having everything so clean.

The adjustment of her moving in was much harder than the adjustment of her leaving again. The house instantly became messier and stuff always stayed where I put it. I had my sad moments, sure, but my friends really jumped in there and helped me out when I was feeling down.

But honestly, the weirdest and biggest changes were because of Jaimee and the discussions we had while she decided to move out.

I live a small, relatively unimportant and uneventful life. I'm not rich, not famous, I don't save people's lives or make the world a better place or anything of that nature. But while that stuff was important to Jaimee and ultimately led to the break up, it's becoming more obvious to me every day of why it never mattered to me one way or the other.

Sure, like everyone, I have the desire to "make it big" and "strike it rich", and will continue to do my side projects that will hopefully help make that happen. But I'm not willing to make certain sacrifices for the sake of "living large".

I like my small, insignificant life. While I may not be the President of a charity organization who helps millions through a crisis like a hurricane, I like to believe that my friends look to me as someone who can help them out when, for example, their car won't start in the morning and they need someone to take them to work. I'll be there for them. And, more importantly to me, I have people who will be there for me when I need it.

On a worldly scale, I don't matter at all. Among my friends, I like to think that I have an effect. And hopefully a positive one. I hope I make them laugh, and I hope I make them feel comfortable. I hope hanging out with me is a positive experience that makes people happy. I know a lot of people who make me feel like a more interesting person just from talking to them, and I hope I can give that feeling to just a handful of people I know. That's what's important to me.

Who cares that I live in a small city? Who cares that most people don't know my name and don't give a shit what I do to pay my bills? Who cares that I'll never have the status most people spend their life looking for? Life isn't about moving on to the bigger and better thing for me. It's about appreciating what you have, taking pleasure in the little things, and seeing how you fit into the picture. Note how I didn't say "the big picture", because big is the least important part. I have more friends that most people, and I'm closer to those friends than most people will ever be close to anyone. That's saying something.

The little things don't just make my life bareable, they make my life amazing. Friday nights with Polk an Brandon and whoever else wants to come along is something I look forward to all week. It's just a dinner, I know, but it's one of thousands of reasons I get up every morning. My newest small pleasure is taking my morning shower with the light turned off. It's a weird feeling, but an excellent feeling that I get to experience every single day. When I'm looking for a number in my cell phone and I scroll past so many numbers of so many people who mean so much to me, it brightens my day. Not everyone is lucky enough to know the people I do. Not many people are lucky enough to have the amount of friends I do. Not everyone has the luxury of choosing whether or not they want to spend a night at home every night. I have those luxuries, and its because I've spent my entire life investing in people and relationships instead of career and status and the importance of living in a big city. It's what means the most to me, and always will.

A few times a month, I get to hang out with my awesome little nephews and get closer to my sister, brother in law, and parents. As I get older, they're finally becoming friends and not just people who I'm related to. Maybe for the first time since this journal was created, I'm perfectly content and happy with where I'm at and where everyone else is at. Every day I wake up and realize how lucky I am to know who I know, live where I live, am friends with who I'm friends with. I'm one lucky and blessed son of a bitch. My priority this year isn't going to be to be rich and famous and get back on TV (although that would be cool, and I'll still definitely try to do those things), it will be to make my friends think as much of me as I do of them. That, people, is what life is all about. At least to me.

So happy anniversary to me, just a few days early. If you actually read through all of this... Wow. You must like me more than I thought.