“I’m on fire!” – Caolan (aka Smalls), 8 Year Old Gamer

As I sit here, shades open, the computer sitting at the bar in my kitchen playing the new Rancid album, the shouts and laughter of two rambunctious eight year old best friends playing Plants VS Zombies in the next room, I know that my life is exactly where I never, ever imagined it would be, and that this is the closest to happy I’ve maybe ever been. As a kid, I just always assumed I’d move to New York City and become a starving writer working at a shit job. It turns out that to make this happen, you really need this thing called ambition, and I don’t exactly have that quality in spades. I guess I’d like to think it’s not that I’m not ambitious, but that it just wasn’t the reality that I really wanted, instead more an ideal that would never live up to the dream I’d set in my head. Turns out, there are a lot of things in life that we build up so much, the reality can never compare, thus the death of dreams. I’ve always called this idea the Problem of Christmas. Think about it: months of time and energy and money and thought spent for like an hour, if not less, where we spend a few minutes together buying into the idea of consumerism and trying not to show our dissatisfaction when the people who are supposed to know us best, get us something that proves they have no clue what we like and vice versa. Minutes that have been built up over months time; how can this ever live up to the ideal? Now, I’ve made my peace with Christmas and the whole season, but that’s something for another day. My points even elude me on most days, but what I’m trying to get at is the idea that plans don’t always work out, paths lead to completely different places, and for me, it’s this amazing idea that I’ve been on this crazy, random journey that led me right back to the place where I first felt comfortable, first felt like the me I have become. Home has come when I was least expecting it. A child’s laughter. Reading Harry Potter and Percy Jackson aloud. Watching The Goonies and The Princess Bride and Stand By Me and witnessing my child falling in love the way I did. The highs made higher by the lows and the depressions.

It is the unexpected I’ve come to fall in love with, the little moments that make up the vast portions of life. The sound of two best friends, laughing and shouting as they play video games, while I sit sipping coffee, knowing how damn lucky I am to just recognize these moments, when some days, it’s difficult to see past the shit/depressing/stress insert negative adjective here stuff.


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