Finding My Way Home

So much time has passed, I almost feel like an imposter while writing this post on my own blog.  Eclectic Grooves used to mean so much to me, and I felt like with it I was able to gain a loyal, albeit, small community of readers who waited patiently for my next treatise on the current state of music. I spent a copious amount of time combing the internet for the latest inspiration, and was mostly successful in operating a semi-popular blog for the first three years. Then, my girlfriend started struggling with her health in the Spring of 2010, beginning with digestive issues and slowly developing into a much more serious diagnosis of Lyme disease. Since she was diagnosed with Lyme disease in the fall of 2013, our lives haven't been the same. I started feeling hopeless about every facet of life. How would we possibly get the money to pay for the care that she needed? How would I be able to stay mentally and emotionally strong despite her considerable decline in health? How would I keep my mind off the fact that her health might not ever stabilize?

The questions were many, and the mind grew wearier every day. I started doubting who I was in the world, what I had accomplished and I started second guessing my personal friendships. If my friends weren't calling me back when I reached out, this must be a sign that they don't want to be friends. One by one, my friendships started slipping through my fingers as I lost the will to go out of my comfort zone and reach out to them. I felt like everyone was judging the decisions we made around raising money to get her well, and that I could no longer post anything on social media about going to the movies or buying records. Being able to raise money from friends and family was both a blessing and a curse. We were blessed to receive such a gracious display of generosity, but couldn't help feeling indebted to each and every person who helped or donated money to our cause. I can't really be sure, but I think that a couple of my friendships ended due to the awkwardness caused by these money matters.  I never had the courage to ask these friends if they were upset with me about this, so I have been carrying the burden of guilt this entire time.

While I have spent so much time feeling sorry for myself, and blaming my friends for abandoning me when I needed them most, I neglected to realize that I had a part to play in this too.  I pretty much lost myself over the course of the last three 1/2 years, trying to block out what was really happening to my life. My friends were fading memories that grew more and more distant every day. I rarely reached out to my family outside of my parents, and I lived in a constant state of flux. Nothing made me happy except for music, and sometimes even the salve of music couldn't raise my spirits. Each day became a routine of working, eating, watching television and going to bed. Rinse and repeat.

Since last November, my girlfriend and I had been facing so much adversity that at times it felt like we were literally going to fall apart. We discovered about a week before Thanksgiving that the apartment complex we had been living in for the past decade had a leak in the main water line under the complex. It turned out that even though our landlord was able to get the water line fixed, the damage had already been done. Within a couple days, we began noticing cracks in the foundation, our bedroom and front door would no longer close and there were huge cracks above most of our doorways. We had a mostly mellow Thanksgiving, warming up pre-cooked dishes from New Seasons in the oven, and capping off the evening by watching "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".

She went out for a few hours to visit a friend, and I had already gone to bed by the time she got home. As she walked through the hallway, a loud popping and cracking sound came from the floorboards and immediately woke me up. I wasn't sure what to do as I had barely slept, so I had a 1/2 of a Benadryl to see if I could get back to sleep. Shortly after this, she walked across the floor in the living room, and another loud pop resounded through the apartment. At this point, we both went out to the parking lot, and noticed the huge gaps in the concrete that almost looked like fault lines. From here, it was pretty apparent that we were going to have to pack our essential belongings, evacuate our apartment and completely start over. Since we had no idea how long it would take for the entire complex to slide down the hillside, we began to frantically pack our stuff with the thought that this might be our last chance to retrieve anything. It would seem that a greater higher power was on our side, as we were able to get all of our belongings packed up and moved into a storage unit while we took our next step into the unknown.

Over the next two months, we stayed in a hotel as we tried to put the pieces of our life back together, and find a new place to call home. It wasn't easy as my girlfriend's Lyme disease symptoms were heightened due to the stress caused by the evacuation, and I had to burn through my vacation days to cover missed time at work due to unexpected snowstorms and a relentless cold. In addition to all of this, we were trying to find a new apartment during the holidays when almost no one was available to show places. I still don't know how we did it considering all of the obstacles we faced, but we managed to find a new place against all odds, at the end of an arduous journey that wound up taking approximately two months. We still haven't settled into our new place as most of our belongings were thrown into random, wardrobe boxes that the moving company had to pack, and we've still been trying to get our bearings. 

I imagine this post comes off like a diary entry in a teenager's journal, but these things needed to be said. If any of my friends are reading this, I hope you understand that I didn't intentionally abandon you.  I just didn't know how to find my way home. Maybe writing this post will cure the writer's block I've been experiencing over the past year, and get me back on track with writing about music that I love. 

Edit: This track off the rapper Jonwayne's latest record Rap Album Two encapsulates the feelings and emotions that I'm going through right now. Until next time...

Jonwayne- Out of Sight


robin said…
Kevin, thanks for such a heartfelt post. I have dealt with chronic illness. It does suck up friendships and ruins relationships. None of us are ever prepared. If we are lucky we come out "the other side" a better person, even if there is no other side, since it's a lifelong process.

I can only recommend one thing. If you live in North America, get the hell out. The system is toxic. (And, no, not because of Trump.) It takes too much money just to stand still. You won't want to leave your friends and family but if you are losing them anyway...

There are many places to live where daily expenses are a fraction of USA. Live without a car, without a television, somewhere where you can heat your own home with fuel you get yourself. Somewhere you can see the value of your work and appreciate your neighbour. Somewhere with good internet. :-)

All the best to you.

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