So I’m 40 today.

No, seriously. It’s true. Damn!

I was burning this old videotape to my hard drive yesterday, a video from when I was 21 or so. Know what? I look better now.

There was lot I wanted to say today, but I’ll keep it short instead:

I’m here.

This video was—and I am not kidding—a video journal, in which I was bemoaning the loss of a girlfriend. Did you know that I will never love anyone ever again? Fact! And that I will never get over what she did to me? Fact!

Yeah…except for the part where those things aren’t true.

Trust me, I am the last guy to dismiss a young person’s trauma, drama, and emotional pain. Have you read my novels? That would be pretty inconsiderate of me, to say the least. Problems and pain and angst . . . these are real at the time. Watching that video, you could see the stress and strain. You or someone you know is going through difficulty right now. Right this very moment.

Life is simply never, ever, ever going to get better.

Or so it seems. Yet somehow, it can. It does. I know it’s hard to wait a week, or a month, or a year . . . or almost twenty . . . but if I’d given up then as I very much wanted to do, if I hadn’t ended up asking for the help I obviously needed, there’s no Party. There’s no Random.

 Worst of all, there’s no Toby. C’mon, look at that! DSC_0053

I’ve done a lot of things the past twenty years: Marriage and a son, awards and talks, travel and adventures, meeting new people and making new friends. 

 …Walking the earth like Caine in Kung Fu. (Well, maybe not that part yet.)

 If I’d done to myself what I felt like doing back then, none of that happens. None of it. It’s one thing to want the pain to stop; I get that. Trust me, I do. It’s another thing to end any opportunity to see what happens later.

 I’m thrilled to be here. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m glad I stayed.

 You should, too.


 Take care,

~ Tom

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