The Lowest Point In My Life – Vlog 139

 

*Disclaimer: the following is an airing of my pent-up feelings. If I name names and you don’t like what I say about you, don’t get so butthurt over it. I still love you. Maybe… ;)*

 

 

I’ve never wanted to crawl into a hole so bad before in my life.

 

 

I know I may act all chipper in front of the camera and say everything’s fine, but the truth is so far removed from that.

 

 

The truth is, I’m depressed. Have I always been this way? No. I have had moments when I was happy like any other person.

 

 

Does being depressed make me a psychotic bipolar schizo? Wrong again.

 

 

The reason I don’t like to air my feeling of discontent as much as I used to is because I don’t want people (my mom especially) to worry if I have “that thing your father had” or that I’ll simply kill myself.

 

 

Rest assured, I am NOT, I repeat, NOT SUICIDAL. Have I had suicidal moments? Yes, back in college and the couple of years afterward.

 

 

The reason I didn’t go through with it is because I know it would have been a burden on my parents to bury me and to have to deal with the grief of losing their first-born son, someone who they thought up to that point, had it all together. I couldn’t do that to them. Not in this lifetime or the next, if there is such a thing.

 

 

So what do I do? I keep on living, trying to make things work, reasoning with myself that maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe things’ll work out like they always do. Not always in my favor initially, but in the grand scheme of things.

 

 

Why Are You Being Such An Emo Bitch?

 

 

 

 

There are several reasons, most of which are pretty stock and unoriginal. Go figure.

 

 

The Navy

 

 

 

The truth is, I’m just tired of being in the Navy. While I have made some really good friends during my time in, I feel so lonely out here.

 

 

The transitional nature of the Navy makes it hard for someone like me to make friends since they’re just gonna leave in a year or so anyway, so it feels like just when I really get to know someone beyond their “one time in boot camp” and pre-Navy stories, they up & leave for greener pastures elsewhere. It makes it hard to personally invest myself in anyone, and therefore while I’m generally friendly towards people, I keep my distance.

 

 

Maybe that’s why I’m so attached to my friends from my high school/college days. I know that, for the most part, they’re not gonna up & leave very far from where they are, so we can still hang out IRL when I come home on leave.

 

 

Call me selfish or stuck in the past or whatever, but I need some manner of stability in my life. While my Navy friends & myself may be coming & going, it’s nice to know that at the end of the day, my friends back home will be there for me when I go to visit. Gives me a warm fuzzy.

 

 

Don’t confuse stability with monotony. I get that enough from my folks back home. I love them to pieces, but damn can they be a bore to listen to after awhile! Sometimes, I just put myself on auto-pilot since all conversations are “Something something new laundry person quit. Something something So-&-So did this & that. Something something can you believe it?”. I feel bad for putting them on blast like that, but it drive me up a wall sometimes, you know?

 

 

Anyway, back to the whole Navy thing. My folks and some of my close Navy friends want me to stay in, do my 20 years, and get out with a paycheck for the rest of my life. While that sounds like a very stable way to approach things (money for the rest of your life is nothing to take lightly), I can’t imagine staying in for that long. I couldn’t live with myself if I did so. While I certainly respect others who want to pursue this career path, it simply isn’t for me, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

 

Going Back To College

 

 

 

I always viewed the Navy as my stepping stone for going back to college & getting my life back on track. I never wanted to make a career out of it. Making E-5 last year, however, had me questioning if I should stay in, at least for a second enlistment for shore duty. But then I remembered why I joined in the first place and I recommitted myself to getting out & going back to college.

 

 

I’ll be hitting my 3-year mark on June 24th of this year, so only a month & some change away. Once that happens, I’ll apply for an early-out program that’ll let me use 100% of my GI and Post 9/11 Bills.

 

 

Although I would like to pursue another major, in order to keep myself marketable, I’ve decided to just keep my current major; information systems. In order to make things interesting for me, I’ll also be pursuing a minor/certificate in Japanese. While it may not be the most marketable thing in America, I’m doing that mostly for fun & for my post-graduate job; teaching English in Japan.

 

 

In addition to taking advantage of study abroad programs while I’m in college to explore Japan on my own terms, I plan on moving there after college to teach English. There are several ways to go about getting such a job, but I want to try out for the JET Programme first.

 

 

Getting Closer To 30

 

 

 

Another realization that has been creeping ever closer in my mind is that I’ll be turning 30 in a couple of years. I’m currently 27, so I still have 3 years before then, but it still bothers me.

 

 

The reason being is that I thought I’d have my life figured out by this point and that I’d just be focused on what I found out my life purpose, my goals, my aspirations, my passions were.

 

 

I thought I had a pretty good handle on who I was & what I like & what I want to do with my life, but as time goes on, I find that notion drifting farther & farther from the truth each day. I still like playing guitar, watching anime, learning more about Japanese culture, exploring new places, making videos about my discoveries, and so on.

 

 

 

However, this feeling of inevitable dread makes me question every facet of myself, from my interests to my appearance to my mannerisms.

 

 

 

I’m in my late 20s now, no longer my early or even mid-20s. I’m still young, and yet, people expect me to act & dress a certain way. They expect me to act like a stuffy old grown-up. That’s just not my style; not me.

 

 

It’s hard for me to relate to people anymore. If I talk to the younger early-20-somethings, their mentality is too immature for my taste. All they wanna do is get drunk and get their dicks wet. Nothing wrong with a drink or two and the company of the fairer sex, but I don’t wanna base my entire life on that. There’s too much more to me than that.

 

 

The older-20+ crowd is a little bit better, but their mentality is often that of someone in their 40s and up, which still make it hard for me to relate to them. They’re mostly married, and while I really want to get married someday, the truth is that I’m painfully single so I can’t relate to their married lives. Some even have kids, both singular and plural. Yeah, they’re getting to that age where they’re just popping them out every year or so. I see it on Facebook all the damn time. I also want to be a father someday, but I don’t have kids currently so I can’t relate to parenthood problems.

 

 

So I’m stuck in this limbo of not being a party-going pussy-pounding sonovagun OR being a family man. It’s not a fun place to be, let me tell ya.

 

 

Between the fucked up support system and the crippling loneliness, I don’t know what’s worse.

 

 

Sure there’s Facebook and other online methods to communicating with my friends and family, but that only goes so far. It’s good for conveying messages, but is quite limited to sending out genuine emotions, beyond the kind you put on a smiley emoticon  ;-)  :-D  :-)

 

 

Seeing My Girl/Friend Go Across The Country

 

 

 

 

I feel so disconnected, so lost.

 

 

I thought I had a good handle on myself when I got out here to San Diego, but ever since Sam, one of my best friends, left for Norfolk last year, I’ve been secretly in shambles.

 

 

She meant a lot to me, and my dumb ass didn’t want to get serious because we’re both in the Navy, duel-military relationships usually don’t work out long-term, and we could get orders to commands across the country, and hell, across the world even. Which is exactly what happened.

 

 

She’s since gotten herself a boyfriend, and he seems nice, so I’m happy that she’s happy.

 

 

 

Everywhere I go in this town, I’m constantly reminded of her. The time we went here. The time we went there. I can’t escape it. Maybe that’s why, despite the INCREDIBLE scenery of San Diego, I’ve grown to hate this place.

 

 

 

Staring At The Rising Sun

 

 

 

Aside from living in Japan, living in California was one of my personal life goals, and I’m happy to say that I’ve achieved that. However, it all seems so bittersweet and it makes me question whether or not I will feel that way about Japan someday as well. If I would get burnt out on the places. The faces. The culture. The attitudes. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if that were to happen.

 

 

Japan has been my personal escape for years. Whenever life’s burdens and pressures would be too much for me to handle, I would always think of Japan. The sakura trees in bloom. The castles from long ago standing tall against the flow of time. The massive cityscape that seems to be a living breathing organism. The beautiful gardens. The loving & sweet nature of the Japanese people, especially the girls with their long black hair and small button noses and large almond eyes that pierce my soul and leave me feeling naked yet warm and comforted from head to toe.

 

 

Of course, this is a super-idealistic view of Japan, I realize that. But you have no idea how many times I was able to bring myself back from the deepest & darkest of depressions with these thoughts of Japan. I had to fight back tears as I remembered those times and then put those thoughts into typed words. Seriously.

 

 

 

The Only Peace Is A State Of Mind

 

 

 

I came to the realization not too long ago that to fix my feelings of disconnect, I need to go out there in the world & try to find myself again.

 

 

It won’t be easy, and it won’t be brief. I’ve come to realize that finding myself isn’t so much a destination but a journey. I just come to a point where I feel comfortable and branch off from there until the neverending yearning for more in life arises. Then, I go back on the hunt for myself again.

 

 

I hope you guys will continue to journey with me, and I thank those of you who’ve stuck with me thus far. Being by myself while looking for myself is such a lonely journey, and sometimes I need the support of others to help me keep going, you know?

 

 

Until next Time, Space Cowboys…

 

 

TheAndySan

Date Sent: April 24th, 1996

Date Written: April 24th, 2013

 

Hey Andy, it’s you 17 years in the future!!

There’s so much that I want to tell you about the future, man! Technology’s come a long ways!! Imagine watching every TV show ever made on something the size of a wallet! Crazy, huh?! Also, video game graphics have improved A LOT, but sadly the games have not.  Enjoy these next 5 years or so, as your interest in current video games will have petered out by then.

Let’s see, if memory serves, you’re finishing up 5th grade & going onto 6th, right? I hope I’m right. Your math skills don’t get any better in the future I’m afraid.

This new guy that Mom’s dating, Roger, is a real asshole, isn’t he? Yeah, I said asshole. I’m a grown-ass man in 2013, so deal with it, hehe!!

 

You’re probably starting to feel frustrated at all these changes lately, but you won’t start to rebel until you hit 6th grade. You’ll get sent to alternative school for a couple of weeks and begin to openly rebel less.

Are you seeing Dad every other weekend at this point? I have a lot to tell you about him that I’ll get to in a minute.

What’s on TV during this time? Power Rangers? Beast Wars? Batman? Spider-Man? God, I miss TV during your time! TV in the future is both good and bad, you just have to find the right stuff to watch.

Jon should be finishing up kindergarten at this point, right? He has a real bad time when he gets older that involves you, which he’s not willing to forgive you or himself for even during my time.

I suppose I should start talking about Dad at this point since he seems to be the root of most if not all of your inner problems.

 

He probably seems to be a totally changed man from the drunk sack of shit that he was almost a year ago. He’s showering you and Jon with gifts and is thinking about going back to college to get a double-doctorate so people can call him Doc-Doc, hehe!!

Don’t believe the hype. It’s just a facade. The fact of the matter is that Dad has mental health issues. Paranoia, manic-depressive, bipolar, schizophrenia; whatever the head doctors & social workers wanna call it that day. They pretend to know what’s going on, but let’s be honest, mental health is still a relatively new concept for small-town Ohio.

 

If you only get one thing from this letter, it’s this: none of this is your fault. No matter how many times and how many people say it is, it’s not. You’ll spend much of your adult life running What If… scenarios through your head. Don’t do that to yourself. Nothing good will come of it and you’ll just end up feeling even more miserable about yourself and where you are that you won’t be able to enjoy the now.

I’d like to say that the you in 2013 is a completely healed person, always happy and loving life. I’ve certainly come a long way, but I’m far from perfect. You can only get better or worse, and I choose to get better. Anyway, back to Dad.

 

Just a heads-up, all this nice-guy behavior is gonna start going sour when he meets Nancy. Don’t worry, she’s a nice person; but she does cause Dad to start drinking again, and sadly he won’t ever stop. Her kids are a mixed bag of nuts, but you get along with them just fine.  You even manage to kick her oldest son Michael’s ass at Mortal Kombat Gold, which will be coming out in a few years.

Dad and Nancy start dating after her then-husband Scott dies in a motorcycle accident, and then his side of the family raids their house and takes everything. This is when things really start to go downhill. You notice Dad drinking more and him spending more sober time with Nancy than you or Jon.

Despite all this, you do manage to have some father-son bonding time with him. He would record shows all the time throughout the week and during the weekends you and Jon were there, all three of you would watch them. You would watch wrestling matches from the WWF and WCW together, as well as a show called DragonBall-Z. I still hold those memories close to my heart.

There were a lot of times when Mom wouldn’t understand how you were feeling about all these changes in your life, and Dad would be there to listen to you and he would totally understand everything. After you guys move, you would go to a pay phone & call him everyday after school and tell him about your day & any problems that you had.

While we get along with Mom, Dad understood our thought process the best. These are the things I miss the most about him.

 

We’re pretty deep into the letter now, so I think it’s about time I drop the bombshell on you. Dad dies of liver failure due to excessive drinking only a month after you graduate high school in 2004. Let me back up a bit, because this is where Jon’s current problems that involve you come from too.

During the summer vacation in 2002, you get to spend a good portion of your summer with Dad, and he’s pretty much drunk 24/7 at that point. You eventually get fed up with it, and you take Jon & have him write a letter saying that you both don’t want to see Dad until he cleans up his act. It’s this letter that Jon holds against you, but we’ll get to that in a sec.

Sadly, you don’t hear from Dad again until two years later when he goes to St. Rita’s hospital because his liver is failing and he’s dying. The doctors say that he has 6 months to live, but he’ll be taken to this place called Briarwood where you’ll be able to visit him again to say your goodbyes and make your peace. When Dad’s in the hospital, Roger (yeah, he’s still dating Mom, and they’ll get married a year later) will offer to drive you and Jon up to the hospital to visit him.

Visit him. As horrifying as it may be to see Dad all hooked up with tubes and whatnot, looking already half-dead with gray skin and long, dirty & greasy hair, man up and go. Take Jon with you. This will be your last chance to see him alive. Make your peace with him and get out of there. You don’t have time to be angry or mad at him for what he put you through; you only have time for forgiveness.

 

When you are at his funeral, Rick Barr, an old friend of his, will ask you and Jon if you inherited any of Dad’s musical talent or ear. You won’t have an answer for him, but that along with Mom’s encouragement will bring the guitar back into your life again.

For the love of God, practice and get good at the damn thing!! No half-assing it, mister! Also, try to form a band with some of your friends to help you get better.

 

Jon in 2013 is seriously not living up to what he could be. Admittedly, he’s way smarter than you and got better grades in school, but after barely graduating his senior year due to having a massive breakdown, his life has been one emotional roller-coaster after another. You suspect that the same mental illness that plagued Dad is also plaguing him, but because he doesn’t want to get help, you won’t know if he just has issues or if there’s something more to it.

As much as you have reached out to him and told him to get his shit straightened out and go to college, the only thing you can do is just be there for him when he needs his big brother. He keeps himself impossibly busy these days with a dead-end minimum-wage job, so he doesn’t talk to you or Mom much, which makes me feel really sad and alone.

 

I could tell you more about your life and your friends of the future, but honestly man, I don’t wanna ruin the surprise for ya!

Let’s just say that your current job in 2013 lets you travel all over the world, and while it may be  a pain in the ass at times and you get homesick frequently, you make a lot of new friends and you become someone who inspires others around the world to do what you do. Also, you’re going to Japan in 2013; over 20 years after Terry & Terri moved out there!

 

 

Just remember to follow your own path and don’t be afraid to ask for advise from your friends and family, but don’t let others direct your life for you.

Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present. It may not always be gift-wrapped, but enjoy the present nonetheless.

 

I love you with all my heart,

 

Future You.

 

P.S: Lay off the damn junk food and eat right when you get to college, otherwise you’ll end up getting fat. Seriously.

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