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CHAPTER ONE

NO GHOSTS IN MEXICO

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November 1st, 2022 — Día de los Muertos

 

        I once wrote a collection of short stories titled The Year of Death and Other Dreams. On every page I poked and prodded and danced around a very simple truth: I was depressed and broken. Dead inside. I tried to find beauty and deeper meaning in my suffering, in my active addiction, in the lives I’d touched and torn apart. The results were summarized relatively well: 

“It is a dull nothingness— I’ve visited the void many times and brought nothing back. There is no pain. The emptiness is without depth. For the most part I live my life in the passenger seat. Always along for the ride— the long, boring ride to Nowhere.”

 

        By the grace of some greater force, something changed in February of 2022. I couldn’t live with it any longer, and at my absolute breaking point an angel carried me to a treatment center in Minneapolis. For the first time in my life, I learned how to get off the ride. I stopped. I took the longest deep breath I can ever remember taking. Since then I’ve spent the past 9 months smiling, sitting in silence, blissfully doing nothing. And although I’ve tried to avoid it, I am left with a nagging question— well… what now? 

 

        So much of my time on this earth has been spent trying to hide, impress, deflect, transform, achieve… I never stopped and actually asked myself: what do I want? Who am I, when stripped of all my senseless self-abstractions? I am not the life of the party. I am not the artist. I am not the druggie, the Tufts kid, the asshole, the broken, the brilliant, the damned. I am just… Brendan. Which has to mean something, eventually, right?

 

        Some would choose to introspect, to learn by trial and error, to throw themselves back into the mix and see what new perspectives might be born. But this is where I stop. I’ve tried it, I swear— but in the familiar faces and settings, I am haunted by ghosts of what was (and, more importantly, what no longer is). 

 

        What I am seeking is a sense of newness. New people, new sounds, new smells. New experiences. To exist outside of my own preconceived notions, to be free from the monsters hiding under my head. And that brings us to this Saturday, November 5th 2022. It is the beginning of an indefinite period of exploration. My girlfriend and I are off to Mexico where we will be for the next month, followed by Columbia and then a backpacking trip around Europe. I am not positive how great my cell service will be, so instead of trying to mass update everyone all at once I decided I would become the most cringe-worthy version of myself and start a blog.

 

        Follow as you’d like. Engage with what you will. This is more for me than it is for you. But maybe (just maybe) somewhere along the way, we’ll both find something new.

 

— Brendan

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