Roller Coasters #AugustMoon13

2012 was the year when everything fell apart. It was the year when I lost all faith in myself, the year I let go of the fight. It was the year I resigned to the endlessly boring fate of living a mundane life of hell. It was the year I gave up. I tell myself that life just kept kicking me when I was down, but the truth is, I didn’t even try to stand back up. 2012 was the year I failed.

Which is why, when I saw the chance to change everything about my life at the very beginning of 2013, I took it. I grabbed it with both hands and ran off, pants-less and cackling, into the night. I said, “Fuck it. 2013 is my year.” I rejected the mediocre career path I had fallen into. I abandoned anything resembling a plan for my life. I took a chance, and it felt great… for a while. Then, I got complacent and lazy. I think those two attitudes are the most deadly. From complacency and laziness, I accepted sloth and gluttony. I lay on my couch, shoving cheap, poisonous foods into my waiting gullet and felt nothing. I wasted my opportunity to be something more than nothing. I just lay there waiting to die in obscurity.

The universe doesn’t let you just disappear, though. There are people that rely on you for something, even if it is just the money you owe them. Eventually, when your savings run out, they get rather insistent. That, if nothing else, prompts you back into desperate, shaky motion. It’s terrifying. It’s maddening. It’s frustrating.

Sometimes, that can be the greatest thing that has ever happened to you.

2012 was the year I let life kick me repeatedly in the nuts without ever trying to stand up for myself.

2013 was the year I stood back up.

Six weeks or so ago, I moved 1500 miles from everything and everyone I’ve ever known to seek my fortune in the Rocky Mountains. I set out on some grand adventure like those gold miners generations before me. I spent two days in a car crossing the great plains and watching the mountains rise up in front of me. I was tired and sunburned when I arrived. I was weary. I was drained.

But, I was hopeful.

Within two weeks of being here in Helena, Montana, I was able to find a job that I’m actually pretty good at. It doesn’t pay the greatest, but I don’t care. I enjoy it.

That job presented me with the opportunity to make a new choice between lethargy and action. I surprised myself when I chose to move, to walk, to do.

It’s infectious, the time spent in daylight, heat, and open air. The pavement sliding underneath me.

It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself.



So, how did I treat myself this year?

I beat myself.

I surrendered to myself.

I punished myself.

I coddled myself.

I berated myself.

I defied myself.



I drown in the sea of depression, and I’ve climbed to the highs of mania. I’ve bullied myself for things I can’t control and I’ve denied myself the things I can.

I’ve fallen down.

I’ve gotten back up.


So, I guess the answer to the question is,

I lived.





This post is part of the August Moon 2013 blog carnival in response to the prompt, “How have you treated yourself this year? Have you kept your intentions?”

8 thoughts on “Roller Coasters #AugustMoon13

  1. Kat McNally says:

    You lived.
    You sure did! And you sure are.
    Fantastic news about your new job, too.
    Thanks so much for sharing x

  2. You certainly have . . . what a rollercoaster ride its been too. Change can be hard and a little scary but you’ve done it. Good luck with your job and the new place you call home.

  3. Skip says:

    Matt, we tried telling you that you have worth. You are one of the brightest young men that I have ever known. Keep up the work that you have begun and you can go far. Just because you have a job now, don’t give up on your writing. Live the life you were meant to live and have some fun while doing it. I love you, Bud, and you will make it.

  4. love love love love this!! Your words speak to many. Fantastic….keep moving along… keep moving along….the world is better because of your words here.

  5. Beth M says:

    Oh yeah. I get it. I did much the same in 1997 when I left a 27-year marriage and moved to California. Nice post. And good luck! May your adventure turn out as happily-ever-after as mine has.

  6. Meredith says:

    This is wonderful news! I’ve been rather absent on the interwebs as of late, and I’m so glad to catch back up with you and see that 2013 is turning around for you. Perhaps the year of the big 3-0 isn’t such a bad one after all. I’m absolutely delighted for you. Way to go! Keep on standing strong and firm.

    1. I really just needed a kick in the pants, I think. Maybe 30 is the year I get it.

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