Baby, it’s fucking COLD outside!

I’m not kidding, it’s currently -5 outside. Minnesota winter finally showed up in full force.

I’m glad that it waited, though. On January 1st, I moved into my new apartment. We had some snow a few days before, so it wasn’t perfect, but it was far from a terrible day to move. For this move, I was able to separate the labor over a few days that were spaced generously. My books were moved on Thanksgiving, over to my brother’s garage. My brother and I took a couple of car trips between then and December 28th as well. Then on the 28th, my parents came down with their trailer and I was able to load almost everything else into that. That was also parked in my brother’s garage. My brother and I took two more car trips of stuff to his garage on the 30th and I spent the rest of the week leading up to the end of the year cleaning my apartment. On the evening of the 30th I was left with one car trip of stuff (including my mattress that I was sleeping on, my bedding, bathroom supplies, and my tv).

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On the 31st, this all went into my car and by 10:30 I had returned my keys and garage door clicker (I already miss my underground heated parking space) and I was temporarily homeless. So, I did the only natural thing and I went to see a movie about the collapse of the Wall Street Banking Industry (The Big Short–excellent film, and while presented in a manner that was funny and entertaining, it was also absolutely terrifying). Then I grabbed some lunch and had a coffee at Barnes & Noble, while I patiently waited until 5pm. When 5pm finally arrived, I signed my new lease for a small one bedroom apartment (about 550 square feet) in Lauderdale (which is pretty much a neighborhood of St Paul at this point) right off of Larpenteur and 280 (too many details? Lauderdale isn’t that big, just by saying Lauderdale I’m practically giving my home address out). I unloaded my car and then I zipped over to south Minneapolis to celebrate New Year’s Eve with my friend, Angela. We went out for sushi with her husband Benji and friend, Dawn. Dawn went off to meet up with her fiancé and Benji went off to a gig, so Angela and I went across the parking lot to Target for a bit (we’re BIG partiers, obviously). Then, we reconvened in South Minneapolis at Angela’s house with Dawn and Dawn’s fiancé, Daniel, for a game night. It was really a great way to end a not so awesome year.

At midnight, I wrote this on Facebook:

2015 was a rough year for me. There were a lot of changes. A relationship that meant a lot to me ended in June. I’ve spent half of the year really sad. But I’m going forward into the new year with a focus on positivity. And I’m starting out great, hanging out with friends tonight playing games. I hope everyone had a good conclusion to 2015 and a great start to 2016.

It took a few days for me to figure out how I wanted to write that. I’ve been really sad, consistently so, for months now. What’s more, I haven’t been happy. I haven’t lost my sense of humor, and I’ve had fun in the meantime, but I haven’t been happy. Not since the breakup. And it’s been hard and I needed to acknowledge that somehow, publicly. And the truth is, I’m still sad and I don’t know how or when that will go away. This also caused me to make my first New Year’s resolution in 20 years. Previously, I’ve just reposted the last two Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, because they pretty much summed up my general attitude on the act of making resolutions and the prospect of a “new year”.

calvin & hobbes 12.30.95

last_calvin

But this time, I needed to do something. So, therefore, I’m going to work on focusing on positivity. I’ll even extend it further than my Facebook post and say that I’m going to begin working on my art and writing again. You see, friends, I haven’t written anything or drawn anything for months. The last thing I wrote was shortly before the breakup and the last piece of art I was working on happened on the last art night B and I had in early August, on Grilled Cheese Day. That was the last time we really hung out (we managed to meet for coffee a few times afterward) and working on art somehow got muddled into a direct connection to her and shortly afterward, my former roommate returned from her summer gig and told me that she was ready to move out of the apartment we were sharing. That made it difficult to think about starting things when my brain was so focused on reducing my possessions and packing them up. Creating anything new suddenly seemed out of the question.

So now I have a new space. I’m working on setting it up for me so that this small space feels both safe and comfortable to relax in, but also a space that I can create in. I’m getting pretty close to having everything put away so that it feels settled and with that, I’ll have space to set my desk up and begin working on projects. When I’m ready, I’ll do an entry with before and after pictures.

New year, new me. That’s what a co-worker interpreted my Facebook post to mean. I can see that interpretation in my words, but really it’s about trying to find a version of the old me to move forward. My life has been split now between the person I was before B and after her. She added a great deal of light to my life and in that time, I forgot how I did it alone. So, I’m working on remembering that. I much prefer a version of that Calvin and Hobbes strip, new year, new opportunities. A blank canvas, waiting for me to make a mark on it.

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Published by: Thomas Rohde

Artist // Writer // Theatre Professional // Nerd // Night Owl Inspired by a steady and lifelong infusion of pop culture, comic books, and a vast assortment of films and books, our friendly neighborhood blogger has doomed himself to a life of creative pursuits. There's not enough time for everything, but we all do what we can. Artist: of watercolor, ink, comic illustration, horror/ sci-fi/ fantasy art. Writer: of fictions, tweets, captions & blogs. Lover: coffee, whiskey, wine & beer. Instagram and Twitter as @demipho

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