Twenty Nineteen Post-Mortem

Jan 13th 2020

Welcome to 2020. I haven’t kept a blog in years, outside of some news posts about my music here and there. I decided to spare the world from my emotional ranting for a time. It probably wasn’t the best thing to put on the internet, but at least it helped, even just slightly. Fast forward to now, and I missed writing like this. Even if I know nearly nobody will read it, it’s a good way to kind of keep a journal that I can look back on in the future and either cringe or see how I’ve grown over time. There’s value in that, so my blog is back.

My focus of this entry is to look back on last year a bit, 2019. Not a lot happened, but the things that did were impactful. It would be easy to draw this out with lots of detail, but I’m going to do a lot of summarizing, to spare anyone reading this, including myself. I don’t think I’ll ever forget 2019, but it’s fun to document life.

The year of 2019 started extremely well. I was in an amazing and happy relationship. I suppose it was getting pretty serious, maybe more serious than either of us were ready for. I was working my normal day job, still as an intern but couldn’t complain. I was also working part time at a church, where my girlfriend at the time was also volunteering in worship. Nothing about that time was technically perfect by any means, but it finally felt like I had a life that I loved and had places I felt like I belonged. My relationship was nearly perfect, my day job was fine, and the church job was extremely fun because I got to use my skills and education while also serving with friends every single week. Everything was just right.

Shortly after the year started, in early February, we had some difficulties in the church and ended up leaving; nearly all of the people I loved seeing every week were now displaced from a church. It was a hard time, but we had some hope, because we had all started talking about planting a church as a team, for our next project together. The whole thing got me extremely excited. We all felt very restricted at the church we were at, but this would have been a whole new opportunity to see our vision take shape. 

During those early stages of planning, my relationship ended, which was by far the most impactful thing to happen in 2019. Anyone that knows me well, knows when I love, I love hard. Which means I break even harder. It was not a good time. It’s still not, almost a year later. The saying goes “time heals all wounds” but I would argue a better saying would be “time turns blisters to calluses” (shameless plug to my own song lyric). Nothing can fully heal emotional scarring; that’s why they’re called scars. The metaphor of calluses just makes more sense to me. You cope with your wounds so you can keep going, not pretend they don’t exist. It’s funny too, because I can spit straight wisdom like that, but still struggle with believing it. Maybe that’s normal. The best preachers preach to themselves. Not sure if that’s a saying, but it should be.

A couple months after the breakup, the church plant fell through, probably for the best. I don’t think any of the members of that team were quite ready for such an undertaking for where we were at in our lives, spiritually or emotionally. However, because it fell through, all of those people I became friends with suddenly became strangers in my life. The summer of 2019 was by far the loneliest period of my life. I don’t think I saw anyone outside of work and occasionally my family for about 3 months. Towards the end of that third month I think I saw one friend. It was insanely difficult. Some people may like to label me exclusively as an introvert, but I’m a textbook ambivert, which means I crave social interaction as much as I do alone time. But I also just missed my best friends, a lot.

Towards the end of the summer, I ended up joining back up with another church with some friends, helping in audio and guitar, when needed. It has helped a lot with getting back into what I really enjoy doing, and being around friends while I do it. Overall it has improved my mental health, for sure. The rest of my year essentially was the same from this point: work and volunteering at the church. So it definitely ended better than most of the rest of the year, however it didn’t quite measure up to how the year before ended and 2019 began. I hate being that guy, but relationships are a huge part of where my genuine happiness comes from, and I can’t help but look back at my life and say those were the best periods of my life. So any other period of my life has an unfair advantage.

This post definitely is longer than I wanted it to be, but it’s good to get it out there. To summarize, the year sucked. I really struggled, and still am. It’s easy to wallow in my own pity and feel sorry for myself, and can be hard to keep going. It’s really no joke how deeply things affect me. However, I know it’s best to move forward as best as I can. Easier said than done. It’s important to acknowledge my emotions though, not bury them, which I think is some really terrible, yet typical advice people give. Sadness is part of life, and it’s best to confront and accept it rather than pretend it isn’t happening. That’s a hot take for a lot of people, but maybe if you are one of those, you’ll have something to take away from this long-winded post.

Anyway, hope y’all had a better 2019 than I did, and that we all have a better 2020. I’m sure I’ll look at this next New Year and laugh at either how much has changed or has stayed the same. Happy laugh or dark laugh, take your pick.

Written by Brad Linder