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Photo by Joe Cooke on Unsplash

A year ago today, I started a quest. A quest to figure out how, and why, everything in life was going so wrong all at the same time. And, in parallel, a quest to rebuild a burning ship with only other parts on board, while turning said ship around. And, document my findings on Medium for people to read. You were all witnesses. You were along for the ride.

I said all the words I needed to, really. I discovered a great many things — about humanity, about myself, about the very nature of life and reality. I cannot say I am now wise, or “woke,” but I can say that I feel lighter, calmer, and freer. I can say that I am happy. I can say that this quest, while not entirely finished, is at a suitable stopping point, and is now worth reflecting back on. I did so on Instagram, which I will republish and expand upon here.

The time spent writing has blown by, but the time spent thinking felt like decades. As the clouds parted and the darkness faded, I could feel myself re-entering the atmosphere as a different species altogether. It’s one thing to go on a voyage of self-discovery, it’s quite another to discover that you’re someone else entirely.

You can reinvent yourself. You can reimagine yourself. You can rebuild yourself. Better still, you can do all of it hidden in plain sight, so imperceptibly incremental that it hardly looks like you’ve changed at all. But you’ll know. I now do. So how do you do it?

You go places. You try new things. You write over old memories. You take everything that you want to keep with you and bring it to wherever life takes you next. You drop little pieces of yourself that you no longer need in the places they need to go. You meet people you never imagined. And you let all these experiences, humans, events and desires leave a mark on you. You’re shaped by what you’re surrounded by, but you also shape your surroundings. They are equal yet opposite forces that combine to form the self. This is a key finding (that’s why it’s in bold, of course), and the central thesis of the time between Essay №1 and Essay №135.

And that’s the final piece: you document it all. You say all the words you need to say, to all the people willing to hear them. And you do it your way. Unfiltered. And, largely, unedited. Your communication with the world is your impact on it. It should mirror your true self as closely as possible. That’s what I’ve tried to do here. I hope it’s worked to some end. You’ve been unwitting passengers on the Ship of Thesus.

What’s coming, soon, is a vast, unfurling story of my trials, travels and insights taking place between April 2, 2016 and April 12, 2018. All the sex, booze, airplanes, and open roads fit to print. You’ll recognize much of it. I won’t much be painting any new pictures, but I will chronologize the events in a narrative form that gives them weight, context and the proper level of detail. You’ll learn how I lived, and how I killed myself so that a new me could flourish.

But, yes, consider this meager entry the end of the story I first started here. Life was once as great as it ever was, and then it wasn’t, and now it is again. It’s time we tell that story to close the book on it. For there are new thoughts to think, and new things to write about. The ship’s returned to the same harbor from which it first set sail, and although she’s burnt and broken, she’s good as new.

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Essayist and storyteller on life, liberty and the battle for happiness. Several million served. Words at Human Parts, Forge and PS I Love You. IG: heygorman

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