This girl I knew once said something to me—something I’ll never for the life of me be able to forget.

“If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.”

That’s what she said. I’ve thought about those words a few times during the many years since, and though my initial reaction—outside of the fact this was coming at the end of a breakup and I felt my heart was being violently torn out of my chest and chewed on my rabid gerbils—was despondent anger at what seemed to me a desire to simply let herd you along like a muffled sheep, it’s become now far closer to something like sadness. But not sadness for me.

What the hell does this have to do with writing? Well, this past weekend, I had what I could really only call a coming of age. Maybe a midlife crisis, though if I only live to be 58, I’ll be sadly let down. Whatever you call it, it’d been brewing for quite awhile, only really hitting the fever-pitch at the culmination of several events.

The last time something of this nature happened to me, it was just after the above end of the era of my childhood, and rebuilding myself, coming to terms with the new, bleak post-relationship reality necessitated a week-long escape to Florida to sort through the rubble. Thankfully, this time all I needed was a day roaming the streets of New York City, pondering misery and existence with one of the best people in my life, and the train ride to and fro to reach the same end.

In short, if the life I’ve led to this point, despite its numerous attractions, is the life I’m meant to have, fuck that. I don’t want it. So I’m going to, and have already begun to, change it, shape it, fight the hand that fate has dealt me and make things how I want them to be. Now, this isn’t just one or two little things I’m talking about—this decision, it’s affecting the ecosystem of my life, from the most important, outward aspects down straight to the nitty-gritty bottom.

(Yes, this includes my writing. How could it not? Let’s take ourselves a sidebar here and talk about that. In just the last week, I’ve rewritten about 10,000 words or so of the Fourth Book, revised the Fifth Book’s outline and added globs of entertainment to the map I’ve teased you with, began formatting The Nobodies for print and detailing the new cover, and vastly expanded on the Sixth Book’s outline as well. That last, I should be facing before the year is through, and I’m clamoring to write one of its “chapters” even now, as my frame of mind is downright perfect for it—though it’s rather perfect for Book Four as well, so we’ll let that take precedence.)

I’m not going to bother you with any specifics just now, as they’d come out looking more like a laundry list of to-do items than anything remotely interesting—but if you do care to know, let’s meet up, split a growler or a six-pack, and get all intense and heavy and drop some life bombs on the world. See, I’m four days in right now, and while some opportunities, some changes I would’ve loved to see fulfilled may have already slipped through my fingers, I’m feeling happier, better, healthier than I have in years. And I’ve only yet begun.

How things go from here, I can only guess, because not all of the changes affect me alone. I’m hopeful, though. As that ghost girl of my past once said, “If it’s meant to be….”


  1. I like what you said here, "...fight the hand that fate has dealt me and make things how I want them to be." Too many times people sort of drift through life, not making much of an effort to change their circumstances. Another phrase I hate to hear, "It is what it is." What is that suppose to mean? It's almost as if you're telling the other person to give up, there is nothing they can do. As you said, "F**k that!"


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