Day 366. The Last Post

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This night a year ago, I was laying in a motel room in Amarillo, TX staring at the ceiling. I had no idea what lay ahead, the plan was completely open ended. The next day I would continue driving further from my wife, and closer to my dreams.  I think that is what has set this journey apart from others who move to LA with dreams of Hollywood success. It was all bittersweet. We always knew the situation was temporary, one of us would be moving at some point, we just didn’t know who, we didn’t know where, and we didn’t know when.

If I’m writing about this year, I have to write beyond the realm of chasing dreams, because it’s more than that. Really, this is also a story of love and marriage, sacrifices, fear, uncertainty, and coming home. I can’t encapsulate that in one post, the list is too lengthy.

And I’m still on the wonder side of conclusions.

Truthfully, I’m still looking for a job. I’m fairly stressed out about the money situation I put us in. I don’t know how the whole pursuing a full time job with part time dreams versus pursuing a full time dream with a part time job plays out. Honestly, I sometimes feel like I’m in a more difficult place currently, than I was last year. This year was a trade off. I traded heart and dreams stress and financial satisfaction for financial stress and heart and dreams satisfaction.

Ultimately, though, it’s not close, the worth it argument wins in a landslide.

It was simple. I had to do it.

I would not have traded this year for anything.


The stresses I listed above are temporary, but the experience and the memories of it will last a lifetime.

Yet, here I am, on the wonder side of conclusion.

I don’t have any great platitudes or declaratives to stamp anything with ink and say, “This is how it is.” Mostly, what I learned this year had to do with uncertainty, and uncertainty doesn’t operate in the realm of declaratives and platitudes. Last year, before I uprooted everything, I had certainty. I had a steady income, a house, a wife, and a routine. I stripped all of those things off and cannonballed into the pool of uncertainty. To me, that is the remarkable thing. I jumped. Naked. You can substitute acting dreams for another dream, and Hollywood for another place, and the through line remains the same, jumping into uncertainty.

Now, I sit, back at my home, with my legs under the coffee table, and my back up against the couch, sitting on a pillow, while I look at my last blog post and try to summon conclusions. I’m not sure I have any, for me, or anyone else. I gave myself a year for this blog, and surely after everything, you would think I would have inspiring, thoughtful, or even sobering conclusions, and yet, they escape me.

I’m still on the wonder side of conclusions.

The closest I can come to a conclusion is a statement on the lack of value in conclusions and certainty. That statement is this: Uncertainty need not equal fear.

Think about it, how often do our worries, trepidations, and angst come directly from uncertainty? I know mine do. I’ve trained myself to think they’re synonymous. We’re constantly searching for patterns, padding our lives with uncertainty insulators, checking in with retrospection, and hoping for conclusions. We strive to reach a place where we have arrived, where the uncertainty problem is solved, the practical things are taken care of, and we have wisdom in spades. I don’t know exactly where that place is, but I know that it always exists right outside of my grasp.

This fictitious place is only necessary if uncertainty is frightening. Yet, there is nothing inherently frightening about uncertainty. The bleak imaginations we associate with uncertainty might just as well be rosy, because they’re just that, imaginations. I would rather sacrifice conclusions and certainty for the sake of living than sacrifice living for the sake of conclusions and certainty.

I like security as much as the next guy, I’ve just seen that the pool of uncertainty can be approached. It is just a part of life. You can spend your life trying to dry all your wet clothes from your previous dips in the pool scheming ways to avoid it in the future, or you can jump in and swim. Life is a pool party, and the only way to enjoy a pool party is to jump in. Truly, I say all of this just as much to convince myself as anyone else. I’ve had a year in the pool, and I may not spend all of my future time in the pool, but I’ll always hang out nearby. The water is warmer than it looks.

Yet, I am still on the wonder side of conclusions. 

I’ve been dreading writing this post, however it was to end up looking. I think I’m mourning the loss of the blog. I feel like I’m breaking up with the best listening girlfriend ever. In a year of loneliness and adventure, this blog was my companion and my tether to the feeling of home. I’m actually really proud of myself that I made it this long. At a certain point, this blog went from being the conduit of passing along the story, to being a part of the story itself. I found myself prioritizing it more and more. I’m a writer now. I was a guy who wrote things occasionally before, but now I see myself as a writer who writes.

Mostly, though, it’s just been a chance to share. I wanted to share my journey and how I saw it, and lo and behold, there were people who wanted to share in it as well. I’ve always thought that internet relationships seem a little false, but I don’t know if I buy that anymore. Sure, they’re limited, but the support I’ve received in numbers of views, comments, and real life conversations about the blog have sure felt like real support.

So there I was, in a motel room in Amarillo, TX. After a few months of fretting about the move and agonizing about if I was the type of guy who had the guts to actually pull it off, I lay there with half of my life in the car downstairs. I had no idea of what this year would bring, I just knew I was doing it. That was the night that I transitioned from leaving from a place, to going to another. In my first blog post, two days later, I wrote, “I feel like a braver version of myself…”

Maybe that’s the real transition that took place.

Maybe that’s who I am now.

Thanks for being a part of that.


Now, I sign off for the last time with my classic sign off phrase that I have used each post. What’s that? I don’t have a sign off? Really? Oh, man, I should have come up with one, like a long time ago.

Until tomorrow…no, that’s dumb.

From my blog to your heart…stupid.


These are the blogs of our lives…I give up.



*I plan on having three more blog posts, as I know of a few things on the horizon that I will have to share. I don’t know when they’ll be, but you can be sure I will make it known. As I said, I’ve liked this connection most in this whole experience, and I don’t want this to be a break up. We can still be friends, you should follow me on Twitter

Also, I think you’re not supposed to talk number of views for a blog, it’s a little like talking about income. However, on this last day, the total views for this sits at exactly 99,400. How cool would it be to hit 100,000 on the last day? Very cool is the answer. It is within reach, just keep coming back to the site every few hours.


Again, from both Michelle and I, thank you.



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12 responses to “Day 366. The Last Post

  1. Gosh, I feel like this is the season finale of MASH or something. Bummed, but happy you are on to a new adventure. Best wishes.

  2. itsalemmon1019

    Enjoyed the ride!

  3. Laura Gwin

    I always hate the season finales. They make me sad that I have to wait months and months to find out what happens. I have really looked forward to reading about your journey and I can’t wait to find out what next season has in store for us.

  4. Man, don’t stop blogging. 🙂

  5. Julie

    Somewhere in California, there is a man who has always wanted to try to make it in the midwest. I hope he writes a blog about following his dreams and his adventures discovering cashew chicken and his attempts to break into the business at Bass Pro.

    Somebody’s got to write an adventure blog… I’m going to miss this one.

  6. It’s hard to believe its been a year! I can easily remember when “The Mystery Year: Day One” popped up on my news feed on Facebook. Well, anyways, I look forward to the future, sir.

  7. Pilgrim

    Not much to say to you Jeff, but thanks. We’ve all got “what ifs” in our lives. You got to experience a what if. What’s more, you shared it with us. I think that Michelle has earned your undying love and devotion forever. She’s a freaking saint. I’ll see you around.

  8. There are those that talk but never do. You did, and I hold that in the highest respects.

    I recall 370 days ago talking in my office, and talking about you blogging 365 days. And you said “That would be cool. I might do that.” And you did. Respect.

  9. So psyched I got to be a little part of this fantastic time in your life. Loved having you be my BFFAAY (Best friend for almost a year) and company to free movie screenings. Come back to Los Angeles, the both of you.

  10. Missie Wehner

    Truly enjoyed the mystery year. Can’t wait to see what is up for you now. All of us at one time or other have the “let’s just quit what is in my life right now and give another path a try”. You did it. Brave is what I say. Looking forward to see what you do now. We all have lived vicariously through you. Maybe what you learned is your dream is where your wife is and that to her ought to mean a lot.

  11. Leora Houghton

    The bleak imaginations we associate with uncertainty might just as well be rosy, because they’re just that, imaginations.

    My favorite line….deep and true! I’ve learned a lot from you my lovr! Love, mom

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