Thursday, December 26, 2013

It IS Always Sunny

When I first moved to Illinois from Milwaukee, I worked at Sara's Aunt's jewelry store. I started working during the holiday season, where I would wrap presents for one of their client's Christmas parties. Sara would come down from MIAD, as she was still in college, and she would teach me how to better wrap gifts, as I wasn't very good at it.

This time of year was great to be living in the Chicago area. There were so many lights, and I haven't felt the Christmas spirit as much since I lived at my parents house in Beloit, Wisconsin.

At first, I was sleeping on Sara's Aunt's couch and the holiday lights from the street and the surrounding houses would come in through the windows, further reminding me on the Christmas season. The memory of working there are great, and when I watch episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia it reminds me on these good times.

When an episode starts, I hear the music during the opening title sequence, and all I can think about is being in Chicago during this time. It was all before I had Epilepsy; maybe this is why I watch the episiodes over and over.

I worked in Milwaukee recently, where I was staying with friends during the work week, and while I was there I would pop in the DVD's to remind me of Chicago. After the job ended, I moved back to Chicago, and when I'm here during the holidays, all I can think about when I look at the lights is the first couple of months of living here.

There's something special about Chicago during the holidays. Maybe because it's such a populated area, or because I started living here in December. There are a lot of bad memories, but even those are special because it's what brought Sara and I closer together.

My Epilepsy is something that I have to really think about. While I wish my life was a little easier, as it would be without this illness, I can't help but think about how much my life has changed for the better.

I was a completely different person. I worked hard, and I felt like I had a good career ahead of me, but Epilepsy has brought me from a boy to a man. Sara and I would never have been so close, and I'd like to put a big period at the end of that statement. I'm at home taking care of two cats that I'd like to call "therapy animals" because without them I think my days alone would be far more strenuous. Some might say that it's practice for a child someday.

I love Chicago at this time of year. I get to think about all the things I'm thankful for, and in certain instances... yes, Epilepsy can be considered a part of my life where I will look back and really believe in my heart that I wouldn't be the same man without it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Early Mornings

For the last couple of weeks I've been going to bed early, and waking up very early in the morning. 2-3am, to be exact. What's nice about these early mornings is that the bar downstairs is closed, so there's no loud music or smoke billowing upstairs. It's illegal to smoke in bars in Illinois, but because it's a hole-in-the-wall bar, the police don't really care. It's not that we really mind it anymore, anyway.

What I do in the morning is turn of Netflix and watch a familiar movie or TV show, and either write in my notebook and sit alone with my thoughts. I know that I complain about this during the day, but for some reason, maybe because of the quiet or because I know Sara is home, I feel more relaxed and my mind isn't racing.

It seems as though during the day I feel like I should be somewhere else. Like, I'm jealous that others are able to drive to the grocery store, to work, or do anything else they desire. When I'm home during the day, I'm always trying to find my "purpose."

"Purpose" is one of the only words that comes up over and over in my therapy sessions. I believe that everyone should have a keen understanding as to why they were put on this earth and to not understand why is a bit heartbreaking.

Right now, I'm sitting, surrounded my gifted presents for Christmas. The tree is lit and the light from the tree are gleaming off the gift wrap. This sight brings back memories of me and my sisters being young and sneaking a peek at what Santa brought us at this time of night.

I remember one year in particular. Julie and I slept in the rooms closest to the tree and we both were wide awake. My parents and Jenni slept upstairs so we knew no one would hear us get up to get a glimpse at the gifts. I remember seeing a mound of gifts from the small light on the VCR that lit up the room. I was chosen to get a closer look by Julie while she stood watch by the stairs. I walked closer and closer and suddenly I felt myself slipping on one of the gifts. I fell and it made a huge CRASH, and Julie and I both RAN back to our beds, out of breath.

I got a Notre Dame Starter jacket that year. What a year it was. I probably still have that jacket somewhere! When I'm up this early during Christmas, all I can think about, and write about apparently, is how great it was to be a kid in our house. I imagine "Santa" swooping into our house and seeing the treats we left for him and how happy we made him with the little notes we wrote.

What a great writer I thought I was!