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August 2012

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Post #1700: Return to Livejournal

I always made it a habit to make 100th posts something special. The last time I had a 100th post was in August of 2008. It was the end of an era for me then. I was preparing to leave my college city of Statesboro and embark on a personal journey that would take me to my childhood home and beyond. But something happened with my original 1700th post, and in frustration I put off rewriting it.

That was on May 27, 2010.

I regret that so much time has passed since I have last done this cathartic activity. Perhaps it was a longing for years past that has brought me back to Livejournal, or a general feeling that the story wasn't complete. Nevertheless, here we are, and I cannot begin to express the number of major life changes that I have experienced since the last time I posted.

Since I can't possibly elaborate on everything, I can only start anew, thinking that maybe from here on out I will be more disciplined about doing this. The internet has dramatically changed since 2001 when I started this journal, and close integration with Facebook makes this message accessible to others.

So without further adieu: Post 1700: My Return to Livejournal

So What's Changed?

1. In June of 2010 I left GeekSquad and returned to the world of social services at RCCSB. It was a difficult year in some ways - I was doing a different type of job - one that required an inner strength and outer hardness in order to be successful. Working under Charity Hamler, I did social work in the communities in and around my childhood stomping grounds. I learned to beware of public agencies, and the power associated with governmental control. During this time I briefly pursued education in the MSW program in Mansfield, OH, trying to overcome Ohio's limits on me professionally. The workload proved too strenuous for me, and I decided to abandon this plan, despite good grades. Embittered by the need to obtain a new degree, I couldn't let go of a persistent feeling like I was doing something I had already done before.

2. Everett and I separated in the events immediately after my last LJ post. Four years together had taught us that where we really shined was as friends. When we separated, it was without regret, without tears, and without grief or pain. I like to believe that my years with him were mutually beneficial. He taught me to respect myself, and to present myself in a way that represented that new-found self-respect. I still talk to him almost every day.

3. I lived with imflottinswies and shinmai until March of 2011, at which time I left my childhood home of Shelby Ohio to a suburban area outside of Cleveland. My time with Kelly and Johnny was among my happiest in Ohio. I miss them everyday. Kelly's incredible energy for life always kept me motivated… to do better, to be better, and to cherish every moment. It is these days I miss most.

4. I left Shelby and Children Services and took a position at an agency called Connections in Cleveland Heights, OH. I worked on an ACT Team, providing services to the severe and persistently mentally ill residents of the Cleveland metropolitan area. This position taught me to work with the most severe of the mentally ill, and gave me a new-found respect for these tortured individuals. Working with Natalie and my cohorts there allowed me to specialize in this particular "niche" population, and handed me a new skill set. I am grateful for this experience, because it was the first time I worked with adult mental health since my days at Pineland. I was finally doing what I was trained to do. However the return to mental health was bittersweet. In the State of Ohio I was limited in the range of practices I could perform. Ohio's strict regulations around counseling licensure ensured that I could only stay in this entry level-position and that administratively, I was bound by these limits. This need to do more fueled a firestorm of efforts to relocate to the State of Georgia, where my professional limits were much higher, and my usefulness potentially greater.

5. I met Philip in the fall of 2010. It's hard to believe so much time has already passed. The entirely our relationship is missing from these pages, yet here we are in the spring of 2012, and our lives have both drastically changed. Philip will tell you that he found me, and not the other way around. And it's true. It was he who found me online. But his appeal was unique because he was the first gamer guy I had dated since kindred_embrace years before. Philip introduced me to a brand new city, a new group of friends, and a life in a metropolitan area that until then, I had never even conceived would be a reality. In Nov of 2011, Philip obtained his first chemistry-related job in Atlanta, but it proved to be different than he had anticipated. He left this first job after only a few weeks, and recently found a new one- where he feels much more comfortable.

6. And here we are today. Philip and I moved to Atlanta in December of 2011. What surprises me is that despite past fears about such a large city, I find myself thrilled by all of the things to do and the places to see. Cleveland was a perfect stepping stone for my move here. Atlanta also made sense because it would be a place where both Philip and I could thrive professionally, since there is a need for both of our professions. A year ago I wouldn't have dreamed that I would be here today, but I love this city. We currently live in Norcross, in the heart of an international community consisting mainly of hispanics and asians. While its cool to be part of such a diverse community, I can't help but feel a little like a stranger here, invading someone else's home.

7. Initially I was offered a position at a small community-based mental health agency called Family Ties, providing counseling and intensive-family CSI to children in rural Hall Co. The sporadic and unpredictable nature of this work confounded my sense of stability. I had grown comfortable with paid mileage and predictable work schedules. I left Family Ties after only two weeks when I was offered a position with Grady Hospital in downtown Atlanta. What a great decision this proved to be! Despite initial reservations, Grady has been nothing but a pleasant surprise. Like Cleveland Heights before it, I am part of a closely-knit ACT Team, providing services to the most severely ill on an outpatient basis. I work with a team that intimately depends on one another to be successful, and it is an extremely comfortable arrangement. I hope to stay with Grady for a good while. Soon our team will be relocating to our own satellite location outside of the main Grady campus, in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Hard to believe.

So where am I going next?

Returning to Livejournal was an inevitability. A new friend with strange ties to my past prompted me to examine my journal's origins. What I found all these years later, is that this journal represents a slow, yet dramatic transformation that i have underwent from my first, rather unstable days as a college student at Georgia Southern to the professional young man you see today. To abandon this journal further would be to discredit the journey I have made, and to rob myself of the opportunity to look back and relate to an earlier time. There will likely be a time when I look back upon these present times from a distant future, and regret the absence of journal entries for the past two years. I can't change that now, but I can ensure that going forward I continue to preserve, if for no other reason than my own self-indulgence, each major moment, each major landmark in my life.

I invite you to come along.


It really is amazing to go back and look at how much life, friends and even oneself changes over the years. </p>

Looking back is such a crazy mixture of good times and DRAMA! There are definitely times when I say to myself "seriously?! I was like that?...or I used to worry about stupid shit like that?"

I really should start back on here more...I think I often just find it a little daunting to try to play catchup. Maybe I'll just dive in.