What a long, strange trip it's been so far.
Like any trip, it's had its ups and downs.
The biggest downside-- and I'm not certain it really is a downside-- is the pain. Opening one's heart to love means also opening it to pain, and empathy is a wonderful thing, even when it hurts... so the pain is not something I'd wish away, even though I do sometimes wish I could help those who are hurting. Then there's missing the folks who leave. Whether due to leaving livejournal on principal, shutting out people for safety concerns, or death, (and I've lost friends, not mere readers, to all three), loss is always painful to me here, and it lingers. But without loss, there cannot be gain.
And oh, all I've gained!
I've met people whose friendships have extended into meatspace, with whom I hope to laugh and love a lifetime.
I've met people with whom I will probably never share physical space, but who have become part of my daily life and thoughts.
I've been granted glimpses into the daily lives of hundreds of amazing people all over the world.
And with them, I've cried, laughed, giggled, smiled, danced, sent hugs, rolled my eyes, furrowed my brow, cursed like a sailor, played games, ached, and, of course, spewed the occasional liquid in surprise.
I've learned about a zillion different things.
I've learned about individuals, about people, and about human nature.
I've learned how to cook a chicken with a beer can, and countless other recipes.
I've learned what life is like around the world and around the corner.
I've learned about politics from both sides of the fence, and seen truth in both places.
I've learned a million and three little tidbits of info, and probably a thousand new words.
I've learned about different music, different cuisines, different political beliefs, different cultures, different opinions and different lifestyles.
And in the process, I couldn't help but learn more about myself.
Folks have been saying I've been touched in the head for years now. Ah, but if they only knew! I've been touched in the head, touched in the heart, and tickled on the funnybone.
And my heart's been unfolding like a bright June rose.*
I thank you; each and every one of you. Even you, stranger person, who just popped in from google on an unrelated search-- thanks be to you, too.**
That's it. No retrospectacle. No deep thoughts on life, love and the nature of geekocity. No bulleted list pointing you to my favourite entries from years past.
Just a thank you for making it all possible.
Thanks again. :)
Here's to spending another four years together.
Hugs to those who need 'em, those who want 'em, and those who don't run away quickly enough.
* Sometimes it gets a little hurt and closes up a little, but it always recovers, and continues growing.***
** It is my hope that someday, this will freak someone out just a little :) Write me, stranger person, and let me know it did!
*** Growing, like the Grinch's heart. Not growing like this.
**** I like how my playlist always has an appropriate song playing when I'm updating :) Mmm. Sweet and juicy heart!