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Why I Stepped Away

It's been a while since I've checked in ... and I'm not going to lie ... I've been avoiding this.
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It's been a while since I've checked in ... and I'm not going to lie ... I've been avoiding this. 

I lost my best friend suddenly and tragically this spring and it absolutely rocked me. I had no idea how to mourn, as I had never lost anyone that close to me. I had no idea how to support his family, and I had no idea how to support our mutual friends. I had stepped away socially from my friends and family, only going back home three times since that happened, one time was for the funeral (for him and another dear friend we lost at the same time) where I delivered his eulogy to around 900 people before burying him that day. Another was a quick stop in town when we were just passing through on our way home from Toronto. Only once did I make a trip to town and spend time with his family and the friends I consider close and dear to me. Once in 5 months. No golf trips, no weddings, no random visits. Hell, I have friends from back home that moved from there and live 20 minutes from me now, and I have a hard time keeping a relationship with them. They remind me alot of home. That is supposed to be a good thing.  

The thing is I'm not scared of that town, the people, or the emotions that will surely come up when I get back and see everyone. At least that's what I like to think. It's just that the longer it goes that I avoid it, the easier it gets to avoid. I call and text people less, they call and text me less. In a weird way this is exactly what I wanted ...not sure why but I guess it's just a combination of it being easier to avoid the emotional aspect coupled with the shear amount of time and energy I am spending on my day job and Volo that keeps me from going back. Nowadays, I take every chance to rest that I get. 

With time, things are getting better.  Writing this blog is easier than I thought it would be. Since the events of the spring I haven't really been able to string together more than a few sentences for a social media post let alone write anything of value to anyone. We keep slugging away at this routine day and night. Wake, work, sleep, repeat. Wake, work, sleep. repeat and I've been quite content with that. 

Last week we went out to Vancouver to see Kim's family and friends and it may have been exactly what I needed to remind me just how important it is to maintain those relationships. Seeing her interact with them brought a lot of feelings out in me. Joy, guilt, happiness, and sadness all at the same time. Joy and happiness from seeing the faces and hearing the laughs of old friends reunited. Guilt and sadness for avoiding and neglecting the people I care about. If I learned anything from the experience earlier this year it is to not take the people you care about for granted. Who knows? In this whole experience they probably needed me as much as I needed them...

I've been a pretty shitty friend, and just an "ok" son, brother, uncle, cousin, and grandson and that stops now. My sister is getting married this weekend and I am so happy for her and am absolutely stoked to see my family, share some laughs and celebrate the wonderful marriage of her and her long time partner, Dan. I seriously can't wait. This is overdue. 

I will be making more effort to get back home to see everyone. Life is too damn short to focus solely on work because before you know it, friendships can become acquaintances, and acquaintances just don't make time for one another.. Golf season may be over but Hockey draft season is coming up, and last time I checked random visits are always welcome. 

Looking this over for grammar and spelling mistakes now and I am wondering why I am even sharing this. I guess it's because I have to. It feels long overdue and sometimes the only way to move forward is to publicly acknowledge what's been holding you back. I'm a strong proponent for mental health and I would be hypocritical if I didn't admit or share my struggles too.

Justin