Pittsburgh Occupation: Month 1

          The last few days have been very difficult for me. As this day grew closer, I realized that the end of my first month back in Pittsburgh was fast approaching, and that I had very little time left to figure out exactly what, if anything, I had accomplished in my perhaps overly ambitious assault on this city's banality. Tonight, after much thought, I’ve come to a few very important conclusions.

         The war I’m fighting is one that must be carried into every new moment I pass through, yet any sort of final and definitive victory, at least at this point in the game, is nowhere in sight. Therefore, it’s really the small victories that matter the most, and the small defeats that will accumulate and drown me if I don’t stop to work through them in some way. When I look back over this month I may not be able to find any “big wins,” or any earth shaking changes to the status quo, but as I look at the big picture, the little details start to emerge, and things are actually looking pretty good.

         I had a few adventures; like when I cleansed an intensely wicked relic of its murderous energies, or the night I spent learning a great deal about nature and nutrition, which has changed the way I eat and inspired me to become a certified nutritional counselor, or the all night bonfires with lots of new friends, where we carried epic amounts of wood that I wouldn't have been able to move alone. Yet the real progress was more subtle, like the pages of posts and other writing that I’ve worked on almost every day, or the ten pounds of new muscle mass that I put on by pushing myself harder than I may ever have before.

         Then there are all the new friends I’ve made, some of whom seem to be becoming very good friends indeed, with whom I think I’ll have much to share, and learn from, in the future. I’ve also reconnected with many old friends, and, beyond just having a good time with them, I’ve done as much as I could to help them to grow and to enjoy life. Generally, I think I’ve treated people the way that I want to be treating people, without really a single regret.

         In fact, this month I only got angry maybe a handful of times, and, even during this, I managed to maintain my composure and self-control. Like I said before, I did get a little sad in the last couple of days, but now that I’m seeing things more clearly, I think that’s just about come to an end. Most importantly, I remained completely sober for every moment of this experience, even at times when everyone else around me was not; but beyond just basic sobriety, I managed to stay conscious of the moment I was in, at least most of the time.

         Where do I plan to go from here? Well, I have magicians to work with, fire spinners to train with, martial artists to learn from, and other exciting new leads to follow. I’m training in a fantastic martial arts school with an intensity that I haven’t had for quite a few years, and I’ve begun the process of addressing certain grave injustices that have burdened me for even longer than that. I’ve applied for at least twenty jobs, have begun classes to become a nutritional consultant, and although I've only gotten a small bit of work teaching cardio-kickboxing downtown, it’s a start. I plan on staying here, pursuing my education and working as an artist. I’ll continue to fight the zombie apocalypse each and every day, but I’m not going to get too overwhelmed about the world remaining unsaved.

         I’ve begun well, and, sometimes, especially when you’re near the beginning, you can’t expect much more than that.

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