Starting on Monday, September 6, 2010 (at 4:00 in the morning, so technically Sunday, September 5), I started taking a picture of something that made me happy every day. My Project Happiness 365 started as a proactive act on my part to ward off deep depression. It was spurred by heartbreak as an effort to pull myself out of the wreckage, but now it's fueled by gratitude and a desire to find the beauty in everyday, "mundane" life. This is my honest, vulnerable journey from Hot Mess to Winning. I hope this helps. Oh, and if you're in pain, good; that means you put your whole heart into something. And if you think it won't ever get better, I promise it will. Here's my proof.

My friends came to see my show tonight. They’re insane. It started with this:
We went to Applebee’s. Jian Li and Caity insisted on making sculptures. This is one of many, but this was the most impressive. I told them I didn’t think they could get the knife to balance atop this sculpture. They proved me wrong.

Then they came to my show and sat in the front row. It was a studio show. It’s a good thing I didn’t look at them because:
A) Caity had a pom-pom and
B) Jian Li was wearing A SNUGGIE. What the hell?!? I’m still laughing about it.

Then we came back here and talked and sat. I love my friends mucho. People are pretty consistently surprised that I’m still so amazingly close to my high school friends. But with amazing friends like these, how could I NOT still be friends with them?

There are three women in my bed, two of them without pants on. This would be most straight guy’s dream come true. And I can’t stop giggling about it.

Tonight was my best show. I wish y’all could have been there tonight. But I really hope to get a copy of the show to show to people who didn’t get to see it (Kelley!).

I have a lot of love in me that I have been stifling a lot due to fear. I’m sick of stifling how much I love the people in my life. I’m done being scared. (I’m sure you’re like, “Hey. I’ve read this same statement from James like 1,000 times.” But it’s a constant battle.)

I’m winning even now, in the moments where it hurts just a little bit. Don’t stifle the pain. Feel it all.

Hit me with your best shot.

And when I have those moments of feeling lost, I just wait. Cuz I know it goes away. Also, when I feel lost, I look at my niece Ava, or I look at a picture of her, and I remember… Who cares. I’m not lost. Everyone thinks they’re lost when they’re all just exactly where they are. And I have another niece coming tomorrow. I’m twice a guncle. And THAT is a beautiful thing. And all the shitty shit in the middle, it doesn’t matter any more. I miss things sometimes. But. It just doesn’t matter.

I’m still winning, despite the chips in my armor where blood occasionally spills out. I’m still winning.

Winners winning feel feelings.
Winners bleed.
Winners win because of amazing friends. Amazing is the biggest understatement ever.

I am grateful grateful grateful for everything I have. And for what I don’t, who cares? Yes, it hurts. I’m not gonna lie. But the absence makes me …smile. I don’t get it, it just happens. I guess it just reminds me that I’m a terribly strong human being. Humble? Fuck it, I’ll compliment me, I’m not gonna wait for someone else to do it.

I smile when it hurts cuz that means I’m still alive.

“I want only this: I want to live, I want to live a simple life.”
~”Simple Life” by The Weepies

JAMES.

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