The End

It's been a minute since I posted anything.
Frankly, I've been having a hard time putting my thoughts together over what the past few months have been like.

I've been up and I've been REAL down.
Depression is a tricky thing. It makes you feel like you are all alone in your thoughts and your feelings and that no one can understand. It forces you to retract from people you know can help because it doesn't feel like something you should talk about.
It's selfish, really.
Depression makes you so wrapped up in your own feelings of how you feel like shit that you forget you have family and friends and people who actually care about you. It makes you so awkward that those people don't always reach out because they don't know what to say. So then no one is talking to anyone. And you end up feeling more alone because you are just this asshole focusing on yourself.
Depression sucks.

You know what sucks even more?
Panic attacks.
Have you ever woken up having a panic attack? Then proceeded to alternate between crying and sweating profusely because you are so ridden with anxiety?
Yeah, that happened a couple months ago.

I've been thinking about writing about this for awhile. Because no one talks about it. No one talks about how being depressed is almost a comforting thing. That being in the dark can feel like a warm blanket and you want to leave, but you don't really want to leave. That leaving means you feel like you aren't being REAL with what you feel. Being depressed can feel like the ONLY real thing. And when you think about not being depressed, it feels like you are somehow lying to yourself.
Darkness can be comforting.

Over the past few months, I've struggled with depression in various ways. Drinking. Sleeping a lot. Overeating. Under eating. Lethargy. Insomnia. Hiding out. Going out.
It's like a roller coaster of feels.

As many of you know, I went through a pretty intense breakup. Then I lost my job. Then I got some various jobs. All along questioning whether I was doing the right thing or not.
I've dated. I've met a LOT of people. In fact, I've made more friends over the past few months then I ever have.

One day, I woke up having a panic attack. I was questioning whether what I was doing for a living was the right thing. I was a mess of anxiety. I ended up having lunch with my old boss and he said to me, 'Nicole, if anyone can do this. You can. I've seen more passion in your conversation in the past 2 minutes then I did the entire 7 years you've worked for me. '
It was a light in the dark.
Because even when you can't believe in yourself, someone else does.

And one day I woke up and thought 'Fuck it. Just apply with a temp agency and get a finance job. You can't do this. You are believing in a pipe dream.'
That very day, I got offered the best job I could possibly ask for working in a kitchen.

Life is funny. It throws you a bone when you think you are starving.

Two weeks ago,  a friend of mine didn't show up for work.
He talked to our chef and said he didn't feel good.
Me, being who I am (ie. I'd do this for any of my friends), I decided to run to by his house after I got done with food truck prep just to check on him.
We were good friends and I had just seen him the day before.
I saw some strange stuff at his place and had a bad feeling so I called my friend to come with me and call the cops.
We stood outside when the cope came out to tell us he was dead.
Her name was Jamie McMann. I remember reading her name tag numerous times because she was so gracious.
There were 3 of us. 3 Nick's.
We stood there in shock and made all the phone calls.
We wandered the yard and smoked a lot of cigarettes and kept looking at each other in disbelief.

We saw our friend get wheeled away in a body bag.

I can't explain what that has been like.
How vivid that day is in my head.
How much I remember how sunny and perfect it was and we stood in the shade of a tree holding each other and watching our friend disappear.
How much I hate I had to tell one of his closest friends to call his wife and tell her that her husband was dead.
How much I hate that I had to call his boss and tell him why he didn't show up for work.
How much I can't believe he's gone.
How much I miss him every day.

Grief is a powerful and terrible thing.
It can throw you into a downward spiral you don't even recognize.
It can shock the shit out of you so that for a few days you can't even function socially.
It is also a really clarifying thing.

Grief can remind you of what you DO have.
That there is life left to live.
That you can be gone in an instant and maybe you should just hold real fast to the people you love instead of playing games.
It reminds you that you have SO MUCH left to do and you don't know when your time is coming.
Grief reminds us of life, how perfect and awesome and amazing it can be if we just engage.

I've said this before and I'll say it again- I don't know what 6 months from now looks like for me. I don't know where I'll be or what I'll be doing. I want to believe that it will all be positive things.
I can say this for sure- I'm going to do my damndest to make sure it is.

I won't be writing here anymore.
Lately, I've felt the need to write more for myself.
A lot of journaling.
A lot of poetry.
If I decide to share it, it will be on a different platform.

I will say this- this blog has served it's purpose.
I started it because I needed a place to share life and share experience and I've done that.
I want to LIVE life and LIVE experience.
I want to focus on the new things I'm learning and the people I've chosen to be the closest to me.

Life is so fucking fleeting.
None of us knows what will happen tomorrow.
I have been thinking of shutting this down for awhile and just hadn't gotten the words right to do so.
After my friend passed, all I've wanted to do is close up. Hold fast to the things that matter.
Forget this social media bullshit and just dig into life.

I know this is rambly and random but it's the sum of my thoughts over the past few months.
I have some pretty freaking amazing people in my life- family, friends, adopted family and coworkers that I feel so thankful to know.

Thank you.
For your phone calls, your texts, and spending time here reading the things I've written.
I'm so thankful for all of you in my life.

It's never a goodbye. Just a 'See ya later.'

I must speak. As I have a very limited time to enjoy the industry that I make my living on... I greatly appreciate the passion that comes thru when people really care about the craft. For a select few of us, the process is the most important aspect, we have to leave our mise knowing that we did our best. 
We are in the business of taking care of on and another. To ignore that is our peril.

- Will Carvalho, June 14, 2015