How the Story Ends

Note: this was the final entry I posted at my old blogs on Blogspot/MySpace/Windows Live Spaces. It is included here for prosterity.

This, my dearly beloved humanoids, is it.

Almost Honest has gone through some good times, some bad times and a couple of blogging websites, but, this particular entry will draw the curtain on the final act of this play, which began, in a beautiful twist, just under six years ago today. Much to my dismay, things are changing. The original home for this blog, Windows Live Spaces, is being reformatted in January and as a result, these entries will be gone. MySpace, my other usual blogging outlet, is so seriously on the wane that News Corp are thinking of selling it. BlogSpot is still doing okay, but I think the readership of that particular blog is small. I may be wrong. What this does offer me an opportunity to do though is to draw a line under everything on these here webpages and give my thanks to all those who have been along this crazy journey over the past few years.

Looking through my initial entries, not a lot has changed. Take that as a positive, or a negative. From my rants about lunchtime kickabouts “and playing like a geriatric”, how I couldn’t pick up a girl even if she was falling down, my love of Football Manager, to particular school lessons (long time readers will know what I mean by one sentence – “GRRRRRRRHHH! I HATE THAT LESSON”). I can’t remember who said it, but a man far wiser than I once said that a man who views the world the same at 40 as he did when he was 20 has wasted 20 years of his life. I was always very proud of the fact that very little had changed in my personality for so long and that I could be that one constant everyone had. I hadn’t changed. I was still the same guy. Now, that is no longer the case; I think if it was possible, I’ve managed to mature and realise that change, whilst not always being good, is often necessary.

My last entry, admittedly, was overwhelmingly negative and that’s a fair reflection on what I was feeling at that particular time. Especially the passage about feeling lost. But, here’s what’s gone on lately.

I didn’t go back to University.

Most people will know this, but it needed to be said. I gave everything I had for the exams that I sat, and eventually found out that I had passed 6 modules in my first year. I needed to pass another 6 modules to be allowed back into the second year. I was initially up for doing the resits, possibly as a way of setting the record straight but, most likely as a “last hurrah”. By the time I got the letter through to give me an official breakdown of my grades, I was contemplating life beyond Uni much earlier than I had planned. Had I gone back and passed those resits, I don’t think I would have stuck out the second year – I realised that my little enthusiasm I had left for the course would have gone. Certainly not enough for a commute to and from Uni on a daily basis. Had things turned out differently, who knows? I could be using this entry to tell you how fantastic Uni is and how the fact that living in Cardiff is awesome. I do miss the people that I met in my comparatively short time there and I wish them all, if they are reading, the very best in their degrees and their futures (if I didn’t tell them anyway).

The speech I gave at my brother’s wedding was the proudest moment of my life.

So, after much debate and thinking of how badly my gags would bomb on Twitter, I did the speech after all. My brother’s wedding was an awesome occasion. It couldn’t have gone much better. Well, it could have been a bit easier for guys in suits in 30 degree heat (beggars can’t be choosers as NJS reminds me). Truth is, before I was asked, I did have two lines of my speech written down – my opening and closing lines, which I wanted to use at any opportunity. Perhaps, the expectations of my speech were so low – after all, no-one had seen me speak in public before. Most of the people there probably still see me as this shy little blonde-haired kid with a lisp. I stammered my first line or two, but when I got a laugh for my first joke, I couldn’t believe my luck. For those wondering, I wrote the speech by myself and the only material I borrowed was the opening lines of the chorus from “It’s Love” by King’s X and a Bible Verse. What made my speech different was exactly what I said in my second line of it – “it’s about growing up as [my brother’s] younger brother”. It would be difficult for anyone else to come in and do that same speech. I’m biased, of course. I didn’t stop shaking hands with people based on the speech for the rest of the night and although those who followed my speech flattered me somewhat by saying “How do you follow that?”, it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. I don’t really have very much to shout about. But, that’s a few minutes of my life where I felt like I truly belonged. And that’s a bloody good feeling. BTW, if you’re my friend on Facebook, don’t just take my word for it – the video of the first half of my speech is up there.

I’ve lost a significant part of me. A few stone in fact.

Remember when I was fat? Yeah, wasn’t that long ago was it. I’m still losing weight, which is pretty awesome too. I don’t mind using some figures to demonstrate this – in February this year; the most comfortable pair of jeans I owned were a 44” waist. That is not a good sign. Right now, the most comfortable pair of jeans I have is 38”. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than what it was. I could lose more weight a little more quickly, which is disheartening, as I weigh myself sometimes and I’m +1lbs/-1lbs from what I was a few days before. I’m reliably informed that although the pace of my weight loss is not superb, I’m still not putting anything significant back on. I was 18st 6lbs in February. I was 16st 9lbs when I weighed myself a few days ago. It doesn’t seem like an awful lot over that length of time, I know. However, if you were to plot my weight on a graph, the trend is still downward. I’m putting this down to a perfect storm – a better diet (I don’t eat as much crap as I used to), more exercise (I still try and swim once a week and when the court isn’t booked, organise 5-a-side football) and as a result of seeing the effects of the first two, realising this is a good thing and keeping going. I do have a current goal weight in mind, but, as those who know about me and setting goals for myself, they seem realistic right now, but when it gets to crunch time, they seem about as ambitious as holding a World Cup in the Faroe Islands (wait, FIFA, that was my idea! Throw the money for 2030 my way!).

It’s going to be nice to get everyone back at Christmas.

Despite the fact that the nucleus of people I see on a regular basis, it’s going to be awesome to see some familiar looking faces over the holidays as everyone comes back. I know people look at Bridgend with complete apathy (as do half of the sports fans in it. /swipe), but we all still seem to have each other and that isn’t going to change drastically. I seem to be saying this with annoying regularity, but, I seem to be losing touch with an awful lot of people I care about which sucks big time. Christmas always seems to reunite everyone back in their spiritual home (Spoons, let’s be honest), and we all seem to have a good time. If you haven’t spoken to me, heard my voice or seen me in a while and need an excuse to get in touch, this is it. Drop me a comment, or find me at one of the many other online places that I live. (A list of which you can find here)

2011 is going to be a pretty big deal.

Personally, a lot is gonna happen in the next 12 months which lead into beyond. My weight loss is a big goal that I really want to keep up. I’m hoping that a change in my employment (e.g. from being a part-time pain in the arse to a full-time pain in the arse) will help me on my way to being rid of the bane of my life, the Batmobile, sometime in the near future. I’m also heading abroad next year once more, which is always a good thing. I used to say on my Facebook profile that I didn’t have much in the way of hopes and dreams. That’s still true. I’m nothing right now that I thought I would be when I was 14/15. Maybe that’s what life does to you. But, as I always seem to keep saying in times of strife – because it’s so true – it could always be so much worse. Like Frankie said “I did it my way. There’s always going to be things I wish I did differently. I wish I didn’t stop learning to play the organ/piano. I wish I could get into a position to tell people how I really feel without the fear of being shot down straight afterwards. I wish that I could play bass half-decently. But, that can change. Which goes back to how we all seem to change in one way or another.

What has not changed though is how much I enjoyed doing this blog, and how I gave everyone an avenue into how my mind worked (however confusing and infuriating). I am a person who appreciates very little things and small gestures more so than grand gestures. Those who have read any of my blog entries, and whether they laughed, cried, got angry, got annoyed – thank you. I can’t accurately describe how it feels to know that people gave enough of a damn (or were that bored…or decided to humour me, take your pick) that they read anything I’ve written over the past six years. It really does mean a great deal to me. An extra special thanks to those who went one stage further and commented on it. Whether it was constructive criticism, a rare comment to say you agreed with me, or you wanted to wind me up – thank you (and sorry). Delete which isn’t applicable to you. Much kudos also need to go to my fellow blog-writing brethren, with the regular notables being Aaron, Amner, Buddha, Jeffers, Luke, Matt, Tom and of course, Nathaniel – who served as the inspiration to do and or copy the format of many of my blog entries.

I’m not going away so to speak. The blog will no longer be updated, but, I’ll still be around online. If you don’t mind me spamming your Twitter feed about my Football Manager game, tidbits about sport, music, life or whatever I’ve got on TV at the time, follow me on Twitter. I’m on a variety of other websites if you want to still keep in touch, so by all means, check them out if you’re a member and drop me a line that way.

We’re ending this blog almost like we started. Most of the entry titles have been that of song titles – and it was purposely done that this entry would be named after a Megadeth song, exactly like the title of this blog (yes, this may surprise most of you, the blog was titled Almost Honest) and its tagline. Thank you once more for taking the time to read any entry I’ve ever done, particularly this one and hopefully, we’ll meet again some sunny day.

This is not farewell, but goodbye.

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Let me introduce myself. I'm a social disease.