Toronto #15

Well, it’s a little later than usual, but here’s the latest blog entry.

First off, I want to say that I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and had a great time. Christmas has been interesting this year. It’s the first time I’ve had one that’s been away from my folks back home. It’s a strange feeling, celebrating a time that’s always spent with your family spent half a world away. It makes you think about what’s important.

Before I get into that though, let me describe my Christmas. It was pretty good, all things considered. Started off quietly, as I focused on sending messages of Merry Christmas to friends and family while watching Love Actually or playing L.A. Noire. (I must admit, The Red Riding Quartet has left me with a real need for the latter kind of fiction. I tried to get some from season 2 of True Detective but, while it isn’t quite as bad as everyone made it out to be, it wasn’t half as satisfying for dark, noir-ish fiction as season 1 was.)

Later on in the day, a housemate invited me to her family Christmas dinner. It was a nice time, and I got talking with quite a few people over an incredibly large meal.

When I got home, I avoided the Internet for a bit, since the Doctor Who Christmas special had been broadcast. After watching some of season 1 of The Sopranos, a show I think I’m appreciating more and more with every re-watch, I discovered that George Michael had passed away. Honestly, on possibly the most ironic day he could’ve left us, really.

It’s obvious to say it, but 2016 really has been a terrible year for celebrity deaths. What’s been especially shocking is how relatively young most of them have been. While one or two celebrities have passed away in their 80s or 90s, as in the case of Liz Smith today, far, far too many have been much younger. Honestly, I think that passing away in your 50s or 60s is still far too young to go.

If there’s one lesson I’m taking from this, it’s that life’s too short. Not just for us as individuals, but for our heroes, as well. It’s easy to think that our heroes will always be there, that we’ll never see the day when we find out that they aren’t there. And that’s simply not true, as hard as that is to face.

More importantly, many of us have heroes that are, of course, nearer and dearer to us than faces on a television or film screen. There are many people we look up to in life, whether it’s our parents, our mentors, even our friends.

So I’m going to say what needs to be said, and to the people that you love, I suggest you do the same. To anyone you feel you owe so much to, to anyone that you’ve ever cared about, to anyone you know who’s truly inspired you, now is the time to say it. To say what you really feel. To say “Thank you”. To say “I love you”. Or even just to say, “Ta, mate”. Because life is short, for every single one of us, and you never know when you’ll get the last chance to say it.

Unless, of course, you’re in unrequited love with someone you hardly know, and that person’s already happily married, so you decide to do it with signs. Then it’s just kind of creepy.

andrew-lincoln-love-actually
Remember: the WRONG WAY to do it.

Other than that, though, it should be okay to say it. Earlier this year, just before I left for Toronto, I received a card from one of my friends, about how great it was that I was doing what I wanted to do, in a big way, and that I was making such a brave decision. While she’s a good friend, she isn’t one that I’ve been especially close to, which made her message more of a surprise, but a very welcome one. It really moved me, and it let me know that, whether my trip to Toronto proved to be amazing, or ended badly, I knew I was making the right decision, no matter what. To the people who truly matter, you can’t underestimate how great it can be to get a message like that, I think.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, and I wish that 2017 will be a great year for us all.

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