Epilogue: From Happy Ending to Fresh Start

I was surprised when I realized this, so it’s understandable that some of you will be as well, but this is the the end of TheBrainDamageDiaries.

In response to a challenge laid out by a fellow literary/creative acquaintance, I set out on February 14, 2011, to blog weekly for a year. The idea was that out of fifty-two blog posts, there should be at least one good one, something that could pass as an example of good work. This is my seventy-third post so it stands to reason that there should be one-and-a-half good posts in here somewhere.

Flipping through TheBrainDamageDiaries, like any diary, is a surreal yet comforting exercise. When I started, I had no idea what to record, and how to best present it (bold type was a good call, right?). Writing, at the time, was extremely labour-intensive, and I would set aside whole days for crafting a single blog. Eventually, as the therapeutic value of writing emerged, blogging became something I looked forward to each week. In addition, I’m convinced that maintaining this blog has shaped my brain in beneficial ways, activating and strengthening neural pathways that would never have been otherwise.

TheBrainDamageDiaries has been many things: a self-help book, an owner’s manual, a mirror, a display case to share my victories, a discussion board for my observations, and most of all, an environment for growth. That growth has brought me to a point now where continued intense self-analysis isn’t necessary, and may instead be counter-productive, so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead. I’m in a good place now, at the intersection between the ending of one stage of life, and the start of another. This blog captures the stage I’ve just concluded, and I don’t intend to capture the next one in written form, at least not to the extent that I have for the past 73 weeks.

In my first post, I declared this blog to be a shift from Reverse to Drive, from surviving to thriving. In that sense, this blog always had a pending expiry date. Starting this blog initiated that shift, and ending this blog is completing that shift. On the one hand, it feels strange to conclude my blog here, especially since I didn’t expect to. On the other hand, it frees up the time, energy, and most importantly, the headspace to be myself to the fullest extent – at once entirely different from who I was, yet exactly the same person.

It would be very remiss of me not to acknowledge the support and encouragement I’ve received from everyone who has read my blog. Thank you for reading my ramblings and making my inaugural blogging experience a fruitful one.

Okay, time to go – I’ve got things to do!


About jaybrandsma

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8 Responses to Epilogue: From Happy Ending to Fresh Start

  1. aureol says:

    GO!!!!! Go, NOW. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred. And go with GOD, the Almighty. They do not call Him “the Most High” for nothing.

  2. cheryl says:

    Well done Jay, and I agree sometimes it’s best to think less and just go out and live life!!

  3. Jane says:

    Thanks for all the wisdom you have sent out into the world in your posts, Jay. I have gotten a lot out of them, and passed more than a few of them on. Well done, Twain!

  4. Liv says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with us this past year!!! I will miss your posts Jay! BUT I echo Aureol’s recommendation to you as well! ENJOY!!! and GO with “the Most High!!

  5. Julia says:

    I will miss your posts, but I also echo those who have already posted. I love your posts because it gives me insight into your life, and a connection to you, my friend who I miss. But I’m excited for you as you ‘turn the page by closing the book’. Thank you for sharing your goods and your bads – your integrity is inspiring for me.

  6. B. says:

    Have you ever read anything by David Schnarch? There’s a piece in one of his books where he says “I’m not proposing that we ignore past events that limit our present efforts. Awakening creative effort, however, requires leaving personal tragedies behind rather than constantly revisiting and revising them.” May your exit from this particular chapter indeed help awaken your creative efforts and help further activiate your capacity to live fully and to fully live. Grateful to have had the privilege of reading your honest reflections along your journey in this ending chapter, and celebrating with the you the arrival at something new.

  7. Gloria says:

    I agree completely, but have to admit I will miss this “connection” with you. And also the comments of various people who have walked this journey with you. You have many awesome supportive people on your side. I am very happy for you.

  8. Kerry says:

    Thank you for the courage to open yourself and share your thoughts and struggles with me, those who have read your blog, and with the world through the way your writings have affected each of us and caused us reflection on our own lives. I will miss reading your posts and insightful words of wisdom but am happy for you that you feel it is time to move on. Much love xoxo

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