Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 -- The Year of Change.

2012 -- The Year of Change.
-off topic-

A mentor of mine told me at the beginning of the year that 2012 was a year of change. I didn't know what he meant at the time but as we get closer to the end of the year and we are all still here, I look back at my own life and agree with him. This has been the year of change for me personally.

There were times that I wished the Mayan's had it right. My world seemed to be on the brink of ending and some days I wished it would have.

The last two years felt like slugging through mud with a messy divorce, trying to keep it calm and as safe for the kids turned out to be one of the hardest things I would ever do. But at the same time things on every other level were rockin! Business took off, I was growing in my own writing and deep down to my core I was happy.

I got this, we are going strong and just when I thought I could handle this stress and pressure I got a call. My little brother was dead. Shock, anger, fear, sadness, relief, confusion, anger again. All the feelings hit me in the face. He was a year and a half younger than me and even has three kids like I do. He left behind a wife and a large hole in many hearts.

No worries, I was good at managing stress, dealing with pain and big deal! Sometimes we lie to ourselves and don't even know it.

A month later I had to have a talk with my father and cut off all communication. This in the wake of my brothers death. My publishing house was still going strong but the demands grew. The way it felt was like being strung to a few horses and having them run in different directions.

No biggie, but that was only what my mind said, my body said something different. 6 years ago I hurt my low back and it decided to take this opportunity to go out. Three months of pain to a point that I could not sit longer than an hour and hundreds if not thousands of dollars for Massage, Yoga, PT, Personal Training and lots of drugs I am almost back to 100%.

Why am I telling you all this? Why be do blue? Because I am a person, a human with trials just like anyone. We all go through crap so why don't we cut each other some slack? Why are we so mean to each other? Why do we assume that we are alone?

In all this how do I feel, what do I take away?

*That my kids are strong and amazing. That I love them more each day and love to be with them.
*I know that true friends will stick with you no matter what, that I am a jerk sometimes and sometimes I am a good guy.
*I learned that I cannot trust myself and that my gut is right most the time.
*People are ruled by fear and change and that I need to listen to my body, when it says stop I need to stop.
*I found out that I have some loyal friends and that I need to be a better one.
*That people who are crazy will always be crazy, don't try to understand them, just learn and be wise.
*Humor is a healer, laughing is a medicine and sometimes you just need to do something stupid.

This year has been a year of change, but for the better. I have made so many mistakes but have also done some good things. Life is like a tree, it grows and along the way picks up a few scars and knots. But when it is old it shades and protects younger trees.

Please don't comment if you feel sorry for me, I don't! I love my life, and I have a great one. We all have things we want different but is what it is.

Now go out there and connect with someone, and if you want to attack someone remember that they may just need a hug instead.



Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.


  1. Aaron, thank you so much for sharing this. There are many lessons to be taken from your words. Here's hoping that 2013 proves to be a wonderful year for you. And, how can we know what's good if we haven't experienced what's bad?

  2. Thankx bro... Good things are coming.

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  4. Aaron, I stumbled onto your site by chance, and this was the first post I saw. I'm not going to insult you by pitying you, but I would like to pass on two thoughts, both on area in which I specialized for years. First, on grief: you can't "go around" it-- you have to go through it. Grieving takes time: the Victorians had it right when they said that formal mourning was expected to last at least a year and a day. That allowed the griever to get through all the holidays and personal anniversaries at least once without their loved one. The modern idea seems to be that you should be 'over it' by the time the last casserole dish is sent home, and well-meaning friends throw around words like "closure" (arguably one of the most obscene words in English).

    Second, regarding stress (and you must admit that there has been a certain amount of stress in your life over the past year or so): Stress is cumulative. The loss of your brother was a major stressor; the divorce and its sequelae another. This isn't to say you're not dealing with it, and dealing well with it. Still, its very existence is going to effect you, physically as much as mentally, and effect your work and relationships -- it's just part of being human. Much of stress isn't emotional or psychological at all: it's physical, having to do with your body releasing chemicals into your bloodstream in response to perceived threats (our bodies learned their responses when we were coming down from the trees, and every deadline or argument with a publisher-- not to mention a death or divorce-- is perceived as an attack by a bear or sabertooth tiger). Adding an additional stressor to a first one multiplies the body's response, and with the divorce, your brother's death and the issues with your father (plus all the other, 'normal' stresses of life) your plate is beyond full.

    So, short version? Take care of yourself. Give yourself permission to reallly go through all you're going through, so you can really put it behind you. If it would help, there are a million books on how-- I even wrote one of them, for police and fire chaplains. (Or respond saying so, and I'll send you some links.)

    And, feel free to tell me to mind my own business. I only wrote because you seem to be a decent person who life has handed the year from Hell...

    Fr. Francis+
    (Retired Navy/Marine Chaplain, Board Certified. in Thanatology. and as an Expert in Traumatic Stress)

  5. I usually don't have time to read my KDP newsletter but did this morning, which led me to your post. I too, am a self-published writer who is experiencing most of the same challenges you are right now. I lost my big sister twenty years ago suddenly and my debut YA book is dedicated to her. Most recently, I won a Moonbeam award for the novel. As my personal life seems to be in flux, my writing life is going on a upward positive and successful track. Go figure. It's all a journey, right? Hang in there.

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  7. Hey Aaron, good post. From what I've read, you and I have gone through a lot of the same things, similar childhoods, similar life situations. Glad to see you're not just surviving, but thriving.

  8. Aaron, Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am going through a very similar situation right now and I know deep in my heart with time, good friends,family and faith we'll be better and stronger.


  9. Aaron, Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am currently going through the a very similar situation and I know deep in my heart that with the support of good friends and family we will come out of this stronger and hopefully wiser.