Monday, December 24, 2007

For with the Blessing of These, I am not a Failure

Updated at 12:42 p.m. on 12/25 to correct a case of mistaken identify for sthrngal and Karen. Added props to C-Marie.

Updated at 9:55 a.m. on 12/26 to correct a broken hyperlink in the reference to Dad's Life. Added a tip of the hat to former blogger LBP.

… remember this: no man is a failure who has friends.
-- Clarence, in a note to George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life

In a post from over ten months ago, I invoked the character of Clarence, the guardian angel, during one of many dark chapters of my life. I cannot claim to have ever been visited upon by a heavenly host such as Clarence. However, as my tortuous quest for new employment draws to a close, it is only right to acknowledge that I have been challenged, comforted, and ultimately strengthened by a multitude of angels and archangels who call the blogosphere their home. It is unto them that I dedicate this post and offer up my deepest gratitude.

What follows is an attempt to thank several of them by name, but I also fear that I may forget some of them. A year and some 300 posts is a lot to remember. If someone notices an omission, please let me know so that I can add them to this posting.

Anais -- a longtime and loyal reader who has imparted wisdom in areas from the mundane to the profound. She was the one who first clued me in on Schnarch. In both comments and IM conversations, she has been a source of encouragement. My only regret is that I did not make it to the Big Apple for an interview so that we could finally meet in person.

Drunken Housewife -- bold, blunt, and ever helpful, Drunken, along with a guest appearance from her Sober Husband, has been a resource on job searching, wellness, and legal matters. Her own blog posts on her kids have been a nice diversion, and you couldn't ask for a better hostess in the Bay Area or anywhere.

ChelseaGirl -- although our discussions were more offline than on-the-blog, this local commenter listened sympathetically to my kvetching over many months and encouraged me to stand my ground with my wife. Although our communication is much more limited now that she is working toward finding happiness in her own life, she has been there with affirmation and offers of help.

sixdegrees -- a sage advisor in the areas of job hunting and relationships, leaving very useful insights in the comments section. I also have him to thank for clueing me in on the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Tom Allen -- a kink-minded blogger who has been great about challenging me on my interpretation of Schnarch's writings. He also has contributed some useful insights on effective assertiveness both in this space and over at Joe Flirt's blog.

Therese in Heaven and Recovering Soul -- this husband and wife blogging team have served as an inspiration regarding the hope of mending a marriage on the brink of dissolution. Moreover, their suffering reminded me that seeking an EMR is not worth the damage it causes once it is uncovered. Therese has also kicked my rhetorical booty a few times in the comments sections here and there.

Have the T-Shirt -- a source of encouragement pretty much in my own back yard. She has offered good advice in preparing for divorce, and I've found her own personal story to be a cautionary tale of the hardships that divorce can visit upon the parent and the child. She was the first blogger I met in person.

Digger Jones -- a blogging institution in his own right, Digger is probably the largest source of recurring visitors in this space. His posting Top 10 Ways of Identifying a LL Partner is a classic in my opinion. He has given me much to think about. And judging from the banter over on one of his blogs, I seem to be returning the favor.

John (Dad's Life) -- a stay-at-home dad with doubts over the long-term prospects of his marriage, John has been the source of several engaging threads, most of which are over on his blog. I think the most powerful comment he ever left was one where he talks about his own father's regrets over not taking opportunities to advance his career to placate his wife.

m is for _____/some poems don't rhyme/i hope so -- a Bowenian-minded therapist who once used a quotation from Schnarch as a tag line for her blog. I've seen in her writings some similar struggles with big questions in life. She seems to be attacking them much more effectively at a much younger age than I did. Aside from Anais and John, I think she might well have been the only blogger who could read my posts about differentiation and not look at me as if I was some sort of crazy guy in the River Jordan screaming "Repent!". Not that I needed her validation or anything. ;-)

Karen -- a reader who this summer reached out help me get my job application in the right hands for a position that I really wanted. Although I didn't get the job, I am grateful that she took the time and risk of anonymity to do that.

Kristy -- a reader who found my blog while searching for references to Schnarch in weblogs, she was kind enough to share her story about hitting critical mass.

LawGirl -- a wickedly hilarious blogger whose posts have given me ample fodder for comments on her blog. She has also been kind enough to offer sage advice about not getting screwed over in divorce and inviting me to partake in adult beverages.

Lisa (Sunset Pig) -- a fellow blogger who is in the process of getting a divorce, her own emotional ups and downs remind me that I am not alone in this difficult place. Her photography is amazing.

EuroPosh -- a wonderful Bay Area blogger whom I had the privilege of meeting a couple weeks ago. This past summer, she was kind enough to get me a good chunk of career advice from one of her software developer friends out in the Silicon Valley via private e-mail, and discussing the oddities of American culture with her is a joy.

LBP -- a commenter from the Diggersphere who was a brilliant essayist on his own blog. His post lamenting that power struggles in marriage were not resolved as cleanly as they are in the canine world ranks up there as one of my all time favorites. His meme on stage roles succeeded in getting let my hair down a bit in this space. (tongue planted firmly in cheek) I only wish he would have explained those enigmatic *ding* posts before closing down his blog.

C-Marie -- a loyal reader and encouraging commenter who has toughed it out during my job search despite her own admission that my account of it gives her nightmares.

Cat and FADKOG -- witty comments and superb tastes in music. 'Nuff said.

Sassy -- a onetime frequent commenter who not only gave me a lot of reassurance, she introduced me to the term "TSN Turning Point".

sthrngal -- This longtime reader was one of the early commenters who provided another viewpoint to my struggles to understand my wife's behavior. Later, she would help me make sense of a cryptic rejection e-mail from a recruiter.

Trouble -- a onetime frequent commenter whose blog I Can't Believe He's Still Single has given me many a belly laugh.

GodsKid -- a reader who has left many reassuring comments and has brought out the nerd in me.a time or two. I am grateful for the words of encouragement.

The Train Lady -- a blog reader whose comments are more private than public. She is someone from across the pond who knew me before I started 2amsomewhere. She's been quite generous in her praise for my writing, and she has impeccable tastes in music.

Crescent Moon -- an occasional reader and poster in this space under several names over the lifespan of this blog, her own blog 63 Miles is pure poetry.

Samantha Jones -- another local reader with whom I corresponded more in IM than on the blog. We met in person only once, very briefly. I stopped by her workplace in September, at her invitation, for a strawberry lemonade. We led very different lifestyles, but we were both trying to find ways to get our lives back on a more authentic path. For her that meant enlisting in the Marines this fall. I haven't heard from her since she left for basic training in mid-October. I hope she is doing well.

GODrums -- a reader who popped up on a post around the time I was getting ready to do my September interview tour de force. We had some offline discussions about career opportunities on the west coast, but I didn't pursue them further due to burnout. I am grateful that he reached out to help, though.

Elise -- a onetime blogger who was restless in her own marriage, chronicling her feelings and fantasies on a blog called Ringfinger. The blog went dark earlier this year. I wonder how she is doing or whether she managed to seek resolution to her problems.

Like I said earlier, if you find any omissions, please let me know. They weren't intentional.

To these and all of my readers, who may have found this space helpful, I wish you all the best for the holidays, whichever ones you might observe!
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