So late last night I released our first behind the scenes video for Funeral Potatoes:
And for this week's Happy Thought, I wanted to talk a bit more about that.
I went to High School in Spokane, Washington, which if you've heard me talk about it before, was never very high in my esteem as a place to live.
Spokane is one of those places where they killed or drove out all of the Native Americans and then named the city after them. And while this is pretty much America's story in general, Caucasian population is dominant to the point where you start to worry you may have wandered into a settlement of surprisingly friendly neo-nazis.
Seattle is really just a hop over the Snoqualmie pass but it was far enough from my parents that I felt I could carve out some kind of independent existence (ignoring that they were still my primary source of funding) but close enough that if I was really in any trouble, they could be there in a matter of hours.
This also separated me from any friends who stayed behind in Spokane and of course anyone who mosied off to another area for college. This left me with two friends from my original group in the same city and neither went to my school.
Cornish was hard, I won't lie--it took up 14+ hours of my day and even more if I had rehearsal. Not having a friend on the inside was really starting to wear on me.
One friend was just as busy as I was and going to UW we didn't see a lot of each other... and the other...
The other decided we would no longer be friends and eventually sent me on a spiral that had me questioning my value and worth as a person.
Around this time I was also experiencing a severe crisis of faith--I had been lovingly raised in a religion which, now that I was older, seemed sexist, racist, homophobic and hypocritical. I was pretty sure, if there was in fact a god of some kind up there, she/he was far more benevolent than any of this church's teachings would have me believe.
So, needless to say, I was not in a good place. To be more blunt, it was the first and only time I'd seriously considered self-harm.
And then, thankfully, my luck changed. And really not a moment too soon.
Melanie was genuine and wanted nothing from me other than friendship. And the thing is, she wasn't the only friend I made around that time.
I also met Mike and Lyz, who became a second family, who deserve a Happy Thought Thursday all their own, and who were also a huge part of pulling me out of that ditch. Unfortunately, they lived in Renton and it would be a while before we could hang out consistently.
Since Melanie went to the same school, we were in the trenches together so-to-speak. And thankfully from Sophmore year onward, we even had the same classes together (Cornish puts you into sections where you share the same core classes with the same 10-13 people). She was the constant companion at my side and kept the stress and emotional strain from classes from pushing me back down into that ditch.
She was the Sam to my Frodo in that respect... and also the Merry to my Pippin in others.
My best friend and happy thought. Thank you, Mel.