Today we had graduation celebration for my youngest kid. It was a tough road for them to make it happen, but they did make it happen and I couldn't be more proud. Truly. They were computer nerd style from a very early age and when online learning became a more common thing around the time they entered highschool, they wanted to do it online. I explained to them before signing on to do it just how difficult it can be, strictly from a discipline standpoint. I have done online post-secondary courses a total of four times now and it has never gotten easier to find and/or make time while also tapping into the discipline to actually do it. After about a year and a half of doing it, they began to feel very much the same and the last year and a half has been a struggle for them to find the desire and the time. Props to them for working a part time job and also making it happen and finishing off the year with decent marks, to boot.

I'm not only proud of my youngest for graduating, or both of my kids for graduating, I'm also proud of my damn self. For seventeen years I have been a fulltime single father making shit happen. To be clear, I had help along the way from friends and family (and even a few strangers), but at the end of the day even that was managed by yours truly. It's especially amazing to me when looking at where I am now. My mental health took the longest walk off the shortest plank ever, I have never drank more or smoked more or attempted to hide more in my entire life than I have over the last year or so. Prior to that though? Shit, I raised a couple amazing humans and set my stuff aside and made it work.

I never thought I'd be here. Not for any other reason, really, other than for not really giving it much thought or planning for it. There wasn't time to dream. Or plan.

I'm especially pissed off at people who buy and set off fireworks for three weeks leading up to The 4th Of July and continue to do so for another three weweks after it's come and gone. I live in an actual ghetto, gunshots ringing out nightly is a thing I am accustomed to but will never get used to. For a month and a half around The 4th Of July I hear even more similarly sounding noises and it is nerve wracking. For me and those I know in the area, to be certain. Watching my dog try to deal with it is heartbreaking. I can't imagine being an animal or a veteran of war around The 4th Of July. Fuck this shit.

I continue to move further and further away from the inter-connected world we live in. I "deleted" my Discord (shit, now I have to go update that across all the pages here) after finding out that there is no end-to-end encryption for the platform, as well as potentially really not being able to entirely delete your account, on top of it. Data suggests that even if you delete your Discord, the data you used and created on the platform is there forever, even upon deletion. On a platform without end-to-end encryption that is heralded as the premier messaging and community platform, that is hella concerning. I have begun watching less and less YouTube and tuning in only to Twitch streams I have actual intent in or with regard to. Eventually, I will kick both YouTube and Twitch, in addition to all the other social media apps and platforms and tracking websites, but am well aware of what kind of longterm task that is going to be.

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