As of today my online journal Meditations in an Emergency is five years old. Wow, how time really does fly, as they say. One of the things I like about journals is looking back once enough time has passed to trace the outlines of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Five years ago I was in graduate school and apparently clubbing it up every, ohhh, other day of the week. Four years ago I was graduating from graduate school and not really sure what I wanted to do next. Three years ago I hopped an airplane to Japan and had two of the best years of my life relearning how to be a human being. A little over a year ago I came home again with my first novel sold to Bantam Books. I spent the past year or so settling back into home here in Ohio, and there are more good things on the horizon. I am about to become a homeowner, believe it or not, in what for me is my total dream house–a brick Tudor in the historic district here in Youngstown, complete with ivy growing up one wall and leaded glass windows and a beautiful keystone design around the entryway and a little wrought iron accoutrement here and there. The house is on Outlook Avenue, which feels just right to me at the moment also, as I look forward to the next few years and what they’ll bring. More on that real soon. But mainly I want to say that despite not everything in life being exactly perfect, you can still make a pretty happy life for yourself if you know who you are and what it is that you want your life to be. The view from where I’m at right now looks pretty decent, though I’m sure there’ll be lots to contend with along the way. It’s been five years of ups and downs and turnabouts that were completely unexpected. I suppose that’s life in general. And stories in general. At least the good ones. Here’s to looking forward to the next five years, which I’ll most likely be jotting down here from time to time as usual. Cheers.