Badlands South Dakota – Photo by Dan Steven Erickson

Recently, I took a week off from work to celebrate my mother’s life. It was a good experience even though it revolved around death. I got to spend time with family members that I haven’t seen for a couple of years. I also spent five days in a hotel without a teenager. It gave me time to think about life and its changes.

In 2010, I lost my dad. About five years ago, I lost my step-dad. Now my mom is gone. In the last few years, I’ve also lost two very close friends who were both about 15 years older than me. I won’t lie. It’s tough.

Although, my week of bereavement was okay, I’d be lying if I didn’t point out that life can be brutally sad at times. Life can seem both as dreary and beautiful as the Badlands.

While I was in Everett Washington, spending time with family, I couldn’t help but be constantly reminded of the past: the old house, that quirky little restaurant I used to go to with dad, churches, people, and every other little thing seemed to remind me of when things were different.

I know as we get older we will inevitably lose more loved ones. I’ve been to a lot more funerals in the past 10-15 years than ever before the age of 40, like a 10-1 ratio. That doesn’t make it any eaiser.

So why am I writing about this experience here?

Changes. That’s why. This site is my creative place. It’s where I share my poetry, my music, and my photos. And now, it’ll also be where I share more of my story, my life.

Writing as a “blogger” made me into a copycat formula writer. But that’s not the real me. I’m a living breathing human being who struggles like everyone else. Life has ups and downs. People get sick and die. We have kids. Kids have issues. We get divorces. We change jobs. Changes happen.

That’s why as I post a bit less often here, I’m also going to get more real. I’m not trying to sell you anything. Rather than how-to posts or here’s-how-I-did-it posts, I’m going to include more essays that are simply a narrative on life, my life, our lives. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.