Three weeks have passed since the St. Petersburg Times published its how-is-this-newsworthy account of my fall from grace. Coupled with the impending death of my beloved father (a fact — and cause of my difficulties — that the reporter mysteriously omitted from her story), the recent past has been a very difficult time.
And yet, as those close to me know so very well, the holidays are my favorite time of the year. As soon as I breathe the first cool air of the year, I become excited with the return of my favorite season.
I have taken this time, the holiday season, to genuinely reflect on what I have made of my life. This reflection has taken place with many of the friends and family I am blessed to share this season of comfort and joy. Their comfort, their love is what is really inspiring me to attempt to regain some of the greatness I so flippantly let “wilt” away.
I would be lying if I said have learned a lot in the last three weeks, other than the true feelings, good and bad, of many of my friends and associates. In fact, the only thing I have really learned is the extent of what I have left to learn about life.
Because the pursuit of happiness, of a happy life and not necessarily material success, has always been my greatest goal. This blog, this return is going to be about my attempt to regain that happiness.
Much of my happiness springs from great intellectual pursuit. And my greatest intellectual pursuit is determining the reason behind why some men follow other men. This is the essence of politics. And this is the intellectual pursuit that still most fascinates me. Not the childish give-and-take of candidate versus candidate, but the battle of idea versus idea. This blog, this return is going to be about my effort to re-learn the essence of politics. So yes, I am returning to my post as one of Florida’s leading bloggers and commentators. And without any allegiances to worry about, without any clients to worry about offending, I hope, if not promise, that my commentary will be all the more insightful.
As it is, much of the commentary surrounding Florida’s politics is rather uninspired. As my colleague Derek Newton recently commented, the level of vitriol present among those who frequent some of Florida’s political blogs has crossed the line separating respectful opposition and destructive character assassination. Watching the supporters of, say, Jim Davis tear away at Rod Smith and vice-versa, when these same people will have to work with one or the other after the primary is dismaying. Florida’s politics, and more importantly, those impacted by its politics, deserve better. Florida’s political intellectuals owe it to the constituents of our partisan favorites to elevate the debate, not lower it. This blog, this return is going to be about elevating Florida’s political discourse.
Of course, this blog, this return is about so much more than politics and policy. It’s about life, about the pursuit of happiness as sought by one man. The readers of this blog are on their own journey and sharing the triumphs and tribulations of this pursuit is what my writing will be all about. This is but one of several first steps I am making on a very long road to recovery. This blog, this return is going to tell the story of the steps along the way. For the good and the bad.
With that, I do want to offer one disclaimer, if not a warning. For those of you who read this blog and think it is exciting to further besmirch my name, after all I have done to discredit myself already, you need not visit here. I will never allow your comments to be posted on this blog — on my blog. So, for all of those, weak, timid souls who hide in anonymity, please don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
That’s right. I said that. Because even though I have been chastised and shamed, you need to know that the same fire and passion that has fueled my life is still present. I am simply maximizing my strengths and minimizing some weaknesses…weaknesses that contributed to my downfall.
So I’m ready for the next step. Are you?