When you have neckties on your mind, suddenly every man you see is wearing one. When the song that’s been in your head all day happens to play on the radio as you drive home from work…

I hit a major milestone today, and so Reena’s challenge this week jumps out at me.

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #180 is this:

Write about what milestones mean to you, ones already achieved, and the ones you would like to reach.

Write about a journey you can’t forget.

Post pictures or artwork relevant to the theme.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I published a book. But that’s not the thing. The thing is, it’s a memoir of my mental illness and – for the first time – I’m publishing it under my own name.

Now now don’t fret; I’m not going to sully one of Reena’s awesome invitations to partake in a prompt with a sales pitch. Nor am I gonna let myself lace this post with a dozen links. Oops. heh. Oh well – one can’t hurt, right?

And now… please rise… for the cover… REVEAL!

I consider ‘milestone’ to connote, essentially, the focal point of a sea change. Yeah, that pivotal moment after which things just won’t be the same as they were before… This is that for me. Long have I hidden behind apocryphal monikers and petty pen names. No more! Well, maybe a little bit, but… Not as much!

Why have I hidden lo these past dozen years, another skeleton in the Sz closet?

Oh, you know… the stigma. I feared a prospective employer would google me and take a pass on hiring me. I knew for a fact that folks in the backwater town from which I hail would catch wind and look at my family there sideways. Stuff like that. The second reason there still holds true, and what can I say but, “Sorry, Ma.”

The prospective employer thing, however, was taken off the table when I was found fit for SSDI late last year. That’s Social Security Disability Insurance for those of you reading this who are uninitiated in the wonky ways of America.

I am not Bruce. I have slept in (and hurtled raving through) the streets, but not last year. Last year, I got married.

Ok-so, lessee, have I covered the bases of the challenge? Past, present… oh, right: future milestone.

What comes readily to mind on that score is something to do with coding. A long-guttering passion for computer programming has recently rekindled in me, and I’m applying myself somewhat to picking up more fluency in a few programming languages. I’ll never master any of them, but there will come a day, a moment, when I find myself coding just as flat out as I’m writing right now. That moment will be a milestone for me.

“So long” for now. Thanks for reading.

Do try to keep it like you like it kept.