This is my 100th post for Eks Axis.
I opened this blank page without a real idea of what I wanted to say about it, but knowing I wanted to acknowledge the moment somehow. No one would know this is the 100th post unless I brought it up, but I suppose that’s the bitch of complete editorial control. No one would know about how fucking depressed I was for the better part of this year, nor would they know the crushing heartbreak of a failed IUI.
I choose what to share with everyone, and, as outlined in my Meet Jon Eks page, I sought “to speak more personally.” Evaluating my own work from the previous 99 posts, I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve never ventured as much in this type of medium as I have on Eks Axis. I’m happy I have, and I appreciate you all taking the journey with me.(The lead photo is Kristin and I at the Highland Running of the Bulls. I douched up my image for the day, but in the name of fun. I don’t shit on people having fun the way I used to. My wife, as usual, is lovely.)
I’m not a huge Howard Stern fan. I actually enjoy the mythos of Howard Stern more than I like listening to his show. But it’s impossible not to be inspired by Howard Stern, if you’re creating anything. I think about that moment in Private Parts where he asserts that he needs to be more unfiltered and offer nothing short of complete honesty.
I had always wanted to do that, but held myself back. I didn’t know why until I wrote Test. I was inspired to write that post because everything I had read leading up to getting my sperm checked out was profoundly useless and made me feel alone. I sought to write a definitive honest account of what the experience was like, and did. But then I had to post it.
For a variety of reasons, I sat on the post for about three months and sort of dreaded the idea of exposing it to the world. Then, thanks to some well-timed writer’s block due to overwhelming anger and resentment at my job, I wrote the post called “Dejected” and laid bare everything that had been bothering me. I had nothing to lose, so I just put it all out there for better or worse. Truthfully, I didn’t even really give a shit what the response was, which was understandable because I didn’t even really give a shit what anyone’s response to anything was at that point.
What was amazing was that once I put it out there, the world showed me so much beauty and love, I could barely handle it all. For the first time, I had been as honest as I used to only dream about, and the response overwhelmed me.
After that, the “Test” post was easy to publish, and I wrote 75% of the IUI article before knowing how it would turn out. I knew either way it would be useful to anyone who cared to read it, so I waited for the ending to be revealed knowing it would be one of the most talked about things I’d ever done.
Sadly, it didn’t exactly go the way I’d hoped, but I wrote about it all the same. And once again, your responses overwhelmed me. For as many people gave me a shout on the site or on Facebook under the post or wherever else, at least 3x as many people gave me encouragement in private. It was amazing, and although the experience of a failed IUI (or multiple IUIs in our case) is torturous, I’m happy that I’m able to send out at least a minor beacon of light to the darkness that strangles someone’s world when they’re going through something similar.
And that’s been the greatest thing about Eks Axis so far. It’s gone in a more contemplative direction than I envisioned when I started. If you remember the first few posts here, I spent some time talking about playing iPhone games on the toilet and DirecTV commercials and that fucking Daffy Duck helicopter thing in Cherry Creek Mall.
And yeah, I still like to write the goofy shit – like last week’s demolition of “I Wanna Sex You Up” – but I’m happy I have an underexplored part of my writing skillset I can delve into more fully. I’ve found if you’re willing to express vulnerability that people immediately want to join you and connect. We spend a lot of time posturing, even if much of our posturing is subconscious. To be vulnerable is a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking.
People you care about see you putting yourself out there, and they immediately want to reciprocate. Ever since starting this site, I feel closer to almost everyone I know based on something we shared over something I wrote. That alone has made this a worthwhile endeavor.
I also must mention Kristin. Any time I mention her in a way that I think might make her uncomfortable, I let her read the post first. My general philosophy is that if I’m not comfortable saying whatever I’m going to say to her face to face, I probably shouldn’t write it. So she gets signoff, and never has she used her veto pen. She’s been incredibly supportive, and I thank her for that.
And I thank you for being here. Whether you comment, whether you lurk, whether you read every post, or whether this is your first ever article on Eks Axis, I sincerely appreciate getting to be a part of your day.
Many more posts to come, but for now, I offer a small salute to the first 100.