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Possibility

Inspiration often comes from the weirdest places. Tonight was a night like a lot of other nights. I was surfing the web when I heard a clap of thunder. Considering how much money I spent on my PC, I saved what I was watching (h3 interviewing Jordan Peterson) to come back to later, shut down my PC, and unplugged it. What to do now? Well, I’m a little hungry. Let’s go to Subway, like I normally do.

I stepped outside, and thought about the thunderstorm. What if I get hit by lightning? You know, many of the people who get hit by lightning are those that least expect it. Who “don’t see it coming”. As soon as I’m comfortable and confident enough to go to my car is when I’m going to get hit by lightning. So I stood there, just outside my door. Do I really want to go to Subway anyway? Am I really that hungry? What are my other options? I could read. But I’m really into what I was going before the storm came. Let’s just go to Subway and see if the storm passes by the time I get back home. I’ll eat inside (as I normally do, anyway) to kill more time, then come back home, plug my computer back up, and get back to watching videos.

And as I stood outside my door, something hit me, quite like a metaphorical bolt of lightning. I finally thought of the words to really describe something about myself that I found quite interesting. I thought of the word “possibility”. I realized that I am a man of “possibility”. There was a “possibility” that I could’ve been hit by lightning. There’s a possibility I could be bitten by a poisonous spider. But my thinking of “possibilities” aren’t all negative. For instance, there is a “possibility” that I could make money from Youtube. There is a “possibility” that I could write something that people enjoy. These possibilities motivate me at least as much, if not more than the negative possibilities.

I also realized this back when I used to play poker. It was rarely for any actual money (that’s a good thing. It’s rather humorous to think that one of the only times that I did play poker for money was in, I believe, 8th grade. I brought the cards, and we were gambling our dimes and quarters of our lunch money. We were finally caught one time, but nothing major came of it. The teacher just, a little frantically, told us to “put that up”. Funny to think of that reaction. I typically ignored “the authorities” (not necessarily cops, but just anyone “in charge” of me) so her horror of our gambling didn’t really affect me. I didn’t see any harm in it, and still don’t).

Poker is a game of probabilities. The least “likely” hands are the “strongest”. There’s certain likelihoods that specific things have taken place. You consider the “unlikelihood” of your own hand, and consider if, whether or not, your hand is “less likely” than your opponent’s. Then, you wager as much “money” (“real” or “fake”) as you think he will also wager. The “unlikeliest” hand wins all of the money: “the pot”.

I became interested in poker because of the “World Series of Poker” on ESPN (which I used to watch religiously). Many people were sitting at tables, playing Texas Hold ‘Em. I was watching ESPN all of the time. Watching football highlights, baseball highlights, and I was starting to get into both basketball and ice hockey. Poker came on, and I was intrigued. I couldn’t stop watching. It was fascinating to me. Hearing the clicks of the chips. The amount of money being bet. It was fantastic.

I tried to learn how the “odds” worked. I don’t particularly care to do math in my head. Paper and calculations are easier and more satisfactory. But one thing has always bothered me about “probabilities”. They aren’t exact. If you have a 35% chance of winning, then you only (yes, I’m using that word) have a 65% chance of losing. So what should you do? Should you always play by the numbers? I have decided “no”. For one, I don’t care about calculating the numbers that much, and, secondly, they aren’t exact. That isn’t very fun to me. Learning the numbers to play by them all of the time isn’t fun to me.

Now, of course, it wasn’t that I was completely against “odds”. I wouldn’t calculate into percentages, but I would still try to determine if my hand was stronger than my opponent’s. I have two pair. Do I really think he has a flush? Do I really think he has a straight? How is he betting? My decisions were not necessarily based on the percentage probability that my opponent had a stronger hand than I had. It was, mainly, based on the strength of my own hand, how my opponent was betting, reading body language (while doing my best to not give anything away by remaining absolutely motionless (which I was pretty good at)), and trying to play mind games with him. It wasn’t that I didn’t think about, say, how many diamonds were left in the deck. But that wasn’t the main factor behind my decision-making process. Only one factor. And other factors were, most of the time, more influential.

You win some, you lose some. A lot of it depends upon who you’re up against. I could’ve “hedged my bets” a little more, but I didn’t want to. I played for a different reason than most. Some things never change…

I’m sure if a “professional” poker player reads this, they’ll cringe. But I’m not a “professional” poker player. I played for fun, the way that I wanted to play. And I played on possibility. These last two sentences are my life motivations.

Any time that I decide to write, I have a temptation to want to address counterpoints. I don’t think there is anything “wrong” with this. In fact, I think it’s a very good thing to do. Attempting to strengthen arguments is a good thing to do. But, too often, I find myself angry, and attempting to justify myself “against the world”. I don’t really think I have much of a choice. Anyone who wishes to do anything outside of the “norm” will receive “advice” that amounts to “Nah, don’t try that. It’s really hard. Do something more ‘normal’.” I can’t take that boring advice. And why should I? Why should odds keep me from playing the poker game and enjoying it? Why should I sit at the table, miserable, and expecting to lose, instead of sitting at the table happy, and expecting to win? If it doesn’t matter to me how much money I lose, then why should I care, as long as I’m enjoying myself? And if you’re so afraid of losing money, why are you even sitting down at the table to begin with? Why are you even in the casino, observing me play poker? If you’re terrified of losing money, why are you even in the gambling building? You can’t watch me play IF YOU AREN’T IN THE BUILDING. I need to treat you as outside of the casino. I can’t hear you, and you can’t ruin my fun… (“Or save you!”, they incessantly add).

I prefer risk to boredom. Not to such an extent that I crave to “defy death”. But my “excitement” is writing, and trying to get people to pay attention to me, mainly through laughing at me, and dreaming of making people laughing at me a full-time job. That’s as “risky” as I get. I’m not getting drunk and driving 140 mph, like many of those who try to give me advice have done in the past. I’m just trying to get people to laugh at me. It’s really not as serious as the “risky” things that these “advice-givers” have done. So I’d appreciate it if they would shut the fuck up, to be frank. I could not give less of a fuck about any “odds”.

I accept that there are different types of people in the world. Some more risk-averse than others. The ways that people make decisions are varied. I fully accept that not everyone will live the way that I want to live, nor would they want to. I fully accept that. But I also accept that I am not going to be happy unless I take control of my personal life. I will not be happy unless this control factors in my nature, which includes my desire to express myself, and my desire to make myself laugh. I will not be happy unless this control factors in my imagination, and my dreams. I will not be happy if this control becomes like people who aren’t me. I will not be happy if this control does not come from me: if it does not feel like it is mine.

Because I am anticipating the “advice-givers”, I will throw them that obvious bone that they salivate after, and say “Yes, I must accept responsibility for my actions.” But I don’t understand why these “advice-givers” are more focused on my life than theirs. Are they so “risk-averse” that they run on autopilot, with no tough decisions to ever make, so they have plenty of time and energy to criticize others? Maybe you need to try something more difficult. Maybe you need a more strenuous hobby. Maybe you need to mind your own business?

No, all I need is a possibility and passion. That’s what I want. I think I can get by with that. Those two motivating factors will help me improve upon what it is that I am doing. Life is unbearably monotonous when you’re full of dread. If you don’t have anything to look forward to, and instead, ceaselessly focus on your job, and your bills, life becomes very dark. Even a man who hates his job and is in debt can look forward to that six-pack of beer when he gets home. Maybe that’s what gets him through life, and his day. Everybody’s got their “thing” that gets them through life. And these “things” are as diverse as the people who use them. Passion, for me, is the only thing that makes unavoidable monotony even the least bit bearable. And I have decided that I will not suffer, and try to live without it, for any reason: particularly to satisfy “advice-givers”.

I know that not all “advice-givers” are trying to be dissuasive. Some of them are trying to be “persuasive”. “Cody, I’m fine with you having this goal. But here’s how you can achieve it better. Just do all of these things, and stop doing all of these things that you’re actually doing, and then, you probably won’t get there, but I accept that you aren’t going to stop doing it, so here’s the best advice that I can give you.” No. My life isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey. I’ve got a “dream” destination. But even if I don’t get there, that’s the journey I’m going to take, and I’m going to fucking enjoy it.

Enjoy your almost unbearable misery. Maybe we’ll see each other on the other side, and then, maybe, we’ll relate to each other a little more. And maybe you won’t be as miserable as you are now.

And, of course, I should also add that having a “hyper” sense of humor as I have makes this journey a helluva lot easier. I try to find humor in everything (because that’s my nature, and also, because boredom is constant with me). I want to keep developing my sense of humor. And having a sense of humor is a great way to deal with the “advice-givers”, whether they be “haters” or “justified”. Maniacally laughing to myself, just to confuse them, makes it all all-the-more worthwhile.

And, I suppose, I will conclude with the obvious message that the unlikeliest events are the strongest, most powerful ones, when they happen: whether those “events” are positive or negative. I suppose you could’ve been smart enough to draw that connection yourself, but I decided to bash you over the head with it, anyway. Let’s call it “payback”. Besides: I need to start learning to write more words, anyway. Even if they’re garbage. But that’s a tale for another time…

I could also do the same thing, beating you over the head, and say “I’ve already made it clear to you that anxiety is part of my ‘possibility’ philosophy, as evidenced by the very beginning of this. Don’t you think I’ve considered the ‘possibility’ that everything I’m working toward will be nothing, and that I’ll regret all of this? Do you really think I haven’t considered that possibility? Do you really think I’m that ignorant, ye of little faith? Do you think that I haven’t considered that at all? Or is it possible that I have considered this, and yet, for some reason that you don’t seem to understand, have still decided that it is worthwhile to pursue?”

“Cody, when are you going to stop writing about ‘possibility’? When are you going to start creating work that is actually substantial?” So naive……

“Are you saying that this piece of shit you’ve just written here is substantial?” (starts laughing)

No response.

“Wow, he actually does!” (more laughter)

No response.

Let them think what they wish.

The truth exists within the heart.

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A Brief Piece About Language

The hardest part of starting a piece of writing is starting it. (I hope I’m credited for this quote some day). It may be noted that the hardest part of writing is coming up with an idea. But the hardest part is actually reigning them in.

To put it bluntly, “writers” who say that “I want to write, but I don’t know what to write”, are not real writers. In my opinion. Sure, technically, once they put words down in some form, they are a “writer”. But they aren’t “natural” writers. It’s very forced. Very superficial. “Real” writers, to piss people off, know what they want to write, but struggle with the how (and, of course, the “when”, as time is always a constraining factor).

It is very easy to cut a piece off before it’s finished. Very easy to not say all of the things that you really want to say. It’s very easy to write for an imaginary reader, or for “simplicity’s sake”, rather than writing for yourself. And it’s especially easy to do that once you receive the first least little bit of negative feedback.

I am not a fan of communication. In fact, I abhor it. Every single thing about it. I hate hearing the thoughts of others (the majority of the time). I hate talking to other people (most of the time). I just fucking hate every single thing about communication. Do you want to know why? Well, let me gripe about something that started this idea that I had to complain about language by writing about it.

There are many things that I hate about language. Once again, reigning in a piece is really fucking hard. So goddamn hard. And what word do you choose next? What sentence? Do you read to find it out for yourself? Or do you want to come up with it more “completely” on your own? Who and what do you read if you wish to “read” to learn, in effect, “how” to write? There’s so many goddamn choices that it can drive one fucking mad. And I’m really fucking mad right now.

There’s nobody telling me what to write. I wish there were. But at the same time, I know I’d tell that person “No. No. No. I’m not doing that.” And I’d crave independence. Well, here I have it, and I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. And I suck. And that fucking sucks. It breaks my heart to know that there’s room for improvement with my writing, because that means there’s things wrong with it now. I know there will always be something “wrong” with any piece of work. But I don’t care. It bugs me, and I want it to bug me. I want it to drive me crazy. I want it to push me past my breaking point. I want writing to, night and day, make me lose sleep, and obsess over every goddamned word; every string of thoughts. I’m already fucking at this point. And that’s why I can’t get any writing done. There’s too many choices, too many options, and, to be honest with you……I actually love it.

I don’t like thinking about “professional” status. I fucking hate wasting time thinking about “selling pieces of writing”. It’s just that: a huge waste of time. But yet, I desire it, so I think about it. It doesn’t do a goddamn thing to help me get anything done. But, at least sometimes, it makes me happy. And I am a huge fan of “happiness”. Happiness motivates every single action of every human being on the planet, whether they say so or not.

Let me stop right here for a moment. Here’s what started this whole fucking idea I had for this piece. Because now, I need to explain to you my philosophy about “happiness”. I know people are going to argue with me about what I said in the last sentence of the previous paragraph. (I also know there are going to be some people that have a hard time reading this, and that’s another thing that I hate about language). Every single sentence will start an argument with another human being. Every. Single. Fucking. Sentence. That is ever said. Every fucking thought. That becomes communicated. Will be argued. And I fucking hate it. “Why? Are you afraid your ideas are wrong? Don’t like to be ‘challenged’? Just want to live in an echo chamber?” No, that is why. What I just fucking did. I wouldn’t mind arguments if I didn’t already know them beforehand. But I fucking do, and it drives me mad. I already know what is going to be said, and I have for a long fucking time. And I know people hate to fucking hear that. So communication is always conflict with me. And I really fucking hate conflict. I just want to fucking relax. And it makes me wonder why I write any goddamned thing in the first place (I’m obviously not talking about physical fighting when I talk about “conflict”. But debating is exhausting. “Why, because you don’t have any evidence to support your claims?!” No, because I have to explain shit like this to you. This is stupid. A waste of time. Why am I fucking answering your argument? Now, I’m thinking about the dumb readers who will say “Who in the fuck is he talking to in this piece? He’s a crazy person.” This communication thing is just fucking exhausting. I don’t like people, and it makes me wonder why I write). But I have points that I want to make, and I just want to communicate them. But I fucking hate everything that comes with it. Every fucking thing. Grammar. Sales. Vocabulary. “Points”. Word choice. Organization. I mean, I pretty much fucking hate writing to be honest with you.

I can’t tell you why I do this, because I don’t fucking know. Once again, this is a problem with writing: in order to tell you, I’d have to think about it. I want it to be honest and thorough. But that means I’m going to have to think about that instead of something else that I want to think about. That something else starts off the way this piece started off: ok, I know what I want to say, but how in the fuck am I going to get there? I have 15 million different ideas, but how in the fuck do I start them? How do I organize them? Where am I going to go with them? The entire writing process really is fucking futile. It’s incredibly masochistic. “Go to school for it!” FUCK you. That would defeat the whole fucking purpose of this. “Don’t you want to know how to write?” I don’t want to be taught how to write. I want to be my own teacher, deciding who to read and for what reason, and deciding what I find valuable in the words of others (and, thus, what I will adopt from them for myself), and what I don’t particularly enjoy about other writers. I don’t want to be taught things that are very subjective and personal to me. That’s the whole reason I write. Writing isn’t mathematics, where there’s concrete, exact answers to objective physical phenomena. Literature is, to put it simplistically, “a lot different”. I want to leave my personal mark on my writing. As much as I would say I’ve historically been a very gullible person, I’ve also been a very skeptical person, especially of people “in charge”. I can just hear a sociologist saying “Problems with authority, huh? That kid is going to end up in jail some day.” The dumb voices always stick out to me, for some reason. There’s something about that level of stupidity that I can’t ignore. It feels like a duty for me to point them out, if only for my own “ethical cleansing” (make sure you don’t read that as “ethnic cleansing”. I know some dumbass probably did). I’m skeptical of the idea of someone telling me “how literature should be”. I’ve always been skeptical of people in charge, and I think that’s always warranted. People who blindly follow orders are terrifying.

“Do A.” “Do B.” “Do C.” Anytime you have any uncertainty, you best believe there’s gonna be words of others coming. (in Archie Bunker voice) “But don’t you see that that just compounds the problem, Edith?” In order to communicate this to you, I have to think about it. But the problem is that, most of the time, the effort is spent on explaining things instead of actually making an argument. That, perhaps, is what I hate most about writing. I want to fucking make points. Interesting, thoughtful points. I don’t want to explain every little goddamn detail. But, of course, that’s what readers need. “Duh, Cody, if you’re going to make a point, duh, you need to explain it.” No fucking shit. Readers like you drive me crazy. Stating the obvious to such a degree that it’s a waste of energy to say “Yeah, I fucking know that.” It would be easier to ignore them, but it’s not that easy after all. Explanations take up so much valuable point-making time. Take this paragraph for example. It’s “explanation”. Is it really an argument? I guess it could be argued that it is. But it isn’t the fucking argument that I want to make. “Then why are you writing it, Cody?” Because it will help make my arguments make sense; that is the point of an explanation. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ, do I have to explain this shit to you? (You see my point).

Hopefully, you do see my points. But if you just think me crazy, I’ll fucking live with it.

Don’t read me. Don’t read this. Go read something from someone else.

(If everyone’s got their demons, then why do we envy?)

…Don’t mind me. Just talking to myself again. (Do I insert humor here does that make sense does it flow well does it distract from the point too much…) (To beat a dead horse, recall previous paragraphs).

It’s easier to be bad. I love being bad. I’ve learned to thrive from it. Sure, it means that you’re bad. But c’mon. Being good is really hard. (Let’s talk to yourself for a little bit, Cody. Don’t you love being insane? Don’t you love talking to yourself in everything you write nowadays? You’re bobbing and weaving as you write this. You want people to think you’re crazy, huh Cody? Are we having fun? Are your readers laughing at you now? You’re truly a madman, aren’t you? Look at you go. Some readers love this. I wish I could have his mind for a day, they say. But haven’t you been reading what I’m fucking writing?, you say. Stroke that ego. Ah, yes. You’ve ratted yourself out to your detractors now! It’s all about your ego! They knew it! Ha! It all makes sense now! Now they’ve got you! Ahhhhh!!!! What are you going to do now? How will you ever get out of this fucking corner they’ve backed you into yet again? If only they could see the way you’re bebopping around now. Like a fucking madman. Like the fucking madman you’ve always wanted to be………. But you fucking love it).

It’s easier to be repetitive. It’s easier to stew on the same issue for a very long time. I’m a very gullible person, so I need to spend a lot of time with the same ideas to make sure I grasp them enough to actually believe them and defend them (even though I hate communication). I’ve always taken the easy way out with writing. I’ve always taken the easy way out with communication. Just keeping my mouth shut. It’s usually easier that way. But sometimes, it isn’t. And that’s, obviously, when words start coming out. But without the practice, they just don’t make sense sometimes.

I want to contribute good ideas to humanity. I don’t want to be famous simply for the sake of being famous (I want to be famous because I know I could become rich through fame, and I want to be rich so I can “retire”). But I want to contribute good ideas to humanity. Ideas that are smart. Meaningful. Significant. Not for praise; not even for money. But because it feels good. Feeling like I have contributed something intelligent and thoughtful makes me feel good. That’s the only reason I need to try to do such a thing. I realize that there are countless people who have contributed “better” ideas than my own, and this trend will continue with future “idea shapers”. But it’s just in me to think and write. And that’s what I do. Even though I hate everything else about it.

I just wish I didn’t have to spend so much goddamn time explaining everything. But I can tell that it helps me become a better writer, and I still have a lot of “thinking” to do to get better at “thinking”, so I’m hopeful for the future, at least from a “quality” standpoint. As long as I don’t become “evil”, I’ll be good. (That was obvious, Cody).

The important part of all of this is to feel honestly. That is something that has frequently escaped me. I’ve written about religious conservatism enough for now, but being completely honest and comfortable with my emotions is very challenging for me. Perhaps there’s some truth to men in general being less comfortable with accepting their own emotions as compared to women, but religious conservatism has made this task so much harder than any role biology (probably) has played. It’s hard when every single emotion leads you back to “fear”. It, surprise surprise, makes you not want to feel any emotion at all. And I think that made me angry for many years. That, and some other things that made me angry for many years took over my life. Anger and sadness seemed to be the only things I felt before I started getting into comedy. I’m only 25, so I suppose “anger and sadness” during the teenage years are normal. But still. My emotions during that time period shouldn’t be completely dismissed.

(So much of my writing is about my struggles with writing. It’s weird, but I’m ok with this).

And then, of course, there’s the soul-crushing aspect of putting your heart and soul into something just to have it demolished. That’s always hard. “But Cody, you open yourself up to that stuff by writing in the first place-” Jesus fucking Christ. You goddamned stupid people. You’re so dense and naive. “Aren’t we all-” Go fuck yourself.

I am starting to realize the importance of independent thought. That truly is a beautiful thing about life: that we all have our own separate wills. We all have individual traits and desires, and that leads to a lot of diversity. I think that’s wonderful (and no, some college professor isn’t forcing me to write this: I actually believe it). My childhood way of looking at things was that things followed very specific blueprints. Maybe I was just a dumb kid, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that idea is “common” among kids. You follow the rules, the “adults” have a lot of similarities with each other (especially to the child mind), etc. And then, of course, you start to gain independence when you get older. Start thinking about things, choosing your sources of information to absorb, your ideas change, etc. There’s always going to be countless things that frustrate everyone. We all have our individual troubles that we have to try to fix. But I’m starting to truly realize that there is no blueprint. I live my life, do what I want, make my choices, deal with the negative consequences, and I value learning, so I try to learn as much as possible about things I am interested in. When I have a thought that I want to develop that sounds interesting, I write. And I have many life circumstances that I’m unhappy with, but I’m working on those. As I’ve written before, the key to me is feeling like I’m independent. I know I’m going to have many troubles throughout my life: problems that could’ve been more easily resolved or avoided altogether “if I only would’ve done this”. But who doesn’t have that? Once again, I keep hearing these hypothetical voices from others in my head trying to direct me, and I just have to think “Where did you get this magical fucking blueprint of what I should be doing, and who ordained it?”

I can tell just how long of a “long-term” project writing really is. I’m desperate to write good stuff, but I’m so stupid. I’m so ignorant of so many different things: technical linguistic skill, knowledge of topics, etc. But I can tell that I need an overall perspective. I need to have a deeply personal, independent, overall perspective about things that I do. There’s no blueprint to be handed to me about where to go, either with writing or with anything else. I’m pretty sure confidence will come with age. It’s just a waiting game, in many ways: being a biological slave. But that isn’t a bad thing as long as you’re having a good time on the ride you’re “trapped” with.

I’m not looking forward to being critiqued. I don’t like it. I know, you’re fucking entitled to your own opinion. I fucking get it. I know I’m not perfect. But I just fucking hate listening to most criticism. There’s always a fair-share of just dumb criticism. And, as always, there’s people telling you stuff that you already know. There’s people that don’t get what you say. And the minority of criticism is actually valuable criticism. Stuff that you can use. Stuff that you hadn’t actually thought of before. Most of it is either envious bunk because you’re trying to do something or it’s a strawman or any other stupid shit that people do. There are plenty of times where people bring up valid concerns, and you go back, and forth, and back, and forth. And many would find that “productive”. But anytime I think of “debates” or going “back and forth”, I think of religion. How many fucking years do we have to “debate” religion? I’m so sick of the “debate”. I’m fucking tired of it. I’ve heard it over and over and over and over and I just want to say “Why in the fuck are you people still debating? Just fucking live and let live! Let go! Who fucking cares if you ‘save’ an atheist?” Why can’t we just agree to disagree, and surround ourselves with people that agree with us? This idea that we should always “challenge” our beliefs is so prevalent now, and I don’t get it. Once again, “let me explain”.

This is what I don’t understand about the idea of an “echo chamber”. The idea of an echo chamber is that you just listen to people that confirm “what you already believe”, or some stupid shit like that. I can certainly understand how that’s a “thing”. A “negative” thing. But I’ve, personally, had more experiences in what my friend and I call “ambiguity land”, where there’s so much conflicting information that you go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth in your own fucking mind so much that you start getting bags under your eyes because you can’t figure it out. Trying to weigh all of the different factors, etc. etc. Who fucking cares? At some point, you just have to make a fucking decision. You don’t need to justify that decision, you get to decide who you are going to debate with, and when, and what about, and you need to accept that people are going to say whatever the fuck they want to about you. It’s going to anger you at times, and you’ll probably feel the need to defend yourself often, but this is how it is. This is just how it is. The back and forth is fucking exhausting, and I hate it. I don’t want to do it. Everyone does it from time to time, and sometimes I enjoy it. But overall, I’d say that I don’t. I’m tired of it. Especially something like the “religious debate”. People just spin their wheels over and over and over, and I’m done listening to “the argument”. I want my religious experience to be more personal and meaningful than the traditional “Christian vs. atheist” debates.

Biology and experience help out a lot. I know they’ll help me out with a lot of issues I have with writing. It’s going to be like ripping my fingernails off one by one, but I know the end result will improve. Practice and genes. And just learning in general from the sources that I wish to learn from.

Deciphering truth and “Why” questions is a whole nother matter entirely (that consumes me).

What’s the Point?

Inspiration.

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Sitting in Silence.

The Apparent Disconnect Between Thinking and Acting.

Purpose

I have a tendency to write about “human nature”, but for this piece, I will try to focus solely on myself. Sometimes, I feel brain-dead. I feel as if no stimulation is entering my brain, or that the stimulation that is still, for all intents and purposes, is not enough to alleviate my “brain-dead” status. And it isn’t anyone’s fault but my own.

It isn’t that I don’t have things to do. I have plenty of things to do. But I’ve written about this problem before. It’s partly a commitment issue. A fear issue. An independence issue. I am fully aware that my decisions now will affect me forever. And that weight often produces a crippling anxiety within me that freezes (or, at least, limits) my decision-making ability.

It isn’t that I’m not making decisions because I’m anxious. I’m just making anxiety-induced decisions. It’s a type of homeostasis: a comfort level. A security issue. This safety net conflicts me. On the one hand, I have set routines which, although not perfectly ideal, are, at least for the moment, tolerable practically. There are still bigger hopes and dreams, but the routines are tolerable. But, at the moment, I find myself asking what my purposes are. I don’t want to get caught in a routine where I don’t think about my life and what I’m doing. I don’t want to become an automaton: I want to actually think of what purpose my actions have, and what I wish for them to lead to. And the best way for me to do this is philosophically. A big part of this, I believe, are three things: independence, commitment, and acceptance.

Independence

I am becoming better at the “independence” part. I do not feel as gullible as I did when I was a child. I’m making progress. I’m writing my own independent thoughts. Trying out various things to gain internet attention. Listening to the advice that others give me, but still making decisions that I feel like are my own, whether I apply their advice or not. There’s a lot of creative independence in my life, but even this has started to become “automatic”. A large part of this has to do with how few people care about my work. I’ve already decided that I do my creative work for myself, and whatever I enjoy doing, but I still dream of making my creative endeavors a career. Laugh if you wish. Suggest all you want. But I can’t get this idea out of my head. I can’t get the thought of writing and making people laugh for money out of my head. I don’t want to know what my life would be like without these thoughts. I don’t care about making more money if it means I hate my job (there’s obviously a bare minimum amount of money which I must make to sustain my life, and if it fulfilled what I’m looking for in this piece, I obviously wouldn’t be writing this). It’s obviously “about the money” to a certain extent, as I’d like to get paid for what I like to do so that I don’t need to do anything else to sustain myself. But that figure may simply be as much as I’m currently making (which is on the low-end of five figures). So it isn’t about being rich (although who could reject that?): it’s more about the labor. Enjoying the labor. Feeling a sense of purpose with my life’s work. That’s what I’m after more than anything.

I’ve written about my lazy nature here. And it is difficult for me to feel independent when everyone gives their advice. Of course, I listen to most of it, even if I don’t take it. But it never feels like something I need to do. The problem is the uncertainty factor: the future is always uncertain, to varying degrees. Although some people are better at predicting certain things than certain others, there’s still no “perfect blueprint” that everyone must live by in order to be “best prepared for the future”. If that were the case, then we, as humans, would not feel free, but would rather feel like pawns in the “grand scheme”. We, as humans, have wills, and make decisions. This is what we do. This, indeed, is a large part of actually being human. When faced with an uncertain future, we combine our desires and our forecasting abilities to make decisions to maximize our level of happiness, and then we gauge the results as they come in. That’s all we do, every single day, for our entire lives.

Leaving “desires” aside, and not trying to say which desires are “more valuable” than others, how do we determine whose decisions are better than others? In other words, how do I know whether or not my decision-making process is better or worse than anyone else’s decision-making process? First off, I have my own desires, which I will use my decision-making ability to try to achieve. And sure, I’m sure there are people whose decision-making processes would be better suited for me to achieve my own desires than my own decision-making processes. But how do I know? How do they know, and how do I know? How do they know they are right, and how do I know they are right? How do they know I’m wrong? The only answer, in practice, is to test the hypotheses: do it my way, and do it their way.

This poses some problems, however. There’s time constraints, as using multiple complex methods to achieve complicated ends can take more than a lifetime to achieve. There are people who spend their entire lives mastering crafts and skills to achieve their goals. If they are already spending their entire lives doing this, why should they listen to anyone else, and do it their own way and the way of the one suggesting the new way? The time and effort that it would take to do this for even two different ways can take too much time and effort to do effectively. But what about the individual desires of the one acting? What if he doesn’t want to do it the other way? Why are his desires seemingly neglected in almost every single piece of advice given when it comes to making decisions, career choices, etc.?

Of course, there are many people with lots of life experience who know things that others don’t: people with skills in various industries, who have had enlightening experiences that have guided them positively throughout their entire lives, and who are simply wishing to share that positivity with others. But the point is that each decision ultimately comes down to the person making that decision, and he or she will have his or her own reasons for making that decision; indeed, each individual has their own desires, and this is the most important part. Each individual is born with desires, and these desires happen to be diverse. Therefore, there will be no “universal blueprint” to satiate the desires of everyone. So what is one to do? That is up to the individual: one must decide, for himself or herself, what he or she believes to be the best course of action for him or her.

…And that’s that. There will be regret, mistakes, triumphs, and jubilation to be had along the way, for all participants in “life”. That, I think, is the ultimate point. There will be “ups and downs”, and the point is to figure out “Why am I here? What am I doing? What is my purpose?”

That is the eternal question.

I see that I have failed in my initial goal to talk more about myself than “human nature”, so I’ll close with this: What is my purpose? Why do I feel like I am here? What do I want?

I can’t say that I know what my “purpose” is. I can give what my purpose is for particular actions, but not for my overall reason of existence. Obviously, the purpose of my actions, as stated above, is to attempt to maximize my happiness. What makes me happy? Dreaming of getting paid for what I love to do. What do I love to do? That’s a deeper question that I don’t think is completely answered yet. At the moment, I enjoy writing. Things like this. I like making myself laugh, and sharing those thoughts with others to try to make them laugh as well. How do I get paid for these things? And can I? I have no idea.

But it is my purpose to find out.

How do I know when to “quit”? How and when will I know whether or not I have “succeeded” or “failed”? Once again, I do not know. I will only know that when the time comes, and right now, my only purpose is to dream of having a career that makes me happy, do what makes me happy, and then work on making money at that by, somehow, getting people to care. It’s very tentative, as, as I’ve said, I don’t really care if people like it or not. There’s an obvious conflict: if I don’t care, then how do I expect to get paid? For one, I don’t think that me caring has anything to do with whether or not people find the work “good”: they will find it “good” or “bad” independent of how I feel about them (although perhaps if I said “I hate any fans I may have”, they may decide to hate my work from that point on). But I’m confident in my abilities to create work that people will like. What evidence do I have to justify this claim to you? My response is: I don’t care about justifying my response to you. My goal is to make it happen in order to prove to you that I can do it. I simply want to prove “everybody” wrong. More than anything, that is what I want. I want to do it simply because of the voices that tell me that I can’t, or that I won’t. They are as big of a motivating factor as any, if not more so. I want to prove everybody wrong. That is a major purpose of my work.

Obviously, I want to enjoy my work, and I want to get paid to do it. I enjoy work like this, which is simply a writing down of my thoughts, which are too complicated to organize in this piece (I can’t tell you “what my thoughts are”: you simply have to read things I have written). I enjoy making myself laugh. I suppose I’m simply looking for “like-minded individuals”. If I can’t find that, then I’ll settle for vitriol, as long as I’m known of (you can’t get paid if no one knows who you are. “You also can’t get paid if no one likes you.” See, vague phrases like that are dumb. It is very rarely that someone is universally hated. Even someone “universally hated” like Trump (Trump parody 1, Trump parody 2) is beloved by many. This is simply hateful, stupid language to use by miserable people who want to bring others down (I know this from intimate experience)). So, as I have said many times, and will say again, my purpose is to get paid for work that I enjoy doing. I enjoy writing jokes, making myself look like an idiot, and, from time to time, trying to sound intelligent (like I’m trying to sound in this article). I still have a desire to write fiction, but it is so much work that I don’t want to exhaust myself by bringing it up in this piece, so I’ll end my discussion of fiction here. I don’t know when or if I’m going to “call it quits”. I don’t know when or if I’m going to change careers. I do not know. All I know is that I want this, and I’m going to do it and see what happens.

*insert “Not everyone gets what they want”, “Sometimes, you have to compromise”, and other pieces of advice here. My secretary will be ignoring you shortly.

And, I will conclude with this: once again, who is right, who is wrong, and how do we really know without extensive experimentation that isn’t really worth carrying out in the long run?

Commitment

Commitment is very intimately related to independence. Indeed, if I commit, it will be me that does it. What am I talking about here? What am I wanting to commit to?

I’m wanting to commit to the work that makes me happy. I want to work on my projects at my own schedules, which I do. I’m typically lazy, but, as I stated above, my routines are becoming stale, and I need a change. I think this is going to involve becoming more committed to my work. My work exhausts me, and I hate that. No one cares about my work, and I hate that. But I still want to do it. It almost feels like all I want. I can’t describe the rate at which I want to work on my work: all I can say is that I don’t want the load to drive me crazy, but I also actually want to get things completed. I don’t know how to pinpoint it more than that. Most days, I don’t really want to work on it. It’s exhausting, and I think “Why would I do this right now? I won’t be getting paid for it. So why put that much effort into it?” And so, I don’t. And I consume the works of others instead. And I do this until my routines become too boring, and then, I start to write the things that are on my mind, like I’m doing here. Or, I bring that thing that made me laugh to life. And then…that’s it. Again and again, over and over. I haven’t figured out how to commit to this yet. It feels more like a hobby, when I feel like I want it to be my life. But I’m afraid of committing and later finding out that I don’t really want it anymore. That fear prevents me from committing to a lot of different decisions. I believe my raising has a lot to do with this, as my parents always told me to “do something different” than they did. I interpreted this to mean actually liking my job, even if that isn’t what they meant. And I’m going to keep this interpretation.

Although, in the previous “chapter”, I discussed how I want my own independence (and I’ve written about it here), I’m still terrified by it. The truth is, many of these routines are comforting to me, as I feel like I know what to expect, even if what I expect is less than desirable. There is something terrifying to me about committing more time and energy to writing, acting, and comedy. A large part of it is the unknown factor. And the regret factor. What if I become elderly, and regret and lament all of the years I spent doing this stuff? It’s a very complicated mess that I haven’t quite figured out, regardless of the gusto with which I wrote the first “chapter” “Independence”. I get bogged down with the amount of time and effort it takes to complete something, and then, I “take a break” (or “quit”). But then, once again, the routines bore me, and I come back.

Something that terrifies me is maybe I’m not as “committed” to all of this as I wish I was. Perhaps none of this work truly is a “life-or-death” matter. I think I wish it were; that way, I would feel more compelled to actually do it. But the truth is that the work exhausts me, and I don’t want to do it. But then I get bored, and want to do it. It frightens me that maybe I’m not truly a writer, because then, that begs the question: “What the fuck am I?!” And that triggers the immediate post-high school graduate existential crisis of “What am I going to do with my life?!”

As I’ve stated, my purpose is to make a career out of what I like to do. And I’m doing what I like to do. I like to write, make people laugh, etc., which I’ve stated ad nauseam. But how committed am I to all of this? Is this just some hobby? What is it? At the moment, it is a way for me to pass the time and not feel a crushing level of boredom. But will it ever be more than that? The lazy side of me wants to make it a career, but I don’t know if it ever will or not. But my perspective about that is that if I like doing it, then I might as well adopt the “I’m going to try to make this a career” attitude, because I’m going to do it whether or not it becomes a “career”. So, from my perspective, adopting the “I’m going to make this a career” attitude gives me nothing to lose (although, of course, people will say I could be learning a more marketable skill, etc. etc. I’ve addressed all of this above in the “Independence” “chapter”).

I’ve written an article on laziness called…”On Laziness”…, but there is another aspect of my laziness that I want to write about here. As smart economists know, being productive is not the same thing as working hard: you work harder digging with a spoon than a shovel or a bulldozer, but you aren’t as productive. And I realized that early on, working hard wasn’t really all that it was cracked up to be. This was particularly apparent to me in school, involving reading. Due in part to the fact that I was intelligent, and didn’t need to put in a lot of effort to get the answers “right”, I never really “worked hard” in school. At one point, I tried to make things harder because I was bored. But that felt stupid to me, so I stopped. But the work became so boring, and never fulfilled my “philosophical side”, that I stopped caring. I barely passed, and started to fail more. But it didn’t matter to me, because the subjects sucked. It still doesn’t matter to me. I only wish that I had been around subjects that I actually cared more about, but educational reform is a topic for another piece (and for other people). Once again, this goes back to the “desire” portion of this piece, its individualistic nature, and why or why not some desires are “more important” than others.

But why work hard on something that you don’t care about? For a long time, I didn’t really know what I cared about. I just went through the motions (as I feel like I still do most of the time). But I didn’t care, so I stopped working hard. When it was easy, I tried to make it hard. And when it actually got hard, I just stopped caring. I don’t have any regrets about this, as, as I’ve said, the subjects were boring and uninteresting to me (I know you are going to tell me how I should’ve paid attention to things I didn’t care about, but I’m going to ignore your advice by ignoring you right now, other than this small response sentence).

I don’t really know what I’ve cared about. I’ve cared deeply about philosophy. I care about economics. I care about money. And I care about being happy. I care about maximizing the time that I do things that I enjoy. Other than that (and, of course, friends, family, and a general wish for good for mankind), there isn’t much that I care about. I’m still figuring out what I like do to, and figuring out what sticks.

Acceptance

The final “chapter” of this piece is acceptance. My first thought is people saying that I need to “accept” that I’ll never become a professional writer, that I’ll never make it big on Youtube, etc. etc. But, once again, none of their alternatives make me happy, and why in the fuck would I purposefully make myself less happy than I am currently? Don’t we all live to be as happy as possible? Isn’t that what we want? Isn’t that why we work? Isn’t that why we want families? If it isn’t, then why in the fuck are we doing what we’re doing?!

I’m not so naive to suggest that absolute, complete happiness is possible. You’d be an idiot to suggest that that is my point. However, if we do not take actions to maximize our happiness, then why are we even fucking alive? What is it that we are actually doing if we aren’t trying to make ourselves happy? And what’s the point of what we are doing? Few people I’ve encountered have a satisfactory answer to those questions. Indeed, few people I’ve encountered even truly understand those questions.

So if I’m not talking about “picking a different career” acceptance, what type of acceptance am I talking about? Well, it isn’t “picking a different career” acceptance yet. The first acceptance is accepting that I am not “famous”. My work is not renowned around the world; my words are not “massively influential”. I stock groceries for a living. That is my life. (Yes, these words are coming from a grocery stocker. If that makes you more impressed, I’ll gladly reveal that to you. And even if they don’t, I may find your response entertaining, so I’ll let you know, anyway). My hobbies include watching Youtube videos, and…eating. I get too mentally exhausted to read as much as would probably be beneficial to me. Same with writing, making videos, etc. I watch content from other people that makes me laugh, post a few jokes every now and then, play some video games every once in a while, and act stupid for 10 seconds at a time in internet videos. And that has been the “routine” for a long time now. And it is becoming stale.

The solution to that, as I’ve said, is writing more like this, figuring out how to make my fiction better (on my own accord: I do not want to be “taught” from someone else), and working on making more (and funnier) funny videos. Of course, I have to accept the fact that if none of it ever goes “viral”, I will be putting a lot of time and effort into things which will never make me the money that I wish would. And I will have to decide if I will do something different, or stay the course. In my opinion, it is too early to tell. I believe very deeply that I can get people to pay attention to me. I believe that I can get people to find my words insightful, as I believe some people will find this. I believe that I can make some people laugh, through Twitter hashtags and Youtube videos. I believe these things deep down. And doing them makes me happy. So I have incentives for doing these things, even if I’m missing out on “truck driving money”, etc. I accept the fact that no one but me really cares about what I’m doing right now. I accept the fact that nothing I’m doing is making me any money. And I need to decide how much more time and effort I’m going to invest in these things that I enjoy doing. I don’t ultimately know the answer, but I want to keep doing these things if they make me happy; and the thought of seeing my creative visions come to life, and adding more and more completed visions as time passes, and thinking of the possibility that some people might actually like them, and that enough of those people will eventually give me enough money to live off of, is enough for me to keep doing it, regardless of how “realistic” any of these dreams actually are……

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Murray Rothbard.

Even more Murray Rothbard.

Bulleted lists of what I like about writing and what I hate about writing.

Things I hate about writing:

– organizing
– rereading
editing (the inability to make a decision, having to figure out how to fix something because it doesn’t make sense, and realizing that I have to write A LOT MORE to connect the dots I was attempting to create, but I don’t have the words for the thoughts in my head)
– shit vocabulary
criticism (I typically ignore it and don’t really care for it: I do what I want)
– fear of dedication of time and energy towards it because I “may be missing out on something else”
– comparing myself to other writers
– stressing out over my lack of financial compensation for writing
– sitting and thinking without writing (I’m excrutiatingly impatient)
– explaining to others “what I meant”
– feeling like what I’ve written isn’t original; that the subject matter has been discussed since the dawn of time, and my opinions regarding the subject have been rewritten over and over and over since the dawn of time
marketplace competition

– wanting to go 15 million directions within a piece and then getting confused
– unintentionally repeating myself
– rereading
– editing (the inability to make a decision…)
– the fear of being “better” than someone due to receiving praise from multiple people about one piece
– getting stuck; not knowing where to go next, and thinking about thinking about it (and feeling crazy for thinking and thinking and thinking about it and going deep into the rabbit hole…)
– feeling mentally exhausted before I’m finished with a piece
– people misinterpreting my words
– realizing that people will want to kill me for my words
– feeling uninspired
– forcing myself to write when I’m not “feeling it”
– self-doubt
– realizing that by saying one opinion, I’m going to open myself up to other arguments that I either KNOW I can defend myself against (but the process is so exhausting, and adds SO much extra work for just one opinion) OR I want to express an opinion that I know I won’t be able to effectively defend and then……I’ll feel like an idiot
– self-doubt with word choice
– reading what I have written, feeling like it doesn’t make sense, rewriting it, then realizing I’ve changed my original meaning, so I change it back to the original way it was, it makes sense, and then I wonder what in the fuck I’ve just done (drives me mad; the BIGGEST fucking problem on this whole goddamn list…INFURIATING)
– COMING UP WITH NEW IDEAS AND NOT FINISHING THE OLD ONES. This happens to me more frequently than anything on this list, mainly because I get so frustrated with the previous point that I just end up doing THIS point OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER…JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
– hearing voices in my head from the past mocking me for being “perfectionistic” when I start to think about which punctuation mark to use, etc.
– feeling crazy for working on multiple pieces at once while also coming up with ideas for brand new pieces all at the same time and not knowing how to fucking organize it all (so I end up “taking a break” lmfao), which leads to me never getting anything fucking done…
– confronting my emotions when it comes to my religious past
– people “trying to get to know me better” because they like my work
– not knowing what to do when people talk to me
– getting confused because ideas for multiple pieces come to my head at once and I can’t keep them organized
– not knowing when something is “finished”
– feeling like I’m a bad writer for realizing that I need to make a change
– my perfectionism regarding realizing I have made mistakes (SO exhausting……)
– making mistakes…
feeling like I’m bragging when I’m simply stating what I can do and what I feel like I am good at

WordPress specific:
– linking
– coding

(I’m exhausted, I’m tired of thinking of this, I don’t want to wait longer and start doubting myself, so I’m going to hurry up and publish this: my typical “writing mentality”…)

Things I like about writing:

– the ideas
– feeling smart
– feeling funny
– feeling good
– the tactile act of typing
– the way my handwriting looks
– dreaming of the future
– trying to be profound
– feeling original
– having people say “Wow, that was good. I never thought of that before.”
– people telling me how much they laughed at my jokes
dreaming of being wealthy and relaxed
completing an idea and feeling happy with it
– the thought of people discovering my works years after they have been written
– talking about topics that I enjoy, or that I feel very passionate about
writing stories that entertain me
– feeling smarter as I attempt to become “better” as a writer (whatever that means)
– surprising people
– getting people to seriously ponder my ideas
– learning
– flashes of inspiration
– the speed and depth which inspiration creates
– the emotional high that comes with the inspiration
– the freedom that comes with expressing my individuality
– creating discussion
– EVERYTHING about creating fiction (unless it involves anything in my “hate” list)
– learning before I start to write when I desire to write, because it helps make my writing more profound, better, etc.

Overall, I’d say that I hate it, but it is who I am, and I can’t do anything else about it. To remove it from me would remove a large part of who I am, so I’m stuck with it, for better or for worse.

A Labor of Love.

The Rantings of a Crazed, Lunatic Writer.