Tag Archives: Lunatic

Personal Examination of Experimental Repetition

I once had a blog. I guess it was near 10 year ago, now. Would’ve made me 15, 16 years old. Yikes. Glad it’s not still around (although a part of me wishes I could still see what I wrote, and only me). But I’ve always been a scatterbrained little boy, for a multitude of reasons.

This scatterbraininess has its perks, such as giving me a lot of creativity. But it has also sucked very frequently throughout my life, as I either forget or can’t concentrate on important matters because my mind is always adrift. The only way I have found to combat this “driftfulness” is to repeat myself.

The first time I ever recall this happening was when I first attempted to get my driver’s license at 16: the “normal” age. A combination of stubbornness, philosophy, immaturity, anxiety, and obliviousness caused me to be a really late bloomer, as it were. Stubbornness, as I didn’t understand why I needed a car or a license, as I was content with staying at home (“leaving” meant hanging out with people. I was perfectly content with being alone. In fact, I never felt like I had enough alone time at home. A loud TV was the norm. I guess a license could have given me that alone time I wanted, but at any rate); philosophy, because it always bugs me when I can’t get to a real “root” of a matter (I stew relentlessly until I come up with something), immaturity (should be obvious), anxiety (I’ll get into that in a second), and obliviousness (related to the anxiety).

The philosophy and stubbornness overlap. I have always tried to understand things as deeply as possible. Well, at least with certain things. I remember being a kid, on a baseball field (as part of a team, in the middle of a game), in the outfield, picking up flowers, looking up at the sky, and wondering “Why am I here?” I wasn’t sad. Just curious. The contrast between the grass and the sky fascinated me. The color. The fact that I could touch the grass, but not the sky. The clouds moved, but the ground did not. I wanted to know more. And when I couldn’t learn more, I became very, very depressed. (Finally, I gave my attention to the people yelling at me to go get the ball. What in the Hell is going on here? I have no idea. But, to the ball I went. And I’m sure I threw it quite shittily. Yes, I’ll get lost in my own head: surrounding reality be damned).

A quick detour: my love for philosophy was quickly frightened into the deepest recesses of my mind by my introduction to religion. My natural desire to be curious was crushed by teachings (which eventually became my beliefs) of OBEDIENCE. “Curiosity” and “obedience” are on opposite ends of the “philosophical perspective” spectrum. This introduction introduced a whole host of anxieties to an already anxious little boy. I was frightened by inaction. (If you currently feel the need to preach to me about “God’s goodness”, or something, save it. Meaning don’t even say it).

But I avoided getting my license, or a car, because I truly didn’t understand why I needed it. I thought cars were just for hanging out with friends, and I just wanted to stay at home. I couldn’t understand it, so I wasn’t getting it. And that was that, even if it caused Hell on the whole family (which, regrettably, of course it did).

Also, anxiety became more and more of my “norm”. Absolutely tortuous levels of anxiety. A chaotic home life (just a continuance of just about as long as I can remember) and excruciating boredom just made me absolutely depressed. I didn’t care about anything. Suicide was a frequent thought, but I never actually harmed myself. Just stayed depressed. Mom is crazy and fighting with Dad and now she’s gone but she keeps coming back and leaving over and over and over and over. A quick slap in the face. And: whaddaya know! She’s gone again. (I’m not going in chronological order, as a particular slap that I’m thinking of happened before my driver’s permit time, but everything that was shit in my life just feels like one giant blur). The boredom was bad as well. If I would’ve known how to organize my thoughts better, I think writing could have saved me. But the very (and I mean very) few times I tried to write (way back in elementary school) never materialized into anything, because I could have an idea for an alien landing in my backyard, but I couldn’t figure out the words to start it. So the writing came to a halt until I got a Facebook page, and starting writing everyone’s eyes off there. And then, eventually, there was the blog.

I don’t recall what my first few blog posts were about. I’m sure they were a bunch of whining, as they are now. A lot of bad writing. I can’t remember the topics. But I remember letting a girl that I went to school with read something I had written. I was proud that I had written something. But she said it was very repetitive, and I felt devastated. I don’t think she understood the point that I was trying to make in the post, and I barely recall trying to explain it to her, but it didn’t do any good. I thought “What is the point in writing this if I can’t explain it for someone to understand?” I think I took a pretty long hiatus after that point.

I’m not quite sure why I keep jumping around chronologically, and I apologize for it. I guess everything just feels like a blur to me, and I have no rhyme, nor reason, for why things come out of my head in the way that they do. I suppose that’s still one thing that remains true about myself to this very day.

Yes, I was born a very quiet child. A sense of humor finally came out of me. It made me laugh, and made the people around me laugh, and that made me feel very good. There were still tremendous sadnesses within me, as I sometimes wonder still exist, but at least there was humor as well. A humor that provided me with a life and vitality that had been cheated of me at a young age, thanks to a reckless mother and various pastors.

I could spend a lifetime, and indeed, think I just might, thinking about why I am the way that I am. I believe that it is easier now than it has ever been; as youth provides one with a sense of depression at one’s, for a couple of examples, lack of ability, or “uniqueness”, that, it seems, can only be alleviated with age. The shortcomings of my youth, at the time, felt insurmountable. The only “answer”, it seemed, was to be depressed. And so, life sucked. Until, by divine intervention, it was alleviated. Not completely, but to a noteworthy degree. It comes and it goes, but I’m not sure that it has ever consumed me the way that it did back then. Isn’t that interesting? Although this certainly isn’t a certainty, it certainly does seem like the teenaged years are the worst years of the lives of most. Only the most unfortunate of us experience the worst years of our lives earlier or later than at teen age. That is quite fascinating to me. It is interesting. If I hadn’t spent so many years clogging up my ears with hymns, and would have paid more attention in biology class, I’d understand hormones, and puberty, better than I do now. But, as it stands, I can only speculate as an ignorant philosopher who has devoid his intellect of scientific understanding, and thus, here I remain, with but a small interest in science, and of such a variety as isn’t biological, but more of the physical. Alas, such is life, I suppose. Thanks, religion. I’ll move on and let go of my grudges some day. With some help…

Yes, I, like so many other children, although to a much lesser degree than a lot, learned of being cheated at a young age. And absolutely nothing I could do would fix it. I was absolutely helpless. To a careless mother. Sadness engulfed me tremendously. I shudder to think of creating a child as sad as I was, and I hope my mother shudders from it from this day forth. It’s the least that she deserves. I trust, and hope, that she has been in Hell from it since its inception. If she has, then I suppose I will forgive her in due time, when I deem fit. And if she hasn’t been tormented by it, and only provides crocodile tears, well, I suppose I will still forgive her when I see fit.

Yes, although sadness engulfed me, reality did not care. I still had schoolwork that I was supposed to do. Things that I needed to learn how to do for my own betterment; especially in the future. I was a confused and depressed mess of hormones. Oh, teenaged years. I pity the one who looks back positively at that time of his life. The poor bastard must be more wretched now than I have ever been (if God is as just as Christians say, at least. At least, if His justice is to be distributed equally among us all (which I don’t believe, exactly, is the case; for if it were, we should all be in Hell at this very moment)). Thankfully, I was blessed with such an intellect as to make most of my schoolwork quite easy, with little effort needed to complete the assignments, and with “good enough grades”. But boredom became introduced with the depression. And the self-examination and self-judgment socially grew as well. The latter grew, but was alleviated both with other “misfit” peers, and a growing apathy of socialization which I can only understand through my current introversion now. I suppose it was always there, to a certain degree. It was there very young, disappeared quite a bit, and then returned, mercifully. But the boredom wore on my soul, for what felt like an eternity. I never thought I’d see an end to the boredom. A bored 14 or 15 year old, with nothing to look forward to but a job: much like his parents had, and hated. His parents, who had always told him to do something different, and better, with his life, than they had, would soon be living the very life that they had lived. I was, and to this very day, still remain, a giant failure in that regard. I accept it now more than I did back then, but I have to wonder if I made a mistake by taking my parents at their word. I have to wonder if their desire for me to have a better life, and my believing in them, didn’t set me up for tremendous failure. At the very least, I suppose it supplanted within me a desire to succeed. Time will tell if that will remain enough in the face of cumulative errors. No, back then, more than ten years ago now, there was nothing to look forward to in the future but lots of hatred, exhaustion, and misery. This, and the boredom, introduced another wave of depression.

But, reality did not care. Back to the driving. My aloofness got the best of me. In more ways than one. The driver’s ed “course” bored me, and I couldn’t take what was being taught and think about it “in the real world”. The only experiences I had with driving were few, and they involved me slamming on the gas while a bunch of adults screamed at me. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience. So I was already not a fan of it. I didn’t understand the importance of a license because I didn’t want to drive anywhere, and I didn’t want a job because…well, jobs suck, of course. My dad always told me to “do something” with my life. He worked in a basic plant for all of his life. I respect him a helluva lot more than I ever did in the past. Especially, when I consider the Hell that I frequently put him through. Or, rather, I empathize with him more effectively than I used to. If I ever do “make something” of myself, he’ll be the first person I thank. (And I thank him, anyway). But I put a lot of anxiety upon myself to make sure I “did something better” with myself. I interpreted a “job” as a failure. Because I felt like I was going down the same road as my father, and, to the best of my knowledge, that wasn’t what he wanted for me. I felt like I was letting everyone down, because I should’ve been able to succeed. At 16, mind you. A little early, in hindsight. Did I have any skills? Of course not. At least none that I could actually get paid for. But Dad wants better for me, dammit, and I’m doing this shitty ass job already. I’m a failure. And the job sucks.

This, of course, isn’t mentioning my disastrous philosophy of money. Interestingly enough, later on in life, I had a “religious experience” when I had a breakdown about money. In the “Christian” faith, money is often seen as evil. Everybody, including non-Christians, complain about rich people. They complain about “greed” being sinful. That “the love of money is the root of all evil”. Well, I had accumulated a good bit of money (a couple hundred dollars) over the course of a couple of birthdays and Christmases. And wouldn’t you just know that I actually loved it? Ah, yes. Here we come to a gigantic contradiction between “faith” and “the real world”. Once again, save your preaching, please. I beg of you. But I hated money. My damn soul depended on that hatred! Sure, it buys me stuff! But at what cost? I can’t have this stuff! So laziness and anxiety kept me from getting a job longer than it should have. I finally reached a breaking point when I realized that “the world revolves around money”, and I knew I needed to make it. I decided to start studying money, and jobs, and all of it, right at that moment.

So I was very reluctant to finally go get my learner’s permit. Of course, the first time I went, I failed the computer test. It was all gobbledy-gook because I didn’t pay attention in class. So I had to go tell my dad I failed. And we went back the next day. And the next day. And I kept failing, and feeling like shit, because I still didn’t care about driving. Finally, I thought “Cody, you need to learn this. Dad ain’t gonna stop taking me here. Just focus and pass the goddamned test.” Of course, I have to thank my dad for not enabling me, as embarrassed and depressed as I was. He stuck with me, even if it was out of necessity for his own mental health. Some tough love was what I needed, even though I don’t suppose I ever really took it. Lamentation.

And, I believe, if memory serves me correctly, this was the first time that I had ever written anything upon my own hand. I wrote myself a little reminder on my palm in black Sharpie. The letters “LFE”. They stood for “Learn From Experience”. I, clearly, was not learning from the experiences of failure at the driving test. And I needed to learn from the experiences of my driving test. So, knowing that I am naturally a very stubborn, philosophical, immature, anxious, and oblivious person, I gave myself a little note, a little reminder, which was to serve as a self-helping contradiction to my own nature. I, philosophically, didn’t understand why I needed my license. But my dad wasn’t going to let me stop until I got it. Once I finally got it, I thought my troubles were over. But my father wanted me to drive him around to gain more experience. I, of course, resisted this as much as I could.

At one point, he bought me a car: a Nissan, either Altima or Maxima, I’m not sure, and I recall not the year. It had a manual transmission. I believe he got it for me for my high school graduation, as that was when he first told me to drive it (I do not remember if he had the car prior). He drove me to the nearest convenience store (much to my own personal inconvenience: especially, as you will soon find out), then told me to get in the driver’s seat. I think I was trying to back up, and killed it. All I really remember from this instance was another car pulling up to the convenience store and yelling at me (I guess I was taking too long to back up, or something), and my father, who very rarely lost his temper, ejected from the passenger seat and commenced to yelling with the driver.

I was absolutely overcome with embarrassment. He got back in the car and tried to commence with the lesson. I told him that I couldn’t do it. That I wouldn’t do it. I was already scared as it was, and that person losing their temper at me further recluded me into my shell. Finally, my angry father relented. He drove me back home, and told me, in so many words, that I needed to “develop a shell”. To let stuff roll off my back. I scoffed and went inside the house: no doubt, fueling my father’s anger more. Or maybe sadness or helplessness. I’m not sure. But even though I couldn’t take his advice back then, I still hear it in my own head today. I still struggle mightily with it, and I feel like I work on “developing my shell” constantly, but that is one area of life that I have a very long way to go before I can say I’m “done” with it, if I can ever say that.

That experience wasn’t my first time behind the wheel. No, successive failures led me further and further away from the steering wheel. This is where my obliviousness came into play. Changing lanes without checking mirrors, driving too close to mailboxes and trucks on the interstate. My mind could not have cared less about driving. I was only doing it because I was told to do it (yes, Cody, sometimes a little blind obedience will do you more good than your daydreaming curiosity, eh? Oh well). I did not care about it. Even if it endangered both myself and my father. And the more he attempted to correct me, the more it scared me away from driving. I clearly didn’t know what I was doing, and it scared me away from the wheel. I suppose I could’ve just…oh, I don’t know…listened to him. But I was a know-it-all, as I was always accused of being, so I basically never listened to much of anything (other than what I wanted to hear). It remains to be seen how that’s going to play out long-term. Some of it has worked, other things, clearly, have not.

I wanted to think about other things: not driving. I didn’t understand its importance. So I avoided it for as long as I could. Until I realized that I couldn’t avoid it any longer, and needed to get my license, and a car. Thus, the “LFE”.

I had kept my permit even when I was finally able to go and obtain my license. It took me a very long time to care about driving. To realize why it was important. Interestingly enough, my mother was the same way: at least that it took her longer than “normal” to get her license. Neuroticism runs in the family. And, I guess, some other things that are actually good do as well.

It’s also fascinating to remember being in the car with my mother and father while he tried to teach her how to drive a “straight-drive”. I do not remember how old I was, but I remember my mother attempting to drive a straight-drive while I was in the backseat, and my father in the front, with her. That’s very fascinating. I was born a couple of months before her 20th birthday, so she must have been in her early-to-mid 20s in this memory of mine. I remember where she drove. I vaguely remember her, seemingly, buying several different cars in the course of a short time period. I’m not sure if I was in a car that we had already owned, or was in a car that she just recently bought, or was planning on buying (but needed to learn how to drive). I just recall my dad trying to each her how to drive a straight-drive while I was in the back seat. Interesting how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That tragic tree, perhaps with a relation with the one which bested Adam and Eve.

It makes me hesitant to think about having kids in the future, as I am afraid that I will, inadvertently, treat my children the way my mother treated me during my youth. I don’t expect to slap my child, or abandon its home and stay out all night, only to return briefly to talk to my wife, and then be gone back out of the house again, even as my child sits in the yard, crying for attention from me, only for me to leave again. I certainly don’t anticipate being that negligent. But I get the sense that most parents want to parent differently (and better) than their parents, but seem to fall within certain traps. If that is the case, I don’t want to have children just in case I start falling into traps that my mother created for me. I’m not going to take a chance at torturing a small child like that, even if I wish that I’d not torture the child at all, even as I’m inadvertently doing it.

But, to continue (and repeat myself), life sucked for a very long time, and I sucked right along with it. I did not handle challenges well at all. Reality hit me in the face, and I had a hard time dealing with it. And the only thing that I could think of to do was write down what it was that I needed to do to overcome what it was overtaking me. Writing “LFE”, for “Learn From Experience”, was the first thing that I remember doing that seemed to work. I wore it on my hand through high school (I remember not exactly how many years of high school that I wore it). I’d try to keep my palm from public view, as I didn’t want to explain what I have explained here. I remember one girl, whom I always sat with on the bus, noticed it once, and grabbed my hand to look at it. She asked what it meant, and I told her it meant “Learn From Experience”. I don’t think I explained to her exactly why it was there. She was interested in it, however, and said “Cool”. (Don’t worry: I’m not projecting the interest that I wished she had upon her. She actually was interested in it).

So I kept “LFE” written on my hand in black Sharpie. I soon discovered that “LFE” wasn’t going to provide me with all of the answers. I couldn’t apply it to every issue I faced. So: what to do now? I had to start making decisions. I had choices that I was going to have to make. So I changed the letters on my hand. I began to keep a Sharpie in my pocket, just in case something that I thought would be more effective came to my mind. I decided upon “MMOD”: Make My Own Decisions. I knew I had to. I didn’t know how to gauge my decisions, but only that I had to start making them. Very quickly, this “MMOD” changed to “MMODAL”: “Make My Own Decisions And Learn”. It was a bit unwieldy, and didn’t look as tidy as the blockal “LFE”. But I felt like it had to be done. Once again, I tried applying this to every area of my life, with, obviously, mixed results. Some holes are round while your peg is square. But I tried to do the best that I could, remaining depressed all the while…

I watched science programs on television, and would go outside and stare at the stars. I’d go for walks around the local school in the evenings (the school had a walking track where people could walk after school let out), and just think. I’d look at one of the Dippers, and in my head, see a traffic light. A traffic light in the sky that I had seen ever since I could remember riding in cars. This is one of those scenarios that seem to exemplify my creativity and ostracization, but I shall tell it anyway, for catharsis. Three of the stars, nearly perfectly aligned, in one of the Dippers, looked like a traffic light to me. Now, I’m sure that the top star wasn’t more “red”, the middle star more “yellow”, and the bottom star more “green” in reality. But in my mind, that’s what I saw. Perhaps I was bending reality. But I saw a traffic light. I saw it every time I was in a car at night time. I began to look for it. And I would just stare at it, and think about it. A bit bothered that they weren’t in a straight line like an actual traffic light (I suppose that makes me “obsessive-compulsive”. I’d had an “interest” in traffic lights for as long as I could remember). Around this time, also, I developed a new message for my hand which I shall only mention briefly, simply because of how asinine my message was. It was “Understand Everything”. Yeah, right. I’m not even going to get started on how fucking terrible that path went. I took my desire to learn just a little bit too far, to say the least.

My brain was still scattered, and my words were still poor. I was still very depressed. But the stars, and learning about them, and space, on television, brought me a little happiness. The atheistic side of things began to take a toll on me, as I felt myself becoming an asshole. Or, rather, a different kind of asshole. I was an asshole during my younger religious days as well, condemning all of those who didn’t go to my particular church, with a little red in my face. But although I felt like an asshole as an atheist, I also felt a little relief. I still had problems, but at least they weren’t the old problems. At least, some of them were different. The fear of what would happen to me after I died still remained.

One thing that brought me happiness during this time in my life was basketball. Basketball became my escape. I’d shoot for hours by myself. I’d either shoot in the backyard, or down at the school when it let out, sometimes well into the dark. It gave me something to focus on and work on that I could actually do (putting the ball in the basket), and gave me an escape from all of my failures. My failure of struggling so hard to get my license, which was eating me alive. My failure to rid myself of my depression. My failure to comprehend money, and jobs, and the universe, really. I was depressed and bored and failing. And basketball seemed to be the only thing that made me feel any better about it.

I continued looking to my palm for messages. I kept “LFE” for a while, and tried to apply it to as many things as I could. I remember staring at light bulbs, and wishing I could understand the “science” behind light. Now, that requires a lot of mathematics. I’m philosophically-minded: not mathematically-minded. But I’d stare at them, and wish I could really understand them scientifically. I wanted to learn more science. The cool kids in school were atheists, and “worshiped” science, and didn’t believe in God. I wanted to be that cool. I was also tired of being afraid of God. So I started shedding myself of my old religiosity, and I embraced the cold, depressing realities of scientific atheism. It actually was not as terrifying as being a Christian had been to that point. I was afraid that abandoning God would bring the worst upon me, but the truth was that I had already been through Hell religiously. I had already spent my youth envisioning Hellfire engulfing my bed as I masturbated, and believing all lightning strikes to be God warning me of my own sin, so becoming an atheist, although still difficult, and anxiety-inducing, actually produced less anxiety within me than I had experienced prior. It was still there, to a severe degree, but provided me with a relief, as I tried to think about science, and absorb it as a philosophical manner of being to replace my prior terrors. It wasn’t that I wasn’t afraid, but it still provided me with some relief.

In truth, I found science classes to be very boring. My mind always drifted. Experimentation and taking notes and the like bored the fuck out of me. That wasn’t my idea of “science”. My idea of “science” was more of an anti-religiosity. Interesting to see this in other people today. I still tried to think of, say, light, and I thought “What’s the science behind that?”, with no mathematics to guide me. “How did they create those rafters from which the lights hang in the gym? Why does it get dark outside? Why is there artificial light at night time, and why is there sunlight in the day time?” (Sidenote: I associated artificial lights with creepiness. Instead of being scared of the dark, I associated that common fear that children have with the only sources of light around. I don’t know why. Perhaps I’ve always been obsessed with light, and couldn’t stop thinking about them, even among my fears which are normal to all children. Although, my fear “of the dark”, I guess you could say, was magnified by my past learnings about evil things in the world, which I had absorbed both through television news, my church, and, more than my church, sermons on the radio on the way to church). “How did they create these artificial lights? How does electricity work? Who are these teachers here at this school? Why do they come here everyday? What are we all doing here? Why does this person have this ‘job’ and this person has this ‘job’?” Yes, one constant in my life has always been the questions (once again: thank God).

I transitioned into what I believed to be a more “scientific” mind. In truth, I had always been curious about why things worked the way that they did. I recall being in a booster seat in a car (I had to have been four or five, at the oldest), and facing the windshield, and seeing the yellow lines in the middle of the road. (Then again, maybe I’m confusing a time that I remember being in a booster seat with another time that I recall looking out the windshield and seeing those yellow lines. I’m horrible with exact chronology. Everything just runs together for me). They fascinated me. I also saw the white line on the right side of the road. I wanted to understand what they were. I tried to follow the lines, but they moved too fast. I tried looking out the side window as they passed, but I was too short to see them (maybe I was sitting in the middle instead of sitting beside the door), and the blur of the outside made me very carsick. It is quite remarkable to me that I remember these details so vividly. (Like remembering a time a guardian accidentally clipped my thigh between a seatbelt and its holder). Whenever I can remember something vividly, I get scared. Scared that I haven’t made any progress from that day that I remember. But I think that’s a topic for another piece.

On a small tangent (which is actually related, so I guess that means it isn’t actually a tangent): I went for a small drive recently near my home. To roads that, much to my amazement, I hadn’t yet been down. They led me to familiarity, but it was the roads themselves that were foreign to me. I had known they existed, but had never traveled down them. And as I did, some interesting memories came to me, as sometimes happens.

It was late, and I had my bright-lights on. A car passed me by in the other lane, and I had forgotten they were on, and turned them off as the car was passing me. I turned them back on, and looked at my dash. And I recalled, seemingly, for the first time since it happened, seeing that same blue icon in my father’s old Plymouth Horizon. As a kid, I guess, partly, because I was tiny, and couldn’t see out the windows that well, I stared at the dash. I saw the green lights flashing (those were the turn signals). And I saw the blue light. It looked like something. I couldn’t figure out what it was, or what it meant. My dad kept flicking a switch constantly (for what reason, I did not yet understand), and the blue light would disappear and reappear. And, occasionally, the green lights would flash as well. I recall looking at the “Hazard Lights” button. Those three triangles (or however many there are). I think I wanted to touch them. Of course, I couldn’t. I remember seeing the defrost buttons. Why do they look similar, but are also different? And why is there heat coming out of these things? And why is there ice on the front windshield that you have to scrape off? And why do we have to get up for school today? Ah, yes. It all blends together. And the “whys” still remain (once again: thank God).

I remembered, as I took this night drive, thinking, at one point, that the blue lights looked like a jellyfish: or, rather, the first time that I saw a picture of a jellyfish (it might have even been on Spongebob), I thought of that blue icon. I’m sure the latter was the case. I saw a jellyfish “on its side”. Likewise, the first time I saw a house drawn, a triangle on top of a square, I thought of those green turn-signals that I had first seen in my father’s Horizon. Yes, on this night drive, I was consumed by my memories of my own creativity. I missed it. It had been taught out of me by peers and adults alike. “Hey, this looks like this!” “That’s nice. Have you got a car yet?” Yes, the creativity has always been something that has ostracized me (not even just the example I just mentioned, but in conversations with my peers for as long as I can remember), but, being an introvert, I’m ok with that, to some degree. I tried to train it out of myself to become better socialized, but on that night drive, I continued to realize that now is the time to let back out my creativity. That I am a creative man. That I need my creativity. I need to let it all out, and let it all flow. There will be plenty of criticisms, good and bad, on the road ahead. But I am happy when I am creative. I am happy when I experience deja vu. I am happy when I write. And so, thus being recently invigorated, and feeling justified, in expressing myself creatively, I have desired to write this here. It was begun before this particular moment of inspiration, but I have realized that I need to accept my creativity, and not run from it. I have ran from it forever, for several reasons. I’m sure that all of them felt justified at the time. I’m sure, if I really wanted to sit and think about it, some of them would be justified now. But my best friend is always in “imagination-land”. He can’t concentrate on anything other than the fantasies within his own head. He desires to be a fiction writer. And he dreams constantly. His dreams, and the written word, both reading and writing, are how he “escapes” the monotony of his work that pays his bills. But, in truth, these dreams of his were sparked long before he became an adult who needed to make money. His persistence, despite his struggles, inspires me. He desires to be creative, come Hell or high water. And he frequently struggles. But he doesn’t give up. And that inspires me. It inspires me to tap in to my creative nature that has been defeated. And to see what all can come out of it. I look forward to it, and can’t wait to see what all is in store for me as far as my creativity is concerned. One result that I am most anticipating is a tremendous level of happiness.

So now, as my desire to read and write have increased, I become aware of my limitations in both of these regards. Particularly, when other obstacles, not related to either of these, present themselves to me. I was driving, and thinking about something fictional that I wished to write, being inspired by the mountains that I saw before me. I couldn’t write it down, as I was driving, but I desperately wanted to remember it. So I started repeating a mnemonic in my head so that I could remember it when I actually had a chance to write it down. And as I was repeating it to myself over and over in my head, I realized a lot of different things. I realized that some things never seem to change about oneself. That repetition was just a tool that I was going to have to use for my benefit, regardless of how “weird” it seems to others. That words have significant power for me, in that words help me remember to do things which better my life. And if words have this kind of power over me, perhaps I need to invest more to them, even if that includes writing words that only I can understand. I’ll have to take that chance of social ostracization if it means that I can repay back the words that have benefited me so.

I need to have repetition in my life. I can’t live, or function, without it. My need to repeat things in my head in order to remember them has not changed. And they are still, if not more so, approaches to challenges, instead of, say, remembering to buy milk (which, considering my love for the drink, I never forget). I’ve been very lucky thus far in life, even if I haven’t realized it. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that it is a miracle that I am where I am today. I’m sure that friends and family members have thought that far back in time. I must say, I have to join them in that surprise. I’m pleasantly surprised, no doubt, but I have definitely been lucky. In large part, thanks to my hard-working parents (yes, even my mother, who helped me out later on in my life while she had abandoned me in my youth), who picked up my slack when I was too stupid and lazy to do it myself (and I can’t forget stubborn). Even if I should have been more proactive, I just want people to know why I wasn’t. Whether it is justified or not, I want to be honest with my feelings and my thought processes with the world. That makes me happy. I don’t look forward to the feedback, but the catharsis is fulfilling.

I have always needed some pen and paper, or electronic device, handy, so that I could write things down. I feel a great relief when I write, and feel much pressure when I desire to write, but am physically unable to, either because I am driving, or am at work, or have forgotten my phone with which I take notes, or whatever. Lately, I have discovered a great many internal roadblocks that I won’t even begin to mention in this piece. Look forward to them, God only knows how long from now. But this is something within me that I was just born with. It has been a struggle to do it over the past several years, and those times that I have done it haven’t been masterpieces. They’ve barely been amateurish. But I did them. My heart desired them, and I did them to the best of my meager abilities. And I expect the world to judge them harshly. But I can’t let that stop me. Regardless of how hard the world laughs at them, or how viciously they hate them, I can’t stop writing them.

And the next time that I am faced with some difficult task, in which I must repeat something to myself over and over in my head, to remember the specific task, or to remember a certain way of approaching the task, I need to remember that all I am doing is repeating words to myself. (Or, in some fucking way, that I’m actually thinking clearly. Calm down, Cody. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Breathe. Manage your fucking anger, Cody). Isn’t that that writing is? Thoughts and words. So if I desire to write, what’s wrong with keeping thoughts in my head? If repeating things to myself constantly helps me to remember to do tasks, and helps me remember things to write down the instant I can do so, why would I feel embarrassed at this? Yes, once again, youth shows itself. “Won’t people think you’re crazy for, say, talking to yourself? Or repeating some weird phrase in your head constantly? Or writing on your fucking hand, for God’s sake?” In truth: yes, of course they will. As many people have said, I must develop letting other people “roll off of my back”. It is challenging. But words are how I have always dealt with difficulty. I don’t anticipate this changing. I know not how difficult the future will be, but I know that I am going to need all of my words to conquer that future. I should not be embarrassed of anything which helps me improve as a writer, because that will help me improve my lot in life; and, indeed, I believe that it will help me become a better person as well. I welcome all of these possibilities with open arms, and will try to dedicate myself more to my own personal thoughts, and my own words, and getting better at communicating them in writing. This paper was very difficult to write, but that makes it very worthwhile. I know not if it will be received as my previous blog post was by that girl that went to my school, who said that she couldn’t understand what it was that I was trying to say, but I don’t anticipate that it will, and even if it did, I think I’m content enough with it to deal with that. My words are going to be with me forever. I want to use them as much as I can see fit. I want to improve upon them on my own terms, the best that I can, until I’m as satisfied with them as I can be. I want to write down all of my thoughts, and hope that my thoughts are of good quality, and that if they aren’t, I can fix them somehow. And if they are, that they will be received as such, and that the world is not in such a state as to hate that which is good quality (a state which, I fear, is upon us at the moment). I don’t look forward to any feedback, as that isn’t the point of any of my writing. None of my writing is for “approval”. If you approve, you approve. If you don’t, you don’t. My writing is my catharsis, and how I cope with my problems. You do with them what you will. (I’m still learning how to deal with feedback, both positive and negative, in case you couldn’t tell by my last outburst here. I can’t get ahead of myself. One step at a time. I need to love it before I incorporate feedback. God, help me).

Sanity has been a thought that I have been obsessed with for a long time. I’ve thought myself insane for many different reasons over the years. I used to get dizzy, and the room would spin, when I would try to go to sleep at night. My thoughts would race at times. I spent many years worrying about whether or not I was sane. I spent many years obsessed with what my peers thought of me, despite the fact that I also tried to fight against this. The truth of the matter is that, at the current time, I wish to do what makes my heart happy. This makes my heart happy. Honest expression makes my heart happy. I don’t look forward to mischaracterizations, which I know will be forthcoming. I don’t look forward to critiques, whether they be justified or unjustified. I don’t look forward to anger from others. I don’t look forward to any of this. I desire peace. But I learned a long time ago that the world doesn’t care. Someone out there doesn’t care. There will always be someone out there who wishes to destroy you, and would be gleeful if he does. That’s just something I have to accept as I continue to write honestly and openly, and attempt to improve at it the best that I can, and know how to. Lord, help me. Please. I’m desperate. I know You already know this, but I’ve announced it publicly. Will that help me?

I will stew on a problem until I have a solution, and sometimes, even after I’ve come up with a solution. Sometimes, I have a hard time getting my solutions to stick. I naturally have a restless constitution, for some reason, so am always looking for the novel. I’m always looking for the homerun. Thankfully, family has helped me realize recently that my expectations are far too high. That I’m too hard on myself. I only realized this because my anger almost got the best of me. I almost snapped. I was really angry with myself. But I have to work on managing my anger. Lowering my expectations. And a bunch of other shit that I’m not going to put into this piece.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say, and I have no idea if this came out as I wanted it to or not, is that I’m trying to mature. I’m too hard on myself. I’ve got problems. I get ahead of myself. I need help, and I’ve got friends and family to help me when I need them. I can’t do everything by myself. But when I do start to find out how to deal with myself, it will involve talking to myself: repeating things to myself. I guess everybody thinks, and thinks in words. So repeating things to myself are just ways that I remember to do things to make myself better. I have to accept that. I can’t feel socially anxious simply because I’m talking to myself. I need to keep my expectations low, and not be so hard on myself, and slowly, very, very, slowly, learn how to deal with myself and the rest of the world. This will involve rumination, but it also has to incorporate other coping mechanisms if I’m to not lose my mind, instead of having my mind and only having others think I’ve actually lost it. Pray for me. Thank you.

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Purposeful Action

As so eloquently stated by Mises (and elaborated by Rothbard), human beings use means to achieve ends. This is known as “praxeology”. I decided to embark on writing this as, not too long ago, I was sitting and thinking about what I was doing. Now what exactly was it that I was doing? Good question. I was thinking about stuff that I do: namely, writing and making Youtube videos. I decided to do these things in an attempt to make a career that I thought I would actually enjoy. It is my life’s mission to have a job that I actually like, and not one that I hate, but need. I’ve written before about how I came to have this “philosophy” for myself.

But I sat and thought about writing, and Youtube: specifically, how unknown I am in these regards. Although I’ve, most of the time, been optimistic about my ability to succeed in my “ultimate endeavor”, on this occasion, I was not. I thought about the work that I had done, and how unknown it was. And thought about continuing to put even more fervor into my work to get things done, only to have the work continue to remain unknown. Perhaps I’m just an “immature adult” that needs to “grow up”. But, deep down, I have been convinced that I can succeed. I looked at the current level of my “success”, and was dejected. Knowing how much more work I wanted to create, and my vision of where I could take it financially, felt destroyed. I felt like I had to find something else to do. I felt like I finally need to factor in money more so than the enjoyment of the labor.

Perhaps you find that funny. I’m not going to go into detail about my current financial state. But, as I have said, my main goal is to find a career that I actually enjoy. And, currently, writing and Youtube are the only things that I can realistically (go ahead and laugh) think of. The only things that I think I can work towards that will make me happy. Any time that I’ve tried to come up with an “alternative” (specifically “realistic” ones), I have not been happy. You may say that it doesn’t matter if I’m happy or not, but I have, and will continue, to address my philosophy about “happiness”.

I’ve written about my laziness before. And, clearly, that contributes to my lack of financial success in some way. But, perhaps it’s because of my youth, and the natural “rebelliousness” that comes with it, I’m not satisfied to only dream of financial success at my current “dream careers”. Nay, I also desire to, in almost every way possible, succeed in every way that should be “impossible” to succeed in. What do I mean? Well, for one, my Youtube thumbnails. I enjoy the atrocious thumbnails that I make in Microsoft Paint. The thumbnails that literally anyone could make better than me. All across Youtube, there are professional thumbnails that are pleasing to the eye. And I don’t dislike that. But, perhaps due to my “youthful contrarianness”, I can’t help but “prove to the world” that I can succeed without those “professional” thumbnails. Trivial and childish? Perhaps. And, once again, perhaps it is because of my youth, my youthful ignorance, or my ignorance. But that is also included in my “career goals”: not only proving that I can turn what I enjoy doing into a career, but that I can also do it “unprofessionally”.

The final, and much more difficult aspect of this, is, admittedly, insane. The final “contrarian” point is that I want to purposefully make people dislike me in order to make people like me. This one is much harder for me to reconcile (obviously). What do I mean? Well, I have found (as has everyone), that throughout the course of my life, I have made people feel anger, discomfort, or other negative emotions, simply by the way that I naturally wanted to be. What do I mean? Well, my sense of humor, for one. It’s very dark, perverted, profane, etc. I have experienced that it makes many people uncomfortable, and, after I started putting it on the internet, that it makes people angry. And I’ve honestly started to fuel off of these things. I think it is because if I wish to express what I naturally desire to express, then I have to fuel off of these things. I can either adapt, shut up, ignore, or use that for motivation, and because my desire to express myself honestly is so strong, I choose to fuel. It isn’t enough for me to just ignore people’s anger and discomfort. I want to magnify it. I don’t believe this is out of sadism. It is about me speaking honestly, freely, and confidently. It is my overpowering desire to not be silenced. My desire to speak is stronger than my care for the feelings of others (to a certain extent, of course). The thought of proving people wrong, succeeding in a way that no one thought possible, motivates me. It’s what drives me to continue. My love of the work is the strongest reason why I create the work. But my desire to sell the work stems from, obviously, the desire for financial security, but also just because I’m told I can’t. The typical immature, childish reason to do anything in this world. When I developed this belief (thanks to how I was raised), I listened to successful person after successful person, and tried to find something within myself that I felt like connected me to them. And a big thing that I related to was that all of them told of how they were always told that they’d never succeed. That right there clicked with me. “Hey, me too! I can succeed, too!” That was pretty much my only reason for feeling like I could relate to these successful people. It wasn’t because I believed I was particularly talented. Just that I was told that I’d never succeed in finding a “dream job”.

Perhaps, one day I’ll finally accept one (or more) of the, I’m sure, many reasons that people finally “grow up”. But I’m on a mission to find out everything for myself, regardless of the scale of the negative consequences that I may experience because of my choices.

Of course, I don’t really know how to convince anyone that I can do this. The work speaks for itself, and do I truly believe that my work as it stands is enough for success? No, I don’t. It’s a starting point, but there’s a Hell of long way to go. But I believe that I can do it. You can’t arrive at a destination without steps, and I believe that articles like this, and the work that I’ve done up to this point, are steps (it remains to be seen just exactly how big these “steps” will truly be in retrospect).

I’ve already written about how I believe my writing stacks up with “the best”, and you can read that here. I’ve also written about how I feel about my writing, and how I can get better. I’ve written a little bit about why I write, but I believe I could elaborate on that further; and I’ve also written about selling writing, but I will write more about that as well.

I’m currently at the stage where I realize how important my mental independence really is. I’m starting to realize how important my choices are, and that I have control (to what degree, I don’t know). I don’t need to be told what to write, or how, or when. I’m in control of all of that. Even if I suck, I’m in control. And it’s just going to take time and experience to figure out what I’m going to be taking, where I’m going to take it, and how I’m going to get it there (and why is important to know as well). It’s a slow process, but I’m thankful I don’t have a formal “teacher” distracting me from my own personal literary journey (no canon!)

I am beginning to understand that literature is a slow process; especially for me. I can’t explain why I want to write when I do, or what makes me want to write about something. But I can tell that, whatever it is I’m ultimately doing, it is a long process. There’s a lot of quitting involved. A seemingly infinite number of baby steps. There’s a method to the madness. The more mad, the better, in my opinion. Deep down, I think I know that time makes things better. The brain ages, and gets better at things, before it gets worse at things. It’s very odd. It seems out of my control. When I was younger, I remember trying so hard to do so many different things, and failing spectacularly. I was frequently discouraged, and reached many breaking points. Developed coping mechanisms that I thought I would continue for the rest of my life. But, eventually, the coping mechanisms became problems themselves, and I had to hope and pray that things changed. I finally just got better at stuff. I have no idea how: I just fucking did. And I know writing will be no different. I can already tell, as I read stuff that I started writing several years ago, just how bad it was. What has changed over those years? I honestly don’t know. I don’t feel like I’ve written enough to say that practice helped me get better. All I can say, similarly to the past, is that divine intervention just changed some things, thankfully. I have big dreams in my head, but I know it is going to take painfully slow steps to get there. But the good thing is that once they are taken, there’s no need to backtrack. The work you put in will make you feel good when you get to where you are going. But you need stops along the way, even if they are frequent and lengthy. I think breaks are just as important when working on something as the “working” on it is. They shouldn’t be avoided.

I need to learn to love the process. The struggles, although annoying, are important. It makes the task at hand more fun. Looking at a vision of the future, and all of the obstacles that stand in the way of that completed vision, are very interesting. They make the journey more fun. They just give you something to do with life, and that is very important. It’s the difference between living and feeling alive.

I don’t know when or how I’m going to get better at writing. I can tell that this is a huge challenge. I’m sure that, the more I get involved, the more of the iceberg is going to show. But, hopefully by that point, I will be prepared enough to do with the iceberg whatever the fuck it is that I intend to do with it. But the point is that I want the iceberg, and I want to see what happens as a result of it.

It’s quite humorous to think, just a few short years ago, that I thought I was a “good” writer. Now, those “good” writings are just godawful. Now, today’s writings feel good. I’m encouraged that, in the future, these words will be horrible, and I’ll have beautiful words to replace these with. It makes the journey worthwhile, even if it is hard to figure out what the first steps should be. And, of course, even if, many times, I wish to just stay at home and watch T.V. instead of traversing the tough terrain of the tundra looking for the tip of that iceberg poking through the membrane film of my mind.

Reading is a struggle as well. There’s so much to read. The brain has finite energy. “Exhaustion” is the name of the game for everyone. Writers and readers are no exception.

There’s a fine line between fate and will. I’m constantly balancing between the two. Action leads to failure. But it also leads to success. It leads to exhaustion. But it leads to purpose. It leads to bad work. But it leads to good work.

I’m just one small writer in this world. In the past, I thought I could be one of the best. Now, I don’t care as much. Just one of those weird differences that just happen with time. It’s just hard to explain. Experience. Biological growth. It’s just destiny. It’s just weird. The shitty writing of today will be funny in the future. And the future writing will have to be better, because that’s what happens when you put time and effort into something. Usain Bolt once crawled. We all just want to be retired gold medalists as soon as possible.

My mind has visions, and it’s a slow process. There’s no way around this. This is “just how it is.” But I long for the days when it’s all better than it is today. As much as I hate bringing up my age, I can “hang my hat” on the fact that I’m young, and if I live long enough, will be writing for a long time. That has to bear some fruits of quality somehow.

There’s a certain craziness I wish to unleash to the world. It’s frustrating to dream when your dreams aren’t completed. It’s hard to continue when it is so daunting; when you’re as bad at doing what you want to do as I am. The process is a slow drip; but time creates the erosion. Drips make a significant impact over time. If you stare at each drip, the process takes even longer. You can’t be an observer to your own drips. You just have to drip, and then, one day, someone else will bring the erosion to your attention, and you’ll say “Holy shit. Those drips actually fucking did something.” I can’t wait for that day to come, but the problem will be that day is only going to come after a lot of things go (such as my legs, memory, etc.). Of course, I can’t forget my lunch breaks (and I love to eat).

Of course, I want to marvel at the works of others. Learn from them; be inspired by them. In some ways, that means turning off the faucet. But, ultimately, it helps the goal. It slows down the process. Gives the process more steps. But, ultimately, it helps the process. It’s all part of the complicated process. Before you know it, there will be another change, and you’ll be better than you were before. At least, you will be if you don’t stop dripping.

As frustrated as I get at the amount of times I “quit” (or take a break); as frustrated as I get, I can tell when I’m dripping. I can tell when the faucet gets turned on a little bit more. I can see progress. It makes sense that the more you do something, the better you will get at it. But when you start, and you suck, it’s hard to see where, when, and how that progression is going to come.

I can see all of the visions in my head. But they can’t be done instantaneously. They can only be done with effort and experience, and only over a period of time. I’m finally able to accept that, instead of being frustrated at my inability to create good pieces of art instantaneously and just making the entire process harder on myself. I can only say the difference is experience and biology.

I literally have nothing to lose by having an optimistic attitude about my work. I wish more people would adopt that attitude for themselves (but mainly just so they’d leave me alone).

Even if I don’t succeed, the mental stimulation and spiritual satisfaction provided towards working on this goal, I truly believe, cannot be fulfilled by anything else. I don’t desire to have kids, so raising a child would not provide me with this level of fulfillment. I don’t believe any career other than the ones that I desire could. “Well, have you tried?”, you may ask. No, I haven’t. And I don’t plan to. All I plan to do is write and make people laugh at me. That’s it. That’s the challenge: getting paid to do these things. I can’t think of anything more fulfilling than trying to make this happen, and I truly don’t want to find anything “more fulfilling” than this. Aside from my lack of financial success, this is already perfect for me.

There are always voices of doubt in my head. Many of them are related to voices I have heard in the past. But there are other voices that silence them, if only momentarily. And it is during those moments that the dripping begins. I’m in this for the long haul. My love for writing is never going to leave me. This means that I am going to be doing it for life, and, as such, it will have to improve. That’s encouraging, whatever my struggles are. And, currently, those struggles are pretty significant. Small steps. Drips.

I need to work harder on developing my own voice. I want my voice to drown out the voices of all others. “You’re going to drown!”, they yell from the shore. “You’re crazy! Why don’t you pick a different hobby? You’re wasting your time!” Do I want to listen to them? No, I don’t. I just want to write. I just want to make people laugh at me. And I want to make money. These are all I care about. No amount of “advice” is going to change this. All my eggs may be in one basket, but I’m imaginative enough to see the Easter Bunny in my head. And I like that thought.

And as far as how I fit in with “the market” in the long term, although you may say that my prospects are bleak, I’m going to hold out hope, if only because I feel like I, realistically, have no other purpose. Or, perhaps less “drastically”, that I don’t want any other purpose. Feel free to equate me with a child having a temper tantrum; I’d rather be a dreamer than a miserable “adult”. I’ll take that any day of the week, even if I get strange looks as I frolic with the Easter Bunny.

“Solitude”

There’s never enough alone time
Even when by the self, there are voices
There are voices needed for stimulation
They talk vain words
A momentary distraction
From the work that lies ahead

They foster the imagination
Rev up the dreams
Inspire
Motivate
Stimulate

The crash comes in waves
The hopes, and the dreams
There’s never enough alone time

When left alone, one can think bad things
Make mistakes
Unchangeable actions

When one is left alone, the faults magnify
The doubts, multiply

But the people do not satisfy
Their voices ring, echo in the head
There’s no escape from the madness

The boredom seeks them out
And they satiate

But there’s a longing for solitude
Being left alone
With the dreams and the demons

The ringing in the ear grows louder
The self-doubt, past mistakes
They haunt and taunt
They eat alive,
Drive mad

It creates a longing
A longing for success
A longing to make up for past mistakes
Is the proper equipment had?
What is the difference between today and yesteryear?

The faults talk
And torment
You are all alone
No one else can hear the faults

The sword and shield come from within
The drive, the dreams
You’re all alone
Amongst the moat, and the echos

Cursed to an existence
Of communication conflict
So little satisfaction derided from the words of others

The mind, it wanders
Through the millennia
Of today

There are no coping mechanisms
There is no help
It is just you, and your sword and shield

There is no perfection
There is injustice

The war is, ultimately, fought alone
Things must be fixed
Changes must be made
Growth must be experienced

The voices aren’t as deafening
Now, they make more sense
God damn them, they make more sense……

The desire to be alone
And the desire to express
Grow

The fears still remain
There are reminders
No matter how much you run
They are here

But so are the dreams

One can be driven mad
When one is alone
Perhaps one desires to be mad……

I think I do

The voices are quieter
When alone

The self-doubts evaporate
Until the time comes

But you are left
Alone
And afraid

You finally have
The peace and quiet
To work

And battle your demons

The sea of your mind is unexplored,
Hardened by myths of old, grizzled sailors

The stories, though untrue, still instill fear

The time is now
To set sail
And forget the past

The time is now
To get lost in your mind
In complete silence and isolation

“I Am” poem.

Sitting in Silence.

“What do I see?” poem.

“Conquering the Demons” poem.

Narrating my life as if I’m a separate character because I’m losing my mind.

“Deep down, he had the fear. That he really didn’t care. That he cared that he didn’t care. That it would all come crashing down upon him. That everyone was right. He was wasting his time. His dreams, delusional; his actions, unproductive. His time, running out. Fearful of being crippled with inevitability. That all he had stood for up to this point was a mere facade; a way to keep from ‘growing up’. What was it about that attitude that had repulsed him so before, but which seemed inevitable now? Was it foolishness? Or the fire he needed to keep himself going? Was he crazy? Or was he right? Why was it that he had thought himself talented before? Was it justified? Or merely a childlike escapism, the only way to keep his spirit from being crushed?

Why did he spend so much time on his spirit, anyway? What was so important about it? Didn’t real life matter? What kind of point was he trying to make? What did it really matter? Was his heart yearning for something more real? Or was he lying to himself, making excuses, to keep from reading the writing on the wall? When would he know that it had been written?; or, even, if it had been written at all?

Suddenly, the life he had loathed, and tried to avoid for so long, was here. It was alluring. It was easy, even if unfulfilling. But how easy was it if it was truly unfulfilling?

The 9 to 5, and the sixpack. It was staring him cold in the face. Would the alcohol be enough to dull the lamentation from regret? Would it be enough to drown out the sorrows of natural difficulties? Would he need to ‘grow up’, or remain in his childlike construct of imagination? Would his escape be the very thing that haunted him so, but that which he desired the most?: his drive for success, and his artistic visions, despite the natural obstacles and his own limitations which got in the way of his dreams? Would he ever be as good as he hoped? As rich as he hoped? Or would he be delegated to the unknown?; Or, merely, the notoriously bad and unsuccessful?

All he knew for sure was that when the fire burned, it BURNED, and he was grateful for that. He hoped that the fire would keep him warm enough from the cold of uncertainty, and alive enough from the suicide of lazy, fearful, and ignorant, yet innocent, dejection…”

Writing.

Sanity.

Fiction.

Inspiration

Are you a creative type? If so, under what mental circumstances do you create? Do you wait for inspiration? Or do you go out and seek it? Does the inspiration come quickly? Or are there long gaps in between? Do you have to work hard to get the idea? And if so, under what circumstances do you begin to work on it afterwards? Once you have what you believe to be a good idea, what makes you work on it? Inspiration? The prospect of the final product? How often do you work on it, and at what interval?

As I sit in my room, at 4:30 in the morning, awaiting another afternoon shift in retail, I can’t help but ponder my current position. I think of all of the work that I must do, and how uninspired I feel to do it. Although I should be sleeping, I can’t help but want to do something. But at the same time, I don’t really want to do it.

I don’t want to feel like I’m not working on anything. I always want to feel like I’m doing something productive: something that will make me money down the road. But I’m not willing to compromise and do something that doesn’t make me happy in order to make that money (besides, apparently, retail). The idea of “selling out” or doing something that doesn’t make me happy in order to make money does not appeal to me. I’m only willing to “sell out” at the bare minimum: sure, I’ll stock shelves for some money. But, personally, I’m not willing to do much more than that.

Friends and family think I’m crazy. And maybe I am. But if the political philosophies that I have been studying for the past few years actually mean anything to me, then I need to make my own decisions in my life and live it.

I always dread hearing what someone else has to say in response to something that I have said. Most of the time, I just really don’t want to hear it. My life may spiral downward because of forces that I’m currently unaware of. Perhaps, others will gloat, or at least say “I told you so” while lending out a helping hand. But I’m just not happy. I’m just not happy with the common words that I hear, so, I believe that the only solution to this problem is to create the words that make me happy. Hmm…that’s good. Please don’t steal it. I’m in that terrifying stage of young adulthood (honestly, you’re always a byproduct of your decisions) where my life could go in many directions, with the majority of them seeming to be shit. Well, it probably will be shit. That is my expectation: that my life is going to be dreadful. I don’t want to hear a goddamn word about rainbows and sunshine. It’s my life, it’s my perspective, and I want it to be dark, if only for the laughs that can come out of it.

Perhaps, I truly only am writing this because I’m tired of hearing the words of others. Honestly, I don’t want to hear anyone’s thoughts on this. But this doesn’t do me any good if it stays on my computer, never published on the internet. It only does me good if it causes someone to say “Hey, that was good. I need to read more of what he writes! And then, give him money!” Once this is completed, that’s the only way this will do me any good. While I’m writing, it’s all good. It’s all therapeutic. But once it’s written, it only has value to me if it is marketed or sold. Because I don’t need to reread what I have written to know what I already think.

I respect advice. I’ve respected it for a lot of my life. I didn’t always take advice, and often, I either found it poor or later on found it to be helpful. But I don’t want it anymore. I’m not happy with what anyone is saying to me. And, personally, I find this to be a problem. Right about now is when someone would say “You can’t always hear what you want to hear.” And I understand your point, but you’re missing mine. You can control a good deal of it if you want to by doing what I wish to do at this point: just tune it all out.

For some reason, I’m just a terrible independent decision-maker. I’m hoping that this is only due to my youth, as the majority of my life has been spent in it, and I’ve made some terrible decisions up to this point. I know that I will always make poor decisions, but I’m hoping that they just become more sporadically spaced as time goes along. I hope that I’m not a “social degenerate”, someone who has “thrown his life away”, who “should’ve learned something worthwhile when he had the chance”, who, instead, lived a grandiose life of dreams regarding-what was that comedy bullshit he wanted to do again? Oh yeah, who cares. Never heard of him. And yeah, he ain’t a King or Rowling, that’s for sure.

The point of this is that I don’t want to seek external validation for my decisions anymore. I spent more time trying to get my father to believe in me like I believed in myself than I can recall. And I understand that he knew a lot that I didn’t. But I don’t think my dreams are completely unfounded. I don’t think my self-confidence is delusional. I don’t think my desires are childish. But I need to figure out what the fuck I’m doing. I have a small sense of it, but I think something is running deeper in me than I’m currently comfortable admitting to myself.

Perhaps I’ll be working in retail on into my 40s, knowing no other career than cereal stocking. That’s a good possibility, from my current perspective. Perhaps if I had only taken the advice of x, I could be making five times more money in my thirties than I’ll make by not taking their advice. Perhaps I’m the only fucking person in this world who doesn’t understand my life direction. Maybe everyone else is right but me. But I can’t listen to them.

I may be delusional, but I’m not stupid. I may be overconfident, but it’s not completely unjustified. I’m a terrified individual. I’m terrified of a tire blowing out as I cruise along the interstate. I’m terrified of my teeth falling out due to drinking too much soda. I’m terrified of my window of opportunity closing as I age, wondering if I’ll regret ignoring the sagacity of my elders. I’m terrified of what type of person I will be in the future. I’m terrified of becoming the type of person I hate. I’m terrified of spiders. I’m terrified of not knowing how to function as an adult. And it wouldn’t be the fault of my parents, because Lord knows they tried to teach me. I just ignored them, for the most part. I listened to them (at least somewhat) when it came to being a good person, but not when it came to, for lack of a better term, “life skills”. Practical skills involving physical labor. My laziness today is the same laziness from when I was a kid. It’s just there. Perhaps it will chain me to a life of minimum wage jobs, but I think I’m good enough at something to escape that life. But what is it? I think writing is part of it, and I think comedy is part of it. It better be, because that’s all that I have.

I love my family to death. I love my father, my mother, my friends. But I don’t want to take anyone’s advice. I’ve done that enough. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t, but I don’t want to do that anymore. (I repeat myself so much from piece to piece. Oh well). I want to stay up past 7:30! I want to…no, I’m kidding. But I don’t want to take anyone’s advice right now. I don’t know when I will want to again. But I don’t right now. I appreciate it, but I don’t want to take it. I suppose this piece is a real bellyacher, but maybe it’s just self-therapy. If it is, then I don’t understand why in the fuck I’m publishing it.

I try not to write unless I have some stuff pretty well formed in my head already. At least when it comes to non-fiction. Fiction is a much more spontaneous process. And when I’m not doing something productive, I’m dreaming of future spoils. Isn’t that the life of the creative? You either create, and dream of spoils, or you create and have spoils. Very rarely is there any middle ground in that regard. I spend more time dreaming of fortune than working on what I wish would obtain said fortune. So I guess I have a pretty good ratio going.

The “problem” is that I believe I can do it. Deep down, I believe I can do it. I blame my parents for that one. I was always told that “I could do whatever I set my mind to.” And dammit, I believed them. For better or worse, I fucking believed them. And I have my mind set on becoming wealthy through writing and comedy. And that’s what I’m going to do. Nothing else will satisfy me: my mind is made up.

I’d love to tell you that I spend countless hours, days, and even weeks working on something. And I guess, in some sense, I do. It isn’t always writing. Sometimes it’s a comedy video for Youtube. But I would like to believe that I spend a large majority of my time observing. Observing people who do or have done what I wish to do, and trying to take something from them. Something valuable. Something that I can apply for myself. Seeing what I have in common with those that are doing or did what I dream of doing. I listen to their life stories, looking for similarities to my own. Looking for anything that makes me feel like I’m on the right track; that I’m on my way to doing what they do. And I would like to think that I’ve already learned a lot along the way while doing this, with a lot more to learn coming up in the future.

But one thing that stops me is my own financial failures. Time and energy are very valuable, precious things. And unless you love to do something for it’s own sake (or even for someone else that you love), you aren’t going to spend a lot of time and energy (or even money) doing something. A large part of my dream is dreaming of wealth. And the longer it doesn’t show up, the more my dream changes (or the more depressed I become). Right about now is where you’ll tell me not to care about money, and right about now is where I’ll tell you that I’m ignoring you. Also, right about now is where you’ll tell me why my work isn’t any good, and tell me that’s why I’m not making any money. I’ll refer to you to a previous sentence as to what my response will be.

But something that runs deeper than all of this is a personal conviction that I have that states “Do what you want to do.” This message, in all honesty, may have nefarious roots, but it has become an ingrained part of me for so long that I don’t think I can truly think any other way. I made up my mind at a young age that I was going to try to get paid for something that I wanted to do. I decided this, honestly, in part due to television news broadcasts which scolded CEOs for the amount of money they made. I decided that I wasn’t going to care about money (plus, I believed these same newscasts which stated, in effect, that making money was “ripping people off” (something I now know to be a lie)). Also, an even bigger part of this conviction came through the constant coverage of celebrities. I wanted to become a celebrity…

I wanted to become rich through becoming famous. This is still true today. I saw a bunch of people making a bunch of money by doing things that I thought I could do, and I wanted to do it. It took me several years to figure out exactly what I was going to do, and how I was going to do it, but that’s where I stand today. “I can do that.” That’s been my mentality. Everything that I wish to do for a career began with “I bet I’d like to do that” and “I can do that.”

Of course, I’ve learned along the way that it is harder than I expected. But another part of the reason that I decided to “do what I want to do” is because I had a feeling that only doing something for money when you don’t enjoy what you are doing will suck the soul out of you. Of course, this is what most people with a job do. But I’m only willing to do this to a bare minimum. There are people out there who get paid for doing what they love, and I know I can do that, too.

I don’t need anyone else to believe in me. This, I guess, all started that way, but I don’t need it anymore in order for it to continue (although it does feel good when someone does). I have enough confidence now to believe I can make careers out of everything that I want to make careers out of. The seed has been planted, for better or worse, and I can’t foresee it coming out of the ground anytime soon. Perhaps I’m objectively overconfident. But I’m going to make a choice to determine that I’m just-the-right-amount confident.

So I believe that I have the talent, and I have the desire. So one would think that I work nonstop. And in a sense, I do. But there’s so much work that remains unfinished that I felt the need to explain it for myself in this piece here. Why do I have so much unfinished work? Well, for one, many things “take a back seat” to other things. “That’s a good idea. Write that one down, so you don’t forget it. But I’m actually in the mood to work on this. Now I’m bored with this, I want to work on this. Now this is completed, but here’s a new idea. I don’t want to work on that one now, either, so I’m going to work on this new idea.” It kind of comes down to waiting to be in the right mindset to get something done. Perhaps it’s an extreme application of “Don’t do what you don’t want to do.” I’ve never liked the idea of forcing myself to write when I didn’t feel inspired. When I didn’t already have something to say that I wanted to say. I felt like the writing wouldn’t be as good, it wouldn’t be as fun, and I didn’t want to do it, because that would defeat a large purpose of why I wanted to do it in the first place: because I wanted to do it. And I still feel this way today.

So the way I work is that I work on smaller things while making a note of bigger things to do, and putting off many things while working on a wide variety of things. I have projects that are now years old that have nothing done on them more than “Hey, remember to do this. This is about this.” I think a part of that is waiting until I know what I’m going to do before I start to do it. I don’t want to start writing when I don’t know where something is going to go. Then, once I do, I let the creative process take me away until I at least get some semblance of that, even if unexpected things occur along the way. I sit around, waiting to feel “inspired” (something that financially successful writers probably hate, telling hopeful writers to “keep writing even if you don’t feel it, and finally something will stick”, or something like that. Something about putting in your dues…)

But instead of telling myself to write x amount everyday, and instead of telling myself to work on one specific project before starting on another, I let myself wander. I work on many projects at once, and few of them get done in a timely manner. And I’m kind of ok with that. A part of me wants to get more work done, but I don’t think my work would be as good if I treated it differently. I enjoy being overtaken by inspiration, and then not being able to control my desire and my execution of writing, and perhaps this is dickish of me, but something seems dishonest (at least to me) about forcing words to come. If you have to force words to come, you aren’t a writer. Well, at least, probably not a good one. Perhaps that’s unjustified, but it’s my feeling nonetheless. Writing is very spontaneous for me, with only an idea of what a piece is going to be about. The rest comes through inspiration (and, usually, immense boredom with everything else around me). But the question that I want to ask myself is this:

Why doesn’t inspiration come to me more often? I have enough ideas to keep me busy constantly. But I never feel inspired to do them. Once again, right about here is when an “established writer” will tell me that I need to put in the “elbow grease”, that everything isn’t going to be “squeaky clean”, and other cliches that I want to ignore. I don’t understand inspiration. I feel like I’d love to be able to write as much and as well as “greats”. And I’m sure that a lot of those writers are up to their necks in “elbow grease”. But I wish that I could do that spontaneously. I almost don’t want to work for it. Maybe that means that it never comes. But this is the process that I’m going to abide by until further notice. It kind of does suck, because of the amount of unfinished work. But I want my visions to overtake me; I don’t want to pick them out, because it doesn’t feel good to me. I believe that my best work comes when I’m inspired, and can’t control myself, and it just comes out. I don’t envy writers who sit staring at a blank screen, waiting for an idea to come. Fuck that shit. I’m only pulling out the screen when I can’t keep the words from flowing. And I hope that never changes.

But what causes the inspiration? Boredom. A lot of pondering. Desperation.

I can’t think of any other way to create good ideas…

I prefer organic ones as opposed to manufactured ones.

So I’m not going to be as productive as some.

But maybe I can compete with quality over quantity…

Well, at least I believe I can, anyway…

Now, we’ll let the market decide my fate…

…I’m no longer as optimistic.

A Declaration of Independence.

The Rantings of a Crazed, Lunatic Writer.

How I Can Become A Better Writer.

The nature of writing is that you have to do it: the exhausting nature of the work which I wish to accomplish.

Boston – Foreplay/Long Time.

A Declaration of Independence

I’m a man that doesn’t like choice.

I’ve never liked independence.

Obviously, I’m still young. I haven’t had much experience with independence.

The youngest of the young don’t have many choices. This can be quite frustrating, even if that restriction is justified. And certainly, I had times during my youth (at least, younger than I am now) that I wished I had choices when I didn’t have any. But currently, I’m at that stage when I need to make a good many choices for myself, and these choices will effect me for, if I live this long, decades. And I must make these decisions with an immature mind (at least currently: hopefully, not perpetually).

So, no pressure.

There is a security in having others make decisions for you. If a mistake is made, you don’t feel responsible, and you can shift blame to the one who has “decided” for you. But there comes a point in everyone’s life when that doesn’t work anymore, and that time for me is pretty much right now. (Shit, it may have even been before this, but if it was, I was too goddamn stupid to realize it. So I’m off to a great start).

Besides just being a child, whom naturally finds comfort and security in trusted authority figures, another reason I found the authority of others so comforting was the fact that I was just goddamned bad at making decisions for myself. Not that any young teenager should be expected to be good at making decisions, but man, was I BAD. I’ve beaten myself up over that fact more than I can count. It’s not that I should expect that I should’ve been good at making decisions. But in the past, I felt like I should’ve been. I don’t have any idea how I could have been, but that was my expectation nonetheless. A very fairytale expectation. Impossible to satisfy.

But, nonetheless, many of my decisions in my childhood were horrible. The consequences, at least at the time, were almost unbearable. And I wondered how in the fuck I was ever going to make it when I grew up. I worried myself to death about “adulthood”, where people make decisions for themselves. I had no idea to do it. I was only thirteen. (And fourteen).

Knowing (mainly thanks to my parents) that some day, I was going to have to “take the reigns”, and weighing that upon my self-destructive decision-making ability, I spent many years in sheer terror of the future. I’m talking from when I was, like I said, maybe fourteen or so, til, I would say, almost now, I have been terrified of the future. “Every decision impacts your future.” Combine this attitude with the belief that certain thoughts and actions will send you to Hellfire for all eternity, and you can see why one would be frightened when it comes to making decisions for oneself. My self-confidence was destroyed by my own stupid decisions, the consequences I had to face, and, I would argue, my natural tendency towards anxiousness. So I deferred as much as possible towards the direction of my life, having teachers decide which classes I should take, letting others decide when I should get my driver’s license, etc.

And yet, there was still a fiercely independent streak in me. This independence was usually geared towards “higher” ideas. Ideas that, you could argue, “shape” society. I have always been extremely independent in “higher” ideas. It’s the “lower” ideas (the more “practical” ideas (the ones necessary for basic biological functioning)) that I have deferred for so long (the “important” ones, many would argue. And I couldn’t argue against that description).

The independence was usually “Wait a minute: this common belief does not make sense to me.” And that, happening frequently enough, caused me to question common beliefs, and helped shape my worldview. And it’s still present within me today. The independence has been channeled into “vulgarity” now, where I independently decide to question common views of “artistic morality“, and wish to push art further along the line of human depravity than anyone has ever gone before (well, probably not. But a guy can DREAM, can’t he?)

It is also very hard to be independent when you are young and socially anxious (it should really be no surprise why, but this is what I’m trying to work on, personally) because of other people.

I think the biggest hurdles regarding my inability to feel confident and independent enough as a thinker to make more and important decisions for myself are the following:

I’ve always naturally had an inclination to weigh my ideas off of others. My ideas were, I think, usually independent. But I wasn’t sure of their validity, so I bounced them off of others: even if those others were stupid or malicious. I had not the confidence to believe in myself and in my own independence. And that’s what this is really all about. It’s not that I’m dependent; or, rather, I am. I’m independent, but them I’m dependent on approval because I’m not confident enough to develop my independence through thought processes and continuances of logic trees and preferences.

When you “put yourself out there”, other people are going to respond. And the responses exist all over the spectrum: some are insightful, and some are stupid. Some are supportive, and some are not. And if you happen to have ideas that exist outside of the “norm” (whether they be truthful or not), they will be questioned relentlessly, as is the case by the very definition of being “outside of the norm”.

I’m not saying that ideas shouldn’t be subjected to scrutiny. But when, at a young age, you have very independent ideas, very diverse from those around you, and you begin to express those ideas, you have not the confidence to defend yourself, nor the time to fully-fledge out those delicate, crucial beginnings of a fruit of individual thought.

It’s hard being an individual thinker, and it’s probably just as dangerous as being part of a mob. Of course, there are correct “mobs” and incorrect individuals. But one can’t help but picture a Titanic, or a Jesus Christ, when referring to fiercely independent thinkers and “group thinkers”.

To say that there are exceptions to every rule, and that everyone is right and everyone is wrong from time to time, is redundant. Vague, obvious phrases like this are typically used to keep from hearing what the original speaker had to say. “Yeah, but”. In good-spirited discourse, there will obviously be a great many “but”s. But there should be some substance behind the “but”. Repeating a general truth just to be argumentative is unproductive. You need to say something that adds to the conversation, and repetitive phrases uttered for fear of not being a “good person” do not do that.

But, all-too-often, I would believe is the case, young, smart people are trampled upon by their all-knowing, “moralauthority figures. This isn’t to say that adults do not have a great amount of experience, and that this experience is not valuable to creating an insightful perspective of the world. Surely, years of experience on the Earth would help one achieve a higher grasp of reality (or at least, one would hope). However, from a personal standpoint, I think that I have uncritically accepted the advice of every do-gooder from every left, right, and other direction. And I think this has done me some mental harm that I will attempt to explain.

If I’m not a genius, and I’m just a fool, then at least I’m my own man. But I’d rather foolishly believe me a genius than fret over actual foolishness.

I believe that I have some very insightful things to say, especially considering my age. I understand that there are people in this world older than I who understand more than me; likewise, there are people younger than me who understand more than I. But I think I have something. I think there’s something in me that has important things to say. And even if only for my own sake as a human being, for my own volition, sanity, maturity, and peace, I must say them…

Although I’m certain in my heart that there are others out there who will find insight in my words…

But I do not wish to seek social approval. Financial approval is social approval, and of course, I wish to get paid. But beyond that, I wish not to seek social acceptance of my ideas as a validation for them (even money does not “validate” them for me).

Social approval is another sign of youth. I don’t need to explain this: you understand this already. But, for those of you that don’t, I’ll drop in the words “peer pressure”. A desire for a peaceful, cooperating community is not an immature idea, however. But that is not social approval.

“Approval” implies that one can be socially rejected. But why should anyone care about being socially rejected? One may argue that the murderer’s actions are justifiably socially rejected, but his actions are not unethical because they are rejected: they are rejected because they are unethical, and, thankfully, many people’s code of ethics, at least when it comes to murder, are in coexistence with humanity (this is not to say that humans can do nothing inhumane, but rather that, simply stated, their code of ethics promotes the existence and flourishing of humans, rather than destroying humans).

One needs the confidence to speak up for oneself, and one needs the maturity to be able to handle the consequences of speaking up for oneself. And those are two things that I greatly wish to develop and improve upon.

As well as becoming a better organizer of the written word, I hope to continue my fierce independence of thought and furious dictation (sometimes both meanings) with an improvement upon my ability to be independent, my ability to comprehend objectivity, and my ability to communicate.

But, being an introvert, my main concern for improving my communication ability is to improve my financial spending ability.

I want to learn how to string thoughts together better, and how to dissect my own thoughts better so that they are better understood by my readers.

I wish to fear not the critique of my readers, but rather to critically filter their critique, and apply and reject it where I feel necessary after careful reflection.

I have to decide when my work is good or not. I have to decide when my work is done or not. I have to decide when and what I am going to work on.

And I’m not confident enough in myself to feel like I’m making good decisions in this area yet…

…Plus, sometimes I think I’m crazy

I’m also afraid of succeeding.

I want to succeed, but I’m afraid of finally becoming successful.

Why?

Religious conditioning.

Because, you know, all of those rich and famous people are sinners, while the good, common country folk are RIGHTEOUS.

Oh, wasted youth.

But I digress.

I wish to be independent enough to think “I’m going to write all of this, using up valuable time in my life, and valuable energy, when I could be doing something else, because I find this important. I don’t want to hear other people tell me to do it because it’s important. And I don’t want to care about others who tell me I’m wasting my time, and that I should focus more on getting a better paying job, or something like that. I want to put more energy into my writing because I want to do it. I want to feel comfortable enough to not look for approval in this decision. I do not want to care who thinks me crazy; who thinks me young, and immature; and who thinks the cold hand of reality will smack my young, delicate face, and wake me up to the brutal cold.” I care not any longer.

I am really bad at all of this, but God damn do I wish to improve upon it…

I wish to be independent to a degree that I’m comfortable with. I wish to have the confidence to accept the consequences of my actions. I wish to improve upon my writing ability. I wish to learn to have enough self-confidence to reread and edit my work. I wish to have enough self-confidence in my own ethics that I do not feel the need to validate myself through other people. I wish to shed negative perspectives about life through religion that have enslaved me for most of my life. But, I think, most of all, I wish to really feel like I’m in control of my life; in control of myself; and to feel happy about that.

Those are the most crucial elements of ALL of this.

…And, of course, I wish to get paid…

This is also a message about conflict: I fiercely don’t care about what other people think about my work, but I do in the sense that I wish to get paid. But I don’t want to create work simply because I know it will sell well. But I still want it to sell.

These conflicts are just at the crux of life, I guess.

I think time has the answer to those questions in particular for me, though.

…But God damn those bumps of shitty writing along the road!!!

Fuck you.

I did not realize that when I was younger, considering how cynical I was, that I would become even more cynical as I got older.

But I’m extremely content with that.

I hope cynicism continues to grow within my personality.

I want to be more and more independent…

Insightful.

Offend the Fuck Out of People.

My nature.

The Reason that I Don’t Talk to People.