Tag Archives: Word

Possibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No response.

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

No response.

Let them think what they wish.

The truth exists within the heart.

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A Message From A Shitty Writer

A young man gets bored, and decides to write a story. He decides to write a story about the most exciting thing he can imagine. Along the way, he discovers that he isn’t very good at it. He’s created the literary equivalent of a McDonald’s hamburger: it’s food, but not very sustenary; full of shitty preservatives and filler that only the most careless would consume, let alone enjoy.

As time goes by, he realizes that the health-nuts were right. It’s shit. And anyone who likes it is a deadly idiot.

More time passes, and yet, the shit remains. Undissolved, in the pit of his stomach. Making him sick. More and more, he realizes how important it is to take care of his health. To take care of his mind. And to take care of his stories.

But man has to fight against his own nature when he diets and exercises. All the truth in the world won’t change a stubborn man into action. At least, not necessarily.

The voices tell him that he himself needs to speak. Their triumphs arouse in him his desire to succeed himself. A best friend’s favorite author, and one of the most heralded pieces of political fiction ever written, call out within him the desire to scream. The exhaustion and dissatisfaction comes rapidly. It isn’t that the words aren’t good. But it’s that his heart screams out to speak. He can’t take it anymore. He screams out loud, to only a few. His words will fade into obscurity. Can’t the young man focus on these resonating words? For some reason, only a little. And that reason, it appears to be, is the desire to scream himself.

The youth are cursed with ignorance. But, strangely enough, the young man is smart enough to realize this. But, as an old country song used to sing, “still too young to care“. Besides, the confidence in youth can lead to contentment in old age. There will be no shortage of sages making you aware of their own failures. But why they assume that their shortcomings will be your own remain a mystery.

Speaking of mysteries, I don’t care how good of a writer John D. MacDonald is, I’m not a big fan of them.

The main thing that is going to get me to read is going to be my desire to improve as a writer. I suppose there will be moments when I am bored enough to read rather compulsively. But as I read, I realize that I am dissatisfied with my own abilities as a storyteller. It matters not to me that these writers are better than I. What matters is that my heart is dissatisfied with my inability to communicate as often, and as effectively, as I wish.

I can hear many old sayings about how those who wish to speak the most often, and the loudest, are the dumbest. My goal is to be a bright exception to that rule. Despite the fact that, by almost every standard, my words are abjectly elementary and juvenile, the beast within my heart waits to be awakened. Bilbo and Smaug both want the gold. And my goal is to make sure they both get it.

Of course, it’s a long journey. But journeys are best when they aren’t directed by an outsider. When they are directed by the self. When the reason for them is clear within the mind of the one taking the journey. That is part of my journey. Being able to say things beautifully, and creatively, and witfully. Beautiful, well-written stories of tragedy, horror, adventure, and heartbreak. Isn’t it ironic how that is what the heart wants? Heartbreak?

I mean no disrespect to any author that has come before me, or will come after me. But you’re all tools. I’m going to use you. Your existence is for my selfishness. Your words are going to become mine. I can appreciate the fact that, sometime throughout your life, you felt just as compelled to scream as me. But beyond that, I wish, myself, to scream. Maybe I’ll catch a faint holler in the distance, of the message you wished for me to absorb. But that whisper is saying to me “Scream, dammit. Scream. Learn how to scream for yourself. And use us to do it.”

The only trouble is screaming coherency, or even better still, charm, and wit, instead of nonsense.

Sometimes, the hardest part of screaming is the screaming. Other times, the hardest part of screaming is the message. But I think as long as I’m able to scream, I’m going to relish that gift, that right, right along with other screamers. I appreciate your screams, and I long to join in on the hauntingly beautiful chorus…

Long live the written word, and may we chant this from the sulphury pits of Hell if we must.

Message.

How to find a good title for everything that amounts to a “life’s work”?

I think I’ve finally figured out a good way to describe what exactly it is that I’m looking for out of life. It comes down to one word: “profundity”. I want to be moved. I want nature and life to make me cry. I want to be able to cry in front of someone while looking at something beautiful, and be able to say to them “That’s beautiful.”

I’ve always had this sense, for many years, that something was missing in my life. I couldn’t figure out what it was. I think part of the problem is being surrounded by the perspective of the “average” person: dull, and dumb. Not much to look forward to but the next race or ball game (I’m not talking about family, but just being around people in public, overhearing conversations constantly, coworkers, etc.). That’s not what life is about to me. I think that’s why I’ve been going on these solo drives lately. One, just for new environments. But, arguably even more so, because of self-reflection.

I feel like I’ve been beaten down over the years with constant derision of being an “overthinker“. No one could possibly understand the enjoyment that I get from contemplation. I haven’t known how to speak out against it. Now that I’m older, with more responsibility and freedom, I find myself asking: What do I want my perspective to be? What do I want to think about? Where do I want my mind to be? That’s a very deep question. Going through the motions gets you through the day. But is that all my life is? “Getting through the day”? What’s the point in that? You’re telling me that God created our entire universe, the Earth, and US, for Christ’s sake, just for us to “get through the day”? What kind of ultimate purpose is THAT? A fucking pathetic one.

No, there’s something missing in my life, for sure. So much talk revolves around bills and jobs. Not only politically, but just “small talk”. To be fair, I guess when it occupies as much time and energy as it does, that is inevitable. But am I to take certain inevitabilities as the purpose of my life? If I were to get cancer tomorrow, would I treat that cancer as the purpose of my life? Would I talk about it constantly, and think of nothing else but it? Or would I look for profundity in other things? I think the answer is the latter.

I’m tired of listening to well-meaninged people warning about a “life wasted”. I want to be able to say why I disagree with them. In order to do that, I need to use words. I need to “overthink” about words. I’m tired of playing dumb just to keep some sense of “social peace”. Your inferiority complex shouldn’t be my problem. There’s too much profundity to be concerned with some jackass that feels insecure because your vocabulary is deeper than his.

And that should go for myself as well. I shouldn’t dismiss someone just because they speak better than me. Just learn how to speak better, you fucking retard. Learn new words. Become a better listener. It’s not one of the Ten Commandments: just an improvable life skill.

The ultimate problem is that I’m not allowing myself to get lost in my own head enough. I listen to others a lot so that I can learn things for myself. But speaking up for myself is difficult many times. I don’t really allow myself, often enough, to reflect, and contemplate. This makes those times when I do feel like doing those things all the more special. There’s other factors mentally blocking me from fully dedicating myself to creating things. I’ll have to continue to write about those later, even though I’m sure I’ve already touched on them somewhere.

My head is too full of the words of others instead of what feels like my own independent thoughts. Social anxiety is one reason why I can’t tune others out. The other is that responsibility scares me. The unknown future is scary for all of us often. So we focus on our immediate day, where more things are under our control. But I’ve encountered so many people that say “Where in the hell did my life go?” that it scares me, so I try to think more about the future. And I believe that my future would be better if I allowed myself to get more lost inside of my own head, instead of replaying the words of others in my head constantly and doubting my every desire and decision. That ain’t working anymore. I can’t write like that. Writing requires independent thoughts. I love writing. I need independent thoughts. I need MY words. I don’t want my words to just be “Here’s what someone else told me one time.” What’s MY analysis?

But it’s hard to allow myself to get lost in my head. As I’ve said, it’s just scary to be alone inside of your own head. All of your mistakes come at once. All of your uncertainties. Your worst fears. They come storming at you. It’s easier to close the door of your independent mind and let someone else distract you from yourself. Perhaps some music would help?

Going out on a limb like this, of course, poses its own problems. What if I’m wrong? That’s humiliating. Will I just be able to say “I messed up?” Once again, I think that’s, mainly, just a skill that needs to be learned. It’s one thing to realize the power of humility when you feel like you aren’t making a mistake. It’s another when you realize you have.

Another problem is experience. EVERYTHING is “experience”. But the question should be: what kind of experience? I need more experience with linguisticators. I want to figure out why they burn me out so much. I understand that reading, and listening to good speakers, would help me with my own desire to communicate. But I’m always hesitant to do so. Why? Well, for one, language is separate from the subject. I like focusing on a couple of subjects at a time. But then, I get burned out. So in order to keep reading, and not feeling burnt out on the subject, I’d have to read about another subject. But which one? That’s the problem. Reading something and realizing that I don’t enjoy it. Or just getting tired of it, like eating the same food everyday, except with a book. I need to approach reading differently. Instead of focusing on the subject, I need to focus on the language used. That’s not going to be easy. I’m still going to read subjects that I enjoy, of course. But I also need to be able to analyze the use of language separately from the content of the work. Ok, this work is boring me. But is it written well? If so, why? And then, try to learn how to use language better for myself. Once again, this is just a skill that needs to be learned.

Ultimately, the solution will probably come down to reading writers better than I (shouldn’t be too hard to find). I need to have a certain mindset to be open enough to understand what it is exactly that makes their writing better than mine, and how to use that for myself. I guess the question becomes: how much do I want to do that, exactly? I don’t know how much of it will satisfy me yet. I don’t even know how to approach it, really. I anticipate that if I took the advice of someone else that I’d burn out quickly and then get tired of learning how to get better altogether. I think this is a slow, natural, lifetime process that I can’t fully explain yet. It could be the case that I’m lying to myself, and all of this is for naught. But I think it is the only thing that satisfies my heart, and that matters to me (of course). The challenge is being able to explain WHY I believe that it matters.

Another reason that I find language so difficult is that I’ve always associated good speakers with charlatans. It’s easy to tell if an idiot is “good” or “evil“. It’s much harder when someone speaks well. I was so afraid of being evil (thanks, free will baptism) that I just avoided language like the plague. I realize now how stupid that was. But now begins the task of fixing it. And that’s going to be hard, considering how far behind I am because of my old way of thinking. You may say “You write well now,” but you have no idea how good it can become. I do.

For better or worse, ethics consume most of my thoughts. I think this is an evident combination of genes and environment. Certainly, my religious upbringing and journey has a lot to do with why thoughts of ethics almost consume me. But I know there’s definitely a major genetic component as well. Hypocrisy, especially if I do something “evil”, scares me. I just don’t want to do it. I, like everyone else, am torn between doing good and evil. I have, and will, do both throughout my life. And that bothers the fuck out of me. I guess one might say “The fact that it bothers you proves that you’re a good person.” But I will take no solace in that. The thought of being a hypocrite bothers me. Especially the thought of being a hypocrite on a very famous scale (and I desire “fame” only as a measure of success that I wish to have, so that I don’t get stuck in a life that I resent everyday. Maybe one day I’ll just be “content” like everyone else, but I have goals, and I want them. And that’s all I care about. I know that it takes that type of attitude to succeed, so now, all I need is that success, so that I can hand you the check and say “I told you so.” And if it doesn’t work, who cares? I’ll join you at the factory line and you can tell me about all of the time I’ve wasted, whereas I can say “At least I tried” and make fun of you for NOT trying). I find enjoyment in being critical, and that obviously puts a lot of pressure on me. “Just stop being so critical,” you might say. Criticism, especially humorous criticism, is too much fucking fun. I think it’s worth the anxiety of making a mistake. And, once again, I think that’s another reason why humility is a skill that I desperately need to develop.

And that never-ending war of trying to figure out how to “handle” other people. In a way where the advice of others doesn’t deafen my own independent thoughts. Trying to figure out truth is a lifelong battle: as is dealing with the evil of others. It will continue on forever, as you continue to get older, and, eventually, die. We do good, we do evil, then we think about and talk about the evil of others. Then, we listen to others talk about the evil of still yet others. I’m so fucking exhausted with it all. I want to take part in it, but I’m also fucking sick of it. “Hypocrisy”, I guess you’d say. And here comes the advice. And here’s where Cody has to say “Ignore it, because you want to.” And here’s where Cody hears others complaining that he said he’s going to ignore them. And here’s where Cody needs to tell himself “Just continue ignoring them.” And here’s where Cody hears them saying that “Yes, you need to ignore them.” And here’s where Cody realizes they are “them” so he shouldn’t listen to them. And on, and on, and fucking on. “Just stop”- I can’t- “You think too much”-no I don’t shut up haven’t you read fucking anything I’ve written up to this point? Maybe you realize the problem now.

I can’t wait to just become an old grouch. That’s what my heart ultimately longs for. It flies in the face of all “advice” you’ll hear. But who gives a shit. I’m a grumpy old grouch at heart, goddammit, and that’s what I want to be. So it’s going to fucking stay that way. Get out.

You can’t appreciate profundity when a bunch of stupid blabbermouths don’t see it and won’t shut the fuck up about what they do see.

…Stuff like this makes me wish that either I was older or that I end up dying younger. I can’t take 80 years of thinking like this, and I refuse to think like everyone else. I’m hopeful that this will change as time goes by. But, of course, I want it NOW. I already feel about 90. If I ever do make it to 90, I can’t imagine how I’d feel. That’s scary. Maybe I don’t want to make it to 90. But things do change…

Communication, like everything else, is hard. Regardless of what “natural” abilities you may have, everything gets hard at some point. There’s a reason why talented, say, basketball players practice. Michael Jordan has always been, and will always be, a better basketball player than me. And most. So why did he practice? Well……….what ELSE was he going to do? THAT was a question that he had to ask himself. And he ANSWERED it himself. That’s what I need to do. It doesn’t matter that I’ll (probably) never become the “Michael Jordan” of writing. That is so far removed from the point that that thought shouldn’t have even entered your head. The point is what do I want my writing and thoughts to be, and what do I want to do with them?

And that produces a fine line. Writing involves organization, knowing when to lengthen a piece, and knowing when to cut one off. My default position has just been to cut everything off short (because it’s easier). But something has been missing. I knew this day would come eventually, so I have never stressed about today not being around yesterday. But the day has come where I’m no longer satisfied with cutting things off prematurely. I’ve said stuff like this a million times, but it continues to be true. The process of writing is constant. I’ll probably say, throughout my entire life, that “I need to learn how to edit.” It doesn’t matter how much better I get from one year to the next, I anticipate that I’ll still say “I need to learn how to edit.” Why? Well, this is where the “Michael Jordan” analogy comes into play. What in the fuck ELSE am I going to do with my writing? If I don’t do that, but I want to write, the writing is just going to be “WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD WORD”. What’s the point in reading that? There IS none. Michael Jordan won a championship and an MVP one year. Why did he play the next year? It’s all about an attitude, and what one wants to do. I don’t care if I never win a writing MVP, or whatever. I don’t care if I’m not ranked among the 100,000 best writers ever. The point is that I want to write, and what attitude am I going to have while I do so? I pity those that don’t understand what I’m talking about. They’re kind of idiots.

I hope I don’t burn out too quickly. This has been a lifetime coming, but, ultimately, I think everything is. Everything has been leading up to everything. That’s unavoidable. But being able to explain that in certain ways is a skill that I wish to develop. One of the skills that I wish to develop.

I also need to work on the fact that even if someone’s advice doesn’t help me, at least they want to. I can ignore it, but at least I can say “Well, they’re trying to help, even if they aren’t.” At least give them that credit. And then, get back to my alone time as quickly as possible. I’m sure they’ll understand. At least, if I’ve explained myself well enough, they will. I think my main frustration with advice is that I haven’t been able to effectively speak for myself. That’s a pattern that I continue to notice. I’ve never been happy with my ability to speak for myself, and it’s something I’ve worked on for many, many years. And I have a long fucking way to go. It’s all a complicated weave that I have in my head that I want to be able to elaborate. And it’s exasperating. And it just keeps building more and more and more. It’s hard to handle, but this is the best time in my life to handle it financially. I can’t afford to waste this opportunity. I want all of my ideas to come fast, and just get them all done as rapidly as possible. But they need to mature to maintain a quality that I’m happy with. It’s not about writing a bestseller, it’s just about writing good stuff, goddammit. My heart has always hurt when inspiration has hit me and I couldn’t write because I was at work, or had to go to school the next day. Staying up for hours later than I should just because “It hit me.” Feeling frustrated because I had other responsibilities that kept me from writing. So much of that has changed. This is the time that I’ve been desperate for my whole life. SO WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD I EVER STRUGGLE TO WRITE?????????? Write NOW, dammit!!! In truth, there’s still stuff to figure out, as there always has been. But this is, more than likely, the best time I will EVER HAVE to create. EVER. I’ll have more free time now than I’ve ever had. That pressure is terrifying. But if I get in too much of a hurry, the work sucks. And I need to absorb more before I can regurgitate more. I haven’t been happy with much of my writing for a long time now, and it’s mainly because I just didn’t have enough within me to get it done the way I wanted to get done. There’s too much for me to elaborate on here, but I want to do it eventually. All of my work is a tangled weave of my life. It all connects, in the grand scheme of things. I’m a “mad scientist”. It’s a delicate balance. I guess I’ll just have to hope that I don’t see it all as a mistake down the road, and figure out exactly what I’m going to do today, and how.

Technical ability to improve quality (of things like video) is a skill I need to learn without burning myself out trying to do so. Software, camera work, lighting. No, I don’t need to go to school for it. I’ll experiment with it myself eventually. But I need a better outlook of completing good work. A – you guessed it – philosophical approach to quality and effort. I know that probably sounds weird to you. But I want to be able to explain what I mean eventually. I want to be able to explain everything. How I write, etc.

I need to hurry up and get better so I can churn out more stuff, and keep improving it. The gaps in time between my writings are far too fucking long for my taste. But I can’t just type “BLAH BLAH BLAH” and say I’ve written something. It just takes a lot of time. Everything does. And then, I’ll get old and say “Holy fuck. Where did the time go?”

I still have a lot of things that I want to say about the past. About writing. I want to be able to explain what is going on inside of my head. If that doesn’t interest you, that’s fine. If it enrages you, I find that humorous. If it inspires you, that’s terrifying. But the ultimate point is that I want to be lost inside of my own head to find some peace in this world. That’s mainly what I care about at the moment. That, and just learning how to do everything better, such as my attitude and “dealing with” other people. And editing, and organizing, etc.

So that’s what I’m working on, I guess. Lmfao (When to work? When to break? When to write? When to listen to music? Who to listen to? Who to ignore? WHEN WHEN WHEN? It never ends).

The hardest part about all of this is having known, for a long time, that all of this was going to happen (or at least significant parts of it), but having it not happen. Realizing “Yep, this is definitely a waiting game.” As my favorite childhood musician once said, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

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

Why Express?

Highly Sensitive Mind.

My poetry.

Getting Sucked Into the World of Writing

It’s time for me to take writing more seriously. I hate writing, because of the headache it gives me. How to begin a piece, elaborate on it, make it coherent, make the language better, more efficient, easier to read, and end it on a witty, snazzy note. The mere sight of a word processor makes me want to close it out. But yet, I still write. In some ways, I feel like my nature opposes writing. And truly, it does. I think a large part of this is my desire to be carefree, and relax (I can probably thank my father’s genes for that desire (it ain’t a bad desire to have, I might add)).

I can’t do that if I’m going to write.

I think this is why I have been avoiding this dreaded day for so long. I have started to become tired of my writing for various reasons, and I don’t think I’ve known how to fix the problems that I have with it. Perhaps (cringe), it is that I need to study literature more. Read more. I can hear my best friend when I hear my own internal voice. I really do need to read more to know what the fuck I’m doing when I decide to write. As much as I want to vomit at the thought of becoming an “avid reader” (because patience is not one of my strong suits, nor is feeling like I’m not productive (I don’t feel productive when I read fiction, although, for example, I am being productive when I read if reading helps me become a better writer)), reading is a great way to become a better writer. If I read people who are better writers than me (as if), I will become a better writer (impossible: I’m already the best). I know that, as a writer, there comes a point when I become tired of my writing. Or, rather, that there comes a point in time when I need to do something about the fact that I’m tired of my writing, as I’ve been sick of my writing for quite some time.

The problem is that there were (and probably still are) things I needed to say before I could get to the current point that I am now. Even though this sounds crazy to me, I feel like all of my writing is related in some way. Indeed, it may be as simple as this fact that I have overlooked until now: that it all comes from me.

But I have not been ready to commit to writing. Although it makes me cringe to write this, perhaps it was because I had nothing to say. There’s clearly a combination of factors that have prevented me from “getting sucked into the world of writing.” I feel like I have written about these a million times before. Part of the problem is that I’ve been focused too much on marketing instead of writing; caring more about the views than the pieces themselves. Now, that isn’t entirely true, because I don’t write simply for the numbers. But the numbers discourage me from writing.

I’m a typical victim of words just not coming out right from my head. Communication is a huge problem for me. I don’t care to practice it very often, for I’m content with being by myself (or I “talk to myself” in the form of creating things for my own enjoyment). From a creative standpoint, I only talk “to” other people as a seller. “These are the jokes I have”, “The insights I believe I have”, etc. I don’t particularly care for “back-and-forth”, getting to know readers and other writers, etc. And I personally think that because I don’t enjoy communicating, I’m not as good at it as I desire to be. Writing is the best way for me to practice getting better at communication. Why would I desire to communicate if I hate it, you may ask? I may have written this before, but writing is a desire that overwhelms me at times. Even the introvert has things to say after he stews on things a bit longer than most. But I don’t write as often as I feel like I want to deep down. And I believe that it is a fear of commitment to “getting sucked into the world of writing” (that was a joke. You see, the quotation marks exist because that’s the title of this piece- ok you got it).

Writing fiction makes me want to vomit. The initial process is the fun part: the “first draft” (I’m not quite sure how to label my writing, so I’ll go along with common vernacular that I’ve heard (or read) authors use). I’m very eager to share my works, even if my works aren’t very good (lol). Probably because I’m eager to get that “million dollar deal” that isn’t on the table. Probably a good deal to do with it. But I need that motivation to keep me going.

I suppose that I’m merely developing as a writer (something that I truly didn’t think was possible, oh, 4 ½ years ago now). My best friend, a fellow writer, always talked (and still does) about improving as a writer. When I heard that, I thought “How can I improve? I know I’m not the best, but I’m good enough.” (Good enough for what? My own standards, I suppose). But after 4 ½ years, the state of my writing (particularly fiction), as I said, makes me want to vomit. It’s a tangled web to unweave; a commitment that I haven’t been sure that I want to make or not. It’s not that I don’t love to write. I really, really do. But there’s aspects of writing that I don’t like. I like the initial idea that I come up with for a particular piece. And then, I write that idea down. And that’s typically where it ends. Very little editing (if any, because I haven’t wanted to “get sucked in the world of writing”). No revisions. Just “Hey, I like this thought. Write it down.” And done.

I’m not satisfied with that anymore. Currently, I think the biggest reason for this dissatisfaction is my boredom. I’ve got things to do, but I’m becoming bored of doing them. And I always start writing again when I’m at my most bored. When I enjoy doing something, I don’t want to do it so much that I lose my love for it. That is what I have always feared about writing: that if I do it more often, I’m not going to enjoy it as much when I do it. Is there too much of a good thing, in this case? I haven’t dared test it, just in case. For what would I replace this with? What could I do that would replace writing? It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing other things; but writing is very important to me. It has its own purpose. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand why I write. And that bugs me. I enjoy being introspective. But am I really willing to spend the time and effort to figure out why I enjoy writing? ‘Tis a very daunting task. Perhaps it is just better to enjoy it and not question it. It remains to be seen for me. (Why Do I Write How I Write?)

I love non-fiction, and the possibilities for fiction are marvelous. But it’s the fiction that bugs me, because fiction is a lot harder to write for me. Perhaps it is because literally anything can happen. And the thought of selecting things, and organizing things into a good story irks me. I have countless notes in a word document that say “Write a story about __________ where ___________”. And then, I’ll open up the blank word document to start it, and that’s when it hits me. “Holy shit. This is a big commitment. This is a sanity commitment. A creative, insanity commitment. A commitment to language; developing it, organizing it, thinking about it (and thinking about it…and thinking about it……and thinking about it………………..). It’s terrifying to me, because I know that I will, much like my best friend (much love), become insane. I can see the insanity in my best friend. I worry for the poor boy. A man lost in countless fantastical worlds, that cause his hair to prematurely turn gray because of the stress from not getting everything read and written. I’ve desperately tried to avoid that fate for myself, but I’m afraid that the fates are drawing me ever closer to that dark hole of “literature”, and I beg for God to have mercy on my soul. But, then again, perhaps I’ll feel most alive right before my literary-induced spiritual death.

I truly do have to thank my best friend. His love for language, I know, will help me with my own writing problems. Clearly, he’s already influenced me, much like countless authors have influenced him. I’m beginning to understand his words more now: literature truly is a lifetime commitment. And I’m always terrified of committing to something for fear of missing out on something else. I think a big part of that is how I was raised. My mother always told me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, and my father encouraged me to “use my brain and not my brawn.” So my mind wandered, and I envisioned all the possible careers I could take. Most of them didn’t interest me (regardless of how unrealistic the prospects actually were). But I’ve tried to keep my mind open to the possibilities, which has, up to this point, resulted in me not committing to any one particular thing.

And the world of writing does terrify me. The patience required to read, the things that you are sacrificing while you read due to time constraints. It terrifies me to think of committing myself to writing more because of whatever else I may be missing out on. Now that I think of it, what is it that I’m really missing out on? Sleep? Laziness? Truly, those may be the biggest things; coming up with anything else is probably just an excuse. But writing terrifies me. You’ve got people critiquing your works, asking for clarification (and you better be able to provide it), and, in my opinion, the two worst things that can happen: a reader getting bored of your writing, or a reader never knowing of your works at all.

Maybe another reason that I haven’t “gotten sucked into the world of writing” up to this point in my life is that my brain just doesn’t think good. I’ve written a little bit about reading here (this has a lot to do with it). But maybe I don’t have a brain well-equipped for reading. It’s not that I’ve always hated reading. But I think for me, the problem now is that I know that my future hangs in the balance at this very moment, and I need to do everything within my power to be successful; and reading feels like an unproductive waste of time, if only because I’m not creating anything when I read (even if reading would help out future creations). And, once again, I’m lazy, so there’s that.

My brain craves excitement. I’m constantly looking for new things. And I get tired of reading the same thing for an extended period of time (including a piece that I’m working on while I edit, like this one, currently). I guess I’m naturally a different type of reader than “avid” readers or “real” readers. It seems as if many “readers” stick with one thing at a time until they finish it or until they can’t take it anymore due to it being “bad”. My threshold is much lower. Once again, it is because I am afraid of getting lost in fantastical worlds. I’m afraid of the commitment. Because I know that my life will forever change, and change scares me (lol). I am afraid of transforming into a “reader”. The life of a reader is a different world. I am afraid of the improvement I’m sure it would offer me. Why? Well, I’m sure that (depending on what I read), reading will make me smarter, and will make me “sound smarter”. And, ironically, I have found that the smarter you sound, the harder it is for people to understand you. Now, clearly, I realize this is unfair on my part (or, at least, I hope so). My life experience is very limited, and I’m basing this mainly on my childhood, where I was schooled with kids of all sorts of demeanor, intelligence, etc. My confidence was affected by my peers in school (and, at times, my family). Once again, I’ve always dumbed myself down, and, therefore, have not had much practice in “sounding smart”. Acting like an idiot has made people more friendly towards me, and that explains why I love stupid humor, and acting like an idiot so much. I’ve been working my whole life to come out of my expressionless shell. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made, but I can’t accurately describe a measurement which would tell you how much further I have to go. Language truly is a full-time commitment. Scary.

Perhaps this is “bad” of me, but I don’t really care what you, the reader, think of my writing. Obviously, I care from a monetary standpoint. And, of course, I respect it when someone compliments my work. I’ll even read the criticisms, and determine whether or not I think they are valid (I think it’s about 50/50). It has been my experience that many people do not know what they are talking about: people that I have taken advice from in the past. I know this is “normal”. I know that “everyone goes through this”. But I don’t understand why you (I’m being presumptuous now, but with good reason (past experience)) feel compelled to tell me this fact simply because I’m stating that I’m one of the many people that are experiencing this. Why trivialize the experience of one by saying that many or all go through it? I think it’s a symptom of trying to be helpful, but not being very smart at being able to actually do it (I think that’s kind of a common, tragic theme that I’m learning (but slowly accepting) about humanity). Let’s just put it this way: it has been my past experience (many, many times) that when I spoke, the listener did not understand what I was saying. Perhaps they hadn’t considered it, and couldn’t relate. Of course, I could have elaborated on what I was saying. But when I did, I was just called a “smarty pants”, and then, they basically stopped listening. So honestly, that explains a lot of this. I stopped speaking because people weren’t willing to listen.

That’s pretty fucking depressing…

Welcome to my dark world. Lol

All I wanted was for someone to understand what I was saying without having to elaborate on it. In other words, someone to relate to. Sadly, those people were few and far between. I felt like they were more of a student than someone who could empathize with me. And that bugged me for many, many years. A large reason why I lost my voice.

From my childhood to my late teens, I felt crazy and self-conscious. I repressed my expressive desire, including what it was that I wanted to express. People either weren’t interested or didn’t understand what it was that I was trying to express (once again, it could’ve been my fault, but I was looking for a friend, not a student, as I said). Also, a lot of it was other kids just not liking my personality (still true to this day. Kids still hate me). I grew a desire to express myself comedically because when I was the clown, other kids laughed at me. They gave me attention. I acted like an idiot to amuse other people for social acceptance.

…That’s kind of fucked up and counter-intuitive, isn’t it?

However, the comedy grew not only as a way to try to fit in, but I truly believe it would’ve came out regardless of whether I was accepted or rejected by my youthful peers. Sarcasm; exhibitionist idiocy; humorous, creative associations between multiple things: I think all of these “funny” things (and other “funny” things) would’ve came out of me regardless.

Also, strangely enough, there is a sympathetic guilt on my part. My heart has always went out to those that I have felt were less fortunate than me. Currently, I think of those with language skills less developed than my own. Now, I’m not saying I’m a literary genius. But despite how meager my word skills may be, I pity those who are even less effective than I am at communicating. Like I said, I’ve always felt sympathetic for those that I feel are less fortunate than I, and I feel very fortunate to be able to communicate like I can. There’s tons of room for improvement, but I think I have a little “knack” for writing, and I pity those that don’t share that same knack. This pity has often made me feel guilty, which has contributed to my “not writing very good” situation. Dumbing myself down not only to be more sociable, but to be more “humble”. Independent gifts from God have always bugged me: probably due towards religious conditioning to “always be thankful”, directly contrasted (although immediately followed) by a message of fiery fear.

People don’t like it when you talk good. My desire to be readable contrasts with my intrinsic desire to be exact, thorough, and pertinent (I suppose that I am implying that you, the reader, are dumber than I. At least I offer a formal apology right now). I suppose time and practice will determine the balance between “readable” and “exactness” at any given time (perhaps an acceptance of a “readable = exactness” equation), but I’m really hoping I develop the confidence to be smarter in my writing. Once again, language truly is a full-time commitment. Still scary.

You, the readers, are a hindrance to me. I know that’s a bit harsh. But you, as people, by definition, contrast with my introverted nature (lol). My desire to be left alone, even though I want to write, and even though I want readers. This is probably a struggle that all creative introverts face. I know that when I write, you are free to comment, and tell me what you think. It’s not that I don’t respect criticism; it’s that I wish to be left alone. It’s not that I, as an introvert, do not desire communication. It’s that I just desire less communication than “normal”. Even the introvert has a voice. I’d like to think that I think a little bit before I speak, but I can recollect too many instances where this isn’t the case to shatter my own view of my humility.

The fact that I can’t figure out why I want to write hinders me from writing. Because I want to write about why I want to write. My brain can’t let things go, and I have to build upon previous thoughts to move on to something else. I truly believe that things that I write are connected, but I need the beginning blocks to get there. And that’s just another step towards getting sucked into the world of writing…

(Thank God I found my best friend when I did. He may have single-handedly saved my writing. If not for his persistence in the face of his own self-perceived limitations, I may not be writing this today, and may not have written some of the things in the future that I will write in the future).

All of these things keep me from writing. And, truly, I’m probably not ready to “jump right in” at the moment. As I said, I think I have a way of starting from the beginning from a personal analysis perspective, write about that, and then move on to the next phase of my own personal development. Because when I think of it, I truly don’t think that anything I’ve written up to this point is a waste of time. They all have a purpose, even if they are kind of shit. But boredom and restlessness create works, and make them better. A part of me wishes I was motivated to create without the boredom and restlessness driving me, but in another sense, I am content with my own personal reasons for writing when I write.

I will have to consult with my best friend about how to move forward, because he is the one that spends all his time doing this (within my small circle of people). I’m sure that reading will be a part of it; developing patience and the willpower to get lost in a book. Once again, I always fear what I’m missing out on, regardless of what I’m actually engaged in. I’m growing tired of this, however, and I need something that I can commit to. Sadly, I have a feeling this is going to include reading, writing, acting, filming, and comedy, and just thinking about how much work will be involved makes me want to, once again, close the word processor and go back to watching Youtube videos. But there’s also the side of me growing restless.

My best friend and I have talked about this before several times: eventually, you just become bored with what you’re doing. Everyone does. All creative people go through phases. They do something, then they change it up. This is my first small, slow step towards changing it up.

I can’t keep writing the same things over and over and over (or, at least, I want to work on not doing that).

Also, something that I consider that may (or may not) surprise you: what if I’m actually an idiot? I don’t think so, but past experience makes me doubt myself. And what of the writers that I think are intelligent, but are widely ignored or dismissed? How will I handle the thought of me writing things that are intelligent, but also widely ignored and dismissed? I suppose the simple answer is “practice makes perfect”, and I don’t know how I’ll react if I become as reviled and ignored as someone such as, say, Murray Rothbard (for you simpletons, I’m not comparing my writing to Rothbard, but am merely asking the question: what if I become as obscure and disrespected as he is? How would I handle that? That feels like the worst-case scenario for me as a writer, which is why I brought the example up).

Word choice, editing, and confidence will (obviously) be a big part of “getting sucked into the world of writing”. But the next big step is to figure out how to do it without becoming overwhelmed (and, thus, disinterested) in it all……

I think the key, for me, will be small steps.

I want more confidence in myself, and to be less concerned with what others have to say about my works. Contentment and bringing my creative visions to life (and a lot of money) are what I desire. I know that I will become more confident the more I practice. Now, it’s just finding the desire to treat this as a full-time endeavor (God forbid?). Once again, I have uncertainty regarding writing. How much do I want to do it? And when? Maybe that means I’m not a “real” writer. Maybe I’m just a poser. But I’m a poser with things to say, so I’d consider myself a writer, even if only part-time.

All I know is that I want to do it. I couldn’t say how, nor what, nor how much, exactly. Time will determine all of those answers.

Thank you for reading the thoughts of a bumbling idiot. I may or may not resume bumbling idiocy after intermittent messages similar or dissimilar to the ones you’ve just read here.

(There’s the witty, snazzy note I was praying that I’d end on, thank God. Oh yeah, and this one is as well. And this one).

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

The product of dumb luck or a mastermind?

“Roller coaster” is such a fucking weird phrase.

It feels so goddamn lazy.

Perhaps it’s because it is so simplistic, plain, and effective that I resent the self-perceived lack of effort that went into naming it (when I often finding “the right word” so goddamned difficult…)

Grammar.

Envy.

Post-Holiday mindset.

Welp, the holidays are officially over.

Back to the daily existential crises of lethargy, dreams, dead-end shit jobs, failure, confusion, ideological opposition, advice, uncertainty, boredom, conformity, pessimism, fury, doubt, dissatisfaction, stupidity, deceit, entrapment, and all of the other beautiful fucking things on this planet that we are blessed with that are all somehow supposed to be fixed with “a wife and kids”.

What a life.

To illustrate one of my points: it’s a shame that if you say something like “I can’t wait to go to Heaven“, people worry. “Oh my God, he’s going to kill himself!” Just one of the things that I’m talking about that occur regularly that bothers the Hell out of me. I’m not saying they are completely unjustified. Context has a lot to do with it. You can see what I mean if you read suicide notes from certain people. But hearing this anxiety from so-called “Christians” after I say something like this makes me cringe, because clearly, they are more unsure of where they are going to go when they die than I am sure of where I’m going to go when I die. I know exactly where I’m going, and I can’t wait to get there. I will wait (sadly; In my opinion, although you can clearly be happy while living, compared to Heaven (or the Garden of Eden), this life can’t help but make one feel dissatisfied. I think that’s why I am dissatisfied: because I have at least some small idea of what I’m missing out on, and I actually believe I’m missing out on it, instead of simply providing “lip service” to Heaven like many other so-called “Christians”) (Personal Happiness as a Virtue)). But taking care of my health does not interest me at all. I do not want to live 80 years on this planet.

Everything involved in this “daily existential crisis” feels, ultimately, trivial to me. Sure, my life is all that I have in the moment (of which, these things are a part of). So why not make the best of it?

Firstly, I have a problem with cliches like that, and it will take me a very long time to fully “get into” why I have a problem with these cliches. I guess, to be brief, there is a moralistic attitude behind these cliches. These cliches are treated like The Ten Commandments, whereby your every breath and action should be spent towards conforming to these “life cliches”. I have tried to do this in the past, and all it does is set you up for failure. You will always fail to live by these cliches. Period. It is inhuman to attempt to make these cliches divine edicts in your life. Cliches are true through the natural process of human action: much like The Ten Comamndments are divine edicts that we can never perfectly obey, even if what is in The Ten Commandments and perfectly living by them would make us have better lives. I’ll have to further analyze my past history with these “cliches” (and larger implications regarding them) at a later date. “But Cody, you say to let the ‘natural process of human action’ take place. Isn’t that what these so-called ‘moralists’ are doing? Clearly, they are humans acting. So how can you support the ‘natural course of human action’ as opposed to what they are doing if what they are doing is also a ‘natural course of human action’?” I’ll have to elaborate on this much deeper in the future. But the main point is that what they do just doesn’t work. It conflicts with what I mention in the next paragraph.

Secondly, I have my own personal philosophies that I want to live by (largely influenced because of what I mentioned in the first part), because the philosophies of others, very rarely, make me happy. In the past, I never thought that my happiness mattered. But, thanks to a religious transformation, triggered mainly by my best friend, I think my happiness actually does matter. Not only does my happiness matter in a spiritual (after death) sense, where God sent His Son to die for my sins, forces me to believe that through love, and provides me with an eternal paradise for no other reason than His own grace and love. My happiness actually matters on this Earth. (Personal Happiness as a Virtue). That, sadly, is a very revolutionary, rare thought; and thus, my “back to the daily existential crisis” paragraph. But I think that’s why I’m so dissatisfied. I’m ready to go to Heaven. I’m not going to hurry it along, but in spirit, I’m ready to go, enjoy my paradise, and be freed from the human condition, which enslaves us to labor, heartbreak, anger, broken families, abuse, government tyranny, nuclear war, and just the difficulty in doing something so necessary as producing food. The human condition has weakened my spirit, and “a wife and kids” isn’t going to fix it. That’s only going to make it worse. I don’t want to listen to this “make the best of what you have”, “enjoy the little things”, and all of this other crap. I’m making a conscious decision to ignore this, for the “moralistic” reasons I mentioned above (it conflicts with my nature).

There is a mindset that equates “maturity” with “misery”, and I don’t believe that (much like the atheistic “misery” that is “scientific” and “inevitable” “in nature” that I no longer believe). I believe that God cares about my happiness. Indeed, we were put on this Earth in a paradise, so clearly there was some purpose to our happiness. I personally think we were created to be happy for that reason (and then we fucked it up and lost it as punishment). So, in my opinion, when we are truly happy, we are as close to God as we can be. And, to put it shortly, I, therefore, do not personally believe that, for example, murdering someone can make the murderer “truly” happy. (Can we be happy in sin? Sure. But I think it’s complicated, and I think there are miseries that come about as a result of our sins that we don’t often think of when we say “Can’t we be happy in our own sin?” It’s complicated, I grant you. I’ll have to elaborate in a future piece).

Of course, there is a certain healthy maturity in accepting what you cannot change; particularly, if what you cannot change is negative. But I think that most people’s attitudes about “maturity” is not this, although maybe I’m wrong, and will be proven so in the future (or, perhaps, I’m wrong and will never become aware of it and it will make my life more difficult. Once again, there’s so many “what-ifs” that are considered when making decisions, and I’m not going to elaborate all of them involved in my own personal decision-making processes to justify them to others. I’m simply going to live for myself, in my own way, deal with the consequences that come, and enjoy the rewards, as all of us humans do).

But it seems to me that many people equate “maturity” with giving up. I don’t think this is completely unfounded: indeed, I think it is often sage. You have to eat, you need a house, etc. And, of course, you need money to buy these things, and most people get this money by providing services to others (services that they typically hate to perform, but do because they need the money). I am perfectly aware of all of this. But I am not going to hurry the process along. My mindset is to avoid this. There is a bare minimum, of course. But the day I accept “my job” as my life, and no longer dream of turning what I naturally enjoy doing into a career, is, at least for the time being, the day that I spiritually die on this Earth (I realize that sounds drastic, but I want to do what makes me happy. This dream makes me happy, so I keep it. For the time being, I don’t see anything that could effectively replace this dream on my “happiness” scale). I will either work on writing fiction, insightful articles, dark pieces of art, making myself look like a jackass for comedy’s/satire’s sake, and financially succeed, or I will work on writing fiction, insightful articles, dark pieces of art, making myself look like a jackass for comedy’s/satire’s sake, and financially fail (such as I’m currently) doing. But clearly, either way, you see what will remain (and I might as well dream big if I’m going to do it anyway).

I’m aware that if money is an issue, I could attempt to learn a job that would give me more money. But, once again, I have to do what makes me happy, and even if it ends horribly for me in the future, I have to try. It is within me to try to make it all work. I would not be able to live with myself if I didn’t try all of this, even if it means I forego other financial opportunities, valuable experience in a skill, etc. (I’m going to write an article called “What’s the worst that could happen?” to address exactly that (I hope that I can remember to link it here)).

I want to embrace the difficulty. I want to embrace the obstacles. I want to take the valid (and unfounded) opposition head on. I want to use all of it as fuel, turn it around, and give the world a giant “I told you so.” Failure simply means that I never succeeded when I was alive. And that isn’t that bad to me (once again, I’ll write a “What’s the worst that could happen?” article later to satiate those of you eager to tell me the worst that could happen, and also as a way to fully accept it and understand it for myself). If I try to make money doing something I love to do, and never do, but instead end up working at McDonald’s in my 40s, have I failed? In some sense, yes. I didn’t succeed in making my “dream job” a reality. But I succeeded in never having to wonder “What if?”, and I think that’s one of my biggest motivators. I refuse to put myself in a position where I will ask myself, 20 years down the road, “What if I would’ve started writing in my mid-20s? What if I would’ve started to try to make people laugh regularly in my mid-20s?” Of course, you can turn it around: “But Cody, ‘What if’ you wonder, down the road, ‘what if’ you had chosen a different career path that many people told you was a better guarantee?” Once again, I’m going to make my own personal decisions because, right now, the only thing I see making me happy is enjoying my job, so I’m going to try to take what I enjoy and turn it into a job. I will have to deal with the consequences as they come.

It is about success, but it’s mainly about being satisfied in this life. As I said, there’s a lot of talk about equating “maturity” with accepting the fact that you have to work a job you hate in order to survive. Once again, I’m not saying this is invalid. But 1) I am not going to put myself in that position sooner than I have to (thankfully, I don’t have to at the moment), and 2), I do not anticipate ever adopting the “Welp, this is my job for the rest of my life” attitude, so I might as well work on my “dream jobs” NOW. Spending time and energy towards creating a career that I enjoy NOW. Even if I change my mind down the road, I need to work on this NOW, while I want to, and while it invigorates me. That’s what I want. I just want to be happy; and right now, working on this makes me happy. I think that’s, ultimately, what this comes down to (and I can’t help but think of the people that give me “advice“, and what they did at my age (drinking, partying, etc.), and feeling like I’m different than they are, so maybe my outcome will be different).

Despite the small number of “success stories” that float as an island on the ocean of failure, the exceptions speak out to me louder than “the rule”. “The rule” makes me want to drink. And I don’t want to drink. I want to work on becoming an exception, using all of the “daily existential crises of lethargy, dreams, dead-end shit jobs, failure, confusion, ideological opposition, advice, uncertainty, boredom, conformity, pessimism, fury, doubt, dissatisfaction, stupidity, deceit, entrapment, and all of the other beautiful fucking things on this planet that we are blessed with that are all somehow supposed to be fixed with ‘a wife and kids'” as fuel and motivation to succeed in my own way.

I’m not giving up. I’m either going to become an exception, doing it my own way, or I will fail my own way. But, I believe more than anything (well, aside from, maybe, the financial success that I dream of) I want to feel free. And I’m currently exercising my freedom to the best of my ability, and I feel very pleased thus far (at least in some ways. Obviously, I’d be happier if I was already successful).

At least for the time being, I anticipate that, without a job that fulfills me, regardless of the pay, I will be dissatisfied. Currently, I will not adapt to any other choice than making my passions work. Could I “learn to live” with the job, and adapt myself around it to be happier? Of course. But I do not ever want to give up on this dream, regardless of how shitty my job is. I want this dream to be the reason that I wake up in the morning. At least for the time being, I want this to be my life, because it makes me happy, and I anticipate that, even though it will be a roller coaster, it will, ultimately, make me happier than I would be without it.

A steady job (at least in another line of work), although necessary, is not the end goal for me. I want to be so committed to something that I love that I will go to my grave trying to make it happen. I think that is a purpose that will fulfill me. I don’t want to accept spiritual death, and I think that without a purpose, I will spiritually die. And, currently, the only purpose that makes me happy is trying to make a living through writing and people laughing at me. Subject to change in the future, but, currently, it makes me happier than anything else in my life. I love dreaming and working on it all. It’s been a great experience thus far, and I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out in the end (whenever “the end” is).

A Declaration of Independence.

Free Will Contradictions.

Christianity.

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Personal Happiness as a Virtue

Humanity has an aversion to happiness, and I can’t figure it out. Conservatives tell you that holiness is more important than happiness (as sin can make one happy, and that leads to eternal damnation), and other people, generally unhappy, will tell you countless reasons as to why “There are more important things in life than being happy.” Taking care of your family, your job, etc. Any time you talk about happiness, what makes you happy, and how you plan on achieving it, a million people will give you a million reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Now, I’m not saying they shouldn’t. I’m not saying many of them do not bring up valid points. But the argument that happiness shouldn’t be the ultimate goal is, quite frankly, just wrong. I will go to my grave believing that we exist to be happy. I’m not saying we always will be happy. But we exist to attempt to maximize our happiness. We do things in an attempt to be “happy”. All action we take is an attempt to satiate some desire, whether it be to not be hungry, to not be bored, etc. And we desire to be full, to be entertained, etc., not only to live, but to be happy, as one who is depressed cares not for these things, but only to die, as one believes that will finally be an end to the sadness they feel (which, it should be clear, is the antithesis of happiness; so they are attempting to be happier than they are currently).

Everything we do on a regular basis is an attempt to bring us joy, even if only relative to a current state of being (for example, but by no means the only one, a “coping mechanism”).

We don’t exist to serve God if it makes us miserable (I explain my position on the relationship between religion and happiness later in this piece); we don’t exist to have a family if the thought of having kids makes us want to kill ourselves (if we don’t want to have a family, but do anyway, perhaps we’ll change our mind and care for the kids. But what if we don’t? What if we resent our children, and only create miserable kids and shitty adults? Is that the reason for our existence? Of course not); we don’t exist to be rich if we can never figure out how to obtain it. The only thing that makes sense is happiness. There is no other satisfactory reason why we act. We act to satiate desires. And we desire because…well, we just DO. We exist, we desire, and we act. This is what we do, every single day, for our entire lives. We act to satiate desires, and we desire to be happy above all else. I do not think this is deniable. What does one want besides being happy? And what answers could you provide that aren’t ultimately an attempt to make the one trying to achieve them happy? What could one possibly do that isn’t an attempt to satisfy some unmet desire, which would make one more content than they were before, i.e., happy?

Hell, even family is not a more important value than being happy. I’m not saying that families will always get along, or that they’ll always tell you what you want to hear. But if your family doesn’t make you happy more often than not, then FUCKING DITCH THEM (thankfully, I’m not in that position). If your family abuses you, then you don’t need your family. You may wish that they were “normal”, because you want to have them in your life to have a “happy family”, but just because you are related to someone doesn’t mean you need to keep them in your life if they make you miserable. If they abuse you, ditch them if you can. Your mental health is more important than some moralistic (perhaps religious) duty to family. It will then become your choice to figure out what you think will make you the most happy, and then go for it.

Every person has individual things that make them happy. And the point of life is to do those things as much as possible. “I’m unhappy at my job, Cody. Should I quit?” Obviously, you think that the job that you have will provide you better with what you want and need than would be the case without the job, as evidenced by the fact you are still working there. I’m not saying life is a perfect paradise, whereby we’re always perfectly happy. But all human action is an attempt to satiate desires, as stated so eloquently by Mises in “Human Action”, and although a satiated desire may not ultimately make one happy, one takes action in an attempt to be more happy than one currently is. For what does one do when one is happy? If you are happy with how much money you have, and are happy with the items that you have, are you going to earn, or spend? If you eat all of your food, you are not going to try to get more until you are hungry. And if being hungry bothers you, you will eat. If it doesn’t, then you won’t. The point is that contentment gives you no reason to act. And you will not act unless you believe that you will benefit from the action in some way; i.e., that the action will make you “happier” than you were before, with “happiness” being no longer hungry, bored, etc.

Let’s talk about some “vices” for a second. There’s a counterargument that life is more important than being happy: that living longer is more important than being happy (which is quite odd, when you think about it). What do I mean by this? Just take a look at the “healthy crowd”. People who are very conscientious of their health are quick to tell others to give up junk food, smoking, drinking, etc. Of course, it is perfectly plausible (and, in fact, likely) that these “health nuts” are happy with their lifestyle; and, indeed, are happier than they would be without it. I don’t doubt that for a second. However, although it is generally accepted that most people would rather live longer than shorter, it is clear that “health” and “a long life” is not the main concern with many individuals (as judged by the actions they take). Many people eat unhealthy, or smoke, or drink to excess, and although there are many of those who do those things and are distraught by them, and either eventually quit or try to quit with help from others, there are many who don’t. Many people don’t care about the consequences. Maybe they don’t fully recognize them. Or maybe it actually is worth it to them (an absolute possibility). The point is that not all go the “health route”, and it isn’t because these humans are broken. It is because each individual has his or her own “value scale” (credit to Murray Rothbard in “Man, Economy, and State” for the term), whereby certain things make them happier than others, and they act upon these intrinsic, personal values. And if they’re happy, the best you can do is tell them what it’s doing to them, and that you wish for them to live longer rather than shorter, and then, their action is out of your hands. They will either take your advice or not, and that is that. A “long life” is not an ultimate value to be held in higher regard than the individual happiness of people living their own lives: to suggest otherwise, even if it does make people live longer, is, ironically, inhumane.

Yeah yeah yeah, you can eat unhealthy, face the health consequences when you’re older, and say “Shit. I wish I would’ve taken care of myself.” But is that the path that all should take? As I said, to many, it seems as if taking care of your health should be the “ultimate” life goal. Even if smoking, or drinking, or eating fast food makes people happy, what they should care about is being healthy. But what kind of fucking life is it to live long if you’re unhappy? Who wants to live a long, unhappy life? Of course, “Maybe if you tried running”, “Maybe if you tried this or that”, you say. But what if it doesn’t provide these individuals with the same feeling it provides you? What if they hate running, hate taking care of themselves, where you actually do care about taking care of yourself? Are these individuals “broken”? I certainly don’t think so. They have different values, and because they aren’t violating anyone else’s human rights, they have the right to live how they desire. You can put out as many PSAs you want about smoking and fast food, but if the people continue to smoke and eat at McDonald’s, then you can either continue with the PSAs or give up; whichever one you decide will satiate your personal desire the most. And, of course, the question is begged: “What if you smoked a cigarette? What if you tried a cheeseburger? If you didn’t try the first one, maybe you’ll like the second one.”

Of course, loved ones can be concerned, and try to convince you to stop. But the point is that a long life is not a more important value than happiness. This should be evident. How many of you have had an elderly family member who was dying, and ready to depart? Of course, you want them to stay because you love them, and you don’t want to lose them. But can you blame them for wanting to leave? Why do they want to die? Why are they ready to go? Obviously, they believe they will be happier dead than alive. Think I’m wrong? What other reason would one have for “letting go”? You go when you go, and, inevitably, it’s beyond your control. But who wants to die if they believe that whatever is after is worse than what they are experiencing currently? NO ONE. (Unless they somehow believe that what is worse will make them happier than they are currently, which is unlikely, although still possible, as I know how religious conservatives act on this Earth, where they try to “torture themselves for happiness” (or, rather, torture themselves and try to convince themselves that they are happy, perhaps due to a fear of going to Hell), etc.).

Being rich is not a more important value than being happy. Money for its own sake does nothing if it doesn’t make you happy. Wealth only matters if you believe that it helps you. If it doesn’t, then you will do something that you believe makes you happier with it. Perhaps it makes you happier to save it rather than to spend; to spend rather than to save; or give to others rather than to spend for oneself. But the point is that money does nothing for one if one is not able to obtain some sense of happiness from it. (They say that money can’t buy happiness, but I think that depends. Certainly, there are those that become wealthy, and either become more miserable or stay in the same state of misery they were before (assuming they were miserable beforehand). But, obviously, not everyone who becomes wealthy becomes unhappy because of it. To many, the money does make them happy, for various reasons, some of which may be the ones I mentioned above).

So why do I say that happiness is a virtue? For one, it is a reality that all humans attempt to achieve happiness. We all want to be happy. It’s probably harder for some to be happy than others. But that’s still the goal. That’s what we really want. We may not be able to control the death of a loved one, or a natural disaster, or a cancer diagnosis; Hell, we can’t always make ourselves happy constantly. But yet, that’s still what we strive for. We still try to make ourselves happy, through individualistic, diverse means. And if going to Heaven after you die is such a great paradise, and going to Hell after you die is a great torment, then I have to suppose that God actually cares about our happiness as humans (if He actually wants us to come to Christ, go to Heaven, and avoid Hell), and doesn’t want us to suffer (I mean, He created us in a fucking paradise, for Christ’s sake (no pun intended- that’s a lie)). I know that answer doesn’t satisfy atheists, but I’ll try to address that in a future piece.

The idea that God wants us to suffer, especially as a means to get into Heaven, is ludicrous. God did say that suffering was inevitable as a result of the Fall of Man. But He clearly didn’t want us to suffer, because He told us to not do what would cause that suffering in the first place. So clearly He cared. Of course, why He put the Tree there in the first place is a mystery, and it could be argued that He doomed at least some of us to failure; why even put the Tree there in the first place if He knew we were going to eat from it? That means that even before He created the world, He knew He was going to punish some percentage of the people that He would ultimately create. Why would He do that? “To make His justice known” seems to be the answer, and it could be argued that humans were just “caught up in the middle of it”. But, of course, we are sinners, so there is clearly guilt on our part. But why were we ever even given a chance to suffer? Why was that even created? In other words, what is the origin of sin? Why not a perfect paradise with no Tree? Indeed, why even exist on Earth at all, and not be created directly into Heaven? Of course, that begs the question: why even be created at all? And, of course, why did sin ever exist? Why were we able to do it? These are the questions I’m going to have to ask Him after I die, if I can. Perhaps they’ll be immediately revealed to me after I die. Only after I die will I know for sure.

There are those of you that will tell me not to ask those questions. There are those of you that will say that I’m wasting my time, asking questions that, more than likely, I’ll never know the answer to. Some of you may say that I’m treading on thin ice around God, and that if I keep it up, the Earth is going to open up, and I’m going to be swallowed by it, forever burning. And, although I do accept that not everyone will ask questions of God like I do, and will have different opinions about the “meaning of life”, I have to ask those so-called Christians, who question my desire to ask the Almighty intimate questions: if God loves me, and sent His Son to die for my sins, and He cares for me, why would He not care about my deepest concerns? Why wouldn’t He care about my doubts and my questions? Why wouldn’t He care about my problems with Christianity? If God didn’t care about me, I’m sure He’d say what YOU say: “Stop asking those foolish questions, boy. Don’t doubt me.” And yet, I haven’t been thrust down into the eternal burning chasm yet. Perhaps He’ll throw me in there tomorrow (I doubt it (wait…isn’t doubt a “triggering” word?)). But I bet He won’t. Perhaps He could help me accept those things that I can’t understand. Perhaps I’ll have a heart attack tomorrow. Anything is possible; only the Almighty knows for certain. But, the best that I can figure, there is no greater goal to work for on this Earth than happiness.

To continue: We were put on this earth as individuals, and the natural individuality of all human beings just so happened to also be diverse. Therefore, there is no universal blueprint. There is no universal blueprint to obtain “happiness”. There are only individuals with desires, a framework known as “reality” (more specifically called “science“; or, at least, “truth“), and individual means used in attempts to obtain individual ends. Then, “success” or “failure” is measured by each individual actor.

Someone might say “But Cody, what if raping people makes you happy? What if killing people makes you happy?” For one, I would argue that one isn’t really happy if they rape or kill. I know that sounds odd to many. But I think that people who do those things are so far removed from humanity that “happiness” is not an emotion that they can actually feel: much like love. You may say that they “love” to rape and kill. And it would be hard for me to argue against that. But I think it consumes them more so than providing them any sense of joy. They may not be tortured, but they’re just lost. They can’t feel, so they just destroy. I know that’s not a good answer to many, and I understand the argument that they do enjoy their vicious natures. But I think, ultimately, they are tormented by them. They are experiencing Hell on Earth, and they’re sharing that Hell upon others (I suppose that means that I believe that a feeling of “Hell” is diverse and individualistic as well. I can’t provide as much evidence for that, however. But I know that the phrase “personal Hell” has been a common part of humanity’s lexicon (for exactly how long, I couldn’t say), and I wouldn’t be surprised if that applies intimately to each individual on Earth and also in Hell).

And what about love? Clearly, our family members, romantic partners, and friends don’t always make us perfectly happy. Children infuriate their parents, vice versa, and the same for romantic partners, and even friends. Clearly, the people in these relationships are not happy while this is going on. But yet, they still love their family and friends. Why? Because that love brings them some sense of joy. Love does not, and cannot, exist without joy. Joy is the connecting factor in the giving and receiving of love: if one did not enjoy the giving or receiving of love, then one would do neither. Despite all of the heartbreaks, and despite relationships that fail, love cannot exist without joy. Love is pointless without joy. If love was simply a connection to another individual who always hurt you, and never provided you with any joy whatsoever, then the purpose of loving anyone at all would be lost.

I’ll deal with the religious aspect of “happiness” and “duty” later (I’ve written a little about it here), but, as Martin Luther wrote in 1530: “Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men, or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.”

To conclude, life without happiness is not worth living. Indeed, you’d hear something similar from those who killed themselves right before they died. Happiness is often seen as the antithesis of sadness, and it’s easy to see why: those who are happy want to live, and those who are sad want to die (of course, it exists on a spectrum). There are other emotions, such as anger, and anger can be a motivating cause for constructive action, or destructive action, so the happy-sad dichotomy is not perfect. But, I believe that the facts that happiness is the most pleasant emotion that we can experience, the information I have presented about Christianity, where I believe that God actually does care for our happiness, and the couple of examples I gave of possible arguments against my position are at least enough to get you to consider what I have said for yourself, and perhaps even enlighten you. At least I have stated my honest opinion about this subject, which was my purpose.

(You REALLY don’t want to know how excruciating this was to organize. I know this is a sign of things to come with my writing, and I want to fucking vomit as a result).

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

Individualism Epistemology.

A Memorandum on Dreams.

Personality Development.