Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Going to boston

So, I've had a lot of dreams. My good friend told me, on the phone, the other day: when it comes to write the story of your life, how thick do you want that book to be?

You know what? I want a fucking encyclopedia. And I haven't been doing shit about it. So I pared myself down, and asked me, "Ryan, what do you want to do?" My answer? Go to Boston. I've always wanted to go. I have some couches to surf on. I want to make sure that when I go, it sticks. So I've set a goal: $5000. Enough to make sure I can get there, get my shit there, pay my bills, get an apartment, and get my shit together. I want to make this dream happen, and I want to make it stick, like the proverbial perfectly cooked pasta thrown against the wall.

So, if you find it in your hearts to help me, click the donate button. anything will do. $20? I love you. $0.20? I love you too. I'll keep this page posted with my Total So Far, so that you know how far I am. I plan on earning most of the money myself, but any donations are appreciated.

The date of this kick-off is 10/26/11

Goal: $5000.00
Current: $0001.53

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


There comes a time when all things end. It's the natural order of all things to cease. However, as many times as it happens, it never makes the process any easier. This will be my last post on this blog. It's time to say goodbye.

I feel that it has run its course. I don't know why I originally started writing in here, but I know where the bulk of the material has come from. It started as therapy, as poetry, and became my own little secret spot to sling barbs and arrows out and around in a vague manner, or say the things that I didn't have the courage to tell people in person.

In short, it turned from being helpful outlet to a hermit's nest.

I won't say that I'm completely healed. The last two and a half years have been a long road, and for a long time, much of it led downward. I tried to crawl out, and a few times, I thought the clouds were gone, that everything was clear; The truth of the matter is that these things don't go away easily.

I've doubted myself so much. I still do, on a lot of levels. But I'm beginning to feel that this road is actually turning a corner, finally.

You have to do it on your own, or at least, I did. I recommend it highly. If you use other moments, other people, other situations as a crutch, the bone will never mend properly. My heart still gets heavy from time to time, but it has less and less to do with Her. I have to define and address this malaise on my own, and figure out the key to working past it. These are my problems, and problems I have with myself.

This space, however, will no longer be the place that I go to anymore. It has an identity that I don't wish to shoulder anymore. Don't worry, I'm still writing. I'll still be blogging, too. But it won't be this. Not anymore. I'm over it.

We had some great times, but here's where this ends. For anyone who cares to continue reading beyond this, I have 2 new blogs set up, one for fiction that I'm working on, Braindrops, and the other as my sort of sketch-pad for life, Self Sagax. I hope to update at least one of them once a week.

I'll miss this place, but its time has come. It's always hard to say goodbye to a good friend, so I won't. All I'll say is...


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Breakup

 I feel like I've known you my whole life. In more than one way, I guess I have. You've always been around. We were practically raised in the same house, although you tended to go a lot more places than I did as a child. Some of them I still have never seen, and probably never will. But the fact that you aren't allowed to go there anymore helps to soften that blow.
I remember the first time we kissed. It was all fun and games, but I still got sick for a few days. I remember the first time we really kissed, too. It was so different. So much more powerful... it made me feel so alive. It was like getting high, but with a lot more endorphins, more energy.
I guess we bonded best after I moved to North Carolina. For a while, all I had was my brother, my parents, and you. Yeah, we were still getting to know each other, but it was that perfect moment of adolescence where you can form that kind of kinship without too many facts. We've come so far, we've been together so long. Sometimes I forget there was a time we weren't together. I guess, most importantly, is that whenever I was feeling like I was at the lowest I could possibly be, you were there for me. No matter how awful I was feeling, you always provided we with some small bit of comfort.

They say nothing good can last forever. I suppose that's true of pretty much anything though. I knew this had to come to an and sometime. I think we both knew it, to be fair. I wish I could give you the “it's not you, it's me” speech, but that wouldn't be honest, and I don't like to be dishonest, especially when it comes to ending a relationship. Yes, that's what this is about, but before you say anything, let me say what I need to say. You've done so much for me, but you've always taken a lot more.
I know you used to get along so well with my friends, and everyone I knew. People change though. You're so much of my past, but I think it's time I left you there. I can't let you become my future. I have new friends, new people, and they aren't so fond of you. My parents, my boss, my friends, well, they all think you're bad for me. It doesn't matter what I do, I can't hide when I've been with you, everyone always knows. They don't like it. They tell me I can do so much better, and I'm finally starting to understand what they mean. You're slowing me down, and you're taking up so much of my time, and resources, and I'm getting less and less out of this relationship as it goes on.

So, I guess I'm just trying to say that we need to break up. See other people, as it were. Not that you already weren't, but I've never been mad at you for that. Them a little bit, but not you. You really have no choice in the matter anyway, when it comes to them, but they have always had that choice. But it's who you are, and I'm OK with that.

It's not like I won't see you around, hell, it seems that pretty much everywhere I go, there you are. You just can't be there with me. Not anymore. I know we've been through this before, and you're just going to wait until the day I crawl back to you and beg you to take me back. You'll say yes in the blink of an eye, too. You always have, and you always will. Which is why I have to put my foot down and say no. Not anymore. I have to stop letting you control so much of my life. Please, don't argue, just... just let me go.

I know I'm not going to stop wanting you, needing you, for a long time, but that's the way it has to be. We need to sort out our own paths, go our separate ways. I used to love you, but I just can't anymore. I have to figure out how to live in a world where we aren't together. Trust me, it's for the best. At least, for me it is.

What's that? One last time? Well, I can't really argue with that, but really, this is it. I'll let you have tonight, but then we're done. I'm sorry. Kind of. But not that sorry. OK, I'll shut up now. Just one last time, and then please, please just leave me be. Goodbye.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


     I've heard from several writers, both professional and amateur, that there is no such thing as writer's block. Which seems odd to me. It seems like such an established thing, something that has existed since the dawn of the recreational written word. Although I've seen several articles in the past few weeks alluding to the fact that writer's block is a myth, that the best way to overcome it is to write through it. Write anything. Even if it's just the same three words over and over again. Something to keep the writer muscle flexing until the words start flowing again.

     For some reason, and I can't explain it myself, I've avoided reading these articles. Perhaps because, although there are things that are universally true when it comes to writing, the how of it is wholly unique for each person. To be sure, there are universal things that work almost all the time, for almost everybody. When you think about it, no painter ever became famous by following the exact methods of his forbears, and no poet either. It's true that the end result may ring of similar themes, symmetrical subjects, those key things that speak to people, but the roads they take to get there are invariably different.

     Now, so many people are giving this same bit of wisdom, that this thing that is so commonly perceived doesn't exist, it's merely an excuse.

     I won't say that I've been stricken with writer's block, but I have been finding it difficult to write this story lately. My main character is about tell the woman he's been dating for over a year that he needs to leave town for the weekend to go to his sister's wedding. A wedding he wasn't invited to, for a sister his girlfriend doesn't even know about, and that he hasn't even so much as spoken to in two years. He assumes he'll be making this trip alone, but his girlfriend, upon hearing the news will assume her own invitation to this event.

     It's supposed to be a very uncomfortable and confrontational conversation, and these are exactly the types of conversations I struggle with in real life. Inevitably there comes a point when you can't avoid these conversations. There's never a good time for it. I've never heard of anybody finding the perfect moment to break up with someone, or to tell them something you had to tell them, that you know for sure they won't want to hear.

     I guess the reason I'm having a significantly harder time with it than most is that I've had so many of those conversations in the last few years; there's never  a good time for it. Even when we write fiction, we write what we know. We lend our personalities, our experience, and our imagination into the words we set down. And, however accidentally or intentionally, instead of applying the metaphor's we've read into our life, we begin applying the metaphors of our life into our writing.

     I'm not having a hard time writing this scene because of "writer's block," I'm having a hard time with it because I have a hard time being on either side of this conversation. The problem lay with the fact that not only do I have to deal with one side, I have to deal with both sides. I have to figure out how to be the person who finally breaks the subject, and then immediately switch tones and be the reactive side; when you find yourself uncomfortable on either side of the equation, you'll be paralyzed by both.

     So maybe it isn't what most writers see as writer's block, but I say to you as a writer, when faced with the "I don't know what to write" scenario, to challenge yourself to see if you truly have no idea what comes next, or to see if what comes next is something you, as a person, have difficulty dealing with. If what is really holding you back is your own personal feelings on a situation. Especially when it comes to seeing both sides of an issue you are very biased on.

     The key to effective writing is being the devil's advocate. I know so many people, myself chief among them, who will argue the opposite side of any issue, regardless of conviction, just to have the discussion, to rally a debate. It's a far more difficult thing to do when you have to play the devil's advocate with yourself, especially in a story. When you craft an art, no matter how lighthearted, it is a view into your own perspective,  and to fight, to countermand, to argue against yourself, is counter-intuitive.

     In the end, whatever the writer's block is that you're clinging to, it's a construct of your own mind. Something within you, from your history, your personal experience, that is preventing you from doing something that is inherently the opposite of what you believe, or practice, or hold sacred. To be an effective writer, you have to play both sides of the field, offense and defense. And you have to fight as hard as you can for both sides.

     Because, ultimately, not only is it up to you to decide which side wins, but also to make it convincing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pieces of distraction (or True stories that aren't interesting except to me)

The Reptilian Muse

     I don't know if it's the same one, but I like to believe it is. I've seen him once every few days, like a glimmer out of the corner of my eye. Small, shiny and black, with two yellow pinstripes running the length of his body. His tail is the blue of the midnight sky, almost fully regrown from some previous escape attempt. I was out back reading the other day, and caught sight of him crawling up over the ledge on the gazebo. He stared me down, and I stared at him right back, sizing each other up. Clearly he was dissatisfied with my intent, whatever he deemed it to be, but did not want to give me the glory of a victory based solely on size. Deliberately, he stepped down between the boards underneath the corner light, and disappeared. Coming back and forth to my car, I'll see him poking his little head out from the half-rusted ancient milk can perched outside the house, never taking his unblinking eyes off of me. Yesterday, on my front stairs, a glimmer caught the corner of my eye and I heard him rustle to be unseen in the corner of the steps, out of my view, while he soaked up the sun. He didn't leave the steps though, just stayed out of sight. I don't know what he's intending, but apparently he likes the cut of my jib. I  never heard him move again until I stood up to go back inside. He's hanging around me for a reason. I guess it's up to me to figure it out.


     It was hard for me not to stare. She stuck out in a way that so few people do to my eye. I know she saw me looking, several times, but she deigned to ignore anything but a direct approach, and truly I'm not sure if that will ever be my style. She was maybe... Late thirties, early forties. The glasses and haircut told me she had some idea of contemporary fashion sense, but her blouse said that she felt older than she was. She wasn't wearing a wedding ring, but instead a ring on her middle finger that danced the line between tastefully conspicuous and outright gaudy. 
     I could see that her hair was naturally a rich chestnut brown, but it had been colored and highlighted up to a golden hue, the end result on par with that of a perfectly toasted marshmallow. She sipped slowly at her glass of red wine; I assumed it was Merlot, such a common red, but secretly I was hoping it was a Cabernet or Malbec, something spicy or unusual. It certainly would make her more interesting at that, but I doubted it sincerely.
     Deep frown lines marred an otherwise well-kept face. She's either spent most of her life alone, or still has trouble coping with a divorce from... 3 years ago, at my guess. It seemed her natural state was to set her jaw in agitation, but as I watched her, the few times her smile appeared, it was timid, hesitant, as if it were unsure how to behave appropriately on her face, and quickly fled back to whence it came. As if she's afraid to be happy for more than a fleeting moment.
     As I stepped out to smoke a cigarette, I stopped Steph, the bartender, and told her if the woman wanted another glass to put it on my tab. I could go that far, stepping in only indirectly, and only if she chose to stay longer. In the end, she didn't. So it goes, so it goes. 

True stories, without embellishment. I'm proud of myself.

~Edit: it seemed to me, siting through the pages, that this bit belongs in here. It's more in my style of vaguery, but it wasn't written for this space, which lends it a bit more credence in my eyes.

     Sometimes, you have to force it. Nature will not always take its course. It's difficult to do, if you are a person prone to patience. Erosion was a natural occurrence until humanity came along. 
     So hasty we are, harried and worried and fretting each moment, so we try to force the jagged pieces smooth. Shave and shape instead of smooth and polish. Sometimes not even trying this: sometimes just jabbing the ragged pieces together where they don't fit,
    It forces the combination, attempting unity where none can be where non was supposed to exist. These edges cut and tear, and cause more damage than support. While it's true the pieces can fit if you force them, it hardly ever ends up as a lasting bond. 
     So I'm forced to sit back and watch. No- forced is the wrong word, but that's how it feels. Frozen, paranoid, self-doubting, self-effacing- unable (unwilling) to move forward.
     What I want, what I really want, is right in front of my face, but somehow I have lost the determination, thi blind, winner-take-all mentality that a big part of me believes is necessary.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Past time

Timing isn't everything.
People are just people, that's all it is. I'm getting so caught up in the how, stuck in the when, mired in the why, that I'm losing sight of now.
How? Who cares? If it can happen, let it.
When? Don't worry, the best part about the future is that it hasn't happened yet.
Why? To be quite honest,why the hell not?

I've been leaning so heavily on building a future in my head, that I'm forgetting to focus on my life unfolding right in front of my eyes. What it comes down to, is that I've been scared. I truly have no idea where I'm going, and it scares the hell out of me. Frightening can also be very exciting. Having no clue where something is going means not having any expectations, and I believe that I'm beginning to truly open up to this.

I said, several months ago, that 2011 will be my year; it will be the time I turn my life around. From some perspectives, it has been exactly that. I've learned a lot about myself in the past six months. I'm still learning a lot.

If business as usual doesn't cut it, then toss it out the window. Break it, smash it, until there's nothing left.

For so long I have been trying to function as the same person in an altered reality. It took be a while, but eventually I have figured out that this doesn't work. It may be a bit of a cliché that one has to hit rock bottom before they can climb up, but clichés have a merit all their own.

I had been working so long, in so many ways, to change my life, to make it better, but emotionally I was still slipping. I could bring myself up and pretend, when the occasion merited such behavior, but inevitably gravity would take hold and force me to continue my descent. Finally, about a month ago, I hit rock bottom-mentally, at least. Suffice it to say there was a lot of alcohol, a lot of inappropriate behavior and communication, and a few significant (though minor) bodily injuries.

As of this writing, the physical injuries have finally healed, although a rather large tell-tale scar on my elbow will serve as a reminder for years to come. As I've watched my wounds recover, I've noticed a similar process taking place in my mind. Things have been setting themselves back to a state of reason, normalcy, and (dare I say it) some small measure of regular happiness.

This is not to say, however, that I've done all of this alone. Family, friends both new and old, have all alternately been there as support, confidantes, therapy, and an innumerable amount of other things, almost always being exactly what I've needed. I count myself as a very lucky man to have so many people care for me on the level they've expressed.

Rebuilding is not an easy process. It becomes a matter of change, of observation, and an exercise in objectivity towards the one thing we are all tho most subjective about: ourselves. Still the bottom line remains. If business as usual fails, business as usual won't cut it anymore.

When you break something down down to its base components, it's much easier to assess their individual worth. Sift out the pieces that worked for you, leave the rest on the ground, and walk away. There will be, if done right, so many gaps to fill. So much that isn't the same, and never will be again. Pour in some patience, a pinch of tenacity, dash of perseverance. Don't forget to rub away that small growth of insecurity before it grows too far too fast. Rebuild

In the end, you need only accept two things.

First, you aren't going to have all the necessary pieces straight away. You have to go out and find them.

Second, you will never be finished. If you think you're done, that you've come as far as you can, look in the mirror. Look yourself straight in the the eye, and say, out loud, that this is the best you can be.

Now tell me if you believe it.

Timing isn't everything, but in the end, everything comes around.

Patience is the hardest part, especially for a patient man. Sometimes I want to scream out that I've waited long enough. but I suppose that's not for me to decide. I feel ready, but you never know how you'll do until you get behind the wheel. I've felt ready several times in the last year or so, and have been very, very wrong.

Do I want to be right? Am I ready to be right?

In small ways I'm beginning to somewhat prefer the solitude. I can make changes at my own behest. I'm not the same man I was a year ago, or even six months ago. Damn but things move in strange directions.

Timing used to be my thing.
Timing used to be my everything
I have to accept that timing is completely out of my control.
Timing isn't everything, but everything, in the end, always comes around.

Friday, June 24, 2011

admission is free

I'm... sick.
I can admit it.
I have been for a long time. The symptoms are not always noticeable, but they're constantly working behind the scenes. Sometimes I don't even see what their machinations are until they come to fruition.
I'm not completely in control anymore. I'm losing entire pieces at a time. There's been points here recently where I have been able to halt the spread, and even force a bit of recidivism, but then the hand slips, the mind wanders, and the damage increases.
I'm sick and I'm not sure how to get better.

For what is now, to me, too long, I've had a companion that never forced me to be great verbal accompaniment. My moods and thoughts were readily apparent, and needed no further exploration. When I was burgeoning on a lack of sanity, I didn't need to explain myself, merely be, and it was OK. Inside that relationship, I had the luxury of internalizing.
Maybe this was the reason that things didn't work out?
I don't know why I'm still looking for a reason to blame myself. I can't help it. I wish I could. There has to be something I did wrong, because I can't stomach it otherwise.
But I'm learning.
I'm learning all the wrong lessons.
There's so much cynicism. So much wrong with people, and the way we treat each other. I can't talk to anyone without their constant condemnation of the other sex, of each other, of most of the people they know, and it's beginning to drive me crazy. Utterly and completely crazy.

I began writing this blog as a form of therapy. A way to communicate my thoughts and feelings in an emotionally honest way. I've chosen to keep specifics and names out of here as a measure of indemnification for the affected parties, and for the most part, it's been successful. For the most part.
It is difficult for me to gauge who does and doesn't read this, but in a way I guess this affords me a little more freedom to be honest.

and I'm not

not entirely, at least.

Outside of this forum, I've begun speaking about my consideration to seek therapy. For most of my life, I've been able to lay out a problem and see some sort of solution, or at least a way through, but now, now I'm realizing this has probably done me more harm than good. Upon reflection, if I dig back far enough, I haven't grown up a single fucking bit.

I'm still expressing my emotions in cowardly little ultimatums, and then running away from the blast. I don't know how to approach people, I don't know how to have honest conversations about topics that make me the least bit uncomfortable. I don't know how to express and release anger without it turning into rage. A lot of the time, I feel empty. When I am overcome by emotion, it becomes the over-reaction of a child, crying or screaming or bounding, but there is no medium. No sense of contentment, or happiness, or annoyed, or sad, I skip over the healthy steps and break into the outer limits. Anything else I bury deep enough that I don't have to see it surface until it has mutated out of control.

And this, this writing, it's not helping me.

It's nothing more than an excuse. Freedom, yes, but without honesty. It's a crutch, a reason not to have emotional conversations with people, an easy release valve as a substitution for real human interaction.

To be honest, the world we live in makes it incredibly easy not to have any real interaction if we so choose it.

I've expressed a desire, many times, to be more normal. My friends think that I want to remove the things that people think are strange, or unique about myself. This couldn't be farther from the truth. I love the things that differentiate me, that make me who I am. But I'm missing a lot of the pieces that enable a person to move through life.

The way I've established relationships of any sort has almost always been peripheral, as the result of other situations, or an established lateral movement in social topography. Maintenance of said relations always suffer at the hands of other focal points; this ability of interaction which for most people is nearly vestigial, but something that I never properly nurtured. My tendency has always been towards a small, tight-knit group of people, to the exclusion of all else. Unfortunately, when these relations fall through, it doesn't really leave me with much to stand on.

So in the aftermath, I've embedded myself in these wispy arenas, where I can make vague demands, and instead of telling people how I feel, I can release these thoughts in directionless statements, hoping that the person I really want to say things to takes my meaning-instead of just telling them directly how I feel.
(I'm going to be guilty of this at least one more time before this is over.)

This is why I feel I need therapy. I need a way to let out the things that go on in my head, without repercussion, without rejection, without judgment. I need someone who can help weed out the overtly irrational parts of my social brain. I can't deal with these problems on my own any more, and I need help.


Yes, I do need to apologize. In the comparatively short time I've known you, I've alternated between abject silence and ridiculous outburst. I'm sorry that you've had to suffer the brunt of whatever psychosis is rumbling its way through my head. I'm acting out in very stupid ways to deal with all of this, and for that I'm also sorry.

That very first time, I asked that we sink or swim on our personalities alone, and throw all the pretense aside, and I've done a terrible job holding up my end of that bargain.

And you have been so incredibly gracious, I can only hope I'm deserving of it.


In short, I'm going to be backing off of a lot of things, at least for the time being. Facebook and Twitter will be the most noticeable in the short run, and I'm not sure what else this will change. I'm not shutting them down, because abstinence without temptation is worthless, and teaches nothing.

I need to figure out who I am, because too long I've had a serious of emotional crutches and co-dependencies.

Unfortunately, for now, that means this blog, too.

At least until I make some progress.

Refunds will be at the door.

Monday, June 13, 2011


The crackling of the wood had been the only sound for a good ten minutes. Sparks danced on unseen drafts of heat, performing their ballet into the treetops until their light winked out, rendering them into mere ash. But even then, they danced a bit more, until they slowly drifted to their final resting place; to the river, or the soil, where what was left of their fiery life became fuel and food for another spark. Those gathered around the fire sat in silence, watching the dance, each other, and, most importantly, their memeories. It was Anne that spoke first.

"I found it dischordant. The symphony would've been so much sweeter without that sound." At this, she got stern glances from Kadiff and Luna. Prigga looked to retort, but then begrudgingly lowered her gaze. "I'll admit it was oddly alluring, at first, but then it fell completely out of sync with anything I cared for. I know it was an important part, but it wasn't what I wanted to hear. Hell, even the parts of it I did want were either played wrong or weren't played at all!"

I'm sorry. I felt used. You felt used. I believe you were mistaken, but I can't blame you for the thought. On the other hand, I know I was nothing but a distraction.

It was Luna who finally responded. "It was there for an important reason. I learned a lot from that sound. As askew as it may have been, it laid the groundwork for something much bigger. I think that as a part of the whole, it was a good thing. Its not the part that I liked the most, but the next phase would've been nothing without the prior syncopated cacophony it added in." Anne snorted. The others all gave Luna a look that resembled a mixture of understanding and bewilderment. At the very least it was not the usual sentiment she brought across.

Thank you for being strong when I wasn't, thank you for being kind when I was addicted to self-flagellation. Thank you for giving me your world for a short time, even though we both knew I would never last. Thank you.

Kadiff picked up a long branch, and pushed the logs around for a few moments, sending more dancers into the sky to burn out, to fade away. "I loved it. I still love it." Stirring the fire as if it were a pot, it began burning fiercely. "I don't want to hear it again. Ever."

Prigga looked at her, aghast. "I could hardly hear the thing over your pining! Just as it was reaching its crescendo, you began talking over it, singing other songs it inspired you to think of and create, you squandered it for me, and now I'll never hear it the same way again! It was downright selfish of you, damn it all! Selfish, and you've ruined it for me, and now you say you don't want to hear it again? You ought to be ashamed."

Kadiff glanced up with tears in her eyes.

"I am."

There... are no words. My anger itself is the reason why I am blinded to my anger. It shuts me down, a defense mechanism, and there are moments I can see myself as if through a foggy mirror, and I want to scream. I want to have the rage of the wind and the storm and howl against the world, crashing and destroying everything in my wake...
and then there is stillness. My attempt at not believing in distraction, my taking of something only for the benefit of myself, uncaring of what happened. This is not who I am, this is not who I have ever been. This is why it hurt me more than it ever could have hurt you.

A distant rumbling of thunder rolled across the valley, signaled to the sisters that this meeting was soon to be over. Kadiff would stay for the rain, as was her wont, but the rest had other duties to tend to, other stories to tell, other lives to tend. None of them made the move to get up, not yet.

"What about you, Ember?" Kadiff muttered under her breath. The sisters looked first at Kadiff, then craned their heads to that seat, further away from the fire, the one so far on the periphery that it was nearly forgotten, and in fact had been, for most them.

Ember finally looked up, the glow of the last few coals still burning reflecting in my eyes. "You don't know me, any of you. I think I like it better this way. My counsel is my own."

What about you, Ember?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Intermittent Paranoid (redux)

Things I Don't Do
I have to stop trying so hard. Embrace, fortify, analyze your tactics. I had grown so comfortable with my approach, that it became not second nature, but nature itself.
There is something to be said about revisionism-albeit exactly what is already known: it greatly benefits the party in power.
The thing that most don't see is what happens when you fall from power, and have to watch your re-writing be meticulously deconstructed and analyzed for faults.
Here is the truth: I'm incontravertably drawn to things that assure an outlook of one who is seen by others as the kind of person who will never actually reach maturity.
Here is my truth: I am learning to embrace that fact, despite the world view.
I'm growing. Up, in, out, away, these all have their merits, but the truth remains: I'm growing.
I'm very bad at conversation. My brain moves far faster than my mouth, so when I try to make honest, emotional, pure conversation, I falter. I stammer. I stutter. I realize this. I own this. I remember:
Becky from Scipio. We met at camp. We exchanged notes. We decided in our preteen minds to be a couple. There was a ritual, that each week, on the last night of camp, they would bring out the Speaking Stick. Anyone who held it would share their reflections of the week behind them, of their knowledge and reflection on what they learned. I knew so many people there, had such a unique experience at that place that I always felt more myself than anywhere else.
On the night I finally drew up the courage to hold her hand, I also took the speaking stick in hand.
This is when I learned that I can never give an impromptu speech.
Granted, I said many of the things I meant to, but my mouth was moving so much faster than the thoughts, even the pre-planned ones. I know that within a minute I was in tears. Not crying over my inability, but tears that reflected how honest and powerful that experience was for me; how powerful it always has been.
I idealize 'say what you mean, mean what you say.'
The unfortunate truth though, is that when I say what I'm thinking, it's exactly that. I like to let thoughts cook. I don't form opinions immediately. I try my best to give every person, place, or thing time to germinate and take roots before I reflect on what I mean in my thoughts.
This weekend, for the first time I can remember, I had truly emotionally honest conversation with other people. With friends, though only one of them was able to understand it.
With my mother, who, not unfairly, regards me as very emotionally guarded and distant.
In other words (worlds), I'm doing something I haven't done in a long time: I'm talking. And I've figured out the people who can stomach the constant revisions and retractions to my thought process.
I am, after all, the person who cannot write a first draft. Instead, what I write is what it is. If it's edited, it's solely for grammar, spelling, or punctuation. (Oxford comma)
Summarily, I find it difficult to speak my mind. I don't always say what I mean, and at times it comes out as the exact opposite. The fact that you can't edit conversation has led me to cease conversation all together. That, itself, is a terribly lonely road.
I'm doing my best to get over it. One stammer and awkward pause at a time. I'm not scared of you anymore. At least, not as scared.
My paranoia is waning. Hopefully, when it waxes full again, it will be like viewing the moon through a distant fog. Because it never goes away, but with the right mindset, it doesn't have to cast more than a pale glamour on a nightscape.
I'm growing. Up, in, out, away.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Disjointed, I know, but sometimes you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I should be so angry. I should be angrier than I've ever known, but the truth is, I understand. I don't, but I do. Once you've shattered that wall, its hard not to stare at the gaping hole and think only of escape. I had hoped you'd be stronger than I was. I had hoped you'd make the choice that I didn't have the strength to make. I just hope, in a year, when you hear the misgiving, that after so much time how could you possibly not want to go back, you'll understand my answer.

You'll understand the truth.

That you put your feet to the ground running, and by the time you stopped to turn around and think if you'd even done the right thing, it was far too late to do anything about it. That even if you wanted to, you couldn't ever go back. That your absence is no longer a question, but a foregone conclusion.

I hope you hear the lie in your voice, that you don't think of as a lie. Even if I wanted to. Even if. If.
You'll think it rhetorical. And by your presumptuous lie, you make it reality.

But enough about you. I don't even know if this landmark registers in your field of vision. I hope it does almost as much as I hope it doesn't.

It makes you feel so helpless when you watch the torch get put to everything you've worked for, everything you built, and nothing you do can stop it. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of not being in control anymore. I want to be myself again. The truth of it is, I used to be a pretty fun person, and now I feel like a cowardly sack of judgement, ill-will, and pessimism.

Spontaneous used to be my credo, but now every step is measured thrice, analyzed in detail, over-thought, and ultimately left untrodden.

I need to figure out how to be selfish again. Which is not to say that I'm not selfish-sometimes I am so overtly selfish I make myself angry-but it's always in such a way that is detrimental rather than beneficial to my mental well being. I don't take chances. I don't dare overstep. I don't dare offend. When did I start giving a shit about this? When the fuck did I start caring so much about what everyone else thinks?

I think I'm paranoid.

Step 1: Slash/Burn

I'm taking it back. Slowly, but surely. There's all this territory that's no longer mine. I want it back. And I'm reclaiming it, bit by aggravating bit. Yes, I'm getting my hands dirty, but I also have come to the realization (upon the discovery of the last few shreds of the last time this was done) that, down the road, these scars will fade. But they cannot heal if there's dirt in the wound. So I'm cleaning, and it hurts.

Step 2: Selfish, whether you like it or not

I have to put myself first, in all the ways I haven't been. I have a tendency to put the wants and desires of others in front of my own. For the most part, I don't mind. But it drags. It weighs on me, because it gets in the way. I become embittered about it. Generally, the bitterness and inconvenience fade after a time, unless they stack and stack out of control. I'm doing it for all the wrong reasons. Out of some sick sense of loyalty, rather than good will. So, for all these things, no more. My time and my efforts are worth remuneration, or any kind of compensation. Unless, of course, I'm doing it for my own pleasure. Barring that, my time is very important to me, regardless of how I choose to waste it. If you want it, you'll have to make up for my opportunity cost.

Step 3: Selfish, whether I like it or not

This will ultimately be the difficult one. I need to learn to speak my mind. I've never been very good with conversation, preferring to write my thoughts down, hashing them out, and then giving a response. I'm not good with speaking on impulse, and if this is something I've done with you, consider yourself lucky. I'm not a writer by profession, but in a way I am and have always been one at heart. When I choose to craft something, I'm also a bit of a perfectionist. Writing gives me enough time to think about the thoughts I'm setting down, and at the very least, if I don't say what I intend to say, I say things that I mean, and that are true. I generally am not good with several drafts, but I do my fair share of editing. Speaking, on the other hand, is always handing somebody a first draft. I think at a rate somewhat slower than the one that I speak. When I craft something, in speech, in writing, in drawing, in any modicum of art, it rarely, if ever, reflects the original intent. In all but one of these things, however, the damage is not irreparable. When I speak, words rushing faster than thought, I bungle and bobble, often just going on instinct-and my instincts are bad. I say things I never meant to say. I say things I can't edit. I, in essence, fuck shit up. You can't edit when you speak, and so very often, I end up saying the wrong thing.

So, I say this not as something I need to acclimate myself to, but rather a skill I need to train: I need to learn to speak my mind.

Step 4: Take what I want

The prerequisite here, is figuring out what on the face of this planet I truly want, working to make it happen, and plucking that ripe fruit and then taking a huge bite, let the juices dribble down my chin and stain my shirt with it's delicious sticky goal achievement. This one is a less fleshed out goal than the other three, admittedly, but hopefully during these other steps I'll be able to make some progress on accomplishing this one.

Step 5: Profit

Suck it, nerds.