Professional Fuck-Up

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Creating and putting out into the world any kind of meaningful material is more difficult now than it ever was at age 20.

See, back then, I was awash in angst and I could take on any challenge given the single, powerful notion of youthful invincibility (thanks, mania) and an adequate supply of coffee.  Most of the things I accomplished at that age, I only pursued because I saw someone else doing it and figured I could do whatever it was being done just as well, if not better.  That’s why I started writing poetry as a teen, and ultimately why I started making video blogs (oh, vlogging) on YouTube as a young adult.

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Tune Out

I’m sitting outside in my old chair, the chair I used to sit in when I smoked cigarettes.

It’s dark, quiet, and chilly, and I can hear the low hum of the highway in the distance.  Things are peaceful out here, away from people, away from the TV, away from political conversations.  I’m spending the night at my parents house, and while I love them with all of my heart, I’m a bit tired of hearing about this election.  I just want to get it over with.

Life has taken a positive, growth-oriented turn in the last few months.  I’ve talked some of the changes here; I’m taking my medications, cutting out recreational substances, and throwing myself into projects that I’m passionate about.  I’ve given dating and fucking a much needed break in favor of focusing on myself.

That shit gets lonely, though.  I miss components of relationships: the hand holding, the feelings of intimacy, and, well, sex.

I can’t be bothered to do the “dating” part.  I don’t have the energy to participate in the song and dance involved in getting to know someone.  Not only is it exhausting, it’s just disingenuous.  The first few dates require a fair amount of self-marketing; you basically have to trump up your best qualities and most interesting interests in hopes that you’ve said all the right things to warrant another date.

So being single will have to do for the time being.  And that’s quite alright by me.

I’m going to take a bath, unwind, and rest up.  Tomorrow is going to be crazy.

A Haunting in Baltimore

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You know why you run?

You run because you need to get away.  You run because you need to escape the place you’ve found yourself in.  You run because you’re afraid.  You run because it’s what you know to do, what you have always done, and what you will continue to do.  You run in hopes to leave behind the things that will always, always catch up to you.

That’s why you ran away to Baltimore, right?  The city, with its bright lights and roadways outstretched like arms, was waiting to take you in and embrace you, so you could feel its rumble of a heartbeat as it held you close.   But the sense of security that the city gave you was accompanied by an understanding that the things you have run away from will always find their way back.

Consider The Hurricane, for example.

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NaBloPoMo – A Late Start

Hello, November!

Once again, I’ve made the impulsive decision to participate in NaBloPoMo and write every day.  It’s an ambitious goal, but I think it’s one that I can accomplish.  Unfortunately, I’m getting off to a late start.  Time to play a little bit of catch up.

I’ve been feeling very naked on this blog as of late, and there is reason for that.  I’ve been baring my soul recently, digging deep and talking about a lot of stuff that really hurts.  I’m dredging up a lot of painful, embarrassing, and sad moments, and writing about them on this blog for the ultimate purpose of healing myself (For those of you curious, you can check out the ongoing emotional purge series conveniently linked here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6).

So it’s been an exercise in self-flagellation thus far.  I feel like I’m resolving a lot of things from my past that have been plaguing me for years.  But there’s more work to be done.  So, dammit, I’m going to do it.

In other news, life is going well enough.  I focus on work, I come home, and I either draw or write before bed.  It’s simple, and to be completely honest, I’m enjoying how uncomplicated life is right now.  I’m not actively dating, nor am I hooking up.  I’m just living, trying new things and seeking out meaningful experiences.  I’ve been going to paint nites with my best friend recently.  I honestly didn’t think I’d get much out of them, but they’ve been fun.  Here’s my most recent creation!

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It’s about 1 AM and I’m going to retire for the evening.  Luckily I have tomorrow off and I can sleep in.  Goodnight, folks.  Sweet dreams.

Trigger.

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I realized after writing my last post that I needed a break from the emotional purge series. Constant focus on my negative traits brought my mood down greatly.  This exercise, identifying my “sins,” was meant to make me feel better.  The blog became a confessional.  But after the last entry, I only felt worse.

This next installment, the part 2 of my last post, is especially difficult for me to write because this is mostly about how badly May hurt me, and how I reacted in response.  It was the first time that someone had ever told me “I don’t love you,” and even now, it’s still difficult to think about.  It hurt to the core at the time, but the pain has since dulled.  I still remember what it felt like, though.  Like having a tooth pulled and feeling the cavity where the tooth once stood once it’s healed.

I don’t feel very renewed or restored after the last few days.  These things, the shitty acts I’ve committed against people, I need to talk about them in order to get them out of my system in hopes that I won’t be haunted by them again, or realistically, not haunted by them as much or as frequently.

The project started after I stopped daily consumption of drugs and alcohol and started taking my medications as prescribed.  After three weeks of not taking anything recreational, I ultimately feel better.  But when I write about some of this stuff, I feel nervous and ill at ease with myself and all I want to do is smoke a joint and make this feeling go away.  I need to learn how to not feel that way.

Let’s hope I learn soon.

A Lesson In Humility

Home from a long day of work, you pass your roommates quietly and retreat to your room without of word.  They greet you, but all you can do is nod in their direction.  Your room, your solitude, your sanctuary; that’s where you want to be.  That’s what you’ve been fantasizing about all day.  There, you push aside the clutter from your bed.  Outfits you decided against, books you have read and reread, the bath towel you forgot to hang, and fall face-first into your mattress.  You’re dead tired, and you can feel it in your bones.  Your workday was especially cruel and finally in bed, you try to push the frustration out of your mind.

Customer complaint after customer complaint, and your manager nowhere to be found you, as the assistant manager, smiled and validated their frustrations, apologized profusely, and committed to remedying the situation as soon as possible.  The customers felt listened to and left with hope that their orders will be fixed.  You sighed an exasperated sigh as the crowd in the store thinned out.  With the store finally empty, you retreated to the back room once your manager resurfaced.  Your resentment of him grows with every day.

Once in the safety of the back room, you cried.  You tried to be as quiet as possible, but the overwhelming nature of the work day had caught up to you.  Unbeknownst to him, the optometrist entered the back room to search for contact lenses, and found you curled up, on the floor.  Meek, mild mannered, and unsure of how to proceed, he cautiously asked if you were okay.  You swore up and down that you were fine, but he knew that you were lying.  But with his final patient waiting in his office, he grabbed the contact lenses, mumbled something about checking on your later, and shut the door behind him.  You wiped your tears, you checked your eye makeup in your pocket mirror, and you went back to the storefront.

Your manager left after making some excuse about picking up his daughter.  You knew he only cared for her on weekends, but you allowed him to hold on to his lie.  You’re too tired to care.

You reached out to a friend via text message, wanting to feel some level of normalcy.  You talked about your depression with him and felt understood for the first time in a long time.  You were even able to joke after awhile.  He sent you a list of songs to listen to on the drive home and you thanked him for it.

At that moment, a woman entered the shop.  She told you she was there you pick up glasses.  You asked for her last name, and when she told you, you responded with her first.  She was taken aback by your memory and the recognition of the name made her smile.  As you retrieved her glasses, she mentioned having short term memory loss.

“I might not remember this in ten minutes,” she said, “but there’s a good chance I will remember you next month when I least expect it.”

You mentioned The Ex’s terrible short term memory, but she quickly interjected.  She did not have a typical case of memory loss.  She admitted to you that she had a brain tumor.  Doctors had tried operating on it, able to remove three percent of the growth.  But in the time since the surgery, 1.5% returned.  She continued; she seemed to feel comfortable around you.  She explained the tumor was wrapped around her optic nerve, and that it will eventually cause blindness.  This was in addition to the macular degeneration that her ophthalmologist diagnosed her the month prior.

Your laconic show of sympathy was borne of shock; for a brief moment as you remembered your uncle’s inoperable brain tumor six years ago.  You fought the lump your throat fiercely.

“If the tumor doesn’t blind me, the disease will!” She let out a laugh and you were shocked by her candor.  She admitted to being nearly blind in her left eye.

When she tried on her glasses, she looked elated, and she was able to see more clearly than she had in months.  That’s when she hugged you.  You were blindsided by the show of affection; she hugged you just for being there.  She repeated herself.  “I might not remember this in then minutes, but there’s a good chance I’ll remember it next month.”

You prayed that she would see next month.

Before leaving, the woman spoke of hope, living each day to the fullest, and staying in the moment, focused on the here and now because “tomorrow is not a guarantee.”  She thanked you again and left the storefront.

For the second time during you work day, you cried, sobbing into your hands and hiding behind the cash register.  You were touched and you didn’t know how to not only process your feelings, but proceed with your day.  For a moment, you felt guilty having been so upset earlier in the day.  You spend so much of your day angry.

You closed the store, you drove home, and you listened to the songs your friend sent you.

In bed, you send a text message to your friend and thank him again for the music.  You succumb to your sleepiness, still in your work clothes, with your legs hanging off the edge of the bed.

You don’t dream.

No Children.

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I started my day in a very negative place, waking up with an intense migraine and nausea.  A friend of mine called a few minutes after I woke up, after getting off of the night shift at a local hospital.  We caught up for awhile.  It was a very real conversation, especially for 8 AM.  He mentioned being happy that he’s no longer married to his ex-wife, who will be remarrying soon.  I mentioned feeling content with being single, which was only half-true.

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