Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#3- I've gotta think of a different topic. Someday.

One of the main obstacles in my life is my own procrastination.  I've always waited until the last minute to do my homework, chores, bills, balance my checkbook... update my blog.... pretty much everything has been delayed by my lack of motivation.  I'm well studied in that old, familiar cycle of feeling guilty about not meeting my responsibilities (self-imposed or otherwise) and so to avoid feeling said guilt, I continue to avoid the thing I'm avoiding, therefore making myself feel more guilt, which I try to not feel, etc., etc.  It's been a big problem in my adult life with my subsequent adult-sized responsibilities, like parenthood, home-ownership, automobile maintenance, staying gainfully employed, and other small stuff like that. No big whoop.

I've been doing a lot thinking about things, and stuff, lately.  You know, the super fun attempt at self-actualization phase of life that pops up into ones consciousness whenever there happens to be a lull in the all-consuming burden of living, or as I like to call it: just-trying-to-make-it-through-one-more-fucking-day-without-going-completely-nuts-and-taking-all-you-fuckers-down-with-me-itis.  When I was younger, self-psychology was one of my top priorities, but I haven't had the space in my brain to be able to really do any reflecting or analyzing in a long time.  Don't judge me just yet, Judgey McJudgeington, because I've got some awesome excuses:  

I married young and we starting makin' babies almost immediately (and by "makin' babies", I don't mean 'makin' babies! Woooo!', I mean a sperm + an egg = a tiny human nine months later).  We bought a house when we probably shouldn't have, seeming as we didn't have any money to put down and the mortgage payment was/is almost half our monthly take home pay.  We've been juggling these kinds of metaphorical shit bags for years,  watching the bottoms getting soggier and soggier, our eyes growing larger with terror after each sloppy, juicy (but for some reason sweet-smelling) toss is catapulted between the two of us.  Oh, and did I mention that my dad was sick for three years and died recently?  Yeah, there has been little time for spiritual treks through the ego-tundra with my inner child.  

But things have settled down a bit in recent months, or maybe I've reached my limit of hard times and don't give a shit anymore.  Either way, it seems like I've had more solitary thinking times lately, and I'm glad.  I feel like I've been separated from myself for so long that I don't know who this stressed out, out-of-shape, old person even is.  We've been getting reacquainted more lately, and I kind of hate this fat, slovenly, grumpy, slightly sweaty person.  But curiously enough, this discovery has made me want to do the opposite of what I usually do, which is to go to McDonald's, consume enough calories to give a small elephant a heart attack and then take a long and gurgly nap.  Instead, it's made me feel some sort of determined feeling.  Almost like a desire to figure out what the fuck my problem is.  It's weird, I know.  I'm not entirely sure why this is happening, but I'm just gonna roll with it for now.  Which brings me to my original topic, procrastination.  I've been trying to figure out why I do it to the point of my own detriment, and how I can stop (or start, I guess).  

Maybe I procrastinate because I'm depressed.  I've had depression 'issues' for almost half my life.  I've been on meds on and off for a long time, this latest on-stretch, six years, being the longest.  But maybe I'm depressed because I procrastinate.  Depression is truly a mind fuck; it's impossible to tell what is an actual chemical imbalance and what is you just talking yourself out of shit.  What part of my depression is an actual, real illness that requires medication, and what part is me using my depression as a crutch to keep myself down in this deep, rat-infested sad-pit?  Humans are remarkable in their ability to adapt, and I, being such a human, am no different, so after a while the rats became my friends, the pit didn't seem quite as dank and dreary, sunshine made my eyes burn, and my muscles atrophied, so why would I ever want to leave?  Maybe the meds have been doing their job all along, but my sad-pit just got a satelitte hookup.  

I had a therapist scold me once when I confessed to missing doses sometimes.  "You wouldn't have issues with taking cancer medicine if you had cancer," he said.  "Having depression and taking your anti-depressants is no different." 

But it IS different.  Mainly, unlike cancer, there is no clear resolution with most mental illnesses.  If you have cancer, you go through terrible, painful treatments, and it either cures you and you don't have cancer anymore, or they don't and you die.  I'm certainly not intending to trivialize this horrible disease, or the many people who suffer with so much pain and literal life-or-death situations, I'm just trying to show that depression is not like cancer (And yes, I'm aware that sometimes cancer can go into remission and/or reoccur, but I didn't mention that because it would have muddled the point I was trying to make, so just shut your smarty-pants mouth!).

Depression is messy, tricky and cruel.  Some people do use it as an excuse to live a life of unaccountability. Some people, like me, worry that they may be using it as such an excuse and agonize over the real reason for their lack of energy and motivational-impairment.  We worry that it may be 'all in our heads'.  But technically, it IS all in my head, isn't it? Chicken or the egg? Nature or Nurture? Chemical imbalances or laziness? These are the things I wonder about while I'm not cleaning my house or not paying my bills or, every once in a while, questioning the perpetuation of my very existence.  

See, this is why I try so very hard to be casual and pithy.  It helps prevent this sad-sack in me from taking over.  So for the lack of hilarity that I'm sure you've experienced with the other posts so far, I apologize.  On the other hand, if this blog is going to be about whatever my brain tells my fingers to crank out, then I suppose sometimes it's going to get a little dark.

P.S. I've already started my next post and it's about cartoons, so that'll much more un-sadish.  Stay tooned! Get it?! Tooned?! hyuk, hyuk, hyuk!  I'm back, baby! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm a Dreamy Dreamer, OR #2- The most hilarious blog number...

...Because #2 is a euphemism for shit! Ha!  I am amused by so many stupid, stupid things.  One of the many things rattlin' around this ol' noggin is a 12 or 13 year-old telling poo jokes.  It's both a blessing and a curse.

So, over the previous weekend, my enthusiasm for my fledgling blogging career waned substantially and I'm a little disappointed with myself.  Actually, I'm more than a little disappointed and it has caused me to procrastinate and avoid free writing for several days.  Oh, and I've been working on this post for about three hours now and this is as far as I've gotten.  Ah, procrastination, where would I be without you?  I don't know, but I'll totally look into it later.

I have recently discovered, or at least brought up into my consciousness, the fact that I am a dreamer.  A romantic.  A person who does not always live in reality.  A completely fucking insane human being. I'll elaborate: a few weeks ago when I was renewing my vows to this medium, it was so full of possibilities.  I was going to create this blog, post all this cool stuff on it, and it would be some kind of overnight sensation! There would be publishers contacting me, bursting with excitement about my fantastic, ground-breaking take on the world we all live in!  Of course, book deals would not only be a possibility, but pretty much inevitable; I mean, who could resist such profound prose, right?  Fame and fortune would be right around the corner, oh yeah, with awards too!  Celebrities and other members of the cultural elite would flock to me, just to be seen (it'd up their street cred' SO MUCH) and to share in my general state of awesomeness.  I'd, naturally, be totally cool with them and we would regard each other as equals and go chill at Starbucks or something.  But not the regular Starbucks, the celebrity Starbucks.  You know, the ones with the string quartets and the crystal goblets and the pumpkin spice lattes year round, and the- wait, I guess you wouldn't know! Pfha. aha. ha. (dry, crusty, rich-person laugh).  Oh, and I'd also be totally hot and in perfect shape and, just in general, the best author ever.  In my brain, all those things will happen just because of my raw, uncompromising talent.  Um, yeah, I'm definitely a dreamer....

The problem with dreams, with wild, outlandish, ridiculously detailed and well thought out dreams, is that they never happen.  Or if some kind of version of them does materialize, it's not what I had envisioned.  In short, I always let myself down.  I am always disappointed with the outcome because it's not exactly how I had thought about it for hundreds of hours.  Here's how it works in here: I think about something I want to have happen (i.e. jobs, money, revenge, scandalous affairs, world domination, etc.), then I contemplate how said event would occur. A lot.  I do this by running various scenarios, practicing my reactions, and actually  real emotions, contained entirely in my neurons, synapses, re-uptakes, etc. (yeah, that's right, I took Psych 101 in college.  Suck on that!), or maybe I mime a little when no one is watching, whatever, don't judge me!  Here's an example: my dream-induced perfect match (usually some kind of famous person that I've never met) and I meet by some coincidental means (i.e. at that award ceremony honoring me, or the photo-shoot for the cover of that popular magazine),  we share furtive glances, shy dispositions and an undeniable sexual chemistry.  We arrange to meet; hot, steamy rendezvous follow, and then we fall in love and live happily ever after.  Or there's some kind of terrible blimp accident and one or both of us die.  It depends on the day.

 Nothing wrong with a little harmless fantasy, you say?  But what happens when my beloved thought-mate does or says something in real life that I hadn't expected, or just turns out to be an asshole?  I experience real, actual heartbreak.  It has effected my real life and my real relationships.  Jesus, that sounds so lame and stupid on paper.  Well, I guess I'm typing this on my laptop and therefore it's technically not on paper, but why would you bring something like that up at a time like this, when I'm pouring my heart out?! Seems unnecessary to me and even a little bit cruel.  Anyway, I live inside too much, and imagine so vividly and so often that it gets too real and goes on for far too long.

After the endorphin rush of my impending international popularity faded and I simultaneously spent the weekend with family and friends out in Actual-Burg instead of Brainsylvainnia, I slipped back down into my usual self: second guessing my comedic instincts, marinating in self-hatred, hopelessness, and adding just a dash of resentment towards... everyone, I guess.  Hey, if you add some Jack Daniels, BAM; ya got the perfect Unhappiness Cocktail.  Gets you just drunk enough to be an asshole, but not so drunk that you can forget what you did the next morning.  Also, the hangovers are just awful and occur not only after cocktail hour, but during! And before too, somehow; it's weird and I wouldn't recommend it.

So, long story short, that's why it took me 7 days to write my second post instead of 3 (which is what I assumed my rate of updates would be for no in-particular reason ).  Maybe if I continue to scoop out this brain-shaped carton of concoctions, schemes and subsequent expectations, and release them into cyberspace, they won't take up as much time, effort and space in my life.  Maybe then I'll be able to figure out the difference between making goals and fantas-ta-sizing and actually DO something with my life.  Probably not, but hey, a blogger can dream, right?

Friday, September 2, 2011

#1- What it's All About

Does running out of space on the 'about me' section make me self-absorbed?  Probably.  But what is a public, online journal but self-absorption at it's most geekiest anyway?  Why is my blog worthy of reading by someone who doesn't even know who I am?  It probably isn't.  Maybe I'll let my mom read it one day.  I'll probably have to take out all the swears then, and, of course, all the times I mention her and blame her for all my problems.  That's going to be a lot of redacting....

Here's the gist of things:
I'm just getting back into this whole writing thing after a several-year break.  I was about 3/4 of the way to a bachelors degree in English with an emphasis in writing when I dropped out.  It was partly because I had a family and needed money and partly because I didn't really like it.  While my lit profs were super-dorks that I adored, my writing ones were pretentious and lame.  I think a lot of creative art professionals... and amateurs too, I guess... and maybe even enthusiasts, or connoisseurs, if you will, are inflated with self-importance and disdain for everyone else and they still get a ton of respect and admiration and I hate them!  Um, hey, guess what, dude, I know lots of stuff too! You being good at something, or THINKING you're good at it, or even claiming to know all about it but not actually doing it, doesn't make you better than me.  It's the lack of crippling emotional problems that does! Burn!

Anyway (FYI, those kind of random tangents are going to happen.  Often)...
I dropped out of school and went to work in 2007 and haven't written much since then.  Even when I was taking classes though, I didn't feel like I was really writing what I wanted to.  It was like it wasn't my voice, but my voice squashed through some kind of desperate, please-like-me filter.  Maybe that's not true, maybe I didn't know what my voice was or how to get it from my brain to the paper back then.  Maybe that WAS my voice because I WAS desperate for good grades and for my teacher to like me.  Who really knows? The long and rambley point is: I have recently started easing my way back into writing using a simple exercise called 'free writing'.  You just write for a predetermined amount of time, just write and write and don't stop even if all you're saying is, 'this is stupid' over and over again.  It's supposed to get the creative juices flowing.  I started these free writes, and a river of creative, sticky juice (that was just a little bit bitter for some reason) exploded out all over the place... you know, like ejaculate from a penis (it's what's called a 'double entendre' in the biz).  All these ideas and observations and feelings poured out and my 20 minutes of writing turned into 60 minutes almost every day.  There were several concepts I came up with that, I think, are interesting and possibly well-written enough to share, so I thought I'd slap it up on the ol' interwebs and see what happens.  And here we are.

My tentative plan is to write short posts like this every few days to help me develop the tone of my writing; really hone in on what I want to write about and how I can make it hilariouser (yes, I am going to be making up words like that sometimes).  It'll sort of be like more polished free writes, less quantity, more quality (I hope, maybe they'll be crap). I'll also post highly polished works, or final drafts, that will most likely be personal essays every few weeks.  I'm open to and hoping for some constructive criticisms.  But don't make me cry, guys, for serious.  My ultimate goal is to have these essays published somewhere that isn't of my own making, you know, like a magazine or something.  Remember magazines? Those were the days...

So there it is. My deepest, most fragile. ridiculous, gigantic dream out there for everyone in the entire world (and maybe some extra-terrestrials with amazing wi-fi) to see.  Holy shit.  Good thing nobody's gonna read this.