Friday, January 30, 2009


When I was little I hated school very much. I used to pretend to be sick just to get out of it. I don't know if pretend is the right word. Because the thought of going to school really did make me sick to my stomach. If I got to stay home I would feel much better, and then my parents would get angry at me for faking. But the point is that I hated school. I broke down one day in the car when my mom was trying to drop me off. I was crying and refusedg to get out of the car. I literally begged my mom to let me stay home. She eventually had to bribe me with a video game to get me to go in that day. Now you may look at that and think that I must not have wanted to stay home that badly if the promise of a video game could get me to go out. If you think that, well your not seeing the whole picture.

First of all video games mean a lot to me. I have had four life changing events in my life. Four. One of them was a video game. They were there for me when no one else was. So this wasn't some toy, or candy my mom had waved in front of me. Although she may have thought so. No this was a offer to stave off misery and perhaps suicide for another few weeks. That's how much it meant to me. Endure one bad day of school and receive what some consider a trinket, but it would serve to keep me alive for one more month.

Second take another look at the magnitude of what was offered even when the emotional value I place on the game is factored out. Games back then cost about $30 to $40 dollars. My parents bought me games for birthdays and Christmas, and even then it was only one game for each event. If I wanted anymore outside of that I had to save up my own money. I had a paper route then. It was not very lucrative, some months I lost money. And this was just for one day of school. Thirty bucks for one day.

I despised school so much that in my youth I tried to hatch a plan to get me out of it. My dad told me about a kid who collected stamps. He was so good at it that he dropped out of school. He never even learned how to drive, he just hired someone to chauffeur him. That's how rich he was. I thought if I could find some way to make money then I could drop out. I asked my parents about this because I wanted to be sure that I could get out. I didn't want to waste time trying if they were just going to keep me in school anyway. They said that I could on the condition that I could make more money than my father. To make sure they stayed true to their word I made them sign a contract. I drew it up and had them sign and date it, I even think I got one of my sisters to witness it. I still have that contract somewhere.

So I then had to try and figure out what I could do that might make me enough money to get out of school. Somehow I decided on writing. There were child labor laws that prevented me from entering the workforce at that time, I was still in grade school at this point. I could never earn enough mowing lawns or delivering papers, I was already doing that. With those restrictions there is not a whole lot a person can do. I figured writing a book was my best shot. I could crank a story out in couple of months and then I'd be free. It's now a decade of so later and I have yet to finish any book. But ever since then I have applied myself vigorously to the idea of writing. It became my goal, my dream. Now I'm out of school. I suffered through it and somehow survived.

The other day on girl's blog she made a post about describing yourself. I have been giving this a great deal of thought recently. If you were to write up a brief summary of who you were what would it say? What would mine say. Earlier in my life part of that summary would have said that I wanted to be a writer. Now, I'm not so sure. I asked myself "Why do I want to be a writer?" One answer that unsettled me was "You wanted a way out of school, you thought writing was your best shot." There were some other reasons but this one was rather crucial.

What if I don't want to be a writer? Is the only reason I tried because I was trying to escape school? I'd try and tell myself that "No, you desire is much more real and driving than that." But is it? What if the only reason that desire is there is because I hardwired it into myself in an attempt to get away from the pain my education was causing me.

So here I am. I'm stuck with this urge to write and yet I don't know if that's what I really want. Maybe I'm over thinking this. Lets say someone wants to escape poverty, or oppression, or any other adversity you might name. So they develop a talent to do so, is that wrong?

For some reason I feel like I have some purpose in life. It's like I'm supposed to do something. Only I don't know what that purpose is. I don't know why I feel this way. Maybe it's because in school they pumped my mind full of platitudes like "If you can dream it you can achieve it." or "You can accomplish anything you set your mind to." Then reality walks up and slaps you in the face. Yet I feel conflicted. I have heard many people say much the same thing as me regarding having a purpose. And then I have met people that are the opposite of that. One guy I knew shared with me that his life's ambition was to work at his dad's construction company, marry his high school sweetheart, get a house and have a family. I have nothing against any of those things. I even want some of them myself. But I also want fame, and glory, and power. That may be selfish but I can't deny that it's what I want. I feel like somehow my purpose is tied into that stuff, yet I have none of them. I feel like a kite without wind. How is a kite without wind supposed to know what it's purpose is?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

"It's never been harder to fall"

There is a song by the Early November called "A Mountain Range In My Living Room" and I want to quote it here because it perfectly captures what I will be talking about.
It loses something when it's not sung but the lyrics are:

"It's never been harder to fall
there's nothing to grab
and that's all I want to hold on to."

The post I made prior to this one touched upon this idea. You see all throughout my life I have never been able to make any mistakes without being penalized for them. Maybe your life was the same, if it was then you will know what I am talking about here. This is why I am so afraid of what I'm doing right now in my life. Taking a step backwards or retreating. Whatever you call it, every time that I have made mistakes things have got worse. The really nasty part about this is I'm one of those people that really can't learn unless I make mistakes. The world makes little room for people like this.

There was a kids show one a while ago. It was called "The Magic School Bus." In it Ms. Frizzle and her class go on amazing magical learning adventures. Traveling back in time to dinosaurs, or shrinking down and going inside a classmate to learn about anatomy. In every episode the children were presented with hands on learning opportunities and each time they mess things up. Then Ms. Frizzle would gallantly arrive, not to rescue, but to encourage the children to "Take chances. Make mistakes." Because it was all part of the learning process. With the mistakes made and the aide of a magical bus the children could go back and fix things, or keep trying things until they got it right. At that point they had actually learned something.

Well I really needed to learn the same way, sadly there was no magic bus for me. For me it was always learn it, get tested, get failed. End of story. As Early November puts it "It's never been harder to fall." Because there is nothing to catch when you do, and that's all I have. The fear that everyone is just waiting for me to fail. Like I'm the weak one in the herd and the wolves are circling. Now this is probably just paranoia on my part but I still can't shake the feeling. That being said the retreat is going well. At least so far. Every day I make impressive headway on my to do lists. And that at least gives me something to feel good about.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tactical retreat

Circumstances have culminated into a situation where I find that I must back pedal a bit in my life. This is not fun. It's one of those instances where I have to take two steps back if I ever want to move forward ever again in my life. The tricky part is that there is no guarantee that I won't get stuck back there as opposed to being stuck up here. If I'm going to be stuck it might as well be further up the track than further back. But here I go anyway. The scary thing is that I know me. I know that I am very likely to get mired down no matter what I do. I know what I must do. I know all the things I could do to make my life better. But doing them is another matter. This morning I had the option of waking up and getting to work on my goals. But I slept in. I succumb to laziness far to easily. If I can't accomplish a task in one day I will often put it off indefinitely.

So that's why I'm afraid of moving backwards. Here's why I need to despite my fears. I am running out of resources. Resources of the financial, and emotional variety. I have no room to go onwards with my life. I'm living paycheck to paycheck, literally and metaphorically. So I am taking a page from military generals and I am sounding a tactical retreat. I'm stuck in a battle that I'm losing and cannot win. It is not over, not yet. So I am withdrawing in the hopes that I can rally.

My mood matches my situation. I am feeling really down right now. Down where I just don't care anymore. It's been a while since I have felt like this. For several months I have been feeling both depressed and motivated. It was an odd concoction but it got me doing things. I was trying at least. Now the motivation is gone and I just feel apathetic. This recent turn in my depression doesn't really seem to be brought on by anything in particular. I used to think that my depression was triggered by situations. Now I'm not so sure. Situations can definitely affect my depression. Bad things can worsen it, good things can pull me out even if it's only briefly.

So that's where I'm at right now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reasonless thoughts

Feeling really sad for no reason at all. That's one of the things I hate about depression. Because then you try to find the things your mad at, or things that are making you sad. I can't help but want to pin the blame on something. Because my mind refuses to accept that the pain is all coming from my head. Maybe it's doing it on purpose, but to be honest I think it's to disjointed to pull off a cohesive attack on me. But who knows maybe I've been underestimating my brain all this time. Whatever the case may be if I'm not careful I'll start blaming people and things that are completely innocent.

At times like these I feel full. And that's a terrible thing.

Life is like a banquet. Emotions, feelings, and memories are the food. The heart is the stomach, and mine is full. Full of the bad things, the pain, the fear, the dashed hopes, filled with weariness. I'm full with no room left for anything good. My heart is full to bursting, full of everything that's bad.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekends on my mind

Don't always want to sound like I'm down all the time. Even though I am. But I know it is sometimes tiring to only listen to one note. So it's the weekend for me and I'm feeling rather good. The weekends are usually nice. At least they are until they end and I have to go back to work, and I realize that I wasted the time off.

But there is something to be said for wasting time. People need time to sit back and do nothing. It's all part of the pacing of life. Look at nature it's self, it has it's growing seasons and it's winter seasons. But us humans work all year long. I really think the bears have the right idea. When winter comes they hibernate. They know that the winter is miserable so they don't even try to muddle through. They hunker down and wait it out. When I had a beach adjacent to the where I was living I used to love going out to the sands and just watching the surf and the sunset. If I was still by the beaches I would be there every day for every sunsets. Now I hate the water, hate getting wet. I just love the scenery. The sunsets are like a sigh painted on the horizon.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm lost

There is a moment of profoundness in the movie "Lilo and Stitch." Stitch is a psychotic alien who is mistaken as dog by Lilo who adopts him, and cares for him. In return Stitch nearly ruins Lilo's life. You can't blame him really, he is only doing what he knows to do. So anyway the point I'm getting to is Stitch is on stuck here on earth, abandoned by the universe. He is surrounded by a human family that inexplicably love him without condition, a concept that is as alien to him as he is to them. There is a book that Lilo had read him him about a little lost duck. One night he goes outside and looks up at the sky and like the little duck cries upward "I'm lost."

I feel like that a lot of the time. I am surrounded by people and things but I feel so alone, and not just alone but lost as well. To be lost suggest that I used to belong. Somehow I have gotten dislodged from that place and have ended up on my own. Everything reminds me that I'm strange, that I don't match up. Even the people around me that are kind and try to help baffle me. Maybe for me, like it was for Stitch, a sense of belonging will come after hard work and sacrifice. I just wish life could be wrapped up as easily as it is in a Disney cartoon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I had a realization the other day. I was thinking about happiness and how it eludes me. It is so hard to exist feeling miserable when I look around and see other people who are apparently happy. Now I know that maybe none of them actually are. Maybe they all have problems to. Maybe some are worse off than me. But I have these moments with my friends when I come to a shocking revelation that "Wow they don't think about killing themselves all the time." In that moment I am saddened and sickened by myself. I am sad because I realize that I truly do wallow in misery. It's not entirely my fault. That makes me angry. I'm sickened because how can everyone else go through life all happy when I'm trying to scrounge up a good feeling just for a minute or two. It just doesn't seem fair.

To have what they seem to have has been a life long wish of mine. So I began looking at them and trying to figure out what makes them happy. Then I would try doing what they did. That never seemed to work. I'd ask myself why am I not happy when I am doing what they did, why did it work for them but not me? That's when I had my little realization. I am not like those people. I am not like them at all. It is then absurd to think that what makes them happy could make me happy too. I have gotten angry at people for not understanding that I'm different from them and then I turn around and beat myself up for the very same reason. To be who I am and then think that the only way to be happy is to be like everyone else, now that's crazy.

So now I have to figure out what will work for me. Who knows how long this will take, or if it's even possible. But I think that now I have a better chance.