The One Step Back That Precedes Two Steps Forward

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Ain't So Lonely

Before anyone jumps all over me for the incorrect grammar in my title, I have to explain.  The title of every post I write will be the title of a song that I've been using to persevere through my week of semi-isolation.  This week's song is by the Tennessee band Lucero, who have been featured heavily in my play-lists for the last year or so.

With that housekeeping aside, we can move on to an operation update.  In first few days of my attempts to cut myself off from non-essential social interaction have been deviated from more than Lindsey Lohans' career revival road map.  Friends who presence in my life had regressed considerably or had even faded completely showed back up in my life like an 18-wheeler with no breaks and my life has been richer for it.  For all the complexity that these people add to my life, I missed being able to interact with them on this level and would not trade this "ride with a 16-year old hopped up on hormones and Monster" week for anything.  That being said, its time to regain my focus.

The two biggest successes of PC so far is my complete removal of myself from the world of Facebook.  I can safely write that on this, the debut day for the film The Social Network, I have not touched Facebook since my original post.  Not to say its been easy.  I've seen my people quit cigarettes with less pronounced muscle spasming, a fact that makes me ashamed for the addict I'd become to updates about the lives of people who in several cases might as well have been complete strangers.  Oddly, however, and possibly counter-intuitive to the sites' intended purpose, I have found that divorcing myself from the lives of random people has me feeling less lonely.  The world around me seems so much bigger when I'm not comparing it subconsciously to the lives of my hundreds of "friends", many of whom might not recognize me in a crowd, nor I them.  In fact, I find myself making a greater effort to reach out to those whom I've fallen out of touch with, and overcome a certain sloth that has pervaded our generation's attitude towards personal interaction.  And no more Farmville invitations!

The other success is identifying the forum I'd like pour my creative efforts into over this next month.  I spent the day discussing with a few close confidantes the writing and possible production of a webseries based upon the general predicament so many of us 20-somethings find ourselves in with, hopefully, more than a dash of my occasionally odd and interesting point of view.  Even if we never film a scene, the impending foray into story writing both scares and excites me for the challenge it poses.  After years of writing poetry and news articles/editorials it'll be up to me to create distinctive voices for these separate characters who will all be drawn from my imagination (and in no small part inspired by several of my friends and fellow combatants in life's struggle).

With October starting its time to get down to business in the classroom and the gym and knowing that at least a handful of you are reading keeps me accountable to myself and my hatred of hypocrisy.  Thank you all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ready to Fall

I'm not all that great at starting stories so here it goes, my name is _________ and I'm stuck in a rut.  For too long now I've lived exactly the way a more productive, idealistic version of myself vowed I never would.  Out of shape physically and mentally while I ingest the dual drugs of television and suburbia-induced self pity.  My name is ________ and I'm ready to change.  This is not the crusade to change the world that I promised myself I would have started by now.  In fact, this is about blocking out the world and all its infinite excuses and distractions.  Yes, we're in quite the economic slump making employment for my generation a greater challenge than it has been in a long time.  Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of boomerang just like me, over-educated, under-motivated, and growing more disillusioned by the day that the bright, successful future that was promised to us in exchange for doing things the "right way" is never going to materialize.  But this isn't about us, the Fight Club generation of no greater purpose.  Its about me.

I'm well aware of the narcissism that radiates from that statement.  I've always been the first one to sacrifice for those around me, to give up my time, energy and emotion so that others may have a better life.  What I didn't understand was that I was compensating for a dissatisfaction with my own life.  With my own self.  And that has profoundly affected my ability to be an asset to anyone.  The time has come for drastic measures.  The time has come for Operation Cocoon.

When I look at the things that have fallen by the way side during my long, slow descent into mediocrity, I name them the way an alcoholic names the regrets he's lost in his battle.  My health, my passion, my artistic ability (both in writing and music), my ambition, my confidence and my belief.  Most of all, however, I have lost my present.  As depressing as this may sound, its not what's important.  What's important is that I can reclaim my future.

Over the next month plus I will attempt to do so by dislodging myself from the world around me for awhile.  My world will consist of the job, school, gym, garage, newspaper, and desk in front of me.  Except for the most important of things (checking on the well being of loved ones, for instance) I will be off facebook, missing from post-work hang outs, and somewhere out of sight on Saturday nights.  I'm still available by call or text but for the most part I will be wrapped in a cocoon.  I don't yet know when I'll emerge, only time will tell.  For those of you for whom this is a disappointment, I'm sorry.  For everyone who could care less, I understand.  Either way, I'll catalog the journey here for all the read.  Stay thirsty for life, my friends.