I’m through here

This is going to be one of those purely introspective, journalistic type of posts, where I essentially just have a dialogue with myself and think out loud.

I’ve never been one of those people who wants to bolt from home– from where they’ve grown up– as soon as I was able to. In fact, I’ve always had a really distant, faint sort of resentment for those kind of people. The philosophy behind it always just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it is a side effect of me being too sensitive, but it just has always felt somewhat insensitive and insecure, you know, like I get it if being in a new city or state or country is going to be the most conducive to where your life is leading you, but you can do it with some tact, instead of throwing a big, “screw you guys” to everyone you are connected with. I think no matter where you plant yourself, as long as you’re not a full recluse, you are going to find meaningful connections.

I’m not trying to make much of a point with this, instead, I just want to outline how I don’t want to come off as– one of ‘those’ kind of people. In fact, for my entire adult and near-adult life, I’ve been pretty freakin pleased with where I’ve been living, as well as the people I’m surrounded by. I like home. I like the Nashville to Fairview circuit that has been my life for the past half decade. I think it makes it come as a total surprise to me that I suddenly feel a strong pull to supplant and start over somewhere else. I’m not big into moving on.

I can’t deny it though. I am not sure if anything will end up coming of this, but lately I just feel like I am being squeezed out of this place. It hasn’t matter what part of my life I’ve been spending my time in. At home, I feel isolated, lonely and like a shadow of the past. In Nashville, I feel like a complete stranger, like an alien straight off the spaceship from Mars. I feel completely displaced in two places that I used to be somebody in (at least in my own mind, which was all that mattered). I started to try to explain my entire feelings and thoughts on this development to my girlfriend, Kara, the other day– I just couldn’t really get it across. In fact, I am sure I came across as a selfish fool, just trying to run from things and cut off all my responsibilities and emotional ties. I don’t know, maybe I am, but I know there is at least more to it than that.

Here is what I told her though: I feel suffocated. Completely suffocated. I have no ability to breathe, without respiration I am useless. I am just a carcas. I can’t grow. I can’t find any bit of productivity in me. I can’t act on my ambition. I feel like I can’t even properly enjoy anything anymore. I look at myself in the mirror everyday and I think to myself, “look at this kid, he’s just become a lifeless tragedy, such a shame.” What a dismal waste.

I probably mention how disconnected I feel from everyone, in general, every time I write lately, and it is hard to not again. This is a big factor for this feeling I’m overcome with. My best friends over the years: I’ve gradually and continually become disconnected with each of them, and the level of disconnection gets greater as the casualties pile up. One of my best friends from my college years, which the first half or so was easily one of the greatest run of years I’ve ever had, he’s getting married soon, and I recently caught myself thinking, “you know what man, I don’t even think I’m going to go to the wedding,”  as if it is just ‘whatever’ — such a dirty, vile thought. I’m only glad I caught myself in the act. I don’t know what even led me to have such a notion, but it was there, I get notions like that often. I feel spurned by people more often than I should. I don’t think it should matter anyway. When I was younger, happier and more lively, it didn’t matter. Now, all of a sudden I lose sleep because I feel like some random that I rarely keep touch with is trying to minimalize it as it is. Where the hell did I go?

Half of them are gone. Half of them aren’t, but their lives hold them hostage. I have friends who are married, getting married, have kids, are likely going to get engaged soon– all of these things, I don’t want in my life anytime soon. I have friends who are starting careers and fulfilling their dreams. I’m personally not ready for that level of permanence in my life. I look at my life as if I were raised underground, and the powers that be let me loose, took me outside on a cliff and said, behold, your whole life is before you. I can see until infinity, as expansive landscapes of all types are laid out, and all sorts of unique life grazes, prowls and continues the life cycle. The sky is a mesmerizing bakery of clouds, and there is no limit to which type as they are on display before my very eyes, and the sun, so bright and vibrant illuminates everything I see; my entire life to seize. Then my attention is drawn behind me, as the cliff I’m standing on scales up. It is a massive mountain, and on the mountain plateau, there is a community of people, equally full of life and promise, but very permanent and settled down. And I know these people who are in the village, I love these people, I’ve grown up with them, they’ve grown up with me,  but we just have different directions to go in life right now. It isn’t that I’d even say I am really disconnected from a lot of these good friends, just that we have to be in two very distinct places for the time being, and our connection together is more a case of me dropping in from time to time, lifting each others spirits via the combination of this longstanding connection and the heavy variation of our lives.

It is interesting to me that I feel like the people I am able to be the closest with in my life right now– out of my best friends– are the ones who just simply aren’t there. That’s a really raw deal. I am where I’m at and they are where they are, this just can’t change, it also can’t be surmounted. I think I keep pretty good communication with these friends, and they are there for me as best as they can be and vice versa, but I also can’t help like feel like a set of molecules that they aware of. Something so small and miniscule that it can’t really be perceived as reality, and definitely not immediate, but you know I’m there, buzzing around your ear. You can’t see or hear my buzzing because I’m just a molecule, but you know I’m there, thus I can have that pestering effect. I guess I just feel this way because my life has stagnated so much, and I see so much motion in their lives. There is no other way to put it– it just sucks.

Then there is probably the most important group of all, the close ones who I am still close with in most facets, and also immediate. This is the worst one for me, and it is to nobody’s fault but my own. These are the people I have seem to become unnaturally disconnected with. I have become someone other than myself though. I am often in the same room with them, but I’m not there. I don’t really want to say anymore about this, because I just feel a lot of guilt. I don’t like cheating people. I feel like I cheat these people, and these people matter.

There are plenty of other groups who all add to the equation. The friends who were all quite significant, even if not the very closest. The kind of ones who are kind of like sand in the beach. It is easy for a hole to develop there but the waters come and everything gets filled back in. In this regard, I am kind of a sandless beach. Maybe it is my position, but I feel mostly forgotten, because I find myself remembering most of them; missing them very often, but I’d probably actually be intimidated hanging out with them again, much less having a meaningful conversation with them, much less even getting in touch with them. Or the group that is in my periphery. Connections that could be there, but aren’t. I am too walled off at this point, I guess.

I suppose the point with this element, is that I don’t think I can connect here anymore. I guess I just feel incompatible. They’re all running on USB and I’m a Firewire-800, or something. It isn’t that these things have happened between all of these different people, but it is how and why.

There are also other things that really dishearten me. I feel a total creative stagnation. I think I do creative things in a lot of different ways, with the whole film thing it has always been in a group, the crew, you know? Everyone of those guys is going to be like some form of family to me just because of that connection, but at the same time, the crew just ain’t the same as it used to be. It is just an undeniable fact, when half of the guys are only around a week or two a year, that just happens. One thing I’ve really always enjoyed observing is  the different ‘units’ within the crew. For instance, around the latter years of high school and early college, popular units we had were ones such as:

Me, Ryan Baker, Zeph

Josh, Robert, Jonathan

Me and Baka

EVERYONE

Me and Josh

Josh and Baka

Lovvorn and Josh

I can go on and on with the various combination, but the point is clear. These units all create very differently. Naturally, they also produce very different end products. The thing about it is, I don’t care what it is, music, video production, animation, writing, improv and so on, if someone earnestly wants to undergo the whole creative process with me, I’m down. I love it, and for me, there may not be a better way to really connect with me. Despite this, there are going to be certain people who I naturally click with more than others. I think one of the saddest things for me is that all but a couple guys are left in the area that I really am always excited to create with. Even then, there are those, such as my brother, Zeph, who is just so hard to get good time with, that he might as well live in a different state. Then the further tragedy is that because I lose these favorite pairings and combination of mine, I then get worn out on the other units quicker, even if they are among my very favorites. If I am going to get artistically frustrated, I certainly don’t want it to start at that point. I want overall harmony (in the sense that we will come to make something that is the optimal fusing of our collective vision and ideas) with everyone. But goodness, I really want to pursue this joke rap thing that Ryan Baker and I started in the summer, he is across the country right now, but I still get excited thinking about it, thinking that maybe we can make something memorable out of it– something to really pursue no matter what it ends up being. Or even just a brainstorm with Robert or Zeph in the same room would be nice. You know, someone who is going to have as much of a proclivity to try to get depth out of even a puddle before even caring about something coherent or even properly entertaining. Just different angles that I don’t get as often when those types of guys aren’t around. Thus I feel stifled. I go to pound something out purely on my own ambition and I already feel drained; suffocation.

I can go on, continuously, with reasons and my perceived explanations for this need to move on, but I think, for these purposes, the point is explored well enough. I think, for the first time in my life, I need some fresh air. I need a reboot. A chance to start over. A position where I have to force myself to find and make connections with people, instead of hanging around ones that I’m having trouble fitting into. I need something to reinvigorate me. I need to live again.

I am far from dead, but I don’t seem to feel alive these days. These things make me sad.

I don’t know if I’ll go — it wouldn’t be anytime ‘soon’ because it simply isn’t possible yet — I guess we’ll see how it pans out. This isn’t a pity thought, if anything, it is some perverted form of narcissism, but I think if I did, as a whole, I don’t think I would be very missed.

Talking too much about talking to myself.

You are going to have to excuse a few paragraphs that will likely come off as narcissistic– I don’t care for it either, but I need the context before I really get into my thoughts.

—- self-indulgent context starts here —-

I feel like I’ve developed some sort of conversational problem, or a misalignment of conversational etiquette in all its various forms. I am pretty sure that a lot of this has to do with how communication has developed as a result of rapid technological permeation,  and how my high level of involvement within the technological sphere.

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to communicating with me. For one, are you simply trying  to reach me? If you know me pretty well or are in a stage when you are getting to know me, then one of the first things you’ll learn about me is that I hate talking on the phone. I could draw up all sorts of cute little analogies or similes to express how much I hate talking on the phone, but that is giving it more time than it is worth. I just don’t like it. The physical requirements of it– even any sort of hands free setup sucks. I’m like an iPhone or an iPad when it comes to multi-tasking, I just can’t do it. So for me, talking on the phone requires full concentration. So basically, it is forcing myself in a situation where I have to drop every single thing I am doing and focus on a conversation that I can probably have more efficiently. Before anyone starts thinking that I am sounding a bit inhuman or impersonal about this, let’s just consider a couple points: one, the phone is not a good medium for an in-depth conversation. Obviously, talking to someone in person is unrivaled, but I even find other means, such as maybe a video chat sort of set-up isn’t so bad (but it is kind of foreign, even for me, so I don’t really use it for that) and furthermore, some sort of text format, whether it is just sending messages or e-mails or an instant messaging sort of scheme. There is a lot less static and interference in both regards. When you talk with someone in person, you have the complete communication toolset at your disposal. Even in a really distracting or noisy environment, this blows the phone out of the water. A phone call to me is about 45% repeating things, 45% me asking someone to repeat what they said and 5% original material.

Now there is the textual element of communication that I cited as being superior to the phone. You lose some-up-to-a-lot of the immediacy, as well as the ability to communicate non-verbally (though as a population, we really have gotten quite good at using ’emoticons’ and other similar non-verbal expressive devices, even if it is still infinitely distant from the amount we communicate by expressing ourselves in our body and face language), but you gain a lot in your ability to carefully construct a thought. Now, if the extent of your textual travails tends to look like this, “hey. i c-n u @ park place. y were u ther?” — then this probably isn’t going to be applicable, but I tend to have a lot more faith in ourselves as communicators than that. This whole concept of a well-constructed thought goes a long way. For one, if I’m speaking, it gets old if I am constantly stumbling and fumbling around my words because I can’t quite word it properly– or if I need long pauses to get things worded just right. It also isn’t as necessary, because you get to volley around with people in a conversation and the completion of the thought via a collaborative thought process tends to happen rather rapidly. When I am typing or writing to someone, every word can have as much weight as I want it to, and this is something that I think tends to get taken for granted. Furthermore, these thoughts and word conglomerates are instantly archived. I find that it isn’t so much that I can always infallibly interpret what someone is trying to say or express as a complex thought or emotion, because stuff always gets lost in translation, per se, but it does allow me to really understand how well I get what someone is saying when I am talking to them. Maybe at first I think I get it completely, but then I mull over it some more and realize that I could very likely be completely misinterpreting how this person actually feels or what they are thinking about a specific thing, especially when their frame of reference for something is much greater than my frame of reference of a particular thing. This naturally makes me a much more inquisitive person in text-based communication than I am in speech. In fact, the last time I asked a question vocally was when I worked at a cafe when I was 17.

“Can I take your order?” — or something to that effect.

Pulling away from the merits of written communication and back to my initial point, the phone just doesn’t cut it for me. I treat it as a last resort, so obviously, if you are trying to reach me, the phone is the worst way possible. The second major consideration in communicating with myself is for what purpose is it? Is there some sort of goal or directive to it? I think it is gotten to be pretty well-accepted (as a whole, I mean) that most of the time, text messaging is the best method for this. For that, I’m glad. I also appreciate the redundancy of it. For instance, do you have a goal of wanting to talk to me? Fine, but text me and let me know first. When I think about it, this is entirely impractical and far from the most logical, though I tend to favor these types of thought processes anyway, and I think a lot of the way I’ve done things in life tend to seek this type of unnecessary unorthodoxy. With that said, there are some practical merits to it also. I mean, sometimes we might not be well-equipped to call someone and talk, or really any sort of scenario where either you or the other person seeks a very strong communication platform, but because of the desirability or necessity of it, the things in the way can be re-aligned, thus making yourself more available to talk. I guess I’ll go ahead and try to make an example and break it down anyway.

Them: wuts up?

Me: Nothing really <– obviously not true, it could mean anything. Perhaps I am in a plan, thousands of feet in the air, about to jump and instead of ensuring (for the 50th time) that my parachute is good to go, I am texting you. Therefore, I am a rebel because my phone is on in an aircraft, and if I die its on you, but anyway, the point is that it denotes a willingness to talk. If I didn’t feel like communicating at that point, I’d really just say what I’m doing. “Hey, performing open heart surgery atm, will talk later.”  I think that pretty much everyone understands this system to some degree. Also, let me point out how much better my texting grammar is compared to yours. My grammar, at all times, is nearly impeccable. I rule.

Them: cool, u busy?  <– notice this person gets it. Nothing means nothing, and who knows what I’m really doing, but they got the green light to get to the point. They could have just gotten to the point in this text, but it is pushed out another cycle because they are likely intimidated by me, or were hoping that by stretching out the texting cycle one more time that maybe I’d flatter them.

Me: Not really, I am in the middle of my descent. Went skydiving today hehe! About to go into parachute mode, mc hammer, too legit to quit you know? What’s up?  <– somewhat busy at the moment, but tons of availability as soon as this is out of the way. The system works! Also, I contemplated flattering them, but instead opted for the mc hammer quip. For one, that song rules. Two, they didn’t earn my smooth words.

Them: lol, awesome. well I tried 2 perform open heart surgry on me. I think i mest up, can u cum help?

Me: Sure dude, I’ll head over in about an hour or so if that works for you?  <– at this point this part of the cycle is self-explanatory, and from this point the objective-based act of communication is complete. Casually interact from this point at each other’s own discretion.

The text message is so powerful because it is quick, discreet/unobstrusive and addictive. It works, whether there is a purpose behind it, or if you are just shooting the breeze.

I could continue breaking things down relative to the means of communication that I favor, but I already touched on them, so it is safe to assume that, as a whole, the best ways to reach me tend to be digital.

—- self-indulgent context ends here —-

Essentially, this is what has happened between myself and most people that I know:

My primary modes of communication have a type of incompatibility with the average person. In some ways, it feels like I am the mysterious old wizard. To the outside world it looks like I’ve become a batty hermit and shelled myself up in some unreachable tower atop an unscalable mountain– or maybe I’m just more like the guy who went crazy, started running around in a chicken costume and is hiding out somewhere in some dark, secluded, nasty cave, sleeping my life away in a puddle of my own drool.

If I follow this trail of communicative seclusion even further, it makes it even harder to manifest myself “in the real world”. See, what happens when you get cut off from everyone is that nobody hears from you and you hear from nobody (simultaneously). Then you get back catalogued in their mind and thoughts– this also happens to people you know, at with I would say is a pseudo-random involuntary selection process. Once becoming out of contact and out of mind, then you increasingly become out of sight. Therefore, your opportunities to ‘manifest yourself in the real world’ become limited by the things which require you to.. you guessed it, manifest yourself in the real world. If that dwindles, well then you really have a problem on your hands.

In such a limited existence, everything becomes a guess. “Oh, maybe I’ll shoot so-so a text and see what they’re up to,” a pause occurs, thought happens, their offspring is hesitation, hesitation is asexual and adopts the outcome, a guess, “Well, maybe not, they seem like they’ve been really busy lately, I’ll just wait til things open up for them or if they hit me up.”

You can pull out scenario after scenario ad infinitum at this juncture, because you just don’t know, it really is just a guessing game. I don’t have empirical evidence on this, nor do I feel like trying to find any right now, but I’d say that there is certainly a strong inverse correlation between the confidence in our guesses and assumptions and our level of doubt and lack of self-confidence. I’d also say that this is likely how the internet-age phenomenon of the digital community and even on-line subculture ascended to such prominence. People, like myself, get promulgated into a crowd of like-minded individuals, or rather, we congregate as a result of how we communicate and interact. It is probably what led to the stereotype of the lonely basement nerd. Only very–very–very unique people are going to prefer purely impersonal and disconnected forms of communication and interaction to actually doing something, you know, like in the same physical location with actual physical people. Allow me to speak as an introvert, there are plenty of times where I’d much rather hole up and recharge doing something to myself for a while, but even being my heavily introverted self, more often than not I will take any opportunity to go do something with people– even if I’d prefer to recharge. Getting me time is something that I can get almost anytime I want it, all it takes is free time and I can make it happen. Spending time with friends or whoever, well that is not as selfish as an act, thus requiring a lot more to line-up, hence why even introverts like myself will almost always opt to do something that might drain them a bit more than they’re used to.

Haha, it seems that I somehow also highlighted how someone who has a similar communication set-up as myself can become physically removed and disassociated from people, but my goal has been to highlight how I feel a disconnect on a basic-interactive level. So I must continue.

Setting this element of physicality or ‘real-world manifestation’ (which is really just a phrase I use because I like how impersonal it comes off) aside, the thing I have really experienced is a mental disconnect.

There was a time when my ‘text messaging game’ would frighten even a 14 year old MTV-generated girl, but those days have long since passed. Today, it has a decent pulse, but it really isn’t the casual conversational device it once was. I’d say that it is still primarily used for that, but it is more Ent-like. A friend and I might start a jovial train of thought, playing some sort of tiny, humorous made-up game, but instead of it taking a couple of minutes, like it used to, it’ll take a day or two to get passed that gap. By the time it is done, there is another stray thought that one of us mentions and thus a very small topic is chatted on in the same period of time, and that is how the cycle revolves. In person, I just don’t see people in many settings that are conducive to just talking about whatever to anyone. There aren’t many people I regularly hang out with these days (something perhaps to get into another time), and besides that, what other settings are there really? Most of the time I see someone, I am going to point A, they are going to point B, that leaves, on average, 7.8 seconds to get a few words in. I will say this, a lot of people I know (as well as myself) are very very good 7.8 second conversationalists. There is no choice but to be. I don’t work, so I can’t comment on that, but in school settings, it has always been go to class, take notes, pay attention and be bored, then get out. Vastly different from how it was in high school and below, where you are boxed in with the same people every day for hours and hours. A lot of other instances just have a lot of noise or interference in the way. The gym is a great example, because when I go play basketball it is the most lax and recreational thing I do on a regular basis. I mean, it really is just something I do out of pure enjoyment more than anything else, and there is the gym-culture, you tend to get to know everyone pretty well at least on the level that you know their gym-self, but even then, I don’t think you could really expect too much beyond it anyway, because some of my longest-standing best friends and I will go to the gym and talk very sparsely over the course of a couple of hours— because really, it just ain’t that great of a place to talk to somebody. It’s loud, distracting, the acoustics suck– so whenever you forget these facts and actually get into any substantial sort of conversation, you are almost immediately reminded that it is going to be more of a hassle than anything else; the worst instance of this being when you realize you’re actually playing a game, and you get too chatty with the person you’re guarding.

In some ways, it makes me feel like a little kid, because the best option for a decent conversation, whether casual or in-depth, with anyone at any given time is similar to how it was in my younger days. Instead of AOL Instant Messenger, I’m just using Skype and Facebook instead. Now, not getting back into them again, there are plenty of things going against this already, such as the ways people tend to communicate– not a whole lot of people are in to using these means, so that already limits the variety and selection. Furthermore, and also really to the core of what I initially was getting at, it is just hard to connect there. See, for one, it comes back to the alignment issue. For many, people are strictly using these sort of things for objective-based communication.

“Hey do you want to get some people together when I come into town?”

“You bet”

“Cool, see ya”

This is where I notice the disconnect the most. In my head, I’m thinking, “derrn man, I haven’t talked to them–like really talked to them– in (imitating Squints from The Sandlot) FOR-EV-ERR,” then I just feel like I am cheating someone, them, myself, I don’t know who, by just saying, “see ya.” Of course, I realize and accept that I have to. Either my hand is played because they log off before I can even type something like, “cool, cool, was good to hear from you and hope you’re doing well. Look forward to seeing you and everybody. Later!” — or because it just feels like I am violating some sort of unspoken code or etiquette of it all. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to do that! Or.. well.. for some reason in my head that is how I perceive it. As a result, a lot of the times I have any sort of interaction with people on these things, it just feels awkward.

WAIT

I just admitted to something like that resulting in an awkward conversation? Well, I guess that it is really more because when you just don’t have a good talk with anyone for a long time, you really have no idea what is going through that person’s head. You don’t have any clue where they are in life at the moment. You don’t really even know them anymore, for that matter. Once again, it is the guess confidence to doubt inverse correlation. You know nothing, therefore I doubt every aspect of my interaction with you. Of course, remember that when I say ‘you’ right now, it pretty much always interchanges into, “I” or “me”.

I think that is the shame of it all. I think back on times, there are few things I remember as well as a really good conversation. This doesn’t even mean I have to remember the conversation with any specificity, but it may just be remembering that it was there, and as a result I had a really close connection and interaction with someone, and that is just cool. Also, the thing with it all is that it doesn’t require some sort of best-friendship blood-brotha type of oath relationship with someone to have that. I have friends who have always just hovered above the acquaintance line the entire time I’ve known who I have fond memories of times where we just had a really good discussion on something.

I don’t really know where this leads to from this point of realization, admittance and acceptance I am at with this whole disconnect thing, but I suppose that isn’t the point anyway. To sum it all up, I really think I am just lamenting the fact that through a lot of small developments and misalignment of interactivity, I find myself missing things such as being able to chat with any random Jane or John Doe that I know.

You know, one of those things in life that you end up taking for granted. I’ve got at least a few of those.

Note: I really had to stretch to try and fit the word ‘promulgate’ in where I did, and I’m sure I didn’t nail its use at all, but I just had to use it. It was a calling, or actually, worse, an itch. Also, I think I ended up doing some weird stuff with my pronoun usage that I am not going to go back and fix for a day or two, because I just typed 3500 words, I owe myself by not having to re-read my own thoughts.

Part 3 of ?

Answer the call, answer the call, answer the call. I am answering.

I feel very dulled. I think this is the most concerning development I’ve undergone in my life; or perhaps I mean disconcerting more than concerning. I’ve had this idea of myself for years of being sharper than a tack; sharper than the word sharp, just on the ball, turn on a dime, a million revolutions per minute, but lately, I am feeling the sluggish reality. Somewhere along the way, stagnation stormed in, set up its oppressive regime and mental atrophy soaked everything up. Of course, it didn’t stop there, because a new leader was put in place of the regime and stagnation wasn’t enough for this tyrant– somewhere along the way, there was a recession of sorts.

I honestly don’t know how I could have avoided it, or what the long-term effects will be, but when you think about it, it is just really difficult to overcome the environment you are in. I am not trying to blame things here, because the way I see things, I always am going to see the sum of myself being what I am putting into myself, but school definitely led the charge of stagnation. I don’t know what you’d call it, maybe a game of sorts, you know, a game.. as in something that adults call a game so kids will do stuff that they want to do. Like quiet mouse, what is the best way to get those miniature energy human things to shut up for once? Oh, we’ll just tell them its a game! That is how I have been going through school for, well, who knows how long. When I was really young, I really wanted to excel, and I enjoyed learning. I just had an uncontrollable desire to make the most out of it. Then middle school days came, and the whole social world started to shift. Suddenly, I saw this entire sphere that I hadn’t paid much mind to. Of course, you have friends, you have your best friends and then you have everyone else. Though when your eyes truly see the scope of this sphere, you get confused, suddenly, “everyone else” is something crucial.

I could identify a moment in time where it was totally disoriented by this revelation. I left the academic sphere all to itself and tried to figure out what was going on with this social one, further leading to a see-sawing between the two, and much like in the physical realm, I can’t even juggle 2 object properly. Time passed and I like to think that I got the concept of finding the right pocket between the two spheres down, you know, Venn Diagrams and what-not. So I returned, fully, to the realm of education. By this time, I had grown up a lot and had a few more tools on my belt than I was as just a lad, and at some point in high school, I really started to begin to develop intellectually. Now, let me say that I am not saying that I was well-developed in that realm by than, nor that I even am now, but just that the process began then; a process that seems to always gain momentum.

So now that this brief recollection of personal history is out of the way, I can get to what I intended to. At some point, I figured out the game of school, or rather, that no matter the setting, you could pretty much always game the system.  I suppose that I figured that I could juggle things more efficiently if I constructed a simple game out of school,  because I knew I could get what I need to out of it without having to put in more time and effort than required. I could probably argue that this was the beginning of the end.

Years and years of playing the same game, just with different variations and the time came; I had my Sky Net moment. I became self-aware. I guess I accepted the truth of how things were. I still have continued to have a desire to really put everything I can into this entire education thing, yet it was nothing like the unstoppable force within me when I was young, just like a rumbling beneath the surface, the Richter scale could perhaps pick it up,  but nothing was felt. Perhaps it was my own folly, for not trying hard enough to get into studying something that stimulated me hard enough, because there are plenty of fields that I would think are much more demanding than what I’ve been doing, but I also think that this is a fragmented stipulation. Why? Well, because it is hard to avoid the BS factor of everything. It is a lot like interacting with people, we have this initial BS layer that we all encounter as a facade of sorts. In my head, I see it like Star Trek, Star Wars and most any space travel Sci-Fi, with these shields around the ship, and we can encounter these vessels only at shield level first. I’ve always hated that when interacting with people, and I guess I hate it with learning too.

Here is the sad part of it all, it really makes me realize how basic I am as an individual. I am almost purely driven by stimulation.

Am I mentally stimulated?

If yes, then initiate obsession sequence.

If not, then forget it– and I do, very quickly.

I study business, primarily. Here’s the thing, I am actually interested in the subject matter. You should have seen me when the whole financial collapse was happening. I didn’t sleep. I just read everything I could find that somehow related to it. I sought out every single perspective I could find on everything. Even more, I was emotionally moved by a lot of what was transpiring.

I haven’t given a damn about anything related to studying business in quite a while. It was almost like I could go into class– first day– and without looking at the syllabus, or even knowing what class I was in, I knew what was expected of the class. I could probably just skim through some Powerpoints, look up the instructions for one of 1-5 major assignments/papers/group projects/presentations, spend a night working on it, and it’d turn out fine. I hate how that sounds, but it is at least close to the truth, because for most classes, in or outside of my major field of study, I’ve followed a really similar formula for practically 4 1/2 years, except you can throw in actually attendance to class, as well as earnest yet meager attempts to actually study anymore than that.

Let me stop myself right here. I don’t want this to sound like a couple thousand words of me venting about school, educational institutions or undergraduate studies, because this is not my goal, nor what I want to do. In fact, I do think that the university that I call home has proven to be one of the best in the area in a lot of fields that I have been interested in. I can easily keep this kind of talk up for pages, the point being, I am not wanting to bash school, the common educational process or make myself sound like I think I am brilliant or anything. None of these are true, I just need context. I need contrast. I need to outline how I’ve gotten to where I am.

Now that I’ve rambled a bit too much, then tried to excuse my rant, I can skip ahead and do what I should have been doing all along; sum it up. Long ago, the things which took up the majority of my time began to fail at mentally stimulating me. I resided in this stagnant land for too long, without questioning it. Furthermore, if you throw in stages of emotional and personal turmoil of sorts, as well as unexpected phases of life in there, you get desecration.

So I’ve been living in a desecrated mental-emotional state. I let it come to this. Now I’ve dulled. I wake up and still think I am sharp like I used to be, but I try to venture outside of my own head and immediately get tangled in the weeds. This troubles me and I hate it. I hate stagnation. I hate this dim feeling. I realize now, that because of how my mind works, how I work, I can never accept stagnation.

I feel like people have been perceiving me in the wrong way for a good while now, even close friends, or probably former close friends, as I’ve strayed away from most everybody– this idea that I just don’t care. I’ve dulled out. I care, perhaps to the point of addiction, about trivial things, thus I am a harmless tack.

I’ll tell you one thing, I may have dulled in many ways, but when it comes down to it, I am sharper than you. I am Excalibur.

I just need to get back to applying this to all these other areas of my life, and not only my own purely internal interests. I guess at this part of the story, I’m still just the Sword in the Stone.

Part 2 of ?

I am kind of scared of myself, lately. Maybe I am really just fearful for myself. It isn’t the typical sense of fear, though. More of a suspense. That suspense of not really knowing what the person is going to do next. The thing about suspense, is there doesn’t have to be any real sign of danger, the fact that you realize how truly random life is can be more than enough subconscious terror for one to handle.

Anyway, I guess I have this notion that I have become intoxicated with the idea of disconnecting. Because I am intoxicated, I have no real control over it at the moment. What tie will I sever next? Will I cut myself off completely, and disappear to some distant sector of the world and start over? Or maybe I am just a kid playing with sharp objects– a marionette playing with his own strings, cutting them with no direction until I incidentally cut off the one controlling my hand. Then I’ll just be a partially functional doll, something even Pinocchio would mock.

Surprisingly, none of this seems to concern me that much. I think it boils down to one thematic factor of my life. I don’t make mistakes.

Joking, of course I make plenty of mistakes, but my entire life I’ve been obsessed with trying to make the optimal decision. Anytime I have failed to, even if it was still arguably a good decision, I let myself have it. It isn’t an innovative system, it is just typical, but it has always been in overdrive. (here come the ridiculous statements..) I feel like, relative to everyone else I’ve grown up around, that I’ve really made very few mistakes. Of course, what do I mean by mistake? Well, I don’t know if I have a concrete definition, but I guess I really mean, those kind of decisions that you know are likely just so stupid, yet you do it anyway. We have a lot of words and phrases that kind of feed into this concept, but they all hit different areas. Chance, gambling, throwing it all away, risk, youth, folly, ignorance, ad nauseam. It doesn’t even necessarily have a negative connotation, it just is what it is.

In high school, my coaches would always get on to us, about how we weren’t playing to win, we were playing not to lose. In some sense, I feel like I could say this is sort of how I feel about my life. So I say that I feel that relative to all the people I know and have grown up with I have made less mistakes because I have obsessed so much about it. Maybe it wasn’t me trying to make ‘the right decision,’ or do the right thing, but just me trying to not make ‘the wrong decision.’

I don’t know how much sense this is making, I’ve written this in my head dozens and dozens of times– it came out a lot better each of those times, but the point is this; it has driven me crazy.

I am not advocating waking up in the morning, leaving the house and setting out to screw up as much as possible, nor am I saying that the thought that I should be afforded some of these phases of poor judgment that I didn’t allow myself to have, but anyone who has ever learned anything difficult (aka, everyone) knows that you are probably going to learn more from your shortcomings and mistakes– I mean, otherwise, you’ve already learned it… or something to that effect.

This isn’t a declaration that I am about to turn myself into a moron for a while, or any sort of statement that I am on the market to make myself some fancy new ‘mistakes’. If it is taken for anything, take it as an individual coming to grips that as hard as I try to avoid it, I am going to make some decisions that later leave me feeling regret, or just plain wondering what on Earth I was thinking. This is trying to learn how to accept that fact that I really have no grip on the future. I can predict what tomorrow will look like, and usually do a good job, but that isn’t to my own merit, because I also can predict what tomorrow will look like and end that day blind– if you know what I mean.

Forgive me, please. Ha, actually, those 3 words outline everything perfectly.

I probably only make sense to myself.

Rock on!

Part 1 of ?

There’s something about this time of year, something about going outside at night and just standing out there in the cold and dark, as the wind sneaks around the trees as if its playing a game of hide and seek with the night. Sometimes I’ll look up and notice how much clearer the sky looks, in a much bolder black and better contrasted dots of seemingly infinitely distant nuclear fusion, and I just feel removed. Much like the stars themselves, while I gaze upon them they seem so calm and serene, but when distance is no longer a buffer they burn and erupt with unimaginable intensity, I feel the same way about myself. It is almost as if I step outside and by using the lifeless feel of the cold air, I can illustrate an outline of myself in my head. I can close my eyes and see this tiny being standing outside and alone. I can look at him and understand how much he is feeling at the moment, because when you can place yourself in such a place, you really can only feel. I stand there, and at the same time feel that the world, in its own way is dying, yet simultaneously that the world is so full of life and wonder.

So I go back inside; bring back the noise. Perhaps it is too much to handle.

Traditionally, my dreams have never been very direct. They have always been extremely vivid, intricate abstractions of a million various thoughts and feelings, but rarely direct. Rarely would I ever believe, upon waking up from one of my many memorable dreams, that I could say, “Yeah, that one was definitely derived from being stressed out about accidentally throwing my dad’s hat off of the parking lot shuttle in Disney World.” Or anything to that effect. If my dreams were a crime scene, there would be no patterns, no tangible evidence, but if you could harness yourself and hover above the room, the mess of the whole thing would reveal itself as some sort of M.C. Escher meets Picasso meets Salvador Dali type of bloody, catastrophic painting. I’ve asserted it before, and I will again, in most cases, I believe that my dreams have served as some sort of creative medium. I sleep. I dream. I wake up. I have experienced and seen images of a constructed world which does not exist. I connect this with my waking thoughts. In an ancestorial fashion, somewhere down the road, the seeds of these visions comes out in some sort of self-expression. This process reciprocates. I have two distinct consciousnesses, one waking, one sleeping. The combination of the two seems to fully construct who I am.

Lately, things are different. An error has popped up in the system. I’ve been having tangible dreams, on a very frequent basis. Sometimes I go to sleep feeling paranoid, lost and beyond the point of desperation. When I wake up, I feel driven, determined and like I’ve arrived at the point beyond hope– assurance because I am able to do something about ‘it’. Sometimes the cycle is the opposite, and I wake up feeling how I did before I went to sleep the other night and vice versa.

These dreams I have– these dreams are so terrifying. I’ve been invaded. The invaders are fools though. They are the clever cat hiding behind the somewhat translucent curtain.–

I can see you there, you know?

—     These dreams are still in their vivid, intricate and impossibly abstract settings, but its all just a smoke screen. Immediately they are given away. In the settings are the things that must be haunting me. People, events, experiences that all happened and were very real pervade these elaborately constructed sets. Filth, I call it– and like some sort of terrible sludge monster terrorizing the perfectly imperfect surroundings of human order and urbania, I wake up and have no trouble following the slimy, grimy and detestable path around the block to memories that are the same relative distance in time.

Lately, my life has changed a lot. I am no longer suspended. I am not fastened into any type of bracing. If I could fly, then I could fly anywhere my heart desired, but I am no where near flying, so I am just free falling.

I left the system that I so vitally depended on. We tend to hand over our lives, in their entirety, and tell entities other than ourselves to take care of them. Cultivate them, incubate them, this is my investment, making it into something more. Maybe I just realized I wasn’t getting anything more out of it. Maybe it wasn’t so much the thought that if I took my investment of self back that I could get more than I could get within the system, but more like, if I don’t get myself back, there won’t be any of myself left worth having.

If you ask me why I am not in school anymore, well, then that would probably be the best I could offer. Not much of an explanation, maybe, but I am not gifted enough, in words, to do any better.