There is nothing more unattractive than a girl getting really into country music

A statement I made recently needed slightly more exposition, so I am posting right now to re-state and then further state.

Original Statement:

There is nothing more unattractive than a girl getting really into country music

And I will clarify I am talking about these girls who just seem to get seized up by the spirit of faux southern living and get all their hands up and flailing about as they close their eyes and start reciting the words to these (usually awful) songs as if they are fulfilling their earthly destiny with each word that leaves their mouths, while they hop up and down in their cowboy boots as they wait for the first man in a John Deere hat to approach them so that she may birth his children.

That’s what I mean when I say ‘getting really into country music’ — enjoying it, dancing, and what not, to me it is unfortunate, but there ain’t nothin wrong with it, but those types.. well.. I don’t know if I should be praying for myself or them.

social parasite

wake up at 4:45 tomorrow. Damn, that is going to come quick. Just forget about it, get it tomorrow. Get the extra 20 minutes. I’m writing garbage tonight, anyway. No, no, stay up. Churn it out. I’ll let another butterfly flutter-by — off again. These thoughts, my thoughts, are like light particles, never again will the same waves touch my face in the way they do in the present. Tomorrow, it might still be light that hits me, but it won’t be the same. Force the thought out, I have to, I’ll sleep when my body KOs me.

Pardon the inner monologue, but I’ve been battling with myself to force this out and sacrifice a small amount of sleep for poor quality, or maybe not get around to writing for who knows how long– and not on the kernel of thought I want to write on. So I’m doing it.

I hate that I didn’t do any writing on here for the entire month of September. It was a great month. I don’t even just mean that in the paradigm of my life, but September is always such a pleasant month, filled with some of the most pleasant, beautiful days that the calendar year carries. Sorry for not treating you as well as you treat me, September.

I’ve been busy. I think I’ve finally gotten a grip on this schedule. Since I last blogged, I’ve ‘powered up’ by many orders of magnitude. As much as I hate to relate myself to a Pauly Shore movie, I feel like Encino Man. I was brought out of stasis in August. I spent most of September recovering from severe atrophy. October, will be the first full month I have to make use of it all.

There have been a lot of significant changes in my social sphere. After yesterday, two of the biggest are the return of two of the most kindred spirits I know, Robert and Joshua ‘Big Cheese’ DeWayne Homer. I’m out and about, almost all of my closest friends are all back… here. In many ways, I am at full power, or at least I’m back at my peak capability.

With a small amount of insight, you would know that I don’t care for personal chronicling in such a manner, so herein lies my main point from all of this; I am a social parasite.

Maybe it isn’t quite a parasitic exchange, but that is how I relate it in my head. I have trust to be myself around my best friends. I trust myself in different ways with different ones. Thus, the more I have around, the more complete level of trust I have in everyone else. I feed off of that. I feed off of being with a few friends. I am comfortable by myself, but I don’t let people see much of myself when I am. I am merely comfortable subsisting. It would be nice if it weren’t this way, but I’ve accepted how it is going to be.

Thing is, I’ve had to regain a lot of the comfort and trust I had with those that I actually had the comfort and trust with. I was out with 3 of the most inner circle I have last night, and I often felt myself comfortable to just subsist, instead of realizing that I, the prawny, tiny parasite had so much more at my disposal than I am used to. I had the vehicles in place to be bigger than my body, larger than my personality, to be the mythical creature I dream that I used to be.

Robert and I have had a lot of talks lately about being ourselves; feeling like ourselves. In the weakest period of my recovery and ‘exile’ as I’m now calling it, I often wrote about not feeling comfortable in my own skin, about being some foreign entity operating this… thing, that was supposed to be me on some inefficient, poorly designed proxy. The good news is that I go through long stretches of days now where I feel like I am pretty much the me of today– the combination of the me I used to be and the changes that have stuck from being dinged around like a pinball the past few years, but I know that despite that, I still won’t fully reveal myself unless I am able to enable myself via social parasitism.

When the thought that is now the words on this blog first materialized in my head, I had a lot more to say. I’d like to think it was more intriguing and insightful, but now, I am just reflective and vague.

Last night, I had a conglomeration of 3 of my entourage that I rarely, if ever, get to be with all at once. It was nice to have that comfortable, almost untouchable feeling. I could feed off of that comfort that they brought to me and flourish. I did. I think I am accepting that I will never be anything more than a social parasite. Socially, I can either be a weak, sickly non-entity, or a mythological demigod that wears a cape, but it is purely dependent on who I have around me, and how recently I’ve been able to ‘feed’.

I won’t stop trying to fix that, but I have other things to worry about, like veiled interest. I gotta make that stuff more direct, eh?

The Parasite. I hate parasites, but I don’t think I mind calling myself that, either.

Oh ho ho, had to put some sort of self-loathing quip in there, or was it?

¿

The end of the journey out west

It’s closing in on 3 am here on the west coast. In a few swift hours I’ll begin my trip back home. By that point, it only would have been 10 days since I left. It is amazing what 10 days removed from everything, placed in a completely different setting, just relaxing and trying to enjoy every moment of life can do. I wanted to write a few times while I was gone. I even considered keeping a daily travelogue, but I either failed on that front or just didn’t have the time. I kind of like that it turned out that way. I get to culminate instead.

First thing’s first, I want to say a few things. For once, the last post that I actually published was about depression. I want to make it clear one more time, I don’t suffer from any sort of clinical or physically induced depression. I just hit seasons in my life sometimes. The past 8 years or so are probably years most prone given all of the transitions hitting in succession as well as the final stages of metamorphosis from ‘a kid’ to ‘an adult’. But once again, I don’t regularly suffer from depression, so don’t misunderstand me. If I get depressed, it is just a very temporal phase in my life– we all go through these things.

Secondly, I’ll go ahead and get this one out of the way. I’m going back to school. The fact is, I never intended on not going back and finishing, and for all I know something in my life may sweep me away and I don’t, in fact, make it back at the time I expect/am declaring now, but for all intents and purposes, in this moment I can say I am going back to finish up the little bit I have left. If I keep my Spanish minor, I only have 19 hours left (one of which is a 1 hour total joke class, so it is really just like taking 6 classes instead of the average 5). Or, to my understanding, I can even graduate without that minor and only have 11 hours (what I was told). Either way, I know that there is a large part of me that has such a distaste for how messed up the system is (the loan system + mercurial rise of tuition and costs is oppressive) as well as how much I think school is just a hoop jumping contest (and I hate jumping through hoops), or how I pretty much completed my major course of study and just quit going 1 week out from having practically no work left, but there is also the prideful part of me, who wants to bring that degree home, not just so I have it as some sort of superfluous credential to tote around the career field, but to my actual home. You know, this piece of paper that nobody else in my immediate family has, something that my parents would be immensely proud of, even if we all understand that in the scope of things it bears no meaning on the world, or if it doesn’t truly prove much of anything as far as my personal capabilities go, you know pride, something that is ok in the most minuscule of amounts. There are other parts of me, such as the one who has genuinely enjoyed my experience at Belmont University. The one who realizes that I made a lot of meaningful connections there, and opened the door for many more. The side that understands how significant so many of my experiences as a student there were, inside and outside of the classroom. The part of me that underwent the slow process of becoming disconnected from the entire university and the people it consists of and feeling insulated from the entire atmosphere longs for one more stab to get plugged back in. Finally, just the plain fact that I’ve never been a quitter, and I never intended on quitting when I left. It was simply a means to an end– the end being graduating. It is just something I am feeling strongly. I spent a long time feeling all types of dread, anxiety, ambivalence and apathy when even thinking about anything associated with school, but now those feelings have subsided, and as I continue laying out a general groundwork for the path my life is on at the moment, I hope to get that aspect paved as part of the process.

So like I said, 10 days, it really isn’t that long, but then again, most vacations are even shorter. It was the perfect length in the sense that I don’t know how much longer I (or the generous friends I have) could have financially sustained it. At the same time, it was at the borderline length of removing myself from routines, I feel like when I get back, I might have to work a bit more to kick myself back into gear (especially physically), but I’ll be back to the shape I was in and into the routines I need to be in– as if I never left. At the same time, it there was just enough kickin’ it time for it to be meaningful, to be impactful, to make a real difference. As each day went by I got a lot more comfortable with everything, but especially (most importantly) with myself. I haven’t been comfortable with myself in forever– to the point I had forgotten myself. I’m not starting to feel comfortable in my own skin again, the gloves fit my hand again, basically. Since this is the end of it and the last night, I can really reflect, and just reflecting on this day alone, I feel really good. I feel that today I really did get broken in a lot more than all the other days combined, not to say that there wasn’t more exertion all of those days, but just that the progress today was the greatest. So not only am I building off of that progress, but because I felt the effects increase in an exponential manner that means I have momentum. Momentum will be everything to me in the coming weeks. There is no other way to put it; it’s just freakin exciting.

This was not the kind of get away filled with reflection and all sorts of arduous introspection. This was just getting the hell out of there and just hanging out, just chilling you know. My two point men out here, Robert and Ryan have been incredibly generous to me, and it is almost hard to feel blessed because really it gets me thinking, “What exactly did I do to earn anyone who would go that far for me in my life?” And of course, other friends and my hosts have also blessed me a lot more than I deserve. I’m glad I got to spend time with the people I did, hopefully it can be a sliver of time that various people can look back on and recall it being an enjoyable week and half, and if I’m lucky, a time that was enjoyable in part by my temporary company.

I know I’ve talked about moving, and I am still considering it. Of course, amidst having to figure out a lot of things in my life in terms of the present and also needing to finish school, it is impossible to tell how that will work out, but it is funny, the LA area is a place I always thought to myself I could never live, but I think knowing there are people out here who can erase this entire concept of  inability goes as far as to make it an appealing place to live, all other things aside (and there are a lot). So who knows, maybe I’ll still end up back out here. Plus Ryan Baker is still my point man on a project. So I may have to chase a dream for a while, and this could be where I have to end up in order to chase. The thing about it is, chasing a dream for me isn’t some quest to attain this mythical artifact (the dream), but instead, it is just the chase. Sometimes you need to chase just to say that you chased. I wouldn’t mind chasing for a while, at least you’ll give your legs some work. For all I know the dreams I end up chasing may take me to the obscure corners of the earth after all, the may take me to crazy southern California, or they may plant me down in middle Tennessee for longer. Either way, I am now starting to once again see the excitement in life both long term and short term. Most importantly, my journey out here is done and I’m coming home. For now.

It’s good to be with friends no matter where you are. It’s good to be home, no matter how everything else is. I’ve missed all of my people back home, and I’ve missed plain home. All the while, I’ll miss the people I have spread out all over, as well as the places I’ve been familiar with in my life.

Really, it’s just good though.

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.