trance

there were never really any regrets
just this meticulous success that begets
a set of notions he sometimes suppressed.

and I am sorry for not understanding why
since I suppose I should certainly know,
of all people. possibly. it’s also probable

that perhaps it doesn’t matter much
because maybe most things don’t
matter much, meaning mondays

will almost always definitely suck.
because come time for monday, a lot
of us, quite frankly, don’t give a fuck.

and then there are those of us that do.
those that yearn; those that learn that
we have to earn the attention of the likes of you.

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Photo by Micki Spollen on Unsplash

 

Just Write – Depressive Thoughts

There’s a place I go when I close my eyes. I don’t know exactly where it is, or why I go there, but it exists and I do. A familiar environment that looks different every time I visit. My dreamscape. The place hidden behind my eyelids. This time, it wasn’t safe. I had to fight for survival earlier, but not before enjoying the benefits of interacting with other dreamers, me being lucid. Maybe…maybe it was my subconscious. Regardless, I knew I was asleep and made full use of my abilities. I think I got too excited and woke up early in the morning, but the depression put me right back to sleep.

I’ve…I have been feeling it a lot worse nowadays. Things that I have been trying to ignore are coming to the forefront. I was ignoring how I felt so well, only suffering briefly in moments that were real, but now? I feel terrible. They say your environment plays a part, but who knows. Part of me wants to just fix up this environment and get moving, but I don’t know if I’m capable. Rather, I’d rather indulge in the despair. Suffer first, reprieve later. All of the suffering is internal anyway. Looking at it, things are in my favor. There’s absolutely no other way to view it. Things aren’t the way I want them to be though…

I think that’s the issue. I don’t know what it is that I want. I don’t know what it is that I’m working toward. I have vague targets that I’m bound to hit and a general idea of what the future holds and the wherewithal to achieve those at a minimum. But my destination? That is the issue. Logically, I haven’t decided anything, but emotionally I have. I’ve tried to ignore it for the longest, but how could I? I seep nothing but emotion through my fingertips. It was for only so long that I could keep it from spilling into the places that it mattered: my head and my heart.

But who cares. I know thinking about it won’t change a thing. I know laying here won’t change a thing. I know feeling this won’t change a thing. Maybe that’s why the words I say won’t change a thing. I suppose it’s time for autopilot. To go back to the days where my body worked and my mind did not. I don’t think anyone could ever call that living, but it hurt a hell of a lot less. Given the internal circumstance, that’s the best I could ask for.

Expectations – Idle Thoughts

You know, I’m beginning to think I am starting to have expectations again. I don’t believe in those. The moment you have an expectation is the same moment in which you set yourself up for disappointment. Agree with me or don’t, I don’t really care either way, but let me ask you this: do you believe that this mindset leaves me bitter, sad and/or angry on a daily basis? I’ll give you the answer: it doesn’t. If that doesn’t make sense then that’s fine, but allow me to explain before you hold fast to your belief, either way, it swings.

An expectation is defined as a strong belief that something will happen. Typically, we expect that the sun will rise, we will wake, we will go on about our days, and then there will be a tomorrow with more of the same. Not the most glamorous description, but still true nonetheless. This is us expecting to live on a daily basis. There are very few reasons why we wouldn’t expect to wake up in the morning. Of course, not everything we expect is good. We all expect to die, we expect that most of us will have our hearts broken at least once, we even expect to get sick at some point in our lifetime. At least one of those things is guaranteed, but the rest of them are not. Due to our expectations, however, we begin to hold some of these things as a guarantee instead of a possibility.

Now I believe that whenever we expect something bad to happen and it doesn’t, there is always relief. It was a moment of stress you thought you had to face no matter what, and suddenly the entire incident is gone. Imaginary. There was nothing to worry about. It feels like a miracle and there is no greater feeling in the world. But the inverse? When something good we expect to happen does not? Well, all hell breaks loose. Our days go from great to terrible in an instant. Life is suddenly the most unfair force in the universe. Just to be clear, it always has been; it just never quite feels that way until things don’t go your way.

I’d like to clarify something now. When I say “something good,” I’m not referring to perfect birthday parties or even people keeping their promises. When I say good, I’m talking about basic things: that your car will start in the morning, that your shoes will stay tied the entire day. Things like the bus being on time or your significant other being in a good mood. These are good things that happen on a daily basis. Just because they have happened consistently without fail up to this point doesn’t mean that things won’t change tomorrow. We are all creatures of habit and history has a tendency to repeat itself, but things always going as planned or as expected is the exception, not the rule.

Keeping this in mind, imagine going through life with the expectation nothing you want to happen ever will, but everything you don’t want to happen is going to. As long as you don’t let despair settle into your soul, you will be fine. As long as you believe that you in control and capable of changing the things that are set in stone around to work in your favor, you will be fine. As long as you remember that sometimes the unexpected can be the most pleasant of surprises, then you will be fine. I don’t expect the world to be terrible. I just don’t expect it to be great. I get proven wrong each and every single day, and I am fine with that. It’s what I always hope for anyway.

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Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Blame – Idle Thoughts

Blame is a word I haven’t thought about in a long while. It’s a concept I haven’t thought about in a long while either, not in a traditional sense at least. When I think of blame, I imagine explicitly deferring a problem to a specific person. There is always something major that happened, but the fault lies with the person being blamed. It’s specific, it’s concrete, it’s in your face. With blame, there is the accuser and the accused, and at some point, the accuser will look the accused in eyes and tell them that they are the problem, regardless of whether it is true or not. Yeah, I’m above blame. I must be if I nearly forgot about the word, right? Of course not. It is never that simple.

Blame was prevalent back when I was younger. In those days, when something went wrong, we looked at who we thought (or who we wanted) to be the problem and pointed it out. Skipping school? It was Chester’s fault. Missed an assignment? My sister’s fault, she stole my pencils. Are you noticing something here? Blame is defined as the responsibility for a fault or wrong. All I did was assign that blame to something or someone else. That doesn’t work when you’re older. People defend themselves with alibis and histories of integrity. As adults, we don’t blame anymore. It is not a valid way to deal with problems that others will accept. Instead, we come up with excuses.

An excuse is defined as a reason or explanation to defend or justify a fault. So what does that mean? Excuses are just subtle ways to blame other people and things for our own mistakes. Excuses are blame laced with sympathy, relatability, and the idea that the entire ordeal was completely unavoidable. It’s crafty. It’s wrong sometimes, but it can feel good. I have definitely taken advantage of poor situations I have found myself in to develop reasonable excuses for inaction, and I’ll be the first to tell you if no one else has: it sucks. There is temporary relief and release, and sometimes a small part of it is necessary. But what about the people who had valid excuses that just didn’t seem believable? The excuses that weren’t relatable enough, or the excuses that just couldn’t elicit any sympathy? The valid excuses that have been reduced to simple blame for someone’s own selfish sake?

Those situations are unfortunate, and I don’t think I can do much to keep them from happening. What I can do is respect the incidents that truly leave individuals incapable of doing anything. I can do the only thing I know how: move forward. We all have excuses, that much we can agree on. But how many of those are real? How many of these excuses are just us blaming something or someone else for our own laziness? Trying to justify ourselves for the sake of our ego at the expense of our dreams. It is despicable, especially for the people who can’t, and they are often the ones who change their realities by doing the impossible. Even if the excuse is valid, who really cares? At the end of the day, you are only hurting yourself. At the end of the day, my excuses have only hurt me. So own them. Accept them. Release them. I’ll do the only thing I can do in the aftermath: move forward.

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Just Write – Jigsaw

I recently watched Daniel Sloss’ Netflix comedy special Jigsaw. It is less of a comedy show and more of a commentary, changing lives and making you think the way only good comedy can. I highly suggest everyone watches it, but for those who get offended easily, you have been warned.

Strip the show of its jokes and at the core, we have a conversation about the meaning of life. Sloss explains that his father taught him life is like a jigsaw puzzle without the box. We all have our pieces and we’re trying to put together an image without knowing what we’re working towards. We start with the corners, things like family, hobbies, work, or religion; we take those and begin to form who we are by creating the outline to our puzzle. Eventually, we begin to construct something stable, working closer toward the image we are trying to discover. The life-changing question that young Sloss asked his father was “what goes in the middle of the puzzle?” His father gave the same answer that America gives us as a society: your other half. Your lover. Your soul mate.

Sloss explains that we are taught from an early age that we are all broken and incomplete, and that we must find someone to make us feel whole again. Bombarded with this ideal our entire lives, we tend to force the first person we find into the center of our jigsaw puzzle, rearranging things to make them fit, moving out the things they don’t like. The thing is, these people aren’t puzzle pieces. They are people just like yourself with their own jigsaw puzzle they are trying to solve.

We all want love so badly that we shove other humans beings into our puzzle and pretend that the end result makes us happy, even if it doesn’t fit. That isn’t to say that every jigsaw with someone else in the center is wrong. For your puzzle, it might be perfect. It just might be the missing piece that you had been looking for. For most of us though? That simply isn’t true. Even if it is, it doesn’t mean it’s the piece we need when we’re trying to jam it in there.

Sloss revealed closer to the end of his special that he believes his father was right, but only partly. He believes that there is a big hole in the middle that needs to be filled, but the missing piece is different for everyone. For someone like his father, the missing piece was love. But for others, it could be a combination of little hobbies, a career, or literally anything else at all. It’s up to us to discover that. It’s up to us to realize that maybe the relationship we are in doesn’t necessarily fit our jigsaw puzzle when it would be easier for the other person to die than to break their heart for what we consider to be no good reason. No one wants to tell someone who has done nothing wrong that you just don’t love them anymore. That just doesn’t happen, but Sloss suggest that maybe it should. We’re too busy sacrificing our happiness for the fear of hurting someone else who doesn’t deserve it, and because we believe this is how love should be.

Love should be effortless. All the pieces in your puzzle should fit together seamlessly, and if they don’t? Maybe it’s time to reconsider what goes there. If we have shoved a significant other in there and kept them hostage despite wondering if this is all love is, maybe it’s time to break up. If we can’t love 100% of ourselves, then how can we expect someone else to? If you love yourself at less than 100%, and someone comes to love you a little bit more, it seems like a lot. But if you love yourself at 100%, then it’s gonna take someone pretty special to come love all of you, the good and the bad, to make you feel even happier.

If no one ever fits, maybe that’s for the best. But if you are happier alone than you are with the person you’re dating, engaged or even married to, maybe your partner piece is not the center of your jigsaw. The center of your jigsaw should be your happiness piece. Everything else will fall in place around it. But if that person that you are with isn’t it? Replace them with the things that do make you happy. Each and every one of us deserves it. Besides, there are 7.5 billion people on this planet. You’re bound to meet someone who fits into your life as perfectly as you do theirs.

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Mistakes – Idle Thoughts

Mistakes. I make them. You make them. There isn’t a single person that doesn’t make a mistake or two in their life. So why do we punish ourselves for the smallest bit of imperfection? Quitting new things altogether if we can’t catch on quick enough, or when we mess up the way people do when they try something new for the first time: always. There are exceptions to what we fuck up, but it is a rule that we will inevitably embarrass ourselves by botching something. Still, this is how we learn. Through error.

Do you remember being a child learning how to walk? Probably not, but maybe you’ve seen one try. Placing one stubby leg in front of the other, consistently and awkwardly until it falls flat on its ass. Right then and there most of us would give up. I mean obviously, it is stupid in this context. Maybe you’re thinking that you need to walk so, of course, you wouldn’t give up. But hasn’t there been so many other things that you have needed that you just decided to give up on? Maybe it was a person or a job. No, it’s never that. Those are just the means. It was yourself that you gave up on. You and your own happiness.

Don’t try to rationalize it now because you’ve already done that. You have already convinced yourself that happiness isn’t necessarily something you need, or at least it’s not worth fighting for if it isn’t easy. It might sound like I’m preaching, but honestly, these words are for myself. I get so stuck on how something is supposed to happen that I often forget to be grateful for the fact that it has happened at all. The walking? I’ve rationalized that there are people who can’t walk and they seem perfectly fine so maybe I just wasn’t meant to walk. Maybe this goal just wasn’t meant for me to reach.

I do believe there are some goals that we just aren’t meant to grasp because they give us purpose, let me be clear on that. But all of them? Each and every one unobtainable? Preposterous. So what if I can’t play the song without messing up every other note. So what if I don’t get first place in some competition. So what if I fall flat on my ass after trying to walk. If it wasn’t supposed to happen, I wouldn’t be filled with this immense desire to achieve this one goal.

Maybe things don’t always work out. But how would I know that if I wasn’t willing to fall flat on my ass? How many failures away am I from success? How many time have I ever actually failed? It’s all a learning experience anyway. Each time I fell I understood what not to do for the next time. I think as a society we’ve become so interested in the end result that we’ve forgotten just how important the journey is. It’s why I fell in love with learning in the first place. It wasn’t necessarily about the end result, although that was nice. It was about all the things I would discover on my way to some destination. I just have to be willing to get lost. I just have to be willing to fall.

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Just Write – Drifting

Ten years ago, I was 11 years old. Ten years ago, my life began to take a definitive shape. Ten years ago…it’s hard to believe it, but a lot has happened in the past ten years. I mean, it’s 10% of a century, of course a lot has happened, but sometimes it’s hard to believe. I don’t know where the rest of you were ten years ago, but I was on the south side of Chicago, either in school or sitting in my front room in front of a computer.

The internet was really beginning to take shape then. Twitter, MMOs, Myspace. Things were definitely different then. Inside of my ears right now, old music from that time is playing. A cover of Alison Sudol’s Almost Lover. Do you know it? Can you hear it? Where were you when I began to really develop my passion for words, setting the stage for the next decade? Meeting the people who I’d talk to on and off; popping in and out of their lives as indiscriminately as I check in and out of my own. Checking out of reality to escape. Getting lost in a book, movie, or maybe a TV show. The medium is irrelevant. I always loved to fantasize as a child. So is the way of people like me: Taureans if you’re into astrology; INFP if Myer Briggs is more of your thing.

I remember reading this somewhere five years ago: every five years 98% of the cells in your body are completely replaced. Every five years we are literally no longer the people we used to be. Actually, thinking about it now, maybe it’s seven years, but let’s roll with five. I am only 2% of the person I was when I discovered this. I am only .04% of the person I was ten years ago when I began to realize who I was as a person. Obviously, life isn’t like that. I don’t become a new person every few years or so just because some cells die, but it does make for an interesting explanation about change.

I’m just writing words though. A stream of unedited consciousness with no real goal beyond being something interesting to read. Maybe the words will make you think. Maybe they’ll make me think. Or maybe they’re just words and we all spend too much time reading into everything…

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