Sunday, February 4, 2018

Finding the way

For as long as I can remember, I've had this dream, no... goal, to be a writer.   I want to write a novel - to actually finish writing a novel.   I've written a lot over the years, and I can't seem to find that perfect thing to write that actually gets me to the end.   And it makes me wonder if that's actually ever been a realistic dream for me. Am I even capable of completing something like that?  Has it been stupid to hold on to that for so long?

*insert heavy sigh*

It's hard to re-evaluate dreams you've been holding since childhood.  And I don't think this one needs to be completely abandoned, but I don't think I have any idea how to move forward with it. For years, I've been participating in the November Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I usually manage to reach the 50,000-word goal.  But I do absolutely nothing with the writing once the month is over.   And most of the time, it's because I know, even as I'm writing, that there's nothing of value in the words I'm choosing. No, that's not right.   It's not that there's nothing of value - there are bits of things that could be good, in another story at another time.   But there's nothing cohesive, or coherent, or usable as a story.   I start with great intentions, and usually, even an idea that I think is fabulous.   But I rely on my muse, and my characters to speak to me, which is a total cop-out.  I need to practice more and write more when it's not November so that I know that I have something to say during that timeframe.   And maybe I can build something more useful then.  I need to know what I want to say, and what voice I need to write that in before I start.   I need to find my writer's voice.

Which probably means that I need to figure out who I actually am.  I'm trying to do that.   I thought I had a pretty good grasp on it.  But it seems perception from outside of me, is very different than who I thought I was.  And besides that, I built my impression on myself, who I thought I was, around what other people thought of me.   That's probably the dumbest idea ever because no one out there has to live with this person in here.   I'm the only one who has to do that.   I need to make sure that I know me, and like me before I try to share that person with anyone.   And before I try to write about anyone else, fictional or not.

As I continue this journey to find myself, and on some level fix myself, I need to really evaluate what I want to do with myself - in my work and personal lives.  I'm okay with everything the way that it is, but okay is not happy... and that means it's really not okay.  I don't need to be a bundle full of perky energy all the time, but I do need to be content with life, and positive that I'm moving in a direction that keeps me content with life.  Life has ups and downs, I know that.   But also know that I need to be able to handle both directions with the same grace and kindness and to be mindful of where those peaks and valleys lead me.

And maybe that road will have a fork that leads me toward my dream.   Or maybe it will lead me somewhere completely different.  I just need to be confident enough in myself that I trust in whichever direction I choose.

Monday, January 22, 2018

When friendships fade

It used to be a simple thing when friendships shifted out of tune and people faded from your life.  They used to just go away, and you didn't see them anymore.   You had some great memories, but unless you ran into them on the street somewhere, or made some valiant gesture to try to keep them in your life, they were just gone.

With all the various forms of social media, if you've friended or tagged or snapped with that person, you still see their presence in the world.  As a Facebook friend you have to watch as their life goes on without you.   It's not really painful; it just makes you wonder how you could be forgotten.   The person continues doing and talking about things you used to have in common.  And you see them doing that unless you take that big final step.  You unfriend them.   That in itself is a hard thing to do, be use it's not as if you have any hard feelings toward them, or had a fight, or a falling out, you just lost touch.  You both stopped making the effort to keep each other. (And let's face it, with social media, it doesn't take a whole lot of effort anymore.)  Maybe, you wonder, if you keep being connected on Facebook (or Twitter or Instagram) you might find a way back to that friendship.

Or maybe it will always just be this sad reminder of what you used to have.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

So here's the thing...

I didn't have a great year last year.   I had a lot of disappointments - mostly in myself, and the way I handled the year.   Which is why I did not do my normal end of the year wrap up, and then start off the year posts.

I have goals for this year - I absolutely have goals for the year.   But they're a little different than they've been in the past.  This year, I've decided is the year to be aware.  Aware of myself, aware of every moment, and aware of life in general.   I want to stop blaming myself for things in the past because it's over and I can't change it.  And I want to stop worrying about the future because I can't change what I don't know is going to happen.  I can't control it.  I need to focus on the moment in front of me, and figure out how to make that moment the best moment it can be.  Make the best choices in that moment, and be the best me that I can be at that moment.

It sounds nuts when I write it down, but it's important.   I didn't like me much last year, especially in the last couple of months.  I was letting other people's perceptions and expectations convince me that I wasn't good enough.  I don't want to do that anymore.   I am good enough, and I need to remember that.  Every single day.

Part of that process is journaling every day, which is why I'm not blogging.  But the journaling is more about reminding myself about the good in life.  I literally started it with the theory that I would write down at least one good thing about the day.  Every day.   It was the only way that I kept myself sane late last year.   It's been remarkably fabulous actually, and I'm finding that I write more and more every day, because I'm beginning to realize that there really is good in every day.

I read something a few weeks ago that said humans tend to focus on the negative moments.   For example, if you have a regular day, nothing exceptional, but perfectly acceptable, and then you have an argument that takes up 5% of that day.   You will say that it's a completely awful day.  It sucks.  It was horrible.   But it was really just that 5%.   You could have been having the best day of the year, until that 5% of the day, and you'd still say the entire day sucked.   It's remarkable when you think about a life that way.   And makes you realize how much of life we're pushing aside to focus on that negative moment.   It's insane.

And so, my goal this year is to have a good year.  Not great.  Not exceptional.  But good, because I want to focus on the good moments, and let go of the negative ones.   If I'm not good enough for someone and they try to make me feel bad about it, then that's their loss, because I will find something positive to take out of the interaction.   I'm already finding that I'm less stressed by handling things that way.   I'm exhausted because being present in every moment takes a lot of work at first, but I'm getting there.   And I feel good about it.

Which leads me to this blog.   I do want to write more.  And since I'm journaling every day, I am technically writing more.  But I do want to make use of this blog, so I think I'm going to set myself a goal to write here at least every two weeks, and maybe even every week.   It may just be about things that have struck me as interesting from my journal.  Or it might be things in the news or interesting random facts that I feel like rambling about.  But I do have a goal to be here more.  And I want to stick to that.   Because part of being aware is making notes about that awareness, and sharing that awareness with others.  And this might be just the right medium for me to do that.

And that is the story of my life right now.  In this moment.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of another year

Another year is coming to a close.  And I once again, have not kept up with the blogging.  Did I post even once this year?  Other than posting random musical content that is.  I doubt it.  I'm not even go to check.  Instead I'm going to focus on a minimal update and what I hope to accomplish in the new year. 

What to say about this year.  It's been incredibly depressing in the loss of celebrity life.  Just in the last two weeks, we've lost George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.  Then add to that Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Alan Thicke.  So many that I can't even list them all.  Something like 110 celebrity or entertainment related deaths this year.  It's crazy.  So, for that reason it's good that 2016 is coming to a close.  And hopefully 2017 won't follow the same path. 

Personally, on the topic of loss, my Shea passed away in October, and it's been harder to deal with than I expected.  I've lost other pets previously, but this was just different somehow.  I guess probably because I've never lived outside of my parents home without her.  And now I have to.  The goal is to get another kitty-baby, but we need to do some renovations on my place before that can happen, so I'm waiting. 

I've settled in at my new job, though as an organization we've been going through some pretty major transition which is due to change again starting Tuesday.  I've been working part time again for the Christmas season, and with the part-time job and the full-time job and the going to the gym I'm pretty close to burning out, so while I enjoy the part-time position, I'm glad that it will be coming to an end.  I need proper rest, and to stop stressing myself out. 

Otherwise life has been just life.  There are parental health concerns, and general other issues, but I can't control any of that, so I need to just go with the flow, and let it go.

Which basically leads to  figuring out my goals for the upcoming year. 
1) Stop living in my head - stop overthinking and over analyzing everything.  Just let life happen as it does, and enjoy the moments, but don't obsess over them.
2) Eat better, take better care of myself.
3) Read more consistently.  - I found this year that I was trying to cram in the books that I needed to finish my (decreased) goal.  I need to plan better so that I don't get that far behind again this year.
4) Write more.  Blogging or storytelling.  It doesn't matter.  Just do it.  More often.  More consistently.
5) Be more organized.  Tidy up after myself.  Purge things that I don't need anymore.  Stop being a hoarder.
6) Be more financially responsible.

All of these things are actually related to making myself feel better.  I spend money on things I don't need and eat things that I shouldn't eat when I'm stressed and then I don't feel like doing anything productive because I'm thinking of myself as such a slacker, so what's the point? It's really a big endless cycle.  Concentrate on all those things individuallly and they should all work themselves out. And it should work out to me being less moody, and more positive. 

I'm down with giving it a try anyway. That's the goal for this year.  End on a happier, healthier, more productive note.  Not too tall an order, is it?