The Call to Write

I’ve been inspired to write. Not on any particular topic, just to write for the sake of writing. I’ve been in a rut. I maybe go as far as saying I’ve been in a two year rut. How can one claim to be a writer when they don’t write? I keep telling myself that I need to re-read the War of Art; a great book that talks about the mental block that prevents artists from producing work, mostly due to their own feelings of inadequacies.

What’s the point of being an artist?

Luckily, I’m definitely not in it for the fame or money. Sure, it would always be good to make a little bit more money, but in general, I’m an introvert and value my privacy. I feel like fame and being thrown into the spotlight would be disorienting and uncomfortable. In an ideal world, I could be like Warhol and just send out look-alikes to do my public appearances. I digress.

I think I’m a writer because I want to tell (mostly nonfiction) stories that will strike a chord and move my audience. I think that’s what all good art does, it touches you in the feels. So, I guess in a way, any art can be good, because people perceive things in different ways, but in general, I want my art to be appreciated by the majority of people that are exposed to it.

I’m a horrible self-promoter with even worse self-esteem. I went on a date with this Caucasian guy years ago who told me the “real reason” that they aren’t any major Asian superstars is because they’re horrible self-promoters. I think it’s a little more complicated than that. (Side note: That guy also didn’t get a second date) I don’t think my race plays a huge role in why I stop myself from producing work.

The worst part of my two year rut is seeing others so freely promote their work. And in most cases, I questioned their artistic ability. The stuff they are trying to peddle just isn’t that good, in my opinion at least. But I was incredibly envious at all of the noise they were making telling the world to look at all of the wonderful art they created. Meanwhile, I’m sitting in front of a computer with writer’s block questioning if my so-called writing talent is nothing but a self-delusion like theirs.

I rarely share my work. I mean, my real work. The passion projects.  Every time I do, I get good response, but I feel like I show those things to my friends or people that would be too polite to tell me that I was wasting my time and that I should put forth my energy into other activities besides writing. When I look at all the loud promoters that are shitty artists, I think, surely, someone must have told them that their end products just aren’t that good. Or maybe not, because I know I don’t have the balls to tell it to these people such things.

Recently, my friend started painting. I don’t think she has a background in painting, but she is a musician among having other talents. She rarely posts pictures on Facebook, but when I do see things that she’s created it strikes a chord. It’s amazing. It’s not even the type of art that I collect or know much about, but it still moves me.

I think that’s what I’m aiming for. When you do shit from the depths of your soul and simply create without any expectations or ego, people can tell and they end up really digging it. I don’t really know the loud self-promoting artists, but I’m not thoroughly convinced that they really can tap into that place. I just don’t know. Maybe having a smidge of talent might be important, too. I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. I just know that I wrote today.

If only Michael Jackson songs could change the world…

This has been a bad week. I’m fine, but the world around me looks like an ugly place. I wasn’t fully aware of the details of the Charleston shooting, until I was off work on Thursday and started reading the news articles. How could this happen? Why did this happen? I’m neither Christian nor black, but this really affected me. I guess I have to say I’ve been pretty upset over the treatment of African Americans, but this particular shooting had me in tears. Maybe it’s because on the car ride home, I hit (and probably killed an innocent squirrel that was in the middle of the road and didn’t move, making this the second animal that I’ve run over in the span of 6 days.)  I know, all I watch is documentaries about murder, so I shouldn’t be so sensitive to things. I guess it’s a positive thing that I am still in touch with being a human being. Maybe it’s because for the past seven years, I’ve hung around different places of worship, not with an intention to seek God or religion, but to find a safe haven for myself to heal from my past and to carve out my own little place in the world. It’s horrible that good, innocent people that gathered in house of worship, in hopes to better themselves and live life as good people were murdered just over the color of their skin, but had nothing to do about the good people that they are.

There was a brief moment in the past 30 days, where I had hope.  Ellen, a lesbian network daytime talk show host is loved by America. Caitlin Jenner, an American hero, transitions and comes out to the world as herself, and the world is not only accepting, but for the most part is in love with her. It was so easy to look at the progress for LGBT rights, while easily overlooking the racial divide in our country.  And all I can think about is; what can I do to make things right? How can I help? In my personal life, I’m coming across similar issues of being targeted for being different. There is literally nothing I can do to change people. There’s really nothing I can do (in my best interest) to change things. If I can recall words of wisdom from elders that I respect, I have control over my attitude that includes my reactions and actions that I take after the fact, but I felt my light dim this week. How can this be the world that I live in? How is it even possible that these things are still happening? Even through experience of knowing that’s the way things are, I just cannot reconcile the fact that bad things happen to good people, and sometimes it’s even worse to watch good things happen to bad people. That’s life. But, how can I continue to have a good attitude and remain hopeful with today, as things stand in the present moment? I guess all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going and try to be of service to the world around me as much as I can.

Words. Words. Words.

  • Death is a hard one for me to deal with. Next to heartbreak, I would rank death harder to deal with than when I have to deal with being sick of being in extreme physical pain.

    Yesterday, I got news that the guy I went to prom with’s older brother was hit by a car while cycling with friends on PCH. Later in the day, I read the news that Robin Williams took his own life.

    Robin Williams’ death is sad and it hits close to home, but I really didn’t feel as torn up as some of my other “friends” on “Facebook.” No, I wouldn’t call this “the saddest day ever” for myself, nor would I have called him “the best comedian that ever lived.” Ironically, and despite this coming across like as really cold hearted, but the most impactful Robin Williams film for me was “What Dreams May Come,” which ironically is about what happens after death. We had it on VHS at home, and I don’t know why I liked to rewatch it. Probably, because I was so emotionally scarred from the “Hearse Song” from the book “Scary Stories” that any positive story to tell me what was going to happen when I died, I would rather compulsively try to re-brainwash myself into believing that. It’s weird. In that film, Robin Williams kids / Robin Williams were killed by cars. And his wife takes his own life. She ends up going to hell. Robin Williams leaves Heaven to try to save her.

    I don’t know why this is what is coming to mind when I heard about both deaths and Robin William’s overall work during his life. I don’t know why it bothers me that I feel like people are being a bit too dramatic and concerned with expressing how sad they are right now. What about my friend’s brother’s life? What about the other deaths going on in the world? What about their families that are left behind? I don’t know why this feels exactly like last summer when people were claiming PTSD over the Red Wedding shit. For me, there are so many unknowns about death / my death. I can’t completely say for certain that I’ve ruled suicide out as an option for how I’m going to leave the planet. Am I doing everything in my power to not end up that way? Yes. Do I have this completely licked? No. Do I have all the answers? No. Do I feel hopeless today? No. Is there an unlimited amount of resources to help me and other suffering from the same thing if we choose to seek help? Absolutely.

    In other news, I hope this guy kills himself.
    http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/08/12/robin-williams-didnt-die-disease-died-choice/

  • How to Love a Girl Who Doesn’t Know How to be Loved

    Whether we know it or not, we’ve all met some form of the typical “Miss Independent.”

    Some of us know her better than others; some of us claim that title ourselves.

    She’s the self-sufficient, somewhat mysterious go-getter with big dreams and an even bigger heart, though not everyone sees it at first glance.

    Some might see her as cold and distant, because she needs a significant amount of alone time to keep her from feeling scattered and spread so thin that she disappears. Sure, she has family and friends with whom she loves to spend much of her time, but it’s in her nature to crave those precious hours of solitude—being only with her thoughts, completely alone in a crowd or in the vastness of a quiet scene.

    Some call it antisocial; she calls it sanity.

    For any or all of these reasons and then some, she’s never been the type to “fall in love.” In fact, if she has ever been in a relationship to any degree, it was likely one of the most difficult and confusing things she’s ever experienced—and she’s not usually one to be deterred.

    Perhaps she’s too focused on her goals to realize that love could be knocking on her door, or she’s so comfortable with being in control that the thought of surrendering even a little bit to someone else makes her uneasy. There’s also a chance that, despite her outward confidence and undeniable potential for success, she’s extremely insecure.

    Or, maybe she’s simply afraid of opening herself up enough to be loved.

    Whatever the reason, it comes down to the fact that this girl probably doesn’t know how to handle the love that a suitor might want to give her. It doesn’t mean she’s a lost cause, it just means that developing any kind of relationship with her will require an approach that’s more sensitive to her guarded heart.

    In an effort to offer some insight, here are a few pointers for learning how to love a girl who doesn’t know how to be loved:

    1. Be patient.

    Don’t expect her to feel comfortable with diving headfirst into anything even slightly resembling romance. Keep in mind, it’s probably taken her a great deal of contemplation and courage to even consider spending her time with you. And if she does appear comfortable responding to your first moves, it’s quite possible that she’s actually terrified of what you’ll think of her if she asks to slow things down. So, she just musters the strength to submit herself to the moment, only to spend all night feeling horrible about her dishonesty and inability step on the brakes. This will freak her out enough to make her sever whatever ties were made and withdraw immediately—something she’s not afraid to do.

    To avoid that, let things unfold at a pace that feels natural, which might be slower than what’s considered “normal.” Remember, she’s not used to this, and too much at once will surely send her over the edge. Showing sensitivity to her pace will let her know that she doesn’t have to fear being out of control, causing a miscommunication or feeling the pressure of time.

    2. Talk.

    Because she spends so much of her time alone and in her head, this girl might be under the impression that her thoughts and opinions are a bit too intense for others. She rarely shares the things on her mind, as she fears that whatever’s in there is so deep and inquisitive that people will think it’s overdramatic, oddly philosophical or just plain weird. She values deep conversation, but feels that she can exercise this pleasure with relatively few people, if any at all.

    So talk with her. Let her know that she can say what’s on her mind, and don’t be afraid of her ability to dissect every possible meaning of a theory she’s been hung up on for weeks. If she apologizes for rambling about it, tell her she doesn’t need to be sorry, she doesn’t need to suppress it. Make her feel that although she is certainly unique for having such thoughts, she isn’t crazy or abnormal.

    Tell her it makes her all the more beautiful.

    And then, give it right back to her. Be sure to engage in her contemplations just as much as you listen; she wants to hear your thoughts more than you realize.

    3. Support her.

    Part of this girl’s struggle with letting herself be loved could be that she is relentlessly focused on her dreams and goals, so much so that she forgets to make room in her life for other things—like relationships. It’s not something she does intentionally, she’s just extremely determined to achieve whatever she has set out to do.

    If she is forced to make a choice between a love life and her goals, she’s already chosen the latter. So don’t make her choose.

    And certainly don’t make her feel guilty for not spending more of her time with you as a result—she’ll take that as another sign that she needs to sever the ties, even if they’re stronger at this point.

    Instead, support her. If you really love this girl and she really loves you, then she’ll welcome the encouragement. She’ll want to support you, too. Let her; with a heart as passionate as hers, you’ll want her on your team.

    4. Don’t be two halves of a whole, be two wholes that make an even greater whole.

    Remember that this “Miss Independent” is just that—an independent chick with an ability to fend for herself. She might even be afraid of relying on others, no matter how much she trusts them.

    Therefore, don’t think of a relationship with her as one that joins two halves together to make a whole; she won’t treat it as such, and she definitely won’t feel comfortable if you do. Rather, see it as two wholes becoming an even greater whole—two individuals who love each other enough to respect the other’s independence and uniqueness.

    This includes honoring her need for alone time. She realizes that you are a person with or without her and asks that you see her in the same way. Being able to spend time apart is important to her; she doesn’t want to rely on your presence, nor does she want you to rely on hers.

    Don’t try to spend every hour of every day with her unless you want her to feel so bombarded that she tailspins into a mess of tears, word vomit and utter confusion, ending with her breaking it off and swearing to never interact with another human ever again.

    But when you are together, be together. Completely. Let her know she is loved until she begins to understand what that feels like, and then keep doing it. If it’s right, she’ll come around. And because she’s loyal by nature, she’ll stick around, too (so don’t give her any reason to think that you won’t).

    Truly, this girl has a lot of love to give, even if she’s a bit awkward in showing it at first. She just needs time—time to figure things out for herself, to better understand how this works.

    Let her figure out that deep down, she just wants to love and be loved—just like everyone else.

    If she happens to let you close enough to love her, take it seriously. It means she’s trying. It means she wants to love you. And remember that helping her learn how to be loved in return is the surest way to win her heart.

     

     

    Originally seen via Sara Rodriguez on

    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/03/how-to-love-a-girl-who-doesnt-know-how-to-be-loved/

    Life After Death

    It’s weird how my perspective on something can shift in the matter of a day.

    Here are three events that happened that made me think about death this week.

    1. Paul Walker’s death

    Recently, the star of all of  “The Fast and the Furious” films died in a car accident. Yeah, I get it. It was sad, he was young and the way he went was tragically ironic.  What bothered me, though, were the Facebook posts from my friends about how torn up they were about it.  Personally, I had more important things on my mind that mattered, namely, my good friend’s 4 year old son’s second kidney transplant that was happening and how traumitized the little kid gets before each surgery and the following pain he would have to face.  Why was everyone so upset about Paul Walker?  Because he was hot and famous?  I didn’t know the guy. Was he a good person?  Was he a good father?  Was he of service to the world?  Later in the week, I found out that he started dating his girlfriend when he was 33 and she was only 16.  So, yeah, I wasn’t all that torn up that another pedophile was wiped off the face of the Earth.  I saw his death as Evolutionary Psychology.

    2. Scary Stories on the Silver Screen

    On Wednesday, I found out that this book series that I read as a child, called “Scary Stories” was going to be made into a movie.  I have no idea why my parents thought it would be a good idea to buy these books for me, because they pretty much traumatized me.  One particular chapter, “The Hearse Song,”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hearse_Song, talked about what happens to your body after you died and it really freaked me out.  I would have panic attacks at night, laying in bed, knowing I couldn’t get up otherwise my parents would be really pissed at me, thinking that essentially that’s it feels like after you die.  You’re fully conscious of everything that’s going on, but paralyzed, six feet under, in a very dark casket, aware of the worms eating your body.  On Thursday, I talked to my therapist about this feeling I had as a child and she asked me when I stopped thinking death was going to be like that. I told her my best guess was when I was in the sixth grade and my so-called friends bullied me and I started wishing I were dead that I had stopped fearing it.   My therapist asked me what I thought today happens when you die. I told her, “Nothing. It’s the end. Nothing happens. I cease to exist”

    3. Dennis Blake’s Death

    On Friday, I heard that a friend from the rooms suddenly, unexpectedly, passed away in his sleep.  He was younger than my parents by a few years, and while I wasn’t extremely close to him, he was a great guy, and I really liked him.  It was sad and shocking to hear, but overall, I can see the big picture and accept that death is just another facet of life, and there really wasn’t anything I could do that could change what would happen.  I’ve known Dennis for coming up on six years.  He would always share about his wife that passed away before I had come into the rooms, and how much he loved her and missed her. While, I had never let the lady, hearing Dennis and his stepson share about her, I knew she must have been a true lady of recovery that I would have respected.  As soon as I heard the news on Friday, it was while processing Dennis’ death that I started hoping that, at least for him (I don’t even need this to be true to myself, but just hoping and wishing that for him, that there was something after death, where he could finally be with his wife that he loved so much.  I went to his funeral today.  I didn’t think I would, but I cried.  It was sad. It was sad to see the people who loved him so much, really upset.  I went to pay my respects to the family, and hoping there would be answers, if anything maybe like affirmation that he was in fact, now with his wife.  Dennis’ two stepsons made mention of it, but it still wasn’t really enough proof for me, and it still seems like this big existential question I keep thinking about knowing that I may never know the answer.  But I do really, truly, honestly hope for Dennis that he’s with his wife.  And for the past six years, I know that when I hope and wish and pray and have love for other people that eventually it turns into a smidge of returned feelings that I have for myself, so while I’m confused and sad now, I know that this experience is just another thing that will essentially help me learn, grow, and love myself more.

    So, maybe, even if there isn’t some after life or heaven or whatever religion can come up, maybe moments that I had after someone’s death does spark a new thought or just the experience alone within someone else brings about a new life after any death.  So, if anything, I can comfort myself with that thought for now that at least there will be something after my own death that would make me happy.