Growing Pains

Wow! I suck at posting so far this year. Have not touched this thing in at least 6 weeks. Not really sure why, but part of it is probably due to my uncertainty as to what to do with this thing exactly. Last year, I tried a thrice a week post schedule with specific topics/ideas for each day. I actually enjoyed the structure of the writing, yet I don’t know if I should keep it up within that parameter. I could revert to a more personal journal or blog style, but the random posting of whenever I feel like it does not really appeal to me at the moment. Plus, I will probably not post much if I do. So, not sure what I will do, but I think I’ll figure something out soon.

That’s kind of what this year has been so far even though it’s only been two months. I had made a few moves to get the hell out of dodge, so to speak. So far, I have only received rejection. It sucks, obviously, but it has not been as bad or devastating as I thought it would have been. Perhaps even just a few years ago, I would have been broken for a bit and stewed in my bitterness for awhile. Now, I read the rejections, made a mental not of their “suckage”, and went to perform my job minutes later. (Should be noted that I did kick some ass at work that day)

I guess that’s called ‘growth’ or something. Honestly, it was simply that I still need to leave my current circumstances and those avenues were closed off. I did what I could and it was not enough for those opportunities. That’s fine. All that really means is that I have to rely on other avenues that I am working on. Maybe that’s what I had trouble understanding before: that sometimes, no matter your efforts, things won’t workout simply because they won’t. At that point, I can wallow or move on and do something else. Before, I would do the former, but now I concentrate more on the latter. We’ll see if that makes a difference. If not, I’ll try something else. Not much else to do.

Time to get to work.

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Lessons From…Ozymandias

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog (and why wouldn’t you, honestly), you’ve probably noticed a trend of discussing legacy, immortality, and achieving some sense of greatness/grandeur that surpasses one’s lifetime. It is still a thought and desire that haunts, but I wanted to examine another perspective this time around. What are the results of such a dogged pursuit of immortality and infamy? Amazingly, I think the best possible answer comes from the past classics of all places; the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

  “I MET a Traveler from an antique land,
Who said, “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is OZYMANDIAS, King of Kings.”
Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!
No thing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that Colossal Wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

While the poem is pretty spectacular, there is something to be said for hearing it out loud by the right voice, so:

Although we foolish men try to create empires and totems and anything that will leave a mark on this Earth, everything we create will eventually crumble and turn to dust and ash and be retaken by the ground beneath us. Even though this knowledge should be deflating, I actually find it kind of inspiring. If everything we make is ultimately lost and forgotten by the ravages of time and nature, then the only thing that really matters is the act of creation.

After all, it is through the process that the transfer of knowledge, the evolution of art, and the growth of self actually occurs. And as much as my ego would love to be remembered long past my eventual demise, I also want to be worthy of that possibility, and that is not currently truth.

Besides, none of the past greats were trying to gain immortality; they were simply pursuing their art and passion. Acclaim was a happy accident. Maybe it will be one I am lucky to find as well. In the meantime, I will keep creating and pursuing perfection and be content in the process and where I finally land.

Thus endeth today’s lesson.

On Legacy

Why do we fear death? Or is it something else we truly fear: being forgotten and left behind? To be honest, I am okay with death. Hell, it’s inevitable. We all die, so why fear that certainty. No, my fear, and I suspect many others’, is being a blip in the grand play of humanity. Not even a footnote, just nothing.

For most people, their family and children will be the way their name continues in some form. For others, it will be their business ties or something else involving their work. That is fine. It’s expected.

But I guess I am just a little bit selfish. I want more than that. I want my name to last past my life, past my children’s lives, past several generations. I want to still be remembered long after my progeny is dead.

I just have to figure out how to do it. And if it is worth the effort. I hope so because gods know that I will sacrifice a lot to get there.

On Critiques

I have written about this before, but seems like it bears repeating/reexamination. YOU CAN CRITIQUE THE SHIT YOU SEE/HEAR/READ WITHOUT HATING, CONDEMNING, OR SUGGESTING ITS INFERIORITY. IN FACT, AS A GROWN ASS ADULT, YOU SHOULD DO THIS WITH EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

Seriously, WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK is wrong with people?!? When did fandom and attachment to the media we consume become this huge defining fixture that must be guarded and defended at all costs? And this is coming from a media obsesses nerd who has hour long debates as to the best Batman representation…on multiple occasions. And I am aware that even so, someone disagreeing with my opinion or saying something, legitimately negative or critical, about  my preferred media is not that big a deal or issue, especially if their criticism is valid.

Why is that so difficult to understand and accept?! Critiques of stuff you like have no bearing on you as a person/individual. Hell, your reaction to someone criticizing your preferred media says far more about you than the critique itself.

Look enjoy what you watch/hear/read and if someone criticizes it, either ignore it or come up with a better rebuttal. Otherwise, shut up and just keep enjoying your shit. It’s not that hard. Later dayz.

On Memory & Forgetting

I swear this was not the post I was intending to write today. In fact, I had two completely different ideas and themes I wanted to analyze and discuss, but I forgot what they were. Yeah that tends to happen…a lot. In all probability, I will most likely remember both those original thoughts half an hour after I post this blog. Or maybe if I close my eyes and relax, it will come back to me…

DAMMIT! Was really hoping that would actually work. Anyhow, I forget things quite often. I’ll have a random notion pop into my head and unless I talk about it with someone or write it down, it will just as easily evaporate from my mind. It genuinely sucks. I cannot imagine how many story ideas, characters, plot points, etc. I have lost this way. You would think I would have learned my lesson and actually write some of them down, right?

Perhaps there is a reason I didn’t make those random thoughts permanent. Maybe my recollection of them and their potential is far better than what they actually were. Yes those story ideas could have been pretty good, but they also could just as easily been utter garbage. Memory is funny that way.

I wonder how many experiences and possibilities I look fondly on from my past that were really horrendous and vice versa. How has my brain and ego shaped my past to fit a model and path that I unconsciously chose? It seems baffling and weird to think about memory and experience in that way, but it is the most honest analysis of how recollection functions. All of my past is slightly skewed to fit a preconceived model because it is filtered and limited through my perspective.

Which is probably why we forget things in the first place; we need to. In order to grow and evolve as individuals and a society, the ability to forget our pasts is crucial. I cannot imagine who I would be if I was still influenced by the ideas and events I experienced in elementary school. I mean, to be fair, a few (both good and bad) still linger in my head, but those were the highlights and not the full play by play. However, my current opinions, emotions, and thought process are informed by what I learned and felt during college and the few years following, and not by my memories of high school.

Forgetting is good. It frees up space for new experiences and emotions. And it works as a cleanse giving us the opportunity to become different from what we were; maybe better, maybe worse, but still different. When I was younger, the concept of complete voluntary recall seemed like such an awesome idea. Now, it’s nothing more than terrifying. I want to forget about that girl I had a crush on in middle school in order to focus on and make memories with someone new. And while I will still remember that class I failed a few years back, the feelings of despair and anxiety are thankfully in the past.

I most likely won’t remember everything I want to or forget every experience I rather not recall, but that’s how my brain works and so far I am satisfied with the highlights.

So anything you wish you could forget? Or remember? Or maybe you actually want total voluntary recall. Tell me in the comments.

On Memoir & Self Stories

Lately, I have been reading memoirs and advice books by celebrities, activists, academics, and experts on a variety of subjects. Seriously, my last major haul of literature involved autobiographical memoirs and advice books by Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Ronda Rousey, Felicia Day, Bruce Lee, and a random assortment of others. Not on my usual big fiction kick for some reason.

So, an obvious question comes to mind. Why the hell am I reading so many books about self-help, opportunity, and general self improvement? The apparent answer would probably be because they are written by people I like, follow (through social media; not in a creepy stalker way), and admire. While this is very true, it doesn’t seem to fully satisfy the query.

Beyond my admiration for the authors and interest in the subject matter, I honestly think my recent literary interests have more to do with my innate desire to change my circumstances and life in general. The texts I am reading don’t offer a plan or even a real ‘how-to’ of doing things; instead, they offer more a life story of how someone succeeded and some general advice as to how maybe you can have some success.

That’s the unfortunate truth: if you find someone’s success and life that you want to emulate, chances are that you won’t be able to because no one’s path is ever really the same. I can’t do the same things as my favorite author and expect to be like him mainly due to the fact that he has already done it. Essentially, the books have been more inspirational than instructional and to some degree they have actually been useful.

I am currently studying for a major test that I will be taking in October to apply for graduate programs. As well, I am beefing up my skills and resume to get a different job. Whatever happens, I know that I will not be in the same place (physically, emotionally, etc.) by next August because I just can’t for my own well being.

So, thanks to all the random writers and books that I have read for that. It was necessary and long coming. Any book or film or piece of media that has inspired you recently? Would actually be curious to know what it was and how it helped.