Lessons From…Justified

I have been recently watching the television show Justified. It is a great program that is available for streaming through Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. I have always been a sucker for Westerns, both traditional and modern. Add an old school grit and motto with a quick draw and I will waste several hours in front of a screen. Does not hurt that the acting is exquisitely done and the actors are not too bad to look at.

justified cast

While there are several seasons worth of episodes, there is one in particular that struck out to me. More specifically, a series of lines spoken by Winona Hawkins (Natalie Zea) in Season 3 Episode 6 “When the Guns Come Out.” There is a bit too much back story to fully go over, but the general idea is that Winona is pretty sick and tired of Raylan’s (Timothy Olyphant), her ex-husband and current baby daddy, shit and has moved on. Raylan, unsure of why she left, finds her and confronts her as to her reasons for her vanishing act. Her response is:

“Raylan, you remember that Monday night poker game you used to go to. You loved that game and come hell or high water you’d be at that game. I remember you chased a fugitive for 48 hours straight over the weekend with no sleep just to make that Monday night poker game. The point is, Raylan, if you really wanted to change something for me, you’d have done it already.”

The concepts of evolution and change have begun to interest me far more in my ongoing aging than they did in my youth. I suppose it is part of the whole growing up and figuring out who you are/supposed to be and all that jazz. I am just hoping it is not some existential, life-crisis bullshit, but it still has been on my mind. Hell, even the humorous articles I read on Cracked revolve around said subject. 

Frankly, the quote from Justified states how to best change and is the subject of today’s lesson. If you want to do something/anything, you will. This is not to suggest that accomplishing a goal will be easy. Truth be told, it will most likely be difficult, annoying, arduous, and take a Herculean amount of effort. However, if it is something you truly wish to make happen, you will. It is a hard fact that most will not take to heart, but does not make it any less true. It is a lesson that I have yet to fully integrate into my life, but one that I try to incorporate more and more with each passing day. Hopefully, one day it will no longer be a lesson, but simply a life motto that I live.

Thus endeth today’s lesson.

On Transitions

Only image of transition I could find that wasn't glasses.

Only image of transition I could find that wasn’t glasses.

Transitions are hard. Seriously, they are damn near impossible to write well and in an interesting way. In my job, I try to explain to my students (English teacher y’all) why transitions in writing are so important. After all, explaining the medical benefits of marijuana usage (I swear this has been a chosen writing topic for years now) in one paragraph and then incarceration possibilities in the following may be jarring for a reader.

Thus, you need to be able to flow from one paragraph into another without much trouble or random sentences or ideas. Cotton candy is delicious. Otherwise, there might be a bit of confusion in relaying information or conversing with your audience. I have high hopes that whoever reads this has a sense of humor and poetic justice.

While transitions are important in writing and narrative works, they are of equal importance outside the borders of the page or screen. Currently, I still consider myself in transition from being a college graduate/student to a functioning, contributing adult. Who knows if I will ever really make the final push.

The truth is we are always in some state of transition and I don’t know if, as a species, we have gotten any better at managing these changes. Frankly, I hope so because, honestly, what is the alternative.

So, what phase(s) are you currently transitioning from or to? Any tips on how to make the trip a bit easier?

New Years




Today is New Year’s Eve which means that in less than 24 hours 2012 will be gone and 2013 will begin. It also means that at this moment millions of people are planning how to ring in the new year and are declaring resolutions to improve themselves, their lives, or their circumstances for the new year. Resolutions are a tricky thing. Change is inevitable and most of the time it can be a positive thing, but it is hard. Very hard.

Like others, I have been guilty of failing on my New Year’s resolutions and letting my good intentions fall by the wayside. Yet, every year I meet up with a friend and we trade off our resolutions and state, without a hint of irony, that this year will be different. Something about a new time gives us hope that maybe things can be different. Whatever experiences occurred in 2012, 2013 offers the possibility of something more, something better, we hope.

I don’t know what the new year will bring. Some of it will be good. Some of it will be bad. I know there will be change because there has to be and I know for the first time in a while I am genuinely looking forward to it. I am nervous and anxious about what’s over the horizon, but I can’t wait to see what it brings. I have only one real resolution: Be better. Be a better person. Do better in all aspects of life. Think better of others and myself. In short, Be Better. The rest will fall into place as it is meant to.

Hope everyone has a great time tonight and is doing exactly what they want to to welcome the coming year. See you on the other side.