When It’s The End?

How do you know when it’s time to move on? Is it possible to know, or do you just have to hope.

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Time and time again we find ourselves in the position of asking this same question; Is this over? This question is sometimes brought about organically. Then other times we feel pushed to ask it, or inclined to desire for an answer one way or another. Of course, it is entirely possible to enjoy something from its conception through to its completion without at any point pondering that conclusive query. However, that isn’t what this conversation is about. This question applies to almost everything. Relationships, careers, friendships, social functions you didn’t even want to attend in the first place. There is a myriad of reasons. The point though, is how do you know when its over?

Is there an amount of time that you dedicate specifically? Is it until you achieve something specific? Do you ride it out until you’re miserable and can’t tell whether or not its you or them? It’s probably a mix of all of those, as well as others. I think this concept applies very directly to writing a story. Lets say you felt inspired and wrote something wonderful. It is well within human instinct to try and make it more than maybe what it was meant to be. In that case you add more, and then more. Until the story you had once perceived as beautiful has overstayed its welcome.

Perhaps you added too many chapters. Broke the story into too many different sections and you lost your direction. Alternatively it could be the characters. Their purpose was muddied and now you don’t recognize them as the ones you discovered in the beginning. How does one even start to correct that? How do you find its perfect ending? More to the point, how do you prevent yourself from forcing it past its natural conclusion to begin with? I suppose that nobody has the correct answer to a question this huge and theoretical. Which in the end is probably what makes life so interesting.

There really is no way to properly mitigate this scenario. Things will start, and will go along as they are meant to until ultimately as everything does, it stops. It is the reality of all things and in that there is comfort. The same way that you can rely on your Netflix to cut you off halfway through a satisfying binge session and ask “Are you still watching?”.

The best we can do is to remain open to possibilities of adventure. Pursue the things we desire and hope that when the story has run its course we’re able to move on seamlessly to a new chapter. Without forcing the narrative past its natural conclusion. I mean really, there is nothing worse then reading a book that loses its passion halfway through. Like those Twilight books am I right? (Is that beating a dead horse? Sorry Steph Meyer)

As a writer this topic is important to me, and as a human being trying to live life, its even more important. As it is to everyone else as well. I assume anyway, maybe there are some people who love over staying their welcome out there. Regardless, I hope that my ramblings and hopeful metaphors bring possible clarity to any of you dealing with a potential end to something important.

As always, love deeply and be weird.

 

 

 

 

<Creative/CONtrol

I feel as though something every creative person struggles with from time to time is the concept of doing it for themselves or doing it for them. The “Them” I am referring to is the clients/employers/general population. It can be easy to get caught up in the idea of producing art or otherwise creating things for a paycheck. I mean isn’t that the dream? Being able to do what you love and being financially secure from it? At the same time though, can’t that be torturous if you wind up doing something thats only a fraction of the craft you love? Something thats diluted and watered down by the interjections of an institution of some kind? I myself do freelance writing and while I do enjoy aspects of it, I find that it takes away from the time I used to have to create in the way that I love to.

With that being said, I’m not complaining, only stating that in those situations you need to make sure you find a little bit of time to do what you truly love and balance your passion with the paycheck.

Heres my effort to do that exact thing.

I present to you Chapter one of “A Bastard’s Last Dance”.

The liquid that filled my mouth was thick and tasted of metal. My jaw was clenched tight as another fist swung into and connected with the right side of my chin. The blood I had been holding onto fled the vessel of my mouth with vigour as I fell. I landed on my left side supported by my hands and knees, the blood slowly dripping from my now open mouth. I had no words for the man standing behind me though he had plenty for me. I wasn’t altogether sure anymore why I was here on the ground. Not to say that I didn’t think I deserved to be but to say that I thought I had more fight in me. While assessing my beliefs in my combat abilities I felt the business end of a steel toe boot connect with the left side of my ribs. I am ashamed to say this is when I first cried out in pain. It wasn’t the two punches to the stomach or the two to the jaw. It wasn’t even collapsing on hands and knees in an abandoned warehouse where not one of my friends could find me. It was feeling the tip of that boot connect with my ribs and hearing the loud crack that went along with it. To clarify the audible I must confess that it wasn’t my ribs that cracked, though I imagine there are fractures. No, it was what I had placed in the inner pocket of my jacket that emitted the distressing sound that caused my outcry. The item to which I was affectionately attached had initially belonged to my father. It was his favourite watch that he had left me. The last object besides the DNA within me that connected us. I knew that the destruction of a material item such as a watch could never sever the bond or dissolve the memories I had of him. Though it was the principle of the item that I had wished to remain intact. As I rolled onto my back with the pain in my ribs pulsing through my torso I clutched my jacket where the now broken watch resided. It was neither the item or my possession of it that brought me to this low of a place both literally and metaphorically. It was something else entirely that can neither be truly possessed or otherwise owned. The man was pacing around me saying words that I both understood and didn’t agree with. He made claims of trespassing and theft though to which he referred could as I mentioned, be neither owned or possessed. As I lay in pain on the ground surrounded only by emptiness and the words of my villain, I managed to retrieve the pack of cigarettes i held in my right side pocket. He didn’t seem to care as I flipped open the lid and produced what was now a half sized cigarette presumably damaged in the struggle. I lit my small but equally as appreciated saving grace and took my first drag. I was overwhelmed with an awesome wave of calm as it soothed my aches. Intent on savouring my chemical bliss I let the smoke drift slowly through my lips as I noticed his ranting had stopped. Drawing my eyes back to his presence he stood now several feet away. All was as I’d left it save for the knife now clutched tightly in his grip.

“Well alright then”

I mumbled softly. My eyes floated back to the smoke still escaping into the world. I took another long drag, this time enjoying it more as my last. As he took another step towards me the plume of smoke I exhaled reminded me of a rose. A beautiful and elegant rose, like the very flower that got me into this mess. I closed my eyes to his advancing and basked in the memory. The warmth filled me as a pot of hot water and I floated away silently. Drifting away just me and my flower.

Post_Vacation_Bliss.exe

I’ve never really taken a vacation before. I mean, not one that was longer than a weekend and in a country other then the one I live in. Not one that I can recall while I sit here and type this anyways. Which is fine, because I’d rather have gone on few amazing vacations instead of many mediocre ones. Which is just my way of justifying a lack of vacationing I suppose. Its like when people say that its not how many friends you have its the quality, they’re just ashamed that they aren’t likeable enough to have more friends (I’m joking). I think I jut never thought I really deserved to take a vacation because I never really felt like I worked that hard to have earned one. I don’t feel that way now. About the vacation I just took at least.

It was time anyways, my partner and I have been together almost four years and had never had a real vacation and after the last year of endless hard work we just went through it was hard earned and well deserved. I mean she works hard, very hard. I suppose I don’t like, save lives or anything, but a friend once told me that its all perspective. For instance, I serve coffee at my day job and do freelance writing in my nights. You could argue that with the coffee I provide, I am saving lives. That isn’t to say that I’m on the frontline of salvation armed with percolated glory and a sling of holy coffee beans. Though it is to say that maybe that old yarn about “Give me my coffee before I snap” could be true for someone on a specific morning and I’m the one postponing the breakdown. Either way.

I don’t actually believe that I save lives, but I do believe that I at times have the ability to make a difference in someones day. Even if I’m just a blip on the radar, which is okay with me believe me, I think I leave a mark. Now I want to clarify that I don’t mean leave a mark like a lasting legacy and they’ll tell stories of my wisdom at the campfire to the younglings before bed. Just that maybe they’ll smile and think for a second that the day isn’t bleak and the end is a little more distant seeming than the horizon (Which isn’t me saying the end is nigh, we’ve probably got another ten years at least, or twelve).

The strange thing about vacationing to me is that you leave your home, go somewhere new to you (or familiar) and you live like you would if you weren’t restrained by work or obligations. The reason why I find that strange is that if we really wanted to I think a lot of us could live like we want a little more frequently in the place that we do call home. Not to be little the vacationing aspect of life, I do love it dearly, I just think that we may idolize a concept that can be applied more directly to everyday life. I mean think about it, maybe your idea of a good time is to climb way up into the alps or ski down a mountain in the freezing cold at break neck dangerous speeds (I’m not a skier, can you tell?). Then of course you cant just do that on a whim because your day job felt extra boring on a Tuesday. Maybe though, we can do more of the little things daily that make us smile and keep us happy instead of postponing them for that big trip you’ve been planning for two years and haven’t saved up enough for yet. Just a thought.

Regardless of what works for you, you should do it. For me, a vacation seems to have worked at least a little bit. The inner monologues have slowed down to a reasonable pace and the hordes of people I share this world with don’t seem quite as intimidating as usual. Maybe now I can get back to being productive in a creative way more frequently. I mean I do love money (money money money) but I should spend more of my time doing the things I love. So without dragging this thing out into a rally or a Ted talk. Lets all raise a glass of whatever you’re drinking as you read this and toast to love, dreams and whatever it is that makes us tick (unless its illegal, then cut it out you cheeky monkey).

Also, one last thing, never gamble. Even when you win, you wind up losing. Unless you win big, like really big, then always gamble and always win.

 

Strange and Untrue

Do you ever put on a sad song just to feel the melancholy vibe through you? Replay an episode of your favourite television show that you know will make you cry? Reminisce about long lost friends or loved ones? I think we all do this. In one varying way or another. In an effort to feel something we maybe think is farther away than it actually is. For instance, if life is great and purely happy, then sometimes we just want to feel sad. I think its a natural way for someone to remind themselves that they are human.

I think what I’m really trying to get at though, is that I thought there was something wrong with me for a long time. I used to think it was an error in my code that made me want to feel sad, and to be fair for a long time it wasn’t in a healthy way. Now as an adult however; its a good thing to let your emotions run free. Within reason obviously.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way. I want to get to the real core of the issue here. At what point does this melancholy reflection become a problem? I guess I mean that in personal experience I have let it negatively affect my life before and impact loved ones. It hasn’t been that way for a long time thankfully, but I suppose I just wonder if anyone else thinks about this at all.

You could call this a late night ramble. I just found myself in that magical loop today and asked myself a question.

“Who else does this?”

I figured a lot could relate. So I brought this to you.

Now I have one last thing to say. Despite my ramblings, I do have an answer to my question.

We all do this. To feel happy, to feel sad, to feel anger. To grow, and to see how far we’ve grown. To remember the ones that got us here, to mourn the ones who slipped away. It gives us the chance to be one with who we are now, and who we were then, and even who we will be. I regret a lot, I feel a lot and I miss a lot. I love a lot, I hate a lot and I’m indifferent to a lot. I’ll never be perfect, and that’s perfectly alright with me. I made my mistakes, and I’ll make more. I have friends and loved ones who accept me, and I accept them. I’m happy, and sometimes I like to feel the sadness. Because without it, I don’t think I’d know what the other thing felt like.

“All this feels strange and untrue, and I wont waste a minute without you”

The Ones Without Feeling

Every so often in this huge and marvellous world we are all equally apart of, we cross paths with an individual that makes us feel a certain way. A feeling of anger, pain and or sadness. A feeling that generates misery. This type of individual almost always wins. If only because we find ourselves constantly distracted by the thoughts they provoked us to generate. Maybe its thoughts of hate, thoughts of anger and even thoughts of vengeance. Either way, its all wasted time. They probably got what they wanted from you and now you’re just spinning your wheels.

It’s never an easy thing. Processing the fact that someone wronged you. No matter how small or how large, its almost always a shock to our systems. Maybe you trusted them, maybe you had no reason to suspect them. Life has a way of being unexpected. I myself was recently taken advantage of in a way where I worked hard for someone, and got majorly screwed over. I didn’t get paid, and I didn’t even get closure.

When I say closure, I literally mean that I don’t actually know if its over with. theres a very small percentage of me that thinks “Maybe he’ll get back to me and I’ll still get paid?”. I know that isn’t likely, and all of my support structures agree it isn’t either. Yet I still find a way to try and hope and no let go. I want my money. Who wouldn’t, but almost more than that I want the closure. An email saying “I screwed you over, haha” would even be acceptable. Just so I know.

Its the waiting that kills you. Yet I won’t lose hope or even further destroy my trust for the outside world. Yet I am exhausted. I worked my ass off for this prick and I have nothing to show for it. Now he’s going to take my work and put his name on it, and theres nothing I can do about it. I’m angry and I’m disappointed. Most of all though, I’m ready to move on. Thats what this is.

I’m taking steps forward.

 

 

No Bad Writing

No bad writing.

No. Bad. Writing.

A simple rule I placed on myself years ago. A rule that I did everything in my power to adhere to at all times. It was something that I used to judge myself with harshly. In a no holds barred sort of way where it started to seem as if I only wrote badly. If I wrote at all. The thing about this rule is that it only really exists through a specific perspective. Outside of that perspective its validity is in question. I may write something I like, you may not like it. I may write something I don’t like, you may like it. Thus the actual point of my rule is lost in its own illegitimacy.

Not to say that there is no such thing as bad writing. Because there obviously is, but I just mean to say that to criticize your own work extensively based on a vague rule is nonsense. The amount of ideas and concepts I scrapped based on this ideal is numerous. Yet maybe I did save myself from bad writing. Maybe I prevented myself from really screwing myself over with terrible writing. In that instance I thank my past self. In the off chance that I didn’t save myself from anything, then I guess it doesn’t matter anyways.

Point is. There is bad writing.

This is probably some of it.

No Exits

I feel as though one of the most common problems we face as people is complacency. Getting stale and boring. Otherwise just losing all flavour. So we spend hours of our time trying to make plans and come up with solutions to prevent that disaster. The issue with this seems to be that once we’ve made these plans and come up with these strategies. We want out of them, we retreat within. 

Speaking only for myself, I’ve made plans and I’ve had goals, I’ve bailed on myself more times than I can count. It’s just something that happens and I think in an age of infinite possibilities and even greater indecision it becomes a bit of an addiction. Until you never venture outdoors, your friends don’t know where you’ve gone, and you wonder how life passed by so quickly. 

That isn’t to say that you have to always have a perfect plan and follow through every single time. It’s just to say that you need to find the place where you no longer wish to retreat. Once you find yourself in a room that you don’t instantly or otherwise wish to leave, then you’ll know where you belong. Even then it’s not a guarantee that you’ll stay there forever, but it’s at least a place to get something done no matter what it is. 

I think I’ve found that room in this book I’m writing. I can see and feel an actually tangible path and I’m finding I like it there. Granted diving in %100 is difficult, I’m doing my best to follow through. Every day is a choice to persist and move forward. I like to think I keep moving in the right direction. 

It isn’t my intention to teach life lessons, but I think I’ve failed a few times at a few different things. I think that at least entitles me to try and help, the flip side is, this helps me regardless if it helps you. So don’t feel guilty, I know you’re here for me too.