Little Deaths

Hey.  Sorry, I forgot about this blog for a minute there.  I began doing twitter updates which are basically quick 140-character blogs.  So if I’ve had any meaningless conversational whatevers to share lately I’ve thrown them up over there.  Twitter is pretty fun because you can follow people (which is as close to allowed stalking as you can get).  It’s all quite freaky but it’s also interesting to hear what some musicians and movie people and writers were doing 21 minutes ago.  

I had an idea to use my tax return money to take a one or two week break from work to dedicate fully to writing.  This is something I have had the hardest time doing.  My job is waiting tables Monday through Friday from about 10:30 to 3 or 4.  And that’s not bad. It is a nice job for me right now in that I am sort of a bottom feeder, which means that I have very limited extra responsibility and when I leave for the day I don’t have to take any extra anything home with me.   And I can skim my way safely past most of the normal “work drama” b.s. and get out of there to something else.

I thought that a break would give me time to write more and I am able to make a lot of time to write, though by the time I get to it it’s about 5 p.m. and I’m more winding down than anything.  Also, writing has felt more like work lately.  It really has been tricky!  It requires so much attention and one of the things I am having a hard time with is getting deep into some writing work and having to completely back up out of it to go to my normal job (that actually pays the bills).  I have a tough time staying focused because my mind really wants to be on whatever thing I’m working on instead of some soup or sandwich issue at Applebee’s.  

I am really trying to reach with it right now to figure out how to pull this all off.  I think my dream is just to have enough money to pay my bills so I can put some hardcore time into my writing.  I would love to have a few months to dedicate fully to a book or something instead of having all of my weeks shattered up into so many small writing sessions.  It seems that every time I start to hit a stride something else begs for my attention and it is frustrating me a lot lately.  My life has been so herky-jerky.   It’s like I want to dive full blast into the book ideas that I’ve had but I can’t get these dumb little bills paid… yuck…

I don’t know why I am such a dumb business person.  That side of things barely makes sense to me.  And the thing is that at this point I know that I don’t need a crazy ton of money because I can get by on very little.  So I don’t need to go the big, huge rich and famous route.  I think it would bring too many annoying issues to have to deal with.  If there is anything I’ve learned from being a poor and starving artist it’s that a lot of people who are just hoping to make money off you look straight through you if you don’t look like you’re worth their financial gamble.  And in the long run it actually ends up saving you more stress than you’d think.  ‘Cuz in my opinion the best writing is the satisfying kind and you can’t buy that feeling.  Seriously, you could be a billionaire and not know how great it feels to write a song.  I’ve got that on anybody.  I think that’s one thing that I really like about it.  I love knowing that I can basically write for free and that just those rewards are incredibly rich.  

I just wish that I could wake up in the morning and write from like 9 to noon every day.  That would be my favorite time to write.  I would love to give my fresh thoughts for the day to my writing instead of coming into it with all of my leftover 5 p.m. semi-drained energy.  Hmm… maybe I could get a job where I work nights..  Or where I could go in at 2 or 3… hmm…  I think I would like to find something that isn’t turbo-fast.  One of the hardest parts of Applebee’s is the pace.  It is insane in that place for about a 2 hours during the lunch rush.  And that’s when I make my money but it’s also where I am feeling the most miserable.  I start to get run over.   I am really such a slow and deliberate kind of person.  I like to make slow and thought-through decisions instead of the hurried, panicked variety.   I feel stupid and annoyed when I’m getting run over at work.  It usually amounts to about two hours of me wishing that I could hit pause and just walk outside for about 10 minutes…but that’s usually when I get another table and my older ones are starting to look angry because they need a refill.  

I feel like there is something else that would be so much more obviously better for me (if I could only sit still for a minute the figure it out!).  I am not inspired by the daily grind.  In fact, I think it’s the opposite. It usually means that I have to spend a few hours forcing myself to be somebody else.  

I just need a little time to think through all of this.  I need to get my ducks in a row.  I feel so close to this idea, just a few steps, but I usually get tripped up when I’m this close.  I feel peaceful.  I feel a great desire to just stretch out and let this part of my life crumble. I think there is something much more sturdy underneath me if I could just see it and stand on it.  Gosh, sometimes I feel like a real dumb guy.  I think everything is okay…

I had a difficult time trying to sleep on both Tuesday and Wednesday night.  I had an intense stomach issue and it caused an inescapable pain that just pressed down on me and sent my mind in so many wild directions.  It was agonizing!  I felt stuck in my body (which is normal, duh!) and it was weird to me how the physical pain that I was feeling was bringing all of these thoughts to the burning front and center of my mind.  It’s hard to explain.  I think anybody who has been in pain can relate to that.  Like when your body is just wincing and can’t do anything but bear it.  That’s what was going on.  At a certain point I was praying to God why the pain was so awful.  It was like a, “what the ____ are you trying to do to me?!” -prayer.  

I didn’t get an answer but all I could think about was that I needed to get out of my job at Applebee’s.  I kept thinking about ways that it just isn’t helping me.  And I am usually not the type to make drastic decisions because it feels like “the Spirit is moving me” but I realized that I’d hit a wall.  I went in the next morning and put in my two weeks notice.  

And that’s definitely not something that I recommend people doing.  And I am not sure what will come of this.  Maybe nothing. I just felt that I needed to admit that the job is more than I can do right now.  Or, more than anything I have to believe that there is something far easier and healthier for me to do (it’s such an easy job for some people but I am just not one of them).  I mean, I’m a pretty smart guy and there’s gotta’ be SOMETHING I can do instead of wait on these tables.  

What’s funny about this is that this is so redundant.  I keep thinking this.  I feel like I keep on facing the same ridiculous difficulties over and over again.  I almost look at my life from someplace outside of myself and think that the story is getting a little old at this point and I’m tired of hearing it.  Like I’m getting tired of the story of my life..  and you know, that really sucks!  That isn’t cool at all.   I know that there is more for me.  I know that I have been through so many other times where I’ve said the same thing and I know that the drama of admitting this does get redundant but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true!  

I’m just ready to hit another stride I guess.  I don’t want to feel like I am only living up to a small part of my potential.  And that doesn’t mean that I want to spend my time beating myself up to get there, but I do most definitely want to follow my life wherever it’s headed and persist through this mess in my head that keeps trying to choke the life out of me.  And the thing is that I can really feel it.  I can really feel this freeing thing happening.   And it is faith because I don’t know what’s going on.I just know that I’m not as afraid as I usually am when I’m in this position.  And I am excited and I am thrilled to see what is going to happen.  I am anticipating it.  I am ready for a new thing.  I am ready to go, you know?

I have some friends who I do a bible study with and the other night we were talking about life and death and how everybody is going to have to face their own death, that death is a completely real part of life.  And then we were talking about how in life you really do have to deal with the thought of death.  You have to face it.  You have to question it.  You have to figure out what you are going to do about the fact that you are going to die.   I think that most people just spend their whole life trying to ignore it.  And that is so empty.

The thing that was really beautiful to me about the conversation (and this might sound morbid) was that we came to the conclusion that death is a kind of gift.  That as sick as it might sound, it is going to be a real relief.  It’s something that we will all receive.  We HAVE to take it.  We don’t have a choice.   We were talking about how obviously tragic it is when a young person dies or when someone dies in a wrong way.  But then we talked about how when someone is really struggling and in awful pain, death is like salvation.  Then we talked about older people we know of who have lived a long and satisfying life and who have no qualms with the fact that their days are running low.  I think that is a really beautiful thing to see.

I think of how things change, how seasons move and empty out and how some of it is surprising but the older you get the more you start to pick up on the patterns and the more you start to see how much of life is just the same things repeating over and over again.  And then I think about how sometimes when life is changing you really have to let go of something to get to the next thing.  And that seems to be a form of dying.  So life is like a lot of little deaths even while it’s going…

Yeah….

Gosh, I gotta’ wrap this up!  I can’t tell if this is depressing or hopeful… maybe both.

Alright, bye!

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