I’m still on a seemingly-endless journey to fix my life. I’m so concerned about any decision that I make that I’m basically doing nothing. But I realized yesterday I was only doing nothing because I’ve convinced myself everything I do turns out wrong. That I basically fail at everything I actually want. So in my head, not trying (which really is the only way to fail) is the only way I can avoid not just failing, but doing something wrong. Something that causes problems and a dramatic tornado of consequences. It’s just that I haven’t spent a single week of my life feeling as if my life choices were good, right, or even making me happy. Or at least I can’t recall ever feeling that way. I’m sure I could have at one point and just can’t remember. But even if that’s true, I still haven’t felt that way in forever. The last two years I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that I felt like Donnie Darko. Like I wasn’t supposed to be where I was. But maybe that has more to do with me never feeling like I belong anywhere. I only recently realized feeling constantly “out of place” is abnormal. I talked at length to two of my sisters about it. Music is the only thing/abstract place that I don’t care if I feel out of place. I’m not sure how much sense that really makes but it’s how I feel. Music is the only thing that I like about myself. I’m not too sure what my brain means by that… but it’s there. I guess nothing I ever did with it felt wrong even when my life felt wrong as a whole. It’s just- the only reason I’m even here.
So lately I have been going through a ton of changes and I’ve been losing sleep over the uncertainty that I have about my goals. Sure, I want to get employed and independent for once in my life but all those things are just dreams until I figure out how to get there.
Like I’ve said before, I keep trying. I’m exercising daily. I’m trying to vary the foods I eat. I’m fixing damaged friendships, I’m taking better physical care for myself. I’m slowly getting my sleep patterned back to the normal land-of-the-living hours.
But I don’t want to lose sight of my main goals. That’s the struggle as I try to fix my life before anyone realizes it was ever broken.
If you had a million dollars…
Would you be ready for your dream?
A few weeks back I looked up a bunch of emotions in both French and Spanish. Emotions that I was feeling at that moment. I keep feeling, in summation, INADEQUATE.
With everything. So, as I always do, I tried to think of a way to be okay with it. So I looked up words like “dejected” and “fear” along with a few song lyrics and wrote them down. The “x’s” are ones currently on my wall.
Each time I feel overwhelmed, I write one of the words on my dark blue wall in chalk. I just wrote “abatido” (which means dejected) a few minutes ago.
I am trying to figure things out. I’m just so thankful for the odd moments I get from time to time. Like when Jewel comes on my ipod and I hear a song I’ve never heard.
And the first few lines make me laugh at 4am.
“If you love somebody
You better let it out
Don’t hold it back
While you’re trying to figure it out”- Jewel “Satisfied“
And I really think I’m starting to feel satisfied.
I’m a little lost on where to have this post go.
I don’t have a title and I don’t have a clear end in sight. The last two days have been a lot.
The last few years have been a bit too much. I’ve been finding myself thinking about what I want my life to look like in a few years.
Who do I want to be a part of my life? Am I sure I want ten cats at 28? Am I in an apartment? What city am I in?
The little things.
Right now I don’t know much about the big things. And once again, all I feel sure about are the things I don’t want. But maybe, just maybe, I have finally crossed out enough things, avoided enough life paths, that something will finally make sense.
I don’t think I hate feeling like such a mess. It feels more like me.
“having nothing to struggle
they have nothing to struggle
― Charles Bukowski, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
“it seemed to me that I had never met
another person on earth
as discouraging to my happiness
as my father.
and it appeared that I had
the same effect upon
― Charles Bukowski, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
Five years ago, I had just graduated from high school. I would spend that summer becoming invisible to my friends who were mostly going to community college while I was headed to San Diego State.
Five years ago, in my A.P English class my teacher shared this Commencement Address with all of his classes.
He explained, if I recall correctly, that a former student had sent it to him. He liked it and had shared it with all of his students at the end of the year. It was originally attributed to author, Kurt Vonnegut, until I recently looked up its origins a few weeks back when I felt myself wanting to quote it.
The paper now has the correct author scribbled on it with permanent marker and it is hanging on the wall near my bedroom window.
It reminds me that anyone can say something wise and the only way anyone feels like anything ever said is wise is when the listener needs to hear it. Who says it is completely insignificant because the words we need to hear most often don’t come from some professor or critically acclaimed writer, they come from someone who has the experience. Wise words come from emotions and not from numbers of books sold, or people with Ph.D’s, or people with billions of dollars. They come from hurt.
I want to be terrified.
I was wondering if I had the gusto/patience/nihilistic tendencies to I asked my father:
If I could achieve something great, like the Nobel Peace Prize, curing a disease, climbing Mt. Everest, or something just remarkable, what would you want me to do?
Or what the hell would I want to do? I feel like if I had some bigger-than-life dream I could see everything else as only mildly impossible outcomes and not as big daunting tasks that I could never do. As if I need perspective. Do I?
If some magical creature broke into my bedroom from the ground underneath and told me I could achieve some great feat guaranteed through some kind of magical destiny, what would I want to do?
Well, I woke up today to an email about Charles Bukowski, my favorite author, and how he had the words “Don’t Try” on his gravestone. The email suggested that whatever it is you can’t stop yourself from doing, is your talent. It is the thing you “don’t try” to do but have to.
I guess that’s just bouncing around in my head today.
So of course I look into his gravestone’s words and their significance. After, I decided what those two words meant to me.
In an interview (article here) with Lidna Bukowski, his wife, she clarified, “Because if you’re spending your time trying something, you’re not doing it…”DON’T TRY.”
This letter came up with the gravestone search and it now hold another favorite Bukowski quote of mine:
So last semester (aka Spring 2015) I dropped out of college. Over the last few days I have been doubting if it was the right decision. At the time it did not feel like a choice. If I did not make a choice, I never would have gone to class anyway. It felt like staying in school would be inauthentic to everything that I am and I am trying to be- if that makes much sense.
But tonight, as I was brushing my teeth with my awesome electronic toothbrush and brainstorming what to do with my life, I thought of some video I saw somewhere about people who get ads tattooed on their body and companies pay them as live and living ads.
I imagined having the Reebok symbol tattooed on my wrist right next to the only tattoo I hope to get one day- a phoenix.
When did I decide I wanted a phoenix on my left arm? Right around the time I was thinking of dropping out for the second time last semester. It was March. I liked the idea of phoenixes being reborn, being a vibrant color, being able to fly, and most importantly- not real.
It occurred to me and my odd connections of thoughts, that I’ve wanted that tattoo every day since I decided I originally wanted it. The feeling never faded.
Of course this made me think of dropping out of school, had I really changed my mind? Was anything I felt different suddenly? No.
It would just be easier to make my family happy with me getting a Bachelor’s than it would be for me to try to be happy.
can’t won’t shrug my shoulders all my life just because I did feel like trying hard enough. That has never been who I am. So I have come to realize I have always felt indebted to my parents because of everything they have done for me and if I could make them happy, at least I would be doing something.
But I just know if I stayed in school I would just keep trudging along like a mindless zombie because it was convenient and comfortable. I am so tired of being comfortable!!!
On the logical side, dropping out is a terrible idea, but I’m tired of being logical. I want to be utterly ridiculous!
I want to help people and be intellectually stimulated and creative! I want to do impossible things!
But I don’t want to go back to college.
If I had unlimited funds until I decided what I wanted to do with my life and the money would go away once I reached whatever goal I planned, what would I do?
I have been wondering if asking this kind of question is better than asking myself what I would do with 20 million dollars or whatever. If I could do this it would allow me to fail over and over again. It will help me focus on what really matters. Notice how the question does not include me being necessarily successful, but rather me just reaching a single goal related to what I wanted to do. The goal would have to be something that wasn’t completely insane (like time travel) as this would make the question pointless as you would never achieve the goal and therefore never run out of money… and where is the fun in that?
What would I be working on right here, right now, today, if I thought I’d have the funds to make/create/build it, with the requirement that I would need to be able to sustain it afterwards without additional funds as the money would stop?
Basically, what could I do given unlimited resources that could actually be successful that would give me some life purpose?
For someone creative like me, it can be hard to know where to focus within life. The stupid things start feeling significant. The day-to-day eats at you. I work on odd side projects convinced I’m just too stuck on something else to get anywhere.
But recently, I realized if I woke up to millions of dollars being mine, I wouldn’t have any immediate action I could really take with anything that’s under the “life purpose” category of dreams.
Nothing I’m trying to achieve is at a place where throwing money at it would make a difference.
Why is this? I may not have an explanation for that, but I know what the problem is now and it isn’t a very hard one to fix.
How profound of me!
1. Keep a list somewhere of things people can buy you as presents. Don’t let anyone know you have it. But you’ll find it is more helpful than most other lists you make.
2. Learn the difference between you’re and your, but don’t correct those who don’t, unless they ask for your help proofreading.
3. Always find one super famous actor, musician, movie, and book that are super popular that you can love. It’ll be easier to have something to mention when trying to talk to someone you’ve just met.
4. Avoid revenge. It doesn’t look cute and most people don’t learn from it. The only exception is mild revenge that has a better chance of working and helping everyone involved. Like a pesky in-law that there’s zero chance of having them go. Consult as many people as possible before ever seeking revenge. Revenge is never good. Don’t try to rationalize it. So many people have done terrible things with good intentions. If you can live with it and it seems worth doing just do it already.
5. Don’t have regrets. Enjoy where your life is in this moment. Regrets are the past. You should learn from it and get the fuck out of there. Don’t waste energy on the past or future. You are now and that’s plenty for you.
6. Love like a fool and break like glass. Don’t let heartache make you anything you aren’t. You are foolish and trusting and the world needs people like you. Just keep going.
7. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Stop acting like it is.
8. Start every morning you can by asking what you can do better today. It may sound self-absorbed but the you will change the world around you more than you ever would have thought possible every day.
9. Don’t take a day off from #8. You’ll regret it. If you still choose to and you do regret it, please re-read #5.
10. You are allowed to cut people out of your life. Don’t feel bad for being hard on people who actually deserve it. Just make sure they really in fact deserve it.
11. Insult and be hard on people in the nicest most heart-felt way. They will feel even worse. And more importantly, you aren’t being an asshole.
12. People aren’t inherently good. Don’t believe that. However, act like they are, but know better.
13. Question stuff everyone does, especially yourself, even if you don’t feel you have the time.
14. Take risks. It’s too big of a risk not too, after all.