On Being, Simply

bigthings

Bedsidesign is a blog written by fellow CNY blogger, Christie Jones, which can be found here.  It’s a savvy design blog to inspire and spark creativity for those interested in that one specific field or to apply design in life and in general.  However, for those not having an eye for design, Christie’s writing makes this blog easy to read and inspirational not just for the design enthusiasts.  In her fairly recent post, being y-o-u, she demonstrates this extension of inspiration with an honest post.  Due to this writer wanting to be more honest with his writing, the need to take this task on can not be denied.  This post is a supplement to her “Get Personal” month.

Christie posted a series of questions dispersed into three parts, which I will be answering, pertaining to what one would be doing if they weren’t blogging. If it weren’t for blogging, who knows where my life would lead me; it’s been a beneficial hobby that I have kept up.  Whatever comes out, comes out.   This will be tweaked a bit.  This post will be taking a different approach than Christie’s.  It’s going to be a stream of consciousness, so the words written will be actual thoughts.  The questions/parts may be tough to get through initially, but they end on a positive note.  I’m not looking for sympathy, because I’m putting myself out there.

This is a very long post.  The original thought was to break it up into parts.  However, this was shaken off.  Think of it as a chapter.

If a writer puts themselves out there, they aren’t/shouldn’t be looking for sympathy.  This is completely different than the whiners on Facebook and Twitter, those individuals who constantly write FML or OMG followed by a sentence or a paragraph about a mundane and trivial issue.  Most of the time, these complaints are convoluted and vague.

The writing process will be written about.  The main focus of this blog is writing, but I don’t go too much into it, because I want to reach a wide audience.  Reading about my reading and writing can get old quickly.  Also, coming from someone who did read a blog about writing, it’s a personally boring to me as well.  There is only so much to be said.

This post has been worked on for days, here and there.  It’s been arduous.  Before I let this chapter into the wild, it was almost double in length.  You’re welcome.

Before I continue, more credit needs to be given.

All of the photographs in this blog belong to Ian Jones.  Yes, this would be Christie’s husband.  His Flavors are here, linking to all his pictures and social media outlets.  Through CNY Bloggers, I’m glad I have had the opportunity to meet these two people.  They are extremely personable and exude creativity.

OK.  I am buckled in.  Let’s go.

By the way, this is my 102nd Infinite Abyss(es) post.

IanMacroFlower

{PART ONE:  BLOOM}

What are the things that you are afraid of branching into?  Write them down.  Picture them in your mind. Tell a friend. 

On Writing Career(s)

If you asked me this years ago, my answer would have been a lot broader and incredibly vague.  If you asked me this only a couple years ago, much of the fat surrounding the broad answer would have been eliminated.  Years ago, writing was simply a hobby, which turned into a passion, and it has since turned into a significant part of life–it’s a desire to strive for.  There wasn’t dishonesty in nonfiction produced, but the fear to be more honest.  There hasn’t been the opportunity to look at what previously was written in past blogs before this one, but–remembering correctly–the pieces were more subjective than objective.  Perhaps writing about life both had a titanium pessimistic coating; it was raw and brittle, and the posts were full of piss and vinegar.  Sure, the strength of cannot be penetrated easily, but everything breaks down.

Zach, a very close friend of mine, gave me exceptional criticism.  Mentioning his influence several times over the course of the years, he always gives me the feedback that one should expect.  When he compliments me, he uses exuberant words and phrases.  He’s an intelligent and literary type of guy, and there is confidence to back my speaking to him.   Pieces, fiction and nonfiction works or progressions, read by friends, who vary in age and enjoy reading, were well-received.  There is still a lingering fear to have the pieces edited professionally, because of the fear that these editors will be subjective rather than objective.  You don’t know my concepts and characters and plots, so don’t tell me what is and what isn’t.  If you find a continuity issue, feel free to interject, but don’t fuck with my approach, my characters and their idiosyncrasies.  You will find out why they are how they are; I am writing this, not you.

After watching one of my living inspirations, Anthony Bourdain, the other night, it’s now apparent to me that writing is a significant goal.  My job is fantastic, my coworkers are anticipated–not feared–to face daily, and it offers daily learning experiences.  However, with my personality–not the intimidating facade I wear, which turns people away from approaching me–a future run for office, if it should even happen, will not occur until much further down the road.  There is a lot more to learn, and a lot more experience is needed.

As far as writing goes:  I am not doing nothing about it, but it’s not doing enough that bothers me.  It’s taking the leap into trying to be bigger and better and badder that scares me.  Failure is expected, but not anticipated.  I’m afraid of where it might take me, geographically, and the amount of time that will be consumed.  I’m afraid to miss out on events with family and friends no matter the occasion.   How would transition affect me and my wanting to have a family one day.

I’m also afraid writing will just will fizzle out and get cast aside.  If the time and dedication is there already, I don’t ever want to lose steam or faith.  Writing is what I believe in doing.

 
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{PART TWO:  BLIND[LY] (WALKING)}

What do you feel like you have to be?  What idealistic images are you tying yourself to?  Where did you come up with them, and who but yourself is holding you to them?

 On Myself

I feel like I have to be on 24/7.

The type of vacations I take are culture-filled.  People have asked me why vacations have to be in large cities or rural areas with hundreds of years of history if not thousands.  It’s not because of my Irish skin that beaches are not my idealistic venues.  Sure, sitting by the ocean can be relaxing.  Sure, reading is an option, but that cannot be done for days upon end.

And sand… that shit gets everywhere.

An apartment is simply a place to eat, sleep, and shit.  It’s a place to store my things.  Getting up and ready for work is followed by another or few activities.  There is no way sitting around the apartment on a weekend is pleasurable, even if it is raining.  Grabbing coffee and reading/writing is joyous.  It is looked forward to on a weekly basis.

Even when I am not on vacation, sitting around, my mind still races.  I people watch and eavesdrop on conversations–not when I am with other people, so let’s get that straight.  I pay attention to those I am conversing with.  It’s just times of sitting around, at a bar setting, or at a park, etc where and when I am looking out for a nugget of inspiration.

I need to hold it to myself that I need to go for the gold.  I need to be as great of a friend as I can, boyfriend, coworker, associate, ninja, writer, ertc. as I can.  There is a lot of pressure placed upon myself, by no one except me, and it is felt necessary to be ready for any given situation, staying true to myself and not wearing out.

No one, to my knowledge, is holding myself to these things except me.  Not being with a publishing company means no agendas have to be met.  The delight of starting to see someone is proving to myself that I am comfortable and ready for something to begin.

 park

{PART THREE:  BRIDGE}

What are you putting ahead of yourself?

 On Relationships

Of all the things to write about, I settled on this, because the fear of failing at a possible career was already mentioned.

I don’t see myself staying in Syracuse forever–something I have told myself on a regular basis.   An eventual writing job could have me travelling constantly, could require me to move/relocate once or many times, or it could station me in one spot and maybe  here in Syracuse.  When that time comes, it will come.   Of course, relationships with family, friends, and a potential life partners is extremely important.  A house, kids, and making sure the kids get a great education are important.  This is the tip of the iceberg.

Relationships and good health are probably two of (the many) the most important things in life, because life will seem empty if you don’t have them.  It’s important ot anticipate settling down, establishing a family, and to maintain the relationships of old and new.

Before I go on to what has to be written–yes, it does–I’ve met someone, who I am very comfortable to be around.  It’s all very new.  She’s fun, she has great sense of humor and personality, and she seems genuinely dedicated to everything she is interested in.  It’s all new though.  Not wanting to jinx it or get ahead of myself, I will stop here.

However, up until this point, it was a descretely tough route.

Many things have been taken away from real life and online dating experiences, including but not limited to:  don’t opt for the free sites–there is a reason why they are free–and the realization that there is a whole world out there.   However, since September, I have been meeting very interesting people.  With some, commitment on my part was an issue; with others, the short-lived dating spurts affected me more than one would like.  There will be no pointing fingers as to who-is-who, but up until the past month I made myself feel like garbage until the fever broke and anticipated euphoria plagued my mind and body.  I did fall into bouts of depression, and it took much convincing to fool everyone that everything was alright; keeping busy and out-and-about kept my mind off of what was bothering me.  It initially was embarrassing to admit–if it came to my admitting so–that these bouts sprouted from not being in a relationship.  Everything else was fine:  health, ambition, job, friends, and family.  However, love and not being in love, brought me down to a low.

Ridiculous!  A fool for love, what a preposterous notion!  Chivalry is surreal!  Yes, two overly-used and misconstrued words in one sentence!  Exclamation points galore!  You’re being irrational, Chris.

However, this emptiness has long since passed, and I am left with the normal occurences of occasional anxiety.  A lot of pressure is initiated on my part, because it’s as if I don’t fit in with the societal norm.  There wasn’t a significant other to brag about, and I had begun to think that my friends feel bad about my being single when they actually do not.  They are just ridiculously busy, and I am clearly being an idiot.  That’s what was perceived on my part, assuming.  The majority of my closest friends and my new friends are all in these serious relationships, and/or they are married, and/or they have kids.  So, for a time, I bestowed upon myself that notion of feeling as if I did not fit in.

A couple months ago, my brother and his girlfriend had asked me if I was interested in going to North Carolina for a week in August.  This was agreed to, but then I slowly backed away.  I’d be the only single guy, and I’d be sleeping on the couch.  Instead of burdening them with myself and the potential  invisible connect-the-dot girlfriend, it would be best for me to do something else–travel with a cousin down south.  The whole issue was drilling the misconceived concept that singlehood was inevitable into my head.

After all, it’s said that love happens when you least expect or when you are not looking.  Well, why did irony have to show itself Herself (Herself, because women and irony both have excellent intuition–this is not a put down at all, and there isn’t irony implied) multiple times through the course of the year when I wasn’t mentally ready?  There were one or two windows where the great opportunities had shown themselves, but the others involved were as confused about life as I was.

But this is all venting.  Sure, it’s serious.  However, it’s normal to go through these spouts of self-doubt, disbelief, and moments where you think you have finally gone mad.  Despite feeling the funk time and again, it’s best to take it all in and accept the anxiety as it is.  As my own opinion, if you can’t/don’t take the shit for what it is, if you don’t roll around in it blissfully (yes, you can put a positive spin on something perceived as BLAH), you’ll never grow.

This is all metaphorical shit, by the way.  You do, willingly, roll around in shit, we may look at you differently.

“As life gets longer, awful feels softer.  Well, it feels pretty soft to me.  And if it takes shit to make bliss, then I feel pretty blissfully.”

– Modest Mouse, “The View” from Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)

And there you have it.

5 thoughts on “On Being, Simply

  1. Pingback: Ian’s Challenge #001 (Part 1 of 3) | The Infinite Abyss(es)

  2. Pingback: Winding Down | The Infinite Abyss(es)

  3. Pingback: Survey Time! You know you wanna… | bedsidesign

  4. Okay so I read, re-read, and now a third time feel like I can finally comment here on your blogspace.

    1. I am so insanely honored that my post sparked this thoughtful post. As a fellow blogger nothing can compare to seeing / reading my words inspiring someone else.

    2. Thanks for sharing Ian’s amazing photography. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it is worth viewing!

    3. I love the unique spin you took on all these questions – and how you broke it up into separate parts.

    4. Thank you for your honesty – it’s a balance that I am currently working on – being personal on a published platform can be tricky. I feel like you really worked this out in this post.

    5. I think Anthony Bourdain is the man so I’m pretty pumped that you agree.

    6. It sounds like you are in a really unique place where things are happening all around you & to you, and you’re pursuing the things that you care about. I’m glad you published this post because it will be a great turning point to look back on and see the progress that you make! I can’t wait to follow your journey!

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