“Time May Change Me, But I Can’t Trace Time”

I searched the word changes on Bing and Google in an attempt to ignore my inability to figure out the next part of a scene that I’m writing and the top 4 hits (using 4 because Google only had that many) were amusing to me.

Bing: Definition, Parental Control, Hair Salon, and Black Sabbath

Google: Definition, Global Activism, One Direction, and Oil Changes

The 5th hit on Bing was more what I was thinking about when I chose that word- David Bowie.  I know that I’ve spent many hours of contemplation on this subject, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately and who better to illustrate this than Ziggy Stardust himself/herself/itself?

There are frequent posts on Facebook with sayings like, “If you’re not willing to change, don’t expect your life to either” or “Change is inevitable, progress is optional”.  Ok, so that second one is just one that I know, but the rest are too long to put into a post.  It’s a lost of positive affirmations about moving forward and how to inspire yourself and others.  This may say more about the people that I know than the world, though I can’t say that’s a bad thing.  I feel good thinking that I associate (even if it’s only electronically) with people who are trying to better themselves some way.

Initially I did some really deep thinking on this when I lost my job in DC and had to figure out what my next step would be.  That was in no way fun, it was ego crushing, and I don’t care what anyone says- it was not liberating.  I spent months in a funk trying to convince myself that I wasn’t a failure with the support of some incredible women.  Sorry men, I just couldn’t find an incredibly supportive guy to lean on- nothing personal 😉  Long story short- it sucked.

Out of this personal turmoil came “the idea”.  I needed to escape the reality of suckiness and determined that the one thing I can do that I have never felt like a complete failure at is write.  The novel has been a work in progress since then and has morphed and twisted into something that, even as a first draft, Mrs. Batty and I should be extremely proud of.  This past December, around my birthday also known as when I start to feel like I’ve accomplished nothing in my life every year, I became determine to finish book 1 of this story (yes, it’s morphed to a multi-book story) by December of this year.  I’ll be turning 35 and just feel as though I need to push myself to shit or get off the pot with something.  If it isn’t going to be finishing this book, then it needs to be focusing on my other career.

Back to the changes.  All of these positive affirmations and saying are actually quite nice to see, but they are really reminding me of all of the personal changes that I know that I need to make and have been putting off.  I work too much still and ignore my personal life.  I have terrible taste in men and find the single most unavailable ones to convince myself that I should take a shot at (utterly masochistic of me) in some sort of sick self-fulfilling prophecy.  My list of real life friends is slowly shrinking and I’ve not tended to finding ways to meet new people, so isolation is an issue and I still can’t figure out if it’s intentional or inadvertent.

But- I can’t help thinking that this is just temporary.  I knew what I was taking on when I set my heart to writing a novel, while working a minimum of 50 hours a week.  Both jobs are creatively draining and I also find myself doing the internal pep talk of “just do it!  stop procrastinating and just do it!” much more than I used to.

I recently sent a copy of the unfinished manuscript to someone that I’ve formed a wonderful work relationship with and she’s absolutely salivating for the finished work.  This is encouraging and now I need to figure out what changes I have to make in order to keep the forward momentum going.  My resolve is still there.  Come hell or high water- this book will be ready to send out by the end of the year, it’s just that the path to this is not so clear in my mind.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes about change:

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– Mahatma Ghandi

When The Dream is More Exciting Than the Reality

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I daydream, constantly, and I suspect that I daydream as a way of controlling the world around me.  Just a few moments ago, I was fantasizing about a conversation that I will most likely never be in the position to have with a guy that I know.  It was a very well thought out explanation about why we could never “see” each other socially and, well, let’s be real- it’s me so there will be no point in time that I would be having that conversation.  My favorite tactic is to ignore the desire until it is gone thereby NOT creating any conflict.

I’ve explored this rabbit hole before and find that it aids one of the few things that I like about my writing- the character interactions.  This actually has become a problem because I am so focused on the interactions that the necessary descriptive elements are short changed.  In real life, I’ve wondered if I have ever “remembered” having a conversation with someone that had only taken place in my head and, to date, I haven’t proven this suspicion to be warranted- I have an unfortunately long and accurate memory.  But I digress-

Relationships- If one is habitually living a relationship in their head as a way of sussing out the potential issues, is there ever any hope for becoming that person who is able to just live in the moment?  I suspect that it goes back to the control issue and trying to anticipate problems before they happen.  Now, this has served me well professionally, even if it has torpedoed many moment where I’d thought that I could be a part of a healthy relationship.  It’s a useful skill!  It’s a perpetual kill-joy because you end up becoming the “responsible” friend.

In my internal conversations with a man that I’m in a healthy relationship with, I imagine that we are boring.  You’d think that I would be picturing exotic vacations to Bali or action packed treks through the mountains while being chased by an angry group of Russian Mobsters, but no.  I picture a Sunday morning where we are sitting at a kitchen table, drinking coffee and reading our respective newspapers and magazines, while the cats play in the other room.  The traditional picture of domestic bliss that we are apparently supposed to achieve as adults according to Lifetime Movies and Television.  Now, really?  I can imagine a small segment of the population living this life, but more likely they are either awake and on the couch watching TV or running around doing the countless tasks and errands that equal real life.

I know that I’m rambling now and I’m OK with that.  I’ve never promised that this blog would contain earth shattering or life altering publications- just the spewing of my head.  That being said, is it naive of me to be making efforts to put myself “out there” more because I’ve realized that my internal life has become much too comfortable?  There’s a reason why I’ve been fine living in my head for quite a while and it really has to do with an incredibly weakened ability to deal with any more upheaval and, let’s be honest, opening yourself up to reality will only lead to upheaval and change.  It’s that change that leads to fear.  Alternately, it’s also a fear of stagnation for me.

What if I do end up finding someone that I’d like to keep around for longer than a few months- what then?  Do we get into a comfortable routine, do we have a “date night”, does it mean the end of being able to say- I will go wherever the world takes me?  Or, does it mean that you have company for the journey?  This is one of those questions that I won’t be able to answer with any authority until I allow myself to experience it I think.

Death, The Tower, and Change

ImageI find myself thinking quite a lot about change recently.  There has been change in my personal life, change in my professional life, change in my country, and change in the world.  I ask my ceiling many nights if this is how people living through the Civil War or both World Wars felt day in and day out as the world seemingly collapsed around them.  I find myself wondering- what is security?  What does it now mean to have a stable life?

These may seem like silly questions, but I am confident that there are millions of people in the world asking the exact same thing.  Global and social change has been rampant for the past 50 years at a mind boggling pace that is only speeding up and we are living in a time where the Darwinian adage of adapt or die is glaringly evident.  Long gone are the days when you can presume to pledge your professional loyalty to any one company.  Long gone are the days when divorce was rare.  Long gone are the days of thinking that the nuclear family is the pinnacle of a successful and happy life.  So I ask, now what?

With uncertainty tainting everything around us, how do we continue to evolve, to strive, for something more?  This turbulence is nothing more than a blip on the radar of history, no matter how harsh the world seems at this moment, and there are no guarantees that anything will get “better”, but there surely will be a new normal when this wave is done.

Another pivotal election faces the USA, there are pseudo-nazi’s marching in Greece, the European economy (though not as bad as during the Great Depression) is in shambles and in-fighting looms dangerously over every Presidency and Dictatorship.  Will there be another world war?  Sadly, it seems quite possible at this time and I am not confident that we have learned the lessons of the past century well enough to avoid it.  Maybe it will be a war of sanctions, maybe it will be something else, but I cannot see anyone launching a military offensive like WWI and WWII, simply because both sides will annihilate each other too quickly.

What I see, and pray will not be the case, is that a lot of good intentions and hard line policies will create a new type of economic catastrophe and that this will span the globe.  As much as I am loathe to make comparisons, Atlas Shrugged is a good cautionary tale for the leadership of the world.  Men, women, and children need hope.  They need to be able to see a future for themselves, for a family, in order to be happy.  We need to strive for something or we will fester and die because we no longer see the point.

That is all- my rant is done.

Forward Momentum

I’ve been told many times over the past 3 months to “keep the forward momentum” going and everything will work out.  Sounds a bit vague- right?!  I hadn’t really thought about it as more than a metaphor until last night.  I went to dinner and saw a movie with a friend of mine and on the way home I was driving down the highway in the dark of night and for a hot second I didn’t know if I was going the right way and I didn’t care.  It was as though, sitting in my car, listening to the same band I’ve been listening to for the past 3 weeks on my Ipod, it didn’t matter that the world was falling apart because I was driving somewhere.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve noticed that penchant for aimless driving- I’ve done it ever since I was 16.  I hadn’t noticed that it seems to comfort me because it simulates having a purpose in my warped little brain.  I’ve going somewhere, and I obviously must be doing something when I get there- right?  What is forward momentum anyway?  I keep remembering the episode of the X-files where some sonic weapon was being tested in the desert and people had to drive and drive at ridiculous speeds heading west or their heads would explode.  Maybe that’s what this feels like.  Sadly, moving west doesn’t seem to be an option yet, though I do think I’d have a better shot at a social life in San Diego.

How Long Would it Take for…………

I’ve come to the realization that it would probably take at least 2 days for anyone to realize that I were missing should I die suddenly at home or be abducted or otherwise accosted.  I’m sorry that this is such a morbid topic, but I now understand this.

It would take 2 days simply because my office wouldn’t send anyone to check on me until I pulled a no-show for at least 2 day while not answering my phone.  I don’t think that my mother, brother, or father would think that anything were wrong for at least 2 weeks, but even then I submit that would be too short of a time for them to be worried.  The next person to suspect that something might be wrong would be Sarah once I didn’t post something somewhere for a while- she would call.

I am tired of trying to hold together a family that is so hell bent on running away and moving on.