Keeping my Lantern Lit

Do we believe that there’s a higher power, and grander plan for people taken too soon? Are they brought to a better place to become lager parts of the whole? The universe is so mysterious and magical, so terrifying and wonderful…maybe they were all sacrificed to secure it’s secrets. That they existed in the first place to provide us with so much knowledge and love that we would eventually figure out that we are capable of things that many would deem impossible.

But the ones taken too soon…the ones who provided that love we all so needed were the essential cogs and catalysts to those revelations. Taken from us because the universe, or God – however you want to label that ever existent power that looms large over us –  needed to keep us here, and needed them there.

The taken are needed for purposes we don’t understand. Or maybe they aren’t, and life just isn’t fair.

But whether we believe it or not, everything that has happened has happened. That’s about as truthful of a statement that can be made. What has been left for us is what we have…nothing more or less.

But memories…those are the secrets the universe allows us to keep. The glimpses of our past with the ones taken too soon, those are the small pieces of understanding allowed to us. We cling to these remnants with all of our might, hoping that the story that was already written can continue. That the memory already imprinted has an extra scene.

But they don’t. And no matter how hard we try…they never will. What is there, is there. Nothing more, and nothing less.

If we are lucky, and the universe allows, when we dream we can find them again. Tucked away in the furthest corner of what is known, they sit. Sometimes waiting for us, sometimes unaware they are there, but rather surely here…with us. But someday, when we visit…they won’t be waiting. They won’t have traveled here…they just won’t be.

To not be anymore…to be in the dark. Surrounded by…nothing.

Surely they haven’t forgotten us, surely they haven’t. They are just lost. Like all of us are at some point in time…lost among the cold, the dark…lost in time somewhere between here and there. All they need is a light to show them the way. To show them the way back to us, back to our corner, where all of our stories exist in the same place. Where they will always be.

We will leave lanterns along the path. We will…leave lanterns…along the path.

Surely they haven’t forgotten us, surely they haven’t. They are just lost. Like all of us, at…some…point. Surely they…haven’t…

The lights here are meant to guide weary souls. Lost in the darkness, in search of their stories. Meant to help them find their way back to the ones who search in dreams for those same stories. But from the other side.

The lanterns. They’re lit to show us the way back, but we don’t know why we are here in the first place.

Surely we couldn’t have forgotten, surely we couldn’t have.

As the days grow shorter, and the darkness expands…the light remains. The lanterns were left to help weary souls find their way home. I’ll leave them there.

The stories left in the corner of the universe were meant to hold the secrets the universe allowed for us to keep.

We lose the ones we love too soon because they held the secrets the universe wanted to keep. They were needed for grander things. The memories left of them were the secrets the universe allowed us to keep. Sometimes in our dreams we get to visit them.

Our memories are the secrets the universe allowed us to keep.

The ones who were taken too soon, they held the secrets of the universe. We leave our lanterns lit for them to find their way back to our little corner of the universe. Where our stories and secrets are kept.

The secrets we get to keep are the…

The lanterns help us remember…the…

The stories fade as the years grow longer, and the universe takes it’s secrets back.

Surely they couldn’t have forgotten. But we did.

Our lanterns were meant for them, but over time were left for ourselves. The secrets we were allowed to keep became blurred and lost. Surely we couldn’t have forgotten. We went back and tried to find them, retracing our steps. Surely they couldn’t have forgotten us. Backtracking over thoughts, we searched the lengths of the universe…only to find it’s secrets were now someone else’s.

Surely they couldn’t have forgotten.

But we did.

The lanterns were left in the corner of the universe where all of our secrets sit.

Now they light the way for us to find our way back to those we left too soon. Those who learn of the universe from the secrets we left to them.

The lights guide the way.

 

Man, it’s been awhile…

I always feel like I start these things with the best of intentions. I have so many plans, so many desires…and it always starts with a website or blog. Something that I feel will hold me accountable to my own wishes or dreams.

Then it turns out like this. Every time.

The last post was March of 2018. Over a year ago. Cool, glad I paid money for this URL and site plan. It worked out swimmingly. I mean…it worked out the way all of my other intentions have over the past 10-15 years. So many goals, so many…

You know I’ve been writing the same story for 9 years? No joke, I’ve been working on the same story about the end of the world for about 9 years. I mean, it’s been on and off, but still. I even made a joke at someone else’s expense the other day when they said they’ve been on chapter one of a story they’ve been writing for 7 years…

I haven’t even started putting together a cohesive story line for mine yet. At this rate, the end of the world is going to beat me to itself. Or I mean, whatever…according to science and stuff. I don’t know. Things.

What this all boils down to is this: I purchased this blog and page in order to hold myself accountable to continuously create content. To make myself valuable, in a sense. I get running an unread blog page doesn’t quite do that…but you know what I mean. I mean, I hope you do. If you’re reading this. And by you I mean exactly that: whoever the hell you are.

Which really…who are any of us? That’s another topic altogether, I don’t want to get into it.

What I want to talk about is why I do this in the first place. Why do I start these things? Why do I WANT to start these things? Why do I get so excited to start these things when I know how it’ll always end? I’m very well aware of my own tendencies, of my many faults and lack of motivation. I’m trying – sort of – to rid myself of the lazy work ethic I have. And it’s not even lazy – OK yes it is. It’s super lazy. But like, it’s enough at times? I mean, it’s not enough like ever. At least, it shouldn’t be. And I know it shouldn’t be. Which means, I know I could be so much better than I am right now. Like, exponentially.

But yet, I still fall into this rut of…well, of this. This self loathing, self doubting, overall self harming phase of my short existence. I know that I do these things to seemingly give myself a purpose: an outlet to put my thoughts into text, to place all of my creative machinations in one place, to then create an audience and, in a sense, some sort of validation. My talents lie strictly in this realm. I’m not the biggest people person. In fact, I’m probably the furthest thing from a people person. I mean…I guess not really. I can talk to people. I just don’t let myself care enough about them or their conversation to consider myself an actual people person. And I don’t know if it’s a lack of empathy, or just a lack of knowledge?

Maybe it’s a little bit of both. I feel like I can’t hold conversations with people because sometimes I either refuse to connect with them, and I never really know how to fake small talk enough to sustain conversation, or it’s because I have a lack of information about what they are talking about, and don’t know how to answer their questions or approach a rebuttal. I don’t know, even that came out as nonsense. I think it’s the former. I just don’t care to be interested?

And the thing that doesn’t really make sense is that I long for personal contact and a connection with someone, but I also don’t want to go through the trouble of having to know all about that person. Most of my employment history has been centered around personal contact with people, and it’s made me…I don’t know, less connected with them I think.

What I’m trying to get to is, most of my life, all I’ve ever wanted to do was create things. Stories, music, and in extension, whole worlds, and universes filled with characters, and events that make me feel…I don’t know, apart of something. Of something bigger than myself.

So I start these blogs…or YouTube channels…or…anything. Anything that has to do with putting my brain into something that isn’t as mindless as any of my jobs have been. But it always turns into this. A lack of substance, and a lack of accountability.

And no, this isn’t going to be a blog that turns into me promising to change. Because then, in a month and a half – when I remember I have this page again – I’m going to look back at this post and go – “again…pointless self revelation is pointless.”

That’s how my brain works. Mostly.

It’s a scattered mess of ideas, floating around in an open space of clutter. Yes, that’s an oxymoron, I understand that. That’s what I mean. It’s nonsense. I’m aware that most of what I end up typing is just fragmented thought after fragmented thought, and at the end of this I’ll tie it all together in one cohesive revelation. I sometimes wonder if that’s what therapy is like. If it’s just pointless conversation until the person who is sitting across from me, who is infinitely smarter than me, finally comes to a revelation about my mental health and tells me something I need to hear to help process my thoughts and insecurities in a way that breaks down walls and sets me on a path of healing and productivity…

But then I realize that life has never worked that way. I know plenty about myself, and I can tell you there’s not a lot that can be said to me that I don’t already know is broken. And I know how to fix things, because I know most of my self deprecating thoughts are just masks that help defend myself against other people thinking I’m not good enough.

But the kicker is, none of those people have ever said anything like that to me. Because none of them think that. It’s strictly all me. Literally, just me standing in the way of producing and publishing content. And another kicker is…I KNOW most of my stuff is good. Actually, I’m such a perfectionist in most aspects of creating that I know most of my stuff is GREAT. I mean, yeah, I can always get better at things. Evolution is a part of the process. However, I know I don’t like producing bad things. And because of that, I’m fully aware that when I do put out content, it’s typically pretty damn good.

So…with all of that said…what’s wrong with me? Maybe nothing. Probably, hopefully, nothing. I’m just lazy. Maybe it’s also a self worth thing. Like, I don’t want to do content that won’t be seen, as if it’s a waste of time to write posts and create music or videos that no one will ever see. I mean, that’s pretty much true. Producing content that isn’t viewed is essentially like not producing content at all.

I sit behind a computer daily, and yes…what I do is work, and being a music arranger is definitely fulfilling in that aspect. But, I’m trying to do it all. In my down time, I could still be producing other content worth reading, worth publishing. The question has always been, “well, what then?” Like, what should I be publishing to the world? What kind of person do I want to be when I sit behind this computer?

I enjoy this…just writing to write. Because it helps me find out the person I think I want to be. The problem is I am still searching for that definitive answer, but I don’t give myself the time to search for it. Instead, I start a blog looking to find it, and then revisit a year and a half later, mad that the person writing this current entry has eluded the very purpose they were put here to serve.

When I write, I find pieces of myself laying around the cluttered halls of my mind, and when I start to put those pieces together, I stop looking. So I stand in the middle of the room, still broken…still incomplete.

I have no plan to fix this. No cosmic revelation, or grand promise to hold myself accountable. I’m just going to continue to search for…myself,  I guess.

I know I’m better than this, and the person I’ve presented to the world for the first…12 years of adulthood. At least, I think I am. Maybe through more of this, I’ll find out I’m not. I’ll find out that I’m just me, the person who struggles to create the life he so desperately wants because he just simply can’t. And maybe when that revelation comes, I can find peace with it. There is no right or wrong way to play this game, so happiness can be found somewhere, somehow.

And maybe that’s all I’m searching for? Finding a purpose is a pretty big step to finding that answer. The only way to do that is to just keep doing it, I suppose.

I guess that was the revelation? Maybe there was a reason to this post, other than to just post something. Regardless of content, or audience…maybe just doing it works well enough.

I guess we’ll see.

…Revolution

Let me tell you a story about a man who thought he could change the world.

He was a loving man; a family man. He lived in a happy house, in a happy town, surrounded by happy people. He worked hard everyday to make life easier for his wife, and his children. He worked hard everyday but it made him happy, because he lived in a happy house, with his happy family, in his happy town.

His wife also worked hard everyday, but she too was happy, because her husband was happy, and her family was happy. And she lived in her happy house, with her happy family, in this ever so happy town.

But over time, the darkness of the outside world crept into this happy town until one day, the strong man wasn’t happy anymore. He asked his wife how this could be…he had everything he needed, everything he wanted. He wondered what life would be like outside of his happy home, of the happy town with which he’s lived his entire life. His mother and father, who have always been his guiding light in times of stress, have lived here their whole lives, and they’ve always been happy. Always.

He wondered why he was having these thoughts. Thoughts of leaving his happy life behind in this happy town to venture outside to the dark…the cold, unforgiving outside world. The evil that so many have attempted to keep away from this happy town.

Soon he started to ask questions of his coworkers…questions met with concerned looks, or puzzled gazes. “Why would you want to do that?” remarked his friends. “Aren’t you happy?”

But the man wasn’t happy. He was…empty.

Soon, the happy town started talking about the man who wanted to leave. They talked about how interesting it was that he even thought about leaving such a happy town, where so many people were so happy. How maybe they could also travel outside of the happy town to find out what the outside world had to offer.

And this made our king very unhappy.

You see, because curiosity breeds dissent. And dissent is a very unpleasant, and unwanted thing to a king and his happy town.

So the king went to the man who’s idea sparked the towns curiosity. For if curiosity is the oil, the idea is the match that lights the fire of dissent.

And the king offered the man all the riches he could ever want, and all the happiness he could buy with it. But still, the man’s wants couldn’t be bought with gold, and his happiness was no longer rooted in the happy town.

So the king took his children.

And he said to the man, “think very carefully. You live in a happy town, surrounded by happy people. You’ve lived here all of your life, and you’ve always only been happy. Why would you ruin that for yourself? Why would you ruin that for your family?”

The man, in tears, nodded his head. The king, wise beyond the years of man, allowed him to carry on his life.

The man and his wife, now very much unhappy, began to weep. In mourning, then in sadness, then in anger.

They had been happy their whole lives. Lived happily together, and raised happy children. But this small idea…this…harmless thought has begun to untie the very fabric of their lives.

Soon, the man and his wife started to cause distractions among the people inside the happy town. Fueled by their pain, they would kick and scream, throwing tantrums like children in every shop they went into. Every person they encountered received an ear full of anger, and pain. They started to build a following of curious, and angry townsfolk; all questioning the wisdom, and fairness of the glorious king.

That’s when the riots started. The man and his wife went from building to building, hellbent on destroying everything in their paths. Their followers, grouped by the hundreds, laid waste to the happy town and it’s beautiful sites.

Well the king could not allow this type of rebellion to last any longer. He and his finest men went into the happy town and cut down the rebels, each spilling the first ounces of blood onto the streets of the happy town. They fought in the name of justice, and in the honor of the glorious king, and his happy town.

The king made his way to the man and his wife. As the two rebels gazed unto the king, fear struck their eyes; for the consequence of their insubordination was certain death. The king offered them one final reprieve – “Kneel down before me, and pledge your undying loyalty, and I will let you live under my close watch. Defy me…and you will watch each other die.”

The man grabbed his wife’s hand, and looked lovingly into her eyes a final time. “Let her live, and take my life. As long as I live, I can never be loyal to you, for all that you have done. And I will forever long to see your head on a pike, raised high above this happy town.”

The king had heard enough. He struck down the man before the wife’s eyes. The man who had lived his life in a happy home, surrounded by a happy family, and a happy wife. A wife he loved enough to give up his own life for, and a wife who loved him just the same.

The king imprisoned the wife following the rebellion, honoring the man’s final request. For it is unwise to keep idea makers around the curious, and the discontent.

She remained in the king’s court following her imprisonment, per the king’s orders, to remain under a close watch, and to entertain the royal children and guests.

Of tales about a man, who tried to change the world.

I think it’s time for a story…

Disclaimer: Work of fiction. Stream of consciousness writing. Stuff I like to do for fun. 

 

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be famous.

Not that nobody ever wants to be famous – that’s obviously not the case. But I wanted to be famous in the way that Walt Disney is famous: world renown, a house hold name.

Filthy rich. 

And not just like, “Yeah I’m pretty comfortable” rich…no. Like…I own enough real estate to establish myself a tiny little continent that I claim for myself and let my friends kick it there whenever they want to. No rent. No taxes. No government. Just one rule:

Chill.

Eat all of the food I ship in from exotic places like…I don’t know, wherever you can get the best pizza and junk food. Italy? Sure. Italy. Switzerland…right? Swiss chocolate? Hell, let’s bring in some food from South and Central America while we’re at it.

Filthy Rich. 

I want to buy my own seat on the United Nations, and only downvote things.

I want to impose national holidays and traditions like a legit Caturday where the main street in my main city displays billboards consisting entirely of ugly looking cats.

I got that idea from a friend.

But I want to work for it. I want to earn it. I don’t want to be famous like the Kardashian’s are famous. That’s so fleeting. I want to be remembered for the work I put in. For the hustle I showed on my way to the top.

There isn’t much hustle in a 9-5 though. There’s no improvement when you’re working to live. There’s no fame in gentle sacrifice. There’s only everyday. And everyday turns into every week. And that turns into every month, and every year.

And every year it’s the same story: you paid out 10,000 in bills and earned 12,000 gross income.

There’s no fame in mediocrity.

But ever since I can remember…I wanted to be famous.

But what’s my motivation? What’s my drive? To be famous? Is that a real goal? Is that something worth fighting for?

Some say yes…I say…well I say yes too.

But if there’s no room to grow, how do you achieve what you want?

Upset the status quo? Super villains say that. People who intend bad things say that…but what I want to do isn’t bad. It’s self fulfilling prophecy. It’s self improvement. It’s…being better.

And isn’t that what we’re designed to do? Strive to be better…to leave this world better than we encountered it. We’re born as nothing, strive to become something, and in turn push the human existence to new heights.

But how can we do that when we’re so…bogged down? When we’re held down by a system that doesn’t allow us to flourish without giving in to what it wants…

Why do some people get what they want, but others….no…don’t get what want?

In what world is that fair? At what point is it bad to stand up and TAKE what we-I want?

And when does going after something a lot of people want become a bad thing? When I turn it around and make it for selfish reasons? What if it still benefits the whole? What if it still brings real change to others?

Is it still bad to destroy one thing if it means a lot of others (including myself) get something else in return?

Ever since I can remember…I wanted to be famous.

Filthy rich. 

If it’s not going to happen by normal means…I’m going to have to force it to happen by any means necessary.

You may call it crime…call me a criminal…but is it because what I’m doing is bad?

…Or because you didn’t do it first?

 

 

I guess it’s a party

As of writing this, I’ve been 28 for an hour, and I’m already pretty much over it.

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of me becoming an adult. Technically becoming an adult I mean. When you’re growing up, you half expect there to be this singular, life altering moment that signals your arrival into adulthood. This universal Bar Mitzvah that lets the rest of the world know “Yeah, I like drinking wine, playing scrabble, and watching the news.” (Those are mainly adult stereotypes. I know.)

But if there’s anything I’ve learned in these past 10 years, it’s that that moment never comes. Yeah, I pay bills, take care of family…do things, make decisions for myself…so I suppose it technically has come. But no one told me. All of those things kind of just happened upon themselves. I’ve been going through life waiting to have the answers that I’m looking for, processing things as a child would. There’s no dire need, no real consequence. I exist in this life and aside from my bills and the money I pay to the federal government, I’ve made no real contribution.

And I say that in a “to my own future” way. Not to say I haven’t made an impact or contributions to others around me. That’s a naive way of looking at life. And, honestly it was a mistake I used to make all the time. Me contemplating on my own failures of not achieving the goals I set used to set me on a path of self belittlement and self pitty. Thinking that me not being the person I wanted to be somehow meant that I wasn’t that person to anybody. And I found out that thought process was wrong. In most of every case that I thought about, it was wrong.

But, that doesn’t mean that I’ve grown to not have those feelings. I have a problem with growth. I don’t learn from past mistakes very well. I mean I do, but I don’t. It’s a complicated issue. One that helps with stress, because logically speaking…I’ve lived through mistakes in the past and doing so again won’t actually kill me. Even if I think it might. It takes that weight off of my shoulders.

I made a playlist on Spotify of all of the music I used to listen to in Middle School through High School. It’s a pretty bitching playlist honestly. But the song that’s been on repeat is “Here’s to the Night” by Eve 6. I’m a sucker for sentiment I guess. It was our senior class song. Cliche. Duh. But, I can’t stop listening. It puts me in a certain mood. And it’s not bad. I guess. It’s…introspective.

Surprise.

And I think it makes me that way, because I’m trying to find all of the areas that I’ve grown since graduating. Besides the obvious areas: musically, creatively, expressively, facial hair, waist size. Granted that’s my entire life. But. The point is, personally I don’t feel like I’ve changed. I react to life altering situations the same way I did 10 years ago. I run. I ignore. I remain steadfast in mediocrity. It’s a curse. I don’t fail often, because I don’t try ever. And because I don’t try, I’ll never know if I’d succeed in anything. I get in my own way, talking myself out of doing the things I want to do, because the world is competitive, and the world has a large head start on me in all of the things I want to do.

I’m afraid of rejection, and because of that, I haven’t had a meaningful relationship in 10 years because I’m terrified that I won’t be enough. For anybody. Which is actually the polar opposite of high school. I had some random sense of confidence then. I don’t know what the hell happened to it.

But I guess the biggest part of growing up and becoming an adult is finding all of this out. Being the person you were in high school isn’t being an adult. But, at the same time, drastically changing the person who got you to where you currently are isn’t either. There are parts of you that should remain with you to remind yourself of the person you want to be. Being an adult is probably finding a way to balance it all out. It’s not easy. I can say that, but doing it is difficult. And that could also not be the right answer. Hell, none of this could even be healthy for me. I could be doing psychological damage just by writing this thing, deluding myself into thinking I’m being open and thoughtful. There’s no correct answer, no one correct way to do things. How we fit into this crazy, wonderful, depressing, scary, humorous thing called life is completely up to us.

Figuring out who we are and who we want to be is just part of the ride.

And I guess that’s what this post is about. Me rambling on just to inform myself that, even though I’m 28 and probably half dead, I still have a life to live ahead of me. I’m not where I want to be currently, but that’s not to say that I can’t be eventually. Life is lived at all of our own paces, and mine just may be a little bit slower than most. Like my walking pace.

So I guess…here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too well. (Had to, sorry)