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14th July 2016
Updates to Myself
Hey, reliable reader. Yes, you Tank. Archaic nickname was dropped, yo. :
Friendly reminder in case you forget between now and your next existential crisis: you're doing okay. Love and play with your kids. It's medicine.
Don't get too hung up on other people's emotions as they don't dictate your own (and not should they). Their feelings are not an attack on you. So just be there, man.
You have the ability (and have always) to create beautiful things with other people. Go do that. It's medicine.
Avoid things that are marketed to you as medicine. Unless you have high blood pressure or an infection, medicine isn't a pill. The pill is only a mask, and it's more fun to build your own mask instead of swallow one.
1st March 2016
The usual back and forth between the past and the further past
Forgot about the whole "memories" thing so I looked at some of those I had saved. Some good ones in there to say the least. :
The big takeaway today though, is how I used to use this thing vs. how I use it later/now. Back then, I used to write very conversationally, as if my blog entries were me talking to a friend and catching them up (which, in a way, it was, on a little larger of a scale). The later it gets, the more it reads like traditional diary entries, kind of like this one. I wonder if that makes a real difference in how I related to what I was writing. Is there a further detachment to this style over the other? Was the old way more therapeutic in some way?
I guess it doesn't matter. It's just an observation. I'm just looking for a place to be me, at the end of the day.
Funny note: Voted in the primary today. It's interesting to see how short the Democrat line was at the poll location. Welcome to Texas, y'all.
28th February 2016
Jesus, I can't even type in a song title on LJ and it not sound like a 15 year old crying about bullshit like who doesn't like him at school. Ick. There's gotta be a less loaded way to do this. Maybe I shouldn't listen to mopey people music, or adhere to the paradigm I set forth back when I started this thing back in 2002 (What the actual hell?). :
My wife found a meme the other day that she said reminded her of me. I found it today. It says, and I quote, "I thought I was in a bad mood, but that's been a few years now so maybe that's just who I am."
That's the thing though. I don't want to be that person. Yeah, I'm kind of an old cranky bastard wearing a younger man's clothes, but to hell with that. I hate that I'm being perceived that way too. Things were much better when that feeling was internalized and no one else knew. Now it's a sad joke. I don't want my life to be a sad joke. I don't know what else to do.
I feel like maybe it isn't a terrible idea to be medicated but I know how I am and I know that I'll stop working on being a better me. I keep going back to the idea that I want to smoke weed or get on an anti-depressant, but that'll just be more attempts at pouring concrete into the everlasting void within. It'll never fill. It just keeps going deeper and deeper. It's the ultimate experiment in futility.
When will I get to the point where I'm comfortable in my own skin again? I don't even want to be happy, because I think that happiness as fleeting as sadness. I just want to be okay. When does okay happen? What path must I take to get to okay? Why isn't there big flashing fucking lights and arrows pointing me toward okay?
I'm frustrated and impatient when I know better than to be either. It manifests itself as sadness or boredom or just plain anger. Is this what my dad was, essentially? Was he living with the void and he just made shitty choices? Perhaps but I'll never know that at this point.
I think if I could just not give a shit for awhile that'd be great, just like a vacation from my own head. There's much bigger problems in the world than my middle class white collar ass has.
28th December 2015
Questions following my viewing of Making A Murderer
I've already talked it over with my friends that have viewed the show, as well as my wife, so at this point I have a pretty clear idea of the general point of view of others regarding the show. I have some pretty huge questions though, because I don't know and I feel like it helps put some pieces together in this case. It was not the documentary's job to answer these questions, I understand, but they still weigh on me because in my completely unprofessional opinion, there are two innocent people serving life sentences. :
My questions center around the victim, Teresa Halbach. I don't feel it's taboo or distasteful to ask questions about her life because the answers could reveal some truths that were either missed or dismissed in the original investigation.
Do we know who she was outside of the creepy-ass video we get glimpses of? The video is creepy even without the context of her fate. It was filmed, if memory serves, around two or three years prior to her murders. When I was 22, I don't remember worrying about my death or talking about my death like that. I also drank a lot so memories may be fuzzy. At any rate, that was a a rather dark thing to have committed to video tape in an age before people committed every waking thought to video. Begs the question: Did she have a livejournal?
I just feel like if there was more known about her, we could put more together about other suspects. Like I said, I think that Avery and Dassey are innocent, but that isn't based on anything other than the circumstantial evidence and the timeline of its discovery. Doesn't look good for the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office. But if she had enemies, or if she was into drugs, there'd be more terrain to cover. Some things just happen and go unexplained and that's life. However, if anything can be ruled out, it should be.
I don't know. I need to know more.
26th September 2015
Can't you see how easily I'm bothered by persistence?
One step from lashing out at you... :
I never realized how much I really liked this song. I embodied it all too well, and I don't know that it was the best adoption of emotional experience I would go for, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Walk is kind of a catty song when you really break it down. "Is there no standard anymore?" I can imagine Phil dressed in a Victorian-era suit shooing off some peasent, talking with a terribly affected British accent.
That image actually makes the song even better. That needs to be a thing that happens. I'd watch that music video all day.
That is all. I'd go for some deep insights but I'm much too tired at the moment. Had a good day though. Saw an old friend (Travis) and talked with him for almost two hours. I felt like myself and I didn't feel awkward or strange. It was good to be in the presence of someone who I have a great deal of shared history with, and someone that despite some times of getting weird (which is just an occupational hazard of getting close to people) at his core hasn't changed. He's still a sweet smart dude that at the end of the day understands a lot about life and doesn't let as much of the bullshit get to him. He has had the bullshit get to him, he's not immune to it, just like the rest of us, but he doesn't have any illusions about it or himself.
And, if I stop and think about it, I guess this means that in spite of my long-held practice of external validation, I managed to actually make some friends in spite of my best efforts to do otherwise on some weird level. For that, I'm grateful.
20th September 2015
This is simply self-distraction.
Working on an essay for my Anthropology class. The reading assignment part is dry as hell. I still find the Depeche Mode discography much more interesting, though I know it like the back of my hand. I guess some things never change. :
I just put Violator on, and I was kind of taken back to when I first bought the album. I remember I bought it at Wal-Mart in Mesquite after eating breakfast with the guys. I think I was 17, it was junior year of high school.
This was back in the good ol' days of listening to everything on my portable CD player with headphones. I think that's why I fell so in love with music, because there is this immersive effect when you listen to something on headphones. It feels like you're in the center of the world that's being created around you with sounds. You can close your eyes and you're somewhere else, and depending on what you're listening to, that place is sexy, or scary, or, in the case of listening to something like Nickelback, complete and utter hell.
I remember when I got home from school that day, I popped the CD in and put on my headphones and I was instantly taken away. The opening synth bass part has this great groove, and then the drums kick in and you've jumped in.
I guess I had, on some level, forgotten the joy of losing myself in music. I don't do it near enough anymore. I still listen fairly often and I'm okay about listening to new shit and not just the things I love. I also listen to a lot of podcasts, though. Perhaps I need to swing the pendulum back the other way.
Back to reading about migrants and refugees.
19th September 2015
Fake it 'till you make it?
So last night I had an episode that I haven't really experienced in about 10 years. It was an episode of deep, deep depression. It was triggered by a conversation I had with my wife about an off-handed remark I had made. I'm not going into too much detail here because there's a lot of shame and guilt around it and I'm already addressing it in therapy so I don't feel the need to go into it here. :
At any rate, this was a deep and quick plunge. I immediately felt physically ill, nausea and the whole bit. Basically, it boils down to some things I've covered in recent entries: my need for external things to take care of internal issues.
I spent my last therapy session talking about this a lot because I don't feel like things are getting any better, in fact I think things are getting worse. I basically see life as a pointless endeavor at this point, and I don't think I actually ever really thought that way. All I seem to be able to see is the damage I cause. I used to be relentlessly and annoyingly optimistic about my life, and that seemed to work for me, but there is this inner logic that exists in me that lets me rationalize that everything is nothing. There is no point to anything, so fuck it. It's a subtle shift from how I feel like I used to think. It's subtle in that I used to think the same thing, but the tone was light instead of dark. It was more of a "fuck it! Carpe Diem!" Such a thin line there. Hair thin.
In therapy we discussed the idea that I'm an overthinker. In going over my LJ from the past, that's a laughable understatement. I am THE overthinker. I think everything to death and take myself out of the moment constantly. I've ruined many a good thing because of this trait, namely my past bands, my self-worth, and my marriage. Luckily I'm still married, because we both have our own issues to deal with and we realize that dealing with our own baggage will help toward our mutual baggage. It's really hard though.
It's hard because I crave so desparately for someone to love me and tell me everything is okay and it's impossible to ask that of someone who you've managed to hurt. Emotionally, I expect that of her. She's my wife. Wives should support their husbands. Simple enough, right? I feel like I try to support her as much as I can, much more than I try to support myself, in hopes that when push comes to shove, I get that love right back. But how fucked up is that? Love shouldn't be some weird banking system where you're issuing out loans and hope you get some love back in interest. It should be given freely, with no expectation of return. The return should be a surprise, a present, a pleasant byproduct of putting that out into the world. You shouldn't dwell on what you're getting back since love shouldn't be so transactional. It's not business. It's negotiation, but not a positional bargaining situation, it should be collaborative experience where there is a common goal and that's what's being worked towards. And the irony is that all this time I've been calling her out for not honoring what I saw as her end of the deal, I was doing the same thing by pointing it out in the first place.
I've realized through reading old entries that this is how I've lived my life for as long as I can remember, because I wasn't given a framework to show me otherwise. I had an alcoholic, bi-polar father who used booze to fill the void within him. I have a mother who works herself to the bone and avoids having to face any of the realities of her situations. I picked up on that tendency myself, however I've found it's yet another fruitless endeavor. Not totally fruitless, but it's not the crop I was trying to cultivate. I've come a long way in a short time in terms of a career, and I'm starting to get the hang of what I'm doing now that I'm batting in the big leagues, but if I can't find it within myself to enjoy that for what it is (and it certainly is something I could and should be proud of), then like everything else, it doesn't actually matter.
And it doesn't. And nothing really does.
My personal beliefs play a big part in this idea as well. I'm an agnostic, and to me that means that I don't believe in a particular deity, but I'm not completely shut off to the idea (although I lean pretty hard in the "shit just happens" direction). Manyard James Keenan said in his WTF interview that you can't be an artist if you don't believe in magic on some level, and I completely agree with that. There is a magic to the emotional connection of comedy, or music, or fine art, or film. It's insane how much a temporary mood boost I can get from listening to one of my favorite songs, even if it's something dark and depressing. Particularly in the "dark and depressing" example, it takes away my loneliness, at least for the 3 to 4 minutes it's on. I can hear someone else expressing something that I feel deeply. Somehow, this stranger who I know not from Adam knows exactly how I feel, and put it into words and melody and gave me a hug through my ears.
That all said, my beliefs almost reinforce how I feel about the pointlessness of life. Which is silly, because that's just it: The point to life is whatever you make it. People use religion to answer that question for them because it's the path of least resistance. It's easy and it's comforting. It gets problematic when those same people are telling other people they're wrong for living their lives the way they do, but otherwise it was designed to serve a purpose. I could also argue that there was political motivation to the development of religion, and as true as that could be, it doesn't change the fact that life is subjective. Bill Hicks said it way better than me when he talked about how there's no good LSD stories on the news. To butcher relentlessly, he says that we are all part of the same conscienceness experiencing itself subjectively. If that's the case, which I think is fairly accurate if you look at how religions have developed and the Jungian theory on the common story arcs, then that does ultimately leave me in control of how I want to live that life.
So now that gets to the subject of this post, because I've gone way, way off-course from what I intended to write but that's okay. Again, this isn't meant to be something to be sold or whatever, this is really just a place for me to take an emotional dump.
I find now that I'm in a place where I don't even know if I want to live this life, which is the scariest, saddest place one can be. Thankfully, I'm too much of a pussy for suicide, I think, because I'm scared of my own damn shadow, and my lack of religion puts me in fear of death on a fairly regular basis anyways. I don't need the help from anything self-inflicted. Given my usual propensity for leaning on external things to try and get by, I've read up on some possible things I could try.
Let me start this part by saying that my intentions were less than pure from the onset. I looked up amphetamine last night on Wikipedia since that's what I'm on for ADHD, and it was the harshest thing I had on hand in case I wanted to take myself out. The state I was in, I was trying to at least develop a plan to get out. This is probably the furthest I've ever taken a suicidal ideation. I looked it up to see how much it'd take to kill me. If I'm going to do it, I don't want to leave a mess, because that's the polite thing to do I guess. I just think of how Terry found Jay in the bathtub with blood and gore everywhere and I don't want to put anyone through that (since you know, suicide's totally okay if you do it any other way. Even at my most selfish, I can't help but put others before me). Turns out you have to take a shitload, and the chances of actually killing yourself are pretty low. The worse case scenario would be I end up a vegetable for a time, and if I was going to do that, there's much better ways to go about it. Again, laziness and fear prevail and I live to see another day.
I finished reading the Wikipedia article this morning because I'm a data junky and was reading about amphetamine's effects on dopamine and how it can sometimes be used to treat mild depression (cute little side note: it's also really good at keeping you depressed if you already are there. Joy.). So I go down that rabbit hole of reading about everything dopamine does for you, which I've known a little bit about but never really gave much regard to. So then I google ways to increase dopamine levels naturally because at the very least, this can be construed as a stop-gap solution while I'm in therapy. If I can boost my dopamine levels up, at the very least I can raise my baseline emotional level enough to not feel like complete shit all the time (even in my sleep lately: past two nights I've had dreams about people sending me texts basically saying I'm a shitty human being and they no longer want to communicate with me. One was a guy I work with and the other was my wife).
There is a very real possiblity that this is a big part of my problem. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but at the very least, the idea couldn't hurt, right?
The symptoms match up pretty well: Lack of motivation, fatigue, apathy, procrastination, inability to feel pleasure, sleep issues, mood swings, HOPELESSNESS (all caps because duh), and inability to concentrate (even whilst on my meds). The only two that don't seem to match is low libido (it's hard to tell given that that hasn't been a thing that I've actually had to worry about in over a year), and memory loss, but that would could match and I'd have no clue because I forgot.
It's an ironic thing because all the remedies for it are either supplements (which I'm leaning toward for other reasons), or "get up and go exercise," or "get more sleep." Dude, I'm lacking motivation and feel tired all the time and I clearly don't give a shit about anything really. You really think I'd do any of that shit? No.
It's an issue I've had for a long time and I've discussed this with my wife quite a bit. I'll do something good for me maybe one or two times, and I'll feel great from it, and I'll be so pumped, then I'll discontinue it almost immediately. The closest I ever came to having a good habit that felt great was in the month before Dayne was born, I was going on hour-long walks at night by myself. I'd listen to music and walk about two or three miles. I'd be tired out by the time I got home, and I'd go to sleep and sleep hard and feel decent the next day. After Dayne was born, this got discontinued because having three kids is insanity.
The other thing it suggested was setting long-term and short term goals that lead to those long-term goals. Thanks to reading Four Hour Work Week, I've become quite good at that, however there is a disconnect between my planning and any action that could take place. I can make plans all day but I lack something (motivation? time? care?) that would enable me to make that plan actionable. That's been my problem my entire life, and while it's gotten better with age, it still hasn't taken off in a lot of ways. I now make less goals, and I make more reasonable and specific goals overall, but I still don't stay on the bandwagon. I've tried a bunch of things that Tim Ferriss suggests because that dude has his shit together pretty well and the things he suggests do work, but I still don't stick to them. It perpetuates the feeling that I'm broken and beyond repair. It makes me think there maybe is a chemical component to my issues. I still don't want to take more medicine for it because again I don't feel like it will address any issues, but be another external security blanket for which I can hide under.
Lastly, it basically suggested "Fake it 'till you make it" in the handful of websites I reviewed on the topic, which goes back to what I just mentioned. I'm not even motivated to fake it anymore. I alluded to that in my last post when I talked about that Ministry song: faking it is just what people do anyways. I'm still faking it, for the most part.
A big part of a different discussion I got into with my wife the other night was about how she wants me to be authentic with her. I want to be authentic with her, and with everyone, including myself, but I don't know what that means or what that looks like. I've always been taught to work through it, pretty much. Not in the proper way, mind you, but work on external shit and ignore it. I don't know that I can do that anymore and that's probably the best thing for me. Last night was very much a breakthrough in that regard, and the silver lining to that particular episode. She asked me if there was something wrong with me and I told her yes, and I told her how I was feeling. I didn't quite get into where my head was going with it overall, but I was honest that I felt like I was spiraling down a black hole. She said she felt some pressure to make me feel better, and instead of denying it, I owned it, and I wasn't angry about it. I was very matter-of-fact about it. I told her that yeah, I did want her to comfort me, but given the situation, I understood that she couldn't and shouldn't. She said she wanted to be comforted considering the nature of the situation, and I told her I couldn't do that for her, and she isn't expected to do that for me, as much as I put that vibe off emotionally. It felt like growth a little bit, but I also didn't like it. All I wanted to do was cry into someone's arms, and of all things, I fixate on her because we're married and dammit, that's the way it should be, right? I'm proud in a way because I did do the right thing by her in that moment and I didn't project my inner hatred onto her, like I've done to so many other people and situations in my past. I have been a shitty friend in a lot of ways because of that. For once, I don't look back and feel intense shame, I see it for what it is, and also, it's done. The likelihood that anyone else even gives a shit about those things anymore is pretty low, and even if they have lingering resentment about something, that's not my job to draw that out of them, just like it's not my wife's job to draw it out of me. It's my job to be honest about how I feel in any given moment and go from there.
Does it suck that I know that letting those feelings out in the moment isn't going to make me feel better or yield the result I think is ideal? Well, yes, of course. I guess that means, like I've said before, that my only way out is through. The only problem with through is that it's dark and scary and I don't know what's in there for the most part. I want someone to hold my hand. I take that back, I want someone to carry me through there, but that's not realistic or fair.
When I think on it, the idea of that makes me even more sad than I already am. It just reinforces the loneliness I already feel. It makes me want to reach out for something even more, and then I feel even worse still because I know that's not the answer and that probably won't help matters at all.
Ugh. Just gotta get through it I suppose.
11th September 2015
Perhaps I'll kill two birds with one stone?
So I want to talk about two things: A song that I've really liked for years but I'm finally starting to understand, and the original point I was going to get to early today but got sidetracked with my emotions about Jay. If I were writing this entry for anything other than my own personal release, I'd make it two entries, but fuck that, and fuck you too ("you" being the person reading this who I don't believe exists. Maybe I'm saying fuck you to myself... how meta...). I'm just going to do both of these because this isn't about being accessable so much as it's about having an odd scratchpad for my soul. :
So first: the song. My current song, Everyday is Halloween by Ministry.
A little personal history: I first heard this song at The Church, at a time when I was very young and impressionable. What first struck me about it is how dancable it is. Great driving synth bass line, creepy high counter melodic pad synth, it's got a lot going for it.
Of course, because I was too busy focusing on the music, I didn't catch the lyrics. As an aside, one of my favorite movies is Music and Lyrics with Drew Berrymore and Hugh Grant. Don't care if it's a romcom, because it was obviously written by someone with a deep love of music. Drew Berrymore and Hugh Grant are arguing over what is more important, the melody, or the lyrics, and Berrymore's character points out that the melody is the sex, the initial attraction, and the lyrics are lasting love, the thing you don't notice right off the bat but the part you want to marry. This song is a good example of that. Here are the lyrics:Well I live with snakes and lizardsand other things that go bump in the night'Cuz to me everyday is HalloweenI have given up hiding and started to fightI have started to fightWell any time, any place, anywhere that I goall the people seem to stop and starethey say 'Why are you dressed like it's Halloween?you look so absurd, you look so obscene'Oh, why can't I live a life for me?why should I take the abuse that's served?why can't they see they're just like meit's the same, it's the same in the whole wide worldwell I let their teeny minds thinkthat they're dealing with someone who is over the brinkand I dress this way just to keep them at bay'Cuz Halloween is everydayit's everydayOh, why can't I live a life for me?why should I take the abuse that's served?why can't they see they're just like meit's the same, it's the same in the whole wide worldOh, why can't I live a life for me?why should I take the abuse that's served?why can't they see they're just like mei'm not the one that's so absurdwhy hide it?why fight it?hurt feelingsbest to stop feeling hurtfrom denials, reprisalsit's the same it's the same in the whole wide world
On the face of it, it's kind of juvenile. It's very... kind of that punk rock tell-your-parents-to-fuck-off kind of attitude. It's a little whiny, too, truth be told.
But today I was listening to it in the car and I started to actually listen to the lyrics and I realized how true it was, especially in light of all the emotional bullshit I've been dealing with as of late. It supports my thesis that most people are walking around pretending to be okay with life and not being themselves because they don't feel like their truth will be accepted by others (sad reality is, it probably wouldn't be. We live in a society that feeds on judgement). No one, this includes me, is really living their lives for themselves. They're living their lives for someone or something else, whether it's somebody's love, or money, or fame, or pretty much any of that external bullshit that ruins everything for everyone. And maybe that's the problem I have with the song, too: it highlights the problem, but I don't know that it provides a solution. Saying that, of course, makes me sound like the asshole. I should solve my own damn problems, right?
Okay, enough about a song that's thirty one years old. I still really like it and I still really relate to it.
Now onto the other idea I wanted to tackle: My further analysis of my core group of friends from my teens.
I finished reading Jay's LJ, and I ventured through Jesse, Stephen's, and Travis's because I like getting the other side of my story.
Before I get into my "where are they now" thing that is nagging me, let me just go into a couple of more revelations (I should say reinforcements) about myself I found:
- Turns out I put A WHOLE SHITLOAD of emotional stock into EVERYONE. Jesus Christ, no wonder I found myself constantly disappointed with how things would turn out.
- I was a child, and I don't think I started not being a child until I stated having children. Bad form.
- I clearly (good ol' hindsight working overtime here) was using other people to make me happy, but I think we were all doing that because we didn't know how else to conduct ourselves.
- I can now see that these things are formative in my development since I am technically a late bloomer emotionally.
- I also, and this is a first, don't feel a profound sense of shame or guilt regarding who I was then. I'm accepting of it, and I think it's interesting that I'm not beating myself up about it. Perhaps eleven years is the statue of limitations on feeling shitty about things?
The core group that was Jay, Stephen, and Jesse has been identified. The reason I call them the core group is because I think I spent the most amount of time with them and had the most invested in those relationships. Like I referred to in my prior entry with Jay, I think we, on some deeper level, had an understanding of one another's voids.
Reading Jay's journal, holy shit, no wonder things ended up the way they did. He made direct reference at one point that the only place he felt at home was in my house with my mom and I. That made me so sad and happy at the same time, because his own fucking parents treated him like shit, but I also feel like my home felt more like a home with him there. We used to drive each other insane because we were both fundamentally needy and obnoxious people, but at a certain point that was the norm and we accepted it to a degree.
I did remember a huge falling out him and I had, because we both came at each other on LiveJournal like the mature grown-up men we both were at 18. I forgot a lot of the details surrounding it, but in reading the exchange a lot of stuff came back to me. I was right to be upset with him (long story short: he basically banged a girl that I had be talking to for awhile and had some feelings for, at least that's what I remember of the situation. He had sort of done something similar with a girl I dated Junior year, not to the same extent, but there was some unresolved tension there) but I wasn't right in how I handled it. There were some other issues afoot there too that got taken out on him, and that's unfortunate, but it happened. We made up about a month later.
I don't know Stephen's damage, really, as he was (at the time) the most guarded of the four of us. He had a fairly normal upbringing, and like me, he's an only child. I think, based on my reading and my memory, wanted to be loved like I do, but I don't understand the source of that. Unlike Jay, Jesse, and I, Stephen was usually the most level-headed, logical, and reasonable. He'd get angry, but he handled things much better than the rest of us. He was rarely as passive-aggressive as we tended to be, but I think we drug him down to our level quite a bit too. There was a certain way we conducted ourselves to and around one another as not to upset the applecart. We were so fragile and insecure that we didn't risk upsetting one another because we feared that'd be the end of our friendship. I'm speaking for myself there, but I think it's fair to project that on Jay and Jesse because we all three were products of divorce. I think that's the tendency with children of divorced parents, to make sure to keep everyone happy so nobody leaves.
Stephen now has two kids and is living as a single father. We don't talk often enough, and that's my fault. I'm too reclusive as of late. I need to change that. That's the one thing from my youth that I should hold on to because it obviously kept me sane on some level. Maybe I should plow through some of my bullshit first, though. Anyways, back to Stephen, he seems to have turned out alright. After reading his journal, I realized some things about him that I didn't see before, and that's because at that time, it was hard to see past myself, and like I said, he was relatively reserved compared to the rest of us with our hearts on our sleeves. He's got some great qualities and he's an emotionally strong man. He's a hard worker and he does things with some level of thought behind them.
Jesse was kind of lost, I think. He didn't really find his groove until much recently. We were terrible about using him as somewhat of a punching bag. On some level, he shouldn't have let us, but we shouldn't have been assholes in the first place. I do feel bad about that, but him and I have talked about that semi-recently and those hatchets have been long buried. I really miss him because he truly didn't give a fuck about what people thought about him, to a fault almost. He did his thing. It served him well. He's living with his high school girlfriend, has a job now, and seems to be living well. I'm really happy for him because he took a much harder road than I even did, and I know he dealt with some crazy shit growing up. I love both his parents, but they are not without their issues. His mom seems to have really gotten her shit together and is an addiction counselor, which I think is one of the most noble things a person can do. His dad's still kind of a wildcard, always was, and I know that relationship wasn't always the best. One of the glowing gems from reading my old journals though involves Jesse's dad. I didn't explicitly put it in the journal but I made mention of the incident and it sparked the memory.
This is a little off-subject but it makes me laugh and I feel the need to include it because it tells you a lot about how we lived at that time.
I was dating someone at the time, and she was the first girl that I had any sort of regular physical intimacy with. One day, and I forgot how the hell this happened, but I had to ditch a condom really quick and get dressed, and I threw it into a mop bucket of water that hadn't been thrown out. The mop bucket was my closest target as it was right next to my bedroom door. Days later, Jesse's dad comes over to help fix something and finds it. I don't know that I heard the end of that one for at least three months. It was hilarious though.
Back to my original point: we are were the lost boys. I was Peter Pan, I think, but it wasn't about not growing up so much as it was just about finding what we could call a family, and for about a year, I'd say we were a pretty tight-knit family and we genuinally loved one another and our extended network of friends. We somehow survived, how, I do not know, but we did.
What makes me say this is all the entries I've read regarding our big Thanksgiving dinner we had in 2004. All the orphans at the Keller Krackhouse (which is what we affectionally called it) pulled together their resources and made this huge awesome dinner, followed by a game of football in the front yard whilst freezing rain started falling. It was a beautiful thing, and it gives me hope to think about because it reminds me that at one point, even though I may not have realized it at the time, I knew how to be a person in a group of people and not feel weird. I wasn't an outsider with that group. They were my brothers and sisters (except the thing about the girls was that at one point or another I had a thing for all of them that hung around with us, because I thought a girlfriend would solve all my problems. I'm very glad that my good friendships with people didn't get ruined by attempted relationships) and we lived in this moment at which we were all one.
I know that I can be there for someone and I know that I can be secure in a friendship to some degree. And while the idea of having all these people living with me like some freakish commune has absolutely no appeal to me in the least anymore, I at least can be okay with the fact that I had that experience and move on to something more favorable, or at least figure out what the hell that even means once I figure out who I am. I think I'm getting a sense of that but I know better than to speak too soon about that because life isn't that simple. I guess it's just a moment to moment thing, who one is in a certain moment.
That's way too big a question, though.
Exhuming the bodies from the graveyard of my past
Darkest. Title. Ever. :
I never quite fulfilled that goth kid role I wanted so much. Like, I always related to it, but I never adopted the look. It was too much effort to show off my misery. Much easier to maintain a facade of detatched, journalistic indifference.
None of this is what I wanted to write about right now, but now I'm on a tangent. I'll get to my original thoughts here in a bit.
I've always felt like an outsider, which I've gone into recently, I think. I think I missed my calling as some sort of weird gonzo journalist (maybe less drugs, obviously). I used to participate in things just for the experience, and rarely did I get too close to my informal research. I think that's what my rave phase was really about because while I liked the music, it didn't move me like my favorite music does (Punk, Depeche Mode, Johnny Cash, etc.). I also think that's why I used to go to the Church (goth club in Dallas) in jeans and a t-shirt. I wasn't an active participant but I was obviously there for at least some of the same reasons as the others.
Also, I go back to being naive, a little bit. I think in this case it served me well. I used to go places not "dressed for the part" because I simply didn't care; I just wanted to be comfortable, "myself," or whatever I thought that was at the time. I sometimes think I was more myself when I was blissfully unaware of the fact that I was out of context most of the time. Perhaps some of my identity crisis as of late stems from the fact that I'm more than aware of everything that's going on with me on a deeper level. Was it just a defense mechanism? Or have I changed for the worse?
More importantly, is the damage done now? Can I make a choice to be less jaded and miserable? I guess it could be argued that I could, however I don't know that is entirely true. You can't just unlearn things. Time and chemicals usually have to aid the process of forgetting. I'm not really willing to commit to the latter road with any sort of vigor. I guess it's like exercise, you work on it until you hit a level of endurance that is second nature. I suck ass at committing to that too, though, so I don't know where that really leaves me.
Anyways, back to what the title was initially referencing before my commentary on said title. Since I finished reading through my old LiveJournal archives, I decided to start reading other people's journals from my friends list. So far I've only gone into a handful: My ex-girlfriend's from 10 years ago, another female friend, my wife's (pre-marriage, beginning of our relationship), and my friend Jay's.
The ex-girlfriend's was hilarious in that I'm pretty sure she invented the concept of Vaguebooking (the modern Facebook phenomenon of people stating emotions passive-aggressively in status updates, leaving no details as a means to invite sympathy/attention from other parties). It got even better when you looked at my comments on it, particularly during and after our breakup. It was very clear how much stock I put into that relationship. I was all in on that, and I was willing to continue getting shat upon if it meant not losing it. So sad. Funny now that I'm grown, but still a little sad. I don't think I can do funny without sad, frankly.
The other female friend's was the girl that took my virginity. I didn't go back too far in hers because she had some semi-recent updates that I didn't remember reading. Haven't talked to her in a couple of years. She seemed to be going through some crazy relationship shit. Who knew that was everyone?
My wife's was pretty interesting because it was a snapshot of about our first year together. There were a lot of things that I had totally forgotten about. Lots of stuff from when Kynlee was toddler that made me smile. The big takeaway from that one was that at one point, she did at least seem to love me on the surface. The issues we currently have were starting to rear their heads, but they didn't seem like the end of the world or anything. She didn't have a whole lot of negative things to say about me. I think I needed to see that, because I needed to know that at one point, we were happy with each other, even if it was a honeymoon period or whatever.
I'm still going back through Jay's. This one is tough because his last entry is sometime in 2005, so there's a about a three year gap between his last entry and his suicide. I wish I had more insight into the time leading up to him making that decision. He did have some blog entries on his MySpace, but that was taken down shortly after he died. I don't remember there being anything particularly damning in those blogs, because I remember looking really hard for answers at the time. I knew some of the pressures he was under, but I didn't know exact causes. Sadly, none of us will ever know. He made a choice, and it was the ulitmate choice, in the end.
Tomorrow marks seven years since Jay killed himself. They say time heals all wounds, but I don't know that I buy that. I think that you just get more and more used to the pain as time continues on. It doesn't go away so much as you adjust your tolerance. I'm not saying it makes you any stronger, because I think it does the opposite if it's not dealt with properly. I think it's corrosive. I think the pain of Jay's death and the circumstances surrounding it have not been properly dealt with on my account because on some level I think I'm jealous, in a weird way. It's like he found a loophole. I know he was in pain, especially as I go through his old journal and recount our time together. The dude didn't have it easy in life. He was a six foot tall albino white dude with two rather fucked up parents. We're lucky we had him as long as we did. He didn't have a sense of home or security from an early age. He was constantly on the defensive. This made him an interesting person to be around, for better and for worse, but it was also incredibly sad because you knew that what he was hiding inside was some really dark shit.
I really loved that guy. Not in a romantic way, but I think our friendship was built on the fact that on some basic level, we recognized the darkness in one another and bonded over that. My earliest memories of him involve us in pre-school/day care. I was about 4, he was 5. Kids were shitty to him even then. I was friends with him because I thought he was cool. I knew he looked different, but being an only child, I think I was just happy to have friends at a certain point. He was a year ahead of me in school so we didn't really become friends again until middle school. By that point, of course, puberty had started and people started becoming seriously shitty, to both of us. He was the near-blind freak with no pigment and I was too skinny and afraid to not get picked on. We were both easy targets.
Anyways, to address the loophole thing: I don't condone his actions whatsoever. I don't believe that's an answer, and I don't believe that I could do that. It doesn't mean the thought hasn't crossed my mind before. I'd be a liar if I said otherwise, especially after he did it. The idea of doing that had never been in my brain until after he did it. It's not an active thing, it's just there as the thought of "Well, that's one way to go about things." I've had those thoughts before and because I don't want to put people through the pain or awkwardness of dealing with someone talking about that, I rarely, if ever, vocalize that. I finally did in therapy the other day and it was actually a relief. It goes back to what I've preached (but rarely practiced) about what I believe is society's grand problem: disclosure. We don't disclose anything to anyone ever, and we walk around we these fake, stupid smiles on our faces as if we don't burn with negative energy on the inside. Negativity is like a fusion reactor, it puts off more energy as you feed it, and eventually, people just snap. They kill others, they kill themselves, all because they're afraid to try and reach out and connect to someone else, or they feel like they can't connect, or they are frustrated that they can't connect the way they want to. It's so sad and fucked up to even think about.
Anyways, not going to be in the news for being an asshole. Sorry world. As much as I'd love my name to have some meaning and definition, I'd like it to be something positive and good. I ultimately want to make people happy. I think that needs to start with some sort of baseline of happiness for myself, though.
I had an idea for a "where are they now" about my group of friends, because that was something I noticed in Jay's journal. Maybe I'll get to that later. I don't see that entry going anywhere but "ugh" so maybe not.
Between 9/11 and reliving my friend's suicide, September blows.
Current Mood: introspective
6th September 2015
Yet another life lesson from my LiveJournal Dumpster Dive
I think I said, "I've got it all figured out..." about once every other week between the ages of 16 and 22. It was always followed by a detailed plan of whatever I'd figured out, be it something to do with my love life, or my "professional" life, whatever. :
The lesson here? There's never a final "I've figured it out" solution, like ever. Life is too dynamic for that kind of finality.
It must not have been actually figured out anyways because I never followed through with the plans. I always went back on my promises to myself, and I was held accountable by nobody, including myself. I am (and was) not disciplined enough to even adhere to my own solutions to my own problems.
I think this must be rooted in my lack of being parented early on. It makes sense, and it explains why I seek out external things for internal validation. I need someone/something that's not me telling me I'm right or wrong because I didn't have that going on as a child, and since that wasn't instilled in me, I can't even trust myself to make a decision in most cases.
I can't even trust the accuracy of me figuring this out because how do I know it's not more self-defensive bullshit on my part. I'm in a constant state of self-doubt.
The bright side of that is the pleasent feeling I get when I am told that I was right about something. That's fleeting, though, and I have to ride that tide to the next external emotion buzz I get, if I can even get there.
Ugh. It's hard not to sink further into a depression thinking about all this shit. There has to be a logical, non-chemical solution to my mental and emotional woes. I totally get why the world is so medicated though.
3rd September 2015
Further Diving, More Realizations
A big part of my problem over has always been that I let external things (people, situations, events) dictate how I feel. I tie up my emotions in external things and get surprised when they disappoint me, because what the hell else would they do? :
Emperically, I know that I don't have control over much of anything except for myself. This is a very rudimentary idea that I think most people just intrisically know and live. I think that because of my upbringing, because I feel a hole within myself, I rely on these external things to give me value. I wasn't given a system by which to value myself because my father was someone that didn't value himself. He set the mold for me from the onset. It wasn't intentional, given the circumstances of which he grew up in, but it still happened and it's impared my ability to be happy with myself up until now. I'm not happy with myself still, but at least I have a general idea as to why, whereas I had my head straight up my ass before.
I was a kid, though, and I don't think kids need to be that self-aware of what's wrong with them. As I'm looking back through my old LiveJournal entries, I'm finding that I was delighfully naive, and I think it served me well to a degree. It kept me from letting reality destroy me.
I was naive, and yet now, somewhat more mature and levelheaded about myself, I still do these same things to try to cope with the pain of my identity. I rely on my wife to fill the void where before, on a couple of occassions I can point directly to, I put this burden on my friends. I have no regrets in regards to doing that; it is what it is and it doesn't seem like anyone got hurt, but I was clearly wanted someone to just parent me, tell me what to do and how to live, and love me. I felt, even (or especially) as a teenager, that I wasn't loved and I had no value unless someone loved me.
My mother loves me, and loved me then. She's done all she can for me, and I'm forever grateful for that. However much she cared or tried to protect me, she couldn't undo the damage that my father did to me. Unfortunately, nobody can do that but me at this point. I'm a grown man now, I'll be 30 in three months. I can't use the world around me as a crutch, or an excuse, for how I am anymore. I can make that decision for myself and I should be making it by myself, not through council or some surrogate person.
Knowing this doesn't make it any easy to try, though. There's a certain fear of improvement. It's the fear of losing that which is familiar to me. Feeling like shit constantly and being able to bet the house on whatever emotional craps game I'm playing at the time is like a warm blanket now. It's the same reason beaten wives stay with abusive husbands: they don't know a world where pain isn't a constant. It's scary to think about. I'm almost married to my baggage, in a way, because I feel like on some level it defines me as a person. And honestly, it does, because I let it, just like I've constantly tried to let labels define me. "Writer. Musician. Comedian." Those are just words. They mean nothing in regards to who I am as a person. I'm still a person without those titles. No matter how hard I try to run from it, I'll always be Richard Keller, whether I'm playing guitar, drinking, smoking, being an asshole, or what. That's what I really have to reckon with.
I have to become okay with being Richard Keller and not trying to hide behind a title or moniker that's supposed to throw you off the stink trail of my desperation. I have to figure out, for myself, who I am and what that all really means and not let other things define me because those other things are constructs. They may serve a part of who I am on some level, but they aren't the flesh and bones that compose me.
Thankfully, within the last couple of years, I've come to the realization about the whole label thing. Calling myself a writer doesn't make me special, it just makes me yet another asshole who calls himself a writer. It's not completely inaccurrate, because I do write. I don't do if professionally, but I do write for personal satisfaction, moreso that most people I'd imagine. That doesn't mean dick to anyone though. Even in small talk, it still says nothing about me. Like I already stated, that's not something that makes me a particularly special human being.
Maybe there's something to be gleened from Fight Club, in that we are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world. We aren't beautiful and unique snowflakes. But the takeaway of that for me, in hindsight, is that we are generalizing to avoid facing a specific issue. By saying you aren't a unique individual and you are part of the flock, you're dodging the obvious problem that you have with yourself. If you're like everyone else, then how can anything be wrong with you? You're normal.
There is no normal though, and that's the problem I've had with society at large for the better part of my adult life. When you get raised on movies and television that has a very narrow point of view on how the world is formed, and you don't have a stronger influence in your life to help you draw the line between fantasy and reality, you're left with an adult that will have a hard time coping with the several undeniable truths about the "real world" that are essential for one's well being to know.
- There is no such thing as "normal" outside of a statistical sense.
- "Perfect" is a subjective construct and since no one can agree on what it is, it doesn't exist.
- You are on your own for the most part, so you better get good with yourself because you'll have to live with that guy/gal for awhile.
- No one else is responsible for you. It's up to you.
- No one else really cares about what you're doing unless you are hurting others.
The last one could be argued, but that's a broader arguement about our society at large rather than actual, individual level things. These are all things that I didn't have any concept of before I was probably 25. I knew I felt outside of the "normal" thing, I've always felt that way. I felt that way because "normal" for me didn't match everyone else's definition. "Normal" for me was kind of fucked up, to be honest. I don't want to come off as though I'm pitying myself or wanting some sort of sympathy, it just was. I had an alcoholic dad that beat my mom in front of me. That's just not something that should be normally seen by a 6 year old.
That situation probably didn't help with the whole perfection thing. It then became about control and avoiding the feelings of weirdness. I adopted, in my mind, what a perfect relationship would look like. It wouldn't be what I witnessed with my parents. The problem with these kinds of plans (and why I think I tend to plan lightly as a general rule) is that it takes no consideration for external factors. Like I stated, "perfect" is a subjective construct, and everyone's going to have a different take on that. The other problem is that the concept of perfection leaves no margin for error, no room for compromise. The standard is the standard and anything that falls short of that is nothing, it's not what you were looking for. Even machines in industrial plants that manufacture things have room for adjustment. Shit happens, not everything is going to be ideal all the time. The best one can hope for is a higher average success rate.
I'm out of steam now. Until next time.
2nd September 2015
Self-Observation, Pt. 1.
So I've been in therapy since January and I feel like I'm finally getting past my defenses and addressing some real shit that I've been dealing with for a long time. In recent weeks, I've felt down again like I did back in January (the post is private, and I'm keeping it that way for the time being), only much worse. This past session at therapy I finally broke down. I admitted a lot of things that I haven't had the courage to admit to anyone, even myself. I've been in denial about a vast majority of my emotional well being. Whether this reaction has been out of pride or self defense remains to be seen, but it's there. :
I really feel like a stranger to myself, so I decided to do some research and maybe come up with at least an idea of who I thought I was. At the very least I could draw parallels in my personality from my somewhat more self-assured past life and now. Where else could I turn to get this information?
LiveJournal, of course.
I have an active record of who I am covering at least five of my most formidable years. So I jumped into the archive, going back to around the age of 16 moving forward. I'm almost to 18 at the moment.
Some things of interest I've noted:
- First of all, damn if I wasn't an insufferable little shit. There just wasn't enough attention to please me, particularly from girls.
- I was kind of a dick. Don't know if it is just par for the course with being a teenager, or if I was just a shitty human. I don't feel like the latter is the case.
- I lived in a world of complete extremes. I was either super up or super down and that was subject to change at a moment's notice.
- One of the key differences between then and now is that everything was out on the table and I had ZERO shame about it.
That last one has been the biggest takeaway. I lived out loud, in a way. I was who I was (whoever that guy may have been) and I had no qualms with it. I embraced it. I was proud to be who I was, and in a lot of ways, I had good reasons to be proud. I was living a life that other teenagers weren't, and I was basically doing what I wanted to. I was naive, but that comes with the territory. I can't judge myself 15 years ago based on that, because who isn't at that age?
I haven't felt like that in several years, and I think that's part of what I need to return to. Not the irresponsiblity of youth so much, because I'm over that. I enjoy having a mortgage and responsiblities and whatnot. What I lack, however, is the feeling of being comfortable with myself. I am ashamed of myself because I know I don't fit in, and as a result I've become quite a bit more reclusive. I am a social creature and I choke myself off from that because I think on some level that I'm not worthy of anyone else's time or love. It's a downward spiral of bullshit because ultimately, I've found, all I want, and all I have ever really wanted, is to be loved. No one is going to love someone that they don't see, and I'm in the shadows, hiding. Wishing.
I need to meet that healthy middle ground where I'm not ashamed or weird about who I am as a person but I do need to remain tactful and personable as not to turn people away.
In order to get to that place though, I have to acknowledge and accept myself, pain and all, for who I am, and try to start loving that person. Not in an over-the-top display of narcissism that I did as a teenager (because as much as I said I wasn't, I was TOTALLY into myself. Ugh.), but in a subtle, humble acceptance. I need to start treating myself like I feel like I treat other people. It's an inverted Golden Rule thing. Do unto myself how I do unto others.
The parallels and contrasts between then and now are very interesting to note, and it's been a fun experience (even the painful stuff) to put the pieces together from so long ago. I'm starting to get a more complete picture of who I am, and I can view myself objectively and pick and choose what I think were good traits and bad. This way I can form some sort of composite man that resembles on the outside the person I want to be on the inside.
I think I may be journaling more because I think that, despite the fact that I mostly posted about what amounted to nothing in the past, it was my way of getting through life. It was my way of putting myself out into the world and feeling as though I was being heard. Granted, there's basically nobody I know left on here, but it's still good to know that someone could read this if they really wanted to and can possibly relate.
Thanks for being here, LiveJournal. We should do this again sometime soon.
1st October 2014
Reflections on How to Move Forward
I had my 10 year high school reunion this past weekend and it was great to reconnect with people that I grew up with. Someone made the excellent point that the vast majority of the people there were "old Forney" and we had known each other for 23 years, give or take. In the grand scheme of things, that's nothing, but in my short life so far, that damn near the whole thing. :
It made me feel like home in a way I haven't felt in a long time. I felt that spark of human connection that I've been missing for so long. It's nobody's fault but my own for missing that, but I forgot how good it felt to just be comfortable around others without trying, without having to put on some mask, be it my "musician" mask or my "business" mask.
I also had a revelation in talking with my friend Jennifer. She was doting on me about being a family man now with three kids and whatnot. She was being very sweet, because at the end of the day, for as much shit as I may give her, she's a sweet person. I immediately felt awkward though and threw up my defenses. Thankfully, in a social setting, my defenses tend toward self-deprecating humor, so the deflection didn't exactly hit anyone else in any damning way.
That realization though has really had me thinking about a lot of issues I have with myself to this day. These are issues that I guess I'm now mature enough to address and I think that's the direction I'm taking.
I realized that I've lived my entire life trying to fit into some label that I wanted for myself, because I have been running from being who I really am. I know I've blogged about that in (if you can call it) recent history in so many words, but I've been viewing it as a recent change because I was naive to the fact that I've been doing it all along.
Now I'm becoming somewhat of a "person," whatever the hell that means. I still have to define that for myself. But I don't have to be a musician, or an actor, or a writer, and I certainly don't have to call myself that, especially since I'm not actively doing any of that.
I've always assigned the label in the hopes that it would one day come true, without defining for myself what "coming true" would mean for me, and therefore I've been chasing these impossible ideals because I haven't actually been sure what I want for myself out of the deal. Granted, as a result of not having a clue, I've done some pretty cool shit. I've lived a really fun life. And I'll continue to. My journey isn't over, and now I have companions. And I'll get to see them dream and support that and do anything I can to let them figure that out for themselves and grow. I'm very excited about that prospect.
As for me, I think I'm just going to settle on being okay with things. Take things one day at a time and not stress myself out for not living up to these unknown ideals I set for myself in my youth. That shit will kill you.
11th April 2014
Time Capsule/Teenage Fish Bowl
Goodness. Reading back through this thing periodically is like driving several miles down a highway and stopping. You get out, you look back, and you can't tell what you're really looking at, but you know you were there. Very faintly, you can see the tire tracks marring a dirt path you made trying to steer the damn thing back onto the road. :
Reading back through other people's is even more interesting, especially when you can piece together where you fell in their story's equation. I think I've said it before, but blogs are going to be archaeological gold in 100+ years, and people aren't going to know what to think of us. Our tire tracks are going to be confounding, and who knows if they'll lead back to the road.
Especially without the context of age. I don't know that my age is really on here. One can probably logically figure it out based on where I'm at in school in my early posts. Still... people of the future probably would want to go back in time and tell us all to harden the fuck up. And, based on what I've written alone on the good ol' LJ, could I blame them?
14th October 2012
Music everywhere and none of it is mine!
So this weekend has been a snowball of realization. :
First, I get a text from Randy (From Black Wax Midget) on Thursday that our old drummer is living in town again and wants to jam. I text back, "Sure, when I get time. I am hurtin' for some jam time."
Then on Friday, Tania, from The Ramonalisas, finally posts our EP we did three years ago (http://theramonalisas.bandcamp.com/album/brand-new
in case you're interested) and says that our music video from 2 years ago is almost complete.
Then music all weekend has just sounded amazing. Everything. Even the shitty stuff. I feel like I'm letting it get away from me. I'm not, but I'm aching to perform again like never before. It's almost crippling. It's all I think about.
Action can't occur until at least the end of this month. At this point in time I have no time outside of work/school/life.
But dammit, just to be on stage right now, talk about heaven.
19th August 2012
More archive diving, specifically to my life in 2005, which may as well have been the end of the world to me at that point, at least toward the end of that year. :
Just reading the comments from those posts, when things were "dark" (which, hindsight being 20/20, is laughable. Death wasn't around the corner, I wasn't shooting up on the regular or something. It was about as dark as cheap sunglasses) people would remark on my positivity, my relentless optimism. It made me smile.
That is one of my positive traits, that I'm generally happy and positive. I don't like being negative, and I don't like feeling shitty (does anybody, though? At least for the latter). I want to be a force of good, and I think I'm doing okay in that department.
Then why don't I feel like I am?
It's quite obvious to me that there are several changes I need to make in my life in order to maintain the good. The great part is that I'm never alone, although I may feel like it from time to time.
I feel detached from my friends because our lives are so much different. I have kids, they don't. I don't really go out anymore, they do. It's okay though. At the end of it all, they're still my friends and I'm not alone. I can call them, they will answer, and we can talk.
I guess I should remind myself of that from time to time.
(2 Idols chatter. | Converse!)
Firstly, I find it quite ironic that this, what used to be a place for my public thoughts, is probably safer than a fucking diary with a lock on it nowadays. Hilarious to say the least. :
On a bored whim yesterday I started reading through friends' LJs on here, people from long ago that I haven't talked to in years, people who are still somewhat in my life, etc. It's so odd to look back on all these young, impassioned rants and outpourings. It's odd because their is this very real and visual archive of our lives that you can go back to. I don't know, it's strange to me.
It's strange to me I guess because I have kids now, and if I'm not terribly careful, when they're older (unless LJ burns off into the ether) they will have a near-perfect snapshot of my youth. It's a story, a narrative, and it'll be written in a young man's voice as opposed to some old dude.
It's weird to think of all the relationships I've had with people over the last 10 years that I've had this journal, and how little pieces of them are stuck in here, in a vacuum, for all of time. Meaghan will always be the girl that introduced me to Oingo Boing, Mike will be the ever-present racist commenter, Jay still lives here, and he's been gone close to 4 years. I still have Jay in a jar on here, at the height of him being Jay. It's all there, good and bad.
I'm 26 now, baring down on 27 at a rate that I'm not comfortable with. I thought life was huge and scary when I was 16 and that it was all going to fast then, but I was wrong. At about 18 warp speed engaged. Actually, more like 22, when I met Brooke. Being happy seems to make time go by much, much faster.
I'm also at a very weird place in my life between shedding a little more of that emotional baby fat and being a "grown up" and I'm afraid to let go. I'm afraid of losing my youth, and my point of view. I probably won't, but it's a very real fear.
I fear death also. Not like in a constant nagging way, but every once in a great while, usually about twice a year it seems, I'll hear a comedian joke about death or a news report about people dying in war and it's like the words I hear take on the most serious of meaning, and it hits the very center of my brain and my whole body gets cold and weird. It triggers an immediate flight-or-flight response, and my brain defaults to fight. I'm not ready yet. It's something that people don't actively think about (because to do so would drive one insane) so I think that these episodes are merely a test. It's like my mind and my body communicating to make sure they're on the same page. "It's not time, not even close. Carry on."
Back to my fear of lost youth, my primary fear is that it will make me a shitty parent. Pretty much since Kynlee turned 4, I've been much harder on her because I think she's smart and mature enough to take it. I feel like I run the risk of not letting her be a kid. It's a hard thing to work on, too, because I can't find that fine line between dictator and instructor.
I may start updating this again. This was good. I need to get my head uncluttered.
I was diagnosed with ADHD last year and was on Adderol for the past year. For reasons unknown, when trying to call in a refill two months ago, the doctor has yet to return my calls. I decided to get off of the medicine because I felt like I could function without it, and lo and behold, I can, albeit with a lot more effort than before. As a result, however, the "static" in my head is back. It has been there all of my life until I went on Adderol, then it went away and my head was clear for the first time ever. My self-esteem went up, my productivity went up, but my blood pressure did too. So, in the interest of my health, I decided not to go back on it. Like I said, it's a lot more work, but it's almost fulfilling.
Only other shitty side effect is that I'm gaining weight again, but that's for another time.
Until later, journal. Until later.
17th August 2012
This old thing, right. Hah. :
10th April 2012
Oh, yeah. Updates and whatnot.
So my son was born on March 6th. He's pretty bad-ass. :
It's really awesome and really tiring, this life. It's worth every minute though.
2nd March 2012
Oh, right, this thing...
This year will be 10 years of having a livejournal. I think only the first 4 really count, because after that I kind of stopped posting. I may post here from time to time, but I think the need for it is gone. I don't know what that need was in the first place, but obviously it served some purpose for me, and now it's an interesting archive of my life. :
My son is due in 16 days. I'm pretty excited about that. I'm very excited about that, actually. I don't know that I can oversell how excited I am about it. There aren't words.
This will have to work as an update for now.
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22nd March 2011
I should have known from my first breath.
Adopting my high school method of posting: Lyrics in the title that are from the song I'm listening to that somehow ties into how I feel. :
This song finally makes real sense to me. Naturally, I somehow found a way to apply a Depeche Mode song to my life, but shit happens. In this case, it find it to be good shit, which is rare (on this blog, at the very least).
I finally feel whole. I finally don't feel like there's a hole in my soul.
I feel at home. I feel happy with myself. I have my faults, and I accept them, but I don't let them define me entirely, and at this point in my life, I can do nothing but manage them, they aren't going anywhere at this point.
"Finally I found that I belong here."
It's liberating. Being married, the supposed trap that it is, has freed me.
Granted, I don't think it's that alone. Obviously, that can't be the case, but I think on some subconscience level something clicked after that.
Don't know. All I know is that things feel good and right, and that any troubles can be conquered easily. Good stuff.
12th March 2011
So, getting married.
In six days. :
I really couldn't be more excited, because I'll be spending the rest of my life with a woman so swell I couldn't have dreamed her up, even with my wild imagination.
I feel slightly obligated to update this journal, at the very least so that there is a record of my progression into "adulthood" and whatnot.
Getting married :)
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16th February 2011
I don't know why I do this, but every once in a while I end up staying late and getting all introspective and pensive. :
Tonight I thought of this weird little journal, this odd glimpse into the past ten years of my life. It gets more and more sparse through time, and that's okay. I think this place has served a purpose.
This journal was a shoulder to lean on when I was young and lost, at least emotionally. It's not that I didn't have friends, but growing up the way I did, I never learned how to communicate my feelings effectively, which is something I still struggle with. I think on some level, this was all an attempt at that, with my little emoticons and songs being listened to.
I'm 25 and in a month, I'll be married. It's really weird to think that the kid gushing about his Who CD purchase would be getting married (especially considering all the false-positives on the whole "love" thing).
I don't know, I can't help but think that all that angst was for null. In a way, it was wasted energy. Aimless keystrokes into the adolescent night.
Really, though, it is a part of who I am today, and a part of all the beautiful little bits of life I appreciate. I think my hopeless romanticism a good foundation for learning to actually love. At least, that's what I'd like to think.
At any rate, as weird as it is to admit, on livejournal of all places, I'm happy. And I can't picture life any other way.
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30th December 2010
Obligatory (and possibly the only thing on this journal) End of Year thing
01. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before? :
Released a solo album. Formed my own band. Got called to play a show (instead of calling to get a show). Completed two full time semesters of college. Failed a class.
02. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did. I took me a couple of months, but I got a better job. I don't know that I'll make one this year. My record is too good to ruin.
03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year.
04. Did anyone close to you die?
Nobody close, but someone I did consider somewhat of a mentor.
05. What countries did you visit?
Florida isn't another country, right?
06. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
I'm actually pretty content with everything. Maybe more sleep.
07. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Probably my birthday this year, December 23rd. First surprise party that's ever been thrown for me. Pretty damn cool.
08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Completing an album on my own, save for drums. It was a bitch and a half, but I'm very proud of it.
09. What was your biggest failure?
Getting so wrapped up in personal deadlines that I burned myself out.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My EHX PolyChorus
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Brooke. She puts up with me. That's pretty impressive. There may be a party for her.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one really did anything too stupid.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills and bullshit.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Recording and Kynlee turning 3. She is a little person now.
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2010?
"Try" by Richard Keller
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Way happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. Dammit!
iii. richer or poorer? Slightly richer.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Considering myself a little more instead of trying to please everyone.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Trying to please everyone without giving myself consideration.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Hanging out with Brooke and I's family.
21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
No, no need.
22. How many one-night stands?
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Community, Dexter, Eastbound and Down, Conan.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't think I really hate anyone.
25. What was the best book you read?
My Booky Wook by Russell Brand
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
27. What did you want and get?
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
How Do You Know. Though since I finally saw Citizen Kane this year, I should say that, but that movie is 60 years old.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
25 - Surprise party with fancy beers of goodness.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Actually selling copies of my album, lol
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Same as usual, I guess.
32. What kept you sane?
The knowledge that I'm in a really good place in my life.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I was pretty annoyed with the stupid shitslinging surrounding DADT. Glad that is over with, maybe we can start bringing our boys home instead of worrying whether or not they're into each other.
35. Who did you miss?
36. Who was the best new person you met?
My new neighbors a pretty cool.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
There is such a thing as too much.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
You've got your eyes
And their bound to the end of the road
You sometimes feel
Like your ass is about to get mowed
But you can never let them take you down
Keep it up, keep it up
The sounds will keep coming just to mess with your head
It's a long long journey, a battle some say
You've got to keep the mojo going