Twenty nine years today.
I spent twenty five of them thinking I was one way
only to find in the last four, I’m whoever I want to be.
That is awesome
all in the same shaken bottle inside me.
Which makes me feel stuck.
Stuck in time
Stuck in place
Stuck like Andrew Largeman at a party.
Here, everyone around me shuffles around, spurting their shit without thought
planning trips to Cabo, buying new SUV’s, and making memories with alcohol
I can’t tell if they’re running from meaning,
or chasing it.
I can’t even tell if it fucking matters.
Here I am at Twenty nine.
Another year older
Another year with days filled with wonder and excitement of a new sunrise,
but also a few days with a hunger that there has got to be something better
Happy Birthday Douchebag!
The clock is still ticking.
Everyone is making their moves,
We met on OKCupid.
Our conservation went nowhere.
I was tired of being alone and asked if she wanted to hang out.
We walked around CityPlace with longing eyes that said
Someone, anyone, please stay.
Our conversation was worse than before
Year ago, my grandpa’s heart gave out when I was mowing his lawn.
I never got to tell him I loved him.
The feeling of this date was much worse.
We finished walking and stopped at a park bench
I looked at the clock over the Pavlovian
A saw her hold back a tear.
I’m going to go home, I said.
She grabbed my arm and looked at me with those same eyes.
I’m Sorry I said.
Then next day I deleted my profile.
I’d rather be alone.
Writing is the reward.
It’s not getting your heart ripped out at workshop.
It’s not having an empty audience at your reading
It’s not seeing your name in print.
It’s not telling a girl at the bar you finished a novel.
It’s not reading your book’s review.
It’s not winning the Pulitzer Prize.
Writing is so much more.
It’s the willpower to tackle the next sentence
It’s the sense of accomplishment when you finish a piece
It’s learning from your previous draft’s mistakes
It’s the goosebumps you get after you type a line
It’s the smile when an ending clicks
All this is for you, and you alone.
Your personal victory.
The longer you remember that
the longer your fire will glow.
Writing is your reward.
Rejection is great
it makes you dig
it breeds introspection
it forces you to change
when you’re broke it makes you try harder
when you’re alone it makes you stronger
Rejection is great.
shield, or deflect
and months later, they take the hardest punishment
regretting in silence.
Don’t be afraid.
Rejection is great.
When did it all change?
One day you’re running, making mud pies with the neighbors. The next you’re playing politics on Instagram. Welcome to technology. It’s not who you are, but what you can lead on. It’s not what you think, but what brands you’re wearing. It’s not experiences you had, but the pictures you took. Excitement isn’t enough. Happiness isn’t what it use to be. Instead, everyone needs to be riddled with jealousy from your snap. They have to drool over your Instagram boat party. What happened? When did the thing that connects all of us become a vicious status imposing instrument? When did we become all blinded by the surface? Terrified of the depth?
And if you do break free? It can’t be ignored. No one can unread between the lines. You swipe through multiple pictures. Read different profiles. Sarah, Amber, Lia. All different faces, ages, outfits, likes, and dislikes. Yet they’re all strikingly similar. They cry out for the same shit. Hell, if you talk to a LIVE person. Flesh and blood. Brain and body. They want the same thing. The universe is random. We’re all frightened. We’re all alone. We crave meaning, but also to be understood. We are compelled to go on our own meaningless pilgrimages. Even though we’re surrounded by these things, blindness only shows what we think we want. And these trials? They sting but don’t burn. They leave wounds but no scar. At the end, they just make it all too concise and too clear.
Here I watch my six year old niece. Falling off the couch, while reaching for a cookie. Her eyes scanning and the brain buffers. The desk moved. The chair is rearranged. The curtains weren’t there before. All is strikingly familiar, yet undeniably different. Which cues the voice in the back of my head.
When did it all change?