Sunday, June 24, 2012

Second to the Last Train Out

I still got time left in me! I turned thirty-one yesterday. 

That was last Friday, and that update had something to do with a very weird thing that happens to me each year around the time of my birthday (or equally possibly because of my birthday). I'm not sure when or how it came about but everytime my birthday comes along I dive right into depression like a bad, abusive relationship. I think about all the things that are wrong in my life, all the things that are wrong with me, all the things that are wrong with the world I live in.

It may (or may not) surprise you that I have these tendencies, I'm relatively easy to get along with and have a pretty well-developed sense of humor. But I feel my emotions very strongly, I just don't act out on them as much as I do (and I do, I'm just saying if I did go all-out there will be blood and broken windows).

But things conspired and all in all it was an absorbing day I got to spend with people I liked, and, 40% thanks to Facebook, people have been greeting me pala all throughout the day (along with some mysterious texters whose numbers I have lost some time in the past--I guessed who they were quite accurately through context clues, because, thankfully, my friends have unique personalities).

I made a quick list of plans for my 31st  year of life on earth, and looking at them now they were mid-journey  plans, not brand-new cast-a-wide-net, set-a-new-course kind of thing, which was, in very many ways, highly satisfying for me. You should get to know me, I'm such a flake it's a miracle I'm still working.

I've learned just a couple of things from the past year and the first is this: writing is not glamorous at all. It's bloody, it's messy, at times you have to hold on to routine, sometimes you have to give your full trust to your subconscious, sometimes inspiration hits and you have to drop everything to ride it out. I've had 3 rejections from my submissions, 2 from short stories, and several no-replies. I'm 31 and I should be working on advancing my professional career or finding a mate, but do you see me complaining?

Everyone's got their own story and frankly mine is this: I write fiction so I can own your mind. Everything else is secondary.

The second is this: there are no rules. Seriously. The truth is you can read all the self-help crap in the universe but all you're really looking for is something that rings true to you. And this something that rings true to you--you don't need to look elsewhere. You just need to consciously assess how things respond to how you respond and then like sails to a giant ship, adjust accordingly. Not as easy as it sounds, I know, but you'll get the hang of it if you commit.

The reason this way of thinking feels real to me is when you think about your death, the truth is you'll be all alone then, despite having your family all around you. And who or what will you think of then? I crave a higher power and I still believe in one, but it's me riding years of formation and building on something I can really live with. Throw out the bad, cultivate the good, that's how things expand for you.

I'm still accepting birthday gifts: Richard Dawkins wrote The Magic of Reality and guess who illustrated it? Dave Frikkin McKean! Also the Celestron telescope sa Eastwood is just 4,000 bucks! Kamown

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