It's been a long path to get here.
Slightly capable, sort of confident, and miles ran on this very keyboard. There's an odd nagging of ... pride? I'm proud of the work I've accomplished thus far in my career. Both prose and journalism. And as much as it has been my life, there's another piece of the daily puzzle in the 21st century that has the ability to siphon some of the soul from one's creative mind; the online persona.
This non-existent place where we (generalization) commit most of our engagement with the outside world. It has done so much good in the time since its conception. But it doesn't stop at the good.
When the technologically inclined began to migrate into this digital world, so did strategic marketing, optimization, and consistent self-promotion. People knew that--due to the reach of the thing--the internet would be the best place to sell one's self. It's been that way for me. Generally, it has worked.
The down-side is that people stopped being themselves. And by people, I mean the majority. There are few, champions of a clear image, that continue to put forth a faithful version of themselves without compromise, but that's not the norm. Unfortunately.
It has become an unfaithful place. For people. For freedom (regardless of those folk who believe they can say whatever the fuck it is they please). For peace (no matter how hard the truly wonderful fight for it). It is a breeding ground for ugliness.
Like Coffey in The Green Mile, I'm tired.
So I'm going to excuse myself from this world. It could be a short break, it may be forever. But the only thing it's doing properly for me now is skewing my perception of myself, the news, my friends, my heroes. Through time, and effort it has perverted my interactions with the world. In regards to relationships as me, that is.
The need to step aside is two-fold;
- It's ugly.
- A tiny voice (grown louder over the years) reminds me that this version of me is not who I really am. That none of what is built on a platform of off-kilter relationships should be worth the time that's spent maintaining it.
A lot of potential gets flushed when someone slips into this void of misunderstanding, self-righteousness, and what boils down to plain deceit. I don't want it in my diet.
Number two on my list is probably one of the most painful realizations that I've had to come to. I've gained a lot in my years through the power of the internet--social media to be more exact. A part of me is constant in rehearsing this speech consisting of guilt, led by a man inside of me that feels like I owe something to it.
In order to become a better writer, a better person, and refine my craft, I have to do a far better job at being true to myself. So instead of getting lost in a world I do not control and play nearly no part in, I'm going to spend some time getting lost in myself.
The part of me that speaks without asking for permission--if only in my head--doesn't live, breathe, or feast on this plastic world filled with plastic people. The oxygen it needs is a tangible thing. And it's starving.
I lay at night, eyes fully opened, staring at my ceiling. There are faces, and shapes in the stucco I've come to be rather familiar with. Like pointing out the big dipper, or Orion's belt in a clear night's sky, I see them, every night, almost without fail. I stare, at nothing, wondering if I have the ability to pull one voice of the crowd in my head out long enough to taper down its message and allow it to escape.
Instead, I am running through my day feeling like I've accomplished just shy of nothing. I'm irritable and fragile. I feel more alone now than I ever had. Which is true. Most of my interactions with the world are through a lens so clearly defined by the desires of those who live in it, that I'm part of large-scale folklore. It's fallacy, built on the idealistic concept that on here, digitally, I can be whomever the hell I wish to be.
Through the next stage of my life, and my relationship to this world--as I only get one shot at this--I will focus on living those tangible moments. Be near people I love. Read more. Write more. Be me, more.
Some hurdles are involved, of course.
I can't completely deactivate everything. My "day-job" requires my openness to the world of social media and digital communication. There are things, like my facebook account that I can't even shutter slightly because of this. And I won't be deleting any accounts either, as I will still be using my social media reach to garner new business and share my works in the coming time. I will use it as the tool for business it has so brilliantly become. but somewhere in the journey to here, the wall between social media as a business, and social media as an avenue for personal encounters has lowered.
I won't be deleting any accounts either, as I will still be using my social media reach to garner new business and share my works in the coming time. I will use it as the tool for business it has so brilliantly become. but somewhere in the journey to here, the wall between social media as a business, and social media as an avenue for personal encounters has lowered. The mix of the two isn't pretty, or real.
In order to remove myself from the picture without cutting out any of the actual work I have to do on the platforms I will be turning off all notifications, deleting all basic apps (keeping things like FB for Business and Buffer), and saying farewell in a more personal way directly on those channels.
For those that are close to me, I will be in contact.
The version of me that lives online needs a break. There needs to be some time for this me that is hurting to regain speed at living life, and making art. For this to happen, I have to stop using these streets like gutters and start walking right down the fucking middle.
To challenge me to be more of just that very thing is a terrifying thing to ask of me. I've spent so long, and grown so talented at wearing faces for the sake of upholding standards that hold zero value in my actual life.
I am so proud to know some of you. Those that stand up for equality, for beauty, for art. Those that fight oppression, and evil orange-tinted politicians. I love you all. I love humans more today than I think I ever have before, and maybe ever will.
There's no clear place for me in that world. Not me, really and real.
A percentage of my inner-monologue is singing a tune about how truly wrong I am. That this whole idea of realizing who it is I actually am, all over again, will only haunt me in the end. But again, what makes me good at prose and poetry, is the part of me that hides from the outside world.
To become a recluse in my words. To succeed at the very thing that makes me feel alive. To find peace on this patch that I stand on.
There's dirt under these fingernails.
Pass me the soap.