Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Meaningful Note, Day 72

So I've been cheating lately. I haven't been blogging everyday and not because I've been super busy. Sometimes it slipped my mind. But being a writer being busy is never a valid excuse. The truth is that I really haven't been inspired to write. It's a perpetuating cycle. I write to inspire me, and I'm inspired by writing. When writing doesn't offer me something exhilarating or an experience, I ignore my craft. But the only way to be invigorated by writing is to engage in it. So I have to start somewhere. I suppose if I lose my passion, I have to find it wherever I can. I can't wait around until it returns when it's ready. A friend of mine wrote a note on facebook that inspired me. I copied it below.

This was originally a response I was writing to my friend, Frank, about a note he tagged me into. It really inspired me and I realized that as I kept typing and typing that this is more than a response, it evolved into its own Note. Having spent years developing this detached persona, I became emotionally dead. I worked diligently to manifest that synthetic version of me. As detrimental as it was for my emotional health, it was one of the best things I could've done for myself. I'm not going to claim that it was the only choice, which I believed at one point because that's crap. I chose that course of action, and actions have consequences.

Since then my life has changed drastically. I no longer needed to be detached as a way to strengthen my survival or even manifest synthetic willpower, so to speak. But after spending years refining such a detachment, I didn't know how to reverse it. It was no longer "colored tape" I put over something, so I could ignore it. I created a brick wall to conceal what was difficult for me. And the worst part is that I didn't even notice what my subconscious has been building for years because I was too busy looking away.

So the universe brought someone into my life with a sledgehammer. It's painful to experience any form of feeling after so long of going without them. It's a shock to your system. I understand why he was brought into my life. I'll forever be indebted to him, but he also has the burden of knowing that I resent him for it.

The one thing that I think is worse than a lack of direction is the absence of feelings, experiencing emotions, good or bad. When we're hurting we want nothing more than to not feel. But when it's gone, you don't even realize it's not there anymore. As excruciatingly painful as it is to hurt, feelings make us human. Without them we can't have a sense of direction. We're not capable of it. We'd merely exist mundanely. It's that my friend asked is worth it for anyone.

While he rarely expresses his own emotions in his writing, it's something I've committed to doing in a blog, a 365-a-Day Project. I want to feel human. I want to have meaningful experiences that touch me. For writers there's something about pain that makes us grow as writers. Sometimes I wonder if I exploit pain as a way to develop my writing.

When things are going well, it's hard for me to write with passion, insight, and depth. I try to enjoy good moments in my life. But I realized that living here has given me an opportunity to look within myself and so has my friend. In a long time I think I found something worth writing about.


Thanks for tagging me into this note. Living here does force us to look within ourselves. And as insensitive as it seems, I'm more saddened by a lack of direction and merely existing because we have a pulse and breath than an early death, too. It's tragic, but some people are fated a shorter lifespan and never had the chance to live and aren't given opportunities many of us are offered everyday. While what we're offered isn't nearly as fruitful for many of us as we'd like it to be, I don't think it's about the limitation life imposes on us. It's about what we make out of what we have.

Some people do find it offensive and dishearten us for how we feel, that the death of a six year old is less tragic to us than a bunch of teenagers deliberately leading lifestyles that'll offer them an early death. We're not talking about curiosity leading down a dark path, which I believe all of us have become victim to at one point in our lives. We're talking about kids who say they have to drink and get high and not with something mild like weed but meth, coc, or heroine on a daily basis to function and proceed to live as they get hospitalized for seizures and comatose states. I do agree that what we see in this apartment is far more tragic. If anything, early deaths and denied opportunity of experiences should be savored because others aren't so lucky.

You made me realize something, Frank. For so long -- Damn of all the times to not just experience writer's block but completely lose my train of thought! Fuck you, Sam! I can't remember what you made me to realize that I can express through the sentence, "For so long..." But I do remember what you made me realize. I may not be one of those kids completely co-dependent on drugs to keep me from suicide because I have no direction, but I do feel like I can't see my direction, even though it's there.

I want to become a writer. Pursuing a writing career is difficult because it requires so much willpower, sense of direction, inner strength, tireless persistence, diligent effort, ability to distinguish between positive and negative criticism, and stay optimistic and self-encouraged through an inevitable paper trial of rejections. If I'm to ever make it, I can't afford to lose my sense of direction. Writing is so abstract and intangible, too. Our ability to write is directly linked by our ability to experience things, be receptive to them, and find insight even in the most mundane experiences.

It's tough because writing requires us to be all of those things and then some. Part of becoming a writer is to become rejected in a competitive field where it's likely that in most circumstances our writing samples won't even be examined because of the overwhelming applications. And for me I want to make it as a writer. I don't want to settle. I'd rather die trying and failing. So perspective and willpower is so crucial for me.

Jason once mentioned that this place is like a community of and for people who don't want to be here. It's offered and we take it because we need it, but no one really wants to be here. We're here because we have to be. And I believe that's why so many of us want to escape it! I know his description sounds like a shelter and while it may be described as though it functions like one, it's far from it. Shelters are structured with the intention to convert their residents to mainstream into society as productive members, while this place has a landlord that manipulates and strategizes his tenants to keep us here longer as a way for him to profit.

He attempts to bond with us, so he can gain resources he later uses to exploit us. That bastard knows our vulnerability and weaknesses. And if he doesn't, like a bloodhound he tries to find it. Once he does, he bleeds us so we're helpless. Even the wounds that begin to close, he tries to re-open them by poking at it because he knows that once we're capable without him, we're gone! So he cripples us!

As dramatic as I sound, it doesn't make it any less true. He's not on our side. He's out for blood. Only we can defend ourselves. Even the friends I've made here can only be a friend to me about as much as I can be for them in an environment like this. We're too busy having to save our own asses that we don't offer each other the kind of friendship we all deserve and want to provide. So all we're left with is our willpower. Take that away and what do we have left?

For such a long response, I know I haven't provided you with the answer you're looking for. The truth is that I don't have one. You already have your answer. You believe that living without a reason to live isn't living. I agree. But that's why you wonder why people do it. Now that's an answer I don't have for you and one that I'm hungering an answer for, as well. I once responded to a poem my friend, Torres, wrote about the kind of world we live in. That response feels appropriate here - "It's funny how when someone conveys what we already know and feel, we're at ease even when the message is of no comfort but a reality." You've asked a really good question. "Are you really so dependent on something other than your own will? Whatever happened to hope? Whatever happened to reason? When in the world did you become such a conformist?" The best advice yet - "Man the Hell up and push forward. This is your life and you only get to live it once."

While this example is something only Frank, Stephen, and Eason can fully relate to, I saw something yesterday that reminded me of what I already knew - you can't judge a book by its cover. Eason, this scrawny Asian guy who albeit is a former marine borders on looking malnourished and he was looking upset because two much buffer looking guys were having difficulty arm wrestling him. You can't always judge a book by its cover. Life may not always seem so great, but life is complex and complicated. It's almost never what you see is what you get. So no one should ever give up because it doesn't seem that great.

I wish I could end this entry which has truly moved me with something meaningful, but I can't come up with anything. Thank you for this note, Frank.

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