Life can be cruel or life can be kind. It will give you some of each from time to time. I often try and remain in the light. But I am drawn by both the dark and the light. It seems the absolute apex of each are conceivable within me, within each of us. I try not to speak about the things I loathe about myself or my life or others because it doesn’t do much good to make the negativity become stronger with the words. Yet, when it rains it pours and in truth life is not so much about what is happening to you and more about how you let it affect you. There are times when a person feels so absolutely beaten down by the world, by life, by everything that they can hardly see circumstances changing for the better and can only contemplate that ending it all would be the only true solution to suffice. There is much debate within myself as to whether it is ultimately the most selfish thing a person can do or perhaps the least selfish especially when you factor in the exponential growth in our population as a species.
My perception of the world, as with anyone else, has obviously been altered by time and experience. When I was a child I thought everything was big and everything was possible and magic at that. I believed love would save everyone and I believed in peace and compassion. Those things still matter to me and there is a part of me, the part driven by the light that still believes that and burns with brilliant bright white hot desire to achieve them. But the darker side of me wants to reminisce over the pain, the suffering, the struggle, the loss, the guilt, the shame, and the abuse I have endured. It wants me to remember how unhappy I am with the majority of my time. How unsatisfied, ashamed, and disappointed I have become with myself and it pushes me towards the end. Yet, thankfully though I still have a spark of the light always that keeps me hungry for more.
I don’t think anything in our lives ever gets easier and perhaps even for a while things become harder until eventually we just understand better how to deal with situations. Experience the greatest teacher it’s excellent for creating understanding and reactionary patterns to situations. So nothing really becomes easier, one simply becomes more aware of the proper handling of things.
Sometimes it takes people years, decades, and even entire lifetimes to learn a single lesson. But we can hope that eventually they will reach an understanding. I am the type of person doomed (at least for the most part) to learn the “hard way”. I often wish I could break myself of this.
I also wish I could break myself of my over-analysis of everything, my procrastination, my obvious pride issues, and my self-loathing wallowing. I’m an advocate for change. It’s the only way to mold yourself into a new shape, shade, hue. Experience and alterations to the inner psyche as a result of them is one of the only, if only, sure fire ways to create progress.
It is very true that if you can change your thoughts you can change your life and it does seem like such a trivial slogan type motivational effort but there is great truth to it. Our thoughts are who we are. What we think about ourselves, we become. It’s why you cannot let the dark win.
I know that I must learn from my experience and I know that I must change the way I am currently seeing my situation. If I don’t like it here so much and all I want to do is leave then I need to do that. I have spent nearly the last three years in Salem trying to get on my feet. Trying to pay off debts and save money in the process and for a while I was too giving of my time and money and I finally learned that lesson the “hard way”. After that the bills just became so high that I wasn’t really saving anything even when I did try. So I had to stop paying. Now I barely have over a hundred dollars in my possession after nearly three months of work at the Shitbrickhouse. It was a horrid affair that job but I believe we have to do things we do not so much want or like to do to become or to do the things we want. It took me a while to finally realize that to be a hard fact of life.
This town has lost it’s final light for me. I see no reason to stay. Everything I have tried to build for myself here always crumbles and that’s okay because in all honesty I’m not supposed to be here. I didn’t belong here even when I was a kid I knew I was destined for different things. I never thought I would return here. Yet, I have, time and time again, repeatedly for almost five years now. The topsy-turvy trial and error system I have established within this town is surely going to kill me.
And honestly it isn’t really that life is crueler or kinder to any lot of people. Life is what you make it. It isn’t really fair or unfair. It is chance. I think every good and bad will and can eventually balance out. They need each other to exist in this reality. We only know one because of the other.
My life has been one of extreme highs and lows but it wouldn’t matter what was happening to me for it to seem that way to me. I am just that way. I am exceptionally light and I am exceptionally dark. I relate to and understand only the truth in the essence of the extremeness of each because I am so extraordinarily both.
I am idealistic and nostalgic. I believe in the power of hope, faith, and love. I believe that good thoughts create good words and good deeds which create a chain reaction of good surrounding. I enjoy reminiscing over times that have passed me by and people whom I may never see again but will always remain alive in my heart. I am also analytical, cynical, and skeptical. I am a seeker of truth. I will go over how something could have been, how I could have made a different choice and all the what if’s in the world but not a single second of those thoughts really matter because the past is just that. Gone. Driven far enough away out of reach, passed us on the highway of life with its many curves, speed bumps, and potholes and its many hills and twists, and turns. Life is simply a ride of chance.
Whether things are predestined or chance anyway we are here in the now and that’s what matters and to focus on what could have been or what can be is only good if you can be content to change the very moment you are breathing in and exhale into the next.
Changes for the better can and must occur in my life and soon but I must create them. I can no longer idly stand by and contemplate all the things or ways I am currently doing wrong. I must just halt that process and make room for the right. Make room for the good, the better and the best.
I know I am a person with many strengths and also many weaknesses. I am honestly fairly aware of both spectrums of myself. I try to be aware and try and build my life and choices around them. I know that security and structure are what I most need in my life right now and while I may be provided a house right now, this is not the structure or security that I need any longer. I have to make change by simply doing. The thoughts and the writings reiterating them will do nothing if I do nothing.
And that’s life for you. If you don’t like something change it. Change how you feel about it. Do something. Yes it is easier said than done but it must be done or no progress or growth can commence.
It’s bizarre though how I somehow believe being from Salem is a gift all its own. The people and friends I have come to know and love from this town are truly inspirational, enriching, intelligent, creative, and funny. But on the other side of things this town is full of a wickedness as well. It is a place much like a black hole dying to ingest you and forever refrain from your release.
Yet, growing up here and being so deeply culturally repressed like most of the Midwest creates a very special breed of person. It either breeds more pathetic drones who blindly do as simple is and “always will be” and just lap up the milk of the mundane or it creates a particular artistic mind and intellect unique because of the unusually perceptive nature they have for seeing things as they are rather than as they are told. It’s a brilliant skepticism and intrigue for the exteriors of the small town. And the small town is full of gossip, hatred, betrayal, lies, and even much more ghastly things but it is also full of certain examples of true neighborliness born out of true concern, again we and all things have both light and dark.
When I think about the fact of the human psyche having such great light and darkness within themselves I am reminded of Brand New’s album “The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me” and it may be just that simple, that we have given names, faces, and personalities to our dual nature, to our light (God) and to our dark (Satan). Yet, it could also be that they are true creatures watching above and below us but my intellect tells me otherwise.
We are nothing more than a manifestation of our own thoughts and that is why if we want to change ourselves, our lives, the world; we must first change our thoughts. And so I try to focus on the light even when it’s raining cats and dogs and it seems nothing but the shadow of the sun is in sight. I believe in the power of positivity as well as negativity.
With everything that has happened over the past five years I have honestly learned a lot. I have learned how to better deal with death and grief. I have learned how to let go. I have learned that being alone really isn’t the worst possible outcome. I have learned that sometimes the best way to forgive someone is to stop all contact and just live and let live. I have learned that some people can’t and don’t want to be saved. I have learned that it’s not my job to save them. I have learned that anything worthwhile takes time. Trust is fragile, earned, and absolutely everything. I have learned that all people no matter the culture, age, race, etc. their deepest motivations are all the same, which are of understanding, acceptance, and love.
It isn’t just the mere fact that we as individuals have so many problems but as a whole species we are suffering and leaving disaster in our wake as we overpopulate the planet that is slowly becoming hotter and more polluted. I feel so selfish sometimes when I think about my problems compared to the rest of the worlds, how someone else always has it better and worse than I do. The scattered stands of life’s struggle surrounding us we must still embrace the light.
We must build an economy based on our deepest motivations. People only really desire wealth and power because they have no idea how to gain those things in the absence of either or both. Doctors should be doctors because they are driven with passion to cure the sick not cash out on their illness. Bankers should invest because they believe in something not because the economy is based on debt for debt. Teachers should be teachers because they desire to help others learn. The pharmaceutical companies should embrace cures rather than prescriptions to merely dull the side effects so they can make bank off the world’s diseases. Your job should be your passion. Everyone has talents and efforts they can utilize and put forth for the betterment of the whole. Dream this dream for me.
People should care less about appearance and more about character. People should seek to understand instead of judge, “because everyone is fighting a hard battle”. People should embrace change and do the most with what’s available to them. We should be grateful for the moments, the people, and the things we do have instead of pondering and wishing on the moments, people, and things we don’t. Dream this dream for me too.
I feel like for the most part people are both very selfish and selfless. They can be either. We can choose which path to take. There are moments where in all honesty it is better to be selfish and then of course there are numerous reasons to invoke the other. We are duality. We exist in a realm of duality. We must always attempt to keep them in balance.
There was much more personal account of my life addressed in the previous version of the above text but I have removed them because I don’t really care to share and I honestly don’t know what’s driving me to write all this as if I have things figured out. I don’t. Everyday is a struggle. I still try and maintain a positive outlook. Today I filled out my fafsa again. I don’t think I can survive another year just hopelessly searching for the right job when none of them will ever be the right job. I need an education. I feel like I cannot function at my true potential unless I get one. Another part of me thinks what a load of bullshit that is. Why should I put myself in deeper debt in the hope that upon my returning to school things will be different, that my perception has changed, that I won’t feel like just another loose strand in the system, another drone.
I see so many things in life that I enjoy that I just want to eat and drink up. So many things inspire me but at the very same time so many things entangle me in some sort of mixture of despair and madness. I don’t know sometimes I feel far too idealistic for this reality. Funny thing is it’s also my idealism that keeps me alive and believing that change is possible. I think its the prospect of change that keeps us going and also at other times leaves us shaking. We become so comfortable with certain habits, people, things, and the mere notion that something could alter that in even the slightest way can become so horrifying. In contrast for someone in my position when I feel at some instances that I am merely coasting along through this existence, change is all I can hope for. And the question of what if’s and what is and what does any of this mean? If it means anything. What is it to have meaning? Do lives have meaning? Sometimes I see these words and these questions and I just think well we’ve pretty much just put everything into nice little categories called words. Stuff and things. What’s the difference? How different the world would seem without language, without time. The concept of time is so ridiculous to me. It should merely consist of two instance (alive, dead) but we are observers and we study the stars and the seasons and the movement of the earth around the sun and we say this is day, and this that follows is night.
No wait, that was God. God said let there be light and there was light. And he called the light day and the darkness he called night.
Why did God who was infinite, omnipresent, and just absolute everything feel the need to name anything? If we are created? Why! If not, where does that leave us? In one great big adventure. But I feel like we could have had it so much better had society never happened. I see the benefits but sometimes I just want to crawl back in the womb. That’s a disorder. I’m not sure which but I know it is. I love my mom she’s a real nice lady. She’s smart and pretty too. But she’s put me through a lot of hardship but she also waited on me hand and foot for a good portion of my life. She did suffer through labor for me and then sat in a hospital chair for nearly the first year of my life. All alone at just 22. When I think about how I would reaction in that situation, how on earth I would be able to be responsible for another life when I’m still two years later feeling like a child myself. The older I become the more courageous it seems to me. I look back at my own life in retrospect and think geeze how did she do it. How did she raise two girls on her own, until I was nine and Courtney six. I find it so astonishingly perplexing and inspiring that truly the mere fact that there was ever one person in this world that would have taken the chance that she did on me, well then I might as well keep going. I might as well make the most out of this existence. Whether there is no meaning even at the end of all things.
The human connection (it’s pretty much the same thing as the rainbow connection only flesh colored), is ultimately all we really know. In so many ways the connection that I am most familiar with would be greatly broken if we didn’t have language. I’m sure there would be other means of communication. I think that’s really what is it. Even today in our postmodern hypercritical society we still want our damned ideas out there so bad. So much so that we will go as far as to write nasty things about others just to get our opinion out, in the hopes that somebody, anybody will bite. Well I say chew on this; even in all of my cynicism and skepticism (which I do have a lot of) I never try to gain pleasure out of the misfortune or pain of other. To me that is the most inhuman action one can do. For me, we as humans are really all there is and we may only get this life so why would you try to give somebody more grief than they have already given themselves?
And if I know anything about cynics, they are the one’s that need lovin’ the most!
Peace out ladies and gentlemen of the visible world I hope you enjoyed my transparency.