There is a pressure. It’s in my head, but not a headache, nor a migraine, but mere pressure. It wells when I recall the past and long for it to be the present. But it’s not the present. The past has changed my present forever altering my future. And my future looks gloomy. Empty.
I want to change it, but I’m tied down. I can’t change it. I’m trapped in a glass box looking at everyone else changing their lives, their futures, but mine is static. It’s envy that wells inside me and rises to my head creating that pressure. It wants to get out so badly. The only outlet is tears and ink.
I fool myself into making plans, getting away, turning things around. I make excuses not to do it and I cower. I cower away with a scroll of excuses stretching down the cobble stone. It never ends, and I remain.
There is a pressure. It’s all in my head. Those voices of peers that I don’t have pushing me to make something more of my lonely life. It’s constant and berating and overwhelming. I know that when I make those plans, and they don’t become what I want them to be, then I will be back where I started and hate myself even more for trying something so ridiculously stupid.
And I’ll remain trapped.
There’s a mirror in my bathroom. A tall one. It directly faces the mirror over my sink. Sometimes I’ll wash my face and turn to face the mirror. The water still dripping down my chin. I face myself. And I stand there gazing into my eyes as if they were something other. As if I was some kind of stranger. And I just stand there, still, and waiting for something to happen. I’m not sure what I’m waiting for or if I wish I could be sucked into this mirror. I just stand there.
Sometimes I get so close my eyes are inches away from the reflection. I push my nose against it and grimace. I analyze the tiny details of my face. The grain of my stubble, the freckles on my cheeks, the whites of my eyes. Is all of this mine? What use is it? What use am I?
I felt failure in my veins. There was this fear that everyone I knew would surpass me. I’d be left behind. It was the first time I had ever thought of it. Being left behind, that is. The thought kept occurring to me over and over. Everyone you know and love will eventually leave you behind.
And you’ll be alone staring into a mirror wondering why you couldn’t tag along.
I’m not a big shoe guy.
But I love sneakers.
Growing up I had that fascination that sneakers could make me run faster, jump higher, and be better without them. Of course, that’s just a marketing gimmick to get you to buy the sneakers. It also is what the movie Sandlot told me about PF Flyers. I wanted those so bad I looked them up on the internet recently. Zappos has them surprisingly, but they don’t look as cool as I once remembered. So I passed.
I remember the Reebok pumps. Then again, who doesn’t? I never had them. Most of my childhood I grew up settling for generic shoes at Payless, which from my parents perspective made absolute perfect sense as I would destroy them in a year. Why pay more?
Well, there are a lot of reasons to pay more. And recently I have been paying a tad more premium on my adult sized sneakers as it does make a huge difference on lifecycle. And much better comfort. Good Moses brand name shoes are comfortable. Going back to Payless is nigh impossible once you get your feet in a nice pair of Nike’s. Wearing sneakers that make you work for their approval are the worst. You know the sneakers that you have to “break in” before they become your best friend. You get those nasty blisters on your heel. People keep asking you why you’re limping. Why would you do that to yourself?
If you break it all down, sneakers are initially there to protect your feet. That is job one. If they can’t do that then you need to take those things back.
And let’s face it, they should make you run faster and jump higher.
I have this problem where I think way too much about something and never sit down and do it. I love to think about my writing projects, and in a lot of ways that is a good thing. It makes sitting down and writing that much more productive.
However, that’s the problem. I get into a trap where I don’t write.
I build a room with no doors and never get to the dirty business of writing it down. I think my mind processes all the information and becomes overwhelmed by all of it. How will I ever accomplish all of that? I give up and go be a lazy sack watching old episodes of How I Met Your Mother before passing out. I wake up the next morning hating myself.
It became a vicious cycle. I doubt I’m alone in this. I’m sure this is a common practice, especially amongst writers.
I’ve made it a practice of myself to do. Much like those terrible exercise commercials that tell you to do something, anything, to get yourself into shape, I have decided to make it a habit to at least write a page a night. Just a page. One simple little page. It doesn’t matter if its bad or not. Just write a page.
The beautiful thing about this strategy is that I write MORE than a page. I keep going because I am on a role and I end up writing three or four pages. And then that inspires me and makes me enjoy the story. It makes me want to continue.
Today was one of those days. I wrote three pages. Three pages that weren’t written an hour ago are now written. That’s a good feeling.
Now I will go watch the Barnacle and pass out.
The New Year is a time of renewal. And a time to reflect on the past. Overall, it’s a time to celebrate. That’s why, in numerous major cities across the world, people launch fireworks, shower confetti, and drink an ungodly amount of alcohol. There is no real reason to celebrate. It’s another day, like all the others. There is dawn and there is dusk. There is mid-day. People breathe, people eat, life moves on with nothing out of ordinary happening. It marks another milestone in our unit of measure that we have used for two millennia. That’s all.
But we are human, and we want magic.
For myself, I look forward to the future. Optimistically. I celebrate the hope of the beyond, rather than the before. The past year has been possibly one of my worst yet. And while I’ll save you the details of my woebegone life, I will say that it feels that my life is currently darkest at this moment. But as the old cliche` goes, the night is darkest right before the dawn. I feel the dawn coming. I do. I only hope it would come sooner.
Til then…a Happy New Year.
As an adult Christmas priorities evolved from present focused to family focused. I don’t much care for what I get, but what I can give. I would rather spend time with family, watch a movie, or play a board game. Cherishing those moments are what matters most to me.
Yet, the love I have for my family, my friends, my children, my life would not be what it is if it weren’t for a little baby who was born in the dirty, poor little town of Bethlehem. I would have no love in my life without that faith that has been my ultimate gift. A gift I can’t return, a gift I don’t deserve, a gift that is love itself.
Joy to the World and a Merry Christmas!