A meandering soul, I'd say that's what I am. Many people are tied to this world, to all the material 'things' that can be had, and some that can't be had but they want. With that anchoring them to this world, the physical world in which we live in daily, I consider them poor, unfortunate souls.
Yet, I am still more like them than I truly wish to be. But I have been changing, as some of those closest to me can honestly attest to. I have been transcending, if you will. The process is slow going, and never goes in the way I wish it to. But does anything in life? As I look back over the years, over myself as those years progressed, I can note these changes as they happened. But, as I said, unfortunately they have swung me both ways from where I wish to end up.
When I was younger, though I am still young by many standards now, I was more spiritual. As I've grown the past 20 years, I have been slowly changing. But the most noticeable set of years, to me at least, are the past three or four, or so. During those years, I lost the spirituality that I held and still hold dear. Coming of age and becoming an adult, I was inadvertently drawn into what we know as the material world.
I am jaded.
I am material.
I am "me."
The master of my own destiny, or so I like to think, I hope to be able to steer my life into a more spiritual direction once again. I wish, in all honesty, to be able to live as a kid once more. Though, many would say I still do, and I tend to agree with them. I don't take it as an insult, because everyone should live as a kid in my opinion. Somewhat, anyway.
I live as a kid, indeed; but not in the way I want.
"A child, walking in nature, will be mystified," said a teacher of mine one day. As I think back over it, back to my child hood and to the years of childhood of other's I have watched grow up; I must concede this point. Everything will awe a child, when they see it in nature; from trees, to birds, to the running water. I remember my years in this stage of development, and mourn for the loss I have endured.
Should I walk in nature this day, awe will not be what I feel. Rather, I would know a fear. I would fear the unknown, the fact that nature has been around much longer than I have, longer than my race has, and will most likely endure if we don't kill it first.
Yet the knowledge that I can change this fear, that I can regain my spirituality, gives me hope.
I hope to be able to change myself in the following days, weeks, months, and most likely years to come. I have all the time in the world, some would say, since I am only twenty years old, give or take a few months.
I say that while I have much time, I am on borrowed time as it is. And the longer I wait to start these changes, the harder it will be. As I become more and more distant from the years of my childhood, of when I knew not of responsibility or material worth. Every day that passes me now jades me just a little bit more. Age is a negative factor in this belief of mine, until I can figure out how to further distance myself from this physical world.
By these words, and by this monthly journal, the invitation is there for you to join me upon my journey. You, who has no face, needs no name, may realize something in my words, or may think them shit. Either way, the words are there. You are my audience.
To not exist, some would wish for it. Me? Though I've wished for it many times, most likely to get myself out of some sort of trouble, I know that it would not be the answer and that it would come with pain. Recently, I attended a party, or get together if you will, thrown by my brother. It wasn't quite a party, but rather a reunion. It was getting together to see people that my brothers and I grew up with and haven't seen in a matter of years. These are people that, while growing up with them, I didn't exist.
Around my brothers, because I was the youngest and also the quiet one, I was not existent to this group of people, including my brothers. Well, I had one use throughout the years and at this party; that was to be the focus of nearly every joke, and way back when, I was the one who would be their check-in with the parents, so they didn't get in trouble for being drunk. These people, people I always looked up to and wished to fit in with, made me realize something at this party.
They believed and believe themselves better than me and in some ways they probably are. I am not an athlete, or am not holding a job currently. I am not like them in other aspects, thus I did and no not fit in, and that is one of the reasons I consider myself better than them.
To be like them, to do what they do so that the group would accept me, would be one of the most grievous errors that I could ever commit. And on more than one occasion while growing up, I nearly did. But some things held me back. I realize now what I didn't then, that if I did follow the way of the leaders (who happened to be my brothers), I would have no longer been myself, with any special qualities that I may have. Instead, I would have been a copy of them, and would have given up any right to think for myself.
Any and all work I have so far done over my eternal and short life would have been for naught. My soul, which makes me who I am, would have died from lack of nourishment. Then, in a twisted way of the phoenix, it would've been reborn as a simple Xerox copy of those I decided to follow.
Why, then, did I submit myself to this trial and pain that was the party? Because I had a feeling it would be the correct thing to do, and it turned out that it was. It helped me reaffirm who I am and what I stand for, the values that I hold so dear. To suffer that pain was to also let me know, once again, that I am alive.
While, like these people, my life is not a long story as of yet, I know that at least I am trying to live. To quote Thoreau, I am on the everlasting search to locate my hound, bay horse, and the elusive turtledove. Such, as I believe, are the keys to truly living.
Yet, I must berate myself somewhat for the fact that these thoughts are not my own to begin with, that they are borrowed. I fear constantly that the path I follow has been walked a hundred, a thousand, a couple billion times before. While the ideas are not my own, I do not simply follow. Instead, these ideas from various writings were honestly a catalyst to my being that helped to open my eyes. From these ideas, and many others, I have taken bits and pieces that fit what I already thought, and formed myself.
Though these ideas of mine were affected clearly by Thoreau, as I had quoted him and will do so until I can further understand and put the words in my own structure, I do not simply follow. The world around me, ever changing, will always present new ideas and beliefs to me. I would be a fool to not study them, to not think of them, to easily close my mind. That would be another error I could make in my life, and have chosen to not do so. I will not reject something without studying it further, for how could I truly learn anything? My beliefs will be as inconstant as life itself. They will change; they will mutate, to fit always what I believe.
And while I cried out against conforming, I admit openly to following other people's ideas at times. How could I not, when lost on my own path? It doesn?t hurt to take a helping hand, but to always rely on other people would be to also deny myself life. Rather, if I were to find a sliver or wedge of information and knowledge that touches me and what I believe, if I find it to be a truth, I will take it onto myself. If it opens my eyes to something I was unaware of before, I shall adapt my beliefs and change them as necessary. To learn from the errors or ignorance of my ways would be grand, as long as I kept true to myself. I will not think what others wish me to think, but instead I will think and believe what I feel is right, changing and unstable as my life may be.
And so, I believe I've taken a step further along a well used path, yet the path is also personal and carries many of my own markings. I do not wish others to follow this path, but perhaps use it as a means to find out what their own path is. Yet, even with this step taken, there are many miles and hurdles to take before I may rest. Each will be taken a step at a time, as I find it best to do. I shall journey on, and my words shall return.
This journal, which I started somewhat consistently a few months ago, is something I have found to help me talk about events that either bother me or have special meaning. With this being only a monthly project so far, I figured it would give me plenty of time between entries to come up with something to pick at with words. Unfortunately, as I sit here and peer at paper and pencil (which will later be turned to electronic data) I realize that this is definitely not the case.
This journal is, for the main part, a record of my journeys through life, dealing with the physical, intellectual, and spiritual. I want to try and focus on the latter two, for I feel that that will help me realize more about myself. Yet who am I, if I discount one part from the rest? I am only what I feel is two-thirds of an entire whole. To know whom I am I must venture through each aspect of me, and so I realize this journal will not be entirely spiritual as I first thought. To warn you, prepare for babble, for I still know not of what to write.
Something I have been working on is to improve my writing skills and style. To date, I have not written much, depending on how you view it. I have written poems that number around two hundred, and currently have over sixty of them up on my page. Why not the full number? Because I have yet to sit down, organize myself, and type out all the ones that are still on paper. I realize I should do so, so I have an electronic backup as well as the hard copies. As well as the poems, I have a collection of short stories. These range, in my own classifications, from fantasy to a darker horror type of tale. Off hand, I would say I have around ten of them. Depending on how you look at it, you could say I have written a lot. The way I look at it is that I haven?t written a lot, because there are only, on bare estimation, around five pieces out of all the poems and stories together that I like.
This brings me to the want to improve my writing style, which the need of has been pointed out to me. Details are rare and hard to find, and I know that should I knot fix that problem I will probably never make it as a successful writer. So I have undertaken a new project, this being to write a novel. I have sat down, finally, and brainstormed through all the ideas in my head and came up with something. I am drawing particles of information from various things I have encountered in life, as well as a few of the short stories and novel ideas that I have already had. I hope to be able to mesh all of these together, as I have started to do, to produce a book. Let us hope I do not succumb and become a victim to the laziness I know I am cursed with. I have help to push me along now, and am rather glad for that. She knows who she is, and I hope also knows how grateful I am to have her. With her help, and the fuel of inspiration leading the way, I shall some day finish this idea I have started. It will take time, that I know, but always will I be eager for it to be over with. Why? As she can tell you, because I am impatient.
Writing for me, as I hear it is for many people, is a way to cope with the problems and stresses of every day life. One of my biggest problems, so far, to deal with is what seems like an eternal divorce of my parents. It has been officially over for about two years. My memory isn't serving, but that seems right. Yet despite the fact that the divorce is finalized, my father remarried and my mother choosing to live alone, it is not over. There are times that I wonder if it ever will be. I am placed, weekly if not daily, in the middle of their ongoing animosity for each other. At times I can keep it from bothering me, but then come the times when it deals with my life more than I wish. The process of the divorce itself lasted for the better (or more aptly worst) part of four to five years. Again, that time for me is a blur. I will not get into the details of the level of Hell that it was, for I am sure you, whomever you may be, do not want to get brought down. Yet if you have been through the same, have hurt the same; know that I do feel your pain. This, as cliché as it will sound, is something that I would wish upon no soul. To have your world summarily ripped apart and torn asunder? To live in chaos? No one deserves that torture.
Yet as torturous as it was, I found a way to deal with that pain. It inspired me to write and it helped me release the words and feelings that were within me. And to write, it is a way of cleansing my soul of worries, it helps me to get through daily life. Something has undoubtedly changed within me, around me, or both over the past few years. I cannot find it in me to channel the pain into words any more, not as I used to. Perhaps because I am not undergoing the same tortures as I did back then. Though, as I mentioned, the divorce is not settled between parents yet, it is nowhere near as bad as it once was. And I've grown up; I've found my circle of friends. I?m not the outcast I once was, any more. I am me
Am I a good person? Am I a bad person? This is something that has been itching at the back of my mind recently. Who is to say? Certainly not I, for I am undoubtedly biased, one way or the other. As the saying I once heard goes, ?The artist is always their own worst critic,? I feel that this also applies to daily life. Anything we do, we are more hard on ourselves usually than anyone else.
The only thing I can say for myself is that I am trying. Trying to what? To life. To create. To be. Perhaps I do not put in all the effort that I can, but at least, as I said, I am trying.
::December 22, 2002 10:03 AM