Hello, My Old Friend

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A supernatural mystery set in the deep south with vampires?

Oh hello, old friend.

Tonight marks the premiere of the television show Midnight, Texas. It’s a show based on the books series written by author Charlaine Harris about a sleepy little town in Texas bursting at the seams with supernatural secrets and mysteries to be solved and seen through the eyes of a seemingly normal individual with a lot to hide beneath the surface. There is murder, sex, violence, ghosts, vampires, were-animals, witches, and everything otherworldly that the mind can devise.

If the premise of this television show sounds a bit familiar, it might be because this isn’t the first time a show like this has graced our television screens.

A few years ago, another southern supernatural mystery, also written by Charlaine Harris, closed its coffin for the last time after seven seasons. Like Midnight, Texas, this was a show that saw its fair share of twisted mysteries set in a quite southern town and focusing on an individual with a supernatural secret. Like this new television show, it had a fair amount of sexual activity (though far more than Midnight), vampires, witches, mediums, and anything else you can ever think of.

True Blood. 

As a Truebie/Fangbanger, I’m overwhelmingly excited at the prospect of seeing an all-too familiar concept back on my television screen.

True Blood, when it was on the air, was my favorite television show. Starting at the end of June, I would turn on HBO at nine o’clock at night, put all of my electronic devises in another room, and spend an hour with the supernatural residents of the fictional town of Bon Temps. I looked forward to it all week during the summer; it was the highlight of my week and gave me a guaranteed place to go on a Sunday night.

It was a weekly visit from my vampiric friends.

I know it’s a little sad to call fictional worlds and characters friends, but for a socially anxious introvert like me, they can be the greatest comfort. Is it a replacement for real human contact? No, of course it isn’t, but it can put a band-aid on your loneliness for a little while. Opening a book cannot give you friends, but for the brief moment you’re reading the text, you can pretend the people of the story are your people. When you watch a television show, you may not be curing your loneliness, but it can take an ounce of the weight off your shoulders for a little while.

Though occasionally, old friends of the human variety can offer comfort as well.

“Hi”

I received a new message from an old flame. He and never actually dated, but we got to the almost part of our relationship on numerous occasions. We hadn’t talked in a few years, but I got a random message from him after I had posted about having a rough day. There wasn’t a lot of flirting like there was in our younger days, but we talked for a long while. It was nice.

We left our conversation with a good night, and that was it.

For a little while, I wasn’t lonely.

 

Humbly Human

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I am not perfect.

I am nowhere near perfect.

Then again, no one is anywhere close to perfect. Perfection is a state of being that is completely unachievable for anyone or anything in this world. There is always something that is flawed and needs improvement. This is a universal truth that almost everyone who is living or has ever lived can probably agree on. Yet, while we are so willing to accept this truth in private, we are a bit more reluctant to come to this truth outwardly.

We just don’t always want to admit our imperfection.

I can’t speak for all human beings, but a lot of us spend so much of our lives focusing on how to achieve perfection in ourselves and in the world around us. So many of us, myself included, identify as perfectionists. We are people who adhere to the state of being of absolute perfection and fall apart when this state is not achieved. We try and push ourselves to reach our absolute best at whatever cost.

Still, no matter how much we try or desire to achieve this state of absolute perfection, we will never get there.

This can lead to a lot of moments of feeling absolutely hopeless. I know a perfect life is absolute impossible, but it frustrates me just the same. I am far too aware that I am entirely flawed. Each and every crack in my armor frustrates me to no end. I know I am extremely imperfect, and I know that, despite my efforts, there will always be things that I will struggle with no matter what. I can never reach a true one-hundred percent.

I want to be perfect. I cannot ever achieve true perfection. Why even try?

Because that is what living is about. The world is nowhere near perfect, and neither are we. That is what it means to live a life. The world we live in is flawed, and if we are good and honorable people, we strive to perfect it. Perfection will not be achieved, but the world will still be better thanks to our efforts. We are not perfect, but in our efforts to achieve perfection, we become better. Perfection is impossible, and we shouldn’t ever reach that point because then we will stop reaching. Life is life because we are constantly striving to reach for a level we are never going to get to achieve.

Tomorrow will not be perfect, and that’ll be ok in the end because it’s not supposed to be perfect.

Going into the beginning of the work week, I know full well that I will face a moment where I am not at my best. There will be something I fail at or have to ask for help on. It will break my heart to know I cannot do anything and everything on my own at my absolute best.

Do I want to give up given my imperfections? Yes. Will I give up? No.

I am not a quitter.

The Block of the Writer

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I’m uninspired, my internet friends.

I’ve spent most of this overly hot Saturday trying to figure out a topic to fulfill my five-hundred word daily blog post. It needs to be something that I can get behind and that an audience of random internet strangers On a good day, I have something weighing on my mind that just pours easily from my mind to the page on the screen. On an average day, I can usually figure something out that is worth a few hundred words. Unfortunately, today isn’t the greatest of days when it comes to writing.

I’ve got writer’s block, again.

Most writers experience writer’s block at some point during the writing process. Incredibly frustrating, and it’s almost unavoidable even for the most accomplished and skilled writers. It’s the point where the words just stop pouring out your head and onto the paper or the words just don’t start at all. Writer’s block is something that can halt any project that involves writing dead in its tracks.

In addition, not all writing blocks are the same.

Sometimes, writer’s block is caused by a lack of inspiration on what to write about. The source of what to write about is just nonexistent. The writer is unable to devise a story to tell because they cannot figure out what story to tell. With this type of writer’s block, I can find the words to say, but I can’t figure out what arrangement to put them in. I don’t have any sort of blueprint for a story. These are the days where I’ll sit in front of my computer just staring until I start type the most generic topic I can think of.

Not today. The words are there, and I have so many stories to tell with them; I just can’t get to the words.

The inspiration to write is all around me. I’m emotionally charged, and I’ve got a story to tell. Actually, I’ve got a lot of stories to tell, but for some strange reason, I can’t tap into them to compose a single syllable. I have the topic, and I have the words. I just can’t get the two parts of the writing process to hear in order to compose a solid piece of writing for a blog post.

So, how do I overcome it?

Most of the time, I just accept the writer’s block and don’t even try to put words onto a page. If the words just aren’t there, why should I try to force anything out? The writing will just feel false and stiff, which isn’t fair to the writer or the audience. I’m a firm believer that a writer should only write when there is something to write about. However, this belief results in a lack of writing, which isn’s something that will help me get into the writing field. So, when writer’s block strikes when I need to write and the inspiration isn’t there, there’s only one thing I can do.

I can write about not being able to write.

One of the best things about writing is the craft’s ability to grant power to the writer. By writing about struggling to come up with something to write about, I overcame my writer’s block and was able to write about something. I took power from my struggle, and I wrote.

Writer’s block: destroyed.

Still I Keep Going

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It’s been far too hot this summer.

Every day as I leave work to go home, I end up at my car already drenched in sweat from the short walk from the office to the parking lot. When I reach my car, I am eager to escape the punishment of the summer sun and the stress of the work day and go home to rest and recharge. Settling into my front seat, I put the key into the ignition and turn on my air conditioning. I pull out of the parking lot as gust after gust of warm air is blasted back at me.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot; My AC doesn’t work.

It’s been a long time problem for me that I’ve never bothered to fix. I had it inspected a while back, but the cost to get it fixed was just something my frugal ass cannot deem a priority.  The heat works just fine, but when I try to switch it up to a cooler temperature, my car decides to throw warm air in my face. Once in a while, I get lucky and a get a cool breeze for a few minutes before it remembers it’s not supposed to work. Logic would tell you to either shell out the money to fix the AC or just put my windows down. However, like I said, I’m cheap, and putting down my windows is a little disorienting with the wind and noise coming at me. So, I end up driving home in my sauna of a car with my clothes clinging tightly to me.

Still, I turn my air conditioning on in the hopes that it will somehow turn cold for a brief moment.

This leads me to another life lesson or realization, as most things always do. My life and my car have similar problems. We both have a problem that needs fixing and still try to keep going despite this flaw in the mechanics.

Life feels super tough to deal with right now. Maybe, it’s just me, but everything just feels incredibly hard to make it through right now.  More and more, I wake up in a haze, sleepy make my way to work, work too quietly during the day, come home and work out, and then I go to sleep to repeat the same sort of day over and over again. Seeing the same sad story over and over again, it gets increasingly harder to get out of bed.

Still, I keep going.

I don’t know why I keep pushing through life when life doesn’t seem to favor me. I’m running on empty with my life in terms of hope. Nothing seems to be going in my favor, and not seeing much of the positive is making it hard to even try to keep going on. I’m losing faith that life could even get an inch better.

Still, I keep trying.

Right now, my life is incredibly heavy, but I still keep going. It’s like I have a little black rain cloud over my head and no umbrella. Every so often, I get soaking wet, and it’s hard to move about my day.

Still, I keep moving forward.

Call it hope. Call it perseverance. Hell, call it just being extremely stubborn, but I just don’t have it in me to quit. Life is absolutely no where near where I would like it to be right now.

Still, I hope.

Song of Silence

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I stand on the stage in a theater. A crowd of people fills the room silently. The spotlight flickers on my face and illuminates the room so strongly that I can’t make out a single, individual face. Perfect.  Music begins to play, and I wait patiently for my cue. As it’s my turn to sing, I open my mouth to begin to sing, and no sound escapes my throat. I’m silently frozen in my place.

I’ve lost my voice.

Sound is imperative to my existence. I hate the sound of silence immensely. There always needs to be some type of noise that passes through my ears. Life becomes more than just existing when it’s filled with sound. Sound makes life more and, in turn, makes me more. I really love noise, sounds, and songs.

My voice used to sing along with the tunes all of the time.

Ever since I was abled to vocalize sounds, I loved to sing. I became an avid cd collector, buying entire albums just to be able to croon along with just one song. Car rides became my own personal concerts for whomever was driving. Still, what really got my voice to sing was the chance of performing and using my voice in front of others.

Believe it or not, this socially anxious adult once loved to take center stage under the spotlight as a kid and a teenager.

Musically as a kid, I was an ambitious little song bird. In elementary chorus, I auditioned and earned a solo or two, proudly bragging about my ability and self-assumed superiority. I earned a spot in my middle school select chorus in sixth grade and performed in talent shows singing the cheesiest ballads I could find. During my freshman year, I was the only freshman to audition for a solo during our spring concert. I didn’t get it, but I earned a solo every year after that. Was I the best singer of the bunch? No, but I did manage to audition and make the district-wise chorus as a senior. When I left high school, I thought I’d just keep on singing my song.

Since graduating high school, I haven’t crooned a single note.

Other than listening to melodies on my iPod or in my car, music has become a stranger to me. The spotlight is something that burns me rather than warms me. Stage fright occurs before I have even stepped out onto the stage. I’ve become an audience member. I hear others pouring their voice out to the microphone and wish desperately that I was them.

I miss my voice.

Music, or more particularly, singing made me brave. In chorus, I strived to be the loudest voice in the room and wasn’t scared to show off what my vocal chords could do. I stepped forward and tried out for any and every solo to show off what I could do. I wanted to show off. I loved people taking notice of me. Now, I stand frozen in front of the microphone.

I’ve forgotten how to sing.

 

Sitting Alone

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Five hundred or more people from a company gather together for the company’s birthday party and watch a minor league baseball game. Food and beer (or soda and water for the non-drinkers) was served to a hungry crowd as chatter about life, the game, and various activities at work filled the air. I walked into the venue, grabbed my food, and found a seat at an empty table, settling in for a day that was meant for fun and celebration.

There was so much noise, but everything around me felt quiet.

How does my world become so silent?

For a good hour or so, I sat amongst my multitude of co-workers alone chewing on a veggie burger watching the baseball game our company event was at. I travelled up to the event on my own, driving a road I have never driven (which I’m honestly kind of proud of), and entered the venue on my own. Eventually, I met up with a few co-workers from my department who took pity on me and invited me into conversation with them, but when time came to leave, I left alone.

I spent a fair amount of the day alone.

I’m nowhere near the loudest person in the room. My creative, anxious mind screams, but no one else can hear it. Naturally, I am an introverted individual. This doesn’t mean I don’t like people; I love people.Social interaction just drains me rather than energizes me. I can hold conversations and make phone calls whenever the situation arises; I just need to retreat for a little while with a quieter activity like reading or listening to music.

Introversion coupled with social anxiety, however, does not gather many friends.

Not being able read minds, I can’t say this for certain, but I sometimes get the feeling that I put people off by being intensely quiet. What I know to be fear and anxiety can appear as a standoffish nature to others. I try to be as amiable as I can be, but my silence is often interpreted as malicious or unkind. Eventually, if I am unable to connect to others,  I just shut down. I keep my head down, do my work, and try not to get into anybody’s way.

Life can become quite lonely when it’s lived like this. Plus, introvert plus anxiety equals the worst personality trait: awkward.

Awkwardness is a quality I have always had but never noticed until the last few years or so. It’s the inappropriate word or idea spoken in polite conversation without realizing it.  It’s the silence in conversation that you should be participating in. I’m sure I’ve been awkward for a while; I just have become keenly aware of it over the last few years. It can make life incredibly lonely.

Despite my awkwardness, I still try.

I’m shy, socially anxious, and incredibly awkward. Those traits can and do make live incredibly lonely sometimes, but they don’t stop me from living my life. During a conversation, my voice stammers and quivers. I run out of things to say or say what is absolutely the wrong thing to say, but I still try to talk.

I don’t know why I still try, but I do.

Hope is something that never leaves me completely, even when life seems like it cannot become worth living.

 

Burned While Burning Bridges

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Well, hello old friend.

While absentmindedly scrolling through Facebook my phone, I saw that a high school friend of mine had updated her profile picture. I kept scrolling down looking and reading at my other friends’ posts before a really sad thought dawned on me.

I haven’t talked to that person in years.

Back in the day, this girl and I weren’t exactly best friends, but we were fairly close. Finding that our groups of friends interacted and that we were in the same homeroom for all four years of high school, we naturally bonded. We hung out a fair amount given our shared group of friends, and we had a few similar interests and classes. We were good friends. As most good friends do when they graduate high school, we promised to keep in touch and hang out when college breaks allowed us to meet up. After a year or two, these meet ups became messages and posts on Facebook. Then, they become a happy birthday message. Then, nothing.

This happens quite a lot.

We will burn a lot of metaphorical, hopefully not literal, bridges in our lifetime in our never ending quest for companionship. There are times when we burn bridges out of boredom or our compatibility with the other person has changed. There are times when we fight with the other person, and the bridge is burnt in the battle. Other times, the bridge is burnt on us. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’ve lit the match until we try to cross over and revisit this relationship.  We burn bridges all the time.

Occasionally, these bridges need to be burnt in order to build new ones.

Toxic relationships of any kind should be eliminated in order for life to progress. If something isn’t beneficial to your well-being, or worse, if something is harmful to your peace of mind, you shouldn’t hold onto it. Bad or boring relationships should be left to linger if they don’t work like they used to work.

Even so, burning bridges of any kind, whether toxic or pleasant, isn’t always a very good thing.

We can never predict the future. We can try, but we can never predict how our lives will play out. An enemy one day can become a friend the next. We don’t know if we will want to revisit our old friends or need to see them again. All I know is one thing.

It’s never the same when we try to go back if we want to return to that relationship Friendship is a lot like glass. Once it shatters, you can try to put it back in the same way it was before, but it will still hold the cracks of when it broke. It will never be the same as it was. I’ve burnt far too many bridges to not realize this.

Don’t burn bridges you’ll be sad you cannot cross later down in life.

If I could offer advice to myself and absolutely anyone with a tendency to burn any bridge at any slight, it would be to wait before striking the match. Forgiveness isn’t an easy thing to earn or give, and it deserves contemplation before being awarded or rejected. You can never walk the same path back once you walk away.

Don’t burn a bridge so quickly you might drown.