Fleeting Moments

There are moments that come around in your life, and as you experience them and even in the immediate aftermath of them, you feel as though they are significant, life changing, possibly even revolutionary, depending on the scenario. I know myself fairly well. I know what I will and won’t do, which is why directly following one of these moments I thought to myself, “Please let this one matter more than the others” because, I know me. I know how easy it is for me to shove aside those determinations when it becomes difficult. When I don’t like how it feels, or how it affects me and my time. I know my own responses to adversity, and I usually don’t like them. It’s a sad moment when you realize you are so good at letting yourself down you immediately think of the failure, rather than of the success, and simply hope you are wrong. I don’t want to be right, not in this case. I want… Well, that’s a good question, isn’t it?
What DO I want?
Do I even know?

Paper: A Very (Un)Important Thing

Paper is the least important it has ever been, making it more important than ever in my eyes.

Computers are the way the world works now. News used to come on newspaper, but now there are websites and Twitter and Facebook, all delivering the news directly to us and faster than the newspaper could. Games are no longer on paper or on a board, they are played on your phone or tablet. Even books, the things that are embodied by covers, where you flip through the pages to find a new life to live, even if only temporarily, those are no longer necessarily in paper form. They are just as commonly found in digital form as they are in physical form.

We’ve slowly been moving to this throughout the use of paper. Way back when, there were monks who did nothing but handwrite copies of books and decorate them, quite obviously adding much more value to them than any book nowadays. Eventually, using a machine and movable type, printing became a thing. Rather than handwrite anything more than the rough draft, you simply line up the letters you want and rub ink on them, press the paper to the type, and presto, a printed page.

Over the course of time, you get a much fancier machine, one with many more moving parts: The typewriter. Rather than having to reset the type for each page, why not have the page be stationary and add a continuous roll of ink, then make it so with a single button push you can have that particular letter be inked on the page? It’s amazing just how effective these machines were, churning out books faster than ever!

Then the computer came around and blew the typewriter out of the water! With editable pages without the need for whiteout, you could draft entire novels without the need of a single letter removal, because the backspace button was the best part of the keyboard! The digital age allowed for mass production of books. You could have hundreds of pages, print them in sequence, and bind them so quickly that the initial monk wouldn’t have finished half a page of writing, much less the calligraphy and decoration that would initially follow.

But, why stop there? If it is digital when you write it, why transfer it to the physical? Why not just make it into an eBook, viewable and readable on millions of portable devices? That would give you the potential to be in everyone’s hand or pocket instantly, similar to regular web pages. (Here’s looking at you Google!) Why wouldn’t you? I mean, there’s no material cost, making your profits go up. There are entire devices made exclusively for reading eBooks! (Here’s looking at you, Paperwhite!) Wait, Paperwhite?

That’s right. Paperwhite. A device was made to resemble the color of a piece of paper as much as possible. There is still and always has been something special about a book, about reading that book. There is something significant about turning the pages, which is why almost every eReader has the option for a page turning animation as you scroll. Mostly, though, there is something significant about reading through a book, being three quarters of the way through and knowing you are getting to the really good part, the part the entire book has been building towards, that a progress bar at the bottom that goes away just doesn’t seem to convey as strongly. There’s a note of finality to closing the back cover of the book after you have finished the story that exiting an app can never give. As much as you want to keep tapping the right side of the screen to keep the story flowing, good books will still be called page turners because of the physical nature books should continue to embody, on paper.

Isn’t it amazing how important something so thin and flimsy can be in an age of rigidity and digitality? Reality matters. Physicality matters. Paper matters.



Bottled Emotions: Saving for Later?

I have an anger problem. This isn’t news to me. I have known since around the fifth grade. Pretty much the entire year I was in fifth grade, I saw a counselor for anger management. Sometimes I was taken out of class for it, other times I went to the actual office location of the therapist. Do you want to know the worst part? None of it helped. None. I spent a year learning coping mechanisms, controlled energy release techniques, things like that, and none of them kicked in.

Well, that’s not true. Most of them kicked it, but they waited until I was a decade older and had no idea what took them so long before they did so. I’m not saying they were a day late and a dollar short, but… their timing was imperfect and they had not the currency required. I used to hit things, throw things, hit things, attempt to break things by throwing things at them, often hoping to also break the thing that was flying in the process. I wasn’t a happy child, right then.

So, you may be wondering what changed ten years later when the “education” kicked in, and it’s really simple. I realized something about what I was being taught that I never caught on to when I was with the therapist: none of the things I was being taught, and encouraged, to do were to suppress or remove the anger. They, instead, funnel that anger into a specific activity, hopefully non-violent, to remove it from the equation as much as possible. They were trying to let me know that anger isn’t just inescapable but expected, and in many cases acceptable. Anger will exist, often more so when we try to run from it, but if we decide to release it in non-devastating ways, it can be effective as a motivational tool, or the push to do that thing you’ve been putting off. On the other hand, if we bottle it up, we risk detonation, and whether that explosion is internal or external will determine the fallout.

I just had to learn one thing. Anger, in and of itself, is not bad. Making poor choices while angry, that’s bad. Blaming your actions on your anger, as if that means you don’t have to take responsibility for them, is also bad. If you are angry all the time, that is also bad. You can’t use it as a crutch, or rely on it to help you do things you don’t think you can do otherwise, because anger is just an emotion. It is often fleeting, and whimsical. Pinning your hopes and dreams on temporary emotions is not something I would ever advise, just as I would never advise you to rely on an emotion to be there when you need a boost, because there is a good chance it will not be there. Emotion is illogical, and emotion makes us human. Embrace it, but do it the way that funnels the extremes out.



P.S.: Sorry this is out a day late, and that I missed a day. That is what terrible sleeping patterns will do to you… I’m going to attempt to make up that lost prompt.

What Blossoms Wakefulness?

The simple answer is this: Coffee.

Coffee and I have had a long-standing love-hate relationship. I will go through periods of time where coffee is just about the best thing on the planet, and without there is no functioning. I will then follow those with similar periods where coffee is so far from my mind it is ridiculous to think I ever needed it so badly. It has never been steady.

For me, there really isn’t ever a need for coffee, at least not anymore. There are some mornings where I feel I need it, but more than anything it is just a part of my routine in the mornings. I get a shower, get dressed, get my Tervis of coffee, go to work, and I continue my day. If I don’t get my coffee, am I grumpy? Yeah. A little. Part of that is the lack of caffeine, I’m sure, but I know for a fact that part of it is simply a break in my habits. I am a creature of habit, for sure, and that is why it is so hard for me to create a new one or break an old one. I do things a certain way, and I always do them that way if I can, and any change it that disrupts my obsessive compulsive tendencies.

And while I will often drink more than one cup a day, it has more to do with enjoying the taste of coffee how I make it and less to do with needing caffeine. It’s a comfort to me to have a cup of coffee. I often keep the cup in my hand to create a miniature barrier between me and the person I’m talking to. I don’t do that consciously. I have just noticed I do it.

Side Notes:

I apologize for this one being technically the next day. My evening ran long and I was almost asleep, but I got up specifically to type out this post. That’s also part of the reason this post may seem a little different, and maybe shorter. I’m too tired to know for sure.

I got a new pair of glasses today. I got used to the new prescription much faster than I thought I would, and I didn’t even end up with a headache from them. My only complaint is they are constantly falling off of my nose.

I’m going to actually go to bed now, and I hope anyone who is reading this sleeps/slept well. People who read things willingly are a rare breed, anyways, anymore. You guys keep it up.



Creation: An Everyday (Non)Occurrence

This post is a creation. The keyboard I’m using, on the laptop it is built into, while sitting in bed, is a creation, as are the pieces involved. Absolutely everything about everything you ever do involves creations by someone. There isn’t any way around the fact that any tool you use, anything at all, was created by someone else, using tools created by someone else, the ideas for which were created by yet another person. It’s an endless cycle. Humans create every single day. To be fair, they also break things down every single day, but that is a conversation for another time.

When talking about creation, my mind often goes to creativity. These blog posts are supposed to be helping me with that. I hoped, with the influx of thoughts with channels to direct them, I would be able to more organize my thoughts and hopefully even speak without making so many mistakes. I was completely wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed writing these blog posts more than I can say. I write them usually after eleven at night and then I go to bed, feeling less than confident that I have made a difference in someone’s life, and less than confident that the words I put on paper actually make contiguous, coherent sentences, and then I wake up hoping to see some numbers next to my post. Likes are a great way to know that something I did was correct in some way, though they are very non-specific. In their own way, that’s the beauty of the like button.

Comments are a different story. When someone comments on my creation, they are giving specific details into the things that got them thinking, or made them feel a certain way. It gives people a chance to really respond to the words they read, and possibly even invites a response from me in the process. Views are simple. How many people saw that I had words on the page? Look at views. This is how many people SAW my creation, though maybe not for what it was. Creativity is often viewed not as what it is simply because perceptions vary person to person. I am unable to guarantee that the vision I had when I wrote these words will be the vision you see. In fact, I could more

I am unable to guarantee that the vision I had when I wrote these words will be the vision you see. In fact, I could more easily guarantee that you will have a vastly DIFFERENT vision from mine. Perspectives change. Perspectives are given to us by our upbringing, by the people in our lives, by our own actions, but also by our body’s chemistry. You could have two people raised identically, but body chemistry will always reign supreme, no matter what training it undergoes. This means, in multiverse theory, that there is a universe where I am built exactly the same as I am now and yet, I don’t see the same thing I see here. I don’t have the same feelings, the same desire to write. It gets kind of crazy when you go down the rabbit hole of multiverse theory.

Here, though, is where the entire post thus far becomes, if not null and void, at least paradoxical. We have never created a single thing in our entire lives. Not. One. Thing. How have we created all of the things in this world and yet never created a single thing? That’s ridiculous! That’s ludicrous. That’s impossible. And yet, the answer: The Law of Conservation of Mass, discovered by Antoine Lavoisier. Matter can be neither created nor destroyed. That means that all things that were, are, or have ever been, will all be made from the exact same atoms we already have.

Rather than create something, we simply transform it. We piece it together, we shape it into the visions in our minds, but we don’t create anything. Even the thoughts in our heads aren’t creations, but rather the firing of electrons in our brains causing arcs of energy that our other five senses are interpreting in a way we understand. To be fair, we all think in our own language, which is just a construct built to be an audible barter system: the exchange of thoughts for the exchange of responses.

This got a little more “out there” than I intended it to, but I don’t mind that.



The Tapering of Relationships: The Ending, or the Beginning?

I don’t get it. I mean, I would like to think I understand people. I feel I normally understand people pretty well, but I just cannot seem to wrap my head around this. I don’t know if it is something I have done, or if it is something on their end, but there is a massive disconnect for reasons I’ve not fully discerned. I have thoughts, and possibilities, but nothing certain. I just wish I could fix whatever it is. I mean, I know I have issues with them, but I do my best to not let it affect the normal everyday functions of life, because that would feel too much like this: stressed, unsure, distant, erroneous.

It could boil down to something very simple, such as we’ve lived together for 24 years and we need to stop doing that, but that’s not an option if I want them to still have a place to live. It could be that there was more stress in the house than normal, though I don’t know where it would have come from. It could be something like waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but I thought I woke up okay, so hopefully, it isn’t me if that’s the problem.

Look, everyone has problems with other people. There’s never a single person on the planet that you know that you don’t have at least one problem with, no matter how small. It’s not possible. However, instead of letting that problem be the only thing you see, instead of letting it rule the relationship, you push it to the side. You move it out of the way so you can focus on something better than that one problem. If you really care, or you are in a long-term relationship with someone, you should work on the problem, in my opinion. Your wife hates that you burp in her face, so maybe, just maybe, you turn away from her to burp. Now, that’s not the most massive change, but it is a change, and I’m sure she would appreciate it. And maybe, once that problem is solved, another pops up. Welcome to humanity where that is bound to happen.

The problem arises when there is a problem, or maybe even problems, and there is no desire to work it or them out. Then what? What can you do? Do you keep trying to work it out, even if you have for years already, or do you call it quits and move on to a different relationship to focus on? I don’t know. I don’t know what to do, or what the right move is. I don’t know what I would do after the initial decision, no matter what that decision was. I have absolutely zero ideas as to what I’m supposed to do here, and I don’t know how to achieve that which I have yet to figure out, and I don’t know what path to take to determine any of the answers to any of these questions.

I feel stuck, and mentally I am stuck. I want to get out of this scenario, this overly complicated, problematic scenario, but I am the only person to blame for me being here. This was MY choice, and if I abandon that choice now, I will have ruined everything I’ve done up until now. If I was just going to give up now, why not before and save myself a hell of a lot of trouble? It would have been so much simpler… I don’t know. I simply don’t know…



Multi-Volume Book Series

Multi-volume stories are some of the better things I’ve been exposed to. I’m a book lover by nature. I really appreciate a good fiction novel, preferably either a Sci-Fi or Historical Fiction, though current fiction works well, too. The biggest problem with a book, though, is that you are reading this fantastic story and suddenly the book is over. The characters are gone. Their lives, their loves, their hates, everything, gone as soon as you close the cover of the book. Everything you were rooting for, everything you became attached to, the feelings you get as a reader towards every detail of the story, all of those can’t just disappear. That is one of the worst feelings reading a book.

Enter the multi-volume story. Not only do you get to continue to love and hate along with the characters, but you get so much more time for character and plot development. You get so much longer to empathize with the FICTIONAL characters. I know it sounds crazy, but as a lover of fiction, you don’t read it just because there are words on a screen. You read it to immerse yourself in a world different from this one. Whether you are trying to escape or explore, you still want to be a part of a world other than the material world we are currently on, and what better way to do that than with our own imaginations? Let them provide the fuel for our happiness, just like they used to when we were children.