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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Aint Nothing Wrong With The Sell Out

Maybe I should just sell out completely, even though some think I already have.

I sold out to "corporate America."

Do you remember those guys? The ones all dressed in black, somewhere between the ages of 19 and 25, that were convinced you gave up your dreams if you got a "real job" and actually paid your bills. Do you remember them? I do and I often wonder where they are now. Are they like me? (probably, considering I was one of them) Sell outs... sitting in a cubicle somewhere wondering why they have no desire to create, the way they did back in the day when they were all dressed in black playing the role of the anti-social because that was cool and that was "art." Something tells me they're sitting in a cubicle similar to mine, writing advertisements for honeymoon adventures and drinking themselves to death because they hate every minute of it. Life mocks them the same way it does me and I have to admit, I'm laughing about it (at least right now I am).

I read a blurb today about a guy that retired, after 30 years at my company, and in the past two years of his retirement he started writing books. He's actually published now, with another novel on the way. Sure, he may not be making a mint through it, but dude is finally doing what he probably always wanted to do. He's writing.

And sure, he's writing stories about how his main character and his wife are solving mysteries about fraudulent mortgage brokers while they simultaneously explore the wonders of America in their RV, but still... at least the dude is writing. I would love to mock him. I would love to make fun of it -- this couple in their 60s single handedly bringing an end to America's financial demise in their RV. I would love to say something like, "...an RV is a very discreet, stealthy mode of transportation for tracking down evil. Batman had one," but I can't. Why? Why can't I make fun of that guy? Because, to be absolutely honest, I admire the man. He spent a lifetime "selling out" so he could pay his bills and then retired to his laptop to write whatever the hell he felt like writing because it makes him happy.

The Golden Years are upon the man, and I can only hope, at this point, if I'm unfortunate enough to not break through the mundane, that the golden years will be so kind to me when I finally pay for my child to get through college and still have enough money to retire and live the remainder of my days writing whatever the hell I feel like just because I can. Granted, given my cynical nature and sarcastic bite toward life, I doubt I'll write about my RV travels and dream about taking down the evil mortgage brokers that left so many people homeless in the early two thousands, but still... I'll write something.

I imagine, perhaps incorrectly but I still do, that this man wanted to write his whole life. I imagine that this man had to do what he had to do to survive. I imagine that this man took care of his family, the people that meant the most to him. I imagine that this man had moments where the cubicle felt like death. I imagine that he sat up nights thinking that this was a waste, that he was going to lie on his death bed and say, "...but I never did what I really wanted, I never did what I felt drawn to do." And I imagine, when I look at the smile on his face in the photograph included in the article that he now sits with a sense of satisfaction saying, "I'm exactly where I dreamed I would be. Took a while... but I'm here." And to me... that's no sell out. That's a man that had to do what he had to do to survive, to take care of what matters, his family, and when opportunity knocked, he answered. Lord... I can only pray that I have the same endurance as this man. I can only say to myself, "If he can do it, so can I."

Sure... is it art by the young man in black's standard? Probably not. But to me, at this point in my life, art is about feeding my soul and if it happens to feed yours too then I got lucky. Art is all that is beautiful in an ugly world. Art is all about thinking outside the proverbial box, and as far as this man is concerned, writing a mystery novel about a retired couple in an RV with a pertinent political slant to it is most definitely outside the box. More power to the man, and more power to me and people like me. It was a message that I guess I needed to hear today. Do what you must, but never forget your dreams, even if you're sixty something and ready to retire.

The spirit that made you wear nothing but black in your younger years never really dies, it just alters into a bit more color and you actually have money in your pocket. ...nothing wrong with that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Through Stagnant Waters

Everything is moving slow
It’s frustrating
It smells like death here
We’re moving through stagnant waters
Everything is
same time
same thing
same place
And the one time something new appeared
We killed it
Because change is terrifying.
We might have to commit to something
We might have to face opposition
We might have to argue
We might have to offend
We might have to defend
We might have to love something
We might have to stick together
We might have to take a stand
And we might have to fail
Because God forbid we ever succeed.
And now we sail this ship
Through something no one wanted
And no one foresaw
Because no one planned
And the water was crystal clear
When we started,
Manifest destiny,
At least when we started.
But now…
Who knows…
It all depends…
And some mates have jumped ship
Because the stench was just too strong
And others are weeping
Because something appears to be lost
Or soon to be lost
Or potentially lost.
And me…
I’m stuck somewhere in between.
I hear it all
I feel it all
I understand it all
Why some made their break
Why others stayed the course
Even so
I am prepared to sail this ship
Even while the albatross has fallen
And to everyone’s horror I wear the carcass
Like a badge of honor.
I sail through these seas
Stagnant pools and roaring rapids
And care for nothing that was
But for everything that is and will be.
I fear
What would that get us?
No man will stop me
No fear will freeze me
Not even this stench of toxic waste.
The most stagnant waters can be refreshed
We just need to find the block and remove it.
So jump ship if you must
And whine and wail about your perceived misery
I empathize
I am here with you
I feel the sting
I breathe the air
I am engaged in this
And I am no fool
Nor am I a novice
Doubt if you must
But I will keep moving
With or without you
The strongest survive
Faith and love are one in the same
And change moves with faith
And success stands with love
Now… shall we proceed?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reminder: BLOG

I've lost that lovin' feeling, like an anemic visited by one too many ticks. The resource has gone dry: part-time love affair, part-time singer/song writer, part-time dreamer... don't quit your day job and remember that reality was meant to bite, just like Winona Ryder was meant to end her movie career as a shop-lifter and Mel Gibson was meant to go down as an anti-semitic overly zealous Catholic with a bad divorce and a ridiculous earring.

(God help us when the Catholics decide to get over zealous. Everyone expects a Bible thumping Baptist screaming hell, fire, and brimstone, but an overly pompous preachy Catholic? I think that's an oxymoron of some kind, at least where I grew up it is. I used to envy the Catholic kids I went to school with. They all sinned whenever and where ever they wanted and had no fear of Hell because they were absolved every Wednesday and Sunday morning like clockwork. As a Baptist? Well... you were potentially traveling down the slippery slope if you owned a deck of Hoyle playing cards and all the nerdy kids that are now successful billionaires were doomed for dabbling in the satanic arts of make believe in their dad's garage because they rolled a set of ten sided dice and created their own plot lines and characters with the help of a book called Dungeons And Dragons. And there was no amount of confession or penance that could save you from the doom you repeatedly brought upon yourself for listening to Ozzy Osborne. The only thing that could save you was complete repentance from your overactive imagination and Go Fish, as well as a potential bonfire made up of sinful vinyl records that you should've never purchased in the first place as an external show of your spiritual commitment to change. You never heard ridiculous stories of fears and judgements like that come from the Catholic kids. They just sorta looked at you and said, "You burned your records? Do you like being Baptist?" And you just sorta looked at them and said, "Um... I bet I can beat you in Bible trivia!")

Anyway... the thing is... what I really mean... (and yes I'm going to stop myself before I quote Elton John, which probably also makes me a bad Baptist because I can quote Elton John) aside from the random and the fact that I've been up since 2:30 a.m. thinking about all of the things in my life at the moment that irritate the hell out of me (that also makes me a bad Baptist, by the way, my use of "four letter words"), I have no inspiration. I am, once again, in the habit of giving everything I've got to everyone else who wants a piece of the pie.

(whatever that is -- "pie." I just felt like saying it because for some reason it made me think of The Jefferson's and their deluxe apartment in the sky, which is definitely not what I'm living in, though I did have a good laugh about that when my mother was high as a kite the other day after coming out of her knee surgery and she told me how proud of me she was because I'm the "big shot" in the family, which is really pathetic for me and everyone else in the family if sitting in a cubicle 40 hours a week and getting paid just enough to live in an apartment with neighbors like Windmill Dick and the girl that thinks her dog responds to the F - word makes me the "big shot" in the family (that makes me a little bit of a better Baptist right there because I said "F - word" instead of the actual word). She's over it now though. She laughed like it was the craziest thing she'd ever heard herself say when I told her about it, which is way more like it. I really do wish I had a little of whatever they'd put in her I.V. though. I might have a little more of that lovin' feeling I've apparently lost if I had some of whatever that was.)

Pie... want a piece of me? It's going fast!

(I just noticed that I put parenthetical statements within my rambling parenthetical statements and I'm pretty sure that's as good as it gets today)