Ask Me Anything

I haven’t had a whole lot of inspiration to write lately. While not my greatest work, I was still fairly proud of my last post. Mostly because I was able to elaborate more effectively these ideas I wanted to portray and touch upon regarding the book or my associations to its content than I’ve been able to before but since then I’ve felt like I’ve said just about all it is that I felt I needed to say. Writing that post really did feel like I was symbolically putting multiple different phases of my life behind me. There’s something very freeing about just saying sometimes I think about some people or time in my life and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I miss them and sometimes I don’t. I regret some relationships, but most I don’t. Even the ones that had hurt time after time. This all just a result of getting older and having lived a life filled with plenty of memorable people and ones who were very important to me. Originally, I was going to write a follow up that was both inspired by a John Green video, Going Home with Alaska and Miles, and a question asked to me by my close friend Lilli, “What does moving on even mean to you [specifically]?” I was going to go into detail about how John talks about the book and its adaptation, like writing this book about his time in high school and seeing it be experienced by these young actors and now a new generation of viewers, that it felt to him like a form of letting go both the book and his time in high school which inspired the story. It made me reflect a lot about why I started writing In My Head (the novel) in the first place, partly because after the events of being hospitalized I was come up to by a lot of classmates and was trusted with a broader view of their lives and I saw just how common my story was. Except it rarely ended with getting help. Most people’s mindsets were, “You just have to live through it, unless you can’t.” I wanted to share my revelations, as there was a lot I learned from the experience; the danger of idealizing people, using romantic goals and relationships as an answer to/distraction from your mental health issues, and extreme escapism, among many many other side stories I interjected via side characters. But mostly, the reason even now I still have it as one of my main goals to finish this damn thing before I die is because I am still carrying on to that part of my life. It certainly left an impact and one I really wanted to be able to put away in a nice clean book and share it with someone, transforming whatever pain is still left in there and turning it into something good. Now I kind of just want to finish it so I can stop saying, “I just want to finish my novel.”

And as for what moving on means to me? Well that’s sort of why I didn’t want to make this the sole topic of this post. It was an incredible question that was definitely very relevant, I had after all reached a point in my life where most things had gone to shit and I kept talking about needing to reach this abstract place in my life, I just needed to finally move on and everything will be fine and dandy again. The post was written in the aftermath of that, after now coming to terms that things are just different now and they’re going to keep changing endlessly, regardless of whether I want them to or not, whether I try and prevent it, and will keep changing long after I’m gone. And thinking about the answer to her question has helped me kind of come to terms with what I actually want to happen instead of this romanticized and incredibly unrealistic version of a end-point towards “happiness” or more accurately at this point I’m just searching to be content again. If I were to go another what like 8 or 9 pages like last time of that I’d end up talking again about old times and old people but I already did that, and while I might feel at peace now I do know that there are still always going to be sensitive spots that spill out emotional messes when picked at and I rarely know when it is I’m going to end up picking at it. These posts usually end up being just my trainwreck of a thought process so who knows where any of them are going to end up when I start typing the first sentence. I sure as hell don’t. Plus the whole point of the last post was about being ready to let past phases of my life go and moving on and how Looking For Alaska helped remind me of the importance of that. It’d be a pretty “me” thing to do to end up talking about events I haven’t gotten over yet again, not having learnt anything, but I am genuinely trying to break that cycle. That mold I had gotten myself stuck in has started to become extremely suffocating. So let me try and sum it up with two quotes, one from Looking For Alaska and the other from what I’ve written in the last post.

“The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we’d learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did “

Looking For Alaska – John Green

And “I romanticize and I write, and I create memories and people into stories so I can let them go without having to let them die.” – (some dillweed on this website) The last words I wanted to let the reader with and just the final words I felt like I needed to say. I can go on about exactly why these are the quotes I thought of to help explain to them what it was moving on meant to me, but for one I find them a little self-explanatory and two, I’m already talking a lot about something I didn’t care to talk about again. So why “Ask Me Anything?” you might be asking. Well as I took apparently two paragraphs to say, I had nothing to say.. well to be fair nothing I NEEDED to say. I still usually can write a lot because all my writing is is my endless internal dialogue translated verbatim (which is why often it rarely makes sense by the end of it.) When I don’t have a main theme or a “reason” to write, I tend to use songs or the last piece of media that I’ve digested that has had some sort of impact on me. If you’re familiar with the Strokes’ song by the same name, you’ll know by the repeating lyrics, “I’ve got nothing to say, I’ve got nothing to say.” why it’s ironic that this song is the one that is motivating me to write. To say that nothing that I’ve got to say.

The original song inspiration for this post was going to be “I’m All Right” by Radiator Hospital but as I was writing this post and listening to this song I realized the mood does sort of align with what I was wanting this post to have as well and I mean, I am alright. Relatively. However, the whole song feels like he’s writing to an ex wistfully but also kind of in a petty-like way telling her that he’s doing alright after all, he doesn’t care how she’s doing he just really wants her to know that HE’s doing okay. Which is definitely not what I want this post to convey. That’s not how I feel. For one I am not someone who is able to rub in someone’s face that I’m doing alright because even when I am, the caveat of being me and having the brain that is unfortunately attached to my body, I know well enough that that feeling isn’t permanent. I’ve very deservedly had to learn this. This feeling I’m feeling right now will shift, and it might go up some more or it might go down again. Besides if I was going to go against my whole “moving on” post by using the song inspiration to subtweet anyone, that would really spit in the face of all that I’ve had to learn and grow from to get to the point to be able to write that post. But let’s say I were to subtweet it definitely wouldn’t be that song either because I don’t really feel petty towards any past people. I do genuinely want them to be okay and while sometimes it does make me a little sad (maybe sad isn’t the best word, maybe more disappointed) to see old friends happy without me. Only because I hoped that we could get there together but shit tends to not work out the way you originally planned it to, in some cases it’s a huge loss that took some time getting over but for most it’s just “different.” That being said, I am actually happy to end up either accidentally seeing them on social media (or if nostalgia/curiosity get the better of me and I end up purposely checking) and seeing them at least appearing happy and doing well. Shit. Some of them have children now. Some of them I’ve unintentionally had a run in with their ex and unfortunately found out that recently things were not great to definitely understate it, so I am extremely happy seeing them doing well now too. If I were to use a song to subtweet it would have to be Quelqu’un m’a dit – Carla Bruni. Why? Well because it’s a song that if not taken too literally, I can relate it to multiple feelings with different people. Also the song was used in 500 Days of Summer which due to one of millions of associations I have, (Amy jokingly gave me a lot of shit when we were first getting to know each other because I told them that was my favorite movie and apparently that was the movie everyone she knew chose. I don’t think that lingo existed at the time but she essentially called me basic. It was nice though. During a time which I constantly punished and hated myself for every aspect of myself that was different or “weird” from everyone else, it was nice to in some way be “just like everyone else.” And the situation was made better when she then said, “I know a book that reminds me a lot of you actually. I think you’ll like it.” And she was right, because The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of the first movies where I definitely felt like yeah this is me, in a way that actually made it easier to make people understand what was going on with me and to even help me better understand it. She understood and that meant a lot to me.) That would help tie it to the last post, making it in some way thematically connected. That would also help fill that role of being a spiritual sequel to the last post like I had initially wanted this post to be– well that and this being a song from Looking For Alaska helps too.

So I was trying to seek out what makes me happy as stated in my “Embracing What Makes You Happy” post. I was going to seek out specifically maybe getting some vocal coaching just to both boost my confidence projecting my voice and to be able to do something that I actually really enjoy doing but without it sounding so ear-piercing but since I’ve hit my recent lowest ebb I don’t have nearly as much motivation to do that. It took a lot of effort just to be able to get myself back into the habit of going to group and I’m really glad I did. Sure, I think at some point what I’m being taught there will sink in and I’ll be able to more effectively use these skills to prevent reacting in the case when my emotions get to such a volatile state again. However I also am glad I got to go back because after spending so long feeling kind of separate from the group being the only guy there, really most of my interactions with them was them apologizing to me after they’ve gone into a “Fuck men, they’re the absolute worst” rants which happens OFTEN, I actually recently met and started to get along with someone there. I talked a bit about this head fantasy I had used to just fantasize, maybe help plan my novel, or to hopefully figure out what it was that was important to me by seeing what I find important to put in as themes in these stories. In these head dreams/soap operas I also thought of a few relationships future me might be in through the process of directing and filming. One of these people is the musician and incredible indie artist who I may have a tiny celebrity crush on, and in comes a new member of group who looks exactly like this person. Or at least I thought they did, I just remember seeing them and feeling butterflies instantly and I had to divert my eyes because all of a sudden I was super nervous. A few years ago had this happened I’m sure I would have gone, “Oh my god. This can’t be a coincidence, it must mean something, it’s a sign.” And then end up being too nervous to actually say anything to her that I just keep imagining it, thinking it might help me work up the courage but I end up making her out to be so much more than she actually is and I end up falling for an idea because of how much time I’ve spent with that idea. That wasn’t something I wanted to go through again. Not now. So as soon I got that high I already felt myself immediately withdrawing from that feeling in dread. This was just following my rock bottom point, which happened coincidentally during a very serious family scare that I’m unintentionally responsible for so I was certainly tense and my emotions were all over the place. I was in an extremely volatile state so I did not want to add obsessing or worrying about a crush to add to that list. That is why I had felt the biggest relief of that night when during her sharing with the group she mentions her boyfriend. Funny. I didn’t ever think finding out someone I liked was unavailable would bring me such relief. I definitely did not want to deal with crush feelings at the time and things are still kind of up in the air with my ex so I’d also like to wait for things between us to be a bit more concrete before I rush into anything new. Being nervous and shy was something we had in common, with her being new, so after I kind of immediately dismissed the idea that this person was anything more than just a new person to the group who slightly resembles somebody I have extremely complicated and elaborate associations with. Hearing her tell her story and after dismissing from those crush feelings which came out of nowhere, I just got to know her as her.

In this I’ve become more sure as to what it is that I am looking for to be happy. And I believe it’s a sense of companionship, but more importantly I want to be understood. Not that I’m saying this is what’s going on with Sid, because who knows where that friendship will end up. My experiences/friendship with Amy and how I see it as an almost entirely positive experience despite it being filled with romantic rejection. That’s because they took the time to say, “Hey I see you. I get you.” I’ve had that before from time to time either with romantic relationships or platonic. At least I thought I’ve had them. There are some relationships which proved to have pretended to understand me which is why I often fell for their same tricks over and over again. My favorite person had become a cursed word in my vocabulary. I carry along with it so many memories and cautionary tales that I have avoided it altogether. However if I’m going to be honest about what it is I think that’d make me happy without giving myself shit for wanting something I think is infeasible or unhealthy, I will say I think maybe I am still looking for my favorite person, or hell my favorite people. I still need to find out a way to mean that in a way that is both healthy to me and to the other party. I’m just going to take the term now to mean that I want someone in my life who I can trust, who understands me and I understand them, and someone who genuinely cares about me. I usually tend to find people missing at least one of those aspects. And the ones who’ve fit the bill of all three haven’t stuck around for long for one reason or another. I mean I thought i had that with my ex, I still might. I genuinely don’t know. The shitty part about getting into a really good relationship quickly following the ending of a painful one you tend to have a hard time deciphering which feelings are coming from which experience. Do I miss them? Am I unhappy in this situation? Or am I just unhappy? Turns out the answer was usually the last one and a little bit of the first. I was really worried it was the second but I really couldn’t see it wasn’t until I had some time out of it. Funny how it usually works out that way, you work yourself up over nothing and it isn’t until you’ve had either space or time to see how ridiculous you or the entire situation has been.

I could probably keep going if I just let my fingers keep typing, but it feels like I’m rambling to a diary at this point which is nice but I don’t have much more to talk about right now. Maybe I’ll just start a new post once I get inspired by a different song, TV show, or life altering event.