I could have been doing this all along. I should have. How many times did I tell myself, “I need to write a blog”? Way too many. I always thought I should know what I’m writing about first. I thought that the blog should have a particular theme, or topic, to focus on, and write only on those subjects. Whichever idea I started with soon ended with me feeling frustrated, disappointed and restricted. Whether it was the blog about games and gaming that I had called “Game On” (the G and the O were modeled from the on/off power symbol), or the one about mastering art of sales (made my skin crawl), or even the tumblr feed dedicated to gifs of topless busty women (sorry, it’s gone), I lost interest in all of them.
I should have just been me. Wrote whatever springs to mind as the mood strikes me. I write about writing, about my feelings and worries, my hopes and dreams. Sure I could write articles for “Don’t Hate the Geek” or even “Cracked” (which I’m still a little tempted to try out for, just to experience it), I wouldn’t be free to write what I want. I’d still need to conform to their style, to their target audience, and this would irk me. I get snarky when I’m unhappy and it leaks into my writing. I begin to sabotage myself and test my boundaries. It’s happened in almost every job I’ve had, despite intentions to stay professional and play the game with every fresh start.
I seem to have a deep ingrained need to be happy, and I start having a rebellious little tantrum each time I have to compromise my integrity is compromised. I would be a terrible journalist! Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it at first, and me the perfect employee, until it stops being fun. Then I’ll start acting out and looking for an exit strategy. Sometimes that strategy is just, “let’s see if they notice I’m gone”. Sorry to all my past bosses and girlfriends, especially Monica, for having to up with my passive aggressive bullshit. In my defense, I was in complete denial I was doing it. I would try to behave, do the right thing, but when it came to doing the thing that I privately disagreed with, if I did it at all, would be done dispassionately. I’d half-ass it. Perhaps closer to a third.
Is it a symptom of depression? Am I just an entitled brat who thinks he gets to be happy in a world where the most any of us hope for is to be ‘content’? I’m not content with merely content. I really do want to build a good life for me and my family. It’s mostly selfish, but I know that I wouldn’t be really happy unless my parents didn’t have to go wanting, and my sister and her kids could go to any schools they wanted, and my grandparents were taken care of. I realize that my insistence on freedom of expression is going to make getting their harder. I’m setting a fairly narrow path for myself. I do like a challenge though, I’m excited to see what people might ask me to write about in the future.
I also wonder if there’s a certain level of respect involved, and that if I were ever to work with someone I truly respect (like Neil Gaiman, Patton Oswalt, or J. J. Abrams perhaps), if I would just do as I’m told. I’d probably be too awed by their presence to actually say “Excuse me, you said I should do what? I’m sorry but I think you’re wrong!” I’d probably be beating myself for not just being able to be content with what I’ve achieved, and find myself, once more, incapable of demeaning myself. Then I’ll slink off into the night and cry about losing the best opportunity for happiness I ever had. Because I’m silly.
I’ve read enough self-help books to know that it’s possible to reprogram yourself. You can literally be whatever you want to be. The hard part is wanting to be it. I used to able to convince myself that the path I was on was what I wanted. I used to think I could teach others to do it too. The problem is that, the more I read up on mind-hacks and manipulation, the more self aware I became. If you take away the little scripts and mantras you tell yourself, the little mind tricks and lies, what’s left? I’m still picking away at the layers of my programming, sorting through the lessons I’ve learned in life to separate the honest knowledge and experience from the conditioning. Keeping what’s useful, discard the rest, analyze what was buried underneath. Repeat.
Having done all that work to find myself, work that is far from finished, I’m understandably resistant to compromise. I don’t wanna! I’m going to get what I want. I’ll be persistent and stubborn. I just wish I had started sooner, so I was already looking back at this moment in my life and saying “Oh man that was rough, but what a ride!”