The New Plan – Operation Freelance!

After talking it over with a very smart friend I’ve decided to offer blog articles for £100 each, and £50 each for short ones.

I’m offering Ghostwriting and Co-Author services too. If you have a great story idea but don’t think that you could do it justice, then I can help. You may even have started writing it yourself and got stuck. You can hire me as a Ghostwriter, in which case the book has your name on it, and you get to keep the royalties, but you pay me for my time upfront. Or, you can let me take a Co-Author credit, both names are on the cover, we split the royalties 50-50, and it costs you nothing.

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I’m hoping to build up a client list as quickly as possible. I need to be a full-time writer. I’m going nuts. I’ve been trying to build my profile, and my reputation. Take my time. Do this right. Work wherever I can to survive while I make myself look great online. The problem is that the job I’m doing for money is taking all my time, energy and motivation.

I didn’t realize when I started working nights how lonely and depressing it would get. I needed some time to think, but now I’m ready to rejoin the world. I could just get another shitty job doing bar-work, retail or call centre customer service, but I really don’t want to have to. I want to write. It’s all I want to do, and I’m good at it.

I got my start as a blogger writing geek-culture articles for a WordPress-based website. The articles I’ve written for them seem to have gone, but I saved a few of my favourites and re-blogged them on Games ‘n’ Geekery. A geeky website of my own I created using all the skills I learned while working for them, and a few tricks I’ve picked up since.

They didn’t pay me anything, but the experience was invaluable. I learned how to use WordPress, how to make a good-looking blog article, and that I could churn out an original 500-1000 word article, including research, links, pictures and video, every single day.

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I used what they taught me to create this blog, and others. The Hermes925 serialized story that I’ve been posting to this website attracted the attention of Tod Foley, who recruited me for the UbiquiCity project. The writer team would video conference online to talk about our ideas and world-build together, then we each wrote a short story that fit into the world we created. My short story, and the others, are now available on Amazon as part of the UbiquiCity anthology. The accompanying RPG sourcebook will be out soon. It was a fun project. 🙂

I got the opportunity to ghost-write a story for someone, and that was fun too, but the client put the project on hold before I saw a penny for the work I did. I definitely learned a lesson there, but it put me off the idea of ghost-writing for a while.

I submitted a short story or two to contests and publications that offered a cash prize or payment if you were accepted, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that writing short stories for submission, especially if they don’t get accepted. Too much time and effort, for not enough guaranteed reward. If I write a good short story, I want some guarantee I’m going to get paid for it, and I certainly didn’t want to have to pay someone to publish it.

It’s about that time I got distracted by the Creative Writers group. It had only 32 members left, no admin at all. It occurred to me that I could test some of the things I’d learned about social media management and audience building, and also create the kind of supportive community I wanted to find. The group now has over seventeen thousand members.

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I even created an opportunity for group members. I’ve always been a ‘learn by doing’ kind of person. I learn best when it’s a necessary means to accomplish a desired outcome. In hindsight the Monolith project was probably a little too ambitious, but that was kind of the idea. Set the bar high and see if I could pull it off. I didn’t, but I learned a lot along the way.

The idea was to create a series of large anthologies, containing well-written stories, all conforming to the same theme. There would be no charge to submit and we would review the stories as they were submitted. That way we wouldn’t have to try and deal with a huge pile all at once after the submission deadline, and the writers would get feedback right away instead of having to wait. This also gave them an opportunity to try and improve their submission and try again.

We ended up with a lot of great stories, and a lot that could have been good if the writers had been willing to improve them. The project became a logistical nightmare, even with help from other admins in the group, and so the project was abandoned. However, I decided to test self-publishing anyway with one of the short-stories I had written. It sold pretty well for a short story, and I’m currently writing a longer story, hopefully a novel, inspired by the short story. It’s called The Haunted Story.

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It’s taking longer to write than I wanted though. I enjoy writing stories, but they’re harder than blog articles. I have several work-in-progress story-lines that I will to turn into books. A few of the ideas have already been mentioned in this blog. I know I can manage my time better, and be able to spend more time and energy writing my stories, if I can write full-time. The night porter job is an inefficient use of my time and wastes my creativity.

I could replace the hotel job by securing enough clients to write an article a day, just like I used to do. I’m a good writer, as you can see from this blog and my published stories. I’m more than happy to negotiate, especially if I can gain something else besides money, like cover-art, editing, or marketing.

I can do blogging, and it comes easily to me, but I’d prefer to write a book with you. I know from the previous experience that I write better and faster when I’m working for someone, and it gives me something to look forward to each day. Unlike my current job. At this point I’d welcome any opportunity to write for a living really.

So, want to write a book with me? If you don’t have any ideas, I can help with that too. I’m aware that some people just want to see a book on the shelves with their name on the cover. I can arrange that. I can also go to the opposite extreme and help you polish up and revise a story that you’ve mostly written already (and that wouldn’t cost as much). It’d be much more fun to bounce ideas off each other and come up with a great story together, but I’m flexible.

Please email me: antonym.copeland@gmail.com or leave me a comment if you have any questions, advice for new freelancers, or a project for me. Whether you’re a fellow writer with too much on your plate, a website manager that needs more content, or just someone that wants their name on a book, I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day 🙂

 

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What Would Jerry Do?

I’m not saying I’m a ‘Jerry’, but if I was writing ‘Rick and Morty’, after separating from Beth, Jerry would’ve started wearing black eyeliner and writing bad sci-fi based on the adventures he never got to have!

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, ‘Rick and Morty‘ is a cartoon in which an alcoholic mad scientist (Rick) takes his insecure grandson (Morty) with him to parallel dimensions and alien worlds. The results are hilarious and often disturbing, and Jerry (Morty’s father and Rick’s son-in-law) never gets to come along.

Jerry loves Beth (Rick’s daughter/ Morty’s mother) more than anything, but he’s rather spineless. As a result, his attempts to be the man of the house are more than a little desperate. Beth clearly wears the pants in the relationship. Even after they break up, Jerry still defines himself by the relationship he’s lost.

He’d clearly be better off moving on and finding someone who appreciates him for who he is. After of course, he’s taken the time to truly discover who he is as an individual, and not as a clingy parasite, but he’s Jerry, and he’ll continue to self-sabotage and aim to fail because that’s what Jerry’s do across multiple parallel dimensions.

It occurred to me last night at work while humming ‘Everything I do‘ from the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves soundtrack (I made the mistake of watching it again recently) that there are some definite similarities between the relationship Jerry has with Beth, and the one I had/have with my ex-wife. Unlike Jerry, I don’t see my ‘Beth’ anymore, but I still find myself thinking about what I’ve lost even though I know that what we had was unhealthy.

I even had a somewhat Rick-like father-in-law!

However, the point of this article wasn’t to mope down memory lane, wondering for the infinite-th time what I could have done to make her happy and berate myself for the promises I didn’t keep. It was to realise that I can use this parallel to my advantage! Most writers are familiar with the advice ‘write what you know’ (interestingly enough, the writer I recently interviewed recommended the opposite) but doing so often leaves me bogged down in emotions that halt my progress.

I’m working on a story right now in which the main character is intimidated by his more intelligent and successful spouse, and it occurs to me that, instead of reopening old wounds to bare my own soul on the page, I could just base the character on Jerry! Hopefully, the trick works and I can finish the short story without spiralling into self-pitying depression in the process!

If only I could also find a character with a similar childhood to mine so that I can tackle my The Science Of Magic rewrite too! I’m hoping to get part one of both stories out on Kindle soon so that I have more on my Amazon author page than just the first book of The Haunted Story series. 🙂

New Plan!!

Before I can really explain what the new plan is and why it’s necessary, I should catch you all up on what’s been going on.

As you may be aware, I’ve been spending rather a lot of time building up the Creative Writers group and managing the incoming short story submissions. So much so that I was neglecting my girlfriend, who then left me. Despite my self-assurance that I want a partner that will like me as I am, I found myself revisiting painful memories associated with previous experiences.

I was still recovering from this attack of depression when one of my favourite singers died. The resulting article will soon have a follow-up show-casing my manic counter-balance.

I also had some issues with a used MacBook I bought recently. I had hoped it would replace the tired old laptop I’m currently using, and allow it to retire from ‘work’. It seems this is not to be. I had originally planned to try and save up for a hardwearing and portable laptop, but the one I want is about £1400. Not going to happen.

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It hasn’t all been bad. I also met someone, online, who seems terrifyingly perfect. We have an impossible amount of common interests, perceptions, motives and ideas. The only real problem is that she lives in Italy, and I don’t. We’ve been talking every day, and she’s wonderful, and I can’t wait to meet her and see if this is the real thing this time.

Which brings me to the first part of the plan. Find a way to fly cheaply to Italy. To visit her for a few days and see if we have the same chemistry in person that we do online. If I don’t do this I’ll regret it.

When I was a kid, my parents told me that there’s one true love in the world meant just for you. I thought this was a bad plan because if that one person in the world meant just for you lived on the other side of the world, you might never meet them.

I met the woman I would marry in University, and she was from America, and I convinced myself that she was the one. Needless to say, I was wrong. Neither one of us got what we thought we were signing up for, and I’ve had a jaded view of love ever since.

However, this wonderful English girl that lives in Italy reminds me of that moment when I decided that, if there is only one, then it must be possible to meet them. I may be about to make the same mistake twice, but I don’t think so. This is different. I’ll only really know though if I go see her.

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I did worry that, if I allowed myself to fall head over heels in love with her, it would mean starting over all over again. When I moved to America I brought one suitcase. I had some stuff sent afterwards, but there was a lot of beloved items I had to say goodbye to forever. Some of which I should have brought with me in the first place, but I never thought she would accept.

That was my first mistake right there. Deciding not to be myself and leave all of my gothic clothing, jewelry and decor. Leaving behind my Warhammer collection too. I chose to take my stories with me though. I’d forgotten that until now. I’d forgotten that I was trying to be a writer at that point in my life.

When I came back to England twelve and a half years later, I brought one suitcase. I sold off the Warhammer 40k collection I’d accumulated, and also the Magic: the Gathering, Munchkin card collection, Card Against Humanity, and many precious graphic novels, including a signed copy of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Endless Nights’. Again though, I brought all of my writing with me.

I’m finally building up a life again and I’ve been dreading the idea that I may have to abandon everything again for the sake of love. However, my Mum reminded me that I could get to Italy by car if I decide to move there! If I went by car I could get to see some of the rest of Europe. Perhaps even meet up with some of the other members of the Creative Writers group on my way.

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It also means I can take my stuff, and that I don’t have to have a laptop for easy packing! I can build the computer I want, to whatever specs I want for way cheaper than the next closest laptop. I’d be able to pack it in the car with me! Which leads me to parts 2 & 3 (or more accurately, 2, 3a & 3b).

Start with buying myself computer bits to build a professional computer I can’t use both for my creative writing, and to help me manage the Creative Writers’ Press brand, the royalties and marketing/selling the books.

I’m also going to need to save up for driving tests and an affordable, reliable, and, preferably, a fuel-efficient little vehicle I can tootle off to Italy in containing almost all of the contents of this little room barring the furniture.

I’d also need to save up money to occasionally stay in a hotel with a shower and proper bathrooms (I can’t sleep in the car or a tent all the time), buy food and drinks and possibly pay for repairs, healthcare and tolls on the way.

I will, of course, be writing about my adventures and sharing pictures of various European landscapes, buildings and people. If this sounds like something you’d like to see, all I’m asking for is encouragement. I’ve already put more hours in at the day job to save up faster, and I’m putting a lot of my time and energy (when not at the hotel or travelling there and back) into making a financial success of Monolith.

I’ve learned that crowd-funding for big personal goals, or even expensive computers, doesn’t work. Thankfully, I have had a few people donate to the Monolith project to help cover the costs of final editing and marketing. If there’s anything left over from that fund, It’s going back to those who contributed.

I’m not dipping into any of it for my personal stuff. It is, however, likely I’ll end up adding my savings intended for plane tickets, or a car, or the computer, toward the monolith project instead. It’ll keep me motivated to try and make more money, both at the day job and by selling more books. No crowd-funding necessary! 🙂

I’m not even going to try and sell ad space on the car to pay for it and covered in brand decals from the various sponsors (though that is an idea I’ve been playing with for years and now would seem an appropriate time to see if I could actually do it).

So that’s the new plan. What do you think?

Grinning Again :)

If any of my family and friends were worried about my last article, Grateful Gardening, fear not I’m feeling much better. This is in large part to being able to work in the garden with Grandad again yesterday evening. Mostly we were just re-gravelling the pathways and adding decorative stones, but it felt good. Not only to be useful but to be able to reconnect with my Grandad.

He didn’t realise how much I liked gardening. Grandad seemed just as excited as I was at my enthusiasm, and happily showed me his plans for the garden. He also showed me what he had grown in his hidden vegetable plot next to his decorative garden. He has lettuces that you can just pull leaves off and eat. He also has rhubarb, leeks, raspberries, mint, and gooseberries.

I’m not a huge fan of gooseberries, but I’m looking forward to eating fresh home grown salads and drinking mint and raspberry leaf tea. He has a couple of potato plant growing too. Having a garden had been a dream of mine since childhood. It was a big part of my ‘happily ever after’ dream of adulthood. It’s rained hard today, so no gardening for us tonight, but I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to get my hands dirty.

I’ve also gotten to talk to Grandma a little more than I had. Perhaps Grandad and the Doctors have finally got her meds balanced correctly, or perhaps I just didn’t see her enough while I was preoccupied to make an accurate assessment before. She’s a lot more with it than I thought she was. This makes me happy too. I’m glad I still have the opportunity to chat with her and get Grandma cuddles.

Even chatting with my ex at work today has been positive. Despite our separation, I still have the same reaction I’ve always had in her presence. I smiled. It looks like we might be able to pull off this ‘just friends’ thing after all. She even said she misses me, which boosted my ego somewhat. 🙂

I’m finding my urge to write again too. Not just talking about it in the Creative Writers group, but actually write too. This article is just the start. I’m also going to type up and proof-read the story I’m working on for Monolith, and then begin revising my narrative for Hermes925 to fix any inconsistencies and strengthen its connections to the UbiquiCity universe.

Once Hermes925 is finished, I’ll release it under the CWP brand, and add a page telling readers about other titles for Creative Writers’ Press, including Monolith, Mosaic, and anything else we have out or in the pipeline by then. I’ve had several members of the Creative Writers group ask me to help them publish their work. The stories will have to be awesome. I’m holding Hermes925 to the same standards. If the team doesn’t think it’s good enough for a CWP label, then we’re not printing it until it is.

I’m not going to announce it just yet. I want to get my new work-life balance figured out to be sure I’ll have the time, though I’m fairly certain I’ll make the time. I’m also considering taking more hours at work, to help save up more capital to invest in this venture. I also think I’m more likely to find interesting characters and possibly even people I can network with.

There may be a supervisor position available soon at Whitewater hotel. It would allow me to apply my group-tested leadership skills in a real-world environment, and it would be a much better rate of pay. I’ve already let the hotel manager know I’m interested and reminded him of my experience and credentials. We’ll see what happens. If it doesn’t happen, I have contingency plans.

This is a 360 flip of my previous goal which was to dump the day-job entirely in favour of becoming a full-time writer. However, the structure of a working day keeps me writing, and I gain the resources to produce, market and sell books faster than my current strategy is. I’m going to work my ass off!

😀

 

Feeling Down, Finding Goals.

I actually managed to get the first draft of the story I had been working on for the UbiquiCity project right on the deadline. The conversation I had with the team that day (despite technical issues) was awesome. I’m also pleased to have a chance to include a character I originally created for Hermes925 in the rewrite, Mr Waddle. Yay.

For the first time in a long time, I felt like writing Hermes925. I was even beginning to write the story, and get into the mind of the ratkin character that’s telling this part of the story. Formulate the details as write. That lovely feeling of ‘flow’ when the story takes form as the pen zips across the page. Then it stalled as another feeling I’ve been battling with (again) began tapping on the inside of my skull for attention.

I’m writing this out because I don’t want to. I’m not sure it will help, but holding it all in certainly doesn’t. I haven’t really held it in. Some of my friends know already and I talked about some of it in a previous article.

I found out when I was married that I could never have kids. I think this may have had a lot to do with the decline of the relationship. When you know you can’t have children, sex begins to seem pointless. It’s fun, but that’s all. I still got horny, but when I saw my wife I just felt guilty, and oddly dishonest. I couldn’t deliver on the implied promise. Sex is a vital part of the biological imperative to reproduce, but I can’t reproduce.

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These feelings are a boner killer. It’s hard to stay aroused when you just want to apologise repeatedly for not being able to continue the bloodline. That no matter how hard you try, you’ll never see a child that shares your DNA. The entire relationship began to feel like a waste of time. There were other elements too but my inability to perform was a huge factor. Especially since I hadn’t fully processed why it was I was losing interest and looked for reasons in her.

I didn’t deal with it as well as I could have. When we broke up I had a series of relationships that all started great, and reassured me that I could actually perform, which also exaggerated my misbelief that it had been my ex’s fault that I couldn’t before. However, in each relationship, there came a point when I would start to lose interest again. Each time I came up with an ego-friendly reason why the relationship failed, though I think now that it was just me and my stupid fucking complex.

I think it’s happening again, but this time I can’t find a fault with my girlfriend. She’s lovely, and she makes me smile and feel appreciated. She deserves much better than a man who can’t even keep it up.  Especially since I know she wants children one day. I don’t know what to do. I’ve already told her some of this. She even knew about my fickle libido going into the relationship.

She’s good at helping me take my mind off it, cheering me up, and making me giggle. Sadly, cheering up doesn’t make the issue go away. It would be easy to blame depression, but the more I explore my downs, the more I learn about myself. In most cases, I can resolve the issue fairly simply (such as when I quit the previous bar job), however, I’m at a loss with this one.

The obvious, and cold, heartless answer, would be to break up with my girlfriend and quit wasting her time. Let her go while she’s young enough to find happiness with someone else. After all, I promised myself that the writing comes first, and I do spend a lot of time with her. The problem is that I really enjoy spending time with her. I love her.

I know from experience that love isn’t enough. There was to be more to a relationship than having a good time in each other’s company. I’m not sure what I bring to the table, besides it being cheaper to rent a place together and easier to save up with two of you working. I suppose I do have that writer thing going for me, but that’s not making me much money yet. I am far from the fame I’m aiming for.

Am I willing to sacrifice a beautiful, loving friend to do it? Do I really have a choice when keeping her around would be condemning her to a life with me? A life in which I was willing to risk everything to achieve the dream of being a world-famous author? Will I make fewer risks when someone I care about could get hurt? Will I be forever remembered as an absolute asshole if I choose to be alone for the sake of my writing?

How will I ever achieve my dream if I’m not willing to give up everything to do it? How can I give up her when she makes me so happy? How can I keep her though when I can’t give her what she wants most? She says we can adopt but it’s not the same. Especially when raising someone else’s children will give me even less time and energy to commit to my writing.

But maybe, and this is a brand new thought. Just occurring to me right now as I’m typing. Maybe if I raise adopted kids well, and encourage them to follow their passions, they will be able to achieve the dream I’m seeking. Perhaps that will be my legacy. Not to be a success myself, but to see others I care about succeed? Be truly willing to sacrifice everything, even my own dream, to leave a much better legacy? To make the lives of others better. It doesn’t matter that they’re not blood.

It doesn’t matter that they won’t be my blood. My readers and fans wouldn’t be either. I’d be giving people, at least two but maybe two boys and a girl (just like my ex-wife said I would have one day), a chance to improve their lives the way my parents did for me. I’m going to need my girlfriend’s help for that.

I would also like to live in Wales. Close to my parents. Close to my sister. Close to my nieces so I can see them more often, spend time with them and share what I’ve learned with them. As I sit here crying at my desk I think I’ve hit upon what’s really making me sad. I think my loss of interest in sex might me a symptom of something deeper.

 

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Kidwelly Castle in the town my parents, sister and nieces live.

 

I miss those girls and I don’t want to miss out on being a part of their lives. Part of me thinks maybe I’m running away. Grandma and Grandad are getting older before my eyes it seems. I don’t think I can help them. They’re hurting on many levels and I don’t know what I can do to make it go away. Make it all better. And…I’m crying again.

So ideally. Grandma and Grandad will be all better. I’d suddenly get about £3-5k to be able to move to Wales, with my darling girlfriend if she’ll still have me after what I’ve just written. Rent a place, get a very cheap vehicle and keep us going while we get jobs. Even better, since I may as well dream big, I could have enough money coming in from writing to make it a full-time job capable of supporting us both and possibly even my sister and her kids!

I can’t do it yet, and certainly not all of it, but life is a negotiation. If you start with a realistic goal, you always end up settling for less. If we aim for perfect, which would have to include a miracle cure for old-age, then when we compromise it’s still going to be pretty good. If none of it works out, at least it will give me experiences I can write about, I’ll have other chances, and I will have led an interesting life by the end.

I am thinking of making a GoFundMe campaign for the move, I think. I’m going to talk it over with my other half first, and see if she’d be willing to make the move with me. It would mean leaving her own family behind. That wouldn’t be fair to her. I think I better think it out again.

 

 

Determination

You hear a lot of negativity about millennials. For those of you that aren’t sure what a millennial is, it refers to people who became young adults at the turn on the century. I turned 20 in the year 2000, so apparently I qualify.

I already thought of myself as one anyway, even when I thought it referred to people 5-10 years younger than me, because of the way they are described. We’re often thought of as lazy and unproductive because we’re not satisfied by our lot in life. Instead of being good little workers, we questions our bosses and slack off if we don’t think the work is worth doing.

The typical reaction when we’re accused of this is to become defensive. We tell our accuser that we’ll try harder, even giving a detailed plan of how and why we will change for them. We promise to compromise, and then feel wretched about ourselves when we continue to rebel against our situation, when it turns out they were right.

This is usually attributed to the fact that we were told that we are capable of greatness. We were told by our parents, teachers, and the culture at large via the tv shows, movies and music we were raised with. We can accomplish anything we set out hearts and minds to.I still believe this. I am determined to prove it’s true.

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Just like almost everyone in my generation, I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, ADHD, hypo-mania, and a variety of other medical terms to explain and correct my aberrant behaviour. None of it works, and I believe it’s because the real source of the problem is not a chemical imbalance.

The chemical imbalance is a response to the fact that, as we become adults, we are no longer encouraged to be the best. Instead we find we have to do as we’re told and stay in our lane. They tell us to grow up.

We spend our childhoods dreaming if the day when we can choose a career that makes us happy, carefully select a partner that enriches our life, buy a home and decorate it any way we wish, and have beautiful, intelligent and free-spirited children of our own.

Then we become adults and have a hard time fitting into a system that has us performing menial tasks for minimum wage, leaving us struggling and desperate. We cling to bad relationships and try to keep crappy jobs to keep a crappy house he can barely afford. It’s logical that we should find this depressing. It makes sense that we would become distrustful and anxious after being told that our childhood was a lie.

I don’t believe it was a lie. I think we can accomplish whatever it is we truly want to do, whatever it was we were meant to do. The standard counter-argument is “You can’t do whatever you want. You could never be the president of America.” Firstly, The current president elect is proof that very unlikely people can become presidents. Secondly, I don’t want to be a president!

Republican presidential candidate Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in Manchester

I’m not trying to become something I’m not. That’s exactly why I couldn’t handle trying to be a bartender, or a debt collector, a car salesman, or even a marketing assistant. It’s not who I am. It’s not who I’m meant to be. It’s not who I was raised to believe I could be.

I’m a writer. That’s who I am and I’m determined to succeed in life as a writer. In a way I already have even though it’s yet to generate an income. I write every day. Even on the days I’m giving myself off, I still find myself scribbling down a few notes or writing an article. To be fair, I also find myself on days I should be writing unable to get a satisfying paragraph on paper, or zoning out as I’m editing. I’m happy.

Tt’s difficult and scary decision, following your heart, your dreams, your true path. It won’t be easy, it may even be downright stressful, but it’ll feel right. Don’t get dissuaded because broken people tell you to give up like they did. Don’t put out that fire raging inside telling you that you have to do something. Go do that thing!

Follow my progress and see for yourself. It’s possible to get the life you dreamed of. Not by signing up for a get rich quick scheme, but by following your heart and doing whatever it is, deep within the core of you, that you really want to do. You can help me achieve it to, and see what your support can accomplish. In return I’d be more than happy to help you accomplish your goals in any way that I can.

I want you to share this with other ‘millennials’, or anyone else that’s been disappointed by what real life has to offer. Stop being ashamed of being called the ‘Peter Pan generation’. Don’t let anyone hold you back. Keep thinking happy thoughts and fly!

Make your happiness a priority. Have a great day!

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Weirdness

Instead of writing I’m watching Mr Robot. It got me thinking about something that has popped into my head before. We all have shit that we think makes us weird, makes us different, and we try to hide it to fit in.

The number of people I know now who have had terrible childhoods due to alcoholic, mentally ill or absent parents, and think that this is weird. I hear it so often I think that it’s probably a lot more normal than we’re taught to believe.

My own family is loving and supportive, and still together despite every obstacle and hardship they’ve faced. I admire them greatly, partly because it seems so rare. At least among the people I know. Despite the fact that a Mum and Dad working together to raise and support their children is supposed to be normal. In reality it seems to be odd, unusual, weird.

I like being weird. I used to worry that I had no right to be weird because I didn’t have a messed up childhood. So I tried to be normal. Go to college, fall in love, get married, get a career, a house, a car, have kids, make friends with other couples and climb the corporate ladder.

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Me being all domestic

It was all wrong though, fake, dishonest. If we’d had children though I would have kept it up indefinitely. Worked jobs I hated just to make sure they had a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and a loving mother and father to look out for them.

I can’t have children though. I’m infertile. To be fair so was she. After we found that out it got harder to understand what it was all for. Humans are supposed to reproduce. Even though I reasoned that at least we weren’t condemning a new life to our particular combination of genetics, I still felt like I’d failed as a husband and a human being.

It still took a few years for the marriage to crumble into dust. During which I still tried to hold up the structure of a perfect life, with one pillar missing. The remaining pillars, and the two of us, cracking under the strain.

She found someone else shortly after we broke up. I have no idea if they’re still together, nor do I want to know. I’m not that person I was trying to be. I’ve embraced my weirdness. No more pretending. Though I admit I’ve toned it down a little for work.

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Me now

I have no idea how my new coworkers would react to my black nails and eyeliner. The fact I like to eat raw bacon as a snack doesn’t need to come up. I loathe sports, but I love fantasy and sci-fi games.

I worry that I have little in common with people. I want to be able to relate to the customers and coworkers. I’m repelled by the thought of having to pretend I’m someone I’m not, but I like this job. I don’t want to lose it because I have no idea which football teams are playing, or because someone thinks I’m too weird.

I know I’m being over anxious. I got a food order wrong today, something I found out on day one I could get in big trouble for. The problem was resolved before it became an issue, but I can’t afford to make any mistakes.

Firing a perfect employee because he’s weird is prejudice. Firing the weird employee because he makes expensive mistakes is justified. If I was in their shoes, I’d be waiting for me to make another mistake. It’s not like I’d be hard to replace. Two more people handed in job applications today. Who knows how many more applied via email.

I feel a little better for expressing this. It’s overdramatic, but emotions often are. I don’t really expect to lose my job anytime soon, no more than I do in any job. There’s always a chance that the people you’re relying on will betray you, but that’s life.

Have a great day