I don’t think I expect a lot from people.

I guess the title says it all, I mean I don’t really feel like I need much from everyone. At work, mostly I just want people to do their damn jobs. It’s not really that hard, I understand things may come up or you have a bad day but, it doesn’t make sense for you to not work to catch up on the days you just aren’t feeling it. Especially, when departments seem to be able to get their stuff out in the same amount of time or quicker.

With friends, I understand I’m not your first priority and often times you aren’t mine. I don’t expect you to drop everything when I text and I don’t loose my mind when you don’t call. If you want to hang out I will certainly make time for you if I don’t have any earlier plans. If you promise to get back to me I totally understand if you don’t. It’s really not a problem, I love you and if that’s who you are chances are I already know that about you.

People are going to hurt you. I mean it’s a forgone conclusion, right? The closer you get to friends, family, and SO’s the more likely, they will do something that’s going to hurt you. Do you stop loving them? I guess it depends on how egregious the actions that were taken. But, for me I kind of realize this is a thing within their nature and moving forward our relationship, whatever it is, will have to reflect that. Now that doesn’t mean beating them up about it every chance you get but, maybe just keeping it in the back of your mind at all times.

Maybe it’s wrong to say I don’t expect much from people but, I think it’s true. I’ve learned from a young age that people are going to let you down and often times there’s nothing you can do about it. I think it’s more a part of growing up and being the starry-eyed kid doesn’t work anymore.

I’ve got an issue, well more than a couple.

I am bad at disclosing, maybe you’ve already figured that out I mean I’m not exactly forthcoming with any of the finer details of my life. That’s partly because I’m boring and partly because I like to be able to step away from this whenever I can. Don’t know what exactly that says, actually, I probably do but, I’ll talk about in some other time.

Back at to the topic at hand, I don’t really understand how to do it. Not that I can’t but, how much is enough? How much is too much? Again, my problem seems to be balance, I can’t seem to find it I feel like I’m an open book but, I don’t feel like the people I want to get to know me actually do.

I can’t say it’s all on them I just feel like some part of me would rather fit into roles rather than be honest with people. It makes it easy. I don’t have to be anyone other than this and I can keep the deeper parts of me hidden. Letting down my walls doesn’t come easy and when I finally it doesn’t seem like people like what they find. Maybe it means I’m crazy but, aren’t the best people?

Goals (At least the ones that don’t have to do with writing.)

My friend has been really going through it this past couple of months and for the longest time, I didn’t know how to help her. I won’t really talk about what happened because even though she might not care, I’d rather keep her privacy. I gave advice and it didn’t work. I was a shoulder to cry on that they didn’t take. For everything I tried to do nothing seemed to work. I hated the idea that I might have to watch all of this come to a head and not be able to stop it. The whole thing vexed me.

I knew it wasn’t about me. I knew that what she was experiencing had absolutely nothing to do with me but I wanted to be there for her like she had been for me. Without meaning to she dug me out of a hole I was in due to my depression. It was the only reason I really got back on board with my writing and the only reason. I got back involved with the blog. So her friendship, needless to say, is very important to me.

This is the first time I’ve ever been actually able to help her in any meaningful way. And though I’ve been on call for the past couple of days (gently woken up by text notifications) I haven’t been happier. More well rested maybe but not happier. Being able to be there for a friend really makes me feel fulfilled in a way. I’m sure that says something about me and my overall psychological state, in a psychology textbook somewhere.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t want what happened to her to happen to anyone else. I just think when this is all over we’ll be closer. I hope that I can pull her out of the same hole she did me and we both can move on.

This year.

I have to say I am angry with myself. I haven’t finished any new work. That’s not to say I’m not writing just that it’s going slower than I expected. I was hoping that I’d get so much faster, that suddenly after finishing my first book I’d unlock the secret that let other people churn books out in months. Am I not fast enough? Am I not doing enough? Short answer… yes.

I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. The question is how do I change that? How do I devote myself more? Do I take on fewer hours at work? Do I hang out less? I already have a problem with balance. Will this just tip me over the edge?

The one thing I have to say that I have become a better writer and It’s reflected in my work. I just need to figure out how to manage my time better and write more recklessly.  The first one has always been a problem for me. I just need to find a new normal. I want so badly to get off the ground. Get my work out there. I want as many people to fall in love with my characters like I have.

Why I write.

Someone asked me recently, after I had finished telling them how much my book had sold, why I wrote. Which in retrospect wasn’t a nice thing to ask… but none the less I answered them. I said for me it’s about getting my demons out. It is about taking all the pain and all the bad things I’ve done or had been done to me putting them on a page and letting them out.

Now, this is not to say that all of those things I write about happened to me but… I dig in deep an pour my soul into it. This maybe the wrong way to do things. I am probably going in the completely opposite direction of what writing should be. It should be for the readers. It’s about them, right? I think if I write this way with this in mind that I’ll hit someone in just the precise way that it will resonate with them. It’s probably not the best way to handle business but, I hope it works. I hope I can connect with people.

I have been given the gift-or detriment- to be able to feel things incredibly strongly. So much so that describing it to others tends to fail in comparison. I love feeling things and making that apart of my product, a part of whatever legacy I leave behind-I am twenty-four leave me at least some delusions of grandeur- is very important to me.

Thoughts about my name and death and things that happened on a Monday.

If you haven’t guessed by now my name is a pen name. Honestly, the quiet refusal to show my face should’ve been your first tip off but I digress. It is as much something given to me as something I’ve chosen. I get to sit at a keyboard and be something different from myself. It is incredibly freeing.

This Monday, I paid my respects to my last grandfather. He was a lot of things to a lot of different people. To the people of the church, he was a good Christian man. To the people he worked with, he was a hard worker. To my father, my uncles, and my aunts, he was a father and a powerful man. To me, he was Granddad, the person who had this laugh that will echo through me and make me smile whenever I think about him. A person who connected me to a large part of my heritage. I couldn’t always understand him, he had a thick accent but I’ll remember the twinkle in his eyes and the hat on his head.

I’ll admit I wasn’t as close to him as I probably should be but, I’ll miss him all the same. I hope some of his tenacity rubs off on me. I hope I can be half the man he and my father are. The Dalton part of my name is a goal and something to look forward too. I hope I can make something of it.

The hardest part of funeral’s are watching the people you thought were so much larger than life be human. Seeing them cry and feel lonely and diminished. I couldn’t breakdown with them. I hurt so much to see them and I wanted to join them be overcome but, I think something broke inside me when my brother passed. I don’t know if anything will hurt me like that again. I don’t know if that should be comforting  or a sobering. Probably the worst part is seeing my father standing there like that so much pain in his eyes but, not being able to release it.

Anxiety (Part 1)

I think everyone deals with anxiety differently and as long as you don’t let it fuck up your life then you’re fine. I asked a couple people, in this Facebook group I’m apart of, how they deal with their own anxiety, what made them anxious. I was surprised about the many ways people dealt with it some people it. It made me think maybe I wasn’t dealing with it in the way I should. That maybe just walking away  from the things that make me anxious wasn’t solving anything.

A ton of things happened this week and I had panic attacks for three nights in a row. Maybe that’s small change for some but It has never actually been that bad for me. First I finally got out of situation that had me on a knife-edge. I was slowly climbing up the walls and I wanted out. So I finally said so. I know it was my fault for getting into that situation and for me not getting out of it when I started to feel this way.

The second day was mostly a layover of what happened the first day but, I found out someone I looked up to had done something reprehensible. For me I knew how to feel about it but, the people in the group I mentioned earlier were split between raising money and condemning them. Maybe this wasn’t a big deal. I guess its hard to separate big and small things when you’re in a whirlwind of your own emotion.

On the third day, because of how badly I dealt with what happened on the first day, I had a friend decide she didn’t want to talk to me. I’ll admit I didn’t use my words well and I hurt another friends feelings. I’ll own that but, they didn’t even tell me their feeling were hurt. So while I had been going through all of this and I needed her she ditched me. I felt like I didn’t understand our relationship anymore. I was hurt and angry and I wasn’t so silently vacillating between them. I had thought we were close and it really cut into me. I don’t know if I can trust them again. For me the forgiving part is easy but, forgetting doesn’t do anyone any good. If you forget you are open to having it happen again. So should I forgive them?

I’m sure this is absolutely boring, but I think that people with anxiety should talk about what upsets them. I think that I have felt so much better dealing with this stuff with words then I ever had just walking away. So if you go through stuff like this talk about it. There maybe tons of other ways people deal with it but I think talking goes somewhere above something like self-harm.

Reunion

This week some of my old friends from high school and I got together to have dinner and just talk. I hadn’t seen some in as much as three years and some I saw three months ago but, I think it was good for me. Just to get an update,While I didn’t get to talk to all of them the way I wanted or as long as I wanted I had the best time. I laughed better than I had in months and it was all thanks to them.

Some of them were in great places in their lives, getting a great job or meeting people that would be or could be spouses. One moved pretty far. Some of them had significant others who just seem to really get them. One of them was getting over his first big heartbreak. It was sad to see but, we got him to look back and laugh for the first time.  I was there by myself but, I saw the changes in them and found a way to connect to that with my own. It was electric.

For me the highlight of the night was when some one I guess I had looked up to a bit from the old days said “So your published… Your like one of the only one of us to do something.” I can’t really put into words the way that made me feel but I hope it will be in my memory for a long time to come. Helping me get over writer’s block and persevere when I want to procrastinate. For me this was one of the best nights of my adult life.

My Brother

I had a dream a couple of nights ago about my brother. He died three years ago. That’s all I usually say about it. He died. I mean people ask all the time about it. How he died and I tell them and there’s a pity in their eyes.

It’s not that I like talking about him, it’s not that I like there sympathy. I guess it helps keep me grounded. Centered on the fact that it happened and that I’m okay. Maybe that’s wrong, using him like that… I mean it probably is… It’s just I need to have it be there in my life. I need to know it was a fact and that it happened. That he’s gone now and I loved him.

So back to my dream. He was dying again, this time longer this time we knew. This time I wasn’t angry. This time he was older. As old as he would have been today. He was just sitting in the car. I guess for privacy to get away from everyone. This time I had a chance to say good bye.

I told him just how much he meant to me. How sad I was going to be to see him go. I guess my mind hadn’t quite gotten their yet. I held him tighter than I’ve ever held anyone. I cried so much and when my mind had finally caught up. I told him we’d be okay. That we’d be fine. We already had been. That we’d be torn apart and forever changed, but we’d be okay. And he cried for the first time. We cried together.

I think in then end this dream was good for me I needed to get it out. It was cathartic. I don’t know if dream me got to be with him in his final moments but, I finally got to say good bye.

Balance

I have a huge problem finding balance. I seem to only be able to focus on one thing at a time. It literally stalls my relationships out. I am not good at keeping things in balanced. To me if I am not giving my all to writing or at work… I get anxious. I need to get better at this supposedly, it takes practice but it seems like all my friends are way closer to their goals than I am. I need to keep going. I need to cut out everything but, this.

It’s a terrible way to live and I am not sure exactly how to get any better. I mean it’s hard for me to just maintain the relationships I have or to even go out at night. I am not sad or anything writing is my life. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do and to be really getting somewhere with it I am at a loss for words. I am laying the groundwork now so that I may get to play in the future. I’d like this to be something bigger than me and I’ll do anything to make that happen.