Eric and the Velleity
“I need to make a change in my life, in my way of thinking, I need to either pursue this thing full on, whether it be good or bad, or just give it up and be happy with my lot in life.” - Eric Anderson February 22, 2012 at 9:19 AM (4 years 2 months 19 days 21 hours 41 minutes 0 seconds ago)
When I posted that, 133,224,060 seconds ago, I didn’t realize that there was a third option. I had no idea that I would give up writing completely and also be miserable and unfulfilled creatively the entire time. 2,220,401 minutes ago, I thought that I was motivating myself to dedicate more time to this thing that I have almost always wanted to do with my life. When I posted the last thing that I would write on the internet for 37,006.6 hours, other than a few insignificant tweets or facebook updates, I thought it was a new beginning and not an ending. As those 1,541.9 days, 220.6 weeks, 50.6 months, and 4.2 years went by, I did not go a single one without thinking about starting to write again, but I guess that was a wish not strong enough to lead myself to action (Velleity).
Whenever I think about why I quit writing I can’t really narrow it down to a specific reason. I was depressed, angry, terrified, and I just didn’t feel great about things in general. I was unhappy and stressed out at work, I was fighting with pretty much anyone that pissed me off, and I was too lazy to get up and make myself do it. I thought my writing was too whiney and sad to share with the world, which it was. I just re-read, re-edited, and took notes on all 37 of my old posts, and there was a lot of crying in there. I have known all along that I need to be doing this though, because it is my therapy, and my brain isn’t going to get better unless I start working out my issues (on the internet, for the world to read).
In early 2012 I started working every day of the week. This continued for the entire year and took up 95% of the Sundays in it. I decided to use that as an excuse to stop going to church. I didn’t want to go anyway so that worked out, but I could have gotten off of work early enough to make it. The day after Christmas of 2011 I wrote something about a person I had been fighting with since September on my health blog (I was trying to track weight loss and other health issues, probably stress, but it was super boring mostly). Even though everything I wrote was 100% factual, in my opinion, it hurt some feelings and turned into a thing. We argued about it for over a week, other people got involved, it was dumb, and it just upset me so much that I didn’t want to go back to church. There were several people involved that I just didn’t want to see there. I kept writing for a couple of months after that though.
I spent an inexcusable portion of 2012 illogically concerned that the world might end before the year was over. If destruction wasn't reigned down by the Mayan demon death dragon (or whatever was supposed to happen) then it was surely coming from the crazies that believed in that nonsense. I knew it was irrational at the time, and I know it even better now, 3 1/2 years later. I probably shouldn’t admit that even a small part of me was terrified. As soon as 2012 was over, and the planet not destroyed, so were the 72 plus hour work weeks, and all that sweet sweet overtime pay (We only thought we were broke before that time).
Then, 2013 started with a layoff at the plant and a major cut back on hours for those of us that were “fortunate” enough to stay. The next three years were filled with rumors of layoffs, hour cut backs, slight hour increases, more hour cut backs, actual layoffs and finally a notice of plant closure last August (2015). It was both a relief to finally know our fate and terrifying to not really know it at all (I am still unemployed along with my wife, who also worked at the plant). We finally closed it down in December and the 4 1/2 months leading up to that day were some of the hardest of my life. During all of that time I still didn’t go back to church. It was much easier to just continue not going after I didn’t go for a year already, and I was (am) still angry.
In that past four years things haven’t really been bad for me. We have been very fortunate. I mean, sure, every time someone tells me what’s on the news I get depressed, angry or terrified all over again, but there have been plenty of good things that happened too. I started a plant based diet (98% vegan, but I’ll get into that later), we had a surprise 99% impossible child (she’s the 1%, but not in the way that normally means), we bought a house that we love, I lost a job that I didn’t even really like (now, I am still unemployed, but maybe it was still a good thing and I should be looking at it as an opportunity), I still have a beautiful wife, and, now, three adorable children.
Since I quit officially writing, my brain has been sneakily getting me to write other places that might not have been entirely appropriate. I wrote extra long meeting notes and speeches to my employees that I never actually gave. I wrote long angry letters to companies that pissed me off, city officials that pissed me off, and to my HR rep about coworkers that pissed me off. Apparently, when I am angry or fired up about something my grasp of the english language multiplies tenfold. Also, it is apparent that I have anger issues that I need to work out.
So, now, 2016 is here. Four years is a good length of time for me. I got married to my wife after not seeing her for four years, and that has turned out pretty great. I started going to church again almost 3 weeks ago (I’m not any less bitter or angry, but I need to try to let that stuff go). I decided that I was going to start writing months ago, and I have spent that time doing everything I can to avoid actually doing it. I both love and hate writing. It gives me a headache, but it makes me feel better after it’s done. My brother texted me back in January or February that he wanted to start blogging in addition to his short stories. I half jokingly suggested that we should start a website together. He seemed excited about the idea, and then it was too late for me to change my mind. So, here I am, with a new website, and a journal full of private thoughts that I, for whatever reason, feel I should share with the world. I have to whine here to, hopefully, avoid whining so much in my real life interactions. I would say that it isn’t for you, and you don’t have to read it, but I will be checking the site metrics at least 42 times a day to see if you are. That’s not really your problem though, is it?
P.S. All the time math was done by this guy. Thank you math cats.