Eric and the 1000 Words
This is what it has come to. I’m punishing myself, at the very least, I’m withholding joy from myself until I accomplish something. I have filled my life with distractions. Facebook, reddit, podcasts, tv, video games, and pretty much any other projects the happen to pop into my head that aren’t actually productive. As long as it isn’t writing I will throw myself headlong right into it. I don’t know why I need to escape from my brain, but I do. I have been aware of this need for several years; I’ve even written about it before, but that was a long time ago. I obviously haven’t learned how to prevent myself from falling into that trap so I’ve come up with a plan.
I am not going to allow myself to look at the internet (unless it’s specifically for research or a job search for that matter), play any video games, watch tv, or listen to podcasts until I have written 1000 words every day. I will allow myself to listen to music, read, play with my children, etc… These distractions are important to my soul. This might be overly ambitious for someone who hasn’t written more than a total of 3 paragraphs in the last 8 months, but it’s the kind of drastic measure that I need right now.
This is the first 1000 words, and it’s harder than I thought it would be. I should have expected this though, considering I spent 45 minutes staring at my computer screen last night. I only wrote three sentences. I have a pretty big piece planned. I’ve been working on it for most of the last 8 months, but I’ve only been working on it in my head. I’ve written it and re written it over and over and never put any of it down on paper (screen?). I don’t know why it’s so easy for me to compose these words when I’m busy doing other things with my hands, but then I draw a complete blank when I’m confronted with the keyboard and screen. I think I’ve been building pressure over the last year and now I’m at a point where I’m terrified to fail. I believe that this is my last best hope for happiness. If I can’t write, If I’m not a writer then what am I and why have I been lying to myself for all of these years.
I didn’t want this post to be about writing. I have a lot of ideas about myself that are tied to me being a writer, but I wanted that to be in the bigger piece that I was talking about earlier. If you’ve read this far and you are bored I’m sorry. I knew that this first post was going to suck, and I pretty much set out with the plan of it sucking. I needed to lower the bar for myself and prove that I could, at least, suck for 1000 words. I promise that I won’t be posting every 1000 words that I write, but i’m putting this up to show where my head is. I guess I can tell you what my life has been like for the last year.
The plant that my wife and I worked for closed down on December 17, 2015. We had both worked there for several years. Neither of us particularly liked our jobs because it conflicted with our personal politics, but we liked the people and we were pretty good at what we did. I guess that last part is a matter of opinion, but we were good enough for them to keep us around until the day they closed the doors. We both spent the next six months on unemployment searching for a new place to pay us to live. She was hired the week before her unemployment ran out, and I have been staying at home taking care of the kids while draining my 401k. It’s been stressful, but not as stressful as you would think. Don’t get me wrong, I have a new found respect for anyone that stays at home to take care of children. They are a nightmare, but I thought I would be more stressed about not knowing where my next paycheck was going to come from. Sometimes I think the lack of stress is from a deep depression that I can’t pull myself out of, and sometimes I think it’s God telling me that everything is going to be okay.
I know that I am depressed and anytime I even think about writing I talk myself out of it by pointing out that everything I write is narcissistic nonsense that no sane person would give a crap about. I also know that since I started going to church again back in April 2016 I have felt a shift in my attitude. At first I was angry every single week. I was angry at God, at the people, at myself, and just angry at the situation. I only started going because my mom asked that we all come on Mother’s day, and I didn’t want everyone to think that was the reason so we started going 2 weeks before that day. Something convinced me that I needed to be there. I told myself it was for my kids, but it was just as much for me and my wife. Every week I left the service pissed off at something someone said or did. I don’t know why, but my politics seem to greatly differ from the leadership's politics. That hasn’t changed but I am less offended by it now than I was then. My anger began to subside and I would alternate between feeling motivated one week and pissed off again the next week. Now I’m only angry a fourth of the time.
I’ve also felt myself forgive things that I thought were unforgivable, by me anyway, but I’ll have to talk about that later because that’s been my 1000 words.