A mere fifteen days ago, when the calendar flipped and suddenly it was 2016, I told myself that I was going to write more. That this new year would be a literary awakening of sorts, an immense explosion of creative accomplishment from which no shelter could be found. That’s what I told myself. I would post on the blog, I would finish my short stories and send them out, and I would edit my novels into a state of unprecedented perfection.
And then this past week I didn’t write shit.
Nor did I edit or even reread anything. Nothing whatsoever was done in terms of writing, as the lack of recent posts would suggest. Really, there was a clear reason for this, something I could point to and accuse beyond any doubt as the culprit in killing my desires to actually be productive for once in my life.
Friends. That was it. Having a social life. All my dreams of grandeur went out the window this week, and it was because I enjoy spending time with people.
Let’s see. Monday I went to the bar to celebrate David Bowie’s life and death, and Tuesday I watched a movie with my guy friends, and then Thursday I hosted bar trivia, and on Friday I took my girlfriend out for a nice dinner. That left Wednesday, which was filled with so much pressure, so much you-have-to-fucking-write-something-exclamation-point (!) demands being made of myself, that I simply shut down and, in a state of mindless paralysis, watched a bunch of YouTube videos.
This has really been an issue my whole life. There are basically five areas that my life has always been divided into: work, friends, love life, hobbies/relaxing, and ambitions. The first category – work – has always dominated, like the dark-haired gene in my family. The sad thing is, I don’t even work that hard at my job – I never take anything home and I rarely stay past normal working hours. But still it eats up all of my life like an evil virus. There isn’t much that can be done to change that. And so I’m left with task of divvying up the other four aspects of life. They typically turn out like this:
- Love Life
Sometimes I think about this and I wonder if I’ll ever actually finish any of my writing projects. Is it possible that I won’t be able to complete my novels until I retire and, if so, why haven’t I focused my attention on obtaining a decent retirement plan? Likewise, is the only way I will ever finish anything, the sole route to being a writer, is it to basically ditch all my friends and live a solitary and devout life of typing into a Mac Book? Is that the choice I have to make? I mean, my current friends already consider me somewhat anti-social and reclusive – is finding a balance so impossible, it’s either all or nothing on one front or the other?
I don’t know. All I know is that when I spend a few days being reclusive I feel good about the work I get done, but then I feel lonely and depressed because there are no incoming messages on my phone. Then, when I hang out with people a lot, I feel good about being able to participate in real human interaction, but then I feel bummed out because there are two hundred Microsoft Word files that I need to finish.
So I guess today’s post is just to lament on that, to express how difficult it is to have ambitions and yet not the time to fulfill them, or perhaps not the willingness to sacrifice in order to do so. Maybe when I move back the USA in August I will refuse anyone who wants to be my friend, and I will stay in my apartment alone all the time like a loser.
Whoops! Did I say loser? I meant artist.