A little while ago I made a promise to the universe to start blogging more in 2007, and here it is more than halfway through January and I’m only just now making my first proper entry of the New Year.
For quite a long time, I didn’t believe in making promises. Plans either. It seemed as though every time I said out loud or in writing what my intentions were, I would end up disappointing others and myself with an unfinished result — if I even got around to putting my plan into action at all. Self-imposed deadlines, promises, schedules, timetables, lists… all of it was, I thought, based on my experiences, a formula for failure. So, I just stopped talking about what I wanted to do, whether it was about finishing a project, pursuing a girl, or even just reading a book. I actually believed things would get done when they got done, and that making an actual plan to do something would magically render it not done or unfinished into infinity.
As such — and I’m sure this will come as no surprise to the many sane people reading this— the last few years have seen me get practically nothing done. My brilliant plan to avoid making plans has proved to be the quickest route to oblivion, and with my early-twenties long gone and my mid-twenties barely visible in the distance, I’m forced to make a course correction.
I was in a much deeper hole once, not too many years ago. Really, it was a pit. Immense, dark and terrible, and for a time I couldn’t imagine my life being any different. Again, this is something that most of my readers and friends are only vaguely aware of, if at all. That you don’t know is, I think, part of the problem.
I’m nowhere as deep as I once was. Despite the tone of this entry, I’m truly doing okay. I’m usually very busy, have a beautiful girlfriend, cool friends, a nice home, and a cute pet. But there is a feeing of stillness that is familiar, and if this is anything like what happened before, it’s a prelude to disaster.
I feel as though I’ve accidentally wandered alone into a smoky, unfamiliar dance club and discovered that a psychopathic yet irresistible ex-lover is somewhere inside. The doors are locked behind me, and I’ve got to find another way to escape before I run into her and become trapped in a spiral of dysfunction, complacency and regret.
The previous obstacle — the pit — was eventually overcome by changing my lifestyle in the most tremendous and difficult ways I could think of. One of those ways was putting myself out here, on the internet, somewhat like I’m doing right now. The rewards were profound, particularly in the way of new friends. Some of the people I met in person and online during that phase are still friends now. Many of them are just friendly. Sadly, many of them are now just acquaintances. Tragically, many of them are now I-don’t-even-know-where. Many, many, many people gave me their time, encouragement and friendship, and when I thought I was all better, I allowed those relationships to fade and in too many cases disintegrate completely. It wasn’t something I meant to do and I didn’t even realize it was happening. I hope it’s not too late to reconnect with those people who supported me more than I ever properly thanked them for. Hopefully, some of them are reading this now.
It was a goal to come back to Los Angeles and be a writer. The majority of my income comes from writing. In the years since returning, I’ve written a lot about music, comics, movies and other things for a number of employers, all of whom you’ve heard of, and for a good chunk of change. Still, I find myself feeling that stillness.
I love making a DJ mix that makes my friends dance, writing an article or review that makes someone buy a comic or a record, posting a picture that someone decides to save, or writing a book that someone decides to read. But while all that is nice, what I love most of all is the feeling of making something that I don’t think completely sucks. I wrote more than three-hundred pages of a book, posting chapter after chapter online as I went, with what must have been a thousand photographs to go along with them, not really knowing if anyone was even reading the thing. I’ve never been paid to do anything remotely that difficult or aggravating, yet I’ve never had so much fun in my life.
For some reason I stopped doing anything like that. I thought I was better. But here I am, halfway into January 2007, feeling annoyed, regretful that I haven’t done anything in years I’m really proud of, and missing friends.