I like filling out forms. Is that weird? I like knowing what sort of information people are looking for so that I don’t have to think so hard about what to say. I like structure. As my Dad might have said once (and if he didn’t, the voice in my head that sounds like him did), “You can’t think outside the box until you’re in a box.”(more…)
I jotted notes at work on a sheet of printer paper because my phone was dead during my break.
- Who is this main character? His name is Jon for now, but who the hell is he?
- Where does he live?
- What is his occupation?
- Who are the people in his life?
- What sort of conflicts is he having before his decision to quit smoking?
- Etc etc etc
Before I can get into this, I have to get other shit out of my head first. It’s a dam to my flow. I was listening to Pete Holmes’s podcast yesterday or the day before, and he said something I have to try. Maybe it’s something I already knew, but it wasn’t anything I’d consciously implemented before: Lay all the bullshit that’s weighing you down on the table. Get it out of your head before the writing session begins. Unfuck yourself in that one small way, at least. Maybe it’s easier for him in a writer’s room full of people who can offer their empathy, but I’m pretty good at pretending I can hear you, so…
I’m worried. It’s an epiphany. It hit me when I got mad at my dog for being a fucking dog. For not wanting to play fetch the way I wanted her to play fetch. She wants me to chase her around the yard, and I just wasn’t having it. So I told her to go fuck herself and came inside without her. I sat down at my desk to write, and I couldn’t. I couldn’t get anything out because I was still pissed off, so I asked myself, “What the fuck, man? Why are you so angry? This is fucking stupid? What’s really going on?” Turns out, I’m worried about her. The reason I wanted so badly to play with her was so that she’d get exercise and get tired and feel like a happy dog even though I leave her alone for 9 hours a day to go to work and then come home and sleep for another 5-7 hours, and when I’m awake, I’m doing something other than playing with her unless I specifically make myself hang out. I’m worried that she’s just a prisoner in my home, that her existence isn’t everything a dog’s existence could be, that she’s a lonely puppy, and that I’m a bad dogfather.
I dunno. Maybe that sounds silly. But it’s what’s up. And it led me to think about everything else I get mad at. Made me think about everything I avoid. Made me think about why I spend so much time alone. Made me think about why I can’t seem to really make friends with anyone and everyone like some people can. Or even acknowledge strangers’ existence sometimes. And it all boils down to the same thing. I’m worried. I’m worried I’ll never amount to what I always assumed I was capable of. I’m worried if I try things, I’ll fail. I’m worried that if I fail, I’ll be humiliated. I’m worried that if I’m humiliated, I’ll have to just carry that shit around with me for the rest of my life, and all anyone’s going to see when they look at me is that guy who failed in a really big way that one time. I’m worried that the reason I can’t handle people isn’t because I don’t care, but because I care too fucking much. I’m worried that if I make friends, I’ll get absorbed by their lives. I have a track record of losing myself. I’m worried that I won’t find time to write or play video games or listen to music or force myself to hang out with my dog. I’m worried that I’ll keep doing the same thing over and over and over again even though I sit in anguish wishing I’d do something else. I’m worried all this writing I’m doing won’t ever amount to much of anything at all. I’m worried my car will breakdown because I avoid taking care of it because I’m worried that if I take the time to take care of it, I’ll miss out of doing something else I want to do, which is ridiculous because all I ever do is sit around and worry about shit and look for things to distract myself from worrying about shit. Same goes for my health in general. For everything.
I’m fucking worried.
I may have an anxiety disorder.
I’m worried about that too. And I’m worried I’ll continue to ignore it for the rest of my life. Which might not be too terribly long if I don’t do something about it. Not that I’d self harm. I’m too worried what people would say or feel about it to ever consider that shit. You know what it’s like? It’s this coping mechanism I came up with when I was a kid and something was scaring me. It’s the classic thing people do when watching a scary movie: cover their eyes until the music says the intense shit is over. I feel like I’m covering my eyes while this intense shit is going on, except this intense shit is just life, and if I keep covering my eyes, I’m going to miss the whole goddamn show.
I think that about covers it for now. On to writing something