A Halloween confession

Here's something.

I don't really like Halloween.

It makes me feel really, really inadequate. I am not the kind of person who likes to dress up in outlandish costumes. I also have a hard time relaxing these days around other people. I feel like I'm always wearing masks anyway, never really unable to tell most of the people I come into contact what I feel about anything. In order to do my job right, I have to check so much of myself and put it away. 

But it's more than that, too. I can't imagine spending time to get a costume together. The idea of it all makes me anxious. My life is one where relaxation takes the form of hanging out by myself without a deadline. I feel anxious when I let my guard down, nervous that maybe I said the wrong thing.

I'm happy for others who like the holiday and don't at all want to have people think I want others to not enjoy themselves. I just get a weird, sad melancholy when Halloween comes around and I'm not entirely in the fun. 

I don't know how to be in the fun anymore. Fun is for other people. 

Do I really believe that? 

I think I do. 

Though, my feeling of uncertainty could also come from this being the beginning of the holiday season, which is not my favorite time of year at all. I look forward to January 1 when the new year begins and hope returns, hope that maybe the next time around the sun won't feel as difficult. 

Sadly, though, they're all just going to get more difficult until the end comes. That's the most horrifying thing I can think of, and it's not at all supernatural. 

As I approach the end of the 1st quarter of my 42nd year, I reflect that somehow I've managed to find happiness amidst the challenges of my life.  I take joy from being alive and having a mix of emotions swimming around my brain and body. There's a tremendous amount of meaning in my life.

But, I do wish that holidays didn't make me anxious. But I'm comfortable with the fact that they do. 



I had a great day today. I turned in two stories and worked on a third that's going to be an absolute blockbuster. More on that another time, though I really don't want to talk about my work that much here. 

I thought I was supposed to work at Court Square, but when I realized I did not have to do, I felt like I could devote some time to myself. I went to Tin Whistle to finish work and met up with my work colleague Tim Shea who is leaving the organization soon. Speaking with Tim and his girlfriend made me happy, as did talking to several other friends I saw there. 

So I decided to come home and try to make music. Astute readers will know this is a pastime of mine and has been for many years. Singing my own songs makes me feel alive, but I don't seem to be able t write them. I have to improvise them. I love seeing what I can come up with in the moment. 

I also have a hard time sharing any of it because none of it is perfect. 

I have dozens and dozens of hours of material that I've created off the top of my head, all these weird experiments where I just let my imagination ago and sing what's on my mind while trying to be my own accompaniment. 

I don't have to share it. But I want to, but I'm so scared I'll be told it's awful. I've never been able to get over criticism over things I make from my heart. The songs I sing in order to process what's on my mind. 

I want to work with people. I want to make songs. I want to make a version of me that is more than than the me everyone knows. 

But for now, I am so satisfied I actually broke a three month hiatus on recording anything. I have had a weird year so far. Tonight, though, I had a bit of a break-through, and that is why I have satisfaction. 


Thoughts on the future, the past, the gift of the now

I'm rewatching Back to the Future 2 for the second time in 24 hours. I'm looking forward to Saturday's Doctor Who.

The concept of time travel appeals to me because I so often wonder what would have happened if I had made different decisions at key points. Both the trilogy and my favorite television show employ a narrative device that simply doesn't exist. But yet I often imagine how I might go back and fix mistakes.

I am a time traveler. I've committed my life as a writer to understanding how people make decisions. I've learned so much about how the community in which I live came to be. I have spent the last eight years writing about decisions made. I am gifted with the ability to write these things down.

I am also blessed with the ability to be able to write and sing my life in my personal journals, and I often write about time travel and patterns that I see in my life, personally and professionally.

Sometimes I think I am trying to create a bootstrap paradox

On this day, October 22, 2015, there is no more imaginary future in Marty McFly's world. There's only the now, the same as it ever was. And so, there is only a future we can make. I feel liberated in a way because I know that time travel is just a trick we humans play on each other to help us all want to do better.

I know what I want now. This isn't the forum to really to talk about that directly, but I want to stop thinking about the past. The past is resolved. I've learned so many lessons. The past is still with me, but I have always been present while imagining a better future.

We made it this far, everybody. Let's keep making things better.


Two months into 42

This is the first day in seven that I'm going to go to the gym. I feel weird about this because I would love to go. But I'm working on a story and I have to go to work shortly. I don't much want to go to work, but I'm facing up to my responsibilities.

I'll also work tomorrow, finishing up this story as well as doing a catering shift.

This isn't where I wanted to be, financially, at 42. But, it's what I have to do. Becoming suddenly single so suddenly after purchasing a house almost seven years had an effect that will last well into my fifties.

Now that I can see my fifties approaching, at least on a spreadsheet, I no longer feel young, mentally. I feel my options are pretty limited, so I'm trying to be the best at the things

Physically, though, I feel fantastic because I know I'm on the right track. I've not had a soda in almost two months and I've given up coffee.

I've also given up hope in other arenas, but I won't go into that here. Things are more or less going great, except when I realize how much I have a life that works best if I'm alone. I'll be working as much as I can as long as I can to dig myself out of a whole dug with the efforts of long-gone passion.

Tomorrow, though, I'll go to the gym before I go to work. I'll try my best to stay positive. I get knocked down, and I get up again.