Saturday, November 17, 2012

Where I'm at, where I'm looking to go

It won't be much longer now.
I was hoping to give my grandmother another Christmas in her home.
Two, if we were really lucky.
It's almost Thanksgiving, and it's obvious she needs more than I can give her.
If Christmas is even possible, it will take work and coordination that may be out of our grasps.
Truth be told, she should be somewhere now.
And I hate this.
Words alone will never be able to adequately describe just exactly how much I hate this.
She's lived here since 1959. My mother's family spent a year in Chicago and came running back.
She does better when one of her children, my mother, her sister or brother, are here.
Me, I'm just a punk kid at 33.
The family fuck up.
The nutty vet not right with the world.
I'm in a real strange place.
For those who care, yes, I'm still waiting on cover art for book 2. If I don't have something in the next few days, I'll figure something else out. So, there's that.
Anyway, other than writing, and in some ways in conjunction with writing, I have some opportunities and possibilities on the horizon.
I don't really want to give too much away right now.
I'm trying to figure out best how to synthesize and synergize, and maybe stream line.
I'm still waiting on Austin to get back to me with a class date to get licensed to teach CHL.
I still need to take the NRA instructor's courses. Mostly this is formality, and paying dues, and having a piece of paper to show people who don't know much about guns.
I also have a list of people I want to train to actually learn from. People I want to seek out for skills and knowledge and perspective. A lot of this shit, despite what people will tell you, isn't really that goddamn difficult. People have been cracking each other over the head with rocks since fire was considered magical. What interests me isn't just the pursuit of knowledge, but the ability to relate that information to others in the most economical way possible.
That's one of the things I despise the most about the training and self defense industry. It's filled with faux macho would be Alpha males who live to do little more than assuage their own personal egos.
I know what I want to offer as a teacher. What I feel comfortable in both skill and knowledge being able to charge for, and where I want to be able to grow as a teacher.

I should say something about figuring out my brand, but the truth is, I don't give any more of a fuck about that than I ever have.
I'm out there. I'm me. I'm as open as can be. For better or worse. Good or bad. Love me or hate me.
I am just exactly who I am
I know I'm ready.
I'm excited.
I'm ashamed of all the time I wasted being a sad sack drunk.
When I published my first book, and first entered the world of social media, I was in many ways a different person. I was certainly in a much different place.
Believe it or not, I have reservations about just how much I put out there.
Sometimes living without filters feels like reality tv, only it's not as lucrative, and somehow maybe more sad, pathetic, and melancholy.
I know a lot of the readers I first collected read my writing because of that. The depression, the addiction, the struggle. All that drama.
So, I don't know.
I don't know exactly what's next.
I don't know where I'll be in a year's time.
I do know, when I'm 35, I want to be exponentially further from here than I am from where I was at 30.
I'm tired of wasting time.
I'm tired of wasting life.
And potential.
Maybe watching my grandmother's decline has sharpened my focus.
I don't know.
I barely even drink anymore, and when I do, it's rarely very much. When I drink and stay up, I feel sluggish and wish I hadn't.
When I go days without drink, it is no longer cause for celebration.
It's notice is but an after thought.
It's strange.
To go so long feeling like you're on the precipice.
A few years ago, I had one of the top agents in the country.
I was meeting famous people.
I thought I was a contenda, as it were.
But my book didn't get picked up.
I didn't get famous, or rich, or even really make any money to speak of.
I'm sure, the place I was then, the hope of greatness probably meant more to me than greatness itself.
Coming out of that dark place. Still shy of the light.
I'll always write.
I don't have a choice in that matter.
But I can't any promises.
I'm trying to organize my life, and schedule, and to instill discipline to my work.
Please understand, I beg you, I despise ritualized discipline.
I knew too many people in the army who worshiped it.
Also, that I do real well not to hate myself.
Those who have never dealt with severe depression will never understand.
I am not inserting this to use as an excuse.
Simply stating a fact.
And that I deal with it everyday the best I can.
Some days are better than others.
And even at my worst now, is so much better than my best then.
The other night, I lay in bed. I was sober, and staring in the darkness, and just thinking.
Before the bottle, this had been my favorite time.
When I realized the moment, something hard to describe washed over me.
That I can enjoy it once again seems like a foreign idea.
I actually prefer being sober to drunk, and am no longer surprised by it.

You don't know that when you're there, in that dark place.
You can only see it looking back.
Tough love doesn't work.
And all the hope and possibility I can see forming on the horizon, I would trade for a few good months for my grandmother.
I would trade my soul, fester in mud spackled obscurity forever, to give her back her mind.
The ravages of dementia are no gentle thing.
The madness I enjoyed before was itself self obsessed, frivolous, and childish. 
It was trifling twatwafflery. 

I guess that's what I get for trying to end this on a positive note.

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