Recreational Respite

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022:

As I stepped out my front door this morning, a cool rush of air brushed against my cheek. I reached over to my dusty, neglected coat rack and grabbed my soft gray hoodie. The fabric exuded an ashy, earthy oder of campfire smoke. The smell brought back memories of a cold, dreary night. I recollected the last time I wore this coat as I shuffled my way across the pavement to my truck.

The key slid into the ignition, and the cold engine came to life with a fiery roar. I was enveloped in nostalgia. The morning dew and gasoline smell permeated my nostrils like a perfume of petroleum and petrichor. I remember writing on a day like this. I remember writing on this day exactly. I remember waxing poetic about the changing seasons and the cool weather. I remember the anxiety I felt settling into a new job. I remember the ambition. I remember the regret.

I made my morning commute in silence. I thought about who I was. I thought about who I’d become. I remembered the pain. I remembered the loneliness. I remembered yearning for something more. And here I am… three years later, and I have yet to address anything I had written about. I’m not mentally sound, I’m not in love, and I’m not anything I said I would be. I’m still just this broken mess of a human being… I think I’m starting to be alright with that.

I worry about my students during these weeks away from them. I’m sure they don’t concern themselves with thoughts of me, but I can’t resist my intrusive thoughts about them. Are they eating well? Are they staying out of trouble? Are they smiling and laughing, or crying and anxious? Do they have what they need? Even if these thoughts are one-sided, I can’t escape them. I imagine their faces. I suppose what they are feeling; I wish they understood how much I care. I wish I understood why I care so much…

As I pulled into the parking lot, the morning sun was cresting over the horizon. An errant sunbeam pierced through the cloudy veil, illuminating the path in front of me. Sometimes I feel like I am being guided… not by God, fate, or even my mind. My intuition guides me, and patterns show me the way. I recognize the subtle cues that I detect around me. The predictable patterns are all reiterations of past events. The changing weather. The feeling of nostalgia. The repeating, perpetual, predictable cycles prompt me to consider my own emotions. Am I just as predictable as the seasons? Do my feelings shift on a subliminal cue? Will I ever outgrow my childish thoughts?

I can ruminate and pontificate about these thoughts all day and never produce an answer. I can soar with my fantasies and daydreams or drown in my cynicism. There is no in-between. There is no dry ground to plant my feet. Two simple takeaways from how I am feeling today:

  1. Everything is on a loop. Everything is a broken record. Everything repeats eternally. There may even be more versions of people just like me. Maybe I’m not so unique after all.
  2. I am still in love with the world. I love everything about it and everyone in it. I love the honesty, I love the brutality, I love the victories and the humiliation, and I love the sadness and the loneliness. I love me, and I love you, and I love being.



Imagination Contemplation

What is responsible for the gap in imagination?

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Well, it’s been an eventful week. I conducted a wedding ceremony over the weekend, it was my first time doing something like that and the stakes were high. I was marrying off two of my oldest friends and I couldn’t have been more delighted in the experience. I intended to write another blog post over the weekend, but celebrations and reunions took precedent. Now I am experiencing true exhaustion. The ceremony required a lot of mental focus and the reception drained all of my social energy. Drudging my way back into school reminded me that I need to maintain that focus and energy for the rest of the week. I feel like a 4-year-old phone battery.

I found myself in a discussion about imagination and contemplated the thought that the most boring and tedious moments of my life fostered an active imagination. I expressed that a large portion of students I encounter have difficulty imaging things. Maybe it was those moments I had running around in the woods unsupervised as a child that cultivated creativity. Maybe it was the offensively uninteresting moments that I sat staring at blank walls or desks, completely in my head. Somewhere within that catalog of desk-drooling and textbook staring, I learned how to envision things and immerse myself in different worlds. I must have looked strange as a student.

This conversation sparked a chain of thoughts. It seems too easy to blame technology for this unimaginative generation. To be fair, these children were born with I-Phones and YouTube. They have had more access to information than any previous generation on this earth. They are constantly bombarded with stimulation from every facet of life. They hold a device that connects them to everyone and everything in the world. These kids are utterly plugged in.

I can’t definitively say that the boom of technology is responsible for this anomaly, but it is certainly a factor. I thought about daydreams. Daydreams are where I spent most of the mundane moments of my childhood. I would imagine full conversations, relationships, and entire lives. If I wasn’t engaging with somebody or something in the outside world, I was actively engaging with myself in my head. I wonder how long the human brain can sustain that level of exertion. Daydreams were pleasant, I could escape from a boring lecture and disappear into my mind. I’m curious to see how many of these students can also retreat into their own worlds. I can’t define the barrier, but I’m searching for a key to open these students up to their imaginations.

Is clinically induced boredom a thing?

I suppose that these children need exposure to all forms of creativity to unlock that imagination that they assuredly have. We call it differentiation, but really, it is just bird-shot. Sometimes we hit our target and inspire young minds and sometimes we whiff. I intend to open the robotic minds of this portion of the youth and install new hardware. Without the foundation of imagination, critical thinking is far out of reach.

Is it even possible to teach someone to daydream?

Would that be the biggest mistake of my career?

I don’t have answers to these questions. I can only hedge my bets that I can find some way to connect to these goblins and clear a path to creativity.

I spent my commute silently contemplating these thoughts. Having the same conversation in my head, that I’m typing up now. Perhaps you do the same thing, imagine conversations in your head, stare off into space, fantasize about a life you could never live, drool on your desk; Keep daydreaming.


Professional Nobody

Saturday, September 21, 2019:

It all started with a dream, as so many things do…

Introductions don’t seem necessary here. After all, I am Nobody. Most of my life I have been content with being Nobody. Of course, I have people who I interact with in my life that see some semblance of importance in me, whether that be professionally, socially, or familial, but being Nobody feels comfortable and easy. That is irrelevant to the purpose of this blog. The purpose of this blog is to establish a connection with a community of like-minded people who fictitiously exist somewhere within the ether of the socially connected world. The people who I dreamt supported me and wove my life together like silk.

I never bought into social media. My Myspace profile was the height of my creativity when it came to projecting an outward appearance into the world. Effectively lost somewhere in catacombs of Google or the old Yahoo email account that I can’t remember the password for. Sure, I’ve had a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram, and a few hastily deleted dating app profiles. However, I never invested my time or energy into engaging with these social media platforms, despite having a degree in public relations and mass communications. Perhaps I thought I was above it, commonly dismissing them as superficial and trite, or maybe I couldn’t face the fact that I’m just not all that interesting. Regardless, here I am, at 29-years-old, embarking on my odyssey to attain cultural relevance.

 I sit here on the precipice of something meaningful, delusionally dreaming of being recognized as a creator of sorts. Don’t get me wrong, I am under no impression that I will become a household name, or even achieve my goal of connecting with others. In the words of my favorite musicians, Ben Folds, “do it anyway.”

A recent obsession with memoirs has sent me spiraling down a path plagued with overtly vivid dreams and harsh realities. I have over 200 contacts in my phone… I maybe speak to 10 of them a week, mostly to hash out obligations or establish plans. My dormant Facebook profile is a living testament to the fact that I have given up. I may only have 3 to 4 meaningful conversations a week. Despite this having little effect on my daily life, I can’t help but feel despondent and isolated. Either way, something must change. I am no longer immune to the cold reality that I need affection and attention. I brushed these off as social crutches, something that “a lesser man” would desire. No more. I have neglected this aspect of my life for so long that I am now feeling the unpredictable repercussions.

I have become very emotional over the last few weeks. It’s not the depression which I have so handily self-medicated for over the years. It’s not the crushing weight of loneliness. It is a sensitivity to beauty and purpose. A colorful sunset or a heartfelt lyric may make my eyes swell and my face hot with emotion. I have fits of crying followed by laughter in some of the most inopportune times, presenting me as a fucking lunatic. Seeing a child smiling and laughing while jumping through a sprinkler hits me with waves of nostalgia and tempered memories. Some chemistry has changed in my brain and I am working out how to adjust to it.

Maybe this blog will help me exercise my emotional muscles. Express what I have kept contained for so long. Maybe this is the creative spark that I have been searching for. Igniting a tinder house or repressed emotions, guilt, and shame. Maybe this will be a path forward, a synthetic digital-therapy of sorts. Maybe this is all just a pipe-dream and will fall away like the leaves in autumn. But whatever this is, it begins. My quest for relevance, my journey to culture, my life in words. I have plenty to share, a lifetime full of failed relationships, bad decisions, and monumental fuck-ups. But there is ample of time for those stories, and I have a wedding ceremony to plan.

This has been nobody- signing off