I am human, imperfect and fallible.
I set goals for myself well beyond my grasp,
I reach upward, grasp air, and fail.
I am human and prone to stumble.
I stand, adjust, evaluate, and build,
steps that reach my goal,
and then I climb them,
because I am human,
determined and capable.
So why do I need to have this conversation with myself? There are several reasons, in truth. The most immediate of which I would say is because I had recently picked June 1st as my cigarette cut off date. I've been a heavy smoker for well over the past ten years of my life. I know, I know, trust me I know; it stinks, it's unhealthy, and it's a waste of money, yet for some reason I love it. Despite that, I am determined to kick this habit. I could easily get side tracked here, so let me try really hard to stay on subject.
I couldn't go twenty-four hours on June 1st without smoking. I broke down and bought a pack and as I sat there and gave into my addiction I thought about how I could make it happen, yes I stumbled trying to reach for my goal. I even did alot of self-deprecation feeling miserable and angry and weak for giving in.
It's easy to hate yourself when you fail. It is not easy to get up and rationalize about why you failed, how you failed, and what you can do about it so that you can reach your goal without failing again. It is not easy at all. Alot of people might give up after they fall, and stay lying in the dirt so to speak, but if you are really determined you won't.
So I got up off the dirt and kept my goal of quitting smoking, but decided a plan on how to do that. It worked for almost a week. I stuck to the plan very well and then yesterday, or the day before, I'm not even sure anymore, I fell again.
Sometime's life is just like that. You keep trying hard to do something and you keep feeling like you are only failing. It is alot easier to be angry with yourself and angry with life for being so damned hard sometimes than it is for you to see that you are improving. It is also very easy to lose sight of your goals and write them off as impossible. Well if you'll excuse an old cliche nothing is impossible.
I spent some time beating myself up for failing to reach my goal in the span of ten days and what I overlooked is that in ten days I have gone from smoking roughly two packs a day to roughly two cigarettes a day. It has been difficult, but now, I realize I'm very close to my goal. The steps might be getting steeper, but I sure can climb 'em if I just keep going.
So I wrote this blog as a reminder to myself and as I was writing it, I realized that even though it was written in the context of smoking, well it really falls into my writing as well. I've been putting off working on my novel for a little while now.
At first I had some really good excuses. At least I convinced myself I did. Then, I just started putting it off and the excuses got as flimsy as wet toilet paper. Now, I don't even remember why I'm putting it off. So as soon as I finish this I'm going to jump back in it head first, because I realize now that I had lost sight of my goal.
So before I go, I just want to say for anyone that is trying to accomplish something for themselves, be it getting cigarettes out of your life, writing a book, or anything else under the sun, don't beat yourself up when you stumble. It's all part of the process. More importantly, don't lose sight of your goal.
Care to share your thoughts?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I am human, imperfect and fallible.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The following entry is the opening scene in an untitled novel I started sometime back and have since set aside unfinished to return to later. I don't want to say too much about it right off the start, prefering you to get a glimpse at it yourselves, but I will at least preface it by saying it's a work of fantasy/science-fiction. Sort of. I don't know, I'm terrible with classifications. It's strange. There's a bit more I can post of it later if anyone is interested let me know. Of course, as always I welcome all questions and comments. Till next time, enjoy.
A solitary lightning bolt split the dark, cloudy sky driving back the torrential rain. The bolt crashed to the ground below. Tall buildings nearby shuddered from the onslaught as the lightning’s fury was released upon a mighty oak tree. It split raggedly in two smoldering sections that fell in opposite directions upon the rain-beaten grass of a small city park. Below the tree and out of harm’s way of the fallen trunk lay the body of a young man who just now was beginning to stir.
Awakening, the man sat up slowly. His blue eyes blinked repeatedly as he looked around. He raised his arms in front of his face and stared at his hands. One by one his fingers began to move. He stretched them, and with his left hand felt his face.
It was a thin face with a hard jaw line sunken back within his cheeks. He traced his jaw with the tips of his fingers and felt the thin stubble of facial hair. His hand continued back behind his head to feel the thick, matted hair running down along the back of his neck. Then his hand touched something else. He grabbed and pulled at it and felt something constrict around his chest. Looking down he noticed that he was covered in a heavy, gray cotton jacket. He looked down at his pants and stretched his legs as the rain continued to pummel him.
It was then that he noticed in front of his outstretched legs, a few feet away, placed in the ground was a crude wooden signboard. Standing up shakily, he slowly made his way towards it. Attached to the sign was tacked a sheet of paper. Upon it words were scrawled in a delicate hand. He stared at them for several long moments before, blinking his eyes, he realized he could read them. They read:
"Come, weary traveler, to the rust awning on Sixth and Lily where you shall be received and set upon your path."
The paper was signed:
"Hedrick--Fate of The Serpent"
He began to reread them, but almost immediately was interrupted as the falling rain saturated the paper and the ink began to smear. The paper dissolved beneath the touch of his finger. The remaining scraps fell from the wood and pooled within the grass. He stared down at them between his feet until all traces became one with the earth.
As he stood there, staring at the wooden post, he thrust his hands into the front pockets of his jacket. His fingers brushed a piece a crumpled piece of paper. Unfolding it he read the single word written upon it in red ink.
"Jaccen?" At the sound of his voice he glanced up and looked behind him. Seeing nothing he read it aloud again. "Jaccen." He turned the name over in his mind hoping for recognition, but there was none. The name meant nothing, it may as well be him.
A sudden gust of wind sent the rain to pelt him in his face and ripped the piece of paper from his hand. He watched as it tumbled away from him and disappeared. A quick search of his other pockets revealed only a full pack of cigarettes and a plastic lighter. He stared at them demanding the objects to provide him with answers. Even these meant nothing. He knew what they were, that was obvious as he put a cigarette to his lips and began the struggle of lighting it in the rain. He did not, however, know where they came from or why he had them.
After a moment of failing to light the cigarette he thrust them back within his pockets. With a sigh he turned back to the wooden sign in front of him. Staring at the blank wood he reread the words in his mind as he had read them. They too meant nothing. He lashed out with his hand and struck the side of the small piece of wood. It tore out of the ground and fell to the muddy grass with a muffled splash. His palm rang with a sharp pain that he ignored.
The coldness of the rain beating upon his head was uncomfortable, he realized, and he reached behind him and covered himself with his hood. Leaving the grass of the park he stepped upon a paved sidewalk. He looked around and saw nothing but darkened buildings and puddles and deserted streets. Any direction was as good as any, he supposed. Without knowing where he was going he began to walk, twisting the lighter about in his pocket.
At length Jaccen stopped and leaned against a metal post jutting from the pavement. His legs shook beneath him and he grasped the cold wet metal with his hand to steady himself. He looked up at the side of the building across the street where someone had sprayed in garish colors letters that seemed to him unreadable.
"So, what now?" He said aloud to himself, his voice raw and grating within his throat. He stepped away and looked up at what had supported him. At the top of the post were two rectangular green signs facing different directions. Street signs he realized. He stepped a little to the side.
He was standing on the corner of "2nd" and "Lily." Lily. The words he had read earlier instantly came to mind. He looked down the street in the direction indicated. It was as deserted as every other he had been on. The entire city seemed devoid of life. With a sigh he began to walk while bringing a cigarette to his lips.
The rain was falling steadily upon Jaccen as he walked the empty street. He spit the ruined cigarette from his lips and followed it quickly with his eyes, watching it disintegrate within a puddle even as he stepped over it. He pulled the hood of his jacket tighter around his head and suppressed a shiver.
The sound of the rain drowned out those of his own soggy footsteps and as he walked he found it hard to focus on anything but the cold, chafing of his clothes. The fog that snaked around the deserted streets seemed to part before him as he made his way onward. Soon, he could make out the hazy outline of the rust colored awning he had been looking for. As he neared it, his eyes scanned the building of which it was attached. His lips curled slightly in a frown that twisted his thin face inwards.
Stepping underneath the awning, he at once felt at home within the deep shadows below it. He faced the street and tried to dry his hands upon his clothes. After a thorough attempt he settled for shaking them and wringing them together. Deftly, he pulled a cigarette from his mouth and placed it to his lips. He touched the end with the tip of his finger, before dropping his hand to his pocket and finding that small piece of plastic and metal that seemed so vital. He sparked the flame and stared at it intensely, with empty blue eyes, before bringing it to meet his cigarette. A deep breath of the stuff seared his lungs, and he swallowed hard to keep from coughing."A disgusting habit." Came the soft, whisper of a voice from the shadows behind him. "According to some."Jaccen stared ahead at the waterfall pouring over the edge of the awning. His eyes steady. He did not move except to draw another breath from the tobacco burning in his fingers."Does it always rain in this damned place?" He asked.The voice said nothing, but Jaccen could hear the body that belonged to it slither from against the wall. He was aware of it hovering behind him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end and his body shivered slightly."Damned place, eh?" It continued to whisper behind the hood that covered Jaccen's ears. He was sure it was a male's voice. "How much do you remember?"Jaccen spit. "Nothing!""Indeed?" The voice was silent for a long moment and Jaccen felt a sensation he could not recognize within himself. He took another drag and this time could not control the desire to cough."You will get used to it." The voice said."Get used to what? Smoking?" He asked gritting his teeth."Living." The hissing continued. "The rain. Smoking. Take your pick. You get used to it."The man came to stand beside him and Jaccen withdrew his hood to appraise him with the corner of his eye. He seemed normal enough though small, perhaps. His physique was hidden beneath a brown trench coat, but he gave the impression of being thin and wiry. His eyes sparkled like a jewel, crafty and keen.. The fire within them seemed familiar to him, but try as he might he could not place it."You're not fond of this world are you?" The man asked in his hissing tone."What? What kind of question is that? Should I be? Who the hell are you?" Jaccen spat back in his own grating voice.The figure beside him laughed a harsh sound, that caused Jaccen to recoil."Should you be?" It mused. "Perhaps. You are here now, are you not? Stick around long enough and you might find something to be fond of.""As if I had a choice. . ." Jaccen turned to face the stranger but all he saw was a brief glimpse of blackness disappearing back into the shadows along the wall.
"You coming?" The bodiless voice drifted from the wall.
Jaccen lurched around expecting to see him in the shadows, but there was nothing. Suddenly he wavered upon his feet. He caught himself and pressed his hands against his head. He tried to focus his eyes, but everything was blurry. He took a step forward and collapsed upon the pavement with the dim sounds of laughter and rain meeting his ears before all went black.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Ah, Sunday. I've recently decided that Sundays are days for doing absolutely nothing. Well nothing constructive anyway. If I could spend all the Sundays of the rest of my life doing nothing but simply relaxing and totally vegging out in front of any random activity that did not involve work or thought well... I would say I would be a happy man, but that isn't necessarily the case,
The point of my rambling is, whether you are religious or not, I strongly believe that Sundays should just be "time-out" days. Days where you can set aside your cares and your responsibilities and just do anything. Or nothing. Especially if it's nothing. As I described it to a friend of mine, Sundays are the perfect fuck-off days.
Which anyone who knows me would be happy to vouch that I have no problem with punctuating my verbal sentences with curses. Although, that is not to say that I do not know how to sensor myself and always run off at the lips, because that is certainly not the case.
So then what is my point of this particuliar blog you might ask? To that I would answer, my point is simple. It's Sunday, my brain has turned into egg whites and poured out my ears and I am no longer capable of rational thought and there is absolutely no other way I would rather to have spent my day.
With that said if you'll excuse me, there's three more hours left for me to continue enjoying my fuck off Sunday. Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Posted by AmberInGlass at 5:54 PM