The Art of Storytelling

I’ve been writing for 20 years.

I always knew I wanted writing to be involved in my life, but up until high school, I didn’t believe that I would actually make a career out of it because becoming a successful writer, especially back when I first considering it was a bit difficult.* So I always had a “proper” career in mind (pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, psychologist), but, I was a writer.

I am a writer.

Even after deciding to really do it and putting the medical stuff aside*, I would still also say, I want to be a writer instead of saying I am a writer, because for the longest time I believed that to be a writer, I had to be published by a big publishing house, book on the New York Times best sellers list and thousands or even millions of people reading your work.

As long as I put pen to paper or type on a keyboard, I am a writer.

With that being said, when it comes to my fiction work, because fiction is what I want to write, I haven’t placed myself in one category and I’m not going to because there are a variety of stories I want to tell, and have been wanting to tell for the last 20 years.

However, that is where we are now. I came up with a lot of my ideas when I was in middle school, high school and college, and many of these ideas have evolved and mutated beyond what they initally were, but, even with their evolution, now being 31 years old, do I still want to tell these stories? Is my constant shifting and changing of a lot of these stories due to growing older, gaining more experience and living life a bit more as a self-sufficient** adult instead of a dependant child or is it now because I no longer can relate to the story?

What kind of stories do I want to tell? I still lean on the old ideas because deep in my heart I still believe in them, but do I still want to tell those stories? On the flip side, I am at a point in my life where coming up with new stories to tell has stagnanted a bit because my life admittedly is a bit stagnant. I work jobs that don’t really stimulate my creative muscles, my current position keeps me in my house so I’m not getting out as much as I would working in another location*** and I’m not really doing anything – no new friends, no parties, not of the stuff that I would occasionally**** do back home. I’m inside, tending to plants, eating, playing video games, watching YouTube and simply existing. Even on the rare occasions I get out, I’m not exposed to novel things and it’s very quick and easy for me to get back into a rut.

So what kind of stories do I want to tell? Do I still want to do space epics? A fictionalized version of the final years of my 20s leading into my washed 30s? Sinister neighbors and family members? Or do I want to tell stories about what I’m going through currently with being a bit older, navigating life in a new city away from my family and friends, working another job that drains me of vitality?

Time will tell, I suppose. I recently pulled out all of my old handwritten works to look back through some of them. I can definitely evolve some of those works. The stories still have power and potential. Maybe this is more about getting out of this extended rut than anything. That might prove a bit harder now because it isn’t just me. I have to find the stories again.

*I am also prone to taking the easy way out and choosing the path of least resistance. I am working on that.

**As self-sufficient as one can be while living with their parents rent free.

***My car also said fuck you for leaving your check engine light on for two years. I’m in the market for a new one so I can at least go to the library.

****I was a homebody at home. I still had options. Here, not so much. In addition to it being a smaller city, from what my fiance has told me, they shoot a lot around here. The news confirms this.

Featured photo by Reetha Ferguson, give her a follow on Instagram.

Work and Stuff

I work for a pretty big company.

No, I’m not telling you what that company is.

I answer the phone for them.

This is position comes with its own set of parameters – my calls should be a certain length, I shouldn’t do outbounds a lot, they damn near don’t want me to take the frequent bathroom breaks I like to take just to take a fucking breather and I should direct people to the website for help.

The thing is, a huge majority of the people calling in don’t want to do anything on the website. They don’t want a machine, they want a person. This person (me) is going to tell them what to do…on the website.

I have become convinced, using a non-scientific approach (because my science talents went the way of the dodo bird soon as it no longer benefitted me to display them) that my employer has given me this job to do as little of the job as possible. Like they want people there to do the job, but they don’t necessarily want people calling in, because a good 95% (and I’m am totally pulling that number out of my ass) of the shit that people call in for is shit that they could do on their own, if they knew how to use a computer or a phone, or if they cared to. The other 5% is shit that I can’t do in my current capacity because I’m new.

A good amount of my conversations go like this:
Customer: “I need to (do something they can do on the site).”
Me: “Okay, are you on the site right now?”
Customer: (after getting frustrated) “Can you do it for me?”
Me: (smiling gleefully because I am convinced I work for petty people): “I won’t be able to do that for you for (security reasons/bullshit them), but….”

I’m sure that there is some pschological/sociological/biological reason for why humans love to have another human that they can bounce off of, especially when it comes time to complain (and a good amount of the people I talk to love to complain and make empty threats) and even though I really dislike this aspect of my job*, it is still fascinating to me. People and how they behave when it comes to their money and their possessions or potential possessions fascinate me.

I’m not going to lie and say I don’t enjoy buying stuff and having stuff, but as I have done with alcohol, I am also re-evaluating my relationship with stuff, especially after the few months I’ve worked this job. How do I relate to my stuff? What stuff do I relate to? What kind of stuff do I want around me?** I ask myself these questions because although I like my stuff and aquiring stuff, the way I see other people trip over their stuff? It makes me feel dirty, in a sense, to have and want stuff. I want to get rid of stuff now, especially stuff that no longer serves me. Granted, you have to know the reasons behind why people flip out over their stuff and potential stuff and some reasons are understandable, but at the end of the fucking day, it’s just stuff and maybe we need to stop placing so much value in stuff…because we can’t take it with us at the end. You can leave it to others, but they’ll just probably sell it off and take the money to buy more stuff that means something to them and the cycle continues.

Man that got dark.

Don’t sell your grandmother’s house.

Featured image courtesy of Anna Shvets, give her a follow: https://www.instagram.com/sh.vets/ I wish I looked this good while working.

*I’ve never made it a secret that I don’t like dealing with people. I don’t mind helping people and I like to solve problems, but if I can just get to a point where I can do that without having to have people in my ear or watching me, amongst other things that I want from what I do for a living, I’d be more okay with working.

**The answer to that last question is Mary Jane, books, writing gear/stationary, plants and crochet supplies.

Guilt and Shame Are A One-Two (One-Two) Punch

Stop sacrificing because feeling like you need to, for the validity of chossing the mature thing. The survival thing. The “adult” thing [sic].

Iron Lion Jackson

As we are prone to do, a good friend and I were having a conversation about my various neuroses. He told me that I am carrying a lot of guilt and shame that I needed to let go of.

Of course, he was right. I just wasn’t sure of what I felt guilty about (or maybe I forgot, I mean, I did smoke weed for six years).

Today, after chucking up the deuces to another crappy situation, and I struggled with my fiancé to justify why I should leave it, it dawned on me what I felt guilty about.

I felt guilty about wanting something else for myself, and that something else is this writing life. I should be making my bloodline proud and going after “a good job” with benefits, weekends off and PTO and this passion is something I should do on the side.

The problem with me is that when I have a job, I give it as much as I can (I won’t lie and say 100%, but at best I give a good 95%) and giving as much as I can leaves me feeling quite drained, devoid of the mental and even spiritual energy that I need to write. If I don’t have life in me, how can I give life to my characters?

And I feel guilty for that. I feel shame at my perception that I’ve let people down because I was supposed to be “the one.” Those are expectations I put on myself however. My parents and surviving grandparents will tell you that they’re extremely proud that I made it through college. My siblings will say similar things. Yet I feel shame when I quit a job, or guilt for just wanting to stay at home, develop a good, solid routine, and write for a couple of hours a day while taking care of my domicile.

I feel guilty and ashamed that I don’t want to constantly chase money. Money is the means to an end. The end can be comfort, a vacation, a new house, rose gold dining plates, a sex doll, whatever. I can’t help but feel like people think that money is the end though.

Yet, I know how I feel working at places that don’t move me and I’m tired of it.

Part of the master plan for 2019 involves me moving past this guilt and shame, especially since I’ve identified it (or remembered what it was).

In conclusion, guilt and shame are a hell of a set of feelings to experience, because in the end, especially if you’re anything like me, they will leave you in a vicious cycle, and I know all about vicious cycles. As my friend recently reminded me, I am living for myself and myself only and there is no need for me to make myself a “martyr for what”. That’s just going to leave me stuck, and I’m not trying to be stuck.

Peace.

The 2019 Bored Ambition Master Plan

It’s finally the end of 2018 and a few days before my 30th birthday, and as many of my ilk – the goal oriented yet jaded, underemployed super millenials- have done or are in the process of doing, I have devised my master plan for 2019, the list of hopefully attainable goals that I will achieve within the upcoming 365 days. Because I am such believer in sharing is caring, I am going to outline to you all what exactly those goals all, so that maybe you, my audience, can keep me accountable, because remember, these goals affect the trajectory that this site will go in.

Without further ado:

Continue reading “The 2019 Bored Ambition Master Plan”

Cover Letter 3

Dear Mr./Ms. I’m Too Good to Tell You I Won’t Hire You,
I am writing in response to the job that you’ve posted on this job board. I see that the job has been posted for 30+ days, so you must not be finding what you want, or are just doing this for reporting purposes and will close this job without hiring, so I figure I don’t have anything to lose.
I say that because I don’t have the experience you’re looking for. Instead of spending the last five years doing what you’re looking for, I’ve spent the last five years taking various levels of abuse from customers and incompetent managers alike. While I may not be able to do many of the listed job functions without a bit of training that your organization no longer provides, I can communicate effectively, without breaking out into curse words; I am able to find busy work to occupy eight hours of time since you don’t like for people to work from home or have a four-hour work day; my mind is sharp until I have a mental breakdown and I’m a quick learner, but y’all don’t really care about that shit.
Anyway, my customer service laden resume is enclosed and I typed out all of this shit in the application again. If you made it this far, congratulations. I am looking forward to your computer generated rejection email.
Regards,
D. Simpson

Cover Letter 2

Dear Mr./Ms. Fuck Face McGee,

I’m interested in the job you’ve posted.

However, I don’t have any of the experience you’re looking for, nor the education. But I have balls. I’m a quick learner if you’re actually willing to train, or hell, give me a book to study. Help me help you. I don’t want to go back to customer service, those people are insane. And I keep getting pulled back in, it’s like Pookie from New Jack City, they keep calling me and calling me.

Anyway, just consider it. You might be surprised.

Regards,

Me

Cover Letter 1

This is the first in a series of cover letters I wish I could send to employers, and obviously the angriest one.

Dear Mr./Ms. Whoever You Are,

I’m not really excited about this opening for this position that you have posted, but this is the game we have to play.
I don’t have any of the experience nor education that you are seeking. I got a degree where my options for employment with it are perpetual student and I don’t want to do that because there’s no money in that, and the whole point of me even writing this and wasting both of our time is so that I can get money. It’s a degree that I got so that I could have a degree, so that I wouldn’t be stuck to one thing for the rest of my life while I chased dreams of a life of leisure, I mean, filmmaking.
All of my experience involves me taking bullshit from other people and judging by the vague ass description of the job you posted, I feel like I will be able to do that for you in spades. Need me to get yelled at by angry people? I got you. Need me to do busy work to justify you paying me to sit or stand around for eight hours? I got you. Do you need a face for your customers to slap in lieu of slapping yours? I got you. I can do all of that shit without training me or having me learn on the job, because you don’t want to do that anymore.
But I don’t have 80 years of experience in filing documents or answering phones for a particular self-important individual or using a scanner/copier/face or being a typist or running after kids, but I know I can do this goofy shit. Matter of fact, I received an award for Excellence in Doing Goofy Ass Shit from the National Association for Leveraging Goofy Ass Shit (NALGAS) two years in a row.
That’s on my resume, which is also attached to the application that you still made me fill out with all the shit on my resume. I would like to interview as soon as you receive this application, because I’m broke and candles, food, crochet and tarot don’t pay for themselves. You have my info, call me.
Regards,
Disgruntled Rapper