New Year, Same Me?

I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like them because I don’t keep them and I don’t keep them because the pressure to make and keep them becomes too much and I end up saying fuck it at least a week into the new year. The act of making resolutions for me is mostly for show, to appear to be like other human beings, but I gave that up for Lent* one year and never looked back.

So I came into this year the same way I’ve come into the past five or six or seven years – with a renewed sense of optimism for what the days might bring, but with no plan on how to be a better or different person or to adjust my lot in life. I’m the living Kermit meme.

Nigga hush.

I might have to change that though.

Wait, let’s let the lightning strike and the thunder rumble and finish getting your chuckles out.

Don’t worry, I’m not making resolutions, because again, there’s just a bit too much pressure with trying to achieve them, especially if you put a timeframe on it like I am prone to do. But there are old habits that I need to break, old patterns of behavior that once again I need to reexamine how they fit into my life at this point in time (spoiler alert: they fucking don’t).

Stay tuned.

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.