This is going to be one of those purely introspective, journalistic type of posts, where I essentially just have a dialogue with myself and think out loud.
I’ve never been one of those people who wants to bolt from home– from where they’ve grown up– as soon as I was able to. In fact, I’ve always had a really distant, faint sort of resentment for those kind of people. The philosophy behind it always just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it is a side effect of me being too sensitive, but it just has always felt somewhat insensitive and insecure, you know, like I get it if being in a new city or state or country is going to be the most conducive to where your life is leading you, but you can do it with some tact, instead of throwing a big, “screw you guys” to everyone you are connected with. I think no matter where you plant yourself, as long as you’re not a full recluse, you are going to find meaningful connections.
I’m not trying to make much of a point with this, instead, I just want to outline how I don’t want to come off as– one of ‘those’ kind of people. In fact, for my entire adult and near-adult life, I’ve been pretty freakin pleased with where I’ve been living, as well as the people I’m surrounded by. I like home. I like the Nashville to Fairview circuit that has been my life for the past half decade. I think it makes it come as a total surprise to me that I suddenly feel a strong pull to supplant and start over somewhere else. I’m not big into moving on.
I can’t deny it though. I am not sure if anything will end up coming of this, but lately I just feel like I am being squeezed out of this place. It hasn’t matter what part of my life I’ve been spending my time in. At home, I feel isolated, lonely and like a shadow of the past. In Nashville, I feel like a complete stranger, like an alien straight off the spaceship from Mars. I feel completely displaced in two places that I used to be somebody in (at least in my own mind, which was all that mattered). I started to try to explain my entire feelings and thoughts on this development to my girlfriend, Kara, the other day– I just couldn’t really get it across. In fact, I am sure I came across as a selfish fool, just trying to run from things and cut off all my responsibilities and emotional ties. I don’t know, maybe I am, but I know there is at least more to it than that.
Here is what I told her though: I feel suffocated. Completely suffocated. I have no ability to breathe, without respiration I am useless. I am just a carcas. I can’t grow. I can’t find any bit of productivity in me. I can’t act on my ambition. I feel like I can’t even properly enjoy anything anymore. I look at myself in the mirror everyday and I think to myself, “look at this kid, he’s just become a lifeless tragedy, such a shame.” What a dismal waste.
I probably mention how disconnected I feel from everyone, in general, every time I write lately, and it is hard to not again. This is a big factor for this feeling I’m overcome with. My best friends over the years: I’ve gradually and continually become disconnected with each of them, and the level of disconnection gets greater as the casualties pile up. One of my best friends from my college years, which the first half or so was easily one of the greatest run of years I’ve ever had, he’s getting married soon, and I recently caught myself thinking, “you know what man, I don’t even think I’m going to go to the wedding,” as if it is just ‘whatever’ — such a dirty, vile thought. I’m only glad I caught myself in the act. I don’t know what even led me to have such a notion, but it was there, I get notions like that often. I feel spurned by people more often than I should. I don’t think it should matter anyway. When I was younger, happier and more lively, it didn’t matter. Now, all of a sudden I lose sleep because I feel like some random that I rarely keep touch with is trying to minimalize it as it is. Where the hell did I go?
Half of them are gone. Half of them aren’t, but their lives hold them hostage. I have friends who are married, getting married, have kids, are likely going to get engaged soon– all of these things, I don’t want in my life anytime soon. I have friends who are starting careers and fulfilling their dreams. I’m personally not ready for that level of permanence in my life. I look at my life as if I were raised underground, and the powers that be let me loose, took me outside on a cliff and said, behold, your whole life is before you. I can see until infinity, as expansive landscapes of all types are laid out, and all sorts of unique life grazes, prowls and continues the life cycle. The sky is a mesmerizing bakery of clouds, and there is no limit to which type as they are on display before my very eyes, and the sun, so bright and vibrant illuminates everything I see; my entire life to seize. Then my attention is drawn behind me, as the cliff I’m standing on scales up. It is a massive mountain, and on the mountain plateau, there is a community of people, equally full of life and promise, but very permanent and settled down. And I know these people who are in the village, I love these people, I’ve grown up with them, they’ve grown up with me, but we just have different directions to go in life right now. It isn’t that I’d even say I am really disconnected from a lot of these good friends, just that we have to be in two very distinct places for the time being, and our connection together is more a case of me dropping in from time to time, lifting each others spirits via the combination of this longstanding connection and the heavy variation of our lives.
It is interesting to me that I feel like the people I am able to be the closest with in my life right now– out of my best friends– are the ones who just simply aren’t there. That’s a really raw deal. I am where I’m at and they are where they are, this just can’t change, it also can’t be surmounted. I think I keep pretty good communication with these friends, and they are there for me as best as they can be and vice versa, but I also can’t help like feel like a set of molecules that they aware of. Something so small and miniscule that it can’t really be perceived as reality, and definitely not immediate, but you know I’m there, buzzing around your ear. You can’t see or hear my buzzing because I’m just a molecule, but you know I’m there, thus I can have that pestering effect. I guess I just feel this way because my life has stagnated so much, and I see so much motion in their lives. There is no other way to put it– it just sucks.
Then there is probably the most important group of all, the close ones who I am still close with in most facets, and also immediate. This is the worst one for me, and it is to nobody’s fault but my own. These are the people I have seem to become unnaturally disconnected with. I have become someone other than myself though. I am often in the same room with them, but I’m not there. I don’t really want to say anymore about this, because I just feel a lot of guilt. I don’t like cheating people. I feel like I cheat these people, and these people matter.
There are plenty of other groups who all add to the equation. The friends who were all quite significant, even if not the very closest. The kind of ones who are kind of like sand in the beach. It is easy for a hole to develop there but the waters come and everything gets filled back in. In this regard, I am kind of a sandless beach. Maybe it is my position, but I feel mostly forgotten, because I find myself remembering most of them; missing them very often, but I’d probably actually be intimidated hanging out with them again, much less having a meaningful conversation with them, much less even getting in touch with them. Or the group that is in my periphery. Connections that could be there, but aren’t. I am too walled off at this point, I guess.
I suppose the point with this element, is that I don’t think I can connect here anymore. I guess I just feel incompatible. They’re all running on USB and I’m a Firewire-800, or something. It isn’t that these things have happened between all of these different people, but it is how and why.
There are also other things that really dishearten me. I feel a total creative stagnation. I think I do creative things in a lot of different ways, with the whole film thing it has always been in a group, the crew, you know? Everyone of those guys is going to be like some form of family to me just because of that connection, but at the same time, the crew just ain’t the same as it used to be. It is just an undeniable fact, when half of the guys are only around a week or two a year, that just happens. One thing I’ve really always enjoyed observing is the different ‘units’ within the crew. For instance, around the latter years of high school and early college, popular units we had were ones such as:
Me, Ryan Baker, Zeph
Josh, Robert, Jonathan
Me and Baka
Me and Josh
Josh and Baka
Lovvorn and Josh
I can go on and on with the various combination, but the point is clear. These units all create very differently. Naturally, they also produce very different end products. The thing about it is, I don’t care what it is, music, video production, animation, writing, improv and so on, if someone earnestly wants to undergo the whole creative process with me, I’m down. I love it, and for me, there may not be a better way to really connect with me. Despite this, there are going to be certain people who I naturally click with more than others. I think one of the saddest things for me is that all but a couple guys are left in the area that I really am always excited to create with. Even then, there are those, such as my brother, Zeph, who is just so hard to get good time with, that he might as well live in a different state. Then the further tragedy is that because I lose these favorite pairings and combination of mine, I then get worn out on the other units quicker, even if they are among my very favorites. If I am going to get artistically frustrated, I certainly don’t want it to start at that point. I want overall harmony (in the sense that we will come to make something that is the optimal fusing of our collective vision and ideas) with everyone. But goodness, I really want to pursue this joke rap thing that Ryan Baker and I started in the summer, he is across the country right now, but I still get excited thinking about it, thinking that maybe we can make something memorable out of it– something to really pursue no matter what it ends up being. Or even just a brainstorm with Robert or Zeph in the same room would be nice. You know, someone who is going to have as much of a proclivity to try to get depth out of even a puddle before even caring about something coherent or even properly entertaining. Just different angles that I don’t get as often when those types of guys aren’t around. Thus I feel stifled. I go to pound something out purely on my own ambition and I already feel drained; suffocation.
I can go on, continuously, with reasons and my perceived explanations for this need to move on, but I think, for these purposes, the point is explored well enough. I think, for the first time in my life, I need some fresh air. I need a reboot. A chance to start over. A position where I have to force myself to find and make connections with people, instead of hanging around ones that I’m having trouble fitting into. I need something to reinvigorate me. I need to live again.
I am far from dead, but I don’t seem to feel alive these days. These things make me sad.
I don’t know if I’ll go — it wouldn’t be anytime ‘soon’ because it simply isn’t possible yet — I guess we’ll see how it pans out. This isn’t a pity thought, if anything, it is some perverted form of narcissism, but I think if I did, as a whole, I don’t think I would be very missed.