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Archive for the tag “marriage”

Crossroads

crossroads

First note to self: Every road has a crossroad, eventually.

This may be my last blog post.  Then again, it may be the first of another few hundred.  It all depends on what’s coming at the next crossroad.  Once upon a time, in a distant, bordering county to Los Angeles, I thought I knew exactly what the path of my life was.  With a wife and two kids, and a history of changing directions every few years, I believed I was cosmically chosen to move back to the land of my raisings, and begin all over again in the very same zip code my parents had once called home.

So we bought a nice, mid-sized home, half a mile from my old high school, and with plans and late-thirties dreams, we marched blindly ahead into the future.  I started a brick and mortar business.  Our eldest started the 9th grade. My wife stayed home with our youngest.  It was an early chapter in our book of the American Dream.  Now because this is an unread blog post and not an essay in some fine quarterly anthology, I will cut to the chase and tell you that in the years following, the business went bust, our eldest learned how to score meth, our youngest retreated into his own insomnia-fueled exile, and the marriage came to an end. 

And those weren’t necessarily the worst things that happened, just the highlights I felt like sharing.

Basically, it was a ten year stretch along a highway of failure after failure, bad choice after bad choice, crossroad after untaken crossroad.

Second note to self: Every crossroad has crossroad of its own, if you’re looking for it.

When I was younger, I would hear this phrase spoken a lot, “When God closes a door, look for a window”.  Now I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds a lot like breaking and entering.  And God being God, I figure if he closes a door, the least he could do is open another actual door, and I would not be required to carry a crowbar and a flashlight everywhere I go just to get into someplace I actually belonged.  Yeah, metaphors are tricky like that.

So anyway, crossroads. 

About ten years ago, give or take, I began two hardcore pursuits that, combined, still occupy nearly all of my waking hours, and a lot of my sleeping hours, too.  Those things are work and writing.  I know, work doesn’t sound like something you just decide to pick up in your late forties, and it’s not.  And frankly, neither is writing.  But the way I threw myself into them was.  Starting slowly, I forced myself to learn what it was to work.  Long hours of actual physical labor, with no human reward except the food it put in the fridge, the rent it paid, and the endurance it created in me.  And at the very same time, after thirty years of ignoring a calling I first heard in college, I began to write.  Then, after ten years of writing, a first book was born.  As much a tribute to the endurance learned from work as any questionable skill I may possess.

Both the work, and the writing, the result of slowing down long enough to look, and to see, the crossroads.

So now, because I sort of know what to look for, I know I am at the crossroads again.  After ten years of these twin occupations, I have decisions to make with them, and what roads to turn down on my way to something newer, better, and right.  One decision is made, and the other is in the making.  The first, I am quitting the job that is now damn near killing me.  That’s a done deal, even if the boss doesn’t know it yet.  The second has to do with the writing, and not even I know what the questions are, let alone the answers.  But I think the writing may be killing me, too.

You remember that line at the beginning of all this, “This may be my last blog post”? 

Maybe it is, maybe not.  But I know I can’t keep doing both the work and the writing for very much longer without becoming some cliché mashup that a friend of mine had called, Norman Rockwell-Bukowski.  So with that, and because I hate being a cliché, I’m taking a detour off of one of these roads before I have to take the other.  And we’ll see what calling it quits with the job does in keeping me from calling it quits with the writing.

But the truth is, I do not know what in the actual fuck I am doing.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

This Is An Actual Blog Post

nablopomo, nanopoblano

Nano Poblano 2015

 

This Is An Actual Blog Post.

(you’ve been warned)

I became a poet towards the end of the two-thousand-oughts.  It wasn’t by design, but rather, desperation.  I was writing for an online Citizen Journal, enjoying some popularity there, and learning what it meant to contribute regularly with my words to a community of writers.

Some people actually thought I was kinda good at it.

My intention all along was NOT to blog, but rather, to write.  As in real writing, not the self-congratulatory bullshit that passes itself off as writing in the blog world.  Writing, as in script-to-screen or, if I was lucky and could fool the right people, a long-form short story or novel.  Blogging, to my snot-nosed thinking, was what people who could neither do, nor teach, did with their caffeine-addled latte musings.  Writing was what genuinely talented people did to convey their misunderstood genius and get PAID for it.

Like Aaron Sorkin, but without all the rehab.

But like a great lost number of self-described writers, my words became fewer as my problems became greater.  Employment, intended to pay the freight and pave the way for enough income to support my future career, became more and more time-all-consuming, and insensitive to the needs of the future I imagined.  Marriage, once the backbone of my beliefs about existence and God, crumbled, leaving me to spend more hours re-evaluating what I believed and stood for than I had ever spent in the crafting of beautiful strings of my meaningless vocabulary.  Life, for all its infinite beauty, wore a widow’s veil, obscuring my vision while I waited for the exile of mourning in the guise self-pity to pass.

It never did.

Until the day I posted,

“If you don’t love your life… change your life.”

Because employment was not my life.  Marriage was not my life.  And life (for all its infinite beauty) was not my life.  As I looked around at what was passing (and passing away) as my life, I realized that none of those things could any longer define me.  None of those things any longer made me who I was.  A job was just a job.  Expectations and commitments pass away.  And words don’t come neatly packaged for the gifting of them.  Existence is sloppy, but life is beautiful, if you live it beyond the details.  So, in just one moment of time, I wrote, “If you don’t love your life… change your life.”

Which brings us to November 1st, 2015.

Nothing says change quite like swallowing your pride and letting go of your preconceptions, or in my case, BLOGGING.  November 1st is the official first day of Blogging Season.  Having once mocked all the Nano-this, and Poemo-that, today, I give in to change.  This is my first entry in the 30 day rollercoaster of word terror called Nano Poblano, a tiny, less neurotic subdivision of NaBloPoMo.  The month when writer’s lives are ruined for the better.  If you’ve made it all the way down this page, you have just read post number one.  For 30 days, I will be opening myself up to all manner of writer crazies, shared with you in the form of posts, poems, photos, and… lots of other stuff, written on the fly and on deadline.  I’ve been told it’ll be fun.  For you, AND me.  Not sure if I believe that yet, but you’re here and I’m here.  Let’s find out.

Next up, for tomorrow…

Rhyming words that don’t.

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