Nervous Energy.

I’m just not even sure what this feeling is. Such a nervous flow of energy coursing through me. I’m feeling like it’s getting worse every day. So much built up frustration and restlessness. I know I’m supposed to be doing SOMETHING. Something important. Something meaningful. I just keep filling my time and working on all manner of things but to no avail. Some sort of creative outlet is hiding in the shadows and no matter how hard I scratch I just can’t satisfy the itch.

Should I be travelling? Should I become a writer? Should I even make art? Should I move out of state and find a new job? I don’t know if I just seem so sure of myself to others or that I’m not involved enough. What do I need? What am I missing? People keep telling me to relax, kick back and that I should be proud. Proud of what? I don’t feel like I’m doing enough, and what I’m doing isn’t enough.

So what is it?

I’m so tired of thinking about it all the time and wondering. I’m tired of the itch and the chase. What am I even doing?

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I don’t even know.

Sometimes, you just have to force yourself to sit down and write. Or work. Or do your hobby. Or take a walk. Sometimes you have to, even when every fiber of your being refuses to. Maybe, you feel like depression and complacency gets the better of you. You can feel the smoke choking you out and headaches splitting your mind. Sometimes, sitting down to work feels agonizing. Feeding yourself right or sleeping is impossible. Your feeling anti-social one moment, and lonely in the next.

Sometimes life doesn’t feel real. Every second ticks away awkwardly and you ask yourself if what your doing has any purpose or substance. It’s the place where restlessness meets inspiration, but there is no direction to vent that energy so you just pace and fidget and grasp for ideas like they’re butterflies.

The problem isn’t having too much or too little time. How do you spend that time, and who’s to say what you’re doing will grow and develop roots, or if they will just fizzle out. Just like the careers and lime-light of actors and musicians and artists, after “success.” There are so many dreams to aspire too, and there is no reason not to make those dreams happen. It’s not that you lack the skills or the drive. So why won’t things pan out?

I phase between being incredibly passionate and determined, and cartoonishly hazy. Right now I am strangely caught in between. I’m so inspired yet I feel like the world is a drunken dream, and the world is just a paper boat on the ocean, and we’re bobbing and I’m seasick. Time doesn’t feel real. The world feels like a strange game where interactions and signs are either few and far between or shouting in your face like a drill sergeant.

I just want balance and peace. But I can’t have that when I have this horrible gnawing feeling that something is missing, and there is something that I need to do, that never leaves my side. The end of this summer was plagued with a heaviness, a strange time of existential upheaval. I’m splashing water in my face to come back to my senses but I’m not sure if it’s working.

A Complaint and a Rant, Rolled into one Beautiful Burrito

(Opening thought)

I can really see myself working in a creative field. I just need SOMETHING! A jump start of some sort, a foot in the door.

 

(Actual rant)

Life truly isn’t equivalent in its treatment of human beings.

 

For example, I have a close friend. They’re the type of person who has their parent’s support for almost everything. People who can take their education for granted, dick around and fail classes, and in the end succeed and have no student loans to show for it. Meanwhile I’m over here shelling out every last hard-earned dollar for school and working my ass off to make a living. If I pulled half the crap they pulled I’d be a drop out sitting on a mountain of debt anyway.

 

They can just go out and buy a condo and their parents can pay a 40,000 down payment, and I live in an artist collective at $290 rent with no car. My student loans literally cost me more than rent, but I live a very modest and frugal lifestyle. I’ve also been financially independent since I was 16. My friend’s had opportunities thrown at them for work, while I’ve applied for so many different places I’ve actually lost track of the number at this point.

 

I know, I know. So many people have it worse. I am super insanely lucky that I live in a country where I can do what I love (even if it doesn’t make me much money) and I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I really don’t have a right to gripe. I don’t say these things in an effort to belittle or lessen the severity of those in developing countries. (My mom grew up in one, and she was lucky to survive to give my brothers and I a good life.)

 

Despite my complaints, I do think the course of my life has granted me a unique perspective. I think where my friend becomes complacent and easily gives up, I persist. I maintain integrity, and even when I want to quit I don’t because many times, I simply don’t have a choice. While they live a life of insatiable instant gratification, losing interest in projects as soon as they stall, I press harder to get things done, even when it’s really difficult to want to continue. I see the beauty and complexity in simple mundane things because I know that their value builds up and adds to the bigger picture.  I always dust myself off and keep trying when I fail, instead of dwelling on the circumstances.

 

And I think for some of those reasons, I will be successful. It might not be immediate, but the time will come when my hard work compiles into a real opportunity. Hell, I just got a full dollar raise at my day job and a promotion to supervisor so you gotta count your blessings as you get them. But you can bet your sweet ass I will work for every opportunity I can get.

 

“I truly wonder if a traditional route is even for me.”

 

-Dani

The Day the Earth Fell out of Orbit.

The world was undergoing some strange disturbances. Earthquakes, temperatures fluctuations, early sunsets and late sunrises. Slowly it was becoming odd and surreal. I stayed up late with an unsettling feeling. I tied my self to a weather balloon and floated out into the stratosphere. Once I was up there the sun was massive but not blindingly so.

Suddenly I realized the edge of the earth was wobbling and the sun was spinning above, alternating the land between night and day below me. A satellite slowly drifted past me, wavering to the earth below. I looked up from the distraction and realized I was engulfed in flames, too close to the sun. Presumably I was gone forever.

Everything was dark, and then there was the spilling of stars and galaxies and nebulae, and the immenseness and beauty of it all was overwhelming. And the world was quiet.

I felt that I was laying on pavement. I sat up and the earth was black all around me in the absence of the sun and moon. The sky was breathtakingly incredible; nothing like it’s former self, but adorned with splashes of nebula and color spilling out onto the black canvas of space.

My phone rang. It was Cooper. I cried tears, happy tears because the world was suddenly so beautiful into the darkness, so dark that I couldn’t even see my hands except for the faint glow of my phone screen. He picked me up in his car and we had breakfast with his mother.

As the power came back the glittering of lights broke out like stars in the Missoula valley against the insanely beautiful skyline. The news broke out that we had fallen out of orbit and we were slung around the sun’s orbit, out into deep space. Scientists banded together to combat the cooling earth by breaking open the crust of the earth and put a filter over the lava to keep the vapors from poisoning us. They built giant lights for the fields to grow crops and heat lamps for the greenhouses.

After all was said and done humanity continued living in the new, perpetually quiet and peaceful night world.

And after all was said and done humanity continued living in the new, perpetually quiet and peaceful night world.

The Fire

I was your rock, your safe haven

after all your troubling days

I sheltered you,

my arms like branches,

blocking you from the storm

My shade a place to rest.

We tended this gentle forest

together and I thought

our trees would be ancient.

You told me that you and I

were stars, and that we would

travel through space together forever,

but your heart drifted so far

I couldn’t see your light any  longer.

When the words that left your lungs

didn’t match the words that

echoed in your soul,

I swept the broken pieces of truth

under the rug and made excuses

for the distant thoughts that

glazed over your eyes,

as you journeyed to a world that

felt so far from mine.

You arsonist,

you coward.

You burnt down the one thing we loved

with a single sulfuric match.

And to you I was an

unrecognizable being,

smoldering,

I crawled from the debris,

my tender flesh peeling

on every stone,

my bark splintering away from my core

dragging my corpse painfully

across all of our memories,

as I agonized over what I had done

to lose you, your footprints

still rising from the dust.

I scrubbed my skin raw

till I was bloody and numb

in your absence,

I was metronome,

clicking out each day with

diligence-

But every click, was the

same monotonous click

for weeks.

And even when you texted me

in the early morning hours:

“You were my rock, and

I’ve not been doing well,

I don’t feel what I used to,

all I feel now is pain,

I miss you more with each day,

I’m sorry I left you,

my heart hurts so badly.”

I felt nothing

because my roots were

severed from my leaves

and the sand had quickly filled

the spaces where lakes

once nourished us.

I stopped wondering what went

wrong, I took up sewing,

and learned to stitch the remains

of my brokenness back together

from the melted limbs

and incredibly

the pieces learned

to grow back together.

Different.

You’re different.

When I’m with you

I’m really excited for the future,

I’m not scared of the past,

and I’m so aware in the present.

You ask, “what can I give?”

not, “What can I take?”

I can feel your soul,

and It’s so warm,

so caring,

so genuine.

You help me see the

world through different eyes,

It’s filled with possibilities.

You’re seeing through my exterior

And the wall

I’ve built to keep myself safe,

But you make me feel

Safe.

I want to know you. 

I want to learn so much about you.

I feel so differently about you

than I’ve ever felt before.

and I am so lucky

that I kept my eyes open

long enough to see you.

because you’re wonderful.

you’re making me believe in things

I thought I gave up on long ago.

You’re different.

Boards

Apparently not

incompatible where

doubt of you once

                      Plagued me.

My head               swims

vision of water glass

movie we never actually

                          Gaze with glass

eyes cluttering

me right through               fabric

clanking to shiny wooden floor

boards

of your beautiful home and I

can’t help but wonder

if you’re just as beautiful on

the inside of silken

guitar string fingers

where your voice hides

answers to so many.

        You listen so carefully.

I want to listen just like

            you

but all I hear is strings.

                   Compatible.

I just want to take your

shiny floor boards

piece by piece

And build myself

Like you.

Delicate

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“Shhhhh” you plead with me

to calm my wild heart

beating soul to tears

and fire burning like oil

                   Spill Mistake

my spirit like putrid pond

water you drink me

down with disgust,

I want to be like strawberry

lemonade pleasing to you

“I can learn to be delicate”

I whisper as softly as I can

muster but we

Both know I’ll never

be that soft

                     baby,

my heart is pumice

obsidian hardened

by heat

                 pressure.

Sweet.

I would say that this syrup

dripping down my throat

collecting in my lungs

the hint of citrus and everything

orange I love for anything

that happens to have

a trace of you

of hands I’ve never held

for kiss I’ve never

managed to find you where we should be

I’m turning twenty four in an hour and I’ve never felt

so alone and soiled

stained by love lost over and over

an unpleasing rag of spoil

used too many times it’s lost meaning

like all of the times they told me they

love me and never meant it

I want to rip the skin from my bones

and start over push the

red button and self destruct

hit the reset button and

start a new save I’ve lost all

ability to feel and I hate

withering to ashes

because I want to love but

my heart’s hissing telling

me not to go there.

I want to breathe you in

have the vapor of you disintegrate

my cells and your honey drown

me till I have decayed into nothing

my heart’s like an apple that’s rotten

From the inside still beautiful

on the outside it broadcasts

‘hey, come love me, see how

Beautiful I am’

They all say that till they

see the mangled circuitry below

Tangled carcass, unspeakable thing

It’s rank and elicits gag-like revulsion

honey, I want to be pure again and easy

to love but times bearing down on me like

a rapist and I can’t

speak when your fists pushing so hard

it’s breaking teeth and

the Liquid is choking me till I’m faded

tell me I’m not mistaken.

I haven’t thrown it away

By ruining myself on

Purpose.

This Year in Review

2016, a year we all came into with hopes and dreams and strong feelings of optimism. By the end of the year, most of us were left fairly battered and bruised, picking up the pieces of what can only be described as a war among ourselves, with our own selves, and against the world. I’d love to say that I had avoided the hype and sensationalism of the events that happened this year, and I wouldn’t hop aboard the bandwagon of people just pleading for this year to be over. Much to my dismay, not even I could escape the pleasantries this year had to offer. This year left me disenchanted in every sense, and made me question so many things that I once firmly believed in.

 

Much like my counterparts in this messed up extravaganza, I started my year off strong and determined, full of resolve. I had such a clear trajectory for what I hoped to accomplish, and I was completely determined to make it happen. I was doing great in almost every way. I was pretty financially stable, I was making new friends, and I was running consistently at the beginning of the year. I lived on the east coast, and it was so cool to visit places I had dreamed of seeing, like New York City.

 

I was set on making all of my projects come to fruition and had my eyes geared toward grad school. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the closest I’ve been to being a legitimate adult and making things happen. Summer was fun, albeit, for an accident that left my significant other in a lot of pain for the majority of it. I was just happy to be by his side, and help him recover. Also, my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of gall bladder cancer. She is such a strong lady, but of course that doesn’t mean I didn’t worry about her.

 

As summer was winding down, I felt a strange feeling in my gut, like something terrible was going to happen.

 

If you have been reading my blog, you know what comes next. I was dumped just short of our fourth year anniversary, seemingly out of the blue. We had been doing so well, and the experience was completely jarring that it took me quite a while to come to terms that my life was once again getting flipped upside-down.

 

Needless to say, it left me hurting and pondering what love even means. I went through some bouts of depression and anxiety in this time and that was stressful, of course. But I knew I had to keep going. I found a new place to live and got a job, and finally started getting back on my feet. With my newfound loneliness, I turned my focus to working on my web comic, charging through all of the work in front of me. I tried desperately not to fill my loneliness and hurt with opportunities for relationships, and instead tried to keep myself focused on my friends and family.

 

I won’t get too far into it, but of course there was the political scramble that permeated the entire year with an “us vs. them” mentality, and no matter what side of the isle you were on we all left with feelings of anger or betrayal at the hands of people we love and care for, friends and family alike. I attempted to stay rather neutral and impartial when topics were brought up, listening to conspiracy theories that friends, relatives, and colleagues spouted from unreliable and often times fake news stories they saw on their Facebook timelines. I watched with the rest of you, as opinion turned into fact, fact turned into fiction, and the truth was believed to be snippets from celebrity twitter posts. Let it be no secret, I am a progressive who believes we need to address pressing issues, climate change, international relations, human rights, realistic economic and infrastructural improvement, but I’ve learned that regardless what you believe, people won’t sway their views. So I stayed relatively quiet.  The bottom line is, regardless of what you believe, the election brought out a lot of hate and malice for everyone, and divided us in a time when more than ever, we should be coming together.

 

There are numerous, awful things that happened this year- from the beloved celebrity deaths, to the injustices happening in our own country and all over the world. But as we move into this new year, It’s important to remember all of the good things that have happened, and all the good things that are to come. It’s the perfect time to reflect on all of those good things, and work toward more good next year.

 

This year came with a lot of good personally. My best friend and I did release our web comic (you can read the whole thing here: http://www.taleofstrun.com), and much to our delight it did smashing on release day. There is so much more we can do in order to make our viewership go up into the coming year, but overall it left us feeling excited for what is to come. My mom had surgery and she has bounced back with incredible speeds. I got to come back home to Montana and spend time with my friends and family, and it has been lovely to reconnect with everyone that I love. I’m looking to the future with new hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It’s been especially helpful having my best friend back in my life, I appreciate his love and support more that he could possibly fathom. I know in my heart this upcoming year will be so much greater than this year has ever been. It’s important for us all to be optimistic, informed, hopeful, and active in 2017.

 

So let us cheer to the New Year, and make 2017 an epic year for us all!