Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Traveler

I'm dedicated to this year being a WHOLE lot better than last year, which shouldn't be so hard to accomplish considering the general craptastic moments I had. I also am a realist and know that this goal of a good 2009 and further won't be accomplished over night. I still have a lot of work to do and I also have some stuff left over from last year to still deal with. Realistically, I won't see a substantial upswing until maybe April.

That being said, I have had a pretty meh first couple of days of 2009. New Year's Eve was okay even if low-key and sober but the last two or three days have been pretty piss poor. Getting stopped by the cops again, account and money issues, hours being loss at work, silly and not so silly arguments and being in a general funk have made this past weekend highly reminiscent of 2008. My roommate and my out-of-town pal offered to buy me a drink but I knew it would just make me more depressed and/or angry. I got so fed up with it last night I just went to sleep at around 8:30.

8:30. On a Saturday night. In Vegas. Yeah. Very wrong.

So, I wake up early to go to the library and do some writing and get my head clear. As always as this laptop takes a minute to come on and connect to the internet, I take a minute to stroll through the new fiction. Sometimes I'll find something I want or just something I wouldn't read but that turns out to be pretty good or at least a decent distraction. Today was no exception.

I picked up Traveler by Daren and Daniel Simkin. It had a nice basic cover and I was particularly interested because it was created by two brothers and I'm working on a story concerning two brothers. I was also recently thinking about trying to come up with something for me and my brother to work on because I fear we both might be treading water a little bit and might need a lil push.

Anyway, I open up the book and look at the pages and think this book is for kids. As I read it, I realize it could be for kids but it definitely contains a message for lost adults. Whether that's lost in love or being lost in your family or clueless with what you want to do, this book is for you. It's not a road map per se but it definitely makes you feel better about the choices or non-choices you have made. It sort of reminded me of Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, which is for kids but has more to say to young adults.

I don't want to give away much about the book because I think people should read it but I'll just say that the main character reminds me of myself, always searching for that perfect place and not living the life the way his friends do. They meet in the end and he is sad that he didn't do the things they did but they also want to hear how he did live his life differently than them.

This is particularly poignant for me on two levels.
First, I used to have a boss who told me that a man should look for something he is 75-85% happy with and be satisfied. Then, you can build on the rest. I think his point is that you can never find something that totally fulfills you but if you find enough things that do it most of the way the combination of them will make your life full. If we are always pursuing 100% happiness (which a lot of people do), we pass up the things with potential to get us to that place.
Secondly, I hang out with my friends when they visit here or when I go see them and I often find myself as the odd man out. They have taken pretty well-defined life paths and have a definite future that is pretty much set, either through good work or a passion that drives them. I always feel like the lost soul trying to get back on track. I was talking to my friend and he told me something that shocked me- he was at times a little happy for me because I just lived my life without boundaries and rules and just go with the wind. I told him I felt the same way about him and the others and I'm always scared that I screwed this thing called life up big time. But hearing that did make me feel marginally better and hopeful.

I guess we can't always see the positive aspects of our own lives and can appreciate those of others. The grass is always greener on the other side.

I still need to mow my lawn but it does make me feel better that someone sometimes peeks over my fence and thinks "Hey, you are living part of a life I want."