Hold the Glimmer

Archive for the ‘Cheers’ Category

Hey there little personal writing adventure I pay attention to every few months, I mean blog. How’s it hanging? Shocked you’re still around? Me too. Shocked anyone still clicks on you? Me too. Here’s to another resolution …

(p.s. Still thinking about you, Missy Elliott. Come back to my life.)

You guys.

Things are a-happening around here! By here, I mean my life and clearly not this blog. I’m working 60+ hours a week trying to keep it all together and pay a bill or two while simultaneously juggling an almost completely non-existent social life and oddly wonderful relationship. Aside from the lack of gym visits and thousands of miles I’ve put on Winnie in the last few months (driving over 100 miles a day is and isn’t the worst thing in the world. Special shout out to the world’s best playlist’er, DJ Amber), I’m pretty damn content with how life is playing out right now. I’m just happy as hell the last few months are over and I’m actually working as a reporter with a publication.

WHAT!

Girlfriend got an internship (PAID!) at a newspaper and let me tell you, it’s pretty fucking amazing.

The last semester at school physically sucked the life out of me. Previous semesters I had deemed difficult feel like a walk at the beach in comparison to those four months of mental carnage. When I walked into the newsroom on the first day, I truly believed everything would be different. I thought I had an incredible group of people who were interested in being the best editors in the world and that we were all going to work together in some form of sick harmony to produce a weekly paper- the best weekly paper the school had ever seen. Clearly, my life is supposed to play out like a Disney movie and you bet your ass there’s a soundtrack.

Listen, there was talent on this team. There is no doubt about the talent that dedicated hours to this paper, but with that talent came the most insane egos. From college kids. From people under (and sometimes over) thirty at a community fucking college. I was challenged, lied to, made fun of and ignored on a daily basis by people who two months prior were friends I was sharing drinks with and planning our “change” to the journalism world through our printed words. I was in a room for 25+ unpaid hours a week (in between the other FOUR JOBS I WAS HOLDING DOWN. Still have NO IDEA how I survived.) with people who questioned my dedication and in return wouldn’t even acknowledge me when I said “good morning.” I was the fool for hoping that in a college setting, people would act professional and leave high school attitudes behind. I was wrong. And I suffered each and every day.

As I left the newsroom on a day where editors wouldn’t respond to my questions even when we were looking directly at each other, my adviser flagged me down in the parking lot before the tears started rolling.

“Are you OK?” -adviser

“No. I’m not OK. They don’t even acknowledge me. Everyone is so rude and they all act like they have everything to give and nothing to learn. I thought we all had something to learn here? Why are they so fucking mean?” -me, clearly

“Tracy, it doesn’t matter.” -adviser

“I lay myself out there every fucking day and it just doesn’t matter how awful they treat me?” -me, again

“Nope. There will always be people who treat you this way regardless of who you are or what you do. It doesn’t matter. You’re not doing this for them. You’re doing this for you. That matters.” –adviser

Then the clouds parted and the sun started shining and a bird flew by singing the sweet sounds of spring. I kid, I kid.

I did have a profound moment though, and at the time thought “Ya. Fuck them. This is for me.”

And it was.

Three years ago, I would have never challenged myself by applying for the editor-in-chief position. Three years ago, I would have never dedicated countless hours or energy on anything that had to do with bettering myself, let alone pursuing my dreams. Three years ago, I would have been bored, at a desk, starting a blog about keeping hope when all you want to do is melt into a pool of whiskey, Xananx and complaints (they go hand-in-hand sometimes.)

Shortly after the pep talk, I heard news of an internship, applied and was hired during the interview. I showed up to meetings I didn’t have to attend, I suggested story ideas and made myself as readily available to do whatever they needed me to do. I’ve been published three times, took photos for two of the stories and can’t even count the number of online articles under my name. I’ve met with the publisher a few times and have some solid hope that I’ll be hired for a staff position.

Now that the semester is over and I’m no longer a part of the newsroom or editor-in-chief, I’ve let go of most of the bad feelings but I do have a regret or two hanging around.

I regret assuming people were on the same path as me. They didn’t assume the leadership position that I willingly took on, I did. I regret taking things personally. In one of my favorite books, “The Four Agreements,” a cardinal rule is to not take things personally. I have the exact mantra written on a Post-It note that’s stuck to my bathroom mirror from the night I read that page over four years ago (tangent- holler Post-It’s! Four years stuck to MY bathroom mirror? Way to fucking WORK.) I took things personally and I shouldn’t have. I’m only responsible for myself and my actions and can’t control others. I regret the time I lost worrying or complaining to my boyfriend or friends when I could have easily taken things as they were and not let everything consume me.

You know what I don’t regret? Working my ass off to get to here. I feel absolutely no regret about how hard I have worked and how hard I will continue to work to be better than I am at this moment. I want whatever it is that I’m feeling right now to last forever.

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I’ve been on this health-ish kick lately (to further specify, I’m just trying not to inhale every single thing thrown in front of my freaking face.  I’m human.  I don’t know how to eat 7 million vegetables a day or say ‘no’ to a manhattan, but I am trying to be a better me), and have been falling in love with the gym.

I use to take a boot camp class that was incredible and changed my entire body and mind, but with being in the newsroom a zillion hours a week and holding down four jobs and a NEW INTERNSHIP (!!!!!! Just let me finish a few sentences without parentheses’ and we can discuss) my available hours to gym it up are weird.  But I love it! I’m lifting weights, sweating all over disgusting gym machines, and talking to trainers about supplements and stacks and UGHH it feels so good.  I see regulars and we do the “whatsup” nod to each other and I’m sure soon enough that we will all be best friends, drinking protein shakes at the park and laughing about our former fat selves … or maybe not. Whatever. A girl can dream, right?

While I’m loving the gym and their insane playlists (really, out of this world.  I’ve almost asked who makes them and if I can jump in to the rotation), I am 100% not in to the gym bathrooms.  Let me rephrase- I am 100% not in to the full on bush every single time I walk in to the locker rooms.  It’s bush central.  Lot’s of bush. Bush walking around, bush towel drying, bush SITTING ON THE ACTUAL BENCHES WHILE IT FINDS ITS CHONIES.  How. Why. STOP.

I’m so pro woman.  The pro-est of woman and god we are beautiful creatures, but can I just not see your bush?  Can you hide that thing?  I don’t care what you do with it, but can I just not have it in my face every time I walk in to the room?  I’d say I see a minimum of eight new bushes a week.  I’m averaging four gym trips a week and each one of those trips includes a stop in the locker room to lock up my oh-so-valuable purse (no value, quite honestly.  Less value than an empty wallet. It’s. sad.) and with every turn of the corner in that freaking room is a goddamn bush.

Maybe I’m the prude?  Maybe it’s just weird for me to walk around naked in a room full of women.  I’m actually starting to like my body and it still freaks me out that women of ALL SIZES AND SHAPES are so ok with theirs.

And, I’m insanely jealous.  To be able to feel so comfortable in your own skin … a girl can really dream.  I envy each and every one of those women, of all ages, that rips off their gym clothes and full frontal walks to the sinks to wash their hands. Naked. Totally accepting of their body.  One day, Tracy, one day …

On a brighter note- internship! I got one! It’s paid! It pays shit! But it pays!

Starting this summer, I will be working for an actual publication! I think this means I am actually fulfilling my dreams of writing and I am scared as shit but it’s beyond exciting. My boyfriend can attest that I’m almost always exhausted and I usually fall asleep within seventeen seconds of seeing him (he’s the greatest I SWEAR), but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been working my ass off to catch this dream. It’s all happening you guys; it’s all happening.

Hi, kids.

I totally understand your complete lack of interest in the blog.  Really, I do.  With the zero posts that you’ve received and read in the last year, I fathom the disinterest.  You see, I became the editor-in-chief of my school newspaper and all writing has come to a halt while I deal with building a new, baller resume.  That resume may or may not include the four jobs I currently hold to keep living the dream and also full-time school schedule.  I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote a post, I was also diving in to a new, severely INCREDIBLE relationship.  I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and (gross yourself out) madly in love. In addition, I lost a bunch of weight, gained some back, lost some more and then ran a 5k in 30 minutes.  I’ve been battling body image issues like a mutha, but the gym has been newly found therapy and in the few spare hours I have per week, I hightail it over and get my ugly-sweat on. To say that I am busy is an understatement.

But, I care! I swear I do!  I need to keep this blog alive!  If I could turn back time (cue Cher voice), I would be documenting all of the absolutely ridiculous events in the last few months, but hey.  I’m here now, right?  Can I tell you about a cinema class I took over winter break?  It was horrible. and magical. and really miserable.  but also really wonderful.

Let’s start with the wonderful:

  1. I’m watching movies I’ve never seen and probably never would see because I have a fear of watching movies.

Tracy.

What.

I know.  You see, it’s not that I can’t sit through one (well, that’s a slight fabrication…) I get emotionally invested … easily … in everything.  I cry over commercials.  I cry when the right song comes on at the right moment.  I cried watching The Real World the other night.  The Real World.  It’s the THIRD EPISODE of THE SEASON and P.S. I’M TWENTYNINE.  When you’re this emotional about the MOST INSIGNIFICANT THINGS, it’s really difficult to commit yourself to a full 90+ minutes of a storyline, let alone an ending that may or may not play in to what your head has already concocted.  I’ve started slowly falling in love with actors and movies I never thought I would have any interest in.  Would you believe that this girl is actually enjoying- nay, seeking out silent films?  I know.  Breaking barriers here.

  1.  Adults in college level classes talk a lot and I do not want to be one of them.  I know that technically every student in the room is an “adult”, but there are two or three guys that are older than 35 that LOVE to hear their voices whether they’re being relevant or not.  I debated putting this in the “miserable” section, but it is truly a wonderful experience whenever they chime in and I don’t.  I’m constantly reminded to shut the fuck up because I’m borderline the fourth oldest person in the room and in competition with two other people for teacher’s pet.  The teacher’s pet part is due to the fact that the professor is also my journalism professor during the regular semester and he constantly reminds me and the class of how much time we spend together.  If one of the old guys isn’t interjecting with one of their irrelevant non-movie stories, it’s usually my professor asking “Hey Tracy” this or “so Tracy, what do you think about…”

and, well ya.  There’s the wonderful.  The list of miserable?

1.  You’re either absolutely insane or grinding your ass off if you sign up for an 8 a.m. class during Winter Break.  It’s the worst.  I’m barely alive before 11 a.m. and to have a professor that you like expecting you to be engaged in the class because everyone else except the four 35-year olds is asleep is the worst.  The. Worst.  And now I’m the teachers pet because no one responds to “Who is Judy Garland” and I don’t want my professor to feel that old.  See, I care.

2.  No coffee.  How the fuck I survived a morning class without coffee or food is a goddamn miracle and in my books an automatic A.  The classroom had a “problem” with insects and animals.  Yes, animals.  Food and drinks were strictly prohibited in the room and I sat through a MOVIE CLASS for three hours per day, four days a week without a perk.

Someway, somehow I passed the class and am currently missing it more than ever.  I’ve been busting my ass every week as the editor-in-chief for this newspaper and am flat out exhausted.  It’s tolling spending hours upon hours on a project that you 1. aren’t getting paid for and 2. have to be the biggest cheerleader for even when everyone has doubt in your abilities.  I’ve learned more about myself in the last three months than the last twenty years.  I’m constantly reminding myself that everything that happens in the newsroom is a learning opportunity and I will apply it in my professional life at one point or another.

 

And, I need to write more.  I need to remember that this is important to me.  Just holding the glimmer over here guys, holding the glimmer the best I can.

She is my muse, love.  My life.  My soul, which I never knew or believed existed until I felt her breath… my breath, filling my lungs.  Lately words have been flowing from my heart that I never expected to hear, feel, or believe.  It is as real and as drastic a transformation as I have ever experienced.  Apparently, it is wholely possible to look forward to speaking to someone just moments after hanging up the phone – to miss someone mere seconds following farewells.  It seems that, despite all doubt, in all appearances, potentially, probably, ipso. fucking. facto. that love not only exists, but that I find myself eyebrow deep in it.  This is a first.  Many firsts, in fact.  But, certainly the first time I find myself deep in something that did not require legal, medical, or moral assistance to get out of.

I am writing this for the same reason I’ve ever written anything, because I have to.  I have written, to date, a number of letters beyond my ability to count (which is to say, I’ve run out of fingers and toes) regarding the subject of love, the subject of my love, addressed to… well, you get the point.  I have killed four pens, 2.5 notebooks, and three packs of evelopes in just a couple of months.  So for anyone wondering if The Duke of Glimmer has been writing… he has, but only for one person as of recently.  And although she prefers not to share my attention, I’m sure she’ll grant me reprieve in this case.

My love is music, for I found her through music.  My love is friendship, for I found her through friendship.  She is dance, and light, and laughter… gorgeous hot days, and long desert nights.  She is drugs – I will not lie.  The greatest (seriously, the greatest) drug I’ve ever known.  I am convinced she is the path to my enlightenment – if that is a thing and it can truly be achieved.  And if not, I’m just fucking happy.  Really happy. Happy enough to write this sappy post that you will probably read, say “awww,” puke, then take an insulin shot.  And that’s fine.

The point is that it’s real and it’s out there – love.  It’s not something you’re expecting to find, or that you seek out on purpose.  It just grows, organically – non GMO, always fair trade.  I didn’t even know I wanted it until love found me, but now I’ll fight with the passion of a thousand souls to keep it, this fire that burns in my heart.  There’s no formula, just live your life and let it find you.  It will.  Somehow it found me.  Somehow there’s a beautiful woman in this world who is just like me, but better… so much better.  Genuinely, just ask Tracy, she’s better… and she loves me, lucky fool that I am.  So for anyone struggling or lonely out there – trust me, if you’re holding the glimmer, sooner or later the universe will send someone to share the burden.

May 30, 2012

 

It’s been over a month since my dreaded…day…of…(it’s still really difficult to talk about. There is no closure. I still don’t understand it. I still can’t wrap my head around the events. I’m constantly questioning every single day of employment, what I could have potentially done wrong, how I got here…all that wonderfully depressing shit((yes, it’s worse than a breakup)) and I’m having a REALLY DIFFICULT TIME figuring out what to do now that I have all this free time to not meticulously plan someone’s day to day life. I’ve spent the last nine years building a career, saying a big “fuck you” to higher education, and building one of the best resumes I’ve seen thus far from a 27 year old, so having actual time to do whatever the fuck I want is….weird. Did I mention horribly depressing? I did. Let’s just set that tone real quickly; this post will be a lot easier to understand once you realize I’m a prime candidate to take over the Zoloft rock’s job. 

____________________________________________________________

 Well.

… that was depressing.

Friends! Hi! How’s it going! Anyone out there still holding the glimmer? I sure as hell am!  The excerpt above was the absolute last thing I wrote dedicated to this blog before my tailspin of depression which turned in to the absolute best six (err…nine…) months of my life.  You see, life has been intense.  I know you’ve all held your breath waiting for me to update you on everything Tracy, but for a while there, I didn’t think I would make it out alive.  Maybe that was just my liver talking.  Maybe my liver still doesn’t know what I’m doing.  Maybe I hate my liver and my liver hates me.  Maybe… We move along.

I never realized how difficult it was not having a job.  (Before you read the following few paragraphs, please feel free to let out an audible groan.  I realize how little sorrow you feel for me over the next few words you read, but I promise they have a point.  Or maybe the don’t.  I don’t give a fuck.)  While I complained on a daily basis about sitting behind a desk,  I didn’t understand how difficult it was to have a conversation about not sitting behind a desk.  That desk became my identity.  You see, so many interactions are formed around that job.  It’s shocking how much self worth and value is established around a job- any kind of job- but just a job.  I didn’t know how to not talk about a job or, not having one.  Try going on a first date three weeks after losing your job.  Let me know how awesome it feels when you’re trying to build yourself up as this incredibly worthy, date-able specimen (trust me- it ends in a paid cab ride because you had four too many Manhattans.  Trust. Me.) Try having an interest in going to dinner or lunch with your friends and talking about their lives and their jobs and how much they are succeeding in life as you dive deeper in to an abyss of self doubt.  It was daunting and depressing and instead of not talking about not having a job, I did everything that a person without a job did.  (Get ready for the groans, kids…) 

After a few REALLY LONG WEEKS of being more miserable than I can even begin to explain, I physically forced myself to snap out of it, and realized I was granted an early summer vacation. Time was of the essence and I was going to use that wisely (kinda wisely…) I made plans with practically every person I knew and every person I didn’t know.  I inadvertently started a mission to thoroughly enjoy my life and whatever came of it.  This included, but was not limited to: concerts, days on the beach, drinks, concerts, Disneyland, lunches, concerts, really awkward/amazing online dates, more drinks, dinners, fuck I spent a lot of money on concerts. While my parents weren’t too fond of the idea, I planned a solo road trip to Salt Lake City to see some of my best friends and my favorite band, Passion Pit.  Apparently, the lead singer was going through some SEVERE inner turmoil as well and canceled the show (which may or may have not affected my already wavering depression issues), but I still packed up Winnie Cooper (that’s my ride, for any of the three readers who don’t know me…), and hit the open road.  My trip was beyond enlightening.  The Utah kids were Coachella friends that became family and I had a long week of whiskey and even more soul searching.  I’m not exactly sure when it hit; between three caramel macchiatos, an entire jumbo pack of fire breathing beef jerky and an exhausting 13 hour drive home, I was determined to completely change my life. And, I did.

I came back to LA knowing fully well that summer was on its tail end and I would be diving off the deep end into my first semester of school in over nine years.  I was an absolute nervous wreck at the idea of even walking in to a class room (Where would I sit?  Would I be the oldest in the classroom? What if I saw people I knew? What if my clumsy ass fell while walking in to the classroom and everyone laughed at me and I would forever be known as that old girl who fell in slow motion on the first day of classes? What would I wear?), let alone the fact that I had to crash every single class…. (BIG shout out to Los Angeles Community College District registration dept.  Really appreciate that registration date where all classes were filled four weeks prior to my registration date. That was super tight of you. Even more props for the financial aid I couldn’t get because of my 2011 income. GREAT, supportive start to my new scholastic me, really.)

Oddly enough, all of the fear and anxiety was completely unwarranted.  My first day of school was…absolutely incredible. I felt completely in my element and inspired to put every effort in to achieving the one regret I’ve held on to thus far in life- not getting my degree.  

Super fast forward to today, because Lord knows I’ve been doing a phenomenal job with staying accountable with my blog dreams: I managed a 3.0 in my first semester of school, stayed out of as much trouble as possible over winter break (not really, but that’s a whole different blog post..), lost about 30lbs, and found myself a suuuuper sweet boyfriend.  

WHAAAATTTTT?!?!

And that’s where I’m ending this post. A few doubts, a few questions, and a whole lotta suspense.

Love you guys xoxo 

Ahh the sweet taste of recovery.  Anyone who had the unfortunate displeasure of talking to me yesterday knows it was an all day marathon hangover here at Duke’s desk.  I had a pretty wild Tuesday night in Hollywood… watching Gustavo Dudamel drop BOMBS on The Bowl while conducting Mozart.  Weren’t expecting that one were you?  Well we like to keep you on your toes here at HTG, so I switched venues to something a little less dangerous and traded in the UNTZ for the pleasant fluttering of flutes and cellos.  I have to say, it was a blissful experience.  Classical music isn’t something I typically go out looking for, but I’m not ashamed to say I found it… or it found me.  I won’t sit here pretending I took it seriously the entire time – because I spent the first few minutes scanning the orchestra for Black people (just out of curiosity) – and I was disappointed, yet hardly surprised, not to find any.  However, somewhere around the second bottle of Pinot (you stay classy, glimmerface), I found myself sitting there with eyes closed just focusing on the multitude of notes filling my ears.  Albert Einstein once said that Mozart’s music sounded as if he had just stumbled upon it – like it had always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe.  I thought of it as listening to calculus – like a brilliantly solved equation unfolding in my mind.  I mean, I never passed calculus (3 tries), but it was how I imagine a brilliantly solved equation would sound if I possessed the ability to solve one, and then turn it into music.  Moving on…
 
It’s important, I feel, to get a well rounded sampling of the stimulus available out there.  So often we limit ourselves to a certain genre of music or events – that we forget to take time to open ourselves up to the diverse plethora of pleasurable experiences.  When was the last time you went to a jazz bar and listened to the blues?  How often do you participate in wild haired drum circles?  Ever have your face melted by the metropolitan opera?  Maybe you’re just too busy posturing in line at Club Douché, waiting to pay $18 for a glass of ice with three drops of vodka in it…
 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to shit on anybody’s idea of a good time – I did that enough last week.  If you like clubbing, if you’re really into following around that one band I probably never heard of, if you’re at Avalon every Friday night for a dose of boom boom (see you on the dancefloor, Tracy) – that’s great!  Have at it.  I’m just saying, be open to switching it up a little, because there’s a lot of interesting shit out there.  There’s plenty of fun, cool, alternative places to have a few drinks and a few laughs with good company… Festivals, wine tastings, art exhibits, comedy clubs, concerts, plays, carnivals, jazz bars, 1980’s clubs, 1780’s clubs.  No wait, seriously.  What if there was an after hours spot that played Vivaldi and only served 18th century cocktails?  Powdered wigs and tights optional, of course.  That might sound like a Renaissance fair, but I think going out should be about more than just getting sauced and looking for sex.  It should involve all the senses, and require some active thought and participation.  What about a reggae joint that’s also a medical marijuana dispensary – so you could get irie when the bomboclat rasta tells you to?  I’m just spit balling here, but If those kind of places exist, tell me – I’m there.  If not, feel free to run with these ideas or come up with your own, because the recreational landscape needs even more mind blowing fully immersible experiences.  Places where you can really get a feel for alternate perceptions, cultures, and lifestyles.  We live in the future, and although we have yet to invent a time machine, I want to walk through doors that transport me to other times and places.  I don’t want cheesy theme bars, I want to transcend.  Challenge accepted?  Good.  Go.

One would think taking some serious time off from writing would provide an opportunity for thoughts and ideas to cultivate in the mind.  One would think…
 
I can’t say with any degree of accuracy where or who I’ve been since I last disgraced the interwebs with my complaint-laden gibberish.  Hazy snapshots come to mind, but much like a conversation with my parents – I can never divulge anything more than generalities and insignificant details.  I’d like to say that I’ve grown as a person, learned about myself and the world, gained culture and wisdom and understanding; but the reality is I’ve burned off too many brain cells to have possibly gained anything more than an early onset of alzheimer’s and a lifetime ban from… well, it’s not important.
 
Lately I’ve been wondering how much is too much?  How far is too far?  At what point do we stop pushing the limits of public intoxication and weekend warriorhood?  When do we make the jump from running-into-the-stands Ron Artest to sweet charitable goofball Metta World Peace?  What the fuck does Metta even mean, anyway?  (Editors note: I’ve decided that Metta is my new favorite word and officially a new glimmer game.  See how many times you can use that word in a day; via email, casual conversation with your boss, to the girl crying in the bathroom stall next door…you get the picture. Game on!)
 
Maybe I was supposed to cut the shit after college, but it has only gotten worse – or better, depending on your perspective.  These days I have money to party in ways I always wanted when I was a broke student living on spaghetti and Italian dressing.  Now, every year feels like a competition to outdo last year, and the result is always the same – I’m the big winner.  The best is yet to come, which is both exciting and frightening, because as I keep surpassing myself – I’m almost positive that my body is losing.  It has to be.  Something has to give at some point.  It’s only a matter of time…
 
Normal people chalk up their hazy years to youthful rebellion and move onto the long boring phase of domesticity as a result of their ensuing maturity.  They get real jobs, settle down, have kids, and everything else takes a backseat to “life.”  I’ve started a career, not a star-studded one, but a career to be proud of nonetheless.  One that requires me to be a responsible upstanding adult, which I appear to be during work hours.  I’m surrounded by nice people – friendly grown folks who work hard even on their days off, pick up their kids from school, pay their mortgages, remodel their homes, and occasionally play golf or poker if they have a couple of hours free.  Nice people – fucking squares.  Did they start off that way?  God forbid.  Was it a gradual breaking of the exuberance and spirit that once had them preaching free love and Tuesday night skinny dipping?  It seems that even the ex-hipsters and night owls eventually sold out in the name of practicality and parenthood – two concepts with which I’m entirely unfamiliar.  
 
The other night I tried something completely outrageous and out-of-character.  It was despicable, unforgivable; my parents would be proud.  I stayed home, and did nothing.  Actually, I stayed in my hotel room.  I’m living at the Marina Del Rey Marriott right now, not that it matters or that you care – it’s just a detail to flesh out the story.  So, on a weekend night (it was Thursday, but I had Friday off), I sat in my hotel room, ordered room service, and watched my view of the pacific ocean with its sandy beaches and docked sailboats.  It was quiet, serene; just lovely.  I remember thinking, which is already a big deal for me… “Maybe I can do this – mellow out and step back from the edge.”  I’ve always been attracted to the locomotive lifestyle of monsters and rockstars.  All my heroes had the grit to push their limits, and as a result cranked out some incredibly profound bodies of work.  But, then again, all my heroes are either dead or in rehab.  Perhaps there’s something to this simple life of sobriety.  It seems a moment can be enjoyed without slurring obscenities over loud music, or offending patrons at late night diners.  Of course by 10pm I was absolutely bored with the view, the television, the room, the book I brought, and myself.  I hit the 8th floor for some free concierge Chivas, and the rest of the weekend was a blur from that point on…
 
Some might call that a failure in abstinence.  Clearly I’m a little off when it comes to prioritizing my free time.  My idea of fun can range anywhere between high-fiving dancing midgets to looking into the very face of God (sometimes in the same night).  In the middle of a year when I’ve lived harder than ever before, asking to stop and smell the proverbial roses is a tall order.  In all honesty, it feels like the only time I have to reflect on this hellish existence is the thirty minutes after pouring myself into my desk chair, before the calls start coming in and the meeting notices pop up for the day.  Break up the monotony of work through play – earn the right to play through work, and sleep when necessary.  Sounds great, but every system or schedule heads toward chaos.  A wrench in the machine, or a week or two off the grid might be just the necessary break it takes to perpetuate the craziness and keep the plates spinning in the air.  Hah, a week or two… I could barely stand four hours.  Like any exercise though, one can’t just max out right off the bat.  You build up.  So my four hours can be expanded to an entire evening, and eventually a weekend, and then a whole week.  A whole week… I can feel the neurons regenerating at the thought.  It sounds like madness comparing relaxation and sobriety to working out, but I suppose some people have to try to eat more pizza, watch more television, and remind themselves what a sunset looks like through fresh clear eyes.   
 
So I do admit, a holiday (that’s English for vacation) from the insanity is in order, but I don’t plan on slowing down permanently anytime soon.  This year will pale in comparison to next year, and that’s just how I like it.  How far is too far?  We’re not there yet.  Taking a break gives me the chance to reflect on the good times passed, and plan bigger and better ways to conquer the night.  This has nothing to do with rebellion, or having trouble appreciating myself, or running away from any deeper issues.  I know what I’m looking for – to fulfill a dream – the American Dream, the fucking Global Dream.  The dream of participating without restraint in the human condition.  To use up the body I’ve been given tasting the fruits of life all over the world.  The operative word for the unattainable here would be balance.  Personally, I don’t believe in it.  If everything is in equilibrium and you’re feeling comfortable, you’re probably sleeping too much.  At our age, only the flounders feel any consistent level of comfort.  Monsters thirst for more – not as an indulgence in gluttonous bullshit, but as a quest for the kind of experiences mere mortals only see with their eyes closed; not to repeat the same fun and games until we grow tired and give them up, but to challenge ourselves to break out of the box we live in and truly feed our souls.  When my time is up, I won’t be looking back to say I missed out by sitting on the sidelines.  What would be the point?  To live in consistent boredom until the end of time, in hopes that heaven will make up for everything that passed you by on Earth?  Sounds a little uncertain to me.  Because when I finally do settle down – it won’t be because I was too scared to find what I really wanted.  In the meantime, I’m going to test my tolerance for discomfort by taking deep breaths and experiencing some calm.  And if you see me sitting there obnoxiously tapping my feet, it’s not because I’m fiending – it’s just to remind myself the ground is still there…
 

This is my life

 

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