Listen to shittier music

I believe that everyone gets one artist\band at a pivotal time in adolescence that sort of casts the net for our musical preferences. That one band might not exactly be your favorite group, but if you analyzed the style and elements that band\artist had, you’ll find you flocked towards what sounded like it for a time. Even after, it’s elements were capable of tracing in what you went forward into. It’s like the first book you really enjoy; your frame of reference begins here.

In Junior year of high school, Amanda Santillo sent me a few gigs of music over AIM. I’d had a blue iPod mini for about two months and only carried three bands on it, so this was a big change. I didn’t know who any of the artists were, but I was hooked. I’d lay in bed pretending I was asleep with the blue backlight on so I could see how long my battery life might last. It meant I didn’t sleep well, but I knew my music. I was listening to the point that I could play the “guess that song” game from the most obscure parts of songs. I recall sitting for an hour once, guessing 4 and 5 second samples correctly and then being done with it. I had trained my ears to that moment and I trained well. 

There was something about my youth that enjoyed shocking people. Maybe I needed to not be like everyone else, or maybe I just liked to see that look on people’s faces. Their reactions made me happy. “The Number 12 Looks Like You” aided me in that juvenile goal. Whether it was the unappealing vocals screaming over one another (which I found VERY appealing), the well-composed instrumental work, or just the naming of their songs and the lyrics in them, something sunk it’s teeth into me. With song titles like “The Proud Parents Convention in the ER”, “Don’t Get Blood on my Prada Shoes”, “Clarrisa Explains Cuntainment”, “Like a Cat”, “Sleeping With the Fishes, See?”, and the best cover of “My Sharona” you’ve ever heard, I was enraptured. It had everything I wanted. At the time I opposed the materialism of American capitalism, and they mentioned it just enough to intrigue me. I couldn’t imagine ever being like the kids at my school that got drunk every weekend and thought themselves mature for it. I hardly understood the lyrics myself in retrospect, but what did speak to me was cynical in a way that reassured me. “All these happy kids aren’t paying attention to life”; my teen angst felt vindicated. Likely a contributor to my need for proof and a solid backing argument as I got older, but back then it was just “the truth”. I’d thankfully grown more self-aware with time.

I’d argue then how musically, they put any other kids favorite bands to shame. The simple chords I heard in other bands couldn’t match the complex time-signatures and well-composed musicianship that Number 12 was doing. Metal guitars flowing over incredible drumming, almost like the notes just existed together, how could anyone possibly play this naturally? My father had raised me on Metallica and whatever 90’s artists I’d found through radio channels, so this was the most complex thing I had ever heard. I’d later realize it was just Jazz music; if the giants of the Jazz era never were, the Number 12 would’ve never known how to play Metal like it was Jazz (or Jazz like it was Metal?). 

I thought the screaming was pure emotion over audio format. While I pretended to know the words then, they were only lines I picked out from the screams which I can now admit I hardly understood. “It makes more sense to speak nonsense”, “In my heart I know that the devil doesn’t lie”, the sort of thing your Church-going parents don’t want you listening to. They had a concept-album written entirely from the perspective of a serial killer. Most of their songs spoke with an 80’s slasher film type of violence.  I was glued to those films when my headphones weren’t on, so I found their violence appealing instead of appalling. Their lyrics weren’t what made music really pull me in, but musically their complexity drove me up the walls. Admittedly, The Number 12 only began my relationship with music even though I didn’t get to see them play live until just recently. The political side of another band is what really pulled me into constant scribbling of lyrics on everything I owned, and even writing lyrics across blank shirts by hand.

Orchid did the music louder and more distorted than Number 12, writing lyrics about social and political concerns I had. I wish I could say they were what made me love music, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say Number 12 was my first dose. Orchid was the band that really took hold. I couldn’t stop from there. It was Orchid, Ed Gein, Combatwoundedveteran, Dillinger Four,  and others of the like, trading lyrical content for popular appeal. It wouldn’t occur to me that a band could do both until much later in senior year when Mike Durnin and Dan Neist showed me bands like Bad Religion and NoFX. Pete Ciullo would introduce me to Streetlight Manifesto and other punk bands that would focus my radar for music. They did this by example not by insistence, and at times even at request but never did they say “you have to listen to this” or “why don’t you listen to ______?”. It was always “oh if you like ____, you’ll probably enjoy ______”. And while punk rock definitely took hold when the well of obscure political hardcore bands ran dry, it was the lyrics that managed to pull me towards the less difficult to understand vocals. Greg Graffin and Fat Mike spoke to the general frustration, and Anti-Flag had my outlook pegged, but Jayson Green hit the issues head on.

It wasn’t just the way he saw the popular crowd, it was how he saw his own crowd. The Nietzschian sort of criticism that looked at his own tribe members and said “no, no, no, this isn’t how we live”. The song titles didn’t have any sort of juvenile appeal here, nor was there any violence to accompany the music for shock factor. If anyone didn’t like Orchid it was the sounds that turned them off, lyrically you couldn’t disagree. 

“And our party’s Mystique shall be our capability to think” highlighting the importance of intelligence over anything else.

“I never wanted to have sex til you asked me, goddamn I’m a brand new man!” A satirical prod at the idea that somehow sex should revolutionize who you are. 

“You own everything, that’s why there is nothing new. This is the face of the change, all in all, why not face it?” What better critique on the stagnacity of American thinking? 

“complete self-destruction, all the watches stopped when the first brick was thrown. Chaos is me.” Which covers the passion Camus had for rebellion. On another note, the band references important authors quite often; Marcuseh, Foucault, Adorno, and other French thinkers pepper the lyric catalog.

“your chaos ain’t me, it’s a mask that I put on and I wore it for too long. But chaos definitely ain’t you, no matter what the ship says.” Reflecting on the crowd their earlier works (“Desorde C’est Moi” tr:Chaos is Me) had gathered, the band turned targets on its own lyrics. Essentially going full-Nietzsche, the band turns even on its past self (“this too, only youth!”), Affirming the philosophy it has set out to prove.

After breaking up, Green would go on to form the band “Violent Bullshit” and move to NYC, doing what most youth idols do: change. While part of me feels disappointment, the more mature part of me is glad he didn’t waste himself trying to be vindicated by 19 year olds his entire life. There are enough failed projects in the world, but Orchid thankfully bowed out when it should. There’s a certain feeling in your favorite band being so unsung and with only a narrow chance of seeing them again. 

I recently got to see the #12 live for the first time. Despite being lyrically juvenile at times, their skill as musicians couldn’t be questioned. While I don’t know that I’ll get to see them again, I know I’ll try to catch it. That feeling of singing/screaming along with 50 strangers and a good friend to songs I thought only I knew the words to is incredible. I’d advise you find yourself a lesser-known band and see what it feels like if you don’t already know. 

Refused once said “How can we expect anyone to listen if we’re using that same old voice? We need New Noise. Great words won’t cover ugly actions. Good frames won’t save bad paintings.” We can’t hide behind shit art in nice packages for long. We need wittier music, shittier music.

How much more can you get done?

Here’s an original idea: you don’t have very long left to live. I’m concerned for you, thinking you’ve so much time in which to accomplish the things you’d like to. The good part is you have ideas for those hours. You’ve given this thought and you look ahead at all the time with an understanding that you’ll get there. Patience is terrifying, it’s the capability to look ahead at death heading towards us and play as if you have time. I don’t, you don’t, no one does. I recently became obsessed with this idea and the people I care about. I realized that time is a constantly depleting resource which we cannot regain. Worse still, it can’t be borrowed, earned, technically not even transferred (though metaphorically speaking you could pass organs to another and give them more time). Point being, how much time do we really have?

Like most things, it wasn’t enough for me to take a passing interest in it. I had to fully “grok” it. So I had to understand the formulas I could use to calculate this all. We know there are 24 hours in a day. We know there are 365 days in a year. That led me to:

H = [days] 365 * [hours p/d] 24= 8,760 [hours per year]

Okay. So there’s 8,760 hours in a single year. I’ve been alive for 28 years now, or rather, [10,315 days], [247,559 hours and 47 minutes] as of this writing. In that time I’ve graduated a public school curriculum, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a private college and thought up the foundation of an epic which I’ve lately been working on. All this, done within the 35.44% [estimated time] of my life that I have lived. How did I calculate this?

The average human life expectancy is 78.8 years.

This statistic is taken from CDC.GOV and can be viewed by clinking the above link. The information is drawn from different life expectancy surveys and studies conducted across different age groups exclusively in the United States and may be different than your country’s life expectancy or average lifespan. (Germany for example has a life expectancy of 81, according to this link.) Keep in mind that these statistics are meant to reflect the lifespan of someone born TODAY. The numbers for anyone born prior may actually be more, or less, though the numbers have not varied by more than 3 years in either direction over the course of the past ten years, which you can see for certain on that same link. Monaco has led the world at 89 years for roughly ten years now. Also, please note that while the human life span will not be found in the above link showing other countries, American life expectancy has been well-researched within our own borders by our own organizations and hence is not affiliated with the statistics conducted by http://www.Geoba.se.

Alright, now that we’ve got that disclaimer set aside, let’s do some more math. If the average human life is 78.8, let’s round that off to a nice even 79. Let’s run the same formula with just one more step involved. We’re going to look at this as Ld, for life expectancy in days. Lh for life expectancy in hours. Lastly, we’ll take into account Lp, for life percentage.

Ld = [79] * 365 = 28835 DAYS

Lh = ([79] * 365)*24 = 692,040 HOURS

Lp = (current age / 79) * 100

Okay, so now we have the math worked out let’s calculate it. You can actually copy these right into a Google search bar and Google will do the work for you. After plugging in the math, I found out that I have lived 35.44% (or (28/79)*100) of my lifeThis means I currently have 64.56% of my life left. That translates into 51 years, or 18,520 days (including the days I’ve already lived in 2017 since turning 28). If we’re being VERY picky then let’s call it 442,905 hours, though that number can feel a little less daunting for some, and I find the days remaining really hits home.

Now there are definitely more factors involved than simply the AVERAGE LIFE SPAN. I am NOT doubting that in any way, but understanding the average gives us a grip on what our estimations should be for a full life. We could easily die tomorrow, the day after, or a scientific breakthrough in ten years could make us completely immortal. Again, NOT discounting or disagreeing with those entirely valid points. If we are to be practical and realistic, these statistics do speak to a truth of the expected human life span as it currently is with our healthcare and dietary systems what they are. I am absolutely fascinated with this little idea and it motivates me HEAVILY to stay focused on what comes next. I don’t look at it as “How much time do I have left?”. I look at instead as “How much more can I get done?”. This distinction makes a huge difference for some, and is exactly the same for others. I am the latter, but I can understand how some may find this information a tad bit morbid.

We have no guarantees on our final day, just history and trends to understand what has happened to others and how that could happen to us. Please, for the love of all things that are, break the mold on whatever it is you want to be and become something unique within the parameters of your career decisions. Also, let me know what your percentages are and let’s discuss our mortality as a means of driving force to get our goals and objectives met!

As always, thank you for reading and I hope this has somehow made you happier and more focused in your life. In the event that it has not, here’s a link which should make you smile. Have a great day, and keep pushing forward with your life.

 

 

Welcome back.

*****I’ve attempted doing this to help some of you. That didn’t exactly work out, because in the end I run out of people to help and when there is no trouble, there is nothing to write. Simple logic and reflection could’ve told me that, but I think the truth of it is that I was always trying to write WELL. Somehow I convinced myself that if I was always writing to help others, that would need to be good writing. No matter how shitty it might be in reality, the fact that it helped someone meant it would be a good thing. That makes sense, to an extent. It’s great to help others, I don’t mean to devalue that premise or to insist upon it’s opposite. In fact, I’m still doing that in a way.

When I was younger, my cousin Franco ( if you’re reading this, thank you) sat me down at a kitchen table in his mother’s apartment and stated /*“Here’s three M&M’s. If you wait ten minutes and don’t eat any of these M&M’s, I’ll give you TEN M&M’s.”*/ You might think that a child would give in to instant gratification, but you’d be wrong. And here is your lesson, out of the innocence of children (where most good lessons come from): It is more important to wait and enjoy the 10 than it is to eat the 3 before you. While it’s a lesson I knew as a child, it took me time to understand it as an adult. Instead of chasing my nightly joys, I bided my time and understood that working diligently would pay off. That being kind and compassionate in the face of disrespect and neglect would only strengthen my resolve.

 “I will gain more in the face of difficulty than I will in the face of comfort”.

If you wish to excel and grow, then you can’t take the easy way out, you simply have to work at it and continue until you get better. You have to do the work and know that your rewards come later (if ever!). In some cases, the work itself will be the thing you worked for. Determination is that vital element that doesn’t allow us to quit. This isn’t to say that “stubbornness” pays off. Stubbornness and determination are not synonymous. And to those who might shed a negative light and hand out half-empty glasses, let’s be clear:

Determination: 1) Firmness of purpose, resoluteness. 2) the process of establishing something exactly, typically by calculation or research.

Stubbornness: dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something.

Consider the irony that the word doesn’t even have multiple definitions; it’s too set on doing things ONE WAY. Where Determination will teach us that we should stand by our meaning, fulfill our purpose and see things through, Stubbornness is stagnant and involving. Determination says continue forward, and adapt. Stubbornness is pounding square pegs into circular fittings. This is my determination. I resolve to push onward and write not for all of you, in order to help myself. Rather, I write for myself in order to help all of you.

In writing to help others, I can only write what they need to hear. That’s not addressing the truth of a situation, it’s only addressing THEIR situation. This creates work that serves an individual, not the whole. It’s akin to being a high school poet and writing poems only you understand. Sure, the intricacies and sesquipedialan dialogue looks intelligent, but it’s actually shit when you review. I used to find some solace in that work, but it isn’t ever going to grow or develop me because it’s not me. I don’t ever speak that way, even if part of me wanted to be seen that way. True growth? True evolution? What growth is there without a degree of vulnerability and self-exposure? I can tell every last one of you who lays eyes on these words with the deepest confidence and happiest of demeanors, this was more fun to write and I’m still afraid of it. I’m afraid it will be shit, I’m afraid it will be mocked and welcomed with false praise. It’s more difficult than putting on a voice, than creating a persona with which to create. When you work as you are, you’ll shine through it and it will be Yours, and that is better than being anyone else’s work. I hope this helps some of you in some way. Thanks for reading, and please reply if you feel so inclined!

Goodbye -LF

He died Saturday morning, June 27th while I was working a brunch shift and I cracked. I yelled no, no, no, as I ran behind the door and down the stairs leading away from anyone who could hear and into our basement. I cried for a minute or two, composed myself and shut it down again. Numb. But it didn’t last long. When a friend asked what was wrong I told her;

 

“My friend just died. I was expecting it, but it still hurts. He wouldn’t want anyone to be sad. So it’s hard to not laugh.”

 

That was Larry. He’d be mad at you for being upset, because he was so incredibly sentimental. People may not understand that because he didn’t seem it or mention it, but he absolutely was. He was sentimental about the things worth being sentimental over, the things that were actually worth our sentiments. Larry made me glad I yelled and got into screaming matches with him. He made me proud of the nickname “Blobbo”, and made me forever remember lemon ginger sandwich cookies with the same sort of warmth and glowing divinity that would make Proust run back to editing again. He taught me to do hospital corners on my bed, how to breathe (I’m not kidding, most of us don’t really breathe), how to eat properly, when to eat, how to treat strangers, when to laugh (always, always, always). Most importantly, he taught me how to behave in every situation you can find imaginable: with kindness. I can’t say I always do it, and neither did he for that matter, but he tried.

There was one time that I was trying to explain to him that I knew what I was doing, he just didn’t explain himself very well. He called me “fuckface squared” and I’ll never be able to forget it. It’s still one of my favorite insults, like something a child believes is the insult to end all insults. The last time I saw Larry, his wife Susan said “our boy is growing up” and he corrected her, “he’s not our boy, he’s a man”. I think they were both right to some degree. He was happy. Right until the very end, when cancer and medication left him bed-ridden and his once boisterous and cantankerous demeanor was reduced to a whisper that he still tried to shout with. He was skin and bones, but the smile was still Larry Fagin. That smile that had laughed at so many cheap jokes with me, pined over Sid Caesar and Jonathan Winters sketches, and taught me how to teach myself.

 

For the past three weeks I’ve cried like I haven’t cried in years. That spontaneous sort of crying where you feel fine one second and it’s complete vision-blurring tears the next. I don’t know how to grieve, because the last time I genuinely did it I was about twenty years old. Before that, I was nine. I’ve learned to endure loss pretty well, so it all ends up coming out on the major ones. I’m not selfish enough to think I’m alone in this loss. The world lost someone wonderful. There are people who’ve known Larry longer than I’ve been alive. I envy them. I had five years with Lawrence Henry Fagin. I know that I would never be satisfied, so I’m just thankful for the time I had. He knew that too. “You just consume, everything, don’t you blobbo?” He understood people and loved them as they were. It was a beautiful thing that we could all learn to do and better the world in doing so (myself included).

The few poems I wrote and shared with him, he barely edited. I’ll always be proud of that. The thing about learning from him was he didn’t just teach people, he invigorated them. He had this special way of bringing out the You, in You. But you wouldn’t stop being his student once he did, because that really pissed him off. I’m laughing through all my tears after that one. He taught by conversation and direction. He’d give you a list and then you’d talk to him about it, but you were never done. There was never a sense of a “course completion” or getting an A. With Larry, you just learned. That was all there was to it. You didn’t need to be the best at anything or even teach some college course on the subject at hand. You just did whatever your day job was, and kept on going with art and history whenever you could, because you could; we all have to, need to, want to. I learned through him that we don’t make art as our sole purpose. Instead we live, and the art comes from what we’ve lived. I met him as a bookish, sheltered video gamer. If I wasn’t trying to read something above my comprehension, I was probably overanalyzing whatever I could read and retain. He made a point to tell me constantly how juvenile what I was reading was. I didn’t believe him then, but I see the importance of it now. I’m sure the scattered essences of him are laughing in molecular languages right now knowing that it took me this long to understand. Then again, knowing Larry he probably would’ve just told me to pick up another author and try them on for size.

 

I will miss him every time I read a new book, see a new movie, eat a new meal, meet a new girl. I will miss him when I get married and only invite his wife. I’ll miss him when I have kids and they don’t get to meet the man that taught me how best to treat and respect their genius little minds. I’ll miss him when I make tomato soup, when I stop to breathe and meditate, when I take out the garbage, when I’m late for work, when I’m eating a burrito and no one says “YOU’RE a burrito”.

You can miss someone and not want them to be alive again, just by remembering them fondly. You can learn anything you want to as long as you go at your pace and stop trying to impress anyone, chances are they’re not paying attention and you’re stressing for no reason. You can go out into the world and treat strangers like they’re your closest friends, it will confuse them and make them believe in humanity. You can be mad at the world and still love it, with all your heart if you decide to. You can pretty much do anything you want to, even if you think you’re not capable of it, as long as you decide to and focus on that one thing, with both hands.

Thanks for reading, fuckface squared.

Who should i be?

TLDR;

If you don’t like who you are, then start being the person you want to be. Pretend it’s who you are, and catch the things about yourself you don’t like. Squash those things. And If you want to get better at anything, read, practice, watch YouTube videos on it. Subscribe to email newsletters about it. Write about it. Listen to music that makes you feel closer to it. But don’t fucking sit there doing nothing and pretend it’s changing. No one ever felt fulfilled while going with the flow.

My best friend lives in Germany. He’s been married a few years now, and they’re planning on having kids down the line. He just bought a house, and did it right too. They took out a loan for more than what the house costs, and spent some money renovating it, this way they can make it as they see fit. He and his wife each get their own “hobby room” as well as kid’s bedrooms. He’s on his way to being a father. He’s already a home-owner and on the path to inheriting a decently successful business. There’s nothing really important about that, other than this one issue:

He wants to know what a successful life is.

As much as I love my friend, I don’t know how to explain to him that he is already on that path. Maybe the issue is that having a wife, a home, and moving towards having kids isn’t exactly success. Really, it depends on what you’re doing with yourself if you’re going to feel successful. But more than that, I don’t think he wants to know how to feel successful quite as much as he wants to feel fulfilled. You could be wildly successful, but if none of it fulfills you then how could you feel glad for it? Success is so broadly defined when it comes to our language, that it’s hard to really pinpoint what it means for everyone. To hit the nail on the head, you’d have to be playing whack a mole. What I believe, is that self-evaluation can help, for certain. I know what my friend needed, but it made me think about people as a general rule, and how we all sort of need that bit of focus here and there. So this is for all of you, as long as it helps even one of you.

My buddy is creative. He’s extremely creative. He’s so creative that it makes me feel like i’m not creative enough so I start creating more just to keep up with all the creating that he does. Not sure what that says about me, but it makes me value our friendship. Lately, he stopped writing. He stopped drawing. He wasn’t even writing or playing his guitar anymore. All he really had left was building lego sets, playing tabletop games, and video games (admirable hobbies, no issue there). The problem was he wasn’t creating anything of his own anymore. He was building on other people’s work, instead of his own. So here’s to all you creative types out there who no longer write because they’re too busy. To all those people who don’t draw anymore (kudos to Coco for picking up the pad again), to anyone who has put down the instrument they used to play, start again. One of my favorite rappers has an entire song dedicated to the idea of giving up on art and the regret which comes with it.

“i let my fears materialize,
I let my skills deteriorate
Haunted by the thought of what I should’ve been continuing
a mission that was rooted in a 20-year affinity….
… I left some work to bury alive,
I let my means of being dissolve
I let my person curl up and die” [Aesop Rock, Rings from The Impossible Kid, 2016]

So to reiterate, when you’re creative and gain pleasure from your creativity, don’t give it up. I tell you this from personal experience: I’m writing this for you right now, and it makes me feel fulfilled. So with an example on the table, let’s discuss what exactly that means. And before you ask “what if I don’t have any creativity in me?” We’ll get to that.

Success is defined first and foremost as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. Then, it is defined as “the attainment of popularity or profit”. So why do we focus so damned much on that second definition? It’s easier to shoot for a concrete idea than it is an abstract one. With the first definition, Success is just accomplishing what you set out to do. But you would have to actually figure out what you want to accomplish first. The second definition gives you the answer, “popularity or profit”. So either you become very well known, or you become rich. Easy right? Fuck no. But it’s a better start than a blank slate. That’s the problem. Alan Watts had a great little snippet on this idea which I’m leaving for you to watch, but I’ll summarize.

Alan Watts on School/Music

We spend twelve years in school being told that at thend we’ll become something. Then we’re told we’ll go to college and become something. Then we join the workforce, and we’re told to climb the career ladder and we’ll become something. Then we wake up 40 years later realizing we became something alright. We became the same mistake everyone else made. What mistake? We didn’t do what we really wanted to. We did what worked for us at the time and went with the flow. Fuck. That. My buddy had been allowing things to happen to him instead of making them happen. That’s the root of his issue. And it’s likely the root of yours too.

[the next bit is POINT A, if you’re not looking for a bit of helpful advice, skip to POINT B]

We’re not passive creatures. There’s a reason you feel excited when you finish cleaning the apartment. The same reason it feels good to get all your bills paid, to have finished food shopping, to finish that major project you’ve had on your desk for weeks, or that thesis paper that you slaved over for months. You felt FULFILLED. You felt like you completed something. Those moments are success, those moments are the embodiment of pure fulfillment. Now, of course, there is the issue of making this happen constantly enough that you are actually feeling it. What is the easiest way? Personally, I like keeping a daily notebook. Just a small little pocket book that you can jot down in. It doesn’t even need to be a book, there are tons of free little apps you can get on your phone, tablet, whatever device you choose and be productive. It’s not that keeping a to-do list or a notebook will make you successful, it’s that it will help you to pinpoint what you need to be successful. Now i’m sure a few of you are thinking “well, yeah but I don’t really think that is going to help”. Well:

You have never heard anyone say “I tried keeping an agenda/schedule, didn’t work for me”
The least organized people I know and the most organized people I know have both tried keeping journals upon my constant recommendation and urging, and no one has yet to be at a loss for it. It only helps you get better. It only helps you improve. You don’t need to jot down what you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. It could be as simple as “laundry, sweeping, shower” and I assure you, you’ll be more likely to get it done than if you had not written it down. Now, what does this have to do with fulfillment? Success? In writing these things down, you have a go to source for accomplishments. I know multiple people who feel more accomplished when they keep a notebook and cross out the things they’ve listed in it.

POINT B

Now this is just a minor tip and it’s not a huge one at that. Chances are you’re looking for a little more of an answer than “keep a notebook” so here’s something. If you haven’t already been reading books on how to better yourself, then you should probably start to. Even if you just read one chapter every month, it’s still doing more for yourself than if you didn’t read it at all. The idea being, you could stand in this same place your whole life, or you could take it one extremely slow step at a time and still get somewhere with it. We have this sort of strange dilemma where we don’t want to work hard, we want it given to us, easily, and simply, but that’s just not how it happens. It’s not going to hit you on a Tuesday in January, especially not after the fifth year in a row of failed new years resolutions. It’s going to hit you when you start reading up on how to improve who you are. I highly recommend checking out Alan Watts, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ryan Holiday, just to springboard you. If those three don’t trigger something in you, get you moving in even the slightest bit, then I’m not sure I could do anything to help. But I will leave you with snippet from Vonnegut:

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be”

 

Coming back to Facebook

Hey there everyone!

It’s been a while since you’ve all heard from me. Here’s a little explanation:

While I enjoyed being the source for many people to have unbiased and focused commentary of both sides of the American political coin (as well as memes and other internet vomit), I found that Facebook was time consuming and kept draining me of the energy that I knew belong elsewhere. I took the past few months to let go of Facebook and figure myself out. I spent time with my girlfriend, and less with my phone. I played some of the one hundred and fifteen video games I own, read some of the eighty-four books that i own and haven’t read, and wrote in three of the six different blank notebooks that I wasn’t using before. I realized that I have most of the things that I want, I just wasn’t where I wanted to be. Most of my problems stemmed from poor time management and my inability to fight distractions and actually do the things that I wanted to do.

“This is the real secret of life—to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” –Alan Watts

I watched a lot of different people on YouTube, listened to some podcasts, spoke with some friends who were taking charge of their lives and doing shit, and realized that I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do, but I was definitely helping my friends as best I could. That means I was doing one of the things that really made me happy, but I wasn’t doing all of the things that I knew would make me happy.

1. Helping You Guys. Friends, family, fans, etc.

Then I made a little list of the things I knew I really wanted to do:

2. Study Video Games and write for them
3. Write on a regular basis, and hopefully help strangers through it.
4. Read more and understand the things I was reading from an author’s view
5. Understand what frustrates me, instead of letting it frustrate me.

These things line up and intersect to a degree. In writing regularly I can let off the steam from what frustrates me and look back on it. In reading more I can find the books and writers that cover Video Games in a way that helps further my understanding of it. There are more goals of course. I am pursuing my A+ certification and looking forward to a day-job career in computer repair/configuration. I’ve recently started a small business called “Rabbit Repairs” that also hooks up home systems for people that want to live a better connected and simpler life using technology. I started selling stuff that I don’t use on Ebay (thanks Gary Vee! everyone should check him out too), and began to organize my money so that I’m not spending on anything that isn’t helping me further my goals.

This all probably sounds like some self-help bullshit, but it’s not where I’m headed. I’m just sharing with you where I’m at right now, and where I’m headed. I’m always glad to help people get themselves back on track, but you can only help people that want to help themselves. Essentially, if you want help then by all means reach out and I will always do my best. To this day, I still pride myself on being there for my friends in any way that I can, but I’m also trying to focus on myself more than I used to and get shit done.

Five years from now, this post will be something people don’t read anymore because there will be much more important and relevant stuff to read by me. But I also want to say thanks to all of you that did read it, because it shows you care and are here with me for this journey. I love you all, as I always have and always will. You can always shoot me an email at mathewrabbit418@gmail.com and we’ll set up a time to grab coffee or lunch somewhere. There are few things i enjoy more than coffee with a friend or food (food is always good), so please, be the reason I get to enjoy either and your company.

Today, tomorrow, and always
-MG