I look back at this world that used to exist, and I miss it. I wonder if it's still here, and I'm not looking in the right place. That's hard to imagine. Back then, things aligned more easily. I was just being me, and life was eventful. Maybe I should say that life was generous. Now I can't tell if the world has changed that much, or if I changed. I'd say it was probably both.
I miss my thoughtful LiveJournal friends. Everyone is on Facebook and Twitter, and it's very different. I don't feel connected to people. Maybe things were always this way, and I didn't notice. Was it just an illusion waiting to unravel? Everything I was, and everything I am, wasn't enough to keep it together. I remember how I thought things were going the way I wanted them to, but in the end—which is now, for the moment—I had to discover that being myself meant being lonely.
When I'm typing about this, my mind prods me with, "Hey, don't you remember when you went back to that karaoke bar you hadn't been to for three years, and people remembered you, and the bar paid for your drinks and the manager said that having great singers made the bar seem more legitimate?" Things like that can happen. I guess there are qualifications for what amounts to the feeling of companionship, and those qualifications have become heightened for me. I might have to admit that things have changed for the better in the last few years, and there was so much that was wrong for me, before, that the empty space left behind after pushing the wrong away has been more tremendous than I could have ever imagined.
I've had opportunities that I never thought I would have. I think I defined myself partially by the things I thought I couldn't ever have, or wouldn't ever happen. I fashioned my life around expectations of limited success. There are some things that I've wanted for so long that the possibility of having them feels overwhelming. I know that I haven't prepared for success to the extent that I need to. My imagination is powerful, but not as powerful as it needs to be. We need to be able to imagine a life different than the one we have known. I reflect on the penning of the song "Loyal" and how those who have so much talent, fame and wealth can still be preoccupied with issues many of us left behind in high school. If you have the world at your fingertips and you can't find a good girl, the problem isn't with women, it's with you.
That's a reality check. People have trouble letting go of where they came from and how they were, and I do too. Well, if the song I finished recently holds up to recording as well as I hope, I'm one-tenth of the way through my album. I can say that because nobody is reading this. I started writing seriously about a decade ago, but my style changed, so I don't think I'm going to use my older music.
I need to write more. Balancing everything is challenging.
I'm not sure what I'm doing. I have quite a few aspirations, but they're distant. I feel them and their power, but I can't take hold of them and blast off into outer space. When I think about typing in a journal, I don't really want to. I used to think that it was complicated to explain, but after so much time, I can say that it's mostly about two things: knowing that I care more than other people do, and the completeness of existing that solitude allows me. I can see me, but other people can't. They can see aspects of me, but they don't care enough about living and the world around them to have the vision to see me. When I'm by myself, I don't have to be confined in the little cube that contains their boxed-in version of reality. And I don't have to be constantly reminded of how much they don't care.
I don't want to be trapped in a me-sized-cage though. I just have to keep thinking about everything from various perspectives and make sure that I'm not ignoring any possibilities for myself. I've given thought to the possibility that I need time to finally grieve over a platitude of disappointments. I always thought that I needed to keep pushing myself, and I accomplished a lot, but I was never at my best. Really, I was always bracing myself throughout my childhood, alienated and on the run from almost everyone. No opportunity to just be supported and create a stable foundation, just finding shelter, losing that shelter, recovering and repeating. But now, I think I'm in a better situation.
I wanted to find that girl, or try to anyway. The one from "ancient times." After I was so motivated by the memory of her, I realized more than ever that I'm not in the condition to do anything like that. Letting myself rest used to be a difficult feat. I want to get to where I want to be, and I've been tired of where I've been since I was in preschool (and knew that I was far more emotionally mature than my parents.) I have to rest though. All the while, I feel my talents and creativity becoming greater and greater. And I feel soreness in the entirety of my pecs because I do push-ups every hour with one of my co-workers. 36 regular pushups one hour, 22 triangle-push-ups the next, alternating every hour.
You know, submerged and entranced by the bubbles squiggling desperately to the surface. There is air somewhere, and there is life. I'm drifting in a restless sleep, flinching at rays of sunlight that startle me and remind me that I used to breathe air. Wouldn't that be amazing? The others are sleeping all around me, and I wonder if being alive is lonely.
I thought things weren't right for a long time, and then—basically the last post. The funny thing about that is that I'd been working on a novel in my imagination and one of the central themes is the way a person or being can seem perfect when they don't exist (when all you do is imagine them.) You control what they're like and it isn't surprising that they never disappoint you. And then, all those years, I thought of that girl that effectively didn't exist for me.
I've been thinking about a girl relatively often since I moved away from her eight years ago. Okay—that sentence doesn't even begin to illustrate the gravity of my feelings for her. I don't think I'm good at expressing myself externally unless I'm doing it through music. I mean, I could be, but maybe I'm cautious about it. I'm wary of people being unable to relate to me. Now I've got a bad habit of withholding my thoughts and feelings. I release minimal details to others so that I don't end up making myself feel alienated. That could be part of what's not me-like about me anymore. I used to get a kick out of alienating myself.
So, I loved this girl, Callie. And it's difficult to say whether I was being smart or stupid when she asked me what she should do about her boyfriend, and I didn't tell her that we should be together. But that was many versions of me ago. It's just that you don't forget the way you felt, and when there's nothing to replace that, the ghosts of those feelings haunt you. I've wanted to feel like that with someone—well, not immediately after I left. Maybe a few years went by before it started sinking in. I dated other girls, but that whole era, and who I became when she was my inspiration—I'm not sure I ever found that again.
I couldn't find her on Facebook. I couldn't find her at all, but I'd heard that she got married to the same guy she was cheating on when she was into me. I kept wondering if that worked out. I wanted to see her. A single photo would have been amazing, but there was nothing. I just thought about her for years.
Recently, when I discovered there had been someone incredible (and possibly perfect for me) kind-of in my life a while before Callie, I started reconsidering the whole Callie thing. For example, why would she have married such a boring jerk? Couldn't she tell that I was the complete opposite of everything that guy was? And if she really valued the qualities that I possessed, why would she have committed herself to someone who was essentially a glaring void of everything she found desirable? I don't know, but it must mean that she wasn't the ideal girl for me.
I saw a photo of her today. It was literally breathtaking. No, not because she's just as pretty as before, but because that photo externalized her. It was like, "There she is with that guy, and what a dumb-ass he is. Yes, that situation is real." All that I'd had were the memories of how she used to be. And I still cherish those memories, and she almost doesn't look different at all, but now there's distance between me and my concept of her. Hopefully the happy-feelings-ghosts will be able to move on.
I might wake up tomorrow and not care at all about her. I'm not even sure why I'm typing this. I thought about it all, and I thought it was noteworthy, but now I'm thinking, "That's dumb! Why even bother?" Should more things be noteworthy? Do I need to be dumber? Haha. I guess I'll start putting things out there. I've become so bitter!
Writing a journal is one of the best investments a person can make (or I can make, at least.) For me, today, on my birthday, being taken on a tour of my life nine years ago—hosted by my prior self—has been thrilling. Hey, let me select a mood icon to oversee my writing. I haven't been able to do that since I left MySpace behind.
It feels good to be here. I thought a part of my heart had fallen out, but when I'm here, I feel the warmth of it in my chest again.
I don't know how to comprehensively express how blissful it is for me to read each and every one of these posts. It's almost as incredible as time-traveling. I had been irrefutably in love, something I can't relate to now. But when I'm reading my own words about it, I know exactly how it felt. Memories pour in and the words sprout into a vivid world. I breathe it in, close my eyes and feel the present transform as well. The people have changed and the surroundings have changed, but the sensation is always pristine. I guess I can time-travel after all, albeit throughout this one particular dimension.
You can't always get people back, though. You have to realize that physical death isn't the only way to lose someone. People like to say that we were always here, like we were stardust before, but that's not true. It takes a strictly specific combination of various elements to make us exist, and even after achieving the status of being biologically alive, our environment helps to shape us into who we are. Some people aren't as resilient as others, and if the situation changes drastically enough, they change drastically as well. That girl I used to be in love with—I wish that she was still reading this. No, not the version of her that still exists. The one from back then. That girl is gone forever.
I'm not sure, but I might wish that Facebook and Twitter had never happened. I liked being in touch with people the way that I had been here on LiveJournal. No one that wasn't supremely relevant to my life ever read this journal. This was a special, privileged world. You had all this space and time to really think about things and produce something intimate and meaningful. Now you're supposed to blurt out every single sentence's worth of thought that you have on Facebook or Twitter, to the whole world. And you know, the new social experience doesn't feel nearly as special to me.
I accomplished more than I thought I had. The memories in this journal concerning my cover band are more valuable than I ever thought they would be. In those times, our bass player was alive and vibrant. Last year he died from cancer that began in his lungs, courtesy of cigarette smoking.
I felt hopeless for a long time. Sometimes I still think that I'm done, but then I consider that I would be considerably better at everything that I've ever wanted to do. The passion is what's missing. I read Kurt Cobain's suicide note, and the reason he gave for killing himself is essentially the same thing that I have been experiencing for a while. I mean, he didn't have to kill himself because he didn't think he'd be able to write sincere music anymore. He could have just taken a break and not released anything until he felt that he loved it again (a la Justin Timberlake's years of interlude between albums.) But I understand. He was perishing in the way that you perish without suffering a physical death, or he thought he was. I still look back at the way I used to be and wish that I was still that way. I haven't given up though.
I finished my second arrangement in Mario Paint Composer with my version of the Kid Icarus Theme from the NES game. It's pretty much exactly the same as far as I can hear, aside from Mario Paint's limited octave range and some minor flourishes I added, because I did it by ear to train my external sound-to-mind translation abilities. Going through the piece note by note made me realize how incredible NES song compositions can be, and I've got myself an 8-bit NES sound program now to write the actual stuff with... but it's complicated. I'm fascinated by chip music--most likely because I spent so much time listening to music on my C64 as a kid.
For some reason, working with the capabilities of a Super Nintendo when arranging music is highly addictive. Here's one of my favorite songs, "U KNow What's Up" as I recreated it in Mario Paint Composer. It's a free program so check it out!