Apologies.

Did you know that sometimes you’re supposed to feel guilt? Like, sometimes you’ve done something wrong, and you should feel bad about it.

That’s a crazy thought isn’t it? 

I apologize a lot. It’s in my nature. I’m the type of person who wants to be liked; not because I’m insecure, but because I generally like most people, and it feels good when they like me back. That being said, I’m human. I say stupid things. I get my foot stuck in my mouth. Overall, I can be a real dummy dumb sometime’s. I’m shy and hyper and just a real mixed bag of thoughts (as you can probably tell from my blog).

But here’s the thing, I don’t apologize because I think it’s going to make people like me more. Even though I do like being liked, just like everyone else, when I say sorry it’s because I really mean it. 

One of the reasons I bring that up is because it really PISSES me off when people don’t apologize. You know the type, never apologizes for anything, generally a more masculine or proud person. They refuse to apologize even when they know they’re in the wrong. I remember when I was a kid, I said I was sorry to an older dude I knew. He said to me, “Never apologize, just say ‘my bad’”. 

I think that’s dumb.

RESPONSIBILITY

You know what apologizing does? It means you’re taking responsibility for your actions. A genuine apology means that you have reflected on your actions and acknowledge that you 

messed up. When you’re able to do that it makes you grow into a less selfish person.  

Being considerate of people you care about is cool.

THE WHEEL OF GUILT

Generally, when you feel guilty for an action that you made it’s good to reflect and figure out why you feel guilty. If you can accurately describe why you feel guilty, and you know that the fault lies with you, apologizing is the next step. You know what ISN’T the next step? More guilt. 

I hate it when people torture themselves with guilt. Yes I get it you’re just such a wonderful person you can’t believe you messed up blah blah blah. Are you finished yet? 

Guilt is a momentary sign that you need to make a change. If you want to crucify yourself because you did something wrong, you probably need some therapy, or jail time, or something. 

THE BOY WHO CRIED APOLOGY

Yeah okay so here’s the thing though. When you say sorry, mean it. Like I said earlier, when you become the type of person who takes responsibility and apologizes for their actions, people want you to be genuine about it. If you’re apologizing too much, or don’t seem honest about it, people are going to dislike you even more because you make the impression that you are a people-pleaser.

Self respect is dope. Chicks dig it. 

TIGHT ROPE

Do you apologize at all, or too much? Tell me what works for you, I’m still figuring out this whole “life” thing.

Photo by FuYong Hua on Unsplash

(Apologetic kitty-cat IS SO CUTE)

Love the head you’re in.

Aren’t you grateful for the head that you have? I’m super thankful for it, even though I think my actions would say otherwise. Don’t we all kind of treat our brains like our servants? “Say something clever!”, “Have a good idea!”, “Wake up!”, “Ugh, you’re so dumb why didn’t you say something better!”.
I thought about my brain like it was some sort of indentured servant today and it made me laugh. Just think you’ve got this little guy in your head all the time. He makes your body run as effectively as he can given the crap that you feed it. Then, on top of that it’s constantly working to give you ideas, help you remember, and essentially do your bidding all the time.
You’d think that you’d be able to give it a break when you sleep, but in actuality it’s working even HARDER while you sleep.
We all need to give our brains some love sometimes. So here’s a few ways you can do that:

  1. READ

YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING THAT WERE YOU.
Your brain loves reading. You may think that it hates it, that you’re bored. Well stop. Stop that. You love it, your brain loves it, keep reading. It allows you to imagine new places, have new ideas, experience things that you’re never going to experience in your own life. Reading is magical, your brain wants it.
2. Meditate or something
So your brain never rests, how do you give something that never rests a rest? You just don’t do anything apparently. Sit down, clear your head, smell some. . smells or something. What’s a soothing smell that clears your head? I think there’s tea that smell’s good. So I mean, I guess if you don’t meditate at least drink some tea.
Focusing on not thinking is a lot harder than you might suppose. It’s interesting how you start thinking of random things while you try to clear your head. Think of it like this, your brain is a servant that you are constantly yelling at and forcing to serve you at all times whenever you call. If I was that servant I would be on edge like nothing else if my boss just suddenly stopped yelling at me all the time. Your brain isn’t used to not being ordered around all the time, give it some time, focus on clearing your head, I’m sure your brain will love it.
3. Music
You know why you dance by yourself? Because you brain loves to feel the tunes. Gotta give your brain what it wants. Treat it right and listen to what it likes. Maybe you gotta pump those Lo-Fi jams and just settle into a comfy chair. Or maybe you gotta spray that Katy Perry all over the room and just get funky. Just like food is the way to a man’s heart, music is the way to the brain’s. . . heart. . . I’ve really gone off the wagon with terrible analogies.
4. Lastly, sleep.
Yeah just go to bed. I mean, it does make your brain work harder, but your brain still needs tons of sleep. It doesn’t help when you stay up late all the time.
Wait, I should go to bed.
I’m torturing my brain in order to write a blog late at night.
Ironic.

Magic.

I revisited one of my old blogs tonight as I was procrastinating writing this one. It’s probably one of my favorites that I wrote. Not because it’s anything incredibly special, but because I was really inspired when I wrote it; it’s called: Let It Be. . .

I’m particularly fond of it because it felt like it came from a really personal place. I’m not really afraid to bear my soul to strangers on the internet, but most of the blogs don’t drill that deep.

Anyways, I said that because I wanna talk about:

SEGUE

I wanna talk about

THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

or what I like to call:

BRAIN MAGIC.

One of my favorite albums of all time is by Dan Auerbach. The album name and title track is called “Waiting on a Song”, which accurately describes the creative process for musicians, artists, writers, etc.

The way you get a good idea is you wait for it.

I mean sure, smarter men than me probably have a much denser and more effective creative process. Maybe they play Mahjong and smoke a pipe while conversing about the stock market WHILST compiling poetry in their mind.

but I, peasant that I am, have a simple process:

When I want to create something I sit and think. Generally I think and stare at a wall, or drive in a car, or listen to music. Generally I listen to the air passing between my head.

(Sometimes when I’m thinking and listening to music my shoulders do a little jig that possibly helps the creative process, don’t know, have to investigate that further.)

It’s meditation, basically. When you’re focusing on clearing your head it makes it easier for you to think of ideas that you like. That doesn’t mean that this is the only way to have good ideas. Idea’s have a way of attacking you like a helpless animal when you least expect it; but it helps to make yourself available.

Go get eaten by that idea.

I don’t know if that was a good analogy.

Where was I going with this.

Your creativity (in my opinion) also stems heavily from your emotional state. Which I love. Your mood has a way of bringing out some really awesome sides of you if you’re able to tap into it in the right way. Some of the most provoking or inspiring thoughts I’ve had (like in the blog I linked above) I had because I was feeling a certain way.

I mean, obviously.

God is this just a state the obvious blog now? “Hey wanna start having ideas? maybe you should sit and think about them.”

Ah, well, too late.

Bye.

Obsession.

I think I read a story once about one of Einstein’s quirks: He’d often skip meals when he was working. He just forgot to eat. When he had an idea it enveloped him; he was consumed by it and couldn’t think about anything else.

Don’t you wish you were like that? I do. I’ve often been the type that doesn’t commit fully to my “brilliant” ideas. I’m sure you’ve had it happen before: You’ll get super excited to accomplish something new and interesting to you but after a while you lose a bit of steam and your momentum hits a brick wall.

It’s exhausting, giving up on your great ideas. Why can’t I just be like Einstein? Why can’t I just have that “obsessive” personality. That would just be so much easier. . .

Obviously that’s a naive thought. Guess what? You can be exactly like Einstein. He may have been “obsessed”, but I think the better term for it would be two fold: He was extremely disciplined, and laser focused. When he bent his mind towards a problem he would focus on it with all of his intensity. You could make the excuse that he was a supernatural genius. That people who are able to accomplish as much as he did have to be gifted.

He certainly was gifted, but you’re not trying to solve Einstein sized problems, or chase Einstein sized dreams. You’re dealing with ideas and dreams that are coming from your own head.

You’re capable of becoming completely obsessed.

You know, in a good way.

Don’t read this and start stalking people.

Anger.

Hey it’s August, and it’s me, Johnson. Let’s catch up:

I got a haircut.

I’m still listening to IGOR on repeat.

I’m moving back to Tulsa in a couple weeks, which I’m excited about.

My car keeps beeping and blinking lights at me, should I be worried?

Oh and I got flipped off by a little old lady today.

That little old lady gave me the inspiration to write this blog today.

Thanks I guess.

So I’m driving to work today and I stop at a four way stop sign. This stop sign is wonky. It’s wonky because one person has to stop a little further back than everyone else, and has to drive a bit longer through the intersection.

I had stopped at this part of the road and was progressing cautiously through my turn as old lady begins to stop. Old lady then begins gunning through the intersection before I had completed my turn, and flips me off. I assume she did this because she didn’t realize that I had already stopped at the intersection, and was completely, totally, in the right.

I had to tell you this story for two reasons:

1. Because it makes me feel better to tell others how right I am.

(reason 1.5 To prove that the angry old lady is a dummy dumb.)

and reason 2.

To prove how bad misplaced anger is.

I mean, obviously. But I guess some little old lady’s don’t know that yet.

Now, I say misplaced, but what I mean is this: I think anger stems from problems people have in life. It’s a consequence of your own actions and the actions of people around you.

Even more, I think anger stems from people not getting what they wanted, or what they expected. When people expect to be treated a certain way, or with a certain respect, and they’re not treated that way anger is a common response.

Anger is a tool, and like all tools you have at your disposal you can use it incorrectly.

Anger is a strong man’s weapon in order to correct injustice, and make change in your life. It’s a weak man’s tool to put other’s down, while not actually making a difference in anyone’s life.

Being enraged and taking action on impulse because of your ‘hot head’ is what I would consider stupid anger. That’s a child’s form of anger that sadly, some people don’t grow out of.  Making rash decisions based off of emotion is generally a mistake.

Being able to pause and look inside yourself. To understand why you feel angry, and to think about what steps you should take in order to affect the right kind of change that would be better for yourself and for people around you; that’s the right kind of anger.

Little old lady, this blog is for you. You flipped me off, that made me a little angry. Now, I know that we all have different ways of expressing our frustrations. If somehow, you made your way to my blog, I want to wish you all the best. I hope you take this experience to heart, and focus on becoming a better driver.

She was pretty old though. . . .  So. . . Not likely.

 

Ego.

A good blog has a theme. It’s conversational yet it has momentum, it takes you on a short journey. When I write I feel like i’m taking myself on a little journey through my own thoughts, and if I write it down correctly I’m able to take other people with me on that journey.

Sometime’s I’ve been able to do a better job at it, and other time’s it’s more comedic than insightful.

The goal has always been unclear though. Why do I have the desire to write down thoughts, stories, and feelings?

VALIDATION.

There’s a big fat word for you.

Here’s something you probably know about yourself: You want to know you’re doing a good job. Not only that, you want to feel like you’re a good person.

Now don’t get this confused. Most people want validation, whether that comes from themselves or others. People don’t want condescension. Patronizing someone because you don’t actually think they’re doing a good job doesn’t help anything or anyone.

The point of validation is to encourage things that are good. If it isn’t good, it should either be discouraged, or taught how to better succeed.

So is that why I write? I write a blog in order to feel more validated as a self-proclaimed writer who hardly ever writes?

Yeah no.

Well, maybe.

EGO.

Often I hear the word EGO associated with selfish and heedless people who only care about themselves.

I think a big ego is immensely important in order to be a more successful, and better person. An attitude of success and happiness stems from your own self worth; If you think you’re awesome you have a better chance of becoming awesome.

Ego doesn’t mean to underestimate your own faults, or to become a selfish ignorant jerk. It means that you have a good understanding of your own self worth, and you believe in yourself.

Praise, validation, and encouragement are all tools in order to inspire confidence and grow EGO. The bigger your ego, the less you need outward encouragement in order to feel good or successful.

Now, this is where the negative aspect comes in. If you have a massive ego and no frame of reference you can be considered an “ego-maniac”. Someone who thinks they’re amazing who probably isn’t very amazing at all. So how can you have a large ego without being an ego-maniac? How can you be humble and confident and all of those other good qualities people like?

Validation and ego are incredibly tricky things. You could have people in your life validating bad habits or ideas that you have because you’ve surrounded yourself in an echo chamber of stupid. You may not listen to people giving you constructive advice because your ego won’t let you be the person who’s wrong.

Life’s a balancing act. Ego is good. Everyone needs validation.

.

.

.

Disagree? Oh you’re a self sustained person who doesn’t need validation from anyone? And you’re doing great in life?

 

 

You probably have a massive ego.

Photo by Håkon Sataøen on Unsplash

Social Media.

In the spirit of appreciating meaninglessness in the materialistic waste of time that is social media; I decided to give you a brief synopsis of what these different platforms are, and what their role is in your social life.

Their are certain communities on the internet that are good, and help people become better while also curing a secret loneliness within them. I will not be talking about that today. Today I’m talking about the mundane, irrelevant, and pretentious mockery that is social media in it’s base form.

Let’s build this sandwich from the worst platform up.

Lettuce begin:

Facebook.

Sometimes I log into Facebook, realize what I’m doing, then immediately log out. Facebook is a disgusting amalgamation of the charred remains of good content. It consists of recycled memes, political humor (if you can call it that), baby pictures, and/or people getting married or engaged.

In order for you to actually see something that might interest you, like the life events of a close friend or family member; you have to sift through an insurmountable amount of garbage.

Also, ads. Ads everywhere.

No I don’t care that you fell off your bike and want to show us your bone sticking through your skin

No I don’t care that you care DEEPLY about the grammatical holocaust that is misspelling ‘they’re, their, there’.

Your ability to post memes or skits that other people made doesn’t make you funny.

Moving on:

Twitter.

It’s like Facebook but even more politically charged. There’s a greater sense of community, but if you follow more than a house-full of people you get bombarded with meaningless quotes and opinions from people you most likely don’t care about all the time. It takes a frustratingly large amount of time in order to see something meaningful that you appreciate, or an opinion that makes you think.

People on Twitter think they’re more intellectual than people on the other platforms.

They’re not.

Yes I have a twitter. Don’t @ me. I also have a Facebook; I’m going to continue to trash them and other platforms that I use daily:

This is a philosophical amount of hypocrisy.

Tumblr.

Tumblr?

Insta.

Insta is sleek and streamlined. You follow your friends, they post photo’s of things happening in their life with quasi-deep captions like:  “Live in the sun, dance in the rain”

It’s a better Facebook. It’s still Facebook though. There’s garbage everywhere. The discover page is littered with Insta-models, people flexin’, celebrities, and occasionally the rare talented photographer. It’s rare that you see photographs that actually inspire you. People don’t like being inspired creatively I guess; they prefer lust, envy, and recycled comedy.

Why am I bothering to write this.

REDDIT.

Your parent’s don’t know what this website is.

The hive-mind behemoth of Reddit. It’s a fascinating website filled with a fantastic amount of sorted communities. While I have a lot more respect for this website, and spend a lot more time on it than other websites; I’m also going to complain about it. Why not, this is my blog, that’s what I do here. I complain.

Reddit is the self-righteous know it all of the social media family. It’s the website you scroll through when you want to laugh silently through your nose while you’re procrastinating.

Or maybe you pretend that you’re becoming more well informed by listening to the singular opinion of a certain subreddit; while ignoring all other opposing viewpoints no matter how credible.

Reddit is a head rush of information. It still employs recycled jokes and meta-humor. It’s still a garbage social media website, but it’s probably one of the best.

Are there other SM websites?

Do they matter?

Uh, no. None of them matter.

The only one that matters is Runescape. Gotta go mine for four hours and talk to my guild about fishing.

Also, shout out to Snapchat. Haven’t used it for months and it’s still my favorite social media platform.

 

 

Limits.

Binging Friends is a heck of a way to spend a few weeks.

I’m not saying that’s what I’ve been doing, but it does indeed sound like a heck of away to spend a few weeks.

What have you been accomplishing recently? I don’t feel like I’ve been up to very much. It’s been relaxing and frustrating. I told myself this blog is for me, but what do I want to talk about? That’s what’s been on my mind a bit I think.

This is an avenue for me to work on my writing and expose my thoughts; though every time I’ve thought about the blog for the past few weeks I just sort of shifted it out of my mind. Its been a little fly buzzing around my ears that I just keep swatting away. Every day the subtle desire comes to write about something, but it gets nudged aside.

That gentle nudge has been bothering me lately. How easy it is to cap a passion that should be boiling inside me. How boring I am. How pointless I feel when I throw away my pen over a badly written sentence or two.

I look at someone else, someone who is not me. I think about their purpose, their dreams. Shakespeare was a focused man. His pen bent to his will, the only thing he broke was his back and his discipline for his passion. His passion was relentless. His genius was ever-flowing. Kurt Vonnegut wrote thousands of words only to dash them against the wall because it didn’t sound right. He woke to write his passion, if the only thing he had was a broken pencil and scattered scraps of paper he would still write something worth reading.

Where is that passion? Where is that meaning in myself? In yourself? Where is the passion in life, that fire, that purpose of being? These people you idolize into these genius figures of single mind and purpose, why can’t I just be like them?

Well, life isn’t fair I guess. We’re dealt a hand that we must play. We have opportunities to grow and improve, and that’s our choice.

I feel we limit ourselves by comparing ourselves to others who are better than us. There’s a mental battle I’m constantly dealing with when I try to write creatively. I tend to look at the negative aspect of how “it’s all been done before, so what could I possibly create?”

A subtle downside to this amazing and comfortable life we live in is that if you lack a singular purpose, you’ll probably be fine. You can live your entire life striving for nothing really in particular, and you’ll be fine. I don’t want to be fine. I want to accomplish something. The struggle, the battle is what boils that passion in our souls.

What do you want?

Are you limiting yourself by scattering your focus?

When I don’t work on what I’m passionate about, I feel empty inside. Yet I still have no problem putting it aside when there’s something easy I can distract myself with.

It’s hard to be single minded when there’s so much opportunity to be distracted. Whether that’s with friends or work or stress, it’s easy. The hard thing is focusing on what you want to accomplish, even when it’s not expedient.

Are you putting yourself down because someone else has accomplished more than you currently hope to accomplish?

Are you avoiding your passion because you fear it won’t be good enough?

I want to encourage you in your purpose today. No matter how high and lofty your goals are, as long as you remain disciplined and focused, you can do it. Stop putting off that desire within you. Don’t devalue your passion because your not as good as your idols.

If it’s your passion, stop limiting yourself.

*BOOK REVIEW* MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS.

SHOUT OUT TO MY FREAKY FRIDAY LOVECRAFT FANS OUT THERE. I just love that scene where Lindsey Lohan grows a bunch of squid arms and her and her mean girl squid squad eradicate the human race.

At The Mountains of Madness is a book by famous cosmic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a book about a group of scientists who discover an unknown and alien world in the unexplored dark regions of the Antarctic.

This book was my first taste of this strange world that Lovecraft invented.

I quite enjoyed it.

I had a conversation recently with a friend on what the actual point of reading is. I told him that in my opinion, books are a way of learning and experiencing ideas and worlds that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.

Not only is it a powerful tool to expand your mind, you can also experience vast and incredible universes similar or completely different from our own. This escapism is a window into the world and ideas that the author has created.

I would recommend escaping to the interesting and curious world Lovecraft has created. Here’s a few reasons why:

World building and atmosphere.

Let’s talk about ATMOSPHERE. It’s inescapable, curious, and fear filled. This book sucks you into a visceral and imaginitive world. The author does a great job of taking something plainly from our world and blending it realistically with the weird and alien.

The characters are a tool for you to view this strange world, the author doesn’t dwell on developing them or giving them much personality. That isn’t their purpose. Their purpose is to explore this finely crafted world and to show you what they find.

This writing style is called Antiquarianism. Yep, it’s a thing, I looked it up. It means that the characters or writer is more concerned about the imperical evidence rather than feelings or character development. This writing style works incredibly well for cosmic horror, because it allows us to gain a ton of information about this fictional world. The characters are not wheezing and fear stricken sheep, they’re scientists or reporters on a mission to discover. They put themselves in danger regardless of fear so they can learn about an ancient, alien, and hostile environment.

(By the way, this book is about aliens. Aliens with adorable little squid arms. Squishy, murdery, intelligent little aliens. Cosmic aliens. . . There’s also a big-ol’ Penguin or two.)

This book shows a brief moment in time in a fleshed out and ambitious fictional world. You travel through a dead city in the Antarctic, and learn about an ancient and supreme civilization. The book may be scary at points, but that’s not the point. The “idea” is the fear of the unknown. The insatiable lust for knowledge that pushes humanity into danger. The fear of things that are bigger than yourself. The book becomes tense and thrilling because Lovecraft is a great world-builder.

At The Mountains of Madness is an experience. It’s a pretty slow paced book that focuses on the details. While the details make it a bit dryer, it also steeps it in a heavy and realistic atmosphere that really makes the reader feel like the unexplainable and unrealistic events that are happening in the book could have happened.

Solid recommend. Love squid people? Love intelligent plants that come to life and eat all your dogs? This book might be for you.

You’ll also learn a ton about mural decorating and alien archetecture.

I’m gonna start a Cthulu Pinterest soon.

“Here’s how to make a hand-made squid bracelet”

“Here’s how to paint a mathematically perfect mural about the downfall of the elder ones”

Oh God I’ve become one of those weird Lovecraft people that makes strange references that nobody else understands.

And I’ve only read one book. Oh dear.

Risk.

Risk is the chance that things will not work out the way that you expect or calculate. Taking a risk means that you take a chance that you might fail, knowing that there is also a chance that you might succeed spectacularly.

I’ve met people that lived life in a very small bubble. Anxiety threatened to pop the bubble at any time, and the fear of risk trapped them in a small (depressing) world. I’ve also met people who constantly threw caution to the wind and made very stupid decisions. They would say they were taking a “risk” and it didn’t work out; when in reality they were being stupid.

I try to live life right in the middle of the risk zone. Most people live life there. It’s called a comfort zone, or something I guess. A comfort zone is the level of risk you are comfortable with, and is where you live your life. Some people have large comfort zones, which borders on stupidity; and other people’s comfort zones are so small they fear going outside because there’s a chance they’ll get the plague.

When I started writing this blog I was going to talk about how much of an advocate of RISK  I am. “The higher the risk, the higher the reward” I was going to say. I was going to frame it in a way that made perfect sense. My readers would say to me, “Johnson I can see now I need to take more risks, I need to smell the roses, I need to go skydiving, I need to ask for that promotion, I need to call that girl i’ve been meaning to call”. It was going to be highly uplifting.

Hundreds of hits I would’ve gotten.

I finally would’ve been able to hire that editor I’ve So (DeSpErAtley) NeEdeD.

I’m tired of talking about it though. Everyone knows that taking risks in life is generally a good thing, as long as you’re not stupid.

I think that’s a general caveat to anything that I say: take my advice, unless you’re stupid. Then don’t. Swaddle yourself up in a little blanket and make sure to protect your head with some kind of helmet as you continue through life.

Though I’m sure if you’re literate enough to read my silly scrawled sentences then you don’t have to worry about being too stupid.

Stupid people always think they’re smart, though.

So do smart people.

So does everyone.

I once talked to someone who thought they were completely and utterly average.

They must have been brilliant.

Or maybe they were just honest.

Moral to the story? Life is a risk. You’re going to die someday. It’s not going to suck for you because you’ll be dead. The thing that’s going to suck for you is if you live your life doing exactly what you hate doing, rather than what you want to be doing.

Don’t have the time or resources to do what you want? Make a change. It’s possible, your mindset just needs to change.

Don’t know what you want to be doing with your life? Welcome to the party. If you’re in that place like many of us, the best thing to do is start expanding your comfort zone. Take more risks. Find what you love by breaking out of your boring, exhausting, silly life.

You’re literally risking your life every day anyways.

Good luck I guess.

 

Photo by Sylas Boesten on Unsplash