So I learned that there’s a cruise ship that takes you around the world for 3 years and you basically live there: man I want it, I want it so bad! It’s like the dream come true of a rebel soul with true wanderlust! And that’s me!
Now think about the planning and other aspects that entail living in a boat for 3 freaking years, lol. So you will seldom see people you know and will be surrounded of temporary neighbors as crazy as you enough to embark into this adventure and you will probably get attached to some of them but these are nomads from across the world potentially so it’s not meant to last longer than three years; wow, that’s an interesting social experience! You get to train at the gym and be fed, so of course it’s up to you to choose the food that fits your lifestyle and also you’ll get super spoiled and once you go back to living in the land it will be quite a process to get used to cleaning, cooking and so on.
Now that’s living in the boat, but of course, a huge part of it (or the core of the whole experience) is not to have a floating room in a floating building, but rather to travel to 135 countries. Maaaaan! How do you manage work? I’ve been thinking about it seriously, I’d have to ask and calculate the time spent at the sea and do my best to compress all of my working inside those timeframes, because once we hit the shore I want out! And I’d want it all, all that I can see and do!
Also, if you do the math and you’re used to rent in an expensive city, then the whole pricing thing isn’t that crazy, not at all actually. But how about wanting to do trips and excursions in the places you wish to know the most? I mean, would you have the opportunity of travelling around the world to conservatively stay near the shore? So you’d need to plan your finances very well and have self control for sure: priorities!
In any case here’s the MV Gemini:
I will be writing on this blog from one of its cabins folks, it will happen.
What else, besides turning into Luffy?
Well, who knows, maybe I find a devil fruit during my journey and get some super power?
I’m writing again, that’s what’s up. And I’m happy about it, although it’s a very challenging thing to do these days for the reasons I’ve explained in my previous entries. But I’m pumped about it, for sure.
Besides your ocassional “Night Journal”, I’m writing other stuff, exercises that I find in my Creative Writing course such as “Forgotten Nebulas“, most of those will take the shape of a short story of sorts. And I’m also writing for a more ambitious project, a story to be released as a series of chapters here and in Wattpad; very soon you’ll get the first chapter and I don’t want to talk more about it since I’d like the story to surprise you.
I’m saving friends, dreams are awaiting and I need to fund them, it’s been so hard to save money! And I’m pretty clear that just saving money in the long run is losing money to inflation, so I’m actively working on some ideas to make some of that money work in some “low-risk” ventures; cause I can’t afford to play “Wolf of Wallstreet” at this juncture in my life, I need to prove a foreign embassy that my funds are stable and that I’ve kept a particular amount for more than a year and that makes me more conservative (thankfully) when it comes to risking hard earned money working like a motherfucker.
So yeah, that’s what’s up with me; also I have a headache, I’m listening to this really cool playlist and I’m about to hit the gym since it seems that I’m now one of those guys who need to be there daily. I have a very strict weightloss goal for this year, and so I’m training to run marathon (don’t get me wrong, I’m starting and I’m still fat 😦 ), but I’m less fat and I can start seeing gradual body changes; so I walk/run in the morning and lift weights in the evening; combined with my hectic lifestyle you already know about.
And all of this is super tiring but way, way better than watching life pass before my eyes in comfort; I feel awake and my reality is not what I want it to be, but it’s better than it’s ever been.
Struggle, effort, change… with time become a powerful engine and a source of much satisfaction.
Big hug my friends, you’ve read me in gloomy moments and now I want you to participate in my hopes as well. I’d like to think I can inspire some of you to live, just to embrace life and do as much as you can with it.
Abruptly, as it’s customary in tropical climates, the heatwave that was now making each work day seem like a sticky mirage, turned into sudden, violent rainstorms.
I’d rather have the rainy days.
And coincidentally, those beautiful dark days that come as an early omen of a long winter (rainy season here to be precise) , begin one day after I decided to write again at night; so what used to be the “Late Night Journal” now becomes the “Night Journal”, just because my current efforts break out of the 9-5 work cycle don’t grant me the luxury of getting to be the bohemian writer whose window is lit when everyone else is sleeping.
At least not right now….
Why and how?
Historically, the “Late Night Journal” section of this blog is the one with the most followers, I find this amazing and beautiful because it’s also the most personal section.
I purposely stopped writing in 2023, or rather I *paused* it for the sake of focus and to engage in a struggle to ensure I can dedicate to writing and other artistic/cultural projects in the future. So this year, I decided no matter what happened, I had to keep two jobs and save X%/month until I reach “Y” total amount, where “Y” is this completely lifechanging amount of money that could help “sponsor myself” to develop my projects without being worried about bills.
Because of how obsessive I am, I’m not only double-working, but I’m also building an e-commerce business and starting to build an online learning course catalog in technology, since this is an area I’m experienced in. Now, before you judge me too hard, and this is not something I often use to communicate, I am what you would call “gifted” while also autistic and this gives me the ability to live in isolation while also doing many things at the same time; this also brings a lot of challenges since I often feel quite the failure and nothing I do is ever enough, because if I’m “gifted” I should also be changing the world somehow rather than juggling jobs and fighting for weird projects only I care about, right? That site I linked (https://rainforestmind.com/) explains these predicaments and if you’re a gifted adult or know one who’s going through some crisis due to their peculiar mind I’d recommend you to read this therapist, Paula Prober; I don’t read her super often but my wife does and it’s been thanks to my wife that I’ve grown to learn more about myself (and about my son who’s got the same situation).
In any case, these activities are taking all of my current life (I wrote about it in my previous come back post, but I guess in less detail and a more motivational fashion). And yet, I decided it was time to come back to writing!
A quest: For me, for others
All throughout my struggles, there’s always a point where I stop and I breath and realize the outcome of this will help myself and help others. I believe I’ve written about this before, but one of the pains that give direction to my life is wasted lives and wasted potential.
I believe people come in many different shapes and flavors, but everyone has a talent that’s of divine origin, something God-given, something beyond flipping burgers or writing code to fix the latest bug.
Don’t get me wrong, we need all of those chores to be completed, we need everyone’s work and contribution to society, but aren’t we something beyond our function, no matter how critical this may be? See, I don’t believe any single human being is meant to be a gear in the machine and then go to waste and be replaced, I refuse to and it’s been like this since I was a kid, it’s been a very existential discussion with myself.
I have fought for many years against my current role in society (a cyber security specialist), feeling I’m misplaced but then also feeling guilty about hating my job because it’s also such a blessing. Quite a contradiction! I have been unemployed and in harms way in the past, I’ve known the horrible situation of lacking the basic assurances an adult needs to have for himself and his family, I know this first hand! So I decided that there’s no way I will hate my job, or condemn my life as a worker bee while I achieve something better, nor will I judge others for seeking the comfort of basic personal and household security.
I used to listen attentively to a certain breed of “entrepreneurs” who would actually criticize working class people; their narrow thought is similar to that of a religious sect and they surround themsleves with a bunch of entrepreneurial wannabes that just repeat their distorted “struggle and pain” doctrines like parrots without noticing how unreasonable they are. I used to be very affected by people like these, and thought they were right and I was just too weak, but you know what? All these people would be nothing without us worker bees! Yeah that’s right!
We buy the stuff they produce
We use the services they offer
We work in their companies, we make their dreams a reality
We approve of their ideas or bury them in Social Media
We hold their livelihood in our hands, we’re just not conscious of it oftentimes!
It’s nonsense for a successful entrepreneur to despise the same people they are always trying to please via tremendous marketing and product engineering efforts. Luckily, it’s just a bunch of big-mouthed ones that have this toxic behavior, I think many great business people are mindful of how important the ordinary citizen is for their own lives and businesses and how a real measure of success for any great business person is their ability to satisfy and improve the lifes of us, the “ordinary people”.
So yeah, I know this was a detour, but it’s important for me to communicate that I respect and endure this stage of being inserted in the gears and cogs and not being quite distinguishable among them. It’s a test of endurance for me, and a blessing as well, I’m proud of my origins because they make my struggle much more valuable and much more epic.
But I also know I want out; I don’t think that’s everyone’s fate, as a matter of fact I know many who would never think about it because they have found a good life within the gears and cogs and that’s quite frankly, most people. And many times I envy them, but lately I’ve come to understand such envy is also nonsense because I would never be able to force myself into fitting something other than my own shape.
So, I came recently to a very tough crossroads:
I’m working to pay for my own opportunity, for my own shot at culture and arts, this is my dream, my plan and I believe in it, so much that I’m making a brutal effort to make it happend no matter what. At the same time, every day, month, week that I focus in making money to fund my own project I’m losing contact with the end goal and feel sucked into being a money-making machine. Talk about one fucked up paradox!
And while I can only devote a fraction of time to my life goal compared to what I’m fighting for, I will make the time each week (if possible each night) to write something; this is my lifeline to my dream, to the future I’m building. In this blog, the two worlds in dispute for my heart collide.
How is this quest related to others?
I have a firm belief that society is, for the most part, sick.
It’s illness is related to a lack of individual awareness and purpose, as humans we will always create systems, this is inevitable and it’s (for better or worse) the “engine of civilization”; systems as we know them in the age of computing, are perfectly ordered machines comprised of components dedicated each to its own function, replaceable, upgradeable.
Ever since the ancient civilizations, the rulers among mankind have strived to build systems, while facing the huge challenge that humans have their own heart and desire and will only become a gear or a cog in someone’s system if they have a reason and motivation to do so. This is why the history of mankind is so full of violence, because coercion is a foundational means to make people work for a “common goal” which could be re-written as “the goal of a ruler who needs a lot of people to achieve it”.
With time (not without horrible exceptions), force as a means of uniting people towards a goal has given way to deception as the primary means of doing so; the larger the system and the most benefits, the less effort to sell this idea that your best contribution to mankind is being a perfect consumer and “model citizen”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a pure agent of chaos, but I’m a dissident of human dignity. I’d rather see individuals fulfilled imperfectly than helping perfectly organized prisons of efficiency and comfort.
This is a much larger topic, and it will certainly require more articles to address it, but I believe my own path and the effort I’m doing to expand myself to my full potential can become guidance for others willing to undergo personal transformation, I said before that I’m not a pure agent of chaos, I’d rather see myself as an agent of hope and deliberance.
I’m back with “Late Night Journal” folks. I know, I always say that, and then: poof! I disappear in a purple mist. But, I want to make this type of post more regularly.
It’s interesting though, I feel like this is the “Meta Journal” because I’m taking this entry to speak about the journal itself. I’m super happy because well, I’ve published quite a bit in this blog already, and I know it needs a redesign, it needs love and patience, and maybe some money cause I’m a lousy web designer (well, not a web designer at all actually) so… I know, I know…
But on the other side, I’m so thankful for all of you who read me despite my awful blog design and even the annoying, scammy-looking ads that WordPress.com decided to put on it (cheap suckers!). I will fix these things, I’ve just been quite broke after I lost my second job as I told you in the past, but guess what? Guess, guess! Yes, after some terrible interviews, weeks of anxiety, and harassing my recruiter, I landed a new job and my main purpose after taking the needed portion to adjust my family’s finances (the recession is hitting like a freaking bitch), is to start a big savings plan to raise some capital for both my online training business (technology related) and of course, for my artistic projects. I’m so thrilled!
Folks, feel free to feel happy for me, this is the result of so much suffering, believe me, if you like underdog stories, I’m your guy!
So what’s up with the journal?
Yeah, right! Thanks for reminding me, fellows!
Because I’m already dedicating most of my after-work time to my projects, it’s become a lot lately, so much so that I’ve had to rethink my time management strategies and reprioritize. And so, you don’t see me posting “Late Night Journals” that often since I’m also posting short stories and writing exercises mainly.
But something interesting has been going on for a few months, every now and then, when I have a new follower or a new like in my blog posts, guess where it usually comes from?
From my “Late Night Journals”! Of course!
So I’ve been wondering why this is so. I mean, I like them and I like writing them, but I honestly thought folks would feel more attracted to other pieces like articles on culture or poems, etc.
So I asked my wife since she’s super smart and a good observer and she told me: “people like to know about other people’s lives”. Ha! Interesting, it’s simple but it’s powerful, indeed the “Late Night Journal” is the most personal type of post I make.
In any case, I want to listen to my audience and I will start writing again the type of content you’ve shown a preference for. Because you know what? Your support makes me bolder, it encourages me to fight harder, be more disciplined and achieve the many things I’ve told you about in this blog, my dreams of art and freedom, my stories, and my thoughts on how to contribute to the lives of others! I want to inspire you, not by being perfect but by being brave.
“Fuck this, he’s the stupid one, he’s the useless one!”
Marco slammed the door, as a loud voice kept yelling unintelligible words, words that couldn’t be grasped, but whose sound could be understood by anyone, in any language.
As the distance grew and the voice faded, the boiling anger in his chest started to hurt him, betraying him, because he was keeping it in store for the bitter man back at the cottage, who clearly wanted him out of his life, but couldn’t bring himself to abandon him.
Marco believed this inability to act on his real feelings wasn’t a matter of decency, but plainly a fear of rejection, it was a small town and single parents were frowned upon, let alone one who abandons his teenage kid.
-“If he isn’t bold enough to leave, or kick me out, I will leave instead, I’ll find something, I’m old enough to make some money on my own.” He murmured as he hastened his pace and clenched his fists.
But he knew better than this, he was a good student with top grades, and he also had a very detailed plan for his life. Deep inside he knew this rejection, this constant reproach was his curse to bear, his price to pay. If he just managed to hold on for a couple more years he would go to college, miles away from the home that wasn’t a home any longer, but barely a shelter for the homeless; that is, himself.
But he walked, he used to walk. More and more, his weekends were becoming lonely walks, talking to himself and building fantasies. In these day dreams he became smarter than anyone else, he became wealthy and successful, he could see himself returning to town driving a car like no one in that miserable place has ever seen, and buying the biggest farms, just to let every crop wither, every animal die, and not a single soul would be able to do anything about it for he was now the owner and master of that stinky place.
-“Imagine the old man, making up excuses, ashamed, trying to explain why his son is such a disgrace, such a ruthless bastard”.
As time passed, the anger slowly evaporated, and when he was far from everything, he would let the pain take over and cry where no one could see him. He would just sit and cry by the creek because once he did, he felt like he was able to make it through another week.
Those tears, he thought, were like scales in his eyes that blinded him and wouldn’t let him see things for what they were; for it was only after dropping them on the grass that he would start noticing the small things he knew he would miss once he departed for his new life: the colorful birds chirping, singing and dancing like the ancient ancestors summoning the rain; the flowers enduring the wind, never defeated by it, and the wild hares who seemed to always be plotting schemes just like he did during his lonesome afternoons.
But this time, something was different. After the blinding tears came out, it felt like the air cleared and all that surrounded him, even nature’s ongoing celebration had stopped and became solemn, and silent. This made him feel uneasy, but also moved him into action, so he started walking further than usual.
After a few minutes, he approached the abandoned mine, a ghostly place that served as a natural boundary with the closest village; none of the other kids in town liked being there, but then again, it felt like a better place to be than back home.
Something red was moving, actually flapping, near the entrance to the mine; this wasn’t an animal or a plant, it was something entirely different, something that was put there by someone, something with a purpose. He felt like going back to the creek, but couldn’t ignore the mesmerizing object, agitated by the wind.
Taking a deep breath, the slender teen drew near and crouched to look closely: it was a flag. A flag! From every single possibility of what could be found in that place, he found a small, red flag playfully moving, planted in the middle of nowhere.
This time he really felt like running away; was he being observed? Was this a prank? A snare? He looked around him, his heart was pumping faster: not a single soul. Even nature seemed mute, expectant, holding its sounds and motions, waiting for him to dig.
He couldn’t run away, he’d made it all this way to make this discovery, he had to see it through. Besides, there was not much else to do and this was far more entertaining than doing his usual pencil drawings, sitting by the creek.
Using a piece of wood he found, he started digging; at first sight, it didn’t seem like the pole was too long, but to his surprise, it wasn’t easy to pull it out. As he dug deeper, he saw something resembling a piece of cardboard; he took it out and dusted it off, it had something written on it:
“How did you find me? Keep digging and ”
The sentence was incomplete. He could now hear his own heart pumping, he dug faster, as if all he wanted was for the unexpected trial to end, and leave that place to take cover in his usual thoughts and the drawings in his notebook.
Two feet deeper, he felt the pole start to loosen a bit.
-“Almost there, maybe 1 foot deeper”.
Then, a new piece of cardboard appeared:
“we can play a game, after all this digging it makes sense to have some fun. Hi, my “.
Again, the sentence was left unfinished.
He needed to stop to take a break; his fingernails were filthy as were his clothes, he wasn’t prepared for this amount of work, with nothing but a piece of wood, and his fingers were already injured. It didn’t matter, he was almost done.
He shivered at the thought that once he was able to remove the flag, a new piece of cardboard will complete the unfinished introduction.
But he wasn’t prepared, no one could have ever been prepared for what was at the other end of the pole: a human hand, a skeleton hand the size of a 10-year-old, was tightly gripping the pole. Marco fell on his back, as he pulled the whole thing out of the dirt.
-“What the a-actual fuck?
Is… is this…?”
It was. Inside the bony fist, there was another piece of cardboard, the final one (he expected):
“name’s Armand, I’m dead.
But I guess you figured that out already. This was “Capture the flag” when you’re ready to play “Tag” enter the mine. I promise if you play, I will tell you why you’re playing with a dead kid, how cool is that? Hi-five!”
As he read the last line, the hand opened.
Marco would have screamed with all his might, but what came out instead was a gasp; he couldn’t utter a sound. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t close his eyes to stop seeing, nor could he release his new friend’s hand. He couldn’t make sense of anything, he could barely begin moving his legs to try and stand up.
But in the midst of all those things he couldn’t do, there was only one very clear thought in his mind, one thing he could do, the very thing he couldn’t avoid:
“I need to get back home, bring the flashlight, and enter the mine”.
I think this is probably too deep for this hour of the night and a day packed with real-life cybersecurity action at work (woo hoo!).
In any case, I have some ideas I don’t want to leave unexpressed tonight, also I’m listening to a “Jazz Noir” playlist, which helps me make it through the night with the guts and toughness of a broken detective, way too tormented to sleep and obsessed about catching that monsters of the streets, that’s proven so elusive: “but, tonight is the night…” as our good-old Dexter Morgan would say.
So what’s up with the void?
Oh, come on folks! Shouldn’t you know it by now, that I have a natural affinity with drama?
No, but seriously, I’ll talk about real shit here just be patient and bear with my introductions; I’ll tell you two things:
This has to do with my journey as a writer and artist (of course, if you read me, you probably figured that out)
This is another of this self-discovery-type-of-article in which I feel like having these epiphanies about my own journey, may (even if accidentally) help some of you on your own, or at least get you to think more about it. If that’s the case, I will feel satisfied.
I don’t usually quote people that much in my blog, but I believe the following is worth quoting and helps me as a good starting point for my topic tonight:
“Every bit of learning is a little death. Every bit of new information challenges a previous conception, forcing it to dissolve into chaos before it can be reborn as something better. Sometimes such deaths virtually destroy us.”
So the thing is, this guy from the start challenges you with: “writers have to write, every day”. Well, it’s not the first time I hear it of course, but hey since I’m used to “doing things my way”, I ignored all the exercises and the prompts and started binging the thing: I didn’t get too far, it became burdensome and then I thought to myself “well, you’re already working in your books and if this instructor is right, you should probably just keep writing those”. Well, guess what? I’m stuck now, cause, in reality, I do need all the help and instruction I can get and if I don’t start using what’s available, these projects of mine will never see the light.
Now, folks, it’s taken me years to grow up and stop self-beating for about everything, but I have to be honest because I’ve assessed this with sincerity: that fucking attitude of mine is plain arrogance, disguised as something else. The truth is, it comes from feeling I’m above “writing prompts” and above hundreds or thousands of aspiring authors and somehow my stuff is more special and I don’t need to do what everyone’s doing in forums, and in communities and…
You get the point.
Now, before you just hate me, two things:
Being honest is not easy, I know for a fact most people won’t be. So take the above as a confession, as an attempt to defeat this stupid arrogance that has no real foundation, for I’m the newbie of newbies and I know it.
I think this has a root in other seemingly “unrelated” things that reside in my subconscious and have been sabotaging me for years; perhaps joining me in my analysis may be an interesting exercise for you too.
So taking all of this into account, I started pondering, very seriously: “why am I acting like this, if it’s evidently counter-productive?” And also “have I been doing this in other aspects of my life?” “In other projects, maybe?”
Short answer: “Yes”. Also, I happen to know at least a part of what’s lurking in the subconscious mind that’s affecting me like this, and it’s not something I like to talk about but here we go.
Show these motherfuckers!
So this guy right here is a big part of my personality.
“Seriously? A tough guy?”
Yes, maybe you find me quite melancholic, I am that as well xD. But yeah, this ‘tough boy persona’, who’s a part of me, has been playing some tricks and I have exposed him.
In honor of our story together and the huge help this “tough-boy Josue” has been, let me tell you a little about him and why he’s such a strong part of this troubled mind of mine. Do you know, or could you imagine where tough people come from?
Answer:Tough people comes from tough places.
And yes, there’s just so much to my personal story, at least in the part of my life where I couldn’t really manage or decide, that it could become a series of articles. But the thing is, as soon as I became an independent adult, even with the serious health, financial and emotional problems I dragged from earlier stages of my life, I decided no one was gonna fuck with me ever again. Not only that, but I also decided that the world was majorly a hostile place for me, and I would get from it what I wanted even if I had to force it to hand it over to me.
I know this is a cliche, the cliche of the damaged person who decides never to be a victim again and in becoming epic, also becomes unreachable, unreachable, and oftentimes, unwanted.
To me, this wasn’t a “stage” of early adulthood, it was probably how I was during my 20’s and the beginning of my 30s (I’m 36). I got used to this because it wasn’t only an emotion, it became my lifestyle: courageous, charging forward, an excess for effort, muscle, hard work, relentless… But also, often times reckless, overly self-centered, and hostile. And I did get the benefits of becoming ‘the tough guy’; I’ve been able to do many things that destructive people around me considered “impossible” and I’ve felt amazingly great seeing them from afar, confused and stale where they’ve always been and will probably always stay. All of this while I continue to move, while I charge ahead.
Now, the fact that I’m now able to see myself with more critical eyes, and understand sort of the “archetype” represented by this part of my personality, doesn’t mean I condemn myself for being this way: I accept and love that tough boy, he’s helped me a great deal and others around me as well because hidden in his hostility, he’s got a heart that wants to help others, especially the damaged ones. Without his violence and his strength, I wouldn’t be me, and I accept myself and really like it, nowadays.
But that doesn’t mean I’m blind to his shortcomings, and some of the consequences of using this guy so much are becoming obstacles for me.
There’s A World Beyond The Fight
What happens to a soldier, after the war is won?
My life story required a soldier and a very epic one. But see the thing is, I got attached to that character, to that version of myself that brought me so many victories, so much satisfaction, who protected and provided, who endured the worst times. But this soldier is now facing a time he was not built for, a time of peace, a time of quietness, a time of beauty, a time of exploring new things and by the way, a time he bought with blood and tears.
The tough boy has been in a crisis of meaning for a few years now.
And what’s growing in me, is a different animal. It’s still part soldier because I will never let go of that, but I need to integrate it with a philosopher, an artist, a thinker, and a businessman because these other “auxiliary” parts of me are no longer the “auxiliary” ones but the ones taking precedence.
So among many other things, I will not brute-force my way into writing a good book, recording a decent music demo, or developing a voice worth listening to. All of these new things, require me to connect with others, learn from others, and accept the possibility that others hold many of the keys I’ve been desperately trying to find.
It’s time for bravery to give way to humbleness, and violence, to wisdom.
And in that sense, the words of Dr. Peterson echo strongly in my current midnight (not a metaphor, it’s literally 12:36 A.M.), listening to jazz noir and feeling very tired, and also very satisfied that I’m tired for the right reasons.
And let me finish with this: I will go through that whole Udemy writing course, and I will start again being engaged in writer forums and communities and actually read what others are doing, helping them review and also asking for their reviews and their feedback, even if it’s hard to hear. This is now a public commitment with you, my wonderful readers; actually, I published my first exercise from that course, it’s called Blue Door in case you’d like to read it.
Friends, I’m learning, every day, dying a “small death” every day, and watching something new come to life every day. We’re humans, we’re wonderful creatures capable of reinventing ourselves, capable of deciding to become someone better than yesterday and if I die tomorrow I’ll go with a smile.
Yeah, that’s right, and while we’re at it, it’s a bit of an exercise in procrastination to help me deal with the overwhelming paralysis I feel right now, concerning, well…. writing.
I brought myself a nice cup of cognac my wife gave me for my birthday (hey, it’s in 21 days but it’s so good that I think it will not last until the 21st), and chose again to listen to Liszt since it’s proven so gentle to my brain, took my dog to his bed so I’m alone and uninterrupted, killed a freaking fly that was driving me crazy and finally ended with all potential distractors and set my mind into developing my serial story I plan to start publishing short-to-midterm. I just stared at the screen, confused; how is it possible that I don’t know what to do? I’ve been viewing a lot of YouTube videos, taking the whole 2020 collection of Bran Sanderson’s lecture on fantasy and sci-fi writing (highly recommended, link here: )
I’ve been reading short stories, and a couple novels, taking notes of it all, building worksheets with new vocabulary, and viewing shows that develop stories with elements in common with what I want to do: folks I’m going deeper and deeper every day into my project of becoming an author, I’m dead serious about it.
But still, I read it somewhere that “the difference between an aspiring author and an author, is actually sitting down and writing”; or something to that effect. And it’s so basic for so true, but folks it’s by no means an easy task.
This morning while I was showering I came up with so many ideas, I took the whole series way deeper than I expected in my head, but I sit down and… nothing. It’s like I feel the angst that blocks me and I start wanting to do different things; so what I did was download a couple character development templates and start working on that; it’s not the same as writing a scene (I started episode #1 last week so there’s been some progress) but it’s working in the preparation for the story so I’m OK with that, filling up a comprehensive questionnaire about my characters is also helping me realize dark spots in my story plan and the need to be more thorough.
I guess an additional complication that’s playing emotional tricks on me, is that the story is inspired by a rather unusual series of events that happened in my life when I was a teenager, events that turned around every notion I had of my future and so it has a huge emotional weight in me, even more than 15 years after. Why would that be, I wonder? I wish I didn’t feel any old pains, life always has plenty of them to offer 🙂
In any case, I realize by writing this I’m actually not writing the story I meant to sit down and advance today, so I’m leaving you to face my demons. Wish me luck fellows!
Time for random reflections folks, isn’t it exciting to be able to just stop one’s routines and pre-defined action sets and just sit down and think? Man, this is why I love writing, it’s like taking a shovel and starting digging treasures inside of your own mind and soul, maybe they’ve been ignored for years, maybe disguised in unpleasant containers, but they’re precious if you pay enough attention.
One of the big opportunities I’ve experienced in the last 3 years of self-exploration, is being able to observe my own beliefs and presuppositions from above as if participating from an external consciousness. It’s not easy, as humans our self-preservation and to a degree, our sanity demands a certain structure from us, a certain set of immutable or core beliefs that would provide a sense of identity but also a frame of reference for measuring the world around us and gather meaning from it. And so I’ve come to understand there are two extremes I want to avoid at a personal level:
The dogmatism that incarcerates: I avoid dogmatic positions like the plague. One thing you can expect to increase in my content is a challenge to ideology and dogma, I consider myself a free spirit and I hate to observe the prisons people end up bearing in order to be accepted by a certain group or even to be able to accept themselves. That’s also why I don’t think many people will ultimately grasp me, I will reason against your beliefs but then another I will support a subset of them, on a case-by-case basis; a mind that’s interested in learning the truth needs to allow enough room to grow and admit to past and present severe misconceptions. As you age, maintaining this attitude requires a very intentional decision.
The fluidity that renders you shapeless: Well that’s every bit as dangerous as the former; when everything’s true, nothing is. It’s OK to make mistakes, it’s OK to offend others by having solid positions on topics that cause controversy, it’s OK to change your mind if deep inside you know your adversary has won the argument. But absolute fluidity makes you very easy to deal with, deceive, and manipulate; it’s interesting, just as I can create propaganda tailored to the needs of a very dogmatic type of person with a set of well-known beliefs, I can also device means to confuse a person who’s absolutely fluid, and act in the direction I want one day, and in the opposite the next day, the person will never realize because they dread taking a confrontative position on pretty much anything.
“OK Josué, how’s this related to A. I and humans? Are you playing us or just doing very hard drugs?”
Answer: Neither, but have you seen how film directors can shoot a seemingly unnecessary scene for like two minutes straight just cause he feels like it? David Lynch, I’m talking to you!
Well, just the same, I sometimes feel I need to write something that seems unrelated but it connects directly to the topic, even if it’s not apparent.
So I have been of the “anti-system” type for years and years; I didn’t see my dad much, but when I did I would always ask him about why things are the way they are, a 12-year-old talking about a system he deemed oppressive, unfair and rigged; was I wrong? Not entirely, no; a lot of that happens to be true and for some reason, it bothered me since a very early age.
I’m 35 about to turn 36 and I came to understand it will never be ideal, not even close. But there are degrees of non-ideal realities and the truth is, I wouldn’t trade myself for people who lived before our day and age; I consider myself blessed and yes, I know this doesn’t apply to all. If we were to destroy every foundation on top of which current power and economic structures rest if we were to pursue the dismembering of the evil empire piece by piece and with fierce wrath destroy the reign of injustice, how long would it take us to build something better and entirely different or even allow me to ask: could we?
These are complex questions, and idiotic ideologies will have deceitful easy answers for them, but if you consider these things carefully and honestly maybe you wouldn’t rush to set shit on fire just cause you feel it’s wrong.
I feel I’ve been a frustrated revolutionary for most of my life, but now I came to understand the value of reformation; in either case, we’ve seen both revolution and reformation happen in history with great results sometimes and dreadful results many times, but I believe in salvaging, fixing and building better things using the experience of past generations as a starting point.
I know, it’s not as exciting as destroying everything right? But have you ever seen or read about unstable regions trying to painfully define for years a struggle for power between two or more factions? Man, it’s a horrible window to look through and it will show you some of the worst of mankind; it’s never going to be perfect but it’s better if it’s relatively stable and there’s enough balance for opposing forces to introduce changes and balance.
“OK Josué, seriously: how the FUCK this related to A. I and humans?”
Answer: Because a new society is being shaped, and with it, it brings new challenges. But I would rather take a part in building it than opposing it blindly; by constructing during its early stages, and embracing change, I get an angle and perspective to help reform it later.
Back To The Future
Change is chaos to human psychology, it’s typically not naturally welcome, unless you’re in a horrible position, and such change promises an opportunity to turn the table around. But even so, many individuals will prefer the known evil to exploring the unknown.
And so we witness how robots are taking many jobs that used to be a human job for a fraction of the cost and double the efficiency, you see how an A.I algorithm can generate competent artwork and provide interesting interpretations of deep concepts, how expert systems can make better decisions in critical moments due to their lack of emotion, and how automation simply starts removing the repetitive tasks from our plates.
Information is at hand, education is more accessible than ever, and it is my belief that an individual living in a relatively free, democratic country can change their social and financial situation with much more easiness than in previous ages if they decide to listen to the market and acquire in-demand skills, learn to manage the money they start getting wisely and create something profitable with it: I can tell you this because it’s my own “rags to riches” story, where I’m nowhere near rich, but I live a life no generation in my family before would have dreamed of as far as opportunities and quality of living.
Now, everything in life comes at a price. I’ve paid a very expensive price in terms of time, in terms of pursuing my best potential in the things I care about the most. And such has been my conflict and paradox for many years: I love the opportunity technology has afforded me, but I want to write, I want to create music and art. So, I hated my life for a long time, not realizing that my problem was my linear vision of life and achievements and my own childish expectations that were simply impossible to fulfill because the world wasn’t as I pictured it.
Today, as I continue to build this blog, have much more flexibility in my time management at work, explore my own thoughts and talents, and build my next plans around what I want rather than what I need, I bless those years of bitter struggle.
But one obsession, one thing that the toughest years left me is this: can I help others escape their bitterness? More importantly: can I help others find their potential and get the confidence in themselves to use it? Because I can tell you step by step how I did it, but what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for all. Also, I look at my life and for the first time in my almost 36 years of existence, I feel I’m in the right place, doing the rights things, and can stop for a moment a feel grateful and satisfied; but maybe if you look at my life at this stage it’s far from enough according to your own standards. We’re all different.
But I feel that as the system we live in continues to automate the mundane, the ordinary, this provides for an opportunity which is: that humans can dedicate more to the abstract work of ideas than to the material work of surviving in nature. Could this answer my concern about giving humans the opportunity to explore their own genius at a deeper level? To have more sovereignty over the way they spend their time? To let the machines do the tedious and start competing to provide value based on their own creativity and thoughts? To become creators of new stories, realities, and solutions?
I know, that I’m not speaking about every person here; not everyone has the same motivation although I do believe that every human has the potential to create something. So in order for such a change to be inclusive, there’s really a lot of work involved, a lot of trial and error, a lot of system building, some of which has already begun, perhaps by people some us deem evil or greedy?
And this ties down to my whole story about the system, the reformation, and so on; can you think of building something with others, believing in an improvement, and raising the human potential to a new level? You’re building a system, and probably one that decades from the time you began building it will generate its own problems and will eventually be criticized and threatened by the anti-system people of that age, who happen to have valid points against what you created.
Are we doomed to run in circles continually?
Can we dispose of the rubbish we inherited but honor the hard work of those who laid the very foundations of the system we benefit from?
Headaches, dreams about to come true, and the value of discipline.
Fuck man, I have to say, my life won’t be normal but sure as fuck is entertaining and full of things xD
See, I’ve been working hard, for many, many years in finding myself (I know this is vague and cliche) but yeah, too many years. You may feel this is a stage of life but it’s not, let me explain: you easily get to spend all of your hours on Earth and never come to understand what you are, how you are, what you want and what you’re willing to do for what you want. It would sound like it should be a basic premise of any given person but we’re presented with a lot of surrogate sources of distraction, entertainment, conflicts, stress, etc, that for too many, that moment of self-reflection never actually comes.
This is one of the things that I hate the most about modern life, and part of my personal quest is to find a way to show people how important their life is, how full of potential, and how they’re able to break the cycle of a cookie-cutter, pathetic existence.
The “value of discipline” mentioned above is closely related to this previous reflection; ever since I was fired from my second job, I took it upon myself not to get another job, even if I feel like I really really need or want that extra money I was used to earning. Instead, I would take a set of activities that I have identified as leading me to build my personal life strategy (yes this is something and it’s been written in a notebook for two years), and take them with the seriousness of that second job, or even more because one is about money but the second is about meaning. And it’s hard man, it’s fucking hard, I’m dying every day in a good sense and being reborn; studying the disciplines that my plan requires, and experimenting with uncharted intellectual and artistic territories every single day after work and after exercising (which is part of the change) is taking a bit toll on me. I’m tired, and I’m in a lot of internal conflict and uncertainty, I’ve left the shore and set out to discover the unknown.
Probably that’s where the headache is coming from; no, most certainly that’s the reason why (note to self: buy some fucking aspirin).
I haven’t mentioned the “dreams about to come true” part, I know, I know. But as rational as I try to be, there’s still a more primitive man inside of me who’s superstitious and I’m afraid if I say it, I’ll jinx it.
But I promise I’ll tell you when it happens, and I will link it to this entry 🙂