Talking to Myself

It’s easy for me to admit now. I don’t relate well to others.(sigh) Some of it’s by design, some by default.

I have varying viewpoints on subject matter that don’t correlate with the standard norms and social conventions. It is indeed a double edged sword.

Over time, I was forced to stop my inner conflict and come to terms with this. As the days continued to drift on by, it became a pill that was easier to swallow. Because I don’t relate well, I see things differently. I experience life and what it has to offer on a different wavelength. And I can’t turn it off.

The down side to this way of life is obvious. It’s an isolationist lifestyle. Conversations with others outside my circle are attempted surface conversations only. I don’t have a large and wide option of friends. The friends I do have, however, are treasured relationships but I can count them all on one hand.

In actuality, I wouldn’t have that any other way. Simplicity and trust is essential to my complex universe.

Additional downsides include sometimes being forced to bite my tongue and keeping my opinions to myself. Watching the experiences of others from a distance or (in regards to social media) reading the experiences and dialogue of others and doing my best to not butt in (and boy have I come across a doozie or two recently). Allowing people to slowly approach but keeping them at arms length.

I’ve had to recreate solid ground to stand upon, so I had something I could stand for. Viewing trust as a reward as opposed to something that’s just given away willy nilly without taking all possible variables into consideration.

Well, Jere. That sounds really, really sad. 

The upside to this life style, outweighs all possible negatives. I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to concern myself with impressing anyone. I can be honest. For instance, I never have to consider the costs, stress and preparation of hosting a dinner party with wine, or mixed drinks, fancy appetizers and matching dinnerware to impress others around me. You come to my place to eat, we listen the 1979 Star Trek the Motion Picture LP, or Led Zeppelin while playing Risk or some dice related table top game, Phase Ten or Chess, eating pizza and chips, or Chinese Food, waiting for the brownies to finish cooking all the while sipping strong coffee. Then, it’s outside to sit on the porch and chat about things.

I can be myself without fear of reprisal or condemnation. I’m not forced to wear a multitude of hats and disguises for varying occasions depending on who I’ll be around, or where I’ll be. I can talk the way I want to talk. I don’t need to blend in, be fake, fight for attention, lie, or ever have to worry about personal hypocrisy. In fact, when I encounter hypocrisy, lairs and fakery, I want nothing more than to lash out and speak my piece.

Yet, I don’t. If someone wishes for me to intervene and speak my mind on their behalf, all they have to do is ask.

I don’t care about people’s personal opinions of me and it’s so freeing. I know who I am. I don’t need verification from outsiders. If someone doesn’t like me, it’s probably because they were force fed some negative bullshit about me, or who I am, and if that be the case I scoff with a resounding Ha!!

Or… perhaps I did give them a true blue reason to speak ill will of me or talk about me in some negative way and if that be true, then it’s something I’ll have to accept. Either way… I don’t care about the negative anymore.

I digress.

In order to accomplish my goals, I’ve had to adopt this way of life. I’ve had to be honest and say no. I’ve had to ignore from time to time. I’ve had to disappoint. To bottom line it all, I’ve had to be true to me. As a wise man once told me, “You, are the only one who will always look out for you. No one else can take care of you, but you.”

Being myself has bitten me in the bum on more than one occasion, but those days are in the past and I no longer dwell. As of this moment, it’s time to focus on the future. At any and all cost. Especially in this day and age.

Living life as a part time hermit is a tricky one. It’s a never ending battle.

“Do I want to do this, that, or the other thing? I know what I have to do. What do I focus on today?”

“OK… let’s find a way to squeeze it all in.”

That’s the most rewarding thing (in my opinion) about calling the shots and being true to myself. Having long periods of time where I’m all alone and devoid of company. I get to do what I want (within reason), when I can, without ever shirking responsibilities. I can find time to manage it all without burning out. I can binge watch a few shows, play a game, chill out with my kiddo, hang out with Nancy, doodle, help others as needed, chat with my buddies, write, work the jobby job and complete my chores and never once feel as though I missed out on anything.

I’ll be honest though… it’s not always easy. Like I said, it’s a huge pill to swallow. I was always afraid of missing out on something.

Being who I am, has always conflicted with what I believed others thought I should be, or what I should be doing with my life. But at some point over the years, I stopped caring about that. At one point along the journey I snapped, had a nice long drawn out conversation with myself and realized I was allowing too many people to live in my head and it was time to clear out the clutter. The only one who belongs in my mind is me.

Talking to myself has saved my sanity on more than one occasion. Luckily, most of my internal dialogue is akin to chatting with a close friend. I know and understand my good friends for the most part and what we discuss, and I know myself, so having these little chats while I’m alone is comfortable.

“Jere, are you sure you’re not just slowly losing your marbles?”

“To be honest, I’ve never been more sure. But thanks for asking.”

I was invited to attend a function not too long ago and early on I was approached by an attendee. I was told outright through small talk with a total stranger, if I didn’t watch a specific news network, on a certain channel, I was crazy and I needed to start watching it. The rest of our uncomfortable conversation was me trying to look impressed and not bored wishing she’d leave me alone and find someone else in the room who might relate to her.

Crazy? Really? If that’s normal I don’t want sanity. I’d prefer to “lose my marbles” as it were.

“Hey! Did you catch the college game the other night?”

“Sorry. I couldn’t even tell you who played (shrug). Thanks for asking though.”

“Wow, you’re really missing out.”

I guess I’ll just have to miss out. No offense.

“Please tell me you watched the music award show last night.”

“Oh, man, sorry. I don’t watch that stuff. I don’t even know who’s popular.”

“Everyone watches it and listens to it.”

Not everyone. 

I was always running into a hurdle I couldn’t jump. Because I don’t relate to a lot of people, I don’t talk a lot. I have to force my mouth to wait a moment as I compose my thoughts before I speak them. Sometimes I have to be strategic with my conversations, especially with people I barely know.

Therefore, I enjoy talking to myself. We hash things out while washing the dishes, or cooking dinner. Shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. I don’t have these conversations out in public. Only within the walls of my home.

Five years ago, I realized Joseph Everett was that other side of me. He was me in a conjured form I still to this day can’t rectify in my mind.

I didn’t know it at the time while interacting with the old man, that it was just me arguing with myself. Figuring it all out took many trips to the “refuge” and many messes. Many situations and multiple events.

A little violence. Another devastating storm. Anger. More food. Sleeping on the ceiling and chopping trees at the end of Joe’s parking lot. Creating a duck on red paper with uncooked macaroni and glue.

Witnessing a raging inferno from afar, the flames licking the ash filled clouds above. The cleaving of continents. Mountains collapsing into the sea and tidal waves racing across the land.

Yeah… Joe’s thinking was pretty far out there. I think I spent a month visiting Mr. and Mrs. Everett. I was never sure with each time, what to expect.

>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to my blog, Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please give it a like (if you like it), share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fear of the Unknown

Not only have I written some books of various lengths (currently in editing phases. They’re getting there. You want to talk about a ton of work, commitment, patience and time… holy moly), I’ve also spent a number of years in research as well. Sometimes deep, down the rabbit hole research. Everyday I try to learn something new, or investigate a subject I didn’t know or understand; or something to which I was never exposed.

In my universe, research is essential. Research, to me, is just as important as breathing, eating and sleeping. I need it. It’s required to survive.

Not the research and learning that’s projected through the television. No. I don’t pay attention to any of that. Or reading the first major news article from a popular network that pops up on the social media feed, so I can say I’m informed. Thanks… but I’ll pass.

I’m back to reading books. Old books. Back to the library and the dark corners of the Web. Spending time away from mainstream media. Digging for the roots and the heart of the matter and not being satisfied with what’s shown on the surface. I enjoy origin stories, the mythical, following bread crumbs and delving deep into what most of the population would consider a colossal waste of time and absolutely absurd. I live in it. I thrive on the archaic, mysterious, controversial, conspiratorial, ancient, and the days of early recorded history.

Not an expert by any means. Not even close. Only engaged and interested. I will never profess to be an expert in ANYTHING.

Just the opposite. I feel thankful, blessed, lucky, and I eat humble pie three square meals a day. Research is a part of who I am and what I like.

It’s the ongoing journey which I need in life. I need to educate myself.

Without that time spent in self education, and investigating the topics I desire and feel I need to investigate, I’d go completely insane.

It didn’t happen all at once and over night. The urge to explore was progressive and slow at first. An idea would pop into my mind (from out of nowhere), and as a result, I’d spend days researching it to absolute death or until I had my fill and felt satisfied. Some researching adventures have led me places where I scratch my head. Why did I feel compelled to look into this? What was the catalyst? Why am I invested and interested in this material? Then, unable to answer my own question(s), I’d carry on as though it never happened and move onto the next. A consistent psychological conundrum.

The problem with research (my opinion only), is everyone has differing opinions or levels of expertise. What may sound plausible from one author, is contradicted by another. What might have made sense in one book, is seemingly nullified just as quickly in a different book.

“I’m right and they’re wrong.”

“No, I’m right, and you’re wrong.”

“No, both of you are wrong, I’m right. End of story.”

“None of you are right and everything is speculative and mostly guesswork.”

Some authors are on the same page. Many believe the same thing(s) while declaring themselves experts, which is nice. But because of all the confusion and varying ideas and nothing being absolute and concrete, despite some random scattered similarities, I decided instead to whittle my research down to only working with common denominators. I focused on grand unifiers exclusively and was then able to eliminate the congestion and confusion I was creating for myself.

My research topics are neither here nor there at the moment. I won’t spend any time in the here and now discussing what I’ve studied, or explored, or what truly interests me. I believe my musings today are centered around, fear. For myself, fear is, and was, the ultimate enemy.

Deep inside my brain, was a locked door. I’d peek through the keyhole from time to time, ponder opening the door… then back down, and retreat. I think I was scared of what I’d find.

We all experience that. Determined to look into something, move forward on instinct, question the what if scenario, then run away from it at full speed because we’re so content with our life and the way things are. “I don’t want anything to jeopardize my current thinking, or come across a wedge that becomes a hindrance to my way of life.”

I was scared to death to follow my subconscious urges because I knew it was about to take me to something. Although I didn’t know what that was. All I knew, is it was something. I was terrified to go beyond what’s perceived as normal and tear down a wall I constructed around my mind and heart. A tall, thick barrier mostly built from a need for immediate protection.

My gut would say, “You need to look into this, for some reason,” and my mind generated an argument instead.

Why? Why go there? What will you possibly gain from it? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Close up the laptop, crash in the bed, zone back out to the programming and re-read that sci-fi magazine you like so much. Tomorrow’s a brand new day. You’re thinking crazy thoughts, you fool.

I’d fight the urges and give in to the fear. I didn’t want to explore and waste my precious valuable time. I didn’t want to go beyond my current level of knowledge. I was so Hell bent on surviving life, I couldn’t consider anything else. I just needed to make it through the day and sleep the night as best I could, while battling away the nightmares and vivid dreams that didn’t make any sense.

Then start it all over again.

What possible good will come from breaking that routine? I have to work full time. Have to abide by the schedule. Have to maintain normalcy. Have to stay structured and robotic. Have to keep my dignity. Have to prove something.

Hold on… what do you have to prove? Think about it for a moment. What could possibly be holding you back from perusing something that interests you? What are you actually afraid of?

Your interests are moot right now. What you want is irrelevant. What you need is paramount. You need to be afraid of what you want and desire.

I believed at the time maintaining what I currently had took precedence over anything else. I was walking on eggshells, sprinkled across thin ice, surrounded by twitchy landmines, tip toeing through my fragile paradigm as though my life depended on it, and deviating from that in any way—could cause a schism and possibly destroy everything I’ve retained. Fear was in control.

I fought the fear left and right, tooth and nail. I came to conclusions which told me I needed to live life, as it was designed around me. Since everything happens for a reason, the transpiring events are what I needed to embrace and nothing else. This is how life is supposed to be, despite the conflicting thoughts on the matter.

Stay inside your box and stop thinking outside it. This is where you’re safe. Maintain the wall around you, and you can’t get hurt.

That lasted about a month. A month of internal dispute. Thirty days of second guessing and overwhelming confidence issues. A month of shutting down. A never ending avalanche of negative energy. I couldn’t figure out my feelings and my desperate need to go outside the box, so within it I remained. Better to be safe than sorry.

I had become adjusted to the battle, fighting not only external forces but forces deep inside, and the end result of all that warfare was the essence of “self” continuing to slip away.

I feared myself. I was scared to death.

Have you ever had a fear you felt couldn’t be conquered? It’s debilitating isn’t it? Mind numbing. Fear has the ability to shatter everything and morph the psyche into a vessel for madness, confusion and terror.

My terror was hashed out in the dream world. The waking world made no sense to me. My feelings, emotions and thoughts were in constant battle with my mind and spirit, and the only way I could process it all, was by experiencing the situations conjured up in the realm of dreams. My conscious mind was smothered. My subconscious took control when it was demanded. And for some strange reason, it all centered and originated from something that was trapped in the box beside me.

The dreams slowly opened the cryptic door I had kept sealed for so long. Although, before I allowed it to swing wide, at the time I was devoid of a key.

Joseph Everett was the keeper of that key, but I didn’t know it. He kept it hidden from me and the next time we met, boy oh boy was I pissed off. I could have ripped that cocky old man’s head clean from his shoulders.

*****

The church-like building was surrounded by the thick woods of central Maine and could be found located far off the beaten path, away from all main roads, out in the middle of nowhere. I reentered Joe’s “refuge” and stormed into the wide open room as if I owned the place. I could smell the lobster right away as I shoved open the double doors, and a hint of cinnamon lingered in the background. The mean old woman baked another apple pie.

Keeping her back to me, Jessica entered the kitchen and dragged her wheeled cart along behind her. I’d only see her for that one brief moment. That was okay and more than acceptable as far as I was concerned.

Shelby walked beside me as I approached Joe’s table at the far end of the room. The broken glass had been replaced and new quotes were etched on each individual window in black lettering, but this time I couldn’t make them out. The words were fuzzy and seemed as if they were made of crackling black static.

Joe sat at the center of the table, wearing a red shirt emblazoned with the Star Trek insignia over his heart, and beside his mug of tea sat a plate full of lobster debris. A thin napkin dangled from his collar and the white material was stained with streaks of melted butter.

He placed the tip of a knife into the warm center of the freshly made dessert, and pulled the blade through the middle. His eyes opened wide as I grabbed the edge of the heavy table and grunting against it’s weight flipped it upside down with every bit of pent up rage I could muster.

With cat like reflexes, he snatched the pie from the surface, stood up as though his seat was on fire, and held it over his head as we both watched the table’s contents crash to the carpet. Shelby barked once, I stuffed both my hands in my pockets and all the old bastard could muster was, “Well. It’s good to see you too.”

>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to my blog, Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please give it a like (if you like it), share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

Light Story Entrance Pattern Riddle Fear Lamp

Ax to Grind

“Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.”

Carl Sandburg

“The air is crisp. Autumn’s coming. The colors of dying leaves. The four winds blow to each and every corner. In my ear, they’re whispering. A devil before me. The demon behind. I’m circled by the angel’s wings. The past is dark. A future darker. Tired of everything.

Back to sleep.

Tired of limbo, tired of sleeping, tired of a tired mind. Tired of trying. So unsatisfying. Tired of the uphill climb. Yet in the background stirring, a hint of madness, the thing that’s sought to find. To break up the dreary, and bring life to the weary, seek a new ax to grind.

Time to fight.

Complacency easy. Once content with a old dream. Dying for the thing that hides. The illusion’s a veil. Dark shadows prevail, while screaming from the mountainside.

The battle is won. Life is the spoils. Yet the war is so hard to fight. Take up the blade. Swing with the fury. Transform the dark to light. Merciful morning, please grace me your presence, help me combat through the night. The wicked oppression. Depressive obsession. Agony’s delight.

And know in your heart, within those deepest parts, there must be better days. Look to the skies and all that’s despised, then see through the cloudy haze. 

Just a phase.

Look in the mirror, the image much clearer, time again to change the mind. Let the soul go to flight. Bury the pride. Find some new ax to grind. Though some paths lead to nowhere, more dead ends and despair, and some paths too hard to find. With the blade in my hand, I can reclaim my stand. Consciousness redesigned.

Though unrefined.”

JSM

>>Thank you for reading and following along. If you happen to be new to my blog, Tales of the Chronicles, here is the link to the beginning. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts through email. Please give it a like (if you like it), share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

ax