I had the privilege of seeing my all time favorite author last weekend…and when I mean my favorite…I mean bucket list favorite. So bucket list that I waited in line for 2 hrs and arrived an hour before the gates opened just to get a signed copy of his latest novel. I’ve been reading his books since my very first flight. I begged my mom to buy me the book when we were getting snacks before we boarded. I had an eight hour flight ahead of me and I wasn’t going to spend it without a book in hand. Back then, we didn’t have little screens to escape from the everyday or a boring flight…so I became a bookworm. Books were my companion when boredom struck and that book let my imagination run wild. It scared the shit out of me, but in a really good way…thus began my love affair with almost everything I have ever read written by Stephen King. The love affair is so strong that I have a goal of reading every book he has ever written…my current count of his written works is 73, I’ve only gotten as far as 32.
Stephen was impressed with the large crowd that showed up to Wordplay in Minneapolis to hear him and Ben Percy speak, because it meant in his words “You actually read shit,” but of all the stories he told and the things he said, what stuck with me was his belief that, “If you can read, you can write…and if you can write, you can change the fucking world.” I used to write in this blog quite a bit and maybe it didn’t change the world, but it definitely changed mine and it lead me to try and consider things I never would have. When you write, you are giving yourself the space to try on new ideas and explore how you would or should handle hypothetical situations.
When feedback is given, discussion begins and right now there is not a whole lot of discussion going on…its just a whole lot of people shouting what they believe at the top of their lungs whether it is proven or not, fact or fiction, and everything is offensive to some body…sometimes it is valid and other times the few screaming the loudest about how offended they are have the most privilege to do so, dwarfing the voices of others who have more reason to be offended and yet still chastising them for their “safe spaces.” I miss discussion and having an exchange of ideas without being worried that I might find out a valued friend is hard in a position of absolute horrific ideas…therefore changing what I thought about them and having me question how I could have judged their character so wrongly. Were they always like this and just showing me a mask or has their brain been hijacked? How come they can’t recognize that the conspiracy stories they believe and the subsequent paranoia comes from stories that are completely made up by people who recognize they can turn a quick buck at their expense? How the hell did we get here? I really don’t know, but I do know that going five years without writing was five years too long.
Why did I stop? Fear mostly. I feared that the attention I was getting would eventually lead to my unemployment or people seeking me out in my private life that I didn’t want in my private life. I feared that family members would find my blog and hold what I said against me. I feared a lot and some of it was reasonable, some of it shouldn’t have mattered. I can always get another job, its not like what I do for a living isn’t needed or is saturated with talent. Clearly in my present employment situation, I’m finding that what I do is definitely not saturated at all and I’m in high demand. If family can’t handle what I say, thats their own problem, not mine. I can’t control what they think of me and if they hold it against me, thats just sad for them. It’s time they really know who I am and not what they think they see. It will be better if that bandaid is ripped off and we all get rid of the masks we hide behind.
So, I am going to start writing again, I don’t know if I will change the world, but maybe I can make some sense from it for myself. A lot has changed and it is still ever changing. There’s comfort in knowing that the only constant is change. Yes, change can be sad when you don’t choose it, but it can also be quite liberating when in a shitty situation. Nothing is permanent and you can count on what is going on in your life right now, won’t be going on ten years from now or even five or two years from now. The world moves fast and we move with it, changing like chameleons to adapt to our current situation. If you can’t change and grow with it, you will suffer the most from stagnation.
I will try to recap some of the events of how I found myself living in a suburb of Minneapolis thousands of miles from California and the San Francisco Bay area. However, as I do that, I will most likely be sidetracked by other ideas. I like ideas and I like to write about them and explore them. Although, I am opinionated, it doesn’t mean that I am not open to new ideas or hearing about experiences different from my own. This leads to a lot of sidetracking and not finishing the whole story or series I was writing, but maybe finishing isn’t always what is needed anyhow.