I’ve had a long history with bad excuses. I’ve been caught many times in the midst of telling people one thing and then doing another, trying desperately to scramble together and make myself look like I’m not the bad guy. It was a struggle of mine for so long, and I’m sure that my friends still wonder sometimes if I’m really doing what I say I’m doing when I tell them I don’t want to hang out because I have to write/design/edit/etc.
I’ve come to realize
it’s easy to make excuses without even thinking about it.
I know, it sounds like a silly sentiment. Of course, we know when we are making up excuses about why we can’t go to our in-laws’ Shetland pony grooming party, we are just so swamped with work. Trust me, I get it. We aren’t keen on telling others that we are watching season four of The Office for the twentieth time instead of going out for a pint and a dramatic reading of Michael Scott’s best jokes. But those are overt excuses, the kind that our in-laws can see through, definitely.
I’m talking more specifically about the impeccable excuses we can make without saying words. Just in our countenance we can make up so much bullshit it’s profound to witness.
More specifically, I was exhausted for Thanksgiving. I had stayed up too late and didn’t get enough sleep due to (mostly) my own decisions. By the time Thanksgiving dinner rolled around, I got out of bed against my will and went to my parents’ house with my girlfriend patiently sitting beside me in the car. I tried so hard to stay awake during the pre-dinner festivities. I was fighting my exhaustion with all of me, and it wasn’t worth it. Eventually, my mom asked if I wanted to nap and I accepted it without thinking about it. I just went and laid on the couch until my girlfriend woke me up for dinner.
During dinner, I stayed awake, I stayed within the bounds of consciousness so that I could speak to my friends and family, but just barely. My mind was drifting, my head was spinning sleep deprived stories about the day. I was foggy and in pain and I didn’t know what had happened before I had gotten to dinner. I could barely remember the conversations I had with my girlfriend on the way.
Dinner ended, and I stepped outside to feel the cold air on my face and jostle me awake, and it worked for a few minutes as I stepped back in and tried to rejoin the family. But there’s this thing about my mind, the way it works when I feel like I’ve done something I shouldn’t I get too intense. I retreat into my shell and I cut people off from me. I was trying to participate in the conversation, but my mind was screaming. Telling me that I should have stayed awake, I should have been a part of the dinner festivities. I should have helped cook, or clean.
It burned, how bad I felt for sleeping through Thanksgiving.
After my grandmother and friend left the house, I laid down on the couch with my family and fell asleep. Waking at the end of the night to take my girlfriend home and get some sleep. Before I had left my parent’s place the night before, my dad asked about helping him decorate for Christmas. I wasn’t opposed to it. Christmas decorations with my dad have long been one of my favorite memories from the holidays, even when its bitter cold and bullshit outside. I still love it. Even if I come inside swearing and angry. I promise it’s only because of the cold and the snow.
Even so, as my dad asked about it, I was overcome with that familiar screaming inside of my head and I just grunted out “sure.” To him, before exiting and warming up my truck.
When I walked through the door to my apartment, suddenly I was awake again. I didn’t need sleep, I told myself. There was work to be done. I had to write.
But, I didn’t.
I got on my computer and played games for a couple hours before that exhaustion came back, full force and I carried myself to bed. Waking on Black Friday in a pile of sheets, my girlfriend had already gone to work and come home, peacefully sleeping beside me.
My dad hadn’t texted me, and I worried it was because of my attitude from the prior evening. I wondered if he thought I didn’t want to, or if I suddenly felt my time was more valuable than his, or if he was upset with me for not being excited about decorating.
Truth be told, it’s so hard to get into the holiday spirit when you’re on the verge of sleep-death.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, how my terrible sleeping habits have constituted a lot of the people in my life thinking I’m not dependable or not a good friend because I just want to sleep, all the time. I’ve stopped giving verbal excuses a long time ago. My friends made sure to call me out on that, and I owned up to it. I used to be the best at giving excuses. I could do it without a second thought. Didn’t want to see my friends that day?
“Sorry bro, I’m swamped. I’ve got all of this studying/writing/graphic design/my mom needs me/etc.”
Now, I’ve evolved. I don’t have to speak; my body speaks for me.
Whether I knew it or not, I shouted excuses silently with the way my face changed and moved. This isn’t in reference to those Christmas lights, by the way. When I woke up it was raining.
Inside my heart, and out of it.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to spend reading this. It means the world to me. When you go, don’t forget to be kind to one another today. Black Friday is a disaster every year, remember to be kind and consider your position in life, be thankful still. I hope you’ve had a fantastic start to your holiday season!
I hope that this has helped you think of yourself and how to be better. We all fail and we all make bad decisions. Often times, when we fall into the habit of making excuses for ourselves and others, it becomes a difficult trap to escape.
If it helps, remember that those people you are avoiding, in some cases, you may never see them again. Don’t do what I did, go see them. Enjoy the Shetland Pony show. It’s worth it, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
If you’d like to stay caught up on the Firesoul Ignition or anything else regarding the many hats I wear, follow me on Social Media.
Alternatively, you can check out the Salt + Iron Productions webpage to see more about what is happening regarding all of the S+I projects.
Missed the last post? It was a good one. If you’re interested, click the links below and read on.
Recently I’ve begun the process of upgrading Gravity, My Enemy for the future, and as I’ve explained it so far I’d imagine that means relatively nothing to you so allow me to explain.
I’m doing a handful of things with the blog in the coming months, using a conceptual teaser I’ve developed called Firesoul. I’ve listed the upcoming changes below for clarity and for understanding.
1. I will begin releasing new content on the blog, under a new tag. “Loremasters” content will be exclusively short stories and concept pieces I have been and will be working on in the future, to give you an in-universe look at some of the other aspects of my writing.
2. I will be making the blog a bit more user-friendly. Meaning that ideally, fewer clicks for you to see the content that I’m releasing and a simpler way to view said content.
3. I’m cleaning up my backlog quite a bit, and adjusting how you find old content. Searching for the tags of the previous movements, you’ll now be able to find all of the blog posts from that year. (i.e. if you search “Noose Ends” in the future, all of the poems and related blog posts will show up for you, hassle-free.)
4. I’m changing the style and the content of the main blog to make it more time friendly. I am a long winded person by nature, and that is clear in my blog posts. I have found a style through the years of writing that is specific to me, but at times that long-winded style should be reserved for more important and pressing matters. (Like explaining why I am no longer releasing long-winded blog posts. Now, having used the term long-winded far more times than necessary, I’ll explain that the blog posts will be shorter on average than they used to. Meaning that you will not have to delegate as much time to read. This change comes coupled with the next change.
5. My blog topics tend to vary dramatically, as such, it’s hard to pin down what I will be talking about each week. I’ve always hated the concept of gimmicky clickbait titles, but I’ve had to give in to some degree. Now, on the title of the blog post itself, I will be posting a small synopsis of what the blog post itself is about. (ex. Our 150 (What do I do about all these friend requests?) This will serve as a method for definitively distinguishing the blog posts from the poetry + from the Loremasters content I am preparing to release.
6. I am also adjusting the content release schedule. For the last 8 months or so, you could find a calendar on my website detailing all of my blog posts and poetry and their release dates. For the time being, I’ve disabled this feature because, to be honest, it was unnecessary to do. I would spend a good thirty minutes every week scheduling the images on the calendar because I’m a neat freak and want things to look as nice as possible, but those thirty minutes could have been better spent editing or reviewing the things I’ve written.
7. I am going to be including a (much shorter) post-text to the blog posts after this campaign ends, for now, it will be included at the bottom for those interested in what the Firesoul is all about. In essence, I want to use this blog as a method of communication. I am great at standing on a soapbox and talking to you about all these things I think I know, but I want to hear the other side as well.
8. I will be posing some questions after each blog post, just to see what my readership feels like in regards to what I’ve stated. This will not likely happen on every post, but a fair share of them (specifically ones I would love to talk with you about) will include these questions.
9. There will be a handful of other, smaller changes to the blog. All of them meant to assist you, the reader in navigating the site and having more to engage with regarding Gravity, My Enemy as a whole.
10. Bonus: I’ll be linking the URL for the compilation volumes on the blog pages itself, and soon all of the books will be made quite a bit cheaper than they are right now.
One (two) more thing(s):
Thank you for reading all of that, and if you’ve come this far I want to let you know that after the Firesoul campaign has finished, I’ll be giving away a few things. Namely:
I’ll have more information about the giveaway as December draws nearer but until then…
Firesoul is more than just a thematic teaser for the blog, it is also an incredibly important object in my written universe. As the center harness for all forms of fire magic. It is the generator that gives fire wielders the ability to wield. This teaser comes with a large release and the start of a big writing project I will hopefully be undertaking as the four souls come to completion. Because I don’t like baiting people for unknown lengths of time, each of the four souls will be revealing lore from my universe through pages uploaded to my website. The first of them, regarding fire itself, will be released upon the launch of the Firesoul campaign. Make sure to check my website/social media regularly for information regarding the changes, the new information regarding the Firesoul + the whole of S+I
Thank you for reading.
Life is not meant to be awful.
Categories: Umbral Dawning