Amazing.

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It is.

I wanted to start this blog post by talking about all of these horrible things that have happened lately. A porn star who killed herself, friends who lost their grandparents and mothers. The racial tension in my country. The religious warring in the Middle East, the school shooting in New Mexico.

I wanted to, but I won’t.

I have this tendency to focus in on the bad things, if only for a short moment. I focus on job rejections, I hold on to manuscript rejections with the intent to put them in frames later in life when I’m successful so I can remember where I came from. I focus on those emails or letters and bleed out all of that anger into a new manuscript, which may be rejected. I focus on the bad side of a mixed message sooner than I even hear the good side. It’s a tendency we are all capable of. We are all a victim to.

We live in a world where media and information is processed so quickly that we only have a short about of time to dwell on something before something new comes along and invades the space between our thoughts. In a few days, the news of a school shooting will disappear and no one will talk about it because there will be something new to talk about. A new sexual assault allegation, a new religious war, a new person dead in the arms of their loved ones and with that notion, I wonder.

How long has it been since we have seen wonder?

I don’t mean something wonderful, although those things are often one and the same.

I mean wonder. The word, defined, is a feeling of surprise mixed with admiration at something beautiful or inexplicable.

Do you know how snowflakes form in the sky above?

Tiny ice crystals the float in the sky above when the air is cold, they collide and stick together and eventually they grow heavy enough to fall to the surface of the earth and stick there.

Do you know how supermassive black holes are formed?

Potentially, they came from super massive stars, powered by dark matter that eventually collapsed in upon themselves and swallowed the matter whole. Leaving nothing there but the immense pull of gravity, sucking the light into it.

Do you ever think about these things and give yourself a moment to ponder just how big and powerful the universe we are living within really is?

Each passing second there are things happening inside of your own body that you are completely unaware of. Cells are dividing and dying and multiplying so that over time, eventually you will be a new you. A version of you that is untouched by the harmful hands of life, the scars that you have gained will grow weary and thin, some of them fading out forever.

Beneath the surface of the ocean, deep down in the darkness of the sea there are creatures with ugly faces who do amazing things for the ecosystem. Wolves can transform the surface of the land and the world as you know it will continue to spin around and around.

If I were the man I thought I wanted to be, I would take this moment to tell you that nothing you do today or any day in the future will leave a lasting impact on the world around you because it will still spin. There will still be snow, there will still be black holes.

But I am not that man.

Today I stepped out of my apartment to go to lunch with my friends and saw the melting snow on the ground shining in the sunlight. The bitter air snipped at my exposed flesh, trying its best to leave wounds. I couldn’t stop looking at the small piles of snow that have been left over, most of them smashed from the people living here walking to their vehicles and going about their daily routine. To work or school or their friends’ houses. I don’t know where they go and I don’t need to, to understand what the snow was lying on the ground for.

Each moment in this universe, every passing nanosecond we are presented with chances and opportunities and decisions that we make on a second to second basis without barely a consideration of the result. Of course, some things, the obvious things we must identify and adhere to, large decisions like home ownership, parenthood and our careers. Still, I choose to walk to my truck a certain way. I choose to park in a certain parking space. I choose to pick up my pen and I choose to use it in accordance with this philosophy.

I could do nothing. I could fall into the routine of doing what I have done for years, the same way every day and without care because it will not ultimately impact the course of my life.

If I drink six cans of Pepsi a day, I will get fat. That is inevitable. If I take the same path to work every day, people along that path will begin to notice my vehicle and somewhere within their minds make note of that drive. 12:40 every day a maroon truck drives down Sage Street headed towards the college. The driver is wearing grey and blue headphones and singing lout and sometimes out of key in the cab of the truck. It may be carrying snow, but usually it is just letting a surplus of air spill out of the bed as he drives.

I can do every single thing the same and come to find that I will expect the results, but what if we changed our habits one moment at a time?

Instead of parking right next to the door of the grocery store, park far away. It may have little effect on your own life, but a woman with bad hips may need that parking space close to the doors because it is cold and she is having trouble getting around.

You may not need to save twenty dollars so you consider spending it on a meal or a movie. If you save that money, maybe a twenty dollar need will arise in your future.

You don’t need to say the things you say, but you do. But what if you didn’t?

The whole world will continue to revolve around you whether you choose to let it or not, we are not that powerful, but we are powerful enough to make an impact.

If an asteroid is headed into our atmosphere, a proposed plan to deflect it is to paint it with tiny paintballs, diverting the energy on one side to another. Of course, this would take a lot of paintballs and a lot of time, but theoretically it could be done.

I wonder some days if we are more like asteroids in how we interact with people. Do we allow ourselves to smash into them and make an impact that will leave them changed forever or do we push others away with paint that we have made, afraid of what they would do to us.

We can chip away at things slowly, it won’t hurt us.

The snow falls slowly, flake by flake it collects on the ground until we are left the following morning to look at a blanket of frozen white shards, refracting colors across is surface. The fact that snow can glow in broad daylight leaves something to be said about our world, doesn’t it?

I would assume, by now, that I’ve run out of metaphors for what I’m saying and I can tell you, I’m not.

This world will spin no matter what you do, so I want to pose the question…

Why do anything other than everything in your power to live a good life.

You are in full control of only one thing on this giant rotating marble,

You.

So you are the only one who can change your situation. Good or bad, it will always come back to your choices. You are your whole world. You are the one who is growing new cells every day. The choices you made seven years ago don’t define who you are today,

And that is amazing, isn’t it?

I’ll be uploading a couple YouTube videos this weekend, make sure you’re subscribed to the channel so you don’t miss them!

Dyzygy (YouTube)

www.linmtba.com

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Dark Marks on Tall Trees

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I made a big deal about this announcement last Sunday, but, just kidding its happening THIS Sunday. Oops. I had a couple surprise things to get in order.

If you like the blog, you’ll want to tune into my YouTube Channel on Sunday evening. I’ve got a big thing I want to show you.

(Don’t worry, its pretty much 100% G rated.)

I’ve been thinking about my attitude lately. I have been really unappreciative of the things I have been given and the life I am allowed to lead. Reading over some tweets and other various social media posts from people in my life has lent to this realization. There are plenty of old friends populating my Facebook timeline who are having kids, getting married and more wonderful things, on the other hand there are plenty of people who are dragging their knuckles around through the consequences of their own choices, there are those who were dealt a supremely bad hand and have had to fight over their own fists to claw their name in the sand and then… there is me.

I often take for granted the life I lead. I want for nothing. I am able to freely express myself through my writing. I don’t depend on anything to process my emotions, I have a support system that is beyond my imaginable dreams. I have a family and friends who are so wonderful I couldn’t’ ask for better. I have a roof and I have a place to sleep every night, yet…

I still allow past pain to damage me. I think of all the bad things that I have been witness to, the things that have been done to me, even the small unimportant stuff like getting picked on in grade school for being the nerdy fat kid. (I wasn’t even that fat, for the record.) I dwell on these things quietly, when no one is around I kick myself for not standing up and saying something when I should have. Of course, this is all silly. I am a grown man with few enemies, those who have chosen to dislike me or hate me have come from rumors and the fact that those people don’t know me at all. I don’t let rumors of today bother me because I know what I am. I know who I am and I am proud of myself for how far I’ve come and how far I know I am going.

Still, there are dark thoughts that creep into my mind. I worry and panic about decisions I’ve made and things I’ve said or done. These tiny thoughts pile up into a mess within my skull that eventually would crush my focus and my mentality if I let it.

I think all of us have felt this before, we consider actions that have been made against us, torment ourselves over them and lose sleep or forget work, and we are nothing better from it. Just an anxious mess. Of course, there are other scars we bear that are much more serious. Assault, broken hearts, true horrible things that have reached out to slash our flesh and damage us forever. Those scars are much more vicious and real than those of the words that have been thrown at us. Still, we all have scars. We all have marks on our bodies that are damaging us with each moment we focus on them without seeking growth.

The other day I was watching a video on YouTube, I don’t remember the context or the information passed along. I couldn’t pinpoint the actual video to you in a list, but there was one scene that stuck with me and I will likely not forget.

You know, in our youth we always saw videos about kids carving their names into trees? Sometimes they were just the names of the kid. Maybe you carved your initials and your girlfriend of six months into a heart on a sycamore out back, then the girl left you or cheated on you and you’re stuck looking at the carved out heart for the rest of your time in the home. Maybe you carved your abusers name onto a tree in a forest, hoping someone would find it and send help your way. I hope they did, but even if not, that carving remains there. Due to the way trees grow, carvings such as these will likely never be repaired. They will stay on the tree until it is cut down or knocked down by a bolt of lightning or the surge of flame.

The nice thing, however, is that the carving will never stretch or become bold. It will stay on the trunk of that tree and it may never go away, but it will never change size or shape.

The tree however, will.

You and I are like that too. The things that have tormented you or hurt you in the past may stay in your memory forever, but they don’t have to grow with you. They won’t. You’ll get taller. You will cast your shadow on more things, you will become something that others flock to for relief from the heat of the burning sun and they may see those scars, that’s okay.

Those scars on your trunk will tell a story about lost love, but gained insight. They will tell a story of recovery, of hope, of a towering future, resounding through the forest with every single push of the breeze.

You may have scars, but we were built to be like trees. Forever growing, passing through cycles of death and rebirth, and here we are still. Standing strong, towering above the places we were hurt.

If you have collected new scars, or are looking down at your old ones, just take a breath, shake out your branches and look up.

There is so much wonder in the sky.

www.linmtba.com

14 Wolves

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If we were to consider every single problem and frustration that roots into our daily lives, rotten berry bushes pruned by the people that say things about you that aren’t true, the fruit of gossip being the easiest fruit to swallow but the hardest to digest, it feeds the deer and the bears that transfer the messages they hear to the world. Bears, obviously know better, (because duh.) and they move to the rivers that run through our lives, the rivers that waver and shift with collapsing banks, unable to be supported by the destruction of the forest in your heart. Deer and Elk feasting on bushes and foliage as they run the mill in the valleys and the gorges of your soul. These deer people might say terrible things they heard at the berry bushes, they might believe the signs that the tree branches painted with their dying limbs and spread those messages forward. Hearing this, the other animals have a tendency to run away from your soul and eventually, the park will die.

If you haven’t ever noticed through this blog, I am passionate about two things. English and Science. One of my favorite scientific concepts is seen in Ecology. The trophic cascade. (I added a link to Wikipedia so you can research more.) In case you don’t know I’ll drop the layman’s explanation, it is something that occurs when the top predator in a food web changes the behavior of the rest of the web. (In this instance, I am referring to a top down trophic cascade, however it can occur in the reverse as well.) Seeing as I am no master of the topic, I encourage you to investigate yourself if you have interest.

Consider checking out the viral YouTube video “How Wolves Change Rivers”

In 1995, 14 Grey Wolves were taken from Canada and reintroduced to Yellowstone Park, where their species had been vacant for some 70 years. The ripple effect of this one small change impacted the very geography of the park. 14 wolves entering the habitat changed the way the rivers flowed. This happened because of the aforementioned cascade. The wolves hunted elk, which were devouring the flora of the park due to a large population, they had eliminated habitats for a myriad of creatures that once made the place their home. The wolves hunted the elk, killing them, which was a start, but the elk began to migrate differently. Staying out of valleys and this allowed plants to grow back. The plants growing once more attracted birds and bears, the birds made homes in trees which had begun growing again, many of them multiplying in height within a few short years. This brought beavers, which built dams and brought in hosts of new creatures to live there. Fish, bugs, and more. Because they coyotes were being hunted, more rodents lived which brought about more predatory birds like hawks, creatures devoured the carrion of the hunted beasts and the ecosystem regenerated in a few years, then, most importantly to what I am bringing to you today, the new trees which had grown, strengthened the river banks, keeping them from collapsing and actually changing the way that the rivers flowed. They stayed their course, which helped the ecosystem thrive. The park was brought back to life all by the introduction of 14 wolves.

Consider this today, as you think about your place in life, where you are, what your park is like. Is your soul overrun with elk, devouring the plant life, keeping the homes from the ravens and bears that your soul needs to thrive?

Consider changing the way you perceive your day, I have been thinking on this topic a great deal because we are not that different from the complicated ecosystems around us. We thrive when all of us are working in cooperation, our body, mind and soul must be healthy and thriving for us to truly be healthy ourselves.

For me to be truly alive, I cannot focus on the lives of the deer and elk who are impeding the growth of my own personal ecosystem. I have sought out the assistance of 14 wolves, through their numbers small, I have found something that will kill the thoughts of laziness and sorrow within my mind. I brought about a change, and because I have seen it before I will watch as the wolves I create with my mind change the patterns of every other part of me. My body will stand stronger, fed off of food and love. My mind will grow stronger, because my body is healthy I will find myself willing to learn, to fight for what I love and know, I will be willing to gain wisdom and utilize it day to day, and through that, my soul will flourish, because the very rivers of my heart will find structure and meaning in my life.

If you are battling today, fighting to secure the park within your mind, I suggest that you introduce something new to your ecosystem. It need not be large or powerful, it only need be present and what you need it to be. Nothing more, nothing less.

Read a good book. Go to the gym. Cook food. Meditate. Pray. Go for a run. Find a new job. Dress up.

Write a book.

Kiss your love.

Adopt some wolves.

An announcement is coming on Sunday about the future of my books + such! make sure to follow me on social media to see it when it drops!

www.linmbta.com

Bad Pharaoh

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Standing above the necropolis, the great Pyramid rises out of the horizon like a fang shredding flesh from the earth itself. What was once a gilded tomb, covered in gold and meant to stand as an honor to the ego of the Pharaoh, now has fallen to pieces, barely an echo of its former glory. The remnant of a dynasty that has long since passed away. Even today, the Pyramid of Giza is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. I’ve spoken about the Wonders before, and likely will again.

There is much that we don’t know about the history of Egypt, specifically, some of the pharaohs. What evidence and knowledge we do have is slowly being uncovered day after day by the researchers and the historians who have devoted their lives to learning.

All of those things stand well and good, but I want to talk a bit about the symbolism of pyramids and one Pharaoh in particular, in relation to how we all can be today.

The pyramids, beautiful and impressive as they are, still are a symbol to some. In the hand of those who find their knowledge and identity in speculation, they belong to aliens or the illuminati, or, for some, Jay-Z. All of those aside, the pyramids are simply put, massive tombs. Legions of dead rest in some of them, buried with their Pharaoh, if my research was done correctly, they could have been buried alive beside their kings. A final attempt to reach the afterlife with their leader. The tombs are symbolic of their ascendance into the afterlife, perhaps becoming gods or supreme beings of one kind or another. The pyramids standing as a blister that shows the imagined importance of the meek human lying within, rotting slowly with each turn of season. The Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with the afterlife, consider the structure of their mythology, the gods and how they interact with the living, the symbolism of their god of death, Anubis. Which out of the number of gods the Egyptians worshipped, seems to be one of the most popular in our lives today.

Humanity as a whole is obsessed with death.

Even in the time of Pharaohs, gods and goddesses, we have been fascinated with the possibility of death and what it is like. Why it occurs. When it happens. All of the aspects of death are impossible to obtain and then share to our information hungry society. So, many of us seek out answers through life that will satisfy our craving for the knowledge of death. We seek information and knowledge to dissolve the fear that every living, breathing being holds dearest to their hearts.

I tend not to believe those who say they are unafraid of death. I am not afraid of the afterlife, I am secure in my faith and belief. I believe I know what will come of me after I pass, but death itself, the act of passing to another realm, that terrifies me. Just like everyone else I seek out answers to satisfy and hide my fear deep within my heart.

I use these tactics by telling stories, by writing poetry, by creating music. On some deep level that I struggle with admitting, I do these things because I know that they will live longer than I will and I want what I’ve said to pass the test of time. In my own way, this blog is just one of many pyramids I am building. This blog, my novels, my relationships, my future, all of them are just tombs.

This idea, brings me to a particular Pharaoh, who I think on some level is just like you and I with more jewelry and gold trim. Amenhotep IV is regarded as the worst Pharaoh that ever ruled. Going so far as to erase names of previous rulers in favor of his own, taking the responsibility for actions he didn’t commit and I don’t mean that in the “Oh I totally stole your bike, I’ll return it.” When he obviously didn’t steal the bike.

Bicycles weren’t invented then.

The point is, more often than not I find myself thinking with the same mentality as our Amenhotep, I write the things I do because in some moments, behind a curtain where I can hide my face I begin to think I know more about life than I truly do. I have seen some horrific things in my lifetime. I have experienced a lot of death, the kind that is eternal. The death that gives you closure. I want the things that I write to stand out beyond the grip of death and give my friends that live beyond me, as well as everyone else I can touch a chance to see the world how I saw it.

This comes from the same place of desperation that our ego evolves from. Amenhotep built many things in his name, out of pride and arrogance. He wanted Egypt to worship him, even later changing his name to reflect that of a god in an effort to turn more eyes towards his false light.

I think we all do this, to one extent or another. I use my writing as a way to get people to look at me, there are so many other ways to do this, using job status, family name, wealth, looks, religion, political ideals. All of these things can turn a good leader into a terrible Pharaoh. I have spent my time as Amenhotep. I have seen the efforts of gilding my creations with my name and accolades instead of my deeds and purpose.

When Amenhotep passed away, he was buried and the succeeding line of Pharaohs spent years and years trying to undo what he had done. It’s a pretty stark reminder.

No matter how beautiful you think your world is to others, the status we keep, the money we make, the ideals we hold, none of them matter when it comes down to the wire and we are being carried into the necropolis by those that either loved us, or hated us in life. I asked myself this question the other day, and I want to pose it to you as well…

When they drop your body off beneath the pyramids you built, are those people going to leave talking about how amazing you were, how you helped those in need, how you offered a kind word or gesture to anyone who needed it, how you were the pillar for those in times of weakness, or will they spend their lives trying to erase all the damage you have caused?

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your pyramid is, one way or another tourists will show up, will the guide to your life explain how you lived with kindness and grace, or will the stories of your victories be followed by stories of greater victories by others for a greater purpose? Either way, the people will strip the gold and the limestone from the face of your pyramid and you will be none the wiser lying beneath it, dead and gone like the rest of us. Peacefully staring at the ceiling, all of the things we obtained here in this life meaningless to the clawing void of necropolis, a labyrinth for the dead.

For more goodness, follow me on Twitter + Facebook!

No Monsters

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As a young man my parents would share music with me, their tastes blended with mine and allowed me to evolve the complicated mix on interests that I choose to listen to, even to this day. My music library is well over 100,000 songs and steadily grows as each album release season comes and goes. I have been a fan of many things over the years for many reasons, but there are some artists who will always stand out above the rest. Rush, from my father. The band that was instrumental in creating my passion for music, Coheed & Cambria, He Is Legend, Maylene, Watsky, so on and so forth.

However, among these artists there is a particular one that I want to talk about today. Carman. For those of you who don’t know, Carman is a contemporary Christian musician who has been releasing albums for somewhere around 30 years. Many of his songs encompass the cheesy and over the top dramatization of the Christian faith, with a twangy country styled piece called “Step of Faith” about believing that the plan is laid out for us, and we need to trust in Christ. There is “The Champion” which takes the final moments of Christ’s life and makes them into a title fight for the souls of the universe, with God in the announcer’s box calling the plays of the battle. The “Soap Song” Which is an evangelical piece based around the titles of various soap operas. Then, the one I’ve been railing into my mind lately, “No Monsters.”

I’ve spoken to you about monsters and magic and dragons. I’ve talked about personal demons and so much more, but this song is something incredibly special to me. The premise is that a young man who has seen horror shows on the television is being afflicted by the spirits that he saw, taunting him and terrifying him, in the form of an alligator man and a serial killer cannibal. These demons infest his home and torment the boy as he is trying to sleep and to combat them, he turns to the biblical teaching of calling on the name of Jesus to turn them away.

As I was listening to Carman a few days ago and talking to my mom about stress levels and how frustrated I am at some of the avenues and dragons that had popped up into my life, she told me that “No Monsters” applies to real monsters and demons too. Not just the ones I’ve made up in my head. By that, she meant to tell me that I need to focus more on my faith and my relationship with Christ as opposed to delving so deep into my own head to manage how I feel and figure out what I need to do.

See, every point of pride or sorrow or shame or worse in our lives can form a chink in our armor which will inevitably be attacked by evil. I find new scratches in mine every day, and when I do, sure as I’m living and breathing something grotesque will rear its head and try to destroy me. The fears of failure and ineptitude, the greed of desiring more money than I would ever need, the pride of knowing I am right about something, the jealousy when someone gets a bit too close to my garden. These thoughts and feelings are accompanied by evil spirits that float around my head, more often than not I let their taunting and deceit get to me when I truly shouldn’t.

This same concept can apply to you, even if you aren’t religious. Consider the story of the wolves. It is (possibly) a Native American folk tale about two wolves that are fighting within you, one embodies all good, love, joy, kindness, patience, peace and more. The other is the wolf that carries in its coat the evil in the world, jealousy, hatred, anger, impatience, lust and the rest. A young man asks the elder who wins the fight and the elder replies,

“Whichever one you feed.”

So, to wrap this up for you today, this world is filled with evil that is always going to be at your throat. Each new problem, new point of stress is just another bastion for the battalion of destruction to gain access to your fortress. When that happens, and trust me, it will, just stop moving so fast for a few seconds, look the evil in the eyes and tell it that it cannot defeat you.

No monsters are welcome in your fortress, and you should do well to remember that. You and I are building them as each day passes and they don’t belong here.

Fill it with love instead.

If you want more Polar Bear King love, check out my website!

www.linmtba.com 

Ghost Me

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A bit about social media and how we behave.

I was talking with a friend today about how our generation makes up all of these terms to explain how shitty our attitudes are. We are a society of people who want to explain things with cute words and terms instead of actually talking about how we feel. I even fall into this category. I use a lot of the terms too, not ironically, and as someone who prides themselves on their vocabulary that irritates me.

This might get kind of bloody, I hope you’re not easily upset by the crucifixion of words, because I’m planting stakes.

I am a part of a generation of assholes who are “talking” to one another instead of explaining their feelings, who would sooner smash someone and not see them again despite the implications that it may have on their futures, our guys have side chicks and our girls have sides of bullshit too. When all the drama from relationship gets to be too much we get lit at parties and pride ourselves on blackout drinking. We describe one another with memes meant to throw shade and destroy each other’s public opinion. When a conflicting ideal rears its head we sooner turn to white pictures with text on them instead of talking about our differences, over a cup of coffee or a blunt I promise it would be better than sending “Fuck Trump” memes. I don’t care for him either, but there is a reasonable and intelligent way to discuss it, but instead of searching for validity so many of us choose to investigate the holy words of our almighty Queen Beyonce and the ever revolving pool of drool take your pick, Chris Pratt, Brad Pitt or Chris Evans so on and so on. When we come across someone who aligns with our narrow and shallow idealistic portrayal of reality we choose to bind ourselves to them in moments shorter than milliseconds and they become our best friend. We also aren’t great at making decisions, either. I call three different men my best friend. One woman too. So I make criteria to divide them. My best girl friend + my girlfriend, and then my best friend from childhood and my two best good buddies and it’s all bullshit. We would rather roast one another and disappear when we go too far instead of recognizing that we just dragged someone when they didn’t deserve it. We form allegiances based on religion, political affiliation and educational ideals but not exactly because half of us don’t even understand what the fuck is going on because we were too busy voiding our intelligence in favor of reblogs, retweets, likes and favorites. So many people in my life would rather meet up online with their friends, rather than go outside and talk in person with them. Myself included. I’ve become a hermit who has fallen into laziness with the way I speak and act. Then, to cap all of this off if things don’t go our way in relationships or life, we have no qualms with dropping everything and disappearing without a trace from others lives. We call it ghosting.

Well, I’m here to haunt.

Before I continue I’m going to make this perfectly clear, I am not saying all of this from a place of arrogance. I am just as bad as the rest of us about how we speak and act. I am passive aggressive, I would rather use these bullshit made up words instead of talking about things in a real way unless I’m worried about the outcome. I am selfish and confused, confusing and hardly amusing so I feel the need to take to a blog I’ve been running for four years now to receive the attention I feel I am owed by the public just because I spend hours every week writing novels I haven’t released or really even spoken about for a year and a half.

I am not above this, but that being said, the best way to destroy a tower is to topple its foundation.

Language exists because we as a society needed a way to communicate. Each language and all of the words within, slang or not, serve a real and powerful purpose. Romantics, Encouragement, Dissent and Growth are just a number of the hundreds of things we can achieve with language.

Language itself also inspires something much more powerful. It is the reason we are capable of connecting and being true to one another. So when we dumb things down, like romantics, for example, we turn dating into seeing each other, seeing each other becomes talking, talking becomes nothing. I’ve believed for a long time that the concept of “talking” to another person when used this way eliminates all the possibilities of being hurt. If they aren’t interested, if they screw you over, if they hurt you, it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t actually anything.

“We were just talking.”

Of course on the other hand, we give up all of the wonderful things that come from romantics. Putting your heart on the line for another person and having them accept it. It gives a rush like nothing else in this world. It opens up parts of our heart and mind that couldn’t have been opened otherwise. By reducing romantics down to “talking” “hooking up” etc. we eliminate the possibility for that hurt to happen, but at the same time we limit the ability for us to feel the things that should come with relationships. The same can be said with how we interact with one another. Using digital conversations like twitter messaging and texting instead of truly spending the time with others limits our ability to be hurt, but also limits our ability to be connected. All of these things evolve into a quick recipe for us to lead half baked relationships and still inevitably feel the burn of them falling apart without holding the truly great memories close to heart. Girls I’ve “talked” to have totally shit all over me, and I realized that the moments we had spent together were hollow and filled with nothing that mattered. They were jokes to both of us because neither of us would take them seriously. This even falls into platonic relationships and workplace friendships. We have become masters of wearing two faces. So kind and jubilant to the faces of our coworkers and friends when behind those faces we are scowling, filled with anger or frustrations at their actions.

We choose not to talk to them about it and instead, like I have done so many times, passive aggressively try to mediate the inevitable confrontation by making underhanded comments to others that I know will reach the person I want them to reach.

Our personalities can so quickly become hollow and built up to fulfill some kind of social media image that we don’t even notice we have lost ourselves. Instead of voicing true frustrations and engaging in conversation we shortcut all of that by blocking people who disagree with us, telling them they are worthless if their vote cast last November somehow makes them invalid as human beings. I see it on every side of the political spectrum. My conservative friends are just as insufferable as my liberal friends who engage in the playground game of tag.

“You’re the reason our country is going to shit. Unfollow me.”

On the other hand we scream powerful opinions and defame those who stand against us. There are plenty of things I don’t support or approve of, but bringing those to light against the wrong crowds will not get me engaged into a debate or a conversation, it will get me blocked and unfriended like the number next to my twitter handle means something significant to my personal life. My author profile is another thing, and carving those groups out so that I have found an appropriate audience can be frustrating, but most of us don’t run author profiles. Most of us are just us, we don’t have alter egos that write books or make movies or music, we are just us on twitter, a bunch of wet white sheets snapping in the cold winter wind. Ghosts on a timeline.

There is so much more to get into, but I will leave it here with this…

I will consider the language I use. Each word was created for a purpose, some of them are incredibly hollow. I decided that instead of ghosting out on those people who need to hear what I have to say (or, what you have to say.) We should instead, haunt them.

Say something powerful. Be honest. Expose yourself to pain and happiness and don’t hide behind the weak walls of social media. The man or woman you are on the internet is not who you are in real life when you must carefully craft every line you tweet and every picture you post. Just, for a while, take the ghost costume off and look each other in the eyes. Get to know one another, over a beer? Maybe?

I bet you at the end of it, good or bad, you’ll understand what I’m talking about and you’ll stain your costume with spilled whiskey to set it on fire. Maybe we can burn with something other than selfishness and social image. Maybe we can value ourselves based on something other than Twitter favorites, Insta likes and number of sexual partners.

Maybe not, maybe I’ve exaggerated the whole situation.

After all, we are not really who we decide to be on social media.

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