(A/N: an attempt to compose a poem out of dialogue. Quotes are taken from an actual person that I know.)
“I want a girlfriend so badly.” A void of loneliness will never fade.
“Is it worth talking to this girl if you’re not going to date them?” It is not worth talking to them. Because you are not worth talking to.
“Don’t you look at every woman and just choose whether or not you’d date them?” I do not dare to assume anything. I have my flaws, and I do not judge theirs.
“You shouldn’t disrespect the Bible. Every Adam has an Eve, and you shouldn’t be alone.” If I had to choose between perpetual solitude and your company, I would be lonely.
“Ohhh shit! You need to sabotage their relationship, bro, you totally have a chance.” Do Christians not believe in loyalty and trust? Or is that just you?
“You’re not thinking like a father.” I pray you will never be a father.
“I’m not transphobic, but I do not want those people in the bathroom with my daughter.” She’s in more danger with you than she is with one of them.
“That’s just my point of view, as a Christian.“
Whatever happened to compassion?
Because you seem to lack it despite
My Best Efforts. It’s so hard to love you
because their eyes are on you
and it drives me mad.
Some nights I swear they don’t see me
because they’re so focused on your
because their eyes are on you
and it drives me mad.
To them, you can do know wrong. But I
I see right through you, sinner- and you
Are not forgiven. For making me run
Run out of your shadow- forcing
me to do more…
because their eyes are on you.
And it drives me mad.
Throughout this year, I carried a small notebook with me.
In it, I poured out spontaneous thoughts and ideas, plans for stories that I was going to write, little quotes that mattered to me, letters that I will never send to people and figures who made a difference in my life. I talked about problems that I haven’t even mentioned here, and I felt like with everything I wrote, I was reminded of a piece of my past at least once. It’s been a really reflective year, and I think I’ve been doing a lot more self-evaluation and meditation now than I have at any other time.
But anyways! Today, December 30, 2015, that book is almost full. And looking at myself now, I’ve still got a long ways to go, but I’ve come so far already. And I really think I made strides during this year in healing and moving forward from my past.
For the longest time, I was constantly angry at the world for being unfair and corrupt. I befriended people who had been bullied in the past and sometimes saw problems where there weren’t any because I had been pushed around in a similar manner. I acted as a muckraker would and just pointed out everything that was wrong. I was disgusted with the world.
But over the last two years, I learned to see the beauty in the world again when I looked at nature (despite all the bug bites), when I saw friendship and relationships, in the faith people have with their religions, and of course, in their writings. I tried to be kind to everyone, because nothing good comes of screaming at the world in frustration. And I should know.
I learned to move forward from a loss but I remembered how it helped me on this path and while I still feel something, I’m grateful that I was given something to take away from it. And a good friend of mine finally shoved me to the point where I got up off my ass and did something to help myself.
Each and every day, I tried to create my own happiness. I laughed and I smiled because every single day, I tried to find a reason to. And it wasn’t easy. But I look back at this little book of mine, where I worked out all those issues and where I talked about all the things I did and wanted to do, and I remember that I still had the time of my life in the meantime.
I learned to take charge of my life. I called a lot of the shots this year and admittedly, I did make a few mistakes. But they were my choices. I embraced who I was and I made sure I didn’t give that up for anyone or anything.
Honestly, I also feel a lot more comfortable talking about the past. Before, whenever I brought something painful up, it was like I’d get sucked back into it, but now I tell these stories and it’s as if I’ve made my peace with it. I’ve come to terms and I’ve moved forward from it all.
It’s so relieving and I have no idea what I’m going to do now.
Isn’t that great?
(This is Part 1 of 3 in a series to celebrate the New Year. Part 2: Fade to Black will be released at noon tomorrow and the final part (Come Right Back) will be released at midnight on New Year’s Day.)
A Message To My Friends, Family and WordPress followers,
It’s kind of hard to put my thoughts into words at the moment, but I’ll try my best. I’ve always had something to be thankful for, something to lean on, something to hope about, a bright side to life. But I’m going to be perfectly honest here. This is the first year of my life where I can say for the most part, I’ve been truly happy and content. I’ve been able to look at the world around me and the life I live and truly appreciate what I have now. I have a loving family, some of the best friends I could ever ask for, and the chance to make a difference doing something I love.
There was a time in my life where I was so broken, and I felt so awful about myself that I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I had imaginary friends who were everything I wanted to be. There was a time where all I could feel was anger and sadness and rage.
But I met other people who inspired me to stand on my own and move forward again. And I began to fully understand how much my parents loved me and how they’ve got my back. You all have inspired me to stand on my own and move forward from the pain and the loss.
Max and Vici, you guys have taught me a lot about love. Seriously. Your old-married-couple status is something everyone strives for. But in actual, non-sarcastic, seriousness, you guys are two of my best friends and I can’t thank you enough. You guys have shown courage in the face of adversity, and I’m so proud to say that we’ve helped people together. Cheers, guys. Here’s to the memories.
James, we’ve come a long way in six years, man. And in some ways, we’ve changed, but at your core, I still see one of the kindest people and one of the greatest friends I ever had and still have. Every time we talk, I’m always guaranteed to leave smiling, no matter how terrible I was feeling, and that’s a great gift. You’ve done a lot for me, and I wish I could have done more for you. But all I can do is leave you these messages of encouragement. I can tell you you’re one of the hardest workers I know and that I hope you keep going, and that you maintain some faith in humanity. After all, you inspired me to contribute some sort of kindness everyday.
E.R., I admit that when I first met you I was kind of intimidated by the way you seemed to already know everything I knew and how your creativity outran mine by miles, but it’s motivated me to push myself further and to learn more. And it’s been a pleasure to get to know you and to be your friend.
Emma, I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me during the past four years. I’ve enjoyed our long talks about life and God and pretty much everything under the sun. Your faith inspires me every day, and I’m trying to cram as much fun in my life as I can.
Lauren, you’ve done so much to help and you barely know me. Words can’t express my gratitude for that. You create amazing work, and you are so strong. Thank you for reminding me that I create my own happiness, that I am an independent person in control of his life.
And to you guys- you all inspire me with your creativity, and your kindness. You’ve allowed this blog to grow and evolve, just as I have. WordPress has given me the chance to come out of my shell, to express myself and connected me with some sincerely amazing people around the world. I love being the Oddity Writer, and I’m so grateful for the chance to make a difference somehow, or to at the very least, to try to create something wonderful. Thank you all so much.
I promise I’ll try to do you guys proud.
Thank you all so much for reading, and I’ll see you on the next page of this story. Good night.
Good evening and hi, ladies and gentlemen! My name is Daniel, and of course, welcome back to The Oddity Writer. So I thought I’d take the time to respond to this post by Elizabeth of Simplinspiration. “Hello?” was published following my Circumnavigation review of her blog, and it went into the idea of diversity. So this is my reply, my expansion and thoughts on these ideas.
I admit that when I first had the idea to write the Circumnavigation series, it was not as a celebration of different writing styles. It was my attempt to give back to the WordPress community. To feature other people who had talent. I eventually decided to fuse it with the concept of a travel show- and that led to the concept I have today- a tour across the Internet to find some great content creators.
It’s my belief that every single person is special- that every person is unique and has a reason for existing. Everyone is important, no matter how small they might seem. However terrible a person may be, they might inspire someone to do good, to counter them somehow. So, while I didn’t integrate this belief as a part of this feature, I do now.
“Recognizing the differences between yourself and another being and celebrating them is what makes us unique. A point of difference is all it takes to either make peace or start a fight.” This is my favorite passage and it really made me think because the past two weeks have just been… bad. Tiring. Chaotic. In the world, and in real life, my point of view has been challenged and tried and I personally have been pretty taxed as the normal strain of school was supplemented with these extra stimuli. I was bothered by the “righteous” anger behind the activists on college campuses following the breakout of hatred and anger at Missouri. I looked out at the events of Paris, with the lives being lost and the impact hit us all and I didn’t have words. The effects of it all shot across the world.
I saw it all and I felt so tired.
Because there’s a simple solution to all this, and Elizabeth discussed this. She said, “A point of difference is all it takes to either make peace or start a fight.” So yes, you can spit on people who disagree with you. You can fight and protest for your cause and intimidate someone into silence. Mistreat others as you have been mistreated. You can, in the light of a terrible event, ban people from entering the country because of their religion.
But why? Why perpetuate the unkindness? Why create more chaos? Why create division among race and religion? ISIS wants us to repel Syrian refugees when they just want a safe home. The activists want to be heroes who repeat history and fight for their rights. But their blind faith in their cause is wrong, the violence that has resulted is an overreaction. Are we going to really resort to creating more violence and chaos in all these situations when we could just work peacefully?
But enough politics. I know that having had to make peace with myself, and being shunned, I think a lot of problems could be more easily solved if people embraced each other’s differences in race and religion, not allowing those things to get in the way.
We are who we are. I am a broken writer, an amalgam of all the people and experiences- puzzle pieces from different puzzles forced together into one strange combination. But I fight to be happy everyday. I fight to make others happy. And I accept myself and the others around me. Be kind to each other. It’ll make a world of difference.
I choose to write and continue this series because it can be a force for good. And no, I didn’t realize a lot of things about how my views on writings reflect an acceptance and peace. But I do now.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for writing about me and inspiring me to do more. I wish you luck on getting her handwriting up to speed. 🙂
Thank you all so much for reading and I’ll see you on the next page of this story!
(This post was written before the Supreme Court case came out, but this is an example of the best in humanity, I think. Embracing people for who they are and celebrating. My feelings are briefly expressed over on Tumblr and placed below. And now back to the original post.)
Personal development snuck up on me and I was a changed man before I had even sensed anything. An obvious statement, of course, and I’m sure that there will be many rolling their eyes at this cliché. But if I were to talk about it, to ramble on about how it’s amazing how many subtle alterations can so sharply influence an event or a view or a story or even a world, about how we’re always moving, always changing every second when we don’t realize it, I’m sure it would be at least a little intriguing. Of course, the fact that we have souls, timeless and beautiful as they are is what I like to think defines humanity and defines every single person I meet.
Before I became “the Oddity Writer”, before I even thought to create such a blog or a mantle for myself, I was a completely different person than I am now. I was an angry, bitter person who would rage at perceived injustice and a person who would resist everything, continually question the powers that be and the logic of others. I would lash out in anger knowing that there were no consequences I could suffer- I would not make an impact. I would write about the triviality of certain legislations, point out the unnecessarily convoluted plans that my local education system came up with, rage about the drug and bullying issues I saw in my neighborhood to no avail. I was trying to be a modern-day muckraker, criticizing and being generally scathing.
Nowadays, I see the same things- I still see druggies getting their dose of nicotine by my former school, and I still see the ugliness behind the hatred of murder during the Charleston shooting, the loss of lives in the Middle East, the inability to allow people to grieve in peace, the refusal to close cram schools/academic centers in South Korea at times despite serious health concerns and the closure of schools, and in those who only seek to watch the world burn.
But I see beauty in this community, in watching people create with their cameras and their words, in watching people encourage others and inspire others, and I see beauty in my life, in the love I felt, in the friendships I’ve forged, in the people I’ve met here. And it serves as a balance that I did not have in the past, it serves as a reminder of how I need to live my life, of why I continue this blog. I want to walk a mile in the shoes of my readers, and to be able to talk with them. I have changed because of the friends I have made, and because of what this blog has allowed me to witness- love and loss and heartbreak and hope.
I think if I could wish for something, I’d look for some basic humanity in the world, more kindness, and for more friends. I’m facing a huge future with infinite proportions of potential and I wish I knew where to begin.
That’s a good note to stop on. I’m off to work on a few other things, which may or may not be posted online. I’m still trying to decide. But until then, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll see you tomorrow with another post- a shorter one where I’m going to need your opinions. Thank you all SO MUCH for your time and support. See you next time.
I have not slept much There is so much to think on So many words streaming
Down like rain as the Memories of them, of music surface.
As you may have guessed from the poetry above, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting, and thinking, and writing, and destroying what I wrote on the many sleepless nights I’ve been having.
And yes, I am trying to feature more poetry on this blog. Reading a lot of Lori’s posts has inspired me to do more, and having been in the midst of a lot of Shakespeare in school recently has whetted my appetite. (It’s been three years since I last did a sonnet, so why not?)
But anyways, here are some of the questions that I’ve asked myself, alongside the conclusions:
Am I a good enough writer that my words can help people?
I’d like to think that I am. One should use his words to help others. Reporters and journalists use their powers to share important information across the world, philosophers expound their thoughts on life in the universe, influencing how we all move forward as we read their work. Scientists use reports to share their findings with their community… like that one report where the purported benefits of a cup of white wine were debunked. Dunno why that one came to mind, but there you go.
I worry at times, my words hurt more than they help- when I’m angry and when I lash out at others, or in a recent situation where I had to relinquish a story for fear that I would generate too much negativity and become someone who I wasn’t- someone who would not make “The Oddity Writer” a blog true to the principles it expounds in the importance of every person here.
But I do my best to be able to help others with my work- in editorials where I criticize something, I do try and offer solutions or to say what’s necessary to resolve an issue.
Have I kept my eyes on what’s important in life?
That’s a difficult answer. I had a friend who I talked a lot with, and she was amazing. We talked about our lives and about what we believed in, and on science and English and music… and then I lost sight of what was important and I lost her. That sounds really vague, but for personal respect for her, I won’t go into detail.
The answer is no in that case, but I like to think that I was able to maintain my focus for this blog. No matter how sporadic the updates, I tried to grow, I tried to become a positive figure, to be a good man. No matter what, whether I failed or not, I did try- and I think in this one case, that’s what matters. Being able to stand proud among more than 150 of you gathered here, and with the amazing individuals scattered across WordPress.
One resolution I should make is to reconcile with my family. Recently, the conflicts I’ve been feeling in my personal life, about what I’m going to do about my future, have affected them, and I’ve clashed with their preferences. But they’ve stood with me through thick and thin, and I refuse to let them down.
What is my goal in life anyways?
To understand. I want to be able to understand the points of view of others, keep my loved ones close, in mind and in a position of importance in my mind. And I want to work to help others with my words, with the knowledge and the understanding. That’s the thing about this blog- I hope that it helps people, or that it documents my life, my walk towards becoming a man who can accomplish that goal.
—-To Be Continued——-
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work! It’s really appreciated, and I’d love to hear about your own thoughts in the comments. I hope that you all have an amazing day or night!