Skip to main content

Knock, Knock

I used to feel directionless.

For most of my life I have felt like this, that there was something out there, some bigger destiny, some way for me to prove my worth to the world.  I would take stock of my god-given talents and look at other, more successful people in the fields that I am interested in, and ask myself, why not me?

I genuinely had never understood why not me until recently.  Until I had the Realization.  I capitalize Realization on purpose, because it was a singular thought that arrived in my head and though it is terribly obvious to everyone, everywhere, it has been revolutionary for me, a transformative notion.

The answer to why not me is simple:

Not me because I had never finished anything for people to grab on to.  I was not a successful novelist because I had never written a novel.  I wasn't even a failure; I was an absence.  The reason those other people were more successful had nothing to do with talent or opportunity or networking or serendipity.  First and foremost, it was because they had done stuff.  They had worked for it, they had believed in themselves, they kept going even when people told them to quit. 

Not me because I had a half written novel, a handful of half-assed songs, an unfinished painting gathering dust in the basement. 

Not me because I lacked the courage to say that I cared about anything, that I would be dissappointed if it failed.  Not me because I was not brave enough to try.  It is part of the outsider's make up to stand outside looking in and to say we don't want in, that we prefer the cold, we prefer the dark.  For better and for worse, it seems part of my make up that I am an outsider.  I have spent my life shivering in the dark, afraid to knock on the door, to ask if I can come in.

I don't feel directionless anymore.  I know what I'm doing now.  I care about this.  I believe in this.  I want in.

Knock, knock.           


 
     

Comments

  1. One day I realized the same thing. I could be a person that has MADE it. I'm smart enough and have everything I need to do so. The reason I'm not successful is because I didn't want to. I didn't want to put the energy into it. I would think of a way, plan it out, know I could do it, might have even talked about it... but did nothing! Some people would find this realization inspiring. Making you feel like you should do more and try harder. For me it was more like "Oh so that's why and I don't care". I don't want to be a failure but don't want to make it either. If I choose to, starting today, I could do something. Anything that I wanted to do. But, I don't and won't. You, Ralph, can do anything. You do have the talent and the want to. Do it! You are so lucky to have people who support and believe in you. Ahh, don't wait until your 50 to understand what you can do. Love you

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fighting for Clarity

There's this to be said about fighting: while you're doing it, you don't have room in your head for anything else, not your busted ass car or your worries about your family, not the leak under your bathroom sink, or how you're going to pay your bills.  There's only breathe one two, step out of range, shift off the center line, move breathe one three two slip the jab level change three to the body check the low kick counter one two...  it is a better escape than most, and I've tried most of them, believe me. I don't know what the fuck I'm doing here. I get humbled and beat up at every session, I don't understand why I even go. I'm feeling defeated; everything is so fucking hard for me, and I don't know why I'm doing it. I should just quit, right? Fuck you.  I'll show you motherfuckers what I am capable of. I'll show you-  And then I go and I try and my knees give and I get pummeled and twisted and what the fuck man how humble do I

#FFF

So as many of you must know, November is National Novel Writing Month and writers everywhere get all wound up and try to knock out a novel in a month.  It is abbreviated as NaNoWriMo or something stupid, presumably an event created by and intended for writers and that's the best thing that they could come up with?  The world's most garbage portmanteau?  Writing circles generally call it Nano, which is only marginally better, but at least its shorter.  I never do it because November is a terrible month to attempt to do anything other than watch football and dream of turkey and mashed potatoes and whatnot.  Who has time to sit down at the keys in November? I don't know about y'all, but I haven't been able to do jack shit creatively in the last year, what with the pandemic and the election and protests and civil unrest and the many and varied other goddamn attacks on my peace and sanity and holy shit it was all I could do to hold it together and not run screaming out o

We Would Be a Song

I seem to define my life with soundtracks, playlists that encompass epochs or periods of change or development.  My earliest music was my mother's: Van Halen and Judas Priest, Def Leppard and AC/DC.  I remember a friend of hers explaining to second grade Ralph that the big balls that Angus was singing about were parties, but even then I didn't buy it.  My teen years were heavy on grunge, Nirvana and Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, and that was the first time that music ever felt like it was mine , that I discovered by myself or through the radio, or like minded friends, that was the first time that I took it and owned it and loved it, and even now I'll hear Black Hole Sun or Rooster or Smells Like Teen Spirit on the radio and back I go. In the fifth grade, I moved to Kelso, Washington. I want to say that it was hard, but what I remember mostly from childhood is just this sense of taking every day as it arrived.  What else do we have except our own experiences to measure th