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

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

So I find myself wanting to write about politics, which I hate.  I want to write a scathing review of our political system, and the douchey asshats that we have elected to represent us, because it is something that vexes and frustrates me on the regular, and what I do is write about things that bother me and then I feel a little better.  It has worked well for me and my personal well being; just doing this blog and airing all my personal laundry for all to see has been as cathartic as anything.

But I hate politics.  I think that it is intentionally divisive, designed to make us see the world in an "us vs them" mindset, to see the whole world and our place in it as sides in a game, a bloody and terrible game.  It makes it easy to start painting the opposition as something other than we are, which in turn makes it much easier to think terrible things about them, that they are racist idiots, that they are stupid takers, it makes it easy to say awful things to them, especially f…

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 thi…

Die Laughing

I want to die laughing.

I imagine it, this big final guffaw, watching a video of someone falling down or being attacked by a goose, just this terminal laughter, a giggle or a wheeze, that's the way to go out. We're all dying, just some of us faster than others, some are torn away and some drift off, but the destination is the same for each and every soul on this beautiful miserable planet.  Whether it be by accident or murdered by time, we are all on the same ride.

I want to be taken away by the Death of the Discworld, like I imagine Terry Pratchett did, the classic hooded skeleton, blue fire eyes.  On the Discworld, you pretty much always get what you expect; the afterlife is what you believe it to be.  I imagine Sir Terry, wherever he ended up, laughing his face off, turning his brilliance on the world itself, holding a funhouse mirror up to distort images into strange shapes, recognizable, but seen from a different perspective. Godspeed Sir Terry. Mind how you go, sir.

I want …