Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Up late, feeling weird

I find myself up at nights with this unfamiliar energy that I can't shake off. It's not something easily described, like most sensations rooted deeply into a psyche. It's like my brain is screaming at the rest of my body, “DO IT,” but never really explains to me what “it” is. So in many ways, my writing this is my way of trying to get my brain to shut the fuck up. I'm approaching 4:00 AM, and no matter how many times I highlight and delete full paragraphs from what you're reading, I'm still getting yelled at by my brain. The last paragraph with the Arrested Development reference actually wasn't bad, but by the end I was hit with a barrage of “is that what you want to say,” “that's not quite right,” “no, try again, you can do better.” My brain's a perfectionist, clearly the rest of me is not or I would have picked up that tissue that missed the garbage... three days ago.

Is this how you know you're going crazy? When your brain and the rest of you seem to be communicating on two entirely different wavelengths? The only thing I'm worried about is what kind of crazy I am. Am I crazy like the Wright brothers: “See that bird? Let's do that.” Or am I crazy like the Mansons: “See that bird? Let's go eat a hooker.” Considering I'm not smart enough to invent something like human flight, and not hungry enough for a whole hooker at the moment, I'm probably somewhere in between. But either way, I'd like to think that this is a similar sensation that many of the great creative minds have experienced. I guess I just feel better believing that Louis CK stayed up at night with a sense of undefined purpose before he started turning out the funniest jokes on the planet.

The last few days have been a complete waste. I've been stuck in a cycle of: wake up, walk to computer, overeat, go to bed, repeat. A less than ideal pattern of behavior for someone with big ambitions, probably too big. I'm not ashamed to admit that I value nothingness more than most people probably should, but I've started 2012 off with a complacent groan and it needs to change.

I've heard from successful people that the key to achieving what you want in life comes down to just doing it. Want to be a comedian? Get on stage. Want to write a book? Start typing. Want to make a movie? Find a camera. The world is made up of people that did it and people that kept saying “Well it's not that simple...”

People spend their entire lives just waiting for that spark of inspiration that sets them on the path they think they deserve. But the fact of the matter is that life doesn't give you that spark. What life gives you is a free night to think every now and then, and a decent bottle of wine. Then you're on your own. Asking for anything more is pissing in the wind.

Perhaps this is a trait of my generation. It seems like just about everything that's been invented since I was born was made to distract me from more meaningful endeavors. Of course Michelangelo could focus on painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he didn't have a Netflix queue to watch or access to pornography on his phone. Why wouldn't Beethoven compose those nine symphonies if the only alternative form of entertainment was playing hopscotch or dying of the bubonic plague. I don't intend to blame the shortcomings of this lethargic generation on the technological advances that are supposed to represent the forward thinking we so obviously lack. But it's impossible to even finish a thought, let alone an idea, when every time you blink there's a new shiny gadget offering instant satisfaction.

This is the hand we're dealt. And I don't feel like folding this one, at least not tonight. That's why I'm still up at a time when most people are just waking up for a productive little Wednesday. I'm awake because this itch wouldn't scratch itself. I'm awake because that twinge my brain is giving me is sick of being cast aside, and I decided that it had a good point. I'm awake because even though I don't have any idea what the hell I'm writing about, I know I had to write it.