This post has been milling around in my head for weeks and never written due to being so busy, and not knowing how to really talk about things. Welcome to “Ironic Hell”, a place where a writer is unable to put his thoughts into words. Simply put, I needed some downtime.
This summer has been a series of lessons for me. I feel like I have learned a lot about both myself as well as other people. And a lot of it has been in regards to the importance and value of respect. I can honestly say that I haven’t really lost anyone to heated political debate this year (so far), but I’ve had some “stepping away” moments ranging from reaching out for years and never getting back, one turning a willing blind eye to me when I was being treated unfairly because it was simply easier for themselves, and another took me for a fair chunk of money and was completely okay with not delivering what they promised. Or people getting pissed at me for not having a PR team to voice my thoughts in a scripted form to their apparent and idealized satisfaction. And one… I’ll never truly guess the motivation as to why we parted ways, but only the necessity required to do so. It’s easy to be lectured about how people are capable of doing things like this, but you don’t expect behavior like this from people you call “friend”.
I think my biggest reason for “quiet” of late have been due to the violence in the world. It’s harder to “crack wise” with so many shootings and so much injustice. Of those shootings, the one in Dallas hit closer to home for me, as a childhood friend that I’ve known for years was one of those victims. Things change when “daily news” hits more on a personal level. You stop looking at the lists of names as simply that. You genuinely begin to grasp that each individual name has dozens of people mourning that person, and watching news sensationalize, hound people for more info., you realize how cold news is. I watched long-time friends that have grown into my own family through time suffer from the shock, but held together. My hometown came together in a way that reminded me of my love for small-town community. I mourned for friends, and I mourned for this way of life and the loss of a good person just doing their job. The sad part is, that nothing is learned from these events. Another one happens, and more lists of people are created, each name again having dozens mourn those losses. A month later, I still have no answers. I do know that things will not get where they need to until we stop treating people and their lives as disposable.
We have a long way to go in ever getting close to reaching the “Star Trek future“.
With a busy month of my current job, Jen and I took the last day of July to visit Universal Studios, and their new Harry Potter world. The section is incredible, feeling like you’ve stepped into the movies and books. It was no coincidence that I chose to buy the eighth book there (and their main ride within Hogwarts is incredible).
Universal is also home to a lot of memories for me. One of my first dates with Jen was there. And in the background, I saw the studio where I shot those Flying Dutchman scenes for Pirates. I still chuckle at the Jurassic Park ride memory where a group of pirates and I merrily sang “A Pirate’s Life For Me” as we were assaulted by dinosaurs. The ride there and back to the park also had us drive past Disney Studios. I smiled to myself quietly each time we passed. That moment was a lifetime ago now, but has always remained a part of me.
Working for oneself allows plenty of time for thinking. Some of the thoughts I’ve had have ranged from roadtrips over the last two years, my last birthday, my high school reunion, my time at Midway in Texas. It’s been strange because I’ve dreamed often of them, almost like trying to piece together some sort of connection, and how all of it connects to now. Coupled with experiences here, ranging from award shows to donating a ton of photos to the Neon Museum recently to help preserve Vegas’ “history”. That also leads into coming back into my own writing again. And how I titled this entry “Lessons”, because I have learned a lot this summer. How life is short, and the valuation of people. I better understand the effects of lacking respect, or changes you don’t agree with. The valuation of history, both from a world view, and within oneself.
One of my favorite childhood books has been The Hobbit, due to how the call to adventure can start just beyond one’s door. I feel the call, and it’s deeper this time. Different. Jen calls it a “Reset”. I call it a “Restoration”.
Life is short. From losing friends and classmates to actors who took part in shaping your childhood, I understand better than ever that everything provides some level of meaning, and there comes a time when you need to celebrate and explore the more meaningful aspects. For every disappointment, I’ve been reminded of the people in my life who structured my life into the person I am today. I’m going to spend more time working on those structures and let what hasn’t gone to plan go.
I feel that the next few months are going to open up some new ways for me to grow, and I’m not going to be sitting around anymore letting things pass me by. If all goes well, I’ll be taking my next few steps on an all-new, but very familiar path soon.