Stories Pt. 2

I know I’m posting much earlier than I usually do, but I’m one thousand percent sure that if I don’t write now then I’m going to have a brain fart and my post will end up all over the place. I’m random enough as it is so I shouldn’t add to it.  I’ve made it to chapter some number of the Donald Miller book, and I decided to take a different approach to reading today. I usually read and then make mental notes of the little gems I find so that I can write about them later. Why I do this I have no idea because I never remember what I thought was a gem.  It’s like throwing a diamond in the hay to come back for later.  Then I’ve got to dig through all that hay to find it and I end up with a big mess…and a diamond. I have really got to work on these terrible analogies I come up with.  In this particular chapter of the book Donald writes about another revelation he has on viewing life as a story.  A story is all about character transformation (thus life is) and that a character IS what he DOES.

I’m sure this sounds a bit like “you are what you eat” and I guess it kinda is the same thing.  I’m not going to expound on how they are possibly the same because then I’d have to think about it and I don’t want to think about it because then I’d have to admit that I have no idea how they’re the same thing.  Moving on.  One of the things that bothers Donald about this epiphany is that he daydreams a lot so his character isn’t transforming and his life is not really progressing.  Think about it.  If he had been doing all the things he thought to do…then he’d be…doing them.  I’m trying to figure out a good way to word this.  It’s difficult to develop character through inaction. Unlike a book, our characters in our personal lives are seen through what we do and say.  In a book we may read a person’s thoughts and their feeling, but in reality we are unable to do those things.  We need people to SHOW us and TELL us so that we know.  In the same way that we must reveal ourselves to others for them to know us.  You ever met someone who you wanted to just throw a cup of water in their faces because they act like they know you, but they haven’t been around you enough to know you from a plank in a park bench?  That’s the new trend, throwing liquids in people’s faces as seen on reality television.  I get this all the time from people because I wear glasses and I have natural hair: “You don’t look like you listen to rap music.” How does someone who listens to rap music look?  What do I look like I listen to? Chants of Buddhist monks? Actually, I do listen to those on Pandora. It’s very comforting when one is studying or reading. I almost said, “what do I look like I listen to?  Shakespeare?” and then I came to my senses. That’s one of those brain farts I was talking about. I always get off track and then have to find my way back to my point.  If you always live in your head, but not through your active life then your character becomes stagnant and stale. Once a character in a story gets stale the story dries up.  No one reads a book with garbage characters. That throws the WHOLE book off.  We are meant to grow and move forward.  Our bodies and brains develop as we age which insinuates that our lives are meant to progress as well.  Donald also touches on that point through referencing his friend’s art thesis.   Daydreaming isn’t bad, but if you dedicate all of your energy towards thinking about what you want without actually getting it then….what’s the use?

One bad habit I have is daydreaming. I’ve always daydreamed ever since I was little.  The only way I can go to sleep at night is to daydream until I drift off.  I daydream so much that my tumblr is called Cloud Kissing because I keep my head in the clouds.  Later on I felt like that sorta made me sound like a pot head.  One reason I daydream is because I’ve always read books so I liked to imagine myself being in the stories I  was reading. How would it feel to be sent to disciplinarian camp and dig holes all day?  How would it feel to get a letter from a school of magic?  Then I got into anime and I wanted to know how it would be to have superhuman strength and grow blonde hair at an inhumane rate.  I maintained by habit of dreaming due to unhappiness with who I was.  If you get picked on for having crooked teeth then you’ll comfort yourself by thinking about life without crooked teeth.  Its become a defense mechanism, but when I daydream I go into the deep end. My Uncle Justin who is an ex marine came down to visit for July Fourth last year, and we were talking about wanting things in life.  He was telling me that my cousins were not focused on reaching a goal in life.  They kind of knew what they wanted but were going about reaching their goals in a scattered way.  Both of my cousins are good artists and want to start an anime, manga, or comic book project.  But while they are both attending school to finish their prerequisites prior to going to an art school they’re getting sidetracked by things like work, video games, work, work, and work.  The free time they have they are not dedicating towards art and school is fading into work’s background noise.  They’re getting older and have more responsibilities now so that’s understandable, but my uncle just did not want them to lose sight of what they really wanted. “I support anything they do.  I don’t want them to get stuck working a desk job for some other guy, unless they’re making at least $15 an hour.  If they want to cook I support that. If they want to open a business I support that. Okay, you want to be an artist? Fine. But show me that you mean it.”  I confessed to him that I too am scattered brain and that if I daydream long enough about being a lyricist, then I’m satisfied.  At this point my character has become stagnant. Instead of funneling my desires into my actions I let my imagination run wild and then I’m like, “Wow that would really be nice. This is amazing. I think I’ll dream about it again.”  The solution would be to go, “Wow that would really be nice. Now I’ve got to get off my ass and get it.”

We sometimes get this idea that people who live “ordinary lives” are living “boring lives.” We find ourselves saying that that’s not the kind of life we would want. A person who waits tables at a restaurant, goes home to their families, and spends time watching their kids grow or cuddling with their spouse on the couch have good stories.  It may not be the story that we want, but that doesn’t negate that it is good. A person who sits all day thinking about what they want and how life would be if they got it are not living very good stories.  Maybe someone travels a predominate amount of the time and photographs the different places they have been. They could be living out of their suitcase with no home since they’re always in the road.  They’re living a better story than someone who has a family and a home but is not invested in their family.  How? Because they’re actively involved in the progress of their story.  If you’re around the dinner table with the kids and you’re thinking about how it’d be if your house was bigger or maybe if you would have married Susan instead then a story is being built around you but not with you.  I hope that doesn’t sound confusing. It’s so much clearer in my head.

I mentioned earlier that I daydream about being a lyricist. That’s literally something I want to to do. I love music and I love writing so…yay combination!  I’m at a point now where I’m not really sure how to pursue this venture so I’ve just settled into dreaming about what that would be like.  I’d get to travel and have people listen to my songs.  And if they’d play them backwards they’d hear a message from the devil. No not really….You know that was a big thing for a while though.  I want to learn to play guitar to be able to add the melody to lyrics, but I’ve gotten lax in that too.  Mr. Victor, sweet Victor, bought me a guitar to encourage me to keep pressing. Unfortunately, I’ve been pussyfooting around and it stinks because he’s invested in my story.  How can someone else believe in a good story for me when I can’t even get past the cover page?   I’ve considered returning to school for creative writing, but ask me what I’ve done about that. Don’t ask me that. Then I’d have to answer.  Daydreaming is good in that it zeroes in on what you want. But daydreaming is bad in that it may end there. Daydreaming is a road you take until you reach the the turn you actually need to make. But if you keep going on that road you’ll end up at a dead end.  It’s like too much of a good thing. Too many white chocolate macadamia nut cookies results in six cavities.  Six cavities results in a high dentist bill. I’ll be linking my paypal account later so that you can help a cookie loving girl from Mississippi get her cavities filled…..

I always end up feeling like I’m writing an essay. Like I said, I’m not the best at putting feelings and thoughts on paper…or on computer.  They flow so much easier in my brain then they just get lost in translation on the way out.  Plus the light from my laptop is starting to make my head hurt.  I feel like I’m looking into the light they tell you not to go towards. Y’all probably are like, “Praise the Lordt because she was getting long winded. And I’m not really sure what she was talking about.” It’s okay. I’ll relieve you now by going to eat a cucumber. I have to lay off of the cookies. Til tomorrow….Actually I may be posting something else tonight not related to stories. We’ll see…..

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