A Little Heartbreak Soup for the Soul: A story about a young man’s love affair with comic books

“Today, comics is one of the very few forms of mass communication in which individual voices still have a chance to be heard.”

Scott McCloud

I’m pretty sure I was about 13 years old, the day I stopped at a newsstand to purposely buy a comic book for the first time. I had read a comic or two before that, but they had always been just handed over to me. I would read them, think that the pictures were kinda cool, and then toss them in the garbage without giving it a second thought. Before that day, comic books just didn’t seem as interesting as the cartoons I watched, or the video games I played. And those things took up enough of my time as it was. Comic books were nothing more than a cool looking curiosity. Then one day I’m making my way towards the Q66 bus stop in Flushing Queens, when I saw a newsstand that had spinning rack full of brightly colored comic books. I don’t know what compelled me to stop and check out those comics. Perhaps it was the vibrantly kinetic illustrations that were plastered on the covers that lured me in like a kitten being drawn to a laser light. Whatever it was, it pulled me in and before I knew it I was turning the rack, and pulling out a handful of comics that caught my eye. I walked over to the attendant, handed to him 5 comics and a $10 bill. He placed the comics in a brown paper bag, handed the bag back to me, along with my change, and I set a course for home. Not yet realizing that I had just discovered what would be one of my great loves.

English: Young woman reading a comic book at A...
English: Young woman reading a comic book at Alternative Press Expo 2010, organized at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco, California, by Comic-Con International on Oct. 16-17, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t get a chance to read the comic books on the bus as I had intended. The Q66 was jam-packed with students from Flushing High School, and it was standing room only. It wasn’t until I got back to our apartment, and I got to throw my gear in my room, that I got a chance to look through the comics that I had purchased. I had picked up Uncanny X-Men #292, Classic X-Men # 77, Spawn # 4, and two other comic books that apparently left no lasting impression on me. I laid there on my bed and read through them all in a matter of a few short minutes. I had no idea what was going on. I had no discernible clue who these characters were, or what was their story, and why they all looked so angry the entire way through the book. But something about it called my attention. At that age, being on the cusp of manhood, but still attracted to childish things, I was drawn to it. The characters were larger than life, god like being. They lived in an angry, dark world, similar to the one I lived in. But unlike my world, these characters had powers that allowed them to fight the injustices that they witnessed. They suffered, and went through great loss, but they persevered and fought for noble causes. It didn’t seem childish to me. Even with all the spandex, and brightly colored costumes that look absolutely ridiculous in real life. Those costumes, for some strange reason that I quite couldn’t fathom, added to the mystic of it all. I wanted more.

I would pick up more comics in the coming months. The X-Men cartoon debuted shortly there after. And I found myself spending more and more of my time revisiting the world these characters lived in. Eventually it got to the point when every Tuesday I would spend every single cent I could get my grubby little hands on at the comic book shop on Main St., and walk out with a nice big stack of comics. It had become my favorite form of escape. As the world I lived in became more chaotic and irrational. I found great comfort immersing myself in a world that seem to have a very basic set of rules. There was evil in the world. There was also good. The evil would try to engulf it all. But good would stand its ground, and at some point, when everything seem to be at it’s darkest, good would find a way to prevail. Then the song and dance would begin anew. I could get that. I liked that. It was simple, and neat, and much more comprehensible that the shades of gray world that I lived in. Where there didn’t seem to be good or evil, just these meandering malaise of indifference. Those comic books kept me sane, as things at home got darker and and more uncertain.

But you can only keep darkness out of you heart for so long. Especially when you are being shrouded by it. As my teenage years wore on, and the scars started mounting, the simplistic, good vs evil, morality plays no longer could hold my interest. At the time I felt I understood the underlying truth to everything. That the darkness, always wins out. By the time I had reached my late teens I had all but stopped reading comic book. Part of it was that now they just seemed bloated and corny. Characters sacrificed themselves, only to return a few months down the line. Slightly altered, perhaps darker. It no longer spoke to me.

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A few years passed. I met a girl. Moved to Chicago. Got my education on. I wasn’t feeling as hopeless as I had once felt. I started feeling a little nostalgic for the comic books I had read during my teen years. I was getting curious as to what fate had befallen on some of my favorite characters. So I would look them up from time to time. It seemed something horrible had happened to so many of the characters I admired. They were all battered and scarred, just like myself. I didn’t feel the need to look into the mirror every time I read a comic book, so I never would never get myself to pick them up permanently. Just once in a blue.  To satisfy my lingering curiosity. But the love for the medium was still there.

Maus
Maus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wanted to read comics, but my taste had matured, and the comic of my youth wouldn’t cut it. I needed something a bit more real. Something more sophisticated. It was then that I started discovering books like Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and Alan Moore’s The Watchmen. These comics weren’t a simple morality play. These comics were making social commentary about the world that I lived in. These comics were set in a different universe, but somehow they were grounded in such a manner that they mirrored our world in ways that I hadn’t ever thought possible. The men who wrote these great books had something to say and they used the comic book medium to say it. It was a revelation.

Cover of "Blankets"
Cover of Blankets

I wanted to find more comic like these. So I found other books that had previously escaped my notice. Stuff like Will Eisner’s A Contract with God. Or Craig Thompson’s Blankets. These books spoke to me. It was around this time that I discovered the works of two brothers. Men who are pioneers of sorts. Two men that wrote and illustrated, some of the greatest works ever in the genera. Jaime and Gilberto Hernandez. Los Bros Hernandez.

The comic book industry has a very big elephant in the room, that is pointed out time and time again, but nobody ever really bothers to really address it in a serious way. That is the lack of female and minority representation in the medium. I’ve read thousands of comic books in my day, and yet there has been only a handful of times that I ever read about a character, or saw one, that looked like me. That it was someone of color. I can only name you one Puerto Rican character that I ever remember reading about. Her name was Dr. Cecilia Reyes. She was an X-men. A very reluctant one. And one that I only saw in maybe a handful of issues. I don’t recall ever reading about a Mexican character; and the few black characters that I saw had their origins in the blaxploitation period of the 1970’s. And females, well, females, where nothing more then half naked, roided freaks, who went into battle posing like coked out models on a Paris runway. As much as I loved comics, the industry itself it seemed didn’t really care much for me. Or anyone who wasn’t Caucasian and male. But Jaime’s and Gilberto’s works changed all that for me.

Love and Rockets #16 by Gilbert and Jaime Hern...
Love and Rockets #16 by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, 1985, Fantagraphics Books. Cover illustration by Gilbert Hernández depicting two of his major Palomar characters, Heraclio and Carmen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Their comic book, Love and Rockets opened my eyes. Set in post punk L.A during the early 80’s, Love and Rockets featured Margarita Luisa “Maggie” Chascarrillo and Esperanza “Hopey” Leticia Glass. Two bad ass Chicanas, that worked on cars, played in punk bands, and who most of all tried to make sense of the brutal, and yet vibrant world that they lived in. A world very much like my own. There were black characters, brown characters, white characters, lesbian, straight, mentally ill, gang-bangers, rockers, lovers, haters, mad-men, and saints. Love and Rockets had all these diverse characters mingling, arguing, and living side by side, not in peaceful harmony, but with passion and tension, like people do in any urban sprawl. I knew this world. I lived in it. I thought it couldn’t get better than this. Thankfully I was wrong. Because it was then that I picked up Gilberto’s masterful collection of Palomar.

Set in a small, undisclosed Latin country, the town of Palomar, was a place that was neither here nor there. It existed almost in the ether. It was a town that somehow lived in both modern times yet was stuck in a much older one. The town of Palomar was populated by some of the most colorful and moving being that I have ever read about. And they all gravitated around the towns Matriarch, a big breasted, bow legged woman, that walked around with a hammer, by the name of Luba. Palomar was a place that would have been easily recognized by my parents, or my grandparents, or anyone that had ever spent time in a Latin American country, during simpler, less wired times. It was a place where the veil between the world of the living and the dead was at it’s thinnest. A land where death was permanent, but the ghost of the past visited frequently. It was both absurd and poignant. It was above all, a town where the broken hearted could find comfort. They even had a special soup for those that suffered from sickness of a broken heart. It was called “La Sopa de Gran Pena”, or Heartbreak Soup. The stories from Palomar were not simple comic stories. They were the greatest example of comic books unrealized potential. It was pure illustrated literature. And it is one of the finest examples of magical realism’s that you will ever encounter.

I am grateful to whatever it was that pushed me to pick up that small stack of comic books at the newsstand that day. It inspired my love of art. My appreciation for writing. It filled my head with big ideas, and transported me to some of the more magical places that anyone could have dreamed off. There is more to the medium than just super heroes. I just wish the industry as a whole could understand that. I don’t know if I will ever fulfill my once vibrant dreams of writing my own graphic novels. There is so much uncertainty about the future, and I’m not entirely sure in which direction my life will be taking over the course of the next few years. But if I ever do manage to come up with something, I hope that it will be something that will bring comfort to the restless souls who yearn for something that they can recognize themselves in. Just like some of these works did for me.

A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do!

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On Friday night I went to bed dreading the day I had ahead of me. I’ve been a bit busy as of late, with work and my writing, which has caused me to neglect my yard upkeep duties. Yard-work is not my idea of fun. And anything that I don’t perceive as fun automatically falls under the “shit I rather not do” list. But the yard was looking a tad bit abandoned and I rather not have my little place be deemed the neighborhood eye-sore. So I went to bed that night with my mind set to do what a man had to do.

I woke up early Saturday morning cocooned in our plush comforter. I had left the window opened and had turned on the fan, not knowing how chilly it was going to get overnight. Even though I was snug like a bug, with only the top of my head exposed to the cold air in the room, my bones could still feel the early chill that was in the air. Even though I was conscious, I had to lay in bed an extra 10 to 15 minutes while the rest of my body slowly regained it’s senses. As I waited patiently for my body to snap out of it, I was mentally psyching myself for all the work that I was to do. “ A’ight big man, we gonna handle our business. We just gonna go out there, pick up all the crabapples that damn tree in the back left strung all across the yard, and give that lawn a little TLC. After that gets done, we can come back inside, go down to the basement, power on the 360, and get in some quality time with Bioshock: Infinite”. My mission was a simple one. Yet I wanted no part of it.

I eventually managed to get my big frame off our comfy bed. I went through my early morning ritual of brushing my chompers, washing my face with cold water, in hopes that it would wake the last bits of me that were still asleep, and helped myself to a nice cold bowl of day old oatmeal. I put on my, I’m about to get dirty but I don’t give a f@#k , gear on, and went out back. It was a bit chilly at first, but the sun was out and about; and she was still giving off just enough warmth that I didn’t have to run back-in to look for a sweater. It was perfect weather for a big guy like me. I grabbed the garbage bag and got straight to work.

The first hour and a half all I did was pick up crabapples. Now I don’t know who was the genius that thought it would be a good idea to plant a crabapple tree in the middle of our yard, but who ever they were I wish I knew where they lived, so I could drop the dozens of apples that I picked up and toss them across their lawn, to see how much they like it. You know, as a thank you, for all the hard work that they have put me through.

I must have picked up at least 100 apples that were strung cross my yard. It’s safe for me to say that it was the least enjoyable part of my morning. But I got the job done, and my yard was on it’s way to looking half way presentable.

Next order of business was to pull the reel mower and even out the grass that had grown a little unruly over the past few weeks. I live in a corner lot, so I have to not only cut the grass in the yard, but the large patches of grass that I have next to the sidewalk and the front lawn. This I didn’t mind so much, because it is nowhere near as tedious as picking up half rotted apples from the ground.

Once the grass was cut and then evened out by the edger, I picked up some of the fallen branches that were scattered around the property. This only took a few minutes and I didn’t mind at all, because by this point I was feeling strangely motivated to do a good job. I was like a bolder being tossed down a steep hill. The more I worked the more momentum I seem to pick up. I was in the zone. I was taking pride in my home, and I wanted her to look her best. I was feeling guilty for neglecting her. Yes, my wife and I have had a lot of things to juggle lately, but I should have found the time to fit the work in. This is our home after all. This is why we wake up early every morning, and spend 40 hours a week in a mind numbing office. So that at the end of the day, we can drag our lifeless bodies away from our daily torment, and be resuscitated in our little slice of heaven.

I finished of the work by nourishing the yard with some much needed watering. I hooked up the sprinkler. Set a couple of lawn chairs out. And the wifey, pups, and I sat under the crabapple tree’s shade for an hour or so relaxing by watching the sprinkler go to work. It was the perfect end to a work filled morning. It was pure nirvana.

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Let Me Just Get a Little Taste

garfield-lasagna

So apparently I have a new hobby now. It basically consists of me constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I’m sure it doesn’t come to any surprise that this doesn’t make me feel very comfortable. However, life isn’t as short as the YOLO crowed would lead you to believe. Latinos have a proverb that says “hierba mala nuca muere”. Which translates to bad grass never dies. Or in other words, those that live a crappy life tend to live a really long one. I truly believe that it is important to challenge yourself constantly or run the risk of living a long miserable existence. I figure now is as good a time as any to get myself motivated.

The first thing that I chose to tackle was to completely reinvent my eating habits. At first I thought I should do so gradually. You know– to make it a bit easier on me. After all, you don’t just stop being a professional glutton overnight. Or so I thought.  But after some heavy deliberation. I decided to forgo that strategy. I mean a crack head doesn’t just take smaller and smaller hits until he is ready to wean himself off the pipe. Well maybe some do. There are always exceptions to the rule after all.  But the majority that do get clean don’t go that route. I figured that if I wanted to do this right, I would have to do it the hard way. Which meant that I would have to give myself as little leeway as humanly possible. So I chose to skip the foreplay and go right for the nitty-gritty.

Well as you might have guessed it, this has been psychological torture for me. I don’t know how you skinny or moderately plump people deal with food, but for the morbidly obese, food isn’t something that you just consume to keep you standing above ground for a few more days. It is a psychological crutch that gives you an immense feeling of comfort. Eating food for (some) of the obese is a bit like a self destructive act, attune to cutting yourself, or taking a hit from your favorite street level pharmaceutical. Although the act of overindulging on foods that don’t have much nutritional value may be harmful to you, for whatever reason the pleasure centers in the brain fire off on all cylinders giving you a momentary sense of relief and numbing you from the pain that you are trying to escape from. Of course the sense of relief that you feel is fleeting at best. Once you’ve had your fill of the sugary goodness or a small mound worth of carb loaded meals, the feeling of disgust come over you sinking you back a little deeper than where you were before you ate. So eventually you overeat again, and and the vicious cycle begins.

The way I chose to change my habits was simple really. I would eat nothing but leafy greens, lean meats, drink nothing but water, and I would allow myself one bowl of oatmeal every morning. I’m still eating the same quantity of foods as I was before, but I changed what I was eating. I never realized it until I started my new eating habits that my addiction to sugary foods and carbs was akin to having an addiction to drugs. I’ve been to two wedding and one birthday party since I started this. At each event there was plenty of soda, alcohol, desserts and cake. Each time it took every ounce of my fiber to resist giving in and allowing myself a few morsels. It was so trying for me that at several points I felt a drastic mood shift in me. I could feel myself getting agitated. Angry even. My mouth watered just by looking at all the delicious poison. What I hated most was just seeing everyone eating and drinking to their heart’s content. Everyone around me having the time of their lives, while I stood around, chewing on some chicken or drinking my 9th bottle of water for the day. To say that I was feeling a little envious was putting it mildly.

Everytime I walk into one of those big box stores or walk through the aisles at the supermarket, I am tempted by what seems like an endless supplies of sugary snacks and carb or starch loaded foods, that I know damn well taste 1000 times better than the spinach that I’ve been chewing on like a goddamn brontosaurus. But I am more than my urges. Or at least I tell myself that I am. So I resist. I let the urge wash over me, and then wait patiently for it to dissipate. It’s hard. Really, really, hard. It’s draining really. One shouldn’t have to expand so much willpower and patience on a simple thing like deciding what to eat for your next meal. And yet, here I am doing exactly that. I would say it’s not fair, but the truth is I did this to myself. I had my fill so to speak, and now it’s time for me to pay the piper.

The good news is that the effort that I have put in over the last 3 weeks seem to be paying some dividends. I’ve dropped 15 pounds and counting. So I’m feeling good about that. I won’t proclaim that I’ve won in any way because I I’ve failed at trying to lose weight dozens of times before. But I will say it is a good start.  I won’t start working out just yet, just because I know that if I increase my energy usage then my hunger will reach almost monstrous proportions. Slow and steady is the way to go for now. Once I hit the 300 lbs mark, then I will start working out again, and see if I can get those dimples on my butt cheeks that I have always wanted. Anyway peeps I am outty. I’ll probably do a post a month on this to kinda let you all know how my battle with the bulge is going. Until the next one, catch ya’ll later.

Married to One’s Sadness

 

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I was listening to WBEZ, which is the local NPR radio station here in Chicago, as I was making my way home from work. The station was broadcasting a story was concerning a married couple that had interviewed each other about their life together. At first I really wasn’t paying any attention to what was being said because my mind was somewhere else trying to escape the drudgery of being stuck in rush hour traffic. Slowly, but surely, their conversation earned my attention. From what I was able to gather, the husband was a Pakistani student here on a student Visa. The wife was born and raised in some rural town in Washington State. They met while they were in collage. She asked him about his first few years in this country. He mentioned how it was a mostly pleasant experience until 9/11 happened. That after the attacks he couldn’t help but feel a little alienated. He mentioned how scared he was every time he had to report in into the immigration office. And how much the thought of being deported frightened him. The woman mentions how she recalls her husband being very sad, especially when his parents were denied a visa, and were unable to attend their wedding. He mentioned how so many of the conversation Pakistani people tend to have are very somber in nature; because off all the tragedy that their lives seemed to be ruled by. They way he saw it, the Pakistani people are “married to their sadness”. I knew exactly what he meant. That was something that I have felt since I was a young man. I just had never heard anyone put it so elegantly.

My great great grandmother on my father side was a freed slave in Puerto Rico. My Great grandmother outlived her husband and 3 of her sons. Her youngest son being killed after he was stabbed trying to break up a fight. My grandmother had two of her 3 children die before they reached the age of 1. My grandfather was born out of wedlock in Puerto Rico, an island that was conservatively catholic during the 1920’s. My Grandmother, from my mother side, made illegal moonshine to support her 5 children. One of them dies before the age of 6. Both my parents dealt with Alcoholic fathers. My father fell into drugs. My mother grew up in absolutely impoverished conditions. And when she finally was able to climb out of a life of extreme poverty, she was then faced with dealing with years of psychological and physical abuse at the hands of my father. Much like the young man on the radio, my family and I have been married to our sadness for well over a century. That made me question whether or not it is possible to divorce yourself from all that sadness? I know many of my family members have tried to rise above it. They gave it the old college try, only to allow themselves to be dragged back into the depths of despair at the first sign of adversity. We are survivors, but as I have mentioned in the past, I sure as hell wouldn’t say we are any good at thriving. It’s almost as if sadness has become a family earl um that gets handed down from one generation to the next. With each new generation finding new ways of allowing that sadness to define them.

This makes me think about my own relationship with sadness. I like to compare it to a spirit. You can’t see it. You don’t hear it. And yet when you are alone, in the dark, you get this eerie feeling that it is there somewhere in the dark, watching you. Even when I’m feeling relatively content or having a good time, at some point, a sad thought will intrude, pulling me out of the movement. Most of the time the thought is random. It might be an argument that I may had had recently, or about my dissatisfaction at work, other times it will be a sad memory of something that had happened years prior. I’m so accustomed to this, that now a days I don’t really even acknowledge it when it happens. So if I’m with the wifey or hanging out with my friends they rarely see any change in my outer demeanor. Although there are times when a particularly sad thought will come out of the blue and I will find myself staring off into nothing like Gob in Arrested Development, but without “The Sound of Silence” playing in the background. However even then, only my wife will be astute enough to notice that I’m somewhere else. She’ll ask me where I am or what I am thinking. Hearing her voice tends to pull me out of my trance. But I rarely tell her what I’m really thinking about. Not because I have anything to hide, but because I rather not linger a moment longer with my thoughts.

There are days when I feel would like nothing more than to divorce myself from my sadness. To be freed off it. Yet I feel that it is so entrenched within me, that if I were ever to lose it, that I run a risk of losing a part of myself. Yet all that sadness is a part of my family history. It is part of my family crest. My sadness is as much a part of me as the flesh on my bones, and the beating heart in my chest. It is my muse. It has been my one and only constant. I’m not sure if I would have much of an identity without it. I use my sadness to motivate me. I find it to be a powerful tool when thinking creatively. I don’t fare so well when I try to do something creative when I’m happy. I don’t know why that is, but it seems like I only have something to say when I tap into that darkness. And if I am feeling particularly good when I sit down to write, I have to manipulate my thoughts and feelings by playing music that is melancholy in nature. Like Shakespeare wrote “My only love sprung from my only hate.” As you can see, I’ve lived with it so long now that I’ve romanticized it. And in doing so, I’ve managed to make it not so much appealing, but perhaps more tolerable. I don’t know.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that in the end I’m not exactly sure how I feel about my sadness. I know that without it I might be much more upbeat. I wouldn’t feel so cynical all the time. I sure as hell would be more optimistic, and hopeful like Bob Marley, and think that “Everything gonna be alright”. I guess at this point in my life all I can do is try to make something positive out of it, and hope that my marriage to sadness fares better than it did for most of my family.

Why I Write

insecurewriterssupportgroup

Friday will mark 3 months since I started Lost Around the Block. 60 post and god knows how many thousands of words later I’m finally starting to get a feel of what I am doing. The blog has evolved in a way that makes it different then what I had originally intended. When I  first got the inspiration to start this blog I had hoped that it would primarily catered to folks with ADHD and Anxiety. I was going to use this as a platform to voice my frustration with the disorder. I also wanted to perhaps re-blog articles that I thought were interesting and that brought other insights about these disorders. Yet from the very moment I sat down to write my first post “I lost track of time…” I realized that this site would probably be going in a different direction.

I found myself writing about personal subject matters. About experiences that I had mostly kept to myself. It was liberating to write some of these stories down for everyone to read. I know some folks would think that it must have felt empowering. But I wouldn’t exactly put it that way. I think empowering is the wrong choice of word. For me it’s more like exhaling after holding my breath for a ridiculously long amount of time. It feels more like relief.

The main reason behind the change was rather simple. I wanted to write about something that was a bit more relatable. I found that I was way more interested in writing about universal themes. Who amongst us doesn’t have unfulfilled dreams? Who has never experienced regret? Have you ever met a person that didn’t feel like they left something unresolved? Who doesn’t know about the erational elation of being in love? I found myself wanting to tell those kinds of stories. I wanted to demonstrate that no matter how different our life experiences might be, we can still relate to each other in some very basic ways. Look I don’t care, who you are, what part of the planet you come from, what god, if any, that you believe in, we are all bound by the love and pain that we feel from just being alive. And that is what Lost Around the Block has come to symbolize for me.

Each time I write one of my long winded post I feel like the knot of chains that kept my brain shackled for so long are being loosed. It’s as if I am discovering a whole new aspect of myself that I did not know was even there. And you know what? It feels pretty fucking great. I still struggle with my confidence. I still find myself going over stuff that I had posted previously and cringing at the way I structured a sentence or by some awkward analogy that I may had made. I’m not totally confident in my writing ability because I find that I still write in the same fashion that I think, which is fragmented. This in turn makes my writing a little choppy. A little stiff. It doesn’t always flow smoothly like a stream. I want my writing to glide. I’m just not there yet.

I also find myself struggling with the length of my post. Everyone is too busy just trying to get through their day. Who the hell has time to sit down to read through 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 words written by someone that they have never even heard off. And I don’t blame them. Time is a valuable commodity and you don’t ever want to waste your time reading something that in the end may not have the desired payoff. But I try not to censor myself too much. I allow myself some breathing room. I don’t feel like I’m a competent writer yet, so I try give myself the space to allow my ideas to flesh themselves out in the most natural way possible. Which in turn leads to some very long post. But it’s all part of the learning experience. Finding one’s true voice is not the easiest the easiest thing for me.

Writing gives me a sense of accomplishment that I had not felt in a long time. I like sharing my life experiences with you all. It is a delicate balance of course. I constantly struggle with what aspects of my life I want to keep to myself and what things I want to share with perfect strangers. Thankfully I haven’t felt ashamed about anything I have written so far. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my 35 years. Mistakes that for years made me feel like an incompetent jackass that had no hope of ever feeling content with his life. But it is my past. They did happen and I am not doing myself any favors by pretending that I haven’t made them. Besides I truly believe that you can’t really move on with your life and accomplish something worth your while until you have come to terms with your past. I hope my writing will help me succeed in that regard.

By the way, if you are a struggling writer, or just like to discover some great writing, go check out this great blog that I found called The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. It’s a great little community of writers that have come together to express some of the joys and struggles of writing. I hope you get a chance to check the site out. It will be well worth your time.