Saw it again last night. Had a crazy idea that maybe I could record the audio, because there were some good lines in there that aren’t in the original, at least I don’t remember them in there – the bit about small acts being what holds back the darkness, for an example – but in the end I decided not to do that. After all, it’s just not cricket.
WARNING: POLITICAL DISCUSSION AHEAD. WORSE, POLITICAL DISCUSSION FROM A CONSERVATIVE VIEWPOINT. ALSO, A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF MY FAVORITE BURRITO. If such is not your cup of tea, then please feel free to take a look at the ongoing GSG NaNo Gaiden podcast (today’s episode from Philip “NorvalJoe” Carroll is particularly good.) Or pick up a copy of “Battlehymn” or “The Sinner’s Trail” in the store. Kids Love ‘Em!
Okay – you still here? Have a seat, grab a mug, and settle in. This is going to take some time to work through.
Leaving my regular day job has been something I’ve been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading. Looking forward to, because the environment at the day job could be rather tense. Looking forward to because the kind of work that I was doing there, while challenging and rewarding, wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And I’m not getting any younger.
This is it. The last one. Thank goodness. I think. Here’s the quote.
I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
And here’s the prompt.
Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?
Oh, thank you, Carlos Miceli, author of the flavor text and writing prompt to finish up Trust30, for feeding the very thing that I was trying to kill off yesterday. Of course it’s my fault. It’s all my fault. But that’s what’s killing my ability to move forward right now. So maybe fault isn’t the right word here. It’s not my fault. It’s my responsibility.
Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The prompt for this talks about posting an embarrassing picture of yourself online. Like the one I just put up. Look at that hair. The baldness. The unsightly… is that a chin? Are you sure? It just sort of… gently wanders town into the neck, doesn’t it? Egads.
I’m not going to compare myself to Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, or (heaven help us) Jesus. There’s really only one person I can compare myself to… and that’s my own vision of who I SHOULD be.
And you thought your potential audience was bad…
Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Writing is one of the ways I figure out what I’m thinking, and while I haven’t been doing a lot of it here (or in my fiction projects), I have been doing quite a bit of it in other, more private venues. And it’s been fascinating, on one hand, to get to the bottom of some issues that go right to the core of who I am and what I think. It was this Trust30 challenge that I’m horribly late on that got me started down this road and I’m grateful for what I’ve learned through the process. And at the same time it’s been hard and a part of me wishes that I’d never started.
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The prompt for this day says to take a big hairy life goal that you haven’t started yet, or that you have been having a hard time with, and write down three uncertainties – fears – that you have concerning it. Then break that down a little further and write three reasons for the fear. That’s a good idea, and I may get to that in a future post, but first I have to address the quote. I have a fundamental problem with the first part of this little couplet, because I believe it may contradict the second part. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself? Yes – By submitting to and following correct principles. Because it’s too easy to use that first part to say that “I am a law unto myself.” Without the appropriate perception and attitude, you can spend a lot of time beating your head into walls and thinking that you’re pursuing peace. You don’t get to the moon and back without an understanding of life sciences, gravity, metallurgy, navigation, physics, etc. With the right understanding of the principles involved, even the sky isn’t the limit.
So, what are the principles that we have to adhere to? What principles exist that we can cling to? Are there any?
I’ve taken some time over the last few days to start reading the actual Ralph Waldo Emerson essay, “Self-Reliance”. While there’s a lot in here that I agree with and find admirable, there are things in here that I find myself disagreeing with. That’s going to happen, and it’s nothing to worry about. It wasn’t really the point of the #Trust30 exercise in the first place. The main value of Trust30 to me (which admittedly I came up a few posts short in) has been in discovering what I think, and what I believe, and what I hold to be bedrock foundational true. And disagreeing with Emerson is probably something Emerson would have been totally okay with, looking over what I’ve read of his essay so far.
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. If we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The question for today had something about being alive. When was the last time you felt alive, what did you feel, what did you smell, etc… Again, it’s maybe an interesting question, being able to go back and search and feel those and call upon that experience when you’re writing or working. I don’t really see what that has to do with the Emerson quote. I feel alive as I’m writing these posts. But enough about that. Let’s talk a little about the integrity of your own mind. You need to watch your inputs.
I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think about the type of person you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now. Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it. “Thought is the seed of action.”
(Author: Harley Schreiber)
I never planned on being the kind of person who worries. I used to look forward to each day with a kind of happy enthusiasm that lately seems to escape me. I had a conversation last night when I asked my wife if I was trying to take on too much, and she responded “You’ve already taken on too much.” And then “I don’t think there’s anything I can do to help you not to worry and stress out so much.” It’s not a very healthy way to live, and the weight I’ve put on over the last year is probably due, at least in part, to worry.
A year ago, I was working in a job where I was desperately unhappy. We had anticipated some growth that didn’t come, and I had been looking forward to a promotion that seemed ever further and further from my grasp. And in the course of that, it occurred to me that I wasn’t all that crazy about the job in the first place, and that a promotion was not necessarily going to solve any of my problems.
And then I was invited to resign.