Tag Archives: fear

Fuck me: I just found God in Axl Rose

14 Feb

Well, not God or gods exactly; more like inspiration, faith (in myself), and like any religious text, prophetic words I desperately want to prove wrong.

After hunting it down with the six words I remembered from the lyrics, I was listening to a favourite song from my high school days, Estranged, by the metal rock gods Guns n’ Roses. It’s long one, deeply personal as metal ballads go, with lyrics I found both relatable and prophetic at the time. Predictably, I saw the song as foreshadowing the breakup I knew was inevitable with with my high school sweetheart:

When I find out all the reasons
Maybe I’ll find another way
Find another day
With all the changing seasons of my life
Maybe I’ll get it right next time
An now that you’ve been broken down
Got your head out of the clouds
You’re back down on the ground
And you don’t talk so loud
An you don’t walk so proud
Any more, and what for.

Now as I listen to it some 20 years later I still love the tune and find its lyrics moving…but in a different way. This time around I’m afraid they’ll be prophetic, not resigned to the fact. I don’t want to find another way. I don’t want there to be a next time. I don’t want to be out here drifting all alone:

Well I jumped into the river
Too many times to make it home
I’m out here on my own, drifting all alone
If it doesn’t show give it time
To read between the lines
‘Cause I see the storm getting closer
And the waves they get so high
Seems everything We’ve ever known’s here
Why must it drift away and die?

Today I hear these words with a mixture of fear, dread, drive and (I hope, just enough) faith. Faith in myself. Faith that I can stay on track to recovery and return to the real adult world. And most of all, faith that Estranged is a just words on a page, not a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Bad start to the day wakes my inner critic…will I catch him in time?

28 Jan

Well today’s not off to a good start.  It’s just past noon and I’ve spent…

…45 minutes making the boy’s lunch and getting him off to school

…5 minutes tidying up the living room

…2 hours playing Call of Duty

…25 minutes fiddling with my WordPress profile

…15 minutes rolling and smoking a joint

…0 minutes on my top priority, submitting a single job application (my first in months).

Suffice to say, my inner critic is foaming at the mouth. The question is, by calling him out and writing this entry, did I catch him in time to save the day from failure?

Manufacturing Discontent: The destructive power of perfect mental obstacles

21 Jan

In his groundbreaking 1998 book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Media, Noam Chomsky famously shed light on the counterintuitive role news media play in propping up existing political and power structures; not in holding them accountable.

In a similar vein, I’ve found the crazy among us tend to manufacture seemingly productive mental obstacles to reaching our more important goals; before accomplishing goal A, I need to tackle issue B. Before I submit my first job application in months, for example, I need to update my profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sounds logical in theory, but in practice these issues can quickly become dangerously counterproductive, especially when…

…they initially appear necessary to achieving the more important goal, but reveal themselves to be trivial or even irrelevant.

…they are truly manufactured, really existing only in our minds, as a means to procrastinate or avoid altogether the more important goal.

…we become focused on tackling the small issues to perfection, at the expense of accomplishing the important goal on time or even getting to it at all.

My social media example is guilty on all three fronts. Right now, my first job application is more important for going through the process and getting the first one out of the way than for getting the job itself.

I know for a fact that the hiring manager isn’t going to put any weight into social media profiles, if he even checks them. I’m certain that I’m the only one who’ll notice my changed profiles. And yet I’ve spent more time in recent days trying to perfect them than even looking at the more important job application.

Suffice to say I now feel, before I can play around with social media updates, I need to accomplish the more important goal of applying for a job.

Now the trick will be avoiding the same pitfalls with my résumé and cover letter, not letting perfection be the enemy of completion, not inventing tangential obstacles and just getting it done.

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