Love is always blind, my friend. Whether it's your first time meeting them or your 10th year of marriage. It's all love, and it's all blind.
Sometimes, it's being blind to someone's flaws.
Sometimes, it's being blind to someone's insecurities.
Sometimes, it's being blind to someone's bad attitude.
Sometimes, it's being blind to our own daydreaming.
But love at first sight requires us to be more blind than average. Blind to the fact that it may just be lust. Blind to the fact that we may just be lonely. But mainly blind to the fact that we're seeing someone so breathtaking that before we even say a word to them, we've already made up our minds about them.
So much that we can't see past our own daydreams to realize they aren't who we think they are.
Scars on the Soul
Regrets are a byproduct of self-reflection.
To feel regret, we have to look at our past and go, "I wish I was better."
The problem is that some of us fail to realize we're only better now because of those experiences. It's as though we appreciate the lesson, but loathe the process it took to teach it.
To be honest, I have many regrets.
I regret my most embarrassing moments.
I regret my biggest failures.
I regret my shortcomings.
I regret that time and time again, I didn't try hard enough.
In life and love, in work and in play.
It's human to have regrets.
Regrets are scars on the soul.
They're the one sign that we're actually evolving.
My biggest regret of all is worrying about having regrets.
Instead of realizing it's human to regret.
A Story to Die For
"So, am I the first reporter you've told your story to."
"No, I've told several. The story just never seems to make it on air," she said.
I stared at Ms. Romana in shock. There is no way this wouldn't make news. As I looked at her, she had a sly grin on her face that led me to believe she was hiding something from me. There was more to this story than she was telling me, and I just had to know.
"Ms. Romana, how has this not gone public? This is an amazing story! You even have old documents, artifacts, and photos to recall past events! Look, I even did some digging, your face is even in this photo of the Titanic I found, and here you are at the 1936 Olympic games, here you are at Woodstock, and you even have a picture with Elvis. You're the real d---!"
Before I could even finish my sentence, Ms. Romana leaped over the coffee table in the blink of an eye and placed her hand over my mouth. I was frozen in place; her eyes had changed from a light green to a deep red, and her nails, which were once polished and filed flat, were now sharp and burrowing into my cheek. But for some reason, I wasn't afraid. It was as if her gaze was telling my body that everything would be okay and that this was supposed to happen.
"Where did you find those photos?" she asked.
"I ran your face through a global database and found a few look-a-likes that seemed to match, but those were too close for comfort, so I brought em with me."
"You're the first person to actually believe my story and find proof that I haven't already retrieved and hidden. Nevertheless, the outcome will be the same," she replied angrily.
In classic vampire fashion, she sunk her teeth into my neck and began to do exactly what was in her nature. And there I was, powerless to resist. All I could do was sit there a die calmly. As the passing moments began to go by, I thought to myself. "Why would I come meet a vampire alone at their own home?" Well, that's obvious. Because before today, I had no idea they were real. I just thought I was meeting another nut case and brought my gun just in case. But what good is a gun against a hypnotizing vampire that fucked Elvis?
The Inevitable and the Choice
If you can survive an experience, you can also learn to live with it.
Life consists of peaks and valleys; you can expect to struggle at times, excel at others, and experience a few low points and high moments in between.
Sometimes I've felt like I'm walking down a foggy road with no map. And it feels like I'm this complex kind of lost. Because I don't know my destination or where I'm supposed to be, or who I'm supposed to be or even be with. And it made it hard to enjoy life. I'd go from each day just getting by, trying to survive until I made it out of the fog.
I'd survive, hoping that one day--hopefully tomorrow-- I'd figure it out.
And I'd crawl through the days, inching and inching, hoping that I was getting closer to some desired destination so I'd realize what I was supposed to be doing, and everything would be clear.
But instead, I realized why it was foggy and why I felt lost.
I realized why I can't seem to find the meaning behind my existence, and my life, and why it was so hard to stop surviving and start living.
I felt lost because I was looking for a certain destination, and there wasn't one. It's foggy because I think it's supposed to be clear, but there's actually no clear road ahead. And I can't find meaning because there isn't some grandiose purpose for each and every one of us.
I finally started living when I stopped trying to survive and learned to live with what was right in front of me-- even the inevitable. And with no clear road ahead, I'm able to choose how I want to live with it, how I want to experience it, and the meaning I want to pull from it.
The First Thing to Ever Matter
In a treasure chest filled with nostalgia and memories, I'd search for the first thing that ever mattered to me.
I've never seen this treasure chest or even had the chance to look into it, but I know what I'm searching for is at the bottom.
I don't know how I know, but my life has been filled with delayed gratification and distractions. Anything that's ever had meaning to me has required me to give everything I had and then some. And I know that as I search through old clothing, letters, and poems and toss aside old friends I've forgotten to call, promises I forgot to keep, and the nightmares I've shoved away, it will be sitting right there at the bottom.
A stuffed Bugs Bunny toy. HA!
I used to sleep with it when I was a kid, and I refused to go to bed without it. I used to cherish that thing more than anything. When nothing else mattered, not money, dating, clothes, school, or social status, that toy mattered.
As I approach 30, nothing makes me happier than things that remind me of the meaning of life. And that is nothing matters unless you make it matter.
I Don’t Have It
I didn't need an alarm clock today.
I woke up to the pain of a headache and a nagging feeling that I didn't have something. Not that I lost it or that it was stolen from me.
But I don't have something that I should have.
It's not my wallet that's right here
It's not my phone that's over there.
It's not my keys; those are here too.
It's not my wife sh--
Who is this woman next to me?
Whose bed am I in?
Whose apartment am I in?
No, No, No, No, No, No!
It's my damn memory!
I don't have it!
Looking in the mirror always centers me.
It brings me right back to the present moments as if it somehow knows that I've been everywhere but right here.
I'm usually caught up in a past thought, obsessing over something meaningless or trying to take control of something that can't be controlled.
I'm a terrible daydreamer. I'm constantly romanticizing or catastrophizing my thoughts.
But the moment I look in a mirror, it grabs all my thoughts and holds them for a moment so that I can look at myself in the present.
I may have spent the entire day criticizing my past self or trying to imagine what my future self will be, but a mirror always reminds me to focus on what I am right now. Because that's the only person, I need to be.
"Today, when I looked in the mirror, I saw someone that's trying to figure themselves out, figure life out, and learn to live with themselves even when the guy looking back in the mirror isn't who they want to see." -IND
Giving a character their “character”
I feel like there are a million character flaws or undesirable traits out there, but what really brings a character's flaws to light for me is when they're faced with a particular challenge and are forced to feel something. It's how selfishness grows into narcissism, and envy turns to jealousy and hate.
When writers place emotional weight on a character, it always makes them so relatable, in my opinion. What is life without burdens? What moves us like anxiety? What puts a fire in a character's eyes like pressure?
It's what gives a character their "character."
How do they react to life's obstacles, how does it affect their journey, and what will come from it?
Will they make a wrong decision early, but learn a life lesson that reshapes the way they see the world? Or maybe they'll continue their behavior until they experience significant trauma.
Only One Expectation
I don't expect you to be strong every time I see you.
I don't expect you to be perfect whenever I'm with you.
You're allowed to feel weak.
You're allowed to have bad days and embarrassing moments.
I don't expect you to hide your scars
I don't expect you to bottle up your emotions
You're allowed to be naked
You're allowed to scream and cry
I don't expect you to smile through everything.
I don't expect you to lift me every time I'm down.
You're allowed to frown
You're allowed to be unable to bear any more weight
I only expect you to love me.
You're allowed to show it the best way you can.
I’d fly, but I’d get a drink first.
My best friend asked me this question last week, and I scoffed at it. Now, I'm looking at this same question two weeks later, and you can bet I scoffed at it again.
What would I do if I was free?
I've never been a slave, but I've also never been free. It's a very thought-provoking question.
Ultimately, I'd chase impulses and endorphins. I'd fill my life with happiness and thrills. I'd write, I'd run, I'd paint, I'd drink... I think I'd even fly. Nothing would be weighing me down, so it would probably be impossible not to lift up into the air.
But tomorrow, tomorrow, would be a day of realization.
I'd still be processing everything and trying to understand it all. Where should I live? Where should I go? Who should I tell?
I'd end up at my favorite restaurant and get an entire order of chicken wings and day drink. I'd catch an Uber to a local bar-cade and play Ms. Pacman and Pinball until there were no more tokens left behind the bar. I'd grab an Uber back home and stumble through my narrow hallway with a snide grin on my face and a slight stutter in my step as I danced drunkenly through the hall to what my neighbors would perceive as "no music at all."
I'd call my favorite people to check in on them, as I always do when I'm drunk. Then I'd pass out in my bed.