[The Story] Whatever I Want

Can we really do whatever we want, or do we limit ourselves based on circumstances? Focusing within the realm of fiction, how much freedom do we truly have in telling stories? If I were to write the tale of John [left] and Trishna [right], comprising a majority segment of “The Story,” exactly as I wanted, would it sell? Would it matter? Is that why we tend to compromise, accept our fates, and don’t challenge ourselves?

Spoilers?: Minor (character brainstorming, perhaps)

I’m writing this update to “The Story” on my birthday.

Rather than choose to wake up to my normal 3 AM alarms, to use the restroom, make my coffee with ice cubes in them since I only have one hour and forty-five minutes to write preferably 500 words before rowing and getting ready to leave by 6 AM to get to work by 8 AM, I had, some weeks earlier, decided to take this day, my birthday, off. I didn’t earn any money today. That’s alright because I got to decide what exactly wanted to do at pretty much all times today.

Other than the compulsory “oh shit!” 4:45 AM body alarm.

When you wake up at a certain period of time for a certain number of weeks, your body gets acclimatized to it. To wake up at 3 AM means going to bed at, preferably, 8 PM, but more often past 9 PM. That means changing your perception on your work week and realizing things about yourself. I am the most alert and positive in the morning, then, as I encounter bullshit, my patience, tolerance, endurance, and energy levels decrease. My evenings have always been non-productive. It’s just now they’re even more so because I’m so tired that if I’m up at 9 PM working, it’s usually in that half-asleep stupor that shouldn’t be reserved for doing important editing work.

I woke up at 10 AM, mentally rested, but physically, not.

My smartphone thought it was 3:42 AM in November, so one of us was more confused than the other, it unusually being turned off overnight rather than keeping a steady track of reality to then wake me up at 2:50 AM, 2:55 AM, 3:00 AM, and finally 3:05 AM to “Tank!” by The Seatbelts, so it lost track of time and found itself far in the future.

I woke up to a scene in “The Story.”

It’s the same scene I’ve written about in “Incubating The Scene.” It’s not like I look at a picture or tattoo to remind myself of it. In my imagination, John wakes up after the events of “The Scene” in bed with Trishna to my left. John was just beaten up by his four high school bullies, bloodied, bruised, and battered to the point where it would take him a few days to recover. Me? I just keep imagining this scene and its surrounding elements.

  • It’s usually late morning when he wakes up after “The Scene.”
  • Trishna is always holding his left hand, wrapping her body around it.
  • Her head is usually resting on his chest. “To listen to his heart rate.”
  • Half the time, it’s in her bed. The other half of the time, it’s in the bed of the local doctor that they get help from after Trishna’s family stops into a gas station halfway back from their trip to pick up John, and asking the gas station attendant for help.
  • Usually, Fearghal will be sleeping in a chair in the room.

These are compulsive scene-building moments.

Eventually, they fade as I figure out a way out of bed. Usually, it’s after I fully realize this scene: John is helped out bed by Fearghal after Trishna stands up just enough to get into her wheelchair to make it easier. What happens directly after, I don’t know. Maybe they meet the family for lunch? Maybe he stands and faints?

Just like in life, there is a certain freedom to the direction of that narrative.

It would be unreasonable and unbelievable for an alien to crashland into that room or for some talking frog to offer some exposition about the history of Eville, so there are some narrative considerations to keep in mind. There is not true freedom within this narrative. If this start to the Summer Arc of “The Story” ends with John and Trishna going to college, then there are only a few different types of scenarios that could happen. He couldn’t do anything offensive enough to get kicked out of their house with that conclusion. So most likely, it would be something like walking, fainting, or stumbling along to meet the family.

Those details are often unimportant for brainstorming.

Scenes like waking up in a new bed, meeting the parents, having dinner, meeting Pollyanna, and all of these can be jumbled up. Maybe before I actually write “The Story,” I should do an extensive mind mapping of every scene as it relates to each other, in order to best calculate the most efficient order of events of certain scenes for optimal scientific emotional resonance? Would that be too much? I am, after all, free to write “The Story” as I please.

Let’s consider something for a moment:

There are many people out there that probably want to be writers. They may have similar stories to mine in their heads. They may see the allure of living a writer’s life. They may have more writing talent than me. In order to be successful at being a writer, as I’ve realized with my current career path of being a technical support goon, you have to endure the tribulations of the career path.

Almost every Help Desk [tier 1] person wants to be a Desktop Support [tier 2] person.

You’re not chained to a desk. You get to play with more toys. In larger organizations, help desk goons will complain to each other about wanting to have certain successes, but few will actually work toward achieving it. They may rely on the idea of seniority kicking in. If they’ve endured their role longer than anyone else, surely, management will give them an opportunity to advance! I stirred up controversy when, after months of getting certain computer certifications and remaining busy at work instead of playing games or slacking off, I received the promotion over the more senior member of my team. I was ostracized by most of that Desktop Support team. No lunch invitations for me, I got the shit work, and yet I endured. After another year, management sent me off to a week of training to get into Systems Administration [tier 3], but by then, I’d already diverted my life’s path into a direction better suited to eventually write “The Story.” I didn’t know that at the time, then I was just miserable, but that sort of groundwork was inspirational to me.

It takes years of work to be a successful (technical support) goon.

Even then, the pay isn’t as good as a computer programmer, or, basically any role within the IT department other than being a help desk goon. I know people with less career experience than me getting paid significantly more than I do. However, there are some major advantages I have from my chosen path as opposed to other fields, especially being a humble mid-level contractor. I have retained my autonomy. When I punch out at the end of my shift, I am by law required to not think about work, or I could accidentally bill those hours I spent at 10 PM on a Tuesday evening remoting into my workstation to solve a problem… which is what you’d end up doing as a salaried employee with a high-profile issue on your hands. That, to me, is a hard life where I’m not at all free.

What would I sacrifice as a writer?

The consistency of IT life. A steady salary with benefits, a consistent cast of tolerable people, and a workload I can do acceptably well. Instead, with true freedom, there is a degree of comfortable ambiguity where what I write is truly consistent of my own fruition, other than perhaps an occasional inspiration from an observation or memory. If I wrote or edited poorly, like the first draft of this paragraph, then the reader would get lost in the word choices. Written and edited well, and the reader can follow along with the path clearly from point A to point Z, without self-referential information for guidance.

We are now 1,400 words into this essay right now for well-edited content.

Instead, you- reader, and I- writer, are both here to discover that optimal schism:

On one side of that path
is that which is

On the other side of that path
is that which is

“The Story” is not a conventional story.

If “References” is any indication of my intentions, even if John and Trish[n]a have a fairly generic friendship and romance, college, and professional career, the accouterment to that meal will be anything but traditional. It will be snappy, creative, and pacing more consistent with a music video than a novel. The characters in it will be contradictory, offensive, and confusing.

How do I get there?

Similar to the Summer Arc example earlier, where John getting out of bed only has a few logical transitionary “next scene” events, I only have a few logical steps to achieve that goal. I can write more fiction, consider the writing process more, or what I actually ended up doing: consider the appeal in the first place. Do I only want to be a writer of “The Story” because I want to become wildly rich? No. Then there has to be a certain passion there: isolating myself on my birthday to focus on my goals requires a certain degree of mental fortitude, not unlike reading this far into this winding essay, but the intent is to dig deep into my psyche and pull out [If you know what I mean] the inner purpose.

Do I want to be free of these scenes from “The Story?”

Do I want to wake up in a Hawaiian hotel, fresh off a tour stop for my novel’s successes, to open the shutters of the hotel room to see a beautiful sunrise? Would I want to go downstairs to the hotel’s gym, row for a spell, then grab breakfast before wandering the streets of Waikiki or the serene beaches of the North Shore?

Do I want to live every day free from friction?

I want, most of all, to write “The Story.”

That means fully living anything to realize that point: the terrible traumas of stressful situations, learning from strangers, consuming sub-optimal media or excellent foods, and getting outside my elements. Currently, when I want a day of freedom, it means staying in my abode all day. It’s after 4 PM, and I still haven’t rowed for today. I may do one longer set this evening. I’ve eschewed many other personal responsibilities today: paying bills (for no other reason than just the time it’d take), replying to emails, or doing less-than-hedonistic tasks that don’t currently interest me. Is that being selfish? Maybe. We need to do this more.

Because there are some things I’m learning about being a writer.

Chief among them are dealing with criticism and indifference. I don’t have a fan base yet, so something I’ll spend the greater part of a day or week working on will yield no results. That’s no better or worse than receiving criticism because now, I’m too goal-oriented to care. I operate outside of the concern of criticism and indifference in the same way that when I go to work, I operate outside of those concerns when I wear my professional attire: the criticism and indifference are directed at the situation rather than the person. Why would I choose to be offended by someone calling me by the wrong name?

Would it affect my ability to earn money?

Probably not. Other than the fear of being fired, in which case I’ll just find some other company to work for, or if all else fails, then I sell all my belongings and move somewhere cheap enough where I can operate with just enough overhead to eat, sleep, and write.

Let’s address some thought I’ve had lately.

I’d like to explore more of the world than I currently have. I’ve achieved some success in my environment and career path, but as I realized back when I declined the offer to advance into a Tier 3 role, that this is a limited lifestyle. This life will be stressful. It will mean going to work, enduring stressful people, mediocre living, and possibly finding the time for a humble hobby later on in life. I’ve met too many people with this sort of life to want that for myself. It’s steady, sure, but that’s not what I want.

Maybe scenes from “The Story” are my escape from that?

The closer I get to realizing “The Story” (first, through writing short stories in the Sammohini Arc, most directly related to my current and past professional experiences, the more I observe reality as it is, unfiltered by my own biases, and writing to comment on those situations) the more I can experience and see of the world.

Tech support goons are surprisingly close-minded.

They hate customers that don’t seem to understand esoteric concepts and will only follow along with what’s popular to remain popular. Maybe that perception is clouded by that initial experience I had of being ostracized for receiving a promotion perhaps prematurely, but I have met plenty of technical support people with good and well-adjusted personalities. Why not meet more? Not just here in my current city of residence, but abroad?

Why not do more with my life?

Because that route of total freedom means dealing with ambiguities on a level nearly intolerable by most people. Technical support has treated me well in negotiation and communication. After years of selling sub-optimal solutions to people that definitely want more, and figuring out the subtleties of those situations enough to figure out an optimal route to commute status and progress, I should then start to be able to apply that to more than just inconsequential events where, worst case, someone’s computer acts up for another day or week. The thing is, too, that as stated above, there are more financial rewards available to me if I get outside of this comfort zone: for keeping most major companies afloat, technical support people don’t get paid in direct compensation for the stress they endure on behalf of their customers or management.

It’s not really ideal work and I tell people not to get into the work constantly.

I will conclude the Sammohini Arc of “The Story” once I start to achieve success outside of writing or when I run out of short story ideas related to technical support. John and Trishna will not be computer repair technicians, so I should be able to purge all of these stories from my brain prior to writing their story. Maybe, occasionally, Sammohini’s career will punctuate scenes that focus on John or Trishna. But, just like with Jane’s side of the arc where she is a furniture mover, my IT/furniture moving days should be far enough in the past for me to efficiently write “The Story.”

What does that mean about my current career?

Naturally, I should be working only to support my financial success enough to write for stretches of time like this hour or two I’ve spent so far today on my birthday to write this winding update to “The Story.” Once I can receive an amount of money that reliably remains above my current salary range to write, then I should stop taking on technical support gigs, because financially it would be irresponsible to spend a day away from writing. But how would I get there? 80% of it would be through writing and doing the related work of editing and publishing. The other 20% would be advertising, marketing, and fielding the positive exchanges, neutral critiques, or negative arguments that ensue.

Those two should not mix.

While in a writing/editing mood, I am not especially considerate toward others. I am overly analytical, considering how to most optimally communicate ideas, ready to edit and take apart my own writing in order to make it better. That alarms people that are looking for friendly exchanges and might lead to raw emotions when someone says something that I could perceive as rude. So when I go about advertising myself on social media or out in the real world, that’s when I am ready to take on new thoughts of ideas.

This birthday was a day of quiet contemplation.

It’s been a stressful contract where I must pretend to be busy through parts of the day. It’s not an optimal environment because I can’t distract myself from reality by doing work, and I can’t really write anything, even with the non-disclosure agreement I signed where I can’t write using company devices, because it just feels shitty to be paid to sit my butt in a chair and sacrifice my time for a company, only to not fully be able to do everything I can for that company’s success. Surely that corporate ennui could bleed into Sammohini’s stories, along with John’s and Trishna’s, because all three have that same kind of go-getter attitude I have. Maybe, to prevent “The Story” or any of these short stories to be entirely autobiographical, I should further explore what makes each of these characters different than myself. That is, after all, the most ideal way to tell a character’s story. They should, like me, all be contradictory and confusing to certain people. Why would I decline a promotion? Even if I explain it’s because of my own career preference or because of my gamble on writing professionally, it’s still crazy to those non-ambitious people that would prefer to traverse a life without controversy or friction, to work, earn an acceptable wage, and to fill weekends or days off with idle dreams or perhaps fancy vacations.

I want more.

I know they do, too.

Trishna could live on disability, and John could, too. They may use that money to help with the costs associated with Trishna’s mobility aids and overall living restrictions and use any additional leftover money to help maintain a baseline level of comfort, but they wouldn’t just sit around and do nothing all day. Both might write occasionally, but I don’t think they, themselves, would have much ambition to write beyond writing occasional fun short stories or arguing for something persuasively. Their hobbies are more diverse.

I would, then, have to learn the basics of all of their hobbies to better write them.

If John picks up skating after hanging out with Float and Quest in college, I should give it a few tries, and other than the one time I rode a longboard enough to experience the exhilarating rush of going too fast then landing knee-first onto concrete. If Trishna enjoys gardening, I should maintain a garden. I should meet more people than my current living arrangements allow. I live in an area that is simultaneously isolated from people and heavily-surrounded by people. To leave the area means driving through a dangerous patch of heavy, rude traffic. To stay in the area means, even inside, hearing the playful screams of children at all hours of the day or night. This was an optimal area, prior to my writing ambitions, because it’s a comfortable distance to/from most major thoroughfares and job locations.

It’s uncomfortable as a writer.

Should I live in a downtown residence? I’ve thought of renting a hotel overnight on some nights, so I could just walk to work, and use the time to explore the city or write while hearing the ambiance of the city.

Should I live completely isolated from people? That might be nice to maintain a level of concentration on my work, at the expense of depleting my social skills.

I know this for sure: if I’m not writing, or “writing” by brainstorming while doing something else, then I should be experiencing life. To live the life of a technical support goon, or career professional within the Information Technology field is a very limiting experience. I’ve met enough people to know how it goes. It’s a quiet, uneventful life, where if you do much more than the average schism of working or existing means ruin. Working to require the health insurance required to endure work is a Catch 22 conundrum I’ve seen often enough to write hundreds of short stories about the experience.

Why not try other fields?

There are more characters in “The Story” than just Sammohini, current technical support goon, her coworkers, and her best friend Jane, former technical support goon. The main reason is that I currently live in an area and situation that requires a certain income in order to remain financially viable. If I were to quit this job to make minimum wage, unless I had a steady secondary income stream from writing or other investments that could afford me the money, it would be difficult in this area to pick up other work. The bus is a great mixer environment for meeting people in different fields. One janitor that I ride the bus with occasionally lives in a low-rent apartment complex. I lived in one of these locations for less than two years, and though I can certainly do it again, if I don’t have to, I’ll be fine without having a thorough writing experience of such an environment.

There are plenty of other opportunities outside of this area, too.

If Seattle is just known for technical jobs, and it’s quickly becoming too expensive to live unless you’re either rich enough to afford the nicer housing or desperate enough to accept the poorer housing, then how about other parts of the country or world? I am only attached to this area because of the obligations of family and friends. My family is an important factor, of course, and I have friends that exist outside of the proximity factor of “we’re friends because we ride the bus” or “we’re friends because we work together.” I value these friendships and the relationships with my family, and yet, I don’t want to be greedy in saying this: I also want to get out there and see new things and meet new people.

The solution, then, might be moving a few cities away at first.

Worst case, that option will mean taking extra driving time to go to work or meet certain friends. There are people that take the ferry to work. How do those people live? Where? How much is their rent? Are there jobs in their area that I could do, where if I require less financial overhead, I could live perhaps just as comfortably? All I need is a secure space to store my writing materials [computer, lightbox], rowing machine [maybe a garage?], and the things I want to keep. Everything else can be sold or put into storage.

In a sense, this idea has been ruminating for years.

Whereas seeds from “The Story” were planted in my high school brain, growing through the years, in the background, as I studied and became employed in the field I was ‘least worst at,’ this idea of getting out there and experiencing the world was perhaps at first cast in the clays of that misery I experienced being a technical support goon without many career options. Moving up in the field meant sacrificing many personal freedoms. Moving out into a different company meant learning new things and dealing with new people. I took the escape route through bending my reality, just enough to not fully recover from, because looking back on it now, I was probably weeks away from having the option of a promotion before I entered that old familiar rut I still experience even to this day. This three-day weekend I had was introduced by a period of self-doubt, insecurity, and loathing over my current situation and trajectory.

I am not working hard enough.

I am not there yet.

What happens if this doesn’t work?

Why not try something more reliable?

If you get sick, you’re done.

Why not drink or breathe in that second-hand smoke?

Alcohol, cannabis, diphenhydramine; anything you want, mannnn.

That’s when I return to “The Story.”

What to John and Trishna want? In their high school environment, they are outsiders. They are freaks not just physically because of their physical impairments, but socially as well because they don’t care about fitting in with their peers. They aren’t interested in what’s popular. They’re not “with it.”

They most want to develop their relationship.

They want to be financially successful and live comfortably. I would say I think we all do, but I don’t quite want that comfort. I had that opportunity nearly seven years ago. All I had to do was accept a level of discomfort to achieve that comfort. Funny how that works… by sacrificing your time and comfort, you can get more money to afford you certain comforts.

I don’t think John and Trishna are after that, exactly.

They may know that going to college and finding good jobs will enable them to live comfortably, but I don’t think that they’ll accept a middle-income life just because it’s what’s most readily available to them. Maybe they’ll move somewhere cheaper? Maybe they’ll strike it rich with something not-quite resembling an Internet fad, similar to how Youtubers or other creative content creators can live successful lives based on the work they do and present to the world.

These are long-term ideas.

I know in the short term, I would prefer to live in an environment where it wouldn’t be a pain in the ass for me to drive to the grocery store to get some random item that might make cooking a more enjoyable meal possible. I would prefer living in a quiet area where I could live-stream my writing on some video-streaming platform: the idea, as I envision it, goes like this: I would have a video camera pointed at me, at a computer, while recording what’s on-screen, while I’m writing either “The Story” or some short story, with a chatroom audience available when I get those moments where I’m not quite sure what to write next, or, perhaps offer a quick break in concentration before continuing writing once again.

I can’t do that here.

I’ve considered it, but the environment is not quite suitable for it.

Just like John and Trishna, I won’t settle for an adequate enough living space.

They’ll move around a few times until they find the spot that I think they might end up living in. That might not even be their long-term residence. But I just know that because they are parts of me, and I am not willing to accept inadequacies just because it’s convenient. Even if the area and the location have sentimental value, that’s not enough of a reason to work a financially mediocre job, where even if I wanted to do so, I could never afford much more than perhaps a yearly trip abroad, perhaps only once or twice being able to afford the time away or money required to return to Hawaii to have one of those aforementioned dream-like experiences of waking up to a Hawaiian sunrise, or maybe going to Greece, Tokyo, New York, or where ever my mind might want to go next.

Sure, there is comfort in that security.

To wake up in your own bed is nice, the same bed in the same spot year after decade for a lifetime is nice, but there’s more to life than just that. I want to try being a chef, mechanic, work on a farm, and I still haven’t worked in retail other than in the back “production” area. I want a more well-rounded life experience, not just to better tell “The Story” with all of its diverse characters, but to better empathize with people and to more fully understand the human condition. Right now, now that I’m past my thirty-second year on this planet, I’ve experienced plenty of things both inside my field and outside in the real world to have encouraged me to be considered “well-rounded.” I have studied prodigiously in diverse fields, but I still feel like a charlatan in many of those fields. Where can I go but around and what can I do but excel my talents to achieve the very impossible? What else is there? A mediocre life where I can barely afford to do anything I’d like to do? Skim and save to pretend to be financially successful?

That’s not what I want, either.

I want the freedom associated with being able to write “The Story” as it needs to be told. I want to allow Trishna and John to exist as characters that could stand alongside the best and most memorable characters out there. Maybe it’s an ego thing to want action figures of them like I have certain GI Joe action figure characters, or plushies like the Totoro I have between me and my computer screen. I don’t think of it as a negative ego thing. I think that Dhalsim or Totoro have value to me as characters, more so than just as celebrations of the people that designed or conceived of them, but as symbols for certain things. Dhalsim and the other GI Joe toys I have to my left represent my ideal action figure, with enough articulation to pose in certain ways, without the bulk or hindrance of other action figure lines. Totoro, and Studio Ghibli movies alike represent a certain idyllic freedom that comes with endless creativity and joy. I rarely revisit them because those worlds almost don’t certainly exist in my current reality. It’s sad to say, but now that we’re approaching 5,000 words in this update to “The Story,” we’ve hit the nail on the head:

For me, “The Story” has been my cure for situational depression.

When I feel lost in the world, where life doesn’t seem to have much meaning other than going to work, coming home, and entertaining myself on the weekends, I look to see how I can bring “The Story” to life. I’ve imagined that after doing the work required to tell “The Story,” including the myriad hundreds of short stories of practice and thousands of essays I’ll write, having already written over 500 here, I will be at a place in life that will make me truly happy.

Today was good.

No self-doubt, no fears of the future, just me doing exactly what I wanted to do throughout the entire day. Not every day is like this, but as long as a healthy majority of my time spent each day is working toward something I want to do, I am usually happier. This current gig I’m working now has afforded me some introspection into what I want and don’t want out of life. It’s also led to some dark thoughts to dredge through, making content for the weekly Sober Living column easy, but also making it harder to focus on writing short stories to help me succeed. Two steps forward, one step back sort of efforts. I wasn’t as productive as I should or could have been, but there are certain sacrifices to be made for inner joy, including, not working or writing.

So how can I work toward writing more often?

Partially, it’s telling more people about my writing. Advertising this website by handing out business cards, or just talking about my hobby of writing fiction with more people. Talking to more people more often might help. Part of that will require being in a better physical space because for every positive memory I have here, I have a hidden a negative memory. I became sober here, so there are some bad memories of insobriety in this space, which, dichotomically enough, prevents me from fully feeling like getting out and about. If I constantly surround myself with the glitter and grime of my past life of accepting a mediocre existence, engaged almost exclusively on overindulgence, then how can I break free and write more balanced stories?

That backdrop doesn’t fully suit John or Trishna.

Other than John’s experiences being adopted, abused, neglected, and otherwise having a terrible childhood doesn’t compare with sobriety. I had a childhood closer to Trishna’s, with a good family and nearly idyllic except in terms of sociality. Now I am more social with others, which is funny, because the only difference between the “me of my childhood” and the “me of now” is that I’m more willing to be open about what I enjoy doing, and I don’t care about what people think of me if they don’t dig what I do. All it means is that I move on to the next person, situation, or environment, maybe returning with new topics of conversation or things to observe for writing fodder.

It’s rough to say that. I’m not entirely heartless about it.

Having met people that are ruthless in their path toward success, people that only see others in terms of either headcount for their concerts or income revenues, I prefer the more balanced route. Someone may be completely disinterested in my writing but may have other ideas to suggest. Maybe that’s based on intention, too? If my goal were just to sell concert tickets, I might, too, move on if someone weren’t interested in going to my show or paying me to do some action. It’s simple marketing, really, where you advertise to people that will be most likely to buy your product, even if it’s your perception of reality.

Writing “The Story,” which is as ambitious as it is, means it’s multi-faceted.

Where there is no room in a technical support ticket for the tale of two skaters trying to make a better life for themselves in college, there is room in “The Story” for that, and there is room in John’s friendship area for that. John and Trishna can benefit from being friends with Float and Quest, and not just for purely financial reasons, of course, but for learning to overcome their insecurities about their childhoods and their future. Trishna and John will not be limited in their career paths, as I once was or others I’ve seen currently are, which is part of what is so appealing for me about them. I mean, they do haunt my subconscious, so I hope they are good mind tenants, right? In that regard, the more positive situations I feed them, or the more tolerance I give them toward overcoming negative situations, the more likely they’ll have enough of a solid foundation to where, once I write them, I can then properly evict them from my mind palace.

Then, maybe, new tenants will arrive?

John and Trishna are a great couple, and I love them as characters, it’s just that… just like everything I advocate for or do in life, it’s not about lingering on things too long. This essay, currently shy of 6,000 words, was edited and concluded where it needed to properly conclude, rather than ending at an arbitrary word count. Compared to most of my essays where I have a 500-word limit, I wanted to dig through the depths of my interest in freedom as it relates to “The Story,” which lead to some profound realizations. My life until this point, 32 years and counting, has been suitable for living a mediocre existence, worried about trivialities in life and finance that can prevent me from affording a more full life experience.

Let’s both, you- reader- and I – writer, do more starting today.

Well, when you read this or after September 6th when I’ve slotted this for publication.

This has been going on nearly enough, so let’s conclude with this:

Johna and Trishna want to live a good life. If I give that to them, I’m sure they’ll help me live substantially better.

Quotes: None.
Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.
Inspirations: Wanting to explore my inner psyche at length after a few days of minimal productivity in a long-form essay about John and Trishna’s motivations, perhaps. Oh, and reading over tim rogers’s essay “‘I’m a game designer’” by chance, which was his essay outlining what motivated him to become a game designer and may have subconsciously made me interested in living a life outside of my current situation… but it’s always been there.
Related: Essays building “The Story.”
Above: A clean shot of our power couple with Pollyanna frolicking randomly in the background.
Below: A cleaner shot without the frolicking pup.
Written On:
August 6th — 1 hour, 30 minutes for 6,000 words – and my thumb hurts, because of how I have my keyboard suboptimally on my legs while I type in a way with primarily my two pointer fingers so my thumb keeps moving – this is also part of that uncomfortable atmosphere I’d like to change but can’t really change here without significant change to my environment, which might actually be easier to do by moving somewhere more compact or less influenced by past poor decisions…
Last Edited:
August 21st — Hour+ pass through for fun.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.