The time spent waiting for events to occur can generally be more stressful than the events themselves. While awaiting for company to arrive, you agonize over the details of the event — is everything taken care of? When expecting medical news, you worry how your tests will come back, whether you’ll need to take medications or alter your habits. Granted, I may be attributing my own anxieties to other people who find my concerns to be of little consequence. I potentially fret over the silliest of details over minor events. I suppose it might be better for my stress levels to allow for detours in life every now and then.
I never had a slice of bread,
Particularly large and wide,
That did not fall upon the floor,
And always on the buttered side.
- Huron Reflector (November 23, 1841), reprinted in Shapiro, Fred R., ed., The Yale Book of Quotations 668 (2006)
It seems like my bread keeps falling butter-side down straight onto the sandy, gritty dirt outside. I’ve heard refered to as the “snowball effect.” It always seems like bad things begin to spiral out of control, and I begin to realize that I really can’t control every aspect of my fate — much to my increasing dismay. I’m positively a control-freak. I need a sense of order and control in my life to feel secure and stable. When the cosmos proves itself more powerful than me, I begin to crumble. I feel helpless, insecure, trapped, and incapable. Those feelings in turn are highly inconducive to progress. I also curse the name of Murphy at every chance I get — him and his stupid law.
How then does one regain a semblance of control over one’s life? Do we look around us for the answer, or is the answer we seek inside ourselves? Do we philosophically pour over books and materials focused on this subject? Do we meditate in total silence? Perhaps the answer lies within that “happy medium” that seems to pop up in every instance. Perhaps we must consider all possibilities — inside and out — in order to regain order. As for myself, pardon me while I attempt to pull myself back out of the rut.
Apparently, I like to write about the weather. Just reference most of my recent posts — it’s a common denominator in my writing. In keeping with that theme, let’s enjoy more weather musings.
Today has been overcast, cool, and wet. I feel like I’m in Seattle, rather than the Sunshine State. I don’t mind the cloud coverage. I don’t mind the mid-60s. I do mind that mist that somehow manages to find its way under my umbrella and into my face, hair, clothing, bag, and electronics. Beads of water build up on my mp3 player, and I panic as I quickly wipe away the potential for a hardware malfunction. I suppose I generally just don’t care for rainy weather when I have to go outside. While I didn’t mind getting stuck in the rain a few times as a child, it quickly loses its luster when you find that your notes became nothing more than smudges on tearing paper and your sneakers begin to feel like miniature pools. Have I mentioned the unpleasant feeling of clothing soaked to your skin as you enter an overly air-conditioned building? Nothing says “pneumonia” like a good, sopping outfit!
And me without my tea…
I desperately want to practice Ferengi ideals of enterprise, but I’m finding quite a few issues. First of all, I don’t have a lot of traffic. What little traffic I receive right now seemingly comes mostly from spammers looking to leave spammy comments for Akismet to fish away from my daily viewing. Second, I’ve estimated my ad worth to be about $0.17USD per day. That’s about $5 per month. That covers a third of my webhosting costs. Third, it would seem Pay Per Post doesn’t like me very much. Originally, I understood — my blog was less than 90 days old, I hadn’t posted more than 30 posts, etc. Now? It took them four days to “review” my blog. They denied me because I didn’t have any posts for “30+ days.” What??? Okay, so what exactly did they look at? Did they really bother to click the link to my site that I provided them with? I feel fairly snubbed, and rightfully so. The support ticket system doesn’t even work, and sending feedback results in a “mail undeliverable” email hitting my spam filter. What gives?
Of course, I should probably count my blessings. I would potentially incur the wrath of Google, thus losing what little page rank I have — I’m currently a 3/10. I don’t really know what I should focus my efforts on at this point, though. I want to be a respectable writer someday, not some hack blogger who makes her money off of advertisements.
The sun glowed extra warm that pleasant afternoon. She stretched out her front legs, curving her spine towards the floor, then let out a sleepy yawn. She straightened herself back, kneeded the carpetting under her toes, and peered out the window. A bird flew past, catching her attention. She sat down in front of the sliding glass door, her tail swishing softly against the floor. Her eyes darted back and forth at the birds twirling through the air. Just as quickly as they flew into view, they flew away — perhaps knowing the vicious predator that eyed them in the window. Bored, she circled the carpet, choosing a cozy, sunny spot. She curled up into a furry ball in the bright sunlight, gently tucking her tail under her legs. She lay quietly for a few moments before she heard the television flicker on. She sprawled across the carpetting, warming her belly with the radiant sun. She began to purr happily. The small cat drifted to sleep.
Nestled in a hammock under the shade of tall oaks, sipping fresh lemonade, and dozing blissfully as the cool breeze rushes passed my skin — the weather today is absolutely beautiful. The sound of birds chirping happily in the trees, calling out to their mates in the spirit of a fresh spring season. Branches whistling in the wind. White cotton-ball clouds float fluffily through the bright blue sky.
The professor entering through the entrance brings me back to my current location. The monitors glare, the hard drive hums, and my short daydream of a lazy afternoon vanishes as quickly as it came on. I place my fingers on the keyboard and continue my work.
I’ve been toying with different styles in an attempt to find my “niche.” I’m so utterly frustrated by this “niche” nonsense. If you’d like niche material, view my website — that definitely qualifies. Granted, that niche has all but slowly dried up. When it comes to writing, I like freedom. The point of becoming a writer is to achieve a certain sense of freedom. I have a wide array of interests, and I don’t conform to one box or label. I’ve all but refused to conform since the second half of nineth grade. I don’t see the need to undo the progress I’ve made in life by conforming to the standards of “niche” writing. Sure, I’d love to have an audience that truly tests my “unlimited” bandwidth account, but I don’t see why I have to pick one topic and be stuck with it for the rest of my career.
I suppose I’m looking for the means to keeping readers interested. I currently check two blogs on a daily basis: Stroll Without Shoes by Brenda Della Casa, a site brimming with optimism, good cheer, wisdom, advice, and general entertainment; and Bacon Is My Enemy by Giyen Kim, a site documenting the life and weight loss of a Korean American woman living in Seattle, WA with her teenage daughter. I suppose Della Casa would fit the self-help niche, although that’s merely one way of looking at it. She takes a very psychological approach and really asks her readers to look inside themselves to be the best people they can be. She’s also a published author of Cinderella Was A Liar, a book that’s been printed in several countries and languages. Clearly, she exudes experience, elloquence, and excitement. On the other hand, Kim’s blog seems to cater to the weight loss niche. She puts herself out there for people to see on a regular basis, showcasing her accomplishments and recounting her set-backs. Of course, that’s the niche that CNN seemingly chose for her. Asides from her weight loss material, she delves into life as a Korean-American single mother living in Seattle. She shares her past, the things she does with her friends, and adventures she has raising her daughter. I’d call that a “slice-of-life” type of niche, which is something I identify with. At any rate, these two amazing woman have caught my attention — I read and I interact when I feel I have something worthwhile to share.
Personally? I’m going to keep doing what I consider myself good at — slice-of-life, creative non-fiction, and exploring my options.
A tranquil breeze blowing softly through my hair under the shade of the bus shelter, I sat waiting for the bus. The fresh new leaves glistened vibrantly in the bright sunlight while a pair of squirrels scurried after each other through the thickening brush. Cars whipped passed on the road, carrying their passengers to a plethora of locations. I run my fingers over the tiny screen, checking the time and choosing a song. A bus speeds past — I jump up! Was that my bus? Couldn’t be. The word “garage” appeared in bright lights on the ticker. I stare down the road, hoping to see my bus somewhere nearby. Nothing. I sit back down, dejected, to wait again. Honeybees float between clover blossoms, digging through the hidden nectar. For a brief moment, I want to reach out and pet the honeybee. Then I come to my senses and realize how terrifying this might be for both me and the bee — the bee, after all, dies after it stings someone. I spot the bus down the road, slowly gliding towards me. A group of men unload coolers and fishing gear over by the lake. The bus grows larger, moving swifter. I wait cautiously on the sidewalk, watching the cars zoom passed. Finally, the bus has arrived.
Last week, sweaters and jackets ruled the town. Crisp breezes blew through trees and tossed around leaves. This week, the sweat-inducing sun looms overhead while I come to realize that a three quarter sleeved shirt may not have been the wisest choice this morning. Every year it seems like we go through phases of cold snaps that become a few days of cold, a few days of hot, a few more days of cold, a few more days of hot, until finally you rage at how you can’t just enjoy opening the windows without one extreme dramatically altering the temperature of your home. The electric company must enjoy sitting, watching the meters tick faster, rubbing their hands together with the knowledge that soon they’ll own a higher percentage of your paycheck. People always talk about how wonderful it must be to live in Florida — the same people only come here on vacations to theme parks and beaches. The concept of sweltering, sticky heat between March and October doesn’t quite seem to register. All that registers in their minds are our warmer temperatures when they’re shoveling snow. Enjoy that lovely, glittery snow, my friends — it’ll keep you cool when that mercury starts to rise. In fact, I’m sitting here right now brooding about how I’d prefer not to be sweaty and disgusting, envious that other parts of the country enjoy a gradual season change.
To each his own, right?
Staring blankly out the window, I wonder what I should say. Where does one go from here? As I gaze sullenly out the window, I realize I’d much rather be napping in a hammock this afternoon. All of my energy seems to have waned indefinitely, and I feel heavy and weak. The clear blue sky looks so warm and comforting. The trees sway in a lovely breeze, the leaves flapping as the wind brushes against them. People begin to disperse – that daily grind coming to an end for them. Yet here I am, agonizing over my lack of inspiration. It must be the absence of caffeine. Oh how I miss the sweet morning nectar that injects life into my soul – liquid motivation. I glaze over, contemplating how I’m ever going to manage the next adventure life has presented to me. I sip the room temperature water and brush the hair out of my eyes. A small voice insides nags, “SHOW, don’t tell!” I cringe. How can you not see what I’m trying to convey to you?! I cry out indignantly. Perhaps if I were Hemingway, I would immediately grasp the concept of showing versus telling. My mind drifts again, picking apart the many faults I own. Isn’t it wonderful when the mind plays this game? That negative self-talk that consistently arises at the worse possible moments – we really need to muster the motivation to do whatever it is we’re doing, and that wretched little voice comes along to remind us of our flaws. Just who does it think it is to tell me I’m not good enough?
I adjust myself in my chair, remembering I’ve agreed to lock the other building this evening. My reminder hasn’t popped up in a while. I check to see if I perhaps dismissed the alarm – indeed I did. I click snooze again, knowing I still have ample time left in my day. The blue sky looks quite inviting again. If only unbridled energy fell from the sky, then I would harness it for my personal gain. Of course, this is the real world we live in. Perhaps a lovely dinner will recharge my empty reserves.