Why Formatting is Unnatural

Yesterday I was walking and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I dislike formatting. Yeah, MLA, APA, all of those triple letter format styles, I don’t like any of them. Must have an intro, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. What if it’s not the end? What if I don’t want to conclude? (Even though I is usually end with some form of a conclusion…) Perhaps it’s the reason why I loved the songs The Weeknd produced in his earlier days so much. They’re long, they’re rule breaking, and he shows real emotion and thought in them. It’s not clean cut and polished. It’s rough around the edges to some, with curse words sprinkled inbetween and drawn out notes that last a life time as you anticipate the next verse. 

I know that I also comply to these rules of what proceeds what and how each thing should be written properly in order for it to be universally acceptable, but I can’t help but feel it constrains some people’s creativity. You could have a very passionate writer with many thoughts and insights draw a blank when deciding what to write because the confines are so limiting. 

Formatting is unnatural. It’s not human. Sure it’s man made, but it’s not a representation of the variety of how the subconscious pours out thoughts. It doesn’t show the inconsistencies in the pace and the perspectives. Sometimes you second guess yourself, sometimes you show a bit of humanity when your thoughts ebb and flow and each word isn’t a polished piece of perfection. There are tangents erased that could have shown you a bit about the writer’s thoughts. 

That’s why I like reading poems and stories, or stream-of-conscious writing. It isn’t written to please the reader, it’s written to get the thoughts out and articulate them before they cease to exist in our fluid memory of the thoughts that run through our minds. When I read it, I can feel the liberation the writer had knowing that the words could finally be on a page to live a new and unencumbered life. This kind of writing gives our subconscious a chance to speak and it’s beautiful. 

How to get views 

Recently, the topic of site traffic has been circulating around me. I’m taking a class dealing in social media, and it highlights the importance of the presence you have on your accounts, and the content you share. One day my professor asked “do you think it’s effective to be real with your audience in a blog format?” I shook my head no. I feel that the majority of people who are “real” are the fake “real”, then there are the ranters, and then there are those that post possibly to much “real” content (I fall into the last two categories). I feel that you can be surface level “real” with viewers, stating socially acceptable beliefs, and sharing your likes and dislikes. You can’t however have moments where you’re unpoised and simply write to get it out and feel the emotions. Successful blogs are the ones that have one topic (typically can’t be about your feelings, cause those aren’t consistent with one topic), are the same word count every time, and always have a crafted message that aligns with your intended topic. 

As you all probably can see, this blog of mine isn’t formed around one centralized topic. I view my blog as more of a documentation of my beliefs, experiences, and thoughts over the span of my life so that I can come back periodically and see what I was thinking about or going through a year ago. Perhaps one day I’ll make a blog about one topic in particular. For now I’m comfortable with keeping it as is, anonymous and real. As the world is becoming increasingly disconnected on a deeper level and increasingly connected on a surface level, I don’t feel the need to try to get my content in the circulation with the high profile blogs. 
Now I’m not intending to bash the well crafted messages of blogs that have succeeded, cause I’ll admit that I partially  just don’t have one topic of interest that I’d like to fully exhaust by writing about it. The only consistent things I’ve ever written were books, because obviously I can’t vear off from the main point of my story. 

Though, I have yet to encounter a high profile blog that’s “real” deep in its core, to where you know each and every flaw. The flaws are hidden because we’re scared to show our imperfection. That’s what frustrates me. We live in a world of status updates rather than full time live streaming, and compare our imperfections to the one moment of perfection displayed in a picture or a post. We begin to devalue what we have to offer as a unique individual and become demotivated to be real. 

Fake or Real

Sometimes I write without thinking. I let the words flow out, and believe them to all be true. That does not always feel genuine though; because with each stroke of the keys, a bit more romanticization occurs. Each moment is put on a pedestal, just as a moment should be, yet it can be misleading. Behind each perfect moment is the conscious intent of trying to see the good and let the bad fade away, and with that, you get a flawless memory of an event. Then there are times when I write just the good, but the bad still ruminates in my mind. I fight it and beg it not to take my soul away from the appreciation of the good times. Moments are fleeting, life is only temporary, and we all are imperfect in our ways. We do what we know works and hope for the best. We’re all fucked up in our tiny ways, and sometimes those pieces of us affect others when we let them seep out into our actions. I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes the good and bad are so intense, that if you just focus on the good, something might appear to be perfection. On the other hand, when something is purely good and does not have those lows that make the highs feel higher, you may not have the words or the urge to write about that kind of good. I’ve found that the times in my life when I’ve talked to you (my readers) is usually when I was my most depressed. I sought to writing because it was my refuge away from the lack of silence in my own head. When I’d let any thoughts out, whether it was actually purging the bad ones or not, it would make me feel better. Writing something inspired in that time of my life made me feel like something was going right, even when nothing really was. A couple months ago, I was the saddest I had ever been, but wrote a lot of posts that I look back on and am pleased with how they make me feel. I guess at the very least during that time, I was introspective.   

That Damn Gun

Day by day, the gun becomes more appealing. Lately I’ve been ready to shoot. I’ve picked it up very infrequently up until now. Though recently, my hand has had it gently grasped, ready to pull that trigger and kill that figure once and for all. I still don’t want to, but the figure keeps getting closer, making threats, stabbing at my heart, coming close to ripping it out. It would be much simpler to just end its existence, because that seems to be what the figure wants these days. At first I thought the figure wanted to simply provoke a reaction to finally be noticed and re-acknowledged, but since then things have changed with the figure. Assisted suicide. That’s what it wants. Or is it? I’m not quite sure…

Alone

Nobody knows. It would take attention. Intuition. A moment of not focusing on oneself. There’s beauty in this world, but there’s also an area of darkness that remains inconspicuous to most. No one notices it within others very often. It’s all internal. It’s all in our heads. Well that’s the most dangerous thing for one’s sanity. For their mental health. For their happiness. To continue going on through life, caring about others, wanting to connect to them, needing to connect to them, but not feeling the same care reciprocated. It’s like you’re that cashier that continuously asks distracted customers how they are, and wishing their ungrateful ass a good day when you finish giving them what they bought. You’re left feeling alone, while standing surrounded in a crowded room. You’re never alone in the literal sense, but you’re always alone in reality. Depth doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Intimacy is a rarity. No one knows how to connect anymore… Actually, that’s not true. No one cares. There is a lack of interest. “Focus on someone but myself? Make someone feel valued? Have genuine interest in someone? Pshh that’s too much work, I’ll just let people treat me like some amazing discovery while I remain indifferent towards them.” 

My Reflection

The other day, I looked in my mirror, and in the reflection, I saw a stranger. She looked at me with wide eyes, begging to be noticed, but I avoided eye contact. She made weird faces, bugging out her eyes, sticking out her tongue, forcing a smile, finally shedding tears in defeat. None of it worked. I looked at her, but not directly at her. I was scared, and she was sad. I had forgotten her in the mirror. Every time I step in front of that mirror, I look right past her. I don’t look, because I don’t recognize her anymore. I’m afraid that if I look too long, it will all become to real. I’ll finally take notice that I’ve heartlessly abandoned her for all these days. The fear that I’ll remember her. Who she was, her vibrancy, her enthusiasm for life, how I felt whole when I saw her in the mirror and could tell you her name. Every second she’s trapped in that mirror, I hear her cry. It’s quiet in efforts to not disturb anyone, yet I hear it all the time and it keeps me awake at night. She knows I hear her. I feel her presence beside me wherever I go. She and I used to be one, but now we’re two entirely different entities. She’s drowning in her tears, and I’m numb. She screams at me, in order to bring me back to reality. She makes a mess in every area of my life in order for me to see the destruction to bring me back, to make me aware. Yet I’ve lost all touch with reality. She knows that. That’s why she continues this seemingly pointless effort. 

She’s the only one who knows, and she’s the only one who can bring me back.

Don’t Fret

My body is at peace, my soul is in turmoil. Yet my soul is responsible for bringing my body the amount of nourishment it needs. I am not starving. My soul is preoccupied, and so therefore my body forgets the hunger. It doesn’t kill me. If anything, this is the medicine it needs. To truly desire the nourishment my body truly craves is a wonderful feeling. Here I am, all too often left even more indulged than I ever wanted. I feel uncomfortably full. I don’t like that feeling. So when my mind tells my body it is time to take a break from the nourishment, maybe it is trying to get my body to feel again. That overwhelmingly full feeling suppresses the satisfaction. It dampens the enjoyment of a perfect meal. 

It’s not premeditated, it is simply forgetfulness. It is quite interesting that now is the time you feel the need to worry. Please don’t fret over me. I am handling myself. In fact, nothing is truly the matter at the moment. If something were, you wouldn’t have a clue. No one ever does. Though that is ok. I don’t need the council of others to help me back up when I am down. I’ve learned to deal with it on my own. If anything, handling it alone in a quiet room with some space to think and write is all I need to get back on track. If anything, all the worried words makes it worse. Remember how when you’d fall as a child, it wasn’t the pain itself that startled you, it was the gasps and worried eyes of those around you. The pain wasn’t even noticeable until it was brought to your attention. It prompts me to ask myself “is there something I should be upset about? Am I anorexic because I forgot a meal yesterday, then the next, decided I would prefer to stay in and eat a little less than an “adequate” meal?” No, it doesn’t. I am aware of how my emotions affect me, and it is simply the tunnel vision on my tasks that has me like this. Yes, I was feeling upset the other night and there are still some residual feelings, but it isn’t like these feelings weren’t present before. They have been going on for quite a while now, you just now got a glimpse of them. I didn’t intend to give you a preview of them, it just happened as a result of my will weakening. I didn’t have the energy to put on a fake facade that night.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever written about my opinions on advice. Though, no matter if I have or not, here is the updated version of what I feel about the topic. Recently I have come to realize that the more “advice” I get on how to live my life, the less I feel like those around me truly understand. I have made decisions based on my own intuition this far, and I have done quite well. I know what I can handle, I know what’s best for me, and I want to be in charge of what I do and do not regret. I feel like advice is a flowery word to mask what it truly is: others interjecting their opinion and judgement on the situation, not their understanding, and not their support.

A while ago, someone asked me if I had to pick between two extremes, which would I chose: a person who is constantly in my business, asking what’s wrong, giving advice, and being “there for me,” or someone who recedes for a while and allows me to be alone to handle my emotions on my own. At first I thought I would want the first, because I wouldn’t want the second who would “abandon” me when things got tough. Now that i think about it, I would choose the latter, because advice that lacks perspective is worse than no advice at all. Though, I’ve found that I prefer a silent presence over all. Someone I want around, who will just lay with me as I think about what’s on my mind.

Sad Music

Recently I’ve been thinking about the differences in the music we all listen to. For some, folk music is their preference. For others, heavy metal. Some like a mixture of things, but generally there is a primary fixation on one genre. Maybe the fixation waivers and switches to an entirely new genre all together, but for the time being, they are enamored with the genre, or particular artist. I think the common theme is that no matter who you are out of these people, or what music appeals to you, we all have one common motivation that draws us to our preferred genre. We listen to and seek the things that we identify with, but also the things that make us feel empowered. Now for those of you glancing at the screen with skepticism, I’ll explain what I mean by empowered exactly. You may think that it is surely not possible that everyone’s choice of genre could truly provide empowerment. Such as for the women who listen to sexually degrading rap and enjoy dancing/ singing along to it. Even if there seems to be an underlying conflict between the content and the audience, I still believe it can provide the empowerment that I am referring to. It isn’t the topic of the songs that is important in this instance. It is the melody, the beat, the way the voice in the song sounds, the emotions it evokes from the listener. Though, it may also relate to the topic in particular instances. Such as when that sexually degrading music is being produced by someone who has their own set of difficulties. No, I’m not saying that any misogynist should be let off the hook if they are going through a small difficultly. I’m talking about an underlying emotional turmoil of the artist. Say for instance that artist fell in love. They fell in love so deeply, and found someone that makes their life complete, there is no one else out there more perfect for them than that person. Then the artist makes a choice, or perhaps a mistake, and they are torn away from their love. Either way, or whether or not that was what led them to where they are now, they find themselves so famous, that they don’t know who talks to them for them or for their fame. There is also that factor that they’re constantly put on this pedestal by all of these people they meet. Given these circumstances, they can’t connect with anyone. No one cares to know the true them. All these people assume they already know everything they need to know about the artist as a person. They’ve listened to every word they’ve ever sung, read up on their wiki page, and saw a few interviews online, so they’re an expert on them, they know everything there is to this person. So when they meet them, there is only this bland, mundane, obsessive admiration. All of this is thrown at a person who has no clue as to a single detail of the admirer’s life. The artist may appreciate their fans very much, but I highly doubt they’d ever say they enjoy the one-sidedness of it all. Considering all that must be going through their head, mixed with regular sexual urges, you may come to the conclusion that there is a bit of disconnect. It’s no longer the sex that everyone has come to know as the norm in music— It’s not making love, It’s purely physical for this person. Mostly because those surrounding them regard them in the same light. Neither seeks to discover more about the other. So the lyrics come about from these encounters. The things they sing sound detached, because they are. They are no longer regarded as simply another soul. They live in a bubble of solitude, away from everyone else. It’s not because they started out with this detached view towards women initially, it is because they are describing all it is to them anymore. It is only the acts, only the body parts involved, only the pleasure, that they can see. My point is that even underlying lyrics that come across crude or disrespectful, there lies a back story that with the comprehension of, one could come to find themselves enjoying the music of this person. Such could also be said for music containing just about anything initially offensive. So, with all of these things, no matter what genre it is, it could happen to be the genre that leaves you feeling your most empowered.

Music can also provide catharsis that leaves us with the impression of empowerment. If you haven’t experienced or felt a sense of catharsis by listening to music, then I suggest you go searching for the music that will enable you to feel it, because it is invigorating. You feel and sense every detail of the song, every nuances with your entire body. You feel as though happiness and bliss is flooding through you. You are entranced by it, and find yourself becoming at peace. After the release, your mind is at rest, and the things that generally weigh on your mind have been lifted for the meantime.

The point of all of this random babbling is that I have come to acknowledge that the music that provides me with this feeling isn’t always everyone else’s cup of tea. Some think it is sad, overly sexual, and depressing. Well they are correct, it is all of those things and more, and I love it for each one of its components. For some reason, the music that brings me the amazing feelings I just described is the kind that possesses a sullen, dark, and sexual tone. The songs I like seem to resonate within me because they are a reflection of my energy. The more I listen to it, the more energized I begin to feel, and it feels as though I’m replenishing the energy that courses throughout my body. For me, the sadness doesn’t bring me down, it makes me feel alive. I like to hear theses kinds of songs, because you can feel the emotion. It reminds me of what it’s like to be human, where sadness is a reality. Sure, happiness is as well, but that can be faked easily. No one enjoys feigning sadness in the same manner, and even if they do fake it, there still lies a genuine ounce of hurt in their voice. I guess what it is that I love about sad songs is the potency of them.

Unconditional 

Happy as ever, a picture perfect couple on paper. Around everyone else you two appear to be happier than ever. Deep inside you both are breaking. You want to make this work, but is it simply becoming a test to see how long you can maintain it? Sure you two care for one another, but where is the passion, the lust, the total understanding. No not the best friend kind of understanding. The kind that when you look into that person’s eyes, you know you’ve finally found that feeling, that connection that you’ve been looking for. It’s not just a lustful gaze, comfortable gaze, or a passionate gaze, it’s all of those and more combined into one look. You two are the only ones in the room in that moment, and everything fades away. The objects in the room are just a blur to you. All you see are those beautiful eyes staring back at you. That’s surely not what this is though… Yes there’s history, and yes they’ve got your back, but is them being them simply enough for you? If years down the road you were to meet again, with faded memories, and see them pounds heavier, would that feeling they give you still remain the same? If they were to do something that frustrated you to no end, would your reasoning be to get mad now, but not give up on them because the feeling of being apart would tear you apart to no end? Is your love for them unconditional? Not simply meaning you’d go out on a limb for them. That’s caring for someone–It’s quite common. The kind of unconditional that draws you to them when they’re away. They remain in your thoughts even when out of sight. The kind of connection that no matter what they do, no matter what’s going on, no matter how they look, just being them is enough. That’s all that matters. You wouldn’t have it any other way. You don’t want someone fitter, more intelligent, more accomplished, you want them. Only them. They’re perfection. Not external perfection, but rather internal. Every part of their soul resonates with yours and brings you peace, happiness, and fulfillment. If something exists between you two that we all can’t see, then by all means, continue on, keep the details of your relationship a secret to others. Allow others to see only a mirage of the two of you. Pretend to be the cookie cutter perfect couple. When you two appear to fumble and sink into a boring depressive state in public, don’t feel the need to defend your relationship if there’s more to it all that no one else is able to see but you two. If being apart is harder than being with them, then by all means, stay and savor every moment you’ve got. They’re your definition of perfect, not anyone else’s. Don’t feel the need to defend a connection you know is strong. Though if what they all say is true, if they’re simply not the one for you, listen to them, listen to those doubts you’re having. Perhaps you care for them, but spending your time with someone who doesn’t truly love you unconditionally, who you don’t truly love unconditionally, is surely a waste. 
To those of you who read this thinking it was about you, just know that this isn’t just one person or couple I’m talking about. This is based on a mixture of all the relationships I’ve seen around me. But if at any point this made you think of someone, or a relationship, don’t ignore that. Just look at this like one of those cheesy reposts on Instagram with the caption “I never mentioned a name, but someone popped into your head while reading this.” 

Love

You find yourself more in love than you ever thought possible. There she lays, in your arms, perfect in every way. Every fiber of your being reacts in an instant to the reception of this precious little gift. She is your baby girl. You immediately acknowledge how fragile this little human is. In that moment, you vow to yourself right then and there, that you will do all you can to ensure that she is treated with the utmost care. She is a reflection of the love shared the night she was created. She is the product of the 9 months of cautious nurture and care of the beautiful womb that carried her. You felt this gorgeous baby’s kicks at night as your wife lay fast asleep. You anticipated her arrival, picturing how this new presence would change your entire world. What would this little bundle of joy look like? Smell like? Sound like? Interact like? Would she have you smile? Your eyes? Would you see a glimpse of yourself in her as her eyes sparkled with glee each time she saw your face reappear in a simple game of peek-a-boo? Many questions flooded your mind at night. Now everything has stilled, and the only question you have is right in front of you: “how will you let this precious child know everyday, without a doubt in her mind, that her daddy loves her?”

Days, weeks, months, years go by, and you see her grow up. She is everything you could have wished for and more. It’s not exactly what she’s done, or said, but in a way, it’s all of that. It’s the perfect imperfection of this little girl, the glimpses of you and your wife in this unique individual. Her smile radiates through the room. She has your blue eyes, she has your wife’s chestnut hair. When she wants something, she imitates your old puppy dog eyes that you used to use on your own parents– sometimes even on your wife as well (in a joking manner). She has an infectious giggle that brings a smile to your face every time you hear it.

One day she comes home from high school, and she tells you she met a boy. The smile on her face gives you the impression that this boy isn’t all that bad for her. You give her a light-hearted mock interrogation anyway, and ask her “does he make you happy?” “does he treat you right?” “is there really a guy out there perfect enough for my little girl?” Then you mention one last thing: “make sure that if he ever treats you any less than you deserve, you walk away, because you’re the most precious gift anyone ever could receive and he sure as hell better know that.” That night, thoughts race through your mind. You remember her first words, the tears you kissed away when she fell down and scraped her knee for the first time, the pride you had when she finally learned how to ride a bike without training wheels, the times you’d come in the kitchen and find her and your wife baking cookies, her first day of school. It all felt like it was just yesterday. Now she’s going on her first date. Your little girl has acknowledged the opposite sex in a new way. She no longer sees these boys as friends anymore. There is the potential that one of these days, she may even kiss one of these boys. That thought is tough to handle. This is your baby, the one you held in your arms. You face the fact that your little girl is now a sexual being, but with that comes primal intentions. How do you know this young boy will treat your daughter right, when all of his urges arise from such an primal place. Will he be able to control himself? On the other hand… will your little girl want him to control himself? A first kiss is enough to think about, but then there is so much more that could follow. Your sweet little baby’s body is seen as a sexual object now. Guys want to touch her and she wants to touch them too. Your darling’s sweet little hands and mouth may go places that would make you cringe. Picturing these things makes you sick. She’s your baby. The little girl that is only meant to be held by your loving, fatherly hands. It was only days ago that she was too small, to young, to walk on her own. So you held her in your arms for hours, staring at that spectacular little face. Your love for her was unconditional from the start, and will remain so until the end. You think of how the guys she will encounter won’t see her in the same light you have. Their love for her, if even love, won’t be unconditional for sure. Some will expect things of her. Some things you don’t even want to think about. The thoughts are put on pause, because you realize you’ll go crazy if you continue to let them ruminate.

So more days, weeks, months, years go by. Your little girl is officially a sexual being now (not that she wasn’t in the first place). There are many things that have happened that she hasn’t told you. She’s had her first kiss, she has experienced much more than that…, and she has gone through heartbreak. Guys have treated her with disrespect– she walked away just like you told her to— though sometimes she didn’t acknowledge it soon enough. The first boy to see your little angel’s unclothed, uncovered, innocent, bare body, trivialized it by jerking off to porn the following night. That boy that gave her her first kiss also gave her her first heartbreak when he cheated on her with a sexy cheerleader while he was intoxicated at a high school party. She dated the nice guys, the good guys, the losers, the jerks, the jocks. She also found the love of her life along the way, who treats her well, loves her in every way possible, and brings out the best in her every day. He’s the boy she’s bringing to thanksgiving when she comes home during the break. Little do you know, he’s the one. He encapsulates everything you could have ever wished for in a man that would hold your daughters heart.

Now don’t feel too relieved, there was another who almost won her heart before she fell for your new potential son-in-law. With this other man, things appeared to be perfectly fine. He was successful and had a fairly good income. He knew that this beautiful girl was too good for him. Yet when a problem would arise, he would blame her, he’d go into denial and would never apologize for his actions. Sometimes he would apologize— but only when it benefited him. If they would have married, he would have barked the words “get out of MY house” when he was frustrated. He would say things to tear her down, not build her up. Any accomplishment of hers would be overlooked. When enraged, he’d bring fear into your little girl’s heart. She would run to the closest room and lock herself inside until he had calmed down. He’s the one who would have stormed out of the house at  2 am in the morning, slamming the door behind him, screeching the car tires as he peeled out of the drive way. He would have been the one to bring doubt, fear, and sadness to your little girl’s heart those nights, making her ask why she deserved this treatment.

No one “deserves” to be treated that way. In this alternate ending, your little girl just found herself in a bad situation. Could you have imagined though, the heartache you would have felt for your little girl if it had gone that way? Wouldn’t you have wanted to walk straight up to that evil man and look him right in the eye and tell him off? Tell him he doesn’t deserve someone as amazing and precious as your little girl?

What if I told you there is a simple way to make sure that this never happens to your daughter/ future daughter? No one would ever break the heart of your bundle of joy, and it involves only one simple task: Treat everyone else’s baby girls with care. That woman you slept with tonight, that girl you’ve been planning to bang, the girl you cheated on when you were younger, the girl you only intend to sleep with. All of them are someone’s baby girl. Treat them as so. If not, how would you ever expect someone else to treat your’s with the utmost care?