“I don’t know when I first got this way.
I think that I used to be someone with something to say,
but for the first time in my life, I feel more lonely than anything.”
– Endless Mike & The Beagle Club
One of the reasons that I decided to begin this blog is that over the last few years I feel like i’ve really lost my ability, or maybe just my desire, to speak my mind. Part of it was just a desire to live by example. It seemed that everywhere you went there were just too many people yelling about this, that and the other and very few people listening.
And so gradually over the years I think I decided to just try to be a good guy. And that’s great and all, but sometimes it really does pay to speak your mind. There are times when it does matter, when it really makes sense to shout out your beliefs, and I think I really found myself unable to really speak up. On one hand, I just found it hard to put together the words to express myself and on another it just seemed so futile and so I would often find myself just shrinking back into myself.
This also coincides with a general sense of “lack of direction” in my life in recent years. It’s not that I haven’t been doing things. It’s not that I haven’t been reading about new things or seeking out new ideas or getting shit done, but I just have a hard time figuring out what it all means. How do I take all that i’ve done for the last 39 years and use that as the launching pad for what could very well be another 39 years on this planet?
In my original post I talk about seeing this stage of my life as an opportunity, a chance to use the resources i’vc collected over the years as a jumping point for something greater. I feel I need to find my focus to do that. And I think before I can find my focus, I need to find my voice. I need to feel a lot less disconnected and a lot less alone.
I went and saw John Porcellino speak over the weekend and he was talking about growing up in the pre-internet days and how finding other people who were doing comics and zines made such an impact on him. He talked about how finding those people with similar interests made such a big difference to his world view and made him feel not so isolated. I thought about how kids today (and really anyone of any age) can theoretically go online today and find those virtual communities and how once again, in theory, that should mean that kids today shouldn’t ever feel isolated. They should be able to find like-minded communities and make those connections, but we know that’s not completely true. Isolation stills exists.
And I think that’s what i’ve experienced. The punk rock world that originally made me feel so connected moved itself into the realm of the internet and even though i’ve stayed connected with people, it just doesn’t have that same affect. And now it is really weird that I am using the internet as a way to try to re-find my voice. Now that I type that out, it doesn’t make much sense, but there’s probably a lot of shit I do that doesn’t make sense.
There’s an idea in this post, perhaps even several, and i’m not sure that it has gotten adequately expressed. I hope you’ll be understanding of that.
But for now i’m gonna go make some tea and read the new Cometbus (#55) and maybe play with some camping gear.