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Inspiration through Deprivation

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Of letting yourself go…in a bad way

Life is one amazing journey. Through the troubles, surprises, and successes we learn more about ourselves than any time prior to the now. So why, through these amazing experiences, is one still capable of letting all the success and pleasant surprises go, only to stand once again amongst a fist full of troubles? To be in the center of letting yourself go…in a bad way.

We have our goals and dreams in life that we pursue. All with flickers of hope that spawn creativity and inspiration. Though while through such we experience moments of despair and willingness to give up hope, once drove us to limits we’d never experienced. I write this post because I have a friend, remaining anonymous, who is an aspiring actor. He spent decent money to get himself in shape, amazing head-shots, and willingly gave time to local theater and independent film projects attempting to make his name. Day and night he worked, sometimes until five in the morning when he’d call to ask me if a certain sentence made sense or to simply feel out my emotional response to a reading. Most were amazing, others needed only slight improvement, but he continued to work. He followed his dream with a determination that I envied myself. His dream also brought him to the west coast, Los Angeles in particular.

I met up with him today, though he seemed busy. He just got off work and wished to do some manscaping before his boyfriend got home for the night. Always handsome, and always a good friend, I still blushed as he stripped to nothing to begin the process of trimming his chest and pubes. But as he did so, I noticed a great change in him. He no longer had a six-pack, which he bragged about constantly in the past. His hair wasn’t done, and his room in his apartment, which is in a great location by the way, was in near shambles. I turned away from him as the sight of an ass appeared and began looking around his apartment. There at his desk were old playbills, framed, on the wall, action shots of him on stage, and a notebook nearly opened with the amount of bills and unopened envelopes stuffed inside. Scattered around his desk were nearly fifteen 24oz. cans of Coors Lite and plates littered with Pizza Hut to-go packets of cheese and crushed pepper.

I began identifying a man that turned into a different version of himself. A man who became so obsessed with his boyfriend’s life he forgot what he was doing, and where he was going. I eventually touched on it with him after he showered and dressed a bit. He informed me that though his boyfriend made great money, his own bills were going untouched as the server position he held barely covered his half of the rent.

“I spend my days as a housewife then go into work around five,” he told me.

“Well,” I said looking specifically at the beer cans and the dirty plates, “not a very good one.” We laughed before he offered me a glass of beer which I happily accepted. It was a good time getting to meet up with him, reminiscing and finding out more of what’s happening in each others lives; both fallen in love, both happier than ever, and the part I didn’t tell him, both letting go of ourselves.

I found it true, and this incident proves none the other, that often advice to others is intended for the giver’s ear. Maybe we’ve seen ourselves in a similar situation, or currently are, but some tidbit of said suggestions can apply to one’s own life. I drove home from my visit with three hours to think about what happened to him and look at myself as well. I knew I always had a love for long drives, alone. It provides just enough distraction so as not to go off on a ridiculous tangent, but also enough quiet to provide the mind with an atmosphere conducive to self-reflection.

Change for the better takes longer than changes for the worse, it’s designed that way. Everyday conscious action reinforced with positive change results in a habit or thought pattern that will stand firm even when beginning to drift. Each day is a new day, each minute a new minute, taking advantage of this will yield greater results within ourselves. Finding a buddy to help along this journey is a great route as well, even if it is a blog or video blog.

Goals, determination, and clear understanding of our dreams will pull us from the times we begin to slide, if only we remind ourselves of them, then take action to achieve them. Letting go happens but it’s up to us to not let it happen and change the patterns that sneak their way into our lives affecting them as such.  Remember you are you, people love you for it, you should love you for it too.

 

 

Starving Artist Syndrome…A reality!

In a previously drafted post, Young Artist Syndrome…A reality?, I write about the intricate details going on in my life at that time. Over a year old I can’t help but to look back at that and realize how big a role it had played in where I am today. That syndrome, thought, and process never went away. I still had it. I yearned for it.

Here I sit in San Diego, California wondering what I’m going to do to pay all of my bills. Though I have a job, I am almost refusing to find a second because I want my writing to be my second job. I never came into writing with the illusion that I would be rich. I nearly dreamed of being in this situation (though I currently have it better than that dream!). I should have been picking up shifts at Top of the Market, where I work, over the past two days but there I sat writing. Working on my second book most of all.

You see, I forget about certain key elements sometimes. To stay relevant you have to be relevant. I promised my novel over a year and a half ago. Now I am reformatting, rewriting, and taking some serious jabs at myself while I delete pages at a time of irrelevant information. I won’t see any return on investment for a while, that’s if ever! However, this is my baby. I gave her life, 72,000 words of life. I must finish this novel!

I must finish this novel on an empty stomach though. It makes it tough, but I have my wine and cheap beer to help forget about it. Plus if I was truly starving there is always Ramen noodles!

Anyway, I just found it interesting that I wrote about this a while ago nearly depicting it as something that I would never do, and here I am! Maybe a little inspiration for you! Check it out. Young Artist Syndrome…A reality?

Thank you for reading,

Caleb A. Mertz

On a Very Different Path

A month and a week has passed now. A month and a week from the time my ties were severed to the greatest relationship I have known. With this separation amidst all of the feelings of aggravation, fear, and hurt; I was able to begin searching for a self that was greater than I had known before. Searching for ways to cope. Something to make me feel better. I couldn’t write in my despair. Nor could I retain enough focus to read. Even this post will be something of almost illegible fashion. I feel the need to write. I must get back to feeling myself. Like I’m contributing. Like I have purpose.

I have had many instances of literary genius in this time. Yet it can’t be counted as literary genius if it never made it to paper. Time swirls past me much like the leaves do now as I jog in the morning. That’s been a good start. I jog now. It’s been five consecutive days, and I feel great.

My job is what I had been getting up for in the mornings. The morning of the past three years. When the love is gone, yet you keep going for the comfort of it, you need something to get you up in the morning. My job has always been the thing that has inspired me. My muse, if you will. I now read over the last two sentences and laugh. I laugh at how my life could have been formed to swirl solely among and around a restaurant. Writing has been my passion. Something that I love to do. Some may say I am horrible at it. If this is the first or the last thing they ever read from me, I may have no choice to agree. My rhythm is off. Short sentences to long almost run on sentences. Stream of consciousness then well thought out prose.

What if I pick it all up and go? San Diego. She looks like a beautiful place to go. I believe that there are many signs wishing me to go there as well. The second I began thinking about it even the most random of people would tell me their son was driving out there. Or someone just got a job out there. Or “my God, I wish I was in San Diego.” Random conversations from guests. Then I log onto Craigslist and my location is randomly set at, you guessed it; San Diego.

I will admit, it couldn’t happen as quickly as I would like it to. I have debts here that I need to settle before I can go. I also have a big book release coming up that I absolutely must do here.

The best moment of my turn around was when I was telling a new found friend good bye. We hugged and I kissed him on the cheek, like I do with all of my friends. He kissed my cheek. I went to back out of the hug when our lips met. It was quick, brief, and releasing. My first instinct was to feel guilty, but the moment I knew i didn’t feel that way I was emancipated from the horrid feeling of not getting over it. Thank you friend.

Thank you for reading this. Whether you made it through all the way or not!

Caleb A. Mertz

How’s Your writing Going?

The stress of the slowness of the day was beginning to weigh on me. I stepped outside into the humid and disgusting night. The bugs flew violently around the light. I always wondered how they didn’t kill themselves when they continuously slam into the light bulb. A spider near the light scrambled frantically to capture every bug that came towards the light. I meandered on by. As long as the damn thing didn’t hang down and land on me, my face, or my person, I would be okay. The picnic table set up under the bridge was only occupied by a few employees. Each one, with cigarette in hand, either engaged in a loud conversation, or looking concernedly over the railroad tracks near by. I chose to walk over to the only young man sitting by himself. His name is Mike, he works as a bar porter. Upon the initial greets he was excited to ask, “how’s the writing going?”

It was only a moment long. It felt to have been forever. The thoughts that poured through my mind at the smallest question was dizzying. How HAS my writing been going? I began listing things in my mind. I began quantifying the little things that I have been accomplishing. Then again, the Agent’s interest that I had recently had extinguished, and my blog has sat vacant, yet again.

“Good…” I responded. Good? I asked myself. How does good measure up to where it should be? Where have my studies been? Why haven’t I logged onto webook.com or fanstory.com? What am I doing!!!!!!?

With this I pose the question to you. If you have followed my blog you are either a fan, or you might be writing something yourself. How are you doing with your writing? Is there something more you could be doing? Is there something more you SHOULD be doing? Think about it, and post your random thoughts. If you know me, you know I love random thougths…I have a whole section assigned to thoughts.

Talk to me people!

Caleb A. Mertz