I have been in a funk. The funkiest of funks in fact. And not some sort of extended black eyed peas induced funk. The bad kind of funk (which some would argue is also the black eyed peas funk). And not the bad kind of funk that comes from an onion that’s been in the vegetable crisper too long, although that funk has more in common with my funk than the black eyed peas funk, but I digress. My funk was (note past tense for important directional vectoring of the blog) a spiritual, emotional and psychological funk. Although for some the black eye peas funk may also be of the spiritual variety.
For two months and three days (as of writing this) I have stopped doing most of the the things that I have come to understand as defining of the Nikolai Paterak brand.
Rest assured certain habits still persisted during the aforementioned funk. These include and are not limited to: regular feedings, bathings, general housekeeping, bill paying and rent paying – which in the opinion of most people would still qualify as a bill but with the list of “things I still did while I gave up on life and was pathetic” being so short I thought I would pad it out with a little something extra.
I just took a long drink of a stiff rum and coke and all of this is feeling really good right now so I’m gonna keep going all Jack Kerouac stream of consciousness on this shit. Hang on.
But there are three things that have come to define if not me then at the very least my free time. For the last two months I have not written, rock climbed, and I have barely read – which depends on whether or not you count Game of Thrones as reading. I also quit my job sort of for a few days. Don’t worry, they took me back because I rule.
I wanted to get back to writing this so bad I didn’t even wash my hands. I’m only kidding if you’re offended. Sorry roommate who uses my computer.
Seriously though, for the last two months I haven’t done shit. I’ve stayed as close to home as humanly possible, and whenever I get too far away I run back. That’s the god’s honest truth. I would break plans with people at the last minute if I didn’t like the idea of being away from my apartment for too long. Fucked up right?
What could precipitate such a bizarre shift in habits and state of mind. It sounds stupid, but rock climbing. Yep. A hobby. It’s embarrassing having written that, but stream of consciousness right!? I will proofread this garbage, never fear.
Without going into too much detail about rock climbing, I went on a trip. It didn’t go well. I got super duper scared. And then rather than rebound with some sort of heroic cliff faced saga I had a mental breakdown. Most people write about the acts of heroism and bravery, but this ain’t that kinda bag doll face.
Ironically, the last thing I wrote before this two month hiatus was about rock climbing. Even better, is that it turned out it was good enough to win a writing competition. This news was received whilst on trip but post mental breakdown. I declined the prize. I felt like a fucking failure. To quote Chuck Palahniuk, I wanted to destroy something beautiful. Except this time it wasn’t the face of a blond Jared Leto. It was and is my first and only real accomplishment as a writer, something I’ve strived for for some time, and I needed to ruin. It’s a combination of me wanting to be as low as I can and getting a fucked up high off the reaction when I tear something to shreds that is quite clearly so positive in my life.
Brace yourself for an anecdote from my childhood, coles notes edition. My sister and I were big into building or constructing crafts for the the Fall Fair in our area. Big is an understatement. The preparation for this fair occupied most of our summer. And lord knows what the category of craft was, ‘garbage made out of paper maiche’, but I built some sort of mutant comic bird, which if we’re being honest was perhaps ahead of its time as I recall it being very much in the spirit of japanese anime. Regardless, it was awesome. How much parental assistance was involved in the construction is not something I can be certain of. The mutant bird won some sort of ribbon, participation or otherwise. This was a prized craft though in my trophy case of useless and dangerously flammable art pieces. My sistine chapel. I destroyed it. TO PIECES. It began with some sort of tantrum and as it whirled into hurricane proportions I just remember feeling the need to destroy anything and everything that was mine that was successful, if not for me then also to see the disappointment of those around me. It is probably a poor strategic move to make this sort of damning admission on the the soap box of the internet if I ever hope to be approved for a mortgage or whatever other adult thing I need in the future. Long story short I never grew up, I just got a little better at writing. Or better at using proper punctuation, except for the semicolon which scares me.
Back to present day I refused the prize to the writing contest which was a spot in a writing symposium. There was the fight club destroy everything beautiful mentality, but I also didn’t feel worthy of going to this sort of meeting of the climbing minds given what I had just gone through.
Within two weeks of returning home from this event I also quit my job for three days. I just stopped going. Operation life dismantle was in full swing, and sweet shit was I good at it.
Fortunately cooler heads prevailed, I went back to work – see they took me back at work. And I have continued to do well at work. But for these two months I have done absolutely zero writing and climbing. And despite attending my job I still haven’t felt all there for a while.
I kept telling myself that I just needed a few more days and I would hop back on the horse or whatever animal is in vogue to ride now, but the further I strayed the more the orbit of my past habits seemed to lose its grip on me.
Climbing was easy to write off. Why would anyone want to replay any element of a shitty experience. Although in part true, it’s also overlooking the overwhelming body of super fucking awesome experiences I’ve had.
Writing was harder. Lack of inspiration was the points leader in excuses, and yes my day to day life as a plumbing apprentice does not fill the writing reservoir with cannon fodder, but tough shit sugar. Uh oh. It sort of just hit me now – yay stream of consciousness – as to why I’ve been avoiding this whole writing bag. In order to get back to writing I would have to write about this first and I wouldn’t necessarily like everything I wrote or admitted. Cough cough, yay stream of consciousness.
I feel better having written this. Right now in this moment I can’t say that I feel good having just admitted publicly that I’m a self destructive child that indulged in a pit of self pity for two months. But I do feel better.
Here’s to words and other stuff.