I am Jack’s un-read blog.
I needed a day of skepticism. A day of total cynicism. I needed a down day. Well actually, what I needed was an up day, a day of total success and accomplishment and reward. But those things have been slow in coming. But that hasn’t deterred me from my goal. My life in reboot…
Each day I rise, grab my cup of coffee and sit down at my desk to accomplish my goals. I begin with something cheerful and motivational. A little pep-talk I give myself each day to stay on track. It helps, more than you know.
But since I began writing full time, less than a year ago, I have experienced some really down days. I’ve sought opportunity that simply wasn’t there. Some opportunities that still aren’t there. Maybe brutally honest posts like this one aren’t the best way to be achieve my goals, but what can I say? I am who I am.
I’m an independent writer. That means I’m a writer, an editor, a graphic designer, a publisher and publicist. The list goes on. I’m not a New York Times bestseller…yet.
Being a writer means more than just sitting at my desk every day and writing what I want to write. It means taking odd jobs here and there to earn a living. In this economy, that isn’t easy. And with thousands of other would be writers out there, the market isn’t exactly starved for little old me.
I thought about this the other day, and felt my string of passionately happy days had come to an end. I don’t mind saying that I was in a bit of a funk. A sit on the couch and watch movies all day funk. I don’t wear robes, but if I had one I probably would have worn it. All day. Like Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom…complete with beard and dirty t-shirt. A day of cynicism and skepticism.
Okay, if I’m being honest it was a day of self pity and complete lack of productivity. But I kept telling myself with each new show I watched or movie I caught ten minutes late as a result of my habitual channel changing (I am a guy, remember), this day was mine for the wasting. I had hustled and worked and spent countless hours in the chair pursuing my dream. I was owed one day of badittude….
So early evening rolled around and I was still glued to the couch like I had slipped into a Krazy Glue infomercial, and to my surprise I stumbled upon a personal favorite movie – Fight Club. I would say this little moment of glee was completely pure, but I don’t have commercial free movie channels so my joy at watching a sometimes filthy R-rated movie was relegated to having to be satisfied with illogical cuts in programming. Never one to be defeated, I instead popped the dvd in and watched the unadulterated version.
I am Jack’s worst kept secret.
Every guy knows that Brad Pitt has, like, three great movies. Snatch, SE7EN and Fight Club. I know, I know, he’s a billionaire movie star with some of the biggest movies ever to his credit. I get it. But seriously, not for guys. For guys, an incredibly talented and handsome actor only has a few good roles to his credit. The rest are for the girls. Sure, his other movies are entertaining but we’re talking quality roles. I digress. Fight Club is a movie guys will shamelessly admit to being a favorite. Legends of the Fall? Not so much. Understand my point? Good.
So I’m watching Fight Club, the seminal voice of a generation locked in cynicism and a world that changes with each tweet. The voice. A work of art that is both repulsive and utterly essential to our understanding of the culture we have created. It is not the feel good movie of the year. It is designed to yank us from our subconscious insomnia that plagues our drive to seek meaning in our lives.
Or something like that. I’ll admit, sometimes the thought of being punched in the face sounds good if for no other reason than to shake things up a bit. Please do not take this as an invitation to punch me in the face. It hurts. This post is hypothetical.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. The inner workings of a film created to disrupt the social tide. A revolutionary idea that in itself, is not that revolutionary.
I am Jack’s epiphany.
The underlying theme of the movie is change. Which was a little ironic for me at the time as I had literally been sitting in the same position for hours. My day of cynicism. But the movie is about doing things differently to get different results. Sure, it takes things to an extreme. Sure it’s entertaining, but it never occurred to me that getting punched in the face was the answer. I repeat, please don’t punch me in the face. Thank you.
I sat up about a third of the way through the movie and realized I was having a moment. I had been numb all day. Apathetic to what was happening around me in the world. Lazy, unapologetic. I had felt I was owed one day for nothing. I was living the dream, baby. Three dirty plates stacked next to an empty cup littered with used napkins. Living the dream!
A third of the way through the movie I realized it was talking to me. I wasn’t simply watching, listlessly engaged in subjective entertainment for the purpose of being entertained. I was learning. I was seeing new thought and creativity emerge. I was feeling guilty about my day of waste. I was connected to the material.
Not all of us create an alternate reality to deal with a life we aren’t satisfied with. Not all of us mentally project Brad Pitt back to ourselves. But we all have the ability to change our reality. We have the tools we need to evaluate our priorities. To create our goals and do what is necessary to achieve them.
“This is your life. And it’s ending one minute a time.”
The ultimate message of clarity. This is my life. Each moment is precious. Why am I sitting on the couch? I have choices in my life that I am responsible for, that I alone must make. Forget about the informercials, the advertisements. The messages I hear and see and read. This is my life.
I am Jack’s ambition.
Everyone knows the first rule of Fight Club. Heck, everyone knows the second rule of Fight Club. Does the lay-person know there are eight rules? For me, the most important rule of Fight Club is the last rule.
Rule #8. If this is your first night at Fight Club – You have to fight.
The most important rule. Engagement. Participation. Every night is my first night at Fight Club. This is my life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. This rule forces me to be a part of it. I have to take control. The end result is mine and mine alone. The metaphor is that sometimes I’ll take one on the chin (Metaphors, people, metaphors. Please don’t punch me.) The metaphor is that sometimes I’ll punch life on the chin. The rule is I have to fight.
Needless to say I didn’t spend another moment on the couch. This is my life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. I had to do something. I had to act. I had to get back in the chair. Seek opportunity that may not be there.
I am Jack’s motivation.
We all have down days. I have down days. But that hasn’t deterred me from achieving my goal. In fact, it’s the motivation I need. The down days are a reminder that my time will come. The opportunities are still out there, I just haven’t found them yet. The down days are a reminder that contentment can sometimes be dangerous. The down days feed the hunger for change.
Sure, there are other choices. But I choose to be happy. That means achieving my goals. Because this is my life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. Rule number seven tells me that fights will last as long as they have to. I’ll be pursuing my dream as long as I have to.
Because rule number eight tells me I have to fight…