Don’t Set Goals for the New Year; Set Goals for Life


As the year comes to a close, one reflects on everything that has transpired.  So many horrible things have happened and yet, I can see light at the end of the tunnel.  I have nothing but a sense of hope for the coming new year.  I feel there will be more tragedies and horrors for the world overall but my personal life, my small world, my tiny existence is about to move into a place it has never been.  I cannot say exactly what I mean because I personally don’t even know what I mean.  Things will get better.

Here are some of the hopes, dreams, and goals I have for the coming year.  I hope to get a new job that does not involve working nights and hopefully pays well.  Arguing and wrestling with drunks lost its appeal many years ago and I hope to never work in a bar environment for the rest of my life.  With a new job that frees up my nights and weekends, I will perhaps have more of a social life.  Although, I’ve never been much of a social person due to my anxiety, but I will have the opportunity and that makes me happy.

Having recently finished the first draft of a novel, I know that my writing endeavors will evolve over the next year.  My skills as a writer are growing and there are several things I need to work on to improve but I have the tools I need to achieve this.  I feel I will surely have something published soon.  If not in 2018, I will definitely have something published in 2019.  I hope to have more blog entries starting with this one.  I will not make any promises other than writing more.  Less concrete goals work better for me.

I have always felt I would change the world with my writing but felt there were many obstacles and barriers preventing my achievement of this.  I believe I know what these barriers are and I have a plan for removing them one at a time.  It will be a long process but I will achieve my goals.  I want to mention that all these hopes and dreams and goals are not New Year Resolutions.  They are simply goals one sets in one’s life.  My New Year Resolution is the same every year.  Be awesome and feel sexy.  I meet this goal every day of every year.

I hope to bring some of my newly found skills in writing to you, the public of potential or aspiring writers.  There are many things I was told over the years about writing but no one could ever offer examples of how to achieve these things.  Sometimes I thought they were just regurgitating what others had always told them.  I have found examples of these common things to avoid and, more importantly, examples of how to fix them.  It will take some time to implement these changes but I feel confident that I will finally reach success.

“Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry” by James Pack #FREE

Someone was kind enough to share my eBook promotion. Pariah Bound is available on Kindle for free until December 26. Merry Christmas! Be sure to visit http://nesiesplace.wordpress.com/

Nesie's Place


Pariah Bound cover

“Pariah Bound: The LonsomePoetry”

By: James Pack

Genre: Poetry/YA

Release Date: September 14, 2017

Amazon KUGoodreads ButtonFREE through 12/26/17!


The complete collection of poetry by James Pack. The poetry in this collection was written between 2002-2016. Gripping poems of a struggling youth and fantastical fictional narrative poetry for all ages. Pariah Bound comprises all the emotions and dreams of a young man still discovering his place in this world. With over 250 poems, there is something for everyone in this complete collection.


Biography

James PackJames Pack is a graduate of Full Sail University with a Master of Science Degree in Entertainment Business. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona majoring in Theatre Arts with a minor in Creative Writing.

James has worked for several theaters throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and Arizona. These theaters included summer stocks and local theaters that hosted touring productions such as Broadway tours and Cirque du…

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Sometimes You Need to Reboot

I took a personal day away from the world yesterday. I turned off notifications for all my social media on my phone. I did not message or call anyone. Other than going to work, the only interaction I had with the outside world was going to Starbucks for about an hour to do some writing. I could easily say I needed a break from all the stimuli but I think it was much deeper than that. I literally and metaphorically needed to start over, start fresh, return to default factory settings. Sometimes you need to reboot.

For nearly a week, I found myself getting more and more angry over the pitiful nonsense of messages and notifications from email and social media. Even the sound my phone makes when I get an email drove me crazy. I turned this off before my antisocial blackout. Part of me blames Facebook for changing their algorithms. There was the nonsense and there were issues from work floating in and personal issues; some from the outside world and some from within. The growing irritation with everything in the world followed by the insecurities and confusion of everything that didn’t irritate me, pushed me into a feeling of unrest and panic.

I have learned a lot about myself after learning that I have anxiety and depression. Many behaviors that are physical signs of anxiety and depression I have had since I was very young. I have had these issues since I was very small. Learning this destroyed my self-image entirely and my reaction to this was feeling like garbage and believing I was garbage to everyone in my life. Even if I had no reason to believe so, I thought I had been selfish or awful to everyone I knew or cared about.

I wanted a day of nothing; a day that I could just be in my head and nothing else. I realized that my job has a lot of external stimuli that I never have time to recoup from because I am bombarded by other external stimuli from technology. I had to get away from some of it so I took away my connection to the outside world. I turned myself off and back on again. I am sure that some people noticed my lack of interaction with the world yesterday. I am certain they want to know if I am okay. The honest answer is I am apathetic but I am okay.

The reset feels like it worked. I am ready to take on the world and everything it will throw at me but there is one thing I am concerned about. I believe in my sudden panic, I could have pushed someone away; someone I believe I know well but I still know so little of myself. I think they will understand what I had to do but are they willing to speak to me again? Whatever the future holds, I am ready for it. I am ready to keep fighting.

The Negative Thoughts

You feel it coming. It slowly creeps in like a snake through the forest. You always feel it coming. No matter how prepared you are or how well you fight your own mind; the negativity gets inside your head. You battle as you have before and no matter how many times you win, it always returns. You tell yourself happy things; you tell others happy things hoping that will make you happy. You see someone else is battling negative thoughts and you send them messages and tell them nice things, sweet things, things you, yourself, want someone to say to you.

It never comes, at least not from those you wish those words would come from. Maybe now and then someone tells you a nice thing or smiles at you but you play it off as superficial; it is not real. This makes the negativity grow and fester and engorge your soul. You feel it taking over. You always feel it taking over. How do you fight something that is always there? How do you fight something that never leaves? How do you fight yourself? How do you keep it at bay for so many months only to have it reclaim your life in a single moment?

The negativity. The worry. Nothing is good enough. Even when you help pump someone else up and you think maybe they had a good day because of you; sure, you feel better but it is like a sugar rush. You get your high and then you crash and must force yourself out into the world. If you force yourself out, you can keep the bad thoughts away. At least, that is what you tell yourself. Staying busy is the key, you say; but being busy only postpones how you will feel when you get home.

No matter what you do, no matter what you accomplish, no matter how much you force positive thoughts into your head; you feel your life battery slowly drain. Everything starts to fall away. The little things go first. You hardly notice. Then bigger things and bigger things and the very large things slip into oblivion. They are not gone. You just have no desire to seek them out. You have no desire for any things you once desired. A shell of a person; dead empty eyes. You push yourself out of bed and take some vitamins; B-1; Thiamin.

Do vitamins help? You think they do. You think maybe they keep you from going all the way dark. You think they keep you away from the dark side. You have not been there in so many years and have no wish to return. The negativity, the darkness, the pain from within your own head; it is a tragedy that no one will ever see or hear. Even if you told everyone, they would never see the full picture, hear the full sound, think the full thoughts. You keep fighting the negativity away. You keep sending happy thoughts to the other people with your same thoughts. Always hoping they will return the favor.

Feelings and Things

You constantly feel like your life is going up and down and sideways and slantways and forward and backward and you have just felt every emotion and it has only been a few hours since you woke up.  All these things happen to you in a short amount of time and you feel you have lived in lifetime in a matter of minutes.  Some days everything makes sense and other days you do not understand why anything happens the way it does and no one believes you when you tell them nothing makes sense anymore.

You spend days worrying about everything and it feels like your mind is about to explode then one little thing happens and your whole world changes.  It is difficult for you to explain this sudden change in the world to anyone so you do not even try.  You get that news you have been hoping to hear but never thought would come and even though you are finally having a good and happy day, you still cannot stop thinking about everything and all the things and too many things.  Fighting your mind is a never-ending battle.  Peace and calm is a foreign idea you may never find.

You know the slump will come back but you do not know when.  All you can do is try to force it back if you can and have little things in place that keep you up during the time you constantly feel down.  Sometimes getting a discount on a purchase is the only good thing that happened that day.  You count it as a win just to make yourself feel like the whole day was not a waste.  It is part of the constantly changing rollercoaster of your emotions.  Every day is something new and exciting and terrifying and you cannot stop from being excited and terrified about everything and all the things and too many things.  You feel everything.  You feel too much.

Trapped and Forgotten


Some days are better than others.  Some days are just casual; neither good nor bad.  Some days you feel trapped and forgotten.  Those are the days you struggle the most.  Those are the days where nothing you do or think brings you peace and you try to stay busy and distracted but at least four times in that day everything will weigh you down.  You never feel more alone than you do on these days.  Even when you force yourself to go places to be around people, any people, it still does not feel right and you want to run away from everything.

You never run away because you are more terrified of trying to figure out what to do.  No matter how painful it is, you cling to what is familiar.  You are afraid of making changes but you are also afraid of missing new opportunities.  You fight with yourself whether you should say something or do something or if it is worth the trouble.  When you finally do something that you told yourself not to do, and everything goes wrong the same way you told yourself it would; you wish you had left things alone because you’d be better off having not done anything.

But still you try and still you hope.  Things will get better you tell yourself.  This is not a lie but you struggle to believe.  You know things will get better but in that moment, nothing could possibly get better.  Sometimes you want a hug or to feel the touch of someone special but there is no special person and you fear the touch of anyone; even family.  You want to hug and love the world but the world can never touch you or care for you because you feel too much and express too little.

You feel emotions more strongly than most others but you never show them and everyone assumes you have no emotions.  Part of this is a defensive wall and no one can come inside.  The downside is you cannot come out of the wall.  You feel trapped and forgotten inside your own head, inside your own invisible wall; no one can get in because no one knows how.  Only you can remove the wall but you also do not know how.  You must become your own hero because no one else will save you.  You do not believe anyone wants to save you.

You see others who fight the same battle you face each day.  You try to help them because in some way you think it will help you.  Who better to help them than you?  You understand how to touch them without touching them.  You know what they want to hear.  They think you are brave because you force yourself to talk about your troubles.  You acknowledge the pain and embrace this.  The sad truth is, no one else is brave enough to tell you what you want to hear; what you need to hear.  You must tell yourself.  You must become your own hero because no one else will save you.  You must want to save yourself.

Some days are better than others.

Anxious Always

Everyday feels like you are fighting against the world. The truth is, that world you keep fighting is you. You fight against your own thoughts and cannot stop yourself from overanalyzing every situation. Why did you say that? What are you doing? Who wants to be around you? At just the right moment, these thoughts can cripple and paralyze you. Nothing is ever good enough and you are never good enough but you keep fighting yourself because there is nothing else to do but push forward. There is nothing to do but hope things will get better. They always do but your mind creates new obstacles.

You want nothing more than to walk up and tell everyone how much you struggle but you also do not believe anyone would care about anything you say. So, you tell no one. It is easier. Endure the struggle because that is what people do. Is it not? Sometimes people ask you how you are and you answer and say you are doing well and sometimes the answer is honest because in that moment you are doing well. Sometimes the answer is a lie and you say you are well because that is what people say. It is scripted and predictable so the other person goes away and leaves you alone.

People attempt to be polite and show you courtesy but you hate being around anyone. You enjoy being around a small amount of people like in a coffee shop where each person has their own space and no one talks. You feel social in this way. You feel less like a freak this way. Someone tries to talk to you. Nope. Nope. Go away. That is what you want to say but you do not because that would be rude and you would hate yourself for being rude but then you hate yourself for listening because now the person will not stop talking to you. Just walk away.

You spend all your time avoiding people, even people you like and want to see, but you avoid them anyway because that is what your instinct tells you is right. Then something happens. You meet someone new or you start to know someone better and you feel something. At first you do not really know but you are curious and explore. This person makes you comfortable. You are comfortable with friends but this feels different. A connection of sorts. You cannot explain it. You enjoy being with and around this person. This person is not like anyone else you have ever met.

Naturally, you try to spend more time with this person. Your schedules never seem to line up. It is like this is not meant to be. You continue pursuing something because this person touches you in a way that is unfamiliar. There are levels to receiving another person’s touch. Strangers touch you and it is as if every nerve in your body is connected to this one spot that is being touched and all five senses are gravitating towards this spot. It feels like danger and you need to leave. Then there is the touch from a close friend or family member. You have known this person or many years and you feel no threat.

This person who touches you differently in a new way. You cannot explain what this is. They seem like a close friend but the touch is still very different. The touch feels like they are being cautious. The touch feels like they know how you feel around other people and want you to feel safe around them. It is like they can sense your uneasiness. They touch you lightly, gently. In a way that says do not be upset, you are safe. How is it no one has ever touched you this way before?

You attempt to move things to another level with this person. Social interaction is a foreign concept that you will never understand but you try. You want to take this person out on a date. Every person you have taken this step with immediately ignores and avoids you. You feel this could happen again. You do not want to lose the only person who has ever made you feel the way you think normal people feel. But still you take a chance. You do it. No response. They ignore and avoid you. You were right. It happened again.

Three weeks pass, you have moved through each of the five stages of grief because that is what you do with the smallest issue and this felt like a larger issue. The person contacts you, casually, as if nothing has happened. You start talking again, only a little at first. You also act as though nothing has happened. Are you a hypocrite? No. You just do not want to lose another person when so many in your life have left you. You still want to tell this person how important they are to you but you feel they will not feel the same. That is okay.

Maybe they struggle with their own thought the same way you do. Maybe they were just as scared and anxious as you were. Maybe they did not know how to tell you no without hurting you because even though they are not interested, they still like you and want to keep you around. There are always too many maybes. You force yourself to stop creating maybes and just be happy that someone wants to talk to you sometimes. But there will always be maybes. There will always be what ifs. Why did you say that? What are you doing? Who wants to be around you?

It is a never-ending cycle. You cannot stop the thinking. You cannot stop the worrying. You cannot stop. You only want someone to hold you but you do not want anyone to touch you. You find someone that could bring the comfort you seek and then you screw everything up before it even starts. You always screw things up because that is what you do; you overthink, you worry, you screw up, you panic over nothing, you jump into something too soon because you are afraid of missing a chance that will only come with patience. But there is no patience in anxiety.

The Hobo Spider…Man!

portland-spiders-chartOf the many spiders in the world, there are a small number whose bites are considered clinically significant.  This means the bites are very harmful to humans.  The two most well known are the Brown Recluse, also known as the fiddle back, and the Black Widow, sometimes called the southern widow.  The third lesser known is the Hobo Spider.  A bite from the Hobo Spider is not as severe as the Brown Recluse but on rare occasions, victims can display other symptoms.  Mainly, they can mutate and turn into the Hobo Spider-Man.

The Hobo Spider-Man is a most interesting creature.  He scavenges trashcans and dumpsters for food and alcohol.  He will often stand on street corners asking for change and if the person is unwilling to give, he will use his webbing that he shoots from his arm to restrain them long enough for him to search their pockets and run off with whatever he finds.  He has been known to build webs in alleys to catch rival hobos so he might have no begging competition.

When police chase after him, he scales the wall of a building with ease to avoid imprisonment.  Yes, the Hobo Spider-Man is a menace to society, so be cautious and steadfast so that you don’t get bitten and become the Hobo Spider-Man.

 

Dollar Tales

I have a new eBook that will be released on Monday, October 16.  It is available for pre-order and it will download automatically on Monday if you do.  It is only $0.99 and includes two versions of one story.  The original was first published in 2015 in my collection of short stories, Killers, Monsters, & Madmen.  The second version is the story in its entirety.  There was a lot of the story cut out for the first publication and now you can read the whole thing.  This story will also be included in my forthcoming collection of short fiction titled, Morbid Museum.

There will be other eBook coming throughout the next year leading to the release of the new collection.  These will be a series called Dollar Tales from the Morbid Museum.  “The Ghosts Inside” is available only on Amazon Kindle.  There will be free promotions now and then and I will inform everyone of these free deals.  Be sure to find my on social media: @jamespackwriter and tell me what you think of my writing or what you think of me.  Please be kind but honest.  I will post some of my writing here on my blog as well as all kinds of other things to keep me writing.

You can also find my book of poetry, Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry, in both eBook and Paperback formats.  Check back regularly for free promotions and giveaways of this title as well.  I also do a little music production which I will be posting something about in the near future.  I will be hosting some panels at the Tucson Comic Con in November and I will share more details about that as we get closer to the convention.  Let me know if you’ll be there!