Detonations

This is a continuation of that little bomb I mentioned that’s inside of me. There was a lot of details I never got around to writing because my head went all kablooey on me. At first I felt something sitting at the pit of my stomach, but now I feel like there’s something that’s taken root inside of me. I feel it in the marrow of my bones.

This feeling isn’t anything negative at all. I think it’s something inside of me that’s been dormant until now. Somehow I’m tapping into it. It’s as if something is waking up inside of me. Another side of me that I’ve kept buried underneath everything.

As honest as I’ve been through my blogging, therapy, and everything else I’m beginning to think that I’ve put on a facade without realizing it. It’s like a mask is finally being ripped off and my true self is finally coming out to play. Up until now any semblance of my true thoughts and feelings have only come out in spurts. Much like my creativity.

That little burst in my last entry serves as a good example. Being an older student in a place like Boone means having to be surrounded by a bunch of younger people. Normally I wouldn’t let the age thing be an issue. If you’re cool then I’m cool. If we happen to like the same thing, awesome sauce. However it means having to deal with snowflakes on a daily basis. I can’t say or post shit without running the risk of offending anybody. I’m not even trying to offend anyone. I’m not trying to go to war with anyone. I’m just putting my shit out there.

Of course the snowflake thing isn’t exclusive to Boone. It’s everywhere. When I was younger and something offended me and I blew up about it I was told the following:

1.) “Aye hijo! Just ignore them!”
2.) “Get thicker skin man.”
3.) “Fuck them. Just do you.”
4.) “Brush that shit off and keep it moving.”

Despite my many flaws and depression I manage to do just that. If something hurts because of what someone says I embrace it, accept it, and move on.
Meanwhile everyone else has become oh-so-fragile. Everything is a slap in the face. I could blow a fart and they’d be blown all the way to Australia or whatever. And I’ve done nothing but be mindful of them at my own expense.

Now I’m not just talking about snowflakes. I’m talking about everybody that I’ve ever met. So many of them have operated under some double-standard bullshit. It’s okay for them to state their own thoughts, but then I get reamed whenever I even respectfully disagree. If there’s something I like someone has to shit on it but it’s not ever okay for me to do the same. It’s okay for people to insult, have a dark sense of humor, or being able to express themselves but it’s not okay for me. That’s all I’ve ever gotten out of people.

I thought I had gotten over the all the anger and hate that consumed me from long ago. But no…it’s still inside of me. And I don’t feel like fighting it anymore.

I am who I am. I like what I like. I can do and say whatever the hell I want and to hell with the consequences that come with it.

I don’t deal with slaps to the faces I deliver super kicks to the teeth.

The facade ends now. I’m ripping off this mask.

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And now my head’s getting all kablooey again. I’m ending things here.

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Second Wind

This semester is coming to a close, but there is still a lot that needs to be done. For someone like me it always feels like an epic battle. The sort of battle that will either make or break things. This perception casts a heavy weight on my mind. Not to mention makes for inner demons to grow larger, meaner, and more powerful.

This time is a little different from all the other times. If any of you remember from the earliest posts I’ve talked a little bit of my spirituality, how I’ve been receiving signs for many years. These last few months have been no different. I won’t get into too much detail on how these signs came to me, but for the most part they’ve all pointed to something positive, greater, and dare I say a depression-free life, something I want more than anything.

I’m realizing now that when the signs first came to me I became passive and fatalistic. I just accepted what was presented to me without question. This set me up for constant disappointment. I expected the good things to simply be handed to me and if the signs pointed to something bad I merely shrugged and said, “Oh well. I can’t stop it from happening.”

Perhaps that’s why I’ve been forced to endure all the hardships that occurred over the last few years. It was so I’d be able to find my fighting spirit and decide for myself what I truly wanted for myself. It forced me to think differently, change my perceptions about the world around me.

There’ve been days where I felt so drained that I thought I was barely holding onto my existence by a thread. There have also been days where it seems as thought I’m not alive or exist at all. No life, no afterlife. Pure oblivion.

But the more I think about the good that is promised to me the more I feel as though I’ve gained a revitalized spirit. Simply put I’ve found my second wind. But that doesn’t mean I can relax just yet. Just because something is promised to me doesn’t mean I don’t have to work hard and pour effort into anything. I’m only now realizing this as well.

I’ve carried this perception that the dreams that I’ve been pursuing was always under some sort of time limit. I imagined the same thing for everything else as well. But now it seems as though time doesn’t matter anymore. Which means that it’s not too late.

So I’m gathering everything that’s in me. All my greatest hopes and desires, my conviction and faith, and even my pains and regrets to propel me to go forward, to empower me, and finally uncloud my eyes from anything that’s confused or obstructed me.

It feels similar to when I wrote my intentions to rise up from the rock bottom I was in back in April. There’s the sort of pain that is associated with growth. Clearly I’m not done growing yet. I’m not done becoming stronger and wiser. My challenges have yet to end.

But here is a new intention I want to make clear right now. It’s a depression-free life that I seek, but it’s a mistake to simply wait for it to be handed to me. It’s a mistake to wait for anything to be given to me like it’s a prize. Nothing that I’ve been doing has been about collecting prizes. My life isn’t a playstation game where accomplishments are measured by trophies being earned or scores being weighed. The life that I’m living now is worth more than that. The life that I seek is worth so much more. I will live as though I have the life that I want, as if all my dreams have been realized.

Otherwise I’m living like I’m always wanting something and always being cheated. I would be living life unsatisfied and feeding myself misconceived notions of how things are supposed to be. It’s no different from a smoker who tries to quit and always goes back to lighting up. It’s a bad habit I’ve carried with me for years and it hasn’t brought me any good at all. So it has to go. Just like I’ve been wanting my depression to go.

This year is coming to a close. I don’t want to start up 2018 carrying 2017 issues. This is the best way to guarantee that. I’m done being stuck in the same horrible habits and going through the same thing in a never-ending fashion. This is what’s been driving me insane. This is the very definition of insanity.

This will mark a new beginning for me and ,hopefully, be the permanent end to my nightmares. It’s possibly a huge leap. But I have to risk it. Because if I don’t make the jump now then when?

It’s now or never and I refuse to stand in my own way.

My given name is Alex. But people know me as “Pen”.

Here is the reason why I took the name Pen. It’s not just because I’m a writer or because I wanted to make a play on “pen names”. Those are factors, but not the biggest reasons why. It’s because I believe that no matter what your belief system is, whatever God you pray to, or if you believe in magic or not your fate is always in your own hands.

Every breath is like a new word. Every day is a new page. Every year is a new chapter. You are the protagonist of your own story and you write your own fate when you decide to take control of your life.

And that’s why I wanted to take on the name, so I can always remember this simple truth and stop perceiving the things I desire as impossible to have. That’s all the magic in life I will ever need.

And I’m off. Love and peace.

To My Biggest Hater

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Dear Depression,

I don’t have to listen to a word you say anymore. I don’t need to believe anything you echo into my brain. Yeah you might be a part of me and you might be another driving force behind my writing, but that doesn’t change that fact that you are a hatchet faced lying piece of shit. You’re the part of me that doesn’t want to live and be happy because it’s easier for you to stay where you are, as you are. Stagnant, twisted, hating others, and then react like a fool when things don’t go your way. All you’ve done is weigh me down. I try to show you that life is worth living, I try to love you like all the other parts of myself, I try to convince you that not everything is all doom and gloom, not everyone is a cancerous human being, and not every challenge has to be a fight to the death. I try to show you that there is beauty in everything but all you’ve done is piss all over everything and spit at my face.

You might be a part of me, but you’re just one part that I have to live with. There’s more to me than just you. You’re not the driving force behind anything I say or do anymore. You’re not my crutch, I don’t need a crutch. I don’t need to prove or do anything for you or for anybody else. So I’m gonna live, feel good, and do the damn thing for myself. You don’t get to be a factor in anything anymore. So fuck all your noise. In fact, fuck your shit. I’m done with you. I’d love to say “It’s been fun”, but we both know that’d be a bold faced lie. This is goodbye!

Sincerely,
Alex “Pen” Martinez

Musings of a Broken Dreamer.

Random PenSword Fact #3: I’m Venezuelan-American. But I’ve been mistaken for so many different things. I’ve kept a list of it; Mexican, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Turkish, Arabian, Egyptian, Greek, Italian, Philippine, Korean, Russian. There are some days where I don’t even know what the fuck I am anymore.

It’s game day here in Boone. Um…yay…

I’m not a football guy. If it was a WWE or UFC event that’d be a different story. Any sports that involve the use of a ball I just cannot get behind it. It doesn’t help that in my Venezuelan household there was always some stupid baseball game playing in the background. Baseball is a huge thing with my Dad. Baseball is hands down the most boring sport ever. Every discussion at the dinner table revolved around baseball. Who’s got the best batting average? Who makes the best pitches? What team is going to the World Series? Whose out with a torn ACL?

It took every ounce of willpower I had to not take my dinner fork and use it to stab my eardrums with it. That’s one thing I really don’t miss about living at home. Oh wait there is one thing worse than hearing people get so excited about baseball. Fucking Nascar…

The fact that my Dad loves the whitest sport in the world proves that we’ve been living down south in the Carolinas for far too long. This concludes the mindless ranting portion of the post.

After the last post where I mentioned that old friend I had gotten really emotional. I started remembering all the talks we had, all the laughter, all the dreams we had together. I was remembering all the good things. I had to fight the temptation to connect with him.

As much as I’d love to catch up with him, what would the point be? I’ve already pointed out that it’s just a cycle of reconnecting that leads to a disconnection. I’d just fall back into repeating a bad habit all over again. Something that’s counter-productive to everything I’m doing to keep my current positive momentum building. Besides that, I get back in contact with him and what then? I have nothing newsworthy to share with him.

I’m in a better place mentally, but I’m not in a position to boast about anything. In fact in a lot of ways I’m still that same kid with lofty dreams.

We dreamt of going to Japan together. We dreamt of becoming writers and having our work published. We dreamt about making it big in the world. We called ourselves A&A Inc, to represent our names. We dreamt the most loftiest of lofty dreams.

I used to get the biggest high from those dreams. I remembered feeling that passion, that desire to work toward them. I remember those dreams coming back to me at the age of 23 after I tried killing myself. I remember when those dreams returned they came back with greater intensity as if to prove that I was no longer in that dark place I kept myself in the furthest depths of my ruined mind.

Those dreams meant the world to me. They still do to this day. That’s why I overreacted the way that I did back then when he ran away from home and didn’t say anything to me about what he was going through at the time. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that he turned his back on the dreams we shared as friends. I felt like he “sold out” and I remember vowing that I wouldn’t give in. No matter how grueling reality would become I wouldn’t give up on anything. I wanted to carry on with those dreams and realize them for myself. Without even thinking about it that mindset is what brought me to this point.

I’m don’t feel any closer to fulfilling those dreams than I was all those years ago with my friend. Now that I think about it I might have tried taking one too many short cuts along the way. Trying to find a suitable someone to replace that friendship that we had, someone who shared the same vision as me, someone who I could happily speak to about the same interests we share. But that went nowhere. And look where I’m at now. Even the friends I did make after the seperation are no longer by my side.

I remember the first signs of changes in me when I walked away the first time. Everything felt so foreign to me in the beginning; I came out officially not long after that, I fell in love with someone for the first time, I was speaking my thoughts without fear, I was more honest with myself, I took more risks. And after my first stint in therapy I felt all that increase by 100 fold. I felt powerful. I felt like I was no longer the child that my friend saw in me.

Now I’m starting to think that last part was all an illusion. I have this moments where I feel like I never changed at all. Like I’m still stuck in the past. I don’t want to be, but now that I think about him it’s all leading back to that moment.

“Until we’ve truly learned our lesson we will be given the same test again and again”. What am I’m supposed to be learning here?

That I’m some immature, selfish little brat that throws tantrums when reality gets in the way of things? That I can’t change reality? That I can’t take on the world? What?! What big lesson is there I’m supposed to be taking from all of this?

As usual I’m lost. There’s a lot that I do know and all I can do is stick to what I do know. I can’t focus on the things that I cannot do, but always make it about the things that I can do. I can’t let go of those dreams. There’s something in me that just refuses to let go. I can let go of the past and the bitter idea that my old friend and I have grown so far apart. But I can’t give up on Japan, writing, getting published, and wanting better for myself. This much I know is right.

The answers will come to me in one way or another. Right now I don’t want to forget the good times I had with that friend even though it came to an end. I’ve been fighting those memories as if they were my “Nightmares”. It’s like keeping them locked in Pandora’s Box in my mind. Maybe my answers are in those memories. But that doesn’t change the fact that I cannot ever go back to the way things were. That’s a dream I learned to let go.

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Summer Semester/Sandpaper Dildo

So I was on edge because of this big ass photo story assignment that we were supposed to do. I had ideas on what to do, but things didn’t go as planned. I had a Plan B in case my original idea didn’t work out. And when that didn’t happen I had to resort to a Plan C. Rare situation I find myself into, believe it or not.

So I did the assignment in the best way I knew how. The instructions weren’t so clear and it didn’t help that I had a lot going on in my mind because a day without anxiety and depressing thoughts is asking for too much it seems.

Taking the photos wasn’t the hard part. Once I had something to capture in photos I figured the worse was finally over. But no….we had to take those images and put them in a multimedia slideshow, whatever the fuck. Which was supposed to include a video, music in the background, and images that tell a story.

What was my story? My roommate cutting hair. That’s it. Oh and the music had to be royalty free. So no popular music. I hated all that generic shit that was offered so I opted for a track from one of my many video game OSTs that I have in my collection. The professor said no popular music. Not everyone is into video games the way I am.I know what the track is, they weren’t going to know shit (seeing as though they’re a bunch of mindless zombies anyway). So technically I didn’t break any rules. Besides it’s not as though as I though I’m gonna claim ownership of the music anyway and get anything out of it.

Finally presentation day…

I uploaded my completed assignment. It’s shit, but I uploaded it anyway. I’m trying to keep myself in check. Then everyone else shows their presentations and of course they do a much better job then I did. And that’s when my insecurities are stirring up inside of me like this monstrous whirlpool. Now I’m dreading having my stuff shown to the entire class. But as it turns out I didn’t have to. Because I didn’t upload it properly. Yeah…there’s a proper way to upload it….MOTHERFUCKER WHAT?!

My presentation didn’t include a video of anything. All it was a boring, tacky photo slideshow with music from Shoji Meguro (composer for the Persona game series, for you non-gaming nerds reading this) playing in the background to give it some beat.

So after returning the camera gear the professor opted to let us leave early because what else is there left to do? I was able to upload my assignment in the “proper way” and not have to worry about it being shown to the class. So I dodged a bullet there. I can put it in the back of my mind while I focus on my final exams and finally kiss this summer semester goodbye.

It’s been one thing after another. I’ve been challenged mentally and emotionally. To quote Deadpool, “It’s been as much fun as a sandpaper dildo.”

So I didn’t get to do the good work that I would’ve like to have done on my photo assignment. But at least I tried. At least I turned in something. A half ass, crappy looking something is better than having nothing at all. And during those presentations in class I gave myself a pep-talk inside my mind.

“Yeah yeah, shit happened. So what?”
“This bitch isn’t gonna flay you alive for doing something.”
“You did the best you could have done.”
“Her instructions were complete bullshit anyway.”
“You can beat yourself up and feel like crap about everything or you can just say ‘Fuck it’ and move on.”

So I said “fuck it” and I choose to move on. Plus despite how tough this summer semester has been there’s been a lot of good that’s come out of it. That’s what I choose to focus on.

Let’s list out the highlights of summer 2017.
1. I got the help I needed in counseling.
2. I dealt with the financial crisis and got the money needed to pay back my mom.
3. I came back from my previous failures and I still have a shot at graduating in spring 2018.
4. I made the choice to live even though there were moments where I wanted to curl up into a ball and just die.
5. I’m done with my math. That’s a huge victory for me.
6. I moved out of the Cottages of Boone.
7. I got the house that I wanted and was able to move into it.
8. I have come out of my shell a little bit. I can’t deny this.
9. I didn’t quit or run away from anything despite whatever fears almost crippled me.
10. My academic standing is improving. The probation isn’t gonna stop me now.
11. I did enjoy taking photos. So I brought an old hobby back to life.
12. I’m writing again.
13. I’m still alive.
14. I’m going home to see my family again.
15. I’m getting a clean slate for the fall semester.
16. Fall is coming….pumpkin spice everything, cooler weather, better clothes to wear, new releases of games, new premieres of everything, more WWE events.
17. My new manager whose renting the house is cute….
18. My so called “Demons” have grown weaker. They are losing their power over me.
19. I powered through a lot of things that kept challenging me.
20. I played the shit out of Persona 5. I got the Compendium completed, mastered the social links, beat the shit out of those twins, wasted the reaper, and I’m two trophies away from my first platinum ever.

This second session is about to end. I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked to in photojournalism, but I stuck it out to the bitter end. I still have the other class that I know I passed. We’re writing op-eds and being given extra credit for submitting it for publication. The professor in that class really likes mine and is encouraging me to submit it. I think I just might because that would be cool for me.

I didn’t get everything I wanted from this summer but I’m going to press on and work even harder than ever.

Here are my intentions that I share with the Universe.

1. I will continue to live.
2. I will graduate in spring 2018.
3. I will keep getting better.
4. I will continue writing.
5. I will keep cooking.
6. I will keep taking photos.
7. I will go back to loving films and anime.
8. I will keep gaming.
9. I will break out of my shell and smash it completely.
10. I will become more beautiful than I already am.
11. I will find that special someone to love and share my life with.
12. I will make my life better than it is now.
13. I will have a life where I don’t have to struggle and fight against myself or anything else.

It won’t be easy. But I know that I have the ability to make it all happen. I refuse to back to the way things were before all this.