Today I am 10 days away from the next chapter or book of my life. As I write this I think about several things; asking myself important questions about this current chapter or book of the last 19 years. Things like: Is everything done? What’s left to do? Have I missed anything?
Change isn’t easy but it is inevitable. I believe that if you’re feeling stuck or trapped in your situation, when an opportunity comes up for change we need to pounce like playful kittens. This has finally happened for me and I’m pouncing.
I left Tampa Florida in June of 2001. I suppose that it’s fitting that my return to Florida is also in June. It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been 19 years. I don’t feel it. I don’t look 47. To be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve aged, physically. Mentally is another story.
In reflecting on this time, I had some growth both spiritually and academically. I’m not where I’d like to be with either one but I am better than I was when I left home. With my writing, I have more projects than before. Sadly only the academic papers and one non-RPG story are finished.
For a time it seemed like I was making progress, that my life was finally moving forward then in 2005 my life came to a halt. I decided to take time off college to pay off some debts. This took longer than I anticipated and since this, I’ve felt like my life has stalled.
Yes, I got a lot of debt paid off but, honestly, its debt I wouldn’t have had had I been smarter with my finances and not smoked. It’s mind-blowing when you quit – you realize just how much of your money goes towards that habit. It’s a lesson learned. There are many reasons why I’m glad I gave up this habit.
When I look back on the time since there’s been little to no progress. At least not by society’s standards. To make a list of what I have accomplished, it’s not as long as I had hoped or wanted.
My Top 5 Major Accomplishments:
- Earned 21 transferable college credits.
- Paid off roughly $ 20,000 in debts.
- Quit smoking
- Eliminated the clones / copies of files among my writings.
- Made my first A in a math class that I can remember ever making.
When I look at my writing. I know 2 things for certain: 1, I should have finished with the IFW course over 15 years ago. 2. I should have finished a number of projects long ago. Publication is a separate issue. Sadly, I don’t. What I do have or rather did accomplish was the elimination of the clones, multitude of copies of my manuscripts.
With this, I think about the people who told me things like “don’t do it.”, “Scrap them and start fresh.” Etc… So many said so many things that told me to simply give up on my manuscripts. I was determined though. A friend and I spoke about something completely unrelated. She told me about her problems with duplicate files and how they were a pain. I mentioned that I had the same problem with my novels. She told me about duplicate file finder programs. Problem solved. These programs knocked out the clones within months. They saved me uncountable years worth of aggravation from manual comparison.
I have tried to get back to writing; it hasn’t been easy. There’s problems around me that are beyond my control. I’m not physically comfortable- I need a new office chair but can’t afford one. To some, this sounds like an excuse. Others, however, understand the importance of being comfortable when writing. The right chair, the right sounds, the right environment are all important aspects to have before writing.
While my apartment has been good for a lot of things, writing has not been one of them. Anyone how has or does live in an apartment complex, especially an old one, knows what I mean. The walls may nor be thin but the loud and hard noises get through. Music is the worst, arguments come second. If someone lives above you- there’s every footfall, every item dropped. If there’s a dog or a baby, forget peace and quiet.
With this new chapter / book I’m hopefully. I’ll be living with my Mom and Step-Dad. They have a home on roughly 3 acres in country like area. My hope is that this will mean quieter days. Yes, they have a number of animals: cats, chickens, and dogs. What they don’t have is neighbors upstairs, on the other side of the wall, or children playing in the stairwell outside the front door. Not to mention screaming children outside the window. So, I am hopeful.
Here’s to the next chapter… the next book, on my life.