March 27, 2012

Crossroads in our lives

            Sometimes I think of topics to write that make me uncomfortable for whatever reason. The easiest thing to do would be to not write about them at all and let everything sort itself out in the end. But I’ve come to realize that the most endearing pieces of work are those we feel uncomfortable with – regardless of their quality. To that end, I have written this with the hopes of putting ideas onto paper and finally to send them into the heads of others.

Throughout our lives we are constantly faced with choices. These choices constitute a multitude of possible outcomes at any given time, boiling down into a crossroads at which any given future is possible. Once a choice is made and a specific future is chosen, the others are no more.
            In my life I’ve seen many crossroads and thus have witnessed as many, if not more, futures. I’ve seen futures in which I work in a small town, knowing few people but with one woman who I love. We would work simple jobs and enjoy a slow pace of life. We would live in a remote house, surrounded by nature, where we could sit together and watch the nature around us. There would be deer frolicking in the spotted sunlight of the tree canopy overtop them. Above them, mountains too vast to scale jut out towards the sky and all the world would seem at peace. But ultimately, it would never be enough for me so I eliminate it as a future and that reality ceases to be, ambition winning over emotion and creating a different path in the process.
            Sometime later I am faced with another crossroads. This time I could be a rich and powerful man, having everything and everyone I wanted at my command. I would never be needful of money again and my power would stretch far, influencing many. But ultimately, it is a power without substance since it would be the money and the position compelling people rather than the person. Knowing this “happiness” to be a hollow prospect, I reject it and eliminate yet another future.
            In other crossroads I travel the world, seeing many things. In some I live as an artist and am happy with it. In others I rule the world or am ruled by the world. Sometimes I love and am loved and sometimes I never love and am met with no love in return. In my mind I worry what will happen if I never stop choosing to meet more crossroads. Where does that path end up?
            There are thousands of possibilities in life and I refuse to acknowledge one path as the “best” among them. Is it wrong to want the most optimal outcome? I have no idea. I look around me and see people settling for less than they deserve all the time because they’re afraid of risking what they have to get more. I’m no gambler but I’m not content with settling for anything. So if I have to choose at a thousand crossroads before I find the right choice then I’ll do just that.

March 12, 2012

Excerpt from my short story

Some of you will recall a while back when I had posted an excerpt from a short story. The following is part of my finished short story that is currently going through the editing phase. The concept is pretty much the same as the one mentioned above so if there are any similarities it's because this is the evolution of that story. This should give an example of how it is written without giving away anything that would compromise the plot. Oh, and there's a surprise ending too.

Several months after first meeting Catherine we began seeing each other. The romance evolved naturally over many small visits. We found that we had a certain chemistry; that her nascent passion mixed freely with my bottled potential. Simply put, the two of us were compliments, covering for each other’s faults. We revelled in our time together.
            We were passionate in all the ways of life, including the bed chamber.
            One night, after Catherine and I had gotten closer, I had invited her to a ball to be held in the palace celebrating the zenith of the moon’s cycle in summer. It was the most popular event of the summer and I wanted to share it with her. I had so many fond memories of the event as a child, both for the pleasure derived from the event itself and the mischief I frequently got into whilst attending it.
            Feeling particularly sly, I was wittier than usual and Catherine seemed impressed. I wasn’t sure if it was due to my wit or the fact that I was happier than I normally would have been, excited for one of my favorite days of the year. Either way, Catherine seemed particularly amenable to my affections.
            Between dances I took her into a dimly lit corner of the hall.
            “Come here, I want to show you something,” I said. It was the place which I’d launched many mischievous schemes from as a child; one such scheme involving pelting one of our most beloved dukes with stink balls launched from that very same dark corner by slingshot. My father was furious when he found out it was my doing and restricted my activities for two weeks. Still, the novelty of it was more than worth it in the end.
            “A dark corner?” she asked curiously.
            “Very astute,” I teased, putting one hand on the small of her back and pushing her up against a pillar. I drew close to her and could feel her breath quickening, small bursts blowing on my lips. “Actually, I just couldn’t wait to get you alone.”
            I kissed her lips gently, teasing her with half-kisses and finally moving to her neck where I began to kiss her more passionately as I moved to undo her bodice.
            “Claude,” she gasped, seemingly both surprised and aroused. “Claude! Not here. Let’s go somewhere else.”
            I smiled. “I thought you’d never ask.”

March 5, 2012

Time may change me?

I realized something today that surprised me a little bit. I was thinking on the rapid change I've endured over the past two years or so and wondered if I was rapidly changing myself. To be specific, I'm wondering if I've gone from wanting and wondering if I wanted to be a business person to actually becoming that business person.

If you take a little bit of time to think about it, the evidence is all there. The way I think is changed, my interactions with people seem different, and my opinion of my role in society has changed a lot too.

I know now that I'm a marketing guy. I see something and I immediately think about how it could be promoted, what it's strengths and weaknesses are, who would be compelled about it, and what the best way to communicate that thing is. Is this really such a drastic departure from my former method of thinking? Probably not. Even if some of the things I've done before were hard for other people to figure out they were usually always based on strategic gains.

My interactions with people are both more casual and formal at the same time, if that makes any sense. What I mean by that is that I tend to want to have a very measured conversation with people in which I know exactly what I want to get across and what I'm expecting out of them. I like that; it makes me more calculating. In addition, it seems like I'm far more interested in personal details of people than I used to be. I like that too. I genuinely do want to get to know most people I meet better so I'd like to think I make the effort to be nice within reason. I'm not about to let people walk all over me but if I find that they're pleasant to be around then I'm going to be more likely to want to interact with them again.

I think my position in just about everything has changed a lot too. I used to be a chemist - or at least an aspiring chemist - with some hobbies and the usual disposition of a chemist, if a little more social than what you might stereotypically think of. Slowly, and over the course of numerous life experiences and career choices, I've come to think of myself more as a business person in society instead of someone who wanted to go back to school and re-tool their skill set. I find that I feel more professional and even that my confidence is higher than it was when I was stuck in career limbo (although I'm a pretty confident person normally, anyway).

It's funny how little realizations can lead to a decently detailed self-analysis (put on the internet, of course, for anyone to see). I think that writing in this blog has actually helped me make a few of these changes as well. As a result, I'm very pleased that I have this outlet to express what otherwise might not be so appropriate to just randomly say in an unrelated conversation. (That would be too serious and I prefer to be a lot less serious when not on the internet)