A Leave of Presence

Traffic for the past month has been abysmal. I try not to let it get to me, but that’s a little bit like not going on Facebook. You can hold out for a while, but sooner or later, you lapse. It’s human. These days, I’m lucky to get five page views per day. Five. Seriously, what the fuck? This is the worst traffic I’ve had since…ever, really. I remember a four-day stretch back when I was starting out during which the only page view I got was from me checking the traffic, but this is fucking absurd. Why is nobody reading this thing anymore? Fluctuations in my blog statistics always baffle me. The quality of the content, as far as I can tell, is as strong as ever. I still update regularly, so what gives? The best traffic I ever had was in January of last year, a period during which a lot of shit was happening. But the number of people reading this thing should not be directly tied to what’s going on with me. I have a lot of opinions. I’m not running out anytime soon.

I had something that I wanted to talk about here, but I can’t remember what it was. Fuck it. I’m not asking for pity. I’m not even asking for page views or “likes”, necessarily. I just wish that I had some idea of how what I do affects other people. There were people I knew in high school who are getting married, having kids, and making a hell of a lot more money than I ever have. So what the fuck am I doing here? Yeah, I know you’re not supposed to measure yourself by who wants to be your friend, but you’re missing the point. I work part-time at a job where nobody there seems to much care what I’m doing when I’m not at work and even when I am there, they basically just make small talk. Hooray. I don’t make much money and have no idea how I’m going to get out of my current situation. And I still don’t sleep very well most nights. So I think it’s time to shake things up. I’m not sure what I mean by that, not yet. All I know is that what I’m doing right now isn’t working.

There is a restaurant near where I live at which I have become a regular. It’s nothing too fancy, just a diner where they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They just do it all so well. You could pretty much close your eyes and point to something on the menu. Odds are, it’ll be good. I try not to eat out too often. It costs more than staying in, of course, but since I’m not making that much money and have few prospects for the future, this paradoxically makes me more willing to eat at restaurants rather than staying in. When everything’s going right for you, it’s easy to do the “right” thing. So I’m trying to choose my words very carefully here. I’m not ready to unplug. I’m not going to stop going on social media for the time being, nor am I going to take a very long break from blogging. I’m just taking a step back, that’s all. I don’t want to quit my job and I can’t sever ties with my parents. Maybe I can just put a little bit more distance between myself and them, that’s all. I need the option of retiring from human society to be open if I choose to take it.

I finished the Harry Potter series last month. It was pretty good, but not amazing. If there is one character that I always identified with, it’s Lupin, probably because he knows when to let go. At first glance, his decision to resign because people don’t want a werewolf teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts might seem like a cop-out. But it isn’t, because he knows that this is a battle he can’t win. Yeah, he might be able to tough out the nonstop accusations that he is dangerous and untrustworthy, but then the bigoted parents will start refusing to let their children attend Hogwarts and that, indirectly, will hurt basically everyone he cares about. Change isn’t something you can force upon people. They either accept it or they don’t. I’m not as bitter or miserable as I’ve been at some of the other low points in my life, but I’m not going to pretend everything is wonderful either. The truth is starting to sink in for me that this year, just like every year before it and most likely every year after it, is not going to be The One Where It All Comes Together.

I think I’ve earned the right to feel a little sorry for myself. I think I’ve earned the right to wallow in self-pity. Neither my social life, my familial life, my love life, nor my professional life are anywhere near where they should be right now. And for a guy with some lofty ideals, I still like to think of myself as a pragmatist. So for the time being, I choose not to fight the good fight. I choose not to take up arms against a sea of troubles and set out to change (or rule) the world. For now, I’m going to try to have at least a little bit of fun. Failing that, I might at least gain some perspective. Because there is no one person or thing who can solve all of my problems right now. The closest I’ve got is a rough idea of what they are.

I like the final image, but I don't think this one quite captures it.

I like the final image, but I don’t think this one quite captures it.

Yeah, that's more like it. Truth be told, I probably spend more time hunched over my computer than doing anything else.

Yeah, that’s more like it. Truth be told, I probably spend more time hunched over my computer than doing anything else.

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