I don’t really feel like I know how to write anymore. I’ve had this blog since 2010, and I’ve written 49 posts here. This blog probably represents my largest body of creative work, and all the stuff here was written when I was still a teenager. It used to be so easy to write when I was doing it because I felt like it. I used to think I wanted to be a writer. I aligned my whole life with that. I majored in English in college, and tried my best to share my writing with the world. I feel like I was always pushing my blog on social media, even though now I’d be totally embarrassed to share some short story with someone that I wrote in an hour and didn’t even proofread.
I guess the times just changed. No, I changed. When I graduated high school, I was pretty much set to go off to school and spend four years there. I was certain I was going to do it, and I was stoked to be there. That’s reflected in my first year of school. I did incredibly well in every class, even though I was a complete slacker in High School, and I made the Dean’s list. I felt like I was in my element. I always thought I was more intellectual than I actually was, back then (I probably am still less intellectual than I think I am), so when I got to college I felt challenged— and I felt myself rise to it. Then stuff started to get messy.
Heading into college, I had $25,000 in the bank. My grandmother passed away when I was around sixteen years old, and my Mom put the money into a two-year-high-interest account so it would mature right around when I turned eighteen. Now, I don’t blame myself for this, but of course I spent all of that money by the time I was nineteen. Not really on stupid shit, I knew I had to save it because it was all I had to get me through school— but I did spend it on school. And food, when I felt like it. And my friends. I’ve never been too great with money. Always overly generous. I’m constantly offering to pay for things when I really shouldn’t be, but that’s beside the point. I was a kid, and it was the most money I’d ever had, and I did mostly use it to pay for school. Which was not cheap. So, by the end of my Freshman year of college, I had to work out another way to pay for school.
I looked into financial aid, which I luckily qualified for. And I started searching for a job. My sister convinced me to find a job in San Francisco, which seemed like a good idea at the time— but maybe I just wanted an excuse to visit her regularly because she had cancer, and I wasn’t sure how much more time we’d have together. I worked out a schedule that would allow me to go to school 4 days a week, and work at the San Francisco Apple Store the remaining 3 days. I didn’t leave myself a single day to rest. At the time, I didn’t really realize how much that would stress me out. I actually didn’t even realize it was causing me stress until long after it was no longer my routine. My ability to stay on top of things started slowly unraveling at the seams. I started attending class much less so I could have free days, my grades started to slip, my relationships with my new college friends started to deteriorate a little bit— so when Mandy finally died I just decided to give up on it all. Well, I didn’t really decide, more like I just didn’t move and nobody made me.
I took a month off or so to grieve. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just couldn’t really bring myself to do anything. I was exhausted from having no free time. I missed my sister. I was sad. Without a question I needed it. I went home to Brentwood and stayed with my Mom. Eventually she said that if I wasn’t going to go back to school, I couldn’t leave my roommates hanging. I had to move out, and I had to withdraw from school. My brother took me when I decided to withdraw. I know he supported my decision to do so, but I’ve always had this nagging guilt that I let him down when I didn’t decide to return. My Mom took me up a few weeks later to move my shit out of my apartment in Rohnert Park, and I remember breaking down crying in the parking lot.
By no means do I resent myself for doing what I did in that time, but I do often wonder what my life would be like now if I’d made a different decision when I decided to get my life back on track. You obviously know from the above paragraph that I decided not to return to school. Instead, I started crashing on a friend’s couch on the days that I worked at the Apple Store. I did that for about six months until a friend of mine from Sonoma State asked me if I wanted to find a place with him. This is what I consider to be the beginning of me no longer writing. Remember at the top I said I don’t know how to write anymore?
Since I was only part-time at Apple, I decided that I wanted to see if I could make extra money as a writer. A few of my high school friends introduced me to a regular at their restaurant who was an entrepreneur. We met with him because he said he wanted to help us get make money off improv/comedy shows that said friends and I had been doing for free. I told the guy about ideas I had to market ourselves, and he asked me if I wanted a job. He offered to take me under his wing, and connect me to some start-ups that he worked with. At the time, it was incredibly flattering. I was probably 20 years old, and had only been working in retail for maybe eight months. I told him I wanted to write professionally, and he offered me a spot on his relatively popular blog where I could get a little more exposure. It all sounded too good to be true, and that’s probably because it was.
I wrote a story about my connection to Apple technology— how my Dad was an OG Apple fanboy because he’d worked there, and I was raised on them because of that— and it was passionate. I’m still proud of that piece because it came from a really personal place, at a time when I was feeling like a pretty strong writer— but things started to go downhill from there.
Eventually I was asked to make regular contributions. Then I was suddenly employee no. 1 and co-founder of our “start up media company.” Entrepreneur-guy couldn’t get me a job, but he gave me one working with him. I’m not saying I didn’t want this at the time. I just don’t think I was well prepared for the added time commitment and the growing-personal-somewhat-unprofessional-business-relationship I was developing with this guy. Writing flipped from something I did because I enjoyed, to a chore. I started writing about things I didn’t care about, because I had to— and though I churned out quite a few articles, and now I look like I’m a professional writer when you Google me (although the articles read like they’re written by a kid), I can’t really say I’m proud of that work. I can’t really say I feel proud about much work that I’ve done for somebody else. Hopefully, my lack of enthusiasm wasn’t apparent to everyone else who read my stuff.
Things started to weigh on me with this job. I wasn’t producing stuff I liked. I wasn’t sure I even liked the guy I was working for, but I can say it gave me some experience and kept me afloat when the Apple Store alone wouldn’t have. I managed to find a new job, and severed ties with Rocky the retail employee/”professional” writer forever. But I also stopped writing for me.
That’s what this is all about. That’s why I decided to update this blog today. I’m actually starting to create again, and I need a place to put all of my creations. What better place than my largest body of work that was produced by passion alone? So, I’m reviving this blog in order to start putting myself out there again a bit more. I used to write something, publish it here, and immediately share it with the world without even proofreading it. Nowadays, I’m a lot less inclined to share my work, and I think that needs to change. I don’t really use social media (except for instagram) anymore, so I’m not really sure how I’m going to put this out there, but putting it here is a good start. So, here you go. This is a thing that I wrote, and up top is a picture that I took. I created both of these things, and I’m not sure if they’re good, but that’s not really the point.