The next thing my uncle asked about in his message to me was about writing against the popular narratives in my life. Within the context of Fiji to Provo that’s about talking about losing my faith in a church I was raised in and how this loss of faith unravelled me and forced me to reconsider who I even was. This process was even further complicated by the fact that my loss of faith was not permanent. I’m now a fully active member of the church again, even though I must admit that doubts still linger. Honestly though if you don’t have any doubts about your faith I would call that a little suspect. I’m not saying that every religious person needs to seriously reconsider their faith for the sake of reconsidering it. Even if it’s just really small things people should at least some level be willing to question what they know. You certainly don’t have to abandon what you know as you go about with questions, but I believe that being willing to question is an invaluable trait to possess.
There are other major narratives in my life that I feel I run contrary to. Actually contrary is a poor word to use there. It would be more accurate to say that I just never feel like I run parallel to these narratives. Let’s take the big kahuna for example. Marriage. At this moment in time, and throughout the majority of my adult life, I have had pretty much no desire to be married. There were brief flashes where settling down sounded really appealing, but they were puddles compared to the ocean of time I’ve spent thinking marriage is a ludicrous concept. It is the most insane gamble any single person will ever take in their life, you make a bet that this person whom you’ve fallen madly in love with will remain a person you love for the rest of your life AND that you’ll remain a person they’ll be in love with. Do you know how long people are living these days? Holy crap it’s a long time. The most committed relationship in my life has been to World of Warcraft and even then I’ve taken a number of year+ breaks from it, you don’t really get that option in a marriage do ya?
I know that within my culture as a mid-twenties male who is active in the church and living in Utah county I’m supposed to be seeking out a wife and aiming to settle down and start a family. I’m just not there. Honest to goodness what I’m banking on is that one day I’ll meet a nice (not too nice, she’s gotta push back on my sarcasm) women, fall head over heels and then things will just “click” and I’ll like understand why people get married. if that doesn’t happen, then I’ll just settle for being a good uncle or something. Only time will tell how this story will play out.
The next narrative I want to tackle is a more odd one. Alcohol. I don’t have a narrative in my life around alcohol, but I’d be lying if it didn’t dwell on my mind more than I care to admit. I’ve definitely joked a bunch in my life about how I’m curious to see what kind of drunk I would be. Would I be an angry fellow? Super energetic? Would I suddenly become really really social? I don’t know, but my best guess is that I’d be that guy in the corner of the bar bearing my soul to whoever/whatever I thought was listening to me. Also, there’d probably be a lot of crying involved. That’s just my best guess though. I’m unlikely to ever get a firm answer.
There is another bit about alcohol that I don’t talk to people about. It is that I’ve for a very long time had a sort of romantic view of the stereotypical “tortured writer”. Some version of me that has to reach for the bottle every day just to make it through and is forced to take all of my pain and make it into some profound writing. This partially extends back to my time in Fiji, in those lowest of low moments on that island I turned my pain into just so much writing. I’ve never written as much as I wrote in Fiji, though thankfully I’ve improved a fair bit since then. I’m perpetually jealous of how much I could write then though, it’s one of the few silver linings about my mission honestly.
Now I know that objectively being a tortured soul like that would be just an awful existence, but I cannot deny that there a part of me that wonders that if I was so miserable and tortured could I be a truly great writer? Am I gated in some way by my sobriety? It’s a terribly dark part of my mind that I am working on quieting each and every day, I’m working on believing that a truly happy version of myself can write just as well as the miserable version, but being totally true to the goals of this blog I must say that part of me still exists.
If you’ve never heard City and Colour “Death of Me” the song pretty well sums up this weird romantic view on tortured souls and alcoholism.
Also since we’re on a somewhat related note I want to say that psychedelics really interest me and if it wasn’t for my faith in the church I would 100% have tried them out., but I’m not going to, so please don’t offer.
I think that about sums up the major narratives I feel I mostly run against. This was good, I’m glad I got to talk about some of these things out loud, feels good. Catch Y’all later! Make good choices, unless you don’t to, it’s your choice really.