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The Light Bulb Hypothesis

It was a typical February Sunday afternoon. Birds were chirping, the kids down the road were riding skate boards up and down the hill, the neighbour who mows his lawn daily was out there with scissors and a ruler to ensure all blades of grass were uniform in height and I was sitting under the house, chain smoking and wasting time on a Facebook game.

I was also throwing a massive tantrum because iTunes is the work of the devil and continues to try and download the same damn episode of Glee every time I log in to download the new one. Funny how frustration can be a the loadstone that see’s a break through in the constant litany of “I’m bored”.

I bore myself. Have I told you that before? I talk a great game about what I’m going to do, will do, one day will accomplish, but the truth of the matter is, I bore the energy and ambition right out of myself.

You can tell when I’m working really hard to bore myself into a coma. I stop writing. I stop doing anything. I simply sit there, boring myself.

A billion and one years ago I read a novel called Catch 22. It confused me. There was a character in the book who simply sat all the time. He did nothing. He sat and waited, operating under the theory that time travels more slowly when you’re bored, and he was in no hurry to get old and die.

I have become that character. It’s a daunting realisation and one that has led to the Big Bang Theory inspired headline above.

Last night I was a misery guts. I moped about. Watched snippets of songs of YouTube for hours on end. Many hours actually. Lots of snippets. I watched a couple of short films. Most of them were shit, but you have to give the people behind them credit for not boring themselves.

I felt sad. I felt alone. I went to bed and lay there in the dark, staring at a ceiling I couldn’t see, waiting to go to sleep. I slept. Eventually.

This morning I staggered out of bed, aching and sore. I always am in the morning. My father tells me it’s a sign of approaching 40 and that I’ve got all sorts of aches and pains and popping joints to look forward. I’m considering committing him to a high security old people’s home for the rude.

I had coffee, I went under the house for a cigarette and to check my email. It’s now 4:34pm, and I’ve only just come inside.

“What were you doing out there so long?” I hear you ask.

Well I was having a coffee, smoking a cigarette, playing games on Facebook, repeatedly checking my email, sending out a tweet here and there and having a coffee, smoking a cigarette, playing games on Facebook and checking my email.

Notice the cyclical nature of my activities? It was that – combined with a moment of chatting to some random stranger on a app – that made me realise “I don’t do a damn thing.”

I realised today that the last time I went out was June 30th 2012. The night of the Jay Brannan concert I didn’t get to see because I passed out twice and the ambulance people told me it was dehydration and I needed to go home.

That was the last time I went anywhere. Melbourne Cup day with work doesn’t count, I was hoping to faint from dehydration that day. You can’t trust my body to do anything right.

Now granted since June I’ve been “getting sober”, “paying off bills” etc. But I’ve not stepped foot outside this house to go anywhere but work in nearly 8 months. And I wonder why I’m single.

It got me thinking about my life. I recognised that I go to work, I go home. That is all. I talk to work colleagues, my parents, the cats and a friend once a week. That’s it. No wonder I bore myself. I don’t do anything.

Last week kicked my arse from one side of the playground to the other. I wanted to go out and burn off some energy on Friday night but I didn’t have any. I also realised that “burn off some energy” was code for “someone give this man a box’o’wine with a bendy straw stat.”

I’ve written in here before about  the events of 7 years ago, when my health hit the floor and I ended up being in the epicentre of my life exploding all over the walls and carpet. I realised today that I’ve done nothing since. It’s almost like I spent all the time of the years since still standing in that epicentre.

I realised that of all the friends I have, the last one I made was 8 years ago. About 6 months before the meltdown. I’ve not made a new friend since. All my friends are now married. Even the gay ones. They’re all domesticated and settled down and paying off mortgages or saving for mortgages or trying to have babies.

It was just after my chat with the random guy from my iPhone that I realised that I have never allowed myself to move on from what happened 7 years ago. I’ve never forgiven myself for how badly I treated myself. I’ve never forgiven myself for having my health fail so unexpectedly and for ending up in a puddle.

Yes, I’ll pay that I have focused on my career and work is about the only area where I’m even remotely happy with the way things stand. My general fitness is rubbish. My focus on anything outside of my job is garbage and my social life is non-existent.

I talk a good game. At least I used to. These days I think in 140 characters or less, so I tweet a good game. I am proud of forcing myself through the fear and booking my trip to NZ last weekend. That was something I never thought I’d do. I’d resigned myself to being just like my parents. Never taking holidays, let alone overseas ones because they can’t afford it.

I realised that my talk is in direct counter-point to my actions. I talk about doing this, achieving that, being whatever, and my actions are those of a man already retired, living day to day and only leaving the house to go buy his groceries. They are not the actions of a 39 year old with probably another 5 decades ahead of him.

I guess the point to this post is that I need to marry the two halves of my own power together. I need to believe, not just say the words. I need to act, not just think about it and then check in with twitter. I need to live authentically, and put myself out there more.

This blog was born to discuss my creative recovery. To talk about movie ideas, writing ideas, various creative projects. I never realised so much of it would be dedicated to turning myself into my biggest creative project. I never considered the amount of personal information I would discuss. If I had known, I probably would never have started it.

I never realised it would be the impetus, the catalyst of so much realisation and change in my life. Depending on my mood I’m grateful for that.

So to the Light Bulb Hypothesis. At the moment the light bulb shown so brightly above my head, I decided to create a Queer Writers Group. I had toyed with the idea of doing it online, but too much of my life is online. Instead I’ve decided to try and start a local Queer Writers Group. Out there, in the *gasp* real world, with real people and everything.

A sort of social group up where I live where I can meet other GLBT writers. My vision of it is a support group, where we can work together to help each other fulfil our dreams of being writers. I nearly wrote becoming writers, but I think writers are born quite frankly. Those of us who dream of words on paper, or our words coming from the mouths of actors are never truly happy if they’re not writing something.

I’m also tempted to create a Queer Film Makers Group up here as well. Again a supportive environment where writers, producers, actors, directors, and the technical side of things can get together, workshop plays, movie scripts, develop content we can make together.

I’m interested to know what you do when you want to shake things up a bit. Do you simply throw caution to the wind and see what happens or do you take your time?

Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear your views on changing up the day to day.

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43 year old Australian writer currently working on the first of a planned three book Epic Fantasy series. When he's not writing policy discussions, or tales of swords, Gods, and magic, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen, and turning perfectly good ingredients into crimes against humanity.

1 Comment

  1. Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you provide.
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