This video by YouTube Channel Academy of Ideas discusses the concepts of normality and mental health being perhaps too dependent on social and cultural norms. I found it very intriguing and wanted to share. Please comment below what you think.
It’s been a rough week, but I know many of us are feeling the worldwide tension waxing and waning everyday. I think many of the tensions stem from realization. The coronavirus itself shined a light on how well or how horribly our governing bodies take our welfare seriously. In addition to that, we’re reevaluating our relationships with others for the sake of sustaining our moral compass. We’re being bombarded with truth bombs. It’s a lot. Shattering even. I have artistic outlets that helped me cope with what’s going on, but now I’m becoming less concerned about coping and more focused on increasing my awareness and mindfulness.
This whole “my life is a lie” mentality has me thinking about how to pursue living a truthful life more aggressively. From the external sense, that comes down to educating ourselves, thinking more critically about cultures worldwide, and accepting what we do and don’t have control over. Many people have already taken steps towards that mindset, which is great. From the internal sense, addressing how life has lied to us is really bothering me and I think that’s because it makes me more aware of how powerless I was swimming in the lies and believing it was the truth. This is the kind of crap that fuels my trust issues and my raging sense of justice, but again, this internal exploration requires a greater understanding and accountability of the self, not for rage and fear to takeover.
I’ve learned many new things about myself this week alone, things that I never bothered to work through until it surfaced up during this emotional week. I love reflecting through divination, meditation, and the arts. Now I’m pushing myself to be more transparent with resources founded in psychological, historical, and scientific studies because that’s how I’ll best understand my mindset and my behaviors. I believe studying topics like the power of cultural influence, types of parenting, the habit of stereotyping or generalizing labeled groups, and historical power shifts with greater seriousness and then integrating those studies with a more personalized, yet open perspective will help us ground ourselves. There’s a kind of contagious obsession with associations, status, and reputation that’s falsifying our inner truths and discouraging us from authenticity. Personally, I feel like growing in a westernized society detached me from the concept of allowing myself to be nurtured as a human. Instead I feel sculpted and groomed to be a complacent member of a labeled group in an apathetic society and culture.
I feel like my life is a lie because the whole definition of being human and simply being was presented to me with the intent to control me. I don’t make that statement out of fear or paranoia, but out of acceptance. I want to be part of the flow of progression, encouraging the prioritization of people and planet. To be clear, I’m not going into save the world or save humanity mode because I’ve also accepted that there are people who thrive from the way society is now and they will make conscious choices to maintain their privileges. It would be self-destructive and toxic to continue to fight those people as it compromises my own welfare.
If you feel like your life has been a lie and these realizations about what’s around you and what’s within you is forcing you to evolve, don’t resist the progression. Chose mindfulness. Strive for more fulfilling moments. We can’t be lukewarm or apathetic about our life choices anymore.
I was talking with a friend the other day about needing to watch more or read more crime and mystery pieces and study how the “clues” lead the audience and the characters from one thing to another. I know my novel has a lot of conspiracy innuendo, but conspiracy can be really obvious real quick. We’re used to seeing a government organization, a religious organization, a secret organization, or an academic organization have players scheming in the shadows or plotting in broad daylight. Though obvious, I think the intrigue maintains itself if the end goal of the conspiracy isn’t so obvious and who immediately comes to mind is Lovecraft.
It’s very fortunate that there are at least some businesses that understand the financial struggles during the pandemic and are being easier on bill payments, but I have to admit, sometimes the pressure of paying bills creeps up on me especially when I keep in mind that it won’t be like this forever.
I am so determined to make a living blogging, writing about writing, and as an author along with mixing my artistic and musical skills in there. I know it can happen. I believe in myself to make it happen. More than anything, I understand that it’s going to take time for it to happen, so truly, that creeping pressure is that little voice in my head saying “Do I have enough time?”
It’s a bit cliche to say that I have all the time in the world or that I have my whole life ahead of me. I’m 27 and I’m proud of myself for making it here after some close calls in the past. It’s eating away at me that the work that I do now, as fulfilling as it is, isn’t bringing in enough. I do have a transcribing job on the side for extra cash, but I worry that job is going to take over my life when bills and responsibilities build higher and higher. The best way I can counter that worry is to build myself and my work up higher than the bills and the responsibilities, keeping my mindset focused on manifesting the writer lifestyle I long for.
You know what I keep asking myself? “Is it really humble to act like I don’t want to be famous and wealthy?” Because I think what I really mean is that I don’t want to be like the greedy, selfish one percent that’s hoarding all the wealth, but I do want prosperity and recognition. If I’m going to have a mindset that’s driven to be a successful writer, I should just accept that fame and wealth wouldn’t be so bad. I do want my life to be private and have my work portray my transparency. I want to have enough wealth to maintain a prosperous future and give generously to the arts and charities. Actually, one of my pipedreams is to have a like a Museum of the Dark Arts (but of course I’ll call it something else so Rowling doesn’t sue me lol), which would be a museum of the darker, macabre, and horror inspiring works of various mediums from the past and in modern times that helped so many of us understand our inner demons rather than wrestle with them. I want the funds to make that successful and affordable.
Wow, thinking about that made me feel so calm. The unease is gone.
Although I didn’t get the time to post a VPD on vocal today, I did a lot of writing and editing for my novel and it was really a blast. Tomorrow’s VPD will explain why.
I’m a little behind on promoting the VPDs on WordPress but you know you can always check in on what I’ve posted by going to my Vocal profile. I’ll have the other entries posted tomorrow. I hope they’re kind of interesting or helpful to read. The one I wrote today discussed cultural appropriation vs. respectfully researching another culture you’re not familiar with as an author and it was very enlightening.
There is a lot of fighting still happening in the United States. If you’re not from here, I’m sure the Black Lives Matter movement caught your attention and if you and your country participated in marches and protests for the cause, I thank you so much. Somedays, I get really upset about the violence and ignorance that is spreading and it’s even more upsetting when you have that radical thought to just leave, but learn that every country has its issues and even making the drastic move to live somewhere else doesn’t mean everything will be better. Frankly, the fight in me has been so damn weak because of my mental health, but I’ve had some very encouraging people, including you, encourage me not to give up on what I can do and how I can speak up. As an African-American, there’s always going to be this strange lack of belonging to me. I’ll always feel “not American enough” and “not African enough” simultaneously, which puts me in this strange limbo of identity and origin. The silver lining is that I have the complete power to sculpt my identity since that goes beyond my skin color (Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE my skin color and no one will take that away from me).
I still witness and feel the tension, anger, and power coming from my African-American brothers, sisters, and nonbinary siblings. I have so much gratitude and so much inspiration. The ways that I can speak up and leave my mark may be limited, but as a writer, as a creator, I’m limitless. We’re limitless. Keep creating, keep speaking up, keep your dignity, keep your pride, keep loving who you are.
As a writer, thinking about karma keeps me mindful of how audiences processes information. One thing leads to another. A ripple effect, right? But it’s not just about action and result or action and reaction, it’s the tension between those two things that makes karma such a universal concept because we’re all sentient enough to think about the “what if”, or the unknown/hypothetical situation caused by an action. For many of us, that’s our self-imposed prison taking form.
The Violet Project Diaries is a diary series about the development of my writing career as a dark fantasy novelist.In the hopes of tracking my own writing progress, I hope to help and encourage other writers.
The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 4 – Flowing in Circles
If I were to describe where I’m at on the story timeline of my second draft, I’m approaching the “rising action” part of Freytag’s Pyramid. On the story structure circle created by Harmon, I’m somewhere between step 2 and 3. This is probably why I’m so giddy about having good flow today because this is the buildup before diving to the underground/unconscious/unknown. If you’d like to hear more on that, I have another Will Schroder video for you.
The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 3 – Kill Your Darlings (or torture them)
The chaos is what we want to show our characters responding to. We must also be brave enough to show that they may never learn how to flow with the chaos of life or releasing expectations for things they can’t control or simply taking responsibility for what is within their control. If our darling aren’t working for the story, we kill them; if they need more development, we torture them.