If there is anything I have learned in 31 years of life, it’s that we will all fall. Society forgets to mention this: It’s hidden. Behind the cloud of social media, there are pitfalls, and suffering. Each of us has been conditioned to not embrace these falls. We're taught to give these valleys a negative connotation. Society is good at painting a picture of life that is all 'sunshine and rainbows,' and social media paints splices of other's lives that seem only large, grand, and ultimately happy. There are only a few who dare to use their sorrows as a bridge for public viewing, to connect one's pain to another's, to ultimately help us bring a fresh and positive perspective to falling the fuck out of life, never feeling able to get out of our goddamn rut. But that is my intention through my blogs and my new writing platform.
After several years of putting all writing on the back burner, I am finally bringing it back to the forefront of my life. Sadly, in today’s world, people's attention span is limited, and they would rather see a video, or just the top bullet points, thinking that somehow if they learn it, they’ll know it. But that is not how life works. To know anything, you must envelop yourself in it.
My whole life has been a conglomeration of highs and lows. I used to believe in my 20’s that most people were truly happy. How naive, right? Now I have seen in the past decade that people are actually suffering. Life experience after life experience can stack up, and we only do what is natural; we protect ourselves from the pain. So we shut down in a variety of ways. Painlessness is what we ultimately seek. Most of us feel too weak to change our circumstances, or maybe more accurate, we don’t believe that we can. We follow patterns of behavior that don’t serve us, and often times go against what we want, because we ultimately believe we can’t have what we ultimately want: which is peace. And peace is really loving yourself.
I have not been loving to myself. I have, for a very long time, felt like a big wasted piece of potential. I would often think about how lost I felt and not knowing what avenue I really wanted to run towards, and I stayed stuck in this rut. I just wanted to dive in fully... to fucking something... ANYTHING that moved my mind, body, and soul! But what I had ultimately came to realize is, I let shitty (the falls of) life experience dull my senses, my mind, my curiosity, and even both the concept of myself, and reality. I let it all not just take away passion in hard pursuits, but passion in just wanting to wake up.
Directionless as ever before, and in a relationship that was eating my soul to stay in it (and ultimately did because I have that thing you call the ‘savior’ complex, where you feel purposeful being there for someone although it may not be in your best interest to be there any longer), I couldn’t piece together which direction to go. I sometimes wish I had a magic wand I could hold, flick it out in front of me like Harry Potter, himself, and see the way to go! If I had that confirmation, I would give 111%. But I never could find my passion, because I let it be stripped away from me. I have become dull, and life has become dull.
How we view ourselves in combination with how we view the world we live in is direct degree in the kind of life we live. I know when I have absolute certainty in myself (from being on the basketball court, or in an acting role), I am unstoppable. Literally. It is self-doubt that will tangle me up every time. It is self-judgment that will not allow me to even start. It is the belief of not being talented enough that will make me never reach my potential.
The other thing I have learned in 31 years is that reaching goals is sometimes as easy as just STARTING. I don’t know how I ever starred as a superhero (Thor) in a Syfy Original Movie that aired in 25 different countries. I don’t know how I became the Valedictorian of my high school. I don’t even know how I built myself as a superhero body in real life. But I believe there is a system out there, a power, equally given to all of us, that allows us to become what we want to become. This is bigger than trying or giving a 100%; it is a belief of how the world itself is orchestrated. My whole life I have tried to run away from this power; but at times in my life, I have chosen to not be afraid, to feel worthy enough to wield that power. And with an uncommon faith, you produce uncommon results.
My point is, I chose to become who I am today; it wasn’t given to me. And I chose, around 25-years-old, to go into hibernation mode, and feel sorry for myself, and just exist and pretend to do my best, and that was enough. I didn’t have the strength in me to ‘dare greatly,’ like the younger version of myself, who slept in his car for over 50 days at one time, to make one of his dreams of starring in a movie come true. I feel I could never find such strength these past 5 years. I let any setback deter me indefinitely. Mostly self-talk that was all about how washed-up and how much of a wasted piece of shit I felt I had become.
I needed those 5 years or so to see the world from a different perspective, to fall in this rut; my world view had shifted, and guess what, of course my life shifted, as well. I went into the never-ending gutter. I was assaulted, taken advantage of, and had bad thing after bad thing happen to me. I let each subsequent event taint and distort my life, to where even moving to Hawaii, and living on a beautiful, exotic island, brought me absolutely no extra joy at all.
While living in Las Vegas at 21-years-old, I envisioned having a home on a beautiful beach. I may not be actually on the beach, but a minute drive works! MAUI. Wow, I actually live here. I actually call this place home.
Society teaches us that falling means that you are weak, broken, or a failure. Bullshit. Falls are normal (sometimes daily) occurrences. You can’t run away from them. Maybe everything will be stripped away from you, as it was for me when I was homeless in my early 20’s. But do you know how much HOPE I had then, with absolutely NOTHING to own! I was RICH. So fucking rich. My spirit, my mind, and my heart was richer than I can ever remember.
So, my writing is to explore how to be rich again in life. And, as I have taken the past week to re-reflect on different times in my life, and re-dedicate myself to finding a zestful life again, I am already beginning to see new patterns of behavior already taking root. Where I would normally just drown myself out to my Instagram feed to fall asleep, I started turning on upbeat GLADIATOR / BRAVEHEART music on Pandora, light candles, and started READING every night like I used to, and feeding myself with information that I knew would start creating different neural pathways (habits) in my mind.
And then, I went back to my roots... writing. Words have always been something close to me, because they are like I see life: That we can create something from nothing. And I know I don’t have all the answers, but I do know, now at 31, I have some answers! And, more than anything, what makes me a good writer is that I don’t care what society thinks of me. I don’t care if society judges me as weak, because I know, to ever truly be strong, you must be weak. And to ever fully VALUE being RICH, you must be BROKEN. And falls BREAK us. Get it? That’s why they are there. So, please, don’t ever see them as pain. Pain is there to guide you. And, if you feel alone, maybe join me on my writing community page. Perhaps joining a community where you can talk about your struggles, and REAL SHIT might actually embolden you in your circumstances.
All I know is, in different stages of my life, I needed empowering people in my life. And I know it’s actually a rarity to find it. I was fortunate to grow up in a very tight small-town community of WONDERFUL people who immensely validated me every place I went. I felt like a local hero who was admired and appreciated for the teenage boy he’d grown into.
The further away I moved from Sedan, Kansas, and the years that would go by, I lost those voices, that community, who believed in me and fed my spirit and soul with constant nourishment.
In a society where every news headline is practically negative, it is imperative we find things that nourish our spirits. If you actually read this in its entirety, pat yourself on the back, because you are one of the rare few.
If you’d like to check out my writing journey, please go to Patreon.com/CodyDealWriting, and if you want to join, it’d just give me validation that I should continue on my writing path. And, believe me, right now in my life, I could certainly use that validation, as being validated relentlessly for your physical appearance can actually make you believe that’s all anyone actually values in you.