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If you enjoyed this piece, consider listening to my other Spoken Word here
Art by: Lharl
What is Perfection,
But the distance
To and from
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: Lharl
Lol I know, I know “Boo-hoo” — “WordPress is not an airport, you don’t have to announce your departure” e.t.c
That is all true, I agree. However, I’m not leaving per se, I’m only sharing why I’ve been thinking about it more often (more than I’ve done in the last two years).
It’s crazy because, when I started this blog in 2014, I never considered all the changes that would take place in my life or the relationship I would eventually have with my blog as it evolved.
I had this desire to get my thoughts out, to give them form and to not be stopped. I suppose the fire in me was strong because It was being met with resistance. There were people that constantly undermined me overtly and covertly; trying to rock my boat and make me doubt myself at every turn. Because if I was too busy doubting myself I would not have the time to see who they really were.
And now, that negative energy is all but gone around me — along with the people. A direct result of all the work I put in, and if you’ve read since day one, you’ll see the changes.
I used my blog as a coping mechanism at one point too. When I was dealing with break-ups and depression. It helped, looking back at what I had written earlier on and feeling encouraged by it. It was like an old friend who knew me very well, giving advice I desperately needed at any given moment.
I used my blog as a repository for my history. To know where I started, and where I was going. I shared my convictions, my dreams, my doubts, and my pain. Everything I would learn or needed to remember, I tied together with titles I personally find catchy or “cool” (I just love a good title lemme tell ya). Anytime I re-read my work, I could remember the message by simply looking at the title, giving all my information gathering a heuristic element. And it worked.
I connected with different bloggers, a majority of which have left for one reason or another. I often wondered what would make others leave their blogs, but we all know life gets in the way sometimes. I love writing, I love story-telling and I most certainly love writing critiques. So, why do I feel like leaving this place?
If you’re looking for a clear answer, I’m sorry. I don’t have a single one. What I’m doing as I’m writing this post is trying to process my thoughts and emotions in raw form. I’m hoping to see a throughline of some sort. Maybe you’ll notice something I haven’t.
So with no resistance in my life and no inner turmoil to sort through, the purpose of creating this blog started getting blurry. I found a separate purpose in the “Being Black 101” section of my blog. I was talking about racism and the like, something I’m passionate about, but that lessened as a result of trying not to become radicalized. There’s a reason you don’t hear me chant Black Lives Matter (BLM). The sentiment behind creating BLM is sound, the elitism and reverse racism that grew as a consequence of some BLM activists is not something I support. (Selective Populism anyone?)
There’s this role-playing game I play every six months, I don’t know if you’ve heard it. It’s called Disco Elysium. It taught me a lot about people and (political) ideology. How we can falsely believe ourselves to be self-made and that even as we choose who we want to be, we may in actual fact be the subjects of mimesis. This desire to belong can overwhelm us so much that we “choose” to adopt a political ideology that others have, all in a bid to make us feel whole — connected.
But of course, it’s not so simple. I can sit here and say I don’t love politics because they are dumb — that I play no part because I’m neither on the right nor left. Disco Elysium critiques this as well by referring to it as moralism — or verbatim, choosing to be “the most laughable centrist”. Not making a political choice IS a political choice. Centrism is accepting the status quo rebranded into something more marketable i.e. Being WOKE and thoroughly aware of the system. It can be argued, that by believing ourselves free of the system, we become truly immersed in it. But enough philosophizing.
The point I’m trying to make is, I stopped being a cheerleader for ideologies. I decided to make the blog about myself, which is admittedly a centrist stance. I no longer had the desire to change the world but to change my immediate environment. That worked.
I practised stoicism, meditation, and the application of logic and reason with the help of my poetry and blog. After having endured narcissistic abuse for so long, there were many people I removed from my life. People who took advantage of my good nature and lack of boundaries — making the mistake of only using my feelings to make judgments. Luckily, some of these abusers removed themselves after I stopped offering them narcissistic supply. And that’s what happens, isn’t it? When you start understanding your own self-worth, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says because you can only hear your voice and not theirs.
My space became clearer. My mind became sharper. And of course, I saw more areas in my life that needed work.
My blog continued to have utility but it slowly started fading into the background as I started writing my manuscript. My love for writing stays the same, but where I write has become a concern.
What, at first felt like a space where I could let people who meant me harm see what I really thought; turned into a space of unfiltered honesty and vulnerability. Unfortunately, this place is still bookmarked by the worst people I’ve ever met in my life.
I have the desire to maintain integrity. To be me — to be authentic and upfront with my thoughts and feelings. But when I know there are people who mean me harm that still have access to this place, I have to wonder. Is it worth it?
I could write work that isn’t personal and post poetry that is entirely abstract like I sometimes do. But then I’ll feel shackled. Like I’m behaving in a way that doesn’t give my enemies more ammo to use against me.
Who’s blog will it be then? Mine or theirs?
I could continue being as honest as I’ve been (much to my own detriment, as some people have proven, coming at me with what they’ve read here to make some sort of statement or shame me)
“Wow, you’re Ace. That’s crazy” — Yes. Feel free to say it to me each and every time like it’s my defining personality trait.
“Who you are on your blog and who you are in real life are different. You sound cold and rational on your blog but a teddy bear in person” — this one annoys me the most because it’s entirely rooted in assuming people only have one personality trait. I’m not cold and rational. I’m direct. But however you choose to interpret it, I’m a person with a wide palate of behaviours that all fit into various contexts, much like any other human. If you’re so eager to see this side of me, push me, and then we’ll see if it exists or not?
But that’s just one thing.
In our increasingly digital age. We’ve got algorithms that push away content that doesn’t suit the search engine gods. You used a swear word? Too bad. Do you want to talk about something mildly controversial? Too bad.
I’ve always considered this to be soft censorship. To “behave” in accordance with “the rules” that change depending on the world’s current temperature. Do you know how often the Overton window moves?
I don’t find these engines ideal, I don’t like having to write a certain way to please a set of fluid parameters that change depending on the potential outrage. It’s the equivalent of being told that any good story has to have a good ending. Or that any good story must have action in it. That is simply not true. What makes good writing good or art amazing isn’t governed by one or two things that are entirely subjective. If there was a stencil for people to use to achieve amazing art you’d bet the majority would use it. So to tell me these algorithms are tailored to bring me or you the best content is a complete joke.
(Edit: I might be a masochist but I really am tired of seeing safe writing)
*sigh* yes, I know algorithms have good uses too. They help keep sites clean, I don’t deny that. But the parameters for approval work in favour of content that is family-friendly. And a majority of what I have to say isn’t. So I’m forced to either abide by these rules or risk not connecting with others. I can’t make that sacrifice, it’s too large. I’d rather stop writing here entirely.
I wouldn’t call myself a politically correct, friendly or hateful person. I’m unfiltered in how I share my personal truths, and to be told to share my truth in a way that pleases a rubric governed by people that potentially have their own agenda is incredibly disheartening. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I firmly refuse to believe these algorithms are set to keep the kids safe. I refuse to believe a group of executives sat down and funded these algorithms thinking about Little Jimmy and Jane playing in the sandbox. There’s obviously more at play.
And most recently we’ve been hearing about AI writing. While I don’t feel threatened in any way, I sympathize with my fellow creatives in art. I don’t agree with most methods Artists have employed to have their voices heard, but I understand their frustration albeit in a different way.
If you’re wondering, I’m in a good space right now. Mentally and physically, everything is going my way. It’s just my blog that’s been on my mind lately. I’ve been thinking about whether I want to keep it or delete it entirely.
Please don’t assume I’m in pain or lonely. I have people who care about me and I’m completely fine. I play games regularly (which I love), and I’m writing a manuscript for my second book — planning to publish the first soon. I will be seeing someone special really soon too. There’s a lot going my way, so no worries on that front.
I care about everyone I’ve met here thus far. And I enjoy all the stories you’ve shared and all the collaborations we’ve done. Those connections are real to me.
I just ask that you be patient with me while I figure this out. It might take a month to a year. I don’t know. But I need to come to a conclusion.
I don’t want my reason for staying here to be a sunk cost fallacy tied heavily to the amount of time and work I’ve put in (8 years). I want to write on my blog because I enjoy it.
And I’ve tried, you know, to write content that skates the algorithm, but I always feel dirty afterwards. I personally don’t find it conducive as a mid to long-term strategy where my well-being is concerned. The world is changing, and I don’t think I have a place where it’s going. People talk about accepting change, and accepting it might mean knowing there is no place for my kind of writing here.
So as you’ve (hopefully) read, there are many reasons why I’ve been thinking about leaving. You don’t need to leave a comment, I won’t think less of you. The reason I say this is because it’s not the comments or likes that will determine whether I stay or not.
I only shared this post because I didn’t want you to think something bad happened to me. I’m alive and well.
Otherwise, I hope you’re healthy and well 🙂
Take care while I think this through ❤
(Edit: Been procrastinating for so long that I forgot to share how I got a notification from WordPress about passing 1000 posts a while back lol)
To find the world exhilarating and at the same time frustrating.
It’s a tug-of-war, as my soul stays snared in the middle
Unable to escape, it pulses, entwined in rope made of life strands
Sewn in the pattern of constellations.
Rumours claim: If you witness my genetic makeup from far away
It looks like the Milky Way Galaxy.
A miracle, made of many spiralling parts and pieces
All moving — fulfilling, their part in the kinetic grand design conducted by the Divine
I would, on a lazy day, agree with that worldly assessment
But to do that would be premature
As it implies a firm understanding of my own limitations.
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: vurdeM
If you’re feeling down and like nothing is working out I hope everything gets better soon; it’s normal to feel that way sometimes.
What’s not okay is casting that same doubt on other people because you see them feeling particularly confident in themselves. Your self-doubt is not a signifier or definitive indicator of other people’s potential and or limitations.
Process your self-doubt for as long as it takes, get professional help if you so require and stop discouraging/invalidating others for pursuing their dreams.
“You can call me amazing — brilliant even, and I’ll appreciate it. Assuming we both know where you’ve placed me is not where I’m stopping.”
What more does this world want from me?
Whatever I give, never appears to be enough.
The world continues to be unrelenting in its desire
To have every single part of me,
Till I can no longer recognize who I am in the mirror
To bleed into every material or living thing —
As it bleeds into me — like acrylic paint–
At home in the design of unmarked differences.
To be part of the “known” universe.
Simplified, according to the terms of the derivative
Well, I say. “F*ck that.”
I may be subject to the whims of an irrational universe,
Born into it, but I refuse to be complacent —
Poisoned by the contagion of fear and madness.
If I’m to fail, I will fail as a result of setting my own terms
Not through resting my laurels on the misdiagnoses set
By the unchecked biases of others.
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: vurdeM
“Truth is not what you want it to be, it is what it is and you must bend to its power or live a lie.” — Miyamoto Musashi
I like how layered this quote is. The “truth” is in many ways unidentified. I think we can find personal truths and proceed to come in contact with people who have reached similar conclusions (all whilst other people find tribes that share their views e.t.c.)
Some would go as far as defining these “truths” as shared ideologies and it wouldn’t be much of a stretch. Who knows, everything is a subject of this world. I only encourage people to make conscious choices about what they wish to do with their lives and not give the steering wheel to someone else.
What I believe is, whatever happens, I’ll push on. I can’t bend the world into what I want, but I sure as hell can decide how I maneuver through all of it.
In the darkness,
A spark — A flame
Thawing out the glacial cold.
For as long as the soul is bright
It will not be snuffed
Like your poison-scented candles.
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: hudaamien1
The odyssey continues …
Despite coming to terms with how it might not have
A reality as familiar as symbols on a refrigerator door
They stick to me, easily, forming patterns
Till I converge their divergent nature
Into one concentrated solution — answer, my passion,
Remains untamed with every mention of you
The energy I find in what we have is astounding.
It lay buried — forgotten
I assumed the world wanted little to do with it.
But then you appeared, in all your grace
Encouraging me to re-evaluate my considerations
You are not God, but I see him in your design.
They say when you fall, “Fall cautiously …
You can never be sure of people’s motives”
But they haven’t met you.
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: IMNODOIRAE
It’s innocent until proven guilty
Not innocent until felt guilty.
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: Nexumorphic
I’m quick to correct people who accuse me of anything whilst using their feelings as a premise.
Look, we can all feel something. It’s encouraged and definitely an integral part of the human experience. But to think your “feelings” are the judge, jury and executioner in any matter is simply ridiculous.
In the space of ten minutes, we are liable to feel a complex series of emotions stemming from a variety of sources. It can be the result of unprocessed trauma, sensitivity to triggers or anxiety — and this can all affect our behaviour in the present.
Not everyone knows how to self-regulate. It’s challenging to sit and process hurtful things we may have experienced in our lives. But it has to be done.
What we shouldn’t do is put our pain on others. Turning our inner turmoil into an excuse to behave poorly.
And of course, there are situations where your gut feeling tells you something is off. Instead of immediately sending someone to the guillotine, I would suggest taking that feeling as an opportunity to investigate further. And as you investigate, remember to do the same to yourself.
(I say this because I’m remembering how cheaters often suspect their partner of cheating because they have no way to process their guilt)
Sometimes, the answer isn’t too far off.
“Extraodinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – Sigma
“Show don’t tell”
Certainly true to the foundation of a compelling storyline
Immersion being the primary consideration, but —
Not in real life.
Getting to the point where I have to show you
So you understand what you’re doing is not conducive
Carries the equivalence of severing each and every one of my limbs
For the express purpose of helping you understand the eventual outcome.
And then after, expecting everything to go back to the way it was.
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: RHADS
Hard to reason with someone
Whose understanding of nuance begins
At the level of a train wreck.
– O.D. ©2023
Art by: arcipello