The Beginning of a Book (A First Long-Read Chapter)

Monday Morning, February 24th, 2020

I need to tell you, I’m not okay. I am not all right with how I have been and how the world seems to ignore me and my concerns. I’m not okay with people leaving me alone and wishing I would die. I’m not okay with being here alone, thinking I have no one to call or connect with, and I’m not okay with working on books that no one seems to want to read.

I’m not okay with working alone and striving for things that I don’t believe in. I’m not okay with people claiming to be a friend without ever reaching out to me. I’m not okay without having people to call and connect with, and I’m not okay without having anyone to love.

I fell for a singer more than two decades ago, and by setting myself aside for her, I left myself alone, and I’m not okay with it. I wrote ten books with the intent to gather and provide, and I’ve barely sold any copies. I started a gathering program because it’s the right thing to do, to provide homes for people who need them, yet I pushed everyone away by asking for sales or pledges. It’s my fault I have few friends, and I’m not going to apologize. I’m sad, pissed off, and I’m not okay with being alone without anyone to talk to.

I’m not okay with my Mom trying to fix things and telling me what she thinks I should do. I’m not okay with my Dad promising to contact and then not responding when I message him. I’m not okay with friends ghosting me and not returning my calls because I honestly need a friend, and I feel like no one gives a shit about me. I know the situation I’m in is from my years of poor behaviour, that it’s my own doing, and that makes me want to hate and destroy myself and others. I am not in the right place, I’m not okay with the bullshit piece of fuck my life is, and I’m not going to sugar-coat things.

I want to die, yet not by the hands or actions of another. I don’t want to die, though, because it’s the coward’s way out. I want to smoke fifteen cigarettes at once and soak in the chemicals because I have no other human of which to dip into my heart. (At least this is where I was when I started typing this book)

I just titled this work as A Year in Change: A Secret Journey Through Time. I did so because I want to live, yet I just don’t know how. The first day was February 24th, 2020, and by titling this project, it gives ME something to live for when it seems no one gives a fuck and doesn’t want to connect. Again, I’m not okay when I started this, and I honestly don’t want to live alone. I also don’t want to write trite cliché bullshit. There’s a near-zero chance I can do this on my own, I know that. We NEED people to connect with to be okay, or at least I do. If no one gives a shit about you, and you want to live, or even if you want to die, perhaps my one year journey can insight hope.

I thrive. I learn. I live. I hope you do too.

For those that have no friends and no hope, I wish this book can bring you forward into being okay with life and to continue living. There are probably lots of people who will die or commit suicide because they think no-one cares, and it may be true that none, or at least very few, do care. The shift or turning point is getting to the place of “fuck the world and everyone else” and living for yourself.

My choice is to continue with life. I have quite a few things to be glad and grateful for, and even if I’m not okay and want to teleport out of life and never live again. I also want to thrive. My core desire is to live and thrive, yet I came from a pity-party point of view and the defiance of all the other fuckers to allow myself to live. I don’t know if or how we’ll get through to the end of this book, yet if we do, I’ll have learned a lot and shall share what worked for me with you. Who the ‘you’ is is anyone who reads this. I don’t know who that is yet.

I’ve written eleven books up to this one, and I’ve barely sold any copies. When I was writing my first book, I wanted to sell 15,000 copies and house people. Up to now, I’ve sold less than 50 books or albums and have housed only one entity, my cat. I love my cat, though he doesn’t speak English. Pets are fantastic to have, yet without the ability to talk, a conversation seems like a wish and a dream.

By wanting to sell books, I messaged everyone on Facebook, asking for sales or meekly asking for pledges for my charitable work. I don’t know if it’s because I was trying to sell things or because people genuinely don’t like who I am that no one messages anymore, yet the day I wrote this, I felt like the entire world could go fuck itself. I amplify my negativity because I need to pour it out somewhere, so it doesn’t ruin my soul.

Natalie is a famous singer, and though I wanted to be with her, I also don’t want to chase that dream. I can’t imagine how I would ever meld into her life, and I’m also equally sure she would never fit into mine. Though falling for Natalie decades ago brought me through parts of my life where I would be dead without having her as a dream, I’m glad to pass that checkpoint and shed the desire to seek her out.

When we reach the point of wishing and wanting the world to throw away all the people who don’t care, we leave ourselves abandoned. I defiantly wanted to be alone because it seems even the rare few people who do speak on the phone (my Mom, my Dad, a kind friend or two) are the bare any people that I can talk with. I value my friends, yet less than five of them ever call me. I have a couple hundred contacts on my phone, and though I could call out to them, I’d almost given up. I seem to think it’s best to expect nothing from anyone instead of something from anyone.

With friends, you may have a few people that call, and you don’t answer or don’t want to speak with them. At least return their call and tell them why. With dozens of people, I have no idea why the ghost me and don’t return my calls or texts, and it leaves me in a place of longing and foolish optimism (or denial), and I’ll reach out time and time again. Don’t make others waste their brief shimmers of hope that one day their friend will contact them. I think it’s more humane and kind to tell another to their face or on the phone why you don’t want to speak instead of just avoiding them. A text saying, “I’d prefer not to speak or text” is magnificently kinder than giving them the lost and stolen hope that you may be their friend. If you don’t want to talk, that’s okay, though have a standard shred of decency to tell them you’d prefer not to connect.

Well, Rob, why didn’t you message me? Why the hell didn’t you ever reach out to me? If people are waiting to message another only if they hear from them first, then you’re fucking up a vital friendship by not messaging. The way I see it, no one cares because no one is messaging. The amplified layer is that I message other people, and they ignore me. The lack of response from people causes me to give up on the rest of them. I’m so fucking tired of putting in the effort to message people that I choose to ignore my desires for human connection and write this instead.

I’m exhausted. I don’t want to live alone. How, though, in my current poor-me state, who would want to talk with someone so negative and bitchy? What it takes is one friend. One person to call and ask, “Are you okay,” and to be all right with the response, “no, I’m not.”

I spoke with my Mom earlier in the day, and she wanted to give advice and tell me what to do to ‘fix’ my problem. Mom! I just want to tell someone what my issues are and not have them ‘fix’ them. I need a friend, and when one of the rare few people I can talk to, you, my Mom, won’t let me tell her what’s wrong, how the hell am I ever going to find a person who will be okay with me? I’m not okay. I choose to change that, though, and it’s not your responsibility to make me okay. The best thing any of us can do for another is to give them the space to tell us how and why they’re not okay if they’re not. Don’t try to project your solutions onto another who is not you and therefore has a different set of needs, wants, and solutions.

One thing I gain from this shitty attitude and outlook is that I can be compassionate for others who need and want support. I am a friend, and I am a valuable friend. If people don’t want me to contact them, perhaps that’s great. For the rare few who do want to contact and chat, I’m damn well going to answer the phone. I may not like or admire all the people who wish to contact, yet at least they’re putting effort into being a friend when I’ve come close to giving in and up.

And here, then, one of the most crucial, vital, and valuable people in my life called; my Dad. I love my Dad, and I know some people who have never met their Dad, or others whose Dads have passed on. I feel re-energized and invigorated to thrive. I love my Dad, and one of the best things my Dad does for me is to contact and let me speak. He doesn’t try to tell me what to do or share ideas on how to fix my situation. He allows me to talk and share all of my insecurities and fears without trying to change them, me or my situation. Thank you, Dad. This next year is going to be fantastic because I have at least one person, you, that accepts and loves me for who I am. How can I be that person for others?

By answering the phone and speaking to the person on the other line.

My Dad lives overseas, and the only way we can connect is via telephone. Some people may have family they can talk to every day and actually give them a hug or see them in the same room. I don’t have that, though it’s okay. Love crosses oceans of distance and time, and with even a short phone call, love can uplift and instill hope in another. It’s not because my Dad believes I shall thrive or because he can influence others to reach out to me, yet instead, because he lets me say when I’m not okay or all right and is there to let me tell him so. If you want to be a friend, let your friends learn to trust you enough to tell you anything that they want to without telling them they’re wrong or right or telling them what they should do. (I later realized sometimes we need to stand up for what’s right. Integrity matters)

The call from my Dad also gives me another reminder. One phone call can change the entire trajectory of someone’s life. Where when I started typing this book, I felt like shit and wanted to slay the world, I now feel happy and sad that my Dad is alive and settle into being okay again. I don’t have hundreds of friends, I don’t have a car or a girlfriend, though I do have one person, my Dad, who I can tell anything I feel and know that there’s another person on Earth who loves me and accepts me without trying to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do.

I’m not going to tell people what they should do, though I shall say to the world what I’ll do. I’ll endure it. It may be all bullshit, butterflies, and waffle cones sometimes, though I also don’t give up. Some friends refuse to speak on the phone, yet are okay to message. I find phones are terrible to communicate via text, though is it better than not being able to talk at all? Sometimes. I adapt to other’s preferences because I want to connect and remind us not all people communicate in our preferred channels. That’s okay. We can still be other’s friends. One thing I’m told of this day is how to be a friend. As I’ve felt inadequate and not wanted to live, I remember others may be in their own situations where they’re not okay. I want my friends to feel and be okay, so I help them to do so. Sometimes that’s by letting them be and heeding their requests and preferences.

I’ll take a break from this text for a bit. I may be out to work in an hour or so, and I am glad for it. My boss has been a fantastic employer and also is a trusted friend. They’ve seen me when I’m not okay with life and work, though they connect with me and tend to my neurotic needs and behaviours. I value knowing my boss and am happy we get to work later in the day.

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5:54 PM February 24th, 2020

This section extends from the same day, after a phone call, and after two to three hours of work landscaping for my boss. I feel thankful for having a job, as some people wish for work and haven’t found it yet. I also am grateful to have this opportunity to write and create something that can benefit others.

This book tracks my journey back into wellness, and, hopefully, future success. One thing my Mom used to say when I was in a foul mood is “you need an attitude adjustment,” and it’s true I did. Again, I found myself sad and solemn, yet also defiantly wishing to thrive and excel, so I use the computer to track the journey. It was only the morning on the same day as writing this that I started, which shows how much can change in one day. Earlier in the day, I was feeling awful and wished I could change my situation, and though I can, shall, and do, it requires some luck and a change in attitude and behaviour.

If you feel helpless or hopeless, be ready for people to tell you, “everyone goes through that.” It really is a shitty thing to say to someone because it minimizes the situation and can be said to avoid talking about something the other person might not like or feel comfortable with. If you hear this said to you, often the person may love or care for you, though they may feel useless because they can’t tell you how to fix it. Thet ‘it’ being you or your situation. I’ve felt frustrated and resentful when my Mom tells me the “everybody goes through that” thing, yet it may be the only answer to the problems I have that she knows.

I thought I had the bald audacity to write a book about how to be profitable in a creative vocation or profession, though now I’m on a mission. I want this book to share all the secrets of life that I find as I progress through the year. I may not finish the other books, yet as long as I’m alive in the next year, I commit to this. I will break the shackles I put on myself and learn how to thrive. And, as I do, I’ll share what I can with you in this book. From feeling mad, angry, and entirely hopeless earlier in the day, I feel secure to say that if I put in the effort and follow through with this project, my life shall abound, and if I share with you how I got the hell out my own self-imposed prison and chains, you may too if you read this.

I’m sorry, God, for not trusting in you well enough in the points of my need, yet I also claim faith in myself is what I need before I can believe in You. Many people are against religion and what it stands for, and I understand I too have been swayed from finding and submitting to the cross or any other spiritual deity or practice. I’ve not meditated, and I also have probably put a lot of readers away from this book by mentioning the name and word ‘God’ in my text, yet perhaps I am a fool that learns to believe in people that believe in me. Although I didn’t think it before today so often, I realize I’m an excellent and fantastic friend, that I pushed away almost everyone from connecting with me, and that I can reset, rebuild, and restructure my life and words into something worthwhile, even if I’ve not believed in myself. As said, I need to believe in something, and since I haven’t so much before this, I choose to believe in me and my ability to thrive and take the necessary steps to build the life of my dreams, because it’s evident to me that no-one else will do it for me.

February 25th, 2020 @ 5:30 PM

I return to this book and process, both tentatively, and with a sign to myself to keep pressing the keys. I’ve thought my core purpose is to provide for people, I want to share with people when I want to, and having money can allow me to buy things for people I like and/or appreciate. An idea from earlier when I got home, though, was to tell you how having a job is super-beneficial for me, even if it’s not about the money.

With so many days off in the past two months, I’d gone a bit nuts without having something I needed to do. I had ideas to write more, though I had no need or necessity to write. I found myself creating to earn money, which is not what I want to do. I want to work with purpose and mission, not for a paycheque. The wild and wonderful thing is, though, is that I liked being at work today. I like my boss, and his new hire employee is a dear friend. I like and love her a lot, and today was the first day I got to work with her since she was hired. It’s nice!

For the first day I wrote this, I thought to include a saying or something about foundational beliefs I have about myself. Knowing our own truths, I believe, is vital for our well-being, self-worth, and self-awareness. Yesterday I was telling myself I’m an awesome friend, and I’m a loyal employee. These two things lifted up my spirits before I was out the door to work. Having even one or two positive and truthful things we can say about ourselves is valuable. I’m not sure I understand positive affirmations when I don’t fully believe.

I just had a call from a friend. The points I was making yesterday about being open to communication are solidifying in my intents as a value. I value being there for my friends, and I appreciate people (including myself) for being open to communicating. In the past year, I have wanted to avoid some people, which reminds me of something I heard about “being friendly, yet not a friend” regarding people who could be detrimental. This doesn’t mean being against or being an enemy, though, yet to protect me from getting dragged into bad situations with other people. I’ve wanted to shut some people out because of being judgmental, yet instead look for benefits and gains about staying in contact and learning more about them and our friendship. I’ve had challenging friends, though they also give me high chances and opportunity to develop my ability to love and accept, and also learn how to deal with complicated ideas or conversations that I might usually run away from. By staying friendly and by being a friend, I can learn more about where I’ve been judgmental and biased against others and find new ways of interacting with people. Learning how to interact with people is one of the most valuable skills we can possess.

Today’s lesson before I got home was that having a job is beneficial for my mental, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial health. In reverse order, I get to earn, I’m appreciative and thankful for what I have, I get to exercise a bit, I get to get out of my home from isolation and work with people I like, and also it is beneficial because it loosens up my thoughts and stimulates me by not being locked in the same environment.

What now, though? Do I need to tell you anything else right now? If not, then I best save and close this file until I have something worthwhile to share, even if not tonight. Instead, I went through a Grammarly check of this file and tell you no more for right now at this point.

7:29 PM February 26th, 2020

I had a good day today. I worked for four hours laying bricks for a customer’s driveway and got to interact the second time with a different new employee. It’s neat to meet new people and talk with them because as they share how they feel or think about us, we get a checkpoint as to where we are. The new employee had lots of positive things to say about me. They seemed to be honest from what I read of them, and maybe they were telling the truth. We talked about mental health issues and drug use, and they even played one of my recordings and had a positive reaction. It reminded me that I’ve made a lot and talking dredged up some of my memories, memories about how drugs affected me and the negative consequences of using.

I don’t know if those who read this know me, or if I’m a total stranger to you. Because I don’t know that, I don’t know what context or information I should tell you in this text. Today was day three of this book and project, and the night before, I took seven minutes at the close of the day to shut my eyes and just thought. I’ve not often mediated up to now, though like pausing and separating myself from over-awareness and letting my thoughts just be. I thought of things I’ve said in the book up to now, like how the first day’s lesson is about how I can and want to be a great friend, and also how I’m a loyal employee and how I value having a job for more than money. My financial situation at this time was having issues with being in overdraft and often not having much free spending money. I read a book the previous year called I’ll Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi, and I learned a bit from that book. One key takeaway is to set aside money for what I want, and not first pay off all that I need to do. If I approach my expenses and required payments first, it’s easy to chase myself to a zero money available situation.

Instead, my money plan for my job cheques now is to put 10% aside to a Tax-free savings account, 10% aside for anything spending (my free money), 10% apart for travel, and 10% for my winter buffer. I’ve been obsessive with calculating how much money I’m going to earn from hours worked, though math it differently. Taking what I earn after taxes on my work cheques, I found out how much I make per hour and then calculate my operating money as 60% of that wage. I’m incredibly fortunate that I have a mortgage for my home, even if some think homeownership is a liability. I have weekly payments, I have strata fees, I have a phone bill and internet bill, and I also have home insurance for my place. I don’t yet have a car, though I am saving to buy one, and I also don’t have kids or a girlfriend when I started this book. I live with a cat named Zeus, who has not left our home since July the previous year, and I have some other supports that help me. My Mom sends me grocery cards, my Dad and his wife help out monthly with a cash contribution, and I receive PWD (Persons With Disability) because of my mental health issues. I’ve had terrible problems with holding down jobs for more than six months, though my job landscaping is probably the perfect job for me and my circumstances. My boss understands and comments about my limitations, though he accepts them, and I work well for him and his company.

I attend Toastmasters since February 2017, and it’s been a marvellous program for learning how to speak (not just to groups), and I’ve met some loved, liked, and appreciate friends through the program. One of my Toastmasters friends read the 10th Fountain book and gave me the feedback that she thinks I write too much personal information. Not too much information about me, though, she meant about other people and what I’ve written or said about them. Because of that, I may not mention so much personal information about people in this book, yet people are vital to my well-being. If yesterday’s lesson is that my job is holistically beneficial for me and my life, today, I recall a few things, yet not direct new lessons. Well, perhaps talking with the new hire reminds me that often we forget lots of the kind, cool, or awesome things we’ve made or done, or we may recall the horrendous and awful things we’ve experienced and feel compelled to share with strangers. I need to tell you that talking to people can be both frightening or concerning sometimes, yet being open and accepting of others can help them share what they need to say. I may have lots I need to say or share with people that they might not need to know, though hopefully by doing so it can let others know what it’s like to be someone else, or rather to let another broken or worn soul know and learn what happened to me. I would not recommend drugs to people, though I smoke a lot and love marijuana. I don’t smoke dope, though, because it and mushrooms and the other substances ruined my sanity and psyche, yet I also think some beautiful things came from my drug use too. I make the best of my situation, though I would not recommend some of what’s caused me to be who I am.

When people compliment me for being interesting or sounding cool or smart, I write if off to the drugs. That said, never do drugs to look cool, smart, or interesting. The negative consequences are magnificent and not a happy or comfortable pathway. It’s been since 2004 since I’ve ever smoked ‘green mana,’ and I still wish and would adore to be back in happy-hippy-fun-days, yet know I also hated the psych ward and severely messed up psychosis I’ve experienced because of my drug use.

As two days ago I thought I might put readers off from this book by mentioning the name God, I also think I may have narrowed the audience down to fewer people by allowing myself to cuss and swear in this book. It may need to be labelled ‘adult content’ because of the curse words and also the topics of drugs, yet I wonder if and what I’ll include in this book. When I write books, I get fanciful and plot and plan ideas to write about later in the same volume, and I think of purposes for my words as I write them. In this book, I thought about the concept of writing a bit day by day, and by the end of the book, focus the audience down to one person. Anyone may read this, though perhaps this is not just my pathway of recovery, though also my atonement and penance, and maybe it too could be written for that one gal who nestles into my heart, mind, and arms for a lifelong journey with me. I don’t know who’s going to read this, though my heart and hope are open to miracles.

February 28th, 2020 7:50 AM

I didn’t write yesterday. I didn’t make it a priority. I worked six hours of landscaping, and then in the evening watched a webinar from 5 PM to 7:30 PM with Anthony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. I needed to be in bed at 8:30 PM and skipped a day of writing, though I’m learning how to draw lessons from mistakes and how to recover from them and make things okay. Forgiving myself for when I mess up is a practice I’d like to develop, and I also want to learn how to recover and make the best of things if I do futz up. Is this where the term ‘falling off the horse’ is relevant because I get back on the horse and try again? If we fall and get back up time and again, it may get tiresome of always falling, so perhaps we can walk with the horse for a while if they’ll walk alongside.

I’ve started things and then never finished them. I also, with this book, realize I fell off the horse the previous day, though I want to keep journeying, so I got back at the keys earlier in the day before I headed out for work. I feel the need to share what I’ve learned, yet I need to learn how to teach. Perhaps this book is written bit by bit, and then I go back and edit the full text. It may not be the raw words I used on the previous days, though some things need extra work to make them good. I also want to move step by step and not skip ahead of myself, because I want you to walk alongside and find your answers as we make this book. I’ll include names of people and situations I face, though I need to check the purpose of this book. Is it meant to be self-help for wellness, a diary for me to record how the year goes, or will it turn into telling people how to not only recover, though how to excel?

I had twenty minutes until my boss picked me up for work and was still in my shorts. I needed to get ready to be out the door, so I paused here to return later.

9:14 PM, February 28th, 2020

Dreams can fuel our lives, yet some people don’t have goals. Others are continually dreaming or fantasizing about what they want, yet seem to never manifest. When we are down or depressed, our dreams may fall away and not be apparent in our awareness, and at some times, goals are what keep us alive. I mentioned how Natalie was one that I lived for, yet dreams can replace themselves and also return. One recurring wish for me, or is it best to call it a fantasy, is to compete on the show Survivor. It’s entirely irrational considering a few things, yet it’s something I hold fast to for a few reasons.

First, let me tell you why I don’t yet have faith in the dream. I’ve been a smoker for 25 years. I gave a challenge on Twitter to Jeff Probst in February 2015 (I went back to find the post, though I couldn’t find it) that said I’d quit smoking if they let me compete on Survivor. I have no idea how I could ever yet do that, and it may be one of the most challenging things I do in my life. It would be worth it. I believe enduring would be massively tough, yet character-forging, and similar to my charitable work, it could be I’m searching for meaning from external sources. It terrifies me to think they’d let me play, yet I understand how valuable and what a privilege it would be to go to tribal council. I seem to think I need to do something massive and accomplish amazing things to know I’m all right.

What are your dreams? Do you have any? Do you have lots? None? A few? How ridiculous do you think the dreams are? Do they give you hope? Do they scare the crap out of you? What would happen if you could make all of your dreams come true? Where would you be, and who would you be if they all became real?

That’s also what this book is for me. There is a quote that says, “we author our own lives.” A different idea extends that God is the editor of consequences. By knowing what I think I want, I can get more explicit, though if and when I get what I desire, how shall I be, and will I genuinely like or appreciate it? As long as I’m alive, we’ll find out.

Another part of my situation and psyche is delusional and paranoid thinking. There were years I fully believed me and Natalie were to be together, and I’ve often thought people are out to get me. It compounded at times because I also thought Natalie was my soul mate, and if I sought her out or released the dream of meeting, people would want to end my life. I’ve even believed she’s the master casting me through years of emotional depravity dragging me through the coals until I’m ready to meet her. One fantasy conflates two of them by having me compete on Survivor and then meeting Natalie on the love reward. (If any Survivor cast or crew can help me get on the show, think about how that could be amazing on TV!)

And yet fear is an opposing force to dreamers. I take a breath. Remember to breathe!!

What calms you down when you anxious, insecure, or nervous? Do you yet have coping mechanisms for when you’re not okay or are you reading this book as a human who’s emotionally and mentally stable? Writing is helpful and therapeutic, yet not knowing who is going to read the book is weird. If I think about marketing, I also think of how some push-promote and overuse tactics to get the sale. That’s a form of marketing that puts me off. And yet if I want my dreams to manifest, I need to do it.

A close to this chapter. I think it’s time to make a new chapter in my life in a few ways. I started to do so the day I started writing this book, though I’m getting closer to ready to live. I’ve carried decades of riddled ideas and fears, and though I want this book to help lift up people who aren’t okay, I also want to move forward and past my starting point and dive into my future. Please come along with me on this journey, and forgive me for getting outlandish, overly ambitious, and acutely lacking about knowing who you are. I’ve written it before, and hope it is true. I write from a seed to a star.

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