‘Hate must weigh on you like a broken cross.’
I think that I’ve finally figured myself out. After twenty six years of screwing around and pissing away my talents and time I’ve finally started to realise who I am, who I want to be, and how to bridge the gap between the two. It’s a bold claim to make. But 2015 has started out so strongly that I feel confident enough to say that I, Chris Nicholas, am finally starting to become the man I was born to be. I’m merely scratching the surface of my true potential, but I’ve finally found the direction, determination, and hunger that has been lacking from my life for a long time.
When I look back at the history of this blog it’s clear to see that for a long time I was a soul in turmoil. Struggling to find my place in this world I bounced between short bursts of positivity before sinking into extended bouts of depressive entries and angst. From a technical perspective, the writing wasn’t great. From a mindset perspective, the pieces were even more troubling. I thought that it was funny to push myself past breaking point when trying to produce something of quality, finding joy in destruction, elation in woe, and my writing suffered greatly as a result.
My personality has evolved greatly over the past twenty six years; before I started writing I was incredibly shy. I’d struggle to talk to a cashier when buying milk. I’d keep quiet in group situations, and couldn’t even imagine plucking up the courage to ask a girl out on a date. But I found confidence through literature. Writing gave me a way to express myself. It was a means to unlock that vault of pent up rage and emotion in my heart and release. But for a time I went too far. I underwent a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde like transformation and that shy child turned into a bitterly aggressive teen.
I would refer to myself as a wolf, and relish in the opportunity to offend or maim. I wrote to ward off my own inner demons, and I’d take aim at anyone unfortunate enough to cross my path. I had this insatiable lust to be different, to fail to connect with my peers, and to rip the throat out of anyone I could. At one point I even went as far as to call myself literature’s version of Alistair Crowley, bathing in the blood of my victims. My writing in this time was poor and disjointed in its construction. My success as a writer during this phase was non-existent. And in all honesty I was undeserving of any acclaim. Who wants to read dribble from a whiney little bitch?
I’m a pretty aggressive guy. I’ve always had a short fuse, and I probably always will (even though I’m actively trying to become a more tolerant man I did recently threaten to break someone’s jaw). But I’ve reached a point in my life where I have released the contents within that vault of rage and I no longer see a need to savage everyone I come into contact with. I’m still a wolf. And I’m still prepared to bare my fangs and tear someone limb from limb if need be, but I’m no longer wasting time hunting for conflict. Life’s too short to get bogged down in unnecessary shit, and I’ve got too many goals I want to achieve to waste my time in fruitless endeavours. I spent so long filling my heart with hate, and all it did was weigh me down. When you carry the broken cross of hate all you have to show for your troubles is loneliness and the stooped shoulders and fractured spine of heartache.
So then now that I’ve found this happy medium, and I’m beginning to understand the enigma of me, who is it that I actually want to be? I want to be a writer. I’m pretty sure that is blatantly obvious at this point in time. But I want to be more than that. I want to have a positive effect on the industry as a whole. I want to create great texts and inspire others to consume literature of all forms. I want to educate, as well as continue to learn. I want to inspire and be inspired. And most importantly I want to be a man; not the macho dickhead type, but the kind that transcends beyond such limitations and becomes one with the world.
Knowing the path that I wish to walk is a start. I’m no longer simply stating “I want to be a writer” and waiting for the universe to drop a publishing deal in my lap. I’m starting to formulate a plan of attack to make that dream a reality. Acknowledging my temperament means that I’m growing; when this blog started I never would have envisioned that I’d be writing posts concerning homosexuality or Islam. Yet I find myself drawn to such topics not because I necessarily identify with them, but because I’ve found myself living in a world where there is so much beauty repressed by the ideals of man that to not draw attention to matters of the heart or mind would be a travesty.
My point is this: as far as I know I’ve only got one shot at this crazy thing we call life. I don’t know what happens when it’s all over, but I do know that the time I have is a precious thing and I need to cherish it. When the curtain draws, or the screen fades to black I don’t want to look back and think about all the time wasted being overtly shy, or unnecessarily bitter. I want to look back and say that I gave everything I had to being the best writer and man that I could be.
I recently had a stern reality check where a stranger I had never met contacted the organisation I work for regarding the death of her partner. They had fallen in love at the age of sixteen and spent their lives together until he passed away aged seventy one. They spent fifty five glorious years together before he passed, and in her mourning she was contemplating suicide. The thought of a life without the only man she’d ever loved was too much for her to bear. I suddenly found myself listening to this woman as she bared her soul and expressed her desire to give up. She had the pills left over from her ailing husband in her home, and no reason to continue on.
I don’t work for a suicide prevention or mental health organisation, but here I was helping someone come to terms with a loss that was so much more severe than anything I had ever dealt with. By the time we finished talking she had realised that as painful as it would be to live without her husband, she would continue to do so. Because there is nothing in this life more beautiful than life itself. The call ended and I put down the phone knowing that we would never be in contact again. I’d never hear how her life changed from that moment on. Never understand exactly how she felt knowing that she was strong enough to move forward. But I did realise that I have so much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to.
I know my path; I know the difficulties that lie ahead of me. But I also know thanks to a stranger on the other end of the phone line that there is nothing between where I am now and where I want to be that I can’t overcome. I’m no longer a shy little boy, or an overly aggressive teen. I’m a writer, a man, a wolf and a world eater. For the first time ever I’m accepting my strengths and weaknesses and focusing on where I want to be rather than maiming those around me.