‘Hate must weigh on you like a broken cross.’
-Sam Carter.

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.

Author: Chris Nicholas

Chris Nicholas is an author from Brisbane, Australia. He has published two novels, and is currently working on his third.

30 thoughts on “Wolf”

  1. When we put kindness out there, sometimes we don’t get to see its end results. It doesn’t mean that our kindness doesn’t make a difference or create ripples. Who knows what that lady will do or say that may influence someone else for the better because you helped her. Oh, and if you’re going to be a wolf, make sure to be an alpha. 😉

  2. It’s amazing when the eyes open and we become witnesses of our own lives. That an essential part of writing, to no longer view ourselves and the world blindly. It all becomes grist for the mill.

  3. Keep writing. And you’re not a wannabe writer, you’re a writer. We’re partially made and totally born, which is to say that not all born writers are able to get it together to do the work needed to turn themselves into the fully realized kinds. That’s the work you’re doing. Keep doing it. I read your whole post, all the way through without stopping.

  4. Wow. You’re sort of the opposite of me. I was introverted and terrified as a child, but instead of becoming aggressive and hostile, I became a nurturer and tried to help as many as I could, finding my self worth in removing other folks’ pain, physical, mental, and most especially, emotional. It tends to drain horribly and soon I was burdened constantly by other people’s pain. It seemed I never found anyone who was happy, and I couldn’t feel happy because I was too empathic. Then one day I ran across a psychic who simply looked at me and said, “You’re doing it all wrong. You’re acting like a sponge when you’re supposed to be a lightening rod. Stop holding on to their pain and just let it pass through you.” When I wondered aloud how I was supposed to that, she said, “Just visualize it. When someone gives you their sob story, visualize a lightening rod standing in the ground and watch the electricity just go on into the ground.” It was weird and I was skeptical, but good grief, did it work. No more depression for me, and I meet lots of happy folk. I learned happiness is not a permanent status. It is found in the moments of our lives, just as grief and anger and all the other emotions are. I’ve talked to suicidal people. I always ask God to let me know how it turned out, and I get to find out. It’s wonderful. I am retired and writing as much as I want to now, and despite several bouts of cancer in my family, and money problems, and other unpleasant things, life is good. I try to inspire others to feel the same joy in existence that I feel, and I’m enjoying every day. May your life continue to improve, and your light shine in the world.

  5. Right, so I’m seventy somethingand I just find out what I want to be and you are twenty something and that scares the hell out of me, I have just finished my 6th whisky and tomorrow I will tead you again. In the meantime I am glad you have found my blog and I am all in anticipation of yours.

  6. I am a strong believer that we are here to impact other peoples live, as well as have other impact ours. That women on the phone changed your life, but you saved hers. There is something very beautiful in that. You call yourself a wolf, and say that you are aggressive. But that phone call says something very different about you. It shows that you are compassionate and have a heart. You talked a stranger off of a ledge and that is very hard for most people to do. I don’t know you but from this post I would say that you see yourself as a wolf, but maybe your anger is caused some something else. Something you have yet to understand. I am looking forward to reading how this year and you change. I hope you learn more things about yourself and head at a good pace to where you want to be.

  7. As a mom, I would say… “Well you’re finally growing up! I am so very proud of you!” and by the way… you’re still my favorite writer on WordPress, even though I don’t always agree with you. 😉 Keep on writing and I will keep on reading. Thanks for the inspiration today. I’m still trying to figure out who I am and it’s good to know that at least one of us is closer to figuring it out!

  8. This is such an amazing piece and one I connect with deeply. I have gone through the same type of process with my writing, the bursts of positivity followed by depression, the wasted talent. Although aggression was never really my vice, coldness has been my defense mechanism for as long as I can remember. It is so awesome to see another person not only writing about these struggles, but to see them growing as well. I can’t begin to describe the hope that you have given me. I wish you all the best in this new year and look forward to reading much more of your writing!

  9. I am at such a similar place right now, that I can find myself connecting with what you’ve written so very, very closely. I’ve realised how much I love this and want to do this, even though the obstacles right now are making me feel like Sisyphus. Even then, I want to do this…because rarely do you get something like this in your life that makes you love yourself and be your own.
    Thank you for writing this. We all need hope from some quarter.

  10. Sometimes we have to decide if what we do is damaging ourselves.. I want to share with you somethings that I have heard and read from the leaders of my church in the General Conference back in October that helped me and I’m sure it has helped millions of other people who share the same religion I do, and I hope that it is something that will help you even though you aren’t religious. I think it is what you need to read as well to help you understand.. here’s part of a talk that was given;

    “To bear another’s burdens includes helping, supporting, and understanding everyone, including the sick, the infirm, the poor in spirit and body, the seeker and the troubled, and also other member-disciples—including Church leaders who have been called by the Lord to serve for a season.

    Recently, a friend of mine took his son on a trip down the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon, located in southeastern Utah. The canyon is famous for its 14 miles (23 km) of white-water rapids that can be particularly hazardous.

    In preparation for their adventure, they had carefully reviewed the National Park Service website, which contains important information about personal preparedness and common, hidden hazards.

    At the beginning of the trip, one of the experienced river guides reviewed important safety instructions, emphasizing three rules that would ensure the group’s safe travel through the rapids. “Rule number one: stay in the boat! Rule number two: always wear a life jacket! Rule number three: always hold on with both hands!” He then said again, with even more emphasis, “Above all, remember rule number one: stay in the boat!”

    This adventure reminds me of our mortal journey. Most of us experience periods in our lives where the tranquil waters of life are appreciated. At other times, we encounter white-water rapids that are metaphorically comparable to those found in the 14-mile stretch through Cataract Canyon—challenges that may include physical and mental health issues, the death of a loved one, dashed dreams and hopes, and—for some—even a crisis of faith when faced with life’s problems, questions, and doubts.

    All of us have experienced or will yet experience moments of great decision in our lives. Should I pursue this career or that one? Should I serve a mission? Is this the right person for me to marry? Making decisions that can impact our lives and those we love without having the broader vision of their consequences can bring some risks. However, if we project the possible consequences of these decisions into the future, we can see with greater clarity the best path to take in the present.

    The best paths in life are rarely the easiest. Often, it is exactly the opposite. Are we willing to pay the price for our decisions? Are we prepared to leave our comfort zones to reach a better place? It is very likely that when we decide to take a certain path, the people we love will be affected, and some will even share with us the results of this choice. Ideally, they should be able to see what we see and share our same convictions. This is not always possible, but when it occurs, the journey is much easier.”

    Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you! I’ve had some issues that are somewhat similar to yours and it is better when we all can help bear another’s burdens. 🌸

  11. “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.”

    A memorable quote.  Good luck on your path toward excellence, or “world eating.”

  12. As the truth be toad, now all that’s left is too carry on….

    Thanks for dropping by to have a read.

  13. Beautiful post, Chris. It’s really refreshing to see someone grow and become the person their really meant to be. Thank you for sharing this transformation with all of us 🙂

  14. Hey Chris! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and this is an amazing post! Love the brutal raw honesty and soul-searching that comes through with this piece. It takes a strength and a vulnerability to write like this. You have a gift for words and I’m looking forward to reading more of your work!

  15. Great story, Chris. If we stop to think that we might just be where we are (physically, etc.) in our lives because we have a purpose there…possibly beyond our current ken…then is helps make sense of the senselessness sometimes. Of course, when you have an experience comforting someone like you did, the purpose becomes crystal clear. I’m thankful you were there for that person.

  16. Your writing has a clarity that most would yearn for. And now that you have found your clarity and focus, the writing is only going to get better, smoother and relevant! Great article…thanks for writing it. I can only imagine the self-torture that produced it.

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