Before we begin I want your undivided attention. Take a moment to turn off the television, cut the music, and shut down that second page of your web browser. Focus on me. Just for a few minutes.
Imagine that we’re face-to-face. You’re staring me dead in the eye while I talk. But I’m not talking at you, or to you. We’re communicating at a deeper level than that. I’m speaking yes, but the words are filtering through your ears and into your mind to a place in your subconscious that you never knew existed. Focus. Look into my eyes. Look beyond them. Look past the characteristic hollowness they portray and witness my soul. There’s no pretense here. There’s no hiding. There’s just you and I. You are in the presence of a wolf and a world eater who masquerades himself as a writer, and he’s showing you his benevolence.
I don’t often write about writing. An interesting notion considering the whole purpose of this site is to explore my own immersion into the world of literature. Instead I write posts covering a wide array of emotions. I write about my anger, my isolation, my loves, successes, failures, and about a million other things. I’ve written about my arrogance numerous times. I’ve spoken of my lower moments and battles with depression. I’ve penned pieces on racial acceptance and unification. I’ve labeled myself as a world eater. I’ve called myself a wolf. And for a long time I referred to myself as the best damn writer you’ve never heard of.
But I feel as though I’ve never really explained myself. I’ve accepted vulnerability and openly acknowledged my shortcomings. But the concept of the wolf, and the strength garnered from the world eater label has never really been fleshed out in public. They have been topics I’ve touched upon momentarily during diatribes of disillusioned prose. But I’ve never elaborated because they are titles I place great reverence on. To me they’re more than mere monikers I use to illustrate myself to my readership. They are symbols of strength; marques of success earned through battles with personal demons. In many respects they are ideas that saved me.
Nonetheless I think I’m ready to share their meaning with you…
I’ve always told myself that I’m different. I’ve strived towards becoming a distinct singularity that stands outs amongst a sea of my peers. At points this yearning has led to moments of elation and great success, but it’s also left me isolated and alone more often than I would care to admit. My desire to become unique means that I struggle to gel with conventional education, or conventional thinking; I mean, why would I want to learn how to perceive the world through the eyes of structured learning? Why would I want to learn how to ascertain black from white when all I see is kaleidoscope of colour?
I’m a creative soul with a hunger to learn but the attention span of a six year old. I’ve got at least three manuscripts under construction at any given point. Then there are the university studies, half constructed blog posts, and ideas still brewing in the back of my mind. I’m an intellectual dog chasing cars, running down one idea, only to change course and pursue something else.
I live in my head, just as I know many of my readers do. But I’m so often engrossed with myself and my aspirations of grandeur that when I do manage to look up at the world around me I feel disconnected and resentful. I don’t understand much of the world, nor does it appear to understand me. Which is why for all of my desires to be different, one of my greatest fears is that I am totally alone in my thoughts. I believe in humanity. I believe in freedom of expression, in love, respect and life. I don’t care for labels of colour or creed. And someone’s financial or sociopolitical stature bears no weight in my judgment of his or her character. But when you are a twenty six year old male trying to carve out a niche as an author you are expected to at least fain interest in such things.
For a time this left me feeling broken. I often felt as though the world was eating me alive. I didn’t care about which celebrity was in a sex tape, or who was dating whom. I couldn’t pretend like there was importance in television shows designed to create instant superstars with an expiry date of ten minutes. I cared about people who were trying to make a difference: artists and philanthropists striving to be a beacon of light in a darkened world. Yet even as I drew inspiration from these muses I felt this intense pressure to conform to the ideas and interests of others. That oppression led to depression and my life became a constant battle to exert myself.
So I started writing to quell a few inner demons and fulfill a desire to be different. But the more that I wrote and the more that I began to embrace my vulnerabilities the more that I realized I was never as alone as I thought. Through writing I’ve met people just like me from countries near and far who believed that they were isolated and alone, but found strength and unity through art. Their strengths and their support ultimately became my vigor and reason to create. Through the kind words and support of strangers through this website I became brave enough to stand before a world I thought was trying to consume me and be naked and exposed. Through writing I learned how to swallow fear and uncertainty and use it to inspire others.
The moniker of the world eater is simply this: I refuse to be broken again by a world of differing ideals simply because I believe in the better angels of our nature. I refuse to feel inadequate or undeserving, and I believe in my inner strength to overcome the anxieties and fears that left me feeling hopeless.
The truth is that I’m neither different nor alone. There are thousands of people just like me all over the globe. They are the thinkers and dreamers; a community of exceptional individuals who challenge conventional rational and use their passions as a means to overcome a world that seemingly works incongruously to them. They are men and women, rich and poor, sinners and saints, Christian, Muslim, Atheists, and others with a desire to make this world a better place; one small deed at a time. It’s this desire and passion that makes them world eaters in their own right.
Which brings me back to you. We’re still face-to-face. You’re still watching my eyes. But as I talk that characteristic hollowness of expression flickers and a universe of possibilities explodes across my retinas. The flashfloods of potential are so fast that you second-guess that you even saw them. But as you stare at me and your mind processes the words I speak you realize that we’re one in the same. You’re staring into a reflection of your own soul. You’ve got passions, you’ve got dreams and you believe in life. You wouldn’t have made it this far if you didn’t.
You are an eater of worlds, just as I am. You’re brave, you’re bold, and you’re amazing. But most importantly you have the power to change your world. You just have to believe in yourself.
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