I love to write but with life being what it is, I don't have the time to indulge in it as often as I would like. Family, work, bills - life in all it's infinite variations seems to love intruding on my imaginary adventures whenever possible. But this year is supposed to be different. My wife and I decided it was time to change our outlook. We started this year with something we'd never really done in the 16 previous years of our relationship.
We started the new year with a resolution.
As a general rule, I scoff at New Year Resolutions. They don't work. Lose weight, buy a certain car, get a new job, find that perfect someone... They always seemed to me to be hollow little fantasies that people spouted at the beginning of a new year in order to give themselves hope that the coming months would be better for them somehow than the previous ones. Some people have the tenacity to stick to things and make them real. My friend Amon Focus (@amonfocus) is one of those people. The guy gives me energy just watching him do his thing.
But not everyone does that. Most people lose interest or allow the daily grind of life to wear them down. Negativity and negative people step in and tell them how much work its going to be and why bother?
And for a very long time I was in that camp. I listened. I let the doubts creep in and steal what precious little energies I could spare.
So what changed?
We decided to eliminate the negative as much as possible. Starting with people in our lives. We needed to get rid of people that didn't really seem interested in maintaining relationships with us (by get rid of I mean stop chasing after - not giving them the Jimmy Hoffa treatment). That meant some friends and family had to go. I return a call if I get one but I have decided to stop calling other people. A waste of time. They only seemed to call when they needed something. The rest of the time?
I was sent straight to voice mail.
Look, I don't mind helping but if the only time you call me is when you need a favor, well, I'm sorry that's not nearly enough to justify me sacrificing time and energy from people to call just to say what's up. Or text me with something funny they saw on ESPN. Or they get excited when you tell them about some hair brained idea you had.
It was like catching a gulp of fresh air after having held my head underwater for years.
I would encourage you to do the same.
Surround yourself with people that actually want to be around you. You'll literally feel the negativity evaporate. It's amazing what a little positive energy can do for the soul.
So what does this all have to do with anything?
We, to put it bluntly, losing the negative made it easier for me to believe in the "impossible". I felt my creative juices start to flow again, I wanted to write more. I - and this is huge for me - I shared something I wrote with strangers.
I entered a short story content on BTLBookClub.com and wouldn't you know it, I won.
The moral of this long winded post is that for the first time in a long time I believe in things that were once impossible, unthinkable.
All because eliminated the negative and accentuated the positive.
Also, I don't mess with Mr. In Between.
So read the short below but most of all think about starting to surround your self with people who want to tell you why something WILL work instead of telling you why something WON'T.
You can thank me later.
Pint Sized Apocalypse
As I look over the crumbling remains of your society, I can’t help but laugh to myself. If I had lips, I‘d be smiling. Perched on the head of this decrepit marble Gargoyle I can see vacant skyscrapers and the Hudson River beyond.
The beauty of this moment is its eerie silence. This once cacophonous metropolis is dead and you, the teeming masses, with your presumed moral, societal and technological superiority have finally fallen silent.
Oh, where is your arrogance now?
Where are the oppressive heels that crushed us beneath you like vermin?
Crumbling and faded like the pages of that old copy of the Velveteen Rabbit that I call home? I have been here since you crawled from the ooze and learned to walk upright. I have seen your kind grow to infest and destroy a world that has always been dominated by my kind. Did you think, as night fell on your wasted existence, that opposable thumbs and their ability to master the door knob, cars, peanut butter jars and shoe laces would save you?
Could you, in your limitless arrogance, have imagined bequeathing your world to its rightful heirs? I spend my days picking through the wrecked dreams of your dead civilization, basking in the radioactive afterglow of your doom.
It’s funny how, in those desperate, last days you struggled to gain control of your computers and networks. The sweet sound of your howling in impotent rage, blaming rogue artificial intelligences for the thermonuclear harvest you so justly reaped when it was me all along. Flitting about the wiring, learning your weaknesses while you passed me by, completely unaware of my growing mastery of your technology.
I will admit, albeit grudgingly, that you did have your uses. While I don’t miss aerosol cans and your morbid fascination with adhesives, I do miss your artistry with foods. I would gladly give a thousand of my descendants for one more taste of cheddar cheese fries.
That, my dear, departed adversaries, was a stroke of genius.
But in the end, it was meant to be this way. The gorgeous ashes of my nuclear winter blowing across the charred wastes herald the coming of our time – our dominion over this planet. In time, as we organize and seize control of your discarded machinery, the Earth will see rise an empire that in your deepest, darkest nightmares, you could never have even conceived of.
Once this world is conquered, we will ascend to the heavens and stretch our reach across the galaxy in a way you could only fantasize about.
Time and time again you tried to extinguish us from the face of the earth. We survived.
You tried to poison our offspring. We resisted.
You murdered us by the billions.
Yet we still persisted.
We have been the stewards of this world long before you and we will reign long after your existence has faded from the Universe.
We, simple, humble Cockroaches, now rule.
You are not missed.