Double D

Supa Large
Supa Large

About a month ago, a long time coworker had left the company, and it sparked the idea of happiness. Not that I was happy he left, nor did I really care. His initials were D. D. At first, I wanted to call him Dee Squared, but as the name sounded, it was two square. It matched up well, though, because he was Asian and very good at math. So, there was depth in the name. However, many people have called my humor dry, so I guess I need to spit more when I joke, and here his name Double D was born.

"Hey, Double D," I called out. My fellow coworkers turned around and started giggling. As you can see, my professionalism at the office is top notch.

At first, he didn't respond, then stated he didn't like being called Double D, but I persisted. Then it caught on as others started to use his monicker. And, like a knee jerk reaction, he started to respond as if he was born with the name.

My then girlfriend and I took him skiing many years ago, he was hitting on her because he didn't know I was dating her. Well, he hit on her because he liked her, but he wouldn't have if he knew. I think. Afterward, we went to dinner at a steakhouse, nothing better than meat after a hard day of snowboarding in the warm California sun.

The conversation swerved to happiness and the cause of happiness. He was unhappy. He didn't own a house. According to him, he should have at his age. He didn't have a wife, a nice car, high enough income, the list rolled on and on. I told him none of that stuff would cause happiness. You either are, or you decide not to be.

Before I found writing, I went on a soul searching venture. I knew I wanted to do something creative, so I tried everything. I drew, painted, wrote poetry and stories, taught martial arts, acted for several years, worked on opening my own school, but nothing made me happy. Then I came up with the brilliant idea to write the one story that has been tugging at me for over twenty years. And bam! My soulmate, or who I thought was my soulmate, and I ended it.

Doubo Happeeness
Doubo Happeeness

Gawd...it was soul-wrenching painful. I cried for nearly a year. Well, not constantly. But it provided the muse I needed to put into words, plot, and emotional state to write Nightfall. You see, my main character, Talon, loses a child, and the only thing I could come close to was the intense body-numbing pain of a broken relationship. Still no happiness in the sense of finally finding and writing the story that had haunted me.

What the hell?

Was I fulfilled? Yes. Was I purposeful? Fuck yeah. And those haunting voices slowly subsided, in a good way. I was on destiny's road. But was I happy? Not really.

Then it smacked me in the face. Hard! Like a punch that you don't see cause you're not lookin'. Happiness was a choice! Sort of.

I'd been on the spiritual path of enlightenment for some time, trying to decipher the cryptic language of oneness, all for one, one for all, the source, the higher intelligence, inner intelligence, inner wisdom, living in the moment, the present, the Buddhaness, the perseverance of the Hesus story.

And I realized, happiness is born with us, innate. You see it with babies, that joy, that connection they have with their parents. You see happiness when kids play, pretending, not yet tarnished by the limitations of adulthood. You see this with geniuses, who don't let others' limiting thoughts hinder them. Happiness, after all, is not a choice, but part of our being. We are born with the ability to think and feel, just as we are born to be happy, and lather it with sadness. We choose to be sad, otherwise we are just happy, content.

[video width="600" height="300" m4v="http://7thprovince.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/whatahoot.m4v"][/video]

Double D had bought a nice car and had moved out of the room he rented and into his new home in the suburbs. He had found a job with more pay, maybe a better title. But he wasn't happy. I know this, even though I hadn't spoken to him since that dinner because in the years since he's bought his home, none of his friends have ever seen it. They know what city it's in and were promised an invite to a house warming party that never came. What was going on? He was afraid of being judged. For what, I do not know. But maybe somehow he thought that he wasn't enough, the car wasn't impressive, or that his house was in some way representative of who he was (too small?). In essence, I assume, his happiness was linked to others' perceptions of him. If that is the case, then he will never be happy. Even if people revere him, he knows, as we all do, that opinions can change with a drop of a hat.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't be unhappy, because life has its ups and downs, but that happiness is our natural state. If you think about it, it takes a lot of work and effort to be unhappy. That's why meditation is often the solution to this. To quiet your mind is to quiet the crap that stresses us out.

Are You Your Worst Enemy?

I'm a Hindu God

I'm a Hindu God

I was talking to my closest friend. We were catching up on life and part of the conversation spilled over to our jobs. Both of us have followed through many, many creative endeavors throughout our lives that intersected in wanting to open up our own school that eventually led to writing, storytelling for me, same difference. He's now a father of the cutest little boy, married, and is in a thriving career, not writing anymore. He may continue later in life, but that's a story he'll have to fulfill. I'm still diligently writing.

He asked how my job was going, and I just told him it's just a job. I even forgot to tell him that I got promoted with a salary increase because I don't care about my corporate job title. I do care about having and earning more money, but since I don't flaunt it, nor am a big spender (yes, girls, I'm a cheap date), I don't really think about it.

Eh? Ehh? I can't hear ya boy

Eh? Ehh? I can't hear ya boy

"You're gonna be there for 50 years," he said.

I was taken aback by that comment, despite the fact that I hate the corporate world. But as a writer who is working on making it, I still have to pay the bills, earn money to go on dates, pay for gas and food on those dates. But most importantly, my job gives me the freedom to write without concerning myself on making it, which was the whole purpose in the first place.

I used to have a sales job selling mortgages, which I hated, and it sapped my energy and creativity.

I started doubting myself, my practices, my vision of a writing career, fame and fortune, seeing my name in big, bright hardback covers. In short, I questioned whether I was doing the right thing. Happening onto my current job, I had to decide whether to take it or not because it was a pretty significant pay cut.

At that point in my life, my longest stint at a single work place was two and half years. I've been in this job for eight. Eight? Almost 3,000 days. That's a tad bit more than two and a half years. Maybe my friend was right, as I spearhead toward my fifty year mark.

"What am I doing? I'm such a loser." I should quit writing and concentrate on moving up the corporate ladder.

I started scouring the Internet for inspirational voices, quotes, and whatnot to help me sort out the conflict within me. I then realized something that I had realized during my years mentoring children. There is no single way or technique for success. Even the meaning behind the word success is different for everyone. And I find joy not in my job, but in writing the story that has engulfed me for so many years. Despite how tired I may be, how much I love just vegetating, sleeping, and doing nothing, I find myself thinking, developing, writing even when I'm not in front of my computer. I came to this conclusion when I drifted off into nothingness, watching crap TV, and knew my path is just that. Mine.

Would I change anything right now? Nope.

So in your life, when you're not doing anything, or doing something mundane, where does your mind go? Follow it. Steve Jobs did. You may never know where it may lead you.

Faith, Destiny, Are They Real or Just Strippers?

What a helluva day! I went on a five-hour hike with a group of people, then went to the gym for a full workout, and completed sprints afterward. To say I am exhausted would be a slight understatement. But I had to do it because I missed my workout on Thursday due to it being Independence Day. Excuses, excuses.

Do you want a mint?

Do you want a mint?

In any good story, the heroine, the main character, the chosen one was custom made to go through the quest they are about to take. And there is no choice when the inciting incidence happens, hurling her into hell before he comes up to face their ultimate adversary. Whether they succeed in becoming the person they should be determines if they are tragic characters or not.

This applies to chic lit as well. When we see Bella meeting Edward for the first time, we know they are meant to be. Custom made by Stephanie Meyers to eternally love each other till the end of time.

When Romeo happens upon the moonlit face of Juliet, we know they are meant to be, despite the fact that their families hate each other. How do we know? Well, it's a story and we see these two people first, so we assume they are meant to be. And there was no team Jacob to say otherwise, and even then we knew Bella had eyes only for Eddie.

Back in our world, how do we find The One? As far as I can tell, there are two basic schools of thought. One, effort has to be made, effort being that you have to somehow put yourself out there. Two, it is destined. And if it’s destined, then why do we have so many divorces, and I think that has more to do with forcing One, which I can explain later.

In the jungles of the Souf Bay

In the jungles of the Souf Bay

Now, here I am at the hike. I’ve never met any of these people. The ulterior motive is to put myself out there, being a single and viral man. Too much? Choosing activities that I like and enjoy makes it easier for me to meet people. Bars and clubs I hate. I make my presence known by stating that I need to pee. Too much? It’s my humor. It’s a little lewd. But for any woman who can’t take such a minor comment, they won’t be interested. For those who understand and see through that comment are the ones I wanna be with.

Anyways… the first woman I talk to is an Asian woman (Why don’t people accuse me of having Yellow Fever when I go out with Asian women?). Accomplished, attractive, athletic, adventurous. But I feel our conversation is a bit stiff. It moves along well enough, but I feel no connection, no chemistry, no real flow.

Later in the hike, I meet another woman, and we jive about different San Francisco neighborhoods, nutrition, exercise (What do you call it when I go out with white women? The White Plague?). She even shares a sip of wine with me, a complete stranger who may have cooties. There's a connection, from the signs she's throwing. It helps that she’s attractive, but I’ve gone out with enough women to know that physical beauty fades. And I don’t mean literally. It’s getting used how people look. Imagine eating your favorite food in the whole world, something scrumptious, full of rich flavor, revealing layers of depth that encompasses your tongue, elevating your mouth in every heavenly way. Now imagine eating that for the rest of your life. You would quickly get sick of it. With anyone's looks, you'd get used to it, and it's good. Getting out of the infatuation phase allows us to focus on the important things like core values. Getting back to her, our conversation isn’t full of depth. In fact, it’s full of nothing. The content is meaningless. But we are vibing each other.

Does your bikini poke you?

Does your bikini poke you?

What gives? Why is it that there’s chemistry with some and not others? If you think it's because the second woman and I have things in common, then that's false. Cuz how much more common do I need to be with the Asian woman? I mean, we both have slanty eyes. Is there a destiny, a faith that helps bind us, bringing us together (Why is it that destiny and faith sound like strippers in a strip club)? Is there some all-knowing force that whispers to us and says, “You and you. Go at it like rabbits.”

I’ve no clue.

I do think that we have to be open to the things we want, that if we want to find someone to be with, then it might be a good first step to put ourselves out there, the effort. And being in the soup of human civilization, hopefully those strippers, Destiny and Faith, will lead us somewhere good.

What’s the worst that can happen? Never mind. Don’t answer that.

Help

Help

Normal. The standard. Traditional. The expected.

The norms of society have a greater influence over us as a people than we’d like to admit. Look at the GAP. All their clothes look the same. Look at Starbucks. Their coffees start to taste the same, becoming the standard. Family: Father, mother, son, daughter. Gay marriage? Hell to tha NO. Until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise. The norms may work for some, but definitely not others. Here is where I think most of the divorces hail from.

My mom nags and nags and forever nags about me getting married. She compares me to another man around my age who’s married with kids, and we know how well that worked out for Al Bundy. When the moment comes, I’ll get married. If it doesn’t, then I won’t. Forcing the issue to fulfill some societal norm would only stress out Faith and Destiny and push them to put me together with someone that I may not be compatible with. And how will that work out?

And stressed out strippers aren’t any fun. Not that I know anything about that. Ahem.

The Unbeaten Path

In my postAre You a Complainer,I ask the question, "Are you a complainer?"  Some of you may complain that the last sentence was a bit redundant.  My friend made a comment:  Odd that people would accept a habit that makes them feel miserable.  I think the reason may be people are comfortable.

People want the above picture.  A road that lights up that leads to their destination.

People will even follow a road like this, which I think reflects life a bit more.

But if you were the rock, which path would you follow?  The straight path?  The curvy one?  How about the third?

I was reading another writer's post, and they were talking about why writers write, knowing thechancesany kind of success is freakin' low.

Here's my view: Learn the lesson of the turtle.

I wrote The 7th Province and will continue to write the two books in this series and the prequels because some how for some reason these stories were given to me to write.  I write these posts because when I come across something that invokes a thought close to my heart, I write about it.

It is what it is cuz it ain't what it ain't.

Duh.

Despite the millions of books that are written each year, writing is the unbeaten path.

When I went to the San Francisco Writer's Conference, I talked to a lot of writers.  Many were published.  Many had written books.  But I was also surprised to find that many writers hadn't even begun.  Was it their destiny to write?  That's not for me to answer.  But it seems that those who write, write because they are inspired to.

God!  Here's that freakin' word 'inspire'.

That word invokes an internal meaning.  It's not 'outspire', which isn't even a word.  Nor is it perspire, which invokes strange odors.  But it's inspire.  In.

In The Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel to close his eyes and imagine a perfect picture of a bonsai tree.

Mr. Miyagi:  Wipe your mind clean.  Everything but the tree.  Nothing exists in whole world...only tree.  You got it?  Open eyes.  Remember picture?

Daniel-san:  Yeah.

Mr. Miyagi:  Make like picture.  Just trust the picture.

Daniel-san:  How do I know my picture's the right one?

Mr. Miyagi:  If come from inside you, always right one.

Do what you love, love what you do.