Materialism

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When I had gone to the vision board party, one of the tasks was to dream big and find pictures that represent our wishes and paste them onto the board. We had piles of magazines that ranged from gossip to golf to science. Leafing through them, I could find pretty much anything my heart desired. But there was a problem. Leafing thought the mags, I saw nothing that struck a cord. Except a picture of Jason Momoa as Aquaman because I want more tattoos. But that’s within my reach. In other words, I didn’t need a vision board to help me manifest this.

I had a feeling that this was going to happen. Having it played out in front of me confirmed that I strive to live more like a minimalist; someone who doesn’t need excessive materialistic things. To be clear, I have things: caR, I’m Appled out, an iron horse. So in that respect I’m a hypocrite. In my defense, I enjoy all of the things that I own. However, they do not bring me happiness. To me joy and happiness are two different things.

I see so many people buy things for no real reason except maybe to fill some emptiness that lies within. Instead of addressing that emptiness, they buy things to try and fill it. I think there are two basic problems with this approach. One is that the emptiness is within the individual. Second, buying something gives people that endorphin rush. I’ve been addicted to new stuff. I totally get it. But it can hurt the wallet.

My sister has five different ways of heating food up. The oven. A microwave. A toaster oven. A hot air oven. And she recently bought a portable steamer.

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An acquaintance of mine asked me what I had thought about the new iPad Pro. I told him that I went to an Apple store and played with it. Very nice. But my original iPad Pro that I had bought three years ago still works well. I do almost everything with it. Writing. Blogging. I watch all my streaming services on it; I don’t have a TV. The new iPad wouldn’t do anything different for me. He said he was thinking of upgrading.

Why, I asked.

The processor is faster, he answered.

What do you do on it that you need a faster processor?

He shrugged. I draw on it sometimes.

Dude, how fast do you draw that you need a faster processor?

Another acquaintance came up to me in Starbucks a few weeks ago. He looked excited and told me he had good news.

You get a blow job, I asked.

His eyebrows lowered against his eyes. No, I bought a new car.

Don’t you have two already?

Yeah. I traded the SUV in.

He has a sports car that he daily drives and had bought and financed a new sedan. Because he needed more room than his sports car could provide? Which is why he got rid of the SUV? Or he needed a smaller car because his SUV was too big? I was a bit confused at this point.

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The issue is that the emptiness within a person is bottomless. That person could buy everything in the world and still have that emptiness within them because they’re not trying to find out what is causing that emptiness. Instead they’re trying to fill that emptiness with stuff, and that hole is devouring it up.

The new Netflix special, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, shows how stressful people can be when they have a lot of stuff. After getting rid of the shit they don’t need, the people on the show feel relaxed and serene. We as Americans have too much stuff. I mean, it’s not a surprise that we have to either buy bigger homes or rent storage spaces in order to store our endless junk.

Hypocrites, raise your hands.

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I’m guilty. I have two cars. But at least I didn’t go into debt buying a second car.

The question should now be: What is this emptiness?

It could be anything. Lack of confidence. Loneliness. Living a purposeless life. The game is to explore yourself and find out. Honestly, that’s the fun part. For me, I knew I was a creative. So I explored different outlets before settling on writing and storytelling. That took a lot of time. For example, I delved into acting for three years before jumping out of it. But, man, that was fun. I learned so much about myself going on stage and acting. It was one of the big steps that opened me up to me. Since then, I have never left the deep end.

Paradise Found

Welt on da Earf

Welt on da Earf

My first trip to Hawaii, I went with my dream girl. Whoo! Beautiful. Gorgeous. Incredible ass. Nice breasts, handfuls. Loved sex. Oh, man. We did it like rabbits. My libido was running on rocket fuel. And she was passionate about life, lived it full of wonderment. TMI? When we landed, I stepped off the plane and into Honolulu airport. A feeling of being home engulfed my heart, my mind, and my soul (maybe).

Predictably, my dream became to live in Hawaii. I mean, Terry Brooks lives there part of the year, so why can't I?

Fire...hehehehehe...fire

Fire...hehehehehe...fire

As things go when fire is introduce to oil—me and my girlfriend—an explosion of emotions tore us apart. And I was left singed and what seemed like a never-ending ocean of pain. Whoo. Coincidentally, all of that completely and happily helped me discover my main man, Talon, family of Warfire, the protag of my book, NIGHTFALL. I think without going through all that pain, Talon would be a bland character, given the things he goes through. And what he goes through I would never wish on my worst enemy. Well, unless that person really pissed me off.

Did you catch the little grammar faux paus I left in the beginning of the last paragraph? Just making sure you're awake.

Years marched by, my dream of being a published author is alive and well, and along trudged my dream of living in Hawaii. I worked hard to earn the trust of my boss so I could work at home full time. I went to the islands twice to go house hunting, put in an offer, accepted. Dream reached. Then I realized that I had been living my dream, my purpose, all this time.

Yup...my computer is old

Yup...my computer is old

The prospect of leaving my ailing mother on the main land blared loudly on my mind. So when I had gone back to Hawaii, the feeling of being home never returned as strongly, but I sorta lied to myself that it was there, like being sorta pregnant. Paradise lost. Don't get me wrong. I love HI, love being there and this March will be there for a whole month. But my home is not there. Nor is it here where I currently reside. I realized I've been living in heaven all this time, sitting in various cafes, putting my main man through hell.

Paradise found.

But this realization came at a price. I struggled with the decision to stay or move. It was heart wrenching. I won't go into the pros and cons of it all. But living close to the beach with a forever stretch of blue gem water where the sun was always out trumped all of the pros of staying.

I recently met up with a friend from my acting days. He lent me a book called DO IT! Let's Get Off Our Buts, written by Peter McWilliams and John Roger. They wrote that a goal is tangible, like an achievement, or a milestone. Think NaNoWriMo for you fellow writers. A purpose, however, is a direction like perfection. My dream of living in Hawaii was a goal, a choice. Being a great storyteller is my purpose, my direction.

To stay is the right decision. To go is correct as well. To not have a purpose, however, is to deny who we are as human beings.

Do we need loyalty?

What do you think? Is loyalty something we need? If you ask most guys who are in a monogomous relationship, they'll say yup. Then why in both life and fiction we see cheating as an explored theme? Look at the show Desperate Housewives. What if you're commanding an army? Is loyalty needed? That would be a hell yeah! Without it the commander's army would fall into chaos.

In friendships loyalty is important. My best friend and I are both writers, and when we read each others work we're also honest. We're honest because our friendship is strong enough to withstand honesty. Because if your friendship is built on niceties, then that house of cards is easily destroyed.

I can tell a lot by reading a person's level of loyalty. Do people invite you to things for their own reasons, or do they leave you out to fend for yourself? Do people call you if they need you or just because. Seeing the differences can tell you a lot about a person's character. And when I write, I do everything that I can to infuse physical and conversational elements to communicate their level of loyalty. I think this technique can be called foreshadowing because I am foreshadowing what the character might do when put between a rock and a hard place.

Stories like Braveheart and Bridge on the River Kwai explore the theme of loyalty well.

Loyalty to yourself, your passion is the most important. For example, are you at a job where you have passion? If not, then admit it. Take the time to ask what you'd love to do if money were no object. A truth in life I see repeated over and over is when one follows their passion with great commitment, everything else like money falls in place. I've experienced that many times in my life. True success comes from living a life of passion and purpose.

So I ask you to answer this question. Do you wish for something more in life right now? If you do, then you've taken the first step to change your life. The realization you want more. Find what it is, dream big, and take the next step to do it.

Want to be a bestselling author? Then you must first write a book. Want to be a great actor? Learn how to act, then go out and act. You must start somewhere. Inaction is a sure way to failure.