I stand silently in my make-shift office. I kick off my old, beige slippers  and place both hands on top of my head as I release a long, whisper-like, sigh.

As I stand there – I scan my office. I see dozens of books that I either started and didn’t finish – or should have started. I see clothes draped over a guitar amplifier. I see my gaming headphones resting on top of my sketchbooks.

Expressionless, I make the full 360 scan of the room. I am fully aware of what these constant visuals mean yet, desperately cling to the acknowledgment of how it’s part of my pathway. The tape in my mind plays this song over and over. The song that proclaims, one day soon, all of this will fade away like a single dandelion seed on a gusty morning. Freely flowing, without much force, until one day it plants itself and grows without apology. In hindsight – the entire process appears to be one single motion – it allowed life to move.

I’ve been on this road before, I tell myself.
This is a different road, I tell myself.
It looks similar but the pieces that will make this road different, in the end, are there, I tell myself.

This is the moment I break down. My mind begins to wobble and my emotional balance follows. I look at my projects and decide they can wait. I need a moment to gather myself. I am not in the creative frequency and anything I produce, if I produce anything at all, will be mediocre – at best. And for cow-tipping-broccoli-flatulence – I can’t mingle with mediocrity. I call it quits without even starting.

This happens every day.

This has happened every day for months.

It’s been months since I’ve produced anything significant.
At least, in my eyes.

I feel I can do anything. I’ve proven this to myself time and time again. I pick something up, I get my mind on it and I succeed.
I am 37 years old and I’ve done nothing long-term. Other than entertain self-doubt and the occasional victory dance – mainly short bursts of genius in many areas.

Think bottle rocket. Should be a rocket ship.

This is my life.

Again – it’s part of the pathway, right? What kind of sick and twisted cosmic tuition is this? Why have I convinced myself that there is a period of relentless struggle, depression, anxiety, stress, and illness that must be paid in order to attain any level of success in this field? Who am I to question life’s maddening ways? Do I really think I know THAT much as to question how life itself moves?

They say writers are crazy. At least, a bit on the crazy side. If this is true in any capacity – I will no longer question that aspect of my focus because, from my front-row seats, this dude is anything but straight and narrow. Try curvy-as-fu*k and wide-as-fu*k…if that’s a thing.
You know what – I don’t care if it’s a thing or not – if it wasn’t a thing before, it is now.
Damn it.

Digressionisticism – that’s another one.
I’m on a roll today.
What kind of roll?
Sweet Hawaiian roll, of course.

Justify your justifications and convince yourself that you’re justified.
Breathe.
Sleep…
Eat…
Repeat this process and justify why you often miss the boat on these three.

Allow me to paint you a mental photograph.

Wipe your mental image slate clean. Use that ridiculous dry erase eraser that never works. We all know it doesn’t work too well but, let’s use it anyway. Ignore the black smudges up in the corner. We’re all adults here – come on, focus!

Alright then…

The time is approximately 3AM – Pacific Standard Time. Even in the city – this is the time of day where life is most still. Silence. The air barely moves.
I am outside – standing in the front yard. I am barefoot. The grass has already begun collecting dew so my feet are a bit damp. Near the sidewalk (approximately 100 feet to my right) I hear footsteps. Whoever is walking over there is either extremely tired or never learned to “pick up their feet” as they walk. Scuff…scuff…scuff is all I hear. Each “Scuff” gets louder as the person gets closer.

A dragonfly lands on my shoulder. I glance over to him to question his choice of landing spots. I mean – I am standing near a tree and a porch. Why my shoulder? I don’t mind him using my shoulder, I am just curious.
Before I can form my question to him, he tilts his head to the side – similar to the way a dog tilts his head when he is inquisitive about something.

I made eye contact with this creature.

Scuff…Scuff…Scuff

I connected with the dragonfly. I felt an overwhelming sense of understanding and compassion exuding from this creature’s eyes. My heart begins to race. My breathing is rhythmic but has nearly doubled in speed. I break eye contact with the dragonfly and instinctively look down at my bare, wet feet. A tiny spider on my big toe.

I freeze as I attempt to piece this puzzle together.

Scuff…Scuff…Scuff

I look up towards the sidewalk.

An old man walking his dog. The “scuff” sound is the dog pulling a gigantic stick in its mouth with the lighter end of the stick dragging on the sidewalk. The stick is 3 times the size of the dog.

The old man notices me looking at him. He sends me a hearty “Hello!”
The dog pauses for a moment and glances up at me. I swear he smiled at me.

I will never know if that dog smiled at me but – I love thinking that he did.

When you allow yourself to separate from yourself and focus on what is – you see clearly how simple, yet fantastically complex this place really is.

It’s good to be back.

Much Love, My Friends.

-MFrederick.