Hey! I’ve got a new blog!

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Hey there! I’m the proud owner of this site — it’s where I first began blogging and since I started, I’ve logged over 200 posts here.

But once I got to two hundred posts, I decided to get serious. And that’s why my new blog is over at http://www.alessandrotrapasso.com!

Feel free to stay here and browse around the work that’s already been published, but if you want new blog posts and fresh material, go to that website and enter your email into the opt-in for regular updates.

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This is my last post here

This is my last post here

First off, an explanation. As I write this at 4:02pm on a Saturday I am five days away from taking a flight to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands. From there, my mother and I will be staying in a hotel, and she’ll head to visit my family in Germany while I wait for my girlfriend to arrive a couple days later.

On January 4, I’m flying into an airport in Bangkok, Thailand where I’ll dick around Southeast Asia for six months.

The reason this is my last post on this blog is because I’ve started a new one. I decided to get serious and buy hosting with Bluehost to have my own website stored there. You can find it here.

Also, between December 16 and January 4 there will be no writing unless I absolutely can’t resist. There are reasons for this. I’m actually hanging up all my disciplines between December 16 and January 4, so I won’t meditate, write, read, or journal if I don’t want to. But you folk are mostly concerned with the blogging, so let me explain.

The first, is that I’m burned out. Not completely, not, Shit, I hate writing and I’m never writing a fucking word again. It’s not that bad. But… My first ever post was October 21, 2015. That’s over a year ago. And I blogged pretty much every day for the first six months of my daily blogging challenge. Then as I got better at writing, and most recently in the past few months, I’ve found myself not writing every day. I’ve found myself having a streak of a few days and then not having the will to write. I still enjoy writing and there was one piece in particular that captured how I felt earlier this week. I was absolutely not feeling writing when I started it. And then I started writing and it flowed.

Now: I still love daily blogging and I recommend any writer who’s looking to get better do it. It advanced my learning curve by a ridiculous amount and it forces you to come up with ideas every single day. An invaluable skill.

But I’m a little burned out now, and when I go to Germany, it’ll be my girlfriend and I’s last few weeks together before we take a break for six months. And I want to spend those few weeks with her, not on my laptop.

But there’s also a second reason I’m suspending my disciplines for the time being. The thought was piqued by a book I’m reading called Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

When you discipline yourself to do something, what does that really mean? Be virtuous, be humble, be kind to others. Those are good. But what happens when you must discipline yourself to do them? If you must force yourself to be humble, is that really humility? Or is it pride, masked in the cloth of modesty?

If you force yourself to be virtuous, to be kind, is that really kindness?

Extend that to disciplines. If my disciplines are reading, meditating, journaling, and writing a blog post, and I must force myself do these things, what does that say? If they are mandatory, then suddenly I’m not reading because I love piquing my thoughts through different books. I’m reading because I made a vow to read. I’m not meditating to understand my mind — I’m meditating because I told myself I would sit for fifteen minutes in a set spot and not move until my timer goes off.

Do you see the difference between these things? I wrote that post earlier this week that I thought was beautiful and said that the why behind our writing is the most important thing and that we must not lie to ourselves.

You must question whether you do a thing for love, or out of expectancy of a result.

So those are the reasons I’m putting a hold on my disciplines between December 16 and January 4. It’s an experiment.

And from then on, I’ll probably try something new — three weeks on, one week off writing. We’ll see what happens. Anyway. That’s the update. I’ll put the link to my new blog again at the end of this post, and also cross-post it to there. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be writing exclusively there. So thanks for reading, I hope to see you guys soon!

http://www.alessandrotrapasso.com/

Dread marks the task’s importance

 

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. 

Marcus Aurelius

I’m leaving for Germany next Thursday, and before then I want to set up an official website without a .wordpress extension. And I could not figure out how to set up my new website for the life of me.  I also didn’t see the clearly labeled Getting Started tab.

So, according to my natural inclination when faced with a problem, I ditched it for a few days. It was something that needed to be set up, I knew that. It was the problem you keep putting off, yet stays rooted to the back of your mind.

And these problems impede our further action because invariably, what we most don’t want to do is what we most need to do. It’s kind of along the lines of how fear can lead you to greatness. The thing we perceive as bad is really the thing that propels us forward.

But I tackled what I hope was most of it last night after a lengthy conversation with my boy Amruth H, from Bluehost technical support. And now, the next day, I’m looking at the problem and thinking, It was mentally weighing on me. It was impeding things I want to do, like take an online class about blogging via CreativeLive. I wasn’t doing the online class because in my mind I thought, why would I work on making my blog better if I’m just about to move to a new website?

I’m not putting myself on a pedestal; I’m saying here is where I failed even though I knew what I was doing, even though I know quotes like the one listed above. Knowledge is nothing without action.

Whatever you’re most dreading right now, make no mistake: it is the progress you need to make.

I think this piece is beautiful, so please read it

Should you write a blog post knowing you won’t put out your best work?

You should, because even if you feel like your heart isn’t in it, and the words flow like lead, the work might turn out well. It might be useful. Because there is quality in perseverance. There is beauty in it. But you shouldn’t because that work will drain you. And every day you work you become a little more tired of writing.

My process flows something like I become thrilled for writing. To create a beautiful piece. And then I sit down to write, see the blank screen, realize I don’t know what I’m going to write about, and quickly I dread. So I pick a question in my mind that seems to need answering and write one hundred words, two hundred words and I don’t know what to write anymore. I am empty. Clawing for a literary breath. But I tell myself, Write to five hundred words.

So I tangent slightly from my original idea and then usually I arrive at the thought I wanted to arrive at.

I adore creating pieces and becoming a better writer. But there is a mental drudgery to trek through before we get to the point where it’s enjoyable to write. And I think the important word here is, why? 

Why are you writing, my friend? Ask yourself this deeply and really listen. Are you writing for the fans’ approval? Or are you writing because sometimes, sitting down with coffee and the sound of rain and looking to create from empty space is beautiful?

If you write for the clacking of tongues, you will push through the drudgery. And you will have many days like that. And you will take yourself very seriously and think this is what you have to do to get there.

But if you live life for yourself — and make no mistake, you write how you live — it’s okay to play with your girlfriend instead of write.

It’s okay to be with the sunset instead of your laptop. Because it’s not as important as you think it is. I think what it comes down is recognizing why writing is important. It’s important because there’s this feeling when you make something beautiful, and you believe it’s beautiful, and some other people seem to think it’s beautiful too.

I should probably not write some days, and let my creative self rest in stillness. Look at trees and read for the whole day. See my friends. Smoke by a fire, drink a few beers, and pass out, ready to fish the next morning. That is life. And you should write about that. And put your soul into it.

Please don’t forget why you do the things you do.

In the face of sadness, know

There is this state out there.

There is this state of complete peace and joy. Of seeing reality for what it is.

It is a place — and as you read this, know, words cannot convey this state as it is of the unknown — where you see the high’s and low’s of life from the completely still depths of the blue ocean of self.

I do not know this place. Maybe I’ve glimpsed it; I’m sure we all have. But it is somewhere that comes from complete calm even in the face of a maelstrom above. It is because it is real. We see this fluctuating and flittering external world dance all around us and we weep when we’re supposed to, and laugh when we’re supposed to.

Completely at the whim of what fate throws us.

There is too much mention of a beautiful state of existence untroubled by external woes for it to not exist. It is seen in every culture; the Hindu’s have spoken of it, the Buddhist’s, the Christian’s, from pole to pole and hemisphere to hemisphere it is recognized: such a state exists.

And yet, it can’t be spoken of because it is beyond words. It is the unknown, and to make the unknown known to us is impossible, so we have approximations, we throw descriptive words and we think they define this depthless, timeless, eternal state. They do not.

How do we get there? Fuck if I know. I’ll write a post if I ever found out.

But I’m looking, so don’t worry.

Every emotion has a reason for being

Imagine you feel bored.

In our culture, we demand entertainment. With increasing levels of excitement and novelty, it’s so easy to be bored. And when you get bored, what happens? You search for more novelty.

But what do you think your mind and body is telling you when you feel a certain way?

When you feel bored, maybe your mind needs rest from so much novelty. So much excitement. It needs to chill the fuck out.

When you’re feeling sleepy, even if you’ve slept for twelve hours, maybe you’ve been doing a lot of arduous things and your body needs even more sleep. Don’t just think it’s annoying how you’re still sleepy. You probably need rest. Don’t think it sucks that you’re bored — you probably need to chill out a little.

Every emotion has a reason for coming into being: listen, and you might hear it.

This blonde girl walks in

Long ago I decided if I felt fear when I was about to do something, I would do it. It might’ve been when I was younger and tried talking to random girls. It might’ve been when older friends thought it was a good idea to sneak into a school construction site.

But there was a point when I decided the regret of not knowing what could have been was way more painful than the fear of actually doing it.

I’ve never understood people’s aversion to sneaking into places. To doing things that don’t really have bad consequences. If you sneak in somewhere and there’s a security guard, you don’t just go, Ah shit, well I guess the jig is up gang, and turn yourself in. You run. You’re going to be faster than a security guard, especially if you have a head start.

I was playing soccer. At an indoor futsal place with wooden slat floors. This blonde girl walks in. A couple of my friend’s heads whip immediately. Then the guy to my left goes, Dude, she’s hot.

I ask who.

He said the blonde girl over there. I look. Shrug. She was. Then I said, “Go talk to her.”

I didn’t really expect my friend to do it, and he didn’t. I can’t remember what he said to me, but it was something along the lines of, What if she’s mean as shit to me?

And I said, Yeah, but what if she likes you, and you guys hit it off?

The point is: you can hypothesize as much as you want. You can say she looks like she’d be a bitch. This bad thing could happen, or that bad thing could happen.

But you’ll never know unless you do.

I’m fine with being shot down. I’m fine with running from a security guard at some construction site. This fear? This fear that comes up when you’re about to do something “dangerous”?

It’s all in your head. You believe that if the hot girl shoots you down, that reflects on who you are. That’s your Ego. It’s protecting your “sense of self”. What is this fear protecting? Look inside yourself. Where is the Ego? Can you pinpoint it?

You can’t because it doesn’t exist; it’s a phantom. And yet, it feels so real.

People stay identified with this perception of who they are because they never challenge it. And I understand why; it hurts to challenge it. But that also means you’re the victim of anyone you talk to. If they say a mean thing about you, it’s true. You know it. Your Ego believes it. Someone says you’re a dumbass, how does that feel? You’re hurt because your Ego’s taken a hit. And since you never challenge your Ego enough to realize it’s a phantom, that it’s not who you are, that comment cuts what you believe is your core.

Oscar Wilde once said that everything popular is wrong. Popular opinion says fear is bad.

What if fear showed you the path to greatness instead?