This far and no further: skip this entry if you don't like sadness

From Rivers Cuomo's blog:

After the initial failure of my band’s second album, Pinkerton, I decided not to return to school in the fall of 1997, instead setting out on a mission to develop creative methods which would allow me to be more consistent as an artist. Above all, I wanted to cure myself of the Romanticism which I believed was to blame for my failure.

...

Eventually, however, I became more and more isolated. I unplugged my phone. I painted the walls and ceiling of my bedroom black and covered the windows with fiberglass insulation. I disciplined myself to an extreme extent. My goal was to purge myself of all weakness so that I could write “perfect” songs as reliably as a machine.

In this day and age it's sort of considered obscene to be unhappy. I can understand that idea, since most of us have a ridiculously comfortable lifestyle. We have enough food to eat, unlike a large percentage of the world, various freedoms which are almost unprecedented in history, tacos, better television than the 1950s', the Internet and the first Elastica album.

So as you can see there is no reason to be unhappy. In particular I have no reason to be unhappy. Yet I've been accussed by my mother of being unhappy.

"Are you mad at me?" she asked.

"No, I'm not mad at you," I replied truthfully.

"Well you seem unhappy," she said.

I denied being unhappy, but after some though I'm now unsure. Am I ready to paint my walls and celling black and cover the windows with fiberglass insulation? That is, as someone in a play once said, the question.


I think the answer is probably yes. I have a job that I dislike and work with people who are fine people outside of work but who I'd probably suffocate if I could. Customers range from nice to incredible not-nice, in an industry that basically attracts people's rage by its very nature. (I feel that I could wake up to find that I've worked in tax collections for the last several years and not notice the difference between that and cellular sales.) I realize now that not taking the job at Simply Computing selling Apple Computers was a mistake. I would have earned far less, but at least I would have enjoyed myself.

I'm bored of school, something I've been doing way too long for my own good. The Phoenix isn't really fun anymore, and having to deal with OUCSA-K's new business manager and the cracker-jack council has been nothing short of re-donkulous. I finally graduate in January but I have no idea what I'm doing.

So while I may not paint my walls black and lock myself away, I'm certainly wishing I could.

So I've decided, fuck that. There is no reason that I should be unhappy, and if I am unhappy I am free enough to change my circumstances and to make whatever alterations to my life are needed to ensure that I am happy.

I will, as Elvis Costello would say, get happy.

Step 1: Graduate OUC/UBC

Once I'm done with school I'll be free to go where I want, and do pretty much anything I want. Up until I graduate my life has always had a goal. First I had to graduate grade school, then high school and then university. Once I'm done university well then I only have to do whatever I want. I could try to get a really good job or just one I like.

Step 2: Leave Kelowna

I think I've got to leave Kelowna. Even if it's to move somewhere not a lot bigger. I'm thinking Edmonton or Vancouver right now. Somewhere where I can just sort of reboot my life and build it up again. Meet new people re-invent myself as an Eastern European trapaze artist.

Step 3: Stop Working for my Parents

I don't want to do it anymore. I may for a bit after I graduate to save up some money so I can afford to move somewhere with no particular job prospects. Sadly my parents sold their Alberta stores, which would have allowed me to move to Edmonton and work at their West Edmonton Mall store until I could find regular non-cellular employment.

Step 4: Become Financially Independant

I think it was a mistake to let my parents buy me my car. I had a feeling about it at the time, but I put that feeling out of my head because, well hey it's a new car. And don't get me wrong I love my car, it's great and what I've always wanted in a car.

It's just nothing really comes for free, and I knew that before I just let myself forget it. And while it's not like my parents have said anything like "We bought you a car so you have to..." there are always some unseen strings attached. And I just feel... so useless not having bought it myself.

So I have to resolve to do things on my own. The next thing was my brother is having them help him buy an apartment. They've already started talking about that with me and I've interested. It'll be hard when I need several thousand dollars for a down payment on a place and I'm grumpy about wasting my money renting, but I have to do it.

Step 5: Create Something

The Phoenix used to be great because it was a real creative outlet and people seemed to enjoy what I was doing. Now I've sort of maxed out the potential of a bi-monthly student newspaper. Writing for IGN was fun but I'd really like to work on something approaching art. Or if not art something that's creative in a way that I can be creative.

I've been trying to think of several things I can do with blogs beyond just this journal type one, but I've been unable to make any sort of mental breakthrough. My web programming skills are so-so so creating a fully featured website is out of the question. I might go the Wil Wheaton way and see if I can teach myself to set up a Linux server and host my own site from my own computer.

The other thing is I've beent trying to think of a book to write. If I were able to finish off school and then get a job that doesn't drain as much of my soul away everyday (leaving me listless and impotent) I'd just start and see what ends up happening.

I'm optimistic about the future. I've made the pro-active decision not to be in a situation that makes me unhappy. I'm a semester away from graduating and starting a new and sexy portion of my life. Sexy, yes, sexy is good. I'm looking forward to sexy. The world needs more sexy.