Of Minds and Motorcycles

"So write, Elissa Bassist. Not like a girl. Not like a boy. Write like a motherfucker." - Cheryl Strayed

Brian Garage

This one is for all the artsy fuckers out there. Come on, I know you're out there. This blog isn't just for you tech-minded folk.

Which reminds me of a youtube video I came across once where the speaker started off with something along the lines of: "Alright fuckers and fuckheads." Which is of course how motorcyclists are supposed to talk. I was just trying to learn how to take apart forks when out of nowhere I was hit with a freight train of harsh language.

But back to what I was saying.

I just came across a post on my friend's Facebook wall written by the author of "Wild," and it inspired me to write something tonight. I was going to go to bed early, but instead I'm going to write.

I haven't read the book "Wild," but I can guess that I would like it if I did. In any case I know that I'm working like a motherfucker. I may not be writing like one, but I'm definitely working hard.

The advice column the quote came from was written in response to a girl in her mid 20s who was depressed and having trouble writing. I suspect she got to a point where she couldn't take herself seriously anymore. She didn't believe her writing was important; she felt it wouldn't get anyone's attention, and it would not lead to anything great. She wanted to be great.

I can relate. In my case, in my 20s, I didn't just want to be an awesome writer, I wanted to be an awesome everything. I wanted to be an awesome engineer. I wanted to be an awesome snowboarder. I wanted to be an awesome saxophone player. I wanted to be an awesome lover. I wanted to be awesome, period.

But in the process I basically became awesome at nothing. Or at least it felt that way. Despite all my accomplishments I didn't feel like I had accomplished all that much. I had times of focus and great success, but for the most part I was too scattered and distracted to actually be all that great at anything.

When I was burnt out from being successful in school I pulled a 180; I traveled aimlessly and studied nothing. When I was tired of traveling aimlessly, I went back to school, thinking that was the answer. When I was tired of school I tried to work. When I was tired of work I studied for even higher education. When I was rejected from even higher education I looked for trades work. When I couldn't get trades work, I started teaching myself trades. When I was exhausted and frustrated from teaching myself everything I started writing.

But somewhere down the line I decided to start doing something I really wanted to do. Something deep within me was finally taking over. It's as if it was watching from within and had decided enough was enough. Enough of this bullshit. Enough wandering and whining, and sadness and nothingness. Now I'm going to do.

Which I think is what the author of "Wild" was trying to say in the column.

A creative life is the life of a tortured soul. You want to express yourself, but you're afraid. You worry about how you might come across. You worry maybe you're not all that good. You've got something to say, but why would anyone care? You want to make something, but there are already a million people making them.

But at a certain age you have to cut the shit and be who you want to be. The day you actually start expressing yourself genuinely without worrying how you come across will be the first day of the rest of your life. Now you have purpose. Now the hard work begins. You no longer have excuses and distraction, but simply a task at hand. The task will be clear because you knew what needed to be done all along. You've only now allowed yourself to do it.

I'm exhausted.

I've been trying to finish a motorcycle because I made a bet that I could finish it by mid-April. I want to finish it more because I want to see the final product. It's been brewing in my head for months, and I am starting to see it come together. I'm more tired than I've been in a long time.

I'm pouring my whole self into a physical object. And when I'm done, I'll pick myself up, wipe the metal dust off my cheeks, cough some silica out of my lungs, and ride into the sunset on something that probably shouldn't matter so much. But for some strange reason, for that moment it will be the only thing that matters.

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