What We Are Here For

At some point in our lives, we question why we are here.  Are we here specifically to worship a god?  Are we here to just procreate and keep our species going?  Is there even a reason we exist?  I know I am not the only one who has asked these questions.  Here is a question: Does it even matter?  We all have our own religious beliefs.  Yes, atheism is actually a religious belief.  I hate it when people try and push their religion on me, so I do not press mine on them.  I just live my life how I think I should (with a bunch of added shit I know I shouldn’t).

I have a challenge, but first, there has to be some back story.  In today’s world, especially with the younger generation, people are only worried how everything affects them.  We get into pointless arguments with people who hold no value in truth.  They only value their thoughts and beliefs, and if we hold some other view, we are condemned.  Instead of trying to empathize with the other person or figure out why they think the way they do, these people lash out and attack.  Why?  In a society where everyone gets a trophy, people are not being taught there are other solutions to problems.  If we don’t like someone, it is always their fault (think about politics).  The challenge for us is to change that.

Change starts with ourselves.  We cannot change other people, but during our interactions with people, we can, perhaps, open their eyes to a new way of thinking.  Throughout The Event series, Evan Willcox brought new ways of thinking to alien societies.  As is in the real world, it is often met with fierce resistance.  He always tries to do what he thinks is best, but it never ends up like he thinks it should.  Something unexpectedly bad always happens.  Why?  He fails to see the bigger picture.

So, why are we here?  People think they know, but really, no one can be sure until we die.  In the meantime, we should be the best version of ourselves that we can be.  Yes, we will make mistakes, but we must learn from those mistakes.  I will tell you that I will be here to expand my boys’ horizons, and make them think outside the box.  They should ask why all the time.  I will also be here to try and make people’s lives around me better.  I might not be the best person in the world (far from it, actually), but I will do what I can to help those around me in their time of need.  Perhaps, that is while we are here.  Acquisition of material things at the expense of our friends and family is pointless.  We cannot take it with us, but we can lose everyone that we care about in the process.  Let’s quit worrying about why others are wrong and worry more on improving ourselves and helping the people close to us.

Walls

We take walls for granted.  Wall separate the area you sleep in from the area you shit in.  Walls were erected throughout history to keep foreign invaders out of a kingdom.  Walls make sense.  We also build up metaphorical walls around us so we do not get hurt.  Often after a painful event, we build walls around us to keep us safe.  Even though these walls make sense, are they good?  We all do it.  It could be from a nasty breakup, the death of a family member, a tragic event, or a friend’s betrayal.  We don’t want to get hurt again.

While walls might stabilize our present state of mind so we can deal with our own emotions, they are detrimental to our development.  Just as we cannot grow if we stay within our walls, neither can we let people in.  We have all been hurt by someone, and while we say we want to let people in, our actions contradict that.  This isn’t to say we shouldn’t have walls, but we need to know when to tear them down.

I have been following my character’s (Evan Willcox) approach, and it has not been helping.  I followed the approach because it is me.  It is how I would have reacted to the underlying situations in the books.  Sometimes it takes an unbiased outsider to make you see your mistakes, to tell you that you’re doing it wrong, to think.  I have built walls that have been standing for years.  I built walls so high that I could no longer feel.  I did not want to feel.  Unfortunately, it has been unfair to my family, friends, and those who have tried getting close to me in the past.

How long have these walls been standing?  After a lot of reflection (and still more to go), close to twelve years.  Not knowing whether my youngest son would survive for nearly two years takes its toll.  I thought I had to be the unwavering rock the family needed to survive.  I could not show weakness.  I buried my emotions deep in the dungeons of my soul and built the strongest walls I could.  Unfortunately, I took care of those walls for too long.  Every time someone knocked some bricks loose in my wall, I would repair it and add another layer.  This practice is self destructive.  Over the last twelve years, I have grown, but I have been confined by my walls.  I can no longer do that.  I do not want to end up like Evan Willcox in my books.  It is weird how a sci-fi action/adventure book can be a prophecy of what is to come even though I had no idea at the time.  What is even more surprising is that in this fourth book, Evan Willcox either self destructs or tears down his walls.  I guess I wanted to tear down my own personal walls, but I had forgotten they existed.  I wrote about it without knowing why I wrote about it.  I believe everything in life can teach us many lessons.  We just have to have our eyes open enough to see them and our minds open to accept them.

Inspiration and a New Book

I finally seriously started writing the fourth book in The Event series.  I wrote a few pages back in October while waiting for a flight back form Dallas.  It was an odd trip ending with my Bengals getting thrashed by the Cowboys, but it was still a good trip.  Sitting in the airport, I wanted to be productive, so I started writing.  I did not really know what I wanted to do with the story though.  I had a concept, but I just could not find that magic theme that makes me want to tell the story.

Inspiration comes in a variety of forms.  It could be a song, something you witness, or someone in your life.  Timing has a massive effect on inspiration.  Back in October, I did not know what was going on in my life.  There were some good, and there was some really shitty.  Inspiration could have smacked me in the face with a shovel, and I doubt I would have even noticed.  Fast forward to June, and things seem a lot better.  The divorce, lawsuit, and job loss were out of the way, but I still had my struggles.  I wanted to start writing again, but with everything going on, I did not give it much thought.

This time, inspiration hit me in the face with a shovel, and I did pay attention.  So far, each book has had its own style and theme while keeping the characters in tact.  This book is no different.  Some of the characters will remain, but this story will focus on the mental fuckupedness (yes, I made up that word) caused by trauma, attempting to deal with that, and hoping to move past it.

I might not have every aspect planned out, but it is a story I want to tell, and I am excited to get underway.  Just like life, I do not know what is always going to happen, but I am thankful for the good times and the bad.  I am truly thankful for those who stick with me and those who are the inspirations that allow me to do this.