Roadblock

This whole challenge came about because of this word. I was in the midst of a depressing writers block when I had the epiphany that brought this third post to you today.

Roadblocks are all around us presenting themselves in our lives constantly. While they are nothing short of inconvenient, they always bring with them a long term effect that we don’t often realize.

When you are puzzled in a maze of confusion, you are forced to think outside your spectrum of every day thought. You find yourself challenged with a new way of processing. Eventually, you discover a way through that roadblock with a new perspective.

While it may seem that we are not moving forward when stuck in the quicksand of obstruction, we are actually growing in a way that will propel us even farther than we would have gone initially. In a sense, it is a maturity reboot. Just like your phone, it may shut down for a while, but once it lights back up to life, it’s running faster and longer with fresh apps and updates.

I spent weeks staring at blank paper stunted by my lack of words to write. As a result, I was forced to think of new and inventive ways in which I could craft my skill. I may have been under the radar for a while, but now, my thoughts are pouring out and my art is once again being seen.

If we never face struggles, how can we ever be expected to grow? Wisdom doesn’t come from the years frosted on your birthday cake but from the amount of trials you overcome. It is when you are frozen in chaos that you grow the most. When pushed into a world outside your comfort zone, you suddenly find yourself accessing ideas you never knew you had. Your horizon is then expanded as well as your mind.

Regardless of the roadblock you face, don’t focus on it as a negative. Allow the feelings of helplessness revolving around it to be transferred into energy of growth and knowledge to come. Realize that some of the best ideas stem from times lacking in creativity. You may not see it now, but once you break through the blockage holding you back, you will be capable of victory in any and every challenge you encounter.

Recalcitrance

In a world where dominance and submission balance, the one resounding factor is power. Regardless of your role, we all seek the feeling of being in control. In order to prevent anarchy from wreaking havoc, society has set forth law. Rules regulate what we should and shouldn’t do. What we are allowed to partake in and punished for what we pursue. With so much guidance keeping balance afloat, rebellion is often a means of potential.

There is nothing more exhilarating than doing the opposite of what we are told. To march to the beat of your own drum enables a sense of control. The ability to do what we want the way we choose.

Recalcitrance can be as tame as wearing fishnets with jean shorts cut high enough up the thigh to provide more of a statement than coverage. While abiding the law, it proclaims a stance of free thinking and rebellion. It is a safe way to rebel allowing the peace of mind that consequence cannot go much further than a frustrated parent. Certain fashion statements or even mild behavior can turn heads with shock without facing a damp cell and bunk. Then, sometimes one pushes the envelope and avoids repercussion. This is where the ultimate danger lies.

There is a thrill that comes with any danger. An adrenaline junkie doesn’t jump out of an airplane for a better view of the city, but to feel the rush of knowing that at any moment, their parachute could fail. There is no actual hope for death, but being on the brink of the end sends a surge of epinephrine through ones veins. Acting on a wrong knowing that you could get caught allows a similar rush. No one ever wants to actually be penalized, but it’s a risk associated with the high. However, just like any gateway drug, eventually, that high just isn’t enough.

As a child, we all tested our parent’s patience. Defiance was an assessment to see just how much we could get away with. Once established where the line must be drawn, we dabbled with disobeying, and even after being punished, felt the satisfaction of having misbehaved. In most cases, a spanking or public scolding was enough to prevent us from acting on further deviance. However, you would only get in trouble if you got caught. It was then that the game of insubordination was born.

The most common displays of disobedience among us are somewhat limited. Truthfully, it comes down to how much you are willing to risk. Ditching class could land you in detention whereas cheating on your spouse could end your marriage. An hour after school will be forgotten in a week. A failed marriage will permanently define a part of your life forever. I think it goes without saying that some endeavors are not worth the temporary buzz. Then, comes a quite hazardous expression; “What do I have to lose?”

When resisting authority becomes the only thing left to live for, recalcitrance holds a much grimmer connotation. At the highest reach for zenith, anything and everything goes. As the perpetrator, the only rule is, there are no rules. Until they are caught, the game continues. Infamous participants including Jack the Ripper, Black Beard, and Bundy hold world records for their so called “achievements.” They created the Olympics of mutiny. By becoming breaking news and leaving legends in the pages of history, they achieved what all rebels seek, attention. The only difference between their sickening tales of horror and you going fifteen over the speed limit, is where you chose to draw the line, and they chose to cross it.

Decay

When I was first presented with this word, my initial reaction was as natural as death itself. I was immediately haunted by a gruesome image of rotting flesh and tortured souls left to decay in solemn despair. Something that is left to decay is simply wasting away. All sense of life has been drained and replaced with a hollow rotten mess. However, flesh is not the only thing that is prone to decay.

Anything that was once pure and prosperous has the potential to eventually wither into nothing. Without there having been something beautiful to begin with, the process of destruction would not be worth mentioning. I asked myself a simple question as I was pondering this word; have I ever encountered the risk of decay?

From a literal standpoint, our bodies will not give way to the earth till our soul has parted. From a metaphorical standpoint however, aren’t we always at risk for corruption? Certain events have provided me with spiritual, emotional and mental growth. Sometimes you go through a dark time and come out stronger and sure of who you are. Other times, the opposite takes place.

We all have ups and downs in our life. I recently spoke about how we don’t always live the life we have chosen and sometimes require a long hard look in the mirror to reevaluate our priorities. I’m not talking about temporary lapses though. I’m talking about the all-time low of hitting rock bottom. A hell so dark and buried in our subconscious that just like death, it cannot be escaped. Is it possible to decay even while living? Yes.

Shortly after we take our final breath and venture to the life following this one, the corpse we leave behind begins to follow the natural course of decomposition. To decay in the mind, heart and soul is the opposite. It is an unnatural process that takes place when evil has overcome and replaced all sense of life with something drear and wicked. Serenity is dead and left with nothing more than to decay.

Perhaps we haven’t all been faced with trials that led us to a place as dark as this, but many have. Unlike the physical deceased, can those who face metaphoric death be resurrected?

Challenge Accepted!

I have started a new challenge! I have asked seven different people to give me a word, and for the next seven days I will be writing a blog weaved around each word. There were a couple reasons for this idea. First of all, there is nothing more melancholy than the depths of writers block where creativity is stunted by abysmal disarray. In order to launch myself from that state, I decided to channel all my negative emotion associated with the roadblock by inducing inspiration from those around me. It’s new, fresh and seven people are counting on me to deliver, which means, I feel empowered with purpose and a plan.

The second reason I chose to partake in this endeavor holds a bit of a deeper meaning. Ten different people can all look at the same exact piece of art, yet all walk away with a different meaning as to what it symbolizes to them. I believe that it is the same thing with literature. While a concept may be universally understood, it can be processed and interpreted according to our own perspectives. By having seven different people choose a word in which I will write about, I will be able to witness first hand how a word which carries a prominent definition can be understood in so many different ways. It’s simply amazing how much power a single word can posses. As you all read through these next seven blogs, think about how my perception of the word is different from yours as well as all the other seven interpretations it can have to the other participants involved.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed their suggestions. I am just as eager to present my ideas on your thoughts as I am for you to read them!

A Word of Advice

With so many thoughts and topics swimming through my head, I wonder where to begin. I have faced several challenges this week all reverting back to topics that I have discussed in blogs previous to this one. I have found myself pondering my own thoughts and advice that I have shared with all of you discovering that so often it is difficult to listen to our own wisdom. I once said that I longed to inspire others with words of hope, but today, I share words of disappointment. I admit that I myself have not been true to my own revelations.

Months ago, I documented my endeavor to quit smoking. I spoke from strength and insight as I shared my story to show others that kicking the habit was indeed possible. Today, I share with you all that I have fallen off that wagon and found myself once again in the clutches of nicotine. How did this happen? The truth is, it doesn’t really matter. What is important is that I own my shortcomings and correct them. I feel that this post will be a medley of most of my blogs in the past, only this time, the only person I know firsthand that I am inspiring is myself.

The first entry I ever made was a comical theatric of what it would be like to discover that you have a long lost twin who is more attractive than you. Like everyone else, I have my days where I don’t feel my absolute best. Thinking back to that thought, I realized that most of my insecurities stemming from my body image could be improved by making simple changes in my life. Perhaps it is time that I decide what I would like to improve upon and do something about it.

Having thought back to “Perfectly Imperfect”, I remembered that not every quirk can be changed and some should be embraced rather than frowned upon. Maybe it’s time I reevaluate myself and discover once more how to accept the flaws embedded in my genetic makeup.

I could spend an eternity sitting here crafting my thoughts onto paper to achieve a pretentious explanation for my actions, but at the end of the day, who am I really trying to impress? Myself? Probably.

For once, I have few words to share that I hope resonates with you all. The advice you give others is so often the best advice to listen to, yet most difficult to personally accept. Reading through my own blog I can’t help but think to myself, “Wow, I said that? When did I stop living these mantras?”

We all have our own words to live by. However, we all stray from the path we have set for ourselves to find that we are not practicing what we preach. This doesn’t make us hypocrites, it simply makes us human. We are allowed to fall down and struggle sometimes just as long as we get back up and continue moving forward.

While I have chosen to challenge myself in many ways, I challenge you all to do something as well. Think back to some of the best advice you have shared with those around you. Now, ask yourself if you are living by your own words of wisdom. If not, don’t just ask yourself why you aren’t but what you think you should do about it. Just wait and see what kind of advice you come up with.