366. Postscript: On Embarrassment and Growing

More than 500 days later, I still don’t instinctively know how many “r”s there are in “embarrassment”.

Some things never change.


Past-Me embarrasses me. And that’s a good thing.

As fluid and as dynamic a piece of writing can be, it always falls short of reality, doesn’t it? No matter how many words you crank out, how many sentences you throw at your reader, how many scenes you commit to scene or paper, it all ends with that final full stop.

And that’s it. That’s the end. Like the margins of a photo, all you’ve really done is take an elaborate snapshot of a moment, or multiple moments that joins up to make a unified, bigger moment.

The thing is this: life goes on. Snapshots don’t.

I despise people who argue that a cop-out ending is valid or even admirable because “that’s how it is in real life”. I just don’t buy it. Friend, I’m committing hours of my life to peer into your imagination – and you’re telling me that the stuff in your imagination is exactly the same as what I can get out of my life? Get out!

As much as the creative process might like to think that it convincingly recreates life, it doesn’t. (But don’t quote me on that. Who knows? One day in the future it might.) It never will. A creative ending should be explosive. Satisfactory. Neat.

Real life isn’t.

In the last 365 posts – about 300 if you remove the works of fiction – I’ve tried my best to make snapshots of my life. Starting with the first word for the left side of the frame, ending with the last full stop for the right side. There we go: Nice. Neat. Tidy.

But life, as they say, went on.

Life doesn’t give two shits about the amazing punchline you just delivered. It’s not going to smash to black and roll credits, leaving the audience laughing and waiting for the next exciting installment. In the end, you finish your drink, pay your tab, and head home.

This is my last post on this space. Like a giant snapshot of my life spanning 500 days, it began on the left with the very first post… and here it ends. Bookended nicely for you. But who knows what’s going to happen after this?

Let me give you my prediction of the future: I’m going to write more stuff that’s going to embarrass/mortify Future-Me. Some of that shit is actually going to make it to publication, demonstrating that none of us really know what the hell we’re doing. And in turn, Future-Me is going to inflict some harsh, cruel embarrassment on Future-Future-Me.

It’s the circle of life, baby.

I think… I’ve learned a great deal in the last 500 days. You know. Patience. Perseverance. Dealing with rejection. Getting motivated. Finding inspiration. The works. No doubt there’s going to be a lot more for me to learn. One day I’m going to wonder who the hell made me think it was ever a good idea to start a blog – which will likely outlive me – in the first place.

(here’s looking at you, Vivian – you wonderful woman)

But all of that’s off-screen. Out of frame.

This is where the snapshot ends.

And like one of those old Mickey Mouse cartoon stingers, here’s me waving goodbye at the end of the picture. I know not what lies beyond the right of the frame, but I can speculate, right? We’re allowed at least that much as human beings.

I think it’s gonna be good.

Yeah.

It’s gonna be good.