Will J. J.

Day-to-day musings and occasional short stories for your delight.


Leave a comment

Friday

friday-celebration

Hey everybody! I know it’s been a while. This is a little something I’ve been working on this week, a poem about the wonder of Friday. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Friday

You spend your week, slaving away,
Fighting and driving and toiling, all day,
Waiting for the moment when you can rest,
Free of the work that’s had you so stressed.

The week passes slowly, each moment a grind,
Every minute dragging, exhaustion combined.
You claw toward the weekend, so eager to send
Those troubles away, replaced with your friends,
And become that person you are on the weekend.

At long last it comes, the wondrous Friday,
One day of work, all that stands in your way.
Your eyes light up, giddy with joy,
Flooding your mind with the times you’ll enjoy.

Remember how it was when you were a child,
Waiting for the bell so you could run wild,
Dashing away, your face a bright smile,
Knowing the teachers couldn’t catch you for a while.
All the effort and stress of five long days,
Releasing it all, that’s the magic of Friday.

So pick up a brew, go out with the crew,
Open a book, settle in your nook,
Run through the grass, catch a prize bass,
Start a game, bring glory to your screen name,
Go for a hike, break out your bike,
Catch up on tv, steep yourself some tea,
Whatever your choice, dive in and rejoice.

Embrace the cheer you seek,
For you’ve survived another week.
You’ve lived through many, with many to come,
But the struggles of life aren’t easily overcome.
Don’t lightly forget them. No, celebrate, and praise!
For we measure life in years, but live it in days.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Being Different

Day 3195

 different

People like to say that everyone is different and that those differences give us character. Well, yes, we are all different, but what those people are really trying to say is that it’s okay to be “different”. I put the word different in quotations because not every kind of difference elicits that sympathetic, consoling kind of response. If we’re really all different, why is it that only certain people are ever labeled as such?

The truth is that not all differences are created equally, at least not in the eyes of social norms. Some differences are allowed, some merely tolerated, and others actively encouraged, but heaven forbid someone embrace a difference beyond the accepted list. I’m talking about the people who get called weird and those who hear much worse. I am one of their number.

You see, I view the world differently than others. It’s not something I consciously activate, but something that’s always been a part of me, as if I were observing everything around me through a slightly different lens. I’m a very curious person, and I tend to ask the questions others take for granted. I have extremely vivid dreams that twist the mundane into the wild. I’ve always known that there was something different about me, long before anyone told me.

Growing up, the two words most often used to describe me were “weird” and later “gay”. When I was very young, the “weird” label used to bother me deeply, but only until I was old enough to appreciate the unintended compliment hidden within. I wasn’t the most social child, far from it, but I was called a weirdo because of the things I chose to say when I did speak up. Despite my quietness, I was full of energy and passion for science and space, anything that could fuel my visions of unseen spaces in the universe. The people who sought to bring me down with their insults were unwittingly admitting that they were themselves boring, and if weird meant passionate, then I could learn to love being weird.

Gay was a different story. The first time I was called gay, I had no idea what being gay meant, not that the person calling me gay truly meant homosexual anyway. All I knew was that this person wanted me to think that being gay was an undesirable position. It wasn’t too long after that I started writing short stories, channeling those colorful dreams into some clumsy, early attempts at storytelling. Then the gay insults started raining down upon me, and these often were meant to be synonymous with homosexual, though with the same intent to offend.

I’m not gay, and I’ve never been offended to be called gay; it’s simply incorrect. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand why that was the insult of choice, but in hindsight, it’s painfully clear. I have never been stereotypically manly. I don’t care to be overtly cocky or pompous, I don’t chase after sex, I’m not misogynistic, and I’m not one for heavy drinking. Those traits alone would have been enough to make me weird, but I was also a nerdy kid, interested in science fiction and comic books who wrote in his free time. Clearly that kid is weird, and if he’s weird, he must be gay, because why else would he choose to live like that?

Only certain kinds of differences in character are socially sanctioned, and for men, it’s especially dangerous to break from stereotypically masculine ideals. It’s accepted for a woman to act in a typically feminine manner, and it’s (slowly) becoming more accepted for women to act in a typically masculine way, but on the man’s side, there is no salvation for he who chooses to stray from masculinity in any way, shape, or form. I chose to write and explore my own creativity rather than acting like a “man”, and I was tormented for it.

Some of the earliest of American writers spoke of a tyranny of the majority, in which decisions are made in favor of the majority, even if they are not just. I see that all around me today. Society decrees what are acceptable deviations and unacceptable abominations from the norm. People tear apart those who lie outside the beloved circle, and others allow it. I was lucky; I may be different, but my crime was not so great as to warrant intolerable abuse. Eventually, I learned that the very differences that once fed my detractors could become my shield against them. At the same time though, being different can be a lonely existence at times. To anyone who seeks to live beyond the norm, I urge you to be prepared for many days with nothing but your thoughts for company, because many people are naturally afraid of what they don’t understand, and that fear works against you. I tell you this not to dissuade you but to galvanize you. The road is not an easy one, but what worth doing is easy?

Still, as I said before, I was one of the lucky ones. I remember thinking that I wished I actually was gay, so that those insults would be truly meaningless. The reality is, however, that being gay would have been so much harder, at least where I grew up. Hatred and prejudice against the gay population is, sadly, socially sanctioned if not encouraged in some parts of this country. This discrimination is justified through a combination of religion twisted for hate and prejudice wrapped in pseudo-logic, and it’s wrong. More than wrong, it’s cruel, because it teaches that some differences are worth hating, while in truth, those are simply the differences out of favor at a particular place at present. As Nietzsche once said, the surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.