Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Power-Up

They say that life is not a video game but they're wrong. Life is very much a video game. It is full of obstacles both small and large. It rewards accomplishments and sometimes it even gives you a second chance. But most importantly life is full of power-ups.

The last video game system I owned was a Nintendo. Not a Wii or a gameboy or even an N64 but a good old Nintendo Entertainment system. Back then the games' goals were simple and the gameplay basic. Do one thing at a time. Shoot. run. Jump. Turn. Go faster. Slow down. That was pretty much it. Power-ups were in the game to help you do one of these things faster, bigger, more precisely or with complete disregard for supply. They were, as any of my old friends can tell you, definitely the most fun part of the game. Seeing your car or your player suddenly transformed from his most basic function into something far more powerful.

The part they don't teach you in school is this: In life you have to search for the power ups. The things in life that amp you up rather than slow you down. The things that give you joy rather than take it away. for this reason alone I returned to The Truth Blog. Simply put, it gives me power. I gain strength from strong words and big ideas. When I write it down the words become real and when I put it up here it takes flight to wherever you are. I don't care who reads it. My power isn't in numbers, it's in the ability to make something new.

If you're a truly lucky one you've found a way to make money of your power-ups. These are the people we look up to. They are the best at what they do because their work gives them power, they put the power into their work and it spirals into something bigger than any one person form there. I'm trying to figure out how to do this myself. Until then I'll be satisfied stealing away a few moments to to scribble down an idea, eek out a post, read a few pages of a new book and pedal up the side of a mountain. These are my power ups and I refuse to let them go.

Oh, and I almost forgot: If your power-ups aren't working just pull out the cartride and blow on it a little bit. Works every time...

Friday, September 17, 2010

One step forward, two steps back


Today, in a fever-induced stupor, I lay in bed and read through this entire blog form start to finish. First impression: Holy shit there are a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes.

Second Impression: It's funny how the same people and places on these pages all the way back to 2004 have continued slipping in and out of my life.

I think I owe you a bit of an update. Before I can pick up rocking where I left off we all need to get on the same page. A list of key characters:

G2K: Still beautiful, now more than 2K miles away and engaged to be wed (but not to me). These days she is the voice inside the computer. Showing up in chats non-stop on my desktop, on my blackberry (yes, I'm now old enough to have a blackberry and yes, I hate that fact so F-off) on my laptop and anywhere else I find myself in the GChat hole. She's always there. offering advice. Offering observations. Offeringa window into a life I decided to leave behind.

Text Message Girl: No Idea. Last I heard she was living in Santa Monica. I have tried to keep out of any of the past trouble I caused there.

The Hyphen: Seattle and happy. Still, much like me, mostly frozen in time all the way back to 2006.

Awkward Girl: Moved to Texas, worked in a cupcake bakery, moved back, called me up, asked to be friends with benefits. Went for it. Met another guy. Disappeared.

Mormon #1: No Idea.

Mormon #2: Broke my heart. Twice. Despite the fact that I saw the whole thing coming from a mile away. Twice.

Sorority Girls: Remembers that I used to work in the kitchen of a sorority house way back in college? Well I run into those girls all the time. Other cities, other states. Doesn't matter. It's not like I go looking for them. Somehow they just seem to find me...

My Grandfather: Still occasionally visits me in dreams. Doesn't offer the same kind of advice he used to. Now it's more just watching on, checking in. A spectator more than anything else. I'm happy to have him watching.

Hawaiian Girl: I did finally get that date. About 1600 miles west and fours years after the place and time I first asked for it. A random encounter on a street corner this summer brought us back together again. Typical.

I think that about rounds it up, doesn't it? Does it? Wait, did I forget someone?

Oh Right. Me.

I continue to do what I do best: Get lost and find my way out again. I worked in journalism for a while. Had fun but didn't love it. I worked in politics for a while. Had fun but didn't love it. I worked as a bartender for a little while. Had fun... Then I did what any good twenty-something does when they need to buy a little time: I went back to school. Two years of precious quasi-freedom working towards my *gulp* MBA. Ya. I know, I know. I don't know know what I was thinking. Actually I do. I got a big old scholarship.

Do I love it? No. Am I pretty good at it? Yes. Good enough to top most of my classmates, bag an amazing summer internship? Yes. Where? In, you guessed it. California. (are you seeing the pattern yet?). This time in San Francisco where I must say all my dreams came true.

If that wasn't good enough I somehow got accepted to study abroad in Central America. When? Now. Did I forget to mention that? I think I did.

And so, here we are. A little older, a little wiser, a little weirder but still the same old Tayden.

Dear Truth Blog,
I miss you so much. I used to love coming here and throwing it all down on the page not worrying about who would see it or why.

A lot has changed since I have been here but a lot also has not. I want to say that I haven't sold out but I think I have a little. I want to say that I'm a better man but I'm not so sure it's true. I want to say that it's all making more sense than it used to but the reality is that it's all still so damn unclear.

I've managed to surround myself with the kind of people who think in a completely different way. They relish numbers and results. They live for success and accomplishment. I suppressed everything that made this little page great and made me smile every time I stared down the emptiness of the white box waiting to be filled with my words. And I feel hopelessly lost when the world doesn't revolve around ideas and emotions.

There is some good news. I think that my dreams are still intact. I think that there are pieces inside me still moving in the right direction. I think that despite- or in spite- of all of it, we'll still be OK. The goal might not be clear but the hunger is there.

I would hate to say it and have it not be true but I think that I am back. I'm ready to start asking the big questions again and swinging for the fences with some big answers.

So there. Take that.

-Tayden