LOST IN 2020/CANTO #46

LOST IN 2020/CANTO #46

I don’t know how long this one is gonna go, more than anything it’s been five days since I posted last and I don’t think I’ve gone that long since we got started so I figured I’d get something up. In all honesty I’m just hoping to not be completely forgotten about before this thing has a chance to become what I was hoping it would before the world fell apart. A few short months ago, that now feels more like a billion years ago, I was a guy who started a website full of hope, and determination, and a fairly clear vision of the path I was setting out on. Now?

Adrift on a sea of crippling uncertainty, dwindling expectations, and waves of anxiety so strong you could surf on the fucking things.

That pretty much covers it.

Right now I’m sitting in my office at my day job, I’m essentially being forced to show up here for a few hours every week cause OTHER people decided to stop working from home and just started showing up a few weeks ago. Nobody has spoken to me, my door is closed, and I’m fucking writing this. My job has been heading downhill for a long time, I’m over it, and if we can just manage to stay on course and pay off our debt I’ll be saying goodbye to this fucking place in about 10 months.

I’m leaving to focus my energy on The Ghost Generation, and I’m also doing to be a stay-at-home dad. Yeah, that’s right- you didn’t misread that. Captain Anxiety is gonna be a stay-at-home dad, but here’s the thing- I’m completely stoked about it. There’s the obvious part, getting to dedicate my time to The Ghost Generation for most of the day and not being chained to this fucking miserable job anymore.

That shit’s worth buying a cake for on its own.

Then there’s the other part- I get to be there for my kids. By the time this transition happens, Ruby will be in Kindergarten and Oli will be in pre-K. In the morning, I’ll get to walk Ruby to school, take Oli to preschool, and pick them both up after. This is all within about 2 miles of our house by the way, so it’s a no-stress situation. I’ll be able to be there if something happens at school, they’ll be home with me on days off, and I’ll be giving them something Laura and I never got to have- a present, loving, and MUCH less stressed out father who WANTS to be there.

It’s a gift I’ve still not fully processed the magnitude of, and they might not ever realize it, and I’m totally fine with that. If I’m there, and happy, then they’ll never understand what it’s like to NOT have that and it’ll be “mission accomplished”.

Somehow, 2020 has pureed my brain into thinking that the kids are going to be the LEAST stressful part of this, and maybe I’m going full-lunatic or maybe its just that the other side of the equation is the one that’s REALLY cranking up the anxiety.

I had hoped “what the fuck am I DOING?” would be a question I stopped asking myself once I passed 30.

It’s the part about The Ghost Generation, and where the fuck it’s heading post-full collapse of the world as we knew it. Since we got this started in August we’ve taken some twists and turns, done some really cool things, and I’m proud of every single thing we’ve put up on this site. Like “my kid just won an Oscar for the 12th time” proud. The original plan was to build our subscriber list, grow all the requisite numbers/metrics of readership, and then branch out into other shit. Clothing/merch, a podcast, who knows. The ideas were there and there was no reason to believe we couldn’t achieve it.

Then, 2020 happened. It started off quietly enough but before long the entire globe erupted into a pandemic and our numbers started to drop. We’re still less than a year old here, so I know it’s a tough slog but still- shit’s gotten bleak. Now, it’s gotten even worse which I wasn’t sure was possible but it turns out the bar CAN be lowered from “low as fuck” to “just keep pouring, I don’t want to leave this place on two feet”.

The worst part is, I genuinely have no idea why. Our social media following has stagnated, I can’t seem to get people to engage with our shit, and we’re not doing anything different than we were before. I’m not hearing any negative feedback, mind you- but I’m not hearing anything positive either. I’m starting to wonder what plane of existence The Ghost Generation is even living on, has my hosting plan been shifted to a server on Neptune perhaps?

That’s ridiculous.

Yeah, it is. Regardless, all of this being said- I’m not here to complain. It might fucking SOUND like it, but I’m not. I’m here because if I don’t say these things right now I feel like they’re going to explode from my chest, eyes, and asshole and I’ll just fall over dead in a pile of destroyed human effluence. I don’t know who we’re speaking to, who’s listening, and who cares. No fucking idea. We started this to share our perspective on life as two 30-adjacent parents who felt like the world stopped caring about us. We would talk about real shit from a perspective that maybe wasn’t being heard, and we’d cover all kinds of ground in the process. Music, parenting, how to be a little better with money, life, struggles- whatever. The Ghost Generation would be a “one-stop shop” for like-minded people who felt abandoned, or unheard, or just a little fucking weird.

Thing is, maybe nobody wants that. Its completely possible, and just cause something is your dream doesn’t mean people are going to WANT it. I mean, it’s an admittedly shitty time to be out here like “Hey! I’m a sort-of middle-aged white guy and here’s my thoughts on the world!” because I’m pretty sure nobody really gives a shit what I have to say about anything. I also don’t feel like writing about politics all the time, and that DOES seem to be what people want right now so I’m just kind of throwing my hands in the air.

I really don’t know, I’m as far left as you can go without falling off the Earth but maybe it isn’t enough. Maybe the world wants more out of everyone and maybe I just can’t give it to them. Living with all of the things we have going on in the world, trying to raise two kids during all this shit, I just don’t have it in me to be a martyr for everything. I also want to live my life, which was perfectly fine a few months ago but now I’m not sure if I should be angry, guilty, or just fucking sit in the corner and shut up.

Yay for dizzying confusion and self doubt!

I really don’t fucking know shit, and since nobody is telling me anything either way I feel more like a ghost than I ever have. I feel like I’ve lost my shot at this dream of mine and I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve it. I didn’t get cancelled, I didn’t pull my dick out anywhere I wasn’t supposed to, I just sort of disappeared in plain sight. Maybe it’ll get better, but I have no idea when. Maybe we need to shift gears, I don’t know.

Maybe I just need to let go and keep writing, but it’s hard to do that right now-SUPER hard. If I wrote something funny would anyone care? If I wrote something about racism would it be done in the right way so as not to come off like a stupid, privileged white person trying to come off woke? If I write about the pandemic what would I even say that hasn’t been said a million times already by me and countless other writers? If I write about the protests would I even have a frame of reference since I’m not there?

I’m here, at my house besides the few hours twice a week I’m being forced to show up to this fucking place. I’m here, trying to keep my kids happy and away from all the darkness so they can just fucking be kids like I never got to be. I’m trying to be a good husband even though I’m riddled with anxiety and I’m angry a lot of the time. I’m scared a lot of the time, and it’s easy for me to just shut the fuck down and retreat into my head for like a month but I’m staying present because I NEED to. I’m here, trying to adjust to living every day with all this uncertainty in a world full of people who probably have vastly worse problems than me and thus relegating all of my thoughts and feelings into guilt-infested irrelevance. I feel guilty for being anxious, I feel guilty for feeling like my dreams are fading away because thousands of people are fucking dead from coronavirus. Countless black people are being killed by police and there’s somehow no signs of that shit stopping. The world is on fire and I am nothing, that’s how I feel, and I feel guilty for feeling like this because no matter what everything that’s happened to me I’m alive and regardless of what I’ve lived through it will always have been touched in some way by the devil of white fucking privilege.

I’m just gonna stop talking, cause I just don’t really know where I was going with this. I guess I just feel like 2020 has fucking took a giant shit all over my hopes and dreams, it’s ruined thousands of lives, and it’s still going strong. I don’t know what to say, who to say it to, or what the fuck is going to happen from day to day anymore. I guess I’ll just keep trying, cause the alternative would be to give up and that’s not in my blood. With that, I’m all out for today. Be kind to each other, and hang in there- that’s about the best anyone can do right now.

AFH

A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration

The Ghost Generation

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