I’ve always liked making lists, even if they end up being dusty scraps of paper buried beneath boxes and books. Character traits, tasks, books, writing, dreams, nightmares, monsters, video games, movies, weather, trees, memories, and people have all been listed. Recently, in the last few years, my parents have started to discard the clutter they’ve accumulated from their millennial children moving in and out of their house. There were hundreds and hundreds of paper-tongued ambitions between cookware and DVD cases.
I can’t suppress my natural urge to want to produce lists. In our culture, no matter if it’s ink or pixels, we like lists. BuzzFeed exists because it solely invested in this format. Other major internet news outlets like the Huffington Post have also opted for this style. Smaller internet outlets like Bored Panda follow. We like to rank our chaos. We enjoy opinions subtle validation. It makes life more palatable.
So I’m going to start writing a five point list every Monday entitled: “Monday Musings.” There is no real subject to these posts, just five things I’m currently thinking about.
- I am obscenely excited for the new Star Wars movie. It kind of overshadows Christmas for me. After it comes out though, what then? Movies have become so extravagant, endless, and undying, where do I go from there? There is the new Marvel Civil War movie coming out, but I’m really, really, tired of the good old boy Captain America and wise cracking Iron Man debating ethics. I’m hoping they add another villain to it. However, is that what Marvel movies will become for me? New movies for new villains? At least with the new (and old even) X-Men movies, you have the classic conflict of outcasts trying to be normal in a sea of frightened hate.
- Writing the nonfiction I’ve been publishing on here has taken an emotional toll on me. It’s not easy to pump out these gut-wrenching experiences for people to read on a weekly basis. Sometimes, the feelings are hard to control, and my family pays the price. They know me and my issues. They are my everything. I just want lost souls like mine to know they’re not alone.
- First Thanksgiving I haven’t been questioned about marriage, work, kids, or anything that might give me value in these eyes of my extended family. I’m not sure how I survived it this long without screaming back at my relatives: “Ask me about something currently going on? Remember last year? Ask me about that stuff, please. Retain something!”
- Black Friday for me is no longer the electronic binge of self-gratification. Hopped up on energy drinks, lines of credit, and Mad Max maneuvers through aisles, this capitalistic smorgasbord used to be all about me, the selfish Millennial. Now, it has morphed into a carefully orchestrated venture with a family-forged budget. Christmas was fun when it was just you buying stuff for you. With children and a wife, it’s actually rewarding.
- Pretty soon, here in Minnesota, the entire land will be locked in this flat prison of ice and snow. It’ll be brighter at night than during the day. Nightmares and dreams will both feature this sterile bleakness. At night, if you live in the dark like me, take some time to walk outside and stare at the streetlights. Even better, try to make it an evening where there’s a slight flurry. There, locked in that orange glow, is the very power of humankind. In this seasonal wasteland, we still live and prosper. The lights still shine, even when the earth closes its eyes.