Living in the Shadows

  Think of this bit of commentary as a sort of self-induced online psychotherapy.  I have to work through something.
    I'm feeling a bit reflective tonight.
    Not so much on the past, but more so on the future.  You see, I've been feeling sort of...lost, without any sense of purpose, I guess one could say.  Lately, it seems as if I'm living in the shadows of both my Dad and younger brother, both of whom have achieved some degree of fame and/or notoriety.
    My dad, Ray, aside from his day job at a tractor plant, is a very popular music man and Karaoke host.  He's well known and fairly well respected, and both he and my mom Sheila get to rub elbows with some fairly famous people in the local music industry, whether playing a show or just "attending".  It's always interesting to hear him talk about his famous friends and acquaintences, and it's cool because he gets pretty excited about it.  Both him and my mom are constantly busy, whether getting ready to play a wedding, social, or organizing the next big 50's & 60's show in town.
    My brother, Brad, aside from his day jobs as both a video store clerk and a music store clerk, is a radio DJ and host of his own radio show, Radio Creepsville.  He's living out all his insomniac fantasies on the air, and having a ton of fun in the process.  And to top it all off, he's recently started a band! (check the link to his web page in my "Pop Culture" page).
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous or resentful of either of them, not in any way, shape, or form.  The fact is, I'm quite proud of both of them.  I guess what's bugging me then, is I'm feeling a little left out of the action...  I remember a few times I've been over to my parent's place for dinner parties and what-not.  My parents will have a few of their friends over, all of whom are tied into the music business in some respect, or at least have some sort of interest in it.  My dad will share his stories about people he's met, shows they've played or attended, and so on, while my brother will talk about old music, old B-movies with the others.  I just don't have anything in common with their friends, and it usually leaves me feeling like an outsider, almost like the boring, ORDINARY guy at the party.  I never thought I'd ever refer to myself as being "ordinary" before, but it seems lately that I am INDEED ordinary.
    What leads me to this conclusion, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked...  It took me an entire afternoon of soul-searching to figure this all out.
    I'm rapidly approaching my Thirtieth birthday, and realized I've done NOTHING with my life.  Well, that's not true in any normal human sense.  I bought a house this year, I've got a full-time job managing a warehouse for an industrial hose & fittings company, I'm in a steady relationship with a girl I love a great deal, and I've got two cats.  I've pretty much become your typical middle-class suburbanite (I'm just a regular Joe, with a regular job...your average white suburbanite slob...*)!!! The fact is, I haven't done anything with my life that's on the same SCALE of what my Dad and brother have achieved. (and no, my time in alt.binaries.emulators.nintendo doesn't count)
    So, who's to blame?  Who's at fault for my almost total lack of fame?  My Dad? My Brother? Bronson Pinchot? Is the Pope somehow holding me back?

No, believe it or not, it's just me.
    You see, I too have a lot of things I'm passionate about.  I love video games.  I love to cook.  I love computers, art, philosophy, and pop culture.  I ESPECIALLY love music.  I like all sorts of music, from swing, latin rhythms, classical/baroque, to punk, goth, metal, and my fave, European electro-industrial.  I've got the talent, creativity, energy, and means to be as big as my Dad and brother. My problem, if you want to call it that, is that I have no drive, no focus, and I give up too easily.  I've got so many varied interests, and I've never really learned to bring some (or all) of them together in a coherent manner (as my brother has).  I tend to get into one thing for a couple of weeks, then lose interest and move onto another thing for another couple of weeks, and so on, whether it's music, video game consoles, even which computer I use to edit my page!  One day it's my Amiga 2000, the next it's my linux box, the next it's my Windoze based P166MMX.
    A prime example of this behaviour is this very web page.  When I first started it in February 2002, I dug out my "Art Gallery" (basically a duotang full of pictures and doodles I scribbled onto looseleaf over the years, mostly during high school twelve years ago) with the intent of scanning 'em and posting onto my site.  Never got around to it.  Then, I started drawing a Manga-style comic (in the Japanese Gekigan-style, like Go Nagai's super robot series') with myself as the central character, with the intent of serializing it with a chapter posted to my site every Sunday.  Never got past the character design phase.  Then, the one I've been asked about most frequently, the novella I was writing, supposedly a chapter a week.  My Tandy 286 laptop crashed and I lost the first chapter, and never brought it up again.  If it wasn't for a piece of "fan e-mail" I received a week ago from a girl who happened upon my site, I don't think I would have gone into this reflective state.  I won't mention her name, but I have to thank her.  She made my day, and showed me that people OTHER than myself (and my immediate circle of friends) read my page.
    It took me a total of two hours one Sunday afternoon to realize how I was holding myself back.  Well, I'm not content to sit on my ass any longer.  Time to turn my life around and DO SOMETHING with it!  I am Conceited Jerk! I don't have to settle for a humdrum, boring suburban existence!
Ahhhhh...I feel a lot better now that I've let it all out...  I've got a sense of purpose.  And a couple of ideas.


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