JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

I am ugly

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It’s 12:17 in the morning, and I’m having a miniature meltdown. I’m quite certain it’s necessary.

To be blunt, I don’t like what I’m becoming. Nah, what I’ve become.

I’m negative. Always friggin’ negative. And I know some/many people are nodding, and you’re right. It’s nonstop complaining here. About rude people. About the drought. About racism. About conservatives. About food. About … everything. A solid 80 percent of my posts involve some sort of complaint. And, truly, it’s finally worn be down.

I don’t want to be this guy. In the past, I’ve justified it by the idea that the keyboard is my vent, and it’s sort of a character that comes out and is solely two dimensional. But that’s just not entirely true. Over the past, oh, five or six weeks, I’ve been miserable. I’m not sure what fired the emotion up, but it’s there. Maybe receiving a suicide note from an old friend. Possibly the ongoing drought. Whatever the case, I’m down and dark and in a prolonged funk. I see very little good and all bad. I want to shake people to awareness, but awareness to what? Is it a cause, or just my misery? Not sure.

I used to think of my writing and my life as separate entities. But that’s stupid. If you’re always complaining on the laptop, and you’re always on your laptop, well, you’re always complaining. There’s no life divide; no real v. Memorex. The guy writing angrily is the guy living angrily.

And here’s the truth: I’m sort of an anger fraud. If you’re a Christian living in Kenya right now, you have good reason to be upset. If you’re being held captive by ISIS or fighting cancer and watching a parent die, good reason. But me? I’m upset because I live in a place with a horrific drought. That’s the cause of my anger. I have a loving wife, two living kids. My parents are alive and well. I live comfortably, get to write books for a living, have all my fingers and toes, can buy a cup of coffee whenever I want. My back is a bit achy and I’m allergic to beer, but … that’s about it.

Again, what do I have to be so angry about? Really?

So, beginning now, I’m going to try and change things up. Some new rules:

1. No more cursing on this blog. Not because I’m against cursing. But the words always accompany anger.

2. No more stupid ripping for loud talkers, traffic blockers. Little stuff.

3. I’m limiting myself to one drought-related post per week.

4. I’m gonna blog more about sports than I have. Not a ton, but more.

5. Find the fun.

Really, what I need to do is seek out the positive. It’s almost like I have a disease, where the things that bring me down become the things I write about—thereby bringing me down even more.

Time to change.